Ted Bear

Ted Bear is my most downloaded pattern and I’m often asked for help on how to knit/sew up the feet – so I’ve put together the below step-by-step images for you!

Ted Bear is a free pattern for everyone to enjoy, but if you love Ted and would like to support my work – you can buy me a Ko-fi here. Thanks!


Ted Bear’s Feet

The below images take you through how to knit and sew-up the ‘Front of legs & feet’ section of Ted Bear.


Next row K11, place rem 11 sts on holder.

Beg with P row, work 14 rows in st st.

Place marker in first & last st of last row.

Your first Ted leg should now look like the following image – with 11 sts on a holder (or in this case a piece of yarn) ready for the second leg, 14 rows of st st and markers placed in the first and last sts of the last row. You should have finished on a knit row with WS facing for next row.

TedBearFoot1

Beg with P row, work 11 rows in st st.

Break off yarn.

You have now worked 11 rows after placing the markers and broken off the yarn ready for the next step. You should have finished on a purl row.

With right side facing, pick up and knit 11 sts along right hand side of work from marker to needle…

… knit 11 sts from needle…

… then pick up and knit 11 sts from left hand side of work to marker. 33 sts.

This is the fiddly bit!

Beg with P row, work 9 rows in st st.

This creates the foot ‘bulge’. You should finish on a purl row with RS facing for next row.

Cast off 11 sts at beg of next 2 rows. 11 sts.

ie: Next row: Cast off 11 then knit to end. Next row: Cast off 11 and purl to end.

Beg with K row, work 10 rows in st st.

Next row K1, K2tog tbl, K to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1. 9 sts.

Cast off Pwise on WS row.

This creates the foot base ‘flap’ and completes the first leg/foot.

Sewing Up

Sew the foot base in place by joining foot base ‘flap’ edges to the cast off edges of foot ‘bulge’.

The front section of the leg and foot are now ready to join to the back section.

Work the second leg/foot in the same way (refer to pattern for details), fold Ted Bear in half and join side seams stuffing as you go… and Ta-da! You have a Ted Bear!

 

New Denim Circle Skirt

Just over a year ago I made myself a denim circle skirt. I’ve worn it loads, it goes with everything and I love it!

I wore it a lot during Me Made May and mentioned that there were a few issues with it and that I wanted to make a replacement.

The waistband is too loose so I added belt loops – but even with a belt it drifts down and I feel uncomfortable in it. It only has one pocket because I put the zip in the side seam at the other side. And the zip is a bit wonky!

Here’s my second attempt!

I decided to go for a paler denim because I fancied something different and I know I’ll wear it a lot in Spring/Summer. I’m also planning to make a longer dark denim skirt to wear with boots in the winter… maybe with a gathered waist rather than a full circle.

It still isn’t perfect, but it’s a much better fit around the waist and has two pockets! I promised that I would do a quick guide to making a circle skirt once I had made a new one… so here it is:

  • Start by measuring your waist circumference and required skirt length.
  • Divide your waist circumference by pi (3.14 will do!) to find your diameter and then half that to find your radius. Make a note of these measurements!

I made the above skirt using a half circle for the front and two quarter circles at the back with a centre seam and invisible zip (which I’m not showing you… it’s very neat but definitely not invisible!). It also has a pocket in each side seam. If that’s what you want to make then continue as follows:

Start by making a paper pattern (I used brown parcel paper).

Front

  • start by drawing two lines at a right angle then draw a quarter circle using your radius measurement (please use a ruler and set square… the below is just a rough sketch!)

  • Measure your required length down from each edge and draw in the bottom curve.

  • Don’t forget to add seam allowance (I did 1.5cm) on all edges apart from the centre front which will be cut on the fold to make a half circle for the front.

Back

The back is pretty much exactly the same pattern as the front but will be cut as two separate pieces so you also need to add seam allowance to that edge.

Waistband

  • I made mine 2.5cm deep – you might want deeper or narrower – just decide on the depth and cut a strip of fabric to your required depth x2 plus seam allowance and the length of your waist circumference plus seam allowance on both ends.
  • Then cut a piece of interfacing the same length but half the depth and iron this to one half of the reverse of the waistband.

Pockets

  • I don’t have much in the way of tips here… I just drew around my hand in a roughly pocket shape and cut out two sets!
  • Sew the pockets to the side seams – this video is quite a good guide.

Putting it all together!

  • Join the side seams and finish the edges however you prefer.
  • Pin the skirt to the waistband evenly and stitch.
  • Insert zip (!) and stitch back seam. The technique for inserting your zip will vary depending on what type of zip you use. You should be able to find a guide to suit you on Pinterest or Youtube. If you’re new to zips I would recommend practising on scrap fabric first.
  • Clip into skirt top if necessary to ensure the waistband sits flat.
  • Fold half of the waistband over to the back, tuck under the raw edge and hand-stitch in place along all edges.
  • Sew up the hem and you’re done!

This is just a quick guide and I’m not an expert – so if you have a play and add any improvements please do let me know in the comments.

I’m planning to fill my wardrobe with lots of swooshy circle skirts!

Rosie McPherson Guest Blog

Today’s blog comes to you from my lovely friend – Rosie McPherson.
I sometimes say that I’m only friends with people if they knit or crochet. This is of course a joke – but not too far from the truth! I met all of my close friends in Nottingham through the knit group I attend (Knit in Notts), and some of my older (well- more long-serving!) friends have now started to knit and/or crochet.
One of these ‘older’ friends is Rosie – who I have known since school. She lives down in Bristol now so we only see each other a few times a year, but it’s always as if we just saw each other the day before.
Rosie has a good creative heritage – being the daughter of the artist Alan McPherson. She’s very crafty and talented and did some of the photography for Cute Little Knits, where her nephew Billy was a model.
After dipping in and out of knitting for a while, Rosie has now become a fully fledged knit addict – and I’m very proud to have inspired her along the way.
Over to Rosie!

The Triangle Hat – a beginners guide

So a few firsts for me, I had never followed a pattern, knitted a hat, attempted fair-isle or even made a pom-pom (nor have I ever written a guest blog for that matter).

My knitting history: I was introduced to knitting by Jem circa 2002, she showed me how to knit repeatedly and although I really admired the lovely things Jem made, I just couldn’t get into it. I found the maths (counting) hard but the real problem was attempting complicated things before I had the basic skills because I was impatient to knit exciting things!

So I didn’t want my first project to be a ‘boring knit scarf’, Jem came up with a pattern (lacey 4 row repeat) and taught me what to do. It took a lot of time & concentration and I was glad when it was done. My next project was a seemingly simple square patchwork baby blanket, but I made the squares small, so it took me a long time to complete, so much so that my nephew had it on his 1st birthday instead of on his birth as intended! So I gave up for a long while (whilst still envying all the beautiful things I saw Jem make). With hindsight I was telling myself that knitting wasn’t for me when actually I gave up because it was hard!

I got back into knitting two winters ago when I started to commute by train from Bristol to Bath, and there I found a lovely yarn shop called ‘Wool’.  I wanted a simple project to do on the train so I picked up a lovely yarn (Rowan Colourspun) and made a ‘simple’ circle scarf in moss stitch, I loved the result so much that I made another in exactly the same yarn for my mum! And I also made a chunky wool cowl (I really loved how fast it knitted up). I am no longer commuting by train so knitting is now an evening/weekend activity but I am definitely addicted to knitting scarves now! I did my third cowl this winter in Rowan fazed tweed. The finished product is definitely not ‘boring’ & I now prefer to invest in a beautiful yarn rather than a cheap fashion product.

wpid-img_20150217_104137.jpgI was ready for my next challenge and yet again Jem inspired me, her design for Spins & Needles looked amazing (I buy so many fashion hats for more than £12!) and she encouraged me to attempt making it. So I chose the same colours as Jem’s initial design, as I love the colour combination of mustard yellow (which can be unflattering next to the skin) & teal (my favourite).

I started the hat and on row one I messed up – I failed to cast on the correct number of stitches (counting not my strong point remember) so the first 2cm was something other than rib (quite obvious in the photo below).

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I had never knitted with fine yarn, on really tiny needles before so I couldn’t believe how long it took to do just one row of 135 stitches! So normally being a perfectionist I would start again but I just couldn’t bring myself to. However Jem came to the rescue and suggested I sew the rib under rather than folding it up – which would hide the mistake and is another design option to consider anyway!

Fair-isle! I couldn’t get my head around the pattern at first but after speaking to Jem I realised it was actually pretty straightforward, she advised that I practice a fair-isle test square first and watch a few YouTube videos. And after watching a couple I cracked on. Her other really important bit of advice was not to pull tightly and to leave slack in the colour you are stranding. She also advised that I could catch in the stranding yarn as I go, but I didn’t actually do that as I didn’t figure out how and I am slapdash like that! Whilst doing the fair-isle I was worried that I wasn’t following the pattern correctly but the triangles started to form and that was a brilliant moment!

wpid-img_20150217_104043.jpgJem advised me to block it by sprinkling water over, gently patting and then leaving it to dry on a balloon (brilliant idea)! Also she advised to only sew up the top of the hat and leave the headband (as the balloon could stretch it out too much).

The next new challenge was a pom-pom, (I probably should have just bought a pom-pom maker) but again I was impatient, I wanted to wear this hat! I knew they were simple & looked up how to do one but then guessed the circle size (I used a random cup) & I didn’t realise that I needed to leave quite a large hole in the middle, so my first try just didn’t have enough wool in it and looked a bit limp (and I like a big pom). I thought I would have to order another ball of the Leyburn (yellow) but as I had some yellow and some teal, I decided I may as well give a two tone pom pom a go. And I like the result since the rest of the hat is multi-patterned, plus I could always do a new one if I get bored of it.

And yeah there are definitely a few wonky bits but I absolutely LOVE it! I can’t help pointing out to my friends that I ACTUALLY MADE IT! And I’ve had lots of compliments on it. I will definitely be making it again in new colours next autumn.

What’s my next challenge? Mittens (I’m hoping Jem will do a matching triangle pattern) and finally learning to crochet!

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You can follow Rosie on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

The Triangle hat pattern is available here from Spins and Needles. Free when you buy the Rowan Fine Tweed to knit it for just £11.85!

Rag Rug

When I decorated my living room last year I took up the carpet and painted the floorboards with some beautiful Farrow & Ball floor paint. I love it and the room feels so much bigger- but floorboards just aren’t that cosy!

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I decided that the best solution to create a warm and cosy floor would be a handmade rag rug. I was inspired by a sample I saw in M&G designs in Louth, where they are running rag rug classes. I’ve chosen neutral colours- picking out the lighter tones from my curtains and sofa. The light colours will mean the room still feels spacious- but I’m hoping that the mix of colours and textures won’t show the dirt!

I had an old tweedy skirt that I’m also cutting up to use, but most of the fabric comes from incredibly cheap curtains and blankets from Ikea. I used pinking sheers to cut the curtain strips because it does fray a bit. The ideal fabric for this is fleece, because it doesn’t fray- so if you can get the colours you want in fleece blankets, they’re perfect.

 

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I’m new to rag rugging- but it’s such an easy craft. I watched this how-to, bought a tool and some sack fabric on ebay and got started. I’m whizzing through my crafty to-do’s at the moment. Although I think it’ll be a while before I’m ticking this one off the list- it’s quite time consuming and I want a big rug!

It’s just about big enough to fit both my feet on so far- and it really feels lovely underfoot so I’m very excited about getting it finished in time for winter! And don’t you just love it when the back of something looks nice? I think this looks like pebbles.

 

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Have you tried your hand at any new crafts recently?