Category Archives: red

Happy half-birthday

Would you believe this little moppet was six months old yesterday?!

And almost grown out of his third set of clothes! I had to get out the next size up yesterday, and buy a few more things (the downsides of having opposite season babies, although the growth should slow down within the next six months, so I’ll have correct season clothes and won’t have to buy hardly anything!)
He is now rolling, eating, sleeping through the night (LEGEND!) and (I think) cutting his first tooth – not sure, as I keep thinking I see flashes of white in the gum, and he is chewing on everything but nothing has quite appeared yet!
Fortunately, I managed to finish his latest knitwear while it is still cold enough for him to wear it – even if it means wearing it almost every day until summer hits!
Pattern: Kurt, by Sarah Hatton from Rowan Studio 30, a lovely pattern book for kids. Nice range of sizes, this goes up to size 5, so I could have made it for Connor, but I thought a nice little 9mo size would be so much quicker to knit. And the recipient can’t tell me he’ll wear it “another day”, like his big brother does when I suggest he wear a handknit (sigh).

Yarn: Filatura di Crosa Zara in shade 1912 (red – duh!), just under 4 x 50g balls. I do so love Zara. So soft, so nice to knit with, shows up a textured pattern like this one so well. One of my favourite yarns.

Sticks: 3.25mm and 4mm KnitPro Karbonz interchangeables, from Suzy Hausfrau. Love these needles! I know a lot of people have problems with KnitPro/KnitPicks cables breaking, but in my (I think) 8 years of using them, I’ve never had an issue. I love the Karbonz, feel really nice in my ands and the metal tips give a satisfying click clack when using them.

Time: 1 April 2014 – 9 August 2014. I had a big gap where I put this aside to finish other things, so it was maybe a months worth of knitting – during the Tour de France in particular, when I did much of this knitting. And (as usual) it took a week before I sewed the buttons on.
Modifications: I made the body a little longer (as I always do with baby garments) and I changed te ribbing so that the pattern flows nicely out of the ribbing – it was a bit of a hassle – I think I started both front pieces at least two or three times each before I got it right – ugh! But definitely worth it.

(This is pre-blocking so harder to see, you’ll have to trust me on this one!)
I also learned that when a pattern has a shawl collar, made with short rows, then you really do need to pick up the numbers of stitches specified for the buttonband/collar. Usually I’m a bit fast and loose with the numbers, as it doesn’t matter for a standard buttonband. But in this case, it really does matter. Fortunately, I had tried to stick to the numbers, and was only two off at the end, which is not noticeable. I didn’t block it again after knitting the collar, so it doesn’t roll over like a shawl collar should, but that’s ok – a stand up collar helps keep the back of the neck warm, right?

Harry seems to approve! Happy half-birthday my little legend!



Filed under baby, Family, FO2014, red, stashbuster

Three year plan

When I started this project three years ago today, I thought I’d make enough for a queen sized quilt. I knew it was a lot of puffs, and thought it would take me at least three years…well, I got one thing right. It is a LOT of puffs. But now I need to re-estimate – it will take at least five years! And maybe another year to join them all together, heh!

I got them all out yesterday, just for fun:

I considered jumping on top of that pile, but didn’t fancy having to pick them all up off the floor, and maybe loose some in the process! Instead, I laid them all out to see how big my quilt in progress is.

Not bad! 123cm/48″ wide and 130cm/51″ long. And 643 puffs. I thought about doing the maths to work out exactly how many I would need for 150cm x 200cm but then my brain broke. So I will just keep puffing along for another few years…


Filed under Beekeeper, red

With a little help from my friends

Two loads of washing on the line on this lovely sunny breezy winter’s day, a sleeping baby and a slew of FOs. Must be about time for a blog post!

Let’s start with this one – a lovely crochet scarf that I started and finished with the help of some friends.

Pattern: Elise by Evan Plevinski. A lovely easy free pattern. I was inspired to make this by my blog friend Meredith, who made four, or possibly five or six of these in quick succession last year. I think I’d had the pattern in my queue, but it was Meredith’s lovely versions that made me actually start it – which I did at the Knitters Guild knit camp last year.

Yarn: Sundara petite sock yarn in (what else) “Red Roses”. When this colour was released, I clearly had to have it – as did a couple of my friends – we ordered enough to qualify for free shipping, which is a big plus given Sundara’s ridiculously overpriced shipping charges. (I might have ordered enough in sport weight for a cardigan too…). It was a bit of a pain to wind, until I got it going, then it was ok. Great colour though.

Hook: 5.5mm – such a big hook for a fingering/4ply yarn! But worth it – look at the difference blocking makes:

Time: 22 September 2013 – 18 May 2014. I would have finished much earlier, but I ran out of yarn, and I didn’t want to undo a few rows to start the edging early, as it is a fairly small shawl. Fortunately, the group order meant that the lovely DrK had some of the same yarn and was wailing to let me have enough to finish off the edging – which I did one Sunday when I visited her for lunch before she jetted off to the US.

A lovely easy pattern, I would definitely recommend it.


Filed under Crochet, FO2014, red


I have some big projects on the go at the moment, so not a lot to show for my crafting time, but fortunately I ave a few projects that I finished much earlier in the year that I haven’t blogged about yet, and they are just too nice to o show off just a little bit. So a bit f catch up is in order.

First up is this vest, which I adore:

(No doubt the adorability factor is increased exponentially by the very cute model!)

Pattern: Button Through Vest by Patons Australia, from their pattern book #1307 Kids’ Classics: for children aged 2-10 years – this is a really good book with classic but modern garments for girls and boys. I am sure I will be making more of the patterns from this for the boys as they grow.

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, 2 (or maybe 3?) balls of red (340034) and one of grey (340009). I think. It was a whole ago that I finished, but I’ve tried to be pretty good at keeping details updated in Ravelry, at least! I had the red in stash, but had to buy the grey. So it kind of counts as a stashbuster!

(I thought he’d like the pockets) (my first time doing integrated pockets on a knit garment – it was fun, and much easier than I expected just from reading the instructions – I really have to do something, I can’t “get” it without actually doing it at the same time as reading the instructions).

Time: 3 April – 29 May 2013 – I actually thought I finished it more recently than that! I do know it had over 30 ends to sew in – ugh! That’s the problem with a contrast trim and a garment made in pieces – but I do think it was worth it.


Sticks: 3mm and 3.25mm – I could perhaps have used a size larger, the fabric is fairly firm (even though they are the needles recommended for the yarn). I made the size 4 and it’s really quite snug, even after blocking.. I should have swatched, right?!

Modifications: As always, I made it longer than specified. Connor is a bit tall, but I think many baby and toddler patterns are just too short. And a bit of extra length gives room to grow, especially as kids at his stage tend to grow up not out. I do hope it will still fit him next year, as he didn’t end up wearing it at all this year, for reasons which are not entirely clear to me (even though they should be, since I mostly pick his clothes each day – although he’s already exerting some control in that area, which I mostly go along with).

I also changed the bands around the armholes and around the front from a thin ribbed piece knit separately and sewn on (why, oh why would you do that!) to garter bands knitted on to the garment. The ribbed bands were cute, but I dislike knitting ribbing and sewing quite enough to avoid them! I think I added an extra buttonhole as well, I can’t recall now.

I don’t know how photographers get toddlers and small children to stand still for the purpose of photo shoots! I guess, like me, they take thousands of shots in the hope they get a couple of non-blurry, usable ones, heh!


Filed under FO2013, red

Red stripes go faster!

Ever since I saw this MillaMia pattern I’ve wanted to make it for Connor.  So I was most pleased to get it as a freebie in a magazine at last year’s craft fair (not that I’d mind buying the book, they are lovely patterns!)

I’ve been working on it trying to get it done in time so it could go in the Knitters’ Guild display at the Royal Easter Show this year.  Success!  I got it done in plenty of time!

Pattern: Niklas cardigan by MillaMia, from the book Bright Young Things. Nice pattern, easy to follow, all made in pieces – which I didn’t mind – smaller pieces seem to go faster!  (just like red stripes!).  I made the 2-3 yo size.

Yarn:  Even though the MillaMia yarn is lovely, I substituted Morris Paddington, an 80/20 bamboo/merino blend.  Mostly because I had a voucher for Morris & Sons and these colours were perfect!  I used about 1.5 skeins of each of the 3 colours – 634 Lipstick (red), 625 Pearl (silver grey) and 636 Magnetic Grey (charcoal).  I did think about converting the pattern to do seamlessly, but I thought the seams might provide some extra infrastructure to combat bamboo’s tendency to sag.  Fingers crossed!

Sticks:  3mm and 3.25mm KnitPicks Options.

Time:  6 February 2012 – 29 March 2012

Modifications:  I made the body of the cardigan longer – everyone always says you need extra length in knits for babies and toddlers.  And I’m hoping it will fit him for longer than one season.  The extra length (about 5cm/2″) meant I had to add an extra buttonhole, which fortunately worked out to be just at the point where the decreases start for the v-neck of the cardigan.  Nice one!

Of course, as soon as I finished the cardi, we got a wave of warm weather (summer is finally here!  in autumn!), so I don’t have any modelled shots, but I will post some eventually!  I was going to show you a photo of my excellent seaming (it really is so much easier when you can match the stripes!) but the photo I took does not show said excellent seaming…um, the seaming is not quite as even as I thought it was, heh!

And so this year Connor has one new cardi and I have none.  Even though I planned on making myself at least 4 cardis this year!  Heh!  I’d better get a move on, since I haven’t even started the first cardi for myself and it’s already 1/4 of the way through the year!


Filed under FO 2012, red, YearOfCardigan2012

Red stripes go faster

My first FO of 2012!  Towards the end of this project, I never thought it was going to be finished, but then, as if by magic, the very last fat stripe was done and I was casting off.  Amazing!

Pattern: Stripe Study by Veera Valimaki.  Yes, just about everyone has knit this. Something about the stripes, the garter stitch, and the clever, but easy pattern.  Not to mention the great photography and yarn colour choice.  You can’t underestimate the power of good project photographs to sell patterns!

I really enjoyed knitting this.  Yes, the last stripe seemed neverending – 4″/10cm of garter stitch on rows approaching 500 stitches each (I think – I couldn’t bring myself to actually count!).  But the short rows to provide the assymetrical shaping is a really cool feature, and fun to knit.  And you don’t have to pick up the wraps in garter stitch short rows either!  I used a stitch marker where I wrapped the stitch, so on the next row I just had to remove it and count 20 stitches beyond it, before the next wrap. Made this even more of an autopilot knit.

Yarn:  Wollmeise 100% Merino superwash in Clementine – 1 skein plus 20g, and Wollmeise 80/20 Twin in Vamp, just under 1 skein.  I really like orange and red together, but omg this orange is BRIGHT!  It really didn’t look as flurescent in the skein.  And nor does the colour really show true in the photos – it is much much brighter.  I figure this will be just like a safety vest in poor visibility weather – like a beacon!  It will certainly brighten up a dull winter’s day!

Sticks:  4mm KnitPicks Options

Time:  30 August 2011 – 8 January 2012

Modifications:  I did 13 orange stripes (the pattern has you knit 12).  Mainly because I had enough yarn.  As it turns out, I had to omit the very last 2 rows of orange, because I would have run out, but it is a very forgiving pattern, and so this isn’t really noticeable. Otherwise, I knit the pattern as written. It ended up being 60″/153cm in length and 27″/68cm in depth (pre-blocked – I haven’t actually blocked it yet!)/

I really enjoyed knitting this.  I’m not entirely convinced how wearable it is – not because of the colour, but the shape.  I will reserve my judgment on this, I think it is going to need a shawl pin to stay on, especially if I wear it more as a shawl (ie for warmth) rather than just a scarf.  But I do know that I’ll never get hit by a car when wearing it, heh!

Unless I happen to be lying down whilst wearing it … a certain someone thinks it makes an excellent superhighway for all of his cars – it has already fulfilled this function a number of times, and I haven’t even worn it yet!


Filed under FO 2012, red, WIP-athon, Wollmeise

Hello TwentyTwelve!

Can you believe it?  I almost can’t – but all the great knitting retrospectives I’ve been reading (and have waiting still in my blog reader) tell me otherwise!

I’m not organised enough to do a photo review of my knitting year, but thanks to the magic of Ravelry and my trusty moleskine knitting diary, I can tell you I started 34 projects, and I finished 34 projects.  If only the new projects matched the finished projects, heh!

Some of my FO’s were big – my Olive jumper and Big Woolly vest, plus 2 skirts – Lanesplitter (which I have still to blog properly – woops!) and my Super Special Birthday Skirt.  Some were small – crochet snowflakes and a bunch of crochet dishcloths, plus a BALL!.  There were things for the little guy – a cardigan, 3 vests and a pair of pantses; gifts for friends – a baby cardi, a shawl, a hat, a tea cosy and a crochet ball; and of course socks – Nutkin, Heritage socks and husby’s Frankensocks. And a few other bits and pieces – two scarves, a hat, another shawl, some mitts and a bag.

Amongst those FOs I managed to finish 7 pre-2011 WIPS.  And yet at the end of 2011, I still have 15 WIPS!  So it will be a Binding Off 2012 year again…but more of that in another post.  One thing that won’t be bound off in 2012 – of course my Beekeeper Insanity! 

As for stash honesty…well, I am sad (sort of!) to report that I have not broken even, let alone reduced the stash in 2011.  But it hasn’t grown much…heh heh.

In December, I just had to buy 2 bags of Rowan Calmer – a unique yarn, discontinued!  And a great price, thanks to Jannette’s Rare Yarns.  I forgot to take a photo but I got a bag of garnet (a lovely red) and a bag of Tree, which is a fab green.  I can’t decide which to knit up first!

I also received some lovely gift yarn – a skein of Cascade Heritage Silk from Bells – which I think just might be too nice to knit sexypuffs with!  It is so soft.  Yummo.

And a couple of balls of red yarn from my friend MissJ, who wanted to be a part of my Beekeeper insanity!  I must say, it is a lovely thing that so many of my friends are a part of my quilt, through their leftover yarn donations and gifts.  It really is a bit of a group project in that way, which makes it even more special.

So let’s not put off the final tallying any further:

In: 22 x 50g balls
Actual balls used:  6 x 50g balls
8ply equivalent:  9.5 x 50g balls
metres used:  1076m

For the year 2011
Actual balls used: -16.5 x 50g balls
8ply equivalent:  112 x 50g balls
metres used:  13,054m

I was surprised to find I’d used the equivalent of 112 balls of 8ply yarn this year – I didn’t think it would be that much!  And whilst I came out with a bit more yarn than I started with, it wasn’t a crazy amount (and if I’d just ignored that Calmer, I would have been ahead!!  Oh well, I can’t ignore a discontinued yarn bargain, that’s nothing new!

Christmas snowflake sexypuff!

I will keep up the stash honesty next year, I think I need the bit of discipline that it gives me – because trust me, if I wasn’t writing it all down each month, I know I would have more yarn than I currently do!

I will leave you with my first sexypuff of 2012 – I spent the last few minutes of 2011 and the first few minutes of 2012 knitting this in lovely Wollmeise whilst watching the NYE fireworks (yes, my life is that exciting!). You know how they say you should start a new year the way you want it to continue – well, knitting with great yarn, donated by a lovely friend, on my crazy but great big 5 year plan project.  Yes, that’s how I’d like to continue TwentyTwelve.

Happy New Year! 


Filed under Beekeeper, Binding Off 2011, red, stash honesty, StashDownUnder

Third time lucky

I have this yarn – my very first Wollmeise, a lovely gift some years ago now (thanks again Michele!).

I have tried to make something out of it twice before.  The first time, I just decided I didn’t like the pattern I’d chosen.  And I was glad to frog it.

The second time, I loved the pattern (still do) but the gauge wasn’t right.  So after some time, I frogged it too. 

This time, I have hit the jackpot!  I decided to use this very special yarn to make a special something for me for my birthday.  So for about 6 weeks before my birthday, I was quietly working away on this, which I called my birthday suit!

Pattern: Charlotte Skirt by Doris Chan, Interweave Crochet Summer 2010.  I know!  A crochet skirt!  And it’s not even the (19)70s!  heh heh!


Yarn:  2 skeins of Wollmeise 100% Superwash merino in Rosenrot (yep, that’s RoseRed in German!).  Actually, it was less than 2 skeins, probably about 1.5 skeins in all.  They are some big skeins, such good value!  And of course you know what I did with the leftovers…yes, more sexypuffs!

Hook:  4.5mm hook

Time:  30 September 2011 – 9 November 2011.  Crochet really does go so fast!

Modifications:  I made the pattern as written, except to make it much longer (as written, it would be shorter than knee length on me – I don’t think it’s a great idea to flash my 40 yo knees to anyone much any more!  So I did an extra 20 rows (repeated rows 13 and 14, I think – the last 2 rows before the increases), to the length desired. Which fortunately coincided with finishing the first skein of yarn – so I blocked it, to see how much it would grow with blocking.  Lucky I did, because it grew quite a bit!  Loose gauge will do that for you!

What I learnt:  Three main things:
1.  How hard it is to find a plain black straight skirt to wear underneath!  If I’d had time, I would have sewed a skirt.  In fact, I probably could have sewed one in the time it took me to find this one at the shops!

2.  I made a “foundation chain” for the first time.  It was a bit fiddly but I got the hang of it after about the first 10 chains!  I’m not sure it is better than a regular chain.  I suspect it is. I figured when making a skirt for the first time, I should just follow the experienced designer’s instruction, as I suspect she had a good reason for doing it this way!

3.  Best not to store your yarn out on the coffee table, no matter how attractive it looks…because when you go to wind it some years later, this is the outcome:

Woops!  At least it was still usuable!  The rest of the yarn that was on display is now quarantined in ziplock bags!

I do love my lovely rosered swingy birthday suit skirt! And because I frogged a pre-2011 project to make this, I figure this counts as another Binding off 2011 challenge project done!  Woohoo!


Filed under Binding Off 2011, FO 2011, red, Wollmeise

StashDownUnder – November 2011

Lots of knitting and crochet this month but I’m afraid I fell off the wagon when it comes to yarn purchases.  A ball here, a holiday skein there, a couple of destash temptations over there, a “well, I’m going hopeless anyway so I might as well buy another ball” here.

And surprise surprise, its all red!!  (shown with a bunch of donated leftovers for my Beekeeper Insanity). 

But on the Beekeeper front, I am doing well!  35 puffs this month, ahead of schedule!  Yay! What do you think of the chevron arrangement?

In: 14 x 50g balls (ulp!)
Actual balls used: 6 x 50g balls
8ply equivalent: 12 x 50g (LOTS of 4 ply work this month!)
metres used: 1395m

Year to date
Actual balls used: -4 x 50g balls. 
8ply equivalent:  102.5 x 50g balls
metres used: 11978m

Last month I commented that I might come out stash negative or at worst stash neutral by the end of this year.  I am predicting right now that that will not be the case!!  Darn you Rowan for discontinuing Calmer!  (not that I’ve bought any yet…but I’m prety sure I will be!)


Filed under Beekeeper, red, stash honesty, StashDownUnder

Knit for Connor month: Floyd Vest

This is my third and final instalment of Knit for Connor month (which should more correctly be called Knit for Connor Two Months, since I made most of this in September rather than August!).

When I was planning the projects for KfCm, I found something very interesting – well, to me anyway.  And perhaps those also knitting for small children.  The sizes are SO INCONSISTENT!  It shouldn’t come as a surprise, really, given that this is also the case for women’s clothing (I can’t really speak for men!).  But it is annoying, because it makes it very hard to knit in advance.  I knit the 12-18mo size in the Pembroke vest, and it is a good fit with a bit of room for next year (and with any luck, the year after, since people who know tell me small kids tend to grow up more than out for the first couple of years!).  This vest I knit the 3yo size, because I had enough yarn and I thought I might as well.  And what do you know, it fits pretty perfectly now.  With a little bit of room, maybe less than the Pembroke vest.  Although to be fair, I haven’t blocked it yet, and being cotton it might grow!  And I even made it a wee bit longer than the pattern specified!!

Pattern:  Floyd vest, by Martin Storey, from Rowan Miniature Classics.  This is a lovely book of baby and toddler patterns.  Sizing issues aside, I will definitely be making more from this book.  I hope!

As with almost all Rowan patterns, it is knit flat and seamed.  It could be converted to knit in the round if you desire, although the shoulder and side seams are fairly short and don’t take much seaming really!

Yarn:  Rowan Handknit Cotton, 3 x 50g skeins in red (shade 215 lot 3883038).  I liked knitting with this cotton, although it definitely is harder on the hands than wool.  It knits up really nicely though, I am very happy with the way it looks.

Sticks:  I started this when I was away, and even though I grabbed my set of KnitPicks Harmony Options, I found I didn’t have the correct size for the ribbing (3.25mm) so I used 3.5mm instead, and I think it looks fine!  I used 4mm for the main part of the vest, as specified by the pattern.

Time:  27 August 2011 – 28 September 2011 (it took me a little while to sew on the buttons!)

Modifications: I knit the vest as specified, except for the change in stick size noted above for the ribbing.  However, I omitted the pocket, because it really is pointless.  Not big enough to be useful, and for some reason which I cannot fathom, the pocket flap does not have a button hole, even though the pattern shows it with a button on it.  The flap is knit separately and then joined to the front of the vest as you knit it (very clever!).  But the pocket itself is seamed on afterwards.  I figured it would just add bulk and drying time, and as the flap had a tendency to stick up, I thought I’d just sew it down when I added the button.

The button-hole-less pocket flap!

If you want a useable pocket and flap, I’d suggest adding a buttonhole to the flap when you knit it!

I think this is a very cute, easy and practical knit.  I just wish that the size was a little bigger so it would fit for longer!  Next time, I will pay more attention to the schematics and Connor’s actual measurements!


Filed under baby, FO 2011, red, stashbuster, StashDownUnder