RSS Feed

Etsy Shop now Open!

Posted on

Exciting news!!! My Etsy Shop is now open!
MagpieShineyEmporium
I am currently in the process of adding items to it, namely vintage knitting and crocheting patterns for instant pdf download (so no waiting for the posts, you can get started immediately).

image

image

image

Come and have a look at what else there is, I’m constantly adding new exciting items.

What are you looking for though? Good quality needles perhaps? Or shiney new yarn? Let me know and I’ll see what I can do about getting it, for an affordable price too 🙂

Advertisements

Increase

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.

image

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”.

image

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.

image

image

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

image

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.

image

image

Ta da! A neat double increase 🙂

image

image

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.

image

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

image

image

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

image

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

image

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.

image

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.

image

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

image

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!

Recycle, the possibilities are endless…

Posted on

I love this vintage tip, I recommend everyone giving it a go 🙂

reuse-woolI have a million UFOs (Unfinished Objects) hidden around the house, and one of these is a mustard yellow top that I started knitting 2 or more years ago, and have never finished.

009

Unfortunately I didn’t keep a project diary (only a few scrappy notes) so there is no chance I’m ever going to figure out where i got to in the pattern, let alone finish this project- whoops! (Note to everyone out there, project diary’s are very important!)

But in the spirit of waste not want not, I will hopefully be able to reuse my yarn following the Vintage instructions above.

So after unraveling I get this:

008Time to wind:

010I steamed it using a just boiled kettle (luckily my wool was clean so no washing required). And after an over night wait, I now have beautiful wool I can re-use!

011012I am soooo pleased! What a fantastic result (even if I do say so myself)!
The only question is… what to knit with it next. (And this time I will finish the project, well definitely/ maybe!)

 

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.

20140428-165605.jpg

I used a variation of Swiss darning:

20140428-172522.jpg

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).

20140428-165631.jpg

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)

20140428-165620.jpg

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!

20140428-165638.jpg

Spangle-shirten!

Posted on

I want to start a craze, a craze of mad multicoloured fun and fantastic jumpers- Spangle-shirtens!

The world seems full of greys and blues and beige, why not bright pink clashing with luminous green? You know you want to be out there having fun in these colours secretly!

20140424-171044.jpg20140424-171033.jpg

I was checking out Simon West’s blog the other day (a fantastic knitting designer) and his knitting “gang” the fun squad have started a craze for Swants (aka trousers made out of sweaters).

#swants

Ya’ know what? I’m really tempted! And loads of others have been as well! Check out the tutorial and his amazing designs at http://westknits.com/index.php/2013/11/swants-tutorial/

The first spangle-shirten is based on a pattern by Drops Design, called Cleo. (available to all on Ravelry or at http://www.garnstudio.com/lang/en/pattern.php?id=5734&lang=en)

Don’t get me wrong, i love it made up in this purly grey; I just have the urge to step outside my comfort zone a bit- well a lot!

I’ ve started my plight with a combination of yarns, colours and stitches- is this too much? I won’t know till it’s made, and by then it will be too late to do anything but love it!

 

20140424-171018.jpg

20140424-171025.jpg

20140424-171052.jpg

If all goes well I’ll be putting up a blog about the finished Spangle-shirten next week, and by then world domination can only be just around the corner, surely?…

Fame!

Posted on

I’m feeling a little bit proud and famous today! Because…. knit and natter was featured in the BBC news! Check this out:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-26819241

Well done us knit and natter’rs, we are now officially on the map as it were 🙂

Woolly planes

On a mezzanine floor above the entrance, a group has gathered for a “knitting, crochet and woolly fun” session.

“This gets me to the library more often and I do come in a few hours early sometimes to look through the books,” says Anna Magpie, 23, from Erdington.

One bonus is being able to use the library bookshelves to find knitting patterns “as you need them”, she says.

“It has given me more access – I’m much more able to go and pick up a Wordsworth or a Dante than if I had to go to Erdington library, which is very small and not always open.”.

The group is busy making woolly versions of World War One era planes, to be hung from the library’s ceiling later this year.

“Coming here for knitting makes me aware of other things going on, like galleries and exhibitions,” says Laura Davies, 31, from Birmingham.

“I’ve never done this in a library before. It feels like more of a community thing; anyone can come in and use it, it’s not just for looking at books.”

Women attending a knitting session