Thursday, 16 June 2016

My Knitting Mojo Is Back

The thing with having lots of different hobbies is that I seem to favour one or another of them at any one time at the expense of the others. I hadn't picked up my knitting needles since last year until recently as I was first hooked on crochet and then I got started on my Joyful World stitchalong so I was doing lots of cross stitch. Having recently discovered some great knitting podcasts, my knitting mojo has returned.

So what have I got on my needles at the moment? Well, I've been wanting to have a go at a shawl for ages so I decided that instead of jumping straight in with a lace weight one, which is what I'm really looking forward to trying, I'd have a go with a thicker yarn to start off with. I had a look on Ravelry and came across the No-Fuss Shade-Loving Shawl by Susan Ashcroft, a free pattern, which can be knit in almost any weight, and the pattern looked very easy too which is just what I wanted to start with. I had a look in my stash and came across this James C Brett Woodlander double knitting yarn which I won in Mitzi's giveaway on her Lazy Days & Sundays blog nearly two years ago. I'd been waiting for just the right pattern to use it in and this is it. It's 80% acrylic and 20% wool, so it will be easy to care for, and is shade L9 which is a mixture of blue, beige and cream.


Now I've never used a circular needle before but I knew I'd have far too many stitches to be able to use straight needles for this project. I already had this Pony circular needle, not long enough but it would do to start on, however, it was such a pain. The joins between the tips and the cable were so uneven that they kept snagging the stitches and could easily have put me off using a circular needle ever again.


I ordered a new, longer circular needle, this time opting for KnitPro Zing and the difference is amazing, no uneven joins and the stitches glide effortlessly. I'm totally converted to circular needles now. This is how it's looking so far, I love how the colours in the yarn are working up.


I've added a little more since the above photo was taken and I'm up to about two hundred stitches, it's taking much longer to complete each row than it was as the beginning but it's a nice, easy knit which I can do whilst talking or watching television.

At one time I would start one project and work on it exclusively until it was finished, but that doesn't happen any more, which is just as well because not only have these podcasts I've been watching tempted me to pick up my needles but they've also inspired me to cast on a new pair of socks. I've got lots of sock yarn in my stash so it was just a matter of choosing which one to use. I went with this gorgeous yarn from Laughing Yaffle in Mango Tango colourway. This sock yarn is 80% wool and 20% nylon. Many of the socks I've knit previously have been in Laughing Yaffle, it's a lovely yarn to work with.


This is what it looks like once it's been wound. I'm always excited to see how it knits up and what pattern it will produce.


I haven't got very far, I'm still on the cuff but I'm liking how the colours are coming out. This will be a good portable project to take with me on holiday.


Can you see the little paw print stitch marker on the sock? They're so cute. I bought them from a shop on Etsy, Little French Meadow, and if you're in the market for new stitch markers I can highly recommend you take a look, there's a fabulous choice. I'm definitely going to buy some more. The service was excellent too, I received an email thanking me for my order, they arrived really quickly and there was a handwritten thank you note enclosed and a vanilla chai teabag which I'm going to try. That's the lovely thing about ordering from Etsy, you still get that personal service which is missing in so many 'real' shops today. By the way, I suppose I'd better mention that this isn't a sponsored post in any way, I bought the stitch markers myself and haven't been paid to write a review, this is just my own opinion.


I've also just started a dishcloth for the 2016 Dishcloth or Mug Rug Swap which I told you about in my last post. I don't know who my partner is yet but with a holiday looming and a very busy week when I get back, I want to be organised. If you're interested in joining this swap then do go and take a look, it's going to be a lot of fun.

Just in case you're interested, the podcasts I've discovered are:-
Cherry Heart. Sandra has got a tab at the top of her blog where you can find the podcasts all together.
Betsy Makes.
Little Bobbins Knits. I'm still working my way through all Dani's past episodes.

So that's what I've got on my needles at the moment. There's also the two crochet blankets and the Joyful World stitchalong waiting for my attention so I definitely won't get bored, will I? I'd love to hear what you're working on, perhaps you could do a round up post of all the projects you've got on the go.

My stash has been added to just lately too, I'll tell you all about the squishy parcel I received the other day in my next post.

48 comments:

  1. Pretty shawl. Nice to know about the Knit Pro zing needles. I am an Addi fan and now knit just about everything on circulars.

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    1. I know a lot of people just use circulars these days, I must say I've been pleasantly surprised using them, I didn't think I'd get on with them for some reason but I was wrong.

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  2. I always enjoy seeing what others are knitting. I can't knit, one needle at a time is about all I can handle.

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    1. I can't remember learning to knit, I was so young. I used to knit all sorts of things when I was really young but stopped knitting in my teens and then I didn't knit anything for about twenty years before getting back in to it a few years ago. I'm not a brilliant knitter but I can get by.

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  3. I am the same, I favour one craft over another for a length of time, then move on. I am trying to find my knitting mojo as it is easier to back a ball of yarn and needle than a sewing machine.... Your shawl is shaping up nicely and I also love the sock yarn, it stripes in my favourite colours. Happy knitting. x

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    1. I've taken crochet on holiday with me for the last few years but I think it will be knitting this time, especially as socks are so portable. There's so many lovely sock yarns on the market these days, I'm spoilt for choice.

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  4. That shawl is coming along beautifully! I've never knit either lace or a shawl, but would love to make a lace-weight shawl. I've taken the opposite tact, however - I'm knitting up a lace scarf first (with a leaf pattern, of course ;)) and once I'm done that, I'll try to tackle a shawl.

    I love, love, love circular needles BUT, as you discovered, you must have good ones - the first ones I purchased from a local discount store were exactly like those in your first picture...absolutely horrible! Subsequently, I purchased a set of Dreamz (by Knitter's Pride) and I rarely use straight needles any more, even when making scarves and socks (I use Magic Loop for those). I now have 2 sets of interchangeable circular needles - one from Knitters Pride and another from Knitpicks. They are extremely versatile as I can switch out the tips with different lengths of cords so I can make a hat using a short cord or a blanket using a 60" cord, all with the same tips.

    And nothing better than squishy parcels - yarn is such an addictive thing, isn't it?

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    1. I've knitted lace before but thought I'd give a shawl a try in something a bit heavier first, though I should have maybe tackled a pattern which is a little more trickier to challenge me. Still, I'm sure my mum will be pleased with it as she often gets chilly so it will be ideal. I'm already considering putting some interchangeable circular needles on my Christmas wish list, I've heard so many people give them great reviews. I'd like to try the magic loop method, I've always knit socks on dpns though I did try these on a very short circular needle but I didn't get on with that. Yes, yarn is very addictive, there's so much choice out there, beautiful textures and wonderful colours, it's so hard to choose between them.

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  5. Love the sock yarn such a beautiful array of colour. I am sewing at the moment, some simple makes for gifts.

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    1. I keep saying that I want to have a go with Eleanor's sewing machine but I honestly don't know where to start, and the thought of learning from scratch is rather daunting. I will get round to it at some point, perhaps once Eleanor's exams are finished we'll have a day of sewing.

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  6. Replies
    1. I'm right back in to it again now and thoroughly enjoying myself.

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  7. I have wool, must have a go soon, but back cross stitching last night.

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    1. I've been doing a little cross stitching today, it's great having lots of things on the go so that I can take my pick.

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  8. I love the shawl - I may just have to get the pattern for it .......

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    1. It's a free pattern and very easy to knit. I think it would look lovely in a lighter yarn too.

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  9. Very pretty! I've been knitting and EPP lately but I'm itching to crochet another blanket. I have Knit Pro needles they are very good quality and easy to knit with x

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    1. I'd like to have a go at EPP but I'm always hesitant where any sort of stitching is involved. I've got two crochet blankets waiting for me in the wings, I'll get back to them soon, I'm sure. I'm impressed with KnitPro Zing needles, I'm tempted to get some more now.

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  10. How great that you are enjoying your knitting so much!! You are making lovely things!

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    1. I always come back to crafts with a renewed enthusiasm when I've had a break, I think it does me good sometimes to put things to the side and work on something else for a while.

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  11. I know just what you mean, so many things to do and try, it can be a little overwhelming sometimes! Love your sock yarn, very cheerful, looking forward to seeing your shawl grow xx

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    1. There's loads more things I'd like to have a go at but I just don't have the time as well as keeping up with the hobbies I already have. I love the colours in this sock yarn, it seems to be knitting up very nicely.

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  12. You are using such beautiful yarn to make those wonderful projects. Have fun.
    Meredith

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    1. I love choosing yarn to buy, there's so much choice that you really can't go wrong.

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  13. The shawl is beautiful, Jo. I might have to download it ... to add to the collection! :oD I love the sock yarn and the paw print stitch markers are adorable! :o)

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    1. There's so many lovely patterns, isn't there? Always a bonus when they're free. I was going to order the sheep stitch markers and then I saw the paw prints and couldn't resist, they're just so cute. I'm definitely going to get another set though, they're so reasonable and the service was great.

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  14. I'm like you, and have never used circular needles, but have some from my Mum's stuff & keep thinking about it. I love your shawl so far & am glad that I'm not the only one with lots of things on the go. It's slow going at the moment with my stupid chillblains, but I'm getting there. I'm intrigued by the squishy parcel? Happy knitting and take care.

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    1. I'm really surprised how easy circular needles are to use, they certainly make knitting something large, such as a shawl, much easier. It must be frustrating wanting to get on with things but being unable because of the chillblains, I do hope you get some relief from them soon. I'll reveal what was inside the squishy parcel in my next post.

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  15. The shawl looks delightful, but the sock wool got my attention, very pretty. Socks are on my needles at the moment, but tomorrow the charity knitting group have been asked to knit something a little different .... breasts.... To help health visitors to teach new mums so I'll be casting on that!

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    1. I'm a sucker for sock wool, there's some really beautiful yarn to choose from these days. Ha ha, now that would get people talking if they saw breasts dangling from your knitting needles, a great idea though and a definite talking point.

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  16. I love your shawl, Jo. The yarn is very pretty. I'm glad you've been doing so much knitting lately. It feels so good to have a craft you enjoy working at.

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    1. The Woodlander yarn is lovely and soft and squishy so the shawl should be very cosy. I'm lucky in that I enjoy lots of crafts, they certainly keep me busy and happy.

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  17. Happy knitting Jo! Your two new projects, the shawl and the socks, are being worked in some pretty wool. I haven't a lot of knitting accessories, but I can see that stitch counters like the ones you show would be very useful. I'm working on my crochet blanket squares. They keep my hands and mind occupied and easy to do a bit at a time when I can at the moment. Have a lovely holiday when you go.

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    1. There's some beautiful yarn, plenty of textures and colours to choose from, if only I had a never ending supply of cash. I always use stitch markers when knitting socks and I need them for the shawl pattern too so they're very handy to have as well as being decorative whilst being used. Crochet squares are great for taking out and about, they're very portable so should be good to take with you to any appointments. Thank you, I'm on the count down to our holiday now.

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  18. That shawl is knitting up really nicely. The yarn on the ball looks totally different. Glad you've got your mojo back.

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    1. It's funny how yarn can knit up completely different to how it looks on the ball, I'm always eager to see the pattern that emerges. I'm glad I've got my knitting mojo back, it's a while since I've had anything on the needles but I'm enjoying working on these projects.

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  19. Hi, Jo! Love be your new knitting adventure. The yarn colors are beautiful.
    xxx

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    1. I've got some other stashed yarn very similar to the sock yarn I'm using now so there'll be two pairs of socks in very similar colours soon.

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  20. Lovely that you have your projects ready to go on holiday with you, tried socks once! didn't get on with it at all. Love the colourways of the yarns. I am concentrating on french beaded flowers for the wedding. xcx

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    1. We stay in a lodge where there's fishing lakes so Mick and Eleanor will most likely go fishing on an evening, that's the time I'll work on whatever I take with me so it's good to have some portable projects on the go. Socks can be a little tricky at first but once you get your head round them, they're quite easy. French beaded flowers sound lovely, I look forward to seeing your creations.

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  21. Oh Jo! I love your new project, the shawl is so pretty, you'll love having this for the cooler autumn evenings when they roll around. The colours of those socks remind me of fruit salad sweets!
    Lisa x

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    1. I'm thinking of giving the shawl to my mum, she's always chilly. I made her a lap blanket so a shawl to go with it would be a good idea. I know what you mean about the sock yarn, they do bring Fruit Salad's to mind.

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  22. Just love the colours in the yarns.
    Glad that you've got your knitting mojo back, you always seem happy when you have time to knit!

    All the best Jan

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    1. They're such pretty colours, aren't they? I do love my knitting, and my mojo has arrived back just in time to take it away on holiday with me.

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  23. I love knitting on circulars and use them all the time now unless it is a really small project! I love the look of both your projects and intrigued by that sock yarn, off to find out more.......happy knitting!

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    1. I must say that I wish I'd discovered circular needles sooner, I'm really enjoying knitting the shawl on one. I've used Laughing Yaffle a number of times, I really enjoy using their yarn.

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  24. Glad to hear you back enjoying knitting. Some lovely wool there.xxx

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    1. I seem to go in fits and starts with each craft I enjoy, back to knitting again now for the time being.

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