It’s Alene

After years of piling up handwritten notes about improvised designs, hoping to type them up one day to publish them on ravelry and then loosing all those notes somewhere in the house (probably under piles of yarn)… I have finally managed to create my first pattern and publish it here

I did not quite know how to chose a name for it so I just took the baby name book that I have used when we were choosing names for our children and just looked at the names starting with A. I might go through the alphabet with my future patterns, although this is the method to name hurricanes, isn’t it.

I wrote the pattern in scribus, a free program that I have used before successfully to create mini newspapers but this time the pdf on screen looks actually a bit funny as all the “l” turn out really bold, something I do not remember from my past experience. Once printed out it looks fine though.

Anyway, I hope I will find all those other notes and publish them as well. I have already found so many nice pattern on ravelry that I also want to give something back to this community.

and here they are again

As I have finally been able to get pictures with the super chunky cowls around my neck, I wanted to post a quick update.

I have to say, I am growing to really like that green cowl and the many ways you can wear them. Not being able to decide if moebius or straight was actually a good thing. And using buttons to keep all options has been one of my better ideas lately 🙂

So here is the simple cowl:

And here the much longer version wrapped twice:

And I have just started to make another cowl for a friend, I will make it even larger I think. Considering that it is a really quick knit, I should be able to post it here soon.

all wrapped up

I have been quite busy lately, my first knitting class has finished this week and I am fairly pleased with how all went. After a bit of a slow start my students are now all busy knitting and want to continue. They all have already projects in mind.

I did underestimate though the attendance issue and will have to change my program for the next classes which will only happen in the new year to make sure I can make the most of a relatively short time.

On the other hand I have been trying to find the perfect neck warmer. So at the moment it is all about cowls and infinity scarfs in super chunky yarn.
I personally don’t like having a huge scarf around my neck if it isn’t actually that cold but many people seem to like it. So I have started with this set of super bulky cowl in green and longer version in reddish tones (using Rowan Big Wool).

I couldn’t quite decide if I should make them just in the round or as a moebius version so I decided to actually use buttons and keep both options. IMG_0987

For the longer version this is maybe a bit pointless but it was initially meant to be a simple cowl and then I found it not wide enough for the super bulky look and just continued knitting and as I find those buttons really great I just kept them.

I also really like the pattern which is *k2, p2* on an uneven number of stitches. I found it when I was looking up fisherman rib as I had never tried the proper one. And then I found this cheat version and I realised that I had used that in the past (a loooong time ago) but as double rib not understanding (but irritated and disappointed) that it should be on an uneven number for that fisherman effect. So now I am slightly obsessed with it, I guess to come to terms with my simplified fisherman….. I am also using it at the moment for another infinity scarf for my sister except that I have knitted that one in the round so the stripes are vertically and not horizontally when worn. And I will knit another cowl even wider than the green one.
And as I am currently also working on a simple garter stitch scarf for myself too I should probably stop talking and go back to my needles.

So hopefully I will soon be able to not only blog about all my currently unfinished projects but maybe also post some pictures with those neck warmers around a neck rather than just lying on my table.



back to school

Stitch Samples

Stitch Samples

After years as pupil, student and teacher, September has always been more of a new beginning than January. Maybe a bit less in the recent years but September 2013 is definitely the beginning of something new as I will be going back to teaching. But this time it is not French nor Chemistry, it’s knitting.

As I have mentioned before, I will be giving knitting classes within the Children Centres in Kensington and Chelsea and the first one will start on Monday.

So I am actually quite busy preparing the classes. My students will be mothers of small children, so probably always busy and tired from sleepless nights. So the knitting might not be on top of their list so I should keep that in mind.

I am thinking of letting them practice the stitches and produce samples rather than just letting them knit an unwearable scarf. I have been inviting people to those classes and quite a few are traumatised by past knitting experience and it always seems to involve a long stretchy thing. So I really want to avoid scarfs.

I also want them to produce samples of their stitches and techniques for future reference as they might not have enough time now but will pick it up again a bit later.

Once they got a bit more confident, we will knit rather small items as I want to make sure that things can actually be finished to get the full satisfaction.

The courses only last 5 or 6 weeks and I am almost certain that most of my students will miss at least one class, that’s just how it is if you have small children.

The smallest pretty item I could think of is actually a garter stitch bow which can easily be made into a hairband, either by attaching it to an Alice band or by a simple crocheted cord. I can only hope they all have little girls rather than boys… although the same might be used as a bow tie….

Or a tiny bag or a case for the mobile phone would be easy too.

I am also currently trying out soft toy patterns to see if they would be suitable. Somehow it would be an ideal project. Lots of small pieces with a variety of tasks, casting on, binding off, increases and decreases, sewing pieces together,…. and literally everyone of my students will have at least one small child who would probably be delighted.

I have made one rather big bear, I found the pattern in the last Let’s knit issue, or rather in the complementary booklet with free patterns. It is not too bad, slightly too big I think for my purpose, very classic though and reminds me of the Mr Bean teddy which I always found very cute.



The other toy is a bit smaller, either a rabbit or a bear, depending on the ears, it is lovely too. I really like the shape of the head and the floppy ears of my rabbit. It is written by April Cromwell. She has a great blog too.


This one might be a bit too tricky to sew together, so I will have to think about it. Or I will end up writing my own pattern.

I will see how people are doing the first two weeks and then we will decide what to knit as project.

So, I am quite busy now but I have also been busy over summer. As we have been visiting friends and family back home, I actually had to produce a few gifts for babies. So I did a few new Versa tunics as they are highly effective, quick to knit, cute to look at and long to wear as they “shrink” from dress to top.

The only boy in the list of babies to meet and greet got a Little Rascal. As my daughter found the plain sweater “boring” I added a little orange car which got her approval.

I also made a few scarfs. A too small for me Baktus in Sirdar Smiley Stripes, a Clapo-ktus for a wedding in a beautiful  Wool-Silk-blend hand-dyed by Dye for Yarn and triangular scarf in my own design, again that great Yarn from Dye for Yarn, in the most gorgeous red.

So, I guess it’s not a surprise that I didn’t actually have time to keep this blog up to date. Sorry for this long post, I really should post more regularly.