Friday, 11 August 2017

Flower basket number 6












Flower finished. Went with yellow rather than a natural colour yarn.





I made this one from yarn given to me years ago, and a pair of handles that were free with Let's Knit Magazine.

It needs a flower to cover the front clasp, in probably a natural coloured  yarn. The leaf button matches the cotton/silk Rowan DK Yarn (discontinued)

The bag handles have a straight base, which makes the bottom of the bag a bit skewed. A good blocking will sort this out.

I think I will keep this one to use as a summer bag for specs, keys, and wallet.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Flower Bag number 5


Having worked out the construction of the bag, I'm now tinkering with the finishing touches.

Bag rear








This bag has amber-coloured handles, so I wanted to create a flower that would include the colours from the amber and the bag itself. I have some Posh Yarn (Pamela, 4ply with sparkle) which made a lovely curled flower cup for the covering on the rear clasp.

I stitched the 'stamens' in the same pearl grey cotton yarn used for the main colour.










Bag front






For the front, I wanted a larger flower. I designed a two-piece bloom in the same Posh Pamela yarn, and finished it off with a shell button, the same colour as the pearl grey yarn.

Picking up stitches for the handle straps was difficult and did not work well. I embroidered an abstract design in the cotton yarn used for the base, to create a more even line on the front.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Matching Flower Basket Bags



I completed these two bags in time for a visit from The Nephew and his two little girls. Each contains a French Knitting Kit by Woolly Chic, so that the girls could make her own flower button for the front.








Each bag was made in cotton, from Drops.  The bottom was knitted in Paris (aran weight)

















Both have very small bamboo handles. I knitted the insides differently so that the girls could recognise her own bag. One is pink and lilac, the other is all lilac.













Monday, 24 July 2017

Rose Flower Basket Bag








I based  this on the Poppy bag pattern, but began by constructing the bottom first. I used Woolly Chic DK Welsh wool for the bottom, then picked up the stitches around the outside and continued in the round with Drops Cotton Light DK.

Woolly Chic yarn formed the lining as far as the bottom. It was then finished in the same Drops Cotton Light colour as the outside.


















To finish, I attached the magnetic closures through both layers of the bag. The metal front clasp was visible, so I covered with three knitted rosebuds.

The rear metal was covered with a leaf.











The pattern is very much finished and ready for test knitting.




Thursday, 20 July 2017

Poppy Bag








I put the finishing touches to the bag today.

I'd already worked out that I couldn't construct a bottom, while keeping it seamless. I joined the open ends of the lining and outer layer, by knitting through the stitches.
















I also decided not to construct a closure flap, so attached magnetic popper on the inside. I covered the back of the closure with the poppy I'd made at Hitchin Lavender workshop. The other popper was secured between the lining and the outside layer.












The lining yarn is a cotton/silk mix by Debbie bliss.











I used the yarn again to define the top of the basketweave pattern.


















Bottom, in raspberry for a lavender purple bag

I've learned a lot, mainly about what not to do when making up a pattern. The next version will start with the bottom and work upwards. I'm planning a series of seamless  'flower basket' bags.




Crochet


or knitting - with cake.




I attended the end of term party, organised by Woolly Chic,  at Molly's Tea Room, last night.

It's a lovely venue, with proper tea, served in  china cups, from pots kept warm by knitted cosies.














There was a good turnout, mainly by members of Molly's Crochet group.
















There was a raffle, with prizes from Helen's store of knitting and crochet kits.














Most people worked on projects, while chatting and drinking tea.














There may have been cake consumed, despite which, I managed to finish the body and lining of my bag. No fear of staining the fabric, there wasn't a trace of the 70% chocolate on my fingers.






 It was a most relaxing evening, despite the humidity. There was even a sneak-peek at an article in the Crochet Magazine, featuring Helen's work for the yarn-storm Art Installation.


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Not Knitting, but Weaving





Footstool Cover

Yarn
This effect creates a yarn that resembles brown leather.
Thus combining the lightness of cotton with the appearance of leather. The leather effect is very stable over repetitive washes. Craft: knitting, crochet
Brand: UniqueYarnsCo
Yarn weight: Worsted
Blend: 100% cotton
Yardage: 55 g (1.9 oz) / 98.2 m (107.3 yds)

Unique Yarns 

Worsted / 10 ply (9 wpi)

3 skeins

Leather

Brown

unique yarns


Using 8 dent heddle and warping 18”
Weaving a 20” x 18” piece to re-cover an old footstool, whose fabric was rotting. Using cotton ribbon yarn for the first time. It was difficult to warp and even more difficut to weave, as the ribbon won’t stay flat. 10” in and it’s looking ok now. It’s giving an open weave so I shall knit an under-cover in worsted wool. This should prevent the cream canvas footstool top from grinning through.





Cotton ribbon was not a good choice. I eventually lost the tension on some warp threads, with no easy way to restore it. Hemming was easy, but once the fabric was off the loom, it began to slacken. It’s in danger of unraveling. I’m not sure it will be worth the effort to make this piece into the footstool cover. The ‘ladder’ caused by the loose warp is very visible, as is the change of dye batches at the side.









After soaking and wet blocking, I decided to hem the raw edges, using wonderweb and bias binding. 




















I fixed it to the footstool, using upholstery tacks, and slip stitched to the canvas underneath for a neat finish. It’s OK for a first attempt.

Friday, 14 July 2017

The Great Knitting Tea Party


There was a very good turnout for The Great Tea Party






Some people travelled quite a distance to join Hitchin Stitchin', Festiwool, and Woolly Chic, for a morning of knitting and tea, under the trees in St Mary's Churchyard.



















The Art Installation was looking good, with more Festiwool tree huggers in evidence.






















Biggleswade Accademy pupils had finished their mass pom-pom wall hanging. Quite what that had to do with the More Tea Vicar theme, I'm not quite sure. I'm sure it made sense to them when they imagined it. It's got more of a party, than vicar's tea party, vibe going


















Tea cups




















and donuts by Hitchin Girls' pupils, brightened the dull sky


















and it was lovely to see the 'tree party' mended and in pride of place, beneath the magnificent Bean Tree.











BOB Radio FM interviewed a member of Hitchin Stitchin' for her reaction on the vandalism that had taken place the day after  first pieces of the Installation had been installed.

video




Monday, 10 July 2017

Learn to knit a flower


On Sunday, 9th July, I attended a workshop at Hitchin Lavender.





A really lovely venue, with refreshments and a sprig of knitted lavender to take home.


I was tempted to try the lavender pattern, but, with only two hours of workshop, opted for a simple poppy.

A poppy had been planned to go on my newly knitted bag, so it was good to work towards a definite goal.

I had all the pieces knitted at the end of two hours, thanks to Susie. The assembly had to wait until today.

















I'm fairly pleased with the result. As with many of my projects, my lack of decent sewing skills let me down.
















I haven't decided if I should thread the stem through the basket weave, to sit between the front of the bag and it's lining, or sew it to the front.

Given the aforesaid sewing skills, perhaps threading through and securing inside may be best?




















Then I just have to finish knitting the inner lining and base of the bag.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

New pattern


I'm working a seamless knitted bag with a lining; making it up as I go along. The handle was a free gift from Let's Knit Magazine, about 7 years ago. I had some discontinued yarn given to me and decided to make use of both yarn and handles.




The outside is Drops Safran (sport-weight) held double, on 5mm circs.

The lining is Debbie Bliss Cathay (aran-weight), on 5mm circs, picking up stitches fron the top of the change-of-colour row.

Handles are held in place by 12 rows of single rib, worked on straight needles with half the stitches from the circs. The cast-off edge is then grafted onto the stitches placed on holders when beginning the rib, plus stitches along the side gusset created by the use of straight needles. This bit is going to be very tricky to write out in pattern form, though it's easy enough to work.

I'm planning to add a flower to the front, (from Hitchin Lavender Craft Day on Sunday) and some sort of closing mechanism (if possible)





I'd like to make another bag using a different yarn (also a gift, and discontinued), but am appalled at how much the handles cost. They're wooden and would add £8 to the cost of making each bag.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Introducing the Limited Edition of


the Three Tenors  Bunnies









Riley






Rawdon







Rhiannon







All knitted using Woolly Chic's Rabbit pattern (Riley from the full Kit)

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

The Great Easter Egg Hunt








Hitchin Bid had asked Hitchin Stitchin' to participate in the Hitchin Easter Egg Hunt, by providing 10 Easter Bunnies. Several members of the group promised a bunny, so I thought I would challenge myself to learn something new.

I bought a kit from Woolly Chic (member of Hitchin Stitchin')





Never having knitted a toy before, I was thrilled with my first attempt at Woolly Chic's Rabbit Kit.


As the deadline approached, I lost contact with the group due to prolongued illness. I took Riley Rabbit into Hitchin Bid's new premises in Churchyard, and discovered that there were very few bunnies on their way to take part.
















My second attempt was less successful, due in no small part to different yarn than that included in the kit.

Add to that a broken darning needle and this is more like Piglet than Rabbit.




















He does, however, have a carrot.





















I have Rabbit number three on the needles, in grey. He (or she, haven't decided yet) may be finished just in time to take part in the Easter celebrations, joining this pair.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Imagine Blue Skies


It's certainly what we need at the moment.

But this is a knitting blog. What have blue skies to do with knitting?

Imagine Blue Skies is the name of a cardigan I had finished in January 2014. I adapted a top-down raglan cardigan by Laura Chau, making it longer, and adding a mandarin-style neck.

It's knitted in two different aran weight yarns



Aran / 10 ply
80% Merino, 15% Mohair, 5% Nylon


Colour "In a world of pure imagination"






and 




Aran / 10 ply
55% Merino, 33% Microfiber, 12% Cashmere goat
90 meters / 50 grams

Colour charcoal




I never got around to sewing on the buttons and the finished garment languished in my knitting cupboard for over two years. I'd bought some pretty heart-shaped shell buttons, but sewing isn't my forte. I find lining up the buttonhole with the button very stressful.










Then Festiwool, 2016 needed items for the fashion show, A fellow Hitchin Stitchin' member sewed the buttons for me, and here is the result.