Posts Tagged ‘bobbles’

This project has been particularly interesting, as I not only had fun knitting Intarsia , Armenian knitting and Fair Isle, but I also was able to combine three different types of yarns in this design.  The border was done in fingering yarn with lace weight wool and silk strands of  free floating chains riding over the top.

The chicks were especially fun to do with a combination of Aloft mohair, added to a ply of fingering yarn.  Their  3D look was accomplished by adding an additional  two strands of the black mohair to the belly and wing area.  Adding these extra strands automatically increased the gauge without changing the stitch count.  I was able to restore the  gauge around the area by filling the void with poly fill stuffing, then running a few strands of lace weight across the back, side to side, and top to bottom.   Taking up the slack with these strands, allowed me to contract the surrounding stitches back to their proper gauge.  The next move after blocking the top was covering the back with nylon net, (great stuff, by the way) and stitching around the expanded portion of the chicks,so that it would remain securely in place.

The  combination of the Mohair and the 3 D affect  made my chicks look like the little “fuzz balls” they really are.     They are the first thing people touch when they pick up the pillow and comment, ” Oh my gosh!  They look so real!”  And so they do.

The details on the legs, feet, and beak were done with duplicate stitches and crocheted chains of one and two plies of the various yarns.   The various shades on the hen are yarns that have been blended, using  of one ply of each color that have been hand spun back together.   Check out my post on blending yarns if you are interested .

So….the most clarifying  statement I can make about this pillow is that I was never bored knitting it.  It definitely was a challenge to my adventurous knitting spirit.

I also loved working with the free floating chains on the frame of the picture.  Of course as I looked at it more closely I realized this free floating chain pattern would look great on the bottom of a tunic, or the cuff area of a sleeve, or……..  Hummm????  Maybe?   …….

I have included a  tutorial describing the entire process with this  pattern.  I even included charts for practicing the process.  This tutorial is also on my “Fun Stuff”page.  It includes a sample swatch chart of the border for you to practice with.  Enjoy!

At present the pattern is available  in my Ravelry  and Etsy stores.

Again, it was an extremely fun knit.

Happy Knitting


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During the process of knitting up my Sebright Hen and Chicks pillow, I have come up with some things that have made the project much easier.   The first thing is my “Knitting Palette.”  It is a 30 stitch sample of the yarns, and blends of yarn that I have chosen to use in the pattern.  By first experimenting with the colors, I was able to begin knitting on the picture, confident that the colors I chose would work.   Below is a photo of the sample that I uploaded to my Serif publishing program.  Once in Serif, I was able to label the colors and save the sample for future reference.


I have boxed the various shades with colored borders and written a description on the right.  The bottom section is a mix of Mohair lace weight and fingering yarn.  This blend of the two types of yarn added a bit of reality to my little “fuzz ball” chicks.  It worked great.   I even varied the amount of strands to see what it would do.


By adding an extra strand of the Mohair lace weight I was able to create a “relief sculpture” affect to the wing and belly area.   This expanded area is retracted to its proper gauge, by creating a yarn web across the back which is stuffed with a bit pf Polyfill.

And yes,  that’s” Scratch” on the ground, created by making small bobbles of blended yarn.  I got a kick out of making those.  Sorry for the side track – now back to the Yarn Palette.

The top half is the shades of color I chose  for my Sebright hen.  I began with Suede alone, knitted 4 rows.  Next, I blended one ply of Suede with one ply of Brass Heather.  That gave me a slightly darker golden tone.  The next 4 rows were done with Brass Heather alone.   In the blue section I blended Brass Heather and Doe, but this combo didn’t lead to much of a change. (scratch that one).  The next combo gave me a darker shade- yes, Brass Heather and Bison will do it.  All this prep took time, but I didn’t need to guess how it would look .  I worked for me!  by the way, the colors mentioned above are all from Knitpicks.com.

The next aid that really helped me was my MUSIC STAND.  Yep!  There it was, sitting there next to my harp doing nothing (I play mostly from memory anyway) and the light went on in my head, “Wait, you can use that to put your chart on.”  And so I did.  Now it is not sliding off my lap so I have to chase it all over the floor.

Little things mean a lot!!!!!

Just thought I’d share.

Happy Knitting




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This week has been the week to finish up some projects- and does that feel good!!!!

I also had time to check out my Score Exchange site, and noticed that everyone is up-loading Carol of the Bells, Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, and some of my other Christmas music.  It set me to thinking that some of you might be interested, if not for yourselves, then for your church, or singing group.  I will tell you that “Mary’s Song” is a great solo for a soprano.  The lady who performed it locally has a beautiful soprano voice and absolutely loved the challenge.   Anna’s Song” is in a lower range, and is a great piece for a Mezzo Soprano.   Both pieces include piano and choir parts.

I have sung Anna’s song many times, and always in costume.  It is amazing what a difference it makes when you actually re-enact those historial moments-besides, I not as nervous when I am pretending to be someone else.  🙂

The original source of these musical vignettes come from the musical I wrote entitled “The Promise,” which tells the story of Simeon and Anna in Luke II.

I just felt led to share this with you, so do with it what you will. If you have any trouble printing them off, let me know and I can send you a PDF.

Of course, my harp music is there, too.

If you will look to the right side of this page under”Blog Roll”

you will see a link that says Music for Christmas, click on it.

Now look for anything listed under “Judith Helms, ” – yes, that’s me.

Now to the knitting part-

I can’t stand it if I don’t have some kind of colorworks project to dink around with, so I started my Whitetail Buck Pillow.  I love the colors.  The pattern combines Intarsia, bobbles, and overlay stitches, and will be finished with cording around the sides.  I haven’t decided what pattern I will do on the back yet, but I will probably opt for a texture stitch of some kind.  This may seem tedious to some, but for me it is therapy.

Happy Holidays



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I have been dink’n around lately with a new wildlife design that I call, “Quail in the Snow.”  The discoveries I’ve made during the process of developing a bobble for the pine cone have been very interesting.  I have already shared with you some of the info in my recent post about “bobbles,”  but further trial and error has brought me to some new conclusions.

1.  A bobble can be made in one stitch and on one row.

2.  Varying the loops can create different special affects.

3.  If you want the knitting to expand for a 3-D look, be gentle, don’t pull them to tight, and knit them with one strand  of yarn.

4.  If you want your bobbles to lie flat on the backside, you need to work your boobles with two yarns- one to make the bobble, and one to knit the stitch in-between.  This second yarn is pulled tight across the back.  It pushed your bobble out front, and helps to retain a proper stitch gauge- very important.

In the picture below you can see the result of the 3-D affect I acheived with my pine cone.  The cone  and snow just above it, was worked with one strand.  The snow on the other branches was worked with two strands, thus putting it in the background.

You can see that the cone it is raised quite a bit above the surface of the work.  To retain the shape, I simply created a web of yarn across the back, weaving it together so that the backside retained the gauge of the entire piece.

Below is one of my new designs, which includes all four charts to play around with.  I am still doing a bit of fine tuning, but hope to have it ready soon.  This particular design was knitted with Palette fingering yarn from Knitpicks.

Hummmm?  A little glitter in the snowflakes might be nice.

This pattern will give you a chance to use Intarsia ( in the round), Fair Isle, bobbles of various kinds, and the experience of creating the pine needles and details with a crochet hook.

It was great fun to do.    Quail Motif – PDF

Have a great day!


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While working on a new set of moffit designs for a Ski Sweater, I decided to include a pine cone in my winter scene on the chest area.  To make the pine cone 3D, I used two tones of brown yarn, light brown for the tips of the seed and a darker brown for the inside portion.  You can see the results below.

Here is a photo of my “pine cone” bobble.  It uses the two colors I mentioned.

The Pine Cone Bobble

Unlike the normal method of making a bobble, each bobble is completed in one row and in one stitch.  You can vary the size of your bobble by simply adding or subtracting the number of loops picked up in the base stitch.  These bobble can also be made on knit or purl rows.  The method I use for making the loops is K 1, YO, K 1; or P 1, YO, P 1.

To make this bobble,using the light color,  pull up the number of loops desired (I used 5 here, 3 loops allows more of the dark color to show through), leaving the original stitch on the left needle, bring the second color(dark) under the first (as in Intarsia) and knit in the back loop of the stitch.  Next, using the tip of your left needle, lift all the light colored loops over the top of the dark colored stitch.  Now, knit at least one dark stitch before you make another bobble.  That’s it.

By varying the stitches (dark color)between the bobbles you can create the appearance of the closed or open cone, as cones open in response to the moisture in the air.   And.. in this case, at least, you are the weatherman.  Experiment!  Play a little!!!

When my winter moffit set is complete I will let you know.  It will be added to my “Patterns” page and will be available in my Etsy Shop.  The moffit set will include a chart for the bottom edge of sweater and sleeves, using Fair Isle, an Intarsia design for the chest area, and an combo of Intarsia and Fair Isle for the shoulders and top of sleeves.  I am very excited about it, and can’t wait to share it with you.

The Leaf Bobble

In the photo above, I used my “Cable Chains” (see my tutorial) to create the stem and a (special) bobble to make the leaf.  You will notice that the leaf bobble has been cabled to the right.  Cabling this bobble to the right or left during the 6 row process allows you to shape the leaf anyway you want.

To make the leaf bobble ,beginning on the knit side

Row 1 – Pick up 7 loops of green.

Row 2 – On the next purl row, slip all the green loops, cabling them in whatever direction you want your leaf to lie.

Row 3 – Divide the bobble into 3 parts as follows:  SSK 3 loops, K on loop, K 3tog.  Finish row .

Row 4 – Slip all loops (here again, cabling them in whatever direction you want this portion to go).

Row 5 –  Knit all three loops together.

Row 6 – Slip the single leaf stitch left and  cable leaf in whatever directions you want it to lean, and purl it with the background color.

Make a swatch and try it.  Once you get the hang of it, you can put them anywhere.

The neat thing about the”bobble” is that you can vary the length of your loops, carry (or slip) them over more than one row to elongate them, divide them, as in the leaf above, and cable them to make various shapes.  It is fun, and will peak your creative juices to find more ways to use them than I will describe here.

Have fun – Knit-tweaker


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As I promised a while back, I have been working on a tutorial that gives you the process of how to work with the Cable Chains to make a diamond pattern on a flat surface.  Why?  This great little stitch opens a world of possiblities for design.  Once learned, this particular pattern can be applied to sweaters, scarves, socks-  you name it. 

 I am in the process of developing a line of 16 inch  pillow designs using these and various other unusual stitches.  When I am ready, which I hope will be soon,  I will add a page entitled “The Design Gallery.”  If you are interested, you will be able to check there for the available patterns and contact me directly if  you wish to purchase one.   All the tutorials for these designs will be free.

This offering is a practice piece, similar to the Wandering Chains tutorial,  accept that it is a little more complex, and it is more geared toward the other designs I have in mind. 

 I don’t know if you checked out my post on ” Painting with Yarn,” but if you have, you saw the Iris Motif I designed.  That particular piece is one that will be included in my pillow collection. 


Also, included in this collection, will be my Tropicana Rose design, pictured on the left.

For now, we will call this offering an introductory sample.  or….., perhaps, something to peak your creative juices.   Or….. , well….. something like that!

I hope you like it.  One more thing-you don’t have to do the letter in the middle, you could put whatever you like in it’s place.

 I have included a chart  in the tutorial, that will give you a visual layout, and have tried my best to walk you through the process with pictures and illustrations, along with written  instructions, row by row.   Fell free to download and print it off.

Cable Chain Tutorial and Chart 

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I am so excited to be able to share my new project with you.  It began when I was inspired to knit a cross stitch Iris, designed by my friend at Temping Tangles.  My first challenge, of course,  was to create a canvas on which to place my picture.  The next question was the shape.  Finally, deciding on a diamond sampler, I began working on the frame design. As the frame of a picture is very important, I played with many ideas before I settled on the final design.  I knew that I wanted to incorporate several techniques in the project, so keeping that in mind I did the canvas itself in stockinette, the picture in Intarsia,  used a variety of  texture stitches to created diamond frame, and a crocheted chain to fill in the details.

No boring knitting here!!!!

After several attempts  I came up with this.  Here is my first knitted canvas.

In the flower itself I concentrated on the main colors, then with a crochet hook I used a chain stitch to put in the details.  It worked just great.

The next step was to see if I could design one myself.  So….using a picture of an Iris I found on my computer, I charted it for my diamond shape knitting canvas.

Here, again, I did the detail stitches with a crochet hook , using a single strand of the yarn(making it lace weight).  This technique gives you great detail without adding a lot of bulk.  This diamond frame can be filled with your favorite flower, or pet. It can  be adapted to apply on a sweater, front , back or sleeve.  *I will be posting a tutorial on this adaptations soon.

Here is a closer look.  You can see that I elected to leave the leaves with the cross stitch look, but that can be rounded off with the crocheted chain as well.

Here is a close up of the crocheted detail.

Why am so I excited about this?  It has opened a Pandora’s Box of ideas for future projects.  Now I can chart any picture I want, place it on my canvas and knit away.  In fact, I am working on a new one right now.

After finishing the design, my friend took my work and turned it into a cross stitch pattern.  The result was a pattern that offers both knitted and cross stitch designs. There are two versions of each design, along with complete detailed instructions.  Of course you are always welcome to contact me for further instructions if needed.

If you would like to try this, click on “NeedlePoint Knitting” here. All four patterns will be  toward the bottom of the page.

You can also click here.

Oh, be sure to check the info below for Counted Wishes Cross Stitch Festival and pass it out on to your Cross Stitching friends.  You even might find something there to tempt you!

On midnight, just before the start of the upcoming Counted Wishes Festival, August 1-7th, I will be releasing several Brand New Designs for your stitching delight.

Remember, you will have the chance to win one of my designs, FREE if you are the grand prize winner. So be sure to visit and sign up because there will be more than one winner!

If you love Cross Stitch you are in for a Treat!

Show Specials, Grand Prizes, Drawings, Just for Fun Games AND –  best of all, Pricing Discounts during the show week. At the start of the show week, I will post the information right on my main website’s “News! News! News!” page at http://www.temptingtangles.com/

 so you can find out just what my Special Pricing Discount will be.

Remember: Counted Wishes Cross Stitch Festival for the upcoming 2010 Fall edition will be available to all of you August 1st through the 7th where you can buy from us directly.

My designer friends and I will be there to offer you new designs and lots of wonderful surprises.  Even better is that our designs are available instantly – what is better than Instant Gratification? Do come see us in August and join the fun.

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