Tuesday, 30 December 2008


I am currently addicted to.... RAVELRY
how amazing is that site? Knitting + geekiness = a happy jemmag

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Hot off the needles - egg cozies

Keep your eggs warm this winter with these little cozies - pattern from Weekend Knitting

Nothing changes until you change

Superb embroidery from Knitting Queen - it's like an Op Art extravaganza, makes you're eyes go funny ;-) 

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Monday, 24 November 2008

Winter Wonders

Apologies for the radio silence, normal service will now resume. I've been knitting and crocheting like a bastard in preparation for my best mate's wedding.

Cape sized version of Pretty As A Peacock shawl was duly finished to keep the bride warm on a crisp November day:

This also kept me pretty busy in the run up to the wedding - I finished it THE DAY BEFORE. Panic much?

The pattern's from Blue Sky Alpacas - 1930s Inspired Gown. I stopped a bit short of the full length version and it did lengthen as I wore it. In hind-sight I would have modified the pattern a bit as the armholes were very deep but the velvet ribbon hid a multitude of sins.

If you make the full length version stop a few inches short, press and sew the shoulder seams together and hang it from a hanger for a few days - it'll grow ;-)

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Winter tree warmers

Knitted tree cosy by Carol Hummel - superb!

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Da Sock Massiiive

Ever the trickster, this is what Da Sock Massiiive got up to at our last Crafty session:
And a nice pic of me and Crafty Chick at Crafty (I'm on v1 of Pretty as a Peacock, she's working on knitted Christmas puddings for Xmas cards/gifts)

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Friday, 29 August 2008

Rowan Saffron - finished!

Yay! I'm finished! Making up is always the hardest bit for me - much prefer the knitting of it. One day I might try out a finishing service as they're bound to do a far better job than me. Anyway - here's the finished garment. Much better in the flesh. Winging it's way to Captain Eco's mum this very afternoon :-)

Right, now onto Pretty as a Peacock shawl V1. The first version will be a prototype so I can work out how to modify it into a cape size as I go along (in a dashing Deep Purple). Once I've worked out the mods, the final proper version is for my best mate to wear to her wedding (some shade of soft/off-white with beads or something).

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Rowan Saffron progress

Ok, so the knitting bit is complete - my favourite bit, natch. Onto embroidering the details, which I thought would take a couple of hours. Ha ha ha, wishful thinking. 8 hours of embroidery later on bank holiday Monday with Alien3 and The Terminal as background... I sat so still my arse went numb!

(halfway through embroidery on the back)
It looks fantastic with the embroidery and I'm really pleased but I NEVER IMAGINED it would take so long . Ok, so I'm not one of life's natural needleworkers, but what I lack in technique I make up for in enthusiasm and speed when I've got the hang of it.

Just the making up to do now and then finished! No idea why the finishing takes so long though. It's like going into a knitting induced timewarp. By the time I'm halfway up the sleeve I'm already thinking about the next project and wanting to get it DONE.

Last night, spent 1 hour sewing the left sleeve onto the body. 1/2 an hour to get halfway through attaching the right sleeve before I got too tired to do any more. Hoping that another 2-3 hours will finish attaching right sleeve, sew up the sides of the body and the sleeve seams and sew on the buttons.

As I obviously wildly underestimate the amount of time it takes me to make stuff, I've been trying to work out how long it's taken me to make this garment. My money's on about 90 - 100 hours in total over 6 weeks but I'm going to log time on the next project as a reality check.

Friday, 22 August 2008

On the needles - Rowan Saffron progress

Just the one project in progress at the moment, which is very unlike me.

Finished the fronts and started the sleeves this week. Am now halfway up the sleeves although don't have a camera handy and wanted to get this post up today. Experience tells me making up and doing all the embroidery is going to take me ages, but I'm still hoping to get it finished by the end of August. I. must. not. start. anything. else. until. this. is. finished. Fighting the multi-project urge and it's spurring me on.

What is it about sleeves anyway? You start off at the wrists with a relatively tiny number of stitches, increasing as you go, thinking "this is great, I'll be done in no time" (because let's face it, by the time you're on the sleeves you're already thinking about your next project). No matter how many times I knit a set of sleeves I'm always amazed at how long it takes me to finish them - by the time I've done all the increases there are at least twice as many stitches on the needles and it takes an age. Next project I'm doing the sleeves first to get them out of the way.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Da Sock Massiiive

Last weekend we had a Crafty BBQ at my house. Quite a few of the Crafty girls came and even some Crafty Girl boyfriends. Da Sock Massiiive became a Superstar in his own right and a fully fledged member of the Crafty gang. Here he is relaxing at Crafty Chick's house:

Sunday, 3 August 2008

On the needles / just finished

Rowan Saffron Cardi
Motoring along nicely with the Rowan Saffron cardi, despite the excrutiating wait for the yarn. The pictures aren't the best because the flash flattens the knit/purl pattern and the light was a bit rubbish to get a crisp shot without the flash

Back finished

Fronts started

Close up of pattern
(without final embroidery)

Knitty Halterneck
Finished! Yay! Only had to rip it back 3 times till I got it right/long enough.
Only finished it by the end of the holiday though, not the start (which was the plan).
Nevermind, by the time it's sunny enough in London to wear it my tummy should be
a bit smaller so it won't cling quite so much... ;-)

Holiday finds

Just back from a glorious holiday in Corfu, staying in a quiet little secluded villa on the East coast of the island. This is the view from the plunge pool (left), you might just be able to see the Albanian mountains in the distance.

And this is the local beach (right). Smug mode on.

If I was cheesy and overly romantic, I would say the whole week was like falling in love with Captain Eco all over again, but I couldn't stand the responsibility of making so many people uncontrollably heave. So I won't say it out loud ;-P

My wooldar was on full alert and after wandering around Corfu town for a few hours with half an eye out for a wool shop (just in case), I loudly proclaimed that it didn't look like there was a wool shop in Corfu Town after all. I turned my head to the left and found myself facing a display of yarn! I bought this lime green wool/acrylic mix because, let's face it, when something like that happens it would be rude not to. Plus I'm a true believer that one should buy wool in every country one visits.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Crochet Coral Reef

Went to see the Crochet Coral Reef at the Hayward Gallery on the South Bank last weekend. Completely incredible. Not to be missed.

Crafty Chick mailed me this link yesterday:


Just started & coming soon

Rowan Saffron by Kim Hargreaves
Most recently started a cardi for Captain Eco's mum. I've had to wait 8 weeks for the yarn to arrive (Rowan Purelife Organic Cotton) - it feels amazing, but I had hoped to have it finished by now!

It's a substitution yarn and I've been a good girl and done all my tension squares. The yarn's thicker than the pattern recommends so I've had to get my maths hat on and rework the pattern to suit the tension I'm getting. Which is fine. Unless I try to work it out late at night when I'm tired. That'll be why I've started the back 3 times so far, forgetting that with a picot cast on you need to start with 3 times the stitches you want to end up with.

Annoyingly, I'd got it right first time around. Grrr... Still, 3rd time's allegedly the charm.
It's going ok so far. Finger's crossed I don't bugger up the embroidery at the end - sewing's not my strong point. Crafty Chick's a brilliant sewer and Knitting Queen's recently taken up free style embroidery so I'll seek advice nearer the time. Nothing like pushing your comfort zone a little now and then.

Talking of pushing comfort zones, will soon be embarking on a project for my best friend Flower Girl. She's getting married in November and I'm making her something to keep her shoulders warm. Quite ambitious but I'm up for the challenge - a combo of Pretty as a Peacock shawl for the lace pattern (left) and this kind of shape/size (right). Could take a while...

And just because I haven't quite got enough projects on the go at the moment, I came across a gorgeous little craft/wool/lovely things shop on the South Bank under the Oxo tower called Eco Annie. She creates her own eco yarns and stocks a whole selection of other ones. As usual my wooldar was on full beam (like gaydar but for wool) and didn't realise it stocked wool until Captain Eco pointed it out - I was too enthralled by the beaded things in the window to notice the wool at the back. Couldn't resist some silky soft chocolate bamboo which is for this Karabella pattern (left). I'm not going to start that until I've finished the Rowan Saffron cardi, the Knitty halterneck and am at least halfway through the prototype for Flower Girl's shawl. Promise.

On the needles

Been meaning to update what's on my fine Swiss Army Needles (my nickname for my Harmony interchangeable needles - my favourite bit of knitting kit.

VK Knitted Hoodie
This is my 'commuter train to work' project which gets an even blend of curious and 'crazy lady what a freak' type looks. I think most of the other commuter are gradually getting used to me knitting in the mornings. Occasionally it sparks a conversation with fellow knitters, which is always a good thing. It's coming along nicely, if slowly because of the complex lace panel:

hood and front panel
close up of Frost Flower lace pattern
Knitty Halterneck
Using a substitution yarn (I can never find the exact yarn for US patterns so using Patons DK cotton bought on ebay), measured my yardage carefully but got through it more quickly than I'd anticipated (pattern requires doubled up DK). Thought I might be able to get away with it but it's way too short. Have some 4ply in the dark purple I can triple up to get the same weight but that means ripping back the tummy section and extending the dark purple down. Which I haven't been able to bring myself to do yet - I'm too irritated with the fact it hasn't worked first time. We're going on holiday on Monday so I'd better get a move on if I'm going to wear it on hols...

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

This tickled me today

Telephonic Sheep — by Jean-Luc Cornec
Exhibited at the Frankfurt Museum of Communications in 2004.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

The Sock Massive

This is the Legendary* Sock Massive.

One of Crafty Chick's first projects, knitted on double pointed needles with a great deal of swearing, several throws across her living room and a certain amount of unravelling. She's now a happy convert to the 2 circular needle school of sock knitting (as am I):
view the 'on two circular needles' video

To the right is her boyfriend's actual sock size. And an average banana (just so you know he doesn't have childs feet).

I like to think that so much love and effort have gone into that sock that it's swollen it to giant Shrek-like proportions. It gives us all the giggles everytime we see it.

*legendary within our Crafty group, at any rate.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Crafty Massive

Met up with The Crafty Massive last night for drinks - Buttercup, Knitting Queen and Crafty Chick. Nittin sistas. Next Stitch and Bitch is Crafty BBQ in August. Can't wait.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Recently finished

This started as a swatch for a pair of fingerless mittens worked in the round - the tension wasn't quite right for the project so I turned it into a cuff :-)

These bad boys are fingerless mittens with optional mitten flap. The space invaders pattern was grafted from Aija Goto's excellent bmp space invader sock pattern from Knitty. Pic by the talented Mr Harvey.

On the needles

In progress: This cheeky little number from Fall 2005 Vogue Knitting in Jaeger Trinity. I've been meaning to make it for ages. I've dropped 2 stone since Jan with Weightwatchers so figured it's about time I made something for myself while I wait for some Rowan Organic Cotton to arrive from angelyarns.com for a project for my mother-out-law.

The back's done. The lace border was proving a complete b****rd until I drew the pattern out on squared paper - it definitely helped, honest guvnor. Currently just at the top of the hood getting the hang of the cable pattern (3rd time lucky starting). It all goes to hell if I'm tired or forget to up the row counter...

So I'm also starting this Knitty pattern - to do when there's something on telly that needs a bit of concentration or I'm too tired for the hoodie. It should do the trick for holiday end of July if I can work out what to make it in. So many colours and yarns, so little time... *sigh*

I've finally caved

After years of procrastinating and cries of "I don't have time!", I've given in and finally lost my blog virginity.

A momentous moment.

I've spent pretty much the whole day trawling knitting sites and blogs looking for new inspiration which was what's got me started in the first place. Yes, this is bound to be mostly knitting focussed as that's my grand passion. Oh and there'll be the obligatory cat references too, natch.