Monday, 26 January 2015

Sleepy Sheep Mobile and a wander on the beach

It was my Mum's birthday today, so yesterday Short Round, Mum and I headed to Baiter Point in Poole for a picnic and a wander on the beach.  We're borrowing a friend's dog at the moment so she came too.  The sea and sky were very stormy so I managed to take some nice shots of the sea, and birds and shells.  I'd like to turn the shell photo into a felt picture.





This is also the last post for our mini KAL, with instructions on how to put it together.  You've probably guessed from the post title that it's a mobile.  You will need two metal hangers, 75cm ribbon and duct tape.  The pattern and instructions are below.  If you'd like a PDF of the whole pattern including instructions for the mobile it's on Ravelry here

Sleepy Sheep
©Jen Best 2015
 

    
















I used Petlake Alpaca double knit for sleepy’s body and 3.5mm straight needles.  I used black double knit Adriafil Regina for her legs and 3.5mm double pointed needles. She came out about 10cm long.  You will also need some stuffing, a small length of dark yarn for the face and a yarn needle for sewing up.


Abbreviations
MB - make bobble. Knit into the front then the back of the stitch twice (so you have 4 stitches), turn the work, purl the 4 stitches together, turn and slip the purled stitch bundle onto the right needle then continue in pattern.

K2tog - knit two together

Body
Cast on 26 sts.
Knit
Purl
K2, (MB, K3) to end
Purl
K4, (MB, K3) to last 2 sts, MB, K1
Purl
Repeat last four rows three more times.
K2tog across row
Cast off
Head
Cast on 16 sts
Starting with knit work 8 rows in stocking stitch
K2tog across row
Purl
K2tog across row
Purl
Break yarn and thread through last remaining stitches and pull tight. Sew edge seam together. Stuff the head and sew along the back seam.
Sew down the back of the body (the straight seam) and along the bottom. Stuff the body and sew the remaining neck seam (the curved seam). Sew the head to the body at the top of the neck.


Tail
Using the light thread make three loops about 1cm long at the top of the back for a tail.  Wrap the yarn round the base of the tail twice and thread the yarn through the body to fasten off.

Ears and face
Using the light thread make three loops about 1cm long at the either side of the head.  Wrap the yarn twice round the base of each ear and thread the yarn through the body to fasten off.
Using the dark thread stitch eyes, a nose and mouth in position as shown in the photo.

Legs (knit 4) in dark yarn
Cast on 4 sts onto 1 double pointed needle.
Knit an I-cord of 10 rows. 
Cast off.

Use the tail to sew the legs in place.

The Mobile
Thread 15cm strips of ribbon through the tops of each of your knitted pieces ready for tying onto the mobile.
Bend one of the heads of the hangers so it faces forwards.  Put the two hangers together so they fit one inside the other, with the head lined up.  Using small strips duct tape, tape the base of the hangers where they cross.  Duct tape the tops together.  Bend the top over so it’s more of a hook.  At this point you could wrap washi tape or pretty ribbon round the whole of the hangers to cover it.  I ran out of time.  Pinch the sides of the hangers together so they for a downward slope.  Tie the sheep and stars on opposite points on the outsie of the mobile and the moon in the middle.  Hang it somewhere bedroomy (yes that is a word, well it is now).  Well done.








Monday, 19 January 2015

Second KAL pattern and a little pudding recipe

We went to my brothers for dinner on Saturday, which was lovely.  I was tasked with bringing a pudding, so while Short Round and I were shopping in Waitrose Saturday morning I spent a goodly amount of time searching through their delicious looking puddings for something without milk in (Short Round can't do cows milk, it makes him incredibly snotty).  Of course, everything, absolutely everything, has milk in so I resorted to an old favourite that my Mum makes.  She calls it Zebra Pudding.  I substituted normal natural yogurt for Goats milk yogurt (2 large tubs) and muscovado sugar for plain soft brown sugar (2 tablespoons full).  I like runny honey in mine as well (about 3 tablespoons). To make it you pour the yogurt into a shallow dish or tray, swirl in the honey and sprinkle the sugar over the top.  Leave it in the fridge for about half an hour (it will keep longer if you want it to) and all the sugar sort of dissolves leaving stripes and swirls, hence the name Zebra Pudding.  The goats milk yogurt made the dish nicely refreshing and the honey took the sharpness off.

The second part of my mini KAL is below.  This time it's a moon pattern, to go with the star.  Last one next week.  PDF will be available on Ravelry when all the parts are done.


Crescent Moon
©Jen Best 2015

I used Petlake Alpaca double knit for this crescent moon, and 3.5mm needles. He came out about 10cm long.  You will also need some stuffing, a small length of dark yarn for the face and a yarn needle for sewing up.


Make 2. Work in stocking stitch throughout.
Cast on 9 st.
Purl
Kfb, knit to last st, Kfb
Kfb, purl to last st, Kfb
Repeat last two rows until you have 17 sts.
Kfb, knit to last st, Kfb
Purl
Repeat last two rows until you have 29 sts.
Purl
Kfb, k7, (k2tog tbl) x 3, (k2tog) x 4, knit to last stitch, Kfb
Cast off tightly.

Once you have two sides sew them together using the long tail. Leave part of one side open for
stuffing. I used an over sew stitch as it gave me nice definition on the points and edges. I tucked the
tails inside the body as I worked so I didn't need to weave them in, and they provided extra stuffing.
Stuff lightly, making sure the stuffing is distributed evenly. Over sew the stuffing gap.


Using the dark thread stitch the face on as shown in the photo.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Starry night and a free Twinkle star pattern (start of a mini KAL)

This week my boys and I went on a little adventure.  It started when I was checking my Twitter feed as I was lying in the bath (like you do) and I spotted a post about the Lovejoy comet that's passing Earth at the moment.  Being a bit of a night sky freak (bet you didn't know that about me did you?) I sloshed out of the bath, threw on some clothes, rounded up the boys and headed out to Vernham Dean with my camera and tripod.  Vernham is the nearest place I could think of with dark enough skies.  We didn't manage to see the comet but I did get a nice shot of the Plough.  On the way home to hot chocolate I was thinking about my blog and what I wanted to do this week and I came up with the idea of making a night time mobile with stars, a moon and sheep (to help you sleep obviously).  This weeks free pattern is for a star.  He's called Twinkle (I wanted to call him Burt but I was told it wasn't appropriate) and he's waiting for you below.  Once all the KAL patterns are published I'll be adding this to Ravelry for those of you that like a PDF version.



Twinkle Little Star
©Jen Best 2015
  

I used Petlake Alpaca double knit for this star, and 3.5mm needles. He came out about 10cm across.  You will also need some stuffing, a small length of dark yarn for the face and a yarn needle for sewing up.

Abbreviations
CDD - central double decrease. Insert the needle into 2 stitches as if to knit 2 together and slip them onto the right needle, knit the next stitch, pass the slipped stitches over the knitted stitch
K2tog tbl - knit 2 together through the back loop
K2tog - knit 2 together
m1r - make one stitch right. With the left needle pick up the bar between the stitches from behind. Knit into the front of the stitch
m1l - make one left. With the left needle pick up the bar between the stitches from in front. Knit into the back of the stitch.


Make 2 sides. Work in stocking stitch throughout.
Main body (Pentagon)
Cast on 11 sts.
Work 4 rows in stocking stitch.
K1, m1r, knit to last stitch, m1l, K1.
Work 3 rows starting with purl.
K1, m1r, knit to last stitch, m1l, K1.
Work 3 rows starting with purl.
K2tog tbl, knit to last 2 sts, K2tog
P2tog, purl to last 2 sts, pass the left stitch on the left needle over the right stitch on the left needle (decrease 1 st), P1.
Repeat last two rows until there are 3 sts left.
CDD
Turn the work and work the points following the point pattern below. For the first point you will only need to pick up 10 sts, not 11 as you have 1 stitch on the needle already.

Point pattern
With the wrong side facing pick up and purl 11 stitches across a side.
K2tog tbl, knit to last 2 sts, K2tog
Purl
Repeat last two rows until you have 3 sts left.
Purl
CDD

Fasten off last stitch. On one point leave a very long tail for sewing bodies together. You only need this tail on one side.
Once you have two sides sew them together using the long tail. Leave one side open for stuffing. I used an over sew stitch as it gave me nice definition on the points and edges. I tucked the tails inside
the body as I worked so I didn't need to weave them in, and they provided extra stuffing. Stuff lightly,
making sure the stuffing is distributed evenly. Over sew the last side.

Using the dark thread stitch the face on as shown in the photo.





Monday, 5 January 2015

Lurgy, Big Plans and free mittens pattern

I've got lurgy today. I haven't felt this unwell for years so it's a bit of a cheat post this week.  I've been rearranging the shop so I have a working and dyeing area. Somewhere to design and write my third book (knitting patterns this time, with Dorset buttons of course), to dye yarn including our new Mini Skein club, and to build my button kit wholesale empire. So here's the cheat bit. I haven't had time to write up the granny square pattern I'd planned for this post. This is a fingerless mittens pattern I wrote a little while ago instead. It can be downloaded as a PDF from Ravelry here.


Stripy Knitcol Mitts
Abbreviations below
Tension: 5cm x 5cm square = 9 sts x 13 rows in stocking stitch, Size 4m needles or appropriate size to achieve the correct tension, yarn needle for sewing up. 50g Knitcol or similar DK weight yarn.
1 size fits most.

Left glove
Cast on 34 sts
Row 1: *K 2, P 2* repeat last 2 sts, K2
Row 2: *P 2, K 2* repeat to last 2 sts, P2
These rows form a 2 x 2 rib.
Continue in this rib for 5cm (or desired cuff length) ending on a wrong side row
Stocking stitch for 10 rows starting with a knit row.
Thumb: K14, pm, M1, K1, M1, pm, knit to end
Stocking stitch for 3 rows, slipping markers as you go so they remain marking the increase for the thumb.
Next row: K14, slip marker, M1, knit to next marker, M1, slip marker, knit to end.
Repeat the last four rows (stocking stitch for 3 rows and then the increase row) until there are 9 stitches between markers.
Purl next row.
On the next right side row knit to 2nd marker, turn and BL cast on 2 st, purl to the other marker, turn and BL cast on 2 sts, 13 sts in total.
Work 9 rows (or desired length for thumb) using these 13 stitches in stocking stitch.
Cast off and leave a long tail.  Use long tail to sew thumb together, weaving in ends and sewing up holes.
Pick up and knit 4 stitches across thumb, pattern to end of row. Continue in stocking stitch across the whole row and for 8 more rows.
Rib 2 x 2 for 6 rows, K2tog across first row of rib
Cast off in rib, leaving a long tail.  Use tail to stitch side of mitten together and weave in ends, sewing up any holes.

Right glove
Follow pattern for left glove up to thumb.
Thumb: K19, pm, M1, K1, M1, pm, knit to end
Stocking stitch for 3 rows, slipping markers as you go so they remain marking the increase for the thumb.
Next row: K19, slip marker, M1, knit to next marker, M1, slip marker, knit to end.
Repeat the last four rows (stocking stitch for 3 rows and then the increase row) until there are 9 stitches between markers.
Purl next row.
On the next right side row knit to 2nd marker, turn and BL cast on 2 st, purl to the other marker, turn and BL cast on 2 sts, 13 sts in total.
Work 9 rows (or desired length for thumb) using these 13 stitches in stocking stitch.
Cast off and leave a long tail.  Use long tail to sew thumb together, weaving in ends and sewing up holes.
Pick up and purl 4 stitches across thumb, pattern to end.
Continue in stocking stitch across the whole row and for 8 more rows. Rib 2 x 2 for 6 rows, K2tog across first row of rib.
Cast off in rib, leaving a long tail.  Use tail to stitch side of mitten together and weave in ends, sewing up any holes.

Abbreviations 
M 1 – pick up bar between stitches and knit   into it  
pm – place marker 
BL cast on - backwards loop cast on.  With the working needle in your right hand and the yarn in your left, wrap the yarn round your left thumb anti-clockwise from top to bottom creating a loop.  Insert the needle as if to knit and withdraw the thumb.  This makes 1 stitch. 

©Copyright Jen Best 2014