Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

In which I write up a pattern after a very long time

March 13, 2012

So, it’s been a while since I updated which means it’s time for a brief flurry of activity.

First things first.  I finally got around to putting the animal face charts from the blanket squares into a single PDF.  They look like this.


There’s a Panda, a Bear, a jaunty Jack Russell puppy and a Monkey.  The pattern has been added to my Ravelry downloads here.

BTW – what the hell has happened to WordPress since I last used it?


I made you the moon on a stick

October 24, 2011

We’re in need of a bit of a laugh at work at  the moment. My boss keeps saying that people are asking for the moon on a stick. Now, in fine Lee and Herring style, we can give it to them.  But not for long as I’ll be taking it back off them.

It’s a quick project – just a couple of circles of felt, embroidered with the face of the man in the moon. It also works as a handy pencil topper.

I’ve also been working on the crochet moustache pattern again and made a couple of mods. This time it’s a magnificent military moustache and there may be a plan for it next month.

Bastard moths: part 2

September 11, 2011

I recently found that the lightweight cardigan I had been knitting had a couple of moth holes in it.  Well, I found out where the little buggers had been living.

This coat, I should explain, is an old favourite. I have owned it for over 10 years, having rescued it from a bag of old clothes that my mum and dad’s neighbour wanted to get rid of.  When the original buttons came off, I replaced them. When the lining shredded, I carefully removed it – discovering in the process that the coat was from the Canda Couture label* – and replaced it with a hot pink heavy satin lining.

I love this coat.

And the bastard moths decided to eat  it.  In a really visible place.

I was getting myself ready to part with it, but this afternoon someone suggested that I could possibly do something to repair it.  And I got thinking. The coat does have a separate bodice and skirt. And the damage is entirely on the bodice – everything else has been left untouched.  Could I do something with the bodice to disguise the damage, without it looking a bit poundshop Desigual or (worst fate of all) a bit Per Una? I think it’s time for it to go off to the dry cleaners to kill off any remnants of the little flying bastards while I ponder the repair job.

*that would be C&A’s classy label in the 60s

Perry Girl part 2: It turns out oranges weren’t big enough.

September 11, 2011

We had our monthly far north London knitting group this afternoon and I made good progress on finishing the short row shaping on the Fred Perry inspired top I have been knitting on and off since June.  Now, the reason why I have made slow progress is that, in order to get a good fit, there has been some serious maths involved in knitting the front of the top.  This being because a standard knit (and the majority of shop-bought knits) have identical measurements across the front and back. And I’m just not built like that.  The front needs to be wider and I need an extra four inches in length at the front if a fitted top isn’t going to ride up.

So, this is where darts come in. The vertical ones are easy – these are just sets of increases and decreases. But I also needed horizontal ones to prevent armhole gape and allow the vertical ease in the top. This is where short row shaping comes in.

Vertical darts

horizontal darts

While out this afternoon, I couldn’t resist shoving my fist into the top to show how the short row shaping had worked out. Lorena suggested that I could use oranges or grapefruits for photography purposes. Turns out my corner shop did not have large enough oranges.

Introducing My Little War Pony

June 26, 2011

This is My Little War Pony. Some say he’s a squeezy stress toy in a felt tin hat and saddle. Some say he’s a prototype educational toy designed to educate pre-school children in the plight of horses in the first world war and to lead them into reading War Horse when they are old enough.  He’s definitely not a zebra, though.

I’ve said before that I have no desigre to give up my job and do crafty stuff for a living. Sometimes, though, I introduce craft to my work.  My Little War Pony started as a bit of a joke as a fake collection object to be used in an object movement game I organised.  Now he lives on my desk, ready to head off the war at a moment’s notice.

Stuff made by other people: CAKE

June 26, 2011

These are not my work – they were made by my sister for my niece’s birthday.  She has a small line in making fine cupcakes and decorative cakes for very lucky people in the Coventry area and for very lucky family members.

That’s dark chocolate cupcakes.

With vanilla buttercream (it was some sort of special buttercream that’s particularly light and not cloying)

Those little blue stars are hand stamped, you know.

And there’s chocolate mousse hiding inside each cupcake.  Oh yes.

Cake genius, my sister.

Knitting that looks like boobs: Reprise

February 5, 2011

It’s meant to look like a character from the film Cars, but I ask you – Headlamp eyes or very large nipples?

Getting the basics right

January 16, 2011

A little while ago, I found out that a knitting friend is expecting her first baby.  So, an idea for some new bootees came to my mind.  I’m not going to reveal any precise details yet but they are ones which will have a very specific requirement for the basic bootee – in that they need a longish flat front on them.  And it’s worth getting the basics right if the rest of the design is going to hold up on them.  So, I’ve been playing with some prototypes.

We have a knit flat base with short row shaping on the front

We have a second variation on this with a more defined sole and a different method for the short rows

We have one worked using sock type methods

I shall do a bit of decorating and ponder which works best.  I think the first two will probably stay on best, but the last one may be the better one for working the idea up into an adult slipper.

Doing a bit of good

January 16, 2011

Back in November, I posted my pattern for toy soldier Christmas decorations.  Very shortly afterward, I was contacted by Lilibet on Ravelry, who had made some soldiers from the pattern. These are hers.

She was even inspired to make some fairies using the same principles, and writes about it here.

She’d contacted me because she wanted to make more of the soldiers to raise money for a Crohns and Colitis charity and for her local hospital as the daughter of her LYS has suffered very badly (far worse than my own case of the disease).  Crohns disease and Ulcerative Colitis aren’t glamour diseases that attract attention from the media.  They don’t often kill, but they do sometimes knock you sideways and feel like they are taking a bit of your life away from you, and it upset me quite a lot to hear about such a young girl going through such a severe attack. So, bloody well done to Lilibet for her fundraising work.  She managed to raise over £250 for the charity and a raffle raised another £150 for the hospital. Excellent effort all round, I think.


Burberrish Hood

January 3, 2011

I finally got around, just before Christmas, to making the variation on the Burberrish Cowl that I had visualised in my head.  My hair is naturally very, very thick. Having had it cut in October into a Mary Quantish/Purdeyish (depending on length it has reached) number, I discovered this winter that very short hair on the back of the head makes for a very cold head.  Also, that my current crop of hats didn’t really cover it all up. So, something needed to be done.  I’d written the pattern for the Burberrish Cowl for Yusuf previously, and had pondered how to make it something that could cover the head as well.  The answer came in the form of gradual increases to make a cowl that could be worn up as a hood as well as worn down as a standard cowl.  Here it is.

Turned out splendidly. I used some lovely Fyberspates Scrumptious in the aran weight. This weight is plied rather than the single of some of the other weights, so it shows up the stitch definition beautifully, and the merino silk mix means is drapes really well.  I finished this about 10 minutes before I needed to leave to go to Coventry for Christmas. Excellent timing as, halfway through the journey, we got kicked off our train when it broke down and ended up on a cold snowy station platform for almost an hour. With my hood, my elbow length alpaca mittens and some heat tech underlayers, I was toasty warm while others shivered.

At the same time I had the pictures above taken, I took the opportunity to make Daz pose in his new hat.  Somehow I don’t think he was taking it particularly seriously.

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