Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Eat My Scarf!

After finishing my Cupcake Scarf, I couldn't wait to try some more of the fun patterns from Twinkie Chan's new book. First up is the Pear Scarf, which isn't quite as juicy looking as Twinkie's scarf due to the fact that I only had dk yarn in my stash and the pattern calls for worsted weight. It has been hard to find worsted weight acrylic yarn in a good range of colours. I checked out the market, Hobbycraft and John Lewis and didn't really find the sort of thing I was wanting. Even online yarn stores haven't got the colours I want. If only Lion Brand had more outlets in the UK. Anyways, I found some dk acrylic and decided to go with that. I made most of the pears whilst watching X factor last Saturday. They were quick to make and the pattern was easy to remember after making a few. I discovered that I quite like doing surface crochet as I.. embellished the pears. I like the finished scarf a lot. It is not going to keep me warm but it looks great .
Having enjoyed making the pears, I moved straight on to the Cookie Scarf. Again, I couldn't find worsted weight acrylic so used dk that I already had in my stash. Because the cookies came out smaller I crocheted an extra round to get a decent size. I loved decorating the cookies - surface crochet is great fun! The finished scarf is lovely, really bright , fun and eyecatching.
The pattern I most wanted to make from Twinkie's book was the Gingerbread Scarf, which consists of a whole load of gingerbread men joined together. Finding a yarn in a ginger colour has proved almost impossible. You can get all shades of brown except the gingery one. I think the yarn in the book is a superchunky, so I was thinking of doubling up something thinner if I had to. Couldn't even find a thinner yarn to make the scarf , so have had to content myself with a single Gingie made from some scraps I found. I am going to sew a brooch pin onto his back and wear him proudly over christmas. Still looking for enough yarn to make the scarf.
Meanwhile, there is no stopping me and I have completed about half of the Salad Scarf - Twinkie's patterns are strangely addictive.
Last but not least, here's little Alfie...

Friday, November 19, 2010


I am loving the Twinkie Chan patterns for foodie accessories. They are a whole lot of fun to make and to wear. I finished the Cupcake Scarf in a couple of days - yes, even the sewing up! The cake bases were a cheap acrylic that I already had in my stash and the icing is Sirdar Snowflake Chunky. Not sure what the cherries were made from but it was in my stash and was exactly the shade of red that I wanted. I haven't decided yet whether I should sew on some sprinkles. I checked out Hobbycraft and couldn't find any suitable beads. I must have some lying around somewhere.
I like the scarf so much that I thought I'd make the Cupcake Hat to go with it. The cake part is the same acrylic that I used for the scarf. The lovely pink top is Yarnfair Double Knitting, an acrylic yarn that I bought in Wilkinsons for £1.19. I wil be able to get at least 3 cake tops out of the one ball, so that is a bargain. Lately I have been coming around to the idea of acrylic yarn. It is really cheap and comes in some amazing colours. Twinkie Chan uses it a lot to great effect. I used a 4.5 mm hook for this one and it came out about the right size for Millie.
As it was such a quick crochet, I started another one using a 5.5 mm hook. Although the yarn is dk, it worked up as a really nice firm fabric. I love the shape of this hat. Although it is really simple with no shaping as such, when you put it all together it makes a really effective muffin shape. I took apart an old kids necklace and used some of the beads for sprinkles, because everything's better with sprinkles!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Slippers and cowls and a puppy

Cosy accessories have been the order of the day here lately. I have been eyeing up the many gorgeous versions of Tiny Owl Knits' Amy March Slippers. It is a free pattern that I found on Ravelry -where else! Tiny Owl has designed lots of unbearably cute patterns, including the fabulous Deer with Antlers Hat of which I am so fond. Having read that the slippers can be knitted from a single ball of Rowan Big Wool, I though I might just squeeze a pair out of the almost a ball left over from my Tess Cardigan. Alas! There was enough for about one and half slippers. I don't want to spend another £7.95 for just a few more metres of yarn. A friend from Knitting Club reckons she migh have some scraps left over from a snood - fingers crossed !
I liked the single slipper so much that got stuck in with another pair straight away. This time it is Sirdar Denim Ultra, which I liked a lot. It's very soft and comfortable but a bit splitty when knitting. It's knitted on 6mm circular needles which gives a good firm fabric. Choosing the ribbon and lace ties for these was the best bit.
Just after finishing the Denim ultra pair, I found a single ball of Big Wool in a charity shop for 50p. Yay! What a bargain. I have wasted no time in making up another pair of slippers. I really do love these. There will be more. I can knit a pair in an evening so they are an ideal last minute gift.
Everyone loved the Deer hat that I made for Bear's birthday and I have enjoyed making several more versions, including a baby Deer. It just makes me smile.
I got my lovely knitting friend here to model the dark brown Lamb's Pride version in a woodland setting for me. Exceedingly cute!
The Incognito Cowl from has turned out to be a big success . The first one finished up perfect size for Millie and she seems to like it.
I made a slightly larger one for me with some Cashmerino Aran that I found hiding in my enormous stash. I cast on 80 stitches - next time I would probably cut that to about 72 as one doesn't want one's disguise slipping.
Searching through the enormous stash I came across the huge bag of Jaeger Fur that was once a grizzly bear costume - well , actually, it was really a coat that just didn't work and got frogged. I knitted two lovely snuggly keyhole scarves in record time. Considering making a big fur hat to go with them. Maybe all that fur was good buy after all.
Speaking of fur...
We promised Millie a puppy a while ago and have been looking around for the perfect addition to the family. Today we went to see this totally adorable little Yorkie. He is just 6 weeks old and not quite ready to leave his Mum yet - but when he is, he is coming home with us!!! Can't wait.
I was excited to receive my copy of the amazing Twinkie Chan's Crochet Goodies for Fashion Foodies earlier this week. I have been looking forward to this for ages - it is just so much fun. I had to start a Cupcake Scarf immediately. I am using a cheap acrylic from the market for the cake bases and some chunky Sirdar Snowflake for the yummy fluffy icing. These little cakes are flying off the hook! I am not looking forward to all the sewing up but am keen to see the finished scarf.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween update!

Today we had so much fun carving our pumpkins into Halloween lanterns. Ever since she saw a picture of one on the internet, Millie has wanted to make a puking pumpkin. I don't know why but it captured her imagination in a big way. This afternoon she carefully carved the beautiful pumpkin that we purchased in the week from Willows Farm and staged it dramatically on our doorstep. Good job, I think! It was such a laugh taking pictures of our handiwork and we even managed to get derek to pose as a scary pumpkin headed man. Millie had a go too, but she looked kind of cute.
This blog is supposed to be about my knitting and crochet adventures, so here is a picture of a work in progress. I recently picked up my Crochet By Numbers pattern again after a long break. It seems to be working up a bit more quickly now that I have got the hang of tying on the new colours as I go along. I am not going to reveal the subject of my picture until it is finished.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Getting Colder

The weather has got much colder recently, but surely that is just a very good recent to dig out your fabulous woolly hats and scarves. And perhaps knit some more...
Millie and I are modelling some really furry, warm scarves that I whipped up from the Jaeger Fur frogged from my terrible fur coat effort of last Winter. The pattern was free on the Red Heart website - very simple garter stitch with a slit to pull the end through. I made the first scarf on Thursday night at knitting club and then another at work today - they are seriously quick. On 8mm needles with just 13 stitches to a row, it is possible to finish one in less than 2 hours. I haven't decided yet whether to go for a matching hat. There is plenty of yarn left to play with.
Keeping Millie's toes warm are these great little slipper boots. The pattern is the "Hexagon Boot Slippers" by Priscilla Hewitt - another great design that I got from Ravelry. I made a pair last year and they turned out brilliantly. For some reason these ones have turned out a bit smaller so Millie gets them. I plan to make another pair using a 5mm rather than a 4mm hook in an attempt to cover my own toes stylishly.
This rather hilarious fish hat is not really intended to be worn for warmth - it is more of a fashion statement! I plan to give this as a Christmas gift and am sure that it will get a good reception. Meanwhile, my Hubby kindly modelled it for me. It's a pattern by Christine Grant called the "Something Fishy Fish Beanie" If I made it again I would use a stiffer yarn as the acrylic crepe dk that I chose for this version is rather floppy. I don't like to buy very expensive yarn for hats that probably won't get a lot of wear.

I have been thinking of starting up my Etsy shop again and have been experimenting with some Irish Crochet motifs. The plan is to make some crochet jewelry. So far I am quite pleased with my efforts - this little flower brooch will probably be my first listing.Hope to have more of these to show in my next post.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Little things...

Over the last couple of weeks I have been making smaller items. Some for gifts and some just to try out interesting looking patterns. I have been wanting to try these pretty crochet necklace patterns for a while now and found the perfect yarn in my stash when I was looking for some wool to make mittens with. This delicate one is called the Spring Flowers Neck Piece by Angela Best. It is a free pattern that I found on Ravelry.
I was very pleased with the way that this turned out so I looked around for similar patterns and came up with Flower Necklace Motifs by Elizabeth Lowe. It took an evening to make up the motifs and then another to join them together. Next time I will join as I go along to save time and effort. The yarn was another charity shop purchase, so the cost was almost nothing.
Baby hats are a real pleasure to make - maximum cuteness for minimum effort. These two were from Itty Bitty Hats, which is a lovely book by Susan B. Anderson. I used some Sirdar Snuggly dk from my stash. It is perfect for baby hats as it is very soft and is machine washable. Both hats are for Baby Benjamin who arrived one month early and is apparently very tiny.
Last Saturday I went to Mavis in Bushey, my LYS. They have some fabulous Katia yarns in stock and I just had to treat myself to 2 balls of Memory, despite vowing to use only stash yarn in the foreseeable future. The plan was to knit up some sort of cosy cowl for myself. I made up the pattern as I went along. It's just a simple stocking stitch tube with a ring of eyelets threaded with an icord drawstring. I love the soft, colourful yarn and am pleased with the cowl.
Found this free pattern for Coraline Mittens on Ravelry and just had to make them for Millie. she is a big fan of the strange , creepy, animated film "Coraline". I have finished the first mitten with the cat on it and have started the second which will feature a mouse and button key motif. They look quite cute so far and I am enjoying knitting mittens. There are several more interesting designs in my pattern file that I can't wait to try.
I recently recently crocheted a pair of Persuasion Fingerless Gloves, another pattern that I spotted on Ravelry, and gave them away before I had a chance to photograph them. I liked the design despite the pattern having a lot of errors and the fit being not very good. I have started another pair but got got distracted by other projects. The second mitten will get done sometime soon. Probably. Meanwhile, progress is slow on the Endless Knitted Cardi Wrap. I can't wait to finish this garment as I think it looks great - it is just so boring to knit. I have seen a new version of this design in broomstick crochet which looks like it would be more interesting to make. Perhaps I shall give that a go next.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hats again!

Lots of knitting and crochet going on over the last month - just not much blogging. It is so hard to find a quiet time to update without interruptions. No work this week , so I have managed to take pictures of the latest projects and am now ready to reveal them...
The temperature has dropped considerably this week and that always make me consider the need to wear a warm, woolly hat. There can be few hats cuter than this one,
It is the "Deer With Little Antlers Hat" by Tiny Owl knits. I found it on Ravelry, where you can download it for a very reasonable price. I really feel that everyone should be wearing one of these this Winter. My husband said that it made him feel like the fawn in The Lion , The Witch and the Wardrobe - he certainly didn't look like it! Anyway, the yarn was from my stash and proved to be absolutely perfect for this project. It feels like a Lopi yarn but there were no labels on it - another bargain charity shop purchase. 6 x 100g balls cost me about £2. I can easily get one of these hats out of a single ball so plan to make more of these for Christmas presents. The antlers are knitted from some scraps of Kid Classic which felted very well and stand up in a suitably perky fashion. I love this hat.
Next up is the Blackberry Beret designed by Linda Permann and also downloaded from Ravelry. It was very quick to make and a simple but very attractive design. You can't see the flower shape on top very well in my pictures as the variegated yarn is rather distracting. It looks very nice and is quite a firm fabric and good fit. The yarn is Patons Vintage, which is an acrylic yarn with a cotton binder on it, purchased on sale from Kemps Wools.
Also made from Patons Vintage is this second version of the Sage Remedy Top. I have worn the Sirocco version quite a lot and am equally pleased with this one. It is such a nice shape and works well in so many different types of yarn. I'm sure that I will use the pattern again.
I am making a real effort to use yarn from my stash lately - I had forgotten about some of the yarn that I have packed away in boxes. A long time ago, I bought some Rowan Big Wool and started making a very plain pullover that turned out quite boring and got frogged as soon as it was finished. Rowan Big Wool is quite expensive and should not be wasted so I have been looking for a pattern to suit 6 balls. I decided on the Tess cardigan from Kim Hargreaves' Dark House collection last week . Having cast on, I couldn't put this one down as it seemed to grow so quickly. Just three days to knit and sew up - although I haven't sewn the buttons on yet!
I am fairly pleased with this cardi. I think it will be quite useful.
I have been making lots of baby shoes for a friend who is expecting a baby boy in November. These three are from Sylver design and the patterns are available through Ravelry...
These little boots were a free pattern from the Bernat website. It was a lot of fun making these baby boots.
More stash yarn. This is the pack of Cashsoft Chunky that I bought in the John Lewis sale last year. The Liesl cardigan is ideal pattern when you are not sure how far the yarn will go. It looks good at any length and with any type of sleeve from cap sleeve to full length. It is a top down knit, so you can just keep going until you run out of yarn. This will need some heavy blocking when it is finished - hopefully later today.
Also on the needles is the Autumn Colours Cardi - another fabulous stash busting design by Jane Thornley. I really admire her work. It is inspiring. I may take a while to finish this as I am also working on a few more baby projects at the moment.
...almost forgot! Two more Cloud shawls. The first is in Blur and the secondis double stranded Kidsilk Spray.