Saturday, 27 December 2014

Mini Knitted Castiel Keyring

Channel 4s gonna start showing Supernatural in January which is amazing timing because I'm halfway through season 8 at the moment and now I don't have to buy the next box set to carry on watching. (I bought season 1 for £5... and a part of my soul, in a charity shop but then it became a more and more expensive habit to maintain) So in celebration here's a supernatural knit, and something to do in that weirdly long space between Christmas and New Year. Mini Castiel is only 9cm (3.5"),but that just makes him cuter.

This is actually a present for my friend but I won't see her until late January so I couldn't resist trying him out on my keys.

It's a very quick and simple knit, I think he took maybe 2 hours but I was playing a traditional Christmas board game with my family at the same time.

You will need:
3mm knitting needles.
Tiny amount of stuffing
Tapestry/darning needle
Scraps of DK wool in; black, royal blue, white, flesh colour and creamy beige colour (check that the wool you use for his trench coat isn't too similar to his face and arms)

Because it's such a small project I used the cable cast on method which is a horrible and (for me at least) a lot more time consuming way of casting on but it does make it neater.

For the body:
In black CO (cast on) 10 sts
SS (stocking stitch) 10 rows
Leaving sts on needle cut thread and CO another 10 sts to same needle
SS 10 rows
Knit across both legs
Purl one row
Switch to white and SS 8 rows
Switch to skin tone and SS 10 rows
Cut wool leaving 20 cm and thread through all 20 sts pulling it tight

The Jacket
In blue CO 16 sts
SS 8 rows
BO (bind off)

The Trench Coat
In beige CO 16 sts
SS 16 rows

Arms (make two)
In skin colour CO 6 sts
SS 3 rows
Switch to beige SS 6 rows
Cut wool leaving 20 cm and thread through all 6 sts pulling it tight

The Tie
CO 1 st
SS 6 rows
Thread wool through loop

The Collar
CO 18 sts

Wing 1
In black CO 14 sts
K5, Slip 1 Knit 1 pass slipped st over, K5
P1 row
K1 row
P4, P2tog, P2tog, P4

Wing 2
In black CO 14sts
P5, Slip 1 Purl 1 pass slipped stitch over, P5
K1 row
P1 row
K4, K2tog, K2tog, K4
BO (purl wise)

You should now have all the pieces.

 Taking your body sew from the top of his head down to his crotch, stuff the body, and then sew down his legs, stuff the legs and sew up the feet. (I use mattress stitch but you could turn it inside out and use back stitch). Using the skin coloured wool, loop it round the bottom of his head to give him a neck.

Then add his collar and his tie.

Layer over the jacket and the coat. Sew and stuff the arms and then attach them and the wings on top off the coat. The hair is made just by sewing onto his head, but do it loosely or you can end up with weird bumps. Finally embroider on some eyes and a mouth.

Somehow making it into a keyring makes it less weird, maybe? It was good fun though I might have to make some for myself.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Adios bitch Audi nos.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

I hope you read this post feeling as well-fed and contented as I do writing it, well maybe not quite as well-fed, I think I might explode if I so much as look at another mince pie. It's lovely to be at home celebrating Christmas with my family but I'm starting to detect a theme in the presents I'm receiving.

Although I must admit I've never personally experienced the urge to knit a cauliflower before it's nice that I now could if I wanted to. I didn't realise I'd been so vocal in my love of Supernatural either, or at least I assumed everyone had taken to ignoring me and thinking "Ellen's gone off on one again" every time I brought it up, but I even have Supernatural cake decorations now... and a book filled with pictures of knitted poos.

I think Dad was pleased too with his personally designed t-shirt. It says "words fall from mouth as shit from arse" and I really think that could of gone either way, especially if he'd opened it in front of his 90 year old mother, there were a few tense  hours this morning. (I'd like to clarify, for those who don't immediately recognise it, it's a quote from Spartacus, the TV show not the 1970s Kirk Douglass epic, which I watch with my Dad and my twin when Mum's out, so it was supposed to be a joke). I do love Spartacus but it's difficult to describe without using the words gory and porn, I watch it for the plot I swear :). I got mum a more traditional (and safe) personalised calendar which went down well because not understanding modern day technology (I once came home to a tragic story about the long email she was working on suddenly disappearing and having to write it again only to discover that she'd just minimized it) she considers uploading photos to to be a highly skilled and time consuming task

Anyhoo, it was altogether an exciting Christmas. I'm off to knit a aubergine now so Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you!

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Snowman Christmas Jumper

My first semester at university is over :'( it is scary how quickly it went by and I can't believe its nearly 2015! But it is amazing to be back home with my family, even if it meant I had to get the train with the child from hell who would not stop screaming and a suitcase so heavy I couldn't really lift it, whoever built the lifts for the Underground, from the bottom of my heart thank you!
Still, I made it and I'm really excited for Christmas, I had to eat 14 advent calender chocolates today because I hadn't been bothered enough to buy one in Nottingham. It is weird though because I definitely used to be Theoden in the picture below

One of the reasons I love Christmas has to be the alcohol and the presents the Christmas jumpers they're just so warm and cozy and pretty much the only item of clothing where the more hideous it gets the better. This year I decided to give in to the fact that I am an 80 year old stuck inside an 18 year old's body and make my first Christmas jumper for my sister. Seriously though, I like Alfie Boe, never go clubbing and I now know bus numbers, if someone says they want to go to the train station I'm like "oh then you'll be taking the 34", university has aged me considerably.
Here it is.

The pattern is from a book by Sue Stratford called Merry Christmas sweaters. I think it is a great book, because it gives you the pattern for a basic jumper in lots of different sizes and the instructions are really clear and easy to follow. I've actually used her jumper pattern a few times without actually making a Christmas jumper. This jumper is based off  her Snowman jumper but I have never properly stuck to a pattern in my life so I gave the snowman a top hat instead of a Santa's hat, her pattern for the snowman also had a really cute Robin on the back but because I wanted a red jumper and not the light blue one the book suggests I had to cut out the Robin too. In case you're interested the amazon link for her book can be found here and a free PDF for the snowman jumper can be found on her Ravelry page here.

To the very small amount of people who will read this, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

Friday, 12 December 2014

DIY Easy Hobbit Feet

The release date of the Hobbit approaches, and if like me you will be celebrating this momentous event in style then you're going to need some hobbit feet. Admittedly the more serious Cos-players amongst us would probably turn their noses up at them but for a casual costume I think they're great.

They are really simple, just fur bought from a craft store, you only need a tiny bit so look for scraps, superglued onto some flip-flops. Then just add some cropped trousers, a shirt and a waistcoat and voila, instant hobbit costume. Capes and Rings of Power are optional extras.

I don't know why I'm so excited for the Hobbit, I'm not really that keen on the others to be honest, I just think Bilbo describes them perfectly in the Fellowship, "like butter, spread over too much bread". To me, they just go on and on and lots of stuff is crammed into them but not much actually happens. Some people disagree of course, one of my best friends actually thinks the Hobbit films are better than Lord of the Rings but that makes me want to cry. The Hobbit as a film I think is just...alright, whereas LOTR is in my opinion, one of the greatest series of films of all time. I think the thing that most annoys me about watching the Hobbit is that you just get the feeling that it could of been amazing, but that has been lost behind Hollywood's desire to make as much money as they can from it and the weird CGI that makes the grass too green and turned all the elves faces really weird and smooth. It just doesn't have any of the rugged realism of LOTR.

I'm sorry, this started as being a helpful post about flip-flops, I'll stop my rant here.

Have a great 12th December (or whenever it's released in your country)

Monday, 8 December 2014

Granny square update.

It grew! 

It's kind off magical it's so fast.Crochet is really addictive or maybe I just have an addictive personality, it would be wise perhaps of me to steer clear of gateway drugs. But anyway, I really like that crochet requires a lot less elbow room than knitting, no-one’s every been poked in the eye with a crochet hook, and because you only ever have one stitch it is so easy to undo if (when in my case) you make a mistake. I think also, despite them being called granny squares, crochet has less of an old lady stereotype compared to knitting, even the name crochet sounds all french and exciting. Don’t get me wrong, knitting is my life but I am loving how different crocheting is and I'm happy that I no longer have to ignore all the crochet patterns on Ravelry, a whole new world has been opened up to me.

I shall call this masterpiece, 'The Sky in Wool', it is totally avant-garde, totally post modern and available at my latest auction for only £10,000. Ha, I wish.

On a side note, is anyone else really excited for Christmas? I find it weird because normally I'm a total Grinch and complain about all the fuss people make. But this year, I think because I'm living away from home for the first time, I am buzzing, I haven't seen my parents in months now, it has got to the point where I'm voluntarily listening to Christmas music.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

My first ever crochet square!

So all my deadlines have finally passed for this year, I don't think I'm failing anything and I've caught up on Agents of Shield (I have mixed opinions about this show, it's compelling but I kind off hate myself every time I watch it), however, with this new free time I decided to do something completely new and exciting. I learnt how to crochet! It was an adrenaline fuelled couple of hours and I now even have a passable granny square to show for it.

It's true that my technique probably does still need some work and my choice of colours could be more exciting, but I'm proud. Youtube as always was amazing for learning the techniques but this pattern was the easiest one I found to follow it was really helpful and good if you want to make a granny square with more that one colour. The granny square only uses chain stitch and treble crochet so there's not much to learn before you can give it a go. However, ( and it says this on the pattern too) it is important to remember that this is a British treble crochet which is not the same as an American treble crochet it's actually an American double crochet, don't ask me why.
 I don't think crochet could ever replace knitting in its woolen section of my heart but it was really fun experience and progress does seem to be a lot quicker with crochet. I love how easy it is to undo crochet as well, I think because you only ever have one stitch its definitely a lot easier than knitting and this came in handy on my first 6 practice goes.

It has altogether been a day of new experiences, I also went rambling near Bakewell and rewarded myself with my first ever proper Bakewell pudding, it was delicious but the walk itself was absolutely freezing, and muddy and wet, I think it might actually have snowed at one point and because I live in halls there is absolutely nowhere to dry my boots. We were in a beautiful part of the country but its hard to appreciate it with hailstones dripping down your back, we even walked next to Chatsworth house, which is where Pride and Prejudice (not the one with Colin Firth sadly) but I was too busy dreaming of cups of tea to get excited. Still, as my friend's Dad would smugly say, "there's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing."

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Knitwear in The Matrix

One of my favourite things about my university is it has a SciFi society, I go there every Wednesday and watch a different film, usually its an amazingly bad 80s film and last week it was a film called Bubba Ho-tep about Elvis Presley and a black JFK as elderly men in a nursing home fighting an evil Mummy, and yes it is as amazing as it sounds.
But anyway, I digress, so I watched The Matrix for the first time yesterday, shocking I know but the opportunity has never really presented itself before, and it is an amazing film.The monologues about truth and "There is no spoon", were eerily similar to my post-modernist lectures but I loved it for many reasons, it's clever, original, has some kick-ass fight scenes (sometimes it was a bit like a Western Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), great camera angles, et cetera, but also the knitwear. I'm fairly sure that when you start focusing on the knitting in films that's how you know you've got a problem but if ever there was a proof for the saying "it's not a hobby its a post-apocalyptic life skill" then the dystopian future of The matrix is it. I loved the mittens and the ragged jumpers, especially Trinity's.
In my opinion this beats all the black leather any day.

And so I have been on an internet quest for Knitwear inspired by The Matrix.

1. The Matrix Sweater by Boadicea Binnerts.
matrix sweater main pic
I love the threadbare raggedy look of this jumper. The Pattern is available for $6.50 (about £4 I think) here on Ravelry.

2. Fingerless Mittens by Finn Garian
Perfect for keeping you hands warm while you do important and super fast typing. This Pattern is knitted in the round, claims to be really easy and best of all is free. It's also on Ravelry and can be found here.

3. Binary scarf by
So its not from the actual film, but you have to admit it does look pretty awesome and the pattern is also free, I love the internet. Not on Ravelry this time, you can find the pattern here.

 *Best Hugo Weaving voice* "Goodbye Mr Anderson"

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

DIY Supernatural Winchester Journal Necklace

"It was the heat of the moment..." 
 If Asia's waking me up then that means it's Tuesday. Have I mentioned before that I love Supernatural? I've just finished Season 7, my first essay has been handed in, the 200th episode has come out and I've passed the denial stage now and just let it consume my life so...

It is possibly the most amazing thing I have ever made and it was super easy, like, dying in Supernatural easy.
Everything I used, plus salt (obviously)
The notebook it a small rectangle of card (approx. 5cm x 3cm) and then 7 (or more if you want) slightly smaller rectangles on normal lined paper. Fold all the bits of paper in half and glue them together so you have a mini book, I dipped some of mine in coffee to make them brown and crinkly and beautiful, I think it probably says something about me that this was my first time using my hairdryer since I arrived at university. Then just let your imagination run wild, these were my pages but it can be whatever you want. I just used an ordinary black Biro and a pencil and on some of the pages I used bits of newspaper. This Wikipedia page is really useful if you want to make it really accurate John's Journal Pages but I like the fact you could also include quotes from the show. When I needed to write something to fill in the blank spaces I just used the lyrics from Carry on My Wayward Son and I found doing some parts in Biro and some in HB pencil was very effective.

As you can see some pages I replicated while others just payed homage to the show.

My initial idea was to draw the Impala, but cars are hard and number plates are easy.

Because you never know when having an exorcism on hand could be useful.

 For the cover of the Journal I just coloured in the card with a brown pencil, selotaped down an eyepin (I think that's what they're called, it's like a little metal stick with a loop on top) then I glued the paper book into it.
The devil's in Sam Winchester the detail.

I found the little bottle at a craft store, along with the necklace loops (jump rings?) and eyepins. After I filled the bottle with salt I super-glued the cork down, less practical for hunting ghosts I know but also less likely to result in awkward spillages.
Got Salt? I took mine from lunch today.

That's all guys, happy crafting and remember, don't be the first 5 minutes of an episode of  supernatural!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Doctor Who Scarf Update

So its now 50% done! I love it so much I want to wear it now but I'm determined to keep going until the the full 4m. Its less easy to transport now too, I have to roll it up if I want to take it anywhere and sometimes I do get a few odd looks.
Sorry about the lack of banana, well known fantasy book for scale.
I was knitting it on the train down to London and I think I'm going to write a letter to East Midlands trains suggesting that they make their seats at least as wide as two knitting needles point to point, I kept nearly poking the woman sat next to me. Knitting and train riding combined is definitely my favourite activity.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Merlin inspired Mittens

Without a doubt, especially if you don't include season 5 *shudder*, Merlin is one of my most favourite TV shows of all time. Luckily for me I share this love with my best friend and so for her birthday this year I decided to make her some Merlin themed mittens.

Like the Gondor mittens, they are just rectangles folded in half with a hole for the thumbs.

Boring instructions in case you want to make some yourself: I used 3mm needles and DK wool, the mittens are 40 sts across, the cuffs are 20 rows of K2P2 rib, then 5 rows of stocking stitch, continue in SS following the chart below (I put the furthest letter 4 sts from the edge with the thumb hole), then 5 rows of SS and 3 rows of K2P2 rib.

I can't believe its nearly two years since it ended :(. Nerdy Confession; sometimes I still get angry when I think about the way they ended it, in my opinion you can't spend 5 seasons on a plot line of Will Arthur find out that Merlin has magic? and then "resolve" it in the last 20 minutes of the finale episode, still I guess that's what fan fiction is for.
I leave you then with a slightly terrible drawing of Merlin and the wise words of Dr. Seuss "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."

*Very deep voice of the Dragon* "Merrrrlinnn!"

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Gondor inspired Mittens

Gondor has no mittens, Gondor needs no mittens but if you're going to take the Pass of Caradhras, you're going to want some knitwear. Behold, mittens inspired by the White Tree of Gondor.

The man who (or woman) can wield the power of these mittens can summon to him an army more deadly than any that walks this earth, possibly. I love making mittens like this because they're just rectangles so they're super easy and quick to make.

To make the mittens I used 3mm needles and DK wool, but the friend I made them for has huge hands so I would recommend using a smaller size of needle.

Mitten Pattern
CO 48sts in white
Row 1: K2 P2 rib
Change to navy blue
Row 2-21: K2P2 rib
Row 22: Knit
Row 23: Purl
Row 24-55: Working from chart continue in SS
Row 56: K2P2 rib
Row 57: K2P2 rib
Change to white
Row 58:  K2P2 rib
Cast off in rib
To make up simply sew down the side using mattress stitch and leaving a hole for the thumb. Weave in all the loose ends.

For the left mitten make sure with RS facing pattern is on the  right and the opposite for the other mitten. I have in the past finished two mittens only to discover they were both left handed.

Knitting Chart

Feel free to comment if you have any questions or suggestions.

Happy knitting.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

25% of a Doctor Who scarf is...

...just a quite short stripy scarf :(. But it has been ages since I've made anything so simple and I'm really enjoying it, I even take it into some of my lectures (not the important lectures, but some of mine at the moment are on things like essay writing), what, you should use paragraphs in essays?!There was I thinking that crooked arrow key was just for sending messages on Facebook, revolutionary stuff.
 Anyway knitting helps me focus when the topics are slightly less invigorating and I love seeing it grow beneath my needles, I've been knitting for several years now but it still seems like magic to me.

Banana for scale
In case anyone's interested the pattern I'm working from for this scarf can be found Here. I'm using DK wool, 4.5mm needles and it's 56 stitches across. I am also aware of the fact that it's in the wrong colours, sorry, but I'm a poor student so I'm just using the wool I already had. Additionally (confession time) I've never even seen the Tom Baker Doctor Whos so it's not like I can claim to be a true Whovian anyway.

Until next time :)

*Whirring sound of a TARDIS departing*

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Supernatural is destroying my life!

The weird (supernatural?) thing about Supernatural is that though I love the show with all my heart, and I love finding people to talk to about it who share my passion, I would never recommend watching it to my friends.

Why? Because it has destroyed my life, I began it over the summer when I found Season 1 in a charity shop for £5 and it was a terrible idea, there are so many episodes! I'm on Season 7 at the moment, I've watched 136 episodes, that's 3 days 18 hours and 40 minutes! (I think, maths is hard when you're tired). I'm supposed to be doing all this work for university and instead I'm watching The Adventures of Sam and Dean. I set Heat of the Moment as my Tuesday alarm! That's how you know you've got it bad. But it affects the way you think too, the smell of rotten eggs suddenly = demon, I was delivering some leaflets for a friend when I saw all this salt over a driveway, slugs was my second thought.

Also its really hard to make new friends when you keep thinking of Sam saying  "Did you service Oberon, King of the Fairies" and doing a really weird smirk, I'm the one smirking, not Sam. And the crushing depression! Each season is like eagerly waiting 22 episodes for a punch in the face, I had an hour spare and I thought I'd watch Season 5 episode 10, when its not Sam or Dean its worse because you know they're, (probably) not coming back :'(, before I went out with one of my new Uni friends, (at the time we'd known each other for maybe two days) terrible idea, I greeted her with tears streaming down my cheek, nose like a tap, eyes red and puffy; its a miracle she still talks to me.

But its OK, I know I'm not alone, look I even found a GIF.
This gif really speaks to you | Community Post: 26 Signs That "Supernatural" Has Taken Over Your Life
Its basically an addiction.

Rant over :)

The Big Knit

Every year Innocent Smoothie run a campaign called The Big Knit and it is just the cutest thing ever. You just knit mini hats for their smoothie bottle and with every hat knitted they donate 25p to Age UK, I must admit I was scepticle sceptikle skepticle sceptical* (I had to Google it, why is it such a hard word to spell?) at first because 25p seems such a small amount of money but they've raised £1.5 million since it began in 2003 and they're really fun and quick to make. I made three this afternoon when I should have been reading about the 1848 revolution and preparing for my french speaking tomorrow, oops.
Like Bow-ties, Fezzes are cool! I'm sorry I didn't have an Innocent Smoothie bottle to display them beautifully on, all I had was two Pritt sticks :(

The Where's Wally inspired hat is just the "doddle hat" with 4 rows of red at the bottom and the pattern for that and the Fez are on the Big Knit website, which you can find Here.

The Tardis hat comes from a website with loads of amazing ideas and patterns and you can find that Here.

They also make really cute hair accessories, I think I might wear my Where's Wally hat to a Halloween party before I keep it for ever send it in to raise money for the elderly.

Boring but important piece of information: The hats have to be sent in before the 12th of November

Happy Knitting!

*it can also be spelt skeptical if you're American-I hate spelling!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

The dreaded first post!

Is it weird that in my first week at university, while a lot of people in my block went clubbing, I attended a Knit and Natter?
Maybe, but I don't believe you should try to be something you're not, also it meant I had time to start on my Doctor Who scarf and I can't imagine a club being more exciting than that! (I'm kind of being sarcastic but also kind of not)
Some quite dull information about me I feel convention bound to include:
  • I'm studying (reading?) history
  • I'm a compulsive knitter
  • I love fantasy films, especially Lord of the Rings
I'm hoping this blog becomes somewhere I can post about my projects and some of my patterns, and also maybe the occasional Supernatural related rant.

Hopefully this wasn't too terrible :), Until next time.

Nerd out.