Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dragonflies it is

After struggling with these babies forever, they are finally finished. I was aiming for a size 41 and ended up with 39-40. And the dragonflies aren't as refined as I would've wanted, kinda just gave up on them. Summa summarum, I'm not over the moon. But here they are..

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Oh bugger.. The thing is, after the Magnolia bag I've felt ever so proud of myself and had all the faith in my abilities as a knitter. Now I've come down from that high and boy, how the mighty have fallen.. I was expecting perfection from myself when starting another slipper project. The slippers are quite satisfactory in every other aspect but I'm having major difficulties in decorating them. I've tried embroidered vines, bead flowers, everything. I've started to decorate them a million times only to realize my designs never work and have had to unravel them all. Tonight I thought I'd try make a dragonfly out of seed beads. I'm so frustrated I don't want to undo the decorations AGAIN, but I'm not satisfied with how it turned out this time either.

Now I don't know am I just expecting too much from myself or is there actually something wrong with the design, I just don't know what exactly it is that's preventing me from getting satisfaction from the FO (learned a new craft term recently, apparently it means finished object). So any feed back on the dragonfly is greatly appreciated, be as critical as you please, just tell me what the heck am I doing wrong???

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Magnolia Hand Bag

I doubt I've ever been prouder of myself. My goodness. I should award myself somehow for this. I'm speechless. My new hand bag took ages to finish. It was quick to knit, easy to felt, but oh sweet Jebus, what in the world convinced me that embroidering a million tiny leaves was a good idea. Took some time, believe you me. But it all paid off as this is super cute!!

Without further ado, let me present my very simple knitting pattern for a knitted felted hand bag plus embroidery instructions.

Yarn: Viking Naturgarn (50g = ~55m, 100% wool)
6 skeins

Cast on 50st on size 6mm 50cm cable needle. To create the bottom of the bag knit flat stockinette for about 20-25 rows. The last row worked flat should be the right side. Then pick up 12st from the short edge, 50st from the long edge and again 12st = 124st. Knit stockinette in the round from there on and begin decreases after about 20-30 cm. Place markers at the corners if you choose and SKP1 (Slip 1, knit 2 together, pass slip stitch over) at each of the four corners on every second row for 5 times = 84st. Knit garter stitch for 8 rows and cast off. Darn in the ends.

Cast on 6st on 6mm double pointed needles and knit i-cord: Knit the first row and instead of turning slide the stitches to the end of the needle. Bring the yarn from behind and knit to the end of the needle never turning, but sliding the stitches to the end of the needle after every knitted row. Knit for about 60cm, cast off and darn in the ends.

Sow a plastic bag (see through, not coloured) on the inside of the bag with few loose stitches of cotton yarn so that the inside of the bag doesn't end up felting together. (I personally skipped this step and nothing dramatic happened, but I'd still recommend doing it just to be on the safe side.

Toss the bag in the washer along with an old towel etc you don't mind getting hairs all over. Set washer for 40 degrees. Once the program is over shape the bag carefully by hand. Shape the bottom part into a neat square so that it "sits" nicely on a flat surface. TIPS: with a size or two bigger needles you get a looser knit that wont felt as tightly as this did and is less likely to end up this lumpy. For good tips on felting go to:

For the embroidery you will need approximately 16 skeins of DMC Six strand embroidery cotton, 1 skein per colour unless mentioned other wise :

898 Very Dark Coffee Brown (2 skeins)
3820 Dark Straw
3847 Dark Teal
3812 Very Dark Seagreen
958 Dark Seagreen
3831 Dark Raspberry
3833 Light Raspberry
3354 Light Dusty Rose
987 Dark Forest Green (3 skeins)
989 Forest Green (4 skeins)

Satin Stitch
Fishbone stitch
The branches, the bird and the flowers are created by simple satin stitch. 
The leaves are in fish bone stitch. All stitches are made with all of the six strands of the thread.

1) Start with the branches. I free-handed the whole pattern (apart from the bird, that was the tricky part so had to pencil in the outlines to get started), but you can use this embroidery chart if you please. Click to enlarge and print the image. Then copy it to your felted bag and stitch away! Add the leaves later depending on how much foliage, if any, do you want.

2) After the branches move on to the bird. In the detailed picture you can see the direction of the satin stitches.

3) Then move on to the flowers, starting with a bit of forest green, working up pedal by pedal starting with the darkest shade of raspberry at the bottom, then moving on to the lighter shades as you work your way up the pedals. Few stitches of the darker colors should be enough, the lighter color can be used a bit more, as the pedals narrow down towards their tips.

4) Last but not least, add the fish bone leaves, as many as you please.

5) Add a popper on the inside should you wish. Then shave off gently the excess fuzz from the surface with a razor, sow on the handles, add a seed bead to make the eye for the bird and you've got yourself a mighty fine bag!