Monthly Archives: May 2015

Twit Twoo!

Well it’s been less than a week since I got home from camp and as it is half term I have been going knitting mad! The owl toy pattern in the Susie Johns ‘Knitted Woodland Creatures’ book kept jumping out at me so on Saturday morning I went straight to a shop to get some yarn. I made a few slight colour changes from what was suggested in the book and was struggling to get a good orange yarn for the beak and feet without spending a fortune! Then a great idea hit me – tapestry wool!! I managed to get 10m of the exact colour I wanted for 50p – absolutely perfect for these small body parts. With a quick check of the manufacturers website for errata (there was one), I cast on. Both the body and the head were knitted on 3.25mm double pointed needles and the rest I knitted on straights. imageI found an additional error in the ear tuffs where a K1 had been left out but apart from that all went well. My final challenge was locating some safety eyes – nowhere in Bristol seemed to stock them. However, I found a website (Craftbits) who delivered within a couple of days. In order to make the postage costs worthwhile, I also ordered some eyes ready to make the hedgehog and the bear from the same book. Making up the final toy was quick and easy. I am over the moon with the final product – he even stands independently! image Now my husband has another naming task to complete…

After a good hour in my new favourite shop – Get Knitted – I’ve decided to take a little break from knitting toys and attempt some clothes: a pair of socks and a lacework jumper with some stunning Juniper Moon Farm yarn! image

Crochet at Camp

Well, I am finally back after a wonderful week at camp. The weather started off wet and windy but as the week progressed the sun came out. In fact, some parts of me are a little pink despite wearing factor 50 sun cream! The kids were a delight and I enjoyed a stunning view of the sea practically all day every day.

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I wasn’t sure how I would survive a week without knitting, but I needn’t have worried as a colleague brought along some wool and a set of crochet hooks. She taught me (and a few kids) to create chains and then simple granny squares. After a couple of hours in the sun – and one burnt hand later – I was well on my way to creating a colourful granny square.

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Here is the finished product with the ends tied in. I think I may create more with left over yarn from knitting to slowly create a blanket. Now that I’ve had a good soak in the bath and put LOADS of washing on, my thoughts are turning to buying yarn tomorrow for my next knitting project…

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Sneaky Sunday knitting

The panic of not knitting for a whole week has hit me. So I have whipped out the double pointed needles and created a couple of coasters.

First I followed the pattern for an octagon shape using 5 dpns (from the DK ‘A little course in Knitting’ book), using some fair isle effect DK that I had left over from previous projects. However, I think I must have cast off too tightly as the finished product is as round as a button. Note to self: cast off loosely next time.

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Then I used some Left over aqua DK yarn and 4 dpns to produce a hexagon shaped coaster with a pattern of holes from ywfd stitches (also from the DK book). I cast off a little looser this time and so it has more shape. Although I think my cast off edge is still too tight!

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I’m now scouring the web for new yarns – so many options! I need to decide what to cast on when I get back from camp. Keep your fingers crossed for me – rain, tents and children do not mix well!

Knitting cables – I LEFT the FRONT door open; I’ll be RIGHT BACK!

Luckily my dog is now home and he seems to be on the mend. It’s been a very tiring week – SATs tests with my class during the day and check ups at the vet in the evening. I’m exhausted! However, this week I have managed to learn how to cable knit on a mini project.

After a little searching, I stumbled across a pattern for a cup cozy https://kydelmakes.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/free-pattern-alert/#comment-749. The pattern says to use 5mm needles and a chunky yarn but the largest needles I currently have are 4mm. I picked up some left over DK yarn from my frog and gave it a go. I found using the cable needle very fiddly at first but as time went on it got easier. As both my needles and yarn were smaller than recommended, the strip came out too thin for a effective cozie and so I decided to adapt the pattern to create a headband. I continued to knit until the strip was about 120 rows in length and cast off. Then I picked up 4 stitches from the centre of the cast off edge and knit in stokinette stitch for approximately 7 inches. Finally I cast off and fixed the end to complete the loop. It’s a little loose (I think 6 inches would have been better) but quite comfortable to wear.

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Tomorrow I might crack out the double pointed needles for another coaster – perhaps an octagon this time. Then on Monday, I’m taking the kids on camp and so I don’t want to start a big project – not sure how I’m going to manage a whole week without picking up my needles! Fingers crossed that next week flies past (without too much rain) as the following week is half term and I plan to spend most of it either knitting or stocking up on yarn and accessories!!!

Knitting to ‘frog’et

What a horrific week! Last weekend we took our dog into the vet hospital (after a week of appointments at our usual vet and one over night stay) as he looked like he was on his last legs. It turned out that he had a bit of fishermen’s net/wire wrapped round the base of his tongue and down into his gut – 4 feet of it! I don’t know what I would do if I came across the idiot who left it lying around in the park 😡 Luckily, 2 operations, a lot of medication and a week later (thank goodness we have insurance) he is on the mend and will hopefully be able to come home in a couple more days.

The only positive about the whole event is that I have got a lot of knitting done. I found that concentrating on a pattern and my needles helped me to stop worrying about him. It is just so quiet in the house without him.

I decided to knit my husband a frog as he loves them and there was a pattern for one in my charity shop bargain book: ‘Knitted Woodland Creatures’ by Susie Johns. I had a dark blue/green DK left over from my monkey knit and so bought a lighter green in the same yarn. The pattern is the hardest that I have done so far and I had to learn to turn (and wrap) and pick up stitches. The shaping of each piece is amazing – although it is hard to see in these photos.

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The feet in particular were very fiddly and needed some neatening up before sewing them onto the legs. They are actually light green – not yellow like it seems in the picture!

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At one point, whilst knitting the upper body of the frog, I got very stuck! And after spending 1/2 hour on Whatsapp sharing the pattern and photos of the knit so far with my sister, I finally managed to work it out. It turned out that the pattern said to pick up stitches on the cast on edge not the cast off edge as I had initially thought it said. However, during the process of working this part out, I stumbled upon a list of errors in the book on the publishers page. I can’t believe how many mistakes are in the book – surely people are paid to check books before they are printed! Anyway, in case any of you are using the book, here is a link to the website: http://www.thegmcgroup.com/pc/viewcontent.asp?idpage=45

Anyway, here is the finished frog…

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…now we we just have to give him a name!

My knitting journey so far…

Ok, here it goes.. my first post! My knitting journey started about 20 years ago when my grandma, who was a great knitter, tried to teach me how to knit. She was a regular knitter and I still treasure a photo of me and my 3 sisters with our knitted men that she had made for us. I have a distant memory of choosing a yarn from her large collection and then using a pair of child size pink needles to produce a small rectangle. Unfortunately, I never got the ‘bug’ and instead filled my time with other crafts – cross stitch, rug making, candle making, jewellery making, card making to name a few.

Roll on to 2015 and I have given knitting another go (partly due to one of my sisters taking it up). I popped to Hobbycraft one day after work (a common event) and picked myself up a pair of 4mm metal needles, a ball of FairIsle effect yarn and the DK A Little Course in Knitting book. Here are my first two knits- a tablet cover and a phone case (both from the DK book). I made a few mistakes but overall I was quite pleased with them. image

I then wanted to learn how to change colour and so popped back to Hobbycraft where I brought some ‘bright’ coloured yarns and of course a bag full of other knitting accessories. This led to a scarf (DK book) and matching hat.

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Next I wanted to attempt a knitted toy monkey. Again using the DK book (now section 2) and yet another trip to Hobbycraft (yes I know, but it’s so close to work and the only shop that sells wool till 8pm!), I got knitting. He is a little wonky in places but overall I am pleased.

imageFinally I picked up some double pointed needles in a small independent shop (at last I hear you say) and created this small square medallion which I think makes a perfect coaster.

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So here I am… HOOKED! I can now k, p, M1, k2tog, k1 s1 psso, kfb and have a growing collection of needles, yarns and other useful bits and pieces. I love my row counter to bits and now scour the shelves of charity shops in search of knitting books. In fact, I came across a bargain the other day – Susie Johns’ Knitted Woodland Creatures for £1. My next project? A toy frog!