Tricky Little Stitches

Be Careful What You Wish For….

I have been a little naughty recently, haven’t made time for my blogging, so I thought I better get on with it.

When I first started knitting again, I was quite dejected as things weren’t selling quite how I imagined. I knew it couldn’t be my amazing knitting so there had to be some other other reason, so I sent my gorgeous grandson out on an undercover mission…

Off he went on the bus with his mum and before long someone enquired where she got his knitted hat and cardigan, the lady was hooked and that afternoon said she would like to order 3 cardigans with matching hats. I just so happened to be working on an outfit in the right size and posted a pic of it…..not only did she want it but lots of other people did too.
Now that was great, I was over the moon, my knitting was for a real purpose again instead of sitting here mocking me..the only problem was the hat. Never have I had such trouble with a pattern. It’s not the pattern that was complicated, but the maths involved in it, whatever I tried the numbers just didn’t work. I managed to make it work, with a little fiddling but I am not friendly with that pattern anymore and face the prospect of knitting many more!

Here is the offending outfit pretending to look all innocent

I’ve named it The “Ethan” set after the grandson of the lovely Maria from Made By Maz.

Well I showed my new customer Emma another pattern I had and she was happy to have one of these as part of her order, I’ve named this set “Alfie” after her cute little boy and she was nice enough to send me this pic of him wearing it.. It’s made in Stylecraft “Life Chunky” and is really soft and snuggly.

Doesn’t he look as snug as a bug in a rug?

Well Emma has ordered two more of these sets, and matching mitts for them all.Therein lay another problem, try as I might I couldn’t find a a pattern for mittens in chunky or Aran yarn and had to adjust an old double knit pattern I had. I was very pleased as the second attempt worked and so I now have a template for others.

In between all these sets, I’ve managed to squeeze in some more hats

Some scarves…

The scarves were made to order, I think these would make great Christmas gifts and they come in lots of different styles and colours. This customer had 3 and I have a funny feeling she’ll be back for moreūüėČ

I also managed to sneak in a present I have made for Christmas for a lovely little man..

I also received my business cards

and my fantastic sister Marie of Baileyrosy made these amazing tags for me, they are so beautiful I don’t want to attach them to my outfits. What a talent she has, I love her to bits.

So like I say, be careful what you wish for, I’m rushed off my feet now, but I absolutely love it and I’m making some lovely new friends along the way and doing my bit to make the babies of Britain all warm and snuggly for the winter.

Thanks for stopping by and happy crafting, you can visit my Etsy shop for some ready knitted items or if you would like I can add you to my waiting list. Just send me a message X

The Mad Hatter

Those of you who follow my blog will remember last week I was off to rehab because of my knitting addiction. Well I promise I didn’t knit while I was there, but I did knit on the way on the way there and back in the car….
Rehab was great but it didn’t cure me and in fact it may have sent me mad.

I started by knitting a bonnet before I went, because it would be quick,

it’s quite pretty, I sewed on some pretty pink and lilac pearls (I have to confess, I did sew them on in the hotel room) to compliment the beautiful wool, which is really soft and tactile, but it started an alarming trend…

I then knitted this version

I thought, oh well I’ll knit another hat before I start my next project and so I made this cute ¬†little Tea-Bag hat and added navy “pearls” for a bit of interest

Well I was on a roll by now and so I decided to make this little cutie using Patons Smoothie yarn

Then my daughter asked me to knit a hat for her gorgeous son Leo, she had seen a hat I had made previously but we decided on a few alterations and until I could get the yarn I wanted I made this prototype..

I sent a pic of it to my friend Maria, the wonderful Made by Maz, and she promptly ordered one for her beautiful grandson Ethan, and when my daughter saw it she said she might have fallen in love with it but wanted one in grey….I posted a pic of ¬†it on my facebook page and then several people wanted it in different colours so I ended up knitting this

and the same in a very similar colour, which my daughter chose instead of the grey one. In his honour I called the hat the ¬†“Little Leo ”

and then someone asked if I could knit one for a girl and I came up with this

This is so soft and cuddly and has diamante buttons instead of the wooden ones.

Finally I made these

and the dog got jealous, so he had to wear one too…. (don’t worry this one’s not really for the dog and not for sale either!)

The hat craze seems to have eased off for the moment and so I’m working on a normal project, don’t think the madness will ease though.

I’ve tried to add a link to my Etsy shop, but I can’t get it to work, any of you who are interested in my knits, its at

http://www.etsy.com/shop/TrickyLittleStitches

Thanks for popping by and happy crafting!

I have a confession to make

Well since my last blog I have been having difficulty thinking about what this one would be about.¬†I¬†enjoy my knitting but I’m sure that there are only so many times anyone who pops by can be entertained by the sight of yet another hat or knitted baby coat. So I’ve just plodded on with my knitting as usual, trying to think of inspiration for the next instalment of my blog.

Whilst I was plodding I managed to make this

 

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Its a jacket in white (honest it’s white, the lighting makes it look a weird colour.)

With its matching bonnet, I had to thread 10 metres of lilac ribbon through, and then sew it all in place. 

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The pic above shows it with its matching bonnet. I sewed on pretty lilac “pearl” beads around the hem of the jacket, the sleeve edges and the bonnet edge, and also added some white lace to the bonnet and edge of the coat. I added ¬†matching ribbon ties to the bonnet and finished these with white rosebuds.

Still contemplating my topic, I also whipped up this ballerina type wrap in age 1-2 using the lovely Debbie Bliss Prima yarn, it really is a pleasure to knit with and the finished result is lovely. 

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I wasn’t sure where to place the ribbon bow, but I think it looks ok where it is?

 

Still pondering, I knitted this snuggly winter set, which is suitable for aged 3-6 baby boys, using Robin Jelli-Been yarn

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It has a lovely texture and the pattern is quite simple but I think it’s effective too

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All this knitting and still no inspiration and so I forced myself to use up a bit of my spare yarn and made this pretty bonnet, which is in the same pattern as the first set I made

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and here is the back

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and then it hit me like a bolt of lightning (though not quite so painfully.)

 

When I started knitting again a few months ago, I had one ball of wool and 2 pairs of needles, of course I’ve had to add to my needle collection because of the different projects I have been working on.¬†

But my bureau which was once filled with cross stitching equipment has been invaded by yarn, the side of my sofa is ¬†packed with yarn, I have tins filled with accessories including my newest addition which is a row counter I can wear around my neck and just click when I finish a row, sounds dull and boring but I love it! I have a box full of beads, another full of ribbons, containers brimming with buttons….you get the drift? My dining room now has a huge washing basket full of yarn for future projects and yesterday I had to go a buy another sort of tall thin wicker container to put in my hall to fit yet more yarn in. This morning I have been planning another trip to the fantastic¬†Black Sheep Craft Barn¬†and that’s when I realised the truth….

MY NAME IS KAREN AND I’M A KNITAHOLIC

There, I’ve said it now, it’s out there in the open and a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I just can’t help myself though, yarn and all its related goodies hold a strange and evil power over me. I can’t help myself when I’m near them and so I have to go to rehab….

Hubby is whisking me away to a hotel for the night, he’s decided to try and wine me and dine me on the proviso that I don’t take the knitting needles with me, wondering if I can sneak some in some there somewhere.

Just the thought of being without my beloved knitting is making me shake and sweat a little, but we’re not going till later, so I’m off to get my fix.

WIsh me luck and happy crafting!

 

 

 

 

 

Finished knitting the dream, next please!

In my last post I mentioned that I had started knitting my dream outfit and finally after 10 days of hard slog, knitting and embellishing, she’s finished. I spent so much time with this project that I feel I had to give her a name, she became like part of the family (well that’s a bit over the top, but you get the idea?)

This set is from a Sublime knitting pattern book, the outfit itself is called “Little Vintage Christening Set” and was knitted using Sublime Bamboo & Pearls in what I would call winter white. This is a beautifully soft yarn, it literally glides along the knitting needles, and the pattern itself was really easy, basically reverse stocking stitch.

 

I started by knitting some of the 64 little “bells” that were to be sewn on as embellishments at the bottom of the coat and hat, in between finishing off another project and after knitting several parts of the coat, as I didn’t want to get to the end and have to knit them all at once. I had already decided that the outfit wouldn’t be my own without some extra additions and had bought some teardrop pearls which I sewed onto each of the bells, and I was really happy with how they looked.

What I hadn’t realised was that one it was knitted I would have to embroider chain stitch all over it. I was a bit apprehensive to say the least as I hadn’t embroidered onto knitting before and I really didn’t want to ruin my knitting, the yarn is ¬£5 a ball and I had used 7, so it was with trepidation that I got out the embroidery needle, and of course a quick visit to the trusty youtube for a quick lesson!

Here is the detail on the back and sleeves

 

I also decided to do the embroidery etc on each part of the coat as I went along, this helped me visualise how the outfit would look when complete. Of course being me, I decided that I really needed something to make this extra special and ordered some diamantes, I wasn’t sure where they would be used and after a while finally decided that they would be sewn on to the tiny bobbles at the bottom of the coat and hat. They arrived just before I went to my knit and natter group and so I took them with me. I had to buy some beading needles as the holes on the diamantes were so small. Now I am normally the queen of threading needles, but I swear these didn’t seem to even have an eye to thread, I even asked if there was thinner cotton I could buy. Cath, the wool shop owner gave me a needle threader and the whole group set to work trying to thread them, we had one broken needle and everyone gave up apart from Brenda, who sat and threaded all 4 needles for me several times so that I could keep on sewing them on. Brenda even came to live with me until the project was finished…..ok so she didn’t and I did manage when I went home but she was a great help.

Here is the completed front.

 

and the detail on one of the sleeves…

I chose some beautiful iridescent buttons for the coat, you can’t see how they catch the light, but I think they really add to the vintage feel. I also had some woven labels made and of course had to sew in one of those.

 

I also had to knit a matching bonnet, and whilst doing this decided that both this and the coat needed a little something more, so being a real glutton for punishment I decided to sew some silver bugle beads onto the stem of the leaves at the bottom of the coat and bonnet. Thankfully the beading needle came into its own here.

Here’s a close up of the detail on the bonnet

And for those of you who are still awake, the whole outfit together.

The whole thing is really heavy, it took 7 balls of yarn and with the addition of all the bling, its going to take one strong baby to wear this hehe.

I did make this to sell and I know the price of ¬£65 plus p&p might initially put some people off, but involved a LOT of hard work and creativity and not to mention the cost of the materials, I know that someone will fall in love with it and hope that maybe it becomes something that gets passed down from generation to generation. That’s a really lovely thought.

Now, back off to my knitting, happy blogging everyone and thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

Knitting The Dream

Hello again,

It’s been yet another busy week of knitting, family, and life in general. Last weekend I decided enough was enough and radical action had to be taken. I have the most gorgeous 16 month old grandson Leo, who for some reason absolutely adores his grandpa, nothing grandpa does is wrong, whereas poor old Nanny (that’s me) gets a brief smile and then he’s off back to adoring my husband. I adore my husband too, so I can see the attraction, BUT I decided to take matters into my own hands and went to spend some time without grandpa and it worked. He liked me, I did resort to bribery of course, a nice bag of white choccy buttons worked wonders and we had a lovely time playing and drawing.

On his next visit to our house I reinforced his liking of me, this time with cake! Who said grandpa knows best?

Of course I’ve been busy knitting too, this week finishing these projects. Firstly I knitted this 0-6 month cardigan with pretty edging using Sublime Baby Kapok, it is sooooo soft and was a dream to knit with. I sewed on some pretty pink pearls and found these adorable buttons while at my knit and natter group. I can never resist buying some things while I’m there, but shhh don’t tell the hubby!

I also completed this 0-6 month boys jacket using Debbie Bliss Prima, another designer yarn in a beautiful shade of green (I’m a real green freak, and when I say that I don’t mean I’m an alien, I mean I love green!) I added these lovely chunky toggles in cream and I’m really happy with the result, although I have to say this wasn’t a jacket I enjoyed knitting and I don’t know why…

Finally for my completed items I decided I would like to make something in a chunky yarn, and for some reason there aren’t that many baby patterns about but I found one for this and decided to make it in age 1-2.

I can really see this being a real winter favourite, the yarn which is Sirdar Snowdrops is soft and cuddly and the lilac is really pretty and delicate.

Once again thanks to the lovely Hannah from Little Hannah Photography¬†for the picsūüėČ

Onto my main project of the week though, and the reason behind this week’s title, I found a pattern that I absolutely fell in love with and just had to knit, it just jumped out and yelled knit me, which was a bit shocking :O

It’s described as a vintage style christening coat, with a very full “skirt” to it and some lovely edging and embroidery. It’s knitted using Sublime Bamboo and Pearls, which is quite an expensive yarn, but sometimes quality matters. I of course decided that I would add some embellishments and couldn’t wait to get started on this. I can see it in my head, I am just hoping and wishing that it turns out how I imagine. If I can complete this the way I want then I will be over the moon, it really should be the most beautiful piece of knitting I’ve worked on…..so no pressure there then.

I’m a fair way along with it already so fingers crossed I’ll have it ready for my next post.

I would like to thank everyone who takes them time to stop and read my blog and for those of you that bother to comment, thanks even more, I really appreciate it.

Don’t forget to pop over to my etsy shop and see what I have for sale.

Happy crafting everyone X

Knitting Nattering and being featured in another blog!

Well, there’s been a bit of a gap since my last blog, firstly as I’ve been really busy and secondly and most importantly, I cleverly sent all my recent knits to be photographed as I’m rubbish at it and my daughter Hannah is a photographer so it seemed silly not to use her talents.

The most important thing that happened was over a week ago now, my sister Marie makes the most amazingly wonderful cards, and asked me to send her one of my little knitted brooches, which she then used on one of her creations. She told me that it was going to be in her blog and when I read it I couldn’t stop crying, she basically dedicated her whole blog that week to ME , explaining how I’d been ill and unable to knit etc and how I’d started again. I was so moved by the blog itself, but then the lovely comments from her fellow bloggers had me reaching for the tissues again. Why not pop over and have a look at her work at Baileyrosy.com.

Last Friday was my 5th wedding anniversary and my lovely hubby gave me three choices,

1) I could have an outfit of my choice from M&S

2) I could have a piece of jewellery

3) I could go to the Craft Barn at Black Sheep Wools and choose what I wanted. For those of you not in the know, Black Sheep look fantastic on line, the phrase “kid in a sweetshop” springs to mind… and I was lucky to have found out about them via another blogger, who writes beautifully and is very crafty, Hannah Ackroyd

Well much as I love clothes and was sorely tempted by the idea of stocking up on wool, I chose the jewellery and very beautiful it is too, but the next day I asked him to take me to Black Sheep anyway and I would pay, cunning aren’t I?

I wasn’t disappointed, its absolutely amazing, its vast and stocks the most amazing yarns and accessories and has lots of bargains. I stocked up and came away a very happy bunnyūüėČ

In amongst all this I have managed to have some girly time at my local knit and nattter group (nearly typed that as knatter!) on Tuesday afternoons, I’m fairly new to the group but already I’m allowed to wander freely through the stockrooms and I love it. Plus there’s cake and coffee so I’m pretty much sorted.

Time to show off some of the things I’ve completed since my last blog, got my photos last night from Little Hannah Photography ¬†so here goes..

This is 0-6 months and was knitted using Debbie Bliss Prima yarn, which is a mix of bamboo and Merino Wool and an absolute delight to knit with, I think this one of my most favourite knits.

This pretty hoodie was knitted using a basic self striping acrylic yarn and was really good fun to make and very easy, I like to call it Raspberry Ripple.

My final baby item that has been photographed this week is this beautiful (modest aren’t I?) short cardigan in the wonderful “White Whispers” yarn by Sirdar, this being in the whisper of lilac with pink sparkly buttons for a contrast. This was so lovely to knit with as has a slight silky sheen to it.

Besides all the baby items, I decided to have a go at the scarves that the ladies in my knitting group were making and so I made this using Stylecraft Tango Glitz yarn, again it was surprisingly easy but really stylish I think.

and then this one using Rico Pompon, again simple but effective

Well that’s it for now, I’m off to my Etsy shop to list my new creations, feel free to drop in and have a mooch, until next week, happy blogging!

Back from holiday….but I was a busy knitter

Well I’ve been off to North Yorkshire for a wonderfully relaxing holiday with my hubby and my teenage son. Funnily enough and not at all planned (hehe) I just happened to “find” the most amazing wool shop in the town nearest to where we were staying. If you get the chance pop in to www.craftsofthirsk.co.uk¬†either the website or the actual shop, which is run by a lovely helpful couple. My initial reason for popping in was to see if I could find some King Cole Galaxy yarn in dk, this has sequins running through the yarn and which I thankfully did find along with a lovely pattern and I used these to make this pretty baby bolero which I think would be lovely for a wedding, christening or other special occasion…

In between our lovely days out, usually early in the morning or in the evenings, whilst keeping one eye on The Olympics, I managed to finish off the project I took with me, this was knitted using Sirdar Crofter dk, only one 50g ball made this pretty 0-6 month baby jacket. I just love the colours…

I also made a cute little mouse to match and stuffed it when I came home, its sitting on the shoulder of the jacket.

Before I left for holiday and in between the packing for us all, (as we all know boys don’t pack,) I managed to finish the little cardigan I started at the end of my last post. I think it’s so cute and surprisingly it didn’t involve the use of a cable needle.

I also took some Sirdar Baby Bamboo yarn with me that I bought from my local knitting shop, and using the same pattern as the little fairisle type jacket above I made another 0-6 month jacket, and finished it with a pretty heart shaped button. This yarn is so lovely to knit with as it just glides through your fingers and has a lovely sheen to it when finished.

Baby Bamboo Pink S/S Jacket 0-6 months

On another of my trips to the wool shop in Thirsk I came across the beautiful Baby Speckle yarn from Sirdar and another gorgeous little pattern, it is quite expensive yarn but once again it’s a dream to knit with and the results were well worth it, I almost finished this before we came home and got the buttons back here and finished this off within a couple of hours of being home, after all who needs to unpack?

Again this was knitted in age 0-6 months. I just wish I could shrink my grandson to fit this…but since I couldn’t I decided I had to knit a little something for him. I’ve only just finished it and will take some photo’s for my next post.

I also managed to knit another of my little crowns, this time in silver with pink beads, but again no photo’s as of yet since it’s hard to get it to stand up!

So as you can see it’s been a busy week, I had a wonderful holiday, did lots of lovely things like hold an owl at a falconry centre and sampled some lovely beers at the Theakstons brewery in Masham, met lots and lots of very friendly people and ate lots and lots of lovely grub. Now it’s back to reality, but at least I’ve got lots more nice yarns and patterns in my stash which I’m sure will soon be knitted up and photographed for you all to see.

I hope to add all the above to my Etsy shop in a short while, why not pop over and have a look. www.etsy.com/shop/trickylittlestitches

Thanks for wading through all the pics and I hope you’ve enjoyed them.

My Crafty Week So Far

 

Since my first blog was really an introduction to tell everyone a little bit about myself and what I make, I thought I would actually show you what I have been making this week . I hope to settle down into blogging once or twice a week, I don’t want to bore you all and scare you off with my musings, that’s not to say that I won’t be visiting lots of other blogs for inspiration and enjoyment.

When I opened my Etsy shop a few weeks ago one of friends suggested I make baby hats and I discovered a pattern for the cutest cupcake hat, here is my latest “flavour”, mint choc, in 0-3 months

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I loved adding the bugle beads on to give the effect of sprinkles, and it was a good reason to order more for my stash.

Next I made a baby bonnet in a lovely “fan and feather” pattern and using a really pretty fuchsia coloured King Cole yarn. Again this is 0-3 months and once again I had to add some beads….

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and then my daughter Hannah who is a photographer, ¬†suggested that I make a crown as a photography prop, I tried it with pearls first but on my second attempt I used crackle beads to produce a jewelled effect. I used Twilleys Goldfingering yarn to knit the crown and it was a little difficult at first but I’m pleased with the result

Gold Crown with Jewels

and my final piece of finished work is another hat, this time a newborn baby boy helmet, knitted in white double knit and contrasted with a navy pompon and navy buttons

Baby Boy Newborn Helmet

 

and my work in progress is a 0-3 month baby jacket in baby blue and a lovely twisty pattern, again double knit…

Baby Boy 0-3 blue twisty jacket

 

And my final work in progress is quite pathetic…hardly worth showing, can you guess what it is yet?

Cross Stitch

 

Well that’ all so far this week, I’ll show you my progress later on in the week, I’m sure I’ll have lots more on the go by then as I just can’t stop buying yarn and beads, but that’s another story…

You can see some more of my creations in my etsy shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/Trickylittlestitches

 

Don’t know about “Tricky Little Stitches”, these are tricky little words!

Having started knitting at the age of 15 (only a mere 31 years ago) I was quite happy to knit baby clothes for family and friends. Eventually my own three children came along and the poor things were all sent off to school in hand knitted jumpers, rather than the shop bought ones that lots of their friends were wearing. Once they were able to voice their opinions, and were tall enough to argue with me, I had to find another outlet for my knitting and quite by chance came across American “reborn” dolls, for those of you not in the know they are dolls that were altered to look and feel like real human babies.

Now the Americans were really into the swing of this by the time I happened upon  it, but as usual we were lagging behind and the dolls were only just becoming popular here. A kind lady offered to make me a doll, which was to look like my daughter, and in return I knitted her several outfits of her choice, which she would dress her creations in and then sell the fully dressed dolls. For one reason or another, not many American ladies seemed to hand knit, and so I began making outfits to order and became so busy I had quite a long waiting list. Unfortunately about 6 years ago became unable to knit, due to an injury and with great regret had to lay down my needles. Sad as it may sound, it felt like I had lost an old friend.

Recently I attended a craft fair with my sister who is an immensely talented lady, she makes the most amazing handmade cards, (why not pay her a visit at Baileyrosy.com ) and although the wool and knitting needles were calling my name, I decided to attempt something that I have never tried before and which I had always secretly wished I could do, the art of stitching. After receiving some advice, I started with long stitch, and was instantly hooked. It was basically like painting by numbers but with thread, and I wished that I had tried it years ago, it was so much fun and really quick and easy to do.

I quickly became hooked and found a lovely series of seasons by Anchor, each one portraying a different view through a window, These were trickier designs, with LOTS of detail, and to top it all there were some mistakes in the printing, which I had to work out. To be honest, I considered there only being 3 seasons in a year, as “summer” was proving impossible, but I decided that changing the whole thinking of millions of people would be slightly trickier than working out the problems and my persistence paid off, the four seasons are now complete and gracing my hall. I am immensely proud of myself, big pat on the back to me!

I am now even braver, having begun to cross stitch, which is even more satisfying, and I have decided to share my skills by producing hand stitched samplers for births, birthdays, weddings etc. These will be personalised with names dates etc.

In amongst all this I decided to try knitting again, and have knitted lots of lovely brooches, onto which I have hand sewn beads to make them look a little more unusual. I am loving all this craftiness and can’t believe I had 6 years of a tidy living room. My poor family are now surrounded by yarn, beads, bits of felt and lots and lots of embroidery floss. My wonderfully patient husband claims that if I committed a crime, the threads that follow me everywhere will give me away….

Well I hope you’ve enjoyed my first blog, all my lovely brooches and cross stitch items can be found for sale in my Etsy shop, which now include lots of lovely knitted baby hats at ¬†www.etsy.com/shop/trickylittlestitches¬†why not pop in and have a look. Please follow me and I will show you my new creations, which I hope you will enjoy looking at as much as I have enjoyed creating them.

Heres a sneaky peek at one of my hats….

Bye for now

Kal

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