Luscious LongSocks

You might be forgiven for confusing these with the Beauteous Boot Socks for they are, in fact, enormously similar…

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However, the BBS are rather too thick to continue to wear through the Spring – early Summer and the late Summer – early Autumn seasons.

So!

The Luscious LongSocks are born.

Knitted with Cascade 220 for the solid colour and Lang Yarns Tosca Light for the graded colour, they are soft, light and still snuggly for chillier days under boots or with shoes, or chilly weekend mornings with your jammies 😉

If you fancy a go at them, you can find the pattern here.

My Other Half

I got two beautiful skeins of The Yarn Collective’s Pembroke Worsted in Smoky Quartz and Copper Agate.

It’s gorgeous stuff. I mean gorgeous. Beautiful shifting colour, delightfully squishy, and lovely to knit with.

So, what to make with it?

A pair of Valentine’s boot socks for my husband. And, since Valentine’s Day was fast approaching, they needed LOTS of hearts.

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Oh, and in the spirit of different but similar halves of a whole, I thought they’d be rather beautiful mirroring each other: mismatched but matching.

So here they are in all their glory:

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And, as ever, if you fancy a crack at them yourself, you can find the pattern here.

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(Oh, and because he’s a Wool-Widower and such an obliging sock model, I let him keep them early 🙂 )

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Happy knitting! ❤

The Molly Socks 

Just as autumn began, and my knitting ramped up with the onset of chilly evenings, I had a request.

Lover of all things Nordic, and liver in white and grey, my very stylish sister asked if I would make her some slipper socks, and The Molly Socks were born.

Here they are on her lovely London legs.

If your feet need a little classy warming as winter asserts its grip, and you fancy whipping yourself up a pair, you can find the pattern here. 

Oh, and not to be left out, my lovely bro-in-law now has a pair of equally monochrome Beauteous Gents’ Socks (click for pattern)

Right.

Think it’s time I had a pair myself. Now… where are those needles…

*tootles off humming happily*
(Photo credit for last 2 pics: @paintandhaven instagram)

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 pretty  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.  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!

How to… floral phone protector

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Y’know? When you’ve sacrificed the security of a fully-protective phone case in favour of one that’s, frankly, a bit of a Cath Kidston knock-off (but she doesn’t do those spots in a Samsung Edge… 😦 ) and you’ve stuffed it in your bag and there are other things in there that might give it a bit of a hard time…

So you decide to make something pretty to keep it in.

Frankly, it’s not going to rescue your phone from your keys in there. But it does look pretty 😉

Look no further!

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And if you want to make it, here’s how:
(UK terms:
dc [double crochet] = sc [single crochet] US
tc [treble crochet] = dc [double crochet] US

But it’s all very simple:

I used Drops Safran which is a DK cotton in all sorts of delightful spring colours, and a 3mm crochet hook.

  • ch 21, dc back through chain to beginning.
  • 3dc in first ch  and continue to work around in dc to end
  • 3dc in first dc and continue to work around in dc to end.
  • ch 2 and tc around the entire piece, sl st in original ch2.

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  • repeat twice more
  • switch to green, ch2 and 2tc in same tc. [Skip 2, 3tc in next] to end. Sl st in original ch2. {ref point 1}

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  • switch to flower colour. Ch2, make 1tc through middle of the 3 green tc, but leave last loop on hook, make another tc in same green tc, but leave last loop on hook, pull yarn through all loops on hook, ch1. [Skip 2 (always making these flowers in the middle of the three green tc), make 3tc, leaving the last loops on hook, in middle green tc, pull yarn through all loops on hook, ch1] repeat to end.

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  • switch to original blue. Ch2 and make 3tc in each 1ch gap to end. Sl st to original ch2.

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  • Ch 2, tc in each tc around. Sl st to original ch2
  • repeat. {ref point 2}

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  • Repeat from {ref point 1} to {ref point 2} until you have 3 rows of flowers in total. Change flower colours if you like 🙂 After the last flower row:
  • ch1 and 3dc in each 1ch gap. Sl st to original ch1
  • ch1 and dc around. Sl st to original ch1
  • THEN on JUST ONE SIDE (working back and forth and no longer in the round): ch2 and tc to end of side. TURN, repeat.
  • ch1, dc2tog, then dc to half way along row. Ch3 for button loop and sl st into last dc worked, dc to last 2, dc2tog. Cut yarn, fasten and sew in ends
  • sew a button to middle stitch of front.

TADA!

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As ever, if you decide to make it and anything I’ve written doesn’t make sense… just give me a holler ❤

 

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To bare or not to bare…

… *snigger*

I have two patterns for you.

That’s rather the point.

One, I hinted at at the end of my last post and I cannot tell you how thrilled I was with the way it turned out.

Knitted in stunning Louisa Harding Amitola, with its shiny silken sheen and delicately changing colours, and Millamia naturally soft merino which holds a stitch like no yarn I’ve used before, the stripes kept me hooked throughout the working of this piece. I was forever impatient as to how the next colour would look blended into the rest.

Here, you can see what I mean:

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For the body, I used Millamia naturally soft merino in Putty Grey and Louisa Harding Amitola in Dark Rose.

The ribbing on the cuffs, neck and button band are in the same Millamia wool, in the shade Storm.

It is knitted in the round, top down, with a circular yoke and I blooming LOVE it. It’s light enough to grab as you run out of the door, and warm enough for a snuggly extra layer. I used mother of pearl buttons BUT whilst I think they look beautiful, I have already had to replace 3 broken ones. They are terribly fragile 😦

Anyway, here it is, in all its glory:

If you fancy having a crack at it yourself, you can find the pattern here.

 

The second piece…

…is all together more risqué. But it was equally fun to create.

Knitted and crocheted in Cascade Yarns Ultrapima 100% cotton in sand and taupe, which look to me like a dull gold and silver, it produces a really lovely, airy but sturdy fabric. Perfect for super-hot days / evenings. I would recommend a little dress tape, though – no running after the kids in this one! 😉

So, you’ll need basic knitting and crochet skills for this one and you can find the pattern over here if you fancy giving it a go.

In other news...

This King Cole Galaxy with integral silver sequins became another piece of knitting / crochet fusion which I may well get around to writing up. It’s light and airy and perfect either on its own or as an off-the-shoulder top layer.

 

And, this jumper in Drops Karisma will be written into a pattern soon, too.

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And this cardi, knitted in Drops Karisma and a beautiful hand-dyed yarn all the way from The Flying Kettle in the ol’ U S of A (look her up on Instagram, her stuff is gorgeous!)

Oh, oh, AND, this sweater:

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I have an AWFUL LOT of pattern writing to do 🙂

By the way, do you like my t-shirt?

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Right, I’d best get on and start writing, then! TTFN ❤

 

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A catch-up in beautiful yarns…

I’ve been playing with some serious beauties recently.

The first two I’m going to show you I have just finished writing up the patterns for, and they’ll be available on the loveknitting.com website, and in my Etsy shop very shortly.

The first I call In the Shade since the fairisle pattern is a row of trees with their shadows beneath them. It is knitted in Drops Karisma, in light and dark grey, on 4.5mm circulars. And I’m wearing it as I type 😉 Click here for the pattern

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The second is Drops Bomull-Lin, a lovely mix of cotton and linen, in brown and beige (the beige being more like pale gold with its lovely linen sheen). This is my Spring Tunic, knitted in the round on 6mm needles, with eyelet lace details. Click here for the pattern

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Also, I got a surprise parcel in the post: a parcel of beauty I would probably not have bought for myself. And I LOVED the challenge of coming up with something to make from it. It is a combination of Millamia 100% merino and Louisa Harding Amitola, which contains silk, shimmers stunningly, and changes colour gradually throughout the piece. Here it is in progress, but on 3mm needles, it’s a slow process – a cardigan in the making (now finished, click here for the pattern):

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And finally 🙂

Fancy making this?

Here’s how (in UK terms)

1. Using Drops Bomull-Lin in beige (pale gold) and a 4.5mm hook, chain 30.

2. Make a double crochet (dc) into the 2nd chain from hook, and into the next 5 chains. Then chain 16, and make a dc into each of the last 6 chains.

3. Turn, chain 1, insert hook into first dc in row and make a dc into this and the next 5 chains. Then chain 16, and make a dc into each of the last 6 chains.

4. Turn, chain 1, insert hook into first dc in row and make a dc into this and the next. To make the button hole chain 2 and skip the next 2 dc. Make a dc into the next 2 dc. Chain 16, and make a dc into each of the last 6 chains.

5. Turn, chain 1, insert hook into first dc in row and make a dc into this and the next 5 chains. Then chain 16, and make a dc into the first 2 of the last 6, 2 dc into the 2-chain gap, and a dc into each of the last w dc.

Repeat step 3. three more times. You will have 8 rows in all. Sew a button onto the opposite cuff part from the button hole and voila!

Hasta la proxima, peeps. ❤

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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).

A Spring Poncho

… in cotton and linen.

Ooh, I love how this knitted up.

I wanted to try something other than wool. I’m a bit of a yarn snob and only really like using natural fibres, but since Mother’s Day and my mum’s birthday fall in the same week this year, and my troublesome Mum is allergic to wool (aaaaaaagghh!!) I thought I’d better have a play with something else.

So I bought myself some Drops Bomull-Lin – a 47% / 53% blend of linen and cotton. It calls for 5.5mm needles, but I wanted something rather more drapey, so I used 6mm circulars. And drapey it jolly well is.

Humble beginnings:

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(and do forgive my stitch markers – in spite of having half a million of the pesky things, I invariably end up using knotted scraps of waste yarn)

Hiding away:

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I’m totally addicted to House just now. On Season 2. It’s the perfect knitting companion 🙂

Beginning the border:

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I chose a ridged eyelet lace for this one.

See? It progresses:

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Et voila! C’est fini…

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If you fancy having a crack at it yourself, you can find the modestly priced pattern over here.

This is not, however, for my mum. I have something else in store for her, so no surprises spoiled, you’ll be enormously relieved to hear 😉

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