January 2016 Favourites

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A few years ago I got very obsessed with make up, so much that I created a blog and YouTube channel. In the online make up world YouTube videos are very popular, I guess they are a kind of video podcast where people talk about their favourite products and share great tutorials. One of my favourite types of videos were the “monthly favourites” where each YouTuber would share their favourite products of the month for skin, make up, hair and sometimes non-beauty favourites as well.

I was thinking about new ideas for the blog and thought that I could do my version of monthly favourites, with new patterns I have favourited in the month, yarny tools/accessories I am enjoying, favourite WIP, FO or yarn and some life favourites as well. I don’t want these posts to have a very structured format cause I don’t want to end up choosing a favourite yarn of the month if I didn’t really have one, so I will improvise as I go but I think it will be a fun way to wrap up the month. I won’t put too much detail into these and will opt for making individual posts for things I want to share in more depth with you, such as FOs, WIPs, yarn acquisitions, etc.

Let’s start with a few stats for this month:

  • FOs: just one, a cosy shawl I crocheted for someone very close to my heart while I was in Chile. It was my own design and would like to release it eventually, just need to find the time to write it down and make another sample. In the meantime you can see a sneak peek below…!

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  • WIPs: Apart from the FO I just mentioned, during January I worked on my new shawl design and I also started the Owls jumper by Kate Davies as part of a small KAL we are having at my local knit club. I think I’ll do a post for this later in the month to tell you how its going (in one word: BIG).
  • WIPs on standby: I started a pair of crochet socks by Kat Goldin in the plane and one of the shawls from the Crochet Project but they are both on standby until I finish my shawl design. Has anyone crocheted socks before? Would love some pattern recommendations 🙂 Also on standby are my Freyja shawl by Aoibhe Ni and my Red Robin shawl by Helen Stewart. Both were giving me a headache for different reasons (a complicated chart and a dumb mistake that requires loads of unknitting) so they are in the naughty corner until further notice.
  • Yarn purchased: Way too much! Yarn in Chile is a lot cheaper than in the UK so I admit I went a bit mad… I will share more of what I purchased throughout the coming months, though probably not ALL I purchased…

Now onto the favourites of January 2016:

Patterns

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Here I want to share patterns that I discovered during the month and fell in love with or patterns I have worked on and really enjoyed. For this month I don’t have any favourite patterns I have worked with but I did fall for a few on Ravelry and are now happily sitting in my library:

For knitting I have been obsessed with hats and garments, while for crochet I am always looking for something different and the shawls by Yarn and Style definitely hit the mark. Simple, modern and with great use of colour: now that is the crochet I want to see more of in Ravelry.

Favourite WIP of the month

I think it has to be my shawl design. It has been a love/hate relationship since I started it but overall I am very proud of it so far. Just can’t wait to put it down though… 🙂 For now I will only share the yarn that I am using: some lovely Ginger’s Hand Dyed Yakety-Yak 4ply, you can see one of the colours I am using below… isn’t beautiful?

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Favourite yarn of the month

I haven’t worked with this yarn but it was my favourite purchase while in Chile. It merits its own post but all I will say is: merino yarn in natural shade handspun by Chilean artisans in Patagonia… stay tuned!

Favourite knitting/crochet accessory

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I was looking for a small pencil case to use as a notions/needles/hook case to put in my suitcase for my trip to Chile and found this one in Paperchase. It is just perfect, not too big or too small, it has three separate compartments when you open it and the one in the middle has its own zipper which makes it perfect for small things such as stitch markers.

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I think those are all of my yarny favourites for the month, other things that brought joy to my life during January are:

Life Favourites

  • Yoga for Bedtime by Yoga with Adriene: I love all of Adriene’s routines and have mentioned her in the blog before, but this was the practice I kept returning to during the month for relaxing and unwinding at the end of the day. It only lasts for 20 minutes so it is very easy to fit it into my evenings. Thank heavens for yoga.
  • Flavoured green tea, particularly Regents Park from Yumchaa Tea. The first time I tried green tea I hated it with my life. Then while in London a few months ago a girl in a stall in Camden Market convinced me to buy this green tea but to only brew it for a minute or two since green tea didn’t need more. Oh boy, I didn’t know what I was missing. This tea is deliciously fruity and is perfect after brewing for just one minute.
  • Marvel Agents of Shield: This show saved me from killing myself during 17 hours of flying time, I’ll be forever grateful 🙂 If you like all things Marvel and want something entertaining but that doesn’t require much brain power then this is your show.
  • Daring Greatly by Brene Brown: This is my third Brene Brown book and it has been my go-to book for those 10 minutes before I go to bed. At first I was a bit disappointed to see that it repeats quite a bit from her older books but it has actually been helpful to revisit some of her insights. If you are feeling stuck in life and looking for some inspiration I cannot recommend this author enough. If you ask me, her book “The Gifts of Imperfection” is the one you should grab first.

What are your favourites for January? Let me know in the comments!

xx

Sol

Crochet month!

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Hello everyone! I want to share some crochet news and events with you, I am so excited that this passion of mine is opening up some great opportunities for me to grow and explore. I have always been someone who moves from craft to craft never sticking to one in particular. I have tried crochet, sewing, knitting, cross stitch and so many more, and I was always teased in my family since I would get so excited at first to only give it up completely in a few months. I think this time is different, I know now that I will always be involved in a fibre art. I have become so passionate about yarn and would like to try all crafts that honour such an amazing resource: knitting, spinning and weaving are definitely on the list!

So first, if you are in the Edinburgh area the Indie Burgh Yarn Crawl is happening on the 13th and 14th of June. Three local yarn shops (Ginger Twist Studio, Kathy’s Knits and Be Inspired Fibres) participate and you can make your way around them on your own or sign up for a lucky dip group and get a tour guide as well. There are workshops and an after party on the Sunday so make sure to check the Facebook page for details. Yours truly will be at Ginger Twist Studio on the Sunday with all my samples, would love to meet some of you if you can make your way there.

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I also wanted to let you know that I am doing workshops at Ginger Twist Studio. The next one will be a crochet colourwork class in which you will learn about the different techniques and learn how to work tapestry crochet by making an adorable little purse. This is the technique I used to make my Moroccan bag so if you liked that pattern this might be of interest to you. The workshop will be held on the 19th July from 12pm to 3pm at Ginger Twist Studio, check her website for details and booking. 

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Finally, I am excited to announce that I am Designer of the Month at Ginger Twist Studio during June! My samples will be on display at Jess’s shop this month along with other crochet designs by Anna Wilkinson so I am really happy to be part of her lineup (can you spot my Moroccan tote in the window? Love it!)

That is it for today, hope you are having a great week!

x

Sol

Indie Burgh Yarn Crawl

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Hello there, thank you for visiting my blog on this lovely day! It has been so sunny and warm in Edinburgh today that no one can talk about much else. I never thought that blue skies would be such a topic of conversation but if you live in Scotland you understand that once the sun is out everyone will comment about it wherever you go. I am even wearing shorts! (it took a while to find them). Ok will stop about the weather now, told you it’s all you can talk about…

In this post I wanted to share with you some of the lovely yarn I bought while participating in the first ever yarn crawl in Edinburgh. If you don’t know what a yarn crawl is, it is basically a pub crawl but instead of shots you buy yarn and instead of a headache the next morning you get that amazing feeling of new yarn under your hands.

The yarn crawl included three shops in town: Ginger Twist Studio, Be Inspired Fibres and Kathy’s Knits. They are all lovely shops, each with its own unique identity and beautiful yarn. I joined a lucky dip group so we went to each shop together which I thought was loads of fun.

If you read my blog you know that I have set up a challenge for myself to use up my yarn stash and buy less yarn, BUT I thought that such occasion as a yarn crawl was clearly an exception since there was no way I was going to go to three yarn shops and not buy anything. So I set a budget, then increased it of course once I was there and ended up buying some beautiful yarn so I thought I could share it with you guys. I bought all of them for Be Inspired Fibres.

First, I wanted some lace since I have an idea in my head for a shawl ever since I started downloading japanese crochet books and fell in love with a stitch pattern in one of them. The yarn is called Holst Garn and it is SO soft, 100% pure thin alpaca. It smells amazing as well, reminds me of the south of my country.

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Next, I wanted some cotton yarn for another project I have in mind for a pencil case (details to come!). I wanted bright, fun colours and these ones are perfect.

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Finally I ended up picking up this superwash yarn called Jawoll by Lang Yarns, I just fell in love with the colours and thought they would make some lovely fair isle wrist warmers.

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I am in a chart mood lately, I have been playing with my colours trying to put into paper some of the ideas I have and can’t wait to start swatching!

x

Sol

x

Killing my yarn stash: Excelana 4ply

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As with most things, this pattern didn’t start the way it ended. I bought this yarn from the lovely Jess at Ginger Twist Studio with the idea of doing some tapestry crochet in the shape of diamonds, little woolie style. I bought a yellow colour along with the blue and light blue but they really didn’t look well together. The navy blue was too contrasting to carry it inside the stitches without being WAY too obvious.

I was thinking that the two tones of blue looked well together and started scratching my head looking for ideas. That is when I thought they looked like night and day and the pattern started forming in my head. I bought a notebook with little squares, loads of coloured pens and started to make a chart for a random transition from night to day.

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Now, let me tell you that coming up with a random pattern of dots is actually not random at all and takes loads of attempts. When I was finally satisfied I thought I would do it with tunisian crochet and frame it for my wall (I have some granny squares framed and they look lovely, pictures soon).

If you have done colour changes with tunisian crochet you know that it can be done but if you have to change colours too often in a row it becomes a bit of a challenge. Fair isle crochet came to mind, but of course, this works much better in the round. So my nice “crochet painting” became a pair of wrist warmers, and I LOVE THEM. I really never expected they would turn out this nice so I am really proud and a bit more confident in myself and this little project of mine.

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I have to write the pattern for these as well, though it might take a bit. I need to do the chart and probably add a few more columns since my wrists are incredibly small, I guess they are OK for a child size though 😛

If you are interested in fair isle crochet I used the tutorials from Crochet Ever After, as well as her technique for changing colours when closing each round so that it makes an almost invisible join.

x

Sol