crafting · Knitting

Today I’m Making… Fuss Free Festival Shawl


I am a member of the excellent FaceBook group Everyday Knitter run by the knitting designer Louise Tilbrook.  I’ve watched for ages people making her simple garter knit shawl and finally got around to casting one on while on holiday in Bulgaria last month.  To be honest I didn’t really enjoy the holiday so I was glad of it.  It was like a home for sausage obsessed grumps.

It is a very simple design so perfect for showing off a nice interesting yarn, and because it’s lovely and simple to knit it is perfect for holidays and knitting in front of the telly.


I am making mine using 200g of DK yarn, its a Rico Design Creative Galaxy that I bought in a sale at Pack Lane Wools in Basingstoke earlier this year.  I’m pretty sure I only paid a couple of pounds for it. It’s lovely yarn, really soft and a little bit fuzzy which offsets any scratchiness you might have felt from the hundreds and hundreds of little holographic sequins it is shot through with.  The pattern only asks for 100g of sock yarn but I love a big snuggly shawl so I’m doubling up and using DK. This is mine at the half way point.


So far I have knitted it on holiday by the pool in Bulgaria, in front of the telly at home, commuting to work by train and at my new Saturday afternoon knitting group at the library café in Fleet, Hampshire.  Tomorrow I have a hospitable appointment I am frankly dreading so I’m going to take it with me as a sort of comforter.

Here is a link to my one on Ravelry, where you can also buy the pattern though I think Louise is still sending you a free one if you sign up to her newsletter so check that out first!img_0394


crafting · Knitting · knitting group · Workshops

Today I’m Making… Brioche scarf

Ta dah! I finished it. I love soft squishyness and the contrast of the riot of colour peeping through the calm natural cream.  I love brioche.img_0757

I’ve fancied having a go at brioche knitting for ages but as you might have picked up from other posts I have a ton of outstanding projects (1 pair of beaded gloves, I pair of mittens, 1 jumper, 4 pairs of socks, 1 scarf, slippers, 2 blankets, a cowl, various snoods – these are just off the top of my head) so I sort of put it off because I really should finish some of what I’ve already started…

Course then when I went on that Knitaway break to the excellent Westcliffe Knitting Hotel Paula treated us to a trip out to the incredible Beckside Yarns in Clapham, Yorkshire and they had the most incredibly luxurious feeling kimono style brioche jacket and it’s been on my mind ever since.

Most Wednesdays you’ll find me very happily at the I Knit London  knit night, the owner was knitting the most gorgeous Le Moelleux – he’s really good with colour so his one is really yummy.  Then, he only sent out a newsletter advertising a beginner’s brioche workshop. imageWell. You can imagine how fast I signed up for that. He has more lined up so if London is accessible to you I highly recommend doing the class.

Turns out the basic brioche stitch is pretty easy once you get the hang of it and really enjoyable.  OK so I did cock up my increases and decreases a bit at first but I go the hang in the end and its all part of the learning process so I don’t tend to unpick unless I really have to.

I love the way it looks, with the bright mix of colours peeping through the cool calm neutral. The yarn is I Knit or Dye DK and is the most soft and snuggly thing you’ve ever felt. I’m almost looking forward to cold weather so I can wear it all the time.


Thanks to Gerard at I Knit London I feel confident enough to take on Le Moelleux myself.

crafting · knitting group · make-up reviews

Knitting Group – Bit of a disappointment

Tonight was the Fleet machine knitters group – hand knitters and crocheters also welcome.

I like my knitting group, they’re a lovely bunch and the organisers get some great speakers or think of some very interesting themes. Its only once a month and I always look forward to knit night.  Tonight we had a talk from a knitting pattern designer who shall remain nameless.

The main problem was she designs for large sizes, so without being rude she’s was a large lady herself so standing right in front of the screen meant I could only really see the bottom left section of the screen she was projecting her presentation on.  Though what I did see of the presentation was deadly dull.  Here’s my best tip for those of you giving presentations.  Please don’t do dozens of slides of text that you then basically read out very slowly.  Its torture.

She did have some samples, swatches, leaflets and bits and bobs, but she kept her body turned towards the left side two thirds of the room and would only turn her head in our direction once in a while, so of all the stuff she brought I only clearly saw ONE thing. I left as soon as I could without looking rude.

Oh yes the other thing that irritated me was when she was talking about grading patterns, at one point she talked about selling a pattern to a major magazine and found that the pattern editor graded it down so that the size range was for 8-24 instead of 16-24.  What annoyed me was that she complained that they’d made it available to ‘sticks’ when it was meant for curves.  Well let me tell you lady, being a plus size does not make you more ‘real’ it just makes you a plus size and being a size 8 or 10 does not mean you are a stick. I’ve got curves a-plenty in my size 8-12 body and I won’t be swamping them in your clunky designs.

I did manage to do 10 rows of a nice variegated pink snood and had a lovely chat with Phyllis about Unravel at Farnham last week.  I love Phyllis.

There was a nice bit of Show and Tell at the start so I’m glad I went, that’s the best bit having a squizz at what other people have made.  Someone did the most gorgeous heavily cabled cardigan.