Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Needlepoint Bag in Progress

I started a needlework piece a couple of weeks ago, originally it was going to be a small handbag, but I deciced it'd be a much better book/knitting etc bag.

The pattern is from Mary Norden's book named "Mary Norden's Needlepoint", there are beautiful folk patterns all through the book. It is a pattern for a cushion, but needed only a little alteration to make it the shape I want. I think it'll be a few more weeks until it is finished, as I only do it while watching TV at night.
The needlepoint is stitched on 10# Penelope Canvas and in DMC tapestry wools. I have used the colours the author suggested, except for a few that had been discontinued (it is an old book) and I got close substitutes.
I love how when I put it on the lounge to photograph, my crocheted rug which is always on my lounge, echoed the colours in the needlepoint. Must be "my" colours, maybe I should look at expanding my wardrobe into some of these :D

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Cranberry Christmas

I know it's no-where near Christmas time, but that's no excuse for not partaking in Christmas crafts! The new owners of the needlework shop I work have allowed us to stitch on our on work in the quiet times. This called for a small piece that didn't matter for many interruptions or for hospital like cleanliness. Dada! enter the prairie schooler redwork series.

Now I have completed the "Cranberry Christmas", I have started on the "Redwork Santas". The plan is to make them all in a nice Christmas wall hanging when they are all done.
They are stitched on 25# Floba which I chose for it's great colour and it's dense weave, perfect for a quilt. I started out using 2 strands of DMC floss but it didn't give the coverage I thought the design needed, so pulled that out and did it in 3 strands - perfect!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Welt and Rib Raglan

Despite the hot weather I was having knitting withdrawals, and not just any knitting withdrawals, because I had knitted the occasional pair of socks. But sweater knitting withdrawals, it has been so long since I have knitted a sweater or cardigan for myself, at least 6 months.
The catalist was the Winter Interweave 2008 magazine. It's actually a bit tricky to get for me, it doesn't always appear in the local newsagency and then they only get a couple of copies. So I saw the magazing sitting seductively in the rack, told myself - "I am saving money, I have lots of knitting patterns in the queue at home, Maybe just a flip through the pages......"
It was actually the Victoria Yoke Pullover which caught my eye originally but with futher study of the pages (after purchase at home) I realised my Grey Alpaca would be perfect for the Welt and Rib Raglan.

I have been actually looking through my pattern stash in the last week looking for a sweater with all these atributes:
1. It needs to be fitted to fit under a motorcycle jacket
2. Definately in not to bulky yarn as per No 1.
3. Must have a high neck as I get a cold neck, especially riding.
4. Must look dressy enough for work.
So it ended up a no brainer to start this sweater!

There is only 2 changes I plan on making to the published pattern.
1. Not knit the sleeves in the round, purely because I didn't have the double pointed needles and I wanted to start now. I actually tried doing the magic loop method with my Denise Interchangables, but the cable was definately too sticky for the Alpaca, so after a couple of rows I frogged and restarted.
2. Not leaving the chain in at bust line. I need all the stretch I can get in that area, and don't think the chain will look as neat on a busty shape.
Here are the start of the sleeves:

Macquarie Pass

Well I finally got around to doing the pass. I was with a small group that headed off from Loftus at around 9:30am, which means we left home about 7am, and of course it was an uncharacteristic freezing morning! We were meeting up with a group that we hadn't riden with and although it was an interesting route, found it a tad hard the speed that they were riding, especially as I didn't know the roads, made me feel a real nube again. By the time we headed up the pass, we had broken off on our own and I did enjoy the ride up to the Robertson Pie Shop. One of the fellow riders had pulled over and was taking shots of us all. This is one, and I like it because it's the first photo of me actually riding!

Wayne also set up a cute scene last night - they are called Hobbit Bikers - and of course his was called Moon Hobbit Biker. I am trying to think up something cute to do for my Hobbit...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Vintage Stripe Crochet Blanket

I've had a number of people ask for this vintage pattern, so I thought instead of continuing to send it to people individually, I'll pop it up here.

It is from a vintage Australian crochet book, so it uses English crochet terminology, if you are used to following American patterns, please check the abbreviation chart for the stitches at the end of the pattern.

The pattern is for a scarf, so just increase stitches for a rug, using whatever crochet hook is appropriate for whatever yarn you are using.

Make 70 Chain
1st row - Miss 1ch, 1dc in each ch to end (69 dc)
2nd row - 3ch, 1tr in first dc *miss 3dc, 3tr in next dc, rep from * to last 4dc, miss 3dc, 2tr in last dc
3rd row - (change colour yarn) 2ch, *3tr in centre dc of 3dc missed in previous row (working over previous row), rep from * to end, 1 htr in centre ch of 3ch
4th row - 3ch, 1tr in space between htr and next group of tr, 3tr in each space between groups of tr to end, 2tr in space between last group and turning ch
5th row - (change colour yarn) 2ch, *3tr in centre tr of 3tr group 2 rows below (working over last row), rep from * to end, 1 htr in centre ch of 3 ch
6th row - as 4th row
7th row - as 5th row
8th row - as 4th row
Continue until work is desired length, changing colour of yarn every odd numbered row (5, 7, 9, 11, etc)


ch....chain (UK)...............= chain (USA)
dc....double crochet (UK)= single crochet (USA)
htr ..half treble (UK)........= half double crochet (USA)
tr.....treble (UK)...............= double crochet (USA)

Monday, January 12, 2009

DK Cotton Socks - Free Pattern

I knitted these socks for summer motorcycling, nice to have thick socks for under the Doc Martins, but being cotton they are a lot cooler than all my woollen hand knitted socks, even the really fine ones.

These are instructions for using a single circular needle, but you should be able to adjust it to DPN if you prefer.

Yarn - 2 balls of DK cotton yarn (approx 255m needed in total)
Needles - 1 x 3.75mm Circular Needle min 80cm long
Guage - 12sts per 5cm

Cast on loosely 64sts.
1st Row *P1, K2, P1, rep from *, to end, turn work
2nd Row *K1, P2, K1, rep from *, to end, turn work
Continue ribbed band for 11 rows in all.
Pull through a loop of needle cable between the 32 and 33rd stitches (half of knitting on either end of needles now) and sew up the ends of the band together. You now have the round to continue knitting up socks.

I use this method because it saves so much time then the getting started on any knitting in the round.

1st Round *K3, P2, K3, rep from * to end
Continue rounds until sock measures 10cm from beginning.

Next Round *K3, P2tog, K3, rep from* to end (56sts)
Next Round *K3, P1, K3, rep from* to end
Rep this last round until sock measures 18cm from beginning.

Next Round *K3, K2tog, K2, rep from * to end (48sts)
Next Round Knit all stitches
Continue rounds of stocking stitch until sock measures 23cm from beginning

Next Round K3, K2tog, K6, K2tog, K22, K2tog, K6, K2tog, K3 (44sts)

1st Row K12, Turn work
2nd Row P24, Turn work (these 24 stitches form heel, continue, turning at the end of each row)
3rd Row *Sl 1, K1, rep to end *
4th Row S1 1, P23
Rep Rows 3 & 4 another 8 times (total 20 rows for heel)

1st Row Sl 1, K13, K2tog tbl, K1, turn
2nd Row Sl 1, P5, P2tog, P1, turn
3rd Row Sl 1, K6, K2tog tbl, K1, turn
4th Row Sl 1, P7, P2tog, P1, turn
5th Row Sl 1, K8, K2tog tbl, K1, turn
6th Row Sl 1, P9, P2tog, P1, turn
7th Row Sl 1, K10, K2tog tbl, K1, turn
8th Row Sl 1, P11, P2tog, P1, turn
9th Row Sl 1, K14
10th Row Sl 1, P15

Next Row K8, pull through needle to cable (this is now the end of the round)

1st Round K8, Knit up 11sts along Heel Flap, K10 (pull cable twist to this section of round) K10, Knit up 11sts along side Heel Flap, K8 (58sts)
2nd Round Knit all stitches
3rd Round K16, K2tog, K22, K1,Sl 1, K1, psso, Knit to end (56sts)
4th Round Knit all stitches
5th Round K15, K2tog, K22, K1,Sl 1, K1, psso, Knit to end (54sts)
6th Round Knit all stitches
7th Round K14, K2tog, K22, K1,Sl 1, K1, psso, Knit to end (52sts)
Continue decreasing every alt row as in rows 2 to 7 until there are 44sts.
Continue in stocking stitch until instep measures 14.5cm from edge of heel flap.

1st Round K8, K2 tog, K2, K1,Sl 1, K1, psso, K16, K2 tog, K2, K1,Sl 1, K1, psso, K8 (40sts)
2nd Round Knit all stitches
3rd Round K7, K2 tog, K2, K1,Sl 1, K1, psso, K14, K2 tog, K2, K1,Sl 1, K1, psso, K7 (36sts)
4th Round Knit all stitches
5th Round K6, K2 tog, K2, K1,Sl 1, K1, psso, K12, K2 tog, K2, K1,Sl 1, K1, psso, K6 (32sts)
6th Round Knit all stitches
Continue decreasing in alt rows until 24sts remain. Then decrease in every row until 12 sts remain.
Graft final stitches together for toe.

K - Knit
P - Purl
tog - together
Sl - Slip
tbl - through back loop
psso - pass slipped stitch over
rep - repeat

I have tried to check that this pattern is mistake free, but due to not being perfect and often being interrupted when typing, I apologise if I have missed any errors.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Wreck It Jounal

I've recently come across a few flickr photos of this journal. After googling I found it's official site, and here is what the author/creator has to say:

"This book was created for anyone who has ever had trouble starting/keeping or finishing a journal/sketchbook. By forcing ourselves to wreck it on purpose, the “journal as an object” loses it’s preciousness, and allows us the feeling of completion."

But after browsing through photos on the site and on flickr, it becomes obvious that the journal is not being 'wrecked' as such. People follow specific instructions on each page to create the completed journal. Therefore it isn't really being wrecked, it is being finished. There is no real creativity here in following instructions written on each page, and no real destruction when you are following instructions.

"To do those things you were taught to never do (make a mess, destroy, fold down pages, write in books, play with dirt). This book IS the place."

Again are you really learning anything if you are just following promts.

BUT I do think it looks like loads of fun! and I will probably get a couple as presents for friends/family.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Blythe Dress - Free Pattern

If you cut and paste the below addy, it should take you to the original flickr upload, on the top of the pic, click on "all sizes" then download original size (largest).

1. Cut out pieces carefully, and be careful about the 5mm seam allowance to ensure a good fit.
2. Put 2 rows of gather stitches along the top of the skirt piece, the skirt ruffle and the top and the bottom of the sleeve pieces.
3. Sew the shoulder pieces together and press seams open. With right sides facing, sew around the neck seam, clip and trim the seam, then turn in the right way and press.
4. Press cuffs along fold line and then pull up gathering stitches at lower part of sleeve to match cuff, sew right sides together, remove gathering stitches and press seam towards seam.
5. Gather up top of sleeve stitches and sew right sides together along armhole in bodice. Remove gathering stitches and finger press seam towards bodice.
6. With right sides together sew up sides of bodice, sleeve edge and cuff edge all in one seam. Clip seam at underarm. Turn in the right way and press.
7. Sew a narrow hem along ruffle piece. Pull up the gathering stitches of the other edge of ruffle piece and sew right sides together to skirt bottom. Remove gathering stitches and press towards skirt piece.
8. Pull up gathering sitches on top of skirt and pin to bottom of bodice right sides together , making sure to make a 5mm fold along edge of skirt, matching the edge of the bodice, to ensure no raw edges show when finished. Sew and remove gathering stitches and press towards skirt.
9. If you wish now is the time to sew a ribbon or trim around bottom of bodice.
10. Sew up back seam, from bottom of ruffle to about half way up skirt piece.
11. Sew two snaps on back of bodice, one at neck and one at waist.
Note: I always finish each seam as I go with a narrow zig zag stitch and trim any lose threads.

New Year Day

Introducing our new family member, a cockatiel named Bilbo Baggins. My mother got given 6 cockatiels from her brother which she put in her outside avery. One of the birds had all his feathers and looked great, but all the others appear to have been getting their feathers plucked by this one bossy bird. So I have taken him to live in our loungeroom in a nice big cage, and it will be interesting to see how the 5 left in her avery now get on. He seems a little unsure, but seems to be settling in quite nicely.

I spent New Years Day knitting a new pair of socks, well only 1 sock and the cuff of the 2nd of the pair. I think I will have the pattern sorted enough to write out in the next few days.
While knitting I watched the entire Season 2 of Dexter. I love this show! I hadn't managed to see any of the episodes since it started airing, but I can't wait until Series 3 starts next thursday night :D