Posts Tagged ‘handmade

07
Nov
09

An experiment…

…well two actually. The first experiment was trying out a new yarn, New to me at any rate. I thought I’d give some microfibre a try. Called ‘Smooth DK’ and made by King Cole, it promised to be soft and I had seen some colours that suited a project I had in mind. So I bought some, and yes, it is soft and very nice to work with. Not quite what I expected, but I think that is more me than a fault with the product. I don’t know if I am the only one who has thought about this, but I wonder if others hae also concluded that DK nowadays is more akin to 4ply. Or to put it another way, 25 years ago, I am sure I remember double knitting being thicker than it is these days. Frequently I pick something up thinking it will be 4ply, only to find that it is Double Knitting. Perhaps it is me, suffering memory loss, but I have to say that given the quantity of knitting I did throughout the time my children were growing up, you’d think I’d have remembered. It would be interesting to find out if gauges have changed. Needle sizing changed, just to confuse everyone, or rather the needles stayed the same but were described differently, now in mm which is mercifully much easier to understand when reading patterns from across the pond.

 P1190063ed

I’ve started to use King Cole Yarns more often in recent months and like them. I love the feel of this one, and the nice stitch definition.

The other experimental part of this tale, is the pattern I was working on. I decided to try and do a woven design, just for the fun of it, and I was really pleased with the way it turned out, although I have to say that I think I should have done another ribbon or two each way to make the weave tighter, but you live and learn through such experiences. This was the result, a little fragranced pillow  (lavender scented) made with the King Cole Smoothie. It’s a bit of a fiddle, but I really like the result so will undoubtedly do it again in the future.

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05
Nov
09

Splash of colour.

A few days ago I finished a project that was really enjoyable. I decided to make a cat blanket, using scraps of yarn left over from other projects. The result was amazing. A rainbow of colours. Are cats colourblind, I wonder?  If that is the case, it may be a blessing, otherwise they might be dazzled.

I made approximately 100 little 2.5 x 2.5 granny squares, with a well known pattern (I see it all over Ravelry and other crochet sites), and double crocheted them together. The yarn I used was one of my favourites, Patons Sorbet. I think I have mentioned it before. It’s a cotton blend, aran weight (worsted weight for those who are in the States and Canada), and its good for things like bags or something that needs to be fairly thickish  or rugged, like a bathmat. So should be good for a pet blanket 🙂

P1190011ed

I enjoyed making this so much, that I am now making something similar, though not for a cat. It’s so easy to pick up, do a few squares and put down again and makes my 50,000 stitch target for NaKnitMo, a breeze, (at least I think it will). I’m so proud of the girls who are doing this challenge, (actually, I think there is a male in there someone as well), but the totals some are racking up every day are incredible. For the rest of us, it’s just a chance to pick up unfinished projects and get them finished, make presents ready for christmas, and generally have a lot of fun. It’s surprising how quickly the stitch totals increase and several people have upped their targets already. I don’t think I will be doing that yet. I am managing to keep up with this blog for the NaBloPoMo, but haven’t done much for NaNoWriMo. I have been planning my plot, but not writing the book! Ah well, tomorrows another day.

03
Nov
09

High on catnip!

My lucky cats! They think it’s christmas already. I have made some catnip toys, with a view to making some more for christmas presents and swaps. of course the protypes have to be trialed, and thats where my cats score. I made two mice toys first, just plain brown in colour, nothing fancy. One of my cats played with one of them all afternoon, despite being nine years old. The toy is holding up well, given the viscious kicking, clawing and biting it’s been subjected to. The yarn was Patons Sorbet, which is aran weight, although many class it as chunky.

P1190020ed

These two mice are the same but I varied the strings, doing a straight cgain for one, and a bouncy coli for the other. I don’t think one works any better than the other, but the bouncy one is quite good if the mouse is hung somewhere and the cat bats at it. Probably more interesting for the cat.

Having achieved a modicum of success with mice, I then decided to have a go at fish. These were not so successful, in that I should have stuck to the stronger cotton. I swapped over to a double knitting cotton, but its not really as strong or firm, so future toys will all be made in the aran cotton.However, you can mess around to your hearts content with colour and design, so it will be fun to do some more at a later date. The fish were made yesterday so qualify for the count in NanKnitMo, a meagre 1500 stitches, but they all count!

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27
May
09

Dribble dribble, toil and bibble!

Remember the lovely swap parcel I received from my new friend in Australia last week? Well I decided that I would use some of the yarn today. A friend’s daughter has just given birth to a baby girl and I thought it would be useful to make some pretty bibs. My swap partner had told me that she uses the bamboo for dishcloths, so I though it might work well for a baby’s bib. When I knitted it up I found it to be so soft that it will be lovely for wiping baby Libby’s mouth. Less harsh than cotton. I hope the bamboo stays soft. I’m sure it will. The colours are very modern and bright, but very pretty and cheerful. I hope the new Mum likes them. The yarn, by the way is the Moda Vera bamboo/cotton (70% bamboo and 30% cotton). The second bib turned out a bit better than the first, but I think Ted models them well!

 

Bib 1                                     Bib 1

 

                              

 

                                                             

Bib 2

 

 

                              

Bib 2 a

14
May
09

Crochet scarf, section 4

first three sections celticmommyI received the next scarf in the traveling scarf journeys. This one belongs to a lovely lady in California. As usual I had several attempts to find a yarn or yarns that would blend in nicely, or at least not clash. I think I frogged my section three times and eventually decided to do something plain and embellish it, rather than use a multi-coloured yarn or mix colours in a pattern. So, I chose black chunky shetland wool as the base, and used merino wool for the flowers and leaves. The scarf’s owner wants it to be mostly greens and blues so that’s what I used for the embellishment. I hope my friend likes the result. Here are the pictures of the scarf, before I added my bit, my contribution and the scarf as it is now, ready to travel on it’s way back to America.

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full scarf

08
May
09

Beanies and Berets

It’s a long time since I made a hat. When my children were little I seemed to be forever knitting hats, balaclavas (remember them?) and a weird and wonderful assortment of gloves and mittens. Hats with pom poms, tassles, ears; gloves with lacy trims, whiskers and noses, and fur cuffs. Those were the days! So when I had the oppoerunity to join a hat swap group on Ravelry, I grabbed it, thinking it would be a good short term project. I relished the choice of patterns I knew I’d find on Ravelry. All I had to do was wait until I was assigned a partner and then ask her for her design prefences and colours and yarns. Likewise I had to think about my own prefences.

I made a beanie as requested for my partner. I used a pattern called Christina’s Beanie  and embellished it with my own flower and leaves. I hope she liked it.

hat 1

Meanwhile I received a wonderful beret from my other swap partner in Canada. She chose a wonderful pattern, and the perfect colour. I asked for a raspberry colourway, but never dreamed she’d manage to get the exact colour of my coat. It’s a perfect match and so pretty. It’s also lovely and soft and warm. Almost makes me regret it’s spring as I’ll have to wait until the end of the year before I can wear it. Not only did my partner make me a beautiful beret, but she sent a parcel full of goodies. It was like Christmas all over again. One of the items in the parcel was some Rooibos tea. It smelled lovely so I put some in the pot and had a cup without milk, and then one with milk. I liked them both, but do prefer it with milk. It’s Rooibos spicy chai and it tastes gorgeous. I will definitely be getting some more. Thank you so much Melinda,  for your generous parcel and my lovely hat. I am well chuffed.

hat

My hat!

 

My hat!.5jpgMy hat!.6jpg

22
Apr
09

Crochet starter 3!

Well as mentioned in my post below, the crochet scarf I started and sent on, doesn’t appear to have reached it’s destination, so I have started again. Not being well the last few days, I had to make do with something from my stash. It is wool, but not merino, so I hope folk will be able to work with it. I am hoping to get it out in the post today. Of course, the minute I publish this post, my lost starter will suddenly turn up. I wish it would…the thought of another thirty earrings!!

Ah well! here’s what I will be sending off this time. It’s very plain, just to get the scarf going…to anchor it, so-to-speak 🙂

3rd-crochet-scarf




okeeffe8.jpg Cat mad, but love dogs too! Purple fanatic but... More about me, here!
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