Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Most Personalised Mini (so far)

This is probably the most personalised mini I have ever seen. Isn't this photo of the car great? It was quite a challenge to make a knitted version. The purchaser, from Wales, was OK with me not making the roof rack.  A shame, as it is part of the look, but I think would have needed wire etc, and I like to try to just use wool.

This knitted version was bought for the owner by his girlfriend for Christmas. I wonder if I will ever get a more personal mini to make? I very much doubt it, but who knows.

Just a reminder that there is still plenty of time left to join in my Ginx Woolly Linx party for February. Click on the photo below or at the top of the page to find the party. I would love to see what you have been working on this month.

Sunday, 4 February 2018


At Christmas I watched a brilliant documentary called "Hotel Armadillo". David Attenborough is just such a great guy. When my daughter was fairly young she wrote a letter to him, and he replied an ink-written letter, properly answering all the questions she had asked him. What a legend. Anyway I digress a bit, but while watching those cute armadillos (yes that is the correct plural) - the texture, the nine stripes, the joints - I found myself thinking "I could knit one of those". I find myself thinking that quite a lot.

So here is my new pattern - Armadillo. It is knitted with 4ply wool, and the finished armadillo is 16cm long from tip of tail to end of nose. I use quite a few of my usual techniques. Pieces are knitted flat, and there are some short rows to get the curve of the back, moss stitch to get the texture, and icord knitting on the tail and legs.

I think I prefer him beige, but I also had a go at making an armadillo with a sock wool with a hint of pink. Not quite sure about the result, so I am still looking out for the perfect armadillo wool.

The pattern for Armadillo is available on ravelry, Craftsy and Etsy, and will be on LoveKnitting later today. Also many thanks to Jennifer, who super speedily tested and checked the pattern.

Just a reminder that I have opened my Ginx Woolly Linx party for February. The party will be running all month, so you can join in at any time. Click on the photo below or at the top of the page to find the party. I would love to see what you have been working on this month.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Ginx Woolly Linx Party February

Firstly can I thank everyone who joined up to my new link party in January. I was a bit anxious, will anyone join in? (Perhaps this is why I don't hold many real parties.) But you came and I really enjoyed looking at ALL your projects. I am hoping that my link party will grow organically, but stay small enough that you have time to visit and comment on each other's projects.

Picking my features for last month was been tricky. I had to rope in my daughter with the picking, and helping me put these photos together. So many beautiful projects. Congratulations if you were picked, and please display the "I was featured" button on your blog. (I found making the buttons and codes really quite difficult, so do let me know if you have any problems with this.)

Sandra of Wild Daffodil has made mandalas that are little works of art.

Lalka Crocheta has cleverly made a motorcycle keychain. I have a bit of a thing about vehicles made from wool.

Julie of Sum of their Stories has adapted a mitten pattern to make a colourful Twinkle Star Glasses Case. 

Handmade by Amalia has made a trio of beautiful baskets with handles from T-shirt yarn. Such beautiful colours, I just love this sort of useful storage - you can never have too many baskets.

You will probably notice that I have slightly changed the name to "Ginx Woolly Linx", as the previous name seemed a bit too close to another party. Projects don't have to be made of wool, but should be knitting or crochet, or other crafts that involve wool/yarn. Show me what you have been creating this month. You can link at any time in the month, so remember to call back to see who has joined the party.  

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Thursday, 11 January 2018

Direwolf Socks (learning by my mistakes)

There is only one member of my family now that I have not knitted socks for - my son. So I decided to give this a go, as part of my Christmas car knitting. I like to have some knitting to do on our travels at this time of year. 

He really likes "Game of Thrones", and it would be nice to knit him something related to that. There is a pattern on ravelry for a Game of Thrones blanket, and although I have thought about making that for him, it would probably mean I would have to devote a year to it and nothing else...

But I found a really nice pattern for some Direwolf Mittens by Carly Hill, but he is not really a mitten-type of person. (He is a bit like his Dad, who seems to think that real men don't need gloves, however cold!) So I thought I would use the direwolf motif from this pattern, but on a fairly standard sock pattern.  I used Favourite Socks by Voolenvine.

Mistake Number One. I pretty soon worked out that I could not just knit the direwolf motif, as I was knitting in the round. But that was a problem I could overcome, and so I decided I would have to also include the background pattern to get the wool to go the whole way round. (The only other way I suppose would be to find a sock pattern that is knitted flat, with a seam. Does such a thing exist?) I decided to have a patterned section, and knit the rest of the sock plain, but with an alternative colour for the ribbing, heel, and toe.

Mistake Number Two - Just don't try knitting from a chart in the car. I tried all sort of techniques: pinning the chart to the dashboard. But the car movement and my eyesight just made it impossible, so I had to be satisfied with just doing the plain sections on the road. I hasten to say that I am a passenger, not driving.

Blocking on my homemade cardboard feet

So all seemed fine. I thought if I knitted the largest size of sock it would all work out. Mistake Number Three. The first sock was nearly done, and I thought I would get my son to do a try on, to make sure it was the right foot length. But my poor son was a bit like an ugly sister trying to get into the glass slipper. Because of my patterned section, it was just too tight to fit him. 

Good news! - They fit me (Miss Cinderella) perfectly. 

Mistake Number Four. The next thing I realised was that although I had planned to have the direwolves facing in different directions, I had placed their faces fairly near the front of the socks. I think it would have been better to have put them slightly further to the sides, but too late for that now ....

I am still determined to make him some Direwolf socks. (He tells me that grey and white would be more House of Stark.) I think perhaps the best way is to incorporate the motif into a seamed sock. A seam on the foot might be uncomfortable though, but I wondered if I could knit the foot section in the round, and the leg bit flat with a seam. I would welcome any advice. Have you knitted any socks with a motif on the leg, or a flat-knitted seamed sock? Does anyone know of any patterns with the foot in-the-round and the leg seamed?

There are still plenty of days left in January to join my new monthly Ginx Yarn Linx party and share your woolly projects. There is a link to it in at the top of the righthand column.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Cooper's Dad's Cooper

I love making personalised versions of my mini cooper pattern. This one was very special, as this man loves his mini cooper so much that he named his son Cooper. So Cooper decided to buy his dad a knitted version of his car. 

Isn't this picture great. The pristine mini cooper, and also the beautifully organised garage, and Cooper's dad, who used to race mini coopers. (Think on husband - although my husband only has a shed, not a garage, it does not look as tidy as this.)

I was lucky as I already had the perfect colour blue wool, and personalised it by making it just a bit longer than my normal mini, with the black roof, and some of the stickers in the back windows, and the numberplate WUTZAT. 

Unfortunately mini cooper no 1 was mailed, but did not arrive.  So below is Cooper's second cooper. I can just about tell the difference. It has been sent, this time tracked, although not quite in time for Christmas.

UPDATE Oh postal services! Cooper No 1 has now arrived. It took 3 weeks. We have decided to blame Trump. So Cooper's dad will get two coopers I guess, so that will make 3! 

Just a reminder that if you are looking for somewhere new to share your projects I am running a new monthly woolly party. There is a link to it in at the top of the righthand column 

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Happy New Year and Ginx Yarn Linx Party

Wishing everyone who visits my blog Happy New Year!

If you do knit anything from my patterns, please send me a photo, or link the project on ravelry. It is lovely to see my patterns knitted up, and get a bit of feedback.

I have done much less pattern creating than other years. So although I have been knitting, I have sometimes found I just haven't had the energy for the pattern-inventing sort of knitting, which requires a lot more thought.

That said, I have come out with some new patterns. You can click on the photos to go to the pattern.



Christmas Elephants

Tiny Elf Clogs

My other main knitting sales have been versions of my car patterns. Seven cars, 1 van and a caravan. So that is probably why I feel I have been knitting. I do enjoy it when someone asks for a personalised version of my cars, so below are photos of some made this year. I have a few more coming up, but I like to know that the recipients are happy before I post about them.

So what for next year. I have ideas for some new patterns, I do feel perhaps I should update the look of this blog, but that seems such a major task I am not sure how to start. I still have the ambition to publish a book of patterns, but the main thing that I have decided to do (and can start straight away) is run a monthly link party. 

Quite a few of the knitting parties where I used to regularly link have folded this year. So perhaps rather than feel sad about this, I am going to try and run my own. 

I don't want to set too many rules, so you don't have to follow me unless you wish to. I had the idea for it to be monthly, and just for fibre or yarn related crafts. (So knitting, crochet, and any other crafts that use yarn or wool.) Please only link posts that fit this criteria. Apologies to other crafts, but there seems plenty of other parties out there for you. 

I will also feature my favourite link/s each month when I open the party for the next month. And if you have linked this month I will send you a reminder for next month. Please try and visit some of the other posts. (I know I have done it myself, been one of the first to link and then forgotten to call back. But as this party is going to run all month, please try and pop back from time to time and see who has joined in.) I don't mind if you link to old posts, so long as they are yarn-related, and a max of 3 per person per party.

Now I have just got to work out how to make a link party!! If you do come and party it would be great if you could mention it or post my blog button (which you can see below) on your own blog. There will also be an "I was featured" button. 

This is my first party (and I am a bit of a technophobe), so I hope you will support me and each other, and make it a fun place to share your projects and ideas.

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Monday, 4 December 2017

Tiny Dutch Christmas Elf Clogs

I decided to make some new Christmas decorations for my tree. What could be more cute than some tiny pairs of elf shoes? 

In The Netherlands at Christmas, children leave a shoe out by the fireplace or sometimes a windowsill. They also believe that if they leave some hay and carrots in their shoes for Sinterklass's horse, they will be left some sweets or small presents. I am not Dutch, but this seems like such a lovely tradition that I thought I would make  some very tiny elf clogs, to contain sweets or nuts on the tree. My daughter tells me that her German friend leaves a boot on the front doorstep for Saint Nicholas to fill, even though she lives in England.

I am posting about this today because we are very close to the days, 5th/6thDecember when St. Nicholas's Day is celebrated. (Although in some countries it is celebrated on 19th December.)

The pattern is available on ravelry, Etsy, Craftsy, and will be on LoveKnitting. They are an easy knit, all in garter stitch, and with one small seam to sew.

I apologise for the huge number of photos. I have rather got a bit carried away with making these little shoes. I also wanted to show them before and after they have been decorated. They are such a quick make, but also great fun to decorate. I have embroidered with wool, and added some beads. I am sure they could be zhuzhed up in other ways. I would love to see what other people do with them.

I've taken most of these photographs at the front of my house, where I have a fir tree. Lots of curious looks from passers-by. So my only problem now is when I do put them on the Christmas tree (we don't have it yet as my husband like to leave it closer to the day), how to I stop one very greedy labrador getting to them. 

In fact the whole dog/Christmas thing is a bit of a worry. We don't go to town with decorations, but do always have a tree in the living room, with gifts around it. I would love any tips on how to do Christmas with a dog who will eat anything and everything. I suspect the answer is, "carefully".