Posted by: darkdreamer | Monday 17th November 2014

Getting there

Garter stitch rugby scarfAt this time of year I feel I should finish off all my on going knitting projects so I can start the new year with a clean slate, I’ve got a fair few WIPs on the go but there are a few that are nearly completed.

First up is a scarf for my BF, it’s a Leeds Rhinos rugby scarf, I can’t remember when I started it but it was supposed to be for this years season but as that ended in Sept/Oct it’s now his Birthday/Christmas present (his birthday is 24th Dec I have decided which day to give him it on yet). It’s just been blocked so all that’s required once dry it the ends to be tided up.

I’ve also got a shawl that’s waiting to be blocked, I finished knitting my Charm shawl a while back (though the picture is back when it was still in progress) but because of the scallop edging I have to steam block the edge after wet blocking the body. I’m somewhat nervous of attempting this so have been putting it off, I’ll have to bite the bullet soon because I really want to be able to wear it.

CharmThe big news however is I’m casting off my Celestarium star shawl 😀 I started it Summer last year and while the first 4 charts knitting up very quickly the 5 chart was so painfully slow I found it hard to motivate my self to carry on with it. Eventually I made it to the final chart and it felt like the end was in sight and I was able to make loads of progress and now I’m 1/3 of my way though the knitted off edging. I’m not using the edging provided with the pattern (which was just a plain garter edging) instead I’m using Stellar Wave Edging, I found it rather confusing at first but this was only the second knitted cast-off I’ve ever done and the first on a circular project and I was fine once I figured out what I was supposed to do.Star Shawl

Posted by: darkdreamer | Tuesday 14th October 2014

Yarndale 2014

Yarndale Lamppost

Two weeks ago on the last weekend in September it was Yarndale!!! Sorry it’s taken Ripley Hatme this long to get round to posting this, last couple of weekends I’ve not been feeling well so not been up to much. On the plus side I did knit up a hat (just needed some simple knitting) even though it did take 5 attempts, I blame the cold virus.

Before I go though what I bought at Yarndale, I’ve got a couple of finished projects. First up, I completed a the Chardon skirt from Deer and Doe sewing pattern company, it’s a lovely pleated skirt which I made with some light green ‘linen-look’ cotton. I think I might have made it a size too big for me on the waist but I’m really pleased at how neat it looks. I also finished knitting cardigan, I got the yarn for it ages ago in a sale, it’s DK merino and I knew I wanted it cabled cardigan but for ages I could not find a pattern I liked until Kate Davies released Braid Hills. It’s bottom up and completely seamless (yay no sewing up) and was a lot quicker to finish then my last sweater. P1000996P1000995


Now on to Yarndale, getting there was a bit trickier then it should of been as the line between Leeds and Skipton was closed in sections for maintenance so group of us from Thursday knitting went via Bradford on the train (which made the journey twice as long as usual). When we got there we had to queue as only one of us had done the sensible thing and pre-booked her ticket. We got in and first thing was to get the Yarndale tote bag and pin badge for this year then we headed to the stalls. Yarndale was bigger this year and laid out over more of the venue so there was more room to move around though it did still get busy in some places. I went with a list of what I needed and a budget and I’m pleased to say I managed to get everything on my list (I did get a few things that weren’t on my list) and stay within budget. Please have a look through the gallery for everything I got.

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Posted by: darkdreamer | Sunday 21st September 2014


Boy it’s been a while since I last blogged, I could give a list or excuses reasons why I haven’t written anything since April but really I was because I couldn’t really be bothered. Well I’m back now so here’s a quick round up of what I’ve been up to.

First up I had my 2nd blog-anniversary back in June and I hit 50 followers, thank you to all of you who follow my blog. I’ve also set up a pinterest account which you can browse here. I haven’t added a great many pins as yet, but I’m sure I’ll be adding plenty more over time.

So at the end of April I went to Dublin, I had a lovely time exploring the city and of course I had to get some souvenir yarn. This Is Knit located in Powerscourt Townhouse is a lovey yarn shop and I got 2 skeins of Sock Yarn by Hedgehog Fibres in 2 beautiful colour ways.

This Is Knit Dublin - Purchases

I also finish my Charlotte skirt, I can’t say I’m completely happy with the fit or the material I used but I’m very proud of finishing a wearable pencil skirt. Here’s me wearing it with my 2nd Sorbetto before a night out in May which made it my first (and atm my only) outfit for Me-Made-May, hopefully next year I’ll have a few more outfits to maybe actually take part.

Me-Made-May Outfit

Back in June it was Knit In Public day so a group of us from my knitting group decided to send the day Yarn shopping. We headed to Texere in Bradford, I tried to limit how much I bought and spend more time knitting but there is only so long you can spend surrounded and not succumb.

Then in August I had a couple of trips to visit my BF who was staying there for work for 3 weeks, I’ve never had chance to explore London before (I’ve visited for a couple of day trips before but that was over 10 years ago now) so I jumped at the chance and of course I also did a bit of shopping. I visited Goldhawk Road for a bit of fabric shopping, as I’m still new a sewing and quite slow I only got bought 1 piece of material, a bolt of wax-print cotton,  just short of 6 meter (6 yards). I also visited Loop in Islington and got Botanical Knits 2 by Alana Dakos (and no I don’t have Botanical knits 1) and a skein of Socks that Rock from Blue Moon Fiber Arts because; 1. it was shades of green, blue and purple (my favourite colours) and 2. the colour way is called Awesomesauce 🙂

Cotton Wax Print - Goldhawk Rd LondonLoop London - Purchases








I like to say I wont be buying any more yarn any time soon but it’s Yarndale next Saturday.

Posted by: darkdreamer | Tuesday 22nd April 2014

KNN Thursday: Say hello!

Me in Stitches


Ok this was taken a couple of weeks ago but the KNN is getting a bit bigger, hence all the cups (side note I was in a foul mood the week I took this and was rather surprised none of then shouted at me for been a grumpy got).

It’s so great to have a KNN group for moral support with tricky things. They even had the patience to teach this long term Hooker to knit. And now for a bit of self promotion. We are on Ravelry and Facebook. We welcome everyone and the only real rule is Costa is kind enough for us to use their space so please buy a drink from them. Now the self promotion is over….

Most of these lovely ladies (we do accept male members but we don’t have any currently) are attempting Celestarium and I think they are very brave. Or…

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Posted by: darkdreamer | Monday 14th April 2014

Finished Arrow Shawl

I’ve finished my Mystery knit-along, well I actually completed it  last weekend (took pictures and everything), but I’ve only just got arround to posting here.

Finished Arrow 1

It’s the Follow Your Arrow mystery shawl by Ysolda Teague it came as 5 clues over the course of 5 weeks. For the first 4 weeks I kept up but after the last clue was realised progress slowed, however after finishing my Dad’s jumper I’ve been working through all the projects I’ve currently got on my needles, this is the first I’ve finished off (they’ll be more soon, promise).

Anyway back to the shawl. For each of the 5 clues there were 2 different options which are all interchangeable and you also have the choice of using 1 or 2 colours. I think means you can make up to 62 different shawls, I don’t think I’ll go that far but I’m differently going to make another using all the clues I didn’t use in my first but with 2 colours.

Finished Arrow 2

 Finished Arrow 3

I love it, the combination of clues I used meant that it’s Asymmetrical and it’s the right size to wrap round my shoulders. Below is a slideshow of my progress clue by clue.

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Posted by: darkdreamer | Tuesday 1st April 2014

2nd Sorbetto – Completed

I’ve finally completed my second Sorbetto top, this time with sleeves.

Sorbetto with sleeves

I cut out the fabric for this last year after completing my first Sorberto but when I gave the sewing machine back to my mum it got put it away. Since I now have the sewing machine permanently I’ve been able to finish it off, though it’s taken a little while as I’ve been practicing at sewing a skirt. Since I had enough material to get a second top out of I decided to make a second Sorbetto but to make it different to the first version I added sleeves. I used the sleeve patterns from Sew, incidentally and the help on how to insert a sleeve on Tilly and the Buttons blog.

Sorbetto sleeveIt’s probably not the best ever inserted sleeve but you know what… I don’t care, I’m so pleased with it, I made a sleeve 🙂 I bias bound the neck line, sleeves and the hem line but with the bias binding showing on the neck line and sleeve and in the inside of the hem.


Posted by: darkdreamer | Sunday 23rd March 2014

Yay! Finished

It’s taken a year and a half but I’ve finally finished the jumper for my dad, I missed his birthday again up only by a few days so I’ll give it to him anyway, he won’t mind he’s waited this long for it.

Dad's Jumper

The pattern Herringbone Sweater by Erika Knight, I plan to finish a few other projects I’m working on at the moment then I’m going to case on a cardigan or jumper for me, I’m thinking maybe Braid Hill by Kate Davies.

Posted by: darkdreamer | Sunday 23rd February 2014

Practice, Practice, Practice

Last year I borrowed my Mum’s sewing machine to have a go at sewing I quite liked it but of course I had to return the sewing machine so I didn’t get very far sewing, only managing a shirt that fit and a skirt that didn’t. Well not long before Christmas my Mum got a new sewing machine so I got her old one, though I couldn’t pick it up till I went to stay at Christmas. I decided that this year I’m going to make myself some skirts but to do that I needed to work on getting them to actually fit me. First up wanted to see if I could get the Meringue skirt to fit, I traced and cut out a size 2 times smaller then last time and omitted the scallops (I decided that I didn’t like them all that much and I’d never bothered to sew them on my last attempt).

2nd Meringue skirt

It fits 🙂 though, while i did try and hem it, I didn’t notice that I’d run out of thread not even half way through 😦 (my sewing line was all over the place as well so I gave up on it. I’ve also decided I don’t like the lack of a waste band so in the future I think I’ll stick to skirts with waste bands. I also had some issues with inserting the zip, something to work on.

Since I want to make some skirts for myself this year and since I wanted a skirt with a waste band I’ve been looking around at different skirt patterns. One I fell in love with when browsing was the Charlotte Skirt by ‘By Hand London’ so I ordered the pattern (I also ordered the Anna dress at the same time which I also fell in love with as well, even if it wasn’t a skirt). It’s described as beginner pattern and By hand London also have done a series of sewalong blog posts which provide a useful guide on how to sew it together, just what I need 🙂 .

Following the instructions I traced and cut the size based on my waist measurements, which ended up been 2 sizes larger then my clothes usually are, and then take it in at the hips if needs be. Well who am I to argue with the instructions. After sewing the skirt panels together I tried it on, while it fit at the waist I felt like I was wearing a sack 😦 maybe when I’ve taken it in at the hips it’ll be better. Still felt like I was wearing a sack, abet one that fit me at the hips. It wasn’t all bad though I was able to successfully insert the invisible zip.
1st Charlotte skirt zip

I’m really pleased with this 🙂 (Please ignore the fact it’s all rumpled, it had spent a week screwed up under my bed by time I took the picture).

Anyway despite my successful zip insertion I was unhappy with the rest of the skirt so I looked through my Colette sewing handbook to try and figure out what I was doing wrong. Turns out there’s not as much difference between my waist and hips as the pattern is drafted for,Waist adjustment so cutting out for my waist left me with a skirt that was way too big for me. To compensate for my lack of much of a waist the Colette handbook gave instructions on how to increase at the waist, I just needed to increase the edge of each piece by 1/4 of the different between the patterns measurements and mine. So that’s what I did.

After retracing my altered pattern I cut out my material and sewed it together as before (after re-salvaging the zip from the first attempt). It worked 🙂 . It fits 🙂 . I’m so pleased, can you tell 😀 . I went a head an cut out a lining, I know what your thinking why are you lining a practice piece of sewing made out of calico. Well I’ve never made a skirt I can wear before and I’ve never lined anything, I wanted to practice lining before I make my proper skirt.

Charlotte skirt 2nd attempt

The lining is just a cheap anti-static lining, I did originally intend to line the Charlotte skirt I was to wear in it but I quickly decided I didn’t like it at all. I’m still getting use to all the different sorts of fabrics and what’s the best to use when.

Inside Charlotte skirt 2nd attempt

I’m going to put the waist band on and then have a go at my actual Charlotte skirt 🙂 .

Posted by: darkdreamer | Sunday 2nd February 2014

Spot The Deliberate Mistake

Last Sunday I cast off Marin and I only cast on on the 5th January, go me :). I bought the pattern a while back to use with some hand-spun but had to abandon that plan when I realized I didn’t have enough yarn. When I went yarn shopping in the beginning of January for the MKAL I was taking part in I decided to pick up some yarn that I could use to finally complete Marin.


I just loved knitting this pattern, probably why I finished it so quickly, but I did make a bit of a mistake, one I didn’t realize till I was at the very end. The pattern starts at one tip and you make increases along the top edge till the middle section then you decrease to the other tip. Well that’s what your supposed to do, turns out I got my right and wrong sides mixed up at the first tip so my increases were on the bottom edge instead but I didn’t realize till I got to the other end and couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t looking like the start. Once I figured out what I did wrong I was faced with a choice, switch the side the decreases were on, or rip it all out, yeah right like that was going to happen, I altered the decreases. No one will ever know, shhh 😉

Posted by: darkdreamer | Sunday 12th January 2014

Dyeing for a KAL

When I heard the Ysolda Teague was running a mystery knit along a couple of weeks back I knew I just had to take part, but after rummaging through my stash I realized I didn’t have enough yarn for it. Oh dear it looked like I was going to have to go yarn shopping, what a shame, but rather then just buy a pre-dyed yarn I deiced to get something I could dye myself. I bought a 500g cone of white 100% wool 4ply yarn and wound off 200g and set up a immersion dye bath, I’m sure I’ll find a use for the 300g left over sometime in the future.

I was aiming for a light/pastel green but it didn’t turn out that way instead it came out a much brighter/bolder shade then I wanted. I decided to try and tone it down by over dyeing it with some red to tone down the green. I added the red dye bit by bit to a new immersion dye bath resulting in a variegated yarn in a more muted colours with I’m much happier with even if its nothing like what I had in mind when I started.

I’m looking forward to seeing how it knits up, I’ve made a swatch to get a idea but as I’ve no idea what the patterns like I won’t really know till I get going. Can’t wait till tomorrow when the first part of the pattern is released.

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