Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Butterflies and Flowers

I had a lovely time in the garden of the holiday cottage we stayed in on the edge of Dartmoor, photographing the flowers and butterflies. There were just so many beautiful flowers, and more butterflies than I think I have seen in the wild. But trying to catch them on camera was much harder. My family thought I was slightly bonkers, as I would sit quietly in the garden, hoping that a butterfly would settle for long enough and open its wings for me to focus in on it. Perhaps a few generations ago I would have had a butterfly net and pins, but it is much nicer just trying to catch them on camera.

I think that my photos here include a Red Admiral, Tortoiseshell, and Fritillary. There were also some Peacock Butterflies that I didn't manage to photograph

This final photograph went wrong, but I have included it because it is reminds me of our holiday.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

"Heigh Ho says Anthony Rowley ..."

These little frogs are knitted from my new pattern. They are made from small amounts of 4ply sock wool, and I think are a great way of making something cute from those little bits of leftover yarn. (Well I think they are cute, and hope you agree with me.)

I have been working on Mr Frog for quite a few weeks, and I don't know if I am getting slower or just more pernickety. The frogs legs were the main worry, as you can see from the photo above they are long, but frogs' legs are really, really long when they are extended. I have spent quite a while looking at frog anatomy pictures. (Be warned if you type frog legs into google you come across a lot of French cookery pages.) I wanted him to be just right, so his front and hind legs are the right length, with the right number of joints and toes. So you can keep him as a swimming/jumping frog, or if you want him to be permanently sitting I explain how to fold his legs and secure with a few extra stitches.

The frogs are photographed in my friend's garden. I have been cat sitting, so each day frogs and camera have come with me. It is a really beautiful pond, and has some real frogs and newts in it, although I haven't been able to photograph them. I did think it would be rather cool if knitted frog could come face to face with a real one.

Like most of my patterns the pieces are knitted flat, with some short rows to get curves. You will need some doublepoint needles, as there are just a few rows of icord knitting. I have used black beads for the eyes, as I thought they looked realistic, although you should use safety eyes or a knitted knot if giving the frog to a child. The speckles on the frogs are also made with french knots. The pattern is available on ravelry and Craftsy, and will be in all the other usual places later today.

Water Lily

Monday, 1 August 2016

Blue 2CV

This blue hand-knitted 2CV has flown off my needles, and is now with its new owner in The Netherlands. Despite a lot of the rest of my country wanting to sever connections with Europe, I think the love of the 2CV just brings us closer together.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

"How About You ...."

The iguana was very simple to photograph. He was so still. I am sure he knew that he looked magnificent.

I might be looking for a bit of inspiration for possible future knits?  (Actually I am in the middle of designing a little animal pattern, but not any of the ones pictured here.) 

We went on a trip earlier this week to Longleat Safari Park, which I think I enjoyed more than the kids. 

Of my numerous photos these were just a few of my favourites. 

I couldn't forget the meerkats.

The elegant giraffesl ...

King of the jungle turned towards me at just the right moment ...

.... and the majestic lioness

... we also caught a glimpse of the tigers

I didn't quite capture how cute the baby ring-tailed lemur was. I know he looks a bit crazy. They were having so much fun.

The Humbolt Penguins stood so still. They looked like they were enjoying the sunshine

The anteaters were my surprise favourites.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

The Fox and the Rabbit

I was given this book, Mini Knitted Woodland by Sachiyo Ishii, for Christmas, and have finally got round to making some of the little woodland creatures. It is jampacked with other cute little animals, and the instructions are very clear. They are also great for using up any little oddments of wool that you have.

Although I have been looking for a poem or story to add here, but nothing about foxes and rabbits ends well (at least for the rabbit).


Despite a bit of a chase, this fox and rabbit appear to end up as friends.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Blue Lexus

I've been busy knitting a car again. This time I had a request to knit a Blue Lexus CT 200h. There are photos of the real car below.  

I made a lot of adaptions - different wheels, side panels, roof, windows, lights, and front grill.

I am pretty happy with the finished car. What was especially nice was that this was an order was from someone who has bought my cars before.

I am becoming a complete geek about cars. I spend a lot of my time looking at them as I drive around. I think I may go for something a bit more vintage next.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Mr Ginx

Have you ever tried to do a photo shoot, and your model just won't behave? Inspired by the Great British Sewing Bee, I decided to make Mr Ginx a dressing gown. He has never owned one, well at least not as long as I have known him, and although this isn't very seasonal, I thought it would be ideal for next winter. 

I do enjoy watching the Sewing Bee, although the idea of competitive sewing under a time limit is really horrendous. The dressing gown has taken me ages, and some days I will just sew one little part. It definitely wouldn't win any prizes, but it has got me thinking about some other sewing projects.

He very reluctantly agreed to model for me. I had the idea to get him to pose in the way models used to on old-fashioned patterns, perhaps pointing into the mid-distance. This he refused, and however much I tried to get him to behave, he just couldn't help being a bit silly. (Actually I am quite pleased that he has agreed I can post these pictures, as they are much more fun than what I had in mind.)

This final photo was taken after he had been told off for all the mucking around.

The dressing gown was made from this pattern which I bought online

although I added the cord detail to jazz it up a bit. I had the idea that it would be an easy sew, but have had a great deal of difficulty with the stitch on my machine. It was fine at first, but then started to skip stitches. Despite researching on the internet, buying a new needle, cleaning out all the fluff, altering the tension, I still cannot get a good stitch. If any of you have any other ideas I would really welcome them. You can probably see that I still have to top stitch around the sleeves. I think the problem is to do with the thickness of the fleece, as it only goes wrong when I am stitching through two layers.