Noblin activity of the knitting variety.

Including Noblin Designs, How to identify Noblins,
Advice on how to catch a Noblin, and How to keep your Noblin happy.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Noblin Design - Alpaca Baby Set

Noblin set - various sizes This set is made on double pointed needles using sock weight or 4-ply yarn. The set includes instructions for socks (toe up and top down method), mittens (which look a bit like boxing gloves or hot air balloons) and a hat.

The socks and mittens are made using 2.5mm needles. The hat uses two strands of yarn held together and 4mm needles. The hat pattern gives (slightly convoluted) instructions for the thick and thin stripe pattern.

The pattern is available at Yarnsmith, free with the purchase of Artesano Alpaca Inca Cloud.


The smallest size hat is really for small or premature babies. One of the tricks of writing patterns for babies is to have one or two of your own in various sizes. I may well buy some cheap baby clothes to keep for sizing references. The largest hat will fit small kids with big heads or big kids with small heads (pictures to follow!).

Small noblin socksThe sock and mitten patterns are basic stocking stitch and rib. If you've never hand knitted socks before, they are an excellent place to start. You can work them toe up, using a provisional cast on or top down and finish with grafting or your preferred bind off. The fun comes with knitting a sock in an evening and playing around with colour combinations.

If I had to only knit with one yarn for ever more I would choose the Artesano Alpaca. It is very soft and springy. It does make me sneeze a bit as fibers sneak their way up my nose. My second choice would be hand dyed sock yarn. I love the colour combinations and the striping and pattern as the stitch count varies. And if I had to choose, I would knit socks forever.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Of Physio and Socks and Exciting News

First the exciting news:

Look who is Pattern of the Month at Yarnsmith!

Next: Physio Update

I have a very nice physiotherapist called Kate. I feel very lucky because I didn't have to wait very long to see her and she really wants me to get back to knitting. On the other hand, I depress her because I'm not improving and I have exams in June that I need to get back to full power writing for. One row forward, two rows back. I am officially allowed to write for 10minutes per day and knit for 10minutes every other day for two weeks. It all seems a bit pointless given I spend at least 6hours per day using the computer but I'll try.

The knitting machine has been a bit neglected since I made the baby tank but when Susan came round and wanted to see it in action, it sparked my interest again. I've been reluctant to start making socks with it as it can't rib. It can produce a mock rib hem, which I worked on on Wednesday.

Cast-on 20 rows of hem
First, 16 stitches are cast on using every other needle. 20 rows are worked giving a very neat stocking stitch with ladders effect. To the untrained eye, the ladders look a bit like the purl bumps.
Picking up the other 16 stitches Hem complete
When the 20 rows are finished, the bottom of the hem is brought up and 16 stitches are picked up from the cast on edge.

Now we have 32 stitches and we knit some more. Tonight, some shaping begins.

Noblins found in their natural habitat

Yarn landYarn for hair

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

On Sunday

Wash Blowdry
I finished off the mother's day card. It required a wash and blowdry but still wasn't as good looking as I'd hoped. The colour work on the outer edges was distorted. I think this was partly because I'm not that experienced at colour work, partly due to using inelastic cotton and partly due to the pattern. I'll make a few alterations and post them up soon.
New RecruitGeographic Crochet
I taught my sister to crochet on Sunday. This was a case of the one-eyed man being king because I have very little experience or knowledge of crochet. I was pretty impressed when I left her making a rectangle to come back and find England and Scotland.
Montezumas Organic Lush Life
Here's some chocolate made to my mum's specifications (dark with crystallised lemon pieces) and my mum opening her present. She's great and seemed to enjoy herself. She even managed to sneak a knitting magazine of mine into her handbag without my dad noticing.

Oh my goodness

I've just found my pattern here

Scroll down a bit and you find the leaf baby set in a very pretty colourway with a close up of the leaf design.

I knew it was being sold to Stitchlinks but I only just looked properly.

Hooray hooray hooray

Monday, March 27, 2006

Olympia purchases

Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous

Annarella stitchmarkers are available at Yarnsmith

Fyberspates is here

I also found Crystals 4 Less which was a magpie's paradise. The buttons are exquisite (don't be put off by the website).


I went to The Craft and Stitch show at Olympia on Saturday and had a lovely time. There weren't many knitting related stalls but I met up with lots of friends, including some from Angelknits.

Here is Erssie, keeping an eye on the Castoff stand and everyone's bags. I had a look at the Hipknits, Getknitted and Silkwood Angora stands and then went off to be researched on by Jeni for Stitchlinks.

Silkwood Angoras

At the silkwood stand, I got chatting to Nic, whose handspun is beautiful and who makes wonderful scarf kits by the name Nickerjak.

Here are Chris and Cath taking part in the research that will see knitters being employed by the NHS to make everone's lives better. Or something similar.

I don't know the answers

Knitting makes me happy

Stitchlinks and Fyberspates yarn

It was the first real meeting with Jeni, we have been emailing for a while, so going out for dinner together was an added bonus.

Lovely dinner, great companyHere we all are: Anna, Erssie, Jeni, Me and Cath.

Anna makes fantastic stitchmarkers and Jeni dyes fantastic yarn and whoopsy, I bought a few things from both. I'll add some pictures later.

Cheesy Noblin Grins

Cheesy Noblin Grins

Friday, March 24, 2006

Noblin Design - I Love Mum (Mother's Day Surprise)

Here is another Noblin Design, coming free to you over the magic of the internet. It was originally written for CyberFyber but as Mother's Day is on Sunday and Jeni is super busy with other things, we agreed I'd publish it here.

Obviously, if you are my mother, stop reading now.

The pattern is a knitted version of a hand made card because we all know mums appreciate it when we make the effort of making something. I originally wrote two charts but I'm only showing one here. I also show some of my progress on my very own attempt.

Tip 1: Don't use cotton
Tip 2: Use colours which contrast more

I've only used and charted two colours but as this is excellent for using up leftovers, you could go to town with the colour scheme. I would like to do a sunset effect in the background with the M in white or even black. Also, I wrote the pattern to be understandable for people who had not used charts before. Please don't hate me for dumbing down. I'm not Radio 1 Newsbeat.

I Love Mum

Pattern for Mother’s Day Cards

A Noblin design for Noblin Knits

Small amounts of double knitting weight yarn in pink and white or your mum’s favourites

1 pair of 4mm needles

1 piece of A4 card for each Mother’s Day Card required

Gauge: 22sts and 30 rows to 10cm
It is not essential to achieve the exact gauge for this pattern but any changes will alter the fit of the knitted piece to the card


Cast on 33 sts using 4mm needles and main colour (shown in pink squares).

Begin knitting from chart (click the link below). The first row is read from right to left. The second row is read from left to right. The pink squares mean knit on the right side, purl on the wrong side using the pink yarn (or whichever colour your mum likes). The white squares mean knit on the right side, purl on the wrong side using the white yarn (again, your choice). Carry the yarn you are not using loosely at the back of the work*. If you are new to reading charts you may find the instructions for Row 3 written out in full helpful:

Row 3: k1 pink, (k1 white, k2 pink) 10 times, k1 white, k1 pink
I Love Mum Chart
*The chart is designed for the Fair Isle method rather than Intarsia method of colour knitting.

Cast off
Weave in ends
Block/press lightly

Fold card in half. Glue knitting to front. Add a special message and some chocolates (optional).

My Progress

My progress 1

My Progress 2

My Progress 3 (including Noblin fingers)

Can you see the resemblence?

Sock Creatures Update

Check out Up Knit Creek for some sock creature examples. These creatures are sooooooo great.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Little Present

I ordered Knitted Babes from the library a while ago and collected it on Monday. I didn't have it in mind for me but for a special someone who deserves a gift right now. I also sent her Stupid Sock Creatures, which is great! I've seen it in my local Waterstones and wanted it for myself. I don't possess a sewing machine though and feel it has been sent to a better home. Let's see if she reads this blog and guesses who she it.

On the knitting front, I went to the Physiotherapist on Monday and she didn't find much wrong with me so I went home and knit furiously with fair isle, both hands and cotton. I feel that this can be categorised as noblin activity since I have been limited in both knitting and writing ability and doing the washing up is a bit of a strain. This didn't stop me from knitting in my lunch hour on Tuesday and having a chat with an extremely posh little old lady. Nor did it stop me from knitting yesterday lunch time in the social centre and writing at home. It has however, stopped me from going wrist supportless today as all of this activity has taken its toll and there probably won't be knitting tonight. There will be pictures from this week though!

Noblin rating: High
Noblin repercussions: prolonged

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Noblin Design - Embossed Leaf Baby Socks and Mittens

This set was designed for Jeni using her sock yarn in the Wild Foxglove colourway. I met her at the Knitting and Stitching Show 2005 at Alexandra Palace. I had already purchased one skank of her yarn and read on her blog that she was interested in patterns. I wanted to continue the nature theme within the pattern.

Here is more detail of the leaf. Some comments I have had are that the design would show up better in a solid colour. Have you ever shown someone a glaring error in your work and then had them simply reply, I can't see it. Well, this is that coming back to bite me.

I plan to make up another set in this pattern, using plain yarn, but for the record, if you tilt your head and squint a bit, the leaf is clear as day.

This pattern was sold to Stitchlinks for use as a kit.

ETA: Here is the pattern for sale in the shop.

Sunday passed

Simpsons Sky On Sunday, my sisters and I took our BSL Level 1 exam. They both felt it went well but I was a bit disappointed with myself. On the other hand, I'm glad it's all over and think I passed. We had a good lunch together and then went shopping and this was the view from the car as we drove home.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006



This HTML lark isn't so tough.

Doing the noblin dance, working it.

Noblin Design - Ballet Sisters

Ballet Sisters are two patterns for arm/leg warmers, originally using GGH Samoa and GGH Samoa Mouline. The pattern is available for free when you purchase the yarn (4 balls for each set) from Yarnsmith. If you don't see the colours you fancy, phone up and ask Brooke if she'll be able to order you some others.

Edited to add: Ruby-Roo is now available for free as Pattern of the Month for April.

Click for pattern detail


Knit and Purl zigzag pattern. Shown here with Samoa Pink for the ribbing and Samoa Mouline Pink and Purple for the main part.

Click for pattern detail


Feather and Fan pattern. Shown here with Samoa Orange, Blue and Lilac. Originally made using 4mm needles which gives a narrow tube, suitable for arm warmers.


I used smaller needles than recommend for aran weight yarn to give a denser fabric for Ruby-Roo and smaller lace pattern for Lilybeth. If you think you'll need a larger size, try using 4.5mm or 5mm needles. You can also try blocking Lilybeth to make the lace pattern more pronounced.

If you plan to wear you legwarmers pulled up over your calves, you might prefer not to decrease after the main pattern section.

I used 6mm needles for casting on and off to prevent tightness. If you don't have a larger needle, you could hold two needles together or use a stretchy cast on method like the long tail cast on.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

My Banner

Saturday, March 18, 2006

M is for...





Here is the front after blocking and the back before blocking.

Friday, March 17, 2006

This blog

Well, I've had a good go at altering the template. Still have some of that awful green leftover so will have to get back to it another time. Thought it would be good to get some posts up even if the site looks foul. Noone's reading this in March anyway. Or are you?

Handknitting at the moment includes, but is not only, a cardigan in Collinette Giotto, Marble colourway. I'm hoping anyone reading this has scrolled back from the current posts having found the link in the May issue of Magknits. Having said that, this supposes that I have finished the cardigan, written the pattern and submitted everything by the end of March and not been distracted by a certain cashmerino project, which there will be more of soon.

Giotto Cardigan Back
I won a knitting machine on ebay in December. The idea behind this was to let me still knit without exacerbating the RSI I've developed (which is not helped by typing hahahahah). Well, nearly three months later we have tamed the beast. Here is the swatch for a baby tank top using
Fyberspates sock yarn:

Fyberspates Swatch: Made by a machine

Jeni sent me this when I contacted her about designing with her yarns. I admit that I wasn't fond of the colours in the skank but rewound and knitted they look much better together and I will be very sorry to part with a finished product.

I have made the first part of the tank and the second is on the machine, shown here complete with a rare sighting of a KnittingMachineNoblin:

Ok, that's enough for me now. I'm going to keep investigating how to get a border on the photos and how to rid myself of that awful green.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The blog begins