24 Dec 2016

Winter Light


There's something magical about the light at this time of the year. Perhaps it's the angle at which it falls, or the fact that you can already detect that the evenings are starting to get a little longer.


Today, there's been a wonderful mix of sun and cloud. Bright blue skies one minute, scudding clouds the next.


Then as the sun began to set, the yellows and reds bathed everything in a warm amber glow, picking out the edges of the leaves along the shoreline.


The clouds returned in time for a wonderful sunset with reds, yellows and oranges reflected in the waters of Little Sarasota Bay.


We walked back through Spanish Point and took the side path to Mary's Chapel which was beautifully decorated both inside and out.


I sat and knitted on a bench in front of the chapel while Tim took photos, the lights twinkling brighter as the sunset faded behind me.

The end of a beautiful walk in this magical part of the world.

Wishing everyone a very Happy Christmas!

Moira


Many thanks once again to my husband Tim for his wonderful photos. See more of his work on his Flickr site. Photos taken in and around Historic Spanish Point, Sarasota.





. 24/12/16

19 Dec 2016

What's on the other side?


Yesterday, I blogged about three patterns, all quick to knit and all using the same chunky yarn, DMC Natura XL. However, there was something else that was the same about all of them: all the stitches were drawn from our new Reversible Knitting Stitches E-Book. So I thought I would talk about these three stitch patterns and why we chose them for these projects.

The first pattern I showed yesterday was the Malvern Spa Pillow and Mitt. These are worked in a variation of Hatfield Check, one of my favourite reversible knit stitches. The stitch is an easy one to work and gives a wonderfully textural result. It has a good amount of stretch, which is important for something like a tightly-fitting spa pillow cover. It also has a most interesting surface texture which produces a very good massaging effect in the spa mitt, so is a good combination for the set.


The second pattern featured in the blogpost was the Malvern Bath Mat, a soft and luxurious bath mat which just soaks up the water when you step onto it after a relaxing bath or shower. The softness comes partly from the yarn, of course, but is also due to the qualities of the stitch, Quaker Ridging. This alternates thick and thin ridged stripes giving a lovely depth to the fabric, so it is soft and squidgy to step onto.

It can look great when worked in a striped pattern, as in the bath mat here, but I like it also in a single colour which seems to emphasise the dynamic nature of the pattern. 


The last of the three featured patterns was Anna's Shelbourne Spa Towels. These are worked in an intriguing reversible stitch called Diamond Brocade, which has an interesting interplay of different-sized diamonds. This gives the design a very modern feel. 

I like the fact that the two sides look so different. The right side has strongly accented diamond shapes and the wrong side has a lovely honey-comb appearance. Apart from just appearances, though, this deep texture makes the towels absorbent and soft to use.


If you would like to read more about the Reversible Knitting Stitches E-Book, then please go to Anna's Kiku Knits website. The book features 200 different reversible stitch patterns and also includes over 50 project photos to illustrate how the stitches can be used for your next project.

The E-Book is available for immediate download from the website and can be viewed on tablets, phones or your home computer. 

Good luck with your last-minute Christmas knitting!

Moira


Next Up: Winter Light






. 31/10/17

18 Dec 2016

Mission Impossible Knitting


You wake and see the calendar on the wall - how can it be only 1 week before Christmas? You sit at your favourite table and gaze blankly into space. You have been knitting like crazy for ages and there's a lovely scarf for your Dad and even Uncle Bertie has a hat with a rather interesting pom-pom on the top. But, there's still Aunt Winnie and your Mum... And now there's only 1 week to go.

You rest your head in your hands then idly pick up a knitting needle. But there's something odd about it - it's larger than you usually use. And now your fingerprint has activated it, sending a beam of light towards the wall. You watch as flashing images show first the calendar you spotted earlier, then a series of photos of knitted items being finished in a flash and wrapped just in time. Then you hear the Secretary's voice:

"Agent Knitter - your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to complete all your knitting projects in only 1 week! This message will self-destruct in 5 seconds."

The knitting needle smoulders and vanishes and you realise the answer. 
You have the ultimate secret weapon - chunky yarn.


You dive into your stash and find some fabulous chunky cotton yarn you purchased a year ago and you're off. Shortly afterwards, you watch astonished as first one item then another is completed.

Your other half gingerly steps into the knitting room with a cup of tea and a reinforcing mince pie on a plate and stands in awe at the growing pile of items waiting to be blocked and finished. 


Then as the clock strikes midnight on Christmas Eve, you tie the ribbon around the wrapped presents and retire to bed. You were successful! You are, indeed, a member of the Impossible Knitting Force, the IKF.

And yes, I have just been watching the whole series of Mission Impossible, how can you tell!

The patterns shown in the photographs are:


Top: A new pattern, the Malvern Spa Pillow and Mitt. These are quick to make and easy to finish. They would make a great present by themselves or packaged together with some herbal soaps or bath essences.


Middle: Another new pattern, the Malvern Bath Mat. This comes in 3 sizes for a shower/wash basin, bath tub or larger dressing room size. The small size only uses 2 balls of each colour and works up very quickly.


Lower Photo: These are wonderfully soft and absorbent towels, the Shelbourne Spa Towels by Anna Ravenscroft. These also use only 2 balls of yarn each, so are quick to make and have a lovely texture on each side.

And a second secret weapon you can use here - these are all from the same yarn! This is DMC Natura XL "Just Cotton", an absolutely fabulous yarn that is soft, easy to knit with and available in a wonderful range of colours (30 at the time of writing!) Of course, any chunky cotton yarn would work for this mission, but if you can get the Natura XL you won't be disappointed.

So go for it, Agent Knitter! You can still do it!

Happy Knitting!

Moira






[and by the way, all 3 of these knitting patterns use stitches taken from this E-Book!]




. 17/5/17

1 Dec 2016

Tick, tick, tick...


December is upon us! I can't believe how this year is speeding past. If that makes you fret because you haven't finished all the items you want to make for presents, then don't worry - there is still plenty of time for some great Holiday knitting. 

So I am going to write a series of blogposts with some ideas for items you can start right away. Today, I'm going to feature three small items that are quick to make and light to post.



The first one is one of Anna's patterns, the Apple Pocket. I use these knitted phone covers all the time and find that they really hug your phone well. 

There are two versions included in the pattern - a slim-line case that easily fits into your pocket or a slightly thicker version which gives some extra padding. 

For more details about the Apple Pocket pattern, please see Anna's website.



The second idea is for some bracelets made in i-Cord in a zingy cotton yarn. The Ryedale Bracelets are worked in the style of the ever-popular paracord bracelets and are fastened with easy-to-use side release buckles. They would make wonderful presents for teenagers but are also useful for medical alert bracelets.

I also use mine as a holder for my spare double-pointed needle when I am knitting socks. It's always useful to have an easy place to store your spare needle while you count stitches!

The i-Cord can even be produced using a cord knitter, so this is a quick project to complete. For more details about the Ryedale Bracelet, please see my pattern store.


And the last idea today are these super-cute lavender sachets. This is another of Anna's patterns, Lavender Fish. They can be worked in a single colour or with bands or stripes, as in the photo above. Make a few to hang on clothes hangers or slip into a clothes drawer. These would make a lovely gift by themselves but could also be paired with a block of hand-made lavender soap or lotion for a gift set.

To see more details of the Lavender Fish pattern, please see Anna's website.

Have fun making some of these lovely gift ideas. Next time, I'll have a look at some fun ideas for knitted bathroom accessories.

Happy Knitting!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...