Thursday, 24 December 2009
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
Thursday, 19 November 2009
Sunday, 15 November 2009
I have made this lovely beret! This is the first hat from the hat trick set I bought from Virtual yarns (Alice Starmore) earlier in the year. It took around two weeks of not very much knitting time and I am absolutely thrilled with it. I have always wanted to be able to do 'real' Fair Isle knitting but the workship I attended with Alice Starmore at IKnit really gave me the push to get on with it. I cannot believe how lovely the colours are - extremely subtle in place with an overall effect that is just gorgeous.
This will be a Christmas present for someone, but I haven't decided who the lucky recipient might be. Strong contenders are my sister and Lucy. I think it would probably suit my sister more, but would Lucy be offended? At the moment, it is still stretched across a dinner plate - it might just stay there!
I have also completed a scarf and almost two pairs of gloves. The second hat from the hat trick has also be started. Pics of these tomorrow.
Sunday, 27 September 2009
Have a look at the KnitPro needles. Better still, buy some, you won't regret it.
Thursday, 20 August 2009
Tuesday, 11 August 2009
Monday, 3 August 2009
You may have noticed that I've had a bit of a break from the blog. Why? Because we have been away a couple of times. We went to the Lake District so that we could: have a holiday; go to Woolfest (which was great, but hot, hot, hot) and then on to Glasgow to Lucy's Graduation. Which was also great, but hot, hot, hot! Since we have returned it has been wet, wet, wet in not so sunny Devon. Like everyone else in Devon, I have found this a bit disappointing.
Another reason I have had a break is that I've had a break from knitting. I usually do at some point during the summer as I find the wools too hot. I normally take up needlepoint during these months and this year is no exception. It was hoped that this summer I would take advantage of some of the fabulous fabrics we have in the shop, but no, needlepoint won. I haven't finished yet, but when I do, photos will be shown.
So, are we all ready for the Autumn/Winter knitting season? I have put a photo of one of my favourite new books for this season. From Rowan, Colourscape is not new, but there are loads of new shades and this lovely book which includes patterns for men's sweaters. I really like this book and also everything else that Rowan has produced this year. In fact, it is all quite exciting. If the weather carries on being so dreadful, I feel my knitting enthusiasm will return much, much earlier this year.
Wednesday, 3 June 2009
At long last here is a photo of Lucy wearing the shawl I made for her.
The photo is a bit grainy but this is from her mobile. Lucy left it until a couple of days before the event to try on the whole outfit. Whilst I found this very irritating, I do admire the confidence of youth.
This is a photo of her at the ball with boyfriend and a few Scottish friends. I must admit the men in kilts do look very smart. Anyway, well done to Lucy for graduating after five years of studying. We are really very proud of her. Lucy will be taking up a post as a dentist in Perth in August. Many of my friends have said that we are very lucky to have a dentist in the family as it costs so much to see one. My answer to that is 'Would you trust your own child to drill in your head?' Proud though I am (and I really am), I'm not sure I would!
Friday, 29 May 2009
Sorry the photo is so small, Kerry has some clever anti-copying device on her website! Anyway, back to the point. We wanted to have a holiday in Dorset and I thought my parents might like to revisit Weymouth after probably 30+ years. So that's what we did. The weather was great, Dorset was beautiful and we all had a great time.
So, now we are back at work and in the words of my mother 'it's all a distant memory'. Well, not quite, but I know what she means.
Friday, 15 May 2009
As you can see it is being blocked on some polystyrene tiles that Ian had in the loft - don't know why. This was an extremely good blocking material. Ian, who is very neat, helped me set it out and it took next to no time to dry. We had one nasty moment when our labrador walked over it, but apart from that it all went very smoothly. I parcelled it up, posted to Lucy and she received it this morning. She is absolutely delighted and has promised photos of herself wearing it next week.
Here is a close up:
So, what to do next? I think the Alice Starmore hat kit is beckoning. However, I have also purchased a copy of Alice & Jade Starmore's the Children's Collection and there are many projects in this I want to knit. I have also just had a little go at a lovely aran cardigan for a toddler in baby cashmere/cotton. Then there are the gloves, mittens, socks, nasty chenille sweater, handknit cotton baby jumper, fair isle baby cardigan, toy donkey, nasty mohair cardigan (a story for another day), that require finishing - and these are just the ones I remember...... I also thought I might have a go at another lace shawl, the myrtle leaf one in Victorian Lace looks good. Watch this space!
Monday, 11 May 2009
This started when Lucy was a small child - and a very persistent one. If she was ever refused something (often, you should have heard her demands) she always demanded a number of reasons and 'because I said so' didn't count. So, I became very skilled at thinking of three different reasons in a very short space of time. As she has now been living away from home for quite a while now, I find that I don't have to justify myself so often, hence the slacking of the brain.
I have, however spent an enormous amount of time overhauling Great British Yarns and I am very pleased with the way it looks. Have a look yourself if you have time. Hopefully I will be back later this week with a photo of the finished shawl.
Tuesday, 21 April 2009
The kit contains all the yarn to make three hats. I can't wait to start, but for once I am going to exercise some self-control and willpower. These are qualities that usually I sadly lack, but this time I will have to wait otherwise the shawl won't be ready on time.
Joe was home for the Easter holidays and he arrived home (well, we went to collect him) with gifts for Mother's Day as he wasn't able to be with me on the day. I couldn't believe it as he bought me lots of things and presented them in a silver gift bag. He bought: the Fratelli's lastest album (which is good), the new Debbie Bliss knitting magazine - chosen and purchased by him without the aid of his girlfriend or any other female. Can you believe that? He also bought this charming piggy bank which he tells me is for me to put my yarn money in. He said it was particularly suitable because of the Union Jack theme. I haven't liked to tell him that it would need to be much, much,much bigger, but I figured he meant I should change my stash money into £50 notes and then use it.
I was very touched that he was such a thoughtful son. Ian and Lucy thought he was a bit over the top and when he bought me flowers to say thanks for helping him find a new house for next year, they both became very sour. They could learn a lot from him I feel.....
You may feel that the photo of the pig is a bit blurred. It is. There are two reasons for this. The first is that I took the photo and I am not good at these things. The second is that I treated myself to a new mobile. About time too. My last, which was purchased at least 6 years ago didn't even have a camera. Welcome to the 21st century! Anyway, I have been enjoying taking photos of everything, but particularly my favourite subject - Rex. So, here is one of Rex and Ian watching TV and relaxing in the evening.
Wednesday, 15 April 2009
Now to the important things. Lucy tried on her ballgown and she look fantastic. I retrieved the shawls from my bag. (I had to knit lots of rows and then cast off loosely so that I could take them on the plane without any needles. The story of getting them back on the needles is for another time.) Guess what? There is a chocolate brown ribbon on the dress which Lucy hadn't really mentioned. So, the brown shawl is perfect after all......... Anyone want a pink one?
Wednesday, 8 April 2009
You may be interested to know that I went with the pink yarn for Lucy's shawl. Why? Well, I put both types under a strong light and looked long and hard. The problem with the gold colour was that it had some lighter colours in it and they didn't really work well with the pink. The pink yarn has some pale lemon and lilac in it and I think it might work better. I have again found this painfully slow and have unpicked it quite a few times. I hope to have a photo for you next week though.
Tomorrow we are off to visit Lucy in Glasgow. This is the first time we have been able to visit her and I am very much looking forward to it. I also hope to get a bit of yarn shop visiting in.... I am going to take the two shawls and hold them against her dress just in case the pink doesn't go either. I'll let you know how it goes.
Now, the reason I haven't been posting is that I've been very busy giving the shop a major overhaul. It isn't finished yet as there are new patterns and yarns to go on, but I have been able to get all my new fabrics up. I hope you will like them as well. In the past I have found that during the really hot months - no, I can't be specific about which ones these might be - I enjoy needlework or sewing more than knitting. So, I have managed to persuade Ian to sell fabrics as well. Any comments, as usual, gratefully received. The photo above is probably one of my favourite new fabrics.
So, I hope you all have a Happy Easter.
Sunday, 15 March 2009
Anyway... Lucy rang yesterday morning, whilst we were out walking on Dartmoor. Apparently she was going to go shopping for a ball gown. She didn't have time to make one (not something to discuss at the moment) and thought she'd just buy one. Without any thought I opened my mouth and said 'Oh, I saw a lovely one in the paper the other day - it was just like a fifties ballerina dress and it would really suit you'. 'By the way it was in a shop called something like Ocean'. Well, once we had sorted out the shop was actually called Coast (Brixham is a small fishing town without virtually any shops unless you are looking for ceramic gifts 'from Brixham'). She said she would investigate.
Much later another call, we are still on our walk... 'It's a bit Disney Princess,' she said, 'what do you think?' Being a strong believer in that everyone should look like a Disney Princess once in their lifetime (I haven't, yet) I told her she should buy it. 'Great,' she said, 'I'll go back and get it now'. The phone call ended. I meandered along. I thought for a bit, and then realised that the lovely shawl will probably not go with the dress, which is a baby pink. The effect would probably be more chocolate box than sophisticated young woman. So, my question is
which would give a bit of a gold effect, or
which is a little pinker than the photo?
Friday, 6 March 2009
Well, as you can see there has been some progress with the lacy knitting. I have spent many happy hours knitting and unpicking, usually knit one row and then unpick three or four rows trying to find out where I was. The length of this knitting in no way reflects the amount of time spent on it.
I have, however, received some really useful advice from Caithairinmyknitting and hope to put this into action this evening. Hopefully I will then be able to make faster progress.
Here is another photo of a close up of the shawl.
The colour is much richer and nicer than the photo, but it was very difficult to get the shot right. Still, perhaps by next week I'll have a lot more to show you. Or perhaps I could tell you about the lovely yarn I've just bought to make an Alice Starmore cardigan.......
Monday, 23 February 2009
Now Lucy must enter the mix. She phoned and said that what she really, really wanted was the Victorian Lace shawl in Kidsilk Haze Jacob. So, I thought I would give that a go - after all I was not getting anywhere. I find the Kidsilk much easier to knit with, but much more difficult to rip - exactly as my advisers said. I now have about 6 weeks to get this finished as Lucy will want to take it back with her after the Easter holiday. So, Lucy, would you like a lace hanky to go with your dress?
Wednesday, 11 February 2009
As promised, here is a photo of a little lemon cardigan I have made for a friend's baby. it's sweet isn't it. Not much to add about it, knitted in garter stitch, size 0-3 months, yarn, Sirdar 100% cotton (old from stash). Hope the baby likes it. Actually, this is not a good photo - it is much more lemon than this.
Now, this is the surprise. Regular readers will know that I have, in the past, had terrible experiences of knitting socks. So much so, that I thought my sock making career was over, pretty much before it began. However, a friend of mine had an accident and was in hospital for a while. I thought of all the things I could send (not many apparently, no flowers, no eats, no cards) and thought that perhaps some socks might be a nice idea. So, from one of the marvellous Charlene Schurch books, I produced these! One sock is slightly longer than the other,this I am sure is to do with me and not the pattern. I must learn to count accurately. The yarn is a new handdyed yarn which may appear in the shop one day. Anyway, I enjoyed making these socks much more than the others, so this may become a regular habit.
Thursday, 5 February 2009
Well, look what arrived on my doorstep on Monday. Yes, the new Spring/Summer collection from Rowan. It was ironic that it arrived whilst the majority of the country was covered in snow and ice, but at least we have had some distinct seasons this year. I am sure there are lots of blogs showing interesting photos of snow covered landscapes, snowmen and other jolly winter items. Unfortunately we haven't had any snow in Brixham, no, not any at all. Which is strangely disappointing and lucky all at the same time.
So, what does Rowan have in store for us all this summer. Lots and lots and lots of cotton in every which way. Handknit, Organic, with linen, with milk protein, in double knit and 4 ply, in pastels, bright colours and all shades inbetween. Many of these will be in the shop within the next few days. Look and dream of hotter climates and sunny days!
Friday, 30 January 2009
You will see from the above photo that I have finished the waistcoat for my father in law. You will not be able to see how nice it really is because the photo is rubbish. The whole process of getting even this photo was a pain though. First of all, my younger and better looking model had returned to university and was not able to take part in the photo shoot. Secondly, the waistcoat turned out to be a little small for post-Christmas Ian, and thirdly the entire ground floor of our house looked like a tip and I couldn't find anywhere decent to take the photo. I could also say fourthly Ian didn't put the waistcoat on properly, despite being told to, but that sounds a bit miserable so I won't. I'll just think it.
Still, I was fairly pleased with this, although it was boring to make. Yarn, lovely undyed bluefaced leicester DK from the shop. Pattern from the Sublime DK book (2nd, I think). Chosen because it was a long vest, which should help keep out the chill and is easy to take on and off. Useful as my father in law is quite elderly.
I will try and get a photo of the little lemon cardigan I have knitted up over the weekend and then next week I should have a surprise garment to show you.....
Monday, 19 January 2009
Lucy is due to graduate this year. She hopes to make a dress for her graduation ball and has asked me to make her a lacy shawl (or wrap) to go with it. I have gone through our stock of lace yarns and came away very confused. Now, I am not a lace knitter and the few attempts I have had have been very half hearted and ended up looking very half hearted too. So this is my chance to really come to terms with this type of knitting. But, the variety of yarns is confusing too. We have in stock lovely silk yarn from Hipknits, shown below:
but this is very fine and I'm not sure about that. We have some gorgeous cashmere from Knitwitches which is heavier, however the ball is a summer one.
I have masses of undyed laceweight yarns in all kinds of weight and mix so I could actually dye some yarn myself - which might be a nice idea if I get it right. Any suggestions or tips for lace novices would be very gratefully received.
Sunday, 11 January 2009
Here is an action shot of Rex modelling his new coat. His head is blurred because I have just said 'would you like a biscuit Rex?' The pattern was a free one from the Patons Yarns website. I used some flecked acrylic I had in my store cupboard, so this was a good destashing exercise as well. In fact this little project encompassed many of my favourite things - dogs, knitting and flecked yarn - perfect!
Rex sort of likes his coat. He is a little dog with much character, but it has to be said, little brains. So, you hold out the jumper and he will trot along to you and put his head through the hole. A short wrestling match then ensues whilst you get his legs through, but this doesn't usually take long. And there you have it - Rex in his coat! By now, he is looking bemused and wondering exactly how it all happened.
Here is another picture, hopefully showing less of the recycling (compulsory in Devon) and more of the coat's pattern:
Now, I really am going to finish a few of the many projects that are hanging around.
Monday, 5 January 2009
A freezing wind had obviously been blowing across Dartmoor and formed amazing feather-like icicles on the rocks. Have a look at this:
I thought it might be very cold and so on New Year's Eve, I found the time to knit a short coat for Rex using the rest of the Colourscape from Lucy's beret. This was accompanied by much jeering from my friends who thought Rex should be a tough Jack Russell. We managed to rise above the laughing, and Rex was certainly very pleased with his jumper when on Dartmoor. After we left Dartmoor we went for a much longer walk at Bovey Tracey (around 5 mins from Haytor by car). It was glorious, although cold and I have to say that Rex did look a bit sissy, particularly when other, more hardy dogs came to examine him.
As you can see, the jumper stretched a bit and ended up resembling a 50s Brigette Bardot kind of look - not particularly the look Rex wanted I fear. So, I have searched the Internet and have found a super pattern called 'Biscuits and Bones Dog Coat' from the Patons site, which I am going to start this evening. Watch this space!