Saturday, 26 February 2011

My Design Process

I recently designed and created a custom scarf for a friend of my sister's and as I had documented the work throughout, I thought I would provide a little insight on my design process for it.

initial sketch
First of all, I needed to work out a pattern, based on what she had requested. This involved lots of looking at pattern libraries for inspriation as well as scribbling and sketching on squared paper. This is generally how I plan out any design before I hand or machine knit one stitch.

Once the pattern was worked out and agreed on, as this scarf was going to be made on my Knitmaster (a vintage mechanical - that's hand-operated to you and I - knitting machine), I needed to create a punch card with the pattern 'punched out.' This means I can easily make my own original designs for fair isle or individual motifs.

full knitted & felted swatch
Next, I whizzed up a swatch to test out my pattern design on my machine using Merino lambswool yarn and felted the test swatch to see how it looks in the chosen colours.

finished scarf design
Once this had been approved, I got started on the final scarf. After felting and trimming of floats/tufts on the reverse, blocking and sewing on my little WildCat Designs label, it was ready to go!

finished kitty + hearts scarf

Monday, 14 February 2011

Thursday, 10 February 2011

DIY Valentine

It's nearly Valentine's day, but there's still enough time to craft something cute for the special person in your life - or you could always just make them for fun anytime.

heart bunting
Image via Rowan Yarns

Rowan yarns are offering a lovely crochet pattern for heart-shaped bunting as a free download, made using DK weight yarn. If only I could crochet! *sigh*

Here are a few more fun creative things to make for someone you love:

Cute Cupcake Toppers Tutorial on the Papernstitch blog

Behold: the Smitten!

smitten mitten
Image via Coco Knits

These awesome, fun mittens are designed so that you can hold hands and still stay cosy. Genious work by Coco Knits :)

More DIY Valentine's ideas on the Fossil blog here (via Creature Comforts).

Or, if you'd rather simply buy some loveliness, why not these!

love is in the air treasury

Monday, 7 February 2011

Crafty Roundup February 2011

I was just thinking it's high time I did another crafty roundup, there's a whole lotta craftiness going on at the moment!

Ghillie Dhu Maker's Market

ghillie dhu
Image via Ghillie Dhu Maker's Market

Saturday, 12th February will see the first Maker's Market at the Ghillie Dhu (Rutland Place) - it sounds like an amazing venue and the event, which will be on every month from February to November, is run by the folks who brought you the Morningside Maker's Market. Find out more on their website.

The Guardian Extra Gets Crafty

I recently stumbled across a feature called "Get Crafty" on the Guardian Extra. It includes two rather nice full (free!) knitting patterns: smocked gauntlets and a chunky cabled cowl.

smocked gauntlets
Image via The Guardian

Looks like nice clear (illustrated) instructions too, so even if you've never done any cabling or smocking before, it should hopefully be easy enough to follow.

What's Wool got to do with Chemistry?

2011 is the UNESCO International Year of Chemistry and to mark it, the University of Edinburgh's School of Chemistry has put a rather unique piece on display: the first 3-Dimensional model of a molecular structure, and it's made from balls of wool and knitting needles!

woolly molecule
Image via BBC News Scotland

It was created by a Scottish-born scientist, Professor Alexander Crum Brown in 1883, who (as you might have guessed) was a keen knitter himself. Find out more about the model here and to follow the IYC 2011 see here.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Year of the Bunny!

It's Chinese New Year - this time, a chance to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit! It seems that bunny statues are popping up all over Hong Kong in tribute:

giant Fifi Lapin statue
Image via Synergy Art

miffy statue
Image via Howzit Hong Kong

Fifi Exhibiton Hong Kong
Image via Fifi Lapin

Hong Kong Miffy x 2
Image via The Telegraph

Happy Year of the Bunny everyone! :)