a busy domestic blog of knitting, sewing and all kinds of needlecrafts, cooking my garden produce and preserving it

Friday, 27 November 2009

knitting - my favourite fair isle hat

this is one really was a bit-user. some of the yarns are only used for 2 or 3 rows. it's the kind of thing I love to make - something brilliant (even if no one else agrees) made out of bits left lying around.

knitting - children's fair isle hats

hats have to be my favourite way of using up all those leftover bits of wool. you don't need a lot even if the hat is single- coloured (it's less effort to knit a surplus ball and a half into a hat than to take the one un-started ball back to the shop and try for a refund). but once you start knitting stripes or fair isle patterns, almost any short lengths of yarn can be used up.

because a hat is basically a rectangle of material, shaped at the top and joined up the back, there are none of the matching problems that occur with, for example, sweaters -even with a stripy sweater the back and front generally match, so while knitting one half you need to be sure there is enough yarn left to make the second. with a hat, you just start at the bottom and knit whatever you feel like - if it looks dreadfully wrong, it will always unwind.
Give it a try - find a simple hat pattern with straight sides and all the shaping on the crown - and see what you can create.

Monday, 16 November 2009

knitting - mohair cardigan - 1

have recently started a new knitting project. bruegel cardigan/jacket from Rowan book 44 but using some old mohair yarn I've had for years - one day I WILL use up all the yarn I've bought cheaply and hoarded. the tension is comparable to the specified yarn but I'm concerned about the quantity - I only have 10 balls of the mohair and I'm not certain that it will be enough.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Last Christmas - 3 - Cards

These are my Christmas cards from the past couple of years. I don't actually make every one by hand, but start with an embroidery or collage I have made which is scanned and several cards of each design printed.

Last year's card was taken from an embroidery I designed and made several years ago. It was scanned and edited to include the wording before printing.

These four collages were used two years ago. For three of them I used hand made (home made) paper for the background and in all of them the image is made of a variety of materials - paper, cloth, tinsel, sequins, old cards etc

Sunday, 8 November 2009

late Halloween chutney

for Halloween I carved two of the pumpkins grown this summer and, of course, ended up with lots of pieces of pumpkin flesh. the trouble being that scraping out the shell for a lantern leaves small chunks that don't keep well - cut a slice or a wedge from a pumpkin and the remainder will keep quite a while in the fridge even if the exposed edges have to be cut off and thrown away. I didn't weigh them before carving, but 3lb of flesh went in marmalade and we seem to have eaten pumpkin in some shape or form with every meal since then - curries, stir fries, soups, in tomato sauce with pasta - there are lots of ways to eat it but it's getting a bit same-some. Some has been boiled down into puree and frozen for use in soups and curries but there was still far too much left over. I didn't want to end up throwing it on the compost so I've turned it into chutney, with orange peel and spices.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Last Christmas - 2

another pony themed Christmas present for my younger daughter - a bag from home-made felt.

same yarn, different colour, but showing the knitted tension

it was made using some very old Rowan lightweight double knit wool; the yarn was knitted up doubled on quite thick needles and at a fairly normal tension
then, washed on a cotton cycle at 50 degrees in the washing machine
and it shrank a lot!

once it has shrunk, the knitting stitches can barely be seen

then I appliqued a pony cut out from shop-bought felt with mane and tail in embroidery thread and a small bead for his eye, some lazy daisy flowers and sequins and made a rope strap from the contrasting dark pink yarn.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

halloween marmalade

Halloween yesterday, so the pumpkins grown over summer were carved with faces ready for the treat-or-treaters. Lots and lots of pumpkin flesh removed in the process and only so much soup that anyone can consume. So, out with the preserving pan again - this time for a pumpkin marmalade flavoured with lemon and ginger.