Category Archives: knitting

Knitting For Peace

There’s been a lot of talk on social media lately about knitting and mental health issues, particularly aplayfulday‘s #makegoodfeelgood campaign.

I’ve been on sick leave for more than a year due to problems with depression and anxiety. Through this time I may have knitted different, less challenging, things than I would if I was well but I continue to make things. I find it helps to be doing something productive and the process of knitting is relaxing (most of the time).

Knitting doesn’t only help me in the moment, it also helps me to connect with other people. Having depression can make people very isolated, especially if, like me, they develop agoraphobic tendencies. I’ve really enjoyed going to knitting events and talking to other knitters this year. Finding people who are just as interested as you are in that unusual hat construction, or the quest for the perfect needles is a great way to feel connected. While there are support groups for people with mental health issues, I’d rather talk about knitting than my personal issues any day of the week.

Periscope has also helped me to find like-minded knitters to talk to. For the uninitiated Periscope is a Twitter offshoot that allows people to broadcast videos and get responses in real time. There is a community of knitting periscopers and I can either just watch if I’m having a quiet day or comment if I’m feeling better. I’m far too camera-shy to scope myself, but I really appreciate the people who do.

A selection of hats and a scarf for Knit for Peace ©Rachel Gibbs

A selection of hats and a scarf for Knit for Peace ©Rachel Gibbs

Lately I’ve been knitting for Knit for Peace, a charity who distributes knitted goods to people in need. I’ve found this a great way to use up some of my leftovers (which were threatening to take over my flat) and satiate my need to knit hats when I already have plenty (until I lose the current set). It looks like this winter is going to be terrible weather wise and given the international situation at the moment, there are plenty of people who are going to be spending it in far less than optimal conditions. A hat isn’t much but hopefully it will keep someone a bit warmer and let them know that there are people who want to help.

There’s a plain stocking stitch hat in Adriafil Knitcol, a hat with helical stripes in Wendy Ramsdale DK, an Opari from Ysolda Teague’s Knitworthy in Stylecraft Ethical Twist 70/30 and Chrysanthemum frutescens Hat from The Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet in Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend as well as a 1×1 ribbed scarf in Sirdar Escape DK. I found the brioche in Opari and Chrysanthemum frutescens really interesting as I hadn’t done this much before.

Festiwool

On Saturday I went to Festiwool, a relatively new wool festival in Hitchin. I was offered a free ticket by the organisers which was very kind, although it felt very funny telling the front desk I was on the guest list!

It was a rather grey day outside so it was nice to see colourful bunting (and a yarnbombed bike) leading up to the venue. It wasn’t as big as the other shows I’ve been to but there were a lot of local vendors who I hadn’t heard of before and a good mix of different crafts – knitting (of course), crochet, spinning, felting and probably a few others.

I always love seeing wool painted pictures – made by needle felting different layers of fibre to build up an image. The International Felt Association had some lovely sheep pictures, with the different fleeces using different types of fibre which was very effective. Unfortunately, my pictures didn’t come out terribly well, but they were a lot more impressive in person.

Painting with wool ©Rachel Gibbs

Painting with wool ©Rachel Gibbs

Going to a craft show always makes me want to learn new things, especially spinning and crochet this time as there were lots of lovely things on show, including Jane Crawford‘s persian tiles blanket, these lovely blue/silver batts and Woolly Chic‘s crocheted cat tea cosies.

Lovely things spotted at Festiwool

Lovely things spotted at Festiwool ©Rachel Gibbs

I managed to resist buying everything in sight (narrowly at times) but didn’t come home empty handed. I had been admiring the new West Yorkshire Spinners Country Birds yarns ever since they started floating around on twitter and I hoped (correctly) that someone would have them for sale. I chose the Kingfisher colourway as I thought it was very distinctive and I’m a sucker for a nice blue.

Festiwool purchases ©Rachel Gibbs

Festiwool purchases ©Rachel Gibbs

I also bought some Sokkusu O in Colour of the Underground from Whimzy. This is a narrow self striping yarn, alternating between grey and multicoloured. I’m looking forward to seeing how this knits up. Rosie’s Moments had these really interesting sock rulers. Not only do they have centimeters on one side and inches on the other, they have charts for men and women’s shoe sizes and the corresponding foot length. I’m hoping this will be harder to lose than a tape measure and will also save me from asking my dad how big his feet are, again!

It was one of my 15-in-15 goals to make some project bags. So far I have failed miserably  on this goal, having made a grand total of none. I had been admiring Watercolours and Lace‘s project bags earlier in the show and then realised they also made a kit. I love this sheep print and the instructions seem very clear so hopefully I will have a least one completed project bag by the end of the year.

Hand woven scarf from Porpoise Fur ©Rachel Gibbs

Hand woven scarf from Porpoise Fur ©Rachel Gibbs

My Mum is a crafter and so I was on the lookout for possible Christmas presents, knowing that she would appreciate something handmade. I had seen Porpoise Fur‘s hand woven scarves on twitter and made a mental note to seek them out. She had a great selection and it took a while to decide on a colour but I picked this orange and purple one with the lovely name of Buccaneer.

The show also featured a fashion show with clothes from local independent retailers and some made by fashion students at North Hertfordshire College (where the show was held). While no one has ever described me as fashion conscious, it was interesting seeing the outfits that had been put together. Some were really nice and wearable, others less practical. I enjoying seeing how they accessorised with some items from the vendors, such as lace shawls and hand spun necklaces.

It feels like Festiwool is still finding it’s feet a bit, there were some moments that clearly didn’t quite go to plan, but it was a very enjoyable afternoon. I met up with some friends from previous shows and had a good chat with some of the stall holders. I like that it wasn’t too crowded so the atmosphere felt very relaxed and friendly, but still seemed lively.

WIP Wednesday

I’ve mainly been working on my GB Socks Away KAL socks for the past few weeks. I’m making my own design, Falling Petals, in Eden Cottage BFL Sock. It’s going well so far and I’m almost ready to start the toe. I really like the colour of the yarn, a greyish dusky pink called Antique Rose, although it seems to come out too blue when I take photos.

Falling Petals WIP

Falling Petals socks ©Rachel Gibbs

I’m hoping to get this published sometime vaguely soon. Joeli is running a Designer Bootcamp, to help people who want to self publish but need some extra support and motivation, which I’m really enjoying. She’s giving lots of great advice, and the bootcamp is really flexible, e.g. I’m skipping the suggested stitch pattern as I have several designs I want to try and get sorted. It’s managing to keep things the right side of stretching me without pushing me too far, so I’m quite positive that this might be what I need to stop prevaricating and get things done.

I’ve also been working on my Mahy shawl in Nude Ewe Wes. After getting half way through Chart B I realised that the central spine of decreases was in the wrong place for half of the repeats – I had 2 eyelets one side of the centre and 4 the other. Ripping back about 20 rows of lace ensued, after retroactively inserting a lifeline. This wasn’t too painful, if time consuming, although it took a while to work out which was the right side after I had removed the marker in the ripped section, the problem with garter stitch shawls as I am rapidly discovering.

Mahy close up

Mahy Shawl, part way through chart B ©Rachel Gibbs

I’m almost back to where I was before, with the help of plenty of stitch markers. I’ve decided to use lockable stitch markers to mark a stitch, rather than the space between stitches, as normal stitch markers easily get lost on the wrong side of a yarn over and can cause problems by getting in the way of decreases. So far it seems to be working and hopefully I will soon be seeing what pitfalls lay ahead in Chart C.

Socktober

It’s getting colder and knitters everywhere are reaching for the sock wool. In such circles, October has been renamed Socktober and many pairs of lovely warm hand-knitted socks will be added to their wardrobes. I tend to knit socks all year round but have a few more on the needles and have certainly started wearing woolly socks again now I won’t melt from the heat.

My self striping sock obsession shows no sign of stopping any time soon and I’ve been investigating some of the different heels from Sock Architecture by Lara Neel available from Cooperative Press (affiliate link). I reviewed this book in February and am still finding it very interesting and useful.

The first exhibit is a sock knitted in Opal Schafpate yarn in the Fausto colourway with a band heel and a round toe. This heel has a gusset before the heel turn, matching the shape of a heel really well. I tend to make toes by default and haven’t tried as many of the options in the book but for these I used the round toe. This makes a very subtle toe as the decreases are too far apart to form a recognisable line.

Opal Schafpate socks with band heel and round toe

Opal Schafpate socks with band heel and round toe ©Rachel Gibbs

Next we have some Opal Sweet and Spicy socks in the Sternanis (star anis) colourway with a Balbriggan heel. I really like the colours of this yarn, I tend to go for a cooler colour palette but I think this works really well. I found this heel very interesting to work as it doesn’t involve a heel turn and requires grafting. It doesn’t fit as well as some of the other options, the heel tends to drop below the level of the sole and stick out a bit.

Sweet and Spicy sock with Balbriggan heel ©Rachel Gibbs

Sweet and Spicy sock with Balbriggan heel ©Rachel Gibbs

The last sock with an interesting heel (there was one with a normal heel but that was mainly to give me something to knit and try to stay awake while watching the election results come in) is in Regia Arne and Carlos yarn in the Winter Night colourway with a square heel. I made these for my sister’s birthday as I am slowly converting her to the wonders of hand knit socks (they work especially well with her cold and draughty grade 2 listed cottage). The colour pattern on this yarn is amazing, really detailed without being overpowering. I decided I didn’t want to interrupt this pattern with a heel, so used an afterthought heel with gusset.

Arne and Carlos sock with square heel ©Rachel Gibbs

Arne and Carlos sock with square heel ©Rachel Gibbs

I worked the heel flap in eye of partridge stitch which also helps to not interrupt the colour pattern and I also continued the eye of partridge onto the square heel flap. My sister is notoriously hard on her clothes, so I thought the extra protection might come in handy. The square heel is quite similar to the band heel but without the gusset before the heel turn. I found the instructions for the square heel were a bit sparse, not up to the standard of the other heels in the book. I think this was more noticeable with the afterthought heel as I had to calculate how many gusset stitches to provisionally cast on.

Great British Socks Away WIP

Great British Socks Away WIP ©Rachel Gibbs

BritYarn is holding a Great British Socks Away KAL, with the aim of knitting a pair of socks between 1st October and 8th November out of British grown yarn (or local to you if you do not live in Britain). I’m going to try to reknit a sample from one of my designs. The first attempt had a bad combination of short yardage yarn and a too large sock, meaning I ran out of yarn to knit the toe on the second sock. Therefore, I’m starting again with some Eden Cottage BFL Sock in Antique Rose with smaller needles and hopefully it will work better and I might eventually get around to publishing the pattern nearly two years after I first started it.

Fibre East 2015

It’s really not been a good few months for me, hence the lack of blog posts. I always find it hardest to talk when the pinnacle of my week has been levelling up in Candy Crush, but I decided to make the effort to go to Fibre East this weekend and I’m really glad I did. I love the sheepy smell you get at wool festivals and the way all the rooms were named after different sheep breeds.

Knitting accessories

Some of the lovely non-yarn things available from Belinda Harris-Reid, Wendy Fowler Pottery and whoever made these sheepy needle rolls and whose name I have completely forgottten ©Rachel Gibbs

Fibre East is the biggest local show to me and I’ve been a few times now. I found myself trying to explain the concept of a knitting festival to someone on the train who commented on my socks in progress, which is always a bit of a mystery to the uninitiated but for me it was really nice to be with people who share my enthusiasm for playing with pointy sticks (or hooks, or spindles, etc…).

Some of the amazing needle felted creations

Amazing needle felted creations ©Rachel Gibbs

I was really impressed with some of the more arty stalls, such as these impressive needle felted creations. My one foray into needle felting ended up with something like a cross between a highland cow and a giraffe, that certainly wouldn’t support its own weight. I also enjoyed watching some of the spinning demonstrations. At the Crafts from the Dungeon stall I was intrigued by a mayan spinner which I’ve never come across before but is apparently simpler than drop spindling because the stages are more independent and you don’t end up trying (and failing in my case) to do three things at once. Louise from Spin City also took the time to give me some tips on drop spindling using her beautiful glass spindles with pressed flowers embedded.

As I’m trying valiantly to reduce my stash before it takes over the whole flat and bankrupts me in the process, I put a few ground rules into place. I wanted to only buy wool from dyers I hadn’t tried before and only if I didn’t already have very similar yarn already (when putting all my stash on ravelry earlier in the year I found a few almost identical skeins – clearly I really liked that colour). As Fibre East is full of lovely independent dyers this wasn’t too much of a hardship.

Fibre East 2015 Haul

Fibre East Haul ©Rachel Gibbs

I came home with a very restrained pile, in my opinion. I’ve been admiring CoopKnits latest sock book for months, I’ve made several of her socks before and really like her style, especially the cabled ones, so I’d already mentally bookmarked this. I found some gorgeous autumnal orange variegated on the EasyKnits stall which I think I’m going to combine with a neutral to make Kate Atherley’s Lemon Difficult, I’m not sure how I’ve managed to go without buying any yarn from him before but that is now rectified. I’m still enjoying making simple self striping socks while my brain struggles with anything more complicated, but hand dyed self striping is quite rare so I was pleased to find this grellow ball from Unbelieva-wool.

Karie Westermann’s Mahy shawl has been rightly admired from all angles since it was released a few weeks ago and when I realised that all my shawls were in cool colours I decided to find a natural lace weight to make this out of (although given my track record with KALs it’ll probably be next summer by the time it’s finished). I found the perfect skein from Nude Ewe but like for many people at Fibre East, the phone signal required to take card payments was rather lacking. It meant I had the chance for a nice chat with the stall holder and when it seemed like it was going to take a long time for the app to load she kindly offered to come and find me on the p/hop stand across the tent when it was behaving.

p/hop stand

Me helping out on the p/hop stand ©p/hop

I helped out on the p/hop stand a couple of Fibre Easts ago and really enjoyed it, so volunteered to help out for a few hours to give some of the others a bit of a break. We had a great time talking about knitting, tech editing and designing. Lots of people came and donated money and I got to see my Oscillating socks sample in the flesh which was a nice surprise. P/hop has been raising money for Médecins Sans Frontières, mainly through donated pattern sales, for six years and recently passed the £50,000 mark which is an incredible achievement.

I’ve been struggling just to get out of the house lately and I’d forgotten just how good it was to talk to people who share your interests. I don’t think I’d met any of the people I talked to before but they were all very friendly and I went home really happy even if completely knackered after walking back to the station.

Review of Sock Architecture by Lara Neel #shareCPlove

I bought Sock Architecture a few months ago and it’s become one of my favourite reference books. While it includes some patterns, the main focus is on different methods of knitting socks. It has the most comprehensive selection of heels and toes I’ve ever seen. It’s maths heavy and includes equations on how to apply the methods to any number of stitches. I’m someone who likes to understand how things work so I find that really interesting.

I was particularly interested in the afterthought heel section. It had never occurred to me that most types of heel could be done as afterthought heels, even flap and gusset. I’ve been knitting lots of self striping socks lately and an afterthought heel allows the striping to go from the leg to the foot without a disruption to the stripes.

I made my Dad a pair of socks for Christmas using an afterthought heel with gusset and the extra needle technique. This involves using a provisional cast on for the gusset stitches and holding the heel stitches on a spare circular needle while knitting the foot (I tend to knit all my socks top down although the book includes instructions for toe up as well). I found it a little fiddly with the extra needle getting in the way but I really liked the results, I think in future I would use waste yarn instead of the extra needle. I decided to use a different yarn for the heel and toe which complemented the stripes, as the shorter rows affect the spacing of the stripes.

Last week the cold weather really set in (although being in the south I barely got any snow) and I decided this was the perfect opportunity to cast on some socks in Regia Snowflake. For these I used an afterthought heel without a gusset and the thumb joint flat top heel and toe. The only afterthought heel I made before had a hat top heel and I wasn’t happy with the fit as it left a point at the back of the heel so I wanted to try another option.

Afterthough heel

The process of an afterthought heel ©Rachel Gibbs

The heel stitches were knit with waste yarn and then picked up after the foot was complete. With some careful planning I was able to make the heel stripes flow seamlessly from the body of the sock. It fits well and I’m really happy with it. I’m sure by the time the second sock is finished the snow will have gone but hand knit socks are always welcome.

I would definitely recommend it if you have a geeky interest in sock composition. I wasn’t paid to review this book, I’m just a fan (although if you buy through the Amazon links below I get a small commission). This is part of #shareCPlove, a competition to promote the great publications from Cooperative Press.

15(ish) in 15

My blog posting frequency is definitely correlated to my mood. I started last year quite well and it went downhill which pretty much sums up last year. I’m hoping 2015 will end in a better place but it’s going to take a lot of effort to get there.

Several people have suggested goals for the year instead of resolutions, which I think will work better for me as I’m terrible at sticking to resolutions. So, to join in with various people in the knitting world, I’ve been trying to come up with a 15 in 15 list. This is how it currently stands although it is open to change.

1 garment sewn: probably a pencil skirt as I found a nice grey pinstripe wool blend on sale and it’s one of the simplest things to make that I might actually wear.

2 Jumpers/cardigans finished: I’m part way through two cardigans and one jumper, and have been in that state for most of the year. I seem to keep casting things on and never finishing them. If only people wouldn’t keep realising patterns that I love, like most of the ones in Yokes by Kate Davies which I got for Christmas (kidding, please don’t stop).

3 designs released: while I had some design ideas that even made it to a finished sample last year, none of them were written down or published as my brain wasn’t really up to it. Now that VATMESS is a little bit less horribly complicated with the Ravelry/LoveKnitting collaboration that might help, or then again it might not.

4 project bags sewn: I’ve been accumulating pretty fat quarters for a while in the intent of making some project bags (although that will probably only increase the WIP collection which isn’t a great idea).

5 cross stitch projects: also including blackwork, hardanger and anything else embroidery related. I’m doing quite well at finishing bookmarks and cards but I would like to try some more challenging things (and maybe find the blue thread I need to finish the badger I was working on last year which has gone walkabout).

6 letters written: I am atrocious at keeping up correspondence and I really want to try and be better at replying in particular. My Grandma has sent me quite a lot of letters of the past year and it has really helped when I’m in a low point to know that someone is thinking of me (and to receive post that isn’t a bill or a medical appointment).

7 social gatherings: as a sufferer of depression and anxiety it’s really easy to turn down opportunities to see people, especially if they aren’t local. I know I usually feel better once I’m there but that doesn’t help when the thought of leaving the house and having to interact with the outside world causes a panic attack.

8 goals met: I’m sure I won’t meet all of these, so this one is a bit tongue-in-cheek and a bit of a reminder to myself to focus on the ones I do achieve, not the ones I don’t.

9 recipes tried: I have quite a few recipes books but tend to stick to things I know how to cook. They may not work out very well, or even be very edible but it can’t hurt to try (strange allergic reactions aside).

10 blog posts written: I managed 17 last year which is more than one a month on average so I’m happy with that. I’m never going to be someone who posts every day because I just don’t have that much to say, especially when I’m finding life difficult, but 10 I might manage.

11 projects made from stash: There’s a new Ravelry group called Stash-Heap Challenge which is encouraging me to first work out exactly what I have in my stash and then to try and use it instead of buying more. This is especially important as due to being on long-term sick leave my disposable income is very reduced and food is more important than yarn, probably.

12 new books read: I know I’m not the only with a pile of books I keep meaning to read but don’t get around to. This is not helped by volunteering in the book section of a charity shop. I’m also including audio books in this, I often listen to books while knitting, especially if it’s something complicated so I don’t want to be splitting my focus between the knitting/pattern and the TV.

13: unlucky for some and uninspired for me. Any suggestions welcome.

14 lbs lost: a side effect of many anti-depressants is increased appetite and weight gain. I wouldn’t mind so much but I just had to get rid of half my clothes because they weren’t going to fit any time soon.

15 pairs of socks finished: an ambitious target but I have a lot of sock in my stash that needs using and I’m including WIPs that have fallen foul of Second Sock Syndrome. I’m working on converting my sister to the hand knit sock appreciation society so there may be several pairs on their way to her in her recently purchased old and rather draughty cottage.

I’m going to pretend that I posted this on the 15th of the month on purpose and that it has nothing to do with me being indecisive and disorganised. I’ll try to keep you posted on how progress is going (or not as the case may be) so be warned of the likelihood of lots of sock pictures (not necessarily in pairs).

Stripes Everywhere

I’ve been knitting lots of stripy socks lately. I find them very relaxing and it gives me a chance to investigate the effect of subtle changes.

Regia socks

Regia Design Line Ombré Stripe ©Rachel Gibbs

Opal orange and grey socks

Opal Smokey Eyes & Coloured Lips ©Rachel Gibbs

The socks on the left have featured on this blog before. I used 60 stitches on 2.25mm (US1) dpns. For the socks on the right I used 64 stitches on 2mm (US0) dpns, although the finished size is almost the same for both socks. Both were worked top down with a flap and gusset heel. I found the Opal yarn was a bit softer than the Regia and as the stripes of the Opal are less regular I decided to match them for the second sock, whereas for the Regia I matched the stripe boundaries but not the colours.

Opal The Little Prince and the Geographer socks

Opal Little Prince ©Rachel Gibbs

For my next Opal socks I decided to try using a 9 inch circular as lots of people have been recommending them lately. As I prefer wood to metal, I bought a bamboo HiyaHiya needle in 2.25mm. I haven’t found anywhere in the UK which stocks the Chiaogoo 9 inch bamboo circulars but I liked the HiyaHiya. With such a short needle tip I didn’t have a problem with the bamboo bending, as I have found previously with HiyaHiya needles, and I found them comfortable to use. I also don’t have to worry about laddering with circulars, which is always an issue with dpns and shows up particularly on plain stocking stitch. The only problem I have found is that I have to change to dpns for the toe as the circumference becomes too small for the circulars.

I’ve also been hearing a lot about the Fish Lips Kiss Heel by Sox Therapist so I used that for these socks, which used 64 stitches. It was easy to work and I like the result. The only concern I have is that without a reinforced heel flap the socks will wear out quicker but I will have to wait for the result of that experiment.

WYS Bulfinch socks

WYS Signature 4ply Country Birds ©Rachel Gibbs

The final socks were made using a new yarn, again using the 9 inch circular and 64 stitches. It uses Blue Faced Leicester wool and is very soft but hopefully strong also. By happy coincidence I managed to get use a whole repeat of the stripe pattern for the heel and so the top of the foot matches perfectly with the leg. I wanted to see if a flap and gusset heel was as easy to work with the circular and there were no problems.

My obsession with stripy socks shows no sign of stopping soon and I have cast on another pair in Twisted Limone. I decided to break from tradition and make these toe up. The Twisted Limone is a bit thinner than a standard sock yarn so I am using 2mm needles which seem to be producing a nice fabric so far.

Wonderwool Wales

One of my best friends happens to have a cottage really close to Builth Wells where Wonderwool Wales is held. I asked if I could come and visit for the weekend and he even agreed to give me a lift. I have tried to get the train to visit him before but the trains to the middle of nowhere only run every 4 hours (so middle of nowhere that his cottage has no internet, no tv signal and no mobile signal, I can only cope with it for a few days before the urge to check my email gets too strong). On that occasion I missed one of my connections and ended up getting a taxi from Hereford, which is not to be advised. When you go to the customer service desk to ask which the next available train is and they get out an atlas, it’s time to be worried.

It was really nice to catch up on the drive because I don’t get to see him much but I was glad of a leg stretch by the time we arrived. We spent most of the time talking about zombies and scuba diving but also about the influence of certain military figures on knitting terminology as we passed by Raglan. The Raglan sleeve was named after the 1st Baron of Raglan who apparently popularised the style after losing an arm at the battle of Waterloo. Mike is in the army and I’m obsessed with knitting, so it was a good crossover topic.

I spent two lovely afternoons browsing around Wonderwool, teaching Mike about the different kinds of yarn and had to find someone demonstrating needle felting before he would believe that all you have to do is poke bits of fluff with a needle to form lovely sculptures. This explanation may go some way towards my hopeless attempts at needle felting which resulted in a highland cow with incredibly spindly legs that wouldn’t stand up.

Wonderwool haul

Wonderwool Haul ©Rachel Gibbs

Wonderwool was full of lovely yarn from some of my favourite companies. I resisted the urge to buy everything on the Eden Cottage stand and ended up with some Bowland DK and Hayton 4ply. The Hayton is a lovely pale blue-green which I hope will show up cables well. I got some Sweet Georgia Superwash DK from the Purlesence stall in a lovely deep blue, I love the whole range of Sweet Georgia colours and the staff on the Purlescence stall are always really friendly.

I’ve been trying to resist learning to spin but apparently the fibre fumes got to me, and I ended up with a learn to spin kit from Hilltop Cloud. Mike and I both had great fun trying it out, although it worked much better the next morning without the influence of gin.

We were at the Baa Ram Ewe stand on Sunday as they were awarded the second prize for 3*3m stall, and they were practically jumping for joy which was nice to see. I ended up with two skeins of TItus which I have been wanting to try for a while. I think Bantam (deep red/purple) and Eire (pale blue) will work nicely together in some colourwork.

Just before we left I had a nice chat with Kate Heppell on the Knit Now stand and she directed my towards the Triskelion stall, which I must have missed before as I got distracted by all the pretty yarn and failed to travel around the show in a methodical manner. I’m glad she did because it’s not a brand I’ve tried before, but the yarns have a beautiful depth of colour and I’m looking forward to trying them out.

I really enjoyed my weekend of woollying. It had been a long week of moving house for me and I was glad of a break from the cycle of packing/unpacking and trying to work my new cooker. I’m still trying to figure out where to put everything and looking forward to my sofa arriving so I don’t have to chose between hard wooden chairs or the floor to sit on.

One cardigan one sock, keep knitting

I feel like I’ve knitted at least two cardigans with all the ripping out I’ve been doing, but I’ve finally got a version that I think I’m happy with and all I need to do is sew in the many, many ends and attach the buttons, which will probably take as long as knitting it. I forgot that the pattern at the bottom would be wrapped around and join at the front, so the blocks aren’t distributed as evenly as I would like but I can live with that (or rather am not willing to rip it all out again).

Tetris Baby Cardigan

Tetris Baby Cardigan, almost finished ©Rachel Gibbs

I followed up my vanilla hat knitting with vanilla sock(s), only one so far but the stripes are helping to keep me motivated. It’s in Regia 4ply Design Line Ombré Stripe in Moss Garden. I’m not keen on a lot of the multicoloured Regias, especially the ones by Kaffe Fassett, as they often contain rather odd colour combinations, but these I like.

Regia sock

Regia Sock (part 1) ©Rachel Gibbs

I received my Knit Now 32 on Monday, and it’s my favourite kind of issue – the annual Best of British. Not only does it have lots of great patterns (as always) but it uses entirely British yarns, including a new yarn developed by Knit Now, which looks great. I love Jamie the Shetland Puffin, the Kellynch Blanket and pretty much everything in the All At Sea collection.