Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Knitting Teddies in One Piece

This is the time of year when I am madly knitting teddies for a couple of charities I support.

Have you knitted a teddy?  If you know how to cast on, knit, purl and cast off you are ready to start...
If you don't know how to knit, there are many books and Youtube video clips that can help you learn.

The first pattern I will share with you uses 8 ply yarn and 4mm knitting needles.  
The teddy is made in stocking stitch - one row knit, the next row purl.  
You will cast on at the feet and cast off at the top of the head.
I vary the colours for the different parts, but you could do it in one colour too.

1. Feet: Cast on 32 stitches, using skin colour.  Complete 4 rows in stocking stitch (1 row knit, next row purl)
2. Trousers: Change colour. Complete 16 rows stocking stitch.
3. Belt: Change colour and knit 2 rows.
4. Top: Change colour.  Complete 13 rows stocking stitch.
Note: I have knitted top in stripes but one colour works well too.
Next row decrease for neck – Purl 3, P2 tog, P6, P2 tog, P6, P2 tog, P6, P2 tog, P3.
5. Head: Change colour. Complete 14 rows in stocking stitch.
Cast off.

Now that your teddy is knitted, I'll give you some help turning it into a loveable toy.

Join the side edges together at the centre back.  I do this on the wrong side and use a running stitch.  If you have used different colours, you may need to stitch each section with the correct colour.
You should now have a tube.
Make sure that the seam you have just sewn is running down the centre.
Then stitch the head closed across the top.
Turn your teddy so that the right side is on the outside.
The right side is the smooth side of your knitting.
Stuff with NEW polyester filling.  I buy the hobby filling (from Spotlight, Lincraft, Big W or Daiso),  but I know other people use new pillows (Twin pillow packs are sometimes cheaper)
Making sure the seam at the back is still in the centre, close the feet.
I usually do this from the centre out to each side.

Make the legs by joining the front to the back, starting at the feet and finishing 4 rows below the waist.  I try to run the stitching along the same stitch of my knitting to keep the legs an even size.
The tighter you pull this running stitch (or back stitch), the more the leg separation will show.
Give your bear 2 arms the same way.  Start at the waist and finish 3 rows before head starts.
I usually place the arms 3 stitches in from each side and keep the needle going straight through to the back.
To define the neck a bit more, run a row of yarn through the first row of knitting for the head.
Pull it in slightly and knot the ends to prevent it coming loose.  Thread ends into body.
Now for some ears.  Pinch the top corner of the head and stitch across the it to make an ear.
Repeat on the other side for the second ear.
I use black or brown yarn for the features.  Come in from the back of the head for the first eye (to stop the yarn being pulled out, you can put a small knot in the end - pull it into the bear but not through to the front)
I usually give each eye 2 lines in the same knit spaces.  To move to the other eye put your needle through some stuffing to hide the wool shadow (if teddy is in pale colours).
I leave 2 knitted stitches between the eyes.
Bring your yarn up between the 2 eyes for the nose.
Stitch 3 lines in the same spaces for the nose - I usually do a central one, then one on each side of this.
Make the mouth the same size on each side of the nose.
Take your yarn through to the back of the head and make a knot before cutting off excess yarn.
Your teddy is now ready to be loved.
Depending on where it will be used, you may want to trim it with a ribbon bow at the neck.
However, as this one is going to babies it can't have any ribbon ties.
Well I hope this inspires you to try knitting a teddy.  
When you tire of the plain ones, try doing stripes or varying the stitches - I've done some with moss stitch tops. (K1, P1 across row, then start the next row with the stitch you finished the last row on - for this bear the second row is P1, K1)

Friday, 8 January 2016

Friday Night with Friends

Don't you love it when activities start again for a new year?

Friday Night with Friends organised by Cheryll is a great way to 'socialise' from the confines of your own home.

Last night I enjoyed a bit of 20-20 cricket while knitting.

This rug is a kit I purchased several years ago from the lovely craft shop in Lakes Entrance, Victoria. It's the last one to be made from the 3 that snuck home with me that trip, and is going to a gorgeous little lady very soon.  

I've finished the 4th return stripe tonight and have reached the home run on the last colour.  Woohoo - another night of 20-20 should see this rug finished.

Now to pack the house ready to move.... I've got a few weeks, so think I'll have to leave out a few projects to make in my down-time.... and to keep me sane!

Hope you enjoyed you FNwF - can't wait to see what you were working on!
Thanks again Cheryll for hosting us.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Santa Sack Swap

This year has flown by very quickly.  My blog posts have suffered from my lack of time and keeping things tidy and out of sight while we were selling our house ......

BUT THE SWAPS I HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN HAVE KEPT ME SANE and given me time to 'tune out', even if I have had to re-tidy my sewing space soon afterwards.

I think my favourite swaps are the ones organised by Cheryll.  They involve more creativity, but have introduced me to a wonderful group of 'new friends' who I have met through their blogs.

The Santa Sack Swap is a June 1st  sign-up and a November 25th mailout of our parcel.  Our opening day was yesterday (for those of us who can't wait until next week!) 

This swap allows us to make a variety of gifts for our allocated partner.  While a bag, stocking or sack can be included, fabric can be added instead. Another 5 gifts are also to be mostly handmade.

This year my partner was Kerrie.  I have enjoyed getting to know my 'new friend' through emails and blog reads.  Kerrie has been very generous in sending the following gifts (one was also included from her granddaughter who lives with her)

I can't tell you what is my favourite, because they are all great gifts that will find a place in my life.  

My computer will love its new case, the coffee mug and its lovely holder will frequently travel with me (I love the pocket to carry teabags and coffee sachets)

The sewing compendium and notebook will be packed for my travels to Tasmania in March and will then cruise from late June.

The fabrics and trims will come in handy during the year, as will the pin cushion and key chain.

I love the Vege-tale characters and look forward to hanging this bag-bag in my new kitchen next month and the cloths and soap will also find a place in my new home.  

I have hung the decoration on our tree and will use the pegs on the magnetic board in my sewing room.  The thread catcher will also come in handy when I am sewing up toys for the OCC boxes.

Thankyou Kerrie for these wonderful, practical gifts.

And thankyou Cheryll for coordinating another fabulous swap.

I wish those who read this post a very happy Christmas and hope you make lots of new friends next year through swaps and other shared opportunities.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

September Friday Night with Friends

Where has the last month gone?  It seems the last time I was on this laptop was a month ago.  Oh well, we did get away for a couple of weeks to Fiji and I have been doing lots of sewing ready for OCC Christmas boxes.

But last night I started a pattern test for a new bag soon to be released by two pretty poppets.  It is called 'Stand Up and Tote Notice'.

I got the bag and all the interfacings cut out and joined together.

Have you used magnetic clips on your bags?  I often use buttons instead, but not any more!  They are really easy!

The directions with the pattern are really clear and have plenty of pictures for 'visual' people like me.  It wasn't long before the front, back and lining were made.

But this is where sleep called!

So I had to wait until this afternoon to finish the bag..... and here it is:

If you would like the pattern (which comes with three sizes), it is worth contacting 'two pretty poppets'  as it is due to be released in the next couple of weeks.  My bag is a medium.

I hope you had a productive night as you crafted with me.

Friday, 7 August 2015

August's Friday Night with Friends

I had so many options for something to do tonight, from sewing for swaps, to garment making for OCC shoeboxes, to blocks for swaps, but the knitting for myself won. 

I'm enjoying this Chevron Scarf pattern from Lang Yarns, using the Bendigo 'Bloom' Yarn in Reds.  It is variegated through the ball.  I thought I might be able to finish my scarf tonight, but this 200g ball is still going strong.


I recently crocheted the 'Bloom' orange into a circular scarf and using the whole ball has given an interesting colour wave.

I can't wait to see what everyone else was crafting.....

Thanks for the invite to join FNwF Cheryll.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Do you need your own 'Snowman' water bottle cover?

In case you feel like making a cover for your water bottle, this is how I made the snowman ones recently.

Things you need:

  • Water bottle
  • Fleece background fabric - I had some tartan printed fleece
  • White fleece for the snowman head and body
  • black homespun for the hat
  • zipper - 30cm chunky or whatever you have.
  • ribbon for the neck and hat trim
  • orange fabric offcut for the nose
  • 2 buttons for the eyes
  • 3 buttons for the shirt
  • Heart button (even a snowman likes to have a heart)
  • sewing machine, white, orange and black cotton, overlocker
This is how I made mine:


Cut the hanging top off your water bottle.

Trace around water bottle, leaving 3/4" for seam and space to put filled bottle into the cover.

For the back, fold front piece in half and cut out 2 halves, leaving a 1/2" seam at centre of back.
(if you're using checks, you may want to spend the time matching the checks as you cut out the pieces so that they match up on the finished cover - painful I know!!! - but I had to!!) 

Now for the snowman - find 2 'things' that you can trace around for the head and body.
I used a knitting frame

and a jug

Trace around the top of your front cover to get the shape for your hat.
Cut out an orange triangle nose.
Iron visoflix (double-sided iron-on interfacing) onto the back of each snowman piece.

Position all pieces on the front of your water bottle cover.  Iron in place.
Machine each piece in place, using a decorative blanket stitch around the edges.

Add features to snowman - eyes, shirt buttons, scarf, heart and hat trim.

Join back pieces together with zipper (my zipper was shorter, so I closed part of the back seam first)

Place finished front against back, right sides facing.
Sew pieces together 1/2" in from cut edge.  Overlock seam edge to neaten.

Turn through and push out edges.  Press.
Part fill water bottle with warm water (not boiling) and slip into finished cover.
But beware - they can become addictive and multiply!

The babushka one is a smaller water bottle with a fleece and cotton fabric cover, and uses an iron-on face transfer.  The girls' faces are also transfers made using photos.

If you would like to try patchwork or other appliqué covers, check out the pattern Robyn has just released through Craftsy.  She has included lots of ideas for days of creative fun.  

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Christmas In July 2015

Do you celebrate 'Christmas in July'?

I have a few times, and always enjoy preparing 'extra' gifts for my grandchildren and having a hot family meal at a time when everyone is hungry and not rushing on to another family function.

This year as I prepared for our family's gathering, I also prepared a gift for a 'new' friend through Cheryll's Christmas in July.  This was the parcel that I sent to Jan:

I included a tree wall hanging, a snowman hot water bottle cover, santa and his tired elf mug rugs and some Christmas sweets.  They were wrapped in Christmas paper and bubble wrap, then placed in a mailing bag for their trip to Jan in Victoria.

Yesterday, I got to open my gift from Anna and put her gifts on display as part of out family dinner.  Anna sent me:

A delightful wall hanging saying 'all hearts come home for Christmas' - it greeted my family at the front door yesterday.

A very creative reindeer who held up the decorations and entertained our Santas and snowman.

This lovely hand towel that was very useful in the kitchen.  There were also some decorations and sweets to be enjoyed.  And I'll be drinking the hot chocolate very soon.

Our children brought the afternoon tea and gingerbread houses for the granddaughters to decorate - and what a lovely job they did:

Then we sat down to a Size 50 turkey roast dinner for 13, followed by apple crumble and custard dessert (my family don't like traditional pudding) and to my surprise there were very little leftovers.

And for the grandchildren, this year I made them each a new fleece outfit - coats and pinafores / trousers for the girls and pants, sweater and vest for our grandson.

.....and because I had so much fun making my first water bottle cover, the girls received their own water battle and cover to match their outfits.

Well this Nanna is feeling a bit weary.  Think I will have a restful afternoon before I tackle another busy week.  But I have lots of lovely memories to reminisce over .......