Category Archives: knitting

Easy Peasy Newborn Rainbow Umbilical Cord Hat

Newborn Rainbow Umbilical Cord Hat - April 2013

Newborn Rainbow Umbilical Cord Hat – April 2013

I finished the hat I was making for my niece just as she had her first big growth spurt and was only able to wear it for a few days.

I really like the way it has turned out and although it took forever for me to make (that has more to do with my own knitting skills) I’d really like to make another for this winter.

I used this pattern Free Easy Peasy Leftover Sock Newborn Hat which is a nice and easy to follow one.

Gloves, fingerless, or mittens??

I have done it! I have finally finished another whole knitting project a mere 3 or 4 years after I completed my first ever projects (a knitted flower that I can’t find the post for) I have made a pair of what I am calling gloves, but they might be mittens I can’t remember what the pattern I first started to follow called them;

FInished gloves - January 2013

Finished gloves – January 2013

They were based on a free pattern from Ravelry that I changed as I went along as they were much longer than I wanted.

  1. Cast on 30st and join
  2. Ribbing for 15 rows (k1, p1, k1)
  3. Knit stockinette for 10 rows
  4. 13 rows stockinette not in the round (knit one row, pearl one row)
  5. Join then continue in the round for 13 rows
  6. ribbing for 3 rows
  7. Bind off and weave in end

It is super easy when you get going, even though it has taken me the best part of 6 months to complete. After finishing my first second glove I weaved the end in much too tightly and so the whole glove was useless, I did try to unpick it but just made a bigger mess than I started with.

They are being worn with great pride.

A visit back to my 2010 resolutions, and forward to 2011’s

I’ve done well with my resolutions/aims for 2010, even if I do say so myself, being now at the end of the year able to cross each one off the list that I made at the beginning of the year, all those months ago;

Visit the Eden Project – Last year I finally visited the Centre for Alternative Technology, the Eden Project is also on my list of places to visit so this shall be the year. I visited the Eden Project at the end of September and loved it. It just has a ‘feel’ about the place that is exciting and inspiring, I would have been more than happy to just sit around soaking it up all day.

The Eden Project - September 2010

The Eden Project - September 2010

Make my own cheese cake Cheese cake is my favourite so it really is silly that I have never made my own. Done, a few times now, and very yummy it was too. I am going to have to try making lemon cheesecake soon

Cut down the amount of needless “stuff” I own and accumulate –  I will carry on with the declutter already started and get better at not buying things on a whim. I will set up a wish list for birthdays and Christmas. I will use the library instead of buying books. I will continue using the Mooncup I have and give homemade shampoo a try again. I can’t really say that is done as it seems to be one of those forever ongoing jobs and I possibly could have done more but after reading Living the Goodlife I am inspired to keep going and to be aware of what I am accumulating. I’m getting very good at asking myself if whatever is in my hand is really something I need or if the ‘happiness value’ is really worth it when I am out shopping.

Grow more of my own food – I need to eat more leafy greens and the fresher they are the better for me they will be so I will make sure I grow more kale and look for some more recipes to use it in. By mid-April I will like to have the allotments plots ready for full use, and fill the space up with crops. Well I didn’t manage to get the whole two allotment plots up and running but one and a half which isn’t bad. This is another on going one I think, and next year I will have two allotment plots, a garden and a patio area to play with!

Potato flower - 16th of July 2010

Potato flower - 16th of July 2010

Stay in contact with friends – I know this is something I am very bad at, when I have time off work I like being at home doing my own thing and it often seems like to much effort to go out and visit people but I have some very good friends, who luckily understand I am a little odd and more of a loner than most other people my age, and I will make more of an effort to see them. Another ongoing one but something I have enjoyed doing

A few of my plans for next year are;

Finish two knitting projects – This year I finished my first ever knitting project, although I started countless things but for one reason or another, mostly forgetting what I had done or realising I’d made a mistake about ten rows after I’d made it. This year I would like to finish two knitting projects

Make my own Tofu (even if it has to be with bought in Soya Beans) – I have never really had Tofu before but it was one of the things that they made in Living the Goodlife and I have a packet of Soya Beans to try growing this year so am going to try making some myself

Make a carrot cake, using home-grown carrots – explains itself really

Save my own seed – I have saved a few seeds this year but not done so in the way that you ‘meant’ to

Furnish the new house with other people’s ‘rubbish’ (with the exception of a washing machine – I’ve already made a start on this, so far we have a sofa bed, table and chairs, some single beds for the share room, kitcheny things and I’m sure that we can make up a home without have to buy things new and save a few things from landfill as we go (I will post more about this soon)

I’m sure I will do so much more in 2011 than is on this list, this New Year is going to start a whole new chapter of my life!

Recycle & reuse; Charity shop green cardi

Well, I am proud to say that I managed to over come my habit of starting a craft project and then putting it down and never again looking at it in spite of always meaning to finished it. I managed to find myself a small project when I found a green cardi in a charity shop and instantly had ideas for how I could add a personal touch and brighten it up. 

Before and after - 28th November 2010

Before and after - 28th November 2010

My flower - 18th November 2010

The flower is mostly taken from this pattern from Alison Hogg’s The Creation of Crazy Dazy blog although I found I had unwittingly changed it a little without meaning to and I made my own way up of putting it together.

Painted button - 28th Noevmber 2010

Painted button - 28th November 2010

As soon as I saw the cardi I knew I wanted to replace the button with a wooden one and searched high and low in two towns worth of charity shops with no luck, so I paid a visit to a newly-ishly opened wool shop and found just what I was looking for;

Petal one (inside)

Row 1: Cast on 7 stitches. Row 2: Knit 1 row. Row 3: Purl 1 row. Row 4: Cast off 1 stitch, knit to the end of the row. Row 5: Purl 1 row. Rows 6 – 14:  Repeat cast off 1 stitch, knit to the end of the row and then purl back a row until 1 stitch is left and then cast work off

Medium petal, two needed

Row 1: Cast on 4 stitches. Row 2: Knit 1 row. Row 3: Purl 1 row. Row 4: Increase all stitches, up to 8 stitches. Row 5: Purl 1 row. Row 6: Increase all but 1 stitch, up to 14. Row 7: Purl 1 row. Row 8: Knit 1 row. Row 9: Cast off 1 stitch, purl rest of row. Row 10: Cast off 1 stitch, knit to end of row. Rows 11 – 22: Repeat 9 & 10 until end and cast off. 

Outer petal

Row 1: Cast on 5 stitches. Row 2: Knit 1 row. Row 3: Purl 1 row. Row 4: Increase every stitch, up to 10 stitches. Row 5: Purl 1 row. Row 6: Increase every stitch, up to 20 stitches. Row 7: Purl 1 row. Row 8: Knit 1 row. Row 9: Cast off 1 stitch, purl rest of row. Row 10: Cast off 1 stitch, knit rest of row. Rows 11 – 28: Repeat 9 & 10 until end and cast off 

Leaf, follow the pattern from here

To put the flower together fold the inside (smallest) petal down on itself, wrap one of the middle-sized petals around this, followed by the largest petal and then the other middle-sized petal. Have a play around until you are happy with the way it looks and then sew together. Add the leaf and then plait together the left over wool to make the steam.

Once upon a time, many moons ago…

I was learning to knit again. It was on this day in 2008 that I posted my first proper blog post.This is my second blog, the first one was very much a warm up to this one. And having spent some time reading back through my posts I thought I had posted most of it on this one any way, and all not that long ago either! I began blogging in November 2007 with this: 

A place to begin…Last night I finally got the push I needed to start off, I was on a forum and someone said that they would love to follow something like this, there are already loads of popular TV series, books and magazines about self sufficient so that must mean that other people are interested to. So this is my two pence worth to add to. My idea is very simple: produce as much food for myself as is possible with what I’ve got, that said I already know that it isn’t as simple a task as it sounds. I also would like to learn how to live as cheaply as possible and make some money from the things I enjoy doing.

 What I already have/where I’m at: I already keep goats, two of whom are in milk but I’m not milking them at the moment for no really reason other than the fact that I haven’t sorted myself out into doing this. I have quail; I got some for my last years Christmas present (in April, but I said I wanted to wait to get what I really wanted rather than having something else) from these there is one male left and I brought four more the other day, two females and two males and I brought 24 eggs, 12 of two types, for hatching from ebay last night, they should arrive on Tuesday next week.

 I’m a vegetarian, but others in my family eat meat, and I’ve got most of a vegetable garden up and running now but ‘the family’ have just been told that we can use part of a field we keep donkeys on as a vegetable garden as well which is quite a big space. I’m going up there tomorrow to start clearing the ground and covering some of it with manure ready for the summer.

 “The Family”: that is me (eldest daughter) my parents, my two younger sisters, a younger brother and my boyfriend. ‘The Family’ also includes a whole host of dogs, cats, ponies, donkeys, cows, sheep, chickens, ducks, rabbits and a guinea pig. I don’t think I’ve left anything out but I might have.

 So there are a lot of us, some useful others not so useful. I plan to be adding more very soon and to start adding some photo’s when I’ve got to grips with how to do things on here.

I changed blogs as I wanted to have more control of the way that it looked, and in particular a banner that I could add my own photos to.  A train track in the middle of nowhere is nice… But it wasn’t really what I was looking for. 

So what has changed since my first ever blog post? Well, I have almost finished my first own-spun and knitted project… more details coming soon. 

I have grown my own potatoes for the first time, and leeks, and carrots, and some other thing too; I have made butter and cheese from our own cows milk and cream. I have started keeping chickens, and am having another break from keeping quail, mother has the remaining trio that I had. 

‘The Family’ has grown, my baby sister will be eighteen this summer, we all have boy/girlfriends and although we are all still one big family it feels like we are also splitting off into our own little families as well. 

I am a published magazine writer… Twice. 

I have a much better job and am in much better health then I was back then. I have survived no less than two redundancies. I have become much more of an ‘outdoors’ person, even in the pouring rain I am still happy enough (cue a week long down-pour, sorry) and have much more of an idea of who I am and what I want to do. 

All this sounds very fluffy and… Picture prefect, but the thing is the milestones for ‘this kind of life’ are more woolly or yearly events than anything else. Lambing is followed by shearing, sowing time is followed by the growing season, followed by harvest time… Each year starts with hopes and dreams of building on what has been started the year before, which is followed by successes and failures, wet muddy times followed by the smell of grass cutting and fat happy animals sun bathing. It is a circle that keeps going and has no really ending. 

So here I am again, writing a blog post, in the middle of lambing. It has been raining outside and it is probably not all that different to the very first time I put fingers to keyboard for the first post of this blog and that is just fine by me…

30th December 2009

Sheep in the snow - some time between Christmas and New Year

Even more snow yesterday, loads of it. It was expected and had been forecast that by 9am yesterday morning we would have about 4″ of it so that  the rain that we woke up to and continued all morning was not what we were expecting. The rain did a good job, it cleared all the last little corners of frostie snow and then carried on for a few more hours, soaking everything. Then it turned to sleet then snow which just carried on but didn’t settle as everything was so wet.

Until about 3pm when everything turned white, Rhys was sent home from work as they closed because of the amount of snow falling and now settling. We made a rushed visit to the donkeys, topping up their hay, whilst others went out to top up on people supplies, coal and toilet roll.

Facing up the valley from the donkeys field, the snow doesn't settle as much here because the river is so close - sometime between Christmas and New Year

On the way back from the donkeys we tried carrying on to collect Rhys from the bus, to find that we couldn’t carry on up the hill. We slide back down the hill to home. Calls were made to others “come home now or you won’t get home, anything you haven’t got we can live without” and then I sat on hold to the bus company to see if in fact Rhys was able to get home. Not that there was anything I could do if there buses weren’t running.

Luckly the bus got him within about four miles of the village and onto the road where he was collected by the others on their way back home.

I’ve got a cold, so after everything was done I curled up with lots of blankets and started knitting up the wool I spun. I’m still not really sure what to make from it, I’ve seem a hat design that I like and I thought I could make something similar (I don’t have circular needles big enough to make the same) and maybe some mitten type things to go with it? But then this morning I started thinking maybe I should just knit the whole lot into a scarf. Any way after casting on and knitting two rows I broke the nice wooden needles that I was using so I don’t have to make up my mind right now as I can’t carry on with it until I have some more.