oh joyous season!

the season of sleeping in! i have now been off work for two whole weeks, and it is nice! sleeping willy nilly, time to do stuff. so far, that has mainly meant cooking and baking and cleaning (well not so much cleaning, really) and hosting and shopping. but the house has almost recovered from the holiday influx, so it is just about time to get back into project mode. currently on the go: the sewing table project. the base is assembled (and i've already started piling crap on the shelves) - next step is to attach the top, and then all that's left are the gatelegs, hinges, and edging. speaking of which, i need a mitre box. just when i think i have all the hardware i need, something else pops up...

next: finish painting the room, and refinish/reupholster the comfy chair. i can do all of that in two weeks, right? right?!?


free knitting patterns webring

since i have *two* whole free knitting patterns up here now, i thought i'd add filmcraft to the free knitting patterns webring.

check out the rest of the ring for more free patterns!

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is owned by filmcraft.

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double-knitting explained

okay, here's my attempt at explaining the double-knit tubes technique i used to make the kodama dolls.

basically, what you do is cast on an even number of stitches, in this case 6.

cast on six stitches

carefully slip it off your needle,

slide them off the needle

fold it in half,

fold the row of stitches in half

and then slide it back on to your needle, alternating stitches from each half. so, your original six stitches get picked up in this order: st 1, st 6, st 2, st 5, st 3, st 4.

pick up the stitches carefully, alternating one from each side

to make the kodama dolls, you start by knitting both legs at once, each with a separate ball of yarn. so, repeat the steps above so that you have two sets of stitches - one for each leg.

cast on 6 more stitches from a new ball of yarn

... and repeat the folding trick

now, the tricky part.

when you start knitting, you keep the two halves separate by knitting one stitch, bringing the yarn to front,

knit stitch #1, and bring the yarn to the front

slipping one purlwise,

slip stitch #6 purlwise, keeping it separate from the yarn you're knitting with

bringing the yarn to the back,

bring the yarn to the back

knitting one stitch,

now, knit stitch #2

bringing the yarn to front, slipping one purlwise, bringing the yarn to the back. keeping the above example, you’d knit st 1, slip st 6, knit st 2, slip st 5, knit st 3, slip st 4, then turn, and knit st 4, slip st 3, knit st 5, slip st 2, knit st 6, and slip st 1. it takes a bit of practice to keep the two halves separate – it’s easy to get the stitches caught around one another – so take it slow.

once you've done a few rows, it's a little clearer to see how what you're knitting looks like a tube - whether you look at it from front or back, it will look like a strip of stockinette three stitches wide, even though you have six stitches on the needle.

and this is important to remember – you're only knitting half a row at a time! what feels like knitting two rows is actually only knitting one row, since you’re only working half the stitches. so when you’re knitting this pattern, remember this if you’re counting rows as you knit them – and count the rows up from the bottom to double-check your progress.

there’s a really great description of how to use double-knitting to knit two socks at once at knitty. it also has better pictures - not blurry like mine!



now that loudxmouse has received the package i sent for the miyazaki swap, i'm going to post my blurry pics here!

loudxmouse said that she was keen on kodama, among other things. kodama are little sprites that look like this:

so i decided, why not recreate that image as a handbag?

i made the handbag out of a few different-but-similar shades of dark green fabric. i appliqued a few leafy bits on, and to hold the kodama dolls, i made leaf-edged pockets, and top-stitched them so they'd stay nice and pointy:

then, i knitted and felted some little kodama dolls to tuck into the shrubbery:

here's a close up of my favourite little guy:

again, i chickened out of trying to felt them in the washing machine, and just did them in the bathroom sink - it only took fifteen minutes! - and then propped them in front a heating vent to dry quickly.

i've written up a pattern for knitting the wee kodama dolls, if anyone is interested. i made up the pattern using the two-needle tube double-knitting technique that erin explained to me a while ago. i also took a couple of snaps of the work-in-progress, which i'll put up tomorrow, since double-knitting is easy to do once you get it, but tricky to figure out the first time.