Tag 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.

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.

Wool craft

I now have a knitting machine courtesy of a local freecycle member, this is to go along with my box of needles, drop spindle, travel sawing machine, peg loom and sock knitting machine. I desperately need to carry on with my decluttering to find room for it all, and space to set some of it up.

The summer holidays start next week, a very busy time of year with work. And it is still the middle of the growing session, and aren’t the weeds growing with all this warm, wet weather we’ve been having.  Busy, busy, busy

New toys

Even though I am trying to de-clutter I have been tempted by a few things lately, and given in on two occasions.

My first purchase was a small set of wood carving tools, I’ve never tried wood carving of any sort, or have any idea if the tools I have bought are any good, but I like the idea of it so I will be trying something with them.

My other purchase is slightly larger, a Victorian cast iron sock knitting machine. I collected it last night. I still don’t feel any where near my goal of making my own socks from our own sheep’s wool, I still have some way to go with my spinning and I haven’t yet knitted anything, just played around with different stitches and ideas (which I need to do to learn). I can’t remember where I first saw or hear about sock knitting machines but they captured my imagination from the start.

 My is an original Victorian single-rib machine that was re-stored by a lady who worked in a museum and had a passion for them, she had eight of her own and employed a team to make Kashmir socks for Harrods. It has a homemade stand, original weights and tools.

When I first found out about sock knitting machines I was told/read that they were first produced during WW1 has there was a shortage of socks for the forces and no more were made after the war but since reading more about them I’m not sure how true this is but I liked the story.

Now I just have to clear away some of my clutter to made a work space for it

Home made clothes

I was meant to be starting a soft furnishings and clothes making course tonight, but it’s been cancelled due the college not being able to find a replacement tutor for it.

I’m really disappointed, I would really like to be able to make my own clothes and learn to use a/my sawing machine to do so. But I guess it’s just not meant to be, hopefully I will remember to use the time to carry on knitting, but I’m not sure how well that will go. I’ve already decided to spend this weeks ‘time’ filling in some forms and getting them sent off. Very important but I’m not going to be able to wear it when I’ve finished.

I haven’t done any knitting for a couple of weeks now and last time I did any I made a mistake on my practice sock and undid it all. I didn’t really pick the best wool for it though, it was just some green ‘stuff’ that I already had and liked the look of but I don’t think it was really designed for socks and it was taking a very long time to build up into anything, and when I dropped a stitch and it disappeared down into the row before and, partly because of the type of wool, I wasn’t able to pick it back out again to carry on. Hoo hum. I think I will have a go at starting a ‘real’ sock next, with my proper sock wool and the right sized needles and the free pattern that came with the wool. It will be the first time I try to follow a pattern. Fingers crossed it’s not as scary as it looks!

Beads, wool and spinning

Last week I was ill, it was the horrid flu-y, chest infection thing that everyone else has had and I promised I would get. It wasn’t very nice at all, and even after a week on antibiotics, and two weeks of large doses of Vit C and eating as much garlic as possible with every meal (I haven’t really minded that) I still have a little bit of a chest infection.A few years ago I would have loved the idea of spending a week in bed watching Tele, but I got really bored. It did give me time to do some indoor crafts though, I’ve been meaning for a while to try making a seed-bead Christmas tree:


And I un-did all the knitting that I had done and started again, it looked to me like I had dropped a lot of stitches but I had only dropped one along the way.



I started on my first ‘round’ as well, using four double-pointed needles. I did think that I would try knitting a whole mini sock as practice but after I looked up how to knit a heel I gave up, as I had nowhere near enough stitches. I also got chance to carry on with my drop spindle.


Well, winter is finally here

Outside it is snowing, huge flacks but it’s been raining all afternoon so the ground is, touch wood, to wet for it to settle.

October has flown by; I’ve spent most of it working. I work right though from the 13th until the 22nd, two days off and now I’m back at work. Officially I’m on holiday, but only from one job this week. Next week though…

Everything is mostly indoors now, on the 12th I almost completely cleared up the vegetable garden. Planted out the kale and spring cabbage plants, pulled up all the nettles, potted up all the strawberry plants. The garden looks bare now, the purple sprouting plants are coming back well have being completely massacred by caterpillars. The sprouts are coming back as well, but the ‘sprouts’ aren’t forming as sprouts but leafy bubs. I thought that some of the red cabbages had survived the caterpillars but the remaining cabbages are rotting away at the stream and falling over.

We also mated Keris, Kniteshade is such a good boy. He could easily flatten any and all of us if he wanted to but he just does as he’s asked. Mother has taken him out for a few walks with the other goats and he’s been really good then as well.

Indoors I’ve been pickling lots of quail eggs, they are all indoors for the winter now and still laying at least one egg a day each. Working on pegloom-carrier-bag mats for the next LETS meeting.

Tonight mother took me out to buy my 21 birthday present, I didn’t know what I wanted when it was my birthday. I now have two drop spindles and a big bag of ‘rolls’ to play with. A while ago I was thinking about self-sufficiently and clothes, it’s just not practical to try to make all of your own clothes while working, tending to animals, processing food, etc. there just isn’t enough hours in the day but something on a small scale is doable. So I’m learning to make socks, right from spinning the wool to knitting them. That’s my plan any way, and that’s what I’m working on re-learning to knit and now spin.