Friday, 7 December 2012

Fill In The Blank Friday

Happy Friday everybody! Boy, am I glad to see the weekend. It's so cold here at the moment that it's a real struggle to motivate myself to get out and do stuff, so Beau and I have mostly just been snuggled up at home, getting in the Christmas spirit. At least James will be home over the weekend so we can all snuggle together, and hopefully I can get some knitting done at long last! I have three projects on the go at the moment and I really want to get them all finished by Christmas...fat chance of that happening!

Lauren, who usually does the Fill In The Blank Friday feature, has a poorly baby and hasn't been able to do the blanks this week, so, since I have a little time on my hands, I thought I would give it a go myself. Since I'm here in the UK, and Lauren is in the US, I thought I'd go with a Europe vs. US goes!

Here is my son Beau in his I heart NY t-shirt that a friend bought him when I was pregnant
1. My favourite place I have visited (or would like to visit) in the US is New York City. What I love most about it is that electricity that only New York makes me feel. Like everything you do there is special, whether it's getting a cupcake from Magnolia bakery on Bleecker Street or ice skating under the big tree at The Rockefeller Centre. I just can't get enough of that city.

2. My favourite place I have visited (or would like to visit) in Europe is The Greek Islands. What I love most about it is the quaint charm of these beautiful islands, and the crystal clear waters which look more like the Caribbean than Europe. I have actually never visited, despite the fact that they're only a 4 hour flight from home, but it's been on my "to do" list for a number of years. Just look at this beautiful beach on the  island of Paxos

Thanelli Beach, Paxos
3. My favourite movie (location wise) set in the US is The Twilight Saga (and I stress this is for the location only!!) because I think that the pacific north west just looks breathtakingly beautiful and I would love to visit there someday. Seattle has always appealed to me since watching Frasier when I was a kid, and since reading Lauren's blog (The little things we do) I am also desperate to visit Portland. It sounds like such a cool, cultured city.

4. My favourite movie (location wise) set in Europe is Only You, starring Robert Downey Junior, Marisa Tomei and Bonnie Hunt. Because it is set in Italy, specifically Rome, Venice and Positano. All three are cities which I would just love to visit. In the movie, they drive from Venice to Rome, through the Italian countryside, and you can't help but fall in love with the romantic, rustic beauty of the place.

5. My favourite band/musician from the US is currently Darwin Deez. They're from New York City and yet I don't think they're nearly as well know over there as they are here. They are a total hipster band, but I think they're pretty cool. I've seen them live four times so far, and I've just booked tickets to two more shows when they tour here again next February! You might say I'm turning into a bit of a groupie!

6. My favourite band/musician from Europe is currently Amy Winehouse. I think she produced some of the most beautiful music of our time in her short life, and I was so saddened when she died. If you haven't heard her Lioness album which was released after her death, then you should Go and download it right now, it's wonderful.

7. I love where I live in Kent, UK because we are an hour's car/train journey from London, or the coast, and being a lover of both the city, the beach and the countryside, this is perfect for me. London is my second favourite place on earth (after NYC) and I can hop on a train there, enjoy the sights and sounds of it for a while then I can be back in the beautiful countryside of Kent in under and hour. If you haven't been here before, I thoroughly recommend a visit, I love where I live!

I hope you liked my blanks, and please join in over at The Little Things We Do each Friday for the original and the best version from Lauren!

Hope you have a great weekend


Add your link below!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

No Internet means no proper posts :o(

Hello you,

Well, we've moved house and we have no Internet for another three weeks, booo! Which means its pretty hard for me to blog and show you what I've been up to :o(

I'm doing this from the mobile app, so apologies for the poor format and misplaced photos. I couldn't not do a post though because I have been knitting some seriously cute things! An old school buddy is going to be a Daddy around Christmas time and he happens to make the coolest sun glasses ever (coming soon to so we're doing a little trade off; I knit some cool stuff for baby Emilia and in return I get a pair of his rad shades. Sounds little a pretty toot sweet deal to me!

So to start with I wanted to make a little hat for her. I scoured through all my patterns but I just couldn't find the right one, so I made it up as I went along! To get the right size, I google searched the average circumference of a newborn baby's head (14 inches apparently) and did my gauge swatch so I knew how many stitches to cast on (I used size 3 and a quarter mm needles and cast on 91 stitches). I used Debbie Bliss cashmerino DK in apricot for the main body of the hat. I did a K1P1 rib for 6 rows, then switched to 4mm needles for the rest.

I wanted to personalise the hat and decided to do a little E on it, in a contrasting colour using fair isle. For this I used Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK in cream. I usually work out my fair isle patterns on my computer using a good old excel spreadsheet, but I happened to be at my sisters house when the idea struck me, so I took to good old pen and paper (and a few yellow stickers to act as corrector pen, that's improvisation for you) to lay out the design. I wanted to do the curly swirly kind of E so that it wasn't too harsh, and I came up with this little pattern. It actually didn't translate very well to the final product, partly because it was only a single line (row, stitch, whatever you want to call it) and partly because I'm still not great at fair isle and the contrasting stitches were not very even or uniform in size.

Anyhoo, I finished the hat and wasn't quite happy with it, so I decided that a little bow fixes everything. I knitted up a little seed stitch bow and sewed it onto the bottom of that hat and it instantly looked better. The E still really doesn't look like an E (I've been asked if its a smiley face three times) but oh well, baby Emilia will never know :o) Hopefully Ashley and Ali will like it!

Next I'm making her some little socks out of the same apricot cashmerino. I got the pattern from the Debbie Bliss baby knits book, and they are frickin cute. I'll do a proper post when they're all done, but here's how I've done so far...

Knit on knitters


Friday, 19 October 2012

Fill In The Blanks Friday

Yay it's Friday!! That means that we get the keys to our new house tomorrow, and I could not be more excited. On the other hand, I have the worst cold I've had in ages and hardly slept last night so I don't have much energy to put into decorating tomorrow, but hey ho. 

Anyway, here are this week's blanks, from Lauren. Go take part yourself if you fancy...

1.  One thing I plan on doing to relax this weekend is sleep, that's the only time I'll have for relaxing this weekend because the rest of the weekend will be spent decorating our new house!! Did I mention that I'm excited about this?! We're painting the living room, dining room and Beau's bedroom, all in a light silvery grey colour, similar to this

2.  A big pet peeve of mine is when people criticise the choices I make as a mother, or try and tell me how I should do things when it comes to Beau. My mum has made this mistake a few times and I'm always quick to tell her that I don't need to do everything her way, and if I'm wrong then that's my decision too. There are so many books out there which tell you how to raise your children, and I wish I could just burn them all. You should bring up your children the way you think is best, all the while you're doing them no harm. If I let Beau stay up until 8:30 because he isn't tired, instead of sending him to bed at 7:30 because that's "bed time" then so be it. Live and let live.

3.  I am really loving chevron print at the moment. I want to do all the soft furnishings in my house with it, but it's so hard to come by in the UK. The only place I can get it is from US sellers on Etsy, and by the time I've paid the shipping, it's just too expensive to justify. Hopefully the UK will catch on to the chevron trend soon and we'll be inundated with beautiful things here too

These beauties are from Designer Pillow Shop on Etsy

4. The rain is not bothering me too much. I kind of like being tucked up indoors in the dry and watching the rain outside. There's something very cosy and comforting about it.

5. My favourite girly indulgence is nail polish. Like Lauren, I don't have time to wear it very often these days but when I do, I feel so much prettier and more presentable. 

6. A song I always get stuck in my head is Gangam Style. If you haven't heard it, then lucky you. It is the most irritating pop song, from Korea, and the babies are obsessed with it. Every time they hear it they get so excited and start dancing, which is super cute but god that song is annoying!!

7.  The best cure for stress is a jolly good cry. I think that us humans are too afraid to cry sometimes and try to just bottle things up, but crying is such a release. Next time you're feeling stressed, just let go and have a good sob. You might have a little head ache but you'll feel much less stressed.

I hope you all have a great weekend. Sorry for the lack of knitting related posts but what with moving I just haven't had time to knit too much lately. Once we're in a and settled, I'll be right back on it.

Knit on, knitters


Friday, 12 October 2012

Fill In The Blanks Friday

Happy Friday one and all! This has been a pretty exciting week for me because we're moving house in a couple of weeks time so I've been buying pretty things for our new home, and making lists of all the pretty things I will buy when I can afford them. Check out my Pinterest board Edward Street for a glimpse at my mood board of the way I would like our new home to look .

Anyhoo, here are this week's blanks from Lauren over at The Little Things We Do. As always please take part if you fancy and leave me your comments if you have the time, I love hearing from my readers, all two of you :o)

1.  My favourite flower is  ooh I'm not really a very flowery person. Flowers die on me, and I never ever buy them for myself. If I really had to choose I suppose it would be a hibiscus flower. I love tropical plants, to the point where I had this little tropical scene tattooed on my back a few years ago

2.  You should never talk about  people's mistakes, if you have forgiven them. I believe that if you say you forgive somebody for something then you also have to forget about it, and if you can't forgive them then you need to re-assess that person's place in your life. I am still working on this myself, and I have been known to dig up old dirt in an argument, and I kick myself for doing it, as it ends up hurting everyone all over again. 

3.  My favourite discovery as of late is muller light Greek style yoghurts. They are only half a "syn" per pot on slimming world but they totally don't taste like a low fat yoghurt. They are really creamy, and great with fruit or on cereal. Yum.

4. This fall (autumn for us Brits) you will probably find me wearing   my new size 8 (US size 4 I think) jeans (yep, I just got back into size 8 jeans after 5 years!!), my tan leather knee high flat boots, and a cosy jumper or cardigan. I love knitwear, and if it's chunky, boyish, or leopard print then all the better :o)

5. I wish I were  in New York. It is my favourite place in the whole world, especially at this time of year when it's all decorated with pumpkins for fall, and the ice rinks are going up. I was there in November two years ago and we were staying just down the street from Bryant Park, so most days we would wander up there and have a mooch around the pop up market and watch the skaters for a while over a hot chocolate. If I had the money and could work there, I would move there tomorrow.

I took this picture of the ice rink at the Rockefeller Centre the day before they started putting up the big tree

6. My favourite TV show currently is  Hart of Dixie. I've only just started watching them after recording the
m all, and I love it.

7.  This weekend I want to knit. I am currently working on a couple of cable knit cushions for my brothers. I'm contemplating adding in a little fair isle stag motif on the back, what do you think??

What are you knitting at the moment? Please let me know your thoughts via the comments section, I really do love getting feedback. Hope you have a great weekend,

Knit on, Knitters

Monday, 8 October 2012

Dad and Pat's 7 Year Anniversary Cloth

This week I've been working on a little anniversary gift for Dad to give to his wife Pat, for their 7 year anniversary, which is apparently the year of wool. He asked me to come up with a design which is personal to them and includes the date of their anniversary, and this is what I designed:

I used a really cheap, basic chunky wool from my local Hobby Craft. It was Highfields Chunky, in navy and cream, then some grey chunky which I had left over from another project. I used size 5.5mm needles, and really they were too small. I should have used 7mm but seeing as the cloth will probably get framed, it's kind of good that the fabric is nice and stiff. This is how is turned out in the end:

What do you think? If you would like me to design a personalised cloth for you then please get in touch via the comment section.

Knit on, knitters


Friday, 5 October 2012

Weekend Knitting

Hey Knitters,

I am so glad it's Friday! I am going out for a few drinks with my girls tonight, to celebrate two of my friends getting fantastic new jobs this week! Charlotte has secured a new job in a GREAT hairdressing salon in Tunbridge Wells, and Toni has landed her dream job of community nurse, something she has wanted to do since we were at school. So we're hitting up Hotel Du Vin tonight for some sophisticated celebrations.

Tomorrow night will be totally different but I'm also really excited about it. I'm going to be babysitting which isn't unusual for me of a weekend, but the parents aren't going to be home until after 2:30am (!!) which gives me around 7 hours of uninterrupted knitting time!! My Dad has asked me to make him and Pat a little piece to symbolise their seven year wedding anniversary, which apparently is the year of wool. This is the design I've come up with and will be making for them tomorrow:

They darker grey border will just be a purl border around the stocking stitch, and will be the same colour as the background. If I get this finished and still have some time to spare, I need to design a couple of cushion covers for my brother's flat. He has asked me to make him a couple of cable knit cushions which is perfect because I LOVE CABLE KNIT!

I'll be sure to post a photo of Dad & Pat's gift once it's finished, and if anyone would like me to design something similar for them please let me know.

What will you be knitting this weekend? Do you have a good excuse to just sit there and knit, without feeling guilty about it?

Have a great weekend,

Knit on, Knitters

Fill In The Blanks Friday

Happy Friday people! Isn't Friday just the best day of the week? Here are some usual please play along for yourself over at Lauren's Blog, The Little Things We Do

1.  The last thing I ate was  oven baked salmon with Uncle Ben's Mexican style rice, for lunch. I'm dieting with Slimming World at the moment and that meal is only 2 and a half "syns" and filling which makes it a double winner. Most things I eat are pretty healthy and boring at the moment, but I've lost 16 and a half pounds so far and have 11 to go until my target weight, so it won't be forever.

This me at 37 weeks pregnant at my baby shower, then exactly a year later, wearing the same dress but  49 pounds lighter!

2.  The last time I went to the beach was  about a month ago I think. Dad and I went down to Seaford one evening to try and get some nice sunset shots, but it took us a little too long to get there and we pretty much missed it, doh! I got this one though which I quite like, and below is Dad running down the beach trying to capture it!

3.  My last vacation was  in September 2010, James and I went down to Dorset with his family. I am longing to go on holiday abroad but I just don't see the point until Beau is a little older, and isn't so reliant on his routine.
The beautiful Lulworth Cove in Dorset

James and I on the cliff at Lulworth Cove

Me, Bridie and Sarah

The cottage we rented was an old mill, super nice

This was on our walk through a cow field to the local pub!

Pretty beach huts

4. The last place I drove was  to work yesterday then home via running club with Sarah's Runners. I ran the 3 mile route, and clocked 3.18 miles in 36:46, though I hadn't run for 2 weeks prior to that so was a bit out of practise

5. The last song I listened to was Pound the Alarm, by Nicki Minaj, but not by choice I hasten to add. Beau and Ivy LOVE dance music and so we have MTV Dance on in the background for most of the day, and Nicki Minaj is their absolute favourite! The last song I listened to by choice, was Moondance by Michael Buble, on my way home from running club. I do love a bit of Michael Buble

6. The last thing I watched on TV was  New Girl. It's a crowd pleaser in our house, we all love it. I want to be buddies with Zooey Deschanel, I love her

7.  The last time I said "I love you" was  when I just put Ivy down for her nap. I am continuously telling the babies how much I love them, they are so darned cute and lovable.

Knit on, Knitters

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Beau's Blanket

I decided just after Christmas 2011 that I wanted to teach myself how to knit. I am an avid Pinterest pinner and I had seen so many cute knitted items on there and always though "oh, if only I could knit" then one day it hit me...teach myself! I had knitted when I was a little girl because my Nan was hands down THE BEST knitter in the entire world. She would sit at the table, watching Eastenders, knitting away, without so much as looking at what she was doing, and everything came out perfect and beautiful. To me it seemed that all she did was to click the needles together, because she did it so fast that that's all you could see! So she taught me how to knit at various times while I was growing up, but as with most things (apart from riding a bike, as we all know) I forgot how to do it because I didn't keep it up as a regular hobby.

When I decided the learn how to knit again, my first thought was naturally of my Nan, and how sad I was that she is no longer around to teach me. She passed away in 2001 from a lung condition and I miss her very very much. I knew I couldn't afford to take lessons, so I decided I would have to look to my friend and tutor of EVERYTHING, YouTube! With the help of some fantastic tutorial videos from people such as K1P1TV, The Knit Witch and Knitting Help I learnt how to knit, at a very basic level. Once I had learnt the Knit and Purl stitches, I wanted to have a go at knitting an actual pattern. I had seen the diaper cover from ezcareknits on Pinterest and so I had a look at her Etsy shop, and came across her cloth squares. They were the perfect first pattern for me, as they looked simple but fun and creative. I went ahead and bought some of her patterns, and went about knitting up the little squares. I had a few random balls of yarn lying around so I just did the squares in those various colours, and was thrilled with the results! 

Once I had knitted my first six squares, my Mum said to me "Kate they're fantastic, but what are you going to do with them?" I hadn't thought that far. I was just knitting to get used to following a pattern, but I thought they were pretty cool, so I wanted to make good use of them in some way...

One thought was to get them framed individually and have them up in Beau's room as some wall art. Then Mum suggested that I should make some more, and sew them all together into a blanket, what a great idea! I love blankets, and what could be better than hand knitting one for my first born baby? So it was decided, and I set about knitting more and more squares.

I had long been obsessed with anything fair isle, and decided that I wanted to learn how to do that myself too. This time, my Mum taught me. We sat at her house one evening, with a simple little heart pattern I had drawn up, and Mum recounted the story of how she had once knitted a fair isle jumper for my Dad (under the watchful eye of my Nan, who taught Mum how to knit too) and she won first prize for it at the Rusthall Village Fete in the late 70's/early 80's. To my surprise, fair isle knitting came pretty easily to me, and it wasn't long before I decided that I wanted to incorporate some into Beau's blanket. I would use the ezcareknits patterns as a template for size, so that they all coordinated on the blanket, and I used excel to create my patterns. This was the first one I did:

Then I made one with his name on it:

I also adore cable knit, and once again I was determined to learn how to do it so I could put some into the blanket. Trusty old YouTube served me well, and after a couple of botched attempts, I got the hang of it and  designed a little square to fit in with the others I had already knitted. This was halfway through the first one I completed, and I have to say I was pretty thrilled with how it turned out!

Eventually, 6 months after I had started the project I got to a point where I had knitted enough squares to make a decent sized blanket, and in the process I had taught myself a number of invaluable techniques and found a new hobby which I absolutely loved!! Next on the curriculum was learning how to sew it all together...

I spent HOURS agonising over the layout. I knew how the fair isle row would look but with the rest of it, I knew I didn't want any of the same two colours or designs next to one another and it was a lot harder than I had imagined to find a layout which fitted all my self-imposed rules. Becs (my sister, who has a keen eye for detail and design) helped me shuffle the pieces around and around like one of those frustrating jigsaw puzzles where the squares slide up, down, left and right until the picture is complete, until eventually we got it right, and I pegged all the rows together and numbered each stack so that they didn't get out of their perfected order. 

I used a couple of different YouTube tutorials to learn how to sew seams, and once I started, it actually progressed really quickly. Once it was finished, I wrapped it up and gave it to Beau as a birthday present on his first birthday :o)

Here are some photos of the finished article:

During the process, Becs asked me to make one for Ivy and my friend Jemma asked me to make one for her daughter, so I'm now working on Ivy's and will do a post once it's all done!

If you would like any of the fair isle patterns or the cable knit pattern please ask in the comments section and I would be happy to share them with you. The patterns for the other squares are all available from ezcareknits Etsy shop.

Please let me know what you think. Would you like to make one for your child or someone else you know? 

Knit on, Knitters x

Friday, 28 September 2012

Fill In The Blanks Friday

It's Friday again already, and I haven't blogged all week!! But in my defence, I haven't really had a chance to get any knitting done so there wouldn't be much to blog about. I have started on a blanket for Ivy but I haven't even blogged about the one I knitted Beau yet so I can't be telling you about Ivy's one! This is a sneak peak of the one I did for Beau though...
The fruit of 6 months of work, this blanket pretty much taught me how to knit
I can't wait to blog about the blanket properly but it really deserves a good chunk of my time and I need to edit the photos to go with it, so it will have to wait a little longer.

Anyway, here are my blanks for this week. As usual, please join in for yourself over at Lauren's blog, The Little Things We Do

1.  My first memory is   from when I lived in Australia when I was two years old. I remember sitting on my parents' bedroom floor watching "Neighbours". I have other memories from Australia, including the time my older brother Nick fell off the curb outside our house and split his head open, and how Nick and Becs would go over to the little lake opposite our house and get leaches stuck to their legs. The random things I remember eh!

2.  My first love was  my first boyfriend I suppose. To think of him that way is weird, because it ended pretty badly, but I did love him in the beginning. I can't deny him that. 

3.  My very first favourite colour was  pink, I think. I only say that because when I was about 5, we moved house and my Dad said I could choose what colours he painted my room. I chose baby pink for the walls, and this weird, light forest green for the woodwork...what was I thinking? 

4. The first time I really felt like a "grown-up" was when    I looked over from my hospital bed at this beautiful little baby staring up at me from his perspex cot, and I realised that he was solely dependent on me, and I was over the moon about it. I finally understood so much more about things my mum and Dad had said to me over the years, and how the love you have for your children is enough to break your heart.

5. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is  usually hope that Beau will go back to sleep for a few minutes, then resign myself to the fact that he won't :o) So I get up, go into his room, pick him up and give him a great big cuddle. It's a pretty amazing start to any day, I'll be honest. 

6. The first CD (cassette tape, record, etc...) I ever bought was   Haha cringe! It was the Mysterious Girl single by Peter Andre. Did I really just admit to that?

7.  My first car was a Fiat Cinquecento Sporting 1.1, in black! My first boyfriend was a Fiat enthusiast and he had talked me into it being an ideal first car for me. It did me OK to be honest, but it was like a biscuit tin on wheels. I used to feel sure that if I had a crash with a cyclist, the cyclist would come off better.

I'm going to try and blog about THE BLANKET over the weekend, I just hope I can find time!

Knit on, Knitters


Friday, 21 September 2012

Fill In The Blanks Friday!

Hey knitters,

This is something I used to do regularly on my other blog, and I loved it. So here it is again, My Name Is Purl style:

1.  Something I am very proud of is   having lost 1 stone, 2 and a half pounds recently. I put on around 3 stone when I was pregnant, 2 and a half of which came off pretty easily with breast feeding, but I just couldn't shift the rest. So I started running 3 times and week and I joined Slimming World and it was hands down the best decision I ever made. I wasn't exactly happy with my weight before I got pregnant so I decided to get to my goal weight, instead of just losing the other half a stone (7lbs) to get me back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I have another 11lbs to get me to my goal weight, but I'm pretty proud of what I've done so far :o)

2.  My favourite thing about myself is  This is the hardest question ever. I'm in a pretty weird place at the moment and I'm really struggling to think of the answer to this question, so I'm going to have to skip it and hopefully come back to it at a later date.

3.  My favourite colour for fall/autumn is  Navy Blue. It's also my favourite colour for winter, spring and summer :o) Though I'm also loving myself a bit of mustard yellow right now too.

4. Something I've been learning lately is    that the common denominator is me. I need to do some work on myself and be less of a stressful person. 

5. A book I am reading now/have read recently is  The Help, by Katherine Stockett. I saw the film first and loved it, the book is ten times better. I recommend it highly.

6. My favourite Pandora Station is  As a Brit, I have no idea what Pandora is so I'm guessing it's an American thing?? Over here, Pandora is a jewellery company.

7.  This weekend I will   be having a father/daughter/grandson lunch with my dad tomorrow which I'm really looking forward to. It's so rare that my dad is allowed out without his wife, so it will be so good to have a proper catch up. Then we're going to view a house that we might rent, woo hoo!

You can join in yourself at Lauren's blog, The Little Things We Do

Knit on, knitters x

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

The Very Hungry Caterpillar cocoon

Next on the list for the photographers was a cocoon that they can wrap the little newborns up in for their debut photo shoot. We decided to go for this Very Hungry Caterpillar one because it is unisex and just adorable. In all honesty, I HATED knitting the cocoon!! Mainly because it was the first time I knitted in the round with multiple colour changes and I just found the whole thing a little messy. As a perfectionist, this stressed me out a little, and I found that I had to spend quite a lot of time afterwards neatening up the side seam with all the colour changes on it. The photographers decided they didn't want all the colours like the original pattern has as they wanted it to look more like the original Very Hungry Caterpillar, like this
So we chose a plain green yarn and then a contrasting green and white yarn in the same shade. In my usual fashion, I have discarded the paper wrap from the yarn so I'm unable to tell you what I used, but I promise that any future patterns I knit, I will keep this info so I can include it here for anyone who might be interested. I also knitted the matchng hat, which was MUCH MORE FUN!! Here is how they turned out

 I kind of abandoned the pattern for the cocoon if I'm totaly honest and did my own thing with the stripes, and I also made it quite a lot larger (diameter wise) than the pattern states because as a mum myself, I know that squeezing a wriggly (or perhaps even sleeping) newborn into a fairly tight cocoon would be a nightmare, so I made it larger so that they could easily get the bubba inside, then they could just fold the excess underneath so it doesn't show in photos (I have folded the excess under in the photo above and it really doesn't notice at all).  The hat was fun the make, and also I had to teach myself how to crochet to make the chain for the eyes. I used this YouTube tutorial to learn, and it was super easy. So what do you think?

Knit on, knitters


Friday, 7 September 2012

The Nappy Covers (and matching hats)

One of the most recent projects I finished, and my first paid project, was a collection of photo props for a local photographer (Paul Barsby, Tunbridge Wells). I'll do a post for each of the items, my favourite of which were these adorable little nappy covers.
For the white one, I purchased the pattern from ezcareknits on etsy but I accidentally bought the wrong size. I bought size 0-3 months, when I actually needed newborn. I could have just purchased the newborn size from etsy but in order to save money, I adapted the pattern myself, to make it a little smaller. Because the white pattern includes the little duck motif (worked using garter stitch on a stocking stitch background), I didn't want to have to shrink this down so I left it out altogether and just made the smaller ones plain. I bought the buttons from my local Hobbycraft store and for the wool I just used a standard double knit. The pink one was super soft, but the white and navy were quite itchy and woolly. If you were going to make these for your baby to wear day to day then I would obviously recommend using a luxury soft yarn, such as Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK, but as they were just photo props and the babies will only be wearing them for a few minutes, it doesn't really matter.

The photographer also wanted matching long-tailed pixie style hats. I couldn't find a suitable pattern for these so I made one up. I was pretty happy with how they turned out, though for a small newborn they were a teeny bit big. Now this wouldn't have been a problem when my son Beau was born, because he weighted 9lb 7oz and had a huge head (which the midwife who stitched me up afterwards not so politely told me had done a huge amount of damage too, but that's a whole other story!) but for the tiny little 6lb girl who was the first baby to model one of these hats for the photographer, it did look a little baggy on her precious dainty head. A simple way to get around this if you know you need a smaller one would be to drop down a size in knitting needles. Anyway, here is the pattern for the hats

Please feel free to use this pattern, but if you're going to share it, please have the courtesy to credit and link back to my blog (

Long Pixie Hat Knitting Pattern Newborn

Straight knitting needles: Size 7 US (4.5mm) and size 9 US (5.5mm) knitting needles

Darning Needle for finishing

Row counter (optional)

Sewing needle

CO -Cast On
BO -Bind Off
K2tog -Knit together
Sts -Stitches
RS -Right Side
WS -Wrong Side

This pattern is broken out into sections making it simple to follow.

Starting -Cast on 70 with size 7 (4.5mm)
Ribbed Section: Rows 1-8
Rows 1: *K2, P2* Repeat across row
Row 2: *K2, P2* Repeat Across row
Rows 3-8: Repeat rows 1 & 2
Continuing: Change to Size 9 (5.5mm) US Knitting Needles

Row 1: Knit across
Row 2: Purl across
Row 3-14: Repeat rows 1 & 2
Row 15: *K2Tog, K5* Repeat to end of row (60 stitches)
Row 16: Purl across
Row 17: *K2Tog, K4* Repeat to end of row (50 stitches)
Row 18: Purl across
Row 19: *K2Tog, K3* Repeat to end of row (40 stitches)
Row 20: *P2, P2Tog* Repeat to end of row (30 stitches)
Row 21: *K2Tog, K1* Repeat to end of row (20 stitches)
Row 22: P2Tog across row (10 stitches)

Begin Tail Section:

Row 1: Knit across
Row 2: Purl across
Rows 3-40 Repeat rows 1 & 2

Decrease Tail Section:
Row 1: K2Tog, K1, K2Tog, K1, K2Tog, K2Tog (6 Stitches)
Row 2: Purl Across
Row 3: Knit across
Row 4: Purl across
Rows 5-54: Repeat rows 1 and 2

Decrease & Complete Tail Section:
Row 1: K2Tog across row (3 stitches)
Row 2: Purl across
Row 3: K2Tog, K
Row 4: Bind off

Make a pompom approx 6cm diameter and attach firmly to the end of the tail. 

I added contrasting stripes to mine but you can do it however you choose. For the stripes, after the rib section was finished, I did 2 rows of main colour, then began my stripe pattern of 2 rows contrast colour, 6 rows main colour.

Here is how they look as a set, pretty damn cute I think

Zingy the EDF Flame (Or The Squoof)

One of the first things I knitted (and completed, I must add) was this cute as hell little knitted mascot "Zingy" from the EDF adverts.
 Random, you might think?? And you would be right, apart from the fact that my niece Ivy really seriously looks like this thing!! She has the biggest eyes I've ever seen on a baby (to the point where we call her Eyes-Vy), she is super pale like her mum (my sister) and she sometimes gets that exact little curl of hair on top of her head. I can't find a photo to show off the curl but here she is looking super cute as always

As well as Eyes-Vy, her main nickname is The Squoof, because frankly she's just so darned squoofy. Despite not really meaning anything at all, it just sums her up in one (slightly bizarre) word. If you continue to check in with this blog (and I continue to update it of course) you will soon realise that in our house we are a bit bonkers. We all have various ridiculous nicknames, few of which make any sense. We have little songs which we all know but would never dare sing them to an outsider, we would all be sectioned! The house favourite is called "What do we do when we love somebody's face (we kiss their face)"

Soooo, anyway. Back to the knitting. I got the pattern for free on a forum, I can't find the original thread to link up to so I'll include the whole pattern at the end. As far as wool goes, I just went to my local C&H Fabrics and bought the cheapest wool I could find in the right colour, which is a light pastel peach colour. I don't have the paper band for it any more so can't even tell you what I got, but it doesn't really matter. As long as it's DK (double knitting) you could use just about anything you like. This was the first thing I knitted in the round and I have to say it went pretty well. I used this video on YouTube to learn the magic loop method which you need for this project, unless you knit it on DPN's (Double Pointed Needles), which I don't really want to attempt just yet.

In all honesty, this pattern wasn't quite right, shape-wise. The actual EDF Zingy is more fat and squat, like this
But I didn't want to pay for a pattern and this is what I ended up with. It would be super easy to fix, by simply increasing more in the top and bottom sections, and decreasing less stitches at the "waist" section. Personally I didn't have another shot at it because it was only for a bit of fun. I have seen these sell on eBay for £10 or £15 and obviously if you were going to sell it, you would need to make it a bit more accurate.

Anyway, here is the pattern, happy knitting knitters x

Knitted Zingy the EDF Flame

50g ball Wendy Peter Pan Double Knit Shade 3004
1 X long circular needle or set dble pointed knitting needles, size 3.75mm
Scrap white felt
Scrap black felt
Cast on 9sts leaving a ‘tail’ of yarn. Join into a round either using magic loop method or dble pointed needles.
R1 Inc in every st.(18sts)
R2 Knit
R3 Inc in every st (36sts)
R4 to R21, Knit.
R22 K2tog all along row (18sts)
R23 Knit
R24 Knit 1, K2tog, all along row. (12sts)
R25 Knit
R26 *K1, kfb; repeat from * (18sts)
R27 Knit
R28 *K2,kfb; repeat from * (24sts)
R29 Knit
R30 *K3,kfb; repeat from * (30sts)
R31 Knit
R32 *K4,kfb;repeat from * (36sts)
R33 Knit
R34 *K8 ,kfb;repeat from * (40sts)
R35 – 38 Knit
R39 *K8 ,k 2tog;repeat from * (36sts)
R40 Knit
R41 *K4, k 2tog;repeat from * (30sts)
R42 Knit
R43 *K3, k 2tog;repeat from * (24sts)
R44 Knit
R45 *K2, k 2tog;repeat from * (18sts)
R46 Knit
At this point stuff the base and head of flame .
R47 *K1, k 2tog; repeat from * (12sts)
R48 Knit
R49 *K2tog; repeat from * (6sts)
R50 Knit
R51 Knit
R52 K1,K2tog,K1,K2tog (4sts)
R53 Knit
R54 K2tog and fasten off. Thread this end in.
Stuff the base a little more if needed, and then run cast on tail yarn through cast on sts and pull up tight. Thread ends in.
From white felt cut 2 X 7/8 inch circles, just touching.An easy way to do this is to find a button the correct size and trace around it, making the circles just touching.Then it can be cut out in one piece.
From black felt cut 2 X 3/8 inch circles, and a ¼ inch oval.
Centre black circles in white circles and stitch down with tiny sts. Sew this to centre front of flame. Sew black oval to just under where circles touch.

Sew the button onto the bottom, to help it stand up.