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Taking Stock: March 2021

Making: a new crochet doll for a new baby girl.

Cooking: a friend is making pumpkin risotto!
Drinking: hibiscus tea, which is meant to help lower blood pressure. It also tastes great.
Reading: The 100th issue of Frankie.

Wanting: to update my Ravelry projects, so I can hit that magic 1,000 project mark (I have made many more…)
Playing: with the latest Kiwi Co box that arrived today.

Liking: the cooler mornings. Autumn is here.
Deciding: on what to pack for a short trip over the Easter weekend.
Wishing: everyone safe!
Enjoying: yesterday’s trip to the Southern Highlands and that I was able to wear my Slipstravaganza Shawl.

Wondering: why post my mum sent to the boys for their birthdays back in February and March is taking so long.
Loving: the Eggstravaganza (Easter hat parade) at school this morning.

Pondering: what activities to plan for the holidays.
Considering: whether to break my ‘yarn buying’ hiatus on Monday when we go to visit Blackwattle Yarn for an Alpaca tour. Does anybody want to comission something?
Buying: nothing!!!
Watching: still Outlander.
Hoping: for good weather while we are in Canberra.
Marvelling: at the beautiful country we live in!

Cringing: at nothing…
Needing: a new crochet hook after over 30 years!

Questioning: processes.
Smelling: beautiful essential oils at a workshop with my gorgeous friend.
Wearing: my shawls.
Following: new friends.
Knowing: the holidays will be fun!
Thinking: about friends.
Admiring: a new to me crochet designer’s work: Marina Chuchkalova.

Sorting: through my yarn.
Bookmarking: patterns, always patterns!
Coveting: yarn, always yarn!
Disliking: having to make a decision about my impartial high grade tear of the ACL.
Opening: bottles of wine as I have a friend staying with me.
Feeling: accomplished.
Snacking: not at the moment.
Helping: where I can.
Hearing: really annoying small planes (we live close to a small airport).
Mixing: nothing.
Celebrating: the start of the holidays!
Forgetting: nothing…or am I?
Winning: at life!
Sneaking: nothing.
Embracing: friends!

Taking inspiration from The Little Room of Rachell.

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Friday Finds

Easter is just around the corner and while I have never tried baking Hot Cross Buns, this lot from Tom over on the Kate Davies Design blog makes me want to try!

A great overview of how to make i-cords…and not just by knitting them!

The formidable hat architect Wolly Wormhead has started her own Teachable school and I am here for it! If you haven’t knitted any of her incredibly hat designs, I urge you to try them! They are stunning!

Colourblocking can be so wonderfully dramatic. Like some of the patterns in his book, Vertex from KnitPicks.

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Friday Finds

Easter is almost upon us… we are going to be away, but every year we make sure to dye some eggs (it’s tradition). I love the 40 different ideas from Mollie Makes.

I just adore these embroidery make your own jewelry kits from Alicia Paulson…stunning!

Have you ever wondered what the right knitting needles or crochet hooks are? Check out Vickie Howell’s guide!

Simply Maggie’s knitter-specific key chains are to-die-for!

Oh this basket (maybe not just for Easter) is perfect!

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Friday Finds

A stunning pair of socks by Helen Kurtz in the latest issue of The Knitter.

Save the date: Sit and Knit for a Bit Spring Podcast with Arne & Carlos. This is what they say about it:

“To mark the first anniversary of our quarantine podcast, we have decided to do a daily “Sit and Knit for a Bit” Spring Podcast and KAL from March 17th to March 28th, so make sure to save the dates!”

Easter is just around the corner and the guys at Mollie Makes have a couple of sweet Easter crafts.

First off these needle felt egg cosies…they are just too cute for words.

And this fantastic Easter Card.

Some patterns I am loving on Ravelry…

The Brighton Tank and Shorts by Julie Robinson.

The Shorty sock Set by Summer Lee.

Last, but not least, a roundup of the best knitting kits by Mollie Makes. I want to buy them all!

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Taking Stock: February 2021

Making: the Bernie Sanders from Tobey King.

Cooking: I have really enjoyed smoothies last month, probably because I had the post for a dental implant put in, so could only eat soft stuff for a little while.
Drinking: Gorgeous Slow Wine Co Pinot Noir.
Reading: Excellence Wins by Horst Schulze, very interesting read!

Wanting: really badly to see my brother and his family, and my mum!
Playing: with yarn!
Liking: that my knee is starting to feel much better, thanks in part to my fantastic physio!
Deciding: on new projects (crochet and knitting) for next month!
Wishing: see Wanting further up!
Enjoying: A wonderful painting class with my girlfriends today (their birthday present to me).

Wondering: what next month will bring!
Loving: all the love I received for my 40th birthday last month!

Pondering: when I get to hike again….
Considering: all the obstacles that are in place for my work…
Buying: nothing! I am being very good!
Watching: New Amsterdam and Outlander.
Hoping: for more time for knitting and crocheting!
Marvelling: at my beautiful roses!

Cringing: at nothing this month!
Needing: more time…always!
Questioning: ???
Smelling: above mentioned roses.
Wearing: my Birkenstocks…always!
Following: …
Knowing: less than my boys most of the time ;-).
Thinking: about all my friends back in England!
Admiring: Woodlucker’s absolutely stunning paper flowers. Go check her out!

Sorting: through my yarn stash to make sure I have enough yarn for all my planned projects.
Bookmarking: patterns to make my brother a jumper.
Coveting: pretty happy at the moment!
Disliking: see above…pretty content.
Opening: a bottle of Slow Wine Co Pinot Nior earlier!
Feeling: content.
Snacking: on som Ritter Sport chocolate, a little taste of home.
Helping: whoever needs my help!
Hearing: the cicadas outside.
Mixing: …
Splicing: …
Celebrating: my 40th birthday this month!

Forgetting: some things off my work to do list….
Winning: at life!
Pretending: nothing.
Sneaking: some chocolate while the kids are watching TV.
Embracing; middle age.

Taking inspiration from The Little Room of Rachell.

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Finished Object: Flibbertigibbet Socks

Socks are one of those projects that are easy to carry around, for that reason I like to always have at least one pair on the go. It’s nice to be able to grab them for any potential #knittingwhensitting time. As any knitter will know there is nothing worse than having some free time and nothing to work on.

This absolutely gorgeous pattern: Flibbertigibbet by Lisa K. Ross aka Paper Daisy Creations had been in my Ravelry queue for a good few years. I finally made this pair in January 2020. I am pretty sure I used some gorgeous 24 Mile Hollow Yarn Co sock yarn, but unfortunately I didn’t note it down so I can’t be 100% sure.

I made them as a gift to an Instagram friend in Germany. She had shared some of her wishes and one wish was for some handknitted socks.

I am very happy with how they turned out and would knit this pattern again any day, if I didn’t have such a long sock queue on my Ravelry ;-).

STATS
Pattern: 
Flibbertigibbet by Lisa K. Ross aka Paper Daisy Creations
Yarn: Sock Yarn by 24 Mile Hollow Yarn Co. (I believe).
Needle size: 2.5mm
Knitting time: 4th-21st January 2020.

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The Magic of Ravelry

Any fibre artist, yarn wizard or knitting/crochet master will know about Ravelry…if you don’t let me enlighten you!

Ravelry is an inclusive, friendly website for knitters, crocheters, spinners, weavers, and dyers. We are made up of millions of yarn lovers from all over the world. Ravelry provides a personal notebook for fiber artists to keep track of their projects, yarns & fibers, tools, and pattern library, a rich database of patterns and yarns, and a community with thousands of forums and groups to connect with other Ravelers over any interest you could think of.

Everything on Ravelry is user-driven: we all help to make the site useful and fun. We are happy you are here! There are three main areas of Ravelry for you to explore: The Database, Your Notebook and the community.”

Whenever I look for a pattern, my first visit is always to Ravelry. There are so many patterns (free and paid for) for anything knitted or crochet or fibre related, it’s incredible! I am ashamed to say that my queue is about 15 pages long…but whenever I find a pattern I really like that I know I want to come back to, the easiest way to do that is to queue it and bookmark it on here. Genius!

I have also added almost 1,000 projects to the my notebook section…. and I am considering a little givewaway when I add the 1,000ths project. What do you think?

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Finished Object: Adult Cardigan

I don’t often knit for myself. I always feel it’s a bit self-indulgent if I do, but really what a load of… Why shouldn’t I knit more for myself, after all I am the one who knows how much work has gone into something! This cardigan I made back in 2016 and I have loved wearing it.

I love the simple shape of this cardigan, and I remember distinctly how easy it was to knit. I used DROPS Paris, a cotton yarn that is made partly from recycled cotton, how great is that? It is really soft, but at the same time rought to the touch. But actually when it’s knitted up it feels wonderful on the skin. Another plus, as it’s a aran/worsted weight yarn it knits up incredibly quickly, even if making a cardigan or jumper!

I knitted this in about a month in 2016, although I am pretty sure I wasn’t knitting on only this for that length of time. And how about some pictures of me wearing it? 🙂

STATS
Pattern:
Early Autumn Cotton by Drops Design.
Yarn: DROPS Paris.
Needle size: 5mm
Knitting time: 4th March – 3rd April 2016.

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Knitting: the Difference between Continental and British Style

I wrote this post a few years ago for a blog called Craft Candy (which unfortunately doesn’t exist anymore). So, I thought why shouldn’t I share it on here?

As knitting seems to have become more popular, with avid knitters taking their projects on ‘trains, planes and automobiles’ it’s also becoming apparent that there are two distinct knitting styles: Continental (or German) knitting and English knitting.

Continental Knitting British Knitting – © http://craftsmumship.com/

I was taught continental knitting by my aunt and in school when growing up in Germany. Only when I came to England in 1996 did I notice the English knitting style, which immediately struck me as being much more complicated and taking longer to complete projects.

I always believed that the way I knit (continental) was much faster and much more time efficient. And in fact, it actually is. Not only according to Wikipedia which states that: “Continental knitting can be done at a greater rate than English knitting, as the stitches are formed closer to the needle points and the yarn has a shorter travel.” But also according to STV Scotland, which interviewed Hazel Tindall, who won an international knitting competition to become the World’s Fastest Knitter. She completed 262 stitches in 3 minutes!

Continental knitting/German knitting or picking as it’s sometimes also called is mostly used in Northern and Eastern Europe. The yarn is held in the left hand and a movement of the left index finger (or other fingers) helps the needle to pick up the yarn and form a new stitch.

Important to remember with this style of knitting is the position of the yarn, it always needs to end up behind the needles after any stitch has been completed. The yarn is held over the forefinger of the left hand, achieving tension of the yarn in many different ways. Either by wrapping the yarn around the little finger, wrapping it around the forefinger or holding the yarn against the left hand needle with the middle finger to keep it as taut as needed.

People that have previously crochet find learning the continental style of knitting easier as the yarn is held in a similar way, in the left hand, and the right hand motion is pretty much the same for both knitting and crocheting.

English knitting, which is also sometimes referred to as American knitting or throwing, is mostly used in England and America, according to About.com Knitting. It involves holding the yarn in your right hand and ‘throwing’ it over the needle to form a stitch.

Making a knit stitch the right needle is inserted into the left side of the first loop on the left needle. The yarn is then wrapped counter-clockwise around the right needle, and this new loop is pulled with the right needle through the old one.