Sunday, 28 August 2011

What's On The Needles?

What am I working on at the moment?  Well, I've started quite a few new items, here they are. 

Firstly, I needed some plain knitting for the journeys on Eurostar recently, so I have revisited an old favourite pattern.  It's called Bond and it's by Kim Hargreaves and it was featured in Rowan 28 magazine way back in 2001. 

I've made this pattern twice before (2001 and 2002) - it's a very comfortable, easy to wear sweater and it's so simple to make - just plain stocking stitch and very little concentration needed. 

My previous versions of this sweater (in Rowan Felted Tweed) shrank in the wash - this new one is in a more washable yarn.

The yarn is Sirdar Escape and is a lovely mix of reds, plums and greens - not that you can tell from the work-in-progress photo. 

I've recently bought the latest Rowan magazine (number 50) - I only buy it these days if there are at least 5 patterns I would definitely knit.  Some of Rowans patterns can be a bit shapeless.

One of the patterns I liked is called Loretta.

I'm not sure about the collar though - it has a look of Harry Hill about it.

Any way, I've started knitted it but I'll probably do a plain round neck and skip the collar.

Lastly, I've been trying to find a pattern for some yarn I bought cheaply - 20 balls of it.  The yarn is James C Brett's ripple. 

The colouring is lovely, delicate greens and pastels but when I tried knitting it up, it just tangled and twisted.  When I had a go at crocheting with it, there wasn't a probelm, in fact it's wonderful to crochet with.  So I found this free pattern from Garn Studio.

I've nearly finished the main body - it grows very quickly.

There was a Formula 1 race this weekend, so plenty of crocheting time. 

I've seen some more patterns I'd like to make - so I may yet start some of these.  Beginnings are always fun - it's making sure you finish that's the difficult part!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Lizzie Pattern

PDF version

Lizzie is a bright and jolly scoop-necked, stripy, Fair Isle vest, knitted in double knitting weight yarn.

It can be knitted as a regular repeated colour change, or with random colour changes. It requires a minimum of 4 colours and the pattern is repeated every 10 rows. It’s up to you how you want to work it

I used a random colour change, using a total of 10 different colours. A great way to use up all those odds and ends.  Have fun with your colour combinations.

Just make sure that you have enough yarn to ensure that the sequence of colours on the front matches the back.

To fit size small
Knitted size
Bust 84 cm / 33 inches
Length to shoulder 53 cm / 21 inches

Double knitting weight yarn – a total of approximately 750 metres / 770 yards
A minimum of 4 colours required.
I used 10 different colours, the main shade used for the hem and bands and also incorporated in the pattern used about 75g, all the other colours required less than 50g.
3.25 mm (US 3) needles
3.75 mm (US 5) needles

21 sts and 30 rows to 10cm (4 inches) measured over pattern using 3.75 mm needles.

k = knit
p = purl
sts = stitches
ms = main shade
RS = right side
WS = wrong side
beg = beginning
rem = remaining
alt = alternate


Using 3.75mm needles and ms of your choice, cast on 92 sts.
Work in k1, p1, rib for 2.5 cm (1 inch).
Work 2 rows in stocking stitch.
Breaking off and joining in colours as required, start 10 row colour changing pattern as per chart and complete 10 rows without shaping.

Making sure pattern stays correct (the little squares should all line up), decrease 1 st at each end of next and 4 following 8th rows. (82 sts)
Work 9 rows without shaping.
Increase 1 st at each end of next and 4 following 10th rows. (92 sts)
Continue without shaping until work measures 35 cm (14 inches) ending with a WS row.

Shape armholes
Cast off 3 sts at beg of next 2 rows. (86 sts) **
Continue without shaping until armhole measures 20 cm (8 inches).

Shape shoulders
Cast off 8 sts at beg of next row, pattern until there are 12 sts on right hand needle, turn leaving rem 66 sts on a spare needle.
On the 12 sts only, cast off 4 sts at beg of next row.
Cast off rem 8 sts.
Place centre 46 sts on a holder. With RS facing, rejoin yarn to rem 20 sts, pattern to end.
Cast off 8 sts at the beg of next row.
Cast off 4 sts at the beg of next row.
Cast of rem 8 sts.


Work as given for back to **
Work 2.5cm ( 1 inch) ending with a WS row.

Shape neckline
Pattern 37 sts, turn, leaving rem 51 sts on a spare needle.
Working on 37 sts only, cast off 2 sts at neck edge on next and 4 alt rows. (27 sts)
Work 1 row.
Decrease 1 st at neck edge on next and 10 following alt rows. (16 sts)
Work straight until work measures same as back to start of shoulder shaping, ending with a WS row.
Cast off 8 sts at beg of next row.
Work 1 row.
Cast off rem 8 sts.
Place centre 12 sts on a holder. Woth Rs facing, rejoin yarn to rem 37 sts, pattern to end.
Work 1 row.
Cast off 2 sts at neck edge on next and 4 following alt rows. (27 sts)
Work 1 row.
Decrease 1 st at neck edge on next and 10 following alt rows. (16 sts)
Work straight until work measures same as back to start of shoulder shaping, ending with a RS row.
Cast off 8 sts at beg of next row.
Work 1 row.
Cast off rem 8 sts.


Join right shoulder seam.

With RS facing, 3.25mm needles and ms, pick up and knit 46 sts down left side of neck, knit across 12 sts on holder at front, pick up and knit 46 sts up right side of neck, pick up and knit 4 sts at start of back, knit across 46 sts on holder at back, pick up and knit 4 sts from end opf back . 158 sts
Work in k1 p1 rib for 6 rows. Cast off in rib.

Join remaining shoulder seam.
For each armhole, with RS facing, 3.25mm needles and ms, pick up and knit 102 sts evenly along armhole edge.
Work in k1, p1 rib for 6 rows.
Cast off in rib.
Join side seams and tidy up all loose ends.

Grace's Birthday Makes

For Grace for her birthday, I made three presents for her. 

Firstly, I made some fingerless gloves - she loves fingerless gloves. 

The hand model is Eve - you can tell by the wild nail polish!

If you look closely at the gloves you can see the cable details look like owls - Grace loves owls! 

I used sequins and tiny beads to form the eyes for one owl on each glove.

The pattern is called Owlings and is by Kerrie James.  It's knitted in the round on DPNs with minimal shaping.  The pattern is available for free, here

I also made Grace some teeny tiny owlets.  These are crocheted and are very quick and easy to make.  I used 4 ply yarn to keep them small and embroidered the eyes. 

I've made these owls before for Grace - 2 years ago - using Dk yarn and buttons for eyes. 

The pattern is by Brigette Read and is available for free, here

Lastly, I knitted a vest for Grace.  Very colourful. 

No owls in this design but if you look closely you can see she is wearing an owl brooch!

This is a pattern I have designed myself - a great way to use up odds and ends. 

The colour scheme is random and the vest is worked in DK yarn. 

I'll type up the pattern as quickly as I can and share it with you. 

Grace had a wonderful birthday and loved all her presents - I still can't believe she's 20.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Grace's Birthday

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Grace - no longer a teenager!  All very emotional.

As she leaves for work at 7am we all got up extra early to give her presents. 

I'll let you see the knitted things I made for her shortly. 

Here's the card I made.

Lots of lovely layering. 

I've just popped a cake in the oven for her - I'll decorate it this afternoon before she gets home from work.  This evening we're off out for a meal and then we'll watch some of the DVDs she's received.  It should be a wonderful day.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Another Doily

I love doilies - quick and fun to make. 

Here's another I've made recently.

The pattern is called Tea Time by Denise Augostine.  It is available for free, here.  The pattern calls for two colours but I used all white.

Very pretty and so easy to make.  Doilies are also very portable - this one came with me to Paris - great to work on whilst travelling.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Bernard Scholl

Whilst in Paris, visiting Montmartre, we popped into a lovely little gallery.  One of the artists featured was Bernard Scholl.  I loved his trompe d'oeil paintings.  Here are some pics for you to enjoy as well. 

You can see more of his works on his website, here.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Holiday to Paris

Our Paris holiday was similar to the one to Bruges, a few weeks ago – 4 days/3 nights, travel by Eurostar. My DH and I had visited Paris 22 years ago but this was a first visit for Grace and Eve.

This holiday was just as packed with sightseeing and touring around as the one to Bruges– all very well organised and our tour guide, Andy, was excellent.

We arrived Friday, late afternoon, and set off immediately to explore the area around the Arc de Triomphe.

Our first full day, we had a coach tour around the city to see the main sights; then we went to Versailles for the afternoon followed in the evening by a Paris by night coach tour.

At Versailles we had a little shower of rain, but otherwise the holiday was dry and mostly sunny. We saw some of the gardens at Versailles but the queues to get into the palace were horrendous, so we visited a beautiful church (lots of wonderful stained glass windows) and the cathedral instead – both of which were lovely and quiet.

Sunday morning was spent in Montmartre, followed by a boat trip on the Seine.

We finished off the day with a visit to the Petit Palace, a lovely art gallery that is so much less busy than the Louvre or the Musee d’Orsay – no queues and it’s free!

On our final day we visited Notre Dame, we got there early to beat the queues. As it was such a lovely day we relaxed for a while in the Tuileries Gardens.

We left Paris at 3.30pm, had our evening meal in London and arrived home at 11.00pm. Another wonderful and memorable holiday.