theknittingmoon

adventures in knitting design (and other craftiness…)

Whittling and weaving

Yet again ANOTHER CRAFT has crept up behind me and kidnapped me away from the knitting…

I’ve been interested in weaving for some time but always thought it would be too difficult/expensive equipment-wise until I saw this…

Hooray! Something else has yet again distracted me from the various knitting patterns I have in progress!

At least it’s a ‘quick project’ craft, even if you include stripping bark off a twiggy branch…(the entire time I was doing this I kept thinking about Agent Cooper whittling in Twin Peaks…).

And here is my first attempt!

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Phew…weaving craving satisfied…now back to the knitting…

tkm

 

Winging it

All the advice on designing knitting patterns tells us to ALWAYS swatch swatch swatch, plan, plan, plan, you can’t make something fit otherwise etc etc etc. I do usually follow this advice but…

For some reason with my latest design I just started knitting it…and carried on knitting it until I was happy with the result. It DID take me three tries to get the size and shape right though, so maybe there’s a wee lesson in that!

I wanted to knit a fingerless mitt in thistle colours in a vaguely triangular pattern.

The first attempt didn’t involve any shaping and looked like this…

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The second attempt involved too much shaping and would probably only fit a skeleton…

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But, third time was lucky!

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They fit perfectly. I may have saved myself some time if I’d swatched first but…I did learn a few things along the way. Like, the best way to decrease, and exactly how many purple stitches I needed to make the green yarn meet at the bottom of the triangle.

Winging it – sometimes it’s okay to just go for it!

Hot cross bun fun

If I’ve been quiet for a little while it’s because I’ve been beavering away at the knitting designs – I have a couple nearly finished and one more just started. I’m hoping to have them all written up and ready to release for autumn. (They’re autumn/winter type accessories so I think it’s better to keep them on the back burner until then.)

 

Meanwhile, I have a question: when you submit a design to a publisher is it better for your design sketch to be a simple schematic or a drawing of how the finished item might look? I did submit a couple of patterns to two different publishers for the first time – without success – and I’m not sure whether the designs weren’t right for them or my method of submission wasn’t what they are used to. (I submitted drawings rather than schematics but the drawings had measurements on them…) Maybe next time I should just include both! At least then I’ll know if they are rejected then it’s probably the design they don’t like…poor rejected things. Ah well, I just keep thinking of all those famous musicians/artists/writers who were rejected before someone saw their potential – I always feel better being able to compare myself to The Beatles!

Now for some pictures! Look what I found at the car boot sale recently for only £1.50 -

IMG_2042And I only have to get rid of one or two bumpy bits before it will be my favourite T-shirt…

More pictures!

The wee man and I have been baking again – we tried hot cross buns for the first time and they turned out quite well.

IMG_2047 I am stuffing my face with one as I type and it’s not half bad. Recipe here.

Have a lovely Easter everyone.

x

 

Hunting the perfect stitch pattern

I found some half price Rowan Pure Wool recently in my local woolly wonder emporium in some colours I like together so I bought 7 balls of the black and 7 of the clay and I already had 1 ball at home of the Cypress. So I now had to rack my brains for a suitable pattern for this bonanza. Here is some of the thinking and deciding process I went through before I found the stitch pattern I wanted to use.

I have recently really wanted to knit a check or tartan pattern to I tried that first. Here is a swatch of my first attempt…(I used the crochet slip stitch I used in my Haiku wrist warmers for these patterns.)

DSC_2164 I wanted to try to get a rougher line through the middle of the pattern so I used both the black and the clay colours held together for the two stripes in the middle of the lighter squares but it didn’t really come out as I had in mind – not enough of the black. So I tried a solid line with more  vertical stripes.

DSC_2167 I even started with the ribbing I wanted to use on this swatch which I’ve never done before! Yep, I’m trying to be more prepared these days… I definitely like this pattern better but it still wasn’t right. The light bits look too much like windows. So this one was out too.

I scrapped the check pattern idea at this point as I didn’t think it was working with these colours. (I might go back to it later though…) So I tried a stripey pattern I’d been thinking about where you change colours randomly in the middle of rows.

DSC_2161 I also added a wee vertical crochet slip stitch stripe in this one. (Can’t get enough!) I realised at this point that these colours are almost exactly the colours of the jumper The Big Man was wearing when I first met him. Maybe why I like them so much? But this still wasn’t right. Maybe it’s one to come back to for a Big Man jumper later…Oh, yes, I forgot to say – I want to design a lady jumper for the first time. I’ve been a bit scared to do it but told myself not to be a wimp and just get on with it – it can’t be that hard!

So, my head was whirling about with all the different things I could/couldn’t do with this wool in these colours when I suddenly remembered another technique I had tried on a swatch before but never made up into a pattern. Weaving in yarn! I really like this technique for some reason and when I knitted a swatch using it I knew it was the right one straight away.

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I even did a circular swatch for the first time! (A tiny one, admittedly but it’s better than none.) As soon as I realised I wanted to use this stitch pattern, I realised it was going to have to be a circular jumper as I couldn’t face sewing all those ends in…and probably no-one else could either so no-one would want to knit it.

So I’m now designing my first circular jumper! I’m 11 rounds in and have only frogged it twice so far! That’s not bad right?

I’ll let you know how it goes…

tkm

Camera crafts

The Big Man recently got a DSLR camera and asked me to make him a case for one of his lenses. After a quick search I found this tutorial which looked just the thing.

It took me all of a Sunday morning and here is the result…

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I used bits from an old flannel shirt for the outside and some soft cotton lining for the inside. Some cord and beads from an old belt finished it off. Thanks Sewplicity!

The Big Man had also been talking about getting a little notebook for his camera bag so when I saw this… I had to try to replicate it. I bought a notebook rather than making one though!

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Thanks to Lula Louise for the inspiration!

The Big Man is using them both and seems very happy with them.

I also have a new knitting design in progress…more about that to come.

tkm

Fab Sunday

I used to hate Sundays when I was at school. Now I love them, especially if I can get them just right…like today! It starts with a good mooch around the local car boot sale. No bargains today (but I live in hope). Then a bit of a tidy round the house, put the wood burner on, a nice wee bacon and egg crispy roll and a stroll in the woods with the family…

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(Photos 1 & 3 by me, trying out the Big Man’s new DSLR camera, have to say I was a bit scared of it but he held my hand through it…)

Then home and a batch of cupcakes were baked by me and the Wee Man (he actually helped a lot more than he has before)…

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Then  I made our favourite coq au vin recipe for dinner while the Wee Man had his first proper Roald Dahl experience as Willie Wonka was on…(Gene Wilder version, sorry Johnny but he’s the best).

Now I just have to fit some knitting in before bed for a perfect day!

tkm x

A Sale!

Hi everyone,

One of my new year resolutions for 2014 was to actually sell something I have made.

Imagine my surprise and excitement when I received an email to say I had sold one of my embroidered card kits on Folksy!

This gave a real boost to me during these dark, damp and dismal post-Christmas times.

Here’s hoping it’s the start of a boom year…

Theknittingmoon’s handmade Christmas

I’m probably the same as a lot of people out there in that I don’t have as much time as I’d like to make everything I want to. In fact I find it difficult to squeeze an hour or two a week of knitting or other crafts into my crazy schedule. And making things for Christmas is so much harder still, especially as The Wee Man’s birthday is on the 22nd of December. But I did manage to make a few things myself this year, although I was at it right up until the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve (no lie – that is precisely when I finished my last hand-made gift!)

Anyway, as it was such a whirlwind of activity I did also forget to take photos of a few of the things I made but I can show you the source where I haven’t got a photo – so here they go…

First up was The Wee Man’s birthday cake – he wanted a Thomas cake this year again (I made my first one last year – you can see it here). There were a few additional requests this year though – he wanted it to have a mountain/tunnel and he wanted trucks with freight. He also asked for a blue dinosaur with pink spots coming out of the tunnel but I assumed that was a joke…and he didn’t ask where it was when he saw the cake! (phew) The end result…

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So, after the birthday mayhem was over (we tend to have his party a week early or no-one would come…) I could start on the Christmas crafts.

The first thing I wanted to make was a travel journal for a very good friend who was flying off to Thailand on Christmas day. I have made a similar one before, but I changed the picture on the front for this one -

Dot journal

Then The Wee Man and I tried our hands at some Christmas decorations with air-drying clay. We made these two Christmas trees -

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Can you tell which one is mine and which one is his? No, me either.

We also made this wee train for the tree -

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Then I broke out the pinny again and did some Christmas cooking…I made some sweet chilli jam for family members and work colleagues using this recipe. And I made some peppermint candy canes with leftover cake icing (always the frugal Scot!) for The Wee Man’s nursery staff using this recipe. Both turned out really well I think, although I still haven’t heard whether the sweet chilli jam jars made it intact to Scotland!

The last things to do were a couple of presents for The Big Man. He had requested a hand-knitted ‘cheesy’ hat with ear flaps so I decided on this pattern as appropriately cheesy. (This was the project that took me until midnight on the nose by the way.) I did end up leaving off the earflaps as I put them on wonky so had to remove them and by this time it was 11pm Christmas Eve…Here is a photo of him wearing the end result.

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I’m sorry there’s no close-up and I’m not sure he’ll wear it again as he said he kept getting amused looks from people…if anyone out there has as enormous a noggin as The Big Man’s they may be able to make use of it!

I also wanted to give The Big Man a Christmas jumper and after seeing the beautiful Patrick on the Christmas edition of The Great British Sewing Bee sewing a felt stag onto a pre-bought jumper I thought I’d save time and do the same thing. Here is my attempt at a reindeer…

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And here is The Big Man actually wearing it on Christmas day!

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And…that’s all folks! Now I look back at it, I actually managed to make quite a lot. No wonder I’m exhausted.

Now all I have to do is design my own cheesy earflap Big Man hat that he might actually wear…

Happy New Year everyone!

Pomsky

Hello again,

Just thought I’d let you know that I’ve published another pattern! I know, it’s far too industrious of me, isn’t it? Well, it is another wee-ish easy one, so that explains it. It is my first cowl and it has pom-poms again. Have I mentioned that I love pom-poms? Well, I thought it would be quite fun to use pom-poms as buttons, so I tried it with Pomsky (apparently this is what you call a cross between a Pomeranian and a husky – personally I’d have gone with Fluffball.)

Here be photos…

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The pattern is available for free from my Ravelry Store.

I’m now thinking of making some sparkly Christmas pom-poms…

Bergy Bit on the loose!

Hello,

I know, I’m like a number 10 bus, don’t post for ages, then deluge you with info…well, two posts anyway…

I have been feeling very knitting fruitful of late and after releasing Bergy Bit as a pattern, I decided to also add it as a made-to-order item in my Etsy store and my Folksy store. The going feels good! I am almost finished my next design so I’m feeling positive and brimming with ideas at the moment. And that is all that matters to me just now – ideas.  Maybe, in five years time, if no-one has taken any interest in my ideas, I’ll be more disheartened, but right now, it doesn’t matter. It’s all about good times, autumn, yarn and cosiness.

I hope you are all feeling cosy too…

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