Friday, December 22, 2006

A pair of socks for a one-legged woman

So sock number one is finished. It is very warm and cosy and I now have one warm foot. Not too difficult to knit and great fun. I found I needed far fewer rounds than the pattern said (40 not 48) for the foot, and if I was knitting another pair I would probably also put fewer rounds in the leg bit, and a longer rib.

I was disappointed to find that part way through the ball of wool there was a knot, then later on another one. A piece of yarn had been added in which destroyed the sequence of the dying, so I had to undo the knitting and take that bit out, and find the sequence again by discarding part of the ball, then graft the two ends together (you can't have knots in socks, it would be uncomfortable!) Not what you expect when this sock yarn is quite expensive to buy. Perhaps I am just being fussy, but I wanted my pattern to be consistent. When I start the next sock, I shall have to wind some off the ball to find the same place in the sequence to start knitting, as I shall want them to look approximately the same - although from photos I have seen of knitted pairs most knitters don't bother.

Also with the next pair I shall try to get the black and white band to go on each side of the foot shaping as I think this would look better.

Sorry to beepthree for spilling the beans on sock knitting and spoiling your Christmas present surprise :( grovel grovel. I will buy you chocolate to make it up to you, promise.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

More about socks

The sock is coming along just fine! It is a long time since I have knitted socks and had forgotten the fiddley bit required to turn the heel, but I have now done it and am on the home straight along the foot. Really enjoying doing it and this looks like the start of a new obsession. Just hope I will wear them! Looks useful for padding around the house in or for wearing with my walking boots though. I am using short lengths of blue yarn for markers but will have to make some better ones or invest in a pair, as I keep losing the yarn ones. It looks as though there will be a fair bit of yarn left over so I may end up making lots of children or baby socks too. Beepone has caught the bug too and wants me to teach her how to make some over Christmas, and a little bird tells me beeptwo might have a relevant Christmas present. Beepone is willing but not a great knitter, the only completed project to date is a garter knit scarf with designer holes, so socks might be a challenge, but beeptwo is not far behind me in the knitting game (and is much better than me at crochet). Anyone know of a good supply of sock yarn at bargain prices?

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Now that the preChristmas knitting rush is over, I thought I would like a change from miniature knitting, so I have decided to join the big craze of the moment, and knit some socks! I have bought a ball of Opal sock yarn and have started the first few rounds. The yarn is fantastic, lovely to work with, feels really soft and knits up beautifully. I can't wait to see the pattern that comes out at the end. This will be a long term project for just when I get knitting withdrawal symptoms, so I may not be wearing them 'til next winter. Might be the start of a whole range of socks though. Will keep my blog updated with progress.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Been really busy lately

Gosh been so busy lately knitting tiny jumpers; my needles are red hot. Ebay sales are going really well the last few weeks which I guess is the run up to Christmas - see my current auctions .
Also the latest publication of my patterns in the recent mini-knitting supplement of Dolls House and Miniatures Scene prompted lots of requests for brochures and orders.
It is beginning to quieten down a bit now, and hopefully after Christmas will not be so hectic, as I am away for a few weeks. The business will be left in the capable hands of hubby and the rest of the family staying at home though, so apart from not being able to supply ready knitted items as quickly as usual, orders will be sent out as normal. And I will still be reading and answering email.
Had a day in London this week and drooled over the lovely yarns and knitting patterns in Liberty's. If only there was time to knit them all :)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Sweaters and cardigans

The last few weeks I have been really busy designing a whole sweater collection. I have also cracked the designs for yoked sweaters and cardigans, which I am very pleased with! All my pattern test pieces end up on ebay, and just lately they are being snapped up, so I have obviously found something that collectors really like. I guess it is coming up to Christmas and that they make good presents. So now that I am confident with the cardigan pattern, the next one will be a twin set with pearls.
If you are at the Pudsey fair in November, be sure to check out Julie Bell's dolls at Bellabelle Dolls , they are fabulous. And you may notice a few bitstobuy knitting patterns on her stall as well (thanks Julie)!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

More patterns published

This month's edition of Dolls House and Miniature Scene (November) has a fabulous supplement packed full of knitting and crochet patterns for the dolls house, including several by me! Available from WHSmith now. Remember that I can also supply any yarn or needles needed, and now I am also able to supply miniature haberdashery items such as buttons and buckles, so that everything needed to complete my patterns is available from the webpage.
Very busy again following the publicity, but still finding time to work on new patterns - more news soon!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Thanks Fernando

Thanks to Fernando in Granada for sending my photographs of my aran jumper and hippy outfit on his dolls!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Have you had a problem ordering from the webpage?

Sometimes I am contacted by customers who have been unable to get an order through the webpage. When this happens I check the ordering system carefully, and my webmaster checks the programming, but it works for us. I don't know why some people can sometimes have a problem and just wonder if it is to do with individual computer settings. If it happens to you, please send me an email to and I will send a brochure and order form to order by mail.
Just wanted to emphasise that I can't take credit or debit card numbers by email or on the 'phone; this is for your own protection as I can't provide a secure link. Payments made in this way through the webpage are handled by a secure third party, Paypal, and customers are linked to their site after sending in an order. You can pay here in two ways - if you already have your own Paypal account you can transfer funds from there, but if you do not, you do not have to open a Paypal account. This is not transparently clear on their site (after all they want your business!), but by clicking the link to say you do not have an account, you can pay in the normal way with a credit or debit card, and it doesn't cost you anything. Many shopping sites on the internet use this system and it works well. Of course if you choose to send a cheque or PO instead I am more than happy as I have to pay commission to Paypal!
If I get an order through the webpage without payment, I usually sit on it for a couple of weeks in case payment arrives through the post, but after that I will contact you by email or 'phone in case there is a problem.
Hope that helps!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Paris in the summer

Just got back from 4 days in Paris to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary (we went there for our honeymoon). It was lovely, although not the best time of year to go, as of course a large number of restaurants and shops are closed in August for the annual holidays, and Versailles was heaving with tourists. Still it was a lovely break from the day-to-day, and I didn't take my knitting!

Now we have another wedding to look forward to, as beepone and her man have booked the date for April 7th at Coombe Abbey. A busy few months coming up!

Another pattern published, this time for an easy to knit mini knitting basket and contents. When I get round to it, I will write this one up as a leaflet, probably as an extended version.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Here it is:

Another pattern published

My pattern for a lacy bedcover and bolster is published today in Dolls House and Miniature Scene. Nice to see I got a mention on the front cover! This is one of my most popular patterns, and is easy to knit on 2mm needles with crochet cotton.

Webpage back to normal I hope

My webpage ordering system seems to be functioning as it should again, thanks webmaster Anna.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Ow my toe hurts

So on Friday I did what everyone does all the time and stubbed my toe on a table leg. No way was I going to brave the nearest A&E over a weekend (15 miles away) so left it to get better but byMonday decided to go to the local Minor Injuries Unit. Yes I have fractured it. Now find myself in the hospital system with it all strapped up and an appointment at the fracture clinic. And a good excuse to sit with my feet up (keep off it for at least 4 weeks they told me!). Good job it's not a finger, at least I can knit. OK, let's have the sympathy vote now.....

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Problem with webpage orders

Having a bit of a frustrating weekend because there is a problem with my webpage. I am getting payments for orders through from Paypal but the actual order itself is not coming through to my mailbox. This is very difficult for me and must be very annoying for my customers when I email them to ask what they ordered. I can only apologise if it has happened to you! It seems to be a problem with the people who host my webpage and we are doing all we can to sort it out. Not a happy bunny at the moment :(

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Why does the same grade of yarn sometimes vary in thickness?

You may have noticed that bizarrely sometimes the same grade of yarn can seem thinner or thicker according to the colour. Now 2 ply should be 2 ply if it is the same composition from the same manufacturer, but I always find that the big cones I buy can be quite a different size for the same weight, for example a white cone is quite small but a dark pink one can be half as big again. Some colours will wind into quite a small skein, but the same weight in a different colour may give a much more bulky skein. The answer to this conundrum is that the dyes used can affect the yarn, making it more or less bulky, by causing the fibres to swell. The same effect is often seen with embroidery silks; some users will swear that the darker colours are thinner. The good news is that for miniature knitting it does not really affect the tension, and hence the finished size of the item. So if you have noticed this, yes, you have not imagined it, but you don't need to worry about it!

Another pattern published

Pleased to say another of my patterns has now been published: see the online magazine Dolls House Artisan. I hope to have more up there soon!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Even more busy, busy, busy

And now a hippy outfit too!

Busy, busy, busy....

Had a big influx of orders this week for ready knitted items! So in the next few days I will be knitting an heirloom bedspread and cushions, two decorated moses baskets with bedding, an aran jumper, and a little girls dress with underclothes (lessons learned this week: our US friends don't know what knickers are) and hat. With predicted temperatures in the mid 30sC, I will just have to find a cool corner, put the fan on, and hope my fingers don't get too hot. And the pattern I am currently working on for a man's pullover, turn-up trousers and flat cap will go on hold for a few days.
Does everyone else find that knitting takes a back seat when the weather gets hot? The fingers just don't want to be handling tiny woolly stitches.
The bitstobuy family are similarly fully occupied at present: beepone is busy organising her wedding for next year, beeptwo is working very hard on her IT consultancy business and beepthree has just finished uni and moved back home to start his first job as an IT technician next Monday (so more washing for Mum). 'Im outdoors is keeping the kitchen well supplied with lovely fresh veg and fruit from the allotment, and still burning up the bridleways of the South Downs on his mountain bike.
Back to the knitting needles!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

OK, have just found out how to add pictures. I am learning all the time!
Thanks to all the new customers who have contacted me after my profile was published in the August edition of Dolls House and Miniature Scene. I was thrilled that they published photographs of my work over FOUR pages! I seem to have filled a gap in the market, by publishing patterns which are easy to knit, using slightly larger needles and yarn than those already on the market. I am working on new patterns all the time, and am always open to suggestions! Hope to hear from you.

Welcome to my blog

Hello everyone and welcome to my blog.
This is where I hope to post news about bitstobuy, notes about what I have been knitting and what patterns I am working on next, and other snippets about miniature knitting that may be of interest.
I would love to hear about what you are knitting and what you think about my patterns. If you have any photographs of items you have knit from my patterns please send them to me and I will put them up here. And of course if you have any questions, or if you need any help with miniature knitting, I will be very pleased to help.
Thanks to all my customers, many of whom feel like good friends, and I look forward to hearing from you!
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