Friday, November 30, 2012

Honing the Felting Techniques.... Cowls

I have been busy with gift knitting, but also have gone a bit nuts with the felting...

 I really like the spiky cowls.  They finish with a button or two under the chin, and really stay put.  Light weight, warm and cool at the same time!
 These are more black than the photos show in this light.
 Most compliments have come from the plum and orange spikey... with blasts of silk.
 The next two are longer wrapping scarves with holes and spikes and embellishments.

 The blue one has large silk fabric pieces, felted into it, and when it felted, the silk popped out in billows of ruffles, really cute.
 The greedn has silk backing (nuno-felting) with patches and buttons.
 The last one is black silk with only a bit of dense felting. A really bubbly effect.
My friends and I will be very warm this winter.   :)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Quick sewing project

I just made this Boot Caddy for my new Fluevogs....

You can find lots of photos and instructions HERE, or on the sewing side of my blogs (upper right window, where all my sewing adventures lurk!)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Winter Flip Flop Socks

In the summer, I purchased some wonderful flip flops.  They are Montrail, and mold perfectly to my feet.  They are the first flip flops (I used to get lots of cheap ones) that do not fall off my feet, or cause pain at the "thong", or wear out to fast.
As a result, and because my sore feet find them soothing, I have been wearing them as slippers around the house since the weather turned cold.
To solve a problem, I re-wrote my "best sock pattern ever" to include a mitten style toe finish.  So here is the new pattern from start to finish.  It requires an experienced sock knitter (experience with glove knitting also helps).  You will need to make a definite left and right sock.  Happy winter sandal feet!

 This pattern fits adult women, size 7-9.  Knit the foot an inch longer or shorter to adjust, and add 4 or 8  stitches in the round for men.
Yarn: 100 grams of SOCK YARN.
Needles: 4 dpn 2.25mm, plus extra yarn and darning needle to place stitches on a holder.
Cast on 60 stitches and join in the round. Knit for 1.5 inches in K2, P2 ribbing. Change to K3, P1 ribbing, and continue to work in the round until total length is about 7 inches.
Heel: Put half the stitches (30 ) on one needle by knitting next 15 sts, and transfer previous 15 onto the front of this needle. Rearrange the other 30 sts onto two needles with 15 each. These 2 needles will be ignored for a while.
Working on the 30 st needles, Purl (wrong side) across. Right side: [Slip one, K 1] repeat across row. Work these two rows until repeated 15 times. (the heel should be almost square and be about 2.5 inches).
With right side facing you will now do the magic that is a heel turn! K17, K2tog, K1, turn to wrong side facing. Slip one, P5, P2tog, P1, turn. Slip one, Knit to the stitch before the gap (the space between the slipped stitch and the old heel stitches). Knit 2 tog (thus closing the gap and picking up the last slipped stitch and the next old heel stitch), K1, turn. Slip one, Purl to st before gap and P2tog over gap, P1, turn. Repeat these two rows, until all the old heel stitches are involved and worked.
Right side again: Knit across heel, pick up 15 sts up the side of the heel (put these on needle 1).
Work next 30 sts on needle 2, AND work them in the K3, P1 ribbing, as they are already still looking at you. Pick up 15 sts on the other side of the heel and knit half of the bottom of the heel sts. (needle 3). Check and make Needle 1 and Needle 3 have the same number of sts on each, adjust if needed.
Round ONE: Knit down Needle 1 to 3 sts before end, K2tog, K1, Needle 2: work in K3, P1 pattern as established, Needle 3: K1, K2tog, knit to end of needle. Round TWO: Knit needle 1, Pattern needle 2, Knit needle 3. Repeat these two rounds, until back to 60 sts (15, 30, 15). Then continue in stocking stitch for the under foot and ribbing stitch for the top of foot, until about 6 inches from the picked up stitches of the heel (or until sock is about 1.5 inches short of your foot length). 
***here is where the pattern changes from the basic sock pattern***

Left Foot:  With the top of the sock facing you (the 30 stitch needle to be worked next).... Knit across 10 stitches.  Using a darning needle and contrasting yarn, pick the next 40 stitches off the needles and leave them on the contrasting yarn (tie loosely to assure that they do not fall off.)
Going back to needle one, pick last stitch onto a new needle, and then cast on 3 new stitches.  Knit one stitch from needle 3.  (there are now 5 stitches on needle two).  Knit the last 9 stitches on the new needle 3.  You have 23 stitches for the big toe!  Knit round this toe for 10 rows.  Now decrease one stitch at the first stitch of needle one and the last stitch of needle three (this is the outside edge of the sock).  Do this decrease every other row two more times. Work one more row even, then decrease 5 evenly around the row.  12 sts remain.  Rearrange onto 2 needles, each with 6 sts, so that the toe is flat to the sock.  Use Kitchener stitch to close the top of the toe.
With the top of the sock facing you....Carefully pick up the 40 stitches from the yarn holder:  Put the first 5 on needle 1, next 15 on needles 2, next 15 on needle 3, last 5 on needle 4. Join yarn and pick up 3 sts at the base of the big toe (still using needle 4). Knit 5 sts from needle one (still using needle 4).  You now have a circle of 15 (needle 2), 15 (needle 3), 13 (new needle 1, that you have just worked).
Work in the round, knitting all, AT THE SAME TIME decrease at the outside edge (end on needle 2 and start of needle 3) every other row until 21 stitches remain.  Decrease 5 evenly across the last row, then divide onto two needles with 8 on each. Use Kitchener stitch to close the top of sock.

Right foot:
With top of sock facing you, Knit across 20 stitches. Using darning needle and contrasting yarn, place previous 40 stitches on yarn stitch holder.
Knit across next 10 stitches.  Knit next 9 stitches (needle 2). Use new needle to knit next stitch, cast on 3 sts, knit one more stitch from needle 1 (now 5 sts on needle 3).  You have 23 stitches for the big toe.  Work in knit stitch round the toe for  10 rows.  Now decrease one stitch at the end of needle one and start of needle two every other row 3 times. Work one row even, then decrease 5 evenly around the row.  Kitchener stitch the 12 rows closed.
With the BOTTOM of the sock facing you, put the held stitches on needles like this.... Slip the first 5 sts (nearest the base of the toe already knit) on needle. Slip next 15 on new needle (this one is now needle 3).  Slip next 15 on new needle (this one is needle 1).  Slip next 5 on fourth needle.  Join yarn here, and pick up 3 stitches across the base of toe with this same needle.  Knit across the next 5 stitches with the same needle (now needle 2).  You should have 15, 13, 15 on three needles.  Work around these needles, decreasing at the outside edge at the end of needle 3 and the start of needle 1, every other row until 21 sts remain.  Decrease 5 evenly across the last row, then divide onto two needles with 8 on each.  Use Kitchener stitch to close the top of sock.

Find your favourite sandals and enjoy!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Felting Artwork Unveiled!

The grand unveiling of the huge art project was held last Thursday.  The local Cable station, sent a crew to film it, and I was one of the artists interviewed that made the edited version.   It was aired locally but I found the internet link, in case anyone would like to see the whole installation and see my interview about the felted apples!
Check it out HERE.
It is of course, way better to see in person, and they are permanently housed at the Region of Niagara headquarters on Schmon Parkway.

Monday, November 12, 2012

New Sock Pattern....

I am almost done with a new sock pattern, made from the wish to wear my flip flops into the winter.... Socks made like mittens.  The big toe will be knit separately from the rest of the toes.  Quite easy really, and wonderfully comfortable!
Thank you to those who have downloaded POLARA and left me messages, by comment or email, to let me know they have done that, and that they LOVE playing the game.  I really appreciate the effort and support.
See you in a couple of days with the NEW sock pattern  :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

I need my Knitting Community....

As you all know, I started to write my blog for me... but the wonderful thing is that I also write it for YOU now.  I have pledged to write more patterns with more sizes, I answer all my emails and comments and have hand held (electronically) more than a few knitters through my patterns over the years.  What do I get?  I get enormous joy from the emails and comments, and I get inspired to try new and better things!  For that I thank you.
At this entry I would love your indulgence.  What I am looking for is for each of you to consider your family and friends ( or even yourselves) and find ONE person who loves action video games.  I would ask you to have them download POLARA.  It is available for Android or Ipad/ Ipod/ Iphone.  This game is a fast paced game, with no blood or gore, just lots of fun and thrills.

 There is a great story behind it and has lots of amazing reviews already.  Here's just one.
So why am I asking you to do this thing for me?  This is my Son's baby.  He came up with the concept, and worked out the program, and with the help two other guys, who did the wonderful graphics and the marketing, brought this game to life after almost two years of working full time!!! The only way this will pay off is if people download it and play it and like it and pass the word on!

So please, for me, find someone that games, and make this happen.  Love you all!

Oh, and hit the poll button in the top right... I would LOVE to hear that you are with me!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Pictures

The show last night was a blast.  I would recommend fans of the Rocky Horror Picture Show see a live, on-stage version at least once, and should dress to attend.  There is so much audience participation! 
 Here are Riff Raff and Magenta, ready to leave for the show.  In my humble opinion, we were the best Riff Raff and Magenta in the audience, and has so much fun doing the Time Warp in the aisle, and throwing toast and rice and cards and making it rain with a tiny water pistol.... so much work watching this show!
Here is this years pumpkin... simple and elegant!