Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Ta Da! A Knitting Special

Regular readers will know that I keep complaining about not having enough time to sew/craft/blog recently (new baby, too busy, blah, blah!) But, although it is true*, I have been able to squeeze a tiny bit of knitting in here and there. Knitting is such a wonderful hobby as you don't need lots of equipment and you can do it sitting on the sofa in front of the telly. Brill!

I'd be the first to admit that I'm not the best, nor a particularly fast knitter but I do enjoy it and love watching the lines grow into a finished garment.

Way back last year when I was pregnant I treated myself (& the new baby) to a kit from Wool and the Gang, a ├╝ber stylish knitting company based right here in London. Check out their beautiful website and gorgeous knits. You can buy them ready made (hand knitted by one of their team) or purchase a kit to do it yourself. The kits aren't cheap, I'll admit, but the quality is amazing. You get plenty of yarn to work with so no worries about making mistakes and there are lots of cute extras too such as a sticker, a kilt pin, personalised packaging...

I chose to make an Aloha Hoodie in golden yellow, although it was a hard decision as there are over 20 colours to choose from. I also bought the needles to go with the pattern; they are bamboo and a joy to work with. Everything I needed came in the kit, including a wool needle for sewing up the garment when it was finished.

Skip forward in time a few (maybe 6!) months and I had finished knitting all the pieces. It wasn't a hard pattern to follow though and I love the cool little details like the rectangle on one side of the hoodie. Unfortunately, I have realised that I really need to learn how to finish a knitted garment properly. My sewing up often leaves the seams very bumpy, and the arm holes a bit restricted which is a real shame given the amount of time spent knitting. I actually unpicked the seams and tried again and it's still not perfect but good enough to be worn.

The Shiny Happy cotton yarn is quite heavy so the hoodie does have a tendency to stretch and drape, and it slips off the shoulders. The design is for a slouchy cardigan but I'm thinking of attaching a popper or button fastening to make it a bit more baby-friendly.

So Ferne got a new mama-made cardigan, but what about Wiss? Well, I was honoured to be asked by Shireen from the fabulous handmade knitting company Picaloulou to trial one of her new knitting kits for children's scarves. (These kits aren't even on sale yet!) There are lots of animals to choose from but I went for the fantastic Fox Scarf. The pattern was easy to follow even though there were quite a few techniques I hadn't done before, so I had to google these (slip stitches, make one etc). I love the design of these scarves, they are slim enough to be worn easily with coats and the fact that they don't need to be tied makes them perfect for little kids. I think Wiss looks so cool with his new scarf, don't you? These animal scarves are available ready-made from the Picaloulou shop (as well as loads of other gorgeous, British-made hand knits.)

Yes, I know that we are heading into the summer months soon but we do live in the UK. The temperature is unpredictable at the best of times, and actually cotton knits can be great for sunny days. I am so slow at knitting though that maybe I should start knitting for this winter now!

*and I hereby promise to stop going on about it and making excuses!

Disclaimer: This post is not a sponsored review but as I have enjoyed making both I wanted to share them with you. I bought the Wool and the Gang kit myself, and I was provided with the Picaloulou kit for testing purposes but not required to write a post.

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