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1  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / A Parade of Hats, to take to the Calais Refugee Camp (picture huge!) on: September 19, 2016 02:31:38 PM
My partner and I are off to volunteer in the Calais Refugee Camp in October, and I decided to take a bunch of hats to keep folks warm.

Previous volunteers let me know that some of the ladies wear hijab, so I contacted a local mosque and spoke to that women there: apparently with a hijab extra woolen layers are still essential to keep warm - but there's no particular style that is prefered as most often they just wear the hat over the hijab (quite a fashion statement they told me!!)

My mum donated a HUGE pile of yarn to the effort (she's the best, huh?) so I stuck right in with this Rico Designs Creative Chunky. I love the variegated colours, and this yarn was a real pleasure to work with

These two I knitted with 2 stands, fading the colours one strand at a time a la Mistress Jennie's recent crocheted throws.


No pattern for these beanies - just winged it with some twisted rib stitch! The set of 3 should for a baby, taking it from newborn, 3-6 months, to 6-9 months


earflap hat


Mum also gave me a heap of Hayfield Bonus Chunky (thanks mum - love you!). It's a great yarn - definitely the nicest acrylic chunky I've used Smiley
It's important to me that each hat is unique - that the refugees have a choice, can demonstrate their personal tastes, and are so acknowledged (by me) as individual human beings. So I am trying to make as many of the hats as I can different in some way... Where I used a pattern, I've linked it beneath the picture

My first mock cables!


Spiral slouch


My first smocking! I used these as an excuse to try new techniques Smiley


Cables Smiley this is only my second try at cables - the first was a hot water bottle cozy so fit wasn't an issue, but I found with this that the cable rows make the hat really tight. When I tried to reknit looser, I ended up with holes by my cross overs. Any advice anyone?


Waffle hat


Gridlock hat


Eyelet slouch hat (left-overs: hence stripes!!)


Scrap-using beanies Cheesy


2 colour cables -- no pattern but this is the tutorial I watched


I picked up some Colinette Caligraphy from the scrap bin at a local yarn fair - it's so expensive by the skein, but oh my word it's beautiful!

Moss stitch slouch hat


I received this yarn, unlabeled, in a fibre swap - it's similar to a noro silk blend but not actually Noro, I think, since the colour pattern repeats.

Jelly beanie!


Slouch swirl - I love the eyelet pattern at the bottom. I'm looking for the pattern to share!


Snail hat
The child size is really a baby size - and even then only if you add extra length with the brim , I picked up, added some length, then did a turn row and put in a fold back to hide the join since my pick ups always suck!


2 beanies from bits of Rowan Tumble left in my stash!

Stash Scrap busting!

2 totally random beanies from assorted bits of tiny scrap in my stash! Finally validating my habit of keeping hold of every single yard if left overs!!

These are made from Lion Brand thick n quick, more left overs from my stash!

Animal ears kids hats (when worn the corners stick up like cat/fox ears!)


Foxy Beanies!


Adult beanie and matching kids earwarming head band (didn't have enough yarn for a final hat!)


My aim is to finish using up all the aran & chunky weight yarn in my stash before we go, so there should hopefully be more to add in the next couple of weeks!


2  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Rainbow Zebra! on: June 28, 2016 04:49:14 AM

This is my first knitted toy, he's for my niece as a well done for her year 6 SATs exams (I'll post it so it should arrive with her on results day).

I used this pattern from ravelry
I altered the pattern so that I could knit it in the round, just because I prefer to - and I hate sewing up! Also i alerted the pattern so that I could knit the arms and legs top down (the pattern was for hoof to shoulder instead) as that let me have the rainbow matching through out, by having each piece on the needles at the same time and moving between them, so that the colour change in the yarn matches. That was rather fiddly, and left a lot of ends to sew in, but well worth it I think!

I originally sewed in the hair 'too long' as I planned to trim it down once it was all finished and I could judge length in context - but then I decided it actually looks cool like this, sort of has an 80s rock star vibe!! Haha!


I used knit picks chroma worsted yarn in colour way Pegasus (and white for the stripes).
I found this a nice yarn to work with --- but, it did a weird thing with the colour graduation; rather than moving from colour A to B to C to D and back to A again in a sort of circular way (add most yarns with a colour repeat do), it mirrors itself, going A-B-C-D-C-B-A-B. I checked on the yarn page and it's supposed to do that, but I wish I'd known to look out for it - because I needed to make sure I placed myself on the end of a mirror section, to avoid colours to-ing then fro-ing. I ended it starting again after knitting about half - but once I find the place in the yarn to kick off from it was all good Smiley and thankfully still loads of yarn left in the ball even after a mis-start!

I wish I'd done un-jogged stripes at the back but oh well!
Thanks for looking!
3  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Super simple (but super fun!) Photo props... With a little help from the kiddos on: July 09, 2015 05:25:15 AM
These before and after photo props were a simple draw, but fun, and I think they make effective photo props for the Color Run (a fun run where they throw powder paint at you). Plus coloring in the 'after' ones (with the brightest colors they could) gave the kids a nice job to keep them happy on the morning before the run - then they were then really proud to get their photo taken with their art work
(Roman on the end is upset because he wanted to hold 'R' for Roman, but also he wanted to be the first letter in the word...)

On a side note, I totally recommend these runs as a fun family day out, we had 3 generations of the clan running together (my parents, my siblings and cousin, and their kids) and our really was the best fun!
4  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Completed Projects / Little Paddington Book - an experiment in image transfer with gel medium on: July 07, 2015 12:18:21 PM


I read a magazine article about using gel medium.as a transfer agent and wanted to give it a go :-)

It was really easy and gives a great clear image...
But I really hate the 'gel' layer it leaves, I had intended on doing some embroidery on top of the image but I diligent because the needles holes would have been really obvious in the set gel that is left behind. I also didn't love that it killed the fabric texture.

However, I think this technique could have is uses, so I'm glad I tried it out! I'm not sure if it would work with other surfaces, e.g. Wood, bit I can't see why not, so I might try that another time
5  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Ribbing not working with number of stitches required in pattern... Advice please on: June 30, 2015 06:55:50 AM
So, I've had this same problem with two separate patterns now and just wondered how more experienced knitters handle it because I think there must be a better way...

These are both circular knit brim up hat patterns, that call for a cast on number of stiches that doesn't allow for the rib pattern it calls for; for example, it says cast on 70, then rib 2x2 (i.e. A 4 stitch repeat... But 70 doesn't divide by 4 so I end up with 1 double width rib at the back because my knits and purls don't match up). I hope you understand what I mean! Anyway, what would you do in that situation?

I've ended up casting on less stiches so that can follow the rib pattern seamlessly, which is fine except I then have the wrong number of stiches when it comes time to decrease at the top of the hat. So I've increased 2, snuck in just after the ribbing brim, and knitted the rest of the hat as directed. It seems to work ok, though it wouldn't on a more fitted hat because those snuck in increases could change the shape.

I could also use a different rib pattern (3x2 or something) for the brim I guess??

What do you guys think, what would you do??
6  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Reframing my great aunt's embroideries on: June 02, 2015 04:34:42 PM

When my Great Aunt passed away last year, I ended up taking her embroideries (since no else wanted them and, as a cross stitcher I know how much time must have gone into them so I couldn't bear to leave them) but they weren't really my sort of thing and were in frames per that weren't helping. I picked up a couple of cheap frames and sprayed them to bring out the colours in the embroidery, and I really love how they came out.

The two cottages are by my great aunt Alice, who was a really awesome, generous, kind hearted lady and died peacefully in her armchair, having fallen asleep knitting and eating jelly babies :-) The other piece was done for her by my grandma, who taught me to sew when I was in primary school and was really instrumental in setting me on the path of this hobby that brings me so much joy.
I love that now I have a little piece of these two inspirational ladies, brightening my walls like they brighten my life
7  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Fat Pile of TM patches - some nerdy, a couple that Light Up :-) PHOTO HEAVY on: June 02, 2015 04:14:32 PM

These were pretty much all made for swaps...
They are cotton, with (mostly) stem stitch embroidery  (some back stitch) done free hand in regular dmc thread. A couple have stamped details too

There's a lot of doctor who...

And harry potter. Plus neuroscience, fruit, buttons, beaches (the shell had a little hole worn through when I found it so I just sewd straight thought that to attach it)...

Alice in wonderland, Fantastic Mr Fox

The little press stud tabs on those doctor who ones, act as switches to turn on the flashing blue LEDs on top of the TARDISs - see...

I couldn't manage to get a photo of the other one lit (couldn't time it right with the flashing light and eventually gave up!)

And firefly themed...

Sign language, moon... Lots more harry potter!


I've used this owl print a few times...

a handful of random ones

And Little My, cause she's awesome
8  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Game Board Envelope Case on: June 02, 2015 03:41:46 PM
This game board carry envelope is for my cousin's boyfriend, he goes to a game board evening every week and normally wraps them up in plastic bags to keep them dry and protected, so she asked if I would make a more sustainable version!
The outer layer is waterproof, it's oilcloth -  the stuff for making table cloths from! Since Kyle loves to travel and his favorite board game (and mine! Ticket to Ride) is based on a map, this print seemed appropriate

Most of the work in this project isn't actually in the final piece; I spent hours practicing working with this thick shiny slippy fabric, and had to redesign the construction I wanted to have to be workable for me (I'm sure a more experienced seamstress would have been ok!)
I've also never added a buckle before, and the button on the stopper is inset to sit flat (K is for Kyle, his name :-) ) which I've never done before... So a lot of firsts!
It's also twice lined, one in stuffing to add protection and one in fabric. All the lining is properly structured to mimic the bag.
We measured up a load of game boxes to work out the best size to for most of them (they are a couple of outliers, but to fit those the bag would have been unwieldy, not useful for all the rest...)

The binding took an age, that's another area I practiced loads before starting on the real thing. I've done binding before but always felt it wasn't great and let projects down, whereas I was pretty pleased with how this turned out

And a little pocket inside to store cards or what not. That was going to be placket but I ran out of time (I only fished up the day before Kyle's birthday) so it's just simple patch.
The label is in that weird place to act as a patch over a small last minute snipping accident (I genuinely thought I was going to cry for a second before I thought of putting the lable over it!)
My cousin was super pleased with it and I guess I'll hear later if the birthday boy agrees too!!

I know this is a pretty simple project compared too some of the awesome stuff that you guys do, but I'm not much of a machine sewer so I was really pleased that it came out ok! Thanks for looking
9  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Animal hoods (mouse, bear, Fox, rabbit...) lots of pictures. PATTERN on pg3! on: May 20, 2015 06:18:55 PM

So, I saw these animal hoods a few times in Pinterest and decided to get stuck in. I use a super chunky yarn, so they knit up super fast, and they are really simple.
Bibi, above, wearing a mouse hood, later stolen by Nannie Gail...

Joined by me wearing a brown bear, and Otto wearing Fox.

Here's a better shot of mine; this was the first one, you can see by comparing to above that side then I started grafting the top, and I now also often add a couple of stripes to the bottom of the cowl bit


They often get stolen by parents/grandfolk - here's Gene's mummy wearing his grey bear, with Edie as a rabbit


And a black bear (suitable to go with school uniform)


Polar bears are also popular, but I can't seem to find any photos!
 I'm thinking next I might try a frog, like with bulgy eyes instead of ears? What do you think? Any other animal suggestions gratefully received - I get asked to do these all the time and am bored of repeating the same ones....

Gratuitious extra photo of them being unwrapped (bibi's mouse, otto's Fox, Roman's cat) - how darn cute are my nephews and niece!!
10  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / pigeon skeleton hoop on: May 14, 2015 04:54:40 PM


Proof that birds are just little dinosaurs :-)
Stem stitch on linen, image hand drawn from an zoology text book, so it should be at least mostly accurate!
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