Archive for August, 2008

Batteries not included ;o(

August 30, 2008

I’ve managed to leave the batteries in the charger so I can’t take pics of my latest FO and current project.  20/9/2008 edited to add pictures.

The FO is a denim tote bag made from a pair of jeans that I was going to give to charity. The denim is zigzag striped in different shades of denim blue and I thought it was cool so I cut up the inside leg seams and with the bottom half of the legs made a bag. I used another pair of old jeans to make handles, lined it with some Maisy Mouse fabric, put on a magnetic fastener and voila a denim maisy tote. It’s quite large as I had a large canvas bag which was really useful until I put it in the washing machine not knowing that canvas shrinks – and now it’s a more normal sized bag with wrinkly handles. I’m considering cutting out one of the Maisy pics from the left over fabric to applique on to the outside of the bag so you can see her.

Also this week I’ve been knitting a sweet pea cardigan for my friend’s new baby girl. It’s from a Sirdar freebie leaflet with a knitting magazine and the pattern was so adorable I just had to knit it. I’ve knitted the back and fronts in one piece as I don’t like sewing things up and then knitted the sleeves as per the pattern. I have to pick up stitches around the neckline now and then sew the sleeves on, find a button and then it’s done. I’m knitting it using Debbie Bliss’ Baby Cashmerino DK and it’s lovely to knit with and is machine washable thankfully. I hate knitting things for babies that are hand wash as it must be an absolute pain for the mothers because they have tonnes of stuff to do as it is.


FO Seamless Yoke Sweater

August 23, 2008


Finished pictures. They’re not very good I’m afraid, partly due to self timer on my camera and partly due my non-relaxed pose due to a stiff neck.
I’m still really pleased with this though, it’s almost exactly what I wanted. I knitted it following Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Seamless Yoke Sweater instructions from Knitting Without Tears. I decided to do raglan decreases but to leave a wide neckline. When the front of the neck was where I wanted it to be the neck was a little wider than I liked so I knitted back and forth around the back of the neck from the raglan decreases at the front for about and inch to just narrow the neck at the sides and raise the back neckline a little and then I continued to knit round the entire neck to do the garter stitch edge. Then I just cast off! Voila, a comfy cosy jumper for slouching around the house with long sleeves to keep my hands warm.
If I did it again I would attempt to create a v-neck by knitting back and forth whilst doing the raglan shaping and decrease stitches at the v at the same time. Then pick up stitches around the neck to do the edges.
I’ve cast on a little lilac cardigan with green edging using the yarn I got last week and the colours look lovely together.


August 18, 2008

I’ve finished it,. I’ll have to put pics up at the weekend but I finished it last night. I’m quite pleased with it, I did some tweaking around the neckline as I wanted a wide neck but it’s come out really well.

It’s given me the confidence to consider making another one in that blasted mohair that I’ve got that seems to be cursed.

Crochet lessons and 84 Charing Cross Road

August 16, 2008

The sleeves and body are joined together!! I finished the second sleeve on Wednesday evening went for it.  I’ve knitted round the entire thing (leaving 15 stitches from sleeves and body at each armhole ready to graft together at the end) for about 2 inches and then decided to go with raglan decreases as I’m not knitting a yoke pattern.  It seems to be working so I’m quite pleased with it at the moment. 

This yarn arrived during the week – it’s Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in shades 16 and 10. I’ve bought 3 balls of each colour to knit something for two new babies (Ben & Leah). I intend to knit Leah a little lilac cardigan with green edging and a little green jumper for Ben with lilac edging. I’ve found a pattern for a little cardigan that is very cute but I’m not sure what pattern I will use for Ben’s jumper. It’s also the yarn that is used for the Victorian Shrug/Wrap pattern from the Crochet Me book I got for my birthday so I may have to crochet a gauge swatch before I knit the baby things.
Last night I decided I wanted to learn to do Tunisian Crochet so that I can attempt to make the Five O’clock Tank from the same book. There are some instructions in the Crochet Me book and in the Happy Hooker book by Debbie Stoller but not really enough so I’ve looked it up on the web today and found some really good video tutorials by Brianna of The Crochet Side podcast and I think I’ve got the hang of it. Now I just need to get myself a tunisian crochet hook from somewhere – any ideas?
I’m re-reading 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff as Little Brown publishing have just reprinted it in a lovely hardback version (see pic above) with a cover design by Marion Dorn. It’s one of my all time favourite books and if you haven’t read it, please read it – it’s very short as it’s letters from Helene Hanff, a writer in New York to Frank Doel, a second hand bookseller at a shop on Charing Cross Road. They corresponded from 1949 to 1968 mostly about the second hand books that Miss Hanff asked Frank to look for, but after a while she became friends with all the staff in the shop and some of their famillies and even sent them food packages in the years after WW2 when food was still rationed in the UK. It’s a lovely book and everyone should read it!!

I’ve just noticed that the Baby Cashmerino and the 84 Charing Cross Road cover all go very well with the sofa fabric that I’ve taken the pictures on.  It wasn’t deliberate, it’s more a serendipitous accident.

It’s Raining

August 9, 2008

Today is the first day that I’ve not felt completely mad to be knitting a cosy winter jumper in August. It’s rained almost all day and while I was taking photos of my Elizabeth Zimmermann Percentage Sweater (Jumper) it was raining noisily on the window in that way that makes me want to curl up on the sofa and drink hot chocolate whilst reading a really good book. It reminds me of the beginning of “I Capture The Castle” by Dodie Smith – I write this sitting in the kitchen sink….. I imagine Cassandra sitting in the sink writing in her notebook by the only light left while it rains outside (I don’t think it is raining in the book but that’s the way I imagine it). This is the sort of weather that makes me want a window seat, it would be padded with a cushion to lean on and in a bay window, on the first floor so that the view is out across the city/town where I live. I’ve wanted a window seat since I first read “Daddy Long Legs” by Jean Webster, when Judy makes one on top of a chest of drawers. The window seat would be practical too as it will be a bed box/chest with storage space for bedding or jumpers. Anyway, back to the knitting…

I’ve made masses of progress on the EPS this week. I got a bit bored of knitting round and round for the body on Sunday so I read EZ’s instructions for the sleeves, then did some maths and adjusted it slightly. I decided that I wanted long sleeves that flared out over my hands to my knuckles. This involved drawing pink lines on my arm for measurements to make sure it was going to fit me and be the right shape. Then I cast onto 4mm dpns knitted 4 rows of garter stitch and went for it. And look – it’s sleeve shaped!! I’m really pleased with it. I’ve got to knit 3 more rows and it’ll be done to the armholes, then on Thursday/Friday I knitted the last 24 rows of the body so that it was at armhole level too. Today I will be casting on the second sleeve now that I’ve bought a 4mm 40cm circular needle to keep the first sleeve on while I use the dpns. I’ve read ahead and I’m pretty certain that I’ll be able to join the sleeves and body together but then I’m not sure what will happen as I don’t quite know what neckline I want.

Inspiration strikes

August 3, 2008

Ok don’t faint I know I was here yesterday but I had to share Raspberry with you, it’s a blog by Alice who lives in Hampshire, UK and she makes wonderful simple bags. Tote bags, shoulder bags, drawstring ones and they are all really lovely.

I’ve been inspired to make a tote bag out of some jeans I was going to get rid of to a charity shop – unfortunately they are no longer big enough for me. I was loathe to dispose of them though because there’s nothing wrong with them and one pair has a zigzag design in the denim that I think would be really cool as a bag. I was also given some lovely Maisy Mouse fabric by Nic this week and I think it would make a fab lining. So I’m off to undo seams now……

There has been knitting I promise

August 2, 2008

I know I haven’t blogged for two weeks but I have been knitting and I made some jewellery too.  Works in progress on the knitting front are:

1) Blue lacy tofutsies are still on the needles, I haven’t finished either of them though.

2) Wild Cherry Demeter is still paused and I haven’t even looked at it for weeks. I seem to have knitter’s-block with this one.

3) I’ve cast on an jumper that I’m going to knit using the Elizabeth Zimmermann percentage system. It’s made of a purple acrylic that my mum bought me to make a winter jumper.  I did play with the idea of knitting a cabled hoodie with it but cables just don’t show up very well on the dark colour.  So it’s going to be a plain stocking stitch jumper knit in the round and will have a round or slashed neck I hope.  So far I’ve knitted 83 rows and have tried the tube on and it seems to be fitting well. (pic is from last weekend)

Two of my friends have just had babies so I decided to give knitting baby booties a go for the instant gratification and quick knitability factors.  I found a pattern by Debbie Bliss, in a supplement of baby patterns with Simply Knitting, but it was knit on straight needles with two lots of casting off and reattaching the yarn to pick up stitches and then there was sewing up at the end.  I wasn’t having that! I had a think and decided that I could knit it in the round and use an idea from the widdershins sock heel for knitting the sole.  And it worked!!

I cast on 32 stitches for the ankle part in the round on dpns and knitted the folded over cuff section, then I knit some rows of 1×1 rib so that it’s all elastic to stay on the little feet!

Then you knit backwards and forth on the middle section for the top of the foot, then pick up stitches on the sides of this part and knit all the way round for the side, then knit back and forth from toe to heel on the sole doing k2togs at either end until you have reached the heel and have the same amount of stitches from the back of the foot as on the needle that was knitting the sole and kitchener stitch the two sets together. Voila! one bootie with absolutely no sewing at all (in my world kitchener is not sewing because it’s fake knitting!) And on Saturday I was able to try them on Oliver who is 3 months old and they fit perfectly.

I was given a voucher for a bead shop for my birthday and I’ve finally spent it after several visits to shop to do research so that I got the most out of my £10. I bought some pink and red heart beads to make this necklace and earring set to go with the skirt that the Wild Cherry Demeter is intended to go with if I EVER finish it.

It took a couple of evenings to make the heart jewellery as I had to twist every single piece of wire in it individually, which by half way through was giving me the “why did I decide to do it like this?” feeling. But I think it was worth it in the end.
I also bought some wooden beads to make a bracelet and some pink/turquoise beads to make some jewellery to go with another two skirts I bought in a sale recently. I’ll post pics when I get round to making them.