Monday 30 August 2010

Mannsen by Sylke

Sylke from Norway has got in touch to invite me to look at pictures on her blog of her version of Buttercup Bear.

I hope she doesn't mind if I use a picture from her blog.

If you want to see more of her pictures her blog is lysstreif.

Her bear is called Wilderness Bear Mannsen and I love the trousers she has made for him.

Saturday 28 August 2010

Shawl finished

I have now finished the lacy shawl I was knitting.

The pattern is Golitha Falls Shawl by Anniken Allis and is published in Anni Designs.

The pattern calls for lace weight yarn but as I wanted to make a woollier one for the winter, to use as a scarf, I used double knitting yarn.

I used my crofter fair isle effect DK left over from Amory. This gave an interesting colour effect and I still have 2 balls of the yarn left over.

This is my first triangular shawl - and probably my last. It started off great - 7 stitches but when the number of stitches got over 300, I lost interest. The shawl is smaller than it should be, because I couldn't take any more repeats - but anyway, as I've used the heavier weight yarn, it would be too bulky if I had made it bigger.

It was good to work on, but I don't think I'm a convert to shawl knitting - there are loads of lovely patterns out there - but I'll have to let them pass for now.
Anyway, I'm back on the mohair cardi again. Shedding everywhere, I'm coated in a fine layer of soft white fibres, and sneezing a lot - but it's going well, and should be finished fairly quickly - distractions permitting!

Wednesday 25 August 2010

Grace's Birthday

Yes, it's come around again - another year has flown by and Grace is now 19!

We had a fabulous day - we went ten pin bowling. I took a while to get into the swing of things, my technique being somewhat lacking, but my competitive instincts took over and I managed to win the second game. It was great fun for everyone.

We watched a number of DVDs that Grace had received as presents and had a quiet night in.

Here's the card I made for her.

The card looks cute but on closer inspection of the illustration it can be seen that the little girl is trying to fry the kittens!!

The argyle vest I was making for her turned out a treat.

Perfect fit and Grace is really pleased with it - just what she wanted.

I also made her a Fair Isle tammy.

I still haven't got round to typing this pattern up yet - but having worked through my notes a second time now, I'm more confident that I should be able to write out the pattern in a way that other people can understand.

Feeling pleased with the Tammy - I also made a matching one for Grace's Teddy Bear.

Yes I know I should be doing other things but it was worth making the effort - Grace (and her Teddy) loved it... and I love knitting Fair Isle!

Finally, Grace has been wanting a pot of African Violets for ages. I don't seem to be able to find any for her - so I gave her the next best thing - a crochet version.

I didn't have a pattern for this.

I crocheted around a plant pot - made a circular piece for the soil, several leaf and flower shapes, added beads for the flower centres and put it all together.

The idea was inspired by a version I saw on Ravelry. A pattern is available for purchase from Planet June.

Now it's time to get back to my other projects - although - we bought Grace a new crochet book - Crobots - crocheted robots. They are so cute - I could be distracted!

Sunday 22 August 2010

New Kim Hargreaves

I just found out the new Kim Hargreaves knitting book is out in the next week or so. I had a quick glance at the featured patterns on Laughing Hens site. I can't say I was that inspired by the choice - nothing jumped out and said "KNIT ME".

The only one I fancied was this one called Ruth.
I'll probably end up buying the book anyway - but I don't think I'll be rushing out to the shops just yet.

Thursday 19 August 2010

Inception and a Cat for Maddy

Last night, the three of us, Grace, Eve and I went to the pictures to see Inception.

It was brilliant - I could have watched it all over again straight away - what an adrenalin rush it was. The plot was so clever and the action was non-stop - can't wait for the DVD to come out - that's one that is definitely on our must-have list.

Prior to the trip to the cinema I had a crocheting day. It's Eve's friend Maddy's birthday today, so I made a cute little kitten for her.
She is adorable - I'm sure Maddy will be wowed by her.
The pattern is called Gumball the Kitten by Samantha J. Montgomery and is available for free.

Tuesday 17 August 2010

Yulia Brodskaya

Popped out to the library this morning to take back some books. Whilst I was there I found a new book all about paper art.

The book features the work of leading paper artists and the one that caught my eye was Yulia Brodskaya.

Here are some of her fantastic designs.

These are so inspiring. I enjoy paper quilling myself but I have never tried anything as ambitious as these. Maybe I should be more adventurous!

You can see more of Yulia's work at

Tuesday 10 August 2010

London, Cricket and Progress with the Vest

We had our annual day trip to London the other weekend. Our plan of action was to blitz the Victoria and Albert Museum and take in Hyde Park.

I was prepared this year for the train journey and took a travel-sickness tablet in advance. The journey was slightly better than last year but still not wonderful (why do I even bother to travel?)

I managed to get quite a bit of knitting done. I took the argyle vest I’m making for Grace to work on. It has a plain stocking stitch back and is quite a tight tension so straightforward boring knitting – perfect for the train journey.

The V&A was very impressive – loads to see – but we had to be selective because of time constraints. Obviously we found time for a cup of tea and a cake!

Afterwards we went for a walk around Hyde Park. I have always wanted to see the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens, so that’s where we went. I’m glad we made the effort – it’s a lovely statue – more detailed than I expected.

A great day out – but it’s hard work going all that way and trying to fit in as much as possible in a few hours. It’ll probably be a while before we go to London again.

Further progress was made on the argyle vest last week as we went to watch the cricket at Northern cricket Club – Lancashire 2nd XI v. Yorkshire 2nd XI. It’s how cricket should be – very civilised and genteel. There were about 20 spectators politely applauding.

I’m now working on the front of the argyle vest. This involves 13 small balls of yarn – for each of the diamonds (thankfully the crossed lines are Swiss darned on later).
As you can imagine, I have to spend quite a lot of time untangling the balls every few rows. But I’m making progress and it will definitely be finished by Grace’s birthday.

Wednesday 4 August 2010

Birthday card

Tomorrow is my MIL's 86th birthday. We're off out for a meal later- she's pacing her celebrations - otherwise she gets too tired.

Here is the card I have made for her.
The background is fabric and is slightly padded. Decorations include lace, a button and a cut-out. I used stampers for the flower designs in the corner.
I hope she'll like it - and I'm sure she will be spoilt rotten on her birthday.

Monday 2 August 2010

Maddalena Finished

Here is Maddalena, finished already.

This was a nice and quick project to knit.

We had to drive down south last week, so we stayed overnight in Leamington Spa. Leamington is a beautiful town - lovely architecture and peaceful parks with a river running through. We had a lovely time and the car journey meant that I managed to knit most of this cardi on the way.
The pattern is by Louisa Harding from her book Venezia Felice Mai Dopo. The pattern calls for worsted weight yarn but I used Stylecraft Life Aran (an acrylic and wool mix) and had no problem getting the tension right. I modified the neckline by making it lower and I also changed the sleeve length - I thought full-length rather than elbow-length would be more practical. The cardi used less than 3 100g balls and so was very economical.

I still have Olivia as a work-in-progress, this is the mohair cardi I'm designing. I didn't fancy knitting this one in the car because of the shedding problem. I'll get back to this cardi soon.
In the meantime, Grace's birthday has come around again (has it really been a year?) She would like an argyle vest so I found this (free) pattern through Ravelry.

It's called Geek Chic and is available here.

We went into Liverpool on Thursday and I've bought the yarn, so this is what I'm concentrating on for the time being.

I also bought the new Rowan magazine and there are many pattern in that tempting me - but I'll stay focused on what I've started - really I will.
We finally went to see Toy Story 3 last Wednesday - wonderful, and a bit dark and scary in places - and yes I cried at the end.