Listening to Knitting

I first discovered podcasts when I was in high school. At the time, there was no Ravelry, no Youtube and no Facebook. I had read about podcasts in the various knitting magazines I was into at the time, and was fascinated that people would create these shows just to talk about knitting.

Fast forward a good number of years and podcasts are a firm fixture in my life. I love that come are audio only, whereas others are on Youtube. Each and every one that I listen to gives me new ideas and inspiration, and I often find myself looking at show notes to find the names of dyers that I want to check out. Podcasts can be a fantastic way of discovering new dyers, patterns and techniques, and I thought I would share a few of my favourites with you today.

  1. Dairyland Knits – Top spot has to go to the fantastic Josh and his podcast all about his knitting adventures in Wisconsin. I always enjoy Josh’s podcast, it is always full of new yarns, new dyers and little bits of information. Josh also talks about his experiences of living in Germany,and I could quite happily listen to him speaking German all day long. Occasional sentences are clearly not enough. His podcasts are weekly, and cover all sorts – from knitting to canning and orchids. He also knits the most beautiful items. Check out his Ravelry group here.
  2. Little Bobbins Knits- This podcast is hosted by the lovely Dani, and it first caught my attention as she is from England. It is always nice to see a fairly local knitter and to learn about what yarn they have been buying. She always has lovely projects to show, and she also has a shop.Her Ravelry group is here.
  3. Cast On – This was the first podcast that I fell in love with. Brenda has such a soothing voice, is the perfect audio companion for your knitting adventures. Her very last podcast may have been in October, but with 132 episodes to catch up on, you’ll be fine for a while.
  4. Knitting in Circles –    This is a recent discovery for me. Aimee and Darren share their knitting and spinning projects every week, and with Episode 151 being their most recent – I have lots of catching up to do. Their Ravelry group is here.
  5. Mole Knits – This is the first venture into podcasting featuring myself and my friend Amy, and as such it has an honorary spot on my list. If you feel like listening to two Brits as they stumble through their first podcast then please do. We also have a Ravelry group.

Which podcasts are you loving right now?

Evergreen Socks

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be chosen by the lovely Madeline of The Little Mount Yarn Co. to test knit her new sock pattern. It is a fantastic pattern and super easy – perfect for knitting whilst watching festive movies. Madeline  published the pattern last weekend and you can get it on Ravelry. The Evergreen Socks were top of the Whats Hot list on Ravelry within 48 hours of being published, and everyone seems to be loving them.

Tree Closeup

 

I used 2.5mm DPNs and about 1.4 balls (320 yards) of Adriafil Classic Azzurra in a lovely festive green (colourway 035) – Madeline had already used a semi-solid colourway for her test knit, so I used a solid to highlight the stitch pattern of the tree.

These would be perfect for anyone who has already completed vanilla socks and wanted to try something a little different, or for someone who has never knit socks before and wants to give themselves an added challenge. There are no complicated stitches, and the pattern caters for two sizes (medium and large) and the medium size is perfect for most women – with a cast on of 64 stitches.

Trees Full

These will certainly be keeping my feet warm this winter. What are you currently knitting?

 

A Change Can Do You Good

This has been a funny old week. Everything seems to have been a little off. Not wrong, just off.

You know how you can get stuck in a knitting rut? And nothing can make it interesting for you? I totally reached that this week. I was happily plodding along, knitting socks for the gift draw (not my secret Christmas knitting – don’t worry) when it just stopped being fun. I had completed five socks in a row, and I just could not face the idea of casting on another sock. It was time for a change.

Chunky knitting

I dug around my stash, and found 10 balls of the lovely Rowan Alpaca Soft in a rich mustard colour. This knits up on 6mm needles into a lovely soft fabric. After a quick search on Ravelry, I found the perfect pattern for it – One More Notch by Robin Dodge. One More Notch is a delightful wrap around cardigan – or Jardigan to the lovely ladies of Knit Chorlton, as it could be a cardigan or a jumper/sweater. It is so nice to be knitting something so simple, that grows so quickly, and requires so little concentration.

I’m sure that as soon as this is finished, I will be back to knitting socks, and maybe even a lace shawl – but for not I will just enjoy the simpleness.

The Noro Scarf

I have wanted to knit a Noro Striped Scarf ever since I learnt to knit as a teenager. It is so simple but the colours are stunning and there are so many possible combinations, that you could make them forever without getting bored of wondering which tones and shade will appear next.

The only thing that held me back from making one was the price. Noro was way out of my price range when I was a teenager, but I kept thinking that one day I would make one of my own. That day has come…

Noro

I am so happy with how it looks so far. I say so far, because it is not finished yet, but as this is my mindless knitting for the moment it is on hold due to secret Christmas knitting. This is the first time that I have ever used Noro, and as Jared Flood’s brilliantly simple pattern outline suggests, I am using Silk Garden. There are lots of examples on Ravelry of people substituting yarns, and they all look amazing too.

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This was the wip what I had with my on the train to Yarndale, and it was perfect as I could just sit and watch the beautiful countryside go past, and when we pulled into stations I could have a little look at how the colours were emerging. It is so easy to see why people knit several of these, they really are addictive. I love how the yarn becomes softer once it has been handled. I was a little concered that it might be a big scratchy, but when I feel it when it is knitted up, it is so much softer.

Having spent the past hour looking at all of the beautiful things that people have been making with various Noro yarns, I have a feeling that this won’t be my only encounter with it.

75 Days and Counting

secret knitting in progress

 

They say that time flies when you are having fun, and that must certainly be true for me. It seems as though that August was only yesterday, but here we are in the middle of October and there are less than 75 days to Christmas. This sounds like lots of time to most people, but for knitters than plan to give their creations as gifts then it is not much time at all.

Sadly I do not have any photos of my knitting to show you today, as they have to remain as secrets for 75 days. As always though, the urge to cast on a new project is strong, and I am sure that there will be something new on my needles in the next few days. Usually I am quite a selfish knitter, but every now and again I like to surprise myself, and I will be knitting for at least four people. The yarn has been bought, and patterns have been decided on, so all that remains is the knitting…

Yarndale 2014

I may be a little late to post about Yarndale 2014, but hopefully it is worth the wait. This year was the second year of Yarndale, and whilst I was unable to go last year, I was determined to make it to this one. Once the tickets were booked, I obsessively looked at stallholders and make my list of goodies to buy…and the list grew every day.

I was up incredibly early – I am not a morning person at all, and the 4:30am wake up call was only made easier by the fact that I would soon be on my way to buy lots and lots of wonderful yarn. I went with the lovely Amy AKA Minimole, and after two trains, one taxi ride and a short journey on the Yarndale bus we arrived.

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More than a little public knitting was done was done whilst enjoying the views from the train, and it was so nice to see more and more knitters getting on the train as we pulled in to each station. The Yarndale bus ride was fantastic too, and you could feel the excitement growing as we were getting closer.

There were so many stalls filled with wonderful items, and the stallholders were so friendly and passionate about their crafts. I was particularly impressed by the layout of the stands. Despite the crowds, everyone was very patient and understanding, and there was enough room to move about in the aisles.

It was so easy to strike up conversations with other crafty enthusiasts, and on more than one occasion I got talking to people about what we were planning to use our purchases for whilst we were waiting to pay – and everyone was really nice as I was trying to maneuver my way through the crowds.

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Obviously no blog post about a knitting show would be complete without a photo or two of my haul. I had a rough budget and actually managed to stay within it, and I have all sorts of ideas for my purchases. I had two items on my list that I really wanted, and I was able to get both. The first was a skein of Deeply Wicked sock yarn in the colourway Vortex by Easyknits…and I may have gone a little bit crazy at the Easyknits stand, but it is pretty easy to see why. I managed to get the last two skeins of Vortex (the blue-yellow combination) which will become a shawl, and I also wanted a skein of Sea-quine by Sparkleduck which will also become a shawl.

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There were so many new stallholders and sellers that I had never seen before, and I have marked my Yarndale brochure for all of the sellers that I did not managed to browse properly on the day. I have already put a few things on my Christmas list!

New Beginnings and Woolly Things

Hi!

Thanks for stumbling by my little corner of the internet. You will find that it will be filled with lots of woolly, fluffy things, but hopefully that is exactly why you have come here.

My name is Sarah and I live in Manchester, England. I have lived in Manchester all my life but have a serious case of wanderlust. I am always imagining what it would be like to live in other places. I can usually be found either working as a project manager for a local charity, or hanging out with a few of my friends from my local knitting group. I’m pretty honest about my enabling tendencies, but they also mean that I end up enabling myself…so you’ll end up seeing lots of pretty things here.

My next post is all about my trip to Yarndale, and I have a trip planned to visit Baa Ram Ewe this week, so no doubt there will be all sorts of things to show you.

Hope to see you again soon.