Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Knitting Knotes - Twinkly Pink

Twinkly Pink in Adriafil Giada

This is basically a pink version of Twinkly Fern, which I wear a lot. However on this occasion I have added waist shaping and used a different lace pattern. As you can see I'm using another of my 1980s Sirdar Sunseeker patterns to complete the lace. I also made the lace panel smaller this time because it is quite holey and revealing!


Yarn: Adriafil Giada 9 x 50 g balls
Needles: 3.25mm 3.25mm circular needle and 4mm
Yarn sewing needle
Oddment of similar colour yarn without the sequins for sewing up.

Finished measurements

Length: 58 cm
Length to armhole: 33 cm
Armhole to shoulder: 25 cm
Finished width from sleeve edge to sleeve edge:  140 cm

Here are my Knitting Knotes for my adaptation of this pattern.

  • Using 3.25mm - cast on 125 sts and knit 18 rows in K1 P1 rib - increase 1 st at the end of the last row = 126 sts. 
  • Change to 4mm and knit in stocking stitch until work 20 rows.
  • Dec 1 sts each end every 3 rows until 110 sts
  • Knit 10 rows.
  • Inc 1 st each end until 126 sts.
  • Knit to 35 cm. 
  • Cast on 2 sts at the beginning of the next 10 rows = 146 sts. 
  • Knit 20 rows.
  • Begin lace pattern. ***
  • Knit the lace pattern of 8 rows four times (32 rows). 
  • Divide for neck 45-56-45.
  • Using stocking stitch Knit 45 turn.
  • Next 5 rows, use stocking stitch and dec 1 st at neck edge on all rows.
  • Cast off final 40 sts.
  • Put middle 56 on a holder and repeat the other side. 


  • Same as back until ***
  • Knit 22 rows in the lace pattern  
  • Divide for neck - 50-46-50.
  • In pattern knit 48, knit 2 tog - turn. 
  • Complete one side at a time (put middle 46 onto a holder). 
  • Continue in lace pattern for a further 9 rows - decreasing 1 stitch at neck edge on each row. 
  • Change to stocking stitch and knit 6 rows.
  • Cast off final 40 sts. 
Sew up sides and shoulder.

Armhole edge

  • using 3.25 mm circular needle pick up 116 sts and knit 6 row in 1x1 rib - then cast off.

Neck edge

  • R1 - using 3.25 mm circular needle pick up and knit in 1 x 1 rib - 22 sts down left front, 46 sts across front and 22 sts up right front - then 7 sts down right back, 56 sts across the back and 8 sts up the left back. 
  • R2 - 1 x 1 rib - dec 1 st at the end of the round.
  • R3 - dec 1 stitch each side of the shoulder seam (4 in total).
  • R4 to R16 = as R3.

  • cast off loosely.

Sew in all lose ends, use similar colour waste yarn to sew up seams and then block seams. (NB: These pics are pre-blocking!)

Friday, 11 April 2014

Knitting Knotes - Sleeveless Thistle

Thistle from the Country Diary Book of Knitting

Yarn: King Cole Bamboo Cotton Solids 700g
Needles: 3.25mm and 4mm
Tension: 22sts = 10cm
Pattern: Thistle by Rosy Tucker, published in The Country Diary Book of Knitting (October 1987) by Annette Mitchell
Finished measurements: Chest - 112 cm / To Armhole - 38 cm   / Overall Length - 58 cm

  • Cast on with 3.25mm - 118 sts and rib K2, P2 for 27 rows.
  • Increase to 139 sts.
  • Change to 4mm needles and commence pattern.
  • Knit for 14 inches/36 cm (In terms of the Thistle pattern this was the ribbing, 2 pattern repeats and 10 rows of the next pattern repeat.)
  • Armhole shaping - cast off 10 sts at the beginning of the next two rows = 119 sts *
  • Cast off 1st each end on alt rows x 5 = 109 sts.
  • Knit until 4 pattern repeats and 16 rows of the 5th have been completed.
  • Cast off 31 sts at the beginning of the next two rows. 
  • Cast off putting middle 47 on a holder.


  • Same until *
  • Divide for neck - at this point there are 119 sts. Divide = 59/1/59
  • Next row - dec 1st at beginning for armhole - knit a further 57 sts - put middle stitch on a pin and turn.
  • Keep armhole shaping as before but this time simultaneously dec 1st on next and every 3rd row at neck edge x 8 = 46 sts
  • Complete as for back and then match other side.

  • Using a 3.25mm circular needle - pick up and knit in K2 P2 rib - 132sts (66 each side)
  • Rib K2, P2 for 10 rounds and then cast off. 

  • Using a 3.25mm circular needle - pick up and knit in K2 P2 rib as follows.
  • 70 down left front and 70 up right front (in the front middle - K4 - the centre stitch on a pin being the second of the 4) then 47 across back but dec 1 for 46 = 186 sts
  • Row 2 to 7 - the front middle 4 sts - K2 tog, SKPSSO.
  • Rib for 7 rounds and then cast off. 
I bought this book back in 1987 when it came out but this is the first time I have made anything from it. However there are some lovely patterns, especially for children - here is a flavour:

The gorgeous Poppy - I always fancied this in black with green stems. 

A lacy jumper - very in vogue at the moment. 

I love this sleeveless top - but I'd make it shorter.

Just two of the fab girl's jumpers - there are toys too and rucksacks. 

Overall I am very pleased with this project, it looks great today with jeans and will look fab in the summer with white linen trousers. 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Book Review -Vintage Social History

Alligators, Old Mink and New Money, A Vintage Affair and Gypsy Boy

An eclectic mix of books for this review - all have a social history thread running through them, two are based on real life social history and the third is fiction but no doubt based on a hint of truth in places.

Book 1 - Alligators, Old Mink and New Money by Alison and Melissa Houtte

I came across this book on Maria's Rosy Tinted Spectacles blog and ordered a copy from Amazon - I wasn't disappointed. This book tells the tale of a vintage shop in Brooklyn (which through the magic of the internet you can read up about in more detail here.)

Alison Houtte, who is a former model, branches out into vintage wear and this book explains how that happened. She is a fabulous observer of human nature and her stories come across as honest and often heart warming.

Book 2 - A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff

A fictional version of book 1 in some respects, this time set in London. It is one woman's tale of coming to terms with loss and opening up a vintage clothes shop. Along the way she meets some interesting characters including Therese who is also still grieving. The two women bond and give each other some comfort from their respective losses in more ways than one. There is the obligatory boyfriend of course just to add a little romance to story. 

Book 3 - Gypsy Boy by Mikey Walsh

My son bought this for me and once I started reading it I was gripped, literally couldn't put it down. Mikey, a Romany, tells us the story of his brutal childhood which gives the reader an insight into the lives of the gypsy community. Mikey is keen to stress he is a Romany, not a Traveller and he also gives some background as to why this is an important distinction to make. Mikey, despite all he has been through, is proud of his gypsy heritage and this book is not a criticism of the way he grew up - it's more of a factual account. There are a few laughs in the book but not many, Mikey's childhood, as I said previously, was brutal. There is a sequel this book Gypsy Boy on the Run and it seems there will be a film version too. You read more here.

Crochet Notes - Tudor Rose, Cappuccino Lace and Daisy Loop Bed Topper

Using Wendy Supreme Cotton Chunky and Rowan Aran Cotton with a strand of lace added. 6mm hook. (8 balls of blackcurrant and 1 teal.)...