Archive for ‘F/O’s’

September 23, 2011

An autumn wedding present

I remember musing a few weeks ago about a particularly intense project I was working on, that was secret because it was a present for someone. Well, it was finished – albeit at the 11th hour (literally, 11pm the day before the wedding) and mostly knit on the East Coast Main Line en route to my boyfriend’s house, for his sister’s wedding.

Congratulations and thank you both for a wonderful day. I made this for you – although I feel one of you will get more use out of this than the other.

Simon and Christina – 17th September 2011

Pattern: Baltic Blossoms by Evelyn A. Clarke

Yarn: 1 ball of pure Orkney Angora 4ply in “Snow White”, purchased at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace.

September 15, 2011

A Yarn

I have occasionally mentioned that I’m not an entirely solitary knitter. In fact, I have a craft club, and an awesome one at that. They haven’t even kicked me out for changing jobs.

A couple of weeks ago (the Friday before Wednesday the 23rd, to be precise) I met up with a co-crafter for a few too many drinks and he reminded me that another of our craft buddies was going on maternity leave, and the following Wednesday would be her last craft club.

I had always planned to knit her something for the baby – in fact, I knew exactly what I wanted to knit – but as of that Friday night, it was just a collar stuffed under the sofa somewhere. But I’m not afraid of a challenge, and I secretly think I knit faster than I actually do, so undaunted by words like “3ply”, “lace” and “heirloom knitting”, I decided to plough headfirst into Lucille by Courtney Kelley, and knit like a woman possessed.

By the end of Friday night, I managed somehow to finish the yoke, which is all the more surprising considering how drunk I was. Saturday, I think I had split the arm holes. By Sunday, I was here:

So not bad progress – I was just about on track. But on Monday …

Well, that’s where things got a bit messy at work. I had to work late every night that week and in the end I missed craft club all together because my brain was so frazzled I thought it was cancelled and just didn’t show up. I’m not proud.

But there’s a happy ending to this story. Things calmed down at the end of the week, and by the Friday, I was here: (not sure why I decided to just stick a sleeve on there, I think I was a bit bored of endless purl rows)

Then Saturday, I was here: (and I’d clearly found time to paint my nails)

Then here:

And on Sunday, it blocked. I forgot to mention, on Saturday I blogged about it.

On the following Thursday, I took a trip up to North London on the strict condition that nobody went into labour anywhere near me, and delivered the present. I hope she likes it.

Excuse the crappy photo, but I took this at work using a colleague’s blackberry. It’s lucky I even managed to retrieve the photo because when I tried to email it to myself I ended up taking about six photos of my own feet. Sorry to the girl who has a blackberry full of pictures of my feet, but I hope you understand.

December 30, 2010

Codename Wintergreen

What can I say, I like the spy-fiction feel to the name, and there’s already a Wintergreen on Ravelry. So here goes: Codename Wintergreen.

What started as a desperate trip to John Lewis to avoid a knit-free Christmas became a swatch, then a cabled cuff, and eventually a pair of fitted fingerless gloves with a slightly silly name. I’m wearing them everywhere at the moment – they’re perfect for this cold-but-not-that-cold weather when you need something to stop draughts getting inside your coat .

They’re made up of an ornate cable cuff with aran braid, twist and twisted rib features, and a stockinette hand with individual cutoff fingers and thumb. Full instructions are given for working the cuff, the increases and the fingers, so they are suitable for an advanced beginner. They’re knit out of a plump, tightly plied sock yarn but I also think they could be knitted at a slightly looser gauge in manly colours with a slightly shortened cuff and make a nice present for the man in your life.

I’ve had great fun making them and I hope you will too. As always, I’d love to see finished objects (either on Ravelry or by emailing and whilst I do the absolute best I can, I design and publish all of this stuff myself so if you spot any errors, let me know ASAP and I’ll try to fix them.

The Ravelry page can be found here.


A couple of points on the design; I made them long cuffed on purpose because I want them to plug the gap at the end of my sleeves. But you could easily shorten by removing a couple of repeats of the pattern.

These are made for my hand, and fit snugly throughout. My wrist is about 6.5 inches at the narrowest point, and about 7 where the cuff starts. My thumb is about 2.5 inches round and the my hand excluding thumb is around 8 inches around. There’s plenty of stretch in the cuff but the final decrease row is quite tight when stretching over my hand. Instructions for avoiding this are given in the pdf.

I’ve put some suggested modifications for bigger or smaller hands below, but please note these are just suggestions and I haven’t tried them out. Also remember if you edit the total stitch count, you’ll need to account for this when working the fingers. Please let me know if you have suggestions for modifications, I’m always happy to hear your ideas.

Smaller wrists: Cast on 57 stitches [19,19,19], and follow the directions for the pattern substituting a p1 for every p2. Then ignore the double decreases in round 1 of section 2, and continue as written. You may wish to reduce the total number of decreases for the hand.

Bigger wrists: Cast on extra purl stitches so the aran braid and twist are further apart, and only work the decreases if you need to. Amend stitch totals when increasing or add extra length to the hand to make up the difference.

December 18, 2010

Berry Brambles

This is such a quick knit I’m wondering if it might just solve someone’s last minute present dilemma. (It solved mine!)

So I give you Berry Brambles – the little sister of Blue Brambles! (Please excuse the slightly dorky photo of me in an airport departure lounge.)

This super quick, super-easy scarf and it only takes two balls (just under 160m) of Big Wool. If you’ll excuse the silly phrase, it has just the right amount of squish to it. I decided to adapt Blue Brambles as a last minute Christmas present for my Grandma but I know she’s not a cowl person, so I made it a little narrower and a lot longer!

I’m so delighted with the way it came out, and she loved it too.

ps. If you’re sharp eyed, you might notice I originally called it Blackberry Brambles … It turns out this is a well used phrase already on Ravelry so I had to do a swift name change!

November 22, 2010


Two patterns in two days – I’m on a roll!

This is the former unsizeable hat. And I am so pleased with the way it came out in the end! So worth the effort.

In the end I decided to name it after Elvira from Don Giovanni. It’s just a bit of a co-incidence that I went to see it at the weekend, but a few years ago I played a role that was certainly not the title role in Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit, so I’ve always loved the name. I don’t think I would have made a very good Elvira, but I played the role of dinner guest pretty well. Going round to someone else’s house and eating their food? It’s the part I was born to play.

The link for Elvira can be found here.

My project page on Ravelry can be found here

And my other designs can be found here!

November 21, 2010


My other half decided to go to the Titanic exhibition at the O2 today. Sadly, that meant I had to take photos of my complete unsizeable unnamed hat myself.

That didn’t go quite as planned.

October 4, 2010

East Coast hat

The name makes this pattern sound a lot cooler than it really is. I’m from England – the East Coast means a shoddy nationalised rail service. But it’s where I knitted this.

I’m moving this pattern and its sub-par photography over to my new blog.

Original blurb:

Simple, cosy hat with a ribbed brim. I designed this to practice knitting in the round, and enjoyed it so much I made two of them!

Each individual hat took less than 1 skein of yarn, so I have scraps I don’t know what to do with!

Here’s the link.

October 4, 2010

How about now?

I’m just swapping this over from my previous blog, which I couldn’t think of a name for.

Here’s the original blurb:

A pair of cute, comfy herringbone/zig zag mittens, made in easily adaptable dk wool. The pattern contains loads of suggested modifications – I’ve got loads of ideas for how to make them better, and not enough time to knit them up again!

Two colour knitting in dk wool and 3.25mm needles makes lovely thick fabric. I designed these in the middle of a cold snap in London, and I can testify that they work!

Next steps – create some string, and thread them through my coat like a toddler. It’s the future.

You can find the pattern here.

October 3, 2010

Ways to freak out your boyfriend

Number 1: Knit baby booties, forget to mention they’re for a friend at work.

The pattern is Tiny Shoes by Ysolda Teague, someone I live slightly in awe of. True to form I made some unintended modifications – missed a few bits of the pattern here or there- but I think they came out well. Project details on ravelry here.

Anyway, I think boyfriend deserved a bit of freaking out. Maybe it’s revenge for him calling my Evergreen names. In other news, it’s grown by a few feet and now everyone mistakes it for giant underpants instead of a thong.

Philistines. I live with Philistines.

ps. I’ve lost a stitch on the right hand side of this photo but it’s OK, I fixed it. Panic over.

September 19, 2010



Vallombrosa is a great simple scarf. The ribbed texture makes it feel deceptively thick whilst being reasonably yarn-efficient. This is a great sitting-in-front-of-the-tv knit, because it doesn’t demand a lot of attention and it grows satisfyingly quickly due to the big wool and needles. It’s quite wide so perfect for cold days when you want a scarf that’s big enough to keep your ears warm too.

It has a great structural quality due to the twisted rib stitches, and I love the way they look like a series of little braids running down the length of the scarf.

The beauty of the wool is the transition from shade to shade (the charcoal to cream transition inspired the name Vallombrosa – which means Valley of Shadows) so colour matching the end of each ball of yarn with the beginning of the next is vital to avoid any sharp lines. Be aware that not each ball is made up of one length of yarn and the occasional knot can scupper your otherwise perfect transition.

I didn’t make this scarf very long – under 5ft – so it’s not a hanging to your knees kind of scarf, but I’ve given an idea of how far a ball of yarn goes so you can estimate how much you’d need to do this.  To my mind, it’s about the right length for tucking into a coat, or at this length, you could try joining up the ends to make a twice-round-the-neck cowl.

Here it is in progress, and in action! (Excuse the messy hair, but I needed to show how wide it is because I can’t seem to find my tape measure.)

For day to day wear, I’ve taken to folding it in half lengthways – that way when I speak, it doesn’t come out as a muffled squeak.

Here it is folded, and tucked into my coat. This photo also serves as proof that I do occasionally brush my hair.

Vallombrosa Pattern

Gauge: 40 stitches in ribbed pattern makes a scarf around 9 inches wide. Row gauge is really unimportant for a scarf but see the yarn section for approximate yardage requirements.  

Notions; I set straight 6mm needles (I used an old set of bamboo needles I found lying around) and crochet hook for weaving in ends.

Yarn; Patons Shadow Tweed, 3 x 100g balls in shade “grey, undyed, charcoal”. Each ball of yarn makes just over 30 inches of scarf and is made up of about 130m of yarn. Shadow tweed comes in a whole range of colours.


c/o 40 stitches (this is a ribbed scarf, so you need to use a flexible cast on. I used a long tail cast on).

Then repeat:

Row 1: Sl1, p1, then repeat *k1tbl, p1* until end of row.

Row 2: Sl1, p1tbl, then repeat *k1, p1tbl* until end of row.

When it’s reached the length you want, bind off loosely and weave in ends.

And … that’s the pattern! I didn’t block it because it’s plenty wide enough at the moment  but if you wanted to, a bit of gentle width-ways blocking would really bring out the twisted rib pattern.