Wednesday, 16 July 2014

I've been gathering.

Like most knitters I have a compulsion to buy wool; Sometimes just one ball that won't be good for anything, sometimes on mass for a major works that I'll dream about but will never materialise  I can honestly say it is the only thing in my life that is organised, that and my button collection, (If I could only colour coordinate my tax returns).

Anyway for some reason or other, possibly the birth of Hector I haven't been adding to my stash, I have simply been using it, it feels very resourceful. I've been knitting some very stripy dungarees for the little man, which I'm sure he will LOVE ( a photo to follow, with him wearing them of course).

However I have been adding to my knitting collection with other things, such as this very sweet french knitting lady that I picked up in a antique/ junk shop, she reminds me of a piece of folk art.

I know the embroidery hoop isn't really knitting but, 1- it was only a pound, and 2- I have had great plans for these and my knitting for long time, and now one day they will be realised and I'll be ready!

Also my mom nearly threw this book out. As you can see it is aptly titled 'Wild Knitting'. I've picked out a few of my favourites. There are some less wild things in the book that I hope to knit, such as a Toucan hat and some duck feet socks.

I very excitingly received the wonderful and extremely inspiring Kate Davis book, 'Colours of Shetland'. I cannot wait to get going on some of these for winter. if you are not familiar with her knitting and writing check out her blog

And last but by no means least, I got a spinning wheel for my birthday!! It's great. I can't get my body and mind to get all of it working at the same time yet but I'm going for a lesson in September. Apparently it's meant to be very mediative once it's going, thank god as so far I just have cramp in my foot.

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Garter Stitch Purse Pattern

I have a new beginners knitting class starting at the sewing school tomorrow night and I wanted something new to teach. I've come up with this really simple and very cute Garter stitch purse. It's great if you are new to knitting or you want a quick stash busting project. It's big enough to hold a credit card but I can't promise that your change won't fall out.
I'd Love to see how you are all getting on with this project as it's getting a lot of hits from Knitting galore. So please put a picture up on my Ravelery page. 

What you will need:

4mm needles
A wool needle
1 button

Lets get started! 

cast on 23 stitches

Knit 9 rows 

Making the button hole:

Row 10 - K9, cast off 5st, Knit to the end of the row

Row 11 - K9, turn work and cast on 5st, turn back round to join the 2 sides and continue to knit to the end of the row.

Knit  8 rows

Row 20 - Purl all stitches

This what the inside looks like with that 1 purled row. You get a section of STst, I find helps it fold.

This is the right side. You can see a slight difference in the stitches where the purl row is.

Knit 17 rows

Row 38 - K1, K2tog, knit to final 3st, K2tog, K1
Row 39- Knit all stitches
Repeat rows 38 / 39, a further 4 times

Row 48- K1, K1fb, Knit to last 2 st, K1fb, K1
Row 49 - Knit all stitches

Repeat rows 48 / 49 a further 4 times.

The finished piece before seaming up.
Knit 16 rows

cast off all stitches. (see below pattern for cast off details)

All that is left to do is to seam up the edges and sew in the loose ends.

Casting off. 

I recently found this great method of casting off on Youtube. It's really stretchy and really quick. 
Here the link: 'My favourite stretchy bind off by Paula Fuessle'.

If you do have a go I'd love to see it, so put it on the Ravelry page.

Happy Knitting!

Monday, 14 April 2014

Knitting’s not just for Christmas

You may think of knitting as a winter hobby, cozying up, madly knitting scarves and socks for Christmas presents. But there are endless projects for the spring and summer months.

I’ve decided to up-cycle some of my clothes for summer.  I wanted quick projects that I would actually get finished in time for summer. It’s rather addictive, and I’ll have to make sure I don’t take the scissors to too much of my wardrobe.

I started small with this old vest top.

Since I started knitting I have always wanted to knit lace, and indeed I did knit my mum a lace blanket one Christmas. (It’s one of those projects I wonder how I ever got done.) There are some amazing lace patterns and I just loved this one, called Mountain Peaks. I found it on the wonderful and aptly named I used a cotton yarn so I would be able to wash it like I would normally. It also looks better, I think.

I cut the hole in the top after I knitted the swatch.

Thrilled with the success of this piece, I got a little braver with my scissors and cut up an old T-shirt of my brother’s.

There is a great blog called where she gives you a tutorial of how to crochet an edge. However, I can’t crochet so I knitted the edge using a Moss stitch as it doesn’t curl and is easily one of my favourite stitches. I also thought that the little bobbles of the stitch matched the spots on the T-shirt.

If you haven’t tried Moss stitch before it goes like this:

Cast on an even number of stitches

Row 1 - *Knit1, Purl1 * Rep these 2 stitches to the end of the row
Row 2 - *Purl1, Knit1 * Rep these 2 stitches to the end of the row

Repeat both rows.

I’ve also been busy coming up with an Easter pattern to sell as a pack at the sewing school. I came up with this super cute chick, which knits up in a couple of hours.

What a great season to be knitting!

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Well I finally finished.

Well, I finally finished something for Hector. 

Unfortunately it wasn’t the original basket-weave jumper that I started. I found that trying to decrease the pattern for the arms was just too much for my sleep-deprived brain. So, I started another cable jumper for him that knitted up way too small. Frustrated and downhearted I thought I had lost all my knitting skills. But then I found a great pattern called Emmett by Kimberly Voisin. She has a really lovely website and some great patterns.This particular pattern is a waistcoat so it took just half the time. Hector looks great in it. I’ve done a 12-18 month; although he is only 8 months, he’s quite tall and I thought this would be great for the warmer months. I find doing colour work far easier. Time for self-improvement and setting challenges will come, but for now I think I’ll play to my strengths.

We had a great Open Day at the Sewing School for BergĂ©re de France. I have put in a little order for their new spring/summer range. They have some amazing new yarns. I’ve ordered some linen/cotton yarn called Bigarelle to knit some light pieces for summer. I’ve never really used a cotton yarn so I’m looking forward to giving it a try.

With the daffodils blooming in the garden and spring on its way, I feel newly inspired with loads of my own patterns in the making. So keep checking in – the next blog should have a new pattern for you.

Also, in a departure from knitting, I’ve been back at my day job making jewellery.
And I’ve written a piece for the Association of Midland Artists (AMA) newsletter about what I’ve been up to, so I thought I would share it with you.

 On My Work Bench Today:

For those not familiar with my work, I take old china fragments that have been dug up from gardens or from family tea sets that can’t be glued together any longer, and turn them into jewellery by setting the pieces in silver. It reflects my highly sentimental personality, and this week on my bench I’m helping to fulfil other people’s. 

I’ve been working on a necklace made from a Victorian, silver, four-pence coin that a lady found on her farm. It’s a little piece of her home that she can carry with her and pass on to future generations even after the farm has gone. 
I’m also starting a commission for a lady in rehabilitation from a stroke. She was sent my card form her Buddhist healer who sends her inspirational messages to help her though this hard time. So I’m making her a version of the necklace on the card, which I hope she can wear as a medal of her recovery. 
Did I mention that I was sentimental? 

Happy Knitting!

Friday, 14 February 2014

Click, click.

As well as teaching knitting I've also begun to write the blog for the Carolyn Rose Sewing School. I've been writing about the different classes available and this week I got to my knitting classes so I thought I would share it with you.

Click, click.

We don’t immediately associate knitting with sound. However, when I’m teaching a beginner to knit, it’s the ‘Click, Click’ of the needles that brings back the strongest memories. It evokes memories of our grandmother or mother knitting when we were children. It’s one reason why I love teaching knitting, as it brings out of people much more than a simple desire to knit a scarf. It’s a hobby that people want to share with others, whether creating gifts or joining ‘Knit and Natter’ groups, and it gives a great sense of accomplishment.

If you have never knitted before, the Knitting Circle class aims to give you enough skills to go off and try a project for yourself. This means looking at how to interpret patterns, as well as learning the skills to actually knit them. But also, if you already can knit but just need some guidance, it’s a fun place to learn.
See the ‘Classes’ page for details.

If you are a knitting enthusiast already or are curious about picking it up, please come to our Bergere De France Open Day on Friday 21st Feb from 11am- 3pm.

The rep is coming to show us lots of great yarns and accessories and you will get 10% off Bergere products on the day.
And if you are looking for something to fill the last days of half term, Bergere do really lovely kids’ wool and needles.

We hope you can join us.

For a link to this blog and the website click.
Happy knitting!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Spread the word…. The Knitting Circle started this week!

My knitting class at the Carolyn Rose School of sewing started up again this week. It’s for beginners or those that need their knitting memories jogging. There  are daytime class on Tuesday mornings 10-12 or an evening class on Thursdays 7-9.  For details and bookings visit the Classes page

I Still have places available this week and on Thursday the 27th

A variation on my cowl that I teach in my class.

Also I'm really pleased as my Super Easy Mitts Pattern has been going well on Ravely. If you have had a go I'd love to see the results. 

Happy Knitting!

Friday, 3 January 2014

A very fitting New Year’s project.

I’ve never knitted so many socks as I did this Christmas, a few Christmas decorations and very little progress on Hector’s jumper.

My first task of 2014 is to finish the projects in my knitting basket. There are only a couple, Hector’s jumper being one.

And this amazing scrap yarn project that I started.
I saw a ball of this wool on Pinterest and had to give it a go. I keep all the loose ends from pieces and all the last little bits left of a ball of wool.

 My intention was to use them for stuffing, but this looks much more fun. I couldn’t quite wait to finish tying them together or think of a suitable project so knitted a sample. 

Oh the possibilities. I’m very excited. It’s also a lovely trip down my knitting memory road. As I tied each little thread together, some that will create a single stitch, I remembered presents I’d made, failed experiments and glorious Eureka moments. A very fitting New Year’s project and one that I urge you try.

And also down at the Carolyn Rose School of Sewing we have put in place some new classes. There are regular classes on Thursday nights and Tuesday mornings, so if you fancy learning to knit or have a project that you need help with, contact me for more details and to book a place.

Carolyn has also started to stock Bergere De France wool. It’s such a lovely brand and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on it. I have the lovely task this weekend of knitting up some samples.

All in all it’s feeling like a very exciting year ahead.

Happy Knitting!!