Saturday, 21 April 2018

A Knitting Thimble

I am currently working on a big knitting project.  I'm very excited but due to stuff like work it is going to take me a little while to complete.  One problem I was having is this project is knitted in the round with a set of circular needles which are smaller and sharper than the one's I would normally use.  This means that my poor pointy finger is getting the brunt of it.  I started using a sticky plaster to protect my finger, which worked well, but it got soggy every time I had to wash my hands and it felt wasteful using one for just a few rounds an evening then throwing it away.  I had a look online but the best advice there was change the way you knit.  Seeing as I don't actually think there is anything wrong with how I knit I wasn't happy with this.  So I decided to make myself a knitting thimble.

I had some old chamois leather which is thin and soft, from another project years ago, so I wondered if that would do the job.  I used one of my plasters as a size guide then sewed it up.  
So now I have my very own knitting thimble which keeps my finger safe, slips on and off but allows me full movement of my finger and the sense of touch in the tip which is very important.
It moves around a little bit, so as I use it I may modify my design a bit, but as a first iteration I'm very pleased with it.  Here's to happy fingers.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Rainbow Window Star

I saw a rainbow window star on a blog somewhere, probably All Things Paper, a while ago and wanted to have a go - it looked so pretty.  Having received some waxed kite paper for Christmas I was ready, I just needed a long rainy weekend to have a go.

I followed Helen Hiebert's instructions and came up with this wonderful creation.  Mine is a bit bigger than she suggests, but I had a big window to fill.  
Having made this one I think it would be quite easy to make a more complex star.  I'll see how this one fairs in the sun.  I've chosen a window where it will get a bit of sun, but not full sun so hopefully it will last a while. 

You can't really see it in the photos, but even on a damp rainy day it seems to glow!  Love it.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Gladsmuir Cushion

The last month or so I've been working on a new cushion cover to add to my collection.  Most of the patterns I've managed to find so far have been knitted so I was quite excited to find a crochet pattern that wasn't just made of granny squares.

Can you see how the squares fit together?  It sort of messes with your head, doesn't it?

Once I worked out how to make the first set of squares that make the corner of a square they were really easy to make, in fact I made a bunch of them on the train to Manchester and back when I went up there for a conference recently.

The Janie Crow kit was a Christmas present from my Mum and contained the instructions and 13 balls of Jamieson's of Shetland Spindrift wool.  I'm not sure I'd want to make a jumper out of it - a bit itchy, but its perfect for a cushion.
It makes a splendid addition to my cushion collection.  I wonder how many more I need to fill up the bay window seat?

Saturday, 3 March 2018

A yarn bowl

I recently met a friend for lunch, who I hadn't seen for ages, which meant we exchanged late birthday presents.  I was pretty chuffed with what I received - a yarn bowl!

Its so pretty and simple.  You could quite happily display it without any yarn.

And it even has my name on it, so maybe Milo will get the idea that its my wool, not his!  But I wouldn't bet on it. 
Such a lovely gift.  I look forward to using it in the near future.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

The disappointing hat

Last year I found a pattern for a hat which looked nice, but also had a few things within it that I wanted to have a go at and thought a hat project would be an ok size to try them out on.  For instance it would give me a chance to do some more cable, have a proper go at knitting in the round and try working in two colours.

But it wasn't to be.  Every time I get to the end of the ribbed section where the pattern really starts and you should be working in stocking stitch, its gone backwards and turned into garter stitch, the stocking stitch being on the inside. 

I've tried twice now, being so careful with the pattern, but either there is something missing from the pattern or I'm not doing something right.  It's so disappointing as I really wanted to make and then wear this hat.  I'll have to see if any of my knitting friends can help, otherwise I'll just have to find a different hat pattern to make.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

The Loch Ness Marathon - part 1

If you read this blog a bit, you might know that I like running.  I like the space it gives me to think and the effect it has on my body.  Although mostly I just run for me, I do like to race sometimes.  It gives me a focus for my training.
I've never really thought marathons sound that appealing (although weirdly some of the ultras do - go figure?).
I've run the Reading Half and kinda thought that was as far as I would go.  But it's been long enough now that I've forgotten how painful and hard it was and I've been tempted by the beauty of a marathon on roads, but out in the wild - the Loch Ness Marathon
So I'm all signed up, flights and accommodation booked and training plans perused as I decide which will work best for me.
The marathon isn't until the end of September so I have loads of time.  My first goal - hit 10 miles for my long runs by May.  I can then start to focus on 26!  
I'm quite excited if a bit nervous.
But that might be because, not content with pushing my body further than ever before, I've also decided to run for charity.  Can I raise £500 before September?  I hope so.
Many years ago I had an accident with some hot water which put me in hospital for a good 6 weeks.  The team at the Salisbury Burns Unit looked after me and got me back on my feet and I've come from not being able to stand up straight to aiming to run a marathon.
I've wanted to say thank you for years and so this is my chance.
If you'd like to read more about my experience and sponsor me please visit my JustGiving page.  Thank you.

Saturday, 10 February 2018


For my birthday this year I received many interesting things.  One of which was a butterfly making kit from AssembliShop on Etsy. 

The kit holds three different butterflies laser cut from cardboard, which just need popping out and assembling, following their very clear instructions.  The box suggests you'll need 45 minutes, but I'm pretty sure it didn't take me that long.

The butterflies are so pretty and the sort of size you'd expect them somewhere tropical.  Their wings are iridescent, changing colour as the light catches them.

They also come with a handy stand - again just pop out the pieces and assemble.  Its up to you how you display them, but each butterfly has a small hole in its body, just right for hanging, if you don't want to use the stand.

The packaging is just as ingenious as the butterflies themselves. Very simple but elegant and easy to use without too much waste.

Mine are now displayed on the brick chimney breast, just what it needed to finish the room off.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

A Mughug

 'im outdoors bought himself a new mug for work.  Apparently its thermal and keeps his tea/coffee nice and warm.  However I think it looks cold and not the sort of thing you can warm your hands on.  So I made him a mughug.

 I guess you could describe it as a jumper for his mug.  Seeing as his mug is tiny and I was making it as a surprise so couldn't really test my knitting against the mug, I was really pleased with how it came out.  It could do with being a tiny bit tighter but its pretty close.
I made it in moss stitch as its pretty easy to do, then did the last couple of rows using the lovely double pointed needles my friend Katie got me for my birthday.

It was my first attempt knitting in the round and using double pointed needles and although I could do with some more practice it came out well.  As with most things knitting, it really wasn't that hard once I got my head round it.  And I already have a project in mind that will be needing these skills.
Its off to work tomorrow and that's when we'll see just how good a mughug it really is.