Friday, 28 September 2012

Fill In The Blanks Friday

It's Friday again already, and I haven't blogged all week!! But in my defence, I haven't really had a chance to get any knitting done so there wouldn't be much to blog about. I have started on a blanket for Ivy but I haven't even blogged about the one I knitted Beau yet so I can't be telling you about Ivy's one! This is a sneak peak of the one I did for Beau though...
The fruit of 6 months of work, this blanket pretty much taught me how to knit
I can't wait to blog about the blanket properly but it really deserves a good chunk of my time and I need to edit the photos to go with it, so it will have to wait a little longer.

Anyway, here are my blanks for this week. As usual, please join in for yourself over at Lauren's blog, The Little Things We Do

1.  My first memory is   from when I lived in Australia when I was two years old. I remember sitting on my parents' bedroom floor watching "Neighbours". I have other memories from Australia, including the time my older brother Nick fell off the curb outside our house and split his head open, and how Nick and Becs would go over to the little lake opposite our house and get leaches stuck to their legs. The random things I remember eh!

2.  My first love was  my first boyfriend I suppose. To think of him that way is weird, because it ended pretty badly, but I did love him in the beginning. I can't deny him that. 

3.  My very first favourite colour was  pink, I think. I only say that because when I was about 5, we moved house and my Dad said I could choose what colours he painted my room. I chose baby pink for the walls, and this weird, light forest green for the woodwork...what was I thinking? 

4. The first time I really felt like a "grown-up" was when    I looked over from my hospital bed at this beautiful little baby staring up at me from his perspex cot, and I realised that he was solely dependent on me, and I was over the moon about it. I finally understood so much more about things my mum and Dad had said to me over the years, and how the love you have for your children is enough to break your heart.

5. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is  usually hope that Beau will go back to sleep for a few minutes, then resign myself to the fact that he won't :o) So I get up, go into his room, pick him up and give him a great big cuddle. It's a pretty amazing start to any day, I'll be honest. 

6. The first CD (cassette tape, record, etc...) I ever bought was   Haha cringe! It was the Mysterious Girl single by Peter Andre. Did I really just admit to that?

7.  My first car was a Fiat Cinquecento Sporting 1.1, in black! My first boyfriend was a Fiat enthusiast and he had talked me into it being an ideal first car for me. It did me OK to be honest, but it was like a biscuit tin on wheels. I used to feel sure that if I had a crash with a cyclist, the cyclist would come off better.

I'm going to try and blog about THE BLANKET over the weekend, I just hope I can find time!

Knit on, Knitters


Friday, 21 September 2012

Fill In The Blanks Friday!

Hey knitters,

This is something I used to do regularly on my other blog, and I loved it. So here it is again, My Name Is Purl style:

1.  Something I am very proud of is   having lost 1 stone, 2 and a half pounds recently. I put on around 3 stone when I was pregnant, 2 and a half of which came off pretty easily with breast feeding, but I just couldn't shift the rest. So I started running 3 times and week and I joined Slimming World and it was hands down the best decision I ever made. I wasn't exactly happy with my weight before I got pregnant so I decided to get to my goal weight, instead of just losing the other half a stone (7lbs) to get me back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I have another 11lbs to get me to my goal weight, but I'm pretty proud of what I've done so far :o)

2.  My favourite thing about myself is  This is the hardest question ever. I'm in a pretty weird place at the moment and I'm really struggling to think of the answer to this question, so I'm going to have to skip it and hopefully come back to it at a later date.

3.  My favourite colour for fall/autumn is  Navy Blue. It's also my favourite colour for winter, spring and summer :o) Though I'm also loving myself a bit of mustard yellow right now too.

4. Something I've been learning lately is    that the common denominator is me. I need to do some work on myself and be less of a stressful person. 

5. A book I am reading now/have read recently is  The Help, by Katherine Stockett. I saw the film first and loved it, the book is ten times better. I recommend it highly.

6. My favourite Pandora Station is  As a Brit, I have no idea what Pandora is so I'm guessing it's an American thing?? Over here, Pandora is a jewellery company.

7.  This weekend I will   be having a father/daughter/grandson lunch with my dad tomorrow which I'm really looking forward to. It's so rare that my dad is allowed out without his wife, so it will be so good to have a proper catch up. Then we're going to view a house that we might rent, woo hoo!

You can join in yourself at Lauren's blog, The Little Things We Do

Knit on, knitters x

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

The Very Hungry Caterpillar cocoon

Next on the list for the photographers was a cocoon that they can wrap the little newborns up in for their debut photo shoot. We decided to go for this Very Hungry Caterpillar one because it is unisex and just adorable. In all honesty, I HATED knitting the cocoon!! Mainly because it was the first time I knitted in the round with multiple colour changes and I just found the whole thing a little messy. As a perfectionist, this stressed me out a little, and I found that I had to spend quite a lot of time afterwards neatening up the side seam with all the colour changes on it. The photographers decided they didn't want all the colours like the original pattern has as they wanted it to look more like the original Very Hungry Caterpillar, like this
So we chose a plain green yarn and then a contrasting green and white yarn in the same shade. In my usual fashion, I have discarded the paper wrap from the yarn so I'm unable to tell you what I used, but I promise that any future patterns I knit, I will keep this info so I can include it here for anyone who might be interested. I also knitted the matchng hat, which was MUCH MORE FUN!! Here is how they turned out

 I kind of abandoned the pattern for the cocoon if I'm totaly honest and did my own thing with the stripes, and I also made it quite a lot larger (diameter wise) than the pattern states because as a mum myself, I know that squeezing a wriggly (or perhaps even sleeping) newborn into a fairly tight cocoon would be a nightmare, so I made it larger so that they could easily get the bubba inside, then they could just fold the excess underneath so it doesn't show in photos (I have folded the excess under in the photo above and it really doesn't notice at all).  The hat was fun the make, and also I had to teach myself how to crochet to make the chain for the eyes. I used this YouTube tutorial to learn, and it was super easy. So what do you think?

Knit on, knitters


Friday, 7 September 2012

The Nappy Covers (and matching hats)

One of the most recent projects I finished, and my first paid project, was a collection of photo props for a local photographer (Paul Barsby, Tunbridge Wells). I'll do a post for each of the items, my favourite of which were these adorable little nappy covers.
For the white one, I purchased the pattern from ezcareknits on etsy but I accidentally bought the wrong size. I bought size 0-3 months, when I actually needed newborn. I could have just purchased the newborn size from etsy but in order to save money, I adapted the pattern myself, to make it a little smaller. Because the white pattern includes the little duck motif (worked using garter stitch on a stocking stitch background), I didn't want to have to shrink this down so I left it out altogether and just made the smaller ones plain. I bought the buttons from my local Hobbycraft store and for the wool I just used a standard double knit. The pink one was super soft, but the white and navy were quite itchy and woolly. If you were going to make these for your baby to wear day to day then I would obviously recommend using a luxury soft yarn, such as Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK, but as they were just photo props and the babies will only be wearing them for a few minutes, it doesn't really matter.

The photographer also wanted matching long-tailed pixie style hats. I couldn't find a suitable pattern for these so I made one up. I was pretty happy with how they turned out, though for a small newborn they were a teeny bit big. Now this wouldn't have been a problem when my son Beau was born, because he weighted 9lb 7oz and had a huge head (which the midwife who stitched me up afterwards not so politely told me had done a huge amount of damage too, but that's a whole other story!) but for the tiny little 6lb girl who was the first baby to model one of these hats for the photographer, it did look a little baggy on her precious dainty head. A simple way to get around this if you know you need a smaller one would be to drop down a size in knitting needles. Anyway, here is the pattern for the hats

Please feel free to use this pattern, but if you're going to share it, please have the courtesy to credit and link back to my blog (

Long Pixie Hat Knitting Pattern Newborn

Straight knitting needles: Size 7 US (4.5mm) and size 9 US (5.5mm) knitting needles

Darning Needle for finishing

Row counter (optional)

Sewing needle

CO -Cast On
BO -Bind Off
K2tog -Knit together
Sts -Stitches
RS -Right Side
WS -Wrong Side

This pattern is broken out into sections making it simple to follow.

Starting -Cast on 70 with size 7 (4.5mm)
Ribbed Section: Rows 1-8
Rows 1: *K2, P2* Repeat across row
Row 2: *K2, P2* Repeat Across row
Rows 3-8: Repeat rows 1 & 2
Continuing: Change to Size 9 (5.5mm) US Knitting Needles

Row 1: Knit across
Row 2: Purl across
Row 3-14: Repeat rows 1 & 2
Row 15: *K2Tog, K5* Repeat to end of row (60 stitches)
Row 16: Purl across
Row 17: *K2Tog, K4* Repeat to end of row (50 stitches)
Row 18: Purl across
Row 19: *K2Tog, K3* Repeat to end of row (40 stitches)
Row 20: *P2, P2Tog* Repeat to end of row (30 stitches)
Row 21: *K2Tog, K1* Repeat to end of row (20 stitches)
Row 22: P2Tog across row (10 stitches)

Begin Tail Section:

Row 1: Knit across
Row 2: Purl across
Rows 3-40 Repeat rows 1 & 2

Decrease Tail Section:
Row 1: K2Tog, K1, K2Tog, K1, K2Tog, K2Tog (6 Stitches)
Row 2: Purl Across
Row 3: Knit across
Row 4: Purl across
Rows 5-54: Repeat rows 1 and 2

Decrease & Complete Tail Section:
Row 1: K2Tog across row (3 stitches)
Row 2: Purl across
Row 3: K2Tog, K
Row 4: Bind off

Make a pompom approx 6cm diameter and attach firmly to the end of the tail. 

I added contrasting stripes to mine but you can do it however you choose. For the stripes, after the rib section was finished, I did 2 rows of main colour, then began my stripe pattern of 2 rows contrast colour, 6 rows main colour.

Here is how they look as a set, pretty damn cute I think

Zingy the EDF Flame (Or The Squoof)

One of the first things I knitted (and completed, I must add) was this cute as hell little knitted mascot "Zingy" from the EDF adverts.
 Random, you might think?? And you would be right, apart from the fact that my niece Ivy really seriously looks like this thing!! She has the biggest eyes I've ever seen on a baby (to the point where we call her Eyes-Vy), she is super pale like her mum (my sister) and she sometimes gets that exact little curl of hair on top of her head. I can't find a photo to show off the curl but here she is looking super cute as always

As well as Eyes-Vy, her main nickname is The Squoof, because frankly she's just so darned squoofy. Despite not really meaning anything at all, it just sums her up in one (slightly bizarre) word. If you continue to check in with this blog (and I continue to update it of course) you will soon realise that in our house we are a bit bonkers. We all have various ridiculous nicknames, few of which make any sense. We have little songs which we all know but would never dare sing them to an outsider, we would all be sectioned! The house favourite is called "What do we do when we love somebody's face (we kiss their face)"

Soooo, anyway. Back to the knitting. I got the pattern for free on a forum, I can't find the original thread to link up to so I'll include the whole pattern at the end. As far as wool goes, I just went to my local C&H Fabrics and bought the cheapest wool I could find in the right colour, which is a light pastel peach colour. I don't have the paper band for it any more so can't even tell you what I got, but it doesn't really matter. As long as it's DK (double knitting) you could use just about anything you like. This was the first thing I knitted in the round and I have to say it went pretty well. I used this video on YouTube to learn the magic loop method which you need for this project, unless you knit it on DPN's (Double Pointed Needles), which I don't really want to attempt just yet.

In all honesty, this pattern wasn't quite right, shape-wise. The actual EDF Zingy is more fat and squat, like this
But I didn't want to pay for a pattern and this is what I ended up with. It would be super easy to fix, by simply increasing more in the top and bottom sections, and decreasing less stitches at the "waist" section. Personally I didn't have another shot at it because it was only for a bit of fun. I have seen these sell on eBay for £10 or £15 and obviously if you were going to sell it, you would need to make it a bit more accurate.

Anyway, here is the pattern, happy knitting knitters x

Knitted Zingy the EDF Flame

50g ball Wendy Peter Pan Double Knit Shade 3004
1 X long circular needle or set dble pointed knitting needles, size 3.75mm
Scrap white felt
Scrap black felt
Cast on 9sts leaving a ‘tail’ of yarn. Join into a round either using magic loop method or dble pointed needles.
R1 Inc in every st.(18sts)
R2 Knit
R3 Inc in every st (36sts)
R4 to R21, Knit.
R22 K2tog all along row (18sts)
R23 Knit
R24 Knit 1, K2tog, all along row. (12sts)
R25 Knit
R26 *K1, kfb; repeat from * (18sts)
R27 Knit
R28 *K2,kfb; repeat from * (24sts)
R29 Knit
R30 *K3,kfb; repeat from * (30sts)
R31 Knit
R32 *K4,kfb;repeat from * (36sts)
R33 Knit
R34 *K8 ,kfb;repeat from * (40sts)
R35 – 38 Knit
R39 *K8 ,k 2tog;repeat from * (36sts)
R40 Knit
R41 *K4, k 2tog;repeat from * (30sts)
R42 Knit
R43 *K3, k 2tog;repeat from * (24sts)
R44 Knit
R45 *K2, k 2tog;repeat from * (18sts)
R46 Knit
At this point stuff the base and head of flame .
R47 *K1, k 2tog; repeat from * (12sts)
R48 Knit
R49 *K2tog; repeat from * (6sts)
R50 Knit
R51 Knit
R52 K1,K2tog,K1,K2tog (4sts)
R53 Knit
R54 K2tog and fasten off. Thread this end in.
Stuff the base a little more if needed, and then run cast on tail yarn through cast on sts and pull up tight. Thread ends in.
From white felt cut 2 X 7/8 inch circles, just touching.An easy way to do this is to find a button the correct size and trace around it, making the circles just touching.Then it can be cut out in one piece.
From black felt cut 2 X 3/8 inch circles, and a ¼ inch oval.
Centre black circles in white circles and stitch down with tiny sts. Sew this to centre front of flame. Sew black oval to just under where circles touch.

Sew the button onto the bottom, to help it stand up.

A new blog for a new(ish) passion

So I haven't blogged over on Life is Beau-tiful for a wee while, and I've been itching to blog about my knitting for ages. I was going to just do a post there about it but I thought actually, this deserves a blog all of it's very own! So here it is, I have many many posts to write and photos to share so check back soon and you can see all the cool schnutz I've been creating. Oh yeah and what do you think of the blog title? Like it? Loathe it? Let me know, it may or may not get changed.

p.s. inbetween writing this, I've been trying to feed (my son) Beau and (my neice) Ivy their lunch and entertain them with crazy dancing round the kitchen to Elton John's Crocodile Rock; the multitasking life of a mum never ends!