Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Episode 9 - Catching Up

Full show notes are always available at, under the Podcast button.

Thank you so much to all of you for your kind comments and well wishes, it means a lot to have your support.


I have signed up for the sock yarn swap on the Louise Tilbrook Designs group.  It's a simple straight sock yarn swap with your partner, no crafting required.  It sounds right up my street.  If the name Louise Tilbrook rings a bell, it's because it's the non-Ravelry name of madmum, who so kindly donated a skein of yarn as a prize for the Crafting Library KAL.  I have sent my skein of yarn off to California and I am waiting to see what I get in return.  It's very exciting!

Louise is also running a KAL starting on 1st January and running to the end of February which involves you trying a new sock knitting technique.  I'm not sure I'll be joining in, but I have donated a skein of yarn to the prize pot.  (Well, I will when I dig one out!).

Done and Dusted

Polar Cape - blogged here.

Handspun Determination - test knit hat for EllysKnitsInSanity using handspun yarn.  I blogged about it here. You can purchase the pattern on Ravelry.  The tutorial for the alternating cast on can be found here.  I used a Clover Pom Pom Maker.

I made some mitts using Rowan Lima that I frogged from another project.  I'm much happier with what I've got now.  I just winged the pattern.  The mitts work well with the handspun hat.

I made a second Sockhead Hat by Kelly McClure using Countess Ablaze Count Cashmerino in the This Ain't a Scene colourway.

I love this version as much as the last one.

Honey Cowl is a free pattern from Madelinetosh that has done the rounds for several years.  Now I've knit one, I understand why.  I used Skein Merino Silk Sport in the Opaque colourway.  It's gorgeous and a good size.

If I could afford it, I would knit a whole garment in this yarn as it's beautiful.

I knit my very first indie dyed sock, the project is Self Striping Socks and I used Big Foot Knits by Andi Smith to develop my pattern.  I finished the first sock and the leg is was too loose.  After ripping out the leg and reknitting, I'm really happy with the socks.  The yarn is Twisted Limone Tangy Sock in the Knock Your Socks Off colourway and I love it.  I might have ordered another skein of this yarn.


I finished a variegated version on my Refraction Shawlette pattern using a recent purchase from Posh Yarn, Pamela Sock.  This yarn has all my favourite colours, plus sparkle!  It's warm and comfortable and I've been wearing it a lot.

Posh Refraction 01

The photo does not do it justice.

I've also done some spinning:

Hilltop Cloud Blue Tit (80 grams, 165 meters) - 56% Merino/26% Shetland/16% Kid Mohair

I started this on the Rakestraw and decided to start again on the Tibetan, as it sat for so long. This is quite uneven. This is the nature of two-ply. It’s a fingering/sport weight, very pretty and light.

The Yarn Yarn Superwash BFL Blackcurrant Sorbet (106 grams, 157 meters)

Spun on the Lightweight Wildcraft Tibetan spindle, chain plied. It's a sport weight.

Fondant Fibre Shetland Pink Gradient (93 grams, 135 meters)

Spun on the Medium Wildcraft Tibetan spindle.  It's a two ply yarn that has barber poled beautifully.  It's soft and springy and a DK weight.  I recommend you visit the shop.

Limegreenjelly Merino Silk (94 grams, 148 meters)

This skein is not very consistent, but the effect works. It varies from a sport to a dk weight. It’s butter soft though and a glorious colour.  It's a true 3 ply and I had quite a few odd singles left over because of my uneven spinning!  I still love it though.  It was spun on the Medium Wildcraft Tibetan spindle.

Hilltop Cloud Peacock (99 grams, 115 meters)

Spun on IST Crafts Tibetan spindle and plied on Medium Wildcraft Tibetan spindle. The yarn in a true 3 ply and is a fingering/4ply weight.  Blogged about here.

All these yarns have been spun worsted.

Nose to the Grindstone

French Cancan by Mademoiselle C was started at the beginning on October using stash yarn, Stylecraft Ethical Twist 70/30 in the undyed colourway called Camel.  The yarn is 70% wool and 30% alpaca and I hoped that it would have enough drape with the alpaca to compensate for not having any silk.  I wanted my version to be warmer and bigger.  I'm trying to use up all this yarn that is left in my stash.

I've just started the edging.

I've been working a little on Ridgeland by Marc Smollin and Viajante by Martina Behm.  I've also started another pair of socks using indie dyed yarn from Penguin Soup.  It's in Tuxedo Glitz in the Rainbow Dash Colourway.  I'm using a slipped stitch pattern that is inspired by Pin Striped Socks by Julia Swart, but has been adjusted to fit my new basic sock pattern and I am slipping stitches for two rows instead of one.

The yarn is lovely and I was able to get it using a discount code, so that the price fell under the £15 limit, which meant I didn't have to customs charges etc.  I probably won't be able to buy from there again, unless there is another sale, but I do recommend the yarn, it's very soft and pretty.

I have also started my first Christmas knit.  I'm only really making for my niece and nephews this year so I don't drive myself too insane!  I'm making a cardigan for my littlest nephew after hearing that he hates having things pulled over his head, I think this is a good way to go.  I'm also able to use stash, Cascade 220 Superwash in a medium brown and a dark brown, which I'm striping.  The pattern is Beyond Puerperium by Kelly Brooker in the 6-12 month size.  I'm planning on doing long sleeves that are un-tapered.

All other knitting projects have not been touched.

Splashed Out

Wildcraft resin support spindles (I bought TWO!).


This one is a medium weight at around 26g and has rush flowers embedded in the resin.  The other one is lightweight and weighs 20g and has chocolate coreopsis flowers embedded in it.  It took a while to get used to the different tip, from the wooden spindle I have, but I am really enjoying them now.  They do drop spindles in both wood and resin too.

I have been a very lucky girl because my friends went to Nepal and trekked up to Everest Base Camp. Whilst on their trip they found a yarn shop and bought me some hand spun YAK yarn from one of the local villages.  There is 280g in this skein and it is only very loosely plied.  I think the down and the shorter hairs have been spun together to make it warm but still quite weather tight.  It has a lovely sheen to it.  I will have to knit up a swatch and wash it to find out what the gauge of the yarn is before I can decide what to do with it.


I am not going to list all other stash enhancements as I'll be here all day.  If you are interested, go and look at my stash page!


I discovered a new trick for my Sunflower Swift, I used it to hold my spindle as I wound off the singles!


It worked surprisingly well!

Quest for Knowledge

I took a Craftsy class; Spinning Dyed Fibers with Felicia Lo.  It taught me so much that I want to put into practice, especially doing little samples and how to combine colours together to either mute them or make them more vibrant and distinct.  I highly recommend it even though the class was demonstrated on a spinning wheel and I'm a spindle spinner.

I think I am getting better at spinning from the fold after finding a great video on YouTube.

It was also demonstrated in Felicia Lo's Craftsy class.  I have been practicing and now I understand the process a little better, the yarn is becoming less clunky. I think the next yarn I spin will be done woollen.

Crafting Library


I have subscribed to PLY magazine and have received the first two issues.  The second issue, Color, is the one I have been most interested in, as it has explained a lot about how to do exactly the same sort of thing that Felicia Lo talks about in her class.  The magazine and the class have reinforced each other.  I am quite a new spinner, and PLY is targeted at more intermediate spinners, but I have still got a lot from them, even if it is just new terms to research.  If you are you still are a beginner but are someone really interested in learning, I think you would get a lot from these magazines.

Online Community

The giveaways so kindly donated by Nulaboola have come to an end and I drew for winners using  The winner of Knit to be Square Book: Domino Designs to Knit and Felt is number 2, Simoon.

Knit to be Square Draw

The winner of Knitter's Handy Book Of Sweater Pattern: Basic Designs in Multiple Sizes and Gauges is number 26, DizzySue.

Handy Book Draw
I will pass your details on to Jan, and she will be in touch for address details.  Thank you Jan, it was very kind of you!

Another, very generous, listener DebrisUK has donated a great book, Knit to Flatter, by Amy Herzog.  To enter the draw you must be a member of the group and leave a comment on the thread with the answer to this question: "if you were to ask a designer to create a knitted garment for you, who would you ask?", because Deb wants to know!  I will leave the thread open until just before the next podcast, so I can announce the winner on the next episode.  Thank you Deb, it's lovely that you want to give something to this little community!

Friday, 1 November 2013

Stitched Together KAL Prize Draw Winners

Well, it's over!  The deadline for entry into the Crafting Library KAL has been passed and the threads are closed.  There have been some amazing entries into the KAL and I have loved taking part in all the chat over on the Ravelry board.  Thank you everyone who joined in, it's been great getting to know you a bit better.

In the end there were 24 people who entered three different photographs of progress in the Progress Thread.  From those 24 people there were 15 people who gained an extra entry into the prize draw, so in total there were 39 entries to draw from.  I used to draw the winners from number 1 to 39, and the prizes were awarded in the order they were released on the blog.

So, as you can see from my screen prints of the winners, these people win the following prizes:

Laalbear Aran - Tara
Manos de Urugua Fino - emma1969
Stitch Markers and Cards - PatternWhisperer
Foreverknitting31 donated HomemadeSunshine11 Boot Toppers - Ilovemyipad
Araucania Ranco Multy from Madmum - chevyrell
Lara Smoot Pattern & Shalimar Yarns Zoe Sock - CraftyNadine
Fondant Fibre Bag & Choice of Fibre or Handspun Yarn - NulaBoola.

I really hope that those of you that didn't complete your projects, are motivated to keep going and get them finished soon. I certainly plan on finishing my cardigan in the near future.  I also hope that you are all motivated to look more often at your crafting library, I know I am.

So, if you are a winner, I will PM you on Ravelry and let you know that you are a winner and either ask for your address, or I'll pass your details on to the person sending your prize out.

Thank you all for jumping into the KAL so whole heartedly, it's been fun and I hope to run another one in the New Year.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Episode 8 - Sorry I've been gone

Full show notes are always available at, under the Podcast button.



The Stitched Together Crafting Library KAL is coming to an end.  There have been several new prizes since the last episode, which I have blogged about but haven't told you on the podcast.

I have been contacted by a couple of members of the Stitched Together Designs Group on Ravelry with lovely generous donations of prizes for the KAL.  Sarah, aka ForeverKnitting31 has offered one winner a pair of her Awesome Boot Toppers from her ETSY store, HomemadeSunshine11.

Louise, aka madmum, has offered up some lovely yarn from her stash.  The yarn is a skein of Araucania Ranco Multy in colourway 308.  I really like this yarn and I used it to knit an entire cardigan, but it would make great socks.  It is 344m/376yds in length and is made up of 75% wool/25% nylon.

The next prize has been donated kindly by Lara Smoot and Shalimar Yarns. Lara has generously offered to donate one of her patterns, Nikomedes and Shalimar Yarns will supply the yarn, Zoe Sock to knit the socks with.  The yarn is in the Petal colourway, and it is 411m/450yds of merino yarn in the fingering/4ply weight.

Lara will send the pattern electronically through Ravelry or email to the winner:  The pattern is an interesting one, with some interesting twists.

This isn't the first time Lara has donated a prize to my lovely readers and listeners, but the yarn is a very nice bonus from her employer Shalimar Yarns.

I also have a wonder prize from Deborah of Fondant Fibre.  Deborah has very generously offered a fabulous project bag along with stitch markers and the choice of either some of her beautiful handspun yarn OR some delicious Shetland gradient roving. Please go and check out her shop as she sells wonderful things, that I'm sure will tempt you!  If you want full details of this prize and photos, I blogged about it here.

Professoressa 09

I have blogged about my progress with the STCLKAL here.  Since this post I've got to the part when I divide for the armholes.  I stalled due to the requirement of maths.

The STCLKAL finishes on the evening of 31st October.  I will draw the prizes on 1st November and list the winners and their prizes on the Ravelry Group and in a post on the blog.  I will also contact the winners to obtain addresses.

My other "a-long" is from the Yarnraising Podcast and is a spin a long (SAL).  It is the New To You SAL and involves spinning using new fibre, new tools or new techniques.  I completed my SAL and blogged about it here.

Fyberspates Sparkle 04

Done and Dusted

Concavus is finished and incredibly lovely.  It was blogged about here.

Concavus 06

I started and finished a Sockhead Hat.  I used Posh Yarn Esme Sock in the For You I Sigh colourway.  I used up a big chunk of the skein.

Sockhead Hat 04

After finishing the Sockhead Hat I wanted to make something else simple and elegant.  I cast on Howlcat by Alexandra Tinsley.  I got a voucher for 15% off and used it to buy lovely yarn, Malabrigo Rios in Niebla and Malabrigo Sock in Impressionist Sky.  I blogged about it here.

I got my pattern, Refraction Shawlette finished and it is now available for purchase on Ravelry for £3.25 which is approximately $5.  It uses one special skein of sock yarn and is knit from the top down creating a shape that is slightly more than a triangle, to make it sit better on your neck.

I finished my socks. They are very comfortable and I'll happily use the yarn again, which is just as well as I have another 2 skeins of it in different colours!  I am trying to find a better way of doing the toes using a new book, Big Foot Knits by Andi Smith.  I'll tell you how that goes.

I finished some test knitting, and as soon as the pattern is released, I'll tell you all about it.

Nose to the Grindstone

I am working on Viajante by Martina Behm in Wollmeise Lace-Garn in the Kornblume colourway.  The skein is HUGE and I've only just started.  This will be a very long term project.

I'm working on a new woolly shawl, as I seem to need to knit one each year.  This is a Marc Smollin design, like my Pterotactyl (which I insisted on spelling Pterodactyl!) from last year, knit in Kauni Wool 8/2 Solids. It's called Ridgeland and uses three colours of Holst Garn Supersoft 100% uld, which is a very sheepy wool!

I've whizzed through the stripes, and now I'm onto the slow moving stranded section.

I'm also working on a new design.

Splashed Out

I skipped this section in the podcast recording, but I'm leaving it in the show notes in case you are interested in my out of control spending habits!

After trying several fibre samples out of the Fibreholics box, I decided to get some fibre from limegreenjelly. It was lovely to work with and when I saw the update, I snapped up two lovely braids of fibre.


The first braid is merino/camel silk, the purple braid is merino/silk.


I could not resist a Countess Ablaze update when I had a voucher code to celebrate the opening of her new online shop.  I bought Count Cashmerino High Twist in the This Ain't a Scene colourway.  It's 80% merino/10% nylon/10% cashmere and 400m/365yds long in a sock/fingering weight.

I also bought a braid of baby llama and tussah silk fibre in colourway number 105.  It's as soft as butter!

After finishing the Arkanoid Hat, I had no Babylonglegs Semi-Precious in stash so I bought some more.  The colourway I bought was the one dyed especially to help raise funds for Woolly Wormhead's legal battle to save Mutonia, her home.  This yarn is 50% merino/50% silk in a sock/fingering weight and the skein has 400m/437yds.  The colourway is Raspberries & Cream.

I also bought a contrast colour in the Pie colourway, which is another sock yarn in the Merino Sock base.  It is 100% merino and has 400m/435yds.

One of the testers for my new shawl pattern used a yarn I'd not seen before and when talking on Twitter, the dyer, Steph of Perran Yarns, got in touch and offered me a custom dye and a 20% off voucher.  I snapped her fingers off!  I bought a ready dyed sock yarn in the Merino Sparkle 4ply base.  The colourway is Night Sky and there are 400m/437yds.

The custom dyed yarn was based on a colourway in her shop Muddy Waters, which I really liked but wanted with a bright pop of turquoise to provide contrast.  I choose 80% superwash merino/10% cashmere/10% nylon sock yarn as the base, which has 400m/437yds.

The yarn is gorgeous and the colourway exactly what I asked for.  The service was incredibly fast too.

I got a bargain at Loop, a Skein Merino Silk Sport skein in the Opaque colourway.  It's 50% merino/50% silk in a sport weight and has 363 yards.

I might have also gone into a bag buying frenzy after coveting the bags owned by the US podcasters.  I bought a new one from Nicsknots.  This is the standard sock bag.

Kaboom Bag

I also bought a Large Owl Bag and Mini Sheep Bag from KnitterBag who is based in Lithuania, which is part of the EU and therefore not subject to import duties for the UK.

Owl Bag 01

Sheep Bag 01

Online Community

Many thanks to Jen, The Commuter Knitter for her shout out and also to Susie and Danie of The Prairie Girls Knit & Spin podcast who I found via Jen's podcast. They were mentioned in the same episode of The Commuter I was. Both podcasts are great and well worth a listen.  I also have to say hello to Charly of An Accidental Knitter. I've known Charly a while through our blogs and was pleased to hear her first podcast episodes recently.

Thanks go to Beret, TracyC611 and KnittingFiona for your kind reviews on the UK iTunes site, LauraSue Walters and eageleyeslf on the US version of the site and Kristieinbc in Canada.  If you have left reviews on other versions of the iTune site, please let me know so I can go and look at them.

The Stitched Together Designs Ravelry Group is now up to 175 members, come and join in the fun.  One of our members, the lovely Jan, aka NulaBoola on Ravelry has kindly offered a couple of prizes to you lovely people.  She has an extra copy of TWO books,Knitter's Handy Book Of Sweater Pattern: Basic Designs in Multiple Sizes and Gauges by Ann Budd and Knit to be Square: Domino Designs to Knit and Felt by Vivian Hoxbro. I'll open two threads on the Ravelry board and you can put a comment in either thread if you want to be included in the draw to receive that book.  I think to make it fair, if you win the first draw, you are excluded from the second.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Podcast Episode Delayed

In the last week I've sat down to record the next podcast episode twice and each time my microphone switched itself off whilst I was merrily chatting away to myself.  I think that this is a sign I need to get a new microphone.

I could use my iPad to record an episode but as I've done it twice now I need to take a few days off to recover my equilibrium, and as I'm doing that I will take the time to source a new method of recording.

I just wanted to let you know that there have been technical problems that I hope will be put right by the beginning of next week.


Thursday, 29 August 2013

Episode 7 - It's Time to KAL!

Full show notes are always available at, under the Podcast button.


Full rules of the Crafting Library KAL are up on the blog, along with details of the prizes.  Here is the button. Feel free to use it.


Join the Stitched Together Designs Ravelry group.

Earburning or Magic Linking on Ravelry will notify someone in a PM that you want them to read your comment.  Use this in the chat thread if you want to comment on someone's progress photos.

**I have just had it pointed out to me that I got my dates mixed up.  The KAL ends on 31st October and I will close the thread on 1st NOVEMBER!"  Sorry about that, I ended up having to record the podcast twice and I think I was getting tired the second time through.**

I had to do a second swatch for my Professoressa Cardigan as the first needle was too big.  I dropped down a size and the stitch count was bang on, but the row count isn't.  I need to do some calculations to see it will be a problem or not.  I also need to carefully look at sizing and any alterations needed.  I am happy with my revised swatch.

I'm also playing around with some stitch patterns and thinking about doing some design work.

Done & Dusted

Glitz at The Ritz is now a beautiful shawl that I adore.  The pattern is free in Knitty and by Helen Stewart. I have no idea when I'll wear it, but I love it.  It was knit in Wharfedale Woolworks 4ply Merino/Silk in the Creme de Menthe colourway.  The beads I used were clear, with a silver lining, in a size 6.  I got them from Charisma Beads.

Glitz at The Ritz 01

Because I used Fleegle's technique for applying the beads with a tiger tail hook, I had my beading kit out and decided to make some new stitch markers.

Stitches Markers

I got my Minerva Crafts T-Shirt finished and I am reasonably happy as it is comfortable, but it isn't flattering. I blogged full details here.  I will definitely use the yarn again, but won't repeat the pattern without some serious re-writing to suit my shape.

King Cole Tee 06

My second finished shawl is Pogona by Stephen West.  The yarn used is Wollmeise 80/20 Twin in WD Gruenfink.  The yarn was a destash purchase so I'm not quite sure of the colourway.  It was my first time knitting Wollmeise and I can see why there is so much fuss now!

Pogona 04

I will definitely knit this pattern again, probably in a variegated sock yarn - perhaps one of yarns from my Splashed Out section.

To match my new shawl I knit a new hat in a very similar shade of green.  The hat is Arkanoid by Woolly Wormhead from the Hatopia Collection.  I blogged about this project, full details can be found there.  The yarn used was Babylonglegs Semi-Precious in the Go colourway, that I had in stash.

Arkanoid 02

I had been seeing Brickless by Martina Behm on lots of podcasts and decided that as I had the pattern I wanted to knit it too, especially as I had time before the start of the KAL.  I used Malabrigo Rastita in Arco Iris.  I added an extra repeat.  It is VAST.  Full details on Ravelry.

I have a monster for my nephew that has just been stuffed and sewn up.  It's Bea The Basement Monster from Rebecca Danger's book Big Book of Knitted Monsters.  I've knit this using Cascade 220 Superwash in turquoise and navy.  I highly recommend this book as this is the third monster I've knit from it, and I know there will be more!

Nose To The Grindstone

Concavus by Dena Stelly, in Malabrigo Sock in the Aguas Colourway.

My basic vanilla sock, which is toe-up with an fore-thought Sweet Tomato Heel, done with the stitch pattern from Hermione's Everyday Sock by Erica Lueder.  The yarn used is Regia Creativ in 1007, which a red-purple colour.  I'm using Hiya-Hiya sharps for the first time and I'm enjoying the experience.

Working my way through a selection of fibres that I got from Fibreholics that I blogged about here.

Fibre Samples

I'm using it as practice for spinning on my Tibetan Spindle.

The rest of my work is background stuff or preparation work, looking at sizing and designs.  I'm enjoying the calm before the KAL storm!

Splashed Out

I bought four skeins of Posh Yarn sock yarns.  I have to say, for the record, that not all four skeins of Posh Yarn were bought at the same update.  I honestly don't buy on every update, though I might want to.

Posh Yarn Elinor Sock in Going For Broke, 100% Merino (365m/400yds)

Posh Yarn Esme Sock in For You I Sigh colourway.  100% Merino (400m/440yds)

Posh Yarn Martha Sock in And Don't You Come Back No More. 80% Merino/10% Cashmere/10% Nylon (400m/440yds)

Posh Yarn Megan Sock in Why Does No One Ever Get My Jokes. 100% Superwash Blue Faced Leicester (400m/440yds).

There was sale on at Fyberspates, which I looked at, to my doom.  I bought two skeins of yarn and a braid of fibre.  I made good savings and got products I'd never used before, and I'm a fan of Fyberspates and I've never had a chance to use her hand-dyed range.

Fyberspates Sheila's Sock in the Stride With Pride colourway.  100% Merino (365m/400yds)

Fyberspates 01

Fyberspates Nef Sock in the Verdigris colourway. 70% Alpaca/20% Silk/10% Cashmere (400m/440yds).

Fyberspates 03

Fyberspates Sparkle Fibre in plum, gold and brown. 75% Merino/20% Silk/5% Sparkle (100g)

Fyberspates Sparkle

Malabrigo Rastita in Arco Iris.  100% Merino (283m/310yds) and I bought 2 skeins.


Twisted Limone Tangy Self-Striping Sock Yarn in Knock Your Socks Off. 75% Superwash Wool/25% Nylon (400m/440yds).  It's nice to find this sort of yarn in the UK.  It really is very beautiful and HAS to be socks.

I've just bought Big Foot Knits by Andi Smith, published by Co-Operative Press.  It's a book that has been spoken about on several podcasts, so I bought the digital version.  I will spend some time working on it and let you know what I think.

Online Community

Giveaway for one of Lara Smoot's pattern has been drawn today and the out of the 18 posts in the thread, the number chosen by the random number generator was 6, which was rosebob's post.

I shall get Lara to contact you, to confirm your choice of Wentletrap.

Countess Ablaze is one of my favourite dyers and she has just made the jump from ETSY to her own website.  The website is lovely and easy to use so I'm really happy for her.  To celebrate she is offering a discount of 10% using the code of HELLO10, until 15th September. I recommend checking her out, because she is very talented and does fibre too.  I might just have slipped up and bought some yarn and some fibre, but that hasn't got here yet!

Thank you so much to Stacie and Steph from the Must Stash Podcast for recommending me not only once, but in TWO episodes.  If you haven't seen their show - go and watch them immediately, and not just because they were nice to me!

Many thanks go to Gardening Witch and Red Panda for their reviews on iTunes.  I was also happy to see I have an average star rating on the US site, so thank you to those people whole gave me a rating, it means a lot.

The Stitched Together Designs Group on Ravelry has now hit 107 members.  It is wonderful to see you all there and it's been great chatting.