Monday 31 July 2017

July Catch Up

July has been a busy month for me, finishing projects, starting new ones (more about these at a later date), then dividing time between Yorkshire and Scotland. Where did July go? Anyway, before more time slips by and August begins, thought I'd write a quick update.  

A few weekends ago I attended a very enjoyable Blogstars meet up in Slaithwaite, West Yorkshire. We catch up every six months or so to find out about the latest Stylecraft yarn releases, also to share "important" knitting and crochet chit chat. Meeting up on the day were, (see above group photo from left to right), Heather, Sarah, Phil, Lucia, Helen, Sandra, Kathryn, Emma, me, and seated Catherine. Also in attendance via Skype link from around the world were Angela, Zelna, Polly, Ann and MichelleTwo more Blogstars who were unable to make it on the day are Lucy, and Jane.

Stylecraft are launching a number of new yarn shades this Autumn / Winter. One yarn which I'm able to tell you about now is a particular favourite of mine, Batik DK. There are four new shades in the range, Silver, Mint, Rose and Lupin.

Inspired by Sandra's lovely and very organised collection of Special DK yarn samples which she brought with her on the meet up day... 

...I thought it was time to put my growing collection of Batik DK into some sort of order, using these cardboard embroidery bobbins...

The initial release of Batik DK included 16 shades...

... now total of 20 including the new shades...

I've enjoyed working with this yarn previously on a crochet project using a small selection of colours. There's more about this project in an earlier post here.

I have an idea for a knitting project using some of the new shades.  In the coming weeks and months I'll be able to tell you about that  and about even more shade additions. Plus there'll be news of other interesting and exciting developments from my day out in Yorkshire.

Sunday 2 July 2017

Wild Flowers and Landscape Summer 2017

From time to time I wander from the knitting pathway. This crochet project is one such example and has been a long time in the making. It's been in and out of the cupboard on numerous occasions. Started in July 2013 (see here), where did all the time go? 

First thing to mention is the hexagon motif, it's from Polka Dot Cottage Lakeside Forest Blanket by Lisa Clarke. I was originally  following this pattern but changed course after I'd made several hexagons, having a much reduced colour palette than the one suggested in the pattern. I moved on to making up my own colour arrangements and joining sequence.

Those with an eye for detail may notice this blanket isn't quite symmetrical.  The alternate rows along the horizontal lines number 9 and 10. There is a missing row of 9 hexagons along the top edge (or 10 along the bottom edge depending how you look at it). I was short of the creamy white colour which features in each of the hexagons. After a few online searches I couldn't find a supply of the cream, maybe discontinued? One of the pitfalls of taking so long to complete a project!

Here's some of information about the yarn etc:

Debbie Bliss Bluefaced Leicester DK 50g
stone#505 (cream)
pale blue#513

crochet hook 4mm

total number hexagons 76

blanket measures approximately 124cm x 80cm (49ins x 32ins)

I can't claim to have been inspired by the summer flowers and  landscape here on the west coast of Scotland when starting this blanket in 2013. But the colours in summer 2017 do seem to be reflected in the yarn, distant grey mountains, golden Buttercups, mauve Orchids, white Cotton Grass, green Sedges, blue Forget Me Nots (and rarely seen blue sky).

         Orchids    Buttercups     
Forget Me Nots      Cotton Grass

Here I am on the home straight joining and weaving in all those loose ends...

There have been plenty of rainy days to work on this blanket. Glad to now see it finished and photographed on a sunny morning here on 1st July. Four years almost to the day since I started the project in July 2013.