That’s right, I said “Despicable!”.  OK, so that should actually be: Despicable Me, as in the animated movie of that name…  Without doubt, he characters that seem to have been liked most are the Minions!  These strange little folk have won many hearts and that’s proven by the fact that there is a knitting pattern.  Kat Lewinski’s pattern is fun and quick, though some experience is needed of the techniques used.  Numbered with those who love the minions is Jenny LOL.  Naturally, therefore, it was inevitabale that I’d end up knitting one for her.  He’s now to be found dangling from her workaday handbag!

Jenny's Minion

Jenny's Minion


A little while ago I was asked to make a scarf for somebody I know through the internet.  They want one that is in all black, which is murder on my poor old eyes.  I agreed to have  a go but had to think of some way to alleviate the problem of knitting with black yarn under artificial light.  In the end, I opted to experiment.  I’m delighted to report that the experiment is a complete success and the scarf is growing fast!  Basically, it couldn’t be simpler…  I’m using ordinary DK yarn but with 10mm needles!  The results are a delight.  It produces a light, soft, warm fabric that’s ideally suited to a scarf.  It’s also far less stressful on my eyes!

10mm Scarf

10mm Scarf WIP

The open texture gives a lace-like appearance.  I think this technique would be equally suited to tights, socks/stockings/tights, shawls, blankets and Afghans/throws.

The Grasshopper Effect

This last few days has been something of a mixture of activities!  I’m still working on the sweater (I’ve actually started a sleeve at last) but gemstones have been distracting me!  In fact, I’ve been hooked!!  I now have my own supply of gemstones – though it’s been much reduced over the last week…  I honestly never expected to ever become a jewellery maker but I’ve been having fun making stuff.  I’ve had a go at earrings, bracelets and even a necklace!

You can see most of what I’ve made here.

I’ve discovered that jewellery making is just as addictive as any craft – be warned!  Once you start, stopping becomes unthinkable…

Hangers On…

Recently, we went to HobbyCraft Chelmsford.  While there, I had a good look at the many beads on display.  Initially, my interest stemmed from the fact that I’m sorely tempted to try my hand at jewellery making!  You can blame Jewellery Maker (TV channel, Sky 655).  We were well behaved though – buying very little.  I did get a string of fuchsia glass beads, for making stitch markers with.  Jenny made the markers for me – seven each with a little Tibetan silver humming bird and one with a butterfly:

Stitch Markers

Stitch Markers


Christmas Decor? Already?

Let’s Knitting magazine, Issue 47, includes a supplemental pattern booklet containing some delightful Christmas decorations.  Scanning through it, I knew immediately that I just had to make the first item: a charming angel called Ariella (designed by Tina Barrett).  She’s quite unusual, having no halo and purple, gauzy wings, and bright red dress and shoes.  The magazine comes with the yarn needed, and the little golden bells that adorn her shoes.  I’m quite pleased with the result:




Finishing Old Projects

Like most knitters, I have various projects that I started but which stalled for one reason or another.  Every so often they emerge from hiding and, of course, the idea of actually finishing them surfaces.  Well, there are still some kicking about, but I’ve actually managed to finish two old projects!  The first was originally started way back in January – a sleeveless sweater for myself (it was meant to be for cooler Summer days LOL!).  Knitted in a really nice Aran (Robin, 75% acrylic/25% wool), in Denim (my apologies for the poor quality photo):

"Peter Easy" Sleeveless Sweater
“Peter Easy” Sleeveless Sweater

The pattern has the arm bands being knitted on straight eedles but I did them on a circular needle.  I kept putting off finishing the sweater because I lacked confidence in picking up stitches.  I’ve learnt a great deal from my sock knitting!

The second project is the “Heirloom Teddy” by Patons of Australia, as published in That’s Life magazine.  I went for a plain bear, rather than the more colourful ones in the pattern.  Completed, he’s now with our newest granddaughter – Kayleigh-Anne and goes by the name of Chicago Bear:

Chicago Bear
Chicago Bear

The delay on completing the bear was due to a lack of suitable toy stuffing.

A Return And A Celebration

I’m back after a lengthy absence because of ill health.  You’ve missed very little as I had very low energy levels.  I’m close to finishing a pair of Celandine Socks and I’m making progress on the stole/shawl featured in Simply Knitting, Issue 84, September 2011 (page 57).

The last 48 hours have been interesting, as our fourth grandchild decided that it was time to enter the world!  After a difficult labour of considerable length, Kayleigh-Anne finally arrived, by Caesarian, at 10:2 a.m. on 15th September, weighing a healthy 8lb 5oz.  She and Mum are well.

Kayleigh - Anne

Kayleigh - Anne


Dad’s immensely happy after rhe worry and long, sleepless hours.

Catching Up

I’ve been having a bad time recently, ever since a routine blood test threw up an alarming result.  An INR target of 2.5 was returned at 17.6 instead!  So the hospital have been tinkering with my Warfarin dosage and taking frequent blood samples.  So much fun for a trypanophobe (needlephobe)!  As emergency treatment initially, I was given a large dose of Vitamin K (mercifully an oral solution).  That, of course, disrupted my system for days…  Life is so much fun!

I should have known better but I started making a pair of lace socks for Jenny, despite difficulties in concentrating.  Yesterday, the errors just became absurd so I frogged the first sock and started again.  Let’s hope I can get further…

Better news: on Monday, we picked up our new car    It’s a Kia cee’d SW and is our first diesel-fuelled car.

Finally, for now, I’ve signed up to the trial of Google +.  This is a new networking/sharing concept.  You have to be invited to join at the moment.  I’m hoping that some of my knitting and cross stitching friends will join me.

iPod and Socks…

Following being given an iPod touch for my birthday, the first thing I did was to make a knitted cosy for it:

iPod cosy

iPod cosy

It’s based on the iphone case by Charlotte Nash.  I had to adjust the size some, and I added the flap, which is secured with a large bead.  A lightning fast project!

Today will see the completion of the first of the dayflower socks, which had reached this stage when I wrote this:

Dayflower socks WIP01

Dayflower socks WIP01

I love this pattern!

With regard to the iPod, I’m using the app KnitMinder by Quilt2Go to record my projects, and to provide a range of handy counters.  I tried the Lite version first and our eldest son bought me the full app as a surprise!  I’d love to know what JKnit is like to use but there isn’t an evaluation version and it’s rather pricey to take a risk on…


New projects at last!

Now that I’ve completed Jenny’s socks, I’m far more confident about sock knitting. That’s helped with the advent of my new iPod touch… I can now keep track of what I’m doing far more effectively. So, I’ve now started making a pair of lace socks for our younger son’s partner :D