It’s coming….

Yes it’s that time of year when we all start to panic about the impending seasonal activities that are creeping up all too swiftly. Well I am at least. So this is a bit of a fly by post.

Last year I designed some Seasonal Fererro Rocher cosies and released the pudding pattern as a Kids Company Fundraising pattern. Finally I’ve now written up and photographed the two other designs for a snowman and santa. So here are all three:

3 cosies

The PDF can be downloaded here: Seasonal Ferrero Rocher Cosies and Tree Decorations

This pattern part of  my series of fundraising patterns for Kids Company. These patterns have been designed for local fundraising and I’m happy for them to be used for your own charitable and personal use but please, not for personal profit or commercial use.

I would also ask that you consider making a small donation to Kids Company for the use of this pattern through my Just Giving page. This way the money goes directly to Kids Company to help fund their incredibly important and inspiring work with disadvantaged children and young people. At this time of year it seems even more important to support children and young people to feel loved and cared for.

The patterns uses leftovers of double knit yarn and are knitted  flat on two needles.

snowman

 

pudding

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FO Friday

I realise I don’t often post pictures of my knitting and I do actually knit things that aren’t samples. However, if that knitting happens to be gift knitting it’s often completed so close to the wire that it’s posted or gifted before I get decent pictures taken. But I have a couple of projects – with pictures – that I can share.

First up is my Diamonds are Forever, a design by Susan Crawford from Coronation Knits.

DAF1

Coronation Knits is a lovely collection with some great patterns but it was this one that I knew was for me the minute I saw it. Except it wasn’t. I planned to modify the pattern with a size 3 bottom decreasing to a size 2 bust, but it was my holiday knit and by the time I was working the waist decreases I just followed the pattern for size 3 and kept going and completely forgot my original plan. And surprise, surprise, it then didn’t fit me. I had a couple of options – pull it back to the waist and knit the chest re-join the sleeves and knit the yoke again, or put it aside and not think about it. I did the latter for almost a year and then decided that perhaps it would fit my sister-in-law. I took it on our next visit and it not only fit her but looked great on her. So I sewed in then ends, grafted the under arms and blocked it. She loves it and I’m now planning a second which I will knit with a little more care and ensure it does fit me.

DAF2

A second completed project are my Halloween socks. These were knitted as part of the Rocking Kitchen Halloween KAL. I started with Joeli’s Apple pie sock recipe and a plan to use up the orange white and black yarn and black and green yarn. This is a toe up recipe and I planned to stop when I ran out of yarn, except I didn’t. I decided to keep going and then thought I should add in some calf shaping and find a way of integrating other colours whilst retaining the Halloween theme.

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These are great cosy boot socks and given I spend much of the year in boots a welcome addition to my sock drawer. They were photographed with the pumpkins as part of an ongoing conversation with a fellow KAL’er from the US who had photographed her socks with a monster home-grown pumpkin. My potimarron and gemstore are very modest in comparison.

There’s a Christmas KAL in the Rocking Kitchen group on Ravelry running until January 1st if you want to join in.

 

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Mimizan – A new hat design

So that backlog of new designs has just got 1 design shorter as I am pleased to announce the release of Mimizan, my new hat design.

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I must admit I love this design in and of itself, a fun stitch pattern which is easy to do, although less easy to write up and, I think, remarkably effective. This pattern has been well tested by a wonderful group of test knitters who shared my enjoyment of knitting it and who did a wonderful job in producing some gorgeous hats.

It’s knitted up in aran yarns so is a quick knit and you only ever use 1 colour at a time.

One element of the design I particularly like is how the pattern transitions with the crown decreases.

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The pattern comes in 6 sizes: Newborn, Baby, Toddler, Child/teen, Adult female and Adult male. These are only guides and actual and to fit measurements are provided so you can selected the right size for your recipient.

I worked this sample in Rowan Felted Tweed Aran and Malabrigo Worsted. The felted tweed has a little halo from the alpaca content and the Malabrigo has a lovely variegation to it. Both yarns a lovely and warm so it’s a really snuggly hat. The pattern also provides actual yardages of each colour needed so you can see if you have sufficient partial skeins to make a hat, which is great for the smaller sizes which just use a little yarn.

As we were taking some pictures in the back yarn the other night Wilbur was determined not to be left out, so here he is muscling in on the action:

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The Mimizan pattern is available from Ravelry for £2.50

And if you’re wondering about the name, well there is a story behind that and I’ll be back to share that with you in the next blog post.

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Vintage Fridays: Knitter’s Companion

Well, it’s been a busy summer everywhere but on the blog. Again it has been neglected whilst everything has been going on in the background. I thought I share my summer tales through the winter months to cheer us all up through the gloom. There will also be new pattern releases immenently.

However, I have been thinking about a series of shorter posts to share some of my favourite vintage craft tools. I’ve discovered and been given some real gems over the last few months and so decided that Fridays will be Vintage Friday and I’ll endeavour to share something each week, until the well runs dry, then as and when.

First up is my Knitter’s Companion:

KC2

This nifty device allows you to keep track of your rows and work through increase and decrease sections marking how many stitches you increase/decrease each row and how many times you work your increase/decrease.

It also has a 4 inch measure across the top – ideal for swatching and checking your tension or gauge, and a needle gauge ranging from old size 12 to size 6.

The companion is made of cardboard and I think it has held up remarkably well, especially given it has pencilled notes on the back which are almost worn off, suggesting it has actually been used.

I thought it was perhaps a free gift from a magazine, but I’m not sure as I would have expected it to have the magazine name printed on it and it doesn’t. If anyone knows where these may have originated from and when I’d love to know.

That’s it for this Friday, short and sweet…

KC1

 

 

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Afterthought Booties

ab

This pattern really was a matter of serendipity. Following the design of my Lovely for Lavender hexagonal lavender bags with stranded colourwork, I wanted to work more with the hexagonal shape and envisaged a sock yarn leftovers knitted quilt. However, I wasn’t sure about knitting that many hexagons to the same pattern so tried out a few other increase options for a bit of variety. My first attempt was to use yarn overs, but absent-mindedly swatching in front of the TV, I did the increases too frequently and my hexagon wasn’t really a hexagon in the sense of a nice flat potential quilt shape, so it disappeared into the bottom of my knitting bag and there it stayed and the whole idea of the quilt was shelved as other projects took over.

Here’s that original swatch after my attempts to block it to flatten it:

swatch

This swatch stayed in my knitting bag for ages. It was only when I realised that a number of friends were due to have babies in the next few months, that I picked up the copy of Knit One, Knit All by Elizabeth Zimmerman which I’d bought at the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show last year. As I flicked through to see if there were any baby patterns I wanted to knit I saw the pattern for Star Booties, did it occur to me that my failed swatch could be folded in the same way to make a bootie. So I dragged out the previously written patter, ignored the garter stitch edge and made it a little bigger and indeed it did make a bootie.

My samples, and they became a little addictive, were knitted in real odds and ends of sock yarn, mainly Malabrigo sock and Skein Queen Splendid sock yarn. Mine weigh in at 14g a pair so just a little more than that to be on the safe side and you’re ready to go.

The booties are knitted from the centre out on dpns staring with a small number of stitches and increasing as you go.

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This pattern is available free but I would ask you to consider making a small donation to Kids Company for the use of this pattern through my Just Giving page. This way the money goes directly to Kids Company to help fund their incredibly important and inspiring work with disadvantaged children and young people.

To download the PDF, click here: Afterthought Booties

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Yarn It

Yarn It is an exciting new venture for me. Set up with a friend, we’re developing community knitting/crochet/fibrecrafts projects and collaborations, and have started by offering to organise a knitting and crochet contribution to the International Youth Games here in Lancaster in July this year.

The International Youth Games will bring together approximately 400 young people from Lancaster’s twins towns in France, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands and Denmark with local young people for 4 days of sports, dance and music. The Games will open with a procession from the Castle to Market square, and conclude with a closing ceremony. Young people will compete in Athletics, Badminton, Tennis, Table Tennis, Rowing, Golf, Swimming & Karate at venues including, Salt Ayre Sports Centre, Lancaster University, John O’Gaunt Boat Club and Lancaster, Morecambe and Heysham Golf Clubs.

Yarn It wishes to recruit knitters and crocheters to contribute to the International Youth festival through a number of different projects:

shrunk

  • Plaited athlete dolls – ideal for youth groups and children’s groups – photo tutorial available here: Yarn it plaited athletes – a non-plaited version is also shown in case your children or young people struggle with plaiting:

athlete bunting

crochet

A knitted banner – to be divided into sections so everyone who wants to, can be involved. This will be used in the opening and closing ceremony and at venues – more info to follow.

What support will be offered?

For locally based knitters we can provide the following:

  • All materials including Knitting yarn, needles, buttons, toy stuffing will be provided. If you have your own, great, if not, don’t worry, we’ll keep you supplied!
  • Patterns for all elements of the project.
  • Regular meets ups to get together and share progress and information and plan as necessary – refreshments will be provided at meet ups wherever possible.

For those who are further afield and would like to be involved, the pattersn can all be downloaded by clicking on the links above and please do come and join us in:

  • our Ravelry Group: Yarn It & Home from Homelessness where we will keep you updated on progress.
  • our Facebook group: Yarn It where you can post up your pictures and progress and keep up with events.

I’ll be back here to keep you updated with how things are going too.

Project participants will also be invited to the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, and are welcome to spectate at events. All knitters’ & crocheters’ contributions will be fully acknowldged as part of the project and by the local Council.

Yarn It is involved in this project on a voluntary basis with the support of Lancaster City Council. All materials are provided as a result of donations of yarn and needles etc. If you are able to contribute through further donations of yarn, please contact us, your donations will be most welcome.

More about Yarn It:

Facilitated by Tess Young and Debbie Dawson, Yarn It activities aim to:

  • Develop and explore fun and interesting ways of bringing yarn and needle crafts into the everyday life of our communities.
  • Create inclusive activities, events and projects to bring people together to share their love of needle and yarn crafts.
  • Challenge the idea that yarn and needle crafts are indoor, domestic, private, female activities by engaging the wider community and bringing them out into the public domain through yarn bombing and collaborative projects with local events.

We’re keen to work with organisations who would like to incorporate yarn and fibre craft activities into their activities, so please do get in touch.

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Easter Child’s Play

I must admit that many years have passed, and many Creme Eggs have been eaten, without it ever occurring to me that they may need a fun cosy, but there you go.

These started as fundraisers for the Blackpool Knitting Group as we save up for our group outings this year, and have proved popular and fun to make.

This pattern for small easter egg cosies allows you to turn the egg into an:

Owl

owls1owls

Bumble Bee:

bee1abee1

or Cupcake:

cupcakes1

This pattern is another in my series of fundraising patterns for Kids Company. I will be transferring all my free patterns over to this format and making them available as free downloads here on my blog. These patterns have been designed for local fundraising and I’m happy for them to be used for your own charitable and personal use but please, not for personal profit or commercial use.

The patterns uses leftovers of 4 ply yarn and are designed for knitting in the round on double pointed needles, but instructions are also provided if you’d prefer to knit them flat on two needles.

This pattern is no longer available

all cosies

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