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."