Smidge the Cat

Smudge the Cat has a new little sister!

Smidge the Cat is quick to knit and the perfect little gift for a child or baby. Knitted in Rowan Felted Tweed – she’s a great way to use up some oddments.

Click below to buy the Smidge the Cat pattern via Ravelry.

Smidge The Cat pattern: £3.50 – buy now

If you’re coming along to my Professional Finishing Techniques workshop at Ewe Wool Shop you will get a free copy of Smidge and we will be knitting a little cardigan for her to wear!

Change of Plans

This weekend I was intending to write a blog about my Ripple Bralette and the three new me-made summer tops I wore on holiday. However… it was too warm to wear my new Burnt top and I didn’t finish my Ripple Bralette because I was far too busy doing this…

I did however wear my new teal vest top and I love it!

I’m planning to make the straps slightly shorter for the next one, but other than that I’m really happy with the fit.

Hopefully the bralette will be ready for next weekends blog… but Noodle and his wonky ear are demanding quite a lot of attention at the moment.

He was bitten by another cat and it’s infected so he’s a bit fed up of being stuck inside wearing the cone of shame. We’re so grateful that our wonderful friend Steph got him to the vets and took such care of him while we were away! I don’t know what we’d do without her.

Hopefully Noodle will let me do some knitting today!

Coming Soon… Cosy Alpaca Knits Yarn Packs!

Exciting news! Over the next week I will be launching a selection of yarn packs for Cosy Alpaca Knits projects.

These project yarn packs are a great way to save waste (and money) on projects where you don’t need full balls of each shade… and they also make lovely gifts!

They will be available to buy with a copy of Cosy Alpaca Knits or can be purchased on their own if you already have the book and just want the yummy yarn.

Hop over to my shop to see more details of the new yarn packs!

The Cosy Cardigan and Cosy Alpaca Blanket yarn packs will be available on a made-to-order basis so please get in touch if you’re interested in ordering either of these and would like more details.

I will send out a newsletter when the yarn packs are ready to go… and there will be a little treat for newsletter followers placing order – so make sure you’re signed up!

 

Summer Tops

It’s August… and that means that Rowan have launched their lovely new Autumn/Winter collections! Although I’m looking forward to Autumn (always) I’m not going to share my top picks with you yet because I’m feeling much too summery.

I’ve become very aware this summer that I don’t have many clothes to wear when it’s really hot. I have very few strappy dresses or tops and those I do have are either too warm (ie- not breathable fabric) or rather worn and tired.

So I’m on a mission to make as many summer tops as I can before the weather turns cooler and I get distracted by wool and cosy cardigans.

I have a vest top which is a good size and shape for me – so I’ve traced the pattern and I’m planning to make three new versions. One in some leftover teal fabric from my petal sleeved Scout Tee, one using fabric from an old dress that shrunk and doesn’t fit and a third in some rather beautiful Liberty Lawn.

Of course – if I make the first and don’t like it I’ll go back to the drawing board and use a proper pattern!

I also kept seeing gorgeous versions of the Ripple Bralette by Jessie Mae pop up on Instagram and I’ve fallen in love with it!

Above: @a.beagan.handmade @yarn_bard @aleichiaknits

I’m trying to whizz through knitting my Kim Hargreaves Burnt top so that I can cast on a Ripple Bralette and hopefully get that done before the end of summer too!

Which knitting season are you in?!

 

Make Nine 2019 – Progress Report

Someone posted about their Make Nine 2019 on Instagram this week and I realised that I couldn’t even remember what was on mine! So it’s a good time to see if I’m on track and give a progress report!

So far this year I have ticked off my new mitts and my wedding cardigan

And yes… there was some cheating because I started making both of those things in 2018! But I’ve been super busy working on my new book which will launch later this year – so selfish making time has been extremely scarce.

I’ve made pretty good progress with my Esme cardigan too – I’ve finished the back and fronts – so it’s just the sleeves to do. It’s so fluffy!!

I should be cracking on with this now… but you know when you’re not in the mood to knit anything that you have on the needles and just want the excitement of casting on something new? Well that happened… so I cast on Burnt by Kim Hargreaves.

It’s not even on my Make Nine list. I’ve gone completely rogue! We’ve booked a holiday for later this year and I just fancied making something summery that I could realistically finish before we go away. I’m having to adjust the pattern a bit for my shape so hopefully it will work out!

I’ve also made a little bit of progress on the Peony Dress. I made a toile for the bodice (blending sizes) but I still need some help getting the fit right. Some of my friends have been going to classes and sewing clinics at Sewing Belle and I’ve been inspired by the lovely things they’re making. I’m hoping to join them soon and rediscover my sewjo!

How are your 2019 makes going?

Yarn Shop Day 2019

It’s nearly Yarn Shop Day and there’s a huge number of shops taking part – including Knit Nottingham where I suspect plans might include party food and booze!

I’ll be missing out on the local Yarn Shop Day action though because I’ll be at Black Sheep Wools in Culcheth. It’s been a while since my last visit so I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone – come and say hello!

Rowan @ Black Sheep Wools

There will be lots happening on the day. Emma Varnam will be holding amigurumi drop-in sessions and sharing her top tips on crocheting characters and Cathy Wright will be running spinning wheel demonstrations throughout the day.

I will be running mini finishing classes including shaping, mattress stitch and picking up stitches – followed by a sewing-up drop-in clinic from 2:30pm until 3:30pm… bring your sewing-up queries and form an orderly queue!

Knitting & Roses - Jem Weston blog

For more information on times and what you need to bring along – visit the Black Sheep blog here.

What are your Yarn Shop Day plans?

Knit Dreaming!

I’m so busy with secret work knitting (I can’t wait to show you what I’m working on) that I haven’t had any time at all for selfish knitting!

So of course I’ve been dreaming about what I want to knit when I have a bit more time over the summer… and, as usual, I’ve been drifting towards some lovely Kim Hargreaves designs.

Kim has just launched her new book Sand and I’m really loving Sandy and Buff.

Buff has a scoop neck at the back and could be worn either way around. They’re lovely simple patterns that would be perfect to relax with when I’m less busy!

I’m also a little bit in love with a couple of things from Kim’s previous book Form.

I might have enough Kidsilk Haze left over from my cardigan to knit Mode

And I might just have to invest in some Alpaca Classic to knit Shape.

But first things first – I have a few more weeks of intense work knitting before I can give my wrists a brief rest and then finish my Esme cardigan!

What are you knitting?

Work in Progress Chest

I have a lovely large wooden chest in my living room (which has become known as “The chest of shame”) where I keep all of my unfinished projects.

It became so stuffed with half-finished  projects that I’d started storing the things I was actually working on in a pile on top of the chest!

It’s been on my Minimise list for quite a while, and spurred on by Marie Kondo I got cracking and sorted through it.

After finishing off a couple of things that literally just needed a little repair, throwing out a few things that I knew I wouldn’t finish and finding a large variety of knitting needles that I thought had been lost forever… I’m left with a not too shameful chest which I’m re-naming my “WIP Chest”!

The first project I dug out is a little bit shameful to be honest… two socks that I started early last year. I intended to knit one sock per month throughout the year – thus ending the year with six new pairs of socks. I have more than enough yarn and bought a couple of sets of fancy new sock needles… but time ran away from me and this is the somewhat disappointing result.

I started hand sewing this patchwork cushion cover years ago! I finished a triangle version in the same fabrics but this one got put into hibernation. I still love it and will definitely finish it at some point!I’ve been using crocheted flannels/face cloths for a while now and recently crocheted some dishcloths in oddments of Cotton Glace to replace our plastic based sponges. I’m planning to make more and it’s a brilliant easy project to fit in my handbag.

I’ve been pretty good recently at only having one garment on the needles at a time – and this Esme cardigan by Kim Hargreaves is the one! I’ve finished the back and it’s now hibernating until I’m less busy with work knitting.

And the final project in the WIP chest is actually Beardie’s knitting! He found he quite enjoyed finishing off some socks that I’d been knitting over Christmas 2017 so I bought him some yarn to make himself a pair.

The yarn is from Gamer Crafting and the colours are based on Luke’s light-saber. I hope one day he’ll finish them… or maybe he could just make the cuff into a sweatband? The yarn is knitting up beautifully.

My new self-imposed rule is that I can’t add anything new to the WIP chest until I finish a project from the WIP chest! I can’t wait until I have time to finish my Esme cardigan… and maybe some socks!

2018 Makes

After planning my #makenine2019 I thought it would be interesting to look back at how many garments I have made in 2018. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I made ten!

Top row: Buttrick jumper by Martin Storey (which I’ve worn loads!), Trapeze dress toile and Scout Tee with petal sleeves.

Middle row: Faye jumper by Kim Hargreaves which I mostly knitted on honeymoon and love wearing with a shirt-dress. My wedding top which I must confess I’ve only worn once! And my first Scout Tee… which has now become nightwear because the colour doesn’t suit me.

Bottom row: Another Trapeze dress (which I’m planning to take in and make less “trapezey”), Alder shirt-dress which came out huge but was perfect during the heatwave and lovely with my Faye jumper. And finally my new denim circle skirt.

In addition to those pictured above – I also made a simple teal skirt in the same fabric as the Scout Tee with petal sleeves. It’s a bit underwhelming but maybe I’ll wear it in the summer!

And it wasn’t just garments… I also made table runners for the wedding and a crochet rug.

And with help from friends, we made pom pom bunting, a pom pom stage backdrop and wedding candles.

AND… I managed to squeeze in a few new patterns!

Knit this colourful Hexi Blanket by Jem Weston

Hexi Blanket pattern: £3.50 – buy now

Frank the Fox pattern: £3.50 – buy now

Frank the Fox Knit Kit: £18 – shopPom Scarf by Jem Weston

Pom Scarf pattern: £2.50 – buy now

FREE Pom Scarf pattern when you buy six balls of Rooster Almerino DK – shop

Jem Weston | Summer Tie knitting pattern

Summer Tie pattern: £3.50 – buy now

Summer Tie Knit Kit: £10 – shop

This has been fun to write! Sometimes I’m so busy looking ahead that I forget to look back at what I’ve accomplished. 2018 has definitely been a good year for making and I’m feeling confident about my #makenine2019.

What did you make this year?!