Friday, 5 December 2014

C is for Cat by ThePandaEmporium - Etsy Update #3


Andrea James

Andrea is a compulsive crafter, bibliophile, and knitwear designer from small town UK. She loves ridiculous sweaters and vintage knitting patterns. She currently lives with her teenage daughter, three cats and an elderly guinea pig, and is usually found squashed into a corner of the sofa surrounded by yarn and books.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Xavier the Owl by ThePandaEmporium - Etsy Update #2


Xavier the Owl by ThePandaEmporium on Etsy.

A lovely squishy fellow with a wide, friendly, face. Ideal for snuggles, and he also doesn't mind too much if you use him as a small pillow. Hand knitted from acrylic yarn and stuffed with polyester filling. Not suitable for children due to small parts. 24cm x 25cm. Hand wash in lukewarm water. From a pattern by Emily Ivey.

Pink owl available from stock, or can be custom knit in colours of your choosing. Please allow an extra 14 days for custom items.

Andrea James

Andrea is a compulsive crafter, bibliophile, and knitwear designer from small town UK. She loves ridiculous sweaters and vintage knitting patterns. She currently lives with her teenage daughter, three cats and an elderly guinea pig, and is usually found squashed into a corner of the sofa surrounded by yarn and books.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Etsy Shop update #1


Lovely, warm, cabled cowl available on my Etsy store for £10! Get £5 off your £20 purchase with code Cisforchristmas until 31st Dec 2014 x

Blue Cabled Cowl with button detail by ThePandaEmporium on Etsy.

 

Lovely, warm, cabled cowl available on my Etsy store for £10! Get £5 off your £20 purchase with code Cisforchristmas until 31st Dec 2014 x

Andrea James

Andrea is a compulsive crafter, bibliophile, and knitwear designer from small town UK. She loves ridiculous sweaters and vintage knitting patterns. She currently lives with her teenage daughter, three cats and an elderly guinea pig, and is usually found squashed into a corner of the sofa surrounded by yarn and books.

A Bunny’s Tale (part 1)


Or why one small free kit took three days to make

 

This is the saga of one small bunny kit, which came free early this summer on the front of an issue of my favourite magazine, Mollie Makes. I love the kits that come on the front of this magazine. I’m on the move a lot, and it is so easy to look at the packet, see what extras I need to grab, and put it all in my bag as I walk out of the door. So on Monday I grabbed the Pom Pom Tail Plushie Bunny kit from out of the basket, checked the kit list on the packet, put some scissors in my bag and got Issue 39 off my bookshelf. See how it says Issue 39, right here on the back?

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But when I got to my destination and unpacked my bag, I found that Issue 39 wasn’t the right issue Sad smile

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So there I was, stuck for 2 hours in my car with nothing to do except fiddle with my phone.

Tuesday dawned, and another two hour car session. I’d discovered the previous evening that the correct magazine was number 40, and I felt completely prepared. I launched into my snipping and sewing with gusto…only to find that there was no blue thread to sew the bunny face on with. Improvise! I thought, and sewed the face on rebelliously with black instead. Then I was dismayed to discover that there was no eyes in the kit either.

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Oh, sorrowful me. I did as much as I could, then returned home again with my incomplete bunny. Would I be able to find some substitute eyes at home?

Andrea James

Andrea is a compulsive crafter, bibliophile, and knitwear designer from small town UK. She loves ridiculous sweaters and vintage knitting patterns. She currently lives with her teenage daughter, three cats and an elderly guinea pig, and is usually found squashed into a corner of the sofa surrounded by yarn and books.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Hard Decisions


 

I’ve spent the last few months sub-contracting for a yarn firm (I won’t name them). They send me yarn and a pattern, I knit the pattern and send it back, Sounds simple. However, deadlines are tight (usually a 3 – 4 week turnaround on most items, no matter how large or complicated), tension requirements are strict, patterns are often vague or incorrect, the yarn is not always great, and people who know little to nothing about knitting make illogical decisions on how to proceed. Most importantly, the pay is rubbish. A sweater that took me 40 hours to knit will see me paid approximately £50. This work has took up all of my time and energy and left me little room to grow my own business. So, although the work is regular and predictable, and the pay is arguably not much less than the profit I would make with my own designs, the depression bought on by my lack of time for my own creativity means I’ve decided to put aside working for others and get back to what I love – creating and making things, posting photos, and blogging. Wish me luck!!

Andrea James

Andrea is a compulsive crafter, bibliophile, and knitwear designer from small town UK. She loves ridiculous sweaters and vintage knitting patterns. She currently lives with her teenage daughter, three cats and an elderly guinea pig, and is usually found squashed into a corner of the sofa surrounded by yarn and books.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Free Sock Pattern!!


 

My daughter will soon be winging her way home from sunny Cyprus after working there over the summer, so I decided to make her a little gift to keep her tootsies warm when she back in windy England. I just grabbed some stash yarn for these, some Peter Pan in an interesting pattern I bought on holiday a couple of years ago. I already made a dead fish hat out of it but still had a couple of balls left. This is my basic go-to sock pattern, although I’ve adapted it slightly to fit a size smaller and a size bigger than I usually knit (yes, all the women in this house have 9” feet).  I made up the heel pattern on a whim, but I’m sure in the entire history of knitting someone must have beat me to it, so if you recognise it and can name it, I’d be ever so grateful.

honey

Basic Sock with Fancy Heel

You will need:

4 x 3 ¾ mm double pointed needle (UK size 9) or circular if preferred.

75 (80, 90)g Peter Pan DK shade 1356

or any needles/yarn that will give you the correct gauge of...

22sts and 31 rows over 10cm in stocking stitch.

Measurements: To fit foot length 8” (9”,10”) [20 ½ cm (23 cm, 25 ½ cm]

Cast on 44 (44, 46) sts. Divide evenly onto 3 needles. Join in the rnd, placing marker at beginning of row.

1st round: *k1, p1, rep from * to end.

Cont. in rib as set for 5 (5, 6) cm.

Cont. in st. st. until work measures 18 (19, 20) cm.

Heel:

Knit 11 (11, 13) sts from 1st needle. Slip these sts, plus 11 (11, 13) from end of last round onto a separate needle. Place remaining sts onto a stitch holder for instep.

Working on 22 (22, 26) heel sts only, cont. as follows:

1st row: (WS) p all sts.

2nd row: (RS) Keeping yarn at front of work *sl1p, p1, rep from * to end

3rd row: (WS) p all sts.

4th row (RS) Keeping yarn at front of work *p1, sl1p, rep from * to end.

Rep last 4 rows for heel pattern until heel measures 5 (6, 6) cm, ending on a WS row.

Heel shaping:

Keeping heel pattern correct, proceed with heel shaping as follows:

1st row: patt 11 (11, 13), p2tog, p1. Turn

2nd row: p4, p2tog, p1. Turn

3rd row: patt 5, p2tog, p1. Turn

4th row: p6, p2tog, p1. turn

5th row: patt 7, p2tog, p1. turn

6th row: p8, p2tog, p1. turn

7th row: patt 9, p2tog, p1. turn

8th row: p10, p2tog, p1. turn

9th row: patt 11, p2tog, p1. Turn

Small & Medium size only:

10th row: p to last 2 sts, p2tog.

Large size only:

10th row: p12, p2tog, p1. Turn

11th row: patt 13, p2tog, p1. Turn

12th row: p to last 2 sts, p2tog.

12 (12, 14) sts rem.

All sizes:

Next row: K all heel sts.

With RS facing, pick up and k 14 (14, 15) sts along left side of heel. With 2nd needle, k 22 (22, 26) across instep sts from holder. With 3rd needle, k 14 (14, 15) sts up right side of heel, then k 6 (6, 7) sts from 1st needle. 62 (62, 70) sts.

Cont. in st. st. as follows:

1st rnd: Needle 1 – Knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1. Needle 2 – knit all sts. Needle 3: K1, ssk, k to end.

2nd rnd: knit.

Rep. Last 2 rnds until 44 (44, 46) sts rem.

Cont. in st. st. until foot measures 15 (16.5, 18) cm from base of heel.

Toe shaping:

1st rnd: Needle 1 – knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1. Needle 2 – K1, ssk, knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1. Needle 3 – K1, ssk, knit to end.

2nd rnd: Knit.

Rep last 2 rnds until 24 (24, 26) sts rem.

Cast off with method of choice. I used a 3 needle bind off, which you can learn how to do here:

 

 

This is my first upload to the Ravelry pattern database. A bit scary!! You can find the details here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/basic-sock-with-fancy-heel

Hope you all like it!

Andrea James

Andrea is a compulsive crafter, bibliophile, and knitwear designer from small town UK. She loves ridiculous sweaters and vintage knitting patterns. She currently lives with her teenage daughter, three cats and an elderly guinea pig, and is usually found squashed into a corner of the sofa surrounded by yarn and books.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Pernicious Plumbing


Tonight I had what I hope will be my last bath for a while. My shower broke over a week ago. I had forgotten how long a bath takes to fill. I had forgotten how boring it is, just laying there, but reluctant to get out and waste all that hot water. I have finished off all the leftover Christmas and Mother’s Day bubble bars from Lush. Baths are to be savoured on long winter evenings, not a necessity to clean oneself.

My new shower is being fitted in the morning.

In other news, I cast on the first row of my trial knit for my new sweater pattern, only to find that the yarn I used for the design has been discontinued. Back to the drawing board with that one! I shall console myself with chamomile tea and my latest book, which I am enjoying very much.

The Solitaire Mystery

Andrea James

Andrea is a compulsive crafter, bibliophile, and knitwear designer from small town UK. She loves ridiculous sweaters and vintage knitting patterns. She currently lives with her teenage daughter, three cats and an elderly guinea pig, and is usually found squashed into a corner of the sofa surrounded by yarn and books.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Into July


Wow! July already? The first half of this year sure flew by! Continued illness has kept me away from much activity. My garden is currently bearing the brunt of this. I’m ashamed to show you a picture of it’s current state after it has continued unloved since last October, but I will.

Picture

I’ve survived mowing the lawn a couple of times, but that is about all. My teenage daughter has been bribed with the thought of £5 a week to help out, hopefully starting this weekend. We shall see how she gets on. Anything will be an improvement by this point.

I still haven’t had much time to work on my own projects as I’m currently working on some contract knitting with Rowan. I can’t share garment pictures (shh! it’s a secret) but I’m sure they won’t mind me posting a picture of the yarn I’m working with. This is a cotton yarn from Igea. I’ve never heard of them, but this is a lovely, easy yarn to work with, and although I’m not keen on the colour I’ll definitely be keeping a sample square in my collection for future inspiration.

Picture

I’ve managed to save some time and sanity and still manage to provide us with a healthy meal thanks to the delights of our regular Gousto box. It’s a little pricey (works out at around £5 per meal) but it’s been a godsend in recent weeks. Last night I cooked a lovely Japanese Hot and Sour Udon noodle soup which my sore throat loved! You can get £20 off your first box by using the code GOUSTOFRIENDS and mentioning my name during checkout.

In other news, I’ve still got some stock of fluffy baby jackets left, so they are back in the Etsy store! Only available in 14”-16” inch chest unfortunately, and not available for customs. You can buy one for your little darling by clicking on ‘Etsy’ in the menu bar above.

Untitled design

Andrea James

Andrea is a compulsive crafter, bibliophile, and knitwear designer from small town UK. She loves ridiculous sweaters and vintage knitting patterns. She currently lives with her teenage daughter, three cats and an elderly guinea pig, and is usually found squashed into a corner of the sofa surrounded by yarn and books.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Rainy Days, Cloudy Skies


Illness and contract work has kept me away from my blog and Facebook page of late, but I’m hoping to get on top of things in the next few weeks. Today has been quite wet here on the Northamptonshire border, but this has gave me some time this afternoon to have a play with some felt and put together a little project I’ve been meaning to get around to for the last couple of months. It’s a rainy cloud from Issue 38 of Mollie Makes (which I am obsessed with!).

cloud

I’ve sewn all my raindrops onto some twine I’ve been saving for a rainy day. I’m a bit of a twine hoarder. I then realised that the cloud is bigger than A4, and that the new felt I’ve purchased is too small! I found one piece of white felt in my stash that is big enough though, so I went ahead and sewn on the cheeks and the face. I’m wondering whether to finish the back in grey with a sad face, then the cloud could be reversible depending on mood. Or the weather!

Andrea James

Andrea is a compulsive crafter, bibliophile, and knitwear designer from small town UK. She loves ridiculous sweaters and vintage knitting patterns. She currently lives with her teenage daughter, three cats and an elderly guinea pig, and is usually found squashed into a corner of the sofa surrounded by yarn and books.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Wool shortage stops knitting frenzy!


This week I’ve been knitting possibly the cutest bunny ever for my shop. My daughter has already eyeballed it, batted eyelashes, whined about having it. But I ran out of wool before I could make it some dangly legs! Alas, today I shall be knitting my Betty Mouat while I wait for more wool to arrive.

betty mouat 210813

Andrea James

Andrea is a compulsive crafter, bibliophile, and knitwear designer from small town UK. She loves ridiculous sweaters and vintage knitting patterns. She currently lives with her teenage daughter, three cats and an elderly guinea pig, and is usually found squashed into a corner of the sofa surrounded by yarn and books.