Sunday, 1 March 2015

London Routemaster Bus

Finally, my new pattern is done. This really has been a labour of love. I have spent so much time thinking about buses, looking at vintage routemaster buses, and writing up the pattern that I am probably going to do something fairly simple and from someoneelse's pattern for my next knit. 

I had the idea to knit a vintage London bus after my trip at the end of last summer to a Vintage Bus Rally, as well as a school visit to the London Transport Museum. But even more so than ever, the details had to be just right. The windows and doorways had to be as close to the original as I could get. These buses can still be seen in London, but have mostly been replaced by the modern version. It also had to have the little platform at the back, so you could naughtily stand holding on to the pole and jump on or off between stops.

You will see that I have knitted two buses. One was the my prototype, but then I always feel I must test my pattern out a few times. (I will probably knit another soon, but at the moment I am completely bused out.) The No 9 was my regular bus to work, when I lived in Hammersmith and worked near The Aldwych. I spent a lot of time on the No 9, reading a book or gazing dreamily at Hyde Park or the shops in Kensington High Street. So that one is for me, and the other was meant to remind my husband of his route to work when he first came to London, from Kensal Green to Aldwych on the No 6.

The pattern is available on ravelry, Craftsy and Etsy. I have to say this is not a knit for the faint-hearted. The pattern is eleven pages long. Only attempt it if you really like colourwork. There are charts for the side panels and back and front sections, which I think are fairly easy to follow. I have also written out fully the details for each row, though I think if you fairly experienced you could just work from the charts.

I have left the advertising panels at the sides blank. I was very tempted to embroider the words Ginx Craft, but these buses are chugging off to my Etsy shop with the offer that I will embroider on whatever the buyer wishes. So here for now are a few more photos of my London buses.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Knitted 1930s Swinsuit

At half term we went into London to visit the V&A. It is a huge museum, but you might have been able to predict that we started in fashion. Then for no real reason we wandered into the Japanese section, followed by ironwork, jewellery and then up to the top where there was an interactive room where we were the only visitors. There we tried on a crinoline, squeeze into a corset, and built our own version of Crystal Place. There was so much to see that it warrants some more visits. 

So rather than swamp you with photos I will just show you my favourite item. This is also to make up for the lack of knitwear on my blog recently. 

This knitted swinsuit must have been the height of fashion in the 1930s. It was made by Neyret, a French designer, and bought in Galeries Lafayette in Regent Street, London. It is really cleverly constructed, and in the reflection you can see the stylish navy side stripe.  I love it. Eat your heart out Madonna.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Big Fat Cookie

You may have noticed that there really seems to be a lack of knitting on my blog. I seem to have slightly lost focus, but it also because I have been working on a new pattern since the start of 2015. It is taking so much longer than I expected. So until that is done, here is a bit more cookery ....

I thought you might like to see what I came back to find the other day. She hadn't baked it, but my daughter had prepared this enormous cookie. She used this Millie's Cookie recipe, just leaving out the chocolate chips, and came up with the design herself. The letter cutters were from Santa, but he got them from Tiger. I took the photo below to try and show the scale. Despite its huge size the cookie still disappeared incredibly quickly.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Non Cook Raspberry Fudge

I saw a link on Inspire Me Wednesday at Adventures of Mel for a non-cook fudge. The recipe is on Simple Stacie, and it definitely took some of the stress out of fudge making.

We couldn't find the right brand of cake mix or sprinkles so did a bit of substitution. It would have been nice to have had little hearts like in the original, but our raspberry pieces mean that we can kid ourselves that this fudge contains one of our five a day. Fudge has been placed in a recovered chocolate box, and will be presented to hubby as a Valentine gift when he gets up this evening. (He is on a run of night shifts.)


Thursday, 5 February 2015

Valentine Hearts - Free Pattern

If you fancy knitting a heart for someone you love, then I thought I would remind you of my Free Heart Pattern on ravelry and Craftsy. Ok it is called Christmas Love Heart, but it would suit Valentine's Day too. Here are a few hearts which you may have seen before.

The pattern has instructions for three sizes of heart, and as well as my Fair Isle charts there are also blank charts so you can work out your own Fair Isle design. Or if embroidery is more your thing, then there are some photo tutorials in Embroidery Corner in my righthand sidebar to remind you of the stitches you could use.

There is still time to make a few hearts.

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Potato Chip Scarves

Just realised that I can now show photos of some of my Christmas gift knit. These were knitted from the Potato Chip Scarf pattern, so called as you really can't knit just one. I am gradually making one for all my relations. 

The pattern is fairly simple, so the fun is in finding an interesting wool to knit it in.