Wednesday, 25 February 2009


Looong pause in blogging over the last 2.5 months due to a cold, another cold, an ear infection, change of job, another cold and now mildly niggly arthritis (more annoying than painful). Bleugh indeed, but feeling ok in myself and the new job is going really well.

Normal service will resume soon...if I ever work out what that is!

Oh, and merry Christmas and happy new year!

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Free pattern: Close to me

This is what happens when you cross a small amount of Shilasdair 100% cashmere handspun yarn and a need (or rather want) for a light scarf. As I only had 68g of yarn, I couldn't make anything too big, so I started hunting for either long thin scarves, or short fat cowls. I found one or two things that I liked but didn't seem quite what I was after. The more I hunted, the clearer the picture became in my head of what I was after. I therefore made it up and it turned out perfectly (in my opinion). Please excuse the rubbish photos.


I combined the idea of a long thin scarf and a short fat cowl to create a long thin cowl that creates a cosy double loop around my neck. It's perfect for this yarn as it feels absolutely gorgeous and is so light you wouldn't know you were wearing save for the cosy feeling around your neck.


It's a really quick knit too, only 30 rows of knitting. It uses garter stitch with some very simple detail at the borders.


Not critical

I used:
  • 1 68g ball of Shilasdair 100% cashmere handspun (I didn't use quite all of it)
  • 6mm 80cm circular needle
  • Stitch marker
  • Sewing needle for finishing 
  • k – knit
  • p – purl
  • k2tog - knit two stitches together
  • yo - yarn over 

Cast on 172 stitches (or similar even number of stitches - just keep going until it looks right)
Join for knitting in the round, placing stitch marker to indicate the start of the round.
  • Row 1: k all
  • Row 2: p all
  • Row 3: k all
  • Row 4: p all
  • Row 5: *k2tog, yo, repeat from *
  • Row 6: p all
  • Row 7: k all
  • Row 8: p all
Repeat rows 5-8 one more time
  • Row 13: k all
  • Row 14: p all
Repeat rows 13 and 14 four more times (or more if you prefer a wider loop)
Then repeat rows 5-8 twice
Cast off very loosely, use a larger needle if necessary
Weave in ends

Still here and knitting

It's been longer than I thought since my last post - oops. I've been up to quite a lot over the last few months, some of it worth blogging about too!

The most important thing is that I'm knitting again and really enjoying it. I've had a bad cold for the last few weeks (will it ever end!) and knitting had been helping me through it :o)

I'm not doing as much Christmas knitting this year. Partly to give my poor relatives a break, and partly to avoid causing myself stress. I've finished one item (bar blocking) and I've got one more to go (to start actually...).

The first thing is a shawl for my Mam in bright purple angora. It feels gorgeous, like fluffy clouds. I'm very chuffed with myself as it's the first lace pattern I've ever finished. I really enjoyed knitting it and started to understand the pattern and memorise what I needed to do. I was also able to work out if I had made a mistake quite quickly. As it is quite an easy pattern, it wasn't too difficult to tink back to fix it - although having said that, there are one or two unique 'design features' in my version of the shawl ;o) It's smaller than I hoped, but hope blocking will help toward making it look better and bigger...


I'm also planning to knit a shawl for my boyfriends Mam, hopefully I've got time. And then I want to knit a lace scarf/stole for my auntie but that will be after Christmas perhaps for her birthday at the end of January.

I've also made a cardie for a friends little girl:


A little tree decoration for a Secret Santa swap on Ravelry:


In October we went on holiday for a week. We so needed a holiday. We went to Skye, and although it was a very long drive, it was so very worth it. I'd not been to Skye before and I loved it! We rented a lovely little cottage near the sea with fabulous views over the hillsides beyond. It was cold and quite wet, but we went out on days that we could, only two days were too stormy for us not to want to leave the house. On those days we curled up in front of the roaring fire, and I knit or read as I fancied. Wonderful!

I visited two yarn shops while I was there and spent far more than I should have on yarn. I went to the Handspinner Having Fun, as well as the famous Shilasdair. At the latter I bought a few odd skeins, one for my Secret Santa swap and two purple yarn for me - one was their 100% cashmere. I thought it would be good for some fingerless mitts, but decided to make a cowl instead. After looking for a pattern that I liked for while, I decided to make something up myself. So I did and I love it, it worked out very well. I might post the instructions at some point.


Well, I'm fairly sure I had more to write about but it'll keep. My head hurts. Between starting and finishing this post the shopping arrived - yes, I got ASDA to deliver and I'm very disappointed in myself (they use FAR too many bags and I always end up buying the wrong things, or not being able to find what I want and just giving up) but neither of us are feeling well so we gave in. We've got my boyfriends two boys this weekend and they were being very helpful carrying the bags to the kitchen and helping me unpack until one of them dropped a big jar of passatta and it smashed covering the kitchen floor in a thick layer of glass and sieved tomatoes. Joy. My other half had popped to the shops so I had to deal with it myself. Took a while but I did it, without any harm to bare footed boys too! My head is a different matter entirely...

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

SP12: This post is brought to you by the colour pink

First there was purple, then red, now my SP has sent pink yarn - and fabulous stuff it is too! As well as the pink yarn, I got chocolate and shower gel - all very very lovely stuff. Here's the pic...there may be some chocolate missing :o)


I had no idea who my pal was throughout the swap, one or two hints have been dropped recently and I think I've worked out who is...still not entirely sure though. Everything that I was sent had German labels, so I naturally assumed my pal was too! The last parcel had her Irish address on it which flummoxed me a bit!

I've really enjoyed taking part in his swap and I've had a great pal, but I don't think I've been able to put in as much time as I thought I would have had when I signed up. I'm not going to do the next one, but may join again in the future. It's a great idea, and I love being spoiled and spoiling someone else (although I do get a bit stressed during the wait to hear if they like what I send), so I'll see how I feel in the new year (new year! is it really October already?).

Having said that, I've signed up for a small swap on Ravelry. But it is really small, so I'm not too worried about it time-wise. I'm quite looking forward to it actually. Maybe I should head off now and do a bit of shopping :o)

I'll just finish with a final Thank You to my SP. Let me know if I guessed right!

Thursday, 25 September 2008


I've just finished Sheldon. I'm very excited.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Unexpected quality knitting time

I definitely seem to be getting back into this knitting lark again. I'm actually feeling excited in the 'just one more row/section/piece' way. This has mainly been due to having time on my hands combined with a need to keep off my feet. I was off work on Thursday afternoon and Friday due to my arthritis playing up and attacking my feet. First the right foot, then the left. I therefore turned on the TV/radio/CD as the mood took me, sat on my arse, and picked up my knitting.

I'm fairly close to finishing the pinwheel cardigan, just two more rounds to go, then the sleeves. The most excitement has been with the toy tortoise (or rather turtle as the pattern states). I'm making Sheldon for my friends little boy, he'll be two later this month. This is a fabulous pattern. I love that it's in two pieces, the shell is like a jumper that fits over the little body section with it's huge head. I'm loving it, although it's quite hard going on my hands. I've gone down a few needle sizes so that it makes a firm fabric that doesn't stretch to show the filling inside, but it can be a bit tough going at times, at least the shell was.

I've almost finished the body, can't complete it until the safety eyes arrive and are attached, I ordered some today. I've done one leg - didn't manage to do the others due to impatience wanting to do the top of the shell. I've just finished the top and cast straight on for the bottom. Have had to stop to give my hands a break.


Yesterday saw the toy stuffing that I ordered online arrive. It came in a tiny plastic post bag which was bulging at the seems. I opened it to find it in another plastic bag with all the air squeezed out. When I opened that one, the stuffing expanded to about 10 times the size! It was amazing. Talk about tardis packaging. I'm only going to use fraction of it for this tortoise, so looks like I need to find more toy patterns. A dragon next I think, if I can find a good one.

Having had a restful weekend, my feet are a lot better, almost back to normal. Looks like work will be cutting into my knitting time next week :o(

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Quick update - I've been knitting!

After what feels like a low that has lasted forever, I'm trying to pull myself together and get back on top of things. This, of course, includes knitting and I did get some quality knitting time in over the weekend. I suppose rain does have it's advantages...

I've decided to make knitted gifts for a friends two kids whose birthdays are less than a month apart. I'm making a pinwheel cardie for their little girl - I love this pattern and I had some machine washable pink and purple long colour-change yarn in my stash (Wendy Fusion, same stuff that I used for my clapotis but in a different colour way - got it really cheap in a sale and bought more than I'd ever need). It grew very quickly, although there was a lot of tinking involved at a few points where I'd missed a yarnover or two (grr).


I'm making their little boy a toy tortoise. They do have a real tortoise, so this will double as a friend for it too. It does look a bit ambitious, but we'll see how I go. Not got the link to hand for the pattern at the mo, and I've only done 4 rows so far, so not worth taking a photo just yet.