Monday, 31 August 2015

august crafting - update

Crochet a new Marvel character (or two), along with a pattern
Phew, I took it right up to the last minute but I managed to finish my new Deadpool crochet character, as planned earlier this month! He hasn't photographed as well as I would like, but 7.30 on a dreary Sunday evening doesn't equate to great light, and similarly earlier this week I broke the camera lens (many many tears). I've ordered a new one though which I should have by Thursday, so I can take much better pictures when I type up the free crochet pattern that I will share with you guys hopefully next month! I hope you will like that! :)
I really like how Deadpool has turned out - I'm not sure about the detail stitching on his head, and he might need another accessory or two to adorn his suit. I ought to test the pattern again so I can nail his features more. Perhaps you will disagree when I share some (much) better pictures of him once I have a great camera again! Look out for new pictures I hope next weekend all being well!

Either way I am really super pleased with how Deadpool looks - he is quite different to Spiderman, but I like it! What do you think? More pictures and details to follow! And watch out tomorrow for September's crafty plans


Wednesday, 26 August 2015

yarn along

Currently knitting oh so many things! As you can see, my knitting bag is spilling with projects (the bag, by the way, was a bargain in the Hobbycraft sale section - only £5!). I'm slowly making some progress with the secret birthday gift for Ben (though not so secret if you check that link), and a little more progress is being made on the draper cardigan - I've completed the back panel and have started the front panels, knitting both together to ensure correct length is achieved. I've also almost finished the second in a style of hat I'm trying out for a future project to be announced next month - think Pokemon and Etsy, be sure to watch this space. And of course I'm still working on Deadpool - he has a head now (as you may have seen on Instagram) and half of a body - I'm finding it a little tricky to make time to work on him though, as I'm enjoying (binge) watching Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and also Marvel's Agent Carter (my life is pretty Marvel right now - love it), so knitting my easy patterns is preferable to trying to write a crochet pattern - but I think I will still make my deadline

Currently reading Shadow of a Dark Queen still. Feist's books are always a little slower going for me than others, but certainly worth the work. I have my eye on reading a book from my past after this one though - hopefully I can tell you all about it next week; it's an excellent one! 

Find me on Goodreads!

Linking up with Ginny's Yarn Along

Saturday, 22 August 2015

a day in Blackpool

"And now for something completely different."
In the words of those chaps from Monty Python, I've been trying really hard to practice my photography skills, not only to better share my makes on the blog, but also from a personal point of view, so I can stop being jealous of other peoples' pictures and start being more proud of my own! To this end, I treated Ben and myself to a day long holiday in Blackpool on Thursday, being only just under 2 hours away by train and I needing a desperate break from regular day to day life. Very luckily for us the weather was gorgeous, though we had dressed for a cool, windy day, and we mistimed our desire for a walk along the beach, so the tide was in most of the time, but this didn't stop us from enjoying ice cream in the wind, fish and chips on the North Pier, and some greasy doughnuts sat on the steps watching the sea and seagulls. 
Of course we took many more pictures than you will see here, but these are the ones I liked the best. I think if I want to get better at taking pictures and identifying the great shots I need to just snap-snap-snap some more! Though on this particular day the real aim was to have a miniature holiday, perhaps next time the real aim will be to get those lovely pictures. Although no knitting was done this day, we did play Yu-Gi-Oh! cards on the train in and out, enjoyed a nice pint at the local Wetherspoons, and bought some abysmally flavoured rock simply because we couldn't not! Think 'traditional pasty', 'chicken tikka', 'cheese & tomato pizza', and 'fish & chips' flavours - we haven't been brave enough to actually taste them however!

I hope you like these pictures, I'm eager to go back to Blackpool already and to try and get some more pictures that invoke that traditional British holiday feels - I'm thinking the arcades, promenades and doughnuts!

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

yarn along

how refreshing to be working in some different colours again!
Currently knitting a birthday present for Ben! Hush hush, it's a secret from him - but I know he doesn't read my blog unless I particularly ask him to, so I don't mind sharing a sneaky picture. In case he does for some reason choose today to change his non-blog reading ways, those interested in knowing more about the project and where they can find the pattern would be better checking out my Ravelry project page. Not only am I getting lots of knitting done (did you see I finally finished the textured vest?) but I've finally started to properly work on my Deadpool crochet. I often set myself the monthly challenge and then get easily distracted by (several) other projects, and this month has been no exception! I've been thinking about this one a lot though, so even though I am still right at the beginning of the design process I feel that he should *should, SHOULD* be a great little character. 

Currently reading I'm still reading Shadow of a Dark Queen - at just over 200 pages in its certainly picked up, and is making such a great change to the Joe Abercrombie books I tried to read a few weeks ago. Once I've finished I may break up the series with some lighter reads though. As great as this book is, I'm still not quite used to the epic fantasy series, and I find following the same characters over such a length of time both wonderful and a little tiresome. So a short single book before the next instalment should keep me interested, without causing me to forget the flow of the story, wouldn't you agree?

You can also find me and what I love to read on Goodreads!

Linking up with Ginny's Yarn Along

Friday, 14 August 2015

fo: textured vest

Pattern - 28-15 textured vest
Yarn - Stylecraft Special DK (shade mocha)
Ravelry project page - here

Casting back in my mind, I believe the reason I decided I wanted to knit a vest top was that Elise had knitted a beautiful vintage waistcoat and I wanted something like this under my knitting belt. Plus it would give me another layering option come the colder months. After looking through many patterns on Ravelry, I settled on the 28-15 textured vest pattern by Pierrot not only for the look, but because it was free and I wasn't sure how much I would wear this item, so didn't really want to pay for the pattern. 

The pattern itself is written as a Japanese chart - wow! Some parts are easy to read, such as cast on, work pattern for 'x' amount of rows, however the increases/decreases are written in this format;
This means 'every 4 rows, decrease/increase by 1, 2 times' (increases/decreases worked according to the chart shape). Sounds confusing, but once you get the hang of it it's actually a beautifully concise way to write a pattern!

I really liked the look of this pattern and was determined to knit it, so after much internet searching I found two great pages which helped me to read the pattern, which if you are on the hunt to learn something new I recommend you check them out, here and here. The pattern also comes in one size, but looks like its made for a small teenager, so I took my measurements and did some maths, resulting in my first modified knit from a pattern - huzzah! These involved casting on more stitches, working all 3 pieces as 1 so no sewing up required, and adding length in the body and arm holes. You can find detailed notes on the modifications I made on my Ravelry Project page.

As my modifications went, I think I got the size round my bust quite happily down. The arm holes too are a perfect fit, with plenty of ease should I need to layer up beneath the vest. Unfortunately I was a little cautious with the length, and should have gone with my instinct and added a few inches more to the length as I like to wear dresses most days - what do you think? I'm wearing jeans in the pictures I took when I did the initial blocking of the vest on Tuesday. Yesterday I tried to add a little more length to the top with another blocking session, which I think was successful, I certainly felt better about wearing the vest (even if I didn't feel any better taking pictures) - pictures of me in the flowery trousers are the vest after a second blocking. I also think that, at the current length, the vest needs some waist shaping as it's a little on the boxy/unflattering side. I may at a later date sew up some rows to see if that helps with the shape. This could also be to do with the fact I knit the vest as a single piece, perhaps seaming the piece would have added more shape and definition?

At the moment I have mixed feelings about the vest. The more I look at these pictures the more I like the way it looks, but when I was having the pictures taken I was very self-concious and I wasn't happy with it (though hopefully this was just my frame of mind that day?). It's difficult too because this top is obviously for autumn/winter wardrobes and right now we are (supposedly) in summer. I will give this time before I make any 'final' judgements on the top - it must get some wear at least when we come to late September/October!

Overall the pattern was great, and very satisfying to work out how to do. I'm also a fan of the stitch pattern (sort of a diagonal moss stitch? No doubt there is an official name!) and by working this as a single piece I was able to match the pattern the whole way round! Stylecraft DK yarn is wonderful to work with too, and I've used the left over yarn to cast on another cardigan almost immediately! I think I would however recommend a luxury yarn, perhaps with linen, to add a more flattering drape and weight to the knit.

What do you think about the vest - perhaps some further modifications required if I were to knit this again or recommend to a friend?

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

yarn along

Currently knitting I've finished the knitted vest I told you about last week, and I hope to finish the pictures and blog post for sharing this coming Friday! I've mixed feelings about it, can't wait to read some more opinions on it! 
It must look like I'm obsessed with the 'mocha' colour when it comes to yarn - I swear I'm not, though I won't deny it is a nice colour to look at. As soon as I finished the vest I realised I had plenty of yarn to cast on another project, so the knitting at the bottom of the picture is the beginnings of a draper cardigan. I was inspired to cast this on after reading this post from Wonder & Wool. 
The second knitting project you see (actually using a different brand of acrylic yarn, but in a suspiciously similar colour) is secret! Me and Ben have had an exciting idea which we hope will come to fruition in September, and this is a project that will be working towards that - more on this much later though!

Currently reading This morning I started reading Shadow of a Dark Queen by Raymond E. Feist. Ben's dad got me onto Feist a few month's ago when I wanted another adult fantasy series to read - I really enjoyed the The Rift War Saga and was looking forward to reading more of his books as I found them in charity shops. They are pretty epic and complicated, but I felt the last 4 I read were certainly worth it! Hopeful for this next saga. 

If you are on Goodreads I would love to be friend's with you - are you taking part in a Reading Challenge this year?

Linking up with Ginny's Yarn Along.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

welcome to the geeky knitter!

After a stressful morning of redirecting links and setting up domains, renaming social media pages and creating new headers, I am extremely happy to introduce you to my newly name blog;

the geeky knitter

Same blog, same content, same me! I just though it was more than time that I update the name of the blog to better match what I write about. When I started this blog and came up with the name pretty column, I didn't know what I wanted to write about and the blog name reflected this. After over a year and a half of blogging now, I think it is pretty clear that I write about my real passions of knitting, crochet, and geeky stuff! Plus, if I needed to describe myself in 3 words or less, don't you just think 'the geeky knitter' works?

Tentatively speaking, everything looks to be up and running as normal, links should be redirecting and I've been in touch with Bloglovin' to have everything updated. Disqus comments as well should move over, though they've had problems with Blogger over recent month's so if these aren't working straight away rest assured I am working hard to work out the issues where I can!

If you find any links aren't working or something isn't where is should be I would appreciate it if you would let me know as I want to make the blog just the best it can be! Otherwise thanks for everyone who's stuck with me, and welcome to all new readers! I will be spending the next week combing through what I can to make sure everything works, but right now if I don't knit something I will cry with frustration! (I hate coding).

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

yarn along

Currently knitting I've just about cracked the knitted vest I told you about last week. Using this pattern (written as a Japanese chart) I've just got to finish knitting the top of the back piece, block, sew, and crochet the edges to give it a lovely finished look. I'm very optimistic that this will turn out as good as I hoped! The size looks promising, and the structure doesn't seem to have been too lost by knitting it as a single piece. You can read the ongoing project notes on my Ravelry project page, and I plan to heavily update this once I'm finished in the hopes the notes will help others taking on the pattern!

Currently reading I finished reading Rat Queens Volumes 1 & 2, and as first comic book experiences go, this was a great one to start! Strong, sassy women, who know what they want and aren't afraid to show love/anger with each other when its called for. Plus the mature humour helped to balance out the more violent scenes. I hope they publish volume 3 soon! This morning I started reading Assassin's Creed: Revelations by Oliver Bowden. I've read 2 others in the Assassin's Creed book series - unsurprisingly they simply retell the stories of each video game (that I love by the way). These books are my guilty pleasures as I already know the stories mostly from the games, and they are pretty simple but interesting to follow. I buy them whenever I spot them in a charity shop, so hopefully more will appear soon as I want to read them all eventually, but seems a shame to buy them new when they are a video gamer's version of a trashy book. 

If you are on Goodreads I would love to be friend's with you - are you taking part in a Reading Challenge this year?

Linking up with Ginny's Yarn Along.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

crafty plans for august

Every month I aim to set myself, and complete, a ‘crafty challenge’ – a personal goal to help improve my knitting and crochet, and to embolden me to react to all the patterns and inspiration that is available on the internet! By sharing this with you I feel more encouraged to branch out and do these challenges by the end of the same month, and hopefully you will be interested in what I am working. Perhaps it will help inspire you to try something new as well?

Hey, so I'm back to my monthly-crafty plans after having a break, because I had so much to get ready for comic con - so much so that you can read about what I was up to here and here.

Crochet a new Marvel character (or two), along with a pattern
You may have seen that I have a Spiderman crochet pattern available for free as a Ravelry download. I designed this a year ago around Easter, with the intention to design some more Marvel characters, in particular X-Men, but haven't come round to that just yet. After attending two comic cons in three months, and following San Diego Comic Con closely, I'm feeling really inspired to try and get this started up again!

And so I've decided to try and put together Deadpool. Hopefully he will turn out as good as the images I have in my head, and as you can see in the pictures I have been sketching ideas and thinking hard about this one. I'm also hoping that my enthusiasm won't burn out too soon so that I can perhaps try to design Storm as well, from X-Men. Not only do I want to design these characters, but I want to share more free patterns with you too, so hopefully this month I can get the design element done, with a view to sharing a pattern early next month!

So crochet and Marvel fans keep an eye out on this space for upcoming patterns! You will also be able to catch any progress I make on this project over on Instagram :)

Have you got any plans this month?