At Last! I finished my cushion

I have really been procrastinating with regard to sewing up the two sides of my latest cushion.Celtic crochet knot work for cushion and Celtic knitted cables for cushionMainly because I am never confident when it comes to sewing and I thought that I ought to wait till I was feeling really strong and alert, however last Friday I had nothing to take to “Crafty Coffee” and so was reduced to taking the two sides of the cushion to sew together.

I am glad I did as it is now off my conscience and brightening up my chair!

Here you can see the Celtic crochet knot work side cushion on chairI notice that the cushion is so puffy that the strips are tending to pull apart and show the inner but I don’t think it matters.

And here is the Celtic knitted cables side. cushion on chairI think it looks very smart!

In order to close it in a way that made it easy to remove the cover if it ever became necessary, I crocheted an extra strip to the cable side and sewed on three odd buttons that I had in my button jar. cushion closureAnd lastly: on Saturday, as if by magic, the apple blossom appeared on the apple tree. 

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Hope this isn’t getting boring!

Last week I finished the cables. I decided to stop after five repeats. As it seemed to pull in so as to be narrower I cast off loosely but had to undo the cast off and redo it as it was then too wide at the top as maybe you can see. five repeats of main cable pattern

I thought that I would crochet round it if I needed more width or length but when I pinned it to the piece I intended for the other side other side

It seemed to fit reasonably well.sides pinned togetherI tried fitting the cushion inside. fitted over cushionAnd it was about right. I am thinking of buying a new cushion pad so I will wait until I know what will be inside before finishing off and sewing the two sides together.

I have also started the second sock. part sock

As I want to use every bit of the wool, I didn’t even think of trying to make the socks match but just started at the end of the yarn.

And I made a brioche.

I am rather fond on brioche though I don’t buy it very often and have long wanted to make some but the recipe in my bread book uses 13oz of flour and five! eggs and this always seemed a bit extravagant. However I now have a food processor and in that it has a recipe that uses 250g (about 8oz) of flour and two eggs. You also have the advantage that the processor does all the mixing/kneading. So this last Friday I mixed up the dough and made this. I think next time I may cook it a little less but it is very tasty!

It doesn’t shine because I left off the egg glaze. I had meant to save a bit of egg for this purpose but forgot and getting a whole egg just for a bit of glaze always seems wasteful unless you have plans for omelettes later.

A sock and a sixth of a cushion cover!

Over the last week I have completed another repeat of the cables. I anticipate having to do four more repeats approximately so I have completed a third of one side – hence a sixth of a whole cushion cover ! since it has two sides. knitted cablesI think you can see the pattern developing now.

I have also finished one of my rainbow socks. rainbow sockMy original idea had been to make it a little longer but I liked the way the colours went and also it occurred to me that using the wool left over from my previous socks in this type of yarn older socksI could maybe make a hybrid sock to use up the rest of the yarn, with the pale rainbow yarn for the toes and heels and ribbing. So I weighed the older yarn and made a toe. toeMy hybrid sock may be a little short as I will have about a repeat of the rainbow colours of the newer wool. But if it is too short I could maybe add in some other left over sock wool since at least the foot part will be in this deliciously soft mini-mochi!

Starting the cables!

Following on from last week’s post I decided to start working on the cabled cushion cover.

First I made a sample swatch. SampleFor the first part I cast on 20 stitches to check the tension. As usual, I discovered that I knit to the right tension using the needle size recommended.

I then worked a few rows of the simple braid, to check I could do it.

Then I cast on an extra four stitches at each end to give 28 stitches so I could practice the more complicated part of the pattern which is charted over 24 stitches. (Two stocking stitches added at each end).

I was fine until about row 6/7 when I found I made mistakes and dropped a couple of stitches. (Not helped by using a too short (for me) cable needle so the stitches kept slipping off!)

Eventually I got this bit correct (or almost) after undoing a couple of rows twice!

This exercise was actually very useful as by the end I was beginning to understand the charts and to realise that the surface was either stocking stitch or reverse stocking stitch so if the stitches I needed for the next cable bit looked wrong it probably meant I wasn’t where I thought I was!

corrected one repeat
Replacement photograph!

Thus I found that I have managed to knit the first sixteen rows of the main chart, which is the repeat, and it looks okay and wasn’t as hard as I thought! I might even be able to do it in company! (I found my longer cable needles, though I seem to have mislaid the thicker one half way through!)

One repeat of cable patternHaving written the above and knitted another couple of rows I realised that I had made a mistake on the left-hand simple braid and so I had to undo a few rows. the mistake had been on row 14 of a 16 repeat so more undoing than I would have liked! You can see the mistake if you click on the thumbnail on the left!!

I  think I need about five more of the above for the full cover.

Interestingly, I am finding that my reduced energy levels and emphasis on looking after myself means that instead of the normal sense of pressure to knit or crochet all evening so as to complete the latest project and get onto the next one and thus have something for the blog, I am sometimes actually watching TV with no knitting and just pick it up when I feel in the mood. In fact I am probably watching more TV without knitting than with. I think I like this more relaxed approach.

Just a bit of a catch up

Started into the chemo last week. I found the most tiring aspect was not, as yet, a side effect but having to make sure that I did not encounter cold: objects, food, drink or air. At least this only applies for the first few days so should wear off soon! However having to boil a kettle every time you want a drink, even just to take a few pills (and there have been lots of pills!) is a bit if a pain and gets wearing.

All this has made me think more of just resting in between, not even done much sock knitting (except when hospital appointment was delayed by an hour and a half!)

Also my daughter came to stay for a couple nights and we had a lovely day on Saturday, visiting the Sea City Museum in the morning, then going to a Greek restaurant for a late lunch followed by home by teatime for a restful evening.

I did think however that I could share with you the next knitting project on my list that I am a little afraid to start in case a make a mess of it.

If you remember this recent crochet that I was going to use as a cushion cover. cushion coverWell the big question was what to do for the other side.

In the end I thought of this cardigan cardiganThat was meant to wear over summer t-shirts but makes my arms itch. Now I have quite a lot of  wool over which is obviously not very suitable for clothing and decided that maybe I could use the wool for the reverse of the cushion and knit a Celtic style cable square. This would give me an opportunity to learn more about cable knitting as so far my only attempt was the collar of this jumper. 

I found a pattern for a celtic style pattern I liked but the chart looks a bit daunting! chartThere is also all the swatching and counting to get the piece the right size. But maybe I might start it soon, with socks for when I go out and this at home.

Published Angel pattern

Pattern on Ravelry – http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/three-small-angels

Even though the opinions given were that the angel didn’t need arms, I couldn’t resist trying out what arms would look like.

First I just made a more colourful one. Then I decided I would try adding arms. And rather liked it.

So I decided to create a pattern with both angels I showed you plus the coloured one with arms as an option.

I took the first two angels to Crafty Coffee on Friday – well at least I can still drink coffee! – and I wanted to see if they liked the pattern. They did – Yay! so I gave them a free two angel one to use as they wish for their project and have published the full set as “Three Small Angels” on Ravelry. 

I was making a version of the third one in different colours but with my arm out of action. I have decided I can always add that as a photograph at a later date.

Unexpectedly! an Angel pattern

I am still working on this pattern and will add it to the shop when I have finished a few variations. Watch this space!

I had thought I would probably have finished the extra knitting and got the pattern ready for next week but unfortunately I now have my left arm in a cast and sling with a cracked bone in my elbow, so even writing posts may be tricky for a while. In ten days the temporary cast will be removed and then I will either be okay or have a long term cast for up to six weeks. So no knitting or crochet for a while. How will I survive, what will I do?

A little bit about how this patterns came about,

A lot of the people who come to ‘Crafty Coffee’ on a Friday are from a local Anglican church and it has been decided to give away 100 or maybe even 200! knitted angels around Christmas time. Two free patterns had been chosen as possible ones to make but the people who were likely to have to make quite a few of the angels were not entirely happy with either of them. So I offered to make one for them.

Now by the time I left to go and do my shopping they were a little happier with the chosen patterns but I found I couldn’t resist having a go at making one.

My first attempt in the afternoon was this. First attempt

But then in the evening I refined it to create this. Final angel

The angel is a little fancier than the ones they were looking at but it is quite a simple pattern in that it is knitted flat and the lace part only has one repeated row and the rest is rib or stocking stitch.

The lace could be omitted to create this simpler angel. I also modified the head slightly for this angel which is how I have written the final pattern.Plain angel

I am not sure whether I should include optional arms for the final pattern. What do you think?

 

A very Welcome Womble

This year I made two Christmas presents one of which was a womble. 0544-orinoco When my eldest was young the Wombles were on children’s television and my daughter’s favourite womble was Orinoco. She had a cuddly Orinoco which she loved and so when I was offered a knitting pattern to make a womble that was clearly Orinoco I said “Yes!” becuse I thought it would be fun to make it for her. 0544-womble-pattern(As you can see the pattern is a little worse for wear having been carried all over the place while knitting him.)

I decided to replace the white mohair of the pattern with eyelash yarn for greater authenticity. I have never knitted eyelash yarn before or the chenille needed for the face and hands but in the end it wasn’t as hard as I imagined and I could count the stitches which was important.

I am pleased to report that my daughter was really over the moon to receive him (even more than I had anticipated) so it all seemed very worth the effort, though I had regretted it a bit when it came to the sewing. (Never my favourite part.)

I also made a little blue bear for my granddaughter. 0544-little-bearI have a little blue bear that I made when pattern testing for another blogger which sits on my computer tower unit 0363-littlebearand I had asked my granddaughter whether she would like one ages ago but had never settled down to actually making one.

With Christmas on the horizon it seemed the ideal time.

I used the same wool as before because it needed aran weight and I generally use double knitting but still had a small ball of the blue aran.

However I decided to use a 2.5mm hook because I had one with a comfort handle in this size but not for 3mm which I think I used for the original. 0544-two-bearsYou can see that the latest bear came out a little smaller. But no bad thing and he apparently has joined the pocket pig 0033pigand a Christmas angel 0290-angelwithsashI had made previously!

 

Making a case for a tablet

My son gave me a tablet for my birthday.TabletNo not that sort! This sort:-0372-lenovotabletI decided it needed a case and started by looking at the sort you could buy but couldn’t find anything I liked, so in the end I decided to make a slip case like I had for my phone and iPod.

When I had got out my sewing machine, I had found this: –SleevesThe two sleeves left from my earlier case making, and they were just the right size to slip the tablet into. (You can see some tacking from my earlier making.)

I cut out two suitably sized sections of sleeve.Material cutI also found this in my dressmaking drawerInterliningand decided it would be useful to make a padded front to the case to protect the screen. I hadn’t bothered with my phone but I felt that the tablet screen was more vulnerable.

Here is the inner case completed.Inner caseI just tacked the interlining on quickly so it didn’t move. I decided to make the outer case from the little balls of yarn left over from my ‘sea and sand’ blanket.Sea and sand blanketI had wanted to try the ‘Catherine Wheel’ stitch, that I had found in a book, for a while now and thought it would be suitable for this project. I don’t know if you can see it in this photo but the Catherine wheel stitch creates little mounds.Texture of Catherine wheel stitchIn the book, the stitch had been shown worked back and forth for a flat piece, and I could have done it that way, but I decided to work a round and round version where every row was right-side.

Here is the completed case.Finished caseBecause of the way the colours went I decided to reverse the case and in fact that means the Catherine Wheel stitch was worked from the top down.I finished with a solid section of dcs (US-scs) to give a firm basis for a button. I hadn’t used a closure on previous cases but I have sometimes regretted not being able to secure my phone in it’s case when I put it sideways in a bag as it tends to slip out, so I decided I would add one here when I was unlikely to want to get it out in a hurry.

Here is the case with the tablet inside.Tablet in caseThe case is quite a tight fit because I had to decide between seven or eight Catherine wheels for a round and chose seven as I didn’t want the case to be loose, especially knowing that acrylic yarn seems to stretch with time. In fact before I finished the case I washed it and stretched it a bit which was quite good as it made it bigger and softer. Of course with a touch screen, a case that is quite fitting and with an inner made from well-washed cotton helps clean the screen as you put it in and out.

My father always said that the safest thing to wipe smudges off glass was a piece of well-washed cotton, such as an old hanky.

Doll finally dressed

0361-dolloriginallyWhen I was given her, the doll looked pretty much like this. (Though this is a cheat as I have just mussed up her already brushed hair and the necklace has been restrung.)

As you can see she had a yellow cloth top and knitted panties and quite a nice knitted over-top.

I showed you the doll as work in progress the other day.0357-dollandknittingWell now I have finished the hat and trousers0361-clothesmadeand she looks like this0361-dollseatedand this.0361-dollstandingThe necklace was originally strung on a piece of string so I restrung it on a piece of bead elastic so it can be removed and added a degree of symmetry as I have always preferred symmetrical things. [Does this relate to the fact that I am mildly dyslexic and have difficult with left and right, I wonder?]

Hopefully when this is for sale in the charity shop, it will be sold and make some child very happy