Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Ipswich knitterati - November

A very busy meeting. We all huddle upstairs around the table. Lots of talk, lots of laughter. Lizzie brings Edu to teach him to knit - two days before their wedding. Gasps and good wishes fill the air. A new, very expectant knitter reveals accidentally that Anne and I were born in the same hospital in the East End of London. There is a beautiful baby blanket knitted in mitred squares to be admired along with a new project in Rowan Cocoon::note to self, find pattern that will need that yarn::Clive, gently, corrects my earlier post to say he knits wombs not wounds. I visit Ravelry and admire his handiwork.
I arrive home, having knit a few rows on the Debbie Bliss placemats, full of inspiration and ideas for my future knitting projects and so happy to have spent time in such good company.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

October Ipswich Knitterati/Felted Yoga Mat Bag

Another meeting of minds, swapping of news, ideas and a sharing of knowledge. Various yarns, various needle sizes, various skill levels. Warmth and happiness shared around a common table.
::Felted Yoga Mat Bag::
::Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson::
::crystal palace daisy 6.4mm circular needles::
::manos del uruguay 100% handspun kettle-dyed wool in three colours::
Easy and quick project to last me over the winter months - especially for evenings like this when you want to absorb the atmosphere and each stitch becomes a memory of Lizzie's sister's newborn, her pending marriage, Anne's search for yarn for a teddybear, another's success with a baby tee, someone's beautiful sock, an adorable white hat with pompoms worn by it's owner, a broken needle, yarn for stitchmarking, laughter, the cheery goodbyes and the promise of just such a meeting again soon.


::oddments of wool::gauge doesn't matter::needles dpns roughly size 3 or 4 mm::
Anna Hrachovec in New York brings us this delightful Halloween character which appeals to both children and adults and is drawn from the Japanese Kawaii culture.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Little Pumpkins Socks

Getting in the spirit of Hallowe'en. A time for mischief and magic and little pumpkins socks.

::Regia Silk Sock Yarn::
::50 g::
::55% new wool::20% silk::25% polyamide::
::2.25mm Knitpicks dpns::
::Knitpicks small ridged cable needle::

Pattern free on Ravelry by Sheepaints (Sabine Rupert). The link to her site will give you the option to print the pattern as a pdf file in American English.

I heard about this pattern whilst listening to the Stash and Burn podcast and when I saw this lovely pale pumpkin coloured yarn at my local yarn shop I knew I was going to cast on.

From ghoulies and ghosties and long-legged beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Boucle Neck Warmer - finished project

This was a wonderfully quick project to knit. The yarn is soft and warm and the design is fun and different. I think I may have enough yarn left to make a second to give away this Christmas.

Pattern instructions were easy to follow and the only changes I made were to use a smaller needle for the frilled edge on one edge and to pick up on the wrong side for the second edge so that when folded the picking up would not show.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Boucle Neck Warmer

Another project for the needles::bright orange size 8mm::rosewood Lantern Moon size 7mm::handturned Brittany 5mm::
Juju Vail's Boucle Neck Warmer from Pretty Knits 30 Designs from Loop in London
To celebrate the arrival of October I need a quick and stunning project and this simple neck warmer will see me through to the colder months ahead.

September Natural Dye Studio Sock Club

Tipsy Knitters Socks from Socks Socks Socks by Elaine Rowley
Yarn::Blue faced Leicester 4 ply sock from The Natural Dye Studio

Friday, 12 September 2008

Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine Fall/Winter 2008 Review

This is the 'premiere' issue of a new knitting magazine by Vogue Knitting called 'debbie bliss'
There are 36 designs in the magazine some of which have appeared in other Debbie Bliss books. The magazine is split up into 'Features' including 'The Blisful Life' which are products, recipes, stores etc. A review of books, an interview (this issue it is designer/author Melody Griffiths), a question and answer section, review of yarns and pattern instructions. The second part is called 'Fashion' and deals with the current and predicted trends and the featured designs.
It is very beautifully photographed and there is a lot of inspiration for knitters of all abilities. Even if you already have a lot of the patterns in other books you will not be disappointed to have new patterns all for the very reasonable price of £3.75 (recommended price in the UK).
The format is that of a regular magazine and the themes are soft and subdued, elegant with good photography. There are lots of articles and features to recommend this and as it is due to be published twice yearly you will find it a lot cheaper than, say, a subscription to Rowan Magazine.

Ipswich Knitterati

Ipswich Knitterati meet at Purl & Co every two weeks. Knitting, chatting, sharing ideas and knowledge. To be surrounded by like-minded friendly knitters was a tonic. Yarn, books, magazines all inspirational.
Ravellers Anne and Nadia are very special knitters who made me so welcome and gave me a lift to the meeting. I cannot thank them enough for their kindness.
Highlights of the evening were Clive who knits wounds and body parts and his wife who knits with the most amazing yarns.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Book Review: Jo Sharp Home

::Jo Sharp::
::Home::Hand knitting collection Book number four::
The book is divided into three sections by yarn: Rare Comfort Kid Mohair, Silkroad Aran Tweed and Classic DK Wool.
These sections are then broken down into photographs of projects and photos of the colourways in each yarn. At the end section of the book are the patterns. These are also grouped according to the yarn with information about how much experience the knitter will need. The instructions are clear and there are charts for pattern work.
This book is lovely to snuggle down to on a lazy day and dream of all the homely projects you might wish to make. Let the descriptions and the images wash over you and soon you will be inspired to begin your knitting using her soft enveloping yarns like warmth for Harvey.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008


Stitchmarkers from Welshmillie over on etsy.
Mentioned by Lime & Violet in their podcast recently.
Letters and chocolate cake markers.
Beautifully packaged, promptly sent and sweeties and stars too.

Monday, 8 September 2008


Casting on again: Warmth from the book 'Home' by Jo Sharp.
The yarn: Silkroad Aran Tweed by Jo Sharp from Jimmy Beans Wool.
The pattern: A simple garter and stocking stitch blanket.
For: Harvey the cat - getting older and getting more frail with arthritis and getting spoilt.
The bag: Pretty Cheap Project Bag from Loop a knitting boutique in North London. (Bird design preferred choice of Harvey the cat).

Riding to Avalon

The lure of a new yarn: Savannah from The Fibre Company in pecan.

The lure of a new pattern: Riding to Avalon by Connie Chang Chinchio for Fall 2009 Knitscene.

The lure of new techniques: Tubular cast on size 3.75 mm addi circular needles. Knitting in the round. Knitting a hood.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Accessories - Cable needles

Knitpicks cable needles. From here.

Notched multicoloured cable needles in three sizes. With them you can make these:

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Kerchief Scarf

Kerchief Scarf finished. A pattern from Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Jonelle Hoverson. Knitted in one skein of a hand painted cashmere from A L de Sauveterre.
Clasp from The Embroiderer's Guild. Verdict: soft, warming, comforting, simple, sweet.


A new project. Barrow by Kristen Kapur for Three Irish Girls. A learning curve: knitting socks on two circular needles (one steel, one bamboo) and cable on socks. The yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherds Sock in Bucks Bar - a melange of colours reminding me of this beautiful island where I live. Inspiringly blogged about by Juliet here.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Cotton and Cloud knocks me over

This week I have been shopping over on Etsy and found this seller after seeing her work on Lime & Violet's Daily Chum. I sent off for the two smaller pouches which are perfect for knitters. They arrived the next day and were absolutely beautifully made. The smaller one I will use for stitch markers. It has a metal clip which will make it perfect for clipping onto jeans or my workbag so that it is always there ready to be used. The larger pouch has all my accessories for the current project: scissors, row counter, nail file, hand cream and other bits.
Then as I was so pleased I went back and saw this perfect small project bag and had no hesitation in hitting the put in cart button. When it arrived it was every bit as good as I had hoped.
You must go and see her etsy shop and visit her blog at - what a great bit of online shopping this week.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

::Cupcake Fingerless Mitts::
::Pattern Karendipity Serendipitous designs::
::Sublime extra fine merino wool double knit::
Loved this quick and easy pattern. The only thing I'm not too sure about is my embroidery. It is extremely difficult to embroider onto a knitted surface.
These fingerless mitts would be a great idea for gifts when you haven't got long to make something.

Picot Eyelet Socks

::Picot Eyelet Socks::
::Pattern from Black Dog Designs::
::Natural Dye Studio August Sock Yarn - Natural Merino::
::Grey Velvet ribbon from The Ribbon Jar::
I absolutely loved knitting these socks using such a beautiful pattern and such lovely yarn. I made some modifications to the pattern by adding some stitches after the eyelet row to allow more positive ease around the instep. I also used eye of pheasant pattern for the heel flap as I think it is pretty and gives the feeling it will help an area that has most wear.
I used a grafted toe ending and not the one given with the pattern.
I am really looking forward to the arrival of the next delivery of sock yarn.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Cupcake Fingerless Mitts

I finished two projects so it was time to cast on again. I have chosen to make a pair of fingerless mittens in bright, cheerful colours. The wool is Sublime extra fine merino wool double knit and it is knit on 3.75mm dpns. I have had the pattern for some time now but you have to wait for that moment when you get inspired. The pattern was from Karendipity and will eventually have some embellishments in the form of embroidery. I am enjoying this project so much.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

'Isobel' Gilet by Ruth Cross

I started this project from the Susan Cropper's book 'Pretty Knits' knowing that it would be a difficult project. I decided that it would be my 'long term' exercise in increasing my skill by knitting in the round.
There are over 200 stitches to be cast on and the pattern divides up into sections of patterns. So far, so good. None of the knitting stitches are new to me so but I wasn't quite sure why it was necessary to knit into the back of stitches so I haven't bothered with that and it has made no difference to the finished look. However, what has been my nemesis is the abandonment of written instructions after row 32 and an instruction to read through the do this whilst doing that section of the pattern writing. The pattern is meant to repeat from row 9 to 32 but it clearly does not and it needs sheer genius to work out how the shaping and cable shifting is working. Obviously not me then.
My gripe with this sort of thing is that I have spent a lot of money on the wool for this project and read through the instructions to begin with but have only found the actual knitting stage to show up what a badly written pattern, in my opinion, this is. I want my knitting to be challenging at times but not to the point where it is sheer hell. Why on earth could they not use a graph or just give you every row as they did for row 1 - 32 - so it would take up some extra pages but have I not paid enough for the book for it to be user friendly?
So far on Ravelry I have not found anyone else knitting this and so I have to continue alone. This design by Ruth Cross is beautiful but deserves a better pattern writing.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Kerchief Scarf

Kerchief Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson

The wool is from A L de Sauveterre and is 100% italian cashmere.
My favourite needles, Lantern Moon Ebony -
a simple, pleasing project.

August Knitting Purchases

As well as membership of The Natural Dye Studio Sock Club which is detailed in the previous post, I bought a set of Pattern Tamers in the chocolate colourway as you can see above. They are magnetic strips covered in material which you place either side of the page of your pattern book and that way you can easily keep your place. They feel slightly unwieldy to use but I think they will become easier the more they are used.

The second purchase was a beautiful set of Destiny Ebony circular knitting needles by Lantern Moon. I adore using Lantern Moon needles and decided to add to my collection as these were in a summer sale.

The Natural Dye Studio Sock Club

I have joined The Natural Dye Studio's Sock Club and my first yarn arrived for the August sock. It is a beautiful merino 4 ply called NINO.

Here you can see the colours inspired by August flowers and foliage. I think it is so evocative of the August heat haze with the ripening of fruits such as blackberries and the golden wheat fields together with the muted summer greens. I am more than happy with this yarn and have decided to use a pattern I downloaded a few months ago from Black Dog Designs by Nora called Picot Eyelet socks. The yarn is soft and easy to knit. The wool came with a set of Surina Wooden Double Pointed-Knitting Needles in size 2.5mm (7 inch length).

I will try to get some coffee or mocha coloured ribbon to thread through as I love socks with ribbons. The progress of the socks as you can see below is very pleasing.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Italian Fineknits

Well, the heat was on in Italy during my wonderful vacation. So I really didn't feel like knitting anywhere except in the beautifully air-conditioned room in the hotel on the edge of Lake Garda.

Here you can see that I attempted to knit a few rows of the knitted pouch from Last Minute Knitted Gifts each time I had a rest from the heat.

One interesting thing I did note was the lack of yarn stores both in Milan where we spent the first few days of our holiday and whilst we stayed in the Lake Garda area. I saw neither yarn stores nor anyone knitting at all. Yet I was wearing some of the finest knitted summer tops made in Italy so I'm guessing that the yarn all goes for manufacturing or maybe export.

Anyway, it seems that although there was not much knitting done there was a lot of listening to knitting podcasts and knitting books on my ipod nano whilst working on delicious Italian drinks and eating icecreams (all in the cause of colour research, of course).

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Alice Beret

Alice Beret
::Alice Beret from Knitting Little Luxuries by Louisa Harding::
::Nautical Cotton x 1 skein each (50g 93 yds) of 6 colours::
::Needles Addi Turbo Bamboo Circulars 3.25 & 3.75::
::Gauge 22 sts/28 rows = 4in square::
::Start date 15 July 2008::
::Finish date 19 July 2008::

The yarn was lovely to use. It has a twisted rope-like look which added depth to the tone of each of the slightly muted colours:
Alice Beret
The pattern was easy to follow and the sizing was good. This is a fun hat which is very easy and quick to knit.
Louisa Harding
There are some interesting projects in this book. I am thinking about the light and airy lace scarf next.
Louisa Harding

Vacation Knitting

denim bag

Well now there is the taxing question of what knitting projects to take on holiday. There is absolutely no point in trying to smuggle knitting onto an aeroplane for a 2 - 3 hour journey. So I am thinking of a small project whilst we are there.

The second thing to think about is where we are going: Italy. So it will be hot, hot, hot. That means I will not want some huge project draped over my lap. I am thinking the free gift that came with my Rowan subscription will be perfect. It is a small denim bag that is easy to knit and will not require very much concentration and will be easily done round the pool or during the car journey.

I am also thinking of a second project because I will get bored with only one. This will be a small drawstring pouch from Joelle Hoverson's Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I am going to knit it in the Rowan Cashsoft DK I recently bought:

Rowan red

Well now that's sorted. Roll on holidays!


Rowan #44

The 30th Anniversary edition of the Rowan Magazine #44 has three stories: 'Nostalgia', 'Renaissance' and 'Elegance'. The photography is as sumptuous as usual and there are some very inspiring pieces. As usual there are a variety of techniques and a range of skill levels required.

There are articles about the designers who include Sarah Dallas and Kim Hargreaves whose designs I have knitted and loved. There is a very interesting article about the new yarn Purelife which is all about home grown and produced wool with the emphasis on quality which I am afraid will equate to price but the article does explain why. There will be new ranges of colours exclusively for Kim Hargreaves.

There is also an updated Rowan website which is worth a visit.

So I am more than happy with the new magazine and am looking forward particularly to making most of the Clever Ideas which is biased towards Christmas. I think I will be inspired to start with this knitted and felted swag:

Rowan #44

Friday, 18 July 2008

Book Review

I was very pleased when this book arrived recently from Amazon. It is Nordic Felted Knits by Gerd Fjellanger and it is published by Search Press.

There are some very inspired projects here in this book and I am especially delighted that the Christmas ideas are suitable for anyone. I think I'm going to make the angel and probably the mat and container.

I've bought some red Rowan Pure Wool DK which you can see over in my stash on Ravelry.

The bags and hats in this book are beautiful and look easy to make. I would recommend this to anyone who would like to try some felting projects.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Your My First

Welcome to my first post here on my new knitting blog. I decided to have a dedicated place for blogging about my knitting adventures away from my life in general blog. You can find my other blog from the side bar - although I still could not resist using an image of knitting for that.
This morning I've been rumaging around Ravelry and came up with my newly downloaded pdf file of Guided By Love Socks which are so different from the usual sock patterns.
Now I'm going to try and choose some yarn and beads. My thoughts are that I might use a cashmere in a soft sage green. The pattern uses 1 skein of On Your Toes Bamboo in gray. Now that is tempting too but we'll see what else is out there.
As I get used to using blogger I shall hopefully have a list of knitting projects I'm currently working on and finished objects but you can catch up with me over at Ravely as Tarviragus if you like.
Well, that's it for this first post. Enjoy.
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