Thursday, December 27, 2012

Season's Greetings.

Hello, I hope you have had a very Merry Christmas and are looking forward to the New Year. Well it all came together here , despite my apprehension. Presents were made, the house was cleaned and the tree decorated, Father Christmas came and everyone had a good time.
When I was hanging up my favourite christmas quilt I realised that after I started it way back here I have never shared it with you the completed quilt that I finished in time for the following Christmas.
Father Christmas quilt
It is the only time Mario's parents have come during the Christmas Season and my Mil requested one straight away. I have to say I started immediately but then it got shelved for other things. Then last year I finished it's twin finally finished it's twin and forgot to show you that either. They are not exactly the same, the fabrics are different and how I finished them are also slightly different. I really do love them both. Kopie van P1180031 Mario calls them my Donkey quilts because he thinks Santa's little helper is too chunky to be a Reindeer. Cheeky!
I have to admit I do have a bit of a passion for Christmas quilts, I have two other hangings on the go.Santa's Helpers The first Santa's Helpers was from a Quilt Mania patten a couple of years ago. It still needs me to design a tree for it as I didn't like the original as it consisted of white rectangles and red buttons. A little minimalist for my liking.
Penguin Quilt
The other a penguin was a a copy of a quilt that I saw in a magazine a few years back and fell in love with. They are both narrow enough to go on the back of a door. I had a little sew on on Christmas Eve but they are still not finished. I may try and complete the applique over the next week but I doubt they will be finished this year.
What I did finish in time for Christmas was a cute little hat for my Mum. It is pansy by Louisa Harding and it is not supposed to be worn quite like this but the crown was a little short for the brim to be turned but mum seems happy with it the way it is.
I also finished two sets of these snowball buddies.
snowball buddies
They were really quick to make and really good fun. definately made by the bows and bells that the designer suggests you add.

here are some close ups
snowball buddies
snowball buddies
snowball buddies
snowball buddies

I also got my christmas day cast on of Oriel by Kim Hargreaves but that will have to wait for my next post.

Arianwen xx

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thick and Thin

well it is nearly here the end of the year and all that entails! I have to say I am most definately not ready. At the end of last month I realised that I am not going to complete the IntSweMoDo2012 challenge that I have in one form or another completed every year for the previous three years. I am not going to finish hand made gifts for Christmas either, yet again it will be i.o.u's or I might just save myself the stress and buy gifts. The house is not clean or decorated and I have lost my voice so am huddled inside infront of the fire rather than out and about. The upside is that I have cast on two wonderful knits. A thick and a thin. The thick is for my brother in law, he is the only person I know who can make use of such a bulky sweater. Neil's Sweater The yarn was a gift from my Auntie Sandi. Prairie wool designed for harsh Canadian winters.It is like knitting with a rough fleece it sheds and splits as I knit. My fingers ache after a couple of rows but is forgiven for the awe inspiring fabric that is produces. Crushed BiscuitThe thin is a lovely cheap and cheerful 4 ply from a local mill, my fingers skip through the endless stocking stitch, my mind desperate for the tedium to end and the lovely fairisle yoke to begin. Neither will be finished until the new year and both will be shelved for my Christmas day cast on. By which time I hope that the house will be clean and decorated and the present situation resolved.

Arianwen xx

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Shake Your Tail Feathers!

Warning this post is long and photo heavy because I have had a really industrious week and a bit!
Soaking fruit,
Christmas cake

Grating Zest
Christmas cake

Measuring with my lovely new cups
Christmas cake

Making wishes
Make a wish

Pouring .....

Christmas cake

and finally ......baking the christmas Cake

Christmas cake

Last Saturday I had a wonderful day on my annual jolly to Harrogate knitting and stitching show.
Harrogate purchases

I fell in love with all of the knitwear on Jennie Atkinsons stall and she was really sweet and signed my book. There was a free pattern with the book which is really sweet and I hope to get around to making in the new year. I also splashed out on a clothkits skirt kit for me ( and I do mean splashed it was a bit pricey)to go with my brand new cardigan.

I figured I might as well copy it and make another from stash.
Clothkits copy
So last Sunday I finished off my Cardigan and made up the first of my skirts.
I am so happy with this outfit
It just makes me want to shake it
So till next time happy houselife!


ETA the lovely birdy measuring cups are from John Lewis I saw them on Cherry heart and fell in love both with the cups and Sandra's blog.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Lemongrass Take 1

I thought I would take a minute to talk about my latest finished creation Lemongrass. I really like the designer, Joji Locatelli and when she put this design up on her project page I started to stalk it until the pattern came up and also rummage through my stash. I really wanted this sweater come poncho, such a clever idea. I had originally thought about doing it in some left over cashmerino and maybe making it stripey as I didn't really have enough. But then I remembered that last year a friend had gifted me 7 skeins of Acrucania Asyen in a pretty blue/green colourway. Perfect!! Well it is .....but when I started knitting it up I realised not only was it incredibly bright but the hand dyeing that had been used on it was incredibly patchy.
So virtually straight away decided that I was going to over dye it. I made it larger as recommended and lengthened it by quite a bit as I think Joji based her sizing on Argentinian women who are TINY! 2012-11-08 12.29.50 Then as soon as I finished, over dyed it. Once it was dry I tried it on and virtually straight away decided that if it was going to be for me it would need to be a lot baggier.
I hadn't really thought through the concept of an open sided sweater, in this climate it is silly, the only way it would work is if you can fit a sweater underneath and I couldn't. The buttons have now gone and the sides have been stitched all the way up and Elenya has taken it off my hands. Oriana really likes it too, so I am thinking about casting on another one for her from stash, then of course it is the Harrogate show in a couple of weeks so maybe I will splash out and make another one for me.
Well that is the story of the not so successful but very eventful Lemongrass but I am hoping for a better Ta dahh next week.

Arianwen x

Friday, November 09, 2012

Out of the Darkness

Out of Darkness
just thought I would have a quick pop in before the weekend and show you my lovely new shawl. It has been finished for a couple of weeks and I have been hoping for some modelled shots. Alas it is not to be. When there is more than one person in the house life is either to hectic or it is just too darn dark, The irony of this is not lost as the name of the shawl is Out of the Darkness. Today I am home and have just rushed outside with the camera, it is just as well they are not modelled shots as it is soo windy they would have been very unattractive. Out of Darkness
After I draped it artistically in the tree I was a bit worried that I was actually going to get it stuck in the small twigs which would have made for a very different type of post.
Out of Darkness
I love all of booknits shawl patterns but I am particularly happy with this one as I really enjoyed the dyeing process. Admittedly by the end the dye water and the shawl smelt like pond scum which made knitting it a bit yucky and there were times when I worried the the whole process was going to end up stripey but it seems to have a produced a lovely subtle colour change. The shawl is very elegant pattern and the extra pattern repeat and the silver beads makes it very grown up not for the everyday as many of my shawls are. It has lots and lots of beads all of which were put on with a crochet hook. The last few rows seemed like they took forever but as all of the beads sit perfectly it was worth it, as I have a very special piece of knitting.
Out of Darkness
Now it is wrapped up in a drawer and I am looking for something equally special to wear with it.

Till next time, happy stitching

Arianwen xx

Monday, October 08, 2012



I really can't believe how the time seems to slip away from me this year. It is either knitting or blogging at the moment. And I have to say I am finding that at the end of most days I am short of words and pictures but here it is!!! Lillian.
I am so proud of this sweater. The colour has turned out really well with no pooling. The pattern was easy to follow and the finished product is warm comfortable and flattering! Really flattering.
Just look at those amazing Cables.
I have worn it with jeans around the house and with a black pencil skirt for work and it has gotten me a lot of compliments. I can't wait to get my hands on another dyeing project really soon. Maybe something red, though I am still being goodish on the stash busting that might have to be my christmas cast on. We shall have to wait and see.

Till next time
Arianwen xx

Thursday, September 13, 2012


well we are slipping gently back into the school and work routine. Uniforms, lunches and out the door. Blogging time is again at a premium. But I cant let a year go by without mentioning the Exchange! For those of you who don't know one of the highlights of my year is the RowanTree Exchange. This year the theme was "Fit for a queen" My exchange gifts for the RowanTree exchange have arrived in the sunny Netherlands. So I thought I would share.
2012-08-29 17.41.05 This was a mystery shawl from Through the loops, I really struggled with this one as it really didn't want to behave on the blocking. I think this might of been because it should of been lace weight and I bought to dye for 4ply in Bloody Valentine ( what a great name hey? I bought it on the strength of that alone). Anyway I invested in some wires and was ruthless and that seemed to work. I also made this.
2012-08-29 17.45.01
Nessie a shawl that my exchangee specifically asked for. It was pretty perfect for the bus rows, upon rows of garter stitch. It was a little bit mind numbing but I actually really liked it when it was finished the way the ends twirl is very flattering.
Then I realised that there are quite a few shawls from the past few months that haven't been shown.
Many of them were done on the bus last term. I have a little shawl addiction going on all because of BooKnits her shawls are lovely!! This was my first, Cloud Illusions
2012-09-08 12.39.02 the perfect medium for a lovely skein dream in colour starry that I was gifted as part of the RownTree Exchange last year.
I keep buying her little booklets and seeing more and more that I want to own. This one is called Sweet Dreams ( they all have lovely names)
2012-09-08 12.39.38
The yarn is madelainetosh light and I was lucky enough to get in on a ravelry destash from none other than Booknits herself.
I am still knitting the mystery shawl as I think I mentioned last post, it is called out of the darkness. It is a bit of an experiment I am dyeing my yarn every six rows or so, covering the whole shawl with the dye and then when I am ready to dye again filling the bottle back up to the top with water so the colour dilutes. out of the Darkness To me it looks like summer skies I love it. Just need a few more hours to finish.
Speaking of dyeing, I have finished Lillian!!! Watch this space for a grand reveal.

Till next time

Monday, September 03, 2012

The Last Day of Summer

2012-09-03 13.50.33

well that is it. The last day of the summer holidays is drawing to a close. We have spent it biking on the rec and then playing in the sunshine at the local park. 2012-09-03 15.23.17 I have to say we are very lucky as it has just been restored and even if it hadn't just look at those views.
2012-09-03 15.23.55
We have a wonderful summer and I have had a very industrious last week of freedom. There has been knitting! Lillian is again on the needles.
2012-09-01 15.57.45A mystery booknits shawl has be cast on. The title of it is out of the darkness and I have again put my dyeing hat on.
2012-09-02 10.37.50
Dyeing it slowing with a paintbrush at every stage. The first colour change is a little more stripey than I wanted but, I will hopefully be able to change that later. I do love the way the beads sparkle on the newly dyed yarn.
The other knitting has been this
2012-08-28 18.28.10 The RowanTree Forum on Rav are designing our own blanket. This is my first block that I have designed for it I hope to have another up my sleeve plus of course all the other blocks that my friends have designed.

I hope you enjoy your first week back at school and I will see you next week.

Arianwen xx

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Say Something Sunday

Hello, Yes I know it has been a while, I just haven't been very motivated with anything much except children and their activities. I also hadn't realised how stressful it is waiting for Exam results. For those of you who haven't got children at the exam stage of life it is far, far more stressful than your own! Lilian seems to have been mislaid it has been so long since I have done any on it. Anyway in order to try and get myself into the swing of things again I have decided to re-instate Say Something Sundays, well for this week at any rate! So I am going to show you Emilie I finished it months ago and have worn it lots.
Truly Scrumptious Emilie
I have to say the pattern is lovely and I would definately make it again. But the yarn really isn't as good quality as you would expect for the price. The colour is fantastic and seems to go with lots in my wardrobe but it has pilled quite badly so I guess should of kept it for high days and holidays this really is a shame as I have enough in a gorgeous purpley blue to make something else and I was hoping for Challow which really is an everyday kinda sweater!
Anyway enjoy the rest of your Bank Holiday weekend
Arianwen xx

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Taking the plunge

how are you? We have had a lovely first week of summer holiday. There has been baking, sewing and couple of chilly day trips to the beach.
2012-07-26 14.38.59
The weather is on the lips of everyone this summer. I am watching the Olympics as I type and it is throwing down during the cycling race. I waited all through April and May in order to be able to start summer knitting but by the end of June I gave up on the idea and decided to cast on a winter warmer. Whilst at Woolfest I wandered about looking for the perfect yarn. I saw some on a stall a lovely bluey grey green handdyed. £12.00 a skein and I waited and waited for the lady to serve me but she was too busy talking to her friend so I put it back then I ended up at Debbie's stall I told her what I wanted my yarn to look like and then I bought myself some lovely BFL in aran weight. 2012-06-24 16.44.17I also bought three tubs of procion dyes. As soon as I got home, I took the plunge and painted up my yarn. It is difficult to capture the colour, I have taken dozens of photos and this is the closest.2012-07-25 07.19.36
I am making Lilian by Lucy Sweeting I am going quite slowly mainly because I can't believe that I am actually knitting up wool in the middle of summer. It is a very enjoyable pattern just complicated enough to keep my interest and easy enough to be done in company. I am knitting it in the round two balls at a time because I was a little uncertain about my first dyeing but it seems ok and I have to say I am loving the results!

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