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tfknits

knitting, aromatherapy, herbs and life in general

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knitting

Spring may have sprung!

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So I haven’t been here for a while but there are long and frankly boring reasons and one exciting one. After much deliberation I am leaving my office job to focus on my therapies and creative life. I know there’s not much to show on here but I feel there is a creative aspect to my life that I can make part of my living from. I thought it would be a year or two from now, when all our boys where through university but other things have happened, the boring stuff mentioned, and I seem to being pushed, non too gently, so the time is now, well in a month or two.
Any way not that much creative stuff has happened as a result but here’s what has happened…….

Glove number two has progressed a little

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The lower part is knit as if on straight needles, then the whole thing is joined to knit in the round, I’ll show you that soon.

Then there is the first if what I hope to be many little card ideas……..

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Next, continuing my button obsession, I made this………

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I found these brooch findings that I think are designed to fasten fabric or felt items to a brooch backing but they work so well for stitching buttons too. I used plain sewing thread and then glue gunned over the back of the finished piece to strengthen the thread.

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There are other things on the go at the moment but I wanted to get back into the swing of regular posting and some things are gifts for people who might come here so can’t be shown till they are completed.

Oh and Roxy the cat would like to say

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A Provisional tale

So I finally decided my fingerless lacy mitt needed it’s twin. What had delayed me in starting this second mitt?  The dreaded provisional cast-on.  For the uninitiated a provisional cast on is done in a contrast yarn, then once the main body of the knitting is done this contrast yarn is removed, one stitch at at time and the freed stitches are picked up and knitted in the opposite direction from main body of work.  It’s lovely for adding delicate edgings etc as there is no seam where stitches have been picked up   The method I was first shown is the one that sticks in my mind but is a faff to say the least, two yarns being wound round two needles like mad attempt to bind them together forever.  Whilst I can do it, I find it fiddly, awkward and a pain.  Then I was reminded of a crocheted cast on for knitting which I understood in principle but admit to never having tried so I rummaged for a crotchet hook off I went.

Firstly you need a crotchet hook roughly the same size as the needles you are going to use to knit with and yarn of a contrast colour but similar weight to that used in the piece you are knitting.  Next crotchet a length of single crotchet stitches with more chains than the number of stitches you are going to pick up.  If you can’t crotchet there are some very good online tutors and single crotchet is the very beginning stitch and easy to do.  Tension isn’t important as long as it’s reasonably even.  There are those that will make a chain as with the same number of stitches as will be cast on but since this is waste yarn that will be cut out in the end and I’m not the best at crotchet I always add a few more stitches as I find it easier to pick up in the middle of the chain rather than right into the first and last  chains.  Now the fun part, well for me as I put down the crotchet hook and grab my trusty knitting needles.

First identify the right side of the crocheted chain, it has two.  One side looks like nice repeating pattern of chain loops

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Sorry for the rubbish photo, awful lighting and huge shadow but I think you can still see the “chain” links.

Turn the “chain” over and you should see a central line of bars like this,

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Sorry it wouldn’t lay flat and I was having to take photo’s with one hand whilst trying to hold it flat.  If you look to the left of the picture you can hopefully see the central bars I mean.  These are what you are going to use to pick stitches up from, like this

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The needle is poked through the bar and then knit as if it where a stitch.  I found it easier to work with one needle and use my left hand to move the crotchet chain around.  Once you have the correct number of  stitches picked up turn the work around and off you go knitting as if you had just cast those stitches on in what ever style is usual for you.

So mitt two is conceived.  The pregnancy is hoped to be a short one and there should be pictures along the way, you can be sure this baby will be photographed and I will show all once the happy mitt arrives 🙂

Have a wonderful creative week, however you express that.

up and running again….part 2

So creatively things slowed up over Christmas, too many people to spend treasured time with.Things got cold, weather wise round here and along with cold weather comes cold feet.  This is a thing to be remedied with great haste, so no “making” photo’s were taken before these babies hit my feet

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Ah toastiness restored 🙂

My creative butterfly wants spring to come she’s getting bored of this Winter cocoon and therefore has been distracting my eye to wonderful wooly new things to have a try at.  As a result more sharp pointy things have arrived at my house,

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Believe me these things are sharp, I’ve had one or two near misses and they really smarted, dread to think what damage I may do to myself one day.  These are dry felting needles and great fun.  I wanted to just play with them, get a feel for them so just practicing with them I took some carded fleece

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and ready made felt scrap that I had and made just a random shape to see how the materials behaved

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I want to add beads or buttons to lift this a bit but I can really see potential in working with this technique.

Next I  played about with working in 3D.  I had no idea where I was going to with this,  like a child with a new toy I wanted to make something, anything, so I took more carded fleece,

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made an initial shape, out of focus of course

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Added more fleece to describe some sort of hair or fur

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then added little bits here and there as they looked right.  He’s very rough as I only spent about 2 hours on him and he was my first creature, but I think the final look is a bit long haired Guinea pig.

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I can see this getting addictive.  I actually need to do something organised with all this.  I the idea is to exercise my creative muscle, which this does, but also to make things that can be sold.  I have “made” things  all my life but only recently started to realise that I have the knowledge and creativity to do more than copy and follow.  Got to get me some discipline, anyone know where the sell it or is there a knitting pattern I can follow 😉

Christmas post

Sorry I’m late with this but with boys arriving home from the far corners of the country and the count down to Christmas starting in our house there has been little time to find the computer.  Christmas making has still been happening, I’m not the worlds most creative card maker but had fun running these up for some friends.

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Then there was the secret Santa pressie for a great friend at one of my jobs.  There’s a bit of a tradition that I always make at least part of my gift.  However this year my recipient was male and therefore a little harder knit for.  I knew he’d been given knitted gifts recently for his birthday so I decided to branch out a little and created this star for a Star guy!

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It’s done with ceramic pen on a standard mug, doesn’t need baking at all and reasonably permanent.  I’ve done this style of doodling before and was pleased with how it turned out.  It’s not as smooth as I’d like in places as the pen kept blocking but it was fun to do.

Of course no week would be complete without some knitting so the first of one of a pair of fingerless gloves was completed.

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 The colours are thanks to a wonderful sock yarn.  I love the colours in some of these yarns and often think it’s a shame that it so often goes unseen inside shoes.  I’m having a lot of fun recently knitting small accessory items rather than full garments, odd as I often used to think they were too much faff and love the rhythmic nature of knitting a large piece.  As I’ve said before I’m a real butterfly trying to be true to my nature and learning to embrace it.  I love how creativity helps me to keep growing and learning about myself.  When I was younger I thought I’d have all that settled by now but now I’m here I’m so glad I am still evolving.  

Wishing you a blessed, peaceful, busy, relaxed Christmas/Solstice/Holiday time however you want to think of this magical time of year 🙂 

 

Christmas arrives

I love Christmas, but not the cutesy side of things, little kittens in Santa hats are not my thing.  A few years ago my mum decided to change the colour theme of her Christmas tree, she’s an everything has to match type of girl, so she gave me a good few of these,

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I admit I’ve used them as they are for a year or two just to fill my tree up but as you can see they are a little battered and have a nasty weld seam on them so they have always been buried deep in the tree foliage.  Well following the Rowan workshop I went to in November I decided knitted  covers for these baubles was the way forward.  I used three different yarn types and only remember to photo one before it became a bauble

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This is Rowan Tapestry, a wool and Soybean fibre blend that has a really soft natural sheen to it.  I also used these gorgeous threads to add sparkle

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The pattern was really straight forward, cast on a few stitches increase like mad for a row or two then knit straight for while till the cover is long enough.Image

rapid decreasing at the top gave me a spherical cover and here is the result

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A few happy hours later and my old red baubles look like this

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Tree bunting via bunting central, very lovely bunting for sale or hire.

So that’s been my Christmas preparations so far, guess I should think about presents really, oops!

shopping again!

Sorry I’ve been away so long, November has been a strange month for me. I’ve had three sore throats, a week and a half of coughing, lost my voice most of the time and flu symptoms on and off most of the month. Consequently not much craft has happened, but shopping did 🙂 Fortunately for me one of my better days fell on the day a great friend and me were going to the Harrogate knit and Stitch show and merry shopping was had by all 🙂

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included in the above haul are some wonderful bits and bobs such as

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Hand dyed mulberry silk with micro sequins 🙂

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You use your hand to finger knit this crazy stuff, same concept just use your whole hand in place of your finger, make these froopy loopy scarves.

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we also went on a fun weekend workshop at Rowan Mills and knitted some lovely Christmas gloves and baubles but the pictures are on my little camera which the computer refuses to recognise today so I’m sorry those pics will have to wait till computer tech guy gets  home from work 😉  Whilst there I treated myself to this

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Rowan kidsilk haze Glamour

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Kid mohair, silk and micro sequins, gonna bling me a knitted garment some time soon.

Wonderful 🙂

Hopefully by next week I’ll have some photos of on going and finished stuff, if the computer plays fair

 

More butterflies

I had fun doing the butterfly for my Mum last week but felt that it was a bit boring and could be better, still not got there with these two but happier about the colouring and look.

the quest for the perfect butterfly will continue but I think these are improving

Mum’s holiday

Every year Mum and me go to the Knitting and Stitch show at Alexandra Palace, Mum calls it her holiday. Here’s the my haul for this year 🙂

Anyone noticed my button addiction, these beauties are destined for knitted necklaces I think.


Okay so I was impatient, this was 3 balls of the softest feel, gentlest marl grey alpaca yarn which just had to be knitted first, it told me to buy it and knit it straight away honest.

Kit for a beautiful flat spiral, knitted in wire with antique looking crystal beads, yum

I am determined to find a use for these beautiful threads, faerie hair or some such I think

and finally bought the chart for this beautiful design to be done in these threads

My mother and her requests!

You may remember my mum asking me to do her the tiny cross stitched rose key ring a bit back, well she came up with another request this week, a pastel blue blinged up butterfly Christmas tree decoration, not too big please!

Okay challenge accepted mummy dear here we go.

Standard cotton reel for scale

and a close up of the wing, nothing fancy in the knitted bead work but I’m happy with it.

please excuse the naff photography but hubby was busy 🙂

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