Objects old, vintage, hand made or upcyled, and old techniques with a modern twist

Archive for the ‘Knitting’ Category

Super-Chunky Wool Cowl

My lovely sister gave me some beautiful blue Merino wool roving for Christmas (with a particularly swanky pair of 35mm needles ūüôā ), and I decided to make a simple cowl.

Although the roving makes a very chunky yarn, the finished cowl is quite lightweight to wear, and lovely and soft. The large needles- and use of stocking stitch- meant that this was definitely the quickest knitting project I’ve ever completed!

chunky-cowl

A Work in Progress: Weaving

dsc_2711

I am currently weaving a wool snood/cowl, using a mixture of mohair¬†and merino yarn. The purple and grey yarns (the weft threads) are relatively chunky (Rowan ‘Cocoon’), but weaving rather than knitting means that the finished material isn’t so heavy/thick. I have previously knitted a cabled scarf using Rowan Cocoon and it is lovely and chunky, but too warm for all but the coldest of days!

dsc_2714

Monday Mood Board: Bunnies!

I seem to have acquired quite a few rabbit-related bits and pieces, including jewellery, stationary and small ornaments, some of which are shown here. I think I’ve always found the motif appealing, and can clearly remember particularly liking a picture of a black and white dutch rabbit in a Ladybird book when I was about three years old. Rabbits also make me think of spring, despite there being no shortage of them in the UK year-round!

I made the necklace and knitted rabbit shown above (the knitted rabbit is a great quick Easter gift); the ornaments and buttons are vintage; the blue wooden brooch is by a modern designer-maker (I am embarrassed to say that I can’t remember her name); the gold charm is modern.

Winter Knitting

Every autumn when the weather gets colder I start knitting again, and produce at least one pair of socks a year. Having hunted for properly warm socks for years previously I have decided that hand knitted is definitely the way to go- they can be as thick or as thin as you like, and you can use the softest, warmest wool you can find.

knitted-socks

There are also some great colour ways and self-patterning sock yarns available these days, so it’s easy to make quite complicated pattern using just one ball of yarn.

hand-made-socks

Vintage Knitting

VINTAGE-KNITTING

I came bought this humorous cartoon at a car boot sale earlier in the year. It dates from the  beginning of the First World War (1914), but anyone who has struggled with a knitting pattern will recognise the sometimes strange results that stem from ambitious intentions!

VINTAGE-KNITTING-CARTOON

“That looks easy enough…”

KNITTING-CARTOON

“I’m sure tension doesn’t really matter…”

WARTIME-KNITTING-CARTOON

“Well, I suppose that it’s the thought that counts!”

PUNCH-KNITTING-CARTOON

“I can honestly say that I did wear them…”

More Sock Knitting…

I have started knitting a pair of socks using this lusciously-coloured Opal sock yarn from my stash- to make them slightly more interesting I decided to add a single cable running down the front of each sock. I was originally going to have the cable running down the back, but thought that it might rub at the heel.

single-cable-socks

As the weather is FINALLY starting to improve, and spring appears to be on it’s way (although I probably shouldn’t have tempted fate by saying that…) this may be my last pair of the season. I am definitely a seasonal sock knitter!

Wintery Knitting Project- Finished!

bobble-hat-and-snood

I have finished the cowl knitting project that a started a couple of weeks ago, using some lovely soft Artesano alpaca and wool yarn that had been languishing in my stash. As you can see, I decided to use the left over yarn to knit a bobble hat- I had just enough yarn!

knitted-bobble-hat

The hat and cowl were both easy knitting projects, and the stripes mean that they would be great for using up yarn left over from other projects.

At least the continuing bad weather means that I have already had an opportunity to wear my newly finished items- every cloud has a silver lining!

Wintery Knitting!

Stripped-cowl

As the weather has finally turned to a more seasonally-appropriate temperature (i.e. cold, rather than warm and wet!) I have dug some thicker yarn out of my stash and made a start on a striped, stocking stitch cowl.

knitted-alpaca-scarf

The GORGEOUS (yes, it is so nice that it deserves shouty capital letters!) yarn that I am using is Artesano Superfine Alpaca and Peruvian Highland Wool, and it is sooo soft. As I am knitting in stocking stitch and using an aran-weight yarn I decided on a cowl rather than a scarf to avoid it being too bulky when worn under a coat (particularly where the knot would be if it was a scarf). Cowls also have the added benefits of being quicker to knit than a scarf, and using less yarn (so I’m hoping that I’ll have some left over for a hat too…).

Crochet Christmas Gifts

amigurumi

I have made a start on a few of the smaller presents that I am making for Christmas with these crochet amigurumi. The rabbit is for a work colleague, and the alien and elephant were requests from two small children I know, who were intrigued to see me crocheting!

The patterns are my own designs; using a few basic shapes/forms it is amazing how many different animals/creatures/aliens you can make! The elephant is only just over three inches tall, making these quick projects too (always a bonus in the run up to Christmas!).

Handmade Crochet Hooks DIY

handmade-crochet-hooks

With Christmas approaching, this is a great handmade present for a lover of crochet: a set of hand-carved crochet hooks, in a handmade case. Of course, if time is short, you could always just make the case, and fill it with a set of bought crochet hooks.

decorated-crochet-hooks

To make the crochet hooks I used:

Freshly-cut twigs from an apple tree (of a slightly larger diameter than I wanted the finished hooks to be)

A sharp pen knife

Clear varnish

A paintbrush

Acrylic paint

A hacksaw

Sandpaper

hand-carved-crochet-hooks

The crochet hooks were made by first cutting the twigs to length using a hacksaw. Next, a penknife was used to remove the bark from the twigs. The hook was carved using first a hacksaw, and then a penknife, and was refined using rough sandpaper.

In this project I embraced the slightly rustic look, as without using a lathe it would be incredibly difficult to carve beautifully straight crochet hooks (especially for a novice wood-carver like me!). I made sure that I got a lovely smooth finish to the wood, but showcased the slightly wonky shape of the twigs- this does have the added bonus of showing that the crochet hooks were handmade!

crochet-hooks-DIY

The hooks were made smooth using sandpaper, and I also cut a decorative groove around the handle to mark the edge of the painted area.

It is much easier to make the crochet hooks using green (freshly cut) twigs, but after carving they need to be left to thoroughly dry out before painting, as they will shrink slightly when drying.

I chose to paint a cheerful polka dot pattern on the handles, and once the paint was dry I coated the painted area with clear varnish (as the acrylic paint on it’s own wasn’t as shiny a finish as I wanted).

crochet-hook-case

I used a knitting and crochet gauge to find out the sizes of the hooks, and then used metal number stamps to impress the size just below the painted area on each hook (you could instead paint or write the size on to each hook).

I was surprised how easy I found it to make these hooks, it just took careful selection of appropriate twigs, and some patience (particularly when waiting for the wood to dry out after carving, which took 3-4 days). The wood I used was from an apple tree in my parents’ garden, which added a bit of meaning to the gift as I made the crochet hooks for my mum.

handmade-crochet-hook-case

The case was made to fit this set of handmade crochet hooks, and I chose to sew it by hand. The case is fastened simply using a loop of elastic that hooks over a decorative button. The basic design of this case could easily be adapted to store other craft tools, such as pens, paintbrushes or knitting needles etc.

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