Saturday, 18 October 2014

Ridged String Scarf

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So far this Spring, we've had a couple of lovely days of sunshine, and those two days were glorious and cleansing as only sun and warmth can be after a long, cold Winter.  Two warm days is not enough to have me betting on a warm Spring  though, and so when I picked up my crochet hook to start a new scarf, I did it with the confidence that I'll still get quite a bit of use out of my new garment, even as we hurtle towards the end of year and the hot Australian Summer.





The bag of Homespun that Louise left with me when she last visited, continues to be a source of inspiration and I'm pleased to say that I still haven't purchased any more yarn since I declared that I am going to use what I have, rather than go shopping for any more yarny goodness (as delightful as that is!)


The pattern for the scarf is from New Stitch a Day and the pattern is the Ridged String Network 




Pattern:

Using a 12 mm crochet hook and thick yarn of your choice, chain 13.  For a wider scarf, add extra chains in multiples of four.

Continue with the Ridged String Network Pattern from New Stitch a Day until scarf reaches desired length.






This is a very easy pattern and a short project that can easily be finished in a weekend,which means if the weather forecast is looking dismal for the week ahead, you'll soon have a new accessory to see you through the cold, blustery winds and rain.



Happy Crocheting

Deb





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Sunday, 12 October 2014

My Favourite Hat

Pin It Quite some time ago (in the days before blogs), I knitted a hat. In all the days of knitting that has passed since then, it is still my favourite and it still looks as it did on the day I finished it.

The pattern was by Vogue and knitted up quickly (as all hats seem to) and fitted to perfection. (the pattern can be found here for $5)  It is the perfect hat for keeping my very unruly hair in order (no mean feat for a hat).

There was no question that this hat was coming to New Zealand with me.  It's a versatile garment - stylish and functional.  I just needed something to go with it - and not much time to be starting a new knitting project.  (Wedding planning takes up a lot of time I have discovered).

Last weekend I was rummaging around in my wool stash and came across a solitary ball of the dark brown that I used for my hat.  I grabbed it out, sat straight down and knitted my standard, no fail cowl.


Pattern



Using 2 strands of 8ply wool and a set of size 8.00mm circular needles, Cast on 66 stitches.

Knit 5 rows Purl
Knit 5 rows Plain (K)
Repeat 6 times.
Finish with 5 rows Purl and loosely cast off.



Weave in any loose ends and you are good to go.

The garter stitch in the cowl matches the feature garter stitch on the brim of that hat.

This cowl knitted up in an evening in front of the TV.  66 stitches means that, not only is it a quick knit, it's a warm, snug fit.  With the temperature reaching a high of 7C in some of the places we are staying in New Zealand, I think that this is an item that needs to remain in my carry-on luggage as I think I will be wearing it a lot.

With only a week to go before the big day and then the honeymoon, I am pretty sure that I will not have any time to knit anything else - but you never know.

Happy knitting,
Louise

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Sunday, 5 October 2014

A little Downton Crochet Collar

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I think it's fair to say that I'm a big fan of Downton Abbey.  I could easily sit and watch it for hours, not just for the antics of Daisy and Lady Edith, but the sublime setting and glamorous clothes are beyond heavenly.   It's a bit hard to get away with Downton styling in everyday life, but I think this easy crochet collar may just be the thing to bring that time period into this millennium.



This is a very quick pattern that's easily completed in an hour or so and magically transforms the plainest top or jumper into a 20's masterpiece.

I chose Bendigo Woollen Mills Classic 8ply in Almond for this project and a 4mm crochet hook.

Pattern:

Chain 70 (if you want a smaller or larger collar,  the pattern requires multiples of 6 plus 4 extra chains)

The design for the collar is the Fairy Shell Stitch pattern from New Stitch a Day.

  1. Row 1:(Right Side): sc in 4th ch from hook, *skip 2ch, shell in next ch, skip 2ch, [sc, ch 3, sc] in next ch; rep from * across to last 6 ch, skip 2ch, shell in next ch, skip 2ch, [sc, ch 1, hdc] in last ch, turn.
Row 2ch 3 (counts as dc), 2dc in hdc, *[sc, ch 3, sc] in ch 2 sp, shell in ch 3 sp; rep from * across to last ch 2 sp, [sc, ch 3, sc] in last ch 2 sp, 3dc in 3rd ch of tch, turn.

Row 3:  ch 3 (counts as hdc, ch 1 sp), sc in 1st dc, *shell in ch 3 sp, [sc, ch 3, sc] in next ch 2 sp; rep from * across to last ch 2 sp, shell in last ch 3 sp, [sc, ch 1, hdc] in top of tch, finish.

Sew in ends, blockadd an elegant button, then attach or slip over a simple top and the transformation is complete.


Now if someone would be so kind as to  please bring me a cup of tea and a cucumber sandwich :-)

Happy crocheting

Deb


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Saturday, 27 September 2014

Serendipity Beanie and Matching Cowl

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Serendipity Beanie
I had been looking for a slouch beanie pattern for quite some time.  Something soft, fashionable and drapey.  The other day I found it .. on my favourite craft blog - ours!

Deb and I spend our days crafting and posting the results to our blog.  It's always lovely to see her posts pop up and I can see what she has been doing.  One of our recent posts was her 'Shades of Grey Beanie'.  It was pretty much exactly what I was after and so simple to make.  I had to laugh.  My search had proved fruitless whilst Deb was knitting exactly what I was chasing.

I'm in a frenzy of last minute knitting for our honeymoon to New Zealand and I am making hats and cowls to match various items in my wardrobe.  The latest project is a sky blue beanie to match a simple cable knit jumper.  
Slouch Beanie & Matching Cowl

I scanned the pattern - Deb said that a good substitute for the yarn she used would be a cotton or bamboo blend.  BINGO - I had just the right yarn. Debbie Bliss' Prima (80% Bamboo and 20% wool - delightfully drapey).

I used her pattern but modified it ever-so-slightly to included a chunky cable design.  I also knitted with 2 balls of yarn at the same time to achieve the chunky look I was after.






Beanie Pattern

Matching Debbie Bliss
Abbreviations:  
C3F - transfer 3 stitches to cable needle and hold in front of work.  Knit the next 3 stitches and then knit the 3 stitches from the cable needle.
C3B - transfer 3 stitches to cable needle and hold in back of work.  Knit the next 3 stitches and then knit the 3 stitches from the cable needle.

Using 8mm needles, cast on 50 stitches.
  
Row 1:  Slip 1, K15, P2, K6, P1, K6, P2, K17
Row 2:  Slip 1, K18, P6, K1, P6, K18
Row 3:  As row 1
Row 4:  As row 2
Row 5: Slip 1, K15, P2, C3F, P1, C3B, P2, K17
Row 6:  As row 2
Row 7:  As row 1
Row 8:  As row 2
Row 9:  As row 1
Row 10: As row 2
Row 11: As row 1
Row 12: As row 2
Row 13: As row 1
Row 14: As row 2
Row 15: As row 5

Rows 5-14 make up the cable pattern.

Continue in the cable pattern until work measures approx 48cm from beginning.  Cast off loosely.
Sew cast off and cast on seam together with right sides facing from one edge until just past the cable pattern.  At this point, run a gathering thread along the other edge of the cast on/cast off edge and along the side.  Pull the thread so the beanie has a slouch look.

Turn the beanie right way out and then roll up the brim of the hat and secure in place with a stitch or 2 at the back.


Cowl Pattern

Super Simple Serendipity Cowl
Using 2 strands of Debbie Bliss 'Prima' and a set of size 8.00mm circular needles, Cast on 66 stitches.

Knit 5 rows Purl
Knit 5 rows Plain (K)
Repeat 6 times.
Finish with 5 rows Purl and loosely cast off.

Weave in any loose ends and you are good to go.

Happy Knitting,
Louise

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Monday, 15 September 2014

Knitlon Crochet Bath Scrubbie

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Knitlon (also known as Craftlon or Nylon Knitting Ribbon depending on where you live) is one of those products that it's hard to know what to do with.  We've been making loom knit flowers and items for fund raising, but I've had a few rolls left over and I decided there must be something else out there other than coat hangers and toilet roll doll covers that would suit a product that reached it's peak in the 70's.

After a fruitless Google search for ideas, it struck me that it could just be the perfect medium for bath scrubbies.  It's nylon so dries quickly meaning that a wet soggy mess of yarn isn't going to be left hanging in the shower day after day.

The pattern for bath scrubbies is really very simple and ideal for beginners, once you know how to chain, slip stitch and double crochet.

Pattern:

Using Knitlon in the colour of your choice chain 4, slip stitch into first chain to form circle.  I used a 5.5mm crochet hook, but feel free to experiment with different sizes.

Chain 40 to form loop for hanging, slip stitch into circle.

Round 1:  Chain 2, Double crochet into circle 40 times (it can be a bit of a squeeze).  Slip stitch into first chain 2 to finish round..




Round 2:  Chain 2.  Double crochet 3 times into each stitch of Round 1.  Slip stitch into first chain 2 to finish round.

Round 3:  Chain 2.  Double crochet 3 times into each stitch of Round 2.  Slip stitch into initial chain 2 of this round, bind off leaving a 10cm length of knitlon.  Tie 10cm length of Knitlon to centre circle of scrubbie.  

I love these for a guest bathroom, or a lovely little treat for a friend.  I might just have to go and buy myself some more Knitlon I think!

Happy crocheting 

Deb

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Monday, 8 September 2014

Pompom Cowl

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Don't you love it when you have an idea, pick up some yarn and from the very start the project unfolds easily and the finished item is just as you imagined?  This is not one of those times!

I had used what I like to call "Novelty Yarn" once before when I made our Six Percent Whimsy Scarf and so when my daughter required a black scarf or cowl to match her school uniform I had no hesitation in picking up a similar yarn to make this new piece. 

Now, the instructions on the label of Petunia Pimpon called for size 10 needles and while I understand that size 10 means different things in different countries, it seemed that no equivalent needle size would work with this yarn to make the pompoms line up.  In the end I tried every needle size I owned and then went and purchased a couple more sizes, just to check those as well.

In the end I used a pair of 12 mm needles and cast on 5 stitches, continuing in stocking stitch until I had used one full ball of yarn.  I had purchased two balls of yarn, thinking that I may make a scarf and it wasn't until I went to use the second ball that I realised that the problem may have actually been the yarn and not me after all.  I know a bad workman always blames his tools, but the two balls of yarn I had were completely different, despite having the same label,  and I think I may have started off with the dodgy one...at least that's what I'll keep telling myself every time my daughter wears her new cowl to school!


 Happy Knitting

Deb










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Monday, 1 September 2014

T-shirt Beading

Pin It There's a brand new shopping centre in Melbourne and it's filled with all sorts of wonderful things.  We generally don't head into the city very often, but so far we've managed a gorgeous high tea and a "just looking" tour of the clothing establishments held within.

Now that our youngest teen is very intent on making her own clothes, a "just looking" day is fantastic fun and rather than emptying wallets, we end up with heads filled with inspiration and there's much chatter about fabrics and colours, as well as styles and what patterns we own that would come up with something similar, but still individual enough for her.  One thing that really stood out to us on our last day in the city was the number of embellished T-shirts, something that can be easily done at home for very little cost.

What you'll need:

Plain T-shirt
Iron on interfacing
Cotton
Scissors
Beads (we used flat backed beads that had holes for sewing)
Needle
Tailors Chalk






Step One

Lay out the beads on the T-shirt in your chosen design and mark each bead's position with tailors chalk.

Step Two

Cut out interfacing to a size that will cover the area to be beaded.  We find the interfacing gives some stability to the cotton t-shirt fabric and make it easier to sew.  Iron interfacing to the inside of the T-shirt where the beads will sit.



Step Three

We found a fabulous youtube video from Ann Dean Frederick which gives really detailed instructions on Sewing a Bead to Fabric.  It shows perfectly how to make sure each bead is going to stay in place and how to carry the cotton from one bead to the next with the minimum of fuss.



Step Four

Sew beads in place







Step Five

Delight in wearing your newly embellished T-shirt.


Happy Sewing

Deb



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