Cotton Wool Balls

  1. Into a Magic Circle, 1ch, 6sc, sl st in 1st sc to join.
  2. 2sc in each sc, around. (12 sts)
  3. 1sc, inc in each sc, around. (18 sts)
  4. Sc around.
  5. Sc around.
  6. Sc around.
  7. Sc around.
  8. 1sc, dec, around. (12 sts)
  9. Stuff ball with pure wool.
  10. sc2tog, around. (6 sts)
  11. Break yarn, thread through remaining sts, pull tight, fasten securely

Repeat 200 times.

That was the main part of a project me and Chris were working on, the idea being to make our own pillows as neither of us wanted to be poisoned by formaldehyde from the polyester pillows we had been sleeping on. (note: we do not vouch for the validity of the article, just something else to consider in the sick polluted world in which we live.)

We could have bought feather pillows, but as we had the ability to make our own, we did.

And failed.

It just did not turn out as comfortable as we wished and so the pillowcases that Chris knitted so exquisitely in Jumbo Cotton White,  from Yarn Paradise were frogged, and no, that is NOT an affiliate link, but clicking it may well force you to purchase unknown quantities of yarn 😉

As for the 200 Cotton Wool Balls…

I’m sure that one day, when I’ve recovered, I’ll think of something to do with them!



Here we go Looby Lou…

When I was a kid I wasn’t really interested in dolls, especially Tiny Tears who leaked everywhere, I was quite relieved when my cousin pulled its head off. However, my next doll was something special, she was called Looby Lou, I think that was the type of doll it was, I wasn’t big on naming dolls! This is similar to the one I had.

I’ve lately been overwhelmed by waves of nostalgia and thought it would be nice to find another Looby Lou doll, mine disappeared a long time ago. Then I had a John Zaffis moment and realised it may not be the best thing to buy someone elses childhood doll, who knows what memories might be attached.

So the only sensible option was to make my own, not too hard, but there is an awful lot of sewing involved, and as I still haven’t mastered my sewing machine, that left me with crocheting a doll, or knitting one. Crocheting one would be easier for all the shaping that’s involved, but I wasn’t happy with the look, so I had to step up to the plate and knit myself a new Looby Lou, sometimes I have the stupidest ideas.

I can’t precisely remember when I started knitting because I did a lot of ‘scrap’ pieces to work out the feet and hands. But I do know I purchased a very large amount of Rico Cotton Aran at the beginning of September 2017. And I haven’t stopped knitting since, and re-knitting, and frogging, and re-writing, and reordering colours, and completely re-knitting the doll 3 times before I was happy.

Louby Lou measures approximately 28″ in height, and within my limited knitting knowledge, I do not feel I could have knitted her any better.

The body is knitted in Aran, but using 3.00mm needles to give it firmness, I also used ‘non-carded’ filling which isn’t as fluffy and gives better shape definition. Her hair is a mixture of mohair and fine alpaca, very fine in fact, but interestingly, after giving it a good comb through, it feels and smells like my original dolls hair.

That was probably the biggest project I will every work on…but now I have a happy 🙂


I got a knitting machine

Instructions: Take title of this post and sing repeatedly to the tune of ‘Silver Machine‘ by Hawkwind.

Seriously though. the industrial revolution has just arrived at the CraftShack (two hundred years late, but better than never, and in any case they never had much in the way of Internet services back in the 1790s 🙂 ) Yes, Shana has acquired a Knitmaster knitting machine. It will be tested and put through its paces hopefully later this week. Should I consider my role as a part-time dilettante knitter under threat? I don’t know. I doubt though whether the Knitmaster will ever manage to be such a grumbler as I (I think I’ve dropped a stitch about five rows back, can you help? or Oh no, I’ve miscounted this row of eight, or Can you help me to untangle this yarn barf?) No, I reckon the Knitmaster has its work cut out if it wants to be even half as good as a real human knitter 🙂

Enough from me though. I’ll let Shana report further when there’s something to report.

The fine art of knitting

Knitting. It’s not just a skill: it’s an art. But what happens if you are one of those multi-creative types who just can’t make up their mind whether to craft a beautiful sweater or churn out a few watercolours?

As you may have guessed, I have the perfect solution.

With a smattering of primary colours on standby (or in my case a few tubes of dried-up gouache) and your favourite plastic palette, you can safely grab a ball of artistic chunky acrylic and a couple of art brushes and start knitting away, safe in the knowledge that you can frog your boring yarn project whenever the call of the post-Impressionists reaches your artistic ear.

I did a few rows of what I have dubbed ‘artist’s two-by-two rib’ before I realised I was destined to be the next Monet. Being a typical artistic rebel I used two different brush sizes: number five and number three. Is that radical or what! 🙂