A red red rose

I started knitting a while ago and my little one was desperate to get involved. Remembering a wooden knitting doll from my childhood, I told her she could have her own doll to knit with and after finding one in the shops, buying it and bringing it home, we sat down to have a go.

This is when I remembered just how fiddly these thing are, and needless to say my head strong three year old soon gave up.

So, now I have a new toy!

I found some very red, red wool in Sainsbury’s of all places, and started to play around with the idea of making some roses.

I think they turned turned out alright, very rose like. I’ve been wearing this one as a brooch. This is how I made it.

I found it a lot easier to use a crochet hook to do the french knitting instead of the large wooden “pin” that was supplied with the french knitting doll.

I also found that I could get a nice rhythm going by holding the wool under a little tension with my little finger and rotating the knitting doll with my left hand.

It’s important to leave plenty of wool at either end of your french knitting once you cast off as this is what you use to stitch it all together. (I didn’t leave enough in the photo below, so leave around 70cm)

You need around 1 metre of french knitting to make one rose that will end up being about 6.5 cm across.

Make a small loop in one end of the knitting and stitch it together using a darning needle, at what will now be the back of your flower.

Add three or four slightly larger loops around your small starting loop, stitching in place at the back as you go. Now you need to build up more loops around the outside, try to overlap them as you go.

Continue to loop the knitting around.

You may find it easier to roughly lay out the last couple of loops in your hand before stitching to ensure that they are even and you have finished with the  end of your knitting at the back.

Once you have all your loops stitched in place and the end attached at the back then you need the tighten the whole flower up.

To make the petal shapes and tighten it up, stitch from the center out through the whole flower to the middle of the petal loops and pull them back in towards the center, don’t pull this too tight as you could just end up with smaller loops rather that pimpled petal shapes.

Take your time and make sure you are happy with the shape, then tie off your lose ends but leave them attached so you can use them to simply attach your choice of fastening to the back.

If you have a go I’d love to see your results and what you use them for.

Have fun.

Shelley

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The last in a long line or I love my Scarf.

The last row, I’ve finally finished!!!

I only say that because it’s taken me about two years not because it’s been a chore, far from it, I have loved knitting my first scarf.

The pattern is called Logan and came from The Pure Wool Collection by Rowan.

For a large chunk of that two years it has taken me, the knitting languished in the bottom of my wardrobe, having had the needle swiftly removed by my curious toddler.

The really annoying part was when I finally remembered to give it to my mum to be rescued, it took her less then five minuets to restore it.

I had asked mum if she would teach me to knit and she very kindly gave me the book, wool, needles and a lesson for my birthday. Thanks mum.

Despite the needle-ectomy and inordinate length of time it took me, I can’t recommend this pattern highly enough. Bearing in mind that this is the first full blown knitting project I’ve taken on, I’m sooo pleased.

This has to be, for me anyway, the perfect combination of easy to follow pattern, forgiving design and an end result that appears complex enough to impress and encourage.

I see far more knitting in my future, but given the time scale per piece, I don’t think any one will be getting a scarf for Christmas, at least not this year.

If you have a recommended beginner knitting pattern, I would love to hear about it.

Shelley

Spiral wool decorative eggs

I’m loving playing with egg shells, husks, casings? Shells sort of implies they’re fragmented, note to self, find proper name for egg casing (ooh ooh… pod, I like that, egg pod).

Anyhow, I’ve been wrapping egg pods in wool and I think they’ve turned out really well, this is how I made them.

If you wish to hang the eggs once completed, then I found a neat way of creating a loop.

Start by selecting the opening  (made when you blow the egg, egg blowing link here,) which you would like to become the top of your finished egg.

Choose two colours of wool, don’t cut lengths of, just unravel some of it. Make a loop in one of the ends of wool and then tuck both ends and the knot (having covered the knot in PVA glue ) into the opening.

Now spiral the two lengths of wool around the egg. I use PVA glue as it’s viscous enough to hold the wool in place as you go along. Glue small areas of the egg and work your way down.

When you get to the bottom cut of the wool and your done. If you get a little hole right at the bottom after you cut the wool of, it can be filled with a small off cut of wool and becomes almost invisible.

The eggs also look great on a table piled up in a bowl. If this is your preference then just tuck both ends into the opening at the beginning, no knot needed and spiral away.

Great fun with quick results, the way all home made projects should be.

Shelley