Sunday, March 17, 2019

my woolly somethings

woolly chick with wire legs

I'm cleaning house, business-wise! That is, I'm sorting through my hundreds of samples and needing to pare down some!

I opened a second Etsy Shoppe to sell these 'extra' samples. My shoppe is called My Woolly Somethings.  I have made changes to many of them, as you may notice, making them truly one-of-a-kind. They are all knit and felted and ready to ship. No waiting required!

Hope you check out my shoppe! I am running a sale that if you buy two or more samples you will  get FREE shipping within the domestic United States.

A great gift for that special friend or family member to add to their Easter baskets.

Hope you find something you like.

Happy knitting!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

a crochet-edge heart

woolly sweet-hearts pattern*
Happy Valentine's Day!

Here in Minnesota a little sweetness is most needed amidst all this snow and polar temps this February 2019. Hope your day is a sweet wherever you are!

In honor of Hearts Day, what better way to celebrate but with a third and final heart embellishing tutorial: how to create a crochet edge on a heart knit and felted from my Woolly Sweet-Hearts pattern.

Materials needed for this design are fingering weight yarn in matching or coordinating color to the heart, a size C crochet hook, and a chenille needle.

The heart in the above photo is a large traditional-style design. It was first knit with worsted weight yarn and then felted.
blanket stitched heart

The shell edge is done all around the center of the heart, dividing it in half (cream heart photo). Using the fingering weight yarn, (the same yarn you will crochet with), embroider the 'blanket stitch' all around the heart. If you do the stitch in a contrasting color like I did with this cream heart, it can be left like this (no crochet edge) as a fun design in and of itself. It creates like a cord look around the heart.

Once the blanket stitch is stitched, start at the top of the heart, left-side, and move counter-clockwise. Begin crocheting a simple shell edge as follows: *dc, dc, sc, dc, dc all in one blanket stitch, sl st into the following blanket stitch, then in the next blanket stitch begin again*; repeat * to * until the end.

Stay loose and not tight. If too tight the shell edge will curl up. If this happens once completed, wet with water the crochet edge. Tug the edge slightly to even it out and allow it to air dry like this.

So whether you add a crocheted shell edge to your heart or not, here are two new embellishing designs to play and practice with.

Don't hesitate to ask if you have further questions. I am here to help.

Happy knitting!

*NOTE: The pins in the top photo are from Just Another Button Company, Will you BEE mine, Valentine? just pins set.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

a curly-cue heart

woolly sweet-hearts pattern
Today's heart tutorial is one I call my curly-cue heart, for obvious reasons. I love this design! It is so easy to do but it looks so complicated. It is sure to get rave reviews with your family and friends.

The pink heart is the large folk-style design from my Woolly Sweet-Hearts pattern. Again, like with yesterday's heart, I only embellished the top side.

Materials needed for this design: an all-purpose (38-gauge) felting needle, fingering or sport weight yarn in a coordinating color to the heart, FireLine bead thread, fine beading needle and tiny seed beads (size 11 used in photo).

To begin the curly-cues, I cut several 4-inch lengths of yarn (fingering weight in photo). Fingering weight creates finer lines, and sport weight, slightly thicker. I took one length and created a small curl near the bottom of the heart. Then I used the felting needle and began poking the strand down atop the heart. I poked it lightly to slightly adhere it to the heart, holding the curl in position. I like to first baste all the curls down just in case I need to move one later if needed. Take another length and butt it up next to the first curl and form a second curl. Baste it into position.

Continue in this manner until the heart is covered in curls. I like to alternate the curls having a left facing curl butt up against right facing and so forth.

Once all the curls are in position, then I begin going over each of the curls again and again to permanently adhere them to the heart. As you continue to poke the yarn it will flatten and first seem like its getting wider. The more you poke the thinner it becomes, looking more like its original old self.

At the end of most of the curls, I added a little ball of pink, giving the curl further dimension. To create this look, cut a 1-inch length of pink yarn and pull the plies apart. Smoosh them between your fingers, creating a little bit of yarn fluff. Roll this fluff into a tiny ball and needle felt it down onto the curl's end, poking it into a round dot and then flattening it.

The final touch is the beads. I used size 11 seed beads in a pale pink color. I used FireLine clear beading thread because of its transparency. You can bead a top any color heart and it won't show. I sewed the beads randomly around the heart adding further texture and sparkle. I cut a length of bead thread long enough to sew on all the beads with one thread. The hardest part about beading is threading that darn needle, so work efficiently and use only one thread. For more detailed instructions on how to bead atop wool review my book, Whimsical Woollies or my Woolly Eggs or Woolly Holiday Ornaments patterns.

There you have it! Another fun and one-of-a-kind heart for your bowl of sweet hearts.

Don't hesitate to ask if you have any further questions. I appreciate the feedback.

Tune in tomorrow for my final tutorial, a crocheted-edge heart.

Happy knitting!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

a crazy quilt heart

woolly sweet-hearts pattern
Today I am starting a 3-day tutorial ending on Valentine's day to show a few 'extra' embellishing designs you can adapt to my newest pattern: Woolly Sweet-Hearts. Remember, knitting and felting hearts doesn't have to be a Valentine-only project, but rather a year-round one, creating everyday hearts for those sweeties in your life.

The heart above is my 'crazy quilt' heart. In the pattern, this is the large folk style heart. A perfect size for embellishing a little extra. FYI, I only embellished the top-side of the heart, nothing on the back.

For materials, I used #5 perle floss in 3 colors (cream, dark and a lighter pink) and a chenille needle. I played with 5 of my most favorite stitches: the french knot, the feather stitch, the blanket stitch, the chain stitch and the fern stitch.

To begin, I divided the heart in half using the 'feather stitch'. This created two panels, one on either side, for embellishing. Why stop at two! I then stitched the 'blanket stitch'  to the side, creating a third panel. I added a few chain stitch flowers to the ends of the blanket stitch. Now I had 3 sections or rather three 'fabrics' to embellish on, like the combination of several crazy fabrics in the heirloom quilt blankets.

In my first section (the upper left corner), I created my first 'fabric'. I embroidered a cluster of 3 'french knots' to create a posy-look. I stitched two of them in a dark pink floss and the the third, a lighter color. I love the two-tone look of these flower-like knots. I actually happened upon this by mistake. I ran out of the darker floss and used another pink, a lighter one, to finish. In this case, a wonderful mistake!

In my second section (the upper right corner), I left this section red,  no added embroidery. With each section I wanted to create a different pattern or fabric. So leaving this section blank, no embroidery, created a second pattern in and of itself. I did add on the end of the blanket stitch arms (every other one), two 'chains', and one 'french knot' in the center of them, creating another flower design.

In my third section (the lower point), I created a third pattern/fabric to my heart by embroidering several small leaves or ferns using the 'fern stitch'. They are tossed about here and there.

All these stitches are simple and easy to learn. Their how-to instructions can be found online, in a basic embroidery book, and in the embellishing section within my own Whimsical Woollies book. So many resources to choose from. Pick 2-3 stitches and experiment with them. Remember practice, practice, and practice again!

If nothing else, remember this quick and easy tip from my book, Whimsical Woollies for perfecting those unruly french knots: Use an all-purpose felting needle and gently poke the sides of the french knots to even out their uneven spots. You'll have perfect knots in no time!

Hope you learned a thing or two. Still have a question? Don't hesitate to ask in the comments section below. I am here to help.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's 'sweet' heart adventure.

Happy knitting!

Saturday, February 2, 2019

NEW! woolly sweet-hearts

woolly sweet-hearts
My newest pattern, Woolly Sweet-Hearts, was published today, just in time for Valentine's Day! But with this pattern,  now everyday is a perfect sweet-hearts day.

every day is sweet-hearts day
Woolly Sweet-Hearts is a knit & felt design. The pattern gives instructions for a Traditional and Folk-style heart in two sizes: small and large.

The Traditional heart shape is more round and the Folk heart is taller, both in body and in the height of its bumps (the two rounded tops of the heart).

The hearts are knit using worsted weight yarn and size 10.5 double point needles. This creates a finished small heart about 2.5-inches wide by 3-inches high, and a large heart about 3.25-inches wide by 4-inches hight. Sizes do vary for each heart style design.

red, white, pink hearts
The hearts in the background, photo above, were knit using sport weight yarn and size 8 double points. Fill a bowl of hearts in several sizes, styles and colors!

In addition, the pattern gives instructions for two embellishing designs: Bee Mine and XXO. Once the hearts are felted, adding a button and simple embroidery turns them into messages of sweet endearment.

Legend says a red heart symbolizes love and passion; a white heart, true love and purity of mind; and a pink one, sweet friendship. Knit a heart in every color to show your true colors!

Happy knitting!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

k1b? Help Me!

(k1b, k1) increase video

Having questions on how exactly you do a 'k1b' increase? Especially in regards to my newest pattern, Pillow-Toss Pumpkin? Well, so glad you asked!

I created a YouTube video to help with this confusion (I'm just learning the how-to's with the video stuff, so be patient with the end result). The 'k1b' increase is easier than it sounds. Knitting below creates a near-invisible increase, perfect when used with super bulky yarn such as this pumpkin pattern calls for.

After viewing the video if you still have questions, don't ever hesitate to contact me personally via email (mariemayhewdesigns@gmailcom). I will gladly walk you through the pattern. No question is too small. Remember, I am always here to help!

Happy knitting!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

gratefully yours!

Thanksgiving 2018

Wishing you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving! Thank you for supporting me and my patterns over the year, I am so grateful for your encouraging words, photos and enthusiasm. It keeps me creating!

Look forward to a new year of knitting and fun new patterns.

Happy knitting!