Tuesday, 26 January 2016

January note

I can't believe we are almost at the end of January I dont know where the days have gone, this month I have had a couple of designs to do for KnitNow magazine and I have also been testing yarn for a possible kit I am looking to put together for one of my most popular designs my rib fingerless gloves,


So far this is my favourite yarn so i hope the colour choices are winners too, hopefully I will be able to share more on this soon.

With February just around the corner dont forget about my Sweet Lovehearts pattern, they make great decorations and cute keepsakes for the ones you love! Available on Craftsy and Ravelry links on the blog


Friday, 8 January 2016

Love a Hug

So yesterday Issue 56 of KnitNow arrived on my doorstep, i was so please to see that my first published pattern of the year had made the front cover.

It’s my love a hug bear!



With Valentine’s day coming up it’s a great knit to give to show someone you care! The feet of the bear are knitted in a heart shape and done in a different colour which makes it a bit different.

When designing for Magazines you actually work 3-6 months in advance, so although its cold outside I am now starting on some spring/summer designs, they all have to stay top secret until they are published so I can’t give you any clues on what to expect I’m afraid!

Here are some photos of the bear that I took before I sent if off for his professional photo-shoot for the magazine





This month’s magazine also comes with a great freebie, a selection of yarn and a choice of patterns to make with it, including a baby hat, bangles, mug hugs etc. but for me it’s got to be the owl knit. I will be posting pictures on my instagram feed so keep an eye out.     x

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!!
Im now coming in to my 3rd year of this blog but I can't say I have ever really given it too much love and attention, if you are a regular reader then thank you and I promise to do better this year,  maybe this should be my first new years resolution. I wasnt actually really planning on having any resolutions but as I started typing it seemed to make sense so there it is!!

Now I do have goals I want to work towards this year but j dont really see them as resolutions,  maybe thats because actually resolutions dont seem to last....hmmm actually on that note the above is no longer a resolution just another new year goal!
So my other goals, knitting related of course are to expand my published knitting patterns, I would like to increase the locations and of course continue to be successful with KnitNow but also be successful with some other magazines, my ultimate goal is a published book but thats not one for this year I dont think. I also want to focus on my instagram account as my main source of contact with other knitters, I tried twitter and I do still use it occasionally but I am so much more of a visual person I really enjoy flicking through it, but I must spend time to reach out to people comment on what I like and hopefully inspire others.

On a personal note I will be 30 this year, I cant say it really bothers me but maybe the fact the celebrations will include las vegas softens the blow!!

One thing I do seem to be so far is more organised, I cant say it's been a conscious effort to improve, and given we are only 3 days in maybe I shouldn't get too confident but I have managed to restock my handmade stitch markers on etsy and I am really pleased to see them selling already, although that does mean I need to get making some more! And today I have got round to listing 3 of my patterns on craftsy, and by thw end of the week you should see them on Ravelry and Loveknitting, here they all are....



My most popular handmade stitch markers are by far my owl stitch markers, they are snag free and every one of the 8 markers has a different owl.
I make these by hand and only ever have a limited number availabe due to the time required to make them.


My Bunny Bunting is such a cute make for easter, each piece isnt cast off but instead threaded on to the twine. The bunnies are knitted in moss stitch and the carrots garter.


The pattern for my pencil covers comes in both designs and are great for kids, the colour ofthe yarn used for the petals can match the colour of the pencil and you can do a whole pot full!!


And the final pattern i listed was this Animal play mat, now Im not going to lie there is a lot of knitting in this but it is well worth it, babys love texture and this has lots of that, with each square having a different feel, this also makes it a great knit for beginners as there are different stitch patterns to try and because each square is knitted separately you wont feel over faced!!

i would love to know what resolutions you have set, knitting related or not....

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

The Christmas Jumper Surprise

So back in January me and my mum decided we were going to Knit Christmas jumpers for the family to wear on Christmas day, in total we had 8 jumpers and with other personal projects and my freelance design work for magazines it was important we started early so we had enough time to fit them all in, so a few weeks in to 2015 we got to work on our top secret project!

Christmas jumper have become so popular in the past few years and there are so may available to buy we wanted to make sure these were unique so a festive image on the front was not an option, and as we were making them personally for family we wanted to make sure they had that personal touch so it was to be knitted jumpers as the whole object/character rather than the image on the front and the recipient’s name knitted in to it too. The characters we came up with were, a Christmas Pudding, a Christmas Tree, Rudolph, a Robin, a Gingerbread Man, a Present, a Snowman, and a Bottle of Champagne!

We planned a ‘Quizmas’ Eve party to give the jumpers out, which if you can’t guess by the name is a party on Christmas Eve in which we planned to do a quiz, but no one knew they were also getting a jumper! When everyone was settled with a drink in hand me and my mum sneaked out and put our jumpers on, but it was so funny as they were covered in bells they were jingling so much I’m surprised no one heard and came to see what we were doing! When we entered the room they were amazed at our jumpers and then when we produced further boxes, one for each of them it was brilliant, the laughs and cheers made every secret stitch totally worth it.

Unfortunately my Uncle (Christmas Pudding) couldn’t make it on Christmas eve but here is the rest of the gang in there jumpers, and we gave him his on Christmas day.




The great thing about knitting jumpers is they are not fitted items so we were able to use basic small, medium, large measurements to create them.
We also did accessories to go with each one, like hats and gloves, but by far my favourite has to be the gingerbread man that sits in the pocket of my dad’s Gingerbread man jumper.



Which also soon found its way on to the tree



Here are all the jumpers laid out flat so you can see the detail


















Now it’s time to start planning next year’s homemade surprise, although I’m not sure anything will top this!!

Monday, 14 December 2015

Olaf Kit - KnitNow

Ok so I must admit I have never seen the frozen film but like half the population okay am a fan of the well known song and when KnitNow magazine landed on my doormat with the free pattern and kit I just couldnt resist making it.

KnitNow magazine is a magazine I have a subscription for, not just because the sometimes feature my patterns :) but because there is always a great selection of well written patterns and Olaf was no exception.

The yarn kit came with everything you needed and the amount of yarn provided was great, I actually think I could have almost got 2 Olafs out of the quantities, I have in the past had kits that have just fallen short of the yardage needed so I was very impressed with this!

Now I cant pretend my knitting of this went completly glitch free but it was my own fault; the pattern stated "row 1 and all odd rows purl" I did this however the last row detailed was an even row and rather than doing a purl row before casting off a cast off on the purl side, when I then had to pick up stitches I ended up with a bump along the edge, so had to take it back a few rows, so lesson learnt end on an odd row!!

One of my tools that really helped with this pattern was my digital row counter, I would have been lost with out this, as with all patterns its essential to keep track of your place


I still have some of these in my etsy store, i would be lost without mine!

When i was making up my Olaf i found that putting small pieces of card in the base of the feet helped them stay structured and Olaf stand up



Pinning the pieces in place before joining them also helps make sure the position is correctand stays correct whilst attaching them.


The arms were a little fidderly but once the threads were sewn it i think they looked worth it.


And here he is my Olaf






Sunday, 6 December 2015

Kirstie Allsopps Handmade Christmas Fair

A couple of weeks ago I went to the Handmade Fair in Manchester and it was fabulous, basically it is an event made up on talks,  workshops and stalls all related to craft and in the price of the ticket you get 3 events; 2 workshops and a talk.

For the talk we went to a talk with Kirstie Allsopp and the lady behind Attic24 , Lucy. Its was really interesting and actually the motivation behind my blog revamp and promise not to neglect it again. The stage was filled with her blankets and colour work which was amazing to see I follow her on instagram and always feel inspired by her colours.

So for my 2 work shops I did Lino printing wrapping paper and needle felting baubles.

Lino printing in basically a piece if lino that you carve out your image on and then ink up and print, it was really fun (and a little messy) but the needle feling was by far my favourite, not sure if thats because it involves fibre :) basically you have a tool made up of sharp needles that you punch in to the fibre to 'knit' it together, we did this around polystyrene  balls to create baubles, I love it so much I actually ordered all the equipment to make some more although have not yet got round to picking it up.

Here is Kirstie opening the event, my and my friend couldnt help let out a little scream when we saw the craft queen.


Waiting for the attic 24 talk only 1 row from the front


Amazing view and brilliant show


And my creations...




Festive Robin Bunting - Free Crochet Pattern


I have neglected this blog and for that I have no excuse and I am sorry, you may notice the change in style, I am hoping the revamp will help me reconnect with it. I have lots to tell on the patterns I have had published and craft I have been doing, but first a free crochet pattern.

I made this robin bunting for my mum, for her robins are not just for Christmas, she loves them but this bunting I think does add a festive touch and is something she will save for the special time of year. I am more of a knit designer than crochet so crochet patterns from me are quite rare, but I hope you like it.


Materials

Double knit wool in red and brown (I used Patons Fab DK Red 02323, and Hayfield Bonus DK Rusty 0780)

Small amount of DK yellow

2 blue beads for each Robin

3mm crochet hook

Measurements

You can make as many robins as you want which will change the end length, the distance between 2 robins is approx.. 14cm.

Each robin is 9cm at widest point, 9cm tall.

 

Abbreviations

Ch - chain

Dc – double crochet

Hdc – halt double crochet

Sc – single crochet

Sl st – slip stitch

Tr – triple crochet

 

 

Pattern

Using Red.

Ch 4, join with a Sl st to the first ch to make a loop.

Rnd 1; sc 2 in to each sc, sl st in to first ch. (8)

Rnd 2; 1sc in to first sc, 2sc in to next sc, *1sc in to next sc, 2sc in ti next sc, continue from * until all 8sc have been worked, sl st in to first sc. (12)

Rnd 3; 2sc in to first sc, 1sc in to next sc, *2sc in to next sc, 1sc in to next sc, continue from * until all sc have been worked, sl st in to first sc. (27)

Rnd 4; Repeat Rnd 3.

Rnd 5; Repeat Rnd 3 to last sc, isc in to the last sc, sl st in to first sc. (40)

Change to brown

Rnd 6; sc in to the next 15 sc, hdc in to next sc, dc in to next 2sc, tr in to next 4sc, dc in to next 2sc, hdc in to next sc, sc in to the next 15sc, sl st in to first sc and fasten off. (this forms the head)

Rnd 7; on the right side count down 9sc from the hdc stitch and attach yarn, sc in to the next sc, hdc in to the next  2sc, dc in to the next sc, hdc in to the next 2sc, sc in to each stitch across the head ending on the hdc on the other side, sc in to this, sc in to the next 2sc, hdc in to the next 2sc, dc in to the next sc, hdc in to the next 2sc, sc in to the next sc, sl st in to the next sc and fasten off.

Weave in loose ends.

 

For the beak

Using yellow

Ch 4, fasten off

Weave in ends, fold in half and attach to the centre of the face just above the red

 

For the eyes

attach a blue bead either side of the beak.

 

 

Bunting cord

Using Red Ch100 (or until it is the desired length), take one of the robins and do 3 sl st across the back of the head, ch40, take another robin and do 3 sl st across the back of the head, continue in this way until all robins have been attached, ch100 (or until it is the desired length).

Fasten off.

 
Ta-dah! you have Robin Bunting x