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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

FREE PATTERN - skinny rib fingerless gloves!

why not use this easy to execute ribbing stitch, for finishing your hats and scarves, even make a pair of skinny rib gloves... with dk yarn (8 ply) and size 4.5mm needles, cast on 36 stitches, knit in rib stitch until desired length to fit from wrist to middle of your fingers. cast off. Sew along the long side until there is approximately three inches left to sew. miss an inch and sew the rem aining two inches - that will be the thumbhole. They look really skinny and like they won't fit but trust me, this is a failproof pattern and very easy to make!!

from all-yarn-crafts.com for stitch execution of ribbing stitch!

just in time for Christmas, so get knitting!!!
:-) Tracey

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Crafting Clinic is officially in business!

Please let me assure you that things are now coming together. There have been a few little hiccups with website builders, hosts and ghosts in the gaspipes lol but The Crafting Clinic is alive and well and now permanently resides here:

and your friendly Crafting Clinic Nurse (that'd be moi!) is only too happy to assist where I can!

Please drop me a line anytime, and lets get these yarn crafts started (or finished)...

your friendly Crafting Clinic Nurse,
Tracey :-)

5 Things You Should Know About Freeform Crochet

by Tracey Waller - as published on Ezine Articles 

There are 5 things you should know about Freeform Crochet that could inspire you to give this wonderful concept a try. It is certainly making a comeback, among the artistic works that we are seeing emerge from home industry workers. It is considered to be the abstract arts of yarn creating, and when you get further into the actual logistics of the craft, you will soon see why.

Firstly, it is easy to do! Yes, it is all in your imagination and no one has a right way or a wrong way of executing Freeform Crochet. To that end, there is very little available in the way of structured patterns, which can be confusing for those wanting to give it a try.

Secondly, Freeform Crochet is very achievable. Consider each piece that you start, as a blank canvas. It is a growing, moving piece of art, that can be as big or how small as you desire. It gives the creator enormous scope with which to join clusters of texture and color together to form unlimited variations with ones imagination being its only limit!

Thirdly, Freeform Crochet has little or no structure so the creator has complete artistic license over their finished piece. it can be a mix of yarns and fibers, bringing a conglomerate of luxurious textures and forms together, or it can be as minimal as one basic fiber in one basic color.

Fourthly, It has such universal appeal that by looking at other pieces, we can glean inspiration and ideas from other Freeform Crochet artists. Interspersing knitted pieces into the growing fabric makes for an interesting finish that most Freeform Crochet artists aspire to ensuring originality and uniqueness!

The fifth thing you should know about Freeform Crochet, is that every piece is beautiful. You cannot make a mistake and you cannot go wrong. You can start with a basic circle with some already acquired stitch repertoire, or you can "wing it" with an array of experimental designs. colors and textures.

Whichever way you decide to tackle this incredibly clever crochet technique, one thing is for sure, you will soon become addicted to its versatile and enchanting product, and be truly breathing life back into all your scraps of yarn!

until next time, get freeforming, the sky is the limit!!

Tracey :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

LONG TAIL CAST ON..free video tutorial

how many times have we made the perfect beanie or pair of socks only to find that the cast on edge was just a tad too tight and the circumference of the garment kinds didn't fit? Then take a look at this easier alternative to normal cable cast on, or thumb cast on...

it gives all your cast on edges a crisp even edge with a generous stretch that does not weaken over time.

Courtesy of one of the many  free VIDEO TUTORIALS at All Yarn Crafts (click here to see more)

to see the Long tail Cast On VIDEO TUTORIAL CLICK HERE

TIP to work out how much yarn you need to execute this technique for the correct amount of stitches required for your pattern, wind the yarn around the needle the amount of stitches you require - then you will be sure to have enough tail to cast on with. Persevere, the first row you knit with this technique looks for all the world that it is loose and uneven - THAT IS NORMAL... as you knit, the fabric compresses into itself and melds the stitches into an even crisp edge hence the forgiving stretch at the completion of your garment :-)

til next time... practice practice practice...

Tracey :-)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

FREE kids project idea: THILLY THOCK THING!!

Okay, so its almost time for the silly season, and you have a mountain of kids about to descend on you for the big occasion. Don't break out in a rash!! Go to hubby's sock drawer, and "borrow" on a long tern basis, a pair of his scrappiest socks, and do what I did...

I dragged out the craft box, snitched some yarn, a few beads, a bit of lace and made Tha"Hara the Thnake puppet for the Visitor's Toy Box. Now when the little tigers come to play, they can make their own plays and shows up and perform them for all the family...even the adults can get involved. These make the perfect anecdote for rainy days and days when boring is given the cold rush in favor of some puppeteering!

Set the Stage: put two chairs about 6 feet apart, but backs facing each other, and drape a table cloth or old sheet over them to form a curtain. Pop another chair that has a back on it, so you can drape that sheet over the back of that chair, in front of the sheet, the seat part will be the actual stage!! Put two chairs together side by side, to make a bigger stage, and drape another sheet over the seat parts to cover up all the activity behind the scenes...

Children and adults alike will love playing Punch and Judy, or better still, choose characters that mean a lot to them like, granmar and granpar and dress them accordingly. You can make easy changes of clothes by cutting large squares out of fabric, and a hole in the middle and sew elastic or joined elastic bands around the opening to make it stretchable  to fit over the hand of the puppeteer, and therefore have a smock or a cloak which is a change if they need to make a different character... draw bow ties on the smock, or pockets, or pretend patches and stitches...place snap on moustaches and woolly hair pieces that can be removed to change the look of the puppet.

See?... a really cheap and loaded with fun fun fun way to fill your childrens toy boxes AND imaginations  - and using up all those odds and ends that clutter the busy box!! And not a game-boy, or X box in sight... yay!!!

Please post your creations, we would love to see them...!!!

til next time...keep them projects rolling!!!
Tracey :-)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Eeny Weeny Preemie Boots FREE PATTERN

you are going to love these Eeny Weeny Preemie Boots:

1 pair of size 4.00mm straight needles (US size 6)
<20g acrylic Dk yarn
wool needle for sewing seams and toe section
embellishments as desired eg buttons, embroidery etc (look at the pictures for ideas!)

Cast on 16 stitches
Knit every row for 16 rows
cut yarn approx 10cm
thread darning needle and thread through all stitches on needle and pull firmly but gently to cinch the toe section into a circle and fold in half
sew a tiny seam for 3 - 4 ridges of garter stitch - cut yarn
fold the cast on edge in half and sew the cast on edge together to form closure for the heel.

FOR BUTTON FLAP VERSION -do not complete the sewing of the heel section. Pick up 5 stitches and knit for about 12 - 14 rows or length required to reach button when sewn in place. completing the last row: knit 4 yarn over needle, knit 4
next row: bind off (button hole made.
sew a little tiny button on the side where the button hole would sit.
complete for the other side, using the opposite side to pick up the stitches.

the heel flap version (as in the red pair as well)
to allow postnatal tubes to flowfreely in the humidicrib

now these will really make the lil toes of those tiny treasures look good enough to squeeze...if not eat!!

Please let me see your versions so that we can showcase them here in your Crafting Clinic...

til next time, stay savvy!!
Tracey :-)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Concise ONLINE Yarn Crafting gifts and supplies!

Just check these out: PARADISE FIBERS

You will find everything for anyone...and still time to get in before the Christmas RUSH!! 


LOTS OF TIME TO GET STARTED on those gorgeous handmade CHRISTMAS GIFTS...



Some amazing yarn craft books packed with hundreds of fantastic crafting projects. CHECK THEM OUT - ideal gifts for CHRISTMAS!

Monday, November 9, 2009

stress-less CHRISTMAS.. fact or fiction?

It is creeping up on all of us again, and at this time of the year, we tend to brave the elements in whatever part of the world we live in, to gather up our Christmas goodies well in time for the big day.

Why don't you give yourself a real break from all that hassle and all that expense?

I have made it my plan for the past ten years now, to create little gifts for the friends that I treasure so much, and tuck them away for the appropriate gift giving time. Sometimes it is as a group, when my crafters all get together for out Christmas nosh up... other times, I am invited to do demonstrations at little local church halls, and then get the opportunity to give my little "thank you and Merry Christmas" gifts to my students and friends.

Is Christmas expensive? - FACT - yes!

CAN I really stress less at Christmas Gift Giving Time? - FACT - YES... a lot of people may have answered no, and thought of it as fiction but the fact is... you can also save a lot of money by creating hand made crafted gifts from simple things like one skein scarves, or a pair of easy knit or crochet mittens, or slippers and hats.

There are so so many wonderful resources available on the net now that give us all manner of ideas and creative inspirations, that we can start creating our Christmas Gift list as early as the day after Christmas...at least you will have everything ready for the next one in time!!

Lets face it... we get so busy with the actual preparations and running around during the holiday season, we owe it to ourselves to relax and enjoy the looks on the faces of those people we love, when they receive something that you yourself have made.

Over the next few posts, I am going to show you some really simple things that you can make, and list them as free patterns in my Yahoo Group pages  - SO JOIN TODAY - by clicking the link at the top of this page, and you will gain access, as a member, to all the exciting things that we as a group are encouraged to share!

It is not too late to get the needles and hooks out now and start on your Christmas Gifts right now...with the Crafting Clinic always available to offer advice, I cannot see why you are wasting time reading my blog when you should be creating :-)

needles are calling...
til next time, please, stay safe and enjoy your craft - whatever it is...

Tracey :-)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Weaving in ends?? Bah Humbug!!

Have you ever been so excited at the prospect of finishing your project, only to find that when it is all done, there is a mile of ends to weave in???

Well, over the years, I have incorporated a genius method of making sure I never have to weave in ends ever again :-)

Don't think it is possible?? Then allow me to post a question that was asked of the Knitting Clinic Group I moderate in my Ravelry life:
Does anyone have any advice for casting on cotton, bamboo or linen yarns so that the cast on edge doesn’t have that loose, loopy look (other than a provisional cast on). Similarly, any tips for joining the same yarns within a project without tying a knot?
Thanks -
I replied with the following advice:
hi there! thanks for posting a question!
I find when knitting with cotton, using the “long tail” cast on method is wonderful for creating a crisp even edge along the cast on edge.
To create a nice even edge for joining seams, I slip the first stitch of every row, the opposite to what the stitch is going to be. For example, if it is a knit row, I slip the first stitch purlwise as if to purl it, then bring the yarn back to the knit position, and vice versa for the purl rows. You can see that method of slipping the first stitch clearly making that edge in my pattern for scrap yarn baby shoes.
And as for joining yarns mid row, I leave a tail of working yarn of about 3 inches, and place a tail of the new yarn against the back of the fabric and knit the next stitch with the new yarn. I then take the old working yarn and lay it along the line of live stitches yet to be knitted from the left hand needle and watching the yarn placement, weave the yarn as I go, placing the yarn either under or over the next live stitch wrap. It weaves in beautifully as you continue to work and no weaving in when you have finished!!
…” a gift from the hands is a gift from the heart”
to which they replied:
Oh. My. God. You are a genius! (The no weaving part.) How do you think of this stuff?

how much joy is it to share?? I hope that you got something out of this in respect of weaving in your ends... kiss that technique well and truly goodbye!! This way is so much easier :-)

Until next time...keep those fingers busy!!
Tracey :-)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Losses and Wins,,,life can be so complicated!

Losses: R I P my darling dear friend. My best friend and amazing mentor, was killed yesterday morning in a tragic accident that has left her husband fighting for his life in a local hospital. This lady taught me just about all the tricks of the trade with my handcrafts, especially the later years. My life and my heart will never be the same again. Please, please, God, take care of this very special friend, this incredible human being who gave and gave so much, right up until she was snatched away. Amen angel, you will be so sadly missed.

Wins: New to my cache of  Crafting Clinic resources is our new Yahoo Group. Please join and help to make this group YOUR very own, by adding comments, contributions, and all things yarn related. I will be posting digests on a regular basis along with my own published articles from the Ezine network. As one door slams shut, another opens wider than the last... my loss, whilst almost unbearable, makes way for this amazing win... so please, be part of the yarn crafting family and help to keep the Crafting Clinic busy!!

(the link to join the Yahoo group is at the top of this page!)

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