29 December 2013

Freeform scarf

Freeform is one of my favourte techniques. You can mix many techniques, this is knitting and crochet. I began using freeform when I was still at school. The photo below was in a Finnish fashion and craft magazine in the late 70's. I took part in their competition.

The challenge in freeform is to create the work in such a way that the item stays flat and grows evenly. At the same time, it is easy to make corrections as they don't look like corrections! In the photo below the arrow points to a wedge that I added simply because the scarf had narrowed down.

I have used a number of different yarns but they are all wool or alpaca and of such weight that size 3.0 mm needles and hook were suitable.

More photos:

14 December 2013

Christmas tree memories

This year I bought a new Christmas tree. Here in Finland lots of people use real trees but they don't last as long as I want my tree to be up. Here many families only get the tree a couple of days before Christmas -  for me that would be loosing so much of Christmas!

Many of the decorations bring back memories. This year there are even more of those. During the year we emptied my mother's home. My sister, brother and I divided the older decorations between us.

Mother had had this decoration before she was married in 1960 and I remember it from every Christmas in my childhood.

Either myself or my sister made this basket heart in the late 60's.

This is later - part of a large bow I made when my own children were small in the late 80's. I just love Christmas prints in fabrics!

There decorations also bring back memories. In the late 80's and early 90's in Ireland crafts were my work for part of the year. I have kept some of the decorations I sold at craft fairs. I loved the atmosphere in the Irish craft fairs! The one I loved best was yearly at the Argory gentry house (not a paid ad :)!) Maybe that was because it was also the one where I sold best!

Have a lovely Christmas time!

3 December 2013

Chunky reflective child's hat

The hat will be one of the Christmas presents  for my 4-year-old granddaughter Alessia. Here in Finland we only get light for a few hours each day now, so it is important to be seen! The yarn, Coats Schachermayr Lumio, has reflective strands in it. However, it is pointed out that this alone is not enough, you need ordinary reflectors as well.

A general explanation of hats of this kind. You can use any stitch patterns, colours, fairisle, crochet etc. for a hat of this shape because it is so easy: a rectangular piece sewn or knitted together at the top. Measure the head circumference and make the piece that is as wide as the circumference measurement. Sew it together in the middle in the back as well as at the top. Add tassels, pompons or whatever. (Or you make the same shape on the round using a circular needle.)


Yarn and needles: super bulky, with knitting needles 10 mm (US 15). The yarn weight is 150 g - 75 m (5.3 oz - 82 yds).
Gauge: 8 stitches/10cm (8 stitches/4 inches). You could also make up yarn like this by knitting 2 or 3 lighter yarns at one go.

Child's size. The yarn is stretchy, fits about 3-10-year-old.

I have knitted it flat and there is a seam in the middle in the back. If you have a circular needle large enough, you can knit this in the round.

The hat is simply a rectangular piece.
Cast on 40 stitches.
Knit 1+1 rib for 6 rows. (knit 1, purl 1)
Row 7: knit
Rows 8-12: American seed stitch, British moss stitch. Knit 1, purl 1, next row purl on knit and the other way round.
Row 13: Knit
Row 14: Purl
Rows 14-24: Knit

Last row and casting off: Knit 10 stitches. Fold the work in two and take an etra needle. Cast off by taking one stitch from each needle.

After finishing the first half, divide the rest 20 stitches on two needles. Fold the work into two. Cast off the rest of the stitches.

Sew a seam in the back. Make tassels.

1 December 2013

Chunky crochet blanket

To make this blanket I was able to use up loads of wool that I had gathered over the years and never needed. They are all at least 50% wool, most have more wool content than that. Yarns are different weights. Some are so chunky that I only crocheted with one yarn at the time, in other parts there are up to 4 yarns on the hook at the same time.

The zig-zag pattern comes from increasing and decreasing stitches. There are always 9 double crochet stitches in the straight bit. To create the point upwards you crochet 3 stitches into one stitch below. To get the point downwards make 3 double crochet stitches, leaving the last stitch on the hook and then crochet them together (decrease).You would find many instruction on Youtube on searches about chevron crochet, wave crochet or ripple crochet. This one has shart points.

The size of the blanket is 220 x 150 cm (87 x 59 inches). The stripes are vertical.

The blanket is incredibly warm, I love snuggling in it for a nap after work!