Sunday, 26 April 2009

Operation "Use Up All My Crappy Yarn"...

... has begun!

I have made three hats so far (two pictured here - the third is less cute and pretty so I haven't taken a picture just yet). I knit basic 2/2 rib for an inch or so over 60 stitches, then plain stockinette (so knitting every row) alternating yarns in stripes (four rows of the light pink, then two rows white, then four rows dark pink, two white, etc.). I have knitted the flower I used to embelish the "girlie" hat for a few different things, the pattern is in the miscellaneous folder at I doubled up the yarn and just backstitched the anchor on the "boyish" hat (although to be fair, I have seen far more anchory anchors than this one... !)

They are tiny so would suit newborns to about 3 months. I'm going to build up a bit of a stock and then try to sell them at work, or maybe on ebay.

Knitting the baby hats made me think about hats in general. So I've cast on for one for me (like I need another hat). This one is a copy of a style of hat that's really in at the moment - ribbed at the bottom then a lace pattern for the body of the hat, which is knit too long so sits quite baggy on the back of the head when you're wearing it. I'm using a lace pattern from the Legendary Cath's sock patterns collection, knitting over 104 stitches in the round. I started off using a circular needle and found myself in all sorts of trouble, messing up the pattern and losing count and it was all just too traumatic, I've changed to DPNs and magically all the problems I was having have disappeared!

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Easter Bunnies

I knitted Easter friends :) I'm not sure why I always end up knitting for Easter (I don't have many young children in my family - at present!) but I do, and then find myself handing them out to adults who are always slightly baffled as to why I might have knit them a cute Easter egg cosy. These little guys are about 2 inches high, just big enough to house a Cadburys Creme or Kinder egg (being incredibly middle class and posh, I opted to fill mine with a Galaxy egg to appeal more to the adult palate...)

I have been knitting the chicken for about three years now. I found the pattern at, and I was going to attach the specific link but I can't find it anywhere... and I'd better not write the pattern here in case I get into trouble!

The bunny, however, I did design myself - no doubt there are a dozen other similar patterns floating around the internet but this one is all mine!

You need:
3.5 mm straight needles
Small quantity white double knitting wool (Acrylic DK Nastiness TM will be fine for this)
Tiny amount pink DK
Tiny amount black DK


Cast on 26 stitches.
Rows 1 - 6: K1 P1 across row.
Rows 7 - 16: K across row.
Row 17: Ktog across row (13 stitches)
Rows 18 - 23: K across row.
Row 19: K2tog across row.
Cut yarn leaving a long tail and thread through remaining stitches, knot firmly on the wrong side.

Ears (Make 2):
Cast on 4 stitches.
Knit 9 rows.
Next row: K2tog across row.
Next row: Ktog across row.
Cut yarn and pull through remaining stitch.

Making up:
Sew down body on the wrong side. Sew ears to head (I weave the yarn which I pulled through the last stitch of the ear down the side of the ear, and then use it to stitch the ear to the head). Embroider nose using pink yarn, and embroider face with black. Simple!

Operation Baby Hat is going well - I have made three hats so far (two excellent ones and one reasonably good one - to be honest the yarn puts me more in mind of socks than hats, so I may knit socks from it next). I shall post the hats next time!

Sunday, 1 February 2009

A Sock's Progress

There has been knitting! Not a massive amount, but some. Got to keep my hand in....

So I knitted a scarf. Here is a very poor picture of it (I usually take pictures for the blog on my phone. I thought I'd try using an actual digital camera. The picture has come out blurry, and I am left feeling it wasn't really worth the effort...). The colour looks poor here, in reality it is a lovely lilac colour.

The pattern is from my favourite website - - and I started knitting this so long ago (having written the two row pattern on a bit of paper) that I can't actually remember which pattern I used or what it was called. Anyway, it consists of some yarn overs, some psso's, and looks all a bit lacy (but not fine lacy, it's DK weight yarn). All in all it was a really quick knit, and it's really warm.

The socks I started knitting about a billion years ago are also nearing completion. I could not get motivated to cast on the second sock for about a month so progress on these has been really slow - but when I finally picked up the needles I whizzed through the leg, turned the heel at the beginning of this week and you can see from this picture (again with the digital camera but this one has come out better) there isn't much left to do.

I knitted these for my dearly beloved husband. He got made captain of his cricket team! These socks are a simple 2x2 rib pattern and I've added a band at the top of each in his team colours (deep red and gold).

Since the heels are not reinforced I doubt they would last two minutes on an actual cricket pitch, but he's pleased with them anyway - I picture them more as a pair of "lounging around the house after a good match and a shower" type socks...

I bought some bedroom furniture, to solely house yarn. It came flat packed, so I put it together, positioned it where I wanted it, then put all my stash in it (organised into colour coded bags). Then I hopped about from foot to foot for a time squeaking. Having yarn specific furniture is a FABULOUS thing.

The stash re-organisation exercise however did make me realise that I have far too much crappy yarn. I subscribe to a knitting magazine (The Art of Knitting. 1 in 10 patterns is actually something you'd wear. But it is full of useful tips and ideas for patterns.) Each edition features a pattern for a square to make up an afghan, and comes with a ball of yarn. I can't be bothered with afghans made up of squares - I love them to look at, and I'd love to receive one, but for me the knitting is just too slow and dull. So I have all this leftover acrylic nonsense yarn to get rid off (I always seem to have acrylic horribleness. Why? I'm sure it's not my fault!). Once the socks are done and off the needles I'm intending to knock out some baby/child hats and sell them off to get rid of the acrylic nonsense.

Then I'm turning my attentions to my "Knitted Idols" book I got for Christmas. I want a Mr T!

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Several Babies With Warm Heads

It is probably safest not to mention the names of these two, or my relationship with them. After all, you never know who's looking....

.... but I feel it necessary to share the unbelievable cuteness with the world.

Babies F and C are two months old now - they are non-identical twins, and they came into the world after mum and dad had some help with a tiny bit of IVF magic.

Mum didn't know the sex of the babies until they arrived. We did (thanks to their dad). To celebrate their girliness, I knitted pink hats (in the round using Acrylic DK Nastiness and 4mm DPNs) and then knitted darker pink flower motifs and sewed them on.

Mum and Dad were very happy with the hats. The girls are not in a position at present to comment either way. I like to think that they approve of the pink girliness at the very least.

There has been a spate of baby hats in my life of late. This is Baby S (no relation to Babies F and C) who is proudly sporting a Dillknit cabled hat in fashionable white baby DK:

He's a boy, so pink definitely would not do. And any baby who is ANYONE knows that white is this season's colour.

**I have decided to pretend that I have been blogging regularly since July, and that the glaring lack of knitting or any other signs of life from me are definitely the fault of Blogger. Nothing at all to do with me being lazy. Normal service should now - hopefully - be resumed.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Where Does The Time Go?!

I am an awful blogger. Just awful. After all that complaining about others not updating their blogs often enough! That is very nearly 2 months since my last post - dreadful. This post, by way of an update (because life has just gone CRAZY) will be limited to bullet points only, in order that we can all (myself included) get back up to speed, and I may lay out more simply my list of excuses as to why I have been so quiet.

  • I got a new job. This is the main excuse. So I'm back in a real actual office, not working from home, so there is less opportunity to avoid work and knit and blog instead. In fact, there is no opportunity at all.
  • I got a new phone. I use my phone as a camera to post pictures on here. I'm slightly scared of The New Phone as I'm not entirely sure how it works (and it's all full of gadgets and a bit intimidating!), so I need to load all of its software on to the PC and play with it properly.
  • I just haven't been knitting. My flat is roughly the temperature of the core of the sun with the current heatwave, so picking up any sort of wool or yarn is horrible. I do however live in Britain. I think we can assume that the weather will be horrendous again by the end of next week.
  • We've been on holiday. To Glastonbury and Guilfest (the music festivals. Not just to Glastonbury the place. Guilfest is held in Guildford). Both rocked. Hard.

That's pretty much it. Pretty poor on the excuses front, if truth be told. I finished P's cricketing sock, so all being well there'll be pictures of it after my efforts at the weekend. Got to cast on for its mate before I lose the momentum...

I am also forging on with the 60th Birthday Wrap for my mother, but progress is a bit slow - all the wool arrived in skeins rather than in balls (normal in America and pretty much everywhere else, not normal for me) and I had such a bad experience winding up the last ball I'm in no rush to prepare the next one. 2 days, a big mess of tangled yarn, and much hysteria from me - you get the picture. That said - I'm loving the pattern, it's turning out just like I wanted it to, and the yarn just makes me drool. Bring me the skeins...

Thursday, 5 June 2008

The Best Laid Plans

A short, pictureless post today, for the sake of an update. Whilst I realise no one reads my blog except me (at present anway... patience, Sam, patience...), I do always feel slightly let down when the blogs I love to read are not updated more regularly... how dare these people take holidays/have to work/have nothing to blog about/have some sort of interesting life that doesn't involve the internet? I have the same problem right now - nothing to blog.

The loudly heralded car boot sale did not happen, despite our best laid plans. We rocked up, sat about in the rain for 2 hours, failed to get a place in the car park, went home again. But there are plans afoot for this weekend... so hopefully some cash will be forthcoming.

There has been knitting. I had a rush of blood to the head and cracked on with P's cricket sock - no point in photographing it yet as it still doesn't really look "sockish" enough yet, but I've turned the heel and am rocketing towards the toe... I would've thought I'll get it done by this weekend.

Friday, 16 May 2008


I have been conscientiously saving money. I want a new kitchen. I need about 2K. I had about 800.00, and I spent 550.00 on mending the car. I permitted myself a slight sigh as I handed the cash over, but we need a car and I had the money, and I'd rather spend it than get into debt. So the kitchen fund now is just under 200.00, and I need considerably more than that. So I'm doing a car boot sale.

For anyone not in the UK and who might not have a clue what I'm talking about, a car boot sale is a bit like a communal garage or yard sale - you pack all the things you want to sell into the back of your car, drive it up to wherever the sale is being held, and treat it like a shop front. I'm selling a load of stuff - old clothes, bags, shoes, kitchen equipment, and tonnes of knitting. Much of it has been featured on this blog, plus a couple of older scarf and hat sets that I wore for a year, then carefully put away to allow myself to knit another set...! On sorting through my stuff I found some treasures of my art that I'd forgotten about.

Look at these gems! The first picture is of a stripey poncho I made about 2 or 3 years ago, when I first started knitting - it's tiny and would probably fit a 2-3 year old. It was pretty much the first pattern I made up myself! I remember being very impressed with myself that I had managed to successfully pick up and knit stitches to form a collar.

The second picture shows the 2nd pair of socks I ever knitted (thanks of course to the Legendary Cath Grant). They are from the selection of 3 patterns she gave me, these are the "fancy" pair. I would wear these myself, but why hide the "fanciness" inside shoes?! These deserve a better home.

The sale is next week - I'd ideally like to make about 50.00. But who knows what I might achieve, selling fabulous hand knits like these!?