Thursday, 19 February 2015

Quick Update

This blog has been deathly quiet for quite a while. I've more or less dropped out of the Blythe hobby for a number of reasons, with my poor health being the major one. That said, I've been selling a couple of girls recently, and it has got me thinking about all the crafty projects I never got around to.

So my plan is this. I need some distraction at the moment, and crafting is perfect for that. In the next couple of weeks I'm going to start a gentle knit a long through my collection of Blythe patterns. I'll post a link where I can find it, wip pictures, and hopefully have a fluffy time with some yarn.

My first project will be the Lati top, my very favourite pattern.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Circular Knitting

Something dropped through my letterbox, some mysterious envelope. Then I opened it and realised it was the circular knitting needles I bought whilst high on pain meds.
Moving on I'm about to tackle my long held ambition to do circular knitting. Oh yes. My wonderful family bought me some noro Kureyon for christmas (and I ran out & bought a second ball in the sales as 1 ball isn't enough) and I decided it was time to knit a shawl.
If you're on Ravelry it is here
It looks beautiful. I'm going to make mistakes, but I think it will be worth it.
Here's some links for help with circular knitting, so if you want to learn here you go!

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Here I am!

Hello everyone! (If there's still any of you left!)
I've taken a VERY long break as you may all have noticed, but I am still alive. The reason for my absence is that I've started writing again, and it has rather taken over my life. That said I haven't abandoned my crafting.

I'm already lining up projects for this year, and I'm hoping to try projects beyond Blythe. The thing is I think my days of obsessing over Blythe are over. It's not that I don't love her, but I simply cannot afford to participate in the hobby to the same extent. I can't buy new dolls, and I can't buy new clothes for them, so I'm going to be quietly tootling along here in my own corner.

The etsy shop will be restocked, and there will be new lovely patterns for you to try just as soon as I get time.

Until then please bear with me. Hopefully I'll see you all again soon!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

It's getting towards that time again!

With summer almost here we are thinking about lovely summery knitwear and, of course, BCUK! I'm busy knitting sparkly things and my Mum is churning out hoodies at an alarming rate. With this is mind we are getting ready to reopen the shop and we are also going for an image overhaul as I just didn't feel happy with the last one.
I will post here with updates about the shop and anything else knitting related I'm getting into!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Polly Makes - Febuary Flirty dress pattern

Polly is doing a free pattern every month and this dress is Febuary's. Pop over there (the link is in my sidebar) and take a look at the goodies on offer.
This is a super simple pattern to knit. You need 2.75mm needles and sock wool or 4ply as I always use :-P
You need to be able to cast on, rib, stocking stitch, increase in the front & back of a stitch and cast off. Simple!
I added a picot hem to this which turned out to be really unruly despite being blocked twice. I ended up popping a running stitch through the hem to calm it down.
This is a simple and satisfying project to have a go at and I would say beginners should manage this no bother.

Ravelry Pattern - Parasol Doll Shrug

Another Ravelry pattern (Have you joined yet?) and this is a lovely one! Shrugs and kisses by Maggie Baird aka Parasoll Doll is a delight to knit, simple and very cute. This pattern is also free so hop to it!
You need sock weight or fingering yarn, I used 4ply as I don't have sock yarn (shcoking oversight on my part) and you'll need 2.25mm needles. Again I didn't have these so I used a 2.5mm and it didn't make much difference.
To make it you need to be able to cast on, do moss stitch & stocking stitch, increase by knitting in the front and back of a stitch, and cast off. Easy peasy!
I admit that I had no clue how this would work from the picture as I usually need to see something 'in the wool' before I can figure it out. Once made I folded it and had the light bulb moment, yes I am that daft.
I would recommend this for beginners and anyone who wants a lovely shrug!
Maggie also has patterns on her website here, enjoy!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Ravelry Patterns - The Fishnet Lace Dress

This pattern took me ages. Not because of the pattern but because I was a lace knitting noob and knitting with such fine wool almost drove me insane.
Anyways you can find this pattern over on Ravelry and you need to register (it is an amazing knitting resource though so why not?) It costs $5 and you need lace weight yarn (fluffy is good) and 2mm needles or whatever that translates as. Why must there be so many variations of needle sizes hmm?
To make it you need to be able to cast on, knit & purl for the stocking stitch, do yarnovers, knit 2 tog and cast off.
My main problem with lace knitting is that I knit tightly so I found it very hard knitting 2 together as required by the pattern, it took me at least 2 goes before I got it just right. Once you have the lace knitting sussed this pattern is easy & quick to make. The instructions are clear and the finished dress is just sheer knitted wonderment.
I would suggest trying some lace knitting before having a go at this though!
Also - I don't knit with markers at all as they drive me mad. I just made sure I kept count (mostly)
Sarah, of Blythe Princess Designs, has these for sale in her shop and there are more patterns over on etsy if you fancy it.
Happy Lace Knitting!

Lace knitting project, how it turned out!

Check out the Lucy Line in the post below this one and then check out how it turned out!!
First up here's a blurry close up of the lace pattern on the hood. I went for a falling leaves pattern as it matched the green, the hood took quite a while as I only lace knit when my kids are both at school. That gives me 2 days a a week! It went really well until two thirds of the way through when I realised I had dropped a stitch somewhere on a purl row (the yarnovers can be hard to spot) and the pattern is ever so slightly off as a result.
I knit the body of the hoodie with very little alteration from my usual pattern apart from some extra moss stitch on the sleeves and front. It is far too plain so I will be altering the pattern for my next go. The body could also do with being slightly longer, must remember!

And here is the final result. I left a gap in the back for the hair & pull string so it sits nicely on Robin's head. often when the doll has lots of hair it can pull the hood off with its weight. I added a leaf button as decoration and used a popper to fasten it as I didn't want to risk knitting buttonholes just yet.
I am really pleased with it but I am already looking forward to doing version 2 in a different colour. Lace knitting is oddly addictive!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

The Lucy Line

I was picking through my lace knits book the other day when I spotted a tiny bit at the bottom that suggested putting a thread through your knitting so you can frog back to that point. Genius! Did I do it? No. Instead I tortured myself by starting Sarah's lace knit dress and frogging it not once but twice, argh!
I have now popped a 'lucy line' in my current lace knit project and yes, I am going to try the dress AGAIN. With a line in it for the inevitable frogging.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Updating patterns!

Hello everyone,
 I'm working on updating the basic patterns on here with suggestions and improvements as time has shown they are not perfect. Any suggestions are appreciated!
The shop should also be reopening early next week once I've photographed all the new stuff and sorted it out, this always takes longer than expected.
In knitting news I am tackling lace weight and I'm hoping to post about this in the next few weeks once I've had another go at the pattern for the next Ravelry pattern post.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

On Strike!

After a few failed knitting projects I decided to go on strike last week, not much use when you have a) the Blythe Shopping directory to update b)Blythecon UK coming up c) charity project for the shop coming up in october.
I have been having a rather large think about Blythe and my collection and pretty much the whole financial aspect of a hobby that is now officially TOO EXPENSIVE for me. I can no longer buy a doll at random like I used to be able to and I have these expensive bits of plastic sat round the house in boxes whilst we struggle to sort our finances out. 
So....I am having a large clearout that involves selling my goldie, hollywood and a few other girls. This means that we can fit a woodburner at our house and cut our heating bills dramatically this winter. Hurray! Free warmth!
It does also mean that for the first time I am in the position of selling an expensive doll, something I've never done before. Meep!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Knitting in pink!

In october my Mum and I are planning on filling the shop with pink goodies, all in aid of Cancer Research. I got started a few days ago and I know my Mum will already have oodles of pink on the go as she is a much faster knitter than me. We've decided to do this in memory of my Mum's sister Eileen who died from breast cancer just over 8 years ago. There are so many other people out there fighting cancer and if we can make the smallest difference then it is all worth it.
So pop by the shop in october after Blythecon UK when we will have lots of pink for you.

Not all Double Knits are equal!

I have now been knitting for the princely sum of Two years! I can hardly believe it, I've knitted so few things for actual people :-P
I started off with a real thing for DK and to be honest I still can't resist it, but one thing I've noticed is that DK is all different sizes!!! And indeed I have some 4plys that are more like DK. This of course adds an extra bit of excitement when trying to see if a pattern will work and ensures that your knitted item will not turn out as planned. I've knit the lati dress in all different DK's and they have all turned out differently, not always in a good way.
Double Knit can sometimes be called 8ply (8 stitches per inch) and appears to be a UK term. I don't see why we can't have all the weights of yarns in the UK so we can do US patterns without getting confused (or is that just me?)  If anyone can give me a clear definition of DK I would be grateful!

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Ravelry patterns - The Lati dress

The Lati Dress by Shelley Selwood is one of the first patterns I actually got to grips with and I learnt lots from it. I still have the occasional phase of knitting this pattern simply because it is easy & very familiar.
And yep, it's a lati top but this does fit Blythe and actually makes a really nice t-shirt or dress with minimal alteration.

Tools/Yarn needed: You are supposed to use 4ply and 2.25mm needles but I admit that I have used a variety of different wool/needle sizes as I don't have that many colours of 4ply yet. In normal double knit this pattern can turn out a little bit baggy but that's fine if you're after a baggy fit. I have knit this in King Cole Haze DK and it turned out beautifully, using size 11 needles (can't remember the metric size!)

Skills needed: Increasing and Seed stitch. I say seed stitch is a skill because I still forget how to do it midway through a row and end up with Rib. It drives me mad!

Other notes: I don't bother with markers as I don't see the point. I wrote this out without markers so if anyone would like me to write out what I do on here feel free to ask. To make a dress you can simply knit this longer and if you are feeling very adventurous you can do the skirt bit in a different stitch!

Friday, 5 August 2011

Knitting patterns on Ravelry!

I have returned from my holiday and suprisingly I did no knitting whatsoever. I didn't even venture into a yarn shop which is most unlike me.
Anyway, I am aiming to venture through some of the patterns available on ravelry for Blythe and give you a brief description of each project, such as how easy they are, if the pattern has any mistakes, how well they turn out, etc. I have so many patterns from ravelry, most of which I have yet to try. First up will be my very favourite pattern - the lati dress.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Lace knitting and other adventures

Having seen the beautiful lace dress patterns by Sara on Ravelry I decided to get learning lace knitting at last. One of the things I try to do with every knitting project is learn something new, no matter how small that new thing may be. So in a bid to learn lace I chose what I thought was a simple dress pattern with a small lace section from my Mum's pattern collection. It's a Sindy one that was printed in a newspaper sometime in the 70's or 80's from the look of it so it is seriously outdated. It is also huge as Sindy's aren't exactly Blythe sized.

Here's my first go. For a start I managed to rib instead of seed stitch, something I do quite alot for some weird reason, then I struggled on the lace pattern as it turns out that the pattern itself is wrong! I was also fairly rubbish at it but it taught me the following things about lace knitting: Pay close attention to what you are doing and keep counting your stitches. This is an 8 st repeat followed by a purl row so relatively straightforward. The sleeves section are worked with a variety of cast on and cast offs, the pattern also gave the wrong number of stitches for the sleeves so they are bigger at the back than the front. Unfortunately the neckline is also appalling - the cast off on the neck line gives it a really untidy edge. It is also far too big.
I firmly believe (maybe stupidly) that this could be a nice pattern with a total rewrite so I am currently working on a complete overhaul. Given my knitting speed this could take me a very long time!

Friday, 27 May 2011

Simple Shrug

Fancy trying your hand at a simple shrug for your blythe? Here's how to do it.
Get your trusty size 3mm needles (also called a size 11) and cast on 10 stitches using double knit.Knit approximately 35 rows in rib stitch (knit then purl) or longer if you'd like long sleeves. Cast off. Sew the very ends together, just catching the edges so that you're not making a big seam - I usually sew about 1cm at each side to make the sleeves. Weave in your ends and you're all done!
You can go for an 8 cast on instead if it's not going over sleeves but a 10 gives you more room. Have fun trying it out and let me know if you manage one! If you're really good at knitting and actually have time to follow a pattern there is a beautiful shrug pattern by Parasol Doll over on Ravelry, it looks amazing but I haven't had time to try it yet. And my printer is dead.

Friday, 6 May 2011

The Stash

This is my current stash, give or take a large bag of assorted arran hidden away somewhere. I've been into knitting for almost 2 years now and the urge to buy wool is just as strong as ever, in fact I would call it an addiction. My main weakness is brightly coloured double knit. I am certainly not a yarn snob when it comes to buying wool, if it's a lovely colour then I don't care how much plastic is in it! And to be honest my Blythes have never complained about it being itchy.
I suppose the only problem with Blythe knitting is that it makes very little headway through this stash as most of it is very small. Perhaps I should knit something for a human for once.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Here's the shrug!

At last, a pic of the shrug so I can think about getting the pattern online. Although the shop is having a minor overhaul it will be taking a back seat for a few days as I will be at the hospital tomorrow. I am really hoping for some kind of resolution to all the problems I've been having, even if it's just a diagnosis.
I will be taking my knitting needles with me as I am still squirelling my way through my old projects so I can do some new ones.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Shop overhaul!

Expect a new look to the shop very shortly! I thought it was looking a bit tired, hardly suprising since it has stayed the same for 3 years!
I am also about to get the shawl pattern online but first I need to sort some wool that I span & plied myself at the weekend. It was very exciting!