Wednesday, 18 November 2009

The Epic tale of Elijah the Elephant

Well I started off with some free Rowan Denim Yarn
- my Rowan International free gift (I didn't really fancy the free bag pattern).

This yarn shrinks and the colour bleeds when you wash it, so I decided to pre-shrink it before knitting with it.

So I used my niddy noddy to wind the balls into skeins tied each several times and put a three into a pillowcase sealed that and washed them at 40degrees on a normal wash. I thought I had been pretty careful, but I got a bit of a shock when my yarn went from this:

to this:

But in fact it wasn't as bad as it looked - the skeins were all still intact and could have been wound from a swift with some care. However I do not have a swift, so I then had to wind each ball by hand with the skein around my knees.

The blue bits on the floor are 'fluff' that has come off the yarn - it went EVERYWHERE. I had to hoover about 10 times to get rid of it.

I ended up with some hand wound balls:

Which I then wound into centre pull cakes on my ball winder:

THEN I started knitting! I loved this pattern and will probably knit it again - but not in a denim/cotton yarn. The tight gauge to stop the stuffing falling out / small needles / fiddly picking up stitches absolutely killed my fingers - I think it looks great knitted up though.

I am very pleased with him, my fingers have just about recovered and I think he looks pretty happy too!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Bernard's Hat

Despite the fact that I have decided that I am not going to stress myself out by knitting presents for other people this year, I have knitted my Grandad (Bernard) a hat.

My Grandad is definitely knit-worthy, I am not quite sure why I haven't knitted things for him in the past. I think it could be because he was living with a knitter and I didn't think he would need any scarves etc which was about all I could knit then.

Anyway - I knitted my Grandad a cowl a few weeks ago when he was ill. He loves it - he wore it everyday when my Mum stayed with him. Mum then told me how he needed a new hat as they had to throw away his old knitted hats (I think they had got to the point of falling apart).

So I have designed a hat for my Grandad - it is quite manly, but also fun (this is for the man who taught me to roller skate and dance, despite the fact that he was 70 when I was born!). I hope he likes it - and I have written the pattern down just in case you fancy a quick and easy bulky knit hat as well.

Bernard's Hat

Size 10mm dpns
Super Bulky Yarn - I used LANG Merino 50 Superwash (colours 4480 and 4488) - 90m/100g
Edited to add- I used less than 1/2 of each ball

Cast on 48 stitches in MC (I used cable cast on for a stretchy hem)
Join in the round being careful not to twist - place marker to indicate beginning of round

Row 1 MC- Knit
Row 2 MC- Knit
Row 3 MC- Purl
Row 4 MC- Purl

Change to CC (*)

Row 5 CC -Knit
Row 6 CC- Knit
Row 7 CC - Purl
Row 8 CC - Purl

*I carried the other colour by twisting the colours at the beginning of each round, but you could cut the colour at the end of each set of 4 rounds if you wish

Repeat these 8 rows twice more (Rows 9 - 24 so you have 3 stripes of each colour).

This is a close up of the decreases (it's quite difficult to take a photo of the top of your own head)

Row 25 MC - Knit
Row 26 MC - K4, K2tog - repeat across round (40sts remaining)

Row 27 CC - Knit
Row 28 CC - K3, K2tog - repeat across round (32sts remaining)

Row 29 MC - Knit
Row 30 MC - K2, K2tog - repeat across round (24sts remaining)

Row 31 CC - Knit
Row 32 CC - K1, K2tog - repeat across round (16sts remaining)

Row 33 MC - Knit
Row 34 CC - K2tog - repeat across round (8sts remaining)

Cut yarn and pull through remaining 8 sts.

Again- difficult to take photo's of yourself - honestly I am happy with this hat and I hope I normally don't look this scary!

Please contact me if you find any mistake with this pattern- as it has only been knit by me (so far). Please only knit this pattern for personal use - do not sell the pattern or items knit from it without contacting me.

Many thanks.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Be back soon...

Sorry to anyone who is expecting a proper blog post - I have loads of things going on at the moment, but will post again soon. Until then here are some of the things that I am knitting at the moment:

Monday, 12 October 2009

An Old Friend

I went to Ally Pally on Sunday to help out on the 'Knit1 Pass it on' stand run by the UK Handknitters Association. It was really fun and I had a great time teaching people to knit or reminding people of a forgotten skill.

On my way out after a long day - I spotted an old friend.

I had a look around but couldn't see the ugly jellyfish anywhere - the is probably for the best though! The rest of the 'Coat for a boat' looked amazing though!

Monday, 28 September 2009

Magic Moments...

I don't think I will ever fail to love the process of blocking:


and After

(this is my 'Enchanted Canopy' Shawl - from Forest Canopy Shawl pattern by Susan Lawrence)


I think my favorite thing about living in London (except actually seeing my boyfriend - unlike before when I was in Newcastle) is the amount and variety of different things going on.

For example last week at the VandA I took part in a gilding workshop 'Be bold, be gold' as part of Design week. I took along an object to be gilded (surprise, surprise I took some knitting needles).
The needles that I took are a pair of old bamboo needles that I don't think that I have ever actually used - but now they look amazing. I would defiantly have a go again in the future.

It was surprisingly easy
- paint on the size
- leave it to dry
- talc your fingertips
- lay the gold leaf on the item
- rub it with a paintbrush

And admire.....

Thursday, 24 September 2009

My name in lights ...... well not quite

But it is my name in print and I am quite excited anyway!

The book comes out in the beginning of October (Amazon informs me on the 7th) but I got my preview copy early. The book has got lots of nice pictures and it does look good, but I am not quite sure who will need / want to knit 30 different Coffee cozies? Mind you I can't really talk as I have an increasing pile of hand-knit shawls in my bedroom!

I am still very proud - I think it looks great!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

I love lace!

After my original thoughts about knitted lace disappeared (i.e who would wear a shawl) it turns out that I think lace is my favorite thing to knit ever (well at least right now)!

I finished my second Ishbel shawl in time to wear it to the wedding, it is a gorgeous dark purple tweedy yarn - hmmm maybe tweed lace is my favorite thing to knit ?

I had also completed my first ever garment Lisel (also designed by Ysolda Teague) which only took a couple of days to knit - I am really pleased with it and have started knitting another - this time with sleeves.

The second one may take a little longer as I have been distracted by yet more lace! Forest Canopy shawl - I have named my version enchanted forest though due to the stunning colours of the yarn that I am using:
And with the lace spread out a little so you can see the leaves:

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

I Knit Weekender

I had a brilliant time on Friday and Saturday last week. I spent two days at the Royal Horticultural Halls surrounded by knitting.

Friday morning I met up with Sue (despite having forgotten my phone in all the excitement to get there) and we went to a talk about 'Unexpected Knitting' by Debbie New. I was really inspired by this talk and hope to one day knit my own lace boat - kidding (kind of). Debbie showed us all sorts of fascinating items and garments - I really loved her kaleidoscope cones.

Then on to the marketplace which was full of so many amazing yarns, I could hardly choose. After several walks around and seeing many familiar faces I purchased some lovely things:

A shawl pin

A large purple button

Some 2ply Lambswool (black)

Some 2ply Alpaca (black)

And some stunning purple 2ply 100% silk

Can you tell that I have been bitten by the lace bug? Or that I love black and purple?

Then on Friday afternoon I met up with Mel to go to the Alice Starmore talk 'Influences on Design'. Alice showed some stunning photographs of the Isle of Lewis and talked a little about the history of the way of life there. Very interesting - I am not sure it has quite convinced me on knitting a whole 4ply fair-isle jumper, but I am pretty sure I have said the same about lace in the past so who knows!

I then made my way over to the Knitting and Crochet Guild stand to help out there for a bit - I did nip off when it was quiet to go and get my Whimsical Little Knits book signed by Ysolda Teague (please note the purple tweedy Ishbel - I am going to get some better photos for a later blog).Thanks to Sue for the photo! (I fell in love with the jade coloured jumper that is just over my shoulder - there maybe some more grey chunky knitwear in my future...)

Then to end the day a fashion show, there were some very wearable knitted items and some that I would need to be convinced of to leave the house - but very impressive none the less.

Then Saturday began with a bit more inspiration (i.e shopping) where I managed to only buy a set of KnitPro metal interchangeable needles (starter pack only) that I have been lusting after for an age. I love my Denise Set - but these ones are shiny :) I was really pleased because I managed to finish my Leisl (which I had only started on Wednesday night) on Friday so that I could wear it on Saturday (again further pictures to come!)

I then had a class with Annie Modesitt - amazing knitter/teacher/ woman. I learnt loads about modular knitting and was shocked to learn that the squares are not made by increasing then decreasing, but by decreasing only - the crazy world of knitting!

Then another couple of hours on the guild stand where I was lucky enough to get to chat to Joyce Meader and Woolly Thoughts - Pat Ashworth and Steve Plummer for a couple of minutes.

All in all a great two days - Thank you I Knit - see you again next year?

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Bank Holiday Weekend

I was very busy this weekend:



I also managed to buy a new bike and go for a 7 1/2 mile walk. I need a holiday!

Friday, 14 August 2009

Happiness is.....

I have finally finished voting on the Ravelry 2nd Annual Bobby Awards. I was lucky to be part of the 200 volunteers to narrow down the original nominations to a more manageable size.

It has been really interesting and I have really enjoyed it, my queue and favorites have grown exponentially. It has also been hard work 6419 nominations spread over 30 categories. We were allowed to vote for 5 items in each category (which was soooo difficult - most colourful stash nearly killed me!). The deadline is on Sunday (I know shocking that I got something done before the last minute)

I can't wait to see what the final selections for everyone to vote for will be. I am really looking forward to getting back to having some knitting time in the evenings! I love Ravelry.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Injury Time

Hello, just wanted to write and say sorry - I was planning on finally doing a photo shoot of some finished objects, but no can do! I have fallen on my foot and now can't walk/move (I'm gonna see how it feels later because I think I could have potentially broken a couple of toes). I will have to take the photos another day, because my poor boyfriend is already having to run around after me as it is!

Monday, 20 July 2009

Last week of the tour de fleece and knitting swaps

I have continued to spin everyday. I am very proud of myself. I will take photos of all my yarn on Sunday (there isn't that much of it, but I do love it all). I did want to post today to show off the lovely parcel I received from my UK swap partner:

This photo does not do it justice - my camera is still not working and the camera on my phone had a bit of a breakdown this evening - ARGH! I love everything- but the Space Invader necklace I am absolutely over the moon with! There is also a beautiful wooden shawl pin. It is all just perfect!

I really hope that my swap partner will like her package half as much as I love mine!

Monday, 13 July 2009

Tour de Fleece - Update week 1

Well today is a rest day ( I might still do a little bit of spinning though). Despite my camera still not working, I have managed to take some photos with my phone.

My first properly finished wheel yarn:

This was spun as two singles, then plied using the wheel as well. I am very pleased it. I have washed it to set the twist and just need to knit it now!

This is a picture of my week 1 totals:

-The caked yarn is above

- The red yarn on the drop spindle was spun on the wheel, but then plied on the spindle

-The brown baby alpaca was spun on the wheel - I have another 1/2 to do then I can ply it.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Tour de Fleece - Day 4

Well I have not had the best day - my bike was stolen and now my camera refuses to be connected to my computer. Argh! I can assure you that I did do some spinning last night - and I will do a tiny bit tonight. Hopefully next week I will be able to get a bit more done after my course has finished.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Tour de Fleece - Day 3

This is the result of plying day 1 and day 2 together. I am pretty pleased with it. You can probably see the corner of my Ishbel blocking in the background.

Today I have done some drop spindling (I actually managed to move on from park and draft!). I'll post a picture of that tomorrow.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Tour de Fleece - Day 2

Yes it looks almost exactly the same as day one - my plan for tonight is to attempt to ply the two. Who knows how it will look!

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Tour de Fleece - Day 1

This is the wheel that I borrowed from the Guild

I spun about half of this

And it became this

Not too bad for a second attempt - hopefully we should see some improvement over the next few weeks. Mind you if this morning's attempt was anything to go by - it might be back to the drop spindle for me!

I'm off to do my day 2 spinning now - will post pictures of that tomorrow.