Four seasons quilt

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Make a bunny pom pom

I don't actually need to make the pom pom. I found a fairly big pom pom when I was looking for something else and was wondering what I could do with it. I was thinking it would make a good head for something. Now I know!! I have a pom pom maker which has made my pom pom making life so much easier so I am thinking I could make some animal heads and knit, crochet or sew some simple bodies and they would make cute baby toys. It is always nice to be able to reuse things, to make something personal and to have fun at the same time. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Home spun wool scarf

I still have some homespun wool which is quite chunky and textured. I am only at the stage now with my spinning that I can produce thinner, more consistent wool. The chunky wool is beautifully soft and squishy. I used my plied light and dark ram's wool to make this scarf which matches a beanie I had made last year from bought spun wool . The scarf will become a Christmas present. I love the natural colours and feel of it and it is a beautifully warm scarf which the new owner will appreciate.I used 20 stitches and the large 12mm needles which made it a quick knit in single rib. I had to alternate the older skeins with the newer skeins because each time I spin I am getting thinner wool which is part of my learning curve but means I have to be creative in how I use the wool I have spun.

When you are learning a new textile skill you have to be inventive so that you do not put yourself off from persevering with the learning curve. Everyone who has seen this scarf loves it and the colour. I am glad about that and look forward to using the new wool I have spun which is featured in this post too. To the left is dark ram's wool plied with merino wool and to the right is light ram's wool plied with crochet cotton.  

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Zipper Pouch

These are great to make to use up scraps of fabric, piece a nice patchwork design or to create a custom sized bag for a project. They have so many uses once you know how to make them and they are not hard. You can add a looped handle at one end so you can carry it. You can embroider and embellish them so they can end up being easily attainable creative projects. I'll remind you I put up a post as to how to easily  put a zip into a crocheted project here

Monday, July 17, 2017

Knitted head band

Knitted headbands and urban turbans provide a bit of extra warmth on a cold day and some nice style. They are also a good way to practise a pattern you want to try or cable stitches. They are not committing you to something big and , in the end, you will produce something which would make a lovely present for someone as well as advancing your skills or using up those odd balls of wool/yarn. There are some nice patterns here on loveknitting.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Measuring yarn yardage

A lot of people want to know the length of the yarn as much as the weight. With length you can be more accurate in how much yarn you will need to finish a project or determine whether you have enough yard to make that extra square or finish your weaving project.  It sounds like a chore but it is not hard if the wool is skeined. If it is a ball then is is not so easy. If you are making your own yarn then you need the weight and length so you can work out how much you will need to spin to create your project. Many patterns now come with both weight and yardage for yarn . You can buy electronic measuring devices to calculate yardage as you make the project.That will help if you want to duplicate the project with balls of yarn. There is some help here and in the video as to how to master calculating yardage. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Hand spun wool beanie

I am still learning how to spin but each week I am getting better. This wool I made form alpaca fleece, alpaca fluff, merino wool roves and some light and dark ram's wool fleece. it represents quite an achievement for me. I found the alpaca fleece quite hard to spin so it was a matter of patience and care.I actually used the pattern for the baby beanie . I cast on 66 stitches and used 7mm needles. It knitted up very quickly and used about 200g of my home spun wool - 150 of the alpaca mix and 50 g of the ramswool . I am really pleased with it. It is soft and cosy!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Pink rainbow booties

I loved making these. I used a rainbow baby yarn which was predominantly white along with a soft pink baby yarn. Number 10 needles and stocking stitch. I crocheted the trim around the top and the laces are just a long crochet chain. I had some little ribbon roses and they have just made these booties look so cute. They are not hard and I followed the easy baby booties pattern on the Ocean Booties post. I only knitted 6 rows before casting off so I could put he crochet trim around the top. 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Knitted Bobble Stitch

I learned bobble stitch when I was of primary school age. One of my aunties taught me when she had come to visit on holidays. You can knit bobbles in just for effect or you can make patterns with them to create a three dimensional look to your knitting. I love the effect in the video with the medley wool. The bobbles lift it into a class act. They are not hard and a bit of practice will make you able to knit bobbles very quickly. 

Friday, July 7, 2017

Knitted bag

The first yarn I spun when learning to spin was ram's wool. There was light and dark and I plied some of the light together and then some of the light and dark. It was what they call textured! Looked a bit too much like sheep still. I was wondering what to do with it and finally decided to make a bag. There wasn't enough for a blanket and it would have made a lovely warm, soft blanket. As I was knitting the bag I was thinking it would make a nice jacket which would be very warm. It's cuddly and soft. I used round 5.5 needles to make the bag. I had plied some light ram's wool with some commercial red 12 ply but that hadn't worked very well. It works on the bag , though, and the red gives it all a colour lift. The purple is Bing Tuscan from Lincraft. I had bought a couple of balls because I loved the colour and texture. I have crocheted over some soft fibre filled lengths of material for the handle and then machine stitched that in place. I embroidered with wool over the ends with some of the left over purple wool. None of my first efforts spinning have gone to waste and I am delighted with my new bag. I lined it with coffee coloured cotton and plaited tie strings for the top . The front of the bag was sewn down the middle so I have laced some home spun wool as a decoration after I stitched it at the front. The first two rows were purple commercial wool to make it easier to sew up when the time came and it makes a nice finish on the bottom of the bag. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Make a hank of yarn

When you are an expert you can do this really quickly and so someone trying to learn this cannot pick up the stages of how you twist a skein of yarn into a hank. I couldn't . I was watching everyone deftly turn their hand spun wool into hanks and even when they were doing ti in a way they thought was slowly, I just couldn't do it. It makes you feel stupid. It is always easy when you know how so the video shows you in small steps how to get a skein  of wool to be a hank . 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Cable stitch

Knitting this classic cable pattern isn't hard and it just needs a bit of patience. With cable you have to keep an eye on the number of rows before you do the twisting in the pattern and you need to use a cable needle which suits you. At a pinch you can use a big safety pin or stitch holder if you are worried you might drop the stitches. Some cable needles have a dip in the middle so the stitches are else likely to slip off. You could knit strips of cable like  the one in the video and use it to edge jackets or bags or sew the strips together and make a nice blanket. The main thing is to practice the cabling before you embark on something like a pullover or jumper. You need to be confident. There is a bit of a stitch problem if you read the comments under the video. It is not a problem.  Cast on 16 stitches. It's purl 5 knit 6 purl 5. You could purl 6 on each side and then make the cable 8. The middle panel has to be divisible by two. 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Hand spun wool

I cannot yet spin the fine wool the other women are spinning at the group I belong to. I am only about a month into it and have achieved a lot. I have repaired my Ashford wheel and have a spare spool for that now and I have borrowed a double drive wheel so I can learn about those spinning wheels. The original wool I spun still had a lot of sheep in it so I decided to make a bag which is coming along. 
As I am knitting it I have been thinking this thick, textured home spun wool would be great for blankets or even jackets. I like how it knits up. I have mixed it with some Bing Tuscan from Lincraft and then some red 12 ply I had. The rest is my wool. I have been plying the light and dark rams wool and I really like the effect of that. I shall need some for my bag and then I plan to make myself a beanie. I have made beanies for everyone else. It's about time I had a beanie.
When I have spun it I soak the wool in a bucket of warm water, two skeins at a time, in my home made shampoo. I rinse it thoroughly and  hang it up to get out most of the water and then I dry it in the sunshine outside. Bit of a challenge in winter but it has worked so far.