Tuesday, 22 December 2009

merry christmas!

...and a happy new year to all. Taking a break to knit something for myself for a change - back to normal in 2010, see you then. x

Thursday, 17 December 2009

cosy slipper pattern

The new pattern I have in Let's Knit this week is a bit of a favourite of mine. I have had the design for these floating around for ages, so I am really glad they have finally made it into print - just in time for the cold snap. I am padding around the house in mine trying to keep warm! The initial version was cashmere, which are really warm, cosy and luxurious, but these are Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, giving the warmth and softness with a bit more durability.

Monday, 14 December 2009

drink. shop. do.

There is a lovely pop up shop on the Cally road in Kings Cross which you all must visit if you get a chance. It is only open for three weeks in December and next weekend is the last, so get down there quick smart!

I came across Drink, shop, do when Kirstie and Coralie asked me to do some workshops there. It is a collaboration of two school friends with different interests and backgrounds, producing an ecclectic yet harmonious mix of design and activities within the shop.

Sugary sweets in old fashioned jars are placed beside contemporary jewellery by local designers and the well stocked cocktail bar sits comfortably in the main room packed with members of a knitting class or crafty workshop. The concept is to sell unique, beautifully made products, both by artisan makers and crafts people alongside vintage and secondhand finds from flea markets and antique stalls, while entertaining, feeding and watering the customers. From the subtle, welcoming waft of mulled wine as you enter to the flickering candles and colourful wall art, the shop is a haven of calm informality and relaxed creativity. The glut of juxtapositions seem to work very well within this space, making it very inviting and I can see it working extremely well in the long term, which is exactly what the girls hope to do in the new year.
As for me, I thoroughly enjoyed teaching the lovely folk I met there, more of which you can see over at my workshop blog very soon and I also succumbed to the temptation to buy.

I bought this beautifully tactile rabbit necklace from me me me. Regular readers and lovers of my mr rabbit toy will know I cannot resist anything rabbit and this particular necklace really reminds me of one of my favourite stories; Watership Down, especially the 1978 animation. The weight and subtle shape is so beguiling, I just cannot wait to wear it!

My other favourite item from the shop is a beautifully kitsch nude tapestry (who'd have thought these existed!) embroidered in a fabulous seventies muted colourway. Coralie dragged this back from a flea market in France after falling for it as much as I did. I just wish I had the wall space for it...

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

spring/summer collection

It's up! you can find the new collection as an ebook on Ravelry. Sorry it took so long. Now onwards and upwards with the Autumn/Winter 09/10 collection...such is the non-stop life of a knitter and all that.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

better late than never

At long last, I have managed to write up the cropped aran sweater pattern I showcased on here months ago. It is the last of the Spring/Summer collection of patterns to be published, so in the next few days I will make sure I get the whole lot onto Ravelry to buy as a set. In the meantime, if you just want the cropped sweater, get yourself onto the wonderful Ravelry to purchase it.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

knitting class in france

I am very happy to say that I have just booked another class at the beautiful, sunny, idyllic Les Soeurs Anglaises in the South of France. The lovely Katie has been working hard on her new website, so hop on over and take a look.
My class this time is going to be about designing your own knitted items, looking at swatching, yarn choices and substitution, altering and designing patterns. We have booked the 14th-17th of May as the dates, but are thinking of lengthening the class to include finishing a small accessory then beginning to design a larger garment, with a break of a day in the middle for touring the area looking for yarn shops and markets. Let me know what you think of that idea.
If anyone is yet to book their summer hols and wants to combine knitting and the sun for a perfect craft break in France, this is the perfect choice for you. The food and company are sublime, the scenery fantastic and I cannot begin to describe the superb wine selection....I can't wait!

Monday, 23 November 2009

new website!

Hop on over to my new look website, as designed by the ultra talented Model Robot. I love the easy to navigate layout and multiple tiny little square pictures.

The re-design has come about due to the fact I am going to be setting up an online store where you can buy all sorts of lovely Monty products and patterns, which will hopefully go live in the new year.
You may have noticed that I have also moved some aspects of the site, such as the gallery of knitters' pictures and revisions from my knitting books to my blog to ensure they are always up to date and easy to follow. I also have a whole current list of my knitting and craft workshops and lessons on here and will soon have some easy to follow knitting tutorials too.

Friday, 20 November 2009

beginners knitting class

This December I will be teaching a very basic beginner knitting class in Highgate at the divine tea shop High Tea.

Saturday 5th December from 10am-12pm, you will be getting all the materials to start and make a simple cowl which can be styled in lots of different ways. You will also get tea and home made cake thrown in. Can't wait!

£30. Contact High Tea for booking.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

book revisions

Unfortunately the following errors have occurred. I apologise sincerely for any inconvenience caused. Amendments in bold.

Easy Baby Knits

This book has mistakes in both US and UK Versions, First Edition. The Book has now been reprinted in papaerback with all the following mistakes corrected.

Booties pp 66-67

Largest size basket weave comes out as rib, please correct pattern as folls:

1st row: K3, p2, k2, p2, k1(3), turn. Leave the rem 11(13) sts on a second stitch holder.
2nd row: P1(3), k2, p2, k2, p3, turn.
3rd row: K1, p2, k2, p2, k3(2), p0(2), k0(1), turn.
4th row: P3(1), k2, p2, k2, p1(2), k0(2), p0(1), turn.
Repeat last four rows 2(3) times more, but do not turn on last row.

Cardigan pp 78-9

3(3,4,4,5) balls are needed of Yarn A, shade 502


You must increase at either end of every increase row. ie:
Beg with knit row, work 4 rows st-st, inc 1 st at either end of next row…..

Baby Bonnet pp 74-75 (this pattern works, but creates a pixie like point. For a more rounded bonnet, please make these adjustments.)

Next row: cast off 72(68:64) sts in moss st, k81(89:97) sts, cast off rem 72(68:64) sts in moss st.
Rejoin yarn to main body of hat
Work 8(9:10)cm in st st……

1st row(RS): *K8(9:10), k2tog, rep from * to last st, k1. 73(81:89) sts
next row and every other row, purl
3rd row: *K7(8:9), k2tog, rep from * to last st, k1. 65(73:81) sts
cont in this way….until 17 sts rem.

Break off yarn, leaving approx 50cm for sewing up. Thread yarn through rem 17 sts and pull tight to make ring.

Finish bonnet as pattern pp 75

Matinee Jacket pp 90-91
cont in moss st inc 1 st at each end of next row and every foll 4th row to 37(43:47)sts
2nd and 3rd sizes only
Cont in moss st, inc 1 st at each end of every 6th row to (47, 51)sts
Length measurements need to be changed throughout, as below:

Smallest size only
UK editions
Change all measurements of 11(15:20)
to 14(26:32)
And all measurements of 20(26:32) to 24(26:32)

Left front
Change all measurements of 11(15:20)
to 14(26:32)
All measurements of 17(23:29)
change to 21(23:29)

And 20(26:32) change to 24(26:32)

Right front
Change all measurements of 11(15:20)
to 14(26:32)

Change measurement for second buttonhole:
From 14(19:24) to 17.5(19:24)
And last buttonhole:
Change 16.5(22.5:28.5) to 20.5(22.5:28.5)

Measurements of 17(23:29)
Need to change to 21(23:29)

And 20(26:32) change to 24(26:32)

US editions

Change measurements of 4.5(6:8)in to 5.5(6:8)in

Final length change from 8(10.25:12.75)in to 9.5(10.25:12.75)in

left front

change 4.5(6:8)in to 5.5(6:8)in
up to shape neck 8.25(9:11.5)
final length after completing neck change from 8(10.25:10.75)in to 9.5(10.25:12.75)in

right front
up to shape yoke change from 4.5(6:8)in to 5.5(6:8)in
under change to seed st for 2nd buttonhole 6.75(7.5:9.5)
under seed st for 3rd buttonhole 8(8.75:11.25)
length to shape neck 8.25(9:11.5)
After completing front 9.5(

Yarn Palette Errata

Henna Sun Hat pp 84-87

The hat only uses House of Hemp Expressions, not Alchemy Silken Straw (although this would be a nice alternative, it was used in an original version of the hat)
Therefore the pattern should read:
Yarn A: 2 x shade Yippi
Yarn B: 1 x shade Dah

Saturday, 14 November 2009

cable knit yoke sweater

The very talented animator (and now knitter) Holly Klein over at Unfurled tells me she has just finished my cable yoke sweater for a Christmas gift. Lucky little girl I say! I also love the hand made skirt she has teamed it with. Makes my sewing fingers itchy...
Check out Holly's website for other fabulous knitting projects and also for her textiles heavy animations, which are charming.

Monday, 9 November 2009

time for tea

Last week I took my knitting into High Tea of Highgate in North London. While I knew that it was a quaint, lovely little tea shop with delicious cake and warming tea all served up in dainty china, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is also a fabulously stylish shop, stocking all kinds of quirky, handmade and British wares. These are all hand picked by owner Georgina Worthington and having worked in fashion in a previous life, she has a discerning eye for contemporary, chic yet charming pieces.
High Tea stocks a broad spectrum of interesting cards from independant designers and illustrators as well as selling art pieces, traditional sweets, textiles and crockery. Worthington likes to support British businesses, selling stunning Burleigh Ware ceramics from the last working Victorian Pottery in the UK and beautiful blankets from Johnstons, where every last item is produced from scratch in their Scottish mills.

The shop is decorated with a thoughtful, elegant cosiness and I personally loved Charlotte Hardy's monochrome trompe l'oeil illustrations drawn straight onto the walls.
Hopefully I will be running a few knitting lessons and workshops At High Tea in the near future, which you can read a little more about here.
In the meantime, get yourself down to highgate for tea and a piece of home made cake - she even does gluten free alternatives, so there should be little excuse for not making a visit...!

Sunday, 1 November 2009


It has been a busy week, which culminated in a fun day taking pictures of the first finished items from my Autumn/Winter patterns collection. The weather was beautiful and the warm colours of the woods inspirational.
Here is a sneak peak. The patterns will be up on Ravelry very soon...

Saturday, 24 October 2009

sew quick

I am growing in confidence with my sewing thanks to the new fabric I bought at the Stitch and Knit show. I surprised myself by whipping up two cushion covers in less than 30 minutes last night. Admittedly they aren't perfect, but they look just fabulous to me.
I have also begun a slouchy tee, so keep your eyes peeled for that, as I am really looking forward to finishing it, although I am going to take my time with the sewing and make sure I get it just right. Fingers crossed.

Friday, 23 October 2009


Here are some lovely, creative pictures sent to me by people who have loved making projects from my books and patterns. Please feel free to send me any pictures of your favourite projects and I shall pop them here for all to see! I especially love to see adaptations.

easy kids knits

laurie's non-roll neck top!

trixie's non-roll neck jumper with matching accessories

Poppy's cable yoke sweater

easy baby knits

Lisa's double breasted coat

trixie's simple sweater
kimberley's booties

izzy's wrap top

bess' coat with matching beret
loop pretty knits and vintage crochet

rose's pretty maud

sandra's syd

rachel's syd

Thursday, 22 October 2009

big bunny

I am slap bang in the midst of teaching a beginners knitting class at City Lit at the mo. One of the nicest things about teaching there is being so close to Covent Garden market and walking around it to relax at lunchtime.
Last week, there was a massive Jeff Koons inflatable bunny hoisted in the rafters to promote the Tate Modern's Pop Life exhibition. I saw Koons' show at the Serpentine in the summer and loved that too, so I shall have to scoot off to the tate to see more of his and other great modern artists' work.

Will post some pics from the City Lit class soon.

Monday, 19 October 2009

knitting classes

Below are some of my upcoming beginners knitting classes and craft workshops in London, the South East and the rest of the world!

Hand knitting for improvers April/May 2010
City Lit College

Textiles Jewellery - Innovative Knit and Yarn techniques, 30th April - 2nd May 2010
West Dean College, Sussex

Knitting classes in the South of France! Next class will be in May 2010 and will be designing your own knitting. Contact Les Soeurs Anglaises for details

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you wish to arrange your own bespoke knitting, crochet or craft classes in London.

If you want to book classes for groups, please check out my alter ego, Make.Do.Mend

Sunday, 18 October 2009

knit and stitch

While it may have been very quiet for montyknits on the internet front, I beg you please do not assume I have been lazy while away! It has been a hectic month or so and not least because I spent a very busy long weekend at the Stitch and Knit show at Ally Pally, manning the loop stand.
It was beautifully warm and clear early Autumn weather, just perfect to view the city from Ally Pally's summit (walking up every morning from my house felt like a mountain climb, believe me!)

Loop's stand was very busy, so I only managed this quick snap of the prettiest wall - notice Syd rabbit in pride of place!

The habu stand is always a highlight of the show and this year was no exception. My only trouble is, however much I love their yarn, I always want to keep it on the cone or skein and maybe box mount it so I can stare at its loveliness always...! Unfortunately my budget does not allow for such frivolity, although I do have some of their silk steel which will hopefully be prised from its cone very soon!

Just down the lane from the loop stand was the wonderful Woolfish, where I spent a happy break from loop's madness watching the fabulously chunky roving sold there being literally hand knitted - or should that be arm knitted?

I always make time for the graduate and art exhibits in the show and this year was not a disappointment.
I loved the work of Sarah Burton from Manchester Met University, who was inspired by knots and ropes and produced very fine, structured knits with fantastic details.
In contrast, the natural, organic chunkiness of George Strood's garments was irresistably fun and interesting.
It was a fun, if tiring weekend and at least working the show meant that I did not have a whole day to go round spending my money! I did however come away with piles of amazing fabrics from Fabrics Galore, where the fabulous motto is 'Champagne fabrics at lemonade prices!' and so it is understandable that the the entire loop staff succumbed to its charms. I shall hopefully be using these purchases to further my sewing skills and will post the results asap.
I also bought some tatting shuttles and threads to enable me to add yet another craft to my list of thread skills, more on that soon too.
What temptations did you give in to this year? Would love to know.