Friday, 21 September 2012

Celtic cable neckwarmer

It's been feeling more more autumnal here the last week or so which always makes me want to start hunting out loads of yarn and new knitting patterns for some warm, chunky knits. Preferably quick projects like hats, gloves or scarves but with a bit of a challenge to them as well. I managed to find one to start with - the Celtic cabled neckwarmer - full of complex looking cables with a simple button fastening around the neck for a warm snug fit. No flapping scarf ends with this one, just a neat fit for a snuggly neck come winter.

And snuggly it is:) I don't usually like too tight fitting things around my neck but this one has such a snuggle factor and is so warm that I'm tempted to knit another just for me:) I'm thinking a strong red or a forest green maybe? It didn't take that long to make either - a few evenings of tv watching and this knits up a treat. 

The neckwarmer itself is about 20" in length and has a three button fastening to keep it wrapped around the neck. I used two strands of DK yarn on 5mm needles to get a rough worsted weight yarn as per the pattern instructions. It has a simple 1x1 rib border with the cable chart repeated to the desired length then another section of 1x1 rib with two rows to incorporate the buttonholes. It took only 4 repeats for my knit to be 20" although it did feel a bit of a tight fit. But the pattern did say lightly block first so I had fingers crossed that it would ease the fit to a slightly bigger size. I suppose I could just have reblocked it bigger if it was still too neat for me:)

Cable repeat

If you don't want a neck wrap then you could just continue the cable repeats and make as long a scarf as you wanted. I quite like this idea too and I did consider it for a while till the shiny buttons convinced me that a neckwarmer was really the only way to go! Still, I'm not sure how many guys would want this style:)) Happy to be proved wrong!

There is an errata in the pattern at the first buttonhole row - just a small one:) I noted the changes I made on my ravelry project page here if you are thinking of making this yourself or want more technical details of this knit. I personally didn't want to add any bigger sized buttons to this aesthetically and found the buttonholes then a little on the large size so if I knit this again, I might alter that buttonhole row anyway and bind off one less stitch per buttonhole for a neater fit.

So, first knit of the autumn is done. I haven't knitted cables in a while so I really enjoyed this knit. I'd forgotten what a lovely textured effect cables can give and it's been fun to watch the crossovers of the pattern appear as you knit. Hmm, now what will be next on the needles? I think I'll have to have a good look around for some inspiration - something with a challenge, hehe :)

Off to have a scout around - see you all soon!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Pearl crossover bracelet

This week, the weather has pretty much turned into Autumn, that colder feel in the evenings and the nights drawing in. So my intention today was to put away the beads for a bit and get out the knitting needles to start a nice warm, snuggly 'something' ;) I had got as far as thinking something with cables that would knit up quickly so I entered into the dangerous world of Pinterest and started looking at my boards for inspiration. Did I get distracted? Of course!

I've recently started following quite a few new people and all these interesting photos had suddenly appeared that seriously needed investigating. All of a sudden I hit the jackpot with an amazing beading tutorial site and that was my day GONE, lol!! I have soooo many exciting new patterns I want to try now - just amazing. They only have diagrams to follow but I'm finding that quite easy now so my list of projects to make has just got a lot longer - ok, off the page longer - but it's all very exciting!

So this is the pattern I wanted to try today. It's very similar visually to the last bracelet but it uses the Fuchsia bicones at the edges instead of round beads which needs a slightly different construction method. These are the real deal crystals and they sparkle so nicely. I also got some new silver lined gold seed beads to add the crossover detail around the pearls. Alas, the pearls aren't the genuine freshwater variety but until they are in my price range, these will do ;) This pattern had the different crossover method I was wanting to try out too so this was the perfect opportunity to see how well it worked. Pretty good, so that's a keeper.
So, all in all a very good beading day today:) I'm thinking of trying a necklace version and/or earrings using this technique as well. Maybe not in this colourway but that will depend if I have enough beads for a larger necklace project. I've spent a lot of time sorting out my beads this last weekend after trying to make a matching necklace for my magenta medieval bracelet.  I just didn't have enough of one colour to finish so that was disappointing. Still, the more I practice, the more new techniques I can bring to designing. The more original designs I make the sooner I can sell them and make some money to afford some more beads, lol!! So, onwards with the experimentation!!

Hmm, what technique shall I try next? So much to learn!!

See you all soon,
elaine x

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Medieval Crossover bracelet

My first designed bracelet - what do you think? You may notice some similarities with the snakey bracelet I made last month but that only had one layer of overlaid beads on the top side. This one has the beading detail on both sides and going both directions to form a cross. So it has been fully decorated within an inch of its life!

I've loved testing out my design theories with this bracelet to see how patterns and structures could be explored and I have so many ideas to try next! I'd love to see this design as a necklace with some firepolish stones instead of rounds in the centre and it will give me a nice opportunity to work with basic shaping too. Of course, I bought a few more beads in the shop with this in mind :)

There are still a few modifications I'd like to try out to create a better finish where the 4 strands of beads meet but I have an idea for that too. Not that it's bad at all - I'm just a perfectionist! And if it takes just a little more thought at the design stage then that's all to the good.

One thing I have realised very quickly is that the good beads are really worth the money. The handle, weight and quality of finish is so very different with czech glass and pearls that you really don't want to go back to anything else afterwards. But the cheaper beads are good for experimentation and I'll have to save up quite a bit  first so I can build a proper 'stash' of shiny beads! Hopefully I'll have a good few designed patterns under my belt by then.

Hmm, so what beads will I use for that necklace version then? See you all soon!

elaine x

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Creative challenge complete!

      Weeks 3-4

1. spiral green vessel, 2. bracelet band, 3. Felted Pod, 4. Not available, 5. snakey, 6. jubilee earrings 2, 7. Not available, 8. snakey bracelet, 9. Pod detail, 10. green shield 2, 11. camino bubbles, 12. button detail, 13. jubilee earrings 3

Now we've moved into September, I thought I'd collate all the projects from the last two weeks of August's creative challenge into a little mosaic. Seems I made less finished pieces in the last fortnight but quite a few were two day tasks or more, so that's cool. As much as I like the excitement of making something in a day, the more complex patterns and experimental vessels are just not that quick! But sometimes the best ideas take time to grow if they're given a little space.

It's been a very interesting creative month where I've learned new wire and beading skills, refreshed on some textile ones like felting and the crochet wrapping, and of course it's always fun exploring new challenging knitting patterns! There are a few experimental samples that I'd like to revisit from this group of projects - the camino bubbles is ongoing and I feel there will be a few more little pods to keep POD company:) And I do intend to get back into pattern writing so the crochet lace parasol will be a definite contender.

     Weeks 1-2

1. turquoise ring, 2. waves and ladders, 3. copper wrapped earrings, 4. Sparkly!, 5. swirl sample, 6. spiral pendant, 7. Hand dyed yarn, 8. firebird, 9. turquoise ring, 10. green shield 2, 11. turquoise monastic weave, 12. copper bracelet, 13. knitted bracelet

Looking at the whole month overall, I am surprised at how much jewellery has made it's way into my creative journey. The wire wrapping is especially important as I can intergrate that into my vessels and hopefully take them to the next level. The beaded jewellery has been a very happy surprise. I've found that I just love constructing with beads. I suppose all my projects have a strong emphasis on construction at the moment - wrapping, weaving, knitting, even felting.

So where to now? Well, I have a good creative flow going on right now so I'm going to see where the creative journey takes me this month. Maybe slowing down just a little though but I'll still be posting every day or two. I'd like to spend some time designing patterns and doing more sketchbook work on new directions for the vessels too. I have a few ideas percolating away :)

I've also got ideas to open a jewellery etsy shop soon as at the rate I'm making beaded bracelets I could seriously stock a shop, lol! And I'm going to re-open my dyed yarn Esty shop for a bit too. I remembered this month how much I love playing with colour and I couldn't use all the yarn I'd dye - even if I tried super hard!! So when I dye some up for my vessels or create more graduating colourways, I'll pop some in the shop as well. I'll let you know in advance if anyone is interested.

But for now, I'm going to take the rest of the weekend off and knit me some camino bubbles watching a film - or two!

See you next week and thank you all for following and supporting me this month!
elaine x


Related Posts with Thumbnails