Saturday, October 13, 2007

Blimey how time flys...

I have returned from my 7 month residence in Istanbul and am now back in the UK for good. All around me babies are appearing. Currently I am busy knitting Baby Dolly from Jaeger, Baby handknits, J29, (size 6-12 mnths) for my cousins new born daughter Daisy Mae. I have at least 2 more babies to knit for before the end of 2007.

On my return, about 4 weeks ago! I joined the social movement that is called facebook. I am trying desperately not to get hooked... but it is difficult. The good thing, as well as keeping up with all my mates from Turkey, is that I have been invited to a couple of events by fellow knitters > I been invited to "knit a tit", an event that will raise money for breast cancer. It will be held on Saturday 27th August at "I knit" in south London > and I found out today that the knitting and stitching show is on this weekend at Ally Pally. How exciting I would never have found out about this otherwise! I intend to go tomorrow :-)

Last up, CONGRATULATIONS to Charlotte

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Sending the Princess of Purple to Peru

My friend Charlotte, aka cfknits is going treking in Machu Picchu, Peru for charity in 13 days time. Donations to support the charity can be given at just giving. There are also some fabulous auctions on ebay, here, here and here. Please support Charlotte in her expedition as it is for a fantastic charity.

By way of this post I am wishing you, canım Charlotte, all my love and best wishes for your forthcoming expedition - iyi yolculular Lxxxx - see you back in London in October.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


blocking!, originally uploaded by louisemakesstuff.

well not quite - this shawl is knit with acrylic yarn so it isn't going to block - but I went through the motions all the same - with a bit of help from a warm iron I seem to have simulated the desired results.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

More hair...

More hair..., originally uploaded by louise makes stuff.

Mohair is the thing to buy in Turkey apparently...
Linate Rabbit - super kid mohair - varigated colourway - 85% mohair, 15% polymide
YarnArt - Mohair Classic - 80% mohair, 20% acrylic

wikipedia says:
The angora goat is thought to originate from the mountains of Tibet making their way to Turkey in the 16th century. Until 1849 the Turkish province of Ankara was the sole producer of Angora goats. Charles V is believed to be the first to bring Angora goats to Europe. In 1849 Angora goats made their way to America as a gift from Turkey. Today South Africa and the United States are the largest mohair producers, with the majority of Amerian mohair being produced in Texas.

umhh - you may have spotted that one of the brands is called Rabbit - nice label though!

I bought these goodies from GALERİ 77 - it is about a 20 min walk from where I live... it is near to Osman Bey metro station. The lady in the shop was very helpful.

A big thank you to Crafty? Who? for telling me about this store.

Saturday, August 04, 2007


Lellabella, originally uploaded by louise makes stuff.

I visited Venice during my summer hols. This is my fourth visit - we go every two years to visit the Arts Biennale. This year I spotted the one and only Yarn Shop in Venice Lellabella. It sells loads of beautiful Italian yarns - I should have bought something but the our trip to Venice had already burnt a hole in my purse. Venice is soooooooo expensive :-o

Directions to Lellbella:
Walk toward Campo Manin from the Rialto, it's just over a bridge on your right hand side, the block BEFORE you reach Campo Manin. It is technically on Calle della Mandola (aka Della Cortesia).

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Fiery Maiden

A few weeks ago I made a trip to Kürkçü Han (Furrier Han) in Mahmutpaşa, Eminönü where you can find really cheap yarns and fabrics. It is a stone building located on the right while climbing Mahmutpaşa Street from Mısır Çarşısı (Spice Bazaar). This building is as old as Kapalıçarşı (Covered or Grand Bazar) and was once built for the accommodation of furriers; however, now it is an a busy shopping area. I love Eminönü it is probably one of my favorite places in Istanbul, it assaults your senses with a blast of smells, sounds and colours - its fab.

Anyhow, I bought two lots of yarn, some lovely bright red cotton DK that is now back in London and some acrylic in fiery shades of red, orange, yellow, pink and rust. I am using this to knit Earth Maiden Shawl by Ilga Leja. Not exactly the desired colourway but I think it will look good. There are loads of good acrylic and cotton yarns in Turkey. This one is made in Turkey but packaged by Belday home, a Geman company, I can't find any information about them on the web.

I have a few more yarn shops to visit in Istanbul and have bit more time to do so - my time here has been extended, I will now leave on 16 September. But that is it NO more extensions, I am missing my loved ones in Blighty - it is time to return.

Monday, May 14, 2007

shake it up şekerim

Blimey... it is along time since I last watched eurovision - but I have to say it was a proud moment on Saturday night when the UK gave Türkiye - on iki - leaving Kenan Doğulu's Shake It Up Shekerim ranking fourth overall. Anyhow nothing to report on my cable project - it is getting longer but I have given it up for a while. Work is keeping me far to busy and there are sooo many shopping opportunities. So on a sweet note here are some soaps I spotted in Kanyon

Saturday, April 21, 2007

my first cable project.... ?!?!?!?!?!?

I am knitting this. It is called CLYDE. It is in the RY winter classics, book 6. I am using soft tweed in Kingfisher, number 9, colourway. It is 56% wool, 20% viscose, 14% polymide, 10% silk. I bought the yarn and pattern at the January sales at Liberty of London.


Look! The picture above clearly shows that the pattern is symmetrical from the central front rib. The cables clearly mirror each other forming a circular pattern just below the chest and at the neck line, as the cables lie flat and echo the v neck. I googled to see if any fellow knitters have spotted the difference (this knitter has made a good job of their CLYDE, but it doesn't look like the photo).

This is my first project using cables, I have followed the pattern just over the first set of cables but it was obvious my project is NOT going to look like the lovely garment pictured in the book if I carry on following the pattern ;-( Here is the pattern...

As I see it the bottom cables, that I have coloured pink, should be slipped to the back as instructed by the pattern - but the bottom cables marked in blue should be slipped to the front, not to the back as the pattern instructs. Then the top cables that I have marked in pink, again as instructed by the pattern should be slipped to the front - but the ones marked in blue should be slipped to the back otherwise it won't be symmetrical.

This is so frustrating - but at least I have only passed the first set of cables - My plan is to rip this back to the first cable - agghhh and as this is moss stitch it is going to be real fiddle to put the stitches back on the needles.

I am a bit hesitant at changing pattern elements - but I am sure I am right to do so in this instant. I would greatly appreciate any comments on this one....

Monday, April 02, 2007

salut là-bas petit fella

Here is baby Gabriel modeling the pixie hat I made for him. Gabriel is living in France with his lovely mum and dad - hope you are all well :-) Hope the title translates OK? My French is rubbish.

baby - bebek
little - biraz
mother - anne
father - baba
family - aile

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Support the William Morris Gallery

The William Morris Gallery is located in Walthamstow, London E17 and is under threat of closure.

This post is dedicated to the community of Walthamstow Forest art lovers everywhere who appreciate the politics and craft of William Morris and observe the right of access to public collections of siginificant cultural value and beauty :-)

Designer, Craftsman, Writer and Socialist William Morris was born at Elm House, Walthamstow, on 24th March 1834. He died, 'having done more work than most ten men', at Hammersmith on 3rd October 1896.

The WILLIAM MORRIS GALLERY, opened by Prime Minister Clement Attlee in 1950, is the only public museum devoted to England's best known and most versatile designer. The Gallery is located at Walthamstow in Morris's family home from 1848 to 1856, the former Water House, a substantial Georgian dwelling of about 1750 which is set in its own extensive grounds (now Lloyd Park).

The Gallery's internationally important collections illustrate William Morris's life, work and influence. There are permanent displays of printed, woven and embroidered fabrics, rugs, carpets, wallpapers, furniture, stained glass and painted tiles designed by Morris himself and by Edward Burne-Jones, Philip Webb, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Ford Madox Brown and others who together founded the firm of Morris, Marshall, Company in 1861.

Please follow this link to sign the online petition.

Monday, March 26, 2007

craft in the media

A spring post dedicated to recent stuff in the press/tv/print featuring craft>

one - bir 8<--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Extreme Crafts 25 May - 8 August 2007
Siuolaikinio meno centras / Contemporary Art Centre
Vokieciu 2, LT-01130 Vilnius, Lithuania

Curated by Catherine Hemelryk & Jennie Syson
Call for participants/submissions

Extreme Crafts is an international exhibition project held in Vilnius. We
are looking for contributions for a part of the show called the Rogues
Gallery. We're looking for the weird and the wonderful, the inventive, the
amusing, the twisted, the political, the subversive and whatever is being
made at the fringes of the fringes. The project opens in May 2007.

To contribute or for more information get in touch by email:

two - iki

A new programme on Style network. Anyone seen it? It sounds pretty
awful... Who is Jason Jones?

three -
üç 8<----------------------------------------------------------------------------

DIY ARTS AND CRAFTS NIGHTS - Just popping out for a swift paint
An article in The London Paper about social crafting activities in London.

HungaMunga We want people who think they can't make art to make art

offers you a rare chance to release the artist in you

CraftNight hosted at the Notting Hill Arts Club
Cutting edge music combined with the childhood thrill of making

something all by yourself. And then taking it proudly home.

four - dört 8<----------------------------------------------------------------------------

A cool new book I bought recently tho I have hardly had chance to look
though it ;-(

five -
beş 8<----------------------------------------------------------------------------

OLD FRIENDS OF HAND AND FEET - socks and gloves
An article on knitting in the February edition of Turkish Airlines in-flight

In Anatolian culture, socks and gloves are a virtual lexicon of knitting
each one with its own distinct meaning.

the final cut 8<----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Just in time >

The sun is shining, but it is pretty cold outside - just as well I finished my hat on Friday! I wore it yesterday and it kept me cosy warm :-D I am really pleased with the colour. I have nearly a whole skein left but not sure what to do with it! Any ideas?

Next up... I want to give Clara a go - this is another hat from Hip Knit Hats. I have spotted a fo on CatKnitz - it is certainly my fav pattern out of the entire book- but alas I will have to go shopping as I don't have the required needles - what a pity. Great excuse me thinks.

Turkish words for today are:
merhaba - hello
selam! - hi
hava - weather
ilkbahar - spring
güneşli - sunny
gün - day
Şubat - February

Until I learn the rules I will be sticking to words for now rather than sentences.

Friday, February 23, 2007

I love red pink blue white... I am so in love with this yarn - these are so my colours. I spotted the yarn first on imaybeknittingaranchhouse - just look at those fab socks, a very well chosen pattern - AND then when I looked up yarntini on pureknits the yarn came up super BIG in a window - those guys know how to tempt a weak willed customer. Oh boy - it has been 4 weeks since I went yarn stroking/shopping.

My Turkish words today are:
kirmizi - red
pembe - pink
mavi - blue
beyaz - white

Sunday, February 18, 2007

şapka - violet seed wip

Tomorrow will be the start of my third week in Türkiye. The language is a challenge but I am progressing, slowly. When I do try my new lingo 'skills' out around the city my efforts have been much appreciated, so this is spurring me on. So from now on to help increase my vocabulary I will add at least two new Turkish words to my posts. I can't guarantee the translations will be correct mind you, or that I can pronounce them properly and would like to encourage anyone out there to correct me. First up...

menekşe tohum - violet seed
şapka - hat

There hasn't been much time for knitting since I arrived, but this weekend I finally started my Violet Seed hat from Cathy Carron's Hip Knit Hats. I am using ggh, aspen chunky weight, merino/acyrlic 50/50 mix, colourway 23. My gorgeous blue, 8mm Crystal Palace daisy needles were bought a few months back. I adore the colour of these and would love to be buy the whole yummy set- çok güzel :-)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

London > Istanbul

I am now safely installed in my new pad in Istanbul.
I have a pretty impressive view from my little balcony.

Any how this is a knitting blog so here comes the knitting bit.... I was knitting in London right to the last minute, busy finishing a baby pixie hat for a friends baby boy, Gabriel who lives in France with mummy and daddy. I took inspiration from this beautiful example from castoncastoff. I don't have a finished pic but I will ask mummy to send me one soon. So at the mo please be content with a WIP photo.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

a sad note....

Sadly my grandad passed away on Thursday 25th Janaury. Grandad Cyril (though his first name was actually albert) died at 88. He lived in Cheshire all his life. He was a strong, hard-working man who made his living from the land. For the last twenty five years of his life he lived in good health in the village where my parents live. Grandad was quite a character and he will be sadly missed.

I postponed my flight to Istanbul for a week to be with my family and attend the funeral. I will now fly to Turkey tomorrow(sunday).

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

the nuisance tagger

I feel a bit of a nuisance tagging fellow blogsters, but I have been very polite and hope the 'tagged' will reciprocate - but if you are reading this please feel free to reply 'not today missus!'

5 new meme things not mentioned on your blog...

the rules, take em or leave em...
1. someone tags you,
2. you post five things about yourself that you haven’t already mentioned on your blog,
3. you tag people you’d like to know more about.

6 weird things...

take em or leave um...
THE RULES: Each player of this game starts with the ‘6 weird things about you.’ People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says ‘you are tagged’ in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

Monday, January 22, 2007

double tagged

blimey I have been tagged twice

1) cfknits, the one and only princess of purple has tagged me for 6 weird things about me
2) sadieandlance tagged me yesterday for 5 things meme

first up WEIRDNESS:
1 - cheese with holes in it gives me the shivers - I start thinking about magnified skin cells yuck - even thinking about it makes me feel sick! stop stop stop....
2 - I have a tendency to look at digital displays just as they turn to 33 minutes past - no joke, I had a phase of waking up in the middle of the night just as my alarm clock turned to 3.33am - spooky! The clock now faces the wall at night so I can't see it - weird weird weird.....
3 - I collect the printed patterns from the inside of envelopes - its not a compulsive disorder!
4 - I lovvvveeeee stationery and have a stash of well kept note pads just waiting to be used - but I can never decide which one to use.
5 - I don't like baked beans - everyone else seems to so it must be weird!
6 - my younger brother is forever telling me I am weird (he is a cheeky blighter) my sisters wedding for example, he was convinced I had based my outfit on Mary Poppins.

second up MEME
1 - cakes - things tend to go wrong when I bake cakes - oh the stories my family could tell you!
2 - patience - I don't have any
3 - I haven't started my BIG project yet, though I do have the yarn ready and waiting but have been looking around for something else to knit with it - I am just not convinced by the retro jacket, this jacket looks much more like my style.
4 - I am moving to Istanbul, Turkey for 6 months on Saturday.
5 - I should have gone bed ages ago....

night night... I will blog my tags tomorrow...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Replenishing sewing stash 2007

It's sale time again and I just can't pass by those bargains on the high street.
From the top:
1) Liberty of London; wool-silk in mustard - most expensive of my sale purchases - but well worth it - I have plans to use this to make a fabric scarf complemented by the fabric donated by my mum, see below.
2) Liberty of London; Tana Lawn cotton - I already have the really cute red watering-can motif and just had to have it in navy and turquoise too.
3) John Lewis, Oxford Street, London; pure silk; nearly bought this in the summer but resisted, glad I did as I purchased 2.5m at half price!
4) Liberty of London; Tana Lawn.
5) Liberty of London; Tana Lawn; pencils pencil everywhere - how could I resist this - it will make a fab shirt.
6) donation from my mum's stash; mum made a dress out of this when she was a teenager, I have about 1 m sq and plan to make a fabric scarf.
7) Liberty of London; stretch jersey; how cute is this and I have 2 metres, yipee, summer t -shirt or pyjama top perhaps.

Unfortunately I don't have individual names for the designs - I thought I might find references on the internet for Tana Lawn from Liberty, but no luck, I will have to go back to Liberty to check.

Friday, January 12, 2007

A family of scarves

During a couple of trips to Cheshire at Christmas to see my family my mum and dad had the opportunity to chart the progess of my GEDIFRA scarf kint on the diagonal. I finally finished it on new years day, it has come out quite nicely and the GEDIFRA holds it's shape really well and keeps me toasty warm ;-) though to be honest it really isn't that cold here considering it's January.

My dad has always been immensely proud of his knitting skills, although there is actually only one piece of evidence. This has been carefully stored away longside one of my mums' childhood knits. So first up, here is my dad's little green and yellow number. My dad thinks he was about nine when he knit this at school. His mum, my late nanny Beat (Beatrice) I knew for her sewing skills, and I am sure she must have helped my dad with the equally spaced stripes.

My mum's piece of school knitting is proof that she has always been keen on football. Her scarf carries the colours of Manchester City FC that she mum supported as a child, though now her team of passion is the infamous Manchester United. My nanny Vera, my mum's mother has over the years knit me loads of scarves, hats and cardies, but none in football colours I should add. Nan only recently gave up knitting and in fact I rescued a number of her needles from various plant pots around the house. Just under half of my knitting needles have been gleaned from my nan.

My mum and dad are far to busy to take up knitting again now, though I will make it my mission to find a way to test their crafty knitting skills sometime during the year.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Happy New Year

Hello, I am back again. I have been busy over the last few months... more on that soon... but I have been making stuff... honest...

I crafted a couple Christmas presents for my niece... not as many as I would have liked to, but my plans are a little unrealistic at times. Santa brought my niece a lovely pink kitchen, complete with a singing kettle and bubbling pots... so of course every little cook should have a frilly apron and matching oven gloves.

I really enjoyed making the oven gloves, they are so cute. I made the pattern up for both the apron and gloves as I went along. The gloves were my first go at quilting, I would like to do some more quilting projects as I really like the firmness it gives to the fabric. A plan for cushions I think.

This year I visited IKEA for Christmas present inspiration and couldn't resist these fishy finger puppets - I made a little bag for my niece to keep her fishy friends in, the red starfish has a piece of velcro at the centre so that you can stick a crab or mini jaws to it if you like.

more blogging coming soon, I promise...