Saturday, 19 December 2009

I've been knitting - honest!

Really I have but as I am pretty broke this year I am knitting or making as many Christmas gifts as possible, so I really can't show them to the blog. No really I can't, since the recipients are the only people who read this (plus Fleegle, whom I now love a great deal - you're brilliant!) plus I've taken no photos yet either.

However I am aware that I have not blogged for a while and that is rather dull, how can I hope to increase readership if I never write anything.

I have booked to go to the knitting day in London this summer with quite a few classes that I am looking forward to. I have not as yet booked onto the UK Knit Camp - I am not sure I will, Sterling is a very long way (yes I know most people are coming from America, Canada and the rest of Europe and it is much further for them) but I'd have to pay for it now (hmm not happening - why can't these things be spread out) - but...... Norah Gaughan is teaching!!! ohh ohh ohh and quite a few other fantastic teachers. I may wait and see if there are spaces left later in the year (seriously - not likely, but I can hope), not really any spinning teachers though which is what I would love to do (or dying or weaving!). There are some interesting classes for people interested in self publishing patterns which would probably be very interesting too.

Blogs without pictures are dull, so a few randoms that should brighten up the page. Some handspun from Spunky Eclectic club fibre (January 2009) colour Twilight, fibre organic merino. I loved being part of the club but I stopped because I just was not spinning what I was sent only increasing the stash, that is a shame when others would enjoy the club and spin things up and I was sitting there taking up a spot.

Anyway this is 300g at around aran weight, I purchased some navy blue aran to compliment this and will be making something like Jared Floods Alberta vest, Jared promised me in the summer that the pattern would be available soon but I might just have to get on with it without one.

2 ply, spun on my ladybug, split the roving into two and spun without much pre-drafting, tried to get the colour changes to match at least a little when plying.

Monday, 26 October 2009

How can grownup man can look cool in a panda hat?

One of my dearest friends from work has left the London office to go to the Beijing office, he will be very much missed but I hope to see him again soon. He did ask "You won't put this on your blog will you?" Sorry Zach - you looked so awesome I couldn't leave this out.

Quite a while ago Zach asked me to knit him a panda hat and because he is an industrial designer and uber cool we spent quite a lot of time discussing the shape and the texture. What he didn't know was the final hat was in fact number four - the others were not what I wanted at all.

I like to think of myself as quite stylish and glamorous but looking at the photographs from Fridays leaving party I pale to insignificance next to the designers I work with. They are such photogenic creatures, doesn't really help that I always look like a half witted piglet in photos but....

How does an over 6 foot tall man look good in a furry panda hat? Here is how:

There will be a fifth incarnation of this hat - no pink in the ears and a different yarn, less sheep like and more fur like, as Zach has requested. I think I will need to block this better as one side has a slight bump that I don't like so much. I may also need to write the pattern out as well as quite a few others in the office would like a version of this hat - I may start taking orders!

Monday, 12 October 2009

Colour wheel quilt

We had a lovely weekend at Champneys, blissed out in fact. Leo flew home on Monday morning but before she left I gave her the quilt I had sewn for her sons 2nd birthday, she very kindly took some photos in their gorgeous light filled flat when she got home.

The quilt is from last minute patchwork and quilted gifts by Joelle Hoverson, I love this book it makes me want to sew more, however there is nothing last minute about this quilt - it took me a while!

It was my first quilt and I did need some extra tips from Mum but it has inspired me to make something else for another friend but that is remaining a secret for the moment.

Joelle is generally an inspiring kind of girl - check out her other book, which I also enjoyed, I think it may be because of the fantastic photography that makes the items look so beautiful, the knitting patterns themselves are not particularly intriguing or difficult. There is also the regularly updated website, it can be a little weird and random but there are some fun, quick and interesting pieces to inspire.

The quilt recipient does apparently like it, which was the main goal of this project - he's doing a pretty awesome job of naming all the colours and I want to wish him a wonderful day so:
Happy 2nd Birthday Inigo - I hope you enjoy your party!

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Owlet Jumper

I have been waiting to publish this post but the recipients mummy reads this blog and I wanted it to be a surprise.

I've travelled to Finland again this week with work and I am of course staying with my lovely and generous best friend from University, who's son is my one and only best godson in the whole universe - the jumper is for him, the first in this winters wardrobe from me.

The pattern is almost unbearably cute and I love it, the whole sweater was knit in one weekend,
owlet by Kate Davies. The yarn is Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran in the colour mango, lovely and soft to work with, I hope it will keep nicely and not pill like other DB yarns - the twist seems fairly tight.

I made a few tweaks to the pattern as I progressed but that was personal preference and not any problem with the pattern.

Sewing on the buttons for eyes was the only annoying bit - 32 eyes since you asked! The buttons are from the Cloth House in Soho - they have a pretty good selection of trims and buttons as well as lovely fabric.

If I were to knit this again I would change the decreases on the arms as a personal preference I am less fond of the sharp decrease at the end of the sleeve and prefer gradual decreases down the whole length.

The green opalescence seems to glow with the yellow back ground. MMmmmm pretty! It's quite interesting how very slight variations in the knit and the way the eyes are sewn give the owls different facial expressions, third full owl from the left is the most intelligent looking whilst his two next door neighbors have wider set eyes and appear more gormless, fifth from the lefts eyes are lower giving him a more bookish appearance, athropomorphism in knitted owls.

Pattern: Owlet by Kate Davies

Size: Largest of the baby sizes

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran in Mango 5 balls

Needles: 4.5mm, 6mm and 6.5mm

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Birthday socks - part 2

Well it has taken a while to publish this post! I knit these socks for my mothers birthday in May - you've already seen the socks for Grannies birthday and hers is the day after Mums.

These are the ever fabulous Monkey socks by Cookie A and I feel like the last knitter in the world to actually make these. The yarn was intended for the lovely Over the Garden Wall socks from the Socktopus club and came as part of the club kit, I will be knitting these socks but the yarn was perfect for Mum and I knew she would not wear something with the lacey toes like the Over the Garden Wall socks. So I bought another skein of the same yarn and used the first to knit these.

The yarn was as predicted absolutely delicious, from my latest favourite dyer Artists Palette Yarns her colours are very clever and subtle
and the yarns are gorgeous.

The pooling in this picture looks really obvious but in person it is more muted. These were a super quick knit only a couple of days for each sock and not spending that long per day knitting, it must be the easily memorised pattern. I want a pair of these for myself, I tried these on and need to add an extra repeat to the foot pattern to fit my slightly bigger tootsies.

Pattern: Monkey by Cookie A

: Sweet Feet from the Artists Palette colour way Socktopus March 2009 club

Needles: Size 2.25mm Lantern Moon sock sticks in ebony wood.

Monday, 15 June 2009

A dunga-dunga-dunga rees

I made these on a clapped out sewing machine - don't look too closely at the seams. They are being proudly modeled by my godson and seriously brightening up Helsinki, even though it is nearly mid-summer and the sun is actually shinning there! His mummy tells me that he gets stares on the tram and in the park when wearing them.

A clothkits kit again - should have been predictable that a '70's classic would excite me. They were really easy apart from the sewing machine issue and the straps. The strap difficulties came because I thought I knew better and didn't follow the pattern, this would have put a couple of lines of stitches down the middle of the strap all the way through which would have made them less pretty. I decided to sew a tube and then turn them the right way round - the material is quite stiff and hard wearing making my 'smart idea' a mistake, it took 4 hours to turn them back around while I broke all my nails, stuck myself a dozen or more times with the knitting needle I used to help me (ouch!) and threw them accross the room in annoyance. If they hadn't been for this little bod I would have given up, but he looks so cute I am glad I did it.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Cookie news flash

I mentioned before that I went on a Cookie A workshop. Well I only took pictures of famous socks (monkey, pomatomus) and me touching them. Thankfully Alice had the brains to take pictures and look - I'm sitting next to Cookie at lunch. In case you're wondering, I did not behave like a starstruck Muppet (unlike accidentally stalking John Torrode or doing impressions of a koi carp at Nigel Slater) and we had an interesting conversation about having a colourway named after you (Cookie - cookie next door - STR, sadly discontinued) and having a sock named after you (Me - Bex - in Cookies new book - you all know that is a lie and it was just coincidence)

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Birthday socks - part 1

I am off to Denmark for my Mother and Mormors (Grandmothers) birthdays, I thought I would knit both of them pairs of socks as part of their presents.

First of all the socks for Mormor:

I picked a Cookie A pattern - I went to a class taught by her a few weeks ago, it was really inspirational and I learnt a great deal. Anyway the pattern is Trystero, beautiful, simple to knit and fits really well - I love the way the cables flow.

The yarn is Angel from the Natural Dye Studio, I think the colour was called cornflower and if it wasn't it should be, it almost glows with a etherial pale blue light, the alpaca and cashmere gives a beautiful halo, very soft and yummy. The yarn is quite thin and I perhaps should have used 2mm needles rather than the 2.25mm that I did use but I really don't like 2mm needles they make everything seem to take so much longer - it could be psychological though. The fabric feels quite delicate so I don't know how well it will stand up to hard wearing, these are intended as bed socks which means light wearing which shouldn't be a problem.

The verdict is that I want a pair of these socks for myself and I would definitely use the yarn again but not for socks - maybe a shawl.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Not a very new year.

Guiltless blogging - I will not feel bad about the infrequent blogging, I do this for enjoyment not to make a living!

Anyway - lots of knitting and spinning not so much to show for it, I seem to give things away before I photograph it.

I finally sewed my skirt from clothkits:

Lovely to wear but the colours are impossible to photograph (well by me anyway!), very easy and quick to make. Only problem was getting the seam at the bottom to be even when wearing it, this is because my front and back are not the same shape, the back looks shorter if you go by the printed pictures and pattern as a guide. If you do it by measuring from the ground up the space between the scallop print edge and the hem is faaarrrr more at the back - the difference will be less if you have a smaller bottom I suspect. Love the lining they supplied (Liberty print) but it really doesn't work with the colour and print of the skirt - thankfully it is only me that knows this when I am wearing it.

All in all a quick and easy project, I already have another two kits in the cupboard to make and requests from a couple of people to make others. Actually what I really want to do is to make the little birds cardigan to go with mine.