Thursday, 30 July 2009

Ramble and no photo?! WTF?!

Oh my goodness, I take back everything I said about socks being simple!

I don't know whether it's just the pattern I'm using but I really can't understand what I'm supposed to be doing with the heel.

I could look it up on youtube or knitwitch or something, but of course what I've actually done is scout around for patterns for toys knit in the round instead. Boooo to socks! I really don't get it.

I do want to finish Nick's honeymoon socks at some stage, but while I'm feeling so rough (I have a cold on top of my post-wedding crash now too) I just don't want to have to concentrate too much.

I came across Danger Crafts on Etsy and have completely fallen in love with the Daphne and Delilah pattern, but I'm not sure I can manage it just yet. I haven't mastered Magic Loop and I don't really have any spare DPNs (apart from the ones free on Let's Knit a while ago), plus I shouldn't be buying patterns when I'm already stressing about not having any money since the wedding.

I'm still trying to get hold of Alan Dart's Irrisistable Gifts To Knit book which is supposedly available in Sainsbury's and on the MyFavouriteMagazines website, but the only place I ever find it is on Ebay. I can't afford to buy it this month so I'll probably see it everywhere I go.

Well, this was more of a ramble than a blog post so I should probably sign off here!

Wednesday, 29 July 2009


I haven't updated this blog in so long! I can't even remember how many projects I've finished since that ugly little clown (I think if I take the awful hat off he might look okay!) but the hearts for the wedding invitations and the top tier of the wedding cake are certainly worth a mention!

I'm also on my first pair of socks now, which I consider a massive leap for a novice knitter! I went to RingARosie in Whitley Bay while I was on honeymoon and as I didn't have a specific project in mind I didn't know how to choose from all of their lovely yarn! They had a display of sock yarn so I decided to bite the bullet and give it a go. Nick chose some self-striping yarn and I bought some bamboo DPNs, and despite every other (short-lived) attempt failing, I got it straight away!

Okay, so I was doing it inside-out, but a quick message on Ravelry had that fixed and now I have half a sock hanging from my (four) needle(s)!
I'm having a hard time recovering from the wedding and honeymoon so I haven't been doing much of anything, but picking the sock up from time to time is surprisingly relaxing. I still don't think I'm going to turn into a sock knitter though :s

I don't know when I'll stop feeling like a novice knitter, but I don't feel quite so nervous when I walk into a proper yarn shop anymore!

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Clowning around

Since I finished Sam's teddy my health has dipped seriously and I've been avoiding any *real* knitting (even though I STILL haven't finished the wedding cake).

I've done a clown from Jean Greenhowe's little gift dolls because I wanted something small, simple and colourful, but I don't like him - the curse of Jean (I always either love her patterns, or bloody well hate them!). I don't think I stuffed him properly and for some reason his hat just wouldn't go right no matter what I did.

The problem is, I was hoping he'd be one of the toys for the entertainment packs for the wedding - we're doing boxes for each child so they don't get bored, and I was hoping to knit a little gift doll for each box. Considering how much time I'm going to have to spend doing nothing I think I should manage (I'd need another six dolls), but I don't know whether he's good enough to put in or whether he's an embarrassment?

It's always difficult to tell when it's your own work as you get so critical, but as I really don't like him I think I'd be uncomfortable whatever.

Sam's teddy

This is a teddy I made for Sam's first birthday. I decided to make it on the Thursday night before his birthday party on Monday afternoon. It was a bit of a constant knit but it was worthwhile and I ended up loving the teddy. I know that with Jean's patterns I tend to either utterly fall in love with the finished objects or completely hate them, so I took a chance and was lucky. Sam seemed to like him as he gave him a slug (kiss) as soon as it was unwrapped. I don't know whether he'll be allowed to play with it until he's older as it's kind of fuzzy yarn and there are places where you can see the stuffing through the shaping, but he'd look good sitting on a shelf in his bedroom anyway.
I forgot to blog about this while I was knitting (mostly as I didn't even have time to eat, let alone blog!) but I wanted to put him in here so I could look back at him. I think he's probably my favourite project yet <3

Monday, 6 April 2009

Yarn appreciation!

My coffee table AFTER stash sorting <3
"If you're going to leave your stash everywhere, why not make it look pretty?"

That was the thought in my head when I balled all of the skeins sitting around my living room and put them in a fruit bowl. I'm knitting a blanket in squares in between all of the stressy wedding knitting, so I tend to just leave skeins of DK all over the place. They look much prettier in the bowl!

I'm quite tempted to get some long glass vases and ball up various colours purely for decorative purposes. Yarn just looks so scrummy!

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Dwip creation

As requested, here is the story of the creation of the Dwips.

The little Dwip named Bub was created after my niece got excited about aliens, although I wouldn't like to upset Bub by calling him an alien.

Bub was created using 3mm straight needles, Dk yarn and a little imagination. Dwips can be any size or colour, but Bub was 25 stitches wide and around 5 or 6cm high. He has a couple of stripes, three toes on each foot and a long tail.

Bub's body is simply a rectangle. By stuffing him lightly and pulling up the top corners (which should be the cast-on edge if you want ears/horns) his head had little spikes, a bit like ears. The shaping just comes from the way you stuff the body.

The feet were created by casting on two stitches and knitting one row and then increasing into both stitches and knitting another row, breaking the yarn and repeating this twice more. Then knit across all stitches and knit a couple of rows. Each toe will have threads that need weaving in, and they can be used to stitch the toes into shape.

The tail can be given vertical stripes by simply knitting a couple of long rows, or horizontal stripes by knitting a couple of stitches and increasing the number of rows.
Stitching on the toes and tail make the Dwip stand up, so don't worry about the base not being flat.

Alternatively, Dwips can have long dangly legs to sit on the edge of shelves, or they can have short tails. They can be multicoloured, they can be one colour, they can be knit in the round, they can have beads and buttons... the possibilities are endless!

There will be more Dwips, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Bub the Dwip

This is Bub, and Bub is a dwip.
I had an awful crash in health today, at which point I was unbelievably scared of relapse. Consequently, I have confined myself to the sofa this afternoon, and Bub is what emerged from my needles.
For the last couple of days I've looked after my BEAUTIFUL niece Ellie, who I don't get to spend nearly enough time with, and which is why I'm so exhausted, and this morning she was spotting aliens on my paperchase bag. This inspired the birth of the Dwip, who emerged from the needles as I was too tired to knit anything complicated but wanted to create something new.
I miss knitting toys now I'm knitting for the wedding so I thought I'd have a go at a little creature, and this is the first time I've drawn up a picture and then tried to create it. Bub looks nothing like the picture as he seemed to have consciousness and told me he didn't want long dangly legs and actually wanted toes, but I do love him.
There will be more! Stay tuned for his friends.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Flat garter stitch heart

Here's the pattern for the flat heart I've designed for my wedding invitations. The red one in the picture is slightly more angular than the finished pattern, but I stuck it to a prototype invitation so I photographed the original version.

The large (pink) heart was knit on 3mm needles with baby double knit (to the original 'large heart' pattern).

The small (red) heart was knit on 3mm needles with double knit (to the original 'large heart' pattern). The 'small heart' pattern allows baby double knit to create the same size as this heart.
I don't know why the babyDK seems to have knit up so much bigger than the DK, but I don't have the label for the DK so I can't tell you its properties. Sorry!

Large heart:

If knit in baby double knit this knits up at the size of the pink heart in the photo.
If knit in double knit it knits up at the size of the red heart in the photo.

*CO 3sts
K 2 rows
Inc 1, K to end of row (repeat this row 5 more times)**
Break yarn and leave on needle
Repeat from * to **, casting on same needle sts have been left on
K across both pieces
K row
Inc 1, k across row, inc 1
K 2 rows

# K2tog, k across row, k2tog
K row ##

Repeat from # to ## until 3sts remain

Slip 1st st knitwise, k next st and pass 1st st over (as cast off), k last st, pass 2nd st over.
Break yarn, fasten off, bury ends.

Small heart:
This pattern is for use with baby double knit. Using double knit will create a much smaller heart.

K 1 row
Inc1, k to end (repeat this row 4 more times)**
Break yarn, leaving stitches on needle.
Repeat from * to ** (casting on to same needle sts have been left on)

K across both pieces
K 1 row
Inc 1, k across row, inc 1
k 1 row

# K2tog, k across row, k2tog
K row ##

Repeat from # to ## until end.
Cast off, break yarn, fasten off, bury ends.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

An update

I seem to have been quiet on here for a while, even though I have been knitting away as usual.

I've designed hearts for the front of the wedding invitations and I'm in the process of knitting the wedding cake pattern Alan Dart wrote for Simply Knitting. It's going slowly because the actual wedding planning keeps getting in the way (who knew it took so much organising?!) but it's looking good. Quite a nice size, too - I'm planning on using it as the top tier of the actual cake.

I think I might do smaller versions of the invitation hearts to put on place settings, but I'm not sure how many I'll be able to get done. It seems as though I need to knit until my fingers bleed now!

I've been doing effort-free blanket knitting while I've been poorly too, and have got one square done: pastel stripes 60sts by 80 rows. Hot!

There was a photo with this post, but blooger's being a pain and I'm too tired to keep trying. Being ill is crappy no matter what, but M.E. makes me a right mardy cow!
Edited to add photo after I stopped being mardy. That was the first version of the heart. It's been adapted since then, but it's not vastly different.

Monday, 26 January 2009

My Valentine

I think I may make these hearts for Nick for Valentine's day. We don't usually do Valentine's day, but I know he's bought me something so I should make some sort of effort - and as I will definitely not be crocheting the Link from Zelda I was hoping to give him, these are a cute alternative.

However, this all depends on Cinderella's skirt getting finished some time soon. And I also have a birthday present to knit for February... eep! I have a pattern in mind but I need my 3mm needles, and Cinderella's sitting on them right now!

Sunday, 25 January 2009


Cinderella has been on hold for a couple of days because I made a mistake and couldn't work out whether to rip out a few rows and do it over. I needed to think objectively, which meant giving myself time to stop being so upset about it!

Anyway, after careful consideration I decided not to undo an hour's worth of knitting just because I'd joined the next colour on a purl row instead of a knit row, as even though any knitter can see the mistake instantly I'm making the doll for a four year old girl. Not only will she not care in the slightest, but it's the thought that counts. It takes a lot of energy for me to knit a big project like this, and one extra band of white doesn't matter too much.

Obviously, it annoys me whenever I look at it.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Cinderella shall go to the ball... eventually, maybe?

Cinderella's poor side

Cinderella may take some time!

The skirt took me two days of pretty much solid knitting, and she still needs another skirt, four arms, two sets of hair, patches and flowers. Grr!

But actually, she's quite fun to knit. Just tiring.

I've drawn out some patches that will spell out Ellie's name across her dress and have managed to get the hang of that technique whereby you twist the yarn at the back of the work and carry both colours along with you. What's that called? Fair Isle? Well, I managed it, whatever.

Unfortunately I've been too tired to do much today, and have only managed two plain patches, one stripey one and one with an E on it. Only L L I and E to go :)

Monday, 19 January 2009


Recently, knitting has been my therapy. This means I'm getting through patterns quite quickly and I'm enjoying it because when I finish something it feels like a big achievement, given how distractable I am at the moment.
I've just started a topsy turvy Cinderella doll for Ellie. The intention was to make it for her birthday, but I had expected it to take longer than it is seeming to. I guess I hadn't planned on the power of stress making me knit faster!
I'm planning on knitting for the boys' birthdays this year too, and as they're in April, October and December I think I should have enough time for them all.
Ooh, and what shall I knit for Nick for valentine? I think the Link from Zelda crochet plan might be put on hold... hs birthday's in December so I might make that the deadline instead ;)

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Stash tidying and elephant knitting

Alfie Elephant

Stash organisation system!

I bought some drawers today to keep all my knitting supplies in as they were taking up too much space behind the sofa and I could never find anything. I'd thought about it this morning and then spotted the drawers today - that NEVER happens!

I also finished my little elephant today and lovelovelove him. He's deliberately wonky (unlike most of my accidentally lopsided knits!) and that's because Nick thought he looked cute before I straightened his head on. He was quite fiddly but the more I did the better I got, and I'd be tempted to use the pattern again.

I'm thinking of making a larger size for Sam's birthday, but I'm not sure whether to just use two strands of wool together or to get some chunkier yarn.

In the meantime I'm going to start a topsy turvy doll for Ellie. I started it today but frogged it after eight rows as I spotted a hole and couldn't rest with it there. If I'd been further in I might have just fixed it, but I thought I should try to do it properly. I'm doing the Cinderella one from the christmas patterns booklet, although I might change my mind for the sleeping/awake baby as it looks simpler. Hmm...

I'm also considering knitting the boy dress-up doll for Thom's birthday (lucky these birthdays are all a long way away!) but if I knit for the others I'll need to find something for Mart too... not sure what he might like, bue I'm sure I can think of something.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Crochet for beginners

I do remember being frustrated when I started knitting. Following written instructions is not the easiest, and yet I tried it again when I decided to learn to crochet.

I got hooks for christmas (from Sair, again!) and was over the moon because I've found a pattern I want to make for Nick (a tiny Link from Zelda). I looked at a couple of YouTube videos but didn't get much further than chain stitch (or any further, actually). I didn't know whether I was using the wrong yarn for the hook, or what size hook I should actually be using, or whether I was just making the loops too tight (or how to make them looser!) so I thought I'd order the Happy Hooker book, having had so much luck with the Stitch 'n' Bitch knitting guide.

Well, it arrived today and confused me more than ever! It had some great bits (although the patterns aren't my taste, really) but the guide to single stitch had me wanting to throw the hook. It didn't give me much more info on selecting hooks and yarn, either. But with the help of both the book and the knitwitch's youtube videos, I eventually moved from chainstitch to single stitch - and voila - I have created a tiny little rectangle of crochet! Woo!
(It turns out there are two ways of moving into single stitch from your chain stitches, and the Happy Hooker tells you to do the more complicated version. The KnitWitch simply gets you to poke your hook through the hole and carry on. Fantastic!)

That's enough for today. It's exhausting learning something new! Whoever said crocheting was easier than knitting had obviously been born with a hook in her hand, or was needle phobic. Or simply deranged.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Jimmy Bunny

I bought another skein of brown Big Softie to finish the bunny as the Denim Ultra didn't look right when I tried a leg and an ear.

Unfortunately, I've run out of Big Softie again because I kept messing up the sewing up today - I stitched the ears on and then found that the seam was on his side rather than the bottom, so I unpicked it all (which took bloody AGES) and repositioned them, and yet again the seam seemed to move when I was sewing it up! It's still not in the position I wanted but it's on the underside so I'm not messing around with it anymore.

I don't know whether to knit him his final leg in black yarn and then stitch some black patches onto his fur, or whether to get yet MORE brown yarn....

I also don't know what to do for his eyes. I've got some hella-cute buttons which might look nice, but I haven't decided.

He looks a bit wonky and weird but I actually love him. I didn't think I would and hadn't decided what I was going to do with him, but now I'm keeping him. Maybe it's his imperfections that make me think he's perfect!

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Flopsy bunny

After far too many hats, I have finally got back to knitting for pleasure.

I started a little elephant from a very old Greenhowe pattern, but it's so very fiddly and has been driving me absolutely crazy. Subsequently, a nice easy pattern was calling for my attention today while I was exhausted. Enter Flopsy Bunny.

The only problems I had were these:

1) I didn't have any bunny-coloured yarn other than Big Softie, but I fancied knitting with big needles anyway so I just went for it.

2) I got UTTERLY bored of row after row of stockinette and wanted to throw it a couple of times.

3) I ran out of yarn after the head and body, and so have to decide whether to knit the ears and legs in Denim Ultra (in a grey/beige kind of colour) or to wait until I get some more Big Sofite. I do have more Big Softie, but only in pink or black. Hmmmm....

The bunny has been stuffed and has a ribbon and nose, so he is looking cute already. I just don't like leaving projects half-finished when I've made time to get them done, so I feel a bit sad for him now. Poor bunny.