Sunday, 21 December 2014

Christmas present for my teen

My son turns 16 soon and every year it becomes harder and harder to find presents that don't involve me spending a fortune on technology.   Imagine my delight as a knitter when he brought me a design which he wanted me to heavily modify for his Christmas present. 

It’s knitted in separate pieces then sewn together with emphasis on the seems which I son informs me makes it cool.

I’m so pleased with the outcome I think I’ll be designing something similar in the near future.

Here are some details about my project:
Yarn Wendy Supreme Luxury 5 x Colbalt, x 4 Grape, and 3 x Platinum
Size: 40 inch chest 
Style Funky Casual 
Needles 5.5 mm round  


Saturday, 18 October 2014

How much yarn is enough?

Do you ever find it frustrating when you find that perfect wool but you've yet to find the pattern that makes for a perfect marriage between yarn and design?

Check out this Knitting Calculator it gives you a guide of how much yarn you'll need for a scarf?  a hat?  or a sweater, add 15 - 30 % to be sure because remember cables and ribs take up more yarn than flat knitting.

Knitting Calculator at Jimmy Beans Wool  

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Making a crochet chain...

Making a crochet chain can be quite simple.  I love using them when I want a simple cord and don't want to knit one.  They are also great when you want to use a provisional cast on.

Tie a slipknot at the beginning of the yarn strand.

Place the loop onto the crochet hook.  Insert the hook through the loop and under the longer yarn. 

Wrap the yarn once over the hook and in front of the loop.  Also known as the "thread over".

Pull the new loop through first loop on the hook.  This makes one chain (ch). 

Repeat until the chain becomes the desired length.  You are creating chain stitches, abbreviated as 'ch sts'.  One loop should always remain on the crochet hook.  Continue until desired length is achieved one loop should always remain on the crochet hook.   Always keep your thumb and forefinger near the stitch on which your working, to ensure steadiness and good control as per photo. 

Cut yarn and pull through the loop to fasten off.

Adapted from, How to crochet a chain from

How to Make a Tassel - easy to follow instructions with pictures.

Making tassels can be fun and they are so useful for knitting projects or adding to a bookmark or card.  To make your own tassel for the instructions below, you'll be surprised at how easy it is. 

Things you'll need:
  • String, cord or yarn in a color of your choice. The string used here is crochet cotton, available in most craft stores and in many different colors.  
  • Scissors  
  • Stiff Card or ruler 
  • Tapestry needle or large sewing needle.
Cut stiff card to the size you want (I used 3" for adult) or use ruler as per your preference.  If in doubt start with a card that is a little bit wider than the size you want as you can always trim the ends shorter later. 

    Wrap the string, cord, or yarn around the ruler or card several times (I wrapped 22 times for 8ply yarn, but use personal preference).  The number of loops, along with the thickness of the string, determines the thickness of the tassel, so wrap until it looks like the size thickness of tassel your wanting to make.  Remember there is two sides here to consider. 
    Cut the end of the string off the loops and cut a second piece of a generous length, perhaps a yard (90cm) or more.  Fold this second piece in half. 

    Thread the folded end of the second string under the loops and twist.  There should be no need to use a needle.  You should have a short loop on one side and two long tails on the other side.

    Pull the two long tails through the short loop. 

    Tighten this knot snugly by pulling on the two long ends.  Then slide the tassel off the ruler or card.  

    Thread both loose ends through a large needle 

    Double the two loose ends, leaving about a 4 inch (10 cm) loop.

    Push the needle through the top of the tassel and out the side.

    Wrap free ends several times around the tassel, a little ways down from the first knot.   Wrap tightly, and aim for even loops, forming a small, round ball.
    Push the needle down through the center of these loops from top to bottom. 

     Pull the two long tails all the way through and tighten the knot firmly.

    Cut open the bottoms of the loops. 

     Trims the ends to an even length.
    Adapted from tassel instructions found at