Archive for the ‘knitting’ Category

mitts for son

This thingymas just gone, we didn’t base all our presents on homemade gifts, but making a few does make the budget go a little further – specially when using materials readily to hand. I made some mitts for my son – he requested non wool so he could mistreat them and then stick them in the wash without worry – and of course they had to be blue, Always blue… To make it more interesting I played with Fairisle patterns – makes your head muddle when you are trying to fit in patterns but the thumb increase means a different number of stitches every three rows!

Still this is my first Fair isle pattern I designed, so I’m happy, my son was happy with his blue mitts too.

mitts for mr cig

Boosted by achieving the first set of gloves – and thankfully writing up the pattern as I went – I then went on to make a pair for himself, although I made them a little bigger and so had to adjust the design. This time I knitted them using our own homegrown home spun wool. This is wool from our Shetlands and is lovely and soft, I just used two of the natural colours  and the Fair isle pattern carrying the second colour across the back makes them very snuggly. He loves his fingerless gloves. …and wants mittens next…
wooden bowl

Himself carved an ornament by hand (this time no trip to A&E and stitches necessary, so a bonus there!) and turned this bowl – which he says is apple wood – Bramley no less (we did do some major pruning last year!), as I had put in a request for a little trinket bowl, and this hits the mark perfectly.

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happy knit books

Sorry, dear readers – if I still have any – for this blog becoming a bit… unwritten.  It just seems summer has refused to come, and rather than report yet more mud and problems and vegetable failures – I think I might even have the January blues! – I haven’t written.

So in a bit if a turn around let me share with you some post that came for me this last week – I ordered them with my hoarded amazon voucher from my birthday.. it was a bleugh of a week and their arrival was just what I needed.  Besides.. they are investment..right?

200 Fair Isle knitting designs, by Mary Mucklestone.

I was recently commisioned to make a beanie hat, and the jacob’s cross wool I had came in several different shades from the same fleece – I realised that for the hat to look meant as opposed to a sudden colour change, I would have to deliberately use the colour variations to make a proper pattern.  I can see, when dealing with fleeces of different shades and variations,  that working with the colour it the only way. Now we have the Shetland ewes, and their lovely coloured fleeces, I am very interested in working more with patterns.

The book is lovely – clearly set out charts and showing the difference that can be made with different colour combinations.

and secondly

The knitters bible: Stitch Library, over 200 stitches for knitters of all abilities, by Claire Crompton

A lot of stitches I already know and a lot of new ones, a book of inspiration, lots of clear pictures, it will be ideal with I am plotting my next knitting projects.

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green socksWell, it is St Patrick’s day.

Lately, I have been failing to spend much time knitting things for me – rather than for my online shop, so have tried to mix in a bit more of making for me things, and now have another pair of socks to wear as a result.

This yarn was given to me by my good friend Bren – unfortunately I lost the label so I can’t tell you what make it is – but it is a wool and possum fur blend.  |It’s lovely and soft and Bren is a star for knowing the colours I like… and you will be surprised to know green is my favourite colour!

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Over the last couple of days we have been tackling the room of doom aka the spare room.

‘Spare’ makes it seem surplus to requirements – not so – we have both worked from home in that room, it is the main storage area of our home dyed wool, in various stages of  process, our dvd and cd library, and alas, a general dumping area.

The cats, Molly and Pete have been helping.  And by helping I means curling up and lying down in the middle of everything  – in Pete’s case, and playing happy adventures climbing through the loom and over teetering boxes with glee in Molly’s.

But, after many days, lots of sorting out, being ruthless, building shelves and reorganising, we now have a large space in the middle of the room – revealing the hideous swirling brown and orange nightmare carpet we inherited in all its ‘glory’.  One day we shall change it.. but it seems far down the priority list at the moment.

Ultimately our plans are to make a study / craft room.  With a big table to sew/model/craft at, my desk an paperwork mountain in the corner,  a little wood burner installed in the fireplace, the sofa bed will double as guest sleepage, and a chair so we can spin or weave or  knit or craft and keep each other company as we craft , listening to the radio or music etc.  I did wonder if I had over subscribed the room with too many uses, but now we have shifted everything about, it actually seems possible, as it is a large room, and all that shelving takes advantage of the high ceilings.   (Why do we have high ceilings upstairs and low ceilings downstairs?)

but before we play musical tables and set ourselves up there, we have to tackle our son’s room – or more to the point the floor – which is decidedly bouncey and if anything like the floor that came with the room of doom, the joists  will have been eaten by the delightful death watch beetle, and will need replacing – with all that that entails.

So – we have been opening boxes of things not yet unpacked since we moved in, and making decisions and freecycling etc, because the floor of my son’s room needs replacing. you know how it is.

There is a goal at the end of all this hard graft, and it is that craft room, with the wood burner and sofa and all the craft things… and then no doubt the room of doom will become the room of loom.

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gift makes

I always feel that the festive season is pretty much over by New year’s day.  That’s the last of it, after that it is time to take down the greenery and lights and get back to normal.   Of course you have a few days before twelfth night to find everything. We thought we had everything.. then noticed the vase of holly, and the mistletoe, and one errant Christmas mug…

bluey brownie socksRealising I’m almost out of time, I thought I would mention some gift makes I did this year.  First off, the bluey browney socks – only been on the needles for two years… Still got there in the end! and my son appreciated them.

I made some pot-grabs – no picture alas, but my first go at quilting, just squares of fabric with wadding in between, and some happy random quilting on my sewing machine – really enjoyed making those, particularly the random quilting bit! – finished the edges and made a hanging loop and they were pressed immediately into service for the making of Christmas dinner.

purple and white scarfMy son requested a scarf.  He was very particular about it, wanting blue or purple  and white squares, and so I ordered some bluey purple chunky yarn and set to.

I spent some time editing pictures and made some calendars (with the help of an online printers!) with pictures of our trip to the Isles of Scilly, and everyone of the party got one.  A happy reminder of nice times.

exfoliateAnd finally, the obligatory face cloths.. always good as stocking fillers.  I did a dalek one .. poor picture but it was fun to make, and the owl one.

All good fun.

owl facecloth

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Somehow, something has always cropped up to prevent us going to fibrefest, but this year we actually made it.

Just for one morning.. which was long enough for me to ‘accidentally’ buy some alpaca fibre for spinning.. and some pretty blue faced Leicester yarn.. himself bought a loom….  So now, with the looms we have been given by generous friends and neighbours, and the toy one I found in the charity shop… we are a four loom family.  Spose we had better do some actual weaving…

Fibrefest was great – full of people with similar mindset, and there were lots of sheep and alpacas to look at, and fibre to fondle. And we bumped into lots of folk we know from various knitting/downsizing groups. Ideal.

Home to lots of harvesting.. The beans have grown like mad with our trip away.. and we picked loads and loads.. and spent many hours slicing, blanching and freezing.  Six hours of harvesting beans.. I think I have bean slicers thumb!  (Hope it does not interfere with knitting and crochet !)

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I like it when the rain sets in properly, and you can stop agonising over whether its indoors or outdoors things today.

Whilst my son and I were doing the home ed thing: watching “Henry VIII: Mind of a Tyrant [DVD] [2009]"" “looking at banking and bank accounts, cooking and making brownies and so on, himself started to install the thermal store we bought back along.  Well I say install – more like discover just how beetle eaten the joists are, make repairs and put in extra strength  to take the weight of said store.

We had a lovely lunch of home grown salad with bacon and feta, and I spent the afternoon pottering in the greenhouse, practising tomato bondage, potting up things, sowing things  – all to the accompanying snores of the cat who had curled up there in disgust earlier.

No late working tonight.. so, once the birds are put to bed, and we have moved the chick coop to less muddy ground,  playing with wool is in order.

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