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A Sneak Preview…

The pattern for the Peapod Sloucher will be available next week in both child and adult sizes. In the meantime, here is a very sneaky peek.

Image copyright Ingrid Murnane


Knitted Flower Recipe

I’m describing this tutorial not so much as a pattern as a recipe: I think that by following the instructions below and tweaking them to you own likes, you will be able to produce a variety of  flowers with just these instructions.

In order to make your own knitted flower, you’ll need to knit a long strip of fabric, which is wider on one of the long sides than the other. From this you can form either a single rose-type flower, or a double flower. Even within these parameters there is scope for putting them together in differing ways to make a tightly-furled or more open blooms.

Of course, you might like to make a leaf to go with your flower. As this can be a bit more complicated, I’ve given a couple of links at the end for different types of leaf too.

You will need:

Needles and yarn.

Any will do, but wool tends to work nicely. Something with a lot of drape like bamboo won’t work so well to hold the shape of the flower.

Really, as long as you use an appropriate size pair of needles to yarn, you can use any size. An easy way of making different sizes of flowers is to change to a thicker yarn with bigger needles, and of course vice versa for a smaller one.

Gauge:

Don’t worry about the gauge, as these don’t need to fit anyone, but as a general rule they need to be knitted to a firm fabric rather than an open one.

Abbreviations:

K: knit

P: purl

P2tog: purl two stitches together (to decrease)

K2tog: knit two stitches together (to decrease)

Recipe:

The basic recipe for making a flower is as follows, but you can jig it about as you like for different effects, much like a cooking recipe.

The flower is knitted flat, back and forth.

Cast on 80 to 100 stitches.

Knit three rows in garter stitch.

Next row: P2tog to the end of the row.

Next row: Knit and at the same time decrease by k2tog every 5 or 6 stitches.

Work in stocking stitch from here on, and on every second row (which will be a knit row) decrease by k2tog at appropriate intervals to pull in the work until your flower is almost tall enough for a brooch (I aim for about 5-6cm usually).

Next row: K2tog to the end of the row.

Cast off.

Tip: It is up to you how you’d like to decrease. You can do it in a uniform fashion by decreasing first every 7 stitches, then every 6 and so on, or you could decrease by k2tog every 4 in the first decrease row, then by every 2 in the next, but every 5 in the third decrease row.  Of course, your decrease rows don’t have to be every second row either. By playing with the decreasing and how often you space it, you will create differently shaped flowers.

 

Finishing:

Wrap the knitting around on itself to find how it sits best and for the appropriate flower look for you. Sew it into place using the tails of yarn from the knitting.

Of course, you might like to make a leaf to go with your flower. There are some great patterns available online for this. Here is a good pattern from Crafty Galore. This second one from TikkunArts is a pdf.

You can make them into brooches by adding a safety pin to the back, add them to cardigans or bags, or perhaps make a whole bouquet of them, which I’ll show you how to do in the next tutorial.

Please feel free to knit up the flower brooches to keep or as gifts/charity fundraising, but please do not knit up for commercial purposes or reproduce the tutorial without first seeking permission.

Copyright © Ingrid Murnane 2010. All rights reserved.



Pass it on: A Few Winter Warmers

I don’t know what it is like where you are, but here, today it is -3 celcius. Brrrr. We’re waiting for the snow that is forecast tomorrow and wrapping up warm in scarves and hats. In the meantime, here are a few links to interesting stuff that I’ve come across recently.

Baktus Bravado, image copyright Ingrid Murnane

Are you ready for advent? Do you have a calendar ready to go? No? Well, this is not strictly textiles… it’s not textiles at all in fact, but this gingerbread house tutorial by Pam Harris is hands-down the best idea I’ve seen this year for making your own advent calendar. So much more fun than sewing one.

Another great find, (via Kirsty) is the Ordinary Objects blog which features one woman’s quest to add knitting into everyday things. Not long started, this tumblr blog is an excellent use of the format, and both beautiful and fascinating to look at.

Now, apparantly what can only be described as ‘big knitted grannybashers’ are where it’s at for the winter, if you believe what’s been seen on the catwalks. So will you be wearing Tighty Aran Whities this season? Brenda Dayne’s Cast On podcast asks that very question in a recent episode which you can listen to here.(PS If you don’t subscribe to Cast On, then why not? You should – it’s always very funny and informative).

Lastly, one from me: my own latest endeavour is the opening of a small Etsy shop, so if you’d like to buy a little something as a Christmas gift, do head on over there and take a look. There are buttonhole brooches, knitting needle bangles, and perhaps more suitably for the current climate, snuggly neckwarmers too.

 


IngridMurnane.com

Huzzah! IngridMurnane.com is fully up and running, and IngridNation will be going into stasis, so please do come and join me over there instead.

If you would like to sign up for the new site’s RSS feed, here is a link for you, or alternatively you can sign up by email from the new homepage.

Hope to see you there.


All Change!

Hello Chaps,

I’m building a new website  over at ingridmurnane.com. It will be up and running to its full capacity very soon, but do bear with me – I’m new to all this techy stuff.

See you soon!

Ingrid x


Love your Short Row Shaping

Short Row Shaping by Hannah8Ball. Used under CC licence.

Short row shaping seems to elicit a marmite reaction: you either love it or you hate it. I’m firmly in the ‘love it’ camp, thinking it is a great technique to use and very useful too.

So, what is it? Essentially a short row is a row which is not fully knitted, just as the name suggests. The piece of knitting is turned around before reaching the end of the row, and knitted back in the other direction.

Short rows are included in knitting patterns as a way to shape a garment, whether it is to create a  curved heel in a sock or shapely bust darts in a top. The shaping works by introducing extra rows of knitting into the pattern on a horizontal plane, whereas other increases will be introducing extra stitches into the pattern on a vertical plane.

Another place that you might come across short rows is on shoulder shaping in patterns such as this man’s tank top, Maile by Woolly Thinking. They are used at the shoulders or armholes to create a more attractive cast-off edge a slanted edge, which is often cast off using a three-needle bind-off for stability.

Sock by Seevoo, showing short row heel. Used under CC license.

Okay, so you knit a row, not quite to the end and turn back. But what about this abbreviation ‘w&t’?

This pattern abbreviation is all about making the finished knitting neat and tidy. The ‘t’ stands for turn, as we’ve talked about, but the ‘w’ is for wrap. This is the important bit for neatness. In order that the finished piece of knitting does not have stepped holes in it at the turning points, the yarn is passed around the next unknitted stitch.

You  do this by knitting up to the point indicated in your pattern, slipping the next stitch to your working needle, passing the yarn to the front of the work (presuming you are working in knit), slipping the stitch back, turning the work and continuing to knit you pattern.

As it is often easier to see what that means, I suggest that you visit Knitty, where Bonne Marie Burns has written up a really good set of instructions with pictures, which you can see here. They include visuals that show how to pick up the wrap and turns, so as not to have holes in your finished knitting.

Socks, undeterred by Short-Row Baby Rats

If you want to try out short-row shaping without the commitment of a large garment, here are some ideas.

Woolly Wormhead’s Going Straight hats (knitted sideways and great fun)

Kathryn Shoendorf’s Calorimetry headband

Lucia Liljegren’s Baby Rat pattern.

Yarnissima’s Sottopassagia socks

Have fun!


Itty Bitty Knitting

Did you see the animated film version of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline last year? If you didn’t, I would highly recommend it and if you did, you might remember the lovely little knitted jumper that Coraline wears. But did you know how it was made?

Althea Crome (also known as Althea Merback) knits miniature conceptual clothing using specially made needles in the finest yarn or thread. In the tradition of miniature artists and artisans, she spends months designing and knitting a single garment. She tries to create more and more detail in each piece with her ‘micro-sweaters’ containing up to eighty stitches per inch. You can see more of her work by clicking here for her blog BugKnits.

I don’t think I’ll be complaining about knitting with laceweight again anytime soon…