Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Baby Trapper Hat


This hat was designed to go with these knitted, fur lined baby boots.

Materials:

Worsted weight yarn - I used Simply Soft acrylic yarn by Caron
Size 5 knitting needles 

Large eye blunt needle, for sewing with yarn
Sewing needle
All purpose sewing thread in yarn color
4" faux fur fabric (off the bolt)
12" super soft fleece (off the bolt)

This pattern is knitted flat and sewing together with yarn and needle. Machine sewing is used for the lining.

Knitting Pattern

Top dome (Make 2)
CO 15
R1 - k all the way across
R2 - sl1, k2, p to the third last stitch, k3
R3 - sl1, k1m1, k to the second last stitch, k1m1, k
Repeat rows 2 & 3 for 25 more rows, or until work measures about 8 inches at the bottom. Garter stitch for three more rows.

Top Center
CO 15
R1 - k all the way across
R2 - sl1, k2, p to the third last stitch, k3
R3 - sl1, k all the way across
Repeat rows 2 & 3 until work measures about 10 inches long. Garter stitch the last three rows. Match up the knots on the side of the strip and the dome pieces and knit to length.

Sew the dome pieces to the center strip, one on each side, with right sides facing one another. The side which has the garter stitch in the center strip is the back of the dome.

Bottom flap
On the front of the brim of the hat, count 13 stitches from the center strip on both sides. Pick up stitches along the brim, and around the back between these two points. Here, you will begin knitting your flap.
 Knit back and forth on both sides for 3 rows, creating a garter stitch.
For 15 rows, knit on the outside and purl on the inside, with a garter stitch edging on the last three stitches. 
On row 16, place a stitch marker after the 18th stitch and before the 18th from the last stitch. 
On row 17, knit the first three stitches, purl the next 15, knit across to the stitch marker, k3, purl to the last three stitches, knit the final three.
On row 18, knit all the way across.
On row 19, repeat as you did on row 17.
On row 20, knit to the stitch marker. Just past the stitch marker, begin binding off up to the second marker, knit across. 

Ear flaps
You should have two sections of knitting on your needle for your ear flaps. Work one at a time, knitting on one side and purling on the other for three rows, then begin decreasing every row by knitting the second and third, and the second to last and third to last stitches together. Once you have gotten your ear flap down to two stitches, knit them in the round for ten rows to get a small rope. When you bind them off, leave a four inch tail to tie on the tassel.

Lining

Once you have completed the knitting portion of the project, weave in the loose ends and begin making your pattern for the lining.

Lay your hat out on a sheet of paper and trace along the seams. Add a half an inch for stretch and another quarter of an inch for seam allowance. Also, and this is important, have your inner lining pattern come down an inch and a half further in the front than the knitted hat. Refer the the photo on the right.

You will only cut two pieces for your pattern. The dome, and the center strip. 

Once cut, sew them together with right side facing, noting which end is the front and which is the back. 

You will need to also cut a strip of fleece and a strip of fur that is about 12 inches wide and four inches tall for the front bill of the hat. The last piece you will need is the fur for the back flap. Only cut this approximately, leaving plenty of excess. You are going to cut it and sew it to fit during the assembly.

Assembly

Machine stitch the 12" x 4" strip of fleece and fur fabric together on three sides with a 1/4 inch seam, leaving the bottom open. 
As you do this, keep a 1/4 inch of extra fleece lining at the bottom. This allows for even fabric after turning.
Trim the corners and turn right side out.



Pin the strip of fur for the back flap to the lining of the hat with right sides together. Use the knitted hat as a guide for where the flap piece should go - however, leave a good inch or more of fur fabric excess on both sides of the hat. 

Machine stitch this in place.




Sew the front flap to the lining with the fur side of the flap facing the right side of the fleece lining. 
The photos on the right show the lining assembly both right side out and inside out.










Place the lining over a rounded surface (I used my knee) and fit the knitted hat over it snuggly. Make sure there is an inch of lining protruding below the brim of the front of the hat, and that the back fur flap extends past the knitted hat.
Using a standard needle and matching thread, stitch the knitted hat to the lining as shown in the picture. Hide the stitches in the weave of the knitting. The stitches will be concealed within the pile of the lining.

Cut the back flap fur piece so that it can be tucked up and pinned in place. Trim, if needed (see photo on left).

Continue tucking and pinning from sides and around the back, up to the front of the hat.
Stitch the raw edges of the front flap to the front of the knitting, then fold it up.

Hand stitch the flap in place, about an inch from the bottom, and hand stitch the fur fabric to the knitted fabric as shown in the photo on the right.



 To make the tassels, wind some yard around your palm twenty times.
Use the 4 inch length of yarn at the end of each rope to tie the bundles of yarn to the rope at the knot.

Secure by sewing repeated stitches with a needle and thread, and leave the thread attached to sew on the fur cuffs.

Cut 2 strips of fur fabric, about 4 inches by one inch. Roll this over lengthwise, and sew one end to the tassel using the thread that is still attached. Wrap the other side around, tuck the end under, and sew in place. Knot the thread inside the fur cuff.



Monday, August 21, 2017

Knitted Boots for Baby


Materials:

Worsted weight yarn in 2 colors - I used Simply Soft acrylic yarn by Caron
Size 3 circular needles (or dpn)
Size 1 circular needles (or dpn)
1 cable needle (or dpn)
3.5 mm crochet hook
Stitch markers (at least 4)
Sewing needle
Upholstery thread (color of sole)
All purpose sewing thread in both yarn colors
3" faux fur fabric (off the bolt)
12" super soft fleece (off the bolt)
8" x 8" leather
8" Craft Felt, color of upper boot
Hammer & Nail
Spray Adhesive
Flat sorbent pad (or similar material)
Absorbent shammy (or similar material)

Notes: Knit the shells at least one size bigger than you think you want. Once you get the lining and the felt inside, Baby's foot will have much less room. These boots are made to fit a size 3 1/2 infant foot. To knit the boots smaller or larger, begin by adjusting the size of the knitted sole, and then adjust the remainder of the pattern accordingly. 


Knitted Body


Sole
In the color you chose for the bottom of the boot, using a size 3 needle set, knit a sole using seed stitch that is 15 stitches wide at it's widest and 7 stitches wide at the narrowest, as follows:

CO 7
R1: sl1, 
* K1, p1; rep from * to end of row. 
R2: sl1, K1m1, * p1; rep from * to last stitch, p1m1.
R3: sl1, * P1, k1; rep from * to end of row.
R4: sl1, K1m1,*k1, p1; rep from * to last stitch, k1m1.
R5: sl1, * K1, p1; rep from * to end of row.
R6: sl1, K1m1, * p1, k1; rep from * to last stitch, p1m1.
R7: sl1, * P1, k1; rep from * to end of row.
R8: sl1, K1m1, * k1, p1; rep from * to last stitch, k1m1.
R9: sl1, * K1, p1; rep from * to end of row.

You should now have 15 stitches on your needle. Continue knitting back and forth in seed stitch, slipping the first stitch of every row, until you have 28 rows. You will then decrease on row 29, by knitting the second and third, and the second to last and last stitches together. You will have 11 stitches.
Continue knitting the heel of the foot until you get to row 60. Decrease  on row 61 to 9 stitches, and on row 63 to 7 stitches. Bind off so that you have 63 rows.

Lower
Using a crochet hook, pull the yarn through the edges of the sole, and put them on the size 3 circular needles, picking up a total of 64 stitches. Seed stitch in the round for four rows.



On row five, you will switch to your second yarn color, and as you knit, place stitch markers after stitches 16, 24, 40, and 48. You are going to decrease every row starting on row six, by knitting 2 together - just AFTER the first two markers, and just BEFORE the third and fourth. So that you will decrease 16 total stitches on four rows (6, 7, 8 & 9). You will have 48 stitches total.

Top & Tongue
Place the first 12 stitches on reserve on one piece of yarn or stitch holder. Place the next 8 on a second reserve. Leave 8 stitches on the needle, and place another 8 on reserve. Place the last 12 stitches on reserve, following the diagram below.


Pick up your yarn and knit across the 8 stitches at the very top of the boot. Turn, and purl across the eight, and pick up another stitch from one on reserve from the left side. Turn and knit across, pick up a stitch from one on reserve from the right side. You should now have 10 on your working needle and 7 on each of the top reserves.
Turn, purl across the row, pick up a stitch from reserve. Turn the work again and knit the first two stitches together. Knit across, pick up a stitch from reserve, turn. Purl 2 together.
Continue knitting and purling the stitches, picking up one from reserve as you come to it, and then knitting or purling it into the work so that you keep 10 stitches working. 

Once all of the stitches have been used on the first sets of reserves, work back and forth as follows:
k10, turn
k2, p6, k2, turn.
Make 25 rows past the reserve stitches. On row 26, knit on both sides to create the garter stitch, for 3 more rows. Bind off on row 30.

Upper Boot

Pick up all 24 of the remaining reserve stitches. Slip the knitting needles beneath 8 of the tongue stitches (4 on each side) and pick up new ones, for a total of 32 stitches.
R1- K5, p3, k4, p2, k4, p2, k4, p3, k5
R2- K3, p2, k3, p4, k8, p4, k3, p2, k3
R3- K5, p3, Sl 2 sts to cn, hold in front, k2, k2 from cn, p2, k4, p2, k4, p3, k5
R4- K3, p2, k3, p4, k8, p4, k3, p2, k3
R5- K3, p2, k3, p4, k8, p4, k3, p2, k3
R6- K3, p2, k3, p4, k8, p4, k3, p2, k3
R7- K3, p2, k3, p4, k8, p4, k3, p2, k3
R8- K3, p2, k3, p4, k8, p4, k3, p2, k3
R9- K5, p3, Sl 2 sts to cn, hold in front, k2, k2 from cn, p2, k4, p2, k4, p3, k5
R10- K3, p2, k3, p4, k8, p4, k3, p2, k3
Repeat rows 1 through 10 five more times, or until the boot is as tall as you want. Knit back and front of fabric for three more rows, bind off the on the fourth.

Once the boots are knitted, weave in all of the loose ends.

Inner Shoe

 Cut the following pieces from crafting felt:
Tongue: 4.5 x 1.25 inches (2)
Heal: arc 5.5 x 2 inches (2)
Toe: 8 x 1.25 inches (2)
Top: arc 2 x 3 inches (2)
Back: square 7 x 6 inches (2)

Turn boots inside out. Use spray adhesive to first glue the tongue felt piece to the inside of the tongue. Take care to stretch the knitted fabric to the proper width, leaving a small edge.
 Again, use the spray adhesive to glue the heel pieces to the back of the boots, then glue the large back square. The knitted fabric will need to be worked and stretched as the adhesive dries.

Glue the toe strip in place, the snip vertically twice at the toe to fold down the fabric for a rounded toe piece (refer to photo on the right). Glue the top arc on top of this with more spray adhesive.

Once the felt pieces are glued in place, allow the shoes to dry overnight.




Leather outer Soles

Make a pattern for your leather sole by following the dimensions of the original knitted sole you made. Cut the leather using sturdy scissors, then take a nail and hammer to punch holes around the edges for stitches. You want the holes to be 1/8 of an inch apart.

Glue the soles to the bottom of the shoes with spray adhesive, then stitch in place with upholstery thread.

Trim and Lining

Cut two pieces of fur to make
trim; 16 inches by 2 inches. Fold this long piece over, width-wise, and pin into place around the edges of the upper boot.
Hand stitch the fir trim in place, taking care to keep the stitches on the insides of the knitted fabric bars so the thread will not be noticeable.

Cut one wide piece for the tongue, roughly six inches by six inches. Pin in place and sew to the knit fabric just as you did the trim.

Knit a rope using the yarn you used to knit the soles.
CO 2 stitches on size 1 needles. k2, slide the stitches over and k2 again (you are knitting in the round). Do this until your rope is 6 inches long. You are going to make 4 of these.
Sew one end of each rope into the inside of the shoes right up next to your fir trim. Refer to the photo on the left. Make loops in the rope by tack stitching three more times, evenly, along the rope.
Use your felt pattern pieces to make the pattern for the soft fleece lining. You will want to make the fleece pattern pieces a little larger to accommodate for seam allowance.
Once the fleece lining is sewn together, turn it inside out and tuck it down into the boot. Use the thread that is the same color as the sole to sew the lining to the bottom of the shoe. It is easiest to sew along the sides from the outside of the shoe, hiding the threads in the knit.

At the top of the boot, fold the soft fleece edges under and pin them in place. Use the thread that is the color of the upper boot to sew it in place, again, hiding the stitches in the weave of the knitted fabric.

Insole


The insole is made using the same pattern used for the outer sole and cutting slightly to the inside.
I used a piece of flat sheet sorbant (PIG brand), which is essentially stiff cotton. You can use any stiff padded flat substance.
The blue is a shammy, bought in the automobile section of your local big box store.
Glue the shammy to the padding with spray adhesive.
Turn the boot inside out and glue the insole to the bottom, with the shammy fabric on the top.
Once dry, you can turn the boots right side out again. The last thing you need to do is make the laces.



Laces

Make rope just as you did in the trim and lining section. I chose white to have a contrasting color. Knit the rope to approximately 20 inches.
Once the rope is finished, you will have a small length of yarn left on each side. Leave them here. Lace your boots before tying on the poms.
Make small poms by taking the two colors of your boot and winding them around the palm of your hand six to eight times. Lay this on your rope ends, right at the knot and use the attached excess yarn to tie it in place. Wrap the upper section in the two colors and tie in place. Cut the bottoms of the poms so that they are about an inch long.






Friday, November 28, 2014

Stick Figure Family Tree Ornaments


Yesterday, my little girl told me that she wanted to make some ornaments for the Christmas tree. We didn't have a lot on hand to work with, but I knew I had a nice little stash of glitter she could have fun with, and I knew I could make salt dough. Considering what other crafting supplies I had squirreled away, these are what came to my mind. Consider them a medium difficulty level, as my six year old daughter made them with (a lot of) help from me.

Supplies:
Salt dough:
       1 cup flour
       1/2 cup salt
       Water to consistancy
Food Coloring
Size 2 jewelry wire
White craft paint
Pink Paint (I used pink glitter nail polish)
Fine point Sharpie or gel pen
White glue
Paint brushes
Assorted glitter
Clear Acrylic Spray

Step 1: 
Mix the dough and separate out enough egg-yolk sized balls to make the bodies. We have six family members, so we made six bodies. Make sure you have a good consistency. You may need to add more flour or more water, to keep the dough from being too sticky or too grainy.

Fold in food coloring and knead until the color is uniform. I didn't use gloves, as you can see, and my fingers are now pink.



Step 2:

Form the bodies into pear shapes. These do not need to be completely perfect, but try to get them symmetrical. They will puff out a little during baking.

Take plain white dough, the size of a hominy kernel, and form the head.







Step 3:
Take a one inch piece of jewelry wire, form a coil on one end and push it up into the head, to form a neck. Then push the other end into the body.

A small round tube, the size of a lolly pop stem is the perfect diameter to wrap the jewelry wire for all purposes of this project.

For the ladies, since we have curly hair, I wrapped two inch pieces of wire to form ringlets. I then pressed four of them into the top of the head.

On all ornaments, make a coil on one end of a one inch piece of jewelry wire, and press it down into the top of the head. This is for the hanger.


Step 4:
Cut two 4 inch pieces of jewelry wire to make the legs and arms.

Press these all the way through the body, near the head and at the bottom.











Step 5:
With each ornament complete with legs, arms, hair for those who have it, and hanger hooks, they are ready to bake.

Put them into the oven at 250F for four hours.










Step 6:
Although the heads of the ornaments were white before and after baking, I felt that giving them a couple of coats of white acrylic craft paint gave them a more even surface. However, it is not completely necessary.

Curl the ends of the arms and legs into circles for the hands and feet.  I used a gel pen to draw on the eyes, noses and mouths, in a Charlie Brown inspired style.

Paint a small dot of pink glitter nail polish on each cheek, to give it an antiquated blush. Plain pink paint will also work.









Step 7:
When making the bodies, I made sure that I created colors that corresponded to the glitter I had put away. Because it was likely that there would be holes in the glitter, I wanted to mask it as much as possible.









Water down the white glue to make it easier to paint onto the bodies, and be sure to use a glue that will dry clearly. You want to be careful not to saturate the salt dough, get a good coverage.

Quickly sprinkle on the glitter and try to get it as even as possible.

Use a dry paint brush to dust away any glitter from the face. Gently spray it with a couple of light coats of the clear enamel, to set the glitter and keep it from flaking off.








Place a cord through the hanger hooks, clean away any stray glitter from the faces, arms and legs, and your little stick figure ornaments are ready to hang on your tree!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Little French Kitty

Gosh, has it been a while! I have been preoccupied with work and school and art business, not to mention the most important piece of me, my husband and kids.
The cooler whether has me itching for some good old making, and I found the time to squeeze in a new knitting project! And since I haven't forgotten this dusty old blog with it's crafty following, I went the extra mile and wrote up the pattern. I hope you like it!

This base of this plushy toy can be made into any sort of animal you like. My daughter wanted a cat, so a cat she gets. It is a rather tricky pattern, but I hope I made it easier by adding some charts and some pictures.

Materials:
4 colors of worsted weight yarn: 1 for body, 1 for accent, 1 for eyes, and black for whiskers.
Size 2 knitting needles; either circular or DPN to work in the round.
Small crochet hook
Tapestry needle
Filler.

Size of plush is approximately 8 inches tall and six inches wide.

He looks French, doesn't he?


CO 4, join to work in the round.
k1m1 x 4 (8)
k8
k1m1 x 8 (16)
k16
k2m1 x 16 (24)
k24
k2m1 x 24 (36)
k36
k3m1 x 36 (48)
k48 for 12 rows, then begin decreasing for the neck.
k3, k2tog x 48 (39)
k39
k2, k2tog x 39 (32)
k32
k2, k2tog x 32 (24)
k24
k2, k2tog x 24(18)
k18 for 2 rows, then place 8 stitches on reserve.
turn, p10, turn
k1m1, k8, k1m1 (12)
p12
k1m1, k10, k1m1 (14)
p14
k1m1, k12, k1m1
p16
Place the working stitches on reserve and pick up the 8 stitches that were placed on reserve earlier.
p8
k1m1, k6, k1m1 (10)
p10
k1m1, k8, k1m1 (12)
p12
k1m1, 10, k1m1 (14)
p14
k1m1, 12, k1m1 (16)
p16
Keeping the stitches on your needle, pick up the 16 stitches that were placed on reserve earlier. Join stitches in the round and *Knit 2 rows. (32)
Begin increasing the body by adding 4 stitches on every other row. My method for doing this is to add one stitch to the ends of each needle in a sequence spanning 2 rows. I did it this way to make the additions virtually invisible.

TWO ROWS: K1m1, k15, k1m1, k14, k1m1, k16, k1m1, k18 (36)
*Use the following chart for reference:







Knit one row.
TWO ROWS: k1m1, k17, k1m1, k16, k1m1, k18, k1m1, k20 (40)



Knit one row.
TWO ROWS: k1m1, k19, k1m1, k18, k1m1, k20, k1m1, k22 (44)



Knit one row.
TWO ROWS: k1m1, k21, k1m1, k20, k1m1, k22, k1m1, k24 (48)


Knit one row.
TWO ROWS: k1m1, k23, k1m1, k22, k1m1, k24, k1m1, k26 (52)
Knit one row.
TWO ROWS: k1m1, k25, k1m1, k24, k1m1, k26, k1m1, k28 (56)


Knit one row.

You should now have 56 stitches.

Locate the section that will be the front of the animal. Take two stitches off of each side of the front and place them on the back needle. This way, you will have 24 stitches in the front and 32 stitches in the back. Place the front 24 stitches on reserve. You will now begin shaping the animal’s backside.
Turn the work and purl all 32 stitches.
K1m1, k12, k2tog, k4, k2tog, k12, k1m1 (32)
Purl 1 row.
k1m1, k11, k2tog, k6, k2tog, k11, k1m1 (32)
Purl 1 row.
k1m1, k10, k2tog, k8, k2tog, k10, k1m1 (32)
Purl 1 row.
k9, k2tog, k10, k2tog, k9 (30)
Purl 1 row.
k8, k2tog, k12, k2tog, k8 (28)
Purl 1 row.
k7, k2tog, k14, k2tog, k7 (26)
P2tog, p22, p2tog (24)
k2tog, k4, k2tog, k6, k2tog, k4, k2tog (18)
P2tog, p14, p2tog (16)
k2tog, k2, k2tog, k6, k2tog, k2, k2tog (14)
P2tog, 10, p2tog (12)
k2tog, k2tog, k4, k2tog, k2tog (6)

You can see the decreases on the bottom of the animal.



Divide your front stitches in half and mark the center. You want to place the middle six stitches on your needle, intermittently with your remaining six back stitches. The other stitches will be placed on reserve and later worked into the legs.
Please refer to the photograph. To do this, take the nine stitches from the far right side of the front and place them on reserve. Next, take the nine stitches from the far left side of the front and place them on reserve. This leaves you six working stitches in the center of the front of your animal. Now, one by one, slip these in between the six working stitches from the back of your animal so that you have twelve working stitches on your needle and the gap and your front and back pieces are now joined between the legs.
K2tog, K2tog, Slip the back loop over the front loop to bind off.
Repeat this process for the remaining ten stitches until you have joined and bound off all.

This photo generated an awkwardly hilarious Facebook thread. I have strange friends.


Legs and arms:
Pick up 22 stitches from around the hole of the arm or leg.
Knit in the round for 12 rows.
Bind off.

Repeat this on the other leg and arm holes.

Stuff the animal with filler of your choice before closing the arm and leg holes.

To close the arms and legs:
On the bottom of the leg or arm, pick up 8 stitches and knit them across.
Turn. Slip the first stitch, Purl 5, p2tog; insert a crochet hook into another loop on the side of the arm and pull another stitch through to make the stitch count back to 8.
Turn. Slip the first stitch, knit 5, k2tog, insert a crochet hook into another loop on the side of the arm and pull another stitch through to make the stitch count back to 8. 




Repeat 4 times, until you have 8 rows. You should have 8 loops remaining on the top of your arm or leg. If you need to, you can use the same loop twice in order to fully close the gap and not have excess puckering.
Instead of slipping the first stitch, P2tog, p4, p2tog. (6)
Pick up a stitch from the leg or arm, knit it together with a stitch from your needle.
Pick up a second stitch from the leg or arm, knit it together with a stitch from your needle, and then pull the first stitch over the second stitch in order to bind off. Repeat this across the top of the arm or leg hole until completely closed.





Once the arms and legs are closed you can now determine whether you are going to be making a bear, a cat, a bunny or something else! I chose to make a cat (or rather, my daughter chose), but you can easily modify the length and shape of the nose, ears and tail to make a different kind of animal.

For the cat’s nose:
Pick up 16 stitches from the front of the face, in an oval shape to knit in the round.
Knit 4 rows.
K2tog 8 times, to make 8 stitches.
Knit 1 row.
K2tog 4 times to make 4 stitches.
Stuff with filler before knitting 2tog for the remaining stitches until you are down to one. Secure your final stitch with a slip knot and pull the loose tail of yarn through the inside of the head and out through the back of the neck, using a crochet hook. Pull all loose threads through the and out through the back of the neck.
Use a tapestry needle to pull a piece of yarn taught down the middle of the nose, forming the cheeks. This resembles a butt shape. Next use the tapestry needle and yarn color of your choice to sew the nose and eyes, using a satin embroidery stitch. Use black yarn to make the whiskers.

To make the cats ears:
from the right, pick up 10 stitches on the top of the head, where you want your right ear to be placed. Use your alternate color and make sure your knit stitches are facing the front. Knit and purl to make 5 rows.
P2tog, p6, p2tog
K2tog, k4, k2tog
P2tog, p2, p2tog
K2tog, k2tog
P2tog, pull through and secure tail end.

Turn the cat around and this process behind the cat's ear, using your main body color and keeping your knit stitches facing the back of your cat. You will tie off the tail ends on the inside of the two ear flaps, and use a tapestry needle to sew them together. This will make the cats ears stand up.


To make the cats tail:
Pick up 12 stitches
Join and knit in the round for 20 rows, or until your tail is as long as you’d like.

Knit a collar:
Whether you’re making a bear or a cat, a bunny or a puppy, you’re going to need to hide the tail ends that you weaved into the back of the neck. I knitted a collar, but you can use a ribbon or strip of fabric.
CO six stitches.
S1, K5 (Slip the first stitch, knit 5)
S1, P5 (slip the first stitch, purl 5)
repeat for approximately 30 rows.

Sew onto the animal to cover any knots.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Multi-Purpose Counter Top Pads

I made a set of these a while back and I have to tell you that I highly recommend having a set of them in every household!

These awesome counter top pads pull triple duty, as was my intent when I made them. They are potholders, but with the cotton woven front and terry-cloth backing, they are handy to wipe up those little kitchen spills or quickly wipe a rinsed dish. They are also decorative, and can be kept out on the countertop without looking out of place.

I will warn you, the lotus flower knitting stitch is not for the faint of heart or the beginner knitter. But you can substitute a different stitch if needed, just make sure that it's bulky enough to create a thickly woven cover for your pads.

To make this project (set of four), you will need:
4 thick terrycloth wash clothes
4 skeins of cotton yarn (I prefer Peaches & Cream)
5.5 yards of cotton trim fabric - 2" wide
Size 5 knitting needles
Needle and Thread

To see how the Lotus Flower stitch is made, there is a great tutorial and video about it on this webpage: How to Knit the Lotus Flower Stitch.

To make the top cover for your pad:
CO 77 stitches.
*Remember that your first two stitches on each row will be knitted, so that you will get a stockinet border on either side.
Row 1: Knit 2, Purl 73, Knit 2
Row 2: Knit 2, P1, *p5togm5, p1; rep from * to the last two stitches, Knit 2.
Row 3: Knit 2, Purl 73, Knit 2 .
Row 4: Knit 2, P3togm3, p1, *p5togm5, p1; rep from * to last 5 sts, p3togm3, Knit 2.

Repeat these four rows until your pad is approximately 12 inches in length - or a square.
Fold your cotton trim in half lengthwise and press it. Fold in the edges of your terrycloth washcloth and lay pin your woven cover to it with your trim sandwiched in between. Sew it down and that's all there is to it! Make them for yourself or as a lovely gift!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A New Year, A New Project!

I decided that 2014 is going to be a relaxing year. I'm going to make that happen. Because I'm in complete control of my universe and when I say I'm taking it easy this year, it's set in stone. SO. I'm lining up a soothing, easy project that may well carry me all the way to December... are you laughing? If you know me, probably! 'Cause you know, the taking it easy thing really isn't me.

Ok, no more fooling, let me tell you what I'm really up to! In 1999, I made a set of four stockings and a count-down-to-Christmas calendar for my family. Each stocking is navy blue cotton with faux applique scenes depicted out of scraps of fabric that I used some sort of iron on adhesive to affix, and then I used silver glitter fabric paint to go around the edges. When the subsequent children were born in '06 and '07, I made them new ones to match.


 
To be perfectly honest, I hated these stockings almost immediately after I made them. They're garish and ugly and at this point, I can do WAY better! I'm almost embarrassed year after year to pull these out of storage and hang them up. Of course, my husband who has a very strange idea of sentiment and gets attached to all of the wrong things fights each year to keep them. Right now, a week after Christmas, he could give two shits about them or the calendar or anything related to holidays. I'm starting new stockings and a calendar now, so when the Thanksgiving turkey is slowly churning in our bellies in November, I will a have a stronger argument than his for retiring these atrocious things to the attic forever. I mean, babe, I've worked ALL year on these new stockings! We'll see how well that goes...
Here's my plan for the new calendar. I'm really big into celebrating the origins of Christmas (aka Yule), particularly focusing on the pagan aspect, in December. Odin was only one of the forbearers to modern Santa. There's also St. Nick (he was a real saint), Sinter Klaus... Ok Google that shit because I don't really feel up to explaining it all.

Odin, who in MY portrayal is modeled after Gandalf (because Gandalf is f'ing awesome and needs to be hung in every home for Christmas!), is set among a moon lit sky on a tree lined mountain slope. The moonlit sky is very important as it is indicative of the winter hunt. It's all relevant in pagan/Yule lore.
So I photoshopped Gandalf from a scene in the movie "Lord of the Rings" into two separate images I found that had the sky and ground backgrounds I wanted. When I had everything jiving just the right way, I opened the image in Window's paint and saved it as 256 bitmap. That degrades the colors to give me an easy to follow map.
 
 

 
 
 
At this point, it was pretty simple to trace this out onto paper and then onto a piece of white cotton muslin. I put the fabric into an embroidery hoop, took the image to the sewing shop to buy the appropriate colors of embroidery floss, and am filling in the entire image with tiny stitches as if I'm doing a paint by number. This technique works extremely well for making heirloom products (such as family portraits onto pillows), or making custom patches or badges, as I show you HERE.
 
 
I have been wanting to do a large tapestry in this medium for a very long time, and now I have a great reason! So, here is the start:
 
 
 
The finished tapestry will be 11" x 14" and will be sewn as a panel onto a new count-down-to-Christmas calendar. If you're wondering what I mean by that, picture a piece of fabric with pockets numbered 1 to 25 and an object that is moved from one pocket to the next, each day in December. The numbered pockets will also be embroidered and I'm planning to use high-end fabrics for this project as I'm expecting these to last my family for another 15 years, if not longer. They may last until I'm an old lady. My family may fight over my dead body for them... or maybe not! It's going to be a fun project though and it will give me a reason to sit on my ass and watch trashy television, which I'm expecting to do a whole lot of this year.

Oh! And I'll keep you posted on progress. If you have any questions, shoot 'em in the comments.