Knitting course!

Please feel free to advertise this far and wide! 🙂  I’m teaching a weekend knitting course at the beautiful Knuston Hall, in Jnauary.  It’s called Just Knit

When I say, “teaching”…. The days are there for you to make what you will of them.  I’ll be there, along with a lot of my finished objects and things I’m working on, with plenty of materials and books and so on – you can come along as a complete beginner and try your hand, or you can bring your own unfinished objects and just knit away in a lovely environment, or bring something you’ve been struggling with, to get friendly help (still in a lovely place)!  If the weather is nice, we can sit outside and knit….

The food at Knuston is always very good, and the staff are incredibly friendly and helpful.

During the course, as I say, I will have lots of things to see and try, and lots of books to flick through…. I’ll also have Ravelry up and running, for those who haven’t yet joined, so you can see what riches await you there.

Do consider coming along – think how lovely it will be to knit with friendly people, and no distractions!



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Still alive!

I know it’s been a very long time…. blame it on the lifestyle :}

However, I have not been idle!

I’ve been knitting for charity….   Another of the marvelous Surplice jackets, E Zimmerman’s pattern 2014-12-20 23.59.22 made with stash yarn, as were these – a Five Hour baby coat2014-12-20 23.58.47, another jumper 2014-12-20 23.58.17 and various hats and scarves…2014-11-18 17.04.49 2014-11-18 17.05.21 2014-11-18 17.04.13.  I also made a shawl for me (which is fairly rare!)blue pi (1).

Over the holidays, I’m trying to get a bit more organised… taking a cue from lovely people on Ravelry and also a few other places, I got a fisherman’s rig wallet – it’s amazing! It holds all of my circular needles, and all of my interchangeables, and cords – and all my crochet hooks, and stitch markers and everything! It’s not small (it’s pictured on a two seater sofa, for scale) but it’s going to be very handy!photo 5 photo 1 photo 3 photo 4


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It’s cold!

And when it’s cold, I knit for the cold… for me and for charity.  A couple of weeks ago, I sent off a consignment of hats to a favourite charity; simple things but the knitting kept me out of mischief! (Mostly….).

For myself, I made a Joris – the result is lovely but I didn’t enjoy the knitting nearly as much as I had hoped to do; the idea was to make one for all the small people in the family, but he is destined to be an only monster – he’s now decorating my shelf at work… IMG_0878  He’s very sweet but not worth the bother of making more and astute readers may notice that while he has wonky elbows, I neglected to knit knees for him…

There are only so many hats one can make before experiencing overload, however… So I made a bed jacket for myself.  It’s a vintage, free pattern, to be found HERE.  I used J C Brett’s Passion – which looks like this IMG_0921 and size 7mm needles, and am very pleased with the result (the colours are dull in the photo of the finished object – December in England, what can I say?).IMG_0917.

But I’m still knitting for charity.  I’ve long thought that scarves – while wonderful in their way – fall off, get caught on things and generally can be more trouble than they are worth, so I’ve found a very good pattern for a Dickie.  I’ve changed it a bit, (made it simpler – are we surprised?) and using Aran wool, have made a dickie cheerfully modeled here by Paul, the Phrenology head…IMG_0928 IMG_0926.  I’m now making one with the Passion wool, of which I have a HUGE amount. 🙂

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More about knitting with beads

One of the issues about knitting with beads, if you pre-string beads, is, “what do you do about this incredibly long bit of wool with beads on?”

One author suggests letting it trail across the floor but with guests + cat in the house this weekend, that wasn’t on.

So I figured something else out. Necessity, etc… 🙂

I strung the beads using the bead spinner….2013-10-25 15.39.06.

Then, I laid the first bit of the beaded wool out across a bit of kitchen towel.  I rolled the towel over the wool, and put the next bit of wool on the towel, etc… 2013-10-25 16.27.55  I ended up with a large roll of towel with beaded wool wrapped in it. It seems to have kept the wool from tangling so far!

Of course when I come to knit it, I’ll have to unroll it all; it’s be too much to hope for the wool to slide gently through all that, but as a means of stringing-and-keeping, it seems to work!


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Still alive, honest!

I am still alive and well and knitting, honest  – just really busy!  By the time I get home in the evenings, I’m afraid I feed the cat, feed the human (me) and plonk down in front of reruns of shows I know well and knit.  The commute is lovely but it’s and EARLY start so it’s also an early bed time…

However, I have a new obsession – knitting with beads!

I’ve never done this before, always wandering past those patterns… but something hit me and I did have all this two ply wool, sooo…

It’s been a bit of a learning journey.

Step one – obtain beads. Learning bit of this step – the beads I got are *too small* for most things.  Seriously – about one in 10 of them doesn’t even fit over the smallest needle, or the two ply wool. However, they do look lovely when knitted in.

Step two – figure out how to knit with beads. Learning bit – there are LOTS of ways of doing this.  You can use special types of dental floss (meant for those with braces) – there’s a looong bit of dental floss attached seamlessly to a stiffened bit.  This is a stop and put the bead on a stitch (spb) method.  It works well but it does mean you have to – which I found very annoying.

Then there is the crochet hook method – another spb method. I couldn’t get hold of a crochet hook small enough.

Then there is pre-stringing, which is what I’ve gone for.  You CAN do this with a regular needle, which is a case of chase-the-bead.  There are beads all over my floor. You can do it with a twisted wire needle  which is exactly what it sounds like.  Better than a regular needle but still very tedious. Really.

Then, today, my newest toy, a bead spinner arrived. I can not tell you how happy this made me! 🙂  In less time than it would have taken to string one bead the other way, a whole LOAD of beads more or less jump onto the needle.  (Of course I still have the issue that some are too small and won’t make it over the end of the needle, but these things are sent to try us…).

Using the one-bead-at-a-time prestringing method, however, I did finish a shawl and a scarf, which are in the lovely green Manos I got a while back2013-08-23 13.08.17 - Copy – hopefully they will be useful around Christmastide!  The first photo shows it being blocked, with the usual help… as this was a first attempt, I stayed with the tried and true, so this is a simple feather and fan shawl…

2013-09-29 00.27.13

The next two photos show the beading…. 2013-09-29 17.20.14 2013-09-29 17.20.20


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Long time no post – but moving has happened, we’re settled in the new house (not that I’ve found everything, yet)…  I managed to leave my swifts behind but my daughter brought them to me yesterday, and the larger swift has already been put to good use.  Not too long ago I bought a kilo of Manos del Urugay Lace – Rav link ONE and Rav link TWO.  The green is mostly wound now – it came in 50 gm skeins and five of them are wound and four still to do… and one, we gave up on.  No idea why but it got completely muddled….

I’ve also finished a couple of things, made in anticipation of both the coming winter and the fact that my new job will require me to be in the office far more than the last one did – meaning travel, in the winter, on buses!  So, I’ve made a poncho….2013-07-06 11.33.33 The pattern is Coffee Run – in theory it has a turtle neck, but I decided to give it a simple hood.  And, because I’m contrary like that, I made the Bat Cape 2013-08-25 13.22.56 and decided NOT to put the hood on – I changed it to a simple collar (there’s a picot edging but you can’t really tell…) with a button.  2013-08-26 14.15.32Both of them are made from Hayfield Bonus Aran, which was on a three for  two sale at Hobbycraft, which is always a good thing. 🙂

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Busy, busy….

I’m still here, still knitting – but it’s marking season, and I’m preparing to move and change jobs and…!!!

However… Knitting still happens!

First, knitting for small people.  There is an explosion of smalls in husband’s family …so I’ve been knitting.  Tomten have happened…. The first picture is where the arm is being picked up – the second, a not overly good photo of the almost-completed object (just needs a zip).

red tomten in process (2)red tomten (2)

Then, because I remember running down the street, picking up hats that small people had flung off with great abandon – I found this pattern for a popover, which I thought was great! (Ravelry link).  I didn’t follow it exactly because I was away from home and didn’t have the pattern – so I did the hood someone suggested for the Baby Surprise Jacket – you treat the hood as a sock heel – pick up all around the neck, and knit back and forth.  Each row, pick up one less, each side, till you have 1,2 or 3 stitches left (the fewer, the sharper the point).  Then reverse the process, picking up more as you go.

I’m rather pleased with this 🙂 It’s in Bonus Aran.

popover (2)

And, of course, it’s that time of year – we went to Woolfest! I got pretties…..

2013-07-04 22.11.23 2013-07-04 22.10.45 2013-07-04 22.09.29

The photos don’t do the colours justice at all…. 😦

And – I’ve found my newest knitting obsession.  I once got caught up in the slug knitting habit (it can happen to the best of us).  Now – I’ve found Joris.

I think my new office will NEED a Joris, don’t you?  At the moment, I’m knitting the first one out of stash…  It requires that one knit the spines on the head first, one after the other, joining them as they are knit – so one ends up with something like this…2013-07-05 19.02.19  And then one goes on to knit – in an extremely clever fashion, I’m always in awe of designers of such things – a face….

2013-07-05 22.52.07  Isn’t that clever? I’m hoping to get some eyes today…

AND I’m hoping to get some better double pointed needles, as well. I used both my rather dull double points,

2013-07-05 18.54.01and magic loop… And I used some older, really sharp but too long and frankly frightening metal double points, as well!2013-07-05 22.22.28  Those metal ones ended up looking like some sort of torture implement!

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Baby things….

We had a great time at Knuston Hall during the last Just Knit – and the next one is in January, so mark your calendars! 🙂

In other news… There is a profusion of small people in the extended family, at the moment, and as the shop is fairly full, I’ve been knitting for small ones.

The newest member of the family, baby Martha, will receive a Baby Surprise Jacket, when her great uncle can remember to take it to her mother! 🙂

2013-06-06 23.42.54 It’s made from Sirdar Crofter, which, in stocking stitch, looks almost like Fair Isle – but in this, I just like the way the colours work.  I made a simple hat to go with it…2013-06-08 00.37.32.

Now, baby Martha has an older brother, who will receive a tomten jacket (and possibly matching hat) this winter… I’m doing it in bright red and white, because, why not?

2013-06-14 12.56.24.

In an earlier post, about another tomten, I wrote about using two stitch holders to hold the underarm seam (which is what is shown in the picture here – the white stripe to the right is actually the hood…).  It finally dawned on me that was rather silly (two stitch holders, not the hood).  I put the stitches this time onto one circular needle – MUCH simpler!  Knit up one side of the front (mark the centre point), and down the other – at every end, slip the last stitch, pick up and knit one from the underarm seam, pass slipped stitch over – voila!

2013-06-15 09.44.06 2013-06-15 09.43.58

I’ve also done ICord around the entire front of the jacket.  And having learned from t’internet, this is what I did – CO three stitches, onto either a double pointed needle or a short circular (that’s what I used).  Knit two – slip one purlwise. Yarn over, then yarn to the back of the jacket, needle through the jacket, knit one stitch, then pass both the slipped stitch and the yarn over, over the stitch through the jacket. DO NOT TURN WORK. Slide work to other end of needle, and repeat. This draws the wool across the back of the work quite tightly, forming a tube over the edge of the jacket.  The YO and slipped stitch form enough bulk that you can’t see the red through the white ICord (photos to follow, I promise).

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