Posted on

On the Eve of my 40th

It’s a funny old thing, tomorrow I will be officially classed as ‘middle-aged’. Imagine my shock and horror at hearing this just a couple of weeks ago when I hurt my knee. I was not impressed and I really don’t feel like I am ‘middle-aged’…apart from said injury. And really, you are only as old/young as you feel, right?

This is the first year that I wished I could celebrate this milestone with my twin brother, and not only because of the state of the world, but because it feels like a big milestone. Did you know that I have a twin brother? I have only celebrated with him once since I moved abroad when I was 15. That’s when he came to visit me in London. So really, it’s not much different to any other year, only it really feels different. Anyway, I will be celebrating him as well tomorrow!

Posted on

The Magic of Ravelry

Any fibre artist, yarn wizard or knitting/crochet master will know about Ravelry…if you don’t let me enlighten you!

Ravelry is an inclusive, friendly website for knitters, crocheters, spinners, weavers, and dyers. We are made up of millions of yarn lovers from all over the world. Ravelry provides a personal notebook for fiber artists to keep track of their projects, yarns & fibers, tools, and pattern library, a rich database of patterns and yarns, and a community with thousands of forums and groups to connect with other Ravelers over any interest you could think of.

Everything on Ravelry is user-driven: we all help to make the site useful and fun. We are happy you are here! There are three main areas of Ravelry for you to explore: The Database, Your Notebook and the community.”

Whenever I look for a pattern, my first visit is always to Ravelry. There are so many patterns (free and paid for) for anything knitted or crochet or fibre related, it’s incredible! I am ashamed to say that my queue is about 15 pages long…but whenever I find a pattern I really like that I know I want to come back to, the easiest way to do that is to queue it and bookmark it on here. Genius!

I have also added almost 1,000 projects to the my notebook section…. and I am considering a little givewaway when I add the 1,000ths project. What do you think?

Posted on

Meaningful Gifts

When we reach a certain age and have a birthday coming up, and people ask the question: ‘What would you like?’ I always struggle to come up with an idea.

I am pretty lucky to have everything I need, apart from time with friends and family far away, I am pretty content.

And then I receive a thoughtful gift from my aunt, with a lot of meaning behind it.

She has planted 50 trees with Oxfam for my birthday. She writes that because of the bushfires here in Australia in 2019-2020 she wanted to do something…. And I just love it!

Posted on

Finished Object: Adult Cardigan

I don’t often knit for myself. I always feel it’s a bit self-indulgent if I do, but really what a load of… Why shouldn’t I knit more for myself, after all I am the one who knows how much work has gone into something! This cardigan I made back in 2016 and I have loved wearing it.

I love the simple shape of this cardigan, and I remember distinctly how easy it was to knit. I used DROPS Paris, a cotton yarn that is made partly from recycled cotton, how great is that? It is really soft, but at the same time rought to the touch. But actually when it’s knitted up it feels wonderful on the skin. Another plus, as it’s a aran/worsted weight yarn it knits up incredibly quickly, even if making a cardigan or jumper!

I knitted this in about a month in 2016, although I am pretty sure I wasn’t knitting on only this for that length of time. And how about some pictures of me wearing it? 🙂

STATS
Pattern:
Early Autumn Cotton by Drops Design.
Yarn: DROPS Paris.
Needle size: 5mm
Knitting time: 4th March – 3rd April 2016.

Posted on

Knitting: the Difference between Continental and British Style

I wrote this post a few years ago for a blog called Craft Candy (which unfortunately doesn’t exist anymore). So, I thought why shouldn’t I share it on here?

As knitting seems to have become more popular, with avid knitters taking their projects on ‘trains, planes and automobiles’ it’s also becoming apparent that there are two distinct knitting styles: Continental (or German) knitting and English knitting.

Continental Knitting British Knitting – © http://craftsmumship.com/

I was taught continental knitting by my aunt and in school when growing up in Germany. Only when I came to England in 1996 did I notice the English knitting style, which immediately struck me as being much more complicated and taking longer to complete projects.

I always believed that the way I knit (continental) was much faster and much more time efficient. And in fact, it actually is. Not only according to Wikipedia which states that: “Continental knitting can be done at a greater rate than English knitting, as the stitches are formed closer to the needle points and the yarn has a shorter travel.” But also according to STV Scotland, which interviewed Hazel Tindall, who won an international knitting competition to become the World’s Fastest Knitter. She completed 262 stitches in 3 minutes!

Continental knitting/German knitting or picking as it’s sometimes also called is mostly used in Northern and Eastern Europe. The yarn is held in the left hand and a movement of the left index finger (or other fingers) helps the needle to pick up the yarn and form a new stitch.

Important to remember with this style of knitting is the position of the yarn, it always needs to end up behind the needles after any stitch has been completed. The yarn is held over the forefinger of the left hand, achieving tension of the yarn in many different ways. Either by wrapping the yarn around the little finger, wrapping it around the forefinger or holding the yarn against the left hand needle with the middle finger to keep it as taut as needed.

People that have previously crochet find learning the continental style of knitting easier as the yarn is held in a similar way, in the left hand, and the right hand motion is pretty much the same for both knitting and crocheting.

English knitting, which is also sometimes referred to as American knitting or throwing, is mostly used in England and America, according to About.com Knitting. It involves holding the yarn in your right hand and ‘throwing’ it over the needle to form a stitch.

Making a knit stitch the right needle is inserted into the left side of the first loop on the left needle. The yarn is then wrapped counter-clockwise around the right needle, and this new loop is pulled with the right needle through the old one.

Posted on

Finished Object: Sweet Sausage Dog

There are some amigurumi projects that are just cute…this sweet little sausage dog was one of those. This was actually the second one I made, after a friend’s friend saw me post the previous one on Instagram. How great is that!

It’s a very straightforward pattern from Herriet at Stip & Haak. I had seen it on another Instagram and my friend who I made the original one for really loved it.

I crochet this little guy in just a couple of days…often the stuffing and sewing up takes longer than the crocheting. I like to stuff my amigurumi toys really well, as I feel they need to be really stiff and stand up properly.

STATS
Pattern:
Teckeltje Sam by Herriet van de Wiel
Yarn: Schachenmayr Catania Cotton
Hook size: 2.5mm
Crochet time: 6th-7th December 2019

Posted on

Finished Object: Simple Beanie

You know those projects that you can make in an afternoon? I love those kinds of projects. For example, a nice simple beanie, like this one:

It’s a very straightforward pattern that I have knitted countless times before and since. I like to make each beanie a little bit different by using different coloured yarn and by adding a little accent on the rim and the tip/top of the hat!

I knitted this hat back in October 2015 for my best friends daughter. I used up some of my DROPS Merino Extra Fine that I had left over from some previous projects. And if I remember right, it only took me a couple of hours to finish.

I adore these pictures my friend shared with me, and little lady is pretty chuffed with her hat. I also love this one with her big brother. Look at these two monkeys… I can’t wait to see them again at some point!

STATS
Pattern:
 Cream Dream Hat by DROPS Design.
Yarn: DROPS Merino Extra Fine in navy blue and cerise.
Needle size: 4mm
Knitting time: 9th October 2015.