knits by emma gets a photoshoot

Two of my very good friends were kind enough to help me out with a quick photoshoot for knits by emma last weekend. We had heaps of fun frolicking around in the back garden. Summer in Perth is exceptionally bright, even at 6pm, but we still were able to get a few good shots.

So here’s a quick glance at what you all can expect to see from me in 2014. The girls and I had such a great time with this, and I really believe the photos capture the essence of my products. I like fun and functional and of course beautiful cables!

Two of the colors I have available have not been photographed in the current shoot, but I plan to remedy that shortly. My accessories are designed by me and have been hand-knit from 100% Australian merino machine-washable yarn. Many of the products photographed have been machine-washed already and tested for durability and color retention.

Next on my list is to obtain sewn-on labels with brand name and care instructions. I’m in discussions right now with a supplier on Etsy.

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Another Harold on the needles

I have been itching to do some non-Christmas-related knitting so I can share what I’ve been up to on the blog. My Christmas present projects are heaps of fun, but I don’t want to give anything away. I finished my dad’s and my sister Rachel’s gifts. Mom’s is probably 35% done and Nora’s is past the halfway mark. I’m just waiting on more yarn to come in from my LYS.

I also finished a takeaway coffee cozy the other day for knits by emma. I whipped up a quick little design and finished it off while watching Gilmore Girls (my all-time favorite show).

Demonstrated on my wrist until I can get a cup

Demonstrated on my wrist

Two nights ago I cast on another Harold. It’s kind of a funny story.

So I purchased The Big Book of Knitted Monsters for my kindle probably a little over a month ago now. I haven’t had the “right needle sizes” to get anything started, but Rebecca Danger believes in working with what you’ve got, so I decided to just go for it and make it work for myself. Plus a monster is very season-appropriate.

I browsed carefully through every pattern in the book and hunted for photos of finished monsters on ravelry. Finally I decided to just start with the first monster in the book, since I eventually want to knit them all anyway. I was about halfway into the body, which I’m doing in stripes to use up some leftovers, when I realized I was making Harold the Houseplant Monster. I turned to Matt and exclaimed, Omigod! It’s another Harold! We had a giggle at the coincidence. The only other toy I’ve ever made was named by me: Harold Bartemius Hippo.

Harold 2 now has a body and is currently gaping and stuffed. I need to run to Spotlight and see if they have any eyes I can use for him before I close up the top. He will also get felt teeth.

I guess I should have realized he’d be HUGE since I’m using bulky yarn. I’ll keep tabs on my progress. I expect things to slow down a bit in the knitting department since NaNoWriMo starts TOMORROW. Happy Halloween everyone!

The Fan Enough headband tutorial

Crafty Football Blog HopWelcome to the knits by emma entry for the 2013 Crafty Football Blog Hop! Crafters from various disciplines have gotten together to bring you some projects that will get you geared up for a great season. There’s a reason we love this time of year, so get in touch with your creative side, and while you scream at the TV all of Sunday afternoon, GET CRAFTING!

Anyone who has actually met or spoken to me is probably aware that I am a massive Green Bay Packers fan. Growing up in Minnesota as the daughter of a hardcore Cheesehead and Wisconsin native wasn’t always smooth sailing amongst the throng of rabid Vikings supporters. But my sisters and I never lost faith in our boys and taunted and heckled our peers right back, knowing our team would (and does) always come out on top!

For this tutorial I decided to design a piece that combined my love of the Green and Gold with my passion of knitting headbands. This was designed to be unisex. It’s also a quick little project and would suit most any skill level.

Fan Enough headband

Fan Enough headband

Fan Enough headband

Materials used:

  • 1 skein in main color (MC) – approx. 54m (Debbie Bliss cashmerino Aran 50g ball)
  • 1 skein in contrasting color (CC) – approx. 63m (Loyal machine-washable DK/8ply)*
  • A 5mm, 40cm circular needle (US size 8, 16” circular needle)
  • 1 stitch marker (SM)
  • 1 tapestry needle

    Perfect Packer-colored yarn

    Perfect Packer-colored yarn

Gauge and tips:

18 sts and 24 rows for a 10cm square

I chose two different yarn weights because of the colors available at my local yarn store, but this headband would best be done on *two Aran/Worsted weight yarns. The DK will knit up looser on a 5mm needle, but it shouldn’t be so loose that it becomes holey. Knit consistently, don’t pull it too tight or it won’t stretch as nicely over the head. Always change colors at the beginning of a round. Pay close attention to which rows are in MC and which are in CC.

Pattern instructions:

Cast on (CO) 74 sts in CC and join in the round. Place SM to indicate the beginning of a new round. (TIP: I sometimes cast on an extra stitch and knit the first and last stitch together [k2tog] when joining in the round to make it smoother and firmer)

CO in CC, then purl in MC to create a lovely striped effect

CO in CC, then purl in MC to create a lovely striped effect

Rows 1-6: Purl in MC

Row 7: Purl in CC

Rows 8-11: Knit in CC

Rows 12-17: Purl in MC

Rows 18-23 Purl in CC

Row 24: Purl in MC

Ends to be woven in

Ends to be woven in

Rows 25-28: Knit in MC

Rows 29-34: Purl in CC

Bind off (BO) loosely in MC (TIP: I recommend this article on Crafsy)

Weave in ends using tapestry needle. Take care when weaving in the loose ends; you don’t want to make it too tight, especially in the CO and BO areas.

Block lightly if need be.

IMG_2274 IMG_2269

Be sure to check out the rest of the blog hoppers below. I can’t wait to try out some of these great ideas myself. Happy crafting everyone, and GO PACK GO!

knits by emma hits the streets!

Picture 8

I’m proud to announce that knits by emma will make its first public appearance at the Smart Street Parties series happening down in Mandurah’s Smart Street Mall.

The series includes four events spread out over the next four months, and I will be showcasing at the January and February Suitcase Markets next year. I will fill a suitcase of beautiful knits to sell and display. 1 suitcase=1 stall. It will literally be a trunk show!

Check out their blog for more information. The Twilight Markets will take place on Fridays from 5-9pm on November 8th, December 6th, January 17th and Valentine’s Day.

I’ll post more info as it gets closer to the date. If you’re a Perth-based crafter looking to participate, I encourage you to apply quick as places are limited!

The little tweaks keep crafting fun!

Hi readers! It’s the Monday night of a three-day weekend and I have to say I’m feeling refreshed and rejuvenated after a good weekend of fun, friends, quality time with my man, and of course plenty of knitting.

A new cable, a new copper beauty

A new cable, a new copper beauty

I finished this new headband design for the shop in a beautiful copper shade, and wore one of my other headbands out on Saturday night for a bit of casual promotion while catching up with mates. Since it picked up a hint of “pub” smell, I had a great excuse to test the yarn for machine wash-ability. It came out of the machine completely intact and even softer than it went in!

I also played around with some ideas for an upcoming craft blogging event in which I have been kindly invited to participate (won’t give too much away just yet).

Today after a good gym session I spent most of the day just adding potential patterns to my Ravelry queue. I must have been living under a rock because I haven’t really gotten into the site until the last month or so. The long weekend gave me the time to actually browse through patterns properly. Any knitters not already on the site should join immediately. It’s such a great source for patterns, advice, ideas, yarn reviews and to see what other knitters are up to.

I was keen to try something a bit more fun this evening, so I landed on the Kimono Slippers. This was a great, simple little project that I could tell would be super quick and give me a great chance to dip into some stash yarn. I ended up using Panda Tempo 100% acrylic (I’m not exactly a fiber snob, and this yarn happens to be very pretty and soft) which I bought on sale for $3/skein some time ago.

Kimono Slipper prior to stitching up

Kimono Slipper prior to stitching up

As you can see, these slippers are worked flat, which is great for a quick project. I didn’t bother with gauge or even using the recommended needle size. I just went for it and made sure to sew it up well.

One down, one to go

One down, one to go

I finished one slipper tonight while Matt kindly cooked up our steak dinner. I was in the knitting zone. After dinner I sewed up the edges according to the instructions. I think this one is actually meant to be the left slipper, but it feels more comfortable on my right foot, so I’ve just gone with that. I was ready for a break, so I resolved to make its partner later in the week.

However after leaving it be for about 10 minutes, I decided it just wasn’t right. It needed a bit of an embellishment before I’d really be satisfied with it. And so…

Garter stitch strap with button hole to the rescue!

Garter stitch strap with button hole to the rescue!

I thought it would make a nice touch to knit up a quick garter stitch strap and add a button to make it a bit more exciting. Matt agrees that it looks heaps better, and I’m pretty happy with it too. The strap is also functional, as it’ll keep my foot from slipping out. It’s great to take the framework of an existing pattern and spruce it up using your own knowledge. This is definitely one of my favorite things about crafting.

I made the smallest size as my feet aren’t all that big, but I could maybe have gone medium. In any event this slipper is easy to “try on” while you’re stitching it up to ensure it will fit. I still have plenty of yarn on the skein as well, so hopefully I can get a second slipper out of it without having to break into another.

Booty from below

Booty from below

These acrylic slippers are great for the Australian climate, since they protect my bare feet from the chilly floors, but also won’t make me overheat in the warmer months. If you want something really cozy, I’d go for wool.

For the strap, I cast on 6 stitches, working a garter stitch pattern (knitting every row) and creating a button hole three stitches wide a few rows before the end (there are heaps of great buttonhole tutorials out there, it can be tricky the first few times). My advice for this whole project (including the strap) is to slip the first stitch of every row (knitwise or purlwise appropriately) to keep the edges nice and clean.

I encourage everyone to take chances in your crafting. You never know what sort of touch ups might just add a little personal flair to your project. Plus it’s great to use extra supplies that are just lying around your craft space. I have a whole bag of buttons just waiting for opportunities like this.