Four seasons quilt

Thursday, August 31, 2017

How to unshrink a pullover

Emma Pygmalion is a bit disappointed with her results but she didn't get the method wrong. I use hair conditioner and sodium bicarbonate powder because I live in Adelaide and the water is very hard. Not all jumpers/ sweaters/ pullovers are going to stretch as well as you want. You can but try. Epsom salts is something else you can try and you can also add a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar. Know your local water. 

Hair conditioner relaxes the fibres . I use about half a cup in a bucket of water. I use 2 tablespoons of bicarb. The water is 50C and I let the jumper soak for a good few hours. The conditioner and bicarb need to go to work. You will know if you have a chance . While the jumper is soaking , test it to see if you can stretch the wool. Don't pull hard. Pull gently. If the wool is stretching just leave it and try again. When you can get a nice , gentle pull it out of the bucket and squeeze excess water back into the bucket . You can do a second jumper now if you want to. Put into a plastic bowl to take outside. 

Hang on a thick coat hanger and I take it outside in the shade. I start pulling the jumper where I want to stretch it. Pull long the seams before you stretch anything else. On a cardigan have it buttoned up. Pull to get the width and length you want but do it a bit at a time with a firm stretch. 

Some jumpers will stay felted but fit better and it's not a bad look. Others will look less felted and then there will be the ones you need to turn into bags or mittens. I have more success than not. Patience. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Using a flower loom

When I made the loomed red beanie I loomed a flower to decorate it. It finished the beanie off and made it look really nice. That flower was made just using the inner pegs or the flower would have swamped the baby beanie. A flower loom can be handy to make decorations for the things you make and if you layer the colours you will get some interesting effects. This video explains it all very clearly. You can crochet through the loops of the flowers to make an edge which can then turn all the flowers into a cushion cover, jacket, blanket or something else you want to make. You can different sorts of flower looms. This is the one I prefer but often it is a case of what you get used to. I prefer this one because I can use the two sizes of pegs together or separately. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Poké Ball baby beanie

This Poké Ball baby beanie was fun to make. I loomed 8 rounds of white for the edge, then a further 5 rounds of white. Then there are 5 rounds of black and 5 rounds of red. I  put the beanie on dpns. I knitted two together for the next round, then one row and then I cast off. I stitched the top of the hat and wove in the loose ends of threads. The circle was made on a 3.5 crochet hook. Make one chain. Chain 3, treble crochet 14 times into the first loop. Next round is two chain and then double crochet twice into each stitch. Third round is in black. Two chain and then one double crochet into each stitch. I back stitched it onto the hat with back and secured the centre with a few stitches in white. It's acrylic and so machine washable and I used two strands together of 8 ply for each of the colours. 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Red loom baby beanie

I really enjoyed getting my round loom out and making this baby beanie. It was fun but there were things to learn. I used the Loom Beanie video to help me. It is 12cm wide and 12.5 cm top to bottom with a 12 cm diameter. There is stretch in it. It would fit a new born or a prem who is growing bigger. 

I did 8 rounds before I made the border. I then did 15 rows. I did not sew the stitches. I put 8 stitches on 3 dpns then knitted two together all the way round. I knitted one row and another row of knit two together then I cast off. 

To finish it I got out my flower loom and made a lovely flower decoration. So this beanie is totally loomed and I am really happy with it. I used two strands of double knit acrylic. 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Neck scarf

I gave the pattern for this neck scarf on my other blog post .  These neck scarves are a good project for when you just want something to do which doesn't require too much concentration. They can be worn forwards or backwards and could be made into a much bigger version if you wanted that. It's important to get soft wool/yarn and a mohair mix with acrylic works really well. This is a different version. I used Paton's souffle in teal and then a light , ice blue with a sheen which had some mohair in it . The scarf comes out with a silvery sheen. 

The bottom picture gives a better version of the colours . 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Loom beanie

I bought a pack of these looms last year and they have just sat there because I became so busy making other things. Last night I found this video, got out my smallest loom and am now happily making a baby beanie. It is easy, enjoyable, short term quick reward and I am liking how it all looks. I chose this pattern because it puts a nice edge on the beanie. I am grateful to people who share their skills on the internet. 

My first mistake was to get he tension too tight so I couldn't lift the stitches over. I righted that tension quite quickly. I also found the metal hook is very good for shifting the stitches down because there is a groove in the pegs. I am not sure I like the idea of just sewing the last stitches to finish the hat. I may well finish it on DPNs for a more secure finish - for me! 

I am looking forward to making good use of my looms now that I have broken the silence with them. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Crocheted and knitted poppies

There has been a call to action in Australia to make poppies for Remembrance Day. We have been asked in our spinners group to make contributions to this and so I am looking for patterns. The video shows a beautiful poppy which could make a lovely decoration for anything, hat, band, scarf, bag. I am then going to give some links to some free patterns you can download to make knitted ones. I'll try the crochet one and one of the knitted ones. For Remembrance Day making them has meaning. To use them as decorations to things you have made will lift the look of your home made articles. 

Knitted poppy  patterns 

Free Ravelry poppy pattern

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Knit a patchwork square

Love the music on this! This video guides you through an interesting little patchwork square you can make . It would be a good way to use up odd bits of wool. You can vary it by doing two rows of one colour and two rows of another. Depending on the colours you can get some really amazing effects with something as simple as this. It makes you look good! As with anything else, you need that little bit of practice to get the square looking its best. 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Crochet your own buttons

Buttons can be functional and decorative. I have seen some lovely hand made buttons on Instagram so I am going to blog about how to make buttons. I like these ones because they include upcycling plastic. I like to do my bit for the environment too. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Pink rose rainbow booties

I made these booties from the easy baby booties pattern on size 10 needles and one white variegated bay yarn and one pink bay yarn. I double crocheted  around the booties on the fourth garter stitch row from the cast on row so that the booties would have a proper sole. When I decreased for the top of the booties I did 6 rows of stocking stitch and then cast off. That gives a nice roll at the top. I crocheted two single chains for the ties and then sewed on some pink ribbon roses. So cute. They are 9cm long and 5cm wide. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Navajo plying

I am now spinning thinly enough that I shall be able to try Navajo plying. The spinners in the group I go to are all very positive about Navajo plying and how it can really add a good look to the yarn you have spun. It is handy because you don't need to spin two lots of yarn so you can ply two together. Until now that is what I have been doing and practising. I have control of my Ashford and my double drive wheels now and have had a chance to learn how to control how I am drafting and spinning. Now I think I can move myself forward a bit and learn Navajo plying. Sarah Anderson's video is so easy to follow. I know now that I shall just have to put the time and effort in. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Knitted headband

I loved my blue headband so much I made the green one. The blue one is a wool mix and so warmer . It stretches out on your head when you put it on and it certainly keeps your ears warm! The green one is acrylic yarn  and so lighter and not quite so warm. It's 8 ply equivalent and 6mm needles but you could try thicker wool or some of the textured yarns. 

It is double rib.

Cast on 22 stitches

Knit 2, purl 2 until the end of the row
Purl 2 , knit 2 until the end of the row

Carry on like that for 46 rows of rib.

On the blue one I did a small cable in the middle of two of the knit ridges...so , patterning 4 stitches behind.

On the green one I cabled 8 stitches behind. Keep the rib pattern going. You need 4 stitches on wither side of the cabling. 

You could do a cable pattern the whole headband if you wanted to or you could leave it plain. 

Rib another 46 rows and then cast off. Stitch the ends together and weave the yarn ends in.

The headband uses less than a ball of  wool and so is a good way to use leftover yarn. 

Fix a broken zipper

I have just used this trick on two cushion covers whee the slider kept getting stick and then would come off on one side. So annoying, to say the least. This does often happen to jeans too, where the zip gets stuck and then you end up with it on just one side. Good to have such an easy fix. I finely sewed the cut I had made with a very thin sewing needle. Works like a charm! 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Homespun wool cowl

I have made two versions of this cowl. One with my homespun wool and one with two strands of acrylic 8 ply. They look different but they are both nice. I invented the pattern for my homespun wool and would have used about 200g of it. I am learning to spin so I have to make things which suit the wool I have spun at the time. The cowl is designed to be wrapped double and it sits nicely around your neck. 

The pattern is in blocks of 24 stitches so you can make it as big or a small as you want. It uses 10mm round needles and is knitted in the round. The blue one I knitted as a mobius strip. 

1 panel 24 stitches
2 panels 48 stitches
3 panels 72 stitches
4 panels 96 stitches
5 panels 110 stitches
6 panels 134 stitches

Mark the beginning with a stitch marker. Cast on the number of stitches you want to. 

Knit 4; purl 4; knit 8; purl four; knit 4
Do that for four rows across the number of panels you have chosen
Knit 4; purl 4 , cable the next 8; purl 4 ; knit four. On the next panel knit across the 8. Alternate the cable panel and the straight panel across the row.
Knit 4 rows like the first four

Purl 2 or 4 rows according to your choice

Repeat the panel
Repeat the purl rows.
Cast off. 

Neck scarf

I started this neck scarf on straight 6mm needles and when it grew to big shifted it to 6mm  round needles. It needs to be soft yarn/wool mix of 8ply. With the blue which has a lovely pearlescent sheen I used two balls together. Both of my yarns are a mohair , synthetic mix but you could use alpaca or acrylic. It needs to be soft. 

Cast on one stitch and knit.
Cast on 4 stitches.
Knit two, pass one over.
Knit one . Pass one over.
Knit to the end of the row and turn. 
Cast on 4 stitches.
Knit two and pass one over.
Knit one and pass one over.
Knit to the end of the row.

That's it. That is the pattern and you can knit this to be as big or as small as you wish in garter stitch. You can use one colour or more. You can wear it as a neck scarf, a draped scarf or a neckerchief. You can make it into a shawl. The four stitches and passing the stitches over make the picot at the edge.