Thursday, 14 July 2016

My first pair of socks!

Ta da!
Apologies for the hideous 70s carpet!

I have fulfilled one of my new years resolutions, the singular press up is still looking like a bit of a pipe dream! Socks it turns out are not actually that hard, and everyone I spoke to, even my great uncle who (as far as I know) has no interest whatsoever in knitted told me to beware the heel turn! But it was actually fine, don't know what they were all talking about.

The socks look extra impressive because I used self striping yarn, which is, as far as I can tell anyway, magic! The shade I used was called Fall Night and can be found here. You could make a pair of short socks with one ball but I wanted my first pair to be special so knitted almost a whole ball into each one. Of course that does mean that these socks cost me £10.38 which seems a little ridiculous (I am supposed to be a poor university student after all) but I brought each ball individually so it didn't seem so bad at the time.

If anyone's interested in knitting some socks I found this video really helpful for the basics, it shows how to cast on the toe and turn the heel.

Happy knitting!

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Black and White snood

And with great skillful skill and with great speedy speed, I took the soft tuft, and I knitted a Thneed! Well a snood at least :).

It was knitted on 8.5 mm straight needles with two strands of aran yarn held together (one white, one black). Each row is 40 stitches of knit 2 purl 2 rib. Because it was so thick I only made it long enough to wrap around my neck once so it was about 95 cm and then I just sewed the two ends together. I've never done anything with two different colours knitted together at the same time before but I'm rather pleased with how it turned out.

If I'm honest I didn't really need another scarf but my mum had been buying wool for a jumper and asked me how she needed. Apparently 'you can never have too much wool' was the wrong answer because when I came back from university she had made the jumper and still had three huge balls of yarn left over. Still... you can never have too much wool! Scarves are incredibly boring to knit but I do quite like having a mindless project to go to when I just want to knit and watch some TV without having to think about it.

It's weird being back home form university, and weirder still to think that this could be my last summer here, if I get a job in Nottingham after I finish...urgh planning the future is scary and horrible. I think I shall just stick to knitting!

Friday, 4 December 2015

Archery Target Hat and Other Projects

I have been crazily busy these past few weeks, but obviously I still have time to do a bit of knitting. I think that's one of the things I love most about knitting is that you can always fit in a few rows of something into your day.

It's a friend who loves archery's birthday tomorrow and I have made her the perfect gift. Though I am a little worried that I could be responsible for her accidental demise if someone mistakes the back of her head for a target.

The pattern is not mine but is available for free here. I followed the instructions for the slightly longer beanie and I think it would have been too small otherwise. It was also my first time using circular needles and I have to say I am converted.

That's not the only think I've been knitting recently, I also made my first cardigan. It is a tiny baby's cardigan but still, I had to learn how to make button holes and everything. It was a donation to the local hospital for premature babies but I have to say knitting baby's clothes does make me a little bit broody. They're just so tiny and cute.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Happy Halloween!

Yesterday was just your average trip so Sainsburys, I bought some chicken, Worcester sauce, 5 Pumpkins! And let me tell you they were a bugger to carry home.Pumpkin carving is always really fun, although I don't understand how anyone can do anything more than the basic two eyes and a jagged mouth, do they have practice pumpkins?
Look at this!

I am going to pretend my efforts were inspired by this one but I am not sure I've captured the likeness quite as well...

Yer a wizard, vampire, pumpkin Harry!

Happy Halloween!

Friday, 23 October 2015

Jayne's Smoothie Hat (Firefly)

A man walks down the street in that hat, people know he's not afraid of anything.

Some credit for this pattern must go to the author of "Jo's Big Knit". Her Norwegian Hat (which can be found here) provided a lot of inspiration for this pattern but I have changed it quite substantially to suit my needs.

Pretty cunning, doncha think?
You will need:
Red, Orange, and Yellow DK yarn
4mm needles (or thereabouts)
Darning needle
Fork (for the pompom- you might have a different method but I can almost guarantee you it will not be a better method)


Ear Flaps-Red (Make 2)
Cast on 2 sts
Row 1: K1, M1, K1
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: K1, M1, K1, M1, K1
Row 4: Purl

When you cast on for the second ear flap do it on the same needle as the first so that you end up with the two both on the same needle and facing the same way.

On the other needle cast on 5 sts. Knit accross first earflap. Cast on 9sts. Knit across second ear flap. Cast on 4 sts
Beginning with a purl row stocking stitch 5 rows in orange
Change to yellow and continue to SS for 10 rows
K2tog till end (14sts)
P2tog till end (7sts)
Cut thread leaving 25cm left over, thread through stitches on needle and pull tight to form the hat.
Sew down the back of the hat, thread some red yarn through the end of the ear flap and plait it with the yarn already there. Sew in all other loose ends.
Finally make a tiny red pompom to sew on to the top. I recently learnt how to made a pompom with a fork and it has revolutionized my pompom making. I include an instructional video of how to make said pompom, I hope that it is helpful but please bear in mind that I just filmed it on my phone. The most important thing is that you tie the knot nice and tightly.

 And if the way I've tied the knot around the pompom on the fork looks really awkward well that's because it was. You try making a knot and holding a fork at the same time with your arms outstretched.

I've just been to see Crimson Peak at the cinema this week,. Not being good with jump scares I was worried my poor heart wouldn't be able to cope with the palpitations caused by the horror combined with Tom Hiddleston in period costume. But I think the most terrifying thing about it was the price. I haven't been to a Cineworld for ages and this reminded me why, £7.60! With a student discount! And if that doesn't shock you then maybe you don't realise that things can be different. In my local independent cinema at home tickets cost £2.50 so paying over three times that was a bit painful for me. I cannot fault the film itself though, it was gripping, surprising and most importantly really creepy but it does, and this may have been intentional, kinda have the same plot as Scooby Doo Zombie Island.

Friday, 16 October 2015

The Big Knit

Being a student one of my key skills is of course procrastination and it is amazing how having a house gives you so much more scope for things to do when you don't want to work. In halls last year I only had one room that I could clean but today I even did the oven.
The worst of course is the things that shouldn't really take priority over say, a ninety page article on the history of gun laws in America but also feel like a good way to spend ones time. This brings me nicely to my knitting project of the week: Innocent Smoothie hats.
It is indeed that time of year again, my goal is to beat my rather pathetic last year total of 5 and I'm already nearly half way there.

For every smoothie hat made Innocent Smoothie donates 25p to Age UK, so thus far that's a grand total of 50p on my part. Which does I admit seem a little pathetic but they are really fun to make, and it feels a lot more productive than cleaning ovens.

I have made a Cat in the Hat Hat and a Mad Hatter's Hat. The pattern I used can be found here. The price on the Mad Hatter's hat was just a tiny bit of paper which I superglued straight onto the wool. Irrevelant but quite interesting fact: The term 'mad as a hatter' comes from the 18th and 19th century when mercury was used to make felt for the hats. The hatters got mercury poisoning which at the time led to people thinking they were insane. Who says history is boring?

Friday, 18 September 2015

Knitted Dean Winchester

Not that I'm obsessed or anything... :). Initially this was going to match my moose Sam Winchester (visit my patterns page) but that's not really how it turned out so now I might have to make another. Anyhoo here is my knitted Dean Winchester.

 All knitted with 3mm needles and DK yarn.

Body and head (black and flesh colour):
Cast on 20 stitches in black
Beginning with a knit row stocking stitch (SS) 10 rows.
Switch to a pale pink and SS 8 rows.
Cut the yarn leaving a long tail and thread this through the 20 sts and pull tight.
Using mattress stitch sew down to the bottom of the body, stuff it and then sew up the bottom. Wrap a bit of  yarn tightly around the middle to make a neck.

Legs (black) make two:
Cast on 10 sts
SS 14 rows
Cast off
Sew with mattress stitch to the end of the leg, stuff and sew up.

Trousers (denimy blue):
Cast on 12 sts
SS 10 rows
Cut yarn and on the same needle CO 12 sts
SS 10 rows
SS 4 rows across both legs
Cast off.

Sew the legs onto the body then wrap the trouser legs round the legs and sew up. Then sew the trousers onto the body.

Shirt (green):
Cast on 18 sts (green)
SS 12 rows.
Cast off.
Sew the shirt onto the body leaving the chest bare.

Arms (pale pink) make two:
Cast on 6 sts
SS 8 rows
Cast off
Sew with mattress stitch to the end of the arm, stuff and sew up.

Sleeves (green) make two:
Cast on 8 sts
SS 5 rows
Cast off
Sew the arms into the sleeves and then sew onto the body.

To finish:
Thread some grey wool through a small yellow bead to make the Samulet.
Embroider eyes and a mouth in black.
For the hair I did a mixture of sewing on some of it and also leaving some yarn loose which I then split into it's separate stands.

I did receive a comment on my Sam Winchester pattern that it would be better if the clothes were removable (and who wouldn't want to remove his clothes) and I did give this some thought but while I can see it working for the trousers I felt it made the shirt far too complicated, so I am sorry about that, but I did consider it.

As always if you have any questions or suggestions leave me a comment. Also if you would like to make a less moosey Sam and would like a pattern for that leave me a comment and I will see what I can do.