Tuesday 1 May 2012

The knitbitch is getting ready for next years Queensday

on this years Queensday market the Knitbitch came across some orange cotton-yarn. This orange yarn sparked an idea about what the Knitbitch will be doing at next years Queensday. Bouncing this idea of  to a couple of friends and we immediately starting weaving an even bigger idea. So watch this space, we are going to do something fabulous next year!

Sunday 11 March 2012

make a mega-crochet pouf

I have just finished my 3rd pouf and thought now it's time to share the recipe. The poufs are decorative in your living room, and very easy to make, the only thing you really need is a lot of patience. And a lot of yarn, it takes appx 2kgs to make a pouf. I'm using a fake spool-knitting technique that my mum taught me to turn thin yarn into thick cord.

For this project you will need;
2-2,5 kg of yarn
2 sock-knitting needles in a fitting size
3 poufs, finally finish

2 poufs

2 poufs - close-up

The first pouf.
STEP 1. Choosing the right yarn.
I have made all my poufs using industrial grades wool or wool-mixes. I have bought them all in the salvation shop or at factory outlets and they had no brand-names so I cannot share. But what I go after is "hard" wool, wool that has not been through softening processes and is maybe even mixed with some polyester to make it tough. I think I have used carpet-yarn, furniture-yarn or weaving-yarns. I use yarns that knit on needles 3,5mm - 5mm. I promise that if somebody finds a brand-name that I will share it with you all here.

If you cannot get hold of this kind of yarn or you are lazy you can also buy very thick wool (rather expensive) or cord and consequently skip step 2 - making a cord.

The Norwegan Pickles sell a very thick yarn that can be used for a pouf; Pickles fat and happy.
You can use Zpaghetti, cut up old t-shirts yourself,  or buy tube-yarn or felted cord. The last you can get
at Etsy (handmade) or as industrial grade felt i.e. at Filtmaatschappij Rotterdam (this is where Christien Meindersma got hers, I think) You can also use woven (cotton) cord i.e. from the Hema.

STEP 2. making a cord. Spool-knitting the yarn
Real spool-knitting takes too long I think, so I'm resorting to fake spool-knitting, this is a method that my mum taught me. You will need 2 sock-knitting needles, so knitting needles that have two open ends. With thinner yarn you cast on 5 or maybe even 6 stitches (needles size 3,5mm), with thicker yarn you cast on 4 (needle size 5mm). The tube should eventually become approximately as wide as a finger. 
casting on 5 on a sock needle

casting on 5 on a sock needle

it's very simple after finishing a row, you push through the needle that the loops are resting on, and you pass the yarn behind and then knit another row. This way the tube will form by itself, the loops at the extremities will look a bit looser, but as we will afterwards crochet the cord, that's not really a problem.
finished casting on

push the needle to the left

push the needle to the left

push the needle all the way to the left

now knit the next row by pulling the yarn behind the work

now knit the next row by pulling the yarn behind the work

now knit the next row by pulling the yarn behind the work

now knit the next row by pulling the yarn behind the work

here you can see how the yarn is pulled behind the work.

finish the next row

you can either roll-up the cord or you can crochet as you go along.

STEP 3. crochet the pouf
To crochet the pouf you first crochet a spiral circle increasing stitches, then you crochet appx. 3 rounds straight, and then you crochet another spiral where you decrease stitches. I crochet simply using my fingers because I think it's too much hassle trying to find a crochet-needle in the right size. You would probably need 15-20mm crochet needle if you want to use a needle. It's important that you crochet very tight, because afterwards you will fill the pouf, and if the work isn't tight then gaps in the work will appear, and that is not pretty.

When you crochet, a loop to crochet into always has 2 chains, I crochet into only one of them and the one to the back, this is because I like the pattern this creates, you get a thin line of chains that run around the pouf. It's also possible to crochet into both chains, then you will end-up using a little more yarn.

Rnd1; make a loop, then chain 2, then 6sc into the 2nd loop from the hook, a bit tricky. This makes the first tiny round.
Rnd2: 2sc into all 6 loops: 12 sc
rnd 3-10; inc. 6 sc evenly spaced: 60 sc.
rnd 11-12 (or 13, 14 depending on how tall you want the pouf); work even in sc.
rnd 13-22; dec 6 sc evenly spaced; 6 sc.

depending on how much yarn you have or how big you want your pouf, you decide how big you make the spiral. My biggest pouf, the light-grey one had 60 sc at it's max. The smallest, the dark brown had 48sc at it's max.

STEP 4. fill the pouf.
before you crochet the last 3 rounds you should fill the pouf. I have used old duvets to fill mine, you can also use cushions or you can crochet around an old second hand pouf. Also sometimes if you are lucky you can found pouf fillings i.e. at the Ikea. I don't recommend to work with fiber-filling, it's too loose. or you will need to work it into a sack/cushion before filling the pouf.

Tuesday 21 February 2012

Knitted Easter-eggs

Arno and Carlos have just released a new book; knitted Easter-eggs. And baubles. I have never really thought much about decorating my house for easter, guess I sort of forgot decorated Easter eggs. The pictures of the knitted eggs and baubles are all very pretty and much more colorful this time compared to the Christmas baubles. It makes me consider, a tiny little bit that is, because I can see those eggs are complicated knitting work. Multiple colors on sock-needles not an easy job, so I'm not promising that you will see any Easter eggs knitted by me here.

Besides I think hubby is just happy christmas baubles are gone now.

Arne & Carlos, knitted easter eggs
Arne & Carlos, knitted easter baubles

Arne & Carlos, knitted easter baubles. They call this one running chicken! :-)

you can download a PDF-flyer from DaleGarn here, and you can join both Arne and Carlos as well as Dalegarn on Facebook.
Link thanks to Jacqueline

Sunday 19 February 2012

New amigurumi; Jo the rockbitch

For Jo's leaving party. jo is a biker girl, so I thought let's make a rockbitch, easy to make it look like Jo with all that hair. She's from Scotland, which you hear when she talks :-) so we gave her a celtic cross on the front of her t-shirt. The amigurumi is wearing the recognizable Jo signature elements; golden sneakers and leather jacket.

John helped brainstorming about the styling elements, Ozgur helped with the photography. It's Ozgurs LEGO bike.
rockbitch amigurumi

rockbitch amigurumi
rockbitch amigurumi
Jo and her rockbitch avatar

Sunday 1 January 2012

Knitting christmas baubles - the end

My knitting christmas project is over for this time. Posting this just in time for you to see before I will remove it all, keep it in a box and hang it up again next year. It has been great fun.

knitted christmas baubles; subversive rendeers, nordic man and wife and lots of ice-crystals
most succesfull bauble of this collection (most asked for wannahave item) the white rendeers on red background

gebreide kerstballen - op een hoop

Scandinavian dark winternight ice-crystal bauble to the left in the middle.

Knitted christmas baubles; Hanging in the curtains on the front door.