Teatime links

Teatime links 3

Bank holidays are the best, aren’t they? A lazy day of pottering about, followed by a short work week. Perfect! Here’s what I’ve been reading today…

Quince and Co‘s new Piper pattern collection is so swoonworthy. I love the pastel shades and dainty details. There are enough hours in the day for me to knit three laceweight jumpers, right?

Bullet journalling tips and tricks. Have you got on the bujo bandwagon yet? With a little help from a notepad and a Biro I’m finally on my way to getting organised.

Baby Rooster by Rooster Yarns has to be one of my favourites for cute and cuddly little knits. I used it for my French Braid hat.

Fair Isle knitting using both hands… with no tangles! Looking for that eureka moment where the impossible suddenly becomes possible? Watch this video.

Jane Foster‘s designs are really cute! I love her Scandi-style screenprints.

Three things…

It’s been a tough week, so I thought I’d take some time out to focus on life’s little positives. Here’s what’s making me happy today…

  1. Knitting these Zigzagular Socks

Zigzagular socks

I’m always on the lookout for patterns that work with variegated yarns. So many designs seem to fight with the colours rather than enhancing them, but not this one. These are Susie White’s Zigzagular Socks, and I think they might be my new favourite. They have a little cable running down one side – you can’t see it in the photo, but I promise it’s there. Best of all, they’re free!

This is the first time I’ve tried knitting socks on a tiny circular needle rather than DPNs, and so far I’m… not convinced, to be honest. The needle is sharp and sleek, and the cable is smooth and flexible, but somehow it just seems way too small. I feel like a giant trying to knit for a mouse.

This is only the first sock, though, so hopefully I’ll be won over in the end. The yarn is Tiger’s Strømpegarn, by the way, and despite its bargain-basement price tag it’s really rather good.

2. Reading An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth

An Astronaut's Guide…

When I was at school I met Helen Sharman, the first British woman to go into space, and decided that despite short-sightedness, asthma, claustrophobia and a fear of flying I too was going to be an astronaut. Many years on I’m still yet to leave Earth’s atmosphere, but that fascination with space travel has never left me.

I’ve been following Tim Peake’s adventures on the ISS closely, of course (did you know there’s a live video stream of the view from the space station? There’s a live video stream. From space! My productivity has seriously suffered this week). I also picked up a book by one of his mentors, Chris Hadfield.

Not only is Hadfield mind-bogglingly smart and driven, he’s also disarmingly down-to-earth about his achievements. His book takes life lessons from his time in space and applies them to everyday situations – it’s a great read and one I’d definitely recommend.

3. Making plans for this sailboat fabric

Boat fabric

I’d been visiting my favourite tiny-but-packed-to-the-rafters quilting shop for a long time before I made a huge discovery: they had a whole other fabric room that I’d never even noticed. It was like opening your wardrobe one day to find it leads to Narnia.

Ever since then I’ve made regular trips, usually to buy, but sometimes just for that lovely peaceful feeling of being surrounded by beautiful things. I’m very much a novice when it comes to sewing, but as with knitting my philosophy is not to turn down gorgeous fabrics because I don’t think my skills can live up to them. If you’re going to put that much effort into creating something, it should be made with fabric (or yarn) you love.

I think this is going to become a dress – most likely a slightly wonky, not remotely pattern-matched one, but a dress nonetheless.

What’s making you happy today?

Teatime links

Teatime links

It’s been umbrella weather for what feels like months here, which has been a good excuse (as if I needed one!) to spend lots of time curled up on the sofa with cups of tea. Here’s what I’ve been reading this week…

Planned pooling tutorial from Dayana Knits. I really want to try this! There are a few variegated yarns in my stash that would be good candidates for intentional pooling.

Baby guinea pig crochet pattern by Kati Galusz. Such a sweet project and really quick to make from scraps of stash yarn.

Eden Cottage Yarns are just gorgeous. I’ve got my eye on the Yarnlings, sets of five 5g balls in coordinating colourways that are perfect for stripes or other colourwork.

Kaffe Fassett fragrances. Has anyone tried these? As you’d expect from the master of colour, they look worth buying for the packaging alone.

Yu Kitty on Pinterest. So much kawaii in one place!

 

Teatime links

Gingerbread

Christmas has been a bit of a whirlwind (is it ever anything else?), so it’s been lovely the last couple of days to take a moment for a cup of tea, a biscuit and some quiet time online. Here’s what’s been catching my eye recently…

Snuggly teddy by Sirdar. I’m not usually a fan of fun fur, but ohmygosh their new Touch yarn is so soft! And you’re never too old for a teddy bear, right?

Beautiful colourwork mittens by JennyPenny on Ravelry. Super cosy and stunning to look at too. Someday I’ll have the confidence to try a Fair Isle pattern this intricate.

Hello Kitty Crochet book by Mei Li Lee. Hook an amigurumi version of the feline icon to celebrate her 40th birthday.

Scrumptious Selkino yarn. A merino/silk blend hand-dyed by the wonderful Skein Queen. Drool.

Handmade gifts. A heartwarming story from the US about a knitter who donates all her projects to good causes.

Aimee Ray’s cute and quirky blog. Little Dear is packed with embroidery inspiration, and if you’re new to stitching her easy-to-follow tutorials will get you started.

Fly the flag

I’ve taken a bit of a break from knitting recently to try and use up some of my other stash – fabric. What to make with scraps of quilting cotton left over from last year’s Christmas stitching, when you already have enough project bags to last a lifetime? Bunting, of course!

Bunting1

I found a tutorial at Glorious Treats and set to work with a simple triangle template cut out of an old cereal box. When I ran out of fabric for full triangles I went for patchwork ones instead, cutting out small squares and sewing them together.

Patchwork always seems intimidating, with its requirement of super-precise cutting, super-even seams and super-tidy stitching, but it turns out that if you ignore all that and just wing it, things can turn out looking ok in the end! After all, as I keep telling myself, no-one’s going to take a tape measure to your FO.

Bunting3

One happy day at the sewing machine, four metres of bunting and a bit more space in the stash. Perfect. All I need now is somewhere to hang it…

Bunting2

For the birds

Living and working in the city it’s sometimes easy to forget that the countryside exists. Between the high-rises and the pavements there’s not much space for greenery, beyond the occasional lonely sapling or tuft of grass valiantly emerging through the concrete.

But it’s still there, nature – if you know where to look.

And, of course, if you don’t discount the foragers and scavengers, the much-maligned flying rats that populate the side streets and shopping precincts.

They’re rather handsome if you catch them at the right angle, don’t you think?

SarahLouKnits Friday Photo Pigeon