Knitting A Scarf
I have been attempting to sort out and organize my crafting area; what an under taking! I have all sorts of notions; buttons, snaps, threads, beads and silk ribbons to sort into containers then there is my wool stash.
I have progressed a little and arranged my yarns in blocks of colour on shelving. It is quite exhilarating to have them all displayed which makes project ideas easier. I have cotton and t-shirting material in my large fabric stash which I use for lining my felted purses, making quilt squares and for projects from the “Alabama Stitch Project” book. Most of the t-shirting material is re-cycled.
I have been knitting shawls and scarves in readiness for the winter months and for my craft venue in the Fall. I posted some pictures of a lovely blended green scarf/wrap on Flickr and mentioned the stitch which is easy to remember: Cast on an odd number of stitches; Row 1 Knit 1, slip 1; Row 2 Knit. Continue these two rows until you have the desired length.
As promised, I give below the way I blended the yarns. I used two strands of yarn starting with Colour A and knitted approximately 5″ then cut one strand and added Colour B and knitted for another 5″ then cut the other Colour A strand and added another strand of Colour B and knitted for another 5″ then cut one strand of Colour B and added Colour C. Making sure I always had two strands of yarn, I kept knitting and changing colours every 5″ until I had the desired length. I found this information on page 118, the “Ombre Alpaca Blanket” pattern in a lovely book, “Last Minute Knitted Gifts” by Joelle Hoverson.
The garden is in need of some work so while the weather is nice I will get to work outside and use the rainy days for knitting. Even though the weather has cooled down, we are still having some sunny days but I am ready with my shawls to keep out the chilly night air.
Between working in the garden, knitting and general livingI shall continue sorting and organizing my crafting area. The knitting I have on the go at the moment are fingerless mitts in all colours and sizes.
Have a happy day:)
Recycled Upcycled Felted Purse
Yesterday I made a new purse from some of the oddments I have in my sewing/craft room. Although it took some time to put together I am pleased with the results.
I started off with a favourite sweater that I had knitted some time ago. I loved the colours in the yarn and knitted feverishly to make a garment knitted in the round. When at last I had completed my task I found that all the hard work and time had produced a less than flattering item 😦 boo hoo! …I wore it a few times and always liked the colour but not the shape. So I have succumbed and finally allowed myself to felt it with results that appear pleasing.
I cut a portion of the sleeve out for the purse shape and cut some denim from and old pair of jeans for the flap. I have been saving jeans for years now…so I have a lot to choose from, I used denim that had some stretch in it because the felted fabric is also stretchy.
At this point you can play around with all those little bits and pieces of yarns, lace, threads and ribbons to make a design on the denim. When you have it the way you like, go to your sewing machine and zig zag over them until they are all firmly attached.
I purchased sportswear leather laces 160cm long ( 63″) to attach these to the purse I use a large crochet hook to push through the felting and hooked the lace over the end of the crochet hook and pull through and tie a knot. It is probably easy to see in the pictures than have me try to explain it ! A couple of pony tail ties are used for the loops and of course recycled buttons from my stash.
Felted Shoulder Bag
Yesterday I needed to re vamp my orange felted pouch. As you may know I have spent some time playing around with wet felting and making cords or ropes as they are sometimes called, you can see the results on my Flickr site. The orange felted pouch is a great size for a small bag but it really needed a handle of some sort. I ended up making one by knitting i-cord….sometimes this is known as idiot cord!
the result is very pleasing and certainly not idiotic!
To make i-cord you will need a lot of yarn for a long length and two double pointed knitting needles in the size of your choice. For my project I used size 8mm. Cast on five stitches, if you would like your cord narrower in width you could cast on three stitches instead, it is a matter of preference. Once you have reached the end of your row having only five stitches you then slide your stitches along the needle to the other end ( DO NOT TURN YOUR WORK) and take the yarn , which will be at the back of your work and pull firmly and continue to knit the five stitches. Keep on repeating this process until the desired length is reached. Remember if you are felting this it will need to be at least 30% longer than the approximate finished length. All yarns do not felt the same amount so have a test run with your yarn first. The knitting will form a tube like length this is what you want.
One of my most favourite authors on knitting is the late great Elizabeth Zimmermann her work is still available from http://www.schoolhousepress.com she was a no nonsense knitter with a lovely sense of humour. Do look up her books they are well worth it, The Opinionated Knitter is one of her books I so enjoy. It is a collection of newsletters from 1958-1968 she includes some lovely traditional designs with lots of room for creativity and her own style of humour and there are loads of great photographs.
My Earth Day Quilt
This is a basic explanation of the process I use to make my stencilled quilt blocks. I use recycled t-shirts wherever possible but I do buy extra 100% cotton t-shirt fabric from the store now and again! I then cut them into eight inch squares.
I take one of the T-shirt fabric squares and a plastic stamp with the flower design. Using a roller, I apply fabric paint to one side of the stamp then lay the fabric square onto it. I gently press the fabric with my hand then holding one side to stop it slipping, I roll it with a hard rubber brayer or roller, working away from my hand. I gently lift off the fabric and lay it to one side to dry.
I then place a second t-shirt square behind the painted piece and pin the two together to avoid them slipping. I sew around the petals of the flower then cut out the top layer using a small, pointed, sharp pair of scissors, taking care not to cut the lower layer. This exposes the fabric underneath to create my design. This is called reverse appliqué.
Using appliqué as opposed to reverse appliqué, in the yellow block shown I apply pieces of green material as leaves. I use the stamp to create the leaves by applying paint to the wrong side of the green fabric then cut out the shapes. These pieces cover the paint on the original imprint. I hand-stitch the leaves with either a matching thread or other colour that gives the look I am seeking. I show two examples of this on my block. The raw edges of the appliqué do not need to be turned under as the t-shirt fabric will not unravel.
The thread I have chosen for this project is designed for top-stitching jeans and comes in several different colours. Using a large-eyed needle and doubled thread, I stitch around each design using straight stitch and keeping the tension so it all lies flat without the stitches being too loose. This does take some practice!
At the moment I think I shall use several squares to make a small quilt with the possibility of putting t-shirt fabric sashing strips between the blocks. I may then apply appliquéd butterflies, ladybirds and leaves. I will make the decision as I work to finish the piece. Finishing a design is a very personal choice.
I do tend to be a bit of a ‘let’s get it done now’ person and this project has helped me to slow down and see what happens creatively. Starting small can be a good way to work through the process and get comfortable with the stencil, stitching and cutting.
Happy Stitching 🙂
The Fall weather has been spectacular here, warm and mostly sunny which is quite unusual. We often have a lot of rain at this time of year so the sun is very welcome. Going for walks is a wonderful experience with the leaves changing colour and the sun shining. Everything seems so much more intense, the colours in nature really are amazing. I love this time of year with the glorious reds, yellows, golds, browns and greens, the sharp smell of the earth, wood smoke and bright blue skies with snowy mountains in the distance. This is a time to admire and enjoy.
Apart from making the most of the wonderful sites around me, I have been busy with my knitting projects and getting ready for my Fall sale of work which takes place at the end of this month. I have had a lot of fun making various styles of shawls and bags. Now I have to work out how best to display them. I have some new display props for the table and hope that customers will be able to see more clearly what is available.
I am looking forward to making some of my Christmas gifts this year. I usually make things for those closest to me because they appreciate the time and effort that has gone into the process. I must say, though, that it is getting harder to find something suitable for a teenage son! He is just not into knitted stuff; imagine!
I have a LONG list of items I would like to make before Christmas, one of which includes a vest for my nearest and dearest. I only started knitting it two years ago! I was not able to get the fit quite right so ripped it back at least twice and then put it aside to deal with later! The yarn is a gorgeous Donegal Tweed in a dark green with flecks of red and turquoise. I know that sounds weird but it really does look great knitted up; if only I would stop taking it apart.
My daughter requested a shawl and chose her yarn about a year ago so I am hoping to have it finished for Christmas. The pattern she chose is in the form of a chart which I find difficult to follow. I am more comfortable with a written pattern so will have to learn a new method.
As you can see, I shall be busy as I am taking a couple of dressmaking classes soon!!
For those of you who would like to have a warm neck with no long ends flying about your body, I give below the instructions for an easily-knitted neck warmer. I find this design particularly good for when I am riding my scooter in the cold weather.
Knitted Neck Warmer
The perfect winter accessory, without all the long flouncy bits of a scarf !
Choose your favourite yarn and needles to get the look you like. I use a 6mm – 18inch long circular needle.
Cast on 60-80 stitches, depending on your choice of yarn
Join in the round and knit 2, purl 2 until you reach the length you would like. I usually knit 20-26 rows. Think of a turtle neck; do you want the roll down effect or would you prefer the mock turtle look.
Cast off, weave in all the ends and wear with satisfaction.
How is your shopping list coming along for the holidays ?
Here’s to a very Happy Fall/Winter to you and yours.
I would like to add a foot note here with regards to the stitch choices having made a few of these I have since discovered that an odd stitch combo works well giving stretch and shape to your neck warmer. So may be you would like to try this : Knit 3 Purl 1 OR Purl 3 Knit 1 …..or make up your own combination 🙂
Denim Blue Felted Bucket Bag
During the weekend I felted my latest bag which was knitted on a circular needle with two different yarns in shades of denim blue. I knitted the top with the darker shade, doubling the yarn until I had used it all up; approximately 80 stitches cast on and maybe 200 yards of yarn on the ball. I continued with a single strand of the same yarn plus a strand of a lighter colour yarn and knitted until I liked the length of the bag then decreased the stitches in alternating rounds until I had approximately 8 stitches left on the needle. I cut the yarn leaving a longish tail and threaded it through the eight stitches, pulled tight and weaved in the ends.
I knitted the strap by casting on 5 stitches and worked back and forth until I achieved the length I wanted. The number of stitches can vary, depending on how wide you want the finished strap to be. The length you knit is also important because it will shrink when felted. I knitted approximately 40″ which shrank to 35″ once it was felted. I think the strap could be a little longer by about three inches so that it can be worn across my body. As each yarn will shrink by different amounts, making a test swatch would be a good idea.
My bag has a bulbous bottom because of the way I did the decreases where I think I made a mistake on one row and the fact that I used different yarns which felted differently. I don’t mind the look at all but to make a flat-bottomed bag, the same yarn will be needed throughout and the decreases will have to be even.
This bag was made to go with my dress which I hope to make from the 100% organic cotton jersey T-shirting that I have dyed blue. I plan to use the Alabama Studio Style book and make the tank dress. It will be some while before it is ready to wear!
Along the way I will share with you how I make some of my work. This might include my knitted felted purses, my beaded and embroidered bracelets or some other project. I hope to be doing some table top weaving. I have a small Dorothy Leclerc Loom which I have set up once long ago and would now like to get back to it. I think some woven purses may be fun. Eventually I hope to learn to spin but I think that could be a while away.
As some of you may already know I started a project last summer that was inspired by the Alabama Stitch book by Natalie Chanin. Well my project has been side stepped because I have been making purses but I hope to show more of my skirt and how it is progressing. I have a few pictures on my flickr. site way back on page 25 The pictures are of a blue panel (skirt)with brown circles and stitched beads.
Knitted and Felted Slippers
To-day I managed to finally finish something that has been sitting around since before Christmas…imagine that! I’m sure you know what I mean..surely you have a few unfinished projects?..Well this is my story of the felted knitted slippers.
I knitted the socks in an extra large size on large needles and chunky yarn. When they were completed I felted them in hot soapy water until they reached a size that I could fit into.
At this point I decided I would like to add soles for more stability, warmth and wear. I had a green sweater that I recycled and felted some time ago, another UFO (un-finished object). I have insoles for my wellington boots made from a previous felting projects they are brilliant for keeping your feet toasty warm. So I chose a pair of these for the soles, hand stitched them on and Ta Da! a pair of warm and cosy slippers. I haven’t ruled out leather patches on the sole but for now I am leaving them as is, to test run them so to speak. If you would like to see more pictures check out the link to flickr on the right hand side of this article.
Just to let you know that my felted slippers that I made a little while ago….I live in them they keep my feet soooo warm. I have always been one of those people who have cold feet and over the years I have had wool socks, sheepskin slippers etc BUT these slippers are the best. I think it helps that the shape of the slipper is more like a boot and comes up over my ankle. When my time allows I will knit up another pair so that when I wash these I’ll have a back up pair to wear!