oh my cuff!


I've never made anything of my own design before.  Never been interested as I like following patterns and seeing projects come to life, bit of a paint by numbers girl at heart.  I don't really feel creatively minded enough to actually think something up in my own brain, design it and make it.  Not for me, no way, nuh huh.

And then a funny thing happened. I was making something else totally unrelated (a collar, my fetish continues) and part of the design included a pretty strip of stitches.  As I was hooking I thought "hmmm that would make a pretty cuff", then I thought it again, and again and finally I stopped what I was doing and just bloody made it.

Just like that, after all these years the Nike slogan finally makes sense.

I am, as you can imagine, pretty chuffed with myself.

I used some Rowan hand knit cotton, which in all honesty I wouldn't use again because almost immediately it looked a bit worn and flattened, know what I mean? So not good for something you want to wear and wear. Discovered that if you use mercerised cotton it give a much better and longer lasting finish - love its shiny, shiny, lustrous loveliness.

My favourite mercerised cotton is Rico Essentials Cotton DK, I used it here and then I used it for these bad boys.

Mucho, mucho better in shiny, shiny stuff eh?

Can you see the difference when they're compared to the stodgy pink cotton one?  Sounds like I'm alienating old fatty pink boy but I've worn him every day since making him and he's my first so has a special place in my heart.

I think I'm going to do a tutorial for them in the week so watch this space.

Anyway, Eurovision is on so I'm going to have a beer and wave my flag for Bonnie.


a pretty lacy cardigan

I made this.  Yep I really did.  Feeling smug about it? Never.

I saw it and really, really wanted to make it.

copyright Simply Crochet

The pattern is a Sirdar one from the first issue of Simply Crochet magazine which, in my opinion, is a bit of a disappointing read on the whole but this pattern did catch my eye, looks a bit vintage and very (very) pretty indeed.  So I found some soft and lovely yellow-gold yarn and started to make it for my niece Ella, who was one at the start of this month.

I thought this would be a nice keepsake for her, or if I want to get with the times (dahling), an 'heirloom piece' (yah, yah, dahling, yar) which to me is a thinly veiled attempt to give old tat a pretty name in order make hoarding more socially acceptable.  I for one say NO to keeping crap in my house and have a healthy relationship with my dustbin.

I digress.  The cardigan.  Oh my pretty.

Started making it at the right size for Ella, 1-2 years and about halfway up the first section it was looking suspiciously small, got Betsy out of bed and attempted to wrap it around her middle and yep, way too small. Sniff.  I had to rip it all the way back to the flouncy bottom border and start again.  I was gutted.

Second attempt, this time at the 2-3 year size and even that seemed small.  Now I was using slightly bigger yarn - Sirdar Snuggly DK (not 4ply) in shade 426 Gold (always believe in your soul) and a 3.5mm hook instead of a 3mm so I'm not really quite understanding the size thing.  Anyway it did fit around Betsy's lovely tummy and whilst she is five months younger then Ella, they are roughly the same size so I persevered.

Plus I was rapidly running out of time so had to bloody carry on didn't I.

I had a party deadline for the Saturday and so spent Friday night frantically stitching the sleeves (which turned out a bit long...my bad) and sewing it together so I could block it overnight.  Saturday morning I found some pretty pink ribbon and threaded it through whilst fretting and fussing and feeling like it wasn't quite good enough.  Mr P rather helpfully pipes up "it's a funny colour yellow isn't it?" because he always knows the right thing to say in a stressful situation!

The Birthday gal arrived and had the decency to be wearing something to match the 'funny colour yellow' surprise (good girl) and thank all the stars she put it on and it did fit her, well all except the sleeves which were definitely too long but sleeves were made for rolling up weren't they?

She then proceeded to crawl around with glee, perhaps because she had now become even more flooradynamic, very cute, very quick and very lovely.

I don't think it'll fit her for long, I'm a bit gutted that the sizing was so off but hopefully she can keep it and know forever that her aunty Emma did sweat and fret for weeks to make her something pretty for her first ever Birthday.


my ears they need some warming

They really do.

England is not the warmest of places to live, we get a tiny snatch of sunny and are collectively lulled into a false sense of summercurity and then BAM! freezing cold again, heating on, gear required for our heads and ears.

I am therefore officially gutted that this glorious headband-slash-earwarmer was made for and given to my gorgeous cousin Katrina for her Birthday. GUTTED!

I even sent her a text on the morning of her Birthday saying if you don't like it then I won't be offended in fact I'll be delighted so give it BACK!!  She declined and has declared her own kind of love for the delightful Morning Walk Earwarmer which I found on Ravelry.  I couldn't figure out why it was such a popular pattern and now I know, it is super.

It's knitted with big wool (Sirdar Big Softie) on big needles (12mm) and with lots of increases and decreases to give it the shape.  These proved a bit tricksy for my unpractised hands, especially the increases which were all different and meant I had to watch a video on YouTube every single time I had to do one (quite annoying) - I'm not sure why there couldn't just be one type of increase but I'm sure there must be a reason.  Then after all the knitting there is a crochet edge, which looks a lot better then I thought it would and it's finished off with a flower or any decoration of your choice.

Well I had to go super massive for the flower, thought something small and insignificant wouldn't be worth it plus me and my kinfolk all have massive heads (seriously, massive and super hardy heads, amazing) and big heads call for big flowers.

It's a basic crochet flower pattern using the same wool as the headband and I used this yarn for the middle flower, treble stranded and then knitted the buttony thing at the middle - ooh so la la.

So she loves it, I love it, I sneaked it onto me massive head for a quick photo before wrapping it up and now I'm making myself one because I don't feel that I can live without it.  Oh and I'm also making one for Katrina's friend Becky so if anyone else fancies one just let me know.

Personally I don't think a girl should live without an item that both warms the ears and looks fancy so I expect knitting these will keep me busy for the next few months.

The sun has just come out (must have heard me moaning) so I'm going to take my chance for a quick walk with the girls.  Have a nice weekend.