Friday, 31 December 2010

Seeing out the old year......

This will be the last blog post of the year.

In some ways its not been a good year & I cant wait for the new one to start.Maybe with it will bring an answer to my back injury .

The Christmas period was a bit of a washout in some ways.I was ill throughout & have had about 3 weeks of some sort of flu virus.It absolutely floored me on Christmas day & left me in bed.Mr T to the rescue,he was going to cook anyway,but he ended up doing all of it.Bless him ,he is such a great man.Shame family were cancelled at the last moment & lucky for them they had food in their own cupboards.

Having been crook ,I didn't get to post any of the projects I completed.I will share these in the New Year .I have crafted my fingers off & knitted & knitted!

For now you will have to be happy with a picture of the loveliest Christmas cake in the world!(or at least mine!!)Its from Ruth over on The Pink Whisk & is a recipe she got from the Bourke Street Bakery cook book.Santa reckoned I was a good girl & I now have a copy of this in my collection.I cant wait to bake something else from it.

Have a great New Years Eve.We have a dear friend coming over to stay the night.We are childless this year as they are doing their own thing.

Have a lovely one & I leave you with a picture of my cake...Mmmmm

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Door Wreath

I love having a new door wreath.

I had a lovely one last year but this year somehow it just wasnt going to cut the mustard!

I wanted to have a Pom Pom wreath!!

Any excuse to use my new Pom Pom malers from Clover....they are so good!

I bought a wicker wreath base form our local craft shop in Warwick Street in Worthing then applied using my trusty hot glue gun nearly a whole box of baubles from Wilkinsons & some lovely fluffy pom poms.

I just love it!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Christmas Treats!! Nom Nom...

I had a spare couple of hours this afternoon so I donned my pinny & turned into "Domestic Goddess", (said like the narrator on X Factor when he says "Olly Murs!!")
This what I whipped up for tonight’s Knit & Natter.

Just the usual Victoria sponge cake in muffin tins ,some Royal Icing & fondant icing Christmas trees & some edible glitter sprinkled on top.I used some Royal Icing from Tate & Lyle.I have never seen it before but it is icing sugar mixed with dried egg white.You just mix it with a drop of water until the right consistency.I also added a little glycerin to stop the icing from breaking any teeth.Very easy to use.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Mens Fingerless gloves

The weather has been very cold so I have made lots of these.
Here is the pattern for you to try.

Men’s Fingerless gloves


1 ½ 50g skeins of Aran weight yarn.
4mm needles
3 ¼mm needles. For ribbing
Sewing up wool needle.

These gloves are made knitted flat in one piece with a side seam.
Sts stitches
Rs right side
Dec decrease
St st stocking stitch, knit 1 row, purl 1 row.
M1 make one stitch, by picking up loop between stitches & knitting into the back of loop to make a stitch.
Garter stitch knit every row.

Method for right glove

Using 3 ¼ mm needles .cast on 46 sts. Start by making a k2, p2 rib for 3 inches finishing with the rs.
Next row (dec) (p2, k2, p2tog, k2) twice(p2 ,k2)twice, p2, k2, p2 (k2, p2tog, k2, p2)twice (42 sts)
Next row (Rs facing)
Change to 4mm needles.
Stocking stitch for 8 rows (or you can form pattern of 6 rows st st , 2 rows reversed st st).Finish ending with a wrong side wrong leaving the right side facing for next row.

Shape thumb **
K22 sts, m1, k3, m1, k17 sts (44sts)
Work 3 rows in pattern
Row 5 (rs) K22, m1, k5, m1, k17 (46sts)
Continue in pattern for 3 rows, increasing as above every next & following 4th row until 52 sts are on the needle.
Work 1 row ending with rs facing for next row. **

Divide for thumb
K22, slip the next 13 sts on a holder (I use a piece of yarn in a different colour), knit next 17 sts .
Continue to knit for another 17 rows across 39 sts or as long as required to fit hand. Knit 3 rows in garter stitch, cast off knit wise.

Knit thumb

With stitches that are on the piece of yarn facing you with the right side, starting from the right end of the stitches slip them back on to a 4mm needle. Holding this needle in the left hand, rejoin the yarn at the base of the stitch at the end of the needle point, ready to start knitting again.
Next row
Purl into back & front of stitch, purl to last stitch, purl into back & front of stitch. (15sts)
Stocking stitch 7 rows.

Next row Change to 3 ¼ mm needles,
Knit 2 rows cast off knit wise. Try to cast off not too tightly. If you have a problem with this, try using a larger sized needle to cast off.

Making up

Using matching yarn & wool sewing up needle, stitch up the side seam of the main glove from the ribbing to end using either ladder stitch or over sew.
Stitch up seam of thumb using the same method.
Left glove.
Reverse shaping at **to** for thumb.This means instead of starting with K 22 ,you will start with K17.

I hope you enjoy making them.Let me know how you get on with the pattern & if I need to amend anything. You can message me easily via Ravelry , user name is Lilibet21. I am not a knitwear designer so my pattern writing skills are minimal.

If you live in the UK you will no doubt had lots of snow.Grouse & Maisie were not that keen on getting cold & wet ,but for Peggy it was a different matter!!Never mind being an oldie.It brought out her inner pup!!

Monday, 29 November 2010

Climb any mountain!!!

Little Maisie Magweed was sound asleep in her bed.How cosie she looked.....

But the bed happened to be on the dining table!!!
Unbeknown to me,my mother who was staying with me decided to wash the floor in our dining room & put the dog bed of all places up on the table while she did it( I cant work that one out either!!)

Maisie was so desperate to get in her comfy bed ,she climbed up on the table & went to sleep on the table.Usually we have all the chairs pushed in so dogs cannot get on the table ,but you know what its like when someone else comes to stay.They don't know your routine & why you do certain things especially if you have a dog that climbs.Please be assured the table was disinfected before we ate at it again & the shopping was put away!!

Here is my latest creation ,for myself this time.Millie hat & gloves for Moi!!Made in Manos silk mix yarn & shell heart buttons all purchased from The Wool Bar in Worthing.

I have also been making fingerless gloves for the men in double quick time.Each pair took me 3 hours to make from cast on the sewing up.I made a pair for No1 son & this pair is for Mr T.On order is another pair for No2 son.I still have so many projects to get done before Christmas.Obviously as some of them are for presents I wont be able to show them off on here until after Christmas.It will soon be here though!!

No1 son goes off on tour with his band for 3 weeks.I shall miss him & his birthday is while he is away.I am sure he will have a cool time in the tour bus with his mates!!I have made a birthday surprise survival kit for him to open while he is away.You can imagine what is in there!!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Elves at play!!

The Elves were at play last night.

Look what I found all lined up on my window!!

If you would like to own a soldier or a Fairy, just pop along to The Wool Bar.All proceeds go to charities .

I am going to make some more over the next few weeks so keep checking back here.I may even do a tutorial for them!!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Owl ya doin' !!

I have been a bit lax over posting this week.

I have been quite creative though.
Last Sunday I spent all day making a cake for a very special little boy who was One on Monday!I cant believe its been a whole year since I was sat on the labour ward with my friends waiting for Charlie to arrive.
It was worth the effort to make the cake I think. Apparently it tasted lovely.You see how good I was last week.Not a naughty morsel passed my lips.Didnt make a bit of difference on the scales though!

I have also been busy making Christmas presents for other people!
I made this lovely set using the Louisa Harding patterns from her new book , Fade to Grey. Millie hat & fingerless gloves.I knitted them in Manos silk mix .The gloves had a mixture of Sublime silk & merino mix yarn & some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino.

I love the way the gloves came out & the rosette was really easy to do.It is really just a scalloped elongated triangle which is curled round into a rosette.Very clever design.The pearl buttons came from my stash of many in one of my tins or jars of buttons.
I was a bit horrified when my friend who I knitted them for wanted to "give them a good pressing!" to flatten the flowers ,but I think I have convinced her they don't need it.I was really grateful for the snippets of advice from friends in the knitting world (aka ,Caroline at The Wool Bar & Louisa ,you know who!)who have said in the past they never block their work so this was passed on.

I am on a marathon knit session.I just finish one project & its on to the next.I wouldn't be surprised to see sparks coming off the end of my needles.

One of the projects is for making Christmas decorations for The Wool Bar .These are being sold in the shop & all proceeds will go to one of the Chronn's disease/Colitis Charities.If you are passing please pop in & make a donation.These charities will really struggle now with the Recession & any small bit of help will go a long way to help relieve the suffering of others.

Caroline has also got a raffle on the go.First prize is a £50 voucher with second prize being a set of Knit pro needles.What lovely prizes.The draw will be held a little closer to Christmas but get in there & get your tickets.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Crafty days!!

I have been having a bit of a funny 2 weeks since I last posted.We had visitors to stay with us which was lovely.I have been at work though & trying to cope with my painful back.I cant believe that 4 months on I am still in pain.This is one thing that the NHS are very slow to diagnose & sort out.I have had a session of acupuncture which was torture!Needles in my back & neck .It was so painful & has had no effect apart from making me very dizzy afterwards & my pins & needles getting worse.Still I haven't let it stop me from doing a bit of knitting.

I finished my Louisa Harding Millie beret which was gorgeous!The only pictures I have are of Mr T modelling it as I have now given it away to a very deserving person who looked fabulous in it.Well slightly better than Mr T!!

I have also finished my Debbie Bliss Riding coat.Its not lined yet but is sewn up & buttons on.I promise I will photograph it to show you.

I also finished another creation ,this time for Mr T.I will blog about that another time.It has taken me 25 years to make him something....he really does deserve it.He is such a star my man.I am one very lucky girl.
We have had a craft fair on in Worthing for the last 2 Saturday's.Some lovely stalls & fantastic art work on display.There was a display of work done by members of the public about buildings they liked & disliked in Worthing.I was quite taken with the display.I was really hard to take pictures of but I am sure you will get the idea.

Whilst I was out in town last week I walked past a house which had this beautiful cat sat on its doorstep.I couldn't resist a snap of it.How pretty it was.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Monday Blues

Do you remember the clock I bought a few weeks ago?Well it kept getting stuck when it got to showing 20minutes to the hour.I took it back to The Range today & they gave me another one.Not quite so straight forward as I hadn't kept the receipt,just the box!!Anyway,got home with it,got it out of the box & dropped it on the shattered ,hands fell off!!!Only I could do that!!I am really ham fisted at the moment with incredibly bad dropsies! Should a child's clock have glass in it though?
At least I didn't drop the boys brunch today.I did a bit of experimentation.Mr T was very dubious but he gave it the thumbs up after tasting it.

I de-crusted some slices of bread then rolled them flat with a rolling pin.I used them ,buttered to line a muffin pan then cracked an egg in each & sprinkled in some dry fried chopped bacon pieces.The last of the tiny tomatoes were added then the tray was put in the oven for about 20 minutes at 200 degrees till the eggs were cooked.

Yummy.Top tip....prick the tomatoes as they have a tendency to explode when you cut them or bite into them.

My Millie hat is coming on nicely.I have started using the second skein.I am very pleased with it.

The yarn is definately on the gorgeous list .So buttery in your hands!!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Louisa Harding

I went to a talk Louisa gave for The Wool Bar last week.What a fab time we all had.

Something clicked inside me when I listened to her & I realised I could do within knitting whatever I wanted & that its never too late to start.Trouble is that there are so many things I want to do .
I have fallen in love with her style & her products.We all had the chance to try on the samples as we did when Debbie Bliss came a few weeks ago.It really helps you decide what suits you best & also on sizes.

I purchased today the Fade to Grey booklet & the yarn for this hat.Isn't' it so lovely?
Here is a more detailed picture.

I can hardly wait to start ,but my Debbie Bliss coat must be finished first.I have also purchased some lovely purple lining fabric & black buttons for my coat.I thought it would help to line it to keep its shape & with getting it on & off.Knitting has the habit of sticking to you.

Of course I will need something to keep my hands warm & toasty as well!

These are just the bees knees!!!!

Monday, 18 October 2010

PJ Monday!!

Its lunchtime & I have spent the morning in my PJ's.I really couldn't be bothered to get dressed & I have no plans to go out.
It feels very indulgent but I have been busy!!Well at least my hands have.
I entertained my neighbour with coffee & have knitted nearly a whole sleeve of my Debbie Bliss riding coat.The weather has now turned a bit cold so I am racing to get it finished.It should be lovely & warm.
I have also mixed together Mr T's birthday cake & its in the oven baking.The smell is so nice..Mmmm!!!!I am thinking of how to decorate will be simple as I cannot lean for hours tracing out intricate iced designs.I wont bore you with details but my back is still no better & I am rather fed up with it.
I don't have my camera either.I have lent it to No1 son who has gone away for a few days .I hope it comes back in working order.

We will have to suffice with some stock photos for today.
Looking back through my pictures I realised I never shared my trip to the Eden project.I can never tire of that place & it stirs some real creativeness inside me.Every time we go ,there is something new to look at.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Its a glam life I live

We all have to complete the mundane things in life like doing the ironing & washing up.

I have this idea that if I have nice things to use ,its makes the job that much easier to do.Its an idea anyway!!

I was looking at my dishcloths the other day & felt so ashamed of them.Maybe they are why I had got to hating doing the washing up so much.

I have made some new ones now.Its a lovely waffle pattern I found on Ravelry.I used cheap dishcloth cotton & the coloured cotton is Rico Cotton which is an aran weight.

You can find the pattern here.It is such an easy pattern & looks great when its done.I am really pleased with them.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Etsy shop

I have been spending time setting up my very first Etsy shop.It has taken me ages to do & I have listed one item so far.

I hope to get some more items on I have made.There are things you haven't seen yet.

Here is the link to my shop.

When I get a chance I will put a direct link to the right.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Tea Time.

I have always loved our British idea of afternoon tea.Its something I grew up with & was made very much a family affair.
In my own family it was more of a Sunday afternoon thing.We always got together at my Nana's house for Sundays.I mean the whole family!
In my sister in laws family ,it was a daily ritual which started just before milking time.I think it really gave the men who were the ones that did the lions share of the hard manual work a chance to get inside in the warm & re-charge the batteries.All the women who were involved in laying on these spreads were great bakers & home makers.

At knit & natter the other night ,it could well have been classed as a tea party.Rosie brought her delicious apple cake & one of the other girls brought some gorgeous blueberry muffins.Shhhhh,don't tell anyone,I had 4 bits of cake!!!I enjoyed every mouthful....How naughty am I ?!!
I was asked to make a tea cosy for someone.It was a specific order & she had already chosen the type of yarn & design of the tea cosy.Only problem was that there was no pattern & I had to make one up!Even more so ,it was in moss stitch ,which presents a problem with the decreasing of the stitches.

I was so glad that when Debbie Bliss visited The Wool Bar recently ,I had asked her about decreasing in moss stitch.It all came back to me that it is necessary to knit 3 stitches together to get the decrease in pattern. Phew!!!

After a few design issues , frogging & 5 hours,this was the result.

Its knitted in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino.
I loved it so much ,I have made myself one.Wow ,it really does keep that Twinings hot!
This one was just knitted using some acrylic that was in my stash & is now all used up.They both have a ribbon trim at the top which is sewn on.
I am thinking of writing the pattern up for Ravelry.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010


Last night I decided I was bored with TV & made some cakes.I decided to use Ruth's recipe over on The Pink Whisk for her Blackberry Ginger & Mint cakes.

They turned out really well & tasted even better!!My team at work were happy this morning as I took the cakes in for them.Extra brownie points for me.Our new boss loved his!!!I know how to please them...

I sprayed lustre spray on them which made them very pretty.

On the berry theme,I am working on another pair of mittens in the Artesano Inca Cloud again.I have chosen a more prominent contrast colour this time.

See how the inside forms quite neatly.No twisting there!!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Colour stranded mittens using Artesano Inca Cloud Alpaca.

Although I have been knitting for years ,I have generally stuck to what I thought were simple patterns as I thought I wouldn't be able to do more "intricate" ones.

My thought process seems to have changed somewhat .I have realised that if you can cast on ,knit ,purl & cast off ,you have the basic tools & knowledge to attempt any pattern.I have along the way learnt tips to help with following these patterns.

A year ago I never thought I would attempt to make these mittens but here I am chatting about it.OK my first one was by no means perfect ,but having done that mitten without any instruction from someone & by trial & error ,my second one is coming along quite nicely & I feel happy with it.

The first time I ever did colour change in knitting I learnt how to do intarsia.This is where a motif is knitted in a background colour.To do this I found I needed to twist the two yarns together I was changing colour with or a hole would form.

With this stranded mitten ,becase the colour change occurs over few stitches ,there is no need to twist the yarn together.In fact you can see on the finished mitten which was the first one I made ,if you look at the cuff it looks untidy.This is due to the bobble that formed when I twisted the yarn together.I have not done this on the second one & you can see the result is much neater.I should have photographed the inside of the fabric but what you can actually see is just very small loops of yarn where I have carried the unworked colour across the back of the worked stitches.I only carry the yarn that is not being worked for a maximum of 3 stitches at a time.any more than that & a large loop will form which will catch on fingers etc.I makes also a lovely almost double type fabric which is very warm so ideal for mittens.

This pattern is a first of many.I have knitted mittens once before but only from a pattern & not straight from a chart.I have also never done the stranded colour change knitting before or set in a thumb or done Kitchener stitch.These were all firsts for me & although my knitting is far from perfect,I am pleased with the result.

I also found following the chart a challenge.My colour choice was very subtle which has made following the chart very closely rather than looking at the pattern emerging ,necessary.I have since purchased another ,deeper colour to go with the grey for a second pair of mittens.

To get around the eye boggling of following the chart I started with marking the pattern at the side of the row or round in this case ,with a pencil mark.This did get quite frustrating for me as ;
1) I kept forgetting to mark the round
2) I kept dropping my pencil & had to crawl around on the floor after it ,much to the delight of Mrs Magweed who proceeded to try & kiss me profusely & jump on my head as she thought I was playing.My back is still really bad so I needed her input like a hole in the head!!Bless her!!!

I found using a post it note was the best answer.I can stick it under the row /round I am currently working on & then move it up a line for the next working.No pencil to rub out on my pattern either.I can see the chart more clearly like this & I think it has helped to double my speed of knitting like this.

I love this Artesano yarn.It is such a good value yarn .I think I paid £3.50 for a 50g ball.It may have been £3.99 but hey who cares about a few pence.Its alpaca & lovely.My first mitten using yarn from two colours weighs only 27g.So you should be able to just get a pair of mittens out of one ball ,maybe slightly over.I am challenging myself to making 3 sets of mittens with the 3 balls of this Artesano Inca Cloud.
I am also using Brittany Birch needles.I was using my cheaper DPN's I got from Lidl when they were on special offer.To be honest ,I now think they were a bit of a false economy .I had trouble with the yarn splitting ,my hands ached & I also kept dropping the steel ones.I got so frustrated I went out & bought the Brittany ones & will not use anything else now.All those problems now no longer exist & how I am enjoying knitting these little babies!!
The pattern is a free one I found on Ravelry here.If you are not a member ,you can join for free & that allows you access to so much on the net.

Why did I put off making something like this for so long?Well I thought I wouldnt be able to do it!!I really wish now I had just got on with it.