New stitchmarker sets in my Folksy shop: Love Hearts and Hearts & Flowers in both knitting and crochet versions. All stitchmarker sets are in stock and have free postage.
Another Victoria; this one in Wollmeise Twin, colourway Tosca.
Christmas lunch earlier today at Cafe Quench in George Street with the Friday knitters; it was absolutely delicious (top marks for sprouts with sage and bacon, roast potatoes with thyme and rosemary, fabulous boozy Christmas pudding). Here's Lynne looking suitably festive with her wonderful crocheted gingerbread house.
I do have a bit of a problem finishing things (not work stuff which has deadlines); it's things for me that get left unfinished. These are some of the ends I darned in yesterday. It took me most of the day while listening to the first half of an unabridged audiobook (all 7 hours 24 minutes of it) to finish the ends on a ripple blanket crocheted in, gulp, 2004. Or it may have been 2003. Said blanket has featured as a photo prop (ends tucked away out of sight) and spent the last few years folded over the end of my bed (ends ditto) and I'm happy to have finished it at last.
Come back tomorrow to see the blanket in all its finished gorgeousness!
Sometimes being a designer sucks. Today's snotty message on ravelry tells me that I don't write crochet instructions correctly in my books - I should watch YouTube vids to get the technique right and then my crochet blocks will look much nicer. WTF?
I'm working my way through my stash of Koigu KPPPM and Colinette Jitterbug; it's mainly oddments with the odd single skein here and there. So far there have been several crochet blankets,
a hat and a pair of almost-finished-just-need-thumbs fingerless mittens
and there's still some yarn left. I'm convinced it's breeding...
In the same photo as the mittens are the start of Keiran Foley's Shetland Ruffles (rav link) in two colours of Malabrigo Sock (Dewberry and Solis) and a shawl for Steph in some of my hand dyed sock yarn.
April seems to have slid past without making so much as a gentle ripple on the surface of my life. I've been deep in gift knitting/crochet which is (thankfully) nearly finished - many of the friends-who-I-make-stuff-for have birthdays in April and May so at least I get time during the summer to cast on a few things for myself before the Christmas present rush begins.
Latest off the hook is this blanket for Liz's birthday and I'm really pleased with how the colours of Jitterbug and Koigu work together.
Flossie the Faithful Companion has spent much of the month asleep; when awake, she veers between being seriously in-your-face pushy
and won't-look-you-in-the-eyes shy.
Bulbs on the balcony are starting to sprout and it's time for me to come out of winter hibernation. Yarnwise, I've almost finished a third blanket, this one made out of Colinette Jitterbug. Luscious yarn in luscious colours.
Second blanket; same pattern, different colours.
The hyacinth flowers are fully out now. Amazing scent!
A lot of crochet and knitting, mainly for presents so unbloggable at the moment. Projects on the needles include a Nuvem (Rav link) which is about half done; it's growing very slowly now with umpteen stitches to a round. I haven't counted the stitches because the enormous number would seriously put me off doing any more and I don't want it to lurk unfinished...
The weather has been fairly unspeakable until a couple of days ago when the big yellow thing in the sky appeared for more than a couple of minutes at a time and the wind changed to a gentle breeze. In spite of the lousy weather, my balcony pots are looking lovely - mainly pansies and violas in white, lilac, purple and yellow.
I've finally got rid of the pigeons - 30 quid's worth of bird spikes has done the trick and I can now enjoy sitting outside in peace without pigeon crap everywhere. My balcony does have a certain Alcatraz feel to it though...
Now that January has got into its stride, here's a look at gifts I made for Christmas.
Fingerless mittens for Liz in hand dyed high twist merino; my own design using a stitch pattern from a Japanese stitch dictionary.
Long crochet scarf with fringe for Julie; my own design in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino.
On the what's-on-the-needles-now front, not much. Huldran is progressing slowly (lovely, lovely Wollmeise) and there are a couple of pairs of plain vanilla socks on the go. I think I'd better go cast something else on!
The days between Christmas and New Year feel slightly odd to me - like someone's pressed a pause button. Way back when, New Year's Day was only a Bank Holiday in Scotland and life south of the border got back to normal straight after Boxing Day. I can't say that I like this time of year either.
Right, that's the grumble out of the way. Not a lot happening at Wibbo Towers apart from generally mindless knitting and a little excitement after finding a terrific crochet block pattern which looks perfect for using up my bits and pieces of yarn. It's this one
and it's free to download here. I really should finish a couple of things first then it's out with the hooks...
Brighton Craft Guerrilla will be at Craftaganza's Christmas Market at Fabrica on December 10 and I'm busy dyeing, stitching and crocheting all manner of stuff for the stall. The venue's nice and central and we're looking forward to plenty of visitors wandering round and (hopefully) buying! I'll post more details nearer the date.
This is the latest batch of sock yarn ready to be skeined and labelled; I'd better go do just that...
The last few months have sped past. I'm reminded of that Douglas Adams quote I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
There have been several deadlines at Wibbo Towers, albeit self-imposed ones. The first one was to make a wedding present for Steph and Benn - a ripple stitch crochet blanket.
Then there was a shawl from Steph to wear at her wedding. She chose the Misty Blossom Stole pattern (ravelry link) and wanted a bright red semi-solid yarn to match one of the flower colours in her dress.
I was really pleased with how this turned out (as was Steph!) - I knitted it exactly to pattern apart from substituting a narrow picot edge for the original lace edging.
Write about your typical crafting time. When is it that you are likely to craft - alone or in more social environments, when watching TV or whilst taking bus journeys?
I'm happily retired and these days can do as much or as little knitting, crochet, embroidery, sewing as I fancy. After over thirty years designing and making things for clients and publishers, it's a joy to be able to make exactly what I want.
I ease into a typical day with a mug of tea and an hour or so's knitting or crochet.
I'm usually supervised by Fearsome Miss Flossie who sits by my feet waiting patiently for her breakfast.
I haven't had a television since 2001 and much of my crafting is accompanied by audio books, radio programmes or music, with the occasional film DVD when I'm knitting something that doesn't need concentration.
I live round the corner from an excellent library (name-checking Hove Library) which has a really good, constantly changing audio book selection (above is yesterday's haul) and I also have a subscription to Audible. Music-wise, I listen to classical music, opera, rock, folk, jazz and I'm a big fan of Radio 5 live's football coverage.
I try and balance hours spent crafting by myself with regular company in the shape of a couple of knitting groups (Brighton Knitters and Knit & Natter at Cocoon) and with regular exercise walking by the sea.
This is the last of this year's Knitting and Crochet Blog Week's posts - thanks for the comments and see you again next year :o)
This is an experimental blogging day to try and push your creativity in blogging to the same level that you perhaps push your creativity in the items you create. There are no rules or a topic to blog about but this post should look at a different way to present content on your blog.
Write about the fate of a past knitting project. Whether it be something that you crocheted or knitted for yourself or to give to another person. An item that lives with you or something you sent off to charity.
Many years ago (sometime during the 80s) I crocheted a huge bedspread in hexagon motifs using Rowan's Lightweight DK. The yarn came in an enormous range of colours and in 25g/70m skeins. I couldn't afford to buy all the yarn at once, so I used to pick up a fivers-worth at a time from Reis Wools in Holborn. I had no colour plan in my head and because the hexagons were joined together as I worked, I couldn't make any changes once they were in place. The small inner voice of doubt in my head should have warned me, but I ignored it and pressed on. And on. And on. Until the bedspread was finished and I'd worked several rows of edging round it. At that point, trying it out on the bed made me realise with horror that I absolutely hated the colours. All that hideous yellow! What on earth had I been thinking of?
So I folded up the bedspread and put it away, firmly out of sight, where it stayed for the best part of fifteen years. Then it occured to me that I could unpick the whole thing and re-use the yarn. That way madness lies; I soon abandoned the unpicking, (don't faint) cut the bedspread into four and ran the pieces through my washing machine a couple of times. I ended up with nice thick felt and the colours didn't look too bad because they'd faded slightly in the wash and each hexagon had shrunk to about half its original size.
Two thicknesses made a comfy seat pad for my studio chair
and some is in use as a cat perch handy rug to take down to the beach.
Look back over your last year of projects and compare where you are in terms of skill and knowledge of your craft to this time last year.
It's been a curate's egg sort of year. I learnt and used some new techniques but these were balanced out by a lot of frogging of projects that I wasn't totally convinced about. If I'm not enjoying knitting/crocheting something, or I don't think it'll fit/suit me, then I frog it.
I discovered, practised and perfected working a belly button start (brilliant) and got halfway through a circular shawl in laceweight before I had an attack of it-looks-too-much-like-a-doily and frogged it. However, learning something new is never wasted and I'll use the technique again next time I knit a square shawl. I like square shawls, they don't look like doilies ;o)
I knitted a shawl pattern that had a section of lace-on-both-sides patterning across the border section. The finished shawl looks really pretty but confirmed my previous opinion that I don't enjoy working this type of lace stitches even in an easy-to-handle yarn like Koigu; I much prefer purling wrong-side rows.
I designed and knitted a pair of mittens that actually fitted me properly (small hands, short fingers) and wrote the pattern up rather than leaving it in scrappy note form (this is a major step for me).
I learnt much more this year about dyeing yarn from Ravelry forums, a friend who dyes fabric and through trial-and-error. I'm much more confident now about dyeing the colours/effects that I want and getting a dyebath to exhaust.
In the next year, I plan to get better acquainted with Japanese crochet patterns. I have books, yarn and hooks, so no excuses!