28 July 2014

Craftspeople in metal pods!

What would it be like to have your workshop in a glass-fronted metal container by the sea?

WONDERFUL! But just that I came across in my evening walk in Bangor, Northern Ireland.

Each brightly coloured cubicle has two workshops. The occupants represent different kinds of arts and crafts, from paper craft to loom weaving and ceramics and fine art to sewing and working with yarn. Each one is in their own workshop in full view of the passers by!

Earlier, in the late 80s and early 90s I worked in crafts in Northern Ireland. Who knows what the future will bring!

Here is what you see opposite the site. Not a bad view from your work place :)

31 May 2014

Bamboo hat with pattern for newborn

One of my daughters just had her first child, a baby boy! Here in Finland each new mother get this pack full of baby clothes and items, from the social security. It includes a boring white hat that all mums seem to wear on their babies.  I thought of making a nicer one if you really think that a newborn should wear a hat, often even inside. I didn't but then I didn't bring my children up in Finland until they were much older!
(Here's a link to the hat in question: www.kela.fi/documents/10180/1525732/2014_Myssy/97eac646-59a9-4bc9-b722-82025f689aed?t=1392382842129 )

You can also download the pattern free in PDF format from Ravelry

The hat consists of three pieces + i-cord ties, using soft bamboo yarn.
Size: newborn- to 2 months

What you need

  • Less than one ball of Hjertegarn Blend Bamboo (or similar, 50g=150m / 1.76 oz=164 yards )
  • Knitting needles size 3.0 mm  (I used double pointed needles) US size 2 or 3, to achieve gauge.


10cm / 4in = 22 sts and 30 rows


st/sts = stitch/stitches
k = knit
p = purl
yo = yarn over
RS = right side of work
WS = wrong side of work
k2tog = knit 2 stitches together (=right-slanting decrease)
[sl1, k1, psso] = Slip one stitch, knit the next, pass the slipped stitch over the knit one.
     (=left -slanting decrease)
1+1 = add 1 stitch in the middle of row
In adding stitches in the middle of the row I have used this method: Knit 1 stitch, leave stitch on needle, knit the stitch below the one on the needle (row below). Drop both stitches off the working needle at the same time. - Or you can knit the stitch twice to increase, first the front of the stitch, then the back)
Stockinette = knit on the right side, purl on the wrong side of work
cdd = Centered double decrease (Slip one stitch, knit the next 2 stitches together, pass the slipped   stitch over the knit one)

I have knitted/purled the 1st stitch of each row instead of slipping it, in order to achieve a smooth finish after pieces are sewn together.

Middle piece

Cast on 14 sts.
2 rows ribbing k1-p1
10 rows of stockinette
Next row: k6, 1+1, k7
6  rows of stockinette
Next row: k7, 1+1, k7
6  rows of stockinette
Next row: k8, 1+1, k7
6  rows of stockinette
Next row: k8, 1+1, k8
Continue in stockinette until the piece is 23 cm (9 in) long.
2 rows ribbing k1-p1
Cast off.

Side piece

Make 2 pieces.

The part that goes over the ear is shaped by decreasing in the middle of a row and using short rows. In short rows make a yarn-over in the beginning of row after turning. On the next row you knit the yarn-over together with the stitch after it. This creates a tidy short row without holes at the turning point.

Cast on 32 sts.
Rows 1-2: ribbing k1 - p1
Row 3: k
Row 4: p
Row 5: k14, cdd, k15
Row 6: p
Row 7: k13, cdd, k7, turn work (short row)
Row 8: yo, p15, turn work (short row)

Row 9: yo, k6, cdd, k6, k yo together with next st, k6
Row 10: p until yo, p yo together with next st, p to end of row
Row 11: k11, cdd, k3, turn work (short row)
Row 12: yo, p7, turn work (short row)
Row 13: yo, k to yo, k yo together with next st, k to end of row
Row 14: p to yo, p yo together with next st, p to end of row

24 sts left. 8 rows stockinette (3 cm /1.2 in).

Next RS row: k2, [sl1, k1, psso], k16, k2tog, k2
3 rows of stockinette
Next RS row: k2, [sl1, k1, psso], k14, k2tog, k2
3 rows of stockinette
Next RS row: k2, [sl1, k1, psso], [sl1, k1, psso] k8,  k2tog, k2tog, k2 (16 sts left)
3 rows of stockinette
Next RS row: k2, [sl1, k1, psso], [sl1, k1, psso], k4, k2tog, k2tog, k2 (12 sts left)
p 1 WS row
Next row: k2, [sl1, k1, psso], [sl1, k1, psso], k2tog, k2tog, k2 (8 sts left)

Cast off the rest 8 sts.

Make the other side piece the same.


2 I-cords on 3 sts, length 18 cm (7 in).
If you are not familiar with making i-cord, please search on Youtube, lots of good videos.


Block pieces before sewing. Wet through, shape and let dry. Sew together from the inside with small stitshes. Sew on ties. After sewing wet seams and let dry.

13 April 2014

Nappy cake for surprise baby shower

Daughter number 2 is 36 weeks pregnant. Surprising we managed to organise a baby shower for her without her guessing anything!

I only ever heard about nappy cakes (diaper cakes) a few months ago. Daughter number 3 wanted us to make one for the baby shower. We googled for ideas and instructions. It was fun! Surprising how many nappies it took, 2½ packets of size 2.

Started by rolling up the nappies and attaching with elastic bands.

There needs to be something in the middle that the nappies go around. We had seen photos of bottles being used for that. But I took a cardboard roll that had been in the centre of a roll of fabric. We attached baby grows around it. You could put all sorts of baby things in the middle of the cake.

Each row of nappies needs to be tied securely. We first put an elastic band and slipped the nappies inside it. When the row was finished, we tied it with a cord at two different places.

We ended up with 4 layers. The top layer only contains one row of nappies and there are no baby grows there anymore to pad it.

To finish we put a teddy bear at the top of the cake. The poor teddy didn't stay there until I stuck a metal knitting needle into him!

The tying cords are covered with ribbons and bows, whatever you come up with. The baby to be born is a boy so we had blue ribbons. We also used tiny socks and a pair of baby shoes to decorate the cake.

We wanted one of the layers have a different decoration. I sewed a pompom ribbon on white fabric.

The bottom part of the finished cake:

Part of the programme at the baby shower was a guessing game: when will the baby be born and what size will he be.  I just hope he won't be as late as his mum who was born 19 days late!

22 February 2014

Baby booties with instructions

This is a translation of my own Finnish blog post 2½ years ago.

I have been testing different ways of making baby booties. This type is quick to knit and easy to create different looking booties.

This pair is in my favourite colours, in shades of pink and lilac.

I have looked at different patterns for making booties to come up what I find nice-looking and quick to make.

You begin knitting in the middle of the sole. The bootie can be knitted entirely on two needles and sewn together at the end, or you can take double pointed needles and knit the cuff on the round. I like doing it that way.

Yarn:  I have used Gjästal Maija or Novita Nalle - any yarn that is about 130 m/50 g (142 yd/1.75 oz) (Doubleknitting weight)
Knitting needles 3,5 mm (US size 4)
Gauge: 21s = 10cm (4 in)
The finished lenght of the sole is 9 cm (3½  in).

The pattern is for this bootie, the other photos here have some things added to them:


st/sts = stitch/stitches
k = knit
p = purl
Stockinette = Knit on the right side of work, purl on the wrong side
Garter stitch: knit both on the right and wrong sides
p2tog = purl 2 stitches together
yo = yarn over
k2tog = knit 2 stitches together (=right-slanting decrease)
[sl1, k1, psso] = Slip one stitch, knit the next, pass the slipped stitch over the knit one.  (=left-slanting decrease)

Increasing: knit the same stitch twice, first the front side of the stitch, then the back side.


Made in garter stitch.
Cast on 30 sts.

Row 1: Increase by knitting 1st st twice, k 13, k next 2 sts twice, k 13, k last st twice (you have 34 sts)
Rows 2-3: knit (garter st)
Row 4: Knit 1st st twice, k 15, knit next 2 sts twice,  k 15, knit last st twice (you have 38 sts)
Rows 5-6 krs: Knit (garter st)
7. krs:  Knit 1st st twice, k 17, knit next 2 sts twice,  k 17, knit last st twice (you have 42 sts)
8. krs: Knit

Picot edging

Change to different colour yarn.

Row 1: Purl
Row 2: Knit
Row 3: *p2tog, yo*, repeat from *  to * until 2 sts left. Purl them together.
Row 4: Knit
Row 5: Purl
Row 6: Fold work at eyelet row. Pick up the first loop of  first row on different colour and knit together with working stitch. Repeat to end of row..

Alternately, if you find it difficult to pick stitches and knit them together, you can sew the picot edging afterwards.

This photo below shows the finished sole and half of the picot edging has been done.

Side of foot

After finishing th epicot edge knit stockinette for 8 rows.

Top of foot (decreases that make the form of the foot part)

1. krs: k 23 , [sl1, k1, psso] , turn work (to go back without finishing the row)
2. krs: p 6, p2tog, turn work.
3.krs: k 6,  [sl1, k1, psso] , turn work.
Continue the same way until 12 sts left on both sides of the centre part with decreases (31 sts altogether). Purl last decrease row to end of row without turning.
2 more rows of stockinette.

Photo below: Decreases of the top of the foot partly done.


Ribbing: k1 p1 for 14 rows. Bind off sts.

(If you make the cuff on the round, increase 1 st before starting cuff to get even number of sts for ribbing.)

Here the finished piece before sewing the back together:

Sew up a seam for the sole and back. Use threads left from the knitting if they are long enough.

If you prefer, you can knit the cuff part in the round on double pointed needles. I do it this way.

The green and white bootie is a variation of the same pattern. The side of the foot is in garter stitch and the top of the foot is ribbing. I made a separate piece for the strap and sewed it on. It is 12 stitches and 3 rows.

15 February 2014

Mittens in Tunisian crochet

I wanted some patterning in my new mittens but without having to change colours. Here I have the same two yarns all the time, the design comes from alternating plain tunisian crochet and the honeycomb stitch. I made up the design while working.

I love wearing mittens in Tunisian crochet, they are so firm and warm. The yarn is Viking Ville and Gjestal Maija, 75% wool 25% polyester for strength.

This was the first time I used two kinds of stitches together, so you will find some errors!

A good size thumb gore is even more important in crocheted mittens than in knitted ones because Tunisian crochet is quite stiff.

12 January 2014

Sweater for chihuahua

My daughter's dog Benjamin came to stay with me over the weekend. No clothes with him, and we got the first proper frost of the winter. So I decided to make a sweater for him in a hurry - such a tiny dog needs something to keep him warm in the snow! I used wool yarn for warmth.

Benjamin hates fitting clothes on, as you can see in his expressions! But since I had no pattern and anyway every dog is a different size, I had to try it on him.

I used 3 different yarns, just to use up some of my stash.Knitting needles size 4.0 mm.

First I made 3 separate strips, each 10 stitches wide. The length is from the collar to the start of the tail. I crocheted them together from the right side. I picked stitches from the neck on to double pointed needles and cast on more to have 48 stitches to knit the collar.

The collar is 5 cm long (2 in).

Then I picked stitches from the start of the collar to make the bit for the dog's chest. You also need holes for the legs. For a female dog the bit under the tummy can be much longer!

Added short "stockings" for the front legs and the yellow border so that the grey and brown strips won't curl. Finally, small loops to fit around the hind legs so the back stays in place.

5 January 2014

Lace in 1939 magazine

I found a women's magazine from the year 1939 among Mum's things. In many ways it felt sad to read it as it had been printed a short time before the war started also in Finland. So many hard years were ahead.

There was an article about different kinds on lace. I especially liked the one in the photo. The photo is not sharp, I tried many different ways to sharpen it but the original simply is what printing was at that time. Someone said it might be bobbin lace but it looks crochet to me. There aren't any kind of instructions or chart. Here my first try to make one like it:

To make one like in the photo you would need very thin crochet thread and a small hook. I used wool and a crochet hook 3.0 mm, so the result is a circle of  22 cm (8½ in).

It took a while to work out the order of the different parts! You could get the same result in many different ways, I'm sure.

 I didn't want the petals (or leaves) so tightly together. But by not adding the chain stitch between each double treble it would be tighter.

We'll see if I end up making something using this pattern design!

3 January 2014

Collage of 2013 projects

I have a folder on my computer called Craftblog 2013. Here a compilation os some of projects.

Top row: Crochet scarf, Heart of fabric strips, Knit graffiti event
Middle row: Multi-coloured summer top, Crazy wool-technique, Stitch markers
Bottom row: Bling-bling socks, Child's legwarmers, Multi-coloured summer top

Top row: Freeform scarfChristmas tree bauble of Christmas fabrics, Cabled socks
Middle row: Corchet mini-bunny, Heavy cowl with buttons, Scarf in sprang technique (photos of the technique in my Finnish blog, sorry haven't translated yet)
Bottom row: Scarf in slipstitch crochet, Short socks, Mini-socks for Christmas tree

My favourite of these all was the colourful summer top. It seems to have been a favourite for others, too, because several people stopped me to ask about it!

But it is a new year now and my wool stash is bursting! Happy knitting / crochet / craft year to all!