Wednesday, 23 November 2011


Yesterday was a mixed sort of day.  Yes, I did finish off the second mitt I've been working on, but I did also set off the fire alarm in the process (long story, but what I will say is that when the fire alarm klaxon starts a-hooting, it's best not to vacate the building still with knitting in hand...).

Anyway, once the alarms were turned off, I was free to set about taking photos of the finished pair from every possible angle.  I love taking photos of FOs (I'm resisting being very sad and writing FOtos)- aside from being able to finally wear them, it's perhaps my favourite part of the process!

I'm going attempt to put the pattern in for testing today (if you'd like to test knit this pattern, keep your eye on the Free Pattern Testers group on Rav), and then hopefully it should be ready to publish by early December - just in time for a Christmassy knit ("Nadolig" is Welsh for Christmas, it's almost like I planned it! :P)

Have any of you read this book by Alice Starmore?  It arrived in the post yesterday and I've been dipping in and out inbetween knitting.  So far I'm VERY impressed.  The introduction alone could be its own book - a history of the Shetlands (Fair Isle in particular) and theories about how Fair Isle knitting first came about - it's all very much speaking to my inner geek ;)

It's a bit freaky how much I'm getting into all this - I'm seeing inspiration for Fair Isle everywhere!!  Next time, I plan to share with you some of the things I'm using as inspiration for colourwork designs.  I just need to remember to bring the camera out with me!!

Kim x

Monday, 21 November 2011

Eggbirdy Updates

Looklooklook!!  The first of a pair of stranded mitts!  I'm so so happy with how they've turned out so far.  There are a few little bits that are niggling, but they should be fairly easy to work out when I re-knit the pattern.  I'm about a third of a way through the second mitt, and by the end of this week they should be ready for testing!

It's fair to say that I've been bitten quite severely by the Fair Isle bug.  Already I've charted out ideas for 3 more patterns!!  So many ideas, so little time!  Hehe

It's been quite the little hive of production recently - I finished the Star Crossed Slouchy Beret last weekend - it's an AMAZING pattern.  Super-dooper quick (always a good thing!) and so simple to work.

I decided to treat myself with the suggested Malabrigo which is unbelievable!  It was a real pleasure to work with.  I've decided to treat myself to wool more often :D

Also on the needles pottering away is my stripey blanket

It's really quite exciting seeing all the colours mesh together.  Using odds and ends is a really good way of finding new colour combos which you might not have thought of otherwise.  Plus, it's made entirely using knit stitches, which is so soothing after a long day

And there we have it!  A little update of all things craft :)

Much love,
Kim x

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Drumroll, please!

It's time to announce the winner of the Honeycomb pattern giveaway!  Here's my lovely assistant Miriam picking names from the project bag...

And here are the names she picked!

Step forward Tickety-Boo, omlair and Roaming Knitter!!  You are now the proud owners of the Honeycomb pattern!  :)  I'll send those through to you via the contact details you left later today.  I can't wait to see your take on the mitts - enjoy!!

Thank you to everyone who took part, I look forward to hosting another giveaway soon :)

But for now - you may have spied a new knit on the needles lurking behind those winners' names...  well I'm exceedingly (awesome word) excited about them.  So excited in fact, that this morning I woke up at 5 because I couldn't stop dreaming about getting the chart just right.  Absolutely bonkers, really, but oooooh it's gonna be worth it!!  ;)

Until next time,

Saturday, 5 November 2011

New Pattern [A Giveaway]

Deep breath: today I released my very first knitting pattern on Ravelry!  It's very VERY  V-E-R-Y exciting (and also for some reason a little nervewracking... hmm, perhaps that's just all the extra excitement particles getting a bit confused?).  Well anyway, nerves aside, I figure that this is cause for celebration, and I'd like to invite you all to join in with the celebrating by taking part in eggbirddesigns very first giveaway!

I'll be giving away copies of the Honeycomb Mitts pattern to the first three names to be pulled out of a hat - and all you need to do to enter is leave a comment below: simple!!  :D

Please make sure that your comment includes a way that I can get in touch with you (email/Ravelry name).  The giveaway will end on Wednesday 9th November, and on Thursday it'll be names-in-hat-picking and winner-announcing!

Good luck everyone! :)

Kim x

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Eggbird Tweets! (And gets excited about colourful stuff)

Yip!  Eggbird is spreading her wings technology-wise.  You can now follow @EggbirdDesigns on twitter.  So far the vast majority of tweetings have been cake/yarn based, and I don't think you can go much wrong with cake and/or yarn!!  If you're on twitter too, pop by and say hello!  I'd love to hear from you :)


So anyway, back to this blogging business ;)

I've been at a bit of a loss for things to post recently...  So many things on the needles - so many ideas on the brain! - but nothing quite there enough to share.  But then I was sorting through my photos and had a flash of inspiration!  There was just so much colour - it was oozing out of every picture - colours enough to grab hold and give you a jolly good talking to!!  This, coupled with recently finishing Through The Language Glass by Guy Deutscher (a book which focusses on linguistic colour theories), prompted me to put together a sort of "greatest hits" of colours.  I plan to use these collages as a sort of aid to yarn-buying, since I sometimes struggle to visualise how one colour might look against another... You can click on any collage to make it larger


I really recommend the language book btw, even if you have only a passing interest in language or linguistics.  It's a fascinating read and unlike a lot of the non-specialist books in this field it actually gives an accurate account of current linguistic thought.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Patterns Patterns Patterns

Oh blimey I'm excited.  Very VERY excited in fact.  I've been promising it for a while, and leaving you teensy tiny clues here and there.  But today my newest pattern is FINALLY ready for testing!

Check it out:

Honeycomb fingerless mitts!  I'm actually quite shocked at how well they worked out.  This is my first glove design using anything more complicated than stockinette stitch.

The pattern will be released soon (look forward to another bout of giddiness when that happens!), but for now I've just put the pattern up for testing on Ravelry's Free Testers group.  If you'd like to test knit these, you can do so by following the link!

That's all for now - I already have a few ideas buzzing around for my next project which are shouting out to be noted down before they're forgotten!

Kim x

Saturday, 15 October 2011

It's A Stash Thing

Great British Yarns are AMAZING!  Not only are they the only UK-based company to stock a massive range of Knit Picks yarns (that I know of anyway), their service is absolutely astounding.  I ordered 2 balls of Palette yesterday, and this morning, there was a happy looking envelope waiting on the windowsill (ALSO - IT'S SUNNY ENOUGH TODAY FOR ENVELOPES TO BE LEFT ON WINDOWSILLS!  :D).  Super-fast delivery is my kind of delivery!

As you can see, I managed to find my mustard colour.  I've been pottering away designing some autumnal gloves, and I think this yellow-y orange is the perfect colour for autumn.  It compliments the turning of the leaves rather well I think :)

Here is a little sneaky preview of the pattern:

I absolutely cannot wait until it's time to share the finished thing with you all!  It's taking a lot of determination not to just type out all the details now!  I think part of my problem is that I struggle ever-so-slightly with the mathematics involved in designing knitted patterns.  In order to try and convince myself that I'm a professional (HA!!), I did my first ever test swatch to try and work out the number of stitches to cast on.  Oh dear, oh dear!  What a disaster THAT was!  It would have been like knitting gloves for an elephant!

Still, I'm enjoying the challenge of all this maths and logic.  And as a treat for sticking with it, I also added another colour to my online yarn basket yesterday, then promptly forgot which extra colour I'd ordered.  Imagine my delight when I opened the envelope this morning to discover this little beauty!

Lucy over at Attic24 recently blogged about colour, and talked about "soul colours" - those ones we are instinctively drawn to.  This is definitely mine; a deep stormy grey.  Grey gets a lot of stick for being dull or boring, but I really don't see it that way at all (and to my relief, I've also discovered that there are plenty of other grey souls out there!).

That said, I'm also a fan of brightness and less moody colours...  My little stash-busting blanket is coming along well, and I'm actually quite surprised at how well the colours are holding together...

I'm not following any particular pattern as far as the striping is concerned, but just trying to balance out the light and dark.  My plan is to edge it in a creamy colour - probably in crochet rather than knit - so hopefully that will help the whole thing look more "together".

Anyway, the needles are calling (they miss me when I'm not there you know...).  But if you do have any idea what you're meant to do with a test swatch once you've made one, then do leave a comment and let me know!  I'd love to feel a tad more profesh!  ;)

Until next time!
Kim x

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Such Stuff As Dreams Are Made On

In honour of World Mental Health Day, Rosie-Posie is having a week-long blog party.  Combining people's stories, recipes for delish cakes, and resources for mental health wellbeing and awareness is such a fab idea, I really can't believe I didn't think of it myself!

Fortunately, Rosie offered me the chance to get involved by writing up my own story.  It sort of follows on from the post I made a couple of weeks ago about creativity and mental health, and reflects on my experiences with the two.  If you like, you can read my guest post here.


I'll be back again soon with updates on what I've been up to recently (by way of a preview, I spent all yesterday with my designing hat on... not that I have a designing-specific hat, but now that you mention it that is a brill idea!... aaaaand, shock horror, it wasn't crochet I was designing, but knitting!!)

So, as soon as I've found some suitable mustard coloured yarn, I'll be back here to show you my progress!  Until then, keep well :)

Much love,

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Hip Hip Hurray!

Guess what?!  I’ve only gone and cracked it!  Well, I think so.  What do you reckon?

I’m feeling pretty proud of what I’ve decided to call my First Proper Handspun :)  Although it’s anyone’s guess what I might actually make with it.  There’s about 50m of merino though, so perhaps these cute little butterflies might be the perfect use?

So far I’ve been using my Ashford “beginner’s” spindle to spin, which is pretty heavy.  When I bought it, I didn’t know whether I’d get into spinning or not and I had no idea about weights or other specifications, so I went (as all beginners do) for something cheap and simple.  Even though I’m still very new to spinning, I’ve grown pretty fond of my spindle – I’m getting used to the way it drops, the amount of spin needed, the general “feel” of it.

All of this is of course a Very Good Sign.  I’m glad that I find such pleasure in another part of the wool-making process.  I’m also taking it as a good sign that I’m still hankering after some of the more ornate and elaborate spindles out there.  Like this and this and this.  Beautiful aren’t they?  I can’t wait until I have enough spinning experience to justify owning such handsome tools.

But actually, that’s not entirely true, because during the course of my lusting after artistic spindles, I stumbled upon a giveaway by The Woolery on Facebook.  Up for grabs was an impossibly beautiful Butterfly Girl spindle.  All I needed to do was to leave a comment saying what I’d spin if I won.  Nothing to lose, I thought.  I already have some BFL waiting patiently, and I’d been thinking of ordering some Wensleydale.  I left my comment, and thought nothing more of it, until I got an email informing me that I’d won!  Goodness knows what it must have been like to live with me over the next week or so while I waited ever so (im)patiently for the delivery.  But it was worth it.  Just look:

It’s absolutely lovely, but so SO different to the Ashford.  Mind you, even if I never get the hang of using it properly, it’ll be enough for me just to have it on display!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Crafting for Mental Health

Phew!  Am back now in jolly ol' Blighty, all prepared to adjust back to Welsh temperatures, only to find myself in the middle of a heatwave!  Good timing or what?!

Even better, upon my return to the UK I also moved house (we'll ignore the house-move-on-top-of-travel-tiredness-equals-exhausted-Kim and skip straight to the good bits eh?).  Just LOOK at my new views:

I LIVE NEXT DOOR TO A LOAD OF SHEEP!!  Oh happy happy days :D  I'm so blessed to be able to call Anglesey my home.

It's so strange to compare my life now to where I was this time a year ago.  Last September I had a pretty severe flare up of anxiety disorder which left me more or less unable to function, even at a very basic level.  It's taken a lot of hard work but I'm so much happier now, so much more settled and at peace with myself.  A lot has changed for me, and I think things will continue to change (I hope these changes will all be for the better!)  For now I am embracing my life and celebrating my achievements, however small they may seem.

...Which brings me neatly to the more on-topic reason for this post.  As creative people, do you ever notice how often your creativity is a reflection of your health (mental or physical)?  I realised this week that my 'road to recovery' has been documented in the projects I take on.  A year ago for example - when I was at my worst - I lost my ability to knit (or rather my tired brain couldn't cope with the task).  It was a frightening time.  But slowly, I managed to get back into it, until it became my therapy - a time to think.  I delved into BIG projects - blankets and afghans - which ate away the time I would otherwise spend anxious.

As the anxiety gave way to depression, and I started to look inwards, my creativity focussed more on the small.  I was seeing the world in the tiniest of details...

But then my confidence started to grow, and I began to design patterns for myself.  Making something completely from scratch helped me to relearn how to trust my decisions, how to solve my own problems, how to express myself.  It gave me back my voice.

And now, I'm well on the way to recovery.  A year ago I could not cope with the 'stress' of knitting.  Today, I have 6 WIPs (that I can remember!); I can knit, sew, crochet, spin, or draw until my heart's content (and here are a couple of previews to prove it!)

Looking back over this post, I'm quite taken aback at how much beauty there is - how much colour and light.  It certainly didn't seem that way at the time.  But I can now see the steps I've taken, reflected in these photos, and I'm proud of each and every one - even the tiny ones!


This post has sort of turned into something a little deeper than I imagined it.  Perhaps in a couple of days I'll be back to edit it, but for now I'm happy to see my progress collected together, and to be able to share that progress with others.  I've got a fair few ideas buzzing around at the moment - and I'll be back over the next few days to share what's on the hook and needles with you properly.  Until then, keep well and enjoy this fabulous weather!

Kim x

Friday, 2 September 2011

Willow [Free Pattern]

Good morning, folks!  I don't know about where you are, but it's absolutely tipping it down in Central Portugal. Not that I'm complaining - I've always said that rain makes the best soundtrack for creativity!  ;)


Do you remember the handspun I got from Scott and Lynn at willowvalept?  It was by pottering around with this yarn that I came up with this potholder/coaster pattern.  For a first attempt at working with handspun, I'm pretty pleased with the results :)


For this pattern I used a 5.5mm hook.  The yarn was comparable to a chunky weight, and the finished project measured approx 13.5cm across.

The pattern is written using American notations throughout.

Before I start with the pattern proper, I'd just like to take you through the cluster stitches used in round 6.  To be honest, I'm not even sure if they are cluster stitches (beyond SCs and DCs, terminology really isn’t something I’ve grasped), but to make things easier I’m going to keep calling them that, rather than cluttering up the pattern instructions with too much jargon…

Start by making a dc (in the first cluster stitch of round 6, the first ch2 counts as the dc) [see pic 1]
Next, YO and insert hook into stitch.  YO again and bring to the front.  YO and pull through 2 loops.  You have 2 loops on the hook [see pic 2]
Now YO and insert hook into next stitch.  YO and bring to the front.  YO and pull through 2 loops.  You have 3 loops on the hook [see pic 3]
Finally, YO and insert hook into same stitch.  YO and bring to the front.  YO and pull through 2 loops.  You have 4 loops on the hook [see pic 4]
To finish the stitch, YO and pull through all 4 loops [pic 5], then ch1 and sl st into the base of the cluster.
(This is all a lot simpler than it sounds, promise!)

For the pattern proper:

Round 1: Ch4, join to make a circle
Round 2: 8sc into the centre of the circle.  Join with sl st (8) [see pic 1]
Round 3: 2sc in each st.  Join with sl st (16) [see pic 2]
Round 4: Ch2 (counts as first dc), 1dc in same sp [see pic 3], *ch1, skip a stitch, 2dc in next st*.  Repeat between * 6 more times.  Join with a sl st to top of initial ch2.  (8 petals) [see pic 4]
Round 5: Ch2, 1dc in the space to the right of this ch [see pic 5].  *Sc in the second dc sp from the previous round, 2dc in the gap*.  Repeat between * 6 more times.  Join with a sl st to the top of the initial ch2 (8 petals) [see pic 6]
Round 6: Ch2 (counts as the first dc) and complete the cluster [see above], ch2.  *In the next dc space from the previous round, Cluster as directed above, then ch2* [see pic 7].  Repeat between * 6 more times.  Join with a sl st to the top of the cluster.
Round 7: *5dc into the next gap [see pic 8], and sl st into the top of the clusters*.  Repeat between * 8 times total.  Join with a sl st into the top of the first dc of the round.

And there you have it!

To finish, darn in your ends, block and enjoy!

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The Semi-Solid Solid Square Rectangle

Oh dear oh dear.  I must apologise!  It's been SUCH a long time since I posted.  I'm not neglecting you all, I promise!  I still read as many blogs as I can, but sadly I've had little time to leave any comments recently.

In my absense I've been busy working away on a new blanket.  It's still in the fairly early stages, but most of the coloured squares are now finished.  I've even sewn in the ends!

Such a lovely jumble of colour and chaos, don't you think?  I love the yarn too - King Cole Riot DK makes a great Noro-ish substitute (especially for those working on a less than Noro budget!).  It's wonderfully soft and drapes brilliantly.  A perfect blanket yarn so far!

The pattern I'm using is based on Jan Eaton's Solid Square, although I made the following modifcations (noted here using American abbreviations):
I replaced the ch3 in the first round with a dc (this helped to close the little gap that had been appearing). In the second round the ch3 became a ch2. I made up the third round as I went along: a ch1, 1hdc in same space, 1hdc in each subsequent space, and 2hdc, 1dc - 1dc, 2hdc in the corners. With these mods, each block came out at approx 6cm square.

Now all that remains is to decide how to join the squares up.  I've ordered some cream acrylic, which should hopefully arrive soon, and in the meantime I can plot out the border.


I'm also very happy to report that yesterday I finally found the patterns and ideas I scribbled down a few weeks back.  To my astonishment there are 4 different patterns and various odd doodles, most of which I have no recollection of ever doing!  Being such a scatterbrain, I didn't leave any clues as to what the patterns would make, so it'll be a nice surprise later when I sit down with some yarn and decipher them.  :)  My fingers are crossed that I'll be able to share the patterns with you all very soon!

Much love,