Christmas, knitting

So here it is… Merry Christmas!

To everyone that reads my little blog here I would like to say a big Happy Christmas to you all! Thanks for stopping by over the year and reading my ramblings about knitting. and cats. and other random things.

Christmas in the Arrowsmith household is in full swing now – last night the presents were wrapped, the Christmas songs were playing in the background and the mulled wine quickly ‘evaporated’ ;). I love this time of year!

If you read one of my previous posts you will know the dilemma we have with putting up a christmas tree due to 3 mischievous cats intent on destroying it. But thanks to The Twisted Yarn and her wonderful knitted Christmas Tree pattern we haven’t gone without.


It’s already been batted to the floor a few times but it’s better than chasing baubles across the room and fishing them out from under the sofa!

On Monday we had our office Secret Santa present swap (Santa obviously knows me too well as he bought me wine and chocolates, thank you Santa!) We also had an office quiz. One of the rounds was a dingbat round so I thought I would share a few with you. I bet you do better than I did!

Here we go, say what you see! (Answers are at the bottom of this post)


Xmas Dingbat 5


Xmas Dingbat 3


Xmas Dingbat 1



Xmas Dingbat 4



Xmas Dingbat 2


Xmas Dingbat 6



Xmas Dingbat 7


(I have to say No. 7 had me completely stumped!)

Have a lovely Christmas one and all, see you on the other side!

Jem x

(Scroll down for answers to the Dingbats)














1) Midnight mass. 2) White Christmas. 3) Mixed Nuts. 4) Noel. 5) Peace on Earth. 6) Mince Pies. 7) Tinsel (‘t’ in ‘sel’ – groooaaann!)

Sunday Stitches

Sunday Stitches – Woven Fabric and Long Ladder and Cable Stitch

It’s been a busy week in the run up to Christmas (only 3 days to go – eek!) but in between shopping, partying and eating all of the mince pies I have still managed to squeeze in a bit of knitting 🙂 The samples this week are a simple slip stitch woven fabric pattern and a long ladder and cable pattern from The Stitch Library by Claire Crompton.

Woven Fabric

Knitted Woven Stitch

Worked over an odd number of stitches.

The sample shown is worked over 41 stitches in a fair isle effect yarn.

Row 1 (RS): K1, [sl1 wyif, k1] 20 times
Row 2: P2 [sl1 wyib, p1] 20 times, p1

Repeat these 2 rows.

Long Ladder and Cable Pattern

Long ladder nd cable stitch

Worked over multiple of 5 stitches + 1.

The sample shown is worked over 41 stitches

Foundation Row 1 (WS): K1 [p4, k1] 8 times
Foundation Row 2: P1 [k3, ssk, yo] 7 times, k4, p1
Foundation Row 3: K1, p4, [k into yo, p4] 7 times, p1
Row 1 (RS): P1 [C4F, p1] 7 times, k4, p1
Row 2: [K1, p4] 8 times, k1
Row 3: P1 [k4, p1] 8 times
Row 4: [K1, p4] 8 times, k1

Repeat rows 1 – 4 to desired length

Finishing Row 1: P1 [C4F, drop next st off needle, yo] 7 times, C4F, p1
Finishing Row 2: K1 [p4, k1] 8 times
Bind off and unravel dropped sts

Stitch Abbrevaitions

k– Knit
p – Purl
Sl1 wyif – slip 1 stitch with the yarn in front
Sl1 wyib – slip 1 stitch with the yarn in back
yo – Wrap the working yarn over the right needle, from front to back (counter-clockwise).
ssk – Slip 2 stitches knitwise, then knit slipped stitches together
C4F – Slip next 2 sts onto a cable needle at the front of work, k2 then k2 from cable needle

Happy knitting! x

Christmas, knitting

Jump(er)ing for Christmas Joy!

It’s that time of year again when the bad Christmas jumpers are out in force! We had our office Christmas jumper day last Friday but it was actually quite a tame affair and dare I say it, almost tasteful…a far cry from these little beauties I am about to share with you.

So, in no particular order…


This masterpiece is from with added baubles and pink fringing, just in case the santa’s and snowflakes weren’t enough!


The Christmas Tree. I love this idea although I can’t help thinking a few more decorations, or even lights wouldn’t go amiss to take it to the next level…


Just wow – in the words of Chandler Bing, could they be wearing any more Christmas joy?


If you would prefer a Christmas jumper to bring you into the modern age, how about this one by Mark Rober? Simply download the free app for the flickering fire onto your smartphone and pop it in the pouch – genius!


Or of you like to keep things more traditional how about knitting your own ‘angry snowman’ jumper from this 1970’s Sirdar pattern, available from Etsy here 

Finally,unless we should forget the real reason for the festivities and merriment, this jumper serves as a little reminder of what it is all about!

Reason for season Babble

I had great fun researching these and it was hard to whittle them down but I hope you have enjoyed my top 6 Bad Christmas jumpers. Can you believe it’s only a week to go until Christmas eve?!

Sunday Stitches

Sunday Stitches – Bowknot Stitch and Butterfly Stitch


This week I have been working on couple of slip stitch patterns – the Bowknot stitch and the Butterfly stitch, taken from The Stitch Library by Claire Crompton.

Bowknot Stitch

Bowknot stitch blocked

Worked over multiple of 6 stitches + 5.

The sample shown is worked over 35 stitches.

The gathering stitch is worked as follows: Insert RH needle under the 4 loose strands and through st below next st on LH needle from front to back, yarn round needle and pull a loop through. Place loop on the LH needle, then k2tog tbl of new loop and the next st on the LH needle.

Row 1 (Foundation Row): Knit
Row 2 (WS): P4 [sl3 wyib, p3] 5 times, p1
Row 3: K4, [sl3 wyif, k3] 5 times, k1
Rows 4 and 5: Repeat rows 2 and 3
Row 6: Purl
Row 7: K5 [gathering st, k5] 5 times
Row 8: P1 [sl3 wyib, p3] 5 times, sl3 wyib, p1
Row 9: K1, [sl3 wyif, k3] 5 times, sl3 wyif, k1
Rows 10 and 11: Repeat rows 8 and 9
Row 12: Purl
Row 13: K2 [gathering st, k5] 5 times, gathering st, k2

Repeat rows 1 – 13

This pattern also looks good unblocked and also has an interesting reverse side pattern.

Unblocked and Reverse side of Bowknot Stitch

Bowknot Stitch UnblockedBack of bowknot stitch blocked

Butterfly Stitch

Butterfly Stitch

Worked over multiple of 10 stitches + 7.

The sample shown is worked over 37 stitches.

The gathering stitch is worked as follows: Insert RH needle from below under the 3 loose strands, purl next st on LH needle, pulling the loop through under the strands.

Row 1 (RS): K1, [K5, sl5 wyif] 3 times, k6
Row 2: Purl
Rows 3 and 4: Repeat rows 1 and 2
Row 5: Repeat row 1
Row 6: P8 [gathering st, p9]  3 times, gathering st, p8
Row 7: K1, [sl5 wyif, k5] 3 times, sl5 wyif, k1
Row 8: Purl
Rows 9 and 10: Repeat rows 7 and 8
Row 11: Repeat row 7
Row 12: P3 [gathering st, p9]  3 times, gathering st, p3

Repeat rows 1 – 12

Stitch Abbrevaitions

k– Knit
p – Purl
k2tog – Knit 2 stitches together
RH – Right hand needle
LH – Left hand needle
Wyif – with yarn in front
Wyib – with yarn in back
Sl – slip stitch
Tbl – through back loop

Happy knitting! x

Sunday Stitches

Sunday Stitches – Smocking Stitch and Mrs. Hunters Pattern

This week I would like to share 2 wrapped stitch patterns – Smocking Stitch and Mrs. Hunters Pattern, both taken from The Stitch Library by Claire Crompton.

Smocking Stitch

Smocking Stitch

Worked over multiple of 16 stitches + 2.

The sample shown is worked over 40 stitches (to include a 3 st garter border at each side).

To work the smocking st, count forward 6 sts on the left needle and insert the right hand needle from front to back inbetween the 6th and 7th sts. Wrap the yarn around the needle and draw through a loop, slip this loop onto the left hand needle and knit together with the first st on the left hand needle.

Row 1 (RS): P2, [k2, p2] 8 times
Row 2: [K2, p2] 8 times, k2
Row 3: P2 [Smocking st, k1, p2, k2, p2] 4 times
Row 4: As row 2
Row 5: As row 1
Row 6: As row 2
Row 7: P2, k2, p2 [Smocking st, k1, p2, k2, p2] 3 times, k2, p2
Row 8:  As row 2

Repeat rows 1 – 8

Mrs. Hunters Pattern

Mrs Hunters Stitch Pattern

The Hunter family from the North of the Shetland Islands began and developed the art of Shetland lace knitting.

This pattern is worked over multiple of 4 stitches, plus 2.

The sample shown is worked over 38 stitches.

Row 1 (RS): Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: K1, [Sl1, k3, pass sl st over the 3 k sts] 9 times, k1
Row 4: P1 [p3, yo] 9 times, k1

Repeat rows 1 – 4

Stitch Abbreviations

k– Knit.
p – Purl.
yo – Wrap the working yarn over the right needle, from front to back (counter-clockwise).
Sl1– Slip 1 st

Happy knitting! x

Music, Theatre, Travel

Rocking Out in London Town!

As far as week’s go, this one has been a pretty eventful with not just one, but two brilliant visits to the capital!

On Saturday my wonderful husband surprised me with a day out in the City for our anniversary. I didn’t know what was planned apart from we had to be in the Liverpool Street area for 2.30pm. Liverpool Street is in the Financial District of London and not known for being a hubbub of activity at the weekends so I was very intrigued…but not for long as I soon found out that we were booked in for lunch at City Social in Tower 42!

Natwest Tower - London

City Social is an art deco style restaurant on the 24th floor of the tower with stunning views across London.

Views from Tower 42

Above is the Heron Tower, the Walkie Talkie and the Shard, and the Gherkin. The food at City Social was top notch and being there for a good few hours we saw the sun set over the city.

Sunset over London

The Gherkin

What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. By the time we left night had truly descended so we took a walk through London under the Christmas lights onto our next destination – the West End! For the evening we had tickets to go and see the play Neville’s Island starring the comedy actors Neil Morrissey, Robert Webb, Miles Jupp and my husbands hero – Adrian Edmondson.

Nevilles Island

Nevilles Island is a comedy by Tim Firth and tells the story of 4 businessmen shipwrecked in the Lake District as part of a corporate team building excercise. It was a very funny play!

On Wednesday night we found ourselves back in London courtesy of Mr. A’s work. His company hosted a gala dinner at the Roundhouse in Camden and put us up in the Cumberland Hotel for the night. I couldn’t believe it when I got to our room –  Mr. A had asked if we could have the Jimi Hendrix suite, not thinking for one minute that it would be available – but it was, and it was awesome! We both love Jimi Hendrix’s music and this room was where he did his last interview.

The Hendrix Suite

Jimi Hendrix Suite

We felt like rock stars as we got ready in this suite – and did I mention that it had 2 bathrooms?!

From Oxford St we headed over to Camden to the legendary Roundhouse. The Roundhouse started life in 1847 as a shed for maintaining and restoring goods engines but is now an iconic cultural venue. It looked beautiful inside all lit up.

Camden Roundhouse

The evening was fantastic and was topped off with a brilliant performance from Spandau Ballet!

Spandau Ballet

I felt so lucky to have been invited to such a wonderful event. We got back to the hotel and the party continued, eventually seeing us crawl into bed at 5.30am – boy were we both glad we booked yesterday off work!