Friday, 25 February 2011

Devon Cream - Folksy Friday / Mystery Make 2

Today's blog theme is cream as part 2 of the mystery make is knitting a cream triangle:


You can download the mystery make as a PDF from the free patterns page
and there is a help board for anyone having problems on my Facebook page


Mystery Make
What is the mystery make all about? It’s an opportunity for beginner / improver knitters, who have mastered the basic knitting stitches of knit, purl, increase and decrease to really put their skills to the test.......and make one small, manageable and decorative item for their home. Some weeks there will be one part to knit, others there will be several copies of a part. At the end of the series, instructions will be posted as to how to put the parts together and make a beautiful patchwork item for your home.

The Cream Triangle


Materials
·         3 x50g balls of yarn in 3 colours A, B, C
·         4mm needles

For the purposes of this series, A is lilac, B is Blue and C is cream.

You will not use complete balls so this project is suitable for using up oddments of yarn. If you want to, you can use more than one colour for the sections made in colour B.

Abbreviations

K – Knit     P-purl   Inc – Increase 1 stitch        Dec – Decrease 1 stitch

Increasing – knit in the front and back of the stitch
Decreasing – knit / purl 2 stitches together

Pattern
 Cast on 30sts in colour C and follow the instructions below to create a stocking stitch triangle:

Row 1
K to last 2 sts Dec 1
Row 2
Dec 1 purlwise  Pto end

These 4 rows set the pattern, continue until you have 1 st left, pull the yarn through and fasten off.


Unravellings of a knitting teacher....

One of my pupils is buying the latest series of how to knit magazines available in the UK. Its bright, cheerful and has some great project ideas. But it strikes me as odd that if you are teaching someone to knit and are expecting them to use certain stitches to complete the projects in week 1, that you don't include a how to guide.  For example week 1 was featuring stocking stitch but the only stitch lesson was garter stitch. it was not until week 2 that purl was taught... and mention was made that a tutorial could also be found on the DVD. Another concern with these magazines is that learners are given the impression that they can knit a square straight from the off. Have taught many people over the years and one thing I've noticed is that it takes alot of practice to feel comfortable enough with garter stitch and to complete a sample swatch without holes, dropped stitches etc. I'd be really interested to find out how many people following that series will actually complete it. What do other's think?



And now for the Folksy Friday.......... celebrating all things cream 



Bits and bobs Crafts - Navy and Cream Wrap


And the following are stunning offerings from the talented people over at Folksy. Today we have everything from earrings to bears :-)




1. Kokelli                     2. Lily's Night Garden                  3. Inspiral Silver
4. Nofkants Curios        5. Pud Bears and Friends              6. Floral Gifts 4 U




KK LNG
IS NKC
PBF FGU




Wednesday, 23 February 2011

ACEO's

ACEO's or Art Cards, Editions, Originals are the latest craze sweeping the online arts and craft world.... miniature works of art you can collect and own. The artwork measures 3.5 x2.5 ins and are made in a range of media from paper and paints, to mosaics, textiles and yarn crafts. There is an excellent website here that explains ACEO's in great depth.

Aceo's are attractive for a variety of reasons including:

  • They are an inexpensive way to own original art work
  • They enable artists to explore their ideas on a small scale
  • They encourage experimentation
  • Buyers are inspired to want to own bigger pieces!
  • They are a personal challenge to produce something small and unique
  • They allow creativity to flow
  • They can be displayed on the wall, on mini easels or stored away in albums

Personally I love creating them because they are relatively quick to make, they challenge me to make something tiny and exquisite and give me the opportunity to try out techniques to use on larger items in the future. I like my makes to be seen though, whether knitted, crocheted or sewn and think all art deserves to be seen - so not sure if I like the idea of hiding them in albums really.

I've been experiementing recently with filet crochet and free form and scumbling and want to take it forward into knitting too! So ACEO's are proving an excellent way for me to play and try out ideas. Idea's that can eventually grow and develop into wearable art perhaps... I have a pile of scumbles hiding in a dark corner somewhere and my next step is to hunt them down and see whether I can stitch them into some inventive ACEO designs.

The first ACEO I've added to my Folksy Shop is a combination of a filet lace framework and border, with surface crochet. The ACEO challenge on Folksy this week is to create something on the theme of blue and as my hook was wandering a pattern of intertwined chains appeared, reminiscent of thick undergrowth in a forgotten corner of a garden. A few fluffy white blobs made crocheted in a fleece yarn made for some little white flowers. And then from the tangle and confusion rose a winding green stem, complete with leaves. And the beauty from the chaos began to develop, topped off with a startling blue rose! And "My Blue Garden" was born

My Blue Garden ACEO - Bits and Bobs Crafts


  Other "Blue Artists" can be seen on the Folksy Forum.

And here is a selection from the February listings groups "The Valentinos"

Welsh Mountains -  Maxine Veronica

Bridge at Keswick - Uniquely Yours

Mermaid Water Colour - Dottery Pottery
Fabric Art ACEO - Lilipopo at Glass Mountain


Mosaic Spring Tree ACEO - Diana Jane Designs

Friday, 18 February 2011

Feeling Blue - Folksy Friday

The latest addition to my Folksy Shop is a bag in the shape of a pair of lips in shades of blue. It was made to help fundraise for a charity - The Pulmonary Hypertension Association, that helps people suffering from a serious and disabling lung disease. It has also been featured on the Crafts for Charity website. Once sold 75% of the cost of the bag will be donated to the charity.

Having had a very busy day split between typing the dreaded business plan - which has grown by a few hundred words am pleased to say, met a lovely lady who, like me is trying to get back into some form of paid work, taught a one to one knitting lesson, volunteered at after school club and ramraided tesco on a mercy mission....... phew... am having a peaceful evening - home alone as madam as gone to the cinema! So pizza, wine and choccy.... plus the knitting are definitely on the menu :-) Once of course I've done my Folksy Friday!


Today's Folksy Friday is on the theme of "Feeling Blue" to celebrate my lovely blue bag

Bits and Bobs Crafts

Here are a range of amazing Folksy sellers and their fab work - please click on the picture to be taken to the shop:


1.Indira Albert         2.Dizzy Izzy Craft Supplies      3.Sprinkles
4.Lynwood Crafts     5.Nofkants Curios                  6.Made By Dolly






IA DICS
GS LWC
NC MBD

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Mysteriously Lilac

Today I'm going to start the "Bits and Bobs Mystery Make". A series of 7 patterns for a variety of knitted shapes will be posted over the next 7 weeks. Anyone is welcome to join in and I'll create a discussion board on my Facebook Page for questions and answers. There will also be a photo album for you to show your progress and finished items once I sussed out how to make it!


The patterns will be posted on the Free Patterns Download page of this blog as PDF's and also as text within the blog.


So here goes with shape 1!



Mystery Make
What is the mystery make all about? It’s an opportunity for beginner / improver knitters, who have mastered the basic knitting stitches of knit, purl, increase and decrease to really put their skills to the test.......and make one small, manageable and decorative item for their home. Some weeks there will be one part to knit, others there will be several copies of a part. At the end of the series, instructions will be posted as to how to put the parts together and make a beautiful patchwork item for your home.

Please note that ALL patterns remain the (c) of Bits and Bobs Crafts and should not be reproduced without the owner's permission. Also these are FREE patterns and MUST NOT be sold!

 
The Lilac Triangle


Materials
·         3 x50g balls of yarn in 3 colours A, B, C
·         4mm needles

For the purposes of this series, A is lilac, B is Blue and C is cream.

You will not use complete balls so this project is suitable for using up oddments of yarn. If you want to, you can use more than one colour for the sections made in colour B.

Abbreviations

K – Knit     P-purl  Inc – Increase 1 stitch  Dec – Decrease 1 stitch

Increasing – knit in the front and back of the stitch
Decreasing – knit / purl 2 stitches together

Pattern
 Cast on 32sts and follow the instructions below to create an interrupted rib triangle:

Row 1
*K2, p2, work from * to last 2 sts K2 tog
Row 2
K2tog  *P2, K2  rep from * to end
Row 3
Purl to last 2 sts, p2tog
Row 4
K2tog, K to end

These 4 rows set the pattern, continue until you have 1 st left, pull the yarn through and fasten off.



 Luscious In Lilac Folksy Browse!

I've decided to link the colour of the shape we are making to fabulous Folksy maker's latest offerings, so as a reward for all that knitting you get  arm chair retail therapy!!


Laura's Jewellery - Fairy Love


Pip Designs - Kindle Case


Gimme that Thing - Fire Agate and Sterling Silver Ring

Friday, 11 February 2011

Folksy Friday - Positively Patchwork

Am getting to the assembly stage now for the knitted patchwork I've been developing for improvers. Have decided to post the pattern in weekly stages n my blog as a "mystery project" - one shape at a time, with the final assembly only being revealed in the last week.... so all those wanting to get involved will need to follow the blog very closely.... and I aim to start on Monday.
By the time the project is completed, you will have a collection of paralleogrames, triangles and rectangles, which will be assembled into a cushion cover based on a patchwork block. A range of 3 colours and 3 textured stitches will be used.The reverse will be striped and again use a textured stitch pattern. The colour scheme will be entirely up to the maker! A copy of the cushion will also be available in my shop, along with others in the patchwork range for those who prefer to buy handmade :-)

So now to the Folksy Friday...... and a little patchwork effect offering from me:
A nice snug hat - after all we have the rest of February plus all the mad march winds to get through yet!


And now a selection from the very talented makers on Folksy:

1. Pants and Paper - Wedding Ring Holder
2. Shabby By Sharon - ACEO
3. BooBoo Craft - Buttoned Make Up Bag
4.Sweet for The Soul - Handbag, shabby chic
5.Molly the May Handmade - Shabby Chic Patchwork Tote
6. Pink Stars and Fairy Cakes - Personalised wall hanging



Pants and Paper Shabby by Sharon
BooBoo Crafts Sweet for the Soul
Molly the May Handmade Pink Stars and Fairy Cakes

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Introducing the Valentinos

Have joined February's daily listing club on Folksy - with the aim of adding 2 - 3 new items to my shop a week as its been a tad neglected of late whilst I've been doing custom makes, charity orders and presents. With thoughts of true love and valentines day looming on the horizon I was really amazed by the range of gorgeous feminine items on offer today. Being one of life's cynics the whole valentines thing is really not my cuppa but my slowly dying sense of romance has been ever so slightly revived by the selection on offer today and so am going shamelessly girly and sharing some of the lovely pink  and / or heart shaped makes!!

I'm also working on an idea for a filet lace bookmark - shamelessy pink with lots of hearts too!! If all goes well with it, I'm aiming to share it as a free pattern.

Additionally I'm designing a patchwork sampler  for beginner knitters - the aim being to build on the basic stitches of plain and purl and start introducing some lovely but simple stitch patterns. The sampler will consist of squares in different patterns and maybe even stripes, with the idea of making a patchwork -  just have to work out what shapes I need to create and how now! Am planning to share the design process on my blog, with the hope of getting some feedback as I want to use the sampler idea for an improvers workshop, with the idea of turning the finished article into a small pillow, bag or purse.


But lets get back to today's theme - the Valentino's with a selection of their romantic makes:


NofKantsCurio's - Amozonite Heart   

JAustenJewellery Design - Thulite and Smoky Quartz Necklace

Dottie Designs - Dragon Fly Memory Book

Millie Beads - Cerise Flower Drop Earrings  

Laura's Jewellery - unicorn cameo Brooch

Jinja Jewellery - Teal Heart Necklace