Sunday, 27 September 2009

Must organise...

Ok, I posted a few days ago about possibly having a problem with my stash. I decided to organise it a bit better, and I have discovered that I most definitely have a problem. I'm not proud of this, but here is a photo of my yarn stash all in one place.

It's ridiculous! I'm getting close to the Ravelry term SABLE - Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy. In my defence, about 50% of this stash was given to me by elderly friends or people cleaning out their cupboards, so I haven't actively bought it all. Even so, I need to get it organised and start using it up.

I currently use Ravelry's stash organiser, which is a fantastic idea, but I find it hard to keep up to date. I never get round to uploading photos of my yarn, so then I start to forget what I have. I decided to revert to a good old fashioned low-tech notebook. I'm writing down the name and weight of the yarn, the meterage per ball, and the number of balls in stash. Then I'm attaching a small sample of the yarn to the side of the page, so that I can instantly remember what it looks and feels like. The notebook can then be used alongside my pattern collection when I'm trying to find yarn for new projects.

Believe it or not, I do have plans for most of the stuff in there. The only problem is that my brain knits faster than my hands, so it's going to be a while before yarn becomes finished objects. However, my aim for the next few weeks is to match yarn to patterns and try to find some sort of order in the chaos. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Homemade Book

I found myself with time to kill yesterday, and spent a couple of hours browsing the craft books section in Borders. This book just jumped off the shelves at me, with a fantastic mix of craft projects, cooking, home-making ideas and gardening. It's called "Homemade: Gorgeous things to make with love", by Ros Badger and Elspeth Thomson.

There are so many amazing ideas inside this book, you could spend hours trying them all out. It's divided into sections for the four seasons, and the projects go along with this theme. I particularly loved a decorating idea for a patchwork wall, using wallpaper scraps or postcards. There's also a fantastic bag, made using old clothing labels sewn together in a patchwork design. The lining is created with the front of a shirt, and the buttons and buttonhole band form the fastening at the top of the bag.

If you're looking for inspiration I would highly recommend this book. It's whole philosophy is based around recycling, thrift and imagination, and there are plenty of projects that you can create with children as a family. The crafts covered include knitting, crochet, sewing and painting, so there's a little bit of everything.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

I think I have a problem...

I think I might need Yarnaholics Anonymous, if such a thing exists! I can't resist yarn when it's a bargain, and I happened to stumble upon three huge bargain bins in my local craft shop today. Even though there is far too much yarn in my stash already, I couldn't help having a rummage through the bins just to see if there was anything that took my fancy. Half an hour later, I came away with this...

Now, I know it seems like a lot of stuff, but I paid only £15 for this whole pile of yarn, and it's worth almost £50! There's some soya, a lot of cotton, and a small ball of some beautiful sparkly pink fluffy stuff. I do have plans for the sparkly stuff, as I thought I might make a sequinned purse, but I don't know what I'm going to do with the rest yet. It will probably end up as clothes for my kids, or the blue cotton might possibly become a textured cushion. It's going to be fun finding things to make!

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Tilly Teddy

This is Tilly Teddy, made from a pattern by Emma King in her book "The Best Dressed Knitted Bears". She's going to go to a new home with one of my son's friends, a little girl who is two. I made her with Sirdar Calico in a lovely rose pink shade, and Rowan Calmer in dusty lavender for her clothes. I did adapt the pattern quite a bit as the original had lots of sequins and things on it, and I wanted to make a very simple toy as it was for a toddler. It's a lovely little pattern though, and knits up in about 3 or 4 hours, so great for a last minute present.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Mobile Phone Case Free Pattern

My husband amazed me today, when he asked me to knit him a case for his mobile phone. This is from a man who usually hates knitting and handmade things, so I jumped at the opportunity. He recently bought some very cool Adidas trainers in bright multi colours, and wanted the case to match them.

I have a whole box of bright coloured acrylic yarn oddments in the loft, so I dug out a variety of colours and set to work. The pattern is below if anyone wants to have a go, and he loves the finished result!

Mobile Phone Case

You will need:

3.25mm knitting needles
4mm crochet hook
Yarn in your preferred colours - I used black as the main colour, and blue, pink, orange, purple, yellow and green as the contrast colours.

This case measures 4.5 x 3 inches.

Cast on 20 sts (this can be adjusted to make a wider or narrower case, but make the number divisible by two) and knit 2 rows in stocking stitch. All subsequent rows will also be in stocking stitch.

Row 1 - With the first contrast colour, knit two stitches. Then knit two stitches each in the second and third contrast colours. Repeat to the end of the row.

Row 2 - Purl this row, working all stitches in the same colours as previous row.

Rows 3 & 4 - Work two rows in with main colour.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 with the other three contrast colours.

*Knit 6 rows with the main colour. Knit 1 row in the first contrast colour.

Repeat from * 8 times, using each contrast colour in turn, and starting again from the beginning when all have been used once.

Knit 2 rows in main colour.

Cast off.

Fold the case in half so that the cast off edge is just under the checked piece of knitting, matching all stripes. Sew the side seams with backstitch, and weave in ends.

Edge the top opening and flap of the case with two rows of double crochet in the main colour, adding a chain loop in the centre of the flap on the second row.

Sew on a button to finish!

Designed by Torya Williams for ButterflySparkleDesigns, 2009. Please do not reproduce the pattern or the design for financial gain.