23 December 2010

merry christmas

Still no let up to the big freeze. I had to put the pretty side of it on my blog. Heres the view from my back garden.
Mind you I could do without the nasty side such as frozen pipes - the washing machine froze up yesterday!
Just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas - looks like its going to be a white one. Ali

25 October 2010

the north wind doth blow

Its certainly a lot chillier here lately - definitely time to get out the winter woollies and base layers. Just the time of year to sit beside the fire and do a wee bit of knitting, so I'm on to my second ball of yarn bought at the Glen Gallery - a beautiful pink / grey Araucania Ranco Multi.

I'm knitting yet another pair of fingerless mitts for myself, using a pattern by Catherine Ryan - Fingerless Piano and Mini Mitts which can be found on her Hither and Yarn blog. I've made much use of this pattern ...one Christmas everyone got a pair, each having a different description such as gaming gloves, computing mitts etc. I like using 4ply wool for the project as the mitts are light enough to use going shopping or even inside. I'm hoping to use whats left of the skein to make a scarflette - so I'm on the lookout for a nice pattern.

17 October 2010

100% wool

When I'm knitting my buns I would usually use 100% acrylic double knit - mainly because of cost and also because of the wide variety of colours available. I particularly like Stylecraft dk, as I think it has a nice sheen to it. I also love the multicoloured dks available such as the JC Brett ones. However on my recent visit to the Glen gallery I splashed out a bit and bought some lovely yarns. I started on the first ball, a purple Rowan pure wool aran. I knitted a pair of leg warmers to wear with boots and also squeezed a pair of fingerless mitts out of the ball as well. I found the fingerless mitts pattern on Ravelry .... Superquick Fingerless Mitts by Aemmeleia The leg warmers were knitted as a simple tube on dpns with size 6.5mm needles. The rib was k3, p3 and I casted off very loosely.
Thanks Chris for being photographer for the day!
I really should be getting on with my City and Guild stuff, oh well maybe next week.
Happy Knitting, Ali

12 October 2010


A lot as been said about the therapeutic benefits of knitting. I'm a definite upholder of this idea...... the rhythmic nature of the process of knitting is most calming. I find as I focus on each stitch all my worries tend to gradually disappear and are forgotten. Today I spent the afternoon in the lovely October sunshine working away at some of the beautiful yarn I bought recently in the Glen Gallery a great two hours therapy and I ended up with a pair of leg warmers besides.
bye, Ali

7 October 2010

glen gallery

I heard about this place in Cullybackey in a forum on Ravelry. So had to whiz up the motorway today to have a look. They are having work done to the shop, so it was a wee bit chaotic. Despite this I could see it was a real Aladdin's Cave. Lovely yarns which I thought were only available online or on the mainland....Rowan, Louisa Harding to name a few. They also have an embroidery, felting and patchwork section. There are also workshops for knitting, crochet, hand quilting, and jewellery making. I'm so excited I'm sure I'll be back again and again. The full address is The Glen Gallery, 48 Fenagh Road, Cullybackey just outside Ballymena....well worth a visit.

5 October 2010

back to school

Haven't had time to blog recently with this and that. School is well and truly started and our house has returned to the school routine - packed lunches, PE kit, homework and for me the school run. I've also gone back to "big" school - that is City and Guilds - embroidery class this year. The class includes felters so the first thing we all made was a piece of felt. This is the first time I've made felt and it would seem it is not an exact science, as its hard to predict what the outcome will be. Here's a photo of how mine turned out. Someone in the class said it looked like the painting "Waterlilies" by Monet, so I was happy with that comment. It still needs a wee bit more rolling, but its a very nice craft and I'm sure Ill make some more pieces. Bye, Ali.

16 August 2010

knitting nancy

I'm always trying to find uses for the tubes a knitting nancy produces. I've written up instructions on how to make a shamrock (see below). The shamrock can be used as a pin or as an embellishment for hats, scarves, bags etc. I hope someone can make use of it.
Bye Ali.



knitting nancy or two double pointed needles - size 3.75mm (US 5)
small amounts of green double knitting (8ply) yarn
sharp needle
brooch back (optional)
use the knitting nancy to make up a tube 40 cms (16 ins) long.
Fasten off - leaving a long yarn tail.
with the dpns cast on 4 stitches and then i-cord until work measures
40 cms (16 ins).
Fasten off - leaving a long yarn tail.

Assemble the three leaves, see photos below.
Pin the centre to keep leaves in place The end of the tube is the centre of the front of the shamrock. Use the yarn tail to sew all three leaves and stalk together. Bring needle back and forward through the centre, leaves and stalk. Sew a button to the centre front of the shamrock. Pinch the inside tip of each leaf. Hold these in place with a few stitches, losing end of the yarn in the tube. Gently press the shamrock. Add a brooch back if the shamrock is to be used as a pin .

copyright Alison Hogg 2010

9 August 2010


Last Friday I was at a wedding. Here's what I wore......
I decided not to include myself in the photo! The beads were made from a selection of coloured pearls, bought in Sugar Island Beads, Newcastle and I also made the flower.
As this is the wedding season Ive written up the instructions of how to make a fabric corsage - SEE BELOW. The petals are folded so there is just a little hand sewing involved. The centre is a Suffolk puff or yo - yo. So now you can make your own personalized buttonhole. Or you could use the flower to decorate a summer hat or bag.
All the best, Ali


five - 4 inch squares of cotton /silk (or any fabric which would not be too bulky when folded)
one - 3 and a half inch square of a contrasting fabric
small piece of felt
needle and thread
fabric glue
brooch back
pinking shears (optional)

1. Cut five - 4 inch squares

2. With wrong side facing up fold top point to the opposite point.

3. Fold again - point to point.

4. Repeat for each petal.

5. With a long piece of doubled matching sewing thread, sew tiny running stitches along the base of the triangle.

6. Pull thread and gather tightly end with a double stitch to stop petal unravelling.

7. Continue with the next petal - sewing and gathering. (make sure that the open folds are facing the same direction)

8. Continue until all petals are gathered. Join the last petal to the first one, to form a flower shape.

1. Cut a circle with a 3 and a half inch radius, in a contrasting fabric.

2. Turn edge of circle over a quarter of an inch and with a doubled sewing thread, in a matching colour, sew tiny running stitches close to the edge.
3. Pull thread tightly and tie off to keep the gathers secure.

1. Applique flower centre to the petals.
2. Cut a piece of felt with pinking shears - 2 inches in diameter and apply glue (avoid centre of felt).
3. Stick felt to the reverse of the flower to cover hole and attach brooch back.

Fabric I used for petals - Liberty Tana Lawn "Pepper"
copyright Alison Hogg 2010

4 August 2010

thanks a bunch

I just wanted to thank the four test knitters from Ravelry who volunteered to test my donut pattern. Many thanks for taking the time to test knit and for all your helpful suggestions and comments. Thanks to (in alphabetical order)..... Knitting in Hi, moilulu, remcat and vapmore.
My pattern is for sale on both my etsy shop (dollars) and my folksy shop (sterling)Bye,Ali.

28 July 2010


Most of my knits are sweet and sugary and some people might even describe them as twee. For a bit of a change I knitted this fun project which I found on etsy - squashed rat bookmark, by Kookla Creations. I thought it would appeal to my son who isnt really into cupcakes!!!!
Bye, Ali

26 July 2010


Along the dual carriageway close to our house there are the usual formally planted flowerbeds - but this time of year the hedge along it is covered in the most beautiful pink roses. So couldnt resist the temptation to cut a few to bring home.

.......and then of course there is the knitted variety - this pattern is a freebie on my blog. You could knit a few and attach stems to make a bouquet, or in this case attach a brooch back.

19 July 2010

wet weekend

All plans of a picnic were shelved when it turned out a wee bit damp on Sunday. So we headed down to Mauds Cafe in Newcastle for a piece of chocolate cake and a coffee.
Across the road from Mauds, along the Main Street there is a new bead shop which has opened. There is an exciting array of beads....so many lovely ones I couldnt decide. So if you find yourself in Newcastle have a look in Sugar Island.
Bye, Ali

16 July 2010

mmmmmmmh donuts

I had all these wonderful plans of what I was going to do when the C&G course finished. I even made a list ....curtain making, decorating the hall, cleaning etc etc and here I am knitting away. I have a few patterns which I've scribbled down on scrap paper and would like to type up. I'm onto my latest one....donuts
I feel a sugar binge coming on, Ali

6 July 2010

snowman cosy pattern

I have completed my Snowman tea cosy pattern and it is for sell in both my etsy shop and my folksy shop. Here he is....
I thought his hat could be knitted to match your tea set. Or in football team colours or even school colours.

Id just like to say a big thank you to Eddy G, Olive 2 and Scarlettdahling from Ravelry for test knitting the pattern. Many thanks for giving up your time and lending me your skill and expertise.
Bye, Ali

3 July 2010

holiday reading

Most people bring a good novel on holiday, but for me I always bring a ball of wool and some knitting needles. Im doing a job lot of knitted roses. We found a wee quiet spot just outside Portrush for a picnic and some knitting.

In the evening after a walk along the beach at White Rocks I stopped to take a few photos as the sun went down.
Bye for now, Ali

1 June 2010

mr snowman

I'm working on my latest pattern at the moment. The best about knitting is that it is so portable. So sitting in the sun this afternoon I was working away on my snowman tea cosy - I think Ill call him "Puddle"! Bye, Ali.

28 May 2010

schools out

Today was the last day of City and Guilds. There was a flurry of activity as all the textile classes put their work up for the exhibition. After a few late nights I finished my second quilt - a daisy - what else! .....and all the supporting work. I cant believe that the year has finished......I'll tell you if it as all been worthwhile when I get my final mark on Tuesday!!!
Here's my Crazy daisy quilt...

and my first piece - "Wish I was there" - on display.

Anyone in and around Belfast city centre on Wednesday and Thursday come in and have a wee look at all our work. The exhibition is in the BMC beside Inst. On Wednesday the rooms are open from 10.30 - 18.30 and on Thursday from 10.30 - 16.00.
Have to go and tidy the sewing room - not to mention the rest of the house.
Bye, ali.

24 April 2010


I bought some lovely yarn in John Lewis - Sari Ribbon (Louisa Harding yarns). Once I finish the course I'm hoping to do some "scribbling" with the help of a pattern I found in The Curious Knitters Guide - Mason Dixon Knitting.

Also on the to do list when I finish the course is to sort out the garden .....I spent a wee while in the garden today, the snakes head fritillaries are flowering along with the spring hyacinths.

Thats all for now, Ali