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Showing posts from 2013

Handmade Christmas: Fabric Decorations

Last year, I showed you all the Christmas Tree decorations. This year, it's the turn of the fabric decorations. There is quite a bit of Christmas bunting around the house but found it difficult to get a good photograph, so you'll have to imagine how pretty it looks!
I did make some shelf bunting for the mantlepiece in the lounge. 

The tree is in a different position this year, which gives us a bit more room but big downside is I can't easily get to the knitting books in the case behind it!
I made a Christmas quilt that comes out a lot earlier than the rest of the decorations (at the start of Advent). It was hand pieced from lots of Christmas fabric scraps and machine quilted with a radiating star.

The most recent addition to the tree is a wee cheesy Christmas jumper - decorated with beads, sparkly thread and embroidery. The mini coat hanger was a struggle to make but it had to be done.

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!

Photo / Diagram Tutorial: Double Estonian Cast On

A while ago, I made a photo tutorial for the Estonian Cast On. The Double Estonian Cast On is a simple variation of this. The edge is thicker and more decorative. It is ideal for 1 x 1 and 2 x 2 ribbing, as it wraps the base of the ribbing columns. It is firm, but stretchy - this makes it a great cast on for socks.
My Little Duck socks that I blogged about last week used the Double Estonian Cast On.

The actual cast on is the same for both the single and double Estonian Cast on. It's just the starting bit that's a little different.

As for any long tail cast on, measure out a long tail. I tend to use 1 inch per stitch for thicker yarn and 1/2 inch per stitch for DK weight and thinner; plus another 6 inches for luck! 
Instead of making a slip knot, fold the yarn again to the same length that you've measured. You should have 3 lengths folded instead of 2 for a long tailed cast on. Leave a bit extra at the tail end for sewing in the end. Make a slip knot about 6 inches in from…

Little Ducks

I showed you a work in progress photo of my Little Duck Socks recently. Blogged here

They are now finished with plenty of time for Christmas.

The duck stitch pattern is from Mary Jane Mucklestone's 150 Scandinavian Knitting Designs. I did her workshop a few months ago. This is the first of lots of project ideas from the book.

The rest of the sock is my design. I reversed the ducks for each sock (just for added cuteness!).
Mainly the socks were worked on 2.5mm needles - my new Nova Cubics DPNs, which I really enjoying working with. The stranded sections were done on a 3.00mm, so they didn't pinch in at that point. The change in gauge is obvious to me, especially on the toe but it does make them fit better ( I suppose I could have increased stitches instead - maybe next time).
I used a Double Estonian Cast On for the ribbing. I've been using the single Estonian Cast On for most ribbing at the moment, it makes a firm but stretchy cast on - plus it's quite decorative. I m…


Just tying up a few loose ends here. These are few projects from the last couple of months that I haven't talked about much.
Remember this big Pile O' Knits, I'll show you a few that were in that pile.

The first is made from Paulina Popiolek's Orion Belt pattern, made from Katia Kiss. I really enjoyed this one. Even though it looks complicated, the majority is TV knitting, i.e. mainly knit and purl so I can watch TV at the same time. The Katia Kiss has a luster to it, so quite an interesting shawl in the end. I love the little celtic knots. Kiss Orion project page.

Secondly, a Bandana Cowl - Purl Soho, made from just 1 ball of Rowan Cocoon. I loved the Cocoon, it's very soft and squidgy. Cocoon Bandana project page.

Finally, the sweetest little Grampa cardigan. The pattern is Gramps by tincanknits, made from Rowan Felted Tweed Aran. I love the little details of the pockets and the elbow patches. The blurb for the pattern is brilliant -  "And YES, despite reaso…

Little Christmas Jumpers

The reindeer jumpers are finished. You may remember, I blogged about them. Well, now I have two very cute jumpers. The phrase that keeps coming to mind for the little one is "mini me". 

Both have little pompom noses, but it's the reverse of the jumpers which is the best!

That's two little people with their wardrobe ready for Christmas.

Yarndale Mug

After making this mug for when I'm at ceramics and enjoying it so much; I thought I'd make another for when I'm at A Good Yarn. We all had a lovely trip to Yarndale, so I've used the wonderful sheep logo as my inspiration.

There's a sheep on both sides. The biggest challenge was to try and match the colours because they are different before they are fired, compared to the finished result. Not exact but I'm very happy with it.

Of course, I have how I like my coffee on the mug. Here it is, just in case you want to make me a coffee!
A little "funny" that I made this week, my version of a heavily sealed envelope.

Ducks, Socks & Reindeers


And one very cute reindeer!

Perhaps, I should say a little more than that. The ducks are from Mary Jane Mucklestone's150 Scandinavian Knitting Designs and I'm designing a sock around it. I did Mary Jane's workshop recently and was inspired to try some patterns out.There will be some gansey-like texture in there and at least two rows of ducks. It's been frogged a bit because I keep changing my mind. There's a good chance when you see it next time, they'll look different again.
The socks are made with Regia Design Line by Erika Knight and made for giant feet.  They're plain vanilla socks that I carry around with me, so they don't get as much knitting time in one go. One Christmas present many more to go.
And the reindeer is the start of a King Cole Christmas jumper. When he's finished, he'll have a lovely red pompom for his nose. I need to make two though. The one in the picture is for big brother but I need to make …

A shocking amount!

The lovely Nicsknots is doing a great competition called "How much do you have in your project bag?". I thought it was a fab idea for a blog post. Embarrassingly, I think my answer is "A shocking amount!". I don't think I've ever gotten everything out at once and I was stunned on just how much I had.

Recently, I've been using a small Cath Kidston Tote that was a Christmas present. I like it because it has a firm base and sits where it's put. This is the bag I grab when I'm going out, whether it be to Knit and Natter, visiting family, road trip etc.

Can you believe all this was in that small bag?

There's my Nicsknots Miya bag (which contains a secret project, so I won't show you) and my Nicsknots notions case, which I blogged about here.Micro scales for weighing yarn.Some embroidery threads and snips.A teaspoon! No idea why.Bag of yarn ends. I save these for a friend who knots them together and makes bags from them. Two needle cases. One is…

Scandinavian Knitting

Last week, I ventured off to Baa Ram Ewe in Harrogate for a Scandinavian Knitting workshop with Mary Jane Mucklestone. After a scrummy lunch at Wagamama. I wandered down to the shop. I've been to the one at Leeds plenty of times but not yet had a chance to go to the Harrogate shop.

The shop was gorgeous. It was very light and a riot of colour. Details for the shops here. The workshop was held downstairs in the basement and it really was fantastic. Mary Jane was lovely and very knowledgeable. She'd brought all the samples from the book, 150 Scandinavian Knitting Designs and it was really interesting to see and feel what they were like.

The main parts of the workshop were learning No Purl Garter Stitch in the round and Norwegian Purl. I normally work stranded knitting with a yarn in each hand, but under Mary Jane's guidance had a go at trying both yarns in my left hand. I think it'll take some practice to get it right but it is always good to have another way of knitting…