Sunday, 31 May 2015

Stash Dash 2015... and we're off!

Stranded Blog Stash Dash Knitting Spinning
I thought I'd document my Stash Dash progress here on the blog, as well as on ravelry. It's not quite two weeks since the beginning of the 2015 Dash and I think I've made a pretty good start on my goal of 5km. I've finished four things (actually, five - but that's blocking and I'll talk about it another time), two of which were WIPs prior to the start of Stash Dash and the other two have been cast on since.

Trekking Rainbow Socks - 242m (started prior)
Easy Peasy Newborn Hat - 71m
3ply BFL Cashmere Nylon yarn - 370m (started prior)
Hermione's Everyday Socks - 229m

That's a total of 912m so far - and I'm pretty pleased with that! I'm especially glad to have got that BFL/C/N off the wheel - it's a shame I can't count the singles towards my goal as that would've been way over 1km right there! But hey ho - onwards and upwards. I have another braid on the wheel and another sock on the needles. Must keep knitting... Have I ever mentioned that I thrive on arbitrary goals and deadlines? It probably goes without saying ;) Anyway. I'm off to sit at my wheel, fill up a bobbin and rewatch the second series of Silk on Netflix (and pretend I'm Martha Costello, but that really does go without saying!).

Friday, 29 May 2015

Fibre Friday #16

This week I feel like I've done a lot of knitting - which is a productive feeling! I think I can blame that on Stash Dash and my intense desire to finish ALL the things. If you haven't heard about Stash Dash, you can find out more about it in The Knit Girllls ravelry group right here.
Stranded Blog Fibre Friday Spinning Knitting
My Old Romance cardigan has seen the most work this week. I put 10 inches of stockinette stitch on the body (that's nearly 300 stitches every row) and it's grown so much since last week. The novelty of this pattern has definitely worn off - knitting the body feels like a chore now - but it's good TV knitting - I finally finished the second season of Orange Is The New Black whilst working on it this week (sidenote: I'm eternally late to the party of everything but OITNB is incredible and I'm super excited for season 3 next month). If it wasn't for #stashdash2015 I'd probably have put it in time out for a bit, while I worked on something else - but this should give me around 1700m so I'm powering through! I have one more inch to knit before I start the rib and I can't wait to get it finished; partly because of tedious amount of stockinette, but primarily because I will wear this cardigan to death.
It's knit out of Madeline Tosh 'Tosh Sock' in the 'Moorland' colourway and the pattern is 'Old Romance' by Joji Locatelli.
Stranded Blog Fibre Friday Spinning Knitting The Hermione's Everyday Socks I started last week are nearly finished. The first sock is done, I've finished the gusset decreases on the second sock and I'm powering down the foot. I'm knitting these out of Manos Del Uruguay Alegria in colourway '7105A'. I think these look just like the packaging for Jaffa Cakes and I love it! They're not normally colours I'd choose for myself, but I really like how the yarn is knitting up. Another two lunch breaks at work should see these finished.
Stranded Blog Fibre Friday Spinning Knitting
 I had to force myself to put another pattern repeat on my Tic-Tac-Toe-Up socks by Wendy Johnson - from her book Socks From The Toe Up. It's not that I don't like them, I think they're really pretty, but progress on them is so slow thanks to the 2mm (US 0) needles. I'm ready to start increasing for the gusset on the second sock - so soon the progress will be even slower! Haha. I'm knitting these out of some yarn I hand dyed a while back.
Stranded Blog Fibre Friday Spinning Knitting
 In order to knit something a little more interesting - I had to counteract the stockinette induced exhaustion brought on by the Old Romance - I cast on for a Budleigh sock by Rachel Coopey, from her book Coop Knits Socks. I love Rachel, I've seen her at a couple of events and she's the sweetest. The Budleigh socks have two different types of cables and they're so much fun to knit. I'm using Skein Top Draw in 'Blackcurrant' and 2.25mm (US 1) needles. These are not going to be a fast knit, but it's nice to have something to concentrate on.
Stranded Blog Fibre Friday Spinning KnittingStranded Blog Fibre Friday Spinning Knitting
 I finished another Easy Peasy Newborn Hat by Keri McKiernan this week - knit out of leftovers from a sock blank I dyed last summer and I cast on for another out of some Austermann Step in the 'Ennis' colourway. I have a jar of leftover sock that I intend to knit more of these out of. I'm not sure if I'm going to save them for any future babies that my friends may have, or to donate them to a local hospital or other charity...
Stranded Blog Fibre Friday Spinning Knitting Finally knitting-wise, I bound off my Rainbow Trekking socks - knit with Trekking XXL in the '534' colourway. These were knit toe up with a 3x1 rib up the foot, a short row heel, more ribbing up the leg and an inch of 1x1 rib at the top of the cuff. I've talked about these a lot and I have nothing more to say about them!
Stranded Blog Fibre Friday Spinning Knitting
 I also managed to finish spinning the singles out of my BFL/Cashmere/Nylon blend from Lime Green Jelly and now it's plied too! Please excuse how messy it looks on the bobbin - one of the hooks decided it was going to snag every time I tried to use it, so there was a whole section of the bobbin that was out of action. It's a 3ply - I'm about to wind it off the bobbin and count the yardage, but this will probably end up as a pair of socks. Eventually...

Phew. I feel pretty exhausted just from typing all of that! It's been a busy week - I have one more day at work and then I can have a lie in (which is always the highlight of my week!). I hope you've had a lovely week - can you believe it's nearly June? Crazy stuff.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

My Week In Pictures #5 - The one with the bluebells (and the cocktails!)

The past couple of weeks in photographs...
Stranded Blog My Week In Pictures Amy Edwards Green Stranded Blog My Week In Pictures Amy Edwards Green Stranded Blog My Week In Pictures Amy Edwards Green Walking amongst bluebells and admiring super cute farm animals. Unfortunately I can't remember exactly which breed of goat that is...
Stranded Blog My Week In Pictures Amy Edwards Green Reunited with one of my very best friends and a cocktail date with lots of lovely people. I'm not sure why I look so awkward here, I promise she wasn't holding me hostage!
Stranded Blog My Week In Pictures Amy Edwards Green Stranded Blog My Week In Pictures Amy Edwards Green
And more cocktails - they were heavenly.
Stranded Blog My Week In Pictures Amy Edwards Green Stranded Blog My Week In Pictures Amy Edwards Green Winding yarn and spending afternoons on the beach.
Stranded Blog My Week In Pictures Amy Edwards Green
Stranded Blog My Week In Pictures Amy Edwards Green
Failing at photographing baby hats and spending a Sunday afternoon knitting toes in the garden.

It's been a strange couple of weeks over here - last weekend I was in London, staying with the gorgeous face pictured above - which reminded me just how much I miss the city and more importantly, how much I miss my friends (and my job and the public transport and and and). It's hard living in a place where you don't really know anyone, or have a means to meet many people. I'd never really thought about moving back to London - but now it feels like exactly the place I want to be. Unfortunately it's a very expensive part of the country to live in!

But on a more positive note, it's the first weekend of #stashdash2015 and I have knitting to do! Happy Sunday folks.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Fibre Friday #15

15 weeks of Fibre Friday - which means it's been around 15 weeks since I moved to the seaside. Time flies!
Stranded Blog Knitting Spinning Fibre Friday
This week I put around 7 inches on the body of my Old Romance cardigan - which is a feat in itself as each row is nearly 300 stitches... Anyway. The Old Romance is designed by Joji Locatelli and I'm knitting it out of 'Tosh Sock' in the 'Moorland' colourway by Madeline Tosh. I'm hoping to get it finished in a month, which feels achievable - even though there's still around a foot of body to knit!
Stranded Blog Knitting Spinning Fibre Friday
I've also worked on my rainbow 3x1 ribbed socks out of Trekking XXL in colourway '534'. I know, I'm just as sick of seeing these socks as you are! ;) But this is the last time you'll see them on the needles, I promise - as they're a bind off away from being done. But I was saving that bind off for the start of Stash Dash, which is today - so they'll be off the needles by tonight, all being well! (After all - I have messed up sock bind offs before...)
Stranded Blog Knitting Spinning Fibre Friday
As I was uploading the photographs for this post I was pleased by how much knitting I had - but then I realised that 4 photos were directly related to baby hats... but they are so addictive! The pattern is the Easy Peasy Newborn Hat by Keri McKiernan - I have two finished hats and one on the needles.
Stranded Blog Knitting Spinning Fibre FridayExcuse the hats being modelled by my fist - but it's surprisingly difficult to photograph baby hats without a baby's head... Anyway. This is knit out of leftover 'My Precious' sock yarn by Vickevira. This hat was originally intended for my Mum's new Great Niece who was recovering from major heart surgery, but sadly she passed away before I had a chance to get the ends woven in. RIP Mila Faith, I will think of you every time I knit one of these little hats.
Stranded Blog Knitting Spinning Fibre Friday So, I knit another Easy Peasy Newborn Hat out of leftover Easyknits yarn in their 'Cherish' base* which is Merino/Nylon/Cashmere and is super soft - perfect for tiny little heads!
*I'm sorry - I don't know the colourway name and I couldn't find it on their site!
Stranded Fibre Friday Knitting
Finally hat wise, I cast on for one more EPN Hat - out of leftovers from a sock blank I dyed last summer (the majority of it wound up as a pair of Monkey socks).
Stranded Blog Knitting Spinning Fibre Friday
 I cast on for a new sock to replace the Trekking Rainbow socks for my carry around knitting - but after knitting the toe I realised I wasn't very inspired by it - it was too similar to the rainbow socks that I've been working on - probably because it's Trekking XXL in muted rainbow shades... So I frogged it and started...
Stranded Blog Fibre Friday Knitting
A pair of Hermione's Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder out of Manos Del Uruguay 'Alegria' in colourway '7105A'. I was worried the colours would pool really unattractively - but I'm so pleased with how it's knitting up.
Stranded Blog Knitting Spinning Fibre Friday
Not fibre related - but my Hermione's sock is living in this little drawstring project bag I made this week. It's been ages since I've sewn anything and now I want to make a thousand more of them in different sizes... If you're interested in making your own I followed this tutorial.

I also got a little more spinning done on the BFL/Cashmere/Nylon blend by Lime Green Jelly - but I haven't included a photo because it looks remarkably similar to all of the photos I've shared before! ;)

Okay, I'm off to bind off my Rainbow socks and get my Stash Dash off to a good start. If you're in the UK enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend - if not, well enjoy the weekend anyway!

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Stash Dash 2015

I'm currently in London town for the weekend, visiting some friends and eating far too much - so My Week In Pictures post will follow upon my return! Meanwhile...
Stranded Stash Dash Knitting Spinning There is less than a week to go until the start of Stash Dash 2015. If you haven't stumbled across Stash Dash before - it's a challenge knit-a-long organised by Leslie and Laura of The Knit Girllls podcast, where you pledge to knit 5000m of yarn in a certain time frame. This year it's running from May 22nd to August 14th and they've set three different challenge goals - 3km, 5km or 10km. This is my first year participating officially (last year I didn't post in the forum or anything, just tried - and failed - to knit 5k) and I'm excited. I love arbitrary goals. Not that you'd know that if you knew how badly I'm sticking to my 2015 Knitting Resolutions...

Anyway. The best thing about Stash Dash is how cheater friendly it is. If you have a sweater that just needs a button band and you finish it during Stash Dash - you can count the entire yardage of the sweater. You can find all the rules in the thread in The Knit Girllls group.
Stranded Stash Dash Knitting Spinning
In the grand scheme of things, I don't have that many unfinished knitting projects - the contents of my WIP's bin is pictured above - I'm aiming to finish all of them during Stash Dash - except possibly the Barndom Shawl on the far left, which might be frogged... That way, even if I don't reach my 5K goal, at least I'll have a lot of empty sets of needles ready for new projects...

Also - if I knit through some of the stash, it's an excuse for buying a little more yarn, right?!

Friday, 15 May 2015

Fibre Friday #14

Fibre Friday is a short one this week - not because of my lack of knitting mojo, but because I spent most of the week knitting on one project and I haven't touched my wheel at all... There just aren't enough hours in the week!
Stranded Fibre Friday Knitting
Stranded Fibre Friday Knitting Last week I mentioned that I cast on a baby sweater on my mum's behalf, for her new Great Niece. Baby Mila is really sick (open heart surgery at 8 days old, I can't even imagine that) so I decided I wanted to knit her some colourful things she could wear as she recovers. Last night I cast on for the Easy Peasy Newborn Sock Hat by Keri McKiernan out of leftover 'My Precious' sock yarn by Vickevira. The colours are bright and cheery - which is exactly what I wanted. It's replaced the Trekking vanilla sock as my Out and About Knitting.
Stranded Fibre Friday Knitting Now, onto what I've spent the bulk of the week working on - my Old Romance cardigan, designed by Joji Locatelli, knit out of Madeline Tosh 'Tosh Sock' in the 'Moorland' colourway. Before last weekend, all I done were the lace inserts for the sleeves and now, the sleeves are finished! I'm on to the body of the cardigan - which is a lot of long stockinette rows - so may take a while! As I'm using a non-commercially dyed yarn, I'm alternating skeins every other row to avoid any obvious changes in shade and I think it's working so far.
It's not quite as Joji designed it - I saw this version knit by IttyBitty on ravelry and I loved the mods she'd made. I decided I'd get a lot more wear out of the cardigan if it was all one colour and I omitted the picot edge on the lace inserts.
Stranded Fibre Friday Knitting Stranded Fibre Friday Knitting
Finally, I've put a few inches on the leg of my second 3x1 ribbed sock out of Trekking XXL in colourway '534'. Another lunch break at work and I could probably get it finished - but I think it might just stay on the needles until Stash Dash* starts next Friday...

I have a busy weekend planned so I'm not sure how much knitting I'm going to be able to squeeze in - but I would like to get a chunk of the body of the Old Romance done if I can... we shall see! Whatever you're up to - have a lovely one!

*If you haven't heard of it, Stash Dash is a challenge / KAL run by the The Knit Girllls - you can find out more about it here. I'm going to be sharing some of my Stash Dash goals here on the blog on Sunday, if you're interested!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

5... Hot knits to keep cool in this summer

Ahh forgive me for the cheesy title - I couldn't resist ;) Now I know that lots of places get far too hot to even consider wearing knitwear in the summer - but as a rule, England isn't one of them! I've noticed there are loads of knit tees in the shops right now - but why buy them, when you can knit them?! Here are five of my favourites..
Stranded Blog Summer Knits Sombra by Elanor King. Featured in the 'Summer 2014' issue of Pom Pom Quarterly (you can buy a digital download of the issue here) this lace weight sweater would be perfect on a cooler or cloudier summer afternoon. I love the chevron colourwork and I think it would look fabulous out of neutrals with a pop of neon...
Stranded Blog Summer Knits Fleetwood by City Purl. I love this tee - from the turned up sleeves to the centre panel - even the fringe and I'm not usually a fan of fringe! I know that comparing hand knits to commercial knitwear is often seen as derogatory, but in my opinion, this wouldn't look out of place on the highstreet this summer - and I mean that in the best possible way!
Stranded Blog Summer Knits Saco Stripes by Pam Allen. This is such a pretty tank top and I love the narrow stripes - it's probably not something I would wear - I prefer my tops to have a bit of a sleeve - but if you're not as hung up on your upper arms as me, this could be perfect for the summer.
Stranded Blog Summer Knits Vasa by Dianna Walla. I really like this tee - the neck, the drape of the fabric and the stripes, I love stripes - but unfortunately it's not a style that would flatter me - and I'm not the type to knit sweater size garments as gifts! But again, everyone has different body types and this could look fabulous on you!
Stranded Blog Summer Knits
Insouciant by Julie Hoover. I feel this style of tee would work better with my body type than the cut that Vasa; the rounded neck, the longer sleeves. I don't imagine that the large amount of stockinette would be too exciting to knit, but I find it's often the simpler garments that get the most wear...

This is the first year I've really thought about knitting summer garments, usually I spend my summer knitting things for winter but I've got an urge to knit lots of stockinette tees out of laceweight yarn... That's a good enough reason to go on a yarn buying spree, right?! ;)

Sunday, 10 May 2015

My Week In Pictures #4 - The one with birthday cake and a fair amount of yarn

Stranded Blog My Week In Pictures
Stranded Blog My Week In Pictures
Organising yarn for a secret project and pinning out my Olivia Shawl for blocking (which alas turned into a blocking fail).
Stranded Blog My Week In Pictures Stranded Blog My Week In Pictures
Pretty daisies in a cute cake shop and tying up gifts with leftover handspun yarn.
Stranded Blog My Week In Pictures
Matching my sparkly nail polish to a swatch of sparkling yarn.
Stranded Blog My Week In Pictures Stranded Blog My Week In Pictures
Harvesting some rocket and admiring my Dad's birthday cake.
Stranded Blog My Week In Pictures Stranded Blog My Week In Pictures
A celebratory steak dinner!
Stranded Blog My Week In Pictures
Working on a knitting project* and catching up with The Knit Girllls.

This is technically two weeks - but I'm not going to lose sleep over it! I've been working lots so I haven't had too much time for adventures - but I have been getting a fair bit of knitting done this weekend, which is essentially all I care about! I'm off to wind some yarn and plug away at my cardigan project. I hope you're having a lovely Sunday!

*I'm working on my Old Romance cardigan by Joji Locatelli.