Whilst recovering from Hip Replacement surgery I have been catching up on some UFO knitting projects. I purchased 3 hanks (50 grms each) of this lovely Artesano Nebula yarn in Olive Oil colourway from Beaker Button Studio at Weyhill Fairground. This yarn is an Alpaca, Merino, Donegal Blend with little tufts of contrast and is very soft. The pattern is from Ravelry and is very simple to knit. Cast on 3 stitches then increase at the end of every other row until you have 100 stitches, then decrease in the same way. To complete the project I had to purchase two additional hanks of yarn which I bought direct from Artesano. To finish the shawl I added some brown tortoiseshell buttons from my stash that I had bought in bulk from eBay. The shawl now measures 60 inches across x 21 inches deep (excluding the button trim) – just right to drape across my shoulders for that little extra warmth.
Lately at our Patchwork & Quilting Friday morning house groups there has been a lot of knitting! I picked up a basic pattern for a triangular shaw as demonstrated by one of the Ladies.
Using double knit weight yarn (I chose a Patons Silky random dyed) and needles, size 4 or 4.5mm, cast on 3 stitches. Working in stocking stitch increase by one stitch at the beginning of every knit row until you have 100 stitches. Then decrease 1 stitch at the beginning of every knit row until you have 3 stitches left. Cast off. Decorate with beads, buttons, tassels, trims – anything that takes your fancy!
I worked my shawl in plain knit stitch for every row and made the increases and decreases at the end of alternate rows. The shawl took just over 200 grms of yarn and measures approximately 54” at its widest x 21” deep to the apex. I “pimped” up my shawl by adding some irridescent plastic beaded trim on a fine string heading that I have had in my stash for about 12 years. I knew it would come in handy some day!
As I said in a previous post, whenever possible I like to hand make gifts for friends and relatives. This year has been a particularly busy one as I made some additional gifts for my new friends at Franklin’s Patchwork & Quilting group.
Most of this year’s gifts were either festive scented embroidered cushions, sewing room accessories or tote bags. I tried to match embroidery designs or fabric prints to the personality of the intended recipient so there are subtle prints, exotic prints, redwork and scandi-style, a real “Heinz 57” variety of designs! I made a couple of long-line waterfall fronted waistcoats and two fully reversible aprons but apart from that have steered clear of “clothing” to avoid any “size” issues.
For most of the bags I used cotton fabric purchased from Fabricland and Simplicity pattern 2164 as the basis for the design. For each bag I changed the dimensions slightly dependent on my fabric choice and length of fabric available. Some bags had internal pockets, some external pockets and a couple NO pockets! I also changed the handles again dependent on fabric availability. All the bags were padded with 2oz polyester wadding which adds an extra layer and enhances the feel of the bag. I will be tutoring a class at New Threads, Weyhill Fair in January 2016 for making this bag and my Christmas gift making has provided me with plenty of practice with the pattern!
The nautical print bag was made with oilcloth purchased from Fabricland in Salisbury. It is the Carousel Carry-All Tote bag design but this time there is no hardware on the handles and I used a strip of velcro for the closure of the flap. The Linen “Owl” print bag is another Carousel Carry-All tote with Brass “O” ring hardware on the straps which are slightly shorter, and velcro fastening.
For sewing accessories I made two Armchair Sewing Rolls using a pattern and instructions devised and developed through Sprat & Winkle Quilters. I owe Lizzie grateful thanks for re-sending the pdf as my original copy has been mislaid. I used Tutti fruitti print cotton fabric in two colourways, purchased from Fabricland plus some plain White polyester cotton from my stash. The pin/needle cushion in the centre of the Sewing Roll was stuffed with polyester toy filling. The zips were from a length of continuous zip purchased from Dunelm Mill. Now that I have just about exhausted the supply of zips left by my father who once worked as an Engineer at Opti-lon zip factory I am a convert to continous zips except that as yet I have never managed to apply the zip pulls. For that I usually enlist assistance from one of the members of our P&Q house group!
The other sewing room project was a Thread catcher and pin cushion which can be laid on the edge of a sewing table next to your machine. I have had the pattern and instructions for this for many years, source unknown but probably from the internet. The base of the pin cushion is two layers of cardboard from Whiskas cat food cartons. They provide stability and prevent pins and needles from going through to the work surface beneath the pad.
The Fragrant Festive cushions were made using a variety of embroidery designs mostly purchased from www.emblibrary.com. I used Red cotton fabric from New Threads, Weyhill Fairground and either White or Stone coloured thread for the embroidery. The various trimmings were from my stash. Each cushion measures approximately 14 inches square and has a separate pad made from curtain lining. The pads are filled with polyester toy stuffing. I used a zip with lap insertion on the reverse of the cushions which are made either from more of the Red fabric, or a contrast e.g. the same fabric as to that used for piping or borders. The fragrance is provided by sachets “Christmas” or “Winter” from Greenleaf.
I made one other larger cushion from a fabulous “country wildlife” printed linen purchased from B&R Textiles in Salisbury. The cushion measures approximately 18” square, has a Cream satin piping and is totally reversible as I hand stitched the opening behind the piping.
In addition to sewing, I did a little knitting. This year not as much as last year when I made an extremely l-o-n-g scarf! This multi-coloured striped scarf is a pattern from Ravelry.com called “The Hitch hiker Shawlette”. It is made from 100grms of a random-dyed 4-ply sock yarn. A very simple pattern that I have enjoyed knitting and plan to repeat – next time in “Spring” shades.
Finally, at Christmas time last year I designed and part-made a linen cushion featuring an appliqué of a leaping reindeer with a fabulous set of antlers. This year I got around to finishing it! The cushion measures approximately 16 inches square, has a linen front, cotton print piping and reverse with lapped zip closure. I made the pad to fit using polyester toy stuffing but now find it is rather flat so will make another pad and this time, stuff it really firmly!
My final project for 2015 is a commission for an embroidered cushion featuring a “chocolate” cocker spaniel.
Other than that my next projects will be something completely different – I have many, many ideas and plans so we will just have to wait and see what magic happens in my sewing room.
I really love Blackberry stitch! I used this stitch when knitting a “sample test” hat using a pattern that I had devised myself. Yarn used was a Grey double knit from Patons and needle sizes 3.25mm and 4mm. I am in the process of refining the knitting pattern which I shall then offer for sale on eBay. There will be a co-ordinating scarf and fingerless gloves to follow but in the meantime here are some photos of the finished hat, modelled by yours truly so please forgive the soft-focus!
p.s. the hat keeps your ears really warm – just right for the coming cold weather!
Here is the second scarf knitted in Blackberry stitch. I am really enjoying these projects and having finished the Purple have moved onto Teal. There is a slight issue with the number of stitches knitted in the Purple scarf – not an ideal colour to be using in these long dark evenings and I went slightly wrong by knitting extra stitches into the pattern. This has made the edges slightly “wonky” but by the time I had completed the full 60 inches the number of stitches was back to the original 68! As the scarf is folded the wonky edges don’t show – but because it is not perfect I cannot give it as a gift and will have to keep it for myself – it co-ordinates well with my Purple padded coat and jeans so – result!! The scarf is really versatile as it can be worn over the head to help keep out the draughts – see the final photo below.
I am not quite sure what went wrong but pictures seem to have disappeared from the blog. I will look into that but meantime I am pleased to report that I have finished knitting the first of the Snood/Infinity Scarves in Blackberry Stitch. This stitch is also called Trinity or Raspberry stitch. I made up my own pattern and knitted the Mustard Double Knitting yarn on 5.5mm needles.
Cast on 68 stitches and work as follows:- 1st row all purl. 2nd row, *k1,p1,k1 into 1 stitch then, p3 together* repeat to end. 3rd row, all purl. 4th row, *p3 together, k1,p1,k1 into next stitch* repeat to end.
Continue these 4 rows of pattern until scarf measures 60 inches. Bring the first row up to match current row with right sides of work together. Cast off by knitting from needle and loops of cast on edge.
If you make a scarf to these instructions, please photograph and send to me – I would love to see your makes.
It is only during the colder months of the year that my thoughts turn to knitting. I have a hankering for some lovely, cosy hand-knitted scarves and snoods. I am currently working on two projects. The first is an Advocado Green Alpaca yarn worked in double Moss stitch and the second a Bright Mustard yarn worked in Blackberry stitch. I will post pictures once they are completed. But, I digress, the point of this post is that I have been carrying my knitting around the house in a brown paper bag which has been deteriorating rapidly. I thought to myself – a bag specifically for my knitting is what I need. I had already stitched out an embroidery design in Redwork (bought from www.emblibrary.com) that was simply perfect for the project. Today I gathered together some remnants of fabric from my stash and below is the finished result. The bag measures approximately 15 ins wide x 16.5 ins deep. It has carrying handles and I have incorporate a special long narrow pocket into which I can slip my knitting needles. The brown paper carrier bag is no more!