Christmas Recycling

Dad spotted this in today's Eastern Daily Press - many a true word is spoken in jest!

My first and second hats

It's been a bit quiet here on Stitchin' Bints! In my case, that's because I turned my attention away from the fishnets (which, in turn, had distracted me from the Shapely Tee) in order to start two hats. I couldn't post because they were to be a surprise for my Mum and Sister. The pattern is Asminah's Hat from Kody May. (Now listed in the 'free patterns' to the right.) It looked effective and doable within the few weeks that I had. The wool is absolutely beautiful - Allegra from Wendy - a fluffy alpaca mix.

The hat is knitted in the round from aperture up. You're supposed to start knitting the lace pattern, then pick up stitches and crochet the lower border. Instead I started by knitting a few rounds of garter stitch and just continued up. This worked very well, and the resulting hats look the same size and shape as the pictures in the pattern. They both looked a bit small, though when tried on, so I'm adding some rows to both.

Belts, bags and bellies (or, thank god its finished at long last).

At long last I've finished the glitter belt, well it was done a couple of weeks ago now, but I've been waiting to get a picture of me in it (O.k so its Helen not me and as it turned out I needn't have made it quite so long as half of it was tucked down the back of her trousers to make it look right!)
I have picked out a few of Helen's ceramic buttons to embellish the bag and double wool belt, which I think set them off nicely. We seem to be having a bit of a run on buttons on the blogg with Robyn's last entry. Helen tells me she is about to show you all the buttons she has made recently. They are quite lovely.

A Little Something Extra

I have finished another project, a wrap very similar to the green one I knitted awhile ago only twice as long at least and striped in two shades of purple. I can't post a full picture of it because it will be a Christmas gift, and I wouldn't want the recipient to see it before hand.

I can show some embellishment, though. Inspired by a table runner that decorates my dining table, I added silk flowers, beads, and shell buttons in various sizes and shapes in four different random spots. Seriously, I was having dinner one evening and thought something similar would look nice on the wrap. What do you think?

Update - Lolita legs

I didn't expect it to start looking quite so much like wooly socks! So far it doesn't look half as sexy as the pattern!

It's interesting how it's twisting as I'm knitting. No doubt the pattern will straighten out when it's blocked or worn, but I quite like the twisted 'diamond' pattern!

I'm enjoying this project more than anything I've made before, I think. To add to all of the other things I've had to learn, I've just made my first short-row heel. (It only took about an hour to do that, and a lot of that time was spent scratching my head over the pattern!) I've had a lot on my plate these last couple of weeks, but despite that, I'm pleased with the amount that I've done in the short time I've spent so far. I'll certainly tackle a pair of socks when I've finished these.

Wrong-Sized Wrap

I have finished a fun but simple project--a wrap that I almost typed as "warp." That wouldn't have been so wrong because this isn't quite like the instructions. The pattern called for a finer yarn than I used, so my wrap/warp is wider than it should be. It also called for 13 50-gram balls, and I only had 10, so the wrap/warp is a little shorter.

When I put the pin in it and turned it to the side a bit, the scalloped edge naturally folded over, making an automatic collar that I think I like. So, I chalk up the wrap/warp as a success. It may become a Christmas gift for a sister or niece.

Here is the pattern:
Cast on 105 stitches (or something suitable for the yarn you have)
First 12-row sequence:
Odd rows: knit
Even rows: knit up to 8 stitches to end. Slip stitch, K, Pass slipped stitch over, (YO, Slip stitch, K, Pass slipped stitch over) repeat three times
On the 12th row, after finishing the pattern, cast on 6 stitches.
Repeat this 12-row pattern and for half of your yarn (I had ten balls, so I did this until 5 were used and I had 16 points on the scalloped edge).

Knit one row.

For the other half, a 12-row sequence:
Odd rows: knit up to 5 stitches to end. YO, knit two together. Repeat once. YO. Knit one.
Even rows: knit
For the 12th row of this 12-row set, cast off 6 stitches pearl wise and knit remaining stitches.
For the final 12th row, cast off all stitches pearl wise.

I still love casting on...

It's a bit out of character for me to have only one project 'on the needles', so feeling slightly bored with the Shapely Tee, I've started the Lolita Legs. I love the idea of knitted fishnets. I spotted a fishnet pattern in the 'Stitch n Bitch Nation' book a while ago; didn't buy the book, wrote down the pattern and then lost it. Doh! However, this free pattern is much better. Looks perfect for that special leg man in your life.

I found this cashmerino in my local craft shop (soon to be moving to Moira Furnace, folks). It feels GORGEOUS - it's probably the most beautiful wool I've used so far. Perfect deep red colour too.

The pattern claims that they knit up super-fast. We'll see - that's not the case so far. This is my first go at figure-of-8 cast on, knitting 'in the round' and lace knitting, so there's a good chance that it'll hold my interest till they're done!! Now, how does the 'yarn over' stitch go again....?


Just a couple of hours in and I'm pleased with the progress!

I've discovered that it's very easy to drop stitches when using these double-pins. While I was working on the toe (plain st st) I had to rescue one dropped stitch - see the top photo, where it looks like I'm playing jack-straws - that was successful, but I've just managed to drop 3 - and with this lace pattern, there's no chance of picking them up or even going back a couple of rows. I've rescued one, but the others have kinda disappeared. My heart sinks at the thought of re-doing all of this, and it doesn't seem to be 'running' so I'm going to make a couple of stitches and keep my fingers crossed that it's not noticeable!

Glitter belt

This is all I've managed to achieve so far with my glitter belt that I mentioned ages ago! Its taken sooo long as I kept getting the pattern wrong. I was so determined to get it all perfect so I kept pulling it out. Lost count of how many times, but when the holes don't match up what choice do you have?.....
I love the colours and glitter in the thread and it was such a contrast to use after the chunky wool I used for the chunky funky bag!
Will post photos of the finished article when its long enough to reach around my waist (don't hold your breath).

Yet Another Sweater

As is my obsessive/compulsive tendency, I have finished another sweater. In my defense, this one was simple and sleeveless with just a simple knit/purl pattern and little shape. It's so simple, in fact, the front and back are identical.

The free pattern is here. I didn't have easy access to the yarn specified, so I used a cotton blend from Rowan instead with the same weight and needle size. I found myself with an arm-load of pink stuff of similar weight the other day as my friend was cleaning out her store--take whatever you want, she says to me, like handing sugar to a toddler. How am I supposed to say "no" to that? I'm sorry I have enough yarn already. Oh no, I just couldn't accept free yarn. Of course, I said "yes" and picked up a small bundle. It will be used to make another one just like this.

Basic Shawl

After the weird Clint Eastwood sweater (and by the way, isn't it cool that we got Dive to comment on a knitting blog? hee hee ), anyway...after the poncho sweater, I decided to relax a bit with a simple shawl using the free pattern at Knitter's Review.

I used two strands--Pure Silk by Debbie Bliss and a multi-colored cotton/silk yarn--knitted on size US 17 needles. Because the needles were so large, this project was done in no time at all and was a breeze to block.

As I caution with all of my knitting, don't look too closely, or you'll be astonished by the mistakes. I don't know when I'll wear this, but I am hoping for an opportunity or two to dress up this winter. Or, I could just leave it to grace the table.

Funky Sweater

Another one down. I just finished this funky sweater from the Debbie Bliss Cathay book. It's called a poncho sweater and uses about thirteen 50g balls of Debbie Bliss cathay yarn (50% cotton/35% Viscose microfibre/15% silk) and size US 5 needles.

While I'm afraid this might not be a very flattering fit, I do believe this is my new favorite sweater. It's comfortable and unique and very fun. Don't look too closely unless you want to discover some glaring errors, like the fact that the back was knitted using two different dye lots and is distinctly striped. I have decided to label this sweater "rustic," so any flaws I may spot from here on out just add to its rustic nature, like those tags on clothes that try to explain away odd fiber or color variations by calling them "the nature of the fabric." That sad little mess on the back of the collar edge where I dropped a few stitches is the nature of the poncho sweater.

Just finished this

If I really look as fat as that in it I may not wear it!!!!!!!!hope it is just the way I am sitting........
Going to make another one in a greeny sort of colour.... maybe a bit bigger!!!!!

Crochet by the pool

This is as first for me. I actually took my crochet on holiday with me! No I didn't spend all day sitting there in the sun crocheting, but you know how it is, after all that walking, shopping,swimming, sunbathing and eating, you need to chill out and unwind. What better way than to finish the 'funky' bag that I had promised Helen.
Its a chunky Aran wool in random purples, turquoises and blues. Such a treat to use.
Next project is going to another extreme. Goldfingering (crochet thread) very fine and sparkly and quite a contrast, so watch this space, I feel another belt coming on.......

Holy Holy Holy

Lots and lots of holes and yes they are part of the pattern!

The wool I am using for this cardigan is Sidar Snuggly Baby Bamboo 80% Bamboo and 20% Wool. It is a lovely soft wool and is a real joy to knit with.

You might be wondering what happened to a princess tale, well it turned out more like a dragon's nightmare!

I wasn't happy with the end result so the wool sits neatly unravelled in my work bag ready to be made into something else.

Poor Ellie will have to wait now until I have finished Holly's cardie, but I have something special in mind for her using a different shade of baby bamboo.

Me too!

Have I been knitting for England? No, I just happened to have several things nearly finished. This is Stefanie Japel's (AKA Glampyre) One Skein Wonder.

This is the second one I've knitted. The first turned out so small that I gave it to a very petite friend, and suspect that it was too small for her too. That was a lesson in knitting a swatch rather than guessing. This one has turned out too big! Well, maybe it's just the sleeves - the cuffs are much bigger than they need to be - I've had to scrunch them up and try and hold the excess under my armpits for the photo.

The yarn is Sirdar Evita, a mix with more than 50% wool. It has a very fuzzy texture which is wonderful, but I found it a bit difficul to knit with - it splits very easily. As she's mentioned, Mum has an addiction to buying wool from the charity shop, and this was a very welcome gift from that source.

The yarn first became a boobholder, another Glampyre pattern, but I made a real mistake with that one. I either didn't have a big enough circular needle, or the yarn was too light, (or possibly both), and so I decided that I could 'scale up' the stitches and rows. That didn't work, and the resulting monstrosity had to be pulled out and I started a OSW instead!

I'm really pleased, it's perfect for showing off the tattoo. I would certainly wear it, but I'm not sure what to do about the flapping cuffs. I may try sewing in a tuck, or may pull the lot out and try knitting it again in a smaller size. They're quite quick and fun to make. Is there an award for the largest number of items made from the same yarn?


Well who is this cocky madam!!!!! I was grinning because I thought it was so funny to be taking a picture of myself....

The Bolero is one I made last year, to cover those tops of my was a pattern for a shrug, but as I thought I was too old for one of those, made it into this.....nice mixture wool, but a bit itchy for me.....

Should have put the lamp on Pea!!!!

Scarves and Hats

A few of the scarves and hats I have made.....soon be cold enough to wear them again!!!!!!

Now, Back to Sweaters

I have all the yarn I need to make two sweaters, but I'm not sure which to start with. They are both of equal difficulty--relatively simple, or I wouldn't attempt to make them. The cardigan is reversible in that you can wear it open in the front or back. I like the asymmetrical design of the pullover, though, so maybe that will be the first project.

What do you think? Which should I start with?

Yes, I Know It's Summer

Well, it's September at least, but here in Ohio the temperature has reached 90 degrees Fahrenheit almost every day this week. Still, I have knitted a scarf. As a diversion from making sweaters, I have been working on a cable scarf that I have admired for some time but never got around to making for myself. I made this last year in ivory cotton for one of my daughters, but this one is for me.

It's made with a mostly wool yarn from Australia called Cleckheaton Country 8ply Naturals and size 6US needles. I liked the natural flecks of varying color mixed with the subtle green. The pattern is from Knit Scarves!, a fun book with some very fun scarf patterns for when you bet bored with just the plain old stuff.

A Princess Tale

This little cardigan is called Thumberlina from Patons. I am knitting this for one of my twin granddaughters Ellie May.

I have not picked up the needles since the 1980's but I am really enjoying knitting again.

I LOVE casting on!

This is the Sirdar luxury soft cotton DK in a beautiful ivory colour that I bought a couple of weeks ago (see Retail Therapy). I've changed my mind about what to make with it - this is the start of a Shapely Tee. The pattern for the Tee just tells you how to make the sleeves - you have to click through to the Shapely Tank to get the pattern for the body, which is (allegedly) "one of the most popular free patterns to be found on the internet". I'm about to learn how to shape using short rows. Exciting stuff!

Funky bag.

Since the passport bag and belt, which I forgot to mention before, are awaiting ceramic buttons from Helen, I have been unable to resist buying wonderful wool from charity shops, (is there a name for this condition?) and have since completed this bag from the book Peahen bought me for Christmas. Is there no stopping me...........?

My first post!

These two unfinished projects mark my return to crochet ( the last things I made were tank tops in the 60's). It took some geting back into, but with a little help and encouragement from Susan Flint, a crocheter(?) from Caister on Sea, and Peahens book. (see photo) Now I cant stop!

Finished Cotton Jumper

It looks much better on, but thanks to you, I have finished it!!!

Finished bolero and public knitting

As I promised Robyn, here are some photos of me modelling my bolero. I didn't get to grips with crochet... I have another cardy which has cords for tying in a bow, which works well, and so I learned how to make an i-cord. Not Steve Jobs' latest invention, but a way of knitting a few stitches 'in the round' on two dpn's.

So the finished item, which I'm so pleased with, is a real improvisation. It started life as this Bolero pattern. I started the sleeves by knitting some k2, p2 ribbing, and then elongating the sleeves to 3/4 length, which I prefer. The back and front panels are as per the pattern, but the edging is taken from a Wendy pattern: For the lower border (from one marker, down to the lower border, round the back, and back up to the other marker) pick up stitches, immediately double the number by making one in every stitch and then knit 6 rows before casting off. This makes a lovely frill. For the upper border (from one marker up around the neck and back down to the other marker) pick up stitches and knit 4 rows in garter stitch. The fastener is two lengths of 3-stitch i-cord.

Here are some close-ups of the fastening and the wavy bottom edge. It's very difficult to photograph a black item (it turns into a silhouette) but you get the idea.

Sibling Helen, who visited at the weekend, (that's Helen who supplied the buttons for the recent baby jacket, and also brought me a shed load of ceramic buttons 'for inspiration' for which I'm extremely grateful) saw the i-cord and was inspired herself - she's working on a ceramic project which could use some of the cord. The answer was simple, we went shopping, bought some needles and yarn, and sat in a coffee shop experimenting! She also helped me to choose the lovely blue glass beads which finish off the bolero a treat.

Cotton Jumper

Well young lady, must admit you have really got me going now....... this has been as above for about 3 months, as I have been busy with cakes.....but yesterday, have finished the front, and made one sleeve, so you may see the finished article soon!!!!!!

Silk cotton the material, has a tendency to split while knitting, but looks quite good...


I am afraid this relatively simple sweater pattern has exceeded my limited attention span. It may not look too bad here, but up close, the imperfections are blatant. Let's call them design features, and let's call this one a learning experience. What I learned: stick to patterns that require needles larger than a US 3.

I haven't tried it on yet, but it looks a bit wide and a bit short. Let's call the shaping a design feature, too, then. It's supposed to look like a chopped off swing sweater. Really, I am probably being too critical here. What do you think?


Mum won't believe that I'm still working on this! The pattern is here

I'm improvising a little, though. I made the sleeves a bit longer than the pattern, and did some ribbed cuffs.

I knitted a similar jacket last year, and really like the frill edge on that one, so I'm adding the same to this one. You can see me picking up stitches here. You immediately double the stitches by making one in every stitch, and then knit 6 rows.

I'm not sure what to do for a fastener, though. A button, some kind of tie, or something else. Any ideas? The pattern says "With right side facing and crochet hook, attach yarn at front marker; ch 31, sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across, sl st in same place as joining. Fasten off. Rep on opposite front"

Trouble is, I have no idea what this means. I may have to visit Mum, as she's been re-learning crochet and will understand, I'm sure.

A pair of woolies!

At last a couple of knits from last winter........Aqua jumper is a Sirdar Wash and Wear ..crepe double knitting..pattern number 5468

The cable one!!! I have just looked through all my patterns and cannot find this stupid you must wait until it decides to let me find it.....

Finished project! (Albeit a small one)

Yay! I finished sewing-up just in time for the arrival of Helen's ceramic buttons. They're the perfect finishing touch, beautiful pink and white agateware square buttons.

I am particularly pleased with the pattern that the double moss stitch makes. It's attractive and has a nice 'stretch' to it like ribbing. For the cuffs, I learned a new cast-on which is suitably stretchy. That worked out well.

The only thing spoiling this project for me is that one of the balls of eskimo was a slightly different colour. You can just about see in the photo that one of the sleeves is a slightly deeper pink. Friends have reassured me that you don't notice it until it's pointed out, and it does depend on the light.

Will This Sweater Never End?

I have been working on this sweater on and off for at least a year and a half. I started it with such good intentions, but because of the nature of the pattern, it takes so long just to finish an inch of knitting, I could make a meal for ten in the same length of time, AND drive cross country.

The pattern is from Easy Knits by Debby Bliss, and it is truly easy. It requires a great deal of patience, though, which I have only in short supply. The yarn is a thin soft wool/cotton that uses No. 10/US 3 size needles. Also, because it is done in a moss stitch, each row nestles in on the one before it.

I finished the back and half of the front last year and then put it all away in disgust. But now I have dragged it out of the bag again, and just yesterday finished a sleeve. One more sleeve to go, and then the assembly. I do hope I like the thing when it's finished.

In the States, this project, including the book of patterns, would cost approximately $125. I actually got it as part of a barter--I manned my friend's yarn store for a couple of days while she was out of town.

Retail therapy

Three things in progress, poorer than skint, what happened here??

Well your honour, the super pattern book was reduced to £3.50. It has more than one pattern in it which I'd really like to make. I still have an ambition to knit something I'm proud enough to wear when finished. The cotton DK is for one of the tops in the book. No jury would convict, would they??

Baby Eskimo Jacket

This is one of three projects I have 'on the needles' at the moment. A little Stylecraft baby cardy for niece Maya. Shoulder seams stitched and just picking up the stitches around the neck for the collar. H has just promised to contribute some handmade ceramic buttons.