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Some early Christmas tags

Yes, yes, I know.  Long-time readers will be well aware that I generally tend to leave every bit of my Christmas shopping and wrapping till the last minute.  Well, this year I have vowed to change my wicked ways.  I’ve made some little tags for Christmas and am adding them for those who like to get ahead of the game.  Not early enough for those who make cards over the summer (or heaven forbid on 1 January!) but hopefully useful.

xmastags

You can grab them here.


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Christmas tags – the .svg version

I made the tags I added last week a .svg cutting file.  Since I can’t add them here due to WordPress , I am trying once again to add them elsewhere so you can download them without having to resort to Dropbox.

Let me know if this works! Here is the link. OK I’ll have to sort that out then… Back to DropBox then …

They look like this:

Xmastags

Yeah, I probably could have come up with a 6th one LOL!  I did think maybe a stocking, but didn’t follow thru on it.

Cut, they look like this, and you can save the bits and stick them to another set of plain tags, in a sort of twofer.

cut_tags

OK, so I did lose the tiny nose from the cut file, but I like the bigger circle too. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it….

You should be able to break apart the elements and adjust the tag size if you prefer, or eliminate the hole entirely if you want more of a card topper or scrapbooking element.

If I find that housing the files where they are works, I may end up doing a few more .svgs – it’s a challenge and therefore fun for me … unless it becomes more stress and less fun.  At that point, I’ll stop!


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Christmas tags

Yeah, I know.  But I am still not meant to be working.  Thursday is the day I can ease back in to a regular routine.  But some of my “work” has to be working on other aspects of life, not just blogging and UKScrappers stuff. So I still may be here today, gone tomorrow for a bit longer.

Under the heading of made but holding, I have these Christmas tags. Cute enough, very simple, and useful, I hope.  This may be the year that I attack Christmas far in advance, just to minimize the stress of my usual last-minute panic.  So for me as well as for the chronically pre-prepared, here they are:

Xmastags

You can grab them here.


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Merry Happy Christmas!

WOYWW 290!  The Christmas Eve edition….

The replacement turkey has been acquired (well done Morrisons!) and  most of the gifts are wrapped, the handmade ones mostly finished. Our little family unit is together under one roof and all is merry and bright. My desk is not a mess, but I left it far too late to snap a decent photo. So I’ll just wish our extended and international WOYWW family a very festive day for tomorrow, however you celebrate it, and even if you don’t!

xmas

Long time WOYWW participants will recall my treetop angel, made using a photo of my now 18 YO DD when she was 3.  If you want to read about it you can see it here.  Just for fun I’ll add some other tree-toppers that made me smile –  Those from the USA will remember this guy, right?

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The Abominable Snow Monster from the Rankin/Bass stop-motion Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.  I watched it every year as a kid.

This angel is an Angel. Let’s hope he doesn’t go all Angelus on Christmas …

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Perhaps my favourite of all.  I agree with the comment that if the plane flew around, that would just make it all the better.

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Have a wonderful day and the Happiest of Holiday WOYWWs to you all!


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Another wristlet – my own design

Well.  I had such fun making the other Wristlet, I decided to make a couple more. I finished one, a pretty bog-standard version, just knitting and knitting in the round, bordered with a handful of garter-stitch rounds.  I didn’t even take a photo of them – DD needed a gift for her skating helper so they pretty much came off the needle and into a bit of wrapping paper.  But I loved the yarn I used – I had grabbed a massive ball of something called Marble by James C Brett from a discount store.  It’s a chunky yarn, but I used 4mm needles.  The colour progression is very cool, but I am pretty sure there is no two areas of the whole 340 yard length that are exactly the same!

At least I’ve not had much luck picking two matching start points.  No matter.  I hear matching mismatched socks are all the rage so …..

I had seen a stitch in a book I have that I really liked.  I am getting a little more adventuresome with my knitting, more than just Knit/Purl. This stitch was called Butterfly Block

chart

Oh dear.  A chart.  I am RUBBISH at charts.  Luckily there was a video – OK, so demonstrating a 3-stitch slip rather than a 5 stitch one, but at least it got me thru the inserting the needle tip bit.  Notice in the book it doesn’t say HOW to insert.  But bottom of the strands up to the top is critical, as is pulling the new stitch back down thru the bottom then up in line with the needle, and dropping off the back of the old stitch.  Yeah – like THAT makes sense.  Watch the video here.

OK so that was the first hurdle.  Next, I wanted to knit in the round.  More complicated when you are looking at a pattern that involves slipping stitches and holding the yarn in back on a purl row.  There ARE NO PURL ROWS in the round when knitting stocking stitch.  OK, so that was an easy fix. I just knit, shift the yarn to the front, slip the stitches, then shift the yarn to the back again.  But what WAS a problem was the repeat. 10 + 7 so AT LEAST 17 stitches.  on 6 mm needles, that would be far too massive for most wristlets, unless you knit super tight!  Plus knitting in the round?  Those tricky intersections for DPNS.  You need at LEAST 2 stitches between so you can snug them up and no ladders.  And the alternating butterflies?  You can’t have any butterfly cross an intersection. And I didn’t want to do a partial thumb, just leave a gap for a thumb-hole.

It took me two days to work out all the fine points.  This is my cheat sheet for casting on 38 stitches, 19 stitches on each side of a circular, using the Magic Loop.
Single Butterfly Group

Wings = Bring yarn to front, slip 5 stitches purlwise, Bring yarn to the back leaving strand of yarn loosely across the 5 slipped stitches

Round 1  Knit
Round 2  K7   BUTTERFLY WINGS   K7
Round 3  Knit
Round 4  K7   BUTTERFLY WINGS   K7
Round 5  Knit
Round 6  K7   BUTTERFLY WINGS   K7

Gather = slip the right needle tip under the three strands, up to stitch on needle.  Knit this stitch, pulling the completed stitch down thru the strand and dropping the back of that stitch off the left needle to complete

Round 7  K9 GATHER K9
Round 8  Knit
Double Butterfly Group

Wings = *Bring yarn to front, slip 5 stitches purlwise, Bring yarn to the back leaving strand of yarn loosely across the 5 slipped stitches, Knit 5*) REPEAT * to * ONCE

Gather =  slip the right needle tip under the three strands, up to stitch on needle.  Knit this stitch, pulling the completed stitch down thru the strand and dropping the back of that stitch off the left needle to complete

Round 9  K2   BUTTERFLY WINGS   K5   BUTTERFLY WINGS   K2
Round 10 Knit
Round 11 K2   BUTTERFLY WINGS   K5   BUTTERFLY WINGS   K2
Round 12 Knit
Round 13 K2   BUTTERFLY WINGS   K5   BUTTERFLY WINGS   K2
Round 15 Knit

Round 16 K4  GATHER  K9  GATHER  K4

Of course at the point where I switch from rounds to back and forth rows (to create the thumb-hole)  means changing all that for the stranding at the back of a purl row (like shown in the video).

It made my head hurt. I’ve said it before, I am NOT a natural knitter.  Every stitch is like a battle sometimes LOL!

I’ll probably write it up as a pattern as I knit wristlet two, cause I do NOT want to forget how I did it. I didn’t try to do two at once – I just had to work it all out first.   I think it turned out really cute.  And see the colour changes?  Love it. I will totally go back for more colour options of this stuff.  They also have smaller balls of 100g in lots more colours.  It IS acrylic, but so soft and lovely I don’t even mind.

7mywristlet

As usual, it really does look better IRL!

One down, one to go…

 

{sigh}

Oh and just to mention:

wristlet
fingerless gloves
fingerless mitts
texting gloves
texting mitts

how many OTHER names are there for these?


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A gift – look away if you are related to me….

A few weeks back I mentioned A Little Hut.  I have had this project in my head for…well, look at the date of the blog post.  That long.  I wanted to put a spin on it, but didn’t want to get all math-y to work out the right proportions, so I cheated.  I found an image of the Golden Ratio spiral and printed it out of sturdy card then cut along the spiral.

3ALH

Again, I didn’t have the time to sit and cut a load of triangles from scraps, by hand with scissors, so I created an SVG file to cut them out with SCAL.

1ALH

Just laying out strips of scrap card let me cut them all in two lots, getting 14 different colours.  As DH had picked out small canvases (a pack of four 8 x 8 ones) I was dealing with a smaller scale project than her large wall canvas. I used the golden ration spiral (two of them) to mark the lines.  Had I cut it a bit smaller I could have arranged them on the canvas to create a heart. Maybe I’ll use that idea for one of the other in the set of four.  Then it’s just a matter of arranging and sticking, really.

2ALH

Cute, humm?  I think he’ll like it

points


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Remember those card toppers? Gift tags!

I got such a nice comment on my circle greetings from this year, that they have formed the cornerstone of her card-making this year.  I usually also design some gift tags and to be honest, this year I was doing so much knitting and other hand crafting, that I just didn’t make the time.  When it came time to start wrapping up my own gifts it was a struggle – did I take the time to think up  a new design?  did I go back to last years tags, or (heaven forbid!) use store-bought ones? My eyes landed on the circles I had printed out to check the colour and sizing.  Although they don’t have the TO: and FROM: bits I didn’t see any reason not to use them as tags.  So I did. I used both the original, modern coloured ones linked above and the richer, more Christmas coloured ones from this post

tags2014

I opted for a pretty simple wrapping style this year, red yarn and a soft twine.  DDs gifts usually get stick-on bows, as with her disability, opening gifts can be tricky.  I tend to use minimal tape and bows that can be ignored.  The boys have to work a little harder to open their gifts. I think the tags look quite nice, even if the photo is a little dark.

2tags2014

The point is, think outside the box (package?)  These are even easier to cut out than tags, as the smaller ones fit a 2″ circle punch and the larger ones a Nestability die or other circle cutter.  Easy peasy. Feel free to use them … OR read on

{wink}

As I had already done the hard work, and I had some time today, I went ahead and converted the circles to blocks.  My idea was that you can do a number of things with them. I did the 2-to-a-page PDF, so you can just slice and dice then, to make 18 smallish tags (about 1 3/4 wide by 2 1/2 tall, seen there at the left) or you can cut the larger ones either as a block or use some sort of tag die.  In the actual PDF the greeting part is slightly smaller than here so it fits better in the couple of tag dies I have.

xmastagsample

On a whim I popped a couple of the larger ones into an embossing folder.  I love how they turned out so I am adding the ones with the bigger greeting part as well.  Hope that isn’t confusing.  All three will be useful in different ways, I think.

2xmastagsampleSo to recap:

THIS set is the 18 small tags

THIS set is the 9 large tags with a slightly smaller greeting (1 1/2 ”  size)

THIS set is the 9 large tags with the larger greeting (2″ size)

And of course the reverse use works too – you can easily use the blocks for cardmaking, either with a punch or a die.  Hope they are useful!


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Double the time but it’s still better….

Ever since I took the time to really sort out the whole two-socks-at-a-time thing, and for me it wasn’t easy, I just know that I can’t do things one at a time any more.  I have ALWAYS struggled with pair of things.  I get one sock done and the second one languishes for (seriously) sometimes YEARS.  Having reached the end, woven in the ends, and tried on the single sock, somehow, casting on the 2nd one just gets put off.  Nothing unique to me – knitters everywhere struggle with it.  But oh, to do them both at the same time?  Have them both done at the same time?  Joy. Bliss. OK so a little delayed, cause knitting two socks takes longer than knitting one, that’s just the way it is.  But still.  It’s tedious, when the person being knit for has, for example, monstrous feet, and the pattern is ..not a pattern, just endless rounds of knit, knit, knit.  Yawn.

twofer

Boring shades of grey don’t help. But still, so long as I can alternate between projects I am OK.  A few dozen rounds of grey, then I can shift over and work on the largest knitted knockers I’ve done yet (apparently that isn’t unique either – although I’m not sure if Ds and DDs are the most requested or the least knit or both, causing the shortfall.  They certainly don’t go as fast as As, and on the Magic Loop it is a little more of a struggle, all those stitches.

2twofer

Still, as I said before, I was getting the same issue, getting knocker one done then thinking wanting to try another colour or try a different pattern or something. Anything other than doing the same thing over again.  So the two-at-a-time made sense.

But I wanted to make DD some wristlets – she bought a pair at a Christmas Market and loves them – but was thinking Oh dear. Two. One at a time. Ugh

Now I am not so skilled a knitter or so clever at patterns that I felt confident in trying to convert a complicated pattern written back and forth as an in-the-round one.  Plus I had no good idea for how to leave the thumb-gap in the round.  But I didn’t see any reason I shouldn’t cast on both flat pieces, knit them back and forth on the same circular needle, and still get both done at the same time.

4twofer

It’s working a treat.  So long as I use that zip lock bag trick, both balls of yarn inside and zipped in the middle so each ball comes out its own little gap

3twofer

I can keep it all straight, untangled, and easy to put down and pick up again or transport without ending up in a muddle.  And frankly, as I am doing a billion things all the time (today? knitting, wrapping, making soup, something I can’t mention lest prying eyes see, and doing laundry before cooking tonight’s dinner) and grabbing every chance to get in a few stitches (like in the car on the way and at DDs ice show Friday night, about 7 hours from start to finish) that is pretty important.  And as I have a near endless supply of zip lock bags I can have many projects on the go at one time to keep me from getting bored. If it looks like dodgy, I will drop the other ones and focus on the  two important gift ones to make sure they are done before the big day…


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Quick card from printables

After three years, my Glitter Technique post is still the one that gets more hits than any other (except the Home Page) and it’s been viewed 40,295 times.  For something I have often said I thought was a “throwaway” post, something that was cute but not earth-shaking, that still surprises me.  Anyway, I thought I would use it again as a way to get a cute and fast background for DDs cards to hand out this year.  I already created the tree (seems it’s been trees the last few years – and why not?  A tree is so easy to cut!) so the rest of it was simple.  I toyed with the idea of some sort of easel card, and I may still have a go at one of them, but this was pretty quick – quick enough to whip up a handful for her to take to her Thursday night group if she wants to hand deliver some.

It was just a quick emboss and brayer over the glitter gel, as per the original tutorial

2014card

then print and snip a couple of the trees.  Either the ones from this year or past ones, all seen here, will work

22014card

I decided to do two – one that is made up as the ornament, the other trimmed inside the lines with the text snipped off as a sentiment.

I cut a thin strip of cardstock and cut a notch in the centre.  The issue is always how best to “attach” the ornament, leaving it easy to remove, and I keep trying new methods.  Sticking that at the sides, but leaving the centre under the notch free, seems to hold it in place.

32014card

42014card

As pretty as the glitter is, once the ornament is pulled off, the card is so plain.  The second tree gets mounted under where the ornament one hangs

52014card

so when you pull that off the card, the card is still worth displaying

62014card

Easy Peasy. And I think the little tree looks cute on our big tree!

72014card

Now, I just have to make five more….


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More Vintage Printables

The UKS member who asked for vintage printables had some specific ones in mind.  I tried to create them to fit what she wanted.  Not sure if I managed it or not.  Again, what I have done here is not rocket science.  I collected images from a variety of places.  Check them out – you might see ones you like better and decide to have a go.  In some cases it really is no more than cropping the image to size, or layering one over the other. But I hope they will be useful – if you think so grab ’em.

xmas

The journaling cards are in this PDF and the santa filler cards are in this one.  If you want to check out the images and see more, pop to these locations and have fun!