Thursday, November 05, 2015

Christmas Sewing and A Bit Of Knitting Too.

It's been a busy week somehow - not much extra going on but my hands have been itching to sew and knit so I have given into the urge :)

It's wonderful when you are feeling inspired and I have learnt to take a bit of time out each day and indulge in that urge. So often I make excuses NOT to spend time doing what I want to do and instead fill my time with a never-ending list of household tasks. 

However, this does not always compute to a happier me! I love my home and my role in life, but part of who I am is creative. If that side is not allowed a little leeway every-so-often I feel frustrated.

With Christmas approaching I really wanted to make some decorations. I have a stack of gorgeous Christmas cottons that have been calling my name for a loooong time :) 

Years ago I made some cute little 3D bells for the Christmas tree, I've long since lost the pattern but remembered how to put them together. I drew up my own pattern and got stitching. I want to make some sort of garland with these 3D bells to hang at the bottom of our bed over the festive season.

I extended this idea by cutting out a whole lot of triangles and turning them into Christmas trees that will adorn windowsills. I'm thinking that they will be nestled on some fairy-lights and greenery, perhaps a few holly berries too.

On the needles: Socks. I have lots of yarn that needs knitting up into socks for the winter. I'm currently busy with this lovely blue/yellow colourway of Drops Fable yarn

Now for years and years I have used the same sock pattern - it gets BORING using the same pattern. So a few months ago I tried the Hermione's Everyday Sock pattern off Ravelry. I really loved how they turned out but what I didn't like about this pattern was how tight the cast on edge of the ribbed cuff turned out and I really wanted it longer in the leg.

So I decided to try something completely different. Instead of knitting from the cuff down I decided to try a toe up pattern, but I have not followed the pattern completely as certain bits made no sense what-so-ever to me. So instead of doing the toe the way the pattern instructed I followed a Youtube tutorial for a Turkish cast-on. I really love this method of doing the toe - it's so neat and no need for working that pesky Kitchener stitch. 

The next new-to-me technique was the heel. There are many different ways to turn a heel. Up to know I have only ever worked a flapped heel which is worked in two steps and can be rather tedious.
Flapped Heel
But this time round I decided to work a short-row heel which is done in one step AND is quicker and uses less yarn. It's usually the type of heel turn used in manufactured socks.
Short Row Heel
I LOVE this heel, so quick and easy. Again I used a tutorial off Youtube to help me understand the concept. This short row heel tutorial is in two parts 1 and 2.

As you can see I have also done the toe and heel in a contrasting colour which I love, I plan on doing the cuff in white too. Knitting from the toe up means that I can knit the leg part to the desired length without worrying if I will have enough yarn to finish right up to the toe point of the sock. I prefer longer socks for winter as I wear boots just about all winter long and longer socks feel nicer and give that added warmth.

I have also used two circular needles instead of dpn's and I have really enjoyed knitting them up this way. I'm not sure I'll go back to dpn's, in fact this basic sock pattern that I am using can be completely customised using whatever stitch pattern you want (Rib, lacy etc) So I think I will be writing up my own sock patterns from now on. The socks seem to knit up so much quicker using the circular needles, it's not as fiddly as the dpn's.

More sock yarn: I wanted to knit some Christmas socks but couldn't seem to find the 'right' self-striping colourway (yes, I had a very definite idea in my mind on how my Christmas socks are to look). I found this gorgeous self-striping yarn called 'Joyeux noel' from Stray Cat Socks on Etsy. It was a bit more pricey than what I usually like to spend on yarn but I fear I'm becoming a bit of a yarn snob. I love beautiful yarn and I really appreciate hand spun and hand dyed. I love supporting other Etsy business owners so this was not a hard purchase to make :)

My daughter has requested a pair of Norwegian House Slippers for this winter. These are super easy to knit up and because they are felted, they last an age. To make sure that they last even longer I bought these slipper soles from Amanda Blackwell of Joe's Toes - another small business owner. I loved the little extra touches she added to my purchase.

Have you started any Christmas crafting yet? I'm hoping to make a few gifts so there is no time to waste, I can't believe that there are only 49 days left! Anyhoo - wishing you all a lovely Thursday. See you soon :)


  1. I love your trees Shirley! Beautiful socks, too. I have not tried a short row heel, a bit stuck in my ways :)
    The stray cat yarn is lovely! Looking forward to seeing what you make with it. Also looking forward to seeing your daughter's house socks.

    I am not crafting for Christmas, but I am finishing off some socks for me & spinning some yarn to make a small shawl / scarf for ME! (oh dear!)

  2. I have started and I'm technically behind but only I know that. Love your trees, my mom made me one similar and I love seeing each and every year when I decorate my house.


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