Well I’m a few days after the New Year but it’s taken me a little while to process my holiday and life in general. I’m having an amazingly good, restful holiday, lots of sleep, knitting and reading. One of my previous New Year’s resolutions was to begin reading more and I’m making my way through the third Game of Thrones books and loving them. It does require some plastic book holders though to keep the pages open while you knit :-)
Over the last year I’ve been longing to do some sewing, but just couldn’t bring myself to actually buy a machine (I hate buying things I’m not 110% sure I’ll use!). Yesterday I bit the bullet and bought a very basic machine from Lidl that should be just perfect to get me started. After I do a few little tests to see how it works the first big job I hope to tackle is some new curtains for 2 of the boys rooms. They’re not small kids any more but the teddy bear curtains are still hanging. I think this is the year they’ll have to go.
I can’t reveal full details of my year to come yet but it looks like it’s going to be a big one for me with some huge challenges. I’m excited and terrified all at the same time. (You know when you get that knot in your stomach but you can’t quite tell which it is?). I think I can manage them, but that’s assuming nothing unexpected happens. So fingers crossed that this year runs as smoothly as possible…here’s hoping!
So, I know this will not be a restful year but I feel hopeful that I’m up to the challenges ahead. I think next Christmas/New Year I’ll be in need of that long sleep filled holiday again!
Have you made any New Year Resolutions? Let me know what they are, I think it helps committing them to writing!
I’ve got a busy few months coming up from both a work and personal point of view.Â From the family side, we’ve got exams (Junior Cert for oldest, multiple music, gymnastic trials), 2 plays (with multiple nights), 4 music concerts, 2 big gymnastic events and even a confirmation.Â My calender is actually starting to look a bit like a joke :-)
Even with all that going on though I think it is still easier than having a baby/toddler.Â The constant pressure to be on call, frequent sicknesses and lack of sleep makes everything so much harder.Â Admittedly my memory is probably skewed towards the negative as my youngest had a lot of problems….I though I was suffering from post-natal depression but in fact 18 months without a single night of more than a 2 hour sleep stretch just caused severe exhaustion.Â Maybe this will be reassuring to any of you who are in the middle of the younger years?Â They really do test your limits, while the teen challenges are also tough you can at least face them on a full night of sleep!
Speaking of challenges, I’m currently preparing for a project that I really have to pull out all the stops for.Â I’m gathering new sets of skills and pushing myself to try and create some new ideas.Â I feel a little like Thomas the Tank Engine (for anyone with little boys)….. “I think I can, I think I can….”
While I’m busy brainstorming for that project I’ve got this little pile of deliciousÂ yarn sitting on my desk, this is my prize for finishing the other work.Â This yarn is for a few different projects I’ll be working on over the next few months, I’m looking forward to swatching….
I put this photo up on twitter last week and a few different people were gussing at the yarns… and ideas?Â (Hint 2 of them are handspun!).
Every year when February comes around it feels like winter should really be over. The days are getting brighter but the temperatures doesn’t really qualify as spring yet! I’ve been putting a little pattern collection together over the last few months in preparation for spring. All the patterns are now finished and tech edited ….almost ready to go!
I want to give you all a chance to get this full collection of 3 patterns at a discounted price, I’m putting the collection up for pre-sale until the first pattern is uploaded (at the start of March).
All pattern links will be automatically emailed to you when the new pattern is released.
Stolen Stitches Spring 2013 Collection
$10.00 pre-order price
add to cart
So what do you get?
When you buy the pre-order you’ll get a pdf to download that has photos and details of all the patterns with the pattern releases schedule.
There will be one pattern released at the start of the month over the next three months.
To help you on the road to your new spring wardrobe I’m going to run a KAL
for each of the patterns. The KAL will start as soon as the pattern is released and will run until the next pattern comes out the following month. I’ll have lots of spot prizes dotted along the way to keep you encouraged!
The patterns will also be released individually at full price.
Do you want a peek at the patterns in the collection?
Over the last few years Iâ€™ve seen a lot of knitters complete projects; some were thrilled with the results, others not so much. Â Sometimes you can catch the problems while you are knitting and correct them but other times it can seem so overwhelming that you never, ever want to see the project again!Â These are the projects that get hidden in the back of wardrobes, given as gifts or donated to charity. Â While it is of course possible to rip and reknit the project not every knitter wants to do that. Â Or maybe you donâ€™t even know how to start correcting the problem?
If youâ€™ve got one of those garments sitting around at home would you be willing to donate the garment to me for a super secret project? Â Iâ€™d need a photo of the garment being worn by you (showing me the problem area) with just a few words telling me what went wrong with the garment. Â Any construction type is fine, bottom up, top down, seamless or in pieces.
If you have a garment donation that fits the bill just leave a comment below and Iâ€™ll get in contact with you.
Bet you canâ€™t wait to see whatâ€™s going to happen with all these garments!!
On Sunday night I released the third clue from my Woodburne KAL. I think this is the really exciting part of the cardigan – the yoke! There are a few knitters intimidated by bottom up seamless construction but once you get past the first few rows it all starts to come together (literally!). For anyone out there who hasn’t knit bottom up seamless before one of the most difficult ideas to grasp is how it all fits together. I usually consider the underarm stitches that you take out for the sleeves and the body as a gap that you ‘slot’ your sleeves into for the yoke. After this there are a few rows that are uncomfortable to knit – they are very long and also the sleeve stitches are very tight and hard to maneuver. I make this easier for myself by using an extra long cable and pulling a cable ‘loop’ out in the center of my sleeve stitches which really eases the pressure on the stitches there and stops the stitches from becoming distorted.
I’ve put a few photos together from my knitters to keep you all going, the first two are my test knitters who did amazing versions and after that there are a few in progress shots.
Celtic Cast On test knit in di.VÃ© Zenith
Grannyknits4u test knit in Plucky Knitter Primo Worsted
Here are a few in progress cardigans that will make you drool :-)
KittyGrandMa's tosh vintage cables
Sewknitful's pockets added
DianneK's purple cables in 'Yowza What a Skein'
Over the last few weeks the knitters on my Woodburne KAL have been working away at a great pace! With their kind permission I’ve shared a handful of their works in progress so you can see how they’re all making great headway. As several knitters have all pointed out on the ravelry board though, this is most defiantly not a race. This is about enjoying the knitting, learning new skills and challenging yourself.Â For knitters who have never knit a garment before it can be very intimidating so the encouragement of a KAL is the ideal place to get started.Â Everyone is going at their own pace, with some finished in days while others won’t be finished for several months.Â If you’re having fun then you’re doing it right :-)
As you can see the first clue was for the body, you can see how the waist decreases move the cables in towards each other at the back and then back out as you move towards the bust.Â While many of the knitters are trying the delicious Briar Rose Fibers yarn for the first time there is also a variety of other yarns being used so you can see how the cardigan looks in a variety of yarns.
Remember it’s never too late to join in – the discussions are all up there on the board for you to follow along!
(Please note that the photo’s below are linked to Ravelry projects so you need to logged into Ravelry to see the full project details).
Sewknitful with Fouth of July
Jvc with Drops Karisma
SusannaL with Stonehedge fiber Mill
SunSandDisney with Knitpicks cotlin
Mirdiz with Fourth of July
Wanuaknit with Fourth of July
Treadlegenie with Fisherman's wool
spikeysandy with Tosh DK twist
Sandygale with Fourth of July
slhill with Mountain colors
Are you eagerly awaiting clue 1 for the Woodburne Cardigan KAL?Â Well check your inbox it’s just been sent out!Â If you’ve been thinking about joining but couldn’t decide just jump in and keep us company :-)Â To chat with other knitters working on Woodburne at the same time come visit us on the ravelry board here.
For anyone following my blog you might know that I seem to be having a hard time getting my design life flowing smoothly.Â It felt like I just kept starting projects and they wouldn’t quite click in place.Â The idea would be there, but the knitting didn’t quite have that magic.Â Plus every time I sat down to write a pattern I just wasn’t able to focus.Â Even small jobs were taking twice as long as they should.Â I have no idea what changed but last week it felt like something clicked back in place for me again.Â Everything I touched worked :-)Â I don’t have a clue how long this will last but I like it!
What might have helped is that I decided on a plan for the next 9 months.Â I’ve ordered and gathered yarn (well some is still on it’s way) for both a small spring/summer collection and a bigger Autumn booklet.Â All of the colors, yarns and ideas just seem to be falling into place and the knitting has got that something special back.Â I love it when something works better on the needles than in your head!
While I can’t show you all the knitting just yet I’ll give you a little yarnie preview ……
So how well do you know your yarn?Â Recognize any in the photo?
Just a very quick blog post to announce the winner of the Woolly Wormhead Classic Woolly Toppers book giveway – the lucky winner is Jen D so you should just have gotten an email from me!
Anyone who wasn’t so lucky go get your own copy straight from Woolly here.
Keep an eye out next week for something new from me on my blog, should be here soon!
I hate spending money on myself. It appears to be a trait both me and my husband share :-) There is no problem with the kids; classes, instruments, school uniforms, shoes…..not even an issue. But if it’s not 100% necessary (think that new oven in the kitchen!) then we have problems. A swift fell into this category for me, I have a ball winder and with my son we happily wound our yarn cakes. A swift would be nice (so I didn’t have to wait for him to come home from school) but definitely not necessary. Don’t ask me what made me break down (maybe it was the prettiness of this swift!) but last week I went and ordered a sunflower swift.
Now interestingly I haven’t actually wound any yarn yet, the same son who did all the winding for me before appears to have claimed it for his own and is now harassing me for more skeins to wind, I appear to have created a monster.
Now I just need a kick to go replace my computer.Â The desktop I’ve got works just fine but it’s very slow and very prone to hanging so I seem to spend a lot of time for it to stop ‘not responding’.Â Again it falls into the ‘not necessary’ category but it would make life easier.Â (I did at least get a new backup drive…not that I’ve actually used it yet).
So I think I need to be a little less cheap with myself and allow myself great working tools…right?
At the moment I’m busy cooking up a little something with Hedgehog Fibres.Â She is the most amazing hand dyer that works within 15 miles of me.Â She produces truly amazing colours and if you haven’t tried them yet you should definitely indulge!Â So keep an eye out for our special surprise….
Much to my amazement I’m fast approaching my 100th pattern.Â I’m now at 98 published patterns!Â To mark the 100th pattern release I’m doing something special, I’m going to have a KAL like I’ve never done before.Â I’ve given this KAL it’s own page so you can read all about it here. In the next few weeks my testers will be finishing up and I’ll put the last few touches to the pattern.Â Keep checking back here on my blog (and sign up for the newsletter) and you’ll be sure to spot when sign ups are open.Â I’m having a great time putting the information pages for this KAL together, basically they will include my thought process as I’m working through the pattern, why I made different choices and showing how I would plan on making modifications.Â Anything that has the potential to trip you up along the way will be talked through so you can see exactly how it works.Â Its going to be quite an experience…
For anyone thinking about buying my new beret pattern, Breaca - come get it quick, today is the last day to be entered in the draw for a free skein of Spud & Chloe yarn!