Knitting Short Rows – My Favourite Technique

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As most of you probably know by now, one of my current works in progress is the Vitamin D Cardigan by Heidi Kirrmaier.  It’s been on the needles for a little while now, as I’ve been rather distracted by all of the other wip’s that I need to get through and the odd new project or swatch for Olann and.

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Wow! How Have I Missed This?

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So.. I was checking out a few things on Ravelry, as you do when you’re trying to decide (avoid) what you’re going to do next and I stumbled upon something I never knew you could do.

Before I go any further, I should point out that you’ve probably been able to do it forever and I’m just late to the party as per usual.

As we all know my newly discovered obsession is weaving, well that and sewing, spinning, etc, etc.  Anyway, for the purposes of this post it’s weaving.

I love Ravelry, it’s an invaluable tool for so many different aspects of fibre crafting and I know there’s weaving on there, but I’ve only been able to find it in the past, by looking at the finished projects from people signed up to the groups I’m in.

Until today that is.

I’ve just discovered that I can look at all of the finished weaving projects listed on Ravelry☺️🎉 ✌️

Here’s how –

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Click on to the people tab along the top of the Ravelry home page and you’ll find yourself here.  Where you will find lots of useful places to explore.

There’s your Friends Activity, where you can check out what your Ravelry friends have been up to.

The section – A Random Assortment of People’s Favourites or their ugh’s (projects people they’ve scored with the lowest satisfaction) is great for inspiration, or not as the case may be.

There’s show us your FO’s and lastly at the bottom there is a section called ‘Your Neighbours’.  This is a great feature because these people and you have some of the same patterns in your libraries, therefore must have similar tastes.  I often begin a search here first if I’m looking to knit something new, as there’s a good chance one of my neighbours might already have a design listed in their favourites or their library that I’ll like.

The section we’re looking at today is the ‘Show us your FO’s’.

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Click on the search the finished FO’s tab.

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Here you can click on the weaving projects and 💕 voilà 💕 – access to all of the finished weaving projects on Ravelry.

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Better still, you can search the colour scheme of the piece.

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The weight of yarn used (great for stash busting)

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and what the project was, eg clothing, accessory, etc.

Of course you can also search peoples knitting, crochet and machine knitted finished projects too.

The only problem I can see, is that I’m going to be so busy looking at other peoples work, I’ll get none of my own finished 😳

Back to Ravelry, ehm… I mean work 😉

Happy Knitting!

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Not Sure How I Missed This?

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I did sit down to write a very different blog post this morning, but whilst checking my emails, Facebook messages, Instagram, Pinterest, etc, etc.  I spotted something on Ravelry that I’m surprised I haven’t noticed before and as it appeals to me, I don’t doubt some of you will also find it handy.

I’m a massive fan of Ravelry and as mentioned, I’d check it at least once a day, if not more.  For me, it probably goes without saying, that it’s an invaluable tool for the shop, I also love the way it helps me organise my library, projects and possible future projects.  It’s a great way to learn techniques, hear about up and coming community projects and most importantly meet and interact with other fibre crazed individuals, even if it’s just to 👏 gawk 👏 at their amazing creations.

As noted in previous posts, I haven’t gone so far as to catalogue my stash on Ravelry as it would be a whole heap of 💀 scary 💀 and there’s no real benefit to me to list my hooks/needles for obvious reasons (anyone that knows me, knows I own enough needles to open a shop with). 😜😜😜

Anyway, enough about me.  getting back to this clever feature.

Hopefully, most of you when checking through the patterns on Ravelry use the option ‘add to favourites’ on the top right hand corner of the page, if you find something you’d like to be able to find again later?  Better still, you’ve added tags to help you narrow your search down next time too?

Now Ravelry is letting you make ‘Bundles’, I guess they’re really the same kind of thing as ‘tagging’ except they’re laid out like Pinterest Boards making them much more user friendly (why fix something if it ain’t broken?).

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So how do you catalogue all of your ‘favourites’ into bundles?  I’ve got some 400 odd in mine 🙈

To begin – Click on the my notebook tab on the top left hand side of the Ravelry home page to open up the different tabs.

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Select ‘favourites’ from the drop down menu.

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Select one of your saved designs and if you hover over the picture three icons will appear, click edit.

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A window will pop up giving you the option to select a bundle or enter a name.  Click on this box, adding the term most relevant to you.  In this case I’ve chose to call my bundle – shawls 4ply, as I have rather a lot of favourite shawl designs and will need one for dk, aran , chunky and lace too.

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When you enter a new category, a tab will come up underneath saying create – be sure to click this.  You’ll notice you have the options to add comments, if you like.  For me, I’d find this an incredibly useful way of remembering which yarn I’d like to use to complete the project.  You’re original tags (if you used them) are also displayed and you have the option to add more or delete them.  At the bottom of this pop up there’s a tab that says Save Changes (sorry it’s not on my photo), remember to click this if you’ve added anything else to the comments or tag boxes.

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After creating your ‘bundle’ when you next click on your favourites, click the bundle tab, you can see you’ll have all your patterns organised and easier to access.  If you like, just as with Pinterest you can change each boards cover photo.

You can create bundles for anything and everything from socks and jumpers to dishcloths if they’re your thing.

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One tip – I have favourite designers that I like to refer back to, it’s a handy way of comparing the designers patterns.  If you’re fond of a garment, chances are you’ll like others created by the same person too.

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

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To add a new pattern to your bundles, click on the add to favourites tab on the top left hand side of the design page as you would normally do.

Screenshot 2015-05-18 11.26.02 (2)Once you’ve clicked a pop up will open on the left hand side of the page and you can choose to add the pattern to one of your existing bundles or create a new one.

Don’t forget you can also look at your friends bundles too (I’m not sure I ever thought I’d say that).

Happy Knitting!

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Adding A Project To Ravelry

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As I mentioned in the last post, following on from the success of the These Islands Book Launch Sara from Smudge Yarns thought it might be a good idea to run a KAL with the Beaker Shawl pattern from the book.

There has been such a fantastic reaction to the book, both at the launch and online that we thought it might be fairer to extend the ‘cast on’ deadline to Sunday 19th April, to give everyone an opportunity to be entered into the draw for the ‘special’ hank of hand dyed lace weight yarn from Smudge Yarns.

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning, is to add your Beaker Shawl project to Ravelry 🏆

After speaking to a few people in the shop, I’ve discovered that not only are there Ravellers that have never used this feature, there are still fibrey people that have yet to hear of Ravelry (I know fibery isn’t a word, but).

So if you’ve still to learn the joys of Ravelry head straight over to ravelry.com and sign up now.  Thy’ll ask you the usual questions, name, email address, etc and then they’ll forward on one of those ‘confirm it’s you’ emails and once you’ve followed the link you’re in 👍They never email you after that, no spam.

If you’re new to Ravelry you should expect to feel the tingle of project power flow from your fingers and eyes to your brain quite quickly after logging in.  This timid little sensation will increase steadily until it reaches the level of teeth grinding, nervous twitching fibre related insanity, as you begin to navigate your way round the many features Ravelry has to offer.

Some features like the ‘my stash’ option are best avoided in my opinion.  Not only would it be a task of gargantuan proportion, it would also eat into my valuable knitting time and then there’s the ‘confession’ element of recording my entire stash.  Not only would it be out there in the realms of the online world for all to see, I’d have to see it too 👀  Much better that it stays the way it is – sorted into 10 large plastic crates, 3 duvet bags, 2 chests of drawers and countless other baskets, bags and boxes

Anyway, back to the real reason for this post.

2015-04-13 11.32.50You’ll notice when you hover over the my notebook tab at the top left of the Ravelry page, Projects is one of the options on the drop down menu.

2015-04-13 11.33.22Click on this to bring you to the next page and here, at the top left of the page again, click the ‘add project’ tab.

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This will then lead you to the ‘New Project’ page for you to begin uploading the details.

I’m not great at naming my projects, so I tend to go for something simple, in this case I’ve called my shawl The Book Launch Shawl (’twas almost lunch, until I spotted the spelling mistake) .  The pattern is taken from a book and it’s called the Beaker Shawl from the These Islands book (just in case).

Photo 13-04-2015 12 41 10When you hit the continue button, Ravelry does some kind of voodoo magic and if it’s been added to their database, the next page to load, will have the details of the pattern on it.  Click on the ‘choose this pattern’ tab to continue.

Here you’ll be asked to record everything about your project.  The name of the yarn (Ravelry magically links it if it’s on their database), how much yarn you’re going to use, the size of needle/hook you’re using and with both of these items there’s an option to include additional yarns and needle sizes.

2015-04-13 11.36.02Working down the page, you’ll notice there’s the option to pop up where you purchased the yarn, if it’s from me in the shop, you type in Knit which brings up loads of us as you might expect, so you need to scroll down through the stockists until you find me

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The notes section is used by people in different ways.  Some people might note whether they had to change their needle size or made modifications.  Others like to record for who and why they’re making the project.  There are also fibre people that record any issues they might have come across whilst working on the project, in order to highlight things to watch for others attempting the design.   These notes, like most thinks on Ravelry are there to help you and the other members, in fact when you look at other people’s projects you’ll notice there’s a tab underneath for you to check if you found the notes useful.

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At the right hand side of the project page there’s places to add all manner of things, including how far along you are, when you began and if you’re enjoying it.  Underneath you’ve also got options to record more detail about your take on the yarn and the design.

Whilst it’s lovely to be able to add positive comments, I’d always suggest contacting the supplier/designer first if you have any criticisms.  The hopes and dreams of companies, in particular the small, independent ones, can easily be dashed with a harsh word or two.

Save your work now if you haven’t already.

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Nearly there now.  Next it’s a good idea to add a photo or two, even if it’s just of the yarn for now.  At the top right hand corner click on the tab marked ‘add photos’

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There are several options for adding your pics, including Flickr, Photobucket and uploading from your computer.  Just select your file and press the upload button.

2015-04-13 11.39.24Your photograph will often need adjusting to fit the frame.

2015-04-13 11.41.07You can tweak it by hovering your cursor over the 4 little arrows and moving your mouse in either direction.  You can upload several photos if you want including ones where you’ve zoomed in to show a particular part of the design.

Once loaded up, there’s no need to save them as Ravelry seems to do this automatically.

Remember you can edit your project at any stage, even if you decide to frog it years later.

Happy Ravelling!

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Still Trying To Catch Up Here

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I’m figuring that I’ll have caught up with my Christmas 2014 posts just in time for Christmas 2015 at  this rate.  In truth I could just post every day for a few weeks, but then I run the risk of boring you all to death, so I’m hoping that despite this being another ‘Christmas’ themed post, it’s still interesting?

It comes as no surprise I’m sure, to hear that I love all things fibre and have been fascinated by weaving for some time.  Rather embarrassingly, I actually own several looms, I say embarrassingly because I’m not sure who I was trying to kid when we purchased a giant floor sized loom years ago.  Truthfully, my intentions were good at the time and it was a complete bargain, but really???

My smaller, more manageable looms sometimes see the light of day and I was very lucky to have spent the day Tapestry Weaving with the very talented Pascale de Coninck many moons ago now, but lets face it, I’m more than likely to be found with my needles.

I like to get the children I teach to have a go at making a secret Christmas gift for their favourite person, but it can be difficult to come up with something suitable.  Some of the girls (they’re all girls at the moment) have been knitting with me for a couple of years now, whilst some are new to the hobby and need a little more time.

I spent ages researching different ideas and kept coming across weaving, particularly for wall hangings.  They seem to be everywhere at the moment Pinterest is full of them and they’ve even made it in to several magazines.

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Having taught weaving to a group of children before I dug around and discovered an old loom I’d made with strong cardboard years ago and copied it, cutting ‘teeth’ out every 1.5cms.  Ensuring you have an even number of teeth to give you an odd number of wraps will make things easier (we had 9 warp threads) .  I wrapped the warp threads and tied them at the back so the girls could crack on with the weaving.

Using a plastic needle threaded with the yarn of their choice, they wove a basic over and under weave, remembering to wrap the yarn the opposite way on each following row.  We had a couple of mishaps with un-weaving to begin with

 

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There were a few things I knew we’d struggle with, with the girls because of our limited time – namely the ends so I searched children’s weaving on Pinterest and happened upon artblog.com which used tape to secure the ends – perfect 🙂

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Every time we added a new colour we used masking tape to secure the old and the new ends to the board.  Try to make sure your masking tape is the easy lift decorating one or else you could end up damaging your fabric.

 

 

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Having filled their looms we worked on securing the warp thread ends.  Firstly I ran a line of tape up along one side of the warp threads on the back.

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Before cutting them straight down the middle.

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Flipping the work over to the right side, we knotted the warp thread ends into bunches of three.  Then lifting the tape on the back off we did the same at the other end.

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The tricky part was removing the weaving from the board, ideally when you weave the ends are woven in as you go, but that would have been far too time consuming.

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I had the wonderful task of peeling of the little bits of tape so we could lay the ends flat against the back of the piece.

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After a little trim, here’s where the magic from Bar Rucci’s post comes in handy – Gaffer Tape 😍 Using the super strong tape I obliterated♦ the ends.  The tape also made the weaving firmer and less likely to sag.  Win, win 🏆

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You can never have too many pompoms, so we added three to our wall hangings, which we tied to one end of the warp threads.  Covering our ends with a little more gaffer tape.

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Lastly, we ran a stick through the top set of warp threads to hang our wall hangings with.

 

Pausing here to thank my ever suffering sons – Durahn and Kye 👼 👼 Who kindly went off hunting high and low for suitable branches, which they then cleaned and de-barked for me.  Not that they had a choice you understand?

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Weaving is a great way to use up odds and ends of yarn and you can add lots of interest with funky fibres or strips of material.  Each of the girls chose their own colours and textures making each piece individual.

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At the back from left to right we have Megan & Katelyn and at the front there is Clara, Lucy, Uainionn, Aoife and Rinoch
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At the back from left to right there is Katelyn, Molly, Miriam, Rose and Sophie. Down the front we have Aoife, Rinoch and Hannah.

I think you’ll agree the girls wall hangings turned out lovely and festive (even the ones that are back to front 😶)

I think they all enjoyed it?

Happy Knitting!

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Kye Made This

Just a really quick post to show you what Kye made for his favourite resource hours teacher, Mrs McCarthy.

This week is his last at  National School (primary) and he will be starting secondary school in September.  There have been a lot of changes at the school since he began in 2006 but Mrs McCarthy has always been there and he’s grown very fond of her.

We’d be looking for something nice to give her as a gift and had found loads of ideas on Pinterest (who doesn’t?), so we narrowed down the list and finally decided on this.  He did everything himself including putting it together.

 

Mrs McCarthy

Brief Instructions (very brief)

We bought a frame in Tesco for €10.50, it’s slightly bigger than A4.

I got Kye to check in his thesaurus for words that have the same meaning as teach and favourite and make a list of words he preferred.

Using word he then selected fonts, sizes and colours for each word and he printed off a test sheet so he could tweak the design a little and then when he was happy he did it again on ‘posh’ paper.

It looks lovely and I’m really proud of him for writing exactly how he feels about her on it too.  Especially as he’s at that age where it’s important to be cool.

Happy Crafting!

 

 

How to use Clover Pom-pom Makers

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Being often asked to demonstrate how to use the pom-pom makers from Clover I thought it might be a good idea to pop up a post about them.  Warning though, the post is photo heavy and I’ve tried to cover everything I’ve been asked about them, so apologies beforehand for waffling on a bit.

These clever little gadgets are available in the following sizes with all but the extra large consisting of two makers.

X Small –  20mm & 25mm

Small – 35mm & 45mm

Large – 65mm & 85mm

X Large – 115mm

Clover have also developed heart-shaped pompom makers which I will demonstrate on another post later.

1st Step Open both sides of the maker.

You will notice that it is made up of two separate pieces that slot into each other, this is to allow you to take your completed pompom out.

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2nd Step Begin winding your yarn around one side of the maker

I tend to start from the centre of the semi-circle, holding my yarn against the curve and wrapping my first few turns over the end to secure it.  I’ve had the most success with my pompoms by keeping the yarn fairly taut when covering the arcs.

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Continue to wind the yarn around one side of the maker until it is almost full. Be careful to try and keep it to ensure a more rounded pompom.

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4th Step Break your yarn off, close your first side in and complete the second side of the pompom.

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5th Step Cut a piece of your yarn long enough to tie round your pompom.  Remember to make it long enough as you can use this to sew your pompom on. Then, using sharp scissors and following the groove between either side of the maker, cut around the pompom, making sure you snip each thread completely.

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6th Step Wrap your piece of yarn between either side of the maker and tie in a knot tightly being careful not to break your yarn.  (some wool may not be strong enough to do this, so you can always use a scrap from another kind of yarn)

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7th Step Open both sides of the pompom maker and separate it to reveal your squidgy pompom.  Roll it around in your hands a few times and give it a little trim – don’t cut your ties if you need to sew it on to anything.

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Voilá! Pompom magic.

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Happy Pompoming!