Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Martin Storey KAL Blanket .... it's a wrap!

I LOVE this blanket! The "Calm" colour way is just that....very calming, stylish and very sophisticated!

(You don't have to be a Facebook person to view 
my gallery of photos on Facebook. Go on, click and have a look!)

All 8 "stages" (squares) were knit exactly as per the patterns as provided on the Rowan Yarns web site, in the shades as designated by the Calm colour way. 6 squares of each design. NO MODS!!!

The make up chart, well, I have to tell you that sewing up is my bugaboo! So I started studying the finished afghan photo to decide on square placement! While I did get one strip wrong, it really didn't matter in the big scheme of things...and Rowan took my hint and released the make up diagram early (yeah!).

The edge was knit with only one little twist....the edge has this cool braided effect (as provided by my knit buddy Stella).....I had to get my head around how this worked......

this is a garter stitch trim, knit two rows of each of the two shades used to create the stripes

for each two row garter.....

first row, knit along to the last stitch, ktbl
second row.....slip first stitch as if to purl, knit to the end of the row

(slipping the first as if to purl means you need to then bring the yarn back to the knit position....this maneuver is what elongates that knit through the back loop stitch to create the one stitch faux braid edge)

It's NEVER too late to knit a great blanket design! If I were to do this now, I'd take the make up diagram and knit these squares into strips right on the needles. That way you'd only have to sew up the strips! That would be BRILLIANT!

ALL of the information you need is on the Rowan web site (materials list, individual squares, make up diagram and edging). You could mix and match squares from the other two Pure Wool Worsted afghan KALs! Now there is a thought....maybe a Kaffe square or two in there? Wish I'd thought of that earlier!!!

(the Nordic inspired blanket)

(designed as a "learn to" afghan, learn to read a chart, do lace, simple cables, etc.

What's happening here at Life LDC....

Well, Spring is struggling to warm up here. Hubby and I both have Spring colds that just won't go away!

Poor Daisy! Well, this might come under the category of TMI, but last Saturday she had an exciting experience involving an emergency veterinary appointment...a burst impacted anal gland (ewwwww), extreme shaving of her privates (very stressful for my modest little girl) and some poking and prodding by our fabulous Dr. A! 

Daisy is 12 and things can happen quickly as a dog ages, so Dr. A took the opportunity to give her a thorough hands on examination to see if there were any indications of a deeper issue. Daisy has NEVER had any "a" gland issues, but I guess we'll have to keep on top of this in future (another ewwww)!

Those of you who are owned by pets will understand how upsetting this was....we of course were more concerned than she seemed to be.

Lackie, is Lackie. A more relaxed little boy Westie you will be hard pressed to find. He LOVES that Spring is in the air. You'll find him so often with his nose through the railings on the deck....catching sniffs we call it!

Now that the KAL blanket is done, it's time to get back to my Bronte sweater and to catch up on my Marie Wallin fair isle blanket squares. Holding my hand over my stack of Rowan Magazines...I swear, that I will not undertake any more blankets! Yes, you heard me...I SWEAR! ha ha ha.....knitters always trying to fool ourselves, aren't we!

This Softyak yarn is delicious! I LOVE IT! and can't wait to finish my cardigan. I seem to be in a mode of knitting that challenges my perseverance....first the twisted rib stitch of Hubby's Yell sweater....now the Moss stitch of the Bronte. Luckily I'm on the fun front bits where you have cables and a bit of a lace panel....with moss on either side.....but it is keeping me going.

Once Bronte is done and I've caught up with my fair isle blanket squares, I want to make a simple summer t-shirt top....very simple, but with a few details that I've noticed in the shops this year.

Happy Knitting!

x Anne
(with Daisy at her feet, Lackie is outside, looking through the railings!)

Lackie likes looking through railings! Luckily, we have
inside railings as well and he sits and waits for me here
when I go out....so adorable!

Monday, 9 May 2016

Third Afghan KAL

If you've been with me for a while, you'll know that Rowan has sponsored not one, not two, but THREE afghan knitalongs!

The first was designed by Martin Storey, a collection of simple but effective squares, knit then sewn together, with a cable trim.

Here's my version. (I picked my own shades and organized the squares into a tartan style layout.) This afghan is loved and used by everyone in the family (dogs included) and I can tell you it has stood up to the everyday wear and tear.

My "ta da" it's finished post on the first Martin Storey Mystery KAL is here.....

Then there was the Kaffe Mystery afghan! Well, I'm a HUGE fan of Kaffe (what's not to love?) and I had to participate....

This time I recruited a "Kaffe Klatch", a group of knitting buddies to knit along with and help keep the momentum of a long afghan KAL going! 

There were 4 of us, Darlene, Ann, Ros and I..... only one of us completed our afghans (to my knowledge anyway)......

and it WASN'T ME!

This is my friend Ros' Kaffe afghan....looking at it I am 
somewhat inspired to get mine out and finish it.

OK, it's on "the list"
(More about this list business soon, ok?)

Ros is an amazing knitter, and we were both busy knitting other things at the same time as the Kaffegan!!! She knit Franzisca and I was knitting Emley and Mette. This was a very busy time as you can see here, but I am a bit annoyed that I didn't finish this KAL afghan!

Then there was the Lisa Richardson Crochet-a-long (CAL), a shawl, stole or blanket....in fingering weight yarn!!!

I wasn't prepared to tackle the whole crochet project thing, but I did use the individual motifs to refine my crochet skills.

So, it shouldn't have come as a surprise that Rowan were planning another knit along!!!!

Last year, Hubby and I visited the UK, travelled to the South-West - Devon and Cornwall. Wandering about in a sea-side town in Devon, looking for a yarn store (what else?)......

Who did we meet on our travels? 
(Hubby on the left....me trailing behind taking photos)

Yes, that's THE MARTIN STOREY!!!!

Martin told me then that there was going to be another afghan KAL...and I have to tell you, I was "OMG, NOT ANOTHER AFGHAN!" I think I might have actually blurted that out to Martin. 

Martin, if you are reading this, I apologize profusely for my lack of self control. Sometimes my mouth speaks before my brain has a chance to process!

Yes, I admit that I wasn't enthused about another afghan, but when I saw it - this was no ordinary afghan, it has squares that are faux fair isle (slipped stitches) and was designed in four gorgeous colour ways!

This was no Mystery KAL, you knew what you were taking on...

I LOVE these slipped stitch squares...
so faux fair isle :)

The "Calm" colour way is so refined and sophisticated!

 I don't know, but I have loved every minute of this KAL 
and I can't wait to finish it!

All eight square patterns have been released, the sewing up diagram was released a bit early so that we could get a head-start on the tedious sewing up business.....so we are good to go. Looking at the finished afghan photo, the edge looks to be a two colour garter stitch, quite a bit of garter stitch, but I think it will be the perfect edging for this afghan!

If you love to knit afghans, it's NEVER too late to join in!

All of the details for each afghan are available on the Rowan web site! Click through to get the materials list, motif instruction, making up information, and trim instructions!

For you crochet lovers, I can see the Lisa Richardsons CAL done in a lovely worsted yarn too.

Right now I'm busy sewing up my squares - when seaming garter to garter....
use the edge stitchesto "slip" seam them together.

When sewing a slip stitch square to a garter stitch edge,
just go in one stitch on the slip stitch square! 

Hubby has already claimed this afghan - he loves the shades used in it, he thinks the slip stitch squares are amazing, and he can't wait to have his own afghan.

Two of us, two dogs, two afghans.....it works, doesn't it!

Have you finished your afghan (s) ???

Happy Knitting,

Anne xx
(with Lackie and Daisy at her feet....always)