Tag Archives: knitting

4 Reads to Help You Get Out of a Creative Slump

Over the last 2 years or so, due to major stress, I’ve been really struggling creatively. Not necessarily coming up with ideas, but implementing them. Going from making and creating all the time to completing nada was a horrible feeling. Honestly that feeling probably helped pushed me away more from any small idea I came up with.

This may be something that is fairly common for everyone at different points in their lives.

Recently I took it upon myself to make some changes in my life that could possibly help with my problem.

  • I’ve created a very loose schedule for myself. If something really important comes up, OK I’ll have to craft another time
  • I’m starting with smaller projects to help me get back into the groove
  • I’m going to try and be kinder to myself and spend more time doing things I enjoy
  • I’m going to get back into using a sketchbook as often as possible

Those a few of the very basic steps I’ve taken and should help me out!

Below I’ve included a few links to some articles that cover some more in-depth ideas.

Please let me know what you’ve done if you’ve ever felt this way!

XO Jane – The Creative Slump: 4 Tips For Finding Your Way Out Of Them

Alyson Stanfield – 10 Paths to Help You Emerge from a Creative Slump

Aileen Swanson – How to “Sketch Book” Your Way Out Of A Creative Slump

Stepping Into Big – 5 Ways Out of a Creative Slump

 

My While in Canada Knitting Project

I’m still in Canada and fly back to the UK later in the week.

Before I came over I offered to make my Mom something as a belated Mother’s Day gift. She opted for a woolly hat and some kind of a neck warmer with buttons.

The hat bit was easy so we headed off to buy wool. I had to look into the neck warmer with buttons and came across this tutorial on Instructables.

Everything started off well, the steps seemed easy enough to follow. I’m a super beginner knitter and felt I’d be able to do it.

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I was quite happy with the wool we chose. Once I find the wrapper I’ll let you know what it’s called. The wool was challenging at times as it has a thin thread running through it as well as little thicker chunks of colour every so often. Over all no trouble with it and would happily use it again.

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Other than the occasional hole and picked up stitch my only issue was the buttonholes. Ok, I had the hardest time getting my head around them, but after a couple of YouTube videos I jumped in and just gave it a go and they turned out pretty much ok.

I chose not to place my buttons right at the end of the neck warmer because my mom didn’t want them there 🙂 It was 23.5 inches long (I just measured it now) which is basically what the tutorial called for.
There I am modelling the woolly goodies wearing my “Mom, it’s 34c out could we hurry this photo up a bit?” face. The hat looks small on me, but fits my Mom ok. Really I should have had her model it.

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The tutorial was great. I would totally recommend it and make a similar thing again. I’m happy with how the neck warmer turned out.

I hope you’re all having a great summer so far!

Mittens To Match My Hat – Phase 1

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What is that you ask? Well it’s my first major attempt at knitting with needles. Ok so there is obviously room for improvement, but overall I’m ok with the way it went.

I need to make sure I’m not picking up stitches as often and when I do solve the problem a little better. Casting on was easy. I’d been taught before and it came back to me fairly quickly. Casting off was trickier. I might try it with a crochet hook next as this wool tends to split a lot.

Alrighty so I’ll make another one of these and then make my mitts.

Watch this space! 🙂

Tiny Hat – Update

Well after I made my tiny hat I had a better look at it and realised it wasn’t as small as I thought. I was being a bit too cautious with it and it turns out it fits me!

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After discovering this I was dying to make some matching mitts. I seem to be obsessed with mitts lately! I wanted to see if I could use one of my new looms and came across this amazing tutorial by mellismishmash. I immediately started working on it and was super happy with the result. Trouble was it was way too wide, so I gave it a go on a flower loom…trouble was the wool kept sliding off the tapered pegs…grrr…I really wanted to complete that tutorial and will in the future.

In case you try it, I did a couple of things to help myself out that may help you too. My loom doesn’t have any marks on it so I tied bits of string around it to mark off places where I had to switch between knit & purl. I also tied some wool around the “first” peg on my flower loom. Since I don’t have a row counter I used a measuring tape to keep track of things.

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So since all of that failed me 🙂 I am now knitting a pair. I’m not the most skilled knitter so I’m quite enjoying it. The practice is great.

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We move on the 13th and things are getting a little hectic around here! I leave for Canada a week after we move…so um ya…things are a bit nuts! Most of my crafty stuff is packed away. I’ve kept out some wool, knitting needles, & crochet hooks. Hopefully that will keep me going 🙂

(I doing this post on my ipad…hopefully it works out ok!)

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.
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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!

Continued adventures with a knitting machine

Ok, so I’ve decided that I really want a knitting machine. I’ve had people say they’re too noisy or not relaxing, but I have to say that the small amount of time I’ve spent with one I love them. I know you could simply just knit something, but why not do both? I’d love to have that option!

For anyone who has never seen one here’s a brief video of a woman using one that I found on YouTube. Sorry I totally forgot to take a picture of the one I was using, I was too excited!

Most recently I made a scarf that I planned on felting. I used the exact model of machine used in the video but with a thin wool. I measured a regular scarf and added about 30% to its width and length to find out how big my piece was going to need to be (you lose about 30% when felting wool). I also set the machine up to create ladders and basically I got this.  (This particular photo is of a sample I made on a different machine.)

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And it was pretty long! And wide! I had a heck of a lot of wool to bring home with me!

After washing it at on a regular setting at 40 degrees, bingo bango I had a scarf!
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Considering it was my first attempt at this I thought it turned out well. I’d happily do it again (I’m sure you would have guessed that 🙂 ) Hopefully I’ll be able to get my hands on a 2nd hand one. A woman I know found one at a charity shop the other day for ÂŁ10. Nice.

If anyone is wondering why I took my photos on a flat cardboard box, well it’s because we’re in the process of moving and it seemed like the easiest thing to do 🙂

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!