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

Friday

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!

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Beach!

Yesterday was perfect beach weather, at least for a pale and easily burned person such as myself. It was reasonably warm, but cloudy, and the rain stayed off for most of the day. I took my kids to Portobello, and we spent a few hours playing on the sand, tentatively paddling in the freezing cold water, and enjoying a picnic. I had forgotten how everything has a slight crunch to it when you eat on the beach, the sand seems to get everywhere! Some seagulls came and stole our sandwiches, and we found lots of weird shaped seaweed and a few interesting shells. My son enjoyed digging a hole that was almost deep enough for him to disappear into.
 
 
I was going to get on with some knitting while the kids were playing, but I soon realised that there was too much sand flying about. This is what happened to me instead!
 
 
It was a really fun day out, finished off by a brief visit to some of Portobello's charity shops. I found  a rather fabulous black sequinned jacket, but resisted temptation and came home empty handed. The kids slept on the train home, and I cast on a baby jacket in a pretty shade of blue cotton. It's knitting up really fast, I've nearly finished the back already, so hopefully I will have another thing ticked off my to-do list by the end of the week.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Super Soft Baby Knitting

I've really enjoyed knitting this little commission, a hat from Sirdar, and the Textured Cuff Booties from 50 Baby Booties to Knit by Zoe Mellor. I used Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, a beautiful soft yarn which is perfect for baby items. It's machine washable, which is always an essential when knitting for babies and small children. I was asked to knit the set in white, not a colour I'd usually choose, but I actually love the simplicity of it combined with the different textured stitches.
 
 
 
I love this hat pattern. I've used it so many times, and it adapts perfectly to different types of yarn. You can also add earflaps to make it into a winter hat, and it will button under the chin to stop a wriggly baby pulling it off!
 
 
The booties were super quick to knit - I made one in my lunch hour at work today, and still had time to eat. I really like the textured moss stitch cuff, and there's a hidden rib section behind it, to ensure that the booties will stay on properly. I was a bit dubious about the sizing, as they seem tiny, but I think I've just forgotten how small new babies are!
 
 
Next up, I'm going to make a classic cotton jacket for my cousin's baby. I'm really enjoying this quick and easy baby knitting, although it is making me broody!

Monday, 30 June 2014

Who Wants To Hop?

I've been tagged in a blog hop by Little Woolie, and I'm looking for three other people who'd like to join in! I'll post my blog next Monday, answering some questions about my creative process, and the sorts of things I like to make. If you'd like me to introduce and link to your blog, so that you can take part as well, just comment below - it's fun, and a great way to let new people find your blog.