My Free Patterns

Friday, September 30, 2011

Let's Catch Up..........

First of all, let me do a bit of catching up.  I posted a few months ago about knitting my Mom a Leafy Top, and I wanted to share a picture of her wearing it!  It was made for Mother's Day, but I didn't get to see her until July.  I'm am really pleased about how well it fits!

Now, while I was slaving away on the Leafy Top, my Mother-in-law and knitter of over 70 years was slaving away on an Aran jumper for my Dad.  I bought the wool for his father's day, and she knit it up in, I swear, about 2 months.  Can we say, "talented" because she blows my mind!  Anyway, he was over the moon with it, and now he wants to visit me in winter so he can wear it.  Alas, he lives in Phoenix, but perhaps for not much longer..........

And if you are wondering, yes, those are my girls wearing their pj's while playing in the garden in the middle of the morning.  Isn't that what summer is all about?  

Now, making this a long post, here is what I originally intended to post about--hot water bottles!  We have moved into a stone farmhouse out in the country, and it is wonderful.  However, we call the house "the castle" because, well, it isn't the warmest place to live if I'm honest.  Having grown up in Arizona and California, the notion of a hot water bottle is new to me.  I jumped on it though, when I found them for sale on Amazon for £2.5 each.

Dave got his cover knit first, in black, because I had it and it seemed manly :) 

The pattern is called Pure Warmth, and I found it on Ravelry.  The wool is.....uhm, 20% wool, 80% acrylic but I'm not sure what brand it is any more.  I've got to keep better track of labels..............

Mine is up next, I've got no interest in it now though and I've moved on to other things.  I know as it gets colder I'll pick it up again.  If only I had another set of hands!

Here is where I hop:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A very frilly WIP

This morning when I woke up I opened the curtain to a really gorgeous sight:

It couldn't help but make me eager to face the day!

Last Sunday I went to a felting workshop at my local craft store.  It was really good fun, and a bit of hard work!  I made a bag and handle--but more on that on Friday.  While I was at the shop I couldn't help but have a browse, and I came away with two new balls of yarn.  The first one:
Colinette pure wool "sweet dreams"

I want to use it to make myself an ear flap hat like I made the girls (minus the pom-poms I think).  It was just too gorgeous to pass up, and it was in the clearance bin.  Yay!

The second ball is something I don't normally do--a novelty yarn.   It is called Tango by Woolcraft.  The shop assistant was sitting knitting a scarf with it, and she had me at the ruffles.  She assured me it was easy, "knit every row, skip the first hole."  I nodded like I knew what she was talking about.  Why I do this, I have no idea!

So I got it home and of course tore into it.  I learned two things rather quickly:

1) I had no idea what I was doing
2) I wound it into a ball thinking I was clever after the last tangled wool fiasco, but alas I didn't pay attention to the fact that it was flat like a ribbon.  So I actually twisted it all up as I wound it, and now I have to knit a bit, untwist, knit a bit more.  Live and learn.

The solution to my 1st problem, was YouTube.  How I used to live without the internet, I don't like to think about.  The video I used is here.  And it is, in fact, very simple.  I just needed a bit of help to get going.  

So that's what I've been up to.  Here is where I'm hopping:

Monday, September 26, 2011

A new Old-Fashioned Ginger Cookie

I love ginger cookies.  I love spice cookies.  I love cookies!  My girls have recently started school, and as a lot of you out there know, you can break the bank buying stuff for lunch boxes.  I want them to eat good, nutritious food, but I also want them to be able to have treats.  Goodies make me happy, and they definitely make my wee ones happy too.  So in an effort to put less processed food into our girls, hubby and I came up with a list of things we could do/cook/bake/etc. to give them wholesome meals, with some fun thrown in for good measure.

On the top of the list was me--baking more muffins and cookies, and breads.  Sigh, so much is asked of me.  Just because I love baking things does it mean I want to do it all the time?  Well, yes, yes it does!  Now I have even more reason to.  I want to stock-pile cookies and muffins in the freezer so I always have some on hand.  Today I made a recipe out of a really great book,

The recipe is called Old-Fashioned Ginger Cookies, and the only difference between this recipe and the one I usually use is that there is lemon juice in it.  Lemon juice?  Really??  Yes, and it is really does take it up a notch. We all loved them, and they are going in the lunch boxes tomorrow.  I need to freeze the rest right away, to save myself from the extra calories.

Here is what I did:
Heat oven to 160C/325F.
Cream together 1/2 cup (115g) butter, at room temperature, with 233g grams sugar.  Or, conversely, 2/3 of 1 3/4 cup sugar (odd I know, that's why I stuck to grams, I refuse to do math if I don't have to). You use the other 1/3 of the sugar to roll the cookies in, if you are confused :)

Add 1 egg and mix in.  Stir in 4 tbs molasses (black treacle) and 1 tsp fresh lemon juice. Next, add: 2.5 cups sifted plain flour, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and 1 1/2tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp cloves.  Mix together to form a soft dough.  

Roll dough into 3/4" balls and roll in sugar before placing on a greased cookie sheet.  Leave space for the cookies to spread.  Bake in oven for 12 minutes or until set.  Leave to cool for a few minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.  Pour a cup of tea and enjoy!

Here is where I hop, and you can find lots of lovely food and crafty things, check it out:


Thursday, September 22, 2011


Confession time..........even with all my alpaca loving blog friends, I have yet to knit with alpalca wool.  That is, until now!  As a sort of hobby/compulsion I like to scan Ebay now and then for clearance wool, and last year some time I bought a ball of 100% alpalaca to try.  I like to buy things like this on Ebay because if I end up not liking them, well, I haven't lost much money in the process.

So I've cast on another hat, in my ongoing attempt to make a hat for myself for this winter.  My daughter wasn't feeling well yesterday so after school we all lined up on the couch and watched Tangled.  I think this is my favorite Disney movie thus far.  It might help that Zachary Levi is in it (he's Chuck!!).  I started this hat:

Sorry about my really poor photography skills, I was in a hurry to get this post up.

As for reading--I am as addicted to that as I am to knitting.  I am currently reading Rebecca, and I just got the best gift ever, a Kindle.  I was dead set against Kindles for ages, but the newest ones that have the pearl ink technology are just like reading a book.  Now I am hooked.  Only, that doesn't photograph well does it?

Check out some other WIP addicts here:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The woolie ear flap

I'm happy to announce that I've finished both of the girls ear flap hats.  I love big needles, this project went super quick.  I bought some 8mm DPN's just for this project, they are marvelous.

I made Rori's hat first, and to be honest, it is too big.  I was too scared to wash it in warm water to try to shrink it a bit, so I just told her to pull it back off her face :)  She can only grow into it.  She picked the colours and I think it is the most gorgeous hat.  I would keep it for myself if she would let me.

Look how big my pom-poms are!

While I am more happy with the way Isla's hat came out--the second one is always better, am I right or what?  I don't care for the colours she chose, but they really speak to her personality.  Crazy, fun, off the wall.  Her hat fits better.

So there you have it, that's what I've been up to this week.  Here is where I like to hop:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hat Swap

Happy happy joy joy--my Internet is back and it is finally up to speed.  We had to make do with 10 days of it being no faster than dial-up, but now they have finally got it sorted.  Yippee, now I can blog in earnest again!!  I can also Skype with my family, which is really nice when you live far away!

I've gotten back into swapping on Ravelry this month, which is super fun. I've only done a few before, so I'm still a swapping novice really. This month is HATS--so you know it was a must for me!  I just love a good hat project.  It was interesting picking out a pattern and yarn for my partner, as her taste is a fair bit different than mine.  She likes browns, oranges, pinks, etc.  I decided on the yarn first, some girlie camouflage I had, and then found a slouchy pattern I wanted to try.  I added the flower on a whim to make it seem more girlie, and add a bit of flair.  I've used this flower pattern before on a pixie hat I made.  I am pleased with the results, now I just need to get it in the post!

Yesterday the girls and I went to our local wool shop (I love it there) and bought some wool for a new hat for each of them.  I am going to attempt this ear flap pattern from Spud and Chloe.  I love letting them pick out their own wool, can't wait to see how it works up!

Here is where I hop:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

WIP Wonder

I don't think I have ever posted on a WIP before, but there should always be a first time, shouldn't there?  

Today as I was sitting on the floor ripping out about 6 rows from my cardigan, I thought it looked so pretty I had to take a picture of it.  Why was I ripping out rows you might wonder?  Apparently I am numerically challenged.  There were 255 stitches before I started the diamond pattern, I swear.  But by the time I got to the 8th row of the pattern I was down to 254.  Where that one stitch went I have no idea, but there you go, it happens.  Rip rip rip, and start over.

I am really enjoying this project, as I haven't done a top-down cardigan before.  I am knitting it in pure undyed wool.  It is Lyon's Brand Fisherman's Wool that I bought for another project, then completely forgot about.  I am a little bit in love, just in case you didn't know.

And just for fun, here's a picture of my little helper.  She is the softest most lovely dog in the world.  No, I am not biased.

 Here's is where I hop:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Flower Clean

This summer while at my Grandma's house, she taught me how to crochet.  YES!!!  Finally!!  She had a pattern for a cotton face scrubby, and we set to work on it.  I think it was easier for me to learn from her while we worked on a pattern.  It made the stitches make more sense.  I think the scrubbies are fabulous, and now I'm using mine every day.  They are knit in 100% cotton, here are a few of my earliest attempts:

Yes, a bit misshapen, but they were good fun to learn on.  When I was feeling pretty confident with that pattern, I looked up a more flower shaped pattern on Ravelry.  Here is that attempt.

You'll see I got there in the end, he he he.  Once I mastered the flower shape I made one for all the little girls and boys running about, I think 5.

After that, and I'm not sure I should admit this, I made my Grandma a wee bag for her bar of soap.  I wasn't even sure anyone ever used these, but she had the pattern and I had the time.  So here is a picture of her soap in the wee bag.  It was good to try a new technique!  I don't have a link for this one, because I didn't bring the pattern home with me.  If you click here, the pattern looks very similar.

And really, that's the extent of my adventures on crocheting for now.  Here is where I hop:

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