Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Bella

Well, this British weather is a tad strange.  We have had warm temperatures of up to 23 degrees and it is April.  Crazy really because I remember eating Easter dinner a few years ago and it was snowing.  Today the weather is freezing and raining. Anyway, never mind the weather because no matter what Mother Nature brings us, we will still moan about it.  I am just thankful that I do not live in Phoenix, Arizona.  The ladies from the podcast Come Knit With Us says its in the 100s...oh no.  Just not Susan weather, I could not function!!

Crafting has returned its mojo to me at least for now.  I have wanted to do a little bit of designing again and whilst spending a boring half hour doing some ironing shortly after my last blog post, I had an idea about a raggedy kind of doll thats not stuffed too much, that is bright and cheery and is crocheted from the legs up and does not involve much sewing.  After about a week of fiddling and writing it down, I came up with this little sweet creation.....

I actually had a different name to call her but Frank said that Bella was better suited and I will save the other name for another project.  Basically, her legs are crocheted seperately and then you join them when you start her body. You then tuck the ends inside as you stuff (so no sewing) and you crochet to the top of head with a little shaping and stuffing.  Her arms are the only things you sew on (oh and the hat to position) and the hair is a simple tassel but lots of them.  All I have to do now is write the pattern up which will happen on Bank Holiday Monday (4th May) and then I need to find a crochet tester to make sure the pattern reads ok for others.  

My next decision for crocheting came about as a surprise really when it should have been obvious to me.  My cat Tipsy and dog Tammie like to lay on my cushions on the sofa and at times, Tammie likes to scuff the cushion up to make it all cosy and in doing so ruins the cover.  I thought it time to change the covers and instead of going out to purchase new cushion covers I thought I should have a go at replacing them with crochet ones instead.  Why not!  I have tons of acrylic yarn left and lots of colours too.   So far this is what I have made......I just love them.

Tammie and Tipsy seem to like them too!

I am on my third cushion cover now and its going to be addictive and I may have to do a blanket too....


I have been thinking about how to close the front and back of the cushion cover because lets face it, it has to be washed!  So I am toying with the idea of buttons down either side or on one side.  I quite like the idea of doing a few of these to cover some pillows on my bed....hmmmm ideas ideas!


My knitting progress on the mitred blanket is going well.  I would have liked to have done a square a day however,  I want to enjoy making it and I know its going to be a long project so I just keep going with it.  I am going to do the blanket differently from other peoples attempts and achievements.  I like to be different and that is what is making me keep picking it up every evening whilst in bed.  Just half an hour to make one square and when I have the width I want, I am going to do something different with it.  Here is a progress picture so far...
Oh well, that is all the crafting news I have at the moment.  The weather does not look good this bank holiday weekend so I may be doing more crafting than normal which I am looking forward to.  I am off to bed now to knit a square and then to get some sleep....have a good week and will hopefully be back soon to bore you all with my crafting.  Take care and will leave you with a gorgeous photo I took tonight on the way home from work in my park.  Its a rhododendron and it smells absolutely divine...


  

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

A sweet tomato heel

As a knitter and a crocheter, if i can find a pattern to knit a pair of socks with no heel gusset, heel turn, picking up stitches and no changing of colours, i would promise myself that i would only ever knit this sock ever.

Well i have finally put together the right kind of different designs that i cast on and then kitchener stitch at the toe with no cutting of yarn.

Firstly, I have decided that the best cast on for a stretchy leg or ankle sock is going to be  a German Twisted Cast on. (type it in youtube and you can see it). Its flipping brilliant and with fat ankles or skinny ankles, it fits lovely.

The next bit is just awesome!  Sweet Tomato heel by Cat Bhordi.....heres a photo of what it looks like on a sock........
Three wedges and thats enough for an adult sized foot. I put together my own little pattern using Regia Sock Yarn to make Frank a pair of green socks which is one of his favourite colours.  Please go and have a look at youtube and type in Sweet Tomato Heel by Cat Bhordi and see for yourselves how easy it is.

I then decided I liked the kitchener stitch to finish at the toe and it gives such a seamless end that looks professional.  So here is a photo of the front of the foot and also my brief pattern that I did for Franks size 10.5 foot.



Materials 2.25mm dpns, 3 of them.
100g of Regia sock yarn
Stitch Markers

Cast on 69 stitches using German Twisted Cast on and knit 1, purl 1 making sure you have 23 stitches on each needle.  Do K1, P1 for 2.5 inches and decide with a stitch marker which is going to be the top of the foot, then knit in the round until you have the length of the leg that you want.  I did 4.5 inches before I started the heel.

Do the Sweet Tomato Heel for 3 wedges and then knit in the round for 70 rows. 
Change to a circular needle of the same size and using magic loop with even amount of stitches on both needles, do ssk at begining and k2 together at the end of the first set of stitches.  Do exactly the same on the back set of stitches.  You are decreasing 4 stitches in a row.  Knit one round.

Repeat the decrease row and knit row until you have 18 stitches left on each needle.  Then kitchener off.   Simple!

Right, Im off to do a bit more knitting whilst its still light out and watch Trout Mail podcast...have a good week and keep enjoying the weather because I dont think its going to last for long.   


Friday, 10 April 2015

A visit to Brighton

Hi Guys,

Frank surprised me by purchasing two return tickets to Brighton for Saturday (day after Good Friday) and we were up bright and early to catch the bus to North Greenwich Train Station.  We then got on the Jubilee Line to London Bridge Train Station and got the fast train to Brighton which took just over the hour.  When we got off the train we walked over towards the public toilets inside the station and I turned round and noticed the roof of the station...wow!  I would not like to get up there to clean it.

We came out of the station and you immediately walk into the town which is BIG!  You just don't know where to go first.  There wasn't loads of people around yet because it was still only around 10:30 am but there were shops everywhere.  It would make a great day out if you had loads of money to spend or a girly shopping spree.  We walked down towards the beach and on the way found a Gregg's Bakers so we had a cuppa and some cake.  

Earlier in the week Frank had found a website called YAK, Yarn And Knitting and they had some gorgeous orange yarn from The Uncommon Thread and said we could go look for the shop.  We found it after a wander around and the great use of Frank's mobile app and the lady in the shop let us walk in with our dog Tammie which was really nice of her.  We had a look around and of course, I had to touch some of the gorgeous yarns and then we found the yarn we were looking for.  It's a Blue Faced Leicester Fingering Weight Yarn, 100% superwash and 400m per skein.  The colour is called Fe2 03 which Frank assured me mean't iron oxide or something to that effect.  Anyway, here's the colour for you to see....

Isn't it gorgeous!  Frank suggested I could knit a lovely shawl with it and bought me a skein for that reason.  It wasn't cheap, £21 for one skein but does have a lot of yardage and was so thank full that he bought it for me.   My mind was thinking of the shawl patterns I have seen lately on the podcast 'littlebobbinsknits' and I think the Aisling shawl would look great with this yarn.  

Anyway,  we came out of their and then went down towards the beach again and had a look around.  It was begining to get quite busy now and Frank said let's stroll over to the old fashioned lanes that he remembered.  Now, for some unknown reason I remember a programme called 'Choccywokkydoodah' that was all about chocolate and cake decorating.  Not cheap, quite extravagent and very colourful.  I remembered that the company opened up a new branch in London but they also had one in Brighton so we had a look for it on the mobile app and Frank found it in the lanes.  Wanna see a photo of the front of the shop.....it's not a great photo because you can't swing a cat in the lanes (not that I would).

The shop was so cramped with stuff and you just could not move around.  Frank waited outside with Tammie and I had a brief look around which lasted not even five minutes.  It is really really expensive.  Anyway, at least I had seen the shop and their gorgeous cake decorations in the windows.

We carried on walking around the lanes but we had to pick Tammie up in the end because it was getting so dodgy and I was scared that Tammie would get trod on.  We walked past a jeweller's window and stopped to have a look only to find the shop keeper dressed like Elvis banging on the window to get Tammie's attention.  She couldn't care less but we had a laugh anyway!

We then had a stroll around the promenade and here's a few photo's that we took on the phone..



The first photo is of the Pavillion which is quite famous and quite eccentric inside in its decoration.  We couldn't go in obviously because we had pup with us but the grounds are lovely.  The other two photos are of the pebble beach and they are big pebbles.  Apparently it gets packed during the height of summer.   It wasn't a warm day really and by about 12:30 the promenade was getting so busy that it was like playing dodgems to get out of the way.  We decided to head back to the train station to catch the earlier train of 13:56 and oh boy, the amount of people that were coming out of the station was crazy.  I can only imagine that during the hours of mid day to mid night it must be extremely packed and I must be getting old because I just cannot stand the noise and crowds.  

We were both glad, Tammie was too, to get back on the train to get home and Tammie laid down straight away and slept.  We were back in Kent by 3pm and stuck the kettle on straight away..

My knitting has been busy too.  I spent the rest of Saturday and some of Sunday knitting 4.5 scarves for  Frank's Mum.  I used size 7mm needles and the Rico Loopy Yarn and knitted them really quickly.  I then carried on knitting the socks for Frank...here's a photo I took yesterday (Thursday) in the garden at
work of my progress on the first sock.  I used Regia sock yarn and it's a 50g ball for each sock with just a little left over for me to use on my sock blanket.

                                   

That's it as far as my Easter Weekend.  I spent a relaxing time with Frank and his family away from the worries of home and work.  Tammie seem's to be settling down of a weekend there too which pleases me.  I shall leave you with a photo that Frank took today or yesterday of New River Walk while he was working there and a photo of Tammie and me having a 'selfie' moment.



Hope you all have a good crafting week and enjoy the rest of this lovely spring weather we are having.