Monthly Archives: January 2017

Fairy Doors and Luck Magic

I had a lovely surprise from Trina in the post yesterday, which was even more surprising as I couldn’t figure out who it was from! It must have been cloaked in fairy magic!

A fairy door and a Martenitsa.

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Being nicely photo bombed by a tie fighter in the pic above! The fairy door has been placed on my bookshelf for now, my reasoning being fairies will like browsing through the pages of my books as much as I do.

A Martenitsa is a good luck charm worn in March, Bulgarian in origin, I had never heard of one before, so I will have to do some reading up on it! Thanks Trina! šŸ™‚

So that was yesterday, Monday, today I received a voucher I earned in the post so that was nice too!

On Sunday I found and put up again something I lost last year. A lucky horseshoe I have had for YEARS. My dad used to be in a regimental band posted in Germany, which is where I was born and spent the first 6 years or so of my life. I remember sitting in the regimental bar after one of another band members’ child’s Christening and the wife brought in a cake and gave all of the children a little horseshoe off the top of the cake. I have had it blue-tacked up somewhere in my room ever since. I would have been five I think. A good 26 years up!

And then I knocked it under a bookcase last year and only found it again on Sunday. The day after I put it up I receive a fairy door and luck charm in the post, and the day after I get my voucher… so it works!!!!

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And R2-D2 has decided to muscle in on this picture! I blame Angela – a bad influence with the Star Wars merchandise! šŸ˜‰

Ellen x

Charity Knitting UK

Knitters and crocheters are often generous people, both with their willingness to spend time on making gifts for friends and family, with their willingness to spend time teaching others how to knit or crochet, and with their willingness to make things for strangers.

From what I have seen, people in the US seem to have lots of different channels and organisations geared up to receiving and distributing homemade items to those who need them, such as church organisations, local shelters etc.Ā But I have always felt that places like that are harder to find in the UK. It’s not that they don’t exist, it’s more that they’re not often open in advertising what they want and need.

I have found a site with lots of links for charity knitting in the UK, so have a look and see if anything takes your fancy.

http://www.ukhandknitting.com/knitting-for-charity/charity-list

There are a variety of different charities you could knit or crochet for. Blankets and afghans for your local care home, knitted mice and toys or blankets for your local animal shelter, baby items such as blankets, cardigans, hats, mittens for local maternity ward/ neo-natal ward although not all hospitals accept items like that, maybe knit a really cool blanket for children undergoing cancer treatment – its something to hug and keep when they leave hospital. Maybe you have/ had a loved one in the armed forces and could knit a nice pair of socks/ hat or something?

http://www.supportoursoldiers.org.uk/parcels/

I like the look of this charity below so will have a nosy around the site later. They make blankets for children in hospitals, among other projects.

http://beta.woollyhugs.com/

I have a pinterest board called inspired by others which is full of random stuff I like but which doesn’t fit in a category of it’s own. Right at the bottom there are a few pins regarding minion blankets and superman blankets, ninja turtles scarves etc. which can really set off your creativity for kids- not just a granny blanket for them, no, they need a star shaped spiderman blanket thank you very much!

There are also lots of groups on Ravelry regarding charity knitting. The people behind these groups manage to churn out an astounding amount of happy warm items for a variety of different causes.

If you fancy having a go at knitting for charity and spreading the homemade happy around a bit, then the above are just a few links to get you started.

Ellen xx

 

Works In Progress

I am currently working onĀ 4 things at the moment.

-The Knitted Spring Bunting which I have posted about previously.

-Lizzie’s new house blanket which is taking me WAY longer than I expected…sorry!

-The Knitted Wrist-warmers which I have also posted about but I have sort of drifted from this WIP a bit. I WILL finish what I started even if it takes me months to do it.

-The Knitted Crochet Hook Holder. Yes, it’s knitted and it’s for my crochet hooks but you know, knitting seems to be my favourite hobby now. Since that’s ALL I have blogged about lately…I am just surprised how easy it is and how I have taken to it!

I have already knitted the main body of it. Need to block it and then sew the inside where the hooks will go, but that will take just an hour or two.

Here is a little pic.

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The fabrics are just fat quarters from a pack and the wool is Carnival Chunky 2483 VeniceĀ – I think that’s Style craft? Obviously I threw the label away and had to look it up online…I think this is it here…

http://www.woolwarehouse.co.uk/yarn/stylecraft-carnival-chunky-venice-2483-100g

So…that’s what’s on my needles at the moment!

Ellen xx

 

Knitted Spring Bunting #2

Thought I would post a quick update on the knitted bunting I have been working on.

I never seem to be able to take pictures in daylight so they don’t look as they do in natural light…it’s always in the evening when I get theĀ urge to take pics!

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Knitted spring bunting

 

I am using Stylecraft Special DK with a pair of 4mm needles.

I am going to do 3 each in 4 colours – Blue, Pink, Yellow and Green for a total of 12 triangles and see where that gets me before I think about doing any more.

I experimented with different ways of decreasingĀ and got a little confused, but now thatĀ I figured out you need to cast on an odd number of stitches I am much quicker at it! Also I decided to only use a simple knit stitch since I couldn’t work out how to do a stocking stitch with a simple edging and decrease into a nice triangle shape, but having found other patterns in books and online since starting this project, I now think it wouldn’t be too hard to figure out. What was I saying in my previous post about stop thinking of myself as a beginner knitter?!!

I did try using a decrease on every line (k2tog at start and end of each line) but the triangle was tiny and twisted and weird. I found two lines of knit stitch and THEN a line decreasing worked better.

As well, I need to think about a runner or banner of some kind to hang the bunting from, maybe aĀ crochet one which would be firmer? To think about at the end of the project.

This is what I decided on in the end…

I casted on 31 stitches

Knit 2 rows

Next row k2tog, knit until last 2 stitches, k2tog

Repeat these 2 rows until 1 stitch remains and pull yarn through loop and tighten before cutting yarn and weaving in ends.

I am going to crochet an edging around the triangles, I thought do one triangle with each of the other colours (i.e. for theĀ 3 pink triangles do one with a green edging, one with a yellow and one with a blue). I was thinking one row of double crochet (single crochet if you use US terms) around the edge with maybe 3 stitchesĀ in the point at the bottom.

They obviously haven’t been blocked yet so they are a bit twisty and all, but I’ll do that right at the end in one go.

A project like this would be great to use up your odd bits in your stash – maybe a striped one with different colours- or as new baby/ wedding/ birthday present with personalised letters on. Don’t worry Lizzie – I’m not knitting you a set of white wedding bunting so don’t panic! Although…hmmm! How about a crocheted wedding cake? With a pair of crocheted Lizzie and Reg figures?!! lol…be scared!

Hope you’re having a crafty evening whatever you’re all doing.

Ellen x

A-Z of Knitting

The A ā€“ Z of Knitting

A Afghan http://www.ravelry.com/groups/afghan-squares-for-pine-ridge-reservation

B Blanket http://www.knitting-bee.com/top-free-knitting-patterns/top-10-sampler-stitch-afghan-free-knitting-patterns

C Cable knitting http://www.knitting-bee.com/knitting-stitch-library/cable-knitting-patterns

D Double Knitting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JroP84tUmJA

E Eyelets https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFf_baUEtmA

F Friends of Pine Ridge https://friendsofpineridgereservation.org/make-a-difference/crochet-knit-sew/

G Gifts for geeks http://knittingfornerds.com/free-star-wars-knitting-patterns/

H Hat making https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sB9FQwkw-hs

I Intarsia https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeH4IrN-oOE

J Jumper https://www.favecrafts.com/Knit-Baby-Clothes/Baby-Hoodie-Knitting-Pattern

K Knit 2 together (k2tog) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptZsAT770i8

L Loom knitting http://www.marthastewart.com/868903/martha-stewart-crafts-lion-brand-yarn-extra-soft-wool-blend-loom-knit-baby-blocks

M Make 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E31Il_LeKs4

N Needle bags http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/kellyconnordesigns/product/i-like-big-balls-knitting-needle-bag

O On happiness through knitting http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-2892449/Health-Knit-way-happiness-plus-benefits-walking.html

P Purl 2 together (p2tog) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jp2-DxZNaSo

Q Queen http://www.letsknit.co.uk/free-knitting-patterns/the-queen

R Knitting in the Round https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9OrDriAmtI

S skpo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOLCAlVmQM4

T Toys http://www.loveknitting.com/knitting-patterns-for-toys

U Underused knitting techniques (Entrelac) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcLxMt9GehM

V Valentineā€™s Heart http://debbieblissonline.com/patterns/valentines-heart/

W Whale! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7iy8hF7IRI

X Xtreme Knitting http://www.worldofwool.co.uk/latest_news/extreme_knitting_.htm

Y Yoga https://www.doyouyoga.com/a-crafty-way-to-relax-yoga-and-knitting/

Z Zig Zag http://debbieblissonline.com/patterns/free_knitting_pattern_scarf/

Knitted Hot Water Bottles

This year I saw a pattern in Knitting Magazine (UK) for a Christmas hot water bottle and once I looked at it I thought I could give it a go.

The first hot water bottle I followed the pattern to the letter except instead of intarsia I Swiss darned the pattern over the top which just took ages and was difficult to actually follow the pattern. But I like the colours and the overall look of it, I just need to stop thinking of myself as a beginner knitter now and call myself an intermediate one, which means having more confidence going for the slightly harder patterns.

I gave this one to Lizzie since everyone had to have something homemade this year.

It fits a 1.5l bottle which wasn’t made clear in the magazine.

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I adapted the pattern slightly for Trina’s hot water bottle which was a smaller 1 litre size. I started with 10 less stitches and had a go at an intarsia pattern I created myself – was much easier than I expected. And I managed to hide the strands on the back as well.

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Now I need to make one for me!

And this is the first time I have knitted (or done ANYTHING) with Aran wool and I really like it! It’s thicker than DK weight and I think I used 5mm needles so it knits up quite quickly. I think I will keep Aran wool in mind for future projects after this! I used Stylecraft Special Aran with wool for these hot water bottles. In case you’re wondering…

 

Crochet Scarf

What is my favourite wool I hear you ask…

It is James C Brett Marble Chunky…any shade! It’s 100% acrylic and comes in 200g balls. I have used it for scarves, iPhone holders, blankets…. I love it, it’s my fave.

And the scarf I am using this season? Yes, that’s James C Brett too!

I crocheted it last year, so I can’t remember the exact pattern, but it just goes to show how fast crochet can be compared to knitting because I managed it in an evening! It uses the v-stitch (treble, chain, treble) and I would have measured from the tip of my thumb to the tip of my little finger stretched out for the width since I don’t like really wide scarves. And I would have used the whole ball.

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I don’t normally go for light, bright, pastel colours, so this darker, more autumnal shade is me all over!

It does stretch a bit because the stitches aren’t close together like in knitting, but it is soooooo warm!

But that’s what I’m wearing this year…I did knit myself a scarf last year, a grey James C Brett Marble one (not chunky, maybe DK weight?) but I STILL haven’t got around to blocking it and it has curled around the edges. Once I get around to straightening it, then I will be able to say I have a knitted scarf! It was the first thing I ever completed in knitting so I should be more proactive about showing it off shouldn’t I?!!

A couple of years ago I made aĀ cowl with the same wool but a different shade.

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I think I posted about it ages ago anyway, but I love the colours and shades from this range, the greys and purples especially, so if you fancy a new wool for a simple scarf or blanket, James C Brett Marble Chunky is definitely the way forward.

The one above I used puff stitch and v-stitch together. I adapted it from a book called Crochet Workshop by Erika Knight (one of my favourite crochet designers ever). I also made my mum a scarf with this pattern, I just didn’t join it together.

Have a good day, Ellen xx