Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Cast- on Trials and Tribulations

I always think it's odd when a pattern says cast-on using the thumb method. I think why?

There are apparently 35 ways to cast-on, so why choose the one that seems the least effective way to produce a neat edge? 

It may be looser than other cast-ons, so why not just say cast-on loosely?

I started in the 1970's with the thumb method, which I found gave an untidy, erratic edge.

I progressed to the 2 needle method, which is a neater, but tighter edge.

Then I learned the long tail method. However, how long does the tail need to be?
Then I learned the cast on between the stitches called Cable Cast On method. This one seems one of the neatest. 

The next problem for me was counting the stitches

When there are lots of sts to cast-on, I found I always ended up with a different number, at least once, out of three counts.
Now I have a fool-proof way of counting, that reduces the stress and time taken. 

I cast-on (or chain if I'm crocheting), the first  20 sts and then add a marker, then another 20 sts and add the marker. Each time I double-check the last 20 sts I added, until I have the required number of stitches. Then I only need to count in twenties until I reach the last few stitches. 

How do you cast on?

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Retrospective Knitted Fingers for Fingerless Mitts

If you are anything like me, while you might like the look of fingerless mitts, they just are not practical in cold weather. So, I decided to make individual fingers and add them retrospectively to my gloves. You can find the basic pattern for these in my Ravelry store

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Railway Themed Sensory Twiddle Pouch Pattern

FREE PATTERN- my latest pouch design with male sensory impaired in mind who enjoy railways. Download pattern here

Embellishment ideas:
Fire Box door
Fire Box flames with crackle
Buffer Beam:
Railway signal ribbons 
Railway lights Beads
Name label /‘tickets’ -
Loco wheels: 2 x 0.6mm wooden buttons and 3 x 1” wooden buttons
Wooden letter beads that spell ‘steam’ or ‘coal’,
metal curtain ring on ¼”” length silver or black 0.6mm cord
Squeezy stress ball, attached to length of cord inside mail bag
Provides sensory stimulation, occupation and a talking point for sensory impaired.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Decorating Sensory Twiddle Muffs, Bags and Pouches

This is one of  my favourite parts to creating a sensory twiddle item for a sensory impaired person. 

As well as a colour scheme, deciding how to embellish the muff, bags and pouches brings out my creative juices and I'm often embellishing before I've sewn the item together, partly because I find it makes it easier to sew things on securely this way.

So, how do YOU decide what to put on your items?

Is it something you relish or dread?

Do you have any favourite things you like to add?

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Free Twiddle bag knitting pattern for dementia /sensory impaired

FREE Twiddle bag Knitting Pattern in my Ravelry Store. 

This pattern is now available. FUN and CREATIVE! 
Since ladies love their handbags, I was asked to make some ‘sensory twiddle handbags’, similar to the Twiddlemuffs for the Dementia patients at our local hospital.
I have 10+years experience in care homes and both my parents had Alzheimer’s, so I have developed this FREE pattern which provides purposeful activity, and sensory stimulation. The bags also help to distract hospital dementia patients from fiddling with their catheters and bandages.
The 5mm needles suggested are for those who use Aran weight yarn for the handles, instead of chunky. Handles can be sewn across or at one side of the bag.
I add similar twiddle muff embellishments such as a curtain ring on a length of tape; a pom pom on a length of icord; I knitted a little ‘wallet’ with clothing labels sewn inside; beads and some pearl beading, plus a toggle clasp; some braid to twiddle with and a fluffy, elasticated hair band, squeeze stress ball etc.
It’s a chance to use up left over yarns and charity shop ‘finds’ with doubled strand of Double Knit or one strand of Chunky weight yarn and to get creative with beads, buttons, ribbons and other embellishments that will provide the person with dementia some interest and occupation.
If you contact your local hospital and nursing homes, I’m sure they would appreciate you making some of these for the dementia sufferers in their care.
Thank you.
Please feel free to contact me with any queries. I hope you enjoy unleashing your creativity as much as I have with this project.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Yarn Therapy

Whilst I have been away from my blog, coping with my bereavements, I have found great solace in my knitting and crochet. 

I have completed several projects and enjoyed making things for charity, including Twiddlemuffs and bags and knitted babies for dementia patients. More information HERE

It has certainly kept me sane, giving me something positive on which to focus and goals to achieve; such as
icord bind off and Estonian patterned mitts with Kihnu Troi cast on and Vits braid.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Knit and Natter

Ivybridge Knitting group meets Thursdays 2:30pm - 4:30pm 
in the Library
Knit and Natter with the Nattering Knits
is friendly and free and we have excellent coffee
served by the coffee shop.

The Watermark 
Erme Court,
Leonards Road,
Ivybridge nr Plymouth,
South Devon PL21 0SZ

01752 892220
Some of the photos taken of the group were sadly was deleted from the person's camera 
before it was distributed. Here's some others taken January 2012. Noelle (pictured here with Ruth), sadly died this January. 
A lovely lady who we shall miss and have some warm, memories of her to cherish. 

Do you go to a local knitting group?