Crafty Blogs

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Easy baby bear hat and mittens set

I'm still a bit of a knitting novice, but I'm learning that even the basics will take you quite far with a bit of imagination. What I'm lacking in technical ability I try to make up for with a few finishing touches. To make this hat and mittens set all you need to know is how to cast on, knit, pearl, decrease and the rest is all simple applique.

To make a small baby size I used 5 1/2 mm knitting needles and double knitting variegated yarn.


Cast on 56 sts. Work in stocking stitch for 22 rows. Then begin to shape the crown.
1. Knit 1, *k 4, k2tog* rep from * 9 times, end knit 1. (47 sts.)
2. Pearl
3. Knit 1, *k 3, k2tog* rep from * 9 times, end knit 1. (38 sts.)
4. Pearl
5. Knit 1, *k 2, k2tog* rep from * 9 times, end knit 1. (29 sts.)
6. Pearl
7. Knit 1, *k2tog* rep from * 7 times, end knit 1. (16 sts.)
8. *Pearl 2tog* across entire row. (8 sts.)

Leave your remaining sts on your needle cut the yarn with a long tail. Use a tapestry needle to draw the end of the yarn through the remaining sts as you remove them from the needle. Pull tightly and sew the two edges together to finish.

Ears (make 2):

Cast on 21 sts and knit 3 rows. Cut yarn leaving a long and draw through remaining sts with a tapestry needle. Pull tightly and knot to secure. Keep the tail to help secure the ears to the hat.
Finish by sewing a circle of felt to the centre of the ears. Use a contrasting colour and sew in place with a blanket stitch.

Sew the ears in place with the remaining tail of wool, sewing back and front to make them secure. Sew on top of the hat to create a bear, or on the sides to make a monkey!

Mittens (make 2):

Cast on 20 sts.
1. *k2, p2* rep from* 5 times. Do this for 5 rows.
2. Work in stocking stitch for 12 rows.
3. Knit 1, *k4, k2tog* rep from * 3 times, end knit 1. (17 sts.)
4. Pearl
5. Knit 1, *k3, k2tog* rep from * 3 times, end knit 1. (14 sts.)
6. Pearl
7. Knit 1, *k2, k2tog, rep from * 3 times, end knit 1. (11 sts.)
8. Pearl

Cut your yarn leaving a long tail. Draw through remaining sts with a tapestry needle, pull tightly and then use the tail to sew the edges of the mitten together.

To create a paw pattern use small circles of felt in a contracting colour. Sew in place with a blanket stitch. And you're done!

This set is going to a friend of mine whose hand-made baby shower I'll be attending next week. Hopefully they well be well-received.

Thank you for reading, and good luck in your crafts this week!

The Lucky Ladybird x

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

4. Pancake Day

I dreamt that I had to make a lot of pancake mix for a pancake day party we were holding. Starting to make the mix I realised that we had none of the ingredients we needed. We didn't have any milk so I whisked some double cream, but when I couldn't find any eggs I tried using gummy bears instead. Then I started to eat the gummy bears, not cool because gummy bears are not suitable for vegetarians!

Square four features some lovely fabric that was a birthday gift, many thanks to my Mum for her contribution!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

3. Land of the Giants

Dream three, Out on a walk we came across a big group of US marines guarding the entrance to a wind farm. We convinced one of them to show us what they were protecting, and following his directions I snuck around the wind turbines and found a hidden town of tree-houses populated by giants. Most of the people I met were children and assumed I was a small child. The marines spotted me and began to chase me through the school, which was huge and even had a basketball court.
Square three has taken the longest of all the squares so far because of the level of detail, but because of the detail and the opportunity I had to use some left-over fabrics from my collection this is also the square I'm most proud of.

It's the second month of the dream quilt and progress is good. I've been crunching some numbers and I've had 20 dreams since I started keeping records of them and have rendered 3 into fabric. My aim is that the quilt should be made up of 121 squares (11x11) and to keep things going it would be nice if I could record 11 dreams a month, that way I'll have enough dreams to sew by the end of the year. Unfortunately I don't have much control over the frequency of my dreams! Even if I succeed in this it still takes about 2 weeks to complete each square, so it might be 60 months (5 years) before all the squares are done! Oh well... time to get dreaming!

Good luck! x x x

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

2. Dental Dream

Another square for the dream quilt. Dreamt 2nd February 2010.

I have a pain in my tooth and, looking in the mirror, I see that the cavities in my teeth have made them like swiss cheese.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Plastic Fantastic

Since my tutorial on weaving baskets from plastic bags went global last year I've been meaning to follow it up with other ways that plastic bags can be re-fashioned. Weaving baskets is a lot of fun, but for most people it requires learning a whole new set of skills, which I know can be a bit daunting. If you already knit or crochet then plastic bags can become another material to use, and with great effect.

To turn plastic bags into yarn I highly recommend the tutorial by gooseflesh. Other guides suggest complicated methods of cutting the bags to make a continuous thread, but the gooseflesh tutorial offers a simpler approach - cut the bags to create rings and then loop the rings together. using this method I was able to mix and match a selection of plastic bags and make a brightly-coloured variegated yarn.

A couple of days later I'd created a nice big ball of yarn, and it was time to get knitting! I found my set of 10mm needles, always perfect for knitting with chunky yarn, cast on 30 sts and knitted for 48 rows to create the body of the bag.

To create the handle I cast off 24 sts and then continued to knit with the remaining 6 sts for 36 rows. Folding the bag in half I joined it along the sides and then attached the loose end of the handle to the opposite side of the bag. It was very simple and only took a few days to complete.

Luckily in my collection of spare plastic bags I also came across some inspiration for some embellishment. One of the sturdier carrier bags had a beautiful pattern of blue and white stars. Inspired by the design I put together a pretty matryoshka doll (or Russian doll) design and sewed it into place on the front of the bag. The pretty carrier bag also had a logo which read 'RETAIN REUSE RECYCLE', so I carefully cut this out and sewed it onto the back of the bag. Perfect!

If you like the look of this bag I've decided to offer it for sale on my etsy shop. Thank you very much for looking,

Lots of love and luck! x

Monday, 1 March 2010

Introducing - The Dream Quilt

York is home to the UKs only quilt museum and gallery and a couple of years ago I had the pleasure of working there as a volunteer. Getting up close to the historical quilts was a real inspiration, especially one African pictoral quilt that showed scenes from the maker's life. Like a textural graphic novel each patchwork square had it's own story, from bathing to visiting the medicine man. I had an idea that I would like to make something similar, but with each square showing a different dream of mine.

I'm sad to say that since then I've shevled the idea. The enormity of the project intimidated me. Apart from the fact that I've never had any experience of quilt-making I have very strange and frequent dreams that I knew would be difficult to keep track of and depict. At the time I also lived in a very small shared house and didn't relish the idea of assembling a quilt in the tiny rooms. I noted the idea in a notebook and concentrated on other ideas instead.

Thankfully I'm no longer living in a very small shared house, but in a lovely little house with a lot more floor space. I still have no idea about the technicalities of assembling a quilt, but I've never a let inexperience in a craft stop me from trying it before. I've also worked out that if I just have a good system for drawing and recording all my dreams then I can happily transfer them to fabric in my own time. It might take all year before I have all the squares I need, but I'm really excited that I've finally started work on this huge project. So I'm happy to introduce the first square of the quilt.

1. The time-traveller's ring

Dreamt on the 1st Febuary 2010. This dream was about a ring I found that had the power to slow time for the wearer. A sinister figure was trying to take the ring from me, and while time rushed around me he sat and waited, ageing before my eyes.

I'll be posting the squares as I finish them, but I'm also working on plenty of other projects including more plastic bag-based crafts, so you'll be seeing a lot more of me very soon!

Lots of luck x x x

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

January Knits

December was a bit of a crazy month, and because I was making so many Christmas presents for my family lots of my craft projects had to be put off until the new year. Luckily 2010 has brought with it more spare time, so more time to get knitting!

First on the list was a spiderman scarf for my lovely boyfriend. All the scarves I've knitted in the past have been made with super-chunky yarn, so knitting with a relatively fine yarn took a lot longer than I expected! I used spiderman's signature colours, red and blue, before adding decorative touches - the spiderman logo appliqued in felt and a spiderweb embroidered in wool.

As you can see it was very happily received!

When the scarf was finally finished I decided I wanted to knit something for the house, so I decided to make something sweet-smelling for the bathroom. I was really inspired by the knitted toybox blog and decided to use their sweet little bird pattern. It was really easy to follow and great fun to knit. Rather than just using stuffing I partly filled the bird's body with a scented bundle made with lime zest, ginger and bicarbonate of soda. He now sits in our bathroom giving out a lovely citrus-y smell. I call him the bathroom birdy.

That's all for now, but I'll be posting again soon with a bigger project if all goes to plan. I hope 2010 is lucky for you too!

x x x