Work in Progress round up – October 2015

In an effort to keep on top of my wips I’m having a monthly round up of my ongoing wips, whether I’ve made any progress on them over the past month or not. (September round up here)

So here is October 2015

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Quite a change from last month, but some of that is because I forgot to add my long term wips – mea culpa! So in an effort to make up for that here they are at numbers 1 and 2.

  1. Is my Happy Blanket. It’s a sock yarn blanket like the many, many being knitted at the moment. I haven’t worked on this for a while, but now that  I’ve unearthed it again I’m hoping to give it a bit more love. As you can see it’s colour themed apart from one pesky blue square that I added right at the start.
  2. Is my hexipuff Copy Cat Cosy. I’m making a tea pot cosy with hexipuffs inspired by blatantly copying  Dani of Little Bobbins and her Bramley Hedge inspired tea pot cosy. I have these sweet little hexipuffs in a glass bowl on my shelves, I really should add to these get the cosy made.
  3. Is the eye searing socks for my biggest boy, made with Regia Fluromania in 2×2 rib. These have made a fair amount of progress, I’m almost at the toe of the second sock. These are after thought heel socks, so I’ve still got the heels to do.
  4. Is a new sock design that’s not been touched this month – oh dear!
  5. Is my lovely soft as clouds Comodo cardigan. I’m knitting in Sirdar Nomad a deep stash soft and fluffy bouclé and it’s glorious. I’m so looking forward to wearing this. The yarn isn’t very nice to work with even will blunt needles, but the resulting fabric is so lovely that it’s worth a little hassel. I’m down to the waist now and the rows are sooo long!

So what have I knitted this month?

I finished the never ending tube socks for my eight year old.

I’ve knitted samples of my Foxy Friends Wristers pattern for kits that I’ve put up in my etsy shop.

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I’ve also been a busy bee working on a new pattern (and all the samples are prototypes that intails)  that will also be available in kit for hopefully next week. (And as a stand alone pattern in the Ravelry shop and on etsy.

 

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How I wash hand knit socks

How I wash my hand knit socks

It’s ‘that’ time of year, the leaves are turning brown, the nights are drawing in, it’s getting flipping cold in the mornings and evenings, the woolly socks box has been pulled out and the socks are back in rotation. That means one thing, sock washing. Funnily enough washing the socks was one of the things that put me off hand knit socks for so long. Now I’ve got a good selection, as have the family, I have an easy routine that I’d like to share.

I fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum of sock washing methods; just between bung them in with the jeans at one end and gently hand wash at the other. Some disclaimers, all my socks are knit from yarn that is designed for socks, all can withstand the ‘wool cycle’ or my machine and I always wash a new pair separately at first to ensure that the colours won’t run onto it’s sock mates.

Here goes

  • I roughly sort the socks into lights, brights and darks. I usually do the darks and brights together as I know from initially washing them by themselves that they don’t run. (But I don’t want to tempt fate with the light delicate colours!)
  • Any really grubby patches are rubbed with a very wet block of Savon de Marseille that I use to treat stains in wool.
  • I put them in the washing machine set on the wool wash setting with the temperature set at 30 degrees Celsius. Into the detergent drawer I put about half a tablespoon of eucalan. If I’ve used the soap on any stains I wait ten minutes or so before setting the machine off. (If you have a machine that has a separate temperature control, do take care to ensure that it’s on the appropriate setting)
  • I take the socks out of the machine as soon as it’s finished as I don’t like them sitting damply around together.
  • I give the socks a flap and a gentle pull to make sure that they’re the shape and size I want them to be when dry, then if it’s a bright breezy day, I’ll peg them on the line. If it’s a damp grey day, I put them on a radiator to dry and by the end of the day I have a soft pile or clean warm socks, ready to go on feet again.

I never tumble dry my socks,and my routine does take a little time going back and to, emptying the machine and hanging up socks up to dry. I need to be home when the machine is finished, I can’t bring myself to just bung them in and forget about them, because given the many hours I’ve spent knitting the socks a little extra care seems worthwhile. However routine is much quicker than hand washing a families worth of socks on a regular basis, and thus far – fingers cross none have been ruined in the wash.

Disclaimer, the producers and/or sellers of any products that I mention have no idea that I either exist or are talking about their products. I’m just happy using these products and haven’t been compensated in any way.

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Chasing the light

DSC_0679DSC_0767DSC_0738DSC_0686-2DSC_0768At this time of year, when the waning of the light really makes itself felt, I find myself chasing the light intentionally. I’ve signed up to a Photography for Knitting and Crotchet course with the lovely Emily Quinton  and have spent the last week trying hard to follow her intructions and challenge myself to remeber everything at once. (I’m reminded of learning to drive when I found steering fine, changing gears no problem, using my mirrors a breeze, but I could only do one of those things at a time! I’m finding focussing, composition and lighting a similar challenge!) For our first lesson she’s reminded us of something that I already knew but had forgotten, light is king. My photos of knitting, yarn and especially finished objects are really fairly poor (and, quite strangely, the more finished the knitting is the worse the picture!!!) Anyway, I have high hope for some progress, even if I never reach the heights of Emily’s beautiful work, I’d be so happy to be able to convey my happiness and joy with knitting in my pictures. So much of my time is spent with wool, yarn and woolly ‘things’. I really look forward to being able to share more of that here with some reasonably good images. These pictures are from my first week, I can see progress, one week to go! :o)

 

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New Hope Hat – pattern release

I’m so pleased to announce the release of my new pattern; New Hope Hat

New Hope Hat. Knitting Pattern by Theresa Shingler Knis

I designed the New Hope Hat as response to the refugee crisis engulfing Europe this year. Many, many migrants have lost their lives at sea trying to reach the safety of European shores. I have designed this hat to raise money for the work of MOAS (the Migrant Offshore Aid Station) 

The only expenses that I’ll take from this are Ravelry and PayPal fees.

This design had been perculating in my mind for a few months, sparked by the remains of some beautiful stone work around the window of a ruined abbey that we visit frequently.

Then one Saturday I sat down to listen to Curious Handmade podcast, Helen spoke about the refugee crisis and the terrible loss of lives and something that she said sparked an idea of a little way I might be able to help rather than wring my hands as I had been doing.

I had a stack of Aran weight wool in various colours than I’d been dying up as practise colourways for my etsy shop, I had the kernal of a design idea, I put the two together and this hat was born. I hope that everyone who knits it likes it as much as me, and I hope that that it raises a reasonable amount of money for a very worthy cause.

New Hope Hat is available as a PDF download in my Ravelry shop.

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Hand dyed yarns in the esty shop.

I’ll so pleased to able to unveil one of my most exciting secret projects of late.

I’ve been hand dying yarn to add to my Etsy shop.

Hand dyed yarn by theresashinglerknits.com

 

Just as I’m inspired in my knitting pattern designs, so I am in hand dying yarn. All my colourways come about by the world around me, usually the natural world.

I aim to have repeatable colourways, that can be custom ordered if larger amounts are required such as for a garment or a larger shawl, and to have those colourways available across the whole range of my bases.

My bases are all spun in Britain from British or British overseas territories wool, I’ll put up a page soon with more information about my bases,in the meantime check out my Etsy shop if you’d like to see what is available at the moment,, more is being added regularly, and keep a look out for kits and more bases coming soon

To be one of the first to find out when new lines are added sign up for my newsletter, links on the side bar.Hand dyed yarn by theresashinglerknits.com

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