Sunday, 30 December 2012

Charity shops rule!

I've said it before and I'll say it again - charity shops are awesome! I went into the shops in Alloa the other day for a little post-Christmas look around, and found this huge haul of yarn. There was lots more that I didn't buy, but I'm really happy with the stuff I brought home. This whole bundle was only £6.99! When I moved house I had to get rid of five huge stacking boxes of yarn, so I'm trying to slowly build up my stash again. Here we have a lot of Sirdar Simply Recycled, which is a lovely soft cotton; lots of mohair/ribbon yarn in pink and purple colours; some green chunky; Barbie pink DK; sock yarn in a variety of shades; some 3ply that looks like Jamieson and Smith; and vintage French wool which seems to be 4ply in soft purple. I already have plans to make some stranded mittens using the sock yarn against a cream background, and some fingerless mittens with felted flowers attached, using the mohair yarn.

New designs

I've released a few new designs over the Christmas holidays. They were all previously published in Knit Now magazine, but are now available to buy as separate patterns.

First up is the Little Snowflake baby set. This little set fits babies from 0-3 years, in four different sizes. The cardigan is knitted in one piece to the armholes, with a simple stranded snowflake design. The mitts have thumbs in the largest size. The set is designed in Patons Diploma Gold DK, a lovely warm yarn which is machine washable, always good when knitting for babies. The pattern is available now, for only £3.50.

Next are the Victoria Cuffs, to keep your hands warm and look pretty at the same time! The pattern was originally designed for Babylonglegs Semi Precious, but would work in any soft wool/silk DK mix, or maybe in cotton for a different effect. This pattern is on sale for £1.50.

The next pattern is a wee accessory that will make a great last minute gift, especially for men, who can often be hard to knit for. The Herringbone Kindle Cover is quick to knit in any DK yarn, and can be customised in size to fit any Kindle, iPad or tablet. Full instructions are included for customisation, and the pattern is selling for £1.50.

Finally, if you're looking for a little evening bag, or accessory for a summer garden party, why not try the Coco Bag. This is designed in Wendy Supreme Luxury Cotton 4ply, and uses little pearly beads to add a touch of sparkle. Again, you can customise the pattern with different combinations of yarn and bead colours, to create daytime or glamorous evening looks. The pattern is available for only £1.50.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Milla Mia Cushion

Just a quick post to say I'm very cheesy happy with my new cushion. I won a prize from a knitting magazine a few months ago, and got a great Milla Mia cushion kit. Here's my lovely cushion on my sofa, all soft and squishy in pure merino wool!

Piano Hat

Recently I was commissioned to knit a piano hat for my friend Sophie, whom I worked with at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. She's a really talented accordion player and busker, who dresses to match her puppet, Flaca, in a handmade piano key dress. Sophie asked me to make her a piano hat to make winter busking a bit easier, so I opted for the Piano Hat pattern by Lindsay Koehler.

I wanted to make the hat as warm as possible, so I knitted it in lovely Adriafil Regina, an 100% merino wool yarn. Lindsay's pattern is really quick and easy to knit, although it seemed quite large, so I adapted the pattern slightly to fit Sophie perfectly. Here she is modelling the finished item, and her awesome handmade dress!

Sophie is travelling the world, busking to raise money for her university fees. If you want to find out more about her and her travels, check out her blog at Sophie's Smokin' Squeezebox.

Swedish Fish

Scottish winters are famously cold, and my acrylic shop bought gloves just weren't up to the job. I'd been wanting to knit a SpillyJane pattern for quite a while, and this seemed like the perfect excuse. I had a good look through all her patterns in Ravelry, and decided to go for the Swedish Fish design. This also seemed like a good opportunity to use up some stash, so I tried out a couple of colour combinations to see what worked best. I was really drawn to this lovely mustard yellow charity shop find, a 4ply wool and nylon blend, and contrasted it with a blue green sock yarn. The best thing about both yarns was that they were machine washable, as there's nothing worse than spending ages knitting fairisle on tiny needles, only for it to shrink in the wash!

The actual knitting was pretty quick, although I had to unpick and reknit part of one mitten, as I'd made it too short. It's a really easy pattern to follow, and there's something very satisfying about knitting fairisle, somehow it goes much faster than plain old stocking stitch!

I've had the opportunity to test the mittens several times now, and they're impervious to the driving wind and rain of Glasgow. I have never had cosier hands, and it makes me very happy! Making these mittens reminded me of the Sanquhar gloves I knitted last year, which are currently warming the hands of my flatmate. I really want to try some more of SpillyJane's patterns now - she designs lovely things. Next on the list are owl mittens I think!