Category Archives: Tutorial

Loom Knitting (or A Tiny Hat)

So the eBay fairy arrived again yesterday, this time bringing Classic Knit Knitting Looms. There were four looms, a loom pick and yarn needle included.
loom 1
I decided I would make a hat with a brim. Now the person I was making the hat for has a very small head, so I went for a small loom (too small, but I’ll get to that).
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I wrapped the yarn around each peg. Once I had gone around the loom, I went around it again this time I created a row above the original row.
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Using the loom pick I lifted the bottom loop over the top of the peg and worked my way around the loom. I started on the peg just to the right of the outside peg where you fasten your yarn to begin with. Once I finished this I pushed every loop down and added another top row of loops and did the whole thing again.

I decided I was going to add a brim to my hat. Once I got to a length of about 4inches  pushed my loops down and I lifted the loops from the bottom of the piece (so the very first row of loops I did) on to their corresponding pegs and knit over them (using them as the 2nd row of loops on the pegs).
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I then carried on until the hat was about 8 inches long. I then wove together the top, and voila I had a hat!
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Now even though I made this for a person with a really small head, I feel this is too small and will make another with a bigger loom. I think I’ll make a wool flower for the new hat as well…and maybe some fingerless mitts! Oh the possibilities! 🙂

I purchased these with a different plan in mind, but this was quite fun! It reminded me of this little knitting set I had when I was a kid. Good times!

Wool Flowers

Happy Weekend!

Well the exhibition at College started last night and I must say I’m exhausted. Maybe it’s just the stress of the last few weeks finally coming out, plus getting ready to move in two weeks (Wales here we come!), but man I need some sleep! Like a good full night of deep sleep!

So I was a lucky duck and the eBay fairy delivered my Poniy H.A flower looms the other day. I have goggled this name and didn’t really find anything, but they seem to be just like the Hana-Ami flower looms. They come with a variety of shapes and sizes (all quite small) for making flowers or really whatever you desire

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There was also a plastic tapestry needle included.

The instructions that came with mine were quite difficult to follow (big time translation problem with terrible photos) so I turned to handy dandy YouTube for some assistance. I used this video by dianagreengirl for the basics.

I decided to make two basic flowers. One was a double petal and the other was just basic. I took photos of everything I did, but I think the easiest way for you to see what was done is to check out the video. Her tutorial was quite helpful.

One thing I must say is that it’s really important to come through the same hole again and again while doing the centre.

I did one flower using the tapestry needle provided and the other with a metal needle. I found the metal needle much easier to use.

This one was the double petal, where I went around each peg twice. I used the hexagon shape here.
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This was single petal, and well lookee there! I forgot to trim some craziness off and honestly don’t feel like going back downstairs to take a new photo. Honesty is the best policy 🙂 I used the large circle here.
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I have a strong feeling I’m going to find this quite addictive. Especially when I get the hang of things other than flowers. It was quick easy and effective. Other than the craziness hanging off the pink one they are quite cute. I have ordered some larger round looms as well. Should be great fun trying them!

Another Prototype – Same Sweater – Mittens

So I had the arms left over from the sweater I felted the other day and decided to try some fingerless mittens with a thumb hole.
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I figured out where I wanted my thumb to come through and picked the stitches in the seam so it could pop out. I also straightened out the ends.
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The arms were a bit too wide so I turned them inside out sewed a straight line down from the seam and cut off the excess.
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Again, because I’m really trying to get my stitching skills up there, I used blanket stitch around the thumb hole and the bottom of the mitts.
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I like these because you can change the length of the mitten.

Overall I think these are super cute. I need to tweak the design a bit and continue to work on my hand stitching, but I like them. They would come in handy in so many situations.

Prototype – Totebag From Felted Sweater

So the other day my friend’s mom kindly gave me a couple of 100% wool sweaters (Thank you Mrs Ray!). I had a cool idea for one but wasn’t sure if I could make it work.

First things first. I felted the sweater (washed it at 40 degrees on a regular cycle). If you want to try this 100% wool is the easiest way to go, something that can’t be machine washed may work.
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I decided I was going to make a bag. I wanted to keep the sweater in one piece as much as I could. I cut the arms off, cutting just next the seam. I then cut the neck out. Now this is where I made a mistake, but I’ll get to that later.
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I flipped the sweater around so the handles (and seams) were together.

I decided I wanted a square(ish) bottom so I kind of folded/tucked the ends in on themselves hoping that would work. I then pinned the bottom and sewed straight across the bottom of the sweater. The square corners basically worked so I am pretty happy with that.
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I turned the sweater out so I could have a look at it and didn’t like the seams down the front and back of the bag so I decided to attach some pockets. One on the back and a little double pocket on the front. I’m still practicing my hand sewing, so blanket stitch all around!
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pockets

As a prototype I’m pretty happy with this. I can see where I need to make changes. I cut too much out around the neck and arms, and need to do something with the straps so the aren’t as bulky. I will definitely be working on this and trying more in the future. I’d like to line them as well. Most importantly it was fun 🙂

Winding down by wrapping cords

Gah. I’ve had a long day and can’t seem to wind down at all and really should be in bed. I spent the evening trying to turn my brain off, but felt like I needed something to do.

I’ve been having problems with some of my USB cables and chargers. They seem like they need a bit of protection. A while back I had some great headphones with woven cords and figured I could try this on a couple of cables.

All I used was embroidery thread.
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For the first one I just tied both threads at the top of the cable leaving a bit of a tail.
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I then wrapped the threads tightly around the cable covering the tail.
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I continued like this all the way down the cord making sure not to overlap or leave any gaps and held it tightly in place.
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When I got to the end I tied a couple of tight and discrete knots. I may add some glue. I wound up with this…
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I then tried a different design…ok this took a long time. I tied several threads around the cable (together). I then chose one and wrapped it around the cable and the other threads. When I wanted to change colours I just switched threads. When I got to the end I tied a couple of knots.

Sooty was really into this but wasn’t the best helper. She was more into tangling than wrapping.
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Second one turned out like this.
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Personally I really like the purple one. It was quick, cute and effective. The other design took a lot of time and I would need some more practice/patience (no cat around)/a little more awake to do it well. My threads kept splitting too which was a little annoying.

Ok! I’m off to bed!

A bunch of bracelets

This afternoon I made some bracelets that I hadn’t made in a few years. I have a bunch of birthdays coming up and it might also be handy to have some presents to bring with me when I go to Canada. Plus I’ll use almost any excuse to make something.
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They are super easy to make and if you haven’t made them before I’ll let you know how.

You will need:
-variety of beads
-round nose pliers
-memory or coil wire (I use about 6cm diameter)
-you may also want flat nose pliers, but they aren’t vital
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First things first is to cut the length of the bracelet, at least 2 full times around the wrist is good. More is great, but it’s up to you! Next you want to take your round nose pliers and create a little loop in one end of the wire. As small as you can get it and if you need to squish it a little with your flat pliers to make sure your loop won’t catch on anything.
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Next place your beads on the wire however you want.
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I try not to have two of the same bead next to one another, or too close to each other for that matter, but again it’s up to you.
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Once you have filled the wire up with beads put a loop in the end of the wire to close it off. See, super easy!
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I need to have a go at some different bracelets later in the week, so I’ll share those too.

 

Wool Clutch Bag – I loved making this!

I’m currently taking a design and textiles program at Orkney College and we’ve just started learning to use knitting machines. I think I’ve fallen in love with knitting machines, but I’ll get into that later.

I had knit a fairly large piece of turquoise lambs wool and hadn’t fully decided what I was going to do with it. I decided to felt it, so I popped it in the washing machine on 40 with a towel. I knew I wanted to make a bag and started searching online for inspiration.

I came across a great tutorial by The Renegade Seamstress for a wool clutch bag and decided to give it a go. I decided I wanted to line my bag and also do some machine embroidery. I also decided to cover it with a few Swarovski crystals I had kicking around.

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Now my first piece of advice on felted wool is make sure it’s properly felted before you cut into it. Just snip a corner and if it doesn’t fray you’re good to go, otherwise pop it back in the machine. I had to rewash mine. Don’t forget you lose about 30% of the size with each wash.
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I always make a pattern out of a tracing paper before I set off. I’ve had too many issues when I’ve decided to eyeball it! I created two pattern pieces, once for the felt and one for the fabric as it was going to see a seam allowance.

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Next I cut the fabric and marked out where I wanted the corner on the front to the cut. Ok, obviously I needed to cut a corner out of the lining as well and this is where I messed up…twice. First go I cut the wrong corner…so make sure you line your fabric up properly. So I cut a new piece of fabric, cut the correct corner but totally forgot about the seam allowance! Ah well, I made it work in the end.

After cutting out the wool I covered it with various machine embroidery stitches. I didn’t follow any guide or anything, just went with it. I then tied each row of stitching off and sewed on the crystals using a clear thread. After I was finished with the wool, I sewed up the edges of the lining and pinned it to the wool.

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Ok so my blanket stitch leaves a lot to be desired, but I got through it and finished it.

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Over all I’m really happy with my first attempt at this bag and thought the tutorial was great. I feel my bag is a bit big, and next time I think I might use some interfacing so it’s not as floppy.

If you have an old wool sweater kicking around, give it try! Thanks Renegade Seamstress, that was fun!