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Trauma Teddy, Bobby Buddy, whatever.

{sigh} I have been fighting with the WordPress editor all morning.  I made a post but when I viewed it there were too many weird things happening (like 20 tin, near invisible lines at the end, and text that just kept getting smaller and smaller till at the bottom it was almost unreadable.I kept editing it and in the end I just gave up and deleted it.

I have no idea what was triggering it but I am not going to do it all over again and have it be more of the same.  So here is my PDF.

I did try to make a schematic/visual image of it, kinda like to Trauma Teddy image that is all over the internet, without much luck!

The original is pretty streamlined.  MINE is a bit chaotic, LOL!

My pattern is based (size-wise and stitch count) on the one available for the Dorset Police Bobby Buddies program – Get their pattern here

I wanted a minimal sewing version with no attached pieces. Almost got it! The radio will need to be stitched on for the Dorset Bobby Buddies. 
So long as there are NO BUTTONS or BEADS, this is suitable for that program and should also work for ANY trauma teddy scheme, if the size works.

I WILL add the photos of how to fold the unstuffed bear to match the right sides together and do the SECOND 3-needle bind off.  It;s the only bit that is even remotely tricky.

Once you have done the first 3-needle bind off

You need to fold the head over on to the body

Then fold the legs over on to the head

Then finally fold the upper body (yellow)over the legs – it’s hard to see because of the black, but the right side of the upper body and the right side of the lower body should be matched up for the second 3-needle bind off.

There are links within the PDF for tutorials or videos for some of the less common methods, like the Turkish cast on.

I’ve already sent off a bag of these and have more on the needles.  If you are in the UK, especially if you are in Dorset, feel free to join in the program.

And sorry to subscribers who got a link that disappeared.  Honestly, that post was a MESS. You didn’t miss anything! 🙂


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Trauma Teddies with very little sewing

NOTE:  I’ve removed the download as I have done a much more detailed PDF with links to tutorials or videos and removing some of the fiddly things like the head shaping and all of the purl stitches.  I want a final OK from the Dorset Bobby Buddies scheme before I post it.  Bookmark this and come back to it! (22 June 2018)

One of the ladies in my knitting group sent a message that the Dorset Police were calling for Trauma Teddies and included a new knitting pattern for it.  There is another more standard pattern out there, either written-out or as an image:

What they all have in common is the huge amount of “making-up” they require! I am NOT a fan of the sewing up at the end of any project and if I can figure out how to do it without, I will. Even if it is a little tricky to accomplish!  And while I am always a “belt and braces” person when sewing up for small kiddies, I still worry that an arm might come off, and ear get detached, whatever, and make the toy a hazard.  Silly, maybe, but an all-in-one method suits me on so many levels.

So I made one.

On the left is the one from the pattern from Dorset Police.  It is a really nicely proportioned teddy, and any wonkiness is totally down to my making-up skills.  Trust me – he does have two ears, I promise! The one in the middle is my first attempt to alter the pattern on the fly to make it an all-in-one version.  And the right hand one is my final pattern version.

Gosh that blue background (one of my office chairs) does it no favours! Let’s try that again with just the two:

Better – you can’t see the little antenna on the radio but other than that ….  So just a closer look at my version, with an idea of how I made it all-in-one:

Crazy, right?  But other than a few stitches above and below the arms and a couple of stitches to gather the ears (and the decorative stuff like the face and adding the radio) there is no real “making up” to do.   The only thing that is a little tricky is the second 3-needle bind off – and that isn’t that difficult so long as you don’t do any stuffing till you have accomplished it.  That way you can freely manipulate the body into position.

Yes, there is a bit of purling here, but if I am honest I don’t mind that – it gives my knitting muscles something a bit different to do!

I did write up a pattern but it assumes you are familiar with all those things (two-at-a-time, Turkish cast on or Judy’s magic cast on, a 3-needle bind off, pick-up and knit, garter stitch in the round…) so it isn’t going to be for everyone.  The simplicity of the original pattern (knit every row, no real shaping) is going to be a lot better for someone who wants to just knit fast and sew it all together at the end.  Whichever, charity knitting is all good!


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Nearly No-Sew Knitted Heart

Note: this pattern has been re-done to reflect a new technique and a slightly different shaping.  Some of what I say in the text may no longer apply!

A friend of mine has taken over a local knitting shop and I have been making a few things for her, both as display items and to add to her little section of handmade goodies for sale. She does super cute crochet bunting (love her beach huts!) and I thought I would make her some heart ones.

Now, you generally head to t’internet when you need a free pattern.  I did. I must have looked at 100 patterns.  They seemed to fall into two basic categories.  By far the most common was:  Knit a heart.  Knit another. Sew them together. I did not need to add “second heart syndrome” to my already terminal case of “second SOCK syndrome” so that was never going to work.  The second common one was to knit the heart in the round and graft the top of the heart bumps (or in one case knit back and forth then mattress stitch up the back.) Most used a M1 increase, with the opposing K2tog/SSK decreases.  That doesn’t bother me, except I tend to have to look at the pattern cause I will always forget which way they lean, so mix up how to load the M1 to make it go the way I want.  I hunted and hunted for a “lazy version” – i.e. knit it in the round, simple increases and decreases, and be done.  No such luck.

So I created a version that I like – and although it isn’t the most elegant heart, compared to the grafted ones, I think it is the fastest.  A bonus if you want to make 100 to decorate your wedding tables, especially if you are planning on hiding the middle V with flowers or something!

You can do them on DPNs, but the 3-stitch start is way easier with Magic Loop.  Slightly fiddly, but not enough to offset having to make 2!

I’ve also added the trick for a smoother KFB.  That is to knit into the front of the stitch but then, rather than knitting into the BACK, slip the needle in and scoot the back off onto the right needle.  You have still made two “stitches” from one, and no unsightly bar.  So the MK1 instructions have been removed from the pattern.

Here is the pattern.  And here are some photos to explain the heart bump sections.

This shows knitting the first half, then slipping the stitches on to a holder.

Take a moment to note how stinkin’ cute my stitch marker is LOL!

Work the first heart bump section on one side,

and thread the tail thru the final stitches but DO NOT GATHER.

Now, with the new end of the yarn, thread a needle.  Use this to secure the middle stitches.

I like to knit the first stitch with the end and the working yarn together, for a more secure join.

Then carry on and knit a round (to match the round that you used to divide the heart) then repeat the heart bump stitches again.

Stuff and gather the tops. Use the tails if you need a couple more stitches to close the middle once it is stuffed.  This is cotton yarn and it is a lot less forgiving than wool or even acrylic – it doesn’t spring back when stretched so another stitch or two is sometimes needed.

See what I mean?  A lot less elegant than grafting the few top stitches, but a lot less work too.

You can play around with the stitch count as well as the needle size and yarn.  Just use a smaller needle that the yarn calls for so you get a nice tight weave and so the stuffing doesn’t show thru.  I think the very smallest one did the 2-round-knit-pairs after there were 14 stitches on each needle and stopped with 18 stitches rather than 20.  You can also add more 2-round-knit-pairs for a longer, more folk-art style heart.  The white heart had an additional 2-round-knit-pair after the 14 per needle round, as well as after the 16 per needle round. When you read the instructions, that will make sense!

I made a quick hanger, by threading the three hearts on a length of yarn, with knots to separate.

I need a much slimmer needle so I can add beads instead – with them snugged up to the V, they will totally hide the few closing stitches.

I am working on another thing, and another book-folding alphabet, by request, but I’ve had side effects with two of my heart meds (hands up if you hate statins!) and it is causing me problems.  I’ve already ditched the tickle-y cough by changing one med and with luck now I am off the statins, I’ll start to feel more energetic.  Hopefully I’ll finish both by the end of the week. But I doubt I will ever return to daily blogging.

Hope you enjoy.

 

 


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While I am waiting….

I seems to be spending a lot of time sitting in waiting rooms, of all kinds, and sitting in the car, on the way to places.  So boring.  I find that those moments are perfectly suited to knitting.  Now the Innocent Smoothie hats are going to be appearing in stores  this month, and any tiny hats I made would be sitting around in a box till the next call, I moved on to socks.

My feet are always cold.  One of the side effects of the heart medication, I read.  So it’s practical knitting, selfish knitting.  And I am to the point I can make a pair of socks in my sleep – well, almost.  But I did stumble across some videos for hand-dyeing yarn.  I also stumbled across some superwash wool my MIL had sent me a few years back, destined to become slippers, I think.  As so often happens, Those two things, at the forefront of my brain, became a new obsession.  I had cake decorating colours, and a crockpot, and literally in a few hours, I had completed a few firsts:

  • made a niddy noddy out of PVC piping
  • wound a hank
  • dyed the yarn in the crockpot
  • hanked it again to dry

I find it super difficult to get a good photo of the yarn but maybe this will give you an idea of what it looks like – nicely mottled, firery colours (although I used Creamy Peach, Pink, and Lemon Yellow, I def. got RED, ORANGE and Yellow!

1stkettledye

And as it knits:

knitted

Then I had to try something I saw on Ravelry, when DS woke me in the middle of the night (he is still very much on a student sleep schedule) playing the guitar. The AABBABAB dyeing sequence produced fab socks for her, less so for me, either because I didn’t measure to estimate the size my socks would be, or because I didn’t leave any of the bare yarn undyed, or because there was too little contrast between the green and the teal.  But it DID give me a nifty two-colour pattern with small pools of colour – not quite stripes but not uniformly mottled like the red/orange/yellow version, where it was all just dumped into the crockpot in areas.  Hard to see, again, but maybe a bit?

pooling

You can see it best on the toe.

So THEN I had to take some more PVC piping and make a warping board (is it really warping?  I see WRAPPING as often) sort of like this one, but a bit simpler, so I could try to dye self-striping yarn!

wrap

If you click the image you can go see the YouTube video of him wrapping it so you can see how it works.

That worked.  Dyed in the microwave, it took less time than the crockpot.

selfstrip

2yarndye

Now, since I wasn’t too sure it would work, I’ve used superwash, DK weight wool yarn for all these experiments.  The skein fir this last one, because I was so unsure of success, was only a 50 gm skein. Not enough for even a shortie pair of ankle socks.  So I paired it with some plain black, knitting the toe and every other row in the black, with alternating stripes of the hand-dyed yarn.  It’s working – I can clearly see that the yarn IS self-striping! Yippee!

2selfstrip

There is a pink, a teal, a purple, a cranberry, and a royal blue (just coming up on the ball) and I should be able to get two socks from the one 50 gm skein if I do the cuff in black too. It looks like I am getting about 6 rows for each striping section so I must have done something right.

I have one other pair I made using yarn dyes with Violet food colouring, which “broke” beautifully into it’s core colours of purple, blue and pinky red, but I think the socks are in the laundry so no photo.  Read about Breaking Black (although it works with Violet and some blues too) to see what THAT is all about.

I do have some skeins of blank sock yarn to try next.  But it is on a very long To Do list. While the knitting I can do a few minutes at a time, the DYEING takes at least a bit of focused time, and a lot of waiting – mixing the colours takes only a moment, heating the water takes ages (unattended), dumping in the dye takes seconds, waiting for the dye to absorb takes ages (unattended), cooling takes ages (unattended), rinsing takes ages (active), drying takes ages (unattended), then comes the knitting.   That is for crockpot dyeing.  The self-striping and the dyed-to-pool AABBABAB dyeing are MUCH more of active processes and can take a few hours.  That kind of time is hard to find at the moment.

Just thought I’d share, lest you think it is all about the book folding.  I have a long list of printables I hope to do but now we are in 2016 and I have made so many 2016 calendars already, it’s hard to imagine doing even MORE and it’s too soon to do 2017 ones….isn’t it?

{the can of worms slowly opens…..}

 


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Really. The last hats for The Big Knit

I only have about 10 hats to go.  Phew.  Problem is I get bored making the same ones, but they cannot be complicated or time-consuming cause time is short.  I have a couple more variations that take no more time than the basic hats (well, nearly) and one that takes a bit longer but is stupid cute, I think.

1. The first one looks like it has a little yarn mohawk. this is the one that take a little bit longer.  But it isn’t hard.

Make the standard, 28 stitch hat, two purl rows, 12 stocking stitch rows, then cast off.  Don’t do a fancy cast off, no need.  Cut 28 lengths of yarn (about 4 inches long) then fold them in half.  Fold the hat in half.  Using a yarn needle or a crochet hook, pull the fold thru the two cast off stitched and slip the ends thru it to seal the top edge and create the fringe.

fringetop

2. The other one is even simpler.  Create the standard hat, do the decrease rows, and cut with a LONG tail, at least 12-15 inches.  Thread the end thru the last stitches to close the top and pull it snug.  Slip a crochet hook into the hat and pull up a loop from the tail.  Chain at least 10, but more works too.  Pull the tail thru to secure the chain then add the pompom to this tail. Adorbs.

3pomtop

WAY easier than the decreased long tail hats.  And you can tart it up, as usual, with additions:

pomtop

Or even add another colour:

2pomtop

3. On that one, I did a pattern at the top that creates a little starburst.  I did two colours but it works equally well with just one. Make the basic hat but stop stocking stitch at row 9.

  • Row 10: K2, P2
  • Row 11: K2tog, P2tog
  • Row 12: K1, P1
  • Row 13: K2tog

This makes a cute central star that works well with the crochet tail.  I may try adding a punch of crochet tails and see how that looks.

We are doing the Thanksgiving feast tonight as last night was too tight on time, so lots to do.  If I get time I’ll update this with more step-by step photos but until then, I hope the verbal description will help anyone who wants to make one!

 


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Sorry, still with the hats….

Just working on the last group of hats for The Big Knit.  I have a couple more of my own designs, including a “long-tailed hat” and a corkscrew curl one.

The long tail one is the basic hat up to round 10 – cast on 28, purl 2 rounds, knit eight rounds and then a series of decreases. Since I work them all Magic Loop, the decreases are worked first on the front needle then on the back needle, NOT around – the knit stitches at the beginning and end of the needle makes for a nice, graduated decrease, rather than stair-steps, so it is a bit of a pain but super-cute:

longtailhat

The long-tail flops over nicely.  In a bit of a green phase, I guess. I like the jingle bells instead of the pompom sometimes:

2longtailhat

The other one is also the basic hat, just with the addition of some crochet corkscrews – again, easy to do, just a chain of about 20, then 4 sc in one loop of each if the chain stitches to the end.

2corkscrew

and so cute as a topper!

corkscrew

The array:

lotsofhats

And a couple of close-up ones:

specialty

Beaded edges, added snowflakes, and little wreaths.  The snowflake ones will certainly work for February, when they go on sale.  I will probably make a lot more of the ones with the little crochet hearts stitched on, and I have some red heart buttons as well.

I should finish up in the next few days and send them off in the mail.  I’ve enjoyed the process.


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One last easy The Big Knit hat pattern

Again, not so much a pattern as a method, with details.  I do like this one. it’s very simple but looks adorable on the bottle.

4turkishcastonhat

It is super simple.  Well, except for the Turkish cast on.

Turkish cast on can be tricky if it is new to you, but not very tricky.  You are essentially wrapping the yarn around both needles, the slipping one out and knitting the first side of the wraps, then flipping it as if for Magic Loop and knitting the other side of the wraps.  Here are a couple of links to people who show you better than I could how to do it. First a video:

and a link to still shots. Both are useful, and there are 100 others if neither suit you.

Pattern:

Turkish cast on for 28 stitches.

turkishcastonhat

Knit 12 rounds

Purl 2 rounds

Cast off using a stretchy bind off.

Use the stretchy one you prefer.  There are loads.  I use the Decrease method. That is essentially *k2togtbl, slip the stitch on your right needle and place it back on your left needle, repeat from * until all stitches are bound off. You can see it in more detail here.  Video and photos.

2turkishcastonhat

It looks good with either the floppy pompom, or a little tassel, and I bet the fork-sized pompom are cute too!

3turkishcastonhat


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The floppy pompom and the textured hat pattern for The Big Knit

I mentioned another hat pattern the other day and here they are again, to remind you.

3woyww337

floppy

This is a basic bee stitch pattern, worked in the round. You can see the bee stitch here.

Textured Bee Stitch hat pattern

  • Cast on 28 stitches and divide for Magic Loop.  Join to work in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches.
  • Purl two rows

Pattern rows:

  1. K1, k1B
  2. purl
  3. K1B, k1
  4. purl

Repeat these four rows two more times, for a total of 12 pattern rows.

  • Repeat row 1
  • K2tog (7 stitches on each needle)
  • K2tog across first needle, k1  then K2tog across second needle, k1

thread the tail thru the stitches on the needle and pull tight. Finish off and weave in ends.

If you wanted to make this as a flat hat and sew up the side seam, just swap the PURL rows for KNIT rows.  or the K2tog rows, just do that for the length of the needle.  Even easier.

Now, this isn’t rocket science, but in case you can’t work it out, here is how I make my floppy pompoms:

Fold a piece of yarn that is about 10 inches in half.  Drop the folded yarn between your fingers.

floppypom

Wrap yarn around your fingers. Don’t get the looped yarn caught up in your wrapping.  It’ll depend on how fluffy you want your pompom, and how big your hand is, but I do about 25 wraps.

2floppypom

 

Thread the two loose tails around the wrapped yarn and thru the loop.  Pull tight.  Wrap the ends back around and tighten.  Tie off tightly.

3floppypom

5floppypom

Snip the loops.

6floppypom

Give it a good shake by the tails.

7floppypom

You can leave it as is or you can trim smaller.

9floppypom

Secure the pop pom to the top of the hat with the tails. This works with standard little hats too, and I bet it would look cute with lots more wraps on a big hat as well!

10floppypom

8floppypom


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My favourite BIG KNIT hat pattern

I have been experimenting with the patterns I have found online, but one thing I realized is that the complex patterns bring in no more money than the easy ones, but they take more time.  I could make say 10 super-complicated character hats and bring in £3 (30p per hat is, I think, the figure I read) OR I can knit 100 interesting but fairly easy hats and bring in £300.  Seems an easy choice to me.

I had a sock pattern I wanted to try, and I thought I would use the basic idea (a slip stitch) but adapt it to the small hat size.  I think it is super cute, takes no more time to knit than a bog-standard basic Smoothie hat, and works beautifully with a short-run variegated yarn.  By that, I mean a yarn that has colour runs of a couple of inches, rather than a self-striping yarn that knits up as a few rows of a colour. Like this stuff:

5sshat

As you can see, the runs of each colour are very short, about 4 inches.  And the hat looks like this:

6minipom

The thing about the short colour runs is the slip stitch carries the colour from a lower row up to a higher row, for a nifty, but easy, colour effect!

Pattern, to be knit in the round using Magic Loop:

Cast on 30 stitches. Split at 15 stitches, and join to work Magic Loop, taking care not to twist the stitches.

Purl two rows

Pattern rows:

  • Knit 1 (double-wrap yarn, k2) double-wrap, k1 (Elongated stitch – see below)
  • Knit 1 (release/slip wrapped yarn purlwise, k2) release/slip, k1
  • Knit 1, (slip elongated stitch purlwise, k2) slip, k1

Repeat rows pattern rows three more times, for a total of 12 pattern rows.

Top shaping:

  • K2tog to the last stitch on the front needle, k1
  • K2tog to the last stitch on the back needle, k1

With 8 stitches on each needle, k2tog

Cut. Thread tail on needle and insert thru the stitches on the needles.  Pull tight to gather. Weave in end.

I managed to take a few photos. Maybe they will help.  I have seen this stitch called the Elongated Stitch, and here is a video of the double-wrap if you need the extra help.

Pattern Row 1:

sshat

Pattern Row 2:

The next row, you release the wrapped yarn, slipping purlwise, without knitting it. Can you see the wrapped stitches (the doubled yellow ones) upcoming?

2sshat

 

6sshat

Pattern Row 3:

Slip the elongated stitches purlwise

4sshat

And you can see how the green and the yellow slipped stitches now divide the orange in this row.  THAT is what gives the hat it’s funky colour pattern.

3sshat

That’s all!

I’ll also offer my quick pom-pom making tip.  I use two methods.  THIS hat pattern, I use the fork method, with an added tip. I first double the yarn, using maybe 40 inches, doubled.

Slip the fold over one tine of the fork

minipom

Wrap the yarn around and around, as normal. Slip another say 10 inch folded piece thru the middle tine – you can even slip this thru BEFORE you start winding.  I do that too.

Thread the loose ends thru the loop and tighten

3minipom

I then wrap one end around again and tie the two ends tightly, leaving the tails.

4minipom

Snip the loops and trim any stragglers, but be careful not to snip the tails! To join it to the top of the hat, I thread one tail thru on one side of the centre top, then the other tail thru on the other side.

5minipom

and tie them off inside the hat.  It keeps the pompom sitting perky and stable at the top, rather than it going all floppy.

I did do one using yarn with a longer run – it’s fine, but less interesting, I think. I like the colour when it extends across the rows.

7minipom

You can see a couple of my other hats there too – I did a few Christmas themed ones, but then I think I read they won’t go in the stored till February, so I might not bother with any more.  I do quite like the little ninja.  I saw a pattern someplace for a crochet one (maybe not a hat, maybe and egg cosy, now I think back) but mine is knitted, except the little ties on the side – those are a crocheted chain with a slip stitch, some single crochets into the chain and another slip stitch to finish, then folded and stitched to the side.  The face is cut from felt and the eyes are sequins. The shaping at the top has more gently tapered k2tog rows, for a more rounded top.  Not the best photo but you get the idea.

ninja

I have another pattern, and another pompom that I love, but I need to get ready to do WOYWW tomorrow so that will have to wait for Thursday!  Also easy, but using another stitch I’ve always been meaning to try. I find practicing on these tiny hats a great way to solidify a stitch pattern in my head.

I will probably do a count for WOYWW to see where I am on my goal of 100 hats in a month.  I have my doubts I’ll manage it, but I’m still trying…


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WOYWW 336 – The Big Knit

I keep trying to find the time to join in with WOYWW, and keep failing.  I decided if I wait until I feel confident I will have a block of time to do the visits, I may wait forever.  So I am just taking the plunge and vowing to do my best.

What is all over my desk is knitting.  Little tiny hats for Innocent Smoothies.  It’s called The Big Knit, and every year the campaign raises money for Age Concern.  You can buy a Smoothie, with a hat, at stores, and a portion of the price goes to the charity.  You can read more about it here.  Last year they raised over £215,000.

woyww336

As you can see, my desk is littered with yarns.  Lots of bits, old, leftovers from past projects, as well as a few fairly new skeins I bought in a sale, for knitting baby beanies.  A few random googly eyes.

Here are some of the hats I showed a few days ago, and a few new ones.

 

 

3woyww336

So, you are probably wondering about that odd-looking lump on the right. I thought you might.  I had seen a full-sized hat, years ago, that I thought was an absolute hoot.

IMG_0789_medium2

I was never going to make it, but I admired it for sure.  Get the pattern here if you would like to make one! I thought I could figure out a way to make a much MUCH smaller version for the Smoothie bottle. Basically I made a basic mini-hat, then made two 18″ 3 stitch i-cords and coiled them up in a brain-like fashion.  Well, what *I* thought looked brain-like – I’m not a doctor, and I don’t play one on TV, so I have no idea.  It turned out OK, despite the small surface area.  Ideally I feel like a cord made from fingering weight/ baby/ sock yarn would have been better but this is what I had.  My own rules are that I can’t buy anything for this, I have to use up stash yarn.

bigbrain

I wonder if they will accept it or if it is a bit too “out there,” alongside all the cuter hats they show? I also have a trio of plain ones on the go.  My goal is 100 hats.  I am not sure I’ll make it before the December 11th deadline (so maybe the 8th or 9th for the mailing deadline) but I’m having a go.  I’ll need a bundle of plain ones to go with the novelty ones that take longer to knit!

2woyww336

So that’s my desk. Messy as ever, just a different sort of mess… Hopefully I’ll be round to see yours soon.