Sunday, December 23, 2012

Lacy Fingerless Gloves pattern

Hello!!! Thanks for visiting!

A while ago now I made these (see blog post here).

I used a pattern that I had in my knitting pattern file (aka My Knitting Bible) for ages so I have no idea where it came from! It's handwritten so I can only assume that I copied it from somewhere at some stage. Quite a few people have asked me for the pattern so I'm going to post it now but PLEASE note that this is NOT my own pattern and that it must belong to somebody, somewhere! I apologise for not being able to give credit where credit is so obviously due but if anyone recognises this pattern and has a link to it, please please please let me know and I will most definitely publish it.

Having hopefully covered myself against any allegations of pattern theft (I wipe my brow dramatically here),  here's the pattern.....

Lacy Fingerless Gloves

Directions are for size Small/Medium; changes for size Large/XLarge, are in parentheses.
Knitting Needles: 4.5mm [US 7]. 
Place markers (2), small stitch holder, yarn needle.
GAUGE 19 sts = 4"; 26 Rows = 4" in St st. CHECK YOUR GAUGE. Use any size needle to obtain the gauge.
Abbreviations: Inc = increase; k = knit; mm = millimeters; p = purl; psso = pass slipped stitch over and off needle; st(s) = stitch(es); St st = Stockinette st; tbl = work st as instructed through the back loop; tog = together; yo = yarn over; * or ** = repeat whatever follows the * or ** as indicated; [] = work directions in brackets the number of times specified.
Special Abbreviations
M1 (make one stitch) = Lift running thread before next stitch onto left needle and knit into the back loop.
K1, p1 Rib (worked over an odd number of sts)
Row 1 (Right Side): K1, * p1, k1; repeat from * across row.
Row 2: P1, * k1, p1; repeat from * across row.
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 for K1, p1 rib.

Cast on 41 (45) sts.
Begin with Row 1, work in K1, p1 rib until piece measures 1½", end by working a wrong side row.

Begin Pattern
Row 1: P3 (4), k13, p7 (8), k1, p17 (19).
Row 2: K17 (19), p1, k7 (8), p13, k3 (4).
Row 3: P3 (4), k4tog, [yo, k1] 5 times, yo, k4tog-tbl, p7 (8), k1, p17 (19).
Row 4: Repeat Row 2.
Repeat Rows 1 - 4 until piece measures 8½" from beginning or length required, then work Rows 1 and 2 once more.

Shape Thumb
Row 3: P3 (4), k4tog, [yo, k1] 5 times, yo, k4tog-tbl, p7 (8), place marker, M1, k1, M1, place marker, p17 (19)– 43 (47) sts.
Row 4: K17 (19), p3, k7 (8), p13, k3 (4).
Keeping continuity of pattern, continue to inc 1 st after first marker and before second marker every right side row 5 (6) times more, working extra sts into pattern–53 (59) sts; 13 (15) sts between markers.
Next Row (Wrong Side): Work across row to within 1 st of first marker, slip st to right needle, remove marker and place next 13 (15) sts on holder for thumb, remove second marker, k1, psso, work to end of row–39 (43) sts.
Keeping in pattern, work even for 1½", end by working a wrong side row.

Top Opening
Work 2 rows in K1, p1 rib . Bind off in pattern.
Shape Thumb Opening
Slip 13 (15) sts from holder to needle.
Join yarn to wrong side, and work 2 rows in K1, p1 rib inc 1 st at beginning of each row–15 (17) sts.
Bind off loosely in pattern.

Cast on and work cuff same as for Right Arm.

Begin Pattern
Row 1: P17 (19), k1, p7 (8), k13, p3 (4).
Row 2: K3 (4), p13, k7 (8), p1, k17 (19).
Row 3: P17 (19), k1, p7 (8), k4tog, [yo, k1] 5 times, yo, k4tog-tbl, p3 (4).
Row 4: Repeat Row 2.
Repeat Rows 1 - 4 until piece measures 8½" from beginning or length required, then work Rows 1 and 2 once more.

Shape Thumb
Row 3: P17 (19), place marker, M1, k1, M1, place marker, p7 (8), k4tog, [yo, k1] 5 times, yo, k4tog-tbl, p3 (4)–43 (47) sts.
Row 4: K3 (4), p13, k7 (8), p3, k17 (19).
Keeping continuity of pattern, continue to inc 1 st after first marker and before second marker every right side row 5 (6) times more–53 (59) sts; 13 (15) sts between markers.
Complete same as for Right Arm.
Sew thumb and side seams. Weave in yarn ends.
I really hope you enjoy making these. They're quite easy if you have moderate to advanced knitting skills and I've worn my ALOT so they're well worth the effort!!! 
Til soon.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Jacqui's Bag

A friend of mine has spent the last couple of months drooling over my Lucy Bag so what better present to make her for her birthday ....

Is it not gorgeous??? Believe me, it was VERY hard to give this one away but when she opened it and let out a shriek of delight it was all worth it!

You may notice that I changed the pattern slightly and did two rows of single crochet in each colour instead of the original Lucy pattern of one row of trebles. I crochet fairly loosely and having already made two of these bags, I had found that the treble pattern made the bag too 'holy' if you know what I mean. I did the increases the same as the original but just changed the stitch and this one came up much firmer and solid. I think I'll do all future ones like this as well.

I used bulk standard cheap acrylic in jewel bright colours and then went for a seriously dotty lining!

Stripes and dots ....YUM!!!!

The flowers were also from Lucy but this time her Triple Layer Flower which are stunning!!! They're even better than her original Lucy Bag flower pattern so again, I'll be making these from now on for all future Lucy Bags!!!

Don't you love that dotty fabric? It truly makes my heart sing!!!!!!!!

Til soon.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Two more bags!!!

Hello !!!

After making three Starling Bags as Christmas pressies for my work colleagues and posting about them here, I was asked by a friend if I would take on a commission to make two for her. I have done so and here they are....

I used cotton yarn this time and they came up just as beautifully as the baby soft double knitting yarn I used before. Here are the linings.....

A lovely pinstripe for the indigo bag -

and a cute floral for the burgundy bag -

I really hope my friend likes them! 

Til soon.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Wreaths, rainbows and a little bit of sewing.....

Hello!!! Thanks for stopping by. Before I tell you what I've been up over the last few weeks I have to show you this -

Is it not fab? A Christmas wreath made of recycled pages from newspapers or magazines! I love it!!! I haven't made one yet but I want to, I really want to. I love recycled stuff. We chuck away so much stuff that with a bit of thought, time and energy can be transformed into something useful or at least usable (if not always beautiful!). Anyway, this (to me) IS beautiful and the true beauty of it is that you can send it for recycling after Christmas this year and then make another one for next year!!! Genius!

Anyway. A week or so ago I received a parcel in the mail (yes, the real mail with real stamps and stuff.....)

Said parcel was from Maryanne and Vicky at Woolhogs. I had won a prize!!!! Yes, can you believe it, me, moi and I had actually won something!!!!!!!! Yay! In all my 40 something years I have never (repeat N-E-V-E-R) won anything, so this was the hugest of huge things for me (can you tell?)! I had entered a little competition on Maryanne's blog and then the parcel came..... How's the cute button?

Want to see what was inside? Do you? Well, here it is ...............

A rainbow of seven skeins of the scrummiest cotton yarn you could ever imagine!!! It's a local product made by Elle and is their Premier Natural Cotton range. I cannot begin to tell you how beautifully this yarn works because yes indeed I've already started a project and it's fab-u-licious!!!! Can't wait to show you but not sir, not yet............. 

On a completely different subject, I have been trying my hand at a little dressmaking. After seeing the uber talented Elizabeth over at Mrs Thomasina Tittlemouse make her stunning Edelweiss Skirt, I felt I had to give something a go! My Mom (also very talented with a sewing thread) had a pattern for a super easy dress which she helped me cut out one day last week. Then, last Saturday, I took the bull by the horns and after a little of this

a little of this

and a whole lot of this

I made this.

What do you think? I know it's no haute couture but it's all mine! It's the most stunning apple green colour and there are these little embroidered punch outs in the fabric. Here's a close up.

Aren't they pretty? I think so. I have to tell you that my sewing machine and I have never had what you might call a real relationship. It's always been more of a battle of wills with the sewing machine usually winning! This time, however, I kept repeating the mantra "I am not afraid" the entire time I was sewing and it seemed to work!!!! The machine behaved itself and within 4 hours I had a dress!!! Yay! 

For those of you that are interested the pattern is Simplicity 5628.

 I'm sure there is a technical name for this kind of dress but I call it a 'straight up and down dress'. It's great for summer, especially here in South Africa, where it can get blindingly hot in December/January so I know this little gem is going to get alot of use. Cute bag too.

That's me for now. What have you been up to?
Til soon.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Crochet Coat!

Oh my. Have you seen what Kristen has made over at Cozy Things. It's this.....

Is it not the most stunning garment you have EVER seen? I'm very jealous. Extremely jealous in fact. And to top it all Kristen made it up from a picture - yes you got it, SHE HAD NO PATTERN!!!!!

Go on over to Cozy Things and have a look and you'll see what I mean. The woman has too much talent! I'm so jealous. Extremely jealous in fact.......

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas pressies.....

I work with three fabulous ladies and this year I decided to make them each a bag for Christmas.

What do you think? I was so pleased with them and they're really easy to make. You can find the pattern here so please have a go because they are truly gorgeous!!! I used a baby double knitting yarn because I wanted them to be really soft and floppy and they were just perfect!

The flowers were Lucy's (of course) and you can find the pattern here and then the buttons I chose had tiny little white dots on them which reminded me of pollen inside a flower!

Then came the linings. Pink for the pink bag.....

Grey for the grey bag......

And a cute floral for the green bag......

They're not huge bags so not great for that massive supermarket shop but for a local garden party, tea with the in-laws or a Summer fete they're just perfect! Or if like me you're a complete craft monkey, then you can always use them as knitting/crochet bags for small projects.......!

I hope you like them.
I do.
Til soon.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Christmas ideas.....

Can you believe that we only have 30 days until Christmas???? Have I done any Christmas shopping? No. Have I given Christmas a thought? No. Until today. I suddenly had a 'let's get a few Christmas ideas' moment and have spent the last couple of hours trawling the "tinternet" (as my little angels call it) for some inspiration. Here's what I've found so far....

Are these chairs not gorgeous? So simple yet so effective. If you don't have white chairs (as I don't with two young boys in the house!) you could always make or buy some slip covers. But even without the white chairs  I think the ribbon, cone and greenery would look just as good.

On the subject of the Christmas dinner table, I saw this place setting which I think is stunning.

I'm not a huge fan of too much bling on the table and I think the simplicity of this setting defines its beauty. The tags you could easily find and print from the net and we can all find a bit of greenery. Tie this all together with a piece of natural twine and there you have it. Gorgeous.

Next up .... a little bit of Christmas magic .....

..... a Santa key!!!! I thought this was a wonderful idea for those children who don't have a fireplace in their home. This triggered a whole scenario for me (being a preschool teacher)  where the child is given the key on Christmas Eve - naturally presented in a beautiful magical special box decorated with LOTS of glitter (I mean fairy dust....) - and is told to leave it outside the front or back door so that Santa can access the house and leave all the pressies! Can you imagine the excitement, the joy, the decision making process of exactly where to leave it so that Santa will find it???? I think I would have exploded with glee if my mom had given me this to leave outside.....perhaps DH will read this and make one for me to put outside on Christmas Eve even though we do have a fireplace.......

Moving on to all things wrapping, I'm always blown away by the diverse rolls of wrapping paper that are available. The patterns, the colours, the shininess (is there such a word?) of them all. I must admit to loving them but when I saw this I thought how simple and beautiful and natural the pressies look.

I think its the combination of the plain paper with the green and red of the accessories. It speaks more to me of Christmas than many of the sparkly blingy (again, a new word!) wrapping papers that we can buy. I'm definitely doing this on our pressies this year! I also love the basket and the straw.....

And finally I found this -

I'm not a great lover of Advent calendars but this one is such a lovely idea. Each tag contains a thought for the day or an action and can be general for the whole family or aimed at children which I loved. I thought up a couple on the spur of the moment -
"Hug your dog three times today!" 
"Tell your teacher you love her!" (I wonder why I thought of that one)
"Draw a Christmas picture and send it in the post to your grandparents." 
What do you think? You could make them very specific to your child or your family or (even better) you could make one as a gift for someone but leave the tags blank, then they could fill them in themselves! I might make one for my classroom for next year but we'd have to do it through November as we always close at the end of November for our major Summer holiday! 

So that's what I've found so far. I'm by no means finished but have made a board on Pinterest so please feel free to pop over and have a look. Here's the link.

Til soon.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Books from way back when....

I was delighted to read Elizabeth's latest post on Mrs Thomasina Tittlemouse in which she spoke enthusiastically about a fairytale book that she used to read as a child. It got me thinking about all the books I enjoyed and my mind settled on this one.....

Do you remember it? It is, of course, by the indomitable Enid Blyton and whilst she is not loved by all, she is certainly loved by me. She's had a bad press recently, particularly with the making of Enid (starring the fabulous Helena Bonham Carter) and although she was certainly an interesting person (to say the least) she was a terrific writer of children's fiction. Her reasons for writing her books and the deep rooted psychological traumas that caused her to escape into her magical worlds were of no consequence to me as a young child romping through her pages. My entire childhood is one long Blyton memory when I stop to think about it and besides The Magic Faraway Tree (and the others that followed), I can remember Noddy, The Wishing Chair, The Adventures of Binkle and Flip, The Secret Island, The Secret Seven, The Famous Five, Amelia Jane, Mister Meddle, Adventures of Pink Whistle, The Children of Willow Farm and, of course, the entire Mallory Towers series!

Now that I own a bookshop I am constantly amazed at how popular her books still are and not just to people of my age group who buy them from a purely sentimental aspect. Young parents buy them for their children to read now in this highly technological age of computers, mobile phones and playstations, and that fact pleases me immensely. I think Enid would have enjoyed it too.

I can remember distinctly being curled up on my bed avidly lost in stories of schoolgirls and pixies, goblins and magical lands and even if there had been daytime television back then (which there wasn't), I'm not sure I would have had it any other way. Enid Blyton was then and will always remain to me a loyal and trusted friend......

Til soon.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Daisy Cardigan - Ta Dah!!!!

Hello there!! Long time no see.....I know, I know but there you are. Busy little bee and no time to blog but I'm here now and that's the important thing. Even more important is that I have a Ta Dah for you!!!

What do you think?

I made it for the 2 year old daughter of a friend of mine and I used Elle Premier Natural Cotton in rose and grey which I love. The combination came out really well. A kind of vintage old fashioned look with a hint of romance and a smattering of sheen........

Have a look at the picot edging.....

Isn't it gorgeous?  Here's the sleeve edging....

It was a wonderful pattern. A freebie from Ravelry. Here's the link to the Daisy Cardigan pattern. It's by Marie Grace Smith and was very simple. It's top down on circular needles and was my first top down project so it was extra special to get it right first time!!! I'm in love with top down knitting now and intend to do many many garments this way. I love the way you can try it on as you go to make sure it fits and feels just right. Perfect.

There's an adult version of the Daisy Cardigan too. It's called the Lily Cardigan.....

Here's the link to the Lily Cardigan - it may well be my next project. Kinda like that colour too......

Anyway, that's me for now.
Til soon.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Book Review : Crochet Borders

Oh my. I got a new book yesterday. It was this.

I'm sure that many of you already have this book as it was first published in 2010 but having made a couple of blankets now and struggled with border patterns, I decided to buy it. I am NOT disappointed as it's gorgeous!!! There are 150 (yes, you heard correctly, one hundred and fifty!!!) crochet border patterns inside all beautifully presented with easy to follow charts as well as written instructions. Here are just a few to give you an idea.......

So pretty.

Interesting and uber vintage!

Compact and tidy. LOVE those colours!!!

Buttons and borders......

How about this to border a Summer Blanket???? Gorgeous.

Well, what more can I say? Just a little taste of the stunning patterns inside this book. If you don't have it on your crochet reference shelf, then get! You won't regret it, I promise.

Book details:
Title: Around the Corner - Crochet Borders
Author: Edie Eckman
ISBN: 9781603425384
Amazon link:  Crochet Borders

Til soon.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Summer Waves and Stitch Markers.....

Oh my goodness. I had so intended to post more often and yet I notice that my last was 30 Aug and here we are on 23 September .... almost a month difference to the day! Still, I'm nothing if not consistent...! (That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!!!)

Anyway, on to good stuff. Firstly I've been a bit inventive and (dare I say) a wee bit creative and I've made myself some stitch markers...

I used the Teeny Tiny Flowers pattern from Lucy which you can find here. I had some left over crochet cotton in this rather funky purple and a couple of beading rings left over from some long forgotten beading project and ended up making 4 of these beauties. Here are they being used in my latest knitting project -

I am making my first top down cardigan and am using some cappucinno yarn which goes rather beautifully with the purple, don't you think? Never thought of putting the two together but now that I have I'm loving' it!!!!

If you're interested in what I'm making, it's this Summer Waves Cardigan and you can find the Ravelry link here

Isn't it gorgeous? I needed something light and short sleeved to wear over sleeveless summer dresses when I'm feeling a little conscious of those upper arms (anyone else get those moments?) and also something that can go with jeans on a cool spring or autumn day. I love the simplicity of the style with just a dash of 'girlie prettiness' on the front borders. Exquisite.

I'm off now to make meatballs for D and A but have already got another couple of ideas frothing around in my head for more stitch markers. I think I could get quite into making these little poppets out of all sorts of things, so watch this space!!!

I may just enter my stitch markers into The Made It Challenge over at Woolhogs which is where you'll find Rene's version of the Summer Waves Cardi so pop over if you have time and have a look.

How was your weekend?
Have you created anything beautiful recently?
What are your plans for the week ahead?

Til soon.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Things Happen For A Reason....

I am a fatalist. By that I mean that I believe certain people enter our lives for certain reasons and that all things happen for a reason. Let me explain....

A while ago I discovered Kate who has a wonderful blog called Needled. Not only is she the most amazing textile designer and her knitting patterns are lip-smackingly gorgeous, but she is also the survivor of a stroke which she suffered in 2010. I don't know her exact age at the time but I think she was in her twenties. When I first stumbled across her blog I couldn't believe that someone so fit and healthy could suffer a stroke at such a young age. Weren't strokes only for old people? How wrong I was. I read Kate's blog avidly and especially her posts about her stroke and her long and slow recovery. At the time I didn't know why I read them, I just did. With each one that I read I felt more and more humble in the light of what she had suffered. She is so brave and her courage shows through her posts like a beacon to anyone who is recovering from an illness. She takes life one day at a time and revels in small achievements no matter how mundane or insignificant. She is a true inspiration and I often wondered why I found her posts so interesting and enlightening. Now I know.

As I've mentioned before a very close friend of mine suffered a stroke just two weeks ago aged 45. Whilst this cannot be compared to someone in their twenties, it still came as a huge shock to us all. A true 'it took my breath away' moment. As soon as I heard, however, I thought of Kate and her amazing journey and by going back and reading her posts I knew that my friend would come through this just as Kate did. Without the knowledge and detailed descriptions that Kate wrote, I'm not sure that I ever would have understood what my friend has been through but because of her blog I was able to find the strength to support her and her family through this very harrowing time.

I'm pleased to say that she's doing well and is recovering daily. The neurosurgeon has said it can take from 3 months to 3 years to fully recover from the type of stroke she had so it's going to be a long road. All I can say is thank you Kate for 'finding' me and educating me before this event took place. Without your words it could have been much harder to bear.

Was I meant to know about strokes in younger people? Most definitely.
Did I find Kate's blog on purpose through some strange spiritual path? I'm certain of it.
Are these type of 'meetings' coincidental? Not to me.

How do you feel about your life's journey? About the people you've met and why? Can you link certain events in your life to random meetings that at the time made no sense? I dare you to think about it......
Til soon.

Friday, August 24, 2012

WIP Update and Running!!!!

Sorry it's been a while...... Things have been pretty hectic around here what with preschool, hockey matches,   junior school plays and the general running around that mums have to do! In amongst all of that a dear friend of mine had a stroke last week and she's only 45!!! Very scary......

Anyway, here's what I've been up to in the few quiet moments that I've had recently. Firstly, remember these lovely things that darling Shelley from all4meggymoo sent me a while ago???

Well, I have procrastinated and pondered, dithered and doodled for weeks and weeks. I've knitted and I've frogged and hooked and ripped until I didn't know whether I was coming or going! You know when you just can't decide on a project, when the yarn is sooooo gorgeous and sooooo beautiful that you want only the most perfect thing to create with it? That's where I was. Eventually tho I put it away and left it for a couple of days then out it came again..... I put a hook in my hand and just went for it and this shawl/wrap is what's emerging.....

It's a very basic pattern (trebles only) but it seems to be creating itself. I can't tell you how thrilled I am because it's like the yarn is deciding what it wants to be without any input from me. It's been so easy too. No  frogging, no mess ups, no nothing. Just hooking merrily away and growing slowly and steadily which I love. I know it's going to be beautiful and I can't tell you how soft this yarn is. It's going to be like wrapping myself in a cloud.... thank you Shelley soooooo much.

On another hooky note, a close friend commented the other day on a crochet blanket I'd made for the preschool where I work .....

It was made of odds and sods and the kids love it! My friend was admiring it and said how much she loved the colours and the whole vintage feel of it so I decided to make her a vintage crochet blanket all of her own. Here's what I've done so far.....

What do you think? Will she like it??? I hope so. It's going to be a giant granny square and I'll just keep going round and round until I'm fed up with it. At the moment I'm totally besotted and could happily do it all day every day! Do you like it?

This week was also quite momentous as I started a running program!!! I've always wanted to run and have tried before but it's never worked out for one reason or another. This time my hubby (he's soooo clever) found a program on the internet where you download podcasts for each week of your training. The podcasts are like having your own personal trainer with you and it guides you through your run with music. The music has the right rhythm for you to run / walk to and they tell you exactly when to run and when to walk. It's more of a jog for me at the moment (no-one could ever describe it as running!) but I'M DOING IT!!!! If you're interested in joining me and want to get fit (they reckon you'll be running 5kms in 9 weeks) then look at this link Couch to 5km - please let me know if you're using it - maybe I'll start a forum somewhere!!!!

Anyway, that's me for now. Hope you're well and enjoying the Summer/Winter wherever you are!!!
Til soon.