Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Secret Crafts

Happy New Year everyone. I hope that 2018 turns out to be a peaceful one for you all, full of yarn and other good things.

Now that all the presents have been unwrapped, I can share with you some of the things I made for other people last year. Every year I promise myself I'll make more of the presents I give and every year I run out of time. Having said that, I did quite well in 2017 as you'll see.

I've been weaving on and off for a few years now (more off than on if I'm honest). My loom is an 12" Ashford Knitters Loom  which is a small rigid heddle loom that folds up and can be stored in its own bag. I do hanker after a wider loom - perhaps a 24" Kromski Harp - but for the moment I'm happy with what I've got.

Anyway, I had a bit of a phase of weaving towards the end of last year and wove three scarves for presents.

The pink and green one was woven with a ball of variegated sock yarn and the other one used three shades of Stylecraft Carnival Chunky. For this one I used each of the three colours in turn, both in the warp and weft, which gave a nice tweedy effect I think.

The scarf I'm most pleased with though was the one I wove for my son's birthday in November. He loves bright colours so I decided to warp the loom with lots of rainbow shades. These are all odds and ends of Sirdar Country Style DK, one of the yarns I use a lot in my designs.

How's that for a colourful warp? I didn't want to swamp all that colour when I started weaving so I chose a thinner sock yarn (about 400 m / 100 g) for the weft in charcoal grey. That meant that the colours still dominate the scarf, with the grey just holding it all together.

I really enjoyed weaving this one, even if that thin warp made any missed threads very obvious (there was a fair bit of un-weaving when I got tired). Here's the finished scarf in all its glory ...

I particularly like the colourful twisted fringe. My son was very pleased with his scarf and wears it all the time.

I made two more scarves as presents (and yes, people do sometimes get presents that aren't scarves). These were crocheted with double ended Tunisian crochet hooks. I've talked about this technique before and I'm still very excited by its potential. Scarves with a different colour on each side!

This one was made with aran weight yarns and the other one was two shades of Rico Creative Melange DK which I think worked especially well together.

This scarf was for my brother. he wore it throughout Christmas and may even be wearing it to bed for all I know. I haven't liked to ask.

One more Tunisian Crochet present, this time using a normal hook. I made this case for my daughter's mini iPad using three colours of the same yarn as my brother's scarf. 

This only took an evening or two to make and is a bit more secure than the sleeve she had for the iPad before. In case you're wondering, yes I did knit a few presents too (socks and gloves) but I haven't got photos of those.

I also made a few of my reversible tote bags, including these two. A friend gave me a bundle of Christmas fat quarters earlier in the year so I turned them into bags.

I'd been wanting to work out a pattern for a smaller version of my tote bag for a while now, one that could be made from two fat quarters of fabric, so this was an ideal opportunity. They turned out a decent size - 10" tall, 9" wide and 3" deep - plenty big enough for your latest knitting project. I'm planning to turn them into a proper pattern so look out for that here.

I really enjoyed making all these presents so I'm hoping to do something similar again this year. Not scarves though, I think I need to branch out a bit.

Before I go, a quick reminder that my 2018 Frankie's Blankie KAL has started on Ravelry. I published the first pattern yesterday, the rest will follow weekly throughout the year. There's lots of chat about it on my Ravelry group and you can buy the yarn from Wool Warehouse. They're very quick at sending out orders and you can get a 10% discount by quoting the code FRANKIE10 so what are you waiting for? Come and join in the fun.


  1. Everyone must have been chuffed with their presents! You can't beat handmade gifts! X

  2. Yes, they were all pleased. You have to choose who you give handmade presents too though - only those who will appreciate them, rather thanb think you were too mean to buy a proper present!