Knitting

Cosy Cable Hat

I  just wanted to share with you this little hat. I made it in December and to be honest it only took me about two evenings to knit. I think it is very difficult to find a hat which is suitable for work. It has to be smart-enough, but doesn’t give you the worst kind of hat head and yet simultaneously could be stuffed into a bag in a moment. This little beauty achieves all those things. Although it does look like a cottage loaf on this photo it can look quite chic (not on me – but others).

During the coldest days of December it was a constant hat companion. If you are looking for the pattern here it is on the Sirdar website. Have a lovely weekend

Seasonal stash buster #2

It might be too late to whip up another little pressie now. Or is it? I thought I would finish writing up this pattern which I knitted for Christmas gifts a couple of years ago.  I love teapots, I love tea cosies, but I am not a fan of tea. How frustrating. This little tea cosy is a perfect little snug jacket  for a small teapot.  You can knit it in one or two evenings and is great fun to begin learning cable. You just need one 50g ball of chunky yarn! The free pattern is available for the PATTERNS section of my blog – enjoy!


Things I have learned #1 – Blankets are the answer

Sometimes I really envy Little B. Everyday he learns something new, something clicks inside his brain and he realises something which never made sense before. Learning something for the first time or at least working out a problem gives me a real kick. So as a pre-New Year’s resolution I have decide to document things I have learned.

I think if you are constantly knitting or crocheting you are always picking up new stitches and techniques. I am certainly always wanting to improve the finishing of garments.

Number 1 lesson is an interior decorating tip. Not that long ago we stayed in a totally gorgeous cottage on the North Norfolk Coast. The interior was beautifully put together, with lovely cosy details. In the living room, each chair and sofa had at least one blanket draped on its arm. This looked very stylish, however the added benefit was as the night drew in we dragged the blanket across and snuggled under it. Suddenly I was sold. I have begun very slowly to add to our collection of blankets which have a dual use in the winter, instant snuggle and a small barrier against the rather dirty paws of our gorgeous cat. Blankets are the answer!

Fluffy little chaps

How cute are these little chaps? So yummy and fluffy. Sometimes you just see a pattern and HAVE to knit it. Run upstairs, delve into the yarn stash, grab the needles and get creating. These little chaps are from Alan Dart’s pattern for Timmy of ‘Timmy Time’ little Teddy. The pattern is so cute, gorgeous and easy to do. I made each one in an evening. Both chaps are destined for Little B’s teachers.  You are probably thinking ‘Oh no, poor souls, not more cuddly things!’. However Little B decided on seeing the little ginger bear exactly where its home should be and then promptly commissioned a second. So off they go, to a new home, with love.

Cosy Tank for wintry days

In the past few years I have really enjoyed wearing some of the simple tank sweaters which Sirdar have published. They are quick and easy to knit up. I think I am also probably drawn in by their styling. For my physical shape I am not sure whether I should be wearing this rather short and wide retro 80’s number. However it was so cosy over the wintry weekend. I loved it.

Sirdar 9306 – Connemara Chunky – I used Sirdar Click Chunky 0111 Blazer Size 5.5 & 6.5mm needles

Seasonal Stash Buster

A good friend of mine text-ed one evening with a photo. Always with the eye for the fashion she had spotted a natty wee scarf at a party. Not with anything in mind my friend thought I would love it. She was right. Immediately I went on the marvellous Ravelry website and I realised that actually I was way behind the times as so many of these scarves have been knitted across the world. If you are keen to bash down your stash of wool this pattern is ideal and the version I have knitted comes from the Martha Stewart website.

However a word to the wise. I love a stash buster, especially running up to Christmas. I have made about eleven of these beauties in the past month and they are addictive. Like many great patterns though, you don’t run down your personal yarn haul but instead end up looking for new colours and guiltily sneak out of your yarn store eagerly wanting to cast on when you get home.

Also, I was happily knitting away the other night watching ‘Agathe Christie’s Marple’, and the wise old lady appeared wearing exactly this scarf. My husband and I shot a glance at each other in silence. I looked down and carried on knitting. Now that, my friends is ‘Granny Chic’.

A little bit of crafty fun

Recently I have been enjoying (in a secret kind of way) Kirstie Allsop’s recent television programme Kirstie’s Homemade Home. I know the very fact that I admitting to this might cause consternation. But I am sorry, it is a crafty oasis in the middle of the television schedules. I have to say that I have learned some brilliant new things. I feel compelled to have a go at freehand machine embroidery. Now, I am also a big fan of libraries and borrowed her latest book. Lovely. You wouldn’t believe how many new titles you can borrow! Occasionally when I have renewed my book, and realise that I cannot part with it I then feel compelled to buy it. But according to the premise of her book and programme, I don’t think Kirstie would complain.

Presents with Presence

Running up to Christmas I have been thinking about some of the best gifts I have been given.

My mother in law was a great present giver. You could mention something in March, a small incidental comment, a wistful thought, and low and behold it would appear at Christmas. Genius.

My own parents are such good present buyers that we all rely on their taste to kit us out for the rest of the year, they buy the things you love, but never choose for yourself. That makes them very hard to buy for.

My sister in law and my sister are the most generous present givers, they really enjoy finding the thing they imagine you would love. They are both the youngest sibling. I am not sure whether this is connected, but it is a very nice thing.

One of my most favourite things in our house is a cushion my sister made for Christmas two years ago. She was way ahead of the curve on this trend. She chose the material, worked out how to make it and finished it so beautifully. My sister is more thorough than I am. I love this cushion because it looks good, it fits with my decor but most of all because she put time aside for me.

One of the reason I love to knit for friends and my poor family is because as you are making something you are kind of weaving love and time into the very thing you knit. This has been said by so many knitters before, but it is true.

I am making a promise to myself this Christmas to celebrate the givers and the way they give.

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