A Bootee Bonanza

It’s bootee season in my house at the moment.  A new born due any moment in Norway and a mother-to-be in Surrey appealed to my preference for small projects.  Taking into account the season and temperature, several patterns and sizes of bootees drew my attention and have resulted in 4 pairs winging their way to Norway.  It was pink or blue in my day, with the occasional yellow or white knitted mittens, hats and cardigans, but now anything goes. With a strong hint that a baby girl was expected, a pink pair was…Read more …

NHS, Nous Vous Saluons!

Si on voudrait exprimer sa gratitude pour le travail et le dévouement de la NHS, on peut montrer les arcs-en-ciel à la fenêtre, autour d’un arbre, ou dessiner à la craie sur le trottoir.  C’est vraiment quelque chose, et c’est normalement un tribute des enfants. Les adultes, comment peuvent-ils montrer leur soutien à la NHS ?   Il y a l’occasion d’applaudir à 20 h chaque jeudi soir à l’extérieur de la maison avec tous les voisins.  Bien sûr, on peut frapper les casseroles, les moules à tartelette, n’importe quoi pour démontrer, avec des grands…Read more …

Dishcloths of the World Unite

Got a theme?  Want to make a gift?  Make a dishcloth!  There's not one idea I've wanted to mark with a piece of knitting that I haven't been able to fulfill with a dishcloth. A French teacher's thank you gift? OK, that one's a phone case, but a friend's planned trip driving from the south of France to visit her daughter in Portsmouth?  Voila, dishcloths to order, thanks to Marilyn Wallace of Knitting Heaven on Earth   Qualifying for dual citizenship was a good motive for embracing the Netherlands flag in dishcloth form…Read more …

Knit Something Simple

Now that's right up my street.  Something simple, but oh so effective.  Enter [SIMPLE little SOMETHING] offered by Wendy Chapman Blue Dog Workshop The perfect present for a young lady, just turned 20, an age in France as significant as our 21st.  She and her family have received knitted bookmarks, key rings, egg cup cosies - all the essential things in life - already.  Such a simple pattern, producing this eye-catching texture, but with enough to think about to retain your attention.  I'm thinking specifically here of making the knots.  It's a great…Read more …

Butterflies and Bows

Four weeks is the norm. Five, I can manage.  Six weeks, no, that’s a week too far.  Seven weeks, with ten weeks likely, is a nightmare in prospect.  I’m talking haircuts, of course.  I’ve a short style, the key word being style, which grows out, unless it is re-styled. The dread of meeting up with friends for coffee, going to a party or bumping into colleagues in the supermarket meant I’d adopted the sensible action of booking the next appointment each time as I left the salon, freshly coiffed and ready for anything,…Read more …

Earth laughs in Flowers*

What do you give someone who has everything they want?  I've given gin, jam, marmalade, more gin, chocolates and indoor plants. A mug, a tea cloth, an egg cup cozy, all patterned with daffodils.  Whatever the gift, it's always been accompanied by a bunch of daffodils.  Did I mention she loves daffodils? It's great to have a theme for presents and cards for a special person, and this year I was wandering, lonely as a cloud... through pages of patterns for knitted flowers...when all at once I saw a crowd, a host of…Read more …

Today You are One

Aah, one year old.  Where has this year gone?  How can she have become this little person with her own personality, likes and dislikes, choices and demands so quickly?  With my fingers itching to start on this special project, dishcloth patterns came to mind.  So easy to follow - 35 or 36 stitches on no 7 needles with cotton yarn. Bright colours, her initials and birthday number one on cloths for all purposes.  To clean sticky fingers.  Wipe a muddy face.  Wash a weepy dolly.  Maybe even put in a frame to mark…Read more …

Bootees for Babes, Dolls and Rabbits

I’ve always preferred knitting novelties, items for fun as well as practicality, and items of clothes that are no more time-consuming than a scarf, a head band or some hand warmers.  And when the opportunity to knit something for baby came along, bootees were the obvious choice. Strictly speaking, I did once make a coat for a 4” doll from a pattern for a Christmas jumper tree decoration, a pair of Mary Jane shoes and a cardigan for an 18" doll; a jumper for a boy doll and a gorgeous pair of bootees…Read more …

It’s as Short as it’s Long

How fashions change.  I am amazed by how a simple item is re-invented over and over by a tweak here, a tuck there, then hey presto it’s a must-have of the modern wardrobe.  Take cardigans. We’ve all worn a cardigan at some time in our lives, if only when at school.  It might have been shop-bought or if you were lucky, or unlucky, depends on where you stood in your family group, hand-knitted and handed-down.  Made unique by choice of buttons, a straight or picot edge or just by the tension of your…Read more …

A Space Yarn

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…blah, blah, you know how it continues.  We all probably know at least one fan, and have bought or made a Star Wars-themed card present at some point.  Would I be able to find something to knit along those lines, I wondered?  Ha! Oh, ye of little faith.  Surely, by now I had realised that the knitting community has a pattern, a design or just an idea of absolutely ANYTHING I might want to represent in coloured yarn? Of course, I was not disappointed. …Read more …