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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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ˜›

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 ๐Ÿ˜›

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:

It looks quite baggy in this photo but in reality it fits very well. Slouchy teens, what can you do ๐Ÿ˜‰

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.

Front:

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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!

Work in Progress

If you’re not in any of the Aussie groups on Ravlery you may be wondering where the hell I’ve been.

To cut a long story short, I’ve been very busy working on my latest project.
Introducing Blob Overton II (at 12 weeks):

Baby Charlie in progress

Blob is now 14 weeks and 1 day and making me thoroughly ill but very happy ๐Ÿ™‚

Watch this space for a whole slew of baby knitting over the next 26 weeks, plus a few things I’m knitting for Blob the first (now known as Miss Brittany and soon to be 15 years old)!

How to make a rag rug

I don’t usually put tutorials straight in the blog but I couldn’t wait to finish my rug to show you this!

I will eventually put the measurements of the loom and detailed instructions for several projects on the small looms page but I really wanted to show you this much now ๐Ÿ™‚

About 6 months ago I saw some vintage rag rug looms on ebay. Postage from the US to Australia was prohibitive because they were so heavy, so I copied down the measurements in the description and my Dad made me one.

Rag rug loom

It’s about 20 inches long with a cup hook at the front for tensioning the warp, two posts at the back for sitting your spools of warp on, and a perpendicular piece of wood with two slits in it for keeping the warp tensioned and at an angle so you can get your hands underneath for speedy knot tying (for the sake of this tutorial I’m going to call this the “tensioning post”). If you’re a woodworker please feel free to make and sell these. We need to keep the old crafts alive!

Here’s how to make the ghiordes knots. (I have read the ghiordes rhymes with forties, but I’ve never heard anyone say it out loud)!

Fabric cut for making a rag rug

First, cut your strips of fabric. For my first try I have cut them 1 x 3 inches. I’m using fabrics that are mostly cotton that were left over from a Suffolk puff quilt that I made last year. (I’m going to experiment with other fabrics later on).

Tensioning the warp on a rag rug loom

Tie your two warp ends together and put the knot in front of the cup hook. Pull the warp tight, thread it into the slots on the upright bit of wood and make a few loops over the outside edges to keep it tight.

Take one of the strips of fabric and fold it in half lengthwise. Hold it across the top of the warp. (I usually make knots with two hands but one hand was holding the camera).

How to make a ghiordes knot step 2

Fold the ends to the back, around the warp threads.

How to make a ghiordes knot step 3

Pull the ends to the front, between the two warp threads. Use the ends to pull the knot down towards the cup hook. As you add more knots, keep pulling them down towards the ones already formed as you pull them tight.

Close up of ghiordes knots on the rag rug loom

This is what a length of finished knots will look like.

When you have made a lot of knots it will become difficult to tighten new ones because the warp will want to pull them apart again. When this happens, untie the warp threads from the tensioning post, take the other end of your warp off the cup hook, move it along and retie the warps on the tensioning post. The last ghiordes knot you made should be in front of the cup hook.

Keep making knots until you run out of warp or it’s long enough. Whichever comes first.
To make a rug you twist your length of knots into a large flat spiral, keeping the pile on one side. Stitch the fabric together on the back with a strong thread. I don’t have any tips for this part yet as I haven’t got that far.

You can also use these knotted lengths for other things. I’m going to try making some with 6 inch long strips of fabric, then trap it in the seam of a cushion for a rag strip fringe.

Boa fringe made on the rag rug loom

I also made a long piece with yarn. I could see making three long strips and tying them together at regular intervals with another piece of yarn to make a big, thick, fluffy boa.
I’m going to have fun playing with this. It’s remarkably quick to make. I’ll show you the rug when it’s finished ๐Ÿ™‚

Catching Up with The Square Deal Weave-Along

After falling ill in the last couple of months of last year I fell drastically behind in the Square Deal Weave-Along so I have spent the past few days catching up. Here are lots and lots (and LOTS!) of pictures and details from my adventures ๐Ÿ™‚ Since there are so many images I’m making them a bit smaller than usual. You can click on the images to view the larger pictures in my flickr account. Firstly, Wide Wale Corduroy. (Am I the only person who always wants to spell that “Wide Whale”?)

Weavette square in wide wale design

I love this weave. It has a lovely texture, it’s soft and squishy and generally encompasses everything I like about hand weaves (textured weaves are my favourite). I used up a whole skein of Cleckheaton Country 12 ply and made quite a few squares. When I began to run out of that skein of yarn I wove this square. Rounds 1-3 are the Cleckheaton Country 12 ply and I wove with two strands of hand painted 8 ply wool. (That’s DK weight to those who don’t know Aussie yarn weights).

Weavette square in wide wale corduroy

This is the front and

Back of a weavette square worked in wide wale corduroy

this is the back. I like both ๐Ÿ™‚

Wide wale corduroy square 3

I also tried rounds 1-3 in blue and wove with red. All 8 ply thickness, 100% wool I want to try this weave on my table loom, worked in a single colour. A while ago I posted about weaving triangles on a 4 inch square weavette loom. I made more triangles and stitched them together in a pinwheel design.

Weavette triangles

The triangles are really fiddly to weave but they do look nice :). The triangles were woven using various 8 ply wools. ”

Weavette squares with inlay design

I experimented briefly with the inlay technique. This is another technique and look that I really enjoy. I will be playing with this, and related techniques, on my table loom as well. Next (working backwards through the weave-along), is seven diagonal stripes.

Weavette square with diagonal stripes

I worked the first style in one colour, again using 8 ply weight wool.

Weavette square with diagonal stripes worked in two colours

Then I worked the mirrored seven diagonal stripes variation using the same blue for the first three rounds and a speckled yellow 8 ply wool for the weaving. A five stripe diagonal weave was mentioned in the same post so I tried that too.

Weavette square with smaller diagonal stripes

Weavette square with diagonal stripes

Furrows was the next design. I worked quite a few squares in single colours of 8 ply wools.

Weavette square in furrows design

Weavette square in furrows design

Weavette square in furrows design

Weavette square in furrows design

Furrows quickly became another favourite texture weave that I want to play with on my table loom ๐Ÿ™‚ Next is the diagonal half square.

Weavette square with diagonal triangle weave

I wound the first variation with three rounds of blue 8 ply weight wool, and wove with pink.

Weavette square in diagonal half square design

Then I wove the mirrored variation in a single colour. I like the two-colour version best as I think it shows up the design more. Next we have rigby weave. I played around with this one quite a bit.

Rigby weave

Firstly I wound rounds one and two with a strand of 8 ply weight blue and a strand of 8 ply weight purply-red held together. Rounds 3 and the weaving were done with the blue yarn only. This is entirely too stiff and was a bit difficult to weave.

Rigby weave

Then I tried rounds one and two with the blue wool and a strand of 4 ply wool (fingering weight) held together and worked round 3 and the weaving with the 4 ply wool. This was much better. I really like the subtle effect with the similar colours.

Rigby weave in boucle

I also tried the first two rounds with two strands of pink bouclรฉ, then wound round three and wove with the same fingering weight blue wool from the previous square. The weaving was surprisingly a lot easier than I thought it would be, given the loopiness and bulk of the bouclรฉ. This one worked out a little stiff though.

Rigby weave weavette square

I tried again with a single strand of the bouclรฉย and the third round and weaving worked with the purply-red 8 ply weight wool. This square has a nicer hand but lost the fun of the loopy bouclรฉ texture.

Plain weave boucle square

I liked the bouclรฉ so I went ahead and wove a plain-weave square with it. I may use up the rest of the skein in plain weave squares. Once again, I love the texture of it ๐Ÿ™‚ Even though I have a set of rectangular looms, I had a go at weaving odd sized rectangles on my square loom. It’s nice to know these techniques in case they’re ever needed.

Rectangles woven on a square weavette loom

I made two, two by four inch rectangles and stitched them together to make a square I could use in my blanket. These are 8 ply weight wools again. I found them to be quite easy to weave once I figured out the technique. Lines and Bars, and Bars and Squares were next.

Weavette square with bar and lines design

First I wove bars and lines with two rounds of purply-red and two rounds of rainbow. It almost completely obscured the design.

Weavette square with bar and lines design

I tried again with three rounds of dark pink and weaving with purply-red. Whilst this is not one of my favourite weaves at least you can see it better this way…

Weavette square with square and lines design

Finally I tried bars and squares the same way, with blue and yellow (all 8 ply weight wools). I only wove one square in eight single rib. I really like it so I shall have to do more. It’s another lovely squishy textured weave.

Single rib design weavette square

I’m not entirely sure if that’s the back or the front… I wasn’t sure if I had done any ribbing weave so I wove this new square in purply-red 8 ply weight wool.

Weavette square in ribbing design

As it turned out, I had done a lot of ribbing squares before I fell ill so this is another one to add to the blanket ๐Ÿ™‚ Finally in my square deal weave-along catch-up are the double outline diamond squares that I wove before I fell ill but never blogged.

Four weavette squares in the diamonds weave

Four 4 inch squares woven with 8 ply weight wools.

Multicoloured weavette square in diamonds design

Two rounds of light blue and two rounds of dark purple. I prefer the plain colours.

Large weavette square with diamond design

A six inch square in light blue 8 ply weight wool

^ inch weavette square in diamond design

and the same in purply-red. I wove a total of four large squares with this design. That’s all for the square deal weave-along. I didn’t work the fringed squares because I have no need for them in my project but I definitely want to make alion at some stage. That isn’t all the weavette weaving I did though. I played with this weave from the book I bought from the makers of the weavette looms.

Weavette square with plus sign motifs

As with one of the previous weaves I did two rounds purple and two rainbow. The busy colours are just too much for the design.

Weavette square with plus signs

I tried again with tan and red. I think this effect is interesting and would probably work well in two colours that are less “jarring” together.

Single colour weavette square with plus signs

I finished up with the blue again (all of these are 8 ply weight wools). I’m not overly keen on this on the weavette looms but it would make a nice weave on a larger project. Lastly I wove the heart designs that were posted in the looms to go group at ravelry. All of these are worked in 8 ply weight wools.

Weavette square with heart design

I wove this one with pink. This is the back of the weaving. I liked the back the best.

Weavette square with heart design

Weavette square with heart design

Weavette square with heart design

After playing with all of these weaves and designs it dawned on me that I may be able to make squares with the letters of the alphabet. I’m up to “B” so I’ll keep you posted on how it goes!

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