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Blackwork biscornu for St. Patrick's Day


I am back with more reports about my knitting - crochet course, with some more felting and some embroidery, a finally finished long-time WIP and another freebie - this time it is blackwork for St. Patrick's Day.

Here is a picture from one of my lessons. We just started our knitting unit, and I used this technique that I called the "human knitting machine" to teach the kids the basics. It was great fun! I learnt this at the university. It works the same way as finger knitting or the knitting looms, we just used the kids' hands instead of the pegs.

And here come some more pictures of my homework for the course.

To try out different materials, I did some crochet with a thick cotton cord. The flower shape, as well as the third one, in wool, was done with freeform crochet: I used no pattern, just started and then went on to see what happened. It was fun.

I tried out shadow knitting. I borrowed a book from the library, this one and tried to create my own pattern. While the book has some lovely modern looking pieces, and I found a few interesting pieces on the internet too, my experiment turned out a disaster. I wasn't thinking clearly, I should have realised that the pattern will become too long - I should have adjusted it accordingly. There was no time to do another experiment, and now I am busy with the next course, but this needs to be put on my list of "To try again". I certainly recommend trying this, it looks complicated but it isn't really and it is cool.

Another thing I learnt is called tvåendsstickning in Swedish. It means two-end-knitting, but it is usually called twined knitting in English. The basic technique is that you knit with tho threads, even if there is only one colour. They usually used the two ends of the same yarn ball, hence the name. The first stitch is knitted with one yarn, the second with the other and so on. Between each stitch you twist the threads. It makes a thick, firm fabric, there is hardly any stretch in it. Traditionally you have to do it with z-spinned yarn, that's what I was using for my mittens. I think it works with the usual s-spinned yarn, too, it only looks a bit different. I designed the pattern with the flowers myself, and on the palm side I was just improvising.

This is what it looks like on the inside. You can see how the twisted yarns create almost like a cord on the wrong side of the fabric.

Another homework was to take a knitted woollen sweater or something, felt it in the washing machine, and experiment with it: embroider on it, cut it apart etc. This is what I made out of two pieces. It's a vest, the collar and the sides come from one piece, the "body" from another. I added the crocheted band on the shoulders and around, and the embroidery. On the right side there is a Hungarian motif, on the left a Swedish one. I myself dyed the thread to match the rest.

Two pairs of socks that I also made. The first is knitting the traditional way - although that is still quite new to me. The other was knitted toes-up, and with an afterthought heel. Both of them were made on circular needles, instead of the usual double pointed ones, using the magic loop. I love this technique!

We also had a group homework: we had to create a piece together, on a chosen topic within "communication". We chose "power". We created a puzzle, and this is my piece. I collected a few pictures from the internet for inspiration, and then used a piece of a felted woollen pullover as background, then needle-felted and embroidered my interpretation.

I have collected quite a few links for all these techniques, if you are interested, go and look at my Pinterest page.

My old visitors can perhaps remember how I started to do some weaving on a huge piece of cardboard - perhaps two years ago? Shame, I know, but now I finally managed to finish it.

Although the edges became strangely loose, I still like it a lot. In the middle it is quite nice - not too densely packed but the boucle yarn has made a good, solid fabric, and still soft. I will use it as a scarf. I will take it off the cardboard and tie the ends tomorrow.

And finally, my freebie for you today. I made a blackwork pattern that reminds me of clovers, so I thought it would be perfect for St. Patrick's Day. But with another colour it might give a different effect.

I made it into a biscornu pattern, I hope you will enjoy it. Some more clover patterns are coming soon.

If you are interested in St. Patrick's Day patterns, why not take a look at my other freebies here, here and here?

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