Four seasons quilt

Monday, January 30, 2017

Crochet bag

This bag is made of 5 granny squares and then treble crochet around the top and double crochet around the bottom edge. I have used wool, yarn and cotton. The handle is yarn and cotton crocheted together. I made green cotton flowers to embellish the bag and put some plastic buttons in the middle of the flowers and a hessian butterfly to the side. It is a strong bag which could carry quite a weight , if necessary. It doesn't stretch much as you fill it up and so won't lose its shape. 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Crocheted donut pillow

I can't wait to get started on my crochet doughnut pillow. A Facebook friend sent me a picture of some and they look like fun to make but would also be very handy. With a bottom they'd make great pet beds too.

When I was in town I got some spaghetti yarn from Lincraft. It's like T Shirt material strips and I am thinking it will last and wash well. I found a bag of pom poms and have some either ideas for the decoration. I can't wait. I have to finish a bag first and then I am free to get out my Schiaparelli pink yarn and lovely hot pink crochet gook and just go for it. So watch this space. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

How to bind a quilt

People often find it hard to bind a quilt and sometimes it's the thing which worries them the most. Smaller quilts are easy but you have to be very careful and very methodical with bigger quilts. I pin and sew slowly. I like this video because it shows you just what it feels like to be finishing a quilt and the sorts of decisions you need to make.  You do have ragged edges which need to be neatened. You do often have a lot of strips already cut up that you'd like to put to good use. This video shows you have to get the binding right and use what you have  and then finish your quilt really  neatly.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Loom pussy hat

This not only shows you how to make one of the popular pussy hats on a knitting loom it shows you the neat pen trick and how to fasten off a loom hat properly. That pen trick is so worth knowing and speeds everything up so much. It's made me excited to get my looms out and to try it out. I haven't used the looms yet and I am looking at the fastening at the end . I don't know. I still feel like I need to get knitting needles out to finish it off securely but the video certainly has made me feel more confident in just using a needle and wool. This video presents the information very clearly and you could loom and learn as you watched it. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Crochet pussy hat

This is a really nice pattern and this kitty/pussy hat would keep your head really warm in very cold weather. It is quick and easy to make but has the advantage of being easily adapted to your own original version. You could use thinner wool for a softer look and not such a warm hat. You could make it longer and sew across the ears as plenty of others have done to make it a real cat hat. You could make it longer and turn up the brim for freezing days. It's a very adaptable pattern. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Pussy Hat

The pussy hat has just become the number one favourite textile project for so many. The colour for the marches is pink and  I have seen cabled ones, double rib ones, single rib ones ...all sorts and in creams, autumn colours, bright colours and then the pink. Some people are stitching across the ears and others are curling the ears a bit to make them a bit more like a viking hat. The textile industry is on fire and the needles are clicking. If you want to make one of these hats then Joy Macdonell explains her version really well. I'll feature other versions of the hat this week because I think they are going to stay around for a while and everyone loves them. 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Crochet hat

I styled this hat on the flapper hat pattern. I started with the pattern and then my own ideas took over. I really enjoyed making it. It is made with two different black wools from the Bendigo Woollen Mills. It has double crochet on the top which branches into treble crochet at the bottom and back to double crochet for the edge. I used a 4.00 crochet hook and 8 ply wool.

The flower is the flecked wool with a shiny red button in the middle and I really like the effect of that.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Basic mittens

Megan Brightwood is cheerful and helpful as she teaches us all to make basic mittens. I made mittens like this when I was at primary school. They were royal blue and I loved them, but she is right, for a really cold climate they are not warm. They are a great way to learn how to make mittens, though. You can use thicker wool, you can make them double thickness.You can put them over cheap knitted gloves for an extra layer of warmth.  With the medley wools around you can make some really nice mittens.  If you use a Fair Isle pattern you will have thicker mittens. It's about learning the basics of mitten knitting first and then trying out other things.

She is using American size 7 needles. That is Australian size 4.5mm.

Image: Stitchgeek

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Flapper hat

The Amelia flapper hat is a stylish hat which is quick to crochet. The pattern is set out well so that you can follow it easily. Allcrafts has some really good patterns for knitters and crocheters. They are straightforward but they all look really nice. The sorts of patterns which make you look good. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Colourful dilly bag

Shirley Marshall has not posted on her blog Groovy Textiles since 2013 but maybe she is off doing other things. She has some lovely ideas for textile projects and this colourful dilly bag is one of them. She has used traditional granny squares and then treble crochet,  crochet flower decorations and embellishments. The colours are lovely and it is a very stylish dilly bag which you can make from some very basic and traditional skills. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Crochet drawstring bag

To master drawstring bags you need to master the pouch size first because you'll see how quickly they are made and then how you can change and alter them to suit your needs. This video talks you through it and makes the point of choosing some interesting wool or yarn to make your pouch/bag. You can make them different sizes for different purposes. Use at least an 8 ply wool to get stability on the sides and bottom. If you are making them very small you can use thinner wool or  crochet cotton. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Sleepy mouse

This is Uschi and I made her a long time ago. She was easy to make, she is as cute as anything and she has worked hard inspite of all her sleepiness. Children young and old love that she comes with her own sleeping bag and Uschi has been a great icebreaker over the years. I wanted to make another one and just couldn't find the pattern anywhere. Imagine my delight when I opened the book I'd bought at the op shop and there were all of Uschi's friends. That book can be bought second hand on the internet.  It comes at all different prices. It has some really nice patterns for children's toys. 

Treasury of Dolls and Cuddly Toys - Family Circle 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Brick stitch

Brick stitch is similar to honeycomb stitch but knits up quickly because you are slipping the contrast colour in the second colour rows. With a medley wool you can really create some nice effects. it will make warm jumpers, blankets, bags. Instead of knitting a plain pattern like garter stitch or stocking stitch you can use brick stitch. With my baby blanket I have used garter stitch for the main colour rows and stocking stitch for the contrast colours. You can see you get a raised effect which adds texture. 

Baby blanket

We live in Australia. I am using acrylic yarn for this particular blanket as it is warm but not too warm. If I like how it looks when it is finished I'll make a pure wool one for very cold weather. Acrylic yarn can be machine washed which lightens the load a bit for new parents. The first version I made of this looked too loopy and horrible. Messy. So I changed the needle size and pattern and now the brick  pattern is looking really cute. The brick stitch puts a bit  texture and interest into two colour work and the medley yarn is adding some good colour combinations. 

It is 8ply yarn and 201 stitches on 6.5 round knitting needles. The round needles will allow me to manage the weight of the blanket as it grows. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Stitching acronyms

Stitching acronyms can be quite funny . You need to be familiar with them because they can come up on social media and if you are not sure what they mean you lose the meaning of the post sometimes because the extended writing isn't there to explain or contextualise the acronym. The Crocheter's code came up on DailyCrochet's Facebook page and it's a good start. SLIKstitches has a very comprehensive list. It's a quilting blog which is worth a visit if you are at all interested in quilting.

DailyCrochet on Facebook. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Australian Merino Wool

Australian Merino wool is, fine and durable. As a hand knitting wool it creates things which have movement and warmth without the bulk. For that reason it is used a lot in fashion in the same way Shetland and Alpaca wools are. The is one farmer's story. The wool journey from sheep to knitting needles is a long one. After the shearing there is a lot of grading, cleaning, sorting , carding, dyeing, spinning and mass production of balls of wool. Spinners use it too to make very good quality artisan wools. It's popular now to use the bulky Merino to make soft, cuddly wool blankets and that's a new , exciting development for Merino. If you want to know more about the qualities and characteristics of Merino wool you can look on the Merino wool website

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Knitting on double pointed needles

Have a little practice on double pointed needles before you use them for something important. it won't take long to get the hang of it. The main thing is to mark the beginning of your work and, if you need to , keep marking it. If that helps you knit in the round better, then it's up to you. You also need to realise you don't have to knit and purl for stocking stitch. You can just knit so it progresses the work quickly. This video is quick and easy and will probably set you straight. There are longer videos on You Tube if you need them. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Knit a fancy beanie

I love this sort of knitting. It is more interesting than just one colour and using several colours creates another layer of warmth which is very much appreciated on a freezing cold day. The Merino wool will be soft and pliable and so the hat will have a good texture. Arne  explains this hat in a relaxed way. If you find you are getting a bit confused, don't panic, just go back over the part where you lost touch with your knitting. Things like this take a little bit more patience and you need t work through the process until you are confident. Make sure you wind your wool behind the needles so that the two colours are meshed. It's all practice. You can find the written pattern on their website

Monday, January 2, 2017

Using a knitting loom

The round knitting looms are starting to come back into vogue. Partly because they remind us of our childhood knitting pin dolls or cotton reels, partly because they are easier for people with problems with their hands who still want to knit, partly because they are different and partly because they are easy to pack and carry around. No chance of losing needles or having them confiscated on a plane. I was looking at how well an old man could knit with one of these looms. He was making beanies for a charity project and had such a sense of purpose and worth even though his mobility was limited. They are safe for children to use too. The looms are an option in your yarn crafts toolbox and worth learning. This video is a good way to get up and running.