Coming out of hibernation to share a yarn tip


Want to know a thrifty tip for winding your yarn into a centre-pull ball?

Wind it round a toilet roll tube, leaving the starting tail poking out of the top, then simply remove the tube and away you go!

The centre-pull means that the ball stays in one place while you’re knitting with it and won’t roll round the floor. Safe from playful cats! 🐾

Let me know if you give this suggestion a go or if you have any other thrifty tips for knitters … I’d love to hear about them!




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Third time lucky

I’ve felted and I’ve frogged – both activities have helped me to keep crafting in the heatwave.

My third heat-busting “f” is “fibre”. While I was finding wool too hot to handle, cotton seemed to be a potential solution. A change of fibre was needed!

A few weeks ago, I had started a crocheted shawl, which wasn’t getting the attention it deserved. The Lana Grossa “Shades of Cotton” made it a logical project for the summer. I picked it up again. And immediately put it down again. I should know by now that if I set a project aside, it means there’s something about it I don’t like. Even if I don’t recognise what that “something” is!

Crochet scarf in Lana Grossa Shades of Cotton

In this case, I decided I should have used a larger hook to create a looser texture. I undid it and chose a different pattern from the booklet that accompanied the yarn. An hour later, I decided I didn’t like that one either, so searched on Ravelry and found a knitting pattern that matched the yardage requirements.

When the heat allowed, the project grew. And grew. And grew.

It is enormous!

Measuring roughly 2 metres from tip to tip, and in a striking colourway, it certainly makes a statement. The simple shape seems to suit the airy yarn, and the squishy texture is soft and very flexible, making it easy to wear.

Third time lucky 😃

Happy heatwave crafting!



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Too hot to knit – part 2

The heatwave continues. Still too hot to knit …

So, as this week’s yarny activity, I pulled all my knitwear out of the cupboard to give it a good airing and to check for moths. Touch wood – no sign of them. Phew!

As I put everything back, I fixed a couple of pulled threads and I set aside a couple of items that I don’t wear. I loved the yarn of one shawl in particular, and liked the general pattern, but have never been able to overlook the little “hump” along the top edge, in spite of vigorous blocking.

Fast forward 24 hours. The shawl is no more! I have reclaimed the wool, and have even soaked it to remove the crinkles. It dried quickly in the hot weather 😉

The merino-silk hand-dyed 4 ply deserves to be something wonderful to showcase the beautiful autumnal colours, so if you have any suggestions for suitable shawl patterns, please let me know!

Are you knitting in the hot weather? Have you made any changes to your yarny activities? I’d love to hear how you’re getting on!

Stay cool and happy crafting!




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Too hot to knit?

When the temperature soars, the larger knitting projects stay in their bag. But too hot for wool? I don’t think so!

Needle-felting may seem too energetic in the hot weather, but how about wet-felting instead?

Add some water …

have a play

…. and create a felted flower brooch that won’t wilt in the heat!


Stay cool and keep crafting!


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Long tail cast on – with 2 tails

No amount of wishful thinking was going to change the fate of my latest project. I didn’t like how it was working up, so I undid it. I’m getting quite good at that 😉

I liked the stitch pattern, and decided to see if I could use it on a cardigan shape I have used before. This meant casting on over 200 stitches. If you’ve tried a sling shot long tail cast on, you’ll know there’s a certain amount of guesswork involved in estimating the length of the “tail” that is required. Imagine trying to cast on 200 stitches and finding you run out of ‘tail’ when you get to 190 🙄 I didn’t want to risk it.

The solution?

I thought it might be a useful tip for you too.

Use a spare ball of yarn for the “tail”, so you are using two balls of yarn to cast on, and then when you have the required number of stitches on your needle, just cut the spare yarn off (with enough excess to sew in securely later) and continue the work with the remaining single ball of yarn.

No more long tail guesswork!

I didn’t think to take a photo of the 200+ stitches, so here’s a photo of the sleeve cast-on instead …


Have you cast on a new project this week? I’d love to hear about it!


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Lintilla – this week’s Finished Object

Having a number of smaller projects on the go, alongside a couple of bigger projects, seems to be a magic formula. The satisfaction of casting off lifts my spirits and keeps me motivated, giving me renewed determination to keep going on those long-haul challenges.

I’m talking about my knitting here, but I think there’s a lesson I can take away and apply to other areas of my life 😉

This week I cast off my Lintilla shawl and it turned out like this …

While I was knitting it (great pattern, by the way), the colourway had felt very autumnal, with its browns and golds …

… until I was given a new perspective by this recent holiday sunset where the colours were a perfect match for my Lintilla shawl …

Now I feel as though I have a summer sunset in yarn! 😃

Do you like to have several projects on the go? I’d love to hear about what works for you!


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Cooking up a colourful coaster!

Take one porridge oats box …

Scissors, sticky tape and a ruler …

Some colourful cotton yarn …

Hey presto! My first attempt at weaving! 😄 The inspiration for this Blue-Peter-esque contraption came from the website of a hugely talented weaver, Kate, who shares her knowledge and creative passion at The Weaving Loom, and by following her various on-line tutorials, I succeeded in making this 12 cm square coaster …

I’ve got a lot to learn, but I loved making this and I think I’m gonna need a bigger box 😂

If you’d like to give it a go, or even if you’re an experienced weaver, I can highly recommend Kate’s site.

Have you dabbled in a new craft this week? I’d love to hear about it!


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Lintilla in progress

A few weeks ago, the frilly petals of some striking tulips prompted me to cast on a project I’ve had in mind for a while – Lintilla by Martina Behm.

I’m using Amitola DK by Louisa Harding. It’s 80% wool and 20% silk, and seems to be working out well on 5.5 mm needles. The “frilly” edges are subtle, but exactly how I wanted them.

The wool was from Colourway in Whitland a couple of years ago, so I hope two balls will be enough!

Have you knitted this pattern or used this wool? I’d love to hear about it!


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Over the years, I have held this traditionally hand-crafted box many, many times, and always admire the pretty, hand-painted flower design. It was a gift from a Swiss friend who is no longer with us, so it has extra-special significance, as well as being a beautiful object.

So it was a surprise this week when it generated a flash-back memory of an old jumper I had made as a young student. I used to love that jumper!

I knew the pattern was from a German knitting magazine and I had made several of the designs from that particular issue. It held good memories, so there was a good chance it had survived a series of clear-outs … Sure enough, it didn’t take too long to find it – Ingrid, April 1983.

It must have been the flower shapes and the horizontal leaf and scroll patterns on the box that triggered the jumper memory … What do you think?

Perhaps I can adapt the design and create something new? *cogs begin to whirr*

Has anything reminded you of a favourite knit recently? I’d love to hear about it!




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This and that

“Oh, you knit! What are you working on at the moment?” I have been asked this question many times. Almost as often as “how long does it take you to knit a jumper?”!

Does the person really want to know? There are so many variables, so I usually give a friendly but generalised answer, which seems to work well in most situations.

The longer answer could take a while! I’ve got a mixed project bag at the moment, and I’ve just finished a couple of smaller projects too. Want to see?

Finished objects …

Works in progress …

It was thanks to these on-going projects that I succeeded in attending the Wool@J13 event without buying any wool! Are you impressed by my restraint? There was plenty of yarny temptation, with lots of talented crafters showcasing their designs and wares. My resolve to merely “window-shop” was tested, I can tell you. How about a hand-crafted, hallmarked, silver crochet hook from Lyn Roberts Design, based in Wales? Gorgeous! It was lovely to see the new generation of yarn-artists too, such as Hermione Crowe, applying a fresh take on the old skills. The weather was surprisingly good, making it a pleasure to sit outside and listen to The Haywood Sisters, singing a variety of songs from the 1940s to the 1980s.

And meanwhile, the garden continues to burst into life with beautiful colours, shapes, and textures that change a mundane day into an inspired one!

Osteospermum, enjoying the sunshine!

What has inspired you this week? I’d love to hear about it!

Happy crafting!



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