A fun new hobby!

Here is the evolution of nothing to something.  From a ball of yarn and some sticks to something that looks coherent, is fun to create with, is soft with varied textures, and offers many colours to mix and match with!

P.S.  Click on a picture to see the detail close up!

My first “cast on” (in knitting: getting the yarn onto the needle at the start of a project)

My first "cast on" (in knitting: getting the yarn onto the needle at the start of a project)

First row of knitting

First row of knitting

Exploring knit stitches (flat and smooth) and purl stitches (sticks out, bumpy).  Something that wasn’t made clear in any of the instructions I was reading or watching (videos) is that a knit stitch is the reverse of a purl stitch (and vice versa).

It is as helpful to knitting as knowing the letters of the alphabet before learning how to read!  I fumbled along and figured it out over time but it would have made the initial learning a lot easier!

Exploring knit stitches and purl stitches (flat and smooth is knit, bumpy is purl)

Making pictures! a bit of a challenge, but I like the outcome.

Making pictures! a bit of a challenge, but I liked the outcome.

The reverse side of the sailboat.  To alternate colours like this is called stranded colourwork, where the unused colour gets stranded along the back or “wrong side” like garlands, out of view of the front or “right side”.  It is tricky making them loose enough that it doesn’t pull the work together, thus distorting it and not lying flat.

The reverse side of the sailboat

I also made a heart. After all this, I felt comfortable enough with the basic knitting techniques to move on to another project (and wanted to try some new colours).

I also made a heart. After all this, I felt comfortable enough with the basic knitting techniques to move on.

But then Bunny said: “Purple is my favourite colour (and the BEST colour in the world), so that was made for me!”  She draped it over her shoulders and said, “See! It fits!”  Whereas I was thinking, “I don’t know what it is, but okay…”

And then Bunny said: "I like that colour (purple) and she draped it over her shoulders and said it fits!" I said, "um, okay, if you like...."

She requested a fringe for extra softness and instructed me on how to fasten it across so it wraps around her shoulders snugly, but so she can still see the heart on the front.  She calls it her cloak and hasn’t parted with it since.  🙂

She then requested a fringe and instructed me on how to fasten it across so it wraps around her shoulders snuggly but she can still see the heart on it.

But then Bops became envious of Bunny’s cloak and wanted something too!  He built up his courage and  one day asked me if I could make him a special cape.  He had always been envious of Bunny’s flying ability (helicoptering around the room with her ears)…

So, here is the beginning with two buttonholes for his wee little arms (OMG, not an easy task making these!  I sewed yarn over the edges afterward to cover my oopses and question marks – and to, er, um, make sure, um, they hold…)

Knitting a cape for Bops with two buttonholes for his arms

Here it is!  A power cape for flying!  He was so excited and is no longer hindered by his very small feet.  He loves to zip across the room at lightning speed!  Between Bunny’s bouncing and helicoptering and Bops’ darting about, it’s a bit of an obstacle course in here at times!

Flying mode for lightning speed dashes

Reverse of the lightning strike (more of that stranded colourwork).

Reverse of the lightning strike

Bops

Then Bops was envious of Bunny's cloak and bashfully asked if I could make him something special....

More practice with stranded colourwork

More practice with stranded colourwork

Reverse side

Reverse side (quite messy as you can see)

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Reverse side plus fringe

Reverse side plus fringe

I like wavy knitting! It feels so cool!

I like waves

Attempt at making a coaster with a heart in a frame but my needles were too small for the large yarn so it scrunched up (pulled together too tightly).  On this side, the heart is knit and the background is purl stitches.

Attempt at making a heart and frame but my needles were too small for the large yarn so it scrunched up

Reverse side (the heart is purl stitches and the background is knit stitches)

reverse side

Knit coasters (click image to see textures)

Knit coasters

I decided that trying to make pictures on coasters was too much work, so I am now doing either mono colour or 2 coloured ones with alternating rows of knit and purl. Much easier and faster.

I am an impatient artist and like to see results right away, hence the simpler designs.  Also, if I want to sell these, I want to make a bunch and not have to spend an hour on just one.

more knit coasters

One of my favourites but harder to make (a three coloured coaster).  The more strands you have hanging around, the more juggling there is to do.  I think I’ll keep this one as I probably won’t make anymore:  too much work!

one of my favourites but harder to make three coloured coaster

I’ve heard that people like buying knit/crocheted dish cloths. I had been using acrylic yarn up ’til now which doesn’t work for dish cloths as it doesn’t absorb.  So, I needed to get some cotton yarn. Here it is. I tested the pattern on a coaster to get the hang of knitting with cotton before I start a larger project.  It is a different feel for sure!

So, I've heard that people like buying knit/crocheted dish cloths. I had been using acrylic yarn up 'til now which doesn't work for dish cloths as it doesn't absorb. So, I needed to get some cotton yarn. Here it is. I tested the pattern on a coaster to get the hang of knitting with cotton before I start a larger project.

My eyes were getting sore, so I tried using magnifying glasses, but it turns out, I just needed more light.

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Now, for crochet! I had done this before long ago, so it wasn’t completely foreign. I love these little O’s. Each coaster starts like this, then you add two more rounds to it.

Crochet - I love these little O's

Here is my first crocheted flower. I finished it then noticed there were only 7 petals (the pattern was for 8). Oops!  Hee hee.  It is important to get the correct number of stitches on the first round as the other rounds build upon the center.

Flower_

“True” 8-petaled flowers.

Now, for crochet! I've done this once before long ago, so it wasn't completely foreign. Here are some crochet flower coasters

The two yellow/pink flowers on the right are a different pattern to the flowers on the left. I prefer the left one.  I find it more interesting to the eye (there are slits as well as holes, and visually, it seems tighter and better organized).  Just more visually appealing.

crochet coasters

Some circular coasters. It’s fun deciding what colours to put together.  I usually start with a colour I feel like using, then once that round is done, “what do I feel like next?”  So, no advance planning, just deciding as we go along…quite merrily I might add.  😉

Some rounds. It's fun deciding what colours to put together.

crochet

My “Tickle Trunks” of colour!

my tickle trunks of fun

Here is a much more complex and finicky “8 petalled” crochet coaster, only partway done…I didn’t have the right yarn or hook size so I improvised a bit.

a much more finicky crochet coaster

And it turned into a 12-petalled flower!  Ha ha ha!

which turned into way more petals than it should have had - oops

…and gave it more of a 3D effect, so not so good as a coaster…But very cool to look at and feel in your hands.

and has more of a 3D effect which I like. Perhaps not as a coaster though...

So, I am going to try and sell some coasters and dish cloths at our local farmer’s market in the summer (tourist season) and perhaps a few craft sales throughout the year (for locals) (e.g. Christmas for which I will attempt to crochet snowflake decorations!)

It is a fun hobby!