Simple finglerless gloves

I had been threatening to start knitting for ages and so at Christmas I received many knitting related presents, a full set of needles included. I made a few simple starter projects (mostly squares of knitting and a simple envelope sleeve for my kindle), but I thought I would show you my first official knitting project. It was a pattern by Benson’s Rags that I had also received as a Christmas present. The pattern included a stranded knitting treble clef motif, but as yet my knitting skills are not up to this so I decided to keep the gloves simple and just stick to the simple pattern completed with the beautiful West Yorkshire Yarn Spinners Aran.

The premise for making the gloves was pretty simple. They are knitted flat and then sewn together at the side seam. Starting from the wrist, which is ribbing, the number of stitches are gradually increased in a ‘V’ to make room for the thumb:

Fingerless gloves thumb

Fingerless gloves thumb

This is where what seemed to be a simple pattern broke down. I had to somehow insert a thumb into my nice flat piece of knitting. Well, it took me a few times of reading and re-reading the pattern and a little help from some of my more experienced crafty friends but we figured it out. I had to cast on three additional stitches at one edge of the thumb and then (ignoring the rest of the piece) knit just the thumb (still flat at this point). Once this was completed I could then ignore the thumb and continue knitting the rest of the glove picking up those extra 3 stitches half way across.

Once completed the thumb was stitched up down the side and the rest of the glove was also stitched together to complete it.

Fingerless gloves palm

Completed fingerless glove

Then all I had to do was the same again for the other hand.

Fingerless gloves

Two compeleted fingerless gloves

Well, as far a projects go I may not have jumped in at the deep end but it dertainly wasnt a paddling pool!

Bring on the next project!

H.

Red fabric with white stars

Starry Pajamas

I would like to tell you about my first “proper” sewing project. My starry pajamas!

Starry Pajamas

Starry Pajamas

Last year my mum gave me her old sewing machine, which was rather limited in its capabilities with only 2 stitches in its repertoire. However, it was enough for me to try a few things out. I even made a couple of tote bags although the seams are now coming apart where the machine struggled to cope with anything more than 2 layers of fabric.

So in the January sales I bit the bullet and bought myself a shiny new sewing machine. I decided to start out with something simple so I chose to do the pajamas from Tilly and the buttons book “Love at First Stitch”. First of all I need to tell you how amazing this book is. Everything is explained in a simple manner – no sewing jargon required – with beautiful pictures guiding you all the way.

Following the directions in the book I chose my measurements and cut out the pattern in the correct size from my chosen fabric

Red fabric with white stars

Red fabric with white stars

Sewing of the pajamas was pretty simple with straight stitching and then zigzag stitching over the edges to stop any unravelling.

I completed the pajamas with a drawstring mad from a complementary cream ribbon with the text “Handmade with love” printed on.

Ribbon on pajamas

Ribbon on pajamas

 

Hopefully this will be the first of many sewing projects to come. I feel I was perhaps playing it safe with pajamas as I wont be leaving the house in them! However, the other patterns in the book all look so good that I am sure I will be creating more of them soon!

H.

Front post double crochet (fpdc) and back post double crochet (bpdc)

After sharing with you my geometric crochet cowl I thought it might be quite nice to include a tutorial on how to do front- and back- post double crochets (abbreviated to fpdc/bpdc in patterns). These stitches are great ones for adding texture to crochet projects and can add a lot of depth to the finished project making it chunky and giving it some stretch.

I have added the tutorial with lots of photos to help guide you through but if anything is unclear feel free to pop a question in the comments section and i will try to clarify.

So there you have it front- and back-post double crochet. These stitches look great as they are and can help give your work some added depth and texture, or can be used to create some fantastic effects such as ribbing, basket-weave and cabling!

H.

Turquoise Crochet cowl

Geometric Crochet Cowl

So I thought I would introduce you to the geometric cowl I crocheted just before Christmas.

After a trip to Hobbycraft to purchase some Christmassy wool I returned with two 400g balls of aran-wool blend for just £6 each and only because the paper band was missing. However, there were other balls on the shelf so I wrote down all the information I needed and started planning what to do with my new found treasure!

turquoise red wool

2 balls of Aran on clearance at hobbycraft

Obviously the red wool was put to good use for the Christmas decorations I had planned but what to do with that lovely turquoise?

i turned to my new found favourite feature on Ravelry, the yarn search. You simply type in the brand of yarn and then find the type you have. It then allows you to search through the projects other people have made with that yarn as well Aston look at pictures of how they turned out.

I spotted this Twist ‘n Shout Cowl and immediately fell in love with the geometric pattern. I had to make it!

It is quite a simple pattern really, you create a chain 90 stitches long and the work in the round using just front- and back-post double crochet to create the two different stitches you see here.

geometric pattern using fpdc and bpdc

front- and back- post double crochets make the 2 different stitches seen here which look like they run in opposite directions

As I had to look these up I will be posting a short tutorial on how to do these soon!

The whole thing was completed in three crochet sessions as the chunky wool made up so quickly and now I never take it off as it is perfect for this sudden winter spell we have been having.

I hope you like it.

H.

Welcome

Hello and welcome to H’s Handcrafts, a blog about crafting, crochet, knitting and sewing.

I started crafting only 1 year ago when I decided to learn crochet. Since then I have acquired a set of knitting needles and some minimal skills to go with them. However, my most recent purchase of a new sewing machine firmly stamps me with the brand of the “craftaholic”.

As a beginner I found so many of the crafting blogs out there a life saver when it came to reading my first pattern, understanding the technical jargon, choosing yarn or buying fabric. Thanks to those blogs I can call myself a crafter, so now it’s time for me to pass on my skills.

I love creating new things and I also love new clothes and accessories so crafting is a great way to combine this as I can create new and exciting items that I know are unique and each has a story to tell.

Here I hope to tell you some of those stories as I create new things or lovingly reminisce about those already crafted. I will also share with you tutorials when I come across new techniques or tricky aspects to a project.

I do hope some of these things will be of use or interest to new crafters and old alike.

Happy crafting!

H.