RSS Feed

Category Archives: How to


Posted on

How do you store your hooks and needles? Is it possible for them to ever be organised!? I know has a section where you can list everything you’ve got so you can avoid buying yet another pair, but it doesn’t actually tell you where they are- or if they’re currently stuck in an ongoing project!
I can never find what I want 😦
I have several ongoing solutions:

(The trusted jam jar)

(My gorgeous hiya hiya pouch)

(Fantastic wrap my lovely mum made me!)

(The wonderful knit pro interchangeable circular needle set- stuffed with as many other needles as I can!)
There has got to be one solution for everything though! :s I just wish I knew what it was…


Over whelmed!

Posted on

There seem to be hundreds of knitting, crochet and sewing projects that i’m working on at the moment, and i am now feeling a little overwhelmed (something that doesn’t really happen that much). I keep trying to organize my time and put things in order, but some how life just seems to get in the way- not to mention the fact that i want to do everything!

I’m using this as an excuse for not blogging in a while, but i really should have found time :s The plane pictures from knit in public day are now up though, (yay!) and i’ll add more as soon as i can get the memory card from the camera to comply to my demands!

Other exciting news is that i have finally got the Malabrigo Sock weight yarn up for sale on my Etsy shop MagpieShineyEmporium

There are a variety of gorgeous colours to choose from, and i am happy to alter postage costs as needed if you want more than one skein or don’t mind going second class etc.

image(11) image photo 4

Whilst doing everything in the world at once I came across this wonderful “how to” from a vintage knitting magazine. It’s by Margaret Maino and is about knitting blunders- in this case dropping stitch, which i’m sure is most knitters worst nightmare! I wanted to pass it along to you to try and ease any sleepless nights you may have in the future because of this 🙂

20140630-151720-55040990.jpg 20140630-151721-55041597.jpg

Happy problem solving people 🙂




Posted on

Do you have a favourite increase? When your pattern reads “increase”, what’s your automatic go to?
My favourite double increase comes from a wonderful book called “Knitting from the Top” by Barbara G. Walker. When worked in stocking stitch it creates a smooth, flowing increase with out any holes- perfect for raglan seams.


Unfortunately I have no name accept Double Increase #4 :s but here goes:
Knit to the stitch you want to increase on either side of, your “seam stitch”.


Knit into the back of the stitch in the row below the “seam stitch”, inserting needle downward into the purled head of this stitch on the wrong side of your work.



Then knit into the back of the “seam stitch” itself.


Then with left needle draw up the left side loop of the same stitch you picked up and knitted into in the row below, and knit into the back of this strand for the third stitch.



Ta da! A neat double increase 🙂



Unfortunately this stitch can only be created when working a knit row, but if you’re working in the round you can easily use it to increase on every row.

Best foot forward!

Posted on

Are you a sock knitter? If so, do you often find yourself making the same design over and over again?
I get so fed up with socks that a pair often gets made in two colours (just to peak my interest) and God forbid any one pair should ever be re-created!
Saying this though, a sock is a great way of learning different shaping techniques, can often be made out of one skein only, and is easily transportable for on the go! Not only that, but socks never go to waste- there is always some one you know who would love a pair of foot warmers for their birthday or crimbo.
So how to get us doing more of them? And getting them to fit!?
Well here are a few alternative heel choices for you to give a go, taken from the wonderful books “socks a la carte” by Jonello Raffino and Katherine Cade.


They also have wonderful flip pages so you can try designing  the perfect sock for you 🙂



The Dutch heel is probably the most commonly used style, as it is so hard wearing and durable.


The band heel seems to be often forgotten, which is a shame as it gives a lovely neat and tidy finish.


If you want to learn short rows then this is the perfect first garment to try them out in- but practise does make perfect where these are concerned. It’s great for keeping the continuity of self striping yarn, and for carrying any pattern from the body a cross to the top of the foot.


The origami heel is the perfect alternative to the short row heel, as it has a very similar look and characteristics, but is much easier to create.


The v-heel is also referred to as the half handkerchief heel, and a great way to escape the monotony of Kitchener stitch.


The round heel is perfect for your lounging socks. It shapes perfectly to the human heel, so maximum comfort is assured!

So my challenge to you all is to go and try out a new style of heel- break free from the norm and learn something new- whilst creating that perfect sock you’ve always dreamed of!

Feel Absolutely Fabulous darling!

Posted on

So while I’m waiting for my spangle-shirten to go through the blocking process, i started- yes you got it- yet another project! And if i may say so, it is an absolutely fabulous one!

My wonderful mum often ends up doing night shifts, and it seems that heating gets turned off at night, so in response she got a cheap and cheerful snuggly cardigan. But it is somewhat…. beige!!!! The only thing to do was spangle it! Or maybe up-cycle is the correct terminology?

I started off injecting some colour with some of the funky yarns in my stash, those fun ones you buy on a whim in the sale, but never have quite enough of to do anything with.


I used a variation of Swiss darning:


Using some of the more obscure fluffy wools, I crocheted along the edges of the sleeves and bottom hem to add that weird and wacky element 🙂

Around the front edge I blanket stitched some fantastic bright pink Malabrigo wool (for the little girl in all of us).


On the back i got to do a bit of graphitti designing with some fabric paints that i definitely need to start using more often! (Jacquard Textile Colors)


With a bit of embroidery over the top the graphitti addition seemed to become part of the cardigan, as opposed to a random scribble, that is!

20140428-165612.jpgI’m sure when i come across some large buttons or toggles, the front fastenings will change, but until then i think it should brighten up any cold night shift- and hopefully keep my mum warm as well!


Knit for Britain!

Posted on

Have you heard about knitting Britain from above? It is a fantastic venture by Sandra Brauer to do with Britain from Above, which presents the unique Aerofilms collection of aerial photographs from 1919-1953. You can register to zoom into these amazing pictures, identify unlocated images, and share memories.

As part of World Wide Knit in Public Week from 8th to 16th June 2013, we have invited people with a love of knitting help us form a woolly squadron to invade Britain’s public spaces. Here they all are! Are there any near you?

This project will be going again this year over Knit in Public day on June 14th. I cannot wait to get involved with my own bi-plane knits 🙂 There is a pattern that you can work from here: KnitforBritainfromAbove2 or alternatively you can do your own thing?

There are loads more wonderful pictures at (where you can upload your own images) as well as information. Have fun taking to the sky’s and getting involved!

Ostrich Plume Swatch

Posted on

The first lace pattern that has caught my attention is this one:


The Ostrich Plume Pattern! I am taken in by the swirls, and love the name 🙂 But will it work in lace?

I’m using Rowan lace weight wool for swatching (as it’s currently what I have in my stash boxes), and 3mm Knit Pro needles. I did try on larger needles, but any pattern was lost. I am also repeating the pattern twice, so as to see how it would flow across a drapey shawl.


Hmm not quite the same pattern as displayed by Vogue, but rather pretty none the less don’t you think?

If you have fallen in love with it, then here is the pattern for you to try out:

multiple of 16 plus 1

Row 1 and following alternative rows: (wrong side) Purl all stitches.

Row 2: Knit all stitches.

Row 4: (K1, yon) three times, * (sl. 1, k1, psso) twice, sl 2, k1, p2sso, (k2tog) twice, (yon, k1) five times, yon; repeat from * to last 3 sts, (yon, k1) three times.

Rows 6, 10, 14 and 18: Knit all stitches.

Rows 8, 12 and 16: As row 4.

Row 20: (K2tog) three times, * (yon, k1) five times, yon, (sl. 1, k1, psso) twice, sl 2, k1, p2sso, (k2tog) twice; repeat from * to last 11 sts, (yon, k1) five times, yon, (sl. 1, k1, psso) three times.

Rows 22, 26 and 3o: Knit all stitches.

Rows 24, 28 and 32: As row 20.

Note: with regards to row 4, I have taken it to mean only doing 3 (yon, k1) instead of 5 (yon, k1) on the last repeat. Also, yon is the same as yo.

I’d love to see how your swatches turn out! 🙂