‘Tis the season …

27/11/2013 § 8 Comments

to wrap up warm and start knitting!

Winter scarves & snoods

Winter scarves & snoods

On our recent trip to Cardiff, we stopped off in Bath so that I could jaunt – at top speed – to a couple of my favourite shops.  I treated myself to a ball of sock wool (from a dry cleaners, can’t remember which one), and then in a fit of complete madness, to a set of Knit Pro Symfonie double pointed needles, from Wool.

I had no idea what I’d be making, had no pattern or plan but whilst watching the starlings over the bay, I picked up the ball of wool and these beautiful needles and started to knit!  I do like knitting, but a crochet hook has become my tool-of-choice for so long now.  These needles are AMAZING – so wonderful to hold, almost soft – it’s like knitting with air.  They’re warm too – I hate cold knitting needles and hooks!

Here’s what’s been flying off my needles, and hooks …

Sock Yarn mittens

Sock Yarn mittens

More mittens

more mittens in Rowan

I didn’t have a pattern, so cast on sufficient stitches to fit around my wrist.  The thumb bit just sort of happened and I started the 2nd mitten at the same stripe in the yarn so they match.  A crochet cuff and top row was all that was needed to complete them and boy are they warm.  I started a snood in Solomon’s Knot crochet, but am not so in love with this so it will probably be unravelled very soon and I’ll try something else with the remainder of the ball.

The teal yarn was a me-treat and so were the 2nd set of Knit Pro needles, in a larger size!  In fact, they’re almost finished as I took these photos yesterday morning, and had a fun time last evening making up the finishing touches – crochet cuff, top and thumb-top – no draughts please!

Winter scarves & snoods

Winter scarves & snoods

Teamed up with last year’s scarf and snood creations, I’m feeling ready for Winter!  I think the change in the season can be exactly marked by the date when my red snood is brought from it’s summer nest and snuggled around my neck.  I can’t be parted from it – other layers are added for extra warmth!

My new seasonal fashion love is my poncho.  Never thought I’d wear one – I remember them in the 1960’s!  But good old Sainsburys – on one of their recent 25% off weekends – tempted me, and I love it.  So warm for chilly evenings, driving and daytime jaunts.  I shop at only the best retailers, as you can tell – Sainsburys for clothes and Aldi for food!  We did jaunt to Compton Marbling Christmas Fair last weekend though – such a pretty location in rural Wiltshire.  Great stalls and the festive atmosphere that really kicked off Winter and the Festive Season, for me.

Compton Marbling Christmas Fair weekend

Compton Marbling Christmas Fair weekend

Snuggle up – it’s getting very cold out there!

Adaliza x

PS – just discovered that Knit Pro also do sets of crochet hooks and they’ve made it straight onto my Christmas list!

On my hook …

14/05/2013 § 4 Comments

Last year I completed 2.5 scarf/shawls – the .5 was a black one and I’ve never quite finished it, although I did wear it to a wedding in December!  Nobody noticed that it wasn’t finished because the deep lace border was (and still is) entirely in my head!

I’m not in the mood for black crochet at the moment, with Spring flourishing and about to burst into our lives.  As I write, it’s lashing rain and blowing a veritable gale.  It’s pitch dark outside and there have been several nasty banging noises – I hope the shed roofs are still on the sheds in the morning and nothing too valuable has blown down.

My fascination with lace weight yarn continues as I’m creating just for me at the moment – no fairs, no deadlines – I’m having a wonderful time.  It’s bliss!  My favourite shawl from last year was Tea Rose …

Tea Rose crochet shawl

Tea Rose crochet shawl – on block!

I blogged about Tea Rose and Smoke here and here.  They were both worked in Solomon’s Knot or Lovers’ Knot stitch which is basically double crochet with the stitch pulled out a bit!  They’ve been very well worn since I made them at the end of last summer and I’m still wearing them almost every day!  Last week, I began Moss – a heady yarn compiled from baby alpaca, cashmere and silk – from The Natural Dye Studio based in North Devon.  I am finding it very hard to resist treating myself to some more of this yarn – many are named after places from my past – Lynmouth, Withy Pool and Watersmeet.  Oh, I desperately need to go to North Devon very soon.

Solomon's Knot or Lovers' Knot crochet stitch

Solomon’s Knot or Lovers’ Knot crochet stitch – Moss Yarn

frothy crochet

frothy crochet before blocking

I’m planning to do a tutorial for the stitch and the deep lace border that’s definitely going to be added to this project – 3 sides of lace me thinks!  Moss won’t be finished for a while – sometime next month – maybe.

I’ve used the stitch for snoods too – it’s so simple once you get the hang of it …

Red Snood - Drops Baby Merino

Red Snood – Drops Baby Merino

Solomon's Knot / Lovers' Knot stitch

Solomon’s Knot / Lovers’ Knot crochet stitch

This one’s my favourite at the moment and is perfect over t-shirts.  Just one ball, about 80 starting chain and 20 rows makes a whole snood with a row of double crochet top and bottom – simples!  I have a whole collection made from different colours in the Drops Baby Merino collection – it’s wonderfully soft yarn and works up quickly.  I love the soft, stretchy, frothy effect of this stitch – and it’s very warm!

What’s on your hook?

Adaliza

Wrap up warm …

26/09/2012 § 2 Comments

Autumn is here, evenings are chilly, mornings are fresh and dewy.

Gossamer threads appear overnight in our garden, stretched between golden leaves and drying stems. Silken and magical they’ve each taken hours of work by tiny spinning spiders.  My latest shawl is another created using Solomon’s Knot stitch which rather reminds me of lace cobwebs.

It’s so simple – just double crochet with a knot.  I started with a foundation chain of about 70 and then a row of double crochet. The knots are worked in pairs, making a zig-zag. I learnt the stitch from a book I discovered buried beneath a huge pile of ‘stuff’ – my mother’s copy of Weldon’s Encyclopaedia of Needlework and there on page 677 in glorious black and white is a single picture tutorial and half a page of pattern!  Those were the days!

I added a deeper lace border to either end and then blocked (almost) every picot point in the fans – and absolutely every one down the sides!  Tiny, deep dusky pink beads are just about visible in the 3rd photo – to remind me of jewel dew drops!

Since I started it here, it’s taken a few weeks to finish and now I want to wrap it around my shoulders and pick dusky pink sedum flowers – in fact, it’s stopped raining for a minute so I may do just that!

Enjoy the rest of your week.

Adaliza x

Follow the link above to see details of the yarn and wool shop!

Almost time …

07/09/2012 § 1 Comment

to start adding an extra layer and here’s what I’ve made, to keep me warm through the chilly days (and evenings) to come …

I’ll admit to being inspired by Alicia over at Posie Gets Cozy. I have no idea whether this is the same stitch that she used, but Smoke is created from Solomon’s Knot stitch which is oh, so easy-peasy.  Ooh it’s totally delicious and now I’m working on this one …

The smokey blue shawl is Rowan lace weight yarn – 800 mtrs of it! It’s very large – about 2 yards long and 3/4 yd wide with a picot border.  The dusky pink yarn above is from the Natural Dye Studio and is called Tea Rose, which is as delicious name as a yarn could wish for!  It’s baby alpaca, cashmere & silk – soft as a cloud!  I wound it into a ball on our last night-of-the-summer holiday in Dolly, a couple of weeks ago.

Naturally, I didn’t just buy one hank of amazing stuff, whilst jaunting around Tiverton and made the discover of a lifetime – The Wool Merchant shop.  I also treated myself to the skein below – called Moss.  So what’s the other Lace skein?  It’s one of my favourite – Drops yarn, this time lace weight – baby alpaca and mulberry silk.  I don’t usually work with black, but I treated myself to a new dress which is going to be worn to my friend’s wedding in December.  I plan to make a jacket and want to have a shawl/scarf to complete the outfit, so black it is!

 

So, I’m preparing for the chilly times ahead with Smoke, Tea Rose, Moss and Sooty – and am rather looking forward to the frost and snow!

Our boys are moving out and as I speak, the lines are full of washing, drying in the magnificent sunshine that we’ve enjoyed here over the last few days.  The patios are full of furniture from the summerhouse and shed and on Sunday I’m driving a huge van to Bristol where they can do the unpacking!  It’ll be nice to find a fridge with some food in it and a bathroom with some clean towels, but I’ll miss them as they both embark on the next post-university stage of their lives.  I’m rather pleased they’re both in the same city although living with different friends – the best of both worlds hopefully.  It’s not too far away and we can take day trips to Bath every few weeks to treat them to lunch – until they’re too busy to fit us in!  Just the way it should be! Possibly more shopping time for me too!

Alton will be enjoying a sunny Art & Craft market tomorrow, so come and say ‘Hello’ if you’re passing.

Enjoy your weekend.

Adaliza

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