Friday, 2 December 2011

Rosie's Slippers Pattern

At the end of last year I posted pictures of some slippers I made but I never got around to posting the pattern although it has been available as a free pattern from me. Anyway for those of you who may be interested here is the pattern.

Size Foot Length
Child 16.5cm

Small 18cm
Medium 20.5cm
Large 23cm

1x100gm skein Colinette Skye and 1x 100gm skein Colinette Graffiti (large size may need a 2nd skein)
Or approx 100gms each of a combination of 2 Chunky Yarns or an Aran and a Super Chunky (at least 90 meters per 100gms per yarn)
8mm needles

11sts and 11 ridges to 10 cm in garter stitch using 8mm needles
(1 ridge = 2 knit rows)

Knitting Notes
The slippers are knitted in a garter slip stitch pattern; the slip stitch is used to define the edges of the slipper sole.

Chain selvedge A chain selvedge is used throughout as follows;
Beginning of every row: k1 through back of loop (k1tbl)
End of every row: knit to last stitch, yarn forward, slip stitch purlwise.

Knit pick-up Put the tip of the right needle through the knitting just below the outside loop of the chain selvedge stitch and make a loop around the needle as if to knit. Pull the loop through to make a new stitch.

Cast off very loosely. If you have a problem casting off loosely use a needle 2 sizes larger to knit the cast off row.

k2tog - knit 2 together; s1 k1 psso - slip 1 knit 1 pass slip stitch over; s1 - slip 1 purlwise; k1tbl - knit 1 through back of loop; yfwd - yarn forward to the front of the knitting; yb – yarn back

Using one strand of each yarn and 8mm needles cast on 15[19, 21, 23]sts
Increase for heel: k1tbl, k6[8, 9, 10], -
Child & Small k1, p1, k1, p1 into next stitch
Medium k1, p1, k1, p1, k1 into next stitch
Large k1, yo, p1, k1,yo, k1 into next stitch
- K6[8, 9, 10], yfwd, s1 - 18[22, 25, 28]sts.

Row 1: (WS) k1tbl, k4[6, 7, 8], yfwd, s1, yb, k6[6, 7, 8], yfwd, s1, yb, k4[6, 7, 8], yfwd, s1.
Row 2: (RS) k1tbl, k to last stitch, yfwd, s1.
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until 16[18, 20, 23] ridges are complete finishing after a WS row.

Shape Toe
Row 1: k1tbl, k2[4, 5, 6], k2tog, k1, k6[6, 7, 8], k1, k2tog, k2[4, 5, 6], yfwd, s1. – 16[20, 23 26]sts.

Row 2: k1tbl, k1[3, 4, 5], k2tog, yfwd, s1, yb, s1 k1 psso, k2[2, 3, 4], k2tog, yfwd, s1, yb, s1 k1 psso, k1[3, 4, 5], yfwd, s1. – 12[16, 19, 22]sts.

Row 3: Child k1tbl, k2tog, k1, s1 k1 psso, k2tog, k1, s1 k1 psso, k1, pull yarn end through these last 8sts, pull up toe and fasten off tightly.
Small, Medium & Large: k1tbl, k[3, 3, 4], k2tog, k1, k[4, 5, 6], k1, s1 k1 psso, k[2, 3, 4], yfwd, s1. – [14, 17, 20]sts.
Row 4: k1tbl, k[1, 2, 3], k2tog, yfdw, s1, yb, s1 k1 psso, k[0, 1, 2], k2tog, yfwd, s1, yb, s1 k1 psso, k[1, 2, 3], yfwd, s1. – [10, 13, 16]sts.
Small pull yarn end through these last 10sts, pull up toe and fasten off tightly.
Row 5: Medium k1tbl, k1, k2tog, k1, k3, k1, s1 k1 psso, k2, pull yarn end through these last 11sts, pull up toe and fasten off tightly.
Large k1tbl, k2, k2tog, k1, s1 k1 psso, k2tog, k1, s1 k1 psso, k3, pull yarn end through these last 12sts, pull up toe and fasten off tightly.
To join the centre seam
With RS together and starting at the toe, sew the centre seam by over sewing the selvedge edge half chains together (the other half of the selvedge chain should be left as a raised detail on the RS). Sew the centre seam for approx. half the length of the slipper.
Using main yarn (or 3 strands of fur yarn e.g. Silky Chic) and 8mm needles, knit pick up 1 stitch for every selvedge chain, knitting through the outside half of the chain only, and pick up 1 stitch at the centre seam. Knit 2 rows. Cast off very loosely.

Alternative trim – using main yarn (or 3 strands fur yarn) and large size crochet hook (size 7mm or 8mm) work a double crochet for every selvedge chain. Work 1 more row of double crochet or a row of crab stitch if you prefer.
To sew up heel
With RS together, over sew the cast on edge from heel increase to the top of the slipper.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Knitted Christmas Decorations

A couple of weeks ago I taught a workshop on making knitted Christmas decorations using up left over yarns. One of the items was a 'gift bag' which could be used as a way of 'wrapping' a small gift or it could be used as a purse/bag although it would need a fabric lining.

The original pattern was designed to be knitted in the round. During the day a couple of ladies decided to knit the bag but found it quite challenging working in the round from the centre of the base outwards so I decided to re-design the bag so it could be knitted flat. I had a ball of King Cole Galaxy with me so started to knit the new bag shown in the photo above. The pattern worked quite well and the yarn gives a Chrismassy feel.

I previously designed and knitted some Christmas baubles using up left over sock yarn.

The baubles are knitted flat and sewn around a foam ball or ping pong ball (depending on the size). You could also use polyester stuffing but the bauble doesn't keep its shape as well if it is just stuffed. As I still had quite a bit of the Galaxy yarn left I also knitted a Christmas bauble. As I knitted it I made sure the sequins were pushed to the knit side of the fabric. As Galaxy is a DK yarn rather than 4ply as used for the other baubles I did have to adjust the pattern.

The Galaxy yarn does work very well and you could probably get several baubles out of one ball.

Previously I also knitted a little angel again using up left over yarn. The angel is based on a simple finger puppet pattern so it could be used as a finger puppet or as a decoration for the Christmas tree

The angel in the picture was knitted using 4ply yarns. If knitted in DK yarns it will come out bigger but still works well as a decoration. It was fun to design these items for the workshop. I now need to knit some to add to my Christmas tree when we put it up. We don't usually put our decorations up until about a week before Christmas so I've still got time..!!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

More design development

There were some interesting cloisters at the Abbey which I used to inspire a couple of stitch patterns. I was teaching cables as one of my workshops on the knitting week in France and used the cloisters pictures to inspire some cable designs.

I used a filter in Photoshop to turn the photo into an outline image (at the top of the page above) and then traced over this image. This helped me to understand how the arches work with each other and interlink.

I traced off a section of arches and then payed around with the tracing to see how they could be linked. I liked the images on the double page image above but felt this was quite complicated so decided to use the simpler image above to translate into a cable pattern. I like Bavarian Twisted Stitch patterns so decided to try to produce this type of cable.

This was the first graph I tried drawing but was not happy with the way the cables were linking.

This was the next chart I drew but was still not very happy with the way the cables linked together. The chart wasn't giving me the type of pattern I wanted.

This 3rd chart did seem to give the the arch shapes I was trying to produce so I knitted this graph.

I did quite like the pattern this produced and I think it would work as an all over pattern on a larger scale as I think the repeats would link in quite well.

As well as developing the stitch pattern above I also had a look through the stitch pattern books to see if I could find any cable patterns that resemble arches. These 2 samples both worked quite well.

Having knitted these 2 samples from charts I though I could develop my own version combining elements from both samples. The resulting chart and sample are shown below.

I like the way the cables work into a point with moss (seed) stitch and reverse stocking stitch filling in the other areas. I haven't thought how I would use this sample yet beyond making the basic sample for the workshop.

Designs for French Treats Holiday based on tree bark

This next knitted sample was developed from a picture of tree bark taken on a visit to an Abbey. I used a filter in Photoshop to generate the image on the left and then traced it onto tracing paper (the image on the right).

I found a pattern in one of my stitch library books that looked a bit like the tree bark.

This gave me the idea that I could develop a knit and purl pattern to look like the bark. I copied the tracing onto stitch related graph paper and in fact generated 2 graphs as shown below.

One graph had more variation between the knit and purl stitches than the other but I ended up knitting the lower graph. When I knitted the sample I decided that I would use the side that was mostly stocking stitch (the knit stitch showing) as the right side.

This was the resulting sample which has been knitted with a cable edging. However after knitting it I think the reverse side would have worked better, so here is the sample with the reverse side showing.

Knit and purl patterns can be viewed from either side but often the purl or reverse stocking stitch side can look more interesting as the purl stitches visually push forward and vertical runs of knit stitches. Putting the cable edging onto the sample stops it from being completely reversible.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Developing ideas for the French Treats holiday, Part 4

Back in May I wrote 3 posts about developing design ideas for the French Treats Holiday in June based on photographs I took on the holiday last year. The posts showed some of the drawings I did but that was all. I did develop these drawings into knitted pieces before the holiday but did not have time to post more details until now.

These are some developments I made based on the poppies pictures. I had several poppies pictures but I particularly like the one that focused on the stalks and seed heads.

The seed head drawing looked OK so I traced the drawing onto tracing paper.

I traced both images but I didn't draw the seed heads in detail as I wasn't sure at this point how I was going to interpret them in knitting. The stalks where easier to interpret as I could see them knitted as a twisted knit stitch on a purl background.

I was looking through my Japanese stitch pattern books and came across a chart to knit this pattern below (with some adjustments as i was knitted the sample).

I particularly liked the way the popcorn/bobbles where made and thought this would be a good way to knit the seed heads in my picture.

The next step was to transfer the traced image onto stitch related graph paper. I prefer to use stitch related graph paper even if it is not the exact rows and stitches combination rather than squared paper as stitches are a rectangular shape not square.

This was the chart I made from the tracing. I have drawn in the twisted knit stitch showing how it travels across the purl background but I have not added any symbols for the purl stitches as this would make the chart very busy. I did indicate on the chart whether to increase 3 stitches or 5 stitches for the seed heads but it isn't very clear on the chart. At this point the chart is for my own use rather than to be published so it doesn't matter too much how the chart is drawn as long as I understand it. If I every publish the chart I will have to redraw it using suitable symbols.

And here is the finished knitted piece. It has been knitted in the 'Knitting by Numbers' yarn from John Arbon and I worked a cable at each edge as I was thinking of joining different pieces together by lacing through the cables.

I haven't done much development with the original image but I was quite pleased with the finished piece of knitting.

I hope to post about one of the other pieces of work in the next few days.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

French Treats Day 6

Saturday was our last full day. The morning was organised as a trip to Saites and the wool shop. Everyone agreed to have breakfast a bit early so we could go to the wool shop first and then into Saites for the market before everything closed for lunch.

Once we got to Saites I think the ladies went off to the market but I wanted to visit a few of the tourist sites to see if they would provide inspiration for the knitters attending the week in September. I had about 11/2 hours to look around so I went to visit the Abbaye aux Dames first as this was on the same side of the river as the place we get dropped.

The Abbaye was a very interesting place. There is quite a lot of decorative carving around the entrance door and windows of the Abbaye but when I went inside I discovered a series of modern tapestries illustrating the book of Genesis. I only took a couple of photos as i wasn't sure if photography was allowed in the Abbaye. There is a gift shop there with postcards of all the tapestries and some of the building.

From the Abbaye I went back across the river to look at the Cathedral Sainte-Pierre which had a lot of ornate carving and some very interesting stain glass windows.

From there I walked up to the Law Courts, stopping at the wool shop in town on the way to buy some very expensive (as it turned out) yarn. I liked the flower display in front of the building.

I then walked back down to the river and took a photo of the 'Arc de Germanicus'

before crossing back over the river and visiting the public gardens

before we all had to meet up again.

I did go back to Saintes the following week when I was on holiday to revisit some of these places and also some other sites I didn't have time to visit on the Saturday. It turns out Saites has quite a few interesting places that could be used to inspire designs.

In the afternoon everyone more or less finished their pieces of knitting and put them up for display before the certificate presentation at the end of the week.

I very much enjoyed teaching the week and I hope those who attended enjoyed it as well.

French Treats Day 5

Friday was a day of workshops at Le Vieux Monastere again. Sasha covered crochet trims in the morning and then most of the afternoon was spent helping everyone to put their knitting project together. Below are pictures of some of the projects being assembled.

French Treats Day 4

Thursday was a day of workshops with Sasha teaching a workshop on colour and I taught a workshop on Embellishments including Swiss darning, embroidery and knitted applique.

We also went out for our evening meal to St Jean d'Angely and as you can see I particularly enjoyed my dessert!!

French Treats Day 3

On the Wednesday we had a day out to La Rochelle. We arrived in time to go and find a nice cafe for lunch and then spent a few hours in the afternoon looking around the shops and harbour area.

A group of 6 of us had lunch together and then five of us had a little wonder around the town. This is the group outside the knitting and needlecraft shop. The shop had some interesting Bergere de France yarns as well as buttons and other craft stuff. One of the other ladies told me (after we got back) that there is also a Phildar shop in the next road up from this one.

As well as stopping for some yarn shopping we also visited the perfume museum. It was really more of a perfume shop that had a collection of old and rare perfume bottles in a room upstairs but there was quite a bit of information about these perfumes and bottles many of which seem to have been designed or inspired by various artists.

This is the clock tower near the harbour and as you can see we did have a lovely day with clear blue skies.