Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Big THANK YOU to All Free Knitting!

The wonderful website,  "All Free Knitting" has been an almost unlimited source of website free knitting patterns for many years.  It is the main reason readers find my knitting patterns, and have reached out to me with emails... questions, wonderful comments, and photos.... about my own free patterns.

Just this week alone, my stats show over a thousand hits on this pattern which originated from All Free Knitting, as a feature of the week.  What does this association mean to little websites like mine?

Well, I started this blog as a place to store and retrieve my own personal patterns.  But then I had a few knitters find me, and book mark me, and the conversations began.  I loved to hear from knitters everywhere, interested in the same types of projects that interest me.

Then one day.... BAM.  I had 600 hits in ONE DAY!  Guess what?  I was featured on AFK!

Now several years later... I get between 25,000 and 50,000 hits a month, and I will reach 4 million sometime in January.  All that from a little knitting diary out there in webland.  It is truly humbling, and I thank All Free Knitting, and the tireless work they do to organise and promote the site, and encourage the huge community of knitters to keep on knitting.

And just a couple of photos to inspire...  The Best Sock Pattern Ever....
 And a future one.... easy Thrummed Mittens. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Lots of updates

 I decided to make a truly Canadian jacket for this, our 150th year as a country.  Here we have the pieces being blocked... photo of finished to follow.  It is not my pattern, but a very old one from my books.  You can find a new pattern in the late winter issue of Vogue Knitting.  Or other patterns, search for Cowichan sweater patterns.
 Here I have several strands of merino roving, that I am using to spin yarn on a drop spindle.  It is my first large amount of spun yarn, and I am learning to do long colour changes to create a self striping yarn.  Always challenging your skill level is most rewarding for me. 
 I just finished back to back workshops at the Fibre Garden, my sanctuary of all things fibre and fun!  We made wet felt birdhouses, using Corriedale and Merino wool.  More workshops to come there, so check their website, or visit my felting blog (link up on the right).
 The last five photos are my water colour portraits of the Univerity Women's House Tour for 2017.  For the last six years, I have painted a 5 by 7" portrait of the houses, to give to the home owners as a thank you for opening their home to hundreds of curious people.  Needless to say the interiors are as wonderful in decoration and design as the exterior and it is a lovely afternoon of ooo's and ahhh's.

If you are in Niagara / St. Catharines area and would like a ticket, you can find them HERE.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Sweet Little Felted Purse

One ball of yarn, a beginner pattern, and a few hours....  This is a cute little bag anyone can knit!
 Finished size:  approximately 5" wide and 7" long.  It could be a bit bigger if you do not felt it quite as much as I did.

Yarn: Ashford 8 Ply, 100 gram ball, 100% corridale wool, DK weight.  Purchase online HERE.
Needles:  6mm (US 10)
Gauge: approximately 14 sts = 4 inches .  Not too important, your bag will be a bit bigger or smaller if the gauge is off a bit.  Most important is the yarn MUST be PURE WOOL, not superwash.  You need it to shrink in hot water!

Patttern:  Cast on 45 stitches.  Knit every row (garter stitch) until 15 inches long.
               Last row: cast off all except last stitch.  Turn and cast on 15 stitches.  Turn and cast off all 16 remaining stitches (this creates the button hole loop)

Stitch the button hole into a loop at the upper corner, then stitch closed the side and bottom edge of the bag.  NOTE: the ridges are vertical on this bag...

 Strap:  wind off 6 strands, 48 inches long.  Tie a knot at one end, then holding in pairs, braid the length and tie a knot on the other end.  Sew one end to the top opposite the button hole, and the other end 5 inches below the button hole loop, on the side seam.  See photos.
 This is how the purse will fold after felting.

Felting:  Throw the purse into the washing machine with some old towels or jeans, and put them through one HOT cycle with laundry soap.  Check it.  With the yarn above you should be shrunk enough, but some other yarns may need one more cycle to get there.    While still damp, stretch into shape, pulling the straps smooth, and folding the flap down.  Sew a button under where the loop lies, and button closed.  Air dry.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Felting in large scale

If you wondered how to make felt art, I have a post on my felting blog that shows the steps to get to a poster size art piece.  This one is 1950's style advertising tourism in Niagara Falls. It will be called "Before the Selfie" as the figure in the poster will have an old fashioned camera in his hands.

Pop over to my felting blog for more details!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

sneak peek

Here is a quick photo of the new poncho sweater in Noro....  Soon to be a pattern at a blog near you!