Saturday, 25 July 2009

Debbie Bliss and Silk slippers

Have you ever asked yourself "what on earth am I going to do with that single skein of Debbie Bliss pure silk yarn that I purchased on a whim?"

Well.... for those of you who (like me) could not resist the allure of the odd skein, the answer is shoes for miniature people!

I first discovered this pattern for baby mary janes about a year ago and immediately made three pairs for an expected baby girl. I found that they work well in cotton, but are truly exceptional when made in silk.
You can also have fun personalising them with decorations (such as rosebuds and pretty buttons.)
I think these make a fabulous gift for a newborn baby girl. I've given more details on my ravelry projects page, here...

Anyway I plan to make many more of these using my little stash of Debbie Bliss silks, below... (yes, this is gratuitous yarn porn.)

Addicted to angora!

Well, my dear knitfiends, given that it is a summer of rain, drizzle and 20 degree moderation, I feel strangely unembarrassed to share my little obsession of the month... namely a cache of lovely angora/merino yarn from Sublime and a particular beret pattern on ravelry.

I discovered this pattern a few weeks when I had some leftover angora blend yarn, and was very pleased with the result and the speed. It is designed by Kathleen Dames and is called 'EZ as Pi Lace Beret' (after Elizabeth Zimmerman). A link is here...

Since then I have banged out a few more. In each case I have modified the pattern slightly. (For anyone interested, I have given details of my modifications on the ravelry project pages, so click the rav links to see more....)

A few notes about the yarns used...

Sublime Angora Merino Blend - On the plus side, this yarn is just outstandingly soft! The finished beret feels gorgeous against the skin. On the con side, it sheds like crazy while you are knitting and sends fluff wafting up your nose. (The shedding does seem to die down though once it has been washed and blocked.)

Sublime Kid Mohair - On the good side, this is a very soft, non-itchy mohair that feels lovely against the skin. On the con side, it really is lighter than air, so probably wouldn't keep your head particularly warm if you went for a day trip in the arctic...

A note about blocking... I have found a great technique for blocking a lacy beret. Take a dinner plate and invert it on top of a wine glass... now take your damp, handwashed beret and stretch it over the diner plate, so that the brim dangles below. Pull it to shape so that the beret pulls in on itself a little under the plate, then leave overnight to dry... so far I am finding that this gives a perfect beret shape to the hat. (I may post a pic of the next one mid-block)

Ravelry Links

Angora / Merino Beret in Chilli (red)

Angora / Merino Beret in blue

Kid Mohair Beret in Fig (dusky lilac)

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Summer knitting.... (er, ok, not!)

I am making up for lost time with a 3-in-a-day postathon!

This one is just a quickie to share a fast little project that kept me happy yesterday afternoon.
I know what you're thinking... what kind of lunatic knits a beret on the hottest week of the year? Hmmm, I cannot really explain myself. It was just that I found a leftover ball of super-soft angora blend yarn in my stash. It was already 1/4 used up... and I was taken by the challenge of turning the remainder into something!

So I found a super-quick beret pattern on ravelry and 3 1/2 hours later it was done, not including the flowers. (Rav link here:

Knitterly Trinkets

Sometime last year, when I first had the idea of an Etsy shop, I purchased all of the bits necessary to make some luxury stitch markers. I was full of ideas and wanted to create something so pretty that it would be jewellery for needles, to make knitters' hearts flutter every time they passed a counter. I went ahead immediately and bought a load of sterling silver findings, silver wire, gemstone beads and other bits. In short, I was aflame with enthusiasm.

And then... somehow, 6 months or more slipped by without me making a SINGLE stitch marker. What can I say? I guess I was just too busy. And even when my friend notkottylottie posted her lovely stitch markers on Etsy (, I felt all inspired and guilty, but still didn't get around to it.

Until finally, a couple of weeks ago, I rummaged out my jewellery pliers, set aside a weekend and spent an immersive couple of days producing.
Below are the first eight sets to emerge.... all of these are made from sterling silver with a variety of glass beads and gemstones (rose quartz, turquoise, moonstone, amethyst, topaz, agate).

Who knows... maybe in another 6 months I will make some more!


It's been a while since I posted, so I thought I should pop in and show what I've been up to over the last few weeks...

Today it is all about the corsages. Yes, more of them! It seems I am addicted to knitted flowers (I like 'em in my hair... on my hats... on bags... and frankly anywhere else they can feasibly go).
Another motivating factor for the flowers is that I have finally pulled my finger out and created an Etsy shop (
Don't ask me why I am now on Etsy... I keep asking msyelf the same question and really have no idea. I guess it's just because it is there... like mount Everest. Anyway I've decided to start small by just listing flowers and stitch markers, especially during the summer months when knitted items are not exactly in heavy demand. (Will post later about the stitch markers...)

Most of the corsages below are for sale in the shop and are made from either Rowan Kidsilk Haze or heavy mohair, with vintage beads and butttons in the centre. All of them are attached to a brooch pin.