A new adventure for me! Introducing the Galaxy Cowl!

Hello everyone.
As I had anticipated in my previous post it is time for me to share some exciting news.

I have opened an Etsy shop and I also added a pattern for sale on Ravelry!

Since I enjoy knitting and crochet so much I thought it was time to see if my makes would be interesting to others.

I was reassured by the nice results that some of my free patterns had on Ravelry (if you fancy a visit to my pattern store in there, just click here).

Yes, I totally understand that everything that comes for free is more interesting than when you need to pay for it, but I also thought it was time for a new challenge!

Ravelry is such an important source for us knitters and crochet enthusiasts that I have to admit it is a little intimidating to upload something there for sale and hoping that others will love my own design as much as I do. Nevertheless I loved this project so much I decided to take a leap of faith and publish its pattern for sale.

This is what I named The Galaxy Cowl.

It is knitted in round with RIco Design Galaxy Chunky yarn which has sequins already attached to it. I love the spiral effect of the running rib. The colours and the softness of this yarn really fascinated me.

I also loved the fact that since I worked it in round the cowl was also totally reversible.

The pattern is available for sale as digital download. I wrote down the instructions for both knitting in round and knitting on straight needles, trying to made it available for everyone. Of course, if you knit it flat you will have to sew the side and the seam will be the back of the garment. If you want to purchase it you can just click on the following picture and you will be redirected to Ravelry.

The same pattern as a PDF is also availbe as a listing on Etsy. In there I also put on sale items that I made either from commercial or my own patterns. I am exploring new ranges, so besides my beloved garments and accessories, I also added some home decor ideas.

The Spring has begun, Summer is just behind the corner… I am confident that many more items will appear on my listings.

I am really excited about this, so even if you don’t want to buy anything, but you feel like you wish to give me some feedback I will be glad to hear from you.

Now without further delay, i give the almighty LINK to visit my Etsy shop. I will post updates in here about the making of some of the objects, so if you are patient and you are interested you will also find the pattern of my own original designs.

Speak soon, now I run out to enjoy the sunshine!

Advertisements

The charm of knitting socks.

I too have my own personal knitting fears.

SOCKS

I always admired those knitters who were able to knit sock after sock after sock effortlessly, because I felt I was totally useless when it came to socks. (Trust me, I had attempted several times, and I have only obtained something shaped like boomerangs).

Sock yarns come in many beautiful shades, they look so delicate and precious. On Facebook too, I saw many people flaunt their hand made sock yarns and I always felt I would be unable to make them justice.

But a few weeks ago I entered a charity shop and I thought I received a sign from the knitting gods: they were selling (almost for nothing I have to admit) several balls of Rico Superba Stripy sock yarn.

I was meant to have them as my time for tackling socks had come! I got so overexcited that I bought all the EIGHT balls they had available (sigh!).

Since my passion and interest for socks had started a long time ago I already had a few knitting magazines entirely devoted to socks patterns. Going through one I had bought in Italy I was struck by a super girly design. Looking a little more into the pattern I discovered they had published this DROPS DESIGN pattern (simply click the link to get it).

I got the sock yarn, I got my set of 5 DPN 3.0 mm needles … my sock adventure begun.

I loved the little lace pattern, it was really super easy to follow and I thought the result was quite remarkable.

This pattern was great because after finishing the lace ankle decoration I simply had to reverse the knitting inside out and continue to knit the rest of the sock.

The heel was a straight one, so no problems there. The picking up of the stitches to work the gusset was more or less smooth too (even if the second socks benefited from the knowledge I acquired by doing of the first one).

After the tricky bits the long marathon of knitting the length of the foot begun, but the stripy yarn kept me entertained.

I have to say I really like working in rounds. I love to see the knitted fabric all in one piece. There is no greater satisfaction to me than knowing I won’t have to sew the pieces together. No really, look at it.. so pretty and even!

When I finished the first sock I was really thrilled. I tried it on to check the size and it fit perfectly (I wear size 38 shoes – European). The only not so cool fact about socks is that you need to repeat exactly the same pattern twice. Repetition is not my forte…

In addition since I am not able to work on only one project at the time, it took me a few weeks to complete the pair. But lo and behold, I managed to knit my first ever pair of socks!! (before blocking).

I was a little concerned because they felt a little stiff and not soft at all. The composition of the yarn is 75% Superwash wool and 25% Polyamide so I was expecting them to feel different.

All my worries were literally washed away after the first wash for the wet blocking. As they touched the water they became super soft and snuggly.

The only problem left was taking a good picture of my feet with them on… I refuse to buy a selfie stick just to take a better picture of my socks, so I am sorry this weird perspective picture has to do.

Warm happy feet !

If you have tricks and tips to share about knitting socks I will be more than happy to hear them!
Happy knitting!

Purple, mon amour!

The other evening I was attending my local Knit and Natter group at The Sewing Shop in Lichfield and, as usual, at the end of the evening before leaving I had a good snoop around looking for new yarns.

I was looking at cotton balls because being in the Summer, working with wool it had proved to be a little uncomfortable. We are experiencing a heat wave here in the UK and knitting – or crochet – with sticky hands is not recommended (it could have also been the fantastic strawberry cream tarts that were served to us that night to make my fingertips sticky, ut I refuse to believe so).

Anyhow, I was scrolling through the shelves and there is saw it… this fantastic shade of purple (photo “stolen” from Loveknitting website).

To tell the truth I had seen it last month, but since I was trying to follow through with the good intention of not going to buy more yarn before clearing out most of my stash (like if this is really going to happen, ever), I had forced myself to turn away and leave it behind.

In our household we have a simple rule to counteract impulse buying. If you see something you like, you wait a few weeks before purchasing it, so you are really sure that you TRULY want it. This simple rule saved me several times from buying crazy things that on the heat of the moment seemed vital to me, and then turned out to be totally unnecessary.

I told myself I had waited a month, a WHOLE MONTH and I still really wanted that ball of yarn… so I proceeded with the purchase (the ball then magically disappeared to the bottom of my knitting bag, so the boyfriend didn’t notice – mischief achieved).

I have a thing for purple, I am not going to deny it. I could knit and crochet just in different shades of it, but in these last months I started to appreciate bold colours and this was the perfect occasion to try once again.

Lately I have been doing several little purses that I intend to bring to an event I will take part to in September, so following the mood of the month I created this little satchel purse.

It measures 14 cm in total and the base is 13 cm x 7 cm (more or less).

I worked it in round because it was faster, I could switch colour easily (especially the single yellow row), and because I really loathe sewing the seams together!!

This was my first attempt at making a ribbed cover for the cord (I usually create eyelets and weave the cord in and out) and I am really happy with the result. I found  to pass the cord through a little challenging, but with the aid of a safety pin the cord was easily put in place.

Last note, I bought these beads over a year ago… they were lovely but the hole to pass the thread in was so small I was never able to use them in any of my projects. Today I decided to get creative: I split the yarn in half and I was able to sew them on. Victory! I really like their look at the sides of the cord.

What more to add? I simply fell in love with this project, and I plan to replicate it in different colours and maybe making small additions to it.  Want to have a go too? Find the pattern on Ravelry on my Simply Yarn design page!