Ashton Shawl – 1st Attempt at Lace Knitting

Through Instagram I have seen so many examples of amazing knitting talent. Seeing some of the awesome examples of sock knitting was what eventually persuaded me to give it a go, even though it looked incredibly intimidating. So when I saw some of the gorgeous lace knit shawls, I knew that was a challenge I wanted to take on. One big problem presented itself immediately on looking for shawl charts, I had no idea how to read them.

After looking at a few patterns on Revelry and being completely baffled, I decided I would see if I could find a tutorial pattern. Luckily enough I came across the Ashton Shawl. It had instructions on how to read a chart, detailed instructions on how to knit and block the piece and great lace knitting tips. After doing a complete read of the instructions I felt I was ready to give it a go. I had some blended lace weight yarn in my stash, picked up the correct sized needles, cast on and made a start.

At first I really enjoyed knitting this until I discovered that as the piece increased in size the needles I had bought caused me huge problems. The transition between the needle and cable wasn’t gradual, so the stitches became extremely difficult to get onto the needles. I got so fed up with the situation that I hopped online and purchased a set of a KnitPro Karbonz¬† needles and it was the best decision I ever made. Not only is the transition between the cable on needle incredibly smooth but the nickel plated tips are nice and sharp for lace knitting. The crabon fibre body allows the stitches to glide, effortlessly on the needles.

The other major issue I had was that I kept making mistakes in the lace pattern and had to rip it back, I had to do this about 20+ times!! Eventually I realised that this was being caused by the fact that I kept trying to watch something while knitting, big mistake when every even row is different to the previous. Once I started to just work on the patterned rows with no distractions I stopped making errors.Ashton Shawl lace knitting knit shawl finish

Even with these issues I really enjoyed working on it and have added a large number of lace shawl patterns to my to-do list. The yarn I used is a 75% wool 25% acrylic blend lace weight yarn from a local store. The acrylic potion meant that this had to be steam blocked, which actually was really interesting, as I was blocking this I could see the yarn relaxing and moving, which you don’t really see when you wet block. I bought a set of Pro Knit T lace blocking pins, there were 50 in the box, which I thought would be plenty, but I ran out so I had to use some regular pins but that wasn’t a major issue. I do plan buy another box for further projects, as they aren’t very expensive. I ended up using cotton yarn for the top straight edge as I didn’t have blocking wires, which worked well enough but I think I will probably invest in a set of wires at some stage just to get that edge a bit straighter.Ashton Shawl lace knitting knit shawl finish

I absolutely adored this project, despite all the difficulties I encountered. I found that following the charts was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be, once I understood the process. The pattern that I used was brilliant, perfectly clear and easy to follow. Now that I know how to use these charts, a whole new selection of knitting projects has opened up.

You can follow along with my progress on all my craft projects on Instagram and Facebook, links to which are at the top right of the page. Dont forget to check out ths amazing pattern here, it’s easy to follow and free to use.

Leave me a comment on what new types of projects you decided to give a go.

HAED Bridge of Wings – some stitches down, a whole lot to go

HAED Bridge of Wings SPML Heaven and Earth Designs Cross Stitch

Bridge of Wings, by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and charted by Heaven & Earth Designs, has been sitting idle for a while now, even though I have been ridiculously close to, not only a page finish, but completion of the top row! Being in the mood for some block stitching but also not wanting to add another WIP to the pile, I picked this one up for a few days. It didn’t take too long to stitch the last of page 5, finish the top row and reach the right side of the pattern! Woohoo! Continue reading

Hand Knit Socks, Socks and More Socks

Hand Knit Duo Colour Hermione Everyday Socks Finish

As we have been having some seriously cold weather, snow, ice and bitter winds, it is the perfect time for some cozy, hand-knit socks. I want to make enough socks that I don’t have to wear store bought all the time, and I have slowly been amassing my collection. I also find that socks make a great project to carry with me if I find myself with some spare time, though people do tend to give me strange looks. Today I have 2 completed pairs to share, a set of Hermione Everyday and a moss stitch pair. Both were knit using 100% cotton yarn on 2.25mm double pointed needles (dpns). Continue reading

Sirdar Yo-yo Crew neck jumper – Hand Knit Finish

Some of my favourite things about knitting are, the feeling of wearing a piece of hand crafted clothing and being able to alter it so it fits just right. Being slightly taller than average I have long limbs, meaning many jumpers (sweaters) have a tendency to have sleeves that are too short! This is particularly irritating in the cold winter months, when comfort and warmth are my number one priority. The solution; a giant 400g ball of Sirdar purple yo-yo yarn, pattern 9082 and some needles, leading to the most comfortable Winter jumper I own. Continue reading

HAED QS Clara – Finished!

HAED Heave and Earth Designs Cross stitch Finish QS Clara

Well readers, today is a momentous day. Today I get to share something very special. Today I get to show you all my very first Heaven and Earth Designs (HAED) cross stitch finish. That’s right, you read that correctly, after all this time I have only now managed to complete a HAED, and not even one of the large charts.

In all seriousness though I am super excited to be able to show you this finish. This is QS Clara, artwork by Hannah Lynn Disney, and she is a total of 53,235 stitches. I adore how she has turned out.

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Hermione Everyday Knitted Socks

Hey everyone, I have some more hand knit socks to share. While my creativity was on holiday for a while, the only thing I felt like working on was some hand knit socks. They are a nice compact project that I am able to carry around with me and don’t take any prep to settle down with for an evening. The perfect craft for when I’m too tired or under pressure. The only question to answer is, which pattern?

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Dimensions Gold Elegance of the Orient – Finish!

Dimensions Gold, Elegance of the Orient, Cross Stitch, Handmade, Finish, Stitching, Embroidery

Hey all, hope everyone is well and enjoying the month of July. Once again I must apologise for being away for so long. My partner and I have been in the process of attempting to purchases our first house and it has been one of the most stressful experiences of my life. However the stress of the whole process seems to have done great things for my crafting productivity. I have worked on a number of different projects over the last few months, so will have lots to share over the next while.

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Blossoming Spring Cross Stitch Finish

Cross Stitch Finish, Blossoming Spring, Sheila Hudson, The Ultimate Forest Friends Cross Stitch Collection, stitching

I’m delighted to report, I have my first cross stitch finish of 2017! I took out Blossoming Spring the other day and was shocked at how little was left to be done. I thought that there was a fair amount of stitching left on this piece. However only the top cluster of blossoms needed finishing. The last progress report on this project can be found here for those interested.¬† Continue reading

Bent Creek’s Bird Seed Cross Stitch, Finished as a Cube!

Bent Creek Bird Seed Cross Stitch Cube Finish, Just Cross Stitch Magazine

Hey everyone, I’ve another cross stitch post to share with you all. Cube finishes for cross stitches have been cropping up all over the internet. A number of blogs I regularly read had some gorgeous pieces displayed using this technique. I began to fall in love with it and really wanted to give it a go. After doing a little bit of searching online, to get my head around the basic techniques involved, I made a start using a finished cross stitch called Bird Seed by Bent Creek. This chart is from Just Cross Stitch magazine April 2002 issue. Continue reading