Sunday, 19 July 2015

KNITTED SCARVES

I decided that my next project would be a scarf.  I found, after knitting my throw, that I actually liked knitting and wanted to do some more of it.  I wasn't ready to knit another throw yet, so I decided on knitting a scarf.  That should be easy enough and it was only garter stitch.  I do plan on doing other stitches in the future.


Blue And White Striped Knitted Scarf
As with my knitted throw, I cast on my stitches with the method the GoodKnitKisses - "Cast On Beginner" shows.  I cast on 30 as I didn't want the scarf to be too thick or too thin.

I wanted to use two colours for my scarf, so went back to YouTube to see how I could integrate my two colours and make it look neat and tidy.

knittingtipsbyjudy - "How To Add Color Knitting Video" - Judy showed a very simple way to add colour successfully.  I understood the concept and I could implement the procedure, but I kept getting the changeover colour started on the wrong side.  I kept thinking that to start the changeover colour you needed to start knitting on the back of the knit.  Every time I start the changeover at the back of the knit, the joining of the two colours would be at the front of the knit, which made the scarf look untidy.  I seriously couldn't see what I was doing wrong.  Honestly, I started this scarf about 5 times before it sunk in that I needed to start my changeover colour at the front, so that the joining of the two colours would be at the back.  Took me a while, but I got there.


Back Of The Scarf

Once I understood the concept, it was plain sailing thereafter.  The scarf isn't very long, about 55" in length.  I think its a good length, not too long, not too short.

To cast off, I again used "Share The Warmth: Brett Bara Shows You How To Knit".  Near the end of the video, Brett shows you how to cast off, which is simple enough for me.


Length And Width Of Finished Scarf

Once I cast off, I had to get rid of the excess strands at the back of the scarf to make the scarf look neat and tidy.  I got one of my knitters needles that has a rounded, blunt tip to sew the excess wool into the scarf.

I must admit, I'm happy with the outcome at the back of the scarf.


Before Sewing

After Sewing

Once I finished sewing in the ends, I felt a huge sense of relief that I managed to finish the scarf and satisfaction because I liked the finished look of the scarf.  Even though I had to start the scarf 5 times, it ended up ok.


Blue And White Striped Knitted Scarf


Blue And White Striped Knitted Scarf

Now, I'm ready for my next project!!

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

KNITTED THROWS

Sewing is not the only hobby I enjoy, I also like to knit.  I find knitting calming and enjoyable.  Enjoyable when something you are knitting turns into something you are proud of.  I must admit, when I spend too much time on one sewing project, I get bored.  When I'm bored and fed up, I can make mistakes.  Making mistakes is not what I want to do.  Don't get me wrong, all the projects I have started will be finished, but it's nice to work on different projects every now and then.

My first complete knitting project is my blue and white nautical throw for beds, armchairs and sofas.  It's not too large, just large enough to cover your knees when you get cold or to put around your shoulders.  Of course, I love it and I am very happy with the outcome.



Blue And White Knitted Throw Folded In Half 

To start my knitted throw, I again turned to YouTube:

GoodKnitKisses - "Cast On Beginner" - Kristen shows you how to cast on before you start knitting.  There are so many ways to cast on and this way was the way I identified with the most.

Share The Warmth!  "Brett Bara Shows You How To Knit" - Brett shows you another way to cast on.  I found this a little confusing to follow, but some people might prefer this way.

With my knitted throw, I decided to do it in separate blocks and sew them together at the end.  The middle, small squares were knitted separately.  I cast on 10 and did 10 rows.  With the long stripes, I cast on 60 and did 10 rows.


Blue And White Knitted Throw - Full Size

Then came the sewing.  With some trepidation, I looked into sewing my knitted squares and stripes together.  I looked into many ways on YouTube and I found:

Heather Gibbs - "Invisible Sewing Technique - Crochet" - Heather explains carefully and clearly exactly her process of doing an invisible seam to sew knitted items together.

Nancy Wynn - "Invisible Mattress Stitch On Garter Stitch Seams - Nancy, like Heather, explains her process of doing invisible seams with knitted items.

Even though both ladies sewed their knitted seams in the same way, I used Nancy's technique more.  Why?  I'm not quite sure, may be it was because my knitted throw is garter stitch.

Once I sewed my blocks together, the outside edges were a little uneven in places and I needed to hide the uneveness.  I decided on a border.  Again, I looked on YouTube and found many different ways to stitch a border.  I tried a three stitch crochet border, but found that stitch a little overbearing.  Then I found:

BookPeopleStudio - "How To Crochet A Border" - This person showed how to single stitch a crochet border, which I preferred.  I chose a yellow border for my throw, keeping the nautical/summery feel.


Folded Blue And White Knitted Throw With Yellow Single Crocheted Border

It was fun doing my knitted throw and I look forward to doing another one.  I am trying to design my own patterns which I'm finding challenging.  My next knitted project, I think, will be scarves.  I want to do something simple before I start a more difficult project.

Well, adios until the next time.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

SLOWLY, BUT SURELY


There are so many talented people out there.  I look on Google Plus, Pinterest and YouTube and I see talented people like MollyQuest, TheCraftyGemini and Shari Sherman make artistic knits, quilts and sewable things and I realise that I want to join the ranks of the talented and artistic.  I won't compare myself to other people because I believe that everyone is different and everyone does their thing in their own way.  Even though I am a beginner knitter, quilter and sewer, I am just as talented and artistic as everyone else, but brilliance takes time.  I am prepared to go slowly, but surely.  I am willing to learn new things to become experienced in my working and leisure life.

I think about what I want to make, then I surf YouTube for people to help me to make what I want to make.  As a beginner, with no official training in knitting, sewing or quilting, I look for the simplest and easiest way of making my chosen project.  I am a person who finds it easier to watch someone make something, watching step by step the process.  I find it difficult to read instructions in a book, or on a page, especially when I can't see the step by step process.  With YouTube, you can stop the video when you want.  You can rewind and go over again and again the part you find difficult until you understand and get it right.  Because of YouTube, I have the confidence to continually move forward and make the projects I never dreamed I would be able to make.  With that in mind, I had a go at making tote bags.


Imitation Brown Suede Tote Bag I Made
The reason why I have found my confidence to make my projects is because of the people I choose on YouTube to help me.  Their easy, no nonsense, step by step approach got me through.

Rachel Greenland - The Textile Tutor - "How to Make a Simple Tote Bag".  Rachel's tote bag is suitable for beginners and the only stitches you need for this bag are straight and zig zag stitch.


Imitation Red Suede Tote Bag I Made
Prettycraftygirl - "DIY Tote Bag/Sewing Project for Beginners".  Prettycraftygirl helped me to give my tote bag a square bottom, which was easier to do then I thought.


I love my pin cushions
The pin cushions I made without any help from anyone.  Pin cushions are not the hardest things to make, but I did it all by myself.

All the people who upload videos to YouTube, keep doing what you are doing and keep up the good work.  I don't think people realise how helpful you actually are.  Thank you, thank you, thank you. :)

Sunday, 31 May 2015

THE START


One day, I had a thought, "learn to sew".  Why I thought that, I couldn't tell you, but it was a desire I wanted to follow up.

To be truthful, I wasn't sure I would be interested for long, so I thought I would buy one of those mini battery operated sewing machines that were selling cheap on Ebay.  Quite frankly, it was a toy, but no matter.  It was for practise purposes any way.



The tension was not what I hoped for with this sewing machine

The sewing machine was okay.  It was small and compact and not heavy at all.  The sewing stitch was another matter.  I didn't like the way it stitched.  I would sew, but the tension of the stitch was weak and couldn't hold the material together at all well.

By the time I realised that the mini sewing machine wasn't for me, I was hooked on sewing.  I had managed to sew a couple of cushion covers and a small lunch tote bag for my sister, Susan and realised I had enjoyed doing it.  I was surprised at myself because I had avoided getting myself a sewing machine for years.  I had sewing lessons at school, which was fine, but after school, I wasn't interested.  As far as I was concerned, there were people out there who were willing to be paid to repair my trousers.  As you can see, I have changed my mind.

I started to look for a sewing machine that was a step up from my mini sewing machine.  With not a lot of money to spend, I went to ebay, hoping to bid on a sewing machine I could afford.  No luck there, I kept getting outbid on everything I was bidding for.  I was getting annoyed because I couldn't get a sewing machine.  Then I remembered that there was a 'Singer' centre were I live - google.com/+Singer Sewing Centre.  I went there and there was a 'Brother' sewing machine for sale at £45 and I managed to buy if for £40 - bargain!!



I love my 'Brother' sewing machine

Sewing is therapeutic for me.  I want to sew many, many things.  I'm starting off with cushion covers.






Throws and quilts, bags, pincushions, I even want to knit throws as well.  Later,  I will have a go with trousers, skirts and dresses.  I don't have the confidence to do it just yet.



I plan on making a matching throw to go with this cushion cover

I'm very happy with my 'Brother' sewing machine, its helped me so much with my sewing.  I have confidence in what I make.  Don't get me wrong, not everything I have sewn has been perfect, but I'm happy with the items I have sewn, I'm happy with my progress.  After all, I really only started to knit and sew at the beginning of April, 2015.  Not bad going, even if I do say so myself.

I am very happy with my 'Brother' sewing machine, but I would like to thank MollyQuest  on youtube for showing me how easy it was to make envelope cushion covers.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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