Monday, 26 November 2012

Purple Felt, Finished Hat and Cowl and Goodbye Nikon D60

Happy seasons's greetings!  It's nearly the end of November so I think I can be a little bit Christmassy (even though I have done no shopping as yet).  I've nearly finished my snowflakes and will upload when I get some ribbon to hang them up onto the windows.  In the meantime I've reloaded my bamboo pad onto my computer and have had a little experiment with the art program to design a couple of backgrounds for this blog... feel free to use them if you wish.

 I'm sure in the months to come I will come up with some other appropriate designs for the seasons.

What else have I been up to?  I've finally tried my hand at felting!  I am a great procrastinator... mainly due to being afraid in getting something wrong and it turning out disastrous.  What a silly thing am I!  My washing machine is new so obviously I didn't want to stuff it up.  I have got extra insurance on it but I think I can risk a felt project or two :)  I set it on a Time Saver (a quick cycle make and model of machine is Beko WMB 61431W) and I am able to change certain settings on my machine.  Temperature at 60 degrees, I switched the spin to off, added a little softener, placed my knitted rectangle (100% wool and not mercerised/treated to withstand washing) into a pillowcase, a pair of jeans to encourage precipitation and set it on it's cycle.  After 20 min, I paused the cycle, switched it to spin and drain making sure the spin was off and after 2 minutes I could get my felt out and check it on the draining board.  It is obviously hot but nothing that I can't withstand.  I didn't think it was ready so all in all I ended up felting for about 50 minutes.  It was an experiment and I enjoyed the end result.

 And then I pinned it out onto a towel and it's drying as I type.

I would have been happy to felt for 10 minutes more to give it even more fuzziness but wasn't necessary.  The dimensions hardly shrunk at all.  The finished dimensions at it's smallest area is 14" x 13".  Enough to work with to make a pencil case/project bag/needle case.  I am rather chuffed with this but if I were to do it again, a would probably sew a few stitches to seal up the pillowcase so the material didn't fall out (only happened once).  I would definitely recommend an experiment!
I've also knitted my first hat with some free dpn's from Simply Knitting magazine issue 101 (January 2013).  Crikey I do do alot of advertising for Simply Knitting chuckle.  Well, when they give you free stuff and some worthwhile projects, I am likely to mention them.  As you can see...


As usual, I've opted for a different yarn (not only because I'm a cheapster but because I wanted a cream to go with my scarf and mittens) which was in my stash.  I have also added a crochet brim which I'm still not sure about.  I've used cornflour and water mix to starch the brim and placed over a glass bowl overnight...

And here I am with the finished article.

Not too bad for a first attempt.  I've also finished the Lisa Van Klaveren Cowl in King Cole Splash.
I promise no more photos of me for today lol.  You can find the cowl pattern above on my Ravelry projects

Busy busy busy but nearly finished... I'm currently working on a springtime patchwork knitted duvet and the pattern comes in 4 parts with each month of Simply Knitting.  The first pattern is for 'Butterfly's and Crocus'
which is in issue 100 (December) and once I've finished the selected amount and sizes of this pattern I'll be able to start the 'Diamond Trellis' pattern.  I'm also doing another experiment.  I joined Knitting Paradise and someone was querying how to go about a fluted edge to a quilt from an 1870 pattern.  Yikes and crikes - it looks complicated and it's captivated me to give it a go.  In todays language my first attempt didn't turn out right but I have another theory as to how to go about it and will update you when I've figured it out. 
Future projects:
Design a pencil case/project bag with felt, embroider it with some sort of design
Finish and hang snowflakes
Finish butterfly and crocus patches, start diamond trellis
Get measurements to start a dog coat for sister's Jack Russel
Experiment with Victorian fluted edge for a duvet
Finish decoupaged egg decorations
And finally it's a very fond farewell to my Nikon D60 camera.  I never thought I would be so attached to an inanimate object but there you go.  It meant such alot but I had to let it go to raise funds for Christmas.  Some of the photos you can see at  Good luck to whosoever owns it.  As soon as I held that camera it was for me... sigh... even when I let the post office have it, I knew I had along way to go to let it go... sigh.  Ah well, I have got my rather gorgeous Nikon D7000! 

Monday, 12 November 2012

Snowflakes and a Pencil Case Beginnings

For this week I'm following the 3 snowflake patterns that can be found in Simply Knitting's 100th issue or at their 'Making Spot' website.  I've used some show boxes, celephane and some pins to block them out.

There's a selection drying in pva glue as I type.  I can't wait to choose some festive ribbons and then hang them up at my windows.  Only another 19 to go!  How Christmassy am I feeling!

I'm also in the process of creating my first felted experiment.  I was given some Lithuanian 100% wool and somehow it got all tangled up.  So after looking at it for a few months, I've recently unravelled it and used a stockinette stitch (1 row knit, 1 row pearl).  It's a gorgeous colour.  The photo cannot do it justice (purples are notoriously difficult to photograph).

Once I've knitted all of the remaining wool, I'm going to place in a pillowcase and use a non-spin quick wash at 60 degree and see what happens!  If it works out, I'll be cutting it into a pencil case and stitching a nordic style design possible in white (yet to be decided upon).  I'll let you know how it goes!


Crochet Black Armchair Arm Covers

I've been away for a while visiting my sister and as you can see my black armchair arm covers are looking rather good on her settee!

This is best done inbetween projects as it is very repetitive. This is assuming you know a little about crochet so is ideal for a beginner.  As promised, here's the instructions which are in UK terminology.

Materials Needed :
1.25 skeins (i.e 125g) of King Cole DK Smooth yarn (or any other double knit) to make 17" x 15" cover
5mm crochet hook
Scissors and wool needle to thread in the ends.

Skills Needed:
Slip knot
Yarn Over (yo)
Double crochet  (DC) - insert hook into stitch/chain, yarn over, pull through stitch/chain, yarn over and pull through all loops on hook.
2 triple crochet together (2tr tog) i.e yarn over, insert into chain/stitch/space as indicated, yarn over, pull through chain/stitch/space, yarn over, pull through 2 loops on hook, yarn over, insert into same chain/stitch/space, yarn over, pull through, yarn over and pull though all loops on hook.
3 triple crochet together (3tr tog) i.e yarn over, insert hook into chain space, yarn over, pull through space, yarn over, pull through 2 loops on hook, repeat 2 more times, pulling through all loops on hook on the final pull through instead of just the 2 (makes more sense when you do it).


Make a slip knot and chain approximately 70-75 chains to measure 17" (or aslong as you wish) depending on your gauge.

Insert hook into 2nd chain from hook to make your first DC and double crochet all the way along the chains.  Turn, chain 1, DC along double crochet stitches made in previous row to make a second row of double crochet.

Turn, chain 3, yo, insert into next 3rd chain from hook, yo,  pull through chain, yo, pull though 2 loops on hook, yo, insert into same chain, yo, pull through chain, yo, pull through all loops on hook - this is your first 2 triple crochet together.  Chain one, skip 1 DC stitch from previous row, (3tr tog into the next stitch, chain 1) repeat till end of row.

*Turn, chain 3, 2tr tog into 3rd chain from hook, (chain 1, 3tr tog into next chain space created from the previous row i.e when you chained 1 ) till end of row.*

* to * till armchair arm cover is nearly at desired size.  Finish by DC 2 rows.  Sew in the ends.