Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Shawl Fever

In the run up to C day, simple shawl patterns have become my bestest friends. Inspired by a birthday gift from my friend Karin, I have knitted Multnomah and another one is on the way. The pattern is simple and quick. Like Polly, I love it when the pattern begins with a few stitches and then stretches into the millions!

Nearly done Multnomah in blue and Damson in the background

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Originally uploaded by joandshea

These poor long suffering socks have been on their needles for over a year. They have seen the light of day only because I am knitting 2 large projects and I needed a break from them. They are for my sister - just in time for the beginning of our cold weather. I am pleased that she loves them

Another project buster also using sock yarn is Damson by Ysolda Teague. I love projects that start small and end up with hundreds of stitches. It is blocking now.

All finished, now to block

I'm halfway up the front of Aaren, I'm hoping to finish her by the weekend. It will be a relief to have one of the big projects completed. I'm planning on delving into one of the back of the wardrobe bags and finishing a project that has been waiting for a long long time!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Winter warmer

In anticipation of my trip to the Lake District I wizzed up a beret to keep my head warm. The photo was taken at the rear of our hotel.

Hat 1
Originally uploaded by joandshea


Pattern name: Design D
Pattern Source: Sirdar 339 Winter glamour
Yarn used: Sirdar Click Chunky
Needles: 5.5mm and 6.5mm
Date started: 1/12/09
Date finished: 1/12/09

Comments: A quick knit, not as slouchy as I thought it would be. The yarn is warm and won't become misshapen with use.

Whether in the hotel or on a walk, we were surrounded by fantastic views:

It was definitely a wrench to get on the train back to London..........


Despite the awful weather that has been battering Cumbria, I had a wonderful long weekend there recently. The Lake District is beautiful all year round. We had a wonderful view from the Hotel

When not walking, I worked on Aaren and started Fiddler's Green

I worked on Fiddlers Green on the way home. This was a joy to knit and I couldn't put it down. I was hoping to finish the pieces of Aaren while away, but Fiddlers Green stole my heart.


Pattern name: Fiddlers Green
Pattern source: Little Cakes
Designer: Louisa Harding
Yarn: Thistle
Needles: 4.5mm and 5mm
Started: 6/12/09
Finished: 9/12/09

Comments: OOoooooh, warm, cosy, did I say warm. The yarn is soft and strong, the pattern was well written, clear and easy to follow. The colour I chose is beautifully varigated and changes in the light. As the project began to develop and get longer, I had a lovely pool of warmth laying in my lap. This will definitely be a wardrobe regular this winter. In keeping with the coming festive season, the shade I chose is called Holly!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Busy Bee

I'm still having problems with my laptop. I'm using the young man's to catch up on my blog. Over the next few posts I will try and put up my recent completed projects.
I promised to take a picture wearing the pinwheel coat so here it is completed and being worn!!


Pattern Name: Pinwheel Sweater (Adult)

Designer: Shelley Mackie

Pattern Source: Elann.com

Date started: 28/09/09

Date finished: 23/10/09

Yarn: All from stash most now discontinued

Needles: 6mm
Comments: I used a heavier yarn and bigger needles than stated because I wanted a coat rather than a cardigan, certainly something that would keep me warm for the coming winter. I also omitted the yarn overs after the first colour change, for the same reasons. I enjoyed knitting this, even when it got to over 400 stitches! Brilliant stash buster!!!!

Snow ball Scarf

Well, I saw this stuff when I was at Ally Pally in October and walked swiftly by thinking, never, never, never. However, when my local yarn store stocked it, I thought, mmmm. But each time I went in, the stuff (I can't bring myself to call it yarn just yet) kept calling to me. I gave in a bought a ball on Monday. I had a free morning today and one hour later after twisting on 5 stitches, I had a snuggly, warm scarf!! What more can I say?

Pattern name: Scarf in a ball
Pattern Source: Ball band
Yarn: Sirdar snowball
Needles: 8mm
Date started: 10 December 09
Date finished: 10 December 09
Comments: A surreal experience!!

More to follow!!

Friday, November 20, 2009


Aaren by Kim Hargreaves from her book Precious

I am not a one, two, even three project person. I am a multiple project person. When you are being sorely tempted, you are supposed to give in, right? So I started another project, one that has been calling to me for a very long time - since I had the yarn in stash (yarn that I have been trying to allocate for ages not knowing that THE perfect patern was right under my nose) I decided there was absolutely nothing preventing me from casting on.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Is definiely smouldering away. It's almost complete - almost. It's the almost bit that is currently kicking my butt. I'm sewing in ends. It's so tiring that I can only do a small amount at a time. I don't allow my son to use the B word (boring) so I won't use it here. But is so is. I know the end result will be glorious, which is why, rather than leave the ends loose as is my want I'm taking time to do it right. In the mean time.....

Smoulder still in almost state

My technical problems persist, I've borrowed a friend's power pack for a while so I can use my laptop without curtailing my normal activities - like spending 200 hours a day on Ravelry!!!

I have started this (the dress) and this . They are both so scrummy - I'm loving both of them, although I have some misgivings about Sylvi. I will continue and see what happens........
Sylvi's sleeve

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Oh the pain of a sick laptop. I have no power pack, its gone to PC essentials heaven. I am relying on my friend to come juice me up every few days until a new one gets here. Add to the mix another broken camera and it all fun in Johanne land!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pinwheel sweater

As you can see I'm working hard. I had to start a new project when I left my knitting project (Celtic) at my mums. It took me 4 days to retrieve the project. In that time, I started a pinwheel sweater. I just have the arms to do now.

Smoulder is also finally, taking shape. I blocked the pieces and have sewn up the seams. Now for the million ends!! I hear we are having a late warm week next week so I may, hope against hope, get to wear her.

I was sweating hard to make sure the pattern matched!!

Some serious blocking was needed, as you can see

Now I just need to finish something!!

Autumn stash

Having left my current knitting project at my mum's I found myself in need of some house knitting. The perfect time to look through my stash and begin a stash busting project. This is normally a project that is quick and easy - a kind of in-between project that gives my brain a rest from complex knitting

autumn stash
Originally uploaded by joandshea

and allows me to carry on knitting, rather than downing tools all together. It'sdefinitely quick and also addictive, don't seem to want to put it down. I want to get to the armholes - not sure why I'm so eager, I have to do a provisional cast on and I always seem to have huge problems trying to use this form of cast on. Here's hoping it will be plain sailing this time. I've found some very good video streams detailing the method.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


...... of sorts. I've given in to temptation and started a new project, even though the agreement I had with myself was to finish Smoulder and the curved edge cardigan before embarking on new projects.

I have sort of finished, they just need sewing up. In both cases I have to be in the mood to attempt such a fete. In the case of Smoulder because of its million trillion ends and the need to match up row for row. As for the pure silk curved edge cardigan, I have the longest border to sew on the outer edge of the whole cardigan. They are in a heap in a corner of the front room. I'm hoping to be in the 'mood' to tackle them so that I can give the curved edge to my mum, and I can wear Smoulder before it's too cold!!

My new WIP is Celtic from Rowan 40.

I've made some heavy modifications so far to make it mine. Hopefully they will work.

I'm also thinking of this for my winter hottie.

I'm having trouble with choosing the right yarn and colour. I seem to be gravitating toward blue this winter. I don't know anything about Briggs and Little Atlantic. I'm going to swatch with Rowan Cocoon, and Louisa Harding Hulda then see how I go. Oh and I've picked out some stash yarn for a pin wheel thingy..,..........

Monday, September 14, 2009


Should I feel guilty that I'm wishing our late summer away? It's sods law that as soon as Fontaine is finished we have the sun trying to do its best to re surge and pretend that it's the middle of summer - it's not on. I want autumnal winds and crisp cool afternoons so that I can stroll in knitted comfort. In part it's my own fault. If I had not been busy elsewhere in my life I'd have had enough time to knit my summer gear - so now I'm reduced to wishing it away!!

On the needles, Smoulder from Rowan 31

All pieces are now complete...........

Now I have to fathom out whether to sew the pieces together then sew in the ends or the other way round. Experience with the mystery blanket would favour sewing the pieces in first so that it's easier to match up the pattern without the hindrance of lumpy bumpy bits.

.......... and there are a million ends to sew in!!

In the meantime I have to figure out what do with the mass on vegetables that are coming from the allotment.

My kitchen after one afternoon of veg picking on the allotment

Runner beans in situ, now sliced and spliced in the freezer!!

Glorious tomatoes of 5 different varieties

I have been pickling, chutneying, saucing and jamming I think you all know what you are getting in your Christmas stockings!!!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


In all of her beauty. I'm going to wear this to death. Why? Because it took so long, it survived majors works in my home and it's gorgeous. As always I'm rubbish at taking photo's so it really has not been done justice - it looks much better on me in the flesh (so to speak). Love everything about it.

Does my a*** look big in this comes to mind!!!!
Project Name: Fontaine
Pattern source: Rowan 44
Designer: Marion Foale
Started: 4/2/09
Finished: 8/9/09
Yarn: Rowan RYC Cashsoft 4 ply
Needles: 2.5mm & 2mm
Comments: Loved the finished garment. Took ages for various reasons and that killed the love of the process for me. Yarn is yummy, fit is lovely and I'm going to wear this often!!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


Should I be grateful that I decided to do the food shopping at the weekend?
Should I be grateful that I decided to go on the bus?
Should I be grateful that said bus had major disruptions?
Should I be grateful that it was a beautiful day and waiting more than 50 minutes for a bus that runs every 10 minutes meant that I had uninterrupted knitting time?
In the words of the famous nodding dog "Oh yes"!!!!!!

Fontaine needs some buttons and she is all done

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Up and running

.... well sort of.

After a very long break from blogging and knitting my mojo is finding its way back to me. I've also come out at the other end of renovation and decorating with my sanity intact (just). I have lovely new storage for my knitting paraphernalia - that's the only thing that made it all worthwhile!

Now all of my UFO's are squawking loudly at me from their dark resting place. Here are just a few:

Fontaine is in need of half a sleeve

Smoulder is in need of a collar and a sleeve

And heavens above a finished project. Only because there was a tight deadline and it was for my friend. This is the Panel Jacket by Louisa Harding. I used Wendy Pearl dk for the main body and Louisa Harding Glisten for the edging. The Pearl yarn has been discontinued and I didn't have enough - the Glisten yarn complimented the Pearl and the colouring of the recipient. I also had to make the sleeves end at the elbow rather than have them full length.

I'm trying to be be realistic and unfortunately summer passed me by without any new summer projects under my belt. If I'm lucky Smoulder will be finished for Autumn. This puts me right on track for finishing last winters projects in time for this year and maybe slipping in a couple of new ones. The upside - I know I will be warm and toastie this year. I will be posting some of my 'new' winter projects in the next post.

The pace of the allotment is finally slowing down and I am enjoying the fruits of my labour. I am truly grateful for my pickings right now and I will never moan when it rains ever again.




Sunday, May 31, 2009

Still here

I'm still about, not a lot of knitting has been going on over the past 2 months. I've been out in my allotment. That is all about to change as the plot is beginning to tick over without needing my total undivided attention.

I have about a million projects to finish, so with the lovely long evening coming up, I'll be steaming ahead with my UFO's!!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Oh boy

Or not as the case may be. I have a teenager in the house!! A teenager who does not want to be "mothered". Do they flip overnight? Did I miss something? When did he become taller than me!!!

He is still my young man and we are proud.

As you can see, my trauma over young man reaching his teenage years has stopped me from being productive in any way. I've managed to complete the back and one front on Fontaine. The 2.5 mm needles are really sticking it to me now - I am however fighting the urge to start another project on much bigger needles, but that may change........

Monday, February 16, 2009


The Mystery Blanket aka In the Country

Finally pulled my finger out and finished it. As you can see, I have found a worthy recipient - she loves it!

My reward is a new project, Fontaine
Smoulder is on hold. I'm sure that I'm going to run out of one of the colours and until I can find a substitute for it,I can't go any further. However, it's coming along nicely. I'm hoping to complete it for the Spring.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Time is flying unlike my knitting projects. February already!!

We do have a few finished objects and a couple that are nearly there. My January deadline has slipped for both the blanket and the curved edge cardigan, but there has been progress.

The blanket is now in one piece. All squares are knitted and ends now sewn in. I just need a long cold dark evening, lots of chocolate and a good play on the radio to finish it once and for all.

I'm trying to be a good girl and not start anything big before I finish the blanket and the curved edge cardigan (Smoulder doesn't count - I've stalled on it for the moment having run out of one of the colours. I'm hunting for an equivalent)

Not sure what possessed me to knit a pair of leg warmers but here they are and already put to good use.

Pattern details:

Pattern name: Mosey by Susan Power
Pattern source: Knitty, Spring 2008
Yarn used: Debbie Bliss Cash merino Chunky
Size: Smaller size
Needles: 5.5 mm
Started: 8/12/08
Finished: 2/2/09
Comments: I omitted the OXO pattern because it would not be easily seen in black yarn. I used larger needles because I used completely different yarn , hence knitting the smaller size. They are incredibly warm and versatile. Good stash buster.

The young man is off on a skiing holiday in the next couple of weeks, so the needles have been busy with hats. Here is the latest.

Just in time for the recent offering of snow. He was nice and toastie. The hat stood up to the riggers of several snow fights and being worn for the entire day!!

Pattern details:
Pattern: Alpaca ear flaps
Pattern Source: Oz yarn
Yarn used: Debbie Bliss Cash merino aran in cream, Louisa Harding Grace in light grey, Wensleydale Longwool aran in dark grey
Needles: 4mm
Started: 20/1/09
Finished: 1/2/09
Comments: no alpaca used, but warm and toastie anyway. I don't do well on intarsia ans chart reading for colour work. But the pattern was easy to understand and clearly written.

Alas, the curved edge cardigan has stayed in the bottom of the basket, but I'm hoping to rectify that this month

Monday, January 05, 2009


Another year has gone and so we (I) lurch onto 2009. Very little has changed. I'm still trying not to start too many projects and I'm still trying to finish those I start!! Some of the projects have been festering for too long.
Currently I'm working on:
Smoulder from Rowan 31 a lot of substitution has taken place due to discontinued yarn, but I've loved this pattern from the moment I saw it - I have no idea what took me so long to start it . I managed to start is 3 days ago and I'm loving it. However, I made a pact with myself. Starting Smoulder means I have to finish 2 old projects, of which there are a few.........

The Mystery blanket, which is missing just 3 squares. 2 borders are done - must finish this soon. This is one of the pact WIP's.

Print 'O the waves stole. I've now completed 6 repeats. I had delusions of completing a repeat per evening. Instead, this poor WIP has been stuffed in a corner until a few nights ago. However, as I'm sure many will know, you have to be in the right frame of mind to read a chart.

Don't ask me what possessed me to knit myself a pair of leg warmers. They are gorgeous though. I've half of the second one to complete.

The curved edge cardigan is luscious pure silk. This has been languishing in a corner for months. This is the 2nd of the pact WIP's. I just need to sew the border on - however, that's not as easy as it sounds!!

Picnic. This is a long terms project so my conscience is not pricking me so much on this one. But I'm aiming to be a bit more disciplined in order to finish it this year.

Of course this does not include socks and, well we just won't go there!! Now all I nned ot tackle is the destash.......