Finished it – now its time to start again!

Did you take part in the 2014 Finish It Challenge organised by Stitches and Scraps and Mollie & Claire? [If not, why not – don’t tell me you don’t have an unfinished project or three lurking somewhere in your house!]

Well I did and I’m doubly glad I took the trouble – not only do I now have a great top to wear when the sun shines ….but I also won a skein of SparkLynne 4 ply sock yarn from The Knitting Goddess, provided by Claire, in a beautiful pale blue with a hint of bling.

hand dyed, 4ply, 75% superwash merino Sparklynne by The Knitting Goddess

hand dyed, 4ply, 75% superwash merino Sparklynne by The Knitting Goddess

A huge thank you for providing us with the impetus for completing a project, donating super prizes….and to Claire especially for picking my name out of the hat 😉

Now I know exactly how I’m going to use this yarn…but not exactly what I’m going to do with it……so suggestions please.

My son and his fiancee are getting married next spring and they are basing their colour palette around ‘the sea’. The colour of the yarn would fit perfectly and it feels right that, having received the yarn as a stroke of luck, the luck should be passed on to two people starting their life together.

But what could I use it for (100g, c.400m) – ideally something that can be used both on the day and afterwards? It may be sock yarn but I can’t see either of them tripping down the aisle in pale blue, sparkly socks! I was thinking possibly about a large doily/small tablecloth as a centre piece to the top table, but my creative juices have yet to start flowing so ideas wanted please – knitting or crochet, I enjoy both.

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Finish(ed) It Challenge 2014

If a picture speaks 1000 words, this blog is going to be 3080 words long! But what more is there to say  – apart from a big thank you for the motivation from the Finish It Challenge, courtesy of whom this collection of ageing Emu Coolspun…

Finish It Challenge before

Finish It Challenge before

…has now transmogrified into a summer top!

Finish It Challenge 2014 After (1)

Finish It Challenge 2014 After (1)

Finish It Challenge 2014 after (2)

Finish It Challenge 2014 after (2)

And we even have sunshine so I can wear it! Plus I have a skein left over – hat or bag?

Finish it Challenge – works for me!

 

Finish It Challenge before

Finish It Challenge before

Just wanted to say a big ‘thank you’ to Mollie & Claire and Stitches & Scraps for getting their ‘Finish it Challenge’ off the ground! If any crafter told me they didn’t have an unfinished project (or three) sitting in the back of a cupboard I simply wouldn’t believe them! The one I chose to complete for the Challenge was something for me…which is probably one of the main reasons why it isn’t finished.

About 18 months ago I was given some Emu Coolspun by a friend who found it when they clearing an elderly relative’s house. Coolspun is a knubbly cotton yarn and since it was in my favourite cornflower blue and there was enough for a summer top I decided to make something for me for a change. However, the yarn obviously came off the market years ago so all patterns were really dated – I found something that looked okay in a similar yarn and got started about April last year…. but could I get the sizing right?? Anyway, after unpicking and starting from scratch twice (which is a real pain as the little knubbles get stuck all the time), summer had turned into autumn so my pretty summer top gave way to winter and Christmas projects and it sat forlorn and forgotten……

….until the Finish it Challenge came along! I’ve now found a new pattern that works really well and it’s growing rapidly because I’ve got excited about it again – and it will be finished in time to wear in Summer. So thank you again ladies – will post the ‘after’ picture when it is completed.

Into Intarsia …and happy anniversary to me!

Intarsia montage

Well, apparently it is one year since my first foray into blogging – how fitting that I should get back into it on my first anniversary! Haven’t blogged for ages, which is a shame because I’ve had loads to talk about…and I’ve missed my blogging buddies!

Over the last couple of months I’ve discovered a love of intarsia, which I used to hate because I was pants at it. It all started with my lovely Baltimore Ravens fan friend requesting a cosy for her little tea pot and from there I went on to create a Lambretta-style scooter, an art deco design, a soccer themed Brazilian flag and a British bobby’s helmet. I love the process of making the pattern charts (which is probably what has occupied my blogging time) and the way in which they are used to create order out of a chaos of yarns…..a metaphor for life perhaps? If you have a plan and stick to it, it is possible to bring all the threads of your life together in harmony?

Enough philosophising! Enjoy some of my favourite designs! Do have a go if you haven’t tried it – it is a great way to use yarn oddments because you use a separate ball for each colour. However, it is a good idea to make sure you are sitting comfortably and not expecting too many disturbances. Trust me – leaping up to answer the phone/doorbell not a good idea with a lap full of 10 balls of yarn 😉

Upcycling, stash busting, memory sharing project!

Naked granny square bag

Clearing out a cupboard the other day, I found a box of the boys’ old pin badge collection ranging from ‘1 today’ to Biker Mice, to ‘I visited Hadrian’s Wall’ to ‘reading is cool’. Lots of memories in one little box – for me at least! When I mentioned it to them their reaction was “we create enough junk of our own without you adding to it, mum”.

So what do you do with a load of pin badges, other than stick them back in a box in the cupboard? I could (and may do yet) frame them and stick them on a wall somewhere but that’s a little boring. I did think about (and may do yet) a crocheted wall hanging – if I get really ambitious (and probably a lot more badges) I could make a fly curtain for the back door. What I did do in the end was use some of them to adorn a granny square bag!

It may not be to everyone’s taste, but I love it so that’s all that matters really! As we all know, small granny square projects are great for reducing the stash, I used some recycled fabric for lining and the badges create a talking point….so it really is an upcycling, stash busting, memory sharing project!

granny square bag with badges 1 granny square bag with badges 2

Game of Tea Cosies – number 5

Surprisingly, this wasn’t the hardest one to interpret – House Bolton, symbol a flayed man. In fact I rather enjoyed creating this one, even if it is a bit gruesome (well, I did use to be a biochemist once upon a time).

And of course, if you view it simply as a tea cosy, pretty pink petals on a beaded red background is quite an attractive combination. It’s not meant to resemble strips of skin and blood droplets at all, honest 😉

Tea with the Targaryens – GoT cosy no.4


Despite her time with the Dothrakis, I still think Daenerys would be more of a cinnamon chai than PG Tips sort of girl…and definitely leaf tea rather than bags. So this cosy would be perfect for her to keep the pot hot whilst watching her dragons at play.

When I was thinking about how to represent House Targaryen I immediately thought of dragon scales and, though I wasn’t sure how best to achieve the effect but I felt sure there had to be some sort of stitch that resembles scales. Nothing to be found in my ancient Good Housekeeping stitch bible but a quick Google introduced me to crocodile stitch. I did wonder how come it took me quite so long to complete but when each row comprised best part of 200 stitches, I suppose a week wasn’t too bad – interspersed with several other projects of course!

I’ve only made a ‘Drogon’ (black scales with red tips) but, having enjoyed creating it, I may do Rhaegal (green with bronze markings) and Viserion (cream with gold markings) versions as well.