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Preview: Telling Yarns

Telling Yarns

Updated: 2018-03-06T20:39:47.253+00:00


Xmas Gifts


(image) This is Julianne Smith's Burberry Inspired Cowl. I loved it; a simple pattern which was quick to knit and worked out well! It used two balls of Debbie Bliss's Cashmerino Chunky. I will definitely be making on for myself.

My sister always comes up with interesting gifts and this year gave me a brilliant present to satisfy my sweet tooth! Below is a picture of a cookie mix jar; everything was measured out perfectly, all I had to do was add an egg and a bit of butter. Perfect.

(image) This is my last Xmas knit and it was certainly my quickest. As ever I started it much much too late (try Xmas eve) and of course didn't finish on time. However thanks to the inevitable hours of seasonal travel one does around Xmas, it was done by the 29th and ready to be given, albeit late, at New Year!

The pattern is clear and easy to follow. It knitted up to fit a hot water bottle exactly and I appreciated the neatness of the increases and decreases sitting exactly on the edge of the hot water bottle. I used exactly one skein of Wendy Mode Aran. It was not quite as soft as I had hoped and next time I think I would use something with a different mix of materials.


Casper the Wise Man



Train knitting


(image) A couple of weeks ago, I went North. My husband and I spent a couple of nights in Edinburgh (see above) and then on to visit my Godmother near Berwick upon Tweed. It was a few days of relaxation in what was a rather busy month.

Coming from the South, I was struck with how empty everything was. Edinburgh is clearly a vibrant capital city but the area around Berwick, only an hour away, is beautifully deserted.

(image) Valentine's day was at the end of our holiday and was celebrated with some colourful cup cakes! The recipe used was a red velvet cake taken from the Hummingbird Bakery recipe book. Delicious.

(image) We took the train to Edinburgh which gave me a good excuse to knit for hours. I progress on my mittens and have very nearly finished - only been knitting them for a year... However I am not allowed to start anything new until I have at least finished one project!



So, I am now married. We had a wonderful day, absolutely beautiful and the weather was better than I could have ever dreamed of. It was a clear crisp winter's day with pure white snow. Although it caused a number of problems for our guests, my husband and I were totally oblivious of it all and just floated through the day.

(image) As you can see, I made good use of my shrug and thankfully finished both the shawls in time. However it was touch and go... We were knitting right up until the 11th hour and based on that, I am going to have time off from knitting to a deadline for a long while - it was far too stressful!

Sugarplum - the wedding shrug!





It is finally done! I am very pleased with it, it fits and although I may have to block it again to give the trim more shape I will definitely wear it!

It is not a hard pattern and the repeats are easy to remember. Or at least, I found it easy to notice when I had gone wrong! The pattern however doesn't give much guidance on finishing. In the end I used a mattress stitch to sew it up and I am pleased with the result.

I have knitted it to wear at my wedding, which is now only 3 weeks away! I will be wearing it over my dress and have arranged for my shoes to be dyed to match the yarn. I have used a company called Rainbow Club which do a huge range of shoes and will dye them any colour under the sun! You simply send a sample of fabric and they will match it.

Now, I have to knit the bridesmaid's shawl...



Things have been fairly busy recently - I have been planning a wedding so blogging has taken a back seat...

After a relatively short engagement, I am getting married on 19 December, only 5 weeks away now! So the last couple of months has been spent sorting out bits and bobs. Thankfully I think we have got most things done including a practice run on the wedding cake:

(image) Yes, it is a tiger...

I have started on my wedding knitting, a shrug for me and shawls for both bridesmaids: Sugerplum shrug for me and River for the bridesmaids. I will put photos up when they are finished, at the moment, they just look like balls of fluff!

I have a dress and pink shoes to match my shrug, Dan has a suit and we have rings - what more could we need?!

Strange Sweets


A friend of mine recently went to the Fat Duck, Heston Blumenthal's restaurant in Berkshire. He brought me back some strange sweets as a souvenir including, tabacco infused coconut, apple pie caramel with an edible wrapper and a white chocolate playing card (above).
They were all wonderful. My favourite for weirdness was the edible wrapper on the caramel (imagine plastic that melts when it gets wet) but for detail and beauty (if that can be applied to a sweet) the Queen of Hearts. It almost seemed a shame to eat them... not that it stopped me!



(image) Can you guess where I have been?

Yep... France! I have just had a very happy week eating wonderful food in Avignon, Provence.

In amongst the sightseeing I did a bit of knitting too. I started Blue Jeans Lace Leaf Shawl. It is a good pattern, clear and easy to follow. That said, I can see a couple of mistakes I have made while not really concentrating...

(image) I also got to wear my finished summer dress! This is the first time I have been able to wear it since making it as the Bristol summer hasn't proven too good:


Knitting in Hay


I have been meaning to post this in weeks but just haven't made the time. You know when the days run into weeks and the weeks into months? Well, that has been my life at the moment. One event or activity merging straight into the other leaving me very little time to surface in the in between times.

But enough of that, knitting. Or rather crochet.
(image) (image)
This is Florish by Kim Hargreaves from Heartfelt, The Dark House Collection. It was so quick and simple to make. I didn't bother with the beads but if I were to make it again I would, just to give it a bit extra. Definately recommend it if you want to have a go at crochet but don't quite know where to start.
It seems a very long time ago now but I went to the Hay Literature Festival in Hay-on-Wye for the May Bank Holiday. The weather was glorious, simply perfect for camping. I spent the weekend listening, learning and reading in the sun whilst enjoying a steady flow of strawberries and ice cold lemonade. A near perfect weekend was made perfect by finding a little knitting shop. The owner said they had recently moved shops and were still perfecting the displays but as far as I could see they had already got there. It was adorable with a beatiful shop window featuring a vintage Singer sewing machine.
(image) However what I loved the most about the shop was its wonderful button display. Here are a couple of shots for you.
(image) I am sorry to say that I cannot remember the name of the shop... If however you do go to Hay-on-Wye it is easy to find as it is on the main road virtually opposite the second hand book shop in the Castle.

Froot Loops


Finally I have a pair of socks!


I spent the Easter weekend with my parents staying in a little village near Lyme Regis. The glorious weather made it feel like a true holiday weekend (the ice creams on the beach helped!). I also found time to finish off Froot Loop socks and cast on Flourish (ravelry link) by Kim Hargreaves.

Froot Loop is a good pattern, written clearly and easy to follow. I have yet to master a neat kitchener stitch for the toe so am keen to start on another pair of socks to get some practise in! Any suggestions for patterns gratefully received.

Even the Mayor took part in this!


No time for knitting


The last few weeks have been full of lots of non-crafty fun:


(image) Bath Half-marathon

Though I am keen to get going again. I want to knit Evie from Kim Hargreave's Thrown Together collection. I am thinking of substituting Rowan's Cashcotton 4 ply for the designated Cashsoft 4 ply. Has anyone knitted with Cashcotton? Would it work?

Eating my words


I take my last post back. A lovely card landed on my doormat this week to thank me for the work I put into my friend's gift. I should not be so hasty with my sweeping statements.

Will post more pictures and knitting related things next time - promise.

Knitted Gifts


What has your experience been on giving non-knitters hand-knitted gifts?

Looking back over the projects I have completed in the last 18 months or so, the majority have been gifts for others. I want to show people how much I care for them and so decide to make them something unique that has involved time and effort. Pretty much every time I am disappointed with the reaction I receive.

True, the presents are never perfect, they are hand-made by someone who isn't an expert knitter, just a hobby-knitter who is learning. They often arrive late and, possibly where the root of the problem lies, I am guilty of not always making clear that I have made it and how much work I ploughed into their woolly gift.

That aside, I always come away thinking I should have just kept it myself and hunted out a shop bought gift that would probably have suited the occasion better.

If you read my last post I think you will know where this going. I gave my friend River last week. I got a bit coy about the fact I made it for her so did not insist that it was opened in front of me, I therefore missed her reaction. I think she liked it, she said as much, and I am certain she appreciated the effort I put into it but I am starting to doubt that I picked the right pattern/colourway etc and whether it was really a suitable present for the occasion or not.

The question is, do I stop making things for others and just focus on me, me ,me or do I just make it clear when I give things to others that I made it having spent the last couple of months working on the wretched thing and I put a lot of thought into it? What do you do?

Enough of that, pictures:



Despite all said above, I am really proud of how it turned out!

River and dreams


I think this will be the first project in a long while that will be finished on time! A couple of months ago a good friend of mine decided to take the plunge and hand in her notice and leave work. When she told me I decided I wanted to make her something to wish her good luck. One of her dreams for this new post work period is to get a dog, so I decided I would make her a dog walking scarf. Rather than a normal chunky scarf I wanted to make something light, feminine and pretty, something in lace to reflect how I perceive her. I settled on River.

I am only about 20 rows away from finishing and am delighted with it so far. As I am so near completion I will wait until I have cast off the final few stitches before taking a photo - then you can see the finished product!

So this entry has some photos I have put a couple I have taken from my bedroom window:



Plenty of knitting going on but, as with the rest of Britain, I have been distracted by the SNOW! Here are some shots of a white and icey Bristol:




New Year Holidays


Have you ever been to Brussels? I went for a couple of days at the start of this new year and would recommend it. We spent most of our time walking the streets following a trail of murals which each celebrate the wealth of the Belgian comic culture. I am a lifelong Tintin fan having been brought up on them by my father who was also an avid Tintin reader in his childhood.
We also sampled an almost unhealthy number of Belgian waffles, ironically the best, in our humble tourist opinion, came from the Australian Waffle and Ice Cream Company.
I managed to get a fair bit of knitting done as well although no pictures as of yet. I have started knitting River from Rowan Magazine no. 38. There is a free PDF of the pattern available on Ravelry I think. It is a quicker knit than I thought and I am already well into my second pattern repeat.

A Turn Along the Prom



This was one of my Christmas knits - a Turn a Square hat designed by Brooklyn Tweed.
I am pleased with it as is my boyfriend who was the recipient! Its first outing was yesterday on a walk along the Brighton prom, it did its job and kept his ears sheltered from the icy wind.
I would recommend the pattern, very easy to follow although I am going to have to work on the jog-less stripes, I only got to the hang of it towards the end and with Christmas looming I did not have time to rip and start again.

One Sock Down


(image) This is how I spent last night, happily finishing off my sock with a tipple. It fits perfectly and I am determined to get its matching pair done before I go back to work next week. Little oases of knitting time during the working week are rare so I am making the most of my time off.

The photo really does not do justice to the colour of this yarn, its photos on Ravelry are true. I am using a cherry hill supersock merino, it is lovely to work with and, unlike other sock yarns I have used it, doesn't spilt.

I am hoping to go wool shopping today with my mother, I am intending to make River (featured in Rowan 38) for a friend so hope to find something to knit it in.

Merry Christmas!


I had lots of photos to put on this post but my boyfriend as already left to go home for Christmas and has taken the camera with him. Most inconvenient. So I will have to save them for the New Year.

I have had a busy week of knitting and crafting. I transformed myself into Dangermouse for a fancy dress party. Some of the other costumes were very impressive others not so. I was somewhere inbetween.
Also made good progress on a quilt I have been making. I splurged and bought some gorgeous Amy Butler fabric from GetKnitted to make a quilt for my bed. It is time consuming but I love what I have made so far.
I have also been knitting this. An easy and satisfying knit. I will post more details and pictures once I have reclaimed the camera.
In the meantime, I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and a prosperous start to the New Year.

Star Crossed Beanie


Star Crossed Beanie
Originally uploaded by Katey F
I am not convinced. I decided I would use up some left over wool I had to knit myself a hat. I had recently seen Star Crossed Slouchy Beret from Natalie and decided I would adapt it to fit the amount of wool I had left.

Although the cable worked (and what a great pattern it is) I don't really like the overall look. I don't think it suits a beanie and I should have kept to the original pattern.

I will wear it a few times and then see what I think before I rip it.

Facts about Me


For the first time ever I have been tagged! Sue of Eco-tricot tagged me. I am going to break one rule though, I am not going to tag people but I ask the next seven people to read this to do the following:

The Rules
Link to the person who tagged you.
List seven facts about yourself.
Post the rules on your blog.
Tag seven more people to do the same and link to them.
Let each person know they've been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
Let the tagger know when your entry has been posted.

Facts about me
I am hopeless at doing these things so I have delegated to my boyfriend. His facts about me are:
1. I lived in Germany - studied there for a year and then worked as a receptionist for 6 months after uni
2. I avoid dairy products
3. I cannot spell (I just wrote diary products...)
4. I am partial to a bit of bassoon-ing
5. I am a lindy hopper
6. I am half kiwi
7. I have just made some awesome pear and ginger muffins

Cushions and good books


I have never read graphic novels before but considering a good friend of mine had written/drawn this one I decided to venture into the graphic novel world. It was brilliant! Britten & Brulightly is a in a film noir style and full of twists and turns. I am not going to do it justice whatever I write, I just recommend you read it yourselves!



Do any of you know how to upload more than one photo from Flickr to a blog at a time?
Originally uploaded by Katey F

This is most frustrating!



Finally a finished item... I promised myself that I wouldn't post until I had finished something and I have. Not the socks but a present for a friend - a pair of fetching fingerless gloves.

I am really pleased with them. As the pattern predicted it only took 1 ball of debbie bliss cashmerino so I have a spare to make another pair. I decided to crochet around the cast on edge on both gloves as I couldn't stop it rolling up, it seemed to do the trick.

But just because I haven't been blogging doesn't mean I haven't been crafting! I have been branching into quilting and embroidary - see the cushion in the photo above.

Froot Loops


Froot Loops
Originally uploaded by Katey F
This is all the knitting I have done for months, but I am really enjoying it!

I have never knitted socks before but decided that my first pair should be a pretty pair, something I would want to wear. So far so good, I haven't stumbled across anything too hard in the pattern.