Sunday, 18 December 2011

Beaded mohair cowl

I am just taking a few minutes out of busy Christmas wrapping to show you this. It's the only thing I have knitted this year and I'm proud of the fact that I actually managed to finish it, as I do have to confess to having several knitting projects on the go all still with needles in that may possibly not see the light of day again.
I love Rowan Kidsilk Haze and have always wondered if I could make anything meaningful with just one ball of it since it's so expensive, and the answer proved to be yes. I did a bit of internet searching and came across this pattern on the Knitty site which was perfect. I don't wear it up round my hair but just keep it round my neck, it just folds over at the top then so it's in two soft layers rather than one big tube - it's nice and cosy and better than a full length scarf for keeping on inside the house or office.

I thought I'd buy some beads first and then take them into John Lewis to match some wool up with them, and found some olive green silver lined ones which catch the light really well.

I've never knitted anything with beads before but in this pattern you follow a chart and use a crochet hook to hook the beads onto the required stitch as you need them rather than trying to thread hundreds of them onto the yarn before you start. I've never done a lace pattern before either but after making a few mistakes with winding yarn over the needle I got the hang of it.
It's made on a circular needle - my tension is really loose so I downsized the needle as I was worried I'd run out of wool otherwise - that was the right decision I think as I finished up with only a couple of metres spare.
So there we are, a small crafty achievement.

Elsewhere I've managed to sell all except about 30 of the oldest books at my mum's so that's brilliant - very emotionally hard to get rid of things that belonged to my parents and that I grew up with, but all necessary. I'm taking a break from the house till after Christmas now.

Leo and Monty are being very silly.

Here you can see Leo's reaction to his first Christmas tree - a bit of a blur of excited paws! He's also been squeezing himself ontop of the radiator in the kitchen to try and keep toasty warm, but doesn't quite fit.

It's been interesting wrapping presents as they're SO obsessed with ribbon. I shut Monty in the utility room yesterday to give myself a bit of peace while I got on but he climbed up the flimsy net curtain that hangs across the door using his claws - all 5 and a bit kilograms of him, and he was nearly at the top when I decided I'd rescue the curtain before he completely shredded it. I tried explaining to him that he was NOT a small kitten but he didn't look convinced.


  1. Your lace knitting is beautiful - I've tried some for the first time this year too, but gave up as I continually ended up with the wrong number of stitches!

    I'm glad to read that Leo and Monty are being such "good" helpers! I'm not sure that some cats EVER realise they're not kittens anymore, I still have one (aged 6) who climbs the door curtain and always looks so surprised when it all (pole and all) crashes down with him attached! x

  2. Oh, that's stunning, just gorgeous. Beats my garter stitch shawl all to heck. LOL. I looked at the site and the pattern and my eyes glazed over. Ha. I'd better stick with my easy projects. Well done to you!

    I'm glad your taking a break from your mum's house and things till the new year. I'd say if anyone needs a bit of respite, it's definitely you.

    I wish you all a wonder-full and joy-full Yule and Christmas.

    Smooches to Leo and Monty--that last photo is priceless. What an "innocent" look. :-)

    Merry Christmas!

    -Kim and the boys

  3. I love the last photo of Monty, butter wouldn't melt would it!

  4. Your cowl is simply gorgeous! I love green and this shade is splendid. If I wasn't Missus Hot Flash and allergic to wool (!!!) I'd offer you a fair sum to knit me one just like it.
    Good work selling off the books; perhaps you could put a few on a shelf as a reminder. I cannot imagine going through so much accumulated stuff. Enjoy your "time off".
    You are a brave soul to have a tree with your two scamps! We would never attempt that here, heh heh.

    Merry Christmas from all of us at the Katnip Lounge!

  5. LOL!! Sorry but adorable Leo squeezing on top of the heater is so funny! LOL!! Awwww!! Monty is so cute! What a face - totally innocent of any shredding or ribbon chasing! :-)

    Now Madam! That shawl! How PRETTY is that?!?! So so delicate - love the beads - especially that you got green ones that match the wool. I've just had a look at the pattern - and can see how gorgeous this is as a most stylish hoody! Totally movie-star look!. Yay for you!

    Awww I so hope you enjoy your break from sorting out your mum's house. You've completed a most gargantuan task that would have floored lesser creatures like me and so yay! Enjoy your fabulous tree and scrummy hoody/neck cowl!

    Take care

  6. oooo I LOVE your cowl! Gorgeous colour and the beads look so pretty..

    Great pictures of the boys too, they really made me smile :D they are soooooo sweet.

    Deborah x

  7. Długo nie było Ciebie i Twoich kotów. Cieszę się, że mogą bawić się choinką. U mnie niestety pustka.

  8. Your knitting is so pretty! It looks very complicated.
    Your cats are so cute ...full of mischief!

  9. What a beautiful cowl! It looks so soft and I absolutely adore this color!!
    Your 'babies' are so sweet, too!! Have a wonderful Holiday Season!!

  10. LOVE the cowl, and bet its even nicer in the flesh. I wish I could knit ... something I've never mastered.
    Glad to hear you're having a break from the house and that you got rid of most of the books.
    The photos of the boys really put a smile on my face again ... the last one of Monty is brilliant, he looks so innocent.

  11. Haven't heard from you for long. Glad all is going well. Know the feeling of selling or get rid of loved ones' stuff is a mixed feeling. It's hard for the decision. If they can go to someone you know and sure they're use it of pass on would be good. I see Monty and Leo are gorgeous. Love them so much. My Mogi is so alone and attach to us at night after Tiger's gone. Poor guy. We miss Tiger very much. Having two cats is good for the family. Wish you a Merry Christmas.

  12. wow that is gorgeous, I love the colour you chose and the beads, just stunning! Have a wonderful, relaxing, craft filled Christmas x

  13. Lovely photo of Monty, I haven't bothered with a Christmas tree this year, not with 5 of them to climb it. lol


  14. your mohair cowl is gorgeous :)

    glad to see you back on here and to hear that you're making good progress with your mum's house, it can't be an easy process.

    lovely pics of your boys enjoying christmas - the last photo is perfect, his expression really does say it all :)

    best wishes for a lovely christmas and happy new year 2012 x

  15. hahahhah don'tcha just love cats and Christmas.... I've been having fun seeing them on various blogs..... I love it.... 'course, I can say that now that I am not the one trying to keep the tree standing and the ornaments intact!

  16. Looking very festive at your house! I love your beautiful cowl - what a useful item and a little bit of luxury too. Happy Christmas. x Jo

  17. Hello, I thought I'd wish Happy Easter to you and your family, hope you're ok.
    I've just come back from a long weekend spent in Derbyshire, I've been also in Leicestershire, thought about you!
    Have a good day and I look forward to hear from you again.


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