Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Visions of Easter Eggs Danced in Their Heads…

My final Easter project for this year is a pillow with a bunny and a Easter basket filled with eggs resting on grass:

What a nice little accent pillow! Originally I was going to have the bunny holding a carrot, but I didn’t have any orange yarn. And also, for the grass in the Easter basket, I was going to cut the loops so it looked more like grass coming out of the basket, but two opinions I had said no, and I decided not to cut it. You might cut it if you make this yourself. If you do, I would love to see it!

Making the pillow is probably the easiest part. On the yellow loom, and leaving a 8 inch tail, I cast on 32 pegs (using the corner peg and a loom clip) using Red Heart super saver white yarn 1 over 2 e-wrap stitch and knit off until the pillow was 12 inches in length. Binding off I left a 8 inch tail. I did not close either end.

For the grass: On the yellow loom, leaving a 12 inch tail, I cast on 18 pegs using Red Heart super saver green yarn 1 over 2 e-wrap stitch to make a flat panel and knit off 20 rows. You may want to knit off on more pegs if you want your grass to extend all the way across the pillow.

Then on the pink loom I made the various parts for the bunny, basket, and eggs as follows:

Bunny: For the outer leg: I cast on 7 pegs using Red Heart Super Saver baby pink yarn 1 over 2 e-wrap stitch to make a flat panel and knit off 5 rows. I decreased yarn from left to right by one peg, knitting off on 6 pegs for 2 rows. I repeated this process until I got to 3 pegs. I knitted off on 3 pegs for 3 rows, then decreased yarn to two pegs and knitted 1 row. Then I bound off with a 6-8 inch tail.

For the head: I cast on 2 center pegs using baby pink yarn 1 over 2 e-wrap stitch to make a flat panel and knit off 2 rows. I then increased yarn on each side of the pegs by one peg to knit off 8 rows on 4 pegs. I then decreased yarn on each side of the pegs by one peg to knit off 2 rows on the 2 center pegs. I bound off with a 6-8 inch tail.

The ears and arms are two I-cords made to a length that is pleasing to you. My front ear is 2.25 inches long; the one in the back is 1.5 inches long. I simply sewed a line of white yarn through the center of the I-cord to make it look like the inside of his ears are white. The front arm is 1.5 inches long; the back arm is .75.

For the body I cast on 7 pegs using baby pink 1 over 2 e-wrap stitch to make a flat panel and knit off 5 rows. I decreased yarn from left to right by one peg and knit off on 6 pegs for 1 row. Then I decreased yarn again by one peg and knit off on 5 pegs for 2 rows. To make his white belly, I added white yarn to the left two pegs while the rest of the row is baby pink. I knit off 14 rows like this and then made all the rows pink again and knit off 3 rows. I then decreased the yarn by one peg from the left and knit off on 4 pegs for 4 rows to make the neck. You may want to make his neck shorter, depending on your taste.

For the eyes, nose and whiskers: I simply sewed on some Vanna’s Choice Navy yarn in the appropriate places. I also added white teeth by sewing on white yarn under his nose.

The tail : I did a drawstring cast on 4 pegs with the white yarn and knit off 4 rows. Pull the drawstring tight. Then bind off and pull the working yarn end tight. Then bring the two tails together and sew together, creating a little ball. You may want your cotton tail to be bigger; if so, increase the number of rows you knit off. Sew tail onto bunny.

I sewed all the bunny pieces together in a way that looked pleasing to me and set it aside.

Basket: I made 8 flat panels of varying sizes as follows:
For the horizontal bands – I made 3 bands. For each one I cast on the pink loom 3 pegs using a 2 strand combo of Homespun Wildfire and Shaker yarn e-wrap stitches. Leave 5 inch tails on each end.

Band 1 (top band): knit off 10 rows

Band 2 (middle band): knit off 8 rows

Band 3 (bottom band): knit off 6 rows

Set aside.

For the vertical bands: I made 5 bands. For each one I cast on the pink loom 3 pegs using Homespun saffron 1 over 2 e-wrap stitches, (leaving 5 inch tails on each end). I knit off 15 rows.

“Weave” the pieces together as you would weave a basket together. Lay top horizontal band over 1st vertical band, then put top horizontal band under 2nd vertical band. Repeat until you complete vertical band 5.Repeat process for horizontal bands 2 and 3, just below horizontal band 1. First I sewed the top horizontal band to the top of the vertical bands. Then I did the same for horizontal bands 2 and 3. Next I sewed the empty spaces between the pieces together using saffron yarn. And your basket body is done.

The basket handle is simply a saffron 2 peg 1 over 1 8.5 inch I-cord which I sewed onto the basket later on, as described below.

The ribbon is simply some Easter ribbon I bought at Michael’s. It is a print of multicolored Easter eggs on a yellow background from the Michael’s Celebrate It Easter Ribbon Collection. It was on sale for a little more than $1. I cut off a piece of ribbon and folded it over to make a bow. Then I took a sewing needle and some thread and sewed the ribbon together in the position that I liked it.

Eggs: I made 8 eggs using whatever yarn I had on hand. For each egg I used the pink loom 6 pegs (1 corner peg and 1 loom clip), making sure I left a 6 inch tail. I did a drawstring cast on and knit off 6 rows. I pulled the drawstring shut and then bind off, leaving a 6 inch tail. With a yarn needle I pulled the working yarn through the egg to the other end where the drawstring tail was coming out. Then I pulled the drawstring tail yarn back through the egg to the end where the working yarn came out. I gently pulled each tail to shape the egg how I wanted it and knotted the end which I wanted to be the top of the egg. Then I clipped the end of the tail from the top of the egg.

Putting everything on the pillow:

To attach the grass: I stretched out the grass across the bottom of the pillow. With an extra yarn needle, I pinned one end of the grass down on one side of the pillow. The side I was still stretching across is the side I started to sew the grass onto the pillow, using the tail from the grass and working my way around the edge, stretching it out to the desired length I wanted it to cover on the pillow. When I was done I removed the extra yarn needle and set it aside.

To attach the basket: I pinned one end of the basket to the grass using the extra yarn needle I had. Then I “cupped” the basket in such a way that it created an open pocket. Using the tails from the basket bands, I sewed the basket onto the pillow, shaping it at an angle so that the top is wider around and the bottom is narrow (but not too noticeably so). Once your basket is attached to the pillow, take some stuffing and stuff the basket, shaping it so it stays puffed out as if it were stuffed to the bottom with eggs. Stuff it almost to the top of the basket.

Next I sewed the back end of the basket handle onto the pillow and back of the basket. As I got to the top of the handle, I stopped sewing it to the pillow and sewed the bottom end of the front of the handle to the front of the basket.

For the basket grass: From left to right, I loosely e-wrap sewed the green yarn to the very top strand of yarn on the top rim of the basket. It should be sewed just tight enough the grip the edge but loose enough to cover the top edge so no brown of the basket shows through. Then I went e-wrap sewed in the opposite direction around the basket, leaving a loop of the yarn pulled out to simulate the basket grass. You may decide that you want to cut the loops so the grass has a “shaggy” look. If you do that, make sure that you do not pull the yarn after cutting it, or it will come out.

Next using a yarn needle I sewed the bunny onto the pillow where I wanted him.

To arrange your eggs in the basket: First I decided which egg I wanted the bunny to hold and I sewed that egg onto the bunny’s paws. Next I arranged the remaining eggs to my liking in the basket, tail end down. On a piece of paper I noted the color and placement of the eggs. Then I removed the eggs and sewed them into position, one by one, starting with the back row. Using a yarn needle I sewed the tail of the egg down through the stuffing in the basket and inside the pillow. Then I sewed the yarn back up through the pillow and stuffing into the egg, then I sewed the yarn back down through the egg and stuffing into the inside of the pillow. I repeated this process for each egg and then inside the pillow I knotted off the tails (but not too tightly so I could shape the eggs as needed).

Then I turned the pillow inside out, knotted any loose tails that needed to be secured to the pillow, and sewed up one end of the pillow from the inside. Then I put the inside of the pillow back in and stuffed the pillow, shaping it as I stuffed it. Then I sewed the other end of the pillow together.

Next I sewed the ribbon onto the basket handle and trimmed the ribbon ends. And the pillow was done!

And those are all my Easter projects for 2010. Hope you enjoyed them! I already have something special made for Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, and I’m working on a few Spring projects as well. I’ll keep you posted! I ncase I don't post again before Sunday, everyone have a wonderful and blessed Easter! May the joy of the risen Saviour rise anew in your heart.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Easter eggs, anyone?

Here are some Easter eggs I made quite easily on the flower loom:

I figured it was my opportunity to play and experiment with different patterns and stitches, so I tried a few different things. Plus I wanted to use up some of the leftover yarn that was lying around. Side view:

First I went to a local drugstore that had plastic Easter eggs on sale for 30% off. I bought a bag of them and set them aside. Then, with flower loom in hard, I set to work. Some of the patterns you see on the eggs were created by alternating the different colors of yarn in with the working yarn. For example: I may e-wrap peg 1 with the green working yarn, then e-wrap peg two with the yellow add in yarn, and so on. The best part to me was that no one would ever see the inside of the egg, so no matter how tangled or how much the yarn criss-crossed each other no one would see it.

To make the eggs I simply did a drawstring cast on using red heart 1 over 2 e-wrap stitch and knit off 8 rows, then pulled the drawstring and kept checking the number of rows by putting the egg inside the finished yarn to see how much more I needed to knit. I would up knitting about 15-16 rows to completely cover the egg, depending on the weight of the yarn. I tried a few of the thick and quick yarns to see how they would work, and they worked well. Here is an example: after the drawstring cast on, I simply e-wrapped every other peg with the opposite color:

Here is one pattern that I made up. I is a double zig-zag.

The round circles represent pegs, the black circles represent the pegs that are wrapped in the color of the pattern. Each line represents one row of knitting. And here is the result:

To me unless I really look at it I don’t see the zig-zag, so I don’t feel it was as successful. But it still looks nice.

I tried a couple of other patterns that I saw in loom knitting books that I had, with varying results.

Then I made up my most successful patterns: the cross, and the checkerboard, both of which are simple to do. The checkerboard pattern is as follows:

And here is the result:

The cross I didn’t even make up a pattern for; I just had an idea in my head of how it should come out:

Now the wildest one I tried was making I-cords and twisting them and knitting them back into the egg. This would have worked a little better if I had not knit the i-cords so long and perhaps had used the red heart medium weight yarn instead of the homespun.

I think it would have been a little clearer, but for a first effort, I can still be proud!

Here are all the eggs in one basket. Yeah, I know, Momma said never to put all your eggs in one basket…

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Cutest Easter Bunny Goody Bag!!

Here is an idea that I came up with that I wanted to surprise my 4 year old daughter with on Easter: a goody bag that looks like the Easter Bunny! The ears are the handle for the bag. She hasn't seen it yet and won't see it until Easter, but I'm sure it will be a hit!

It wasn't too difficult to make, and if you make it I'd love to hear all about yours! You may decide you want different colors or sizes than the one I made. Post your comments on my blog!

Here are the directions (read through before you begin):

You will be using the yellow loom and creating a tube panel on 32 pegs, using a loom clip. Or you may decide to just use the entire loom to make the bag bigger.

To make the bag: I cast on 30 pegs (leaving off the corner pegs) using Red Heart white yarn with a 1 over 2 e-wrap stitch and knit off 2 rows, then increased to 32 pegs, because I wanted the bottom to be rounded a little like it was the bottom of his head. You could probably accomplish this same effect by doing a drawstring cast on on 32 pegs and then continuing with e-wrap stitches for the remainder of the piece.

Knit off 45 rows or until the bag reaches 6 inches. You have reached the top of the bag. For the corner peg and first 2 pegs on each side of the loom, and for the center 6 pegs on each side of the loom, you may choose to bind off using some yarn threaded on your yarn needle. For the center 6 pegs I chose to carry the yarn over to the adjacent pegs and knit off. Since the yarn was not very loose, it was very difficult to do this, and you can see the results vary slightly on either side of the bag.

To make the ears: you will knit off 60 rows on 4 pegs. For example: Center corner peg is number 1. Going clockwise on the loom, you will knit off on pegs 4-7 and 11-14, and on the opposite side of the loom knit off on pegs 20-23 and 27-30. For row 56, decrease yarn from peg 4 to peg 5 and peg 7 to peg 6 and knit off, then knit off 5 rows. Do this for each ear. Leave a 5 inch tail on each ear. For the pink inside the ears, simply make a pink yarn I-cord for 55 rows and sew into the hollow space in the ear.

For the face: I simply drew a rabbit face on a piece of paper and then, using a pencil, gently traced each feature on as I needed it. For example: I traced the eye onto the bag and then sewed the black yarn over what I traced, starting to sew from inside the bag and knotting off when I was done. I went over it again with the yarn to cover any bare spots between the sewing. I didn't have Red Heart black yarn to use so I used my black Homespun to create the black for the mouth eyes and nose. The whiskers are a navy blue vanna's choice yarn, and the tongue is red heart cherry red. The eyes are Lion Brand Hometown USA Charlotte blue and Red Heart blue. The tooth is a 3 peg e-wrap 1 over 2 stitch for 5 rows.

Now that you've knitted and knotted everything inside the bag, trim the tails and tie the ears together by the tails (or sew the ears together at the top using the tails). And you're done!
Side 1:
Side 2:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Here are your holiday hens!

I made these hens after I purchased two nests from Hobby Lobby. They were sold together as one item called Woodland Wonders, and it is Hobby Lobby item 594796.

I simply used tacky glue to attach the hens to their nests. I suggest you read the directions through once to see what options you might want to take before you begin.

Hen body: Using Homespun Deco White on the Flower loom, 2 strands with a 1 over 1 e-wrap stitch, I used a drawstring cast on and knitted off 5 rows.

To make the wings that are one piece I knitted off 7 rows back and forth on pegs 2-5 and then on pegs 8-11, looking at the loom clockwise. Then knit off for 3 more rows, and bind off. Leave the drawstring open for now because you are going to stuff the hen later.

Front of hen with one piece wings:

Back of hen with one piece wings:

To make wings that are flaps, remove the yarn with a yarn needle from pegs 2-5 by loosely sewing a 6-8 inch strand of yarn through it just so it won’t unravel. Then knit off 7 rows back and forth on pegs 2-5. Then put the loops of yarn that you took off earlier back onto the loom and knit off. Repeat this process for the second wing on pegs 8-11. Then knit off the entire loom for 3 more rows, and bind off. Leave the drawstring open for now because you are going to stuff the hen later.

To make the neck and head: I used the 5 peg end of the spool loom, 1 strand of yarn with a 1 over 2 e-wrap stitch. Cast on and knit off 8 rows, leaving a5-6 inch tail. You may want to make the neck shorter; if so, only knit off 5-6 rows. Loosely bind off. The neck and head are one piece. Decide which end you want to be the head and sew the neck securely onto the body, pulling the tail through the inside of the body and knotting it. Then pull the tail on the head closed, knot, thread yarn needle and poke threaded yarn needle down through neck to pull tail down inside body and knot off.

To make the red comb: Knit off an 8 row 2 peg I-cord, leaving a 6-8 inch tail at each end. I used Homespun candy apple red. You may decide to shorten the comb by several rows if you don’t like how mine looks. To attach the comb to the head, decide which end of the neck and head piece that you want to be the head. About half an inch from the front of the head, lay the I-cord on its side and sew it onto the head, shaping it how you like. Since the neck is “hollow” inside, you can poke the needle down through the neck and into the inside of the body where you can knot it off.

To make the beak: I made a 2 peg 8 row I-cord, using a thin yellow yarn and leaving a 5-6 inch tail. I then tied the ends of the top and bottom of the I-cord together, sewed the sides of the I-cord together and sewed the beak onto the head.

To make the eye: I used Homespun black and threaded a yarn needle with about 12 inches of yarn. Poke the threaded yarn needle through one side of the head where you want to make the eye. Pull yarn through, leaving about 2 inch tail. Then poke the threaded yarn needle back through the head, right beside where you just poked the first time. Pull through and tighten. Tails will be on the same side of the head. You can tighten for a small eye or pick the black yarn back out slightly to make a larger eye. You may want to pull the needle through the head a couple times to secure the yarn in place. Once you have the eyes the way you want them, cut the yarn very close to the eye. You won’t notice it, and if you do, it may look like the hen has eyelashes, which you may find an advantage.

Your hen is basically done! Just trim the yarn tails inside the body, stuff the desired amount of batting inside it, pull the drawstring closed, knot it off and glue the hen to the nest! Once dry you can shape the body better, or shape it while you are putting batting inside. And there you have it!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Easter Projects: Cross with Lily

The next several posts will highlight Easter projects I have been working on the last few weeks. This is a cross with a lily wrapped around it:

I created the cross on the pink loom starting on the 16 center pegs using Lion Brand Homespun Wild Fire in a one over 1 stitch (if you want a firmer cross, use a 1 over 2 stitch). Cast on, wrapping the yarn as if making a scarf. Knit off 2 rows. Then e-wrap and knit off 10 rows. Next add 8 pegs on both sides of the cross and knit off 13 rows to make the horizontal beams. (I used e-wrap stitches for this and just sewed it closed after I finished knitting the entire cross.) Then e-wrap only the original center 16 pegs and knit off 26 rows. You may choose to bind off the same way that you cast on, by wrapping the yarn on the loom as if making a scarf and knitting off. Or you may choose to bind off the regular way. Sew the horizontal beams of the cross, and it is complete (unless you wish to add some stuffing inside it.)

For the lily: I started at the bottom of the petal using Homespun Deco (white) 1 over 1 stitch. I cast on the pink loom in the center 2 pegs for a flat panel and knit off 2 rows. Then I increased it by 1 peg on both sides to knit off on 4 pegs for 6 rows. Then I increased it by 1 peg on both sides to knit off on 6 pegs for 3 rows. Then I decreased it by 1 peg on both sides to knit off on 4 pegs for 3 rows. Then I decreased it by 1 peg on both sides to knit off on 2 pegs for 2 rows, and bind off, leaving about 3-5 inches of yarn for a tail. I repeated this process two more times and then sewed the three petals together, leaving a small opening at the bottom center of the petals.

For the stigma (the long yellow stems inside the flower (which are actually green inside the real flower)): I simply used a yellow yarn and created 3-4 inch I-cords which I sewed together at the bottom and pulled through the bottom center of the lily, and sewed to the bottom of the lily.

For the stem: I created a "cup" for the flower to sit in by using red heart green yarn and making a drawstring cast on 6 pegs of the pink loom and then knitting off 5 rows. Pull the drawstring to close the "cup." Loosely bind off. Position the lily inside the cup and sew it onto the cup by using the green yarn.

The actual stem is one long green I-cord which I sewed to the bottom of the cup. I then positioned the lily how I liked it on the cross, and pulled the petal tails through the cross in the exact position I wanted them and sewed them to the cross. I then used the green yarn to knit through the stem onto the cross, wrapping it around the cross as I sewed. And that's it!

I suppose if you made the cross bigger you could add more petals to the lily to make it more realistic. I wanted mine to be relatively simply. It "reads" as a lily flower whether it has the right amount of petals or not, and whether or not the stigma inside the flower are perfectly correct.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mommy Mittens!

Over the winter, I was working on a pair of mittens for someone. They wanted adult mittens that had a small child’s mitten sewn right on it, so the child could hold Mommy’s hand and have a warm hand. I had never made mittens using the loom before, so I scoured the web for directions and found http://luvtoloom.wordpress.com/2006/03/23/one-loom-mitten/ , which suggested using the blue loom. I did, and here’s how the practice one came out:

I used Homespun candy apple red and deco (cream white). For the child’s mitten I just used the pink loom and knit off on 10 pegs. Once I got to the thumb I cut the yarn and knit the hand part separately from the thumb. Here’s the back:

It came out good, so I went ahead and knit the real pair:

I thought they came out pretty good for the first time! But they turned out to be way too big! So I remade them, this time making up my own directions. I used the pink loom and a purple loom clip this time, after I took measurements of her hand. Her hand was about half the size of the original mittens I made!

So I decided not to follow the directions for mittens I had found online but make up my own. To make my version, I did a 1 over 1 e-wrap stitch on the pink loom on 16 pegs for 10 rows and then created the cuff by putting the first row back onto the loom and knitting over. Then I did 1 over 2 e-wrap stitch for 15 rows and then made the thumb by knitting on 6 pegs (where I wanted the thumb to be) 1 over 2 e-wrap back and forth for 19 rows. Then I continued making the rest of the mitten for 25 rows, knitting over the entire 16 pegs. Bind off and start the next mitten. For the child’s “mitten” I used 8 pegs to make a flat panel 1 over 2 e-wrap stitch for 40 rows. Then I loosely bound off the mitten body from the loom. Then on 6 pegs I knitted the thumb 1 over 2 for 20 rows. I then sewed the thumb onto the hand where I thought it should be. You may want to adjust the size of the child’s mitten, I made it big so that the mom could use it again next season and the child’s hand would still fit. Then I sewed the child’s mitten on the adult mitten with the deco yarn, starting to sew from inside the glove so I could tie it off unseen. Repeat for the second mitten.

For an added bit of “specialty,” I carefully threaded the yarn needle with an elastic band and poked it through the cuff so that it was inside the cuff, and went around the inside of the cuff with the elastic. Then I tied it on the inside, so that the cuff of the mitten was slightly elastic and would still cover your wrist.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

And to celebrate: a loom knit shamrock!

Created on the pink knifty knitter loom using red heart green yarn, 1 over 2 stitch flat panel. It is created by making 3 green hearts and sewing them together at the bottom of the hearts to create the shamrock, and then adding a stem. It measures 9 inches long and 7.75 inches height.
Instructions on how to create:
For the leaves you will be using 8 pegs altogether, but start as follows:
First, cut one 24" piece of the green yarn and set aside.
Cast on pegs 1-4 and 5-8. You will cast on pegs 1-4 with the working yarn and knit off 4 rows. Then with the separate piece of yarn you cut earlier, cast on pegs 5-8 and knit off 4 rows.
Next, take the working yarn and knit off pegs 1-8 for 27 rows. Decrease by putting yarn from peg 1 onto peg 2 and yarn from peg 8 onto peg 7. Knit off 4 rows.
Decrease by putting yarn from peg 2 onto peg 3 and yarn from peg 7 onto peg 6. Knit off 4 rows.
Decrease by putting yarn from peg 3 onto peg 4 and yarn from peg 6 onto peg 5. Knit off 2 rows.
Bind off. Knot and sew in loose yarn near top of shamrock leaf. And you have completed the first leaf! Repeat the process for two more leaves.
Stem is a flat panel 1 over 2 stitch on 6 pegs.
Cast on 6 pegs and knit off 8 rows.
Decrease by putting yarn from peg 1 onto peg 2 and yarn from peg 6 onto peg 5. Knit off 18 rows.
Decrease by putting yarn from peg 2 onto peg 3 and yarn from peg 5 onto peg 4. Knit off 2 rows and bind off. Sew leaves together, sewing stem on last. And there you have it!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hang in there...

It has been a rough couple of weeks here, getting clobbered by major snowstorms pretty much back to back, over 2 feet of snow combined. Once my fingers thaw out from the cold I will be back on here to share some new things I've been working on! They should be thawed out by the end of this week...