Your Knitting and Crochet Time (2KCBWDAY7)

My knitting time is much depleted these days.  I usually knit in the evenings whilst watching TV but now that I’m working full time again my evenings are largely taken up with other things (work calls, surfing the net and sometimes even blogging).  So knitting has taken a back seat.

I think part of the reason why I’m knitting less at the moment is because it’s so hot.  Even when I was living in the UK I found that I knit at lot less in spring and summer.  One of the first signs of autumn was my itch to pick up the needles again.

Apart from cold weather there are a few other things that make my perfect knitting environment: a good film, a sofa to spread out on and a straight-forward project that doesn’t require too much thought.  Over the years I’ve learnt that nothing causes knitting mistakes faster than alcohol and a subtitled film – although weirdly it can be feel just as satisfying if I spend the evening knitting and unpicking.  I think it’s the process of actually doing something.

When do you knit or crochet?

To read more posts on this topic ‘Your Knitting and Crochet Time’ from bloggers around the world, all blogging today, simply enter the code 2KCBWDAY5 into Google.

This was the last day in Knitting and Crochet blog week.  It’s been fun joining in, I just wish I’d had time to blog every day.  I have really enjoyed reading other people’s posts.

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And Now For Something Completely Different 2kcbwday5

This post is part of the 2nd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week.

There are a lot of creative people taking part in this blog week so in the spirit of posting in a different way I thought I would share links to their posts today.

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Knitting Blog Week. Day 2: Skill + 1UP – 2KCBWDAY2

Click here for more infoThis could be a very short post.  I’ve learned a lot in the last year – such as how to feed two babies simultaneously, how to survive on very little sleep and how to stay calm while listening to babies cry in stereo.  What I haven’t really developed though are my knitting skills.

I’ve looked through my Ravelry project pages and there seems to be a common theme to my 2010 knitting – instant gratification & baby projects.  2010 was the year that I really got into soft toy knitting, specifically Ysolda Teague’s Sophie & Elijah and Rebecca Danger’s monsters with personality.

Gilbert the monster was a fairly straight forward knit, but I did actually learn one new technique while I knitted him – magic loop knitting.  It’s so simple, it’s genius.  I used this video tutorial on Knittinghelp.com to get to grips with it.  This will save me so much time in the future wrestling with multiple double pointed needles.  Thank you Rebecca Danger.

As I reconsider my 2010 knitting, I think that while I didn’t try to tackle any large-scale, complicated projects involving many new techniques I do think I improved as a knitter.  I successfully shaped Elijah (1 & 2),…

…didn’t make a mess of stranded colour work in either Ella Funt or my traditional tea cosy

…and kept the lacework on my Breaking the Waves scarf neat and tidy.

To read more posts on the topic ‘Skill + 1UP’ from bloggers around the world, all blogging today, simply click here or enter the code 2KCBWDAY2 into Google.

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A Tale of Two Yarns – 2KCBWDAY1

Click here for more infoToday is the first day of Knitting and Crochet Blog Week and I have decided to join the party (having been stirred by Eskimmi‘s excitement building up to this event). I am interested to see whether I can blog every day on knitting.  It will certainly slow down my knitting output just as I’d picked up the needles again after a hiatus, but I am eager to read everyone else’s posts and feel like I should also contribute myself – it’s only fair.

I have a lot of great yarn in my stash, I am a bit of a magpie after all, although I have yet to really enter the world of unique handspun and hand-dyed yarns.  In fact my stash is very Rowan dominated.  I think I’m almost afraid of what a trawl through the Etsy yarn stores would do to my stash.

I bought this sunshine yellow Rowan Classic when I wasn’t even shopping for wool, I was shopping for cotton.

I live in Singapore and so this wool is completely impractical.  I was on a trip to London and just innocently browsing the Liberty haberdashery department when I came across it.  I tried to ignore it when I first saw it, but it wouldn’t be ignored.

I love aran weight wool, I love the way it looks when it’s knit up, the ridges, cables and stitches are so well defined.  I love the soft texture of this lambswool with its kid mohair haze.  But most of all I love this beautiful sunny colour.

It is a testament to how much I like this wool that I dropped all other projects and knit my Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Cardi straight away.

The wool turned out not to be so impractical after all…I always wear this cardigan to the over air-conditioned cinemas of Singapore.

Several years ago, also in Liberty of London, I was gripped by another kid mohair Rowan yarn – Kidsilk night in Silver.  It was on sale and so soft and shimmery that I could instantly imagine it in a beautiful lace weight barely there cardigan or lacy scarf.  I bought 6 skeins.

I still have 6 skeins.  I found a great pattern immediately but after knitting up half of the front I realised that I had calculated badly and it just wasn’t going to fit.  Dreading the thought of ripping out kidsilk I just started all over again, I spent perhaps a week on it and then stopped.  That was two years ago.  It is still on the needles and I don’t know whether I’ll ever finish it.  I feel bad as the yarn is beautiful and deserves to be turned into something that I will wear.  But I’m not sure whether or when that will really happen.

To read posts by other bloggers taking part simply Google 2KCBWDAY1 or click here.

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Visitors and Back to Work

I have returned to work after 6 months maternity leave.

It’s a strange feeling, in a way it’s like nothing has changed when, of course, everything has. We were a couple six months ago, and now we’re a family of four!

I’m relieved that my first week back went so smoothly and I actually felt pleased to be back at work.  I’m sure the guilt will soon follow.  But I really enjoy my job so I hope I can keep the guilt at bay for a while.

This could mean that my knitting and sewing will take a backseat, there doesn’t really feel like there are enough hours in the week.  However, I am still passionate about making things and as long as it continues to excite me, I’m sure I’ll manage to squeeze it in.  What will have to be shelved for now are my resolutions to actually learn how to make things properly.  I will have to continue just getting stuck in and trying things out.

Just before I returned to work my brother-in-law and sister-in-law came to stay with us.  It was the first time they had met the babies and so it was really exciting for us to introduce them and watch them get to know each other.

We had all agreed to exchange our Christmas gifts when they were over here and I decided a while ago that I really wanted to make them quilted placemats.  I liked the idea of trying out quilting techniques and mixing fabrics on a small scale.

True to form I left everything to the last minute and then decided that I didn’t want to use the fabric that I had originally earmarked for this project so went out to buy more.  I visited the wonderful Quilts and Calicoes shop and chose about four pieces of Amy Butler fabric in a kind of maroon / red.

I’m really pleased with how they turned out.

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Two Boys and a Quilt

This quilt is lovely – plus it’s being modelled by twin boys, how could I not link to this post (from the Oliver and S blog)

The photos demonstrate that you don’t need to pose children to get good pictures, just snap away!

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My Top 5 Crafty Groups on Flickr

1. New pattern , 2. Vintage Sheet Quilt, 3. Syncopation: all done, 4. Cut Felt Pieces for Little Owl, 5. blissful, 6. Collection of Popsicles Labeled2, 7. faux folk — sampler (the collection), 8. Gingerbread Ornaments, 9. australian bass hand-embroidery (detail), 10. Quilt of Words (mostly finished), 11. boo! – lining, 12. snippety details, 13. family tree print — black, 14. primary quilt, 15. wee brooches, 16. Two Souls One Love, 17. Gocco print -手芸の友, 18. stuff sachet, 19. Dream On, 20. Youre a star card printable

(Above images and links from Whipup.net)

Have you been to Flickr recently?

I’ve been a member of Flickr for a few years now but had drifted away in the last 18 months – distracted by blogs, Ravelry, work and babies. However, I’ve just posted some new photos and have spent time poring over the great craft Flickr groups. Here are some of my favourites:

1. WhipUp – The pictures above are from the WhipUp group, which has just celebrated its 1000th member.

2. Sew Mama Sew – The popular website has an equally popular Flickr group

3. I Love Sewing ^_^

4. Handmade Crafts for Boys – the girls don’t have a monopoly on beautiful things

5. Craft Revolution

And here’s a new one that looks promising…Sew Modern Mondays (I was sucked in by the gorgeous fabrics).  This group accompanies the blog Canoe Ridge Creations which is certainly worth a visit, I love her quilts!

Can you recommend other inspiring Flickr craft groups worth visiting?

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