A new knitting pattern and a giveaway!

 

Saxifraga is a warm and cosy hat knit in aran weight yarn with a simple geometric motif created in colour work. the hat gradually changes from colour A at the brim to B at the top.

This is my newest knit creation and the pattern is available to buy now on Ravelry!!

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Knit in aredblue-saxifraga soft drapy alpaca it creates the perfect slouchy beanie or in a tougher yarn it will make a thicker cosy hat to keep the wind out on the coldest of winter days!

I was searching for the perfect colourwork hat for some beautiful aran yarn I bought from Town End alpacas and just couldn’t find one that I loved so I designed one myself. I really love geometric designs and so decided to focus on triangles and diamonds in the colourwork motif.

It is quite easy knitting and only requires knowledge of:
long tail cast on
ribbing
colourwork
decreases

The hat is one size only and will fit an adult

It is knit in aran weight yarn in two different colours (less than 50g of each) on size 3.5 and 4mm circular needles.

I really hope you will love this hat as much as I do. Pictured here are some of the versions I have knit so far. I really love how it works in so many different colourways! From monochrome, to natural to bright reds and blues. So whether subtlety is your thing or you would rather go for brights this pattern will work for you.

 

 

 

saxifraga-giveawauGiveaway

If you cant wait to get knitting I am giving away two copies of this pattern. One is available to my blog followers and the other one is over on instagram (look out for the picture on the left) so why not enter both for twice the chances of winning!

So, for my blog readers to be in with the chance of winning a copy of this pattern all you have to do is follow this blog and leave me a comment below telling me what colourway you would choose for your Saxifraga.

Giveaway is open until 17:00 GMT on Sunday 5th of March. So go and check out all of the test knits over on Ravelry for inspiration for your Saxifraga and let me know what colours you would choose in the comments and follow this blog to be in with the chance to win your own copy of the pattern.

And if you cant wait to find out if you’ve won don’t forget the pattern is available to buy now over on Ravelry!!

Dont forget to also enter over on Instagram for another chance to win!

I learned Fairisle!

fairisle-hatSo it has been absolutely ages since I last posted here and for that, I apologise. However, from now on I won’t be apologising and you can probably expect the posts to get more and more erratic in their timings. I am about to enter the final year of my PhD and things are going to get a bit crazy. In fact, they already have done and that is part of the reason for the lack of posts recently. It doesn’t mean I have stopped crafting though…far from it! I am finding that crafting, and especially knitting, is a welcome break from all that hard work. So I have plenty to write about but I can foresee that actually writing the posts may not be top of my agenda given the huge amount of writing I have coming my way in the form of the PhD thesis!

 

So, for now, you will have to bear with me as there will be the odd blog post for you over the next year but they may be few and far between. However, you can keep up with my makes over on your social network of choice (but I mostly share stuff on Instagram and twitter).Key Insight 3-4 sentences This should be an overview of the item, pattern, yarn and new skills

Anyway, for those of you who already follow me on Instagram this latest make won’t be much of a surprise! I decided to learn how to knit fairisle. I purchased some gorgeous alpaca yarn that I want to use to make a fairisle hat but the only problem is that I don’t know how to do fairisle. After a few attempts, I always ended up with lots of bunching and big gaps at the colour changes. A friend suggested I try to hold one colour in each hand. Now, at first this seemed ridiculous. It was like learning to knit all over again. However, after watching a few videos of how to hold the tension in your right hand I was beginning to pick it up. So I decided to start on this hat to give my new technique a whirl. Key Insight 3-4 sentences This should be an overview of the item, pattern, yarn and new skills

The pathfinder pattern has been in my Ravelry library for a while just waiting for me to learn fairisle knitting so what perfect time than to give it a try! It turns out the two-handed knitting was just the trick I was missing as it allowed me to keep the tension in both yarns at once.


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After just a few rows of the fairisle I was easing into it and even the back didn’t look too bad!

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The details:

Pattern: Pathfinder by Julia Marsh

Yarn: Some acrylic odds and ends that I don’t really like and so didn’t mind if all went horribly wrong

Needles: 4.5mm circular

Alterations: I mixed up the pattern a bit so the colour blocks would be smaller

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Now I just need to pluck up the courage to actually try and knit something with my special alpaca yarn!

If you liked this overview of my project why not keep up to date with my current makes over on Instagram or Twitter

Blue Heart

Heart CowlI was looking back through my old posts to find out when I first started knitting this cowl and it turns out it was way back in April last year!For a long time it was a bit of a love-hate relationship. I hadn’t really knitted lace before and was really struggling with the pattern. After a few weeks I decided to give it a break and started work on my lacy shawl instead.

Both patterns are by designer Ambah O’brien and I really love them both. There is enough lace to make them feel delicate without being to fiddly and retaining that chunky knit feel I really love.

 

Having given this project a break I was quite pleased to come back to it. I love the yarn, and the pattern – and whilst hearts and normally my thing these have a geometric look to them which I find really appealing.

How could knitting this not make me happy - look at that blue on blue on blue!

How could knitting this not make me happy – look at that blue on blue on blue!

Once I was more confident with the lace this wasn’t too difficult a pattern to follow and a couple of long train journeys got me well on the way to being done.

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I actually finished this project quite a while ago and it managed to sneak into some of my me-made-may outfits. It was actually really great for those days when the weather is being particularly fickle and a cardigan isn’t quite always enough. This as an extra layer was perfect for taking on and off as the temperature dropped.

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I really like the length. It is plenty long enough to comfortable wrap around twice without being tight. Also, because it is blue it goes with pretty much all of my clothes! I’m so glad I persevered with this pattern as I think it will get a lot of use!

 

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If you liked this overview of my project why not keep up to date with my current knitting projects on Ravelry where I share more details on what I thought of the yarn, the pattern and any tips or tricks I found to make it easier  for me to make.

Calling all sock knitters…

 

I know a lot of people love to knit socks. It is never something I have had any desire to try before. The thought of spending time creating something beautiful that is going to sit on my feet just bemuses me! However, I am willing to be converted. What is it about sock knitting that is so great?

Why should I knit socks?

Convince me. If you had to give me one good reason what would it be?

I have many reasons why it doesn’t appeal to me, but maybe I am wrong.

  1. They are going to go on my feet/
  2. No one will see them – I want to be able to admire my knitting when I wear it
  3. They look small and fiddly to knit.
  4. I don’t like double pointed needles – they are way too faffy
  5. Once you have the elation of having finished one (YAY!) You have to start right over again and knit the next one.

I could go on, but I feel like that is enough reasons.

However, if you want to convince me I would be willing to give it a try. Who knows, I could be converted to becoming a sock knitter. If you were me which pattern would you start with for socks?

You could even send me a link to your most fabulous knitted socks to try and convince me! Find me on Ravelry here and share your makes with me!

Avena Cowl

 

You may remember some time ago I shared with you the cowl I made my mum for her birthday. Well, I have eventually written up the pattern I created and it is available for you to download and make for yourself for free from Ravelry!


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How to name a pattern

Strangely enough the trickiest part of making this patternwas not writing the pattern itself – in fact its a pretty simple knit – but instead was coming up with a name. I always find it quite strange how so many patterns are named with girls names (I think this is more common for sewing patterns but it’s certainly still there for knitting and crochet). I obviously decided I wanted to be different and so rather than pick a girls name for my pattern I toyed with a few different ideas. Firstly I thought about place names and was all set to name this the Silverdale cowl after a little village near where my parents live but then after some searching on Ravelry I found that this two was pretty common. Instead I decided to combine two of my passions and go with plant names! and not just any pants either – I wanted to at least start with agricultural weeds – which is the thing I work on.

So here you have the Avena cowl. Avena is the generic name for oats. In particular this cowl is in tribute to wild oats and their beautiful long awned seeds. the stripes in the cowl just brought them to mind. So there you have it a beautiful cowl named after an agricultural weed – who would have thought it!2015-11-19 21.08.54

The details

Any way, enough about names. I’m sure you want to hear about the cowl itself. Avena is  an elegant cowl, with a full twist and alternating stripes of colour.

This cowl is perfect for the spring or Autumn and can be worked in any colour combinations whether two shades of the same colour for elegant style or contrasting colours for a fun addition to any outfit!

The cowl is worked in the round with a full twist to create a Möbius strip. This gives a great effect showing off both sides of the knitting.

Gauge is not particularly important and the number of stitches cast on can be easily adjusted to accommodate different sizes.2015-11-19 21.04.43

So I’d love to hear your thoughts on this pattern – any comments you have would be great or better still if you make one yourself I would love to see the pictures!!

Head on over to Ravelry to check out the pattern or go to my pattern page to find more of my patterns.

knitted easter display on hshandcrafts

Crackin’ Crafters

 

Insect EggsAfter my research the other week into knitted egg cosies I was fully prepared to get going on our work Easter project to decorate some eggs along the theme of the type of work we do.

For those that don’t know I am an agriculture PhD student in an agroecology department of a research institute. This means that the type of work we do, the theme around which the eggs should be decorated, is anything to do with agroecology. Essentially this is everything that is found in a wheat field, except the wheat. Not a simple task.

 

Together with some of my colleagues (also very crafty people!) we set to work to create a display on the theme of farmland biodiversity so we had a knitted soil together with colourful bacteria and fungi sewn on, crochet wheat and weeds and then for the main event we knitted egg cosy insects and sewed them on to the eggs so they could be suspended from above to create a 3D scene! I knitted an egg cosy to look like a greenfly or aphid. We also had a ladybird, a bee and a moth.AgEgg

We also had to come up with a team name and as egg-related puns seemed to be the theme of the day we decided to go with “Crackin’ Crafters” and created an embroidery stitch sampler to showcase our team name!

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We were all so proud of our display, despite its Blue Peter like appearance – and given the difficulty of the theme I thought we did really well. There were loads of amazing entries, no other knitted ones though!! It was a really fun day and a great way to make us all think differently about our work and get a it crafty!to create an egg themed display around the type of work we do.

If you want to find out more about what its like to work as a PhD student in my department you should definitely check out my friends blog about the trials and tribulations of an agriculture PhD (she’s the one who made that amazing ladybird!!)

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Pinterest Inspiration: St. Patrick’s day

Happy St David’s day for yesterday!

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up on the 17th of March so now is the perfect time to get making some Ireland inspired goodies! Whether its knitting or crochet I have scoured Pinterest and found some fun makes for you to try,

St. Patricks Day – 17th March 2016

 

If it’s a quick make you are after this garland of shamrocks could be just the thing for you. The perfect way to show your love of everything Irish!

You can find the free tutorial over on Everything Etsy.

 

 

 

For a more advanced crochet make these little leprechauns are just adorable! They would make the perfect mantelpiece decoration or present.

 

 

If crochet is not really your thing – don’t worry! You can still make yourself a leprechaun if you really must. This knitted leprechaun is also available over on Alan Dart .

 

 

 

 

 

If decorations are not really your thing but you still want to celebrate St. Patrick’s day, why not go for a more subtle option and check out these shamrock inspired mittens by Spilly Jane. The pattern is available on Ravelry.

 

Do you love to get lost in the beautiful world of Pinterest? Leave your user name in the commetns below and I’ll be sure to check out your profile! If you want to see the rest of my pins you can find me here.

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Pinterest Inspiration: Valentines

Pinterest inspiration is my place to show you what I’ve been falling in love with recently over on Pinterest. This is one of my favourite place for finding inspiration and I can easily loose a couple of hours pouring through all the beautiful things to make.

Valentines

I don’t like Valentines Day. There, I said it. I know loads of people love this sort of thing but I don’t like smushy stuff. I do however like making stuff, so I thought I’d see if I could find things to make that are Valentine’s day themed to see if I could be convinced in time for Valentines day!

I couldn’t bring myself to actually search for Valentines crafts in Pinterest so I decided to just trawl through my boards and see if I could find some tenuous links to Valentines-themed stuff. First up is this hat. I actually saved it because I really like this stitch pattern and I guess it kind of looks like little hearts! Team this with the dusty pink colour and you’ve got yourself a Valentines hat! This pattern is available over on Ravelry.

 

There’s also this cowl. It is not smushy at all even though it has heart shapes in the lace pattern. The super brains amongst you may remember that I started knitting up this pattern but grew frustrated with my poor lacework skills at the time. Now I have had a bit more practice I hope to return to this pattern soon so keep your eyes peeled for that! The pattern is by Ambah O’Brien and is available on Ravelry.

 

 

 

What says Valentines day more than jewellery and flowers? Well you can combine the two with this crochet flower ring! I found this via the Mollie Makes Pinterest account along with lots of other flower-based makes. Original post is here.

 

 

 

 

 

Well, that’s certainly enough Valentines-based crafting for me – and I didn’t even have to make any of them! What about you do you love Valentines day and all its smushy romanticness or do you like to stay away like me?

Do you love to get lost in the beautiful world of Pinterest? Leave your user name in the comments below and I’ll be sure to check out your profile! If you want to see the rest of my pins you can find me here.