chilekat's latest photos on Grows on You, where garden ideas are shared.

Friday, 31 July 2009

Ocean Photo Frame - Free Pattern

My Boyfriend came home the other day and said he'd like a photo of me in a little frame to sit on his desk at work. I looked everywhere for a small one, but found nothing; then I decided it would be even better if I made one anyway! I'm putting this up as a knitting pattern as the main decoration is made up of knitted I-cords, though you'll also need:

Some card, if you can get a piece with a square or circle cut out of the middle, great; if not, you'll need to cut this out yourself (I used a photo mount)
Oddments of wool (2 different blues and a green work lovely!)
Blue paint - I used metallic acrylic
Wool needle

Get your piece of card and cut a circle out of the middle, unless your lucky enough to have a photo mount hanging around like me :-)

Then paint your card so that you don't get nasty white bits showing through your wool.

Now the knitting bit, first of all you need to knit quite a long I-cord; this is no exact science, mine was about 22 inches long and I did it in the darkest colour. Once I had my cord, I glued it around the edge of the frame first:

I allowed time for the first bit to dry before continuing around the next part of the frame, then again I let that dry; it's a slower process, but its worth it - otherwise it starts to get a bit messy later! So I took my I-cord arount the edge of the frame, then once I'd got to where I had started, I folded the cord in and then followed the line of the hole in the card; again, no exact science, if you want one like mine then just follow the picture, if not go mad and create your own swirly loveliness :-) In total, I used the big I-cord that went around the outside of the frame and aperture, plus 2 lighter blue ones about 3 inches long and 2 green ones about 2 inches long.

I used the lighter blue and green smaller chords to block in the gaps, gluing them down in a swirly manner where possible:

Using the wool needle, I took the thread ends form the I-cords and pulled them through the surrounding chords to bury and hide them; this also helped to keep them in place whilst waiting for the glue to dry:

Then it's a case of grabbing your shells and gluing them down where you see fit - it looks rather good if you cradle shells in the swirls:

Glue around 3 edges of a new piece of card, cut to the same size as your frame.
Place this on the back, the non-glued edge being the side you will insert your picture so I put the dry edge at the top. Then cut a piece for a stand, glue down the first half an inch, then bend outwards to create a stand. Paint the back with your choice of paint; I used a metallic blue acrylic and an old scratchy brush which i used in circles to get a kind of brushed metal effect:

Allow to dry and then insert the photograph of your choice!!

Whilst typing this blog, I received a text from the other half: "Your photo now has pride of place on my desk. Thanks love xx"

My work here is done.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Mervin the Molar - Knitting Pattern.

Ok, so I've joined For the uninitiated, it's a community for knitters and crocheters; you can display your work and view the work of others, search patterns...etc. Whilst pottering around the site looking for something to knit from the hundreds of free patterns, I came across a few designs for a tooth fairy pillow; a little tooth shaped stuffed toy that stores a tooth overnight before it gets sneakily swapped over for coinage by mum or dad whilst 'gappy' is sound asleep. I loved the idea but wasn't so confident about knitting any of them as the patterns all looked awkward, most needing circular needles or the dreaded set of dpn's. I set myself a challenge; this was to be the first thing I would knit from scratch, no pattern....just me, my size 3mms, a ball of white and a pen and paper to write it all down if I got lucky!! Needless to say, I'm over the moon with the result hence it's apperance here. I hope you enjoy the pattern! - Please let me know if you use it - I'd love to see the results :-)

Mervin the Molar ~ The Tooth Fairy’s Friend.

Inc Increase
K Knit
P Purl
St-st Stocking stitch
K2tog Knit 2 together
B&T tightly Break off yarn leaving a long end for sewing up later, thread it through the stitches on the needle, pull to gather tightly and fasten off.

**Where you see a hyphon foll0wed by a number at the end of a row, eg) -44, it's telling you how many stitches you should have after carrying out the instructions for that row**

Materials required:
3mm [no 11, USA 2] knitting needles, stuffing, white DK [ 8 ply]
Spare needle or stitch holder

You will be making 2 the same.
Beginning at the lower end of the first root, cast on 6 sts (using white unless you are making a rotten tooth!)

1st Row - Inc Knit wise into every stitch - 12
2nd Row - Purl 1 row
3rd Row - Inc Knit wise in first and last stitch - 14

Repeat rows 2 & 3 until you have 22 sts.

Next Row - Purl 1 Row
Next Row - Beginning with a Knit row, st-st 6 rows

Break off yarn and leave the stitches on a spare needle or stitch holder. Repeat the above steps for a second root.
Once you finish your second root, do not break off yarn. Knit across the 22 stitches you have on the knitting needle and then across the 22 stitches on the spare needle - 44

Next Row - Beginning with a Purl row, st-st 3 rows
Next Row - K1 inc1 to end -66
Next Row - Beginning with a Purl row, st-st 3 rows
Next Row - K8, inc1, K16, inc1, K14, inc1, K16, inc1, K8 -70
Next Row - Beginning with a Purl row, st-st 17 rows
Next Row - K34, K2tog, K34 -69
Next Row - Purl 1 row
Next Row - K33, inc1, K1, inc1, K33 -71
Next Row - Purl 1 row
Next Row - (K2tog) 17 times, K3tog, (K2tog) 17 times -35
Next Row - Purl 1 row
Next Row - K2tog, K14, K3tog, K14, K2tog - 31
Next Row - Purl 1 row
Next Row - K2tog to end
B & T tightly.

To make up
Join row ends of each root starting from the tip upwards. With the right side of your work facing outwards, stuff roots firmly. Add your eyes to the front side of your tooth, wherever you feel it looks the cutest! Using a new piece of yarn, mattress stitch the row ends from the top of the tooth downwards, leaving a gap in the piece for stuffing. I say a new piece of yarn as you need to keep the existing piece of yarn (the one that you left when you B&T’d) for use a bit later on. Be sure to keep this earlier thread on the outside of the work and not stuff it into the toy. Now stuff your tooth firmly, padding out all the lumps and bumps until it looks suitably crown like. Once this is done, close the remaining seam with mattress stitch. Now go back to the thread protruding from the top centre of the tooth; using a needle, take this thread back down through the centre of the toy and out between the two roots, pull to indent the top of the tooth, then sew into place when happy. Bury the remaining thread back into the toy.
Now you can add a pocket to the back of your toy to place any teeth that are awaiting collection by the tooth fairy. You have a few options here, you can either keep it simple and st-st a small rectangle which you can then sew to the back, or you can do what I did;
I picked up 15 stitches where I wanted the bottom of my pocket to start and st-st’d 14 rows, giving me a flap which I've then sewn down on each side with mattress stitch. The first option is easier and far less fussy, but I prefer the neatness of the latter method.

That’s it!!

Enjoy knitting up Mervin the Molar :-)

Kat x