Hello and welcome to my little corner of the internet. I intend to use this blog as a showcase for my latest crafting endeavours and to provide detailed reviews of patterns, kits and accessories on the market along with details on where to find everything yourself, should I inspire you to try it out. Please feel free to comment on my posts, provide your own thoughts on the subject, answer questions and even suggest posts.

It has always been my goal to add a post every Wednesday, but due to current circumstances posts may be as scarce as once a month. Appologies and I hope to return to my weekly posting shortly.

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Happy holidays

The holiday season is winding down and the new year is hurrying towards us. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your year, I hope it was a good one. I hope you have many memories to look back on with fond smiles and warm feelings. I've been rather absent over the festive period, but then, it's a time for family in our house and blogging didn't seem particularly in keeping with that. But it didn't seem right to finish the year without one last post.

And while we're talking about last things of the year...I did manage to squeeze out one final finish for this year. A birth sampler for a very good friend of mine who is currently expecting her sixth child! 

Designer: Joan Elliott
Item: Woodland Birth sampler
Available from: Amazon
Price: Usually around £20

Please excuse the colour, apparently my camera decided to turn all my photos a little blue for a short time. I have a love hate relationship with this piece because while the animals were incredibly fun and quick to work up, the border was insane! Far too much confetti stitches to be enjoyable, but you have to admit, it does look good for it! Now to store the design until the little guy is born and I can fill out his details.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

SAS Dog coat Part 2 - Santa Paws

Welcome to part 2 of my SAS dog coat pattern, and while this entry isn't exactly a free pattern, it does transform the coat from the plain garment at the end of the last post into something very different, and it's very easy to do. What is it? It's the basic crochet edging.

Now I know a lot of knitters shy away from the word crochet, and why wouldn't you? It's so very different to knitting, and then there's the fact that different meanings are assigned to the same words depending on which country you're in. But this is very basic and we can really dumb down the instructions on it too! So if this is your first time, give me your hand, I'm going to hold it all the way through.

So what I've done is I've got a 4mm crochet hook (the size isn't exactly vital to this part of the project, if you only have a 4.5 that's fine too, you just want it to be something similar to the needles you used for the knitting) and some very cuddley fluffy white yarn. The chunkier the better, Mine's King Coles Cuddles in chunky. So to start we simply make a slip knot, same as for knitting and place that on the hook as our first stitch. Then we're just going to DC (double Crochet) along the edge of the knitting.

Ready for that hand holding?
With your slip knot over your hook, slide the hook through the edge of your knitting (so you have your white slip knot followed by your red knitted stitch) and simply drape your white yarn over the top of your hook and pull it back through your knitting.
You now have two white stitches on your hook. So we're going to drape your white yarn over your hook again and pull that through the two stitches already on your hook leaving you with just one stitch again.
Then repeat. All along the edge. It is literally that easy. When you get to the end, just finish as you would at the end of a bind off in knitting. Cut the yarn and pull it through the live stitch.

Now I've taken inspiration from the season and the seasonal nickname with give Paws the dog every year (Santa Paws) but you could take it in a whole different direction, and not just with the SAS dog coat, but any knitted garment.

Another direction you could take this in is if your knitted piece features two colours. Take the secondary colour and work the edge in that, use a single crochet stitch for a narrow edging or a triple for a thicker edging. This is a washcloth I made for a little girl, the edging it done in the secondary colour and in a triple crochet. You could even get adventurous and find different stitches such as a shell stitch and make the edging even more decorative! The options are endless and infinately lovely! I hope this inspires you to break from the pattern a little and have a go at putting your own mark on your knitting.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

SAS dog Coat - Part 1

My previous freebie pattern seems to be doing so well that I thought I'd offer up another. This one was sort of comissioned by my mother, she asked me to write her a pattern for a dog coat that she could sell to raise money for the safe and sound charity auction so I thought I'd give it a whirl, Paws could always do with another dog coat.

Now unlike my other dog coat which is availible to buy through ravelry, this one is a lot smaller and thicker and simpler. It's done in Aran yarn with quite a tight tension to make it warm and uses only stocking and garter stitches with a small ammount of decreases for the shaping. It's a very simple pattern, but keep coming back because I also decided that such a simple pattern is the perfect subject for a mini blog series on how to jazz up your knitting and turn that simple, basic pattern into something a bit nicer.

First things first...our pattern:
I used Jarol baby ramber aran and the whole pattern uses less than 1 ball.

You will need:
4mm knitting needles
Aran Yarn
stitch holder
Darning needle
4 buttons
Waste yarn to attach buttons
4 stitches and 6rows to an inch in stocking stitch
Back length = 35cm approx
Girth = 46cm approx
For a longer back length work more than 80 rows before you bind off for the neck. Be sure to measure against your dog as you go.
For a wider Girth, you're best bet is to work more than the 29 rows before the buttonholes. Again measure against your dog.
These changes are only recommended for slight alterations and this will not facilitate you trying to make this coat for an akita.

CO 66
Knit 11 rows
Knit 6, purl 54, knit 6
Repeat last two rows for a grand total of 80 rows
K23 and place on a stitch holder, Bind off 19, k23
Left side
K6, p15, P2tog tbl
SSK, k to end
K6, p13, P2tog tbl
SSK, k to end
K6, p11, P2tog tbl
SSK, k to end
K6, p9, P2tog tbl
SSK, k to end (15 stitches)
K6, p9
K to end
Repeat last two rows for a total of 16 rows
Right side
Transfer stitches from stitch holder with WS facing
P2tog, p15, k6
K to last two stitches, K2tog
P2tog, p13, k6
K to last two stitches, K2tog
P2tog, p11, k6
K to last two stitches, K2tog
P2tog, p9, k6
K to last two stitches, K2tog (15 stitches)
P9, k6
K to end
Repeat last two rows for a total of 16 rows
Pick up and knit 15 stitches from the centre of the left edge of the body
Work 29 rows in Garter Stitch
K4,YO, K2tog, k3, SSK, YO,K4
Work 9 rows in Garter stitch
K4,YO, K2tog, k3, SSK, YO,K4
SSK, K to last 2 stitches, K2tog
Repeat decrease row a total of 4 times

Attach buttons to right side lining up with the button holes and weave in the ends

Part 2