Sunday, October 29, 2006
In spite of my current scarf obsession I made time today to start my wee wonderfuls. Here is a little sneak preview of my production line. My plan is to make three bunnies and four bears. I will keep one for myself, but the rest will be for little people.
Before I blog-off I would liek to mention a fab site I have discovered called print & pattern. There is some gorgeous stuff to look at here and loads of fab links to follow.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Misty Garden Scarf - pattern by Jo Sharp from scarfSTYLE edited by Pam Allen of interweave. Yarn: Jo Sharp Rare Comfort Kid Mohair Infusion - but I am using Iced Tea rather than the recommended colourway - reason? simple, because there was on offer at get knitted for this colour way. I am knitting it up on my turquoise swallow plastic needles [made from a natural organic protein polymer - skimmed milk apparently]. I tried metal and bamboo needles first, but I found the yarn worked much better with my swallow 5mm and more importantly the yarn was visible! I started the scarf one and a half weeks ago. I am about to finish my second ball of Fusion and the piece currently measures 89 cm. One more ball to go - until I never knit with mohair again! Cast on Cast off made a lovely black feather and fan scarf in Rowan cotton wool. I have seen a number of item using feather and fan online recently - but I guess that is because I can now recognise the pattern; Willow striped wrist warmers (14) and matching Willow scarf (13) on Collinette from instance. By the way the crochet throw that the scarf is pictured on was made by my partners mum - if only I was that clever!
Sunday, October 01, 2006
I traced around the patterns this weekend for all three characters; kitty, bear and bunny. I can't wait to choose which fabrics in my stash to use for the body sections, I already have a few ideas, but I couldn't resist going to Walthamstow market this weekend to stock up on some ginger coloured cotton twill and pink gingham. I have plans to make at least four wee wonderfuls for various friends little ones... and just look at the wee wonderfuls put-together book No.1 flickrpool...
Sunday, September 24, 2006
I started my Saturday market bags in July and finished both in early August just before my summer holiday to Alghero, Sardinia.
The blue one: Rowan: all seasons cotton: jazz
The pink one: Rowan: cotton rope: cyclamen
The bags were really useful over my holiday, both serving well as beach towel bags. I found the cotton rope was much more robust than the all seasons, thus the pink bag kept it's shape much better than the blue. I used the pink bag more often, especially in the evening to carry my camera, purse, sunglasses etc with me - which was great as the lovely cyclamen colourway matched my holiday birki flip-flops, the shell embroidery on my new beach towel and my campari and soda ;-)
PLEASE NOTE ALTERATIONS TO MARKET BAG PATTERN
I used exactly 3 balls of cotton rope - but I did make a couple of minor
alterations to the pattern...
- I knit the shoulder straps to 23 cm which was much shorter than than
the pattern - so in total my strap is 46cm in length. This was just
right to sit on my shoulder and hang at waist height - but you can't
sling it over your body (if you do make the same alterations as me but
want a longer strap you will probably end up using 4 balls)
- my straps are 8 stitches wide rather than 6
- I repeated a couple of extra rows of k, p at the top of the bag making
the band slightly wider
Monday, September 18, 2006
Here is a picture of my little niece with my last Jess Hutch critter, Kev.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
The yarn is Wendy Melody, knit on 10mm circular needles. I cast on 16 stitches, knitting 8 rows to begin with, then knitting a row of decorative elongated stitches, winding the yarn around my needle 3 times. Then I knit a repeat pattern of 5 knit rows followed by a row of elongated stitches. To be honest I knit the scarf by eye rather than counting rows, so it was pretty easy. It's the first time I have knit with this type of yarn, I think it is called ladder yarn (?), it was a bit tricky to start with as I had to make sure I did't knit through the the strands. The scarf's weight allows it to be draped quite nicely across your shoulders, which is good as the yarn is a bit itchy to be worn against a bare neck. I have a green colourway of this yarn in my stash, and will embark on a similar design for me.
Friday, August 04, 2006
Last Sunday I was a busy bee and made this top. It is made from the same pattern as my pink ditsy top - Simplicity 4123, but without the capped sleeves. I have made this one a size smaller than the pink one and it fits much better. The contrasting neck line was inspired by a couple of tops by Olga and Pink Trees that I spotted on the sew i knit 'make a top' sew along. I am really pleased with it and this weekend I plan to make a matching red cotton A line skirt with darts just below the wasitline.
I have a few projects that need finishing off - leftovers from last summer - and have bought a lovely orange trim from Liberty to inspire me to finish a dress that at the moment looks like a sack ;-(
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
I thought I would post my contributions to knit a river, partly prompted by the rain and a letter I received today from WaterAid to follow up on the postcard campaign that I filled in recently. Last week water aid handed over 21,000 of the campaign postcards to the Commissioner for Development calling for a radical change to the structure of EU Water Initiative. Right on!
No.1 is simple garter in Dk - No.2 is two different 4ply yarns knit together in garter alternating with an elongated stitch to show off the yarn combination. I spotted a cable stitch contribution by Puddock and will attempt my first cable for knit a river after my hols.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
So, after my yarn stash pictures, here's some of my dressmaking stash.
By way of my Saturday Market bag project I came across some fabulous handprinted fabric by Goldtop. The pink and green print fabric is lovely - it would make a fabulous dress.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
I have already completed the entire main bag section using Rowan all seasons cotton in Jazz. This yarn is 60% cotton, 40% acrylic/microfibre, in aran weight. It has worked out quite nicely and I am going to knit a strap for it as pictured in magknits. I have just received my 6mm circulars in the post so I can do just that tonight!-) Jodie has posted pictures of completed bags by fellow knitters on her blog. There is a really lovely blue one with bamboo oval handles. So now I have started a pink version in Rowan Cotton rope that will have said bamboo handles. While I am knitting this one up I thought I would post a photo of the stitches for reference.
This photo shows the cast on row and completed first row of the pattern...
Row 1 - k1,*yo, sl1, k1, yo, psso the knit st and following yo
The needle is held as if to begin the second row of the pattern.
The pattern is easy to recognise as the yarn loops over the first two stitches of the pattern - the third stitch is the yo (yarn over) that you drop off the needle on row 2 and row 4 of the pattern.
This picture shows the same stitch across the circular needles.
It can get a bit tricky when you have to push the stitches up onto the needle but as long as you make sure the yo is after the first two stitches it should be plain sailing.
Once the yo's have been dropped off the needle on row 2 and 4 the stitches hang off of the needles as normal.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
Yesterday I visited StashYarns in Putney on Upper Richmond Road, SW15 with my knitting pal Charlotte. This was our first visit to stash yarns. The store opened on June 6th this year, I noticed a lot of positive blogchatter and tempting photos about this friendly little store and couldn't resist a visit. Charlotte and I had to be back in central London for 12.00 so we arrived at the shop as soon as the doors opened at 11.00 - our visit was short but very sweet :-) I bought a copy of Knit1, the art edition, and my very first skein of Lambs Pride in Blue Heirloom. It's yummy. The lady in the store was very helpful and I got to try on a beautiful on the bias shawl that had a ladder pattern produced by dropping stitches. Stash Yarns has a great selection of yarns, addi needles and lots of magazines and tempting books too. The range of lambs pride in stock is impressive, the colours are really vibrant and I am now on the look out for more worsted weight projects for a repeat visit.
During the week I nipped into John Lewis on Oxford Street to buy some Rowan cotton rope in Cyclamen, (shade 071) for another Saturday Market bag as seen in June edition Magknits. I started a blue one after my trip to Chester, pictured here in Rowan all seasons cotton (Jazz).
And... in Chester last weekend I bought a skein of Meilenweit Magico (colourway 2523) sock yarn by lanna grossa, 2.5mm addi bamboo dpns with teddy needle protectors, a pair of 10mm addi circular needles and a skein of Rowan all seasons cotton, both for my market bag project bag as pictured above this photo. I bought all these goodies from stash fine yarns. My nan always buys her yarn supplies from the Chester Market and I was not to be disappointed there either. Here I picked up the contrasting Scarlet 09 and olive 69, King Cole Merino Blend dk required for the BIG1. A bargain at two quid a skein, that's 40p cheaper than one of the online stores I spotted, but unfortuantley the main colour, Mink, wasn't in stock ;-(
In the market I also bought some Wendy Melody (172 green and 174 red) - I have plans for an evening shawl project using elogated stitch.
Needles locked and loaded... Now I need to get myself some of those fancy project progress bars to monitor my new projects...
Sunday, July 02, 2006
I am travelling again... a little less exotic than Athens this time... I am visiting my family in Cheshire, then off to Manchester for a few days for business. But sadly I don't have any knitting projects on the go at the moment to take on my travels. A little problem that won't take too long to rectify... So, Saturday my sister and I went to Chester on a shopping expedition, me to check out potential yarnage opportunites and Ellen to hunt down some crafy paper supplies. The wonderful world of Hobby Craft was on our list of places to visit, along with Stash Fine Yarns on Godstall Lane, that I had seen an advert for in Simply Knitting and Chester market (where my nan buys most of her wool -the stall in the middle of the hall from the man with the little moustache).
A very productive day was had by all :-) more soon...
Thursday, June 29, 2006
I went to Oxford Street in my lunch hour to buy my sister a birthday card today (28th June). My sister is 30 this year - that makes me feel really old - though Ellen is a proper grown up as she is getting married this August. I digress... so, after I had purchased the birthday card along with the latest copy of Simply Knitting and a little something for my sister, I headed for Liberty to seek out some bargains. I always buy fabric in the summersale but I have two boxes full of the stuff at home, so I resisted this temptation. Instead I bought the last three balls of this stunning Gedifra multi coloured yarn at 2.25 GBP a ball - half price with a further 10% off as I have a Libery loyalty card. Destined for a scarf I think - suggestions for patterns welcome (6mm needles - gauage 16 x 20 rows for 10 cm square).
Saturday, June 24, 2006
As yet I have not taken on a BIG project and have decided that the pattern above will be the BIG1. A Vintage Vogue, sixties style jacket by Ruth Maddock. The pattern is from June Issue 16 of simply knitting.
This is going to be quite a challenge on many levels for me as:
my biggest project to date, material wise is a scarf, it required 3 balls of yarn and took 3 weeks to complete; the most complicated design that I have tackled thus far is odessa hat by Grumperina; I have knit socks and booties and picked up quite a few skills from those projects but I have no experience of raglan shaping, button holes or knit buttons.
With all that in mind I thought it would be wise to do a bit of research before embarking on the BIG1. I found a thread on angel yarns forums by a knitter also wanting to take this on as their first BIG project - whooppee. Needless to say I have registered with angel yarns. Already the forum has averted a near disaster after I spotted an error regarding ball weight and quantity in the simply knitting mag. I embark on the BIG1 nervously, but I am looking forward to tackling this pattern and contributing to the forum as I go.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
My nan (my mum's mum) taught me to knit when I was a nipper. I started knitting again about 12 months ago when I noticed nan was using her needles to keep her pot plants straight. I now have all my nan's needles and have made three needle cases to store them in.
My nan (my dad's mum) was my sewing influence, she made me a pony and a womble when I was little. My nan had a cute sewing box on legs that I would love to inherit.
I have lots of hand made things around my house. My dad works in the forestry trade and my grandad was a joiner. As such I have various wooden plates and dishes around my home turned by my grandad made from trees that my dad has felled.
My partner and I have been together for sixteen years but we aren't married and don't have any children.
I have been an aunty for 18 months - it's great fun dressmaking for a tiny tot, especially a little girl - I have made my niece three outfits and knit her a scarf for Christmas with bobbles on.
I drink loads of strong milky tea. Put the kettle on...
I can't add up in my head - I have to do sums on my fingers, on paper or on a calculator.
I have observed a strict skincare routine since I was 13 years old> cleanse, tone and moisturise, ALWAYS
I own a Gameboy colour (bright green), a Gameboy Advance, a Gameboy SP and I am expecting a super slick glossy white Gameboy DS lite on Friday (my present from my boyfriend for my 35th birthday). I am such a lucky girl.
I can't sing.
I love having my hair cut and have had short hairstyles for most of my life. When I did grow my hair it flicked out at the back and conducted static so badly that I was scared to remove jumpers over my head.
I have a little stash of Snoopy things that I collected as a teenager.
I am hooked on Sat/Sun morning tv... current fav is double bill of Baywatch on Sunday from 9am, past favs include RAD and the excellent Max Steel
I have owned two ponies in my lifetime; Mr softy, a stocky shetland pony that nipped at peoples fingers and Flash, a geriatric horse who had seen better days.
I bite my finger nails.
I love fishfinger butties with lots of lemon juice.
I once made a sponge cake, but forgot to put the butter in the butter icing. It was a sweet dribbling mess that my dad named a spunwich. He always retells this story whenever I mention I have been baking.
I have flat feet.
I completed two Max Payne computer games over two weekends.
I am the queen at Super Monkey Ball boxing - you could say it is my supreme party game.
My boyfriend is proud that I have geeky tendencies and loves telling his mates my score from online geek tests.
I sprained my little toe when I was small after I caught my tootsie on my bed sheet.
At present I don't own a pair of black shoes or a black dress.
My fav hang-over cure is jaffa cakes and hula hoops.
When I was a child I always won the pass the parcel present at friends birthday parties.
I collected smurfs at primary school and I still have them.
I am a stationery junkie. I own loads of note books, and I have a stack that I haven't used yet.
I don't speak any other language other than english.
I don't tan - ever! I go a kind of honey colour but that's about it - and only I ever notice the difference!
I worked in a herb garden in Cheshire for a couple of years. The company won lots of gold medals at the Chelsea Flower show... I love growing herbs and now have my own standard bay tree.
My boyfriend bought me an olive tree for my 34th birthday.
I am rubbish at spelling.
I love teasing my boyfriend and family with stupid, futile games - I admit it I am annoying!
I was a bridesmaid in 1996 and my dad didn't recognise me!
Dancing philosophy - weddings don't count - go for it.
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Odessa is finished.... I returned from my trip to Athens on Friday and completed Odessa on Saturday morning. I think my body clock was still running to +2GMT as I woke up at 7.30 and finished off the hat before breakfast. I am a bit disappointed with the tension across the decreasing rows - the pattern isn't consistent across the crown and there are visable gaps when the hat is stretched. Despite this niggle it does look pretty good on, especially if I wear it on the slant in a kind of flapper style. I will certainly have another go at knitting one before the winter, but in a deeper colour... order on its way for those 4mm addi turbos.
Today I visited the eco-design fair at Union Chapel in Islington. Here I met Annie Sherbourne who incorporates environmentally friendly materials into her textile work and business and has developed a new yarn for sale called eco-annie, a pure new wool made from recycled London textiles. Don't you just love the label. Annie mentioned that she had written a piece for Knitchicks. Here I found out that Annie has been awarded a grant by the Mayor of London to find creative ways to work with waste products, to add value and stimulate new markets for recycled products; bring on Eco-Annie. By providing the yarn in a natural colour Annie hopes to encourage knitters to dye eco-annie, using natural dyes of course. I must admit it was the first thing I thought of! Annie has worked with a spinner to combine recycled london textiles with 50% virgin wool to give the yarn its strength and basic good quality. Annie said that I am her very first sale for this product :-)
Annie has a shop at 126 Columbia Road, E2 open on Sunday mornings, the same time as the flower market. There are some beautiful yarns on Annie's website so hope to get down there soon.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
After enjoying a stint of knitting in public last week I decided that I should leave my needles at home this week as I am off to Athens for a few days on business. As much as I would have loved to have worked on Odessa that is currently on my needles, I just couldn't do with any potential airport security hassle. So alas I am here at the airport with nothing to do... and as luck would have it my olympic airlines flight has been cancelled and I have been booked onto the next flight this afternoon! I am really miffed :-( With over five hours to kill I could have finished that baby and ditched those pesky pony circular needles. Oh yes, then I would have had a really good excuse to treat myself to those shiny 4mm x 40cm turbo addi's.
I have my laptop at least, and I guess I should be doing business stuff during business hours - but hey this is my own personal laptop and I was working at home most of last night, when I could have been knitting!
So what exactly is the party line on knitting needles and aircrafters - now theres a good name for a blog ring!
Google Answers well no conclusive answers there then..
The US Transportation Security Adminstration
Good news for aircrafters USA - the TSA seem pretty helpful and actually concerned about wip..
An interesting article on Ask the Pilot, apparently even though the TSA now allow knitting needles (as per restrictions noted above) passengers can't take on board transfomers If anyone has any theories on why transformers are a security risk COMMENT NOW. You know, a little diddy toy car made out of plastic and metal doesn't really transform into a real working firearm.
Knitting needles are permitted in your carry-on baggage or checked baggage. However, there is a possibility that the needles can be perceived as a possible weapon by the TSA screener. TSA Screeners have the authority to determine if an item could be used as a weapon and may not allow said item to pass through security. TSA recommends the following when bring knitting needles on an airplane:
- Circular knitting needles are recommended to be less than 31 inches in total length
- We recommend that the needles be made of bamboo or plastic (Not Metal)
- Scissors must have blunt points
- In case the screener does not allow your knitting tools through security it is recommended that you carry a self addressed envelope so that you can mail your tools back to yourself as opposed to surrendering them at the security check point.
- As a precautionary measure it is recommended that you carry a crochet hook with yarn to save the work you have already done in case your knitting tools are surrendered at the checkpoint.
What about us aircrafters in the UK, well apparently British Authorities have relaxed the rules to allow aircrafters to board with knitting needles in hand. But not on easy jet and I guess a few others...
So anyway I have bought my rip off, over priced btopenzone voucher and will spend the rest of my time commenting on my current fav knitting/sewing blogs.
more later in the week.
Friday, June 09, 2006
I picked these little sweet treats up at the camden green fair last weekend - aren't they cool! I bought them from Buzz Stokes who runs All the fun of the Fair. There seems to be a problem with the website but here's a link anyway. Apparently Buzz runs a stall at Spitalfields market every Friday - I must check it out. At the green fair Buzz had lots of sticky treats on sale, including iced doughnuts, chocolate eclairs and party cakes complete with a cherry on top.
ummmmhhhh Battenburg cake...
I am certainly in need of a cuppa, I have been busy with my needles all evening and have made good progress on my Odessa hat. I don't have a pair of 4mm addi circular needles, only 3.5mm needles that I used for the rib, so I am knitting on my plastic 4mm pony ones. They aren't as satisfying to knit with, but nevertheless I am really enjoying this project. It is basically a simple repeat of nine stitches. After the second round of the pattern I stopped counting as the stitches are easily recognisable and I could tell by the shape and feel of each stitch when to pull my yo or ssk. Knitting Odessa is pure joy :-) My confidence was such that I even took my needles to work to knit on the tube via the victoria and central lines. So, I am pleased to say that I won't be a virgin for tomorrows world wide knit in public day. I am going to Whitstable tomorrow for sea, sunshine and the Biennale. My needles will be coming with me.
Here is another peek at Odessa...
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Thought I better post a picture to prove I have taken up my needles again. I am knitting on my new addi turbo circular needles. Knitting in the round on circular needles is so therapeutic. Excuse me for this short blog but my specs are at the opticians and my eyes are watering! more soon...
Monday, June 05, 2006
The beads are on! There are 150 threaded onto the yarn, so now I can get started. Progress is slow as I am making a case for my DPNs - really need to get my sewing machine out the way as it is a constant distraction from my knitting.
The yarn is pictured on my new table cloth and place mat set, Moiramoira by Ron Arad for Alessi. I have never had a table cloth before, I bought it a few weeks ago discounted during a closing down sale at Purves and Purves. I am really pleased with it, the coasters are cool!
Saturday, June 03, 2006
I haven't quite pulled myself away from my sewing machine, but happy to say that I will be starting a new knitting project very soon. Yes, I know, I haven't attempted my first BIG knitting project yet, but for this project I will take up a pair of circular needles for the first time to attempt an unseasonal hat. I have my yarn, beads and needles and will start Odessa hat by Grumperina this evening. I have my gorgeous ball of Rowan Cashsoft DK (SH503) and some beads. This will be my first hat and I am looking forward to seeing how the bead thing works out. Grumperina has posted some helpful notes about beads and info on a couple of Odessa knitalong (kals). I have just signed up to join this one which began in February 06 when the pattern was first published on magkinits. I don't understand how to knit a guage in pattern circularly? I assume I don't join the ends, but what part of the pattern should I repeat and should I change to purl when knitting on the otherside - I am sure there is a trick to this. Anyway my gauage is pretty reliable so will start the project and just check the guage across the recommended number of stitches one I get going... any tips would be much appreciated.
The sun is beaming down on my balcony, its lovely and hot here, summer at last. I will be posting some shots of my plants on flickr as they benefit from this sunny spell. Fingers crossed the sun will keep shining. I wore my new sunglasses for the first time today :-)
Friday, May 26, 2006
How exciting - a MakeZine dedicated to CRAFT. Yes, the magazine that brought you the video recorder operated cat feeder and the fantastic night lighter spud gun! In February I bought some copies as presents for my brother and boyfriend, making them both jolly pleased; my purchasing skills were praised to the hilt! So listen here guys - take note of the release date of MAKE Craft ;-) see it as an early christmas pressie!
Anyway, less of that.... I found out about MAKE: CRAFT via blogger cakeyvoice, then Jess Hutch mentioned it on her blog too - both have been asked to take part! Yipeee - please let there be free patterns... please please let it be the robots, please please please please let it be the robots! I attended dorkbot on Wednesday so still feeling a little geeky... more about that some other time...
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
I came across these knitted zombies by cakeyvoice on flickr a few months ago and vowed I would blog them when I got round to setting myself up with blogger. I am sure these creations are pretty well blogged out by now across the knitting sphere and beyond - but I can't get enough of 'em? I would love to own/make a scary mary nurse and nun twosome. I could get them out when I played ZOMBIES!!!, a game that my boyfriend bought at Christmas - it sure beats trivial pursuit! The helicopter is about to leave will you make it?
Next time we play I will stick some pics on flickr.
Monday, May 22, 2006
My mum always seems to have her sewing tin out about the house. As a rule it can be found on her bed. During my childhood mum used a family circle biscuit tin to put her sewing stash in. The tin was updated a few years ago and all mums sewing bits and pieces now reside in a gold coloured tin from Marks and Spencers. The tin is packed with bobbins of various shades, a mix of cotton and polyester threads, there are normally a couple of zips lurking in there and a selection of odd buttons. And there you will find the needle book. It has a woven black and white cover with a fringed edge, there are six or so soft white woven pages and every page is pricked with needles along with the occasional pin. I will ask my mum next time I am home who gave it to her, as I don't know for sure. My mum bought a sewing basket for me in 1981 that I still use today, but I have never owned a needle book. So I decided to make myself one while I had my sewing machine out. I have used bright pink felt from John Lewis, pink print cotton drill from
By the way I keep all my bobbins in a biscuit tin too - Baicoli, famosi biscotti Veneziani.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
I set up my flickr site today and just a few hours later received my first comment. The comment was sent by lla and was attached to my Katie Kitty photo - what a treat when I visited lla's flickr site to see a little army of bears and a mr. squarey with friend. I just love the photos in the garden! Thanks lla. Reading lla's blog I see that she modified the Jess Hutch pattern so that the bears aren't wearing any pants in respect of the great bears such as Pooh, Yoghi and Boo. Right on!
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Introducing... Katie, a kitty made from a Jess Hutch pattern published in Winter Issue05 of knitty. I finished her about 5 weeks ago and adored her so much I made her a sibling; bruver Kevin (photo of kev coming soon...). And like most little kittens both Katie and Kev now have new homes. Katie and Kev are both with family members so when I visit the kitties next I will post up some reunion pics.
I just love the toys designed by Jess Hutch. I never thought that I would be knitting little softies with such enthusiam, but Jess is inspirational! I would love to knit 'squarey' but can't get my hands on the pattern because the booklet is out of print.