Summer Top KAL 2015

Spring and summer can be a difficult time for a knitter. The warm layers are begging to be thrown off and toes long to be free from wooly socks. In general, the inspiration or knitting mojo can fade in the face of longer days. Luckily for you, we’ve got just the ticket to keep your needles clicking all through the year. We are happy to announce the first KWA Spring/Summer Top KAL!

While the winter jumper certainly owns the lion’s share of knitting patterns, there are loads of really inspiring and (most importantly) wearable knitting and crochet patterns that are perfect for warmer temperatures. We have it a bit easier here in the UK as winter isn’t terribly well known for getting very hot, which means that lots of patterns are wearable in the evenings and cooler days all year round. But there are also lots of customers will travel to warmer climates for their holidays, or maybe they are lucky enough to live there year round! We have been pinning loads of breezy knits onto our Summer KAL board. (https://www.pinterest.com/mayaknits/kwa-summer-knit-a-long/) We have everything from linen sleeveless tops to wear on their own to lightweight wool blend cardigans that are perfect for layering.

Summer Top KAL 2015

The rules of the KAL are:

1. Cast-on will be March 20, the first day of spring! If you have a summery WIP that you would like to finish, they will be counted as well.
2. Cast off will be June 21, the first day of summer, just in time to wear our new creations over the summer.
3. Use any KWA yarn to knit something summery. We are focusing on tops, but feel free to branch out into some wraps.
4. Tops and sweaters for children are totally allowed. You don’t have to knit for yourself, though we would never argue against knitting something special just for you!
5. Post your finished projects on our KAL board on Ravelry to enter for prizes! You can chat about your current projects in our general Ravelry board. Feel free to tag any posts on other social media sites with #KWAKAL to keep us posted on your progress.
6. Did we say prizes? We did! We will randomly draw winners for some excellent prizes at the end of the KAL. The grand prize is £100 for you to spend at Knit with attitude, there will also be runner ups and a whole lot of goodies to be won. Keep your eye on our social media to be updated as new prizes are added.

We will be back with regular features leading up to the KAL and during it talking about yarns and techniques, as well as what we are knitting ourselves.

What are your summer knitting plans? We would love to hear what projects and yarns you are planning on using, in the comments below and on Ravelry.

Furry Christmas Baubles

Do you have everything sorted for Christmas yet? Everything neat and dusted, parcels bought and wrapped, festivities planned? I’m not even close! I mopped the kitchen floor last night after getting the kids to bed, and that’s about it. No parcels sorted, no plans for the holiday, I’ve knitted five rows of the sweater that was supposed to be hubby’s Christmas gift and now I’ve resorted to wrap the whole thing, needles and all, with a card saying ‘to be continued’. Phew, this really is the busiest time of year for me, and to be honest, if it hadn’t been for all my lovely customers popping in sharing their Christmas spirit with me, I’m not sure whether or not I would cope.

Sometimes it can be hard gaining that pre-Christmas spirit, and with our hectic lives, the pressure of having everything sorted and the hassle of everyday life it is easy to miss what it all really should be about. I just found this list the other day, which I think is a good reminder to all of us.

the list

This is probably the last blog post I’ll have time to write before the holidays, and strategically I probably should have filled it with ‘last minute gift ideas’ and ‘Christmas projects for you to buy’, but I wont.(I have, however, made a little wish list over at Pinterest that you can have a look at if you want to, and I’m doing a discounted offer every day on the FB/twitter pages) You see, there is this little project that I’ve actually managed to complete, it was for the shop window so that is probably why. And this little thing gave me more Christmas spirit than anything else so far, so I decided to share it with you.

Furry Christmas Bauble

These Christmas baubles are done in a blink, they look so cute and furry that they have to put a smile on your face, and they are pretty too! Basically what you do is to cover any old bauble in knitting, I made mine using one ball of Luzia by Louisa Harding and one ball of Faerytale by Du Store Alpakka, one strand of each held together. I found that the Luzia by itself was too slippery for my bamboo needles, and that’s why I combined it with the Faerytale. I also made a few baubles in just the Faerytale, two strands held together. So far I’ve done 9 of them and there is still yarn left over so one ball of each yarn is plenty.

Furry Christmas Baubles

I used a set of four 5mm double pointed needles for all the baubles, adjusting amount of stitches according to small or larger baubles. The pattern described below is for the large baubles where I cast on 9 sts, for the smaller baubles I cast on 6 sts. The formulae is the same for any size baubles, and is fairly easy to adapt no matter how many stitches you cast on, I guess the easiest way to explain this is by showing you the pattern for the large baubles, and you’ll quickly see the regularities.

bauble3

Right, so this is how I did it.

CO 9 sts evenly distributed on three needles, join to knit in the round being careful not to twist the cast on edge.
Round 1: knit all sts
Round 2: kfb 9 times = 18sts
Round 3: knit all sts
Round 4: (k1, kfb) repeat to end of round = 27sts
Round 5: knit all sts
Round 6: (k2, kfb) repeat to end of round = 36sts
Round 7: knit all sts
Round 8: (k3, kfb) repeat to end of round = 45sts
Round 9: knit all sts

This is where I put the bauble inside it’s ‘stocking’ to see if I’ve reached the middle if I haven’t I’ll do another set of increases followed by one knit round, if I have I’ll continue like this:

Round 10: knit all sts
Round 11: (k3, k2tog) repeat to end of round = 36sts
Round 12: knit all sts
Round 13: (k2, k2tog) repeat to end of round = 27sts
Round 14: knit all sts
Round 15: (k1, k2tog) repeat to end of round = 18sts
Round 16: knit all sts

Christmas window

Now pop your bauble inside it’s stocking before finishing the last round of decreases. Since the stocking is quite stretchy this should be fairly simple to do, but if you leave it until after the last set of decreases the opening might be to small.

Round 17: k2tog 9 times = 9 sts
Round 18: knit all sts

Cut yarn, using a darning needle thread the end through remaining stitches when removing the needles, pull tight to close the ‘hole’ and weave in the end. Pull the yarn end at the bottom tight to close that hole too, before weaving it in.

And that’s it! Happy Christmas!!!

Christmas Tree

PS The last two pictures of our Christmas tree at night was taken by my lovely house mate Jessica – Of Cabbages & Kings.

DIY Love – Pinterest Round Up

We’re going to a viewing today, my husband and I, although I wont get my hopes up too high it seems perfect, three bedrooms and a garden. We’ve been looking for more than a year now, but as the rent in London is reaching it’s all time high, it seems like it is impossible to afford what we need. BUT, you’re always allowed to dream, and I do, I dream about the perfect house where we can settle down and stay, forever. And while I dream I gather ideas, ideas on how to make my future home beautiful. These are my latest Pinterest DIY finds, enjoy!

Make your own vintage style poster - via azul homeMake your own vintage style poster – via azul home

Make a pretty pouf - via better homes and gardensMake a pretty pouf – via better homes and gardens

How to transfer a photo onto wood - via a beautiful messHow to transfer a photo onto wood – via a beautiful mess

5 Ways to Color Mason Jars - via Lilyshop Blog5 Ways to Color Mason Jars – via Lilyshop Blog

How to sew the perfect cushion -  via Vintage RevivalsHow to sew the perfect cushion – via Vintage Revivals

Cool down – Pinterest round up

Seriously, I’m melting! I can’t eat, sleep, walk or think, I’m absolutely transformed into an amoeba because of the heat. I’m not complaining though, after all we waited for a long time for this year’s summer to appear. Being useless at most these days, there is one thing I can do: having lots and lots of ice cream and cool treats without feeling the slightest bit of guilt. And so I present to you my cool yummy favourites! If you give any of them a go, please let me know what you made and how you liked it!

Best ice cream sandwiches - via a beautiful messIce cream sandwiches – via A Beautiful Mess

Peanut Butter + Honey Milkshake Recipe - via a beautifull messPeanut butter + honey milkshake – via A Beautiful Mess

Chia Seed Pudding - via Deliciously OrganicChia seed pudding – via Deliciously Organic

strawberries and Greek yoghurtStrawberries dipped in Greek yoghurt – via Output Equals Input

Pinterest round up – crafty DIY favourites

I absolutely love Pinterest. People use it in all different kinds of ways, I mainly use it as a visual to do list and to collect beautiful pictures of beautiful stuff. The only problem is that my to do list is forever growing and I can’t seem to find the time to actually do those lovely projects, but collect them and share them I can! These are my favourite crafty tutorials from the last week or so. And if you find the time and inspiration to actually try some of them out, please let me know, I would love to see the results.