Saturday 31 December 2011

Holly Pattern

A vintage-style, slim-fit cardigan with Fair Isle pattern and contrast coloured edgings.

The PDF of the pattern is available here.

To fit 32” chest.
Finished measurements:
Chest 33”
Sleeve seam 18”
Length 21”

2 x 100g balls of Sirdar Country Style DK (main colour) 318 metres / 348 yards per ball
I used shade 502 gemini
1 x 100g ball of Sirdar Country Style DK in four contrasting colours
I used shades 423 light pink, 411 cream, 609 pillarbox, 441 light navy and 595 highland burn
3.75mm and 3.25mm straight needles
8 buttons

It would look good in other colour ways as well.

Tuesday 27 December 2011

Mini Christmas Trees

Here are some lovely little Christmas trees I made as a surprise for Christmas Day. 

They are about 5 inches tall.  They are knitted and decorated with star-shaped beads (from old bracelets the girls used to play with when they were very young).  They would also look good with round sparkly beads or sequins.

The pattern is available as a free Ravelry download, here.  OK so you may not want to make them right now - but you could add the pattern to your queue for next Christmas!

I used the trees to decorate the Christmas table and propped some name cards up against them to mark each place setting. 

Saturday 24 December 2011

9 Days of Christmas?

Only one day to go - and I've only completed 9 of the 12 knits of Christmas.  Here's the dancing lady for the ninth day of Christmas. 

No point worrying about the last three days of Christmas - they'll wait until next year.  It's now time to relax and enjoy the festivities.

A big thank you to you all for visiting my blog throughout the year.  I very much appreciate all the kind comments. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful time over the holiday period and


Thursday 22 December 2011

Sherlock Holmes

Night out, last night, to the pictures.  We saw the new Sherlock Holmes film. 

Robert Downey jnr was wonderful again. 

I thought I might have been disappointed because I was expecting so much.  The first film was brilliant - and this one was just as good.  Lots of over-the-top action, plenty of laughs and a really nasty villain. 

Another film to add to my favourites list. 

Wednesday 21 December 2011

Christmas Cards

Time's flying and I need to slow down and start relaxing into Christmas.  But before I run out of time, I thought I'd share with you some pictures of the Christmas cards I have made this year. 

I used various Christmas papers in three different sized squares and made simple origami modular shapes to form a layered Christmas tree. 

I added a little wooden star - and Hey presto - nice and easy, but charming little cards. 

Tonight we're off to the pictures to see the new Sherlock Holmes film - can't wait - I'm so excited - probably too excited, but I've been waiting for so long for this film to come out.  I'll let you know what we thought of it. 

Tuesday 20 December 2011

Christmas Cardigan

Some months ago I made a colourful Fair Isle cardigan - but I wasn't happy with it.  I've now reknitted the sleeves and the button bands - and - I love it. 

It's a lovely slim fit - plenty of colour and pattern - and a perfect cardi for Christmas. 

I'm calling the pattern Holly - this seems appropriate as the colours are green and red. 

Bear with me whilst I finish writing up the pattern - I'll publish it as soon as I can - but it will be after Christmas.

Thursday 15 December 2011


Eve and I went to the pictures last night and saw the film Hugo, directed by Martin Scorsese. 

It's not your usual Martin Scorsese film - this one was charming and whimsical.  Set in 1930s Paris, it's about an orphaned boy living in a train station who is trying to repair a broken automaton.  It's full of details about the history of the film industry, lovely little romantic scenarios and surreal moments. 

A beautiful film that warms your heart. 

Monday 12 December 2011

The Twelve Knits of Christmas Part 2

Making slow progress with the Twelve Knits of Christmas.  During the day (when everyone is out) I'm busy with all my secret makes, so I only have time for these in the evening.  Next year I am definitely going to start preparing for Christmas earlier!

Anyway, here is part two of the Twelve Knits of Christmas.

Five Gold Rings...

A Goose (not a-laying) ...

A Swimming Swan...

A rather scary Milk Maid...

The next four may take a bit more time to finish but I'll do my best. 

Wednesday 7 December 2011

Christmas Wreath

Time's flying and I've still so much to do and make.  In between projects I thought I would share with you a couple of pictures of the wreath I have decorated for Christmas. 

The letters are crocheted.  I used the wonderful patterns in Melody Griffiths' book 201 Crochet Motifs, Blocks, Projects and Ideas.  Regular readers will know that I use these letters on a regualr basis for decorations - they are so versatile. 

The red and yellow flowers also come from the book - based on a primrose pattern - and are quick and easy to make. 

Nice and jolly - the wreath is now hanging up in the porch to welcome visitors to our home. 

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Harry Potter Puppet Pals

As a little treat and a surprise for Eve, I knitted some Harry Potter puppet pals for her to have fun with with her friends. 

The patterns are by Darlene Polishak and are avaliable for free, here, here and here

They are quick to knit but it's the making up that takes time.  Having said that it was worth all the fiddling around to see the look of delight on Eve's face when she opened the box with them in - she's worth it. 

Wednesday 30 November 2011

On My Walk Today...

On my early morning walk today I saw an owl.  I've only ever seen them in zoos and places like that.  This one flew past me and perched briefly on a branch before flying off again. 

It was 6.45am and the sky was only just lighting up, the sun hadn't risen so I only saw the owl in silhouette, but there was no mistaking it for anything else. 

I couldn't tell what type of owl it was, but as tawny owls are the most common in Britain, I assume it was that. 

What a magical start to the day - it made me smile so much. 

Sunday 27 November 2011

Christmas Angel

Wow, November seems to be going so fast and there's still so much to do.  Only four weeks to Christmas. 

I took a little time out from my twelve knits of Christmas and other secret projects to make this cute little angel.

She's very easy to make and will look great on the tree. 

I love her face - she has a cheeky smile. 

The pattern was created by my wonderfully talented and incredibly beautiful daughter, Grace (OK, I'm biased!).  It's available on her blog for free, here

Tuesday 22 November 2011

New Kim Hargreaves Book

I've just noticed that Kim Hargreaves has a new book out called Scarlet.

Looking at the patterns on her webpage, these are the ones that caught my eye...

This sweater is called Craft and has a lovely textured pattern.

This cardi is also beautifully textured and is called Love.

And finally this lovely shaped cardi is called Steed - probably my favourite pattern but very similar to the Darcy pattern in the book called Heartfelt.

However, I don't think I'll be buying the book - as with the previous two books (which I didn't buy), I think there is too much sameness to previous patterns.  A little more originality would be nice.  I have at least 11 of her books - so I'm not short of patterns, plus most of the Rowan magazines dating from when she was the chief designer. 

So, sorry Kim, love you and your patterns but something new in future, please.

Thursday 17 November 2011

The Twelve Knits of Christmas Part 1

So much to do to get ready for Christmas - I said last year (I say it every year) that I would be more organised this year but with one thing and another it hasn't happened.  So I have my usual situation of over ambitious plans and a shortage of time!

Anyway - I am making progress on my Twelve Knits of Christmas - I have completed the first four items - admittedly they are the easiest and quickest to make but at least it's progress. 

So we have a partridge (not in a pear tree!)...

A turtle dove....

A french hen...

And a calling bird...

They are fun to make and easy patterns to follow.  The book is called the Twelve Knits of Christmas and it's by Fiona Goble. 

Five gold rings will be very quick but the milk maid, piper and drummer are going to slow me down!

Tuesday 15 November 2011

The Ladykillers

Grace, Eve and I went to the Playhouse in Liverpool last night and saw the play The Ladykillers.  The Playhouse celebrated its 100th birthday on Friday and this play was a fitting way to celebrate. 

It is the stage adaptation of the classic Ealing comedy film that starred Peter Sellers and Alec Guinness.

This version starred Peter Capaldi, James Fleet, Ben Miller and Clive Rowe amongst others and it was excellent.  So funny - lots of slapstick, amazing scenery and all the acting was top quality. 

We were lucky to get tickets because it was so popular, it sold out quickly.  The show moves to London, to the Gielgud Theatre on 26th November - if there are any tickets left, I'd definitely recommend it. 

Sunday 13 November 2011

Formby Church

Yesterday we had a little trip out to Formby - it's only a short distance up the coast from where we live, but our visit was to see St Peters Church and in particular look at the grave stones. 

The church was built in 1736, the previous chapel having been overwhelmed by sand!  Additions were made to it in the 1800s. 

My grandfather's family originated from Formby - they were farmers, before they moved to Liverpool and the prospect of better jobs.

Numerous members of my family are buried in the grounds of the church and I was hoping to find the graves of my 4th great grandparents. 

Unfortunately we didn't find them but there were many more graves bearing the family name - the family had been quite extensive in the area in the 1700s and 1800s. 

I did manage to identify the grave of my 7th great grand uncle.

He was born in Formby in 1689 and died in 1759.  His grave was near the entrance to the church and he would have been one of the early burials at the church. 

It's wonderful to be able to piece together the past and imagine the lives our forefathers would have lived.  Tracing the family history is such an absorbing and enlightening pastime. 

Saturday 12 November 2011

Bond - finished

I've finally got around to taking the photos of the latest sweater to come off the needles.  It was actually finished last weekend but I haven't been organised this week. 

It's wonderful - such a perfect fit.  Lovely Autumn colours - purples, greens and reds. 

The pattern is by the wonderful Kim Hargreaves - nobody knows how to shape a sweater better than her.  The name of the pattern is Bond and it originally appeared in Rowan magazine #28.  It is now available as a free download on the Rowan website, here

I've made this pattern twice before and I'm sure I'll make it again in the future.  The pattern features a slash-necked version, a striped version and a three-quarter sleeves version!

The pattern calls for Rowan felted tweed but I used the more economical Sirdar Escape DK, but any double knitting weight yarn could be substituted.  It took 9 x 50g balls for the smallest size.  It's an easy knit and ideal for knitting in front of the televsion.  This is going to keep me warm all winter.

Saturday 5 November 2011

Furry Fairies

What could be cuter than little fairy mice. 

These knitted Furry Fairies are by Alan Dart - one of my favourite designers for interesting and cute characters.  I have previously made the Snow Queen and the Pudding Pixie from his patterns. 

This pattern is even better because it's FREE!  You can access the pattern, here, on Alan's website.

The original pattern has the mice holding stars but I have changed mine to crocheted hearts.  They each have little silver wings and a pretty skirt.

The knitting up time is about an hour for each mouse - it's the making up time that's longer - but they're worth it. 

All we need now is a Christmas tree to hang them on.  I took these pictures outside in the front garden and received some strange looks from a passing workman - isn't it normal to take pictures of woolly mice in trees?