About Me

My photo
Been knitting on and off for about 50 years, sporadically trying to crochet, just bought a lucet. More details about my knitting, crochet and tunisian crochet can be seen at https://www.ravelry.com/people/Rosebark for which you need to be a member, but this is free.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Lacy Baby Cardigans

What happened to July, August and September?

Lacy Cardigan - Cream:The yarn for this was bought some time ago from Allders which has since sadly closed!. I think they were selling it for £1/50g. The ball bands had been lost and it was bound in till receipt paper, so there was no clue as to what brand it is, but it feels like Sirdar Snuggly.  I decided to use it to make a cardigan for a band member/friend's 'Bump'. The pattern, which I had fairly recently got from ebay and not used before, is just called Cardigan.  The instructions are for three sizes (19 to 21 inch) in three different yarns (3-ply, 4-ply and DK).  I used 3-ply and followed the instructions for the smallest size, which I would estimate is a bit bigger than newborn size, which was fine for this one, as it will no doubt fit Bump at some stage.  I was in a bit of a dilemma (or should it be trilemma if there are three possibilities?) about the buttons.  The yarn is a sort of buttermilk/creamy colour and I have some buttons which are a very good match, but rather old and tatty, or somewhere I have some yellow buttons, which I think are a bit too yellow and the other possibility, which I went with in the end, was some white, slightly translucent buttons I got from ebay some time ago. Being translucent, they take on the colour underneath to some extent. The end result is shown on the left, as nearly as possible being worn by the baby it was knitted for. (Acknowledgment: this photo was taken by DD, who went to the shower held for the mother and handed it over for me).

Lacy Cardigan - Pink I was quite pleased with the result of the cream one and decided to do one for the local hospital, as I hadn't done one for them in a while.  I used some pink 3-ply Robin yarn which was given to me by a member of the Croydon Knitting Group for the purpose of making cardigans for the hospital.  I wanted to do this pattern again, however, as mentioned above, the smallest size instructions come up a bit bigger than newborn size, which is the size they want.  So I decided to try to be a bit clever and knit using 3-ply yarn and the needles recommended for the 3-ply instructions in the pattern, but to follow the 4-ply instructions and make the parts all ½ and inch shorter.  I used some more of the slightly translucent white buttons, as I don't have any pink ones, and the result is as on the right. Ideally the top button should be a row or two lower, but I think it turned out rather well for an experiment and I may well do a white or blue one the same soon. I took one photo with flash (above) and one without (below) and have included both as the flash one is the truer colour, but the non-flash one shows better detail.

Bit of Technical Stuff - For those who are interested in the mechanics of knitting: I have used a slightly different technique for the decreasing on these ones.  Usually you get k2tog on one side and k2tog tbl (or ssk or sl1, k1 passo) for the other side and I have always found that the K2tog tbl was never as neat as the k2tog. I have read various suggestions for rectifying this and not been satisfied with my results using them (not saying they don't work for other people).  What occurred to me after much thought over some long period of time is that it's not so much the k2tog tbl that looks untidy, it's that the in-between rows don't lie in line with it like on the k2tog side.  It is just the stitch on each previous row that is the problem, so I tried knitting just that stitch (on each relevant row) taking the yarn round the needle in the opposite direction from usual.  I'm not sure if that makes sense and I don't really know how to show it with a drawing (plus being rather useless at drawing anyway).  I suppose a video would do it, but I really don't want to get into that at present (maybe one day).  Anyway for me it works pretty well.  The k2tog tbl side is still not quite as neat as the k2tog side, but a great deal closer to it than I have ever achieved before and I will be using this method in future.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

First crochet flower!

My posts are like buses - none for ages, then three at once!

I have been trying on and off for some time to find a flower pattern, knitted or crocheted, that I could make for various purposes, e.g. to be sewn onto a hair clip.  As has been mentioned before, I have had no success in following crochet patterns, except for the very straightforward crochet for beginners type book (can't remember the name at the moment, but may edit it in later).  However, I saw a pattern in this month's Simply Knitting for a bag with a flower on it.  I thought doing the bag may be a bit ambitious, although I now don't completely rule that out for some time in the future, but the button looked doable.  I already had the pink yarn, but felt a flower needs a yellow middle, so I "had" to buy some yellow yarn, which I got at the same shop and the same time as the flower for the BlackBerry cover.  This is the first purchase, other than the occasional very cheap purchase at a charity shop, I have made of yarn in a long while - and this particular shop's prices are very reasonable (and I used a tiny bit of it to sew the flower button on the BlackBerry cover - because flowers have yellow middles ;-) so it's already been used for two things).

I dug out a 3.5mm hook and sat down with it, the two yarns and the magazine and about an hour later, the result was as shown on the left. (For some reason I couldn't get both the centre and the 'petals' equally in focus).  I know other people knock out flowers 19 to the dozen in a variety of patterns, but this is a real achievement for me, so much so that I even told DH (and he's really not into knitting or crochet).  He duly made an impressed grunt, which was all I was after.

I suppose now I'll have to find or borrow some other flower patterns and give them a go.  Even if they are not successful, at least I know I can do this one!

BlackBerry cover

A friend asked on Facebook if anyone knew where she could get a cover for her new BlackBerry phone or would be willing to make one for her.  I thought, "I could do that", nearly chickened out, then offered anyway.  The criteria were that it should be purple and have a flower button on.  I started Tunisian crocheting it and even thought that the reverse side of simple Tunisian stitch looks kind of blackberryish, then realised that the ball of yarn I was using would not be anywhere near enough to make it that way, so I frogged that and started knitting it in stocking stitch.  Part way through doing that I found some more of the same yarn (grr!) but decided to stick with the second version.  The yarn was left over from a cardigan I made DD some years back and I lined it with some material I acquired from the (previously-mentioned) old lady's stash.  The only purchase was the button, which I bought for 25p at KPound Plus by Church Street tram stop.  The recipient insisted on paying, although I would have made it for the price of the button!  I have delivered it to her sister, who will be visiting her tomorrow.  I hope she likes it!  I have shown it here with my (not BlackBerry) phone inside to round it out a little.  I did think I had made the top flap a bit too short, but the sister bought her another cover which has two motifs on a dangle, one of which is going to be sewn onto this cover, so perhaps it is just as well I left a bit of space for that.

And now here's the other one, just like the other ones

Finally the local SCBU has one of the reverse-stocking-stitch-striped blue cardigans.  I've included both photos as it looks so different with and without flash.   I do accept of course, however, that in either case, it looks just like the preceding ones.  Nothing more to say about that!
without flash
with flash

Friday, 25 May 2012

Peaked Hat

The peak finally got attached to the hat!  Some people may wonder if I made this for a bet, but I think it's rather cheerful.  I wouldn't wear it myself, not because of the colours, but because (1) I hardly ever wear hats and (2) it's another one that's a bit small for my great coconut.  I can get it on without stretching it, but the overall circumference of the main body would need to be bigger to look reasonable on me (i.e. more increases before decreasing for those who make hats themselves).  It would be fine (sizewise) for a woman with a normal-sized head.

I thought I'd put another view of the finished item in here, as it looks different in different lights.  I think one photo was taken by daylight and the other by flash, but I'm not too sure which was which.  If you like the end result and would like to own it, you may have it for £5 plus P&P.  Or if you like the style but not the colour, I would be happy to knit another one in your colour of choice.  Unless you provided the yarn, I would want £6 for this.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Sock Singular has a Partner - Hooray!

 Here, at last, is the partner to sock singular, which I posted all on its own a while ago.  It has only taken me just over a year to complete this pair of socks.  The top finally got sewn down at knitting group last Thursday and I gave them both to Susan immediately with the proviso that she send me photo(s) so I could post here and on Ravelry (so these are her photos of my knitting).  As previously mentioned, this second one is a couple of rows shorter in the foot, so this pair has a right and left sock.

And below, here they both are on the new owner's feet, looking nice and comfy!

Franney asked what yarn it was and when I told her it was an acrylic/cotton mix, she was a little surprised and said it felt like it had silk in it.  It does indeed feel rather nice, and it was only cheap on ebay. The first pair of socks I made from this cone (see earlier post) have been machine washed and have come to no harm.  There is still quite a bit left, probably enough for a another two pair of socks - so still no need to buy any yarn yet.

Meanwhile, the hat still awaits the attachment of its peak, but I have made progress with the baby cardi and the cushion cover.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Tipsy Turkey

Somewhat the wrong time of year for Christmas turkey, but I promised I would put him on here, so here he is:

This was the first Alan Dart pattern I did.  As I think I said about Rudolf, the instructions are very clear.  It says to sew up in mattress stitch, which I hadn't done before. Again, very clearly described, but I found some bits a bit difficult/awkward and close inspection will reveal that this let down the overall effect a little bit, plus his tooter (or whatever you call it) looks more like a pipe or strange cigarette.  Still, I'm pleased with the result on the whole.  I did have to buy one ball of yarn (the sort of rusty colour in his tail), but the rest was in my stash, so he was almost a stashbuster - and he too is mainly stuffed with innards of old pillow. His tail is stiffened/stuffed with some stiffish sponge which used to be on a baby car seat.  The seat split when we had an accident (no-one hurt fortunately) a long time ago, but I kept the sponge liner in the 'come in handy' drawer. (BTW this is a one-off - fun to do once, but don't feel the need to do another one and would not be particularly willing to do one as a commission).

Meanwhile, updates on WIPS: (1) SSS syndrome has been conquered - second sock to go with "Sock Singular" is now knitted and just needs the top turned over and sewn in place. (2) Another hat is nearly finished - just needs its peak sewn on, (looks like I need to get my sewing head on) (3) third baby cardi like the last two will be progressed tomorrow at knitting group.  Meanwhile have also started a cushion cover, being done diagonally in garter stitch like the last two baby blankets, but it will be 18" square, not rectangular.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Once more with Bootees

I was going to call this post, "Let's knit another one, just like the other one", kind of nodding to Steppenwolf, but then, as I was doing part of the reverse stocking stitch bit on this cardigan for my eldest male Canadian cousin's first grandchild (the first of a new generation in our family, i.e. the first gggrandchild of our joint grandparents), I found myself reminded of the bootees I made many times in the past.  The first pair of these bootees I knitted for my youngest female Canadian cousin.  She was born when I was seven, so this was about 50 years ago.  Until now the last pair I did was for my own DD, born nearly 25 years ago and I made many pairs in between.  I have lost the pattern now, but remember it pretty well, so I thought it would be fitting that the first member of a new generation in our family should have a pair of these bootees, especially as they would go rather nicely with the cardigan. So instead it nods to Buffy the Vampire Slayer by being titled "Once more with Bootees" (with reference to the episode "Once more with Feeling" for those who are not familiar)

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Blue/cream Diagonal Baby Blanket

Just managing to sneak this in before the month ends, so at last putting up more than one post in a month - still not getting on with the WIPs, but I did another diagonal garter stitch baby blanket.  This included yarn from an item I bought at a Cats' Protection League Fair around 30 years ago intending to unravel it and use the yarn - finally did that for this blanket a few days ago - and the I-cord edging was made with yarn left over from a baby cardi I knitted for either my youngest cousin or my close friend's first son (I knitted them similar ones and they are about a year different in age - both now over 30!).  So at least I am staying within my yarn diet and SCBU got another blanket from me.

My Mum had also knitted a blanket for SCBU.  I know this blog is about my work, but I thought this was so nice, it should be shown somewhere.  The squares are garter stitch, sewn together, then the seams oversewn with chain stitch to neaten them up.  I wouldn't have thought of doing that.  It therefore also serves to show that even if two people are doing basically the same thing (i.e. in this case a DK baby blanket sized 16" x 22" approx) and even using the same stitch, the finished items can turn out very different!

I have also nearly finished a second baby cardigan just like the one in the previous post, which initially I thought I would give to SCBU, but now I will have to do a third one for them, as the second one will be sent to Canada for my eldest cousin's first grandchild - the first child of a new generation in our mutual family!  Quite exciting!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Baby Cardigan

For once this one is not for the Special Care Baby Unit but for a friend.  I used a pattern which has a lacy pattern around the bottom, but decided to go with reverse stocking stitch stripes as I have been informed the baby is a boy.  I added this to the sleeves too, although the pattern doesn't have the lacyness on the sleeves, presumably because with the holes in the lacy pattern, little fingers could get caught.  I'm quite pleased with how it has turned out, so have started another identical one (still plenty of this blue yarn left!) for SCBU.

(Notes to self: must phone friend to arrange to meet so I can hand it over! And get on with stuff so I can put more than one item on per month...)

Sunday, 29 January 2012


I should have been getting on with finishing things I had already started, but no, I saw a pattern in an old magazine and thought, "I'll make that", my excuse being that we (Croydon Knitting Group) may possibly sometime arrange a craft fair of our own, therefore I would need some things ready for it and this would be a good item to have ready for sale.  However, I am putting it up for sale here meanwhile.  (I can always make another one or more if/when we have a definite date for a craft sale!)

As I was not making it for a specific person, I didn't bother with a tension square/swatch, as it will no doubt fit someone.  My tension is a little tight and it has turned out definitely too small for me to wear - but then my head is large.  It fits the ball it is modelled on in the photo beautifully, though.  The opening, without being stretched at all is about 5 inches/13 cms, to give some idea of size.

It is made in garter stitch with two strands of DK held together.  It could be done all the same colour (but then, why not just use chunky?) but I decided to combine two colours.  The green is left over from either the hat or the fingerless gloves I knitted DH some years ago and the black possibly left over from a hat I knitted for a work colleague two or three years ago.  Both yarns are acrylic. I quite like the effect of the two colours together.

When I made a purple hat for DD, the pompon I made for that turned out rather large, which she is quite happy with, but I was determined not to make too big a pompon for this, and used a tea light to draw round to make the circle for card form.

I would be happy to sell this actual item for £6 plus P&P, or to make another similar one for £7, either in the same colours, two other colours, or all one colour and could make one a little bigger by using larger needles.  In fact, I intend making a larger one soon(ish) to check that it would still look nice.  I think it will as this one is quite densely knit.  The reason for the difference in price is that this one has been made from yarn I had left from previous projects and if specific colours are required for a commissioned one, I would most likely have to buy yarn of the required colours.  If, however, I had sufficient yarn of the right colours left over from previous projects, the £6 price would apply.

Monday, 9 January 2012


I did a couple of Secret Santas (got nice things given to me) and I gave basically the same things in both of them (but no overlap of people).  I gave something bought and a hand-knitted linen stitch bookmark.  The photo is of the second one I did, but the other one was done with the same yarn, just started and finished at a slightly different point in the yarn's pattern.