A new toy!

Craft | Wednesday December 7 2011 | 12:52 am | Comments (2) | Tags: , , , |

I’ve been finding myself drawn more and more back to knitting recently, but I have a real mental block about a lot of knitting. I often love the look of it but don’t ‘get’ how it works much of the time, unlike crochet which makes sense to me.

So I have a new piece of equipment which I am hoping will help. Ok, it might be cheating, but I’ll live with that!

I have a shiny new second (third?/fourth?) hand knitting machine! It’s a funny beast, but today I managed to create this lovely precious little piece of knitting below:

(apols for the picture – it was taken on my phone as can’t find anything since I moved – camera included!)


3 Happy Hookers

Craft | Monday July 25 2011 | 11:00 am | Comments (9) | Tags: , , , , , , |

3 Happy Hookers

Today I have had so much fun making a mess in a public place!  It was my first experience of yarn bombing, and a first of my partners in crime: 2 Sarah’s and Kathy! 

I know it’s not good to just cut to the chase, but above you’ll see one of our finished pieces on the back of a bench.  One of the Sarah’s had to leave by the time this was taken but from left to right: moi (yes really! I must have had a good day if I’m happy to show a pic of li’l old me!), Sarah and Kathy. 

The basic plan was to cover a bench or the back of a seat in the Waterside Plaza in Sale, south Manchester.  We had some panels already made by others and a few other bits and pieces.  My contribution was a pretty little piece made to look like a lawn with daisies on it.  

There are loads and loads of pictures from today so I am going to put them all in a set on my flickr page  and there are different ones on Kathy’s flickr too.  I’ll put just a selection in this post.  Do go and have a look, after you’ve read all of this, of course! 

My favourite image from the day


Anyway, there were so many great  moments – here are just a few of them: 


  • Kathy coming over all hot and bothered when the local constabulary came to say hello!
  • The look of horror on Sarah’s face when I had to use a knitting needle to reach the owl out of a tree (I think she thought it would hurt him!!)
  • Spending hours and hours laughing in the sunshine while decorating trees with knitting and crochet!  Who’d have thought it!
  • Trying to join the edges of pieces of knitting or crochet wrapped around a tree – it’s rather difficult I can tell you!!
  • Realising one of the trees had no leaves on it and crocheting some to make it look better.
  • The look on people’s faces when the realise what you are doing.
  • Stopping  for tea and cake and more crochet at Bean and Brush (where Sarah works) and deciding to decorate their tree while we were there.
  • Plotting the next time!!


We did learn a few things too!  Mainly that next time we will do it without being part of another event.  Today there was a community event being set up while we were doing out thing.  We got the impression that everyone thought we were there as part of the event, and thought we would stay to teach people to knit and crochet, which was never our plan on this ocassion.

And one other lesson, we spent a lot of time standing and admiring our handiwork!  That probably isn’t the idea so next time we plant the bomb then get out of there, or at least stand back at a discreet distance and watch!



Tree cosy (and it matches Kathy's cardi)

Public crochet


I whipped up a pocket for leaflets and Sarah gatecrashed an art class to make a label!

The day wouldn't have been compete without tea and cake (and more crochet)

After tea we anonymously passed by, and loved people hanging around our work!


When knitting turns bad!

Craft | Thursday October 14 2010 | 10:23 pm | Comments (3) | Tags: , |

I was browsing the blogs of some of the others taking part in Blogtoberfest and found this film that Jan from Pass the Slipped Stitch Overhad shared.  WOW!  I was captivated from the first note of the music and once the film got underway I couldn’t take my eyes off it and was completely drawn in – wondering how it was going to turn out for our vulnerable looking  compulsive knitter! 

Watch and enjoy and then let me know if you found it as compelling as I did!

The film is by Laura Neuvonen and can be found on YouTube.



Craft | Sunday August 1 2010 | 11:48 am | Comments (2) | Tags: , |

One year ago today I learned to crochet! I haven’t looked back since. Nor have I knitted. No, not even one single knitty stitch!!


Some knitting with your tea?

Tea | Monday October 5 2009 | 9:32 pm | Comments (2) | Tags: , , , , |

Tea hutsCaveman and I spent a jolly afternoon at Willowpool recently.  It is technically a garden and antique centre but I feel that description is way short of reality. 

It is a sprawling mixture of all sorts curios spread around rambling grounds with everything from old bikes and typewriters to fairground rides and crumbling angel statues.  All of which you can buy and take home for your garden.  There are also plant of course, and old doors, plant pots, archways, pillars, benches…. I could go on!

But this pales into insignificance compared to one thing: The Tea Rooms.   And with the tea there was knitting, yes really!!  I’ll get to that in a minute.

  Enormous pudding



The tea room is mainly outdoors in little huts and gazebos.  We were lucky enough to get one of the huts which was really cosy and had funny little tree trunk type seats!

As we were deciding what to choose from the menu there were all manner of huge plates and bowls of food passing by.  I expected these were to share and didn’t for a minute think one of these would be put in front of me. 

I ordered Willowpool Dream Delight – cream, strawberries, creme Anglaise and crushed meringue.  Wow it was massive!  I like my grub but there was no way I could have managed to eat all of it and even Caveman couldn’t finish it after his own cake.

They also used the most charming mismatched china with lovely teapots and tea cups.  I feel inspired to start a new collection!

Now, I’m sure you’ll be wondering where knitting comes into all this.  Well, I’d been sitting at the table for about 5 minutes before I even noticed the cute little knitted sugar bowl cover!!!  So it was only a little bit of knitting amongst all the intrigue at Willowpool, but even the tiniest piece of knitting is still knitting!


Knitting AND teaKnitted sugar bowl cover


Labour of love

Craft | Wednesday September 2 2009 | 10:53 pm | Comments (2) | Tags: , , , , , |

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the Dr Who Tom Baker scarf I knitted for Caveman.  We met 2 years ago next month and I knitted it for our first Christmas together.  As you can imagine from the timescales of October to Christmas I started knitting it pretty soon after we met to get it finished in time!  In hindsight that was a pretty tall order and perhaps just a bit presumptuous in a new relationship!  But here we are still so I can tell the story with a smile!


Anyway, I wanted to share the pattern I developed for the scarf.  Caveman is a massive fan of Dr Who and Tom Baker was his favourite.  I did lots and lots of research, looking at pictures, colours, film etc and developed this pattern.  I used Sirdar Country Style yarn which I have found in the past to be a very standard double knit and stable and easy to knit with, using 4mm needles.  I also have a very standard and even tension, which does help.

Here are the colours and rows you will need to knit.  (Note that the inch / cm measurements vary slightly from each other just because of rounding)

frou-frou’s Tom Baker Dr Who Scarf

Width 11inches / 28cm

CO 50 stitches Knit every row

4mm needles





Purple 8 1 2.5
Camel 52 8.25 22
Bronze 10 3 7.5
Mustard 10 2 5
Rust 20 3.5 9
Purple 8 1.5 3.5
Olive 20 3.5 9
Mustard 8 1.5 3.5
Camel 32 5.75 14
Rust 16 3 7.5
Bronze 8 2 5
Purple 12 2 5
Olive 42 7 18
Mustard 10 1.75 4
Blue grey 18 3 7.5
Rust 10 1.75 4
Camel 54 9 23
Purple 10 1.75 4
Olive 22 3.5 9
Blue grey 14 2.5 6
Mustard 8 1.5 3.5
Rust 20 3.25 8
Purple 8 1.5 3.5
Bronze 40 6 15
Camel 12 2 5
Blue grey 8 1.5 3.5
Rust 42 6.5 16.5
Mustard 16 2.75 7
Olive 20 3.5 9
Purple 8 1.25 3
Camel 44 7 18
Bronze 12 1.75 4
Blue grey 22 3.5 9
Rust 8 1 2.5
Purple 14 2 5
Camel 8 1.25 3
Mustard 16 2.75 6.5
Olive 56 10.25 26
Rust 16 3 7.5
Blue grey 14 2.5 6
Mustard 10 1.5 3.5
Bronze 20 3.25 8
Purple 10 1.75 4
Camel 12 1.75 4
Green grey 36 5.25 13
Rust 8 1 2.5
Mustard 12 1.5 3.5
TOTALS 884rows 148inches 369cm

Changing colour every few rows became a bit of a pain at times so I’d recommend you sew in ends as you go along.  Needless to say I didn’t!!

dr-who-scarf-middleWhen all the knitting is done make tassels in each shade to finish about 6inches long each.

I have tried to find the ball bands from the yarn I used to give details of shades but just can’t track them down, although I am sure I kept them.  If they turn up I will blog details.  I’ve given the rough type of colour above and the pictures may help.




My final tip: if you are knitting this in secret for your beloved find a good excuse for the amount of time you will need to spend at home knitting.  They may become suspicious if you say you spent the evening knitting and have nothing to show for it until you present them with the fruits of your labour.

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