Tag Archives: Knitting

Knitted Baby Blanket

After I knitted my first scarf a few months back, I had a hanker to make something a little more challenging. My friends and their daughter are staying with us this week, so a couple of months ago I thought I’d try to make a baby blanket for her first birthday.

As it was to be the third thing I’ve knitted, I was looking for a basic pattern that looked a little fancier than it was. After a bit of searching I found a pattern by The Wooly Knitter on Etsy called Bethan  that only requires knit and purl stitches but has a more complicated looking texture.

Susan in Mrs Moon helped me choose Spud & Chloë Sweater yarn, a cotton and wool mix in a gorgeous dark pink called Jelly Bean that you can stick in the wash and even in the tumble dryer (on a low heat).

So I set about knitting and was quite pleased with myself until I made a mistake a quarter of the way through. I kept knitting convincing myself that it wouldn’t be noticeable but it turned out it was very noticeable so, after trying and failing to fix it, I ended up unravelling it all and starting again.

With this little set-back I was rather behind schedule so have spent the last two weeks knitting frantically trying to get it finished in time. My husband has started affectionately referring to me as ‘the claw’, but despite the repetitive strain injury I’m quite chuffed with the finished blanket.

My hand knitted Bethan Baby Blanket

On one side is a wave pattern and on the other a woven pattern.

My attempt at The Wooly Knitter's Bethan Baby Blanket

And here is the little lady snuggling up to it with her milk on her birthday.

The finished blanket

Any recommendations on what I can knit next?

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Lights & Shades

I’ve been hankering after a turned wood standard lamp base that isn’t super expensive for ages. I found this Cotswold one at Scarlett Plum for £80 which is half the price I’ve seen similar elsewhere. Isn’t it nice?

Cotswold Standard Lamp Stand - Scarlett Plum

Now I just need to decide what shade to pair it with.

I could go monochrome by adding these amazing black beetles shades. They match the napkins I showed you last week. These lampshades are a collaboration between Quincy Lampshades and Warbeck & Cox and cost £40.

Black Beetles Lampshade - Quincy Lampshades/Warbeck & Cox

This knitted Starlight lampshade by Betty Knitter is very cosy looking and £55 for large or £25 for a small one.

Starlight Lampshade - Betty Knitter

Lush Designs have created this beautiful Fox & Cubs lampshade in three colours. I’m slightly torn between the neutral shade and the more foxy red and black. A small lampshade is £31 and the larger one is £44 and you can choose between a pendant or a lamp fitting.

Fox & Cubs Lampshade - Lush Designs

 Maybe I could try my hand at making my own lampshade at Quincy Lampshades’s workshop in Bristol in June. It’s £28.25 so could work out cheaper than buying one.

Have you ever made a lampshade? How hard is it?

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DIY Baby Tail

Since writing about baby tails I’ve found a handy version for any of you hankering after the mermaid one but unwilling or unable to pay the £70 price tag.

Mermaid Cocoon Knitting Pattern - 4aSong

Order the knitting pattern from Etsy seller 4aSong and knit your own mermaid baby tail cocoon (or ask someone nicely to knit it for you) for $4 plus the cost of the yarn.

4aSong have plenty of other sweet patterns, admittedly not all very practical, there are lots of novelty ones for photo shoots. But this one would keep little legs warm out and about in the buggy or during a daytime nap.

If any of you give this a try I’d love to hear how you get on…

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Not Just For Grannies

When I was six or seven my granny taught me to knit. I wasn’t very good at it and would just knit one long thing and because I always forgot how to cast off I’d end up leaving it unfinished. But my granny knitted really well and always had a bag or cardigan on the go and would knit us amazing things like Scooby Doo and Super Ted toys, she would put pencils in their arms and legs to make them straight which would often poke you when you cuddled them, but on the plus side could come in handy for some impromptu drawing. They lasted so brilliantly I passed them on to my daughter and even though she’s too old for them now, they can get passed down to the next baby in the family.

I was thinking how nice it would be to make things to pass down through the family or to give as special gifts for friends’ babies, so I Googled knitting lessons and the first one that came up was Mrs Moon who, it turns out, are just down the road from me. The beginners knitting patterns on the website looked so impressive that I booked a Beginners Knitting class.

Sisters Karen and Susan opened Mrs Moon in 2009 and they’ve got some beautiful pattern books and yarn. In the shop they display a few samples they’ve made from the patterns so you can see what the finished product should look like. They also have a really gorgeous array of buttons.

Karen led the beginners knitting class at the back of the shop and it was nice and cosy with me and just one other person so I got lots of one-to-one help with casting on, knitting, purling and casting off. I was very chuffed with the little square of knitting I had created and amazed at how it all came back to me, I had been convinced I’d forgotten the lot. So, full of excitement, I chose some yarn and knitting needles with the help of Susan so I could go off and knit a scarf.

My Knitted Scarf - TheHankerer

I’ve been a bit under the weather this week but that means that I finished my scarf in just two sessions (and caught up on everything that I had recorded that I’m not allowed to watch if anyone else is in the room – One Born Every Minute, Masterchef etc.).

I popped back today for some red wool for a snood, I know it’s the wrong season but I don’t trust the British weather.

To be honest, when I mentioned that I was going to learn to knit I got more than a little teasing about it. I went along to this class thinking I’d be really rubbish and that it might be a waste of time but I really enjoyed it. I’m going to do a couple more easy patterns and then I think I’ll go along to another of their classes so I can make something a bit trickier. Karen and Susan are so friendly and helpful and got me really excited about learning something new. Pop over to their website and have a look, if you order online before 1pm they ship your order the same day.

To find a knitting course near you look at the list on the UK Hand Knitting Association website.

Have you got any knitting stories?

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