Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A bridesmaid dress and shrug

The last handmade items to show you from the wedding are Carys' dress and shrug.
First, the dress - good enough to eat ice cream in

Co-ordinating with the other bridesmaids

The shrug - just enough to keep warm
My little bridesmaid
From the back
Looking for something
Even good enough for playing in the trees in.
Playing in the trees
Both a great success

Monday, July 27, 2009

Baby Things

There were two baby girls born to friends in June. What with the wedding and everything I am a bit behind on new arrivals presents... however both of these are now firmly "in progress"

(February) Baby Sweater on two needles by Elizabeth Zimmerman
February Baby Sweater
Having knit the adult version for myself, I thought this would be the perfect use for my first skein of "useable" handspun. I ran out of yarn shortly after this point - I think I cast on too many stitches under the arms, but never mind. I have found some matching cream yarn in my stash and I've added a garter stitch band at the bottom and will do the same on the arms. It *should* be an ok garment when I've finished.... however I'm not sure it will be good enough to gift to the other knitter who it was intended for!


Knit in a sock weight bamboo blend yarn (Caber from the Yarn Yard) this should be a perfect summer/autumn cardigan for baby Laura. I just adore the vintageness of this pattern - in fact I am contemplating knitting one for me in an aran weight - just like the February Lady Sweater. I was undecided about sleeves for this one - but after consulting with various mothers of small people it seems that sleeves are most definitely in order. Knit on 2.5mm needles, this is a labour of love, but hopefully I will get it finished before this little girl is too big for it.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Wedding Shawl

I thought it was about time I shared some more wedding photos with you all. Here are the ones that show off the shawl to the best effect.

Ruth & Tony 124

Ruth & Tony 128

Ruth & Tony 138

Ruth & Tony 213

Ruth & Tony 141

Ruth & Tony 324

Ruth & Tony 320

Ruth & Tony 359

Ruth & Tony 379

Ruth & Tony 381

Ruth & Tony 383

Ruth & Tony 392

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


My friend Joy designed a pair of socks after attending a Cookie A workshop at Socktopus back in April. I agreed to test knit them for her - I have finally finished the pair and can show them off in all of their purple glory.

Natalie at The Yarn Yard dyed some of her Toddy yarn in a Dairy Milk colour for me and I set to work.
They are knit from the top down, look how brilliantly the cuff pattern flows into the leg stitches.
These are a really simple knit - a ribbed pattern with a cable every 12 rows. Hopsox
They look much much more difficult than they are and they fit like a dream.
Joy has very kindly offered the pattern as a free download for p/hop. It is available HERE - what are you waiting for?

Secret Wedding Knitting

Whilst preparing for the wedding I was also knitting secret presents for my two bridesmaids. Both of them read my blog, so I knew I had to keep the presents under wraps until after they had been gifted. One of them is also a Ravelry member, but luckily didn't realise the present was for her.

I managed to snaffle some Posh Yarn one Sunday in April.
Posh 4ply Laura (a Cashmere and Merino mix) in "Puck" seemed perfect for Kerry - she had a green dress is almost exactly the same colour for her sisters' wedding at the end of last year.
I already knew I wanted to make another Ishbel, and this seemed the perfect pattern for a present. I knit it mostly on my commute to work, alternating it with a pair of socks. I did however manage to leave my copy of "Whimsical Little Knits" on the train one day - grr - at least I have the pdf version as well.

I knit the smaller stocking stitch section, but did an extra repeat of the lace charts.. however this meant I didn't have quite enough yarn to finish the edging, I ended up casting off about 3 rows early... but it doesn't really matter that much!
It is big enough to be a proper shawl, but hopefully also small enough to be worn as a scarf too.

Once present number 1 was made I had real deliberations over what to make for Lauren... eventually I decided I really should make the same thing for her too. Then Sally challenged me to knit a shawl in a week - so I didn't get bored with knitting the same pattern for the third time - and so I was finished in enough time before the wedding (otherwise I could see myself sewing in ends on the morning of the wedding!!) I wound the Posh Yarn Daisy 4 ply (Bamboo and merino) in Shanghai colourway and started knitting on 16th June. I knew I would only be able to manage the shoulderette version of the shawl within the week - but thought this would be more wearable as a scarf for Lauren in Vancouver.
Shanghai Ishbel
I cast off 6 days later on the 22nd June and blocked the next day.
This bring the total number of Ishbel's knitted this year to 3 so far... an addictive and easy shawl project.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Once upon a time in Penn

Once upon a time in Penn…

A short story by Tony Huskisson

Once upon a time, in a village far, far away, (just the other side of Springhill Bus Terminus), there could be found a dense, scary jungle. Hidden in the jungle was a little tumbledown house where there lived a lonely tiger. Although his house was tumbledown, he loved it dearly, and over the years he fixed the leaking roof, mended the draughty windows and replaced the rotten floorboards. And fitted an infra-red remote control lighting system.

One day, a pretty little pixie came to the jungle and saw the lonely tiger. What a tall, handsome tiger thought the little pixie. How useful he would be for reaching high things. And what a nice job he has done of repairing this little house. Although I think he has gone a bit over the top with all the electronic gadgets.

What a pretty little pixie thought the lonely tiger. I like her sparkly eyes and her cheeky smile. Perhaps she would like to come and live with me in my little house, then I would not be so lonely. Plus there is a mountain of washing up in the kitchen which needs doing.

And so the pretty little pixie came to live with the tiger and he was not so lonely. Together they cleared the jungle around the little house so they could grow their own food to eat. The little pixie sprinkled her magic pixie dust over the ground and soon things began to grow. First some courgette plants appeared. Then some squash plants. Which looked rather a lot like the courgette plants. Soon the entire garden was filled with courgettes which made the little pixie very happy. I don’t really like courgettes thought the tiger. But never mind, perhaps next year she will grow a real-ale tree. Or a bush that produces bombay mix.

And so the couple lived happily together. The tiger reached high things and the pretty little pixie left them lying about the place. The little pixie washed the tiger’s underpants and the tiger put them in a pile ready for ironing. Life for the two became a team effort.

The tiger soon realised that they made such a good team, he thought they should stay together for ever. So he bought a big shiny ring, put on his best tiger suit and asked the little pixie to marry him. And the little pixie agreed.

They were soon married, and threw a big party at a fairytale castle for their friends and family, who travelled from miles around. There was a banquet of food and wine and ale, and everyone had a fabulous time dancing into the night. And everyone agreed that the twenty-one-tier courgette cake was the best they had ever tasted!

The end.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Secret Pal 14 Questionnaire

It's that time of year again. I haven't joined in for the last few rounds, so I decided it was time to swap again
1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? I love merino. My favourite sock yarn is Toddy from the Yarn Yard. Dream in Colour and Malabrigo are also on the fave list. I'm a bit sneezy around anything fluffy and don't really like novelty yarns.
2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? I've got a needle case and a wonderful wooden stand my other half made for me. I could really use a better needle holder for my circs.
3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I learnt when I was small, I've been knitting in earnest for about 5 or 6 years now and I'll try almost anything!
4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? An amazon list under my email address.
5. What's your favorite scent? Lavender, but I don't really like anything too scenty.
6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? Malteasers or Green & Blacks chocolate (esp the milk or one with nuts/raisins in)
7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I do spin, I have a wheel on loan from a friend and I'm hoping to get my own at some point in the future. I also sew.
8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I'm a 1990's indie girl. Stuck in the days of Blur, Ash, Pulp, The Wonderstuff etc. Recently, most things on XFm like the Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys, The Courteeners and more chilled out stuff too like Vampire Weekend Scott Matthews. I *may* also be found at Take That/Robbie Williams and Wet Wet Wet concerts. oops
9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? Purple, purple and more purple. Or stripey things. I also have a hankering after some tweedy things for the Autumn. I'm not a big fan of pastels.
10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I'm getting married on the 11th July :o) No pets.
11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? Scarves, hats and mittens.
12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Socks, hats, mittens, lace shawls, baby clothes - in fact as long as I'm knitting I'm usually fairly happy :o)
13. What are you knitting right now? A pair of socks and a baby cardigan.
14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Yes
15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Addit turbo, addi lace or knitpicks (metal or harmony) circs
16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? Yes I have a ballwinder and a swift made from lego!
17. How old is your oldest UFO? Old. I have one knee length kilt hose sock which was mean as a Christmas present about 1.5 years ago. I really need to start the other. I've also got a Noro crocheted blanket that is constantly in progress!
18. What is your favorite holiday? What winter holiday do you observe? Christmas - time off work and presents. I'm not religious.
19. Is there anything that you collect? Wool?
20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I have a subscription to yarn forward. I would love the new Wendy Johnson "Socks from the toe up" book.
21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? I decided today I need to know how do do an applied icord edging and various other finishing techniques. I also want to learn how to Navajo ply.
22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? I do knit socks, I am a UK size 6.
23. When is your birthday? 18th May
24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID? rooknits

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Gauge- what's that?

You would think I had been knitting long enough by now to realise when things are too big.
February Baby Sweater
I started this (February) Baby Sweater on two needles by Elizabeth Zimmerman whilst watching Blur at Glastonbury on Sunday evening. I was obviously concentrating more on the music than the knitting, because it is massive!
In fact it measures about 12 inches across - which means it is likely to fit a 5 year old rather than the 5 week old it was intended for!
However, all is not lost, despite the fact I have run out of yarn (my own handspun Shetland). I found some undyed aran in my stash last night and have edged the bottom of the cardigan with that. I hope to edge the sleeves in the same way and make this into a(nother) present for small bridesmaid. She might find it too itchy - as the shetland is quite "woolly" but I still feel quite pleased with the way my handspun has knitted up... it's all about the process here at the moment!
Meanwhile, I went back to the drawing board with regards to presents for the recent newborns. I've falled in love with Lucille and I've got more than enough Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino left over from blankets to make a few different Playful Stripes.
My Socktopus sock club parcel arrived on Monday and I'm really looking forward to making the next socks - a favourite designer and my new favourite sock yarn. I think they might be honeymoon socks - well I do have 5 hours on the train to Bruges to fill!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Little Girl Shrug

The last bit of wedding related knitting...
Little Person Shrug
Started: 22nd June
Finished: 29th June
Pattern: Little Girl Shrug
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in Ecru 101
Needles: 4.5mm and 3.5mm addit turbo
Size: 4 years
Comments: An incredibly easy top down pattern with a cute lace trim - perfect for Carys to wear if it is chilly on 11th July. Finished whilst lounging by the outdoor pool in the Cotswolds on my fabulous hen weekend. Bliss.
11 days and I'll be a Mrs! Eeek.