It's been such a long time since I shared my crafty projects so I've been looking forward to Yarn Along all week. In between the baubles, the Christmas decorations, the making of Yarndale kits, the box packing and making home there has, perhaps surprisingly, been rather a lot of yarn crafting going on. I find it helps me to find calm in the midst of the busyness, even if only for ten minutes here and there. It also helps me to sit down and relax, of which I'm not very good at when there's a lot to be done.
Let's start where we left off on the crafting front - socks. I finished my Escalator socks with the gorgeous yarn from A Stash Addict.
I have vowed to step out of my knitting comfort zone and learn some new skills and these socks were a good start because I learnt the long tail cast on method, and a new toe (even though I didn't like it), I learnt how to turn a heel in another direction (the second sock is toe-up) and also Elizabeth Zimmerman's stretch sewn cast off.
Despite the toe, I'm really happy with the socks and I don't think anyone but me will ever be able to tell which sock is which.
I was seduced by the pattern for the Hierro mittens in the Autumn edition of Pom Pom Quarterly (oh, how people giggle when they learn what I'm reading these days..). I cast on in my favourite shade of Baby Cashmerino - Kingfisher - from my shop.
My long tail cast on came in handy again here and the travelling stitches/cables are knit in a way I had never tried before, omitting the use of a cable needle. I was concerned that I was doing it wrong but amazingly it worked out just like the picture! I wasn't keen on the bobble method used in the pattern - I prefer the ones that come out of one stitch - but I persevered.
The mittens are so cosy and soft and because I used the cashmerino they're also machine washable, which is handy.
I can't wait for the next edition of Pom Pom - I love it so much that I've been purchasing digital copies of back issues, which I will talk about some more another time...
There hasn't just been knitting - I have been crocheting, too!
The lovely Carole of Hooked By Design asked if I'd like to test a pattern for her in the Summer after I'd been admiring her new basket/bag. I, of course, jumped at the chance but it wasn't until I got home that I realised I'm still a beginner and haven't really followed many crochet patterns before - what if I couldn't do it?!
I needn't have worried - the Cute Basket with Roses kit (with all of the colours of yarn in generous amounts) was such fun to make and the pattern was so easy to follow that I was completely hooked and finished the entire project in one sitting!
Isn't it pretty?
In this pattern I learnt how to do crab stitch (lovely finishing touch to the top of a crochet project) and how to make a new kind of flower. I adapted only one thing - the length of the handles - as I always seem to need my bag to hook over my arm.
I lined it with some little red riding hood fabric I had purchased ages ago from Thistledown Fabrics (beautiful organic fabrics - go take a look!). I'm super pleased with how it all came together.
I enjoyed Caroles kit so much that I've moved on to her Granny Flower Stocking which I hope to have ready before advent.
I'm so wordy today and I've barely skimmed the surface of what I've been up to! Still with me? Let's move on to books!
With my birthday money I treated myself to a hardback copy of the new Bridget Jones book. I have been a Bridget fan for a long, long time and I was nervous about a new book coming out - would it spoil everything?
Despite being set much further on in Bridget's life, it was like visiting with an old friend. So comforting!
The ending of the book was a bit predictable for me and I wish it had been longer. However, a must-read for anyone who enjoyed the first two books.
On my Kindle I have been reading The Yarn Whisperer: Reflections on a life in Knitting: My unexpected life in knitting by Clara Parkes. I'm enjoying it intensely. It's like a less-funny Yarn Harlot-style book but not in a bad way - I'm actually learning quite a lot of little tips and tricks in amongst the stories.
I think I'll stop there and do some more catching up next week.
What are you crafting and/or reading at the moment? Are you cracking on with festive projects?
P.S. There are some yarny flash sales occurring on my Facebook Page this week to make way for new stock - come grab yourself a bargain!