Four seasons quilt

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. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

How to knit a blanket

This is a short term quick reward project. Depending on your colour choice,you could make it very bright , pastel, natural , marine, autumn. You have lots of choices. The directions in this video are very clear and so you will have a sense of achievement. Yes, you could make the blanket for others less fortunate and feel really proud of your skills. You could knit one for yourself and knit one for others. You could get everyone to start knitting squares and make it a group project. This blanket can do a lot!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

My Cuddly Cat

I am always making madcats and am happy to do so. I wanted to make something which would suit a child. A cuddly cat. He comes with his own cuddly blanket and is nicely rugged up in his own hand knitted cuddly scarf. He's a comfort cat. He is stuffed with fibre and was easy to make. I stitched on the pom pom eyes and nose very firmly and made the whiskers from the same yarn as I had used for the scarf. He's a bit of a teddy cat, really. 

Child's pullover

This was a bit of an interesting challenge for me because it is knitted in one piece from the bottom edge at eh back. I have knitted jumpers in one piece from the side edge, starting with a sleeve. You knit the back normally, then you have to make the neck opening and decrease for the front of the neck. You then have to knit it all upside down to create the front of the jumper. The pattern had stripes and so I knitted the stripes. It is harder than it looks. It would take practice to get used to it and were I to do it again I'd knit smaller stripes or one colour just to get the hang of the logistics of knitting this in one piece. I crocheted the flower and the cord because I thought it made it look better and I am happy with the finished piece. It would be a handy top for a busy child because ti doesn't have the log sleeves they tend to get dirty or they can pull at. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Easy crochet bag

I love Lenysea's nail polish! She explains how to make a really nice bag clearly and well. If you want to make a bag she will give you the confidence to do just that. The best thing is Lenysea makes a small bag and then you can see automatically that you could make a bigger one. As she says , you could also use the pattern to make cushion covers or even a blanket. This pattern is very versatile and that is what you need to grow your confidence. 

Granny square bag

I don't always want to make a blanket with my granny squares. I have certainly made plenty of blankets which have all found good homes and gone to good use. Sometimes I have squares left over. That was the case with this bag. Inside are two more granny squares which separate it into 3 sections. It is solid and won't stretch or lose its shape. it is not lined and so not suitable for small things. I love the textured wool and the beads. I then thought to put on the button because it just adds a bit of interest.This bag is mainly pure wool with some synthetic wool on the inside. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Two colour cowl

This is made with synthetic yarn. The fuchsia part is knitted and after I had sewn the edges together I crochet the pastel colours around the edge. It's warm , cheering and can go around your neck once or twice depending on the look you want and how warm you need to be. The synthetic yarn means it is machine washable so it's very easy care. 

Easy crochet scarf

This scarf is great for beginners. You can make it with one colour, one strand of yarn or you can use two strands of the same colour or two different colours. You now have choices. You can make a thick scarf, a thin scarf, a wide scarf,a narrow scarf and you can alter the length of the scarf. That makes you happy when you are trying to learn something. You feel like you are getting somewhere. This scarf is a classic pattern and produces a good quality scarf. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Cosy fuchsia cowl

This cowl is warm and thick. It is synthetic yarn and would brighten any winter day. It is designed to go once or twice around the neck depending on the look you want and how warm you want to be. These colourful yarns have a good texture for cowls and scarves or even shawls. I made one for myself in turquoise which I actually made twice as wide. It can sit over my shoulders and creates a good layer of warmth as well as an attractive winter look. On a really cold day it is my best friend. 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

How to knit a scarf

I have knitted all my life. I can knit anything I want to from graph knitting to Fair Isle. I change what I am doing depending on the time available and how much I have to concentrate. Scarves are a good thing to learn. It was the first thing my Mum taught me and I knitted myself a multi coloured scarf in garter stitch. One of my Scottish aunties showed me how to do fancy stitches like bobble stitch and basket stitch and then one of my German cousins showed my how to knit with two colours and make squares. The scarf in the video is a great way to start and garter stitch means it will be warm. You can sew the ends together and make a cowl and you can knit it longer or shorter to make a double wrap cowl or a neck warmer. Just  this one pattern will get you going and give you so many choices. My tip is to count the stitches every so often because beginners somehow manage to lose stitches along the way!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Mocha Monty Madcat

Mocha Monty Madcat is set and ready to go to his new home on Monday. It is for a friend who is an artist and who owns a chocolate point Siamese cat. I am often asked to make madcats which represent a particular cat. I like to know about them and find out what they are like and what they do. I then try and make a cat which suits. Monty likes being in the art studio and gets in amongst it because he is still a kitten. He is made form wool and synthetic yarn and has a nice velvet ribbon amongst other things to decorate him. 

Blue Beanie

Like the pink beanie , this blue beanie is made from the free ribbed beanie pattern I got in Lincraft. I like this beanie pattern because it looks nice and it sits properly. This is made from yarn and machine washable. I wanted to make the crochet fish because I could! I just thought it was more fun than a plain beaning and the little pom pom bubbles make it a bit more interesting. it is all easy care but a warm hat for winter. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Pink Beanie

I was getting back into beanie making and I happened to be in Lincraft. They had a free beanie pattern with two pom poms - ribbed beanie with pom pom ears. I cannot find the pattern on the site but I have found others which are really nice. When I got home I did not like the idea of the two pom poms. I got my yarn and started the double rib pattern. It was knitting up so nicely. I then crocheted some flowers and stitched them on and put tiny pom poms in the middle. They now look a bit like snow flakes. The pom pom is hand made and was the first pom pom I had made in ages so I am well pleased with myself. It's a nice , warm beanie which would wash well and looks the part. 

Sea Spray Madcat

I wanted to make a madcat that looked like the ocean. A marine madcat. I had all these lovely greens and blues which reminded me of tropical oceans I have seen. I had some  turquoise pointed beads which looked a bit like sharks' teeth and shells. I had my fish bone decoration. I had those eyes. They were the only pair of eyes I had like that. I cannot seem to source any more and I have looked. It was a very creative job crocheting Sea Spray who was very popular and now lives in a lovely apartment in town. 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

After Dark Beanie

This looks better in real life. You can really pick up the sparkles. It is made of fabric yarn like tee shirt material and silver thread and then sequined yarn. It has a yarn flower with an abstract glittery patterned button . After dark is cold so the beanie is thick and warm. The pom pom is hand made from plain black and glitter yarn. It's a fun and functional beanie. it is hand knitted in double rib but it looks more like a popcorn stitch. I really like the effect. 

Alice Springs Beanie Festival

The Alice Springs Beanie Festival is held in June and appears to be a lot of fun. I plan to go there next year so have got back into making beanies. You can see all the beanies made by indigenous Australians and then the others made by people who want to join in. You can participate in workshops and it's just a great opportunity to be involved with textile art. More information is here on their website. It's an opportunity to feed a love of textile arts but also challenge your creativity because there are lots of categories for the competitions.