Friday 27 March 2015

Great Eggsplorers

School holds an Easter Egg decorating competition. So I thought I would show you my daughter's entry - "Captain PegLeg Egg and the Great Eggsplorer". (Just noticed her spelling mistake! Spelling not her strong point.)

Three years ago, when my son was at the same year in school, this was his entry. I was sure I had this on my blog very early on, but can't find it now. Funny how both their creations were "eggslorers".

Saturday 21 March 2015


Today's eclipse was a bit of a non-event for us, as it was so overcast here. Lots of other parts of the UK had a great view, but we were just unlucky.

So I thought I would post a photo of the last solar eclipse in August 1999. For me it was very memorable, as the eclipse was on the day of my son's due date. I tried to persuade hubby if our baby was born on the actual day of the eclipse we should name him something like Moonbeam, or Sunny, or even Eclipse. Luckily for him he was two weeks early!

This is my husband holding our son and looking at the eclipse through a pinhole camera. I know this is probably a bit of a health and safety nightmare, and not to be recommended. Just for once I have a good excuse for the lighting in my photograph. It had a really strange quality.

Did you get a good view of yesterday's eclipse, or another one? I would love to hear your eclipse experiences.

Tuesday 17 March 2015

Margot's Garden Fingerless Gloves

For a change I wanted to knit something from someone else's pattern, and which would be a bit of fun. Ravelry always comes up trumps. I love these fingerless gloves from Margot's Garden Fingerless Gloves pattern. The pattern has a chart, which was very easy to follow. I knitted them on four needles, which is the way I prefere. I made the ribbed sections a bit longer than the pattern suggests, and although I also used thicker wool, they seem to have turned out fine.  And also this pattern is a free ravelry download.

I really enjoy a bit of colourwork, and found a bag with some wool left over from a tapestry project. It worked out really well to use these little skeins of wool for the coloured flowers. One skein was enough for each set of flowers on both gloves. But I found I had no green, so used some 4ply wool that I had, but knitted two strand of wool together to get the same thickness. For the main shade I used the Patons Diploma Gold DK Black that was left over from the wheels of my London Bus.

I love the gloves so much that now I can't quite decide whether to give them as a gift or keep them for myself. But I have more little skeins, so may well have to make another pair.

Friday 13 March 2015

My Bargain Beads

My local bead shop, Bead Time, had a sale a few weeks ago. (I'm in there quite a lot, as they sell ribbons and cord, and all sorts of other useful things. It is very hard though not to come out with a few beads as well.) 

As many beads as you could fit in a small plastic bag for £1. Never one to miss a bargain, so I picked and crammed in beads. So above you see my £2 worth of beads. It may be hard to tell from my photo, but these are really beautiful beads, lots of them made of glass. I sort of wish I had gone back and bought some more ...

So here are some of my beading projects. I've made the necklaces threaded on elastic thread, and they are both for my Mum. I thought it would be easier for her than fiddly fastenings. And I've still got stacks of beads left for some more projects ...

Sunday 1 March 2015

London Routemaster Bus

Finally, my new pattern is done. This really has been a labour of love. I have spent so much time thinking about buses, looking at vintage routemaster buses, and writing up the pattern that I am probably going to do something fairly simple and from someoneelse's pattern for my next knit. 

I had the idea to knit a vintage London bus after my trip at the end of last summer to a Vintage Bus Rally, as well as a school visit to the London Transport Museum. But even more so than ever, the details had to be just right. The windows and doorways had to be as close to the original as I could get. These buses can still be seen in London, but have mostly been replaced by the modern version. It also had to have the little platform at the back, so you could naughtily stand holding on to the pole and jump on or off between stops.

You will see that I have knitted two buses. One was the my prototype, but then I always feel I must test my pattern out a few times. (I will probably knit another soon, but at the moment I am completely bused out.) The No 9 was my regular bus to work, when I lived in Hammersmith and worked near The Aldwych. I spent a lot of time on the No 9, reading a book or gazing dreamily at Hyde Park or the shops in Kensington High Street. So that one is for me, and the other was meant to remind my husband of his route to work when he first came to London, from Kensal Green to Aldwych on the No 6.

The pattern is available on ravelry, Craftsy and Etsy. I have to say this is not a knit for the faint-hearted. The pattern is eleven pages long. Only attempt it if you really like colourwork. There are charts for the side panels and back and front sections, which I think are fairly easy to follow. I have also written out fully the details for each row, though I think if you fairly experienced you could just work from the charts.

I have left the advertising panels at the sides blank. I was very tempted to embroider the words Ginx Craft, but these buses are chugging off to my Etsy shop with the offer that I will embroider on whatever the buyer wishes. So here for now are a few more photos of my London buses.