Monday, 29 July 2013

Sock Monkey Hat



Sock Monkey Hats are fun and fashionable. Cute and characteristic. Amazing and awesome! Let's knit one :)

You will need:
4mm straight needles
4mm circular needle
4mm dpns
Colour A DK wool (That's the black, grey and white wool for me. I used Stylecraft Life DK: Granite Marl)
Colour B DK wool (red!)
Colour C DK wool (white)
2 buttons (for eyes)
Cardboard (for making a pom pom)
Darning needle (for sewing up)
Toy stuffing (to fill up the mouth bit)

Key
K  Knit
P  Purl
K2tog  Knit two stitches together
P2tog  Purl two stitches together
M1 Make one by picking up a stitch
CB  Swap to colour B
CC Swap to colour C

Here's what you need to do:

Main Hat Bit
Using your colour A wool, cast on 88 stitches onto 4mm straight needles.

Row/Round 1 - 8: *K1 P1* repeat to end
(At around row four, swap to circular needles, make sure you don't twist the knitting!)

Knit continuously in the round, until the piece measures approximately 14cm in height from the beginning.

At the end of the round, swap to colour B. Knit continuously using colour B for three rounds

Now swap to colour C, continue until the piece measures approximately 17cm from the beginning, making sure to finish at the end of a round.

Now to decrease:
Starting a new round, [K6 K2tog] repeat to the end of the round   count 77 stitches

[K5 K2tog] repeat to the end of the round    count 66 stitches

[K4 K2tog] repeat to the end of the round    count 55 stitches

Transfer to DPNs

[K3 K2tog] repeat to the end of the round    count 44 stitches

[K2 K2tog] repeat to the end of the round    count 33 stitches

[K1 K2tog] repeat to the end of the round    count 22 stitches

[K2tog] repeat to the end of the round    count 11 stitches

Leaving about 20cm, cut the end of the wool. Thread onto a darning needle and thread through the remaining 11 stitches and pull tight (drawstring finish), weave in the end on the inside of the hat.

Mouth bit

Cast on 25 stitches on straight needles in colour C
Row 1  Knit all

Row 2   P1 M1 P23 M1 P1   count 27

Row 3   K1 M1 K25 M1 P1   count 29

Row 4   P1 M1 P27 M1 P1   count 31

Row 5   K4 CB  K9 M1 K9 CC K4   count 32

Row 6   P4 CB P9 M1 P10 CC P4   count 33

Row 7   K4 CB K10 M1 K10 CC K4   count 34

Row 8   P4 CB P10 M1 P11 CC P4   count 35

Row 9   K4 CB K22 CC K4  

Row 10   P4 CB P22 CC P4

Row 11   K4 CB K10 K2tog K10 CC K4   count 34

Row 12   P4 CB P10 P2tog P9 CC P4   count 33

Row 13   K4 CB K9 K2tog K9 CC K4   count 32

Row 14   P4 CB P9 P2tog P8 CC P4   count 31

Row 15  (All in colour C) K1 K2tog K25 K2tog K1   count 29

Row 16   P1 P2tog P23 P2tog P1   count 27

Row 17   K1 K2tog K21 K2tog K1   count 25

Row 18   Purl all

Cast off and weave in ends. Sew into place onto hat, When you have sewn almost all the way around the mouth, stuff it with the toy stuffing, then complete sewing around.

The ears (make 2)
Using colour A, cast on 8 stitches

Row 1   Knit all

Row 2   Purl all

Row 3   Knit all

Row 4   Purl all

Row 5   [K2tog] repeat till end   count 4

Row 6   [P2 tog] repeat   count 2

Row 7   K2

Row 8   P1 M2 P1   Count 4

Row 9   K1 M2 K1 M1 K1 M1 K1   count 8

Row 10   Purl all

Row 11  Knit all

Row 12   Purl all

Cast off, weave in ends and sew into place on hat!

Pom Pom
Make a pom pom using colour B, and sew it on top of your hat. There are loads of pom pom tutorials on the internet. The link below is very clear and easy to follow:
http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Pom-Pom

Making up
After sewing on the pom pom, the ears, and the mouth, make sure you also sew on the eyes! Check all your ends have been woven in, and you've finished! Nice one :)

Below are some lovely pictures of me trying out the sock monkey hat that I made.



Haha.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Finger Moustaches

You know how sometimes, really cool people like you and me like to draw moustaches on their fingers and then hold them up to their face? I'm sure there are people out there who can remember Amy from the Big Bang Theory doing it when she took Leonard as a date to a wedding...


We can definitely all agree, hilarious.

But the issue is, having ink on your hand is beyond annoying. And we are all haunted by the memories of teachers at school telling us that we WILL get ink poisoning if we dare ever to draw on our skin. The solution?
Knitted finger moustaches

That's right folks, I have created three easy knitted finger moustache patterns for your fun and enjoyment.



You will need:
Two colours of dk wool - not much, this pattern is a great scrap buster. I went for black and white, but obviously, feel free to make yourself a pink or blue or purple or green moustache.
3mm DPNs or 3mm straight needles - You can use either, obviously the positive of using dpns is that you won't have to sew up at the end.
Darning needle - For sewing up (if you aren't using dpns) and weaving in

How to:
Below are three knitting charts for three different finger moustaches, choose your favourite, then keep reading.





Firstly, cast on 18 stitches.
If you are using straight needles, follow your chosen pattern above, using the stocking stitch.
If you are using dpns, whilst knitting your first row, transfer three stitches to each needle, continue knitting in the round, following your chosen pattern.

When you have completed the 18 rows, cast off. Sew up if you need to, and weave in the ends!

Top job. You now have a finger moustache. Below are some pictures of me very kindly modelling them for you.



Be sure to take them to weddings and any other serious and important social events for instant manliness and sophistication.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Knitted Name Bunting

I decided that I wanted to knit my 2 year old niece some name bunting for her bedroom. From my previous attempts at knitting bunting I learnt two things:

1. Purling makes the edges curl over far too much.
2. Sewing the letters onto the finished knitted piece only looks ok-ish.

My problem was, if I wanted better looking letters by knitting them into the pattern (intarsia), I would have to use the stocking stitch, which would result in curling. Such a dilemma.

However, I fixed it :) By giving my bunting pieces a moss border and a moss back, they turned out flat and sturdy, whilst having a stocking stitch middle.

You will need
4.5mm needles
DK wool - At least two colours
Darning needle

This is what you do:
Firstly, figure out how many letters you are making. You will need to knit a square (25 stitches by 33 rows) in moss/seed stitch for each letter.

Because there is an odd number of stitches, you will be starting each row with a knit stitch and end it with a purl.

Now, it's time for the letters.

Here is an example of a chart I created for one of my bunting letters.

All the green squares symbolise the moss stitch.

Everything inside the moss stitch border is knitted using the stocking stitch, including the grey squares that make up the letter L.

Make sure that when you are doing intarsia knitting (changing colours to make a shape or pattern), you wrap the two different colours of wool around each other before a change. This will avoid horrible nasty holes.
(There are loads of useful youtube videos on doing this!)

Hopefully, you'll find that the moss border has prevented the square from from curling!


So. Now you have all of your letters and some plain moss squares. So what do we do? We sew a moss square onto the back of each of the letters! This creates makes it good and strong and sturdy. Everything you want in a man and in a bunting piece.


Now, we need something from which our name bunting pieces hang from.
You could either:
A. Cast on about 5 stitches and knit until it is as long as you need it to be.
or
B. Finger knit it! (check out my blog post on finger knitting)

I chose to finger knit it, because it is far easier and quicker whilst looking harder and more impressive. Score.

Lastly, you need to sew your name bunting pieces onto your beautiful wool rope! I would also suggest adding loops to either end of your bunting, so you are able to hang it up.

Well done! Good job. You have finished your beautiful knitted name bunting.

When my niece was presented with her knitted name bunting, she proceeded to hold it by one end and walk around, letting it drag behind her. I think she liked it.

Monday, 8 July 2013

The Liebster Blog Award

Last week Vanessa from Dainty Delight nominated me for the Liebster award, big thank you!

The Liebster award helps to promote small blogs with under 200 followers, I am really happy with this and am excited to get going.

The Rules:

1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
2. Answer the questions that the tagger set for you plus create 11 questions for the people you tag to answer
3. Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
4. Go to their page and tell them
5. No tag backs!

I am a little confused and am not sure whether the 11 things I post about myself are the same as the questions I answer... So I am going to post 11 things about myself and answer the questions :)

11 things about myself:

1.  I like to eat spaghetti bolognase in sandwiches. So delicious.
2. I have a raspberry shower cap. Cool.
3. I am heading off to uni in September after having been on a gap year.
4. I'm a Girl Guide Leader.
5. I collect all my scrap pieces of wool in a jar.
6. Everytime I decide I am going to lose some weight, I immediately eat the biggest bar of chocolate I can find...
7. I can't sing or dance, but that doesn't stop me from trying.
8. That feeling when you're hungry but not hungry? I have that right now.
9. I live in England (felt that needed clarifying, I worry about those from the other side of the pond judging my spelling)
10. I want to try getting a little tipsy and then knit something to see what I create...
11. This last year, I have learnt to be a grown up, and I'm kind of proud of that.

11 questions:
1. Who is your favourite actor or actress?
Oo. Erm. This changes a lot. There are a of talented people out there. Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect) is fab. Have always loved Colin Firth since I first watched him dive into the lake in Pride and Prejudice... Steve Carrell is hilarious... Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, other people...
2. What is your favourite word in the English language?
Hmm... Lot of choices. I've always enjoyed saying the word 'particular'. It's fun. Try it.
3. If you were on death row, what would your last meal be?
Lasagne. Not the sloppy kind. My Mum would have to make it.
4. Which one of your Blog posts are you most proud of?
My favourite post that I have uploaded so far is my pattern for my 'Fair Isle Glasses Case', I think it's the prettiest pattern I have ever created by myself, and still use the one I knitted every night to store my glasses.
5. If you had to be trapped in a tv show for a month, which would you choose?
Definitely a kids show... Those are the most fun. An animated one (I want to know what I'd look like as a cartoon), maybe Recess? Or Hey Arnold? I do like watching historical dramas, but I fear I would be denouced as a Witch...
6. Do you have any phobias or philias? 
Nothing major. Although if Spiders could stay away from my bedroom, that would be great. Cheers.7. What is your perfect pizza?
Lots of cheese. And some more cheese.
8. What your favourite item of clothing that you own?
At the moment... The top below from H&M. It's cool and funky and summery. 

9. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What's holding you back?
This is two questions, albeit good. I want to do something big and meaningful and important and fun. Lots of ands. Something that makes me really happy. I guess what's holding me back is that I don't know what yet.
10. If you knew that nobody would ever judge you, would you dress or act differently than you do now?

I think I would endulge my geeky side a little bit more... And be more open and myself with new people. I like the way I dress, so I don't think I would change that :)

My questions for others:

1. Why do you blog?
2. What's your favourite movie of the moment?
3. Impromptu fancy dress party tonight - what do you go as?
4. If you could domesticate any animal and keep it as a pet, what would it be?
5. Favourite place online?
6. The doorbell and the phone rings at the same time, what do you do?
7. You've won the lottery! Good job! What do you buy first?
8. You've almost finished writing up your blog, but your laptop crashes and you lose it all. How do you react?
9. What are you going to do tomorrow that's exciting and amazing?
10. If you were going to start a new blog, what would it be about?
11. And finally... What is the most ugly and embarrassing item of clothing in your wardrobe?


I choose... YOU!

1. Hana Lou @ http://burntthespaghetti.blogspot.co.uk/
2. Allison King @ http://needlesandpins79.blogspot.co.uk/
3. forgetmenots blue @ 'Primrose and Petticoats' http://forgetmenotsblue.blogspot.co.uk/
4. Barbara Smith @ http://knittinghopes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/new-projects-new-techniques.html
5. Linda Schwartz @ http://knit-my-grits.blogspot.co.uk/
6. Fiona Campbell @ http://www.fcknits.co.uk/2013/mini-gingerbread-man
7. Stana's Critter's Etc. @ http://stana-critters-etc.blogspot.co.uk/
8. Ashley @ http://fibrously.blogspot.co.uk/
9. Baljaffray Handknits @ http://baljaffrayhandknits.blogspot.co.uk/
10. Juanita @ http://lunchboxofawesome.blogspot.co.nz/
11. Jenni @ http://jennicanknit.blogspot.co.uk/






Thursday, 4 July 2013

Wool. In a Jar.

Right. Mini post time.

For I don't know how long, maybe 5/6 months, I have been putting all my scrap ends of wool from all my projects into an empty nutella jar.

Here is the effect:

The idea was to have a lovely mix of squished up wool made up of all the projects I have done recently. I can pick out a colour and (probably) tell you what project I used it in. I think that's kind of cool.

Problem is, now I don't know what to do with it. Do I keep it on a shelf looking pretty, reminding me of the things I made? Do I start a new one?

Will it come to life like the left over wool at the Scarf Lady's house in 'Sarah and Duck'?


Any thoughts or ideas?

Sarah and Duck is a cbeebies program, and is genuinely fantastic. 

Monday, 24 June 2013

Knitting's Online Revolution

When I first started knitting (a whole year ago now!), I was encouraged and inspired by the what seemed like an endless supply of online resources, tutorials and patterns.



Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Glipho, and of course, a never ending list of blogs that dedicate themselves to knitting, knitters from all backgrounds are embracing these social media platforms and creating a vast online community that is both supportive and fun.

There are countless YouTube channels for knitting, type 'knitting' into the search bar and it currently comes up with about 544,000 results. That's more knitting information than you will find in your local library or bookshop. From beginner's tutorials to the more complex stitches and techniques, YouTube is perfect for sourcing out specific step by step visual guides for knitting. YouTube itself only started in 2005, and since then, more and more knitting channels have emerged. YouTube is fab for knitting, however I often feel the need to couple the visual aids with written instructions!

As a social media platform, I use Facebook on a more personal level, for keeping in touch with friends and seeing what everyone I used to know is doing with their lives. However, I do upload my knitting pictures for my friends to see. My knitting is something I am proud of and happy with, and so share it on Facebook. I admit that I haven't yet made use of the knitting pages and communities on Facebook, although as far as I can tell, they are useful places for sharing what you've created and for seeking out help for projects you may be stuck on!

Twitter is an interesting one. The 140 character limit means that you obviously can't upload entire patterns or detailed knitting analysis. I've personally found that knitters haven't flocked to Twitter (haha) as much as some other social media sites, although I find it fairly useful for sharing my word and my latest blog posts with my *gulp* 37 followers.

Pinterest is the PERFECT website for knitters. One of the babies in the social media world, only launched in 2010, it has been a massive success with those interested in DIY and crafts. There are thousands of boards dedicated to knitting. It is a brilliant place to collect pictures of things you want to try and knit, or things that inspire your knitting. I personally am slowly building up a collection of amazing looking projects that I am never going to get around to making.

Glipho is very new blogging site where users can upload posts from their blogs and post them all conveniently in one place. It makes it easier to find blogs and posts dedicated to the subject you are searching for. I've found that as of yet, Glipho hasn't attracted masses of knitters, although it is still early days and would definitely recommend it!

Blogging is a 21st century phenomenon that allows anyone to have a voice. Knitting blogs are everywhere, embraced by the young and the slightly less young alike. Every day, someone is uploading a new knitting pattern or article, sharing their ideas and patterns. People are coming up some amazing ideas that they are willing to share with the knitting world for free! It's fantastic, and I love being a part of it. Knitting Pattern Central is a really good site that has a massive collection of links to all sorts patterns, which is constantly being added to.

Following on from blogging, Google+ is a fantastic social site, where people who use the blogging program 'blogger' are able to share their posts on their pages. There are a number of knitting communities on Google+, one of the largest being 'The Knitting Lodge'. Everyday people add new patterns and share things that they've made. I've always found the response to be incredibly positive, and love the mix of different people, and the variety of the creations that are shared.

Ravelry is also worth a mention, it has a huge online database of patterns, free and not s to free. If you can't find a pattern you need on Ravelry, it is unlikely you'll find it at all! With over 3 million users (as of March 2013), it's safe to say that is site is a favourite of the online knitting and crochet community.

I think that the internet has done a lot for knitting. It has injected a large dose of enthusiasm into the craft, inspiring those who haven't knitted in years, introducing it to those who may never have come across knitting otherwise, and has provided an ever growing bank of resources for those who are passionate about and truly enjoy this amazing craft. The internet has shown millions that knitting isn't about little old ladies and itchy jumpers, it is fun, creative, expressive and exciting!

Any online aspects of knitting you think I have missed out? Comment below! Also, please post links to your own and others knitting blogs - the online growth of knitting is a big positive and to be encouraged.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Moustache Mug Cozy

Do you ever feel like your tea drinking (or coffee/hot chocolate/boiled blood of your enemies drinking) isn't neither sophisticated nor manly enough?
Of course you do. Thank goodness I have an easy knitted solution, the Moustache Mug Cozy!



The Moustache Mug Cozy is designed to make it appear as though you have splendid upper lip hair whilst you are sipping your beverages!

You will need:
DK wool - I chose to do mine using white for the background and black for the moustache, however, you might fancy having an orange, green or purple moustache! You won't need an entire ball of wool, so this project is a great scrap buster.
4.5mm knitting needles
Darning needle - for sewing up
At least one button - for fastening the back of your cosy.
5mm crochet hook - for picking up stitches for the fastening. (If you don't know how to pick up and knit, or don't have a crochet hook, you can knit the fastening flap separately and sew it on)

Pattern
This pattern is for a mug that has a circumference approximately 26.5cm and a height of 9cm

Cozy
Cast on 18 stitches

The cozy is 60 rows long, and is knitted using the stocking stitch (knit one row, purl one row). Below is the knitting chart you will need to follow.

When following a chart, start from the bottom. Knit the odd rows, and purl the even rows!

After 60 rows, cast off.

Fastening
Use your crochet hook to pick up 6 stitches from the middle of your last row (the end nearest the moustache)

Row 1: Knit

Row 2: Purl

Row 3: K2 Kfb K3     count 7 stitches

Row 4: Purl

Row 5: K3 YO K1 K2tog K1       (This will create a small button hole and leave you with 7 stitches)

Row 6: Purl

Cast off

Making up
On the opposite end to your fastening flap, sew on an average sized button.

To finish, fold the cozy so that the short edges meet. Sew the tops and the bottoms together, making sure that the hole in between is big enough for the mug handle.

Put on your mug and ta da! You have ready to show off to your friends with your impressive new facial hair.


I apologise that this is the second moustache themed pattern in two weeks, my next pattern will be entirely moustache free, I promise!

Monday, 10 June 2013

Orestes the Octopus

You know when you are in a situation, where only a knitted octopus with a moustache could help? No? Well, me neither, but you NEVER know. And in any case, a knitted octopus with a moustache can make a lovely child's toy, or an intelligent looking friend for when you are feeling lonely.

My pattern for Orestes the Octopus is fairly quick and simple, although knitting eight legs can get a little tiresome!


You will need:
A small amount of blue dk wool
A small amount of black dk wool
4.5 mm knitting needles
Toy stuffing
Darning needle (for sewing up)

Abbreviations:
Kfb - Increase by 1 by knitting into the front and the back of the stitch
K2tog - Decrease by knitting 2 stitches together
P2tog - Decrease by purling 2 stitches together
M1 - Increase by picking up a stitch from the previous row

Pattern:

Body




To knit the body, follow the instructions below, when you get to row 7, you will have to refer to the knitting chart above!

With blue, cast on 22 stitches

Row 1: Knit

Row 2: Purl

Row 3: Kfb into each stitch in row    count 44 stitches

Row 4: Purl

Rows 5 - 24: [Repeat rows 1 and 2] 10 times

Row 25: [K2tog] across row     count 22 stitches

Row 26: Purl

Row 27: [K2tog] across row     count 11 stitches

Cut your yarn, leaving a long end. Thread your yarn onto a darning needle, thread through the remaining stitches on your needle and pull tight (drawstring finish). Sew up the seam at the back of the body, but do not sew up the bottom of the body.

Stuff your octopus' body, and then sew up the bottom.

Legs
Make 8

With blue, cast on 6 stitches.

Row 1: Knit across

Row 2: Purl across

Repeat rows 1 and 2 till leg is desired length.

Thread your yarn onto a darning needle, thread through the remaining stitches on your needle and pull tight (drawstring finish). Sew up the sides of the leg.

Once you have 8 legs, sew them into place on your Octopus!




Monday, 3 June 2013

'I want to start knitting!'

Great! You should. Knitting is hugely rewarding, both mentally and materially! When someone tells me they want to start knitting, they always have a few questions. Here I've tried to answer a lot of the questions that aspiring knitters have.

I'm not very creative, will I be any good?
Yes! Knitting is definitely creative, but is also logical and in some ways, mathematical. It's all about following instructions and patterns step by step. Someone who may think they are the least creative person in the world, may find they can knit something beautiful.

What will I need?
All you need to start knitting is a pair of needles and some wool. It's that simple. Once you get better, you may need different size needles, different thicknesses of wool, darning needles, circulars, double pointed needles, cable needles etc. but for beginners who just want to knit themselves a scarf to learn the basics, you only need to arm yourselves with those two sticks and that ball of yarn.

How do I learn?
I personally think that the best way for people to learn to knit is to be taught by someone who knows how. If you have questions or you make a mistake, there is someone on hand to help. However, not everyone knows a knitter, fortunately there are a number of brilliant beginners knitting books available. I would recommend using Aneeta Patel's 'Knitty Gritty - Knitting for the Absolute Beginner' it's full of easy to understand instructions and pictures to help you along. Alternatively, there are a massive selection of youtube videos you can choose from.

What does this thing do??!

There are so many stitches! Which one do I learn?!
Every knitter starts off learning the knit stitch (also called garter stitch). You'll probably use it in most knitting projects you'll do in the future. Once you've mastered the knit stitch, the next step is to learn the purl stitch.

What should be the first thing I knit?
Whilst you are first learning to knit, you'll inevitably drop and gain stitches all over the place, making for a very holey piece of knitting. I would suggest you just start knitting a patch to get the hang of it. Once you aren't making too many holes and feel more comfortable with what you are doing, the usual beginners project is a simple scarf, which when you have finished, you'll wear with pride!

I made a hole! What did I do? Can I fix it?
All beginners make holes. This will be because you dropped a stitch on the previous row, meaning you didn't knit it! Count how many stitches you have on the end of your needle at the end of each row, you may find you have less than you started with, or in some cases more! This is nothing to worry about when you are learning, but when you start knitting more complicated projects, you may find you have to undo a lot of your stitches to fix the problem!

Anything I missed out? Let me know!

Monday, 27 May 2013

Aztec Style Phone Case

The Aztec pattern is all the rage right now in the fashion world, skirts, tops, dresses, you name it. So why not  knitting? I've decided to contribute to the Aztec pattern trend by creating a phone case.

The 'Aztec Style Phone Case', modeled by my Samsung Galaxy

It's a fairly easy, fair isle style pattern. Feel no obligation to use the colours that I have suggested. Maybe try pinks, purples and oranges?

Please find the link to the pdf file below:
Aztec Style Phone Case

My Samsung phone is approximately 6cm x 11cm, although the case will fit phones smaller and larger.

Stay on trend, knit an Aztec Style Phone Case!


Monday, 20 May 2013

Free Knitting Charts!

As I have mentioned before in my 'Monsieur Pomme' post, I am currently in the process of knitting patches for a blanket I am making. I am still far from finishing it, and am dreading the sewing together stage.

I have recently knitted 3 more patches for my blanket, and have decided to share the patterns I created for them on here.

Clean Cut Tortoise
Well Dressed Flamingo
Handsome Hippo

I am pretty pleased with how they have turned out (My favourite is the Well Dressed Flamingo!), and am very happy to share them on Little Knittle. See below for the knitting charts.

Clean Cut Tortoise:

Well Dressed Flamingo:

Handsome Hippo:


When I knitted my patches I used DK wool and 4.5mm straight needles. Enjoy!



Monday, 13 May 2013

Mouse Mug Hug


I love a mug with a cosy. It keeps your tea warm, stops you from burning your hands, and makes that cup of tea that bit more enjoyable.

My Mouse Mug Hug is leaning slightly more towards fun than practical, it looks great on my shelf, and took very little time to knit.

You will need:
DK wool - I chose to do mine predominantly using grey wool, however, you might fancy making a yellow mouse with purple ears. You won't need an entire ball of wool, so this project is a great scrap buster.
5mm knitting needles
Darning needle - for sewing up and stitching face details
At least one button - for fastening the back of your cosy, you may also want to use buttons for eyes.
5mm crochet hook - for picking up stitches for the fastening. (If you don't know how to pick up and knit, or don't have a crochet hook, you can knit the fastening flap separately and sew it on)

Pattern
This pattern is for a mug that has a circumference approximately 26.5cm and a height of 9cm

Body
Cast on 18 stitches

The body is 60 rows long, I did the piece in stockinette stitch (Knitting one row, then purling one row), however, you could do it just using the knit stitch, or possibly using moss stitch.

After 60 rows, cast off.

Fastening
Use your crochet hook to pick up 6 stitches from the middle of your last row of the body

Row 1: Knit

Row 2: Purl

Row 3: K2 Kfb K3     count 7 stitches

Row 4: Purl

Row 5: K3 YO K1 K2tog K1       (This will create a small button hole and leave you with 7 stitches)

Row 6: Purl

Cast off

Ears Make 2
Cast on 60 stitches

Rows 1-4: Knit

Row 5: [K2tog] repeat till end     count 30 stitches

Rows 6-10: Knit

Row 11: [K2tog] repeat till end     count 15 stitches

Rows 12-13: Knit

Row 14: [K2tog] repeat 7 times, K1     count 8 stitches

Cast off

Shape into circle, you will find you'll be able shape the ear to what size you want, the smaller you make the ear, the thicker it will be. I prefer my ears to have a little bit of thickness so that they can stick out from my cosy. Once your happy with your ear size, sew it up.

Tail
Cast on 2 stitches

Knit for 40 rows

Cast off

Making up
Firstly, I would suggest stitching the face details in place, using my design as a guide if you wish. Try and make these central to the body, so when it is around the mug, the face is opposite the handle.

Next, sew the ears into place on either side of the face. Try and make sure the ears are each the same distance away from their retrospective ends.

Now, stitch on the tail, starting at the back and bringing it to the front.

On the opposite end to your fastening flap, sew on an average sized button.

To finish, fold the body so that the short edges meet. Sew the tops and the bottoms together, making sure that the hole in between is big enough for the mug handle.


Place on mug and fasten up using the button. Your Mouse Mug Hug is complete.



Monday, 6 May 2013

10 Reasons You Should Knit

  1. It's super therapeutic. A lot of people are saying that knitting is the new yoga, and although it doesn't have the health and fitness benefits of yoga, knitting can be very calming (unless you're having to concentrate on all those yarn overs or when to increase/decrease!)
  2. Creating things feels good! It's the closest you'll get to feeling like God must have felt when he created Nutella. Epic.
  3. Avoid that Fancy Dress panic. Want to wear a costume that doesn't exist? Don't want to end up wearing paper maché and a bin liner? Knit it! With the internet, it's easy to find patterns for most things, (for example, look at this knitted wig: http://knitty.com/ISSUEfall04/PATThallowig.html). If it doesn't exist? You definitely have the creative ability to make up your own knitting pattern.
  4. Great gifts! This past year, my friends have been getting knitted gifts for their birthdays. I've found that the time and effort I've put into their presents is really appreciated!
  5. Portable, take your knitting anywhere! When you only really need two needles and a ball of wool,  you can take your knitting anywhere. It's great for passing the time on long train journeys.
  6. Wool hourding. I'm not entirely sure this is a positive, but building up a collection of different coloured wools is massively addictive. I'm not sure why...
  7. It's a personal challenge. Putting in the time and effort to complete a project is a challenge, but one that you will enjoy doing and give you reason to feel proud at the end.
  8. You'll build up major Granny Skills. I don't necessarily want to feed into the stereotype that only little old ladies knit, but, when you do become old and grey, being able to knit will ensure you are the ultimate granny.
  9. It's totally personal and unique. Even if you are following a pattern, you can choose the colour, or add your own little twists to your work. Knitting is a brilliant way of creating something suited specifically to a person, or yourself!
  10. It's cool. It really is. Knitting is becoming more and more popular. And even if it wasn't, it would still be cool, for all of the reasons above and more!

Monday, 29 April 2013

Wrap Drop Stitch Tutorial + Wrap Drop Scarf

The Wrap Drop stitch is a very easy stitch that has the added bonus of looking great. It's very quick and can add length to your knitting without using too much wool.



How to do the Wrap Drop Stitch

Cast on any number of stitches, I would suggest around 20 when learning.

Knit two or three rows. When using the wrap drop stitch, I would suggest that you don't begin or end your piece with wrap drop rows.

Wrap Row - Pick up your first stitch as if you were going to knit it. Wrap your yarn around the right hand needle three times, as shown in the photo below. Then, loop the stitch off the left hand needle as you would when knitting normally. You should now have three stitches on your right needle instead of one. Do this with every stitch along the row.

Wrap row

Drop Row - Knit into the first stitch on your left needle, let the next two stitches fall off the needle, it should feel like they naturally want to do that. Do this along the row, at the end, count your stitches to make sure you have the same number as you originally cast on with.

Ta da! You've done it! Just make sure when you use this stitch, you do at least a couple of knitted rows between your wrap drop rows.
Wrap Drop Scarf


Now you know how to do the wrap drop stitch, I would suggest you practice it and show it off by knitting a wrap drop scarf!

You will need:
6mm needles
One 100g ball of DK yarn (You may find you don't even need all of it)

Pattern

Cast on 25 stitches

Rows 1-5: Knit across

Row 6: Wrap row

Row 7: Drop row

Repeat these seven rows until your scarf is as long as you want it.

Last 5 rows: Knit across

Bind off and weave in ends.


Monday, 22 April 2013

Quackball


Quackball is a small, duck friend made up mostly of a ball that is both its head and its body. It also has fairly over sized limbs.

If you want to knit your very own Quackball friend, please use the pattern I created below!

You will need:
A small amount of yellow dk wool
A small amount of orange dk wool
4mm knitting needles
Toy stuffing
Eye material (I used black wool to sew on eyes, but you may prefer to use buttons, beads, etc)
Darning needle (for sewing up)

Abbreviations:
Kfb - Increase by 1 by knitting into the front and the back of the stitch
K2tog - Decrease by knitting 2 stitches together
P2tog - Decrease by purling 2 stitches together
M1 - Increase by picking up a stitch from the previous row

Pattern:

Body
With yellow, cast on 22 stitches

Row 1: Knit

Row 2: Purl

Row 3: Kfb into each stitch in row    count 44 stitches

Row 4: Purl

Rows 5 - 24: [Repeat rows 1 and 2] 10 times

Row 25: [K2tog] across row     count 22 stitches

Row 26: Purl

Row 27: [K2tog] across row     count 11 stitches

Cut your yarn, leaving a long end. Thread your yarn onto a darning needle and thread through the remaining stitches on your needle and pull tight (drawstring finish). Sew up the seam at the back of the body, but do NOT sew up the bottom of the body.

I would suggest adding your eyes to the body at this point, be they wool eyes, button eyes, bead eyes etc.

Stuff the body, and sew up opening. You may want to manipulate the shape of the body into a ball to prevent it looking a bit lumpy!

Wings (make 2)
With yellow, cast on 16 stitches

Row 1: Knit

Row 2: Purl

Row 3: [K1 K2tog] repeat 5 times, K1     count 11 stitches

Row 4: Purl

Row 5: [K2 K2tog] repeat twice, K2     count 9 stitches

Row 6: Purl

Row 7: Knit

Row 8: [P2tog] repeat 4 times, P1     count 5 stitches

Row 9: [K2tog] repeat twice, K1     count 3 stitches

Cast off, fold along the middle and sew up the sides. Sew onto body (see photo for placement)

Beak (make 2 pieces)
With orange, cast on 7 stitches

Row 1: Knit

Row 2: Purl

Row 3: K1 M1 K5 M1 K1     count 9 stitches

Row 4: Purl

Row 5: K1 M1 K7 M1 K1     count 11 stitches

Row 6: Purl

Row 7: K1 M1 K4 M1 K5 M1 K1     count 14 stitches

Row 8: Purl

Row 9: [K1 K2tog] repeat 4 times, K2     count 10 stitches

Row 10: [P2tog] repeat 5 times     count 5 stitches

Cast off

Repeat instructions for beak so that you have two pieces, place the two pieces on top of another and sew together. Sew onto body (see photo for placement)

Feet (make 2)
With orange, cast on 7 stitches

Row 1: Knit

Row 2: Purl

Rows 3 - 20: Repeats rows 1 and 2 a further 9 times

Cast off, fold in half so the short ends meet and then sew up. Sew onto body (see photo for placement)

Tail
With yellow, cast on 3 stitches

Row 1: Knit

Row 2: Purl

Rows 3-8: Repeat rows 1 and 2 a further 3 times

Cast off, fold in half so the short ends meet and then sew up. Sew onto back of body.

Well done! Your Quackball friend is complete!




Monday, 15 April 2013

Fair Isle Glasses Case


I wear glasses all the time, so at the end of the day I tend to just chuck them on my bedside table before falling asleep and then grope around for them when I wake up. My glasses definitely deserve more respect than that, so I created and knitted my very own fair isle case!

It doesn't take very long to knit, and doesn't use very much wool. It's pretty easy and super effective.

Find the chart and pattern I created here:
Fair Isle Glasses Case

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Monsieur Pomme

Over the course of the last few months or so, I have been slowly working on a patchwork blanket. It is nowhere near completed yet, but hopefully it will be ready by the time I head off to university.

Here is one of the patches I have recently knitted, which I have called 'Monsieur Pomme'. 


I love it so much and am so happy with how it turned out, that I've decided to share the knitting chart I made of it on here!

Knitting chart for Monsieur Pomme:



Monsieur Pomme doesn't have to be a patch on a blanket, you can use him on anything you see fit! I would love to see him on a hat, a mug cosy, or a cushion!

Monday, 8 April 2013

Yoda/Dobby Hat

A knitted Yoda or Dobby hat is the perfect gift for a Star Wars or Harry Potter fan. Alternatively, make one for yourself, stick a pillow case on and ta da! You are ready for a fancy dress party.

This is a fairly easy pattern for someone who wants to make a hat that's a little bit different. Both Yoda and Dobby use the same pattern, the only difference is the colour!


You will need -
Approximately a third of a ball of wool, for Yoda I used Stylecraft Special DK Meadow, and for Dobby I used Stylecraft Special DK Parchment
4mm needles
4mm circulars
4mm DPNs
4.5mm needles

Pattern -

Hat

Cast on 88 stitches on 4mm straight needles

K1 P1 until the piece measures 4cm, transfer to circulars after a couple of rows (I would suggest placing a stitch marker where the ends have joined together so you know where the start of a new round begins)

When your ribbed border measures 4cm and you've reached the end of a round, continue in knit stitch

Continue knitting in the round until your hat measures approximately 17cm (including the ribbing) in length, complete the round

Decrease for the top of the hat:
Starting a new round, [K6 K2tog] repeat to the end of the round   count 77 stitches

[K5 K2tog] repeat to the end of the round    count 66 stitches

[K4 K2tog] repeat to the end of the round    count 55 stitches

Transfer to DPNs

[K3 K2tog] repeat to the end of the round    count 44 stitches

[K2 K2tog] repeat to the end of the round    count 33 stitches

[K1 K2tog] repeat to the end of the round    count 22 stitches

[K2tog] repeat to the end of the round    count 11 stitches

Leaving about 20cm, cut the end of the wool. Thread onto a darning needle and thread through the remaining 11 stitches and pull tight (drawstring finish), weave in the end on the inside of the hat.

Ears

Make 2

Either cast on 8 stitches onto a 4.5mm needle or using a crochet hook, pick up 8 stitches from the hat where you want the ears to be and place on 4.5mm needle.

Row 1  Knit all

Row 2  Knit all

Row 3  K4 M1 K4    count 9 stitches

Row 4  K4 M1 K5    count 10 stitches

Row 5  K1 M1 K8 M1 K1   count 12 stitches

Row 6  K1 M1 K10 M1 K1    count 14 stitches

Row 7  K1 M1 K12 M1 K1    count 16 stitches

Row 8  K1 M1 K14 M1 K1    count 18 stitches

Row 9  K1 M1 K16 M1 K1    count 20 stitches

Row 10  K1 M1 K18 M1 K1    count 22 stitches

Row 11 - 15  Knit all

Row 16  K1 M1 K20 M1 K1    count 24 stitches

Row 17  Knit all

Row 18  K11 K2tog K11    count 23 stitches

Row 19  K11 K2tog K10    count 22 stitches

Row 20  K10 K2tog K10    count 21 stitches

Row 21  K10 K2tog K9    count 20 stitches

Row 22  K9 K2tog K9    count 19 stitches

Row 23  K9 K2tog K8    count 18 stitches

Row 24  K8 K2tog K8    count 17 stitches

Row 25  K8 K2tog K7    count 16 stitches

Row 26  K7 K2tog K7    count 15 stitches

Row 27  K7 K2tog K6    count 14 stitches

Row 28  K6 K2tog K6    count 13 stitches

Row 29  K6 K2tog K5    count 12 stitches

Row 30  K5 K2tog K5    count 11 stitches

Row 31  K5 K2tog K4    count 10 stitches

Row 32  K4 K2tog K4    count 9 stitches

Row 33  K4 K2tog K3    count 8 stitches

Row 34  K3 K2tog K3    count 7 stitches

Row 35  K3 K2tog  K2    count 6 stitches

Row 36  K2 K2tog K2     count 5 stitches

Row 37  K2 K2tog K1     count 4 stitches

Row 38  K1 K2tog K1     count 3 stitches

Bind off

I chose to fold over my ears and sew them down, it's up to you whether you leave them unfolded or not.

If you didn't pick up the stitches from the hat, sew your ears in place.


Enjoy!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Simple Knitted Crown

Here's a pattern for all the little (and big) princesses and princes out there. Perfect for dressing up, and much more durable than a paper crown!

I came up with this really simple pattern when I was trying to find a crown pattern on the internet, there are lots of brilliant intricate ones, but I wanted something quick and simple that I could give to my princess obsessed niece.

You will need:
Less than a quarter of a ball of wool, colour of your own choosing
4.5mm needles
Darning needle (for sewing up)
You may also want to attach buttons and beads to your crown to be jewels!

Stitch abbreviations:
K  -       knit
M1 -     make 1 new stitch (I usually do this by picking up a loop of wool from the previous row)
K2tog - knit two stitches together


The Pattern:

Cast on 12 stitches
Row 1:    Knit entire row
Row 2:    Knit entire row
Row 3:    K11  M1  K1        count 13 stitches
Row 4:    K1  M1  K12        count 14 stitches
Row 5:    K13  M1  K1        count 15 stitches
Row 6:    K1  M1  K14        count 16 stitches
Row 7:    K15  M1  K1        count 17 stitches
Row 8:    K1  M1  K16        count 18 stitches
Row 9:    K17  M1  K1        count 19 stitches
Row 10:  K1  M1   K18       count 20 stitches
Row 11:  Knit entire row
Row 12:  K1  K2tog  K17    count 19 stitches
Row 13:  K16  K2tog  K1    count 18 stitches
Row 14:  K1  K2tog  K15    count 17 stitches
Row 15:  K14  K2tog  K1    count 16 stitches
Row 16:  K1  K2tog  K13    count 15 stitches
Row 17:  K12  K2tog K1     count 14 stitches
Row 18:  K1  K2tog K11     count 13 stitches
Row 19:  K10  K2tog K1     count 12 stitches
Row 20:  Knit entire row

Repeat these 20 rows a further five times for a child's crown (total of six pointy bits!) and a further six times for an adult's crown (seven pointy bits).

Bind off.



I would suggest sewing any beads or buttons you want onto the crown before sewing up. Please, if you are sewing buttons or beads on a crown for a small child, make sure they are SUPER secure.

Sew up the sides, and your crown is finished!