Stitch marker tutorial

Stitch markers 125Before I started knitting I used to make jewellery. Pretty rudimentary stuff – nothing complicated. In the same way that I love the colours and textures of yarn, I love the colours and textures of beads too and amassed a small-ish stash. In a recent post I shared photos of my stitch markers.

Stitch markers 161These stitch markers are really straight forward to make and give you pretty much instant gratification. Above you can see how I set up my work station (coffee table) before getting started. Clockwise from top left I have my crimping pliers, a selection of beads that I want to use, tigertail wire, a bowl for the finished markers, a bowl for the ends to be discarded and a wire cutter, which in this case is a flat nosed pliers with a wire cutter.

I actually bought the tigertail wire a few years ago without realising what it was, but I really like it for these stitch markers because it is really flexible but doesn’t kink easily.

Stitch markers 165

  1. Cut of a length of tigertail wire with your wire cutter and fold it in half.
  2. Thread your chosen beads onto it. I like to use one small focal bead with a seed bead either side of it. The reason I use the seed bead (apart from looking pretty) is because I found there was a tendency for the main bead to slide over the crimped crimp bead, depending on the size of the hole in the bead. Lastly, add your crimp bead.
  3. Stitch markers 168Using a knitting needle a few sizes bigger than the needles you want to use the stitch marker with adjust the beads on the wire. Sorry for the slightly blurry picture, it was hard to hold the beads steady in my left hand and take the picture with the camera in my right hand.
  4. Stitch markers 171Crimp the crimp bead to secure everything in place. This video shows you how to do this.
  5. Stitch markers 172Lastly use the wire cutter to cut off the excess wire, getting as close to the crimp bead as you can.
  6. Stitch markers 179 croppedEt viola! That’s it. It’s really that quick and easy.

I’ve gone a bit crazy making these recently and I’m donating them to HandmAid craft day in aid of Laura Lynn Hospice. Come along September 26th and help support such a great cause.

Stitch markers for HandmAid

As well as setting some of my stash free for a good cause I also decided to make some stitch markers for HandmAid this year. HandmAid is a craft day that has been held annually in Dublin for the last three years and is in aid of the Laura Lynn Hospice this year. On the day there will be various crafty classes, a market stall and a cafe, both stocked with donations. That means yarn cake AND cake cake.

Stitch markers 112So anyway, this decision kicked off a massive stitch marker making weekend. This is partly because I’m getting bored of knitting the border on my Winnowing. I needed a distraction. So out came my bead stash and pliers and several hours later I had quite a collection of stitch markers.

Stitch markers 133The markers I make use a combination of tigertail wire and beads, rather than a jump ring. I use these exclusively when knitting and I find them great. They’re lightweight and don’t snag on my knitting. I’m going to I have put a tutorial together. They’re so easy to make if you have a few tools to hand.

Stitch Markers 002I had initially intended on leaving them loose to be sold at HandmAid but there was such an amount I decided to bundle them into sets of four or five markers. So this is the final product. I should have a big box of these to deliver to the organisers to be sold on the day. So pop along on to Damer Hall on Stephen’s Green on Saturday 27th September 2014 from 10.30am to 4.30pm.

Seeking Inspriation

I’ve been trying to write a blog post for some time now. But I seem to be lacking inspiration. Or perhaps motivation. I’m not sure. I’ve also been feeling some blog envy recently, there are some beautiful sites out there. But rather than being inspired by them, I feel instead a bit dejected that I don’t have the skills to make my blog what I would like it to be. Or maybe I just haven’t given it enough attention yet. Whatever the reason, blog posts have been started but none finished.

But I have been knitting.In the last week or so I have finally put the finishing touches to two dog jumpers and one human hat. But the weather has been too warm recently to ask the dogs to model warm jumpers for my amusement so I don’t have any FOs to show off at the moment.

Yarn 001I am still working away on my Winnow and I’m on to the border now. This is going to take forever. Forever. But it will be beautiful and it will be worth it.

Yarn 031And finally I had a good root through my stash to put together a donation to HandmAid. This is a fabulous craft day in aid of Laura Lynn Hospice. As well as being for a worthy cause it’s also a really fun day out. I’d encourage anyone in the Dublin area on September 27th 2014 to pop along.

I’ll get my blogging mojo back soon I hope. Is this something you have experienced as a blogger?

Hooked

Another crafty weekend, I could get used to that. I spent Saturday at HandmAid teaching in the morning and learning in the afternoon. This year HandmAid was in aid of the Dublin SPCA where I volunteer so I was even more excited than last year. It was great to meet up with my crafty friends and knit and chat, and of course there was cake. I really had so much fun, it was great to catch up with some of the twitter knitters in person.

(c)halfadreamaway.com(c)halfadreamaway.comAnd then there was the market stall with such amazing bargains. I managed to restrain myself, but picked up some Drops Baby Alpaca Silk in purple – my favourite colour and my favourite fibre combination, as well as some Amy Butler Belle Organic DK in green and pink, which I hope will make some nice baby cardies at some stage. Oh and two jars of the most divine Puddle Duck Produce marmalade. Nom nom nom.

Crochet stripesIn the afternoon I learned to crochet. I really enjoyed the class, and although I have a tendency to hold the yarn as if I’m knitting I really took to it. I’ll always be a knitter first, but it will be nice to make small crochet projects or to put edgings on my knitted projects. I think I’m hooked.

A huge thanks to the organisers of HandmAid for a great day out, it was a triumph.

HandmAid Craft Day

I had a brilliant day last year at the HandmAid craft day in aid of Oxfam so I’m really looking forward to this year’s HandmAid. And as an added bonus (for me anyway) this year their chosen charity is the DSPCA.

HandmAid Craft Day

I’ve even been pursuaded to teach a class this year too. The classes cost €10 per person and all materials are provided, which frankly is a huge BARGAIN. So I’ll be teaching a class on Party DIY ideas, based on some of the tutorials I’ve shared on my blog running up to the wedding. I’m very nervous about this as I’ve never done it before, and I hope people will enjoy the class. We’re mainly going be making photobooth props (below) but I’ll also be discussing other DIY ideas for your wedding or party to save you some money and have some fun in the process.DIY photobooth props

There are also classes available in knitting, a children’s craft station, spinning on a wheel and origami, with more being added to the list. It promises to be a great day, so come along, support the DSPCA and learn a new crafty skill. Sounds like a perfect day to me!

FO: A Tale of Two Cardies

Two of cousins had babies in May of this year, a boy and a girl. Cue much baby knitting. I had some lovely cotton that I bought at HandmAid last year, three balls of Rowan Handknit Cotton in a lovely soft green and three balls of Debbie Bliss Cotton DK in a gorgeous rich stone colour. I prefer to not to use pink for girls and blue for boys so these colours were perfect. I didn’t quite have enough of both colours so I decided to use Debbie Bliss Cotton DK in Navy as an accent colour.

These are my Hannah and Tiernan cardigans. The pattern is the Garter Yoke Baby Cardie by Jennifer Hoel. I adore this cardie because it’s quick and easy. It’s a top down seamless pattern so no sewing up. I used DK weight yarn and 4.5mm needles to give a bigger cardigan, and I’m delighted with the results.

I’m really confused though because I needed an extra ball of navy yarn with the stone cardie. I used about 4.5 balls in total for the stone cardigan and 3.5 for the green one. I know they’re two different yarns but wasn’t expecting such a difference as they turned out about the same size. I continue to learn something new with each project.

Ok, one last photo, I just HAVE to show you these gorgeous red car buttons that I bought in La Droguerie in Paris. I think they’re just about the dotiest thing I have ever seen. I’m almost sorry to give them away but they are going to a very special cousin, who I know will love them as much as I do.