Sunday, 14 May 2017

#EnchantedCottageKAL 3

Yesterday I was out with lots of wonderful ladies for my friend Beth's Hen Do, and it was a magnificent day filled with a life drawing class, games, a murder mystery dinner, and of course, so-much-drinking. Needless to say, I'm a little on the delicate side today ... so what better way to recover than to write an overdue blog post!

Part 3 of Knit Now's #EnchantedCottageKAL is now available in issue 73 of the magazine which is out now, and this month it's all about colourwork. Sticking with the Hyacinth Cottage Blanket, I knitted up 2 Florality squares. 

As usual, the squares were a lot of fun to work on. They presented just enough of a challenge to not be boring without being too overwhelming. The finished pattern is quite exquisite, and the texture of the Illustrious wool really lends itself to the Fair Isle pattern; it 'grips' together quite nicely to make the colours match seamlessly and they are lovely and bright, but also subdued ... perhaps that's the Prosecco talking, but bear with me, I'm sure at least a couple of you will be on the same page as me!
 

The pile of squares is growing quite nicely, and I'm very much looking forward to the next issue's squares, but you'll hear no spoilers from me. In the meantime, I've decided to knit another version of the blanket following my favourite of the squares, the Galaxy Spiral.
 
 
Instead of knitting on 4mm with DK weight yarn, I've gone for super chunky on 10mm, and I am delighted with the result! I've taken a picture with the original square for scale.
 
 
 
This is in Sirdar Big Softie and is scrumptious. I'm working on my 3rd giant square now and I reckon 12 would make a nice blanket, and 16 even more so. I'm doing a colourful miss-match of a blanket using up chunky yarn in my stash, as I have lots of single balls that are only usually good for hats (but I have a lot of hats), and one square eaquals a square with just a little left over for sewing up and pompoms to adorn the blanket. I can't wait to show you when finished. 

Keep an eye out for part four of the #EnchantedCottagKAL!

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Loot Crate, Dream Crate

Happy Sunday dear readers and knitters, how does this sunny day find you all? This post is a little different today, but I hope it will be something that you are interested in and will find it inspiring, creative, and if not a little bit annoying because you will find that you want to buy lots of things you may not have realised you wanted; whu-oh!

I was delighted, delighted I say, to be approached by Loot Crate and asked to take part in their current campaign in which they ask geeky bloggers and online folk (ah, to be considered so - love it) to compile their 'Dream Crate'. And as a past subscriber and a huge fan of subscription boxes, I was more than happy to oblige (and big thanks to the team for their patience while I struggled to find the time to sit my butt down and finally write this!).

What is Loot Crate?
 
Loot Crate is a monthly subscription box service that gives it's subscribers a regular dose of fantastical geekdom and collectables. Crates usually include 4-6 items that are vauled higher than your monthly cost (the best thing about subscription boxes, as well as the brilliant swag) and surround a theme. I used to subscribe to the classic Loot Crate, a great selection of various geekery, but now they do offer specific subscription services on top of the original, depending on your preference: there is a Wizarding World Crate (Harry Potter) and a Gaming Crate that I have my eye on ...

My Dream Crate - Spirituality/Belief
 
Spirituality and belief play such an integral and huge part in so many sci-fi, fantasy, and nerd stories and universes, and even if we aren't concious of it ourselves, our devotion to our interests and fandoms serves as a spiritual or belief-system (in a loose sense) for ourselves. And so this is the theme I've built my Dream Crate around.
GameTee
GameTee Father T-Shirt - Star Wars is a story drenched in spirituality: the battle between the Jedi and the Sith, and the pull that characters feel between each side of the force can be seen in every character we come across. Darth Vader is the character that really personifies this struggle throughout the films, and I couldn't bring together a crate that didn't include something from GameTee, one of mine and Ben's favourite nerdy shops.
Destination Yarn
Destination Yarn Winterfell Speckled Yarn - it wouldn't be a geeky knitter crate if it didn't have some knitting supplies! This beautiful speckled merino and cashmere sock yarn is inspired by the weirwood of Winterfell, the natural 'chapel' of the Old Gods of Westeros in A Song of Ice and Fire / Game of Thrones.
Redbubble
Redbubble The Journey Begins art print - we all love a good art print for our gaming corners, and Journey is a beautiful game about spirituality and, for one interpretation at least, a journey through life to death in the most breathtaking scenes possible.

SGVinyl
SGVinyl Harry Potter Dementors Decal - the role of the Patronus in the Harry Potter universe is to act as a barrier of pure happiness and stregnth against the evil and sadness personified in the Dementors, which takes a significant amount of belief in yourself and is, in my opinion, one of the more important morals in Harry Potter.
American Gods by Neil Gaiman - it would be fantastic if a monthly geek subscription box was to bring out a terrific novel, particularly if this was linked to a newly released film or TV series. American Gods is now available as a TV show (I can't wait to start watching!) and the book is a phenomenal interpretation of religion/s in a modern society.
Forbidden Planet

Final Fantasy X action figure - no crate would be complete without a true collector's item, and an action figure from Final Fantasy X would be splendid. In this game belief systems are challenged and Yuna performs beautiful 'sendings' and summons that are steeped in spiritual practice.



So, would you subscribe to my Dream Crate?

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

knitting down the rabbit hole

 
Hello, hello, hello lovely readers - it's been a little bit of time since we last exchanged words across the vast world wide web. How have you been? I've been busy, mildly stressed, but pretty cheerful all things considered. Oh heck, and hope you had a lovely Easter!

Now that the pleasantries are over, let's get down to knitted tax - namely a little project I knitted up a while ago, and can now share with you. This Alice in Wonderland set is available with Knit Now issue 73 as a free kit, and it's so adorable.

The pattern is designed by Sachiyo Ishii, who's knits are the absolute most darling things I have ever seen! As soon as I saw the pictures of the set, I couldn't knit them fast enough. Alice in Wonderland is such a wonderful book to read, and such a well-known, iconic story filled with imagination and, well let's face it, weirdness. But awesome weirdness!!
 

 
There is a lot of shaping in the patterns, which makes it a lot easier when stuffing to get the lovely little details such as the cheeks and eyes. Sachiyo gives a lot of instruction when it comes to stuffing and shaping, and also sewing in the eyes. The eyes are French knots on both Alice and the White Rabbit, nice and simple but they work. The Cheshire cat is simply embroidered on, and the construction of the cat is my favourite; he has such a big butt and cute pointy legs!


The watch is pretty nifty too, and has a small cardboard circle to help keep its shape. I really enjoyed knitting these guys, and love to look at them sat at my desk at work! 

Next on the knitting list (that is already 7 strong) will be the next stage of the #EnchantedCottageKAL - colourwork blocks! These are in the same issue as Alice and friends, and I think I will cast on while watching Vikings and eating Easter chocolate - mm mm mmmmm.

Oh, and make sure to watch out for some reveals from the #biggeekyswap - I can't wait to share the Poison Ivy that I crocheted.