General

A free to use Christmas bauble drawing for you

Merry Christmas for friends & family Blog Graphic

Making time for yourself during the holidays

This time of year can seem crazy busy for many. Preparing for a family holiday, often involving entertaining significant numbers and/or travel, can become a blur of manic activity. Combine this with finishing up of work projects before the end of the year, and it isn’t surprising that so many folks hit the Christmas season frazzled and potentially full of cold.

To help you make a little time for yourself, or (if I really can’t persuade you to take a bit of time out) as an entertainment for young artists to keep them calm ahead of Santa’s visit, I’ve a little gift for you.

A Free Festive Outline for you

Kitty Bauble
Kitty Bauble

Colouring in

Kitty bauble coloured pencil

Print him out and use your coloured pencils, paints and/or collage scraps and glue stick to bring him to life.

Christmas Colour Scheme Ideas

If you struggle with colour schemes have a look at this blog post from Creative Market. It gives you 8 different combinations to try.

Tonal Values

Consideration of tonal values can make a big difference to your colouring in (and other art work). A light tonal value next to a dark tonal value will create a striking visual contrast. Two similar tonal values together will be more subtle. If you are not sure, a black and white photo of the colours will turn them in to tonal values and you can then compare them.

The above said, I’m pretty sure that as children we didn’t sweat over these types of things (although we did learn pretty quickly what we liked and didn’t through trial and error). And let’s face it. Children are masters of colouring in so maybe throw design caution to the wind, embrace your hidden five year old and just do it!

Get your Stitch on

If textiles are more your thing, then the outline would work really well as a basis for some stitchery.

Kitty Bauble stitched example
the beginning of a stitched piece

Again, print out the outline and then transfer it to a piece of fabric. I’ve done a blog post previously with methods to do this if you are unsure.

Once you’ve the main lines on, how about some embellishment? A bit of applique would work really well. Sequins, beads, ribbons…. lots of exciting things to try.

Coloured pencils and watercolour paints also work well on cotton fabrics and add another method of providing interest to a stitched piece.

Happy Christmas and New Year

I hope you have fun creating your own version of the kitty bauble. I’d love to see what you do with it (if you are on Instagram please post and tag me (@nickybarfoot)).

So for those of you who do celebrate at this time of year, I wish you a wonderful time. And for everyone, I look forward to connecting with you again in 2020.

 

 

General, knitting patterns

How to make a knitted crown (and rock your inner May Queen)

As Spring has now sprung on UK shores (and we do have a royal wedding coming up) I thought it was about time I had my own flower crown. So I spent May Day embracing my inner May Queen by knitting an appropriate head piece. My idea was to adorn it with some wild flowers (weeds to some) not realising that most people were spending their bank holiday manicuring their lawns and verges. Thankfully I was able to find a few unkempt patches to gather a few daisies and buttercups which had managed to avoid the Big Mow only to end up in my fairy photoshoot!

Knit a crown
Yes, your majesty?

This crown is easy to make and involves a small amount of a double knit yarn (mine is shown in Sirdar cotton DK). You will also need a 3.25mm circular needle (or alternative to achieve the required tension) and a couple of stitch markers. I decorated the tips of my crown spikes, of which there are seven, with a metal bead. With a tension of 22sts to 10cm, the crown has a 48cm circumference and is shown on an average sized adult female head of 55.5cm/22in.

Working the rim

Cast on 105sts on to a 3.25mm circular needle and join to work in the round, placing marker to indicate the start of the round.

Work 20 rounds of garter stitch (alternating a knit round with a purl round).

Working the spikes

Now change from working in the round to working back and forth on each spike in turn while leaving the remaining stitches on the circular needle until needed. The spikes require a double centred decrease, an s2kp, which is worked as follows: slip nxt 2 sts together knitwise, k1, pass slipped sts over. 2 sts decreased. Please note that you will need to develop a suitable marker replacement tactic as the central stitch gets absorbed into the stitch in front and the stitch behind with this decrease.

Spike 1 is worked over the next 15sts:

Row 21 (RS): K7, place marker to mark the next stitch as the centre stitch, k8. 15sts. Turn work.

Nxt row (WS): Knit to marker, slip marker, knit to end.

Nxt row (RS): Knit to one stitch before marker, s2kp (rearranging marker to indicate the new centre stitch), knit to end of spike. 13sts.

Nxt row: As previous WS row.

Repeat the last two rows, decreasing two sts centrally on each RS row until 3 sts remain.

Nxt row (WS): Sl1, k2tog, psso. 1 st.

Cut yarn and pull through to fasten.

With RS facing, rejoin yarn to rim and knit next 15 sts repeating the instructions for Spike 1 to create the next and subsequent spikes.

When all seven spikes are complete, sew in ends and decorate as desired.

I threaded through some daisies and buttercups but the crown would look equally fabulous adorned with beads, buttons or embroidery. And for those of you who make your own Christmas crackers……..

knitted crown flatlay low res
How many ways can you decorate a crown?

I’d love to see what you come up with. Please feel free to tag me @nickybarfoot on instagram or post to my facebook page.

Happy knitting!