Sunday, 28 November 2010

Christmas Heart 2010

Has it really been 12 months since the last Christmas heart?

Here is this year's contribution to the Christmas Heart collection.
This year I have embroidered mistletoe on a red background, with the usual pearl stitch edging in white. I'm very pleased with the result - although with my eyesight, it was difficult to embroider. May be I should ask Father Christmas for an eye test and some new glasses and I may be able to do more sewing!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Harry Potter

We saw the new Harry Potter film last night.

We really enjoyed it despite the fact that it is so grim, bleak and sad. Harry's come a long way since those innocent days of learning to ride a broomstick and discovering Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans.

I was pleased to see that Harry had come to Liverpool. The scene near the beginning of the film where Harry and Hagrid ride in the motorbike and sidecar through a tunnel whilst being chased by Death Eaters, was filmed in the Mersey Tunnel!!

Happy Thanksgiving, to everyone in the USA.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Patterns for Crochet Glittens

Following the completion of my knitted glittens, Mindy has asked me if I know of any good crochet patterns for glittens.

Looking through the database on Ravelry I've found these two.

The first is by Woodhill Designs and is available free here. It uses worsted weight yarn.

This pattern is by Sue Norrad and is available free here . It also uses worsted weight yarn.

I haven't tried either of these patterns so I can't comment on how easy/difficult they are but they both look like fun (no double pointed knitting needles!!) I might have a go at designing my own crochet glittens - but it'll have to wait until after Christmas - I'm definitely booked up until then!

Monday, 22 November 2010

End of the Glittens

I have now finished my fourth pair of glittens.

This pair are for Grace - and will be the last for a while. It was a great pattern to do and I would certainly make more. They're really quick to make, don't take too much yarn and very practical.
But it's time to move on and I don't seem to be finding much time to work on my Christmas makes. I had planned on spending the weekend working flat out on Eve's alpine sweater - darts on the television - so no reason not to just sit and knit. However - I was totally gripped by the novel I was reading, couldn't put it down - so not as much knitting done as I had planned.

I'm also in the middle of yet another assignment - they seem to pop up all the time - but this should be the last one before Christmas - then it's non-stop knitting and crocheting all the way to Christmas!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Christmas Hexagon

Here's a bit of a distraction.

The pattern looked interesting so I thought I would give it a try. It turned out larger than I imagined - it's about 7 inches from point to point.

The central hexagon is from a pattern called African Flower by Lounette Fourie and Anita Rossouw. It can be found on this site (it's the 9th comment from the top!), but I think there should be a better pattern around, certainly Ravelry has some others listed.

The pattern for constructing the hexagon is by Daniela Herbertz and is available as a free Ravelry download. Details can be found on my project page here.

I wish there weren't so many tempting patterns out there - I am weak and easily distracted!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Crochet Christmas Wreath

PDF version
Here’s a fun project for Christmas that only takes about an hour to make.

The finished wreath is approximately 11cm (4.5 inches in diameter)

You will need a thin ring with a diameter of approximately 5.5 cm (just over 2 inches).
I used thin metal bangles that were designed for a small child. A pack of 10 cost only £2.25 in Claire’s Accessories.

Using double knitting weight yarn in a nice Christmassy green , I worked 60 dc (US = sc) into the ring to cover it.

If your ring is larger or smaller you will obviously need to adjust. Join with a sl st into 1st dc.

Second round – work a dc in each dc (but increasing 6 dc evenly over the round). Join with a sl st. 66 sts

Third round – 3ch (counts as first tr [US = dc]), 1 tr (US = dc) into each dc to end. Sl st into 3rd of 3 ch at beginning of round.

Fourth round – (1 dc, 3 ch) into each tr to end. Sl st into 1st dc.

Hanging loop – work 12 ch, sl st into 1st ch to form a loop. Fasten off.

The wreath can be decorated as you wish.

I used wooden beads in red, cream and green, to look like berries, and I attached a small ribbon to the top.

Very simple and quick but they look very effective.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Third Pair of Glittens

I've just finished Eve's glittens (the third pair so far). See second pair here, and first pair here.

Each pair is being modified slightly and customised to fit. For this pair I slimmed down the thumb and adjusted the length to Eve's dainty hands.
I used up some Rowan Cashsoft DK I had left from a few years back. I only just made it - about 2 metres of yarn left at the end!

She's on her way home from school now, so they are waiting for her to try on. Hope she likes them.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Christmas Shopping

Ventured out on my first Christmas shopping trip of the season yesterday. I can't say it was particularly successful - I wasn't feeling inspired. It turned into a knitting supplies shopping trip instead - don't they all!

John Lewis have finally got the latest Kim Hargreaves book in stock. It's called Cherished and is more inspiring than the last book, which I didn't buy. Here are some of the patterns I will be adding to my queue - but it'll be after Christmas before I can seriously contemplate starting them.

The first is Raine. A lovely shaped cardi knitted in DK weight yarn.

I also liked Skylark. Quite a feminine design - it's the same stitch pattern as Anais.

My favourite is Isle. Simple design but interesting details.

Well they are for the future. Right now, I would like to make Eve a Nordic style sweater for Christmas. She saw similar sweaters in Primark on a recent shopping trip - so I offered to make her one. We decided it would be customised to exactly as she would like it. We found a pattern for a lovely short-sleeved cardi from which we will use the colourwork.

This pattern is by DROPS design and is available free here. Our version will be a sweater, with long sleeves and some waist shaping.

I've made a start, so let's hope it goes according to plan.

I like to make a something special each year for Christmas ( Well actually I like to make lots and lots of things for Christmas!). Last year I made the Snow Queen by Alan Dart. This year Alan Dart has produced a pattern for the Christmas Pudding Pixie.

He looks a bit scary, but should be fun to make. Alan Dart patterns are always great fun - so much attention to detail. The pattern is in this month's edition of Simply Knitting magazine. I'll be starting this soon.

This is only a small sample of the stuff I'm planning on making - most of it's secret - so I probably won't be sleeping or eating for the next 6 weeks!! Better get on with it!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Christmas is Coming

Yes, it's getting ever closer.

Time seems to be flying by and there is so much to plan and do.

In anticipation of Christmas, I made some Christmas Cake muffins.

Very fruity and filling - gets you in training for the big day!

I've started my Christmas surprise makes. There's still a lot of planning to do and I'll probably be more ambitious than is realistic - but everything usually gets done on time.

There are some fabulous knitting and crochet patterns on Ravelry - all so tempting. I so love this time of the year. Planning and creating is the best.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Olive Finished

I have finally got round to taking photos of the finished Olive cardi.

Very comfortable and easy to wear. The collar took a few goes to get right but I'm happy with it now.

It's a Kim Hargreaves design from Rowan magazine #26. Full details can be found on my Ravelry page here.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, this is the second time I've made this cardi (last time was 10 years ago!). This yarn is washable, so this version shouldn't suffer the same fate as the last one.
It's Sirdar Click DK, and I love this yarn. It's easy to knit with, lasts forever and is great value for money. This is true of most Sirdar yarns - I'm a definite fan. I had 9 balls of this yarn, I used 6 on this cardi, 1 and a bit on the slouchy hat I made recently. I have also used just under 1 ball to make these glittens, and I should have enough left to make a further pair of glittens for whoever wants to wear them.

These are the second set of glittens I've made so far this Autumn. Look here for details of the first set. I've modified the pattern second time around.

I have not knitted separate fingers but left the top open. I couldn't take the stress of the individual fingers and the DPNs. I would have stopped after one pair if I had to do the fingers all over again!

I knitted the second pair on smaller needles, 3.25mm rather than 4mm. This gives a snugger fit. I also changed the ribbing at the wrist to 1x1 rather than 2x2, again this gives a tighter fit.

So now that I'm happy with the pattern I'll get making more for the rest of the family.
I've just noticed that the colour of the yarn in each of the photos is different. None of them actually show the true colour which is a lovely blend of reds, blues and purples.