Little Miss Delicious Raffle – WIN a Braid Headband knitted by me!

I have discovered so many creative people from all over the world thanks to social media. One of them is Maxine, the lady behind Little Miss Delicious and maker of super-cute polymer clay jewellery and fabric accessories (if I made jewelery, this is what I’d want it to look like). I’ve been following Maxine on IG for a long time now as we share the same love of food and cute faces – we actually live in the same city but have never met!

I recently ordered a Little Miss Delicious Mystery Pack which included all these pretties for only £15! The ice cream felt accessory is definitely my favourite :)

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Ok I’ve gone on enough about how much I love Little Miss Delicious, let’s get down to business. Maxine has organised a raffle in order to raise funds for the Brain Tumour Charity in memory of her grandad (you can read the full story here).

She is doing an amazing thing for such a great cause and I wanted to be part of it.  So I offered to make a contribution by donating one of my knits – this pastel braid headband!

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This cute knit will be one of many fabulous prizes up for grabs – all donated by fellow makers – including some cute LMD pieces of course!

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To be in with the chance of winning one of these exciting prizes (they will be divided into 5 bundles), all you have to do is purchase a ticket before 31st August, so you only have a few days left!. You can buy your raffle ticket here for only £2. If you’d prefer to donate to the cause directly, you can do so on Maxine’s Just Giving page.

Make sure you follow LMD on Twitter and Instagram and Like the Facebook page to get the latest news!

Vinyl Record Coasters by Knitti Politi

It’s been a while since I have updated my ‘Knit Diaries’ and let you know what I have been up to! So here we go…

Remember the 2014 checklist I posted earlier this year? One of my resolutions was to do more selfish knitting and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing – not just working on my own designs but having a go at other knitters’ patterns. I’ve recently started to become more active on Ravelry (feel free to add my as a friend!). I used to be confused by the many categories and unappealing design, but have to say it’s so handy to have everything in one place and feel part of a knitting community!

Anyway, going back to the selfish knitting, I was looking for an original coasters pattern for my coffee table on Ravelry and found this awesome knitted vinyl records pattern created by Ellen Kapusniak aka Knitti Politi. Aren’t these cool?

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These coasters are really easy to knit and make a perfect gift for music lovers – my vinyl collector friends absolutely love them so I will have to make some more :)

I probably should have used cotton or acrylic yarn rather than merino wool as they get a bit fuzzy after a while.

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That’s enough selfish knitting for now! Another item on my checklist was to publish my own patterns and that’s something I’m working hard at – I will be publishing a set of intarsia/fairisle patterns very soon!

My first ever knitting design competition – VOTE NOW!

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UPDATE: Well I didn’t win, but I feel honoured to have made it to the shortlist! Thank you to everyone who voted for my design, you can check out the winners here :)

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I have been very quiet on here & everywhere else and here is why… A great opportunity recently came up with the awesome knitwear company Wool & The Gang to design a clutch bag to be sold as a knit kit on their website. Having recently decided to dedicate more time to designing rather than making, I jumped on the occasion.

WATG first asked participants to knit a swatch using their new Mixtape Yarn, do a sketch and write a brief description of our design.

WATG Clutch Bag Design by Julie Picard

When I made it to the shortlist (yay!), I was then asked to knit my clutch bag and send them some pics including a ‘in action’ shot, hence the awkward photo of myself below.

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The voting is now open and they will launch the winning design as a knit kit. This is a fantastic opportunity for me and, if you like my clutch bag, I’d be so grateful if you could spare a minute to vote for my design! All you have to do is click HERE and vote for JULIE (that’s me!) – you will be taken to their Facebook page to vote and it also works from mobiles.

THANK YOU!

There are some lovely designs in this list, and if my clutch bag does not win, I’ve decided that I will publish the pattern myself :)

If you’ve never heard of WATG before, check out their website!  – I discovered them thanks to friend years ago. They make modern DIY and unique, ready to wear fashion knits brand for women, men, kids and babies.

Macramé plant hanger

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, I’ve not only been having issues with WordPress but am also working on a top secret project which has been taking up a lot of my knitting time. Hopefully I’ll be able to tell you all about it soon!

Do you remember the macramé tutorial I did a while ago for Mollie Makes’ Ipad app Gathered (RIP)? Well I have great news! This tutorial is now available for free on molliemakes.com!

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My macramé plant hanger tutorial includes step-by-step images and is the perfect project to decorate your home this summer. Share your pics if you give it a try!

Click here for more patterns

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30 Animal Squares

It all started on Instagram on a cold December evening. As I was going through my feed, I came across one of these ‘one photo a day’-type challenges, something I never take part in, but this one was different. The wonderful Lindsay from Em & Sprout (who I interviewed before, read the post here) came up with a fun challenge to draw one different animal a day throughout the month of January. I LOVE animals, but I can’t draw, so instead I thought this project would be a great way to develop my chart design skills. For those of you who are not familiar with chart design, this is what we knitters use to create a pattern. This was also a great opportunity to discipline myself in a month where I would probably get a bit lazy.

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So every day, I ‘doodled’ the animal on graph paper, then knitted it as a square and posted the image on IG. Not only was I amazed at how much people liked them, but I discovered many talented drawers/illustrators. You can see all the photos from the challenge by searching for the hashtag #animaldoodleaday on Instagram.

Here are my animal squares:

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This challenge turned into something much bigger than I expected! Due to the huge interest my animals received, I decided to make the patterns available as an ebook so anyone can use them to make their own cute animal squares.

You can buy the the pattern for my 30 animal squares in my Etsy shop, on Ravelry and Craftsy. If you’re only interested in one or a few animals, just contact me by email at julietheknits@gmail.com and we’ll work something out :)

A lot of you have also been asking what will become of my squares. I have sewn them together and framed them. As there were only prototypes I didn’t want to make a blanket as it would be of no use. This framed knit would look lovely in a child’s bedroom, but this one will stay in my knitting room for now :)

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Don’t forget to share your pics with me if you have knitted your own animal squares!

Click here to check out my other patterns :)

UPDATE: You can now buy individual patterns of my animal squares on Etsy!

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Cute & Easy Bow Headband

Following the huge interest the Heart Coasters Pattern received a few months ago, I felt it was time I share a new free pattern with you – a cute bow headband! You might recognise this project as it was first published in issue 14 of Gathered by Mollie Makes – it was actually my first ever published project! These headbands are also available in my Etsy Shop :)

Knitted Bow Headband Pattern

Please do not sell any finished items made from this pattern, thank you! However, I’d love to see your knitted headbands, so do share pictures – Leave a link in the comments, find me on Instagram or Ravelry. Happy Knitting!

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Material

– DK Yarn in 2 different colours – I used King Cole Merino Blend DK in 855 Mustard and 926 Petrol
– Size 4mm double pointed knitting needles (DPNs)
– Tapestry needle
– Scissors
– Tape measure

Instructions

Make the bow
Cast on 12 stitches using King Cole Merino Blend DK in Mustard. Work in stocking stitch (knit one row, purl one row) until the bow measures 13 cm. Cast off.

Step 1 (2)

Make the bow gathering
Cast on 6 stitches using the mustard yarn and work in stocking stitch until the gathering measures 5 cm. Cast off.

Step 2 (3)
Assemble the bow
Fold the big rectangle in half with the right sides facing each other and, using the tapestry needle, sew up the seams and weave in the ends.

Step 3 (1)

Repeat the same process with the bow gathering. Turn the work inside out, take the bow through the gathering and shape it until you get a pretty bow!

Step 3 (5)

Make the I-cord
Cast on 4 stitches using the shade Petrol. Knit one row then slide the stitches to the other end of the double pointed needle. Pull the yarn along the back of the work and knit the next row. Repeat until the I-cord measures 50 cm. Cast off.

Step 4 (1)

Assemble the headband
Take the I-cord through the back of the bow, make a knot and weave in the ends. Place the knot of the I-cord behind the bow gathering so there is no visible seam.

Step 5 (2)

If you wish to set your bow into place rather than have it move freely around the I-cord, use a little bit of yarn and the tapestry needle to sew the bow and bow gathering to the I-cord.

Step 6 (1)

 

Click here for more patterns!

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Alpacasso Love

Julie And The Knits is massively influenced by the Japanese culture. I’m not sure how it all started. I just feel drawn to anything that comes from Japan – the food, manga, anime, the kawaii culture etc. And since I visited Japan a few years ago I am officially in love with the country as well! I’m sure my friends are bored with me going on about it, but I just can’t help it. OBSESSED!

That brings me to today’s topic: alpacasso (also called arpakasso). But what is this???

Alpacasso is derived from the word ‘alpaca’. An alpaca is one of the cutest animals on planet Earth. They’re also a knitter’s favourite because their coat makes the softest wool.

One day, a clever guy in Japan decided to create plush toy versions of this animal and alpacasso was born! The company Amuse first used them as prizes in claw machines but more recently, they became available online, yay! If you’re into kawaii stuff, prepare to be amazed!

I first came across Tasty Peach Studio’s Zombie Alpaca Plush and soon realised that Alpacassos were a huge phenomenon! They come in so many colours, sizes and shapes, it can be really hard to pick one. Of course, quality varies as well, so if you would like to buy one, make sure you do plenty of research first!

Excusez-moi, but how cute is this beret??!

Below is the alpacasso I bought for my friends’ daughter’s 1st birthday. After browsing many websites I ordered a plain cream plush from Blippo.com. It was so soft and kawaii I just wanted to keep it to myself! (Apologies for the terrible photos, I quickly took them with my phone because I’m an idiot).

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I’d also knitted Eliza a scarf so decided to wrap it around and it basically become the best present ever! I found the pattern for this pompom scarf on this super cute blog.

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If you’re aware of any other gems from Kawaii Land please do share them here!

Die Young Stay Pretty

It’s about time I share with you my love for one of my favourite crafters in the world, Victoria from Die Young Stay Pretty. I’m not just saying that because she is one of my best friends, promise! She actually inspired me to start Julie and The Knits and create my Etsy shop.

Victoria lives in Paris and launched her brand Die Young, Stay Pretty a few years ago. She makes necklaces, earrings, brooches and more based on what she loves. As we have very similar taste, I tend to love every single piece she creates, so I have grown a nice personal collection of DYSP pretties over the years – see the pic at the end of this post! Time to find out more about this talented lady.

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Hi Victoria! Tell us more about Die Young Stay Pretty

Hello Julie! Die Young, Stay Pretty is a rock’n’kitsch jewelry brand I created in May 2009. At the time, I was unemployed and a bit depressed: I needed to do something to make me feel better, using my creativity. Since forever, I’ve been creating things from scratch, and I really love crafting and the DIY spirit. I naturally decided to create jewelry, the medium of choice for expressing myself: I could mix my love of kitschy and quirky with musical and cinematographic references.

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What inspires when you create new items?

Is it okay if I answer “everything”? ;-) I’m similar to a sponge as far as inspiration is concerned: I feed on everything I see. I collect thousands & thousands of pictures on my computer of things that inspire me: bands, fashion, tattoos, home decors, paintings, pop culture stuff, horror movies stills, guitars, food, travels…

You can follow my Pinterest if you wish: http://www.pinterest.com/dieyoungbaby/boards/

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What are your favourite DYSP creations?

Definitely, horror movies brooches!! Especially if worn with a granny cardigan. Also, I made a very ridiculous belt buckle for a friend featuring Annette and Monsieur Roger, 2 characters from a very cheesy & silly French TV show from the 90’s. I was so fond to work on such a piece!

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What piece of advice would you give to creative people who’d like to start selling their work?

This is going to sound a little bit cliché, but don’t give up and don’t be too hard on yourself. Crafting and DIY should be fun, not a constraint.

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Links to your website/shops

You can buy my jewels on Dawanda and Tictail:

And you can follow my Facebook page for news & information:

Hope you love Victoria’s jewelry as much as I do, make sure you check out her shops for more! And without further ado, here is my cherished DYSP collection! I wear my Moss necklace almost every day ♥♥♥

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Brittany’s Embroidered Hearts

While checking out my blog stats (boring) I noticed a lot of traffic coming from a blog called Just Be Crafty. Intrigued, I visited the site and found THIS!

Brittany used my free knitted heart pattern to create some lovely Valentine’s Day gifts. I love the fact that she adapted the pattern to her fit her taste and embroidered romantic little messages on them. This totally made my day!  

If you too have knitted some heart coasters, share your photos/links with me :)