Sunday, 19 May 2013

Birthday box

It was my 29th Birthday this week. I just love birthdays and managed to string mine out over a few days with visiting family, nights out with friends and a great dinner and a movie date night with the Mr. I got some lovely presents including a new baking book which I'm planning on putting to good use immediately, a knicker making kit which oddly was from the three men I work with - that's not weird right? And one of my favourite gifts was from my lovely friend Karen who knows what a knitter wants for their birthday - cute knitting stuff!

She bought me this cute, cute, cute knitting tools tin from which comes stuffed with all the bits and pieces you need when out and about with your knitting, which is exactly how I like to roll. The best bit was that it was emblazoned with my knitting name!

Inside it has all the notions you need for any knitting eventuality: tape measure, stitch holder, 5 stitch markers, cutting tool, cable needle, crochet hook, and 3 sewing needles with varying eye size. There's a little magnet on the top of the tin to keep the sewing needles just where you want them, which is genius. And to be honest I just love that everything is teeny-tiny sized!!! Excuse me while I explode quietly in the corner.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Brooke's Picovoli

This is my Sister in law. Isn't she awesome. A few weeks back she gave me the task of knitting her a top like one she had seen on a YouTube vintage hair tutorial, of all things. I showed her a bunch of patterns I thought might work, she picked one and we went yarn shopping. As pink is her favourite colour to wear at the moment she went with that, although I had to steer her away from experimenting with a red. With hand knits you ain't got time to experiment!

The YouTube tutorial she wanted to use as the basis for the top could barely be seen (green top below) but I think I managed a fair copy (pink top below).

The pattern was modified slightly from Picovoli by Grumperina. I added the eyelets to match the one in the video and as it was a top down knit I adjusted the fit on Brookes body as I went. We were both really pleased with it and I allowed her to pay me in cake. A fair price for family.

I was surprised at how quickly it went but with no seams to sew, arms to make or complicated instructions to follow I should have known it would be a satisfying knit. I enjoyed the project so much, I'm making one for myself with some different modifications. Back to the selfish knitting!

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Tejido de Punto Madrid

A few weekends back I took a trip to Madrid for a friend's birthday. There were just three of us so it was a really relaxed, eating and drinking kind of weekend with the bonus of blue skies and sunshine!

I, of course, bought my knitting with me and knitted on the plane there and back. However, I neglected to bring an extra ball of yarn and so ended up unable to continue with my stitching at thirty thousand feet. New mantra - always bring more yarn than you think. I'm making a top for my Sister-in-Law, which is unusual as I don't normally take requests, but she is family after all. With all that knitting time on the plane it's finished but I'll save that for another post (and for her to take a nice picture of it on).

While I was looking through the guide book I thought I might as well research into a few yarn stores in Madrid and somehow we made time to visit some (OK, i might have dragged them slightly). The first was El Gato Negro (the Black Cat) which was located just off of Plaza Mayor. The beautiful old shop front hides a long slender shop behind it and I have to admit I wasn't prepared for what lay inside.

As you enter there are tufts of yarn tied onto rails which you are free to touch, but once past this initial tuft forest you are met with signs telling you not to touch anything! As a British person used to squashing, smelling and basically sticking my face in every ball of yarn I see in a shop it was like torture not being able to touch.

At the back of the shop most of the yarn sat behind counters and there was a big weighing scale in the middle, presumably where they weigh out what you want to buy and cost it accordingly.

I was a bit intimidated by it all to tell you the truth, plus there seemed to be a lot of acrylic and so didn't buy anything, but was glad to have paid a visit.

The second yarn stop was Lanas Sixto on Calle Atocha. Unfortunately I felt even more intimidated in this shop as I was the only customer and with most of the yarn behind counters again, I didn't even feel comfortable enough to browse.

Even though I didn't get to buy anything it was really interesting seeing how the yarn shops operate in another european city and to compare how they differ to home. I much prefer the sticking your face in it openness of UK yarn shops and really appreciate that we have access to so many different fibres and yarns. Although I can't say i recommend going for the yarn shops Madrid is a great weekend city break destination. Just go and stuff your self with food and drink instead of yarn.