Reyna Shawl

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For the last six weeks or so I haven’t been very well. Alex tells me it’s longer, but basically I  seem to have been hit with cold after cold, a 24 hour sickness bug and more cold. It’s been a rough few weeks. Whilst I feel a lot better, I’m now fed up of looking washed out! Time to crack out the make up for a small while, I think!

During this time I’ve still been knitting – although it has been quite hard the last couple of weeks because the sickens made my concentration lapse. That was more to do with that 24 hour bug more than anything though.

A while back I started a thread asking for shawl suggestions on Ravelry. From that I made a ‘Rapunzel, Let Down Your Hair’ shawl – which I love but isn’t really big enough so plan to make that one again with all that alpaca yarn I have – and now I can say I’ve completed Reyna.
The Reyna shawl has really impressed me. When I was making it I was thinking that it wasn’t going to come out how I wanted, and just how could a one skein shawl really look as big as the other projects were showing? All the other one skein shawls I’ve made haven’t come out particularly big. But this one did! img_2540

This one really did open up and become that big.

I made this in The Yarn Tree’s ‘Frozen’ colourway. The colours are just beautiful. The blues came off on my hands a bit, but a soak and rinse for about 10 minutes reduced that, and then a soak in the washing machine as well. I’ll be surprised if there’s any blue left to come out. [I hope not, I gave it as a gift!]. I will be ordering more of this yarn from The Yarn Tree at some point because it’s just so lovely, and the colours are just perfect.img_2484
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I don’t have many – good – photo’s. This is one aspect of my knitting I need to change. Get some better artsy photo’s that show the FO in the best way possible. This will make me feel like my knitting does look as good as I think it does!

This is a pattern that was super easy to follow – and even better was just one page. I will be making more of these in the future as it is literally a perfect pattern for the variegated sock yarn skeins I have kicking around. And really, could be made absolutely massive using a Wollmeise 150g skein or something. This is one of those patterns that I’ll have no trouble recommending to anyone.img_2573It doesn’t matter what I make, Artie has to inspect it! Also, the blocking mats weren’t big enough for this, even though I thought they would be. Alex got me some from B&Q that are massive though, so I’ll be cracking those out instead next time.
img_2574I’m currently making a Lord of the Rings scarf. I don’t really do Lord of the Rings so it feels a little strange to be writing Elvish in my knitting. I plan to put a Tree of Gondor in on the other end, even though it’s going to be a bright red as I don’t want the scarf plain at the ends, and I don’t want to put more Elvish there either.

Maybe one day I’ll pick up the book for this series, hm?

Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc – P.K. Hrezo

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When I picked up this book I wasn’t sure what I was in the mood for. I had so many tabs open on my MacBook that it was running off the screen. But I kept coming back to this one – I think it’s what I needed.


Synopsis:

It’s the year 2069 and even though eighteen-year-old Bianca Butterman is heir to the family biz, she may never see the day her time-craft license becomes official. When a government agent starts nosing around the operation, Butterman Travel, Inc. gets stuck with a full audit—part of a government take-over scheme to shut down all private time travel agencies. Enter former boy band superstar, Tristan Helms, desperate to retrieve a lost item from his past and willing to pay triple fare for a time-trip to get there, and Bianca has to find a way to complete the job and return home before the government gets wind and shuts down the family biz for good.

Welcome to Butterman Travel, Incorporated; a full service agency designed to meet all your exclusive time travel needs. We’re a family owned and operated business with one hundred years of experience. A place where you can rest assured, safety and reliability always come first.

Anxious to attend some special event from the past? Or for a glimpse of what the future holds?

You’ve come to the right place. We’re a fully accredited operation, offering an array of services; including, but not limited to: customized travel plans, professionally piloted operations, and personal trip guides. *Terms and conditions do apply

Use our Web conferencing to contact our frontline reservation specialist, Bianca Butterman, who will handle all your inquiries in a professional and efficient manner, offering a tentative itinerary and free fare quote, so you can make the most of your time trip.

We look forward to serving you at Butterman Travel, Inc., where time is always in your hands.

I think what I liked about this book the most was that it was quite light hearted, and didn’t take itself too seriously. Time travel can be really complex to write about – but this book does it in a way that doesn’t necessarily make things hard to understand. There’s the unique language that the book introduces regarding the science of time travel, and how the Butterman Time Travel company works.

The main character, Bianca, is a late teen something operating the check in desk at her parents company, located in Alaska. She’s an alternative type, not into the same schtick that the masses are. So when the latest ‘big thing’ Tristan Helms walks in through the front door wanting a time travel there and then, price no problem… well Bianca doesn’t really want to help. Except… money. To make matters worse they’re currently being inspected by the Department of Time, who would do anything to shut them down.

So naturally, the logical answer is to take a trip through time when Bianca isn’t technically fully qualified with her pilots licence, with a man that doesn’t know how to follow orders and who wants to break the rules. They end up high, they end up stealing some jet packs and evade the Department of Time by going to Woodstock in 1969.

Of course with some more timey-whimy stuff going on Bianca is in a lot of trouble. Butterman Travel is on the brink of collapse because of how she behaved – essentially not keeping Tristan under control and causing potential paradoxes.

Whilst the solution that Bianca comes up with involved yet more time travel and rule breaking, the result is a good one for the company, and Bianca essentially gets away with everything with no consequences to her actions – unless there’s something to happen in the follow up book.

This was a good, light hearted read. It didn’t take much, and I enjoyed it a lot. I’ll probably pick up the next one, although I’m not sure when.

Also: I’m sort of thinking that the author is a knitter, with the detail in which she describes the knitwear and how things are worn. I liked those little details.

Have you read this one? What did you think?

Kialtho

Lace Wild Flower Blanket

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My first big project for 2017 was this Lace Wild Flower blanket – something that I’ve made before and really love as a baby blanket. Considering it’s been super cold this last month as well, it was a pleasure making it as it was keeping me warm at the same time.

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It only took four weeks  to make this one. The previous one I made took a little over six, so I was quite surprised when it was coming to an end.
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I used James C Brett DK Marble yarn for this project. It’s not a yarn I’ve used before and chose it on a whim as I couldn’t find a nice yellow Aran weight yarn – which is what I wanted to use originally. It was an alright yarn to work with, but once the stripes were getting thinner I wasn’t enjoying the yellow hues so much…
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This was made for a work colleague and his wife who are expecting their first child in the spring/summer time. Even though I haven’t got some decent pictures of the whole thing I’m really happy with how it turned out.

When working the pattern I ended up doing an extra repeat of the diamonds as I had calculated that I would need 5 balls of yarn, but in reality completing the pattern as written would have left me with one spare ball (and I’d already bought 6 to be on the safe side – so already have a spare ball). I think if I had pushed to use the 6th ball, I would have run out, so in reality this worked out quite perfectly. img_2497

The yarn itself could be a little splity, but working with my Karbonz needles which are slightly blunter at the points eliminated this being a particular issue. It’s not something that I would have wanted to crochet with, and I did have a quick go before decided to come back to this particular design.

I wish I had somewhere where I could take better photos though as the photos I have just don’t do it any justice.

Cat Hat! A Cat in the Hat?

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I made a new cat hat! I had one that I made a few years back, but when I saw this one I knew I had to have one! The pattern is called “Cabled Cat Ears Hat” and uses super chunky/super bulky yarn and works up in such a short amount of time. I don’t use super chunky yarn particularly often so sort of forget how quickly a project can be finished.

Aside from how awesome the pattern is, I made this for a couple of reasons. I can’t get to the London Women’s march on Saturday because basically I have no money, and train fare just isn’t a priority. I’ve never been to a rally, and there have been plenty of them in the last year for various things, and I think if I did live closer to London I would go, but at this point in time I just can’t justify the money. So I made this in solidarity.

I love the scope of the pussyhat project. I love that fact that it made the national news, even here in the UK. If I had more yarn and more time I would have made some for the friends of mine that are going to the rally, but I only saw this pattern earlier this week, and haven’t been into the other patterns that I’ve seen.

The pattern itself was super easy to follow. The only time it gets a little fiddly was working around the ears, but the end result is just awesome. I think the only thing that I would change if I were making this again – and had more yarn to play with – would be to increase the brim so that it was either a. longer, or b. able to roll over a bit. As it stood I only had a small amount of yarn in my stash – I was using one ball of Rowan Drift that I had left over from a couple of projects a few years back. I was fully prepared to unravel another hat I’d made with this stuff so that I could finish this one.

The first night I wore it a dog barked at me. And Artie swiped it off my head to go and ‘kill’ it. This has both really amused me and makes me feel like I have definitely won with it.

I do need to give it a soak to soften it up a bit as it’s a little itchy at the moment, but it’s a hat, and that will probably never be a priority of mine as it’s so cold out at the moment as it is.

Have you made any of these hats? What’s been your favourite pattern to use? Are you attending any marches?

Kialtho

Hex Hall (Hex Hall #1) – Rachel Hawkins

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After taking so long to get through Children of Time I wanted a book that wouldn’t be too hard on my brain. One that wouldn’t take too long to read, and one that I would, hopefully, enjoy. Hex Hall was that read – although I didn’t expect to read it in such a short amount of time. But then… I did want a quick read.

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Synopsis

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It’s gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie’s estranged father—an elusive European warlock—only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tag-along ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

This was such an enjoyable little book. I read it in three sittings, and read the bulk of it today. Sometimes when you come across books that are short, they don’t feel complete, or fleshed out – but this one did. Don’t get me wrong, I would have loved more to it, but I don’t feel as though we were inherently rushed toward the end.

We’re introduced to a world where witches, fairies, shapeshifters and vampires exist. They are just under the radar, and those who are deemed a risk to exposing their magic are ‘sentenced’ to Hecate Hall until they turn 18. Our main character Sophia is one of those sentenced. Sophia is blissfully ignorant of how things work, how even her own magic works – except it doesn’t work very well. She’s a little like Mildred from The Worst Witch, except she has a sense of humour and is quite witty.

There are some typical YA attributes in Hex Hall. A love triangle of sorts between Sophia, Archer and Elodie. Another reviewer on GoodReads mentions how it’s like Mean Girls with witches – not going to lie – I enjoyed even more after reading that as Mean Girls is a pretty awesome film. [Pink Wednesday, anyone?].

Sophia has a Vampire for a roommate. She’s into Hot Pink, and is decidedly not Goth. I liked that her character was a lesbian as well. It’s one of those things that the author didn’t need to include, and nor was it something that was made into a Big Deal. Jenna was the main suspect for the going-ons in Hecate Hall as the victims all have puncture wounds on their necks, and were drained of blood. Of course, she’s Sophia’s best friend, so she couldn’t be the bad guy.

Despite being a quick read there were definitely some twists and turns I didn’t expect to see. Once the first reveal came I thought that was it, and then we’d have some decent summing up. Then, we’re back with Alice, and there was her own reveal. And even then, linked with that was Elodie’s reveal. Aside from Alice, who I had my suspicions about in the beginning, I didn’t expect the other two. In fact, I was thinking that the headmistress was actually going to be the big bad. I thought it was a good finale at least.

This is one of those books that I wouldn’t be surprised if it got made into a TV series or something. I’d definitely give it a watch!

I’m looking forward to reading the second book in the series, hopefully that will be as interesting as this one!

Have a good evening folks,

Kialtho

Rapunzel, Let Down Your Hair

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About a year or so ago I ordered a subscription/surprise yarn box from an Indie dyer that I follow on Instagram – ForTheLoveofYarn. When the box arrived, I was thrilled, but I didn’t know what to make with the yarn [I’m not a natural crochet-er so I didn’t want to do the pattern that was supplied]. I relatively recently asked on Ravelry what they’re suggestions were to make with the yarn – approx. 200g of a beautiful gradient ready caked and itching to go. Aside from the usual responses of ‘check out this group’ or ‘check the yarn page’ [responses that happen all too often, especially when someone is asking for specific information or personal preferences…] I did get a list of shawls going. I eventually decided to make “Rapunzel, Let Down Your Hair’. I kept coming back to that particular design as the one for this yarn set.
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A boy, am I glad I did!

Made from the bottom up – something that I hadn’t done before – with a lace border that eventually works its way into a cabled section – it was also a design that was unique and pleasing to look at. Plus, I had never worked cables in a pattern like that before.

When I bought the pattern it was 21 pages. 21. I immediately thought ‘WTF have I got myself into?’ But the pattern makes so much sense, and not all 21 pages are used. The pattern is divided into sizes, and then specific pages deal with specific sizes. There’s a couple of tutorial pages at the back for beading – I didn’t do that with this one – and the introduction.

I love how this shawl came out:img_2428
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I love the colours. I feel like it’s a very springtime shawl, bright and bold colours that mix well together. I did have to alternate the yarns, but I also had to disengage yarn for bigger sections than I anticipated, but it’s worked out so well together, and the colours just blend so well.
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It’s not as big as I would have liked, but clearly my tension was off. I had 72g of yarn left over, and should have had a minimal amount. That being said though, it sits around my neck nicely and keeps my neck warm – something much needed in the coming days with a wintery storm front approaching.

I used my Chiaogoo needles with this one. 3.5mm, as per the pattern recommendations. I usually do go up a needle size to account for tension – I know I’m a tight knitter – but I wanted to ensure that I wouldn’t run out of yarn this time around. The strange thing is though, these needles really hurt my hands time around. I don’t know if it was simply because I was fatigued from the Christmas knitting – which was more accidental more than anything – or because it was the needles. I’ve not been rushing my current project because of it, and my hands are feeling a bit better. I do still need to invest in that stress ball though.

I was waiting to write this blog until I had some better photo’s taken with my DLSR. Except I took the Christmas tree down, and I need to come up with a decent way of photographing them that doesn’t make me look like an amateur. [I love those Christmas tree shawl photos!]. Maybe I can come up with something with my wood working hobbiest partner of mine. [Space and lighting in the flat does cause some problems…]

Anyway, that’s all for now folks… What’s on your needles?

Kialtho

Children of Time – Adrian Tchaikovsky

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I bought this book on a whim from Amazon when buying something else (probably knitting related, because why not?). Something about it intrigued me from the moment I saw the advert for it. I have to say I wasn’t let down in any sense of the word – except in how long it took me to finish!

Synopsis:

A race for survival among the stars… Humanity’s last survivors escaped earth’s ruins to find a new home. But when they find it, can their desperation overcome its dangers?

WHO WILL INHERIT THIS NEW EARTH?

The last remnants of the human race left a dying Earth, desperate to find a new home among the stars. Following in the footsteps of their ancestors, they discover the greatest treasure of the past age – a world terraformed and prepared for human life.

But all is not right in this new Eden. In the long years since the planet was abandoned, the work of its architects has borne disastrous fruit. The planet is not waiting for them, pristine and unoccupied. New masters have turned it from a refuge into mankind’s worst nightmare.

Now two civilizations are on a collision course, both testing the boundaries of what they will do to survive. As the fate of humanity hangs in the balance, who are the true heirs of this new Earth?

There are so many post-apocalyptic space novels out there. Some are rather questionable, like The 100, and some are ingenious, like Planet of the Apes. Children of Time, for me, falls into the ‘ingenious’ side of things. The world building was immense – literally Space: the Final Frontier. Except there’s no-one else out there.

I think what makes this book stand out in many ways – aside from the story telling itself – is the use of ‘real’ science fiction. Space is harsh. Time is short. The ship is built to last, the human travellers stored in cryogenic sleep as ‘cargo’. One of the things that really stood out for me was the use of time, and how it felt like it was passing. The book is set of several hundred centuries, possibly even a millennia or two. [It was hard to keep up with it, if I’m honest] – but it was set out as though only a few weeks or even a month had passed.

Holsten, our main character is woken from his sleep several times throughout the journey, experiencing the weeks rather than the years. He is one of the few that studied the Old Empire – the Earth of nowadays that destroyed itself, and left Holsten’s people to inherit a poisoned Earth. In the few times that he is woken up, there’s some new problem to deal with – an Old Empire satellite that’s just a little bit deadly and doesn’t like to share, megalomaniac commanders that want to live forever in the computer, the creation of the ship wide Tribe, the constant threat of the failure and the loss of the human race. Love. His own child – except not really as she exists only as an embryo in stasis. The woman he comes to love grown old with command whilst he’s been in his own stasis.

In a concurrent storyline we’re introduced to the spiders. Exposed to a nano virus from the Old Empire they’ve become intelligent and formed a society. They’ve become scholars, hunters, fighters, scientists, leaders, biochemical engineers. They are a species that overcome their own evolutionary setbacks – eating the male after mating for instance – to become the dominant species, to rule the roost.

The spiders were probably my favourite part of the story, the way that they evolved from hunter to societal wonders. Although – don’t read about intelligent spiders before bed. They will invade your dreams! Portia, Bianca, Fabian they were definitely the highlights. We were treated with insights into their world, their development from conquering others – the ants – developing religion – the Messenger – developing an equal society – matriarchal society dominating for the longest of times – being a tolerant society – which is something that is key to the ending, and certainly something that I didn’t see coming.

That ending – it wasn’t what I expected, and very much in a good way. For a start I couldn’t pick a side to win the war – the spiders were my favourite part of the book, but I still had to root for the human races survival!

was such a good read. The only downside for me was that it took such a long time for me to get through it. [Life, job, knitting]. That – and I couldn’t quite figure how big the spiders were. I think they became quite big, but then the humans were referred to as giants, so who knows?

If you enjoy space travel novels, the post-apocalyptic survival, and science fiction at it’s best, then give this book a go. One of the best books that I’ve read in a while!

What are you reading at the moment?

Kialtho

2016 Year in Review

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It’s already nearly at the end of the first week of January 2017. How has time flown by so fast? I’ve been in my job for a year now – and whilst it’s very similar to what I was doing before, there’s a lot less stress than I was having before, and I would definitely say that I feel a lot better for it. It’s one of those things – I knew I needed to leave that other job, but in the end I was comfortable there, despite everything that went on. It took getting made redundant to move on, and whilst I may get paid less for what I do, it works out better for me mentally in the long term. There’s a lot to be said for the whole money vs. happiness thing. [More money would be great, but I’ll take my happiness any day].

I thought I would do a quick year in review type blog. I’ll combine my two main hobbies, knitting and reading, and perhaps will mention a few of things that have also stood out for me this year as well.

In the knitting world I made a total of 23 projects over the year. 22, if you count that most of the Doodler was made in December of the previous year, but finished in 2016. I think it counts! Of these, I think I’ve given away something like 14 of them, either as Christmas presents towards the end of the year (see my previous post) or just as a “I like you, you’re my friend, have something I made” gift. I don’t have a lot of people in my life, but the ones I do have are definitely knit worthy.

Here’s a list of the things that I have given away, or are [still] due to be sent:

– Hoody – a knit hood to keep head and neck warm.
– Evenstar gloves – fingerless gloves.
– A Hap for Harriet – I renamed mine ‘Command Scarf’ because the colours reminded me so much Star Trek. It was only fitting that it went to Cap. Janeway.
– Iceni Mitts – fingerless gloves that really intimidated me all those years ago when I first bought the pattern. Easy peasy, but turned out too big for my hands.
– Crocheted Star Trek Voyager teddy bear that I still need to send to his new home… even if he does look a little weird.
– A bunny for Artie – which he still plays with even though he’s mostly destroyed it
– The Doodler – the original version that I knit second time round had to be remade, and I was super happy with learning a few new skills the second time I made this one.
– OWL mittens – who wouldn’t want a spell list on their hands?
– Saroyan – still needs to be sent as this was supposed to be a Christmas present
– Multnomah – shawl pattern for busy hand dyed yarns
– 3 x hats/beanies – for some of the men in my life
– Dearly Beloved – a lacey shawl that took me just 8 days to make.

In all I gave 14 of the knits I made away to my friends and family. Of the 23 I made, I ruined one by accidentally felting it – I put the washing machine on the wrong cycle in my hast to finish. And one of the vest tops I made I screwed up the finishing, so have  abandoned it at the bottom of my finished object box as I doubt I am going to be able to fix it.

In the coming year I would like to aim for about 20 completed items. At the moment my current project is a baby blanket. That should take about 6 weeks to make, not including the enforced break I am going to have to have. [All that Christmas and gift knitting has caught up with my hands].

In terms of books, it’s been a really disappointing year for me. My goal was 40, but I failed miserably in this. I read a measly 16 books in 2016. And many of them, for one reason or another, I didn’t really enjoy. I did finish the Cinder Chronicles, which was one of the few that I enjoyed immensely, and I tackled Jonathon Strange and Mr Norrell – a book I didn’t think I would like or ever read, if I’m honest – but there were many that just didn’t grip me well enough. I even read Dune, and made it to the end even though it bored me stupid.

I think the reason I read less is because of the new job. I used to read a lot in the evenings, but now I work largely in the evenings, and knit in the mornings, the reading time has severely been reduced. That being said, going forward, I will aim to try and read 20 books this year. That seems like a more achievable target even though this year was only 16. I think I need to be a bit more choosy with what I am reading. And to use my time more wisely.  It’s easier to read Kindle books these days as I can prop my Kindle or iPad up in a decent position and read from them a lot easier than holding a book at work during my lunch break.

One of the biggest things that happened this year is that we got Artie, our Kitten. Totally unplanned, but he’s been an interesting addition to our life here. I’ve always wanted a kitten, and he’s just super cute. The vet thinks he’s part Korat due to the shaping of his face and his colouring, and part tabby. Mum thinks that he might have some Bengal in him because of his temperament and the way he meows. Whatever he is, he’s definitely a character! [And… my cat plays fetch. Who would have thought that a catch would actually play fetch?]

Other notable things from this year that have impacted my day to day life was the release of Pokemon Go. Whilst I can’t say it’s helped with weight-loss, Alex and I do go out for some interesting, in the dark, past midnight walks through the town. I try to avoid Friday and Saturday nights though, for obvious reasons. We play this game everyday, although Alex plays a lot more often than I do. It’s a silly game, but one that I enjoy – for the most part.

We also recently invested in a PS4. Alex is playing the Uncharted series, and I am dabbling in Rise of the Tomb Raider – which so far is better than the remake from a few years ago as there’s less blood and less sliding down endless waterway. I have another game to play – Dragon Quest Heroes – but I haven’t got round to that one yet. Incidentally, Dragon Quest VIII Journey of the Cursed King is being re-released on the 3DS, and even though I still have my PS2 copy, I really want it! Apparently there are additional scenes, dungeons and history in it! I may have to treat myself to it eventually.

So this was a pretty text heavy post, congratulations if you’ve made it to the end! I promise that’s it for today. Now that Christmas is out of the way and all the secret knitting has been done, I should be able to resume my usual blog schedule. And with any luck, be reading a bit more!

How’s your year looked? What about the coming year?
Kialtho

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My blog has been a bit on the quite side recently. This is mainly because I write about two things: Knitting and reading. In terms of the knitting, with Christmas lurking I was making a lot of things for that, so I didn’t want to share here as the blog syncs with Facebook, and as such the recipients would know what was coming – and that would spoil the surprise. For the reading side of things… I just haven’t read an awful lot, especially as the year was coming to an end. My most recent book is awesome, but I just haven’t been able to find the time to pick it up and finish it.

Todays blog is kind of a two parter. Except all in one, if that makes sense? I want to talk about some of those Christmas knits, and then do the whole ‘year in review’ thing. I guess it will just depend on how long the first part turns out.

I’ve been doing various Christmas knitting since around August/ September time. To be fair, the first thing that I made as a present, I still haven’t sent to the person it’s intended for, so I’ll still keep quite on that one. But, I can mention what it is, without a picture, right? Okay, so that first project was a Saroyan, a side to side short scarf/shawl. It was a lot of fun to make, and quite relaxing too.

I then made a Multnomah shawl. This one I made with my sister in mind. She frequently feels the cold, and is definitely and child of the sun. For this I used Countess Ablaze sock yarn in the ‘Pond Scum’ colour way. I also used my new Chiaogoo circular needles, which are amazing! Especially for lace. Honestly, I was blown away with how nice they were. Grippy, but not too grippy, sharp enough for the lace. I’d like to get a couple more sets in the sizes I use most frequently, but I’ll have to see on that one.fullsizeoutput_169dfullsizeoutput_16a1

Next up I made a series of simple hats. The pattern I used was the ‘Boyfriend Beanie’ on Ravelry. This is one of those things though that I wish I could have made without the need for a pattern. Perhaps I need to get some reference books or something. I hated the fact that I needed help in a pattern to make them, but I did. I also didn’t take very good photo’s of them, so only have this one to share:

The pompom is in the colours of the recipients cricket club team. To be fair, I was asked to make it a long time ago, and it certainly became the perfect present to make for Christmas. Then, I thought, I would make some more for the other men in my life. So I did. I used my “goto” yarn for these, which is HobbyCraft’s Women’s Institute. DK for these hats. The Harry Potter themed one I made from some Hayfield as I wanted it to match a Hufflepuff scarf I made a long time ago. I still need to make one of these for my adopted Old Person though…img_2352

Once I’d made these I made a lace weight shawl using the most beautiful camel and silk yarn. It was such a pleasure to knit with, as Countess Ablaze yarn usually is. I got this a few years ago when the Countess had a sale on, and was part of the Twelve Caesers collection. The shawl, called ‘Dearly Beloved’ only took 50g of yarn, and came out at a decent size. Even though my mum knew and had seen me making it, I still turned it into a Christmas present for her. I finished it a lot quicker than I thought I would have done, just 8 days!
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So that’s all the Christmas knits out of the way! I have another project to share with you, but that deserves it’s own blog as well. But let’s just say, I can understand why my hands hurt. I really, really, need to rest them.

I am really happy with how my Christmas knitting turned out. I have away a few of my other projects for Christmas as well, like the OWL mittens, and the red lace scarf that I made back in the summer. It’s been a good year for knitting. But more on that in the next blog!

What were your Christmas makes?

Kialtho

What, a knitting blog? It’s been a while!

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It’s about time I had a knitting update! To be fair though, a lot of things recently – or at least, it feels like a lot of things – have been Christmas knits. I don’t usually knit for Christmas, not in a serious way at least. So I’ll remain incognito about the Christmas stuff.
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I made some leg warmers. I haven’t ever made leg warmers before, and to be fair, I haven’t actually worn them yet. I used the same yarn that I used for my OWLs sweater [which is getting a lot of wear right now!] which is the Hobbycraft Women’s Institute yarn in Aran weight. The leg warmers turned out really well, and they fit well. I decided to not make the iCord though, as I lost interest in them.

The pattern that I used for them was Slouchy Cabled Legwarmers – link to Ravelry. It’s a free pattern, from a designer I’ve bought patterns from before. It’s easy enough to read and implement, although I didn’t read the chart properly and just went for it on the first one – twisted some of the cables a different way, and then didn’t in other places. Despite it, it’s turn out okay. With how cold it’s been the last few days, I may end up wearing them to bed!

I really need to improve the photography of my knitting. And stop just using my iPhone photos – but that will do for now as that’s all I have to share with you… although, here’s a picture of Artie modelling one of the leg warmers…
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The other project I’d like to share with you right now is my remake of “A Floral Affair” which was originally a pattern in Knit Now magazine. When I made this the first time there was a typo or formatting error or something like that that I didn’t pick up on until it was too late. I didn’t undo my work as I was still hoping for the best, but it didn’t work out. [That vest is sitting in the wardrobe, but I’m not entirely sure what to do with it… donate it? Throw it? I just don’t know!].

I was looking forward to remaking this, and again choose some Women’s Institute yarn, this time the “smooth and silky” range which is a sport weight yarn. It’s what I used before and use it quite regularly so can trust it. More or less.
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The project went well, used around 2.5 balls of yarn. The only weird thing that happened with this project was that the second ball of yarn I used – which to be fair it was a different dye lot – but it was thicker than the first yarn. I perhaps should have switched it out for the third ball, but I don’t think it’s made much of a difference in terms of the gauge or anything like that.

I probably could have done with making the ribbing section longer on the arms, but I was keen to cast off by the time I got to the arms… plus, I needed to rest my hands a bit as they were starting to hurt from all the knitting. [Not that I rested them for long, I went straight onto more Christmas stuff].

Again, I really need to start taking better photo’s as it makes my knitting looks rubbish like this! It’s really not though, promise!
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What’s on your needles at the moment? Care to share?

Happy Christmas knitting!

Kialtho