Saturday 31 October 2015

Joining yarns with a 'Magic Knot' technique

Hi all

I was taught this technique for joining two yarns together to form a very well hidden knot by my friend Mary last year.

I must admit I was very skeptical that it would work, I fully expected the knot to simply come undone, but they don't and I've been using it ever since as a quick and easy way to join yarn.

I've found that it does not work with the fancy yarns like tinsel or any that are very shiny, but otherwise it works well and it is lovely not having to sew in all those yarn ends into the back of work!

It is not easy to put into words how to do it so I've created a quick video tutorial which you can see here:

Hope you find this idea useful.

Happy crafting!



Wednesday 21 October 2015

Drops/Garnstudio 'Lace Affair' 159-2 Knitted Jacket/Cardigan

Hi All

Well I've finally finished my knitted jacket, I started it in April 2015 and finished it October 2015, I have been working on other things in between as I found the pattern needed good concentration to begin with and it was hard to do unless all was quiet or I was on my own!

It got easier with time and by the end I could do it while watching TV but still made a few mistakes particularly with the shaping of the armholes - there are no pattern stitch instructions on how to incorporate increased or decreased stitches into the design, all it says is 'keep pattern correct', which I found a bit easier said than done.

I'm a little bit disappointed with the length, the pattern showed it as almost thigh length and although my tension was correct and I stuck to the measurements in the instructions it actually came out at around hip length.

Having said all that I am really pleased with it, the effect is fabulous with no side seams to stitch so the pattern goes all the way around with no breaks.

It did however mean that you have a very large piece of work to deal with.

I did it in Drops Love You 5 in 'Heather', it is an Aran weight yarn.

Recommended yarn is Drops Bomull-Lin
Link to Free Pattern: Lace Affair 159-2 Drops Garnstudio

I've done a video review of the pattern and my experience of knitting it, along with a few tips and ideas which I hope will help if you try the pattern.

Happy knitting!


Sunday 11 October 2015

Christmas Toys and Decorations

Is it too early to talk about Christmas? ;)

Just wanted to share some of the things I've done or in the process of making that you might like to have a go at.

Knitted Santa and Snowmen Toys
Last year I did these lovely little Santa and Snowmen dolls, they are so quick and easy to knit and you can use up oddments of yarn. They stand around 6" high and all my grandchildren loved them.

They are designed by Jean Greenhowe and available in her Christmas Special book, which also has lots of other patterns (including a nativity scene) and is currently on Amazon: Jean Greenhowe Knitting Pattern Book - Christmas Special 

I also have a video tutorial of how I made my tiny quick and easy pompoms using just a fork, for the hats of the dolls:- 

Crochet Snowflakes
I am currently making these little snowflakes which measure approx. 2" across.

The pattern is really easy and consists of only 3 rounds mainly of chains and a few double crochet. The patterns is from Attic24:
I made them in 4ply cotton and did have to firm them using the PVA wash (see my video tutorial here if you want to know how to do a firming wash:

I am also going to try them in a pale ice blue as I think it could be quite an effective colour.

Whatever you are up to I hope you have great fun planning your Christmas makes!

Happy crafting!



Tuesday 6 October 2015

Crochet around hoops and rings to decorate them

In this video I show you how to cover rings and hoops with crochet stitches to decorate them - I used old curtain hoops, plastic bangles and key chain rings - they can be used for all sorts of decorative effect, including Christmas tree decorations.

I also used this effect on my crochet African Flower Bag, using the hoops for the handle holders:

A great way to use up odd balls and scrap yarn plus you can often rings and hoops very cheaply in pound shops, charity shops, car boots etc.

Happy crocheting!


African Flower Crochet Tutorial

African flowers are a lovely hexagonal version of a granny square using simple crochet stitches - chain, double crochet and treble - to produce a really pretty effect.

They can be used for all sorts of things from blankets, mats and shawls to more elaborate things like toys and bags.

Below is a bag I made using 11 African Flower motifs which I crocheted together and added covered hoops and crochet handle. I was really pleased with the result.

A few people have asked for a tutorial on how to make the African Flowers so I've put together a video which I hope you enjoy.