Giant Blanket in 14 colours

It’s always good if you can offer choice to your customers. My cat baskets come in three different sizes, but the wool only comes in one colour. Dyeing it is a possibility but on the other hand I really like the wool ‘au naturel’.

However, the yarn I use for the Giant Cable Blanket is a soft courtelle which comes in 14 different colours. So why on earth not offer all those colours to my customers? I put together a colour guide for my listings:

Colour medley jpeg

 

I can also make the blanket to fit any bed: double, queen or kingsize. Then the smallest size, 4ft by 5ft, makes a lovely throw for the sofa.

Giant Cable blanket under construction

Giant Cable blanket under construction

It would be great to work with some of those bright and beautiful colours.

I notice that not all webshops are equipped for multi-choice listings. Etsy and Notonthehighstreet both offer the facility to list one item with variations. Other e-shops are not set up for this, which means you have to make a separate listing for each colour or size. This is a little inefficient, but I know this facility is under development.

Right, I am now going to attempt a giant cable knit cushion. Herbie has established himself on my lap but I think he’ll move when the giant knitting needles come out!

Till next time,

L x

Cat Baskets at Cool For Cats UK!

I was totally thrilled last week to find that Kathy at Cool for Cats UK has devoted an entire blog post to my extreme knitting cat baskets.

Kathy is a cat lover extraordinaire.  She volunteers at the animal rescue charity CHAT in London, and also works in a Cats Protection charity shop.  Her blog is full of great stories and product reviews.  I’m really flattered that she chose to feature my cat baskets and wrote about them so well.

It's not finished yet, Herbie

It’s not finished yet, Herbie

Thanks again Kathy!

Till next time,

L x

New designs for Christmas!

I wasn’t intending to start this early but I happened to visit my LYS yesterday and this yarn just jumped out at me.

Tinsel yarn!

Tinsel yarn!

It looks like tinsel and it’s even called ‘Tinsel Chunky’.  There were lots of colours including purple, black and blue, but I chose red, white, gold and silver for now.

And I made a tinselly bauble!

Tinsel bauble!

Tinsel bauble!

I am ridiculously excited about this. I can just imagine a whole treeful of tinsel baubles.

I also made an oversized version of my Christmas Stocking. Instead of a little tree decoration, for holding a chocolate or small gift, I upscaled the pattern. Using 25mm needles and two strands of super chunky yarn, I made a giant stocking for proper presents:

Big stocking and little stocking

Big stocking and little stocking

The giant stocking is 40 x 20 cm (16 x 8 inches), and it has a lot of stretch, which is essential for all those Christmas goodies!

How are your Christmas knitting plans going?

Till next time,

L x

 

There’s a Cat in my Knitting

Cat-loving knitters, how often does this happen to you?

It's not finished yet, Herbie

It’s not finished yet, Herbie

There’s a cat in my knitting again.

He knows it’s a sure fire way of getting my attention.

If there’s no knitting around, then my desk will do just fine.

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Excuse me Herbie! Trying to work here!

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That’s it,  move over. Sit on Bagpuss. Let me get on.

Zzzzz....

Zzzzz….

If only our lives were as simple as the feline’s!

Till next time,

L x

Christmas Stockings

OK, I know it’s early, but I have just revised my Christmas Stocking tree decoration pattern, knitting it up in some funky new yarns with fluffy bits.

Variations on a Christmas Stocking

Variations on a Christmas Stocking

It’s just the right size to hold a chocolate or two and hang on your tree. Or how about hanging them in a row across the mantelpiece?

It was quite hard to take a picture of the black one. It’s actually black with twinkles on it, a row of clear beads and a very fluffy white top edge.

Stocking black

 

The pattern is a joy to work: knitted straight with some very simple heel shaping and one seam to finish.

Curiously enough I seem to sell my Christmas Decorations patterns all year round. I think knitters must be pretty well organised!

Are you working on any seasonal knitting yet?

Till next time,

L x

 

Between projects

Yes, I am currently ‘resting’ from creativity. I am very much between projects. But I am spending a lot of time in my studio – my favourite place – planning.

Corner of my studio

Corner of my studio

In a surge of efficiency I finished off a few projects which were mostly done but required tweaking and finishing touches. I had some giant wool scraps which I turned into this lovely bunting:

Spiral wool bunting

Spiral wool bunting

A while ago I made this little ghostie from an old Jean Greenhowe pattern, and I never got round to sewing on the eyes, because embroidery isn’t my strong point. So instead I finished him off with some cool sunglasses, which made him very jolly indeed, as you can see.

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It is very nice to have objects about you which inspire and encourage. In my studio, these include my giant knitting needles hand-crafted by my Uncle, and the note he sent me in the parcel:

'Happy Knitting!'

‘Happy Knitting!’

My workbench is more or less clear and ready for me to start something new. Now all I need is a clear mind and a few free hours to get my notebooks out and start creating again.

Wishing you all the best with your creativity over the coming weeks!

Till next time,

L x

One Year Anniversary

Hello all,

Sometime in July 2012 I started this blog. I am a little bit late with the anniversary but I wanted to briefly review the first year.  Eagle-eyed followers will have noticed I have changed my logo and header. I was dreading doing this as I remember struggling with it for hours when I first set up my blog. But I managed to change my header in two ticks, which just goes to show how much I’ve learned in my first year.

My focus has changed from cupcakes and patterns, to extreme knitting: big and bold baskets, bags and containers. But my original cupcake design is still doing well, and it makes a cute picture, so I’ve kept it in my new logo.

I am very excited to have opened a store on the fantastically re-branded and re-launched notonthehighstreet.com. This is a great opportunity for me, and it couldn’t have come at a more opportune moment, as my day job is coming to an end. Exciting and terrifying times are ahead, as I find myself back in the job market after 20 years of continuous employment post-degree, with a regular salary for all that time (no career break). I don’t really want to re-enter the corporate world, but on the other hand my OH is already self-employed, so there are some difficult decisions to be made in the coming weeks. I feel excited and completely terrified at the same time. But change is good for us, and it’s about time I experienced some change, that’s for sure.

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I knitted a cat basket with a hood, to make a cat cave or cat pod.  As it’s based on my smaller basket, my cats are way too big to fit inside. Although Monty tried… he really tried to coil himself in, but he just ended up rolling it over onto the roof and tumbling out….oh if only I had filmed that, it cracked me up. So I got the two Shelf Cats to model the new Cat Cave for me.

Till next time,

L x

Bauble Bonanza

This week, just for fun, I have been re-working my bauble pattern in fluffy yarns. Some of the colours aren’t even festive, but hey, why not have a pink fluffy bauble?

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or pink and yellow?

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How about twinkly black?

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Or a white slubby fluffy yarn, like a snowball!

 

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And this black one with white tips turned out massive like a great big hairy pompom.

 

 

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Then I went traditional with a beaded red one –

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And a red bauble with a simple cable stripe.

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So much diversity from one basic pattern!

Happy knitting until next time,

L x

 

A Week in my Studio

I just had the luxury of spending the entire week in my studio, having taken some long overdue leave from the FTJ (full time job). Allowing myself more or less all day to plan, create, and knit has been wonderful.

You can see from the sheer amount of clutter on the desk that a few projects are in progress.

Works in progress

A knitting pattern is ready to be posted, there are sample basket bases, a part-finished knitted handbag, some completed cotton cloths, double pins, needles, thread, and a pile of spiral coasters. I am loving the spiral coasters, even though they are not knitted, just sewn in place. I decided to take some pictures of them, with Larry’s help.

Thanks for helping, Larry!

Thanks for helping, Larry!

That's better!

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I think the cats have enjoyed having me around the house all day. There is usually one or two hanging out with me, either on my lap or in one of the baskets.

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The FTJ next week is going to be insane, as I will have loads of catching up to do plus lots of preparation for a trade event next Friday. But I must try to harness this week’s creativity and motivation, and continue with it in every spare moment.

I’ve got to design more patterns!

Happy crafting!

Till next time,

L x

New Baskets are Ready

New 100% wool baskets are ready and listed for sale.

9-inch square basket

9-inch square basket

9-inch round basket

9-inch round basket

11-inch round basket

11-inch round basket

18-inch round basket

18-inch round basket

Carefully designed and made over many weeks, these baskets have all manner of uses.  The wool is semi-felted and slightly spun, giving a firm structural finish but retaining its natural softness. As readers of previous posts will know, cats love them. There is a faint scent of fleecy wool about them which seems irresistible to felines. And of course they are snug and warm. If your cat has ever made a little nest on your woolly jumper, your cat will love these baskets.

Larry likes it

Larry likes it

Monty takes 3 in one go

Monty takes 3 in one go

Herbie snuggles down before I've had a chance to cast off

Herbie snuggles down before I’ve even had a chance to cast off

They also make great work baskets, ideal for holding all your bits and pieces for a small project.

Basket will grip your knitting needles and keep them safe

Basket will grip your knitting needles and keep them safe

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I have had a lot of fun making these, and I hope you like them!

Till next time,

L x