Sunday, 30 January 2011

Sunday - More things for the children

Sorry haven't posted for a couple of days, been v busy visiting family and having poorly children.  But, Abi has been nursing daniel, so its all good
Meanwhile, I have been secretly knitting this rabbit for abi's birthday (which still needs a face and a pompom tail)

The proportions are a little...wacky...but I love it.  I think abi will too because its soooo soft and lovely, knitted from an alpaca/cotton mix, and stuffed with wool.  I used these directions from mamamoontime (but changed a lot for the chunkier yarn and to knit ears), which make the sort of toy you would find in a steiner kindergarten.  We already have a toy cat knitted in this style but the head was made separately, whereas this is all from one rectangle!
That ball becomes the head.

See!  Then the four corners become legs.

Also I realised it is valentines day soon.  I usually buy the children a chocolate heart or something like my old ma used to, and often make or buy a little gift.  I thought I'd knit Dan a heart shaped lavender thing cos he loves lavender.  Knitting hearts is tricky but I was determined to figure it out for myself as I never quite like the ones I've seen around, I think I will like this once blocked

And I might knit a little heart necklace for abs.

Whilst travelling in the car yesterday, I started knitting another 'thing' towards abis birthday dolly clothes.  I didn't know what to knit, just wanted something mind-numbing, so threw some wool and needles in my bag as it was the last thing on my mind really with two children to organise and make vaguely presentable.  But this is nearly finished now, a little dolly skirt

It was pretty slow going as I had to keep putting it down to, you know, pass junk food to the children, pass teddy bear who had been thrown on floor, etc etc.  many times over.  But I am quite pleased as it is the first knitted hem I have done in the round/magic looped.  I heart knitted hems.  Sadly this one is a little under par as, after turning the hem, you should go up a needle size (or, more accurately, you should do that first bit in a smaller needle size) which is how come my hem is a little flared.  But seeing as how it is for a skirt, I think its OK.  I slipped every alt st on the first rd of each new colour to make the stripes a teeny bit more exciting.  Because its easy to do that in the dark.  I knitted a fair bit in the pitch black but eventually had to give up as I was scared of totally messing it up, although when I looked in the morning I'd only knitted one sl st so I should have just carried on really.

Well, thats all for now!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

thursday - shrooms etc

one brown and yellow mushroom:

and I think it could have come out a lot worse at any rate!  I really need to read my knitting books on stranding and how to hold yarn etc, I am inclined to throw so holding two yarns doesn't come naturally and my tension is all over the place.  Practice and all that.  This is now a square and I have cast off and will block tomorrow which will hopefully improve the uneven tension somewhat.  In general though, I am liking the 70's mushroom-ness.

I don't think it will be a placemat though, its 100& wool designed for felting, wtf was I thinking?  It will be something though, I'll crochet a border and then one day it can become a dolly cushion or a blanket square or something of that nature.  I'm too distracted now by the idea of a jumper for abi with lots of mushrooms around the hem (should I make the mushroom symmetrical rather than jaunty if its going to be a repeating pattern?).  And also wondering what else to do with the yellow and brown, which is crying out to be felted into something.

Also: sleeve 1 of shalom nearly finished.  Am getting heartly sick of this since the colour I bought 3 balls of became discontinued.  So most of it is purple, but the sleeves and g st band at waist will be red.  ffs.  It is, however, incredibly comfy and soft and light and warm, so I forgive myself.

Had a good charity shop session today, bought several bits of crap including another plastic yellow duck for abi's collection (20p well spent) and a little wicker suitcase, which I had to put down because I couldn't think of a purpose for it, until I remembered my plan to knit/sew abi's doll a couple of outfits for her birthday, and this seems the ideal way to present/store them (especially for 50p!)

Note that I have even managed to make a start on this resolution by making a little bolero from the glove leftovers.  I had hoped to make a little cardi, but didn't have enough yarn, so naff bolero it is.  Dolls clothes are a great way to try new stuff whilst limiting damage caused by my own stupidity, this is the first thing I have made from my own head which is worked top down seamlessly with raglan shaping.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Wednesday (I think its Wednesday?) - More mushrooms

Argh I am going to admit defeat on stranded mushrooms vs. tubular knitting.  I don't often rip stuff out cos it HURTS and I'd rather things just looked a bit crap, so the fact I even considered ripping this means it is the right thing to do.  Its not just the tricky aspect though, tubular knitting with a single knitted surround never looks perfectly square and I just want it neat!  So I will try knitting the mushroom on plain ol' stocking stitch.  Here is the little mushroom pattern I drew, I hope it comes out OK once its stretched a bit in st st...will it even be recognisable as a mushroom?  Does it even resemble a mushroom in the pic below?  All this and more remains to be seen.
And, just because it was one of those moments were you think 'aww you look cute despite the fact you are wearing crap I made'...

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Tuesday - mushrooms

Yesterday I went to the BIG SHOPS  which is always very exciting.  I did very well at spending not much money on several bits of crap I do not need in the slightest.  The thing I had intended to buy...metal cup measures...I sadly did not get round to finding, because I was too busy looking at crap.  But thats OK, its a good excuse to go back again soon. 

I bought 3 napkins in the sales at the posh dept store for 95p each.  Except when I got home I realised they hadn't charged me the last reduction, so they were 1.95.  Crap.  So I need to make sure they are worth it.  I have been wanting napkins for ages...and also placemats.  I used to clean for a couple who had the sweetest little placemats which looked very old and probably handwoven, with little cutesy designs printed on them like roosters and kitcheny stuff like that.  Every time I ironed them (it was that sort of house) I used to think 'I need me some of these' cos they are kind of half placemat, half napkin.  And washable.  And all the crappy placemats you can buy here do not seem to stand up to repeated washings.  But I've never managed to find anything like it.  So I thought I would knit some placemats, and bought the wool for that too.

But then there's the whole dilemma of what colour etc.   I don't want brash colours, but neither do I want completely neutral because, well, whats the point of that.  I was just going to splurge on some noro and felt knitted rectangles so that they would be reasonably washable, but I wasn't sure that would really go with our brown table from the junk shop.  Really, the only thing which would look right on the brown junk shop table, is either white crochet cotton stuff (and I like that, but I feel its too early in my life to entirely give myself over to white filet crochet), or 70's brown and orange stuff.  Like those old seats on buses.  And those old childrens craft books with patterns for psychedelic mushroom embroidery and corduroy beanbags etc.  Clearly, this is the way to go.

So I have beige napkins, orange and yellow thread, and brown and yellow wool.  Mmmmmmmmmmm.

Its not great nor nuffin but took as long as it takes to watch eastenders which suits me, cos I'd rather be knitting that sewing really.  Not sure what to do on the other 2 napkins.

I like mushrooms a lot so was looking for mushroom inspiration for placemats, found this cute embroidery pattern for a mushroom and gnome (which I might embroider on something else), but in the meantime am trying to turn it into a knitting pattern.  Just the mushroom bit.  I hope it works.

Just to make it extra er, fun, I've decided to knit the placemats in tubular/double knitting, like elizabeth zimmerman's pothandler....whilst simultaneously attempting to do stranded colourwork, something I am awful at.  I cast on this afternoon and it was going surprisingly well until I dropped some a dropped a st as the woll is v slippu, I managed to pick it up but now they are somehow all out of sync. Sigh.  Anyway I am determined to try it after seeing this awesome pothandler with a squirrel on it, although I cannot figure out how to do reversible double knitting, so mine will just be the same on both sides (I hope ) which is probably much more work, but I cannot figure out how she did that. Please tell me if you know.

Monday, 24 January 2011

simple reversible fingerless gloves

Freedom Purity Chunky Wool, one ball in each colour
4mm and 5mm circular needles
some scrap yarn
Other notes can be found at bottom of page if you don't like my terse pattern!

CO 32 with A. Working in 1x1 rib, work
3 rounds B
1 round A
2 rounds B
1 round A
1 round B
1 round A
Change to 5mm needles and continue in st st
With A, knit two rounds plain
With B, *sl 1 pwise, k1* to end
With A, knit two round plain
With B, *k1, sl 1 pwise* to end
work the rounds in bold a total of 3 times.
With A, knit 1 round plain***
with scrap yarn, k 6, sl these 6 sts back onto left handle needle
Knit 1 round plain
###With B, *sl 1 pwise, k1* to end
With A, knit two rounds plain
With B, *k1, sl 1 pwise*
Now repeat the rounds in bold one more time
With A, knit two rounds plain
Change to 4mm needles
With B, work 3 rounds 1x1 rib and cast off.


Unpick waste yarn, and working in 1x1 rib, pick up and work the 6 sts hanging from base of hole, pick up and work 2 sts from side of hole, pick up and work 6 sts along top of hole, pick up and work 2 sts down final side of hole.  Work 3 rows 1x1 rib, cast off.

Other hand:

Work as for first glove to ***.
With A, k 10, change to scrap yarn, k 6, sl these 6 sts back onto left needle, finish knitting round with A.
Continue as for first glove from ###

  • A stretchy cast on is good, eg. tubular, or I just used an alternate cable cast on where sts are cast on k or pwise alternately, and then worked as they appear on the first rib row to establish patt, which is almost as good as tubular
  • when carrying yarn for the sl st rows, ensure tension remains fairly loose or elasticity of knitting will be affected
  • cast off in rib or some other way which allows give
  • when about to cut the scrap yarn to pick up for the thumb, you may wish to do this first:
to save fiddling about trying to catch stitches which have slipped away from you, which can be esp tricky with a sl st pattern so worth doing IMO

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Sunday - stuff

Went for a lovely walk with my brother today (I didn't bother taking a picture of him because he always gurns in photos). It was fresh and a bit damp but not very cold.  Just a british day.

I wore my new gloves that were finished last night.  Look, it turns out they are reversible
I think I actually prefer them inside out.

This is the scary moment where you cut out the waste stitches to pick up for the thumb. Gotta love that adrenalin rush.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Saturday - gloves

I have some fingerless gloves I knitted ages ago from rainbow yarn.  A friend noticed them and asked me to knit her some.  I hate knitting for other people so I told her I don't where I can get the yarn anymore (which is true anyway).  They bug me a bit though because they are acrylic, and I have become a snob.  Also being acrylic, they aren't all that warm.

So I thought, well I'll just knit myself some more fingerless gloves, which would be a fun thing to do.  And I could give her the rainbow ones if she likes them that much.  I am trying to be the sort of person who only has one of each thing you see.  And encouraging the children to be the same.  Because it is much easier to find your gloves in the hat/scarf/glove/crap basket, if you only own one pair each.

So here is the first one
Its quite chunky but thats good.  Its a wool/alpaca mix so warm, but not too scratchy.  I didn't want great long cuffs on them, long cuffs are good for warmth, but if I want to be the sort of warm which requires draught exclusion I will wear proper gloves or mittens.  If I just fancy a bit of fingerless glove type warmth, I want them short and to the point and not getting in the way of things.  I knitted the same pattern as in abi's socks cos I liked it, it makes them a bit thicker, and its easy.

Its nice and warm.  The thumb is done by knitting a bit of scrap yarn across a few sts halfway up, then when its finished, snipping out the scrap and picking up the sts left loose.  Last time I tried this it left little gaps on either side, so this time I picked a couple of sts up on each side as well (if you see what I mean) and that was most satisfactory.

I'll put the pattern up if you like.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Tuesday - lots of socks

Socks I've knitted so far this year.  Bought abs some new shoes the other day, she was wearing a pair of these when she got fitted, so I'm going to have to make sure she has plenty more, otherwise her shoes will fall off.  Nothing like a bit of pressure to get the needles going.  The good thing about this, however, is that she will grow out of the shoes about the same time it becomes too warm for thick knitted socks.  And then her shoes should fit again, hurrah!
These are my fave pair.  They are nice and thick as all the patterns are slip stitch colour patterns, which also meant only one colour per round, hurrah!
Current pair...purple with novelty fluffy bobbles.  Hmm.
My new baby...I love this.  Soooo much.  I ofte just look at it and smile. It is a great feminist bag, it would be awesome for bashing men, its very tough and the corners probably wouldn't notice if you stood on them.  Whenever I get a new bag, I expect it to change my life by making me organised, greater feelings of self worth etc.  I think this bag may be the one to finally live up to my expectations, and I hope we grow old gracefully together.  I've wanted it for nearly two years after seeing the co. linked to angry chicken (cambridge satchel co. if you care)

Dan and I made wheat bags today.  He made a pattern he thought each of us would like: bear for abs, cloud for me, and mushroom man for himself.  Don't you just love it when computer games and craft cross over?

Monday, 17 January 2011

Monday - I'm back! Scarves and socks

Woo I finally have a proper internet connection, hurrah!  Which is lucky as I have really missed blogging!
My latest knitting pleasure has been this lacy baktus...knitted from 100% silk it is an absolute dreeeeam to knit and feel.  Mmmmmm.  I spent quite a while just squishing it before deciding its fate.  It is the most expensive skein of yarn I have ever bought by a loooong way, but sooo worth it.  The only time I've taken it off was to try this:

And of course, it looks so much better on her than me.  Shawls tied this way make me think of larkrise to candleford, which is my only weakness.  I am definitely going to knit another bigger one of these someday, so that I can wear it the same way.  Probably not from silk though, unless I get me a sugar daddy.  Am trying very hard not to buy this orange skein, because I'm not really an orange person.  If you are, you should get it.

Also, I have been on a sock drive.  Here's the latest pair.

You're going to have to excuse my awful phone pictures until I can get me a digital camera.  I do have one but its no better than the phone! 

Soon I will do a post about all the socks I've knitted since xmas.  I'm addicted.

Friday, 14 January 2011


I can't post properly at the moment, I don't have a broadband connection so can't upload pictures which makes it all a bit pointless. I think I'll get me one of those dongle thingies, but in the meantime what's to stop me rambling on?

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