A panoply of (sometimes) lovingly handmade crud.

Tag Archives: purple

Last week I disregarded my inner yarn snob and bought three balls of yarn for £2 in a pound shop. I just couldn’t resist the Unspeakable purple with pinkish metallic thread running through it. For some reason, my camera registers the colour as a sort of royal blue, but I assure you that it is purple IRL.

I decided to make a hat for quidditch. In the unlikely that any readers are not quidditch fans, this is what my team’s kit looks like. 

Since the yarn is so cheap, I hope I won’t worry about getting the hat muddy and washing it. I thought about making a fancy design, but I think I’m going to stick with a simple sparkly purple hat with a massive yellow pompom on top. I LOVE pompoms!

This yarn is DK so I decided to hold it double as I wanted to use the classic cuffed hat knitting pattern I’ve made before. Normally I wouldn’t swatch for a hat, but I did this time. My gauge came out quite large, which was actually a good thing as this pattern makes a hat too small for my enormous noggin. Due to the gauge difference, I am following the pattern as written and, according to my calculations, the hat should fit.

I’ve got to say that I’m not sure I like my yarn snobbery. I tend to think that knitting takes bloody ages, so you might as well use the best materials you can afford. However, a problem with this attitude is that, often, a project just doesn’t turn out the way you planned. When that happens, not only have you sunk dozens of hours into it, but you have made a financial investment on which there will be no return. Hence the numerous unloved sweaters stashed around my house.

Sometimes a good acrylic workhorse yarn is the right tool for the job. It stood up really well in the Boo blanket I made for my sister. I’m seriously considering making one of these for myself. I would just need to choose a design.

Anyway, I’m enjoying this project and I think I will be happy with the end result. My knitting mojo still hasn’t returned, so it’s nice to keep my hand in with small items.

Yarn: 3 balls of ‘Essential Knitting’

Pattern: Classic Cuffed Hat by Purl Soho (free pattern)

Ravelry project page

After a very long pause, I have finally finished knitting this jumper. As you may be able to see, this made me happy.

Here she is looking less inspiring on the blocking board. I tried to stretch the jumper out a bit but decided against using pins.

My friend (and fellow crafty crusader) Jane very kindly helped me to take some pictures of this sweater on a recent short trip to Belfast. We managed to find a beautiful mural that I felt echoed the colours in my jumper. Unfortunately there were some issues with sun.


Here I am raising my arm for some reason. I am so crap at posing.

Managed to squint a bit less in one of the pics.

Overall I am very happy with how this sweater turned out, despite the fact that the yarn was a different colour than I had seen in the shop. The fit is pretty good, especially in the shoulders, and the yarn is lovely and warm, and not itchy at all.

Pattern: Better Breton

Yarn: Squoosh FiberArts Merino Cashmere Sock in Eggplant, and The Lemonade Shop mini skeins

Ravelry project page


I’ve been planning a project like this for a long time, since my early days of knitting. I mentioned a little of the pre-planning I did in this post. Funnily enough, the arrival of my expensive American yarn coincided with the week before the Olympics, so I’ve decided I’m going to enter the Ravellinics for the first time. This means taking a small break from my League sweater, but I actually started making excellent progress on that over the past few weeks, so that’s okay. Check my Instagram (@craftycrusader) if you want to see what I’ve been up to.

The Ravellinics are the knitter’s version of the Olympics, where you are supported by the knitting community to challenge yourself and complete a project within the timeframe of the Games.

I’m quite looking forward to working on my Breton sweater while some of my favourite athletes do their thing. Like most people, I only care about athletics once every four years, but I am looking forward to the tennis. I managed to get some tickets in the ballot at London 2012 and it was awesome.

Anyway, before the opening ceremony, all I was allowed to do was swatch. My gauge came out pretty close to the pattern gauge and I couldn’t be bothered to swatch again with different needles. After blocking, the fabric came out nice and drapey so I was ready to cast on at midnight local time.

At five days into the Olympics, I am making good progress on this top-down knit. Since one of my 3.5mm needle tips broke, I’m having to improvise with different needles until the replacement arrives.

This is the top back of the sweater, the first part to be constructed. I’ve picked up stitches for the front on the two needles at the top in this picture. I then knit down and cast on stitches in the middle to join the fronts.

This is what it looks like on at this stage. Still a long way to go!

I have to admit that this shirt choice was deliberate. My aunt has some sexist builders working in her garden at the moment, and the shirt indicates the response that any further misogynistic remarks will get.

Pattern: Better Breton

Yarn: Squoosh FiberArts Merino Cashmere Sock in Eggplant, and The Lemonade Shop mini skeins

Ravelry project page


Bradway was a super quick and enjoyable knit, and gives a warm and striking finished object. Here she is blocking.

This was another knit that I wanted to take with me to Wilderness festival, and it was very useful there but I didn’t manage to get any pictures due to phone battery being limited.

I wore it again to a wedding last weekend and managed a few snaps.

Pattern: Bradway

Yarn: Flashdance sock, held double (bright purple) and Sleepover worsted (pale purple) by the Lemonade Shop, leftover Malabrigo Rios (dark purple)

Ravelry project page

I picked up some beautiful merino and silk yarn on sale a couple of months ago. The blue is right up my street but the purple… I’m not so sure about. Don’t get me wrong, Old Maiden Aunt’s colours are stunning, this is a matter of taste. I like my colours poppy and highly saturated, and this is a little more muted and smoky than I normally choose. This is a peril of buying yarn online. I’ve since been a little uncertain about what to make. After swatching, I cast on for a second Waterlily top but I still wasn’t feeling it.

Old Maiden Aunt silk blend yarn

At the same time, I cast on a simple Featherweight cardigan in the sock yarn that I was generously given by the receptionist at one of my schools. After a few rows, I realised this was a poor marriage of yarn and pattern. The variegation makes the cardigan a little too handmade-looking for me.


It’s just as well that I made this decision as I didn’t swatch (due to normally getting similar gauge with fingering weight yarns) and once I checked gauge, I knew that the cardigan would have turned out a little small.

ANYWAY all of these little stops and starts led me to cast on Featherweight in the purple. I’ve tinkered with the cast-on numbers as some of the finished Featherweights on Ravelry look a little baggy in the shoulders. Hopefully my maths is correct!


So far it’s looking good and an advantage of top-down jumpers is being able to try them on throughout the process. 


As you may be able to see, the fit on the shoulders looks okay. Maybe a little big across the back, but not enough to re-knit the yoke. After trying on and doing some knitting maths over the weekend, I’ve decided to do a few more rows with sleeve increases only to make sure the sleeves will be wide enough. 

Something I’m mulling as I knit is whether to make the collar in the same colour, or to colour block. At the moment I’m leaning towards colour blocking as the purple is a little less bright than I normally like, so I think a contrast collar could really lift it. I’m thinking maybe a nice navy, or I could overdye some of the purple with fuchsia to give a brighter, pinker, more saturated purple. Decisions, decisions…

Pattern: Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig

Yarn: Old Maiden Aunt Merino/Silk 4ply in Derelict Daughter

Ravelry project page 

In other cardigan news, I think my turquoise D Minus cardigan is heading to the frog pond. I made a mistake with the front increases that means that the fronts would cross rather than be open as I wanted. The problem with knitting the sleeves before the body is that I can’t really correct this mistake without a lot of upheaval. Plus I’m not in love with the idea of a DK weight cardi. I imagined this as a light layer to throw over a dress or shirt, and this cardigan may not have met the brief. I don’t have an alternative project in mind for the yarn so I won’t rip it out just yet. But I think it’s gonna happen.

This week I finished my mini socks that used up every last scrap of the beautiful bright purple yarn from my Bradway shawl. I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out, especially with the adorable pom poms!

Shake your pom pom.

These socks are just about the right length for the trainers I had in mind. I have a real problem with ankle socks slipping down inside these shoes- even the fancy Nike trainer socks that swore to the heavens that nothing on earth could cause them to bunch down. I don’t see these pom poms creeping down my feet any time soon.

Although I’m pretty happy, making these socks just underlined that I am a cuff-down, not a toe-up, sock knitter. Wasn’t ‘toe up’ 90s slang for ugly? Anyway, although I think Judy’s Magic Cast On is very neat and clever, I hate doing it. It’s super fiddly and I almost never manage to cast on without at least one error. For the stretchy cast-off, I used Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off, which I also wasn’t a huge fan of. I found the original tutorial on Knitty totally incomprehensible, but Google came up with the goods and I got there, though not without first questioning whether I know how to do a yarn over. I’m worried it’s a little too stretchy and will lose it’s shape. You just can’t beat a nice long-tail cast-on on my estimation.

Pattern: Socks on a Plane (free on Ravelry)

Yarn: Flashdance by The Lemonade Shop

Ravelry project page

I had quite a bit of sock yarn left over from my Bradway shawl, so I decided to make a little pair of socks. I’ve tried making short socks before years ago but I didn’t like the look. However, I’m making these specifically to wear with hi-top trainers so the look doesn’t matter so much. I’m going to add little pompoms to the back in the hope that this will stop the socks slipping down my feet, which is a problem I have with every pair of sports socks I have ever purchased. These are toe-up socks, and this is only the second time I have made socks from the toe up. For some reason, I just prefer knitting cuff-down socks. I also love making socks on double-pointed needles rather than circulars, another little knitterly quirk of mine. Here’s the toe in progress.

Knitting the toe of a sockKnitted Socks on a Plane in progress

And here’s a little more progress, where you can see the cool cable pattern.

Pattern: Socks on a Plane (available for free on Ravelry)

Yarn: Flashdance in Mighty Sock by The Lemonade Shop