Friday, 12 January 2018

A Yarny Year's End

Hello there!
Before we get too far into the New Year I think I should catch you up on what I was up to at the end of 2017 and looking through the photos it seems to have involved a lot of knitting! At the beginning of November I finished my North Shore sweater...

With the grey days and poor light we have at this stage of the year the colors are not coming out very accurately but here's a close up of the yoke...

I was really happy with it and too impatient to start wearing this jumper so didn't block it at all! I've been wearing it a lot and it's nice and cosy and I like the fit, but the yarn is pilling badly in some places which is kinda alarming. Epecially as I have more up the stairs which I was planning on making another two sweaters with...
Due to my head not being great during November I was looking for some simple projects which I could do mainly by touch so I decided to kill two birds with one stone and make scarves for two of my nieces for Christmas. Actually it was more like killing three birds because I also wanted to use up some yarn that has been living upstairs for a while! I was given a lovely big bag of assorted yarn a couple of years ago but have struggled with what to do with it as most of it came from one of those partwork publications so there is a little ball of this and a little ball of that... a lot of the colors coordinate beautifully but were all different textures and weights... so I decided to start with some little 25g balls that were all the same yarn and see how big a scarf I could get out of what I had. It's a bulky weight yarn with mohair (which my fussy skin would never let me wear!) but it has the most beautiful sparkles through it...

I learnt pretty fast that it was almost impossible to frog as it was so fuzzy but it seemed quite suited to this simple textured pattern. After a bit of measuring I figured I would just about have enough for a decent length scarf so went back to the stash to see what I could find for a scarf for this nieces' sister. I pulled out some variegated super chunky and picked this pattern...

So far so good... After a while I realised that I would either have some of the blue/lilac yarn left over or an incredibly long scarf! and I really wanted to use it all up so I decided to make a matching hat. I adapted this pattern as it was for a much thinner yarn, added a big pom pom on the top, and was able to use up all the yarn! *Happy dance!*

But this did leave me with a bit of a problem. I really only had enough of the sparkly yarn for a scarf, not for a matching hat, and I couldn't give one sister a hat and scarf and the other one just a hat! (Who's my favorite?!) I was also past the point of where I could've made the scarf into a cowl (and I'd already discovered there was no pulling back with this yarn!). Back to the stash... now this is when you find you have four different shades of lilac but none of them match and don't even get me started on how many shades of "white" there are!! In the end I found two tiny balls of the same brand but in a dk weight for the lilac and the white and was able to match the burgundy to some Stylecraft Special (it matches better in real life than in a photo). I adapted this pattern for the different weight and hope I can get away with the hat not sparkling? Do 13 year olds pay that much attention anyways?!

So two presents down and a little less yarn upstairs! 
We were having friends from Alabama come to stay with us over Christmas so I decided they needed some Scottish themed hats to keep them warm whilst sight seeing and also be a little reminder of their Scottish adventure. I started looking for patterns, but I wanted something that said "Scotland!" without screaming "MAD SCOTTISH TOURIST THING YOU WILL NEVER WEAR AGAIN IN YOUR LIFE!!!" In the end I decided to design something myself so using graph paper I charted out a little Saltire and knitted up three versions of this hat for our three visitors. This is the ladies version worked in blue and white with purple (for the heather) and green stripes, ably modeled here by my balloon friend from Halloween (the giant pom pom meant the balloon wouldn't balance so I roped in Hubbie to hold him upright ;-))

This is the teenage boys version with a bigger circumference and slightly slouchy/ skater style...

And this is the mens beanie version which has the same circumference as the slouchy one. For both of the male hats I used red instead of purple for the stripes, the red and green together reminding me of a lot of tartans...

I have named it The Colors of Scotland Hat and am almost finished writing up the pattern. When it is done I will add it to the free patterns tab at the top of the blog in case anyone else would like to make one. 
The last knitty present to finish was the second Antler cardigan for my five year old grandson. This was an enjoyable knit as I had taken copious notes from making the smaller one...

Despite having measured both boys thoroughly I was a little nervous as to the fit of these (especially as I altered the sleeves from the pattern to match the measurements I had taken) but when they put them on on Christmas Day it was all good! They have proved a big hit with the boys so I think I might be making some bigger sizes in the future!
On the crochet front I was working on my Hydrangea blanket, still totally loving the rich jewel like colors and the gentle rhythm of those stripes. When the main blanket was finished I decided to do a deeper border than on Lucy's original blanket and used her Linen Stitch Edging tutorial to finish it off instead...

So would you like to see the whole blanket? Here it is in all it's stripey gloriousness!!!

It finished up at 66" by 50" which is a good size for a person to snuggle under on the couch these chilly winter days!
Before I go I thought you might like a little peak at the first week's work on my new blanket love - the Woodland Ripple...

I am working my own order of the colors again but absolutely loving both the colors and the pattern - Lucy has done it again!!! 💗💛💚💙💜
Thank you for visiting with me today, I hope you have a lovely weekend whatever you are working on!


  1. Oh, Helen....I just LOVE your Scotland hat! It's perfect. The colours are beautiful and as you said it doesn't scream Scotland but it's there for everyone to see. I love it with the big pompom and how it tires all the colours together...well done for designing it yourself.I'm sure your friends loved them too. All your projects look fantastic - you have been very busy!
    The woodland ripple afghan is beautiful, the colours are perfect for autumn. I'm really tempted to join in with this one too (because I don't have enough projects on the go or on my to-do list!!!)
    Have a wonderful crafty weekend!

    1. Thank you so much Rhona! I still haven't quite finished writing up the pattern but maybe you can knit yourself one when I get that done? I am so in love with the autumn colors in the ripple that I decided I had to find a way to fit it in to the schedule - I know I won't stay on the CAL timetable but I will get there at my own pace. I'm really enjoying it but will try to keep the pics down to a minimum so as to reduce the temptation ;-) Have a lovely week,

  2. I love all the makes but have to admit my favourites are the blankets!!! Oh my, the one you've just started looks devine!!!

    1. Thanks Ingrid! I must admit I felt so bereft without a blanket on the go! (Addicted much?!) I am totally in love with the autumn colors of Lucy's latest CAL and having so much fun with it. I hope January is being kind to you and you are getting some stitches in? Have a lovely week,

  3. I love your Scottish hats! I have knitted several ripple blankets, but I haven't yet attempted a crochet one ......

    1. Thanks Ann! I have crocheted a couple of ripple blankets before but only attempted knitting a ripple on a toy a few years ago and I got in a terrible mess to start with! A lovely lady online helped me out but I think I will stick to crocheted ones ;-) I've been enjoying your blog but had a few techy problems preventing me from commenting. The day after you posted about seeing the truck from Wick down at the beach one of their fleet passed us at the roundabout! Slightly closer to home ;-) Have a lovely week,


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