Saturday 31 May 2014

More Birthday Celebrations

May is proving to be a month of significant birthdays.  We've already had my Mum's 80th birthday and today is my Step-Father's 90th birthday - WOW!  Still fit and active.

Happy Birthday Ed.

Mum and Ed with Eve in 1994

I'm sure it will be a memorable day.  We're off for a big family get-together later, as a joint birthday celebration.

Tuesday 27 May 2014

A New Magazine

It's been a while since I last browsed the shelves in the newsagents.  Today I decided to treat myself to something new to read and I found this...

Daphne's Diary is a Dutch publication with quite a mix of articles and inspiring ideas.

So I'm going to settle down with a nice cup of tea and flick through my magazine, I'm sure there will be plenty to inspire.  Have a good day.

Saturday 24 May 2014

Blossom Bunny Pattern

Most of my crochet patterns are for bears - in a variety of sizes.

The favourite bear pattern is definitely Buttercup Bear.  She's been made over 116 times by Ravelry members, and I'm sure there are plenty more versions out there that haven't been shared on Ravelry.

Buttercup Bear now has a friend, Blossom Bunny.

She's made in a similar way to Buttercup and is just as cute.

To make Blossom Bunny I used:
100g of pink double knitting yarn
A small amount of white double knitting yarn
3mm crochet hook (American size C/D)
Notions – toy stuffing, oddments of black yarn, pretty ribbon.

The pattern is written using UK crochet terms.  The finished size is approximately 28 cm (11 inches) tall from top to toes (excluding ears).

The pattern can be downloaded, here.  
More details about this pattern can be found on the Ravelry pattern page, here.  

I hope you like the pattern.

Thursday 22 May 2014

Red Squares

I've taken a little break from my Fair Isle knitting to make some red squares.

The squares are to be made into a blanket as part of an illness awareness project on Ravelry.  A different illness is featured each month and this month it is stroke awareness.  My daughter, Grace, is hosting the month and she is responsible for collecting the squares and making them into blankets.

The squares have to be red (apparently this is the colour for stroke awareness) and they must be 6 inches square and made from acrylic yarn and can be either knitted or crocheted.

I'm hoping to make quite a few more squares this week.  It's fun planning different designs and it's a good way to try new patterns.

Full details of this project can be found on the "12 Months of Awareness" group page, on Ravelry, here.

I hope some of you will be able to help.  Grace can be contacted through Ravelry, her user name is Smiles-a-lot.  Thank you.

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Fair Isle Work-in-Progress

The new Fair Isle cardigan is coming on nicely.

It's exactly the same Fair Isle design as the last one but I'm making some adjustments to the fit.

Although I've just knitted this pattern it's still fun to knit because the change in colour scheme gives the design a whole new dimension.

I'm disciplining myself to darn in the ends as I go along and I'm also writing out the pattern as I go so it should be ready for publication as soon as the cardigan comes off the needles - I'm so well organised at the moment, I surprise myself!

Friday 16 May 2014

Grey Celia

I've just finished another cardigan.

This one is knitted up from my Celia pattern, which I designed last year, but this time I have knitted it using Jamieson & Smith 2 ply jumper weight wool.

I love the cropped style of his cardigan.  I wear mostly dresses and skirts and so I prefer a shorter length for my cardigans.  Also I like a fitted style but one that is easy to wear.  When I designed the Celia pattern this was my criteria and I think the Celia cardigan is just perfect for what I want - which is why I have knitted this second version.

The Jamieson & Smith wool gives a slightly different gauge to the yarn I originally used, so I reduced the number of stitches picked up for the neckline and slimmed the sleeve head down a touch.

I know that this cardigan will be worn so much over the coming summer months.  It's the perfect cover up for a cooler day but looks stylish enough to be worn in the evening as well.

As I plan and design cardigans, I like to tweak them to get the cardigan to be the perfect fit - I think with this pattern I've found my ideal.  I shall have to knit some more in a variety of shades and then I'll never be short of the right cardigan to wear.

Full details of this project can be found on my Ravelry page, here.

Thursday 15 May 2014

Reworking the Fair Isle Cardigan

I have received such lovely messages here and on Ravelry for my Fair Isle cardigan.

This has inspired me to reknit the pattern so that I can iron out the little niggles that made it not quite as I wanted it.  I will then feel comfortable publishing the pattern.

I've chosen a slightly different colour palette - using yarn from my existing stash.  It's Rowan Fine Tweed, which I love - although I've noticed the price of a ball seems to have shot up over the last year or so!

I'll be starting this later today and I can't wait to get the ribbing out of the way so I can start on the Fair Isle pattern.  Although I plan the colour combinations carefully, I can never be sure how they will look when knitted up into a full size garment - part of the fun of Fair Isle knitting.

I've also recently treated myself to some Jamieson & Smith 2 ply jumper weight yarn.

I'm relatively new to this Shetland wool but I'm loving knitting with it.  Far more reasonably priced than the Rowan wool - I'm busy building up my stash of this yarn.

I'm planning a lacy knit cardigan with the darker purple and a Fair Isle panelled cardigan with the rest - although by the time I get round to knitting this wool up, I may have changed my ideas.

I have more ideas than I have time to knit - so what's new!

Tuesday 13 May 2014

A Card and a Flower

I so much enjoyed making this card using fabrics and embroidery for my Mum for her birthday.

Embroidering the little squares was a relaxing experience that gave me time to contemplate all the things my Mum means to me.

Putting together the patchwork was fun.

I also crocheted my Mum this flower.

Like me her favourite colour is yellow.  The petals are lovely and lacey - they keep their shape with wire.

The pattern comes from an Italian blog called Lana e Cotone.  You can see the pattern, here, - and it's free.

I do so love making and giving.

Sunday 11 May 2014

A Very Special Birthday

Today is a very special day - it's my Mum's 80th birthday.

We're meeting up later but I just want to say that I think she's wonderful and I love her very much.  I'm so glad that I get the chance to spend the day with her.

Christmas 1961

Saturday 10 May 2014

The Recycled Basket

My Mum gave me an old basket - she knows I can't resist baskets (and boxes and tins!).  This basket had originally held a plant arrangement.  It had a thick waterproof liner and still held the traces of some of the soil.   It also had plenty of potential.

So I removed the waterproof liner, stripped of the ribbon, unpicked the handle and gave it a scrub.

Then I took out my crochet hook a pile of yarn and set to work - and here is the new, recycled, re-loved basket.

It has a little scalloped edging that is worked around the basket itself and so it is held snugly in place.

Just perfect for storing one of my many projects!

Thursday 8 May 2014

The Fair Isle Cardigan Finished

After a few false starts, I've finally finished my Fair Isle cardigan.

It's knitted with Rowan Fine Tweed, a lovely 4 ply wool.  I used a total eleven different colours and I'm so pleased with the way the colours and patterns work together.

I had a bit of trouble with the sleeve head and had to reknit it.  The finished sleeve head is quite full and gives the finished article a feel of the 1940s - I like it!

The only thing I'm not 100% happy with is the neckline.  I like a low neckline but this one has turned out quite wide as well.  I think if I was reknitting it I would reduce the width of the neck across the back and maybe not pick up so many stitches around the neck - but so what, I still love the cardigan, and knitting the Fair Isle pattern was great fun.

In view of the issues with the neckline, I won't be publishing this pattern, but I will be tinkering and I'll create something along the same lines shortly - I reckon you can never have enough Fair Isle cardigans.

Details of the colours used can be found on my Ravelry page, here.