Monday, 21 August 2017

Simple knitted gloves and beanie

I needed a simple easy pattern to use a chunky yarn that I picked up at spotlight about a month ago. So I created this glove and beanie set. I have included a partial pattern below. (It is really only a series of instructions I didn't exactly follow a pattern just a feeling.)

I used a 1x1 rib stitch and Jenny's Surprisingly Stretchy Cast On and Bind Off. If you haven't done this method of cast on and off I highly recommend it for this purpose. It wouldn't suit a scarf but for this it was required. I found out how to do the cast on by searching you tube and watching a couple of videos to get an idea.

I used size 9 needles with this chunky yarn shown above.  I could have worked the beanie in the round but didn't because I didn't have circular needles that big and I wasn't buying any.

To make the gloves:

I cast on 22 stitches and then used a 1x1 knit / purl pattern for 26 rows. I then cast off. (You could keep going to make these longer if you wanted)

Next you fold the glove in half and sew it together leaving a hole for the thumb. They are that complicated!

I'm actually halfway through another pair for my boy. These ones are using 3 strands of dk weight mill end yarn I bought.  Everything else is the same.

To make the Beanie:

I cast on 60 stitches and using the 1x1 rib again did 8 inches of knitting. I then decreased basically every second stitch then as it got smaller every stitch.

When I had 8 stitches left on the needles I gathered them all onto a sewing needle and fastened them off. I then sewed the beanie together.

So they're not the most sophisticated or fancy gloves and beanie but they do one really important thing. They work! They are lovely and warm and comfortable and my girl likes them.

If you want me to explain better I can but it really was a hodge podge to make as I wasn't measuring everything out. You may find you want to cast on different amounts and that doesn't matter as long as the stitch count is even. This style is very forgiving and would work in any size/type of yarn. I'm going to use a dk yarn and smaller needles and make a set for myself it will just take longer.

Happy stitching,

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Cleaning my blog list

I'm sitting here today thinking that it's been a while since I updated my blog list. I've been going through it and realising I still follow hundreds of blogs that haven't posted anything for 1000 days.  That is almost 3 years ... all they're doing is clogging up my feed.

I have noticed the cross stitch blogs I used to follow a lot have died down. Some of the people I still follow via Facebook or instagram, they just don't blog anymore, and some just fell off entirely and I assume life just got to crazy to share anymore for whatever reason.

It is refreshing just cleaning everything out and having an up to date list in my feedly. But it's also had me thinking about why I blog. It started as just a way to share my projects and stay a little bit accountable to someone other than me. Then I found that as time went on I had something to share and things to teach others. I am self taught with some skills but also collect information on many crafts.

I was doing only cross stitch and it's become about every craft that I do with a couple of random life stuff thrown in. For those still following me I hope this is alright as it really isn't going to change anytime soon. I love all crafts and as life happens I change what I work on at that time.

Recently (in the last year) I have gone back to university so time is limited and often my crafting time is actually sitting in lectures so my projects are often small and easy to work on. I also consider how relevant that project is and whether the time I spend on it is worth it. So knitted and sewing items for work get priority over something made just because. It's the problem with multiple crafts they all pull at me and something ends up suffering.

I often use instagram to share as it's so much quicker but then again blogging allows me to tell more of the story and to collate it all together better than instagram does. Also as much as everything gets shared to my Facebook page it's not my favourite way to communicate. Very like instagram in that it's only small comments.

Now what is the purpose of this post? Well I'm spring cleaning and this caused thoughts to go around in my head.  But in the end I came to the conclusion that I'm going to continue to blog and share my thoughts and trials as I learn. I'm not perfect or an expert on everything but I'm willing to teach and share what I do know.  I have something to offer and still feel that this is the best way to do it.

Now I need to work out what projects I still need to share here and expect some photos soon.

Happy stitching,

Monday, 10 July 2017

One Finished Cowl

My workplace is freezing through winter as it is a concrete block with nothing underneath so the breeze comes through and freezes from the bottom up. I decided that over time I will make myself a collection of sets of gloves, scarfs/cowls and beanies/berets that I can wear to work. I say sets because I have a couple of plain scarfs and stuff but have found that I can't match them with anything. I can wear the scarf by itself but don't have a hat for it or I have a beret with no matching scarf. I have enough of the grey yarn I made the meret beret out of to make a scarf to match as well which I am glad about. So at least I can match with that one.

So here is the start of my matching collection. I bought enough of this Navy Panda Magnum 8 ply acrylic yarn to make a set of fingerless gloves, cowl, beret and probably even a scarf if I wanted. I have finished the cowl so far.

I'm using this Pattern: Cowl De Printemps

For the beret I will be using the matching pattern which makes me happy. I will then work something out for the gloves to make it work.  Probably using the lace pattern in a rectangle and them seam them up.

I'm not doing that much knitting at the moment as it's my carry project but work is to crazy busy to knit much. But I had a day at a conference last month and I managed to finish my cowl while listening to the speakers.
But please excuse the bad looking photo. The dark blue is really really hard to photograph so in order to show the pattern I end up with a washed out photo.

To finish off this cowl I killed the yarn so that it was nice and soft and the pattern really shows up. I'm not going to be able to do that with the beret so hopefully conditioner will do the job.

But to give everyone a better photo I even managed to get a nice selfie of myself wearing it at work.

As you can see it's nice and loose around my neck which I like but I can twist it a little and it sits snuggly. I hope I can get the set done before winter is over so I have at least one set to wear but we shall see. I have a new project that I need to get done by January and I also have a dress that I have almost finished making. These projects aren't the most important on my list at the moment and honestly if they take me a year I don't mind as I can carry them easily on my bike to and from uni and work so I can enjoy them.

Happy Stitching,

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

That First Cut

I always struggle when making a new dress or outfit or even a quilt, when I make that first cut into the fabric. You spend so long dreaming and planning what this fabric is going to become but once you make that first cut you can't undo it!

The thoughts that always go through my head are:

''What happens if I cut in the wrong place"

"What happens if it doesn't fit or I've planned the wrong size"

"Do I definitely have enough fabric to fit the pieces onto?"

"Are the pieces the right way around?"

 And often the hardest question I always ask myself is

"After all this work will I actually like and wear the finished piece?" 

This is the current floor of my craft room. I have the fabric laid out on the floor with the pieces of the skirt sitting on top. Since taking this photo I've already rearranged the pieces once. What makes it hard is 3 of the skirt piece will need to be cut a second time so I can't lay them out twice to see what will fit better. Then there are the bodice pieces for this dress and the waist yoke. I am extremely glad I have 4 meters of fabric to play with particularly since it's a broadcloth so not as wide as fabric normally is.

The other thing I have to remember is to add another cm into the back seam so I can add the zip easily otherwise I'll be sitting there with not enough fabric.

I'm making a Lekala 4345 dress. (warning if you like collecting clothes patterns that is a BAD website!) Well I should be saying I will be making.... it is still currently spread out on the floor waiting for me to be brave. 4 days later..... tonight I will get up the braves.... tonight.

It's so easy to undo your cross stitch or knitting and crochet. Although it does make rather a mess of threads and yarn when you do so it is very easy to do. It's not easy to undo a bad cut in fabric.

But... this dress will be completed before I have to start back at uni next semester! I want to be able to wear it to work. I want to be able to enjoy it so by this weekend it will be cut out and I can get started with sewing it all together. It shouldn't take long once I start. It's a simple design.

What do you find the hardest when starting a new project? Do you struggle to cut the fabric?

Happy Stitching,

Monday, 12 June 2017

Slow going - 12 Point Star Blanket

I do have a mini update on my blanket :D Tonight is Doctor Who night. I always forget on Sundays so I sit and watch it Monday evening on ABC iview. I like doing it this way as I can watch it when I can not when they say I can.
 I had my first of 2 exams today and I think I did alright. I know I did the best I could so I am enjoying a little rest before jumping into the crazy tomorrow to prepare for my next exam.

My blanket is getting much bigger but I'm probably only a third of the way. I really would love a nice big blanket but we shall see how that goes as I continue to expand the blanket. I like a blanket that you can really curl up under. I have 8 more balls of yarn so that should be enough to make it a decent size.

I am thinking though that after this lot of repetitions that I will halve the amount I use of each colour so only 3 rows instead of 6. Not sure... will have to think about it when I get there. Still two more colours of 6 to go before I have to think of that.

For more information about the pattern I'm doing you can go to my previous post here. 

Have you ever made a blanket like this? It's taking me ages and unfortunately each round takes longer and longer to complete. Though MAYBE this will be completed before the end of winter this year..... but I'm not holding my breath!

Happy Stitching,

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