Sunday, 26 February 2012


Ok, throughout the 80’s I was 0-9 years old, and I’m sure I must have owned a pair of legwarmers but really my enduring memory is of Lizzie Webb on GMTV prancing around in a leotard definitely legwarmered-up and generally looking a bit daft.

Well despite all that I just decided to knit some, and not just any, I chose Manresa – a pair of amazing stranded legwarmers from the (free) 2006 Summer Knitty magazine.

I’ve never done any stranded knitting before so it was a bit daunting and stupidly hard at first but when I got into the swing of things it went very quickly. Here is the first one, just knitted, and it snugly fits. A couple of months only wearing trousers means I forgot I have Henry VIII’s calves.


I love the pattern so I’ve ordered some larger dpns and I’m going to start again. I won’t frog this though since it’s my first proper stranded knitting. Yep there is a mistake, and yes the strands are showing through but I’m so proud I might frame it!

The cream yarn is a wool-mix dk something from a charity shop jumper I frogged ages ago. The teal is a bit lighter than in the pictures and is left over from Alpine (AKA a new shapeless knitted thing) I finished a few weeks ago.

Will I wear them when they’re finished? I think so, because I’ll be insanely proud (my legwarmers? Oh, well, I knitted them myself…) I have an idea they might look cute with skirts, tights and trainers. I might be wrong, let’s wait and see.


Saturday, 18 February 2012

Crocheted periwinkles…

…and other assorted flowers.

I got the book 100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet by Lesley Stanfield for Christmas and it’s so full of eyecandy you’ll want to make them all! If only I had the time.

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See what I mean? Here are the few I’ve made so far using scraps of stylecraft special dk.

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I haven’t got a clue what I’m going to do with them, at the moment they’re adorning the mantelpiece but they might find their way onto bags or crocheted cushions or made into brooches. More likely I’ll use them on my next granny blanket though.

Have any of you got this book?


Monday, 13 February 2012

Foxy Mr. Fox


Like my new scarf?

My friend Jack has a beautiful, vintage, real fox-fur stole. I don’t know how you feel about real fur, but my opinion is new fur is bad, old fur is fine. After all, no amount of chucking red paint at someone is going to bring an Edwardian fox back to life. Still, I wouldn’t want to wear a real one - no matter how old it is other people might not care about age and might chuck paint at you anyway.


Did I just lose half my followers? I can feel a draught…

Anyway, I decided to knit one to avoid all that. I had a root around Ravelry and found the cutest thing – Mr Fox stole my heart by Tiny Owl Knits. Not free (unless you have access to the April 2011 Yarn Forward) but definitely worth the pennies.

I decided to make it more of a scarf than a stole so the front of my neck wouldn’t get cold. To that end I knit the body wider by adding more increases, and longer by just carrying on until it wrapped around my neck once. I also made the tail longer and wider in the same way and added two extra legs.


The pattern is basically a flat scarf with knitted on legs and a separately made head which is stuffed and sewn on afterward. Unfortunately it curled like mad and looked a bit daft so I seamed the whole thing, including the tail. Glad I made it that bit wider!


To make it more like a real fox-fur I added a clip under the chin so it could grab it’s own tail and stay closed.


And here it is on. Sorry for the poor photo. A combination of the mirror and a desire to avoid getting my own face in shot made for shoddy work.

I wore it for the first time today and got lots of compliments!

I used a random 100g ball of Cygnet worsted I found on Ebay in a rust colour and held it together with a strand of copper-coloured Adriafil kid mohair to give it a bit of fuzz. It took one ball of each to finish. The black and white bits are scraps of merino I had left over from other projects.

I think everyone should make one!


P.s Jack is sensible enough not to wear his real fur out of the house.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Button, button–who’s got the button?

I love buttons, I really do. I buy them like children buy sweets - but I don’t eat them so that’s a flawed analogy really.

Look at some of my stash:


A lot of them are quite old. The Jason strips of buttons in the picture above are probably 60’s so not so old but I found them in a drawer in an old-fashioned hardware shop for 30p a strip. I got loads of them! Quite a few are from a woman who seems to be at every flea-market, jumble sale and car boot sale in the North. She doesn’t sell them cheaply but they are all old and lovely.


Some of them are colour coded in jars but by no means all of them. I need bigger jars.


The ones in the bottom photo are Deco. Mum bought them for me last Christmas and they are still waiting for the right project. They are just too beautiful to use.

It’s in danger of becoming a collection really, or a horde.

Have any of you got an accidental collection?

*edit* I think Angelapea in the comments has found the root of my magpie button hoarding. I forgot that my gran has a button box - and not just any button box - it’s a big Quality Street tin chock full of buttons all the way through from the 50’s. I used to play with them when I was little and I think she’s kept every ‘spare’ button that comes with clothes and ripped off all the buttons from garments that are going for dusters.

I do that. You know, I think a generation has been skipped and I’m turning into my gran. She sews and was a very good knitter until we got old (or rather teenagery) enough to reject her beautiful hand-made offerings. She’s the only one in her house who’s handy with a drill. We have a similar haircut (but she styles it a little more like the Queen) We don’t dress the same though.

I’m going to have to check out gran’s button box on Sunday, and start watcing her more closely.