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    Entries in christmas (3)

    Sunday
    Dec212014

    Free pattern - Christmas Snowflakes

    I designed this snowflake for a crochet class, and have really enjoyed making them for the christmas tree & to give to friends. So I thought I'd give my readers a little gift and share the pattern with you!

    They are quick to make and only use a little yarn so there's plenty of time for you to whip some up to gift. Make them teeny tiny in lace weight or as a window decoration in bulky yarn. The one pictured was made with Rico bamboo yarn - dk  - with a 3.25mm hook.

    6 point Granny snowflake:

    Rnd 1: Into magic loop, 3ch, 2tr, 2ch, (3tr,2ch) 5 more times, sl st to join (6 clusters)  

    Rnd 2: sl st along to ch sp, ch3, 2tr, 2ch, 3tr into 2 ch sp, (3tr,2ch,3tr) into next 2ch sp 5 times, sl st to join (12 clusters)

    Rnd 3: sl st along to ch sp, 3ch, 2tr, *picot, 3tr into 2ch sp, sl st into sp between clusters, (3tr,*picot,3tr into 2ch sp, sl st into sp between cluster)  5 times, sl st to join. 

    *Picot: Ch4, sl st into back of 4th st from loop, ch4, sl st into same st as before, ch3, sl st into same place. Yes, I know that looks wrong - but it makes the most even looking picot loop.

    Hanging chain: For one of the picots, extend the centre ch4 to around ch25 (you don't need to be exact, just long enough to be a practical loop) before working the sl st into the same st as before.

    To stiffen decorations

    Decorations are best made at a tight tension. Use a smaller hook than recommended for the yarn.

    For the star shown I used clear children's glue. I got a pack of glues from the pound shop & one of the clear glues had a small circular sponge applicator which makes it quick to apply the glue exactly where it's wanted with minimal mess! PVA glue works well - dilute slightly to make it easier to paint on. I sprinkled some fine silver glitter over the stars after glueing & pinning. Because - sparkle!!

    I used some dense foam chilled food packaging as my blocking board for this, not wanting to get glue on my good blocking mats. I also found that the foam discs from pizza packaging works well :)

    Other ideas:

    Spray starch. Quickest option. Spray starch onto surface of decoration and press with iron. Most suitable for natural fibres - it is easier to melt synthetic yarn! Several thin layers are easier and more effective than saturating then ironing. Remember to spray both sides.

    Sugar solution. Make a concentrated sugar solution by heating a small amount of water in a saucepan and adding sugar until no more will dissolve. Soak decoration in solution, pin & leave to dry.

     

    Friday
    Nov012013

    Christmas Collection part 2

    That was a longer gap between posts than I expected! We went to help with my 4 adorable nieces as my sister moved house last week, and the internet wasn't connected when they were told it should have been so I couldn't blog. Grrrrr - connecting broadband when it was already in place with the previous owner really shouldn't be as overcomplicated as it is.

    So now I can show you the second part of the Christmas collection. These are all scarves/wraps, ideal for you and for gift knitting. 

    The quickest to knit is this cute chunky keyhole scarf:

    Knit in Debbie Bliss Rialto chunky on large needles, you can make it in an evening. It took less than 100 yards -  I have some chunky handspun that I think will end up as one of these scarves for a christmas gift.

    The second pattern is a slightly more refined version of the first but made in Noro Shiro,  a luxe dk weight cashmere blend yarn. It is longer and wider to wear as an easy wrap or to be wrapped twice around your neck as a super cosy winter scarf.

    The last wrap is a perfect addition to a little back dress for the party season. It takes a little longer to knit than the rest of the collection - but it also has the biggest wow factor. The main part of the wrap is knit in Debbie Bliss Party Angel - mohair, silk & sparkle. Featherlight but warm with a sparkling glint, it makes a simple stitch look lacy and complicated! This was the scarf that fascinated people when I was knitting it. It's really long so you can wear it for glamour or more practially for warmth! The ends are knit in Louisa Harding Grace, a wool silk singles yarn that feels heavenly. Adding lace at the ends of the scarf in the heavier wool makes the wrap drape like a dream. You could stick with the same colour as the body or choose to use a contrast colour for a pop of colour. Although it is styled as a scarf here, it is easily wide enough to wear as a pashmina-type wrap.

    Hope you like the collection - I'll post photos when I make the handspun version.

    Keep an eye on the blog tomorrow - I have news about the new edition of The Crochet Project, and another giveaway :)

    Tuesday
    Oct222013

    Christmas Collection part 1

    Knit Now Issue 27 is out now. Issues 26-28 all have a pull out christmas patterns collection. These are intended to be quick knits for gifts or christmas decorations. The collection this month is mine :)

    This was a lot of fun to put together. There are 6 patterns in all. Some take very little time - less than an hour for the necklace, some take longer - a week or two for the largest wrap. 

    For a decoration, I made a lacy star (Twinkle twinkle). You see lots of pattens for crochet stars, and for 3d knitted stars, but not so many for delicate lacey knitted stars. These almost designed themselves, and I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed making them. 

    These are knit in a dk weight yarn on 4mm needles. The light purple one is in Louisa Harding Orielle - baby alpaca with a sparkle. Not an obvious choice for a stiff star decoration. But socaking it in sugar solution and hard blocking gave a lovely result. The darker purple star is made from Louisa Harding Grace Hand beaded, left over from the necklace below. Another soft luxury yarn that took to the sugar solution treatment beautifully. They only use a few grams of yarn - and you could make them in lace yarn on 2mm needles or bulky yarn and 10mm needles if you like. One would give lovely delicate tree decorations, the other would be gorgeous hanging on ribbons as a statement decoration.

     

    The next pattern is a super quick knit. You could easily make 4 or 5 from a 50g hank of Louisa Harding Grace hand beaded. This is a luxuy wool/silk singles yarn with a beaded thread wrapped around it. 

     The Star of the East necklace is reversible and can be made as a choker or a longer necklace. You can make twisted cords for the fastening or you could thread a ribbon though the eyelets at the top of the lace if you preferred. It's soft & easy to wear and the beads sparkle as you move.

    The baby pattern for the collection is the Silent Night booties. These are knit in soft cotton & have a stocking stitch surface that is easy to decorate - how about adding stars, initials or a date of birth as a sweet newborn gift?

    How cute is he? Adorable! The booties are knit flat with stocking stitch on the top of the foot, garter stitch toe & soles and ribbing at the ankle. There is also a tie to try and combat the constant wriggling out of footwear. I don't often knit flat, but these are small and it seemed les fiddly with all the garter stitch to knit them flat and seam them together. The flat shape is kind of origamied together to make a 3 d bootie, then the ribbing is added and the heel seam is sewn last. Easier than it sounds!

    I have 3 more pattens to show you in the next post. 

    Do you do christmas gift knitting? I do - but only for a select few who I deem to be knit worthy! What are you making this year?