Monday, 12 September 2011


Way back last autumn, I entered a competition with Knitting Magazine to design a scarf.  I didn't expect anything to come of it, but although I wasn't the winner or either runner up, I was told that my design had been successful and would be published in a book this autumn.  The book is now out, and my copy arrived the other day.  Imagine my delight when I looked at my pattern page and saw my name!  I'll even be getting my scarf back!  Here are some photos of the book:

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Photos, finally!

I finally took some photos of my Spriteling, they're still not great as I had to do them on my own, maybe one day I'll be able to get some better ones but for now these will have to do!

Also, here are some photos of my finished silk and mohair scarf, made from a kit bought from Artisan Yarns at Knit Nation 2010.  The yarns are Colinette Tao and Colinette Parisienne, the pattern is really simple but very effective with the way the yarns are dyed.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

My new camera

I recently bought a new camera, as the existing ones aren't capable of the things I want to do.  The new one is also a Fujifilm, but this time it's an HS 20 EXR "bridge" camera.  I haven't come close to fully exploring everything it can do yet, but so far I love it.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Stephen West's Earth and Sky

Now that the KAL is over, I can publicly post the photos of my finished shawl without it being a spoiler, so here they are. It's called Earth and Sky, but there's not much of that in my shawl! More like Berries and Cream, I think. I made the smallest size, the miles stocking stitch involved in the bigger versions was rather offputting!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Symetrie hat

Here is my finished Symetrie hat, I finished the knitting on Saturday, didn't get round to blocking it until Monday and it was dry this morning. I love this pattern, so easy but the way the yarn is dyed really shows up well.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Current projects

Or some of them, anyway!

The story here is that Wollmeise shuts up shop for the month of August, so a few people on the Ravelry Wollmeiseholics Anonymous group decided to set up some KALs under the heading "Wollmeise Withdrawal Madness Month", and I've decided to join in with some of them. We have two months from 1 August to 30 September to finish our projects, so in the spirit of biting off more than I can chew I've signed up for the General Shawl KAL, the Kitchen Sink KAL (for everything that isn't a garment, shawl or socks), the General Sock KAL and the Honeybee Cardigan KAL.

For the shawl KAL, I've decided to double it up with the Stephen West "Earth & Sky" mystery shawl KAL, which is supposed to be all done by the end of August so I'm working on the basis that once that's over I'll have more time for the others. It uses three colours, mine are Wollmeise 100% in Natur, Daisy and Himbeere.

This is all I'm going to show here until the KAL is over, as I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but if you do want to see how it progresses my Ravelry project page is here.

The other KALs aren't mysteries, so I can show you those. The only one I've started apart from the Westknits one is Symetrie by Woolly Wormhead, and this is more or less how it looks now (I've actually got several more rows done):

This is Wollmeise 100% in Rattenscharf.

The others, which I haven't cast on yet, are Nasturtium socks which I'll do in a bright orange Wollmeise twin, and Honeybee cardigan - I'll make the cropped version in Wollmeise 100% in red.  I'll add photos of these when I get started on them.

Some other recent presents

Some other presents I've made this year.  Firstly, a Hitchhiker in Wollmeise 100%, colourway Chim Chim Chimney, for my sister's birthday:

And here is a little teddy I made for my two-year-old nephew's birthday:

The pattern is from Val Pierce's "Twenty to Make: Knitted Bears", but I changed the letter on the front from a B to a D as that's my nephew's initial.

Wire crochet

For my mother's birthday present this year, I decided to try something different.  I thought I'd try making a crocheted wire necklace, from this pattern by Leigh Manson-Brown.  It took a couple of attempts to get the right gauge, for some reason my tension is always off when I crochet, and frogging wire proved to be an interesting experience!  When I got it right, though, I was very pleased with the result and I'm sure I'll make more of these.


Having just mentioned my Spriteling, I thought I'd post the progress photos, while I wait for good enough weather and a helper to take a proper photo of the finished shawl.

This was clue 1:

After finishing clue 2:

After clue 3:

After the fourth and final clue, before blocking:

While blocking:

The last picture is probably the truest to colour, the others were taken in all sorts of strange lighting conditions because I didn't want to delay starting the next clue just for the sake of taking photos!

Shawl pins

As I was participating in the Soctopus Mystery Shawl Knit-Along for Knit Nation, and had talked my mother and sister into doing likewise, I wanted to make us some lightweight shawl pins to wear with them.  The photos of my finished Spriteling will follow when I finally manage to get some good ones taken, but for now, here are the shawl pins.


My mother's:

My sister's:

Adventures in cardmaking

I thought I'd post some of my cardmaking experiments from the last year or so.

This first one is a good luck card for a friend who was going to university last September:

Sister-in-law's birthday card:

Sister's birthday card:

Mother's birthday card:

Father's birthday card:

And all three brothers' birthday cards:

Friday, 5 August 2011

Look what I just got!

My beginners handspinning kit arrived today, containing a top whorl Ashford drop spindle, a book on spinning and 100g of ready to spin merino. I ordered this because try as I might, I just couldn't find my old drop spindle, and I want to get started spinning again. I can't wait to try spinning merino, it'll be such a change from the wiry, sheep-dip scented Scottish Blackface we used to use!

The other bits are a copy of Ashford's spinning magazine and their catalogue, as if I needed more encouragement to spend money!

Last Christmas

"I gave you my heart" - sorry, couldn't resist! Actually, although I should really be thinking about knitting for next Christmas, I thought I'd post the makings from last year rather late.

For my mother, I made a scarf from Rico CanCan - I'm pleased with the result, but I wish I'd looked for tutorials on YouTube on knitting with this stuff BEFORE I started, there might have been less swearing as a result! I think when I make another one of these, I'll make it shorter and wider as the weight of the ruffles makes it stretch a lot.

For my sister, I made a scarf from Rico Pompon, I used a backward loop cast on and made it one bobble wider than the pattern suggested. For future attempts, I need to find a stretchier cast off so it doesn't bunch up at the end.

I ran out of time for any other knitting (disorganised as usual), but did quite a bit of baking. I made a Christmas cake at the beginning of November because the recipe said it would keep for two months. Poured a couple of tablespoons of brandy over it every two weeks, then iced it just before Christmas. Considering we only just finished eating it last week, I'd say two months is a very conservative estimate of how long it will keep!

I also made my own mincemeat, which I used to make mince pies and a "last minute" microwaved Xmas pud. The pudding was the nicest I've ever had, though I'm sure I shouldn't say so myself, because it was much lighter than others I've eaten. I even made my own brandy butter to go with it, as well.