Monthly Archives: December 2012

Christmas knitting

In a moment of over-optimism at the end of November about the speed of my knitting I decided that I would knit a little something for both my parents for their Christmas presents. I had had the yarn for both for absolutely ages, and had been meaning to knit them for a while so this seemed the ideal moment!

For Mummy I made the Eleanor cowl from Knitty, in Posh Yarn Marguerite, which is a 4ply weight, 50% cashmere, 50% silk. The colour is called celery.


I orginally bought the yarn thinking I would make socks, but the mixture of cashmere and silk is completely inelastic and would have made not terribly good socks. However I think it does make lovely lace.

For Daddy I made Ann’s Go-To Socks from the Simply Socks eMag from Interweave Press. They are a fairly standard sock pattern. I had to create an extra size two sizes larger than the largest one written because Daddy (like me) has rather wide feet. I used some Schoppel-wolle sock yarn for these.


The picture was a rather rushed affair because I finished knitting these on the day before they left after their pre-Christmas visit, while they were out visiting my Nanny. The picture was taken in the 5 minutes between casting off and wrapping them up 🙂

Luckily both presents fit (whew!).

Progress in my friendship with my sewing machine

I wouldn’t say we are Best Friends Forever just yet, but we have now got to the point where our conversations are less stressful, and more meaningful than awkward discussions of the weather.

At the end of November we went up to stay with my parents for a few days. While we were there Mummy and I had a fun day out at the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate (where I helped Mummy to choose a very shiny new sewing machine which weighs a third of what the previous one did). We also went to a workshop on making a toiletries bag with Beryl at Knot in Guisborough.

Although I have been to loads of knitting workshops this was the first sewing one I had been to, so I was a little nervous, particularly since I am pretty much a total beginner. Luckily Beryl was very nice, and she put up with my slowness and long list of stupid questions. Everyone else made lovely patchwork bags, but that is a bit beyond my level. Also although I love pattern, I think I love it best one pattern at a time, so I am not really a fan of the effect you get with patchwork when you have multiple different patterns all together. Anyway, my bag may be a bit wobbly but it is just what I wanted and I am very pleased:


And the totally genious part is that it is lined with a shower curtain so the inside is wipeable.


My sewing machine was playing up a bit when we got back home, making grinding noises and doing uneven stitches. Luckily after a trip to a local shop for a service it has been behaving much better and I finished the bag off a couple of days ago. I am looking forward to using it for the first time soon and checking it is the right shape and size for all my stuff (I still haven’t mastered the art of travelling light).

Knitting interesting shapes with Alison Ellen

A couple of weeks ago I spent a lovely day at a workshop with Alison Ellen organised by the New Ashgate Gallery in Farnham.

Our topic was knitting interesting shapes, and it was wonderful to spend a whole day playing around with increasing, decreasing and short rows to see what would happen.

This shape was the first one I tried, and uses short rows to create a circle out of simple wedge shapes:

Then I tried another shape, using the same principles but adding casting on and decreases, Alison called this shape a star, mine has come out looking rather like a mutant starfish:

And lastly I had a go at creating a 3d shape using increasing and decreasing, and joining the sections as I went along:

This one reminds me of Snake’s Head Fritillary flowers (although my terrible photograph makes this a little hard to see).

A really enjoyable day, and I am looking forward to experimenting more with the techniques we were practising.