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Posts Tagged ‘Knitting’

Welcome Back

Got a bit behind with posting, the pollen count has gone mad here, so much so that you could write your name in the pollen on the cars! Fogging my brain big time.

Time for a quick round up of whats been happening at Billie’s Craft Room

  • The Craft Room Clear up

Over the last month I’ve been having a real blitz on the craft room. It has needed doing for a couple of years, now the weather has warmed up and I can move at bit, I’ve been tackling a small amount at a time and have been getting on very well. Went through boxes and anything in the wrong place got pulled out. Had a life laundry where only kept stuff I loved, or needed. From that selection it got separated into Materials, Tools, Surfaces, Finished objects. Now I’m in the last stage of sorting through those boxes to re-home ie-put back where they should be, anything in those boxes.

It has taken ages, you do need the space to make more mess before it gets better but it has been so worth it. I found my BELLS!!!! Having decided to put bells on my Cable keys for interchangeable needles I promptly lost said bells! Irony eh! but they are back in the room and back in the drawer where they live.

  • Art

Ok between sorting out, so I know where stuff is and hay-fever I haven’t had the energy or brain power to actually create anything arty at the mo. I’m hoping that once I’ve finished the clear out, I’ll have surfaces and know where things are so I’ll want to get painty again. Found some ATC sized card I cut ages ago, so that sounds like a good place to start when I get going.

  • Yarn

Have new pattern, the last one I gave up on. Being newish to knitting and with the dyslexia I find it hard to work out what the instructions are asking me to do. So when I get a pattern I write it out in longhand, each new instruction seperated so I recognise it and know what I’m doing. People say its nuts but it works for me, so its worth it to me. Well on this occasion I’m even more glad I do this, as a third of the way through the instructions had error in them that I couldn’t work out. A pain after all that writing but far better than discovering this after months of knitting!

So started with a new pattern, no more details I don’t wanna hex it. Will give you the full story when its done ;) {tease much!}

Got very excited with a new crochet magazine called Simply Crochet. Bought issue 4 as it had some nice projects and I needed a shawl pin after creating all those shawls. Its really good, home stuff, mandalas, garments/accessories, toys so something for everyone and at the back there are how to tutorials so you can get started right away.

Issue 5 of Simply crochet has features on Granny Square, ohhh love them, love mandalas. The good thing about crochet is as long as you know where you are in the pattern you can stop anytime :) Probably not the ideal way to do it, but when your hands lock up, at least it means you don’t have to battle on to the end of a long row ;)

I’m very boggled by the instructions in the magazine tho, its the brackets that are throwing me. Anyone else got this magazine? Followed the link to one of the designers blogs OMG such pretty things!!!

  • Textiles

After getting very excited watching the Great British Sewing Bee, I bought some patterns when Simplicity had a half price offer. Hoping to make a skirt! Another one I can’t say too much about for fear of jinxing it, but will shout when I get stuck ;)

Invested in a small amount of pattern drafting paper so I can either trace the pattern I have so I can make alterations to it without wrecking the original, since I don’t know what I’m doing yet. Also hope to have a go at finally drafting my own pattern. I love my book Sew What skirts and have fabric, thread and elastic good to go, just needed paper big enough to create a pattern onto. WISH ME LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Spent yesterday going through some books with the Brother (BM2600) in front of me. Made button holes, a casing for elastic (which I’ll need for on of  my skirts).

Talking of The Great British Sewing Bee, after a good look at the book IRL, I bought the sewing bee book from Amazon for £10, I’m happy with it for that price but there are a lot of very valid issues readers have brought up on Amazon about the book, which I agree with. Will review it, once I’ve had a better look through.

Ohh eck! Its a bit of an essay without pictures isn’t it. I have pictures but none that were sorted for the blog, so thought it best to just let you know whats happening.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Today I’d like to share a picture of my latest project, this is my third shawl and I just love it.

Healing hugs shawl, my third shawl.

Healing hugs shawl, my third shawl.

The yarn is Sirdar, Connemara and the colour way is Wayfarer. Sadly this colourway has now been discontinued and it was thanks to a friend on Pheonix Knitting forum, who told me about Hejhog that I was able to get some to make this shawl. I fell in love with this colour-way when I saw it on a garment but the shop had already sold out of it.

Sirdar Connemara Chunky Colour way Wayfarer

Sirdar: Connemara; Chunky. Colour way Wayfarer

The pattern was a freebie from Lion Brand Yarns. Its called Simple Triangle shawl. If you haven’t knitted for long its a great step up project. The new techniques I learnt with this pattern were yarn overs, which is what creates the holes. Its everso simple to create and the finished result makes it look so much harder and more complex than it is. There was only one row that was one to keep a very close eye on, the rest were either knit, pearl and a few knit two together’s along the way.

Links

Three separate links to Sirdar there, the first will take you to Sirdar website’s home page, the next to details about the Connemara yarn and the last to the colourways available in the yarn.

I see they have also discontinued Horn Pipe which is the lovely natural tones I made my long slipper socks with :(

Have my eye on the next project, but more about that another time.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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This is a post of two halves, first I’d like to share a picture of my first attempt with cable knitting, and then on to other news.

Rope cable

Rope Cable, my first attempt!

Earlier in the year I posted about New Years resolutions. One of the things I wanted to try this year was cable knitting. I checked out the instructions in my faithful Dummies Guide to Knitting and found the instructions for a Standard Rope cable on page 163. I repeated the cable and added a few rows of rib at the end, just in case I want to turn this in to some kind of bracelet/wrist warmer kind of hybrid ;)

Now on to the other stuff. Has anyone else been following the BBC series ‘The Great British Sewing Bee’? I’ve been hooked from the first episode but would have liked a longer series like with the baking version, it all seems a bit quick at only 4 episodes.

My favorite sewer on there is Lauren, but I love them all for different reasons. Although I don’t share her skills I could have been a ‘Lauren’ if I’d listened when my dear mother tried to teach me to sew. My Mum was ace at sewing, (and knitting and cooking) she made all my clothes till I was a stroppy teenager and rebelled. Mum tried to teach me but I got board and went off to draw or get muddy in the garden instead. If I’d listened to my Mum, I could have been like Lauren.

Thanks to my Mum always making clothes and my Dad’s excellent woodworking skills I have tended to be one of those people who thinks couldn’t we just make that, rather than buy it already made, its also spoilt me for expecting things custom built, which once my parents passed away and their skills with them of course was no longer possible.

I bought an excellent book Sew What skirts, which is full of skirt designs that I love and a nifty way of drafting your own patterns to fit you. This was very tempting as I’ve no idea how to read a proper pattern. I was very lucky a couple of years ago to receive a sewing machine for my birthday and although I’ve made some nice bags in an assortment of sizes, the one thing I’ve always wanted to make was a skirt. I’m only 5 foot 3 and a lot of skirts are way too long on me, I keep seeing styles I like but they are all in linen, what is it with linen? How about a nice cotton? After another trawl through online version of stores only to find options in linen or lary patterns I decided to take the plunge and try making my own.

Simplicity had an offer on their patterns and I ended up buying 4 so I hope at least one I can make seance of. This started out worse than clothes shopping, once again I felt like a freek! My hips are larger than my waist but by the pattern sizing charts they were a smaller size than my waist? I was worried that not only couldn’t I read a pattern if I had to alter it loads before I start it was even worse. I’m still clueless about how to lay out a pattern, how to cut fabric etc never mind getting to altering the pattern as well!

The reason I battled on trying to get a commercial pattern rather than trying to make my own is because I didn’t know what to search for to create a blank pattern onto. I need that tissue stuff, although preferably that nicer fibery kind that Tilly used. Anyone know what it is and where I can get it?

Wish me luck for this project, I fear I’m going to need it.

Billie :)

PS. Still no arty stuff at the mo, between low light and RSI its not been happening of late. I’m still into it, and will get back to it asap.

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Regular readers will remember my mentioning that my beloved budgie Tiny passed away in September. I was devastated and still miss him so much. I found a lovely shawl pattern on Ravelry, and after hording some special yarn for ages, managed to grab a bargain of more of the same in John Lewis. Since the  yarn is a lovely blue it reminded me of Tiny’s colouring and ‘needing’ to do something to ease my pain and remember him too, I decided to try making my first shawl.

Here is the finished piece

My first shawl; In Memory of Tiny

My first shawl; In Memory of Tiny

It’s not as long as I’d kinda hoped, but the weight of the yarn for a shawl is lovely and it drapes really well. The base colour of the yarn is blue, then there are lighter blues, lilac and mint colours in there too. I had seen other people on Ravelry make shawls in memory of people or to help them through the grieving process and I have to say it has really helped me too. Its calming and soothing while you create it, enough to give you something else to focus on when all you can otherwise do is cry.

I’ll make another of these, with more repeats of the main pattern to add length, to make something more cozy for the winter. This isn’t the time of year for me to knit tho, winter makes my hands lock up so I’m definitely a fair weather knitter.

Hope you like the shawl and if you are going through some tough times, give a shawl pattern a try, there are some really simple ones, this was my first and if I can knit this when my brain was all over the place in the middle of grief, then I’m sure anyone could knit this too. You Tube is a great resource for video tutorials on knitting the particular stitches if you are a total newbie.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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The Virtual Crafting Challenge theme for October 2012 is:

Season’s

Great I hear you say, but now what? Well for those of you who would like a few ideas to get you started, here are some  colours, products and techniques to help you choose, where you could go with this month’s theme. Feel free to use your own ideas for the Season’s theme.

Colours

Here in the UK we just arrived at autumn, so a warm colour palette of earth tones for us

  • Reds
  • Greens
  • Yellows
  • Browns

Of course if you live outside the UK you are likely to have a different colour palette to match your own current season, choose from that for your project this month.

Techniques & Styles

Lets go off the wall a bit this month, how about trying a different craft for the first time. Here’s a few to get your ideas going

  • Art be that painting/drawing or paper crafts
  • Jewellery making
  • Knitting. There are some fabulous yarns around in all the colours you can imagine
  • Holiday projects. There are plenty of holidays coming up, where ever you are in the world jump in early and save yourself some stress.
  • Baking. (My cooking is awful but I bet yours is great) How about baking up your favorite supper/pudding with seasonal products.

The most important thing about this challenge is that you have fun and explore. Don’t feel pressured to have a finished item at the end of the month. Explore different styles and techniques either in person, if you have the supplies, or through research, looking online.

You learn so much more when you take away the rules and just PLAY. Adapt this challenge to a creative style that interests you. Enjoy :)

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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This month on Create & Craft they have been talking about Get Britain Crafting, a new campaign to encourage people to try new crafts for the first time, or get back into crafts after a break. Inspired I began a shawl, but this has proved a bit of a big project. So I also began knitting some slippers. (They are the same height honest! It’s the way I stuffed them for the pic that makes them look uneven, DOH).

Winter slipper boots

Winter slipper boots

Regular readers will remember the slippers I knitted recently that I’d enjoyed so much. The pattern is on Ravelry by Yuko Nakamura called Non Felted Slippers.

Cozy Knitted Slippers

Cozy Knitted Slippers

Now its turned cold and my ankles were feeling chilly so I tried the pattern again and freestyled at the end. I added some 2×2 rib (knit 2, pearl 2) to the top of the pattern. This has worked brilliantly, they look good with 5, 10, 15 rows of that rib at the top. I’ve added 20 rows of the rib as I wanted to cover my ankles, but this also gives the option of folding the top down for a different look.

Winter slipper boots with folded down top

Winter slipper boots with folded down top

As long as I understand what I’m doing, then I do enjoy and find knitting relaxing. My RSI hampers how much I do, but small projects on larger needles like this, work up quickly and so build confidence. This pattern would suit a new knitter, other than knit stitch and pearl stitch and of course casting on and off, the base pattern (without the rib top) only has knit 2 or 3 together and also to. Slip, slip, knit, wasn’t a bit like I thought it was and woohoo to my knitting book and You Tube tutorials for explaining it.

There are lots of new fashion yarns around now, for those wanting super fast project and are ideal if you are totally new or have limited dexterity as you don’t need to worry about tension but get the hang of knitting techniques. You Tube has a great selection of tutorials, just type in the technique you want to learn into its search box. I’ve put links to sites I use a lot or have found helpful in the Yarn tab at the top of the blog.

Links

  • Yarns (My knitting tab, which has links to; manufacturers, retailers and tutorials too)
  • Knitting Tips by Judy Highly recommend this channel, great demos filmed from behind Judy so you see what you would see when you are knitting. She explains things really well.
  • Ravelry If you are new to knitting Ravelry is a fantastic online community people share projects there are forums and lots of freebies on there for knitting & crochet too.
  • Pheonix Knitting forum. A super friendly forum, a great place to chat to other knitters and swap ideas.
  • Get Britain Crafting
  • The Knitting Book. THE best instruction book for all kinds of knitting. Step by step photos.

Now we have long winter evenings to ‘look forward too’. Why not give knitting a try, snuggle up with your favorite TV show/music and create something wonderful for yourself, or as gifts for friends & family. A handmade gift really does make someone feel special. They know you have given the gift a lot of thought and your own time, a precious gift that cannot be purchased in a store.

How about you? What have you been making lately?

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Today I’d like to share a picture of my latest knitting project; created from a pattern available on Ravelry. Non Felted Slippers by Yuko Nakamura. I used my favorite James Brett Marble Chunky yarn and am really pleased with how they turned out.

Cozy Knitted Slippers

Cozy Knitted Slippers

I’m going to try the pattern again and adapt it to try for a boot version by adding some extra rows above the top edge.

Hope you like them and will give them a try, the pattern isn’t too hard. Stitches needed: Knit, Purl, Knit 1, Knit 2 together, Pass slip stitch over. They are knitted flat and sewn together at the end.

I know it’s a little early in the year to post a picture of cozy slippers, but due to dexterity issues, I have to make the most of the good weather to knit. Once the weather is cold n wet my hands don’t work so well.

How about you, what are you knitting right now?

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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