Been playing with the sewing machine…

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Hello!  I know, I know, again I have been a terrible blogger and have not blogged for far too long, but life, work and workshops got in the way!  Here’s an update on what I have been doing: starting my christmas knitting.  Obviously I’m not going to post photos or details of that on here!  And I got my beloved sewing machine out again for a little girl’s birthday and made this:

It’s a washbag with a tissue packet and cover inside it (tissue packet idea taken from sewing.about.com), and it cost pennies to make.  The total cost of materials was about £3 and I have most of them left – some cotton and some waterproof material, plus a cord, so I think everyone might get shower caps for their birthdays!  Or I might must make a raincoat!  All from Abakhan in the Northern Quarter, for you Mancunians out there.  The washbag was made to go with the pink spotty suitcase my boyfriends bought for her, which he then had to use as his hand-luggage on the plane to give it to her.  Which would have been fine, except he was travelling for a concert and has the misfortune to have a gold cello case…

I’m planning on doing more sewing in the next few days, want to make some nice summer clothes and accessories, I’ll post pics!

I’m Back! With a Sheep!

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Hi everyone!  It’s been a while since I blogged, life has got a bit mad recently!  And I didn’t have any anti-virus on my computer so had to wait until I got some more.  Been visiting family, working, but finally got time to take some photos and show you what I’ve been up to!

Firstly, I’ve been experimenting with yarn wrapping.  I made a sheep!:


So art isn’t exactly my strong point… but I like the way the yarn looks.  I also made a picture:

I left off the glass from the frame (actually it was only plastic so I just wrapped around it – maybe don’t do this with glass), I think the added texture makes it a bit different.  I am also making a yarn wreath but haven’t finished it yet, will take a photo when I have!  I think I could get into this yarn wrapping thing!

Never fear, I have been knitting as well!  I started a hat and a cowl, not matching.  Here’s the hat:

It’s from this pattern.  I didn’t start it for any particular person, it was just I needed a simple knit for a long car journey, same with the cowl – I’ll take a photo of that for you in the next few days.  But you can never have too many warm clothes!  Unless you live in the Sahara, I suppose!

And now I’ll leave you with some pictures of my flowers:

Aren’t they pretty?!  Happy Knitting!

A pair of coasters to make: another free pattern

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Another pattern, just for you guys beginning to learn how to knit.  These coasters are simple, but cute!  And they make great presents.  They use simple stitch patterns in knit and purl and the pattern is easy to follow.

Honeycomb/Mini Basketweave Coaster

Materials: 4.5mm needles (4mm or 5mm would also work)

Oddment of DK acrylic

Cast on 16 stitches

Row 1 and 2: (k2,p2) repeat til end

Row 3 and 4: (p2,k2) repeat til end

Repeat these four rows these rows 10 times until you have 24 rows.

Bind off in pattern, weave in ends.

Basketweave Coaster

Materials: 4.5mm needles (4mm or 5mm would also work)

Oddment of DK acrylic

Cast on 16 stitches

Row 1 – 4: (k4,p4) repeat til end

Row 5 – 8: (p4,k4) repeat til end

Repeat these eight rows these rows twice more until you have 24 rows.

Bind off in pattern, weave in ends.

For detailed pattern terminology, I have gone through a pattern in detail in a post from a few days ago.  Happy knitting!

 

 

Seed Stitch Dishcloth Pattern with pattern explanation for beginners

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Hi everyone!  Here is a very simple knitting pattern, for people who are just beginning to read patterns.  Here it is with a full explanation of terms:

Knit and Purl Pattern: Seed Stitch Dishcloth

Materials: 5mm needles

50g dk mercerised cotton

Cast on 20 stitches

Row 1: (K1,P1) repeat to end

Row 2: (P1,K1) repeat to end

Repeat these two rows until you have the size of dishcloth you would like, then bind off in pattern.  Sew in about 8cm of the ends using a tapestry or knitter’s needle.

Tip: cast on 16 stitches on 4mm needles with a dk acrylic for a coaster using the same pattern.  NOTE: In order for this to work as the pattern says you must use an even number of stitches.  If you have an odd number, do this: Row 1 (K1,P1) repeat until last stitch, K1.  Repeat this row until your dishcloth is the required size.

Terms explained:

50g DK mercerised cotton: this means that you need to buy 50 grams of a cotton that has been mercerised: it is shinier than normal cotton, and will be labled mercerised.  DK refers to how thick the yarn is, and stand for double knitting.  You may see either double knitting, dk or 8-ply written on the yarn, they all mean the same thing.

K = knit

P = Purl

Cast on = the process of putting stitches on the needle initially.  There arte many cast-on methods, and many videos of how to do this on the internet.

(K1,P1) repeat to end: knit 1 and purl 1 alternately through the whole row.

Bind off: the process of securing the stitches so they don’t unravel when you have finished the work.  Also called casting off, there are many videos on YouTube to help you with this.

I hope this little tour through a knitting pattern has helped you decipher what all the terms mean!  Happy knitting!

New Pattern: Cabled Headband

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Here we go, a new pattern.  I’m going to call this the 80’s throw-back cabled headband.  But I love it!

Pattern:

3mm needles

100g dk acrylic (you won’t need the whole ball)

some seed beads or other trimming

Gauge: Not important

Cast on 16 stitches

Row 1 RS: K2, P3, K6, P3, K2

Row 2 WS: K5, P6, K5

Row 3: K2, P3, K6, P3, K2

Row 4: K5, P6, K5

Row 5: K2, P3, Slip next three stitches onto a cable needle and hold at the back of the work, knit the next three stitches off the original needle, and knit the stitches off the cable needle, P3, K2

Row 6: K5, P6, K5

Keep repeating this six-row pattern until the headband is long enough to fit your head.  Afterwards, either cast off and sew some elastic onto the bottom, or do what I did and add a little stockinette stitch band after you have finished the cable pattern.  Bind off and sew ends of strip together.  Embellish with seed beads or other trimmings.  Tada!  To get an idea of the size of this headband I am wearing it in the workshop photos a couple of posts down.  This is not an ear warming headband, it’s more decrative.  It could easily be made an ear warmer by going up to 7mm needles and using a bulky yarn.

If you have stumbled here because you want an easy cable pattern but don’t want to make a headband, this could easily be turned into a mobile phone cover.  Just increase the amount of purl stitches either side of the cable stitches so it is as wide as your phone, sew a strip so that it is long enough to be seamed up and create a sleeve for your phone.  Enjoy!

Been sewing some yo-yos

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted, life has suddenly got a bit mad!  So, the jumper is still going..!  I’ve needed something quick and easy to do to compensate for the slow progress of the jumper, and so I’ve been doing some sewing.  This was triggered by the fact that I have completely sorted through my bedroom, and let me tell you, it looks like a palace!  A quite small palace, I’ll admit, but I really like being in there now because it’s so tidy and relaxing.  So, I decided it needed things on the walls, so I have started to make a wall hanging.  Out of my old pyjamas.  Well, they had shrunk so much they were unwearable, and I liked the pattern.  This led me to dig out other old clothes that are not fit for anyone to wear, even in bed.  I found a red t-shirt.  And further digging has thrown up a purple nighty I had when I was 15 with ‘night party’ written on it.., and some black velvet left over from some trouser legs.  Here are some of the yo-yos I have made out of the pyjamas and t-shirt:

I’m going to sew them together into a heart-shape for my wall, and if I have any left over I will make matching cushion  covers.  I have quite a lot already – 29 –  and that’s only from the pyjama top and t-shirt, I haven’t started on the trousers or other fabrics yet.  Lots to do!  More knitting updates over the next few days!

What do you want to knit?

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An update on the jumper – getting there!  If only it wasn’t the same colour as the carpet, though!  Anyway,  I have a question for all you lovely folks that read my blog: I’m going to be developing some patterns over the next couple of weeks, what would you like to learn to knit?  I have plans for a Missoni-inspired cowl, some coasters, and of course a phone cozy.  Any burning desires to knit something different?  Let me know!

Knit and Tipple, and some lovely soft yarn

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Well, I hope everyone has recovered from the workshop on Sunday!  I certainly had fun!  The lovely ladies that came gave us permission to take some photos, so here is one of all of us (thanks to Ruth for being the photographer):

And another shot of some very fast-looking knitting:

Hehe, speedy knitters!  We learnt casting on, knitting, purling and casting off, and other people also learnt pattern reading basics and new knitting stitch patterns.  Good news: there will be another one!  Date yet to be announced.  We’ll be doing more advanced pattern reading in that one, keep your eyes peeled on here for some more free patterns being posted…

Update on the jumper situation: I think I’m 3/4 the way there with the Frilly Jumper.  And from the pink jumper I unravelled I got 950 metres of this:

Unfortunately it’s not quite enough for the jumper I wanted to do, which requires around 1300 metres, so I’m on the look out for another pattern.  It’s lovely yarn though, really floaty soft, can’t wait to knit with it!

Spring is here! And so is some more yarn…

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Well, today is turning out to be a good day!  For a start, look what we have growing!

Aren’t they just stunning?  I turned up a bit early for my teaching this morning so went for a walk in the Marie Louise Gardens.  Everything is really beautiful there at the moment, but the spring flowers there are mainly over, so it’s lovely to have some of these growing just outside my living-room window.  Also, somebody seems to have stolen a sundial from the Marie Louise Gardens.  I’m assuming it’s just for scrap metal, but what a real shame.

So, on my way back from teaching, I just *happened* to go into a few charity shops, and may have *accidently* bought another jumper for yarn… ahem.  Well, it was only £4!

It’s an acrylic, wool and angora blend and is really soft, so was definitely a bargain!  And because of that big turtle-neck and long sleeves I can definitely get another jumper out of it.

It’s a bit pinker than you can see in these photos, I really like it.  I think it’s a DK, I’ll let you know when I have unravelled it.  I have to go into town now to get some supplies for the workshop on Sunday, so I’ll deal with this jumper next week, I think.