Every year the Irish knitters have a Christmas gift exchange (Knitmas). I always feel I’m too busy and should pull out but I just can’t resist! This year I sent a box of goodies to my recipient that included a little bag made by Sara. She does such beautiful work and she was happy to custom make 2 bags for me – one was going to be sent but I kept the other one :-)
As you can see the bags are very, very cute. They make a really good knitting bag, they’re small enough for a little project, they fold up flat when not used and the bag sits upright when used which is great to keep your project yarn in.
This year my amazing elf was Evin O’Keeffe. Rather than repeat her I’ll direct you to a post giving details of my goodies :-) If you’ve been following my twitter feed you’ll see the trail of tweets as I opened each gift! (Much to my excitement I was the receiver of a pair of hand knit socks.) What I would like to show you all though is her first book that she included in her gift. I had been just about to buy the book the night before so her gift beat me to it! She set up a publishing company, Anchor and Bee, earlier this year and Bake, Knit, Sew is the first title to be published.
This book is a lovely blend of knitting, sewing and baking projects as the title would suggest! I’ve picked out each of my favourites below to give you a flavour for the book. As well as the lovely projects the photography is a delight to look at, Evin is a very talented photographer with a very keen eye for food photography. Lemon cakes are one of my favourites, and this Lemon Drizzle Cake looks like a winner. I’m try to see if I can convince one of the boys to bake it for me over the holidays!
Next project up is the knitted Honeycomb teacosy. It’s really cute and a perfect match between style and function. Who wouldn’t want a honeycomb on their teapot.Finally I come to the sewn project. Now as I’ve said before I am not a sewer. I’ve bought a machine but I’ve yet to even thread the bobbin (shame on me). However this cute apron may just get me moving!
Go on and check her book out!
I’ve just come back from holidays and I’m sitting here at my desk trying to remember where I was before I left! I actually love the feeling of returning from holiday, I adore what I do and I miss it when I’m away :-) I feel so lucky every day to be able to say that.
Once I’m settled back in here I’ll give you a few yarnie updates from my holidays, I’ve got a nice little collection.
I’m finding it increasingly distressing watching the news coming out of the Philippines. They need support and they need it right now. If you can please support a charity/agency that is helping in the immediate aftermath.
I want to do something to help out as well, for the next 2 weeks I’m pledging 50% of the profits from my Stolen Stitches pdf sales to Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders. You can find them all here.
Anyone who’s seen my patterns and blog probably knows that I like knitting for kids. I think that knitting for children is very liberating, the sizing is less exact, you can go wild with color combinations and you can try out construction techniques on a small scale.
Often I will try out a pattern idea with a smaller child project first and then the adult pattern later. Sometimes it happens the other way around, I begin with an adult pattern but then realize that it would make a really cute child knit!
A few examples of my adult/child crossover are: Thirsty Rose, Ignus Junior, Taupini, Iceling Cardigan and Eilonwy Junior.
So what’s the best way to have fun and learn with your children knitting?
If you want to learn a new construction technique see if you can find a child pattern that uses it. This allows you to test it out on a small scale to see if it’s something you want to do on a adult garment.
Next step, get your child involved! Whether you’re knitting for your own child or as a gift ask them what they want. Bring them to a yarn store and see what fibers they like to feel. What colors do they love? Children often get fixated on particular colors so knitting them a garment in their favorite color will make them insanely happy! (Note on this – you may need to do a little gentle steering in the right direction at this point!)
Figuring out sizes for children can be a little tricky. The fit of children’s garments is different than with adults. As a general rule boys need a lot more positive ease and girls a little less. I wouldn’t advise any negative ease for children though.
Measure them carefully, what is their chest size, sleeve length, neck size and torso length? If you have access to a well fitted item they own measure it up and use it for comparison with the sizes in the pattern.
For most children they don’t grow outwards very quickly which means when children outgrow clothes it tends to be in the length of the body and sleeves. For this reason you might add a little extra length if it looks like it just barely fits.
So pick a pattern and get started with some knits for kids!
Below you’ll see a link to my Craftsy store with a few pattern suggestions. These new little craftlets I can make on the website are a very handy way to show you a few patterns at one time.
Visit Carol Feller’s Craftsy Pattern Store Â»
I’m not quite sure how it happened but it would appear that I’ve ended up in a very musical house.Â When I was young I learned some piano and played the classic flute as a teenage.Â However I never remember feeling a sense of pleasure or relaxation when playing.Â It felt like something I ‘should’ be doing rather than an enjoyment.Â Our first son didn’t really show any musical interest when he was small, in fact even learning tin whistle in school seemed to cause distress so we didn’t pursue it for him.Â However now as a teenager he has been teaching himself guitar over the last year and wants to know why he didn’t learn any musical instrument when he was younger!Â You really can’t win.
Our next son began Suzuki violin at 4 with his father.Â Joe had never really played any instrument growing up but has a really good musical ear.Â Being the parent of the Suzuki pair really awakened his interest in music and shortly after he actually began teaching himself guitar.Â What I find fascinating is the pleasure he gets from playing.Â When he’s stressed and needs to unwind he’ll play for 5 minutes and it just chills him out.Â (Fortunately I have knitting for that).Â This son has also got a good musical ear like his dad and has just moved from violin to viola.Â It’s his birthday this weekÂ and what he wanted was a ukelele.Â Pictured above is the one he picked out for himself, and he is so very, very pleased with it!Â He has played it so much over the last 2 days I’m not sure he can actually feel his fingertips anymore.Â You may notice a slightly larger instrument behind, his dad went shopping with him and somehow this pretty guitar ended up coming home….
Over the last year I’ve been submerged in music again.Â Due to timing issues I’ve become the Suzuki parent in the house and my youngest has also now started.Â He is a sweetheart but is always convinced he is right.Â Lets just say that this makes music practice interesting.Â Anyone out there doing Suzuki violin with a really, really stubborn child?Â Would love to hear how you manage to reduce conflicts at practice time!
I’ve very happy to announce the winner of our blog tour contest.Â Congratulations to Angela for winning a copy of The Complements Collection from my last blog post!Â Bijou Basin Ranch will be sending an e-version of the booklet over to you.
With a lot of my patterns I suggest very specific techniques to use.Â Of course these are only suggestions as every knitter has their own favorite way of knitting :)
Tied with this though I try to add as much details on techniques as possible to patterns.Â Due to space constraints however these are text only descriptions which really aren’t always enough.Â Knitting is very visual and I think that the easiest way of learning a new technique (well for me anyway!) is to see someone else do it.Â Because of this I’m attempting to put a few short little video tutorials together on my site for techniques that I use frequently in my patterns.Â That way if you’re working through a pattern and would like to ‘see’ something worked as well as just read the works you can just pop over to my tutorial section.
Its obviously going to take me a little while to get all of these tutorials up there, but new for today we have Japanese Short Rows and the Long Tail Cast On.Â I use a variation of the long tail cast on that I originally learned in a Debbie Bliss book that she described as a ‘Thumb Cast On’.Â I think this method of working the cast on is a really easy one for knitters that hold their yarn in their right hand.Â I find it fast and easy to control.
Thanks to the trusty random number generator I have a winner to our competition – it was blog post number 72!Â So congratulations to Yvonne, I hope you enjoy it.
I’ve also got some great news for anyone who was waiting for a specific pattern from the booklet, they’re all now available as individual pdfs.Â I’ve given the list below with a buy now button for each.Â The Haruna hat and gloves are sold together as a set rather than individually.
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Haruna Hat and Gloves
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I was gearing myself up to wake up enough to post about my weekend at Knit Nation, new patterns and the push on my new book but I was halted in my tracks this morning. A very dear knitter in Dublin, Elana, is dealing with the death of her husband from cancer.Â We’ve all been following his progress over the last few months since it’s sudden onset at the start of the year.Â Everyone has had their finger’s crossed for him, her and their two little boys.Â I’m feeling overwhelming sad for all of them right now and angry that nothing more can be done.
While it can’t help Brendan I feel the need to contribute something for the future – I’m pledging 50% of all my online pattern sales to The Irish Cancer Society from today to the end of July.
It seems like ages since I’ve run a KAL (knit along) here, anyone out there interested in doing one over the summer?Â I posted this to my Ravelry Stolen Stitches group on Saturday so please go vote!Â I’ve listed a few of my patterns that are good for summer, with the first in the list being my new pattern (should be released very shortly!…see below for teaser photo.)
To make it extra easy to get starting in this KAL I’ll send a 50% off coupon for the pattern chosen for anyone signing up to the KAL.
Lets have voting until this Friday 20th of May with the KAL starting on June 1st?
My long suffering DH has been busy this week and has put 3 patterns from the Four Elements Booklet into individual pdfs.Â I’ve got links to each of those patterns below with a few details about each pattern.
For anyone else living in Ireland are you finding this weather oppressive?Â Its been very mild but very gray and wet.Â Added to that the hour went back last week so by 4.30 it is almost dark.Â I can’t describe how much I hate this weather, I feel as though there is a big wad of cotton wool stuffed in my brain and doing even the most basic tasks before many cups of coffee seems impossible.Â Perhaps I should just find myself a little cave and hibernate for the winter!
I’ve got a bunch new of patterns coming out in the next few weeks, first up will be a sweater (or jumper!) in the Winter Twist Collective.Â There are a few details from this issue up on Ravelry but you’ll have to wait until the 15th to see the photos!Â I’ve got a baby version of Iced (complete with a matching hat) that I have ready for release…I just need my niece to be born to take some photos!
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This open textural lace stitch creates a richly textured yoke pattern that is fun to knit. Knit from the top down, this cardigan uses a lightweight yarn for a wonderful light cardigan that will enhance any outfit.
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Knit from side to side, this shawlette is edged with a deep waffle pattern that forms an interesting edging for this shallow shawlette. As it is knit in one piece, it is easy to extend so you can make the most of a luxury yarn and use every last ounce. Knit from a worsted weight yarn at a loose gauge, this cosy shawlette can be used in several different ways; wrapped as a scarf or loosened as a shawl in the evening.
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Open and airy, this lightweight semi-pi shawl combines an open dramatic version of the waffle stitch with solid bands of stocking stitch to form a shawl that is fun to knit and easy to wear. Worked in a soft, light baby alpaca, this shawl is a pleasure to wear close to the skin.