Aptly Autumn

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Yes, finally, that long hot summer ended (yes, I know it was lovely but I just can’t do sweaty heat) and the season of snuggly blankies is upon us once more (hurrah!) so my Yorkshire Dales Delight ripple stitch blanket has already been put to good use for sofa-snuggles…

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It was crocheted using Stylecraft’s dk yarn in shades of khaki, meadow, cypress, mocha and grape in a ripple stitch to echo the rise and fall of the delightful Dales. Of course once that little beauty was complete, I was straight on to the next…

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… another ripple blankie (oh I do love ripple stitch, can you tell?) this time very much on the theme of autumn leaves with a fiery palette of Stylecraft dk yarn in walnut, copper, spice and burgundy; Deramores’ mustard and paprika and finally King Cole’s amber. Love autumn…

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And yes, you’re right dear reader, as soon as that snugglesome beauty was finished yet another was begun: in autumnal woodland shades obviously…

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You can’t beat a good old granny square blanket, can you? I find them so therapeutic to work on as the nights draw in and I’m simply loving this combination of colours: parchment, copper, walnut, mocha and grey, all Stylecraft dk shades. It’s so very nearly finished so more pics next time! In a nod to Christmas, which is just around the corner, I have also been working on a festive-inspired granny blanket in Stylecraft shades of lipstick, bottle, meadow and cream…

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Isn’t it fabulously festive? I think the shades of yarn give it a somewhat vintage air too and I have to confess it really gets you into a Christmasy mood working on it; I can almost hear those sleigh bells jingling…

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Remember last September I sent a little crocheted charity contribution off to Yarn Dale in Yorkshire? Well, this year the theme was butterflies which were to be sold to raise funds for Pioneer Projects, a charity that helps those living with dementia, so I crocheted up a few for this jolly worthy cause…

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Let’s hope they helped to raise lots of donations for such a lovely charity.

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Yes, well spotted dear reader, the above pic does indeed show another block for my autumn colour block blanket, loosely based on Jo Allport ‘s mystery autumn blanket pattern in Knitting Magazine. I say loosely in a very loose sense, as I have completely changed all the colours and opted out of a few of the suggested stitch patterns, which had too many strands on the reverse, as I find them too easy to catch and pull on a blanket. The section above is block number 3, knitted using Stylecraft dk yarn in bottle (such a gorgeous jewel green) in a cosy cable stitch and I had quite forgotten how much I adore cabling, it is just so textural. Next on the needles was block number 4…

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… in a tweedy slip stitch weave pattern, using Stylecraft shades of walnut and mocha. Then came block number 5…

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… in a gorgeous gold shade using a beautiful basket weave stitch pattern. Next came block number 6…

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… a lingering lace pattern in copper, so divine. After that, block number 7 (I do hope you are managing to keep count dear reader)…

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…cables again (mmm…) this time in beautiful burgundy, so sumptuous. Block number 8 was to follow…

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..a rather festive Fair Isle number in gold and graphite. Following that one, block number 9…

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… in jolly juicy bramble Berry shades of bottle and burgundy using a textured stitch pattern and finally block number 10…

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… a cable cacophony in walnut, simply sublime. Once that one’s complete it will be time to join the bounty of blocks together in a pleasing ensemble ready for the border – ooh, the anticipation!

Well, I had better get back to my blanket, or should I say blankets? I will leave you with a few autumnal pics from my wanderings dear reader and remember: keep on crafting…

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Summery Stitcherings

Well hello there dearest reader! How are you coping with this rather sizzling heatwave we’ve been experiencing? I find any temperature over 22° a bit too sticky for me but I do love the happiness-inducing sunshine. As you can see from the pic above, I have completed the Granny Goes Large crocheted blanket from a pattern by Cherry Heart using double knit yarn from Stylecraft and isn’t it truly glorious! I just love how it lifts my mood whenever I glimpse its joyous colours. True to form dear reader, I have indeed begun another blanket…

It’s my summery ripple blanket in a delightful mix of many colours of Stylecraft double knit yarn: pomegranate, petrol, teal, empire, stone, silver, cream, soft peach, candyfloss, sage, duck egg, sherbet, turquoise, raspberry and cloud blue. Phew! It’s a cacophony of colours composed by myself and the darling daughter who is the excited recipient of said blanket for, guess what, it is already complete…

…and darling daughter is smitten with it, particularly the border in a petrol shade which really grounds all those riotous colours. Fear not dear reader, another ripple blanket is already being hooked as we speak, a little something I’m calling my Yorkshire Dales Delight in Stylecraft double knit yarn shades of khaki, cypress, meadow, mocha and grape…

Can you imagine the delightful Yorkshire Dales as you gaze upon it? I had the added joy of actually working on it right in the middle of the Yorkshire Dales in our holiday cottage this month, bliss.. Pics to follow at the end of this post, promise.

As you can probably guess, despite the humid heat, I also have a pair of knitted socks on the go although they are a rather lacy summery sock from a pattern called Valentine Socks by Emma wright in Knitting Magazine which I’m knitting in a delectable duck egg shade of blue-green…

Can you see the little sweetheart pattern emerging? So cute… I have also been doing a spot of embroidery, just experimenting with different stitches over fabric…

It’s such fun selecting different shades of embroidery silks and drawing patterns with thread; I can highly recommend it.

A little charity knitting has also been attempted again, this time for The Sailors’ Society in the form of knitted hats. The charity is an international maritime one that supports seafarers and their families…

I used various shades of double knit yarn doubled to create my own chunky yarn to knit the hats with, as combining two different shades of yarn together makes for interesting mottled effects, very pleasing.

Finally, with a nod to the onset of autumn next month (yes really) I have begun knitting an autumn block blanket based upon the pattern by Jo Allport in Knitting Magazine called Mystery Blanket but I’ve just changed all the colours for a more autumnal selection. I guess it will still be a mystery for you dear reader, as the colours and patterns of each block will only be gradually revealed to you as I work on them. I hope you can bear the suspence! To help you out I have two blocks for you today (I spoil you, you know!) the first one in mocha…

…with a geometric effect and the second block a lace pattern in graphite grey…

You’ll just have to wait to see the patterns of the other blocks and the shades I have selected! Enjoy the rest of your summer dear reader and remember: keep on crafting…

Spring Somethings…

Yes, Spring has finally arrived, despite the brief snowy interludes which delayed all that lovely blossom and crushed a few darling daffodils… As you can see dear reader, I have been busy crocheting bunnnies for Easter tree decorations, along with replenishing my bunny basket…

Presently I am feeling rather spoilt, as I am crocheting one of Cherry Heart’s blankets (Granny Goes Large) in the most amazingingly bright, sunshine colours which is pure joy to work on…

Do have a little peek at her website ( http://www.cherryheart.co.uk ) if you haven’t already; it’s a real feast of colour for the eyes, plus she has some really inspiring patterns. Talking of blankets, I’ve also finished not one but two (yes, two!) of my scrappy blankies; one before Christmas for a darling daughter and one since which is just for me, me, me…

And yes, you’ve guessed it, I’ve started another one! Same as with sock knitting I’m afraid: there is always a new pair on my needles as soon as a pair is complete, like these little beauties, knitted using a Patons Smoothie dk yarn, all perfect in pastels…

…and a new pair just has to be cast on (obviously)…

Ooh, still addicted to cake yarns too and right now I am enjoying the so very, very soft Northern Lights dk cake yarn by James C. Brett which came with a free shawl pattern on the ball band…

On the subject of Northern Lights, remember those socks I was knitting using a King Cole Sprite dk yarn in shade Capri which I thought should have been called Aurora? Well here they are…

Don’t the colours remind you of the Northern Lights? Just love those socks.

After spotting lots of red, red scarves around this autumn/winter, I decided to knit one for myself in a King Cole chunky yarn…

So ready for next autumn/winter now! Talking of autumn, I had a little dabble at drawing some mushrooms or I should say ‘fun with fungi’ if you’ll pardon the pun…

Must most definitely sketch more this Easter. Well I shall wish you a happy-hoppy Easter my dear reader and leave you with a couple of springful photos to peruse but remember – keep crafting!

Winter Warmers…

Yes it’s that time of year for warming wraps, snuggly scarves and socks, socks, socks, for winter chills are lurking just around the corner. As you can see, I finished my rather gorgeous shawl knitted from a Knitting Magazine lace pattern, using Papatya cake yarn in autumnal shades and I just adore it (muchly). Remember that lovely green shawl I was crocheting from Simply Crochet magazine? Well dear reader, you’ll be pleased to know it turned out to be just as soft and sumptuous as everything else I’ve made using James C. Bett’s ‘Misty’ yarn;see for yourself…

Still on the warming wraps theme, I knitted up a simple scarf in garter stitch for my darling daughter, using blocks of her favourite autumn jewel colours of Stylecraft dk yarn: gold, copper, graphite petrol and burgundy…

And so to socks, for as you know dear reader, I always have a pair of socks on the go, this time I’m using a dk super-soft yarn by King Cole called ‘Sprite’ in a Capri shade, although I think the colours of dark navy, purple, pink and green remind me so much of the northern lights that I think it should have been called Aurora…

In my capacity as freelance Christmas toy elf for Santa, I have once again been crafting up a few cuddly creatures for Christmas gifts for tiny munchkins out there. You’ll be excited to know that I have a new crocheted creature to introduce to you: Felix the Fox…

Isn’t he just the cutest in his jolly green jumper? I also crocheted another mouse toy but altered the sizing so that it turned out a rather pretty-petite half the size of my usual mouse toy…

I know, she’s just too delightful for words isn’t she? Of course I just had to craft up another cheeky monkey…

And yes he’s already been up to his usual tricks…

Ooh monkey you are such a cheeky chimp! Well, that’s all my crafty creations for this time dear reader. I’ll leave you with a few of my favourite autumnal pics from my recent wanderings and remember: keep on crafting…

So Summer Slips Away…

…and autumn arrives with a calming coolness…well it certainly did this rather chilly September 1st, the first morning of autumn, for whilst dashing through the park to post a card before the collection time, there was a definite chill in the air which actually felt fairly pleasant after all the humid, stickiness of late. As you can see dear reader, I am eeking out the summer vibes with another pair of socks (yes I am still addicted to sock knitting), this time in summery seaside stripes with one of my fave self-striping yarns from Yarnfair using Anna Wilkinson’s pattern again, which I am rather worryingly beginning to commit to memory… Still on the sock theme, you remember the pair I was knitting in summery shades of strawberry? Well here they are…

Aren’t they super? Well darling daughter was certainly delighted but her delight with my knitted bounty did not stop there, oh no, it continued on to grow into utter euphoria on completion of the sugar-sweet sweater in candy colours too…

My other darling daughter was also delighted to be the proud recipient of a pair of super-stripy socks in carnival colours and here they are in all their glorious garishness: ta-da!

Remember that cardigan I was knitting in that gorgeously soft James C. Brett Misty yarn from a Sirdar pattern? Well I finished that sooo soon simply because that yarn slipped oh so softly through the fingers…

…and unsurprisingly the cardigan is now a firm favourite with me. Talking of favourites, whilst on holiday in Yorkshire (more of that later) I purchased my very first yarn cake:oh my, how exciting are they? What an invention, am thoroughly besotted with them and if you haven’t indulged in the joys of cake yarn then you are missing out dear reader; if you feel there is something missing in your life, it is probably because you need to fill it with an enchanting cake yarn! Using my little cake of wonders I decided to knit a lacy seasonal shawl using a pattern from Knitting Magazine…

Aren’t the colours glorious? I can tell you’re tempted to nip out now and grab yourself a couple of cake yarns but hold fire dear reader, stay with me just a little while longer and I will release you very soon. Promise.

Have you heard of Yarndale? ( http://www.yarndale.co.uk ) Well if not it is a rather fabulous weekend event of all things wool-related held in Skipton, Yorkshire and each year they ask the wider yarn-loving community to knit/crochet a specific item to help raise money for a deserving charity. This year the charity is Mind and the yarny item of desire is a heart, so my crocheted heart in cotton yarn has already been posted off to Skipton (just wish I could have squeezed into the envelope with it)…

All the hearts will be displayed with the help of the very talented Lucy of Attic 24 blog fame ( http://www.attic24.typepad.com ) along with countless other volunteers. As you have probably guessed dear reader, I had a jolly jaunt all the way up to Yorkshire for a week this summer and oh my, what a wonderful week it was; Yorkshire is just beautiful and we felt so at home there. We visited many, many memorable places including the RHS Harlow Carr Gardens…

Haworth…

The home of the Brontes…

Skipton Castle…

Skipton market town…

Skipton Woods…

Ilkley…

Betty’s Tearooms…

York…

The Yorkshire Dales…

…as well as many other equally stunning places, all whilst staying in a farm cottage with views from the windows such as these…

What a wonderful, wonderful week(sigh). Enjoy the first few days of autumn dear reader and I’ll leave you with one last view of Yorkshire, but remember: keep on crafting…

Stitching Summer

A happy-sunny-smiley hello to you, my dearest reader! Isn’t it truly lovely to feel the warm kiss of sunshine on our cheeks once again? Especially as it has been such a long time a-coming… Have you spied my shawl pic floating above? I bet you have; I know how quick you are to spot a freshly crocheted creation! It is indeed the shawl I made from a pattern in the book ‘Modern Crocheted Shawls & Wraps’ by Laura Strutt, which was intended to challenge me a little as I hadn’t experimented with any intricate crochet work before. Following my venture into the unknown pastures new of lace shells and puff stitches, I emerged with a rather fabulous shawl. Originally said shawl was supposed to have been completely dove grey but after using two balls of Sirdar Snuggly 4ply yarn and believing there were no more (a thorough search with associated ranting of: “I just know there’s another ball somewhere!Has the sofa eaten it again?!” was made) I fashioned the border edging using a Stylecraft 4ply in parchment. One day later, guess what turned up in my knitting basket? We shall speak of it no more…

You know I showed you some rather summery socks last time dear reader? Well there’s more! A terrific pair in gorgeous green…

This pretty pair was requested by eldest darling daughter, who stated quite adamantly (and rather dramatically I hasten to add) that she did not want, nor never would want, strped socks on her feet, so I had to rather reluctantly put aside my exciting self-striping sock yarn and opt for a plainer shade of yarn. Of course the yarn she selected just had to be the one I had set aside for a cardigan for myself, didn’t it! As soon as I had completed said socks, my beloved self-striping yarn was back on my needles once again…

Is it just me or does anyone else become thoroughly excited at the beginning of a new ball of self-striping yarn? Do you too yearn for that little thrill of anticipation as the yarn unwinds and a new coloured stripe appears as if by magic on your needles? Oooh, the very thought sends ripples of glee down my spine… Talking about stripes, my other darling daughter (the one who will allow herself to be adorned in knitted garments of a striped nature) has requested a striped jumper in three shades of pink: raspberry, pomegranate and pale rose Stylecraft dk yarn to be precise…

I’m using a pattern by Sian Brown from issue 164 of Knitting Magazine, although not the gentle ombre blue shades she used, more ‘shout-out-loud-it’s-summer!’ shades instead – definitely no subtle ombre shading with this one!

Well that’s all for now folks, I shall leave you with a selection of summery pics from my wandering walks but until next time dear reader: keep on crafting…

Knittingness…

Hello there my lovely reader! I do hope my latest bloggings finds you full of the joys of Spring and bursting with fresh ideas for seasonal stitchings. As you can see, my cosy cardigan in khaki is complete. I’m muchly adoring the colour and following a gentle steaming, the Stylecraft yarn has once again produced a garment with a delightful drape. My second knitted niceness is my jolly jumper which has a moss stitch ribbed pattern to the front and back, adding a gorgeous texture to the rather wonderful self-striping effect of the Stylecraft Vintage Life yarn I used…

Sublime colours, aren’t they? Darling daughter has already tried it on and put a request in for a duplicate! Still on the knitty theme, I finally found a use for a couple of balls of Yarnfair self-striping yarn: a rather jaunty pair of slouchy socks…

This pretty-in-pastels pair is for darling daughter and as I’d forgotten quite how much I like knitting (and wearing) hand-knitted socks, I already have the itch to stitch another pair, so watch this space…

Remember that scrappy blankie I was working on from time-to-time? Well, it’s finished! Not only has it used up a fair stash of yarn scraps that would otherwise have gone to waste, it has also bought a smile to darling daughter’s face with all its super stripyness…

Of course, as one has two darling daughters a second scrappy blankie is already been hastily hooked up as we speak…

Over Easter I produced a prickly pair of embroidered cactus, courtesy of a Mollie Makes free craft kit I had hanging around…

Quite a couple of cuties, are they not? They have definately sparked a yearning for a spot of stitching; I’m thinking flouncy florals or beautiful botanicals…

Well I’m off to peruse a few embroidery books for inspiration, so I’ll leave you with a few seasonal shots from my latest wanderings. Until next time dear reader – keep on crafting!