Sunday, 27 October 2013

Handmade Monday: Halloween Intarsia

For those of you that haven't yet come across the latest twitter chat sweeping the craft blog world.  You need to check it out here!  Each month a craft challenge is set and the October challenge was to create a Halloween decoration using a craft method you haven't tried before.

Which craft method?

I have to confess, I spent most of this month thinking about what to do.  After my big ripple blanket I got stuck in a bit of a creative rut.  All I could think about was crochet!

I posted some of my ideas here.  I also thought about quilling, and origami, and clay modelling and paper cutting (especially after seeing Hayley's amazing make).  I even thought about baking an edible halloween decoration.

[1] [2] [3] [4]

Just yesterday I went round my local town to look at what materials I could buy and decided to base my decision on what was available.  This did not help and I started to get annoyed that I hadn't made a decision sooner so I could have turned to the internet for help with sourcing materials.

Slightly irritated I decided I'd have to make do with the one material I have in absolute abundance. Wool.

That was it.  I was going to have to knit.

The project

I'm not really a knitter.  I'm OK with it until I drop a stitch or, as usually happens when I try, several stitches and several rows back and then I just can't work out what to do.  It frustrates me.  I find the long needles so awkward compared to a crochet hook.  Up until last night, I had always had to ask my mum or sister to cast on for me too.

As knitting is not completely new to me I decided I needed to do something a little more advanced than I've tried before. I sat down on the sofa armed with an episode of Jonathan Creek, some red wine, some yarn and needles and Stitch and Bitch.

Slowly but surely, my project grew and with a little encouragement from Emma at Girl in Knits it began to take shape.  I was originally going to attempt a little cat picture but I quickly realised that intarsia is not easy so I opted for a more straight forward witches hat shape.

New skills

- Casting on
- Casting off a purl row
- Decreasing by knitting two together, decreasing by 
- Simple, simple intarsia

The finished product

After knitting most of the phone cover I have to confess I did add a crochet edge to the top.  I just couldn't resist reverting back to the safe familiar motion of crochet.

The finished project is far from perfect and the making involved lots of swearing as I frantically tried to pick up dropped stitches before they disappeared a few rows back, but I'm pretty proud of myself.

Check out more handmade projects at Handmade Harbour for Handmade Monday and over at #craftblogclub at Life is Peachy.

What have you been making for Halloween?

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  1. Well done! It's quite a challenge to try something using techniques you aren't familiar with. I like that you finished off with something that's the craft equivalent of comfort food!! x

  2. Very brave accepting the challenge! It worked out nicely in the end and you have a new skill!

  3. It looks fab to me! You should try circular needles as they aren't as long and cumbersome!

  4. It's a lovely phone cover, and you should be proud of doing things that you're not as familiar with - you're a lot braver than I am.

  5. You've made a great phone cover, well done! Your knitting looks pretty good too me x

  6. Knitting is complicated! I can't knit and take my hat off to you for having the patience to try, Well done!


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