Friday, June 27

knitty know how...

my quest for a large sized pebble vest is on going ...

two weeks ago i did the maths, i checked it thrice 
(you have told us that before Tif)
i cast on with a hope and a prayer to the knitty gods
and it would appear i was rewarded for my good knitty intentions
for a large sized pebble vest grew on my knitting pins
till eventually it came off my knitting pins
and oh glorious day of days
it fit ....

until that is, i blocked it
then oh glorious day of days
turned into an oh pants day of days

of course there will be many who upon reading this
will shake their heads with an all knowing sort of a shake
for only a rookie would make such a knitty faux pas.

thus it was back to the drawing board for me and my pebble vest ways.
i took into consideration my loosey goosey knitty ways
i took into consideration i wished to make a higher neckline
i took into consideration how much soft donegal expands when wet
i took into consideration my novice blocking ways and seeked advice
i took into consideration this was a learning experience,
thus making me wiser for the next time
(however before all this consideration, i confess i did hang my head
and weep a tad upon discovering my pebble vest
was all baggy and saggy upon my bod)

so i pulled up my knitty knee socks once again,
and armed with my 'learnt mistakes', cast on yet again
with even bigger hopes and bigger prayers.
as much as i loved the soft donegal in the slubby cream
i knew i could not, would not be able to make another
in the same colour without getting sidetracked
so i picked a super duper grolly green to keep my interest high.

a week on and many many hours,
 attempt number two is now blocked and lying out to dry.

and this time...
this time, i just know my high hopes will not be in vain
and if this is the case, if it truly is a small miracle
then next week i will share what i did
(with kind permission from the original designer)
to make an itty bitty pebble vest into a bigger one for grown up folks.

Wednesday, June 25

a 'small beings' dottie angel smock frock ...

on sunday i made a smock frock for myself
on monday i pondered a thought
on tuesday i went to work still pondering
and on wednesday, that pondered thought
became a dottie angel smock frock for small beings

complete with grande handy dandy pocket 
for squirreling things away...

Monday, June 23

a 'little knits for small beings' charity blankie...

hello hello! Colin the Computer is feeling peachy and thus i may continue with what i wished to be doing on friday. so as i mentioned previously, a lovely dearie suggested knitting for small beings in need, and therefore i thought it quite spiffy to make a easy peasy blankie for club dearies if they wish to join in with a bit of donating. if you are not a club dearie, do not feel left out, you are still welcome to make this blankie, for others or for yourself. 

as i said, easy peasy, so let us begin...

nitty gritty:

*my blankie measures approximately 18.5"/47cm x 23.5"/60cm
*i am a loosey goosey knitter, if you are not, consider casting on a few more stitches
*crochet terms are USA terminology
*if you do not knit, consider doing a double crochet for the main part of the blanket
*if you do not crochet, consider finding a nice knit edging pattern for the edge of the blanket
*consider only using easy care yarns so wherever your blankie ends up, it is easy to be cleaned by another
*consider making this blankie on a tres grande scale
*consider just how muchly there is to consider...


left over yarns from other projects, preferably DK or worsted in weight
size 10 knitting pins
size H/5.00 mm Mr Hook
tapestry needle


1: take all your leftover yarns and lay them out in a pleasing order. pick your first one in line and start rolling into a ball, when it is almost at the end, tie on the next yarn in line. tie together using a surgeons knot (if you do not know this knot, take a ganders at YouTube, for it tis a handy knot indeedy to know). after you have secured your knot, you can bravely cut off the ties close to the knot or you can leave them to weave in later. continue upon your ball winding ways adding a new colour of yarn with your spiffy knot every time you come to the end of the previous yarn. you will end up with a huge ball of yarn in multicolours and if you are like me, the chances are quite high, you will not even recall what colours are in your ball which adds an element of surprise to your knitting
(word of consideration, change colours quite frequently, this is an itty bitty blanket)

2: cast on 60 stitches using the long tail method and your knitting pins. continue on your knitty way only doing garter stitch for 21 inches and slipping the first stitch of each row. every time you come to a new colour, just keep on knitting, even if it is in the middle of a row.

3: if you dared to cut off your tails, then move onto #4. if you did not dare, then weave in your ends

slanted shell stitch border:

4: pick a jolly coloured yarn for your edging along with your Mr Hook and with right side facing, join the yarn, chain 1 and single crochet evenly around the edge of your blankie, trying hard to come up with a total of stitches divisible by 4 plus 2. if its off by one or two stitches, do not fret, crochet is forgiving and so is this blankie, you can fudge a few stitches to make the shell edging fit

5: do not turn work, (single crochet, chain 2, 4 double crochet) in first stitch, *skip next 3 single crochets, then (single crochet, chain 2, 4 double crochet) in next stitch; repeat from * until you are all the way around your edge and with a bit of luck you can just slip stitch the ending shell to the beginning shell, if not, then do a bit of fudging a few shells away from the end so it meets nicely and not pantsly. 

if the slanted shell stitch border is too complicated, fret not, then consider a straight forward shell stitch border or even a picot would be peachy

handy dandy loop:

6: for the twiddly loop, join yarn in top right hand corner, chain 16, slip stitch into beginning chain, turn, chain 1, single crochet into each chain, slip stitch into beginning of loop and fasten off securely. (this could be done whilst you are doing the slanted shell stitch if you prefer)

if need be, wash your little blankie through to make it soft and then find a worthy cause which helps small beings, whether it local or nationwide, and donate your little blankie. 

 please do make this blankie for charity or for personal use but please do not make it to sell unless it is for charity
 and if you do make this blankie, considering sharing over here if you so wish as that would make me most happy :)

Friday, June 20

darn, drat and double pants ...

Colin the Computer is tres poorly,
normal service will resume when a small miracle has happened...

Wednesday, June 18

a 'little knits for small beings' blankie ...

 a little whiles ago, a lovely dearie on facebook mentioned about knitting little things for small beings for charity. a lot of the club dearies have already been doing so before they joined the club but i did think it a rather nice thing to do and have always admired folks greatly who craft and donate.
i pondered picking a charity for The 'little knits for small beings' Club to donate to, but then i got to thinking, folks like to sometimes chose their own worthy cause, as it can be local to them and not nationwide or indeed, different countries have different charities.
so instead, i have worked on an easy peasy blankie that club dearies (or anyone else who may wish to) can make using their left over yarns from other 'little knits' projects and then donate the blanket to whatever charity they wish.

on friday i will share the recipe for what i did, suggest ways to change it if you only crochet or only knit and do not wish to combine the two, and i have high hopes there will be many made for small beings in need around the globe by us yarny dearies

Saturday, June 14

club news and other whatnot ...

we have a club motto!
oh hip hip hooray!

surely any club worth its club salt
has a motto and thus we do

"every day 
in every way
i will do my besty best
to crochet or knit
for small beings
carry high hopes
they will fit"

this motto has been printed
upon the membership cards
by my lovely printer buddies.
i am rather giddy anticipating their arrival

in other news,
perhaps not equally as thrilling as the club motto news
but worthy of a mention anyway.

i am working on something yarny that i will share next week

i am immersed in world cup fever due to living with my lads of 3

i am somewhat dismayed to learn, boing on my trampoline 
is not going to do the job 
and i actually have to have some knowledge of what i am doing, 
if i am not to suffer an injury according to my soul sister.
drat and double drat and oh how dull

i have quite daringly sent my book proposal/outline off out there somewhere

i am thinking i might go bonkers if i cannot get
all the creative things inside my cogs out into the air soon

Wednesday, June 11

wait a minute Mr Post Man, look and see...

today i am eagerly awaiting Mr Post Man,

for upon his truck will be my itty bitty trampoline!
i have high hopes for me and my trampoline.
being middle aged i have a heightened awareness
of dangers and whatnot that can come 
from doing extra curriculum activities

hence i am wisely placing my itty bitty trampoline
outside in the back yard,
for i fear inside our shed
with its tres low ceilings
even my top knot would not protect me
from a bonce injury.

with this thought i am now wondering
if i were to wear a bicycle helmet
i may be able to bounce on my new springy friend indoors 
with no fear of my noggin
coming in direct contact with the ceiling.

i will ponder this whilst waiting
for the sound of a truck pulling up,
my constant canine companions going batty at the window
my lovely splendid itty bitty 'only room for one and thats me' trampoline's arrival
just in time for a bit of late afternoon jumping in the sun

Tuesday, June 10

a thing or two ...

a thing:

last week a roving reporter dearie came to visit.
she was terribly lovely and took photos of my 'atelier of sorts'
and other bits and bobs around mossy shed

the only time someone of the professional sort 
has taken photos of our space and its contents 

it tis quite interesting to watch someone else
see things you would never see through a lens.
now i must wait (albeit it nervously) to see her view
when the article comes out sometime this week

or two:

in the meantime i have given 
my collection of Liberty Wool 
preferential treatment.

it does look all quite worryingly pink
but i will not fret,
for i know on the inside are some rather lovely
sludgy grolly colours waiting to be discovered... 

as soon as i pop this up for all to read
i discover the article is out there.
if you fancy a ganders
you can find it over here

Monday, June 9

this, that, that, this, this & that ...


i cannot believe it is only 6 days till school gets out for summer, this means the year is nearly half way done. i fear once again, this year is running away from me


i have become addicted to making 'little knits'. the smock i made up in my cogs is off the pins and awaits my scribbled notes being tippity tapped up into a readable pattern for two dearie volunteers who stepped forward, to test


do you recall one of my brothers is an artist? perhaps you do not, and if not, then may i remind you he is.  recently he has started working on itty bitty pet portraits (6" x 6") and how marvelous they are too. Our #4 turned 16 a few weeks back and i commissioned my brother to create a painting of Mister Muchly, for his birthday. 

well Our #4 was thrilled and so was MM. if perchance you think your little critter or furry friend may like to be 'forever captured' in an original Ben Hughes painting, then you can find all the nitty gritty over here and if you can't, then you can find his email address and write to him to ask about all the nitty gritty


there is a pressing need to put down the knitting pins... Tif, step away from the knitting pins and step towards Miss Ethel. for she is rusty and she is dusty and she is feeling tres neglected. vintage linens are waiting 'oh so patiently', not rusty but certainly dusty, to be made into handy dandy project sacks. i have talked to them as i pass them by, trying to sooth their worried minds. 

i plan to make a firm date with them... ummm, just need to get this latest little knit out of my cogs and onto my pins


did i mention i left my heart in marrekech? but alas, tis all fading fast despite trying to recollect each day. i have no choice but to plot and plan how and when i can return. perhaps next time not for 5 days but 5 months, or 5 years!

& that:

i am considering what it would be to 'dread' just a few locks of my coif. i have studied it intently, i have pondered it most carefully. having wished for the longest time a headful of dreads i am thinking perhaps a handful might be the best way to go for now. 

Friday, June 6

doubters of the utmost kind ...

"so, basically you are knitting for a non-existent child and you are making a club for it?"

"you know you will jinx ever becoming a granny don't you?"

"this will be it, in two years when the last one has flown, me sitting here and you sitting there with your knitting, intensely engrossed"

ah yes, just a few of the words i have read or listened to over the past few days, i am not naming names, but they are doubters of the utmost kind who are living in my midst. but does not matter, for what matters is i am able to say, 
"ah ha! yes but i am not the only fruitcake on the shelf, for it would appear the world is full of fruitcakes just like me"

 from pretty much all over the globe, lovely wonderful fruitcake dearies such as myself have joined The 'little knits for small beings' Club! how terribly exciting and muchly thrilling. over a 120 have joined on Ravelry and others just by writing to me and telling me so. we have become a band of merry knitty and crochet makers, joined together by our wish to create itty bitty goodness from yarn.

i will now spend my time wisely making a certificate of membership and a little badge (pin or button) so in a few weeks, when they are all ready and back from the printers i can let the club dearies know to send off their stamped addressed envelopes!

so before the week is out and the weekend is upon us (although i think it may well be for those the other side of the globe) can i just say thank you most kindly for thinking me not completely barking mad and for being so jolly nice about wanting to join my new club. it warmed my crafty soul and made me feel a less alone.

i have high hopes this is just the beginning of something most marvelous for all of us...
cheerio for now club dearies and other dear readers, see you in a few and may the crafty gods be with you


footynote: i am not naming names but i must say, 2 of my lads of 3 were not responsible for any of the above comments. they do not seem to have noticed their mother is obsessed with knitting little makes for small beings, as would be expected of teenage lads.

Wednesday, June 4

The 'little knits for small beings' Club ...

at the moment, i am greatly distracted, 
for i am up to my crafty eye balls in knitting, book penning thoughts and other knitty gritty things like starting a club!
 "a club!?"

the Pebble Vest, pattern by The Thrifty Knitter

why yes a club! i have never been in a club before but one day last week it dawned on me, having had several folks tell me they were inspired to start their own little 'granny trousseau' of little knits, that perhaps i was not alone in this little path of knitty ways i have been treading. and then i got to pondering, perhaps it might be rather nice if i started a club. 

a club where any one or any bod can join if they wish to start making a yarny pile of little knits and crochets for the future.

for surely just as in a bygone age, it would be perfectly okay for us to have hope chests/bottom drawers/glory boxes overflowing with little bits of warmth to wrap around a child or children.

after which i had an epiphany! of course! silly me! my mother is a knitter and in her day was a knitter of the utmost kind. how simply wonderful would it be if she were to start making little knits for her great grandchildren to wear some day along the line. to see them wrapped in great grandmother's yarny love i think really is something beyond marvelous. so i asked my mother if she would like to join my club from across the pond. my mother said she would and the very next day i promptly sent along the pattern for the Pebble Vest and a skein of tweedy goodness. it warms my heart just thinking about the two of us separated by miles and miles but together making a trousseau for the next generation in our clan.

i have made a page for the club right here and i dared to go one step further and set my little club up on Ravelry as it is a jolly good place for folks to share their projects, patterns and pictures. however do not think you can not join the club if you are not on Ravelry because that would be total pants. no sirree! you can be just like my mum and not have any social media page at all and still be part of the club. you just say you are, and you are. and if like my mum you are out and about in your local town, doing a spot of knitting or crocheting of itty bitty items such as clothes, toys or blankets and folks stop and ask what you are up to, you can proudly say, "oh i belong to The 'little knits for small beings' Club and i am busy working on my trousseau of sorts for my hope chest/bottom drawer/glory box". 

i do think we need a badge though for the club, this makes it feel proper and official don't you think? surely the whole point of a club is you get to wear a badge! so my plan it to have badges made and when i have done such a thing i will let you know so if you have joined the club, you can send off a stamped addressed envelope for a badge so you may wear it whilst out and about knitting and crocheting your little pile of yarny goodness.

oh hip hip hooray for badges!
oh and a hippity hooray for clubs too!

Add caption

so there we have it, not unlike days gone by, when it was the norm to spend months or years slowly but surely stock piling handmade goodness for a possible future event, in the hope one day you may be a great granny, granny, auntie or mother. or perhaps if that is not possible, you may be hopeful one day someone will adopt you (i adopted an auntie in recent years and would highly recommend it) or you just like to make little knits for small beings to gift as and when you find one in need. 
whatever your hopes are, if you like to knit or crochet itty bitty clothes, toys or blankets, then i do think you would be perfect for The 'little knits for small beings' Club and i would be delighted if you joined :)

oooh! and just one last thing, if you post pictures on instagram of your little knits, please do hashtag them with #littleknitsforsmallbeings if you like

footynote: how terribly rude of me. of course you are welcome to join the club if you are a man who knits (or crochets)! you may well be working on your grandpa trousseau and felt terribly left out as I did not mention grandpas in the list, nor uncles or fathers. forgive me if this is the case :)

Monday, June 2

why shouldn't men knit?

whilst clearing through the clutter, in my continuing urge to purge, i came across a pile of vintage knitting patterns given to me by my mother upon her last visit. i believe they belonged to my late aunt, but i could have completely made that up in my head and they did not.

amongst the vintage patterned treasures was a pamphlet entitled 'why shouldn't men knit?' and it truly was a splendid little piece of history that i am going to be so bold as to presume you would care for me to share.
so share i will...

i do think Penelope was most wise and from now on i will no longer call my knitting needles, sticks, but the spritely jolly name of knitting pins instead.