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Ball winders and belts

10 Feb

I spent a puzzling afternoon with a new friend once when I had just started knitting again after a 20-year gap. She was using a ball winder and a swift to make lovely balls out of a skein/hank of yarn. What puzzled me was that she didn’t just wind a ball and leave it at that, she wound it into a ball, then wound it again into another ball and finally into a third ball which she kept. I couldn’t understand why she would spend good knitting time fiddling around with balls. Well, this week I found out why.

Wendy trad aran

I borrowed a ball winder from a lovely friend with the intention of making balls from some skeins I had recently bought and from a HUGE ball of wool she gave me herself. So, I wound a ball and enjoyed it. But it was a bit loose. So I wound it again from the first ball and it was better. But it still wasn’t right. So I held the yarn going in between my fingers to give it some tension and the ball was fantastic. I was hooked. From then on, I spent the rest of the evening playing with a 500g ball of wool, making perfect little 50g balls with it. The feeling of satisfaction was enormous. I particularly like the moment when you pull the ball off the winder and the yarn rushes in to fill the gap it left. Super!

Wendy trad aran

All wound up!

So I finished the belt pattern and it’s published. In case you weren’t reading my last entry, it’s a free pattern for a Tunisian crochet belt that you can do without buying any special equipment. All you need is a 6mm crochet hook that can hold 6 stitches at once, some aran yarn and something fancy to edge it with. Then you can go mad and decorate it as much as you like. So, Linda will add in the link here because I’m rubbish at that… She will probably put in a photo….  or 2…..  as well.

Opus 1901

Opus 1901

Linda has been very busy recently and has published lots of new stuff. I’ll tell you more about that next week, or Linda will herself. Or she might have another rant, which is all good.

Happy knitting/hooking 🙂

tags: ball winder swift wendy traditional aran yarn free tunisian crochet pattern belt winding cake


Reduce, Reuse, Knit

30 Jan

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without” …

I often wonder if we will ever get to a stage with our planet that we have to reuse everything rather than making new things. In the last few years, we have become so skilled at this that I think we would probably manage it OK. So, work on your reusing skills with Linda’s latest pattern.

She has dyed and cut up several old t-shirts and made them into something new – a beautiful and unique cushion cover. I think the best thing about this type of project is that no two covers will be the same – the raw materials will vary in fabric and colour, the edge bits will come at different places, and you put a bit of your own personality into each one. And then you choose to embellish your cover as much or as little as you like. And the best thing is – the pattern is free. You just need to download it, find some old t-shirts and get going.

Opus 2100 Cushion Cover

Recycled t-shirts

You can browse our free catalogue or just go straight to Opus 2100.

I promised you a pattern for Tunisian Crochet that didn’t need any extra equipment. Well, the pattern is written and we just need to get some outdoor photos taken and the pattern will be available to download. This one will be free as well. Here’s a sneak preview of a couple of samples:

Opus 1901

Opus 1901

Happy knitting all 🙂

Opus 1901

Opus 1901

Tags: belt cushion free opus knitting opusknitting pattern patterns tunisian crochet recycled teeshirt tee-shirt t-shirt yarn ribbon embroidery