Category Archives: KniCroBloWeek2012

The 3rd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week: Not quite done yet!

The manic posting spree is over, but there are competitions still running!

Voting is open right now for the best post in the “Something a Bit Different” category, where bloggers were asked to get creative with their posting.

I’m very pleased to say my Yarn Personality Test  is one of the 10 finalists!

So this a reminder to go check out all the amazing posts from that challenge and cast your vote here. Even you didn’t write any posts for this week, this is still one way you can get involved!

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Knitting And Crochet Blog Week – Day 7: Crafting Balance

It’s the last day of Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, and here I am talking about how I should do less knitting.

I have also been known to sew on occasion. In fact I learnt sewing long before knitting. Just as I was getting some serious sewing chops, I discovered that knitting was way easier and more portable and didn’t require messing up half the living room. My fabric stash has lain untouched for a very long time and I don’t even have any finished sewing projects that I wear regularly (Interestingly, my yarn and fabric stashes are the same volume – one big IKEA box and a bag of scraps I like to deny the existence of).

Honestly, the last time I got out my sewing machine was kind of traumatic: I had already left it aside for a year and when I unzipped the case I found a dried up little cocoon just inside the zip. “Wow I’ve not used this for a while!” I thought. Then I took the machine out of the case. There was a dead cabbage white butterfly at the bottom.

Words cannot describe the strange feelings this scene evoked, about the futility of life, the regret of not sewing more and also how icky dead bugs are.

Anyway the point is, I need to sew more!

Nothing motivates you towards achieving your goals like declaring them for everyone to see in advance, so here are 3 sewing projects I want to “balance” (ding ding! titleword!) out my knitting with this year.

I bought this dress a while ago at a vintage fair. It’s super-smart but it also has construction problems that need fixing before I can wear it.

This is a Liberty lawn summer dress I started making the last time I felt the need to sew. It’s been lying around with no hems or button bands for far too long.

The skirt is my first attempt at pattern-drafting and as such fits terribly. It must be ripped apart and rebuilt. Stronger, faster, and with more features.


I hope you enjoyed reading my posts for this fabulous blog week!


All of my Knit and Crochet Blog Week posts are collected here

You can read everyone else’s Day 7 posts here.


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Knitting And Crochet Blog Week – Day 6: Improving Your Skillset

Today’s topic is all about levelling up your knitting-related skills. But instead of just talking smack about my mad skillz, I’m going to get proactive.

You see, there is one particular unmastered skill I’ve been wilfully avoiding: Sock- darning.

My first ever knitted sock took 3 years of battering before finally getting a hole in the toe.  It shall sit around at the bottom of my sock pile no longer!

THRILL!! As I darn a sock before your very eyes!

MARVEL!! At how long it takes me to find the right colour of yarn!

WONDER!! At the barely adequate results!

So here is the sock and here is the hole. Luckily it’s pretty small and just caused by snagged yarn, rather than overall thinning from wear. Oh and it sits entirely inside a grey stripe. Very convenient!

Today I will be following the Knitty guide to reinforcing socks. I have assembled my tools…

Favourite needles, darning mushroom, scissors and leftover sock yarn

and the next step is to unwind the leftover sock yarn until I hit a grey run. Unfortunately Opal sock yarn has some pretty long colour runs, so 9 metres of yarn later, I finally get to some grey.

Let’s face this hole head on and get to the darning.

STEP 1: Horizontal running stitches. The nice easy part. Doesn’t it look neat so far?

STEP 2: Vertical running stitches. These must weave in and out of the horizontal ones. Not too shabby-looking if I say so myself!

STEP 3: Attempt at duplicate stitch to hide the darning and all ends. Ok, I got a bit lost here because the stitches blend into each other so much…

The end! It’s kind of lumpy, but I think I did ok. This is definitely the most thrilling post I’ve written all week.


All of my Knit and Crochet Blog Week posts are collected here

You can read everyone else’s Day 6 posts here.


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Knitting And Crochet Blog Week – Day 5: Something A Bit Different

Have you ever wondered to yourself  “If I was a yarn, which yarn would I be?”. I just know you have!

Wonder no more! Follow my extremely accurate* Yarn Personality Test and find out! Just click the picture to see the glorious full-size version!

Yarn Personality Test

*test may actually be inaccurate to the point of causing mild offense.


All of my Knit and Crochet Blog Week posts are collected here

You can read everyone else’s Day 5 posts here.


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Knitting And Crochet Blog Week – Day 4: A Knitter For All Seasons

Like all clothes designers, knitters must work one season ahead. Of course, we are bound by the speed of our needles rather than the international Fashion Weeks, but the end result is much the same.

My knitting projects don’t really change significantly with the weather; I am far more influenced by fashion seasons. I have a great deal of interest in clothing construction and design, and I quite happily look to the top designers for seasonal knitting inspiration.

High fashion collections often look quite unwearable (unless you make regular red carpet appearances) but they’re best thought of as concept art – collections always contain repeating themes, prints, motifs and silhouettes. High street designers try to predict which of these ideas will stick and then translate them into cheaper pieces for the public. For example: Last year lace became quite a trend. One particular Erdem dress went down very well, and got copied many times over.

Erdem Spring '11 and French Connection dresses

So I know that one way or another, catwalk trends are going to pop up in my field of vision. Then, when I start thinking about new knitting projects, I’m going to unconciously gravitate towards things I’ve recently seen. If this is the case, I’d rather get my inspiration from the skillfully crafted source, not the knock-off versions!

Obviously I’m not going to spend hours/days/months of my life trying to copy fads exactly. What a waste of time that would be! But when I see collections that I like, with ideas that can be easily applied to classic, long-lasting pieces…well, I might just pick a few projects that fit in.

Currently the fashion world is already looking ahead to Autumn and Winter 2012, or “Fall” as they like to euphemise. Well specifically: “Spring” is Spring, “Resort” is Summer, “Pre-Fall” is Autumn and “Fall” is Winter. Yes, it’s dumb.

Me? I’ve already got my ‘Resort’ knitting sorted, so here are my designer influences for the coming colder months:

-I’ve seen a lot of dramatic diagonal patterns that I liked the look of. Especially the plaid skirt below, I would rock the heck out of that. Diagonal patterns could be another way to get my stripe fix too.

Michael Kors Fall 2012

Catherine Malandrino Fall 2012

J. Mendel Fall 2012

-Fussy little prints. Obviously plastering them all over a suit is a bit OTT, but it would be so easy to work a simple little stranded colourwork pattern into some accessories or a jumper yoke. The cape is completely gorgeous as far as I’m concerned!

Prada Fall 2012

Vivenne Tam Fall 2012

-There’s a bit of an opera glove trend going on too. Ok, this is unlikely to become a wardrobe staple across the nation, but I like the idea of extravagant gloves in luxury yarn. It helps that there are plenty of long glove and gauntlet patterns on Ravelry already. Knitters are clearly ahead of the curve on this one.

Diane von Furstenberg Fall 2012

Carolina Herrara Fall 2012


All of my Knit and Crochet Blog Week posts are collected here

You can read everyone else’s Day 4 posts here.


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Knitting And Crochet Blog Week – Wildcard: Craft Your Perfect Day

Instead of the Day 3 topic, “Your Knitting Hero “, I’ve decided to play the wildcard!

Indulging in knitting is an easy thing to do where I live. Bristol is a city that prides itself on it’s artsiness. There are frequent yarnbombings in the centre, giant fancy yarn shops further out and a knitting group in every neighbourhood. Awesome right? I have good yarn, good company and good pubs. What else could a knitter possibly need? What am I going to fill this post up with?

Well I can think of some things! I knit on my own sometimes too, and a creative activity needs a well furnished space to inspire it. Let’s fling financial concerns to the wind and make today the “Craft Your Fantasy Knitting Shopping Spree” post!

Firstly, I need a chaise longue. This is a very important part of decadent lounging and knitting. No-one could possibly argue with this.

Chaise Longue by Hampshire Barn Interiors

Obviously it will have a knitted cushion.

Secondly, good overhead lighting. I actually have a nice desk lamp with a daylight bulb already, but a floor lamp would be neat too. I find this type of bulb pretty essential if you’re knitting black wool at night.

I love lamp

Floor Lamp from Daylight Lamps

Next, a good vintage cake stand. I’m talking about the freestanding wooden type that was very specific to the Edwardian era. You can see plenty of these in antique stores and it’s a shame they went out of fashion. They’re the perfect bit of furniture to have beside a knitter: Tea at the top, cake in the middle, yarn bowl at the bottom. Bam.

Cake Stand from Loveday Antiques, Chelsea

Well I could happily stuff all of these things into my front room but there’s still something missing – the fanciest yarn and needles I can’t afford to spend actual money on!

I think for yarn it would come down to my own custom couture yarns, courtesy of Catherine Lowe, or enough Brooklyn Tweed Shelter for a big snuggly cardigan, OR mink. Yes, mink yarn exists and it’s perfectly ethical. And undeniably luxurious.

The materials nerd in me also wants carbon fibre needles  to knit everything up on.

So there: my fantasy knitting purchases! Would you add anything to that list?


All of my Knit and Crochet Blog Week posts are collected here

You can read everyone else’s Wildcard posts here.


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Knitting And Crochet Blog Week – Day 2: Photography Challenge

Today I have used yarn and buttons to present you with a dubious visual pun:

“Yarn Cake”

Click for hi-res version


All of my Knit and Crochet Blog Week posts are collected here

You can read everyone else’s Day 2 posts here.


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Knitting And Crochet Blog Week – Day 1: Colour Lovers

Welcome! To the first day of the:

So for every day of this week I’ll be posting about a different knitting-related topic. The topics are all conveniently listed here if you’d like a look ahead!

The first topic is about colour. Colour and how you use it. It’s nothing if not a good excuse for a stash-flash!  I think it’s well worth it to take a step back occasionally, to see if your knitting will fit coherently into you wardrobe. So here is my current collection of yarn-that-is-yet-to-be-knitted (I like to pretend my scrap pile doesn’t count).

Firstly, I can’t believe I fit all that into one Ikea storage box. Secondly, there is a clear favourite hue that keeps cropping up isn’t there? I must confess: I was once a bad teenage goth. I basically lived in black, grey, red and stripes. I  think I’m too old for that nonsense now, but it’s a hard habit to break: I completely love stripes and I am not a fan of pale colours.

My second favourite colour is now apparently yellow. I made a bright yellow cardigan last year which turned out awesome and sparked off a little love affair. I’ve officially added rich yellow to the list of “colours I can regularly pull off”.

And fair isle! I’ve done a lot of that too! I think it there’s one thing I have learned about multiple colour choices it’s that you should only use colours you’d be happy making the entire jumper out of. So the next one will be red, black and yellow. Clearly.

On the flipside I can’t be doing with any yarn that’s buff, tan, beige, peach, taupe or anything else that makes it look like I’m shedding skin. I do not want brown knitwear. I had a brown cardigan once which I wore on days when I had given up all hope of leaving the house. It makes me sad just to think about that thing.

So after a good bit of stash-gazing I think I can sum my colour choices up in three easy words:


Or, you know, a slightly more adventurous ex-gothkid. Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.


All of my Knit and Crochet Blog Week posts are collected here

You can read all the other Day 1 posts with this handy search term: 3KCBWDAY1


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