Four seasons quilt

Saturday, December 31, 2016

How to sew a button hole

I am the world's worst at sewing button holes. It means I am limiting myself in my sewing. I have the machines, the gadgets and just can't seem to manage it properly. My plan for this coming year is to nail the button hole and this lady , Linda DiSimone is making me feel very confident! I think I am just going to have to sit at my machine for a morning or afternoon and just practise until I get it right. I am sure it's one of those things that if you show no fear, you get it right once, you will never get it wrong again!!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Easy baby booties

I put up the pattern for the Easy baby booties in an earlier post. They really are easy and a good way to get started or to have on hand a small project which will give you a break from something bigger. I have made 6 pairs now. The multicoloured ones I crocheted around the top. I made another two pairs from flecked cotton and sewed on tiny pompoms at the front. The green ones have multicoloured yarn bows but the green is 4 play Australian  Merino wool from Spotlight and really soft. They knit up nicely on 3mm needles. So tiny and so cute. Now I have done these I shall start customising them a bit more. 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Frog

This is a custom made crochet frog which I created for a friend at Christmas. The plain green is lovely Australian Merino 4 ply wool from Spotlight and the multicoloured yarn is synthetic. The  crochet brown hat is a suitable coarse wool. The Frog kept trying to be an owl as I made it and then disaster struck when I had it all put together and one of the eyes came adrift as I was crocheting around the tops to f the eyes. I wasn't impressed and had to be very strong and pushy to get that eye back in place. The new owner is thrilled to bits because he wanted a nice frog but not too cute. The front is actually a pouch so you could hide secrets in there!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Winter coloured cowl

Alphonse really enjoyed modelling this cowl just before Christmas. It is very soft and light weight. It is not for the dead of winter. It's dressier but warm. Not for the freezing cold. Just for when it's a bit chilly. It is all synthetic yarn. The multicoloured brown with the loops has a touch of plum and the multicoloured feathered yarn has a palette of purply colours. The light brown has a twinkling speck through it. It's very cuddly. It is 70cm top to bottom in its folded state and I knitted it on my bamboo number 4 needles. It was really nice to knit. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Mini owl charm

DD's crochet  runs in English and Chinese. There are some lovely crochet patterns for projects like this little owl charm. DD shares her creations very generously. These little owls could be used on pencil cases, key rings, zips. You could make a little family of them! The patterns are well written and easy to follow. It's a good idea to look around DD's site and her blog. She has so many ideas to help you. 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Upcyling with cross stitch

Ulla Stina Wikander is a very inspired cross stitch artist. My Modern Met has done an article on her which shows the extend to which she is inspired and takes cross stitch to a new level. . She takes obsolete objects and dresses them in cross stitch designs so they become pieces of art. The time, patience and thinking which has gone into these objects is undeniable. To do each would would take so much thought, patience and then the   hours of stitching. To get the canvases/cloth to fit the contours of the objects so neatly would require a lot of skill. Her work is truly amazing. Cross stitching has existed for centuries in different cultures. It is good to see it taking a strong place in the new millennium. 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Sturt Desert Pea cross stitch

I made this cross stitch pin cushion to celebrate Australia and South Australia in particular. The Sturt Desert Pea is our floral emblem. I have a cross stitch pattern booklet for Australian emblems and I like to make them sometimes. This pin cushion is a decorative item. I don't use it. I like the earthy colours and I enjoyed creating the design from the motifs I found. Things like this can take quite a while because the stitches are small. I tend do do something like this alongside something else which is short term quick reward. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Purple Possibilities Madcat

I realise I haven't put the whiskers on my purple madcat!! I was so enjoying making it I just plain forgot. I shall do it this morning. This is made from pure wool and some synthetic yarn and has fibre filler. The bead is interesting because it has tiny seed beads on it and so has a good texture. I am not sure what the rest of the bead is made of. Metal, I think. I used some pretty ribbons I had to do the rest of the decorating . I really liek Purple Principles madcat. The camera hasn't really picked up the colours properly. I love the colours.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Owl patterns

Allcrafts has so many owl patterns to choose from.  There are plenty of owls to knit, crochet and sew. Owls are always popular and well loved when they are received as gifts. All crafts is a good site to know because it has patterns for everything and it's a site which works quickly and efficiently. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Easy baby booties

I put up the pattern of the easy baby booties the other day.  This is my own version of them. It's the first time I have made them and I am pleased with how quickly they knit up and how cute they look. I used some multicoloured yard I had and size 10 needles. I had to cut out sections of the yard so that the booties would be similar. I double crocheted around the top edge and added the little yarn laces. This is the smallest size and they really are too cute. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Green cowl

I really love the colour of this cowl and didn't realise that I had made it in the greenery colour of the year! it's a fresh green the the colour of real limes. There are three synthetic yarns which make this cowl. Once has greens and beige, one is a green bitty yarn and the other is the Medley with bobbles and bits of different greens and yellows. It is warm, cosy and a great winter cowl because the colour is so cheerful. Not sure Betsy the bear agrees with me but she wore it under duress. It's is 20 stitches on number 7 needles and 66cm in its folded state. I used garter stitch because it improves the texture and look of the cowl and makes it warm. It also allows the yarn to speak for itself. Very happy with this one. 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Twisted stitch

Twisted stitch is a mock cable based on double rib. Double rib pulls tightly together when it sits. Twisted stitch lies flatter and so you don't get that elastic effect which you may not want. It is not hard and the final effect is really nice. It really suits scarves, cowls and blankets .

Red cowl and beanie

These are made from the brick red wool from the Bendigo Woollen Mills. The pattern from the beanie came from Lincraft and there is no online version but my last post on the black beanie gives links to some good beanie patterns. The cowl was knitted to 125cm long across 60 or 70 stitches depending on how wide you want it. I used 4.5 mm needles and 8 ply wool. and then joined. The beanie is double rib and the cowl is twisted rib which is double rib but in the third row you twist the stitches. It means it doesn't all pull together and sits flatter. I'll put up a video in my next post. The new owner of these items is thrilled to bits. They are good quality,  they look very effective and stylish and they are very warm. 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Man beanie

This beanie is made from pure wool from the Bendigo Woollen Mills. I know from experience their wool knits up well and is durable. I have made a few beanies and I made the handspun wool one for a man. Since then we have had winter and I was paying attention to what men wear by way of beanies around Adelaide. They like plain and they like black or navy blue and they don't seem to like beanies with texture and pattern. I used single rib and converted my double rib pattern to that. I cannot share that with you because I cannot find the online version of the trusty Lincraft beanie pattern I got free in their shop . There are other good beanie patterns, though, which would suit. There's a Canadian one on Canadian Living . There is also a good one which is explained well on the Kis*Knit blog. Instagram certainly likes this beanie so I hope I am on the right track for man beanies. 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Easy socks

I have never knitted socks and it's one thing I plan to do. I can do some pretty complicated knitting but socks have never been something I wanted to do until now. It has been great to see all the sock knitting on Instagram . It has inspired me to try socks. They'd be warm and cosy and depending on the yarn or wool used, very durable. I have chosen these socks to start with. As I have explained before on this blog it's important to stay within your learning capabilities as you try new things. With socks I am a beginner and so need something straight forward and simple. Something I understand. I know , once I have made one pair I will get it and then be able to move on to fancier and more impressive things. These are just nice socks. I am all right with that . 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Easy baby booties

These are the easiest baby booties ever! They knit up quickly and you can change the pattern from garter to stocking stitch or moss stitch. You can also sew the tops together rather than have fold over bits. If you master this pattern you will have a good understanding of how booties are made and then you can adventure out with your own ideas. Allfreeknitting is a really good site to find patterns which work and which you can develop your confidence with. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Benefits of knitting

Anyone who knits, crochets or sews will not find any of this surprising. There is a rhythm to knitting , crocheting and activities like needlepoint. The repetitive actions are soothing. The textures are soothing. What is not soothing is when you get a stitch wrong or you miss a stitch or something like that. Then there are the very demanding, tricky patterns where you cannot get into a rhythm because you are having to concentrate on every stitch, ensure the wool is not tangled and so on. By and large , though, knitting is very effective in helping you to relax. It creates an interest for others and so it's sociable. It means you are making something with your own hands and that is very rewarding. You get all the fun of choosing yarns, patterns, textures and then you can branch out and create your own ideas. It's very positive. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Knitting in the round

This video shows you how to knit in the round using circular needs. It isn't hard but you need to pay attention to where the next row begins and ensure you keep the tension even at that point. It takes practice . This video will help you because it shows you how to make something small which you will manage more easily. You can then progress to bigger things like beanies. The other advantage of flexible double ended needles is you can more comfortable knit a lot or stitches for things like shawls or you can use then to put cuffs and collars on garments.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Crochet Baby Booties for Beginners

These can be prettied up even more if you watch the video and are very easy to make and a good way to start learning how to make baby booties. They would make a lovely gift. They also use up the yarn and wool oddments. Getting them neat and tidy looking takes a  little bit of practice but that is all. Once you have made your first pair the second ones are so much easier. 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Doll makeover

Another one of my op shop finds. This time it's a porcelain doll with moveable arms and legs. It had no clothes and was practically bald. The original hair would have been blond curls, She has some curly bits and then some new straight red hair which I happened to have. I have prettied her up with lace, net and little roses and other flowers. She is now destined for a much better life. I can't help myself. I like rescuing dolls. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Which knitting needles?

The point made in this video hits the nail on the head. You choose the knitting needles which suit you. You then have to choose the needles which suit your project. Sometimes you need to use the circular needs because you have so many stitches or because it takes up less space. That can be part of what guides your choice. Some long needles really get in your way and are awkward. I like plastic needles or bamboo needles but hey can break and that is really annoying. The trick is to have more than one pair of any size and that can be done by getting spares in op shops , craft sales and at fetes. Steel ones can be taken by other people in your home for uses other than knitting. I don't know why but family members can be quite good at bending needles when they use them for something other than knitting. If you live in a safe home for steel needles then they are my preference because they are durable. You need to buy good quality ones though because some metal needles make a horrible sound when you are knitting or they sound like they are rough. Needles should always sound smooth. If you don't know then borrow needles or buy op shop ones until you know the needles you like. Double ended needles are always steel in my opinion because they really can break easily and that is frustrating. In the end, what I think, or what anyone else thinks is not relevant. It is what you think. I prefer to use plastic needles for the thick wool and steel needles for 8 ply and less. For me it just works better that way. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Henriette cloth doll makeover

I found this little doll in an op shop and she was sadly neglected. I cleaned her up, filled in the bald patches of hair so she could have a new hairdo and made her a pretty and very cheerful dress from some charm squares I had. She has frog earrings and I put blue laces in her shoes.She looks so cheerful now and is in my design studio. I have called her Henriette and she is now my stitching friend. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Minion cushion

Proud mother moment. My daughter gave me a bag of T Shirts so I could turn them into quilts. There will be a Dr. Who one, a superheroes one and then I had 3 T shirts left over. We worked out that two of them will make a nice bag but I said to her that the Minions one would make a good cushion. I was right. It has made the softest, cuddliest cushion ever. T shirt material is great for making cushions I have discovered. The cushion is two layers of T shirt material. The Minions T shirts is the outside and then left over backs from two of the other T shirts make the lining. I then made a bag from a clean pillowcase and stuffed it with fibre filler. Totally washable and easy care. I cut the bottom off another left over T shirt back and made the bow. I wanted to do a running stitch border around the edge with some yellow crochet cotton I had but found that was too hard on my hands. I'll try again today because I have until the weekend before daughter gets her upcycled cushions. It was great to know she had learned my lesson of recycling, upcycling or donating to charity. 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Heart pincushion

I like the look of needlepoint because it has an old world charm . It actually makes a very durable fabric. I like the rhythm of doing it too. It's a soothing thing to do.  This is something I had worked out a while ago which I had adapted from a pattern I saw in a magazine. I didn't like the basket they had in the middle of it. I just changed it to a heart and am happy with that especially since it's a pincushion. You can gather the similar pins in the separate areas of the pincushion if you want to . I backed it with some faux corduroy with a crazy patchwork pattern. It's very soft and the colours tone in well  with the front of the cushion. I edged ti with beige cord which I hand sewed on and then added a turquoise button. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Puff stitch flower blanket.

Earlier I put up a tutorial on how to crochet puff stitch.  You might want to look at that and have a little practice before you start these puff stitch flowers.  In her video Bella Coco shows you how to make the  puff stitch flowers and at the end she shows how to sew them together so you can make bags, blankets, jackets. Whatever you want. Bees DIY has a free pattern for a puff stitch flower blanket and the instructions are clear and set out well. By changing the colour of your wool or yarn you can change the feeling of the blanket. You could make one for each season!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Easy crochet flowers

You have to start somewhere. Crochet flowers are not hard but here are some tricky beautiful ones which you can make once you understand the principles. You can use them to decorate beanies, bags, jumpers. You can join them together to make pretty blankets. They are a good thing to add to your crocheting repertoire. You can make nice centres for them with pretty buttons as you stitch them on. If you start simply then you will gain in confidence and ideas. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Patchwork bags

I am always quilting so I have plenty of leftover scraps. We got rid of plastic shopping bags in South Australia quite some time ago so I started using my scraps to make shopping bags for myself and others. They have been welcome and popular. I can make all sorts of bags. They get a tropical look, an old fashioned look, a retro look, a fun or funky look. I can use big blocks or use the small pieces to make bigger blocks. I generally base the bags on a nine piece set up and then make the handles to match. I am often making them as I do other things because sewing small pieces together can be tedious so I just do it for a bit and then get on with something more interesting. These bags wash and wear well. They fit plenty of shopping and cal roll up easily into another bag so they do not take up much room. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Crochet Christmas Baubles

These Christmas baubles look especially nice if you crochet them in bright colours and tone in some glitter sliver or gold yarn. They give an ultra modern look to Christmas. Te ones in the video are really nice too if you like the traditional look. They are not hard and worth the effort. In the end, you can choose the colours which match your Christmas colour scheme and they can make really nice personalised Christmas presents. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Knitted slippers

Knitted slippers are a good way to use leftover wool and yard. They are functional and can be very fancy. Some are knitted on double ended needles or round needles. You need to get the principles of knitting slippers right first. Once you understand how they are made you can move on to more complicated patterns. It is important to take it one step at a time. The video shows you how to make the slippers. It goes slowly and is explained well. There is also a nice pattern here for simple slippers which you can try if you haven't made them before. You can always decorate them with crochet edges, cuffs or flowers. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Crochet zip into a jacket

It's easy when you know how and a zip inserted into a purse or jacket can  work so much more effectively than buttons. Zips provide a neat closure and don't detract from the pattern and yarn work. The video explains the principle really well and you can follow along. It is not hard but you just need to be methodical and patient as you start it off. If you specifically want to see how to put a zip into a crochet purse there is a really good video in Portuguese. If you don't speak the language it doesn't matter because the visual aspect of the video is done extremely well. Once you understand how it is done you will work out your own way of doing it. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Baby quilt

I really enjoyed making this baby quilt and it has had plenty of compliments. It was fun. It is designed to look like a board game. I have red buttons for counters and pompoms for balls. There is a mix of modern and traditional children's images and the whole thing is very colourful. I toned it down a little with the pale blue polka dot nursery fabric and the beige edging. There are pinwheel and nine patch blocks to add to the image blocks. I have sewn on braid and ric rac which makes it look a bit like snakes and ladders. The inside is polar fleece so the whole thing is very easy care. I made a bag for it and attached a knitted pouch with a colourful cat and then the card is made of pressed hearts ease flowers. The quilt is now with its new owner and well loved. 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Mouse hand puppet

This mouse likes to hear and tell stories. He is made to fit a child's hand and loves to sit and listen or will happily create a yarn or two. He is made from faux fur. I tried beads for the eyes but changed them to black buttons which I prefer. I love his spotty bow tie. Makes him look like he has nice manners. The ears are edged with synthetic woolly yarn and lined with felt. His nose is a pom pom and his whiskers are yarn. I had him there for a while and wasn't so sure how to finish him. I had used a pattern and it was one of those projects where I felt it wasn't looking as good as I thought it would. I got it out last week and suddenly my ideas of how to make it better came alive. The arms are pipe cleaners with faux fur hands/paws. He's quite a character and looks so much better than he did. 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Purse with metal frame

This video goes through all the basics of how to make a purse with a metal frame. It is explained well so that you can follow and understand. A sew on metal frame means you don't need the glue and you can use some cotton or yarn to sew the frame on and add another layer of design/decoration. Once you look at the video you will feel more confident at approaching something which you might think is too hard. Now I have made one I feel like I know what I am doing and am really glad to be able to add this to my repertoire of craft skills. These metal frames suit crochet purses really well and there are videos for that on YouTube. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Needlepoint coin purse

This is the first time I have made a coin purse or anything with a mettle frame. I really like how it looks and I didn't actually find it too hard to make. What I need to do , though, is go back over it and perfect it. Once you have made something new you either have to make another one or polish the original so it comes out perfectly. The metal frame was relatively easy to attach and with the needlepoint rose it just looks so effective. I need a bit more practice and I need to look at some videos so I can get the fit exactly right. I also need to be able to get the joins of both sides of the purse better so no canvas is showing at all. I had been careful but obviously not careful enough. I am happy with it and feel like I have mastered something worthwhile which has pulled my skills levels up. 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Hallowe'en Madcat

I had to make this one. I kept getting the idea in my head and just wanted to see how it looked. Now we all know. It's made of wool but the furry parts are synthetic yarn. I don't like ghoulish, unpleasant things for Hallowe'en so this madcat fits the bill for me. As someone said, she looks quite elegant!

I took this photo as I had just started to create my Hallowe'en madcat and put it on Instagram. It was instantly popular for some reason. I think people like to see works in progress these days and feel a part of the creative process. I like that approach. It's good to cheer people on with their ideas. I also value the encouragement I receive. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Gentleman Madcat II

Gentleman Madcat II was such fun to make. The first one I made was commissioned. I wanted to make another because I had enjoyed the idea of making a refined madcat. I love how this one's scarf has turned out and it looks a bit like the scarf from the 4th Doctor Who. I hadn't planned it that way. I was going to put a big key in his paw, like the key to a mansion but decided to paint a cocktail umbrella and I am really happy with the way it turned out. A pin holds the two silver beads on the bottom. These mad cats are not for children but the adults who own them are more than happy with their madcats. He is synthetic yarn and I like the effect. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Scarf styling for men

Lots of men are not comfortable with thick , knitted scarves. Hopefully this video will put any negative thoughts to rest and show that men can wear knitted scarves too. In cold and windy weather they are warm and serviceable. Men's scarves are a good knitting challenge as well and it's good to get away form women's and children's scarves for a bit. 

Puff Stitch

Puff stitch is a good basic crochet stitch to know. It looks very effective , has a good texture and a thickness which allows you to make some useful items. If you use softer yarn like Afghan wool then it will make nice scarves. It can be used for bags and blankets and warm jackets. If you use different colours for the row it can have a good visual impact . This video explains the nine loop puff stitch well . 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

How to make 9 patches

Nine patches are a basic quilt block but there is nothing basic in how you can use them or put them to use. I have used them for quilts, bags and parts of quilts. I have halved them diagonally and then sewn them back together to make pinwheel blocks which look so different. GourmetQuilter shows you how to make them really easily and quickly. She explains things very well and so if you are new to this you will not have trouble following what she is doing.  She is using fat quarters and that is even better because you can often get packs of fat quarters on special in fabric shops. 

Christmas Bear Decoration

This little bear came as a kit but I haven't made it as the kit version. I turned the velvet ribbon into a sleeping bag and the gold ribbon into a pillow. I then added a little wreath for the bear to hold. Top left I added a gold leaf sequin and some gold yarn to make a hanger. The bear can come out of his sleeping bag if he wants to. It's just cute and I can never have enough bears! I sewed most of it together by hand. Two sides of the pillow are machine sewn. Maybe I should have added a Christmas stocking? 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Blocking crochet squares

Blocking does make a difference. if you have worked hard on a special kind of square , you probably want it to looks its best. This video shows you how to do it. Using the puzzle mat piece for the base is a great idea. You can get bigger puzzle mats and so could block more than one square at once. It is time consuming and a thing not everyone could be bothered doing, quite frankly. It will make your finished piece look so much better. On other pieces I sew the squares together and use a tea towel and the iron on a lower setting but with steam. You do not want too much heat at all. That way you can iron your bag or blanket without damaging the fibres. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Cute cloth doll

This is one of the cutest and easiest cloth dolls to make. There is a lot of scope for personalising it your own way. You can decide what you want to fill it with, the sorts of materials you use, what you use for your hair and so on. You could add little arms made of wool or pipe cleaners. You could make them as pot pourri dolls and you could alter the size of the circles to make them bigger or smaller. They really are clever. Again, it's another good way to use up scraps. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Cloth doll

One of the reasons I sometimes make cloth dolls is because it is yet another way to use up scraps. I knit, crochet, sew and so there are always bits of wool and material which I want to use up. Cloth dolls have a personality of their own. They are individuals and I can make them for adults or children. There is something whimsical about them. This doll is called Madeleine and I made one for me and one for my sister. My one is in my dining room because it matches the decor and she always draws comment. I like  deciding what they can wear and making the clothing. People like them as presents and it is always fun to make a doll which will complement the personality of a friend or family member. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Crochet Christmas wreath

Once you learn how to make a crochet Christmas wreath you will want to make more! You can decorate them with beads, buttons, wool. You can make glittery ones with fancy yarns and sequins. They can be hanging decorations, a little personalised gift or a nice thing to help decorate your presents when you have wrapped them. They look good attached to a hessian bag.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Fun crochet Christmas tree

I love all the different ways people can develop their ideas with their yarn skills. This crochet Christmas tree is lovely and and is easy to make. It's a good way to use up oddments of wool and textured yarn. I really appreciate the way people share their ideas on YouTube now. Joanne explains it very carefully so that you do not get lost. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Mouse pincushion

This was fun to make and I have to say whoever designed it put a lot of thought into the motif. It's clever how you black stitch the numbers on the tape measure. It is the black stitching which actually makes the whole design more 3D and far more interesting. I backed my cross stitch with some fawn cotton, stuffed it with fibre filler  and then stitched the cord into place. I really like how this one looks . It such a nice pin cushion for those who love to stitch!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Topiary Bag

I enjoyed making the topiary cross stitch but then I had to think what to do with it. I really liked the autumn colours and so I used the cotton material I  had which is very strong and used that to edge the hessian. I then sewed on two green buttons and put a thin brown cord through the bag. It's the sort of bag I use to carry and store my projects. It's also the sort of bag I use to store silks or patchwork pieces if I am working on a small project. It is easy care and durable. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Knitted baby booties

These baby booties are very easy to make and are more than suitable for beginners. PleasantSeas explains everything very easily and clearly and you can see what she is doing. All this gives you confidence. If you are looking for more complicated baby booties or you want choices then there are 10 free patterns on blissfullydomestic. Babies go through booties very quickly partly because they get lost, partly because they are frequently washed and partly because they grow out of them. Having simple ones helps preserve the fancier ones for special occasions and visits. 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Simple crochet bag

Hectanooga1 explains things simply and clearly. She is very calm as she explains everything. If you have learned to crochet and want to branch out a bit then a bag is a good project. You can find bag patterns on YouTube and the net . You can just crochet squares and sew them together or a number of squares and sew them together. This bag is good because you make the pieces and when you put it together it looks stylish. It looks harder than it is! That is plus points for you. 

Friday, September 30, 2016

Miss Molly Madcat

Miss Molly madcat was commissioned by a friend. I had to get photos of Molly the cat and find out a bit about her personality and likes. It is always nice to create a madcat which celebrates a pet. I have come to realise very quickly that all these cats have such different personalities. The white is Italian wool and the grey is a mohair/synthetic mix. I had some edging left over from a scarf I had decorated and that made a nice stole for Miss Molly. It tones in with her amber eyes!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Wednesday Jalfon Madcat

Wednesday Jalfon is my daughter's new rescue cat which they got in May this year. This photo is recent. She is a beautiful tuxedo cat with a very independent personality. My daughter commissioned the madcat because her cat is worth it! I have made a number of madcats to represent a well loved cat. Wednesday loves eating fish and she loves playing with my fish tank when I cat sit her sometimes. She heads straight for the fish tank and is pawing at the fish. Keeps her amused for hours. The other thing she likes is her jingle stick . She just loves anything which jingles. I love making madcats but I especially like it when I have a cat I can model them on. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Colourful Waistcoat

I love knitting . I like Fair Isle and graph knitting. It is something which is satisfying but you need patience and concentration. I made this little waistcoat from left over yarn. It is warm, but not too warm. The front is sewn  together apart from a zip at the top so it's more like a vest. I tried it with buttons and did not like the look of it because they were detracting from the overall impression. This way it's an extra, cheerful layer which can go under a jacket. I map the patterns out on graph paper and one of the joys of a knitting project like this is that I can look through my stitch and pattern books and select the ones I like. I am then at the really fun bit of picking the colours and yarns from my stash. I find a knitting pattern which works and then I can create a different garment every time by changing the stitches and  patterns on the garment. The pink is a bouclé so there is some texture in this. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

How to crochet a granny square

Bella learned how to crochet from YouTube clips and so she is giving back. This is a basic granny square and she has kept it simple by just using one colour. You can then make other monochrome squares and join them to make a really nice bag, scarf or blanket. Once you have mastered the single colour squares it is easy to move on to changing colours at each round. Then you are ready to branch out into some of the fancier granny squares. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Granny Square Jacket

I like making granny square blankets and have made so many of them. It is nice to do something different. This is my granny square jacket which I use at home on cold winter nights. It has 4 pockets so room for tissues, books, crochet...whatever I want! It has 8 squares for each side. 2 squares deep and 3 squares wide for the sleeves. 16 squares for the back. I then used 4 squares for the pockets. I double crocheted around the bottom and sides of the jacket and across the pocket tops. For for the neck and sleeves I used 8 ply wool and number 4 needles. I slip stitched with my crochet hook around the edge of the neck and sleeves. I then did it again and missed a stitch so there were half the number. I picked those up on a knitting needle and single ribbed. For the neck I did enough rows to be able to double it over. I crocheted a button hole loop on one side and sewed a big button on the top of the other side. It's warm and functional. I like it and so does everyone else. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

How to spin wool

I have an Ashford spinning wheel which I meant to use but never have. The lady who was going to teach me became ill and then it just got left and it's been a nice ornament in my home. I love the look of it. This video is for beginners and I may well try to learn how to spin wool. I can see from the wool she is holding that she is very good and appears to know how to dye the wool properly too. I am putting this on my blog so I can refer back to it. It would be so good to be able to spin my own wool. I'd love it I think . We'll see. 

Handspun wool beanie

I love the look and feel of these handspun wool beanies. I have explained all the details of the wool on another post. It feels so soft and with the natural lanolin it will provide a degree of waterproofing. They have an interesting texture because of the nature of the wool and it gives them a good rustic look. The double rib means they are warm and it provides a level of durability which would not be there with the flatter knitting stitches. This one already has a good home to go to!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Crochet Converse baby booties

Everyone loves these ! On You Tube there are so many videos on these Converse baby booties in so many different languages. Under this video there are really useful comments with thinks to other helpful information. Get your hook and start crocheting!!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Black Crobot

I think I must have been channelling Telly Tubbies a bit when I made this Nellie Pailloux inspired crobot. I love making them. I can put them together and use all my bits and pieces. It has always been something very satisfying for me that I can repurpose things and give them a new look. Nellie Pailloux obviously likes doing it too. It has glass covered plaster beads for legs and little brooch pins for ears and then  earring bits for its antenna. Like the madcats they don't take that long to make but the decorating is painstaking and the time where you get lost in your own imagination. I have never watched Telly Tubbies as a mother so I have just seen pictures of them and they don't really mean anything to me. A relative said this looked like a Telly Tubbie and it does a bit. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Crochet Robot

The instructions for this robot are under the video. All the details are there as well as the link to the full instructions. The video shows you how to do it. Considering it was the person's first attempt at making a how to video , they have done well. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Blue Crobot

I borrowed a book from the the library by Nellie Pailloux on crochet robots - crobots. You can find Nellie Pailloux on Ravelry. I fell in love with them and she has been ingenious in creating them. She is very talented and can create small crochet characters so well. I styled this blue crobot on her ideas and then my own ideas took over. He makes me smile. He is a funny wee thing. He is made form two ply wool and then I really enjoyed embellishing him with buttons and beads and my silver thread. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Crochet Pouch Necklace

I like to make crochet pouch necklaces with gemstones inside. I like to wear them too. I crochet a little bag and then a cord for the necklace part of it, or sometimes I use a shop bought cord . You can get all sorts of different looks with them. The pouch is a circle which I gather with a crocheted cord and then I attach the necklace. I usually make a little bag from calico to put the gemstones in. They have always been popular presents. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Free beanie patterns

If you actually go into either Spotlight or Lincraft shops they often have free patterns which are not on their site. The Lincraft pattern I use for my beanies is #A253 Rib beanie with pom pom ears. It knits up really well and has a good shape which I haven't always found with other beanie patterns.. The  Fayette beanie from Spotlight is a good basic beanie and one where you could use up odd balls of wool. Lincraft also has a selection of other free beanie patterns, some easy , some hard. 

Beanie with handspun wool

I loved making this Beanie. it is pure wool and the three sorts of wool I used were lovely to work with. The handspun wool still had the lanolin in it and so was very soft to work with. I had found the wool in my stash and because there wasn't much of it I thought beanies were the way to go. Isobel Corbally is one of Adelaide's water colour artists. We actually have quite a few good hand spinners in Adelaide and we need to hear more about them. After all Australia is famous for its wool. This beanie is soft but it's warm and the wool would give some waterproofing protection in damp weather. This knitted up quite quickly because it was thick, textured wool on number 7 needles.