Tabby Cattercushion (a free tutorial)

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So I made a HUGE cattercushion.

Do you see what I did there? 😉

You can, of course make a gazillion of these (s)cattercushions so they can live up to their name, in a narrower gauge yarn, or chunkier, in all sizes and colours…

For this one, I used Schachenmayr Boston and Rico Creative Melange Chunky, 7mm circular needles and some enormous mother-of-pearl buttons. You’ll also need a cushion pad and some toy stuffing.

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If you fancy having a go at it, there is a free blow by blow tutorial over on the loveknitting blog. Just click here to be taken to it.

Here’s a picture of him with my Wilfy, for scale:

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Enjoy the snuggles ❤

Hobbit Hat (free pattern)

I find myself here, on the beautiful North Norfolk Coast. Wide, sandy beaches, and sunshine that has taken us by surprise.

But… you know… it’s February.

How in the world did someone who knits hats not bring enough?!

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My new moniker is, apparently, “The Wool Psycho”, so it goes without saying that needles and yarn had found their way into my essential packing list.

Quick – cast on!

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This hat fits us all, from Teddy (aged 6, above) to me. Though it might be a bit of a stretch (no pun intended) for beloved husband, since his bonce is quite spectacularly large. Probably the brains 😉

For this hat, you will need a ball of Rico Creative Melange Chunky (in this case in CurryGreen), a 7mm circular needle and depending on your speed, a couple of movies.

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So without further ado:

Cast on 64 stitches and join in the round without twisting.
Knit 1 round, purl 1 round and knit the 3rd round.
Then begin the Knit2 Purl2 rib for 10 rounds. This gives a hat that is super slouchy without folding up the rim, or nice and snug if you do.

Knit for 34 rounds.

Then K2tog all the way around.

Then knit around.

Then K2tog all the way around again.

Cut the yarn leaving a long tail, then sew the tail through the live stitches and pull tight. Tie off securely and weave in the tail. Sew in the ends, and wear to your heart’s content.

Happy knitting! 🙂

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Getting all your cats in a row

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I’ve used Millamia naturally soft merino quite a bit of late, so it seemed the natural choice when I wanted to design a jumper for my youngest, little Teddy. He’s quite a sweaty little beast so I didn’t want anything too chunky, after all.

I have begun to love developing charts for intarsia and fairisle. I consider myself a relative novice, but a very enthusiastic one, and I was especially pleased with the rows of stripy cats.

With raglan sleeves and a rolling edge neck, the ‘Kitty Cat’ pattern is now available over on loveknitting.com AND if you’re quick, the Kitten Mitten pattern is free for the rest of this month.

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Miniature Delights

A dear friend of mine was expecting her fourth child. She already has three of the most gorgeous girls you’ll ever see, and this was her first boy. Obviously, most of those little garments saved from previous siblings weren’t going to be any good.

She asked me to make a couple of things for him. She’d found a fairisle babygro pattern on garnstudio.com (click on the web address and you’ll see the one), and she wanted a baby cocoon, too. (Scroll down for details of how I made it).

The babygro took ages. On 3mm needles in Drops Baby Alpaca Silk, the seed stitch was the fiddliest part. And I’m not a speed knitter. But, as you’ll see from the following pictures, it was worth every second:

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And here is Arthur, less than a day old, demonstrating the very reassuring fact that there is plenty of room for growth ❤

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As for the cocoon, the pictures she sent me of those that she liked were of such a simple design that all I really needed was some approximate dimensions. It’s astonishing how much we overestimate the size of newborn babies, even though we’re know they’re (generally) seriously teeny.

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The circumference of a baby cocoon needs to be around 17-18 inches, so you need to knit a swatch of your chosen yarn to work out how many stitches you need to cast on for the circumference.

I used Drops Fabel in Sea Mist Print, which is a self-patterning sock yarn, and knitted it in the round on 2.5mm circular needles.

When you’ve reached a length of 18 inches, you need to decrease. I simply used a [knit 4, knit 2 together] knitting the last few stitches if there were fewer than 6.

When I reached 20-ish stitches left, I knitted 2 together all around, broke the yarn and sewed it through the remaining live stitches, pulled to close and sewed the ends in.

And look!

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Perfection ❤

(With massive thanks to Arthur’s mummy, Imo, for allowing me to share her new baby with you).

Chunky FTW! (a free pattern)

I have made (it’s official) the chunkiest hat in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD.

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I wanted to make a hat for my Beloved. He feels the cold a bit more than he used to, and of all the hats I have made, none is quite right.

I have a micro-stash of the chunkiest wool on the planet. Well…. it’s not. But it’s very chunky and it’s in my possession, and frankly, anything that needs knitting up on 15mm needles is pretty goshdarned chunky in my humble.

I’ve uploaded quite a few patterns for sale recently, so I thought I’d give the readers of my blog this piece of squishiness as a token of my appreciation.

Here’s what you need.
(Click the name at the top for a printable download)

The Chunk

2 x 100g balls Drops Polaris
15mm circular needles
A tapestry needle for weaving in ends
A large pompom maker (it’s so much less fiddly than all that faffing around with cardboard doughnuts!)

Method:
(This makes an adult-sized hat, which fits my 15 year old son rather too well. I may have to hide it).

Cast on 36 stitches and place marker for the beginning of the round.

Knit 1 Purl 1 rib for 14 rows. This gives a really chunky squishy turn-up around the base of your hat.

Knit 5 rows.

Make your decreases as follows:

[Knit 5, K2tog] around. (36 remaining)

[Knit 4, K2tog] around. (30)

[Knit 3, K2tog] around. (24)

[Knit 2, K2tog] around. (18)

[Knit1, K2tog] around. (12)

K2tog around. (6)

K2tog around. (3)

Cut the tail long enough to thread through the last 3 stitches, pull tight and weave in.

Make a large pompom, leaving the ends long enough to thread through the top of the hat and tie in a tight double knot underneath, inside the top of the hat.

Weave in all ends.

Ta-dah!

Enjoy keeping warm ❤

In the meantime, if you’re looking for other patterns, you can now find these ones both in my Etsy shop and on the loveknitting.com website:

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The Ponchette pattern can be found here.
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The Juno Jumper pattern can be found here.
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The Ssssidney Snake pattern can be found here.
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The Snuggly Slippers pattern can be found here.
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The Simon Cowell Yorkie Christmas Jumper pattern can be found here.

 

PS I have always wanted a really chunky hat. Apparently, this one is a bit ‘too girly’ for my beloved. Imagine my chagrin… 😉

A Jack Russell, a Tunic and an Adventure.

Oh, I know, I know. I’m rubbish.

Life hurtles along at breakneck speed and before you know it months have flown past and now… SPRING! And hallelujah, because frankly winter can jolly well do one. There have been enough bugs under this roof to sink a small fleet of battleships and this family is emerging, battle-scarred but undefeated, blinking into the sunlight.

But I have been busy. Honest.

First of all I have this to share with you:

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I mean loooooooook! And before people get all stuffy and snippy about dogs already having coats, take it from me that the harsh blooming winters up here do not agree with our dear teeny skinny Juno’s demeanour. Admittedly, pure wool may be treating her rather more as a Princess than warranted 😉  but she is most grateful for an extra layer.

If you fancy making something similar, have a little look over here, where you can download the pattern for free.

In other news, I have completed a granny square tunic, which will be on the backburner till autumn:

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And I have just embarked upon a little after-school adventure with 14 of the children from our village primary.

This afternoon, armed with a great mountain of goodies from loveknitting.com (bless their hearts), I headed off into the unknown:

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The hour flew by in a flurry of

“Miss, I can’t do this! Miss, is this right? Miss, what’s happened to this?”

(I know… “Miss” >.< It cracks me up)

But they were little troopers and are coming back next week for more punishment, and I am proud to report that we have a few already managing garter stitch, along with a valiant few who have yet to ‘click’, but we’ll do it!

And here are the fruits of the first session’s labours:

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I will be very happy to report on our continued progress next week 🙂

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