Thursday, 19 May 2022

Having A Snooze

Found my little old lady cat having a nap on the wool for my next project.

Saturday, 14 May 2022

Morris Traveller Number Two


It seems a long time since I wrote about the morris traveller that I made my mother-in-law for Christmas. You can read about that one here.

I thought the pattern was almost ready to publish, and have taken a break from the granny squares to do another test knit. Thank goodness I decided to do this, as while knitting this second version I have had to make changes and additions. I somehow had lost my instructions for the wings, so had to work this out again. I have spent a lot of time looking at this little car with my husband, and discussing the curve of the bonnet, the depth of the windows, is the back boxy enough etc. etc.

I am fairly happy with the result, except that compared with the first car this one just seems a bit too wide, and the back view (which I am not going to show) doesn't seem right. So there is going to be a morris traveller number 3 (perhaps I am think blue, or maybe burgundy). Hopefully this next one will be perfect, and I can publish the pattern.

Saturday, 7 May 2022

Brewing and Bottling

My husband and son have spent some time bottling our homebrew blackberry wine. I had the idea to try and make some labels, but when I showed my daughter my efforts she was very harsh with the criticism. She didn't like the layout, font, artwork .... If it was "The Apprentice" I might have thought she was setting me up to blame for the failure of the project. She was right though, as my efforts weren't very good, Then by asking me want I wanted in a label (rustic but not too complicated or fussy) she got working on some designs. Here is a little video of the labelled wine. So rejected from the marketing and production departments (although I did pick a lot of the berries last autumn) and have decided to move myself to tasting!


But with the demi-johns empty we decided to start a new brew, and this time are going for the slightly more unusual dandelion flower wine. Plenty of dandelions in the field. Thank goodness, as on the first attempt I did not read the recipe properly. Only the yellow petals are needed, as any green included can make your wine taste bitter. So after one false start the dandelion wine is now bubbling away in the airing cupboard.

Sunday, 1 May 2022

Granny Chic (and Crochet Technique)


I have been busy making some granny squares, as my daughter has asked me to make her a top. She sent me this photo, to give me a bit of an idea of what she was thinking, and at the moment I am just working on lots and lots of squares.


We have a joke that her style is granny chic. We both enjoy a charity shop or boot fair, and recently she seems to go for clothes that we both call granny. (Beige jackets, embroidered cardigans, you know the sort of thing. (I hope this doesn't sound like I am being rude, as I am old enough to be a granny, although will nover be a chic one.) At first I would try to put her off, but somehow she seems to be able to put these clothes together in such a way that it turns into "granny chic". It makes me a bit sad that my mum is not still alive, as I think they would have a great time comparing their Edinburgh Woollen Mill tops, and sensible rainwear.

So if the granny square top works out, this will just be part of the granny chic look ...  I will keep you updated.

I do occasionally crochet, but really I am a knitting gal. Part of the problem is I don't crochet enough, so every time I decide to have a go, I have to get my books out and reteach myself the basics. The other problems are I can't follow a diagram pattern, and I am really, really slow. 

But this time I decided to use Youtube to remind myself how to make a granny square. Here is a link to the tutorial I used. It was really good, but what I realised on the first run through was that I was crochetting as a knitter - wrapping the wool around the hook, instead of hooking it. Kept having to pause the tutorial, as I was probably going at less that half the speed. I don't think I had realised this from following instructions in books, so am a real convert to the youtube tutorial, and am trying to work on my technique. When this top is done I may try and branch out to another sort of block. If you can suggest any for a learning novice I would really appreciate it.

I wonder if someone who regularly does crochet, knits in a different way. Hmm ...


Sunday, 3 April 2022

Icelandic Pullover

At last my husband has got his Christmas present, this Icelandic pullover. He has been very patient, and for once I think it is actually something he will wear. 

The pattern I found on ravelry, and it is called the Anniversary Sweater and designed by Védís Jónsdóttir. The pattern was free, and comes in lots of sizes, but I knitted in XL, I also ordered the recommended wool, Lopi Lettlopi, which came from Iceland. It was not cheap, but is really beautiful wool, and I wanted to try and make as authentic an Icelandic pullover as I could. He picked the colours, and although I was a bit worried it was all too brown, and think it looks really good.

Knitted on circular needles, for me this was unusual, as I tend to like to knit flat and seamed. But I found it okay, and enjoyed making the patterned sections.

My husband was a slightly reluctant model. The first picture was at the beach at Widemouth Bay, but then we went for a few action shots by the wood pile. 

We had to have several ash trees cut down near the road. It makes me sad when I see ash trees dying, and for us this was expensive, as the road had to have traffic control while the tree surgeons were working. But on the plus side we now have a lot of wood for the wood burners, with which we can keep the heating bills down for quite a few years. I would also really like to do something creative with the wood, and would welcome any ideas.

Monday, 14 March 2022

Union Jack Mini Cooper

So much for all my New Year resolutions to post more often. I have just finished this mini cooper with a Union Jack roof, for a customer on Etsy. I always like making this version of my car pattern, and it is off to be gifted to Harry in New Hampshire. His name is on the numberplates, which you can't really see in these photo.

I have been knitting, but have been working on a jersey for my husband. His Christmas present, which may be ready just for when the weather warms up, and he doesn't need it.


Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Christmas Robin Pattern for Next Year!

I mentioned before Christmas that I was selling at a few local craft fairs. Getting ready for these fairs I decided to make a few little hanging Christmas Robins, and am publishing the pattern I made up for these robins in all the usual places as a free pattern. Here it is on ravelry.

They are very little, so take just a few scraps of wool, but are great fun to make. When I first started writing knitting patterns, it was because I was really uncertain if it was alright to sell products made from other's pattern. For all my patterns I am quite happy for buyers to sell what they make in small quantities at local craft fairs, but not online or in a large volume.

It was hard to decide whether to wait until next Christmas, but as this is a very little pattern, I decided to bring it out now. I started off making red and brown, but then looking at the robins in my back garden, I also tried for some slightly more realistic orange and light brown colours.

So lots of time to make a few little birds for next Christmas, and I will republish this post next autumn as a reminder, so you can make plenty more. And I have time to try and get the perfect robin photo - but for that perhaps I need a sprinkling of snow.