Thursday, 30 December 2010

UK Sock Knitter's Year-Long A-Z KAL!

Yes. We've gone completely mad over at UK Sock Knitter's on Ravelry. We are attempting to knit our way through the alphabet!

The idea is simples... every two weeks you cast on a new sock with a pattern that begins with the next letter of the alphabet. So, 1st Jan, cast on an A pattern, 15th Jan, a B pattern. Simples yes?

And you don't even have to finish the pair of socks during those two weeks! You have until Jan 14th 2012 to finish them!

And.. and... there will be prizes! We've had some lovely offfers for donations so far, and I will be contacting these people shortly to work out what they will offer and how I can put them together. I want to offer a first, second and third prize for most amount of socks knit, plus a couple of randomly generated prizes so everyone is in with a chance!

And... and... and... theres no obligation to do the whole alphabet! Its totally dip in and out! I and my fellow mod will keep track of who starts and finishes what, so you don't have to! You just go and knit socks, knit socks like the wind!

YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!

So if you are completely mad, bonkers, stark raving lunatics and love to knit socks like we do... why don't you come and join us?!

xxx Elle xxx

Friday, 17 December 2010

Pair #13 of 26 - Complete!

And yes, I'm halfway through the 26 Pair Mini Plunge! YAY! Happy and all that jazz :D

The pattern is Shadow Rib, from the Little Box of Socks. I used Wendy Happy yarn, in colourway "Pisces" which is lovely blues and a little white. They are for my nan.



I love this pattern, its easy and quick, but looks so effective, especially with a self-striping yarn. Love it!

Episode 6 of Miss Elle Knits is now live as well!

xxx Elle xxx

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Oooo

I got my swap parcel from the UK Sock Knitter's Secret Santa Swap! If you want to hear in depth squealing as I open said parcel, check out Episode 5 of Miss Elle Knits ;)

So here it is, already wrapped up and looking pretty:


 (I'm not sure why blogspot is insisting on turning the last photo round the wrong way!)


Each parcel jingled when you shook it :D There were little bells inside!


And here it is, all unwrapped! Look at all my lovely jubbly goodies:




Am I not a lucky swap recipient?! Mmmm sock yarn in Slytherin colours :D :D


xxx Elle xxx

 

Friday, 26 November 2010

I finished some stuff!


Thats the Featherweight Cardigan! Pretty right? Its going to be awesome in the summer, its a little too tight on the arms with all the layers I'm wearing right now! 

 
Its really difficult to take pictures of myself. I'm no good at the "MySpace" poses. Its always just a picture of my ear or nose or chin rather than my whole head :P

I've been on a total finishing kick this week though. Look, pair #11 of 26 is finished too!


The pattern is D-Man, the yarn is Patons Stretch Sock. Its quite a nice yarn, has elastic in it. First time I've knit with elasticated yarn. I love the pattern though, its very manly.


The mitten and scarf set to match the hat I knit are finished too!


The duplicate stitch on the mittens - hard.





The scarf is double sided, so you turn it over and its the same! Yay! Hope Little C likes them as much as he likes the hat (he takes it to bed with him bless!)

Episode 3 of Miss Elle Knits is live as well! YAY!

Stay safe out there people, I hear some of you have snow! Brrr!

xxx Elle xxx

PS: I normally hate snow. But now I have my own garden, I want snow. I can build a snow woman then!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Birthday fun times!

On Tuesday, I had a birthday. I'm now older than I was. I'm... 27.

It hurts to say that, I don't know why!

Anyway, OH spoilt me. Just a little bit. He bought me... wait for it... its rather legendary... and awesome...


Yup... a swift and ballwinder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAY! And I of course, had to try it out straight away. Thats the Knitting Goddess Merino/Tencel laceweight I'm using for the Featherweight Cardigan. Which I have just, just this very second, finished. I just need to wash, block and weave in ends! YAY!

I love my swift and ballwinder, and if you want to know more about them... well you can! Just go here, and listen to my new podcast, Miss Elle Knits. I'm only on my second episode, so don't judge me too harshly just yet! I've got a shownotes blog too, which has links for things I talk about. Or remember that I talk about :P

Hope you listen, hope you like it! 

xxx Elle xxx

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Swapping good times!

I love doing swaps. I really do. The excitement of getting together a package for your partner, the stalking of their posts on Ravelry to see if they've said anything that might make you go "OOOO, I can get that for them!", the buying of yarn, and of course, buying extra for yourself because, hey, why not? 

But due to the unemployment (yes, 10 months on, I'm still unemployed!), I haven't done any real swaps lately. But when the Slytherin Pride swap came up in the Snake Pit group on Rav, well, how could I resist that?!

And just look at the gorgeous goodies I got!!! *SQUEEEEEE*


A wonderful hand made tote bag with cute ickle owls on it (which I may stash my OWL projects in!), some ickle bats, a new purse (mine broke today - genius timing or what?!), a little purse with hair bands (all Slytherin green), Charmed Knits - Harry Potter knitting patterns... and look!


Slytherin Sock Yarn!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Aren't the colours just lush? I will totally be able to show off my Slytherin Pride now! I think they will become a stripey slouchy hat, will have to read up on jogless stripes.


And theres a close up of those cute little owls! I love it! I love getting post! Especially when you get four parcels in one day and your birthday isn't for another week!

xxx Elle xxx

PS: The other parcels were:
1. Swap parcel
2. Cotton yarn to make covers for my Swiffer
3. Lush stuff, including their new perfume "The Smell of Weather Turning" I love it
4. Raw cacao nibs - vile things, they taste of evil. Don't try them!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Pair #10 and some other things and stuff and fluff!


That right there is pair #10! YAY! Only 16 more pairs to make the 26 Pair Mini Plunge. I feel good. Very good :P The pattern is Jill-Walkers, and is based on the highly popular JayWalker pattern. The Jill-Walker pattern adds some yarn overs to make a slightly stretchier fabric, as the JayWalker is known for being tight, especially when trying to get the leg over the heel. I also adore the colours of this yarn (Regia Design Line), just very nom!


I have also knit this hat and scarf set, using the yarn my parents got me from their Alaskan Cruise. The pattern is Giselle Set, and its very fast to knit. I loved this pattern, and the hat is so cute! Ideally I would have done another pattern repeat on the hat, as the 5 inches it says to do just doesn't seem long enough.


And lastly, here is a Gnome Baby hat! From my handspun, which is Falkland dyed by KnitCave. It also shows of my tattoo quite nicely, which is healed very well now, and I love it so very very much.

I'm afraid this post is a little short, with no links, due to being in much fibro pain today.

xxx Elle xxx

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Pair #9 of 26






I finally got round to finishing another pair of socks! Yay me! This is pair #9 woo! The pattern is Rocks & Rivers, the yarn is Wendy Happy (bamboo and nylon) in the colourway "Scorpio". 

Let me say first, I love the pattern! I hate the yarn. Its rather splitty, being made of 4 strands of 2 ply yarn (so in total its 8 singles!). The colours were nice, although they actually looked a little better in the ball. Hope the recipient likes them for Christmas!

I wanted to add more pictures, but my internet is so flaky at the moment (grrr TalkTalk, sort it out!), I'm only able to upload that main one!

xxx Elle xxx

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Have you met...

my new DPNs?





Yes! My AWESOME bronze DPNs arrived from the sock trade I did with Molly from Celtic Swan. (Remember that?) They really are a work of art. I recieved them on Saturday, and of course, I had to cast on a new pair of socks.




The pattern is Jill-Walkers, a variation on the JayWalker pattern. 


And thats a close up of the needles. See those little ridges? They help the stitches stay on :D Awesome! I love them so much and I'm so honoured that I was able to trade socks with Molly for these needles :)

xxx Elle xxx

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Pair #8


Pair #8! YAY! I managed to complete these just before my parents arrived at mine on 30th September for a few days. 


The pattern is Sliding Leaves, and the yarn is Laughing Yaffle in "MillPond". Its a stunning colour, and a stunning pattern.


What I did differently: I started with chart A on the foot for the one sock, and chart B for the second sock, to mirror the pattern. Fun times!


This was a KAL for the UK Sock Knitter's group on Ravelry (we're having a Secret Santa swap, have you signed up yet?!), and also my homework for Defence Against the Dark Arts for the HPKCHC. For which I scored 7 bonus points and a prize nomination! I'm not winning though, I'm up against the most stunningly gorgeous colourwork mittens, and a felted TARDIS bag! The mittens are winning, I wanted the bag to win!


Currently OTN:
  • Featherweight cardigan - I'm half way through the waist shaping!
  • Rocks & Rivers socks - gusset decreases on first sock
  • Einstein socks - about 1/4 through the first leg
  • Travelling Woman shawl - about to start Chart B (ie the finish!)
xxx Elle xxx

Monday, 11 October 2010

I have been branded a: KNITTER!


Oh wow! Look at that!

That will be the inside of my left wrist, and that will also be my new tattoo. Picture taken about 4 hours after my awesome friend Nathan tattooed me. So of course, its looking a little sore. Its all scabby now :P

So yes, I am officially branded as a knitter. 

I love it.

xxx Elle xxx

PS: I still need to blog about pair #8 of socks, and my trip to visit the Isle of Thanet (my birth place)

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Pair #7

Yes! Another pair of socks done!


The pattern is Dusk... the yarn is Regia, and yes, they are black again!


Again, the colour has washed on the close up, but its made it easier to see the cable. It runs down both sides of the leg, but I didn't continue on the foot. Its quite a lumpy cable you see, and I know the recipient would have been able to feel it when wearing shoes. 

I also learnt how to do a smooth SSK. Look, look how smooth it is:


Right? Awesome, looks just like the K2tog! 

How? How did I do it, I hear you ask.

Well. Slip both stitches as if to knit, like normal. Then put the left needle into those stitches from RIGHT to LEFT and then knit the stitches together. Oh yes. Thats all it is. Its that simple. Instead of left to right, go right to left.

Thanks go to FluffyKnitterDeb from SKA on Ravelry for that lovely little tip.

In other news:

I'm giving toe up socks another try. I will not let them beat me. I will do it, I will conquer them!

MWAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA!

(Despite already having to frog them once - but thats my fault, too few stitches!)

xxx Elle xxx

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Bad Blogger... No Cookie!

I had such good intentions to blog at least once a week... such a bad blogger!

Anyway, I have finished things! Yes, yes I have! Seriously! No, I have. Look:


Look! Princess Mitts! They are very pretty and I love them and they are made from my handspun :D Oh yes, handspun goodness! The floof was from KnitCave, and its Merino/Tencel (superwash I believe!), and one that I navajo plied. There is errata to this pattern, so check it out. However, I didn't use it. I didn't like where the left thumb gusset had been placed. So I did this instead:

I used the right hand thumb pattern for both hands. On the right hand I placed the start of the thumb gusset as so: do cable, purl 2, knit 2, purl 1, place marker, make 1, purl 1, make 1, place marker, continue in pattern. On the left hand I place the thumb gusset as so: two stitches before finishing the round, place marker, make 1, purl 1, make 1, place marker, purl one. Start new round. Hopefully that makes sense!


I've also done some spinning! YAY! I spun the lush batt from PuddytatPurr that I won from the Tour de Fleece! Lookie at the BFL and all the sparklies:
 
 
Yum yum yum! Anyways, I managed to spin a DK weight yarn! YAY! Its 14 WPI, and 460 yards! I feel very proud of myself :D
 
 
I couldn't capture the same colour unfortunately, but thats definitely it, I promise!
 
What else have I been doing? Oh! I'm doing the Featherweight Cardigan with Rhian, I'm using the Knitting Goddess merino/tencel laceweight in Charcoal. Its delicious. 
We've done our gauge swatches, 4mm needles gave us both 5.5 stitches per inch. We need 6 stitches per inch! 3.5mm gave me gauge, poor Rhian is still struggling with hers :( I hope she gets it soon though! And to prove I did a swatch:
 
 
I cast it on last night... and yeah, its gonna take forever to make!
xxx Elle xxx
 

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Pair #6 - Hopsox


Yay! I finished them! This is the yarn I helped KnitCave to dye - remember that blog post? Anyway, the pattern is Hopsox from p/hop and if you don't know what p/hop do, you should check them out coz its a fabulous cause.

 
I'm not going to point out my mistake, but I did it on both socks, so its become a design feature k?

These are for Molly from Celtic Swan Needles - every year she does a trade. You knit her a pair of socks, she'll send you a set of her bronze DPNs. I managed to get in on the trade this year! If you click on the link and scroll down the page, you'll see some of the gorgeous socks she's been sent in the past.

Currently I have no socks on the needles, although there are two pairs to cast on. I'm knitting a hat for my friend's small child, and I couldn't find a pattern that would fit him! So, I've kinda sorta designed it myself. Said small child has the same size head as me (take that as I have a very small head, not that small child has a big head!), so if it fits me, it should fit him! And if its nice, maybe I'll write the pattern up. Who knows?! Anyway, its also my homework for Charms: Knit a protective covering. Small child will be protected from the cold! YAY! Then to make a matching scarf and mittens for him. Although they may have to become a Christmas present instead of birthday present, theres just so much to knit right now!

xxx Elle xxx 

Friday, 3 September 2010

Pair #5 - Big black man socks!


Pair #5! These were actually completed a while back, I've been lazy :P The pattern is... err... *wracks brains, head explodes*... Oh! Simple Skyp socks. Fabulous pattern. Very quick to memorise. Loved it!


I don't know why the close up of the pattern bleached, but they are black. Regia black. Mmm black. But black man socks... they take forever...

And guess what my next pair of socks to cast on are?

Black man socks. 

I think I mentioned I signed up for the Harry Potter Knit/Crochet House Cup. Well, I've ben sorted, and I'm a first year Slytherin :D :D


Ahhhh yes, isn't that just a sexeh pic of me?! This is going to be fun :D

xxx Elle xxx

PS: Pair #6 are drying on sock blockers as I type this, so hopefully another blogpost will happen soon!

Monday, 16 August 2010

Pair #4 of 26 - Snakes on a Sock!


Do you remember Lime & Violet? I miss their podcast, they always made me smile (or laugh my pants off). Way back in the early days, they were disucssing the film "Snakes On A Plane", of which I haven't seen due to not liking planes basically. Or anything more scary than the wicked witch in Snow White. 

Anyway... they decided snakes on a sock would be cooler, and designed a pattern! I've been wanting to knit it ever since I heard about it, and suddenly I had the chance! Well, I've always had the chance, but I really took it this time.

I love the pattern, it has snakes on the pages :D I love this yarn which is Bergere de France Opal Planete. Lovely stuff to work with. Want more.

 
Awwwww look at the cute ickle snakes on a sock!
 
Ahem. 

I've been spinning too. I finished the Yummy Yarn UK's Wensleydale, and plyed that up, its soaking in the sink right now. I also spun the Ryeland batt, and plyed that up, and its also soaking in the sink right now. I've started spinning the lapis lazuli batts that KnitCave and I made, and OMG they are beautiful. Pictures when I remember. Here is a last minute picture of the Ryeland:
 
 
Yeah, very last minute. Must remember to take more pictures. Heh.
 
xxx Elle xxx

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Mythos


Remember that stuff? Yeah, thats the corriedale I spun for the Tour de Fleece 2010. That was supposed to be thin enough for the Veil of Isis shawl... but has become Mythos from Knitty.com instead.


Oh yes... its finished. As you can see... the sleeves are a tad too long. Just a little bit. But hey, I'd rather they be too long than too short and me constantly tugging on them!


My seams aren't as invisble as I'd hoped. I did a duplicate stitch to join the side seams, since its knit sideways. The sleeves... well, I mastered mattress stitch for that :D 


I'm very happy with this though. I made this cardie from scratch sort of. The corriedale was already prepared :P Maybe that should be my next challenge... get some raw fleece, prepare it, then spin and knit it...

Nah, that sounds far too much work :P

xxx Elle xxx

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Dye day at KnitCave's house :)


Haha! Dyed yarn and fibre, yes, I can tick that off the list of crafting things to do now :)

Yesterday KnitCave was the most awesome person ever, and let me come round her house (there was jackhammering and noise and dust going on in my house, so I needed to escape!), and we did dyeing! I'd asked for a custom order of her Cavern base sock yarn in an olive/khaki green as solid as we could get it. And KnitCave let me help her :D :D

So she let me mix up the dye (plastic syringes OMG!), and then we shoved it in a large pot, and shoved the pre-soaked yarn base into it. Fun! We also shoved some mohair lace in there too :D

And then, she let me mix up more dye! YAY! And I watched her dip dye some more sock yarn, and then we shoved fibre in the remains! Look at what we got:


Thats two skeins of the dip dyed, and one skein of the olive/khaki. 


Thats both of the olive/khaki, I bought the one on the right :D


On the left we have the mohair lace, which soaked up the remains from the olive/khaki dye. On the right is some merino/bamboo fibre that soaked up the reamins of one of the other dye baths. 


More merino/bamboo fibre soaking up the remains of another dye bath! I think this one is my favourite (seriously, what is up with my attraction to blue and green fibre at the moment?!)


And the last merino/bamboo fibre from the other dye bath. I didn't like it in the bath, but when KnitCave pulled it out and rinsed it, wow, its intense! 

And I'm sure you'll be able to buy all of this stuff from her Folksy store soon :D

Now, you'd think I would be exhausted after all that dyeing right?! Oh no, not yet!

KnitCave got out her drumcarder and we made batts! YAY! First we made a batt from ryeland, which is very... sticky type fibre lol. It has a long staple, but its very sticky. Thats all I can describe it as! Of course, I don't have a picture of that batt yet. But the other batts we made:




Lapis lazuli batts!!!!!!!!!!! YAY! They have blue merino in various shades of blue, some pale grey angora (BUNNY FLUFF!!!!) and gold trylobal nylon sparkleys :D I was the fluffer, and fluffed out the fibre to go into the drum carder, KnitCave sprinkled angora and sparkleys every so often on to it, and we have 3 pretty batts! Mmmmm. Can't wait to spin those up!


So yes, now I am exhausted! In fact, I went home and did nothing!


Thanks again KnitCave, you are super!


xxx Elle xxx

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