Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Sock Addiction.....

What is it with sock knitting? Just when you think you’ve made your last pair and maybe you’ll try something else …. you find yourself casting on some more!


My sock knitting story began after I'd been happily knitting sweaters, hats and blankets for about 35 years. I'd never dreamed of knitting socks. I'd never wanted, desired or even thought about knitting socks. I was happy .... or so I thought. Wandering around the internet (as you do) I stumbled across the blog of a lady who knitted socks. Then I discovered another one. And then another and then ..... well, you get the picture. Here was this community of sock knitters that I'd never known about and it amazed me. Why would you knit socks? Socks are cheap. At my local clothing store I can get a pack of 6 pairs for the price of a cappuccino and a muffin! So why knit them? I decided to investigate.

I started reading the blogs and looking at patterns. Then I discovered all the different sock yarns and indie dyers. I started to feel a prickle of excitement. Perhaps I was getting it. Perhaps finally I was beginning to see what all the fuss was about. I decided to give it a go. I downloaded a free pattern, bought some cheap acrylic 4 ply and cast on.

Now I realise that "cheap acrylic 4 ply" was probably not the way to go but I didn't want to invest in beautiful yarn only to find I couldn't get my head around a sock pattern or even worse, I could manage the pattern but discovered I just hated knitting socks! To cut a long story short, that first pair of socks were not great and I have no shame in telling you that they ended up in the bin just a few months later. But somewhere along the way I had caught the "sock knitting" bug! Don't ask me when or even how, but by the time I had cast off and pulled those scratchy, stretchy devils onto my feet, I was well and truly hooked!

Since then sock knitting has become as familiar to me as brushing my teeth and there are almost always a pair on my needles. You'll be pleased to know that I no longer use acrylic yarn and as a result I have a drawer full of warm, soft and snuggly handmade socks that don't scratch or stretch!



More recently I've discovered the delights of Christine Perry and her lovely blog Winwickmum. She is one of those amazing ladies who share her knowledge and passion of knitting (and in particular, knitting socks) through her book Super Socks. She has taught and encouraged hundreds of people around the World to give sock knitting a go so if you're looking for a great place to learn about sock knitting, Christine Perry's blog and her Facebook page should be your first port of call.

I think everyone should knit at least one pair of socks in their lifetime just for the experience and having made a pair, I would challenge anyone not to love wearing handmade socks. Of course, there is Second Sock Syndrome (SSS) from which all knitters suffer, but it's a small price to pay for the joy of finally having a full and complete pair of socks either to wear yourself or to gift to someone else. That feeling of accomplishment, fulfilment and (yes, dare I say it) total and utter pride that "I made those"!!! There's nothing quite like it. Perhaps that's why once you start knitting socks, you just can't stop!

As for patterns, well there are literally thousands out there but here are a few of my "go to's" .....





So I don't know about you but I'm off to do a bit of sock knitting.
I have no idea how many pairs I've made to date but I do know this - I haven’t yet made my last pair and to be honest, I’m not sure I ever will……

Til soon.

x

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Beachy Head and Birthdays....

Hello - how are you? Thanks for stopping by....

It's been a busy time for me recently what with having my latest design to finish and publish, then coping with the death of one of my all time favourite people Prince, then it was my birthday, then the birth of a lovely baby girl to a good friend, then my eldest son's birthday ... my emotions have been up and down like Tower Bridge!

My latest design is the Beachy Head Shawl which is a simple garter stitch crescent shawl with a pretty lace edging. I gifted it to my Mum (who is the model on my Ravelry page) and since then she's worn it almost every day! I love seeing something I've made being worn and loved so much. Reminds me of why I love knitting so much .... here are some pics




I'm really happy with how it turned out and I think it's one of those garments that will be a great "go to" item in my wardrobe. I'm now thinking of making one in two shades of green ..... or charcoal and aubergine ..... or plum and gold (possible Gryffindor shawl???).....the possibilities are endless.

Then the unthinkable happened and news broke of Prince's death. I still can't believe it. He was so much a part of my youth and growing up - his songs are like pages in my diary, so representative of many events in my formative years. I couldn't even listen to his music for the first few days and when I did, it was like saying goodbye to a very special friend ..... RIP Prince, those doves are crying now....


Then it was my birthday and I was very spoilt by a dear friend who treated Mum and I to a gorgeous lunch at a local restaurant high on a hill called Tumbledowns. Don't you think that's a wonderful name for a restaurant? I do.

We had a lovely meal and I chose a Hot Apple and Cherry Cup for dessert .... yum...... My friend had told the kitchen staff that it was my birthday so they did this as a surprise! I thought it was really sweet....


My birthday was followed by the birth of a rather gorgeous little girl called Jessica to a good friend of mine. She already has two boys (as I do) so having a girl has been exciting for us all! In my opinion, there is nothing quite as beautiful as a newborn ....


And then (if all that wasn't enough) it was my eldest son's birthday. He turned 17 this year and I still can't quite believe that it was 17 years ago that we took this......


Why does time go by so fast??? I wish I knew.....

I'm hoping for a quieter week next week so I can get on with some serious knitting. I have a purple scarf planned in honour of Prince and I've already chosen the name .... Paisley Park of course.

Have a great week.....
Til soon.
xxx









Sunday, April 17, 2016

Hollybank

Hello! Welcome ... how are you?

I've been meaning to write this post every day for the past week but somehow it just didn't happen - I'm sure you understand those kind of weeks...

Anyway, I just wanted to tell you about my latest pattern release which is the Hollybank Shawl and here she is ....





Thanks to my beautiful Mum for modelling in that last shot!

I'm so pleased with how this turned out as I had no real plan except a sketchy diagram and some colour combinations running around in my head.

It's a very easy pattern and would be a great stash-buster. You can use any fingering weight yarn (4ply) and even though I used four plain shades, it would be stunning with a variegated yarn thrown into the mix! The sky's the limit!!!!

I hope you like it. I hope you'll make it and love it as much as I do. If you have any queries about the pattern, feel free to email me at luluknitts@yahoo.com.

Thanks for stopping by.
Til soon.
Happy knitting!
xxx




Monday, February 1, 2016

Canning Street Hat

Hello....

Here's my 2nd design!!!! Free on Ravelry too. It's a hat (just in case you didn't get that from the post title!).

I decided to give mosaic (or slip stitch knitting) a go as it's been on my Knitting Bucket List (doesn't everyone have one of those?) for ages. After a few horrendous attempts I came up with this and I'm pretty happy with it I have to say.

Let me know what you think.....

Canning Street Hat




what you need:

4mm circular needles
2 x 50g DK weight yarn (1x50g in Main shade and 1x50g in Contrast shade)
Gauge = 22sts to 30 rows = 10cm
Approximate measurement – snug fit (not tight though) for 58cm head

abbreviations:

sts                   stitches
K                      knit
P                      purl
K2tog              knit two together
RS                    right side
WS                   wrong side

the pattern:

Cast on 120 sts and join in the round. (Careful not to twist the stitches!)
Place a stitch marker to show the beginning of the round.
Work 20 rounds in K2 P2 rib.
Commence brick pattern:
Round 1:               Using M - Knit
Round 2:               As Round 1
Round 3:               Using C - *K5, sl1p – repeat from * to end of round
Round 4:               As Round 3
Round 5:               Using M – Knit
Round 6:               As Round 5
Round 7:               Using C – K2, *sl1p, K5 – repeat from * to last 3sts, K3.
Round 8:               As Round 7

Repeat Rounds 1-8 three more times. (Use the tick boxes to mark off as you go.)

1     2            3            4            5            6            7            8
1     2            3            4            5            6            7            8
1     2            3            4            5            6            7            8

Using M, knit two rounds.
Begin decreases:
Round 1:               *K10, K2tog – repeat from * to end
Round 2 and every alternate round:               Knit
Round 3:               *K9, K2tog – repeat from * to end
Round 5:               *K8, K2tog – repeat from * to end
Round 7:               *K7, K2tog – repeat from * to end
Round 9:               *K6, K2tog – repeat from * to end
Round 11:               *K5, K2tog – repeat from * to end
Round 13:               *K4, K2tog – repeat from * to end
Round 15:               *K3, K2tog – repeat from * to end
Round 17:               *K2, K2tog – repeat from * to end
Round 19:               *K1, K2tog – repeat from * to end
Round 21:               *K2tog – repeat from * to end

Thread yarn through remaining stitches and pull tight.
Weave in ends.
ENJOY! 








Monday, January 11, 2016

Henrietta Road Shawl

YIPPEE!!! I have published my first shawl design and it's FREE on Ravelry!!!

It's called the Henrietta Road Shawl (the reason for the name is given in the pattern).

You can download it here.

Some pics....






You can use any DK weight yarn and it would be a great stashbuster as the body is a 2 row pattern so can be knitted in different yarns. I used a plain grey alternated with a self striping that I had left over from another project. I love how it turned out.

I really hope you like the pattern and that you decide to make it. 
If you do, please let me know and I'll link your project pages...
Til soon.
xxx








Sunday, November 29, 2015

Something for a friend....

Hello there! How are  you? I hope well.

All is good on this side of the World, schools are winding down for the big Summer holiday (Dec thru Jan) and as a teacher, I'm looking forward to lots and lots of stress-free, quiet and sun-filled days....sigh.

I thought I'd show you my latest FO. It's a farewell gift for a friend so I can't say much but I don't think she sees my blog so I might get away with it.... Here are some pics...







Isn't she a beauty? A bit of a monster I have to say but a stunning monster! Really quick and easy to knit and the kind of pattern I enjoy because just as I'm getting tired of knitting one section, a different stitch begins and boredom disappears!!! Perfect.

She's the Hiraeth pattern by Rae Gronmark which you can find here on Ravelry and I would really urge you to give it a go. She's a real drapey scarf/shawl/wrap thingamajig (there must a word for that sort of garment - any ideas?) and I know my friend will get a lot of wear from it. I've stuck to the 3 colour option in the pattern but I think you could use more colours if you wanted to. The possibilities are endless!!!!

Anyway, that's me for now. Thanks for popping in.
Til soon.
xxx



Sunday, November 1, 2015

Bag Lady ...

Hello! How are you? Thanks for dropping in .....

I had a few scraps of fabrics lying around so I thought Amelia (my sewing machine) and I would have a go at making some drawstring bags. What do you think? I'm quite pleased with how they turned out. I made a blue one first. It's small but perfect for a sock knitting project.


It's lined and everything!


Then I made a pink one. This one is 2" bigger all round.



I'm really pleased with them and I'll definitely be making more. If you'd like to give them a go, I used this tutorial from In Colour Order which was excellent.

Have a great week!
Til soon.
x