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.