Ella Austin Knits

If you’re a knitting addict one of the results is the ever growing stash – mine is officially out of control and if I live to be a 110 there’s not enough hours in the day to knit it all.  This doesn’t stop me from buying more!

Anyway trying to use up my unfeasibly large stash I’m always on the lookout for little projects to use up the bits and bobs of yarn.

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Intrepid Fox – that’s a sheep heid hat in the background

Ella Austin from Bombella designs has some lovely little stranded animal patterns and kits.  I bought her fox kit at Yarndale a couple of years ago from Skein Queen and eventually got round to knitting it a few weeks ago.  It’s a fine silky yarn (a 4ply merino superwash). It’s a  beautiful yarn and I was very pleased with the result but did find it a wee bit fiddly.  He’s a dapper little chap.

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Intrepid Fox
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Intrepid fox

 

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Intrepid fox

 

I then bought her tawny owl pattern on Ravelry and that proved to be a satisfying little knit too – makes a change sometimes to knit something quick .. used some odds and sods of Jamiesons and Smith.   I started out knitting toys but now spend most of my time doing garments so made a nice change to see something beautiful and pointless fly off the needles.  I’ve got another dog pattern from the same designer that I bought too but not got around to doing that yet.  Can recommend her patterns – very well written and easy to follow.

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Tawny owl
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Tawny owl

 

 

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Navia jumper in orange …

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I spotted this jumper on Susan Crawford’s “Call Me Ruby” blog – Susan is a great knitwear designer with a specific interest in vintage patterns and if you’ve not seen her work before I urge you to check out her website and blog.

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Anyway Susan had knitted this design as her ‘enjoyment’ project for the year – nothing to do with her her work but knitted purely for her own pleasure and because she liked the design and I fell in love with it on sight.

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It’s a Faroese pattern using Faroese wool from the Island Wool company imaginatively called Model 6 – Woman’s jumper in orange from Navia pattern book 17.  Knitted in the round from the bottom up, the sleeves are then also knitted in the round, then all joined together for the yoke.

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The wool is Navia Duo, a pure wool blend of Faroese wool, Shetland and Australian lambswool.  It is similiar to Jamieson and Smith if you’re familiar with that but softer.  It’s knitted at a pretty loose tension so grows pretty quickly but blooms beautifully when blocked.

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The pattern only comes in three sizes but for anyone who’s knitted a yoked jumper before it’s very straightforward.  The pattern is pretty basic – I think they take a basic knowledge as read so doesn’t really lead you by the hand but if you can do stranded knitting and knit in the round you’ll be fine.  The people at the Island Wool company were lovely to deal with – the book was out of stock but they sent me a copy of the pattern anyway because I ordered the wool – their customer service was excellent.

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I’m very pleased with it .. I love the colours it’s bright but not overpowering, the grey tones it down somewhat.  Looking forward to wearing it when the weather cools down in the Autumn!

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Puffin sweater

I’ve recently completed my latest sweater project.  It’s the Kate Davies Puffin sweater from her Colours of Shetland book and I’ve been meaning to get it on my needles for a while.  I’ve been trying to lose weight for the last year and have lost about 4 stone so I was keen to try a more fitted style of sweater.  I’m still big (a size 16) with big boobs so I was interested to see how the fitted style would look and was a bit dubious that it would be unflattering.

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Anyway I needn’t have worried – the design is genius and the way the yoke pattern falls is actually really flattering to someone with a large bust – it makes my waist look much slimmer than it actually is too!  I made it with slight negative ease so it really shows off my curves without emphasising any flabby areas.

The beautiful chevron yoke - inspired by a puffins beak
The beautiful chevron yoke – inspired by a puffins beak

The jumper is knitted in Jamieson and Smith – one of my favourite yarns.  Although knitting with the finer wools takes longer I think it’s well worth the effort as the final jumper tends to be much more flattering to the figure than the more chunky weight yarns.

I cannot recommend this pattern enough.  Knitted in the round throughout from the bottom up.  The dark yarn was a bit of a strain on the eyes sometimes in this miserable February light and the garter stitch was a bit of a pain (all that purling in the round) but was well worth the final result.

So here’s the final result …. Ta dah!

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My Yarn Adventures ..

I’ve got so much pleasure over the years from reading other peoples blogs and thought it was time I finally joined the world of blogging….

My obsession is yarn .. lots of yarn .. knitting, crochet, anything really.  Although my current addiction is stranded knitting in all its glorious forms.  For years I thought it was too difficult for me and then finally the penny dropped … I could do it and it’s nowhere near as difficult as it looks.

P1010713I love the way the yarn creates a picture  – I still get a thrill every time I see the images slowly appearing off my needles.

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I love the wonderful colours that are available – a squishy artists palette at your fingertips.

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And the thing I love most of all is the sense of peace that knitting gives me. This isn’t something I’ve often seen people write about but it’s central to why I knit. It’s as if every stitch takes away some of my worries. Some people meditate, some have religion, I have the rhythm of knitting to sooth away unquiet thoughts. And that might sound pretentious but it’s how I feel about it.

I want to use this blog to share my knitting journey with likeminded people, latest projects, books and patterns I’ve loved.  I’ve been an avid user of Ravelry for years (crochet-julie) but wanted to map what I’ve learnt and I’m still learning.