Archive for the ‘Knitting Projects’ Category

Noble Cowl

The problem with Christmas presents is that you can’t blog about them while you’re doing them, you rush to get them done and generally forget to take a decent picture, and in all honesty by the time you’ve finished them your sick of the sight of them and can’t be bothered to write anything whitty or insightful about the ‘creative process’ of their production.

Anyway I made these cowls for Christmas for my Mum and Mark’s Mum and it’s actually a really nice pattern (it’s worked in the round so you don’t have to bugger about doing purl rows which I find annoying when doing lace work).

A noble cowl
I hesitate before saying this but I think it’s a nicely easy lace pattern. You can get into a good rhythm with it and it’s not too hard to memorise. Having said this I’ve done a few lace projects so I wouldn’t consider myself a beginner…i.e. don’t do this as your first lace project and then blame me when it becomes a complete mess.

Pretty pleased with the results and very pleased with the beautiful scarf pins that I bought from Tree Gems on Folksy (very quick delivery, nicely packaged etc…sells very cute buttons so go and have a look if you’re a knitter).



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Catchy title no. Oooh it’s been a busy week and knackering week. Bea has been teething (fabulous fun) and has had a very runny nose so she’s been grumpy and tired all week.

The almond milk that I mentioned in my last post turned out really well. It’s super easy to make so if you fancy having a go take a look at this video I don’t have a nut bag, so I just used a muslin (find a friend with a baby…they’ll have tons of them they can give you…if not you can get them really cheaply at Ikea).

I’ve finished the Little Sister Dress that I’ve been working on for what seems like forever (although in fact I only started it at the beginning of January so it took just a few of days over a month).
Little Sister Dress
I decided that it was a little boring so embellished it with a felt bird and a little bit of embroidery. I’ve never done this with knitting before but I think it’s a really easy was to make something look a little more interesting and twee (and for me twee is always a good thing in relation to children’s clothing).

There are more pictures on my Ravelry page (linked to above). In all honesty this dress bored me to tears…rows and rows of stocking stitch in such a tiny yarn do not make me happy. Also I completely buggered up the pattern several times which is why the opening on the wrong side of the neck for some reason. Oh and I didn’t have quite enough yarn so had to rip the bottom back THREE TIMES before I managed to get it looking OK. Pleased with how it looks now though…sorry the picture is crap, too cold to go outside hence rubbishy indoor light.

The January baking challenge fell by the wayside, but fear not I haven’t forgotten it. My sour dough starter is on the side in the kitchen and I’m waiting for it to start bubbling away. I’m using the method described in the River Cottage Everyday, if anyone reading has had success (or not) with this then leave a comment and let me know as I’m really interested to see how it’ll turn out.

In other news it has been incredibly cold here. So here’s a couple of pictures to make all you Brits realise how warm it’s really been with you. Thankfully I’m told it’s going to heat up a bit this week…which is good because I’m beyond bored with being freezing cold and indoors.Ice sculpture Nyon 2012Ice in Nyon January 2012Nyon 2012 Ice
Makes me realise how lucky I am not to live in Siberia to be honest!

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Ta da! Here is the cardigan blocked and with buttons…sadly the weather is terrible so the pictures aren’t great as there’s very little light in the house.

It uses a free pattern called Cascade by Raya Budrevich from Petite Purls (which seems to be some sort of knitting collective for little people patterns). It’s a seamless raglan style cardigan knitted on circular needles. Wow what a quick little knit this was! I should make everything out of worsted weight yarn.

Cascade by Petite Purls

The yarn is Art by Colinette in the Magenta colourway. I’m not normally a fan of varigated yarn as I think they look a big mental (check out the cardigan on the model for the Art yarn on the Colinette website and you’ll see what I mean) but I think you can get away with it for a baby/young child.

I knew it would look great as my Mum had kntted a wrap baby cardigan using the same yarn in a different colourway which was lovely. (My not so subtle admiration of the cardigan my Mum knitted worked as she also made one for Beatrix for Christmas – yay!).

Leaf detail on Cascade by Petite Purls

Lovely yarn to work with, pattern was OK although I tried to use mods by Court and I have no idea if I actually managed to make them work or not. I think it looks better than if I’d followed the pattern. To be honest I think this cardigan looks better in the bigger sizes and in a none varigated yarn but I do like my finished item.

If you want to try this pattern then be aware that it comes up a little small…although this isn’t a problem when your baby./child is a little small too!

In other news I made a reindeer stew yesterday (it was half price at the supermarket). I can’t tell you what it tastes like because it’s in the freezer but I’m pretty sure it’ll be similar to venison. Leave me a comment if you’ve tried reindeer.

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Ishbel is Finished

I finished the knitting part of this months ago but for some reason I’ve been putting off blocking it. It’s becuase I couldn’t work out how to block it without a blocking board…and all attempts to buy an alternative to a blocking board have been futile.

Anyway it’s done now (I blocked on our memory foam mattress on top of a towel), I love the way it looks and it’s turned out OK in terms of the size too (there was one point when I thought it was teeny tiny, just shows that it’s well worth blocking things). Anyway it’s done sounds rather downbeat, I should follow the craft blogging convention of saying TA DA!
Ishbel shawl
It’s knit with Artists Palette Cloud which is a 4 ply yarn. I can’t recommend this yarn enough, it’s hand dyed beautifully and was a joy to knit with. The colourway I used was CL1024. So if you’re looking for a present for a knitter I’d thoroughly recommend a couple of skeins of this.

For those wanting to make their own you can buy your pattern from the wonderful Scottish designer Ysolda here. It’s a good pattern, there are no errors in it at all – just make sure you use lifelines unless you’re considerably better at knitting lace than I am!
Ishbel Shawl Close Up
So I’m now moving on to knit my second shawl which is the Swallowtail Shawl (this is a ravelry link so I’m afraid you’ll have to be a member to see it). There are some wonderful photos on this ladies blog (sorry I can’t read it I have no idea what language it’s in but the photography and the knitting are wonderful).

I suspect it’ll take me a hell of a long time so I’ll try and post some photographs as I’m going along so you can see how I’m doing.

First I have a couple of presents to finish for a couple of unamed people’s birthdays…both projects are not without their challenges!

And in other things knitting based a friend of mine sent me a link to this video – I so want to buy this book (although I’m pretty convinced I’ll never knit anything from it!). There is a very entertaining video for your viewing pleasure here.

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I have been knitted quite a few hats recently. The first was knitted before Christmas for Mark using the fabulous ‘A Hat Fit For A Boyfriend’ by Stephanie Nicole. I’ve blogged about this pattern before but I can’t recommend it enough because the decreases are really neat and it’s free!

The second hat pattern I’ve been knitting furiously is the ‘Swirl Hat’ by Mandie Harrington. If you’re making it for a newborn it uses tiny amounts of 4-ply, which is great if you have leftover supersoft sock wool.
Spiral Baby Hats
It’s a great pattern, really easy to memorise, and super stretchy. I’ve knitted three (one of which is modeled here by the monkey Kimberly crocheted for the baby). Two of these are gifts for people in the UK that are due to have babies around the same time as me.

It seems a little bit long to me, but I don’t have access to a baby to check on…so we shall see.

And the final pattern I’ve knitted is the ‘Vine Lace Baby Hat’, which isn’t easy to memorise, and in fact drove me mad. I love how it looks now it’s finished, but it does seem incredibly small so I don’t know if it’ll actually fit a real life newborn.

If I were to knit this pattern again (and to be honest it’s a pretty big if, because I restarted it three times, and ripped it back countless times) I would knit the 3-6 months old size – to make all the hassle worthwhile you’d want this to be worn more than once, which isn’t what happens with most newborn stuff.
Vine Leaf Baby Hat
One piece of advice on this one – consider using lifelines if you’re going to try and watch reruns of Downton Abbey when knitting it – it would have saved me an awful lot of hassle.

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It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for! I fininshed the Rosy Posy Tea Cosie that I started way back in the spring to give my Mum for her 60th birthday.

After a long struggle I have completed it, and I’m really pleased with how it looks on the teapot.
Rosie posy tea cosy
This is not a complicated pattern but I made some rookie mistakes. My yarn choice was very poor (it wasn’t thick enough), so tip number one is: when choosing yarn make sure it’s the right weight.

The flowers were a struggle because I don’t do crochet, but actually they’re not that difficult (I think I have a crochet mind block).

Then when I cast off I did it too tightly and it didn’t fit on the teapot! So my second tip is: use a flexible cast off (I know I didn’t even know they existed either, but I found some good advice here). I used the decrease cast off.

This lovely photo is courtesy of my Mum.

If you want to make a tea cosy (and I’d suggest doing it over a shorter period than I did) then the free pattern can be found here.

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This was one homemade Christmas present that I was really pleased with. It’s a scarf using one skein of the Artists Palette cloud that I made my Ishbel from (which I will show you as soon as I’ve woven in the ends and blocked it) – so although it’s expensive yarn it’s quite an economical way of using it.
Pearl barred scallop scarf
The pattern (which is available here for free on Ravelry) is a simple lace pattern and I’d recommend this as a first lace project as it’s very easy to see when you’ve gone wrong (although that didn’t stop me from knitting about 30 cm’s without the correct number of stitches – doh!).

The key to making this scarf look half decent is blocking it. Before I blocked it it just looked like a rag.
Detail pearl barred scallop scarf
I don’t think it would keep you very warm, so it’s probably more of a summer/autumn scarf than a depths of winter one. But the real advantage of using this weight yarn is that you can knit it in the summer without getting really hot so that you’re ahead on your Christmas list! This isn’t what I did, but it is what I intend to do every, single, year.

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