Excuse the poor pun in the title. Please also excuse my long, long absence. I’ve been so busy with starting university that I haven’t had time for blogging, let alone knitting. It is very cold outside at the moment so I wanted something to keep my neck warm while braving the weather. It turns out I love cowls. They’re so much easier than scarves because you don’t have to deal with wrapping them around your neck several times and you can just stuff them in your handbag while you’re indoors. Easy. They’re also easy to make and there are tonnes of amazing cowl patterns on the internet.

This first one is the Aspen Neck Cowl using Susan Andrew Collection Inca Gold Baby Alpaca which, by the way, is so incredibly soft! I actually wanted something in mustard yellow because I fall in love with every single knit item that I see in that colour. This is such a simple pattern but it looks so good. I was surprised that it’s not actually very warm considering it’s made of alpaca but it is a lot looser than I thought it would be (probably a bit too loose for this weather but I love the way it looks so it doesn’t really matter). I knit the cowl inside out so the majority of it was knit stitches because I can knit much faster than I can purl.

This next cowl is essentially almost the same thing, just rows of knits and purls, but this time with a much chunkier yarn. This is the Luxury Cowl/Hood and I used Wool-ease in Fisherman double-stranded on 8mm needles. It makes a super smooshy fabric that I love and it just makes me want to cuddle up with it. I think this might start a love affair with chunky knits.

That’s all for now. I do have some holiday knitting which isn’t exactly ready to be revealed yet. I’m having a little bit of trouble with the whole blocking process. Merry Christmas to everyone and happy holidays!

I love being at home and actually having time to knit. I borrowed a few knitting books from the library the other day so I’m planning to knit a few items from them – the Log Cabin Socks (Ravelry link) from Handknit Holidays and the Reversible Cabled-Rib Shawl (Ravelry link) from Vogue Knitting American Collection. I’ve been wanting to knit a shawl of some sort for a while now but I don’t think I have the patience and I’m not committed enough either. There’s a reason why I’ve never finished a knitted sweater. I also have a case of second sock syndrome.

I did manage to complete this pair of socks but I had to force myself to complete the second one. The first one flew off the needles. The pattern is Spring Forward from Knitty and it is so easy considering the final product. Every other row is stockinette and the rest is just a few decreases and yarnovers. I didn’t think it could be so simple. I really like how they came out except one is a little smaller than the other. I haven’t blocked yet so maybe that will help even things out. The yarn is from Tanis Fiber Arts in the Mallard colourway and I absolutely love it. It’s made of 80% superwash merino, 20% nylon so it’s warm, soft, durable and so so so cosy! The colours are amazing as well. I’m definitely going to get more of this yarn.

The colour is more similar to real life in the ones with the coloured backgrounds.

I was flicking through a magazine recently and I came across this really amazing jacket made with a geometric print fabric. The print was so cool that I just had to attempt to recreate it and so I created my first ever knitting chart using Excel (there are loads of tutorials on the internet). I’m so pleased with how it turned out and I’ve already knitted up a swatch for it using some leftover acrylic yarn. I think that I’ll use the print for a pillow or something like that.

And for anyone wanting to use the pattern, I converted it into pdf format for you to download.

Geometric print chart

And in crocheting news, I made the Pretty Puffs Slouchy Hat from Crafty Pants which I had been wanting to make for ages. I didn’t realise that the top was just plain double crochet from looking at the photos on Ravelry but it’s a really pretty hat and it’s very easy to make too. I added an extra row of puff stitches to make the hat a little more slouchy and I like how it turned out. I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease in a cream colour (it might be Fisherman) with a J hook(6mm).

I haven’t posted on here for over three months. Whoops. I haven’t been doing much knitting as I’ve been travelling a lot so I really wasn’t able to do much. As soon as I got back home though, I immediately cast on several new projects and now I have a lot of WIPs.

First up is an FO. ‘Le Slouch’ by Knit and Tonic is a really simple pattern for a great-looking hat. I used the tubular cast-on for this hat and I really need some practice with it because it didn’t turn out to be stretchy but it looks really good. I made the moss stitch version of the hat and I really recommend the pattern. The yarn is Bernat Shine in Crimson leftover from a scarf I made last year. Unfortunately, I only have one side picture of it but it’s a really basic slouchy hat so I’m sure you get the idea.

The Star Crossed Slouchy Beret (ravelry link) is a great pattern and I love my new hat! It’s an extremely slouchy hat with pretty random cables and I absolutely love it. I just love slouchy hats. The needles are 8mm (US 11) so it knits up really quickly as well, always a bonus! I knitted it up with Diamond Luxury Alpaca Peru, which is really, really amazing yarn – it’s so soft and so so warm. The colour is a very bright teal so I can’t help but think that maybe it would be better suited for a cowl. But for now it’s staying as a lovely hat.

Next up is the 105-9 jacket with lace pattern and raglan sleeve from Drops, which looks very similar to Juliet from Zephyr Style. I begun this a few days ago with Bernat Soy Blend in Seasalt and I’m really happy with the yarn. It’s really soft and smooth, however, there are loads of knots in it. In the first ball of yarn, I had at least three knots and one in the second. It’s a real shame because otherwise it’s very nice. The pattern is simple although it took me a while to understand it as it is my first time reading a pattern set out like that. I’m not sure if I like it enough to wear it so it’s going into hibernation before I decide whether to rip out and do a raglan U-neck cardigan or to carry on.

And finally, I have a project which is probably going to take me a lifetime. It’s a crocheted afghan being made from all my acrylic scraps. I saw this one on Craftster and knew I had to have one. It’s just made of a lot of crocheted hexagons, all joined with black yarn. So far I only have 15 hexagons, so I’m probably only 10% done or something. I’m really enjoying this afghan though and it’s fun to think up all the colour combinations.

I realise I’ve been neglecting the blog a little lately, namely because exams are getting the better of me so I don’t have time to knit. But they’ll all be over in a month! I have a week off so I started a new pair of socks – Charade by Sandra Park. I’ve just turned the heel and I had a little problem with it but I think it’s just me because I looked up the errata and it wasn’t mentioned but when it said purl 5, I had to purl 9 to get it to work out properly.

I’m using a self-striping yarn by Online and the colours are so bright and pretty! I have a feeling that I’m knitting too tight but I hope it will work out because I hate frogging.

I bought some bright red yarn with the intention of making the Simple Snood from ‘Love to Knit’ but I decided that the pattern was a bit too boring once I had started knitting it so I turned to Ravelry. I was browsing the recent FOs and I came across this cowl that I just had to make so I went over to her blog and she had a free pattern for it! I’d never used the feather and fan stitch before but I really like it. It’s easy and makes such a nice pattern.

I really like this cowl and it’s perfect for just stuffing in a handbag instead of carrying a scarf around. It’s also really good now that the weather is (supposed to be) changing. I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Ranch Red and 6mm 16inch circs. This is such a quick and easy knit and great for using up leftover yarn!

I’m in a knitting frenzy at the moment trying to get all the birthday presents done during the holiday. These are my second pair of Fetching handwarmers and I’ll probably be making more in the future – they look so pretty and they’re also really quick. An amazing pattern for gifts! These were made out of what I think is Bernat Satin Shine but I can’t be sure. It is acrylic though. They’re super soft and comfy!

And I’ve been baking too! I made a few chocolate cupcakes with pink vanilla buttercream icing and they are delicious! I used the recipes from Magnolia Bakery and I definitely recommend them. These took me ages but were so worth it.