adventures in everything...

Lace Libertine

29 May 13

After a good few years of knitting, but playing it safe, I was finally bullied into trying some lace knitting by my good friend Amber!

It started out as a perfectly pleasant spring Sunday with a trip to Angel to one of our favourite knitting shops to drool over their stock, and ended with me being beaten into submission and crying into my peppermint tea*

As we were browsing through the patterns I came across some really pretty fingerless lace gloves – not something I’d ever wear – but still really pretty… Amber, ever the bad influence when it comes to spending money on craft supplies, convinced me to get them (I’m cutting the story short here – there was a lot more protest on my part and a lot more nagging on Amber’s). She opened up the pattern and talked me through part of it – what the abbreviations were and how they were all things I knew already – and eventually convinced me to buy it, along with some gorgeous plum coloured alpaca silk to make them with.

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Months went by, and each time I saw Amber I winced at the mention of gloves/lace/anything that would prompt her to ask

“HAVE YOU STARTED THOSE GLOVES YET?!”

Eventually shame and embarrassment got the better of me and I decided to cast on.

It was at this point that I threw caution to the wind. I pushed boundaries. I didn’t just bend the rules, I folded them in half, right down the middle, then ran a ruler along them to create a nice sharp edge. I didn’t start with the beginners pattern, oh no no no, I went for the hardest of the 3 patterns! Surely if I could conquer that I could make anything!

It wasn’t as hard as I thought, in fact it was a pretty straight forward! I was rather pleased with myself when it started to resemble the photos on the pattern!

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But then I got cocky… Years of dropping stitches and trying to fix things means I’ve learnt the hard way how to pick up all kinds of mistakes, but none of this wisdom prepared me for trying to pick up mistakes when knitting lace – don’t let me scare you though, as with the normal stitches I soon learned how to fix most of it! But after reaching the half way point for the third time I gave up – but not entirely! I decided to make the simpler lace pattern.

These were shorter and knitted up a lot quicker and I actually got a lot of wear out of them during the Autumn months! Best of all, they only used half of the yarn I bought, so I still have enough to make another pair!

Here they are fresh off the needles and modelled by the lovely Mazz…

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My new found confidence (cockiness) meant I was finally brave enough to cast on the Rustling Leaves Beret that I’d been wanting to make for so long… in fact I made two of them! Both in Madelinetosh Tosh Sock – the first in Kelp, for myself…

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And the second in Fragrant for my Mam as a mothers day present…

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I love this pattern, it’s probably not a bad starter pattern for lace items, and it can be knit up pretty quickly too – the second one I made took two days, so pretty ideal if you want a last minute gift idea!

I think these might be the first items I’ve made and actually worn myself, so was quite and achievement! – So, thanks Amber for being such a good bully!

 

*may contain moderate to strong exaggeration

Well… that’s embarrassing…

28 May 13

It’s been almost an entire year since I last blogged! Whoops!

I’d like to say I’m back for good and vow to update more regularly, but let’s face it, I’ve never kept that promise before and I’m not sure how likely I am to this time around! I shall try my best though, Scouts Honour… though it may mean that I’m incredibly lazy and use mostly photos from my Instagram feed – Sorry!

So, since I was last here there’s been a few things happening – mostly working, knitting, crochet, sewing, moving house more times than I’d like to admit, oh and everyone is having babies (not me, of course!) and who doesnt love an excuse to buy more wool and make more stuff?!

Before I bombard you with the things I’ve made in the last year, I though a catch up on what I was working on in my last post might be a good place to start…

First up, in my last post I’d only just learned how to crochet a granny square! I’ve been pretty busy with the old crochet ever since and have become pretty hooked (see what I did there? ay?) but not before I finished off the granny square blanket. My 3 blue squares turned into a pile of coloured squares…

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Which then became a blanket… after what felt like months of sewing ends in… it wasnt really months – in actual fact it only took me maybe 4 weeks to do the whole blanket, squeezing in a few granny squares whenever I could… I even discovered I could crochet on my walk to the tube with my yarn in my bag. Probably shouldn’t admit to that.

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After the Hexipuff saga I’d moved onto a quilt using the English Paper Piercing method – now I was under no illusion that this would be complete in 3 or 4 weeks, but I’ve made a fair bit of progress, picking up new fabrics every couple of months and doing swaps with friends who are also making blankets – so it’s grown a fair bit, though I’m still holding off actually sewing them together, so they’re all neatly stacked in the tins I’ve been buying obsessively from Marksies…

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I do get them out to play with every now and then to play with and see how much progress I’m making. I made the hexagons rather small so it’s going to take quite a lot as I’m aiming to make something that will cover a double bed (yikes!) but I’m making 3 hexagons from each fabric I have so it’s going a little further!

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I have a whole tonne of other stuff I’ve done in the last year which I’m aiming to blog over the next few weeks to help me get back into the swing of things. So keep coming back, and give me some verbal abuse when I haven’t updated for a week or so…