Blogging break

Just a quick post to say that I will be taking a break from blogging for a while. Not sure how long it will be yet. Sorry, I know I have comments to reply to but I am not sure if I will get a chance in the next few days. Also I don’t know how much I will be able to keep up with posts from the blogs I follow. Probably not much.

Apologies, please don’t think I am ignoring you!

No, I am not in prison.

No, I am not in the Witness Protection Programme.

Just someone close to me needs a bit of looking after for a while.

Oh, and they have a LOT of stairs.

PaperPuff is already puffed out. Xx

 

Colourful cards for men

Because not all cards for men have to be navy or brown….

I have to confess to a crime against craft. This week, whilst once again braving Stash Mountain, I came across a couple of sets of dies I had never used. Actually I have quite a few sets like that, but these ones I had also forgotten about. Tsk! I believe I may have mentioned this before, but the rule is, in order not to further upset the Gods of Craft, once such items are discovered, you gotta make something.

These are simple silhouette dies, all of a sporting ilk. I seem to remember they were a bargain, hence the purchase. Also we have quite a few ‘young men’ (translate as ‘significantly younger than us‘) in our family and I am just never prepared with cards to give them. A bit rubbish really, considering how much kit I have to hand. But stuff for younger people seems to date so fast. The ‘technology’ that was a feature of card toppers I bought, say, five years ago now probably looks to them like it might have been used to steer a tall ship in the 1800s. But hey, a shadow remains constant. Well, no, not at all really, always changing in fact…but last time I checked we all still had one…unless you live in Britain, with no sunshine…and I think there was an issue with Peter Pan…heck this is not going well at all…

Ahem. Let’s get this back on track. Anyone want to see a card? I decided to go bright, and bright-ish for these. Why not? Colour is fun and silhouettes lend themselves to a splosh of the primaries.

For the first card I used the basketball player and three different splat stamps in the primary colours. I was OK with it but though it just needed a little more, so stencilled some grey spots at the top for a bit more interest. I also stamped splats onto the envelope and one behind the greeting on the inside. In the photos the red looks a bit pinkish. It isn’t though!

sporting silhouettes basketball 1sporting silhouettes basketball 2

For the second I was considering doing pretty much the same, but in slightly softer tones and with a footballer (soccer player, to my North American pals). But recently I have seen a few examples of cards with a partial circle cut out at the edge and thought this might be fun for a change. Because the black layer looked a little austere just left plain I also used my Halftone stencil, this time with embossing ink (Versamark) and clear embossing powder. This gives it a bit of texture without (hopefully) being too girlie. Again I decorated the envelope a bit. Well, why not?

sporting silhouettes footie 1sporting silhouettes footie 2

I still have tennis, rugby and golfer dies to play with! I will probably make at least one blue or brown card. Ah well.

Supplies: Trimcraft Sporting Silhouettes dies; Altenew Birthday Greeting and A Splash of Color stamps, Halftone stencil

 

A knitted dog blanket, and a sort-of pattern

Please don’t judge me on the colour scheme. My yarn choices were very limited!

Don’t get excited anyone, this is not a proper professional pattern post. More of a ‘this is how I made it work for me’ kind of thing.

A little while ago I posted about making dog blankets for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. Well, I started the blanket pattern that could be downloaded from their site, but I was having some issues. My ‘squares’ were anything but square and the different paw patterns were yielding different sized rectangles. Obviously I assumed it was my fault, that my tension was off, or varying wildly. Also perhaps the cheap acrylic (Battersea state they want acrylic) was not helping. It felt like the thickness varied a bit. But, seeing as I was going to have to sew the 25 knitted squares together, quite large discrepancies in size was going to be tricky.

Then the amount of sewing involved was putting me off a bit. I wanted a kind of ‘zone out’ project, where I could just knit and get back into the rhythm of needles and knots again. Without wishing to seem uncaring towards the eventual owners, I would rather be able to make three ‘no brainer’ blankets than one thing of beauty. Bearing in mind the thing of beauty might only last a week or two, it might be chewed, or thrown up on…well it seems to me that less finagling and more bulk would be a better option.

After speaking to my mum, who had already made the paws blanket, I found out she had exactly the same issues and, coming to the same conclusion, had made a simpler striped one as her second.

I decided to make a striped one too. And I wanted a border around it, to stop that curling up thing that happens otherwise. Please remember here that my knitting knowledge was never vast, and it is old and neglected. But, in a rare moment of knitting optimism, I decided to work it out for myself.

So, here we have the blanket that I actually wanted to make, if you ignore the colours that were dictated by the minimal array of shades in the shop.

Not many close-ups as my edges were a bit dodgy at first!

Now, I can’t write it up as a proper pattern, but should you want to make such a thing yourself, this is what I did, and what I used.

5mm needles

Baby yarn (thinner than DK, that is all I can tell you): two 50g balls of white, and three 50g balls of other colours. You will have plenty left over and don’t need two full balls of white, but my method of knitting made it easier. If you don’t know how to work different coloured yarn in, it is probably best if you go find out from a professional. YouTube will do the trick. Basically I just wrap the two colours of yarn around each other either side of the changeover stitch.

Cast on 100 stitches*

K rows 1-10 in white

Row 11; K8 in white. Work in colour choice as described unhelpfully vaguely above. K to last 8 stitches, change to white and K last 8

Row 12: K8 in white. Work in colour choice and purl to last 8 stitches, Take a second ball of white yarn, work in as per intarsia method and K8 in white.

Continue rows 11 and 12 until work is desired length, ending on a purl row of colour.

K 10 rows in white and cast off.

Weave in all ends.

That is pretty much it. I just changed the colours and stripes as I fancied – basically trying to make it a bit less like an object that can be seen from space. They will have no problem finding this blanket’s pooch in a power cut!

*As for the number of stitches, I was being guided by the paws blanket which knitted up to 50x50cm sq. I figured this must be a minimum size requirement for Battersea so just aimed for something a bit bigger. The finished blanket is 62x55cm so I could have used less stitches.

I will still finish the knitted squares blanket, as it is a nice diversion and the paw pattern does look really cute. I am in no way criticising it, this is just an honest opinion. I think it is brilliant that the designer allowed their pattern to be used in this way. I thought the intention was to give knitters an interesting project achievable for all skill levels, and it definitely is.

I have now come across a few more proper patterns so am going to use up the rest of the yarn. Maybe I should include some sunglasses when I post them off?

Finally, a gratuitous picture of my lovely Photographer’s Assistant, having a quick bit of shut-eye in the props after a hard afternoon napping…

riley in blanket