Wednesday, November 23, 2016

WIP Wednesday

I'm finally down to three WIPs again - woohoo! I've finished some things and put one set of socks I'm not enjoying knitting on in hibernation with my jumper which I'm putting off dealing with because I have a horrible feeling I will need to frog it as it's now going to be too big. *breathe* Anyway three seems to be the most manageable amount of projects I can deal with without something languishing.

I'm still working on a another pair of socks which have been on my needles far too long. Again I'm just not loving knitting them but I'm so close to finishing I'm forcing myself to get them done and I've set a deadline of The Bloke's birthday at the start of December. I think after this pair I'm going to start doing some sock experimentation. Part of the reason I'm not loving the socks I've got on my needles is I'm struggling with it hurting my hands. I think it's the tiny needles and my tight tension so I'm going to try going up a needle size or two and reducing the amount I cast on. Hopefully that will make me enjoy it again. The pattern is Emily's favorite socks and the yarn is West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply. I'm still loving this yarn, and the pattern is making lovely socks but I've discovered whilst knitting these that I don't enjoy mindless sock knitting. Weird I know. I don't mind with anything else but I'm just finding these really boring. Maybe I would enjoy it more if it wasn't a solid yarn colour but then again, maybe not. Anyway I'm looking forward to these being done.

I cast on something new for myself as a reward for finishing some gift knitting. This is the Cannetella Hat by Woolly Wormhead. It's turning out to be a bit of a labour of love as I really wanted to use the gorgeous yarn I got from The Wool Kitchen on Etsy however when I came to wind the ball I found a lot of breaks and then when I started knitting I found a lot more shredded parts. SO, so sad. I'm not sure what happened but I know it wasn't something I did, I didn't snag it or anything. My best guess is a moth or carpet bug has got to it. We live in a really old house that has a ton of them and I clearly left this laying around too long. Usually my yarn lives in zip lock bags because of this exact reason but I did leave this on the shelf for a bit to admire it. At least the other skein I bought is completely fine as I've also started knitting with that and so have had the chance to inspect it. So this hat already has a million joins in it and I'm only just past the ribbing but I LOVE IT. How beautiful is this yarn knitting up? It's like those little flying embers you get above the bonfire that float off into the night sky. I want to knit on it all the time, even with the constant yarn joining. I'm trying to restrain myself a bit though until my Christmas gift knitting is done.

My third WIP is also using amazing The Wool Kitchen yarn in the Ziggy colourway and some Fyberspates in Dove Stone. It's a Hitchhiker Shawl that I'm making for a gift. It's a really easy knit as it's pretty much all garter stitch. I plan on making the full size with 42 points but I should still have a little yarn left over for myself I think. I'm going to make a few additions to the pattern as well as the stripes. I started adding a YO instead of KFB to try and add a bit more stretch to the edge and it helped a little but it's still curving quite a lot so I might try experimenting with something else as well. I'm going to add some eyelets near the bottom too and probably a small block of the Ziggy colourway. I'm loving how the colours are working and it's keeping it interesting to knit on. Hopefully I will get it done in time as I know progress will start to slow down now the rows are getting longer.

I have at least one more gift I want to try and knit before Christmas but it's going to be tight time-wise. I'm not the fastest knitter. Plus I had wanted to make some little woollen baubles for decoration. They might still get done yet as I have everything ready to go and they're so small they shouldn't take too long. I'm desperate for more Christmas decorations this year as a lot fell apart last year they were so old. Also, I have no idea where we will fit the Christmas tree. I really wanted to get a tall one but I don't think we'll have the room. It's going to be a squeeze to fit one in at all! My only free space now is in front of the radiators which is no good for a real tree so I either need to buy a fake one or get a small real one I can put on a table. It's not Christmas without the smell of the fir tree though.. dilemma. Anyway I have plans for a Christmas Eve cast on party with my mum so it's all good. Happy Holidays and Happy Making!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The first big handmade wardrobe success

I haven't blogged for a couple of weeks but I made a garment! I'm insanely pleased that I got my Blaster Cardigan finished. I learnt a lot and best of all it's actually wearable.

The pattern is by Andi Satterlund and perhaps wasn't the best choice for a first cardigan to knit as I did struggle with following the instructions and had to rip parts back a fair few times. The finished article is fab though and I have my eye on quite a few of her other patterns that I'd like to make now I have a better idea what I'm doing. There are a few lessons learnt I'll take forward though. The fit being the main one. When I started knitting it I was between sizes and Andi advised I take into account not just the bust size but the waist size too. This was a good point I hadn't considered so I went for the medium size which it turns out was the wrong choice. It fits fine but there is absolutely no negative ease. I suspect this is because I've lost more weight in the time I was knitting it as the finished cardigan is pretty close to the measurements the pattern said it would be and it didn't change shape when I blocked it. Oh well, next time I'll go for the smaller size when faced with the same dilemma. There are a couple of other things that could do to be tweaked but I don't yet have the skills to know how to do it. The shoulders are a touch wide, and the body is slightly too long and doesn't quite hit my waist where it should. It's easy enough to alter the length but I don't know how to narrow the shoulders, however this might have been solved by knitting the smaller size.

The only other thing I'm not keen on is there seems to be a lot of excess fabric under the sleeves. Again I'm not sure how to alter that and maybe if I'd managed to get the negative ease I was after this would be needed to get a good fit but it makes it a little baggy on my version. On the whole though I'm really happy with it. I did make some changes to the sleeves to make them taper in more and end where I wanted. I also tried Jenny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off which was great so I'll certainly use that again. I was pretty impressed with the Drops Cotton Merino yarn I used given how purse friendly it is. It was easy to knit with and didn't mind all my pulling back. There were more knots in the first couple of balls than I'd like but the second two were fine so I must have just been unlucky. I actually ended up using a ball less than I expected so I have quite a lot left. It blocked well and is a good colour but I don't know how it'll wear yet. I'm hoping because of the cotton content it should be fairly hard wearing. It's certainly comfortable next to the skin and I'd use it again as I think it'll be lovely to wear in the spring and summer.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Progress Update

This week I have decided on a new tactic. I have too many projects on the go so I'm joining the Yarn Hoarder WIP KAL. I am going to focus first on my Blaster Cardigan as the KAL for that ends November 1st and I'm sooo close to finishing. If I can get it done on time that would be great. I've been knitting on it a fair bit over the weekend and I've managed to get onto the second sleeve. I pulled back and re-knit the first one making a few changes to the decreases and length and it fits perfectly so I just need to get the other done. I already had buttons I was going to use for it but I took a trip to a new local fabric store and came home with some more buttons so I'll decide which to use when I'm through knitting. I really can't photograph this well when I'm taking quick snaps with my phone, it just doesn't pick up yellow very true to life. I'll take better photo's when it's all finished though. I'm reserving judgement on the fit until it's blocked. I think it's going to be a little too big around my body although the length is good. I've possibly lost a bit more weight since I started it or maybe I just should have done the smaller size to start with. Oh well, I don't mind too much. I'm still chuffed with how well it's turning out for a first large knitted garment.

After that I want to concentrate on my Building Blocks Shawl. I'm already behind on the clues so I've decided I'm not going to rush to finish it. I'm in the middle of the brioche section and I'm loving it. I had a feeling I would like brioche knitting as I'm all about texture and I really do. I foresee lots more in my future. It's a shame the two colours used in this shawl are fairly similar so don't show off the brioche as well as they could but it's oh so squishy! I've really loved this MKAL I'll definitely be doing another. Stephen West has made it so easy to follow. The pattern is written in lots detail and he's made little tutorial videos to go along with it so even a novice knitter like myself can join in. I've learnt loads already and I'm only halfway through. I'm really not looking forward to weaving in all those ends though!

I've made a bit of progress on my sewing. I've copied out and altered the Dottie Angel frock pattern and cut out my fabric for the muslin. I tried a different method using a tracing wheel and copy paper but I don't think it's for me. It's just too hard to see the markings in our bad house lighting and I don't really have the space to lay it out very well. I think it might be a good way of transferring the other pattern information like pocket placement though so I might try a combination of cutting around a paper pattern and transferring markings. I also tried using a rotary cutter which was great so I'll certainly do that in future instead of scissors. I haven't actually started sewing it yet though. I got out the sewing machine and got it threaded so it's all ready to go once I get some free time.

That's all my crafty news. I'm now going to clean the bathroom and listen to some new to me sewing podcasts I've heard mention of. Oh what a glamorous and exciting life I lead. Ta ta!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Winter Sewing Plans

It feels like it's been a bit of a wasted weekend so far as everyone in the house is full of painful head colds and no-one has slept very well so we've done nothing active and just rested all day. I know it hasn't really been a waste as we've been recuperating and I've managed to get a bit more of my Stephen West Building Blocks Shawl done. I've watched a couple of podcasts and mentally thought about what I want to knit once my gift knitting is all done. Recently I've been itching to start sewing again too. I only have very basic sewing skills and last year I decided I wanted to get better so started collecting together tools and patterns and fabric. Then I made a pair of pyjama pants and got no further. For the last couple of weeks though I've been wanting to have another go. My weight loss seems to have slowed a bit and I'm a similar size (although different shape, thanks mum tum) to what I was pre-pregnancy so I'm thinking I might have lost as much as I'm going to. Even if I go down another dress size I don't think that would make anything I make now dramatically too big so I think it's safe to start thinking about making my own clothes again. With that in mind I've spent some of today looking for inspiration.

One of the last things I began to make but only got as far as cutting out a muslin for was the Dottie Angel Frock. I bought the pattern as soon as it came out (Simplicity 1080) but was feeling quite ill and unhappy with my shape by that point so gave up on sewing. Last week though I started compiling a sewing wishlist for winter. Basically I pretended I had uber sewing skills and thought about what I would make myself. One of the things on my list was a shift dress/tunic I could layer up over jeans or leggings. As I already have this pattern I thought this could be a good starting point. I'm starting from scratch again with it and I know from other versions I've seen that the pattern is not without issues. Plus I remember from reading through it last time that the instructions are really complicated and confusing to follow for a inexperienced seamstress. So rather than follow it as is I'm going to attempt to adapt it as it is essentially a fairly simple pattern.

There isn't lots of complicated pieces to it but there are some things I know I want to change straight away. For one I don't like the neckline. Too low for me at both the front and back, and really I feel the back should be higher than the front, it just makes more sense. I'm also not in love with the way the ties are placed. They look awkward and pretty unflattering. I'm going to omit them for my test run and then have a play around with it once it's sewn together. The sleeves are another question mark for me. I've a couple of tops with sleeves like this so it is something I do wear on occasion but I want to be able to layer this with jumpers and cardigans for winter and I know trying to put anything over them can make for unattractive bulges of fabric. I'm going to leave them as the pattern for now and see how they look but I might end up taking the sleeves off. Hopefully when I get better at sewing I'll know how to change the sleeves to a different style altogether but for now I reckon I can copy the shape of something in my wardrobe. I have a grey dress I'm thinking I could use as a silhouette to make changes to the pattern. So the plan for next week is to get it out and draft a copy of the pattern I can make changes to. Wish me luck!

Monday, October 10, 2016

One stitch forward, two steps back.

Today has been a pretty bleh Monday. It was always going to be a bad day. I woke up last Friday with a pulled muscle in my neck which seems to refuse to get better or respond to painkillers so I haven't had a good nights sleep all weekend. Never a good start to the week. On top of that my knitting has hit a slump too.

The first clue for the Stephen West MKAL came out on Friday which I was very excited about plus I got some extra knitting time so I cast that on and loved knitting the first section. However when I started on the second section the M1 stitches started to be an even more noticeable problem. I'd tried doing them the way Stephen suggested and for future reference that doesn't work with my tension. They were creating a ladder even though I pulled the yarn super tight and so I stopped knitting on it. I then let it sit there Saturday and Sunday to see if I could live with it and in the end I just decided I couldn't. 

I can live with mistakes if I don't think it's too noticeable but I knew I could do it better. I also decided to check my gauge and found that although the swatch I did was spot on now I was knitting the pattern I seemed to be two stitches off gauge. Annoying. The fabric as it is looks fine but given that I have other niggles with it I'm just going to start over. The problem with THAT is I don't have smaller needles to try. I'd already been thinking about treating myself to a set of interchangeable needles so I just bit the bullet and ordered some. I'm hoping they will come tomorrow as I'm itching to restart.

As that project had to go on hold until the new needles arrive I got my Tea with Jam and Bread Jumper out. I did a few more rows but then realised when I was knitting it last time I must have forgotten to change colours. Urgh. The instructions saying when to change were at the top of the page and by the time I had knitted down to the change point I had totally forgotten. I'm well past it now and after thinking on it over night I can't face pulling loads back just to change colour. So I now need to rethink it. I was planning on using the same sort of colour stripes as the pattern but now I'll need to do something else instead, I just don't know what yet. One stitch forward, two steps back. At least my socks are coming along OK.

Friday, September 30, 2016

All the pretty..

I need a yarn diet. Since deciding to learn to knit my own clothes I have jumped in the deep end and bought a ton of yarn this month. It makes me guilty. The thing is most of it really is to make gifts for other people or clothes for myself so I've not been randomly buying things I love (although the temptation is very real). Everything has a destiny and a lot needs to be done before Christmas or Birthdays so I know it won't sit around wallowing in stash. But look at the pretty things!

Araucania is one of the few yarns I have used before and I loved it so I snapped two skeins of this up on Ebay from someone destashing. The Fyberspates yarn is new to me but I love it already before I've even knitted with it. It's just my sort of colours with no "fluffiness" so stitch definition should be great. Some combination of these are destined for the Stephen West Mystery KAL. I'm keen to learn new techniques and from looking through his other patterns it seems like there will be a lot of that plus the idea of knitting something unknown is kinda fun. It starts on the 7th October so not long to wait for the first clue!

The Noro was in my LYS on sale. I don't know if I'll like knitting with it but I love the texture in the ball. I plan on using it to make a scarf or shawl for myself but it's not at the top of the queue. It'll have to wait for some WIP's to be finished. The Royd Moor Yarns I got off the internet so didn't see it in person before buying it. It's quite woolly so I'm not yet sure what it wants to be. When I bought it I was thinking scarf but I'm pretty wool sensitive on my neck so it's not going to work for that. I'll keep it until another idea occurs to me, It's lovely colours.

Last but not least I splurged on some fabulous Wool Kitchen yarns. The hand dyed colours are so amazing I could just buy them all but I bought "Ziggy" which is destined to be knitted into something for Christmas and "Ground Control" I intend to keep for myself. I'm thinking it might make an amazing winter hat. Speaking of winter hats I'm going to start a cute little hat for The Kid. I'm planning on making a Clayoquot Toque for him as learning stranded knitting is one of my knitting goals and I thought this should be an easy-ish way to start. Plus he really needs some winter hats!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

WIP Wednesday

I seem to be having a productive day today. I've finished painting the back door this morning, done a load of washing, made a batch of tomato sauce, and now I'm fitting in a blog post. Wow. I'll probably need to go and have a nap in a minute.

So I've discovered more than three knitting projects on the go is too many for me. The BlasterKAL has now started which means I have four on the needles and I just can't spread my time between them all. I don't know how other people manage. In order to make life easier I've decided my Tea with Jam and Bread Jumper is going on hold until I get the Blaster Cardigan finished, so I haven't done much more on it since I last showed it.

It's actually a bit more mustard coloured than this picture.

My big project at the moment is my Blaster Cardigan which is actually growing quite quickly so it may be weeks not months to complete it. I'm just on the upper front sections. It's all very new to me so I'm sort of holding my breath every time I do a new section but I'm learning so many techniques it's a very fun knit. The yarn is turning into a nice fabric but it is quite splitty and so far I've started two balls both of which have had joins after about a row of knitting which was annoying. I've learnt to pull lots out of the ball before I start a row to check for knots.

I'm also still knitting the blue and orange Emily's Favorite Socks. I've just finished the first one and I think I'll put them on hold until I finish off the first Super Secret Christmas project I have on my needles. There's something coming up next month I really want to cast on as well *cough*westknitsmkal*cough* so I want/need to finish some things before then so I can give it the attention it will need. I'm just impatiently waiting for some yarn I ordered to arrive so I can play around with swatches.

My Ravelry queue has seems to have also grown massively this week despite me casting on more things. You'd think it would go down right? I keep seeing cool stuff I'd like to make for other people and I'm itching to MAKE ALL THE THINGS for myself. I guess I'll eventually run out of steam so I should just make the most of the enthusiasm while it's here!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Stick 'em with the pointy end.

One draw back of not knitting more advanced items before is I have none of the needles I need to make anything. Over this summer I've spent a fortune on knitting needles and my collection has tripled. All I had really knitted previously were scarves so I had very few needles useful for the things I now want to make.

I had discovered my favourite needles after a bit of trial and error were metal circulars. The wood and bamboo I tried were a bit too grippy of the yarn and didn't feel nice in my hands. My needles of choice previously were KnitPro Nova. They're lovely to use and the cables are flexible with a smooth join at the needle.  However they are nickel coated and after a bad reaction to nickel in some cheap jewellery last year I decided not to buy needles with it. That discounted my previous second choice of Addi needles so I had a look around at reviews for suggestions.

I've tried KnitPro Zing which are quite pocket friendly and I'm using them to make my jumper but I probably wouldn't buy more. The feel in my hands is ok but the deal breaker is the cable join which isn't all that smooth and often catches on my tight knitting. My new favourite is Hiya Hiya. They're not the easiest to get in the UK and a bit more than I'd spend in an ideal world but I'm trying to get over that by thinking of them as an investment. They're available in sharps but as I know my knitting style by now I know this would just end in sore fingers so I got the normal tips which are still suitably pointed. They're lovely and smooth so stitches glide over the needles and the cable is flexible enough to keep it out of my way, easy enough to use magic loop and the join is smooth. Plus they are stainless steel so no potential allergy issues and it makes them nice and light. I know interchangeable ones would have been an option and in an ideal world I would have just bought a set but they're too much to spend all at once so I'll just keep adding to my collection a bit at a time as I need them. Of course now that raises the new issue of needing storage for them all...

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

My knitting addiction and the Blaster KAL

I have become a knitting addict. I don't know how but since deciding I need to learn to do more challenging things and actually make garments I now can't stop myself. Part of this I know is because my wardrobe is particularly bare and I really want to have some warm clothes for winter. It's a bit of a long story so feel free to skip ahead but I've not felt properly well for quite a long time and after having my son it got worse. On top of this instead of losing the small amount of weight I gained during pregnancy I started piling on more. Weird I thought but I just got on with things as you do. It wasn't until my son's impending third birthday when I felt so utterly awful ALL the time that I decided I had to find out what it was. 

Anyway.. skip to the end... turns out I'm Gluten and Dairy intolerant. I decided to try cutting back on them to see if it helped and as soon as I did I started to feel better. Six months later I've pretty much cut them out and I've also been dropping a ton of weight over spring and summer until I think I'm about pre-pregnancy weight again. The end result of this long and winding tale is I literally have nothing to wear. The clothes I do have don't really fit, most have been given to the charity shop as they were literally falling off me. I am looking at only owning a solitary jumper that my mum knit me just about the time I got pregnant which I can now fit back into.

I already have a jumper on the needles but I've also decided I need a lighter cardigan for autumn so I'm going to cast on the new Blaster pattern by Andi Satterlund as it's a perfect little cardi and she's having a knit along so there will be other people to ask for advice if I get stuck. I'm doing it in this cotton/merino mix yarn from Drops which is also new to me so I don't know what it'll be like but I've picked a lovely yellow colour. I'm having a bit of a yellow thing at the minute. 

I have had to buy yet another pair of needles though as when I swatched the yarn I actually need a smaller pair than I expected. I usually have to go up a size but this time it seems the 3.75mm might be about right so I can't get any further until they arrive. Fingers crossed they will be right. If anyone else wants to join in the knit along there is a group already set up on Ravelry for Andi Satterlund fans called Untangling Knots and there is a thread already running for talking about it, It's running from the 15th September until November 1st so hopefully it'll be enough time for even me to finish it. Watch this space.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

WIP Wednesday

Hello! Right I have a cup of tea and The Kid is watching Mr Tumble so time for a round-up. I think I still have the same projects going this week. I have got further with them but nothing's finished. However I've also been dreaming about other lovely things I'd like to make and the list is now getting quite long so I really need to put some time into getting things finished (or learn to knit faster).

My blue Emily's Favorite Socks have grown and I'm now on the gusset. It's the first time I've tried using more than one colour and it's not the neatest sock but I like them anyway. Plus the pattern is really well written. I will totally make these again although I have discovered I find knitting plain socks REALLY boring. It's a bit of a chore to pick them up and work on them but it's good practice at how to add in colour which I've never done before. Oh and the Summer Socks KAL ends on the 15th so I'm not sure these will be finished before then as I'm only on the first one. Realistically I think it's just not going to happen. Getting this finished and another knit in a week is pushing it which is a shame as it would have been good to get it done before then.

However because I'm not enjoying knitting them much I'm itching to cast on some more socks. I bought this Superba Circus yarn at the weekend and I've found a great pattern I want to try so I think I might just do it as well. CAST ON ALL THE THINGS! This will probably be a Christmas present though (yes I'm already thinking I need to get making as I'm so slow) so it can officially be Secret Project One.

My Tea with Jam and Bread Jumper has been re-started after messing up the short rows. I found a tutorial with a different way of doing them which I found much easier to follow. It's still not perfect as some of the tension is a bit wonky and I've stupidly jogged one of the shoulder increase seams along a stitch right near the neck but I decided it doesn't bother me enough pull it back to change it. I have the right number of stitches and that's good enough for me.

I still haven't finished my shirt I started repairing last week either which I really should have. I've got a bit of RSI in my hand from knitting socks at the minute so instead of knitting I picked up the shirt last night and managed to get the bottom hem finished as neatly as I can with the tiny amount of spare fabric I had. I just need to fix a botched repair job on the back someone has done and I'm going to change the buttons for something else although I haven't decided what yet.

That's pretty much it for now. I've been doing a bit of upcycling of furniture, planning and organising but I think I'll save that for another post. Happy making!

Saturday, September 03, 2016

A good week.

Urgh what a miserable day. It has done nothing but rain since I got up and I'm supposed to be going to a thing outdoors this afternoon only all I really want to do is sit in the cosy warm and knit. *sigh*

Anyway.. it's been a good week. It's been short because of the Bank Holiday, the weather has been largely good and I've been feeling well. I've become slightly obsessed with vlogs this week. It started with Sockmatician. I'd seen some of his beautiful knitting on Instagram and ended up following links to his You Tube channel. Then he mentioned Inside Number 23 and so I found and watched that and I love her channel. Sewing, knitting AND random geekness so that one was a keeper. Then last night I stayed up watching Dairyland Knits who is adorable. So if anyone else has any good suggestions I might like let me know.

As well as that I've splurged on yarn. I ordered some more for the jumper I've just started so I now have enough to crack on with that (and I got smaller needles which I needed). I also may have ordered some amazing yarn from The Wool Kitchen last night. It is beautiful hand dyed sock yarn which I justified as necessary as I'm going to use it to make Christmas presents. All in all a good week. I now need to go wade through puddles in a muddy field. Fun..

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

WIP Wednesday

So I have a MASSIVE queue of things I want to get done for myself and I'm starting to think about what Christmas presents I would like to make for people in an ideal world where I have lots of focused making time. I've learnt from past experience that having too many things on the go just doesn't work for me. I end up with them strewn about all over the place and not one actually gets finished. So at the minute I have just three things going. 

My first new project is another pair of socks I've just cast on. This time they are a present for my long suffering partner. I'm using West Yorkshire Spinners 4ply again in Blue Raspberry with a bit of the leftover Turmeric for the heels and toes. The pattern is quite a straight forward one called Emily's Favourite Socks by Emily Foden.

My second bigger project is a new jumper for winter for myself. I'm trying a pattern called Tea with Jam and Bread by Heidi Kirrmaier. I'm only at the gauge swatch stage for this one as I'm going to have to go up a needle size for my tight stitches so I'm waiting for new ones to arrive along with some more yarn in the contrasting colours I want to use for this.

The third thing I'm doing is a quick repair job. I bought a cool shirt from the charity shop but it had been fairly badly damaged. I decided it was worth the time to make it good so I'm repairing a damaged seam, unpicking a chopped off bottom section (I'm not sure if this was a frill or a skirt) and re-hemming it, and I may also change the plain buttons on it for something a bit more fun.

So that's everything for this week. Happy Making!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Summer Socks Knit Along Part 1

It has been over a year since I last visited my blog. I just wasn't feeling like spending the time writing posts and have just been documenting on instagram. Today however I have had a rare day doing what I pleased so I have watched podcasts I missed, finished knitting some socks, and have started repairing a shirt that needs a fair bit of sewing and maybe new buttons. I've got a fair few things on the go at the minute and it makes me want to document my progress. This year two of my big goals have been to learn to sew and knit my own clothes so I can have a me made wardrobe. Probably with a few charity shop finds thrown in. I really want to be more conscientious about my clothing choices but I don't have the budget to buy more responsibly produced items so the alternative is to make them!

This summer has largely been about improving my knitting skills to make more than scarves. I decided to start with socks. I was desperate for new ones but the choices and quality of the shop bought ones really disappointed me. I even took back some I had bought from my usual sock shop of choice Marks and Spencers as they were such poor quality they were falling apart on the first wear. So socks made it onto the list first and I've now made a grand total of four pairs. I'm not going to lie it was a steep learning curve and I've got pretty good at pulling back knitting but I'm still very happy with my results.

The first pattern I tackled was Hermione's Everyday Socks and it turns out to be a good choice as it has been the best written pattern I have tried so far. I've made two pairs. one in grey Drops Fabel yarn and the other using pink self-striping Scheepjes Invicta Everest yarn. The grey pair are my favourites as the fit is spot on so I will certainly make more of these. The pink pair I made too long in the foot so I have since gifted them to my mother.

Seeing as I was planning on knitting socks this summer I joined in the Summer Socks KAL on Ravelry. It has been a great way of seeing new patterns I might like. My third pair were a pattern called By the Seine River in West Yorkshire Spinners 4ply in a fab yellow colour. I loved the yarn and used it again in orange for the last pair I made which started off as the Bickersstraat pattern but got modified. Neither pattern was perfect for me and I swear the orange pair I finished today were cursed as I had to pull various parts back a stupid amount of times but the finished socks look nice.

My next pair are going to be for my OH and are going to be fairly vanilla socks in a bright blue. Onto the next ones!