Monday, 24 September 2012

Learning to Draw

One of my friends challenged a group of us on a social networking site to draw from this online tutorial. I am no great artist, but I thought I'd give it a go, and I'm quite pleased with how it turned out! I think I might even put it on the fridge.

I was surprised by how relaxing it was. I have always associated drawing with stress - I've never felt I'm very good at it, and one art teacher in particular used to very publicly despair of me - but just working methodically on a drawing from a tutorial was quite chilled out and very absorbing. A bit like following a tricky knitting pattern. 

Saturday, 7 July 2012


(That's what a knitting spell would look like if I wrote Harry Potter.)

Of course, even Molly Weasley doesn't have a knitting spell. That would take all the fun and the little imperfections out of handmade goodies.

I've been crap at finishing Kirsty's Weasley Sweater but there's nothing like a broken leg to get the knitting juices going. So here's the finished object!

I charted the K myself, you're welcome to use it for your own Weasley Sweater or K-project.
chart for the letter K
A note on the intarsia: I started off knitting 3 and then wrapping the yarn each time, but because the leg of the K is long and straight that meant that the wraps started to pull on the front and were visible. So I started wrapping at any point between two and five stitches of the contrasting colour and it sat much better.

I've also finished another sweater for Joshua, this time in Opal sock yarn. It was lovely to work with, but took a little longer than I expected. He hasn't quite grown out of it yet, thankfully.

This is his "no, really, I love it" face.

Originally posted on RowleyPolyBird

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Preemie Beanie (pattern)

This is one of my mum's patterns: Theatreknit on Ravelry. The PDF is available to download here

Joshua models his funky new hat in SCBU (NICU)
at 32 weeks (3lb 12oz)

"My first grandson was born 10 weeks early and, like most preemies, had difficulty keeping warm. This hat grew with him from birth at 30 weeks (3lb 6oz), and so is suitable for a preemie or
a small newborn. When they’re really tiny, the brim folds up neatly to fit."

Knit kit
3.75mm (US 5) DPNs
Sirdar Click DK with wool, 1 skein (50g, 150m)

NB: I skein will easily make 2 hats;
you can use any washable, soft DK wool

Cast on 64, join in round and divide evenly between DPNs.
Work in k2 p2 rib for 4 inches.

Rnd 1: *k2 p2 k2 p2tog* to end (56 sts)
Rnd 2: *k2 p2 k2 p1* to end
Rnd 3: *k2 p2tog k2 p1* to end (48 sts)
Rnd 4: k2 p1 k2 p1 rep to end
Rnd 5: k2 p1 k2tog p1 rep to end 40 sts
Rnd 6: k2 p1 k1 p1 rep to end
Rnd 7: k2 k2tog p1 rep to end 32 sts
Rnd 8: k2 p2 to end
Rnd 9: k2 p2tog to end 24 sts
Rnd 10:k2tog p1. To end 16sts
Rnd 11: k2tog rep to end 8 sts
Rnd 12: k2tog rep to end 4 sts

To finish:
Break yarn and pull through remaining sts.

When knitting for a baby in hospital, always wash the garment,
then (using clean hands!) 
transfer it to a ziplock bag for delivery. 
download now

Originally posted on RowleyPolyBird

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

I will knit and wear a Scarf of Doom with pride

I have had a problems with my mental health over the years, as most people who know me will know, but many things help to keep me ticking over when it's pretty crappy. Knitting is definitely one of them. The satisfaction of producing something handmade is always brilliant, even when it's as simple as a scarf that will take 3 hours. And, moreover, there are always other knitters to talk to, encourage, be supported by, and learn from. Not to mention all those potential knitters to bring to the dark side!

Deadly Knitshade is the sort of knitter all knitters want to be. She's a fab designer, a brilliant and clever writer, and she scrapes a living doing what we all love. Proper kudos! She also learned to knit - like so many others - when life was a bit shit. She appeared on BBC London news a few weeks ago (alongside the perfectly marvelous Aneeta Patel of Knitting SOS), and managed to do an early morning interview, whilst knitting a garter-stitch scarf. Quite an achievement! Both Lauren and Aneeta are fabulous ambassadors for the knitting community, and the range of knitted items they had between them to show off would be enough, I hope, to convince the world that these talented ladies have something pretty special going on.

However, not everyone was as entranced by this performance as they might have been and the haters came out in force. Hiding behind the internet, ordinary people (even some knitters) started bitching about the scarf and using it as a means to cast aspersions on Lauren herself; even on the lovely blue hair! (I also have blue hair at the moment, blue hair is cool.) Very sadly, the staff of some well-known yarn companies joined in on their Facebook pages. As Ms. Knitshade has failed to name and shame them in her blog, I will follow suit, but I will also think twice before I shop with them again.

And so to the Scarf of Doom. It has become a symbol for all that is best about the knitting community. We make stuff that looks however the [cough] we like. If we want to make a fugly scarf, and if we (or anyone else) is proud to wear it, then we damn well will and all the internet hate in the world won't stop us.

I have raided my stash and found some left-overs that will look brilliantly bold and probably clash quite a lot. My Scarf of Doom will stand for all I love about knitting; it will make me happy!

Woolly solidarity!

Aneeta's books: Knitty Gritty, and Knitty Gritty: The Tricky Bits
Deadly Knitshade's books: Stitch London, and Knit the City
Ravelry users' Scarves of Doom

Originally posted on RowleyPolyBird

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Knitting Resolutions 2012

1. Finish everything I have on the needles: Kirsty's Weasley Sweatermy Over the Rainbow shawlmy Geek cardimy summer cardi. I find it hard to keep working on things for myself, when there's so much pretty to make for other people!

2. Knit some overdue presents: something pretty for the Wife to replace the Mangyle she never wears (and donated to C4WS), a green tea cosy for a friend at Seminary, and one for Mum and Dad to match their new kitchen, a Bloody Stupid Johnson for Peta.

3. Other presents: A Mangyle for Dr. Mark, because he was admiring the Wife's but wants one in blue, lots of little things for Baby Peanut.

4. For me! A Noro skirt from Stitch and Bitch superstar, and the Defarge Stole from What Would Madam Defarge Knit.

Originally posted on RowleyPolyBird