Monday, 29 July 2013

Sock Monkey Hat



Sock Monkey Hats are fun and fashionable. Cute and characteristic. Amazing and awesome! Let's knit one :)

You will need:
4mm straight needles
4mm circular needle
4mm dpns
Colour A DK wool (That's the black, grey and white wool for me. I used Stylecraft Life DK: Granite Marl)
Colour B DK wool (red!)
Colour C DK wool (white)
2 buttons (for eyes)
Cardboard (for making a pom pom)
Darning needle (for sewing up)
Toy stuffing (to fill up the mouth bit)

Key
K  Knit
P  Purl
K2tog  Knit two stitches together
P2tog  Purl two stitches together
M1 Make one by picking up a stitch
CB  Swap to colour B
CC Swap to colour C

Here's what you need to do:

Main Hat Bit
Using your colour A wool, cast on 88 stitches onto 4mm straight needles.

Row/Round 1 - 8: *K1 P1* repeat to end
(At around row four, swap to circular needles, make sure you don't twist the knitting!)

Knit continuously in the round, until the piece measures approximately 14cm in height from the beginning.

At the end of the round, swap to colour B. Knit continuously using colour B for three rounds

Now swap to colour C, continue until the piece measures approximately 17cm from the beginning, making sure to finish at the end of a round.

Now to decrease:
Starting a new round, [K6 K2tog] repeat to the end of the round   count 77 stitches

[K5 K2tog] repeat to the end of the round    count 66 stitches

[K4 K2tog] repeat to the end of the round    count 55 stitches

Transfer to DPNs

[K3 K2tog] repeat to the end of the round    count 44 stitches

[K2 K2tog] repeat to the end of the round    count 33 stitches

[K1 K2tog] repeat to the end of the round    count 22 stitches

[K2tog] repeat to the end of the round    count 11 stitches

Leaving about 20cm, cut the end of the wool. Thread onto a darning needle and thread through the remaining 11 stitches and pull tight (drawstring finish), weave in the end on the inside of the hat.

Mouth bit

Cast on 25 stitches on straight needles in colour C
Row 1  Knit all

Row 2   P1 M1 P23 M1 P1   count 27

Row 3   K1 M1 K25 M1 P1   count 29

Row 4   P1 M1 P27 M1 P1   count 31

Row 5   K4 CB  K9 M1 K9 CC K4   count 32

Row 6   P4 CB P9 M1 P10 CC P4   count 33

Row 7   K4 CB K10 M1 K10 CC K4   count 34

Row 8   P4 CB P10 M1 P11 CC P4   count 35

Row 9   K4 CB K22 CC K4  

Row 10   P4 CB P22 CC P4

Row 11   K4 CB K10 K2tog K10 CC K4   count 34

Row 12   P4 CB P10 P2tog P9 CC P4   count 33

Row 13   K4 CB K9 K2tog K9 CC K4   count 32

Row 14   P4 CB P9 P2tog P8 CC P4   count 31

Row 15  (All in colour C) K1 K2tog K25 K2tog K1   count 29

Row 16   P1 P2tog P23 P2tog P1   count 27

Row 17   K1 K2tog K21 K2tog K1   count 25

Row 18   Purl all

Cast off and weave in ends. Sew into place onto hat, When you have sewn almost all the way around the mouth, stuff it with the toy stuffing, then complete sewing around.

The ears (make 2)
Using colour A, cast on 8 stitches

Row 1   Knit all

Row 2   Purl all

Row 3   Knit all

Row 4   Purl all

Row 5   [K2tog] repeat till end   count 4

Row 6   [P2 tog] repeat   count 2

Row 7   K2

Row 8   P1 M2 P1   Count 4

Row 9   K1 M2 K1 M1 K1 M1 K1   count 8

Row 10   Purl all

Row 11  Knit all

Row 12   Purl all

Cast off, weave in ends and sew into place on hat!

Pom Pom
Make a pom pom using colour B, and sew it on top of your hat. There are loads of pom pom tutorials on the internet. The link below is very clear and easy to follow:
http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Pom-Pom

Making up
After sewing on the pom pom, the ears, and the mouth, make sure you also sew on the eyes! Check all your ends have been woven in, and you've finished! Nice one :)

Below are some lovely pictures of me trying out the sock monkey hat that I made.



Haha.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Finger Moustaches

You know how sometimes, really cool people like you and me like to draw moustaches on their fingers and then hold them up to their face? I'm sure there are people out there who can remember Amy from the Big Bang Theory doing it when she took Leonard as a date to a wedding...


We can definitely all agree, hilarious.

But the issue is, having ink on your hand is beyond annoying. And we are all haunted by the memories of teachers at school telling us that we WILL get ink poisoning if we dare ever to draw on our skin. The solution?
Knitted finger moustaches

That's right folks, I have created three easy knitted finger moustache patterns for your fun and enjoyment.



You will need:
Two colours of dk wool - not much, this pattern is a great scrap buster. I went for black and white, but obviously, feel free to make yourself a pink or blue or purple or green moustache.
3mm DPNs or 3mm straight needles - You can use either, obviously the positive of using dpns is that you won't have to sew up at the end.
Darning needle - For sewing up (if you aren't using dpns) and weaving in

How to:
Below are three knitting charts for three different finger moustaches, choose your favourite, then keep reading.





Firstly, cast on 18 stitches.
If you are using straight needles, follow your chosen pattern above, using the stocking stitch.
If you are using dpns, whilst knitting your first row, transfer three stitches to each needle, continue knitting in the round, following your chosen pattern.

When you have completed the 18 rows, cast off. Sew up if you need to, and weave in the ends!

Top job. You now have a finger moustache. Below are some pictures of me very kindly modelling them for you.



Be sure to take them to weddings and any other serious and important social events for instant manliness and sophistication.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Knitted Name Bunting

I decided that I wanted to knit my 2 year old niece some name bunting for her bedroom. From my previous attempts at knitting bunting I learnt two things:

1. Purling makes the edges curl over far too much.
2. Sewing the letters onto the finished knitted piece only looks ok-ish.

My problem was, if I wanted better looking letters by knitting them into the pattern (intarsia), I would have to use the stocking stitch, which would result in curling. Such a dilemma.

However, I fixed it :) By giving my bunting pieces a moss border and a moss back, they turned out flat and sturdy, whilst having a stocking stitch middle.

You will need
4.5mm needles
DK wool - At least two colours
Darning needle

This is what you do:
Firstly, figure out how many letters you are making. You will need to knit a square (25 stitches by 33 rows) in moss/seed stitch for each letter.

Because there is an odd number of stitches, you will be starting each row with a knit stitch and end it with a purl.

Now, it's time for the letters.

Here is an example of a chart I created for one of my bunting letters.

All the green squares symbolise the moss stitch.

Everything inside the moss stitch border is knitted using the stocking stitch, including the grey squares that make up the letter L.

Make sure that when you are doing intarsia knitting (changing colours to make a shape or pattern), you wrap the two different colours of wool around each other before a change. This will avoid horrible nasty holes.
(There are loads of useful youtube videos on doing this!)

Hopefully, you'll find that the moss border has prevented the square from from curling!


So. Now you have all of your letters and some plain moss squares. So what do we do? We sew a moss square onto the back of each of the letters! This creates makes it good and strong and sturdy. Everything you want in a man and in a bunting piece.


Now, we need something from which our name bunting pieces hang from.
You could either:
A. Cast on about 5 stitches and knit until it is as long as you need it to be.
or
B. Finger knit it! (check out my blog post on finger knitting)

I chose to finger knit it, because it is far easier and quicker whilst looking harder and more impressive. Score.

Lastly, you need to sew your name bunting pieces onto your beautiful wool rope! I would also suggest adding loops to either end of your bunting, so you are able to hang it up.

Well done! Good job. You have finished your beautiful knitted name bunting.

When my niece was presented with her knitted name bunting, she proceeded to hold it by one end and walk around, letting it drag behind her. I think she liked it.

Monday, 8 July 2013

The Liebster Blog Award

Last week Vanessa from Dainty Delight nominated me for the Liebster award, big thank you!

The Liebster award helps to promote small blogs with under 200 followers, I am really happy with this and am excited to get going.

The Rules:

1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
2. Answer the questions that the tagger set for you plus create 11 questions for the people you tag to answer
3. Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
4. Go to their page and tell them
5. No tag backs!

I am a little confused and am not sure whether the 11 things I post about myself are the same as the questions I answer... So I am going to post 11 things about myself and answer the questions :)

11 things about myself:

1.  I like to eat spaghetti bolognase in sandwiches. So delicious.
2. I have a raspberry shower cap. Cool.
3. I am heading off to uni in September after having been on a gap year.
4. I'm a Girl Guide Leader.
5. I collect all my scrap pieces of wool in a jar.
6. Everytime I decide I am going to lose some weight, I immediately eat the biggest bar of chocolate I can find...
7. I can't sing or dance, but that doesn't stop me from trying.
8. That feeling when you're hungry but not hungry? I have that right now.
9. I live in England (felt that needed clarifying, I worry about those from the other side of the pond judging my spelling)
10. I want to try getting a little tipsy and then knit something to see what I create...
11. This last year, I have learnt to be a grown up, and I'm kind of proud of that.

11 questions:
1. Who is your favourite actor or actress?
Oo. Erm. This changes a lot. There are a of talented people out there. Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect) is fab. Have always loved Colin Firth since I first watched him dive into the lake in Pride and Prejudice... Steve Carrell is hilarious... Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, other people...
2. What is your favourite word in the English language?
Hmm... Lot of choices. I've always enjoyed saying the word 'particular'. It's fun. Try it.
3. If you were on death row, what would your last meal be?
Lasagne. Not the sloppy kind. My Mum would have to make it.
4. Which one of your Blog posts are you most proud of?
My favourite post that I have uploaded so far is my pattern for my 'Fair Isle Glasses Case', I think it's the prettiest pattern I have ever created by myself, and still use the one I knitted every night to store my glasses.
5. If you had to be trapped in a tv show for a month, which would you choose?
Definitely a kids show... Those are the most fun. An animated one (I want to know what I'd look like as a cartoon), maybe Recess? Or Hey Arnold? I do like watching historical dramas, but I fear I would be denouced as a Witch...
6. Do you have any phobias or philias? 
Nothing major. Although if Spiders could stay away from my bedroom, that would be great. Cheers.7. What is your perfect pizza?
Lots of cheese. And some more cheese.
8. What your favourite item of clothing that you own?
At the moment... The top below from H&M. It's cool and funky and summery. 

9. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What's holding you back?
This is two questions, albeit good. I want to do something big and meaningful and important and fun. Lots of ands. Something that makes me really happy. I guess what's holding me back is that I don't know what yet.
10. If you knew that nobody would ever judge you, would you dress or act differently than you do now?

I think I would endulge my geeky side a little bit more... And be more open and myself with new people. I like the way I dress, so I don't think I would change that :)

My questions for others:

1. Why do you blog?
2. What's your favourite movie of the moment?
3. Impromptu fancy dress party tonight - what do you go as?
4. If you could domesticate any animal and keep it as a pet, what would it be?
5. Favourite place online?
6. The doorbell and the phone rings at the same time, what do you do?
7. You've won the lottery! Good job! What do you buy first?
8. You've almost finished writing up your blog, but your laptop crashes and you lose it all. How do you react?
9. What are you going to do tomorrow that's exciting and amazing?
10. If you were going to start a new blog, what would it be about?
11. And finally... What is the most ugly and embarrassing item of clothing in your wardrobe?


I choose... YOU!

1. Hana Lou @ http://burntthespaghetti.blogspot.co.uk/
2. Allison King @ http://needlesandpins79.blogspot.co.uk/
3. forgetmenots blue @ 'Primrose and Petticoats' http://forgetmenotsblue.blogspot.co.uk/
4. Barbara Smith @ http://knittinghopes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/new-projects-new-techniques.html
5. Linda Schwartz @ http://knit-my-grits.blogspot.co.uk/
6. Fiona Campbell @ http://www.fcknits.co.uk/2013/mini-gingerbread-man
7. Stana's Critter's Etc. @ http://stana-critters-etc.blogspot.co.uk/
8. Ashley @ http://fibrously.blogspot.co.uk/
9. Baljaffray Handknits @ http://baljaffrayhandknits.blogspot.co.uk/
10. Juanita @ http://lunchboxofawesome.blogspot.co.nz/
11. Jenni @ http://jennicanknit.blogspot.co.uk/






Thursday, 4 July 2013

Wool. In a Jar.

Right. Mini post time.

For I don't know how long, maybe 5/6 months, I have been putting all my scrap ends of wool from all my projects into an empty nutella jar.

Here is the effect:

The idea was to have a lovely mix of squished up wool made up of all the projects I have done recently. I can pick out a colour and (probably) tell you what project I used it in. I think that's kind of cool.

Problem is, now I don't know what to do with it. Do I keep it on a shelf looking pretty, reminding me of the things I made? Do I start a new one?

Will it come to life like the left over wool at the Scarf Lady's house in 'Sarah and Duck'?


Any thoughts or ideas?

Sarah and Duck is a cbeebies program, and is genuinely fantastic. 

Monday, 24 June 2013

Knitting's Online Revolution

When I first started knitting (a whole year ago now!), I was encouraged and inspired by the what seemed like an endless supply of online resources, tutorials and patterns.



Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Glipho, and of course, a never ending list of blogs that dedicate themselves to knitting, knitters from all backgrounds are embracing these social media platforms and creating a vast online community that is both supportive and fun.

There are countless YouTube channels for knitting, type 'knitting' into the search bar and it currently comes up with about 544,000 results. That's more knitting information than you will find in your local library or bookshop. From beginner's tutorials to the more complex stitches and techniques, YouTube is perfect for sourcing out specific step by step visual guides for knitting. YouTube itself only started in 2005, and since then, more and more knitting channels have emerged. YouTube is fab for knitting, however I often feel the need to couple the visual aids with written instructions!

As a social media platform, I use Facebook on a more personal level, for keeping in touch with friends and seeing what everyone I used to know is doing with their lives. However, I do upload my knitting pictures for my friends to see. My knitting is something I am proud of and happy with, and so share it on Facebook. I admit that I haven't yet made use of the knitting pages and communities on Facebook, although as far as I can tell, they are useful places for sharing what you've created and for seeking out help for projects you may be stuck on!

Twitter is an interesting one. The 140 character limit means that you obviously can't upload entire patterns or detailed knitting analysis. I've personally found that knitters haven't flocked to Twitter (haha) as much as some other social media sites, although I find it fairly useful for sharing my word and my latest blog posts with my *gulp* 37 followers.

Pinterest is the PERFECT website for knitters. One of the babies in the social media world, only launched in 2010, it has been a massive success with those interested in DIY and crafts. There are thousands of boards dedicated to knitting. It is a brilliant place to collect pictures of things you want to try and knit, or things that inspire your knitting. I personally am slowly building up a collection of amazing looking projects that I am never going to get around to making.

Glipho is very new blogging site where users can upload posts from their blogs and post them all conveniently in one place. It makes it easier to find blogs and posts dedicated to the subject you are searching for. I've found that as of yet, Glipho hasn't attracted masses of knitters, although it is still early days and would definitely recommend it!

Blogging is a 21st century phenomenon that allows anyone to have a voice. Knitting blogs are everywhere, embraced by the young and the slightly less young alike. Every day, someone is uploading a new knitting pattern or article, sharing their ideas and patterns. People are coming up some amazing ideas that they are willing to share with the knitting world for free! It's fantastic, and I love being a part of it. Knitting Pattern Central is a really good site that has a massive collection of links to all sorts patterns, which is constantly being added to.

Following on from blogging, Google+ is a fantastic social site, where people who use the blogging program 'blogger' are able to share their posts on their pages. There are a number of knitting communities on Google+, one of the largest being 'The Knitting Lodge'. Everyday people add new patterns and share things that they've made. I've always found the response to be incredibly positive, and love the mix of different people, and the variety of the creations that are shared.

Ravelry is also worth a mention, it has a huge online database of patterns, free and not s to free. If you can't find a pattern you need on Ravelry, it is unlikely you'll find it at all! With over 3 million users (as of March 2013), it's safe to say that is site is a favourite of the online knitting and crochet community.

I think that the internet has done a lot for knitting. It has injected a large dose of enthusiasm into the craft, inspiring those who haven't knitted in years, introducing it to those who may never have come across knitting otherwise, and has provided an ever growing bank of resources for those who are passionate about and truly enjoy this amazing craft. The internet has shown millions that knitting isn't about little old ladies and itchy jumpers, it is fun, creative, expressive and exciting!

Any online aspects of knitting you think I have missed out? Comment below! Also, please post links to your own and others knitting blogs - the online growth of knitting is a big positive and to be encouraged.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Moustache Mug Cozy

Do you ever feel like your tea drinking (or coffee/hot chocolate/boiled blood of your enemies drinking) isn't neither sophisticated nor manly enough?
Of course you do. Thank goodness I have an easy knitted solution, the Moustache Mug Cozy!



The Moustache Mug Cozy is designed to make it appear as though you have splendid upper lip hair whilst you are sipping your beverages!

You will need:
DK wool - I chose to do mine using white for the background and black for the moustache, however, you might fancy having an orange, green or purple moustache! You won't need an entire ball of wool, so this project is a great scrap buster.
4.5mm knitting needles
Darning needle - for sewing up
At least one button - for fastening the back of your cosy.
5mm crochet hook - for picking up stitches for the fastening. (If you don't know how to pick up and knit, or don't have a crochet hook, you can knit the fastening flap separately and sew it on)

Pattern
This pattern is for a mug that has a circumference approximately 26.5cm and a height of 9cm

Cozy
Cast on 18 stitches

The cozy is 60 rows long, and is knitted using the stocking stitch (knit one row, purl one row). Below is the knitting chart you will need to follow.

When following a chart, start from the bottom. Knit the odd rows, and purl the even rows!

After 60 rows, cast off.

Fastening
Use your crochet hook to pick up 6 stitches from the middle of your last row (the end nearest the moustache)

Row 1: Knit

Row 2: Purl

Row 3: K2 Kfb K3     count 7 stitches

Row 4: Purl

Row 5: K3 YO K1 K2tog K1       (This will create a small button hole and leave you with 7 stitches)

Row 6: Purl

Cast off

Making up
On the opposite end to your fastening flap, sew on an average sized button.

To finish, fold the cozy so that the short edges meet. Sew the tops and the bottoms together, making sure that the hole in between is big enough for the mug handle.

Put on your mug and ta da! You have ready to show off to your friends with your impressive new facial hair.


I apologise that this is the second moustache themed pattern in two weeks, my next pattern will be entirely moustache free, I promise!