Monday, 29 June 2015

Beautiful Bunting.

All these lovely beach huts around us at the seaside and even in Chester gave me and Sarah the idea of lovely beach hut bunting knitted and crochet.

I think we have beach huts on the brain as I just want to share with you the ones I found in Bournemouth a few years ago. There were rows and rows of them in beautiful colours all along the sea front.

So.... back to the knitting.

This week I am going to share with you knitted beach hut bunting.
We are using Rowan Summerlite 4ply in four beautiful colours. You can look at the full range of colours on the Rowan website 

We choose 4 colours from the range to work our bunting in, lovely tonal soft pastels.

I have to admit I struggled getting the shape right on this. I started knitting one with moss stitch edge and stocking stitch centre but it wouldn't sit flat so I pulled it back. Then I knitted one that looked like a house.... (it needs pressing and ends sewn in and pinning into shape) but its not too bad but not beach huts so I tried again.

So then I knitted this one below and decided I was nearly there with a bit of tweeking.

so here is the basic pattern:-

NB- when changing colours make sure you twist the yarns at the back to avoid a hole
We used 4 colours
3mm needles 
size : 8cm x 12cm
tension: 28 sts and 46 rows to 10 cm measured over st st on 3mm needles

With 3mm needles and colour A cast on 22sts

Row 1: *k1, p1 rep from * to end
Row 2: *p1, k1 rep from * to end
These 2 rows form the moss st
Work a further 2 rows in moss st
Change to colour B
Work 4 rows in moss st
Change to colour A
Work 4 rows in moss st
Cont in moss stitch and 2 colour, 4 row stripe until you have worked 28 rows
Next row: join in colour C and knit 4 sts, in colour B moss st 14sts, in colour C knit 4 sts
Next row: in colour C purl 4 sts, in colour B moss st 14sts, in colour C purl 4sts.
Work the last 2 rows once more
Next row: k3, sl 1, k1, psso in colour C, moss st 12 sts in colour A, in colour C k2tog, k3
Next row: p4 in colour C, moss st 12sts in colour A , p4 in colour C
Next rowk3, sl 1, k1, psso in colour C, moss st 10 sts in colour A, in colour C k2tog, k3
Next row:  p4 in colour C, moss st 10sts in colour A , p4 in colour C
Cont as set with colour and stripe , dec 1 st at each side as before on every right side row until 8 sts 
work 1 row in colour C
Next row: (RS) k2, sl 1, k2tog, psso, k2. 6sts
Next row: purl
Next row: k2, sl 1, k2tog, psso, k1
Next row: p1, p2tog tbl, p1
Next row: sl 1, k2tog, psso
fasten off

sew in all loose ends.

Here is the finished one

You can make as many as you want in lots of different colours. Add buttons or embroidery to fancy them up and attach them to a ribbon or cord. You can even make solid coloured ones with doors on as I will show you next week but using the basic bunting pattern as a guide.
I will show you the finished bunting next week after I have knit a few more and embellished them.

Sarah will be back off her jollies as well with her crochet bunting next week so looking forward to seeing that. 
If anyone wants to share any knitted or crochet bunting we would love to see all your makes. Lets hope the sun keeps shining so we can hang them outside.
Have a lovely week Helen xx

Sunday, 21 June 2015

The Best Laid-Plans........

In the words of that great man Robert Burns, 'The best-laid plans of mice and men oft(en) go astray'

We have had a busy week, Helen and I, what with one thing and another. Therefore our knitted bunting will be posted next week. I am afraid that life has got in the way this week!

Flowers for a friend

Anyway as usual you do not find us lost for words. I have been keeping busy this week preparing some very special flowers for a friend's funeral, which was a time for celebration of a life well lived. 

I was also getting ready for the Race for Life Pretty Muddy Challenge at Tatton Park, in both memory and in celebration of friends and family, who have and still are fighting this condition. Their bravery always astounds me! 
Bring on the MUD.......

We did say bring it on!!
Did we really sign up to get
this muddy?

Of course we did!!! 

Off to the finish line!
Same time next year.....? Of course!
So there we go that has been my week! Thanks to my Daughter and sister-in-law for getting muddy alongside me, it is so much more fun in a group, also to all the fabulous volunteers who make the whole thing possible especially my knitting buddy Veronica, a survivor and an inspiration.

It is a GREAT cause!!!

The bunting will be here next week.....thanks for understanding!

Monday, 15 June 2015

Beautiful St.Ives !!!

What a fabulous week I had in St.Ives, Cornwall with my family. This is a place I could pack everything up and move down to and live the "flip flop"  life as I call it.

Firstly let me show you the view that I woke up to every day.
And the house that we stayed in that was amazing and in the perfect location.

So did I take any knitting or crochet with me?

 I think you know the answer to that!

I find it easy to pick my crochet up, whether I am in the car or in bed so I only had with me this small selection. I am putting together a few workshops for the Autumn so this is what I worked on when I had a spare minute, but there weren't very many.
The shops in St.Ives are amazing, me and my daughter can spend hours just browsing around the little cobbled streets.

And I also found a wool shop !!! House of Bartlett,

 and it had a knitted hanging basket outside, how fabulous!

The lady that owned it was called Kay and she was so lovely. I could have spent hours talking to her and looking at all the beautiful wools. 
If you are down in Cornwall call in at The Drill Hall, Chapel Street, St.Ives. 

When I am out and about I always take photos of random things. My family think I am mad but I bet if you are creative you do the same.

Here are a few extra photos I have to share with you.

A glass window

Wallpaper in a little coffee shop

A tiled Wall

Beach Huts in a gift shop

Well Helen thank you for sharing your holiday snaps with us, I too love St Ives and its little streets with quirky shops. House of Bartlett is a lovely little wool shop too!
I managed a day in Chester whilst you were away and also found some beach huts! Don't they just make you feel happy?

All these lovely beach huts have got me and Sarah thinking 'beach hut bunting'.
So look out for the knitted version next week then a crochet version the week after.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

British Summertime!

Well what a week, you would not know that British Summertime started on Monday I think we have had all the seasons in one week. I don't know about you but I find it so hard to decide what to wear in this weather, ending up in lots of layers either adding or removing them as the day goes on.
Summer flowers inspire colour choices

I really do love my shawls and cowls when it is like this as they add light layers that keep you nice and cosy and there are so many lovely patterns to chose from. 

If you are a regular visitor to our blog then you may remember that I had put together some beautiful yarns to show you how a good root around in your stash can produce some lovely colour mixes. 

Just a reminder of the yarns from my stash 
With small amounts of yarn like this you can make a lovely short cowl which sits nicely around your neck without being too warm and it uses up those yarns which so often sit unused in our boxes of stash. It is also easy to fold up and pop into your bag when the sun finally comes out.

My completed cowl a perfect size for this variable weather
This short cowl is so easy to make and although my yarns varied from an aran weight, double knitting and the beautifully fine Rowan Kidsilk haze I used a 5mm hook throughout and the finish is lovely. There is no specific colour code, I just pick up the next one I want to use and quite honestly do as many or as few rounds as the yarn allows.

I made mine in the round, however if you do not feel confident with this it can bee done on the straight and joined at the end. If I am honest though it is a great way to practice working in the round. Why not give it a try?

Sarah's Short Cowl

Foundation Row:

With 5mm/5.5mm hook and first colour make 100 chain (+ or - to suit you)

Turn and work 1 row as follows:
 2ch (counts as first dc), 1 dc into each ch to end sl st into top of 2ch to form a ring. (taking care not to twist the row)*
*(you can join the round when you have completed the chain, however I like to work one row so that I have less chance of twisting the round)

Round 1:

 3 ch (counts as first tr) 1 tr into each tr to end, sl st into top of 3 ch at beg of round.

Rep round 1 throughout, changing colour when you choose to until it is the required depth for you.

Last Round

2ch (counts as first dc) 1 dc into each tr to end, sl st into top of 2ch at beg of round and fasten off.

Sew in your ends. It's finished

When you have completed your cowl take a good look at it because it is your design and will be as individual as you are. Well done!

Watch out though this can become addictive!

I would also like to show you a fabulous shawl pattern, which if you follow us on Instagram and face book you will have already seen, it is the 'Elise' Shawl designed by Evan Plevinksi you can find it here It is beautiful to make and I just used one ball of Wendy Happy Feet to make it, take a look. Best of all this pattern is free!
I plan to take it on holiday with me for those cool evenings when a jacket is too much but you still need something around your shoulders.

So Pretty!!
Well that's it for this week, Helen is back from her family holiday to Cornwall today so I am sure we will have lost's to natter about next week. Until then, have a fabulous week it is definitely the time of year to get your needles & hooks out in the great outdoors. Enjoy!