Thursday, December 18, 2014

Backpack Felting

Here is a quick photo ride through the making of a felted backpack....
First, start with the cords for straps, and spike details.
 Here is the backpack, showing lots of layers of felt and plastic.  The piece is made all at once (no sewing later) so the inside is made with plastic resists, and pockets and spikes are separated with more plastic so that they do not stick to parts that I don't want them to stick to!
 More loops are added for details to the outside.
 Finished backpack with button closures.  Main opening at top.
 and smaller front pouch can hold glasses or keys.
 see? Nice.  This should be available on my etsy site shortly.... Custom order in a colour you want!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Christmas Countdown

Of course, this time of year, my knitting is mostly secret.  I have one or two new patterns to post after Christmas, after the gifts are received.  Meanwhile, I can show you the newest baby hat, modeled by my sweetheart, who has mastered the smoldering glare so popular with the supermodels.  Lol.

And some photos of the craft show goods.  These are the new berets, and lots of dryer balls, along with the scarves and coats.  All are available at Pamela's in Jordan Village.  Perfect Christmas gifts!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Cowl Scarf with Sleeves

I love large cowls, and love shrugs.  I wondered if I could make a set of sleeves that could extend into a long scarf that when wrapped around the neck, created a beautiful cowl.  So here it is.
 Cowl Scarf with Sleeves.(two versions, one with no sewing and double points, and one flat with sewing)

Yarn :  500 grams (600meters) of worsted weight yarn.  I used Diamond Luxury Collection - Llama Silk, but most yarns that are recommended on 5.5 mm needles should be good.

Gauge: 12 sts = 4 inches on 6mm needles *** after wet blocking*** please knit a swatch!!

Needles: 6mm double point needles (for flat knitting directions, skip to bottom of this blog entry)... and 6mm circular (for the flat knitting part.)

With double point needles, cast on 30 stitches.  Work in stocking stitch after carefully joining, for 4 inches.  Then increase every 6 rows at 2 points around the sleeve (you can use markers to track these spots) until you have 48 stitches on all the needles.  Work even on 48 stitches in the round for two more inches.
 Now change to circular needles and create a flat piece of fabric by knitting back and forth on all 48 stitches (stop knitting around ).  Continue in stocking stitch (knit right side, purl wrong side) until 85 inches from start of sleeve.
With right side facing, knit back onto double point needles, and work 2 inches in the round.  Place markers at 2 spots and decrease one stitch at each marker there and  every 6 rows until you have 30 stitches again.  Work 4 inches without decreasing and cast off all stitches loosely.
 How to wear.  Like a scarf, wrap around neck to for a loose cowl.  Pick up each end and slide on arms like sleeves.  Adjust any way you want!

 FLAT KNITTING for those who hate double points:

Same yarn and 6mm straight or circular needles.
Cast on 30 sts.
Work 4 inches in stocking stitch.
Increase one stitch at each end of needle here and every sixth row until 48 stitches.
Work even on 48 sts for 87 inches.
Decrease at each end of needle here, and every sixth row until 30 sts.
Work 4 more inches, then cast off loosely.
Sew 12 inches of sleeve at each end of long scarf.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Cotton Sofa Throw

Cotton Sofa Throw

Yarn: 10 balls of Elann Lara (100% cotton DK weight) 50gram ball = 126 m/138yds
Needles:  4mm (US6) circular (not to knit in round, but to hold all the stitches)
Several stitch markers. (13)
Gauge: not terribly important, but approximately 16 sts to 4 inches in wave pattern, or 18 sts to 4 inches in stocking stitch (after blocking!)
Size: 42 inches by 52 inches - *** after wash blocking*** .  This blanket grows and drapes even better after a full machine wash and block to dry (I draped it over a lawn chair and the breeze dried it perfectly).

PM = place marker

Cast on: cast on 1, PM , [cast on 17, PM] repeat 12 times, cast on 1  (206 sts)  You will always have 17 sts between the markers.

ROW 1:   k1,  [ k2tog,  k6, YO, k1, YO, k6, k2tog] repeat 12 times, k1  (slip markers as you go, you may remove them once you get the rhythm of the pattern if you like)
ROW 2:  Purl all.
ROW 3:  Knit all.

Repeat rows 1 , 2, and 3 until you have only about five yards of your last ball of yarn, then cast off loosely knitwise.  Wash and air dry.

To make longer, use more yarn. To make wider or narrower , use less repeats of pattern and adjust 17 for each 4 - 5 inches smaller or larger.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Little Lamb

Here is a new pattern for your little lamb.  Enjoy!

Little Lamb Baby Hat

Yarn: DK weight, Elann DK04 superwash merino
Needles: 4mm (US 6)
Gauge:  22 sts to 4” in stocking stitch,  AND  18 sts to 4” in Lamb Stitch Pattern (after blocking)
Size: 6 months to 1.5 years. (Infant)
***** a knowledge of pattern knitting required here, you need to get a “feel” of how the bobbles are placed, so that you can handle the back of head decreases without counting EVERY stitch in the pattern.  NOT for beginners**************

k FBF:  means knit into the front, then back, then front again, creating new three stitches in one stitch.  It is the start of the bobble.
k 3tog:  means knit three together,  reducing three stitches back to one.  It is always done three rows above the start of the bobble.


Cast on 57
Work 6 rows in K1, P1 ribbing.
Next row: Row 7:  (right side) Purl across
Row 8: knit across
Row 9: Purl
Row 10:  k2, k FBF, [k3, k FBF] times 13, k2
Row 11: purl
Row 12: knit
Row 13: p2, p 3tog, [p3, p 3tog] times 13, p 2
Row 14: k4,k FBF, [k3, kFBF] times 12, k4
Row 15: purl
Row 16: knit
Row 17: p4, p 3tog, [p3, p 3tog] times 12, p4
Rows 10 thru 17 make the Lamb Stitch Pattern.
Repeat this pattern until hat measures 4 inches from the start. *** make sure you have just finished row 13 or 17 (57 stitches)****
Find the center stitch, and place markers on each side.
Right side facing: continue in pattern, decrease one stitch on each side of center stitch.  Continue to decrease here every right side row.  As you go, stop doing the bobble if it will be within 3 stitches of center stitch.  Here is where you need to learn to place bobbles at the right place by instinct.  Sorry if that is difficult….   But the bumps could be a little mis-aligned and still look cute!
Keep pattern and decreases until total length is 6inches from start.  Cast off all stitches.
Sew back of head seam.
Pick up 48 across bottom edge, and work 6 rows of k1, p1 ribbing.  Cast off loosely.

TIES:  make two: cast on 30 stitches, next row cast off 30 stitches.  Sew to bottom front .

EARS: Cast on 20 sts.  Work in seed stitch (Row one:  k1, p1, repeat. Row2: knit the purls, purl the knits) for 2”.  Decrease one each side every other row until 2 sts, knit both together, and bind off.
Sew pink fabric lining (optional)

Fold in three and hand sew to middle of side of hat (see photo)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Ice Dogs and New Knits

I finished my new Niagara Ice Dogs sweater, just weeks before the first game.  It features Bones and the team colours.  Made of superwash merino from Elann, it should keep me warm watching the Dogs play this year.

 Sneak peek at the newest pattern, It is a garter stitch shoulder shawl, with short flags along one side.. It will be done and posted within days.  Very easy.
 This one is a longer project, that I have been working on and off for several months.  It is a blanket, worked in a wave pattern out of a lovely soft cotton from Elann.  It should be finished in a few weeks and the pattern will also be posted here.  It takes a long time to knit, but is much simpler than it looks with just a three pattern row repeat.
 And a bonus few photos of our recent trip to beautiful Nova Scotia.  It was a baby, mom and grandma trip that I thoroughly enjoyed.  We three are wonderful travelling companions.  Here is the rough and beautiful Bay of Fundy.
 Here baby Claire found a fish to pilot on the waterfront in Halifax.
 And anyone who has visited Halifax will know, this is "the Wave" and everyone has a photo under it.  It is clearly quite large (and Claire is clearly quite small!).

Friday, August 1, 2014

Winter is well underway?

I have been busy making my winter stock.... nuno felt coats, and full size, winter coats!  New this year on Etsy, and at Pamela's in a few weeks are beautiful hand felted winter coats, embellished with silk, and beaded vintage sarees.  The photos look cool, but in person the textures really POP.

 Above is the spring, fall or indoor weight nuno felt jacket....  Below are two very warm winter coats (it is a hot summer morning, and I am modelling winter coats!!)
 yes, you can see they are all Aspen Approved, as great bird perches.
I have a burgundy winter coat in the works, and stock materials for a purple, denim, and two more blacks!  I also have several more complete sarees for the light weight coat, that already sells very well at Pamela's.

Please visit my Etsy store (upper right corner link) or Pamela's in early September. (Pam also has lots of scarves, vests and dryer balls for sale right now).  Let's everyone start WEARING their favourite ART!

Monday, July 7, 2014

baby's first yarn sale....

We just got back from the annual "tent sale" by The Needle Emporium.  Fabulous as usual, yarns for $3.50 a 50gram ball.  You can see some of the delights surrounding baby Claire.

She was great, and clearly loves the feel of merino wool in her hands!
Start 'em young!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Productive Sunday

I was on a roll.... started with a great round of golf in the morning, then hit the workshop.  I completed two pieces of fabric for the new winter coat.  I made 6 sets of dryer balls, as they are selling well at Pamela's in Jordan Village.  Then still not tired, I made a new nuno felt vest.  The vest is made in one piece (no sewing) using a resist.  I have made 5 of these over the last couple of weeks, and they will end up at Pamela's too.
 The vest has lots of beading and sequins embedded in the fabric.  Super light weight, and crazy warm.
 Here is the coat.  I assembled it this morning, and I love the finished product.  You can see it (and buy it) on etsy.
 Funny to model it in my short jeans and the warm sunny day.  Too warm to wear it today!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Baby Red Riding Hood

Baby Red Riding Hood.

This one is made from an amazing stretchy yarn, and will probably not work to gauge with any other yarn, so knitter beware....  Elann's Esprit yarn, a mostly cotton, with a bit of elastic, makes it soft and stretchy. I used only four balls to make this, but you could use 5 and make a toddler size.

Sizes:  first year,[ second year]
Yarn: Esprit, red , 4 balls [5 balls]
Needles: 4.5mm, (US 7)  Circulars work well to hold all the stitches.  Do not join, this is NOT knit in the round
4 stitch markers
YO = yarn over
k2tog = knit 2 stitches together
seed stitch= k1, p1, k1, p1.... across first row, then knit the purls and purl the knits on the second row.
stocking stitch; knit right side, purl wrong side.

Gauge: 25 sts = 4 inches  *** again, I suggest it will be difficult to find a yarn that knits to this gauge OTHER than Esprit.  It is worth getting this yarn!  They ship anywhere.

Pattern:  Cast on 200 stitches.  Work in seed stitch for 2 inches.
Next row (right side):  Seed stitch for 10, place marker, knit until last ten stitches are remaining. Place marker, seed stitch last 10 stitches.
Next row (wrong side):  seed 10, slip marker, purl 180, slip marker, seed 10.
Work these two rows , seed outside 10 bands, and stocking stitch between the markers for 2 [ 5] more inches above the lower seed stitch band.
BUTTONHOLE ROW:  (right side facing you) Seed 3, k2tog, YO, k2tog, seed 3, work rest of row the same.  Next row: work the same until end seed stitch band, where you need to knit in the front and the back of the yarn over below... making up the missing 2 stitches.
Work even for 1 more inch.
Decreases:  with right side facing:
Next row:   seed stitch to marker,  [k2 , k2tog] repeat across this row to next marker, seed stitch last 10.  155 sts remain.
Work even for next 3 rows (seed the seed stitch part and stocking stitch between the markers)
Next row:   Seed to marker, [k1, k2tog] repeat across this row to next marker, seed 10. 110 remain.
Work one row even,  Work one BUTTONHOLE ROW, work next row even, increasing 2 in the yarn over button hole.
Next row:   seed 10,  [k1, k2tog] repeat until next marker, seed 10.  80 remain
Work one row even,  Work one BUTTONHOLE ROW, work next row even, increasing 2 in the yarn over button hole.
Next row:   seed 10,   [k1, k2tog] repeat until next marker, seed 10.   60  remain on needles.
work even for 3 rows.
Next row: Cast OFF 10 sts, remove marker,[k1, p1 ] across the row (seed stitch for the neckline) until the end of row (remove the last marker as you pass by).
Next row (wrong side) Cast off 10 stitches, and seed stitch across the row.
Work seed stitch only for 4 more rows.
Right side facing:  seed 10, place marker, stocking stitch to last 10 sts, place marker, seed last 10 sts.
Work, as established for 3 more rows.
Increase row: seed 10, k 2, [knit front and back of next stitch, k2] repeat to last marker, seed 10
Work even for 3 more rows.
Back of hood shaping: seed 10, knit 12, place marker, k2, place marker, knit 12, seed 10.
Work even for 3 more rows.
Increase row for hood:  Seed 10, knit to stitch before first middle marker, knit in front and back of this stitch, slip marker, knit 2, slip next middle marker, knit in front and back of this stitch, knit to last marker, seed 10.
Work even for 3 rows.
Repeat last four rows, increasing 2 sts at center back of hood, then 3 rows even.... until hood is 6 [ 8] inches from neckline.
Cast off all stitches, and seam top of hood together.  Sew button on.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Spring time.... finally

Our tulips are perfect this year, and the cool days and nights are making them last a long time.  Love that.

 I found this tiny "bug cage" in the children's section of Michaels.  It is a perfect travel size for Aspen, and you can see that she is playing with her tictac box, and chewing the paper liner.  She happily goes in this in the stroller for a walk around the neighbourhood!
 And here is a sneak peek at the next knit.  A red riding hood cape for baby.  Should be ready to model and post the pattern within a few days, so check back then.
Lovely bright colours make it feel like spring has actually arrived.  Finally.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Asymmetric Wrap Poncho

Asymmetric Wrap Poncho

 Want a new super fast transition season outer wear fashion statement?
Pick up 600 yards of super chunky yarn, and spend a couple of evenings with huge needles.  Ta da.
This one is worked in one piece, with a few short rows at the left shoulder, before returning to the right again.  One shoulder seam and two tacked spots make it custom fit, and one size fits all (make it a bit wider or longer if you want more coverage!).

NO Purls in this pattern, but the skill of SHORT ROWS is required, or take this opportunity to watch this video and master a new technique!

Yarn:  Lion Brand Woolease Thick and Quick, super chunky yarn About 550 - 600 yards (or any yarn with recommended needles of 9mm - 10mm)
Gauge: 8 sts = 4 inches in garter stitch (realistically , this is one where you can get away with between 7 and 9 sts to 4 inches and still succeed)  further afield from these numbers, change your yarn.
Needles: 10mm (US 15).  Circulars help with weight of this bulky yarn, but straight works well.  NOT knit in the round anyway!

Note:  you are knitting from front right side, to left shoulder, then back to right back edge.  BUT, once finished you can wear the short rows over either shoulder.... Asymmetric!

Right Front edge:   Cast on 30 sts.  Knit EVERY row (garter stitch) for 25 inches (measure without stretching please).
SHORT ROWS:   With right side facing (bottom edge of the wrap poncho) start short rows:
Row 1:  Knit until only 5 stitches remain on left needle,  wrap and turn, knit back on row 2.
Row 3: knit until only 10 sts remain on left needle, wrap and turn, knit back on row 4.
Row 5:  knit 15 sts, wrap and turn, knit back on row 6.
Row 7: knit 10 sts, wrap and turn, knit back on row 8.
Row 9: knit 5, wrap and turn , knit back on row 10.
ROW 11 and 12 :  knit the whole row
Row 13: knit 5, wrap, turn and knit back
Row 15:  knit 10, wrap and turn and knit back
Row 17: knit 15, wrap and turn and knit back
Row 19: knit 20, wrap and turn and knit back
Row 21: knit until only 5 sts remain on left needle, wrap , turn and knit back.

Work again in garter stitch for 20 rows (10 ridges are completed) and you are again facing the right side. (very important that you start your short rows at the same edge as the last set of short rows!!)
Repeat the short rows again....

SHORT ROWS:   With right side facing (bottom edge of the wrap poncho) start short rows:
Row 1:  Knit until only 5 stitches remain on left needle,  wrap and turn, knit back on row 2.
Row 3: knit until only 10 sts remain on left needle, wrap and turn, knit back on row 4.
Row 5:  knit 15 sts, wrap and turn, knit back on row 6.
Row 7: knit 10 sts, wrap and turn, knit back on row 8.
Row 9: knit 5, wrap and turn , knit back on row 10.
ROW 11 and 12 :  knit the whole row
Row 13: knit 5, wrap, turn and knit back
Row 15:  knit 10, wrap and turn and knit back
Row 17: knit 15, wrap and turn and knit back
Row 19: knit 20, wrap and turn and knit back
Row 21: knit until only 5 sts remain on left needle, wrap , turn and knit back.

Now continue in garter stitch for 25 inches, and cast off all loosely.  See photo below for stitching seam and arm tacks.  Sew the shoulder seam 14 inches from the straight edge towards the shorter side of the short rows.  (B to A in the photo).  Tack the front to back with a few overhand stitches at D and C, about 5 inches from right shoulder edge and bottom of short row arm edge.  These can be wider or smaller, depending on your arm width and comfort (tight or loose).  Best to put a safety pin on first and try it on!

 also note, the funky new Fluevog Boots, kind of hiking boot meets crazy fashion.  Oooooh.

Monday, March 24, 2014

HI-LO Poncho

Hi - Lo Poncho

 I made this one twice, a cute chunky poncho with keyhole neckline, and collar and mini sleeves to keep it in place.  The first is an incredibly extravagant beauty, made with Colinette Point Five yarn.  At full price and 6 skeins, it would cost over $150 (US), plus taxes and shipping.  I was fortunate enough to find it and get it to me for just under $100.  Still a treat for sure!  Shown in blue mix above.
I love the pattern, but thought it may be worthwhile trying to duplicate it in a wonderful value yarn, like Lion Brand Hometown. Shown in Pink mix above.  Six skeins of this cost $24 (US) plus taxes.  Quite a difference, and still a lovely poncho!
Your choice, go Hi or go Lo, but go poncho.  It is a fast knit and great for these transitional season days.

Sizes:  Small,[ Medium, Large. ] A loose fit should fit most.
Yarn:  Colinette Point Five,  6 [6, 7]skeins.  *** OR *** Lion Brand Hometown USA, 6 [6, 7] skeins
Gauge:  7 sts = 4”
Needles: 10mm (US 15) circular needles  (24 “ max)

Body of Poncho (work 2 pieces the same)
Cast on 28[31, 34] sts.  Knit four rows  (garter stitch)
Next row (right side),  Knit all stitches.
Wrong side row:  Knit 3, purl to last 3 sts, knit 3.
Repeat last two rows until 29”[ 31”, 33”] worked, then garter stitch next four rows.  Cast off all stitches.
Checking out photos, sew short end of one rectangle to long side of other.  Fold like photos and sew other short side to last long side, creating a poncho with v-neck front and back.
Mark with safety pins 2 inches each side of each “V”.  This is the space to be left for “keyhole”.
At one pin, start picking up neck stitches, 28 along one side until next pin, then turn and cast on 2 sts over the keyhole gap, continue to pick up 28 more sts until next pin, and cast on 2 over second gap.  Closing the circle start to knit around the neckline, in K1, P1, ribbing.  Work for two rows, then on third row, cast OFF the last two stitches of the round (over the keyhole that will be the front.)
Now work the rest of the collar, back and forth (NOT in the round) continuing the ribbing for about3 more inches.  Cast off loosely.
Fold the poncho, and mark center of “shoulder line”.  Measure 8 inches down both sides and place two safety pins.  Working between the 16”, pick up 30 stitches, and work in K1, P1 ribbing for 4 inches.  Cast off loosely.  Sew bottom edges of mini-sleeve.

 Mark the "V" for the keyhole.  It makes the collar more round!
 Hi - lo, anyway you go, the perfect poncho.