Knitting from my stash

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Its great this time of year when the weather is cold and you want to stay inside where its warm! You can look through your stash of wool which you promise wont get any bigger until you have used some of it?

Well what can you knit with those odds and ends of yarn?

Over the next few months I want to show you items you can make and also improve your skills. This will include mixing yarns together plus some techniques!

The project I thought I would start off with is simple hats which you can knit for yourself or anyone else. Also there are many charities which would be pleased to take off your hands. Also lots of patterns for you to choose from.

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These two hats were knitted by using yarn not only from my stash but I made the patterns.

The blue hat is simply two colours knitted together using 4mm straight knitting needles and 96 stitches. I worked moss stitch for 10 rows and stitching stitch for another 10rows. I then did two rows of purl and went back to 10rows of stocking stitch. I continued this way until I reached the length I wanted. I just cut my yarn and threaded it through all the stitches and pulled. With a large eyed needle I sewed the two sides together. It that’s it all finished ready to wear.

 

The second hat was using a round needle[ 4mm] make sure its not too long for the number of stitches. I cast on 112 and worked 12 rows in rib. I worked six round in stitching stitch and using my contrast colour, six rows in moss stitch. I love working in the round and I just continued until I reached the length I wanted. Once again I cut  the yarn thread through stitches and pull, as there is no side seam you have the add a couple of stitches to the pull ones so they stay nice and tight.

I think for both hats they took me a couple of evenings to make each one.

As you look through your stash you will see more and more colours which will knit together and if you run out of one colour just add either another ball of the same kind of colour or a different one. This will make you items be truly different.

Have Fun

 

Susan

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World Mental Health Day

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World Mental Health Day is Monday October 10th where I plan to hold a tea and talk event to help everyone understand who much help is needed in our little worlds? Many of us suffer with day to day life and its hard for others to understand how you feel and why? The most common question is but doesn’t everyone get fed up? and yes even when you are depressed you simply get fed up. But depression is a whole different ball game its when you want to be totally on your own you don’t care what is going on in the world you want to just stay where it feels safe and warm. It could be in bed with the covers over you and the curtains pulled fully across the windows so no light can get in? Many a times you have to just work through it and except that this is how you feel!

Life will slowly move on sometimes it helps just to say it out loud to someone close. If you can its worth trying to talk to your GP and now there are lots of helpful charities which will help. There is Mind and the Mental Health Foundation which has organised Tea and Chat which is a great way to chat to some one close.

I will be holding a tea and chat on Monday 10th October at my knitting group there will be lots of cakes. Knitting is a great way of helping your own mental health.

Knit, Chat, Laugh and Enjoy !

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Knitting for the local community

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Knitting can give great joy not just for the knitter but for others who receive a hand knitted item. During my three years of running my knitting group I always felt that knitting for charity would be important.  In this time my group has knitted for our local community which has given more pleasure to everyone involved. There are many well known projects you can knit for but we have used it as a way to make some money for one of our members who husband become unwell. We have also knitted many twille muffs which started by a comment by one of our members who visits a family friend in a home. This has given us a great chance to use up much of our odds and ends of yarn.IMG_1522

These also are a great beginners project with new knitters being able to knit and also daughters/grand daughters etc for older family members. They are great fun to finish and make your own.

Who ever you decide to knit for enjoy and share

Garter Stitch to be enjoyed?

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When we all learn to knit we will quickly  understand that there are two main stitches knit[garter] and purl. As you learn to be more confidante your skills you will want to try new stitches which are mainly made using knit/purl.

I wanted to spent some time playing with yarn and just using garter stitch. Something being simple allows you to create the most beautiful but simple projects. In my first photo

I have mixed odds of yarn together and used size 6mm needles to make a simple bag. I decided not to line it as I wanted the inside to be seen every time the bag is opened.

 

IMG_1536   Which I am really proud of.

In my second photo I have used a mixture of cream double knit yarn and four ply yarn, which 2.75mm and 6mm needles. This is worked simply in blocks of eight rows of fine needles and the double knitting, eight rows of the four ply and the thicker needles. But you can use any yarn and needle size!

This can be used in so many projects and is great just to knit and relax knowing that your project will look fabx

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Summer time knitting blues?

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Summer time knitting blues can be when we can’t just add anymore into our day, the days are longer and dryer. We want to go out and about maybe on holiday so how do you find time to knit? Where the great part of knitting is that you can take it anywhere with you if you are visiting a garden or a beach[ just make sure you are in the shade]. At this time of year there are lots of finer yarn to use to knit the most beautiful tops or shawls.

In Essex we have any Art Trails which run from the being of June until October these are free to attend and all you do is follow the trail which could lead you through a high street to see a number of artist showing there work. If you can please support as there is lots of brilliant work out there you need to know where to look. I have been lucky enough to take part in two this year Rayleigh[last month] which was my first time. I really enjoyed seeing everyone else work. The second is the Thurrock Art trail which starts this weekend and shows some of my new pieces of work. Enjoy which ever Art Trail you visit!

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Knitting In Public Day

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Come and join us for our annual Knitting In Public Day which on Sunday June 12th 2016 10am until 4pm. Its a free event where you can sit and knit. Our day is at High House, Purfleet, Essex, RM19 1RJ which is about 5mins from exit 30 of the M25.

If its wet we will be inside otherwise we will be in the beautiful gardens. There is free parking and toilets but you need to bring a packed lunch and if possible a folding chair.[ unless you are happy to sit on the grass].

This is our third year and my knitting group always is very welcoming and we have such a great, fun day.

 

Also on display will be our knitted picnic table which you are very welcome to add to. Also during the day we will be making plans for next years yarn bombing.

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Knit, Chat, Laugh and Enjoy

New ideas ?

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When you first start to knit it can be difficult to know what project to start as there are so many patterns and ideas. I think that you need to practice with casting on, casting off and some knitting between which sounds simple. I recently discovered a simple knit a square pattern which can be made into a rabbit for a baby or small child. You don’t need many stitches I used 30 and knitted plain knitting/garter stitch. My yarn was an odd ball in a double knitting and my size needles were either an 4mm or 8’s[old sizes]. You just cast on 30 stitches and knit until you have knitted a square. The way I check is once I have done 40rows I start to fold my knitting from corner to corner and when it folds as a square then you know its complete. Now cast off.

If you look at my pictures you will see how you now run a needle and thread[using the same coloured yarn] to make a triangle. Theses threads are pulled and the shape in the centre is now stuffed with some toy filling. As you add the stuffing you will see the ears and head take shape. Once enough is added stitch down the back two edges to make the body.  Before adding final seam add more stuffing.The two end seams I ran a running stitch and around and pulled. Making sure that you have enough stuffing to make the rabbit look like a rabbit.

Finally you need to add a face which is using black yarn and simple running stitches to make the eyes and mouth.

On the pattern I have seen the tail is used by making a pom pom. But I used a smaller knitted square which was 12 stitches and 12 rows using the same yarn and needles. Cast on, knit and cast off, leaving a tail of yarn which I use a needle and make a running thread around all four edges pull together. This will make a simple circle which you may have to pull into place and then add onto the rabbit by using a couple of stitches.

You could use simple stripes of two colours of yarn of 4rows each.  Or if you wish you could make a different look by using two colours the first colour knitting 4 rows and second colour by using 2 rows. All this is a very simple way of practicing your knitting skills but at the same time adding different colours which will develop your eye for colour.

Most of all enjoy

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knitted rabbit sewing line 2016

knitted rabbit sewing line 2016

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Knitting for my pleasure

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As you know I love knitting but sometimes its good to learn a new skill. So I booked myself into a workshop which was held at the Warner Textile Archive based in Braintree. This is a beautiful building where they hold a unique collection of textiles. Its well worth a visit if you want to learn more about the history of textiles in the uk.

The workshop I planned to go on was called Sequence knitting and would mean an afternoon of knitting what great joy and learn a new skill. So last Friday off I drove with my knitting needles and two balls of contrasting yarn. The setting for the workshop was really nice with lots of tea and coffee just help yourself. Plus a room full of ladies all ready to knit. Cecelia Compochiaro who has worked out this way to knit very clever textile looking knitting. Cecelia is a very warm and friendly American lady who is passion about sequence knitting. we had to cast on 26stitches and off we knitted using one row patterns which together using a contrast colour grew quickly much to the delight of the group.

I really enjoyed the afternoon and I think that this maybe works on smaller knitting needles mine were a 4mm and finer yarn I used double knit. But it was a great workshop which makes me think and I enjoy this. It is style I will spent some time looking at and her book Sequence Knitting is well worth buying if you want to knit more.March phone photos 2016 116March phone photos 2016 117