Author Archives: Elaine

Weekend Inspiration

I thought it fitting to send some weekend inspiration and hope that you have a creative weekend

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Knitted Cowl

Creating an elegant cowl can be simple in knitting!

On a circular needle, cast on an uneven number of stitches. For this cowl I cast on 221 stitches. Knit moss stitch (1 knit, 1 purl) until you have the desired length of the cowl.

Cast off in moss stitch. Note: when casting off it is important to finish the stitch either in knit or purl, then cast off and only then to bring you yarn over.

For this particular cowl, I used a lace weight 100% merino yarn.

It is really as simple as that!

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Tunisian Crochet Cowl

Creating an elegant cowl in tunisian crochet can be just as simple!

With a number 6 tunisian crochet needle and sock weight variegated yarn, I made 70 chains to start off with.

Crochet 4 rows of Tunisian Knit stitch, and 2 rows of Tunisian Cross Stitch.

Repeat these rows until your scarf or cowl is long enough.

End off and Voila! It is really as simple as that!

Some useful links:

Youtube video for Tunisian Knit Stitch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_Au16WDHVE

Youtube video for Tunisian Cross Stich:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2wDVO8d2yE

Youtube video for Moss Stitch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxGWf5_v2Kg

I hope that you have been inspired!Please send us pictures of your work!

Enjoy your weekend!

Elaine

 

 

We do love yarn!

It is extremely hard for Stephni and I to let go of our new consignment and actually make it available in the shop!

We are totally in love with Malabrigo – it is even more beautiful than we expected. From 100% merino,

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to Baby Alpaca and Silk blend,

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to Silk and Merino blend!

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There is just one problem – how do you choose?

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We will have these priced and ready on Wednesday 14 May 2014!

Come and visit and get inspired!

We are serious! We do love yarn!

Crochet Embellishment: turn an ordinary item into a special gift

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Stork teas seem to bring out the creative side in most of us!

For a particular little pink foot called Lea, the theme was very feminine with antique tea cups filled with moss and violets.

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To add to the theme I crocheted tiny violet flowers from embroidery thread.

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Sewed it to a plain white outfit to make something really special.

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The little outfit turned out to be what we think somewhat cute!

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For another little pink foot called Juliette, I did a few more crochet embellishments. A friendly cow:

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A little strawberry heart:

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Wise old owl to keep watch over her:

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And a flower with a beautiful picot edge:

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We certainly hope that we have inspired you today!

Imagine Colour Wheel

We had a bit of fun making a colour wheel with our own hand-dyed yarn I Love Yarn Imagine! Imagine is 70% bamboo and 30% cotton and has the lovely sheen and soft feel of the bamboo with the structure of the cotton. We love it!

I Love Yarn Imagine

I Love Yarn Imagine

Imagine Colour Wheel

Imagine Colour Wheel

 

7 Lessons learnt from a stork tea blanket

What a lovely idea to get all the family and friends attending a stork tea to crochet or knit a few squares for the new pink foot and sew it into a blanket?

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The intention was pure, but the process proved less than perfect with many challenges!

As this is a really lovely idea, we would like to share a few lessons learnt and a few potholes to avoid.

Lesson number 1: Brief the participants very carefully on the requirements. Merely saying 10cm x 10cm blocks is not enough.

Lesson number 2: Place emphasis on the size of the blocks. If the requirement is 10cm by 10cm, then 10cm x 11cm is not. Be friendly, but firm  about this - it will avoid many headaches. This knitted block (look at the lovely lace work!) is absolutely stunning, but is a rectangle and didn’t fit so well with the other blocks.

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Lesson number 3: Blocks that curl at the sides make the task very difficult and should be avoided. If they do curl, the blocks will not lie flat in the blanket. Be sure to mention this in the brief. Here is an example.

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Lesson number 4: Blocks cannot be stretched by blocking them – they need to be the correct size without forcing them into a mold. If they are not the correct size to begin with, they will only revert back to their true size.

Lesson number 5: Blocks that are knitted from the corner in diagonal rows often result in a diamond and not a square – this results in the diamond pulling the other squares where it is attached.

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Lesson number 6: Crochet or knit an edge around the blanket, this flattens out the blanket. Crochet a foundation double crochet chain (UK terms) and then sew this to the blanket by hand for a flatter edge. This also provides a solid foundation to crochet any beautiful edge on.

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Lesson number 7: ‘Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.‘ John Lennon. I am sure this project would have taken half the time if I crocheted it myself from the start but I manage to puzzle all the pieces together and it turned out rather pretty. Given the fact that so many family members and friends crocheted and knitted along – this blanket has a ton of sentimental value which makes it really special and worth the extra effort!

Crochet for Beginners 3: Magic Ring

Learn the easier technique for starting crochet squares, circles and other motif patterns!

This technique replaces the string of chain stitches closed by a slip stitch to form your starter ring. The biggest advantage of this technique is that it is adjustable and therefore neater! It is also faster  to make and you do not have to pull your work to hide the unsightly bulge caused by the slip stich. Once you’ve learnt this technique it will be your go-to starter! This tutorial is for right-handed crocheters. Ready? Here we go:

1.    Place the yarn across your left hand like this:

2.    Hold the end with your left thumb and wrap the yarn around your index finger from the bottom  of your finger and across the yarn that is lying on top of your index finger:

3.   Use your crochet hook and put it under the bottom thread to hook the top thread and pull it through. Like this:

4. Pull the loop through and twist the hook into the loop (there is a bit of a wrist action to do this!)

5. Chain 3

6. Add trebles (UK terminology) and adjust the size of the ring by pulling the loose end.

 

7. Add as many trebles as the pattern requires and close the ring with a slip stitch.

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Weave away the loose end at the back. Also see the tutorials on Ending Off your work!

Happy Birthday Elaine!!

Just a bit of fun to celebrate Elaine’s birthday! She can do pretty much everything I can not and share my love for making beautiful things. She is also incredibly kind and generous. Happy birthday!! I couldn’t ask for a better business partner and friend.

 

How to line a crochet or knit handbag

How to line this cute little knitted bag:

I chose a thick cotton print fabric and bamboo handles. Cut the fabric, the size of your bag.

The top of the bag will be somewhat smaller than the bottom of the bag. A series of pleats or tucks are sewn at the top of both sides of the lining.

It is done by drawing lines 1cm apart on the wrong side of the fabric. Draw a horizontal line half way down the lining to show where you will stop sewing the pleats.

Start in the middle and fold the fabric on the line in the middle. Sew along the 1cm line marked. Fold the next two lines together and sew along the line to form another pleat. Sew from the middle out to the sides to the desired width.

Sew a seam in the lining at the top of the bag for both sides. This will create a neat look when you open your bag. Place right sides of the lining together and sew the bottom and sides together.

Sew the lining to the bag either with your machine or by hand. I prefer to do it by hand as I find it easier.

The finished bag! A lining strengthens the bags and protects the knitting.

Sunday Inspiration: Pierre le Riche

We came across this South African artist’s work last week and think this installation work of his is just beautiful.

The Rainbow RoomThe work is called ‘The Rainbow Room’ and is a marriage of yarn bombing and installation art. We love the amazing contrast between the white objects and the brightly coloured yarn (17 km of it!).

Pierre knitted covers for over 150 rugby balls in the colours of the gay pride flag as his works is a playful but critical look at Afrikaner masculinity and homosexuality. Visi magazine published an interesting interview with him for those of you who would like to read more.

We are launching Imagine!

You are invited to the launch of our own yarn range!

We are ready to launch our hand-dyed cotton/ bamboo range called Imagine! Saturday, 1 March 2014 in Brooklyn, Pretoria. We would love to have you there. Please send an email to info at iloveyarn.co.za to RSVP and we will send you the details!

Imagine!!

Imagine!!