Sunday, 29 January 2017

what the heck are Nudinits?!


I first came across Nudinits on Facebook, I am fairly certain it was a couple of years ago now, and I remember being irrevocably charmed by the humour, detail, and downright candid nature of the villagers in the oh-so-aptly named town Woolly Bush. Every time they appear on my feed, or I just need cheering up, I could rely on Nudinits to bring a smile to my face!

So when Pavillion Books got in touch with me to ask if I would like to review the new book, from creator Sarah Simi, I was delighted to say yes please-with-a-suggestive-cherry-on-top!*

If you haven't figured it out yet, everyone in the town of Nudinits is rather naked. There will be an expertly placed vegetable or tool placed every now and then (just see those watermelons on the front cover) but you get your fair share of naughty in this book! Just think of the mature content tab on Ravelry if you need a reference point. Man I do love a grown-up and rude knitting topic!


The book is a fun mix of funny, staged photos - which are always of the highest quality, with ridiculous attention to detail and so so funny - and 20 knitting patterns, including the patterns to knit the stars of the book themselves, Bernard and Barbara! Bernie and Babs (they strike me as the type of Nudinits that wouldn't mind nicknames) are a retired couple, who spend most of their days tottering around the house doing 'retired life' activities (knitting, gardening, DIY - the dream bascially) and chatting with other Nudinits in town (perhaps popping down to The Ram Inn or St Angora's Church - hey, it's not all nude jokes in this book!). 

It's so much fun just flicking through the book, and spending time chuckling at the comments while spotting something new in the detail of each picture every time; one of my favourites has to be in an image of Bernie gardening, he is expertly placed behind the garden gnome, who also happens to be naked and manages to cover both, ahem, WILLIES with his fishing rod. It is SO MUCH FUN!


Patterns galore are included in the book, which don't disappoint in terms of their charm and attention to detail. And considering you get Bernie and Babs' patterns too, you get so much more than the promised 20 because the person's anatomy has extra bits and pieces (seriously, when you buy the book, read the suggested knitting note on Bernie's willy, you will not be disappointed!) I can't wait to find an excuse to knit my own Babs with some accessories!

You might think that this doesn't sound like your cup of tea, but believe you me this is up the street of EVERY knitter! No matter who I have shown the book too or talked to about it, they've all of them laughed jovially at some joke or other in the book or online. Even though everything about the book centres of the nude (we could all do with being a little more open about human anatomy if you ask me, but that is getting close to what some people might deem 'politics', so I will back away slowly now) it is NEVER crude, and NEVER rude. I don't know how it does it, there are naked people everywhere and its just never crude, always charming and funny and I love it. 


I am really so happy that I have this book now. It would make a perfect present for the knitter in your life that really appreciates a joke and humouring knitting (who doesn't) and, basically, it is ridiculously clever and a whole lot of fun!

Nudinits; Bare-bottomed fun from the village of Woolly Bush by Sarah Simi
£9.99, Pavillion Books

*This book was kindly sent to me for review purposes on the blog. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Have fun nudi-knitting!

Saturday, 21 January 2017

free pokemon crochet pattern - sentret


Hi everyone, and welcome to a new free crochet pattern! For those non-Pokemon friends (just spend some time with me and we will fix that) and generation I die-hards, please say hello to Sentret, a cute normal-type Pokemon which was introduced in the generation II games. Described in the Pokedex as small and furry, Sentret is one of those weaker Pokemon you find at the beginning of a game, and might not leave much of an impression.

So it was a surprise when a friend (the same one who commissioned Espeon I might add) asked if I could make one for a friend of his, who claims Sentret is his favourite! Hey, no judgement here, it was just a surprise to find that Sentret did leave such an impresson on someone. Unsurprisingly, there are no crochet patterns out there for this little-known guy, so I set about writing a pattern myself.

I am delighted with the result, as was my friend, and so much so that for Christmas I made another for my big brother who, although Sentret isn't his favourite, will always catch one early on to use as his HM mule.

If I'm speaking another language to you now, I am sorry and please bear with me! I want to share you with you a FREE crochet pattern so you can make your own Sentret; perhaps you are a closet Sentret fan too, or you know someone who loves Pokemon and will welcome and amiguruimi gift such as this. Alternatively, make one for a child to introduce them to the world of Pokemon, or advertise him as a fun, happy teddy-like creature that kids can cuddle. Regardless, I hope you enjoy the pattern and don't hesitate to get in touch with any questions!


YOU WILL NEED
4mm crochet hook
DK weight yarn in light brown, dark brown, cream, and light pink
a small amount of DK in black and white
tapestry needle
toy stuffing

Note this pattern is written in US crochet terms, and is worked in amigurumi style (continuous rounds)

BODY (make 1)
with light brown yarn
Round 1 - sc6 in magic circle (6)
Round 2 - *2sc in next* round (12)
Round 3 - *2sc in next, sc in following* round (18)
Round 4 - *2sc in next, sc in following 2* round (24)
Round 5 - *2sc in next, sc in following 3* round (30)
Round 6 - *2sc in next, sc in following 4* round (36)
Round 7 - *2sc in next, sc in following 5* round (42)
Round 8 - *2sc in next, sc in following 6* round (48)
Round 9 - *2sc in next, sc in following 7* round (54)
Round 10 - *2sc in next, sc in following 8* round (60)
Round 11 - *2sc in next, sc in following 9* round (66)
Round 12 - *2sc in next, sc in following 10* round (72)
Round 13 - *2sc in next, sc in following 11* round (78)
Rounds 14-18 - sc round (78) 
Round 19 - *sc2tog, sc in following 11* round (72)
Round 20 - *sc2tog, sc in following 10* round (66) 
Round 21 - *sc2tog, sc in following 9* round (60)  
Round 22 - *sc2tog, sc in following 8* round (54) 
Round 23 - *sc2tog, sc in following 7* round (48)  
Round 24 - *sc2tog, sc in following 6* round (42) 
Round 25 - *sc2tog, sc in following 5* round (36)  
Round 26 - *sc2tog, sc in following 4* round (30)
Round 27 - *sc2tog, sc in following 3* round (24) 
Round 28 - *sc2tog, sc in following 2* round (18) 
stuff the body firmly here
Round 29 - *sc2tog, sc in following* round (12)
Round 30 - *sc2tog* (6)
finish stuffing, fasten off and sew closed. 
 
ARMS (make 2)
with light brown yarn
Round 1 - sc6 in magic circle (6)
Round 2 - *2sc in next* round (12)
Round 3 - sc round (12)
Round 4 - *2sc in next, sc in following* round (18)
Round 5 - sc round (18)
Round 6 - *5sc, 2sc in next* round (21)
Round 7 - sc round (21)
Round 8 - *6sc, 2sc* round (24)
Round 9 - sc round (24)
Round 10 - 10sc, inc, 2sc, inc, 10sc (26)
Rounds 11-12 - sc round (26)
Round 13 - 11sc, inc, 2sc, inc, 11sc (28)
Round 14 - 12sc, inc, 2sc, inc, 12sc (30)
Round 15 - sc round (30)
fasten off and stuff arms. 
 
NOTE the fasten off point of the arms is at the bottom of the arm (underarm area).
TAIL (make 1)
with light brown
Round 1 - sc6 in magic circle (6)
Round 2 - *2sc in next* round (12)
Round 3 - *2sc in next, sc in following* round (18)
Round 4 - *2sc in next, sc in following 2* round (24)
Round 5 - *2sc in next, sc in following 3* round (30)
Round 6 - *2sc in next, sc in following 4* round (36)
Round 7 - *2sc in next, sc in following 5* round (42)
Round 8-9 - sc round (42)
change to dark brown
Round 10-11 - sc round (42)
Round 12 - *sc2tog, sc in following 5* round (36)
Rounds13-16 - sc round (36)
change to light brown
Round 17 - sc round (36)
Round 18 - *sc2tog, sc in following 4* round (30)
Rounds 19-20 - sc round (30)
Round 21 - *sc2tog, sc in following 3* round (24)
Round 22 - sc round (24)
change to dark brown
Rounds 23-29 - sc round (24) 
change to light brown
Rounds 30-31 - sc round (24)
Round 32 - *sc2tog, sc in following 2* round (18)
Rounds 33-35 - sc round (18)
change to dark brown, and stuff tail firmly at this point
Round 36 - sc round (18)
Round 37 - *sc2tog, sc in following* round (12)
Round 38-40 - sc round (12)
fasten off and finish stuffing, leaving the base of the tail open. 
 
EARS (make 2)
with dark brown 
Round 1 - 4sc in magic circle (4)
Round 2 - *2sc in next* round (8)
Round 3 - *2sc in next, sc in following* round (12)
Round 4 - *2sc in next, sc in following 2* round (16)
Round 5 - *2sc in next, sc in following 3* round (20)
Rounds 6-9 - sc round (20)
Round 10 - *sc2tog, sc in following 3* round (16)
Rounds 11-15 - sc round (16)
Round 16 - *sc2tog, sc in following 2* round (12)
Rounds 17-22 - sc round (12)
Round 23 - *sc2tog, sc in following* round (8)
Rounds 24-28 - sc round (8)
fasten off and stuff the bottom of the ear lightly, leaving bottom open.

INNER EARS (make 2)
with pink
Row 1 - ch 3
Row 2 - sc in 2nd from hook, sc 1 (2)
Row 3 - ch1, turn, sc 2 (2) 
Row 4 -  ch1, turn, sc 2 (2) 
Row 5 - ch1, turn, 2sc in next, sc 1 (3)
Rows 6-9 - ch1, turn, sc 3 (3)
Row 10 - ch1, turn, 2sc in next, sc 2 (4)
Rows 11-12 - ch1, turn, sc 4 (4)
Row 13 - ch1, turn, sc, hdc, hdc, sc (4)
Row 14 - ch1, turn, hdc, dc, dc, hdc (4)
fasten off and sew to EARS, using photo as a guide.

FEET (make 2)
with light brown
Round 1 - 6sc in magic circle (6)
Round 2 - *2sc in next* round (12)
Round 3 - *2sc in next, sc in following* round (18)
Rounds 4-9 - sc round (18)
Round 10 - *sc2tog* round (9)
Rounds 11-12 - sc round (9)
fasten off and stuff feet lightly. 

OUTER TUMMY (make 1)
with cream
Round 1 - sc6 in magic circle (6)
Round 2 - *2sc in next* round (12)
Round 3 - *2sc in next, sc in following* round (18)
Round 4 - *2sc in next, sc in following 2* round (24)
Round 5 - *2sc in next, sc in following 3* round (30)
Round 6 - *2sc in next, sc in following 4* round (36)
Round 7 - *2sc in next, sc in following 5* round (42)
Round 8 - *2sc in next, sc in following 6* round (48)
fasten off.

INNER TUMMY (make 1)
Round 1 - sc6 in magic circle (6)
Round 2 - *2sc in next* round (12)
Round 3 - *2sc in next, sc in following* round (18)
Round 4 - *2sc in next, sc in following 2* round (24)
fasten off.


TO FINISH
Using the pictures as a guide, sew Sentret together as follows.
- Sew the arms to the sides of the body, making sure to position the FO point of the arms underneath.
- Sew the feet to the bottom of the body, positioning them slightly forward of the centre of the bottom.
- Sew the tail to the back of the body, positioning it in the centre of the lower back which should allow Sentret to stand, leaning on the tail.
- Sew the ears to the top of the body.
- Sew the inner tummy into the centre of the outer tummy, and then sew the completed tummy to the front of the body, positioning it directly above the feet, just touching the top of the feet.
- Embroider Sentret's eyes and mouth using black and white yarn, positioning using the image above as a guide. 

 

Saturday, 14 January 2017

warm, toasty, easy-peasy socks

Pattern: Totally Mint by Katya Frankel (Knit Today 123)
Yarn: Artesano Superwash Merino (DK; 2 balls in cream)
Ravelry project page: here

Another project that I completed before Christmas was this warm, cosy pair of socks. I actually knitted 4 pairs of socks between September and December, having never knitted socks before and man do I have the bug now! If you do too, make sure you check out Christine's blog - Winwick Mum. Back to the point I was making; so I've actually made 4 pairs of socks now in recent months, 2 pairs of which were Christmas presents so I am unable to show you pictures, and the first pair the heel turn went horribly wrong, so I plan to frog and knit a different pair. 

But these socks are the most recent pair off my needles (just for interest, I am a circular needles gal, canNOT be doing with those DPNs!!) and they are a great, snuggly pair of socks that are really ideal for those who are new to sock knitting.
Knit in DK yarn rather that the normal 4ply, the pattern from Katya Frankel is an easy knit and purl repeat stitch the circles round the calf/upper section of the sock in a way that is quite pleasing to the eye. I have actually knit some Hermione Everyday Socks (Christmas present for Katy, but I will be knitting myself a pair soon!) which has a very similar repeating pattern going round. I will admit that the pattern works better on the 4ply as it gives more definition, but there isn't much you can do with a DK weight sock in terms of detail, and this is always preferable to just knit knit knit.

I never check tension on smaller project (shh) and I really ought to have this time. The socks are a little more snug than I would have liked, but having said this they do fit: they just don't look as slouchy as they do in the pictures of the finished pattern. My own fault I know I know - I do know I have tight tension so I always go up a needle size, but one more 0.5mm would have helped this time. I will know for the next pair!

The socks are just long enough to peep over my ankle boots nicely, which is really what I wanted to achieve with my socks. I hope to have lots of pairs like this this year, including some red socks and stripey purple ones; be sure to watch this space as per! But I do prefer knitting socks in 4ply so this pattern might not emerge again soon - though it is perfect for a gift pattern I think! Saving it for next Christmas for sure. 

My overriding negative for this pattern is that the heel is worked in short rows, rather than picking up stitches on a heel turn. This is good for new sock knitters, but the finished effect is a little messy for my liking (thought my wrap and turn leaves much to be desired as well) and the resulting heel doesn't fit the contour of a foot as nicely as a usual heel turn does. 

Apart from this however I am really pleased with the socks and I am glad I was able to find a yummy use for my leftover DK merino wool. I am eager to cast on the next pair as soon as possible, but first I really really need to finish a cardigan that I've had my heart set on for months. If only there were just more hours in the day ...

Sunday, 8 January 2017

say hello to willow!

 
Pattern: taken from Edward's Imaginarium, by Kerry Lord
Yarn: various from stash, acrylic based
Ravelry project page: here
 
A belated welcome and a very Happy New Year to you, me, and 2017!! Here's to a brighter year, with fewer world-changing events if possible, and on a smaller scale, more blogs from the geeky knitter while I finally get back into the swing of regular blogging. I am still getting that balance between my new job, new house, and just day-to-day, plus with welcoming the New Year with the flu it's been a little quiet this side of the internet, but no more!
 
But enough about me, I am delighted to introduce you to Willow, the newest* member to the Conduit-Riley household! Willow is a giant Imagimarium monster, and we love her.
(*Willow was actually finished in November 16, and since then we may have bought some new toys, but this is beside the point...)
 
 
When I visited Yarndale in September, the TOFT stand had one of their giant monsters on show and I instantly fell in love. I did, there and then, enquire after the cost of the yarn to crochet my own but it was in the £95 price range and I couldn't quite justify that, even though I absolutely covet TOFT alpaca yarn, so beautiful and soft - one day ... But they were wonderful enough to tell me how to make one for myself, and also Edward's Imaginarium also includes the instructions on how to make a larger version of any of the creatures, and once I knew that I could do it, there was no getting that idea out of my head. 

Simply follow the instructions for a small creature, but instead of a 3.5mm hook, crack out the 8mm hook and chunky yarn! It does use up a lot of chunky yarn, and I am all about using my stash up so I didn't want to buy extra chunky yarn in. I did however have several balls of blue chunky weight which wasn't enough for a whole toy, but enough for striping with another colour. The brown stripes you see in Willow is actually a brown Aran weight yarn that I held double (boom!), the very same that I used in the Totoro jumper. I love knowing (roughly) how much yarn I need for a project now just be weight and sight, definitely a perk of constantly knitting!
 
I originally intended to crochet a little pouch on Willow's back, to hold a mini hot water bottle that we own, so that we can hug her for warmth when needed. I haven't done this yet, 2 month's later, but it's still a pretty good idea if I ever get round to it! If I don't however, Willow really is the perfect cuddling size when watching a film or TV and you want to just have something on your lap, like a comforting cushion but so much more fun.
 
During the day, while we are at work Willow will happily sit on the sofa and play a little Playstation until we come home and hog the TV ourselves that is. Willow stands a satisfying 84cm tall, and I look forward to making her a friend (or perhaps a few) because she is just so droopy and cuddly!