Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The start of a knitted blanket

After viewing all of the knitted blankets found here onTilkkusisko's blog. I felt totally inspired to start one of my own. To say that the quilts on her blog are awesome, just doesn't even come close ... they are truly AWESOME! ... all 107 of them! I tried to pick a favourite from them, and just couldn't.
I have heaps of thick red and orange yarn in my stash, so thought I would go with that as a sorta theme. The photo makes it look more brown than red, so I'll try to take my next photo outside in the sun (yes, spring will hit Australia on friday...yippee!!). The red yarn is a REALLY thick chenille, called Marcel by Lincraft. I bought it (as usual) when it was going out on special, but decided that it was far too thick to make anything to wear, so thought instead that it would be fantastic for blankets. It's knitting up really fast (but not SO fast that I'll complete 107 any day soon!). As you can see, I am knitting it modular in squares,( and possibly triangles and rectangles?) with some knitted heart applique. For the applique, I have just cut the basic shape out of newspaper, and used that as a template. For inspiration with modular knitting I use a brilliant book called No Pattern Knits by Pat Ashforth and Steve Plummer
I'm not sure how the rest of the blanket will look, but I will just decide what looks right as it grows..I kinda like not knowing :-)

Monday, August 28, 2006

...and it fits...and I love it, love it!

ok...now... following on from my last post, I can write the rest of the pattern and do my little *happy dance* that it turned out how I wanted it to :-)
Join the sleeves into a tube and work until they measure 14cm. Decrease 1 stitch on every row for the next 5 rounds, then every alternative row until they are the length you want (mine were a total of 10 rounds from the start of the decreasing).
Next, sew the sleeves to the back along the raglans, and using the same size hook as before, work about 5 rows of trebles around the whole outside edge... (I found that it fitted better with every row I added).
and thats it...DONE :-)
...how easy was that?...I am so on a roll right now...can't wait to make something else :-)

Friday, August 25, 2006

...a crocheted shrug

I've been wanting to try to crochet a piece of clothing without a pattern for ages, so I figured that the easiest thing to make is a shrug...(yeah yeah,I've got heaps of them, but one more wont hurt!..and only 2 sleeves and a back...what could be easier, right!?!)). I'm writing it down as I go coz otherwise, next time (if there is a next time!) it'll be a breeze to make.The yarn I'm using is 1 strand of Moda Vera Aspire, and 1 strand of Carnival 8ply. Using a 7mm hook, the tension is 10 trebles and 8 rows to 10cm square (I'm using UK crochet terms and making it to fit womens size 12 UK/Aus).
Right, the story so far!...I took the back neck measurement from an existing shrug, and made a chain of 18. Working from the top down I did 1 row of trebles, turned, and did another row of trebles increasing 1 stitch at each end of row. I repeated these 2 rows until the back was 20cm ... easy so far!
For the sleeve I made a chain of 8 and worked as I did before, until it was the same length as the back. I next tried on the sleeve to make sure that it would fit around my upper arm...

YEAH..it fits!!

....ok, off to do some more crocheting...this is definately working out faster and easier than I thought...fingers crossed :-)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Ta-Da!...another baby quilt

It's finished !!
I was planning to make it more strippy and scrappy than this, but really wanted to keep the border fabric big, so decided instead to just strip piece the centre panel.
There are some awesome examples of strip quilts here on Bonnie's site ... can't wait to start working on a full size one ...
... soon :-)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Quick quilt update

I've been working well on my baby quilt....it's now been pieced, quilted, and had the applique pinned into place...it now just needs the applique sewn down, some pink circles for the flower centres, and the binding attached. Another couple of days should see it finished :-)

Friday, August 18, 2006

I swear I only went out to buy pink thread!

....so,yesterday, I decided to call into Spotlight at Christies Beach on my way to doing a food shop at Bi-lo..I only needed pink thread for my baby quilt...ended up getting -
4 bolt ends of fabric (5m of printed cotton drill,5m of embroidered cotton drill, 2m of printed corderouy and 4m stetch satin) for between $3 and $5 a roll,
22 balls of yarn for 50c and $1 a ball,
pink thread (which I nearly forgot in the excitement of a clearance sale!)
...and the whole lot cost me $39.75!! ...think I may have to go back again today :-)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

A quilt I plan to finish this week....maybe ?!

Here's another baby quilt that I've been working on.
So far, it has a machine pieced top that has been basted to a piece of really thick pink polar fleece. I plan to use the polar fleece as both the batting and the backing....it kinda makes it a cross between a quilt and a blanket. The next job is to machine quilt it (going to get some pink thread today, so that it looks neater on the back), and then sew on some applique...I'm thinking that maybe I'll put just one, really big flower with a stem, in the centre...it looks good in my head, so hopefully it will turn out the same :-)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Tonya's Letters

I've been doing some experimenting with Tonya's letters. Check out her quilts and tutorials...they're so cool...I just love quilts with writing on. I havent decided what I'm gonna make yet, but I'm practising ready.

I got to thinking that maybe I could adapt these letters to knitting - and ohmygod! - I sure can :) Just what I need!...more ideas for future projects whizzing around my head!!

Sunday, August 13, 2006


I made these toesties from my page-a-day knitting calendar...there is also an online pattern for them here
I pretty much stuck to the pattern (gasp!)...other than using a 4mm circular needle instead of 4.5mm (for no other reason than i didn't have a 4.5), the edging was crocheted with a round of trebles (US double crochet), and I didn't add elastic. I used 2 strands of a generic 8 ply acrylic yarn, and 1 strand of Lincraft's funky fibre print for the edge...
... a few hours knitting and they're done!... perfect fitting and just right for my cold South Aussie winter feet :)

Monday, August 07, 2006

Baby quilts are sooo much fun to make

I had heaps of fun over the past few days making this baby quilt for my nephew .... he's due to be a dad next month.
The baby is a girl, and last I heard, she's going to be called Raia...I wanted to make a quilt with her name on, so have only pinned the letters in place just in case that changes...(yay for short names!).
The writing is done in 'freestyle' cut applique which can quickly be appli-quilted into place when I know for sure. (Don't want it it take too long as it has to be posted overseas).
The centre green/pink part was machine pieced, the rest of the background was then fused onto iron-on interfacing (leaving the edges raw), and the whole quilt was machine quilted. The raw edged hearts were then sewn on through all layers, using a running stitch and embroidery thread...as will the name.

My quilts are usually made using the 'liberated quilting' method....no measuring..no planning..just completely half-arsed!... if you're looking at the photo and thinking that your eyes are playing up...they're not..."it's not you....its me" :-)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Easy peasy mobile phone socks

These phone socks are the easiest things to knit, and brilliant for practicing knitting in the round. I'm not very good with dpns (way too fiddly for me), so I knit them 'magic loop' style using one circular needle...heaps, HEAPS easier way to knit.

There is a great online video explaining magic loop knitting at http://www.knittinghelp.com/knitting/advanced_techniques/

For the purple sock, I used a textured 8ply for the body and two strands of a fancy tinsel-like one for the trim (the sort that you buy from the $2 shop here in Aus with the generic name of 'fancy knitting yarn'...well I definately can't be accused of being a yarn snob!!).

For the creamy coloured one, I used one strand of 8ply and one strand of eyelash yarn held together.

Cast on 22sts using one size 4mm circular needle.

The sock is knitted from top to bottom, so cast on with the trim yarn.

Knit 3 or 4 rows (or whatever looks good) with the trim, then change to the main body yarn.

Knit until sock is the right size for your phone. I made mine 10cm and it has fitted several different phone sizes and ipods.

Cast off using the 3 needle bind off method...place half of the stitches on one end of the circular needle, and the other stitches on the other end, then cast off using a spare 4mm needle.


Thats it!...no seams to sew, just 2 ends to fasten off. I use my phone socks ALL the time...they're easy to see at home, easy to 'feel' for in my bag, and they stop my phone from getting scratched and beaten :-)