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Lilly Pond CAL Clue 4

crochet 4

I can’t believe it’s been 2 and a bit  weeks already since the last Lilly Pond Blanket Clue was released.  I know I’ve been busy, but I’d struggle to tell you doing what 😕

Moving on…..

This Tuesday did indeed see the release of the Stylecraft/Jane Crowfoot CAL clue 4 and judging by the Facebook Group Page, there were lots of people eager to get started.  Looking again this morning loads, loads of them have already completed all 4 blocks too 💩

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Block 4 as you can see, is called Bobbles and Pin Wheels and the design is meant to represent the ripples of the water with little pink lilies at the waters edge.

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The chart above shows the colours needed if you’re making the block using Stylecraft Life on the left and the alternative shades for the Special DK on the right.

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Not being particularly fluent in crochet, I’ve struggled with this clue the most so far.  I think for me crochet is easiest when I have to make a square (going round and round), rather than working a piece that goes back and forth.  I’ve managed this much so far and now have had to allow my brain time to heal  I’ll be sure to get the rest finished when I’m back from my travels (I’m off to London later today).

Before I go and pack my suitcase, because I’m one of those last minute people (bet you couldn’t have worked that out?) I guess I should really show you my attempts at blocks 2 and 3……

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The Tiny Lilly Block from clue 2 wasn’t really that bad after I’d got the hang of it.  it’s not the best piece of crochet in the world, but it’ll pass.  It is however over 4 centimetres bigger than the reccomended 12cm square size.

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As alluded to by Jane, the blocks are likely to get harder as they go on and I definitely found the third block – Lilly Bud, a little more intense.  Truth be told, at one stage I’d have rather eaten it than continue.

The eagle eyed amongst you, will notice that my 3rd block is again larger than the specified 12cm.  Happily though it’s the same size give or take the odd millimetre to my clue 2 block :-) So I’m hoping everything will work out OK.

File 23-05-2015 07 03 46Yes, I have managed to get through it, but look at all those scary ends that still need to be sewn in.

😱 😱 😱

The next clue, for block 5, is due to be released Tuesday the 2nd of June.

Happy Crochet!

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Not Sure How I Missed This?

Screenshot 2015-05-19 09.06.09

I did sit down to write a very different blog post this morning, but whilst checking my emails, Facebook messages, Instagram, Pinterest, etc, etc.  I spotted something on Ravelry that I’m surprised I haven’t noticed before and as it appeals to me, I don’t doubt some of you will also find it handy.

I’m a massive fan of Ravelry and as mentioned, I’d check it at least once a day, if not more.  For me, it probably goes without saying, that it’s an invaluable tool for the shop, I also love the way it helps me organise my library, projects and possible future projects.  It’s a great way to learn techniques, hear about up and coming community projects and most importantly meet and interact with other fibre crazed individuals, even if it’s just to 👏 gawk 👏 at their amazing creations.

As noted in previous posts, I haven’t gone so far as to catalogue my stash on Ravelry as it would be a whole heap of 💀 scary 💀 and there’s no real benefit to me to list my hooks/needles for obvious reasons (anyone that knows me, knows I own enough needles to open a shop with). 😜😜😜

Anyway, enough about me.  getting back to this clever feature.

Hopefully, most of you when checking through the patterns on Ravelry use the option ‘add to favourites’ on the top right hand corner of the page, if you find something you’d like to be able to find again later?  Better still, you’ve added tags to help you narrow your search down next time too?

Now Ravelry is letting you make ‘Bundles’, I guess they’re really the same kind of thing as ‘tagging’ except they’re laid out like Pinterest Boards making them much more user friendly (why fix something if it ain’t broken?).

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So how do you catalogue all of your ‘favourites’ into bundles?  I’ve got some 400 odd in mine 🙈

To begin – Click on the my notebook tab on the top left hand side of the Ravelry home page to open up the different tabs.

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Select ‘favourites’ from the drop down menu.

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Select one of your saved designs and if you hover over the picture three icons will appear, click edit.

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A window will pop up giving you the option to select a bundle or enter a name.  Click on this box, adding the term most relevant to you.  In this case I’ve chose to call my bundle – shawls 4ply, as I have rather a lot of favourite shawl designs and will need one for dk, aran , chunky and lace too.

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When you enter a new category, a tab will come up underneath saying create – be sure to click this.  You’ll notice you have the options to add comments, if you like.  For me, I’d find this an incredibly useful way of remembering which yarn I’d like to use to complete the project.  You’re original tags (if you used them) are also displayed and you have the option to add more or delete them.  At the bottom of this pop up there’s a tab that says Save Changes (sorry it’s not on my photo), remember to click this if you’ve added anything else to the comments or tag boxes.

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After creating your ‘bundle’ when you next click on your favourites, click the bundle tab, you can see you’ll have all your patterns organised and easier to access.  If you like, just as with Pinterest you can change each boards cover photo.

You can create bundles for anything and everything from socks and jumpers to dishcloths if they’re your thing.

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One tip – I have favourite designers that I like to refer back to, it’s a handy way of comparing the designers patterns.  If you’re fond of a garment, chances are you’ll like others created by the same person too.

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

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To add a new pattern to your bundles, click on the add to favourites tab on the top left hand side of the design page as you would normally do.

Screenshot 2015-05-18 11.26.02 (2)Once you’ve clicked a pop up will open on the left hand side of the page and you can choose to add the pattern to one of your existing bundles or create a new one.

Don’t forget you can also look at your friends bundles too (I’m not sure I ever thought I’d say that).

Happy Knitting!

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May Needle Round Up

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In my last post I alluded to the fact that I haven’t been getting that much knitting done of late and that despite having completed my summer cotton Kimera Granny Shawl I was feeling like I had achieved very little, 🎨 creatively wise 🎨

Since posting, the last few days have been almost the polar opposite, as I feel reluctant to do anything other than sit and knit or crochet.  I’ve managed to complete my first Clue 2 block from the Stylecraft Yarns and Jane Crowfoot Lilly Pond Crochet Along, but I’ve mislaid it 😳 Hopefully, I’ve just left it at the shop.  Either way, I should probably give clue 3 a go and I’ll pop up both blocks over the next couple of days, so we can all have a laugh at my poor attempts.

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I’m also really happy to report that I have finished the Flax jumper from Tin Can Knits, I’d been knitting on the off chance that my son Durahn, would like it.  Not only does he like it, he seems to be really rather fond of it 👍 Although I may have inadvertently set myself up for a bit of a fall as the yarn I used was Rico Fashion Aran and he loves how warm it is whilst being so light weight.  Most woolly aran weight yarn isn’t so light, but we’ll deal with that issue as and when it arises.

Lots of people overlooked this yarn when we had it on sale in the shop and yet I get loads of compliments when I wear the jumper I have made in it on.  I’m not sure why it didn’t attract the attention it deserves.  Maybe people thought it might be a little on the itchy side because of the alpaca fibres.  Maybe it looked a little thin for an aran weight?  I do have a hard time explaining to some people that yarn is designed to be knit at a certain tension in order to achieve the over all desired fabric.  Maybe it was the colour palette, most of which were earthy, Autumnal hues?

Regardless of the reasons why, the Rico Fashion Aran yarn just wasn’t a great seller for us and so I cleared it for as little as €1 a ball in the end 🙈

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I made Du the M/L size which measures 39″ around the chest, because as you can see in the photos, he’s quite a slim chap.  I didn’t block the jumper as he seemed eager to wear it, even going so far as to say that Carlsberg don’t knit jumpers, but if they did…. High praise indeed.

If you haven’t knitted it, I’d wholeheartedly recommend Flax as one of those great patterns, that you’ll end up knitting time and time again.  Unisex and with sizes from newborn to 4XL it will do for everyone of the family and if that wasn’t enough – IT’S FREE!!!

The photograph at the top of this post is a dead give away I know, but my newly finished socks are just so pretty, don’t you think?

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They look even better with my green shoes too 💕

That’s my 4th pair so far this year and I’ve wasted no time in casting on another pair in the new Cotton Premium yarn from Opal that I mentioned in one of my previous posts.

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The new pair of socks are flying up and I’m loving how the more muted colours are coming together.  The socks are my more portable project, so I’ve also had to cast on another ‘larger’ knit too.

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My lovely stitch marker is one of a set handmade for me by Catherina and her daughter Molly 💖

You might have noticed that the latest Green Bin clearance items are Adriafil Saetta and Stella Jacq?  I’ve been lusting after one of the shades in the Stella Jacq for some time now, but in truth, they’re probably not my colours.  Deciding to clear the yarn meant I had to decide whether to knit with it or not.  Fortunately, I’ve also been looking for an excuse to knit the Oslo-Anorak pattern from Pickles for a good while too.  Of all the Oslo-Anorak projects on Ravelry, I prefer the ones where a multicoloured yarn has been used together with a solid, so I’ve opted to use a dusty pink for the bands and hood of the design.

As with all patterns from Pickles, one size is available for free and with this design it’s the 6-12 months version, but the price of the complete pattern with sizes from 6/12 months to 7/8 years will set you back $6.40, which to be fair with the current exchange rate is a little pricey.

Inexplicably organised for once, this little jumper is actually going to be a Christmas present too 🎅

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Have to go now, having just been for a walk on the farm in the beautiful sunshine,  I need to try and get a few rows of knitting done :-)

Happy Knitting!

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Busy, Busy, Busy

2015-05-06 11.55.48-2I’ve neglected the blog a little over the past couple of weeks, come to think of it, I’ve actually neglected Instagram and Facebook too (bad girl).

I wish I could tell you it’s because I’ve spent my time creating things of beauty or exploring the countryside, but it’s simply as a result of trying to catch up.

In short I’ve been busy, busy with the every day stuff we all have to get done.

I have managed to squeeze a little knitting and crochet in by way of keeping sane, but it doesn’t feel like I’ve actually achieved that much.  The photograph at the top of the post is a close up of the latest shawl I’ve made for the shop using Kimera from Adriafil.

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Temptation is a terrible thing sometimes and the happy, summery colours of the Kimera yarn are exactly what persuaded me to take a closer look at this mercerised Egyptian cotton.  I really wanted all 8 shades for the shop, but only had room enough for 6 :-(

Each 50g ball costs €4.45 and contains 135 metres/149 yards, the recommended needle size is a 3.5/4mm.  I find it a little thinner than a true double knit, but it’s not as fine as a 4ply either.  Looking through some of  the projects made using Adriafil Kimera on Ravelry, most people have opted for sport weight patterns.

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The shawl is just my usual half granny square, but I do lve them and I find they’re great to just throw over whatever I’m wearing.  I made this one using a 5.5mm hook and three and a half balls of yarn.  Tempted as I was, to crochet another row of trebles because I had enough yarn left to do so, I decided that for me and my ever shrinking 5.3″ frame the shawl is plenty big enough.

Looking at the uneven point it’s easy to spot that I didn’t get round to blocking the shawl before popping it on the mannequin, but being cotton I’m sure it’ll settle nicely before too long.

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I’m completely smitten with the colourway and can’t wait to get the chance to wear it over something more summery (unlike today, which as you can tell from the photo, is a little overcast, with rain threatening to fall).

Cal 3

Still on a crochet theme, the 3rd clue for The Lilly Pond Crochet Along was released on the Tuesday the 5th.

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This time it’s the Lilly Bud Block and on first look it doesn’t look too complicated, but truthfully, I could end up eating my own words.

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The chart above shows the colours needed if you’re making the block using Stylecraft Life on the left and the alternative shades for the Special DK.

The next clue, for block 4, is due to be released Tuesday the 19th of May.

Happy Crochet!

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Socks, Socks, Socks

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It’s all things socks here in the shop at the moment and why not?  The sock I’d been knitting in one of the previous posts is now finished and I’m itching to cast on it’s companion so I can move on to my next  pair 

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I’m going to have a go at knitting a pair using the Cotton Premium from Opal.  Unlike most standard sock yarns, the fibre in Cotton Premium is a blend of 38% wool, 32% polyamide & 30% cotton making it more ideal for the warmer months.  A standard 4ply yarn, still with 410m on the ball but the addition of cotton also makes the colours more muted, almost pastel in tone.

My only dilemma now, is which colour to go for?

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Along with the Cotton Premium I also bought another new range of sock yarn for the shop.  Gallery is another Opal yarn and the colour combinations this time, could be described as anything but muted.

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So it stands to reason that a delivery of new sock yarn must mean I might possibly have to have a bit of a clear out I guess?

Any of the discontinued balls of 4ply sock yarn in the basket are €5 each to clear.  Most of them are fairly Autumnal shades, but I’m thinking Christmas presents (yes I did say it, sorry).

Don’t forget that although it says ‘sock’ on the label the yarns are all standard 4plys and will work to most 4ply patterns.  Who doesn’t need a Hitchhiker or two?

Happy knitting!

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Lilly Pond CAL – Clue 2

Cal clue 2This morning saw the release of the second clue for Stylecraft Yarns Lilly Pond Blanket Crochet Along.  I’m not sure how those of you taking part are fairing?  My tension as I’ve mentioned previously is off and by quite a bit 😳

tiny lillyThe block this time is called Tiny Lilly and doesn’t look too difficult (phew).  Having glanced over the pattern quickly though, I have spotted the words sew/sewn  😒 Since when did I sign up for a sew along?

I jest 😉 😉 😉

Having said that this is serious business apparently, if you’ve joined the Lilly Pond Facebook Page you’ll have no doubt seen just how ‘seriously’ some people are taking it 😱 It’s not a race to see who can complete the blocks first and it most certainly shouldn’t be a competition about whose block is better (only my opinion).  Sadly, I’ve noticed several posts from members saying the forum just wasn’t for them and they’ve left because of it.  I’d like to think this will make people think twice before posting anything unbecoming, but I doubt it.  What I do think they should note is that other companies and individuals could be put off of hosting their own CAL/KAL because of it.

Enough chatter, back to the CAL

table 2For the Tiny Lilly blocks you’ll need the shades in the chart above.  Stylecraft Life DK on the left and Stylecraft Special DK substitutions on the right.  Note the Plum and the Fondant shades are only used for the sewing this time.

The next block Lilly Bud will be released on May 5th.

Happy crochet!

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Sharing – But only if the internet connection lasts!!!

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There seems to be so much going on at the moment that I feel like I’ll fall behind if I don’t begin sharing some of it with you and there’s too much to put in a Facebook post, so please excuse the disjointed nature of this post.  It’s probably a truer indication of how my mind works – on a good day that is 😁

(The balloon flower was gifted to me by one of my young students, Miriam, yesterday morning and it set the tone for a lovely day.

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The sun was shining and I finally managed to get round to photographing these lovely blankets that Jackie Dunn whipped up for the Chernobyl Children’s Trust.  Aren’t they just fab?

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As are the scarf and 7 hats that she also made 💕

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Some of you might have already noticed that I’ve finished my 3rd pair of socks this week.  I had literally been dragging my heels over knitting them because they’re not really my colours and was planning on using them as boot socks.  However, I’m prepared to swallow my words and admit to rather liking them.

Just so you know, I’ve knitted them in Heart & Sole sock yarn from Sirdar in shade 107 (Hip Hop) with 2.5mm needles and they’re really comfy :-)

I’m on a total sock knitting binge and am actually making two separate pairs at the moment, one is a 6ply pair just to see what they’ll be like (I’ll be sure to let you know).  The second pair are flying up, so much so that I’d reached the gusset part earlier today, but we were off to see Fast & Furious 7 and I needed knitting 😕  So I decided to risk it and try to work my decreases in the dark movie theatre, what’s the worse that could happen?

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I’m dead chuffed with my cinema knitting.  Not only did I manage to work my k2tog decreases neatly and without dropping a stitch.

2015-04-19 17.47.18I also completed my ssk’s too and 5 rows of the leg, despite being thoroughly engrossed in the antics of Dom, Brian, Letti, Hobbs and the rest of the team.

Happy Knitting!

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