Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Quick Knit Slippers

Just Like Grandma Made

Hand knit cosy slippers
Based on a 1940s pattern

I have recently had new carpets and they are a very pale beige. Lots of my friends have been turning up in wet and soggy boots and I am keen that they leave them in the hall. One neighbour recently objected so much to removing her boots that she hasn't visited since. So ... I remember a Japanese friend always having a pile of knitted slippers in a basket in the hallway and we would all take off our shoes and boots and put some on. Apparently it is very rude and unacceptable to wear outdoor shoes inside a Japanese home. I decided to copy this idea with some homemade slippers in my hall.

Searching the net for simple knit slipper patterns, they all appear to be similar, and very quick and easy to knit. So I decided to design my own based on some of the simple designs I found on Ravelry.
For the sizing I measured my foot from toe to heel (9 inches) and detracted 1 inch as the knitted slipper will be stretchy (8 inches). I am a size 5.5/6.0 UK - and these fitted perfectly. The slipper can be made smaller or larger by decreasing or increasing the garter stitch rows, or by using different size needles and different gauge wools.

The materials were just what I had in my stash -

2 x 50 gram balls of multicoloured sock wool in 4 ply - to be used together
1 pair of size 7 mm needles
A darning needle

The Slipper - Make 2

Using both balls of wool at once and No 7 mm needles
Cast on 30 st
Knit first row into the back of the stitches
Knit 30 rows in garter stitch
(Approximately 5.5 inches)
Next row purl
K10, K 2 tog, K6, K2 tog, K10
Next row purl
K 9, K2 tog, K6, K2 tog, K9
Next row purl
K8, K2 tog, K6, K2 tog, K8
Next row purl
K7, K2 tog, K6, K2 tog, K7
Next row purl
K6, K2 tog, K6, K2 tog, K6
Next row purl
K5, K2 tog, K6, K2 tog, K5
Next row purl
K4, K2 tog, K6, K2 tog, K4
Next row purl
K3, K2 tog, K6, K2 tog, K3
Next row purl
(Approximately 2.5 inches)
Leaving 14 stitches on needle thread double strand through all stitches and draw tightly.

Sew the toes together until you reach the garter stitch area
Sew the back seam

The Bows - Make 2

Cast on 7 stitches using No 7 mm needles
Knit into back of stitches for first row
Knit 15 rows in garter stitch
Knit into back of stitches for last row
Cast off

The Ties - Make 2

Cast on 3 stitches using No 7 mm needles
Knit into back of stitches for first row
Knit 7 rows in garter stitch
Knit into back of stitches for last row
Cast off

Make up bows and attach to slippers

Sadly blogger is misbehaving and so the photos are not at all where they are supposed to be ... still I think they will give you a picture of just what I did - though not necessarily in that order!

NB. While I was making the slippers the bad cat puked on the carpet - so these were unable to save the carpet from stains!  Ggrrrr!


Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Knit Yourself A Necklace

A Kookie Project
Work In Progress

Recently at a craft market I saw a stall with some knitted and crochet necklaces. I thought they were extremely unusual and very pretty indeed. I would have actually bought one but was put off by the cheap and garish shiny silver coloured clasp. Having a close look I realised that they were merely strands of crochet and knitted strips twirled together - truly a 'neck lace' - I think that they may even take the place of a 'neck scarf' if sufficiently large and warm and soft.

Some pretty knitted necklaces

I then checked out the Internet for some tutorials and inspiration and realised that there was not just one way - in fact in the area of knitted and crochet necklaces then anything goes. Bearing this in mind I set to and developed my own. I settled on an overall length of 24 inches so that when joined (no garish clasp) it would both go over my head and be of a sufficient length not to be a choker.


Via tumblr

Via flickr


I then collected a few yarns of different textures in shades of red with a few additional colours for accent. I like red!  I then set to knitting and crocheting several strands in different widths and designs in different yarns all approximately 24 inches long. I also knitted some small red roses for decoration.
I wanted a little sparkle in the necklace and decided on a few beads again for decoration. I then also interspersed a few coloured threads to give it a lift. These are a few of the knitted and crocheted threads to be collected into a necklace after the addition of beads and flowers ...

Now for some beads and then to twist and twine and assemble the necklace ...
Have you made any unusual necklaces?

I shall post a pic of the completed item later ...

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Cupcake Heaven


Lady Gaga at Sweetie Pies

Scones, cream and jam - perfect as part of a calorie controlled diet!
Poor pic of tea table at a really pretty place

Anyone who knows me will be aware of my fondness for eating out. A meal out a week is essential and even more if we can manage it. The meal does not have to be a big swanky dinner, or an expensive lunch, even a great cup of tea and some scones are just as enjoyable. The only criteria is that it is as good as we can have at home - and that I did not have to cook or prepare it.

Usually we have dinner somewhere special each week (yesterday was a Japanese meal after the Cirque du Soleil), and often it is a Sunday pub lunch or just a weekend treat wherever we may be at the time. Today we found the most delightful tiny, weeny, tea room and bakery for afternoon tea that served the most exquisite cakes in the charming cobbled street, at No 13, Church Street, Twickenham, TW11, called  Sweetie Pies Boutique Bakery. How can I have missed this pleasure when walking up and down this street so many times recently?

I thought this time I would just let the cakes do the talking - Mr Whizz Kid just loves cakes, so he will appreciated my pics. Sadly I am not too good at making them!  Do visit if you are in the area - you will not be disappointed.

Church Street Twickenham
Church Street, Twickenham
Ready for Valentines Day
Via Sandra Lawson
Weekend Notes


Saturday, 9 February 2013

Cirque du Soleil


Via google

We have seen Cirque du Soleil several times. Once in Battersea, a few years ago, was a real treat, so much so that when they were back in London we spent an arm and a leg to see them again at The Royal Albert Hall. They were stunning - and for those who do not know them - they are definitely NOT a circus.

Amazing stuff
Via google

Later my neice got married at  The Venetian  in Las Vegas and the whole wedding party were stunned by the performance there at  The Bellagio;  'O'  where all the performers appeared from within a pool and disappeared into the same - it was quite astonishing (and we all got well splashed at the front!). 

'O' in Las Vegas
via google

Last month I heard that they were again in London with Kooza and was amazed to be able to get ringside seats. I have been so excited at the prospect of seeing them again, and the excitement was not misplaced. The performance really blew us away! Cirque are extraordinary and magical and like nothing you have ever seen before.

Tickets to exciting event

The Royal Albert Hall is a beautiful venue and it was wonderful to be able to sit in the best seats at the front and enjoy the spectacle. Ohh! Ahh! Ohh Ahh! - all around greeted the performance - and it was such a joy!

Sadly cameras were not allowed so I have chosen just a few pics from Google and a You Tube video to entertain you.

An amazing venue
via google

Do go and see the Cirque du Soleil if you ever get a chance to as they are an amazing group to see and always entrall me. Below is a little taster of their latest show (not one of their best sadly but still totally magical) - and the kids particularly liked this one.