Announcement

Some time ago I noticed that some people had, without asking my permission, posted photographs from my blog on their Pinterest sites. I wasn’t sure whether to be flattered or annoyed but it certainly made me feel uneasy as I had no control over what they were doing.

Later on I found that there were also ‘Free Pattern’ sites that had included some of my more popular patterns. These sites appeared to be supported by advertising and one even was soliciting donations in return for providing links to the patterns! This definitely moved me in the direction of annoyed!

The final straw came though when over the last few weeks I have had hundreds of people visiting my site from Facebook to look at my Celtic Coasters pattern. (I know this is where they are going by the numbers.) This time I don’t even have access to what has brought them here. So annoyed it definitely is.

[As an aside I must say that of course Google also takes photographs off my site and again I wish that I had control over this as Google not only takes all the photographs posted as ‘photographs’ that I see no need for but also photographs of mistakes and problems that make sense in context but I would not want put out there otherwise. Of course there is no way of controlling Google as far as I know.]

I have therefore decided that with my better patterns, the ones that have cost more in time, effort and emotional investment will in future be ‘paid for’ patterns. (Some of my more simple, ‘throw away patterns’ will still be free.)

These may include patterns such as:

 

 

 

African Violets, Angel bookmark, Celtic Coasters, Celtic Crosses, Cross bookmarks, Granny Ripple,

Snowflake cloth

Snowflake bookmark, Snowflake cloth

and probably my Rainbow Mittens even though no one is much interested in that one.

I may also add some more of my patterns to the list but those above are the only ones on Ravelry at present.

 

I have already listed my African Violets, Celtic Coasters and Cross bookmarks for sale on Ravelry and will think about whether to list any others.

Maybe it is sad in some ways that I have felt the need to do this but I cannot control what people do with my photographs but I can at least gain a handle on how many people are interested in my patterns and not just of the “It’s Free. I’ll have half a dozen!” brigade.

 

One a week Photo Challenge – Stationary

Checking that I had the correct meaning of stationary (and not the paper variety) I pondered what one might take.

I came up with this. Photo Challenge - StationaryAlso taken on the Common after I had photographed the bicycle for last week. You can see that bicycles were still on my mind as the previous photograph might also have counted as ‘Stationary’.

There were two bicycles but then it would have been a very low wide photograph.

My bookmarks in use!

Having discovered that the latest book I got out from the library is a large hardback book I decided to move on from my pineapple bookmark that I have been using lately to one of my Celtic ones: Pineapple bookmark on bookthe most popular one with the purple edging and pointy corners. Celtic cross edged bookmarkWith the pineapple bookmark the pages don’t quite lie flat where it is. Pineapple bookmark in bookBut as I suspected with the Celtic one they gape rather more. Similarly with my latest version of the slip stitch one. Celtic edged bookmark in bookNow with pointed corners! Celtic slip stitched bookmark in bookEven my plain Celtic cross lifts the pages a little more. Original Celtic cross bookmarkNow with cord and tassel. Origianl Celtic cross bookmark in bookAnd of course my latest Celtic cross bookmark. Celtic cross bookmark(Not yet with added cord) operates more like the other embellished Celtic ones.Celtic cross bookmark in bookJust thought it was useful to give an idea of their relative thickness! Though when in use in the middle of the book they show slightly less!

Celtic Knot Bookmark Pattern

There is a diagram to help with interleaving the ribbon together to make the bookmarks at the bottom. This is probably the hardest part!

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****

I would suggest using #10 crochet cotton and a 1.25mm hook for starting chain, then 1.25mm or 1mm hook for working stitches or whatever size produces a firm but not impossibly tight result. I crochet fairly tightly and I think I used a 1.25 hook throughout. Using a larger hook for the starting chain can make it easier to crochet into.

***The stitches need to be worked into the loop at the back of the starting chain. This is method 4 in my tutorial on four ways to work into a chain.***

Slip stitches or Edge should be worked in a contrasting colour to main strip.

I am writing these patterns in similar way to how I wrote the Celtic Cross pattern.

A number means to work that many stitches, one into each chain. The V and A represent using multiple stitches as described below.

These are in UK terms. [US equivalent is in brackets and italics where needed.]

Bookmark to have edge added

Bookmark with edge

V = 5trs into one chain. [V = 5dcs into one chain.]

A= 5trs tog. A= [5dcs tog.]

Outer turn = V 1 V

Inner turn = A 1 A

Making main ribbon

Start with at least 395 chain. (Having a few extra will allow for miscounting or missing a stitch by mistake, or my calculation being wrong!)

Start by working tr into 4th ch from hook – equals first two trs. [Start by working dc into 4th ch from hook – equals first two dcs.]

12 (outer turn) 10 V 15 A 15 V 15 A 15 V 10

(outer turn) 15 A 15 V 15 A 15 V 15

(inner turn) 10 A 15 V 15 A 15 V 15 A 10

(inner turn) 15 V 15 A 15 V 15 A 3

Edge

Work along both sides.

Can work 3 or 4ch or just extend thread so as not to need to cut thread when reversing direction at end of strip as these will be hidden by join.

Start at beginning of strip.

Instructions:

1ch, then dc into each tr, except for inner and outer turns. These as below.

Outer turn: into first 5tr work dc, dc, htr, tr, dtr, Then trtr into central stitch, then reverse into next five: dtr, tr, htr, dc, dc.

Inner turn: miss out stitch either side of central stitch. That is a dc as before and after.

US – Instructions:

[1ch, then sc into each dc, except for inner and outer turns. These as below.

Outer turn: into first 5dc work sc, sc, hdc, dc, tr, Then dtr into central stitch, then reverse into next five: tr, dc, hdc, sc, sc.

Inner turn: miss out stitch either side of central stitch.That is a sc as before and after.]

This bookmark came out approximately 7 inches by 1.5 inches when I made it. (18cm x 4cm). It is the largest as you can see in this photograph. Bookmark comparison

Although the bookmark above was the most popular, for completeness, I have continued with instruction for the bookmark with a slip stitch embellishment but included options for either having my original rounded ends or pointed ends, as these seemed popular.

Bookmark to have slip stitches added

V = 5trs into one chain. [V = 5dcs into one chain.]

A= 5trs tog. A= [5dcs tog.]

For pointed ends Bookmark with slip stitches and pointed ends

Outer turn = (tr, tr, tr, dtr, trtr) into first ch, then quadtr into next, (trtr, dtr, tr, tr, tr) into third ch

Inner turn = worked over 3ch but working 5 sts tog as above for first and third and a quadtr in the middle.

For rounded ends Bookmark with slip stitches and round ends

Outer turn = V 1 V

Inner Turn = A 1 A

Making main ribbon

Start with at least 333 chain. (Having a few extra will allow for miscounting or missing a stitch by mistake, or my calculation being wrong!)

Start by working tr into 4th ch from hook – equals first two trs.

10 (outer turn) 8 V 12 A 12 V 12 A 12 V 8

(outer turn) 12 A 12 V 12 A 12 V 12

(inner turn) 8 A 12 V 12 A 12 V 12 A 8

(inner turn) 12 V 12 A 12 V 12 A 2

Adding slip stitches

Work a slip stitch into each stitch along top of trebles (including other stitches used for turns  where applicable) then 2ch or extend thread for a turn and work slip stitches into the stitch equivalents of the starting chain.

This bookmark with rounded ends came out approximately 5.5 inches by 1 inch when I made it. (14cm x 3cm). And with pointed ends was 6.25 inches by 1 inch. (16cm x 3cm)

Interleaving the Ribbon to make the Bookmark

Interleaving diagramUsing the above diagram as a guide find the turn that is around the middle of the ribbon. This is the one in the bottom left hand corner of the diagram.

Follow the green and orange coloured parts that extend from this turn and interleave them as shown.

Then fold in the green/red turn and the orange/blue turn.

I then turn it so the these turns are at the top and fold in the remaining lengths.

There is an asterisk showing where the final join is.

Join neatly so it doesn’t show outside the overlap.

Pull into shape, this may take a while, and then stiffen if you want to, although they will be fairly stiff anyway if you have made the ribbon firm enough.

A Sock addiction

Well I’m not really sure that I have a sock addiction 🙂 but I haven’t made any socks for a long time and from time to time I get a craving to make some more.

I normally force myself to resist this temptation because I have enough already but recently I discovered that both my daughter and granddaughter have the same size feet as myself and would both love me to knit them a pair of socks.

So!

I have a stash of sock wool because of some that has been passed on to me for free, Yay! so I offered my daughter a choice of yarn. Two balls of sock yarn

and she said that she preferred the one on the left.

Here are the pair I made her. A pair of socksIt’s hard to get socks to look good when lying flat which is why when I knit them for myself I also photograph them being worn!

I have actually bought some more sock wool to make a pair for my granddaughter New sock yarnand when I know how long she would like her socks to be, compared to her mother’s (her mother wanted fairly short ones!), I will start a pair for her.

I could have used the wool to the right in the picture at the top but I thought maybe it wasn’t quite her sort of colours.

I do like Regia sock yarn!

One a week Photo Challenge – Bird

There not being a lot of visible birds round here this was the best I could do.

I hear lots of blackbirds morning and night and there’s evidence of birds flying over my paving, probably big ones like pigeons, but no birds hopping around.

However on Tuesday when I was sitting in The Hawthorns Café on Southampton Common after the walk I remember the local Robin. I wasn’t sitting at the best table for seeing him but I got up and followed him as he hopped around the paving looking for crumbs.

This was taken with my phone while he was under a table. He didn’t like me getting too close so this is pixel for pixel what the camera took: hence the quality!

Celtic Cross – definitive version

Definitive Celtic crossCeltic knots and plaitwork are always drawn with an edge so that you can see clearly how the ribbons cross over each other and I thought that this did not show clearly enough on my original cross. Original Celtic crosswhich is why I started experimenting with adding slip stitches. Celtic crosses with slip stitchesAt the time I did try adding the slip stitches to the back loop only so as to give an edge but found that this made the strip so much wider. I thought of using dcs (US-scs) for the central ribbon but knew this would be more fiddly so decided against it.

I was also finding slip stitching more difficult than dcs (US-scs) at this time so I tried adding a dc edge Celtic cross with edgingbut could see that the cross was then so much bigger. (I did increase the number of stitches as well and could have reduced them a bit but it would still have been bigger than I wanted.)

Recently however I decided to bite the bullet, as they say, and try making the main ribbon of the cross out of dcs (US-scs) instead of trs (US-dcs).

I knew this would make it harder to keep track of the stitches when checking to see I hadn’t made a mistake but I persisted and my first attempt turned out like this. New Celtic cross first attemptI could see that this was much smaller than the original and was not entirely surprised as crochet is very stretchy in a sideways direction (especially the upright of the cross) but had noticed that adding the slip stitches removed this, as with the cross with the purple slip stitches above.

So I decided to increase the number stitches and use a bigger hook.

Now I have lots of tiny steel hooks, inherited from my mother, but only a few, still small but larger, aluminium ones and the smallest of these is a number ‘3’. My smallest aluminium hook was a 2.5mm and larger so I decided I would use the no. 3.

(Looking at some crochet hook charts I now think that this might be a 1.9mm equivalent hook.)

With the increased stitches and the new hook my cross turned out like this. New Celtic cross second attemptYou can see here how these two attempts compared with the original. New Celtic cross first two attempts with originalSo I decided that as with my other slip-stitched crosses it wasn’t necessary to increase the stitch numbers except for the upright and the circle and tried again.

Here are all my three attempts next to each other together with the original. New Celtic cross all three attempts with originalThe slip stitch edged cross (bottom right) does not really need stiffening and had finally given me what I was after.

The original is of course easier to make and attractive in it’s own right but I like the new one best!

So here are the three different styles. Three different styles of Celtic cross

The one on the right with the inner slip stitches is the thickest and the top central (original one) is the thinnest.

I also experimented recently with making an equal armed cross with the added slip stitches but don’t really like it. Though I am not sure why!Celtic cross with equal arms

I have updated my pattern page with patterns for all four different types of Celtic Cross.

This has been really hard work and I have tried to double check everything but if you decided to use one of the patterns and find anything that seems wrong, or any typos, I would be really grateful if you would let me know so I can change it for others.

Flower portraits

I find it hard to take good photographs of my flower beds but I do love taking close ups of individual flowers, so I am going to share a few flower ‘portraits’ of some of the current flowers in my garden.

First some landscape portraits in alphabetical order

Allium (this is the Cristophe variety)AlliumThen one of the Clematis, (This is called Lemon Dream.)ClematisLily of the Valley. Lily of the ValleyA Pansy (sold last Autumn as winter pansies.) PansyAnd a Wallflower (also bought last Autumn). WallflowerAnd now a couple of square ones

Apple blossom in full flower. Apple blossomLithodora Diffusa (This variety is called Grace Ward.)Lithodora Diffusa (Grace Ward)Though if anything I prefer the one called ‘Heavenly Blue’ which I also have. Lithodora Diffusa (Heavenly Blue)A slightly more turquoise shade of blue!

And a pansy’s face close up.

Fair isle tutorial

One person who read  a recent post asked if I could add a video tutorial.

Now I don’t do video tutorials and in fact, for myself, I normally prefer pictures and diagrams that I can peruse at my leisure, so I am going to share a few photographs that I hope explains exactly what I was suggesting.

The post in question was on knitting fair isle and how I had now mastered a way of ensuring that the yarns didn’t get tangled and could even be twisted every other stitch if wanted. I give a description of this in an Addendum to the post but maybe a picture is worth a thousand words, as they say, so here is an explanation with photographs.

I don’t describe what to do for purl stitches because it is essentially the same principle and when learning fair isle it is better to use circular knitting where all the stitches will be knit. However a piece of flat knitting is easier to photograph.

Knitting Fair Isle

The first thing is to separate the two yarns one on either side. The one on the right being the ‘upper’ (normally background) yarn and the one on the left being the ‘lower’ yarn.

As in this photograph.I am referring to the person’s own right and left.

Arranging the yarns like this naturally makes the one on the right hand side higher than the other and helps in remembering which is which.

This method will work whether you are twisting frequently or only every few stitches. However it always involves two adjacent stitches of the same colour.

When twisting frequently and knitting an odd number of stitches in the same colour,  I will always knit the first one normally and then twist the yarn for the next two. (Repeating the twisting for more pairs as necessary.)

Firstly I will deal with twisting the yarn for stitches using the ‘upper’ right-hand side yarn.

I think you can see in the photograph how the green (right-hand) yarn naturally sits above the pink (left-hand) yarn.

For the first of the two stitches, I pull a loop of the upper yarn forwards under the lower yarn and use that to wind round the needle. (See arrow)First stitch with upper yarnFor the next stitch, I pull the yarn back and use that to knit the stitch. (See arrow)Second stitch with upper yarnI think you can see that this will bring the green yarn back to the top.

The yarn should now be untwisted in any way and back to where you started.

Now knitting with the ‘lower’ left-hand side yarn.

This time I pull a loop backwards under the ‘upper’ yarn and knit with this. (See arrow) First stitch with lower yarnLooking at the photograph below I think you can see how the pink yarn is now naturally above the green.

So I pull the yarn forward and use the length that is below to make the stitch. (See arrow)Second stitch with lower yarnAs before, the yarn should now be untwisted in any way and back to where you started.

Everyone has their own way of holding yarn but I find it is possible to hold both in the right hand and use the first finger and thumb to twist from one to the other. Though a certain amount of letting go is also needed.

I hope that all this is helpful and adds to what I said before.

(As a footnote. When working purl stitches I did tend to find that I needed to treat the right hand yarn as the lower and the left hand yarn as the upper.)