All posts tagged “knitting

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Jeez Louise, the busy week continues! Hence the radio silence on the blog – we’re leaving the boat and it’s proving very difficult to find a new flat. The search continues.

Any who, I managed to find time a couple of weeks ago to attend a knitting workshop at the M Shed, to participate in a new community craft project called Briswool.


This genius project is the brainchild of Vicky Harrison, who runs the fabulous Paper Village shop on North Street. The idea is to create a completely crafted model of Bristol – complete with true Bristolian landmarks like Ashton Court and the Thekla – all made by creative members of the community.

The model will be entirely made of textiles, either knitted, crocheted or needle felted. If you want to get involved you have until the end of March to crochet or felt or knit your Bristol creations – the final piece will be exhibited at M Shed amongst other places; there’s even talk of a documentary in the pipeline!


We were knitting little multicoloured Totterdown houses at our workshop, and whilst working away we got a delivery of pale coloured houses all knitted by one lady, which will be making up the Cliftonwood area. I’ve included a pattern at the end of this post for shops – same as the houses but with a taller space for the shop name, of course!

It’s not just shops and houses that are needed, there’s room for boats, trees, even balloons! If you want more information then you can contact Vicky – – or pop into her shop Paper Village, just up from the Hen and Chicken on North Street.

So what are you waiting for Bristolians? Get involved!


Bristol shop – Knitting Pattern

1 pair of 3.50 needles (if you use smaller or larger keep an eye on your tension and gauge)
1 50 gram ball of DK yarn for (house colour)
1 small ball of white for shop sign
1 small ball of DK yarn (roof colour)
darning/wool needle

Variety of threads/wool for decorating shop with windows, doors and drain pipes

10 stitches by 16 rows
5 by 5 cm square
2 by 2 inch
Stocking stitch

Size of shop
6 by 12 by 19 cm when stuffed

Sts – Stitches
K – Knit
P – Purl
CO – Cast off

Cast on 28 Sts, preferably cable cast on.

Row 1: K row
Row 2: P row. This sets stocking stitch.
Continue in stocking stitch for 30 rows or until it measures 10 cm, end wrong side facing. Change to white yarn from shop sign continue for 7 rows or when measures 2cm whole shop front should measure 12cm.

Add in new colour for the roof P 1 row and then K 1 row this sets stocking Stitch continue for 3 rows. Every 4th row P 1 row. (P1 row, Knit 1 row, P1 row and Purl 1 row) Continue for a total of 28 rows or until the roof measures 8 ½ cm ending on a P row on right side facing. Break off roof colour.

Bring in main colour for the back of the shop.
K 1 row and then P 1 row.
Continue in stocking stitch for 37 rows or until it measures 12 cm, end wrong side facing. (purl row)

You are now going to knit the bottom of the house
Change the front to purl side facing by purling a knit row and then continue in Stocking stitch with wrong side front facing. Continue for a total of 26 rows or until the bottom measures 8 ½ cm. CO all sts.

Sides of the shop. Repeat 2 times.

Cast on 22 Sts in cable cast on.
1st row: k1, p1, k18, p1, k1
2nd row: p1, k1, p18, k1, p1 this sets the pattern for the rest of the piece.
Continue for 30 rows or until it measures 10 cm. The purl side is the side that should be right side facing when sewing up the house.
CO all Sts.

Sew up the shop using mattress stitch leaving a gap for the house to be stuffed. Stuff, sew up last little bit and then decorate. Yay you’ve got a sweet little house! Don’t forget the sides are purl side facing out.
This a a basic pattern for a shop please feel free to adapt. I’d love to see your shops. If you have any suggestions for how the pattern could improve please let me know.
For questions or help email Elise:

This pattern is for use of Briswool and is copyright Elise Hurcombe

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The Big Knit

Just a quick one to update you all on the craft front!


There’s not been much time in my life at the moment for crafty things but one thing I have made time for is to join in with Innocent’s annual Big Knit.

Every year Innocent drinks ask crafty people to join in and knit thousands of tiny hats to adorn their smoothie bottles, and for every bottle they sell they donate 25p to Age UK.

I was happy to hear that they had extended their deadline this year, so I had time to rustle up three little hats using their ‘doddle’ pattern to send off to them. Sadly their deadline is tomorrow, so if you are hoping to join in then I’m afraid it’s too late (unless you are a super fast knitter, and have access to some kind of Superman-speed courier service).

I have to admit I was a little bit sad putting them in the post to send off to Innocent HQ, as I had grown pretty fond of them. However before sending them off my work mate in the studio had a bit of fun with them!

hats on banana

It’s nice to know that I am doing my bit to help out old people, and I had such fun knitting them. If you still want to make a donation to the cause, then you can text ‘knit’ to 70004 to donate £3. Or maybe get cracking on your hats for next year!

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How I learned to stop worrying and love crochet


So… Remember how I said I hated crochet? I changed my mind.

I didn’t do it all by myself. My friends Liz and Emily (aka Velizeraptor and Gremilyn) came over to the boat yesterday for a cuppa, a bit of cake, but far more importantly – Liz was on a mission to teach us how to crochet. She is a bit of a crochet wizard, so I was looking forward to finally being able to do it.

At knitting club I had really tried to learn it but had decided that I fundamentally did not enjoy crochet; I didn’t understand it and I wasn’t going to try. I thought there might be something incompatible about my hand and the needles which somehow made it not work, which I found out wasn’t a million miles off, which I will get to in a minute.



Firstly, I got quite excited as Liz had put together a little crochet package for both of us, including our very own rainbow coloured crochet hooks! She had planned on us both crocheting a little mug cosy, but we didn’t quite get that far. It was a bit of a shaky start for me, my hands really are incompatible with crochet – I’m left handed, and prefer to hold the needle from underneath (as opposed to from above, aka ‘pen’ vs ‘knife’).

However, after at least a couple of hours and some very patient teaching, I FINALLY got it, and managed to rattle off a couple of test patches, one of which I’m sure is passable for a mug cosy. The yarn we used was lovely, it’s a cotton yarn made by Adriafil, and it comes in awesome bright colours.


My mind is beginning to unravel (pun completely intended) and I’ve been excitedly searching Ravelry and Pinterest for patterns and things which I’m able to do at this stage.

One day I will also be a crochet wizard.
If you have any ideas please do let me know!

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I made a big hat.

So I FINALLY got round to knitting a big version of the tiny hat I made a few weeks ago… and here it is!

chunky knitted hat

(I really dislike having my photo taken, as you can probably tell.)

I used exactly the same pattern found in 30 Minute Knits as I did for the tiny version, except this time I used 12mm needles and Rowan ‘Big’ Wool. It is the softest thing ever. I nearly went for a cheaper alternative but I’m so glad I didn’t, it makes a huge difference to the feel of it.

homemade hat

I usually have a problem with my cast on being too loose, resulting in a weird baggy looking first row of stitches. To counter this I researched different cast on methods and found this really useful page of tutorials.
I went for a cable cast on, as it was noted as the method which results in the tightest stitches, plus it gives a really nice twisty effect to the edge.

DIY craft hat

I’m not going to share the pattern for fear of being sued for breach of copyright (plus the book is only £6, and it’s awesome, so why not buy it?) plus there are a few little changes I would make if I were to knit another, which are as follows.

1. I began by casting on 38 stitches – whilst knitting it, this looked like not enough, and I was concerned it wasn’t going to fit on my head, but the wool has a bit of give and the end result fits fine. It would probably decrease this a little next time so it can ‘grip’ to my head a bit more.
2. The main body of the hat is 16 rows of a ribbed knit (alternating rows of K2, P2) with a hole pattern knitted throughout, which I did a tutorial for here. I’m thinking about making another for Tom; if I do I’d probably leave these holes out and go for a plain ribbed knit.
3. On the decrease there are 5 rows between the hole pattern and the end of the hat, which results in a little pixie point at the top. I’d probably do fewer of these, it’s a bit too pointy for my liking.

Also, as big as the pom pom is already, I would make it bigger. Ein UBER POM POM.

young lady

All in all, it probably took me a little under 2 hours to make, which is pretty good going for a whole finished hat.
I’m looking to make more of my own clothes this winter, this is (hopefully) just the starting point.

I’m pretty darn pleased with it, but haven’t had a chance to show it off yet.
Just need to wait for some cold weather now! Roll on winter.

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I made a tiny hat…

Despite it being at least 30 degrees outside, I am already planning ahead for winter. I bought a practical, waterproof coat (more on that soon) and have started knitting things which I can use in the colder months. I think it might be a coping mechanism.

You are crazy.

I’m not, I just can’t bear this heat, and much prefer the reliability of the weather in the autumn and winter months.

At knitting club I was particularly inspired by a book called 30 Minute Knits, which promises 30 minutes of your time in exchange for adorable (and functional) knitted projects. In this was a beautiful ribbed lace hat, perfect for winter.

So, I made a prototype.



The pattern uses giant wool and 12mm needles for a right ol’ chunky affair, but in order to get my head around the pattern I knitted this bad boy on size 7 needles with bog standard 2 ply. I got a couple of things wrong, but once it’s all stitched up you can hardly notice a slipped stitch here or there. I haven’t found a use for this guy yet, I might knit a creature to wear it, but I think that’s a long way off.


I’ve also started cross stitching, hooray! If you read my Summer Wishlist I included an Etsy shop called Wee Little Stitches, who sell cute and contemporary cross stitch patterns, with a healthy dose of pop culture references. I had my eye on another pattern, but chose this one as it seemed a little easier for a first time project.

Can you guess what it is yet?

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Holy slipped stitches, Batman.

Knitting update!

Last night it dawned on me that I only have one week of knitting club left. I signed up for a five week course and somehow it’s already been four!

Therefore I decided to throw myself into something which I had never tried before – holes.

Deliberate holes, not accidental ones.


These can be useful for all sorts of things, buttonholes mainly, but we tried a pattern for a more decorative holey effect.

I used the ‘yarn over, slip one, knit one, pass slipped over’ method (not the catchiest title in the world) which looks something like this:
Row 1 – k3, *yo, sl 1 knitwise, k1, psso, k2*, rep from * to * to last st, k1.
Row 2 – purl
Row 3 – knit
Row 4 – purl

This is based on a row of 20 stitches with a few rows of stocking stitch worked in already.

Now if, like me, that looks completely alien to you, don’t panic. It took me about 10 minutes to figure out what it all meant, and once I was into the swing of things I picked it up pretty quickly.

Translated, it means this:

k3 – knit three stitches as normal
yo – pass the yarn over so it is in ‘purl’ position ie in front of the knitting, rather than trailing behind.
sl 1 knitwise – go to knit a stitch but instead of passing the yarn over simply transfer, ‘slip’, it onto the other needle.
k1 – knit one stitch as normal.
psso – pass slipped stitch over. The stitch you slipped off needs to be slipped over the one you just knitted, it will be easy to spot because it will be slightly diagonal. Put the needle in from top to bottom and slip over the stitch to the left.
k2 – knit two as normal

This should be repeated four times if you have twenty stitches.

Bored of stocking stitch? Stick some holes in and jazz it up a bit. This can be used for anything from the most basic scarves to little coin purses or even worked into a hat to make a decorative lacy effect. Have fun and experiment.

More knitting updates soon!

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The first rule of knitting club

I started a knitting and crochet course at The Folk House this evening.


I haven’t knitted anything since Art Textiles at school (where I knitted a rib cage and intestines for a body parts project) and have missed knitting a little bit. There’s something reassuringly simple about sitting in front of the telly with needles clacking away and not really knowing what it is you’re making, not until you’ve finished it (or until you’re halfway through when you run out of wool).


We did crochet this evening. I have never crocheted anything in my life. It is not easy. Once you get the hang of the awkward hand position it becomes a little easier, but I still can’t really see the point, not when you can just add another needle to the wool party and it becomes knitting.


I will persevere, however!
My ultimate goal is to knit a peanut hat like in the Mighty Boosh, I can’t find a picture but y’all know what I mean.

Updates soon!

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