Thursday, 18 November 2010

Forever Autumn

I've been a bit quiet recently, mostly because I have been working on these new socks! May I present my latest pattern, Forever Autumn festures richly textured oakleaves and cables, just perfect for kicking through the woods whatever the time of year.

This pattern is being hosted by KnitPicks and can be downloaded from their website or from Ravelry, either way its a bargain at just $1.99. I hope a few of you enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed working on it.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

A hat for an Archchancellor

I'd recently been asked to make a hat suitable for the Archchancellor of Unseen University, and this is it!
The hat is a blend of wine and claret merino, with a band of shot velvet trimmed with 'vermine' (actually 1940s vintage salvaged mink from an old stole) and then sprinkled with vintage glass beads and silver set jewels.
Hope they like it! I'm rather pleased with it I must say.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Holly Leaves & Berries

A couple of years ago I worked up a pattern for a cloche hat trimmed with textural holly leaves and berries . The hat itself is nice enough, but I kept getting requests just for the holly leaves and berries as a stand alone pattern.

Here it is, available through Ravelry as a downloadable pdf and just $1.99, and in perfect time for the winter season, these little leaves and berries work up fast using just a few yards of yarn and are perfect for trimming garments, presents or jewellery. I quite fancy making a whole holly wreath for the front door with these.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Festival in the Shire

We're back from the Festival in the Shire, and it turned out to be an interesting event. The organisers clearly had some teething problems with the arrangements, and the whole thing was rather quieter than we'd hoped for, but everyone we met was lovely and a few people bought pretties from the stall, and we had good friends to camp with, so overall a good time was had.
Quick pic of the stall, taken on my phone so not the greatest image I'm afraid:The cloaks with applique detail went down particularly well, I enjoyed making those and think I'll do more in due course. Started off with a bale of undyed wool cloth which I fulled and dyed before adding a bias edge and a wool applique detailing to the back:Gareth's new jewellery was the real star of the show though, we've just had his hallmarking punch set up so we can now have his silver all stamped officially by the assay office, and it all looked wonderful. This is a dreadful picture though, I must learn to take good pictures of shiny objects.

Anyway, this week I am working on silk stockings, a Victorian bonnet, and must start uploading the items that came back from the show onto the shop site. All this and I go off to the very wonderful Cwmoernant Farm tomorrow for the fibre retreat, I'm so excited!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Of Books and Battle Bonnets

Been a busy week so far. I'm still frantically making things for my stall at the Tolkien Festival in a few weeks, and am hoping these will work well with my other items.

Been doing some bookbinding, its a bit on the rustic side, but I like the finished effect. The pages are 130gsm artists cartridge paper, hand sewn into books then bound in leather or in the case of the smaller ones, in polished walnut boards. The inside is finished with mulberry paper and skeleton leaves..
I've also made another Dwarven Battle Bonnet, this one with a few small modifications to the overall pattern, such as the tassel on top. The pattern is still available if anyone fancies making one of their own.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Elf warrior helmet

I was making some felt Gandalf hats yesterday, mostly with the Festival in the Shire in mind, and thought I'd indulge myself by making something suitable for an elvish warrior whilst I was at it. This is the result. I'm considering dyeing it a bluey-grey or a greeny-grey then adding embroidered highlights before stiffening and blocking the whole thing to make it even more architectural, but I think its rather fun.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Regency Reticules and Silk Purses

This week I have been mostly working in silk. I'm stocking up for a number of shows including the Festival in the Shire next month, and I want to be able to take a mix of historic and rather luxurious historically inspired work with me as well as the pointy hats and Dwarven Battle Bonnets.

So, here's the current stock of silk purses, one lot Regency style reticules, the other of little tassled purses with fingerloop braid strings inspired by knitted relic pouches.

I do love working in silk, the colours are so jewel bright and the finished textures are so luscious!

Sunday, 27 June 2010

All hail the Goblin King!

Its been a busy and rather warm few weeks here, and we've been rather tied up with a series of small business courses, so knitting has been taking rather a back seat but I must share this commission with you.

I have a very tall client who needs thigh high stockings to work with various sets of costume, and this time he asked for hooped/striped stockings in red and white. These are a little bit fiddlier to make than my usual plain hose, so it did take me a small while to do, and I was very cross with myself for inadvertantly shrinking the first pair when I washed them to get the dressings out of the yarn, but hey, that just means I'm ahead with the felted Christmas stockings for this year.

Anyway, after a bit of grumbling about the shrunk pair, I got on with remaking the hose this week, and because I was a little bit worried about the proportions I persuaded Gareth, my ever long-suffering model, to try them on for me this morning before I packed them up for the post.

Gareth is 6ft6 and a couple of shoe sizes larger than the end wearer of these stockings, but I thought the picture was so funny I had to share it. It reminds me of comedy goblin outfits :) At least with his utilikilt on I didnt have to make him stand there in his undies for the photo!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

An Edwardian Weekend

I spent the weekend at Cosmeston at the Multi-period event with my stall and sock machine, so of course I had to dress to reflect the age of the csm. I love the Edwardian style, but I must confess its not really all that easy to stay calm and unflustered in hot weather under a hat with an excessive flower arrangement on it whilst wearing a corset! Still, I had lots of little helpers who all wanted to help crank the machine, and managed to make quite a number of pairs fo socks and also some silk reticules.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Silk Regency Reticule

I've been making some more silk Regency style reticules today, and was particularly happy with this one.

Its in a heavyweight pure silk yarn, with a picot edge and striped in colours that reflect the fondness for pineapples at this period. I'm planning on doing some properly spiky pineapple reticules soon, but for the moment, this gives a good look and is a nice cheerful little bag. the colours have come out a bit washed out in the picture, they are a better mix in real life.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Flower Fairy Hat

I posted last week about the Belladonna Mitts that are newly out at Knitpicks, I also have taken the opportunity to completely rewrite the Flower Fairy Hat. This version is sized for both adult and child wearers, and has new charts and layouts to make everything nice and clear and easy to follow.
Find this cap pattern at Knitpicks for $1.99

Its a fun little cap, pretty and lacy, but easy to knit and it really flattering on a wide range of ages and face shapes.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Belladonna Fingerless Gloves

I have a new pattern out! This one is a Victorianesque fingerless glove that I designed to work well with some Steampunk style costume I'm working on. Saying that, my mother in law has asked for a pair, so they arent too outrageous for any age.

The gloves are worked in two stages, the cuff is knit flat, then stitches picked up around the edge and the rest worked in the round. All in sock weight yarn so there are loads of potential textures and shades to choose from.
This is also the first pattern I've released through the Knit Picks Independant Designer Programme, so this one is available direct from their site for just $1.99 which makes it an absolute bargain. I do hope it appeals to some of you.


Well, I think I've recovered from Wonderwool! I was sharing a stall with the very talented Rag Rug artist Jenni Stuart Anderson, and between us we had a steady stream of visitors all weekend coming to chat and have a look at all the goodies.

Its such a nice show to be at, I always find it a real pleasure to see what everyone has been working on over the winter, and of course have a good look at all the wonderful fibre and yarn and equipment. Iwas very good though, I only bought some blankets (it was perishing cold sleeping in the back of the van on the first night) and managed to barter some soap for fibre from Freyalyn, so I came back feeling I'd had a shopping spree even though I didnt part with much money.

I finished at the museum last week as well, so I'm now completely self employed. I have a busy week ahead now, but next week I'm hoping to start overhauling the website and shop, I have all sorts of things to put in the shop that arent currently there, and the website itself needs a complete facelift.

Friday, 2 April 2010

A bit of news

I've been a bit quiet recently, but I have some exciting news. In three weeks time I'll be leaving my current job at the museum where I have been for ten years, and will be entirely freelance. This is of course equally exciting and scary at the same time, but I'm really looking forwards to having more time to work on projects, design new patterns and do a lot more teaching. I have several research projects that have been on the back burner for a couple of years now, and it will be so nice to be able to concentrate on those again.

I'm going to be helping out and teaching at several fibre retreats and textile workshops at Cwmoernant Farm in Carmarthen again this year, do have a look at their list of events, they are marvellous value in lovely surroundings with fabulous food and friendly people, would be wonderful to see a few of you there.

Friday, 12 February 2010

New way to see all my patterns

I've made my patterns both free and for sale available through Ravelry for some time now, but previously there wasnt an easy way to show non-Ravelry members the whole list in one easy way. Fortunately a new tweak has just been added to the site which will take you right to the pattern overview, so if you were curious to see all my current designs in one place, you now can.

In other news I was delighted to recently sponser a knitting event at the Rijksmuseum at which over a hundred knitters attended a series of talks on the Dutch whaler's caps and had the opportunity to work from the pattern I devised that draws on this eveidence. Anyone still looking for a copy of the pattern, it's the Voyageur cap available from the link above. I've been thrilled to see the different interpretations of the pattern appear as hte knitters finish them.

I'm busy working on several new patterns at the moment, two new Historic ones, a Scots Bonnet and my version of the 'Prince Arthur Tudor' cap, and in modern designs a new fingerless glove with a pretty lacy edge and a complete rework of the Flower Fairy Cap. I'll post here when they are ready for action.

Saturday, 9 January 2010


I'm really excited with this one, my latest pattern has just gone live and is a hat that combines leafy forms and cables. I'm particularly pleased with the way the crown came out. I always love hats where the design follows right through to the last possible stitch, and the floral/star effect at the crown was an extra bonus.

I must also share with you this absolutely gorgeous version in red made by one of my test knitters, I love the contrast to the white version I worked mine up in.
Should you wish to try this pattern out for yourself, it can be downloaded from Ravelry for $4 and requires 3mm needles for the cuff and 3.5mm for the body. The hat is worked in dk or sport weight yarn.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Snow and staying cosy

Happy New Year everyone, seems ages since I last updated the blog. The weather has been very snowy here, which has made getting to work a problem on a couple of occasions, but on the plus side we've had a chance to seriously test drive some of our warmest hats.

The Voyageur pattern (available through Ravelry for $4) has been particularly popular this winter, possibly assisted by the snowy weather! There is no doubt that having two layers of nice thick fulled wool over your ears is a great comfort when its sub zero and windy out. Here's a recent picture of Gareth in one of the Voyageur hats I've made over the last few weeeks.
I've also found some time for some designing, watch out for a new hat coming in the next few days, its been out for pattern testing and I'm really pleased with it.

Today though, once I've finished some work for the day job, I'm going to dye some fibre for the next round of Fibreholics boxes, and then curl up and work on a pair of super warm slipper socks that I'm designing as I knit.