Little Knit Friends -Tutorial

I’ve finally found a simple and free pattern for these little knit friends just click on the link and it will take you right to the downloadable PDF. This pattern is by Jean Greenhouse

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Once you get the hang of the pattern, they are very versatile. You could easily be adapt the pattern to make elves, gnomes, simple comfort dolls -anything. You can make them with cotton, wool or any yarn you’d like. If you use a larger bulky yarn the dolls will be bigger, a thin yarn with small needles will give you a smaller doll.

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Have fun 🙂

I’d love to see your creations, share them with us on FaceBook!

Wool Christmas Angel -Tutorial

In Kindergarten my teacher made us all these lovely Angels made from wool. It was such a magical treasure for me and defiantly something I’d love to include in my family christmas tradition now.

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Here is a link to the free tutorial on how to make them from Educator 101. There are a lot of other lovely craft ideas on her site.

Ball from a Simple Knit Rectangle Tutorial

This knit ball is as easy to make as it is fun to play with.

A very simple ball made from a knit rectangle. It’s the perfect first project for a new knitter.

You could also make a similar ball by crocheting a rectangle and following the sewing instructions.

1) Start by knitting a rectangle that is long enough to form a square when folded in half. Leave the last row of stitches on your needle.

For this pattern I made here I cast on 20 stitches and knit 30 rows. Leave the stitches on the needle and cut a long tail. At least 10 or more inches.

The yarn I used is plane cotton, easy to find at any craft store. I like this yarn because it is natural and very affordable. Knitting this yarn is much easier with metal needles because it tends to stick to the wooden ones. 

*The next 3 steps are my personal favorite way of closing a knit seam, if you would prefer to cast off the last row and simply sew up the ball with a large needle and a long length of yarn, you may certainly do that and skip steps 2, 3 and 4.

If you would like to try my favorite way of closing a knit seam continue here with step 2:

2) Transfer all the stitches from the final row onto a new needle so that the needle is facing the opposite direction and the yarn tail is now at the end of the stitches. This allows you to use the tail to close the first end of your ball. If you want to skip this step and just tie on a new piece of yarn that will work very well too. If you choose to skip this step just move on to step 3.

3) Next use your spare needle or a slightly smaller gauge needle (here I have chosen to use a double pointed needle one size smaller) to pick up 20 stitches from the bottom row of knitting.These stitches you are picking up are the original ones you cast on at the beginning. (*You may need to adjust this number to match the actual number of stitches you originally cast on if you used more or less than 20). Be sure to pick up the stitches so that the points of both your needles end by facing the same direction. Obviously you don’t have to worry about this if you have double pointed needles.

4) Now that you have matching stitches, lay the piece flat as I have done in the next photo and loop the stitches over each other in a zipper like fashion using a crochet hook. You could use your fingers and/or a third knitting needle if you don’t have a crochet hook. Try to plan so that the last stitch ends on the side with the cast off tail, but if it doesn’t that will be fine. This is a very forgiving project. If you cast on an even number of stitches, pick up your first stitch from the side with the tail.

Using the crochet hook, go all the way through the first stitch. Next pick up a second stitch from the other needle.

Pull this new second stitch though the first one. There should now only be the second stitch (the second one) on your crochet hook.

Pick up another stitch form the first needle and pull this stitch through the second stitch. Now only the third stitch is left one the crochet hook.

Continue this way in a zipper fashion moving from one needle to the next until the seam is complete.

Using the long tail from your knitting (or a new piece if your tail is on the other side or you cast off), and pull the end through the last loop stitch on your crochet hook. Thread this tail yarn with a large sewing needle.

5) Now sew a running stitch through the stitches on the end of your ball. Simply run the needle over and under the stitches all the way around the tub. Once you get back to where your sewing began, pull tight (be careful not to pull so tight that you break the yarn).

6) Once the end is pulled as tight as the yarn will let you, stitch up the opening in a criss cross fashion and tie a knot inside the ball.

Cut the end of the yarn, be sure to leave the knot and the yarn tail inside the ball.

 

7) Stuff the ball and use remaining yarn on needle or thread more if you have less than 10 inches.

8) Sew up the last seem just as you did in step 5

9) To be sure that your knot and tail are hidden, tie a knot very close to the knitting and then run the needle through the inside of ball a little. Pull this stitch through tight so the knot pulls through too. Now cut the end close to the knitting so that the tail disappears into the ball.

10) Congratulation. You are done and have a lovely new toy to show for it. Thank you for reading this tutorial. If you have any trouble or feedback please leave a comment and I will get back to you soon.

Enjoy!

For other toys from simple knit squares follow these links:

Simple Knit Sheep Tutorial

Simple Knit Bunny Tutorial

Another Simple Knit Bunny Tutorial

Free Knit Bunny and Bear Patterns

These little animals by Small Means are so wonderful to make. Plus they are free 🙂

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The first one took a little extra work for me, because I had to remember how to read a knitting pattern! But her directions were easy to follow and the little guys turned out great. My kids wanted Kittens at the end, so I had to modify the ears and add tails… but they turned out great.

This link takes to directly to a free PDF file where you can print the directions.

Enjoy!

Painting with Crystals

We called this painting with crystals, because that is what it looks like! We added Epsom salts to a little warm water and then added our water color paints to that.

We painted as we normally do. When the paintings were dry, little crystals were sparkling up at us. The crystals were bigger on the places the paint on thickest.

After awhile the crystals did get powdery and turn to dust, but it was lovely having them while they lasted.

To make your own Crystal Paintings:
Epsom Salt
Salt
Water
Paint (or food coloring)
jars or muffin tins to hold paint in
Paint brushes
Watercolor paper

1) Mix about equal parts epsom salt to warm water. You can mix them into jars, bowls or muffin tins, anything that you want to use as holders for the paint. 1 teaspoon of each or however much you need to make)

2) Add a little salt. (for 1 teaspoon Epsom salt add a pinch of table salt). Mix until the salts are dissolved.

3) Add watercolor paints or food coloring to get desired colors.

4) Paint as you would regular watercolors. Let dry and enjoy!

*I have not tried it yet, but I suspect that replacing the salts for borax would also make some amazing crystals.

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