knits by sachi

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Here is the very last minute inspirations for you.

How to make Mummy

Materials
• Wire or pipe cleaners
• 8g white DK
• Small amount of dark brown DK
Equipment
• 3mm crochet hook

Make the body frame with wire. Bend the wire to make a circle for each foot and the head.
Make chains of 10cm with crochet hook. Wrap the body frame starting from the foot end securing with stitches time to time.
Wrap middle of the face with dark brown yarn. Wrap the head with chains leaving a small opening for eyes (eyes? but you know what I mean..).
Wrap arms. Wrap the torso the last.

* If your wire is too fine, wrap the body frame first with white yarn to give a little more volume.

So, there is no knitting. Sorry to disappoint knitters.

Be safe and have fun tonight.

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A sweet Christmas gift

A sweet Christmas gift

Some of knitters may spend run-up Christmas frantically making gifts for others.

It is so fun to make presents. You wonder what they would appreciate, shop materials for the project, and think of them while you knit.

When words are not enough, your hand made gifts will certainly help to tell them how you feel.

It doesn’t matter how big or small, well made or not.

One Christmas my mum knitted this vest for my son.

I guess this is a very granny thing. A mother of a toddler thinks more practical and won’t make this, because

1. The child will outgrow so quickly and won’t be able to fit in the following year.
2. His brother can’t wear it because he got a different name. (One-year-old can’t read, I know, but still)

But I absolutely loved it!

My mum had re-used the yarn from my old jumper. I liked that, too. No wonder it looked a bit familiar.

When I think of it now, I guess she knitted this vest for me. It was for me to dress my son and admire how cute he looked in it.

Do I still have it? Of course! It is in my memorabilia box with all my other treasures.

Oh, you know what? If my son named his son Junior one day, my grand son could wear that.

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I am a superhero, too!

I am a superhero, too!

What a stormy weather we just had in England!

I grew up in the south west of Japan where hurricanes hit quite often. They get two to three every year.

People over there may be a little better prepared than here, but we still get lots of damages and some lose their lives.

Natural disasters do make us feel humble and small. We can never win over the Earth.

And we all know that is why we need to look after our planet. We only got this one.

But however physically small we may be, we are strong. All of us.

All hurricanes go away in the end. We can pick up debris and move on.

I want to stop worrying about tomorrow. I don’t want to live a life I would regret.

I want to love people around me and keep on smiling.

Because no matter what happens I know I can come back stronger.

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Warm breakfast

Warm breakfast

My boys usually have cereals for breakfast, but sometimes I bake muffins and pancakes. It is nice to have warm breakfast in Winter.

No time for baking in the morning? But it takes less than 10 minutes to mix ingredients.

Memorize this easy recipe or stick the recipe on your fridge door until you know it by heart.

Basic muffin: makes 12
Ingredients
1 3/4 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter, margarine or oil
1 beaten egg

Use measuring cups and do not weigh ingredients. This recipe does not require accuracy.

You can add dried fruits, chocolate chips or chopped nuts if you would like. Here I added 2tbsp of cocoa powder and dark chocolate chunks. I also reduced flour to 1 and 1/2 cups and added 1/4 cup bran.

Mix all the dry ingredients and wet ingredients and bake in muffin cups for 20 minutes, gas mark 5. ( 400 F, 200 C)

That’s all.

I heard a lot of teenagers miss breakfast, but not my boys. 9 of these muffins go in one sitting.

Nice warm muffins are irresistible.

I discovered baking works to improve the relationships in a family. When my boys are going through a typical teenager phase of “Don’t talk to me, mum”, I bake a cake or biscuits before they come home.

I say nothing. But they feel they are loved and cared and I know that is all they need.

Happy Baking.

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My little life tips

My little life tips

Here is my family 14 years ago.

I had my two sons one after another. They are only 15 months apart.

My life was so chaotic then. It is beyond your imagination how things are like if you haven’t gone through this. It was certainly beyond mine.

From morning to night I was running like mad.

I didn’t even dreamed of myself engaging any hand craft.

One day at a toddlers’ club, we were given origami paper to make a Christmas decoration. It was very simple to make, something you could do in 5 minutes.

One piece of paper for each child, so I had two pieces.

And I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t even touch the paper. I was mentally so exhausted and I couldn’t bring myself to fold a piece of paper.

I saw other parents having fun with their children, talking through as they showing steps. I saw lots of smiles and heard excited voices.

My boys looked at me blankly. I felt like crying.

Raising children is a tough job which is often overlooked and is not enough appreciated.

I should have given myself a break and not worry about origami paper.

My mum said, ” You don’t have to think you need to become a good mum.” and she was right. As always.

If you are going through a difficult time in your life and feeling left out or not achieving enough, don’t worry, your time will come.

Relax and keep on smiling.

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Little witch girl and her cat

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Halloween doesn’t have to be all about scary stuff. Here is my little cute witch girl and her cat.
They are knitted flat and sewn together at the end. It is an easy, quick and fun project.

Size: girl 8cm, cat 2cm

Materials
• 10g black DK
• Small amount of fair skin tone DK
• Small amount of fine light brown yarn or use 2 strands from DK
• Twigs from your garden
• Stuffing (toy filling, wool fleece or cotton wool)

Equipment
• A pair of 2.75mm (US 2) knitting needles
• 3mm crochet hook

Abbreviations
St/st: stocking stitch
St: stitch
K: knit
P: purl
Kf/b: k one through the front then through the back (same stitch)
K2tog: knit two together
P2tog: purl two together

Witch girl
Body
Starting with the base, cast on 8 sts with black.
Row 1: p
Row2: kf/b in each st (16)
Row3: p
Row4: (k1, kf/b) to end (24)
Row5: k for fold line
Row6-9: st/st, starting with k row
Row10: (k1, k2tog, k1) to end (18)
Rwo11-17: st/st, starting with p row
Row18: (k1, k2tog) to end (12)
Row19: change to skin tone and p
Row20: (k2, kf/b) to end (16)
Row21-25: st/st
Row26: (k2, k2tog) to end (12)
Break yarn, thread sts through a sewing needle, draw up tightly.

Cape
Cast on 22 sts with black.
Row1-7: st/st, starting with k row
Row8: (p1, p2tog, p1) to last 2 sts, p2 ( )
Row9-12: st/st
Rwo13: (k1, k2tog) to last 2 sts, k2 (12)
Cast off.

Hat
Cast on 2 sts with black.
Row1-2: st/st
Row3: kf/b in each st (4)
Row4-6: st/st
Row7: kf/b in each st (8)
Row8: p
Row9: kf/b in each st (16)
Row10-13: st/s
Row14: k for fold line
Row15: kf/b in each st (32)
Row16: p
Row17:k
Cast off.

To make up

Body: Work a gathering thread through every stitch on the base centre and draw up tightly. Sew the rest of the base, bringing the thread back to the base centre. Do not cut the yarn. Starting at gathered top edge of the head, join head seam down to the neck. Change to black yarn and sew down the body seam, leaving an opening for stuffing. Stuff the head and body then close the seam. Tip: avoid stuffing the neck area. Make a small ball of stuffing to stuff the head, then, stuff the body.
Shape neck: With skin-tone yarn, work a gathering thread through every stitch on the base of the neck and draw up tightly to shape neck.

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Thread the yarn left at the base centre. Take the needle through centre of the body to the back of the neck. Pass the needle back through the body again to come out at the centre of the base. Pull yarn tight to flatten base for stability.

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Hair: thread fine light brown yarn, then pierce the needle through one side of the head to the other leaving long loops each time. Make plaits and tie the end with pink yarn.

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Wind fine light brown yarn around your 3 fingers. Place it on top of the head with the loops facing forward. Sew it on then cut the loops.

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Hat: starting at the gathered top edge of the hat, join the seam down to the cast on edge. Attach the hat to the head then trim the front hair to your desired length.

Attach the cast off edge of the cape to the neck.
She has no arms to make.

To make a broom, cut fine twigs to the length of 3cm and bundle them together with a small branch of 9cm.

Cat
Starting with base, cast on 4 sts with black,
Row1: kf/b in each st (8)
Row2: k
Row3-6: st/st, starting with k row
Row7: shape neck (k2tog) to end (4)
Row8: pf/b in each st (8)
Row9-11: st/st
Break yarn, thread sts through a sewing needle, draw up tightly.

Tail
With crochet hook make 6 chains and fasten off. Hide the fasten-off end yarn into the tail.

To make up
Sew the body following the instructions given for the witch girl. Shape neck the same way as done for the girl.
Back stitch same spot 2 to3 times to create ears.
Attach tail.

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My article

My article

I submitted an article a while ago to a knitting magazine. It has been almost 4 months now.

I originally thought mine was going into the October issue.

But October came and almost going, and the November issue is already out.

I started wondering what has become of my article. Did the editor thrown it away? They would certainly tell me so if things didn’t work as planed.

But I received an e-mail a couple of days ago. The article was neatly laid out with a beautifully taken professional photograph! I was suppose to check all the writings.

How exciting! My first proper job as a knit designer!

How did I get this job?

I just e-mailed the editor and show some photos of my works. I don’t know anyone in the editorial.

It was a little daunting, but you need to start from somewhere, so I knocked on her door.

I received the book publishing deal the same way. I sent a proposition to the editor.

I keep sending my ideas to magazines. Quite often I do not get any reply.

But who cares?

You need talent to recognize talent. If they don’t like your stuff, it is their loss, not mine!

The article will be in Knit Now issue 28, the next one coming out. It comes with my “Petite Polar Bear” knitting kit!

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Believing in myself

Believing in myself

Past few years I got myself involved in so many craft. I did

Dress making
Waldorf doll making
hand dyeing
spinning yarn
wet felting
needle felting
paper craft
woodwork
Japanese doll making
Sushi making
Cooking
Baking

Some said I spend a lot of time making most useless things.
I did wonder where I was going. And still, I cannot say I am 100% sure of my directions.
But it is a part of life isn’t it? A fun part of life.

I decided to believe in my talent.

One day, things will come together. It may not today or tomorrow, but it will come. To everyone.

To help me develop,

* I have mentors.

One is my mother who enjoys her life to full extent. She is very good at sewing, hand knitting, machine knitting and crochet. She is a fantastic cook, too.

Martha Stewart. I always wanted to be like her!

Having mentors gives you an idea on what you would like to achieve in your life.

* I take all records.

I am taking photos of my works and keep all patterns and recipes.

* I create something no one has ever done.

Forget the pain of trials and errors. All experiences are important and no time is wasted.

* I am to be always creative and looking out for new ideas.

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Needle felting made easy: felt picture

3 pigs with frame

Needle felting is very popular now. You see a lot of people making cute little animals and characters. You can make almost anything by sculpting wool fleece with a felting needle.

There is no rules and, this is a fairly easy craft for anyone to enjoy. I recommend this picture project to get used to felting.

Materials

* Wool fleece; DO NOT use Merino wool. Merino is for wet felting.
You can find more suitable fleece for needle felting in craft shops and online suppliers. It may look similar to Merino, but it is a little more coarse.

I use my hand dyed wool. I get fleece from a farmer and dye with plants or chemical acid dye. Fleece for needle felting do not have to be with high quality and quite often farmers are happy to give away.
These are my rescued wool.

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* Felting needle; You need special needle for felting. You cannot felt with ordinary sewing needle.
Felting needles are barbed needles with no eyes. The barbs on the needles catch and lock the fibres together when the needle is pushed through them.

They come in different sizes called gauge,(36, 38 and 40)and shapes of point(star, triangular). The lower the number, like a size 36, usually the better for coarser fibers or beginning projects. The higher numbers (40) is better for the finer fibers and adding detail. Using the larger gauge needle leaves less visible holes in your finished project. Also there are star and triangular needles in all the sizes. The triangular is good for most projects where the star is used for applying detail.

I use 38, triangular. It is an all-rounder.

* Foam mat

* Pre-felt wool fabric (150g per metre)
You can get this on line. It doesn’t have to be pre-felt. You can use quilt wadding which is much easier to find in shops. You can felt on any fabric. You can felt on your jumper, too!

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Now, place your fabric on the mat, tear your wool and place coloured fleece on top. You hold the needle vertically to the surface and stab fleece and fabric using only up and down sewing machine like movement. Be careful not to apply pressure at an angle to the front side of the needle because you might break the needle.

You don’t have to stab too hard. Just use steady jabbing motion. You will see the fleece sticking to the fabric.

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You don’t have to draw an image prior to the felting. The fleece will come off if you pull at an early stage.

You can have fun with your children if they are above 6 years old. Just be very careful, the needle is very sharp!
Here is the picture my son made when he was 6. You can frame it with branches from your garden.

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It still hangs in our wall. My treasure piece.

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My handmade superhero

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Halloween is approaching. I used to moan about all those horribly coloured sweets and trouble dressing up my children. Thankfully my children were not so keen on dressing up, but one occasion, my older son wanted to be one of the Japanese superhero characters called Masked Rider.

I looked for the costume in shops but couldn’t find any. So, I decided to make one.

It was rather a complicated project. My sewing skill was quite limited then, so I took some sewing lessons. The finished piece wasn’t perfect, but I have to say I was and still am very pleased with this.

It is utterly fantastic to make something for someone you love, only for that special person to have a special moment.

My son is 16 now. He is about to face the real world and fight against real enemies.

But I hope he will treasure this happy memory as much as I do.

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