Hooray for clay!

 

I’ve been experimenting with making a few things with air drying clay recently. This started because I wanted a little dish for my bedside table to put little bits in like hair bands and jewellery. So I made a dish and a tea light holder and a little fox brooch.

 

They are a bit rough and ready (and cracked and wonky…) but I don’t mind that. They’re just for me and they make me happy.

 

Dish and fox brooch

Dish and fox brooch

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I rolled a piece of hessian over the clay to create the pattern
I rolled a piece of hessian over the clay to create the pattern

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Tea light holder
Tea light holder

 

 

Hopefully the cracks in the tea light holder will disappear once it has a lit tea light in it!

 

 

Knitting pile

Just popped by to show off my growing pile of almost finished designs…

 

Knitting pile

 

It’s a very blue/neutral pile isn’t it? Although I am in the middle of knitting a two-colour version of the bottom one which is the brightest thing in the universe.

 

None of these designs are very summery so I’ve been concentrating on getting them all right and finished so I can publish them all around the same time in the autumn. This feels slightly strange as I’m usually keen to publish a design as soon as it’s done, but I’m feeling weirdly reluctant to finish any of these properly! Maybe that will wear off as soon as I’m done with one…there will be a knitting domino effect! Fingers (and needles) crossed.

 

Happy knitting!

 

 

End of the shawl aversion?

There has always been something that’s puzzled me about knitters/Ravelry…the insane predilection they seem to have for knitting shawls.

 

I have never worn a shawl. I don’t know many people who do. I thought they were frumpy and about as useful as a chocolate teapot to be honest.

 

But in recent months I’ve found myself admiring certain shawls more and more…even adding them to my favourites (shock!). Here are some of my recent picks…

Drachenfels by Melanie Berg on Ravelry – I love the colours and stripes – I can even forgive it for being a triangle!

 

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Claire’s Shawl Wrap by Handsty on Etsy – This looks sooooo cosy and fabulous.

 

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And Textured Laguna Wrap by Chandi Agee on Ravelry – this is such a beautiful colour and texture.

 

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I’ve also realised that a shawl is a fine thing to sit and wrap yourself in when it’s not wintery anymore but there’s still a wee nip in the air.

 

I’m still not convinced by the floaty, lacy, triangular/crescent/scalloped edge things that a lot of ravellers seem to lap up…but I am officially coming out as a shawl fan.

 

Confession: I have actually knit a shawl/wrap type thing and am sitting cosily wrapped in it as I type…more of that another day!

 

Magical magic loop

I thought I would write up a quick explanation of how to knit using the magic loop method. This lets you knit smaller circumference projects like socks, gloves or mittens in the round without using double pointed needles (dpns). Instead you use a circular needle and manipulate the stitches on the cable to enable you to knit around.

 

I much prefer using magic loop to dpns as I find it easier and quicker to knit this way and I get less ‘laddering’ which I could never get rid of when using dpns.

 

Here’s how to do it:

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Cast on the amount of stitches you need and push them down onto the cable.
Find the halfway point of your stitches and pull the cable between the stitches at this point.
Find the halfway point of your stitches and pull the cable between the stitches at this point to form a loop.
Slide both sets of stitches onto both needles. With the needles facing right the working yarn will be attached to the back set of stitches.
Slide both sets of stitches onto both needles. With the needles facing right the working yarn will be attached to the back set of stitches.

Pull the needle holding the back set of stitches until they slide onto the cable.

Pull the needle holding the back set of stitches until they slide onto the cable.

Making sure the stitches don't twist, use the freed back needle to knit the stitches on the front needle.
Making sure the stitches don’t twist, use the freed back needle to knit the stitches on the front needle.

Once this half of the round is knit, slide the second set of stitches onto the free needle and the first set off the other needle and knit these in the same way. You have completed one round.

Keep knitting round, slipping the next set of stitches onto the left needle when you have finished knitting the previous set.

Try it, it’s not as complicated as it looks!

Happy magic looping…

Noodles of knitting

I’m having a knitting problem. Too many projects…too little time. This isn’t a new problem but I don’t think I’ve ever had so many designs on the go before.

 

I’ve almost finished a couple of simple wee ones…

 

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This is a headband – only problem – I might have to find a neater way to do the edges. It looks fine when it’s on a head but a bit wavy when off…

 

Here is my latest wrist warmer design – also almost done:

 

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There were two reasons this design was left for a bit – I ran out of one of the colours and couldn’t find my tapestry needle for weaving in the ends!

 

Next is a design for a spring/summer top so I’ve got a bit of time to finish that:

 

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I’m almost done with a more wintery top in yummy chunky undyed wool:

 

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I’ve either got to finish it pronto or keep it on the backburner until Autumn. This one was left for a bit because I needed more wool for it and it wasn’t cheap…

 

And last but most importantly I’ve started designing something specially for my Mum who is very unwell at the moment. I’m hoping to finish it soon and sell the pattern through Just Giving to raise money for Cancer Research UK. It’s a scarf/shawl knit on the bias:

 

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Hopefully I can finish at least a couple of these over the weekend and I won’t feel like I’ve got quite so many balls (of wool) in the air!

 

Anybody else overwhelmed with too much knitting?

 

Lossie Mitts

Fingerless Mitts. My favourite. I can’t help going back to them again and again.

 

I have some new ones and I think these might be my favourite ones yet…

 

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If you like them and you can knit you can download the pattern for free from my Ravelry store, or if you don’t knit (why not??!) you can always ask me to knit them for you in my Etsy or Folksy shops. I canna do that for free though I’m afraid…

 

I got a lovely bundle of new wool from the postie today so I’m off to fondle it!

 

Bye for now! x

Christmas!

It’s crazy making time!

 

First up – Elf shoes of course. The wee man has to be an elf for his school Christmas performance. I made the outfit okay but wasn’t sure how to do the shoes until I saw these on Pinterest. I used red felt and adapted them a bit – I wasn’t sure they’d stretch over his shoes so I just put a button at the heel instead of sewing them up. They worked a treat! Now he tells me he’s standing at the back for the performance…

 

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In other crazy crafting news…

 

Paper angels! I love making these. They are going to be given as wee gifts this year. I saw some of these on Red Ted Art (a great site for making stuff with wee people.) I just adapted them to the way I wanted again. I added cotton hair and a net ruff and I used Christmas paper for some, but some I’ve printed pages covered with ‘Merry Christmas …’ and the recipient’s name.

 

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I love these so much, I’m going to have to make some for us to keep too. I’ll be busy…

 

xxx