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Archive for the ‘Knitting’ Category

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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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the splendour of bee stitch

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.

 

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Feeling free

OK – so it’s a blatant plug, but this is my first magazine for Lincraft and I’m pretty excited by it.  You don’t know what it took to get here… and it is just so pretty!

Yep – that’s me, being all editory and everything.

Fashion, fun and hats.   I loved making the hats.

An easy to sew clutch bag.

Tips and tricks on working with feathers, so you can make your own hat for the races and have it looking professioanl.

Great vest for layering.

Hoop la!

Love this project – so easy and so practical – great for gift-wrapping too.

Artwork to try yourself, and easy enough to get the kids involved.

An easy tee-pee.  Why should boys have all the fun…

Knitted cupcakes!  Too sweet! And the hobby horses turned out beautifully.  Such a fun project.

And some links to some wonderful online resources.

It’s out now – projects are on the website:  www.lincraft.com.au.  Most exciting, and most exciting to have it printed so I can get on to the next thing.

Christmas is coming!

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Felted Zakka

Zakka is a Japanese term that loosely translated means ‘many things’ and refers to little (usually handmade) things that are practical and improve your daily life.

Here’s a quick, easy, and very tactile Zakka project that anyone can handle – A felted pincushion.

Grab some of Lincraft’s cosy wool (which felts up like a dream).  Any wool will do as long as it’s 100% wool and isn’t labelled machine washable. Cast on 30 stitches and knit for 30cm – or finish the ball if you like.  Cast off.

Throw your knitted piece into the washing machine with some soap flakes – or if you don’t mind waiting, just toss it in with each wash you do until you are happy with the amount of shrinkage and felting.  A hot wash is best, but the friction of other garments against your piece will give you some degree of felting.  This is a very forgiving project and a great introduction to felting.  If you want to experiment with putting the piece into boiling water, in the dryer or rubbing it by hand in hot water in the sink – go ahead.   Soap hastens the process and don’t forget to wear rubber gloves if you try the hand method.

When you are happy with the amount of felting you have achieved, hang it up to dry.

When dry, cut into circles (or squares), Stack them up and run a piece of embroidery thread (or wool) through the middle to hold your stack of disks together.

Variations:  Knitting stripes, or changing colours every 10 rows to give you a variety of colours to work with.  Just make sure the wool you are knitting with is natural (synthetic mixes do not felt as readily – or may not felt at all).

Zakka.  Love that word. 🙂

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Dip

Welcome to the world!

Don’t you love that.  The moment when your idea becomes physical, You can hold it in your hands, turn it around and admire it because it worked.  Beautifully.

I have been experimenting with dye.

But not “follow the instructions on the packet” kind of dying – I’m much too easily distracted for that, and I really wanted to make a piece that had a subtle variation on the depth of the wool used throughout.  Dip dyed knitting. Sort of.

Step 1:

Go get some Lincraft Luxe yarn.  It’s super chunky and knits up on size 12mm needles.  Yum. and speedy….  and 100% wool which is important for the dying process.  You can safely dye 4 balls with one packet.

Step 2:

While you are there, grab a packet of Dylon hand dye (not the machine kind) in the colour you would like to try (I used jeans blue).

Step 3:

Grab a ball of yarn and wind it around the back of a chair or some other solid item that will not move (kids and men wriggle too much for this).  Keep winding until you have the whole ball unwound and rewound into a decent loop.

Carefully lay your loop on a flat surface, and tie some yarn around the middle (to make a figure 8) several times.  You don’t want the looped yarn slipping around and getting tangled.

Repeat with other balls so you are ready to dye all of them at once.

Step 4:

Put some rubber gloves on (trust me you need them), take a bucket and pour your powdered dye into it – along with some salt & water (quantities on the pack of the packet) and stir until dissolved.

Here’s where it gets tricky (not).

Have a piece of cardboard or a discarded newspaper handy to put your balls on when you are finished while you wait for the next step.

Carfully hold your yarn in one hand by the tied section (the middle) and dip one side in the dye.  Take it out and turn it over and do the other section.  You will have a white section in the middle, which is interesting in itself, but if you would like to make the variation more subtle, put your dipped balls to one side, and add a small quantity of water to your dye to dilute it.  Then immerse your wool totally, pull it out and squeeze it and you will see colour variations. Don’t worry if you end up with some spots in places you don’t really want them – they will get lost in the final knitted piece anyway.

I did 4 balls of wool, and made each one slightly lighter than the next by adding a bit more water to each consecutive immersion.

Step 5:

Fill your laundry sink with cold water, and give your yarn bundles a good rinse.  You may need to wash them several times to remove all the excess dye, but it will not affect the colour of the yarn that much.

Step 6:

Hang on the line to dry, then wind into balls and off you go.

* Note – there will be more details on this, and the final knitted piece in a book due for release in August.

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redredgreenbluepinkwhite

Life is pretty hectic around here at the moment.  We have one yarn book just out – another in production and another in the planning.

And how I love the planning!

briefing our designer who creates the patterns, tweaking the details.  Selecting the yarns and playing with combinations before sending it out to be knitted.

Planning a garment involves so much more than creating a shape.  The natural fall of the fabric needs to be taken into consideration for fit, function and wearability, and while I’m aware that anyone picking up the book is quite possibly going to substitute another yarn, I need to suggest the best possible combination of pattern and yarn to yield the best results.

We have such a vast array of in-house yarns that I’m still getting used to them all and what they do.  I am in love with the silkplus (wool, silk, bamboo), cashmere plus (wool, soy, cashmere) and angora plus (wool, angora, bamboo).   I do love bamboo in the mix.  It gives a delicious softness and drape.

This week I’ve been mixing stripes.

And sending them out to our army of knitters to hopefully wing their way back sooner than later and save me from biting my fingernails to the quick.

Such fun!

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