C is for Crochet

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Before I knew how to knit, I could crochet.

I think I learnt how to crochet around my 11th birthday. This means I have known how to play with a hook and some yarn for about 12 years. That, people is a Long Long time.

After learning to knit, I totally placed crochet on the back burner. At the time, I simply preferred playing with two needles and yarn. Fast forward 5 years and my love for the hook is back! Re-discovering crochet has been a lovely experience for me. It’s filled me with curiosity and excitement all over again.

Lately, I have been working two crochet baby blankets and they have taken up all my craft time. Here they are – I guess this is a tah-dah momentwpid-2015-08-29-11.33.47-1.jpg.jpgwpid-img_20150829_1144382.jpg.jpg

I love these blankets and I am super excited about how they turned out. They are amazing!

Style Spotlight: The Oversize Sweater

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If you only had 3 words to describe your fashion sense, what would they be?

I think mine are very straight forwards and it didn’t take long for me think them up. They are:

Simple. Modest & Elegant

I have never really been into fashion so when it comes to clothes, I just want them to do as they are supposed to. No Mess. No Fuss. I’m almost -hopeless at combining colours and textures and what not – I say almost because I still look good when I step out. At least in my mind I do *wink*

Lately, I have been on Pinterest a lot and I have been seeing many Oversize Sweaters (or jumpers if like me, you live in the UK) on my home page. These bad boys are right up my very short fashion street.  They embrace my 3 words perfectly.

You can dress them up and be elegant like this:

or dress them down and be totally casual like this:

You can even mix it up and be smart-casual like this:

They are completely effortless and give off this ” I didn’t try too hard” vibe that I love. I also think that oversize sweaters are amazing for most body shape types. They seem to hide my lumps and bumps very well, so no complaints here.

Lastly, another great thing that excites me is that these garments are so knit-able. You can literally cast on and make your own. With needles, yarn and a few measurements, the possibilities are endless. There is no need to worry about shaping and the maths involved in that. You just need a simple drop shoulder schematic and voila! You can be well on you way to designing your very own piece. They show off simple stitches very well but can also display a complicated cable pattern like no one’s business.

I think I’m going to take my own advise and cast on for one. It will be my very first original piece – eek so exciting!

I’m Currently Knitting … Silverberg

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After a long dry spell, I have started knitting for myself again. For my first project since forever, I decided to do something simple and familiar but also challenging.

I looked on ravelry for some inspiration and came across Silverberg.

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Silverberg – Picture from ravelry

Deisgned by the wonderful Nora Gaughan, this pattern ticked all my boxes.

1.   It’s knitted in the round which means knit stitches all round, and that’s super easy

2. The garment fits in perfectly with my style – Simple & Easy going. It has that casual every-day feel that works. You can just throw this over a pair of jeans, put on your trainers and boom! just like that you’re ready to go about your business.

3. It’s knitted using the top – down technique which is something new to me. For all my years of knitting (4 to be exact) I have never tried it.

to make this top, I am using  Debbie Bliss Donegal Luxury Tweed Chunky yarn in shade 19.

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This yarn has lived in my stash for ages and try as I might, I could never truly marry it to any other project. So far, it is working out pretty well.

Here are some progress pictures. I hope to be done by the 12th of April – This gives me exactly one month from today.

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And with that, I’m off to go knit some more. I have finished the cowl and I am almost at the sleeve shaping so fun times :)

Until next time

x Lydia

Adj Made Me Do It

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It is often said that there are two types of people in the world. There are Savers and then, there are Spenders.

Savers prefer to set aside their money, and protect it for a rainy day. These people are often seen as prudent and responsible. They are capable of planning properly and are totally organised – FYI these are the proper adults. We should all look up to them and try really hard to be like them.

In the event that you are not a Saver, you will most probably be classed as a spender. As the title suggests, spenders prefer to spend their hard earned money on things that tickle their fancy. Spenders are seen to be impulsive, spontaneous and fun loving they can also be reckless; many spenders spend their way into a whole lot of trouble.

I am a Spender! Seriously, I think I am allergic to saving money or something. Hiding money away for a rainy day, even though wise, is just not my style. Unlike most people my age who are into fashion, make-up and the like, I tend to spend my money on my happy place – knitting. I buy yarn and No matter how hard I try to save I always find a reason to dig into the stash for the stash. (Pun intended)

Since graduating, I have grown up and I am no longer spending on my happy place – well I am not spending as much I would like.

I have become the sort of person that pays ALL her bills before thinking about buying any luxuries. And after being a good Adult person, I find that I can just about afford one ball of acrylic dk yarn. Like seriously! That’s not good enough to feed my habit.

I was recently expressing this to a friend of mine and she advised me to throw caution to the wind and spoil myself. From time to time, it is important to let loose. One cannot always behave like a responsible adult. It gets depressing really really quickly.

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Rowe- Pictures from brooklyn tweed wedsite

I took her wonderful advice (thanks Adj) and decided to spend some money on two knitting patterns I have been drooling over for the past month. I bought Rowe and Emerson from Brooklyn Tweed

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Emerson – Pictures from brooklyn tweed website

I also treated myself to a meal from Nandos and I spent the afternoon reading through the patterns and planning when I would be able to get the yarn and cast on.

Change is Growth and Growth is Good

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Over the past year, my life has gone through a few changes.

I graduated from university and found myself thrust into full blown adulthood without sign or warning. The learning curve was steep. I quickly had to adjust to finding a job and working full time. I know that most people take a break after Uni, but with no student loan or living allowance, couldn’t afford that luxury. Bills needed to be paid. So I did what I had to do and got a job. I also decided to finally make a go of starting a knitting business. I have been thinking about monetising my skill for a while and this year seemed as good a time as any.

During the stress and uncertainty of this period, my personal knitting to a step back. Like it moved waaaay back. I just didn’t have time to make myself anything. All my knitting work and all my spare time centred around building my business, which I have affectionately named – Lydia-IN-Stitches
There is so much effort that goes into creating a business and that is a conversation for another blog post.

At this point, I want to say to anyone that has ever stared a business, that YOU ARE AMAZING!!!! And I Salute You.

Whilst adjusting to the changes in my life and starting the business, I lost steam. My creativity vanished and I just fell away from knitting. I wasn’t inspired to make any garments or to even design new pieces for the business :(

In fact that has been the reason behind the lack of interest in my blog. I gave up on writing because I had no inspiration.

Recently, Things have settled down in my life and I have started to miss knitting again. I have started to look around for inspiration and it’s been really helpful. I have been reading other knitting and design blogs and they have really helped to influence my “return”

Blogs by Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed and Michele Wang are just two of the lovely blogs out there that have really stirred up my love for knitting again. This time around, my interest is deeper. I’m not just interested in patterns and stitches. I have developed a true interest in the creative process of garment deign. Right from wool to garment.

Speaking of which, I am now very very very interested in WOOL as a natural fibre, I want to find out so much more about it, where it comes from and how it’s made into the hanks, skeins and balls that as knitters we love so much.
There is a lot of research to be done but I must say, I am looking forward to it!

I have deleted all my other blog posts because I want a fresh start.
I want some time to think about the kind of voice I want this blog to have.
Structure and vision are two things that are very important to me and I just felt like my previous posts lacked one or both of these things.
I’m looking forward to this new voice and this new direction.

Oh AND before I forget, we are officially in the year of the sheep according to the lunar calendar. I am so excited.
For me,
Sheep = Wool
Wool = Yarn
Yarn = knitting

Ergo: Sheep = Knitting

It’s the year of knitting guys!! (does goofy New Years dance)

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I am excited about knitting again & that can only be a good thing
(not sure my bank account will agree)

Bye for now
Lydia