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Monday, 5 December 2016

Knitted Jewellery

Hi Everyone
I'm starting another little knitting project this week. This time it's a knitted and beaded bracelet. I've got the idea from a lovely book - 'Betsy Beads by Betsy Hershberg'. This book is full of very stylish knitted jewellery. 
The trick with most of the jewellery patterns I've studied seems to be 'neatness' in the stitches. I need a bit of practice with the beaded part but it's working out OK. 
I'm hoping to introduce the project to our regular Making Group Makers after Christmas and will work on making the technique process as simple as possible. I'm also hoping we can dye our own yarn as part of the project. This will allow us to have the colours we want in the yarn. In the meantime, take a look at the samples from the book - so inspiring.


The bracelets are basically a knitted cord - the number of stitches determines the width. Beads are pre threaded and knitted into the cord. To give a firmness to the bracelet an elastic cord is threaded through the finished cord. That's it. However, it does require a beautiful knit and a careful placing of the beads. I think I'm going for a loose, bangle style bracelet rather than a snug fit around the wrist. I'm not quite there yet but will share my samples when finished.

Thanks for calling in today.

Knitting Update

Hi Everyone
I'm giving a little feedback on my knitting projects today. Although, I feel I've not made much progress, Ive been working away with my little knitting projects all week.I must have re knitted both the thumb parts of the Filey Mits and my Neck Candy scarf so many times, I've lost count !

The Mits - the body pattern and the other elements ie buttons holes and 3 needle closure of the body and the afterthought thumb technique proved to be very straightforward, however, the thumb development part caused me many issues. I finished the job and it looked very untidy, lots of holes in the section where the thumb fits into the body of the mit and an untidy section at the base of the thumb. I repeated the job several times and managed to sort out the holes (I was't picking up the stitches correctly) However, I'm still not happy with the base of the thumb. It's bulky and the additional base section seems unnecessary. I think, I would prefer to have a smaller thumb section. I'm considering unpicking both thumbs again with a redesign of the pattern. Will sleep on it.
The Neck Candy- I've made this too many times ! I started the job on DP needles but quickly needed a longer needle. I'm waiting for a circular needle to arrive in the post but in the meantime, I'm using some old metal needles which I'm not that happy with. They are very long (not easy to use)  and I'm finding the knitting isn't very neat as a result. My previous post on this project illustrates a problem with the pattern. The scarf was the wrong shape altogether. I'd been knitting the wrong pattern - the instructions are very short and completely confused me. However, all is on track. It's quite a short knit although the needles are only 2.5mm. and the yarn is quite fine sock yarn. I could have knitted several scarves in the time I've been on this project.

I usually enjoy my knitting projects and look forward to a little knitting each evening. I've had a bit of a love/hate relationship this week !  
Hopefully, I can resolve all the issues and make friends with my knitting again.

Thanks for calling in.

Friday, 2 December 2016

The Niddy Noddy

Hi Everyone
I'm sharing yet another new knitting tool. Read back a week or so for the others. Today, it's something called a Niddy Noddy. The Niddy Noddy is a tool for winding yarn and turning the yarn into a skein. 
There are lots of different styles of Niddy Noddy tools - this one is unique , initially I thought it may be too big but it works well and winds the yarn beautifully.
Having this tool is especially useful for me as part of my yarn dying experiments as well as measuring yarn for specific projects. Prior to the development of the Niddy Noddy, I was forced into using the back of a chair or another person for winding - not brilliant ! The Niddy Noddy is designed to wind the yarn once around the skein to give 204 cm per round which gives me a bit extra than 50 cms for each side of the tool. So, I can measure the yarn via the tool.

The tool was made by my super woodwork team (my big boy and hubby). Thank you.


Have agreed weekend.

Thanks for calling in.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

New Knit Project

Hi Everyone
I'm sharing a brand new project - only started to think about it yesterday ! 
After a discussion with one of my knitting pals we decided to start a KAL ie a "Knit Along," which is when multiple knitters make the same project at the same time which is both fun and helpful to each other. In our case there's just the two of us. 
I've found a pattern that is vaguely similar to the idea we have for our knit. It's a small neck scarf/shawl. The pattern I found (Neck Candy by Barbara French) is knitted in Garter Stitch but I'd like to have a smoother look so have gone for Knit one side and Purl the other (Stocking Stitch). I've been experimenting with needle size (again different from the pattern) and have gone for 2.75mm needles. I've started with some very small DP's (double pointed needles) but I will switch to a longer circular needle when I run out of space.
Here is my little test piece :


I'm using some 4ply yarn (again different from the pattern) that I hand dyed a few months ago - I had it lined up for something else but it seems perfect for this project. The yarn is knitting up beautifully in the tiny sample that I've made. I also have a few ideas about adding some small beads around the edge of the neck scarf instead of the tassels from the original pattern (see image bottom right).
I'm planning to complete my neck shawl alongside a number of other projects so it will probably grow very slowly. I'll will share regular updates as I go.

Thanks for calling in today.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Cake Toppers News

Hi Everyone
I'm sharing the results of our latest Making Workshop (yesterday). We made Christmas Cake toppers from polymer clay. All the toppers were amazing - well done to everyone. I've a few images to share :



Lots of new ideas alongside my samples (top image). I love th Robins - I'll be making some of those to add to my collection. We also had lots of beautiful little gift packages made from the clay. Love the delicate ribbons - the tiny packages with their ribbon bows make me smile. Lots of skill on display. 
As our session progressed, everyone became totally absorbed in moulding the clay and an air of calmness decended upon us. Magic !


We just need our cakes to display the toppers ! No pressure girls.

Thanks for calling in today.