Posts

No Sew Mitred Square Blanket and the point of knitting!

Image
No Sew Mitred Square Blanket This was one of those projects that made me consider why I knit. I don't need a blanket. I spend most of my time overheating, especially at night so actually a blanket is probably the last thing I need. I did have a huge amount of fibre from my Mum's stash, which prompted the idea.  A small selection from mine and Mum's stash! I'm finding spinning very soothing at the moment, with all the crazy going on. But why a blanket? I love to knit mitred squares. They way they get smaller as you make them, the look of the stripes as they form that distinctive V. I made a jacket a couple of years ago, well more of a coat really, with the huge amount of 4ply yarns I have. That started life as a blanket, but morphed into a coat as I was working it.  Me in my Mitred Square Coat I wanted something simple to work, and no sewing, and mindless, hence the blanket. Who knows, maybe next year it will be cold enough to use it. This project did it's job though

Forest Bathing

Image
I recently came across the phrase Forset Bathing. My initial reaction was unrepeatable here, and frankly rude. If my mother was around to hear my language..... Then there was a lovely piece in Country File a couple of weeks ago about Forset Bathing and I thought, 'but I've been doing that all my life!' So, what is forest bathing? This definitition from Forestry England says it best. 'This Japanese practice is a process of relaxation; known in Japan as shinrin yoko. The simple method of being calm and quiet amongst the trees, observing nature around you whilst breathing deeply can hekp both adults and children de-stress and boost health and wellbeing in a natural way.'  I love being in forests. The birdsong and the wind in the leaves helps to distract me from my tinnitus. The cruch of leaves under foot and the splash of the odd puddle never fails to lift my spirits. My son laughs at me as I spend plently of time with my hands on the trunk of a tree just feeling the

Sloppy Christmas Jumper

Image
Every year I make myself a Christmas jumper. I don't mean it has reindeer or snowmen on the front, or a nice nativity scene with the baby Jesus lying in a manger plastered across my stomach. It's a jumper I begin on Christmas day. I rarely get to knit something for myself. Mostly I'm knitting samples, designing new things, or knitting socks for my sock hungry family ( we're funding research into where the second sock goes after you wash it). At Christmas I rebel. I take time to plan what I want, to research the yarn and pattern, to think about the style of garment I'd like and what I'm going to use it for (walking jumper, mooching about jumper, gardening jumper etc). I organise my stash in the hope that I can use the yarn from it (never happens of course, I'm saving my stash for the apocolypse. Not this one, the real one, where there are zombies and all the yarn shops have already been looted).  This year I decided to use the fibre I'd inhereted from my

Shirtlace or Dorset button?

Image
I had an interesting Facebook exchange with someone yesterday regarding some new thread buttons I've been teaching myself to make. These buttons are called shirtlace buttons, also known as zwirnkopfe, which means thread button. They are often mistaken for Dorset buttons, because they're hand stitched around a ring, but they are made differently and from a not from Dorset. I thought it might be a good idea to try and explain the difference here.  Dorset buttons are made by stitching in a blanket stitch around a ring (casting), turning the ridge around the edge into the middle (slicking), wrapping the thread around the ring to form spokes (laying), and then stitching in a back stitch over the spokes to form the inside pattern. Dorset buttons were made all over East Dorset, and sent all over the world. They were started by Abraham Case in 1622 and were an industry until 1851.  I know very little about the history of Shirtlace buttons, other than they were made in Germany, Austria

Christmas Decorations

Image
These were great fun to knit. You can choose any of the charts for either side of the decoration. They are knitted in the round using stranded colourwork techniques. Skills involved are provisional cast on, working with 2 colours in the same line (stranded colourwork), magic loop or small circumference knitting in the round, three needle cast off.  It takes one  Beaker Button Christmas Baby skein set to make two ornaments. I worked one chart on each side. Tension: 13 sts x 18 rows over 5cm x 5cm  knitted in the round, 40m mini skein in green, red and white will make both ornaments, spare needle for 3 needle cast off, yarn needle for sewing in ends, 10g of stuffing, waste yarn. I used 3mm x 80cm circular needles for this project and the magic loop method of knitting small circumferences in the round. Yarn A was the colour red or green, yarn B was the white. Cast on 62 stitches using a provisional cast on. Join to knit in the round being careful not to twist. Work in stotcking stitch fo

Crinkle Head Band

Image
 Another of the patterns from the Ideas Gallery of Dorset Button Inspirations. Crinkle head band   4ply, 3.5mm hook, 3 x 18mm buttons Tension Fdc for the circumference of your head (my head is ..... cm and I made 80 fdc) 1 ch, dc into bl only of each st Repeat last row 19 times in total (20 rows including foundation row). Do not break yarn. Turn the work 90 degrees Button band is continued from the end of the headband 1 ch, 21 dc across the end of the headband. 1 ch, 21 dc into bl only Repeat last row 1ch, 2 dc, [1 ch, miss next st, 3 dc into bl only] x 4, 1 ch, miss next st, 2 dc into bl only 1 ch, 2 dc into bl only, [1 dc into ch sp, 3 dc into bl only] x 4, 1 dc into ch sp, 2 dc into bl only. 1 ch, 21 dc into bl only Repeat last row Fasten off and weave in tails Stitch buttons opposite gaps between button band and headband.

I Cord Anklet

Image
This was one of the ideas in the Ideas Gallery of my new book Dorset Button Inspirations . It works up very quickly and would make fabulous Christmas presents. Just saying. I-cord Anklet 4ply yarn, 2 x 3mm double pointed needles, 25mm Dorset button, safety pin. Cast on 4 stitchess Slide the stitches to the opposite end of the needle and knit the row. Repeat the last row until the I-cord wraps around your ankle twice. Put 2 stitches onto a safety pin and work the other 2 stitches as a tiny I-cord until it's 4cm long.  Graft the stitches together with the 2 stitches on the safety pin Stitch the Dorset button onto the opposite end of the I-cord Wrap the I-cord around your ankle (or around your neck if your prefer) and do up with the loop over the button.