Monday, December 30, 2013

Hand Cabled Collar

Here's a relatively quick knit, with a huge cable framing your neck, and no cable needles required!  We worked hard with all our Christmas knitting... it is time for a treat for YOU.  This one should come from your stash, less than 100 grams of worsted weight yarn.   Everyone has some of that!

Hand Cabled Collar

Yarn:  Patons Classic Wool (100 gram, 210 yards worsted weight – less than one ball for this collar)
Needles:  4.5mm( US 7)
2 stitch markers, darning needle, and big button
Gauge: 20 sts = 4 inches (no worries if not exact… it’s a scarf)
Cast on 40 sts.
Row One: knit15, place marker, knit 10, place marker, knit 15
Row two: knit 15, slip marker, purl 10, slip marker, knit 15
Row three: knit 40, slipping markers.
Row four: same as two
Row five: knit 15, remove marker, cast off ten stitches, remove marker, knit 15
Row six: knit 15, turn and cast on 10 (see photos until you get the hang of this), careful not to twist stitches, turn and connect to other side by knitting last 15.

REPEAT rows One to six , until about 22 inches have been worked, ENDING WITH ROW FOUR. Now cast off all stitches.
 flip to cast on.....
 flip back to continue the row....
 Hand cabling:  Looking at the detailed photos, start at the cast on edge, make a loop out of the bottom “10 stitch ladder”.   From underneath, grab ladder 2 and bring it up and through the loop, and to the front, as the new loop.  Keep bringing the ladder above, through from the back, up into the loop, to create a new loop (using your finger like a huge crochet hook!) **** see the series of photos below****
When you get the last ladder at the top up into the last loop, use yarn and a darning needle to tack it permanently as the last loop, (and this will be the loop that can go over a big button, that you can stitch on the other end to close the cowl.)
 the loop.....
 bringing ladder 2 up through first loop
 see?  there it is....
 climbing the ladder...
to the top......

Monday, December 9, 2013

Hat for your Sock Monkey?

I was invited to a local hockey game, and it was "teddy bear toss" night.  I wondered how my classic sock monkey would look with a teddy bear hat.... so here he is.  I liked it so much, I thought you would too, so here is the fast knit pattern!  For any of you that do not have a sock monkey, you can make that too.  There are lots of websites with patterns and instructions (and videos?), but if you want to make one here is the link to my own instruction page!  Just NOTE that the monkey here is a golf club cover, so omit the black sock lining, and stuff fully and close at the bottom.

Teddy Bear Hat for your sock monkey

Yarn, chunky-weight  bear coloured yarn (less than ¼ of a ball, left over bit will do)
                Bit of cream yarn for muzzle.  Bit of black for eyes and nose.
Needles: 5mm (US 8) double point needles  (work in round for hat, and use as straights for small ears and muzzle.)
Gauge:  18 sts = 4 inches.  ( I intentionally used smaller needles, so that the hat would be quite firm, thus the gauge is a bit tighter than the chunky yarn is intended)

Cast on 21, dividing evenly around three double point needles.  Join carefully and knit in the round for 10 rows. 
Decrease row 1: on first needle:    knit one ,[ knit 2 together,  knit 1] twice .   Repeat this for other two needles.  (5 sts on each needle now)
Next row: knit all
Decrease row 2:  on first needle:     Knit 2 together, knit 1, knit 2 together.   Repeat on other two needles. (3 sts on each needle now)
Last row: knit all.
Cut off yarn leaving 9 inches, and with a big needle, thread the tail of yarn through the last 9 stitches, gather and secure the end yarn.
Ears (make 2):    Leaving a 9 inch yarn tail, Cast on 4 sts.   Row 1: Increase 1 stitch at each end or row (6 sts)
Work 4 rows in Garter Stitch (knit every row)
Row 6: Knit 2 together, knit 2, knit 2 together.
Row 7: knit 2 together, knit 2 together, pass first stitch over second (cast off) and finish cast off.  Darn in the end, leaving the cast on tail of yarn to darn into place on the hat.
Muzzle:  With cream color yarn, knit the ear pattern exactly (just do one), and sew it into place on the hat.  I placed a small bit of loose chunky yarn underneath the muzzle to puff it up just a bit.
Details:  With black yarn (I used sock yarn), Make french knot eyes and overcast satin stitch nose.

 and here is a close up, so you can see the placements of the muzzle and embroidery.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Christmas Market... my First Craft Show.

I am ready.  All the work from the last six months have produced enough inventory for my first craft show!  I will be at the Christmas Market, at Ridley College, St. Catharines, ON, on Friday December 6.  Open to the public, free admission, 2 - 7pm.
I hope to see some of my local readers there... 

 I have sock monkeys and monsters, hats, purses, bags, felted soaps, dryer balls....
 large bags, stockings, one cool large stuffed felted monster, and a zebra chair.....
and lots of small, and large scarves, in wool felt and nuno-felt featuring vintage silks.
All priced from $5 to $80.
There will also be a few coats, for purchase or samples for custom felting...

Please come and see me.  But if you cannot, you can also shop at my etsy site.  Link is above right.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Start your Christmas Knitting!!!

This post is to remind you to start your Christmas Knitting NOW!  (really you should already be well underway on your holiday knitting, having planned your list and shopped for yarn, and left yourself LOTS of time, to keep your stress at bay)

For those new to my blog, your best bets for quick and successful knitting projects are:

For the men, and sporty women in your life, you HAVE to make one or more WOOD HOODS.
For the baby....  the quick knit Bib.

 For the gals in your life, young and older, the Infinity Hooded Cowl.  Very trendy and a quick knit!

Everyone needs socks, and this one is a classic....  the Best Sock Pattern Ever

And I am always surprised that I have not had much feedback about this wonderful, fun pattern.... a treat for anyone, and truly Canadian.  My Inukshuk.  Surprisingly easy and inexpensive if you use your stash.

So get started.  There is a pattern for everyone on your list.  Happy Holiday Knitting!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Felting, monkeys and monsters

You may have noticed the absence of postings.  I have been so busy working on cool stuff, that I have neglected to talk about the cool stuff!  I have created a new felted item, the Christmas stocking, and have made several new nuno felt shawls.

 I have dressed some monkeys in felt scarves...
 and made a split personalitly monster, out of the coolest socks in pink, purple and yellow!
 Some of my new (vintage) sari silk has hand embroidery work.  wow
 and this one is just cute.
The reason I have been working this pace, is that I will be a vendor at the Christmas Market at Ridley College.  It is open to the public and takes place Dec 6 (friday) from 2 - 7pm.  I will post more about that later, but maybe save the date if you are in the Niagara area?!?  If not, these items are currently sitting on my Etsy site, and I would be happy to ship them anywhere....  cheers, chris

Friday, October 18, 2013

Baby Cocoon

I found some yummy superwash merino at the Needle Emporium, and with one skein, made a fast knit, very stretchy,  baby sack / cocoon.  It will be for only the first month or two, but what a lovely warm hug for a newborn in the winter!  The added bonus is it becomes a slouchy winter hat for the parents after baby has outgrown it...  sweet.
 Photos with my bear who is 16 inches tall, and quite chubby. 
 Hat for daddy!

Baby Cocoon

Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino worsted weight.  100 grams, 210 yards  (superwash, so in the machine it can go!)
Needles:   5.0 mm  (US 8)  FOUR double point (knit in the round, so no seaming)  AND a short circular needle in 5.0 mm  (you may be fine on just the double point needles, but you can switch to circ’s if you prefer once the total number of stitches are reached)
Stitch marker
Gauge   22 sts = 4 inches in 2 by 2 ribbing, relaxed.  (very stretchy, so close enough will probably work fine too!)
Pattern:  2 by 2 ribbing:  knit 2, purl2, round and round (must be worked on total stitches that divide evenly by 4!)

Pattern:  Starting at the bottom of the sack (the top of the head when worn as a hat):
Cast on 12 sts.  Join without twisting and knit one row.  Place marker to show row end.
Next row: knit in the front and back of all the stitches:  (24)
Knit one row. (knitting all the stitches)
Next row:   [Knit 1, Knit in front and back of next stitch] repeat to end of row (36)
Knit one row.
Next row: [knit 1, purl 1, knit in front and back of next stitch] repeat to end.  (48)
Single rib next row: [knit 1, purl 1] repeat to end.  (48 still)
Work in single rib for 2 more rows.
Next row:  [ Knit front and back of next stitch, purl 1] repeat across row  (72)
Next 3 rows:  [knit 2, purl 1]
Last increase:  [knit 2, purl front and back of next stitch] repeat across row (96).  (you may want to switch to a short circular needle for the rest of the knitting.  Must be short enough to work evenly around the sack.)
Rest of rows:  (you can take the marker off now, as you will just work the pattern until length is reached)
Knit two, purl two until total length is 14 inches from the start.  Cast off loosely all stitches.  Graft the small opening at the start of the cocoon.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Baby Bunting Coat

Baby Bunting Coat
31 years ago I made one of these for my first baby.  He wore it in the stroller, car seat, and out to visit family.  I used it as outerwear, over his cute sleepers and clothes.  It was stretchy enough to it all the car seat straps around.  Now I re-create it with fabulous Noro yarn,  Crazy soft, and funky colours!

Size,   3 – 9 months.  24 inches around the chest.  Should be worn loose over regular baby clothes.  Outerwear.
Yarn:  3 balls of NoroSilk Garden.  (or any Worsted weight that knits to gauge)
Needles, 4.5mm (US7).
Stitch holders, and markers.  Buttons.
Gauge:   16 sts and 20 rows = 4 inches.  CHECK GAUGE please.

The body is worked in ONE piece until under arm, then separated into tow fronts, and one back.   This keeps the stripes matching until the top bodice.

Body: Cast on 101.  Row 1: knit all stitches    Row 2: knit 6, place marker, purl 89, place marker, knit 6.
Row 3: knit all sts, slipping markers.
Row 4: knit 6, slip marker, purl to next marker, slip marker, knit 6.
Repeat row 3 and 4. **** Buttonholes:  on row 11 (right side facing) knit 1, knit 2 together, Yarn over, knit 2 together, knit 1, continue to work rest of row. Row 12, work to last marker, knit 2,  Knit in the front AND back of yarn over below, knit 2 ( you just created two sts in the top of the button hole).*****
Work the row 3, 4 repeat, placing a button hole AT THE RIGHT FRONT EDGE on every 11th row, about ever 2”, as described above,  until piece measures 20.5 inches. 
Right side row:   Separate fronts and back :  Knit 25, cast off 3, knit 44, cast off 3, knit 25.  Place both sets of front stitches (25s) on stitch holders.  Working the back (attach new yarn, and start on the wrong side) work in stocking stitch for 4.5 inches,  then cast off stitches.

For right front: pick up the right front stitches, attach yarn starting on the wrong side: work for 2.5 inches, keeping the garter stitch band on the 6 front edge sts (inside the marker)AND KEEPING UP THE BUTTON HOLE PLACEMENT.  With right side facing, cast off 6 sts once (remove marker), then 1 st and the neck side, 3 times.  When front is 4.5 inches, cast off all sts.

Left front, pick up the sts, working from the wrong side, work 2.5 inches.  With wrong side facing, cast off 6 sts once, then 1 at neck side, 3 times.  At 4.5 inches, cast off all sts.
BEFORE you sew the shoulder seam, add the sleeves!  With right side facing you, Pick up 16 sts DOWN from the shoulder to the armhole, then 16 up the other side.  Work in stocking stitch, decreasing one st each side on row 4, and every 4th row, until 26 sts.  Then garter stitch (knit every row ) for one inch.  Cast off all stitches.  Work other sleeve.
Fold sleeves in half, you should have a TOP of sleeve seam and shoulder seam to sew closed.

HOOD:  With right side facing, pick up 15 from right front, 8 across the back,(center of back) place marker, 8 more from the back, 15 from left front.  Work hood with 6 garter stitch front edge (use markers if needed), and stocking stitch in between. 
Continue in this pattern, increasing one stitch on each side of the center back marker every 4 rows, 7 times (50 sts.)  Work even until hood measures 8 inches.  Cast off.  Fold in half, and sew top of head seam.  Sew bottom edge of bunting.
Sew on buttons

Thursday, September 12, 2013

My Italian Villa

For the last few months, I have been working on a painting. It is an acrylic on canvas, based on a lovely photo of a friends family home in Italy.  The photo has been the desktop photo on my computer, and I have zoomed in to each section to get the details into the canvas.  I presented it to my friend today and she was pleased.  It is being framed now.
It is a large piece, 4 feet by 2 feet.  Perfect for over the sofa.

 The bricks on the old farm house were so cool to paint.  The black holes were left over after the scaffolding(wood posts) that was built into the wall as it was constructed, were removed.
 The property sloped down the side of the hill...  Small villages are seen in the background, surrounding the local churches.
 Chickens in the yard...
 Sheep in the lower yard...
And the original photo.  Beautiful.
I will miss her.... ciao bella

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tizzy Bunny

Here she is!  Tizzy bunny is made from an unusual, but inexpensive yarn, bernat tizzy.  You will find it soft, with a million squiggly fingers.  You cannot see the knit stitches AT ALL, and my friends needed to be told several times that, yes, it is a knitting project.
 Two views, one with flash and one with natural light...
 She can only stand if leaning on the pillow, and is 15" tall.
 tiny button tail....

Tizzy Bunny
This cute plushy is SO fast to knit, I started and finished it in about 5 hours (and yes, I am a quick knitter, but still, that was a quick knit!!).  Not for beginners, but still simple enough for knitters that know stocking stitch, increases, decreases, and never drop stitches (this yarn is difficult to see the stitches for pickup!).  It is worked on straight needles and seamed, so you also need to know sewing seams, and hand or machine sewing for the ear lining (felt), and nose, eyes and mouth.  I do not know if it would look as cool in ANY other yarn, so beware switching yarns.

She stands 15" toe to tip of ears.
Yarn: One ball of Bernat Tizzy, white.
Needles:  6mm, (US 8)
Gauge:  9 sts = 4 inches on 6mm needles.  Note this yarn suggests 10 mm (US 15), but by using a smaller needle, you will end up with tighter gauge that will not allow the stuffing to “peak through”. 

Other stuff:  poly stuffing, bits of pink fabric, and blue fabric (tee shirt knits work great), white felt for ear lining, and rose yarn for mouth.  Ribbon for neck decoration.

Body and Head:  (working from bottom of bunny)  Cast on 20 sts.   Wrong side:   Knit this row, increasing 4 evenly across. 
Work in Reverse Stocking Stitch (purl right side, knit wrong side) for 3 “, ending with purl row.
Next row (wrong side) knit row – decreasing 4 evenly across (this in the neck decrease)

Purl next row, then knit next row, decreasing 4 more evenly across.  Purl one more row.   (16 sts on needle)
Increase for head:  Knit 3, Knit front and back (increase), knit 3, knit front and back, knit front and back, knit 3, knit front and back, knit 3.   (20 sts on needle)
Purl one row.
Knit 9, knit front and back, knit front and back, knit 9.   (22 on needles)
Work 3 rows.
Knit 10, knit front and back, knit front and back, knit 10  (24 on needles) – this is the point of the nose-
Purl row
Knit row, decreasing 4 evenly across the row.
Purl row
Knit row, decreasing 4 evenly across the row.  (16 on needle)
Purl row
Knit row, decreasing 4 evenly across row.  (12 on needles)
Cast of all stitches.

Legs:  Cast on 10 sts, work 4 “  in reverse stocking stitch, cast off all sts. (make 2)

Arms: Cast on 8, work 3”, cast off all sts.
Ears: Cast on 6 sts.  Work 2.5 “.  Decrease 1 sts each side on the right side rows, until 2 sts left, then knit 2 together and slip yarn through loop to finish. (should make a bit of a point)
Tail:  Cast on 4. Purl row.  Knit row, increasing 2 in row. Purl row.  Knit row, decrease 2.  Purl row.  Cast off.

Now comes the sewing.  I found that using the Tizzy yarn to sew seams looks great but is super difficult, due to the million fingers catching in the needle.  You could use a matching sport weight yarn that is smooth, to sew up to ease this part.
Sew back seam of body head, leaving opening at the top and bottom.   Stuff lightly the body and head, and sew the bottom seam.   Sew arm and leg seams, closing one end, and lightly stiff the other end (do not stuff too firmly, not as cuddly that way!).   Sew legs and arms to body.
Fold tail into a cute bump, sew around this to the back side of bunny.
Ears: cut felt lining to a size smaller than the ear, and sew in place by machine or hand.  Fold bottom edges to meet in center (see close up of bunny face) and sew ears to the top opening, closing the head opening and securing ears in upright position.  The felt will help hold ears up.
Nose.  I used a bit of pink tee shirt scrap and made a folded rectangle (edges tucked under) and sewed in place with regular thread and needle.  With darning needle and rose sock yarn scrap, I sewed the mouth detail.   
The eyes… you could use buttons if not for a baby or toddler, but mine is for a baby, so I cut a half inch strip of peacock tee shirt fabric, about 15 inches long. Using a large eyed darning needle, I made french knots in the eye position.  To reinforce these eyes, I also used regular needle and thread and sewed them more securedly in place.
Ribbon at neck and you are done!

 Close up of the face, embroider mouth, fabric nose, french knot eyes.