Forest Canopy Shawl

Posted on Tuesday, 20th May, 2008. Filed under: knitting |

Forest Canopy Shawl

I love this pattern! It was my first shawl and it was so easy, quick and fun to knit. I’m sure I’ll be making loads more. I used cashmere & silk yarn from Violet Green, quite lovely stuff if a looser twist than I usually like. I was rather surprised at how it knitted up, I expected the black to be more dominant with just little bits of the pink and green, and those colorus are *bright*, but it’s OK.

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Bright Nordic Mittens

Posted on Friday, 8th February, 2008. Filed under: knitting |

Though not quite as bright as they look in these photos!

Bright Nordic Mittens, fronts    Bright Nordic Mittens, front and back

I just couldn’t get any photos to come out looking remotely the right colour when I had them laid out flat. The colours are much more true in this one:

Bright Nordic mitten, on my hand

I love how the design works with the shape of my hand! I couldn’t be sure until it was done if I’d got things in the right place.

I used Jaeger Matchmaker Merino on 3mm and 3.25mm dpns.  The design is my own, inspired by various ones I’ve seen online. The simple repeating background is one I came up with for some socks (and I’m sure many other people have come up with it independently), and I used a peasant thumb as it’s the only one I know how to do – the only other mitten-like things I’ve made before are many many pairs of Fetching from Knitty, and that’s where I learnt it.

This is also my first finished colourwork project (the socks are still in progress) so I’m completely thrilled, I keep looking at them and wondering how I came up with knitting that looks like it belongs to someone else! I am always confident with crafts and rarely think something is beyond me, but when I knitted when I was younger I just could not get the hang of colourwork, my tension was awful, it all ended up looking a mess, so I just set it aside as an area I happen to not be good at and ignored it. I saw so many beautiful patterns though that I just had to give it another go more recently, and to my astonishment, it was no problem at all. I suppose being a much better knitter overall by now just gives me more of an instinct for getitng the right feel of it.

These could be improved; I’ve learnt a lot from them. I would do my decreases slightly differently to make them look a bit tidier, and the thumb is about half an inch too baggy: next time I would probably do it over the same number of stitches but decrease rapidly in the first two or three rows. But overall I’m very happy and looking forward to more mittens, and more colourwork!

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Wristwarmers pattern

Posted on Sunday, 3rd February, 2008. Filed under: knitting, patterns |

Finally! There really are reasons for the delay this time, but I won’t bore you with them.

Anyway, I love these. I can’t believe how much difference in warmth they make, without getting in the way as I often find even fingerless mitts do. I think they look really cute peeping out of the ends of my sleeves, too. They’re perfect for using up little scraps of yarn and are easily knitted in an evening, which is just as well because everyone who sees them wants a pair!

Wristwarmer    Rainbow wristwarmers    Random pastels wristwarmer

I used 16g of 4-ply/sock yarn for a pair (Regia in the photos above), on 2.5mm needles (Clover bamboo), giving me a gauge of 8sts/inch.

By “m1” I mean a raised increase.

Cast on 48 stitches, join without twisting and distribute across needles (I use four dpns so it’s 16 on each of three.)

Work in 2×2 rib for 3 inches.

Hand shaping:

Round 1: K1, m1, K1, P2, repeat to end.
Round 2: K3, P1, m1, P1, repeat to end.
Round 3: K1, knit into front & back of next stitch, K1, P3, repeat to end.

Work pattern of K4, P3 as set for 5 rows.

Cast off loosely, weave in ends.

I’ve also made a version with mock cables on the 2×2 rib, ending with cables across four stitches after the increases. (I wasn’t concentrating and went the wrong way on some of that last lot – I think I’ve hidden most of them in the photo so we’ll just pretend that didn’t happen!)

Cabled wristwarmer

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I’ve been so lazy

Posted on Sunday, 20th January, 2008. Filed under: crafts (not knitting), knitting, yarn |

When it comes to updating this blog. Well, I have been ill, and then busy, and then ill again, but mostly it’s just down to laziness.

I have been knitting in the meantime, though! There are many, many projects on the go. I’ve finished some, too. I made a pair of socks for mum, which I’m quite proud of, as they were different sizes for her different-sized feet. Just plain stocking stitch to make it easy to get the size absolutely right, with a little shell insert down the outside of each leg to show which is left and right.

I hit the jackpot in the Liberty sale when I was down in London over Christmas and New Year, I got about a dozen balls (50g each) of Jaeger Merino, some 4-ply and some DK, at £1.60 each! I would’ve come away with even more if I could’ve. I also picked up some 3mm bamboo dpns so I could start on a nice thick pair of socks while I was there, and this is the result:

Jaeger Baby Merino socks

Jaeger Baby Merino DK, I think the colour is called Petal? 7sts/9rows/inch, 48 stitches. They’re so thick and cushy and snuggly! I didn’t do anything fancy with them because my feet had been cold lately so I just wanted some warm socks as quickly as possible.

Last autumn I was pleased to find Crystal Palace bamboo dpns available in the UK at Socktopus, as I’ve heard so many good things about them. I’m currently in the last stretch of foot of of the second of a pair of socks I’m knitting on them (Regia on 2mm) and I’m afraid I have to say I’m not that impressed. I can’t really tell any difference between them and Clover, except that the Crystal Palace are a lot bendier, which is not something I like at all. Clover remain my favourite bamboo, definitely in the smaller sizes up to 2.5mm anyway, which is all I’ve used.

I was, however, more than impressed with Socktopus. When the package arrived it was like getting a gift!

Socktopus package

There was even a Socktopus stitch marker with it, as you can see in the picture. What a treat! I’m definitely planning to buy from them again, I’ve got my eye on some of the unbelievably gorgeous yarns, once my bank balance recovers somewhat from my trip to London.

More recently, I’ve been putting together some phone charms and stuff again:

Pretty, sparkly!

And this time there are row counters! Mine is attached to my Chibi, which I find incredibly handy

Row counter & Chibi

except not so much right now as I’ve somehow managed to mislay the pair of them. Gah! I’m really hoping they have to turn up sometime when I’m well enough to clear up this pigsty (I’ve been so ill with a virus that turned into an infection that I haven’t even got my Christmas tree down yet) as I’m sure I can’t have lost them while I was out without noticing. This row-counter arrangement is incredibly useful when knitting away from home, actually, as I take it off and it hangs nicely out of the way yet accessible on the little finger of my left hand. Anyway, this little lot of goodies in the photos will be up in my Etsy shop soon, I hope. The only thing delaying me is that I haven’t had enough light to get some decent photos, so cross your fingers for some sunshine soon! I have tried it with lots of lights on in here and the flash, but that’s just not suited to crystals.

I think that’s most of the major catching-up done. Next up: a pattern!

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Basketweave socks

Posted on Saturday, 29th September, 2007. Filed under: knitting |

I’ve been very very bad at updating, I know. I’ll try to catch up with food posts at some point, but this is the last pair of socks I made, I finished them about a month ago I think:Basketweave socks

Basketweave sock, better look

Apologies for the poor quality of the first photo, and the flabby thigh in the second.

Rowan 4-ply Soft in Wink, 2.25mm needles, 64 stitches, down to 60 after gusset decreases. They’re too big round my ankle, but because I like my socks short at least I don’t have a problem with them falling down. I love that a simple combination of knits and purls can produce such a complex-looking pattern, everyone who sees them is so impressed because they think I’ve done something amazingly difficult!

I probably wouldn’t have chosen this colour, but it was going cheap. It’s a great yarn, I really enjoyed working with it, especially the good twist, not at all splitty, unlike a lot of the yarns I’ve been using lately, but I doubt I’d buy it at full price when I can get beautiful, unique hand-dyed yarns for the same amount or even less.

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Merino socks

Posted on Tuesday, 12th June, 2007. Filed under: knitting, yarn |

Knitted on 2mm Clover bamboo dpns with Socrates hand-dyed merino in Genevieve (I used 68g.). It’s the first time I’ve knitted with merino, and I can’t believe how soft and springy it is! Gorgeous stuff, although I did find this yarn a little splitty, and they feel wonderful on my feet.

I love the way the colours work with the slip-stitch pattern on the heel:

I slightly messed up the heel turn on the second one, I wasn’t giving it my full attention and it ended up a few stitches off centre, but I left it as is, it doesn’t bother me, I can’t see it in the finished sock, probably I could if I looked carefully enough knowing it was there, but the kind of mistake you have to do that to find is that kind that really can be left.

I did the longest heel flap I’ve done on any socks so far with this pair, and it’s perfect, they fit so well. With the 2mm needles I had to cast on 72 stitches to start rather than the 56 on 2.5mm, so the going was a lot slower and sometimes it seemed to take forever to get to the end of the instep needle compared to what I’m used to, but it was definitely worth it, I love the fabric.

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Feather & Fan silk scarf

Posted on Friday, 1st June, 2007. Filed under: knitting |


Feather & Fan scarf detail Well, sort of feather & fan. I was doing the pattern from memory and completely forgot about the wrong-side knit rows until I was far enough in to influence my decision that I didn’t really care. So it doesn’t lie quite as flat as it could, but it doesn’t really matter.


Feather & Fan scarf being blocked Blocking was really not fun. I’ve never had to do it before because they only things I’ve made that really had to be prodded into shape were crochet snowflakes and stuff where they just got treated to some spray starch and a light press with the iron. My hallway was the only place where I had enough space to lay the whole thing out, (which caused some problems when the electrician had to come in with his steps to fix something, which I’d forgotten about, oops), and I’m not sure if I was going about things the right way. But it worked and it was worth it, I’m very pleased with the result!

Feather & Fan scarf


4-ply bourette silk on 3.75mm needles. They were metal needles because that’s what I had, and they felt so huge and slippery as I’m spending most of my time on skinny bamboo ones for socks. I’m sure it would’ve knit up a lot tighter on bamboo needles of the same size.

I know there are too many reallys in this post, and it’s really really annoying, but I’m too tired to fix it. They’re a bad habit of mine at the best of times.

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Sizing of Tiny Tulips

Posted on Wednesday, 16th May, 2007. Filed under: knitting, patterns |

I did mean to include this information in the first place, but in my eagerness to get the pattern up I forgot, sorry!

First off, I knitted them on 2.5mm needles (16cm Clover bamboo, I luuurve them) at 8 stitches to the inch. The “tiny” is particularly appropriate as my feet are only a UK 3.5, Euro 36. So if you’re always having to adapt patterns to reduce them in size, you’re in luck this time 😉 That said, I’m taking into account the comparative lack of stretch of the Regia cotton. In that, 56 stitches is absolutely spot-on for me, but in a 70%+ wool yarn, I find 56 results in socks that are a bit too baggy. On the other hand, I’m finding I like those woollier yarns at tighter tensions, so I will end up needing more stitches. One day I intend to work on that version, which essentially will result in a pattern for a bigger sock. If I do that I’ll put it online, but I wouldn’t hold your breath, I’m quite the procrastinator. Of course it’s easy enough to add in another 8-stitch pattern repeat, but I’m not sure how that will affect the change into the ribbing on the foot, I can’t picture these things until I try them.

Hope that all makes sense, I’m probably rambling! I’m up way too late because of… yeah, knitting. I decided to try making wristwarmers, and after getting one done (time to knit one wristwarmer, making it up as you go = length of Vera Drake including adverts on Film4, very convenient) I loved it so much I couldn’t resist casting on for the second even though I was already sleepy, and now I’m done. I really have to find some self-control. But they’re great, I can’t believe what an amazing difference in warmth two little tubes of 8g of yarn each can make! My hands often get cold if I’m knitting in the evenings; I’ve tried wearing my Fetching gloves (which got me instantly hooked on knitting on double-pointed needles and so soon onto socks) but they get in the way that bit too much, so these should be perfect! My mum’s already put in an order for a pair for herself, so I know what I’ll be doing tomorrow evening, too. (No photos as my camera doesn’t like artificial light and it is, as I said, the middle of the night.)

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Tiny Tulips sock pattern

Posted on Tuesday, 15th May, 2007. Filed under: knitting, patterns |

I know it’s a horrendously cutesy name, but then they’re horrendously cutesy socks. I hope the pattern all makes sense as it’s my first attempt at writing one, but I think it should do. These are by far my best-fitting and most comfortable pair of socks yet, I love them! They’re in Regia cotton, which I also love, it’s very soft and snuggly.

Tiny Tulips socks Click for the big version.

Cast on 56 stitches, using this picot cast-on: using cable cast-on, cast on 4 stitches, cast off two, slide the stitch remaining on the right needle back to the left, repeat until required number of stitches is reached. Distribute stitches across three needles, arranged 16/24/16, and join.

Knit one row, pulling the stitches firmly to close the gaps from the cast-on.

Round 1: k1tbl, p2, k3, p2, repeat to end.
Round 2: s1 (knitwise), p2, k3, p2, repeat to end.
Round 3: As round 1
Round 4: As round 2
Round 5: As round 1
Round 6: s1, p2, yo, sl1, k2tog, psso, yo, p2, repeat to end.

Work for approximately 3 and a half inches; ending with round 5, work to last stitch of round, slide this stitch from needle 3 to needle 1.

To divide stitches for heel, work next 28 stitches (including the one you just transferred) onto one needle thus: k1, work in pattern for 25 stitches, k2.
Knit next 28 stitches onto another needle. Working on these 28 stitches,
Row 1 (WS): s1, p1, repeat to end.
Row 2: s1, knit to end.
In this pattern, work 35 rows.

Turn heel:
s1, k15, ssk, k1, turn
s1, p5, p2tog, p1, turn
s1, k6, ssk, k1, turn
s1, p7, p2tog, p1, turn
s1, k8, ssk, k1, turn
s1, p9, p2tog, p1, turn
s1, k10, ssk, k1, turn
s1, p11, p2tog, p1, turn
s1, k12, ssk, k1, turn
s1, p13, p2tog, p1, turn
s1, k14, ssk, turn
s1, p14, p2tog, turn

Knit across heel stitches.
With a new needle, pick up 20 stitches along edge of heel flap (needle 1)
With a new needle, k1,* k1tbl, p2, k3, p2, repeat from * to last 3 stitches of needle, k1tbl, k2 (needle 2)
With a new needle, pick up 20 stitches along edge of heel flap, and knit next 8 stitches (needle 3). Slide the remaining 8 stitches onto needle 1.

Next round
Needle 1: Knit even, knitting picked-up stitches through back loops
Needle 2: k1, *s1, p2, k3, p2, repeat from * to last 3 stitches, s1, k2. Note this and previous row form fancy rib pattern that will be continued on this needle to the toe.
Needle 3: As needle 1.

Decrease round
Needle 1: Knit to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1
Needle 2: Work even
Needle 3: k1, ssk, knit to end.

Alternate even and decrease rounds until 14 stitches remain on each of needle 1 and 3. Continue without further shaping to 2 inches short of foot length required.

Work a decrease round:
Needle 1: knit to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1
Needle 2: k1, ssk, knit to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1
Needle 3: k1, ssk, knit to end.

Knit two rounds even.
Work a decrease round followed by two even rounds, three times more.
Work a decrease round followed by one even round, twice.
Work four decrease rounds. 16 stitches remain. Knit next four stitches, graft remaining stitches together.

Weave in ends.

I added rambling about the sizing of these socks here, and I now also know that my shoe size is a US 6.

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Spring has sprung

Posted on Friday, 20th April, 2007. Filed under: crafts (not knitting), knitting |

Two suitably fresh and breezy creations, first off some straightforward socks in a cotton Regia – they feel absolutely wonderful on my feet!

Blue stripey cotton socks

And an egg with spring flowers:Painted flower egg

Apologies for the blurriness of the shot of the daffodil side. I don’t like the hard lines between the blocks of colour, but by the time I’d realised it was a bad idea it was too late. I’m pretty pleased with it overall, though. I started on about half a dozen eggs before Easter and I’m still not finished with them all… I finished painting another two today and was delighted with them, but now I’m a bit upset because when I varnished them this evening I got too much on there and it’s dripped. I don’t know what happened, it’s a spray varnish and I was sure I did everything the same as before, when it worked perfectly! I hope they don’t turn out to be ruined, I’ve spent hours and hours building up layers of paint on them.

Now to have another fiddle around with settings in here, I was also sure I’d got rid of the requirement to moderate comments that I didn’t even know was there to start with, but apparently not…

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