Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Busting the stash

I've been absorbed with warm rich colours recently, obviously inspired by Christmas.

I decided to knit some more lengthways scarves. Here's the first one:

There are all sorts of yarns in there - chenille, acrylic, polyester eyelash, wool, alpaca, mohair, cotton, merino..

I used one of my Addi circular needles, working 2 rows in each yarn at a time, randomly switching between garter stitch, stocking stitch, and reverse stocking stitch.

It was a windy day when we took this shot!

Now I've cast on another, this time using warm browns and oranges.

They make great stashbusters - and great presents too, each one totally unique. They're fun to knit but very easy - perfect for Christmas TV watching!

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Double figures!

Today is our eldest daughter's 10th birthday.

I really can't believe it's been 10 years since we first set eyes on our beautiful first baby. And quite a relief after a 30-hour labour!

Thick black hair, the loudest yell, and gorgeous big inquisitive eyes. Like a little eskimo baby - well maybe not so little at 9lb 5oz. :-)

Here she is, just a few minutes old.

And now, she's transforming into a wonderful young lady in front of our eyes. Kind, considerate, smart, funny, and so much more.

We are privileged to be part of her world. Happy 10th birthday darling. We're so proud of you. This day is for you. :-)

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Nature's Morning Show

This was the view from our window earlier this week as I got up.
A stunning sunrise - and I didn't even have to get up early to see it!

Friday, 5 December 2008

Been busy

There's a lot on at the moment. Not least numerous small projects to be finished. Here are a selection of the completed ones:
Chunky collars for my Etsy shop and Christmas sales

A cabled cashmere collar for my Etsy shop

A chunky hat as commissioned by my FIL

A white eyelash shoulder shrug for eldest DD, to go with her Christmas dress. I'll get a modelled shot as son as she's up to it - she's been off school today poorly.

Must go - we have to get to a family buffet for my SIL's wedding anniversary in half an hour!

Saturday, 29 November 2008


Hi! I'm back from my unexpected break - temporarily anyway. You know how it is this time of year - lots going on.

My Dad and step-mom visited us from Spain for 5 days and we had a lovely time. Good job they flew back to Alicante before the enforced
temporary closure of Newquay Airport!

This week I've been knitting neckwarmers like mad for a local sale tomorrow. Oh and we got to see Santa and his
real reindeer in Truro on Wednesday evening. I've never seen so many people in Truro!

Back soon...

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Your turn to wash up darling...

Events sometimes lead to the most unlikely consequences.

When we were going through the unnecessary torment that was DH's
BMX accident, subsequent operation and healing, I said that once DH's wrists were healed enough I was going to take a month off doing the washing up, and he could do it.

Only fair considering I had to do absolutely everything for a good few weeks.

So now, we've reached that point, DH has come up with a cunning solution. He's bought a dishwasher.

This weekend he's even threatening to plumb it in.

I've never had one before, although we've pondered the idea for a good few years, and always decided we didn't have enough space in the kitchen.

How does that saying go? "
Necessity is the mother of invention."

I guess DH really doesn't like washing up. ;-)

Monday, 3 November 2008


This cold weather makes me knit faster! It must do - I have 2 FOs to show, and I'm finally on the decreases for the Snuggle crochet blanket - woohoo!

But first - Halloween.

We had a family party which was great - the only time I make my hair extra-frizzy on purpose!

It worries me every year how good my eldest DD looks in black clothing and pouffed-up hair...

The best part was the mummy wrapping game!

Not exactly eco-friendly with all the toilet roll, but very good fun.

As for the knitting...
Another Christmas present is done.

It's the cashmere cowl I knitted in the round in double rib using the hand-dyed cashmere yarn from
The Knitting Goddess. I used a mere 14g of yarn for this!

I'm quite tempted to put this one up for sale in my
Etsy shop and make another for the Christmas pile. The cashmere items I've done seem to be quite popular...

The other FO is yet another Christmas present - a stocking filler this time.

It's the
Garterlac Washcloth again - this time in the Beach Ball colourway of the Lily Sugar 'n' Cream yarn.

I love this pattern so much. It's great fun to knit, and makes the perfect texture for a facecloth.

Of course it has to be done in variegated cotton to show off the pattern to the max. This colourway matches with the recipient's bathroom tiles, so hopefully it'll go down well. :-)

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Keep on going...

The Snuggle Blanket has reached that stage. You know, the stage where you know you must be making progress cuz the yarn is being used up, but you're still way off from the finish line.

So I thought I'd take some pics for my own sanity's sake. So I can actually see the progress myself.

Each row is now 70 shells across - that's 210 trebles in each and every row.

Still, I can see how I'm getting on now, and I know that soon it will be decrease time.

Despite all that negative sounding stuff, I do actually love this blanket! I find the colours quite addictive, and I'm really pleased with the overall look.

Plus it's another Christmas present in the pipeline, which has to be a good thing. :-)

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Cloth-mania - again

I've been busy knitting various smaller projects recently, including a couple of my own new designs for washcloths.

First is the Modustar Cloth - cheesy name or what?!

It's done in bias-edged squares joined up as for modular knitting, to give a star shape when finished.

Very simple, but effective - and using just 1 ball of cotton.

Watch out for the free pattern coming very soon!

I'll post it here and on Ravelry (as Six Skeins of course).

The other cloth is a spin-off from the His and Hers washcloths that I designed.

A third washcloth for the set simply covered in hearts, as requested by a Ravelry test-knitter.

I'll also put this free pattern up soon.

Here it is pre-blocked, but you get the idea.

I've used an odd ball of Rowan Handknit Cotton for this one with 4mm needles.

It comes out smaller but still perfectly formed!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Christmas FO

The first Christmas present is done!

I finally seamed the Cashmerino Baby Shrug and added a double crochet flower embellishment to use up the last few remaining yards of yarn.

That yarn is so smooshy and lovely that I didn't want to waste an inch of it.

Here is the intended recipient (my sweet little niece), when she came to visit with her family almost 2 weeks ago (wow, where did that go?!).

As you can see, she's in the stage where she is fascinated with labels - I remember mine being like that.

We had a great time all together; it was lovely to have my family here as it was the first time they've visited since we moved here 20 months ago.

We had fantastic weather too - good enough for ice-creams and sandcastle-building on the beach! A little weird for October but much welcomed after this summer's rain.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Uninterrupted knitting!

Had a lovely day today with some fellow knitters at the Watering Hole in Perranporth. 4 hours of uninterrupted fibrey-fun!

I forgot to take my camera of course, but I did make a good start on my latest project - a simple ribbed cashmere cowl.

I'm using Knitting Goddess 4ply hand-dyed cashmere yarn (yum!) and double rib to make a simple neck-warming accessory in the Purl Bee style for a Christmas present.

There should be enough left for a similar item for me too - but mine with be a more lacy affair I think. Maybe something along
these lines.

Thursday, 9 October 2008


This week has flown past with no progress on anything craft-related other than house tidying in preparation for my relatives visiting this weekend.

It's a good thing though as it meant I had to sort out my project pile which was threatening to take up as much space as another armchair. There still seem to be too many projects, but the no-further-than-a-swatch ones have been sent home to the stash mountain, and the others have been neatly packed into the remaining bags. For now anyway.

There has been a minute amount of progress on the Snuggle blanket, probably last weekend. The only reason I know is because it looks different to the last WIP picture! I have been carrying it around with me every day, but even work lunch-breaks have been busy with other far less exciting activities.

Never mind. My family will be here for the next 4 days or so, then I should get some crafting time next week. Fingers crossed anyway!

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Christmas knitting!

Yes, it's true - I've nearly finished a Christmas knitting project. I didn't mean to do it. I wasn't actually thinking about Christmas; I just needed an easy project on a circular needle to do whilst travelling on a coach, and this leapt to mind.

I had planned to do this project at some point, just not yet. So much so that I'd added it to my Ravelry queue and even bought the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran while it was on sale at Stash Yarns.

And now I'm so glad I did. What a great project! It's the Debbie Bliss Baby Shrug in size 9-12 months. This was featured as a free pattern for a while on the Prima website (and probably in the printed magazine too). It doesn't seem to be in the listed patterns now but I found it via Google here.

It's quick, easy, gorgeously smooshy in the cashmerino yarn, and so very cute. Plus there's very little seaming to do - bonus!

That's all I need to do now to finish off this little beauty, then Christmas Present Number 1 is good to go.

Oh, it's for my lovely little niece by the way, who is coming to Cornwall to visit us with her brother, mom and dad (i.e. my brother) this weekend coming. I can't wait!

Monday, 29 September 2008

Sock Yarn = Baby Blanket

What a change! After a lovely weekend with Sunday being spent gardening in the morning and then at the beach in the afternoon, this week has taken on a distinct autumnal feeling. Never mind - I have a new work project to keep me warm.

I'm re-working my "Snuggle" diagonal crochet baby blanket pattern (which is for sale in my Etsy shop) to use 4ply (i.e. fingering or sock weight) yarn.

Previously I had designed and made the pattern in 3ply yarn, but the selection in this weight is fairly restrictive to say the least.

Instead I wanted to use some of the fabulous sock-weight yarns that you can buy now and reckon that the pattern will look great worked up in variegated colours.

I've decided to use two solids and one variegated yarn for this version. I've bought a selection from ebay -
Cygnet Wool Rich sock yarn in rose pink and mauve for the solids, and King Cole ZigZag sock yarn in the variegated deep purple colourway.

Looking good I reckon!

Hand-dyed lace and sock yarn for sale

Remember the laceweight and sock yarns that I dyed recently? They're now up for sale in my Etsy shop so grab them while you can - no repeats!

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Hello Mr Sticky!

It seems that we are living in a wildlife haven. Having only ever seen these creatures once at secondary school around 30 years ago, we have now been visited by our second stick insect!This one was a whopper at around 5 inches long - almost twice the size of the last one.

He (or maybe she?!) gave me quite a fright as I went to grab the garden gate to rush off with our DDs for the weekly swimming lesson - he was sitting right there, well camouflaged!

Mr Sticky is pictured in a large (empty) Roses tin covered in clingfilm with airholes. He was a pretty fast mover and was climbing all over the place. His antics made a weird tinkly scuffling noise in the tin - quite freaky when you forgot what was in there!

He spent the night there before joining his new home with a friend of ours, who keeps lots of these insects in a massive enclosure with lots of fresh vegetation. Hopefully the new accommation and friends will be well-received!

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Washcloth mania

Quite a few UK knitters seem to be getting into knitting washcloths this summer, and I've been inspired by their results.

I was tempted into trying out the Garterlac dishcloth and I'm really pleased with it! Although I've done it in colours complimentary to our bathroom, so we'll be using it as a flannel instead. :-)

This is my first attempt at modular knitting too. I love the result, but it's not something I'd find particularly portable as I'd keep losing my place!

I've taken a liking to the Lily Sugar'n Cream cotton yarn, which I've been buying on ebay. I especially love the variegated colourways, which I think look great in a modular knitting pattern. The washcloth above is done in the "Desert Rising" colourway. I wish I could try all the variegated ones...

Anyone know of a similar UK yarn?

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Traumas and celebrations

It's our 12th wedding anniversary today! DH and I have just come back from enjoying a delicious meal at our local Italian restaurant - Del Mar. I had the best smoked salmon tagliatelle that I've ever tasted. Gorgeous!

DH had an operation 3 days ago on his broken left wrist to plate it.

It all seems to be healing fine, but we had an emotional moment this morning when I found out that he'd written his anniversary card before the op in case he didn't wake up from it. Thank goodness he did!

Earlier today I finished my crochet shell bag.

It's a pattern I created a few years back, but I decided to re-make it as I wanted to get some better photos for the pattern.

You can buy it here in my Etsy shop.

This time I used 200g of Patons 100% Cotton DK yarn and I love the result.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

What's for dinner?

Not this I hope - although I have to say it looks yummy to me..

Isn't it amazing how 3 different yarns take up the same dye so differently? I love getting surprises. :-)

These (and other) yarns should be up for sale in my Etsy shop soon, so keep watching the sidebar!

Saturday, 6 September 2008

A colourful life

Oooh, look - pretty colours!

I finally got around to dyeing some yarns again, and remembered how much I love the surprises you end up with.

I've just sat and tied up 11 more skeins (small and large) for another batch this weekend.

That'll end up with my DDs coming into the kitchen pinching their noses saying "Poo-ee, Mommy what are you dyeing this time?"!

Actually, youngest DD amazed me tonight as she dug out some yarn and needles, got me to cast on, and is now knitting a pink and purple scarf for eldest DD's teddy! The last time she tried she did a couple of rows and got frustrated, but this time I had to make her put it down at 9pm to moans of "Oh Mommy just one more row.." Sounds familiar!

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

His and Hers Washcloths pattern for sale

Remember the His and Hers washcloths that I came up with a few weeks back for a colleagues wedding gift?

Well I've been busy modifying the charts with the help of a few Ravelry test knitters and I now have the pattern for both cloths for sale!

They knit up in about 2 hours per cloth, use 1 ball of Lily Sugar 'n' Cream cotton (or equivalent) for both cloths together, and make a great wedding or anniversary gift.
You can buy the pattern in my Etsy shop. Really. :-)

Sunday, 31 August 2008


My normally busy days have taken on a new perspective since DH broke BOTH wrists a few days ago whilst jumping his BMX bike. It's going to be a long six weeks before those casts are off. Boys!

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Record-breaking bolero

Thanks everyone for your birthday wishes! I had part sun, part rain, so it was pretty good. :-) More about my pressies later.

Well I gritted my teeth and seamed and crocheted the edging on this bolero the night after I've finished knitting it - that's definitely a new personal best!

It's taken a little longer to get around to sewing on the clasp though - if only my sewing box wasn't buried underneath a pile of sewing repairs that I need to do... ;-)

Here's the finished item, modelled by my eldest DD who is the proud new owner.

I used 100g (yes just 2 balls!) of Sirdar Luxury Cotton 4ply on 4mm needles with my favourite lacewing stitch.

This bolero is lightweight and delicate, but still a comforting layer over bare arms in a cooler summer breeze. A big hit!

I'm now formatting the pattern instructions and creating a couple more sizes for the design. I'll be asking for a couple of test knitters (probably via the Test Pool forum on Ravelry) for each size and then the pattern will be available for sale in Ravelry, my Etsy shop, and anywhere else I can think of!

Friday, 15 August 2008

Birthday time!

It's that time of year again - already! I've booked the day off work - let's see if we get any sunshine!

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Yet another one for the seaming pile

Well the His and Hers washcloths raised a few laughs - the recipient had no idea what they were, and took a few prompts to figure out what they said, but got there in the end. The evening wedding reception was brilliant - lots of drinking and silly dancing - a good night out.

Remember I said that the Lacewing Bolero-ette should be a quick knit? Well here it is in it's current raw state (click on it for a better view):

I finished the knitting at tea-time, so now it's on to my favourite part - the seaming. Wooppee. Anyone going to guess how long that will take?

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Last-minute wedding gift

A colleague is getting married next week and I was asked if I could knit or crochet a quick gift to add to the work present. Hmm, a last-minute challenge!

After much discussion of patterns, I came up with the idea of His and Hers knitted washcloths. I've seen other wedding washcloth patterns, but not any like this, so I graphed out the design and after 3 hours of knitting ended up with this happy couple:

(Ignore the blotchy colours - they still hadn't finished drying properly from blocking.)

I used Rowan All Seasons Cotton as I hadn't got any matt cotton yarn in a suitable colour. Pretty good I reckon! We'll see how the recipients feel about them soon enough...

Monday, 28 July 2008

Knitting? Oh yes, that...

Remember the Lacewing Bolero from 2006? I have worn that garment so much. So when my eldest DD decided she wanted something similar for herself, I couldn't refuse.

This is the back of the bolero, in the same lacewing stitch pattern that I love so much.

I'm using some Sirdar Luxury Cotton 4ply that I bought from
ebay in the great neutral "Vanilla" shade. This is a yarn with outrageous yardage!

My DD specified the waist length, sleeve length, front shaping, etc, and I've designed the pattern using my Knitware software as before.

The back is done, and I'm up to the shaping at the top of the first set-in sleeve. It should be a fairly quick knit (famous last words!)...

Monday, 21 July 2008

Prize-winning items

Excuse me what's the date? Where exactly did the last 9 days disappear to? I'm obviously stuck in a time-warp. Or something.

Anyway, our local village show has been and gone, and was a great success. My DDs entered several categories and won prizes - and so did I!

This is youngest DD's entry for the shellcraft category. I helped her make a shell windchime.

Not the easiest thing to photograph while it's lying down, but you get the idea. Obviously the judge got the idea too, as DD won first prize in her age group!

The chime tubes were actually left over from a bought windchime kit that was never going to happen - plastic bits that had to be painted with a paint that just kept sliding off. No, I don't think so. This version looks much better and sounds lovely too. :-)

Eldest DD's entry was also great - a lovely shell necklace. The judge also liked this one, and she got first prize in her age group too!

DD has since worn the necklace several times, and it does look fabulous on.

They also both won second prize in their age groups for the decorated cakes category, but DH (bless him) forgot to photograph those entries. They didn't last long - both DDs ate them on the (short) walk home. ;-)

As for my entries, I did rather well !

My knitted welly socks got first prize (just out of shot here, but you've
seen them before) and my cashmere ripple scarf got second prize in the handknitted category.

One of my zigzag crochet hairbands got third prize in the crochet category. :-)

The prize-giving ceremony lasts quite a while as you can see!

There were also the usual cornish cream teas (yum!), bouncy castle, coconut shy, brass band, local ice creams etc etc.

A great time was had by all - and the sun shone on us all day. :-)