Thursday, 29 June 2017

Pocket Sized Frida Kahlo

I have now graduated! Which is terrifying so for a little bit of feminist inspiration I have made myself I tiny Frida Kahlo, enjoy! In total she is about 12cm tall.

'Feet, what do I need them for. If I have wings to fly' - Frida Kahlo

Knitting Abbreviations
K Knit
P Purl
K2tog Knit two together
M1 Make one stitch
Sts Stitches
Stocking Stitch Knit a row, purl a row

Because the work is so small I recommend using a cable cast on.
The first row of each piece is a knit row.

You will need
3mm/UK size 11 knitting needles
Toy stuffing
Needle for sewing
Scraps of acrylic DK yarn in the following colours:
Skin tone
Dark purple
Bright pink
Light Blue

Body and Head
First Leg
In black cast on 6 stitches
Stocking stitch 2 rows
Row 3: (K1, M1) to last st, K1 [11sts]
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: (k1, K2tog) to last 2 sts, K2 [8sts]
Switch to skin tone yarn
Beginning with a purl row, stocking stitch 10 rows
Switch to white
Stocking stitch 2 rows *
Cut yarn and place knitting on a stitch holder.
Second Leg
Repeat first leg until *
Purl 1 row
Purl across first leg from holder (ensure both legs face the same way) [16sts]
Stocking stitch 12 rows
Switch to skin tone
Stocking stitch 8 rows
Cut yarn leaving a long end, on a sewing needle gather up all the stitches and pull tight.

Arms (make 2)
In white cast on 6 stitches
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: P1, M1, P4, M1, P1 [8sts]
Row 3: Knit
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: Purl
Switch to skin tone
Row 6: Purl
Stocking stitch 6 rows
Cut yarn, gather up all the stitches and pull tight
In dark purple cast on 30 stitches
Stocking stitch 12 rows
Row 13: (K4, K2tog) to end [25sts]
Row 14: Purl
Row 15: (K3, K2tog) to end [20sts]
Row 16: Purl
Row 17: (K2, K2tog) to end [15sts]
Row 18: Purl
Row 19: Knit
Cast off purlwise
In light blue cast on 24 stitches
Stocking stitch 2 rows
Row 3: K1, K2tog, K18, K2tog, K1 [22sts]
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: K1, K2tog, K1, K2tog, K10, K2tog, K1, K2tog, K1 [18sts]
Row 6: Purl
Row 7: K1, K2tog, K1, K2tog, K6, K2tog, K1, K2tog, K1 [14sts]
Row 8: Purl
Row 9: K1, K2tog, K1, K2tog, K2, K2tog, K1, K2tog, K1 [10sts]
Row 10: Purl
Row 11: K1, K2tog, K4, K2tog, K1 [8sts]
Row 12: Purl
Cast off

Flowers (make 3)
In bright pink cast on 8 stitches, cut yarn and gather up all stitches. Twist the stitches as you pull the yarn tight helping it to form a roll.
Crown Braid
Using 4 strands of black (30cm) and 1 of pink (15cm). Fold the black in half and knot with the end of the pink strand so you have 9 strands. Divide into three parts and plait and knot at the end.
To make up
Sew down back of head and body. Stuff body and sew closed at crotch. Sew down each leg until the feet, stuff (you will only need a tiny bit) and then sew the feet ensuring that they keep their shape. For the neck, with skin toned yarn wrap around neck and pull tightly.
Sew arms to end, stuff with a tiny bit off stuffing. Attach arms to body.
Wrap skirt around body and sew seam. If you wish you can also sew a few stitches around the waist to keep it secure.
Embroider hair, eyes and (of course) eyebrows as shown in picture. I used a French knot for the eyes but you could also use beads.
Sew crown braid onto head, tuck in all ends.
Sew the 3 flowers onto the crown braid.
Sew middle of shawl together and adjust over body. The cast on edge forms the top of the shawl.

Congratulations! You now have your very own tiny Frida Kahlo!

Let me know if you have any comments or questions regarding the pattern.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

My first pair of socks!

Ta da!
Apologies for the hideous 70s carpet!

I have fulfilled one of my new years resolutions, the singular press up is still looking like a bit of a pipe dream! Socks it turns out are not actually that hard, and everyone I spoke to, even my great uncle who (as far as I know) has no interest whatsoever in knitted told me to beware the heel turn! But it was actually fine, don't know what they were all talking about.

The socks look extra impressive because I used self striping yarn, which is, as far as I can tell anyway, magic! The shade I used was called Fall Night and can be found here. You could make a pair of short socks with one ball but I wanted my first pair to be special so knitted almost a whole ball into each one. Of course that does mean that these socks cost me £10.38 which seems a little ridiculous (I am supposed to be a poor university student after all) but I brought each ball individually so it didn't seem so bad at the time.

If anyone's interested in knitting some socks I found this video really helpful for the basics, it shows how to cast on the toe and turn the heel.

Happy knitting!

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Black and White snood

And with great skillful skill and with great speedy speed, I took the soft tuft, and I knitted a Thneed! Well a snood at least :).

It was knitted on 8.5 mm straight needles with two strands of aran yarn held together (one white, one black). Each row is 40 stitches of knit 2 purl 2 rib. Because it was so thick I only made it long enough to wrap around my neck once so it was about 95 cm and then I just sewed the two ends together. I've never done anything with two different colours knitted together at the same time before but I'm rather pleased with how it turned out.

If I'm honest I didn't really need another scarf but my mum had been buying wool for a jumper and asked me how she needed. Apparently 'you can never have too much wool' was the wrong answer because when I came back from university she had made the jumper and still had three huge balls of yarn left over. Still... you can never have too much wool! Scarves are incredibly boring to knit but I do quite like having a mindless project to go to when I just want to knit and watch some TV without having to think about it.

It's weird being back home form university, and weirder still to think that this could be my last summer here, if I get a job in Nottingham after I finish...urgh planning the future is scary and horrible. I think I shall just stick to knitting!

Friday, 4 December 2015

Archery Target Hat and Other Projects

I have been crazily busy these past few weeks, but obviously I still have time to do a bit of knitting. I think that's one of the things I love most about knitting is that you can always fit in a few rows of something into your day.

It's a friend who loves archery's birthday tomorrow and I have made her the perfect gift. Though I am a little worried that I could be responsible for her accidental demise if someone mistakes the back of her head for a target.

The pattern is not mine but is available for free here. I followed the instructions for the slightly longer beanie and I think it would have been too small otherwise. It was also my first time using circular needles and I have to say I am converted.

That's not the only think I've been knitting recently, I also made my first cardigan. It is a tiny baby's cardigan but still, I had to learn how to make button holes and everything. It was a donation to the local hospital for premature babies but I have to say knitting baby's clothes does make me a little bit broody. They're just so tiny and cute.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Happy Halloween!

Yesterday was just your average trip so Sainsburys, I bought some chicken, Worcester sauce, 5 Pumpkins! And let me tell you they were a bugger to carry home.Pumpkin carving is always really fun, although I don't understand how anyone can do anything more than the basic two eyes and a jagged mouth, do they have practice pumpkins?
Look at this!

I am going to pretend my efforts were inspired by this one but I am not sure I've captured the likeness quite as well...

Yer a wizard, vampire, pumpkin Harry!

Happy Halloween!

Friday, 23 October 2015

Jayne's Smoothie Hat (Firefly)

A man walks down the street in that hat, people know he's not afraid of anything.

Some credit for this pattern must go to the author of "Jo's Big Knit". Her Norwegian Hat (which can be found here) provided a lot of inspiration for this pattern but I have changed it quite substantially to suit my needs.

Pretty cunning, doncha think?
You will need:
Red, Orange, and Yellow DK yarn
4mm needles (or thereabouts)
Darning needle
Fork (for the pompom- you might have a different method but I can almost guarantee you it will not be a better method)


Ear Flaps-Red (Make 2)
Cast on 2 sts
Row 1: K1, M1, K1
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: K1, M1, K1, M1, K1
Row 4: Purl

When you cast on for the second ear flap do it on the same needle as the first so that you end up with the two both on the same needle and facing the same way.

On the other needle cast on 5 sts. Knit accross first earflap. Cast on 9sts. Knit across second ear flap. Cast on 4 sts
Beginning with a purl row stocking stitch 5 rows in orange
Change to yellow and continue to SS for 10 rows
K2tog till end (14sts)
P2tog till end (7sts)
Cut thread leaving 25cm left over, thread through stitches on needle and pull tight to form the hat.
Sew down the back of the hat, thread some red yarn through the end of the ear flap and plait it with the yarn already there. Sew in all other loose ends.
Finally make a tiny red pompom to sew on to the top. I recently learnt how to made a pompom with a fork and it has revolutionized my pompom making. I include an instructional video of how to make said pompom, I hope that it is helpful but please bear in mind that I just filmed it on my phone. The most important thing is that you tie the knot nice and tightly.

 And if the way I've tied the knot around the pompom on the fork looks really awkward well that's because it was. You try making a knot and holding a fork at the same time with your arms outstretched.

I've just been to see Crimson Peak at the cinema this week,. Not being good with jump scares I was worried my poor heart wouldn't be able to cope with the palpitations caused by the horror combined with Tom Hiddleston in period costume. But I think the most terrifying thing about it was the price. I haven't been to a Cineworld for ages and this reminded me why, £7.60! With a student discount! And if that doesn't shock you then maybe you don't realise that things can be different. In my local independent cinema at home tickets cost £2.50 so paying over three times that was a bit painful for me. I cannot fault the film itself though, it was gripping, surprising and most importantly really creepy but it does, and this may have been intentional, kinda have the same plot as Scooby Doo Zombie Island.

Friday, 16 October 2015

The Big Knit

Being a student one of my key skills is of course procrastination and it is amazing how having a house gives you so much more scope for things to do when you don't want to work. In halls last year I only had one room that I could clean but today I even did the oven.
The worst of course is the things that shouldn't really take priority over say, a ninety page article on the history of gun laws in America but also feel like a good way to spend ones time. This brings me nicely to my knitting project of the week: Innocent Smoothie hats.
It is indeed that time of year again, my goal is to beat my rather pathetic last year total of 5 and I'm already nearly half way there.

For every smoothie hat made Innocent Smoothie donates 25p to Age UK, so thus far that's a grand total of 50p on my part. Which does I admit seem a little pathetic but they are really fun to make, and it feels a lot more productive than cleaning ovens.

I have made a Cat in the Hat Hat and a Mad Hatter's Hat. The pattern I used can be found here. The price on the Mad Hatter's hat was just a tiny bit of paper which I superglued straight onto the wool. Irrevelant but quite interesting fact: The term 'mad as a hatter' comes from the 18th and 19th century when mercury was used to make felt for the hats. The hatters got mercury poisoning which at the time led to people thinking they were insane. Who says history is boring?