Monday, 12 January 2015

Squishy Winter Gloves

A couple of weeks ago, I lost my cosy Swedish Fish Mittens on the bus. Not to worry, I thought, I'll just dig out my older pair of mittens and wear those instead. A couple of days later, I got off the bus and took the free paper instead of my mittens, which were still on the seat. Devastated! Those mittens took ages to knit, and they were the warmest things you could imagine. I knew it would take me days, perhaps even weeks, to create a replacement, and I just didn't have that much time on my hands. Besides, it was freezing, and I needed new gloves right now!

Then I remembered that I have a pattern book called "Hats, Scarves and Gloves" by Louisa Harding, which has a really easy DK glove pattern in it. I had a wee look in my new stash from Wool Warehouse - all Drops yarn, and such lovely stuff.

The mustard coloured Karisma jumped out at me as perfect glove yarn. It's woolly, warm, and has a great squishy feel to it. Both gloves took four hours to knit, tops. Not even exaggerating! It's a brilliant pattern (called Toasty Tweed, by the way), and apart from having to do seaming, I can't find fault with it. So now I have warm hands, and I may well dig into my stash and replace the fish mittens at my leisure, some time in the future!

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Ripple Blanket

I've spent the past month working on a big blanket for my sofa. It's the Cottage Ripple by Lucy from Attic24, and I used the yarn pack and pattern from Wool Warehouse.

This blanket was a joy to make! I started out thinking that I wouldn't enjoy crocheting ripples. It seemed like a lot more work than a standard granny stripe blanket, and I thought I'd get bored quite quickly. I set myself a target of three stripes a day, and stuck to this plan for a couple of weeks. Then life got a bit busier, and I ended up finishing the whole thing in a burst of activity just after Christmas. It's huge! It easily covers a single bed, perfect size for sofa snuggling.

Monday, 22 December 2014

New Free Pattern

Just a quick post to say that I've released a new free pattern for some fingerless gloves. They were inspired after a disastrous attempt to knit gloves from an existing pattern, so I ripped back to the cast on and started again with my own design.

These fingerless gloves are knitted up very quickly in the round. They have long cuffs to keep the wrists warm, and leave the fingers and thumb free to deal with touchscreen phones or dig change out of pockets. The rib is very stretchy, so they should fit a range of adult sizes. The pattern can also be adapted to fit larger or smaller hands, simply by adding extra stitches and knitting more rows. The gloves are ideal for knitting up scraps, as they use no more than 50g of each colour of yarn.

I made these gloves in a couple of evenings, so if you're looking for a last minute Christmas present idea, these might be ideal. The pattern is available for free in my Ravelry store - Striped Gloves Free Pattern.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Minion Hat

I absolutely love the Despicable Me films, mostly because of the adorable little minions - who are apparently getting their own movie soon! Last year, I did a lot of minion related knitting and crochet and this week I was asked to make another minion hat for a friend. It's a really easy knit, and fits most sizes of children and adults. The eye is crocheted and sewn on later, and the pattern has instructions for embroidering a mouth as well, if you fancy. Here's my daughter modelling it, with a classic minion expression!

Friday, 11 July 2014

Baby Gift

I finally finished the little cotton jacket for my cousin's baby. I love the pattern, it's very simple and classic, and also quite unisex. It's a Sirdar design, published in Knitting magazine a few years ago.
I knitted this one in Patons 100% Cotton 4ply from my stash, and the whole jacket used only one ball of yarn in a 6-12 month size. It's quite a time-consuming knit, but I think it's worth it. I really like the textured feel of moss stitch. These daisy buttons are cute too! I've started knitting some baby hats with more of my stash, so hopefully the three boxes of yarn will be decreasing in size very soon.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Creative Process Blog Hop

I was tagged in a blog hop by Julie from Little Woollie, about my creative process. I really enjoyed reading Julie's answers to the different questions - it's always fascinating to find out how someone else works, and the kinds of things they like doing. So, here are the questions!
What am I working on?
So many things! I'm a serial project starter, and always have far too many works in progress. I don't even stick to knitting and crochet - there's a half-finished patchwork quilt stashed away somewhere, a felt alphabet book that I started sewing seven years ago, a shirt that has been waiting for buttonholes since 2011, a cotton dress which is all cut out and ready to sew, and a felting kit that my aunty gave me over five years ago. All of these things will be finished at some point, but new and exciting projects keep catching my eye. At the moment I'm still knitting a cotton baby jacket, and I have two sweaters for myself on the needles. I just finished these little baby items, which have gone into a box to await new babies!
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
This is a hard question for me to answer, because I don't feel that I design enough to have a clear style. It is something that I've thought about, from a marketing point of view, if it's better to make things that people can easily identify as yours. However, I tend to make things that I love, and I have quite wide and eclectic tastes! Talking about my design work, I enjoy working with texture and colour, particularly cables and fair isle. I like taking adult designs and reworking them for children, and my notebook is full of ideas that I haven't knitted up yet. My "Wicket" sweater is one of my favourites, and something that I've made for quite a few gift knits.
I'm also quite proud of my "Inishmore" cushion, which is published through Knit Picks.
Why do I write/create what I do?
This question was an easy one to answer - because I love it! If I could spend every day curled up in  a big armchair, surrounded by yarn, design books and colouring pencils, then I would. There are too many ideas in my head, not just for knitting and crochet projects, but for scripts I want to write and artwork I want to create. I'm from a very artistic and creative family, and it's something that I've always been encouraged to do from an early age. Sometimes I've been asked to design to a brief, which I find a lot harder, as I prefer to just wait for inspiration to strike!
How does my writing/creating process work?
As I said, I tend to have lots of ideas, but not enough time to work on them all. I have a big notebook where I will sketch designs, and I also have plans drawn out for two book submissions. Every now and again I will look through all these ideas, and move a bit further towards actually creating them, but it's a slow process. When I create a design, I look up measurement charts if it's for an item of clothing, and then plan out how my chosen stitch patterns will fit with the sizing. I tend to knit first, and then write down the pattern as I go. The maths of knitting is the hardest part for me - it's not my strong point, and I really need to take the time to learn how to use Excel. Grading patterns is my idea of hell! Sometimes I'll feel really inspired to create, and other times I don't work on any new projects for a long time, it just depends. A lot of the time, especially for smaller projects like the cowl below, I won't bother writing a pattern, as the design is a one-off to finish up yarn in my stash.
I've really enjoyed answering the questions for this blog hop, and now I'd like to nominate three more people to talk about their creative process -
Looking forward to reading your blogs!

Friday, 4 July 2014


Today has been a good day. It's been warm enough to get out into the park, and do a bit of outdoor knitting. The sun is refusing to put in an appearance, but at least there's no rain. I made progress on my cotton baby jacket. The back is finished, and I'm halfway up one of the fronts. I love the way the textured moss stitch looks in the cotton, and I can't wait to see how this will look when it's all sewn together.
I also made the mistake of looking through the latest issue of Simply Knitting, and found myself another pattern to add to my to-do list. I really like the look of this sweater, as I have a long body and have problems getting tops that will fit.
This one is designed in a tunic style, which should fit me nicely. I browsed a few websites looking at yarn options, and was very tempted by Drops Extra Fine Merino, but it had some pretty bad reviews on Ravelry. Instead, I think I'll use my old crochet favourite Stylecraft DK, as it will only cost about £8 to make the sweater. Then if I don't like it, I have an excuse to knit a second one in nicer yarn!