Sunday, 2 April 2017

#EnchantedCottagKAL 2

The next issue of Knit Now came out this week, which means it's part 2 of the #EnchantedCottagKAL! I told you all about the beginning of the knit along last month, which will result in a lovely finished blanket (I am sure - technically a mystery KAL after all). There are 3 options of blanket to choose from, and I am knitting the Hyacinth Blanket - which of the three is the more advanced of the blankets. I am knitting it in West Yorkshire Spinners Illustrious which is luuuuush! Last month we launched with the galaxy spiral square, which was so, so much fun to knit - I could only hope this month would be just as good.

Oh yes, yes it was! You see above that I have knit the knots & berries square. This month is all about cables, and let me tell you these cables were pleasantly challenging! If you look at one of the cables and count the 3 strands, in order to have the middle strand visually snaking up and down in between the other two, 2 cable needles were required, and after bringing one to the front and the other to the back, you have to knit, then swap them round, and then knit the cable needles in an order that I can't even remember it was that interestingly complex. Don't let that put you off though, it was well worth it and I've never done cabling where more than one cable needle was needed. 

I think you will also agree that the finished effect is lovely. The berries are made by increasing 5 stitches into one, turning, and reducing them again before carrying on. My only issue is with the finish - it is very difficult to block this square into, well, a square. I had this difficulty with the galaxy spiral as well, so I am curious how my finished blanket will turn out if all of my squares are just not quite squares ... but it will be consistent! And if I can nail my seaming technique I am certain that they will gently shape each other into squares. 

So, two months in, 4 squares done - so far I am enjoying this :) I have seen the next 2 squares to look forward to (the perks of the job, eh?) and they look just as fab so I am very much looking for to continuing this! In the meantime, I fancy starting my own take on Lucy's Attic24 granny stripe blanket, so that will be today's job, and tonight's while Ben and his friend watch Wrestlemania (anyone else into that? No? Ah well!) 

If you are taking part, make sure to say hi and let me know which blanket you are knitting! If you fancy joining in, you can buy issue 71 and 72 (parts 1 and 2) from www.moremags.com 

Oh, and before I go, HOW is it April already?! The year is gushing past But the sun is out right now so I am very pleased with this :)

Sunday, 19 March 2017

KNITCRATE march box

I am much more on the ball this month with collecting my missing post and getting my butt in gear to write the blog, so funnily enough, even though last week I introduced you to the February KNITCRATE, I am rather pleased to be able to introduce to the March crate in much better time!
 

I just this morning picked up the crate from the post office, and I am absolutely over the moon with the contents!! There is a beautiful note card explaining the inspiration behind the theme, colours and choices for this month's KNITCRATE (main box) which are the earthy, deep tones of root vegetables and left over winter stores. Even though we are all moving into spring, we just can't seem to shake off the end of winter, so this box has put a lovely warm, rich spin on that idea.

The 2 skeins included in this month's crate are a delectable selection from Knit One, Crochet Too. The fingering weight yarn is called Crock-O-Dye and is so soft against the skin - 65% superwash wool, 20% nylon and 15% silk, oh man oh man the silk mmmMMMmmmmmm. With 380m per skein, I am looking forward to a lot of knitting with this beautiful wool. The downloadable pattern(s) - generous enough for two this month! - are for shawls, one beginner and one intermediate. I have never knit a shawl before but I have wanted to for so long, and now I can and I can't wait to get started tonight! The colours are a lot darker and deeper than my usual choice, but when I mentioned this to Ben he said that these two will make such a beautiful shawl, and I know he is right and it will be a beautiful, grown-up shawl (if I can say that) - perfect for when this spring weather inevitably turns cold and wet ... oh, look outside it  is now! :)

 
I was expecting another bath bomb or similar extra goody along with the yarn, so I was pretty excited when I found that it was in fact these adorable sheep stitch markers! They are so cute and lovely!

The box comes with a list of the value of the items in the crate and I am once again very impressed at the quality of the contents, not only for it'd value but for the quality, value, and how excited I am when I first open it to find out what goodies I have to play with!

Don't forget, if you click this link and enter code Geek20 you can save an exclusive 20% off the first month of your subscription! The March box is still open until the end of this month! And if you want to find out a little bit more about this awesome monthly subscription, read my first post about it where I go into a little more detail. 

And now, I am off to start my first ever shawl with the gorgeous wool! Happy Sunday :)

Sunday, 12 March 2017

have you heard of KNITCRATE?

Not too long ago, I was approached by the lovely team at KNITCRATE who asked if I would be interested in working with them to review their monthly subscription box and to offer my reader's a special discount if they were to sign up for the box. My response? Oh, yes yes please!

I am a huge fan of subscription boxes, and I used to be a subscriber to Lootcrate (one for nerds, very good, highly recommended) and for a long time I've wanted to treat myself to another subscription, in particular to knitting if I could manage it. So it was with utter joy that I accepted a subscription to KNITCRATE, and my first box arrived and ... well, just journey with me on the unveiling of the February box.


I couldn't quite believe the quality of the contents of the main box - or Knitcrate - which came in a fabulously bright red parcel (I would have taken a picture, but I was just too darn excited!). Inside were 3 delicious skeins of Mrs. Crosby Loves to Play yarn - Steamer Trunk is 100% superwash Merino wool, and I have THREE skeins of the stuff! It's soft, soft, and did I mention, so so soft? The colours are deep, bold, and the green (named Garden House) is subtly toned throughout as well, so I can't wait to see what it looks like knitted up. It's a worsted/aran weight yarn so it should knit up nice and quick as well - bonus!

And that's not all; a luxury, lavender bath bomb is included as well as a download code for a pattern from Ravelry, which for February is a bag. I myself don't knit bags, but I have the pattern JIC and I might find some other use for this b-e-a-utiful yarn. 
For around $45 I think this is incredible value for money, particularly if - like me - you wouldn't normally treat yourself to such lovely yarn as this so to have it send to your door is a treat. I also plan to thoroughly enjoy my bath bomb tonight with a glass of wine (and watching Yu-Gi-Oh I think ...) 
If you want to sign up to Knitcrate then simply click this link, and if you enter code Geek20 and you will receive 20% off your first month! 
But if this isn't for you, and socks are more your thing (as they are fast becoming mine) then how about Knitcrate Socks?



For the cheaper rate of around $30 you receive a generous a skein of wool perfect for knitting, you guessed it, socks! February saw Mrs. Crosby make an appearance again with Train Case, a generous 100g (425 yards) skein of 55% superwash Merino wool, 15% nylon and 30% viscose which will become a fabulous pair of socks just as soon as I finish the pair of socks currently on my needles. Enchanted Garden is the name of the colourway, which has gorgeous flecks of green and blue running through the cream wool.

As with the main crate, the box (very nice) arrived with a download code for a pattern for a pair of socks (which I will definitely be using) and a bath bomb (to be saved for next Sunday I think!) 

Again if you want to sign up to Knitcrate Socks, or maybe you fancy a crochet crate, a beginner's crate, or something else, you will find it on their website!! Just click this link and make sure to enter my special code Geek20 to receive 20% off your first month! But hurry, you have until 31st March to sign up for March's box.


**Big thanks to KNITCRATE who very kindly sent me these 2 boxes for review. All thoughts, opinions, and gushings of wool-related excitement are my own. Sign up is open on KNITCRATE now for the March box, not February.