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candy

Kelp scarf – available as a free Ravelry download – or on our website soon.

There is something so wonderfully rewarding about this Splendour yarn.  I know I should be putting it down and moving onto other things – but possibilities keep popping up and before I know it I’m halfway through another project.

Rosette Coathanger –  Available as a free download on Ravelry or on our website soon.

The coathanger thing came on suddenly – was enormously tactile and I think I might just have to make a set of these for my own wardrobe.  Don’t you think they might also be the perfect gift for someone who has everything?  As soft as cashmere but much cheaper and made by you.

Send me one?

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sorry – that was corny wasn’t it.

but just look at it!  And you know, it’s the simplest stitch ever, and the perfect foil for a plain scarf in magnificent Splendour – one of the new Lincraft yarns which is just hitting the stores now.

Cast on 40 stitches on 5.5mm needles to begin.

Then carry on in Bee stitch for the entire scarf – which I’m anticipating will be 3 balls for a big long snuggly scarf – but to be honest I havn’t finished yet, and you know how it is with scarves – sometimes you just have to keep going.  At the moment I am one ball through and it is 50cm long.

Bee stitch gives a honeycomb looking texture with a tiny variation on garter stitch.  So if you can knit you are going to have no problems with this one.

Row 1, Knit 2 stitches, then knit into the stitch below like this:

Just like that – into the loop below.  Then knit the next stitch and knit below. – just 2 stitches for that row, over and over.

Knit the next row.

Knit 1 stitch, then knit into the loop below and repeat, knit 1, Knit 1 below for the rest of the row. – see, easy!

Knit the next row.

So Bee stitch is effectively just knitting over a 3 row pattern, the only difference between rows 1 and 3 being that you knit 1 or knit 2 before starting which gives you a staggered honeycomb instead of a rib.

To keep track of that I made a tag (because I’m easily distracted) with 1 on one side and 2 on the other.  I also put the words ‘to start’ on the 2 side.  I did this because I finish on the 1 side when I am going to be walking away from it, and I can then remember to start on the 2 side.  When I start a row 1 I flip it over to the 1, when I start a 2 I flip it over to the 2.

Splendour is a yarn that changes colour, giving you beautiful gradient striping.  When joining one ball to the next, make sure your yarns are matching to keep the colour sweeping the right way.

I join my yarn like this:

 

 

 

tease out the ends

and with damp hands twist then together, rubbing slightly as you twist to keep the fibres in place.  Then start knitting again, being gentle as you pass the twisted section.  It will hold.

Give it a try with Splendour – the colours are just gorgeous.

 

There’s a lot of reasons why you’d want to take photographs of your craft.

Perhaps you blog?  Perhaps you want to sell your objects?  Perhaps you want to share them with others on Flickr, or just have a record of what you did.

Setting up a home studio is easier than you might expect.  All you need is a digital camera and a large sheet of white paper or card.  If you choose a different colour than white this will still work, but the light won’t bounce as neatly off your object.

My ‘studio’

Professional photographers use giant rolls of paper that are clipped to a wall and sweep gently under the subject to remove corners that can be a visual distraction.  You can do that at home by finding a well lit corner, with a wall behind a flat surface.  At home, I found the best place was on top of my stove.  Make sure the top and bottom are secured with tape or weighted down (out of the camera view) so that your arrangement will stay still – nothing worse than a sliding subject.

Notice that behind my sheet of paper I have put some white board?  That’s because my ‘wall’ was an object and you could see the light shining through the paper.

This photo was taken without the ‘wall’ behind.  You can see the light and shadows in the background are too distracting.

I would recommend not using a flash.  Flashes tend to give too much contrast – natural light is always better, and if you are taking a shot with overhead light and the shadows are too obvious, try bringing another table lamp (or two) just out of shot to reduce the shadows.

So that’s it!  Get snapping. 🙂

heart felt

Apologies for the absence – I have had holidays and been frantically preparing for new books that are coming out.  One is particular is very exciting to me – all craft, all modern and all very easy to achieve.

One of the projects in the book is the card above – which will be perfect for valentines day (I hope my beloved is not reading) or a cute wedding or engagement card.

Lincraft sells cards with window cutouts that are fantastically easy to customise for a professional and unique result with very little effort.

To make the card above you will need one of these window cutout cards, a sheet of decorative paper, a sheet of sticky felt (or a felt scrap) and some glue.

Open the card out, and stick a sheet of decorative paper to one edge of the fold outs.  Stick a piece of felt underneath one heart, and then run glue around the edges to hold that sheet in place underneath your windowed edge.

That’s it.  You are done.

 

sticky christmas

I saw this and went oooooh.

I have yarn.  And sticks…

One end of a scrap of yarn attached to the base with a glue gun and then hidden by overwrapping.

Wind, and wind and wind.

That’s wiiind – not wind – we’re all good on that front.  Ahem.

(please excuse the messy charmingly cluttered office….)

And you have a small  Christmas arrangement for your desk, mantle or entrance hall.

Loving that.

The decorations are jingle bells knotted into a loop and tied onto 25cm lengths of ribbon like this.

Get sticky!

wrap

Eeek!

I know – December the 1st which means I have gone almost a month without a post.

It also means that Christmas is less than a month away, so I thought it might be timely to offer some suggestions for creative wrapping and gift tag making.

Shall we start with the tags?

I LOVE these pads for making cards and tags.  They are strong, with a bit of texture and are great for painting on (of course).

The A5 size is easy to store, and if you score one down the middle and fold it in half you have a standard sized card, or….

You can cut shapes out of them, punching a hole in one corner and make your own gift tags.

I jazzed mine up a bit more by running them through the sewing machine, which was threaded with red thread (of course) and using a variety of decorative stitches – though the straight stitch and the zig zag gave a great effect without any bother.

If you don’t want to punch a hole in the corner, you can use the leftover thread to attach it to your present (just thread those ends through a needle and stitch the card to your paper), or stick it down with sticky tape.

On to some wrapping options:

On the Lincraft website we have a free project on FuroshikiFuroshiki is an ancient Japanese method of wrapping things in fabric to carry, contain or present.  Clicking on the ‘printable version’ will bring up a PDF with folding diagrams that you can print out to help you wrap.

To start with, rip a piece of fabric roughly 70cm x 70cm to get a raw edged fabric (you could hem it if you like).  This is large enough to wrap almost anything.  FOr smaller prsents you will need a smaller piece of fabric.

Place the items in the middle of the fabric in a diamond formation.

Then fold both sides over the contents so they will not fall out.

And tie the remaining ends over the entire package.

And stitch a card onto the fabric.

Imagine a pack of fat quarters and some quilting thread wrapped up like this.  Perfect present for a quilter!

And with your leftover fabric you could make some rag ribbon, by ripping long strips to tie around your gifts.

They’re up!

12 Christmas projects to get your fingers moving and make you smile.  A long time in the planning (and making)and now they are up!

Lincraft.com.au

And with 45 days until Christmas you could start one right now and have plenty of time to enjoy.