Sunday, 10 August 2014

Love Lace . . .

. . .  not so much . . .  well not so much after my latest commission anyway . . . this commission was to purely knit the garment from the pattern provided.

Don't get me wrong lace knitting looks fantastic and in small amounts I enjoy knitting it but this was a scarf . . . a loooong scarf! 

So what is lace knitting - it is basically a combination of knitted stitches that create holes with in the work to create a pattern, these holes are made by doing a combination of stitches such as k2tog and YO; The YO creates the hole by creating the extra stitch so the k2tog is done to ensure the stitch count stays the same.

The great thing about lace knitting is the most simplest stitch pattern can look so complex, the worst thing about lace knitting is you must concentrate, the last thing you want to have to do is undo a row - picking up stitches when the row is made up of k2togs, YO's, ssk's is not fun at all! So that's why when it came to this pattern I only did it when I knew I have time to sit down get stuck and not get distracted, after a while because the pattern was repetitive I was able to remember the stitches and speed up, it took me 10 separate sessions to complete it in the end and if you follow me on Twitter you would have seen the progress . . . here is a couple of snap shots :)



But honestly don't let my moan put you off, lace knitting is always set to impress and there are some lovely patterns out there from edging on a hat or is your feeling adventurous why not knit a whole wedding dress (I cant say that thought ever crossed my mind).

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The Happiest Day of my Life

Well firstly sorry, it’s been a while since I have blogged but I think I have a pretty good excuse . . .  I got married!!
 
It was such an amazing day from start to finish we could not have wished for anything better, it was on the 25th May which was the same date the year previous that Ad actually proposed!
The ceremony was in the same church my Grandma got married which made it extra special and we then went on to a venue we fell in love with as soon as we saw it . . . big chandeliers, amazing cocktails and fabulous food . . . how could you not fall in love with it. Here are some of my favourite pictures . . . .
 
At the Church:
 
Some shots at the venue:
 
 
Cutting the cake:
 
 
Our First Dance:
 
 
 
The Perfect Day :)
 
We also did a video which was played whilst we signed the register, it was a great surprise for our guests and they all loved it! check it out what do you think . . .
 
 
We then had an amazing 10 days in Las Vegas . . .
 
We have now been back a few weeks and although its back to work and normality is slowly taking over I think we are still very much on a high and I think we will be for a good while.
 
Obviously with all this happening the knitting has had to take a back seat but I was able to get some love themed knits done, stay tuned for the patterns very soon x

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

A Happy Customer

I received a lovely picture the other day from a friend, I had knitted her sister a teddy bear hat for the arrival of her son and here he is wearing it! a perfect fit :)

It is so lovely when you knit something to see it being used.



The pattern is available of Etsy, Craftsy and Ravlery.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Ladies Funky Stitch Fingerless Gloves

I was messing around one evening when I discovered this stitch pattern . . .

 . . . . and I knew it would be perfect for fingerless gloves, it creates a lovely bounce to the knitting and fantastic detail.

Next was to pick the colours, I wanted to do the edging in one colour and then the bulk of the glove in another, I also wanted to bright block contrasting colour . . . . introducing Sublime extra fine merino wool DK. Shade 0019 Waterleaf and Sirdar Calico Double Knitting. Shade 0726 Spicy
 

Sirdar Calico Spicy makes a fantastic edge colour and after repeating the stitch pattern a few times I knew I was happy with my choices


When it came to increasing for the thumb I used the inc3 stitch to ensure the increase blended with the pattern and would also fit around the thumb nicely


And ta-dah the left glove was complete!!



The pattern is knitted so that the seam is hidden on the underside rather than being directly on the side and visible so the pattern was then created for the right hand

 
And I couldn't resist wearing them whilst I typed up the pattern for Etsy, Craftsy and Ravelry :)
 

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Toby and Tina the Teddy Bear Hats

Sometimes my designs come from a set of requirements, or inspiration in things I see and other times I see the wool first and just think this would be perfect for. . . . .  and that’s what happened when I saw this SIRDAR snuggly speckled DK baby wool.
 
It is so soft it is just lovely to knit with and when I saw the beige speckled colour the first thing it reminded me of was teddy bears! And although not one of the most original ideas I have had I just had to knit a teddy themed baby hat!
 
My Design – Toby the Teddy Bear Hat;
I wanted to keep it simple, rather than a rib edging I decided to do purl stitch and then the ears with the purl stitch for the inner ear. Doing this purl stitch on both ears I think would tie it in nicely with the edging.
 
It was now time to bring Toby to life!
Once I started knitting with the wool I was really pleased with colour effect, it was just how I thought it would be. The wool also offers a nice stretch to it which was perfect considering I did not do a rib edging.
 
 
 
Once knitted a sewed the seam up using mattress stitch – for me the finishing is just as important if not more than the knitting – there is no point spending hours knitting and the rushing the making up!
Mattress stitch means two pieces of knitting can be sewn up and on the outside the join becomes invisible – it’s just a matter of picking up the bars between the knit stitch at the edge;
 
Pick up the bars between the edge knit stitches

And Ta-dah the seam is perfect!
 
 
When it came to the ears I was expecting it to take a few attempts to get the perfect size but I got it on the first attempt!
 
 
 
Once both ears were done a fastened them in place with a needle to check the positioning – I actually used two of the decrease lines to position them and counted the same number of stitched from the top for both so they are symmetrical! 
 
And Ta-dah the hat is done!
 
 
 
Perfect for a baby boy but for a baby girl I felt there was something missing . . . . a bow!!
 
Introducing Tina the Teddy Bear Hat . . .
 
 
 
It’s such a simple but effective pattern and I really think this wool adds that extra special touch and a perfect gift for a new born. If you are unsure of the sex you can make it in advance and then just add a bow if it’s a girl!

If you want to have a go at making this the pattern is available on both Etsy and Craftsy - the pattern has instructions for new born, 3-6 months and 6-12 months.
 

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Christmas is Done and a New Years Begun!

I hope you all had a fabulous family Christmas and brought the new year in in style!
 
For me Christmas was a lovely family Christmas as always, the morning at my mums and then the afternoon with Ad’s family! The best part of the day for me was the gift giving and opening at my mums, it is always so much fun!!
 
This year  I knitted my mum a hat, one of the only knitted gifts I got round to doing and she totally put me to shame, she knitted 3 amazing blankets for me and my sisters! Here is me and Ad chilling under ours on boxing day J they are fantastic, the hours of work she has put in to them is just amazing!!
 
 
 
Continuing with the knitting theme one of my sisters got me a subscription for one of the many knitting magazines I buy religiously and did me a personalised card to open on Christmas day to show what it was . . . . I love it! The picture is of me in a chair done like a ball of wool with knitting needles sticking out of it! I would love this chair in my house but not so sure Ad would be quite as keen.
 
 
We have never really been ones to go out on new year’s eve, the packed bars, high drinks prices and queuing for a drink really don’t appeal to us so we had a nice chilled night in and of course I did some knitting ;)
 
Looking back on 2013 I can’t say I am happy to see the year end as for me it was a really happy memorable one; I got engaged, celebrated Ad’s birthday with a family party, went to Las Vegas, started selling my patterns online and writing this blog!
 
But I also can’t say I am not looking forward to 2014 . . . the year of our wedding!!!
 
In terms of Resolutions last years was to stop talking about it and actually start a blog and start selling my knitting patterns and I did it! So what will this years be . . .
 
Well given the size of my wool stash now I think the first one has to be not to buy any more wool without a design in mind – but I know I won’t be able to stick to this one but everyone needs at least one resolution they won’t stick to done they!?!
 
Another one has got to be around my knitting machine, since I got it I have learnt the basics and then not touched it! And next year I would love to have knitted Christmas jumpers done for everyone so I must get to work on that!
 
And finally and I may regret this one with being so busy with the wedding but this year I want to get a least one pattern published in a magazine! I don’t know how I am going to do it or where to start but I have a whole year . . .  plenty of time . . .  (I hope!)

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Making Spot - Tivoli Pure Aran Hat, Scarf and Mittens Set

And here it is my first making spot blog. . . My review on a pattern and yarn!
 
And  it is a review on a gorgeous hat, scarf and mittens set knitted in a Tivoli pure Aran yarn. I think the picture on this set really shows of the scarf but the hat and mittens seem a little forgotten so I hope through the images you can see how fantastic all the items are, the hat actually I think is my favourite so that’s where I started!
 
The pattern needs to sizes of needles, 4mm and 5mm the 4mm needles are used for the rib edging on the hat and mittens and then everything else is done in 5mm.
 
Once the Rib is done the hat it jumps straight in to the cable pattern, which if you have never done before can look a bit daunting but it is actually really simple and you can get some fantastic effects with it.
It is basically just a process of moving stitches out of the way knitting others on the needle and then knitting the stitches you moved out of the way . . . the picture below may explain it a little better . . .
Stitches are held at the front or back and then knitted.
a couple of cable rows completed.
 

The decreasing in that hat is done in the purl stitches in between the cable sections to keep the cable the same throughout and because the cable pattern is kept the same it was basically a repeat of 5 rows so once I had done a few and I got the hang of the order of the stitches it was actually a quick knit.
 
 

And the scarf pattern was the same concept; 16 rows that were repeated throughout so after a few repeats I was away only checking the pattern occasionally J

 
 
The pattern advises 2 balls are needed for the scarf and one each for the hat and mittens, but from the hat and mittens I had some yarn left so I decided to use it to extend the length of the scarf. The scarf was perfectly fine without the extra but I love long scarfs and why let the left over yarn go to waste J

The edge of the scarf was completed with 5 K stitches every time, this edging stops the scarf from curling round.

 
 
The mittens didn’t have any cable pattern in them which I thought was a shame as that would have tied it in with the scarf and hat nicely but then when I made one I realised that actually that wasn’t needed and as a set had it had cabling in it it would have actually become quite fussy so the simplistic look I think really works!
 
The mittens were knitted in one and the thumb and side seam then sewn up . . . . .
 

 
Out of all the items the hat has to be my favourite, maybe because I don’t think the image on the pattern really shows it off so I was really pleased when I saw the cable pattern coming together and I think more that the softness of the wool and perfect fit my favourite thing about it has to be the way the cable sections come together to make a snowflake! It adds a lovely festive touch J
 

 
My initial plan was to give this set as a knitted Christmas gift but I just love it too much J but there is always next year and with the fantastic colours available I think I could make quite a collection!! If you want to have a go at this the pattern both the yarn and pattern are available from City Knits!