Hello and welcome to my little corner of the internet. I intend to use this blog as a showcase for my latest crafting endeavours and to provide detailed reviews of patterns, kits and accessories on the market along with details on where to find everything yourself, should I inspire you to try it out. Please feel free to comment on my posts, provide your own thoughts on the subject, answer questions and even suggest posts.

It has always been my goal to add a post every Wednesday, but due to current circumstances posts may be as scarce as once a month. Appologies and I hope to return to my weekly posting shortly.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

And a hat to match

Designer: tbc
Pattern: Czarina hat
Available from: Ravelry
Price: tbc
Now you remember last week how I still had a full ball of yarn left over from the Czarina dress pattern? Well I must have struck lucky because no sooner had I finished it than I was asked if I would like to test knit the matching hat! Of course I jumped at the chance! Now this hat can be worked in 4ply like the dress or worsted and is sized from newborn up to adult! I'm very happy about this as I LOVE the idea of matching hats for baby and mummy!

Anyway, I made it to match the dress, using my left over yarn, and it took me "2 days" to work up, but I cast on in the evening one day and was finished by noon the next, so there's no reason this can't actually be done in just the one day. It was really quick and really easy to work up! I loved making it!

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Never too young for Mohair

Every so often I like to browse the test knitter requests on ravelry, usually nothing much takes my fancy, but it's nice to see what's coming up and where designers are going, but this time I found the sweetest little baby dress design. It's called Czarina, which means empress in russian (with some variants of the spelling from place to place) and I loved that it featured a princess skirt and had a princess name without it being too fussy or too obvious. I volunteered to work the size noted as 6months as by my reckoning that will make it a winter dress, which is highly appropriate for something with a Russian name. I then went and bought some gorgeous machine washable yarn with a 20% mohair content which should make this dress lovely and warm for winter even with the lace panels. I also decided to opt for the rather non baby colour of deep purple, once again to reflect the royal undertones without it being too obvious.

Designer: Taiga Hilliard
Pattern: Czarina
Available from: Ravelry
Price: tbc

Brand: Stylecraft
Item: Senses lace
Available from: Deramores
Price: £3.29

I couldn't wait to cast on for this project, so I didn't even attempt to. It was a nice day when I bought the yarn so I took advantage of the lovely underpass at the end of Ecclesall road in town. Not the best place to sit, but it's green, it's close to where my hubby works, it's out of the way and it was warm, with seats, so I sat down, got comfortable and cast on.

Now I can't tell you much about the pattern as at the time of writing this it was still being test knit and small changes will be made between my working it and the pattern actually going live. What I can tell you though is that it's an absolute joy to work up. I had to read some parts twice and they're going to be clarrified in the actual live pattern from what I can tell, but the design and the construction are so easy to work! It's the perfect mix of idle knitting and pretty lace. Just enough to keep me interested but simple enough to pick up and put down between decorating my nursery (which is when I knit this). I highly recommend the pattern.

The yarn, however, I am constantly talking about. I choose a deep, royal purple (it's actually called plum, but royal purple just seems to suit it so much better) to match the theme this dress has taken in my mind, rather than a more traditional baby colour, it's a winter dress so as well as working with the "theme" I figure it will work with the season as well. However, as the dress began to grow I started to second guess my choice. While it's a beautiful colour and has a wonderfully subtle gradiance to it, it did proove to work up a little darker than expected...in some lights it wound up looking almost black! So what could I do?

You will notice that there's a pretty lace panel between the skirt and the bodice? Well I had some of this yarn left over from an earlier project in a much lighter purple, lavender to be exact, and that lace panel looked like the perfect place to use it. Much as the lace panel breaks up the skirt and bodice without drawing attention away from either, the lighter colour would help break up the dark colour without detracting from it. Now here I must confess, in order to make the colour transition easier I did add an extra row or two just so the colours sit better next to each other, it doesn't alter the design of the dress at all! Thankfully, my little gamble payed off and brought the purples of the darker yarn out so that even in the lowest light it no longer appears black but purple as it should, and a much prettier, femenine colour than if I had left it as just the dark yarn on it's own.

Now I bought two balls of this yarn as the pattern called for 500 yards and each ball only had 273,, as it happened, I only used one ball of plum and the tiny bit of lilac for the waistband, at this point I'm not sure wether that's just my luck with the yarn or the yardage is a bit on the generous side, maybe a bit of both, but if you're coming up short on yardage for the design, it might be worth bearing in mind.