Monday, May 31, 2010

Roo - It fits!



Knit Love Club - Part 2 - Spring Shoots

My second Knit Love Club sock club socks are finished.
Started on the 3rd May and finished on the 30th, these have been my commuting knitting for the last month.
Spring Shoots
Knit in Brooklyn Handspun Soft Strength, a merino and nylon blend in the Persephone colourway - greens and pinks are not my usual choice, but I do like the finished result. However the yarn is a little fluffy - and I'm not sure how well it will wear. I fear I should have gone down a needle size, but we will see.
Spring Shoots
A new interesting sock construction, from the toe up, These are Cat Bordhi inspired - with the simplest and most effective toe up cast on I've ever done - take a look at these You Tube video's and try it!
You knit a tube which you cut to insert the leg, like the Houdini sock in Twist Collective. It works really well and fits perfectly too. (I have discovered it is almost impossible to take a sensible photo of your own feet whilst 7.5 months pregnant - so you'll have to believe me on that one!)
Spring Shoots
The cuff was a provisional cast on, which was then knit back and forth over 7 stitches in moss stitch and joined a stitch at a time to the top of the sock - ingenious!
So, now all I have to do is print out the pattern for the next installment, which arrived last week - purple and beads - wow. Not much commuting time next month, I finish work on Friday - but there are 6 weeks until the baby is due, so I'm hoping to finish these before then.
Caretta Caretta

Thursday, May 27, 2010


After my day out in London on Thursday, I spent most of the weekend sitting in the shade of the apple tree in the garden trying to finish the sleeves on Roo.
Roo - the last sleeve
Roo then got a good soak and was pinned out to dry under the shade of the same tree.
Roo - Blocking in the garden
I spent Monday and Tuesday evening sewing up the seams and choosing buttons.
The end result:
Started: 21st March 2010
Finished: 25th May 2010
Pattern: Roo by Kate Gilbert. Published in the Twist Collective
Size: 28" - although mine turned out about 26"
Yarn: 3 skeins of Dream in Colour Classy, in Absolute Magenta. Purchased from Pure Purl.
Needles: 4.5mm addi turbos.

Roo - The front
And the back... I just love those cables.
Roo - Back Cables
And the buttons - 10p in the sale at House of Fraser.
Roo - The buttons
I picked up three stitches and made an i-cord for the loop and grafted it back to the original stitches.
Fingers crossed it fits (as it is a bit smaller than I would have liked) and that Carys likes her new hoodie!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Trip to London

... not to see the Queen, but to see some Quilts at the V&A with some fellow knitters from The Yarn Yard group on Ravelry.
I am quite ashamed to say, despite living in London for about 7 years I had never visited the V&A before. I headed straight for the museum last Thursday morning and had a mooch around. I found some amazing knitting...
A Child's Sock, in cotton, knitted in the first half of the 19th Century.
V&A Knitting Exhibits
Or what about this "Daisy Cap" from 1836-40, again knitted in cotton
V&A Knitting Exhibits
Such amazing, delicate, intricate work. Did babies and children really wear such things?
I loved the architecture of the building; the tiles, the floors, the ceilings. This is the cafe:
Cafe Lights
The alliums were out in bloom in the courtyard garden.
I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition, despite never having made a quilt in my life. The workmanship in some of the older quilts was just phenomenal. The stories behind some of the others - like the quilt made by convicts on the way to Tasmania; and the quilt made by children in the POW camp for their teacher were particularly moving.
My favourite quilt was a fairly early one, made in silks in a simple triangular pattern. The colours were rich and so well thought out.
I also loved the Liberty print Union Flag quilt on the postcard below.
After a relaxing cup of tea and some sock knitting in the gardens

(Photo courtest of Picperfic)
we headed over to All the Fun of the Fair in Kingly Court, just off Carnaby Street.
All the Fun of the Fair
We met the owner, Buzz, and had a good browse around before sitting down with Alice for Knit Night(of Socktopus and Knit Nation fame)
Knit Night at All the Fun of the Fair
I made some purchases, two skeins of Koigu to make a baby surprise jacket or a mitred baby jacket for the bump, two vintage iron-on applique patches, star buttons that look good enough to eat and two fab cards (from the V&A)
V&A Purchases
Finally, on the way home, I managed to take a quick picture of Mr Stripy - part of the Elephant Parade.

A good day indeed

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

After Eight Birthday Muffins

Today is my birthday. It is tradition in our office to make (or buy) cakes to take into work, so this year I made After Eight Muffins. A bit of an experiment that worked really well, so I am sharing the recipe with you all...

Makes 11-12. You need a muffin tin and muffin cases.

255g Plain Flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
120g caster sugar
5 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg (I used medium, but large works fine too)
240ml milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
90ml (6 tablespoons) of vegetable oil
1/2 a box of After Eights

1. Preheat the oven to 190/200 degrees, gas mark 5-6
2. In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cocoa and then stir in the sugar.
3. In another bowl (or a measuring jug) beat the egg with a fork. Stir in the milk and vanilla essence. Then pour in the oil. Mix.
4. Pour this wet mixture into the dry and mix together until just combined and there is no dry flour. It will be lumpy, this is what you want. It should drop off the the spoon in loose globs, not pour like a ribbon (add more flour if it is too runny). I use a metal spoon, rather than a wooden spoon, for mixing as it is easier to get the flour from the bottom of the bowl.
5. Break 12 After Eight Mints into the mixture and stir in roughly. I found they broke into quarters fairly easily.
6. Fill the muffin cases 1/3 full of the mixture, add half an After Eight, then fill to approx 3/4 full. You should be able to make 11 or 12 muffins from this mixture.
7. Bake for about 20-25 mins, until the tops spring back when pressed. Mine were a bit gooey when they came out of the oven (it was the After Eights melting) but the top of the muffin was cooked and springy.
8. Eat. I bet they would be good with ice cream.

I had hoped I would have a picture for you, but I didn't have chance to take one
After Eight Muffins
Instead you'll have to make do with a picture of my first Spring Shoot!
Spring Shoots

Monday, May 10, 2010

May Baby Sweater

Last weekend one of my very good friends gave birth to her third child - a baby girl. She has two boys, so I decided it was a great excuse to stall on the "Roo" knitting and crank out a very fast, but very cute Baby Sweater on two needles aka February Baby Sweater by Elizabeth Zimmerman.
May Baby Sweater
I knit this with Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in the Old Rose colourway on 4mm needles.
The result is a very open lacy sweater - perfect (I hope) for the coming months.

So Roo has stalled, part way through the hood. This is now my evening/TV knitting as it is too big to cart around as commuter knitting.

Which meant I finally cast on my March Knit Love Club Socks - Spring Shoots.
Spring Shoots
These are a Cat Bordhi inspired construction - with the simplest and most effective toe up cast on I've ever done - take a look at these You Tube video's and try it!
You knit a tube which you cut to insert the leg, like the Houdini sock in Twist Collective. It works really well, is very easy and fits like a glove.
The yarn is Brooklyn Handspun Soft Strength, a nylon/merino blend. It is quite fuzzy compared to a lot of merino yarns I've knit with. I think I should probably be knitting it at a slightly tighter gauge than I am - probably on 2mm rather than 2.5mm needles - I'm not sure these are going to be particularly hard wearing socks, but time will tell.
Finally, I'll leave you with some very tightly spun merino, the gorgeous "Clan". My April package from the Yarn Yard sock club.... the colour is based on Natalie's Rhodedendron, but it matches my Azalea almost perfectly.
Clan April 2010

Sunday, May 02, 2010


The rainbow Wooleater blanket is finished. I admit, this pattern became somthing of an obsession. I can safely say I have satisfied my wooleater urges now!
Rainbow Wooleater Blanket
This was started on 7th March and finished today, 2nd May. I've been working on it on and off in the evenings. It measures approximately 1m x 1m and was crocheted with a 3.5mm hook.
Rainbow Wooleater Blanket
It is made using Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. I love this yarn, but it is so expensive now. This blanket uses up A LOT of yarn (hence the name). It weighs in at 553g - so 11 balls worth of yarn. I am lucky to have a stash of Baby Cashmerino made up of yarn I have picked up in the sales and oddment left overs from other blankets . I did end up having to buy a little more cream and one ball of blue. The green yarn was kindly gifted to me from a fellow Raveller, in return for a p/hop donation.
Rainbow Wooleater Blanket
The result is exactly what I wanted, and the above photo shows where it is staying for the time being, hung on the end of the cot, patiently waiting for Baby H. I can't bring myself to gift this. This is the reverse, nearly as pretty as the front, I've even managed to sew in the end!
Rainbow Wooleater Blanket