Friday, February 07, 2014

Free knitting pattern for a tiny gift bag




A quick to knit little bag to enclose a gift of your choice
Materials:  Small ball of DK yarn (about 8g).  A pair of 4mm knitting needles.  Length of narrow ribbon.
Size:  Approximately 4 x 6.5 inches.
Gauge:  Not important.
Abbreviations:  k = knit;  p = purl;  st = stitch;  sts = stitches;  ss = stocking (stockinette) stitch;  yon = yarn over needle by bringing yarn to front of work then over needle to make a st;  k2tog = knit two together;  psso = pass slipped st over;  m1 = lift bar in front of next st and k into it to make a st;  [  ] = repeat instructions in brackets

With 4mm needles cast on 20 sts (for a bigger bag cast on more sts in multiples of 4).


Ss 4 rows.


Next row:  k2, [yon, k2tog, k1] to end

Next row:  p


Continue in pattern as follows:

Row 1:  [k3, p1] to end

Row 2:  [k1, p3] to end

Row 3:  [yon, slip 1 knitwise,  k2tog, psso, m1, p1] to end

Row 4:  [k1, p3] to end


Repeat these 4 rows until work measures 12 inches or desired length when folded in half.


Next row:  k2, [yon, k2tog, k1] to end

Ss 3 rows.

Bind off.


Lightly steam or damp block.

Fold in half with right sides facing and join side seams.

Turn right side out and thread ribbon through top holes.


Fill with a gift of your choice and give away!


©  Helen Cox 2014

Thursday, August 29, 2013

My favourite dolls house miniature knitting pattern

I started designing knitting patterns for the dolls house in 12th scale many years ago.  I found patterns online but they were so intricate and took so long to make that I decided to come up with my own patterns that were easier to knit. 

This was my very first pattern:

Now nearly 10 years later strangely this is still my most popular pattern!  I have sold 2 copies through Ravelry in the last 2 days alone.

I have designed many many patterns since then, some are free ones on this blog, and some are available as kits.

The bedspread is my favourite design, although I love knitting tiny sweaters.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Back to craft fairs!

So beeptwo and I ventured into craft fairs again last weekend and displayed buttons, ribbons, card making goods and dolls house knitting.
We were really lucky that the weather was kind with no rain although it was very windy and we spent a lot of time holding onto things.  There was an initial tussle with a gazebo that I won't go in to but we got set up eventually.

It wasn't perhaps the best time of year or venue for our goods but there was enough of a profit to call it a success.  Will we be doing another one later in the year?  We will see.
Anna has a knitting pattern coming out in Knit Now at the end of August (on the cover this time), with another due for publication later in the year, so she is busy as always.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Classic Car Show and Craft Fair this Sunday in Flitwick

My goodness it's many years since I did a craft show, life got in the way.
When the kiddies were little I used to make salt dough pieces (anyone remember those???) and made some pin money selling them locally at craft shows, but my interests changed.

Now to pass the time I knit tiny little garments, dolls house 12th scale size, and my main selling platform is ebay.  I flirted a bit with etsy but it isn't a success, I think my customers know where to find me. 
Mostly I sell things like this:

 although recently I branched out for a change into bigger doll garments.  This one sold this week on ebay:
It's a long story, but this weekend beeptwo and I will be selling at a craft fair to be held in Flitwick, Bedfordshire. 
Anna (as beepbeepdesigns) will have loads of crafty items at bargain prices, including cardmaking stuff like stamps and card blanks, and also some lovely buttons and ribbon.  A selection of miniature knitting items for the dolls house like yarn, needles, patterns, kits and ready made items will also be there.

We are really looking forward to meeting everyone and just keeping everything crossed that the weather is kind to us!

If you are in the area please pop over and say hello.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Fibre East 2013

Beeptwo and I usually make an annual pilgrimage to the Knitting and Stitching Show in London in October, and the date for this October is on the calendar.  Anna spotted that Fibre East was to be held this weekend in Flitwick, literally a few minutes walk from where she lives, so as she pointed out 'it would be rude not to go!'.  So we wandered down on Saturday morning, and had a great time.
It was held in the local secondary school/college, in lots of different rooms, with marquees in the grounds, and if you came by car, lots of parking.  It was also a (doable) walk from the station, with direct trains to London, Brighton and Bedford, and just off the M1, so very easy to get to.
The admission cost was £6 for Anna and £3 for me as an OAP, so very reasonable, especially with no travel costs.
It was a hot day, and some of the rooms were quite stuffy, but we certainly should not complain about that, it was the poor stall holders who were struggling. The venue was fine if you could excuse that it was a school, and there was plenty of room.  Compared to the Knitting and Stitching Show there was certainly less there, with more emphasis on spinning and weaving than knitting, but enough for us to be able to buy yummy yarns and accessories and our three hours there went very quickly.  Of course it doesn't have the classes or the exhibitions of art works, but the big bonus point for us was that it was so wonderful and easy to wander around, you could easily get to all the stalls without the jam packed feeling of the London show.  We were able to see and buy lovely yarns which are difficult to get locally, and although they are available online, it is good to see before you buy.  The stall holders were all so very helpful and knowledgeable, and a pleasure to talk to.
Anna was able to introduce herself to the Editor of Knit Now (she is one of their designers with a new pattern coming out there next month but has never actually met them before).
We have almost decided to give the London show a miss this year, due to the travelling difficulty and the crowds, but will certainly go back to Fibre East if it is local next year.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

So what is it with 'magic loop'?

I am knitting a sweater from a pattern I bought on Ravelry.  It is a standard pull-on sweater with a pretty lacy panel down the outside of the sleeve.  I am using a cotton yarn frogged from a cardigan so I am going to have to be a bit careful with how much I have, but I am hoping that with the low neckline and half a ball of the original left over I will have enough.

I am of the old school where garments were knitted flat, each piece separately, then seamed together.  I am not a big fan of knitting in the round, I hate using double pointed needles and struggle a bit with circulars, but hey ho, this pattern is completely in the round and seamless so I thought I would give it a go.

I started with the neckline, knitted downwards flat until joined at centre front, used a long length circular needle from then on, going OK if a bit fiddly pulling the loops of needle through, but fairly mindless knitting.  I carried on to about half way down the body, then as I am watching the amount of yarn, decided to do the sleeves so I could finish the body using what I had left.

So I started the sleeves using magic loop with my long length circular.  Not happy, taking ages doing all that moving the loops along, not enjoying this at all.  I moved onto a set of 4 dpn's, hate doing this, so slow and difficult trying to do the lace pattern.  So then moved onto a smaller length circular needle and continued with magic loop, and it is really awkward, slow and forming a definite ridge at the change over point.

I have nearly finished the first sleeve and I am just hoping that the stitches will even themselves out during block and wear.  I have scoured the internet and I seem to be doing it right, it must just be the way I hold the needle.  How I wish I had knit the sleeve flat before I joined the body, it would only have needed the one seam down the inside of the sleeve.  And I still have another sleeve to go....  I know what I will do next time and it won't be magic loop.

Update 5th May.  Got as far as the ribbing on the first sleeve and not happy with the result.  Pulled it undone and started the sleeve again knitting it flat.  Flying along now and much happier!  A lesson learned.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

My granny square blanket

I have spotted a number of Pinterest boards lately with lovely designs of granny square blankets.  This reminded me that I made something similar in the early 1970's when for some reason I had lots of oddments of yarn around and just wanted something to fill the evenings in front of the TV (nothing changes!).
I rummaged around in my blanket box and there it was.

I remember trying to sort the colours so that I went light, medium, dark then repeat, well sort of  'ish. 
It did have some use but the trouble with knitted blankets is that they are very heavy, and not that comfortable to sleep under.  And of course impossible to wash. 
I remember visiting my dear old mum and the bed we were put in had several blankets made of knitted squares, and it was like sleeping under a plank, but that is another story.
In fact I made two much the same.  The other one was given to my mother-in-law and when we were sorting out her house it went to the charity shop!  I hope someone treasures it. This design was not so popular then as it is now, perhaps it is now 'retro'.
Of course I just crocheted round and round and today's designs are much more appealing, with lovely colour combinations and crochet patterns.  I expect it will go back into the blanket box for now.
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