Sunday, 19 July 2015


Now here is a warning: apart from the first part, this posting will include cute pictures of knitted and real cats and a baby, and then a baby posing with a knitted cat, so if this kind of thing is too twee for you I suggest you turn this page off.

I have been spending my Sunday very leisurely today. Been watching (and getting a bit addicted to) The American Horror story on Netflix and most importantly been really indulging in my latest knitting project which I am sure I will share with you when it's done. It's a jumper from my favourite book, " Country weekend Knits; 25 Classic patterns for timeless knitwear" by Madeline Weston. I am using the Finnish version of the book " Kauniit neuleklassikot". I have mentioned the book earlier in this blog. I am knitting with lovely Guernsey wool by Frangipani Anyway I am getting beside the point, I was meant to blog about something entirely different. Here goes:

To get a break from the American Horror story, I decided that I do this blog post of a project that I finished in April. It is a cute knitted cat, from a pattern from another book that I use a lot called "Aiti neuloo ja virkkaa" By Laila Kemppinen. It is a Finnish knitting and crochet book from the 70's that I use a lot as a reference point for some basic patterns.

The cat from the book is featuring on the cover! How convenient for me. This is how the cat I knitted looks like:

Isn't he cute!
I used just basic acrylic DK yarns that I had in my stashes. Might have bought a couple of them to compliment the colours, which I absolutely adore. The knit was simple, with 5 double pointed needles, knitting a circular stockinette stitch changing colour of the stripes every 14th rows. Starting from 24 stitches increasing to 60 stitches and then knitting a tube. (I think the needle size is just size 4mm (UK), although I prefer often knitting with slightly thinner needles to get the stitches a bit tighter and neat. I think if I was to do this again, I might try knitting with a circular needle and using "magic loop" technique ( as with the double pointed needles ladder had formed as I kept changing from one needle to another. It didn't really bother me greatly in this particular project, but I know there is a bunch of you perfectionists out there who might want to take this little tip on board. I am not one, of course, although my boyfriend and my business partner seems to disagree with me on that. 

For your delight I will also include you some pictures of the domestic bliss that goes on in my house/ garden, where this knitted cat poses with and confuses my lovely cat residents.

Now Phoebe has had enough

My favourite part about this project was of course to gift this Stripey friend to his new owner. He was in fact a birthday present to my lovely nephew-in-law. I was a nervous wreck in hoping that the cat and the 1 year old would become great friends. I think they seemed to like each other from the first meeting.
Too adorable.

Now I hope you enjoyed this post. I will get back to my current knitting and watching American Horror story. I am not usually into horror as I can't handle it, but I am really intrigued by the beautiful and interesting story in this series. I can only watch in the daylight (would not be so cruel to myself and watch it before bedtime, things just adventure in my dreams! I don't need more triggers), so I am trying to get this Sunday spent the best possible way: curtains half closed so the sun doesn't bother me ;) and with my knitting and Netflix. I will be out and about next weekend.

See you soon!


Sunday, 5 April 2015

Dillinja's sophisticated pullover

Wow! A second post within a month of the last one. I must keep up with this. -Which I probably wont, but it's okay as it is meant to be my hobby blog now and therefore its for leisure not pressure (see what I did there?!).

Today I got the joy of dressing my friend's dog Dillinja up! I knitted him a pullover. Dillinja is my favourite kind of dog: Whippet. Such beautiful creature.

Here is pictures of him wearing it ever so proudly: (whippets always look kind of apologetic I want to believe. I hope he wasn't embarrassed)
Such good model, look at him changing poses

You look really stylish Dilly! Can't wait to see you trotting with that on Beech Road! You going to make all the other hipster dogs jealous ;)

Just look at this posing! He just needs a pipe, paper and slippers!

So I took the pattern from this book, which I got as a present from my boyfriends mother:
It's a nice book (slightly silly, but fun), easy patterns. Dogs jumpers are certainly easier to knit that people's, less work and can't really go wrong with the sleeve heads and sleeves as they are just holes you leave on the seams and pick up on double pointer needles after. All the shaping I needed to do was just to decrease at the top of the bottom panel.
I thought that I will kindly share the pattern with you in case you get inspired by this post. I have made a few obvious changes as you can see.
Dillinja is size L, take time to measure your dog to avoid disappointments. The book didn't really specify the yarns, but as the needle size in the pattern is 4mm and 3.75, I assumed normal DK acrylic or whatever DK you have in hand will be just fine. I used 3.25mm needles myself as my knit is quite lose and relaxed. Whatever you end up using,  knit yourself a swatch first to check gauge. 

I followed this pattern to to make the shape to correct size, but I made slight changes myself. Instead of stripes I followed a fair isle pattern (made the colours up myself from the yarns I had in my pirate crafty chest that I have in the living room, many of then just leftovers from other projects). If you choose to do the same, and will use ends of yarns, keep an eye on how much you use on the top section so you will have enough to follow the pattern through for the second piece too.
I have attached the fair isle chart on this post too, so you can see, but you can use what ever fair isle you want, just do the calculations to fit it with the rest of the pattern.

The other change I made from the pattern on the book was that instead of hood, I made Dillinja a polo neck. This was Chloe's wish (Dillinja's owner), because he has a very long neck. This was an easy change as all I did was left the stitches of the each finished piece on holder and when it came the time to start the collar, I just picked the stitches on circular needle (3mm) making sure the pieces were the right way around and started knitting (with one colour) knit 2 purl 2 rib. I didn't do any decreases since starting to knit the collar, perhaps it ended up a little bit too loose from the neck. It does look nice when it is folded over.

Here is the picture of the fair isle pattern I followed for Dilly's jumper, quite nice and simple, but with lots of colour changes looks very impressive.
Thanks for reading! And hopefully the pattern will be useful for somebody too.


Sunday, 22 March 2015

Ebens Cardigan

It has been a while again since I have been writing here, but knitting takes time!

I knitted a cardigan for my boyfriend's sister's baby.

I used 3 ply baby wool (15 % wool, 75% acrylic) nice touch, soft and machine washable.

I found a very basic Debbie Bliss baby cardigan pattern to follow for shape and size , but to spice it up I used a fair isle pattern from a different pattern that was in Debbie Bliss magazine (Fall/Winter 2010). I can't find the other magazine where the baby cardigan was from, but I think the magazine is probably Debbie Bliss Spring/Summer 2010. I used to have my Designer Knitting Magazine subscribed through Magma bookshop that is on Oldham Street, Manchester (if you come to Manchester it is definitely a nice shop to visit) and for some reason the Debbie Bliss magazine came with it every time. I had to quit that habit as it proved a little bit expensive for a student, but now in my professional life I have let myself to subscribe Designer Knitting again. This time it comes through my door. I still love Magma bookshop as well.

Here is a picture of the Debbie Bliss reindeer pattern that I used:

The duffel bag that the fair isle pattern was designed for looks like this: ( I didn't make this it's just a picture from the magazine)

So to get the Fair isle Pattern to fit in with the pattern of the cardigan, I had to do some maths and foresee where the decreases where going to be and where the middle point of the cardigan was so that the reindeer have enough space in between them. So definitely recommend spending some time in working this out if you are going to apply a fair isle pattern from one item to another. It looks the best when the reindeer are positioned in the middle.

Here is Ebens cardigan from the back before I have started seeming the sleeves properly:

And here it is from the front and finished, photographed on my wonderful (but dusty) wooden floor:

I was so pleased to give this to Eben before Christmas, I heard that he got a lot of compliments about it. I hope he will get a couple of more wears from it coming this Christmas before he grows out of it.

Ahh it was nice to be writing in here again! I will carry on dreaming about all the projects that I want to do, especially in my house. Would love to be able to blog about some DIY, but I understand I would have to get done some first. For now I am just going to go downstairs and do some more knitting, see for that I don't need any encouragement at all! 


Sunday, 13 April 2014

Elamanpuu Cardigan

This cardigan is one of those knitting projects that I just wanted to do, because the pattern inspired me. When I was knitting it, I decided that it will not be for sale. I wanted to knit something for myself, but also thought if it wasn't to look right on me, I would give it to somebody that would love it right. Luckily it does fit me. I walk around in my garden with my wellies on, this cardigan on, dreaming that one day I will clean the pond and put goldfish in it.

The pattern is from this beautiful book that I got from my auntie as a Christmas present few years ago. Hence the book is a Finnish translation of an English book, therefore it is available in both languages. In Finnish the books is called "Kauniit Neuleklassikot" and in English it's called "Country Weekend Knits" and it is by Madeline Weston. If you are an intermediate to experienced knitter, I really do recommend this book. It is so inspiring and beautiful, well photographed,  lovely complicated patterns that does not patronise the knitter, but gives you the classic British patterns to you as they were meant to be. It did take me some time to understand how the pockets go on, and cable patterns do always require careful counting and attention, but once the pattern starts flowing and you see what you are doing, it is an absolute joy. This pattern was called Elaman Puu (the tree of life). It is an Aran pattern, where I used 5mm needles, plus cable needle, and 30 % wool, 80 % acrylic aran yarn.

I finished this cardigan last year, in time for our most recent official photo shoot with Cats of Manchester. So I am glad there is some good quality photos of it too.

Photo by Gareth Hacking
Model: Daryl Hooper

Cat Face Wallpaper

A wonderful thing called SpoonFlower on the internet (USA) is a website where you can submit your own design and they print it for you on fabric or wall paper. I am in a process of decorating a room in our house to become my office, but with this thought I am having so many specific ideas how I want it to be, that it so far it has just been a room with some boxes (full of knitting magazines) as I have gone so far that I want to decorate the walls as well.

I am in the lookout for a British version of the Spoonflower, as even though I think it is a very reasonable priced, the import tax stamp in the UK end threw me a little. On top of paying about $20.00 for postage (which is pretty standard for US orders to overseas), there was another £20.00 that I had to pay to be able to get these out of the post office. The rolls were very light, so I assume the tax is determined by the value of the postal order.

However it is here now in my house and I am hoping there will be a free weekend sometime soon ahead that I can actually get messy with the wallpaper paste. You will be sure to be updated on that.

Left over yarns cushion

This is a project that I completed in January. When I started it, I was itching to do some hand knitting for the house and I had seen a lovely square intarsia style pattern for a dress from a Vogue knitting magazine, so I thought it would be a great way to practise the intarsia pattern to make it in to a cushion case. There it is, sitting in my living room. It's very bright. And my cat likes it.

On the other side of the cushion I think I got bored of doing the same pattern so I just started doing some random fair isle patterns. They are from different books, which ever I liked the look of. Just was carrying on with pretty much the same colours and on the other side.

Underneath the cushion there is a blanket that I have started to crochet ages ago. It is an ongoing project that might deserve it's own blog post somewhere along the line. Now all this blogging about knitting is making me want to do the actual knitting! So that's what I am going to do!



Wow, it has been a long time since I have updated this blog. I have started doing knitting more professionally and put a lot of emphasis on doing just a fashion blog with my and Katie's label called the Cats of Manchester. Which you can view here:

I am at the same time getting up to all sorts of crafty and domestic things outside of our label such as knitting by hand, decorating the house, adventures of our cat, travelling, cooking and feeding birds. For a while I have been wanting to have journal about these to channel out, and I just thought, why not use the blog that I have already got! The older posts in this blog is a lot about my time studying art at the university, but I think this blog now is going to take a little bit more personal, perhaps a bit less self-aware (read: I try not to be afraid that it may make me look a bit twee) domestic direction. Maybe there isn't many of you out there that are even going to be reading it, but if you do, I hope you enjoy it.

One blog that has inspired me lately is my friend's Anki's blog, where she talks about knitting, crafts, yarn trips to Estonia, her dogs and some recipes. You can view Anki's blog from this link:

So. Now just starting to find inspiration on home, knitting, travel and other things on the web and the real world and will have time to keep this blog going!

Thanks for reading and hopefully I can keep this up!