Archive for April, 2013

Maybe it’s just bad luck, but it seemed like there was a serious shortage of qualifying free patterns this week.  Fortunately, there were still some lovely patterns to choose from, so after much deliberating (and drafting this post but forgetting to actually publish it yesterday – oops!) here’s this week’s Freebie Friday!

Freebie Friday rules are a little different to Ravelry Monday rules, and are as follows:

  • The pattern needs to be free.
  • The pattern does not HAVE to be a Ravelry download, but must be listed on Ravelry.
  • The pattern must have a photo clearly showing the item.
  • The pattern still needs to produce a professional looking item and have the necessary information for potential makers.
  • Clothing for adults must still be available in plus sizes.
  • An item showcased on Freebie Friday may still be showcased on Ravelry Monday, if it fits the brief for that day.

So, without further faffing, here are my favourite free designs of the week!


Old Shale Shawl

This is a lovely, simple shawl design with an attractive scalloped lace section repeating through the body.  It’s triangle shaped, knit in a warm, ample aran weight, and is available as a free Ravelry download.


Fair Isle Wrist Warmers

Sometimes you don’t want a pattern to knit up something large.  Sometimes you have lots of little leftovers from other projects and just want to make something quick and pretty.  The fair-isle knitting design on this delicate, feminine wristwarmer is very sweet, and a great stash-buster.  The fine, fingering-weight pattern is available as a free Ravelry download.



Here’s something a little different.  An unusual pair of fitted, DK-weight long armwarmers with a unique charted colourwork design.  These look really different, and are available as a free Ravelry download.


Misty Mountains Scarf

Knitters release free patterns for all sorts of reasons.  Some knitters like to release freebies simply because they enjoy sharing their designs.  Others release free patterns to encourage people to like and enjoy their other, for-sale, work.  And sometimes a knitter will come up with a really great design that ties in with their fandom.  The Misty Mountains scarf is gorgeous, with Tolkein’s Elvish running along the length of it,  and is available as a free Ravelry download.

That’s it for this week’s Freebie Fridays!  Disagree with my selection?  Come across a pattern since Friday 20th April that’s free, on Ravelry, and worthy of next week’s post?  Tell me about it in the comments!

My fabrics arrived today!  In the end, I went with the pretty purple/cream blend, picked up a couple more fat quarters to compliment them, and am currently sitting here gently stroking the aubergine microdot cotton against my cheek, so very much in love with it.  I got lucky, managing to pick up the last fat quarter pack in that colourway.  The microdots were almost lost to me forever!

Oh, sweet love.

I’ve not yet started cutting onto my precious fabric, but I have got some photos of my planning and practice to tease you with.  Because I am a terrible, terrible tease.

DSCN0508 DSCN0509 DSCN0510 DSCN0511

Liebster Award?!

Posted: 18/04/2013 in Uncategorized

I’m nominated for a Liebster award?  Yay!

This is certainly an unexpected happy-making moment!  After receiving my nomination, I took the time to go and find out what it’s all about.  The Liebster aware works like this:

1. Post eleven facts about myself

2. Answer the questions given to me by the person who nominated me

3. Invent eleven questions to ask people whom I wish to nominate for the award

4. Choose eleven people (with fewer than 200 followers) to give this award to and link to them in my post.

5. Go to their blog and tell them.


Eleven Facts About Me!

  1. I’m from Essex, and am very much an Eastend girl at heart.
  2. I’m a Norse Pagan, but not a reconstructionist.
  3. I drink way too much cheap coffee.
  4. I actually prefer herbal tea to coffee, but ration it to save money.
  5. I have far too many hobbies.
  6. I’m a writer!  I’ve had one piece of work published and have ghost-written several other pieces for others.
  7. My life will never feel complete until I have kept at least one ferret, rescued one hedgehog and milked one goat.
  8. I’m a little obsessed with bats.
  9. I absolutely cannot deal with the heat.
  10. Nothing is as nice as going for a walk on a damp, grey, rainy day when the wind is strong enough to sting your cheeks.
  11. I love Autumn.  The colours, the Pagan holidays, the feeling of celebration and harvest and plenty and the approaching restfulness of a sleeping world.


Question Time for Me!

  1. Tea or Coffee? – Coffee!  Unless by tea you mean rosehip and hibiscus, liquorice and spices, or fennel herbal tea.  Because those are lush.
  2. What do you do to unwind every evening? –  In theory I unwind by knitting, but in practice I sit there looking slightly put-out while my boy cat, Loosh’, smothers my lap and lays across both my arms, stopping me from doing much of anything.
  3. Do you have any pets? – Two cats, Looshkin and Splodge, and I suppose I could count the bees currently nesting in the roof, since I feed and water them.
  4. Why did you start your blog? – I really wanted to write more.  I love writing, but I find it really hard to keep up with practice, even going so far as to fail at 750words, let alone NaNoWriMo.  Writing a blog about hobbies I love doing and love sharing has turned out a far better way of going about it.
  5. What’s your favourite type of music? – I have eclectic tastes!  My playlist includes hippy stuff like Damh the Bard, unusual stuff like Yat Kha, British classics like Oasis and Skunk Anansi, and a lot of metal.  Probably easier to say my current favourite musicians/bands are The Protomen, Diablo Swing Orchestra, Professor Elemental and Nine Inch Nails.
  6. Do you have any favourite colour combinations? Purple, black and white is a nice, striking combination.  Red, grey and black works well, too.
  7. In a nutshell, what is your blog about?  Crafts!  It’s a blog for sharing my projects and patterns, sharing tutorials, resources and freebies with other crafters.
  8. Are you in school? College? Working? Where do you work or what are you studying?  Currently unemployed, or as our beloved government and Daily Mail readers would call it, workshy scrounger scum.
  9. Any favourite foods?  Tear off a chunk from a tiger bread baguette and pass the hummus!
  10. What’s your favourite time of year?  Autumn.  It’s the time of my favourite Pagan holidays, the weather is cooler, the allotment is bursting with produce and the world turns to such gorgeous colours.
  11. What makes your blog different?  Possibly the fact that I’m somewhat less averse to swearing like a bleedin’ sailor than other craft bloggers?


My Questions For Others!

  1. If you could save one species from extinction, what would it be?
  2. What’s you’re favourite genre of fiction?
  3. Do you have any pets?
  4. So what’s your blog about, anyway?
  5. Cooking or Take Out?
  6. What’s your favourite holiday?
  7. If you could make one thing about the world different before you died, what would you change?
  8. What’s your favourite celebration food?
  9. How long have you been blogging for?
  10. What’s your favourite way to move your body?
  11. What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?


My Nominations, in no particular order.

  1. Knits for Life
  2. Fat, Fashionable and Feminist
  3. Wool and Chocolate
  4. Knitting in the Garden
  5. Colour Cottage
  6. Opusanglicanum
  7. Suzy Sells Sea Shells
  8. Tutus and Tiny Hats
  9. Little Stitch
  10. Stitch Play
  11. Mahoor Jamal

This is Ravelry Mondays, a weekly event where I pick three-five patterns seen on Ravelry that week, and share them on this blog.  Some weeks will be themed, and there are some rules.

In order for a pattern to qualify it must:

  • Be on Ravelry
  • Be available for download either on Ravelry or from another website – no patterns only available in print or magazines, but it doesn’t have to be free
  • Have at least one photo clearly showing the item as a whole
  • Have at least one photo where the item is not being manipulated, so we can see accurately how it hangs and fits
  • Must have the necessary minimum information on the ravelry page – sizing info where applicable, yardage, yarn weight, etc
  • Clothing items will only qualify if they are available in plus sizes
  • Only one pattern per designer per week

It’s typical, isn’t it?  As soon as I start trying to choose a single category to draw inspiration from for the next Ravelry Monday there’s an explosion of beautiful things.  There were masses of beautiful sweaters, mitts, hats, even more pretty shawls… and so many clothes in plus and straight sizes!  But in the end, it was cowls that won out this week.  There were just too many creative, beautiful, unusual designs in cowls, and since it’s Spring I know it’ll probably be too warm to wear them soon, so I won’t get another chance to gush about them for a while.

What made things even harder this week, was that I very rapidly passed my limit on the number of items I can highlight!  Choosing between them was really difficult, but in the end, these were the five I felt simply HAD to be shared.

Err Nerr Cowl

This is a very attractive cowl, with a simple but pleasing repetitive stitch pattern that breaks up the colour striping very nicely.  As this is a fingering weight cowl, it’s light to wear and drapes softly whether worn about the neck or up as a hood.  A great transition piece to wear in early Spring, available as a free Ravelry download.

Wired Cowl

Why yes, that is a barbed wire pattern on that cowl!  I thought this was such a fun design, and different to what’s usually available.  It’s a great way to play with cables for a unique, gothic look, and the shape of the cowl makes it very versatile.  Wear over the shoulders as shown, as a hood or bunched about the neck like a scarf.  Knit in a DK weight yarn, this would be great for chilly days, and is available for download at Ravelry for under £3.

Spill The Wine Cowl

Here’s another different cowl!  The delicate, contrasting lace panel is applied over the solid backing, making it both pretty and robust.  This is another fingering-weight cowl, so the double layer won’t feel too bulky, and the plain section is broken up nicely with some simple, textural striping.  This cowl is available for download on Ravelry for just a penny over £3.

Antiopa Cowl

Cowls don’t only have to be circular affairs.  This simple, sweet cowl is based off a rectangle shape, making it a great beginner item to knit, and the way it clasps at the side gives it a lovely, flattering v-shape at the bst.  The repeating lace pattern is understated and works well.  Sadly this cowl isn’t available for individual download, but the ebook it belongs it is available for download on Ravelry for about £10, which for 18 beautiful patterns including cowls, socks, mitts and hats, isn’t a bad price.

Seedlings Cowl

I really like this final offering.  The worsted weight yarn used gives this cowl a chunky, youthful and casual look, while the lace pattern keeps it just a little bit feminine.  The repeating lace pattern on this cowl is really nice – it has a classic feel to it, but still looks very different from the usual leafy designs with the rounded forms and striking vertical lines.  Made with a heavier weight yarn, this would be a great cowl for colder weather.  This cowl is available for download on Ravelry for under £5.

So there you have it!   Think I missed an even better pattern?  Have ideas for the theme for next week?  Share it in the comments!

So, I’m currently working on drafting a simple sewing pattern for the knitting needle roll I’ve probably needed for about six months now, and would really appreciate the input of my fabulously stylish readers!  All five of you!

I’m currently waiting on a couple of FQ of this rather stunning fabric:

Yes, that’s hummingbirds on a pretty, blue background with what looks like little star-shaped microdots.

Now, I want some complimentary fabrics, so I’m thinking of spending my next bit of treat money on one of these FQ bundles:

Pretty gingham with contrasting red and blue, red microdots and a couple complimentary fabrics

Red and white polkadots and microdots with a blue strawberry-printed fabric to tie the blue hummingbird fabric in with it all

Lots of pretty blues with microdots and stripes and floral patterns, with pink contrasting elements.

A stronger focus on strawberries, with more blue than red, and some multicoloured microdots

A more grown up range of blue and white florals and microdots, to compliment the hummingbird fabric

Or I could say to hell with it, use the hummingbird FQs for something else and treat myself to one of these two bundles:


Purple IS my favourite colour…

What does everyone think?  I have until Wednesday to decide, and whatever I do I’ll probably release a tutorial, make a second roll and maybe have a giveaway to let people win a roll for themselves.

Which fabric selection would you like to see the roll in?  What sort of selection would you like to WIN a knitting needle roll in?  Leave your answers in the comments!