Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Where has the last year gone?

It is almost one year since I posted anything on my blog. This has been for two reasons. 
1. Our aging desktop, with its' XP operating system, would not support the required version of Explorer. 
2. Blogger decided it would no longer accept my NTL email address to log in and check my reading list or post new stuff. 
I have still been busy doing creative stuff but thought I would share some of my knitting projects with you tonight so here goes. 

This is a cardigan I knit for my granddaughter Martha last summer. 
This Aran sweater was one I did for my other granddaughter Penny but it turned out a little too big so I haven't any photos of her wearing it yet. 
I loved knitting this zig-zag jacket in Merino wool. 
Finally my latest project was this rather vintage looking Fair Isle cardigan for Penny. 
Well fingers crossed that this post doesn't look too bad as I have found it difficult to move the cursor around and haven't a clue how to size pictures or add captions so bare with me. 

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Preparing for Summer

This styalised bird fabric caught my eye at the Knitting and Stitch Show in Harrogate and I couldn't resist making a purchase and then it was off to my local Boyes store to find a suitable contrast fabric - but which colour to pick?
I decided on the royal blue fabric and ric-rac braid and hurried home to get started.

Lynsey and I decided on a pinefore style

But where to put the trim?
The fabric was a dream to work with and Martha loved the finished garment.

Cose ups to show the trim details

I particularly loved the hand embroidered buttons that I covered.

Lazy-daisy stitched flowers to match motif on fabric

As usual Martha showed it off to good effect even if it is still a little on the large size for her.

Martha modelling her new frock

My daughter Lynsey has now also become obsessed by fabric and is always on the look out for new quirky designs. She came across this next one on the web from a company called Betsy Boo Haberdashery and couldn't resist this brightly coloured design.

Colourfull Design using Building

Back fastening detail
This time we chose to make a very traditional dress with a gathered skirt, back fastening and Peter Pan collar. Once again it was fully lined in the plain orange fabric used for the collar and waist trim.
Spectacular colour combo

Miss Martha showing off the finished dress

Finally I have recently finished a third dress for this coming summer using another lovely fabric from Grace and Favour. They have an excellent selection of reasonably priced fabrics especially for children.

Notice the Sellotape to piece together bits of an old pattern
I was "commissioned" to make a replica of a simple top/dress that Martha had last summer and my daughter loved. I tthen set about modifying an old pattern I had used before but dhanged it from a front to back fastening.

Under Construction

Back fastening with buttons

Front detail showing elasticated waist
This is by far the plainest of her new outfits for the summer.

A rather 40's looking Martha

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Preparing for Spring

Baby Penny in her Kimono

The last time I posted I was busy knitting this gorgeous kimono for my new granddaughter Penelope Constance so I thought I would share this photo of her when she tried it on. As you can see the sleeves were still a little too long but since then she has flourished and it's now a perfect fit.

A better photo for seeing the design.
 The wool for this kimono was donated to me and so cost me nothing. The next freebie came from my own stash. I had bought a pack of aran weight yarn cheaply many years ago but had never got round to using it. When I saw this free pattern on a fabulous Facebook page called Weightstitches I figured it was about time to get going. It's called Bloomsbury Kids by Svetlana Volkova and is knit from the neck down seamlessly in the round. I loved the fact that the main detail was down the back.

Back detail
It was great not having any sewing up what so ever to do and Martha loved it!

Martha modelling her new sweater

You can just about make out
the pattern detail despite her hair.
It is always much easier to find lovely patterns for girls but when my grandson Lucas requested a jacket with his initial on I was more than delighted to oblige. Once again I had another bargain pack that my niece gave me and I used an old baseball pattern and simply knit the L separately and sewed it on later.

One Happy Boy

As Requested

By I had finished his jacket I spotted another pattern on Weightstitches but this time for a baby jumper for Penny. It only took a small amount of yarn and I risked starting it with beautiful left over wool from one of my sister's projects.
Penny's top with Heart detail

Literally all the wool that was left - Phew!

Penny modeling her new top
 It is actually ages since I started on this post but I abandoned it as my trusty desk top is so old it won't let me update my browser beyond Explorer 8. As this version is no longer supported by Blogger I was experiencing all sorts of difficulties so I have resorted to my laptop and things are fine. In the mean time I have knit another spring jacket for Martha in time for this bout of sunshine we have been experiencing here in the North East of England. Hope you like it.

Cabled Jacket with 3/4 Sleeves

Martha modelling her new jacket
I even managed to squeeze a pair of matching leg warmers from the remaining wool.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

My Adorable New Granddaughter

Penelope Constance 27.10.13
At the time of my last post Paul and I had just become proud grandparents for a third time. This little bundle of joy was my son and daughter in law's first child and they named her Penelope Constance but to be known as Penny.
My creative time has now to be shared a little more thinly so before her arrival they asked me to help with the preperation of her nursery by stitching some curtains. My son is a keen birdy person so it seemed totally appropriate that they should choose this lovely Cath Kidson print for there.

As they had decided not to find out if they were having a girl or a boy it was a little more tricky to start making clothes but my daughter in law (also called Lynsey)  had spent some time in France, as part of her language studies, and said she really liked the way the french dressed their babies.This signalled the time to start looking through old copies of Phildar and Pinguin knitting patterns that I'd kept from when my own daughter was a baby. She selected a gorgeous pattern for some pantaloons, which at first seemed quite boyish but when knit up in a neutral colour and teamed up with a matching jacket we decided they were definately uni-sex, and when Penny arrived it was time to go in search of a girly viyella top to complete the ensemble.

The Panteloons

Completely Reversible Hooded Jacket
Wonderfully Soft Yarn

Smocked dress from Mamas and Papas

Just before Penny arrived Lynsey, Lynsey's mum, my Lynsey and I went to Yarndale, a truely amazing wool feast at Skipton, and I fell in love with a gorgeous kimono pattern from a small company called OneHandKnits. This pattern was definately girly but didn't go up to a big enough size for my granddaughter Martha who is three. Undeterred I bought the pattern described as challenging and thought I could always enlarge it. It IS challenging but I didn't have to modify it (although, due to its' popularity, sounds like I might have to) and this is my progress so far.

"Secret Garden" pattern from OneHandKnits

Basic stitch

Front band detail

Looking good so far!
Martha has not been neglected as I have reknit one of her favourite jackets in this season's colour for her.

I modified jacket pattern due to shortage of yarn

Martha modelling the finished item

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Autumn Knits

Martha on her 3rd birthday
Although I spent a lot of my creative time during the lovely summer months we had in England this year sewing gorgeous summer frocks for my granddaughter Martha I did look ahead to the cooler autumn days and knitted some cute jackets and cardigans to have ready for this three year old fashionista.

1. Sailor Jacket

Sailor Jacket

From all angles
When we were on a family holiday in France earlier this year my daughter Lynsey and I took every opportunity to vist some amazing wool and haberdashery shops and while browsing we spotted this sparkly yarn in the end of line basket. Unsure what it would eventually turn into we purchased it and, using an old pattern from 30 years ago, I managed to just complete this sailor jacket with only a couple of metres of yarn left! The good news is she rather likes it.

2.Gilet in Random Yarn

My lovely and very generous sister paid a visit to a wool shop in Richmond, North Yorkshire earlier this summer and, although she no longer knits herself, decided to treat me to this pattern for a hooded gilet and the wool to knit it. I then had a terrible dilema as she had forgotten that I don't do RANDOM! My brain can't handle the lack of control over where the colour changes are going to appear. Now I know this tells you a lot about my hangups but I spent a whole evening attempting to "de-randomize" it.

 I unwound all 4 balls until I could see a colour repeat emerging. I then started each ball at the same point in the sequence and started knitting the back from 2 balls, alternating every second row as this piece had twice as many stitches as the front sections. It worked really well until I got to the arm shaping on the second front when things started to return to random as that 4th ball had a slighyly different sequence to the others. Not to be defeated I decided to replicate the other 3 by selecting short lengths of the correct colours! This just goes to show the trouble I'll go to to avoid random. (I will spare you the details of how I solved the hood dilemas!)
Checking for colour repeat matching

Yeah! It worked and both fronts are the same.

...and the back

Martha modelling the finished

....and she loved it.

3. Gilet Two in Flecky Yarn

This next gilet was multi-coloured, but flecky not random, and so much easier for me to get my head round. However I was a bit reckless in that I embarked on a pattern for totally different yarn and it soon became obvious that I wasn't going to have sufficient to complete it. After trying to treck some with the same dye lot down all over the North East of England the manufactures came up trumps and sent me two balls free of charge.

Perfect with jeans and Kickers

Close up of cable stitch and button detail
I haven't learned from the experience and am curently knitting a short sleeved cardigan knowing I probably can't get more yarn if I do run short. I'll tell you in a later post how I get on.