Saturday, September 18, 2010

Where did the summer go?

Its been a while since I last blogged. Blog Week in May left me all blogged out, and then I blinked and Summer was over and Fall is now here. So I thought I'd give a quick roundup of whats been happening.

In June I got married.

We bought a house in Minturn, CO. It needs a lot of love.

I also spent a fair amount of time on my mountain bike, in our tent at random locations throughout Colorado, and hiking some splendid mountains in the Rockies. There was some work thrown into the mix too - but unfortunately a limited amount of knitting.
However - now the weather has started to turn autumnal and the evenings are drawing in; the needles have been dusted off, the sofa has become my knitting haven and I have some deliciously chunky yarn on its way to becoming a cozy cowl!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

What a Yarn: knitcroblo7

One of the greatest yarns I have ever used is the Twinkle 'Soft Chunky' Yarn. It is amazingly soft, deliciously thick and comes in some truly gorgeous colours. I originally bought this yarn in the kelly green and coral colours, and loved it so much I couldn't resist buying two more skeins when I visited Fancy Tiger in Denver - more yarn for my ever-growing stash. With the kelly green I made this super toasty cable hat, which knit up in just a few hours. It turned out so well, I made another one in the coral!!!

Cable hat made from Twinkle Soft Chunky Yarn in Kelly Green!

Cable hat made from Twinkle Soft Chunky Yarn in Coral!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Revisit a past F/O: knitcroblo6

I thought this topic would give me a great excuse to share a few piccies of gorgeous Florence wearing a hat I made her - the first one was taken at 3 weeks old - the second at about 3 months - unfortunately it is almost too small for her now - but isn't she just delicious !!! (Maybe a little scared in the first picture !!).

3 weeks old!

3 months old!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Location, Location, Location: knitcroblo5

Yellowstone NP, taking a wee break from knitting, watching Chris fly-fishing!
I don't have a specific spot or place where I always knit - I pretty much take my knitting most places (in my awesome Cath Kidston knitting bag), and if I have a free few minutes and feel so inclined, I'll pick up the sticks and do a few rows. I really don't like to waste time, so if I can be productive with my down time, then thats always a bonus!! The most memorable places I've knitted are - Yellowstone National Park, sat watching Chris fish. It really was an idyllic spot, and a pretty relaxing experience. I was a little worried a bear might stumble upon us, or a big old buffalo. Fortunately neither creature decided to visit that day !! I've also been known on occassion to bring my knitting to the Sports Bar in Vail, on a Football Sunday, and sit and knit while Chris cheered on the Chicago Bears - I'll admit I got a few odd glances, but I have absolutely no interest in American Football and didn't want to waste 4 hours watching it !!! So my philosophy for knitting is anytime, anyplace !!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A New Skill: knitcroblo4

Having read a lot of blogs about knitting this week I stumbled across 'Entrelac'. Having not heard about this technqiue before I eagerly googled it. Wikipedia told me that 'entrelac is a knitting technique used to create a textured diamond pattern - while the end result resembles basket-woven strips of knitted fabric, the actual material comprises interconnected squares on two different orientations'. Cool.

A wonderful example of Entrelac

I then read through a few patterns on Ravelry and I think I could potentially manage a little 'entrelac' project - maybe with my mums help!! This is therefore the new skill I would like to learn.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

One Great Kniter: knitcroblo3

I have to say Jane Richmond is right up there as one of my favorite knitters/designers. She comes up with such wonderful designs, using bright, vibrant yarns. Her patterns are brilliant, and easy to follow. She has a fabulous flair for photography - the photos of her knitted delights are great!! She makes such wearable, fashionable items. I come away from her blog and ravelry page inspired !!! Thank you Jane !!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

An Inspirational Pattern: knitcroblo2

Over the last year I feel I have challenged myself in my knitting projects. From just making hats and scarfs a year ago, I now have bags, cowls, a kicking bag for my beautiful niece Flo, and handwarmers in my repertoire. I've also tried my hand at colourwork, cabling and felting, and attempted to design some of my own hats. So what next .................

Well - I aspire to make a Cardigan for myself - and as I live in a ski town, I'm thinking a Ski Cardi !! This would allow me to practice my colourwork on a bigger scale and give me a great toasty piece of clothing to wear at the end of it.

The Ski Cardi I want to make - unfortunately I need to find a pattern for it!!

It would be the most ambitious undertaking in my knitting career thus far - and I'm sure it would take a ridiculous amount of time, tears and stress - but at some point in the next few years - a hand-knitted ski cardi will be perhced upon my shoulders and be the envy of all the other ski chicks in town!!!

Unfortunately the pattern for this desired cardi is still undiscovered. However while I was searching for it - I did stumble across this EPIC pattern. A His and Her matching ski jumper and cardi combo. I'm sure Chris and I would look adorable in these - I can see the Christmas card picture already !!!

His and her ski jumper and cardi!

(If anyone knows of any great Ski Cardi patterns - I would love to hear about them please !!)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Starting Out: knitcroblo1

My first introduction to knitting was probably a cunning plan of my mum's, who, when we were age 6 or 7, gave my sisters and I a toilet paper roll, four lollipop sticks and a ball of yarn and we were shown how to french knit.

Knitting Nancy - or Snake Maker

I believe they are called Knitting Nancy's - we just called them Snake Makers - because we ended up with yards and yards of tubing that looked like snakes. It really was a pointless project as there wasn't much we could do with the final product - but it entertained us for hours - if not days - trying to compete with my sisters to see how long we could make our snakes !! A very clever idea of my mums - as it kept us out her hair for days !!

Said SNAKE !!

It was several years later that I actually learnt to knit with needles. I dabbled a little with it in my teens but never really finished any projects - easily distracted. In my twenties I decided to rekindle my knitting relationship and decided to knit a turquoise scarf - easy first project I thought - my mum patiently showed me the main techniques - and I headed back to Uni with knitting in tow !! The Royal Mail was kept in business that year, as almost weekly I sent my knitting back to my mum to correct dropped stitches. She would send it back, fixed and about 10 cms longer - at one point I sat on my needle and broke it in half - that time the knitting was sent back on chop sticks!!! Thank goodness for MUM !!! After that knitting attempt - which took several months to finish - knitting and I took a little break!

My wonderful mumma - knitting away last summer,

but being somewhat distracted by the delicious Url !!

When I started spending winters in the snow after Uni - I was reacquainted with knitting and tried making hats. This actually worked out super well - I think it was because they were pretty quick knits. After making several for myself - I started knitting for my friends too - the rest is history. Today I make around 70 hats a year!!! I love it. I think knitting and I will be hanging out for many years to come !!!

One of the first hats I made - Hot Pink!

With my friend Emma on the chair lift in Whistler!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Knit and Crochet Blog Week

Eskimimi Knits has organised a fabulous Knit and Crochet Blog Week - starting Monday. Seven days, seven topics - a community of bloggers all talking about elements of their craft in their own unique way. Should be interesting!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I'm thinking Reindeer !!!

After many hours of concentration, plenty of counting, and a few moments of stress - I have finished the lovely Olympic Hat !!!!

I am pretty happy with the way it turned out, except next time I would certainly remove a few rows - because even though I like slouchy - this hat is a little too long. I would potentially add a nice big bobble too!

The only question that remains is - moose or reindeer ???? I'm thinking REINDEER !!

The finished hat !!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Green Knitting

I stumbled across this great link and wonderful concept !!! Recycle old pieces of fabric such as T-shirts and pillow cases and reinvent them into something useable and fun !!! I will be digging through my wardrobe this weekend and Chris' (he'll be away on his bachelor party in Chicago - so while the cats away - I'll be taking his old holey clothes !!!) and I'll slice them up and make a ball of unique, one of a kind yarn - the only question is what to do with that - suggestions please !!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Moose or Reindeer?

The first thing I noticed about the US Olympic team as they entered BC Place during the Opening Ceremony in Vancouver, were there wonderful hats - and then I spotted their horrendous turtleneck jumpers !! Fortunately my attention went back to the hat. Hat envy took over. The idea of making said hat was inconceivable. Now don't get me wrong..... I knit a lot of hats, but hats with moose on them (or are they reindeer??) - was very much outside my scope of practice !!!

It wasn't until a few weeks ago that I met a very lovely lady at the PT clinic where I work, who was extremely keen to find a pattern for the TEAM USA hat. A couple of clicks on Ravelry later and I stumbled across this amazing pattern by Helena Bristow. So delighted in the pattern, (and maybe my PT treatment ??) - she generously gave me the yarn needed for the hat as a gift, and said I should give it a go !!!!

So after a little visit to the Yarn Studio, and Cathy's marvellous tuition, I learned the fairisle/stranding method of knitting and my Olympic hat is now very much underway..............

I'm using Lambs Pride Worsted Navy Sailor and White Frost Yarn

Just about to start the moose/reindeer - so excited about how its turning out!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

St.Patricks Day.........

A few days late, but this was my entry to the Etsy Shredwear St. Patricks Day competition - a cosy clover cowl. Knitted in seed stitch, with gorgeous kelly green wool. A knitted leprechaun outfit would have been even cooler - maybe that will be next years entry !!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Dropping Stitches

I learnt a new stitch - and I am very excited by how it looks. Its called a 'drop stitch'.

Combining the drop stitch with a garter stitch formed this toasty tube scarf !!

Its super easy to do - knit each stitch as normal, but instead of wrapping the wool around the needle once, wrap it 3 times. Repeat on all the stitches across the row. On the next row, knit each stitch, dropping the extra wrap off the needle as you complete the stitch.

To make the tube scarf as seen, I used size 15 mm straight needles (US 19), garter stitch for 8 rows and then one row of drop stitch, repeating this sequence until in was long enough to wrap around my neck twice. I then cast off using the 'three needle bind off technique'. Dropping stitches has never been so fun !!

Wear it long or wear it wrapped multiple times around your neck to keep you extra snug !!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

ETSY Shredwear Team Member

Etsy Shredwear has officially become an Etsy team - and immidesigns is an official member!!

Check out the blog - and learn about the other members who are handmaking clothing & accessories for all you snowboarders and skiers out there. I'm loving the bandanas from Cyanide Stitches - too cool !!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


My beautiful niece Florence Grace Bellairs was born on December 3rd 2009 !!!! I was lucky enough to spend her first Christmas with her in the UK, and it really was the best Christmas in a very long time !!!

Flo in her festive Christmas outfit with Auntie Hels

I decided the birth of my very first niece was a great excuse to knit a really awesome baby outfit and perhaps follow a complicated knitting pattern for the first time too !!!!!! I found an adorable pattern in Pipsqueak Knits. This wonderful 'Sleepy time - sleep sac' pattern looked great. Ideal for little Flo to kick her legs around in, whilst still keeping nice and snug in her very own sleeping bag.

This is how it looked in the book

.........and this is the finished product with Flo looking delicious !!

The knifty knitter hat, which I also made, kept her lovely little noggin warm - albeit with a bobble that I might even have to agree was a little too big !!!!!

So darn cute it almost makes me want to have one - and then I remember my poor sister being a sleep deprived, 24 hour milk bar, with those poor swollen ankles............and I'm swiftly reminded that there REALLY is plenty of time for all that !!!!!!!