Monday, October 31, 2011

How to knit balls: two video tutorials by Judy Graham

In the previous post, I wrote about knitted Christmas balls, and in the comments section, we discussed the type of skills needed to make such balls. Arne and Carlos assume that you know how to knit in the round using 5 needles, and that you know how to increase and decrease, which results in the ball shape.

These two video tutorials by Judy Graham explain how to knit a ball using 4 needles. It’s really clear and helpful! Knitting on five needles follows the same principle. Instead of casting on the stitches on 3 needles and use the 4th needle to knit, you cast the stitches on 4 needles and use the 5th needle to knit.

I didn't know Judy Graham, but I'm so glad I discovered her work by googling for tutorials! She knitted for film and tv and made pieces for eg Barbara Streisand and Tom Hanks. She shares her work, tips and tutorials on her Youtube channel, website and blog. If you’re interested in knitting, be sure to take a look her work!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Knitted Christmas balls

It can feel weird to mix up the course of the seasons. I saw Arne & Carlos' book 55 Christmas balls to knit in August, but I didn't want to start making Christmas decorations too early... I have a short Autumn holiday right now, so I thought it was a good time to finally get started!

The book contains 55 knitting patterns for Christmas balls, based on traditional Scandinavian knitting patterns. The combination of traditional craft and modern design is wonderful, the photography and styling are lovely and the book is written with a dry, understated sense of humor. If you want to get an impression of what the book is like, watch their Youtube commercial here.

I made my first ball in cotton, but that type of yarn didn't really work, so I switched to a woolly type of yarn instead. The color palette in this picture seems to clash with my previous pictures and my general blog lay-out, but it's just that, for Christmas, I like to stick to classic red, white, wood and hearts :-) I've got 1,5 ball right now, so I'll definitely be knitting some more, to combine with the felt hearts I made last year!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

From traditional design to something new: a mood board

I'm fascinated by using traditional needlework designs in a fresh, modern way. Most needlecraft books I use are from the seventies and early eighties, and style wise, that's not really my period :-).

If you want to get an idea of how to use a traditional design in your own way, making a mood board can really help. It's a way to visualize what your design might look like, and in what type of interior it might be used.

Here's one I made for the throw I'm working on right now. I'm making it for our bedroom, which I want to be warm, soft and cozy :-) I tried to play with contrast by to using different textures (apple wood, wool, linen, silk, paper) and a combination of dark and light colors.

ps: I'm a big fan of Sibella Court. This image of hers was an inspiration too. It's funny to find out how some images can stay with you for a long time and then come to mind all of a sudden...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Embroidered fabric samples from 1866

Needleprint, a wonderful textile craft blog, wrote about The Textile Manufactures of India a few days ago, and I knew I just had to share this with you. By the way, if you're interested in historical embroidery, you just have to read Needleprint!

The Textile Manufactures of India is a collection of fabric sample books from 1866 . These books are now published on-line here. You can browse the database by material, object type, origin, pattern, technique and use. I browsed by technique and found some lovely embroidered fabrics, sigh....

ps: I'm trying to customize my new blogger template :-)


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Marie Claire Idées

All images from Marie Claire Idées

One of my favorite magazines is the French craft magazine Marie Claire Idées. I was in Brussels for the weekend, picked up the September/October issue and fell in love once more with their projects, color choices, styling, everything! The magazine features a range of crafts (knitting, sewing, embroidery, paper crafts, painting, cooking, floral arrangements) on different levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced). Their website is wonderful too; you can search for projects by technique, color, materials, occasion, … The only problem might be that the site is in French, but don't let that stop you from taking a look!
Here's a collage of the projects from their website I was drawn to this time: autumn colors and cozy textiles...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Blogging your way

Wow, I signed up for the final Blogging your way e-course, by Holly & Thorsten Becker, and Leslie Shrewring. We're starting this Friday and I'm really looking for ward to it :-)

One of the things I've learned through blogging so far, is how much I like the combination of pink and blue. This '70s chair from my parents used to be black, red, lilac and peach, and is now pink , the dahlia is from my garden and I bought the teacup in Copenhagen last summer. It's from my favorite series of dinnerware ever, Royal Copenhagen Blue Fluted Mega. It's way out of my budget, but I just couldn't resist one teacup :-)