How to make cute 'Converse' style crochet flowers for your sneakers – tutorial

So you have a pair of hi top shoes that are in need of a little personality.  If you have a spare 30 minutes you can make yourself some interchangeable embellishments for your shoes.  These lovelies simply button onto your existing shoes, so when you fancy a change of style you simply button on another crochet cutie.

Converse-style Crochet Flower Tutorial

These little flowers are quick and simple to make and the tutorial will guide you through the steps with a few pointers.  Need a closer look at the action?  Click in the image for a close up view.  By the way, this tutorial is written in UK Crochet Terms.

For those of you just looking for the concise pattern,  it is at the bottom of the post.

You will need

How to create cute 'Converse' style crochet flowers for your sneakers - Tutorial by Jane Burns

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Hello from the Little Monster in my Pocket Pal Sweater

It has been both busy and exciting times here at Knitting Image headquarters (okay, in my studio).  There have been lots of exciting commissions, and new companies to work with. I find it such a challenge to keep quiet about my projects as I am working on them.  I cast off and immediately want to write a blog ‘show & tell’.

A while back the folks at Simply Knitting Magazine asked me to apply my quirky style to some children’s garments.  This is the first in a series of designs, allow me to introduce you to ‘Pocket Pal’

pocket pal monster sweater jane burns

A special thank you to this very handsome model

This adorable (even if I do say so myself) sweater has it’s very own baby monster which fits snuggly into the Mummy (or Daddy) monsters pouch.  Knit in Sublime Extra Fine Merino DK, it is beautifully soft against delicate skin.  The pattern is written for ages 0-6 months to 5 years and would look equally cute worked in a more feminine palette.

The sweater uses the Elizabeth Zimmermann sewn bind off for the neck.  This particular casting off method produces a very stretchy neckband, great for children’s garments.  This method developed by EZ of sewing the tail of yarn through the stitches creates a finished edge that perfectly mirrors the long tail cast on.

This is how you do it….

Leave a tail of yarn approx. three times the circumference of the neckband, thread this through a tapestry needle

  1. Insert tapestry needle into first two stitches on left hand needle as if to p2tog, draw yarn through (do not slip off the needle)
  2. Reinsert the tapestry needle into the first stitch on the left-hand needle as if to knit, draw yarn through and slip stitch off the needle

Repeat steps 1 & 2 until all stitches are cast off.  You can find a great video demonstration here

pocket pal monster sweater jane burns

Issue 122 of Simply Knitting is available now, or you can download it from the App store and get knitting straight away.

As always I would love to see your finished projects on my Facebook page.

 

Bear Necessities Crochet Pattern for Clip on Bear Ears

Katie came home from school last week and announced, “I NEED a bear costume,  not a full on proper bear costume, but STUFF!”  Those of you with knowledge of ten year olds will know that the word STUFF is inserted into every sentence regardless of the context.  Anyway, after much questioning I discovered what she actually required was some bear like features for the part she is playing in a performance this week.

So I sat down with my hook and yarn very late Monday night determined to create a pair of clip on bear ears and this is what I made….

crochet bear ears clip jane burns

go down to the woods today

The ears are actually very simple to make, you could change the colours and make polar bear ears etc.   I am sharing my pattern with you so that you too can produce animal ears at very short notice. (instructions are written in UK Crochet terms)
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Taming the yarn covered hedgehog, PLUS ticket giveaway for Knitting & Stitching Show

The Spring Knitting & Stitching Show, 13th – 16th March 2014

As I mentioned a short while ago, I am teaching as part of the Prima Make & Take Workshops at Olympia in March.  I can now tell you all about my second class in which  I am going to take the fear out of double pointed needles!  I am really looking forward to teaching you how to tame the yarn covered hedgehog,  that can be knitting in the round on dpn’s.  Keep reading for how you can win a pair of tickets to the Knitting & Stitching show.

Knit a Napkin Ring with Double Pointed Needles – Class code 129

Taking the fear out of Double Pointed Needles and knit a Napkin Ring

Sunday 16th March 2014

2.15 – 3.15

Have you ever watched in orr as others knit their way around socks and mittens using double pointed needles?  Need some help?

During this hour long class I will teach you how to cast on using double pointed needles,  show  you how to join your work into the round and get you knitting in the round with confidence.  You will knit yourself a napkin ring with the materials provided.  We will also discuss working from charts and the pro’s and con’s of knitting in the round.  Come and learn a new skill and have some fun with other yarn loving dare devils.

napkin ring jane burns workshop

Kit comprises:

The pattern and yarn you will need for your project. (Needles are available to borrow,  if you would like to bring your own you will need a set of four 3.25mm  double pointed needles).

The kit is kindly sponsored by Stylecraft Yarns.

The class costs just £10 and includes the kit.

To enjoy this class you will need to be able to knit and purl.

napkin ring set jane burns workshop

You can book your place online or call 0844 848 0159 (the website is a little confusing and I would highly recommend phoning to book your tickets.  Also note that the £10 class fee does not include your entry ticket to the venue).

So you want to get your hands on a free pair of entry tickets for the show?

What do you have to do to be in with a chance?  Simply!  Follow my blog and one lucky winner will be chosen on 6th March.  I will announce the winner on the blog, drop me an email to claim your tickets, (please include your postal address).  Only available to UK residents I am afraid.

prima stylecraft discount

 KAS34  sc-banner-stylecraft

Want to learn to bead your knitting with a crochet hook? Let me teach you how

The Spring Knitting & Stitching Show, 13th – 16th March 2014

I am teaching as part of the Prima Make & Take Workshops at Olympia in March.  I have been itching to share the details with you,  I am teaching two classes and I am so excited!  It will be great to get to meet you and get you all beading with a crochet hook.  The first class is;

Knit a Beaded Bracelet using a Crochet Hook – Class code 60

Friday 14th March 2.15-3.15

All of my designs use this method of beading,  I can’t recommend taking the time to learn this technique enough!  So if you would like to learn how to apply beads to your knitting without painstakingly threading hundreds of beads onto your yarn first, this is the class for you.

During the class you will knit a cute beaded bracelet, whilst learning how to apply beads using a crochet hook as you knit.  We will look at the difference between pre-stringing beads and using a crochet hook and discuss benefits.   I promise you will have a fun time learning a new skill,  I can’t promise you won’t become addicted to applying beads to your knitted projects.

bracelet crochet beaded

The kit is sponsored by Patons and Debbie Abrahams Beads. Debbie’s beads are just divine, you are in for a real treat!

The class costs just £10 and includes the kit.

Hooks and needles are available to borrow,  if you would like to bring your own you will need two double pointed needles size 2.5mm and a crochet hook size 0.75mm.

To enjoy this class you will need to be able to knit and purl.

You can book your place online or call 0844 848 0159 (the website is a little confusing and I would highly recommend phoning to book your tickets.  Also note that the £10 class fee does not include your entry ticket to the venue).

prima discount

crochet beaded bracelet

Details of my other class will feature here on the blog soon…….

KAS34patons_tcm71-53383

Beach photo shoot, warning contains some very white legs!

Finally a day free from rain or gale force winds!   Armed with a box of projects that needed to be photographed we headed down to the beach today.  We had done a little playing with the new camera but today was our first ‘shoot’ with it.  We purchased the Canon EOS 1100D a few months ago and it is a great camera with all the features we were looking for.  A 50mm fixed lens for indoor shots in my ‘studio’, and an 18-55mm lens for everything else (zoom, stabiliser etc.).  I have spent the past couple of months mainly photographing indoors and experimenting with various lighting set ups.   I promise I will post the failures and successes soon. Working outdoors meant there was a chance to experiment with aperture effects; having so much lovely landscape around us meant we could have lovely blurry backgrounds to the clear project. And being aware of framing the shot meant piles of socks and sandy shoes were always near to hand when the toes got too chilly.

winter sun on the beach

We knew that photography outdoors would be particularly challenging due to our very changeable weather.    We used the ‘Creative Auto’ setting on the camera and let it do most of the work.  Lighting was our challenge today,  the sun was so bright.  I am reeeeeeally not complaining about the sun, but too much sun is as difficult as too little.  The blacks items were shining away in the sunlight making the yarn look like plastic.  So time to improvise,  the large umbrella from the car was perfect.   It evened out the light casting just enough shade.

well you don't see that everyday

more play and no work

Things learned;  bring more towels,  although the tide was well out, it was still very damp down on the rocks!  And the rocks are very cold in January!  Dogs like to see what you are doing, and dogs fresh from the tide catcher pool are like muddy wet bombs just primed to go off all over your hard work!   Refreshments need to be plentiful, thank goodness for the snack vendor at the beach today.  Katie is not very good at catching crabs,  Katie will work for ice cream,  Katie is very good at casting a shadow in the right places (if or when she stands still), unlike her Mum (who can stand still like a Boss).

Muddy wet dog bomb

Speaking of cold in January, why else would we all be having to show off so much whiter-than-white leg? It was an odd sight, jeans rolled up to the knees, bright woolly socks – what a vision, all we needed was a knotted hanky on our heads and grandpa asleep on a deck chair with a newspaper over his face.

 legless on the beach

I really enjoyed our first major shoot today,  I think my fantastic assistants did too!  We were all amazed that 3 hours just flew past and that we had taken 282 pictures!

kasbah socks

Jane

x

Doug’s turn:

3 hrs! Who knew?! But it was fun, we each had photos taken of us unexpectedly, we’re mischievous with each other like that. Bizarre that in the chilly January air we were shielding ourselves form the wonderful sunlight – all in the name of art.

Control of the gadget (camera) was my job, most important. Well, tea and biscuits from aforementioned vendor was most important too. So was keeping Katie entertained. And ice cream (with flake). All most important. I had a most important job, second only to the project leader of course. And our be-freckled young first-time model.

emergency supplies

It certainly didn’t feel like 3hrs, and it was a relief seeing the photos downloaded to the PC and seeing that yes, in fact we took some fine shots. Followed by a well earned toffee nut latté, not too pretentious?

just beautiful

We survive for another shoot another day, good fun.

Disappearing cast on

Recently whilst perusing the boards over on Pinterest, I stumbled across a pin titled ‘Disappearing loop cast on’;  I had never heard of this method.  Always keen to learn new tricks I started grokking this cast on.  The pin took me to the TECHknitting website,  where there is a good step by step tutorial.  However I find following diagrams very hard work and painstakingly slow.  I learn best through demonstration, in just a few clicks I found this great video from Laura Nelkin and this had me converted to the disappearing loop cast on in just a couple of minutes.

The benefits of the disappearing loop cast on;

  • This cast on is perfect for items that start from the middle,  so centre out shawls, hats, toys
  • There is no small hole in the centre
  • No slip knot to start, thus eliminating ‘that’ lump
  • Less finishing
  • It just pulls closed

For those of you familiar with the provisional cast on,  you will soon realise just how similar the disappearing loop cast on is. Rather than casting on over waste yarn you are casting stitches on over a loop of your working yarn.

Still not sold?

I have worked a couple of samples to show you the difference.

Originally I cast on 8sts over three dpn’s,  joined into the round and worked an increase round every other round.

original cast on pic

Next, I used the disappearing loop cast on.  I cast on the same number of stitches and worked the rounds as I did the sample before.

disappearing loop cast on

I took both samples off the needles and stuffed them so you could see what they look like ‘finished’.  I closed the traditional cast on sample with a running thread through the cast on stitches and pulled tight to close and secured on the wrong side.  The disappearing loop needed nothing more than securing on the wrong side. The examples were worked in the most unforgiving of yarns, cotton, imagine how invisible this would be worked in wool!

cast on method comparison

              Disappearing Loop Cast on                                 Traditional Cast on