Saturday, 3 October 2015

Here's another one

Again, really simple! I made this because there weren't initially (or ever?) any small projects for the gorgeous Debbie Bliss Paloma yarn and local people were baulking at the idea of paying £130 to knit themselves a cardigan (Can't think why...!) So here's my own small project Paloma idea. The red one I made was more attractive, but I can't find it right now to photograph it.

Three Button Cowl

A really simple but appealing cowl that can be worn long and loose or wound twice round the neck for extra warmth.

Four hanks Debbie Bliss Paloma
One pair of 7.5mm needles
3 large buttons

Cast on 26 stitches
Row 1 k3 *p2, k2* rpt to last 3 stitches, p2, k1
Row 2 k3 *p2, k2* to last 3 sts, p2 k1
Row 3 k1, *p2, k2* to last st, k1
Row 4 k1, *p2, k2* to last st, k1
These four rows form pattern. Rpt pattern rows until cowl measures approx. 45”
Change to k2, p2 rib: and work the following two rows, three times:
Row 1, k2, *p2, k2* to end
Row 2 k1, p1, k2,* p2, k2* to last 2 sts, p1, k1
Buttonhole row 1: k2, p2, cast off 2, p1, k2, p2, cast off 2, p1, k2, p2, cast off 2, p1, k2
Buttonhole row 2: k1, p1, k2, cast on 2, k2, p2, k2, cast on 2, k2, p2, k2, cast on 2, k2, p1, k1
Next row: work stitches as presented, but work into back of cast on stitches.
Work one more row, then cast off, sew in end and sew on buttons to match buttonhole placings.
A little reminder also, that if you like the pattern and think it's worth a small donation to The Knock On Effect, my late niece's fundraising project for those affected by cancer, then please go to:
where you can scroll down to the donate button. But just if you'd like; there's no obligation.

Friday, 2 October 2015

The missing pattern! In very big print!

Okay, here it is (finally...):

Chunky two colour cowl
Knit in the round version
1 ball each of two contrasting colours in Adriafil Mistero chunky – I used shades 32 and 26
Circular needle 6.5mm x 40cm
17stitches and 21 rows to 4 inches – it’s not crucial to have it exact, but somewhere near would be good.
a = main colour
b = contrast colour
Using your main colour, loosely cast on 96 stitches.
Join your stitches into a round, making sure they aren’t twisted, and marking the start of the round with a coloured thread or stitch marker.
Work 6 rounds of k1, p1 rib, starting with a k1.
Then start working in pattern as follows:
Pattern round 1: (k3a, k1b) repeat to marker
Pattern round 2: (k1b, k1a, k2b) repeat to marker
Work 28 pattern rounds in total.
Break off contrast colour.
Work 5 rounds of k1, p1 rib, starting with a k1, in main colour, then cast off in rib. Break thread, remove marker and sew in ends.
I wear my cowl upside down as I think it looks better that way!

Knitted flat version
1 ball each of two contrasting colours of Cygnet Grousemoor Chunky – I used shades 194 and 288
Pair straight needles 5.5mm
a = main colour
b = contrast colour
16 stitches and 19 rows to 4 inches – it’s not crucial to have it exact but somewhere near would be good.
Using main colour, loosely cast on 97 stitches, and work 6 rows of k1, p1 rib in main colour.
Then work 2-colour pattern as follows:
Pattern row 1: k2a, k1b, *k3a, k1b, rpt from * to last 2 sts, k2a
Pattern row 2: k1a, * p3b, p1a, rpt from * to last 4 sts, p3b, k1a
Repeat these two rows until 28 rows have been worked. Break off colour b.
Work 5 rows of k1, p1 rib in main colour.
Cast off loosely in rib.
With right sides together sew side seam using a simple overstitch.
Sew in ends.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Ravelry and the Chunky Two Colour Cowl

If I've established one thing today it's that I can't successfully navigate the many twists, turns, dead ends and other complications which make up the maze of the ravelry designer's account. I somehow ended up with two accounts. I don't know how, but I'm willing to accept it was probably an error on my part. My pattern wasn't connected to either of them. Then it became connected and a period of comparative peace ensued. Then it wasn't again and havoc ensued. By the time I'd answered a lot of questions from ravellers kindly trying to help me, and realised how little I could picture the shape of the site, a migraine was hovering. (Give me a flowchart or a site map or something! Just something so i can see how all the pages are connected for myself. Otherwise it's like doing a jigsaw without the picture on the lid.)

And it's like tatting: everything's fine while you're doing okay but, the minute you go wrong, there's no easy route back. Or no route at all. I was clicking on the same button at different times and being taken to different pages; how can that be? How can the site one time offer me a choice of my shop account or my designer account and then, another time, offer me my shop account or a different designer account. How?

Are you still there? Okay, this is the pattern that was on ravelry. I posted it saying it was free but if anyone liked it and wanted to donate a small amount to my late niece's fundraising project for cancer charities, The Knock On Effect, that would be fab. That still stands.

I'll upload it here as soon as I've had my lie down in a darkened room. And then another simple one straight after, just because I said I would.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

I've started, so I'll finish...

Or maybe I won't.

I've had a vintage jumper on the needles for quite some time. Maybe a couple of years. But the fact I was knitting it so slowly - even by my standards, which often see upstart new projects leapfrog with gusto over back burner knitting - was a clue that I wasn't fully committed to it. I liked the wool (Cygnet Truly Wool Rich 4 ply - perfect for vintage knits); I liked some aspects of the pattern; I liked the whole idea of knitting something from the very old knitting book that Mike kindly presented me with one recentish Christmas.  But long hours spent knitting into the back of every single stitch didn't endear me to it.

So I looked again at the completed back and realised it was probably time to call it quits. I could upravel the yarn. I could knit something I liked more. (I mean, it had puff sleeves - what was I thinking?) I could avoid the torture of knitting into the backs of thousands more stitches. And then this morning, I looked at some other vintage patterns and its fate was sealed.

Life's too short to finish books you're not enjoying reading or make jumpers you're not enjoying knitting!

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Now, what to make next...

My upcycling project with the very old and rabbit-mutilated crocheted blanket has finally borne complete new little blanketty fruit. And here it is. I don't think I was into subtlety colourwise back in the seventies, and it's pretty crudely crocheted - it definitely doesn't bear close inspection - and it doesn't have those lovely colour changes or 3D flower effects etc that current afghan patterns feature, but it'll still keep someone warmer than if they weren't huddled up in it. I did my best with the decades-old squares and the dark joining-up cotton that I could hardly see and the limited time I had available! (Hmmm, are there any more excuses I can think of for a less than excellent job?)

This one, on the other hand, is reasonably okay. Altho' the photo manages to make it look washed-out grey and pink, it's actually hot pink and a pretty green. It's a strange shape, but would make a lap blanket or a baby blanket, or something anyway.

These were both too late for the Nepal appeal so they'll be going to Knit for Nowt later in the year, along with the stuff made at the knitathon in September. Don't forget to let me know if you're coming along; we have so much acrylic that will benefit so many people once it's knitted or crocheted up.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Cricket and crochet

You spend a day at the cricket - Yorkshire won, by the way, with a day to spare - you have the sunshine, you have the packed lunch...what else could you possibly need? A bit of crocheting, that's what, so I grabbed a ball of cotton and a hook and started on a market bag.
I love market bags. Really they're just upmarket, updated string bags, but more stylish and with added cachet these days when a plastic bag is - so some people would have us believe - a crime against the environment.
How to make one? Well, basically you produce a bit of solid crocheting at the bottom, a bit of mesh, a bit more solid crocheting, add a handle or two and you're done. Adjust stitches used and proportions to match your size and shape preferences. You need more than that?...take a look at for lots of free and paid for patterns.
Here's how far I got with mine in a few hours:

Wednesday, 5 August 2015


Every time I resolve to finish a few things and reduce my pile of stuff that's in progress, someone shows me a new yarn, or offers me a sample ball or I realise we have something fab in the shop that I've never knitted with. It's a hard and confusing life.

Here's a couple of things I'm working on at present:
This is going to be a new cardigan for the wire lady in the lovely Wendy Ramsdale, a 100% British wool. It feels really lush in the knitting, as though it'll be cosy and warm through the coldest Old Bank winter. I'm using a very simple pattern from August's Knit Today but any DK pattern would be great.

And then there's this:
This is two balls of Debbie Bliss Angel knitted together in a simple lacy pattern from a stitch directory with a garter stitch edging. Prettier in the flesh.

So, that was all very straight and sensible, wasn't it? Anyone know any jokes?