Saturday, 31 July 2010

Knitting - Winter Shawl

When I said I don't wear shawls I was wrong.  I do have a shawl that I wear almost everyday.  Its black and huge.  A little bit bobbly and matted.  Its warm and cosy and very unflattering and looks quite.... manky.

I had an idea a while ago to knit myself another one.  Big chunky yarn, big needles and a lace pattern. Its basically a square spilt up the middle.

And its lace pattern is a little bit similar to my lace mitts...

I could just do Ruffle my Feathers in a big yarn...

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Book - Lace and Eyelet Stitches

I recently collected this book, Lace and Eyelet Stitches by Erika Knight, from the library.  Its been on order so long I'm not entirely sure why I ordered it.  Probably to make samples for this, or maybe to check out if it was a worthy reference book.

Anyway, a quick glance through revealed some lovely patterns including:-

cable and lace check (pg 51)
crowns (pg 56)
meandering cables with eyelets (pg 66)
snow shoe pattern (pg 154)
wave stitch (pg119)

Of course I did have the insane idea of doing a knitting sampler back in January...

Oh! and whilst looking for some photos to show these lace and eyelet samples I came across the errata document for the book.... Its not something I do automatically when I have pattern book, but its probably good practice to check on the publishers sites for errors...

Debbie Bliss (although they're called Pattern Revisions)
Claire Montgomerie (again called Revisions)
Erika Knight
Mason-Dixon Knitting, here and here

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

rainbow cake

E has requested a rainbow cake for her birthday at the end of August.

After a look on Google Images and some debate, she has decided on:-

a plain vanilla sponge (thank goodness, I didn't fancy the multi coloured sponges)
blue icing (for a sky) with a rainbow flat on the cake (rather than standing up or reaching off the cake)
I think she wants a rectangle cake BUT I will have to clarify this as she has been quite adamant recently that birthday cakes are round...
I may add some marshmallow clouds...

I'm not sure how to do it though - colouring icing (I have done this on a small scale), cutting out and assembling rainbow (I'll need a template), which food colouring (Dr Oetker)?  In fact are food colourings safe?  Can I mix them, so I just need to buy 3?...


Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Monday, 26 July 2010


This piece has been in my head for a long time and first showed up in my City & Guilds sketchbook in 2006...

I've reworked these stone ideas over the years, seen here and here.  I suppose Pom Pom is another extension of it.

I've used the same stencil used in 2006 and in 2008 to create a larger (A3) sized pattern of stones.  Simply flipping and mirroring the stones then filling in gaps...

This time I've used textured paper (can't remember what type or where I bought it!).  It has bits in it.  My intention is to use single strand of embroidery floss and stitch over the stones... and see where it takes me.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Knitting - Summer Flies Shawl

I have started the bind off...

Knitting - Ruffle My Feathers Shawl

I haven't finished Summer Flies yet but already my eyes are wandering...

Ruffle My Feathers by Caryl Pierre.  Available to buy on Ravelry.

Its a double spine shawl.... (oo-er)

I don't even wear shawls, when will this madness stop?

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Knitting - Summer Flies Shawl

An update on my Summer Flies shawl...

I started on 18th July with some Freedom Gorgeous DK I had stashed (I was going to knit a top for E but never got round to it).  I was a bit concerned that the dark purple is to ‘heavy’ for the lace design. I’m not a shawl wearer so I have no frame of reference!  It has gone very well and very quickly and IS relatively easy.

This is only the second ‘shawl’ I’ve done and the second ‘lace’ pattern and I’ve not had any problems.

I was abit concerned that it could be too small (some people on ravelry have commented on that and the Freedom Gorgeous DK is a thinner Double Knit so my shawl could come out smaller)

So, being a broad back busty lady and having ~500 yards of yarn I decided to do some extra rows following a fellow Raveller's modifications.

Now only (ONLY! I have 508 stitches on the needles) have 4 rows of the ruffle to do THEN the picot edge bind off….

I have never done a picot edge bind off... and certainly not with 508 stitches...

Friday, 23 July 2010

Zines - The Green Bean

As mentioned in my last zine post I really liked the look of The Green Bean by Katie Green.

I bought it.

Its lovely - beautifully crisp detailed but light illustrations of every day stuff.  Love the illustrations of the shops and of course the page that finally forced me to buy this edition... 

And I got a free balloon print too... which E has already nabbed for her room.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Knitting - Scrappy Scarf


I really don't like the neon yarn.  This is the third project I've tried with it and its just NOT working.

One day I will manage this scarf, but not today!

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Knitting - Samples To Do List

A sample list ahead of all things knitting

Louisa Harding Thistle - Featherbed from Little Cake by Louisa Harding.  Karen is knitting this.  We're going to get a display head to put it on!

Louisa Harding Willow Tweed - we like Hawthorn in Little Cake but we only have two hanks of it.  So we may do something like this with a woven stitch pattern.

Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino - baby cardigan (it'll be small but it'll soft and cute)

Debbie Bliss EcoBaby - sample of lace shawl from EcoBaby pattern book.

Louisa Harding Grace Wool & Silk - Bainbridge Scarf on

For the basic samples - instead of knitting functional but dull square samples of 4ply, DK and Aran weight yarns I thought about knitting little items.  One idea is to knit little jumpers and cardigans.  Doll sized....  These would not only be a nice 'garment' example but look really good hung on a little washing line...

I found this DK cardigan at Tikki Fabric Addict (scroll down for Poppy)
And this retro look 4ply one at SockPixie
I'll need to find an Aran one too... maybe this bolero style (Ravelry Link) or an Aran style jumper

We will have to be careful that we have some adult sized garments too, or people may think we're just talking doll knitting or worse we're selling toys!

More samples ideas to follow...

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Knitting - Summer Flies Shawl

I have posted before my fascination with knitted shawls.

(even though I don't wear shawls, rarely knit anything bigger than childs cardigan, and have never attempted anything more than a simple yarn over)

This was obviously the exception and the jury's still out if I will actually wear it as I found it quite small.

I am now (slightly) obsessed about this shawl pattern which popped up on Ravelry's New & Popular list.

Its called Summer Flies and the version in the pattern is knitted in a bamboo DK.

There are many other versions on Ravelry to inspire me... and many of these knitters say its a quick knit and an easy pattern....


I do have some Twilley's Freedom Gorgeous DK in my stash....

Friday, 16 July 2010

Studio Journal - another colour pile

Trapped indoors on a very rainy day E and I did some cutting and pasting.  I ripped out some cold blue and juicy orange pages from a glossy magazine.  A popular colour choice in the June issue of Marie Claire.  I cut the pages into strips then squares and spread them out on a page.  I took a photo then did some 'manipulation'...

The original


I really like how some of the detail of the original squares shows through in the black and white versions.

Happy (and first letters)

more photography by a nearly 4 year old.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

all things knitting

Our Stitching group has a table at the Arts & Craft exhibition during the St Monans Art Festival in September.  Karen and I hope to show some yarns, tools, knitted samples and garments donated by fellow knitters.  We're not selling items on the stall, but promoting the craft.

At the moment its mostly knitting related but we may be able to include some crochet once we get a crocheter on board.  My own expertise is still at beginner...

I suppose it is a bit of experiment ahead of our plans to open a yarn shop (if we can ever find suitable premises).  With this in mind I have been making a list of materials and skills that a knitter needs (and can aspire too). 

Our aim is to show that knitting isn't just for older women knitting for babies and charity (a view still widely held).  And that there is a wide range of yarns, patterns and price points that can suit a diverse demographic.  And with a little patience and instruction it is a simple skill to learn.

As part of this (and with an eye on owning our own shop), we're hoping to knit up some samples using yarns in our stash and sample yarns by Louisa Harding and Debbie Bliss, including:-

Luckily we've both got lots of acrylic in our stash to show a more economical price point.

I would like to do some traditional swatches to show garter, stocking stitch, rib,  simple lace etc. And also some mini garments, perhaps a sock or handwarmer or small toy...

AND also some little balls of yarn for some experiments, teaching and 'tasting'.

All from 50g balls...

HOWEVER I'm feeling quite aprehensive!  A bit like when you have a brand new sketchbook and a clean white page in front of you and you don't want to make a 'mistake'! 

I should rip a ball band off and just get knitting... or maybe I need another list...

Monday, 12 July 2010

to do list

I feel the need for a to do list

St Monans Art Festival - ideas to explore - Lantern, Pom Pom, Windmill and Forth Street.
St Monans Art Festival - Display/demo of all things knitting (in conjunction with Stitching group)
Patchwork Hexagons
Knitted toys  - Everything's Rosie (Rosie, Raggles and 3 Acorns) and Angelina
Shawl ideas
Scrappy Scarf
design, write, print and distribute a zine (I'm toying with a knitting theme)
set in sleeves of E's ballet cardigan
business plan - (number crunching time for yarn shop)
annual 'report' for Kingdom of Adventure - (sounds more grand than it is, but no less complicated)
Oh. and I've signed up for an AS Level in English Language and Literature.  I do have 2 years to complete the course...

Sunday, 11 July 2010

stitching inspiration

My brother has taken up photography.  He has been doing it for a while now and is getting very qood!

I particularly like the odd views and lines he gets - looking through or up at buildings.  As well as the oddities he finds whilst out with his camera....

These recent ones are my particular favourites, I can immediately see them in stitch!

Scottish Parliament III by *lilscottieme on deviantART

Scottish Parliament II by *lilscottieme on deviantART

He has lots more on Deviant Art and Flickr.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

New Wool

Whilst visiting my in-laws I visited their local wool shop.  I was mainly looking for some yarn to knit Rosie, Raggles and 3 Acorns for E.

They had a bargain box with odd balls of yarn - all for 99p.  Bargain!

The turquoise will suit Raggles, the cream Snuggly I can use to knit Rosie.

I think the grey one may be a shawl and the Crofter (which I've had my eye on for a while) could be.... something else.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Everything's Rosie...

is an animation on cbeebies and E's new obsession.

E has now requested some toys for her birthday in August...  She didn't seem to care that this is a new programme and toys will not be released until the lurcative Christmas season.  She simply said, "You make it Mummy".


They main characters are a turquoise rabbit (Raggles) and a ragdoll (Rosie), she also likes the annoying acorns...

I found this free pattern for a knitted rabbit at Spud & Chloe and I thought I could knit another Poppy to make a Rosie (with some modifications...)

Or maybe I'll try out this free pattern by Nancy Anderson published in Petite Purls.

The acorns I can do using this pattern found via Ravelry on It's a Wonderful Life.

Of course, I am still knitting Angelina (which to be fair she did NOT ask for)...

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Knitting - Scrappy Scarf

In answer to my question posted here...

It takes 1.5 episodes of Angelina Ballerina - The Next Steps to do one row...

(approximately 25 minutes...)

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Pom Pom - Felt Studies

I've made a start on the felt pom poms...

I'm finding it very difficult to take photos just now, just can't get the right time of day to show true colours.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Sewing on Leaves - update

Original post here in Oct 2009, it did look like this...

 and it now looks like this:-

I've stored it a folder, unpressed and unpreserved.  The colours have faded and some of the leaves have cracked as they have dried, but its still lovely to look at.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Pom Pom - Samples

I'm revisiting my scattered pom pom idea.  I first blogged about it here in May 2009.

Ideas I've considered include embroidery stitches (long, short, knots, seed), fabric (applique?), fabric paint and stitches, and combinations of all of them.

I'm going to start with felt circles...

As I was laying these out I imagined a meandering black line doodling over them, circling round the shapes.

But first I played around with a photo editor...

Using the last layout I did some doodling with a pen...

Saturday, 3 July 2010

St Monans Art Festival

I'm going to exhibit some pieces in the local cafe during the St Monans Art Festival weekend in September

Its a bit last minute but I should be able to produce something! 

Works in progress (include)...

This and this and this

Friday, 2 July 2010

Knitting - Scrappy Scarf

I've had my eye on this lengthwise scarf pattern for a while.  Using 4 ply I had in my stash I did a swatch on 4.5mm needles, yielding 6 stitches per inch.

I want a 60" scarf which means I need to cast on 360 stitches...


wonder how long each row will take?
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