Sunday, 31 May 2009

Rainbow Bear

Another little bear, this one in Koigu:
Hes's multi-coloured and speckled! Can anyone give me some advice: do you think he needs a face? Or would it look too fussy?

Close-up of the colours:

Here's the tie I made DH a couple of weeks ago:

Yes, there's a colour join (blue to grey - I ran out of the blue, but I don't think it matters). I still have to stitch in a sliver of fabric along the neck-band, so I'll show you that another time. It's basically a slightly graduated moss stitch tube with the ends sewn up, and a stockinette neck-band. I'm quite pleased with it, and DH seems to like it, but if he doesn't like the feel of angora I'll just put it on Etsy.
I thought just I'd just show you some legwarmers I made about a year ago. I've been meaning to send them to my Sister in Edinburgh, and I'm making a pair for myself now. They look very long, but they're not when they're on, as you scrunch them up.

Finally, some peonies Alex gave me when she came for lunch last week. Aren't they beautiful? The petals look like paper.

I've got Monday Knit Night at Stash tomorrow and my own group on Tuesday!

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Hammersmith S&B Update

Just a quick update to say that Tuesday's First Knit Night was a great success.

Due to popular demand, we are now going to be meeting every week in stead of every other week (and may be fitting in a sneaky glass of wine once a month)!

If you're interested in coming along, we'll be at Caffe Nero, 1-5 King Street, Hammersmith, London from 6-8pm every Tuesday. Everyone's welcome. See you there!

Saturday, 23 May 2009

This Weekend

We just had Alex and Harry over for lunch. It was so good to see them, and I just wanted to share a little of today's sunshine:
As it was hot, I made a Summer Tart and some salads, then finished up with Apple Cake.
This is the tart: courgette (zucchini), red onion and goats cheese:

If you fancy making one, they're the easiest thing in the world, and you can do just about any filling; another favourite of mine is tomato layered with blue cheese. I also had a great one at my parents a couple of weeks ago, tomato and mozzarella (although my Mum makes hers slightly differently to mine).
Summer Tart
500g puff pastry
3 courgettes, sliced into discs
1 large red onion, sliced
2 roundels of goats cheese
Fresh thyme (lemon thyme is particularly nice)
A little olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, 200 degrees C (180 degrees C Fan Assisted).
Roll out the pastry to fit a largeish oven tray (approx. 12 x 15"). Bake the pastry blind for 18-20 minutes until pale golden.
In the meantime grill or fry the courgettes until cooked through. Do the same with the red onion. Arrange the courgette in three layers, with all the discs overlapping each other (think french patisseries, or scratch that and throw on haphazardly!). Season. Cover with the red onion, then crumble over the goats cheese minus the rind, and sprinkle liberally with thyme.
Put back in the oven for 15 minutes to heat through. Serve and enjoy.
(The photo was taken before I'd heated it through).
By the way, I've been looking for the pattern for this Cabled Mock Capelet from Vogue Knitting Fall 2008:

If anyone has it and doesn't have any need for it, would you mind cutting it out and sending it to me? Alternatively, I can swap you this. Interweave Knits Summer 2008:

Let me know.
By the way, are you getting The Knitter magazine? I subscribed to it when it first came out and am loving it. Saying that, I am yet to find a pattern I would actually knit, but I'm being patient. It's just that I love to read about what's going on in the yarn and knitting community.
In the meantime I've knitted DH a tie, exactly the same size as his purchased ones, at his request. Yes, I know they're not everyone's cup of tea, but my hubby happens to love them, and I think he really suits them. Anyway, it's currently blocking, but I'll be able to show it to you tomorrow or the day after.
I'm just about to cast on for another Big Bad Baby Blanket for a friend, but this time, instead of the Koigu I used before, I'll be using a lovely Shilasdair worsted weight in lambswool. Hopefully the tension will work out ok, but it doesn't really matter as it's essentially a square.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Peace Lily

Sorry, just a quickie: who said I couldn't grow plants!:


Before we went to Skye, I had come across a snippet about Shilasdair Yarns in The Knitter magazine, so of course I managed to squeeze in a visit once I got to Skye.

It's a small but wonderful hand-dying yarn company that produces some amazing yarn combinations of cashmere, alpaca, cotton etc. in a whole rainbow of colours. Their secret is that they use local natural dyes for most of their colours, which they find on the beach and in the hills around the peninsula where they are based, such as wild-flowers and lichens.

Some recently dyed yarn:

They kindly showed me their dye studio, where some blue socks were bubbling away in one of the vats:

Here's a shot of the shop, where you can see the many hues they produce, in various types of yarn (sorry for the blurred photo):

I couldn't just leave all that yarn there by itself, so of course managed to fill my basket! Here's some luxury DK in a cashmere/angora/lambswool blend that I plan to use for a sweater:

And some lovely greeny Aran lambswool for a blanket. The colour doesn't show up well here; I'll try to take a better photo:

Finally some silk in a lovely raspberry that I'll make into a tie for DH:

If you're ever on the island it's well worth a visit, but they also ship (oh dear, sounds dangerous!).

The One That Got Away

I can now show you the cushion that I submitted to Knitty as it's been rejected (their loss!). Only joking, when I look at the skill and imagination that has gone into the garments on Knitty, I am not at all surprised that this simple cushion wasn't good enough.
The basic pattern is the same as the other items I designed in the Ripple range; simple cabling body bordered in moss stitch, but the effect is quite pretty:

Here's another little umbilical cord hat, for a friend:

And some own-designed booties to match (yes, you're right, there's only one there; the second one is in progress):


I've finally had a chance to sit down at the computer and tell you about our week away.
DH and I had a week in Skye the week before last. If you've ever been there, then you'll realise that the photos below were taken in very brief breaks in the weather! It mostly rained, was windy and we even got a flat tyre in the middle of a horrendous hail storm! May is meant to be the best month on the island, so I pity the islanders their winter.
Despite the weather, we did manage to get out every day and had a very relaxing, and interesting week. I have wanted to show DH the island since we met (10 years ago) as my family used to holiday there for a week each October when I was much younger.
It can be beautiful, and quite atmospheric. Judge it yourself from the photo's:
A view across the sea to Sconser from our cottage on the Braes:
The sweet little croft that we cuddled up in at night as the winds threatened to lift off the roof!:

The recognisable Old Man of Storr:

A road sign that made me laugh:

Not what you'd expect to find, perched on a farm gate as we walked in the middle of nowhere:

The only "sandy" beach (actually it's coral):

Lambing season; they were everywhere:

Some of the colours and textures of the island. A bush at Armadale:

Seaweed on the beach on the Braes:

Moss on a hillside:

Lichen covering a rock on the beach:

Finally we stopped off at my parents on the way back, where they had miraculously grown this magnificent Himalayan poppy (apparently it's very rare):

Don't worry, there's a knitty post to follow!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Tuesday Knit Night at Hammersmith Stitch N' Bitch

Hi Everyone,

Sorry for the long break in posts. I've been away on the isle of Skye for a week, and I will be posting photos of that trip soon (yarn included!).

In the meantime, please tell everyone you know in West London about the new Stitch N' Bitch I'm starting:


Love knitting and want to knit with fellow like-minded knitters?
Want to learn to knit in a comfortable environment?
Are you a die-hard life-long knitter?
Need a new hobby?
Then come along to TUESDAY KNIT NIGHT for a natter with the Hammersmith Stitch N'Bitch. Everyone's welcome, whether experienced or a beginner. Men welcome too!
Starts Tuesday, 26th May from 6-8pm at Caffe Nero, 1-5 King Street, London W6 9HR.
Thereafter every other Tuesday, same time, same place. Bring needles and yarn.
Contact: Rowan