Comparing self striping socks for Christmas

Comparing self striping socks for Christmas

Comparing self striping socks for Christmas

I thought it would be fun for us to have matching pairs of festive socks this year for Christmas, so had a look around for yarn that would knit itself up into its own design. Yarn that self stripes or designs makes for a quick and easy knit, which was also helpful for whilst I was moving. Some companies, like West Yorkshire Spinners develop special Christmas yarns each year, but I was looking earlier than these were released. I also wanted to find something that was more than stripes so settled on Regia design line by Arne and Carlos. There were two different types that I used to experiment with to create our co-ordinating pairs....

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News! Introducing West Beach Knits

Many of you long time readers will know that I love to craft, beginning with learning to sew 5 years ago and growing to include knitting more recently. This blog has evolved from wider lifestyle and foodie posts to mainly sewing and knitting, reflecting my own growing interests. I'm now taking a further step into designing knitting patterns and posting content on YouTube too. 

west beach knits knitting patterns

Knitting patterns

West Beach Knits is the brand name to the collection of simple, stylish and approachable knitting patterns that are beginning to be released with the following principles in mind:

  • Patterns are interesting and enjoyable to knit

  • Garments are easy to wear and pair with your existing wardrobe

  • Translating vintage inspiration and classic design into clean lines and a contemporary look

  • Accessible for 'adventurous beginners'

I've used the term 'adventurous beginner' because I will continue to post tutorials and tips that can help anyone looking to develop their skills. Personally, I think beginners can tackle anything they want - they just need time and a bit of help for new steps. Knitting patterns will be listed along with the techniques used so that you can see which skills are needed and which you will want to master. Some tutorials will feature on this blog, whilst others will be demonstrated on the West Beach Knits You Tube channel.

To start with, from Friday 4th December, patterns will be available through Ravelry, Love Crafts, Payhip and Etsy. This is because I know that although I prefer to purchase through Ravelry, not everyone finds this user friendly. Etsy may also be used for future physical purchases. 

You can keep up with new releases by signing up to the newsletter or by following the West Beach Knits profile on Instagram. Come say 'Hi' over there and let me know you've come over from the blog!

Newsletter subscribers also receive a code for 20% off their first purchase through Ravelry (one use only, but no expiration date), so sign up here for this and future discounts.

West Beach Knits YouTube channel

YouTube channel

I'll still continue to post reviews and tutorials for sewing and knitting over here on the blog (old habits die hard). However, I've found that I have grown to prefer watching vlogs and podcasts to reading blogs over recent years, and there is more scope for demonstration over on YouTube. The channel is named in line with the knitting patterns, simply because it is a more appropriate name than from this blog! Like many people, I don't find recording easy, but I didn't find  photographing myself easy 6 years ago either. The aim is to produce a monthly episode, rounding up what I'm knitting, sewing and designing. It would be lovely to connect with man of you over there as well, so do click the link and subscribe. Episode one is up and ready for you to check out!

Here's a sneak peek of the first two patterns to be released, the Bridleway Mitts and Kew Fingerless Mitts....

West Beach Knits Bridleway and Kew Mitts

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Andrea Mowry Raina Shawl pattern review

Andrea Mowry Raina Shawl pattern review

Before I started knitting, I wasn't very interested in shawls and didn't have much use for them. Now I love having one to hand, just to quickly warm up or to use as a squishy scarf. I already have two in my collection, the Boho Blush and a Find Your Fade, both designed by Andrea Mowry. The Boho Blush is a singular colour and has tassels, whilst the Find Your Fade is a simpler shape but ahs a lot of colours in it. I felt like having something a little more subtle in my collection, so decided upon the Raina shawl, which I could knit in more neutral colours but still have interesting details. It would also be a good opportunity to practise two colour brioche, which would be a new skill that I haven't tried before.
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Top sewing patterns for creating a casual autumn/winter wardrobe

Top sewing patterns for autumn/winter

I always think it's interesting to look back and see which makes were a good idea - as in, which ones actually ended up doing the job they were intended for. Sometimes I think I have a great idea but in the end it doesn't end up being worn; either the pattern or fabric were not a good choice for what I actually need and wear. On the other hand though, I have some items that I wear so often I need to make more of before they get worn through! These are the ones I reach for most often at this time of year because they are warm, comfortable and easy to wear with other items. Have a look below, and if you have any other suggestions, let us know in the comments at the bottom.

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Quilting in quarantine part 3 - free motion quilting in negative space

Free motion quilting in negative space

Yes, actual sewing has been absent for a while. I have managed to get my machine out of storage from moving house into its own room, meaning I can get on with finishing my quilt! In April I posted the quilt top that I had pieced together. Since then I had a go at some free motion quilting practice (and stay at home restrictions have lifted as well, so this isn't really in quarantine any more, but I felt I should carry on with the theme). 

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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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