Thursday, March 24, 2016

"I love NHS" beanies

I have done no Easter knitting whatsoever this year.
The main reason is that I have been inundated with orders for my "I love NHS" beanies.I must have knitted a dozen or so, including one extra large one and one with earflaps.

I designed the beanie because I am passionate about our National Health System which provides free health care at the point of delivery to whoever you are!
The thought of it being gradually dismantled and sold of to private companies for their personal gain is abhorrent and flies in the face of what the welfare state is about. But I won't bore you with details. You can read more about my passion for the NHS here is you want.

My ethos for the NHS beanie has always been that I want to make no personal profit from it. I try to cover the cost of material and posting, and any remaining profit goes towards the fight against the privatisation of the NHS.

Similarly the Ravelry pattern for the beanie is FREE and available here.
It is knitted flat and is designed for a head circumference of 22-24” or 56-61cm, but you could easily add/reduce some stitches/rows if needed.
You need to be able to use the colour stranding technique (using two colours at the same time, running the second yarn along the back). If you are not familiar with this technique, there are different tutorials on the Internet. Remember to cross the colours over at the back to avoid holes appearing.

Please share the pattern far and wide. I am not precious about it. 
What matters is that we save our NHS!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Bits and bobs and magic knot

I haven't blogged here for ages. 
At the moment I am working on my bits and bobs blanket - something I've worked on for three years or so, intermittently, when I have a bit of leftover yarn hanging around. 

So I happened to mention this on Ravelry...and was introduced to the magic knot. A new way of joining to bits of yarn. Apparently totally secure. Have you tried it? I can't wait to give it a go! 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

#ToriesMustGo beanie

I cannot believe that I haven't blogged for nearly a year. I can assure you that I have done plenty of knitting though!

More importantly, I have become political!
I won't bore you with details here, but if you are interested, you can read a bit about my exploits in "madhat's musings" - my 'other' blog.

I have also become an avid Twitter user. 18,000 tweets in less than a year. Should I be worried??

Twitter got me thinking about knitting politically when a Twitter acquaintance suggested that I should knit a #ToriesMustGo beanie for him.

So I did ...
And wrote down the pattern ...
And put it up on Ravelry as a FREE pattern.

You can find the information and download the pattern as a PDF here.

As we enter this election year, I am quite excited at the thought of people walking around, wearing beanies with political slogans.

And of course, you could change the slogan
to whichever you choose.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Peace scarf

Wool against Weapons is a UK initative which aims to produce a 7-mile-long pink(ish) knitted Peace Scarf to run between the Women’s Peace Camp at Aldermaston and Burghfield (the other Nuclear Weapons Establishment site) in Berkshire in protest against the UK's involvement in nuclear weapons.

The target date is Saturday 9th August 2014 to come in line with Nagasaki Day.

The pattern asks for blankets 60 x 100 cm, which will be joined into a SUPER SCARF ... and which will be turned back into blankets and given to various charities at the end.(I like that bit especially. No waste!)

Here are my two blankets:

It's not too late to join us!  

Think pink!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Dora's prayer shawl

Yesterday I finished the prayer shawl I had made for Dora - the Ugandan lady my friend's son stayed with in Uganda for three months.

In the end I made up a different pattern and used the garter drop stitch to create a lighter fabric.
I cast on 90 sts in DK and used needles size 4.
The overall dimensions are 55cm x 110cm (not counting the fringes)

I added stripes in different colours and made a multi-coloured fringe as my friend had wanted it colourful.
It is not visible on the picture, but in the four corners I knitted a small cross - purl stitches on knit background over a 12x12 square.
The cross may not be easily spotted and you may have to look to find it ... but it are there nonetheless - ALWAYS! :)

So my prayers go out to Dora. May she enjoy the shawl and may it give her joy, warmth and comfort.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Prayer shawl

The son of a good church friend of mine spent three months in Uganda recently. Having returned, he asked me whether I could knit a prayer shawl for his host mother there.
He found this pattern from the Prayer Shawl Ministry for me.

The free pattern can also be found on Ravelry.

Unless I hear otherwise from my friend and her son, here is the yarn I have put aside for this project. It is DK rather than Chunky - but I figure that in Uganda a thick shawl might be a little misplaced ...

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Nativity (Christmas project)

This year for Christmas I decided to make one figure for the nativity scene every day.

I used Crafty Cattery's patterns for Mary, Joseph and the baby as a base pattern. Apart from adding facial features and using DK yarn I made little changes to the original patterns.
I then added a variety of other objects - wings, a staff, cloaks, a lamb, gifts and head coverings. I made a manger for the baby and designed the sheep from scratch. I made the legs by covering pipe cleaners with lengths of i-chord.

Really pleased with the outcome. It was great fun and a wonderful way to retell the Christmas story over the 12 days of Christmas.