365 and Counting

Hello Kneeps*

Well, today is my last post for the Knitting and Crochet Blog Weeeeeeeeeek (seeing as it’s taken me a lot longer than a week to write, I thought that is was only fair that I made it a very long “week” 😛 ).  The final challenge is to blog about where I would like to be this time next year in terms of my crafting.  It’s taken me a long time to figure out how to write this.  Not because I don’t know where I want to be but because my own self doubt got in the way of writing something positive.  So I am taking the plunge (while I’m feeling good about it all) and baring my knitting hopes and dreams with you all and I hope that you will keep me accountable to this.

For a while know I’ve been keeping a sketch book close by to jot down/ sketch any original pattern ideas I have, these vary from kids through to adults; socks through to jumpers.  I’ve even gone so far as to chart out some of the different designs, and I’ve cast on 1 or 2, only to rip it out again a few rows later.  I’m kind of scared, firstly because I really don’t know what I’m doing and I struggle with the concept of making “mistakes” and not making something perfect the first time.  Secondly, I’m scared that I’ll knit something up and be really proud of it only to find out later that everyone else thinks is ugly.  Thirdly, I really really don’t know what I’m doing (beyond the knitting bit) and that freaks me out a fair bit.  Maths was never my strong point at school and despite the fact that I know how to use a calculator and have one handy, I still avoid anything to do with maths as a general rule (says the mum with school aged children who bring maths homework home 😕 )

My goal for the next year is that I actually get over myself and turn my sketches into tangible items with real patterns available for those that want them.  Realistically, I know that not everyone is going to like my particular style and you know what?  That’s fine.  But I also know that there must be people out there that will like what I design.  All I need to do is start – or more knittingly, cast on 😛

My 2nd goal for the next year is to start dying yarn.  I’m really keen to give it a go.  Once again, colour aesthetics differ from person to person, just like design.  There are some indie dyers out there whose work is good, but not my style.  I’m sure that there will be people that love my colourways and some that don’t but until I give it a go I’m never going to know what I can accomplish.  And if I bomb out, well, someone’s going to be getting a very ugly multi-coloured Beekeepers Quilt for Christmas 😛 .

So, that’s it.  Putting it out there is a good thing for me (despite the terror I feel at baring my knitterly soul to you all), it means that if I don’t do it, everyone will know.  Really, I don’t want to come to this time next year and find myself having to make excuses as to why I didn’t give it a good shot, it’s certainly not an example that I want to be setting for my kids.

I hope you have enjoyed the last 7 posts, some of them have certainly been very different to what I normally write.  I’ve enjoyed the challenge and having to think outside of my usual box and I’m certainly looking forward to doing it all over again next year.

*Kneeps = knitting people 😛 (“Creeps” – crafting people – just didn’t seem right 😉 )

A Pocket Full of Bling

Hello peeps!

I have a confession to make.

I have an addiction.

I’m addicted to stitch markers.

Big ones, small ones, felted ones, round ones, beaded ones, triangular ones, rubber ones, metal ones, plastic ones, attachable ones, fixed ones………

I think I might need an intervention.  Seriously, no single person needs that many stitch markers (shhhh….. don’t tell Mr HK 😉 )

In defence of my addiction, I have used all of them and I have a variety of sizes for every project on my needles (I’m not sure if that latter one is really a good defence though 😕 ).  I have some very cute ones, like the Teapot and Teacups from Steph Cuddles.

Or the little felted balls with embroidered sheep from Jelby.


I love them, but not all of them are very practical.  I find with the dangly ones that I have to move the bead/ dangly bit out of the way otherwise the stitch marker gets caught up in the stitch or the yarn gets tangled on the dangly bit.  It doesn’t matter how big or small the bead/ dangle is, inevitably I have to flick the marker out of the way which takes time and is a little bit annoying after a while.

My favourite stitch markers, the ones that I find most practical (and rather pretty too) are the ring-o’s.

I am now the proud owner of 2 sets of snagless/ ring o stitch markers (in 2 different sizes, just in case you were wondering).  I love these!  They are pretty, they are practical, and there is no need to flick anything out of the way.  The added bonus is that they can come in multicoloured sets, perfect if you specifically need different coloured/ lettered markers (although if it was me, I’d note down which colour correlated with which marker on the pattern).  I bought the set above from Knits by Jo, they are the XS size and fit a needle up to size 2.75mm – perfect for all my socks!  Jo is also an Aussie (and local to me too) so it wasn’t a hard decision to buy these very pretty stitch markers (I like to think I reduced my carbon footprint by buying local rather than from overseas).  I must admit that I’m really glad that I bought the XS ones from Knits by Jo, it’s nice to have something small specifically for my sock projects (and it’s so good to have an excuse to show them to you, I bought them a little while a go and haven’t had a chance up until now).

The above set was my first set of snagless stitch markers and have been my go to stitch marker for all of my projects up to a size 4mm needle and I love the Fripperies & Bibelots store, there is such a great range of coloured rings and beads and they come with that cute little tin.  They also make a great gift for the knitter who has (almost) everything.  I really really love the snagless variety of stitch markers and would highly recommend them to any one looking for pretty but practical stitch markers.  Don’t get me wrong, I like the dangly ones and I have used them regularly

Millrace

… but I prefer the snagless/ ring o variety and will eventually add larger sizes to my collection.

PS.  Except for the picture of Millrace, I’ve copied all the pictures from the various etsy stores so you could see how awesome the markers look, without being distracted by my projects or fingers.

Pretty in Pink?

My favourite colour is pink.

Funnily enough I don’t knit in pink very often.  Millrace (which I need to block) and the Hopsalots slippers (which I need to finish) are the only things that I’ve knitted for me in pink, that I can think of off the top of my head – and both of them are still in unwearable forms.

The 4th blogging challenge is about colour, what colours do I like, what colours I like to knit with, what colours do I actually knit with (all without cheating and looking at my projects page on ravelry 😛 ).  I like to think I knit in a rainbow of colours, but I think in actuality I knit in a lot of green and blue with the occasional other colour thrown in for good measure, at least when I’m knitting for me.  When it comes to the rest of the family I try to choose colours that I know they love.  Miss 9 loves yellow, Miss 7 loves pinks and purples, the boys like blues and greens, and Mr HK likes grey.

I’m going to be honest and say that this challenge is hard for me.  I love colour, I love knitting in rainbows of colour, but pinning down what colours I actually use is tough.  I guess my house mascot, the Monkey, likes things that are interesting, and I’ve always tried to keep my colour choices interesting, I don’t tend to only ever buy one type of colour, I try to buy from the entire rainbow.

The best way to describe the way I feel about colour choice is that patterns tend to tell me what colour they want to be knitted in.  For instance, from the very first moment I saw the Kai-Mei socks I knew that I had to knit them in a light blue.  The same thing happened with Om Shanti, I knew that the socks needed to be knit in a gradient of some form.  Sometimes it’s a case of matching a pattern with the best colour I have in my stash, sometimes I find a pattern and then go yarn hunting for a particular colour.  Sometimes, I choose colour dependant on my mood.

Pink

In a nutshell, colour evokes an emotional response from me.  On Saturday I balled up a skein of yarn from Spacefrog for the Blomster socks.  It’s a variegated blue, pink and purple and it’s pretty busy and very bright.  I needed a pick me up and that pattern coupled with bright yarn sung happiness to me.  They have been a joy to work ever since.  I love watching the little “flowers” fling extra pops of colour across the brightly coloured backdrop of stocking stitch.  These are my happy socks and I have a feeling I will always have a pair of these ready to cast on, whenever I need a bright little pick me.

blomster