Sunday, 25 March 2012

Cushion Stuffing Day

Just got back from a fantastic day at A Good Yarn, Cleethorpes. Spent all day helping to stuff cushions for Woolsack. 


Tables all set up ready for the little helpers.


One of my cushions with all the swatches from the pattern booklet. If anyone wants the free patterns for the cushions, they are available here.

All the cushions had to have the labels sewn in, then stuffed with pure wool fibre then sewn up.
Most of the cushions have personal messages from the knitters attached.

These are my contributions.


They're not all here but at last count there were 31 cushions that we did today; with a few more expected this week. Everyone helped; thanks to all that turned up. I was thrilled with all the different cushions and designs. A few of them are my designs but there are lots made with the knitter's own inspiration. I found it really interesting with what everyone came up with.



All the natural coloured cushions are made from Jarol British Aran and the coloured ones are from yarn donated by the National Fibre Company.


Let's just hope that the Olympic competitors like their welcome gifts.

 


Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Monochrome

My latest project from the ceramics studio. I'm using the tiles to experiment with the pattern before I use it large scale on other things. The bottom one has more contrast in colour: the border is a lot darker and the inside lighter. Even though the tiles were meant to be a practice piece I really like them. Wondering on ideas of what to use them for?


Latest FO: Little Child's Sock by Nancy Bush. Yarn used is The Uncommon Thread Super Sock in Brassica; and I am a little in love with this yarn. Works wonderfully with the textured pattern



Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Neep Heid


Had a little trip to Leeds on Friday; and of course if in Leeds, then baa ram ewe is a must! I brought back a little haul with me. Not sure what I'm going to do with the Malabrigo but my Mum picked them for herself so  some sort of warm woollies for her. The white and dark grey spindrift are to make an Estonian Hand Puppet


There was lots of lovely patterns by the talented Kate Davies in stock. I settled on a little project - Neep Heid. The green spindrift in stock wasn't the colour I wanted but they had it in Rowan Fine Tweed so I bought that instead. The yardage was different but there was plenty left. A few days later and voila one Turnip Hat!

With all fair isle the inside is gorgeous too!






Sunday, 11 March 2012

Freeform


What a fabulous day! I spent yesterday at A Good Yarn, Cleethorpes; being taught by the wonderful Heike Gittins. It was a Freeform Madness workshop and I spent it alongside my fellow knitters and crocheters, such as Faded Reverie. Here are some photos of the creativity going on. (Apologies for the not so great photos; taken on my mobile).


The bags at the top are Heike's creations and very inspiring indeed and the photos don't do them justice. I love all the lovely little details on it. Lots of buttons and ribbons....

I found it very creative and a fabulous idea to use up all my oddments.
I need a new swimming bag so I'm going to try and build it up quite a bit and make a large bag.
Below is what I have made so far: I got carried away with the crocheting. I love the contrast between the textures of the knitted and crochet fabrics.


Wednesday, 7 March 2012

African Flowers Bucket Bag

I love the African Flower motif and suddenly just had the desire to make a bag for my knitting. Took a bit of playing around to figure out how to make the shape I wanted.
I wanted a bucket shaped bag. I ended up breaking the shapes down - I made a tube from the hexagons and then a circle for the base. I used half hexagons to give the tube a straight edge. I used Littleberry’s half hexagon pattern - though I restarted the yarn on the right hand side every round.

I used the magic circle technique for the centres and crocheted over the ends of the yarn and connected the hexagons as I went.
I managed to find some fabric in my stash that matched the colours of the cotton and used this for the lining. I made twisted cord from the cotton for the drawstring.

There was a bit of yarn leftover so I made a little drawstring pouch for my stitch markers.



Bag Construction

Make a tube with the hexagons, eight across and 4 high. Make 8 half hexagons for the top and bottoms to make the edge straight. I found it easiest to attach the motifs as I went. This tutorial is good for making the hexagons



Complete a round of sc (UK dc) around the top and bottom of the bag. Now at the top of the bag make the section where the drawstring will be. Work a round of dc (UK tr), turn, and work another round of dc (UK tr). It is important to turn to make a gap for the drawstring. See the photo below. Continue in this manner until this is about 1 inch deep. Fasten off



Using a bit of geometry I worked out how big the base circle wanted to be ( I measured the width of the tube and multiplied it by 2 to find the perimeter - then divide it by pi (3.14) this should  give the diameter of the circle)


Base

For my bag I had to make a base 17.5 cm in diameter.


Using a magic circle or chain 4 and slip stitch to make a ring. 
Round 1:    8hdc (UK htr) in the ring
Round 2:    Ch3 and dc in same stitch, *2dc (UK tr) in each dc, repeat from *
Round 3:    Ch3 and dc in same stitch, 1dc *2dc in next stitch, 1 dc repeat from *
Round 4:   Ch3 and dc in same stitch, 2dc *2dc in next stitch, 2 dc repeat from *
Continue in this manner until you reach the desired size. For me, my final round was Ch3 and dc in same stitch, *2dc in next stitch, 10 dc repeat from *


I changed colours on my base to use up some of the oddments of colour.



Lining
To make the lining, cut a rectangle and a circle the same size as the bag (plus seam allowances). Make these into a bag shape. I attached the base of the lining to the base of the bag so it can't be pulled out when you are taking your knitting out or other goodies!. Fold over the top of the lining and sew down to the top of the inside of the bag. I used monofilament to do this as it doesn't show if your sewing is messy. If not using monofilament make sure you use blind hemstitch so it looks neat.

I made a twisted cord for the drawstring - using two different colours. Cut 2 pieces of yarn twice the length of the final length of the drawstring. Knot them together and put this end over something solid (like a door handle). Keep twisting this until you can't twist it easily much more. Place a weight in the centre of the cord - like your sewing scissors and fold the cord together. The cord should twist together.

Fold over the crocheted edge and sew the edge of this to the inside of the bag. To make life easier I put the drawstring inside before sewing it up so I didn't have to lace it through. I put beads on the end and a toggle on the drawstring. Voila, one bucket bag.