Tag Archives: Instructions

Josephine and Sailors!

I recently bought myself a lovely macrame board having finally decided that my cat litter tray was not making things that easy for me.

Large Macrame Board

It was only natural therefore that I would want to have a go at some macrame. This is what I made first:

A macrame bracelet.

A macrame bracelet.

This uses two knots (that I had to learn!). The Josephine knot and the Sailors knot.

The Josephine knot (also known as the Double Coin knot)

The Josephine knot (also known as the Double Coin knot)

The Sailors Knot (which is the far right bit of this photograph).

The Sailors Knot (which is the far right bit of this photograph).

It took a bit of trial and error but worth it in the end. Also, as I have found with other macrame, you do tend to get into a pattern and rhythm which definitely helps and speeds things up. The bit that I found hardest was making each knot a similar size.

So to start with the Josephine Knot

Now the Sailors Knot (which is just a two looped version of the Josephine knot.

You continue making the sailors knot until you get the length of the bracelet that you want. Tie a button on and ta da!!

IMG_0659My friend Claire from Claireabellemakes has a lovely line of macrame bracelets with bicycles to celebrate the tour de France. Do pop over and have a look.

Blocking and Ta Da!

Regular readers of my blog may well remember my recent post about test knitting / crocheting (here) where I first showed you this shawl that I was making:

© Christina Loman, 2013

You may also remember that it was meant to be finished by 17th March but that I was unable to do this. Well this week I did finish it  🙂 Before the final ta da however it needed blocking.

So What is Blocking?

Blocking, like gauge swatching is sometimes seen as another bothersome extra to knitting or crochet – ‘It is finished so can’t I wear it?’. I, however am a fan of blocking. I love the stitch definition that it gives to my ‘works of art’ that I have worked so hard to achieve. This shawl shows this more than ever.

  1. This is what I started with:

This will block out and stretch out much more giving the pattern much more definition.

2. The next step is to wet it in some way – because I really wanted to stretch this to the max I soaked this in a bowl:

It looks like a gooey mess!

It looks like a gooey mess!

3.

The next step is to get rid of the excess water by rolling it in a towl.

The next step is to get rid of the excess water by rolling it in a towel.

4.  Now for the stretching. I normally pin the items out onto rubber ‘play’ mats but this apparently called for something a whole lot different:

The tools needed to block this shawl!

The tools needed to block this shawl!

(Thanks to the superb notsogranny who lent this to me!)

The wires are to feed into the edges of the shawl and the pins are to pin it into place. The ruler is so that you can measure a piece out to the specific measurements if so required.

Here it is with the rods in. I have to confess that I wasn't quite sure how to use the pins effectively (please don't laugh).

Here it is with the rods in. I have to confess that I wasn’t quite sure how to use the pins effectively (please don’t laugh).

5. Wait 24 hours for it to dry!

6. Un-pin it and wear with pride 🙂

See not that hard really. If you want more info have a look at the Vogue page here.  I figured they ought to know what they are talking about!!

I am hoping that you can tell the difference between this:

This will block out and stretch out much more giving the pattern much more definition.                 and thisleonard town shawl 003:

This shawl also shows another important thing to remember when we are buying yarn. Make sure the dye lot is the same for each skein. Can you see the stripe? I bought this yarn on-line, at the same time and assumed that they would check the dye lots. I didn’t. Never assume anything as these clearly are different! I just hope that it doesn’t show when I am wearing it too much!

Pattern Details

Yarn: EllaRae Lace merino (should have been three balls but, being a test knit I only got two instead of checking with Christina. Sorry but at least she was able to rectify this.) This yarn is lovely to work with.

Needles: US 4 or 3.5mm circular needles.

Special Notes: It uses a picot cast on and cast off that is new to me but which gave the edges a really pretty effect. It comes in  written and chart form and is a repeating pattern over 32 rows. I enjoyed knitting this as it was interesting without being over complicated.

Should you wish to purchase this pattern then you can here. Also pop over to the designers blog here to see what it should look like and what the actual designer has to say about it.

As always on a Sunday / Monday I am linking up with Handmade Monday. Do pop over and see what everyone else has been up to this week 🙂

Beginning Blogging – Gravatars and Headers

Having chosen an appropriate name for your blog and selected a theme, the next step is to think about a Gravatar. A Gravatar is your visual ‘identity’ on the web. It usually runs across the whole of the social media scene – Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, blog etc.  (Although it doesn’t have to.) This, if you like is your ‘brand’ and allows you to be recognised on the different platforms. The image that you choose can be a photograph of you, a cartoon character, a logo or a symbol. It doesn’t really matter. Often it is something that is related to your identity but not always. As with many things it can be changed. Many people start off with a picture and then move to a photograph of themselves as they become more comfortable on the web.

This is the image I use on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and Ravelry.

This is the image I use on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and Ravelry. It is also the image that comes up beside any comments I leave on other blogs, Facebook pages etc.

This is also on my blog header (as I am sure you have noticed). You do not have to use the same picture, indeed I have been toying with the idea of changing my header to photographs of some of my makes. It is up to you.

When I first started this I did not know a lot about photography. I knew that I wanted to take the best photograph that I could as it was a representation of me (first impressions and all that). I also had read a bit about light boxes so set up my own makeshift version using a white sheet draped over a chair in front of my patio doors.

I was not kidding!

I was not kidding!

As to what I would photograph – I decided to go with items related to my identity. As you can see this involved grabbing my smelly trainers, a ball of yarn and some hooks and needles.

Once you have taken your photograph you need to upload them onto your computer.

Gravatar

DASHBOARD – USERS – MY PROFILE

This is the page where you put up a lot of information about yourself BUT be warned it is public information so think about what how much information you wish to include. A lot of my page is blank as I didn’t want my real identity to be known. Therefore the only boxes I have filled in as my user name, the name I wish to be known as publicly (knitnrun4sanity) and the bit titled ‘about me’.

I have filled this bit in (you can see what I wrote in the about tab at the top of this page). I did this because when visiting new blogs I like to read a bit about the blog and the people behind them (in other words I am nosy). Not everybody has anything in their ‘About’ tab. It is up to your own preferences.

As you go down I have filled in my public e-mail (the one connected to the blog with the same name). I have also linked in my Facebook page (simply copy and paste the URL) and click on add link.

But now to the Gravatar bit. On the top right of the page there is a square box. Mine shows my picture and has the words ‘change Gravatar’ underneath it (Yours may say something different but will give the same options if you click on it). If I click on the bottom link I can click on one of four options. The one I used is:  Upload a picture from your computer. If you click on browse you can find your photo and upload it. The other options are to use a webcam to take a picture of yourself or put a link to a picture found on the web. This is also the place where you would change the picture should you ever want to.

Before you leave the page please do remember to go back towards the top and click on the update profile box so you save all your hard work.

Heading

DASHBOARD – APPEARANCE – HEADER

On this page you can browse through your files on the computer and upload a picture to use as your header. It will come up with a preview of what it will actually look like. It can be changed so do not worry about it being permanent if you do not like it. This time the save changes box is at the bottom of the page.

On this page you will also see a box about whether you want the text to be shown. Adding this text will be the subject of next weeks post.

I do hope this is all clear. If it is not then please do ask – I am really happy to help and I shall not think you are being thick. I remember just how much time and effort (blood, sweat and tears) this took me which is why I am doing this in the first place. In the future I may also write down how to set up twitter accounts etc if it would be useful.

I am just really grateful that I have managed to get this far on my post without losing it all 🙂 Hope you all have a good week.