Tag Archives: needlecraft

Crafty Friends ~ Spotlight on Gloria Aida

Crafty Friend Gloria Aida

As a girl in The Holy City, Gloria Aida learned to crochet.

Many of you will remember Crafty Friend Gloria Aida from an earlier post. Her main project throughout 2010 was creating a massive collection of hand-made scarves for her favourite charity.

Pieces like this used to decorate most homes.

What you may not know is that my dear friend Gloria Aida is also a talented crochet artist. In fact, last summer I was inspired by her to learn to crochet — an art I’d long admired.

Note the intricate pinwheel stitch!

With Gloria Aida’s help, I was able to acquire a basic skill at the ancient art of crochet.

Layers add dimension to this lovely doilie!

For months now, Gloria Aida has been humoring me by allowing me to photograph some of her lovely crocheted lace pieces. These are works of art she has created over many years — some she uses daily, others she has stored away for her children and future grandchildren.

It is incredible to realise that a few short decades ago our grandmothers used to fill their homes with this intricate lace-fabric art. Through the latter 1900’s, the craft was almost lost to us. Thank goodness, it is now being revived, largely thanks to passionate artists like Gloria Aida!

Vibrant colour creates eye-catching art

I hope these pieces will inspire others to turn their hands to this resurging art form! What a lovely way to spend an afternoon, creating quality pieces that will endure for generations!

I regret I can display only a fragment of Gloria Aida’s collection in this post, but I’m hopeful she will share her work with us again at a future date!

Doilies are a true folk art!

Thank you, Gloria Aida, for both your friendship and for sharing your art with us.

Happy Independence Day to our American neighbors, and a Wonderful Canada Day weekend to our friends here at home…

If you have questions about this or any other project, feel free to reach me directly through my contact page.

The First Excellence The First Excellence

For all of you out there who love to read, please follow my writer account on Twitter @Donna_Carrick .

However, if you’re more interested in following this crafty bird through the labyrinth of fabric and yarn that we call a life, you can always join me on my Just Knittin’ Twitter site under @DCarrickCrafts . Either way, I’d love to meet you on FaceBook, so be sure to look me up!

Best in knitting and living passionately,
Donna Carrick

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Tammy-Li’s favourite cardigan ~ Easy-peasy and mega-fun!

It’s time once again to lose those parkas, people! Here at Thematic Stitchings, we love the North country, especially in spring. Nature lightens up its colours, tossing forth crocuses and new shoots of grass framed by sapphire skies.

The kids are thrilled to lighten up their wardrobes, trading coats and boots for sweaters and running shoes.

Blue variegated baby weight in garter stitch

This baby-soft sweater was so easy to create, it was almost embarrasing. For the newbie who wants to graduate from scarves to sweaters, I recommend a project like this. Using a high quality variegated Double Knit-weight acrylic (I used King Cole “Splash” variegated) build the back first. I used a 3.25 mm needle, but be sure to make a guage swatch before you begin to check for tension and size. Cast on 76 stitches for the back and knit in a simple garter stitch, knit every row.

When casting on, match variegated yarn colours

My tip #1: When using a high quality variegated yarn, always cast on from the same point in the colour variegations. This way, your colours will flow in tandem for the project.

Shape armholes by casting off 8 st

Depending on your child’s age and height, continue in garter stitch for approximately 12 inches. Then shape the armholes. Cast off 8 stitches on the right side, knit the rest of the row. Then cast off 8 stitches on the wrong side and knit the rest of the row.

My tip #2: Use your child’s size as a guide for how and when to shape the armholes.

For next 4 rows, decrease 1 stitch at each end of row by knitting 2 together. Continue in garter stitch till back = approx 17-1/2 to 18 inches from bottom, or 5-1/2 to 6 inches from armhole shaping.

To shape shoulders, cast off 11 stitches on right side and knit rest of row. Next row, cast off 11 st on wrong side, knit rest of row. Next 2 rows, repeat this. Then cast of all remaining stitches.

For front, left side panel, cast on 40 stitches.
Row 1 (right side): Knit 34 st, Purl 6
Row 2 (wrong side): Knit all
Row 3 (right side): Knit all
Row 4 (wrong side): Purl 6, knit 34

Continue till panel = approx 12 inches. (Be sure to measure against Back panel.) Then shape left armhole to match armhole on back panel. Continue in pattern for 2-1/2 inches, then shape neckline.
On wrong side, cast off 6 stitches, knit remaining.
On right side, knit all till 2 st remain, knit 2 together.
On wrong side, knit 2 tog, knit remaining.

Continue to knit all till panel reaches approx 17-1/2 to 18 inches from bottom, then:
On right side, cast off 11 st, knit rest.
On wrong side, knit all
On right side, cast off 11 st, knit rest
On wrong side, knit all
On right side, cast off all.

Right panel will be a mirror image of left panel, except that you will insert 6 buttonholes in the panel
Row 1 (right side): Purl 6, knit rest.
Row 2 (wrong side): Knit all
Row 3 (right side): Knit all
Row 4 (wrong side): Knit 34, purl 6

My tip #3: Always create the left front panel first, so you can determine where to place buttonholes when you create right front panel.

To create buttonholes, place safetypin markers on the left panel to ensure spacing is exact. When you are ready to place a buttonhole:
On right side: Knit 2, cast off 2, knit 2 (Or if pattern calls for it, P2, Cast off 2, P2)
On wrong side: Knit 34, K2, make 2 stitches, K2 (Or if pattern calls for it, P2, make 2, P2)
Continue in pattern throughout, till right panel shapes into a mirrored version of the left panel.

Sleeves: Cast on 36 stitches. Work in Garter st, knit all rows, increasing 1 st at each end every 8th row till you have 54 stitches on needle. Continue in garter without increasing till sleeve reaches from your child’s wrist to chld’s underarm. I always leave a little growing room — you can always roll the sleeve up if needed.

Then:
On right side: Cast off 8 stitches, knit rest.
On wrong side: Cast off 8 st, knit rest.
Continue knitting for 2 more inches, reducing 1 st at each end of every row. (reduce 2 st each row.)
Cast off all remaining stitches.

My tip #4: To make up, I prefer using a darning needle and a mattress stitch. You can find “how-to” on mattress stitching in almost any knitting reference guide. The reason I prefer it is that it allows the garment pieces to fit together smoothly, without a lot of seam-bulk.

Tack collar down with matching buttons

When sweater is made up, use a 3.25 mm circular needle to pick up stitches around the neckline to create the collar. Pick up a multiple of 4 st plus 2.
Row 1 (right side): *Purl 2, Knit 2,* continue to last 2 st, Purl 2
Row 2 (wrong side): *Knit 2, Purl 2,* continue to last 2 st, Knit 2

Continue this 2-row pattern till collar is desired length, approx 2-1/2 or 3 inches. I used extra matching buttons to tack down the collars.

Tammy-Li's favourite blue cardigan

Tammy very graciously agreed to model the sweater for us, so here it is!
If you have questions about this or any other project, feel free to reach me directly through my contact page.

The First Excellence The First Excellence

For all of you out there who love to read, please follow my writer account on Twitter @Donna_Carrick .

However, if you’re more interested in following this crafty bird through the labyrinth of fabric and yarn that we call a life, you can always join me on my Just Knittin’ Twitter site under @DCarrickCrafts . Either way, I’d love to meet you on FaceBook, so be sure to look me up!

Best in knitting and living passionately,
Donna Carrick

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Crafty Friends ~ Spotlight on Sheila Marbella

Crafty Friend Sheila Marbella

Well, folks, I hate to admit it, but we still have a foot of the white stuff on the ground here in the North country. So long as we see snow, Thematic Stitchings can justify a couple more winter projects before we kick our Spring-time crafts into high gear.

This week I’d like to introduce another member of our office break-time knitting circle, Sheila Marbella. Sheila enjoys creating colourful knitted fabrics, especially for her daughters.

Hatband is created in 2 stages

This wonderful tri-colour hat (red, white and blue) was built in 3 parts. First, the base of the hat band (white) is about 2 1/2 inches wide, or approximately 10 stitches using heavy worsted and 5mm needles. It is worked in stocking stich. (Knit 1 row, purl the next.) The edges will curl, but that’s ok. You want them to curl to provide a frame for the red ‘belt portion’. The belt loops are made by dragging the yarn across the band width at even intervals. Continue in stocking stitch till the white band is long enough to fit comfortably around your child’s head.

Sheila: I’ve been knitting for about 6 years, since Silva first got me into it. Before that I used to crochet.

The red ‘belt’ for the hat band is narrower than the white band — approximately 7-8 stitches. It is worked in garter stitch (knit all rows) and will be longer than the white band by approx. 1 – 1/2 inches. It will also be tapered at one end. To create this effect, when the red ‘belt’ is about an inch longer than the white band, reduce 1 stitch at each end for the next few rows, until only two stitches remain. Cast those 2 stitches off. The belt is then inserted into the loops on the white band, and a matching button is added to hold it in place.

Stitch body of hat in round st-st

The body of the hat (blue) is knitted in the round using a 5mm medium length circular needle. Depending on your yarn weight and guage, pick up approximately 60-70 stitches. Remember to measure your child’s head and knit a guage first. Sheila tried several methods of joining the white band to the hat body, but finally simply picked up stitches around the upper back of the hatband to begin knitting the hat.

The hat is a simple stocking stitch, continued for approximately 4 inches (or to fit your child). After 4 inches, reduce 10 st each row in a random fashion to avoid obvious ‘clumping’.

Finished Tri-colour hat in heavy worsted

When you have approximately 8-12 stitches remaining, use a darning needle or crochet hook to feed a long strand of yarn through the final stitches and pull them together in “drawstring” fashion to close the hole at the top of the hat.

The red, white and blue colours contrast so nicely — this is a great sporty hat to make any young girl smile!

Sheila models her daughter's hat

Sheila was kind enough to model the hat for us, so here it is! On behalf of Thematic Stitchings, I want to thank Sheila for sharing this winter project with us.

If you have questions about this or any other project, feel free to reach me directly through my contact page.

The First Excellence The First Excellence

For all of you out there who love to read, please follow my writer account on Twitter @Donna_Carrick .

However, if you’re more interested in following this crafty bird through the labyrinth of fabric and yarn that we call a life, you can always join me on my Just Knittin’ Twitter site under @DCarrickCrafts . Either way, I’d love to meet you on FaceBook, so be sure to look me up!

Best in knitting and living passionately,
Donna Carrick

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized