A catch up and knitting FOs

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Coming back to reality after the holidays is always mixed feelings: I love being back home to my bed and yarn stash but it is so difficult not to miss the amazing places I visited and the great time I shared with loved ones. These holidays were super busy but so much fun, I first spent a few days with my boyfriend in the Lake District and then my sister and one of my closest friends arrived to the UK and we did an awesome road trip through the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye. I will be sharing some of my adventures here in the blog soon including a little shopping guide (featuring yarn of course) to some of the places I visited.

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Everything was a bit crazy before my holidays so I didn’t have time to share how my first two knitting projects turned out. Remember the infinity scarf I was making from that Craftsy class? Well, I decided to simplify the pattern a bit and it is now finished! I really really like how it turned out, I used West Yorkshire Spinners Aire Valley Aran, it is so warm and cosy. I enjoyed so much to knit the centre in stockinette, such a simple stitch but so beautiful and different from crochet fabric. It had been a while since I had used anything thicker than 4-ply yarn so it was lovely to use a thicker yarn without getting a very thick fabric.

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After finishing this project I knew I wanted to cast on a hat. I thought about starting with a very simple pattern but I’d had my eye for months on Clare Devine’s Chai pattern and decided to go for it even though it has a cable and you need to use DPNs for the decreases. The pattern calls for chunky yarn and I decided to use Ginger’s Hand Dyed in Little Cat Feet.

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The pattern is great and it goes really quickly even for a beginner like me, I had a hat finished after 3 days! I only panicked with the DPNs when I was doing the crown and started to get confused with all the needles but managed to sort it out and now I have the most beautiful hat ever. I love it so much and already wore it while on our trip to the Highlands.

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I already casted on a new knitting project with some very special yarn and have two other crochet WIPs at the moment, so loads to crochet and knit as usual 🙂 What is on your hook/needles? Let me know in the comments!

xxx

Sol

The (new) beginning of my knitting journey

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A few weeks ago I had an amazing opportunity to be part of a knitting class run by Jules from Woollenflower. If you haven’t checked Jules’ website I really recommend you do, she sells the most beautiful products, including machine-knitted cowls and small bags made out of worn Harris Tweed jackets. I had the pleasure of meeting her at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival and found her to be not only incredibly talented but also such an amazing person, so I jumped at the chance to have her as my teacher.

Now, let me tell you a bit about my knitting journey. I am not sure if I shared this but I learned how to crochet when I was about 10 years old, it was the first craft I learned and it really clicked with me straight away. I have crocheted on and off since then: it is like riding a bike, you really never forget how to do it.

When I was in high school my nanny (the most awesome knitter I know to this day) taught me how to knit and I decided to cast on a scarf with a simple ribbed pattern. It was THE-LONGEST-SCARF-IN-THE-WORLD. By the time I was finished I not only hated the scarf, the colour and everything about it, but also hated knitting. That was the last time I picked up a pair of knitting needles.

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Fast forward to the last year and crochet and the fibre world have become a really big part of my life. For the last few months I have been thinking that I should try knitting again, mostly for the following reasons:

  • I really like how knitted fabric looks like, and that it is lighter than crochet fabric. I believe there are many things you can do with crochet, but just like knitting it has its limitations. The one thing I have never liked in crochet is hats, to this day I haven’t found a pattern that I like. The fabric is too dense and stiff if you don’t want an open stitch pattern (which you don’t if its a winter hat) and the hat ends up wearing you instead of the other way around. Knitted hats on the other hand are beautiful and that is my ultimate goal in this knitting journey: LOADS AND LOADS OF HATS 🙂
  • I love fibre and as I get to understand more and more about how we get from sheep to finished object I have come to be very curious about all fibre related crafts such as weaving, spinning and of course, at the centre of it all is knitting. I don’t think I could call myself a fibre enthusiast if I don’t have at least some basic knitting skills.
  • As some of you know I have started teaching a few workshops at Ginger Twist Studio and I came to realise very quickly that most (if not all) of those who have attended my workshops are knitters and know only a bit about crochet. I feel that I can become a better teacher if I can speak the same language as my students since this will help me understand their issues better.
  • Finally, I love learning and there is SOOO much to learn in knitting.

Even though these sound as very compelling reasons I also had my doubts about whether I should learn how to knit again. Knitting is slow and so much less forgiving when it comes to mistakes. Crochet is awesome in that way, make a mistake and you just rip it off and pick up again but with knitting it is a different story and I am NOT a patient person. Also, I was a bit afraid of immersing myself in the knitting world and not being able to pull out. I am a very obsessive person and there are so many knitting patterns out there that match my aesthetic, much more than crochet patterns. Could I keep crochet as my main craft with so many patterns calling for my attention?

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In the end, I am glad I decided to learn. Crochet will always be my main craft but knowing how to knit will allow me to create some special items that crochet may not do so well. I see many hats in my future, simple shawls that allow me to show-off that very special skein of yarn and maybe one day a simple sweater (I say only one knowing that it will take me a lifetime to finish). Crochet is still faster and more comfortable so I know I will never lose it and right now I am just really enjoying being a beginner and learning a new skill that can only add more inspiration to my creative journey.

I still haven’t done any projects, I am just practicing my stitches for now. I will be casting on something soon, an infinity scarf from a Craftsy class I purchased. It doesn’t look simple, but I do like a challenge! If you have any tips of nice beginner projects please share them in the comments, would love to hear your suggestions.

Thanks for stopping by!

x

Sol

Why a handmade wardrobe?

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My Uva shawl

As part of the Love your Blog Challenge by A Playful Day I shared with you recently that I have created a new little section around the theme of a handmade wardrobe (you can find a link on the main menu). The idea is that every time I post something relating to this theme you will be able to find it in the new section.

But what is this theme all about? It is quite simple really, I have become very interested in creating beautiful items for my wardrobe that are made with my own two hands, so I decided to use the blog as a tool to stay inspired and keep track of what I am doing to achieve this.

Why a handmade wardrobe? This is of course not a new concept and many of us who crochet, knit or sew are actually working towards this without a proper label for it. I first heard someone mention it as such while listening to an episode of Woolful featuring Karen from Fringe Association. At the time I was just starting to dive in to the challenge of crochet garments so this idea really spoke to me and started to circle in my head with no plans to leave any time soon.

It made me think about what finished projects I actually wear which led to the stunning realisation that I was wearing hardly any. Even my designs were in a drawer somewhere gathering dust. While doing a sample for a design a few months ago for a pair of fingerless mitts I suddenly stopped. Why am I doing another pair of these when I don’t even like fingerless mitts! It has never made sense to me to leave the fingers uncovered, along with sleeveless jackets they are a mystery to me. But here I was making another pair to go on the drawer with the first pair and the wrist warmers I don’t wear either. What is the point of investing all these time and effort on something that I will never wear? Over the years I have made hats that are too loose or too tight, scarfs and wraps I don’t like the colour of, sweaters that don’t fit and the list goes on and on.

The point of a handmade wardrobe for me is to create pieces that you will not only love to make but also love to wear. And for that you need to use the right yarn, the right colour and make the right size. Karen talks in the podcast about “making with intention” and that is the key to achieve this: you really need to think about what you need in your wardrobe in the context of everything else in it, what colour it has to be, what outfits you can create with it, and of course make sure that the fit is just right.

Currently I have two shawls and two cowls which were made with a bit of more thought into colours and wearability and I am happy to say that I do wear them and most importantly, I love to wear them. My WIPs consist at the moment of one shawl, one cardigan and one cowl, and I also think they will all be a happy addition to my wardrobe once finished. The colours go well with what I usually wear, they are practical, stylish and I have put a lot of effort to make sure everything fits just right.

Another reason to embark in this new journey relates to the environmental impact of the clothing industry and my wish to buy less industrially manufactured clothes. This is quite a big thing for me since I have always been a bit of a shopaholic and even though since moving to the UK I have been a lot better I still buy clothes many times just because I am in the mood of buying clothes and not because I really need them. There is a lot of info out there so I´ll probably dedicate another post to this and how we can be a bit more sustainable when buying clothes and making our own.

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My Alyssium cardigan in progress

Regarding what content I’ll create for the section I am not completely sure yet to be honest, I do know that I want to feature crochet patterns that catch my eye, also more exploring about why this is a good choice for me and of course, how is it working in practice. I am almost finished with my first crochet cardigan so expect to see that soon 🙂

This space will continue to be all about my crochet journey, this is just a new light to that same journey that will help support it, shape it and give it purpose.

Thanks for reading!

x

Sol

Freyja journey: Getting through Row 1

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I love short weeks, it is so amazing that it is Wednesday already! Wednesdays will be the day when Laura from Made in Oxford and I have planned to keep you updated on our progress on the Freyja shawl by Aoibhe Ni, you can check the first post here where I talked a bit about the pattern and the yarn I am using.

I am halfway through Row 1 of the pattern after working on it over the long weekend. As I have mentioned before, Aoibhe Ni uses a special construction in some of her designs that takes some time to get used to. You basically start with a VERY long chain (we are talking hundreds here) after which you work perpendicular rows and attach the end of each row to the initial chain until you run out of chains. Since the foundation chain consisted of hundreds of chains, that means hundreds of rows that need to be worked up and it takes a while… I am a bit past the middle of the first row and can’t wait to see the end of it!

It is looking quite nice already though, and this yarn.. I LOVE IT. It is Rooster Delightful Lace and it is SO soft and creates such a nice fabric that I think this is going to be shawl that will be around my neck quite a lot once it is finished.

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In case anyone of you is working on Freyja or thinking about trying it in the future I thought I should give you some tips from my experience with this pattern so far:

  • I don’t usually swatch for shawls but when I started working on this pattern I wished I had because I realised after a few perpendicular rows that I didn’t really like how the fabric looked. Tunisian crochet with lace-weight yarn can look too loose for me sometimes which I think makes the stitches look uneven. I ended up starting again with a smaller hook size and I am really liking the way the stitches look now.
  • The pattern says to begin with a long foundation chain, however I chose to work foundation double crochets instead. There is a tutorial for this stitch in my Tutorials page if you are not familiar with this stitch. I think it gives it a nicer and sturdier edge than if I were just doing a chain.
  • There are many lines to the instructions of Row 1 and the only way I could keep track of where I was in the pattern was to use one stitch marker per line, which is a lot of stitch markers! I am actually running out and will have to turn to using safety pins but it is the only way I will ever find a mistake if necessary.
  • With this method of construction there is always the chance that you will work through the lines of instruction in Row 1 and realise that you still have more lines to work but have run out of chains in your foundation or the other way around. I already know I am off by one or two chains if my counting is right and as long it is not much more than that I am not even going to try and find what I did wrong. You can always work two perpendicular rows into just one chain, or even skip the last one and no one will know 🙂

That is all I can share so far with this shawl, hopefully by this time next week I will have survived this first row and will be tackling another challenge. I have to say it feels great to work a difficult pattern again, I hadn’t done this in a while and I am really enjoying the satisfaction I get from every milestone I achieve. I am always looking for simplicity when designing patterns, mostly because of my inexperience in design but I truly hope one day I can create a challenge as beautiful as this pattern.

Hope you have a nice end of the week!

x

Sol

 

March WIPs and FOs

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March is almost gone so I thought it might be a good time to give you an update on what I am working on at the moment and what I plan to start soon as well. First, my Lopi shawl is finished and I love it so much! This pattern is the Warm Winter Shawl by Patrick Hassel-Zein and it is not the best pattern out there, not many explanations and I never understood what the designer did for the edging so just did my own thing, but if you are comfortable with tunisian crochet you can figure it out quickly from the pictures.

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The best part about this shawl is that I am wearing it! I wear it at home mostly but have also ventured out with it so I am really excited 🙂 You may be wondering what happened after my blocking panic which I shared a few posts ago… well, it did smell horribly of conditioner once it dried so I had to ventilate it for a few days to make it go away but it is fine now. It is not extremely soft, but still wearable around the neck for me even though I mostly wear it as a shawl around my shoulders. It should also soften with use and washing so it can only get better now 🙂

After the EYF I started working on the Alyssium cardigan by Joanne Scrace, which I actually tried on at the Crochet Project stall, very exciting! It is coming along nicely and so far the pattern has been very easy to follow, I am using the exact same yarn as the sample which is Eden Cottage Yarns Pendle 4ply, a lovely hand dyed merino yarn in the colour Dusk. This cardigan fits so nicely with my new aspiration of a handmade wardrobe, I am sure that once finished it will get loads of use, can’t wait to wear it.

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At the EYF I mostly bought yarn for garments that I have had my eye on for a long time, so hopefully I will slowly start building a collection of handmade clothes and accessories that I love to wear. Wouldn’t that be awesome? I am even considering to take some sewing classes to broaden my skills to create my own clothes  (and project bags!) but I am not sure if it would be very wise considering the little time I have available at the moment. I will let you know what happens…

Finally, I have been experimenting with tunisian crochet in the round, this is my first attempt at this technique and of course I couldn’t just do something simple… I had to do a stitch pattern that changes colour not only for the forward pass but also for the return pass. It is not bad, but I am not sure I could make a pattern for this since even though it is simple, it is very difficult to explain in a written form. I can of course just make it for myself but I feel like if I design something I should be sharing it, not sure where this comes from but it is how I feel.

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I am struggling with that a lot lately, since I can’t just post a pattern for you guys and hope you will figure it out, that is not how I like to do things. I want to make sure that you can follow it and that you can easily refer to a good tutorial (mine or someone else’s) if you get stuck.

I am having that problem with my Moroccan bag pattern at the moment since I feel like I should explain how tapestry crochet works and do a tutorial for the bag but that will delay the pattern quite a lot and it takes such a long time to shoot pictures for tutorials. This perfectionism with my patterns is what is making me design less and less since I just can’t find the time anymore, but we will see, maybe I just need to post less patterns and dedicate the time I need to get them the way I like it, no matter how long it takes me to finally get the instructions here. Do you mind waiting? I would really like your opinion on this so let me know what you think.

Those are my current projects, I will be adding one this week since Laura from Made in Oxford and I will be working on the Freyja shawl together, I am very excited to have a crochet partner for a pattern like this, I have a feeling I might get stuck on a few things but I am sure the finished product will be worth all the effort and having company will make it all much more enjoyable. I am still deciding on yarn so will share that with you once I make up my mind (so many choices!).

Hope you are having a great weekend, looking forward to a short week and some extra hooking time during Easter 🙂 Take care!

x

Sol

 

 

Some Podcast (Lounge) love

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Hello everyone, I am writing a quick post today since I have been the most ungrateful and forgetful person this week and I couldn’t let it pass. After I wrote my first EYF post I realised I had forgotten to mention the Podcast Lounge as one of the highlights of the show but intended to correct it with a special mention on my second post. Of course, I forgot again! This is completely due to my stupid brain and not anything to do with the Podcast Lounge not being a memorable and amazing space during the festival. And to make me feel even worse I actually won two skeins of beautiful hand dyed British yarn from the raffle! Thank you so much to the Podcast Lounge for my lovely prize and to Jess for saving it for me 🙂

So to make amends I have decided to share quick post about my experience in the Podcast Lounge and use this opportunity to show some podcast love as well by sharing the links to the great podcasts that I have been following lately.

In case you don’t follow many podcasts, the Podcast Lounge was organised by the amazing Louise from the  Knit British podcast as a place to hang around and to meet some of your favourite podcast people. There were even little events organised for this space such as Q&As with designers or podcasters. The Podcast Lounge was my resting and crocheting space during the whole festival, every time I got tired or needed to assess my shopping, or to eat my cake for lunch I would pop over to the comfy sofas arranged for the occasion. Luckily for me, I always found a space and many times also familiar faces. I got to touch samples from lovely British yarn that Louise had knitted up and was amazed at how I liked them all! It was really an amazing space and Louise’s laugh on the background was just so contagious as well (you must listen to her podcast if you don’t already). I didn’t manage the courage to go and speak to her (I am silly like that sometimes) and thank her for being my commuting companion for so many months now, even though it is a knitting podcast and no crochet in it I enjoy it so much and it always puts a smile on my face 🙂

Sadly, I never managed to be there when one of the events were on, I think I got some times confused as well since I was sure there was something on at the time I showed up on Saturday, but it was still such a joyful place to hang around.

Finally I just wanted to share some of the great podcasts I have been listening to in case you are looking to try some out. I have a mixture of both video and audio podcasts though the audio ones are my favourites since I can listen to them while I commute.

Knit British

Woolful

Fluffy Fibers

A Playful Day

Curious Handmade

Yarn in the City

Creative Yarn Entrepeneur show

The Yarniacs Podcast

Caithness Craft

NH Knits

Cherry Heart

Bmandarine

That is me for today, will be back soon!

x

Sol

EYF 2015 Part 2: My favourite buys

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Hello there! How’s spring/autumn treating you? Edinburgh has been a bit sunny lately and will get an hour more of light from Sunday after the clocks change. I never used to like summer and brightness like I do now, that is what happens when you move to Scotland!

I want to share my second post about the EYF 2015 with you, I was glad to see you enjoyed the first in which I shared my general experience in my first ever yarn festival. Of course I couldn’t possible share my experience without sharing some of my buys as well! Not all of them though, since that would be quite embarrassing… I must say I had been on a yarn diet for months (which I only broke to get the Lopi yarn for my shawl) and I have a project in mind for (almost) all of my purchases so it’s not THAT bad 😛

I love everything that I bought to be honest but I decided to choose the favourites among them, which was very hard indeed! Here they are:

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1. The Shawl Project. This pattern book is not the first one by chance. It contains six shawl designs by Joanne Scrace as part of the Crochet Project venture and they are all oh-so-beautiful. The photography is amazing, there are great explanations and charts and even a guide to designing your own shawl patterns, since all the designs use a different construction technique explained by Joanne at the end of the booklet. And it even gets better: all the shawls use only one 100g skein of 4-ply. Seriously people, if you love crochet shawls, you MUST get this. They sold out of their first print run at the festival but another is due soon so keep an eye out on their Facebook page for news.

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2. Naturally-dyed merino yarn by woollenflower. If you follow my blog you may know I have been interested in natural dyeing since hearing about it in a few podcasts that I follow. I am an environmental engineer and have always been attracted to techniques which value and protect what nature has to offer. So when I met Jules at her stand in EYF and realised that the skein I couldn’t stop staring at was naturally dyed I just HAD to get it. It is really the most beautiful colour I have seen on yarn before, and in my excitement (especially after she mentioned she will be doing workshops, yay!) of course I forgot to ask her what she used but I promise to find out and let you know. Jules had such lovely things in her stall, including some amazing project bags/pouches made from worn out Harris Tweed jackets and the most beautiful colourwork cowls she made in her knitting machine, how amazing is that? She has a website and an online shop so please go check her out, she not only does beautiful things but she is also one of the nicest people I have ever met.

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© Victoria Magnus
© Victoria Magnus

3. Pendle 4ply by Eden Cottage Yarns. I am sure many of you have heard or bought yarn from Eden Cottage Yarns, they have some lovely bases and some hand dyed lines including this beautiful 4ply pure merino wool in the colour Dusk. The colour is truly beautiful and something that would fit nicely with the rest of my clothes. I bought it to work on the Alyssium cardigan by Joanne Scrace, it is the same yarn and colour she used for the sample, it looks so beautiful that just decided to get the exact same yarn. Already working on this and loving both yarn and pattern.

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4. Brooks Blend by John Arbon Textiles. I had been wanting to try yarns from John Arbon for a long time now so I was very excited to check their stand at EYF and I really didn’t leave disappointed. They are based in Devon and many of their yarns use fibre from their own Exmoor Blueface sheep. I stopped at their stall so many times and purchased many things there but these skeins are my favourite from them. You can’t find this yarn online, it is a DK-weight blend designed by Emma Brooks, it is 50% Polwarth, 30% Alpaca and 20% Zwartbles and it is the softest thing EVER. The natural colour is just perfect so I had to get a few to work on this cardigan I saw on the last issue of Inside Crochet. If you are interested they are doing a mill open weekend in May so check the website for details.

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5. Organic Wensleydale 3ply by Little Owl Crafts. This stand had beautiful organic and hand-spun yarn and these organic Wensleydale skeins caught my eye immediately. I am thinking stripes! They have a shop on Etsy if you want to check it out.

That is it for today everyone, the EYF will definitely be one of the highlights of 2015 for me and can’t wait for next year!

I will be back soon with some pictures of my finished Lopi shawl and my current projects 🙂

Have a great day!

x

Sol

FREE Pattern: Cobbled Street Cowl

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*Ravelry link

It took forever for me to finally sit down and write this pattern but it is finally here. I haven’t really been designing much lately, in a bit of a dry spell at the moment. Have many ideas but haven’t been able to bring myself to start any of them. It takes quite a while for me to get to a finished object for my designs and I think I needed a break so have been enjoying crocheting other people’s designs for a bit. I have a couple that I should start since the yarn is waiting there for me, but I am definitely taking things a bit slower when it comes to designing.

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I love this cowl so much, it is one of my favourites along with my Uva shawl. As I mentioned in my ta-dah post this cowl is inspired on the beautiful cobbled streets in Edinburgh. It is a very simple tunisian pattern, uses two stitches and I have created an easy chart for you guys to follow. I would even recommend this as a first pattern for those who are learning tunisian: it uses basic stitches, no increases or decreases and you only need one skein of yarn. How perfect is that?

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The yarn I used is Madelinetosh Merino Light, it is a lovely yarn to work with and it feels even nicer after blocking. I was left with a bit of yarn from my skein but I liked the length so stopped there, it measures 18cm wide for 86cm long before joining both ends. Gauge is not really important but in case you are interested each pattern repeat (Rows 1 to 24) measures 18cm x 11.5cm.

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Cobbled Street Pattern

Materials:

4mm Tunisian crochet hook (30cm long)

Madelinetosh Merino Light 4ply: 1 skein in Tern

Needle to weave in ends.

 

Abbreviations

Ch – Chain

End st or “E” in chart– Last stitch on forward pass

Lp – Loop(s)

Sk – Skip

Sl st – Slip stitch

St – Stitch(es)

Tss or “|” in chart– Tunisian simple stitch

Tks or “V” in chart– Tunisian knit stitch

YO – Yarn over

Stitch Guide (Visit my tutorials page for photo tutorials)

Foundation forward pass: Insert hook on back bump of second ch from hook, YO and pull up a loop, *insert hook on back bump of next ch, YO and pull up a loop, repeat from * until last ch.

Return pass: YO and pull through 1 lp, *YO and pull through 2 lps, repeat from * until you have 1 lp on hook.

Tunisian Simple Stitch (Tss or | in chart): Skip first stitch, *insert hook from right to left under next front vertical bar, yarn over and draw up a loop; repeat from * across until last stitch, work last stitch normally. Work return pass.

Tunisian Knit Stitch (Tks or V in chart): Skip first stitch, *insert hook between front and back vertical bars of next stitch, yarn over and draw up a loop; repeat from * across until last stitch, work last stitch normally. Work return pass.

End St (E in chart): Last st of the forward pass is made into ch created by the return pass. Insert your hook under the vertical bar where you usually do it AND the strand behind it and pull up a loop.

Binding off: As with every row you start with one lp on your hook. For each stitch, insert hook as normal (depending on whether it is a Tss or Tks), YO and pull through both loops (through the st and the loop you had already). Continue until the last st.

Instructions

Ch 40. Work foundation forward pass (40st, each lp on the hook is a st). Work return pass.

Row 1 to 24: Follow chart for each row, reading it from right to left and from bottom to top. The chart indicates which stitches you must work in the forward pass. Work the return pass normally for each row.

Rows 25 to 192: Repeat Rows 1-24 seven times for a total of eight repeats. When you are in your last row work the binding off as you follow the pattern (see stitch guide). You can continue the pattern if you still have yarn to your desired length. Fasten off but don’t cut yarn.

Use mattress stitch to seam the two ends together. Weave in ends.

x

Sol

EYF 2015: My first yarn festival experience Part 1

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Uffff… I have been thinking about how to write this post since there is so much to say. I have decided that it will have to be done in a couple of posts: one to share my general experience in the festival and another one with my favourite purchases (I can’t show them all since I am too embarrassed to confess all that I bought!).

Edinburgh Yarn Fest was one awesome weekend that more than exceeded my expectations. I really don’t know where to start and I am bit tired today so this post will be a bit all over the place but here are the highlights of the weekend:

  • The marketplace. OMG, I have never in my life seen so much beautiful yarn and yarn-related things in one place, it was all a bit overwhelming the first day but the second day I got to stop and truly admire the work of such talented people that put so much love and dedication to their products. I got to chat with quite a few and everyone was so nice and attentive. From yarn, to buttons, to fibre, to patterns and everything displayed in such beautiful and creative ways, it was very inspiring just to walk by those stalls. And the colour… such amazing colours everywhere made my heart sing 🙂

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  • The Crochet Project stall: If you are a crocheter, and only a crocheter like myself who couldn’t knit if my life depended on it you will understand the joy of seeing a crochet stall in a yarn festival. And not any stall… a stall from the awesome Crochet Project run by two amazingly talented designers: Kat Goldin and Joanne Scrace. I have crocheted beautiful patterns by both of these ladies and have admired their designs, especially garments, for a long time. Very few people in the crochet world design patterns as stylish and wearable as these two designers so I was so star struck when I met them! Their stall was filled with gorgeous samples and patterns, crochet hooks, the cutest labels for your hand knits and their new pattern book “The Shawl Project”. More on this little book on my next post since it is definitely on the favourites list…!

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  • The people. If you have any knitters or crocheter friends you must already know that yarny people are awesome. They are encouraging, passionate, friendly and they are the happiest when around loads of yarn and other yarny people who feel the same way about their crafts. So you can imagine what you get when you put hundreds of yarny people in one place surrounded by the most beautiful fibre-related products: a happy and oh-so inspiring atmosphere. Just to look at what everyone was wearing was like a runway show of beautiful hand knits made with love and care, it was such a treat. Whenever you got tired you could go sit down somewhere and take your WIP out or pet your new yarn, and then you would look around and see that everyone else around you was doing the same! I had been the lonely crocheter on the train for so many months since work didn’t allow me to go to my knitting group and then suddenly I was just one of the crowd, doing what we love to do, surrounded by people who love that as well. Sigh… I don’t know about you but a room full of knitters and yarn is exactly how I think heaven should look like.

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  • My first crochet class. I booked one class for the festival, it was the only crochet class that wasn’t for beginners. It was about how to make crochet wearable by the amazing Joanne Scrace. As you may know I am diving into the world of crochet garments and have had a few ups and downs so this class seemed like a great way to help me in this new journey and I definitely didn’t leave disappointed. Joanne was a great teacher who not only explained techniques that can make crochet fabric more wearable but also why and how they achieve that effect and what is the whole science behind crochet fabric that makes it different from knitting. If you have the opportunity to take this class I truly recommend it, you can check Joanne’s website for more details.
  • The organisation. I had never been to a yarn festival but this was one well organised event. The only time I was in a big queue was before the start of the first day and only because many of us got there before the doors opened. Getting our ticket was breeze, there was a big lounge area to seat and eat with a great selection of music in the background and there were some really fun stuff like a free Photo Booth on Saturday.

As you can see it was one awesome weekend filled with colour and inspiration, it was so hard to get back to work the next day and realise that your everyday world doesn’t have yarn in it!

If you are thinking of attending any yarn festivals next year I would put the EYF in the list since it can only get better!

Will be back soon with my favourite purchases and my Cobbled Street pattern which is almost done 🙂 My tunisian crochet class is this weekend so have been very busy preparing for it, hopefully I will get some time to get pictures of my purchases and share that with you soon. I leave you with more pictures of the weekend for you.

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Have a great weekend 🙂

Sol

Yarn cake love and giveaway winner

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Hello there! I am having a lazy Saturday night and thought I should write a few blog posts for you. The lovely yarn cakes in the picture were my activity of last Saturday night (you can see how wild my weekends are) after I purchased a yarn winder and swift.

It took a few tries to get it right and I still manage to get everything tangled every now and then but this yarn winding thing is very addictive, I must warn you! It was frustrating when I couldn’t get a nice cake but after getting one right I couldn’t stop. I am not even showing all the ones I did that night in the picture, there were four more I believe.

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I am predicting there will be loads more yarn winding in my future after the Edinburgh Yarn Festival so I am trying to get all my current skeins done in preparation 🙂

Weekends are lonely sometimes in this new city I call home, so my yarn and crochet keep me company. I am very thankful to have this craft and this blog in my life and for you lovely readers who stop by to read my words or see my patterns. I shared with you in my resolutions post that I wanted to start appreciating the good things in my life and I have actually kept my promise, I have a little notebook that goes with me everywhere and I have been writing down a few things when they come to me. I will share a post with more detail of this every month, the January one will come soon.

Finally I wanted to announce the winner for the #crochet giveaway (chosen using random.org):

Pamela!

I really did get a number 2 on random.org, it is not because you said you liked my pattern, I swear! Thank you for your comment, I will be contacting you through email to ask your details and get that magazine sent to you soon. Thank you to all others who left a comment, love reading them 🙂

Hope you all have a great week!

x

Sol