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.
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.