How to knit a beard

I have a “Faschings shoot” coming up in my Archery club (kinda like Karnival in Germany) and you have to be masked! You also still need to be able to see and hold a bow so I decided to knit myself a beard and sew it to one of my hats. (dont have enough time to make the hat too).

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I found this pattern online on eHow. It looked easy so i printed it and set to work. Only when I tried starting the second half of step one did I realise its very confusing. I just went by ear then. Below is what I did, maybe its easier for you to understand that way too. Let me know how it went!

I used two balls of brown wool and used both at the same time, as one, to make my beard thicker and more sturdy. I also used size 5 needles :)

Begin with the mustache part of the hat.

  1. Cast one stitch; then knit front and back (kfb) to make two stitches.
  2. Knit one row.
  3. kfb these to add two more stitches. Should have 4 stitches.
  4. Knit one row.
  5. Kfb first stitch, knit second, kfb third and knit last, should have six stitches now.
  6. Knit three rows.
  7. To decrease rows, knit 2 together, knit one, knit 2 together, should have 4 stitches.
  8. Knit one row.
  9. Knit two together, knit two together should have two stitches.
  10. Knit one row. This is the middle of your mustache.
  11. kfb first stitch, kfb second stitch. should have 4 stitches.
  12. repeat steps 4 to 9
  13. Knit one row and cast off
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The beard part.

  1. Cast on six stitches.
  2. Knit six rows.
  3. Knit three stitches then kfb to add three more stitches.
  4. Knit one row.
  5. kfb last three to add three more stitches.
  6. Knit one row.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until you have approximately 20 stitches.
  8. Keep checking the width against your face. Once my beard reached the corner of my lips I cast off 5 stitches. Careful that you cast off at the top of the beard, i.e under your nose. Its to make space for your mouth!
  9. Knit three rows (here I knitted until the beard reached the other side of my mouth), cast on five stitches (to replace the ones you took off in step 8.)
  10. Knit until the beard needs to decrease, check by folding the piece over in half.
  11. Knit until the last 4 stitches (careful that this is at the bottom of the beard, the  chin end).
  12. knit 2 together twice to decrease stitches.
  13. Knit one row.
  14. Repeat steps 11 to 13 until you have decreased to 6 stitches.
  15. Knit six rows. Make sure this side is as long as the other after 6 rows, if not, knit some more.
  16. Cast off.

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Using a large sewing needle, sew the separate beard and mustache pieces together at each end of the mustache. I let my mustache overlap onto the beard a little.

Sew the beard onto a beanie hat for wearing comfort.   :)  enjoy your new facial hair!!

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Beginners Sock – Rib included!

This isn’t really a new post; it’s more of an update on the previous sock pattern post.
I’ve made two more pairs of socks in the last few weeks. One was for a friend for his birthday (the navy and teal ones) and the chunky purple tweed ones are for me to wear inside my boots. They’re the most comfy things ever! I got the rib right this time, thankfully, so I think that’s a good improvement.

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I think I’ve really fallen in love with tweed wool, especially the chunky ones at this time of year. They feel so luxurious and warm!

Gluten-free Chocolate Almond & Rum Cake

I know this is mostly a knitting and crochet blog, but I was so excited to have this recipe that I had to share it! It’s a really easy cake to make, it’s delicious and it’s got no flour in it at all, so it’s free from wheat and gluten for friends and family who can’t eat it!

Prep time: 15 mins

Baking time: 38-45 mins

Ready in: 1 hour 45 mins

Serves: 8-10

For the cake:

  • 225g (8oz) dark chocolate (in drops or pieces)
  • 225g (8oz) ground almonds
  • 250g (9oz) caster sugar
  • 150g (5oz) butter, softened (plus extra for greasing)
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 4 tbsp (120ml) rum (or other spirit)
  • 8 blanched almonds, to decorate
  • 20cm (8in) diameter spring-form cake tin with 6cm (2.5in) sides

For the glaze:

  • 75ml (3floz) double or regular cream
  • 125g (4.5oz) dark chocolate (in drops or pieces)
  • 2 tbsp (60ml) rum (or other spirit)

Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F/Gas Mark 4), then butter the sides of the cake tin and line the base of the tin with baking paper. Ensure the base of the tin is turned upside down so there’s no lip and the cake can slide off easily.
  2. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and melt over a pot of boiling water. Leave until just melted, stirring occasionally, then remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Place the ground almonds, sugar and butter into a food processor and whiz until well mixed. Add the eggs, rum and melted chocolate and whiz until blended.
  4. Tip the cake mixture into the prepared tin and cook for 38-45 minutes or until puffed up and slightly cracked on the surface but still quite moist in the centre – a skewer into the centre should be slightly sticky.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 20 mins before loosening the sides with a small sharp knife; carefully remove the cake from the tin and transfer to a wire rack to cool down fully.
  6. While the cake is baking or while it’s cooling, make the glaze. Pour the cream into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Take off the heat, then add the chocolate, stirring to melt, and mix in the rum.
  7. Transfer the cooled cake to a serving plate and pour over the chocolate glaze (reheating if necessary), then decorate with the blanched almonds in an evenly spaced circle with the nuts pointing inward around the edge of the cake. Can be served with whipped cream or creme fraiche.
I’ve tried Cointreau and Captain Morgan’s in this recipe and both work really well. It’s fun to experiment with different flavours and see how they work with the mixture. In my cake, I used flaked almonds instead of blanched ones and put little white chocolate drops on it, just for something extra. Happy baking!
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Beans the cat

I found this pattern online and wanted to try it. I’ve been planning on making small knitted toys for an animal shelter that sell them to raise funds.

I didnt know how to kfb (knit one front and back) so I checked youtube… and voila. Here is a very easy to understand video.

This is after the cast on and the first 2 rows where you have to kfb. Mind, I’m doing it with straight needles since i dont have double pointed needles or round neeedles… I’ll have to sew along the back too to close it.

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I think I should have added a few row in the middle section because my Beans turned out a little on the short side… pretty short and pretty wide. haha. poor Beans.  I didnt use DK (double knit) wool so my knitting was slimmer and not as chunky. Still cute, the little fat cat.

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I made his tail using a Knitting spool, calld a “strickliesel” in German. I bought it for €2 in Aldi. Its really simple to use and makes a knitted sausage shape, perfect for cat tails  🙂  They also exist in bigger versions, usually called knitting looms, where you can knit a whole hat in an hour. Check youtube for demonstrations.

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As a little tip:

I’m terrible at remembering where I am in a pattern so I use a small calendar to keep track. Its a cheap 2013 pocket calendar that I use to keep track of what row I’ve just completed. I use the day that I started my project on. That way I always know when I started. Any little notebook would work, just remember to add a line each time you finish a row.

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Christmas all over again :)

Aldi were doing a knitting-special on thursday so I went mad  🙂

Got a pretty Sewing box to house my sewing needles, embroidery yarn, patterns and some packs of wool. Also bought some needles and sock-wool. The sock-wool packs came with instructions and round needles. So i have everything I need to make socks in the future.

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Crochet Socks for Beginners

This was my first time crocheting anything, so one of the socks really isn’t the best, but I’m proud of them anyway!

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I adapted this pattern so that there was no rib, not because I wanted to, but because I didn’t know exactly what I was doing and had done too much to want to go back and start again.

I’m still happy with them anyway. Hopefully next time I’ll do them properly.

The wool I used was Hayfield Aran Tweed in shade 0781 with a 4.5mm crochet hook.