Thursday, 27 January 2011

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Unbiased serendipity pattern

This is an extremely quick and easy knit.

Basically the yarn does all the work for you.
The pattern is now available on ravelry so that people have a place to link their projects. 

Check out the handspun versions.

Tip - Blocking made easy!

Use a towel with a waffle texture for blocking - it gives you a grid to work on and you don't have to keep measuring to make sure it's straight! If you don't have a waffle towel, stripes are also good.

You can either use the towel damp (out of the washing machine after spin cycle) or wet the project and then squeeze out the water (do not wring).

For long scarves I pin along both sides of the scarf on one side of the towel and then I turn the towel over and use the other side for the rest of the scarf. 

Once you have pinned the scarf to the towel, you don't need to leave it flat, you can roll it up and leave it to dry.

Tip - too few stitches for your circular needle?

If your circular needle is a bit too long for the number of stitches you are working (this can happen once you start decreasing), pull the wire through between the stitches at the bottom of the right hand needle to shorten it. When you get to that point, repeat the process. It sounds a bit fiddly, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes automatic and is easier than switching to a set of 5 needles.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Tip - Knitting a cowl/snood the round

If you knit a cowl/snood in the round you will have no seam and it will be reversible – two looks for one lot of knitting! 

You also will be able to try it on and adjust it as you knit. Then just cast off, weave in the ends and wear it straight off the needles (unless it needs blocking). 

Inspira tea light ?

My daughter made this before I made the Inspira Cowl, but now I'm seeing Inspira's everywhere.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Blue quilt

Here's a picture of a quilt I am in the process of finishing - just the binding left to do. It was made mainly from recycled shirt fabrics. More details and photos will follow.

More oranges

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Cool Britannia mosaics

Made by my multi-talented daughter ;)

Friday, 14 January 2011

Old faithful

Not the dog - the wool winder. Strangely the dog wouldn't move for me to photograph the winder - did he know I was calling the post "Old faithful"?

This is actually a not-so-new wool winder, bought about 25 years ago - I even got it cheap at the time because it clicked sometimes. I think I paid about $10 for it at the time, but they now cost about 40. Still, I think it's worth it.

Yesterday I was so glad to have one, because when the dogs ran down 2 flights of stairs dragging my knitting with them - the project stayed upstairs and the tread went down 2 flights but didn't break, because it had been wound into a centre-pull cake and unravelled beautifully.

Just as well, because they would have unravelled about 1/2 the project !

I re-wind almost all of my yarns with it before using them - it helps me to see how colours will develop with hand-painted or self-striping yarns and also shows if there are any knots.

Colour and flavour

The French for "window shopping" is "lecher les vitrines" (window licking) - here it takes another form! Through the window at a bakery.

One of the groups I was looking at today said you had to
love chocolate cake to join - will these get me in?

And something for those who have resolved not to
even look at cake after Christmas.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Marzipan family

Here in Belgium they make all kinds of figures out of marzipan. This is the only snow we've got now - the rest disappeared last week.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Renew - the struggle

Rowan Renew
I bought this yarn because I liked the colours and the concept (it's mainly recycled wool), but I just don't seem to be able to make anything with it that I like. I've tried out about 10 different stitches and nothing seems to work as a scarf.

I have seen a short jacket called cyclamen and that looks good, so maybe I should use fisherman's rib, but then what about edge stitches?

Anybody got any ideas? Because despite it all, I still really like the wool.

January - a month for colour

Here in Northern Europe, January tends to be a long, grey month, so I thought I might try to counteract that by posting a "colour" picture every day (or as many days as possible).

More sweets ... these are a Belgian speciality known as "cuberdons" - they are hard on the outside and have soft centres ... and are very, very sweet. They come in range of fruit flavours.  

p.s. If you have good eyesight or can zoom in, you might get a chuckle out of the translation of "Fruits des bois" (fruits of the forest) as Fruit woods. If that sort of thing makes you smile and you haven't already read Lost in Translation: Misadventures of English Abroad by Charlie Croker, you might like to take a look at it.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Colour is all around us...

I emptied the oranges out of my new bowl so I could take photos for my ravelry stash.

Then I plonked the yarns down to wait for their turn in the bowl ...  

Instant still life!
My turn!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Colour inspiration ?

Possible colours for Ispira Cowl by Celery Stalk ? Take a look
for more colour and inspiration.

Time to Go To something else?

After 9 Go To Scarves it may be time to move on...

Katia Azteca - Dr. Who?

It all started with Lydia asking for a long, wide chunky scarf using some Lang Mille Colori Big I already had - this resulted in The Lydia. It's about 30 cm wide and over 2m long!! And weighs 400grams, but is fantastic on a tall trendy young woman.
Lang Mille Colori Big - The Lydia
 In fact, I originally found the stitch in someone's notes, but I find it fun to link to a pattern on ravelry and then see what others knit or have knitted with the same pattern, so I linked to this one:

Pattern link: The Go To Scarf.
Ravelry link: Ravelry The Go To Scarf page

It's a great knit - the same on both sides so you don't even have to think about whether you are on the RS or WS - just turn and go... I slipped the first stitch on every row to make a smoother edge.

I don't think I could have made so many if it hadn't been for all the variations I tried - different yarns, different colourways all produced very different results. Some a big longer, some a bit wider...

All of the scarves can be found on my ravelry projects page. The photo captions here indicate the name of the yarn used and the name of the scarf on the projects page.

Mille Colori Big - City Lights

Lang West - you can get a reasonable scarf out of 3 skeins (approx. 22 x 160cm) - 150 g.
Lang Mille Colori Big - you can get a good scarf out of 1.5 skeins, but a huge one if you use the full 2 skeins. However, it's pretty heavy at 400g. And also the most expensive version.
Katia Azteca - this works out very well with 2 skeins - 200g. The shading of Azteca is particularly well suited to a scarf like this.

Katia Azteca  - Cranberry Sauce

Lang West - Hidden Gem
Katia Azteca - Ice Maiden

Lang West - Northern Lights

Katia Azteca - Amethyst

Azteca the wool ...

But now it's time to move on - so it's back to lace for me now.

Seagrass Horseshoe Lace

Monday, 3 January 2011

Red scarves in Paris - Darling!

Red scarves in Paris

Graffiti near Nation - Darling!

More graffiti near Nation - with red scarf, darling!


Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy New Year

I hope that this will be a very happy new year for everyone - with lots of joy from making, wearing and sharing stitches.