Friday, 29 April 2011

Royal Wedding Day!


And oh dear :-( I guessed the wrong uniform then!

I reknitted Wills busily all morning whilst glued to the telly...

Kate now has new white flowers, but her veil, tiara and lace overshirt thingy will have to wait until I have been to the shops tomorrow, my stash has let me down.

Watch this space.

I wasn't the only one to get it wrong - this is the balcony over our town hall!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

I lost my favourite crochet hook but look what I found!

I picked up my aunt from a hospital appointment last week, and of course took the latest project to finish while waiting. When we were back at her house I realised I'd lost my crochet hook :-(

"Oh I expect there is one in my knitting box" I was told. "Help yourself, I don't crochet any more."

The knitting box turned out to be a treasure trove, containing all the needles from my late grandmother as well. I sorted out all the crochet hooks...

The wooden handled hook is actually for hooking rugs, and one of the hooks is so fine that my aunt said it's probably from my great-grandmother, who used to make lace.

Then my aunt saw all the double-pointed needles and said I might as well have them too...

"in fact, take the lot - just leave me the two pairs I always use, and a stitch holder"...

"chuck that button box into your bag while you're at it..."

The buttons also came from my late grandmother, so some may well date back to WWII. I found the obligatory curtain hook (why do they always turn up in button boxes?) and a few buttons that caught my eye straight away...

Aren't these lovely? They remind me of a certain royal engagement ring!

I guess it might be time to open up NiftySupplies but first, let me show you what I was crocheting. I was chatting to a lovely lady on twitter last week, she sells European tableware in the States. I particularly liked a pattern called Alice so I thought I'd make a meerkat-sized version.

Available from Zibbet click here and Etsy click here

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

My new socks!

Remember the lovely yarn I won from A Geek's Yarn?

I've knitted myself a pair of socks using a free pattern from Knitty (click here) (Please note this pattern is for personal use only.)

I love the yarn, it's so soft and the colours are amazing. I kept finding myself trying to predict what would be next! It's really easy to count rows as each stitch is a different colour from the one below or above.

The pattern was easy to follow too. I got a bit confused at one point but decided "Keep calm and knit on" was the way to go. I continued to knit in rib all the way down the front of the sock as I figured (correctly) that if I made a mistake in the shaping, the rib would still hug the sock into my foot.

There was a new technique to learn at the end - kitchener stitch, which is a fabulous invisible graft. I learn best from the written word, so I used this tutorial (click here) but there are many free videos if you google.

Thanks again, Tiffany, for my lovely yarn!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Nifty to dance at the Royal wedding

Look what I read yesterday in the paper!

Can't say I've much experience with Bollywood dancing, but I'll give it a go.
In the meantime - have you seen this?

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Global domination!

Yesterday I looked back at my orders to see where I've sent meerkats...

Australia, Austria, Belarus, Canada, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Norway, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Tasmania, USA and of course UK!

Amazing - go meerkats!

Friday, 15 April 2011

I won a circus tent!

Well - that's what the yarn is called ;-)
Isn't it gorgeous? I had a hard time choosing from Tiffany's shop "A Geek's Yarn", it's like a woolly rainbow in there!
I'm off to scour the internet for a sock pattern worthy of such loveliness, I'm going to knit something for *ME* for a change!

For those of you who are still nervous of buying from abroad, it was shipped from the States on Saturday, and is in my hands in the UK today, Friday, less than a week!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

We've got a lookee-likee

Remember the K Factor last year? Harry Hill Meerkat reached the final five of over TEN THOUSAND entrants, and has enjoyed being recognised and followed by paparazzi wherever he goes ;-)

Niftyknits has even been asked for an autograph...TWICE!

This week a book-shaped package arrived in the mail.

The book was a sweet reminder of the fun of the show.

The week everyone dressed as Harry Hill was of course a highlight for Harry Hill Meerkat!

We also loved "Dancing on Ice". Harry Hill Meerkat was partnered by Tommy Trundle, knitted from a vintage Alan Dart pattern which can still be found on ebay. Alan's other patterns are here: click!

The judges' decision ... Peter the wingless duck! Andy knitted Peter using a Jean Greenhowe pattern, available here: click!.

The book also includes some knitting patterns for "other versions" of some of the entrants, reknitted by the book's commissioned knitter. Here's their version of Harry Hill Meerkat:

If you'd like a genuine Niftyknits Harry Hill Meerkat though, you know where to find them!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Experimenting with my flower loom

A while back I found some flower looms in a charity shop but it's taken me till now to get around to finding out how to use them. As you can see, there are retractable plates on the back holding the teeth. The plastic is quite brittle, not sure how long it'll last! I'd also prefer there to be a hole in the centre, but after all I only paid 50p!

I found a very helpful website here: and have been busy playing.

I have several different sizes, some round, some square - the bigger flower here is made on the square loom, and I just don't like it. Neither of them have enough "rows" of yarn, either - but it's all trial and improvement.

I soon discovered it is *not* as easy as I'd expected, and that some yarns just don't work out as well as I'd thought. I'd hoped to use my stash of fancy yarns which I rarely use for my meerkats - but turns out that for the moment, simple old acrylic is a lot easier to work with.

See what I mean (above)? The eyelash yarn just isn't holding the shape. I quite like the effect of the toning set below though. I tried using one strand of each of the yarns for one flower, and then decided to snip through each loop. I quite like the effect, rather like a flat pompom! They'd probably go together better with the same button, but I'm stash-busting.

Another experiment - this is a cotton yarn I'd knitted something in, didn't like and unpicked. The yarn is crinkly from having been knitted so I wasn't sure it'd work, but it gives extra interest to the flower I think.

I tried weaving in and out of each petal - had to make myself stop, it's quite addictive!

Now to decide what to do with them...

And if you'd like to see how a REAL professional works a flower loom, I recommend a trip to Ffflowers who seems to have no trouble at all with fancy yarns!

Plum Fizz flowers by ffflowers

She also sells gorgeous handmade wooden looms, so if you fancy a go, check her out!

Monday, 4 April 2011

Mothers Day sale 30% discount!

Hope you all had a great Mothers Day UK - to celebrate, I'm offering a 30% coupon to use in my Zibbet shop, just till tomorrow.

The coupon will expire on Tuesday and cannot be used in conjunction with other coupons. Everything is ready to ship, minimum order $10***

Just use code QHTV0R at checkout and grab a bargain while you can. I'm not often this generous!