“Sprout” – a baby cocoon and matching hat

There is a truly lovely lady I know.

She has been a gentle source of solid support for me and my family for the past almost half-decade. Her compassion and empathy are, amongst us at the very least, legendary.

And in a matter of a few short weeks, she’ll be bringing her first little being into the world. She will make one of the loveliest mummies I think anyone could possibly imagine. What a lucky little sprout ❀

With him in mind, and born out of a sense of immense gratitude to her, I give you “Sprout”. A snuggly baby cocoon and matching hat.

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Knitted on 3.5mm and 5mm circular needles, using James C Brett Woodlander DK yarn, you can find the pattern here if you fancy a go at knitting one for a teeny person in your life.

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And happy knitting! πŸ™‚

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The Owl and the Pussycat

I tried.

I really did.

And it really did start off as a hat for ‘Imself:

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And, I am very happy to report, he tells me it is “the hat he always wanted”. So, TICK that one off the list!

But it has, of course, evolved into something a little more delicate, something a bit more feminine, something a bit less…. big and we now have The Owl and the Pussycat mark II

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Or, if you’d like to see it on:

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And yes, it is actually now, as we speak, beginning its fourth incarnation with the pattern in relief:

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(I’ll post a pic of the completed relief hat when it’s finished πŸ™‚ )

I used 4mm needles for the rib, 5mm for the body of the hat and two varieties of aran-weight wool: solid colour and graduating.

If you fancy a go yourself, you can find the pattern here. After all, it’s still chilly enough to warrant something woolly on your bonce, n’est-ce pas?

Happy knitting!

 

His & Hers Stripes

Well… it seemed only fair.

I still haven’t finished his crochet blanket.

I still haven’t finished his Christmas jumper.

So isn’t it time I started and finished something for him?!

After the gazillionth pair of Beauteous Boot Socks:

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and using the same yarns (Drops Nepal in White and Drops Big Delight in Marina), my beloved partner-in-crime at last has his own pair: the Beauteous Gents’ Socks

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If you are interested in the patterns, you can click on the links above the pictures, OR, you can find them both together here: the His and Hers Beauteous Socks.

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Happy Knitting and may your toes be ever toasty, and your heels ever cushioned.

❀

A passionate affair

Once again, please forgive the knees πŸ˜‰

But look…

I mean, LOOK.

Stripes, pure wool, bursting with colour…

What’s not to love?

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And once again, they are just perfect with my old faves, the Duckfeet.

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And just in case you were worried…. there are more on the needles. I am too in love to stop just yet.

Drops Big Delight provides those beautiful undulating colours, and Drops Nepal provides the striped relief.


Bliss

And the next ones….? Expect greens…. pinks…. browns…. *wistful sigh*

If you fancy a pop at knitting them, the pattern is here πŸ’œ

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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Yarndale 2016 – lucky me!!

Yesterday, one of my dreams came true.

And, my life the way it is, it really was a stretch that I might actually make it. But the stars aligned πŸ˜‰ and the world rolled out the red carpet. I mean, hey! Look at my journey:

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To top it all off, I met up with the loveliest friend – a friend for a couple of years now, but geographical distance has made meeting up in person an impossibility until yesterday. Perfection.

Now, keeping that in mind – you know, the meeting-friend-for-first-time-in-real-life – AND bearing in mind the fact that I was quite seriously and completely surrounded by scrumptious squishy wool of pretty much every conceivable blend, variety, hue and weight, you’ll understand that I didn’t get too many pictures. When I wasn’t fondling skeins and oohing at colourways, I was catching up on real, proper conversation with the lovely.

I did manage to get a shot of CoopKnits’ beautiful Socks Yeah! range and managed to meet Rachel in person for the first time.

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I was recently asked to review this very yarn, and her book of sock patterns, which you can find here and which looked like this:

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And I WISH I had jotted down who it was displaying this beautiful miniature clothes line, including mermaid’s tail (if any of you recognise it, please do let me know in the comments) :

And boy, but it flew. A day was not enough. Since returning, I have discovered that there were at least a couple of stalls there that I would have loved to have visited but somehow managed not to see at all (though I did manage to catch up with old friends The Knitting Gift Shop and their new and silkily beautiful yarn range). Mind you, it was heaving. Predominantly ladies, a small number of whom trailed husbands (I’m thinking – possibly stereotyping and horrendously sexist –Β  probably in the guise of packhorse: you can not go to such a place and return empty-handed), many of whom sported the most beautifully assembled handmade garments of the ‘Ooh-do-you-mind-if-I-just-touch-it’ variety. Where else can you go where someone knows the precise yarn from which you knitted your tunic?

Fairly early on I visited the Midwinter Yarns stall. Well, it would be more accurate to say I was pretty much engrossed in conversation when a basket (I love baskets. Don’t you love baskets? I would HOARD baskets if I had the space) of pure loveliness caught my eye. Pure in every sense. Pure wool. From Greenland. In… *gasp*… greys. Man, I love greys.

“Too rich for my blood. I mean, there isn’t even a price on it. It must be beyond my purse” I sighed, already defeated.
“Do you think?” my lovely companion challenged. “It’s in a basket after all, is there not a price?”
Lo and behold, there was! And these fabulous, gorgeous, hulking great 100g hanks of scratchy grey wool (the very BEST kind) were only a fiver apiece.

Six skeins and a plastic bag later, I had my fix for the rest of the day, every so often caught in the act of burying my face in the bag and inhaling the fabulous, authentic sheepy smell, only to be met with a conspiratorial wink, or a knowing look, from people who knew what it was about. Oh, the joy of being amongst your own kind πŸ˜‰

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Needless to say, in spite of the million and one WIPs I already need to finish, I had to cast on, just, you know, to see? You know? I know you know.

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It’s beyond beautiful.

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Oh, and it was definitely a day for making friends:

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Now, where did I put my knitting?

 

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Dog jumpers – the story

Would you believe, I have FOUR to choose from now?

I find it hard to resist, not because I think animals look cute in clothing (though, obviously, I do) but because on a far more practical level, it gets prettyΒ  blooming cold up here in the North of England when winter rolls around.

Juno, our little Jack Russell Princess:

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Well, she gets a bit chilly out there. She’s teeny, wiry, fierce as a T-Rex… but chilly. Her natural state is curled up in a beam of sunlight. Sometimes, I am led to suspect she believes herself a cat. She pokes her nose outside the door and, if it’s too cold, wet, snowy, a flat refusal usually follows: a swift 180, nose in the air, and a trot back to the sofa.

So, in an attempt to coax her dainty paws into the fresh air, I designed her a little sweater, little knowing how popular it would prove to be. I’ve had so much lovely feedback telling me how much people have loved making it. The Juno Jumper was born (click here for link to pattern):

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Hot on the heels of her little sweater, I was thrilled to be asked to design some Christmas sweaters for Simon Cowell’s Yorkies for ITV’s Text Santa (click here for a link to the pattern):

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But… you know? I started to feel a bit guilty. Juno is not, after all, an only dog. She has a much bigger and (to her) unbearably, overwhelmingly cheerful enforced companion, Aphrodite:

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OK, OK, she’s MUCH bigger now, but loooook. Man. Her tag looks like an enormous medallion!

It was time Aphy got a jumper too.Β  She provided a goodly challenge though. She has the most ridiculously long and gangly legs. There is no way on God’s green earth we’re hooking those babies through leg holes. So…. some woolly engineering was called for. Buttons, and flaps, and ribbing. Oooh, it was fun! And look – here it is! (click here for link to pattern):

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Oh, but THEN…. I thought wouldn’t it be gorgeous to have a mini one of these, perhaps reversing the colours, for Juno…? How unutterably adorable would that be, on our wintry walks? So….

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(click here for link to pattern).

You will not believe what’s coming next… I’m giggling as I type.

Off to clack some needles!

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