Ruched Headband

'Gnarley' snowboarders in handknitted headwear scandal

I made this for myself for skiing as I hate wearing my hair down on the mountain and I wanted something to keep my ears warm but my bun in tact!

This was made with leftover Artesano Alpaca DK and is very loosely based on a Drops pattern but if you want mine here it is. It’s absurdly simple and takes about 2 hours:

Materials:

Scant half skein of DK yarn, preferably something warm like alpaca
3.5mm needles

Pattern

CO 21sts and knit in seed stitch for 38cm, slipping the last stitch of each row to prevent curling at the edges.
Sew ends together to form band

For the centre strip CO 9sts and knit 44 rows in seed stitch, sew ends together around main band over the join

Headband in less sarcastic setting

Cute.

A trio of fairisle hats

A trio of fairisle hats

This Christmas was a Christmas of hats. Beautiful hand-knitted, alpaca, fairisle hats. Selection runs left to right as follows:

Purl Bee ‘Little Fairisle Hat‘ only available in child size I sized this up myself, it’s still fairly snug but good for a small headed person and I love the colourwork on this one. Made from delicious yarn bought from the alpaca farm in the summer. I should have used smaller needles for the ribbing though.

A christmassy hat

Jared Flood’s ‘Seasons Hat‘ from Brooklyn Tweed. Now I don’t normally buy patterns for things like hats, it seems pointless, but this pattern was worth every penny. I love the fairisle pattern and the design is spot on with a selection of colour combinations and sizes, plus you get the decreases in chart and written format. The twisted rib is ace and sceptical as I was about the use of 3 different needle sizes for a hat, I am now convinced. It’s an awesome hat. I have made three already, the one pictured was for my sister who has added a pompom. I didn’t think it needed it but it does look cute. My sister got a fairisle design book for Christmas so I will use this pattern as a base to experiment with different colourwork options.

More fairisle

Another Purl Bee number, this time ‘Giacomo’s Baby Hat‘. This was also a resize job, made for my mum who has a BIG head! In hindsight I should have made the rib section longer and maybe used the twisted rib but it still works, and it fits her which is the main thing. My mother really likes a ridiculously large bobble so I toyed with adding a huge white one but in the end I let her choose and she went for the red one. The main colour is from the alpaca farm too, from ‘Mr Tumnus’, how adorable is THAT?!

Woman laughing alone on skis

Here she is, proving it really is excellent for skiing.

 

200th BLOG POST PARTY! Can you believe I’ve produced so much drivel?! In celebration I will be taking part in the pay-it-forward handmade challenge, see here for details of how you can benefit from my boundless generosity.

A fully stocked play kitchen (or ‘finally! A use or crochet fruit and veg’)

A bowl of delicious yarn

My lovely un-god-daughter was lucky enough to receive a play kitchen from Santa this year, so of course it needed a selection of items to stock it. The available pattern database for fruit and veg on Ravelry is truly mind-boggling. I mean, I think I went overboard to be honest but you could really make almost any food item you can think of. I stopped at the grapes, too much buggering about sewing tiny balls together for my liking.

I particularly like the garlic, it looks mental.

fruit.jpg

I am reliably informed that these went down a treat, but either way I enjoyed making them. They don’t take long as they are small so it’s a rewarding evening that produces a few of these, plus it’s a good stash buster so used up some more of the never-ending rico cotton. All the patterns I used are on my projects page on Ravelry if you’re interested.

More fruit and veg

I also made a linen string grocery bag to hold the veg (Pattern from The Purl Bee), like the ones they used to use on Neighbours, remember those? It didn’t photograph too well so it’s not included here but it made wrapping this lot much easier!

DISCLAIMER: Photos taken before arrival of new camera

Fairisle Cardigan Kit

Instant Fairisle Knitted CardiganWow, I finished this almost a full year and a half ago but totally failed to photograph it, I think it’s because I was planning on styling it better than I have… Photos obviously taken by me (as no one else was here, also I should probably have done my hair, *sigh*) but with my Dad’s camera so slightly better quality, same lower-than-average composition.

Here's one I made earlier!

This is a vintage knit, it was found in my mother’s, next-door-neighbour’s, aunt’s loft. That’s how you get ALL the best stuff. It’s an ‘instant’ fairisle kit from pure shetland wool and was clearly bought on holiday in Scotland, probably in the 50s judging by the shape of her boobs, but maybe 60s looking at the hair… Anyway it had been enthusastically started with 3/4 of the back panel knitted (excellent choice as that is clearly the most boring bit) and one side panel. Fortunately it was easy enough to work out the size chosen and it was a 12 so would fit me – all good news so far.

Yoke (or 'the best bit which I did not make')

The bad news:

  1. this is pure wool, spun before the advent of modern processing techniques and so was scratchy as hell to knit with! It is softening up now but it will take time and commitment.
  2. The ‘instant’ bit is because the fairisle section is already knitted (which I would have really liked to do myself, I love fairisle knitting) and you have to insert it, what a total fucking pain in the arse THAT was!
  3. It’s 4ply yarn, this means it take a bloody long time to knit something this big.

Full frontal and backside views

However it’s so long ago now that I have really forgotten how painful it was. To be fair it is the first adult garment I had ever knitted and for that I learnt a lot about seaming, the value of blocking, and  perfect, beautifully even gauge… (or the lack of it)

Obligatory close-up

It is a bit high-necked and unflattering in the bust and waist but I love it, it’s warm and cute, the colours are gorgeous and the fairisle is beautiful. Everyone else thinks it’s gross but I don’t care, I totally fit with the trendies in in Dalston, as long as I don’t tell them I made it…

Vintage Bunny

Bunny

More poor photography I’m afraid, this time brought to you in the form of a vintage bunny. This is from an original (I think 40s) Patons pattern so the construction is quite fiddly but I like the seaming detail, I think it looks cute (pattern available here). I even made this from vintage yarn bought for the bargain price of £1 a ball at Unravel earlier in the year.

Bob-tail

The carrot doesn’t actually belong to him, it’s part of another project (coming soon) but it made his arms look less limp and game so I might make him a smaller one to keep.

I have no idea who this bunny is for, but I just like having him around the house, he is currently guarding the window from preying kitties (this is a lie, they wrestled him to the ground and left him for dead).

Baby Boy Sweater

Obligatory close-up

I made this for a friend’s child, he was named Babhinay and had a Twitter account at 3 months (in utero) and tweets regularly about the day-to-day minutiae of being a baby, you can follow him here.

I’m really pleased with how this turned out in the end, despite appearances it wasn’t a simple knit, you can read the full rant on ravelry if you’re interested in knitting-pattern-based rage.

I really like the yarn, which is the Rico Essentials Merino DK, it knits up slightly smaller than a standard DK but is really smooth and soft and is superwash, what more could you want. Oh it’s only £3.50 a ball, bargain! I also got the coconut shell buttons for 10p each, I think they’re perfect.

Basketweave Baby Cardigan

I must say I’m getting pretty good at the sewing up these days, the shoulders on this don’t look too bulky and the side seams would be perfect if the basketweave pattern matched up .

I’m considering rewriting the pattern so I can knit it in the round as I do really like the finished article. However,  a better plan might be to transfer the basketweave pattern onto an existing cardigan pattern that I like (thanks Lizzy :D).

Mini Tea Cosy (or is it a Brownie hat?)

Tea cosy

As I now mostly work from home I decided I needed a mini teapot, my mum found me this delightfully lurid lime green number which redeems itself only on it’s excellent pouring mechanism.

In order to minimise it’s impact on my lovely new kitchen (and to keep my tea warmer or course!) I decided it needed a cosy. I couldn’t find a pattern for a mini tea cosy anywhere so I made this one up, download the pattern here.

I used some brown cheap british yarn which is too scratchy for clothing but very warm, so ideal for a cosy. However, it doesn’t really show the cable as well as I would like so I might have to make it again in grey which will look better and match the kitchen too.

Anyway, this does the job for now, I had forgotten how boring making pompoms is, this one reminds me of my Brownie hat. The uniform when I was Brownie age consisted of a shapeless brown dress, a brown leather belt with a pouch on it, a yellow crossover tie and a brown bobble hat. It looked like this:

Brownie Annual 1982

(This is back in the days when ugly people were still allowed to be in publications)

My mother decided the uniform bobble hat was ‘a rip off’ and that she would knit me one instead. I was the laughing stock of my pack, it was huge, really thick so my head looked too small and it had an enormous pompom the size of my fist which moulted brown wool everywhere we went. If I were a weaker child I would have been bullied for this, but I led the mockery of it so it was fine. For some reason my sister was not subjected to the homemade version and got a bloody normal one. She really IS the favourite child.

Actually this teacosy looks a LOT like it, I’m clearly still scarred by the experience.

Professer Zoidberg Mitts

Zoidberg!Zoidberg: Wub wub wub wub wub
Hermes: My god! Soon he’ll be as strong and flexible as Hercules and Gumby combined!
Zoidberg: Gumbercules!? I love that guy!

So when I decided a pair of salmon pink fingerless gloves something happened, something that NEVER happens, I thought: ‘i’ve got the perfect yarn in my stash for that’ AND I DID! Amazing eh?

A completely useless novelty item of clothingI used a great free pattern called Man Paws for the base of the glove and I finished these in January sometime, but I also ran out of yarn, ANNOYING. I then had to buy another ball which I put off for a long time as the ‘perfect’ yarn was a fairly expensive Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino,

I made up the flip tops/zoidberg head bit using the pick-up-and-knit method from Ysolda’s Snapdragon fliptops but changed the construction. And the eyes came from Knitty’s Flappy Flounder.

Wub wub wubIf you imagine wearing these wiggling your fingers and muttering ‘wub wub wub wub wub’ to yourselfself, you get the idea. I’m pretty sure these have a very limited life span being, as they are, a completely novelty (and fairly unpractical) item of clothing.

Woolsack Olympic Cushion Project

I like how it looks like an owlAt the recent Unravel knitting show my mother corralled us into helping her stuff a cushion she had made at a filling station at the event. I must admit I knew she was doing this (vaguely) but hadn’t really paid proper attention so I dragged my feet when she asked us to help her.

The Woolsack project is part of the cultural Olympiad and it’s brief is to welcome every single Olympian to the UK with the gift of a hand-knitted cushion made entirely of British wool. You can find out more here. There is still time to knit a cushion and they have yarn available, you just have to pay the postage.

In actual fact the stuffing was really fun, Amber and I gushed over all the brilliant cushions that had been made and they offered us doughnuts and the stuffing wool was really soft… mmmmm. We asked them how they would decide who got what cushion: would the gold medallist get the ‘best’ ones, and the shit ones go to a first-round-knockout handball team member or similar? 😀  Apparently it’s going to be more a case of getting what you’re given, oh well.

Also the lovely lady who helped us gave Amber and I some wool to make our own cushions, exciting!

I knew immediately what I wanted to do. I had recently seen Polly aka Rubbishknitter’s version of the Paper Dolls sweater with the BBC Micro owl logo as the motif and loved it – it doesn’t get more British than that!

I copied the back from Julie (who I think is the nice lady we met at the event), she has made some lovely cushions for this project and I think the back is really pretty without competing with the front for attention.

Back

Amber used the same basic pattern but used an umbrella motif instead (also very British). We have sent them off with my mum to be filled at a stuffing station very soon.

I guess Usain Bolt will get mine, or maybe Michael Phelps. I can see him now, on the podium, holding my cushion in one hand and a gold medal in the other (because of course he’ll be so attached to it he’ll take it everywhere). He might even cut it into shorts, who knows, wool is very aerodynamic you know.

Hoppy bunny

 

BunnyThis is an afternoon project, I knocked this up one Sunday when I had no knitting to do (a dark day). As usual with amigarumi it’s all about the embroidery of the face. This is not my best work, but he’s still cute.

If you can’t crochet or are new to it this is a good starter project, you can’t go too far wrong and it’s a nice gift for a baby I think, they can get their chubby little hands around the bottom, you could even put a bell in the head to make it a bit more interesting.

I had grand plans of making a load of them, all in different ice-cream colours, but, inevitably, I got distracted by another project…