A Penguin is not just for Christmas

penguin santa hat

And finally,  meet the Penguin with no name.  He is the last design in my ‘Mini Toppers’ hat collection.  I have been having a hard time giving him a name,  I think the reason naming him has been so difficult is … Continue reading

It's beginning to feel a bit like Christmas

The shops are packed with cute little novelty decorations, some of the blogs I follow are starting THE countdown,  some even going so far as to work out how many rows/hours per project and days left to knit. I have … Continue reading

Pimp your knitwear – Quick and easy Christmas makeover

Let’s Knit Christmas Knitting Special is out,  and I have been really lucky to have not one but five designs featured this month.

The stores are packed with inexpensive sweaters and cardigans this season just crying out for a personal touch.  The full on reindeer sweater a bit too much Christmas for your liking?  Why not add a little touch of festive fun to your garment with this quick and easy project?

pockets

I have designed some Christmassy pockets, which knit up super fast using a mixture of intarsia and fairisle (or if you prefer you could knit the pocket then swiss darn the motif on).

My top tips for matching your pockets to the original garment are; look really closely at the garment that is getting the make over.  Match the weight of the yarn to that of the garment, the pattern specifies 4ply yarn as this was fine knit cardigan.  Would DK yarn or even Aran weight be a better match?  remember to adjust your needle size accordingly!

Take a close look at the cuffs and edging of the garment, is it 1×1 or 2×2 ribbing or even moss stitch? try and match it.

Finally the cast off edge,  I recommend using a tubular cast off.  This best matches the cast off produced by commercial knitting machines. To do this, transfer all the knit stitches to one DPN and hold at the front, all the purl stitches onto another DPN and hold at the back.  Graft the stitches together using kitchener stitch.  I will be posting a tutorial here on the blog shortly, so watch this space!
View my video tutorial or photo tutorial
pocket close up

Pockets not your thing?

Why not try these elbow patches, they are another quick and easy knit and perfect for getting that on trend look at a fraction of the high street price tag!

These are just ideal for practicing your stranded colour work, they have minimal shaping and are worked in DK yarn, a whole new look in no time at all.

elbow

The dreaded 'R' word and New Adventures in the Knittyverse

Summer holidays have flown past,  it seems like we have only been away from school for two weeks,  but then I look back and think of all that we as a family have done this past six weeks and wow,  what a lot we have packed in.  Katie has grown,  I know that having that special 10th birthday and being ‘double digits’ as she tells me, is quite the milestone,  but she has shot up!  The birthday fairy seems to have given her an appetite for sewing.  I am sad that knitting is not her passion,  but she is young,  there is plenty of time for me to show her the error of her ways.

From a Knitting Image perspective the past six weeks have seen the blog and twitter up and running.  My first pattern independently launched,  thank you to all those of you who have downloaded Disco Dave, I am looking forward to seeing your little monsters appearing on Ravelry.  I have organised a new knitting and crochet group here in Southend on Sea, which I will tell you more about soon, but in the meantime you can check it out here.

A massive 18 patterns have been written and samples knitted.  A number of the designs have tutorial blog posts to accompany them on release.   I think I need a holiday 🙂

The new term means having to contemplate that dreaded word beginning with ‘R’, the word that offends me more than swearing, more than socks with flip flops…. Routine.  I am going to have to cut back on knitting until 3am and sleeping past midday.  I think perhaps I should have considered ‘Night Knitter’ as name of my blog.   My plan for the new term is to work on publishing more of my designs independently.   I have had a lot of emails asking for the ‘Bones’ pattern.  Good new this will soon be available on Ravelry and Craftsy to download.   update: now available to download

ravimage1

Rockin' them Skully Mittens… new pattern coming soon

Something to keep your hands warm during the grave yard shift?

Fancy trying your hand at beading with a crochet hook, or keeping it simple with intarsia? Whatever takes your fancy, now available to download

The pattern includes written instruction and video links for beading with a crochet hook, for those of you who prefer your skulls glamorous. Instructions for working the intarsia motif is included for those with an inner rock god!

folded arms 2

man mitten 4

Two words…. Stitch Maps

stitch maps learn more

One more word…. Amazing!

I wanted to share with you this revolutionary new charting method,  devised by JC Briar.  JC Briar is the author of ‘Charts Made Simple’ or what I lovingly call my ‘charting bible’.   My wonderful friend and knitting mentor bought me this book a while back when I was having a hard time getting a lace chart out of my head and into a coherent chart.  The book is amazing,  it teaches how charts reflect the knitted fabric and how to read the two.  It’s a wonderful resource for knitters of all abilities,  but it’s excellence lies within the sections that deal with shaping in charts, blank stitches,  cables,  dealing with changing stitch counts.   I would go so far as to say as a knitter’s reference book it is up there with EZ’s books and Barbara Walker’s Treasury Collection.

Charts Made Simple

Today I discovered that JC Briar has developed a new form of knitting chart – WITHOUT A GRID!!!!  I have been sat here at my desk for a while trying to find the words to describe Stitch Maps and failing.   I can tell you,  at first glimpse I thought it was a crochet chart,  then just how much the chart represented the knitted fabric amazed me,  then I asked myself…. why didn’t I think of this?

This is how JC Briar describes Stitch Maps:

Stitch Maps are a new form of knitting chart that use traditional symbols in a novel way: without a grid.  The symbols within a stitch map clearly show what stitches to work.  And – not being confined within grid squares – they also show which stitches of the previous row should be worked”.

Please take a look for yourself!