Monday, 28 June 2010

Misbehaving and Karma

So, I have been a bad knitter. In my defense I do have a good reason! Last Friday I cast on this beauty:
It is of course the lovely Damson I mentioned in my last post.
Remember the allergic reaction on my hands? The one that made it difficult to knit my Hermione Socks? Well I decided to see if knitting with larger needles wouldn't hurt so much and I put down my Socks and cast on the Damson because the Malabrigo sock was just sitting there all pretty.

I had done rather a lot of it since Friday, I had just finished the garter section, when disaster struck. I had made a mistake, I started to tink back and I couldn't find where I had gone wrong but I didn't have the right number of stitches, and I didn't even have the right number for it to be a couple of extra or missed rows.

This I believe was karma coming to get me for breaking a promise to myself, despite the excuses. So, being the cut throat knitter that I am I attached the other end of the ball of yarn to my winder (so glad I have that now!) and unravelled the whole lot into a new ball, and started again. I am taking my time with this one since I suspect it may have been doing the knitting in the car and around Nottingham University open day that caused me to make a mistake, so this is a strictly sitting at home project for now!
This is the first shawl I have knit and I have to say how cool the construction of these things is, starting with 3 stitches and it growing and growing is great and I am glad I have stocked up on patterns so that I can knit more, though hopefully without making the same mistakes!

Other news, I have officially signed up for my very own Etsy Shop! There is nothing in there at the moment, but these beauties are awaiting buttons, which are all waiting to be printed and covered, a job for the weekend I think. Below are the Sock/Shawl size, the standard small and the standard medium sizes. I am contemplating doing a larger version of the sock/shawl size for larger shawls too (this bag has a much wider opening than the others and is longer, perfect for resting the bulk of your shawl in while knitting on circulars!)
I am really proud of how these little bags have come together, it has been a lot of hard work from thinking about the shape and the designs to things like branding the items to create the right image (do you like the red topstitching? I think it looks rather snazzy!). I actually can't wait to actually start selling some and shall update when they are available. I shall be shouting from the rooftops! I have also learnt that there is a reason that sweat shops are called sweat shops, sewing is hot work! Good job I have some Blyton Ice Cream to cool me down, in my new favourite, Banana!

Friday, 25 June 2010

An Ode to eBay.

These lovelies are why:

Aero Swift - £3.99

Royal Ball Winder - £7.00

I don't have a Mastercard, but the joy of easily being able to wind my many many skeins of yarn into cakes, priceless!

It occurred to me the other day when I was trying to work out how to make an umbrella swift that I hadn't looked on eBay to see how much they were there. I knew I couldn't afford one from a shop, and the one I had made while good takes up a lot of room and I don't have a huge amount of space at my disposal. They were still pretty expensive mostly, but then I spotted the Aero. It is from the 50s/60s, and it works like a dream still. I put it next to some Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock so you could get an idea of how small it folds up, and it only weighs 250g, it's crazy small.
I really think they should still make them because they would be perfect for going on holiday! The arms extend out and obviously you clamp it to the table, and it is super easy. I shall take some pictures of it in use next time I do some winding. I got a bit wind happy when I unpacked my new gadgets this morning and was a bit too excited to remember the camera!

I did however wind this beauty, it is my Malabrigo sock that I bought ages ago to make a Damson by Ysolda Teague. I have decided that this will be my next project when I have finished my Hermione socks. I always seem to have to have 2 projects on the go at once at the moment, I can't settle to just one, I start getting the itch to do something else after a while!

Speaking of my Hermione socks, here is the second sock.

The heel is turned and the gusset decreased and now I just have to knit the foot length. progress has significantly slowed on this because of the rash on my hands (my herbalist colleague says it looks like an allergic reaction (another one) or just heat rash that has gotten really really bad) so I only knit a few rows before I stop, but I am glad I am on the home stretch now. I have been waiting to finish this one so that I can block this pair and my Berry Sock pair at the same time (I had a genius idea the other day about using my sisters supply of craft wire to make sock blockers, I will let you know how that one goes).

Monday, 21 June 2010

Sunshine and Rainbows.

The weather outside today is beautiful!

So I have a few new things to show you today, the first is obviously the website, do you like it?
I actually gave up on what has been a few months of trying to find a theme on the internet that I liked and just went ahead and drew my own and then scanned it in. I wanted something clean and slightly traditional which is kind of what I am all about, so I used my own handwriting (which I have been told looks like a Grandmother's) and drew a little needle and got my ink pen out to make a splat. I really like it, I think it suits a lot better then any of the other things I have found.
I also discovered the advent of the 'Pages' feature on blogspot, and have written a little about me, have an archive page, and a contact form for if you need to shoot me an email. I imagine I shall add a page specifically for images to do with my shop when I get that up and running too!

In regards to pointy sticks this fine Monday, I am knitting the heel flap on my second Hermione sock, I had set myself the challenge of finishing the sock this weekend, but I got some crazy rash thing on my hands from the heat and I have like hives all over my fingers so it hurt too much to knit and I had to stop, but I hope to have it finished and nicely modeled soon.

A couple of weeks ago I got this great yarn from 3AM enchantments, which I briefly mentioned in my last post, and I have a picture of it, though it isn't a great one, the yarn is black but with subtle waves of green and blue when you hold it in the light. It is lovely and soft and I can't wait to knit it up into a shawl. I got this at half price because the effect is technically a mistake, the yarn was over-dyed, I however really like it! I shall take a picture when I am knitting it up to hopefully get a better idea of the colour.

One of the other things I got the other week is these two books:

They are great! The Ultimate Sewing Bible, to match my knitting one is my ultimate go-to when I am not sure how to do something. Printing by hand has been very handy lately with tips on fabric printing and the different methods you can use. It has been invaluable over the past week while I have been printing.

Speaking of printing, I have some sample images for two more prints from my 'Wonderland' collection.
First we have the White Rabbit,

Second we have Alice.
These are joining the Drink Me cut from my last post and then I have two more prints to cut, The Hatter and Painting The Roses Red. I am hoping to have them cut and have some fabric printed for those by the end of the week, and then hopefully I will have some bags all made up and ready to go! I am also looking at making other things, such as a knitting file with space to put info about all your projects and things, but I think before I branch out into stationary I will be starting on my 'Little red' collection, featuring, of course, Little Red Riding Hood! I can't say enough how much I am enjoying all this, it feels so great to be being so productive and really using my hands to make things in a way that I haven't done in years.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Buzz Buzz Buzz

I have been a very busy bee!
First I have a knitting update and then I have some printing progress to delight you all with.

First things first, because they are first, I have finally finished my Berry Socks!! *Screaming applause* It took me long enough. I started these way back in October of last year and after a while I simply stopped knitting on them, but I ploughed through and finally finished them about 2 weeks ago and have been wearing them as sleeping socks.
I am really picky about my socks not having a cuff that comes too far up the leg (I have very large calves from walking everywhere and they always seem to be too tight) so I made these with a shorter 30 row cuff as opposed to the 60-odd rows it was supposed to be. One good thing about doing this is that I always seem to have some wool left over! I actually have nearly half the skein left on these so I could knit up some more with a smaller needle size for some tighter socks.

So FO report:
Pattern Name: Regia Bamboo Sock Knit Kit/Made up in my own head.
Yarn Used: Yarn Addict Yarns Angel Sock Yarn - 0.51 of a skein
Needle Size: 3mm DPN's and Circular using magic loop
Problems: I turned the second heel slightly differently then the first because I couldn't remember which way I had done the first one!
Modifications: I CO 60 sts, Knit 1 row to join, knit a K1P1 rib for 5 rows and then knit in sockinette for 27 rows, the heel hight is 25 rows, with slipped stitches at the ends. The numbers for most of this came out of my own head, not following the pattern.
Skills Learnt: My first sock and my first turned heel!
Knit again: Probably not in the same size.
Score: 6/10

Next up I have an update on my Hermione Everyday Socks, I am about 4 pattern repeats from knitting the heel flap on these (I am only doing 12 repeats, not 18), I will possibly sit and do that later while catching up on some Supernatural that I have on DVD, knitting and Dean Winchester, the perfect night's entertainment!

And I just have one more knitting project to show you, when I completed the Berry Socks I felt I should have another project on the needles so I started this lovely Anisette Shawl.

I am using Kidsilk Haze in Cream for this one, and I am making it to the wrap size dimensions instead of the scarf. this is strictly for when I want to concentrate though what with the yarn being so thin and the wrong sides not just being straight purl I have to actually think about what I am doing.
I love the yarn though (I knew I would) It's like knitting a cloud.

On the printing for the shop front I have been creating lino cuts along certain themes lately, the first being Alice in Wonderland.
I have made a bow which will be blue, some 'Drink Me' bottles and the White Rabbit's Pocket watch. I spent some time last night printing the drink me bottles and I do have to perfect how much ink I need on the lino before I stamp it, and I have found that a heavy candle works better as a roller then my rolling pin!
I am going to make myself another project bag with this fabric which is just for me, I also hope to start running some bags off for putting in a shop during this week as I got some cover yourself buttons in the post the other day and I am printing them like this:
Cute huh? Looks like a button, and is a button, I crack myself up!

P.S. I got some great yarn the other week from 3AM Enchantments over here on etsy, The skein is wonderful and I am waiting for some better light so that I can show it to you, but go check them out!

Friday, 4 June 2010


So much has been happening!

The stuff for the shop I am hoping to start up has really started to take off, especially on the printing side of things, I have finally found some ink I can block print with and have been carving out some cool designs based on Alice in Wonderland and Red Riding Hood.

I finished another project bag last week so I have some pictures for you to look at, this one is slightly larger then the last one I made, mainly in height. I am going to make another one later today which will hopefully be a medium size for knitting scarves and sweaters.
As you can see, there is a button missing, because I am waiting for the shop to get some more in, but obviously it would have 3 buttons across the top! I have also put the D-ring at a higher angle so that it will hang well from a strap.
The inside is really spacious, the bucket style shape means that your ball or cake of yarn isn't going to hop out while you are knitting.

I lined the internal pocket with the outer gingham fabric on this one to make it stand out a bit and to add a quirky fun bit.

And again this one has the outer open pocket just like the others, I think this will become a standard feature for all of the bags.

I have ideas for other items to make as well so keep an eye out for those.

A few other things have popped in as well but I will tell you about those next time!