Monday, 14 April 2014

Vipe of Dalegarn

Have I mentioned before that I am a yarn snob loving quality yarns and knitting tools? Oh yes, I have! And here is the proof: not so long ago I placed an order with in the USA and received this gorgeous mercerized cotton yarn from Dalegarn - Vipe. It came from so afar, all the way from America and it was even custom charged. Sadly, so far this Norwegian yarn is not available in the UK but I do hope it will change one day. First time I've had this type of Norwegian yarn and since it's quite costly, I just ordered a few colours required for the project. 

Additionally, I also ordered two colours of Lerke (also from Dalegarn, it's a cotton and merino blend yarn) which can't be obtained in the UK. I love knitting with Lerke. It's super soft, warm, cosy and it comes in nice array of colours. Last year I used it to knit my Scandianvian eggs - a project by Arne and Carlos.

And now Vipe by itself - gorgeous shades, luscious, soft and pleasant to the touch. I'm gonna use this yarn to make these knitted pouches featured in Arne & Carlos book - Knit and crochet Garden

This deep purple shade has been my favourite for years. I used to wear lots of clothes in these shades.

At the close-up, Vipe reminds me of a satin cotton thread - soft and silky with a slight shine. I hope it knits well. Can't wait to start working on these pouches. As soon as I'm done with my Easter projects, I'm going to move onto these. 

And speaking of Arne and Carlos - a Norwegian-Swedish kitting duo - I've already preordered their next book on Amazon. The English edition is going to be released in September 2014. Roll on autumn! Can't wait!

Hope you all have had a good weekend. x

Friday, 11 April 2014

Sewing bits and bobs get organized

Crafty hoarder by nature as I am, I love all sorts of tins, boxes and cases for my crafty stuff. A recent visit to a craft shop in the Daleside garden centre resulted in purchasing this lovely set of 3 metal tins :)

I just love the rose pattern on them. So feminine, so romantic, so ...Tilda or Cath Kidston ;) The labels on them are a nice feature too. They will go nicely with my Cath Kidston mug :)

It's high time to embrace that chaos I've had in my sewing stuff. The turquoise metal tin with roses does not belong to the set. I've had it for a year now, from Aldi ;) It nicely agrees with the overall rose theme

The sewing threads scattered around in various random jars and containers have all been moved into the biggest tin and already filled it up up to the brim.

The oddments of cotton threads I use for cross stitching ended up in the middle-sized box and the pins will live in the smallest pin tin.

From my past magazine subscriptions I've had these two twin wooden boxes :) Tidied them up as well.

One will hold all sorts of needles - sewing needles, tapestry/cross stitching needles, beading needles, crewelwork needles, name it all. Now it's my challenge to remember which box contains which needle type! Usually after a tidy-up, I don't remember where my things are! LOL 

Undoubtedly, I have a weak spot for the cute little tins for bits and bobs :)

The long doll making needles won't fit any any of my needle tins so they will be stored in the box compartments. Although I have never sewn a doll in my life, I came to find them so useful when I was knitting the "julekuler" balls. They will go right through the knitted ball carrying the yarn to make a hanging loop. Fast and easy and so convenient.

In my second box I arranged all my measuring tapes and row counters and some strings :)

All this tidying up and rearranging things in my boxes reminds me of my childhood. As a child I loved to rummage in my mum's two-tier wooden sewing box. It was always full of interesting objects like shiny buttons, round pearl beads, crochet hooks and sparkly embroidery threads. Actually my mum owns this box until today. The only difference is that some of thosebox items, with mum's permission of course, relocated to my boxes :) Like mother, like daughter.

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Woop, woop! Just started my 2 week Easter break and I'm planning 15 blissful days of crafing. Will keep you updated :) Hope you all have a good weekend x

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Montse Stanley "Knitter's Handbook" - book review

A good source of information is always valued and appreciated. When I knit or crochet I often use some of my handbooks to guide me through the new techniques or to help me solve a problem. When I had finished my first crochet star garland I needed some decent information on blocking. Very few books offer professional knowledge on this topic except for this one - Montse Stanley Knitter's Handbook.

I came across this book in a local library. Borrowed it and had a good look at home. I was amazed at the vast and thorough content of this book. I knew I would be buying one for myself soon. To me Knitter's Handbook like one of those oldie-worldie books that apart from a load of nice photos it has actually got SOME CONTENT in it. I bought my copy on Ebay. To be honest, it wasn't so easy to find it and it looks like this book is slowly disappearing from the bookstores. I don't think the publishers are making it anymore actually. So if you would like one for yourself, hurry up, you still stand a chance of finding one. Mine is a new book but the edition is from 1993.
Here is the content of the book:

The chapter on blocking your knitted garments is very extensive and offers a good explanation how to do it. I was very pleased to read about it.

The book itself shows as many as 18 different methods of casting on! Who would have known?!

The pictures are detailed and clear. The two coloured way of showing techniques makes it easy to understand and it also helps visually.

There are also coloured photos interleaved with the chapters. They mostly present some ready made pieces of garment. Perhaps you could tell the fashion presented in the book isn't from the latest catwalks but does it really matter? The knitting techniques don't change over time.

I am really pleased with this book and from now on I reach for it each time I need some advice. I can highly recommend it to any demanding and advanced knitter.

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In the meantime here is my little yarn shopping :) In Dunelm Mill one day I came across these variegated yarns. The little yarn bowl is a mixutre of cotton and acrylic (I love working with cotton yarns) and the big ball of yarn is acrylic only. I love the gradual shading on both. Perfect spring colours!

The other Sunday my bf has kindly presented me with this yarn supply from Aldi :) I went for lots of yellow and a mint green shade :) This yellow shade makes one think of Easter chicks, don't you think?

The yarns are all acrylic. Good for practicing on new projects :)

I have also knitted another egg for my Easter decoration :) One by one in my free time...

The "egg shells" will be filled up with stuffing later on :)

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Do you perhaps remember my post about buying a new set of KnitPro needles? Well, my blog post about the Knitpro needles has been spotted by someone who is a Knitpro producer or perhaps a Knitpro seller and they tweeted their thank-you to me on Twitter :) How nice! :)

Isn't it amazing how all things are these days linked together on the internet? We definitely live in a global village. Hope you're having a good weekend :)

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Coffee Mug Sleeves

Knitting all sorts of mug sleeves and mug hugs for one's favourite cups has been very trendy lately. I keep seeing lots of projects like these around in books, magazines and on the internet. I'd been thinking of having a go at it so not so long ago I knitted one for myself and recently I've knitted another one :)

Basically the story is: at work for the children's safety we have got to use the so called safety cups (they can be plastic or ceramic, anything as long as it comes with a lid) so I got myself a "hearty" ceramic mug and knitted my first mug sleeve using a knitting magazine. The turquoise colour was a random acrylic yarn I took to knit "a prototype". It looked acceptable so it stayed and I started using it. The mug despite the double walls which are supposed to act as insulation gets too hot to hold it in hands so a coffee mug sleeve proved to be very much needed. In the meantime my bf presented me with another lovely ceramic coffee mug with a knitted pattern on it (!!!) Collection: The Nordic Pantry from Sainsbury from around Christmas last year. (He knows so well what I love! Bless him! x x) 

My cat, Cookie, has been posing for you as a live background for the mugs :)

However with time and through the frequent use and under the hot temperature, the turquoise mug sleeve has stretched  and became too loose a bit so I had to make another one. This time a different pattern - lace. I've learnt a lot new knitting steps with this pattern: yarn over, pass the slip stitch over, knit into the front and back and slip the stitch purlwise :))) It's not 100% ideal and it probably won't impress someone who knits laces for years but I'm proud of myself as until now I've considered myself unable to read the knitting patterns from the books and mags ;) I'm definitely getting more confidence about it now. 
This is the source of my inspiration: Simply Knitting magazine of 2013 with lovely 3 patterns to knit.

The chequered pattern turned out to be very easy. The lacy one is more complex but with a bit of help of the books and YouTube tutorials I managed well :) Now the remaining pattern is a cabled variant. I can't do the cable knitting right at the moment so I'll have to practise a bit before I have a go at this one.

In the meantime I keep on knitting Easter eggs using my cotton yarns. I enjoy this activity a lot as it's a chill out for me after work. I knit for pleasure and with no rush :)

For the knitted eggs "shells" and small balls of yarn I found at home this wooden bowl. It's not a real yarn bowl but will act as one for the time being until I get a real one for myself one day. It turned out it is a bowl made by my bf years ago at DT lessons :) How unusual! Forgotten, unnoticed and under dust for such a long time! I think it looks good with these natural colours, don't you think so?

This week is going so fast! It's Friday tomorrow and then WEEEEEKENDDDD!!! :) Looking forward to some crafting and chilling out in the comfort of my home.
Have a good  evening x X x

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Aldi Craft Shopping

Do you like shops which sell cross cultural items from abroad? Lidl and Aldi in Britain are like that. Both stock some continental stuff. Me and my bf like to go there for a browse every Sunday :) For me it's a bit like "going back home" ;) I get to see and buy products I used to have back at home in Pl. Every so often Aldi or Lidl supplies us, crafters, with some nice crafty stuff. Since last week there's been lots of nice knitting stuff in Aldi :) So I bagged some items. Books. Each for only £1.99.  

They are full of knitting projects. I picked some of my favourite ones. The hat-and-glove-and-scarf book has got these:
I love this ribbed hat with a pompom, gorgeous gloves, beaded scarf and of course the fair isle hat.

It is my dream to be able to cable knit in the future. I'm gathering some materials towards that.

The "sock" book has got these:

I absolutely adore these red-and-white baby sock with hearts. They would make a fantastic present for a newborn baby. And so would the tiny cute socks in the gift box. Which mum wouldn't be delighted to receive these?
Naturally, I couldn't overlook this project: the Nordic Christmas stocking - gorgeous!

The "toy" book also has got many attractive projects to try:

Just look at this giant snail!

These little whimsical mice captured my heart! I've got to make them sometime. Perhaps stuff them with some catnip and present my cats with them :)

I also bought this book:

Half of the book is about the techniques of knitting, the other half features some projects :) The one below is one of my faves:

I just love this simple rustic knitted heart - so pretty. The redness is so striking! I also love the cross stitch feature on it. And how about this quirky knitted duet? Kitty and a Sheep? So simple yet so cool. Love the contrasting texutres on them.

Flower appliques anyone?

Or perhaps some cosy mobile phone socks?

Or a gift bag?

Love this messenger bag - the colours are so cheery and positive. It will definitely stand out in the crowd.

And so will this one:

A snake scarf anyone?

And my last treat: a set of sewing threads. This cost peanuts but there is such a great choice of colours in the box!

The weekend is coming to an end now so have a good week everyone!