Friday, December 21, 2012

Tiny knitted patchwork blankets for the dolls house

I just love knitting the tiny blankets with colourful squares in 12th scale, dolls house sized.  I have lots of different coloured 2 ply yarns, and this is a great way of using up scraps left from knitting garments and other bits.  I like picking the colours as I go along and can confidently say that even though I have knitted dozens over the years, no two are the same.

Here is one all in pink colours:

This one is for sale on the webpage with the ready made items.  I have also done some in blue colourways, also in brights and pastels.  Any combination is possible really.  The trick is to divide colours up into light/medium and dark shades before starting, then to put them alternately, also to try and balance out brights with more subdued colours.  They are knitted in one piece using the intarsia method, so no seaming.

Here is a standard one just done with colours as they come:

This one is currently for sale on ebay.

I find this ideal for that 'mindless' knitting while watching the TV.  So will be working on more over Christmas!

Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year to all.

Monday, November 26, 2012

How to upcycle reclaimed needlepoint

Last time I went up to London I did my usual walk around Liberty as their Christmas stuff is just amazing.  Unfortunately most of the prices are out of my range but it is lovely to look at all the crafty-type makes.  It is a pity that they don't do as much fabric and haberdashery now as they used to but I suppose they have to stock what sells.
It is always interesting to look at the 'vintage' room where they are selling clothes that I was wearing in the 1960s and 70s, although they are probably much higher quality brands than I could afford then.  There are some lovely evening dresses that would be wonderful to have for that special occasion.
There are always some unusual and quirky items, especially in the furniture.  I was greatly amused to see old furniture which had been renovated and recovered in old 'reclaimed' needlepoint tapestries, which were in lovely bright condition and well cleaned.  One was an vintage metal dentist chair, which was covered in brightly coloured scenes of thatched cottages and wheat fields or similar.  Other similar unusually shaped furniture or metal objects had been reupholstered in the same way.  It seemed that the idea was to put together two disparate items, the object and the bright needlework, to make a statement. 
I am not sure what my point is really, I am just a bit bemused.  I suspect if we were clearing out an elderly relative's home the old furniture and needlepoint would have been put in the skip, even though we know that many hours of work went into the stitching.  Someone is able to see past this.   I hope they sell.  I hope that someone will give my old needlepoint a new lease of life and that the Liberty buyer is around to rummage through my skip.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Free knitting pattern for a rag rug for the dolls house in 12th scale

Here is a pattern for a dolls house rug, made to look like a traditional rag rug.  Of course it can be made in any size you want, could even be full size if you use big needles and thick or doubled up yarn and more stitches as required.

It is very quick to knit for the dolls house and looks very effective.  A good way to use up all the tiny bits of yarn left over from other projects.

Use all bright colours or all pastels for the best effect.



Materials required:  A pair of 2.00 mm (UK size 14) knitting needles.  Scraps of 2 ply yarn.


Make a ball of random yarn as follows:  cut lengths of different coloured yarns about 4 to 8” (10 – 20 cm) long (or use lengths left over from other projects).  Knot firmly together in random order to make a long length, and wind into a ball.  Wind 2 small balls of black yarn.

Cast on 25 sts in black using the first ball of black.  K 6 rows.

Next row:  k5 black, join in random ball and k15 random, join in second small ball of black and keep on this side of work for left hand border and k5 black.  Make sure that the knots are kept to the wrong side of the work.

Repeat this row until work measures 2 1/2 “ (6 cm) or desired length.  K 6 rows in black.  Cast off.  Trim knots if necessary.
Happy knitting!
Just taking a break for a couple of weeks, back soon.

Saturday, November 03, 2012


Time to start setting the dolls house up for Christmas.  Lots of patterns in my Christmas book.

and don't forget the free pattern for a tiny Christmas stocking (scroll down the blog for details).

Happy knitting everyone!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Friday, October 19, 2012

Lots more knitting to do

Had  a great day at the Knitting and Stitching Show.  As usual it was heaving with people but it was worth the effort to see all the lovely yarns, if only to touch and squeeze them.  I resisted the buffalo yarn at up to £65 a skein, but I did buy a beautiful wool and silk 2 ply to knit a very fine tie-front cardigan which I have been thinking about for a while.  There is so much on a skein that I only needed one, at £16, so that seemed a bargain.  I also bought some ssshhhhh acrylic to knit another Nanook, and a cotton mix for a stripy sweatshirt type pattern called Shellseeker by the same designer.  So probably got enough to keep me going until next year's show, which is already booked on the calendar for 10th to 13th October 2013. 

I had half a skein of wool/silk left over from my last Nanook, so found a pattern for a camisole and am squeezing the yarn out to hopefully have enough.  It is knitted top down and I am about half way there so should be able to get sufficient length and then stop when I run out of yarn.

Sorry no photos as him outdoors has taken the camera away for the weekend.

Meanwhile I am still knitting tiny things in between.  I try to do one a day to feed my ebay customers! Here is one I made earlier:

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Off to Ally-Pally!

So me and beeptwo are off to Alexandra Palace on Saturday to the Knitting and Stitching show.  Can't wait, already got my shopping list and sharp elbows ready and looking forward to seeing all the knitty things.  Woo Hoo.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Free pattern for a 12th scale dolls house miniature knitting Christmas stocking

Here is a pattern for a tiny Christmas stocking for the dolls house in 12th scale.  Plenty of time to get lots of these knitted for Christmas!

This is taken from my Book 2 of knitting patterns.  Lots more Christmas patterns (including a long stripy Christmas stocking) can be found in my Christmas Book of miniature knitting patterns.

Materials:  scraps of one ply or two ply yarn in red and white.  A pair of 2mm knitting needles.

Cast on 4 sts in white.

Inc in every st (8 sts)

Inc purlwise in every st (16 sts)

K two rows.

Join in red and ss 6 rows.

Change to white.

K3, turn, p3.

K4, turn, p4.

K5 white, add in red and k8 in red, k3 in white.

Working in white:

P4, turn, k4.

P5, turn, k5.

Change to red and starting with a p row ss 8 rows.

For cuff:  Change to white and p one row.

Next row:  k4, inc in next st, k6, inc in next st, k4 (18 sts)

Starting with a k row, ss 10 rows.

Cast off.

To make up:  With wrong sides together fold in half and sew cuff seam.  Turn to right sides together and seam around stocking, gathering toe.  Turn right side out and fold cuff down. Make hanging loop with white yarn.

 Copyright Helen Cox 2012

Monday, September 24, 2012

Teddy Bear for Refuge

I have finished my teddy bear which has been knitted for Refuge.

This pattern for a basic bear and clothes comes from a newly published book, but has also been distributed online by Simply Knitting and The Knitter in return for a donation to the Knit for Refuge Campaign.
Refuge is a charity which helps women and children subjected to domestic violence to rebuild their lives. The campaign has asked for blankets and teddies to pass on to families who arrive at the refuge with no possessions of their own. The campaign is due to run until December 2012.

My teddy will be delivered to The Knitting and Stitching Show in London in October.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Finished my Nanook cardigan

 I am very pleased with my Nanook jacket which I finished recently.   What a lovely pattern! 

I used a gorgeous 50% silk/50% wool undyed yarn from Uppinghams which drapes beautifully and is lovely and soft to wear.

I had a few false starts with the pattern but once you get your head around it it is easy to follow as it is so well written.
It can also be worn in several different ways.
I can see that this pattern might come out again, perhaps knit in a chunkier yarn and oversized to make it a bit different.

Friday, September 14, 2012

FREE yarn with all website orders

Gosh it's been busy lately.  Babysitting, holiday which produced enough washing to keep me busy for weeks, garden projects etc.  Time to batten down the hatches for autumn and think about yarn things again.  I finished one cardigan before we went on holiday and am just working through another.  I have enjoyed doing full size knitting again but of course still have miniature knitting on the go too, and need to build up my stocks of miniature knitted outfits for the Christmas market.

I have also just listed my Christmas pattern book on ebay as it will be that time of year again soon.

I am doing a bit of tightening up on the miniature knitting webpage  The bjd patterns are being passed on to my daughter who knows far more about this scale than I do

As I haven't offered a FREE gift lately, with all website orders until the end of October I will be adding two skeins of low bulk 2/28 2ply yarn, ideal for all those tiny sweaters and other projects.  One skein is a bright sunshine yellow and the other is a caramel brown, slightly variagated.  Ideal for that fair isle project.

Happy knitting!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Review - Smencils

Smencils are the world's only scented pencils made from 100% recycled newspaper. There are 25 scents to collect, and I was sent a pack of pencils to review which smell like Robinsons Fruit Shoots. The starter set contains five graphite pencils. Each smencil is environmentally friendly and made from 100% recycled newspaper. The pencils are enclosed in individual plastic containers, presumably to contain the scent, which are biodegradable.

I can see how the pencils would be popular with children, they have a strong and distinctive scent and they are good quality. I also really like the fact that they are made from recycled products. One thing to note, it is the pencil itself that smells, the scent doesn't transfer to the paper.

As well as the packs, you can also buy the pencils individually and they'd be really good for party bags or stocking presents.

You can enter to win a set of Smencils here on Facebook, the competition closes on Friday 7th September 2012.

Disclaimer - I received the pencils to review

Sunday, July 22, 2012

More toys for the grandchildren

I recently blogged about keeping toys for the grandchildren and then I remembered, we actually still have toys from the previous generation, which belonged to my husband and myself when we were tiny.   They have been stored away for years and are just coming out again.
My husband's grandfather was apparently brilliant at woodwork and any kind of practical stuff, and we have several wooden toys that he made, built to withstand WW3.
Here is the blackboard and easel:
(The shed was leaking that day-yes it was raining, hence the water stain).  It amuses my husband that it is painted yellow as this was the standard company colour paint used at Eastwoods in Lewes where he worked. 

Then there is the working windmill:
You pull the cord at the side and the sweeps go round.  Our children got bored with this quite quickly, as when you have done it once it doesn't do anything else.  But Harry spent ages looking through the little door at the back investigating all the cogs and working out how it functioned.

The rocking horse had a bit of a sprucing up when our children were little, with new leather seat and paint, but it still had a lot of use.  It needs supervision as we lost several children over the front when they got a bit enthusiastic:
Next time around we will make sure there are lots of cushions!

These toys were all made in the late 1940s, and if you work it out, you will see that our grandchildren are now playing with toys made by their great-great-grandfather.  I wonder what he would have thought.

Then there are a couple of things made by my father for me in the early 1950s.  Apparently this little cot is one of Emily's favourite toys:

It was one of my favourite toys too, I loved playing with dolls.  I was passionate about kittens and can also remember dressing several up in dolls clothes and trying to get them to lie in the cot.  A futile game of course.

I digress, but this is my first kitten, Tiger:
From the look on his face, he is probably terrified of being dressed up and put in a cot.

And lastly there is my dolls house:

It is looking a bit sad now, sitting in the loft.  In its heyday it had working lights fuelled by a battery under the stairs, and I spent ages redecorating the rooms and even cut little tiles for the bathroom floor.  When it was moved from the house I was born in in Cheshire, number '36', the door was repainted to match our glazing and to '37' to where we live now.  It wouldn't fit in the car and Dad made the roof removable which is why it looks a bit wonky.  It may come out again one day but will need a bit of attention.

So these last two were made by the little ones great-grandfather.

I'm not normally one for looking to the past, I prefer to look to the future, but I must confess to feeling nostalgic about these old toys.  They may be around for many years to come.

PS We are well aware that these things are not made to current toy standards, and the paint no doubt contains lead.  They are all used under supervision!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

New FREE knitting pattern for a quick-to-knit chunky sweater

I have designed a new FREE pattern for a quick and easy chunky sweater which I have called 'Chunky with a Twist'

I wanted a quick to knit chunky design that was slimming rather than adding inches, so came up with this sweater with side cable panels to add shaping.
The main pieces are knitted flat to the underarm, then joined and knitted flat to the neck with raglan and front shaping, then finished with a back neck band and with just side and sleeve seaming.
The pattern is only available in my size (36” bust).
Suitable for knitting in any chunky yarn to match gauge.

It can be downloaded as a PDF file from Ravelry and is also reproduced below.  Hope you like it and I would love to receive comments and photos if you knit it!



A quick to knit sweater in chunky yarn.  Twisted side panels and ribbings give a slimming outline.


8 balls of Sirdar Tweedie Chunky 50g (864 yards, 800 metres)
7 balls of Patons Soft Tweed 50g (882 yards, 805 metres)
Any light weight chunky yarn to give correct gauge.

A pair of 4mm knitting needles

A 5mm circular needle

4 stitch markers


To fit chest size 36 inches (92 cm)

Actual measurements of finished sweater laid flat after blocking:

Length to underarm
Length of sleeve to underarm
Length to back of neck
20 inches
15 inches
17 inches
23 ½ inches
51 cm
38 cm
43 cm
59.5 cm


 14 stitches and 21 rows to 10cm over stocking stitch on 5mm needle


K = knit;  p = purl; st = stitch;  sts = stitches;  ss = stocking stitch (stockinette stitch); twist2back = twist two sts back by knitting into the back of the second st on the needle, then into the front of the first st on the needle and dropping both loops off together;  knit2front = knit two sts front by knitting into the front of the second st on the needle, then into the front of the first st on the needle and dropping both loops off together;  ssk = slip the next 2 sts knitwise, transfer back to left hand needle, then k together through back of loops; sl1 = slip one;  [  ] = repeat instructions in brackets

All pieces are knitted flat.  The main sections are knitted separately flat to the underarm, then joined and knitted flat to the neck.  The circular needle is required to hold the large number of stitches on the yoke.

BACK AND FRONT (make two pieces the same)     

With 4mm needles cast on 74 sts.

Work rib as follows:

Row 1:  p2, [k4, p2] to end

Row 2:  k2, [p4, k2] to end

Row 3:  As Row 1

Row 4:  As Row 2

Row 5:  p2, [twist2back, twist2front, p2] to end

Row 6:  As Row 2

Repeat these 6 rows 3 times more.

Change to 5mm needle and work in pattern as follows:

Row 1:  p2, k4, p2, k to last 8 sts, p2, k4, p2

Row 2:  k2, p4, k2, p to last 8 sts, k2, p4, k2

Row 3:  As Row 1

Row 4:  As Row 2

Row 5:  p2, twist2back, twist2front, p2, k to last 8 sts, p2, twist2back, twist2front, p2

Row 6:  As Row 2

Continue in pattern until work measures approximately 15 inches (38 cm).

Break yarn and leave sts on a stitch holder or a spare needle.

SLEEVE (make two the same)   

Cast on 38 sts with 4mm needles.

Work 24 rows of rib as given for Back/Front.

Change to 5mm needle and continue in ss.

Increase one st at both ends of 9th and then every following 8th row to 52 sts.

Work straight until work measures approximately 17 inches (43 cm).

Break yarn and leave sts on a stitch holder or spare needle.


The yoke and raglan decrease is knitted in one piece from the underarm to the neck.

Take the Front, and with right side facing slip 37 sts onto a stitch holder.

Using the 5mm circular needle, join in yarn (centre front) and starting with the remaining sts of the Front, work as follows:

-          sl1 purlwise, p1, twist2back, twist2front, p2, k26, ssk, place marker, k1

-          continue across first Sleeve, k1, k2tog, k46, ssk, place marker, k1

-          continue across Back, k1, k2tog, k68, ssk, place marker, k1

-          continue across second Sleeve, k1, k2tog, k46, ssk, place marker, k1

-          continue across sts on stitch holder for Front, k1, k2tog, k26, p2, twist2back, twist2front, p2 (244 sts)

Note that the yoke is knitted flat – sts are not joined in a circle and the work is turned at the end of each row.

Next row:  sl1 knitwise, k1, p4, k2, p to last 8 sts, k2, p4, k2

Continue in pattern as follows:

Row 1:  sl1 purlwise, p1, k4, p2, [k to 2 sts before next marker, ssk, k2, k2tog] 4 times, k to last 8 sts, p2, k4, p2

Row 2:  sl1 knitwise, k1, p4, k2, p to last 8 sts, k2, p4, k2

Row 3:  As Row 1

Row 4:  As Row 2

Row 5:  sl1 purlwise, p1, twist2back, twist2front, p2, k2tog, [k to 2 sts before next marker, ssk, k2, k2tog] 4 times, k to last 10 sts, ssk, p2, twist2back, twist2front, p2

Row 6:  As Row 2

Repeat Rows 1 to 6 until 72 sts remain, ending on Row 4.

Next row:  sl1 purlwise, p1, twist2back, twist2front, p2, ssk, (remove marker), k1, k2tog, [knit to 2sts before next marker, ssk, k2, k2tog] twice, k to 2 sts before next marker, ssk, k1, k2tog, p2, twist2back, twist2front, p2

Next row:  sl1 knitwise, k1, p4, k2, p to last 8 sts, k2, p4, k2

Next row:  sl1 purlwise, p1, k4, p2, ssk, k2tog, [knit to 2sts before next marker, ssk, k2, k2tog] twice, k to 2 sts before next marker, ssk, k2tog, p2, k4, p2

Next row:  sl1 knitwise, k1, p4, k2, p to last 8 sts, k2, p4, k2

Next row:  sl1 purlwise, p1, k4, p2, k2tog, k1, ssk, k2, k2tog, knit to 2sts before next marker, ssk, k2, k2tog, k1, ssk, p2, k4, p2

Next row:  sl1 knitwise, k1, p4, k2, p to last 8 sts, k2, p4, k2

Next row:  sl1 purlwise, p1, twist2back, twist2front, p2, cast off 34 sts, p1, twist2back, twist2front, p2 (2 sets of 8 sts remain)


Continue working on last 8 sts, and starting with a wrong side row, working in twist pattern (slipping first stitch of row on neck edge and twisting on every 6th row) until length reaches to centre back with slight stretching.  Cast off.

Rejoin yarn to 8 sts on needle and complete in same way, working twist pattern to match.

Cast off.



Join cast off edges of back neck bands.

Join neck bands to back along neck edge.

Join side and sleeve seams.

Run in ends and block to size.

©  Helen Cox 2012

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Saving toys for the grandchildren and filling the dishwasher with Lego

When the children grow out of their toys there is always the dilema - pass the toys on to jumble sales/charity shops/friends/school bazaars etc, or store them away in the loft in case they are ever wanted again.  In the 1980s we did a bit of all of these, but there were some things that I couldn't bear to part with.

Now the grandchildren have arrived and I keep saying 'why did I throw so much out?'  My children say the things we kept are now 'retro' and it is true that some are collectable, if you believe ebay.
I mainly kept the classic Fisher Price toys, like the stacking rings, circus train, telephone (the grandchildren have no idea what this could be), and the Duplo train.  They are being played with all over again.

So now my spare bedroom is stacked with boxes of toys again!  Oh well, I suppose they will all go one day.

The latest thing to come out of the loft was the huge collection of Lego.  Beepthree did a fantastic job of sorting it out - Lego train to Beepone, Technical Lego for himself, then a rough division into three for the rest.  I found that as it was stored in open boxes (for 30 years!) it was fairly dusty and grubby so set too with nail brush and a sink full of soapy water to give it a clean.  There must be an easier way I thought.  BRAINWAVE.  I have several of those mesh bags that you use for lingerie in the washing machine, and even a big version that came with a washable mans suit.  So I filled them up with Lego and put them in the dishwasher.  Perfect!  All sparkly clean with the minimum of effort.  At least that is three boxes now gone.

The next boxes to sort out will be the Playmobil.  It has already had a rough sort into three (no-one will forget that the pirate ship belongs to Beepthree, his best toy ever, after the Duplo train).  It will be time to do the dishwasher thing again soon.

I have this theory, that about one in three lofts out of every house, in every street in the UK contains the following:
A big box of Lego*
Box games of Monopoly, Cluedo and Scrabble
At least one of those blue boxes with orange handles that say Sainsbury's on the side.

*Approx 36,000 bricks are manufactured every minute,  it must go somewhere!

Monday, July 09, 2012

The iconic 'Owl' sweater design

Many of you knitters will be aware of the lovely Owl sweater design that has gone global.
Astounded to read about one high street shop which has ripped off the design:
Please pass this on, I feel so sorry for the designer.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Summer cardigan

I have huge cone of a random 2 ply tweedy yarn that I got from a bin end.  This is one that I often use for tiny 12th scale jumpers...

...but I was never going to get through it that way and it has been sitting there asking me to do something with it.
I found this lovely pattern for a summer cardigan from Ravelry Spring Fling so with a bit of tweaking here it is:

I'm still waiting for some summer weather to wear it, but it looks a useful lightweight cardigan.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Lots of new knitting designs to come soon

I am still thinking about and designing for 12th scale and have an idea for another book of patterns to work on this summer.  But I fancied a bit of mindless adult knitting for a change and I am just finalising a new design for an adult lady's sweater which will be going out for test knitting soon.

I love knitting in Chunky yarn as it is so quick, but the drawback is that most Chunky designs can add so many inches which you don't need!  I have come up with a sweater design that I am quite pleased with, as it is actually slimming, but very quick and easy to knit.
Watch this space for 'Chunky with a Twist'!  I shall be listing this soon as a free pattern on the blog.

And I know some more designs which are on the way, check out

Happy summer knitting xx

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Post for my Dad for Father's Day

Jennifer has written an open letter to her Dad for Father's Day, listing 10 happy memories of her Dad.  I thought it was such a lovely idea that I felt inspired to do the same.
My dad died in 1983 at the age of 73, but I probably think about him every day.  Here are some of my memories:

Going out with him on his bread round in the three wheeler van

Riding pillion on his motorcycle, and him taking me round the roads near Sandbach to see the subsidence from the salt mines (I was terrified and thought we would fall into a hole in the road)

Walking down to Winterley Pool on a Sunday afternoon and him teaching me the names of the wild flowers

Building me a transistor radio out of a kit

Taking me to Dr Manning's house where he worked in the garden and showing me the bee hives

Buying me my first car on the understanding that I would pay him back when I started earning, but writing off the debt when only partly paid

Going camping and making a portable toilet out of a big plastic container

Walking me down the aisle even though his health was so bad it was a real struggle for him

Never complaining when ill health took its toll in later life

And the most important - taking me at weekends to the teacher training college where he worked as a lab assistant, setting up little experiments for me and so influencing me to take up science  (he was so proud when I qualified as a pharmacist)

Dad had a great interest in early radio and television, and just before he died was teaching himself programming on one of the first home computers.  He didn't live to see the internet.  Here you are Dad, broadcast to the whole world.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Free gift with all website orders in June of ready knitted jacket

I missed offering a free gift last month so here is a special offer for June.

With all website orders this month I will be including a FREE lovely ready knitted jacket with mohair edging.

The jacket is in 12th scale and will fit a tiny 5 to 6 inch doll such as Heidi Ott or similar.  It will also fit small ball jointed dolls such as Pukifee, Lati Yellow or Hoojoo Baby, or other small dolls such as Pippa, Dawn, or Strawberry Shortcake.  The mohair edging will vary slightly due to the random nature of the yarn.

Check out the website and take advantage of this free gift:

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Wonderful craft shop

Just got back from a week away so busy catching up with the washing.

Just wanted to mention this lovely craft shop I found recently, for all those crafters in West Sussex

It has so many lovely things!  Well worth a visit for all sorts of fabric, bead, embroidery, scrapbooking etc supplies.  They have a huge stock of items which are difficult to find on the high street these days.  There is a little bit of knitting yarn but not enough to merit a visit.

I hope they manage to thrive as much of this business is online now, but it is nice to go and actually buy something you can see.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Free patterns for crafters

I just had to share this site I found recently.  It has links  to lots of free patterns for all kinds of crafty things: patchwork, fabrics, knitting, crochet etc.  Lots to keep all us crafters happy for hours.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Free knitting pattern for 'Ugg' boots for tiny bjd

Wot no website free gift this month????     Sorry folks, May is going to be so busy and I just haven't had time to think of a give-away with website orders this month.  But I am knitting, knitting, knitting and I promise a super free gift of a ready knitted item for June, so keep watching this space!

But here is a free pattern instead.  This was designed for bjd (ball jointed dolls) tiny size, so will fit Lati Yellow, Pukifee and similar dolls:

Knitted 'Ugg' boots for a 6 - 7 inch tiny bjd

Materials needed:  Small balls of yarn in brown and white.  A pair of 2mm knitting needles.

Measurements:  To fit a doll of up to 7” tall, with a foot length of about one inch.

Abbreviations:  st = stitch;  sts = stitches;  k = knit;   p = purl;  ss =  stocking stitch (one row knit, one row purl);   turn = turn knitting round and work back along sts just knitted;  k2tog = knit 2 sts together; p2tog = purl 2 sts together;  m1 =  make one by picking up and knitting between the sts;  tbl = through back of loops;  [ ]  = repeat instructions in brackets.

Make two the same.

Starting with sole cast on 10 sts with brown yarn and k one row.

Next row:  k1, m1, k3, m1, k2, m1, k3, m1, k1 (14 sts)

Next row:  k2, m1, k3, m1, [k2, m1] twice, k3, m1, k2 (19 sts)

Next row:  [k3, m1] twice, k7, [m1, k3] twice (23 sts)

Next row:  k4, m1, k3, m1, k5, m1, k4, m1, k3, m1, k4 (28 sts)

Change to white and k two rows.

Next row:  k6 brown, k1 white, k14 brown, k1 white, k6 brown

Starting with a p row, ss 7 rows, at same time keeping continuity of pattern with brown and white yarns the same (there will be 2 sts of white on each row).

Shape top of foot: 

Keeping continuity of pattern with brown and white yarn continue as follows:

Row 1:  k16, k2tog tbl, turn

Row 2:  slip one, p4, p2tog, turn

Row 3:  slip one, k4, k2tog tbl, turn

Row 4:  slip one, p4, p2tog, turn

Rows 5 to 6: repeat rows 3 to 4 (22 sts)

Row 7:  slip one, k to end of row

Row 8:  p

Row 9:  k6 brown, k10 white, k6 brown

Row 10:  p6 brown, p1 white, p8 brown, p1 white, p6 brown

Starting with a k row, ss 4 rows, at same time keeping continuity of pattern with brown and white yarns.

Change to white yarn and k two rows.

Cast off.


To make up:  Fold with right sides together and join back and sole seam.  Turn right side out.  Do not press.

A kit giving everything needed to make the boots, a duffle coat, and leggings is available from the website.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Upcycle, reuse and recycle packaging materials

I have a small business which uses quite a lot of packaging materials for posting parcels.  When I am busy I am posting several packages a day, perhaps up to eight a day in the run up to Christmas.  Add in ebay sales and I use a lot of packaging/envelopes/Jiffy bags etc.
For the business I tend to use new materials, and find ebay is a good source for plastic bags, and I scour the internet for good deals on Jiffy bags.  Ebay is a bit more flexible as it is quite usual to reuse and recycle good quality packaging materials, and as you know I am always trying to reuse as much as I can, both to save resources and to save money.  This is even more important now that I try to offer my ebay items with free P&P, and postage rates are due to increase hugely at the end of the month.
This is a list of materials that I save for recycling:

Plastic bags for immediate packaging
The plastic envelopes that greetings cards come in
Tiny plastic bags that hold spare buttons on new garments
My son is an IT technician and saves me lots of plastic bags that electrical components come in
The outer bags used for catalogues that come through the post
The air cushioning plastic strip that comes eg with Amazon parcels which I cut into bags

Outer packaging
Thank you Amazon for using lots of that brown paper strip to cushion inside boxes.  This is invaluable.  It can be used as brown paper to make parcels.  I cut it into smaller pieces, double layer, and run some seams down the side with my sewing machine to make envelopes.

(Incidentally, although off topic I can't resist adding this link on how to make storage baskets with it).
Corrugated card which is cut to sandwich items eg knitting needles
Most Jiffy bags can be reused
Plastic sacs received in the post are turned inside out and reused

I am brilliant at sandwiching stuff tightly so that it can be posted as Large not Packet - this saves a lot of money
Superdrug sometimes sell stamps at a discount - it is worth stocking up
And although too late for this year it is worth stocking up on 1st class/2nd class stamps at the old rate

I promise that this is the end of my recycling blogging, I will get back to knitting next time.

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