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Knitted projects: from vision to reality

Planning knitted projects: from vision to realityIt’s this time of year when its getting chillier outside and you can’t wait to settle indoors for a cup of tea and a knitting project + the biscuits. I am getting in that mood already! I’ve started knitting a new cardigan for the winter ;-). I don’t know about you, but I love creating my own design, having a fashion degree really helps. For those who would love to progress to that level where you no longer need a written pattern to knit anything you like, I thought I would give you an insight into how I go about designing my own project. I am not promising this will turn you into a knitting master, but it should help you to work out where you could start to develop your skills. Maybe editing an existing pattern is a good place to start? Or maybe starting with the most basic project such as pillow case or a scarf? Anyhow, here is where I start when I want to knit something in specific.

1. YARN is usually an inspiration to me. When I feel like knitting I just browse what I have in my yarn basket, simply go shopping online, or in my local shop. I also check what amount I have and what can I possibly knit from it. So if I only have one yarn ball of a type, I would definitely not knit a sweater out of it! Sometimes, rarely I actually need to knit something specific such as socks for winter or a scarf as a gift.  Then I will decide on the design first and then will start browsing for yarn.Planning knitted projects: from vision to reality2. SKETCHING AND STITCH SAMPLING. At this stage I usually try out the yarn by knitting small samples of different stitches and sketch few drawings to decide on the actual design. Pinterest helps me a lot as an inspiration, but I never take an existing design, instead I take the features from many designs to create my own. For this particular design, I really liked this shape, but I have changed the front opening, the stitch pattern (planning to use Tunisian stitch) and sleeve shape.Planning knitted projects: from vision to reality3. PATTERN CUTTING is something I’ve learned at University (and a little bit before). So I guess imagining shapes in 3D becoming a garment is much much easer for me. But let me tell you, knitwear requires a very minimum of pattern cutting as yarn and the stretchy knit is very forgiving. Don’t be terrified of the pattern bellow, I am currently trying to achieve a very odd shape in this cardigan I am knitting by adding more rows of stitches on the sides (it’s quite a challenge for myself at this moment actually). Instead, think of basic sweater, it is essentially made out of few blocks that majority of you know how to knit!Planning knitted projects: from vision to reality4. GAUGE is a knitting term that refers to the number of stitches per cm/inch, not the size of the finished garment. This is very important to work out at the beginning before starting to knit an actual project. Gauge helps you to predict the size of your garments! The best way to work out your gauge is to knit a large enough piece of sample with your chosen yarn, needles and the stitch pattern. If you have more than one stitch pattern on your project (such as ribbing and garter stitch patterns for example), you should knit separate sample for each of them, because some stitches ‘pulls in’ more then others, fitting in more stitches in the cm/inch. Ribbing usually ‘pulls-in’ the most, however it is the stretchiest of them all! So to work out the gauge (preferably wash and dry the sample first) measure 5cm/2inch horizontally and count how many stitches fits in it. Repeat the same vertically and count how many rows fits in the 5cm/2inch gap. In my case (used ribbing sample) 5cm horizontally fits 9 sts and vertically it fits 8rows. Now we know that to knit 40cm wide ribbing we need to cast on 70 stitches (I rounded up from 72) and we need to knit 13 rows to get the ribbing 7 cm long. Making sense already?Planning knitted projects: from vision to reality5. WRITING A PATTERN is the last thing I do when designing my own knitted project. I sometimes even wait until I finish knitting the garment and see what worked out and what did not. You see, I never used to use a written pattern as the visual diagram were always my preference. But I know a lot of you love (and understand it better than me) written abbreviations, so I went out of my way to learn it so I can translate my patterns that way for you. I am still however in learning process with this, so please give me a shout if you see something is really not making sense ;-) Planning knitted projects: from vision to realityI hope this helps and good luck ;-)

Rasa x


Happy 1st of September!

my school years1st of September has always been an official 1st day at school in Lithuania with celebration and parades. Don’t you think that celebration is a great way to start the school? To me this was something I looked forward to, although I was never a good student (except arts and biology). Free lovely pattern printouts Another thing I was looking forward to at school was catching up with my friends, shopping for new stationary, organising the books and getting ready to start. So I could say organisation has been my stronger point. I used to enjoy (still enjoying) putting things in order so it looks prettier and it’s easy to find stuff when you need them. I guess I should be able to give you some tips in this area of my expertise. But one thing I should point out that this won’t make you a better student and spending too much time on it will lose your focus on something else more important. I of course have learned that good balance is the key to almost everything! My school yearsFree lovely pattern printouts to cover your booksSo today I would just like to share a project on how to protect your books with pretty covers (extra printable patterns as well). Click here for full project walkthrough. protecttive book cover DIY protective book cover DIY


Good luck and have fun at school (or work)

Rasa x


17 Christmas gift project ideas to start making now

17 wednesdays to go till ChristmasRecently one of our readers e-mailed me some wonderful pics of projects she completed, that she made for Christmas gifts. That prompted me to think about the gifts I am going to make this year. But how long before Christmas should you start making handmade gifts? Join our forum discussion! But for now, here are some ideas to get you started.

1. RIBBON FLOWER BROOCH, perfect for all the girls out there!Ribbon flower brooch DIY2. SIMPLE TATTED BEAD NECKLACE, another good gift for pretty ladies like you ;-)tatted bead necklace DIY3. SCENTED RICE HEARTS, quick gift to anyone (I am sure you could pull out a manly scented heart if you made it in check fabric)scented rice hearts DIY4.  HEART SHAPED SOAP, make many in one go! citronella, lemon and orange soup DIY5. ENVELOPE BOOK POUCH, great for all of those book worms out there!Easy to make envelope pouch DIY6. KNITTED SOCKS! Who doesn’t need socks?knitting socks basics7. CABLE SWEATER, for someone really really special!Cable Sweater8. FABRIC COVERED DIARY, good way to help someone to start their new year organised (subtle way to hint) :).fabric covered diary DIY9. LOAFERS FOR HIM!Loafers for him DIY10. CROCHETING/KNITTING KIT WITH COOKIES, a great gift from baker to maker! Just wrap some yarn, crochet hook/knitting needles, printed project and some cookies!crocheting kit with cookies11. TRIANGLE CROCHETED INFINITY SCARF, is the most fun to make!Crocheted Infinity Scarf12. HOMEMADE CANDIES, yum :-bvanilla and peppercorn candy13. CUSTOM TEA BAGS, another one that is great for everyone (unless they don’t like tea of course!).gift teabags DIY14. KNITTED LOAFERS, it is easer than you think.Knit Loafers15. A BIRD PILLOW, or it can be a door stopper if you filled it with rice or some stones. Oh we so need a door stopper right now for all the fire doors in our new house!Stuffed bird DIY16. APRON, that’s a perfect gift from maker to baker (or cook)!Apron DIY17. A CAT PILLOW, great for travelers or those who love cats! BTW, it turns out that I am getting a cat for my birthday! Super excited!!!A Cat pillow DIYHappy Wednesday :)

Rasa xoxo


Time to organise your handbag!


cometic bag DIY

We, ladies, love to organise (or most of us)! Our overfilled/have everything you need handbags are no exception!  I do admit, sometimes I wonder if I take more time organising or doing actual tasks. Last year I made the cosmetic bag that Vickie loved. This year I have decided to made a book pouch. Because books deserve to be protected from the rest of the stuff in the handbag! For this easy DIY go here ;-).

Easy to make envelope pouch DIY

Happy organising!

Rasa ;-)