Sunday, 28 December 2008

Cashmere v polyamide = no contest

Hope you have had a good christmas. I had a stomach bug from christmas day until yesterday with a few sniffles that don't seem to have developed into anything.

I went shopping in the sales today and was so horrified by some of the items of clothing on offer I nearly ran out of the shops screaming. Perhaps all the usual items have already been in the perpetual sale that has been held since November in Britain due to the recession! All I could find was a pair of bed socks reduced from £9.50 to £4 and they were manmade and brown! Why would I buy those when I could knit a beautiful pair in cashmere in whatever colour I want from the above book by Erika Knight?

The jumpers in this book are so beautiful - the photography is stunning and the clothes the models are wearing with the knits are truly amazing.

I already have two of her books which I am similarly impressed with - but this is the best so far. If you are looking for stylish funky knits that will suit a variety of occasions (I can imagine myself wearing one or two for work as well as at the weekend) then this book is perfect for you. Erika Knight rocks!

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Meet Ed the Ted

Yes! The Debbie Bliss teddy bear I started knitting in early October was finally brought to life last week! After many weeks lying in dismembered pieces in my knitting bag and me nervously catching a glimpse of it every time I went to get my wrist warmers out, Edward is finally alive...

I have not done so bad considering I've been knitting for 6 months and it's my first ever teddy bear. It was nothing like making a felt stuffie and there were times when I nearly gave up. About 50% of it was sewing it together, not simply, but with darts and tapering. As a knitting and cross stitch fan (someone who craves pattern and order) I think the sewing and making up was a little fiddly, but something that will come with a lot more practice.

As you can probably see from the photo the first sole I sewed into the foot didn't match the grain of the stocking stitch and therefore it draws your attention to the fact that it's sewn in. The right sole was perfect as I realised how to do it!

The body is a little strangely shaped, again probably due to the stuffing forming lumps - once I have used up all my cheap stuffing I will probably buy a nicer bag.

Lastly, the jumper turned out rather large. I did have to substitute all the yarns in the Debbie Bliss book as it's very old. I tried altering the buttons to make it fit him tighter, but I think he looks better without the jacket.

Anyway, see what you think...

I'm off to finish a grey-blue silk scarf for a christmas present - a project started before I learnt to rib and which now seems hideously dull! I won't be making many more scarves now that's for certain!

Happy knitting!

Saturday, 13 December 2008

No more garter stitch

I finally made them! Thanks to the free pattern from Julie from Little Cotton Rabbits I now have my very first item of clothing that isn't in garter stitch! The first few lines of double rib were a bit wobbly but I'm pleased with the double moss stitch.

I now have plans to make my own pattern and perhaps sell them in the near future. I ordered some Cashcroft DK in purple and am happily knitting another pair.

I'm off to finish my Debbie Bliss teddy bear...happy sewing!

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Melanie Deegan

The other day I found myself in an art gallery. I have to be in the mood for art, so it happens only occasionally. We have a shop called 'Makers' which is a co-operative for artists. She sells everything from felted mittens to beautiful jumpers and felt collages on canvas! Upstairs she has a gallery with a small section playing host to an exhibition. This time it was the local scuplturer Melanie Deegan. When I read through her website afterwards I was so jealous! She lives in Wiveliscombe which is a very picturesque village a few miles from town and makes large sculptures for outside in big gardens too.

I particularly loved this horse, although it's a few hundred pounds. If I had the money I would have bought it, it's so amazing! It's so stunning because of the colour and the material - it looks like a silhouette. I love her!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Wrist warmer breakthrough!

Yesterday was a momentous day in my journey to the centre of the knitting world. I have tried ribbing many times but had always managed to produce a complete mess. Perhaps knitting stocking stitch has got me used to the purl stitch so much I can now relax and rib. I've always been like that...a bit of a plodder and slow learner, but I thoroughly absorb along the way.

I have been looking at all kinds of beautiful jumpers and getting frustrated that I can't knit 90% of them due to my inability to rib, so perhaps that spurred me on.

Of course Julie at Little Cotton Rabbits has really helped, as the above piece of knitting is from a pattern she gave away free on her blog. It's really simple as there is no shaping - that's my next task after practising rib a bit more and finishing these wrist warmers.

These will be great as the Rowan Handknit Cotton I have used is really soft. They will also leave your fingers and thumb free when shopping. I had bought a pair of fingerless gloves with a flap that comes over to turn them into mittens, but your thumb is still covered, making it difficult to open your purse and get money out without taking them off.

It also solves that problem of wearing a short sleeved top for an evening out as you could knit extra long ones to take the place of sleeves then discreetly slip them into your handbag when you get inside somewhere :)
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