Friday, 11 November 2016

Paper, Paper


The last two weeks have been busy, and all about paper. I have long enjoyed repeating patterns,

how to make them and what intrinsic details they contain. I remember a project at school which was based around  designing an abstract pattern, then photocopying it and cutting it up to  create a repeating pattern. That was one class that has stood out to me for many years, I think it's one of the reasons that I love knitting in textures and designing repeating patterns for circular accessories such as hats and infinity scarves.





With a new A3 scanner and cheap software on the computer I have created some wrapping paper, aka gift wrap, for Christmas and for unspecified occasions too.













My mandala drawings have been utilised in many different ways, for repeating patterns on notebooks and envelopes for gifting money or vouchers.


And as you can see I have combined two of my greatest hobbies, paper crafting and my garden, by taking photos of what I've created in our great outdoors.

I now have ten paper items available to buy on Etsy, each with various colour choices or sizes, so head on over and have a look-see.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Cosy mittens

Need fingers free while shopping? Feel the chill but don't want to lose your gloves while taking them off to find your keys or open your wallet? here's the answer....

Some Fingerless Mitten patterns have been added to my Ravelry store. One of which is available for free download.

This cable pattern has been in my secret collection for a few years. I've made it up to sell and for presents and have worn this orange pair for many years, very happily. Sometimes over a second pair of gloves for extra warmth in the coldest weeks of the year and from Autumn to Spring as a pair to match a copper coloured scarf I knitted.



The free pattern is below. Do head over to my store and check out this pair of diamond pattern mittens too. I also created these a few years ago and made a pair which was so comfy, this was my first encounter with alpaca yarn, which was mixed with wool, I loved knitting and wearing them as the natural oils in the fabric made them so soft to the touch. The pair seen here was knitted this week with Stylecraft Special DK, only half a ball is needed and it's a bargain yarn.

you can buy this pattern here




Cable Pattern Fingerless Mittens
Materials
pair of 3.25mm needles (UK size10) and pair of 4mm needles (UK size 8)
Cable needle
One 50g ball DK yarn (photo shows Stylecraft Life DK, copper)

Method
Using thumb method and smaller size needles, cast on 50 stitches.
Work in 2x2 rib for 22 rows.

Next Row Purl to end decreasing 6 stitches evenly across row.(44 sts)

Change to larger needles.
Work two rotations of the following 8 row pattern, ending with WS row.(16 rows)
1st Row k6, p3, k8, p3, k24
2nd Row p24, k3, p8, k3, p6
3rd Row k6, p3, C8B, p3, k24
4th Row p24, k3, p8, k3, p6
5th Row k6, p3, k8, p3, k24
6th Row p24, k3, p8, k3, p6
7th Row k6, p3, k8, p3, k24
8th Row p24, k3, p8, k3, p6
Keeping continuity of  8 row cable pattern work as follows to shape for thumb.
*Next Row Patt 23 sts, m1, k1, m1, k to end (46sts)
Next 3 rows Patt
Next Row Patt 23 sts,m1, k3, m1, k to end (48sts)
Next 3 rows Patt
Next Row Patt 23 sts,m1, k5, m1, k to end (50sts)
Next 3 rows Patt
Next Row Patt 23 sts,m1, k7, m1, k to end (52sts)
Next 3 rows Patt
Next Row Patt 23 sts,m1, k9, m1, k to end (54sts)
Next 3 rows Patt
Next Row Patt increasing 2 sts across thumb section only.
Next Row Patt
Next Row Patt 24, slip 12 sts of thumb onto thread, Patt 20

Patt another section of cable pattern until you complete row 8 of the pattern.

Next Row Knit  increasing 6sts evenly across row. (50sts)
Change back to the smaller needles.
Work 5 rows in 2x2 rib.

Cast off loosely in rib.

Thumb
Using smaller needles pick up the stitches from the thread and with  RS facing cast on 3 sts.
Work in 2x2 rib for 8 rows.
Cast off loosely in rib.

Second Glove

Work as for first glove but change pattern rows to:
1st Row k24, p3, k8, p3, k6
2nd Row p6, k3, p8, k3, p24
3rd Row k24, p3, C8F, p3, k6
When reach * Patt 20sts, instead of 23sts, before increasing. 


To complete sew seams together and sew in ends.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Hold On To Your Hats!

Here's a rival for the Plait Cloche in popularity, a cloche with a lace panel.


This hat is knitted in a thick chunky yarn, which can be duplicated through a few brands. Sirdar’s Sublime Chunky Merino was created for a few exclusive patterns and uses 6.5-7mm needles, to a tension of 14 sts x 19 rows per 10cm. The slightly thicker yarn and using a looser tension than usual chunky yarns gives a gentle, soft fabric to the finished item.








I have replicated the effect by knitting double with an aran and chunky yarn together, which knits up to slightly thicker than standard chunky, but a thinner yarn than super chunky. The photo to the left shows Stylecraft Chunky, in Mixtures Cranberry,  and Rico essentials soft merino aran, in purple, knitted together with 7mm needles. This gives the same tension and same effect, with the final result giving a really warm hat to pull down over the ears for the coldest weather.






And keep watching as the pattern for matching scarf will be available soon. 

A few colours of Sublime Merino Tweed are left in the UK, here is one shop with the yarn
Here's the link to buy the pdf Cloche pattern from Ravelry, let me know if you like it and share some photos in the comments once you've knitted  it up.





Friday, 14 October 2016

Etsy sewing frenzy!

This week I have had my sewing machine out with my boxes of fabric, buttons, bits and ribbon and have been adding to my stash of sewing projects which are ready to sell. So my Etsy shop has had my attention this morning and the photos are ready to see.

I was making extra earplug pouches, and cable ties.
From my stash, I have the key fobs and shopping totes, which have attached corner pouches.



I hope you'll go and have a look at my Etsy shop and let me know what you think.





















Thursday, 6 October 2016

Multiple Mandala Downloads On Etsy

I am pleased to announce the new format of my mandalas on Etsy...

They are available here for the amazing price of just £3.99 for 10 A4 mandalas on a pdf for you to print and colour as many times as you like.




I will offer a couple here to view and print for free, just click on the small arrow to download and view. I'd love to see what colour combinations you come up with, please share photos of your pictures in the comments below.



If you'd like to look at the other options for colouring in my Etsy shop, the link is here...

Monday, 26 September 2016

Bookmarks

Are there any book lovers out there? If there are and you have an inkling for some new bookmarks, I have just added some colouring bookmarks to my Etsy shop, ideal for printing and making your own with pens, pencils, paints or even digital colouring before you print!

Have fun with them, I'm sure you will. :)

Here's the link, if you want to have a look-see...

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Free Baby Beanie knitting pattern

Today I offer you a free pattern, to knit for the little ones in your life. The hats are so cute when finished, pick the colours to mix and match the stripes and create some happy hats for the colder months to come.

I have seen so many baby hats with plain stitching, stripes and Fairisle so I found some gently soft washable yarn and just went for it. A friend told me that these are the only hats that their baby will wear, and I've heard it again and again.

With this beautiful soft merino yarn they are washable and wearable, so many merino mix yarns are available you'll find some equivalent in your local yarn shop or in your stash. Just go for it! Quick to knit in an evening, ideal for newborn presents and with trendy colours parents will love them too.

As ever I have chosen to create a hat pattern which needs a seam, so it is ideal for new knitters. If you'd rather knit in the round just reduce the stitch count by two and knit every row to produce the stocking stitch equivalent. if you'd like a pdf of this pattern it's accessible via my shop on the knitting website Ravelry.... and it's free!
download now


Size
newborn, 3-6 months, 
6-12 months, 12-24 months

Materials
Baby Merino DK 50g ball main colour i.e. Rico, Sublime, Rowan, Debbie Bliss
Baby Merino DK 50g ball
4mm Needles
3.25mm needles
Abbreviations
k, knit
p, purl
sts, stitches
k2tog, knit 2 stitches together

Method
Plain Beanie 
Cast on 72(79, 86, 93)  sts using 3.25mm needles.
Begin with knit row, work 4 rows st-st.
Change to 4mm needles and work 4 rows st-st.
**Cont. in st-st until hat measures 11(12,13,14) cm from cast on edge.
Shape crown:
Row 1. k1 *k2tog, k5, rep from * to last st, k1
Row 2. & ev other alt row, Purl.
Row 3. k1 *k2tog,k4, rep from * to last st, k1
Row 5. k1 *k2tog,k3, rep from * to last st, k1
Row 7. k1 *k2tog,k2, rep from * to last st, k1
Row 9.k1 *k2tog,k1, rep from * to last st, k1 
Row 11. k1 *k2tog, rep from * to last st, k1
Cut yarn and thread through remaining stitches. Sew up seam and sew in loose threads.

Striped Beanie 
Cast on 72(79, 86, 93)  sts using 3.25mm needles
Begin with knit row, work 4 rows st-st.
Change to contrast yarn and work 2 rows st-st.
Change to 4mm needles and work 2 rows st-st.
Change to main yarn and work 4 rows st-st.
These stripes set the pattern continue with these 4 row stripes through body, shaping and making-up instructions for Plain Beanie, from **.


Friday, 22 July 2016

Free colouring for August

I have been drawing this last month, a few new ideas, lots of doodling and experimenting with new materials and inspirations spurring me on.

I hope you will like one of my new projects, which I will be launching next month in my Etsy shop.

A colouring calendar, with inspirational quotes for each month. The quotes have been hand drawn and illustrated for you to colour and to give you a lift as each month goes by. Each month has a different style and I am offering you the August illustration here as a free download. I'd love to see any photos in the comments if you print, colour and make it your own.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Doodle Mandalas

I have had fun recently using a piece of A4 paper and just doodling over it with mandalas and other patterns to fill the space...



Here's a free copy of one such doodle which you can download and colour to your heart's content.
(As the artist I retain the copyright of my designs. You can print as many times as you like for your own enjoyment but please do not distribute or duplicate without my permission.)

More of these doodles are available to buy in my Etsy shop. 



About Me

My name is Hannah. I have been designing and creating all my life (which is a good few decades now!)
I am pleased to enter patterns and ideas of mine for more people to see and hope you will enjoy all the enticing ways I show you my creativity, to enhance your creativity at home, work and I encourage you to take your creativity with you whenever you are away from home too.

I will be offering various knitting patterns and colouring pages for free and also for 'Buy It Now' I hope you will enjoy both and show me all your creations in the comments.

Thanks for being here!

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Colour-Me, Doodle-Me :)

This week I have added some more colouring options to my Etsy shop. This time, it's some greetings cards, with simple designs so will be suitable for anyone to colour and gift to a friend.







The Colouring cards are titled Colour-Me cards and are priced at £4.50 for a pack of four cards, with different designs....






I have also created some Doodle-Me cards to inspire your personal creativity. These have prompts in the form of doodles which have been started and there is space for you to fill and colour the rest of the card with your own designs...









Keep your eyes peeled, there will be more!

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

I can't draw


I consider my creative and artist, but there are days when I still look at my creation and decide it’s not good enough, it isn’t representative of what I had in mind and it doesn’t reach the standards of other creatives and artists.

These are exactly the thoughts and emotions that came up when I was in school when my friend would say ‘you’re copying me,’ when in fact everyone had the same brief! Or another friend would look at my piece and scowl derisively. These comments and reactions made me doubt my own creativity, then and now. Those thoughts and feelings are not unusual for anyone, of any age who is asked to be creative; to pick up a pen and represent something on a page. We are culturally conditioned to be not good enough and to not compare favourably to anyone else. In an achievement-based society so much has to be improved or goals need to be reached.

So where to start? If you have that nagging feeling that you would like to doodle, draw, paint or sketch, then I say go for it. The thoughts will still be there…’you don’t compare,’ or ’that’s not good enough,’ or maybe ’are you seriously telling me that is supposed to look like a ———?!’
The whole courageous act of picking up a pen is enormous. The best way to start is to challenge yourself and either show no-one what you are producing each day or only show the people you trust will understand your motive for beginning this practice. They might be inspired too!

Find the simplest materials in the form of a felt-tip or drawing pen, or a pencil. I would recommend a pen for now as you will be less inclined to erase ‘what isn’t good enough’. With a piece of paper each day, or a cheap sketch pad, the challenge can begin.

Start with drawing a different type of line each day, straight lines (without using a ruler!), overlapping lines, curved lines, follow the borders of the page or create triangle borders, like bunting. This is about feeling the pen in your hand and becoming more friendly with the process. Does it look like the image you imagined before you started? It doesn’t matter. Does it look perfect, or pristine? It doesn’t matter.
Look at nature to inspire the irregularities, every rose on a plant is not the same size, each leaf on a tree isn’t representative of perfection. We embrace the differences in nature; the perfect imperfection, and that’s exactly how the lines on your page can be viewed.

As you finish each drawing you can be proud of your courage and you can be proud of the fact that you dedicated time to opening up to your creative side. Everyone can be creative, in so many different ways, the misplaced lines, the imperfect sketches just open new doors for more creativity. Give yourself five minutes during your lunch break, or ten minutes when you could be looking through social media, each day for a week or a month and you will amaze yourself with your dedication and what you produce as the days go by.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Mandalas on Etsy

Today I have started an Etsy shop, from which pdfs can be purchased. I have uploaded ten mandalas which are black and white, ready to be printed and coloured as many times as you choose.
Here are a few of the photos...







Each mandala is hand drawn and scanned into the computer, then uploaded to Etsy, which is the main sales site available to sell pdfs and downloadable digital artwork and craft supplies.




As you can see, I enjoy drawing mandalas with lots of different shapes and repeats. Colouring  and drawing can be a great way to relax and rest away from screen time and work.
















I have created photos to capture the original drawings and added a few colour suggestions, three colours is a simple, practical idea for colouring and is used in design all around us in modern life.

A different colour choice could be used for each ring of the mandala, or for each repeating detail.
The beauty of downloadable colouring is that different colour combinations can be tried and tested again and again.

If you'd like to give them a try, my Etsy shop is here.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Stripes Collection Beanie

Hey fellow Knitters :)

A new pattern, another from the Stripes Collection today. This one is a beanie, which would happily fit an older child as a loose beanie or a teenager or adult too.

It is knitted from the same wool, Sirdar Peru, which can be substituted, as before any chunky wool, for example, for Rowan Cocoon, or Debbie Bliss Glen.










The pattern is available for easy download on Ravelry for £1.99 and will be part of a promotion, to buy the whole collection for 10% discount.


Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Stripes collection Scarf

Here is the scarf to match the beret I offered you last week.

This is demonstrated here in Sirdar Peru Naturals again, but could be used in any other chunky yarn, such as Debbie Bliss Glen


What I have done is created this scarf with a difference....
the stitches go on the needle and after only 31 rows, including cast-off, the scarf is finished!

Yes, that's right, no putting it aside and wondering why you never finished that scarf, only to pull it out the next time it's cold to realise there's so much more to knit.
The completed scarf measures approximately 5.5" x 60"(14x150cm)

As before the scarf pattern is available via Ravelry, for £2.39. Click below for instant access.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Stripes Collection Beret

A new collection of accessories, a shorter scarf and light beanie, beret and cowl will be released over the next few weeks.

Here're some photos to tempt you...
 I've used some chunky yarn, a discontinued yarn, by Sirdar, which is a mixture of wool, acrylic and alpaca, known as Peru, or it's tweed option Peru Naturals.

It's a great option if you do have stash yarn, as the items take 2x50g balls at the most.

Alternative yarns would be Rowan Cocoon or
Debbie Bliss Glen











I hope you have fun with this lightweight, but warm collection. The pattern for each piece can be bought and downloaded over the next few weeks from here, or my Ravelry store.

Click here to download the pattern for £2.39.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Leaf Beret Beanie

This week I am completing the pair for you... with the hat to match the Leaf Pocket Scarf. The hat is an oversized beret, which suits the super chunky yarn. Again, I have used Sirdar Denim Ultra to make the hat up.






Ten leaves begin at the brim, five of which fade as shaping changes from increasing to decreasing.
As in the scarf, there are 'yarn over's,  to create the holes and knitting together three stitches to form the stem in the centre of each leaf.

The beret can be worn as a side beret, or as a beanie, which falls down the back of the head and will cover both ears if pulled further over the head.






This pattern is available for instant download. Just click below...

Leaf Beret Beanie pdf, £2.39

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Leaf Pocket Scarf


Today I have for you a snuggly, cosy, super chunky knitted scarf with patch leaf pockets.

I have designed this to fit an adult or teenager and knitted it in the ivory cream option of Sirdar Denim Ultra, with 10mm needles.


The scarf is 75"/188cm long and will double over for extra protection against winter chill or hang long with the pockets at hand height.


As you can see the pockets are large enough for a pair  of gloves or a sneaky bar of chocolate! 

There are so many super Chunky or Ultra Chunky yarns available, just imagine what Autumnal and Winter shades this could become. 

This pattern is available for instant download, just click below...

Leaf Pocket Scarf pdf, £2.39

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Colouring Mandalas


Are you an avid colourer? Do you love the colouring books that have evolved in the last couple of years for adults and the more intricate colouring that has appeared for older children?

How about some mandala colouring then?



I have created, alongside my daily mandala practice, some black and white mandalas for colouring. Each is hand drawn to fit when printed onto A4 paper and are unlike those  seen in colouring books which are mastered and perfected by computer technology. I am offering them here as pdfs for you to print and colour as many times as you like.

Each set of three will be £1.49 and will keep you entertained for hours. I will continue to upload the small photos, so you can choose and buy the larger sizes to print over the next few months.

These are now available to buy on Etsy in my Hannah Designs Shop.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Child's Tassel Hat

This pattern is suggested for any child in your life, from 3-6 years. A larger size, 7-10 years is available- see link below- and this will also be the place to go if  you would like a pdf copy for printing of the smaller size too. 
As with all of my patterns, this is perfect for knitting in the round, just remove one stitch from each end of the starter row and every consequent row. I will always provide patterns and knit for the photos without the need to knit in the round.


Materials

Wendy Merino Chunky 100g
Contrast Wendy Merino DK for tassel 
5.5mm and 6.5mm Needles

Method

Cast on 55  sts with 5.5mm needles
St-st 4 rows
Change to 6.5mm needles and st-st to 12 cm 
Shape Crown:
The first row will place marker at decrease points, transfer this marker with the stitches on every row.
Row 1 (k16 place marker, k2tog) 3 times, k1 (52 sts)
Row 2 (and ev. other alt row.)purl 
Row 3 (k15, k2tog) 3 times, k1 (49 sts)
Row 5 (k14, k2tog) 3 times, k1 (46 sts)
Row 7 (k13, k2tog) 3 times, k1 (43 sts)
Row 9 (k12, k2tog) 3 times, k1 (40 sts) 
Continue decreasing three times at the marker points, with fewer stitches between k2tog on each RS row.
Last Row. (k2tog) 3times, k1 (4 sts)

Make up:

Thread yarn through remaining sts and pull tight. Sew up seam with mattress stitch and sew in ends.
To make tassel wind contrast yarn around a CD case 20 times, fasten long thread around yarn at one end, ease yarn from CD case. Sew head together and tie tightly, cut opposite end of tassel to neat ends and attach to top point of hat for a final flourish.


To purchase the pdf of Child's Tassel hat for £2.39 please click below. The pdf also contains the pattern to fit 7-10 year.
 

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

What is a Mandala?


A Mandala is a representation of a circle. The translation for mandala, from Sanskrit, is circle or cycle.

It can be seen as the organisation and cycle of life itself around a unified centre. The universe is created in the mandala, sometimes it has seven layers, representing the seven chakras from yoga, or the seven days it took God to create life. As a circle has no end and no beginning it can show as a journey with infinite possibilities and no end or beginning. 
Not only is the process of creating mandalas seen as meditative, but the viewing too. A decorated circle with journeys for the mind’s eye and so many choices on what to view next, offer an alternative to a seated silent meditation. The perspective of seeing different paths and understanding our life’s journey through the infinite visual stimuli in a mandala can become a daily practice. 

History of Mandalas 
Tibetan Monks, to this day, are taught to create mandalas from coloured sand. Four years of training is considered necessary before being allowed into the team which creates the mandalas. Mantras are chanted and meditations are practiced while construction of the mandalas takes place over sites which have been blessed and cleansed beforehand. These mandalas are believed to have healing properties for all who create and view them. Essentially they are made in an open place for the wind and rain to wash away the final creation. Life has infinite possibilities, but a new door will open, with a new mandala once the old door and old mandala has been closed. 
Mandalas are created with various materials throughout many religions and cultures and are documented at many points in history.
In the modern world we see most mandalas as artwork, on paper or in paintings, but they are also seen in fabrics, architecture, furniture and hi-tech product design. A mandala created by us in any of these forms can be seen as a connection between our inner consciousness and life around us. Such creations become a way of looking at how we feel every day. The colours we choose can become significant, connected to the chakras or our surroundings. The shapes, lines, curves and dots that we use can represent the world around us or the thoughts and emotions we are experiencing.

Why Create a Mandala?
There is no necessity to delve as deep and search for meaning in any piece of art that you may create. The practice can be as simple as giving yourself a five minute break in your lunch time or a quick doodle on an envelope before you post a letter or card to a friend. (not really possible in emails!) 

Having that short break and finding a focus will make a difference to how you continue your day. The repetition of thought and motion of colouring or drawing has been shown in studies to be soothing and calming for the brain. There is no coincidence that adult colouring books are sold as ‘mindfulness’ books. Mindfulness is a long established type of yoga practice, basically meaning to focus on one thing without distraction, which for even three or five minutes a day will make a beneficial difference to your emotions, energy, mind, body and spirit.

Friday, 29 January 2016

My Mandala Practice

For the six months from July to December 2015 I challenged myself to draw a Mandala every day. And I just about did it. As the year closed my interest was heightened and I began drawing different shapes and swirls on the page and creating different designs for my own and other's pleasure. I even created a couple of Christmas presents and cards for friends and family.

Here are a few examples of what I was drawing. (I'll write about what a mandala is and can become in the next week, and offer you some ideas for beginning your own mandala practice too.)


 When I began I used a small, 5" square sketch pad with a selection of eight fine-tip pens. I usually restricted myself to one colour a day, so I wouldn't be distracted by continually changing colour.
My intention was to find a focus on the page and use this practice as a meditation ritual. I very much wanted to learn about myself and my patience from creating without guidelines and a range of materials.



As you can see some of my mandalas became very intricate. I surprised myself a lot and as the weeks and months went by I found the process easier each day, my confidence grew and I enjoyed the process more and more.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

New pattern... Bobble Baby Blanket

I would like to share more patterns with you over the next few months, as the plait cloche has been so popular and received so many visits and downloads. Please share any final project photos with us all in the comments, I'd love to see what colours and yarns you use.

Some patterns will be free, and some I will ask a nominal fee. If you feel you are using the patterns and are able to donate a small amount to support my design work a donate button has been added to the side of the page.
 

Here is the first pattern, a Baby Blanket,  knitted in Aran or worsted weight yarn, there is no need to choose any particular blend or manufacturer of yarn for this project. Just choose whichever you prefer. The size may vary slightly, but as long as you use an Aran yarn on 6mm needles you are likely to achieve a baby blanket approximately 24x28 inches (60x70cm).

This pattern is available for instant download, for £2.39, just click below...