Friday, 30 April 2010

Location, Location, Location

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week - Day Five

I guess my favourite place to knit is my armchair. I've found that I need my arms to be supported but not restricted, so a wide armchair is ideal. Knitting on a chair without arms or a sofa for anything more than a few minutes makes my back and shoulders ache!

My crochet projects sometimes come with me to the beach - but only when I'm too cold to go in the sea! Knitting projects rarely do - there are usually too many interruptions to finish a whole row at a time. I find crochet is much more portable for that. 

I used to take knitting/crochet projects to the swimming baths while my kids had their lessons, but we're past that stage now. We're in the process of joining the local surf lifesaving club which I imagine will be much more hands-on!

The other great place to knit is in the car when we're going upcountry to visit my family - obviously I'm not driving! It doesn't happen often, but when it does it's great. I get several hours of knitting time without many interruptions as our DDs are busy watching the in-car DVD system or sleeping. Perfect!

*Note - Cushion cover from UK Etsy seller MariesCosyCushions - fab!

Thursday, 29 April 2010

A New Skill

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week - Day Four

I've been knitting for literally longer than I can remember now but of course once you learn, you tend to stick to the same methods most of the time.

One of the most important contributions to the final result of a knitted piece is the making up - seaming - finishing, and there are not many knitters I know who actually enjoy this! It's one of the hardest parts of the process to get to a level that you're happy with in my opinion.

That's why I went on the finishing techniques course run by the lovely Jane Crowfoot way back in April 2005 (was it really that long ago?!). I said at the time that it was the best £35 I had spent in ages, and I still think that now. 

I bought the book beforehand and have referred to it many times - I thoroughly recommend it:
Finishing Techniques for Handknitters

I had a quick look through recently to find out how to do a one-row buttonhole, and decided that I'd like to try to master the continental knitting technique as it's supposed to be faster and also different cast-on methods. A see sample squares in my future!

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

One Great Knitter

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week - Day Three

This is a tough one - to write about a knitter whose work I enjoy. There are so many thanks to the web!

OK I'll pick one - The Keyboard Biologist. I have followed her blog for several years now, and her work is beautiful. She shows incredible attention to detail and takes on all manner of projects - making for interesting reading. Her photography is lovely and it's always fascinating to read of a fellow crafter's experiences when they're based in a different country.

There are so many others I could mention, but they would be similar comments attached to different names. We're so lucky to have the web to keep us all in touch!

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

An Inspirational Pattern

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week - Day Two

I seem to be drawn to cables consistently. Two of my queued patterns in Ravelry are the Central Park Hoodie and Rogue. Both have been in that queue for a while!

I bought yarn to make Rogue quite a few years ago now - Adriafil Point in a lovely pistachio green. I still have it, marinating way in my stash. One day I might even knit it up!

Another is Alice by Kim Hargreaves from Rowan 35 - an old classic again! I just love the lace design and simply have to knit this as a summer cardi for myself. Just need the time.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week

I came across this post about a blog week and decided to take part. Here's today's entry - I can't promise I'll do them all but I can try!

Day One - Starting Out
I really can't remember when I first started to knit. I can't remember ever NOT knitting! All I know is somebody must have taught me how to knit when I was little.

My great-aunt knitted constantly - mainly skintight acrylic sweaters for us kids or the most beautiful lace christening shawls. My nan knitted sometimes - she could do so many arts and crafts - she was my heroine, and who my one daughter is named after. :)  My mum could knit but never did as she didn't actually enjoy it. Can you imagine that! My mum and me have always been quite different. :)

As for crochet - my nanny taught me that when I was in my early 20s I think. I had tried before but gave up as it felt so awkward. I decided that I had to learn it as it would be such a shame if she passed on without me sharing the craft with her. 

I can't imagine not crocheting now. My nanny crocheted armchair covers, doilies, coasters and mats. I crochet anything but my favourite is beaded jewellery.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Been hookin'

The crochet hooks have been calling to me for a while now and I've completed several projects.

We have a new hairband design for my Etsy shop. I've listed it in Chilli; the Olive version will be up soon too.

I also have some more colourways of the fingerless crochet summer gloves to list. This Peacock and Teal one is available now - funky summer colour combo!

Finally I can show you a sneak peak of a design which is still in progress. 

I felt rather inspired by all the Spring blooms appearing! More on that soon enough..

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Twin treasuries

I am very happy to be currently included in not one but two treasuries - neither of which I have created myself. :)

The first is the Red treasury featuring members of the CreateCrochet Etsy team - with red items of course!

The other is a Craft Britannia Team treasury - lots of gorgeous UK handmade items in there. 

Click on the pictures to take a closer look!

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Spring Moss unveiling

It's done! I have finished the Spring Moss Jacket at last.
It had sat in a bag whispering mournfully at me for a while, and last night I finally got around to putting on the fastenings to finish it off.

I have to say I'm not keen on seaming moss stitch. If I did another moss stitch project (which I might) then I would try to make it completely seam-free.

I ended up using popper fasteners with buttons on top for show - the main reason being that I forgot to do the buttonholes while knitting the front!

I'm really pleased with it - and also that it was made entirely from my (almost vintage) stash of 500g of Rowan All Seasons Cotton.

Perfect for the spring.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Monochrome crochet

I recently finished a very long crochet beaded wrap necklace, and have just listed it in my Etsy shop.

When I say long, I mean l o n g! If I stand up and hold with my arm outstretched it trails on the floor..

I've used Rowan Shimmer yarn in shade "Jet", with a selection of clear and black beads threaded on before I crocheted the long loop. In the middle is a gorgeous starfish pendant.

It seems that most things I do now are inspired by the sea - I wonder why?!

You can also see my star buy of this week - a lovely dressmakers dummy in great condition on a pine stand for just £25. There's always something interesting to be found by browsing through the classified ads in your local newspaper!

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Easter treats

I hope everyone has enjoyed the Easter break! We're still making the most of our week off work with our daughters.

This year has shown us how much our girls are growing up; the focus hasn't been so much on chocolate eggs!

They were sent some money to choose their own Easter gift from their nan, and they invested in some (more) RubyRuth dolls which they spotted at the craft fair in Truro.

These are handmade individual dolls, very unique and strangely wonderful!

I bought a treat to share with my husband - Trenance chocolate - yum.

Apparently you can walk around the factory to see the chocolate products being made - I feel a visit coming on soon! 

There are some great chocolate dinosaurs, butterflies, and teddies, and the taste is fabulous.

Right, it's time to soak my aching limbs in the bath - we walked the bridleways to Perranporth and back today, stopping at the Filling Station to enjoy their super-tasty paninis for lunch. Of course we wandered down to the sea to watch the surfers - too cold for me to go in yet though! 

It was a fabulous walk with amazing countryside and sea views - over 5 miles altogether. We're so grateful to be living here.

Saturday, 3 April 2010


Shortlisted for best product photo competition 
Recently I posted about entering the makers-online photo contest with a picture of my lovely hand-dyed Groover superwash wool/silk/bamboo blend 4ply/sock yarn.
Well I didn't win, but I was included in the shortlist of 27 of their favourite photos! I'm really pleased as my photography skills are only just improving thanks to taking produce pictures for my Etsy shop. Check out the winning and other shortlisted photos - they're great!