Category Archives: Knitalong

KFYAL progress update

It’s KFYAL time! (Try saying that as a single word…Kfyaaal.) I don’t have a lot of progress to report myself, as I have a story of woe for you, but the thread on Ravelry is going crazy and everyone is getting on really well. First, the woe – then the joy of people doing amazing things.

Corrie’s KFYAL – delayed

In my previous post about the Knit for Yourself Along, I had said I might knit Naloa by Renee Callaghan. I have the yarn, I have the pattern, I have the needles; but I decided this was a very large project for one month, so I decided not to go for it this time. Instead, I frogged about an inch of cuff of Monkey by Cookie A, then started again. I wanted to make sure my tension was still the same as I cast that on ages ago.

Then, my amazing grandmother came to stay and I spent the day after New Year desperately tidying. My stash trunk was opened – no mean feat as it involves moving a printer, my sewing box, my spinning basket, my knitting basket and the N64 – and miscellaneous projects shoved back in. Gran left and now, two days later, I still couldn’t find the project.

My gorgeous gran wearing the Towersey Shawl I knit a few years ago.
My gorgeous gran wearing the Towersey Shawl I knit a few years ago.

I was pretty certain I wouldn’t have stuck it in the stash trunk, but I had looked everywhere and it was nowhere to be seen, so there was only one thing for it. Tonks had a great time as I dived head-first into the trunk. I discovered loads of yarn that I had forgotten I own, and got very excited about all the projects I want to make (I actually removed about four projects worth of yarn from the stash, not the point in the exercise at all). However, no Monkey.

I put everything back, preparing to tell the Resolutions Monthly people that I could not find the project and I would have to do another one. Just as I placed the printer back, I picked up a project bag that was on the floor and full of my quilting sewing. Or so I thought – there were the blooming socks!

In the midst of the stash, with Tonks between my legs being restrained from all the fluff.
In the midst of the stash, with Tonks between my legs being restrained from all the fluff.

What’s that saying? They’re always in the last place you think to look? Darn it! So, no progress on my side to report, but plenty from everyone else.

The Resolutions Monthly KFYAL Progress

I will only post photos as I have none of my own – for more of the news, the KAL starts here.

PixieshBlonde is knitting a beaded hat, Rosalina.

Pixieish Blonde is also knitting a hat, and about to get into the ribbing.
Pixieish Blonde is also knitting a hat, and about to get into the ribbing.

SugarAngel is knitting herself a pair of socks – you can find out more about them here.

SugarAngel has started a pair of socks.
SugarAngel has started a pair of socks.

Playing yarn chicken – and debating whether or not she ought to go buy more from a shop 75 minutes away – is anromath with a shawl, Spearmint Tea.

anromath's Spearmint Tea
anromath’s Spearmint Tea

A new member, sharmayne has joined in on the FKYAL with a pullover.

sharmayne's pullover.
sharmayne’s pullover.

kelv is trying out colourwork – and I absolutely adore the progress on her hat.

kelv's bicolour spiral hat.
kelv’s bicolour spiral hat.

There are a few more going – I’ll check back next week!

Much love,

Corrie xx

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January knit-for-yourself-along!

January approaches quickly – John and I have planned our New Years Eve out with a friend, and the first, which will be our third anniversary, will almost certainly involve champagne of some description. The second will consist of ice skating and cinema, then my Wonder-Gran arrives for a four day visit. I am very excited and thrilled that 2015 is off to such a great start.

Over at Resolutions Monthly, we’ve been looking forward to this month for…well, months. We decided we were going to do a January knit along in which we focused on knitting something for ourselves; particularly after Christmas knitting and the exhaustion that brings.

January KAL

Although we are calling this the January knit along, it’s actually a make along – crochet, sewing, and craft, in which the hours you have been putting into crafting for other people, are switched to focus solely on you for this month.

The knitalong was suggested by Linda, the winner of the last Resolutions KAL; she is sponsoring the event, and has offered to donate a pattern up to the value of $8 to a participant in the KAL. The thread is over here and I am going to be using the tag #KFYAL15 over on social media and so forth – get involved if you fancy it!

This should be a relaxing knit along. The main point being that knitters remember that they can make things for themselves too! – LakeLinda

I’ve been pattern-searching for months and trying to decide what I am going to make. The KAL will last for January, and I have been considering Naloa, a KAL by the lovely Renee of East London Knit. I was gifted the pattern by kelv, so that’s ready – it’s even printed. I also have the yarn, which I got from Linda over at Kettle Yarn Co – two skeins will go into the project, the BEYUL base in Electric Aramanth, and the WESTMINSTER base in Islington. Ready to go…right?

Naloa in full glory. Mine will be grey with hints of purple, and electric pink!
Naloa in full glory. Mine will be grey with hints of purple, and electric pink!

However, I’m not entirely sure. A month seems to be a short time for a shawl, especially considering everything I will be doing in January from grandmotherly visits to helping my parents move home. I cast on Monkey by Cookie A months ago and have never proceeded beyond the cuff. I have been considering focusing on this for January instead. At the same time, I really want a new shawl…

In the meantime, I’ve been admiring the projects my co-KALers are plotting. Click each photo to go to the Ravelry project page!

New Wave Skirt - vlinderrr
New Wave Skirt – vlinderrr
Orchid Cowl - psmknits
Orchid Cowl – psmknits
Rosalina - PixieishBlonde
Rosalina – PixieishBlonde
Girly Nerd Checker Vest - tsaria
Girly Nerd Checker Vest – tsaria
Moraine - Tabby15
Moraine – Tabby15
Ribbed Shrug - CSturgeon
Ribbed Shrug – CSturgeon
Bicolour Spiral Hat
Bicolour Spiral Hat – kelv

Plenty of fantastic variety in there, right? I can’t wait to see the finished projects! I’ll let you know how everyone gets on next month.

Much love,

Corrie xx

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#WIPCrackAway – Icon Dress Pt 1

I’ve been working on my #WIPCrackAway project – which is what the Icon Dress now is! #WIPCrackAway is a knit along which is being hosted by Louise of the Knit British Podcast, and Nic of the Yarns from the Plain podcast. Go and check it out – if you have any WIP’s from before the 1st of September, you could be eligible for a prize if you finish it by the 1st of November! The chat thread is here this week. (more…)

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My Favourite Things Knitalong – the start of a project

m4s0n501

I cast on “My Favourite Things” by Jill McGee on the last day of August, and I am really enjoying this project! It’s slow going and quite heavy – and I’m using magic loop on needles with a cable that is too short – but I’m really enjoying the project and finding it just as addictive as everyone warned! (more…)

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WIPW – Color Affection & Sideways

I have two WIPs that I’m actively working on at the moment – Color Affection and Sideways. They are both presents, and I’m desperate to get them done so I can move on with something else that I want to cast on (a wizard’s hat! Yeeeah).

Color Affection

Carrying on with the iMake KAL, I am now 95% done on the first two striped sections. It is getting tedious. I’ll be honest – I was really looking forward to this, but each row of garter stitch is now taking about fifteen minutes each. That feels like a really long time! I asked the Ravelry group for some advice and Martine told me to get to the third and last section. At this point, the rows get shorter and hence a lot faster.

I can’t wait.

Color Affection, nearly at the end of the second section!
Color Affection, nearly at the end of the second section!

I had decided I would finish the second row last night, and I was falling asleep in my chair as I knitted. I eventually stopped five rows before the end of the section because my hand started hurting and I’m really scared of getting RSI. I think it was the right thing to do.

I love this pattern, don’t get me wrong. I just don’t think I would ever do it in laceweight again, given the option. Also, I think this is the last shawl I’m going to do for a while as I’d like to move on to something else.

Sideways

I’m making these for TJB as I have explained a number of times. Here is the progress shot. I’ll be finished these by the end of today, so I’ll have an FO Friday!

Sideways is nearly there! A lovely quick pattern.
Sideways is nearly there! A lovely quick pattern.

In other news, Super-Granny sent me a gift from South Africa after my dad went out to see them. Her name is Skinny Liz and I absolutely adore her. The first thing I did (as you always do with dolls) was undress her – I was thrilled to find out that her clothes are totally removable. This is great news, I’m going to practice some sewing – and definitely make her a sweater.

Skinny Liz posing by Burgh Island.
Skinny Liz posing by Burgh Island.

I haven’t had a new doll since I was about…eight. I never imagined I would get one in my early twenties, nor that I would fall in love with it. Super-Granny has done it again!

Don’t you love Skinny Liz? Look at that shy little smile.

Skinny Liz's gorgeous face.
Skinny Liz’s gorgeous face.

What WIPs are you working on? Head over to Tami’s Amis for more WIP Wednesday posts.

WIP Wednesday's with Tami's Amis
WIP Wednesday’s with Tami’s Amis

Much love,

Corrie xx

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Color Affection KAL – and Graduation!

I graduated today! That feels so surreal to type – I’ve been five years in the studying for this, and it should have been three years for the degree that I got, so hurrah for me! I got some photos of me in my gown, with my gorgeous man and with my lovely family – unfortunately, nobody is on Facebook with them yet (they’re all at the pub celebrating while I take a time out and hang out with Grumpy because I’m feeling tired and irritable). [ETA – Have added some photos as they came up on Facebook.]

Grumpy doing my hair.
Grumpy doing my hair.
Ready to go...
Ready to go…
The moment in which I graduate...
The moment in which I graduate…

The ceremony was in the Royal Albert Hall. Incredible, right?! I know, I feel so lucky. I felt like I was at Hogwarts, with my gown and the hall with its floating sound dampeners, and my really proud parents. It was awesome. I was petrified about it – two panic attacks and a reluctant “I DON’T WANT TO GET OUT OF BED” this morning. But, once I was actually in London and with my friends and trying to get into my gown, I felt magical. My dad bought me a new book as a gift.

Anyway, as amazing as the ceremony was, it was long. The whole school of Engineering graduated at the same time, and there are a lot of people at Imperial College in each of the three schools (the other two are Science and Medical). I had a good heads up on this – I’ve known people in the last three years of ceremonies, and I managed to find a handbag that would fit my Color Affectionin it. So, I sat and knitted while I was waiting.

Making good progress.
Making good progress.

This wasn’t as rude as it sounded – we weren’t supposed to clap for people, so we didn’t unless there were prize-winners. It gave me a lot of knitting time – I got four rows done (I’m at a stage where each row takes at least 15 minutes) so that was really good. I must be the only person who has ever knitted during graduation – my parents even took several photos of it! Have any of you done it?

We are running to catch a train in a minute, so I’d better head off!

Much love,

Corrie xx

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Color Affection KAL

The last time I posted about the Color Affection KAL that I’m participating in (as part of an iMake KAL), I had just received my yarn and was getting ready to cast on the following day. There was a bit of confusion over needles following that. It was rather unfortunate – my second Knit Pro needle had been snapped, so I couldn’t use the interchangeables, and I didn’t have another set of 3 mm circular needles to hand.

It was a good excuse to visit my local Hobbycraft, and I was remarkably restrained while there, leaving with only a Kitkat and a set of 3.5 mm aluminium needles. I’m unimpressed with the needles – I have been trying to replace all of my cheap metal needles with bamboo ones, and I didn’t enjoy having to buy another set. However, I sucked it in, bought them, and cast on.

I’m now a fair amount of the way into the first set of stripes in the shawl. I have a problem, though. The yarn is so fine, and I have at some point managed to pull on one of the loops in the garter stitch, creating this monstrosity.

It doesn't look too bad when all bunched up...
It doesn’t look too bad when all bunched up…
But just look at it now :(
But just look at it now :(

I’ve tried to manipulate the surrounding fabric to get rid of it with no luck – I’ve just managed to create more holes. Argh!! I’m hoping that when I block it, it will come out. Has this ever happened to you? Please, please will someone tell me if there is a good way to do it?

I’m sorry about the lack of posts – I’ve been trying to get online but we are having so many problems in Kent, and I don’t really know what the solution is*. It’s a big problem, especially for JS‘ parents, who like to work from home occasionally.

Much love,

Corrie xx

* Would anyone like to start writing a few posts for Plutonium Muffins? I can set you up as a co-author, if you fancy writing for a blog but don’t want to go to the effort of running your own! Primarily knitting and spinning. Get in touch!

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Starting Color Affection.

The yarn for Color Affection, the shawl I am knitting for Grumpy, arrived on Thursday. Amongst my emergency knitting of Fingerless Mitts for Granny, being ill (and having to miss the Birthday party, hence not being able to even give them to her!) and trying to get my Fairisle Mittens done, I haven’t managed to cast on!

Grumpy chose the yarn to match that on the Color Affection pattern (in terms of the colours). I decided to knit the lace-weight shawl, so I ordered some laceweight from Heirloom Knittingin Okehampton. I was a bit nervous about this, as their website is a little outdated and I’ve made orders in the past that haven’t quite made it to me from similar websites.

Color Affection
Color Affection

However, I am very, very pleased to report that the yarn arrived in a timely fashion, it is absolutely gorgeous, the staff from Heirloom Knitting emailed me to check-up on the delivery, and I will definitely be using them again.

The yarn has arrived!
The yarn has arrived!

I can’t wait to start knitting. Tommy has been sitting with me in front of the fire while I’ve been a bit feverish, watching many maternity programmes and getting all broody, and wanting to get going on the shawl. I’m worried about destroying the yarn with mistakes, though, and I would rather wait until I feel a bit better.

Ready to go! Color Affection and my yarn.
Ready to go! Color Affection and my yarn.
Tommy hanging out with me in front of the fire.
Tommy hanging out with me in front of the fire.

Martine from iMake is doing a Color Affection knitalong. It started a long time ago, but I asked quietly if I could join now and she said yes, hurrah! If you’re a knitter and you fancy getting in on the action, check it out on Ravelry. A lot of people are already finishing, but join me on the slow-coach action!

Tonight I’m going to make some birthday cards instead, as we raided my stash this morning for a number of birthdays that appear to be happening this weekend.

Much love,

Corrie xx

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[Organisation] And the next project is…

I have spent this morning going through my Ravelry queue (again) and deciding what project to cast on next. I’ve just finished the two biggest projects I’ve worked on for a while (the Towersey Shawl and the Dragonfly Jumper, watch this space for FO Friday!), and am now looking for my next victims.

I’m normally a fairly monogamous knitter – I have a few UFO’s at the bottom of my pile, and I’m slowly working my way through them, but the time has come to tackle the next project. Or, set of projects; I’ve been commissioned to make a wall-hanging, two sets of mittens (one for a birthday present, but the recipient knows about them), and a shawl for my darling Grumpy, who just started a PhD and has a very cold office. I’m going to be travelling a fair bit in the next few weeks, and have decided not to travel with big projects anymore – so the mittens will be joining me in travelling, and the shawl will be a work-from-at-home job.

Project 1: Wall-Hanging

Following the Burgh Island wall-hanging I did for my parents, Wonder-Granhas asked me to make one for her. This should be big (as in, A0…eek) and be a farm scene with plough horses, chickens, ducks, sheep and a farmhouse. I rather suspect my main problem is going to be drawing skills – so I took a photo while on my walk last week which will become the template for the scene. This is just at the bottom of the house, and I’m going to substitue the out-buildings for the farm house we live in at the moment, as it’s prettier.

Photo template for wall-hanging.
Photo template for wall-hanging.

I have a board on Pinterest going for this – check it out here. Any comments and suggestions (particularly on the issues of weight and dying my yarn) will be extremely welcome!

Project 2: Mittens for Sleepy

That’s right, another Dwarf has requested knitted items. The specific request was for mittens. He wanted something bright and floral, so I’ve picked out these two patterns from Ravelry, and need to get him to choose his favourite.

Pattern 1: Vinterblomster Mittens by Heidi Mork

Vinterblomster Mittens
Vinterblomster Mittens

Pattern 2: Something Floral by Miranda Grant

Something Floral
Something Floral

I would also like him to choose the colours in my chosen yarn – probably Artesano Merino Superwash DK, as it’s a lovely yarn and I want to love the project as I make it. Does anyone have any better ideas?

Project 3: Mittens for TJB

I made TJB a hat for his birthday last year – my own pattern, known as the “It Looks Like the Sea” hat.

"It Looks Like the Sea" Hat
“It Looks Like the Sea” Hat

He expressed a desire for matching mittens. Luckily, I have a spare amount of that yarn that will hopefully stretch to mittens, and if it doesn’t I will choose a complimentary set. My favoured pattern is Sideways by Sydney Crabaugh, as it is fingerless, which will make my yarn go further! Also, TJB uses a touch-screen phone and is a keen violinist – he may need to use his fingers.

Sideways
Sideways

I love the design of these, and hopefully he will overlook that they aren’t exactly mittens!

Project 4: Grumpy’s Shawl

I have the added benefit of the pattern Grumpy chose in that it can be used in a KAL! Specifically, iMake’s “Color Affection” KAL, which I wanted to join but couldn’t justify buying the yarn for myself! With Grumpy‘s choice made, I purchased Color Affection by Veera Välimäki and am ready to go as soon as my yarn arrives.

Color Affection
Color Affection

I think I’m the only person in the world who hasn’t done a Color Affection yet, and I can’t wait.

What are you going to work on next?

Much love,

Corrie xx

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Taking the blanket home!

JS and I went to the Battersea Cats and Dogs Home yesterday, to give the blanket in.

Download the pattern here.

The actual handover was a bit…anti-climactic. I guess I was expecting the staff to be like “Oh my God, you worked so hard, thank you so much for this beautiful gift….” but that was a bit stupid of me. While to me, it was a big deal, to them I guess it’s just something that happens all the time — and totally necessary to the running of the home — so my ego got a bit of a bashing. Fair enough!

The blanket on the pile of donations <3
The blanket on the pile of donations <3

We got to go look around the kennels. You aren’t supposed to take photos, but this guy was so cute that I was a bit naughty…I gave him lots of cuddles (also not allowed) so I hope he doesn’t mind. His name is Brando and his information is here. If I had been in the market for a dog, this would have been the one I had taken. As it was, it was really difficult to just leave. He did have a knitted blanket, though..!

Resting with his blanket <3
Resting with his blanket <3
Brando "please take me home"
Brando “please take me home”
Brando's blanket.
Brando’s blanket.

I find the concept that you aren’t allowed to pet the dogs bizarre – they all just want love so badly. I can understand the health and safety implications, but equally I couldn’t resist, and did end up petting most of them.

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home
Little statue at the home.
Little statue at the home.

Anyway, the blanket is handed over and life is moving on — I’m in the process of knitting my Digger, and I’m also plotting the next project. I haven’t had any external opinions — do we think I should do Draco for Grumpy or knit myself a shawl?

Much love,

Corrie xx

Boxer dog from the home
Boxer dog from the home
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