Thursday, October 29, 2009

wedding shawl beginnings

Wedding shawl swatches, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

It's time to do some knitting for me! I originally planned to make my own wedding dress, but having made bridesmaids' dresses over the summer, I decided I could do without the stress. So instead I bought one from eBay, which may need some adjustments (and I need to lose weight to get into it), but it is beautiful and I couldn't possibly make something like that myself. So instead, I will knit myself a wedding shawl. I'm getting married in March, it's bound to be a little chilly and a beautiful shawl is the perfect way to keep warm.

Some searching on Ravelry and posting on the Cambridge Ktog board lead me to Aeolian. Now I need to decide on a yarn. I originally thought I'd make something cream/offwhite, but talking to people made me think about colour. Then I found this silk 4ply yarn in my stash. It's softly variegated in shades of lilac and pink - perfect for my colour scheme and the romantic lace of my dress.

silk swatch

I love the colour and the feel of it. The only problem with it is that so far, I havent found beads which fit onto the yarn. I've got sime size 9s and size 8s, both are too small. If I found some beads which fitted, went with the colours (I'm thinking either a pearly bead or a metallic/pearly lilac), I'd go with this yarn.

There's also a laceweight option.

laceweight swatch

This is some hand-painted laceweight I acquired at the most recent stash swap. I think it came from Jackie and was painted by Heather? I should probably message them to check. If so, I could ask Heather to dye me some in similar soft colours to the silk. The beads on it are (L-R) pearly lilac, pearly cream and a metallic darker purple.

Of course, neither of these swatches have been near my dress yet. I'm going to my parents' house where my dress is hiding this weekend, so I shall take my swatches, see what goes and go from there. So, what do you think? Which yarn? Which beads? Decisions, decisions.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

tiny February baby jacket

February baby jacket, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

This is my favourite thing I've knitted so far for Tiny. I started it in January, before I knew my sister was pregnant. The yarn was a freebie from Yarn Forward magazine and it just seemed to fit with the pattern. Then when Debs found she was pregnant, it had to be for her baby. And here she is, finally and it fits.

Yarn: Merino wool, reward for renewing my subscription to Yarn Forward magazine. (Looking at my ravelry notes, it's called Sensation. 100g, 300m).

Needles: 3.25mm circulars

Pattern: Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby sweater on two needles (Ravelry link), with gull lace as she suggests.

I followed the directions, which mostly made sense to me. I think I had to redo the button holes near the top when I realised what she meant - button holes every 7 garter ridges, I think. It's such a beautiful pattern! I can see why so many people knit them. Purple buttons came from John Lewis. I love the contrast between yellow and purple, it makes both colours pop. More baby clothes should be in bright colour combinations!

tiny kimono

tiny kimono, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

More baby knitting!

Tiny was beginning to get a little grumpy here. This was the second garment I'd tried on her.

Yarn: More hand-dyed sock wool from Hay on Wye. Now identified by Anne as being from Wool and Willow and dyed by Jenny Cook.

Needles: 3.5mm (I think)

Pattern: Clementine's Baby Kimono by Diana Jones

Mods: None in the knitting. I finished it with three purple buttons (one inside) and sewn button loops instead of ribbons.

I like the construction of the kimono, though the ribbing will need blocking each time it's washed. It looks pretty cute, I think. Ribbons would probably make it more adjustable, they just seemed a bit fiddly.

Monday, October 19, 2009

tiny socks

tiny socks, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

I have been knitting. Mostly for my little niece, blogname Tiny, who was born on 7th October. This was taken on her first evening at home. She has enormous feet, so I don't think these socks will fit for long. :)

Yarn: Hand-dyed sock yarn bought in Hay on Wye. I've now lost the ball band, so can't tell you the name of the dyer.

Needles: 2mm circs

Pattern: Better than Booties Baby Socks by Anne Budd. (Ruffle rib version)

Started and finished: sometime in September 09

The blanket you can just see was made for me when I was a baby by some relative or other (not quite sure who. There are various knitters in my family. Even my dad has been known to knit). It's lovely to see it being used for the first of the next generation.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

wedding cake

wedding cake, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

This was a joint effort. The bottom tier is fruit cake made (in a bucket) by my mum and Hannah's now husband Steve. The upper tiers are chocolate (made to this recipe) made by me and my mum (the top layer was gluten-free for my dad and grandma). We covered the cakes with ready made icing and added lime green polka dots and brown ribbon.

The finished cake was very heavy and tricky to transport, but we did it. (Well, my mum and dad did). It looked good and tasted pretty good too.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

bridesmaids' dresses

bridesmaid, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

Rather a lot of the past 6 weeks has been spent making bridesmaids' dresses. With a chocolate brown and lime green theme, it was the easiest way to get four dresses which (semi) matched. This is mine, which I spent most of the day hoiking up. Oops. Not as well fitted on the bust as it could have been.

The pattern is Vogue 7848. The fabric is (scarily expensive, but rather lovely) silk satin from Borovick's. I don't have pictures of all four of us, but here's Anna, along with my gorgeous sister Hannah.

My other sister Debs is 33 weeks pregnant, so she needed a different style of dress. This isn't the best angle, but you can see the empire line and straps of her dress (Burda 7630).

The silk was a little intimidating to cut and sew, but with some patience, fine pins and lots of tissue paper, I got the hang of it. It felt gorgeous to wear and looks pretty good in the photos I've seen. Debs felt a bit too hot, but I think she'd have been too hot whatever she wore. The silk sashes tended to slip very easily, of course. I'm pleased with my work, though it has put me off the idea of making bridesmaids' dresses for my own wedding. I want to make my own dress and I think I'm going to have enough on my plate without adding 4 more. Though maybe I'll make a dress for the smallest bridesmaid...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

What I've been up to

pom poms!, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

For the last few months, I have been mostly making these. My sister got married yesterday in a lime green and brown pom pom strewn wedding. We made a few hundred pom poms in different sizes to be used as decorations and thrown as confetti.

The inspiration came from this wedding blog - How engaging! - and this gorgeous post in particular. Way back when HP got engaged and started thinking about wedding colour schemes, she liked the idea of using chocolate brown and maybe lime green, but wasn't totally sure. I think showing her that blog helped her decide that it could work and was definitely a big influence on the final scheme. I'm going to blog some of the other things we made for the wedding, but if you can't wait, click through for some tasters on flickr.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Rob's socks are done

Finished socks!, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

And he likes them.

Yarn: Colinette Jitterbug in Mardi Gras

Needles: 3mm circs

Pattern: toe up, 60 stitches, spirals made by slipping every 6th stitch every other round, flap heel, 1x1 rib.

Started: 9? April 2009

Finished: 5 May 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

me in my dress

me in my dress, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

This is the finished result of my dress-making exercise. As you can see, the final dress is in a different fabric from my original. I decided the sheet I was using was far too thin, so turned it into the lining and used some bold flower fabric bought from Walthamstow market.

I'm very pleased with the result. It's the first time I've used boning and once I'd got over my fear, it was easy to use. I also used my machine's blind hem stitch for the first time. It's OK, though a bit of a fiddle. I'd use it again if I didn't have enough time for a hand-stitched hem or had yards and yards of hemming to do all at once.

Looking at this picture, I can see that the lining is showing a bit. I made it about 5mm shorter than the outer layer, but I think it needed more. Or some more careful adjustment of lengths. I was running out of time when I got to the hems and just wanted them finished. If I had had more time or patience, I would have tacked the hems, tried the dress on and got someone to help me with getting the length right, rather than judging it on my own with the dress on a hanger.

Overall, this project did what I wanted it to do - gave me some sewing practice, got me familiar with this pattern and how to make it fit and provided a finished dress I could wear to some friends' wedding. I now feel more confident that I can make the bridesmaids' dresses I offered to make and that they'll look good.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

socks in progress

socks in progress, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

I've been knitting again. I stopped for a while thanks to tennis elbow, but I'm back, thanks to a visit to the Colinette mill shop on the way to North Wales.

The rainbow coloured socks are the result of that trip - bright coloured socks for my beloved.

The purple socks have been around for a while. I bought the yarn last summer (also at the Colinette shop). I decided to make socks with contrast heels and toes (and probably cuffs) to make the most of the yarn.

The lilac twisted flower socks have been causing me pain. The combination of dpns and little tiny cables does my wrist and forearm no good at all. If I find some 2.75mm circs, I'd far rather finish on them.

Further notes on flickr.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

a change of craft

All pinned on, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

I haven't done any dressmaking for ages, but when HP asked me to be her bridesmaid in August, I jumped at the chance to make my own bridesmaid's dress. I'm using Vogue 7848 (as used by Jen). It's a simple style and similar to a dress I already have which suits me. I think it will suit the other bridesmaids too, and be simple to alter, if needed.

I'm trying it out with an old sheet and if this one goes well, I might wear it to a friend's wedding in April.

Of course, the trouble with old sheets is that some parts are significantly more worn than others. I cut the front centre panel out of the middle of the sheet since it's cut on the fold and I wasn't really thinking about it. This means that it is much paler and thinner than the panels surrounding it. If I weren't hoping to wear this dress, that wouldn't bother me too much. But I like it so far. I don't think there's enough fabric left over to cut another front panel, so I might just have to live with it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Steve's socks

Steve's socks, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

I should have posted about these ages ago. They were a Christmas present for Steve (HP's fiance).

Pattern: Top down, 68 stitches, flap heel.

Needles: 2.5mm circs

Steve's socks - outside

Look at the little sheep! They're from the Looking Glass Knits Sheep Yoke cardigan.

Steve's socks - inside

This was my first serious attempt at stranded knitting. I'm pleased with it. The white portions were done as two colour stranded knitting and the black bits were added with duplicate stitch.

Steve's socks - on Steve

And most importantly, they fit and Steve likes them!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I made another hat

Rob!, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

Tee hee!

Pattern: Jayne Cobb's Family Hat by Carlynn Field

Needles: 6.5mm circs.

Yarn: Yellow: Biggan Design DK merino, Orange: Rowan Pure Wool DK, Pumpkin: Pure Wool by Stylecraft. All used double.

Started: 7 February 2009

Finished: 11 February 2009

It's a shame you can't see the fabulous pom pom the top of this hat! There are a few more pictures on Ravelry.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

what the yarn became

what the yarn became, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

This was a very quick knit! I started it Tuesday night and finished yesterday.

Pattern: Cecile from Yarn Forward Issue 10.

Needles: 4mm and 4.5mm circs.

Yarn: Hand-dyed Aran from Liz.

Started: 27 January 2009

Finished: 28 January 2009

Notes: Knitted the 24" size as written, except for a tubular cast-on. The pattern as printed has errors. I didn't check the errata before starting, but noticed there was something wrong at the beginning of the patterned section. I was going to fudge it, but remembered to check and found the corrected cable chart. The pattern tells you to start with the smaller needles, but never tells you to change to the larger needles. The logical place to do this is after the ribbing, so that's what I did.

Love it!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ooh look! Thank you Liz!

from Liz - outside, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

I entered Liz's end of year competition on her blog and I won a prize!

Mouseover to see what's inside!

And look closely at the label on the yarn.

from Liz - close up
Thank you Liz!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I think I may be not knitting for a bit. I've got a painful elbow, which I think is displaying all the symptoms of tennis elbow. Knitting seems to make it worse, so I think I'd better stay away from the needles for a bit. :-(


Thursday, January 08, 2009

Christmas knitting - HP's shawl

HP's shawl - wing tips, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

Christmas knitting has almost all now reached its recipients, so I can show you what I made.

This is a shawl for my little sister HP. It's actually been in my head for a while. The yarn was a subscription renewal gift from Yarn Forward magazine about a year ago. It's a cobweb weight cashmere/silk blend in lime green. HP likes lime green, so it had to be something for her. Then I found the Laminaria pattern in Knitty's Spring 2008 issue. Perfect marriage of yarn and pattern!

I started knitting at some point in the summer. I can't really remember when. I know it was beyond my powers of concentration for a bit when I was proper ill. I finished it in early December, just before I was going away for the weekend so could use my bed as a blocking surface.

I'm really pleased with the result. It's my first proper lace project (the previous ones have used 4-ply or thicker). There's one big mistake in the star stitch section which I couldn't work out how to fix, but it's not terribly obvious at first glance. I wanted to give it a proper photoshoot, but I forgot, and had to settle for a few snatched snaps, complete with lensflare. More on flickr.