Archive for April, 2011

A Royal Viewing

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Its the biggest question around the water cooler this week, “Who is getting up at 3 a.m. to watch the royal wedding?”  Viewing parties have been set up weeks in advance with the requested attire being pjs and wacky hats.  CBC is hosting a televised event party in downtown Toronto with free scones and tea for everyone and prizes for the best hats and wedding dress.  If you want to look like you’ve already attended a few royal weddings, then clip on a ‘fascinator’, that British style hair adornment that falls somewhere between a pillbox and a well-crafted bird’s nest, and made favorable again by Kate Middleton.

Wherever your royal viewing takes place, a good pot of tea and a couple of handknit Union Jacks will set the mood nicely.

Union Jack by Debbie Bliss

Pick up a copy of the Spring/Summer issue of the Debbie Bliss magazine for the instructions to make this British flag, the most coveted souvenir of the event.

Thanks to a lovely British knitter, here are the instructions for a proper pot of tea-

1.  Pour fresh cold water into the kettle, never use water boiled more than once, and make sure your kettle is free of scale.

2.  Boil the water.

3.  Pour a bit of the boiled water into the empty teapot, swirl it around and pour out.

4.  Put your tea of choice into the teapot- one teabag per person, or one rounded teaspoon of loose tea per cup.

5.  Pour the boiled water into the pot.

6.  Leave it to brew 3-5 minutes, add a tea cosy for maximum heat.

7.  In tea cups, the milk should always go in first.

8.  Pour the tea into the cup,

9.  Add fine white sugar if required, but never honey or brown sugar. 

10.  Stir and enjoy!


Easter Caps

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Its Easter Weekend and the hip hop sound of little feet are gearing up in full pursuit of jellybeans and candy-coated eggs that provide enough sugary pep to rival the Energizer Bunny.  No more “Put On Your Easter Bonnet”, as Bing Crosby warbled decades ago, this year its the soft and spongy pull-on cap thats trendy for newborns and toddlers.  With floppy bunny ears or perky little bear ears, they both fit the Easter theme and top off a special outfit. 

Four month old Brycie is especially cute and looks eager to celebrate her first Easter.  Its a toss up between the Baby Bunny Cap and the Baby Bear Cap, both crocheted at supersonic speed…….. in less than thirty minutes, can you imagine??  There is still plenty of time left to add one or two to an Easter basket.  Sirdar Snuggly Snowdrops Chunky, a softly spun yarn sprinkled with miniature pompoms is available in twelve shades, including all new Spring samplings- apple pips, bubbles, lollipops, and choccy drops.   

Baby Bunny Cap

Baby Bear Cap


Sizes:  3-6 mon (9-12 mon)

Yarn:  1 ball Sirdar Snuggly Snowdrops Chunky

Hook:  6.00 mm

Tension:  10 dc and 6 rows = 4 in/ 10 cm

Ch2.  Join in round with a slip st.  Place marker.  Work 6 dc into ring, slip st to join.

Rnd 1- ch2, 2 dc in each sc = 12 dc

Rnd 2- ch2, 2 dc in each dc = 24 dc

Rnd 3- ch2, *1 (2) dc in next dc, 2 (2) dc in next dc*, rep to* = 36 (48) dc

Rnd 4- ch2, 1 dc in each dc

Rep last rnd 4 (5) times more.  Slip st to join and fasten off.

Bunny Ears: (make 2)

Ch10.  1 sc in each ch = 9 sc, turn.

Rnd 1- ch1, 1 sc in next 3 sc, 3 hdc in next 3 sc, 2 sc in next 2 sc, 3 sc in next sc, do not turn, continue to work along underside of base ch as follows- 2 sc in next 2 ch, 3 hdc in next 3 ch, 2 sc in next 2 ch, slip st to join at end of rnd.  Fasten off.

Sew each ear to top of cap as in photo.


Follow directions as above for cap.

Bear Ears:  (make 2)

Ch2.  Join in rnd with a slip st.  Place marker.  Work 6 sc into ring, slip st to join.

Rnd 1- 2 sc in each sc = 12 sc

Rnd 2- *1 sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc*, rep *to* = 18 sc

small size only- slip st to join, fasten off.

large size only-work 1 sc in each sc, slip st to join, fasten off.

Sew each ear to top of cap as in photo.

(Design by:  Michele Meadows)

Tying The Royal Knot

Friday, April 8th, 2011

For those of us still anxiously awaiting a wedding invitation to arrive in the mailbox before March 29th, this might just be the next best thing- Knit Your Own Royal Wedding by Fiona Goble.  A cleverly composed souvenir collection of whimsical knitted characters, each one bearing a striking resemblance to the significant attendees all set to participate in the biggest wedding of the century.

With a few colourful yards of double knitting wool, and a spool of floral wire for added support, Fiona Goble has painstakingly knit each royal figure on toothpick sized needles, with an ample dose of British humour to spare.  A skilled knitter and author of craft books, Fiona runs a home decor design business and lives on the outskirts of London, England.  From head to toe, each knitted character in her latest book took a full day to bring to life, “Harry was the easiest,” she told The Daily Mail, Britain’s second-largest daily newspaper.  “He has small eyes and a long face.  Kate was the hardest for me to create because she is pretty.” 

Knit Your Own Royal Wedding

This delightful sixty-four page book is due out in stores just in time for the ‘I Do’s’ with patterns for royal key figures such as; Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry, and the distinguished Archbishop of Canterbury sporting his wild hair and trademark glasses.  Not to be excluded, the Queen’s beloved corgis are also part of the woolly celebration.  If you are feeling a bit left out, just knit yourself onto the guest list with 2.25 mm needles, and superwash dk wool, by following the simple instructions in the special customized pattern section.  

The Bride and Groom

No more ‘Waity Katie’, as the bride takes her groom’s hand in matrimony.  Each one of the eight inch tall characters takes an estimated five hours to knit, outfitted in incredible detail by Ms Goble in what she expects the royals to be wearing on the big day.  Kate shows off her sparkling sapphire engagement ring, while Prince William looks especially dashing in his full Royal Air Force attire.

The Queen

A customary wave from the Queen, unmistakable in her pearls and blue suit with matchy hat.  “My favorite is the Queen,” says Goble, “but then she never puts a foot wrong in my eyes.”  

The Balcony Kiss

While thousands will be lining the streets straining for a real-life glimpse of the newlywed couple on the balcony at Westminster Abbey, knitters will have no difficulty in re-creating their own scene, with the book’s assemble-it-yourself balcony, simple to set up against the foldout backdrop.

Sweet and Petite

Friday, April 1st, 2011

It doesn’t take long for the gusty winds of March to subside, and the annual parade of bugaboos and urban strollers to begin rolling up and down the sidewalks.  Bundled inside are the newest arrivals, the ‘winter babies’, with their pink cheeks, and downy wisps of hair, experiencing the first fresh breeze of Spring.  With little ones popping up on the radar, its hard to resist starting a new knitting project.

For Spring 2011, Sirdar outfits babies in an intense infusion of colour as patterns and stripes collide with solids in a lively rainbow mix.  What knitters say they adore most about Sirdar designs besides their amazing knack for capturing function and fashion simultaneously, is the wide range of sizes, from newborn to age seven.  That’s impressive versatility in a knitting pattern, to be able to use it over and over again as a child grows, simply by updating the colour and yarn choice. 

Put away the pastels and bring on the jellybean brights-

Sirdar #1215

Just like big sister’s, a swingy bolero to knit up in Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo.  Go for either long or short sleeves in this fairweather style and try to decide on just one of the more than thirty shades, including seasonal favorites like Groovy Green, Yummy Yellow, Flip Flop, Perky Pink (shown above), and Limey.

Sirdar #1221

A new arrival from Sirdar and instantly garnering oohs and aahs from knitting grandmas and moms-to-be.  Snuggly Smiley Stripes dk is a delicious blend of bamboo sourced viscose and wool in eight trendy colourways- shown above in Balihoo, and Cherry Chuckles.  

Sirdar #1227

Razzmatazz, and Tangerine Dream are another two of the especially flamboyant colourways in Snuggly Smiley Stripes dk, shown above in an easy knit cardigan with wide ribbed borders. 

Sirdar #1999

An outstanding favorite in the Sirdar line-up, Snuggly Baby Crofter dk offers up a dozen self-patterning alternatives in a machine washable yarn, ideal for those first-time knitters who want simple instructions and a yarn that keeps their interest.  Florrie and Tilly (shown above) are two of the sweet, candy-coloured picks featured in this season’s range.   

Sirdar #1217

To keep your options open, Sirdar presents a trio of styles for this darling cardigan knit in Snuggly Baby Bamboo.  Whether you decide on the classic round neck version, or the v neck with ruffled edges, Sirdar files them all neatly inside pattern leaflet #1217.