Knitted Earth

This came about one day when I was considering the possibility of knitting a sphere. My daughter was about to go back-packing around the World and so I looked up how to make a round globe from a printed sheet and used this to make up an excel spreadsheet design.
If you want to make this then the pattern works as follows
  1. Cast on 12 stitches in white. (For my first attempt I used a double knitting weight and knitted on two needles)
  2. Knit row (reads from right to left on pattern)- increase in every stitch on the second row introducing the blue for the 11th segment - 24 stitches.
  3. Purl row (reads from left to right on pattern) - increase every other stitch and keep an eye on the colour changes
  4. Start to wonder why you are trying this as it makes your brain hurt.
  5. Keep following the sheet adding in the green. Use different lengths of each colour for the large sections, taking care to twist the colours at the edges of each section - especially important when the colour change happens in the same place for several rows.

The first attempt only took a day to knit and is shown at the top. I didn't have much stuffing at the time so, post sewing it up, it ended up a bit floppy. My idea was that she could take it with her and she could mark on the places she visited. In the end she said she was worried about losing it so it stayed here. (It actually lived in my lab at school as a talking point/resource for teaching the phases of the moon)
One of the issues is the lack of detail so the next step was doubling the number of rows and stitches to increase the resolution. The increased number of stitches meant there were issues with getting the threads tangled as I attempted to improve my fairisle skills. Holding the wool continental style with two colours in my left hand and weaving the non working yarn at the back enabled the reduction of floats and the associated pulling when there was a colour change. This image shows the inside when I had nearly finished. I didn't have a blue of the thickness I needed so I used two thinner blues of a different shade hence the mottled effect of the sea. I rather like this.
This was then done and dusted until I revisited the small World version recently to make one up in cotton to see if it might be sellable as a baby ball. As this was the time I was playing around with knitting my nordic baubles in dark blue and silver, I had a go at making one in these colours.

Sunflower Blanket

This project came about when a fellow teacher at school was expecting. I had already made some baby blankets for some other staff. The first of these came about when I was laid up after a skiing accident and I know it was much loved by both mother and child as I was later asked to make a bigger blanket for him when he moved on to a bigger bed. As I never like to reapeat myself each one was different and hopefully reflected the personality of the person I knew. This one needed to reflect that she was an art teacher who had been my daughter's form tutor. One year she had given them a sunflower to grow and this gave me the idea of taking Van Gogh's Sunflower paintings as insipration. I loved the muted rusty tones but felt I wanted something a bit brighter for this project so would include a brighter yellow element. Without a clear plan I then went about looking for a suitable yarn. It had to be all natural fibre and suitable for a baby so wool was my first choice. The colour range seemed to be limitted in souble knitting weight so I went for a range of 4-ply yarns in brown, yellows, oranges, purple and green. Using two strands together would give the double knitting weight I wanted and also enable more of a mix of colours. Thankfully this worked out how I hoped it would.
Then came the exciting bit of putting the crochet hook and yarn together and hopefully creating something wonderful. For the centre of the flower I wanted to replicate the pattern of the seeds. Starting with the brown and orange wool I made a basic flat circle. After a few rows I added some double treble stitches over the top in brown to give the idea of the geometric shape of the seeds. This was a technique I first came across when crochetting the Sophie's Universe blanket CAL from the Look What I Made website.
To finish the centre off I made a couple of rows of treble crochet and chain stitches adding a loop of chains every few stiches to give the impression of the remaining flowers (the flowers are in the centre section and the 'petals' around the outside are just advertising hordings).

Nordic Baubles