Gorgeous, Cute and Quick

What more could you ask for in a pattern? These are knit in Artesano Alpaca Aran a beautiful and soft blend of 50% Peruvian Highland Wool and 50% Alpaca. You can easily knock out a pair in an evening, making them wonderful for the busy Christmas knitter.

Gloves

Each pattern is £3, however, you can save £2 at the checkout when you buy all three patterns together on Ravelry (so that’s 3 patterns for £7!).

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Uno is a beautiful, single cable glove that is elegant in its simplicity. £3.

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Take a Bow is a cute glove that’s full of fun. It is so simple to make and change the bows that there’s no reason for you to ever get bored of these gloves! £3.

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Tawny Owl is adorable with instructions given for a solid colour owl (knit in the round) or a two-tone owl for the more adventurous knitter which is knit flat and uses intarsia. £3.

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Now on Twitter!

I’ve joined Twitter! And I’m currently having a lot of fun finding crafty people to follow, I didn’t realise so many people were on there now. If there’s anyone that you recommend I should be following, please let me know!

I’d also love it if you followed me, it’d be great to get to know the readers of my blog a little bit better and you’ll be able to stay up to date with announcements (there’s one coming very soon!), new blog posts, fun things I want to share and maybe even a competition or two….

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Would You Like a Card?

Folksy have teamed up with Moo online printing to offer Folksy shop owners a set of 50 free business cards and so today I received this in the post:

Moo Cards

I was so excited to open the package, I’ve never had business cards for anything before. It seems so grown up and professional! And my grown up and professional reaction was, of course, to exclaim ‘Yey!’ which coincidentally was the word on the sticker holding the box together. I’m really happy with them, the picture looks a little dark to me but that’s more my fledgling photography skills than the printing. They’re printed on their eco green paper with a matt finish to make it easy to write on.

I’m planning on using them both as business cards and as tags for my knitwear as the blank space on the back is perfect for writing a short message or the care instructions.

Visit my Folksy shop to see my gloves and accessories, or if you’re a knitter keep an eye out for some exciting news about patterns over the next few days.

A Hot Design

My latest published design is a gorgeous colourwork cover for your hot water bottle to help keep you toasty warm. I find there’s nothing quite like a hot water bottle to snuggle up with on the sofa or to ease any aches and pains. This would also make a fantastic gift in the colder months, perhaps with a supply of hot chocolate and marshmallows? Or a mug and cookies? The ideas are endless!

New hot water bottle cover
Pictured: Rowan Pure Wool DK in Purple & Dahlia (100% Wool, 136yds/124m per 50g ball) & RYC Cashsoft Baby DK in Bloom (57% merino wool, 33% microfiber & 10% cashmere, 142yds/130m per 50g ball.)

I found it quick to knit but that’s probably because I couldn’t wait to see the design in my head become a finished project. It was always ‘one more round’ or ‘one more pattern repeat’! Even if you’re not as eager as me, I don’t think it would take long to complete and the finishing is very minimal. I avoid sewing things up whenever possible so this is worked almost entirely in the round.

Also, as it take less than a ball of yarn for each colour you can use up your leftover balls of yarn from other projects as well as be creative with the colour combinations! The pattern includes handy links to tutorials of the techniques used but I’m always happy to help with any questions too.

For a limited time only, the pattern is available at the reduced price of £2.00.*  You can purchase the pattern using the button below (you do not need to be a Ravelry member).

Materials
3x 50g DK weight yarn
4mm/US#6 needles (circular or dpns) or size
required to get gauge.
Spare needle one size larger for 3 needle cast off
3 Snap Fasteners (15mm)
Darning needle
Waste yarn

Gauge
8st and 30 rows to 4 inch (10”) in charted pattern.

Finished Measurements
This cover will fit a standard hot water bottle 33cm in length (total, including top opening) and 20.5cm in width.

Skill Level
Intermediate – As well as basic stitches, this uses colourwork, a provisional cast on and a 3 needle cast off.

*Until 10/10/12. Regular price: £2.50

Zingy the EDF Ad Dude

Zingy is the new character for EDF’s Feel Better Energy Ad.  He is also ridiculously cute for something that has more than a passing resemblance to poop.

I couldn’t resist creating him when I saw I had some leftover yarn in the exact same colour.  He only took a couple of hours and has a small sachet of lentils in his base which gives him a nice weight.  It also means that he stays on top of my mini cooper when it’s driving over the floor!  I wish I had video on my camera!

I had a lot of fun with the photoshoot.  :)

Go on, pop on Human League’s Together in Electric Dreams and scroll down…

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For a guy with no legs or arms he did a good job of the hoovering.  My cat was camera shy (read: non-existant).

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Zingy didn’t quite get the hang of the webcam.  I’m not sure if it was because he resented that he had to stand on something to be seen or if seeing himself freaked him out.

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Zingy was having a blast until I turned it up to the high setting.

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He only got a short go on the blender, he was enjoying it far too much.

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Watching penguins.  A little known fact is that penguins are Zingy’s favourite animal, an even littler known fact is why.

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While I don’t have a Scalextric set, I do have a flashing, moving, shaking, rock and rolling mini cooper.  It’s all fun and games until Zingy falls off, then it’s hilarious.  Zingy disagrees.

And finally,

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Zingy meets the Zingy prototype.  He’s not sure what to make of it.  I’m keeping them separate, the world may implode if they touch.

I hope I managed to put a smile on your face.  :)

Graceful Chartwell

I finished this a while ago but only got around to blocking it this last weekend. It didn’t need a lot of blocking but it has sorted out the edges, opened it up a bit and it now drapes lovely rather than laying like a fluffy cloud.

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I have a lovely monochrome flower print dress that I think it’ll look fantastic with. I’m thinking it’ll work both as a wrap for fancy evenings out or as a scarf for a bit of luxury during the day.

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The yarn is Rowan Kid Silk Haze in the colour Ghost which I was lucky enough to find with 10% off. I love Kid Silk Haze, it has great colours and is so soft with such a lovely sheen. In my opinion, there’s no other yarn that can match it*. The only downside is that it sheds a lot. I could probably have spun some mohair yarn with the amount that came out of my project bag at the end!

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Chartwell is a pretty straightforward pattern. It starts from the long end with a daunting 263st to cast on. But it gets better from there with decreases every other row although it takes a while before it actually feels like its going faster! I did have just one gripe with the pattern, it has one of the smallest charts I’ve ever seen! It’s not an incredibly complex or intricate pattern so it didn’t need every stitch for the first 66 rows to be printed out, a box marking the pattern repeat would have sufficed.

Overall, I enjoyed knitting it but I’ll enjoy wearing it even more!

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*Debbie Bliss has recently bought out Angel, a yarn with very similar fibre content. I’ve squidged it in a shop but I haven’t tried it as I’m not so keen on the colours.

Spring Flowers Picture Post

I was out in the garden today, enjoying the sunshine with my camera.

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I also used the good weather to do some blocking and photographing of some recently completed projects but I’ll put those photos up a little later. They turned out great and deseve a post of their own.

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I love the combination of colours in the next two pictures, it makes me want to sit down and design some colourwork gloves.

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It really feels like Spring is here now. :)

A Swift Arrival

I had a lovely little parcel waiting for me when I got home today:

Yarn Swift/Winder

It’s a vintage Swift/Yarn Winder. I’ve been wanting one for a while, not because I really need one, but simply because they’re pretty and make things easier. I’ve been looking at the vintage ones on ebay because I’ve noticed they’re often prettier and sometimes even cheaper than brand new ones. I spotted this one last week and loved it.

Close up

I’ve never seen a swift quite like it! The arms are plastic (possibly bakelite) and I won’t need to worry about finding a surface to clamp this one to as the metal post is set on a cast iron foot which will ensure it doesn’t tip over!

Arial Shot

It was also a bargain at just £15 (+ £10 postage). :) I was surprised how small it was when I opened the box, it’s only ~9″ tall and ~6″ across so it won’t take up much space on my shelf when not in use (which may be never!). I’ve pictured it with a mini skein of sock yarn as that’s what was closest when the camera was out, but it holds 100g just fine too.

The auction only ended on Sunday, I’m so glad the seller was super quick at dispatching! :)

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A Beautiful Machine

On Wednesday I spotted a beautiful vintage sewing machine on ebay. The colour was what first caught my attention, its truely gorgeous. Luckily, I won the auction and this arrived yesterday:

Teal blue metallic shininess

It’s a Cooper Sewing Machine and unfortunately I haven’t managed to find out anything about them the internet. I’ve found a company called Cooper Sewing Machines that was established in 1903 and I’m assuming they made it, but it doesn’t seem like they produce their own machines any more. Their website has barely anything about the history of the company so I might shoot an email off to them to see if they can shed any light. It seems to me that it might be 1950s or 1960s?

The seller was fantastic, it couldn’t have arrived quicker and was so carefully and expertly packed. It is in impeccable condition with very minimal wear and tear and have I mentioned the lovely colour already? Plus, it’s been serviced and is completely ready to go!

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Look how shiny everything is! It has a stitch regulator with dial system, reverse-sewing, drop-feed for embroidery and darning and a self-adjusting bobbin winder.

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The underside of the machine is just as shiny. This is a very well looked after machine.

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The tin of accessories sits in the slide slot.

Accessories

Inside the tin I got several threads (which I wasn’t expecting!) and a few feet and bobbins. Took me a while to identify the adjustable seam guide as I hadn’t seen one of them before but the rest of them are in the handbook. I’m going enjoy using this machine so much! :)