Sunday, 1 December 2013

Little William's Body

November 2013

This reminds me of a sweater worn by a character called Abney in The Adventures of Abney and Teal, and it made me want to have a go at making something even closer. One day!

This is a top-down sweater, which is knitted back and forth initially, in order to create a nice large neck opening which is then fastened with buttons. Very useful, but as the stranded colour work begins before it is joined in the round, you are forced to keep cutting your yarn and re-joining it again where you need it to be. So lots of loose ends to sew in.

My version of this is heavily modified. The original pattern is for a knitted body, and fastened under the crotch. I didn’t think that would be very practical, and so I modified it to be a sweater instead, so it can be worn over the top of a cotton vest if it’s really cold.

I also carried the fair-isle pattern on for longer than intended, placing the charts so that it ended up mirroring itself (that was the intention, but I got a bit distracted and missed bits).

Love the colour combination. It makes me think of blue skies and white clouds.

One note of caution: if you’re swatching for this, don’t rely on plain stocking stitch to be the same gauge as the stranded colour work parts. I wish I’d worked a few of the charts, and thought about changing needle size etc. This has come out a good size for a 6 month old, but it was originally intended for someone a bit bigger!
Pattern: Little William's Body / DROPS b21-32
Yarn: Regia Color 4-ply / Patons Fairytale Dreamtime 4-ply
Colour: 1932 Denim Blue / 53 Cream
Amount: 1.5 skeins of blue and less than one skein of white
On ravelry: here

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Big Digger

November 2013

I was bought this pattern book last Christmas, so I thought it was about time to make something from it!

This sweater was the main reason I asked Santa for the book - our surname is Digwood, and so we get nicknamed "Diggers" fairly often. And my son is properly obsessed with diggers just at the moment, in the way only a toddler knows how. In fact sometimes we go down to a nearby building site to watch the diggers working on some new houses. Often, they flash their lights at him (at least, I think it's him they're flashing at, and not me…)

Anyway, given my new-found familiarity with construction vehicles, I can confidently testify that they are usually yellow, not the red used in the original pattern. This would bug me, hence my choice of colours. I also worked the yoke stripes in garter stitch, and added a button to the neckline. Even so, using an ordinary cast off left me a neckline too narrow to fit over his massive head, but ripping back and using a decrease cast off instead fixed that.

There's a lot of finishing with this one - it's knitted flat, so needs seaming and then some of the detail is embroidered on. I roped my Mum in to doing the embroidery for me, although George couldn't resist picking at the French knots when he first wore this, and so it's gone to her house for a little holiday while they get sewn down more securely.

Reading up on ravelry about this made me think it would be sensible to add length and loose some width, so I did. I'll try to remember to come back to post my finished measurements when I get the jumper back, but I'm pretty happy with the way it fits at the moment, and I think it will probably last through winter 2013/14.

George seems quite happy with it too. He's getting a bit picky about his clothes, but this is a hit so far. Also, I love this picture, because to me it looks as if he's got his fingers crossed because he's hoping the digger might come to life or something!

Pattern: Big Digger by Lucinda Guy from Handknits for Kids
Yarn: Hayfield Bonus dk / Patons fab dk
Colour: 971 Navy and 0838 Grey / 2305 Yellow and 962 White
Amount: 1.5 skeins of navy and less than one skein of the other colours
On ravelry: here

Monday, 18 November 2013


November 2013

A very good friend of mine is due to have a baby in December. Having had a November baby myself, it brought back to me how chilly, dark and lonely some of those night-time feeds seemed. And so I have made her this, to warm her up and to remind her that I will be thinking of her. 

I've never made a project which I coveted to this extent. My photos can't quite capture quite what a pretty, neat, satisfying object this is, but it was all I could do to stop myself from casting on another one immediately to keep.

One reason this works so well is that the yarn and the hot water bottle are a similar colour (you can just about see the top of the hot water bottle peeking out in the picture below). Had they been different, I think it would probably have shown through. For my own future reference, I found an excellent place to buy rubber and non-rubber hot water bottles of all colours here.

A grey one along similar lines but with the spider chart from here might work well, if I ever get around to making something like this for my sister, so watch this space.

Pattern: Winterberry by gluecksfisch from
Yarn: Cascade 220
Colour: 9568
Amount: Less than one skein
On ravelry: here

Saturday, 16 November 2013


November 2013

This Christmas I'm making presents for a brother and sister for whom I have never knitted before. For him, there is Daniel's pirate mashup, and that turned out far better than I had ever expected. I almost felt like it was an impossible act to follow, but all the same I'm quite pleased which this Sourpatch, for her.

This was designed to be made from cotton, and worn as a summer top, but I think it would be equally useful in the winter with a long sleeved top underneath, and besides, I'm trying to run down the acrylic side of my stash, so that is what I used.

It was a very quick and satisfying project with virtually no finishing, and a freebie pattern, which is always nice. The only modification I made was to omit the increase round after the yoke was finished. The recipient is quite a small girl, and it would have come out much too big otherwise.

Pattern: Sourpatch by Corrina Fergusonrom from Petite Purls, Issue 5 Summer 2010
Yarn: Hayfield Bonus dk, King Cole Big Value dk and Patons Fab dk
Colour: 884 (purple), 11 (green), 2358 Iris (blue), 2305 (yellow) and 2323 (red)
Amount: Less than one skein of each
On ravelry: here

Monday, 4 November 2013

Frost on Leaves

October 2013

Hats are so difficult to photograph!

Test knit for Midori Hirose via the Testing Pool group, which was a great excuse to make something for myself and yet feel like I wasn't being entirely selfish at the same time. I often seem to miss out on any patterns up for testing which appeal to me, so I was very pleased to be able to have a go at this one.

Beautiful pattern, and great fun to knit. This is made using two colour brioche stitch. I hadn't tried brioche stitch before, but you soon get the hang of it. It's not a difficult pattern, it just takes a little while to work out what's going on.

I spent ages trying to decide which two of the 6 shades of felted tweed in my stash to use. These seemed most in fitting with the idea of frost on leaves though.

If I make this again, I might think about going down a needle size, as my brioche was quite loose, and the cap would also look great a little bit smaller. I think I'll still get a lot of wear out of this version, though! I just need to figure out how to make myself some matching mittens. Maybe I could adapt these...

I'm keeping the link from the original testing thread here because it had a couple of useful links and tips regarding some of the techniques used in this pattern.

Pattern: Frost on Leaves by Midori Hirose / Cake Knit Midori
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed dk
Colour: 165 Scree (Pale Blue) and 133 Midnight (Dark Blue)
Amount: Less than one skein of each
On ravelry: here

Sunday, 27 October 2013


 October 2013

One of the many things I love about my in-laws is the fact that they live within striking distance of the Wensleydale Longwool Sheepshop. Wensleydale Longwool Sheepshop yarns are not very widely available - the only places you can usually find them are fancy high-end "catering to your inner yarn snob" shops like Baa Raw Ewe and iKnit, and you tend to see a pretty steep mark-up at places like that.

Here's a close-up of the yarn, which might help to explain why. This isn't the softest wool in the world, but it is silky and drapes more beautifully than any other wool I've seen. And the shades into which it is dyed are so, so pretty. The fact that something of such sheer quality is produced and dyed locally to me makes me feel so proud of my part of the world.

At the Wensleydale Longwool Sheepshop itself, aran can be obtained for £6.10 per 100g, but they don't have an online ordering system set up. Basically circumstances conspire to make you visit in person if at all possible. Wensleydale is a beautiful place for a drive, though, and the shop itself - attached to the side of a farm down a long quiet country road - is a charming and very friendly nirvana for fibre lovers.

I'm talking myself into going back there very soon, aren't I? The fact that I get to drop the baby at my mother in law's house en route, for a bit of proper quiet, quality shopping time when I go there only has a little bit to do with my love of the place. Honest.

I'd intended to use this yarn to make Fara by Amy Christoffers, on reflection I decided that that pattern would look better in a different colour combination. Possibly blue and white, which is what I'd intended to buy in the first place. By that stage, I'd worked a swatch which included two wide stripes, and I thought they looked great together. Then I found a free pattern for a relaxed-fitting striped sweater with a neckline I thought would flatter my figure and which utilised a technique I hadn't tried before (contiguous sleeves). 

That, as they say, was that. Helloooooo Driftwood.

Pattern: Driftwood by Isabell Kraemer
Yarn: Wensleydale Longwool Sheepshop Aran
Colour: 106 (Pale Green) and 124 (Sage)
Amount: 3 skeins and 3.5 skeins
On ravelry: here

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Daniel's Pirate Mashup

July 2013

This jumper was pretty much improvised with a little help from 3 or 4 existing patterns, and so I've set out in as much detail as I can how I did it below. I should add that I’m not a designer, this hasn’t been tested and my maths is terrible.

The skull and crossbones chart (14 stitches by 11 rows) is from We Call them Pirates by Adrian Bizilia, and the ship chart (33 stitches by 33 rows) was my feeble attempt at an approximation of the chart from Solbjørg Langnes 0601-20 Pirat, as I was unable to track down a copy of the pattern.

Gauge: 24 stitches and 28 rows = 4”


Chest: 32” (width set by no. of stitches in ship chart, which is 33 (x 3))
Length: 17”
Armhole: 6.5” (76 stitches)
Sleeve: 10.5”

Not a standard size, but I’m fairly happy it will fit the recipient. I tried to make sure each of the measurements was at least an inch or so bigger than the corresponding measurement in a 4 - 5 year old sized sweater I have queued (Lucinda Guy’s Big Digger).


With dark grey DG, cast on 98 stitches, place marker, cast on 98 stitches, place marker, join to work in the round.

Work 8 rows in 1x1 rib, then 8 rows stocking stitch. Join cream yarn and work skull and crossbones chart over next 11 rows. 14 repeats of chart in total (98 x 2 / 14 = 14).

After completing skull and crossbones chart, work 4 rows in DG, then switch to dark blue.

Increase 2 stitches in next row to make 99 + 99 stitches. This is because the ship chart requires a multiple of 33.

Then work evenly until work measures about 10” from cast on edge.

Switch to light blue and DG and work ship chart over next 33 rows, and at the same time, when work measures 10.5”, divide for armhole by putting back stitches onto scrap yarn and working front and back flat separately.

After finishing chart, work 7 rows even, and then shape neck, taking note of the number of rows from the end of the chart to the top of the shoulder.

Neck shaping

Work 32, cast off until 32 stitches remain, work to end and turn.

On neck edge, cast off the following number of stitches on next 4 right side rows: 3, 2, 2, 1.

Work even on remaining 26 stitches until work measures 17”. Place live stitches on scrap yarn.

Rejoin yarn to other side of neck, and match shaping.

Work back making sure that the number of rows from top of chart to end of shoulder matches up with front. On last row, place first 26 and last 26 stitches onto scrap yarn, but cast off remaining stitches.

Join shoulder seams with three needle bind-off.


With DG cast on 44 stitches and join to work in the round.

Work 8 rows 1x1 rib

Continuing in stocking stitch, increase 2 stitches every fourth row to 76 stitches.

Work even to 10.5” then cast off.

Sew sleeves to body.


In DG pick up and knit 98 stitches evenly around neck hole. Work flat in 1 x 1 rib for 6 rows, making buttonhole (k2tog, yo) at start of 3rd row. Cast off. Sew on button.

Yarn: King Cole Moods duet dk and King Cole Big Value dk
Colour: 821 (Dark Blue), 834 (Light Blue) and 466 (Dark Grey)
Amount: 1 skein of each
On ravelry: here

Saturday, 12 October 2013


August 2013

Once up a time this yarn was a Justina so hideous that I couldn't even bring myself to take photos of it, let alone blog about it. A lovely yarn and a lovely pattern, but they just didn't go together. It was rigid, and hung strangely, with not an ounce of drape. It just felt to me like the yarn didn't want to be quite so tightly knit, and after a bit of swatching with it, I discovered that I much preferred it at a looser gauge. So, what to make with the yarn that professes to be aran weight, but actually knits up rather beautifully at about 15 stitches per 4 inches? Why, Aidez of course.

THIS, I am happy with.

Mine is a pretty heavily modified version of the original pattern. I wasn't overly keen on the back panel, and so I replaced it with a freebie one I found here. And having read comments on ravelry to the effect that Aidez tended to come out a bit on the small side (possibly due to the schematic failing to take account of the way cabling makes fabric shrink in width as opposed to stocking stitch) I thought the addition of a button band would be a sensible modification to make. Also mine has waist shaping and was knit in once piece - the sleeves and body were joined at the armpit and decreases worked to reflect the raglan shaping. I'll try to put more detail on how exactly the mods were done onto my ravelry project page in due course.

I love this so much. The seed wishbone pattern on the sleeves and the two front panels is too pretty for words.  The pattern is a quick knit and a freebie. It's the first thing I've made for myself for ages, and I really think I'll get a lot of use out of it. It's warm, chunky but not unflattering. I can't recommend it enough.

Pattern: Aidez by Cirilia Rose from
Yarn: New Lanark Aran
Colour: Pebble
Amount: 6 skeins
On ravelry: here

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Welcome to the Flock

August 2013

This is a recently published pattern which caught my eye because I know how useful a matching hat and cardigan set is for a newborn baby. I have a friend who is expecting her second in December, and so I seized on the excuse to whip one of these up. It's so tiny that it only took a week or so, and it's lovely to be able to get a matching set from one ball of yarn. Also, there is something irresistible about knitted sheep.

We don't know whether it's a boy or a girl yet, but with this set it doesn't matter in the slightest - it would be ideal for either. I think I have enough of the green left for a pair of bootees, if I can find the time before he or she arrives.

I wish I had used wool or at least a wool blend, because I think it would have responded better to blocking than the acrylic did. I bought this yarn is the search for a perfect dinosaur green when I was about to embark on this project. In the end I found something better, so it’s good to have finally used it up.

This pattern would make a nice basis for other motifs of around the same size too. I must see whether I can dig any out. Ducks on a blue background spring to mind. 

It's a very simple seamless dk pattern in which the sleeves and the body are made separately up to the armpit, and then they're all moved into the same needle. There are three decrease rounds in between and above the sheep to make the yoke, and the buttonband and neckband are picked and up worked in 1x1 rib afterwards.

Pattern: Welcome to the Flock by Julia Farwell-Clay from Moth Heaven
Size: 0 - 3 months
Yarn: King Cole Big Value dk
Colour: 11
Amount: 1 skein
On ravelry: here

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Baby Norgi

May 2013

I made a new year's resolution to try out a couple of techniques I had yet to tackle this year, and just to show that I stuck with it, here's my first go at steeking. One of the first things I learned was that there are are two methods - crochet steeking and sewing machine steeking. Having read around on teh internets I concluded that I would prefer to use a crochet steek. It’s what Elizabeth Zimmerman would have done.

So despite not being a crocheter, I duly had a go, but in the end I concluded that it wouldn't work with this pattern, as there are lots of long white floats behind where the armhole would need to be cut, and the crochet method doesn’t seem to do anything to secure them.

I suspect it’s because the baby norgi pattern was written on the assumption that you would use a sewing machine steek, and it therefore doesn’t have a steek ‘panel’, which I think is essential to making a crochet steel work. Certainly the ‘how to steek’ article which comes with this pattern assumes you will use a sewing machine.

I could just be missing something, though, because this is my first go at this. Either way it’s good to have tried both ways and even though it meant a bit of faffing about, I can afford to be a bit relaxed - this is a Christmas jumper after all.

My sleeves came out much too wide and had to be frogged and re-knitted. I also modified the collar to a 1x1 rib with a button, just to be sure that it would fit over the recipient’s head.

In the process of making up I’ve realised that having to set in the sleeves AND sew down the facings AND add a hem at the waist and the wrists AND not being able to join the shoulder seams with a three needle bind off means a LOT of finishing for something knitted in the round. Even so, a great learning exercise and very very cute.

Pattern: Baby Norgi by Wendy D. Johnson from Knitty Spring 2003.
Size: 27" chest (for a 2 year old)
Yarn: King Cole Zig Zag / Patons Fairytale Dreamtime 4-ply / Regia Color 4-ply
Colour: Ruby / White / Denim Blue
Amount: 1.5 skeins of MC, less than 1 skein of CCs
On ravelry: here

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Puppy Sweater

August 2013

My sister in law is expecting her first baby (a boy), any day now. My son George's first cousin. I'm a truly rubbish potential aunt for not starting anything for him until now, but I figured an August baby wouldn't have much call for knitwear at first. Besides, I was waiting for the perfect pattern and given how doggy-mad she is, I couldn't resist this one.

The original has a zig-zag lace pattern just above the waist-band. I replaced it with bone motif from The Tapdancing Lizard. Not that I have a problem with boys' patterns which feature lace. It's more that I wasn't confident that my dog would be doggy enough for people to "get it" without a bit of a clue. Still burning from the time someone thought my knitted bunnies were reindeer. Anyway, I tested this out on my 22 month old son, and he correctly identified it as a "wah-wah", and I was very proud of us both.

In an effort to minimise finishing, I worked this in the round to start of puppy chart, and would have done the sleeves in the round too, if I could have found the right sized DPNs. Only one of the shoulder seams is joined (the other closes with buttons to make the sweater easier to get on and off), and I used a three needle bind off for that. Sewing a sleeve on to an open shoulder seam was fiddly, but I think it looks okay.

I love this yarn. It's such a treat to work with wool (or mostly wool) these days. I really should do it more often. After a bit of a soak in fabric conditioner it's lovely and soft. The buttons were recycled from my Offset Wraplan.

This is the second pattern I've made from Zoe Mellor's Nursery Knits - the other was the Starlight Blanket. It's a lovely resource.

Pattern: Puppy Sweater by Zoe Mellor from Nursery Knits.
Size: 3 - 6 months
Yarn: Cygnet Truly Wool Rich 4-ply / Patons Fairytale Dreamtime 4-ply
Colour: Olive / Chocolate / White
Amount: 1.5 skeins of MC, less than 1 skein of CCs
On ravelry: here

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Canyonlands Shawl

June 2013

A non-knitter friens of mine inadvetantly presented me with a bit of a challenge recently when he very generously brought me back three skeins of Madaleinetosh Tosh Sock from a recent trip to Arizona. All different colourways, and all variegated. I've been madly digging aroung for one-skien projects which look good in a variegated yarn ever since, and that is how I discovered this shawl.

The appeal with this was that I though the stripes going in more than one direction might look quite cool.

It's my mother's Christmas present, which I decided I would make in June. Mostly because I was going on holiday, and this was a pretty easily portable project to take along. And I thought the garter sections might make some long car journeys more fun. I wasn't the one driving, by the way.

I'd say it looks a lot harder than it is - the edging is joined to the garter section using ssk rather than anything scary.

This colourway is pretty special too. It's brown but it's blue but it's pink but it's purple. I would love to know what that has to do with cathedrals, mind you!

Pattern: Canyonlands Shawl by verybusymonkey
Yarn: Madeleinetosh Tosh Sock
Colour: Cathedral
Amount: 1 skein
On ravelry: here

Sunday, 14 July 2013


February 2013

This yarn was my husband’s second anniversary present to me - it being traditional to give cotton and this shade of red being our wedding theme colour. We ALMOST agreed to stop buying gifts after being a bit stumped by leather on out third anniversary, but I understand that seventh is wool, so we just might stick it out for a bit longer…

I worked this in the round up to the armholes and then did the front and back separately, joining the shoulders with a three needle bind-off. It was an easy modification, and cut down the seaming a bit.

I’ve worn this a lot - it’s a great summer top. The cotton is piling a bit under the arms now, which surprised me, but it’s standing up to the wear and tear reasonably well overall.

Pattern: Emma by Deb Hoss
Yarn: Sublime Egyptian Cotton dk
Colour: Safflower 327
Amount: 7 skiens
Size: Small
On ravelry: here

Monday, 29 April 2013

Monkey Hat

April 2013

I have been meaning to make something like this since the Twist Collective published pattern for a blanket with the same monkey motif on it about 4 years ago. The blanket version looked a bit on the small side to me, and required knowledge of steeking which I don't have (yet, but soon...) and so it made more sense all round to have a go at the hat instead.

This version was made on 2.25mm DPNs, giving me a gauge of roughly 27 stitches to every 4 inches after blocking. The brim measures about 19 inches around, which fits my almost-18-month-old toddler fairly loosely. I would guess it would last him until he was 2 at least.

But it's not for him. It's for the son of a friend of mine who has made a habit of buying yarn based souveniers for me when he goes travelling, and his generosity is staggering. I hope this doesn't sound like bragging, but last trip I got 4 skeins of Berroco Vintage, 2 skeins of Dream in Color Smooshy, 3 skeins of Madeleine Tosh Sock and 2 skeins of Cascade 220. Don't ask me how he got that through customs.

I would like to make this again at some point, probably in a larger size. To get it much smaller I'd end up having to use 1.00mm needles or something, and I don't fancy that much. The thin ones are too liable to snapping if you're a bit of a klutz like me.

I made a few mistakes with this - my decreases are all leaning the wrong way, the monkey with its tongue out should have his eyes shut - that sort of thing. The finished object is pretty enough that it doesn't need to be perfect, in my humble opinion...

Pattern: Monkey Hat by Mary Ann Stephens
Yarn: Cygnet Truly Wool Rich 4-ply (brown), Cygnet Truly Wool Rich 4-ply (green), King Cole Zig Zag (red), Patons UK Fairytale Dreamtime 4-ply (cream), Rowan Pure Wool 4-ply (yellow)
Amount: Less than one skien of each
Size: 18 - 24 months
On ravelry: here

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

White Hart

March 2013

It feels a little bit strange to be making something with a reindeer on it in April, even though the weather this year has been disappointing... Having completed this, though, I've decided it's not such a Christmassy-looking deer that it shouldn't be worn year-round. It looks just as much like a white hart as a reindeer to me, and given that that's a very common UK pub name (on account of having been the livery of Richard II), that's what I decided to call it.

Don't get me wrong - it would make a superb Christmas jumper, and thankfully it's a generous enough fit that I think he'll still be wearing it in 9 months. By next Christmas we should have a baby cousin, too, and I'm either going to make him a matching one of these or a Baby Norgi, depending on his mother's preference.

I fiddled with this pattern rather a lot - the original Reindeer pullover as designed by Jill Wick is a raglan sleeved worsted weight sweater with a raw-edged neckline. I'd never really thought about it much before, but there does seem to be quite a shortage of worsted weight yarns in the UK, and I guess it's probably because the market here favours dk instead.

I took the reindeer chart and transposed it onto another dk toddler sweater pattern I had which I thought gave a good result when I'd tried it previously - Shiri Mor's Pirate's Cutie Sweater. I could make that over and over with a million different motifs.

Pattern: Reindeer Pullover by Jill Wick
Yarn: Stylecraft Special double knit (MC) and Hayfield Bonus dk (CC)
Amount: 1.5 skeins / 0.5 skeins
Colourway: 1027 Khaki / 0961 White
Size: 18 months
On ravelry: here

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Gathered Pullover the Third

January 2013

Ooooooooold pattern, but still one of the most wearable ones I've ever seen. Here are the first and the second.

This one feels a bit tight, but I think that's just because I wanted to add bust darts but couldn't figure out how, given the placing of the cable. Plus it's been a while since I made something for me, and I'm a bit bigger than I was maybe...

I added a lot of length, but would have been comfortable with another inch or so even then. This is designed to be a much shorter sweater than I would ever wear.

This might have been better on slightly bigger needles, as the pattern is intended to be pretty loosely knit and drapey. Trouble is I've had one or two projects like that which grew and grew on blocking and ended up too big, so I'm not very confident about that sort of thing, and tend to go with the recommended gauge on the ball-band.

This yarn was bought back from Peru as a present by my Mother, so I'm a bit sketchy on the details. Feels excellent quality though. Hope I did it justice.

Sorry about the indoor photography, but it's much too cold to go out today, and I think we managed to get the colour pretty accurate anyway.

This is the first adult sweater I've made since I was pregnant, well over a year ago. I really need to remedy that, although I'm not sure that the 4-ply weight stocking stitch dress I have in mind next is the most sensible way to go about it. Ho-hum.

Pattern: Gathered Pullover by Hana Jason from Interweave Knits Winter 2007
Yarn: Michell & CIA Indiecita DK
Amount: 7 skeins
Colourway: 1018
Needles: 4.00mm
Size: 36.5"
On ravelry: here

Sunday, 17 March 2013


February 2013

Next project is definitely going to be something for me. Probably. But in the meantime it was Rosa's birthday, and so I HAD TO.

Knitting on the cheap: I didn't have the pattern, so just sort of guessed at the chart and adapted another dk sweater pattern to fit. I'm fairly sure that doesn't tread on any toes, intellectual property wise, and I'm so over buying books of ten patterns of which I only intend to make one.

Anyway, I was rather pleased with the result. The body was knit in the round to armholes, then divided and finished flat. The waist and neck are trimmed in garter stitch, as were the sleeves originally but they looked too long, so I cut the cuffs off, picked up the loose stitches and added ribbing which could be folded back. Something I hadn't tried before, but it worked very well.

As I keep saying, I've got to try steeking soon, but this wasn’t the time. I was using an acrylic yarn and the original pattern and the one I used both had set in sleeves.

I had a brief crisis of confidence when someone thought they were reindeer, but they look like rabbits to me. White rabbits, like in Alice in Wonderland, which is cool.

I had planned to make matching toy bunny wearing purple and white fairisle sweater to match but ran out of time. Maybe for xmas if the sweater goes down well. Got Rosa a learn to count with Peter Rabbit book instead for now.

Pattern: Bunnykins by Martin Storey
Yarn: Hayfield bonus dk
Colourway: White 096 and Purple 884
Size: Smallish 2 year old
On ravelry: here

Sunday, 10 February 2013


January 2013

The first and most important thing to say about this is the sizing is absolutely, and clearly wrong. Having been alerted to the fact that it ran a little big through various comments on ravelry, I compared the schematic to that of another toddler sweater in my queue, Lucinda Guy's Big Digger Sweater and it turned out that the 12 month old size for Gabriel (which was the smallest) more or less matched the 24 - 36 month old size for Big Digger.

I think all sizes have the same problem, but in spite of that, no errata have been published as far as I can tell. All I can say is check, check and check again to avoid disappointment.

I made the 12 month old size in the hope that it will fit my son next winter, when he will be 2. He is 15 months old now, and slightly above average size-wise. Before I got round to sewing the sleeves on, I took this picture (when he happened to be wearing a pair of very nicely coordinating trousers) to demonstrate just how big a fit it is at the moment.

With that caveat, this is a cute pattern, and a great colour-work practice piece for a relative amateur like me, given that it features intarsia and stranded motifs. It was also a great way of using up the yarn I had left over from this. My version is quite heavily modified:

1. I left off the pockets on the basis that I didn't consider them either use or ornament;

2. My version fastens with buttons, not a zip. I'm too lazy to sew a zip into my FOs. Once was enough.

3. My colour scheme was slightly different - most notably I used a dark red yarn where the pattern called for a pale blue. I like bold colours in baby clothes, not pastels.

4. I made this in one piece up to the arm-hole. I worked out where the armhole needed to be by making one of the sleeves first, measuring the width at the top, halving it and then based on my row gauge, guestimating whereabouts the bottom part of the sleeve would meet the body.

According to the ball-band Hayfield bonus dk will withstand ironing at a low heat despite being acrylic. These pictures were taken after ironing but not blocking, since that seemed likely to be the more effective way to tidy it up a bit.

I really need to make something for me soon. If you see me blogging about baby stuff again this month, please kick me in the head.

Pattern: Gabriel by Debbie Bliss
Yarn: Hayfield bonus dk
Colourway: White 096, Light Grey 0838 and Black/Flint 0778 plus mystery dark red acrylic.
Size: 12 months, allegedly
On ravelry: here

Sunday, 20 January 2013


January 2013

I've been looking for a Dinosaur related pattern to make for the son of a friend of mine ever since he bought me some lovely yarn back from the US, and after much searching finally I settled on this one.

One of the reasons I love knitting so much it the sense that every project has something to teach you, and this one is no different. Over the last two weeks, I have learned:

(i) that with the help of google translate and a little bit of educated guesswork, you can follow a pattern in another language;

(ii) that wool is preferable to acrylic for a project like this, because steeking works better with a grippy yarn, and anyway, you're really going to want to block as aggressively as you can with this sort of colourwork to get it as smooth as you can; and

(iii) much as I hate drop-sleeves, it's hard to make a jumper like this without them, as it would mean cutting into the colour motif. I'm sure I've seen one or two fair isle patterns with set-in sleeves, though, so I need to do a bit of investigating.

There are some details about how I worked the neckline and armholes on the project page, just in case they are of any use, but basically I chickened out of steeking, and so worked the front and back separately and used intarsia in places rather than long floats. But I'm determined to try steeking soon despite not owning a sewing machine. Probably in the process of making a Baby Norgi for my little boy to wear next Christmas. I think this video looks like a helpful one.

I have about half a ball of the green and black left over. Slightly less of the light grey, and a little of the middle grey. Hopefully enough for one of these.

Pattern: 0508-4 by Solbjørg Langnes
Yarn: Hayfield Bonus dk and Sirdar Country Style dk
Colourway: Green 0791, White 096, Light Grey 0383, Black/Flint 0778 and Medium Grey 0395.
Size: 8 yo
On ravelry: here

Monday, 7 January 2013

First Outing Afghan

October 2011

This was part of a "OMG I need LOADS of blankets" phase I went through when I was very pregnant, made out of the same yarn, and to coordinate with this cardigan and these mittens (which I notice I also didn't get around to blogging at the time...)

We did get a lot of use out of this when George was smaller. Now he's mobile, and so prone to kicking off blankets that we use a gro-bag, it's still pretty handy for car journeys and the odd game of peekaboo.

I love the fact that a pattern from the 1940s still looks so contemporary, and it was great fun to make because the honeycomb effect is much easier than it looks to achieve. The wrong side is shown in the picture below, and while it's not exactly as pretty as the right side, it's certainly liveable-with.

It should have a garter stitch edging along the two sides, made by way of picking up and knitting a heck of a lot of stitches. But just as I got to that stage, George arrived (8 days early) and so it remains technically unfinished. I like it that way, because I know the reason.

Pattern: First Outing Afghan by Bernhard Ulmann / Bear Brand / Botany / Bucilla / Fleisher 
Yarn: King Cole Big Value Baby dk
Colourway: 221 Pebble / 46 Cream
Needle: 3.50mm
Size: One size
On Ravelry: here