Wednesday, 23 November 2011

And the winner of the shawl kit is...


This will be in the post once I have an address and I hope you enjoy working with the gorgeous yarn from Eden Cottage

Saturday, 19 November 2011

To do lists

I posted on Twitter a few days ago about my knitting 'to do' list which needs to be completed before the end of the year. Here's what I had:

Finish my Fugue hat in handspun wool/silk
Knit another Fugue in Koigu KPPPM
Find my pattern notes for Audrey in Unst and finish it
Knit a February Fitted Pullover
Knit 4 samples and write 4 patterns

And here's my progress:

Finish my Fugue hat in handspun wool/silk (no progress)
Knit another Fugue in Koigu KPPPM (no progress)
Find my pattern notes for Audrey in Unst and finish it (still can't find my notes)
Knit a February Fitted Pullover (started)
Knit 4 samples and write 4 patterns (1 sample finished, 2 patterns written, waiting on yarn for 2 of the samples)

However despite these well laid plans I had forgotten I was supposed to be finishing repairing my Mum's cardigan which is a size 22 slightly felted (not by design) pure wool cable rib loose fit item with damage to one elbow. The damage is such that I need to reknit that sleeve from just above the elbow down to the cuff. I have frogged the section and bought the yarn but have been procrastinating because it's going to be an absolute pig of a job.

I've also started sketching and swatching for six new designs which doesn't help with the procrastinating (3 pairs of fingerless mitts, 2 cowls and a hat)

I may have been over ambitious in my plan for the end of the year!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011


Having shown you my button collection I thought you might like to see the rest of the shiny things in my craft stash. Although I'm not a very bling person I do quite like beaded knitting and from time to time I add some beads to my stash. Unlike the buttons these are normally bought with a plan in mind although I don't always get round to putting the plan into action and sometimes the plan doesn't work out anyway. Here's my small bead collection:

As you can see some of tubes are nearly empty - the gold ones on my Pergola shawl and the silver ones on a hat that I still haven't finished writing up. Of these I think I actually have a vague plan for the multi-coloured tube at the front - I'm thinking of a shawl in a silver grey or a grey/lilac smoky colour yarn. I have the yarn and the beads but I've not got further than that as I keep getting distracted. I also think they would look lovely on long lace cuffs on a lightweight cardigan, possibly with the body in 4ply and the cuffs in laceweight...decisions, decisions

Monday, 14 November 2011

Never the right buttons to hand

I have a small(ish) button collection. It only runs to three tins...

Accumulating buttons is something of a family tradition. My mum had a battered cream tin that I think she got from her mum filled to bursting with all sorts of buttons. And a separate collection of buttons on cards which lived in her sewing box (a repurposed plastic 1960s baby changing box). This tin lived in the top of the coat cupboard and was used for a variety of purposes including gambling chips for playing Pontoon and 21, learning about colours and venn diagrams, and very occasionally for sewing onto things as fastening devices. I think all my sisters have some sort of button stash ranging - in at least one case the button stash would put any specialist button retailer to shame.

This is my collection (from left to right) - general odds and ends, sets, and vintage

And here are some highlights:

The little metal whales were part of a set and the rest are on my niece's Through the Woods hood, the black and white ones are a set bought at my very first Knitting and Stitching Show (the last one held at the NEC), the three candy coloured ones also came from the show and I think might inspire some colourwork on a hat in the near future, and finally the mice also came from a show and are just adorable. I have no idea what I will use them from but I had to have them when I saw them.

So this is my button stash. It's not massive but it's not tiny either and you'd think that if I needed to find 9 cream/pearl buttons at about 13mm diameter that don't even need to match then I wouldn't have a problem. Turns out that's not the case. A search  through the tins yesterday brings me to the conclusion that I have a great many buttons that are tiny, quite a few that are huge and all the ones in-between are impractical or the wrong colour for the project at hand. There are a lot that I don't imagine will ever reach their potential as fastening devices (or even as embellishments) but I can't bring myself to cull them. Even these buttons can one day become gambling chips!

PS: I bought the buttons I needed from JosyRose which has a lovely button selection

Saturday, 12 November 2011

WIPs and the frog pond

This little collection is my current pile of WIPs and half worked ideas - not including himself's socks which have half a sock to go and have been that way for about 8 months:

A sketch and yarn for a new design, already frogged due to the joining in the round looking weird

Another version of a design that's being published. I started knitting a third mitt to check gauge before submitting the pattern and then never finished it. I did confirm the gauge though. To the frog pond and then to become a hat possibly

My endless Audrey in Unst which needs half a sleeve, button bands and finishing. And I need this for work really. To be finished

An idea in progress for fingerless gloves. The pattern works but I'm not enjoying it much and my colour dominance isn't quite right. To the frog pond and then to become a colour work shawl although I will go back to this pattern idea.

Frogging WIPs is quite cathartic, freeing yourself from failed or failing projects that look at you unhappily from your knitting box, use up your needles, and stop you knitting other things. It also has a side benefit of returning lovely yarn to your stash for use in other projects. So that's my task for this morning after so I can clear the decks before starting samples for publication since I have quite a few to do.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Still celebrating

Now Knit Now is in the shops and seems to be doing quite well I thought I'd spread the love a little further with another giveaway. This time I'm giving away a pristine copy of Knit Now Issue 1 which has my Diamond of the First Water shawl pattern in it, a skein of the recommended yarn from Wild Fire Fibres (soon to become Eden Farm Yarns I hear) and a set of stitch markers that have come all the way from Sweden.

To win this yarn leave a comment recommending a pattern that you think I might like. I'll use a random number generator to pick a winner on November 23 at about midday GMT

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

And the winner is...

AmyBamy for her suggestion of Irene Adler. I like the Irene Adler character in the Sherlock Holmes story - a woman of honour and cunning without that being contradictory. I can see some long fingerless gloves with delicate lace and possibly ribbon laces from wrist to elbow.

Amy - I'll pm you on Ravelry for your address

I also really liked Squiggi's suggestion of Howard Roark with all those art deco shapes and individual drive so Squiggi wins a runner's up prize of one of my Ravelry patterns (if you'd like one) - I'll pm you

There will be a new competition soon to win a kit to make Diamond of the First Water (the pattern I was celebrating with this competition) but I need to take some pictures and decide on some rules