Monday, June 28, 2021

Making Progress

 Well, our mini market on Saturday was very mini indeed, but the dinosaur towel has gone to a new home, along with a hand towel, so that's fine. 

I'm making progress on the vest, working in the round now. Mistake rib doesn't really lend itself to working in the round, but I have the hang of it now, adjusting the position of the knit two, purl two at the beginning of each round. There are a couple of wrong rows that will no doubt keep catching my eye, even though I've decided to ignore them. The white marker, which looks much more prominent in life than in the photo, is part of working out if I have enough yarn to finish the vest. I weighed the ball of yarn, 26 g, will see how far it goes, and then be able to work out how far the rest of the yarn will go. If necessary I can add in some stripes in a different colour. 

Friday, June 25, 2021

A Sleuth Of Bears


I love getting feedback from blog readers. When I made the first washcloth bear, I was puzzling how to do the ears without small elastic bands. Margaret designer cards and muskaan both gave me suggestions. I used crochet cotton to make small bows so that they can be easily undone to turn the bear back into a washcloth. I think that with some of Sarah's handmade soap, they'd make a really nice gift for a new baby. 

Apparently the collective noun for bears is sleuth or sloth. So here we have a sleuth of bears. 

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Top Down

 I think I have enough unraveled yarn to knit Jack a vest, but Jack is larger than I am, so I'm not absolutely sure. I decided to knit the vest from top to bottom. If I have to add in other yarn, it will look better at the bottom of the garment rather than the top. I'm going to do the main body of the garment in the round, so I don't have to guess on side one whether I have enough yarn for side two. Right, those decisions made, I knitted a swatch and then did a lot of scribbling and calculations and wrote myself a pattern:

I'm using my favourite mistake rib, which is simply knit two, purl two rib worked on an odd number of stitches. I'm using a circular needle for the top parts, even though they're worked back and forth, just so I use the same needles throughout. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Another Owl Has A Home


The market on Saturday that Sarah and I have been working towards has been cancelled, because we're in a new lockdown. Disappointing.  It's not a completely rigid lockdown, so Sarah and I are going to hold a mini market at her house on Saturday afternoon. Sarah put out an invitation on a whatsapp group and promptly received replies showing interest in my hooded towels. There was one definite order, for an owl towl.  Hopefully the interest will translate into more sales on Saturday. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2021



I knitted this gilet in 2018 for a competition. It even won its section. But the truth is, it's not my style and I'm never going to wear it. It's knitted in a lovely cotton yarn, a pity that it sits in the cupboard unloved.  So I decided to take a leaf from my friend Dorie's book and unravel it. Apart from one section that I tried to undo from the wrong end, it was a much easier process than I'd imagined. I learnt that ladder stitch is easier to undo than back stitch! My plan is to knit Jack a sleeveless pullover. He's wearing the one that I rehabilitated day in and day out. It needs a wash now and then! 

Monday, June 21, 2021

Towel Toppers


I've never heard of detachable towel toppers, but when I came across this article on Pinterest, I knew towel toppers would be just the thing for the next set of hand towels. There are links to six different patterns in the article, but the flower one or daisy one, from Delights-Gems was definitely my favourite. The pattern uses hair ties to hold the towel, which is a really good idea. But as I didn't have any, I tried shirring elastic and then an ordinary elastic band. The shirring elastic is not really strong enough, the elastic band is better. I used my last scrap of turquoise cotton, which matches the towels perfectly. And added a crocheted daisy to the towels to complete the look. 

Friday, June 18, 2021

And A Dog


I contemplated making another hippo to replace the one I sold, but decided to try another pattern instead. So here he is, the puppy dog towel.

Here's a photo of the hippo towel with a (camera shy?) child underneath:

Thursday, June 17, 2021

A Cat


I had a little visitor yesterday who wanted a cat suit. Hmmm. We rummaged around in a trunk full of fabric and notions; I measured the small person; cut and sewed: all with a lot of consultation! He cut out the openings for the face and we added pipe cleaners for whiskers, plus a sort of giant pipe cleaner for a tail:

His mum was very surprised to collect a cat where she'd left a small boy. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Tea Bags


I undertook to make 40 little calico bags to put bath tea in. What bath tea is, I'm not absolutely sure, but calico bags I can do. It could be a trifle tedious to work on such small bags individually, so I spent some time working out a production line method. The dimensions of the bags were length 9 or 10 cm, width 5 or 6 cm. I drew a grid of blocks on my fabric of 22 cm by 8 cm and cut just the long side. I hemmed that on both edges:

I then cut the short sides to make rectangles.  I folded them right sides together, with a piece of ribbon between the layers:

After sewing the right hand seam, I tucked the ribbon right in so that it wouldn't be caught by the left hand seam: 

When I had a whole lot of these little parcels, I took them to a sunny spot for finishing off - snipping threads and clipping corners before turning them the right way round.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Hand Towels


 I've been working on hand towels, as I wanted something less expensive than the hooded towels on my market table. 

I bought this book many years ago, second hand and inexpensive because it has some water damage. It spent many years in storage and I've never really used it. So I thought I'd make knitted lace for the hand towels and use the book! 

The green one is a very clever pattern. When I started reading the pattern  and it said 'cast off 3 stitches', I thought uh-oh, it's going to involve casting on stitches, which will mean constantly turning the work. No, not at all. To bridge the gap, a yarn over is done in the following row, and then knit one, purl one, knit one into the  yarn over on the row after that. So there's no turning in the middle of rows at all.

I sold the owl towl and the hippo on Saturday, before they even got to the market! A friend of mine bought them for her grandchildren. It may be just as well because a new lockdown was announced today and I don't know if there are going to be any markets for a while. 

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Owl Towl


This is the owl towl, making five hooded towels altogether. I'm going to leave it at that and see what sort of reception they get at the market at the end of June. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Ta-da Spring 2021


Thanks very much to Renulek for this beautiful tat along design. Mine is tatted in size 40 Anchor Artiste, and used just over 50g. It measures 64cm (25 inches) across. I started tatting it on the 29th January and finished on the 7th June. What else can I tell you? This is the sixth Spring doily that I've tatted. I've given all the others away, but am planning to keep this one. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

How Many Is That?


I've just finished another 10 masks for an order. I wonder how many that is? I haven't been keeping track. I don't always blog about it either, so the blog doesn't form a record in this case. Must be over 100 anyway. You'd think everyone would have a mask by now. What happens is that people leave their masks at home and then aren't allowed in to the shop without one, so have to buy another one! 

Monday, June 7, 2021


 At one stage I thought I might finish the Spring doily with one ball of size 40 thread. No. I ran out on the final row. It's no problem, I have another ball, just interesting to see how far one ball will go. I'm slightly behind where I planned to be, but getting there. 

Thursday, June 3, 2021



 Oh my goodness, that's the third major mistake I've made on round 20 and I'm only seven repeats along. I will have to snip rings not chains again, there's too much to untat. Clearly I need to pay more attention! 

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

More Towels


My towel menagerie is growing.  I took liberties with the frog pattern . I felt that the original wasn't froggy enough. Have you noticed that I mostly avoid the cross eyed look? The patterns all show the eyes crossed. I thought I'd go with it for the hippo. 

Beads Again


As soon as I announced I'd given up on beads, I had an enquiry about beadwork. Of course. The lady bought a key ring, but said what she was really interested in was earrings. She sent me a couple of pictures for inspiration. I used finger tatting for the very dangly pair, so that I could put the thread through the beads without removing shuttles.

 The other picture was very interesting. I realised that I've been thinking about beaded earrings wrongly. I couldn't see a good way of attaching hooks to beaded crochet rope, though a tatted ring might work. But how about knitting a flat beaded piece? I started with a size 10 thread, thinking that would make the work stiff enough. My first design was a series of zigzags, which really didn't show up well. Something bolder was needed. The second attempt was a better design, but the thread showed through too much. This is the third attempt, using size 40 thread and 2mm knitting needles. I think the idea has potential.