Friday, 31 December 2010

Smushion Pattern

I've recently been blogging over at www.emmafolds.com - there's a lot I like about Tumblr but I don't know if I'm going to make it permanent. 


In the meantime, I've been having issues with my Smushion pattern download on Ravelry, so I'm going to post it here as well. Ravelry is a great site and on the whole very intuitive, but I've been having such issues with uploading patterns!


So, for your knitting pleasure, I present:


Smushion by emmafolds


A cosy cushion cover knit in a soft chunky yarn with a cabled front and moss stitch reverse with button closure.



Materials:
Approx. 250g Rowan Cocoon (80% merino wool, 20% kid mohair)
7mm circular needle (I used 24”/60cm length) or size needed to obtain correct gauge
Cable needle
16” x 16” cushion pad (I used a feather cushion which can be fuller than polyester)
4 x 1” buttons

Gauge:
14sts and 16 rows = 10cm in st st. Matching exact gauge isn’t crucial but might affect the fit of the cushion cover on your cushion.

Directions:
Cast on 94 stitches. Join in the round, being careful not to twist stitches. Place marker at beginning of round.

Work first row of chart over 52 stitches. Place second marker. Work next 42 stitches in moss stitch to end of row.

Continue to work chart between two markers to create the front of the cushion cover, working moss stitch for the back.

Work 9 repeats of chart.

Work rows 1 and 2 again. Work row 3 across front of cushion cover, and then cast off 42 stitches in pattern across back. Remove markers.

Work front of cushion cover (52 sts) in moss stitch for 3”. (You will be working back and forth now rather than in the round.) This will create the flap for your button closure.

Next row: work four 4-stitch buttonholes. I like to use Barbara Breiter’s buttonhole; the tutorial can be found here:
Buttonhole (BH) placement will be as follows: work 8 sts in moss stitch, place 4- stitch BH, work 7 sts, place 4-stitch BH, work 6 sts, place 4-stitch BH, work 7 sts, place 4-stitch BH, work 8 sts.

Work in moss stitch for another inch. Cast off in pattern.

Sew lower edges of cover together. I turned the cover inside out and used mattress stitch to seam the two sides together.

Weave in ends and attach buttons.

Stuff with your cushion pad, and there you have it! A smoosh-worthy cushion with removable cover.


My apologies if you've had trouble with the download on Rav, I know it's taken me a little while to fix it. See you soon!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Smushion



My brother and his fam recently moved into a new house, and I decided my housewarming gift would be a knitted cushion. One of the first things I ever knitted was a cushion cover, and to this day it still makes the best nap pillow. I had some spare Rowan Cocoon to use up, so scoured Ravelry for some nice chunky patterns. There's some good stuff on there, but none of it was quite what I wanted. So, I made a pattern up. All out of my own head. I knitted a swatch and did the maths to work out how to make it fit a 16"x16" cushion insert, I accounted for the difference in gauge between cabling and moss stitch, and I darn well wrote myself a pattern.



You can find it on Rav here, it's named Smushion because it's smooshy and I have no imagination. It's been pretty well received so far, queued by a few people and given loads of hearts. I am diddly dang proud of myself.


Monday, 23 August 2010

Time keeps on slippin'

(The set list for Rock Band 3 leaked - it's gonna have Fly Like An Eagle on it, along with some other super super brilliant tracks. I loves me some Steve Miller Band, I can't even tell you.)

August is a deadly busy month. My next (huge, HUGE) assignment is due a week tomorrow, so I've got my nose to the grindstone. Once this is in, I've just got my thesis to do. Just, hah!

Highlights of this month include:

- the Cropredy folk festival with thunderstorms and holey tents, but also Rick Wakeman and Fairport Convention. I think I'm still drying out, but it was brilliant.

- Spontaneous visit to Bath to go to the American Museum for last minute research. This is one of my favourite museums, and if I had to name my ideal job, it would be based in this museum, no doubts. While down there we got a cheapy room in a Fawlty Towers-esque hotel (we always manage to sniff out those places) and spent an evening at Thermae Spa, basking in the same thermal waters the Romans did all those years ago. We booked everything on a whim the day before, and it was just the best outing. I would say it helped me find my centre, if I didn't think that sounded like hippy crap.

- Bonding with my brother's girlfriend. She's on maternity leave at the moment and, I think, somewhat in need of adult company. I'm an awkward shy person, and though I've always liked her we never sort of clicked as well as we have recently. It's sort of an odd and unexpected development, but all of a sudden my respect and admiration for her has skyrocketed - I suspect it's because she handles two kids with ease and patience, whereas my ovaries retreat into hiding when I even think about having to change a nappy. I can barely take care of myself. Anyway, it's been brilliant, and I'm looking forward to a Baking Day with her next week. Though I am trying to make it into Bacon Day instead.

I have another busy week this week. As well as the last editing of my essay, creating floor plans etc, I have a catch-up with friends, Scott Pilgrim on Wednesday (VIP seats baby) and on Friday, I'm teaching knitting at the Natural History Museum with Stitch London, details here. This is gonna get it's own post! I am too excited.

Oh and of course, I've been knitting, more or less every spare moment. Preview of (very unfinished) Manu:


If you want any more details of my highly-anticipated appearance at the Stitch A Squid event or just want to badger me, please to be emailing me: emma@emmafolds.com

Right, well, today's procrastination complete, see you later!

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Oh boy, toys

I found myself bored and fidgety at 10pm Saturday night (yeah, I'm in at that time, what of it?) so I cast on for a new project. It should be noted that I currently have around 6 unfinished objects (that's a conservative estimate), but I also have Knitter's ADD, so I'm not going to feel guilty about this. 


This is Elijah, from (who else?) Ysolda Teague. Here's the details:

Pattern: Elijah (ravelled here)
Yarn: Rowan Kid Classic in some deep red colour - why don't they give the colourways names like the other cool yarn companies?
Needles: 4.5mm DPNs. I should note that the yarn calls for 5.0 - 5.5mm, but it is a DK. I think it calls for bigger needles because of the halo, but I would go smaller even than 4.5mm as the stuffing shows through. Stupid Rowan.





This pattern is brilliant. I've never knitted a toy before, and this fella looks complicated, but the pattern is so well written that it's incredibly easy. I mentioned I cast on at 10pm Saturday - he was finished by midday Monday. I put a photo on Facebook and had a friend ask for one for his niece, so I've already cast on for that, in a baby-friendly acrylic. I'm so nice that I'm only charging him for the yarn.

A note about knitting for other people: I only knit what I know. If knitting a pattern involves learning a new skill, I probably won't do it on demand. I'll happily take it on when I've taught myself that skill, but generally I will only knit something if I know how to do it, it's super easy, and/or I love knitting it. In the past, I have knitted in exchange for artwork and chocolate, but I think charging at least for yarn is a good idea. It's always tricky to ask for reimbursement for knitting, particularly if I charged for my time - this fuzzy elephant guy would total over £60 if I was charging minimum wage plus yarn. I think he's sweet, but he's not worth that!

In non-knitting related news, I've been offered a volunteer placement with my favourite museum. It's going to be an amazing valuable experience, as well as a huge challenge. It involves a lot of responsibility and, ultimately, an event and exhibition which I will be largely in charge of. That's pretty mad. 

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Purple haze

This week's photo theme was purple. 'Expect flowers!', I said. Lo:


We went for a lovely walk round Denby Hillside, which was chock full of butterflies. I also captured this:


which gave me the urge for some tiny laceweight knitting. 

Still busy busy, had some good news recently, and have been knitting commissions! Some FOs to come.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

EmmaFolds

I reckon you should always think carefully when branding yourself. I didn't, really. A little background of the name EmmaFolds: towards the tail end of my very first grown up job, with an internet marketing company, I found myself unmotivated and basically bored to tears most days. So, I took up origami. It's a pretty sneaky procrastination activity, even in an open-plan office, and there's never a shortage of supplies. So I started spending my days folding paper, with far more enthusiasm (and skill) than I ever had for my job, and when I first signed up for Etsy, I thought up a username in a hurry. Thus, I created EmmaFolds - after all, I do. Fold.

My best work, amusingly, was used for the company website - I made a little string of elephants led by a big elephant, showing we're the best in our field, or some other rubbish. Unfortunately they've since rebranded and my incredible skills are lost somewhere in intarweb limbo. And I've mostly replaced my origami with knitting, but every now and then I get on a folding kick. Yesterday I folded some flowers.


I'm not as good as I used to be but I quite enjoyed how these came out.


I enjoy origami for much the same reason I enjoy knitting - it's about maths (well, in the case of origami, geometry); about being able to take one object, be it a piece of paper or a ball of yarn, and manipulating it in your mind to transform it completely, then creating that as a 3D object. It's smart, both origami and knitting are smart hobbies, and far more complicated than people give them credit for. They can be basic or complex, and the smallest mistake can completely throw off the rest of the piece. It keeps my brain active and I need that.


When I was taking these photographs, I realised this last flower reminded me an awful lot of a recent FO:




This is the Meret (ravelled here), knit in Noro Silk Garden. The detail of that last flower was, I felt, reminiscent of the top of the hat, which almost looks like a star. This is the second time I've knitted this pattern, and I think it's great for a beginner hat. It has a simple lace pattern and a number of variations, to change the brim or make it slouchier, so you can knit it to suit your style.

By the by, if anyone wants this hat, it's up for sale in my etsy store here - I love the style but decided the colours just aren't for me.  



Apologies for the webcam photoshoot - it seems that when I try and take photographs of myself on a timer, they come out like this:


  

I'll, uh... I'll keep practicing.

Photo assignment

I've got more knitting chat coming up, but am somewhat occupied at the moment with The Degree from Hell (pretty sure that's how it's listed in the prospectus). In the meantime, to keep the creative juices flowing, I set an assignment for myself and the Yank. Each week has a theme, a colour, an emotion etc., and we have to take a photo conforming to that theme. The first week was yellow, so, mustering up all my creative energy, I took a picture of a flower, because I feel like that's never been done before.


This week's theme is purple. I'm going to try and be a little more imaginative, but probably you should just expect a photo of lavender.