Monday, October 31, 2011

Knitted baby Ugg type boots

There are several lovely patterns on Ravelry for knitted baby bootees that look like Ugg boots.  I used one of them and adapted it a bit to make these for Mia who is just about 5 months old.  I think they turned out to be quite cute!  Very easy to knit and I knitted in the contrast to save having to embroider it on at the end.  I made another pair on slightly larger needles which fit Emily who is now 15 months old.
A good evening's work! 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Knitted tee-shirt rug with fringe

I needed a new rug for the hallway and inspired by knitted tee versions I had seen on the web decided to have a go.  I sort of made it up as I went along, but these are the basic instructions with quantities:
I took a chance on quantities and bought 75cm of cream jersey tee-shirt type fabric, 50cm of dark rose (115cm wide) and the largest size green tee-shirt I could find.  It all came from the North Laines, Brighton UK, the fabric from the two shops there selling from rolls at a total cost of about £10, and the tee-shirt from the cheap shop selling them on rails at £2.
Of course you should really use old tee-shirts but I didn’t have the quantity or colours I wanted.
I cut the fabric into strips about one cm wide, by laying it out flat, rounding the corners slightly, then just cutting round the edges in a spiral to make one length which was wound into balls, the same with the tee. There are various methods on-line on how to cut a tee into strips, but just making the main part flat and cutting like this worked for me.  The cream I cut as I went along, as I also cut some into a very narrow 3-4mm width.  I used this with some of the solid colour stripes to ‘bleed’ one colour into the next.
The needles were size 15mm.
I cast on 45 stitches.
Stocking stitch 4 rows in cream, then 2 rows in green + the narrow cream, 2 rows green, 2 rows green + the narrow cream.
Stocking stitch 4 rows in cream, then 2 rows rose + the narrow cream, 2 rows rose, 2 rows rose + the narrow cream.
Continue in this way, you get the idea, finishing with 4 rows cream.
I didn’t bother sewing together any joins, just knotted and pushed through to the wrong side.
I intended to make a garter stitch border with mitred edges but wasn’t sure if I would have enough rose, so just crocheted around the edge (one row double crochet cream, two rows double crochet rose) until I ran out.
I cut the remaining rose into pieces to make the fringe, just enough if rather sparse!
The finished size was 72 x 75cm without the fringe.
I backed it with a piece of cream fabric and also sewed on some non-slip backing from the £1 shop.
Quite pleased with the result and really enjoyed making it.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

12th scale dolls house heirloom blanket

This week I have been tweaking one of my favourite (and most popular designs) to knit it in a finer one ply yarn.  I had to make the panels a bit bigger and adjust the stitch counts so that it fitter together properly.  I am pleased with the finished result though, the thinner yarn (it was previously 2 ply) looks much more in scale and drapes beautifully on a dolls house bed.  Well worth the effort.
The bed in the photograph is 5" x 6" in size.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

The easiest pasta recipe in the world

While I leave the main vegetable growing to him outdoors on the allotment, my job is to grow the tomatoes in the greenhouse at home.  He usually grows Moneymaker outdoors, but due to disaster with blight spreading across the allotment over the last few years I think next year I will have to find space in the garden for a few plants.  But I reserve the greenhouse for my favourite variety Sungold.  This is a small orange cherry tomato with an intense sweet flavour that is simply delicious.  I am just coming to the end of the summer glut.  I wash and bag them as they are and freeze them loosely so that they can just be tipped out of bags for cooking.  This is my favourite pasta recipe to use with the fresh or the frozen tomatoes.
Wash the tomatoes and put into an oven proof dish.  Sprinkle with olive oil, garlic powder and dried Italian herbs.  Put under the grill for a few minutes until they are soft and starting to char slightly.
Meanwhile cook some pasta.  When ready, tip the pasta in a bowl and top with the tomatoes and lovely juices.  Delicious!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Knitting and Stitching Show Alexander Palace

Had a lovely day yesterday at the annual Knitting and Stitching Show in London, at Alexander Palace.  It is very popular and well worth attending if you are into knitting or quilting.  This is my second visit and I absolutely loved it.  We went on Friday and I expect it is even more busy over the weekend.

I thought I would just throw out a few ideas in case you are thinking of attending.
  • I don't find it the easiest place to get to.  I travelled by train from southern England to Victoria, then 30 minutes on the Piccadilly Line (changed at Green Park) to Wood Green tube station.  From there it is a 30 minute walk uphill.  The courtesy buses are about every 20 minutes, leaving from the road which runs perpendicular to the station exit, and expect long queues.  However the W13 bus which goes from an adjacent stop does the same journey every 2-3 minutes, and the queues are fairly fast moving.  You get free travel with a train Travelcard or an over 60 bus pass - I am not sure what the fare would be.  Don't get off at the first Ally Pally stop for the ice rink, but the next one (don't worry the bus will be full of ladies of a certain age all going to the same place).
  • We got there about 11:30am and left about 4pm, which is about right.  It is packed with people but did seem a bit quieter in the afternoon.  It opens at 10am but leaving it that bit later avoided having to queue to get in.
  • We took a packed lunch and did what a lot of people were doing, that is sat down on the floor at the edge of the exhibition area to eat it.  There are several lunch places around the edge of the main hall (all serving the same food at the same price) but they were packed.  In the afternoon we managed to get a couple of seats at a table for a cup of tea but the service at the counter was very slow.
  • We tackled the main exhibition room first and if you are looking to buy supplies that is the best way to do it before you run out of steam.  The smaller exhibition hall also has some suppliers but also a lot of exhibitors showing artworks etc, which we weren't that interested in, so we did that last.  There is also another area on the way in, next to the main Cafe, which is mostly associations and charities.
  • If you have a budget, you might like to take cash and not a credit card.  There is so much lovely stuff it is easy to get carried away.  I heard some suppliers say they only took cash not cards for under £10 so take plenty of change.
  • I read somewhere it is a good idea to take a rolling case or shopping bag on wheels to put your purchases in, but I wouldn't like to try as those who had were not very popular in that huge crush of people.  I did see a few pushchairs but it must have been very hard work to push them around and try to see anything. It may not be PC to say so, but ride on mobility scooters are also perhaps not a brilliant idea in that situation.
  • If you look around there are plenty of bargains to be had, eg end of lines, bin ends, large packs of branded quality yarns.  But probably a good idea to make a list before you go of what you are looking for.
  • I bought some quite expensive luxury yarn to knit a cardigan which was on show, but when I got it home there was no label on it.  I wished I had paid a bit more attention and asked more questions as now I am not sure of the composition or washing instructions, or even who I bought it from.
Don't be put off by all these negative comments, it is definitely worth going, just takes some planning!
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