Tag Archives: ravelry

October 2014 Resolutions

October took me a bit by surprise, apparently – I have only just realised that today is the first! This year is flying by, I’m sure it was May like, last month. Anyhoo, time to set my Resolutions down in writing for those of you who aren’t on Ravelry, and if you don’t listen to the podcast…this is going to be short and sweet, I got me some knitting to do!

If you’re interested in joining the group on Ravelry, check out Resolutions Monthly here.

October 2014 Resolutions

I have set myself a few resolutions this month – and they’re not all crafty, either.

  1. Finish Icon Dress – a stretch goal, but feels doable at the moment. I’m about 6 inches into the second half.
  2. Knit the only Christmas Present I’m doing this year – I still have to finish up some spinning before I can get this done, but on track! I also have to pick a pattern…
  3. Get started on rainbow fibre (spinning) – very excited about this! I’m going to be playing with colour for the first time.
  4. Sell more STUFF – lots of things listed on eBay, hurrah. This is partly an effort to declutter, and I still have a few pieces of furniture to go on. I’m looking forward to getting rid of it all.
  5. Learn a tune a day – I’m putting together a list of tunes to learn and have got the music book out already. I’m very much looking forward to the outcomes of this, the podcast will benefit!

I’m feeling like October is going to be a good month. John bought me the below notebook, and it’s going to be instrumental in shaping my life for the next year or so – looking forward to filling it with ideas!

My Business Plan Planner :)
My Business Plan Planner :)

September 2014 Resolutions recap

I had three resolutions in September, and accomplished all of them:

  1. Work on My Favourite Things KAL – success! Got loads done and put it to one side in favour of Icon Dress

    My Favourite Things as it currently stands.
    My Favourite Things as it currently stands.
  2. Knit at least two inches on Icon Dress – I blew this out of the water!

    The first half of the Icon Dress
    The first half of the Icon Dress
  3. Decide what to do about legwarmers – I’m going to frog them. I just don’t love them!

So, a successful month, and tonnes to look forward to in October! I can’t wait to see how it all goes.

Much love,

Corrie xx

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My Favourite Things Knitalong – the start of a project

I cast on “My Favourite Things” by Jill McGee on the last day of August, and I am really enjoying this project! It’s slow going and quite heavy – and I’m using magic loop on needles with a cable that is too short – but I’m really enjoying the project and finding it just as addictive as everyone warned! (more…)

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What are they wearing? – Men’s Knits

If you’re anything like me – and I’m sure a lot of you are – you notice what other people are wearing; this week, my attention has been drawn by men’s knits. I suddenly realise I am staring at something a bit too intently when I get a funny look – notably, on the tube this morning was a chap with a beautiful snood on. He was quite good-looking (don’t worry, JS doesn’t read this…ha) but I was so struck by the snood I could not keep my eyes off him.

I think I managed to fool him and pretend I was staring into the distance as I was knitting…but I was too embarrassed to ask him for a photo. Not so these guys..

Men’s Knits – Santa

This gorgeous specimen is brought to us by one of my oldest friends, Fred. It’s actually the second knitted Santa hat I’ve seen – JS and I were in a pub last week when he dragged me to stand by the door of the men’s loo so I could admire a man’s hat as he walked out. We have no shame.

Fred and his Santa hat, looking slightly sinister...
Fred and his Santa hat, looking slightly sinister…

I’ve found a few patterns on Ravelry that would make something similar:

Santa Hat and Beard [crochet]

Santa Beard

Santa’s Hat and Scarf

Men’s Knits – Fairisle

I was stewarding at a concert on Tuesday night and was struck by this jumper as it was walked through the door by its owner. I asked him if I could take a photo – and the expression on his face is no doubt due to the slightly strange nature of the question.

Men's Knits - a fairisle jumper and a confused stranger.
Men’s Knits – a fairisle jumper and a confused stranger.

Isn’t it lovely? It was even better when he took the coat off, but by this point I was too embarrassed to ask for another photo.

Men’s Knits – cables

Tuesday night’s stewarding was not a solo effort, and my friend was wearing a fantastic jumper with intricate cables all over it. This is not a good photo of it, and I can only apologise for that – I was mainly aiming for the beauty of the refreshments as we had set them out, but you can see some of the detail.

My friend, guarding the refreshments with pride.
My friend, guarding the refreshments with pride.

Men’s Knits – hat

I knitted a hat a few weeks ago for my uncle, which has actually turned into a hat that I’m wearing all the time, has now been given a pompom, and will no longer go to him. This decision was made less because I loved the hat too much, but more because it was slouchy and I realised it wasn’t very manly. But, what the heck is a manly hat? I quite liked this one that I spotted in the lift on the way up from the tube this morning, but again – pompom and slouchy? Either my judgement is off, or this guy’s is!

Men's Knits - a random strange on the tube wearing a knitted hat.
Men’s Knits – a random strange on the tube wearing a knitted hat.

This is just a selection of the amazing men’s knits I’ve seen this week. What are you wearing?

JS just bought a beautiful new grey jumper with cables, and I adore it – and the fact that he is slowly getting into knitted clothing (although he hasn’t actually realised yet…) He also bought me a knitted dress – here I am modelling it with my ‘non-manly’ pompom hat!

Wearing my beautiful new dress and hat.
Wearing my beautiful new dress and hat.

Much love,

Corrie xx

PS Don’t forget to check out the Plutonium Muffins is 2 giveaway!

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FO Friday – Machine Hat

You all know I have turned traitor and bought a knitting machine….well, here is my first machine hat!

When I say ‘turned traitor’ I know there are some friends who read the blog who may not know what that means. Basically, there is a bit of a ‘thing’ between hand-knitters and machine-knitters, where using a machine is supposedly cheating. I got into quite the discussion about this at my knit and natter group the other week, which was not that enjoyable.

Knitting Machine attached to the counter.

Let me get it straight. I love hand-knitting. I adore it. It’s my passion. But, I’ve always wanted a knitting machine, and it is a totally different craft. It produces a knitted fabric, but has its own set of rules and quirks and patterns, so to my mind, it is not cheating. I love it.

Machine Hat

So, the pattern for the machine hat is Rainbow Hat with Cuff by Ginny Schweiss, which is a free pattern on Ravelry. I downloaded it and sat down thinking “this is going to be great, I’m going to make a hat in no time at all”. I had two half-balls of Regia 4-ply in Marrakech and Ombre stripe, so I used them up rather than following the rainbow theme in the pattern.

Beautiful machine hat, complete and ready for wearing.
Beautiful machine hat, complete and ready for wearing.

That was before I realised the different rules and abbreviations that I had to use to actually decipher the pattern in the first place. Before I knew that to knit on a knitting machine you have to hang weights off your knitting. (I used cups filled with about a pound of pennies each. Six of them.) Before I knew that using my vintage machine involves a LOT of physical exertion (think ironing with a really heavy iron).

Modelling the hat myself, looking a bit bohemian!
Modelling the hat myself, looking a bit bohemian!

Relative to using my needles, the hat was made up about an hour more quickly than it would have been otherwise. I spent a long time kneeling on the floor picking up dropped stitches with my arm twisted around the back of the knitting, which ended up in sore knees the following day.

A much better-looking model!
A much better-looking model!
Machine hat from the back.
Machine hat from the back.

My verdict is that machine knitting is a LOT harder than it looks, it will take some practice to stop dropping stitches, and I absolutely love the new toy and can’t stop thinking about when I’ll next be able to pick it up!

So…who has tried machine knitting here?

Much love,

Corrie xx

PS Head over to Facebook for the chance to win a £20 Amazon voucher! More details here.

FO Friday with Tami's Amis


Photobucket

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Happy July! Resolutions and recap.

Once again, it is the start of a new month, so the start of new resolutions. As I only had one resolution in June, I didn’t do a recap in the middle of it. This is partly because I totally missed the middle of June and only realised how far along the month had gone on about the 28th!

July is my birthday month and I’m feeling the love this morning. I’m going to get a haircut today, and am playing my violin all day. What could be better?

June Resolution recap

My singular resolution in June was:

Knit something I love

With the completion of the Fairisle Mittens, I accomplished this goal. I was extremely pleased with them, and am so happy that they are finally finished. I hadn’t intended them to be the fulfilment of this resolution, but I was shocked at how much I love them! Gorgeous fairisle mittens, love them.

The Susocks would also qualify. They knitted up so quickly and were gorgeous. Birds Eye View of the Susocks, showing off the gradients nicely.

July Resolutions

I have three resolutions this month.

  1. Finish my Luxury Gloves
  2. Finish a blanket
  3. Exercise and get back to size 8!

The luxury gloves are a pair I started in 2009! I will get them done today – they’re pinned to my door so I see them everytime I walk past and get a massive surge of guilt. They will be done.

One luxury glove, to be joined by another!
One luxury glove, to be joined by another!

The blanket is a baby blanket for some friends, who are expecting in August. I want to get it done by the end of July so I can go visit them and give it to them in case he is born early! I can’t wait, it’s the first gift I’ve done for one of my friends with respect to babies, and I am in love with the pattern I’m making. (Come back on Wednesday for more info!)

Finally, I was size 8 when I was cycling to and from work everyday in London…I stopped cycling a year ago, and needless to say I am now substantially unfit and do not fit into some of my favourite clothes! I will beat the flab.

That’s all from me. If you have any resolutions or want to start making monthly resolutions, we have a friendly, motivational group on Ravelry – come join us! Looking forward to seeing you…

Much love,

Corrie xx

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Download the Garter Stitch Head-Band pattern!

This year has been the year of learning to design knitting patterns. My first one was rather more complex than this one, which is really just a formula intended for people who want to learn to knit, but don’t want to just make squares!

Garter Stitch Head-Band

I’ve just published the Garter Stitch Head-Band pattern! I designed it for the launch of Coranda.com. I’m really excited about how good such a simple piece of knitting can be, and I really think the button transforms it from just a fairly clumsy piece of knitting to something more beautiful! I’m hoping that loads of people will download it, print it and distribute it around their friends so they can teach the world to knit.

Garter Stitch Head-Band close up.

You can find the pattern on Ravelry, or click here to download it. Let me know if you try it or share it with anyone else, I’d love to see others! I also didn’t get anyone to test-knit this, so if you find any issues with it, please let me know.

Headband in orange

That’s all from me for now, I need to go to bed. I finished Wonder-Mum‘s socks today, as it’s her birthday! Happy Birthday to my loveliest, gloriousest mummy. I’ll show you all tomorrow, as it’s now 11:30 pm and way, way past my bedtime.

Much love,

Corrie xx

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The head-band is finished!

As mentioned on Wednesday, I had to quickly design and knit a garter-stitch project for some knitting kits I’m putting together, so I decided to do a head-band. The market is tomorrow morning – if you’re new around these parts and wondering what the heck I’m talking about, I’m a vendor at a market for the first time ever tomorrow morning!

Set-up is at 7 am. Am I ready? Not yet, still working on the website and pricing, as well as photos…I had to give in with my ambition to take amazing photos, and simply use my iPhone as always, because I had a big argument with Wonder-Mum‘s DSLR and we decided we were never going to sort it out.

Here’s a sample photo for you – I still think they’re OK, even if they’re not taken with the *best* technology!

Garter-Stitch Head-Band

This is the garter stitch head-band! It’s really simple – I cast on 20 stitches, knitted until it was the length of the circumference of my head when stretched. The FO unstretched was about 15″, and fits my 22″ head just right.

Wearing my head-band and smiling at Mr Hunt.
Wearing my head-band and smiling at Mr Hunt.

I sewed on the cutest button, which I stole from Wonder-Mum‘s stash. I’m writing up the pattern to put into PDF for Ravelry now, but it’s honestly so simple that anybody who wants to make this and knows even a little about knitting can just make it up as they go along. I’ll let you know when I publish it – it will be a free pattern.

Showing off the button on my head-band.

It took me an hour and a half to make; it was a wonderful Knit and Natter project.

I knitted it in Rico Baby double knitting on 4 mm needles. The colourway was Petrol, which I swore I would never use when I worked at Hobbycraft, and now I’ve decided that actually I quite like it. I chose it because it matches the apron I will be wearing tomorrow, so I can wear it if the weather is cold. Judging by the rain outside at the moment, it will be awful, so cross fingers!

Garter Stitch Head-Band close up.

That’s all from me for now. Check out the link-ups for more FOs!

Much love,

Corrie xx

FO Friday with Tami's Amis

Photobucket

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Photography and knitting patterns

I’ve been trying to learn about photography, looking for knitting patterns and abusing my sewing machine, which is going to need a holiday. As a result, I haven’t actually knitted a single stitch for about a week, and I’m starting to feel that my Resolutions for May could quite possibly not be met this month – even though I deliberately tried to be fairly restrained.

We have started a group on Ravelry for Monthly Resolutions – check it out if you are interested, we are going to build ourselves a little community I reckon!

Photography

Most of the photos for Plutonium Muffins are taken on my iPhone – I have a 4S and the camera is pretty good. However, it no longer cuts it when it comes to commercial photography for sales. Wonder-Mum has given me use of her DSLR, and I’m trying to learn about lighting, ISO settings and…umm…other things that I’m not sure about yet.

Apron on a gorgeous rose mannequin.
Apron on a gorgeous rose mannequin.

I can’t show you any sample photos as I’ve cleverly left the camera at ‘the other house’ at the moment, so I’ll try download them tomorrow. Here is one from my iPhone, of the fabulous mannequin that we found yesterday. Isn’t it gorgeous? I’m in love with it, and everytime I walk past it I put something different on it. Things for the fair on Saturday are shaping up!

Knitting Patterns

I’m planning to put together knitting kits and I’ve spent a long time on Ravelry looking for patterns that a beginner could use to knit, that isn’t just a square. I’ve found a few, but I haven’t had time to knit them at all. Could anybody recommend any for me? I want to get the younger generations down in Devon knitting, but kids get bored of squares. Little help?

I thought these bunnies might be cute, and they are squares, but alternatives are always welcome.

How are you all doing? I feel so isolated and miss my little community of bloggers and friends. My internet is so bad that I can barely load anything, let alone read the blogs I’m missing out on!

Much love,

Corrie xx

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FO Friday – Riverton Cowl

Once again I start another post with the weather – it’s an awfully grey and nasty day in Devon and I’m wearing my completed Riverton Cowl with pride! I finished it yesterday and blocked it this morning. It took a while to dry, but I can now wear it comfortably.

I have an awful headache today – I got told off by my doctor because I was drinking too much tea, and I am now suffering withdrawal symptoms! I am allowed three cups a day, and am definitely unhappy about the turn of events. Wonder-Mum has decided to detox with me, and she is being very chipper about the whole thing. The headache will come, just you wait mother…

Wearing my new cowl <3
Wearing my new cowl <3

Riverton Cowl

I chose the Riverton Cowl cos it had a fairly nice pattern that I thought might work well with my yarn. The yarn is a King Cole double knitting acrylic that I bought in about 2008. I used it for a bag, ripped it back because I hated it, and have had a go at making it into leg-warmers, socks, hand-warmers and a hat – it’s been frogged each time. I’m finally happy with this FO!

The yarn in a previous incarnation as a leg-warmer.
The yarn in a previous incarnation as a leg-warmer.

The pattern itself caused a bit of consternation. Part of the lace-work requires you to move the stitch-marker to ensure the pattern matches up. I’ve done a fair amount of lace before, but never one that involved this process, and I was so confused. I looked up in the comments of other Riverton Cowl pages and projects on Ravelry, and although a few people had mentioned this issue, the resolution was never mentioned.

Here’s the resolution, guys! I was concerned when I moved the marker one stitch into the pattern – how would there be enough stitches for me to match the pattern as written, as I’d just taken one away?! Of course, I’d forgotten that if I moved the marker one stitch in, although I lost one at the beginning of the round, I also gained one at the end so the stitch count remained the same. I had simply been counting incorrectly.

The Riverton Cowl, completed.
The Riverton Cowl, completed.

I ripped back that first row about eight times. I kid you not.

I’m glad I worked it out – the next time I do a lace pattern that is a bit similar to this, I will know, and I hope I can help someone else with this description!

Anyway that’s all for now – I’m going to go sit down and try forget my headache. I’ve finally cast on some socks for my April Resolutions – hurrah!

Much love,

Corrie xx

FO Friday with Tami's Amis

Photobucket

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Knit and Natter at Hulu

I’ve been in Devon for four days, and I’ve already found a Knit and Natter! While we were in Devon over the Easter weekend, I popped into Hulu with JS and Vicky mentioned the group. I bought some sock yarn, which I’ve already showed you all. (I wound it into a ball yesterday. Can you say love?!)

Vicky, the shop owner, mentioned that she runs a group every second Wednesday – I was initially scared that the week the group falls on is the week I’m going to be in Kent every fortnight, but luckily not. So, for the foreseeable future, my Wednesday nights will be spent either at Knit and Natter, or driving to Kent!

Knit and Natter

I was a bit nervous before I went. Although I grew up in this town, I was always a bit of an outsider, as we arrived when I was ten and I had a very funny accent. Zimbabwean, you know. I don’t really know any of the people my age here, excepting a few, so I had no idea what to expect at the Knit and Natter.

The shop-space in Hulu - plus the table where the Knit and Natter takes place.
The shop-space in Hulu – plus the table where the Knit and Natter takes place.

Luckily, there were a few people I knew, and those I didn’t were very friendly! I had gone along expecting myself to be all prepared – I had found a sock pattern I really liked (still trying to start on those April Resolutions) and was ready to start. Silly girl that I am, I didn’t check the weight of yarn in that pattern, and it was for a 3 ply. The yarn I had was a 4 ply. I’m too lazy to bother about working out what needles I need to sort out my gauge, so I just switched patterns – which meant I spent about half an hour at Knit and Natter looking through Ravelry!

The ladies there were all lovely. One of them is five months pregnant, so a lot of time was spent discussing the ins and outs of pregnancy – mostly the really gross bits. I reckon I was the youngest there by about ten years, so it was definitely over my head a bit, but it was really nice to feel part of a group! We also had a delicious treacle tart that one of the ladies made, and I had a cup of tea which made me stay awake half the night. It was worth it.

The yarn display in Hulu (obviously taken at Christmas!)
The yarn display in Hulu (obviously taken at Christmas!)

Hulu is also a lovely shop. Half of it is knitting, the other half fabrics and sewing machines. The middle of the shop is taken up by a big table that we all sat around. It has a gorgeous atmosphere and is just the right size to feel roomy but cosy.

I’m going to go back – and I think that I am going to be very happy there!

Much love,

Corrie xx

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