Collage

Collage
Hello and thanks for visiting my blog. I have been knitting on and off for 50 years and I recently learned to crochet. I love looking for wool bargains and making them into something useful. I mainly knit for charity. I occasionally knit for myself and family members if I find a really good pattern or if they ask nicely!!

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Free knitting pattern for a worry monster with legs...


PATTERN FOR A KNITTED WORRY MONSTER WITH LEGS

Here is the pattern I wrote recently for a worry monster. I have donated it to Knit-for-Nowt and it is already on their website. 

This one is in intentionally scary.  But it could easily be amended to make it cute and cuddly!




This pattern uses dk yarn doubled (i.e. two strands of dk yarn knitted together) and size 5.5mm knitting needles. It produces a Worry Monster measuring 13 inches long.
I find that doubling up the yarn and using 5.5mm knitting needles makes a strong fabric that knits up very quickly and contains the stuffing securely.
Don’t worry if the monster looks small when you are knitting it. It will look larger after you have sewed the seams and stuffed it.
Remember: the yarn is used doubled throughout except for the pocket and the facial features.

You will need
70g of dk yarn
5.5mm knitting needles
70g of toy stuffing
Felt or buttons for eyes

FRONT VIEW
Right leg
Cast on 9 stitches
Work 10 rows – (stocking stitch, commencing with a garter stitch row and ending with a purl row)
Cut the yarn and push the leg to the far end of the left hand needle
Left leg
Cast on 9 stitches on the same left hand needle.
Work 10 rows – (stocking stitch, commencing with a garter stitch row and ending with a purl row)
Join legs
Knit across all 9 stitches of the left leg.
Turn your work and cast on 2 stitches
Turn your work again and knit across all 9 stitches of the right leg
Body
Work 23 rows – (stocking stitch, commencing with a purl row and ending with a purl row)
Cast on 10 stitches at beginning of next 2 rows
Work 10 rows – (stocking stitch, commencing with a garter stitch row and ending with a purl row)
Cast off 10 stitches at beginning of next 2 rows
Change to head colour
Work 4 rows – (stocking stitch, commencing with a garter stitch row and ending with a purl row)
Mouth
Knit 5 stitches with the face colour
(you are now going to change to the mouth colour. But do not cut the face colour as you will need this on the next row)
Change to mouth colour
Work on next 10 stitches only as follows:
Knit across 10 stitches
Turn and purl or knit across 10 stitches (knitting this row produces a raised, knobbly texture which is similar to teeth)

Change back to face colour
Knit across 10 mouth stitches and remaining 5 face stitches
Work a further 11 rows straight – (stocking stitch, commencing with a purl row and ending with a purl row)
Decrease 1 stitch at the beginning of the next 4 rows – (stocking stitch, commencing with a garter stitch row and ending with a purl row)

Change to hair colour
Decrease 1 stitch at the beginning of the next 4 rows – (stocking stitch, commencing with a garter stitch row and ending with a purl row)
You should now have 12 stitches on your needle

BACK VIEW
Increase 1 stitch at the beginning of the next 8 rows – (stocking stitch, commencing with a garter stitch row and ending with a purl row)
You should now have 20 stitches on your needle
Work 16 rows straight – (stocking stitch, commencing with a garter stitch row and ending with a purl row)
Arms
Cast on 10 stitches at beginning of next 2 rows
Work 10 rows – (stocking stitch, commencing with a garter stitch row and ending with a purl row)
Cast off 10 stitches at beginning of next 2 rows
Work 24 rows straight  – (stocking stitch, commencing with a garter stitch row and ending with a purl row)
Left leg
Knit 9 stitches
Turn your work and continue on these 9 stitches for 10 rows – (stocking stitch, commencing with a purl row and ending with a garter stitch row)
Cast off these 9 stitches
 Right leg
Rejoin yarn to remaining11 stitches
Cast off first 2 stitches
Knit 9 stitches
Work 10 rows – (stocking stitch, commencing with a purl row and ending with a garter stitch row)
Cast off

Making up:
Embroider facial features as desired (the rosebud lips effect was achieved by Swiss darning)
Make plaits if desired and sew on firmly
Sew up outer leg seams, both sides, around arms and head
Stuff with approved toy stuffing and check that it is not escaping through any holes
Sew up remaining leg seams
Using a single strand of dk yarn, knit or crochet a square measuring 3.5 inches and attach it to the front as a worry pocket. (I find it easier to add the pocket after stuffing the monster. But you might prefer to add it first.)

Variations:
Let your imagination run riot
To make longer legs, add 2, 4, or 6 rows
Change the colours as required
To make shoes change the colour of the first four rows of the legs
Use all your left over oddments to make stripes

To knit a monster with ears at the top of the head

Follow pattern until
Change back to face colour, then
Knit across 10 mouth stitches and remaining 5 face stitches
Work a further 43 rows straight – (stocking stitch, commencing with a purl row and ending with a purl row)
Change to body colour and continue with the rest of the pattern
When making up, sew a running stitch across the top corners and pull tightly to make 2 ears

The inspiration for this pattern came from the BASIC PATTERN FOR A WORRY PUPPET by Diane Fenney

If you feel like knitting, crocheting or sewing some worry monsters or worry puppets for Knit-for-Nowt, there is currently a competition to win a wool voucher on their website HERE.  There will be four winners and everyone has an equal chance as the winners will be selected at random by a senior social worker. The closing date is May 25th.



Saturday, 7 April 2018

Two preemie blankets...




Here are two tiny blankets that I knitted with wool donated to me. Thanks, Betty. I was in the mood for simple corner-to-corner blankets. 

The one on the right is James C. Brett Baby Marble. It isn't a colour that I would ever have chosen because it contains yellow (eugh!). I initially started a complicated, fancy pattern; but it did the wool no favours. So I ripped it out and settled on simple garter stitch. I think it has turned out reasonably well.

The blanket on the left is one that I started last summer which is the last time we had real daylight for more than about 2 hours per day. I left it for a few months and picked it up again a few weeks ago. I alternated rows of blue and white and then edged it with rows of double crochet also in blue and white. I'm really pleased at the end result and would even consider knitting another larger one for any family members who decide to have babies. Come on, Eileen. (No one in my family is called Eileen, but they know who they are!)

These small blankets will eventually go off to PreemiesUK.


Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Win a £30 wool voucher...


KNITTING/STITCHING
LUCKY DIP COMPETITION 2018
The charitable service, Knit-for-Nowt, announces a fun competition!  Send in an item for Knit-for-Nowt to donate to therapists working with children with serious worries.
PRIZES:  1 lucky dip winner in each category will each receive a £30 voucher for the online knitting shop “Love Knitting” – go to www.loveknitting.com to browse the shop.  Winning entries will be featured in the next Newsletter, which is distributed to up to a thousand knitters.
Entries are welcome now from knitters, crocheters and stitchers.
1                    Make a Worry Monster and/or hand puppet for the Knit-for-Nowt charity. You may enter up to 4 items. Please go to www.knitfornowt.org for what’s needed.
2                    Label clearly each individual item with your full name, email address and County
3                    Send to Knit-for-Nowt – for posting details please email knitfornowt@gmail.com 
4                    1 lucky dip winner in each category will be picked out at random on 4th June by a senior social worker
5                    All entries will then be photographed by Knit-for-Nowt and put up on a new “Competition Gallery” on the website.
Categories for entry:
·        A child-friendly Worry Monster
·        A child-friendly Worry Puppet (see website for explanation)
·        A hand puppet in the form of a person (could be a family member or professional such as doctor, nurse, policeman, judge, social worker, teacher)
·        A hand puppet animal
Please enter up to 4 items in any of the categories, or all in the same category.
CLOSING DATE BY WHICH ENTRIES MUST REACH KNIT-FOR-NOWT = 25th May 2018
Please go to www.knitfornowt.org  for full details, terms and conditions, and safety rules.


Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Another Insect Worry Monster...



After I wrote my pattern for an insect worry monster, I knitted one to make sure there were no mistakes. This one is 12 inches tall and has already gone off to Knit-for-Nowt from where it will join others that are used by therapists working with traumatised children. The monsters have to look scary. I am assured that these work well and the children love them. It takes all sorts!

I tried out a couple of new-to-me techniques. The wavy arms are knitted i-cord. You can also crochet i-cord. There are lots of videos about it on the Internet. It is a very versatile way to produce a tube because the size can be adjusted by changing the size of the needle and number of stitches.

The worry pocket is my first ever crocheted circle. I have tried before and given up. This time, I had a good incentive. It had to work and it eventually did after 4 attempts. I chose black and yellow as I think these are warning colours in nature. Just think of bees!

In case it was still looking too cute, I added a row of fangs by using Swiss darning. It is a very fine line between something that is cute enough for your favourite grandchild and something that is terrifying. It's now up to the therapist to chose which child can work with this without having nightmares!

There is a waiting list for these monsters. So if anyone feels like knitting, crocheting or sewing one just pop over to Knit-for-Nowt.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Free pattern for an insect worry monster....


Here is the pattern I wrote recently for an insect worry monster. I have donated it to Knit-for-Nowt and it is already on their website. 

This one is in intentionally scary colours. But it could easily be amended to make it less traumatising!

     


This pattern uses dk yarn doubled (i.e. two strands of dk yarn knitted together) and size 5.5mm knitting needles. It produces a Worry Monster measuring 12 inches long.

I find that doubling up the yarn and using 5.5mm knitting needles makes a strong fabric that knits up very quickly and contains the stuffing securely.

Don’t worry if the monster looks small when you are knitting it. It will look larger after you have sewed the seams and stuffed it.

Remember: the yarn is used doubled throughout except for the pocket, the wings and the facial features.

You will need
60g of dk yarn
5.5mm knitting needles
40g of toy stuffing
Felt or buttons for eyes

Start with bottom colour
Cast on 20 stitches

Change to body/face colour
Work 42 rows – (stocking stitch, commencing with a garter stitch row and ending with a purl row)

Mouth
Knit 4 stitches with the face colour
(you are now going to change to the mouth colour. But do not cut the face colour as you will need this on the next row)

Change to mouth colour
Work on next 12 stitches only as follows:
Knit across 12 stitches
Turn and knit back across 12 stitches (knitting both rows produces a raised, knobbly texture which is similar to teeth)

Change back to face colour
Knit across 12 mouth stitches and remaining 4 face stitches
Work a further 9 rows straight – (stocking stitch, commencing with a purl row and ending with a purl row)
Decrease one stitch at the beginning of the next 6 rows – (stocking stitch, commencing with a garter stitch row and ending with a purl row)

Change to hair colour
Decrease one stitch at the beginning of the next 4 rows – (stocking stitch, commencing with a garter stitch row and ending with a purl row)
Increase one stitch at the beginning of the next 10 rows – (stocking stitch, commencing with a garter stitch row and ending with a purl row)
Work 14 rows straight – (stocking stitch, commencing with a garter stitch row and ending with a purl row)

Change to body colour
Work 38 rows – (stocking stitch, commencing with a garter stitch row and ending with a purl row)

Change to bottom colour
Work 4 rows – (garter stitch)

Cast off all 20 stitches

Making up:
Embroider facial features as desired
Create the antennae by making a thick plait and attaching it firmly to the top of the head
Sew up both sides
Stuff with approved toy stuffing and check that it is not escaping through any holes
Sew up bottom seam
Using a single strand of dk yarn, knit or crochet 2 squares measuring 4 inches for the wings and sew them firmly to the monster along 2 side edges and across the diagonal
Using a single strand of dk yarn, knit or crochet a square measuring 3.5 inches and attach it to the front as a worry pocket. (I find it easier to add the pocket after stuffing the monster. But you might prefer to add it first.)

Variations:
Let your imagination run riot
You could add two wings to each side to make a butterfly
You could add knitted or crocheted i-cord to make insect legs for a spider or grasshopper etc
Change the colours as required
Use all your left over oddments to make stripes

The inspiration for this pattern came from the BASIC PATTERN FOR A WORRY PUPPET by Diane Fenney


I tested this pattern carefully by knitting it again after writing it. It's amazing how many little glitches can be spotted that way. So I know this pattern works. But if you have any queries, just ask and I will help...

I have another pattern in the pipeline. Watch this space...

Monday, 19 February 2018

A Suffragette-inspired Worry Monster...



There has been a lot of publicity about the Suffragettes recently. Thanks to them, February 2018 is the centenary of some women being allowed to vote in the UK. They were given the right to vote if they were over 30 and they, or their husbands, met a property qualification. That was a partial  victory for eight million women. It was another 10 years before The Equal Franchise Act was passed in 1928 giving women equal voting rights with men. Fifteen million women over the age of 21 gained the right to vote in elections. The rest is history.

I decided to knit a Worry Monster in the Suffragette colours of purple and green, or as close as I had in my wool bag. The variegated colours are actually purple and green knitted together. The result is lovely in real life, though it looks a bit brown on my computer. I enjoyed doing a little bit of Swiss darning to make her lips slightly more feminine. I also added some perplexed eyebrows but stopped short of adding a monobrow. That would have been too cruel! 

I worked out how to add legs to a basic pattern already on the Knit-for-Nowt website. It was actually very easy to do and I have offered to add my amended pattern to those already in their collection. There is an appeal there for more patterns, so if anyone is a good pattern designer, we need your services! These Worry Monsters and Therapy Puppets are used with traumatised children and there is a waiting list of therapists who have asked for some.

I have just sent this little collection off to Knit-for-Nowt. It was lovely to receive an appreciative email back from Clare who runs the project. Some charities are definitely better than others at making their helpers feel useful. Most will acknowledge a parcel. But the odd one leaves people guessing or asking whether their parcels have arrived. Sadly, I tend to put them to the back of my list of places to donate to. Mini rant over!


What began as a small project to cheer myself up at the end of a gruelling 2017 has turned into something much bigger. Clare jumped at my offer to write some new patterns. I have 2 or 3 patterns in mind and, being a natural worrier myself, I am testing each pattern before I let it loose into the world. I was even dreaming last night about how to add certain features. I think I need to get out more!

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Another worry monster...


Here is another Worry Monster that I knitted for Knit-for-Nowt. It's about 12 inches tall, like my last one. These are used by therapists and the pocket on the front is for children to use as little post boxes for their worries. 

When I thought I had finished it, I was thrown by its very blank expression. I was worried that it didn't look worried enough (ha ha). So I decided to give it a monobrow. It was one of those magic moments when the stars align. I laid some black wool on its forehead and it just fell into exactly the right shape. I held my breath and sewed over the wool very carefully. It took no more than ten minutes (yes, I think I was a pearl diver in a former life) and I was really pleased with the result.

I hadn't heard of Worry Monsters until recently. I was amazed to discover that you can actually buy mass-produced Worry Monsters and that parents give them to their anxious children. How times have changed! I would have run a mile from one of these when I was a child.

I have one more monster to knit. This one will have stumpy little legs...when I have worked out the easiest way to add them...watch this space.