Charity Natty Keyrings

At the knitting group I attend in Leeds (first Tuesday and third Wednesday of every month in Starbucks in Borders if you're interested) we received an invitation to join the "Knit a Natty Keyring" charity event. I can't find a website for them but here's a good description of what its all about. I signed up to make two and here they are:

The jumper one was supposed to have sleeves but I ran out of time and enthusiasm at about the same point so it's staying as it is :)

Ripple Blanket

I have a new niece, as I might have said already. Clearly we knew she was on her way a while ago and so I have been crocheting a blanket for this baby for a while. I chose to make a ripple blanket, crocheted in the round and using this pattern. The wool is Sirdar Snuggly DK and the hook was 3.5mm. I found that the pattern worked perfectly and the resulting blanket lay flat – however the snuggle wool is a bit thinner than normal DK.

Here’s the storyline:

The first photo was uploaded on 10th March, and the blanket was at this point with a final row to go when we got the call to say Natalie had arrived. I forgot to photograph the blanket after putting on the border as we were rushing off to meet her but here it is with its owner:

Sunshine Booties

I’ve been a busy bee since meeting Natalie and have finally got round to making these booties as I promised. Here they are:

The pattern was really easy to follow and had photos at every stage which is just as well because it its a very peculiar shape until you get to the end and it becomes obvious how it all goes together! I’ve got the “Fitted Knits” book by the same person and I’m feeling confident about tackling one of the basic (and much bigger) patterns from the book now.

The booties are crochet and use DK wool and a 4mm hook. I did each one in about 3 hours – a nice midweek project :) I’m desperate to do the ones with big curled pointy toes but I’m not sure if they’re too silly … mind you I suppose the baby can’t argue yet!

Baby Booties

The first installment of knitting for a new arrival due into the extended family this summer. They are actually green but I didn’t fiddle with the camera before I took the photo!

The pattern is from a supplement that came with Simply Knitting magazine a while ago – but as they are 4-ply they did take a while although they are tiny. Next up, are these

Easter Chick

Happy Easter! I’m away for a long weekend but this post was pre-recorded. I handmade my mum’s easter gift and wrote about it, but can’t publish until she’ll have got it!

Its a duckling from this pattern – knitted with fluffy wool on four needles. I used Snowflake DK and 5mm needles but I suspect it would have been better with 4mm ones as stated in the pattern however I only have one set of double-pointed needles.

Here he is anyway:

His beak and feet are made from orange pipe-cleaners. The beak was bent into shape and then the excess clipped off. The feet were shaped and then just pushed into the chicken through his woolly exterior and into the toy stuffing inside.

Happy Easter, mum :)

Improvised Chicken

That title makes it sound like a recipe, but actually its a bird! I saw a pattern linked off CRAFT which was gorgeous so I rushed out and bought some snowflake yarn in yellow. When I came to read the pattern it was quite complicated and I was a bit fed up … so I sort of started fiddling with the wool, and a crochet hook, and I got:

He is about two inches tall and as cute as a button. I cast on 4 stitches (in the round), increased in each stitch on the next row and then switched to increasing every other stitch until he was wide enough. Went straight for a bit then decreased quickly (so he’s made from the top down). The wings are crochet but the beak is knitted because I couldn’t work out how to get such sharp edges in crochet.

I should also point out that its really quite hard to crochet with fluffy or eyelash yarns because you can’t see where the stitches are to stitch into! I managed but don’t look too closely at him – my rounds turned into a spiral quite quickly because it was so hard to see what was going on.

I hope you like him, and if you’d like to suggest a recipe for “improvised chicken” in case anyone gets here hoping for one then I’d be grateful :)

One Pair of Fingerless Mitts

Just finished – and just in time as we’ve had snow here the last few days – my latest project! I knitted “fetching” from, here they are:

(and yes, one little finger is always a bit crooked. The other one matched it until it got hit by a high-speed netball a few years ago)

I’m so proud of these little gloves, they were knitted on four needles – and with cables too!! The tension is a bit tight on the bottom of the first one that I did, I hadn’t knitted on four needles before and it was really slippery wool and I was struggling. Its Debbie Bliss Cashhmerino Aran and well worth the expense, only needed one ball so I’ve one left to make something else … suggestions please!

I should mention that my knitting had the right side on the inside of the tube when I knitted on the four needles. Apparently its supposed to come out on the outside so you can see what’s happening before you finish the item and can turn it the right way out but I couldn’t work that out without poking my eyes out with some of the needles at the same time :) Thanks to my knitting group friends for telling me to knit whatever way worked and especially thanks to mum for picking up and knitting the thumbs for me :)

Handknitters Handbook

A while ago my not-mother-in-law bought me this book and its been great so I had to sing its praises here.

Its not glossy or colourful, in fact the illustrations are two-colour, but its really useful. I’ve recently come back to knitting from crochet and I live some distance from either my mum or the book-donor so it can be hard to get a helping hand when I need one. This book is a knitting textbook and a great reference when a pattern calls for something fiddly to happen!

Watch this space for my latest (rather complicated) knitting attempt :)