Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Work in Progress Wednesday #5

This week I have been concentrating on getting my patterns up to date. I've fallen into a really bad habit of scribbling down notes on scrap bits of paper while I'm knitting things and then, when it's finished, getting distracted by something new and shiny.

Seriously, who could concentrate with this stack staring you in the face?

Although this has meant that I'm entertained, it's also meant that people coming into the shop have fallen in love with items that I have absolutely no pattern for. So I knuckled down, gathered my sheaves of paper into some semblance of order and got to typing. So far I've finished the pdf version of the free Oceanic Scarf  pattern and the pattern for Fibonacci's Shawl. Follow the links to find them on Ravelry.

All that's left is Charlie the Chimp so tonight's job is to make this:

Look like something a sane person could use to make this:

whilst avoiding this:

Tiger the fat cat wants to play!

Friday, 14 March 2014

I'm on a roll! (free pattern)

I feel like I'm finally on a roll finishing all my many projects off. This week I've finished  a pair of mini-socks for the upcoming sock workshop - toe-up on the left, top down on the right,

Charlie the Chimp - pattern coming soon,

and the oceanic scarf -

That's three finished projects which means, according to Big Sister's rules, I get to start something new - woo hoo!

To celebrate, I'm releasing the Oceanic Scarf pattern for free.

Oceanic Scarf


4 balls of Adriafil DUO PLUS Comfort
A pair of 4.5mm ( UK 7 - US 7 ) needles


K Knit, K2tog Knit the next 2 stitches together, P Purl, YO Yarn Over


Cast on 54 stitches

Row 1 *K2tog x 3, ( K1, YO ) x 6, K2tog x 3; repeat from * until end of row
Rows 2 and 3 K all stitches
Row 4 P all stitches

Repeat rows 1 - 4 until you have knit all 4 balls or until your scarf is of sufficient length, cast off, sew in your ends and enjoy!

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Work in Progress Wednesday #4

I have, yet again, been distracted by the new yarns arriving in the shop. It's just too hard to resist playing when those big boxes of loveliness come through the door.

The first delivery contained the last two shades of Adriafil's Duo Plus Comfort - Sea Fantasy and Colourful Fantasy. I just can't keep my hands off this stuff.

I wanted to make a quick and easy scarf that would show off the Duo Plus colours. I played about a bit and came up with this simple feather and fan pattern.

It's a great TV pattern (or wine pattern if you're reading big sis). Only one pattern row every 4 rows so it's easy to keep track of if you pick up and put down a lot.

We also got 2 more colours of the Hayfield Super Chunky in stock. I've already knit a gorgeous blanket in this yarn:

I wanted to see how it would crochet so I've started a big bobbly rug.

I've never crocheted with such a large hook before (this is worked with a 10mm) and it's amazing how fast it goes. I'm loving the effect and I think it'll feel great under bare feet. Like a little foot massage!

Last but not least I've started working on a toe-up, magic loop sock pattern that I can use to teach a sock workshop.

This yellow is definitely cheery. It screams spring and brings a smile to my face whenever I see it.

Don't worry, I have finished some things too. I'll tell you all about them on Friday.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

My Chinese New Year Resolution

I've never been a list person. I have occasionally written lists but inevitably I forget that I've written anything down and I find them 4 months later and realise I've forgotten what half of the points mean.

I think it may be time to draw the line because the situation has got so bad that I'm now finding scraps of patterns and even bits of knitting and have no idea what they are supposed to be.

I'm not sure what's worse; finding scraps of random scribbles or knowing that I've written a pattern down somewhere but having no idea where or on what!

So, it's time to organise. I'm heading to the shops to buy some files and proper paper to write my patterns on - no more envelopes! - and I'm making a Chinese New Year resolution (I missed the traditional New Year) to sort myself out.

The first list of the new organised Jill

Jobs for this week:

1. Write up the pattern for the snuggle bunny

2.  Finish the pattern for the chevron cowl which includes tutorials for the provisional cast-on and grafting the ends together.

3.  Give the poor disembodied monkey head a body

4.  Finish another side of the hounds tooth foot stool

5.  Do Not Start Another Project!

Phew! I feel more organised already. I've even made a shopping list for my trip to he Metrocentre which is a rarity for me. Let's see how long this lasts...

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Tutorial - Crocheting a Magic Loop

I'm almost done writing the pattern for my crocheted bear but my proof reader has suggested that I include a tutorial on working the magic loop. It's taken me days to draw all the diagrams so I thought I should share them with you.

When you are crocheting toys or hats in the round, it is ideal to start with a ring of stitches with no gap in the middle - there's nothing worse than being able to see the stuffing coming out your bear's bum. A magic loop does this perfectly.

1.  Wrap the yarn around your index and middle fingers so that the working end of the yarn comes in front of the tail.

2.  Using your thumb to hold the wrapped yarn, hook the working yarn through the loop.

3.  Work 1 chain  to secure the loop.

4.  Work the stated number of double crochets into the centre of the loop. 

5.  When you have the required amount of stitches, tug the tail end of the yarn to tighten up the loop until there is no hole in the middle.

And that's it! The perfect start to a project in the round.

Steps 2 and 3 can be a bit fiddly but once you get the hang of it you'll be churning out perfect bear bottoms in no time.

Friday, 1 November 2013

One down, about a million to go...

I'm feeling a little chuffed with myself for managing to get a couple of things finished off this week, the prettiest of them is definitely the Whisper Scarf. However, all of my good work as been counterbalanced by me casting on 3 more projects. There is far too much yummy yarn in the world and far too many patterns trying to burst out of my head.

The Whisper scarf is now available in kit form in the shop. The Sirdar Softspun DK has been discontinued so the kits are available in limited amounts. Pop in and grab one while you can!

The pattern is below if you would like to give it a go in a different yarn. I would recommend something light with a nice drape.

Whisper Scarf

Whisper Scarf


2 different coloured balls of Sirdar Softspun DK
Pair of 4.5mm needles


K Knit, YO Yarn Over, YO2 Yarn over twice, YO3 Yarn over 3 times


Cast on 29 stitches with yarn A and knit for 2 rows.

Row 1  Knit
Row 2  K6, *YO, K1, YO2, K1, 3 x ( YO3, K1 ), YO2, K1, YO, K1, K3; repeat once from *, K3
Row 3  Knit all stitches, dropping yarn overs as you go
Row 4  Knit

Change to yarn B

Row 5  Knit
Row 6  K1, *YO, K1, 3 x ( YO3, K1 ), YO2, K1, YO, K1, K3; repeat once from *, YO, K1, YO2, K1, 3 x ( YO3, K1 ), YO2, K1, YO, K2
Row 7  Knit all stitches, dropping yarn overs as you go
Row 8  Knit

Change to yarn B

Repeat rows 1 - 8 until your scarf is the required length, finishing after a row 8.

Knit for 2 more rows and then cast off loosely.

You will need to give the scarf a tug lengthways every couple of pattern repeats to straighten out the yarn overs and at the end you will have a gorgeous, lightweight scarf!

Whisper Scarf Detail

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Work in Progress Wednesday #3

I wish I was doing something more creative, colourful and exciting but this week my WIPs are my patterns.

I've been designing lovely new things for a couple of months now but it had been pointed out to me that it's no good just making things up and leaving them. I need to actually write down the pattern so that other people can replicate the cuteness. So for now I am chained to the laptop...

Hopefully, by the end of the week I will have first drafts of patterns for the nameless bear (you can suggest a name on this facebook post), the chevron blanket and cushion and the Fibonacci inspired shawl.

Hmmm... I'm sensing a definite strip theme here. I hadn't noticed that before.

When I need to step away from the computer I'm working on the big grey boots of doom. Here's a bit of advice - If a man asks you to knit him some slippers, bear in mind that they have really big feet and tend to like really boring colours.

These are from King Cole pattern 3471 in a very boring practical grey and take a lot of willpower to keep going. 1 boot finished and sewn up, 1 boot half knit.