Shiela Dixon

    Contact: shiela@handknitter.co.uk

Knitting resources

Older knitting news

This is an archive - links may be out of date. Up-to-date news is on the Hand Knitter home page

Maldives Olympic team at Fibre-East

Olympic team at Fibre-East

The Woolsack project has had spinners and knitters, crocheters and felters busy making cushions from British wool as a gift for the athletes competing In London this year.

The project has run into some problems on the distribution front and is no longer being allowed to hand them out at the event as planned.

However, the distribution is going ahead in other ways.

On 14 July at Fibre East, one of Britain's spinning and knitting shows, a team from the Maldives arrived at the Woolsack stand to choose their cushions.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/shieladixon/7573309022/in/set-72157630582960060

Three lions

Three lions

In another Cultural Olympiad project using British wool, Shauna Richardson has spent 18 months to crochet these huge lions and she used 36 miles of wool.

Usually she uses mohair mixes for realism but for this project she felt that it was important to use locally-sourced wool.

The finished piece is touring, finishing in London's Natural History Museum on 20 July.

Thanks to Crafty Crafty for sharing

http://www.lionheartproject.com/home/

Citron shawl

Blogpick: Citron shawl

I've included this as a pick in Hand Spinning News because it's a spin / knit project but I'm including it here too because I love the pattern and it can simply be knit in Lace / 2 ply.

I love colour graduations and also the ruffled effect in this pattern. I'm so inspired by Josiekitten's project, I've bought some similarly graduated (spiral-dyed) fibre in blues and will be making the same shawl for my Ravelympics project.

http://theknittingexploitsofjosiekitten.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/feeling-citrussy.html

lace wedding shawl

Blogpick: Things that I learned by choosing a lace wedding shawl as my second project

Thanks to DiscoB75 for this post which I really enjoyed. I don't think my first lace shawl was my second project but I wasn't very experienced and many of his comments ring true.

One big disagreement; I love knitting nupps!

The unrelated picture is a free lace wedding shawl pattern from Abigail of A Kitten Knits. Follow the link below for the pattern.

http://akittenknits.blogspot.co.uk/2007/04/wedding-veil-shawl-redux.html

Knitted olympics

Olympknits

In this amazing stop-motion video, knitted commentator Phil Sportsman takes us through the highlights of the knitted olympics, to help promote the book Olymknits.

Beware if you're easily shocked, the video contains some knitted nudity as a streaker appears at one point and a little later a diver loses his trunks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuungD7i8ts

Yoda inspired yarn

May the Yarn be With You

If you use hand-dyed yarn you may wonder what inspires the dyer.

Here Lorena Haldeman reveals her inner nerd and shows us how her love for a certain trilogy has inspired some colour choices.

Apparently all sold but check through all the photos - I especially like the colours in her R2D2 and Slave Leia yarn.

See more...

10 Tips for Washing Your Handmade Items

Thanks to Lion Brand for this round-up of washing wisdom.

Most is common sense or common knowledge but well worth a read through.

Read more...

Knitted Mayoral Candidates

Knitted Mayoral Candidates

Heather Brown has knitted these captivating caricatures of Ken Livingstone, Boris Johnson, Brian Paddick and Jenny Jones, candidates for the forthcoming London mayoral election.

With thanks to the Knittyblog for sharing.

Read more...

Graduated granny square blanket

Graduated granny squares without variegated yarn

Thanks to The Creative Crochet Crew for sharing this post from Karen of Colour in a simple life.

Karen isn't keen on variegated yarns, she says "give me gorgeous, solid colours any day".

She has been experimenting with ways to change from one solid colour to another. It is a great way to use stash yarn which she has found addictive and exciting.

She gives us the pattern for this granny square blanket with a scalloped edge

Read more...

Beautiful knitted wedding skirt

Knitted wedding

Tanya likes to do things differently and her wedding day was just as she had dreamt.

Four weeks before the big day she finished this amazing skirt knitted with two strands of very fine cotton, in a complicated lace pattern.

With thanks to deramores.com for sharing

Read more...

extreme knitting

Wonderwool Wales

If you're within reach then one of the major events in the yarn year, Wonderwool Wales, is happening this Saturday and Sunday (28 and 29 April).

See yarn, fibre, fleece, sheep, equipment, demonstrations and products.

At the Royal Welsh Showground, Powys. Camping, free parking and on-site catering.

www.wonderwoolwales.co.uk

Cotton plant

6 Facts About Working with Cotton

Cotton has been getting some attention in the blogosphere. Here Lion Brand compile some useful pros and cons and other considerations about knitting and crocheting with cotton.

Read more

Boobie yarnstorming

Boobie yarnstorming

I keep saying no more yarnbombing stories, but this one raised a smile.

Last October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Knitty Attitude yarnbombed close to the Icelandic Cancer Society, appropriately and eye-catchingly attaching bright pink boobies to a lamp-post.

In a separate post, her crocheted breast pattern is here in both Icelandic and English: http://knittyattitude.com/2012/03/19/pink-breast/

read more

Brooke Roberts Knitwear Inspired by Brains

Luxury Knitwear Inspired by Brains

Fashion designer Brooke Roberts has used x-ray calibration film and brain scans as inspiration for a line of knitwear.

Read more...

Icelandic Lopi sweater

Create Your Own Icelandic Lopi Patterns

Many thanks to Cotton and Cloud for sharing this one.

Previously in Handknitter News I have mentioned Buhus knitting. The Icelandic Lopi style is similar, featuring a colourwork yoke.

Knittingpatterns.is is a sweater pattern designer, allowing you to design your own colourwork pattern. You can choose size, needle size and draw a pattern. The software then gives you a chart and pattern and it's all free!

The link below takes you to a tutorial (in English) which then links to the application itself.

http://prjonamunstur.wordpress.com/2011/09/14/hello-world/

knitted

Yeti Party

I do look forward to each new update on Anna's slightly mad miniature knitted world.

She makes knitting patterns for teeny tiny knitted characters. Here she has brought her yetis to life to show us how they have a great time at a party. Don't overlook the one in the background breakdancing by spinning on his head.

When you've had enough of the dancing, follow the link to the game of tag, and then explore the rest of her posts for lots more smiles.

In a post written on 29 Feb, she shows how she makes her stop-motion animations.

Read more...

Crocheted Enterprise crew

Crocheted Enterprise crew

As a gift for a fellow crocheter and Start Trek fan, janaford made this Next Generation crew based on a Ravelry pattern for Jean-Luc Pickard (which she links to).

She says that they really were fun to make and I can believe it!

With thanks to craftzine.com for sharing

Read more...

Joinning new yarn

Knitting Bummer: Joining New Yarn

I've always joined new yarn by tying a knot and later weaving in the ends (preferably at a seam) which is the way I was shown. How do you do it?

Kathleen Cubley of Knitting Daily has never been happy with the way her work looks when she joins a new ball of yarn.

"I've been joining new balls by knitting a stitch with both the new and old yarns and then dropping the old yarn, just like all of the directions say. But I always got what looked like a twisted stitch!" she says.

But with help from a favourite book she's worked out what she was doing wrong and in this blog post she gives illustrated instructions for an invisible join.

Read more...

crochet lampshade ideas

38 Ways to Light Up Your Lace

Last week we saw Solveig's crochet lampshade in progress and by coincidence the finds this week include a round-up of no less than 38 knit and crochet lampshade ideas gathered together by Lovely from A Lovely Thing.

Read more...

Seaming

Selvedges for seaming and raw edges

Seasoned knitters will know that slipping the first stitch of a row gives a neater edge (or selvedge).

In this article appearing on Lion Brand this week (you may need to register for free with the site before you can see it) Barbara Breiter explains when it might be appropriate to work all stitches and gives two variations on the slipped edge theme.

Read more...

R2D2 intarsia hat

R2D2 intarsia hat

I'm not a fan of floaters on the inside of colourwork and prefer intarsia for that reason.

Kathleen from Knitting Daily took on this project but wasn't prepared for the large number of working ends. At one stage it resembles a plate of droid-coloured spaghetti.

As we can see, some perseverance paid off and her nephew Harry loves the hat.

Read more...

Senior Knitting Tattoo

Knitwit Tattoo

This senior self-proclaimed knitwit has chosen to show her love for yarn and needles on her skin.

I'm unable to credit this fantastic photo properly because it's been shared via Facebook without a credit or link, but if anyone knows the origin, please let me know.

Read more...

Kayak from the Olympic yarmbomb

Olympic yarnbomb

Making a big splash in the news is this olympic-standard yarnbomb by a mystery knitter.

The guerrilla knitter (or knitters), known as the Saltburn Yarnbomber, has been leaving woolly creations over the Teesside town. This latest work is the most spectacular, a huge Olympics-themed scarf plus athletes of all kinds fastened to the railings of the pier.

The link below is for a lovely gallery of photographs from the Telegraph. The story appears on many websites.

Read more...

Crocheted lampshade in progress

Blogpick: Crocheted lampshades

This image shows a crochet lampshade in progress. It's being made by Solveig, a Norwegian blogger who found the idea on a French blog.

The idea is shown well enough in the pictures, she's not sure how to decrease the pattern, but I'm sure she'll figure it out.

(The post starts in Norwegian but scroll down for Solveig's English translation.)

With thanks to Knit and Crochet Now! for sharing.

Read more...

50 knitted bees

buzzz

Artist hannah Haworth was commissioned to knit 50 bees as part of last year's exhibition The Plight of the Bees at the Union Gallery.

Unfortunately the exhibition is now over but these images of the knitted bees and Hanna's original drawings still exist on her blog.

Hannah says, "I began by knitting the body from the back to the head, then I picked up stitches to make the wings which I used a simple lace stitch pattern for. Then there was all the legs and antennae to add..."

Her bee pattern is available on Ravelry with 40% of the proceeds going to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

Read more...

Jane Nattrass, vicar at St Olaves Church

Knitted Church Roof

A devastated Yorkshire congregation has begun knitting enough squares to cover a church roof after thieves stole the lead, leading to 50,000 pounds-worth of water damage.

The insurance company are only paying a part of the claim because of the large number of metal thefts.

The knitting faithful hope that their knitting will raise a large part of the money they need.

Once done, the squares will then be converted into blankets which will be sent abroad to those in need.

The knitters are appealing for help with knitted squares, and the police are appealing for information about the theft.

Read more...

Knitted blanket for an abandoned dog

Knit a blanket for an abandoned dog

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home is calling on knitters to create blankets for dogs staying with foster carers

The dogs take their blankets to their new home so that it will smell familiar in the new place

Blanket patterns with paw prints have been created by Lauren O'Farrell who runs knitting site www.whodunnknit.com

Follow the links to find out where to send your finished blanket.

Read more...

Free pattern: knitted heart greetings cards

Knitted heart cards

Maybe a little late for Valentine's but this free pattern is still quick and simple to make and will be a lovely way to say 'I love you' on any day of the year, or perhaps a great project to use up very small amounts of yarn.

The Natural Kids website suggests that it will be a good project to make with young knitters.

I especially like the way that the heart is cast on in two pieces on the same needle.

Read more...

Mary Heather's handspun yarn tattoo

Handspun yarn tattoo

A while ago I reported a 'pure wool' tattoo. Here, Hary Heather has had herself tattooed with a picture of her own handspun.

Click the link on her Flickr page to see the photo of her handspun that was used to draw the tattoo.

Read more...

Corsham Knitting & Crochet Group

Knitting & Crochet Group busy knitting boobs


A knitting group aims to knit 120 woolly breasts in bright colours.

The knitted boobs are used by healthcare workers with a doll to promote breastfeeding and demonstrate to anxious pregnant women how to feed their babies.

Read more...

Yarnvelopes

Yarnvelopes

What a great idea. Natalie makes these 'yarnvelopes' from various recycled materials. Used as a project filing system, or as an envelope to send a letter or card.

Read more...

Polka Dress in Crochet

Meet a Nineteenth-century Crocheter

This is a crocheted Polka Dress, reproduced from an1849 edition of the Ladies Needlework Penny Magazine.

In this blog post on Crochet Me, Toni reviews a new eBook; 'Ladies' Needlework Crochet; Tales and Poetry: A Melange of Instructions and Amusement today' which reproduces vintage patterns and charts from Mr. and Mrs. George Curling Hope or East Sussex in the 1800s.

http://e1.interweave.com/dm?id=1719042411574A97164ECBC9DFDBA07E49018E19D8566874

Heirloom Knits by Judith McLeod-Odell

Heirloom knits

I've only just discovered this website and was sad to see that the author, Judith McLeod-Odell, has passed away. A message on the home page tells us that the website will remain open for a period, so please do explore while the website is still active.

Heirloom Knits is a resource containing knitting history, vintage patterns, tips and techniques. It accompanies her book of the same name

http://www.heirloomknits.com/hand_spun_yarn.shtml

Teenage sixties knitter

Two thirds of youngsters were knitters in 1961

Casting off its granny image back in the swinging sixties, young knitters were outnumbering their elderly counterparts.

The surprising survey may not be so trustworthy but it's good to believe that there may have been some truth in it, and that there may still be today.

The article is a reprint of one published in the Guardian over 50 years ago. Thank you to Knitty.com for sharing.

Read the article

Crocheted Celtic Warrior Helm Top Knot and Beard

Legendary knitted outfits

If you've ever longed to dress as a knitted piggy pirate or beardy viking, I'm sure you're not alone but Legendary Crafts have the solution!

Visit Legendary Crafts on Etsy

Crocheted button

Crochet buttons for your project

If you can't find the perfect button for your project, the answer may be to make them yourself from the same or complementary yarn.

Instructions for crocheted button

Charity teddies

Could you knit 'get well soon' teddies?

Elaine Turner, of the Rotary Club of Lutterworth is appealing for knitters to make teddies for children in the developing world as doctors have found that cuddling a teddy improves recovery.

Contact Elaine for more information and a pattern.

Read more...

Mum and baby yarn octopus

Cute fun free pattern

This cute pattern from Lion Brand might be the perfect way to get the young ones working with yarn.

Requires free account at Lion Brand

See the pattern...

Float Cardi by Robyn Chachula

Tips for making your yarn go further

In this useful blog post from Crochet Me, Toni writes about getting more crochet for your money

Read more...

Bohus Knitting

Bohus knitting

Like Fair Isle, Bohus knitting involves more than one colour per row but the Swedish technique uses purl stitches to make the pattern really pop out.

Kathleen Cubley of Knitting Daily gives us an introduction to this vintage knitting technique with tips and a free pattern

Read more...

Crocheted chocolates in a heart-shaped box

Crochet chocs for Valentine's

There have been so many pink and heart-shaped patterns around in time for Valentine's day, but this one is by far my favourite.

Follow the links for the instructions for making these crochet chocolates in a heart-shaped box. With thanks to craftzine.com for sharing.

Read more...

Handmade prints of knitting samples by Amy Holroyd

Blogpick: Printmaking with knitted samples

The telling phrase in this post is "whilst playing". The most exciting things come out of experimentation.

While at a printmaking workshop, Artist Amy Holroyd tried putting some knit and crochet samples through the printing press and produced these wonderful images.

Read more...

Crocheted room by Olek

Installation: Crocheted room

Olek is a Polish-born, New York-based artist. She uses crochet to make large-scale sculptures and installations.

This entire crocheted room complete with residents and slogans is part of a series of works on display inside and outdoors at Tony's Gallery this year.

Read more...

Knitted gardners by Sue Ball

Knitted gardners

Sue Ball of Paignton Zoo has knitted caricatures of her work colleagues.

It is the first time she's made figures. She has knitted for 30 years but had only made scarves and jumpers before.

She saw a pattern for a Father Christmas that looked just like one of her colleagues and that's when things got out of hand...

Read more...

Knitted BMW engine by Amy Twigger Holroyd

Knitted engine

Knitting artist Amy Twigger Holroyd received a very exciting commission, a residency at BMW to knit a three-dimensional exploded view of an engine.

The link below shows five posts about the Knitted Engine, from initial sketches and workshops to photos of the finished piece.

Read more...

Five steps to knit a great fit

It's easy to dive in to a new pattern only to find that it doesn't fit when finished, which is frustrating given the amount of work involved. I'm talking from experience.

So this article from Stefanie Japel (aka Glampyre) which appears on Knitty.com had me hooked. Really good advice from one who knows.

Read more...

Festive blockpick: A Spectrum of Santas!

Bonnie has made these little Santas - pattern from Anna of Mochimochi Land

Congratulations to Bonnie who won the Mochimochi Photo Contest with these images.

This and more images ...

New range of needles

I've taken delivery of a new range of hooks and needles, made from ebony and rosewood with the most exquisite finish.

Made by a small family firm, The 'oily polish' finish is a family secret, apparently. It has a beautiful shine and is waterproof.

Read more.

Cabled tableware

Danielle Spector of Reshape Studio has produced these amazing 'knitted' tableware designs in porcelain. She sells these and other designs (check out the knitted lampshade too) via her Etsy shop, but unfortunately only seems to offer shipping to US and Canada (unless you know differently?)

Read more.

Blogpick: How to Make and share a Knitting Chart in Excel

Rebecca of Chemknits has written this tutorial in three parts about producing and share a knitting chart. (Details and screenshots are Excel but I'm sure it works in other spreadsheet apps).

Read more.

Knit a toy mouse for cats awaiting a new home

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is calling on crafters to knit a toy mouse for cats awaiting a new home.

Rachel Dixon (no relation) of the Guardian has provided this pattern, Captain Cat-Battler, created by Lauren O'Farrell from Stitch London. There are some alternative patterns via a link to battersea.org.uk, and and address for your finished toys to reach the cats.

Read more.

Blogpick: Summer flies

Do your knitting habits change with the seasons? Craftsy magazine held a survey on Facebook and found the top answer to be 'the weather doesn't affect my knitting'. The next highest answer was that projects become smaller; hats and socks.

In response to this, Stefanie Japel has put together her top five free summer patterns.

I guess that like me, you are not often moved by many of the patterns in a top five, but these ones really grabbed me, I've bookmarked three of them.

The Summer flies shawl (I assume meaning that Summer goes quickly, not a reference to the insects) looks lovely and is said to be quick and easy to knit. The Ornamental Socks have a fascinating heel! And the Suntrap Scarf just looks beautiful and summery.

The scarf is similar to one of my own WIPs and reminds me that I should get on with it!

Read more.

Blogpick: Ancient woolly sock

Kate of Needled writes as beautifully as she takes photographs. You may know that I like a walk and I have enjoyed a little bit of Hadrian's Wall.

This post, which features some gorgeous photos and eulogises about the oldest known woolly sock, made me want to drive up there right away, and I'm sure it will have the same effect on you.

Read more.

Ultimate Extreme Knitting

What's the most extreme way of knitting you can think of? How about knitting with hockey sticks while standing on broken glass in bare feet? Sounds unlikely - but click the thumbnail for the excruciating picture.

Thanks to Knitting Project of the Day for sharing

Knit in Public Day / Week

I don't usually buy into International Whatever Day, but love seeing / doing public knitting / spinning.

This year, we'll be celebrating World Wide Knit in Public 'Day' from 11 June to 19 June

At the Knit in Public Day website you can find out more, find an event (there are some in the UK) or organise your own.

Will you be knitting / spinning in public? Make sure you get some snaps and add them here: Spinning and knitting in public - if you have a Flickr account, just click 'join'. If you aren't on Flickr, it's pretty easy to join.

Blogpick - 192 Mochis

When I read 'knitted ball pool' I got very excited. Who wouldn't want to lose themselves in one of those! but I think it was just a passing comment.

This art project by Anna Hrachovec, who designs and makes cute and strange tiny toys, will consist of hundreds of her little characters in a space donated by Lion Brand. She says that she doesn't know exactly what form it'll eventually take, but in the mean time she's posting updates on her blog, Mochimochi Land.

Read the post

Blogpick - Tips for travel knitting

If you have a holiday planned, will you pack a crochet / knitting project?

Either a scary coincidence or perhaps they planned it... Toni from Crochet Me and Kathleen from Knitting daily (with tips from her friend Amy Palmer) have both written about this topic. (I'm looking out for a similar post from their sister, Spinning Daily, about spinning on the move...)

The general messages are to keep it small, and keep it easy - for example with memorable pattern repeats.

Amy also touches on the subject of kntting on a plane. I wrote about this last year and had some feedback afterwards. It seems to depend on the airport - my blog post gives some specific details, but remember that staff don't always know their own rules. (A 'lifeline' in your work is a good idea in case the worst happens and you have to jettison your needles and buy some at the other end.)

Knitting Daily - Six tips for travel knitting
Crochet Me - What Project Will You Pack?

Drop Spindle Spinning

If you're a knitter or just curious about spinning, then this free eBook is for you!

It contains excerpts from well-established books from Lee Raven, Maggie Casey, Amy Clarke Moore and others. You can learn how to make a spindle for yourself and spin & ply your first yarn!

The free download requires you to give your email address to SpinningDaily, but their regular emails are often interesting and worthwhile.

Read more.

A woolly underwater world

Last year I reported on Textile artist Alison Murray's piece 'Above and Below the Waves'

Alison has created a huge seaside scene involving 2,000 knitters. the contributors did their own thing and Alison took five months to sew it all together.

Alison says, "knitting is an Olympic sport for me and the pieces are of an Olympic size". This piece has a tunnel that you can walk through for wooly underwater experience.

The piece is now on show in Merseyside's Aintree racecourse and money raised will go to the RNLI. You can catch a glimpse on the BBC's website:

Story with video on BBC News

Landmark project

Cafe owner Peter Allinson spent six months (on and off - which is my main method too) knitting his own version of the Brighton Royal Pavilion.

Previous work includes the Palace Pier and, according to The Argus, legwarmers made for Max Miller (?!)

Customers find that their teapot is covered with one of Mr Allison's own tea cosies.

With thanks to KnittyBlog for sharing.

Read more

Tutorial: Saori weaving

Pam finds this technique expressive and relaxing. It's very portable, uses oddments of yarn and best of all reqires no special equipment (assuming you have a darning needle and some card).

Read the post

If weaving grabs you and you want to go a little further, check out the rigid heddle loom and more portable knitter's loom

The Amazing Yarn Man

Looking slightly sinister and just a little too lifelike, as if he's about to get up and walk around, this is the Amazing Yarn Man.

Is it a real man who's had stocking stitch tattood all over his body? Thankfully not. He's made from Lion Brand's Amazing yarn and was recently used (along with his equally-colourful sofa) to unnerve attract visitors to their trade stand and is now having a spell at an exhibition at San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles.

Read the post

Creating Colors: Project Spectrum 2011

Project Spectrum is an opportunity to celebrate a different colour or colour group every month. This year Lolly kicks off the project with the colour Red for the month of May. Check out the project's Flickr group for loads and loads of inspiration. There are also Facebook and Ravelry groups for chat and more information.

Project Spectrum Flickr photo pool
Project Spectrum Facebook group
Ravelry group

Blogpick: Anne's Knitting Takes a Spin!

How would you describe the difference between knitting with handspun and commercial yarn?

In this fascinating blog post, Ann Budd takes a course and returns to spinning and feels like a fish returned to water and is now 'obsessed'. (These socks are hers, made from her own handspun.) See how she describes the difference between handspun and commercial yarn.

Read the post
More information about learning to spin

Blogpick: Follies of gauge

The title suggests that this might be a jibe at gauge, but it's quite the opposite. In this series of two posts, Eleanor of Knit Nottingham shares the ins and outs of gauge and why it's so important.

Gauge and other follies....
Moving on with gauge

Blogpick: 4 Tips for Easier Crocheted Cables

Toni Rexroat from Interweave gives a few tips to guide you through some of the trickier parts of crocheted cable construction.

Read the post

iPhone capsules

These cheery knit effect covers iPhone 3, 3gs, & 4 are available from knittaplease / uncommon for $34.95 (around £21) or $39.95 (around £24)

For a limited time, follow the link for a voucher code for BOGOF.

Read more

Blogpick - The Queen's Lace

The doily in the picture was made by Ava T Coleman to a pattern by Anna Marie Jensen, who wrote the pattern at the request of Queen Ingrid of Denmark.

The Royal was an avid knitter and wanted to knit a doily similar to one in her collection, but didn't have the pattern. So she asked Anna Marie Jensen to help. Anna Marie was a small-town girl but her fame as a knitter had obviously reached far and wide.

"Her Majesty was quite satisfied with my work" said Anna Marie.

Read the full story in this blog post from Ava T Coleman

Blogpick - Flower Scarf

She's not sure whether to call it a scarf or a necklace, but Dorien of Just-Do has knitted this beautiful neckpiece featuring tulips, bluebells and oxeye daisies.

Follow her link for the Leaves and Acorn Scarf too. Thanks to Knithacker for sharing.

Read the post

Knitted cake for Royal Wedding

Have you heard the rumour that an important young couple are getting married this week? In honour of the occasion, All the Fun of the Fair have decorated a window with this tasty-looking knitted wedding cake

Crocheted Artwork: Invasive Crochet

Looking like cobwebs, which I think is a nice disparaging comment on the razor wire, this work contrasts cosy, homely, decorative crochet against the hard and defensive urban environment.

With thanks to Dudecraft for sharing.

Read the post

Blogpick: Funny, Frustrating, Frugal, Fancy Fairisle

I have yet to pluck up the courage to attempt to knit two colours in the same row, but this great post from Knit Nottingham is a great introduction to Fair Isle knitting, also known as stranded knitting.

Eleanor introduces us to the subject, provides a video as well as step-by-step photographs and instructions, and finishes with some pattern and yarn suggestions.

Read the post

One more row

Old knitters never die, they just unravel. This anatomically-correct knitted skellington is called Pearl and she's knitting a DNA scarf from her own tailbone.

Courtesy Crafting Chaos, and shared by Knithacker.

Read more

Knitted Flying Scotsman

Knitted by pattern designer Clare Scope-Farrell, this accurate three feet (91 cm) model is complete with firebox and even a fire.

The knitted train will go on show at the museum in York in May and Clare is entering the pattern into a competition which celebrates the return of the original Flying Scotsman to the National Railway Museum.

Read more

Dark Side of the Loom

Made by aldoaldoz and shared by craftzine.com, this clever image is bound to appeal to those of us of a certain vintage.

See the full size image on Flickr

More on that Royal Wedding book

You may have read on this page or elsewhere about the new book Knit Your Own Royal Wedding by Fiona Goble.

It seems that John Lewis stocks the book, and the staff of the Norwich store have been busy in between customers and made the full diorama. They're holding a competition to win the bacony along with all the royal characters, with all money raised going to charity.

Read the full story from the Norwich Evening News and follow the links for a gallery of photographs of the work.

Yarny backdrops

If you like to celebrate your knitting and crochet in every way you can, you'll like this selection of colourful and inspirational images that Lion Brand have made available as free wallpaper / desktop images.

Access the images

Blogpick:Tunisian crochet tutorial

Tunisian crochet involves a long hook or a hook with a cable to hold the stitches. (Similar in style but using a different stitch is knooking)

In this post from the Crochet Me blog, Sarah talks about Tunisian crochet and describves the most simple stitch with illustrations, and links to further information.

Read the post

Knitted bra-fillers for mastectomy patients

I have reported before about knitted boobs being made as breastfeeding training aids, but this group of women, who call themselves the 'Knitty Titty Committee' are making artificial breasts for mastectomy patients.

The bra-fillers are more naturally-shaped, lighter and more comfortable to wear than cheap foam or heavy silicone. The ladies are making boobs to order in sizes from A-DD and in custom shapes and colours.

Read the article

Blogpick:Clever husband

When goldilox needed a circular needle in an emergency, her husband came to the rescue and built this needle from an ordinary needle and some strimmer cord. They look good and obviously work well too.

Read the article

Knitting Needle Lane

Compatriot of mine and sock-addict josiekitten has snapped this street sign while sporting her new scarf in Wells-next-the-Sea.

Read the article

How to knit a giant Lego brick doorstop

lizzyastro has published this 'instructable' about how to knit a giant lego brick doorstop.

Read the article

Stop-motion Amigurumi

This soon-to-be cute little bear is crocheted before your eyes, while other figures watch and dance around in this stop motion video.

An amazing video, well done to the author.

Watch the video

Knitwear Designers sought!

devonfinefibres would like suggestions of really good, quality, UK knitwear designers working principally in wool. Are you or do you have any names?

More details

K Factor - so you think you can knit?

A new book due out soon has designs for 15 characters from The K Factor: So You Think You Can Knit? from Harry Hill's TV Burp which parodies The X Factor.

Patterns in the book include a knitted Simon Cowell.

says Harry Hill: "This book is to the 'K Factor' what the Bayeux Tapestry is to the Battle of Hastings."

The book will be released in March 2011 in hardback, costing £9.99.

Blogpick: The Value of Color

The main picture on this post grabbed my attention (Santa Fe Shawl, Interweave Crochet, Summer 2008) but the rest of the blog post is interesting and useful too.

Toni from Crochet Me discusses colour 'value' and gives tips on choosing or substituting colours. She also links to the new top 10 pantone fashion colours for women.

Read the blog post

If colour theory grabs you, then you might enjoy these three episodes of Yarnspinners Tales which really are an absorbing and enlightening conversation.

Follow the link and look for episodes 54, 55 and 56

Yarnspinners Tales Podcast

Knitted room for homeless charity

Volunteers have been knitting a full-size room to raise funds for homeless charity Emmaus. It includes a cat, a piano and a Henry the hoover. Monica Crow said that "as you start doing things, more ideas come" and that it has "growed like topsy"

The room, in Brighton, will be open to the public in the Spring. In the mean time, you can watch this video from the BBC. Look out for some lovely witty knitty puns.

Read the blog post

William and Kate - a fuzzy fairytale

A new book, Knit Your Own Royal Wedding by Fiona Goble, will be available in March as the royal couple tie the knot.

It will include patterns for ten figures in predicted clothing designs. As well as the happy couple, you can also knit the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Camilla, Prince Harry and a corgi. You can also knit yourself into the wedding - a 'guest' pattern is included, and the set is finished off with a knitted balcony.

the book will be published by Ivy Press and is inspired by Fiona Goble's earlier book, Knitivity: Create Your Own Christmas Scene.

Although the royal household have a policy to not comment on memorabilia, Wills and Kate have made it clear that they find tea-towels and the like 'naff'. I'm sure they'll love these though.

Happy birthday Virginia Woolf

It's Virginia Woolf's birthday today, 25 january, and she was a knitter, as this portrait painted by her sister Vanessa Bell shows. Her friends knew her as a knitter, and she told her husband that "Knitting is the saving of life." She obviously found it comforting, but sadly took her own life in 1941.

Blogpick: World's biggest yarn stash - update

This lady is called Bonney, and her name gets mentioned when people talk about who has the largest yarn stash. She featured in a blog post a few years ago, and now her daughter-in-law has been back to see her for an update (I hope it's not the first time she's been to visit in the four years!)

This blog post is in the form of an interview and is a nice read.

Read the blog post

Blogpick: The Steph School of Slightly Less Crappy Knitting

it's hard not to 'blogpick' every one of Yarnharlot's posts. She really is a good read and worth bookmarking. This one is an excellent post in which she gives top tips for good neat colourwork.

The mitts are spillyjane's. Stephanie raved about her patterns in a previous post and I'm right with her.

Read the Yarnharlot blog post

Blogpick: 10 for 10

marlana at Stitching for Sanity has completed Ravelry's '10 shawls for 2010' challenge and shows us a lovely collection of pictures of her 10 shawls.

A similar challenge has started for 2011, with one more shawl - 11 shawls in 2011

Read the Stitching for Sanity blog post

A-Z sock challenge

not sure whether it's too late to join in now, but I've only just seen the A-Z sock challenge on Ravelry via a blog post from laalbear. The idea is that you knit a pair of socks every two weeks this year - yes that's 26 pairs. Each pattern has to begin with the next letter of the alphabet.

At the rate I knit, I'd be lucky to get to my favourite pattern, 'Ginkgo Socks' before Christmas, so I think the prizes (UK only) will be very well deserved. I notice that the discussion thread for the competition has the tag 'omgyoumustbemad'.

Read laalbear's blog post

Knitted tie round up

Rebecca of Chemknits isn't sure how she feels about them but out of curiosity has made quite a list of knitted necktie free patterns.

Read the post

Have you made any new year resolutions?

It's the start of a new year and Sarah Read of crochetme.com shares her five spinning- and crochet-related resolutions.

What would yours be?

Read the post

Sculpture with thread

Textile artist Gabriel Dawe has made some wonderful work, but these thread-sculptures are amazing. From a distance they look etherial, like a coloured mist.

Gabriel started to work on this scale after becoming frustrated with the constraints of his graphic design course. Plexus no 4 took over 100 hours to install and used 50 miles of thread.

See more

It's a cycle

This fella caught my eye. And then I didn't know which eye to look him in. I love the cute creatures and objects that Katie of Caffaknitted has designed and made. Check out the retro phone too.

Read the post and visit her Etsy shop

Knitpro Flair

I asked a while ago whether you liked the Knitpro coloured acrylic needle tips named 'flair', and you did.

Now that KP have phased out the clear 'spectra' tips, I'm now stocking all sizes of these purple interchangeable tips. As with the wood and metal ranges, you can put togther a tip size and cable length to suit your project.

Read more and buy

Knitted Nativity

This knitted nativity, complete with shepherds, wise men and a very cute lamb, first appeared in an Australian magazine and is now available as a free download on Ravelry

Sally of knitsallyknit has had a rummage in her stash and made a lovely job of this scene. She improvised a little, making the wise men look a little more regal with metallic wool and sequins. "It's a great stashbuster pattern" she says.

View more photos of this knitted nativity on Flickr

Selvedge Magazine - interior design and contemorary textile art

Selvedge Magazine

Selvedge magazine is a special and collectable magazine, covering interior design and contemorary textile art.

The new Christmas issue encourages us to think about alternatives to the commercial side of Christmas with a focus on handmade gifts, decorations and wrapping.

Articles include Christmas attire through history, circus, panto and puppetry and textiles in Christmas decoration.

As usual, this issue is packed with information, inspiration, gift ideas and events with a special guide to the Selvedge Christmas Fair.

Read more and preview the current issue.

Your wishlist

What's on your Christmas list? Send it to me so that I can help your loved ones to buy you what you *really* want.

Please feel free to include items from handspinner.co.uk and handknitter.co.uk.

Send me your wishlist

More zero-calorie fayre

Just in time for the festive season, these incredibly realistic mince pies, complete with a dusting of fibrey sugar, were made by Linda (shabbytiger) who blogs at http://honeysuckleandroses.blogspot.com/

More photos

Designer Bag made from...?

Bet you didn't guess VCR tape.

RecycleCindy gives full instructions on how to crochet this bag. There's also a link to another page showing you how to take the tape from an old vieocassette and turn it into yarn.

Alternatively you can use yarn made from plastic bags or bulky yarn.

http://www.myrecycledbags.com/2010/05/01/vcr-tape-designer-bag/

Raining yarn balls

If you were a cat, what would you dream about? Yarn raining from the sky of course. This very cute and clever commercial for Perina shows how that would look.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFDaEHBXKxI

Kathleen's Favourite Sock Knitting Tips

For sock addicts, this blog post by Kathleen of Knitting Daily is a delight. KD have released a download called 'Best of 2010: Top Ten Patterns for Knitted Socks', which unfortunately isn't free, but to accompany it, Kathleen has compiled this list of top tips for sock knitting.

Kathleen's Favourite Sock Knitting Tips

Keeping the city cosy

I've not reported graffiti knitting or yarnbombing for a while (also known as yarn storming here in the UK for political correctness) but here are a couple that caught my eye and seem particularly appropriate now that the weather is turning colder.

Parking meter cosy
and a Knitted bus stop

Debra's Garden sock and lace pendant

I'm pleased to say that I now have in stock the smaller 'sock and lace' needle gauge pendant. As beautiful as the original metric version, but measures smaller sizes up to 4mm including those important quarter sizes.

Debra's Garden needle gauge pendants

Knitted big cat pelts

Beautiful and animal-friendly! I love these big-cat pelts by Aussie artist Ruth Marshall.

check out her reptiles too - she's knitted all 68 known species of coral snake.

Free pattern: Yeti baby booties

Sure to raise a smile, knit and crochet versions of the pattern for these booties for your little monster is available for free from Ravelry. Three pairs including the ones shown here were made by Kelly Hogaboom.

Knitted jewellery by Elinor Voytal

North London textile graduate Elinor Voytal has made some amazing jewellery from metal findings, Swarovski crystals and knitted silk and viscose.

For these pieces she has used pixellated photographs for inspiration.

See more.

Inside out and vice versa

What's the finest yarn you can knit with? A single human hair?

That's just what artist Helen Pynor has done. Human organs are normally heavy and sloppy, but Helen has achieved exactly the opposite by knitting her etherial sculptures from single-thickness hair tied end to end.

Parts of the body usually considered ugly are made from a part of the body which is considered beautiful.

She casts on and knits in the usual way using 3.5mm to 9mm needles. She became used to the fragility of the thread and was eventually able to knit without breaking it too often.

Read the full article in the autumn issue of Twist Collective.

Little Red Plane

Little Red Plane - a stop-motion knitted adventure

This is an amazing knitted stop-motion video by madeofwool as a student.

Watch the video
Knitting is good for you

It's official - knitting is good for you

We all knew it, but now this report from CBS news finds that knitting does you good, with statistics and real doctors and everything.

Watch the report
The Knitted Mile

The Knitted Mile

The Knitted Mile by Robyn Love was commissioned as part of an exhibition titled Gestures of Resistance: Craft and The Politics of Slowness. It was also exhibited as part of the exhibition Yarn Theory, curated by Martha Lewis.

Along its length it bears the words "slow labor good results"

Ninety knitters from around North America contributed pieces. Photographs of each knitter working on their section were included as part of the piece when it was removed from the road and installed in the gallery.

Read more about The Knitted Mile
Boo Wig

Free knitted wig pattern round-up

I just saw this wonderful pink crocheted wig (right) on Knithacker - it's not a free pattern, in fact I can't find the pattern, but the maker does sell her crochet patterns here on Etsy so maybe it's coming soon.
But it reminded me that I'd started a free wig pattern round up some time ago. So here it is:

Free knitted wig pattern round-up
Leaves on grass

Autumn leaves

The nights are drawing in and the weather's turning, but one delightful thing about autumn is that magical colour-changing trick that the leaves perform.

Why not recreate those colours in some everlasting knitted leaves? You could stitch them to hats or scarves, or make one into a brooch.

Free pattern
Fair Isle Jumpers

Hand made on Fair Isle

The recent threat to drop knitting from the curriculum on the Sheltand Islands has had a side-effect of attracting the media's attention onto the traditional crafts of spinning and knitting and brought into the open the question of whether the island should move to more indstrial techniques and increase production.

I've enjoyed this article on The Business of Fashion. While similar jumpers are mass-produced in China, those labeled "Made in Fair Isle" take over 100 hours to spin and knit and sell for over £600. Despite the high price tag for the genuine article, demand is outstripping supply.

Read the article
Crochet Smart car

Crocheted Smart car

Spotted by the photographer StartTheDay in Rome, he found out later that it was by artist Magda Sayeg for the Roman Arts Festival.

See the image on Flickr

Bunny Tail Beanie

Blogpick: Addicted to knitting

Are you addicted to knitting? In this post, Kate at Foxs Lane compares her own knitting habits with the classic and very real symptoms of addiction. It makes a good if slightly worrying read, and along the way she knits this gorgeous Bunny Tail. There's a link to the pattern in the post.

Read this post

Before felting

Blogpick: felted boots

These boots look really attractive after felting, but what makes these photos amazing is that they show just how much items shrink when felted.

Unfortunately I can't find a blog, but you can see the pictures before and after felting on Flickr

Keep calm and carry yarn

Express yourself

At Cafepress you can find gifts for yourself or others featuring custom designs.

Fancy a tee-shirt, tote bag or mug that tells the world 'I knit therefore I am', 'Keep calm, carry yarn', 'So much yarn, so little time?'

See knitting designs at Cafepress

Fair Isle, Shetlands

Fair Isle Knitting

Moira Hickey marches across sodden fields on Fair Isle to look at the importance of knitting to the islanders at a time when knitting is about to be dropped from the curriculum. Besides meeting the sheep and discussing the traditional techniques, she asks about the viability of a 'fair trade' product handmade from fleece to jumper, and whether hand knitting should be kept alive as a tradition on the island or be developed to encourage tourism.

Broadcast on Thursday 5th August 2010 and available on the iPlayer

Listen to the programme

Knitting needles

Knitting on a plane

It's holiday time, but can you knit on the plane...?

There is much debate about this subject wherever you are in the world including here in the UK.

The answer seems to be yes or no, depending on your airport. I've done some research for you:

Read more

Selvedge Magazine - interior design and contemorary textile art

Selvedge Magazine

Selvedge magazine is a special and collectable magazine, covering interior design and contemorary textile art.

Be one of the first to read the Summer 2010 issue (number 35) for £10

Read more about the current issue.

Zero calorie Chocolate Fondue

Zero calorie Chocolate Fondue

This chocolate fondue has no calories. In fact you'll burn some when you make it.

I recently mentioned Kate Jenkins' incredibly realistic food. Here are a couple more scrummy knitted projects.

First of all, for the fridge, knitted meat complete with polystyrene tray and cling film:

See more

the chocolate fountain in the picture is from skymagenta's Flickr photos. Her crocheted food also includes pizza, hot-dogs and coffee and biscuits. Follow the links to her etsy shop where she's selling the crochet patterns for the food and lots of other objects.

See more

What's the meaning of this?

Making time tangible

A while ago I featured automatic knitting in the shape of a knitting lampshade and wind-powered knitting and here's another project along similar lines. This design seeks to make time a tangible, physical thing.

German designer Siren Elise Wilhelmsen exhibited her 365 knitting clock at DMY International Design Festival Berlin. The circular knitting machine with 48 needles moves clockwise and after one year creates a scarf two meters long.

Read more

What's the meaning of this?

Blogpick: What's the meaning of this?

It feels a little bit irreverend to chuckle at these little fellows who appear in a Japanese cemetery. Vicki of Knitorious posted this wonderful photo of them looking so cute in their little crocheted caps, but the reason is a mystery.

View the blog post

Extreme Knitting, 1000 Strand Knit

Extreme Knitting, 1000 Strand Knit

This video shows Rachel John breaking records by knitting with 1000 strands simultaneously on a pair of giant needles. The work of art took place at a Textiles exhibition in 2006. It's designed to make us think about waste and finding / making yarn, and as with much art, taking things out of context. I love it for these reasons, and most of all because I love it when things are taken to extreme.

Watch the video

Free pattern: Wakefield Diagonal Lace Scarf by Melissa LaBarre

This simple lace pattern with a natural bias is by one of the authors of 'New England Knits' - the theme of the book features garments which reflect the culture and style of New England and allow you to cope with changeable New England weather which goes from chilly to sunny in the same day.

View the blog.

Blogpick - free scarf roundup

I don't usually feature bought patterns, but Tina of Peacefully Knitting has gone to the trouble of searching out some of the best shawl and shawlette patterns, and there are some beautiful ones here.

View the blog.

Free pattern: cabled purse with buckle

I love this little purse - it looks quick and easy to make using some stash yarn.

View the pattern.

Washing instructions for pure wool

I recently designed a 'washing instructions' label for a handspun / handknitted gift. I've shared the label here as text / image for you to copy and paste or in word format for you to download.

Read more / download the labels.

BlogPick: On knitting

What does a crocheter feel when she starts knitting? I love this post in which crocheter kate learns to knit.

She lists her 'likes' and 'dislikes' - the lines almost form a poem. How many do you agree with?

Read the post

Stitched Selves

A collaborative work, in which hundreds of people from around the world made stitched selves, has been on display for one night only at the Science Museum.

The Stitch Yourself exhibit was on display in the main Energy Hall on 30 June 2010.

The gathering of little people included a flasher and a lady busy knitting her own head.

StitchLondon's blog post about the event is here
http://stitchandbitchlondon.wordpress.com/2010/07/02/stitch-yourself-night/

Pictures of all of the 259 mini-me's will feature with backstories on StitchLondon's Flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/38202796@N06/sets/72157624280938971/

and the Flickr group pool for the event is here:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/stitchlondon/pool/

Come dine with me

We've seen knitted food before, but Kate Jenkins does it on a big scale with realism and humour. Her previous exhibitions have included a bangers-and-mash cafe and fish and chips at Brighton.

Her current exhibition, Come Dine With Kate, is showing at the Rebecca Hossack gallery in London until 24 July

View the slideshow

iPad cosy

I really don't know what's going on here, and I'm not sure I want to know.

She's demonstrating crocheted iPod and iPad cosies; this pom-pom one is quite clever - the pom-pom folds around the back to provide a soft shock-absorbing angled rest. But she's doing all of this while wearing a crocheted dragon outfit complete with LED nose and red-painted toe nail slippers.

I went to make a cup of tea and when I came back it was still just as surreal. Tried Google language tools... Oh, it's a tiger, not a dragon. But no explanation. Perhaps some things are better if you don't know...

Visit the blog / website

Free eBook - Knitting Techniques for More Successful Knitting

Help for all Knitters from the Knitting Daily Experts.

This free eBook (requires registering your email address with Knitting Daily) includes casting on for ribbing, making a French knot, working short rows, felting or blocking your pieces successfully, making an applied i-cord, a three-needle bind-off and more. RNLI.

Downlod the book.

A woolly underwater world

Textile artist Alison Murray has created a huge seaside scene involving 2,000 knitters. the contributors did their own thing and Alison took five months to sew it all together.

Alison says, "knitting is an Olympic sport for me and the pieces are of an Olympic size"

You can view the piece in Bideford in July and money will be raised for the RNLI.

Story on BBC Devon

Photo gallery of Above and Below the Waves

Letting the grass grow under your feet. Free pattern - knitted grass rug

Doesn't this make you want to get your bare toes into it? I love it, and will be making one soon.

The pattern from Lion Brand includes instructions for the 'make one loop' stitch and you can make the grass as long or short as you like.

Free pattern

Argyle giraffe

This is spot, the eight-foot Argyle giraffe, here for no other reason than he, or possibly she, is cute. The soft sculpture was made by Lion Brand to take with them to Maker Faire where they were teaching knitting and crochet to the visitors.

The soft sculpture stands on, and is eating, an equally lovely grass rug.

Watch the video

More photos of the giraffe from Maker Faire

Knit in Public Day / Week

I don't usually buy into International Whatever Day, but love seeing / doing public knitting / spinning.

At the Knit in Public Day website you can find out more, find an event (there are some in the UK) or organise your own.

Will you be knitting / spinning in public? Make sure you get some snaps and add them here: Spinning and knitting in public - if you have a Flickr account, just click 'join'. If you aren't on Flickr, it's pretty easy to join.

Tutorial: Mattress stitch

This excellent tutorial from the Knitting Daily blog takes us through that essential stitch for sewing up with a neat seam with good illustrations and top tips.

Read the tutorial.

Brightening up Brisbane

I can't help feeling that it's not guerrilla knitting if it's organised by the local council, but rampaging guerrilla knitters or not, I love these knitted, woven and crocheted works which are brightening up Brisbane.

Read more about this story.

Read more about i knit Brisbane.

Knitted boobs for new mums

Local knitters in Somerset are being asked to make a boob as well as the clothes for premature babies they normally make. The South Somerset NHS in Somerset is using the knitted breasts as training aids by infant feeding specialists.

A similar scheme at Liverpool Women's Hospital was reported last year

Read more about this story.

Blogpick - Coronation Street Knitting

I Knit London take us on a trip down memory lane in the shape of 1968 Corrie stars modeling some contemporary knitting patterns.

The actors relax in elegance, get cool and casual and get into a holiday mood in Sirdar knits.

Read more.
Lace knitting showing nupp stitches

How to knit a nupp

Notice the big bobbles. Those are called nupps. A number of lace patterns use them and they give another dimension to the texture of the lace. It's used in traditional Estonian lace knitting.

A while ago I called p3tog 'the mother of all stitches' but the nupp leaves that stitch way behind. It involves making 5, 7 or even 9 into a single stitch, and then purling them all together on the return purl row...

Read on for more info, tips and links about knitting nupps.

Selvedge Magazine - interior design and contemorary textile art

Selvedge Magazine

Selvedge magazine is a special and collectable magazine, covering interior design and contemorary textile art.

I now stock the magazine. You can buy the Spring 2010 issue (34) from me for £10 post free.

Read more and preview the current issue.

Tiny handspun handknit bag

Blogpick - From fluff to tiny bag

I've been watching eskimimi's blog since she learned to spin less than a week ago. Check out the cute hand-painted sheep on the spindle she was given.

In this post she has found a perfect pattern to use up some of the small quantities of handspun yarn that she's made. Her spinning is sooo neat, as is her knitting; the colours work out beautifully and this little bag looks a treat!

Read the original post.

Teeny tiny toy free knitting pattern

Teeny tiny toys free knitting pattern

Julie makes and sells gorgeous little cotton rabbits. Here she gives us a free pattern for very cute teeny tiny toy rabbits and bears. Julie says that they are "a wee bit fiddly but lots of fun!" In case they get hungry, this post also contains a pattern for a teeny tiny iced bun.

Teeny tiny toy free knitting pattern.

Spin to Knit - the Knitter's guide to making yarn - by Shannon Okey

Spin to Knit - the Knitter's guide to making yarn - by Shannon Okey

This is another excellent 'getting started' book, this time aimed at experienced knitters who'd like to knit with their own handspun. Half of the book teaches you to spin and the other half is packed with imaginitive knitting patterns designed with handspun in mind. They're well-chosen to make you want to get your hands on the fibre and get started!

Read my review of Spin to Knit and bag a copy over at Handspinner.co.uk.

Cartoon frog

Hunting frogs

Yarn 2 Spin is looking for frogs. Not the amphibious kind... but your knit / crochet projects gone wrong! A new website / blog is opening soon to share your lessons in the form of Frogged projects. Published stories will earn you a $5 gift certificate to www.yarn2spin.com and a "Frog It" button.

Read more

Pattern choice: April Fool's Day socks

A simple pair of socks emerge in the strangest fashion. The first is knit 'toe up', some scrap yarn is knit into the middle and the second sock is knit down to the toe. Because the pair is knit all at once, there will be no second sock syndrome!

Read more.

New products - handmade cards

These cards feature a textured sheep and are blank for your own message. Perfect for your friends or for the spinner / knitter in your life.

Read more.

Respect the 'tache

Who doesn't admire beautifully-sculpted facial hair? Those not husuit enough to sport their own home-grown, here's another fun pattern from knitty which allows you to "respect the 'tache", wear a disguise and keep warm all at the same time.

Respect the 'tache.

Vegan Fox

Whether you think the fox is a mischievious cuddly or a pest, wearing one with its face still on now seems grizzly. But the fox stole was a fashion accessory of the 30s.

This amusing non-violent version is an easy knit using novelty yarn.

Vegan Fox.

All about Vegetable Fibers

Do you know your cotton from your linen and your jute from your sisal? In this article appearing on knittingdaily.com, Shirley Paden shares some fascinating information about vegetable fibers.

Read the article.

Knitted Science

Some beautiful, some grizzly, slightly surreal; all items in this collection of knitted items such as the brain cells in this photo are fascinating and inspired by science.

View the photo gallery.

Thanks to Knitting out loud for this one.

It reminded me of the molecule knitting charts - phenylalenine, glucose and THC in knitting :http://www.chemknits.com/2009/01/molecule-knitting-charts.html

Washcloth Puzzle

Here's a fascinating idea. Knit a plain washcloth, dye a pattern, unravel it (leaving the cast-on stitches) and send it to a friend. As they knit the apparently-randomly-dyed yarn, the pattern will re-appear!

Read Sectret sheep's blog post.

Crochet by Numbers

This amazing portrait in crochet was created by knitsandthings. The technique has been developed by Todd Paschall. At crochetbynumbers.com you can learn the technique, pick up a free pattern or buy a pattern. He'll also make you a custom pattern from your own photograph.

There's also a Ravelry group dedicated to the technique.

In miniature

These tiny things are so fascinating. Sometimes functional, they could be used as miniatures in a doll's house for example, but mostly they are just cute. Check out the mochimochi blog and the MUFFA Etsy shop

Free pattern - iPad cosy?!

Yes, it's true, Lion Brand have published a pattern before Apple's lovely new device has even hit the shops. The pattern is rated 'easy' and one-size-fits-all at about 7 x 10 in. (18 x 25.5 cm)

Get the pattern. (You will need to register with the Lion Brand website first, but that is free and gives you access to hundreds more free patterns.)

Free pattern - Swallowtail shawl

Originally published in a magazine in 2006, it was a finalist in the readers' choice awards. it's now available as a free download alongside lots more beautiful free patterns at Evelyn Clark designs. I'm currently knitting this with my own handspun merino/silk. After one false start I'm feeling so keen to get it finished. Read my blog posts.

Download the pattern.

Introducing Amazing yarn

Lion Brand have introduced a new yarn that has the look of handpainted yarn. 'Amazing' comes in 7 colors, washable 55% wool/ 45% acrylic blend. Medium weight (worsted/afghan/aran)

More about Amazing yarn.

Knitted Lives

Knitted Lives is a touring exhibtion bringing together knitting, art and women's lives living in Newcastle - all made out of wool. Items from bicycles and standard lamps to lipsticks and powder compacts are made out of wool. It's the brainchild of Alice Thwaite, from the Equal Arts organisation in Newcastle.

Twisted Thread, The Knitting and Stitching Exhibition 2010 25 - 28 November.

Shipley Art Gallery 06 Feb - 14 Mar 2010.

Fingerless gloves / wristwarmer round-up

Quick and easy to knit and just in time for winter, Tipnut has collected together some free fingerless glove / wristwarmer patterns.

Read more.

Knitters turn to graffiti artists with 'yarnbombing'

One of the most ambitious pieces of yarnbombing, or graffiti knitting, saw a woman spend an entire week covering a disused single decker bus in colourful swatches. 'Luckily I had a small team to help me with the bus but it took a week to do' said Mrs Sayeg.

Read more.

Blogpick: Shark Mittens and Samuel L Jackson from Deep Blue Sea

islandofwords has posted a whole bunch of finished items, including this highly amusing and inventive project....

Read more. And more

Lionheart

Three 30-foot high hand-crochet lions are to be created and displayed in a glass taxidermy case as part of the celebrations of culture leading up to the 2012 games.

The Artists Taking the Lead project involves 12 commissions representing the regions of the UK. The East Midlands winner is Shauna Richardson, who will crochet the lions herself. The connection with the region and inspiration for the project is Richard the lionheart, whose coat of arms featured three lions. Shauna hopes to use Peak District wool, historically the regionÕs most important export.

Read more.

Blogpick: free pattern for a hairband or fascinator

I like this. Quick, easy and fun. More of an idea than a pattern, let your creative juices flow. From Anjie Davison - craft, fashion and photography creative inspiration blog.

Free pattern for a hairband or fascinator.

Business as usual during the strikes

If you've ordered from me before, you'll know that I dispatch same day if possible, always by the next working day, and always use first class. I'm sending parcels out as normal, and am hoping that you will order as normal. The post office have said that all post will be delivered, but obviously some may be delayed during the period of the strikes.

At best, parcels will be delivered as normal, at worst, I expect that some will be delayed by a day or two.

Trick or Treat - Halloween Knits

Some ghoulish ideas for using up stash are listed over at Rowan.

Free patterns are available for downloading - Pablo the Pumpkin, Ollie the Owl and the perfect Trick or Treat wallet.

More about free halloween patterns.

Knit a poem

More than a thousand knitters worldwide have been knitting furiously through September to contribute 1200+ squares to a 13 metre by 9 metre hand-knitted version of Dylan ThomasÕs 'In my Craft or Sullen Art'.

The Poetry Society felt that the choice of poem was appropriate for the project, and none of the knitters knew what the poem was while they were knitting.

The poem was rolled out at the British Library, London, on 7 October and will be on show in Swansea, ThomasÕs home town, at the end of October. It will then tour to Manchester and beyond.

More about the Poetry Society's knitted poem.

Naked Knitting Noras

The Knitting Noras are a group of fundraising knitters from Bolton, who, it says here, get up to all sorts of malarkey.

You can now buy their 2010 calendar, proceeds will go to cancer chairities.

More about the Knitting Noras and their calendar.

Are we go fight crime, or what? Yep, just let me finish this row...

Teenaged superheroes fighting crime in fabulous handknits!

Bizarre but true. Our handknitting superheroes appear in their own comic strip, which includes a full knitting pattern every issue (beginner to intermediate). Only in america! If you are tempted, there are a couple of retailers here in the UK that stock the comic and merchandise.

Handknit Heroes.

Graveyard graffiti knitting

Artists Sundogs were commissioned to produce a piece of work that would turn some heads in Inverness. The gravestone cosy is certainly eye-catching if perhaps a little irreverent? (Though I'd be chuffed to bits if it were me that was lying beneath it.) The pattern's online if you want to knit one yourself.

DIY knit your own 12ft celtic cross gravestone cosy.

Making a dress form

Author Wendy Bernard is responsible for this fun, creative and cost-effective way to clone your own body to make a perfect dress form.

YouTube - Duct Tape Dress Form.

Knitting in public

Still all fired up about Worldwide Spin in Public Day, I've started a Flickr group called Spinning and knitting in public - if you have a Flickr account, just click 'join'. If you aren't on Flickr, it's pretty easy to join. Go on - you know you want to!

Visit / join the spinning / knitting in public group.

KnitPro Spectra Needles

Already available in America as Knit Picks Zephyr needles, clear acrylic needle tips are now available here in the UK. The lightweight tips look amazing and are to be called knitPro Spectra here.

Interchangeable points are available on this site in sizes 3.5mm - 7mm.

Read more.

Knit Pro chart maker

Not the needles in this case, this KnitPro is a free web application that translates digital images into knit, crochet, needlepoint and cross-stitch patterns. Simply upload jpeg, gif or png images and knitPro will generate a graph sizable for any fiber project.

Read more.

12 Easy Lace Knitting Patterns free eBook

If you've not yet started to explore the holey world of the 'yarn over' stitch, this free book may be for you.

Read more.

Blogpick - And now for something completely different - wierd pattern round-up

Thanks to Carissa for this round-up of wacky patterns. knitted dog poo, a fish that's eating your head, a very sinister hat and substitute womb with variations.

Read more.

Twist Collective Fall 2009 (read:Autumn 2009!) issue

The autumn issue of Twist Collective is out. It's a special issue as it's their first anniversary!

Among the wealth of patterns there's a definite focus on 'tops and toes' - sweaters, hats and socks, with the forthcoming colder weather in mind.

Articles include 'Swatch it!' - Clara Parkes knits the same cabled swatch in a range of wools made from different breeds and different processes, 'A Round Yoke by Other Means', Pam Allen writes about her new favourite technique for knitting a rounded yoke, 'The Ram is Half the Sweater', the fourth part of an article about farming sheep.

Read more.

Free Crochet Patterns eBook is Thrifty and Fun

FaveCrafts introduce this great free crochet patterns eBook, which provides 25 original crochet patterns.

Read more.

Cancer charity's appeal to knitters

Macmillan Cancer Support is inviting experts and amateurs alike to pick up their knitting needles and create anything from a single patchwork square to a full blanket.

Macmillan is supported by leading knitting magazine, The Knitter, and designer handknits company Rowan, who have lined up some of the biggest stars of the knitting world to design patterns for the campaign, including Debbie Bliss, Alice Starmore, Meg Swansen, Marie Wallin, Jared Flood and Teva Durham

The first pattern is in the August issue of The Knitter and all of the patterns are available as a free download from the Macmillan website www.macmillan.org.uk/theknitter

Sock Knitting Round-Up

Another great weekly round up by Threadbanger - If you've not knitted a pair of socks, or if you have and want to knit more, this is for you:

Read more.

Lion Brand Patterns Now Free!

Lion Brand has announced that all of its previously paid-for patterns are now available for free. You do have to join their website to access the patterns.

Read more.

What does a shepherdess wear on her wedding day?

Award-winning sheep breeder Louise Fairburn designed her stunning gown and used wool from her favourite rare Lincoln Longwool. The dress has to be seen to be believed!

Read more.

Summer 2009 Knitty

Here in Britain we've had some hot days but at times it's been difficult to believe that it's summer! I suppose that means more indoor days for knitting! More reliable than our weather is the Summer issue of Knitty

The latest issue has cool patterns for the summer, and is looking ahead with 'holiday headstart' patterns - warm knits which you can make a start on now and (if you knit as slowly as me) finish in time for the winter weather. Holiday headstarts are marked with a snowflake on the patterns page

Other Summery items include How to create a lace chart and this friendly crustacean

Knitty Summer 09 issue.

Darwin's animals recreated by knitting team

Charles Darwin's treasured animal collection, including creepy creatures in jars and a stuffed tortoise, have been recreated by a team of knitters.

The show, called Darwin's Leftovers, includes knitted hummingbirds, fossils, a life-size iguana, tribal souvenirs and a tarantula.

http://www.24dash.com/news/Communities/2009-07-31-Darwins-animals-recreated-by-knitting-team

How many yards of yarn do I have to spin to make that?

Your pattern tells you you need so many ounces of a certain type of yarn, or worse still, doesn't tell you how much yarn you need. How much should you spin?

I've made this handy calculator which will work it out for you. Yarn calculator.

Grandmother's favourite dishcloth

Ecologically sound and perfect for using up left over ends (cotton is ideal)Ê- Grandmother's favourite dishcloth.

http://www.yarnpirate.com/?p=303

If you want to try something else, Tipnut has a collection of free dishcloth patterns:
http://tipnut.com/dishcloth-patterns/
and free washcloth patterns:
http://tipnut.com/dirty-girl-washcloths/

Perfect gift for father's day?

This is either bonkers or genius, I can't decide.

http://knitting.about.com/od/patternsformen/p/garter-tie.htm.

Twist Collective - Summer 09 issue

An online magazine featuring articles and patterns. Among the items in this new Summer 09 issue, Clara Parkes swatches a sock pattern in several different yarns. Twist Collective current issue.

UK Ravelry Day

We've read about the forthcoming UK Ravelry day in Coventry. Its aims include supporting British yarn and the International Year of Natural Fibres and will include a market (outside building in the Bull Yard square), demonstrations, workshops, talks. So well worth supporting if you're able.

UK Ravelry day will be held on Saturday 6 June 2009 at the Central Hall, Coventry: http://www.britishyarn.org.uk/PR01160309.html

International Year of Natural Fibres: http://www.naturalfibres2009.org

Blogpick: Silly pattern round-up

Glow in the dark gnome beard/brows, Swine-Flu Masque, Shark Hat, adorable Toilet Paper and knitted DNA all fature in threadbanger's round up of silly knitting patterns.

Have you a favourite silly pattern? Email me: shiela@handknitter.co.uk

Knitting Marathon

You are invited to take part in a 24-hour knitting marathon next week (fri 22 May 2009).

The Mothers' Union will be knitting sailors' hats around the clock at St John's Church, Filey from noon on Friday as part of the Sailors' Society's annual Woolly Hat Campaign.

There will be spare wool, needles and patterns for those people who want to join in the fun.

The group is also putting on produce stalls, information stalls, an art exhibition and afternoon teas on the Friday afternoon.

http://www.fileymercury.co.uk/news/Open-invite-to-join-knitters39.5269844.jp

Make it - sell it!

We've been waiting for a good UK-friendly version of Etsy - could this be it? MISI is an online market place for buying and selling quality craft products. There's some lovely stuff on there, and we've bookmarked the 'bizarre' section.

  • You can create your own store or just sell one off items and its free to join
  • Stores are free to set up
  • 20p per listing you make no matter what the quantity or price of the product is
  • You will be charged just 3% of the sale of your items (only if the item sells)Ê
  • Items stay on the site for 12 months.

http://www.misi.co.uk/

Have you used it to buy or sell? Email me to let me know what you think: shiela@handknitter.co.uk

Stitches on the Bridge

An invitation from Luib na Lban, a new textile art group in Skye and Lochalsh, to take part in an ambitious guerrilla knitting project to cover the Skye Bridge in knitting!!

The Skye Bridge links the Isle of Skye with the mainland in the West Highlands of Scotland.

Participants are invited to knit or crochet items of particular dimensions: large panels, scarves, or smaller rectangles. These will be joined together and mounted on the ramparts of the bridge, creating a colourful and thought provoking display of knitted links with the world. All the items will eventually be sold to raise money for charity.

http://www.stitchesonthebridge.co.uk/

Jacquie's Knitting Chart Maker

Are you thinking of designing a pattern chart for your next project? This amazing free software might make that job a breeze and will work on your computer, as long as java is enabled in your browser. Intructions are right there on the page, just scroll down.

http://jacquie.typepad.com/Charts/knitChart.htm

Knit one, perl one

For knitters who also love maths / computers, this post is a joy to read.

Mr K started with a satellite map of the earth, and "attacked it with computer programs until it was a knitting pattern"

... not because he really wants a knitted globe for the kids we suspect, but simply because he can.

Does anyone want to run with it? If you do, let us know how you get on - info@handknitter.co.uk http://www.knitternaut.com/?p=38

Pattern: Elvis Wig

This is a gem. I love Ian Macmillan, the Barnsley Bard, and remember hearing his radio documentary about the Yorkshire Elvis Bus Tour. What a delight to find this on the web - Knitted Elvis wig pattern. http://www.theshed.co.uk/elviswig.html

Pattern and appeal: knitted boobs

Until now, Mums who needed to express milk had to use expensive prosthetic breasts to learn the necessary skills.

An appeal to knitters resulted in some furious knitting and an 'amazing' response.

The pattern is available for free here. Contact Liverpool Women's Hospital's regional neo-natal unit if you'd like to make and donate one.

Debra's garden


Row counters and needle gauges now in stock


Needles and hooks


Brittany and KnitPro needles and hooks


Yarn Bowls


Handmade Yarn Bowls