Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Another Pair For Market


I started knitting these at the previous market. It wasn't a sensible pattern to choose for public knitting because it has so many different row counts - the lace pattern repeats over 10 rounds, the cable is worked every 4th round, and the thumb gusset increases every 3rd round! I've discovered that the best way to deal with that is to keep to the lace pattern count and relate the other counts to it - 'I'll next cable on round 2, increase on round 3'. The pattern is called 'Fingerless Mitts With Easy Cables And Eyelets' but the author has done a Janemac and not put her name on the printed version of the pattern. 

Monday, May 29, 2023

More Stripes


I had two skinny skeins of stripey yarn left over from the socks. Would it be enough for a pair of fingerless gloves? I crossed my fingers and cast on for Lisa Beamer's Fast and Easy Fingerless Mitts. I did have enough, just, as you can see there are two very small balls of yarn left over. These go into the basket for the market at the end of this week. 

Saturday, May 27, 2023

This And That


I've finished the helix striped socks, ready for next week's market. 

I made another batch of piccalilli. This one has bell peppers in it, which may give it more of a kick than a traditional piccalilli. I thought of calling it 'piccalilli with a wha' - we used to have a neighbour who served 'coffee with a wah', which had a dash of brandy in it. 

Yesterday, at the craft group, we decorated tiny bottles with pressed flowers (and a bit of glitter!) I was given the bottles and then browsed Pinterest for ideas on how to use them. I used this tutorial  for decorating bottles with pressed flowers,  though of course we won't be able to put lights in ours, and this tutorial for how to press flowers. I used my iron because I didn't have much time. I was really impressed with how well it works! 

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

It's Piccalilli Time Again


The cauliflowers are ready in Jack's garden, so it's time to make piccalilli again. The carrots came from his garden too, but I bought a few veges in order to have a good mix. Yesterday I prepared the vegetables, sprinkled them with salt and left them overnight. This morning I made the sauce and bottled the piccalilli.

I'll add labels when the bottles are cold. As usual, I used River Cottage's recipe. It looks a bit dark because I had to use brown vinegar rather than white, but I don't suppose that will affect the taste. 

Monday, May 22, 2023

Stripes Of A Different Sort


I'm working on another pair of socks, in helix stripes. Basically, you knit a third of each round in each colour, rather than have all the colour changes at the beginning of the round. This magically avoids the 'colour jog', so the stripes appear to be complete. Working with five needles and three balls of wool can result in tangles periodically, but there you go, it's worth having to unscramble now and then.  I'm using a short row heel on this pair. I had a problem with the afterthought heel on my last pair of helix socks, though I've worked out how to overcome it - position the heel so that there are no colour changes where the heel will be. Right, I'm off to start the second sock. 

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Stripey Socks


I guess these are also 'fraternal' socks, but they came out reasonably similar, given the random nature of my spinning. They were fun to make. 

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Gift Bags Again


 I'm still working on my stripey socks, but I had to take some time out to prepare for tomorrow's craft group meeting. We're going to make gift bags. When we made them in 2021, I blogged about it, and put a link to the tutorial that I used.  So, of course, I went back to that link when I wanted to make bags again. Alas and alack, the link seems to have been hijacked. When you click on it, either from my blog or from Pinterest, you get something about dumpsters and home improvements! There are other tutorials on Pinterest, but I like this pattern because it uses cuts that make the bottom easier to construct. Luckily I had written out step-by-step instructions for someone, and those were still on my computer. With a bit of trial and error, I was able to make a bag. Today's job is to prepare the carboard for the craft group members, so they can do the decoration and then assemble the bag. 

Monday, May 15, 2023

Stripey Yarn


I had to put my colour spinning on hold for a bit, but got back to it and finished it yesterday. I gave the yarn a wash and dried it in the sunshine.  Usually, I just wind a skein into a ball when I'm ready to knit it, but I rolled the two full skeins into balls straight away, so that I could be sure to keep the colour sequence the same in both

Of course I couldn't wait to see how it knits up:

Aha, looks pretty much how I intended! I pondered which sort of heel to knit and decided that an afterthought heel would disturb the stripe pattern least. 

The line of green stitches is holding the place for the heel that I'll knit after the rest of the sock is done. 

Cross Stitch


I've done a couple of small cross stitch projects recently. I made a bookmark for the little fellow who comes to me for sewing lessons, but forgot to take a photo of it. And I made this card for a christening, with Grace Tan's tatted cross inside the card. It's nice to be able to make a personalised gift for any occasion! 

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Socks Order


I'm working on an order for a pair of socks, ordered at the market on Saturday morning. The lady is a repeat customer, so that's good! I dyed three skeins in grey, the colour she asked for, though I know that I only need two skeins for the order. I'm going to knit another pair of helix socks, because I sold the pair I had on Saturday. I didn't show you a photo of those socks at the time because my computer was MIA, so here's a picture now:

Monday, May 8, 2023

Flame Lily

 Could I tat a flame lily, I was asked last week. I have tatted flame lilies before, in 2013, you can see them here and here.  But I started from scratch, and came up with this:

For the petals, I had yellow on the shuttle and red on the ball, did direct tatting to begin with and then Victorian sets. I might have known about direct tatting before I read muskaan's blog, but her regular use of the technique was definitely an influence. 

I'm pleased with the stamens. They had me puzzled, how was I going to do the bits at the end? Early this morning I thought of Jane Eborall's alien, of tat it and see fame, and wondered if I could use a twisted picot to achieve the look I wanted. I could, it worked! 

The pattern needs some refinement, but it's recognisable. Here's a picture of a flame lily in my garden:

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Spinning In Colour


I spin a bit of pink wool, then a bit of purple, followed by blue. I have read about spinners who measure how much of each colour they use, but that's not my style. I just grab a bit of each colour in turn. I hope to end up with stripy socks, but I'm not too worried if the stripes vary a bit. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Fido Returns


My stocks of bath puppets have gradually dwindled, so I'm making some more in preparation for a market on Saturday. Actually, it's been useful having a stock of puppets on hand. I could resupply the gift shop and give gifts without putting in any effort! It's easier to make two puppets at a time, I've discovered, it means fewer changes of thread, and some parts can be cut out simultaneously. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2023



I've knitted up the yarn I dyed and spun last week, as I described here.  I think it turned out well, so I'm going to make another batch. I have some dye left over from this project, so I'm using the same colours. But I decided to dye the three colours separately, which will give me more control over the colours when I spin. I didn't want to have to use the oven three times over, so I put the roving into oven bags and cooked them together:

I rinsed the wool and put it out to dry:

It'll soon be ready to spin. Oh, before I forget, the hat pattern is Fishtail Hat Pattern from Knitamaniacs. 

Monday, May 1, 2023



I had a look at photos and pictures of lavender on google. It turns out that lavender comes in many shapes and sizes! So this is my lavender sprig, tatted with Josephine knots and encapsulated tatting. One thing I learnt, if the knots are not closed tightly, the three knots end up looking like one entity. 

Muskaan sent me a link to her blog entry about tatting lavender. She also sent me an email with photos of Anita Barry's version. Thanks muskaan. They were both trying to emulate a picture on Pinterest from I haven't been able to find that one. Their versions are more substantial than mine.