Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The Cutest Gnome

For her birthday recently I bought Grace some knitting books by Anna Hrachovec that she had been wanting.

They have the cutest patterns in them.  Despite the fact they are all knitted with DPNs (which I avoid if possible) I couldn't resist knitting the little gnome.

He's adorable.  He took less than an hour to make - he's not as fiddly as you would think.  Now I'm itching to make some more of the little lovelies - Grace, can I borrow your books, PLEEEEEASE!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Sunny Days Coaster

This motif features a jolly sun surrounded by pretty flowers – what a happy design. 

The motif measures 12 cm in width.

You will need oddments of double knitting weight yarn in orangey-yellow, yellow, green, pale pink and medium pink.  A size 3.50mm (US size E) crochet hook– and that’s all. 

The pattern PDF is available for free, HERE.  

You can of course experiments with different colour combinations. 

I hope you enjoy this pattern.  

Doily, Experiments and a Coaster

Sometime ago - a few months maybe - I lose track of time - I made this doily.

It's from a pattern from 1894.  You can see the pattern here.

It's very pretty but as soon as you put anything on it the beautiful centre is obscured.  I was looking at the centre again yesterday and thought how good it would look on its own.

Being in thread weight it would be rather small, so I thought I'd try something in double knitting weight yarn.

I had to modify the pattern somewhat but this is what I came up with.

A very nice coaster.  But when I looked closer I thought the centre looked rather like a sun and maybe I could do something with the edging.  So this is what I made next.

I love it.  Pretty and jolly - my two favourite descriptions.  I think the edging now looks like flowers in a sunny garden - so I'm calling this pattern Sunny Days Coaster.

I'm in the process of writing out the pattern and will share it with you very shortly.

I haven't felt that inspired lately - possible overkill of all the knitting and crocheting whilst the Olympics were on - but wow, this little coaster has given me a buzz and I'm itching to create.  Bring on all that lovely yarn.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Grace's Birthday

Grace had a wonderful birthday yesterday.  We called to see her in the evening, after she had got home from work, and so were able to share part of the day with her.  She received lots of lovely presents but I'll tell you about the ones that I made for her.

At last I can show you pictures of the sweater I knitted her.

The sweater has a beautiful cable pattern up the front but unfortunately the photos don't do it justice.

The pattern is by Martin Storey from the booklet Rowan Casual Classics.  You can see something of the pattern in this picture from the booklet.

Here she is on her birthday, modelling the sweater.

It looks lovely and snug.  Grace chose the yarn.  It's Sirdar click dk.  She loved the colouring - a lovely blend of blues and browns - she thought it reminded her of the seaside.  I've since discovered that the shade is actually called seashell.  Full details of the pattern and yarn can be found on my Ravelry page, here.

I made this card for Grace.

The parcel opens out and there is a pop up smiling robot inside.

Her blog is called The Smiling Robot, so very appropriate.

I also made a little booklet for her.  I found a picture of a robot on Google images and embroidered it on to some calico.

I covered some card with paper and added the robot embroidery together with some ribbon and a large brass button.

Inside I devoted a page to each year of her life.  I took photos of house numbers that I saw on my morning walks and coupled these with old photos of Grace.  Here are a couple of the pages.

This is the collage I made from all the numbers.

And the collage of all the photos of Grace.

It was lovely to look back and see how she has grown over the years.

I also crocheted her a flower corsage from my pattern, here.

Finally I wanted to give her 21 £1 coins.  Besides robots she likes owls, so I crocheted a tiny owl coin bag to put them in.

I'm so glad she enjoyed her day - but enough's enough - I can't allow her to get any older - the last 21 years have gone far too quickly.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

It Can't Be True...

...but it is.  Grace is 21 today.

It seems like only yesterday I was blogging about her 18th  birthday.

We're off to see her this evening to give her her presents.  In the meantime -


Sunday, 19 August 2012

Granny Square Bag

I've just completed my bright and beautiful granny square bag.

It's made from a very large granny square - 60 cm in width.

It's lined and I bought some lovely plaited handles for it.

It's my new knitting bag and it's very roomy inside.

I based my bag on the free pattern from Pierrot Yarns.  You can see details of the pattern, via Ravelry, here.  The pattern calls for 4 ply yarn used double but I used double knitting weight yarn and a 3.5 mm hook which works out the same.

It's quite an easy project to make and the beauty of it is that you can really personalise your bag.  I might add some flowers and tassels but I think it probably looks jolly enough as it is.

Saturday, 18 August 2012


I never tire of seeing the beautiful creations that other people make.  I love to feel the tingle of inspiration that ignites a new idea of my own.  So it is even better when you find that the things you have done or made have, in turn, provided there own inspiration for someone else.

I have recently been contacted by Tina Montagna who has been inspired by the things I have made and done for my daughters' birthdays in the past.  Her own daughter has just turned 18 and for her birthday Tina has been very creative.  She has kindly allowed me to share her photos with you all.

She has crocheted a cake, a crown, a card and some mini T-shirts with her daughter's name on.

They are all amazing, so much beautiful work and I especially love the cake.

Grace's 21st birthday fast approaches, so inspired by Tina's wonderful work, I need to get creating.

Monday, 13 August 2012

After It's All Over

There's a hole in my life where the Olympics used to be.  I suppose I had better get back to reality - and the housework.  It's all been very intensive, culminating in the final weekend clashing with the Golf PGA championship.  We have spent a lot of time this weekend channel-hopping.  We didn't catch much of the closing ceremony as we were watching Rory McIlroy win his second major, but I did get a glimpse of the Spice Girls - I'd forgotten how much I liked them (Girl Power!).

My Olympic challenge has come to an end and I'm pleased to report that yesterday I finished the fourth project on my task list.  This was the cardigan pattern by Louisa Harding entitled Pocket Watch.

I love it.  Such a great fit, lovely delicate colours and the little details make it special.

See the picot edging on the cuffs and hem.

16 tiny heart shaped buttons with contrasting colour button bands and collar.

Full details can be seen on my Ravelry page, here.

This leaves just three projects unfinished.  There's a blanket crocheted with embroidery thread - that'll take some time but as there's no deadline I'll be content to pick it up and put it down whenever.  The lacy red cardigan will be worked on next.  I haven't done much on it yet but it should grow quite quickly.  Lastly there is the 4 ply top I'm adapting from a 1950s pattern.  This was the first of all of my seven projects that I had started.  The fact that I haven't made too much progress on it is probably an indication of my enthusiasm for the project.  I'm going to leave it hibernating for a little while longer - if I don't work up any enthusiasm for it later, I'll frog it and look for a new pattern for the yarn.

All in all I'm pretty pleased with how much I have managed to complete over the last two weeks.

Last night to celebrate the end of the challenge, I made this cute little duck.

The pattern is by Frankie Brown and you can download it for free from Ravelry, here.

So whilst I will now be working on the red lacy cardigan, I've spent the last fortnight getting excited about the new projects I can now begin.  I'm planning away at my Ralph Lauren Fair Isle.  I can't wait to get knitting it.

Today I've started crocheting a large granny square that will eventually be made into a bag like this one.

Mine is pink and yellow - of course - and I'm planning on using it as a knitting bag.  As always - so many projects - so little time - how I miss the Olympics.  Endings are good but beginnings are even better.  Oh well, on with the housework.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

A Little Bit of Sunshine

Well, the rain has arrived here today.  It's still hot and humid but now it's cloudy and wet.

Thank goodness there is a little bit of sunshine still around.

This welcome sight was made by Mae from El rincon de Mae using my pattern, here.

The last day of the Olympics and I never got round to knitting an Olympic athlete but Mary Haggerty did.  Check out her Olympic park over on the BBC site, here, it's amazing.