Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Santa baby

Little Jean Greenhowe Santa! Only took a couple of hours, but I completed him in little pieces over a couple of days to fit around college, teaching and writing an essay.

Really, really easy knit. And in a good way! I didn't get bored because it was little and cute.

I cut the cardboard base a bit too big and couldn't be bothered to change it so he's a bit wobbly, and in future I would probably glue a 2p to the inside so make him a bit heavier at the bottom, but on the whole I'm happy with this first attempt at a Santa.

I'm sure there will be more Santas over the years.

I have been considering knitting the nativity scene but can't convince myself a christian scene is an atheist-friendly christmas decoration! My friend Emma suggested making it into a Jeremy Kyle story and giving Joseph a DNA test which obviously appealed to my frankly crap sense of humour, but it's still a lot of work to put in to knitting a scene I won't explain to my niece and nephews. Do I want them to play with bible toys? But they're so cute! I've got another year to decide anyway, as I'll never finish them by christmas. Probably even next christmas.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Sirdar Big Softie knitwear

I knitted myself another hat to replace my dark grey Rowan one (it pretty much broke my heart when I realised I'd lost it!) and then decided to use the leftover yarn for a pair of mitts (pictured) and a neck warmer (waiting to be blocked, and I need some cute buttons for it). The set of three could probably be completed in a day if you didn't have anything else on, and it took three skeins (of Sirdar Big Softie) so a total cost of approximately £6.60 which is such a bargain.

Monday, 10 November 2008


I adapted a Jean Greenhowe pattern to create a snowman for the Moving Beyond Rectangles winter KAL but I'm not overly happy with the way he turned out.

Because it was a pattern for a baby, the head is not quite as big and round as I would probably like for a snowman. The colours I used for his hat and scarf are nice and bright though, although they were awful to knit with!
I also need to work on my sewing skills. I'm pretty confident with knitting now, but my sewing lets me down and as I'm mostly knitting toys it looks pretty messy.

I've found another Jean Greenhowe pattern for a real snowman and it looks really cute so I might see how that goes, but for now I'm knitting a christmas tree fairy as we've just bought our tree but don't have anything for the top of it. I don't know if she'll weigh the whole thing down or fall off, but I'm giving it a go!

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Tiny hat

I've had lots of requests for knitted items which makes me feel like my knitting must look okay or they wouldn't ask! I have to remember to knit a snake for Kate, a kitty for Carla, a hat for Chris, a hat for Jenny, and a hat to replace my slouchy grey one as I lost it in Lincoln :(

I've done another kitty for Jules and a mini version of my stripey slouchy hat for Ellie. It took about an hour and used the leftovers from my hat. I just cast on fewer stitches and then knit to the same pattern and it came out quite cute. She'll like matching Aunty Su anyway.

I ordered a whole load of yarn today ready to get as many christmas presents done and I'm looking forward to taking delivery of it. I don't think I've ever had that much yarn at one time before, let alone lovely soft beautiful gorgeous Sirdar Big Softie.

I've started the Winter Knitalong but it's going slowly because of the fun chunky knits I've got going. Small needles are just so slow! I WILL do it though.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Another kitty

I loved Katy the Kitty so much that I decided to try another. I used chunky yarn and came out with the above kitty, named Pele by Nick.
I'm going to do one for Nick's Mum for christmas, so I need to find some nice cat-coloured wool. I have a ginger in mind, but it might turn out grey.
I always wanted to knit toys, and now I have done my first two in one day!


I have always wanted to knit toys, and although Mo and Mary will probably be played with they don't really count.

Today I did it though!
The penguins are on hold for the Winter KAL on Moving Beyond Rectangles, so I got this fantastic free pattern from http://geobabe.livejournal.com/195349.html and made a kitty today :)
This was so easy to make and I intend to make a lot more as christmas presents. They only take a couple of hours and they're so cute!
This one will probably stay with me <3
She is as yet unnamed. I don't know what suits her?

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Mary the draught excluding snake

Mo's girlfriend, Mary.

I haven't started the penguins yet as I lost the pattern and needed something to keep me busy while I was feeling poorly.

So I decided to make Mo a girlfriend. I wasn't happy with how Mo turned out and wanted to see how it would look if I used decent colours and changed the size slightly. Mary has a thinner tail and a flatter head, and I think she looks better for being in nicer colours too. Losing the weird tongue was the best part!

Her eyes were not as intended and she's ended up looking a little bit evil, but I do like her. The colours are much brighter than the photos suggest.

We have a couple of draughty doors in our house, so I may try another style next time I feel low. It's an easy task that requires little concentration, making it perfect for crappy M.E. days, and it always feels better to have accomplished something on the rubbish days.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Mo the draught excluding snake

This is Mo, the recycled draught excluding snake. He's made out of scraps of yarn from my Mum's knitting bag, old clothes I shredded to make the filling, and a couple of buttons from the shredded clothes to make his eyes.

He looks a bit dated and like something your grandma could have made, but I'm quite pleased for a first non-scarf project. He was really just an exercise in increasing and decreasing, and I even put in a bit of knitting on three needles to make his tongue (which looks ridiculous!)

I've always wanted to knit toys, and the thought behind Mo was that the kids can play with him but he'll also be useful for when they're not here.

Next, a family of penguins...

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Poorly Soozy

(£6 bargains!)

I've been disgustingly ill for the last week. I was stuck in the house from the moment I got in from work on Monday morning until the moment I had to leave for work on Friday evening. And I did not want to go to work!

I did manage a *bit* of knitting in that time, but not a lot - a couple of rectangles for the blanket and a few stripes of Nick's scarf.

Today I did manage to get to the market after work, and there I got knitting needles for 25p a pair and double knit yarn for £1 a skein. Bargains! I checked out the new craft shop too but it only stocks designer yarn at ridiculous prices. Yeah, some of it looks a bit like heaven, but I'm not paying £7 for a 50g ball!

I'm too tired to knit again today. It sucks big style. But at least the claw is beginning to heal!

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Blanket beginning

I've been poorly for a few days so I haven't been able to knit. For some reason it just wasn't working while I was feeling rubbish - I was dropping stitches, knitting purls and making a mess.

Luckily, this evening I've been able to do a bit again, so I've done the first square for my blanket.

I tried stockinette stitch (which I've only done on sample squares before) and I also designed a very basic pattern for a raised heart and managed to put that onto my square. It's not too easy to see on the multicoloured yarn, but I think it's sweet all the same.
I don't know what else I'll do for the blanket, or what I'll do for the squares to send Maddie, but I think it's a nice project as it's small and manageable for when I'm not feeling up to anything big. i can do simple squares or try something more complicated, and then hopefully it will all go together at the end.
It's quite exciting!

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Mother-daughter bonding

Today while I was at my Mum's spending time with my niece my Mum dug out her old knitting bag (by bag I really mean suitcase!) and gave me a load of old patterns and yarn.

We found an old piece my Nan had been knitting and it made me so glad I'd got back into knitting now she's not here. It feels like a link between the generations, and reminds me of when she taught me.

There was also an old toy my Mum had started and was midway through. Looking closely at the stitches and seeing how simple it was made me feel much more confident that I can move on to more than scarves.

Mum then taught me how to do cables, and I was utterly surprised at how simple it was. When I saw the pictures in my stitch and bitch book and saw the three needles I thought I'd never be able to do it! Every time I try something new I'm blown away by how complicated it seems to start with and then how quickly it becomes something you barely have to think about.

I hope I never stop knitting again. Right now I'm addicted and I really want to keep it that way, even if my left hand is slowly turning into the claw of pain! I just hope I won't be one of those people who gets bored easily, or who messes up a project and throws it aside in frustration and then never comes back to it. It's like therapy, and I want to keep it!

Saturday, 4 October 2008

No praise today

I've finished three scarves this week, and as these are my first three projects I've been really excited.

I know they're simple, but as much as I've wanted to move on to more complicated stuff I've also been aware that I need to learn to walk before I can run (and other clichees).

However, I told Phyllis about the scarves thinking she would be full of encouragement, and she just scoffed at the lengths I'd made ("that's too short!"), laughed at the fact that I'd only used one stitch ("what, the same stitch all the way through?!") and rubbed it in that she's knitting jumpers. She's been knitting for about seventy years and she can't muster up a bit of praise for a newbie?

My Mum was nice to me. She even said the one I don't like was pretty.

Anyway, it's stopping me from thinking about how tired I am and it's not too tiring in itself, so I shouldn't be bothered about people being crappy. It's my catharsis and even if what I knit is utter shit, it doesn't matter.

I think everyone's going to hate me when I give them all wonky scarves for every birthday and christmas for the rest of ever, though.

In other news, the Stitch 'n' Bitch book is marvellous. I feel like the whole knitting world is at my feet now!

Sair is the most thoughtful person in the world. Getting me back into knitting and introducing me to Ravelry was fantastic. I feel like I owe her a lot.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

More scarves!

Today I've bought a big bag full of yarn ready for knitting scarves for christmas presents. And for me.

I'm getting better at working out what size to look for and I don't feel like so much of a novice when I venture into the wool shop. I can speak to the staff without feeling as though I need their permission to pick up a pair of needles.

Speaking of which, I also bought some new needles in the Fabric sale. I might get some more while they're half-price, so I need to work out what would be useful. How do you work out which needles to invest in and which are going to serve you well for years to come?

See, I'm still a novice really. But the Stitch and Bitch book makes everything so much simpler!

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

My first project

My pretty boyfriend, Nick, modelling my new scarf:

I've been knitting for around a month now but after TWICE being told I was doing things all wrong I have only just managed to finish my first project.

I'm pleased with myself because I had never used 20mm needles before, never used chunky yarn before, never used two colours before, and never actually tried to make anything specific before - but a couple of hours later I had a hella-long two-colour chunky-knit scarf!

Using the big needles and chunky yarn made it so much easier to see what I was doing and gave me a real sense of instant gratification because I could see it all happening in front of my eyes - one row gives you over an inch of knitting! It took much less concentration and didn't seem so difficult to keep hold of, so it wasn't as tiring on the old M.E. while I was getting started.

It ended up a bit wonky and untidy, but I was happy with it all the same. I'd definitely do more chunky knitting now.

If I get this sense of euphoria every time I finish a project then I'll definitely be an addict in no time at all! It's so exciting!

I can't wait to move on to more complicated stuff now. I know I should probably work on getting neater but I just want to do more!