Monday, March 2, 2015

Beaded Mohair Shawl

 A wonderful find on my September trip to Nova Scotia is this Hand Maiden duo of fine lace weight mohair and sport weight silk boucle, hand dyed into a lovely burgundy mix.  I wanted to make it even more special by adding the sparkle of glass beads.  Starting at the top center, the pattern allows you to get a handle on the beading with short rows to start, ending with the marathon rows along two sides of the triangle.  By then you will be an expert!  This pattern is not for beginners, and you should have some experience with increases in the yarn over, but could be new to beading, with the photos below lending a hand.

Beaded Mohair Shawl

Yarn:  I skein HandMaiden Rumple (100% silk boucle) 100 grams/ 300 meters
     1 skein Hand Maiden Angel Hair (70% kid mohair, 30% nylon) 50 grams 400 meters
Needles: 3.5 mm circular needle (to allow for the width of the shawl – not worked in the round)
Glass beads 6/0 size, about 100 grams
Tiny crochet hook US 11/12  1.0 mm
Stitch marker

Gauge: not too important, but 14 - 16 sts = 4 inches  
Size of mine:  60 inches across the longest edge, 27 inches deep.  But you can keep knitting and grow it bigger if you choose.

How to :  PLACE A BEAD:   With tiny crochet hook, pick up a glass bead, then attach the crochet hook to the next stitch on the knitting needle.  Pull it off the knitting needle, and slip the bead off the crochet hook and onto the mohair stitch, then with the crochet hook, feed the loop of the stitch BACK ONTO the knitting needle….. see photos:

Shawl pattern:
Starting at the center, with silk boucle, cast on 5 stitches.
K1, YO, k1, YO, place marker, k1, YO, k1, YO, k1
Wrong side row:  k all stitches, slipping the marker
Regular right side row:   K1, YO, knit to marker, YO, slip marker, YO, knit to last stitch remaining, YO, k1.
Repeat wrong side row again,
Change to mohair yarn, and ***** work one regular right side row, and one wrong side row.
Bead Row:  K1, YO, K 2, [PLACE A BEAD, k bead stitch, k3]repeat across the row…. As you come to the marker, slip marker, YO, k1, YO at the same time as planting the bead every 4th stitch.  Move to the next stitch if the count places the bead at a yarn over. Continue to the last stitch at the end of row, placing the beads as you go.  Stop the last bead about 4 – 6 stitches before the end.  YO and k1 at the end of the row as usual. 
Wrong side row with mohair.
Work one more regular right side and wrong side.
[work another bead row, and wrong, right and wrong regular rows- 4 row pattern], then repeat the 4 row pattern again. Since ***** you have worked two rows plain, then three sets of the 4 row pattern, for 14 rows with the mohair and beads.
Change to silk boucle and work 4 regular rows (without beads): right side with the yarn overs, and wrong sides straight knitting.
Change to mohair and work the ***** 14 row pattern *****.
Continue to alternate the 4 row silk boucle and 14 row mohair bead pattern, until size of shawl desired, or 7 pattern repeats have been completed (like mine). 
Finish with 4 rows of silk boucle, and a very loose cast off of all stitches.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Puesta de Sol

I give you a peak at the newest art project.  It is a vessel method three dimensional fish, representing the colours and culture of the Caribbean nations.  The brights remind me of the houses and decorations and whimsical style of the people.  The fun and humour and relaxed attitudes.  The dark is the clear, calm and magical nights.  I can hear the ocean and the music and the sway of the palms.

 The body is worked with a resist inside, and lots of design features.  Nuno felt and hidden pockets that will reveal white fibre underneath.
 I had to fold the piece to work with the tail, as the whole thing was too wide for my table.
 Everything was attached during the initial felting stage, two layers of tail, separated by plastic sheeting, each tail with resist inserts to allow ruffling of the colour over the black fibre.
 Hanging it for photos... 20 inches of snow to climb through on my deck!
 and it was -12C....
 so I came inside to finish.  Here it stays in my Florida room.
Puesta de Sol, means sunset in spanish.  The time when the colourful hot days turn into the warm beautiful evening.

Monday, February 9, 2015

New and Improved Leather Gloves (cuff knitting pattern)

I have always found that my favourite leather gloves, with their soft and warm lining, still leave my wrists a bit chilly with a gap between my coat and the gloves.  I have so much leftover sock yarn, it became a quick and easy fix.  Since I "improved" my leather gloves, I LOVE them even more!

Leather glove CUFF pattern:

Yarn: any sock yarn.  less than 25 grams (half a skein).
Needles:  4 double points 2.25mm.  (gauge is not particularly important, these are really stretchy and that is what you want)  

Cast on 48 sts, divided between three needles (16 per needle).  Join without twisting.
Work k2, p2 ribbing for about 4 - 5 inches.
Cast off LOOSELY.
 With a needle and thread, turn the bottom edge of the gloves over so that the lining is showing.  Loosely and evenly (stretching a bit as you go) sew the cast on edge to the lining only (try not to catch the leather).  Flip back and prepare to have warm wrists!
Such a simple solution, I am surprised I did not think of this years ago.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Wide Wale Corduroy Infinity Scarf

This is a quick knit and easy for those who love knitting on circular needles. The fat ridges remind me of the wide wale corduroys I had as a teenager.  (in the days when we were not allowed to wear jeans to school, they were the "cool" option).  Enjoy!

Wide Wale Corduroy Infinity Scarf

Yarn:  Soft chunky weight yarn, mine is a silk blend in rusty tweed.  Approximately 150 grams.
Gauge: 12 sts to 4 inches on 6mm (US 10).
Needles:  6mm (US 10) circular 36 inches. (or size to get the gauge)  + stitch marker

Scarf:   Cast on 130 stitches.  Carefully join without twisting (place a marker to mark end of row) and knit 4 rows. 
[Purl 4 rows, Knit 4 rows] repeat this 8 row pattern until 9 purl ridges are completed (9 wide wales).  Cast off loosely all stitches.  Weave in ends.

Wash gently to block.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Backpack Felting

Here is a quick photo ride through the making of a felted backpack....
First, start with the cords for straps, and spike details.
 Here is the backpack, showing lots of layers of felt and plastic.  The piece is made all at once (no sewing later) so the inside is made with plastic resists, and pockets and spikes are separated with more plastic so that they do not stick to parts that I don't want them to stick to!
 More loops are added for details to the outside.
 Finished backpack with button closures.  Main opening at top.
 and smaller front pouch can hold glasses or keys.
 see? Nice.  This should be available on my etsy site shortly.... Custom order in a colour you want!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Christmas Countdown

Of course, this time of year, my knitting is mostly secret.  I have one or two new patterns to post after Christmas, after the gifts are received.  Meanwhile, I can show you the newest baby hat, modeled by my sweetheart, who has mastered the smoldering glare so popular with the supermodels.  Lol.

And some photos of the craft show goods.  These are the new berets, and lots of dryer balls, along with the scarves and coats.  All are available at Pamela's in Jordan Village.  Perfect Christmas gifts!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Cowl Scarf with Sleeves

I love large cowls, and love shrugs.  I wondered if I could make a set of sleeves that could extend into a long scarf that when wrapped around the neck, created a beautiful cowl.  So here it is.
 Cowl Scarf with Sleeves.(two versions, one with no sewing and double points, and one flat with sewing)

Yarn :  500 grams (600meters) of worsted weight yarn.  I used Diamond Luxury Collection - Llama Silk, but most yarns that are recommended on 5.5 mm needles should be good.

Gauge: 12 sts = 4 inches on 6mm needles *** after wet blocking*** please knit a swatch!!

Needles: 6mm double point needles (for flat knitting directions, skip to bottom of this blog entry)... and 6mm circular (for the flat knitting part.)

With double point needles, cast on 30 stitches.  Work in stocking stitch after carefully joining, for 4 inches.  Then increase every 6 rows at 2 points around the sleeve (you can use markers to track these spots) until you have 48 stitches on all the needles.  Work even on 48 stitches in the round for two more inches.
 Now change to circular needles and create a flat piece of fabric by knitting back and forth on all 48 stitches (stop knitting around ).  Continue in stocking stitch (knit right side, purl wrong side) until 85 inches from start of sleeve.
With right side facing, knit back onto double point needles, and work 2 inches in the round.  Place markers at 2 spots and decrease one stitch at each marker there and  every 6 rows until you have 30 stitches again.  Work 4 inches without decreasing and cast off all stitches loosely.
 How to wear.  Like a scarf, wrap around neck to for a loose cowl.  Pick up each end and slide on arms like sleeves.  Adjust any way you want!

 FLAT KNITTING for those who hate double points:

Same yarn and 6mm straight or circular needles.
Cast on 30 sts.
Work 4 inches in stocking stitch.
Increase one stitch at each end of needle here and every sixth row until 48 stitches.
Work even on 48 sts for 87 inches.
Decrease at each end of needle here, and every sixth row until 30 sts.
Work 4 more inches, then cast off loosely.
Sew 12 inches of sleeve at each end of long scarf.