Wednesday 26 November 2014

Revised Minuet and More Knitting

I've worked some more on Minuet.  I basically kept the same idea but played with rings sizes and joins to try to get a better fit.  It does lay flat now.  I also changed my threads so that the inside rings on the outside round are gold.  I kept the three-bead join and added another small delica gold bead on the join between small and large rings.

I'll try it without beads too as I realise that not everyone likes to work with beads (or has some to hand) so it's nice if patterns can be worked either way.

I may also try removing the inside JKs on the first round to see if it looks better with more space under the lock chains.  Perhaps I'll tat it in more "snowflaky" colours next time too.

As for the knitting, I have started on the back lace panel.  That's the part that most appealed to me about this pattern.  I look forward to showing you when it's done.

Here are the two fronts and one sleeve which are now completed.

This knitting project is interesting because it has led me to re-examine the way I knit.  Moss stitch (K1P1) is time-consuming so I've explored different ways to knit and hold the yarn as I mentioned in previous posts.  

Megan's comment got me to try Portuguese knitting which I enjoy (best for purling).  Searching for something to use to hook my wool, I looked in my very old Singer treadle machine's drawers and found this:

Amazingly, it appears I was already the owner of a knitting pin which I promptly put to use.  If someone thinks this is something else and not a knitting pin, I'd be delighted to hear from you.  

Then this week, I received some modern knitting pins from Megan.
Aren't people wonderful?
Thank you!

I have one pinned to my cardigan and as soon as I finish writing this, I shall be knitting a few more rows on my lace panel.

Best wishes,

Sunday 23 November 2014


Do you remember Minuet?  It is not one of my most popular patterns.  Yet I do like the basic shape of it and particularly the lock chains in two colours but perhaps it was missing something…

So I decided to play with it a bit.  Here's where I got to so far.  I'm not there yet.  It doesn't lie completely flat naturally and there's just a bit too much tension on those rings I've added.  I will be working another version of it.  It think Minuet deserves a re-design so that, hopefully, it can be better appreciated!

This is tatted in the new Lizbeth Harvest Gold colour way.
Quite an unusual colour, a bit "mustardy" I would say.

Perhaps it's a little too full and busy like that.  I can't make up my mind yet.  But I will be working up other variations.  I like the three bead points very much and will be keeping that.

The knitting is coming along very well - faster than expected in fact.  I have too fronts done and am nearly finished one sleeve.  I explored new knitting techniques in a bid to speed up the K1P1 stitch of my cardigan.  I modified my English way of knitting to stop dropping the needle so that moving the wool back and forth for the purl and knit stitches can be done in one movement and save some time.  I tried lever knitting with a long knitting needle under the arm.  I also tried Portuguese knitting with a pin which I am enjoying.  So at the moment I use both my new English way of knitting and the Portuguese way trying to improve on speed.  It's a work in progress but even after a week, I'm much quicker at both.

How about you?  What's your favourite way to knit?

Best wishes,

Monday 17 November 2014

Knitting & Tatting

We're getting into cold and miserable weather season…  lots of rain too!  This means it must be time for a bit of knitting.  I went back to the knitting group on Saturday morning - I had not been since before the summer holidays.  I had a lovely time knitting and chatting with the ladies.

I still have my Fair Isle Cardigan on the needles but as the group is held in a knitting shop, it's only fair I be knitting from wool I bought from the shop so I decided to start another project for knitting on Saturdays.  I had a Debbie Bliss pattern I'd been planning to make for a while so I got started on that once I spotted the perfect colour of wool for me… a gorgeous teal in pure wool.

The stitch is double-moss which give a really nice textured fabric but it's time-consuming!  It's like knitting a whole cardigan in ribbing.  I hope I don't regret my choice...

AND… I have only 7 repeats left to complete the butterfly doily!  Really nearly there.

Best wishes,

Saturday 8 November 2014


This Sunday is Remembrance.  I normally always purchase one of the paper poppies that are sold by the Royal British Legion whose work supports service men, women, veterans, and their families.

I bought one this year too and made a donation.  But I took it apart and kept just the centre to use in my special tatted poppy I will be wearing this year.

You may remember I started it this summer and had most of the elements completed.  Tonight I tatted the last leaf and put it together.

This beautiful poppy design is the work of Jennifer Williams and can be found here.

Jennifer's pattern is very comprehensive and explains how to make all the different parts and how to assemble it.  I didn't quite follow all of it (mostly the assembly bit) as I decided to use the centre from the paper poppy since I didn't have the right size black button or any floristry wire.  I also didn't make the stamens in the end as I was happy with the look of the centre with the black "button" and beads all around.

Here's just the centre with beads
I will very probably re-do the centre properly at a later stage
but for now, the plastic centre got me out of a fix!

Jennifer also used floristry wire on the leaves
but, again as I didn't have any, I sewed my leaves to the back of the poppy.

See how the pattern even includes a calyx
although you don't see it from the front.

I used my 1SSCMR technique to make the pointy tip on the leaves
instead of a picot as in the pattern.

The picots on the edge of the petals face both ways alternately
to achieve the "frilly" appearance.

I think this is a gorgeous poppy pattern and one I highly recommend.  My thanks to Jennifer Williams for creating and sharing it with us.

"Lest We Forget…"

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

The poppy display at the Tower of London.
We went to see it.
It was amazing.
It was moving.

Best wishes,

Tuesday 4 November 2014

38 Down, 18 To Go!

I am pleased to have finally got around to picking this up again.  It was a shame to have done all that work on it and then to leave it abandoned for so long…

If I'm honest, it's not my favourite design which probably explains why I didn't rush to complete it.  There are LOTS of chains and tiny rings which means that it has a tendency to "misbehave".  I've tried to press it as I went to keep it in shape but I can see it will be a nightmare to wash!

Also, if it was me, I would have made the butterfly motif with just two little rings at the top rather than three.  I know it's a stylised butterfly but it would have looked more "butterflyish" with either two small rings (for the tip of antennae) or one small ring with long picots (for a head with antennae).  Don't you think?

Still, I can finally see the end in sight of this really long-term project (I can't find the original post at the moment but I think I started this - I'm embarrassed to say! - two years ago?)  I now have 38 of the last round butterflies completed and 18 more to go.

Best wishes,