Braiding, no really!

Well, my first new craft is braiding, yes really. I’ve never seen the cardboard or foam bases that are used to do this before, and it’s so easy. The quick cardboard one looked like this.

And in the picture below, it is the thinner pink coloured one in the centre. Then I tried the foam base with more slots and the other two are the results of that one. It can be a bit monotonous, if you are doing a longer braid but at least you can put it down and it’s do easy to see where you are when you start again.
Haven’t decided what I’m going to do with them yet but have already cut my own simple base and shown a friend.
Try it for yourself!
Oh, and there’s even a Braid Society! Lovely ladies (and a man) that I met at the craft show.




Craft ideas

Here we are! Lots of interesting things to see. I’ve only taken a few photos so far. Some to go back and look at, some for ideas later…
Unfortunately I couldn’t get reception to upload this so finally here’s some photos! (Sorry, they’re not all that great.)






Hey ho, hey ho, it’s off to the craft show I go!

Thanks to Simply Knitting magazine, I won tickets to the Craft4Crafters show and I’m going today. Watch this space… I will send you photos of any new or exciting things I find!

In the meantime, I love this idea I saw somewhere (sorry, the place has eluded me for the moment) and I’m going to make one or two as decorations.

Sew, sew!

This is the way my post started off…”I’ve started to do some sewing more recently (knitting too much is getting tough on my shoulder!)  I thought I’d try some little toys with different patterned materials. I’m making them from pictures mostly so not sure how great they’ll be –  it’s a learning experience. I’ll let you know how I get on and show you the results. I’m mostly hand sewing.  Watch this space!  :-)”

However, it didn’t get as far as publishing and now I’ve moved on already. So this is really too posts in one –  before and the after!

I did make one small sewn toy – it’s ok – here it is…  Then I decided to play with buttons and thin ribbon and created the bracelets below.

Copyright 2013 Diane Stobbart

black & white button bracelet

I thought I’d done fairly well; at least I tried out some new stuff.

Then, I went to my Mum’s and she was crocheting Granny Squares.  I am able to crochet in a straight line and do chains and such like but making anything more complicated was well out of my comfort zone. Oh, I almost forgot, I did try to crochet a small ball-shaped chick and although I doubt if it was actually quite like the original pattern, it did end up looking like a chick (eventually! The first attempt is now a coaster. :-))

chick                      chick 2

Anyway, I had some expert tuition on crocheting and now I can crochet Granny Squares – see?  (Yes, it’s really mine – I did it in one afternoon without ever having crocheted squares before.)

Granny Square

Such a busy bee.  So now I feel like I have done so much in such as short time – what shall I do next?  Maybe I’ll go back to knitting, although I think I’ll like to try crocheting something bigger…   😮

What have you been up to?

Endlessly listing


I’m not much of a ‘last minute’ person; I need to plan, organise, prepare, list… Especially list – I love lists, I make lists of everything from my shopping to things I want to do at the weekend to items I want to knit…  Oh, and I like my lists to be fairly neat – when they get too untidy from bits scored out as they have been done, I have to rewrite the list.  Ok, so I have some tendencies that border on OCD at times, but don’t we all?

Lists are harmless, in fact not only are they harmless, they are useful!  My current knitting list goes something like this…

  • re-knit white cardi
  • re-knit brown cardi
  • Christmas presents
  • Toys
  • present for N
  • Finish lorry
  • Finish sports dolls
  • Write patterns up

Yes, sorry, I know you didn’t want to hear about Christmas just yet, but actually if I decide to knit things for a lot of people, than I need to start thinking about it soon.

I’m not good at getting around to writing up my patterns – it takes so much time to type up all the little details that I just assume because I’m used to knitting.  I shall try and be better at it. I have quite a few patterns but only 3 have made it on to my Ravelry site.  And I haven’t yet taken the time to work out how to put a link on here to my ravelry page. Sooooorry….  It’s just that everything takes so much time and I put them all on my lists but some of them just stay there and get moved on from list to list but never quite make it to the top of the list.

   long list man

Must try harder…..

But while you are waiting, here’s a photo of my latest knitted toy. It’s Alan Dart’s Fairy Godmother.

Copyright 2013 Diane Stobbart

Copyright 2013 Diane Stobbart

Knit the Black Next!

Pot the black

I’m not a morbid person but my friend’s mum died recently and it got me wondering…why do we not knit for funerals? I realised I’ve never seen any patterns that relate in any way to funerals.

I know we don’t like to talk about death so maybe the thought of knitting for it is too much for most people as well but, personally, I like to be able to knit for all occasions. Obviously, deaths are generally not planned so when it happens, you may not have much time to knit something up but I like to have some knitted things stored up for times that I might need something in a hurry.

So here are some ideas I had, if you can face the thought….

• Black lace collar to add soberness to any outfit
• Black hand warmers, scarf and hat for winter funerals
• A small bouquet of flowers for the bereaved (Just bear in mind that they may get thrown on the coffin, not saved!)
• If you know the deceased’s favourite flower, maybe a small corsage to wear for the funeral

There are loads of free patterns out there for flowers and accessories so you will have plenty of choice.

• Or (if you are an experienced knitter) for a more lasting gift to the bereaved, a cushion or rug that commemorates the deceased’s life or interests, perhaps with the name and dates of their life? Something like a sea scene or even just seaside colours for someone who loved sailing or diving, for example.
• How about a small knitted figure of the deceased (their Knitatar), maybe doing what they enjoyed most (if it’s appropriate, of course!)

If the deceased is a Knitter, then maybe you could even yarn bomb their gravestone or tree… with their relatives permission, of course!

knitted cross


Word Perfect, Knit Perfect


Words (Photo credit: sirwiseowl)

I have a friend who says that we under-use the English language; we resort to “really”, “very”, and trend words such as “awesome”, “amazing” for everything.  I think she might be right….

When I was at school (a long time ago!), we had a headmaster who made you write lines if he heard you swearing.  You had to write “Swearing shows a distinct lack of vocabulary” out 100 times.  I liked that guy (I didn’t swear) – I thought it was ‘classy’, so much better than “I must not swear, I must not swear”.

I’m sometimes saddened when I see words that were once so meaningful now taken up and used in a slightly different way that often undermines their true original impact.  Take “awesome” – it used to mean that a person would be full of awe at something – such a powerful word originally. Yet now it means “that’s really great!” or similar.   I love this photo, although sometimes I think we are too lazy to really speak what is in our hearts properly and with the right words.

But when I think about it, isn’t that a bit like knitting?  Avid knitters also knit what is in their hearts often, or to put it another way, their knitting reflects how they think.

The English language is changing continually and words are developing into different meanings for different generations of people.  So too does knitting develop, as many of you will know already.

When I started knitting as a child, it was very basic. Oh, there were patterns and fancy stitches but I don’t remember, for example, loop stitch.  Maybe, I just hadn’t heard of it but I think it was a new stitch somewhere along the way.  I suppose, like most things in life, for knitting to stay alive, it must change and new things must happen.

And quite rightly. Isn’t it more exciting now?  There are so many possibilities.  I am often taking a pattern and amending it slightly to something that is more me or that fits the occasion better.

So lets treat knitting and English in the same way – learn more about both, learn to use them well and adapt them as we go to keep them both alive and well.