Saturday, 16 September 2017

How To Knit A Flower


Suddenly my life has been filled with flowers.  Knitted ones.  They are the perfect addition to the twiddle blankets I have been making, and a great way to use up small left over balls of wool.

This flower measures three and three quarter inches across.  Because I wanted a sturdy and firm finish, I used a double strand of double knitting yarn on 4mm needles (no. 8 in the old sizes).  Knit stitch is used throughout.

To give the petals neat edges, I use the cable method of casting on (shown on an excellent video here), and at the beginning of each row I slip a stitch knitwise with the yarn at the back of the work (shown here)

)

Cast on 9 stitches, and leave a tail of yarn hanging which will be used later for sewing the flower onto the finished item. 

Knit 8 stitches, leaving the last stitch on the left hand needle.  This is the only row where the first stitch is not slipped.


Turn, ready for the next row.


Slip the first stitch...


...and knit to the end of the row.


Turn, slip the first stitch...


...and knit 6 stitches, leaving 2 on the left hand needle.


Turn, slip one stitch, and knit to the end of the row.


Turn, slip one, knit 5 stitches, and leave 3 on the left hand needle.

This is the idea - the centre of the flower is on the left, where the tail is hanging from the casting on.  The outer edge of the flower is on the right.  Each time you knit towards the centre you leave one more stitch on the left hand needle.


Keep on going, until you only need to slip one, knit one, and leave 7 stitches on the left hand needle.


Turn, and knit your shortest most irritating row ever.  Slip one, knit one.


Turn again, and you a natty little triangle.

Now cast off 8 stitches in the normal way, just making sure you slip the first stitch.


The first petal is finished!  Five more to go.

Leave the last stitch on the right hand needle...


... do not turn, and insert the left hand needle...


...and cast on 8 stitches.  So now there are 9 stitches again, and the whole sequence is repeated...


...to make another petal.


When you have six petals, cast off completely.


Use the tails from the beginning and end of the work to link the first with the last petal and gather in the centre...


...and also to stitch the flower securely to the main item.  All it needs now is a button in the middle.

Job done, and guaranteed addictive.

Linking up with Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 153 - Strips, Stripes And Checks


If there is an element of deja vu to this cradle quilt, it is because I made a job lot of strips of squares some months ago and am just coming to the end of them.  This quilt is very similar to one I made earlier this year, even using the same beige check for the strips between the squares.  However, I have a rule.  No two quilts can be identical.



So for the border I used a tiny check...


...and for the binding a bold black and red stripe...


...with more of the beige check for the backing.   Somehow this quilt has a no nonsense feel to it, as though any baby that sleeps beneath will turn out to be sensible, hard working and practical.  Wouldn't that be nice.  


Here goes for Week 153.

The project that caught my eye in Week 152 was Louise's Fiery Tree quilt.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and have a closer look.




If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.



Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post and/or grab the linky button for your blog's sidebar.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.


So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France, Macau, Russia, Ireland and Brazil have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week


Linking up with Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday
and Amanda Jean's blog Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday
and Michelle's Romantic Tangle for Let's Make Baby Quilts.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

A Picture for Sunday - The View From The Top


Having climbed to the top of the tower at Sissinghurst, I had to take a picture of the beautiful Elizabethan brickwork.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Knitted Flowers


These flowers have kept me busy with my latest knitting project.  They are totally addictive and easy, and I have been making them to add as decoration to a twiddle blanket.


So far I have been using up red and yellow wool, and have made them all the same size.  However I can see how they can be varied, and what a pretty decoration they would be for a little girl's winter hat.

I shall be making some more flowers next week and shall post instructions for anybody who fancies a little bit of creative knitting...

Friday, 8 September 2017

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 152 - Pink Scooters Cradle Quilt


Roses around the border put this quilt firmly in the girly category...


...and the colours of the scooters in the centre called out for shades of pink with browns and greys.


So in went a bit of teapots and jam pots on grey...


... and a bit of blue-grey batik...


...and even a tiny bit of khaki green next to some brown batik...


...and some reindeer on pinkish grey.


Pink binding holds the whole colour scheme together...


...and the reindeer put in an appearance on the back.

I loved working with these colours.  Somehow the finished effect was restful, perfect for a peaceful baby.



Here goes for Week 152.

The project that caught my eye in Week 151 was Dione's charity quilt.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and have a closer look.


Finished "Jaffas and Cream" quilt.


If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.


Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post and/or grab the linky button for your blog's sidebar.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France, Macau, Russia, Ireland and Brazil have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.


Linking up with Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday
and Amanda Jean's blog Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday
and Michelle's Romantic Tangle for Let's Make Baby Quilts.


Sunday, 3 September 2017

A Picture for Sunday - Ightham Mote


Every time we go to stay with my brother he makes sure we have an outing.  The latest trip was to Ightham Mote in Kent.  This has to be one of the most beautiful courtyards I have ever been in. 

Friday, 1 September 2017

Knitting, My First Love


There is a frighteningly large stash of wool in my cupboards that I haven't touched for at least thirteen years.  Somehow having lively children around the house and knitting didn't mix.  Now the children are gone and it is time to clear the house out.  It's a gradual process, partly because knitting my way through a mountain of wool will be a lot slower than just passing it on.  Also, until now, I didn't have any clear idea of what to make.  The solution was to join the knitting group at a local church and see what projects they had.  The choice was between baby blankets or twiddle blankets.  I opted for the latter.

Rather than knit squares to be made into blankets, I am making a small lap blanket with added interest.  The basket weave stitch is quick and easy, has a lovely warm texture, and lies nice and flat.  Here is the method.  You need an even number of stitches.  Instructions are given for a number of stitches divisible by four, with instructions for stitches divisible by two but not four in brackets.

Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: Knit 2, purl 2 to the end of the row
Row 4: Knit 2, purl 2 (purl 2, knit 2) to end of row
Row 5: Knit
Row 6: Purl
Row 7: Purl 2, knit 2 to end of row
Row 8: Purl 2, knit 2 (knit 2, purl 2) to end of row
Repeat 



Now I have finished the knitting and am adding the twiddle factor.

It has been a great thrill getting the knitting needles out again after so many years.  My mum taught me to knit when I was six.  She wasn't a knitter herself, but she was able to teach me how to knit, purl, cast on and off, and increase and decrease a stitch.  After that I was on my own and became a regular at the local wool shop and a tea cosy specialist.  Now my knitting ambition is to be a twiddle blanket specialist and avoid the wool shop.

Linking up with Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday.

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