Saturday, 14 March 2009

A knitted skirt

I'm going to be working at the Ideal Home Show in the Chef's Kitchen Theatre for the next month, so I thought I'd leave you with some pics (thanks to Laurence) of my new Noro skirt before I depart. I'm hoping the weather stays cold for a little while longer so that I can wear it some more before spring really arrives!

It's based on the 'snapping turtle skirt' from Norah Gaughan's Knitting Nature. I used 9 balls Noro Kureyon (from Twist Fibre Craft of course!), 4.5mm needles, and knitted the smallest size. I added an extra row of hexagons to make the skirt longer and knitted a waistband in 1x1 rib decreasing at the point of each hexagon in the row below. Once knitted, I threaded a few strands of elasticated nylon through the waistband to stop it stretching out too much. I'm glad to say that this did the trick, because there was no plan B! Very happy with the way it turned out, and amazed at how much better it looked after a good blast of steam from the iron. The modular construction (one hexagon at a time, picked up from the edges of the existing ones) means that each chunk is very manageable, and there's no sewing up at the ends. The original has the purl side on the outer face, but I decided to have the knits on the outside because the picked up seams looked a bit messy when using variegated yarn.

So I have a huge bag full of knitting to take to London with me, even though there will probably be very little time for knitting. I just don't like the thought of being stuck without any though so my case is half full with yarn! Here's a sneaky peak of things to come...

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Sock it!

I've never knitted socks before but I decided to give it a go after we got some yummy new sock yarn in stock at Twist. I wanted to try out their basic sock pattern so that I can help out when customers ask about it, and was very pleasantly surprised. I had visions of endless tiny tiny rows on tiny tiny needles, but they actually grew reasonably quickly, and the appearence of a new colour to form a stripe as you knit is strangely compelling! I'm very happy that the stripes match up so nicely on each sock, but that's more of a fluke than anything that the balls both started in the same place.

Hand knitted socks always look a bit weird to me when they're not on the foot. I was worried about the bulky looking square heel and didn't think it would be very comfortable, but I take it all back, they're really comfortable and cosy. I want more! I'm all fired up to knit more socks after this initial success so I have gathered a good sized stash of sock yarn to take down to London with me next week. Watch this space...

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Big Orange Bag

I took a trip to St Andrews last week (mostly in order to visit the cheese shop!) and happened upon a basket of big fat bright orange acrylic yarn in a charity shop. Everything about it means I shouldn't like it but I do. It's a bit to garish to wear, but it just screamed BIG ORANGE BAG at me.

I bought some bamboo bag handles from Twist Fibre Craft Studio and set to work knitting a monster cabled knitting bag. Here it is...

Yarn: Cygnet Seriously Chunky

Needles: 10mm

Pattern: improvised... CO60st, 4 rounds reverse stockinette, increase to 100st, then p4k6 rib with a cable every 7th row. I decreased back down to 60st for the garter st border at the top, and made buttonholes on the front side. I knitted big blobs and sewed them to the inner back for buttons. Crochet cast off incorporating the handles so I didn't have to sew them to the bag afterwards.

Hurrah for quick knits!

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Fat free cakes!

To make up for all the calories in the previous post, have a look at these... fat free, high fibre cupcake pincushions! Hurrah! They are made with rolled up pieces of felted charity-shop-sweater, using the cuff or edge ribbing for the casing. It's really not that easy to find decent feltable sweaters for such a purpose, but there are one or two out there if you keep your eyes peeled.

Sadly, the much-loved and much-derided Masterchef is over for another year (yay for champion Mat, my favourite contestant), but wander on over to meemalee's kitchen to ease the withdrawal symptoms with an absolutely hilarious analysis of the final. Love it.