Monday, 30 July 2007

Quick post - Ravelry

I've been quite slow in posting over the last week what with one thing and another, but I've got lots to say and show so rest assured that I'll remedy the situation tonight. Meanwhile, some exciting news - there are now fewer people in front of me than behind in the queue for Ravelry membership - Hooray! Admittedly that still means that 7058 people have to be signed up before I get the chance, but it is still morale raising!

Ravelry looks amazing and inspirational, somewhere to meet like minded people without having to trawl the web for knitting and crochet blogs. I am very excited indeed.

Monday, 23 July 2007

Knitting meme - I love lists!

I found this on the Odds and Ends blog. I have done very little, but this may inspire me to find out what some of these things are, then give them a go.

The rules: Mark with bold the things you have knit, with italics the ones you plan to do sometime, and leave the rest.

Additional rule: Mark with a different colour things you have never heard of but are fascinated by!

  • Afghan - only in crochet
  • I-cord
  • Garter stitch
  • Knitting with metal wire
  • Shawl
  • Stockinette stitch
  • Socks: top-down - on the needles and growing very slowly
  • Socks: toe-up - now there's an idea
  • Knitting with camel yarn - no, but I do have some yak, camel and other random fibres waiting to be spun
  • Mittens: Cuff-up
  • Mittens: Tip-down
  • Hat
  • Knitting with silk
  • Moebius band knitting
  • Participating in a KAL - not sure if I will be brave enough for a while
  • Sweater - does a tank top count?
  • Drop stitch patterns
  • Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn - ahem, most of it is at the moment.
  • Slip stitch patterns
  • Knitting with banana fiber yarn - oooh, exciting
  • Domino knitting (=modular knitting)
  • Twisted stitch patterns
  • Two end knitting - huh?
  • Knitting with bamboo yarn - soooo soft
  • Charity knitting
  • Knitting with soy yarn
  • Cardigan
  • Toy/doll clothing - well, toys and dolls, so I suppose they will need clothing
  • Knitting with circular needles
  • Baby items - my first properly shaped things were booties
  • Knitting with your own hand-spun yarn if I ever get round to spinning the masses of sheep under the stairs ...
  • Slippers
  • Graffiti knitting
  • Continental knitting
  • Designing knitted garments. - perhaps in many years time, but am an odd shape so would be a useful skill.
  • Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
  • Lace patterns - well, eyelets, which nearly count
  • Branching out - see variety of stuff on blog!
  • Publishing a knitting book - oh definitely - aim high, that's what I say!
  • Participate in an exchange - I'm signed up for a stitch marker exchange and secret pall 11 - very excited indeed.
  • Scarf
  • Teaching a child to knit - if I ever have any [sigh]
  • American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
  • Knitting to make money - that would be nice
  • Buttonholes - suppose i'll have to, not being a big velcro fan
  • Knitting with alpaca
  • Fair Isle knitting
  • Norwegian knitting
  • Dying with plant colors
  • Knitting items for a wedding
  • Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies…)
  • Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on one or two circulars
  • Knitting with someone else’s hand-spun yarn - etsy here I come ...
  • Knitting with dpns - an increasingly long running sock saga
  • Holiday related knitting
  • Teaching a male how to knit
  • Bobbles - can make pom-poms now, after reminding myself how to (last made a pompom in infant school I think - which was, ahem, a few years ago!)
  • Knitting for a living - or winning the lottery and then knitting for fun, but all the time instead of in spare moments between work and husband looking after ...
  • Knitting with cotton
  • Knitting smocking
  • Dying yarn
  • Steeks - rude scottish word?
  • Knitting art
  • Knitting two socks on two circulars simultaneously - sounds like a recipe for mayhem
  • Fulling/felting -gave it a go with some merino tops and it came out quite nicely, but need to practice I think. Tried to felt a charity shop jumper but misread the label - turned out to be superwash so just made a fluffy mess of the sheet and towel I washed it with [sigh]
  • Knitting with wool
  • Textured knitting
  • Kitchener stitch
  • Knitted flowers
  • Purses/bags
  • Knitting with beads - have crocheted with beads and it turned out to be very pretty
  • Swatching - when I can be bothered (very bad habit - slap wrist)
  • Long Tail CO - wondrous thing, but still can't cast on evenly
  • Entrelac - French rustic cuisine?
  • Knitting and purling backwards
  • Machine knitting
  • Knitting with self patterning/self striping/variegated yarn - don't like changing colour
  • Stuffed toys
  • Knitting with cashmere
  • Darning - suppose I'd better. If we are going to be self-sufficient that probably means in socks as well doesn't it?
  • Jewelry
  • Knitting with synthetic yarn
  • Writing a pattern
  • Gloves
  • Intarsia
  • Knitting with linen - in the stash, waiting for the perfect pattern. Slubbed linen/cotton mix, dk weight, 150g - any ideas?
  • Knitting for preemies
  • Tubular CO
  • Free-form knitting
  • Short rows
  • Cuffs/fingerless mits/arm-warmers
  • Pillows
  • Knitting a pattern from an on-line knitting magazine - bless 'em
  • Rug
  • Knitting on a loom
  • Thrummed knitting
  • Knitting a gift
  • Knitting for pets - they wouldn't appreciate it / would rip it to shreds
  • Shrug/bolero/poncho
  • Knitting with dog/cat hair - ick
  • Hair accessories
  • Knitting in public - every day on the train, trying not to poke my neighbours with the knitting needles.

Friday, 20 July 2007

Blog review # 2

Just time for a quick review of a cute blog. Monkee Maker makes monkeys, and they seem to be quite amusing creatures to have around. Not a lot more I can say about this, except that it is a truly original blog, and I hope to start my own monkey family soon!

  • Reasons to visit this blog: Great fun blog, and knitting related so I can justify putting this on a craft blog
  • Things to see: Monkeys causing trouble and having fun. They're just off on holiday ...
  • Favourite post at the moment: Do blonds REALLY have more fun?

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

teacosies, booties, ships a sailing

Quick post this evening, as we are off to see Harry Potter at the cinema, and I have to make pizza.

These little cuties are my latest knitting escapade. They aren't quite the same, and the seams aren't really neat (can't get the hang of keeping my selvedges tidy), but they are at least functional. The pattern is called Saartjes Booties from Saartje Knits and I've knitted them in 4-ply cotton. They are very simple, once you have got the hang of something called a long-tail cast on (think I have - v complicated)

In other knitting news, my tea cosy languishes unused and unfinished, as I still haven't found a teapot to fit it (and therefore don't know where the holes should be. But I'm off to Ikea on Friday all being well ...

Finally, non-knitting related news - I've pasted together the first of our patchwork blocks for Fran (don't look below Frances Mayou! you'll spoil the surprise)

this is my first go at applique, and I used the method described in various posts on blogs - I cut out the exact shape I wanted (in reverse) out of freezer paper (waxed on one side), then ironed it on to the wrong side of the fabric. Then I pritt sticked all round the paper and folded over the seam allowance as neatly as I could (not very then!). I snipped the curves as I went, and now have lots of neat shapes pinned to their background. Suppose I'd better start sewing them on!

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Blog review # 1

Well, I don't really have a lot of crafty things to report this week. I thought I'd start a weekly review of blogs that I read, so that I can share with you some beautiful things I see every day as I trawl through the web.

Il bloggo

Is a blog written by Hanna, who lives in Sweden and studies journalism, and spends most of her time being creative. Her blog posts are always beautiful, full of gorgeous colours and images. I try not to feel too overwhelmed by the creativity that I see here and elsewhere, but I do think I have a long way to go.

  • Reasons to visit this blog: Inspirational colours and images
  • Things to see: Art journals, crafty things, gorgeous flower photos, Smilla (particularly after she has had a shower ;-)
  • Favourite post at the moment: Mini sheeps

New craft - well, kind of

I have a bit of a penchant for close up photography, so while husband was playing hide and seek on the beach on a recent camping holiday:

I happened to spot a small stone, firmly wedged in a hole in the groyne (sea defence). So I took a photo of it. Then I spotted another, and another and another, and before I knew it, I had lots of photos of small stones stuck in holes.

There is something rather beautiful about these dull little pebbles, forced by the sea into the holes and wedged there until the next storm takes them on their way.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

My birthday - coming up - soonish

A to Z, whose blog I regularly stare amazedly at, linked to the following nifty blogthing, which tells you all about yourself just from your birthday. Why am I so addicted to these kind of things? Perhaps I should collage all the results to look for trends and collate the results to discover my real personality?

Anyway, the following is available at What does your birthdate mean?

Your Birthdate: August 24

You understand people well and are a natural born therapist.
A peacemaker, people always seem to get along when you are around.
You tend to be a father or mother figure to friends, even to those older than you.
You enjoy your role, and you find that you are close to many people.

Your strength: Your devotion

Your weakness: Reliance on others for happiness

Your power color: Lilac

Your power symbol: Heart

Your power month: June

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Beautiful inspirational book

Ah dear, bookshopping in my lunch hour is a dangerous business.

Not only do I have Europe's largest academic Waterstones a mere stagger from my office door, but there is a closing down art bookshop round the corner, from where I just had to get the following (they also had moleskine books on sale, but I resisted!)

Slightly out of focus, sorry, long evening ...

It has a whole history of tile making, from medieval floor tiles, to modern designs. Here are just a couple of them:

Art-deco shop tiles - perfect for printing or stencil designs?

Victorian tile from the Mosaic tile company, designed for decorating primary schools.


I am nearly 5 inches into my first ever pair of knitted socks! Thanks to a sock-knitter from my knitting group, who inspired me to request this book from the library,

Easy knitted socks: fun and fashionable designs for the novice knitter
Jeanette Trotman
ISBN 9781844482146
and once I had found the 2.5mm dpns in a charity shop there was no stopping me!

So here is my first sock effort: OK, so I botched up the rib to main sock transition, when I knitted instead of purling, but I guess I'll just make the sock a bit longer, and fold over the (rather loosely knitted) rib section to hide it :-)

My sock knitting inspiration's blog, with most marvellous socks on it amongst other things is to be found here: Random knitter

Guess what this is going to be?

Cryptic huh?

But it now looks like this ...

And once I have finished the quilting (I am just going to quilt the white bits - to highlight the lovely japanese indigo fabric) then it will look even better.

This little beauty, which appeared out of my own imagination I'm proud to say, will take pride of place in our library (which happens to be blue - cunning huh?)

Pins and needles

Well, the jumble sale was a bit rubbish, and the local charity shop has had a makeover and has no bargains to be seen ... except ... they had a whole sackful of knitting needles!

So now I have a set running from UK size 13 to 6, plus a couple of extra random pairs, a stitch holder, some double pointed needle sets, a row counter, and a gigantic Tunisian crochet hook - all for the princely sum of £2.50.

I also snaffled a couple of jumpers, one of which I failed spectacularly to felt in the washing machine (it was Jaeger and therefore too good quality to felt methinks, despite being 100% shetland wool) and made a little bit of a mess of the other things in there (sigh); a large ex-hotel cotton sheet for backing my wallhanging; and a couple of funky stripy teatowels. But all in all quite disappointing.

Still, Saturday was Letchworth's continental market day, so husband and I had tartiflette for lunch and got free samples of some loverly salamis.