It's not too late to knit a hat!

kids bear hat knitting instructionsFirst of all, Happy New Year everyone!
Secondary, just because it’s winter, that does not mean it’s over very soon. I hope I am not sounding too negative for some (I know some of you are really looking forward to Summer already), but we only had one winter month and there are two left to go. My point is that we should enjoy this weather and make the most of it!
I personally love love January (I learned to love every season), because it’s time for refocusing, spring cleaning (would like to call it winter cleaning but it sounds weird), detoxing (If you are into it) and knitting of course. I love January because it is a beginning of the year and the plans are not strictly set therefore it is often not a busy month.kids bear hat knitting instructionsOver holidays I have started knitting because we have gone away and I was free from doing all the house tasks. I find knitting (or any other crafting) is something I can do while chatting or watching a movie. I find it very relaxing! I knitted this hat for my nephew that Tomas is modelling here, hence blurry pics because he can’t stay still. If you fancy knitting this hat then you can access the project here!kids bear hat knitting instructionsHave an enjoyable January!
Rasa xoxo

knitted scrubby pouches + three ways to use it

Knitted scrubby pouches It was such a breakthrough when we started reusing cleaning cloths, I am sure it saved few £££ too. It does not take a lot of space in the washing machine and I never seem to run out of them. Now my next step is to reuse scrubbing sponges, we go through soooo many! This is when I thought I could make my own! I saw few knitted wash cloths around so I thought it will be fun to knit the scrubbers too. I chose garden twine for it’s ridged and rough properties and garter stitch for it’s simplicity and texture. Let’s see how they hold up 😉
These scrubby pouches are great as they can be used three ways. You can insert biodegradable sponge for some sponginess or a bar of soap for continuous foam (this can be suitable to use it in the bath I am sure). Alternatively you can use your hand which I find is easiest when doing some intense scrubbing.Knitted scrubby pouches To make this scrubby pouch you will need:

  • garden twine
  • 4-6mm knitting needles
  • matching size crochet hook
  • scissors

To begin with cast on a row measuring your hand width.
Knitted scrubby pouchesContinue by knitting on both sides which makes up garter knit stitch. Carry on knitting till you achieve long enough cloth that fits your sponge when folded.Knitted scrubby pouches Fold the cloth in half and join one side together using a crochet hookKnitted scrubby pouchesCrochet a chain same length as the cloth width. Knitted scrubby pouches Join another side same way as the other previously.  Knitted scrubby pouchesThis turns the cloth into pouch.Knitted scrubby pouches I have already tried out this scrubby pouch and must admit it is not as effective as a regular scourer sponge because it is not as flexible and soft. However with some practice it does work and it is gentle enough not to damage your pot and pans ;-).Knitted scrubby pouchesHope you found this useful!
Rasa xoxo

Ways to use up your yarn scraps

How to use up yarn scraps: projects and tips So the thing is that since I organised my yarn and saved it from moth infestation I realised I had lots and lots of scraps. If you been crafting for many years, than you will understand it’s never a good idea to let your small amounts of yarn just keep piling up. It takes up a lot of space and then you may worry about moths possibly attacking it again. No, thanks! So what do you do with all those little bits of yarn that are leftover after your knitting and crocheting projects? I thought of few ways…
1. Small projects, first comes to my mind. With winter coming over I have been knitting socks and hoping to knit some gloves and maybe hats. These are fit to become Christmas gift too!How to use up yarn scraps: projects and tips While there are plenty of small projects out there I find knitting socks is my favourite item to knit (that magical heal turn gets me every time!).  If you feel the same then click here for basic kids socks. Or if you prefer to knit this pretty baby hat then the tutorial for it hides here :D.How to use up yarn scraps: projects and tipsIf you are after for a very teeny weeny project then you should check out this crochet triangle pattern tutorial. It makes a very cute garland for Christmas tree perhaps??!How to use up yarn scraps: projects and tips 2. Making big multicolour rugs or blankets is another good way to use up yarn scraps. Few years ago I started making this never ending, upcycled crochet rug that sadly did not continue (because it did not fit our new home style). But the point I am trying to make here, this is very good project to do to use up all those itsy bitsy bits of yarn. How to use up yarn scraps: projects and tipsOr this giant blanket, very popular way to use up all that scrap yarn. I know, I know, I made it in one plain colour, but trust me, it looks good in multi colours too!How to use up yarn scraps: projects and tips3. Using up scrap yarn can mean using it in patterns or trims. Here is one example, but there are plenty projects out there with pretty patterns ;-).
How to use up yarn scraps: projects and tips 4. Did you know that you can use leftover yarn for embroidery and cross stitch? Here is my laptop cover that I made few years ago. It is still one of my favourite items that I made :).How to use up yarn scraps: projects and tips Finally, here are the socks I recently made for Lukas. I could not be more proud :).How to use up yarn scraps: projects and tips How to use up yarn scraps: projects and tipsHope you got inspired 😉
Rasa xx

How I saved my yarn stash from a moth infestation

How I saved my yarn stash from a moth infestationSo as you may know for me this year was all about organising. Because there are lots to tidy up after doing (still doing) so much DIY! Few months ago I started working on my craft supplies and sadly I came across a horrifying moth infestation which made things a little bit more complicated… arghhhh!  Not only did I have to untangle my very messy yarn I also had to get rid of these unwanted creatures… yuck! This is how my yarn basket looked like when I discovered the sad reality…How I saved my yarn stash from a moth infestationFirst I googled if it was really moths I was dealing with. Pictures online matched with mine which confirmed that it was indeed what I feared most.  I realised I had to just get on with it, quick! So I read and I read about different methods how to kill the moths, larvae and it’s eggs (this article was my favourite), but the only one that seemed practical to me was to freeze all my yarn. Hmm… that will need lot’s of freezer space! So I did it in batches which caused some problems with the yarn that was waiting in the queue. You see these evil moths are very quick to breed! I started with eggs and one moth and after just a day it turned into more eggs, moth and larvae…arghhhh!!! I ended up freeing up as much space as I can (that meant using up some of the frozen food) so I can stuff leftover yarn into freezer. Luckily we were going on holidays so I could just leave it there and forget it for a bit and deal with it later… phew!How I saved my yarn stash from a moth infestationHow I saved my yarn stash from a moth infestationOnce I was back from holiday (all relaxed and all) I went back to sorting out my precious yarn. I cleaned the basket where I store my yarn with vinegar. I ordered some moth cedar and distributed it around the house. I organised the yarn and I think is so far so good. I think I won!  How I saved my yarn stash from a moth infestationHow I saved my yarn stash from a moth infestationHope you found my story comforting if your yarn got infested (to be honest I just hope it does not happen to you).
Rasa xoxo

How John Smedley knitwear is made

John Smedley factory tour A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be able to look around the John Smedley knitwear factory. I left Lukas with Nanny and took Tomas with me on the tour all the way to the beautiful Peak District. It felt like my fashion years are back again!!John Smedley factory tour For those who don’t know John Smedley knitwear I really recommend to visit their website where you will find more detailed info (the whole history if you want). John Smedley is a family business that is owned by many generations of the same family. They still handcraft finish their garments and still maintain many traditional craftsmanship methods. So buying their knitwear is really worth the money if you want to add some staple jumpers and cardigans to your wardrobe as they are made to last ;-).John Smedley factory tour John Smedley factory tour John Smedley factory tour John Smedley factory tour John Smedley factory tour John Smedley knitwear starts with a good quality yarn, mostly made with sheep hair (or cotton for summer) which I was quite surprised by. My memories of sheep wool is not great and I remember it being rough and stingy on the skin. But wait, this yarn comes from special sheep that come from New Zealand (called merino sheep). Their hair is softer because of better weather conditions. John Smedley factory tour The yarn then gets washed and conditioned to achieve maximum softness.John Smedley factory tour As I was visiting John Smedley factory it was obvious that the quality is the top priority here. The knitting is checked and checked again at many different stages and gets rejected when it does not meet these high standards. But it does not go to waste. These clever machines unravel the knitwear so this beautiful yarn have another chance to become a piece of knitwear again. Pfew! Thats good to know ;-).John Smedley factory tour John Smedley factory tour I especially loved some of the older machinery that although it is vintage is still very well maintained and making quality garments(however these are a little louder than modern ones). John Smedley factory tour John Smedley factory tour Every piece of knitwear is kept on needles as you would expect (If you are knitter yourself you would understand what I mean here). There is special compartment for trims as you can see here that get later attached to the main body.John Smedley factory tour John Smedley factory tour John Smedley factory tour This is where the garment gets its handcraft finish. The neck hole is cut by hand and then a special machine knit stitches the body and the trim together.John Smedley factory tour John Smedley factory tour John Smedley factory tour Finally each garment gets a final steam press.Smedley garments are beeing pressedThe factory building has it’s old charms as well. The original water mill is still here, although it is no longer used to power the machinery it still makes a very pretty feature.  John Smedley factory tour John Smedley factory tourHope you found this post interesting as much as I did when visiting this fine knitwear factory ;-).
Rasa xoxo

Baby trousers that got converted into a hat

Kids hat pattern includedBefore Lukas was born I was knitting these baby trousers that ended up being ridiculously too small (even a small baby would not have fitted in!). So I decided to undo the legs and finish it as a hat. It fits Lukas already! It’s amazing how big his head got ;-). The baby trousers that got converted into a hatKids hat pattern includedThis is my first time using Lukas as a model, hopefully there will be more babywear projects coming. However I realised how difficult it is to take a picture of a baby. He does not seem to be smiling when I want (and he is smiling usually), but instead he looks disappointed…Kids hat pattern includedOr yawning!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe pattern can be found here!
Rasa xoxo

Project fail: baby trousers

Project fail: baby trousers
Lately if you have been watching me on Instagram, I was knitting for our baby boy some trousers. Although I am really pleased with the chevron pattern I have created, I had an inkling that they might be too small for quite a while. After knitting one leg it became obvious that they are indeed the wrong size and probably would not even fit a tiny baby :(. I took it to the baby group last Monday and it’s official: this project is a fail (better noticing earlier than late).
The idea to knit these trousers came to my mind after seeing these lovely creations by Camp&Company. I just love the shape of them and this is what I wanted to recreate on the ones I was knitting. Oh well… I still have time, I am sure toddler would look super cool in these as well :-).  Camp & Company baby trousersAnd what about the trousers I almost finished knitting I hear you say? Well, I am thinking to turn them into chevron patterned hat! After all I did take a lot of time for working out the pattern and actually knitting them ;-).Chevron knitting pattern Knitting baby trousers
 
Lovely sunny day, isn’t it?
Rasa xoxo

Little things I am knitting for our new arrival

knitting for a babyJoni and I are expecting our new arrival very soon and lots of you have been asking what I am knitting for our new baby. To be honest I only started knitting recently and so far I finished a hat and little socks. Time permits you might see here some baby pants and maybe even a jumper.
As for inspiration I have been mostly inspired by Pinterest (of course) and the book called “What to knit when you’re expecting” that was a gift from my mum in-law (love the title of it!).You can learn how to knit baby knot hat by clicking here.And if you prefer to learn to knit socks then click here (although you might need to get your own measurements for the baby as their feet proportions are completely different to the kid’s sizes).knitting baby socks
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA baby socksI hope I inspired you 😉
Rasa xoxo

Knitting basic socks (part 2)

basic sock knittingKnitting socks is super fun. At least this is my favourite thing to knit! And yes it can involve many knitting needles, but this is nothing that you should be scared of! Although I get lots of people terrified when they see me knitting socks, knitting with 5 double ended needles is easer than you think! basic sock knittingLast year we talked about sock knitting and we learned (hopefully) to knit socks for adults (with pretty patterns!). This year I am making this learning process even simpler! No colour motive patterns, just pure sock knitting for kids. Yes, knitting socks in kids sizes is fast and easy way to learn. And if you have no kids than you can always donate or give it as a gift! But at least you will be doing same things over and over again (such a good way to learn!) instead of being stuck with one big sock. Click here for a full project. basic sock knittingOnce you have learned knitting basic socks, you can move on to knitting socks with pretty colourful patterns. Like these here! Although they all been added on Photoshop… basic sock knitting basic sock knitting basic sock knittingI hope you are feeling inspired and ready to knit some socks 😉
Rasa

How to organise your knitting/crochet stuff (in little spaces)

How to organise knitting/crochet stuffIn the beginning of this year someone have asked me “How to keep all your knitting gear organised, needles, thread etc etc etc?”. Ha ha, you got me there! The pic above is exactly how my yarn looked like yesterday before I tidied it up for this post. Although I am proud to say that my needles and crochet hooks are organised nicely (at least current method is working for me for now). 
The thing is when you live in a small rented flat it is difficult to keep your yarn and needles organised. Like every crafter I dream about one day when I do have an actual craft room or a study at least! But for know small space is the reality and here are my few tips to keep organised in situations like this.
1. Make it as part of your deco! I don’t know about you, but I don’t like a minimal looking home that looks clinically pristine (unless this represents your personality). So if you are someone who knits/crochets why hide it? Yarn and needles can compliment your home!
I store my needles and crochet hooks in upcycled jars that are placed on the shelves. These go well with other jars stuffed with dried branches and other pretty stuff I find outdoors. If you have a large selection of needles and stuff then you can split them into jars according to their types and sizes and label them. I don’t have a large selection of needles so I sometimes just wrap my jars with wrapping paper and some ribbon. But when I do have lots and lots of needles then probably I am going to crochet around those jars and label them like this! I have seen some people storing their needles in rolls or pouches. I guess if you are constantly crafting on the move then this is great. But for me that would not work. I like to take only one project at the time when traveling so I only need one size needle/hook and some yarn that I just stuff in my handbag.
When it comes to yarn I keep it low (see the next tip). I only have one big basket that also sits there in the open (ok, not so open, because we have a very curious cat in the house). Because colourful yarn looks sooo pretty! I have a dream one day when I do actually open my dream cafe I will have a wall full of yarn! If you (unlike me) would like to keep your organised yarn stash in secret then here is a solution for you…You could sooo keep that in your secret closet!How to organise knitting/crochet stuff2. Keep it low, I mean your yarn stash! I never saw a point of keeping a large amount of yarn in the house. If I buy a yarn, I always try to think of what I am going to make with it. And even if I think of what to make I try to consider to giving unused yarn a chance!  3. Prioritise your yarn stash. Go through once in the while (it took me 15ming to reorganise my basket yesterday). See which yarns you are going to use one day (usually itsy-bitsy stuff) and separate that from the yarn you are working with now. Place those unused yarn balls at the bottom while leaving the “current” wool on top! 4. Keep records of your yarn stash! This is if you have lots of yarn and keeping them in many separate baskets, crates or boxes. In this case I would try recoding in a notebook or folder with little samples of yarn. I would record their name, colour, size, location (where it is stored) and how much of it you have left. If you prefer a more virtual organising system then you should definitely have a go with Ravelry! I did sign up but never used. But I heard good rumours that it lets you to take pics of your yarn and record it in same way as you would with the folder I mentioned here. I hope this has been useful!
Rasa xoxo