Knitting and Me are Back On

I knitted my cat basket in t-shirt yarn. It turned out much better than I expected.

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I have had this cone of t-shirt yarn on the shelf for more than 6 months.  I never thought it would work. T-shirt yarn is quite floppy, not stiff like the semi-felted wool I was using before. That’s why I thought it would never work as a basket – the sides have to stand up unsupported. But I was wrong. The sides stand up beautifully.

Until Larry came along and curled up on top of it.

Larry flattens the new basket

Larry flattens the new basket

It was good to get Larry’s seal of approval.  But I have to make an adjustment. The new yarn is thinner than the semi-felted wool, so the basket knits up smaller. Larry is using the entire basket as a pillow.

Time to make a bigger basket.  Here goes with the next size up. I’ve got just enough t-shirt yarn left to make the medium size. This works out a lot better for Larry.

Larry in the medium basket

Larry in the medium basket

The t-shirt yarn is delightfully easy to work with, maybe because of the generous stretch it has. Fortunately I can use the same set of doublepins I already have. Most exciting of all, t-shirt yarn is easily available in every colour under the sun. Wow, how exciting is that?

I went online and ordered a load of fabulous colours.

Knitting – me and you are back on!

Till next time,

L x

 

 

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A Love Affair with Wool

One of the reasons I fell in love with knitting is the wool. The texture, colours, feel and even the scent of pure wool were very appealing – and still are. When I was little I used to go and stay with my aunt who was a spinning and weaving teacher. Needless to say she always had a wool-related project to keep me amused. I remember sitting in her garden one summer’s day, handling some raw wool fleece. My job was to loosen the fibres by tossing it into the air, teasing it out, and letting the air in. I loved the feel of the wool under my fingers and the scent of lanolin it left behind.  To this day, handling pure wool is happily evocative of those times.

The giant wool I use for my baskets and cat caves is not that far removed from raw fleece. It’s had minimal processing and still retains its characteristic aroma. I had a lot of fun devising my giant wool baskets and my cats love modelling them.

So I was thrilled this week when my extreme knitting cat baskets were featured on the Ovis-A wool blog.  Many thanks to Katherine for the mention!

Ovis-a.com is a new site which aims to promote and celebrate British wool and wool designs. From their Facebook page – “The overall ethos is to promote a forward thinking and contemporary way to showcase British Wool products, using a directory and showcase service.”  They are also on Twitter.

This is a great idea and I wish them all the best with their venture!

It's not finished yet, Herbie

It’s not finished yet, Herbie

Till next time,

L x

2013 in review

I just received my blog’s annual report and stats. It was fascinating reading!

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,100 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

My no 1 commenter is the lovely Jengolightly, who I would like to thank very much! Hugs to you for your support!

Life changed a lot for me in 2013. I broke my ankle and was made redundant. Now I am self-employed and it feels very exciting. I hope I can keep motivated, organised and efficient. That almost sounds like a resolution doesn’t it?

Herbie is a distraction

Herbie is a distraction

Happy New Year to everyone!

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

 

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

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