Monthly Archives: December 2014

WIP …. erm more like FO!

I had planned on this being my first work in progress post however in the lull in festivities between Christmas and New Year and the daily walks on the fields aorund our village, I’ve had itchy fingers.  I got the hang of the italian tubular cast on and cast on the 132 stiches for a Hermione Hearts Ron hat and ta-dah, one finished Hermione Hearts Ron hat.  (Does it still as a WIP because it needs blocking? I’m still working out how to block a hat).

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I had to substitute the yarn because The Fibre Company Road to China Light isn’t readily available in my neck of the woods.  I settled on a Debbie Bliss yarn called Baby Cashmerino in clotted cream so the hat would go well with my nice new coat that Santa brought.  My gauge swatch (yes, I knit a gauge swatch) was the correct height but too narrow … weird.  With the help of some Ravelers I settled to use bigger needles and get on with it.

The hat has knit up beautifully.  I would make two improvements if I were to remake it, casting on with smaller needles to keep the cast-on edge neat, and adding another four rounds of ribbing because my earlobes don’t quite make it under the hat and I’m not one for getting cold ears 🙂

 P1010871 - Copy (600x800)What do you think?


Italian Tubular Cast On

I like to think I choose patterns that will enable me to learn a new skill or trick but maybe I’m just a sucker for punishment! One lovely new pattern chosen (a hat to go with the coat I am receiving as a Christmas gift from my parents) which requires one new cast on to be learned this time … the Italian tubular cast on.

From reading a little I have learned that this cast on gives a nice ribbed edge and is quite stretchy.  Perfect for a hat, or the cuffs of a jumper.  It’s not dissimilar to the long tail cast on so once I’ve got the hang of it, it should be quite a quick cast on.

The first video I watched made a great explanation of the cast on while casting on with the needles but I simply couldn’t remember the process while being able to count my stitches! I have however found a video that on YouTube by lunaknits that explains the cast on perfectly.  The working yarn always goes over and the tail moves behind the needle like a metronome.  The (non-practising) musician in me likes this explanation.

Finished Object(s): Christmas Table Stockings


So a few posts ago I was talking about Christmas Table Stockings, a cute little pattern from a magazine which is designed to hold cutlery. I have finally finished eight of them all ready for next Wednesday.

I learned two new things during this process; weaving in my ends and rather than just sewing them up any which way, I have taught myself mattress stitch using tutorials from the Purl Bee and Lion Brand’s Learning Centre.  Lovely and neat (except for one that seems to have a bit of a twist to it.  It takes ages but I can see why I should be doing it.

Now to plan my next project…

Knitting Lingo and Abbreviations

Raveloop that weird space time continuum flux that seems to happen at odd intervals for an indeterminate amount of time (i.e. the way time flies when looking at Ravelry)

I’m so pleased to see that Raveloop is a recognised phenomenon; I can now confidently tell Hunky* Husband that I am in a Raveloop when he casually asks what I’m up to.  This question usually comes when  I’ve spent an inexplicably long time attached to the laptop or tablet browsing pattens or blogs and might mean one of a number of things including ‘are you spending money?’ or ‘are you up to no good?’.

I’m also really pleased to have found a list of lingo and abbreviations in Ravelry.  I was beginning to go slightly mad trying to work out some of them!

*The adjective to describe hunky husband could change throughout this blog depending on my mood/his behavior.  Hunky is a good place to start.

Confessions of a knotting knitter

I knot my knitting!  There, I said it.

I know that there’ll be some of you reading this with horror right now but please forgive me, I didn’t know any better.  I promise I will try to get out of this habit.  For those of you reading this thinking, I always knot my knitting, I promise I will still knot some of my knitting (it would be slightly boring to comply with convention all the time).  I can see from a quick web search that I’m not alone in my knotting habit.

I’ve finished knitting up the Christmas Table Stockings, two of which have been knotted and stiched together.  I have resolved to weave in the ends of the wool tails on the remaining stockings so I guess that means I need to learn how to do it!

I’ve been busy pinning knitting techniques onto my new Pinterest Knitting Techniques board and one of those techniques is a really helpful tutorial ‘Weaving in Your Ends’ from  A quick look on the Ravelry forums and I find a wealth of posts.  Gladtobemom explains how she weaves in ends in this forum.  These among others have been really useful and ta-dah … six stockings with weaved in ends.

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New Toasty Knits Out This Week

Just a quick reblog so I can find the lace slouch beret pattern … I plan to make this at some point in the new year.


Hello there,

Goodness it is cold out there folks. This southern hemisphere gal does not know what to do with herself it is so cold (for me anyway, I know it is much colder for others at this time). I hope December is going well for you, and you have lots of toasty knits to keep you warm. This week my aim is to wear as much knitwear as possible, usually all at once.

It has been a busy few weeks around here and I wanted to share some amazing and exciting projects I have been working on. First up these warm and toasty mitts are out in Knit Now this week. Crumpet are lightening fast to knit up from a single skein of chunky yarn. Perfect for warming your hands during this cold snap.

Copyright Dan Walmsley for Practical Publishing. Used with permission. Copyright Dan Walmsley for Practical Publishing. Used with permission.

Next up an…

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Stitch markers get pretty and most definitely Charmed

While browsing online for equipment (I’m thinking a set of interchangable needles) I stumbled across these stitch markers from Charmed Knitting and can’t get over how cute they are.  Compared to my cheap plastic rings that I’ve never really liked, these are amazing.  I can’t wait to get my hands on some.  The only question is, which ones to choose?  This is just a small selection!

Casting on from the middle with a disappearing loop – the most frustrating cast on ever?

So on a very frosty morning here in middle England, I am thinking about the cast on method used in the Elijah pattern I posted about recently.  Looks like it would be a perfect day to get out into the garden (my other big love) but decorating the Christmas tree and finishing off the table stockings are going to take priority today.

Elijah is knit in the round, starting at his head and his body is joined  to his head by picking up stiches, and arms, legs, and ears are then joined in the same way in turn.  The cast on for his head is a circular, disappearing middle cast on.  Ysolda’s pattern directs the knitter to a techknitting blog page which explains how to cast on.

Trying this cast on for the first time is not for the faint hearted.  I cannot repeat the language that I was using trying to cast on my first Elijah head; fortunately I was sat in hotel room in Manchester all alone on a work trip so no one else had to hear me. Following the diagrams is not easy, and once you’ve worked out what you’re actually meant to be doing, and you’ve tried five or six times and got the stitches cast on to one needle, you then have to distribute them over three needles and knit them.  Well you’ll almost certainly have to cast on again because a needle is bound to slip out at least once.  I know this from experience being on Elijah number nine.

What I have learned from repeating this cast on a number of times…

  1. Use bamboo needles if you’ve got them and not metal
  2. Use a crochet hook to do the initial cast on rather than a knitting needle
  3. Keep everything as tight as possible
  4. Keep the yarn taught by clamping in between your knees (or any thing else that will serve that purpose) and wrap the yarn around your had twice so you’ve got two parallel pieces of yarn across your hand.  (Picture to follow)
  5. Be patient
  6. Pray
  7. Then have a go at belly buttons or umbilical waste cord method 

So I’m yet to try the belly buttons or umbilical cord methods simply because I’ve only just found out about them when I was linking the disappearing loop page to this post.  I will reserve judgement on this method until I’ve tried it but will let you know which I prefer when I get round to it.

Pattern release: The Dragon’s Tale

This is great. Perfect for my friends dragon mad daughter and I should pick up some new skills along the way.

little house on the hill


I’m going to release a dragon into the wild tonight!

I’m really chuffed by The Dragon’s Tale as I had to step right out of my comfort zone to make it, and would have been thoroughly lost if it hadn’t been for a number of very kind helping hands. (Thank you Catnach, Sandra8981, Madquilter, Alpacaspinner, and the whole group of testers..)

I’ve been quietly in love with this stitch pattern ever since I first saw it. I spent several hours just looking at its construction, and I’m honestly in awe of it. Apart from its sheer rippling beauty, the amount of experience and understanding that went into working out where to place the increases and decreases to get the scales to lean and flow as they do is quite remarkable. My sincere respect to Marjorie Bialkowski for either creating it, or passing it on to the wonderful Barbara Walker.



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Pinterest Christmas Star

It’s funny how a pin sometimes takes off.  I don’t really have Pinterest followers so any re-pins really surprise me because it means someone has just stumbled across it  … six re-pins and two likes in a week is amazes me.  I know it’s only small numbers but I thought I should share my delight.   I thought that after the stockings, I could use this pattern to practice a little crochet and use up some of the left over yarn but there isn’t a source for it.  If anyone knows where it comes from can you share please?