Saturday, 4 January 2014

Casting On - Knitting for Beginners




Casting on is knitters jargon for how you get that long straight ball of yarn to stay on to those pointy needles!

Basically the cast on stitches are the foundation to your knitted piece, these are the stitches you will begin to knit (or purl) in to.


In a pattern casting on is often abbreviated as CO, and then followed by a number which indicated how many stitches (or loops of yarn) you need on your needle before you begin.
So if see this at the start of a pattern:

CO 10 in Green Yarn

Then your needles should look like this once your done.


 
There are a few different types of cast on, but as a beginner I suggest you begin with the Long tail cast on. A long Tail cast on is the simplest, easiest and quickest method which is perfect for your first project. This cast of isn't very pretty but it nice and stretchy which means its easier for you to knit into the stitches.

Check out my video on how to Long Tail Cast On


Once you have the hang of knitting basics and you feel comfortable with the steps, then you can advance onto other methods of casting on.

An extensive list of cast on methods can be viewed at KnittingHelp.com, a fantastic knitting resource for beginners.

Other Cast On methods include:
  • Single Cast On (Backwards loop Cast On)
  • Cable Cast on
  • Knitting on
  • German Twisted Cast on
  • Invisible (provisional) cast on
  • Alternate Cable Cast On
I hope this was helpful to get you started.
Next Step: How to Knit

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Pinwheel Toy Knitting Pattern

Recently I stumbled upon this little crochet pinwheel by Emily Gettle. You guys must know by now how I just love a crochet pattern to knit pattern conversion, right? Well I looked at how they were constructed and thought that these are another great project which is quick and can help you use up those lovely scrap yarns. Plus don't they just look so cute? Knit up some mini  toy pinwheels for kids, perhaps party favours? I bet your thinking of all the places that these could be used: appliqu├ęs, gift tags, hair clips, party decor, card making, you name it these little pin wheels can adorn them all.



Materials
• Set of 3.25mm needles (UK size 10, US size 3)
• Yarn needle
• 6" wooden dowel (I used a long cotton cleaning swab)
• Button
• Glue Gun (optional)
• Ribbon (optional)

Yarn weight: Double knitting/ worsted weight
Gauge: not important but make it tight so gaps don't show through
Finished measurements: approx 4.5" long and  4.5" wide (without the stick)

Click here for my abbreviation list

TOY SAFETY
Remember never use embellishments such as buttons or ribbon on a toy intended for a child under 3 years old, they are a potential choking hazard, please embroider on any features so that children cannot swallow them or  stick them up nostrils or in ears!

Please click here for my copyright info

Pin Wheel Pattern
Make 4
CO 20 (I used knit cast on)
1. knit
2. knit
3. purl
4. k1, k2tog, k14, k2tog, k1 (18sts)
5. purl
6. k1, k2tog, k12, k2tog, k1 (16sts)
7. purl
8.  k1, k2tog, k10, k2tog, k1 (14sts)
9. purl
10.  k1, k2tog, k8, k2tog, k1 (12sts)
11. purl
12.  k1, k2tog, k6, k2tog, k1 (10sts)
13. purl
14.  k1, k2tog, k4, k2tog, k1 (8sts)
15. purl
16.  k1, k2tog, k2, k2tog, k1 (6sts)
17. purl
18.  k1, k2tog twice, k1 (4sts)
19. purl
 
Cut yarn, leaving a long tail. Draw tail through remaining stitches and pull tightly and secure.

Make it up



  1. Position your knitted pieces in the order you want them with the wrong side (purl side) up. Sew together  the sides approx 1" from the centre point as shown in diagram 1.
  2. On the top triangle take the upper right corner and fold it down into the centre of the pin-wheel and secure in place.
  3. Repeat step 2 with the left side triangle.
  4. Repeat step 2 with the bottom triangle.
  5. Repeat step 2 with the right side triangle.
  6. Your pinwheel should look like this when truned the side side up, you may want to weave in all the loose yarn ends at this point, leaving two strands on the wrong side to attach the button and wooden dowel.
  7. Attach a contrasting button to the centre of the pin wheel on the right side.
  8. Attach the wooden dowel to the wrong side. I simply tied the dowel with the two extra strands left from step 6, however I recommend using a glue gun to attach it securely.



I added a little ribbon on the stick, which I thought would be a cute idea especially if these are used as cake toppers or even as place cards for a party or wedding.

If you  like these little pin wheels remember to share on pinterest and to post some pictures on Ravelry of your finished work, i'd love to see what you creative lot come up with.
Happy Knitting
Raynor
 

Monday, 25 February 2013

Harry Hedgehog

Free Hedgehog Toy Knitting Pattern

Hey all I'm back with another pattern.
Let me just start by saying this little guy actually started off as a bee but as I knit him up at looked at the finished toy and realised he looked way more like a teeny weeny hedgehog and so Harry was born. When I say teeny this guy is only 1.5" long, I mean honestly who doesn't need a mini hedgehog in their life? Oh yeah and since he is so tiny he takes lest than half an hour to make, seriously he took me about 20min and I'm not a fast knitter. I knit one up without the safety eyes for my one year old and its a great little Waldorf style toy for him to play.
So now your dying to make one (or a million) aren't you, and you're imagining all the people you can hand gift them to? Well let the yarn see the needles....

Free toy knitting pattern baby hedgehog


 Materials
• Set of 3.25mm needles (UK size 10, US size 3)
• Yarn needle
• Toy stuffing
• 5mm black safety eyes

Yarn colours
• Dark brown
• Light brown

Yarn weight: Double knitting/ worsted weight

Gauge: not important but make it tight so stuffing doesn’t show through

Finished measurements: approx 1.5" long and 1" wide

Click here for my abbreviation list

TOY SAFETY
Remember never use toy safety eyes on a toy intended for a child under 3 years old, they are a potential choking hazard, please embroider on any features so they cannot be easily removed by little fingers or gnashers!

Please click here for my copyright info


Hedgehog Pattern:
CO 6 in dark brown yarn
1. knit
2. *kfb* along (12 sts)
3. knit
4. *kfb, k1 * along (18 sts)
5. knit
6. *kfb, k2* along (24 sts)
7-11. Garter stitch for 5 rows
12.  *k2tog, k2* along (18 sts)
Change to light brown yarn
13. purl
14.  *k2tog, k1* along (12 sts)
15. purl
16.  *k2tog* along (6 sts)
17. purl
18. knit
19. purl

Cut yarn, leaving a long yarn tail. Use scrap yarn to embroider on a nose and eyes or insert safety eyes at this point. Use the long yarn tail to mattress stitch together the row ends, stopping 3/4 way to stuff and then continue close the remaining stitches. Weave in any loose yarn ends.

That's it you're done. How easy was that?

Suggestions
  • If you want some feet or ears on your little guy you can use the light brown yarn to embroider them on using a french knot, awesome tutorial here.
  • Knit these little guys up in loads of different colours to give as party favours at a kids party or as classmate gifts.
  • Add a little ribbon bow on the head for a girl hedgehog or knit one using the bow section from my Mr & Mrs Tasche Pattern.
Happy Knitting
Raynor x

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Sponsor Us

Hi all,
I hope you are well, I've decided to start accepting blog sponsors to the site as it would be great to give some lovely handmade/small businesses exposure and for you guys to discover some amazing toy knitting related products.

If you have a knitting/craft supply website or a shop you would like to promote (or know someone who this would suit, pass on the word) then I'd love to have you on board. Plus I'm offering 50% off for all first time advertisers so you can figure out wheter the blog is right for your business.

If you interested pop over to my new sponsor page for pricing info (it's good value).

Raynor x

Monday, 24 December 2012

Free Knitting Pattern Directory

** UPDATE** Just to let you guys know that all seems to be fixed at Knitting Pattern Central. The new owner Emily released a statement on their facebook page to say that the problems with lack of update was due to website techs restricting her access after the change of hands. I'm going to leave this list of knitting pattern directories available so that if things ever go awry again or your looking for a new site to frequent then you can have a look at those below.

When I first started teaching myself to knit I relied heavily on free patterns and tutorials to help me advance my skills. Like many knitters I took to the internet and typed in' free knitting patterns'. Up popped this awesome site which has been quite a holy grail to knitters  it was Knitting Pattern Central. Run by the very lovely Rachel who had created the site due to demand after the success of her sister site Crochet Pattern Central.
Once I started the Knitted Toy Box I would contact Rachel to let her know that I had added a new pattern and she would alway kindly add it to her directory. Last month when I released my new Elf pattern I popped over to KPC as usual only to find that it had completly changed. I was always aware that Rachel only ever monetised enough to cover her cost of running and the site was virtually ad free. So a bit of routing around Ravelry I discovered that Rachel has recently retired and her site now have new owners. This sounds great as it means the site had potential to be kept alive and kicking after Rachel has put in so much hard (and very much appreciated) work. Sadly it seems that the new owners only serve to make money from vast amount of ads now placed on site, yet the site has not been updated since November 10th which is very sad as many a knitter frequented the site bi-weekly.
I'm hoping that the new owners get their act together and revive the site but until that happens then it looks like us knitters will need to look elswhere for a new blood when it comes to knitting patterns. I'm starting a list for alternative sites you can use in the meantime and hopefully we'll get some news about KPC soon. If you know of an alternative site then leave a comment and I'll add it to the list.

All Free Knitting
Ravelry
The Daily Knitter
 Free-KnitPatterns.com
KnittingOnTheNet.com
CoatsCrafts.co.uk
knitting at play

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Christmas Elf Pattern

Free Christmas Elf Toy Knitting Pattern by Raynor Gellatly.

With Christmas right around the corner I've been wanting to try out some cool new traditions for the kids. I've been reading a lot about an American tradition called 'Elf on a Shelf' and thought it was fantastic - was until I looked for a set available in the UK. Sadly the cheapest one I could find was £30 (approx $50) which is way too expensive! So I decided to make my own alternative with some wooden peg dolls I've had lying around for over a year, and I've decided to pass on the pattern to you guys.
Obviously you will need to purchase some wooden peg dolls but these are inexpensive and easily available from local craft shops as well as online. I purchased a set of 9 dolls size from goosegreaseundone and they came in a little muslin bag to keep them altogether.
check out these other sellers:
iusedtobeatree
swellgoods
homecrafts

for those in the UK I found this site.

Please note this pattern is to fit a 3" boy and girl wood peg doll, not the larger 3.5" sizes.

If you know any good deals or places to buy these little wood people then leave a comment and to let others know.

These dolls are great for children and use in imaginative play as they outfits are removable as well as progressing their dexterity by allowing them to put the cloths on and off. They would also make super cute Christmas decor or perhaps even little holiday gift, so why don't you pin them and spread the Elf love ♡.



Materials
· Set of 3.25mm needles (UK size 10, US size 3),  preferably a set of dpns for i-cord arms
· Yarn needle
· Scissors
· Wool Felt scraps in yellow and white (optional)
· 3" Wood peg doll
· non-toxic craft paint (acrylics work best)

Yarn colours
·Dark green
·Light green
·Red
· Skin
· Hair colour (optional if making girl braids)

· Scraps of black/yellow embroidery thread(optional)
 

Yarn weight: Double knitting (DK)

Finished measurements: approx 3” tall and 1” wide

Click here for my abbreviation list

TOY SAFETY
Please don't give these as toys to children who still put things in their mouths, leave them unfinished and they will be safe to play with (waldorf style).

Please click here for my copyright info

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*


Boy Elf Costume
CO 20 in dark green
1-7. st-st 7 rows (begin with a purl row)
change to red yarn
8.knit
change to light green yarn
9-13. st-st 5 rows
14.  *k2tog, k3* along (16sts)
15. BO loosely

Leave a long yarn tail to draw through the last stitch. Use the long yarn tail to mattress stitch together the row ends until you read the cast on stitches, weave in any loose yarn ends.



Girl Elf Costume
CO 24 in dark green
1. purl

change to light green yarn
2. k1, k2tog, k21 (23sts)
3. purl
4. k1, k2tog, k20 (22sts)
5. purl
6. k1, k2tog, k19 (21sts)
7. purl
8. k1, k2tog, k18 (20sts)
9-11. st-st 3 rows (begin with purl row)
change to red yarn
10-11. st-st 2 rows
14.  *k2tog, k3* along (16sts)
15. BO loosely

Leave a long yarn tail to draw through the last stitch. Use the long yarn tail to mattress stitch together the row ends until you read the cast on stitches, weave in any loose yarn ends.
 
Arms (make 2)
The arms are knit by i-cord, if you are unfamiliar with this technique check out this video which teaches you how to i-cord, scroll down to just before the bottom, instructions for English and continental knitters.
CO 3 in skin
i-cord 2 rows in skin
change to light green yarn (boy) or red yarn (girl)
i-cord for 5 rows
BO

Pull the yarn tail though the last stitch and leave to attach to the body. Tie up and weave in any loose ends from yarn change and cast on.



Hat
CO 18 in  dark green
1. purl
change to red yarn
2-4. st-st 3 rows
5. *p2tog, p4* along (15sts)
6. *k2tog, k3* along (12sts)
7. purl
8. *k2tog, k2* along (9sts)
9. purl
10. *k2tog, k1* along (6sts)
11. purl
12. *k2tog* along (3sts)
13-17. st-st 5 rows


Cut yarn, leaving a long tail. Draw tail through remaining stitches and pull tightly and secure. Use tail to mattress stitch row ends closed until you  reach the cast on stitches. Tie oof and weave in any loose yarn ends.
**TIP** how about adding a little jingle bell to the end of the hat?

Optional Girl Braids (make 2)
Cut  3 x 3" strands of hair coloured yarn
thread the three stands through a stitch at the bottom of the hat, even up on each side and braid the stands. Tie a knot once you reach the desired length and trim any excess yarn.



Finishing
  • Slip the outfit over the peg doll to provide a structure. Use the long yarn tail to attach the arms each side of the body (use the photos as guidance).
  • Embroider on a belt buckle and buttons for the boy and a little collar for the girl (I used wool felt and fabric glue, do not use this if for a child who will put the toy in its mouth.)
  •  You can paint the dolls or leave them unfinished, they look super cute both ways.
These are how my dolls looked in a more simplistic style without arms (good for young kids) as well as unpainted.

As these are so quick to knit up I'm going to be releasing a whole series of Christmas characters so check back for more peg doll updates.
Happy knitting
♥ Raynor