Monday, 11 July 2016

June Round-Up



Wowee, can you believe we are halfway through the year, it's supposed to be summer but the weather seems to be undecided. One day it's sunny, then next there a storm, the day after that it starts off cool and bright and then ends with another storm.

The great thing about crafting is that it's not affected by the weather and I have some great things to show you.

The accompanying video for this round-up can be found at the bottom of the post.

Done and Dusted

Socks

I wanted my June socks to be very simple, I didn't feel like following a pattern and wanted the yarn to speak for itself. The yarn I used was Rico Designs Superba Poems in the Gray colourway. This yarn is a single ply and produces a gradient shade. I was excited to cast these on,but soon wished I hadn't. The yarn broke three times as I was working the cuffs and I had to do a felted join.


As I continued to make progress, there were no other issues, but the thickness of the yarn wasn't consistent causing it to split. Even though they were vanilla socks, they took longer to knit up as I had to keep checking that the yarn hadn't split.

I worked my first afterthought heel on these socks, this is where you knit a tube, placing scrap yarn at the point where you want your heel to be. Once you've finished the socks, you pick up the stitches around the scrap yarn cut/pull this out then work the heel as you would a toe.

This heel technique has always intrigued me, but I can no say I won't be eager to try it again. It was very fiddly and left a gap in the corner of my heels, despite the fact that I found a video on YouTube for a gap-free afterthought heel. I think this type of heel is best suited to self-striping/patterning yarn.

Design Project

In a previous round-up, I mentioned that I had received a Firefly club yarn package from Third Vault Yarns.


With my May/June shawl already finished I decided that it was the perfect time to work on a project for this yarn. As it's a DK weight and I only had one skein, a cowl, I thought, was the best option for a pattern. I already had a few ideas for a stitch pattern but wasn't sure how best to implement it and after three restarts I came up with this...


It's called Find Me In The Valley, I thought it only right to keep up with the Firefly theme. The name refers the Battle of Serenity Valley, where the Independents (Browncoats) fought against the Alliance in the Unification Wars.

This pattern is currently being tested and should be released in the second week of this month. I'm very excited about this pattern because I think I may have made up a new stitch. I'm not sure what to call the stitch and won't settle on a name until after testing, so keep an eye out for updates.


On The Needles/All hooked Up

This month I started two mitred square blankets, one knitted and one crocheted. For the knitted blanket, I will use my scrap 4ply yarns and in the crocheted blanket I will use both 4ply and DK yarn.

 

I'm going to make a note of the yarns that I use so that when I finally finish the blankets I'll have a reminder of what each yarn is. 


Goodies Galore

I know I mentioned in the last round-up that my goodies would be on the light side for the next few months, but in  June a few treats came through my door. The first were the yarns I will be using to make the Atlas jumper for the tripolatas. 

TVY Quarterly Yarn Club

The second and most eagerly awaited goody was the second quarterly club package from Third Vault Yarns. This quarter was based on the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett, I'm  a big fan of Discworld and was so excited when this arrived.


In the package was a 100g skein of the main club yarn, 4 minis, some stitch markers, buttons and a shawl pin.

The club yarn is called 'Cosmic Turtle', named after the turtle on which the four elephants who carry the Discworld sit. From left to right, the minis are A Very Unmagical Sword (Guards, Guards), (The Wee Fee Men), He Who Loves Cats (Death), and The Colour of Magic. The buttons represent three of the many guilds on the disc. Then the stitch markers and pin relate to various characters and themes in the books.

I plan to do a design project with this too, I have one idea but will keep it under wraps until I'm ready to work on it.

Crochet Club Box


The final goody I received was part of the crochet hook club from For The Love of Yarn. If you read my last round-up you would know that I wasn't ecstatic about the crochet hook. This month the hook is a lot better but still not what I would go for. The yarn, on the other hand, is lovely, and along with the hook is called 'Purple Envy'. This will be a very welcomed addition to my blankets.

WWKIP Swap

It was World Wide Knit in Public Day on the 18th of June and I attended a met up in Central London. I had such a great time and there was a better than expected turn-out, next year we plan to be a lot more pro-active in contacting companies, promoting the swap and organising prizes.


I took a bunch of minis to swap with other attendees and came home with a skein of Wendy Roam and a leftover ball of sock yarn. The lady who gave me the sock yarn wasn't sure what it was, It looks a little like West Yorkshire Spinners, but even if it isn't I still love the colours and look forward to seeing how it knits up.

I would like to use it for something other than my mitred squares blankets, but I'm unsure of what that would be. A Ravelry search is definitely in order.

Waiting In The Wings

Kid Makes


As mentioned before, I will be making each of the tripolatas an Atlas jumper. I only have enough yarn to work the main part of each jumper and I will get the contrasting colours when I need them.
The grey is for Manny and the red for Jimmy Jnr. the beige was going to be for Mr Mic but it's lighter than I thought it would be and doesn't suit him. I may go for a dark blue instead.

Shawl



My chosen shawl for July/August is Linus on the Line by Midwinter Yarns. I picked up the kit for this at Unravel in February. The yarn is from Ullcentrum and is 100% Swedish wool. The skein on the left is Blue Blend and the one on the right is Cold Grey, both a worked in alternating stripes. This pattern is perfect for the summer holidays, it's worked completely in garter stitch so I'll have one less thing to think about with a house full of children.

Word For The Month

The word for July is taken from John 13:34

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another."

I go into more detail at the end of the round-up, but this verse tells us that we should use the that Christ showed to others as an example of how we are to treat one another.



Thursday, 23 June 2016

Fruit Shortcake Biscuit video


Some time ago I posted a recipe for Fruit Shortcake Biscuits. I am pleased to be able to provide a video tutorial for the recipe as well.

Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel to stay up to date with all my latest videos.



Sunday, 12 June 2016

May Round-Up


Can you believe it's June, were almost halfway through 2016. Summer is finally making a somewhat regular appearance in this part of the world,

Project wise, I have a few things to show you, the accompanying video for this post can be found at the bottom.

Done and Dusted

Shawl

Mrs U Makes... May Round-Up

I wanted to enter the Summa Stripes Shawl into the Expat Yarn KAL over at the Knitting Expat Ravelry group, the KAL was due to end on the 31st May so I started the shawl a few days early to give myself some extra time. This was completely unnecessary because I finished the shawl within a couple of weeks.
This demonstrates how easy the pattern is to follow, it’s well written with instructions on how to carry the contrasting along each row so that you don’t have long floats or lots of ends to weave in.
It was the perfect pattern to use for the yarn I received in the Expat Yarn Swap, they complement each they complement each other so well. The darker shade is Dream in Color Everlasting DK in Holly, 100% SW Merino 275yds/100g. The lighter one is Greenwood Fiberworks Silky Sheep in River Stone, 50% Silk 50% SW Merino 231yds/100g. If you ever get the chance to use either of these yarn brands I’d definitely recommend them.

Kid Makes

Mrs U Makes... May Round-Up

Little Miss Celebrated her 1st birthday in May and as a little gift, I made her the Ribbed Baby Jacket by Debbie Bliss. It’s made from in one piece starting from the hem at the back and ending at the front. I made a slight change to the pattern, opting for a garter edge/collar instead of a ribbed one and adding a single crochet border to the hem. I was also contemplating adding cuffs to the sleeves but ran out of yarn in the contrasting shade.
The yarn I used was Scheepjes Merino Soft in Hogarth (grey) and Copley (pink). Though this was very soft to work with, it was also very splitty despite the fact that I was using 6mm Addi Clicks, which are blunt.
If I did use this again, I would use a different yarn and work a garter hem to stop it from rolling.

Socks

Mrs U Makes... May Round-Up

My chosen socks for May were Solar Flair by Rachel Coopey, I started these quite late and finished with a day to spare. The pattern is easy to follow and memorise. I worked the same number of rows for the cuffs, 40 rows for the leg and 60 for the foot, with the toe being worked as instructed in the pattern.
The pattern uses a heel flap and gusset but I opted for the FLK heel. I love this heel technique; it’s so quick and leaves my socks gap free. If you haven’t used this heel before I recommend that you get the pattern it’s less than £1 and comes with instructions on how to make a cardboard cut out of any foot you are knitting for. I didn’t make the foot and still think the heel alone is worth the price of the instructions.

Moving onto the yarn, I used Norah George in 50 Shades of Blue, this yarn is 75% SW Merino 25% Nylon, 400m/100g. It was lovely to work with, the blues are so vibrant and though this was a lot more variegated than I had anticipated, I still like how it looks. I had about 40g of this left over, which I look forward to adding into my mitred square blankets.

Design Project

Mrs U Makes... May Round-Up

My latest design project is, as yet unnamed. It's a crochet wrap vest, with with a contrasting front which gives it a POP.
I'm not sure whether I'm going to have it tested or test it myself, the sizing is customisable so I'll need to work on the instructions to check that it makes sense and that it works. Once that's done it will be ready for purchase, so watch out for it.

On the Needles/All Hooked Up

Sweater
I've finished the back and left front of the Callie cardigan by Sublime yarns. I'm yet to cast on for the right front but will try and get that started soon.

Design Project

Mrs U Makes... May Round-Up

In the March Round-Up, I spoke about the club package I received from Third Vault Yarns. I had initially searched for patterns to make with this but then decided to design my own pattern instead. I'm going to make a cowl and have already started, but have to restart it and adjust the size. I may also go up one needle size to loosen up the gauge. The image above is how it initially looked before I made changes to some of the stitches.
The yarn is themed around the TV series Fire Fly, so I will try and name the project in a similar fashion.

Goodies Galore

Goodies are going to be a little sparse for the next few months. In may I received two sets on goodies, though only one of these was physical.

Crochet club box


The only thing that came through my doors were this hook and mini from as part of their Crochet Hook Club. The box included a handmade crochet hook along with a complimentary skein of yarn and a pattern for a crocheted mitred square. I went with the mini skein (20g sock weight) but you can also choose full-size skeins.
If I’m honest, the colour of the hook is not me at all and the mini skein isn’t me either, but I like the idea of the club and was prepared for the fact that I might not like every hook I receive. I wasn’t able to get the most recent club box but will get the next one, adding all the minis to a crochet mitred square blanket.
Do check out her Etsy store, For The Love Of Yarn UK if it’s something that you’d like to take part in or just check out her other items.

My other goodie for May was a pattern I won in Serenova Crafts April FO prize draw. I chose Thingvellir by Linnea Ornstein. This Icelandic style jumper is something that I've wanted to knit up for a long time, and it's made using Lopi which is another bonus.

Waiting in the Wings

There aren't any major plans for my June projects, I'm like to make a start on the Atlas sweaters for the tripolatas and of course my June socks for which I will use Rico Designs Poems. Most likely these will be vanilla socks with an afterthought heel.

As well as these I will make a start on two mitred square blankets, one knitted and one crochet. Be sure to stop by in July to see how I get on.

Word for the Month

The word for June is 1Thessalonians 5:15

Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

I go into more detail in the video, but this sums it up.
When we are wronged (something we all have and will experience), it's natural for us to want to get some sort of justice. But, instead of retaliating we should take a moment to realise that we should be the better person and not try and seek revenge. Instead, we should think of how we can show love in this and every situation.



Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Beaded Dome Ring, part 1



My latest tutorial is for a fabulous beaded dome ring. The great thing about this ring is that the dome can be as big or small as you want, just use smaller or larger beads. You can also use any beads or stones, so the design possibilities are endless.

In part one, I show you how to make the domed portion of the ring, then in part two (coming soon) I will show you how to make the band.

To make the ring you will need:

15 beads (I've used 6mm Swarovski pearls)
Nylon thread (about 60cm)
Size 11 seed beads
a beading needle

Now just click on the video and see how easy this ring is to make.






Tuesday, 3 May 2016

April Round-Up

Mrs U Makes...April Round Up


April is here and boy has it made its mark with the weird weather we've been having, hail, rain and sunshine all within the space of a few hours. Thank God for knitting and crochet and baking otherwise I'd be miserable with nothing to do.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Coconut Macaroons

Mrs U Makes...Coconut Macaroons @mrsumakes #mymrsumakes


Well, my oven is still out, so it's another quick make from the U kitchen. In terms of ingredients, this is the simplest yet. You only need two ingredients, anything else is just for taste and decoration.

I've previously posted another chocolate and coconut recipe (Rainbow Coconut Bars), this is a great alternative for anyone who wants something a little chewier.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Sweet and Savoury Palmiers

Mrs U Makes... Sweet and Savoury Palmiers @MrsUMakes #mymrsumakes

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this in a previous post, but my oven is out of action. The door came off and we're still waiting for it to be repaired. Thankfully I have a counter top oven, which works just as well as a regular oven, however, it's a lot smaller so my options for oven based meals are restricted.