baby pink 4ply finished

Having a happy dance here.  I’ve just finished another baby sweater.  For this one, I printed out the pattern “Tiny Treasure” by WYS which was available for free download, and knitted using a Katia 4ply.

Seemed to take forever, with the 4ply, and was something of a learning curve with the button bands on shoulders, but I’m pleased with how it turned out.

I followed pattern for the size 0-3 months which said sweater should measure 25cm across when laid flat – and it does, yay!  I haven’t weighed what’s left over but I think it took approx 60g.

I’m now going to start a knitting project for Miss Viking.  I know Spring is here, and it’ll soon be summer, but I’m thinking ahead to autumn already.  I’m going to knit a poncho.  This one – I’ve already bought the pattern.

I took a photo of possible colours and asked Miss Viking to choose which she liked best.

Was expecting her to pick one of the bottom three, but nope . . . she’s chosen the teal green (third in top row) so teal it shall be!

knitting – still in baby-mode

I’m still in baby-mode where knitting is concerned.  After the recent knits using DK, I bought in a couple of balls of “baby” soft 4ply and have cast on a new project.

Something simple, but with a little bit of texture on the bottom.

A free pattern by WYS – there will be more button bands to knit – both sides of neck I think – but in the meantime, it’s all fairly easy.  Back is done, front is underway.  What I will say . . . after knitting several sweaters for myself in aran, then some more knitting for baby in DK . . . when I cast on and was knitting the ribbing with 4ply on 2.5mm needles, it felt like knitting with toothpicks!  I love how fine the yarn is, and how it’s working up, but even working on 3mm needles for the stocking stitch, it’s growing very slowly.

new toy

I do love a crafty gadget lol.  And what with all the recent knitting I’ve been doing, resulting in floppy leftover balls of yarn, that was the only excuse I needed to buy myself a new toy.

I went to my usual go-to shopping place: @m@zon. Ummed and ahhed for a while because there were several models available, but I finally opted for this one.  After reading feedback for all, and watching a few videos, I chose this red & cream one – paid 19€.

Some people leaving feedback commented negatively on the colour of this little winder.  Call me odd, but I rather like the somewhat “vintage” colouring of the plastic. For those who don’t like red & cream, there are other models in blue & white . . . but they were all more expensive.    Anyhoot . . . I’d watched enough videos to know how to set up and get started without having to read the instructions.

And ta da!  One dinky yarn cake!  As you can imagine, one cake simply wasn’t enough!

I made even more since the above photo, but you get the idea.  Where I still had them, I chopped original labels down.   I weighed cakes and wrote the weight of each on their new labels.

Verdict:  I am very pleased with my retro-looking yarn winder.  Have to say, when I had less than 10g of yarn, the cake finished up very small and probably won’t keep very well (winding by hand is probably still best when there’s only a small amount). But with the above, cakes varying from approx 13g – 29g the results were very satisfactory.  This winder can (from what I’ve seen on-line) be used to wind 100g skeins, but I imagine a swift would also be required to do that successfully.



crafting for baby Inkling

If you stopped by the other day and saw the no progress with my cross stitch for the SAL, you’ll see now, that I haven’t been idle . . . just not cross stitching.

Knitting has been my go-to craft these past weeks, happily knitting in bright colours to make a few things for future baby Inkling.

I finished the third little cardigan, following the Little Avery pattern. Each one is slightly different, and each one is a different size.

I had to frog the teal one a couple of times and started to get bored with the pattern, hence it ended up with short sleeves.

I then turned my attention to another free pattern, and made a sunny yellow sweater.

Made a couple of changes to the pattern, knitting sleeves and the top part in plain stocking stitch (because I wasn’t sure I’d be able to keep my raglan decreases neat if I stayed “in pattern”) and rather like how that turned out. This was my first attempt at knitting a button band onto the sleeve, for a neck opening. Not my neatest knitting there, but it’ll pass muster.

I’ve also been playing with stretch fabrics, following a couple of patterns in a book I bought in Lidl a while back.

Fabric for the Tshirt dress is an cast off Tshirt that belonged to Mrs Tattoo (mother-to-be).  She had intended for the Tshirt to go in the Red Cross recycle bin, but I rescued and repurposed it.  The colours of print on leggings is what inspired my choice of colours when knitting the cardies; shocking pink, orange and a tealy green.

The plan is to make a few more garments for baby Inkling, and after that, I will be turning my attention to making a few things for Miss Viking, who is now 4 and a half.


February done & dusted!

Well, that’s February done & dusted, eh?  Two months gone in a flash!  I haven’t taken any recent photos of the hens, but they’re all well.  Still being a bit lazy with the egg laying but we did collect 46 eggs this month.  That was more than enough for us, and a few boxes for the neighbours.

It’s been rather busy, and noisey here over the last few weeks.  We’ve got a some work going on . . . having our veranda/conservatory renovated.  Things are coming along nicely.  We also had a couple of vet visits with Tali who appears to have something of a sensitive tummy, the poor thing.  Not helped by the fact she keeps on eating whatever she can gobble down before we tell her “No!”,  including dog poop.  Yes, sadly, Flat-coated retrievers have a thing for eating poop and it’s not easy trying to break her of the habit.

Anyhoot . . . a few pretty pictures to liven up this post, and remind me of what was going on in February.

For starts, I grew one year older . . . and treated myself to a couple of pretty cloth dolls.  These are by a French manufacturer – Moulin Roty, and are two of the “Les Rosalies” collection.

On the left, a 32cm doll called Vanille. And on the right her 45cm big sister, called Violette.  I plan on trying my hand at making a cloth doll (or several) this year, and these two will be my muses.  I also received the box set of the series “Fallen Skies” (just love Noah Wylie) from Lindashee . . . so many hours of viewing in store there, and a plant & secateurs from the Husband.

My 5-year old friend, Mona, did a drawing for me.  That’s her house and our house with some birds flying in the sky and the sun just sneaking in too.  Please note, she can now write her name in joined up writing!!!

I’ve also been busy sewing, with stretch fabrics . . . in an attempt to make some clothes for Baby Inkling (due in April) . . . thing is, shop-bought clothes are so cheap these days, and babies grow so fast, I’m not sure if it’s worth my while sewing for a baby. Not when I can nab bargains like this in Lidl.

Still, I am having fun getting to grips with stretch fabric on my Juki, so I’ll show you some photos soon of my efforts.  I’ve also cast on and begun knitting a tiny sweater (even though I haven’t finished sewing up armholes and putting buttons on 3 baby cardigans yet.

The teal cardigan is much farther along now than in the photo, but not quite finished. Because I got side-tracked with a sweater project.

As you can see, I’m having fun with bright colours for baby.  And it’s an excuse to try out a few new things.




knitting & crochet

I’m alternating between knitting & crochet.  First, trying out the basic pattern from one of my new crafting books.

I followed the smallest kids’ size, because the aim was to understand the basic pattern and the anatomy of the slipper.  It’s ever so clever!!!!  I’ve learned how to double crochet around back posts and front posts, which created a lovely texture.    I still have to make the features of the animal these slippers are going to become, but that’ll be for another time.

What I was interested in was, seeing how the basic pattern worked, and also seeing how it crocheted up for size.  I’d read quite a few comments on @m@zon about sizing and I do find that it’s more difficult to get gauge correct in crochet than in knitting.

I was using an Alison & Mae “medium” yarn, which is supposed to be aran, on the recommended hooks, and my first slipper came out a bit smaller than it’s supposed to. However, I think it’s the yarn, and not my tension.  I tried making soles in a charcoal grey Alison & Mae yarn, and they worked up much bigger – proof that even within brands, the thickness of yarn can vary and it’s not necessarily the fault of the crafter.

When not crocheting, I’ve been knitting in bright colours for baby Inkling who is due mid-April-ish.

Following a pattern (free download) for a very easy baby cardigan.  It’s knit top down, with increasing for sleeves, which gives a seamless raglan finish.  The hardest part is knitting the sleeves on DPNs to keep the cardie seamless, but it really is a joy to knit.  It’s a DK pattern, so I cast on in DMC Knitty 4 for the first one.  However, I’m daring to try an Alison & Mae Medium (supposedly aran) for the second version.

February’s getting away!

Well, January went by in the blink of an eye and it already feels like February is getting away!  I’ve been flitting from one craft to another over these past days but do have one finished project to share with you!  I’m very proud of this one!  A sweater, but for which I combined two different patterns, and made up my own overall design.

This is the pattern it’s based on for the shape. A short, boxy type sweater.  I bought this pattern (originally) with the idea of following it completely and knitting myself a cabled sweater. It’s difficult to see in photo, but the lower half of body is riddled with cable patterns, as are the lower parts of sleeves.  However, after casting on and trying a few rows, I knew it was going to be too difficult for me at this stage in my knitting career . . . so after doing some maths and tension swatches, I decided to work off-set rib in place of the cables.

This was a WIP photo I showed you: knitting with Alison & Mae silver grey acrylic aran.  It cost 1.09€ for a 100g ball . . . I used 500g, so it ended up being a very cheap project!

Sleeves are raglan, which is my favourite sleeve as seams look so neat.   Above photo is a front view.

Back view.

And side view.  The collar is double thickness: 1×1 rib, 17cm of, then folded to the inside and sewn down, making it very warm & snuggly.

And last photo of yours truly to show the fit.  I love how it turned out and I love how it feels on.


new crafting books

I’ve added a few new crafting books to my shelves recently . . . and am feeling very motivated to start a few new projects (just as soon as I’ve finished my WIPs).

I bought two copies of this one (both secondhand) on @m@zon.  One for me and one for Mrs Tattoo so we’ll have plenty of knitting ideas for baby.  Sizing only goes up to 12 months though, so we’re limited in time.   I’ve already knitted up one of the patterns inside. This one, that I showed you already.

A second knitting book, also bought secondhand, is this one.

I also bought a second hand copy in French for Mrs Tattoo.  There are loads of patterns out there to knit or crochet soft toys. I myself already have dozens of crochet books with lots of cute designs. However, I saw this one and thought Claire Garland’s bears look so different, and a great way to use up the yarn stash.  From what I’ve read so far, there are 2 basic patterns for the bears, which are knit in DK and then clothes are either knit or crocheted, often in 4ply.  Bears body parts are knit flat, so there will be sewing up to do.

Anyway, having been able to find second-hand copies of this book, I am thrilled to add it to my shelf of crafting books and will definitely give at least one of the bears a try!

The most recent buy is a crochet book, that calls for aran yarn.

You can have a look inside of this if you search for it on @m@zon.  Instructions are given (both written and in chart form) for the basic slipper in 6 different sizes (3 kids’ sizes and 3 adult sizes).  And can be made in 3 different styles: slip on, shoe or boot.  Those instructions make up the first chapter of the book, then there are 20 different animal variations.  It also gives left-handed instructions in places (which as a leftie, I greatly appreciate).

a knitty happy dance

I’m having a little happy dance after knitting up a small blanket – made because I received some yarn for xmas.  Which means you get to see what other presents I received too.

Lots of books this year: the Scythe trilogy from the Viking family (I asked for it in French so I can then lend to non-English speaking family members afterwards); first 3 in The Wheel of Time series, from Mrs & Mr Lindashee; and “Le livre sans nom” (the book with no name) from Mr & Mrs Tattoo.

More haul was: two sets of acryllic paint markers from the husband (you’ll find out why I asked for these later in the year).  “Under the Dome” DVD mini series from Mrs & Mr Lindashee; “Ralph 2.0” DVD and two packets of googly eyes from Mr & Mrs Tattoo; and two yarn cakes of Lion Brand yarn & a sweater from SIL & family.

And . . . there was even more . . .

SIL has taken up machine embroidery recently and surprised the husband and myself with a gorgeous set of 3 cushions.  Made completely from scratch, including invisible zips and a very cheerful yellow cotton.

A zoom in on my favourite one.

Anyway . . . title of this post is a knitty happy dance because, I decided to cast on with the Lion brand yarn straight away, rather than letting yarn simply become more stash.

And knitted a blanket.  I only had 2 balls so, in order to make the most of yarn and make the blanket as big as possible, I started with a 5 stitch cast on, and increased by 1 stitch every row (with a yarn over) until reaching the end of the first yarn cake.  Then joined yarn (but working second cake from the centre out) and decreased by 1 stitch every row.   I haven’t weaved in my yarn ends yet, but I have a pretty, albeit small, blanket – it finished up at 30″ square so more of a lap warmer but at least it’s a finished item and not just more stash.

what we’re up to in January

We’re already a week into the New Year and haven’t really seen the days fly by because Tali is keeping us on toes.

She’s not yet 3 months old, only just turned 12 weeks, and weighs in at 6.7kg, so quite a feather-weight.  She’s at that awful age where she wants to put everything in her mouth and those milk teeth are razor sharp.  “Ouch” is the word she hears most often at the moment as she tries to bite fingers, ankles, trouser bottoms, shoes . . . whatever she can sink her teeth into.  The husband and I know it’s a passing phase and we’re being as patient (and firm) as possible. Concentrating on the positive aspects:  house-training is going well; walking on the leash is a work in progress; “sit” gets a 90% success rate and Tali does come when she’s called (although not always immediately).

We’re making the most of puppy naptime to each do some crafting.  I’m still having fun with my knitting needles.

This is a new project cast on this year.  I’m knitting with an aran weight silver grey by Allison & Mae (bought for only 1.09€/100g in a local shop and am knitting another sweater for myself.  I’m using two patterns for inspiration, which I’ll tell you about another time (if this works).   So far, I have a back and the front is underway.

The husband, in the meantime, had fun with one of his xmas presents.  Following an article by Kate, I went browsing on @m@zon and bought a “book nook” kit for the husband.  Here’s what it looks like once assembled.

It was a bit fiddly in places, and required a fair amount of patience, but the husband really enjoyed making it and the result is ever so pretty.  In fact, when we were in the local shop where I bought my grey yarn, we saw some other miniature kits (for only 9.95€) and the husband decided to try one of those.  Not a “book nook”, but the same kind of activity. requiring glue, a steady hand & patience.