gadget cover designed by Susanne Frank I decided to show you what else I’ve been making when I was not blogging.
I started working on a phone cover for my daughter quite a few weeks ago. She wanted pink but the shade of pink currently in my stash was not to her taste so she brought the bright pink she wanted. She also bought some black as her other accent colour. At every stage of the design I consulted her to ensure that it was made to her specifications and I took my time. It was he that came up with the idea of knitted flowers for decoration. Together we came up with a really unusual phone cover. The flowers made using an i-cord is an idea I saw somewhere online. I happen to see the beads in a stationers craft corners and could not resist. They make great flower centres don’t they? An i-cord is also used to trim the opening of the phone cover.
Although not perfect I showed them to a good friend who was visiting and offered to make one for them. They chose their colours, with black as the main colour. My design and application of colour was left to my own creative devices
As I go through all these design adaptations I learned about weaving in loose ends. In fact I’ve been watching a lot of knitting tutorial videos lately applying my learning to my current and futre projects. I’m even collecting them in a list called YarnWorks. If you want to suggest any good knitting tutorials on video, please do! I’ve decided I’m improving my knitting skills this year. The next phone definitely made a forward step in that direction.
I gave myself a challenge to add the red, gold and green to the black phone cover in a way that would really need a lot of weaving in. I could do simple stripes like I did with the shades of red phone cover but I wanted to try something different and challenging. Strokes of colour through the black is what I aimed to achieve in this design. I had no pattern just worked through in my head until it was completed. I even made the closing mechanism using yarn.
I came up with the idea of using a knitted i-cord as a button today while chilling on my sofa, nursing a head cold. I think I will finish the shades of red phone cover in the same way as I am really pleased with the way it works. And it’s different. I like different! Do you?
Let me know your thoughts and thanks for taking the time to read my bloggage. Now what shall I make next......?
Thursday, 29 March 2012
Wednesday, 28 March 2012
Knitting patterns are something I often find quite challenging as there is always something, an abbreviation that I do not understand or an instruction I don’t know how to execute. I end up feeling like I'm just too dumb to knit from most patterns. That’s more than likely why I prefer to make up my own ideas. Every now and again though I find a pattern that motivates me to work with it because I just must make the item in the photo.
The knitted gadget cover in April issue of Craftseller magazine is rated easy. The “no-fuss design” by Susanne Frank immediately attracted my eye on first browse and the fact that it is described as “easy to make” was all the encouragement I needed to get the needles out.
First thing to do when starting a knitting pattern: Check the abbreviations, the “You will need” section and skim the pattern.
The abbreviations give you clues as to the type of stitches required and methods used.
You will need... size and types of needles, type of yarn and how much (in weight) yarn is needed. Does anyone actually weigh their yarn? Colour of yarn corresponds to the photo in the magazine but of course you can do what I did and just use what you have in your stash.
For this gadget cover project the abbreviations and list of required items are all straight forward and easy to acquire for any modest knitter. Thankfully tension is not an issue for this project. Happy days!
Looked over the pattern and the only point where I might have an issue was the part when I would need to pick up stitches. Sounds simple enough but for someone with basic skills just a bit challenging. Still undaunted I was raring to go. I can always go to YouTube to find a video to help with that part like this one.
I love the VeryPink Knits videos. So informative and well demonstrated.
I cast on the required number of stitches and got started with the rib pattern.
The gadget cover was designed by Susanne for Craftseller readers so I won’t divulge details of the pattern here. That wouldn’t be right. These designs are offered to readers as ideas for makes they can freely make and sell on their craft stalls, in their online stores and so on. The only requirement is that you make sure you acknowledge the original designer.
In this post I will share my experience of following the pattern and the problems I encountered. Having checked the Craftseller Facebook page I don’t see any comments to show that anyone else encountered the same issues so I may be quite alone in this. Still in the hope that there is someone somewhere who can relate to my little yarn (ha ha... ahem) I will continue.
A rib pattern, for those who don’t know, uses two stitches, knit and purl and is formed by two rows repeated.
Row 1 - the instructions include the stitches that must start and end the row as well as those needed to make the rib pattern.
The problem - I could not end on the right stitch according to the pattern. I had the right number of stitches but for some reason it was not coming out according with the instructions. This meant I could not get it right for the second row.
I cut it off and started again.
I decided to add another stitch so using one more than stipulated in Susanne’s design. This worked for me. The stitches for the rib pattern and the start and end of the row was completed as the pattern. The start and end on the row stitches are important as they create an edge which will make it easier to sew later when you come to use the tapestry needle.
Row 2 - After completing the 2nd row as the pattern my rib was all over the place. It wasn’t because of the extra stitch although I did consider that. On the third cast on I worked out that I needed to swap the instructions in the brackets to correctly knit the rib pattern.
That was it... Now it was easy!
In no time at all I completed the main body of the gadget cover and then after picking up stitches completed the pocket following my modifications for the rib pattern.
I’ve made a few more in different colour combinations. The magazine suggests including a pair of headphones as an added extra. A very good suggestion don’t you think?
Sunday, 11 March 2012
The first one you see, with the red border, I made for myself. The basic idea is to knit pillows either square or rectangle and put wadding inside. The colour scheme was worked out on a spreadsheet including the colour for stitching them together. The border is worked in eight pieces. The handle is made from a short i-cord stitched into the border.
Came out quite well but I could immediately see ways to improve it. So of course I needed to make another potholder.
I started making one putting less padding into the pillows. However I didn't like it which caused a change of mind.
I worked out a few different colour combinations on the spreadsheet and chose one to work on. Thanks to my other projects I have a rainbow of DK yarn in my stash. I decided first of all to use as much wadding as before. This time though I used a different method of attaching them to each other to make a much neater finish.
This potholder was made as a gift.
Now I said it was designed and made as potholder but once completed I decided it could fulfil multiple purposes.
It works well as a potholder
It works as a trivet.
It also works as a wall hanging.
My mum loved it. I must admit I was a little worried that she wouldn't. She also loved the flower basket birthday card I made featuring a decoupage. It is always good to get positive feedback whether from family, friends or customers. My mum also came up with yet another idea for the item designed as a potholder.
It takes a bit of work to make so is probably not a great item to produce in mumbers for my craft stall. It is great for bespoke orders using colours of your choice and I would be glad to make them to order if you would like one. Just send me a request allowing lots of time to make it.
After all that I took a small break before I was knitting again doing squares for my BIG knitting project. I’ve got about three colours to go before I can start stitching. The biggest number of squares per colour is yet to do but it is chugging along. It’s quite relaxing to do some squares after all that designing and creating.
Then the Cross Stitch Card Shop magazine arrived with an irresistible kit.
The cross stitch card was a welcome change from knitting.
Here are photos of the cross stitch in progress.
Flipping hard to tell the white from the very light grey. I’m still not certain there even was a very light grey. My least favourite time is doing the back stitch stage. Great once finished but boring to do.
Then Craftseller’s April issue arrived... but that’s another story. More about that soon although if you ‘like’ my Facebook page you will find out a hint or two.
Time to make some cards I think... more family birthdays as well as Mothers Day approaches.
Friday, 2 March 2012
The first daffodil blooms in my garden and the sun is getting warmer. A change in the season is so rejuevenating and spring is the most rejuevenating season of them all.
Not that the winter was quiet - my creativity has taken new turns and I am making things I never imagined I would be doing a year ago. What if I take on a challenge that requires a year?
Have you heard about the 365 project where you take a photo of yourself every day for a year? That gave me a brief thought of doing such a project myself. Note I said ‘brief’. About ten seconds.... the thought of taking my photo every day did not really appeal to me.
Then over the weekend I found Make Something 365 & Get Unstuck that brings together all 365 projects submitted by the artists, crafters and any other creative bloggers. I started to read through the articles focusing on the authors of creative and arty 365 projects and I was hooked. I mean this is something I could be interested in doing. I read interviews of people at various stages of their own 365 projects and the promise of unlocking new creativity and enhancing your own abilities were inspiring.
The truth is that rarely a day goes by when I am not making something, drawing something, writing something, planting, tending or growing something. What I do not do every day is blog and here is the key to my motivation.
When I started blogging it was a means to record my creative adventures as I started making greetings cards for family and friends. Just a craft journal really until then I started thinking maybe I could sell my cards and improve both my income as well as rekindle my love of art. I’ve taken a laid back attitude and simply post when I have something to show off. As more people started following and my work changes I am challenged to develop into sharing information I am using to learn new skills both as a crafter and subsequently as a blogger.
I rarely post on the day I start writing. I like to write a first draft and then rewrite at least once before posting, often preferring to sleep on it before clicking the publish button. Well that's my excuse ;)
A 365 project would be a challenge but on the positive side I anticipate:
I will become more disciplined
I will become better organised
I will learn new skills
I will develop my creativity
You can obviously choose to do anything you want for a 365 project. These are some I found while researching:
A A Card A Day
A A Fan A Day
A Skull A Day
The Skull A Day project lead the creator Noah Scalin to write 365: ADaily Creativity Journal: Make Something Every Day and Change Your Life to encourage you to take up the challenge. I've looked at the preview and it looks very interesting.
But that is not all... you don’t have to limit the daily craft to one individual:
Cranium Condominiums (great name eh) is a journal of any creative activity by a large creative family
Also if you miss a day for any reason you can just continue where you left off. And if you can’t complete the challenge you can start a new one when your circumstances allow.
With that I am seriously considering taking on the challenge and see where it leads. I’ve decided though to start a blog especially for this purpose. Now all I have to settle on is a theme.
Have you ever done or thought of taking on a 365 project? What motivated you to take on such a challenge or what stopped you? Did you start one and not complete it for whatever reason? Do you think you’ll ever try to do one again? If not why not?