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Category: Knitting

Things to Keep Little Feet Warm

I’m not a sock knitter. I have knit socks. Bed socks, day socks, all sorts of socks but I don’t like making them.

Except these:

Blue baby knee socks

These are the shaped baby knee socks from Homespun Handknit’s “Bouncing Baby Set”. I love making these socks so baby-in-progress ended up with two pair 🙂

The blue pair are made from a Japanese (possibly Chinese, I don’t know because I lost the labels) yarn that I bought at the op shop many years ago, while the purple pair are Opal sock yarn. I’ve made an awful lot of things from that one skein of Opal sock yarn. Baby socks, a woven scarf and a pair of fingerless mitts plus there’s still enough left over for a baby hat or something small.

These, however, are not socks!

Converse baby booties

Converse baby booties

Converse baby booties! I figured if I couldn’t make pretty girly things then I would have to go for cool 🙂 Did I mention baby-in-progress is a boy?

Yeah I know, purple stripy knee socks aren’t very cool but I had to find some use for the only skein of actual sock yarn in my stash 😛

These booties are made from Cascade 220. Yes, the handwash only stuff. I have copped a fair bit of flack from people when they find out that I have knit all my baby’s gear from handwash only yarns but in all honesty, I don’t understand what’s so difficult about hand washing them. You throw them in a bucket of room temperature water with a bit of woolwash for half an hour, spin out the water in the washing machine and lay them out to dry somewhere. Baby stuff is so small and light you can hang them up without worrying about them getting all misshapen. Anyway, that’s what I did with my first baby and what I plan to do with this one.

I would change one thing on this pattern if I made them again. I find that the tongues are too short and if I made them again I’d make the tongues the same length as the outside of the bootie.

Anyway, a short post today because I started writing this at 5-something am (boo to insomnia and large baby-bumps that keep you awake) and I’m tired so I’m going back to bed.

BTW, I washed that sorry looking blanket from yesterday’s post and I think it will have to be patched with many crocheted squares and rectangles instead of hearts because there are just too many holes in it (and not the good granny square kind of hole). I’ll save the hearts for the blanket that I didn’t show, which only has one hole in it so far 😛

Tomorrow: Toys!

Crafting for Teens and Babies

Apologies for my continuing absence. I’ve been napping a lot in between crafting, visiting the midwives clinic and having all those fun (not) tests that are inflicted upon pregnant women.

Speaking of crafting, since that’s what you’re here for, I thought I’d write a few posts about what I have been making for my 15 year old daughter and son-in-progress. I’ll post all out of order and start with the things I have made for my daughter.

First of all is the Texture Shawl Collar Jacket from Patons Australia, booklet #1264, Inca Fashion Knits. I actually received the pattern as a freebee from Stitches magazine so I don’t have the whole booklet.

Here’s a pic:

(oops, the pic seems to have been lost during a website update. Sorry)

It looks quite baggy in this photo but in reality it fits very well. Slouchy teens, what can you do 😉

I really enjoyed knitting this jacket. The stitch pattern is easy to remember but changes enough to keep it interesting and it works up really fast. I really like the Patons pattern books as Brittany likes many of the designs and many them are written in sizes small enough for her.

I knit the small size and made the whole thing 4.5cm shorter because Brit is so tiny (for our family, lol) and used 2.5 balls of yarn less because of the shortening.

I would keep this particular yarn for special garments. It’s loosely spun so it wouldn’t stand up to a lot of wear and tear, but for a special garment I find it really nice and would definitely use it again. The buttons are (I assume lasercut) coconut shell which I bought at Spotlight for $5 each. Actually, the hardest part of this jacket was finding the buttons!

Next up is a Hello Kitty Mini-Tote that I crocheted for Brittany’s birthday last week.

Finished Hello Kitty purse

I used the face pattern from a backpack and made two granny squares for the purse section. It’s made from Cleckheaton Country 8 ply (dk weight) wool and lined with some red cotton. The eyes are felt stuck on with washable craft glue. I’ve been crafting from patterns a lot lately and it was nice to make up a pattern on the fly for a change.

Speaking of things that are different, this is Gary the evil sock monkey.


Gary the evil sock monkey

and back (so you can see his wings):

Gary the evil sock monkey's wings

Gary is a basic sock monkey with quilted wings.

To make the wings I drew a basic wing shape on a piece of paper. Then I cut 2 out of black homespun cotton and one from a medium weight quilt batting.

I stitched the batting and fabric together with the two layers of fabric on the bottom and batting on top, leaving a gap for turning. I then trimmed the batting from the seam allowance, turned it right side out and hand stitched the gap closed. Finally I finished off by stitching the triangles inside the wings to create the detail. It’s a lot easier than it sounds, I swear 🙂

Of course all evil flying sock monkeys need a best friend, so when I saw this pattern featured on the Craft: magazine blog, I had to make one!

Happy flappy batty the felt bat

That’s all of my crafting for teens at the moment. Tomorrow: baby blankets!

Click Clack, Stitch Stitch, Sew Sew, Splat Crunch

Ok, technically there is neither a splat nor a crunch, bet hey! Artistic license and all that 🙂
Three or so weeks ago I promised I would upload photos of other projects I had made the next day. Then there was Christmas and New Year’s and swimming and shopping and destashing and…

Let’s just face facts, shall we? This is as fast as I get 🙂

I still don’t have a photo of one of them, but here are the rest.

I finished these wristicuffs for Miss Brittany last night.

Orange wristers

They’re made from some of my very, very early handspun. It’s lumpy and bumpy and dyed with Kool-Aid. It’s also incredibly soft and Brittany asked me to make her something out of it while we were sorting out the garage stash. I wanted to destash it but there you go…

Techy specs – Yarn: lumpy handspun 2 ply merino, approximately aran weight. Spun by me about 10 or 11 (maybe 12) years ago.

Pattern: K1, p1 rib on 4mm needles. 1 inch smaller than wrist circumference (unstretched).
3 inches long

The next projects are quite picture heavy so bear with me. Two Una-na dolls made from the Japanese book by Mimiwn. I love making these dolls. I can see myself becoming quite addicted to making them little clothes and accessories. I had to stop myself buying a little toy kitchen dresser at the op shop the other day because it was the right size for them. (If I had my own, much larger, house I would have bought it).

The black haired one is called Pansy Dollington (Brittany’s) and the brown haired one is mine. Her name is Florence Dollington. Unfortunately Florence has developed a tendency to swear like a sailor when least expected (but definitely *not* when my Dad is around, haha). I suspect she’s got a little bit of a dolly “drinky drinky” problem to tell the truth…

Una-na doll - Pansy Dollington

Una-na doll - Pansy Dollington

I still need to finish sewing Florence’s shirt and skirt. I had to take my sewing machine apart halfway through to clean it, and then everything got put away for Christmas and I haven’t been back to it yet.

This first picture shows her wearing the first unsuccessful wrist warmer as a shoulder warmer type thing. I’m going to put a little felt & button flower on it.

Una-na doll - Florence Dollington

Here she is wearing an early Spring… let’s call it a “ponchette”. (I love that word. It’s so pretentious).

Una-na Doll with Poncho

And finally here she is wearing a ponchette from the same pattern, but in thicker yarn.

Una-na doll with ponchette

Technical details:
The book is unfortunately out of print (Una-na dolls by mimiwn)

The red and beige yarns are discontinued dk weight commercial yarns, and the bright blue is some of my hand dyed handspun yarn with (I think) mohair, angelina fibre and possibly something else thrown in. The blue is 2 ply and a bit finer than fingering weight.
Next is a quickie that I knit at the doctor’s the other day.

Tiny knit Christmas stocking

The mysterious pattern was posted on Cosymakes a few days ago. Since I had just finished all my simple knitting and I had to leave quite soon, I scribbled out the pattern, grabbed needles and yarn and had a go. I just can’t resist small vintage patterns that don’t have pictures 🙂

I love this little stocking boot so much that I’m thinking of making a bunch of them during the year in whatever scraps I still have lying around after my major destash (I’ll get to that BTW).

Techy details: I used thinner yarn and smaller needles than the pattern calls for, but only slightly. The pattern calls for 5mm needles and (I guess) a worsted weight yarn. I used 4mm needles and dk weight. The green is some of my handspun, the purpley red is Jo Sharp DK wool.

Well I think that’s enough for today! I have more projects to share with you but I think I’ll leave them and the story of the destash until tomorrow. I’ve already taken the photos, so you won’t have to wait another three weeks, I swear!

Hi Honey, I’m Home!

Actually, I’m only temporarily online because of the aforementioned laptop-software-murder but I thought that while I’m here I should tell everyone who asked that yes, I am safe and sound! Sorry I can’t reply to you all privately but the computer work I get paid for had to come first (SORRY!)

We still don’t have a rental, and haven’t ended up in the town I would have liked, but I’m a firm believer in “stuff happens for a reason” so it’ll all be fine in the end, I’m sure. In fact, some of the reasons have already presented themselves and they’re well worth the sacrifice. Well, at least one of them (the other is also good, but is also available in Wollongong, which is where we wanted to live but haven’t ended up).

Did that make sense?
No, I didn’t think so.

In the meantime I’ve been making stuff (in the name of sanity preservation. Is it working? Probably not).

Wanna see?
Of course you do, or you wouldn’t be reading a knitting blog. 😛

The first couple of things you’ll have already seen if you checked out the new patterns I uploaded over the last couple of days.

Firstly a quick recap with the Dr Who Scarf:

Dr Who Scarf

In case you’re wondering, yes, all that garter stitch is enough to drive you barmy. And no, that is not my mannequin. My family are somewhat nuts, everyone seems to have mannequins all over the place (actually, the same mannequins seem to get passed around, although my Dad did just buy a new one…)

The other project you might have already checked out are some cushion covers that I made from old denim samples I bought from Reverse Garbage in Marrickville. (Fellow Aussies, you can google their website and order online! Very cool)

Denim Cusion Cover with Frayed Spots

Denim cushion cover with an embroidered flower

Denim cushion cover with pocket

Denim cushion cover with stripe

Not bad for $5, huh? I only consider myself an advanced beginner when it comes to sewing, but I’m particularly proud of these. My favourite is the one with the embroidered flower.
But that’s not all I’ve been up to! I’ve been learning teneriffe lace.

Teneriffe lace

This is the only thing I’ve made so far. It’s the beginner’s lace mat from “The Technique of Teneriffe Lace” by Alexandra Stilwell. It’s an excellent book if you want to learn Teneriffe lace and well worth seeking out. It also has a chapter on daisy looms that I want to explore. I bought my copy through from an Australian seller, and there still seem to be plenty of copies around at excellent prices.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and am definitely going to learn more.

Whilst cleaning out one of his rooms, my Dad brought out an old favourite that I made for him last century! I don’t think I ever showed this one online because I didn’t have a digital camera way back when I made it.

Thomas the Tank Engine

Thomas the Tank Engine

It’s Thomas the Tank Engine. The pattern is from the Robin yarn company in the UK. I don’t know if you can get it any more but if you have anyone in your family who appreciates knitted trains, then it’s well worth seeking out. You knit a few pieces, sew them together, knit a few more, sew them on, ad infinitum. I think there were over 60 pieces in Thomas. The pattern is extremely well written. I never forgot what a piece was for, and aside from stuffing the base a little too firmly I think it turned out really well.

Of course all I care about is that my Dad loved it so I don’t care that I overstuffed the base.

At the moment I’m making another “Badly Written Doily“, in the hopes of being able to put up the corrected pattern with charts as my next update in a month or so. I have MORE that enough yarn to finish this one, so I’ll get past round 172 this time! I also have a very large book of graph paper to chart it with so there’s no way I’ll run out of that either.
In fact, I think I bought enough yarn to make 2. I’m up to round 154 and haven’t used all of one ball of cotton yet and I bought 3!

Finally, a quick list of birthday goodness.

I had my 36th birthday while offline and received a gift certificate from Borders, which I spent immediately on some fibre and philosophy books which I’ll tell you more about later. Dad gave me an embroidery frame that he made for me. I also managed to score 2 glass display heads with $$ from my sister. I’ve been looking for some for YEARS, so when my Dad’s friend phoned up and said that a local camping supplies shop was closing down and selling the shop fittings, off we trecked and lo and behold, just what I needed! Somehow I also ended up buying some down feathers too. I wonder if I can add them to my spinning without inhaling half of them…

I’ll try and post again in a couple of weeks. Don’t have too much fun without me!

Sampler Scarf

At the beginning of last August the more devoted of my readers might remember that I used Deb Menz’s multicolour combing techniques to make some red-based rovings from some odds and ends.

At the time I was disappointed by the way the grey looked in the finished yarns so I put them away.

Well, I finally knit them up and whilst I prefer the rovings without grey, the grey does give a really attractive and interesting effect. But it was REALLY ugly as yarn. Go figure.

Here’s the finished “sampler” scarf that I knit. It’s a simple K3, P3 rib and the yarns are an 8 ply weight (DK) single throughout.

Experimental Scarf
I made lots of different red rovings using the techniques in Deb Menz’s book “Color in Spinning” and made the samples into this scarf

And here are the 8 individual rovings as they knit up. I’ve stretched the rib out so you can see the full width of the knitting.