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Archive for the ‘Knitting’ Category

This evening, I was more than a bit excited to spot that one of my knitting projects had been featured on the fantastic Craftzine blog! I’ve subscribed to the blog for *years*, and it is hands-down my top source for crafting inspiration, so to say that I was gobsmacked would be a slight understatement! Given the extra traffic my Flickr photostream will now be receiving I thought I should hastily cobble together a blog post to explain how the project came about!

It has to be said, the Bee Gees are probably not the most obvious subject for a knitting project! However, one of my friends is a massive fan of the 1970’s, with the Bee Gees featuring prominently in his record collection- so, I wanted them to form the basis of a crafty Birthday gift. I hoped that someone might have tackled knitting the Brothers Gibb previously, and I found pictures of Bee Gees dolls crafted by Woollyrocker, but unfortunately there was no associated pattern (and I can’t even seem to track down the pics now!). So, I decided to purchase the delightfully silly Knitted Icons, and set to work on creating some Bee Gees yarn-a-likes. I used the basic doll pattern as a basis, and fashioned Seventies garbs from felt using the Beatles ‘Mop Top’ outfits as a starting point. The wigs and chest hair are where I gave myself real creative license 🙂 The hair was painstakingly applied thread by (embroidery) thread during a rather protracted bout of tonsillitis! It was very exciting to see the Brothers take shape. I was chuffed to bit’s with Barry’s beard, but then came Maurice’s locks, and finally Robin’s teeth, and by the time I was done I couldn’t pick a favourite!

The namecheck on Craftzine came as a lovely surprise, but nothing tops the reaction of my friend after the Big Reveal- “BEE GEE-SUS! It’s the Holy Trinity!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

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Merry Christmas

Okay, so I’ve been gone a while. If I get blogging again now, then technically I don’t need to make it a New Year’s resolution come Saturday, right? I’ve also had a bit of a kick up the bum from my readership (you know who you are!). It’s not like I’ve taken a break from crafting- as you will see in the following posts I hope. My excuse back in September was that the light had become too poor for taking pics of completed projects. Well, given that we’re in the depths of winter, it hasn’t improved- but excuses, excuses eh? So, let’s hope the descriptions can make up for the not-so-clear photography…

This Christmas, I’ve been hosting. Which was good, as it kept me busy (apparently it has been a ‘gourmet’ experience (!)- I went to town in the kitchen), encouraged me to decorate my house for the first time, and meant my craft projects were close by to keep me from boredom once the folks had fallen asleep every night (on average, 8pm, and 2 minutes into whatever we had chosen to watch on tv that evening!). I’ve completed one project so far this holiday, and that is the smaller version of Ishbel, which I purchased aaaages ago. My first attempt was at the larger version (yes, I know!), but in the time which has passed since that less than successful attempt, I’ve had a lot more practice at lace knitting. The yarn which I used was artesano 100% 4 ply alpaca purchased on the opening day of the lovely Spun in Huddersfield this Autumn. Super soft, and there’s some left over. Hmmmm, what to make?

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Finally!

This project has only taken me… erm… approximately half a year! I think they were supposed to be a quick Christmas knitting project 🙂 Hmm. I was plagued with problems (chiefly, me not concentrating on the pattern), resulting in a traumatic ripping back of sock number 2, and a few months hiatus. When I finally returned to the project a few weeks back I failed to remember (probably should write these things down…) that I’d made some quite significant amendments to the original pattern…resulting in the finished pair being pretty mismatched. The difference is probably fairly obvious to even the untrained eye, but I’m still happy to have my own pair of Hedera socks made from gorgeous ‘(mmmm)malabrigo’- Library girl Knits assures me that’s how it’s pronounced 🙂

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Stash busting

I recently knitted this iphone cosy as a gift for a friend. It turned out to be a wonderful way of using up oddments of leftover sock yarn. This one’s made out of the malabrigo I used for the Anastasia socks last year. The pattern is really straightforward, and is worked from the bottom up to the cuff. My top tip with this one is to trust the sizing. It might look super dinky, but it’s actually a nice snug fit. Unfortunately it might not be immediately obvious from my amateurish snap, but the pattern also incorporates a pouch on the front to store headphones 🙂 Handy!

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Elijah

This little cutie is Elijah, designed by Ysolda Teague. I’ve made him for a friend’s baby, but she doesn’t know this yet 🙂 I started out making some booties, but got bored very quickly. Then, a search on ravelry for items knitted from the same yarn (Sirdar snuggly DK) led me to Elijah. I realise he’s not a very realistic elephant colour, but hey ho. The pattern was really straightforward to follow, but included plenty of different methods to maintain my interest. The only slight problem I encountered was in making the eyes. Ysolda recommends embroidering French knots..but as far as I can tell, there’s no way of securing them on the wrong side. So, Elijah is currently wearing temporary eyes for this photo op! If anyone has any bright ideas for how I could create some baby-safe eyes your suggestions would be most welcome!

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Birthday knits

The main focus of my knitting over the last few weeks has been the following pair of not-so-secret birthday socks for my Mum’s 60th (which is today…Happy Birthday Mum!). Underestimating my Mum’s web activity, and powers of observation, I posted a couple of mid-project pics on Flickr to link up with my Ravelry profile. Whoops! Anyway, here they are all finished and modelled by my good self. Thankfully I hear reports that they fit Mum just as well. I was a little nervous they wouldn’t. They were my first pair of  ‘toe-up’ socks, and I accidentally cast-off a little too tightly on the first one. Think I will attempt further toe-up projects in the future. It seemed to knit up quicker than usual..though I’m sure this was just my imagination, or the simplicity of the pattern. It took me a fair few attempts to master the short rows method for turning the heel, and I still wasn’t overly impressed with my results. However, I really enjoyed the magic cast on, courtesy of Judy Becker via Cat Bordhi. The yarn I used for this project was rather special too, a lovely malabrigo in caribeno. It was a dream to knit with, and I shall definitely have to acquire some more for the stash!

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Pair of Monkeys

Finally, something to show you! Last night I put the finishing touches to my first pair of Monkeys. I’m really pleased with them, and wore them to bed in celebration 🙂 This is definitely a pattern I could see myself repeating… if there weren’t a lifetime’s worth of other socks already lining up to be knitted! I didn’t really run into too many problems with these ones. There was just a little unravelly yarn at one point, which I’m hoping doesn’t result in a weak spot that requires darning. My main triumph with this project was finally mastering the toe grafting. I know, this is simple, but for some reason I must have been getting my knits and purls all mixed up, resulting in a little ridge along the toes. This time, I referred to a trusty old YouTube Tutorial, and hey presto! Perfect toes at last 🙂 Oh, and I really must try and be more patient and wait until I have good enough light for crafty photography. Tonight’s photoshoot involved hanging upside down on the sofa in order to get the tootsies close enough to the lamp. So, I enjoyed the unexpected bonus of an abdominal workout. Who’d have thought knitting could be quite so energetic! 

 monkeys

 

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