Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Fair Isle coming along nicely

This is just a quickie, with photos from  the Fair Isle top I'm making.  I've completed the second pattern repeat, and I've worked out how to fix mistakes without unpicking.  You simply drop the stitch in the wrong colour and pick it up from the float at the back in the right colour.  I'm quite proud of myself for figuring that out (although it probably says it in my book if I'd looked).  Still, it' getting there.  I have about 30 more lines to do and then I'm onto the bit that will be cut later.  That's a whole new skill to learn.  I've been weaving in the tails as I go as well, so I don't have too much of a job later.  The book says that some Fair Isle jumpers are left with the tails loose and they felt in as they're worn and washed, but I'm finding it helps to close the hole caused by changing the colour.  I'm pretty sure I'm doing something wrong though, because the tension is wobbly at the side where the round begins.  Any advice would be appreciated.  At least it's looking like Fair Isle!

one whole pattern repeat

threading the tails in

more threading tails

tension slightly out on the side

the pattern

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Liebster Nomination from Yarn Lark

I'm touched to have been nominated for a Liebster Award by Catherine Graham-Evans of Yarn Lark.  I'm going to follow her example and answer her 11 questions, tell you 11 facts about myself and nominate a friends blog I like to read, when I have time.  I've pinched her quote about the Liebster Award if you want to know more about it and added it below.  Catherine nicked it from Dolly Bakes blog.

Catherine's Questions
1) What did you want to be when you grew up?
Indiana Jones
2) What is your biggest regret?
I have wishes, rather than regrets.  I wish I was better with money!
3) What has been your proudest moment?
Recently; watching my son learn to knit, as he has difficulty with fine motor skills.  You'd never know looking at his knitting skills!  And teaching my first button class (I burst into tears after everyone left.  My Gran would have been so proud)
4) What’s your favourite take-away food?
Does Wagamama's count?
5) Who would you have (past or present) at your fantasy dinner party?
My fantasy house is far to untidy for dinner parties, what with all the yarn and fibre and stuff.  
6) What is your favourite craft and why?
Knitting is my obsession but I think my favourite craft is actually button making.  I knit because I have to, I make buttons because I want to.
7) What is your secret crafting guilty pleasure?
Buying wool just to have it in my stash.  Apparently you are supposed to use it for something.
8) Where is your favourite holiday destination?
Orkney - yarn shop on every corner, archaeology coming out of it's ears, the people are lovely, the food is fantastic and it's the most beautiful place I've ever been.
9) What makes you laugh?
This page isn't big enough to do that question justice.  Recently, sock making with a very nice lady called Wendy Brown.
10) What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?
Just Do It (amazing what you can pick up from adverts isn't it!)
11) Who or what inspires you?
Landscape, the sea, colour, fibre, the sky, trees, nature, my Mum, other people....

OK, so 11 facts about myself.

1. I am incapable of watching Monty Python's Holy Grail without quoting most of it.
2. I learnt to knit when I was six year's old
3. I once served Simon Pegg at Stonehenge
4. I have a 2:1 degree in Archaeology
5. I am writing a book about the soldiers from Winchester who died or were killed during the First World  
    War called 'Debt of Hour: The Winchester War Dead
6. I'm terribly scared of lightening and volcano's 
7. I once tried to swim the English Channel to raise money for the Ileostomy Association, but was beaten by
    the cold (I did raise £2000 though)
8. I very badly want a pet dragon to ride on 
9. My favourite author is J.R.R. Tolkien
10. I hate courgettes
11. I have a sneaking fear of insanity, and sometimes wonder if I am

My friends blog is
She's a writer, as is brilliant.

My questions for her are
1. When did you first want to be a writer?
2. It's the end of the world, where would you be?
3. What do you do to wind down from writing?
4. Which TV character would you most like to meet? 
5. What type of music do you prefer?
6. Which skill do you most wish you had?
7. If you could do any job in the world what would it be?
8. What's the worst part of your day?
9. What's the best part of your day?
10. What piece of technology would you most like to own?
11. If you could only have one, which would it be, books or TV?

Thank you for reading, I'm off to knit some Fair Isle...

The origins of the Liebster Blog award are somewhat unclear but the general consensus is that it originated in Germany, Liebster meaning favourite or dearest, to showcase bloggers with fewer than 200 followers. Upon accepting the award the recipient can then pass it on to five more blogs of note. A way of introducing other bloggers to the blogs you enjoy.

Friday, 12 April 2013

We are in Make and Craft magazine, making Grindle buttons!

View small image.JPG in slide show
Just a quickie, to brag very loudly about having a tutorial published in Make and Craft magazine.  I've posted photos and links below.

View image7.JPG in slide showhttp://www.makeandcraft.com/

The tutorial shows you how to make a Grindle button, which are nothing to do with Dorset buttons as far as anyone knows, but are made in a very similar way.  They're great fun and have all sorts of uses, both decorative and practical.  By the way, I met a very nice lady recently from the Lace Society who told me that Tenerife lace is made using the same stitching technique as Dorset buttons.  I'm going to have a jolly good play (I've been reading WW2 books again and it's affecting my vocabulary) and see how many different buttons I can come up with using Tenerife lace techniques.


Wednesday, 10 April 2013

I finished the rib, hurray

As you can probably guess from the title of this post, I finished the rib on the Fair Isle top.  I'm very pleased with the way it's turning out.  I've got used to having the wool over two fingers, and making sure one always goes over the top of the other.  It looks very neat if I do say so myself.

pretty rib

first line of pattern

I knitted my first row of pattern, while watching Con Air (I'd forgotten how dreadful a film it was).  I got to the end of the row and had four too many stitches, which puzzled me for a moment.  I shrugged philosophically and knitted them together so I had the right amount of stitches, then I carried on with my second row.  And then half way round the row I noticed my first mistake, inevitably.  I'm blaming the film for the lack of concentration.  Normally I would just drop the stitches down and pick them back up and fix the mistake.  Of course I didn't know how to do that in Fair Isle so I dutifully unpicked the second row, and half the first row, fixing the mistake.

the first mistake

Then I continued on my merry way to the end of the first row,and what do you know, I had even more stitches left over than before.  At this point I smelt a rat.  Had I started the pattern in the wrong place, or cast on too many stitches perhaps?  I double checked my cast on stitches (easy with a colourful 2 x 2 rib at least) and that was OK.  Then I re-read the instructions for the first line of pattern, which is an increase line...yes, I was supposed to increase every 15 stitches as I knitted the first line.  So I unpicked it again, breathing deeply  and thinking calming thoughts.  The last time I got it right.  It took me 2 hours of really awful film to knit two lines.  On the plus side....no there really isn't a plus side.

The moral of the story?  Double check the pattern every time you start a new bit, and keep reminding yourself you do it because you love it!

the second unpick