Quote of the day

In the rhythm of the needles

there is music for the soul.

Breiclub in Oostende : elke woensdagavond van 19 u - 21 u !

zaterdag 18 april 2015

making dolls

Do you remember the Hollie Hobbie dolls that were soooo popular during the 70ies ?  My sister and I made one from an old sheat of cotton and made knitted clothes for them. 

These days, there seems to be a revival of those sort of dolls.  In her book 'My rag doll' by Corinne Crasbercu, the hollie hobbie doll has become a real little princess.   I tried out some of her patterns, and this is the result :
a gorgeous blonde

now with my hat !

a prima ballerina in her tutu

brown pigtails are cute

2 skeins of mohair for the hair !

she is ever so soft

I don't know if these dolls are meant to play with.  The construction of the hair is really delicate. 
I think they will prefer to be 'on display' rather than be played with....

Oh, and remember Sarah Kay's Hollie Hobbie ? 

vrijdag 20 februari 2015

beginner's knitting : gloves for a toddler. Free pattern and photo tutorial.

A young mother asked me to explain how to knit gloves for her baby boy, aged 3.  She is a beginner at knitting, and prefers to knit with 2 needles, just like she learned a long time ago in school.

Keep it simple !....  working in the round,  no thanks.  Just a simple pattern, you can do that.  She said.  Clearly she had high hopes.

I thought about it.  And then came up with this :


Right.  Einstein would have trouble reading this I guess.  But it is REALLY simple.  Trust me.
Let's go.
(Voor de Nederlandstaligen : volg de vertaling in het groen)

I used DK wool and needles 3.5 mm.

Cast on 28 stitches, knit 2 stitches, purl 2 stitches until the end of the row.  Repeat on the next rows, until the piece measures about 3 cm.  Or about 10 rows. This is called ribbing, because the result is a nice stretchy ribbed border.

Zet 28 steken op, brei 2 steken rechts, 2 steken averechts over heel de rij.  herhaal deze rij 10x.  (tot ongeveer 3 cm) Deze boordsteek is extra rekbaar, en sluit goed aan rond de polsjes. 

 So far, so good. Now switch to knitting 'stockinette stitch'.  That is knit a row, purl the next row.  You must add 2 stitches , one at the beginning of the first knit row, and one at the end of that first knit row.  To add a stitch, you can knit in the front leg of the stitch, and again in its back leg.  too difficult ?  Just add a loop on your needle, it'll be fine too. You have 30 stitches now.  Knit 8 rows. end with a purl row.

Brei verder in tricot steek (1 rij alle steken rechts, 1 rij alle steken averechts).  Meerder in de eerste rij aan weerskanten 1 steek. Dat doe je door de steek rechts te breien in z'n voorste pootje, NIET laten afglijden, en nog eens rechts breien in z'n achterste pootje.  je hebt 30 steken. Brei 8 naalden, eindig met een averechtse naald. Brei 4 steken rechts, zet ze op een kleine speld, brei verder tot net voor de laatste 4 steken, en zet deze ook op een veiligheidsspeldje. Draai en brei een naald averechts.  Draai.  Meerder opnieuw 2 steken, aan elke kant 1.  Je hebt nu 24 steken.  Brei 20 naalden tricot.

 Now you will need 2 little safety pins.  Knit 4 stitches, put them on a safety pin, knit until you have 4 stitches left on the needle.  Put these 4 also on a safety pin. Turn. Purl the next row (you have 22 stitches left) When you start the next knit row, again add 2 stitches : one on each end. Continue knitting on these 24 stitches for 20 rows.

Now you will form the top of the hand.  Knit 2 stitches together. Put the tip of your right needle through both loops and knit.  It's easy. Do this for all your stitches.  You will have 12 left on the needle.  Purl.  Again, knit 2 stitches together.  You have 6 stitches on the needle.  Purl.  Again knit 2 stitches together.  You have  3 stitches left on the needle. Stop knitting.  Cut you thread at 30 cm.  And get a sewing needle with a big eye.

Nu vorm je de top : brei 2 steken rechts samen, over heel je naald : er blijven 12 steken over.  1 rij averechts.  Brei opnieuw alle steken 2 per 2 samen : 6 steken over.  1 rij averechts. Brei nog eens alle steken 2 per 2 samen.  Er blijven 3 steken over. Knip de draad af op 30 cm.  Haal er een naald bij met een groot oog. 

Now thread the needle and push it through the loops of your stitches.  Remove the knitting needle. Pull tight, and close the top with a few stitches.  Don't cut the thread yet.

Met de naald kun je de steken van je breinaald halen, trek de draad door de steken en zet goed vast. Knip de draad nog niet af.

Next step : the thumb.  Remove the little safety pins, and put the 8 stitches on a knitting needle.  Take care that they are in the right direction.

Volgende stap : verwijder de speldjes en zet de 8 steken op een breinaald. Zet ze in de juiste volgorde. 

In the first row you have to add 2 stitches, one on each side, so that you have a total of 10 stitches.  Knit stockinette for 8 rows. 

Zet in de eerste naald aan weerszijden een steek bij.  Brei 8 naalden tricotsteek over deze 10 steken.

Next you will form the top of the thumb.Very similar to the top of the hand !  Knit 2 stitches together all along this row, you have 5 left. turn and purl. turn and knit 2 stitches together, knit 1, knit 2 stitches together.  There are 3 stitches remaining.  Cut the thread and sew these stitches together like on the top of the hand. Use the thread to sew together the thumb, until you reach the point where you added the 2 stitches. Look at the photo's below.

vorm de top van de duim : brei de steken 2 per 2 samen, 5 over.  brei 1 rij averecht.  Brei 2 steken rechts samen, brei 1 steek rechts, brei 2 steken rechts samen.  Er zijn 3 steken over.  Knip de draad af, en doe net hetzelfde als met de top van de hand.  Gebruik je draad om de duim dicht te naaien, tot net waar de 2 steken bijgezet zijn. 

To close a seam, just pick up a thread on each side of the work and pull the needle through. Go up and down, as you can see in the pictures. You sort of zigzag along the seam.

Om breiwerk aaneen te naaien neem je telkens een draad op van de zijkant van je werk en haal je de naald erdoor.  Ga op en neer, zoals je in de foto's ziet. 

Stop at the base of the thumb.  Fold you work over in the other direction (horizontal) and knit that little seam together.

Wanneer je aan het begin van de duim komt, moet je het werk horizontaal plooien en in deze richting samen naaien. 

Close all the other seams to, in the same manner. 
Sluit de rest van de naden op dezelfde manier.

And there it is !  You've just made a glove for your kid.  As most kids have 2 hands, you will have to knit another one, just like the first.  perhaps it is clever to knit a third, just to be on the safe side.  kids tend to lose a glove.  Have fun with it !

Je moet natuurlijk nog een tweede want breien, en misschien ook een derde, want kinderen verliezen soms een wantje hé. Veel plezier !

Please let me know if things are unclear, or if you need more information, or if there is a mistake in my description. I have no test knitters....

some new hats

Sometimes I just crave for a little knit.  Just a small project that I can knit with my eyes closed.
So, how about knitting some hats ?  or maybe I crochet, just for a change too.  So, what do you think ?

a quick knit, with 1 ball from 'Action' shop.

A hat to match and earlier scarf I made

will this one be for a foxy child ?
 the fox is a pattern I bought on ravelry.   You can find it here.

And sometimes I get really silly.  It's an age thing - once your age starts with a 5 you are allowed some social weirdness once in a while...


and this little bag, I couldn't resist....

knit in one evening !

vrijdag 9 januari 2015

Franklin Habit - a funny story he wrote explaining why he never knits for anybody.

 habit-lb-cartoon-01-15(visit his blog for more knitting fun.)

Chances are I am never going to knit anything for you.
It’s not that I don’t like you. Of course I like you. You’re interested in yarn and you’ve come all this way to read something I’ve written; how could I not think well of such a person?
No, it’s not about you. It’s about time, and having too little of it. There is but one of me, and there are many of you. Even if I should promise to knit each of you a single mitten I couldn’t keep that promise before I drop dead.
And what kind of off-kilter gift is one mitten, anyhow?
You make things, so you know how it goes. You learn to make things and are so excited at having learned to make things that you want to make things for everyone. But you are a novice, and it shows. Your work is earnest, but uneven. The things you make are not much in demand.
“Is that…a hat?” says the person in the next cubicle when she spots you merrily stitching away during your afternoon break.
“Yes!” you cry. “Yes, it’s a hat. I’m making a hat. Would you like a hat? I’ll be happy to make you a hat. What color hat do you want?”
“Uh…” says the person in the next cubicle.
With practice your work grows not only even, but accomplished–and possibly splendid. The person in the next cubicle changes her tune.
“Would you make me a hat?” she says. “I would totally pay you. Ten bucks!”

However, you have come to know well what decent materials cost, why it’s important to use them, and how much time (there’s that word again) it takes to finish a hat. Ten bucks falls shy of the target. You explain this to the first, second, and third persons who ask for a hat. While explaining this to the fourth person, you notice his eyes have gone glassy even before you’ve reached the end of the bullet points on the slide headed “Wool: Nature’s Miracle Fiber.”
You cease to explain yourself, and simply say no.
You evolve criteria which determine who will or will not receive a hand-made gift. This may be as simple as one question (“Are you my mother?”) or may involve spreadsheets, algorithms, and a Magic Eight Ball. Either way, you make selectively and for the chosen few.
That’s where I’m at. Suffice it to say, these days it’s easier to smuggle a Fabergé egg out of the Kremlin Museum than it is to get a knitted gift out of me.
And yet.
Every fortress, every citadel, every heavily-guarded subterranean bulletproof vault has a weak spot. Mine is babies.
If you’re a baby and I am in a certain mood, you are not leaving the room until I have measured you for a sweater. Doesn’t matter if you’re no relation to me, or I’ve just met you, or your father was my secret high school crush who went on to marry the prissy organist at the First Methodist Church who will never, ever make him as happy as I could. Come here and get your sweater, baby.
One such was born about two years ago to a good-friend-of-a-good-friend and ended up (somewhat to the mother’s bewilderment) with a tiny red cardigan I knocked out in five hours. My good friend’s good friend sent me photographs of the wee recipient wearing it and grinning madly. Most gratifying.
Just last week, my good friend’s good friend sent me more photos–of a new baby, aged two months, wearing the sweater. They’d not only used it, they’d saved it, and used it again. Profoundly gratifying.
Of course you can’t have the poor thing sitting around in just hand-me-downs, so I’ve cast on for a new tiny (green) cardigan. It won’t take much time. You don’t mind waiting a little longer for that mitten, do you?
Thank you. I knew you’d understand.
Writer, illustrator, and photographer Franklin Habit is the author of It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons (Interweave Press, 2008–now in its third printing) and proprietor of The Panopticon (the-panopticon.blogspot.com), one of the most popular knitting blogs on Internet. On an average day, upwards of 2,500 readers worldwide drop in for a mix of essays, cartoons, and the continuing adventures of Dolores the Sheep. Franklin’s other publishing experience in the fiber world includes contributions to Vogue Knitting, Yarn Market News, Interweave Knits, Interweave Crochet, PieceWork, Cast On: A Podcast for Knitters, Twist Collective, and a regular column on historic knitting patterns for Knitty.com.
These days, Franklin knits and spins in Chicago, Illinois, sharing a small city apartment with an Ashford spinning wheel and colony of sock yarn that multiplies alarmingly whenever his back is turned.

dinsdag 6 januari 2015

fair isle fingerless mitts - my texting mitts....

winter flowers blooming !

When we went on a daytrip to the UK, (just across the north sea for me), we went into a yarn / fabric shop in Canterbury : C & H fabrics in the main shopping street.  There I bought the book ‘Fair isle knitting’ by Lynne Watterson, and fell in love with the fingerless mitts pattern.

In the same shop they sold the Ramsdale wool, and the colours are ‘heathery’ just what I like.

I bought the dark purple, light brownish off white and burgundy red. Love to work with that yarn, it is marked on the label : born, bred and made in Yorkshire. Local products should be treasured, and this wool is made from the sheep that graze the Yorkshire Dales, and spun in the Yorkshire mills. it is a bit tweedy, and ever so soft - ideal for fair isle knitting.
These little mitts knit up real fast, in just a couple of hours I had my new mitts. They are not knit in the round, just flat on 2 needles, and then sewn together, leaving just a little spot free for the thumb. also, all other fingers are free.  Ideal for a mobile phone addict….. or for those who work in the garden....  

woensdag 10 december 2014

crochet cats workshop

I was invited by a group of Femma-ladies for a workshop amigurumi's.
I suggested they'd make the crochet cat - and this is the gorgeous result !
It was a nice evening, thank you ladies !

Free pattern and photo tutorial are available on my blog.

maandag 8 december 2014

retro beanie

I am knitting a cardigan for myself, in fair isle.  A work of patience, all those small stiches in a row.
Therefore, I need some distraction.  A small project, quick to finish.
And when something like this comes along on facebook, it was love at first sight.

I bought the pattern, and the babywool from Bergère de France and set out to knit intarsia.
Who remembers the little plastic fish - dangling on your needle ?  I has been ages since I used them. Probably from since the boys were little and I knitted them sweaters with footballs on, or Zorro.

Well, this is the result.  I love the combination of light blue / red.  It reminds me of something my mother knit for my doll, Mireille.  Those were exact the same colours. I am speaking of the 1960ies....

Now for a little girl who can wear this. The pattern included little mitts too....  aren't they cute ?

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