How To · Tutorial

Little Dot Lampshade · Craft Tutorial

Anyone who has moved house knows that choosing the right decor, furniture and accessores to make your new home complete takes a while. We moved house two years ago to our wonderful pad here in Asturias, and even though we have the bulk of everything we need, it’s still a labour of love to get it looking just right. Recently we changed up our bedroom, ditching some simple, white lampshades we had in our old flat (it was very clean, modern and cool) that totally didnt go with the rustic/modern style we have in or current home. I wasn’t too keen on just chucking these old lampshades out – I mean, HELLO! Plain white lampshades are just begging for a cheeky upcycle – so I decided to make something wonderful out of them!

If you too have some plain lampshades lying around that need a new lease of life follow my simple tutorial and you can whip up your own! The best thing of all is that you can use any yarn colours you like to match your interior – I love adding black yarn for drama – and make a totally unique piece.

You will need:

  • Several small amounts of fingering/dk/aran yarn in your chosen colours;
  • A sharp wool/yarn needle and a thinner needle to make holes;
  • A pencil and scissors.

Using a pencil, draw some rough ‘splodge’ shapes or ovals all over the lampshade. Try not to make them too neat, as the idea is to give an irregular look. Afterwards, pierce holes using the thinner needle around the outlines.

Thread your yarn of choice onto the sharp yarn needle and putline the shapes using running stitch. The yarn shown is a 100% alpaca fingering weight yarn.

Now you can “fill” the shapes using long embroidery stitches, or you could use shorter stitches if you prefer. Don’t worry too much about filling the shape exactly, as leaving a few small gaps around the edges of the shape can add an interesting effect

Continue as above using different coloured yarns until you have completed and filled all the shapes.

Display and enjoy your new, fabulous, unique, incredble lamp as you wish and please tag me on Instagram so I can check out your creations!

How To · Knitting pattern · Tutorial

Squidlet Newborn Sweater · Free Knitting Pattern

Knitting garments is one of my favourite things to do, but I sometimes get a bit put off by the hard work invoved! Aside from the actual time-consuming knitting part, working out the sizing and paying special attention to stitch count, gauge and all that jazz can really make me stress out. I told you I was a lazy knitter! However, when my bestie told me she was pregnant, I just new that I had to make something extra-special and unique, and the pattern for the Squidlet Newborn Sweater was born!

What I love most about this sweater – apart from it being cute and the colour palette – is that it’s very simple to knit, takes very little time and is wonderful for newbie knitters who want to expand their skills quickly. Plus it fits babies from newborn all the way up to six months, so it’ll last and last. What’s not to love? Feel free to adapt this pattern if you’re a more advanced knitter – you can leave out the stripes if you wish or make it longer at the body section – but this pattern will give you all the basics you need.

All measurements are approximate and will depend on your tension, but feel free to knit as many rounds as you like on the body section for a longer, more relaxed look. Why not make it into a sweater dress?

Above are all the measurements you need. It’s always a good idea to keep a tape measure with you (or a measuring app) to keep track of lengths and widths as you go. Nobody wants to unravel tentacle-like sleeves that you’ve got carried away knitting whilst bingeing on a series!

You will need:

  • 100g of white DK/Worsted/8 ply weight yarn, 15-20g each of four other DK weight yarns in different colours. I used a mixture of wool/acrylic and cotton/acrylic blend yarns for the stripes and a 100% acrylic yarn for the white sections. I recommend using 100% wool or a wool blend yarn for this project, only using cotton if it is blended with acrylic or wool.
  • A pair of 3.5mm & 5.00mm 16″ circular needles, a pair of 3.00mm & 4.00mm 9″ circular needles (or a long circular needle for the magic loop method or DPNs. Instructions are given for working with 9″ needles).
  • Four stitch markers, one in a different design or colour to indicate the beginning of the round.
  • A tape measure, scissors, a yarn needle, two 30cm scraps of waste yarn (the thinner the better).

Gauge: 19 stitches, 27 rounds to 10cm square.

Level: Intermediate/Advanced Beginner (See below for skills needed).

You will need to know:

The long-tail and ‘thumb’ cast on, Cast/bind off, simple Fair Isle (knitting with two colours), knit stitch, purl stitch, slipping stitches purlwise, kfb (knit front and back) increase, using circular needles, picking up stitches, changing colours, the invisible join in the round. It’s also a good idea to know how to steam block (if using acrylic yarn) or wet block for natural fibres.


If you are not comfortable knitting Fair Isle, you don’t have to! Simply change colours the regular way instead of using the technique I have used. The result will be almost identical.

As this pattern uses more than one colour, the different colours are referred to as colour one (white), colour two (yellow), colour three (light pink), colour four (dark pink), and colour five (blue/green). These colours may differ on your project depending on the shades you have chosen, so it’s worth making a note of your colours before you start. This can avoid mess ups!

Remember it’s always better to cast on and bind off loosely. If you are a particularly tight knitter, consider casting on your stitches onto a needle one size bigger (so a 4.5mm needle in this case) and then slip the stitches onto the 3.5mm afterwards.

You don’t have block a finished sweater, but it makes it look 200x better. I always recommend doing it to add a great, neat finish that evens your stitches out. Steam blocking is recommended for man-made fibres, but remember to hold your iron at least 20cm away from the garment to avoid melting.


  • Cast on 55 stitches on the 3.5mm needles. Join using the invisible join method, leaving 54 stitches. Place a marker to indicate the beginning of your round.
  • knit one, purl one (1×1 rib) for four rounds, or for 2cm. This is the collar of your sweater.
  • Change to the 5.00mm needles by slipping all stitches purlwise.
  • Knit four rounds plain (knit every stitch around).

Now we’re going to place the markers that will indicate where we need to increase and form the raglan part of the sweater. Remember to use markers that are the same colour or style and different from your beginning of round marker.

  • From the beginning of the round, knit 11, place marker, knit 16, place marker, knit 11, place marker, knit 16 to end of round.
  • Change to colour two by knitting one stitch in colour one, one stitch colour two.

The next step will be known as your increase round (in bold). It will be referred to as your increase round from now on, so follow this step whenever you see ‘increase round’ in the pattern.

  • From beginning of round, kfb (knit into front and back of stitch), knit until two stitches before raglan marker, kfb, knit one, slip marker, kfb*, repeating this until your reach the beginning of round marker, This pattern will form your raglan increases. Knit one round plain.
  • Work an increase round followed by a plain knit round three times (six rounds).
  • Change to colour three by knitting one stitch in colour two, one stitch in colour three.
    Work an increase round followed by a plain knit round three times (six rounds).
    Change to colour four by knitting one stitch in colour three, one stitch in colour four.
    Work an increase round followed by a plain knit round three times (six rounds).
    Change to colour three by knitting one stitch in colour four, one stitch in colour five.
    Work an increase round followed by a plain knit round three times (six rounds).
    Change back to colour one by knitting one stitch in colour five, one stitch in colour one
  • You are now back to colour one and have worked 24 increase/raglan rounds. You should have 142 stitches on your needles, working out as 38 stitches on the body sections (front and back) and 33 stitches on the sleeve sections. Your raglan increases should measure approximately 11cm. If it doesn’t, no worries! Just work another round or so of increases separated by a plain knit round until it does. If your increases measure a bit more than 12cm that’s also fine, it’ll just mean that there will be a little extra growing room around the sleeves and that’s a good thing.

Now comes the trickiest bit: separating the sleeves. Here we go…

From the beginning of the round, slip the first 33 sleeve stitches onto scrap yarn and tie a knot. Cast on five stitches using the thumb method. Remove the raglan markers as you go, but keep the beginning of round marker in place. Knit across the next 38 body stitches, slip the next 33 sleeve stitches onto scrap yarn as before and tie a knot. Cast on five stitches and knit across the remaining 38 body stitches as you did previously. You should now be at the beginning of the round and have successfully separated the sleeves. Have a glass of wine at this point!

Now lets work the body section…

  • Knit every round plain (knit every stitch for 33 rounds. We’ve almost finished the body – woo!
  • Change back to your 3.5mm needles and knit one, purl one for five rounds. This is the hem.
  • Change back to the 5.00 mm needles by slipping every stitch purlwise (like we did at the collar) and bind/cast off loosely. Using a larger needle means that the hem will be slightly stretchier and less tight, great for slipping on and off a baby’s wriggling body!

We need to knit the sleeves now, so grab your 9″ 4.00mm needles and we shall carry on.

  • Slip all the 38 stitches held on the scrap yarn onto your 9″ needles (or onto longer needkes for magic loop, or DPNs) and knit across all the stitches.
  • When you reach the underarm section, pick up three stitches, place a stitch marker, pick up two stitches. You have no picked up and added the five stitches you cast on earlier. Knit until your sleeve measures 23cm from cast on edge (top of collar). Slip all stitches onto your 3.00mm 9″ needle and knit one, purl one every stitch for five rounds. Slip all stitches onto your 4.00mm 9″ needle once again and bind off.

Repeat the above section for the second sleeve.

To finish, sew up any holes on the underarm area of the sweater – don’t worry, this is normal when knitting raglan sweaters – and weave in all ends carefully and securely. I always follow this game-changing guide by Purlsoho when weaving in my ends.

And that’s your sweater. You’ve done it! Now to make 20 more of them…

I really hope you enjoyed this wordy pattern and found it useful! Don’t forget to tag me @emmaknitty of Instagram if you tried this sweater, and use the hashtag #squidletsweater to share your work.


Tutorial · Origami Pouch

Last week, as part of a huge rebrand of my Etsy store and some big changes for 2019, I made the rather huge decision to go plastic-free with my packaging choices. It’s the right (albeit expensive) thing to do, and I am looking forward to the challenge. Should it be a challenge though? The fact remains that, although boxes are freely available to buy, they are a lot pricier than a simple bubble-wrap padded Jiffy bag or packing envelope, and finding ways of making sure items arrive to their desitination without getting the crap smashed out of them is definitely going to be hard.
Luckily, if you’re willing to pay, there are options available that mean you don’t have to be so reliant on plastic. I’ve found some good sellers on Amazon and Etsy who specialise in boxes and eco-friendly options so I’ll definitely be sticking with them.

When I studied Graphic Design at college, packaging design was a big part of the (awesome) course, so I was super-excited the other day when I had a brainwave (makes a change from the usual brain farts) and decided to look for some ways of packaging small items inside boxes to keep them safe. I found a few tutorials online – some better than others – and decided to adapt them all into my own version and came up with this unacceptably cute and satisfying origami pouch, or sack. I can’t say sack without smirking because so for this post it’ll be known as a pouch. Yes, I know I am childish. Have you seen my Instagram feed? Pure immaturity.

To make your own pouches I recommend using recycled paper and/or paper with a high gsm – that is ‘heavy’ paper – to ensure really good, crisp results. Avoid using newspaper or glossy printed pages from magazines (like, don’t use the Argos catalogue) because they don’t work as well. Quality catalogues, high-quality drawing paper from sketchbooks, thin card (fabbo results) as well as IKEA’s ‘Måla’ range of papers work very well. You can also try using ultra-trendy Kraft paper, but I’d recommend reusing paper you have around the house rather than buying any especially. Try using papers that match your brand’s identity if you are planning on using them for packaging purposes to give a professional but creative, modern image.

You will need:

  • A ruler, ice lolly stick or blunt item to score and flatten edges without ripping the paper.
  • A flat surface to work on.
  • A selection of different sized, high-quality rectangular papers with designs of your choice.
  • A pair of hands.


  1. Place your paper flat on a surface with the prominent side you want facing you.

2. Fold the paper in half so that the ‘open’ end is at the top. Remember to press all folds you make gently but firmly to ensure a sharp look.

3. Fold a small flap down from the edge of paper closest to you.

4. Turn the paper over and fold up the two bottom corners as shown.

5. Fold the piece in half from right to left to form a sharp fold in the middle. Open up again once you’ve finished this center fold.

6. Carefully fold both sides in towards the center and crease firmly.

7. Fold down the flap behind the flap you folded in step three so it covers it.

8. Finally, finish the pouch by gently opening it up and shaping it with your hands. Push the bottom end slightly inwards to form a more pouchy shape, and make it sharper if you wish by finding the inside crease and pinching it a little with your fingers. Finished!

And now you’re done and can enjoy your pouch! These little origami pouches are wonder for storing seeds or small sweets in, for party favours, packaging small items such as pins or badges or simply as decoration. Why not try making a garland of them? Let me know what you create by tagging me on Instagram @emmaknitty and I’d love to share what you’ve made…

How To · Tutorial

Tutorial · Pom-pom Canvas

We’re already into day three of #10daysofpoms, and today is possibly my favourite photo prompt of all: Art!

I think my love of making stems from my obsession with art, something I’ve had since I was little. My Mum still has the first drawing I ever did proudly positioned in her the living room back in England (a small, weird stick-man-bird thingy), and I started collecting art books and encyclopedias from an early age, from bright and sweet books about Kawaii artists to the more morbid end of fine art: a large tome showing the collected works of Otto Dix. I pinched that one from my secondary school, but in my defense it was stuck down the back of a radiator, long-forgotten and covered in dust and splashes of paint. Naughty. I promise that was the only ‘tea-leafing’ I’ve ever done, although I think I may have swiped a mascara from Superdrug once.

I still have an art book of mine with little notes scrawled in pencil saying things like, “nice dress folds”, “nice sky!” and “could be good for Year 11 project”. It makes me feel good looking at them.

Anyways, I thought that invoving art in some way as part of this photo challenge would be fun, so I thought up a simple way of adding poms to a canvas to create a tactile and versatile piece of wall art. It’s extremely customisable – you can obviously choose any colours and sizes of pom that you like – and it’s a LOT of fun. I love the sound and sensation of the needle piercing through the canvas, but then again I’m into ASMR so that’s not surprising…

You will need:

  • A white canvas of any size;
  • A sharp wool or tapestry needle;
  • Two pairs of scissors (one small, sharp pair and another larger pair for trimming);
  • Several poms in different sizes and colour(s) of your choice.


You can use any size of canvas you like, and I thorougly recommend Flying Tiger’s range of high quality and CHEAP canvasses.

Take your canvas and lay it out flat. By now you’ve probably decided what colours you like and what style you want, but if not take a moment to plan the sizes and shades of poms you’re looking for. For my art I chose mustards, lilacs and white to give the impression of negative space, but you can do what you like! This is all about experimentation and having fun, yo.

Planning is fun, but not essential! You can choose your colours carefully, or just wing it and see how you feel.

Using your yarn needle, make two holes next to each other where your pom will go. Each hole corresponds to one strand of yarn that comes off the pom after tying and trimming. Tip: Don’t feel that you have to make 20 poms all in one go; the good thing about this project is that you can come back to it and add poms any time if you want.

Insert your trimmed and shaped pom where you made the holes, threading one end through each hole. Tie a double knot firmly at the back, taking care to not tie so tightly as to break the yarn. Thread the yarn back up and through the holes and the centre of the pom to secure further. Trim as needed. You have now one pom on your canvas – nice!

Continue in this way until you are happy with the way your artwork looks. I alternated between pom sizes to create an almost ‘fungussy’ look (in a good way) and to add texture and depth. Obviously, the larger the pom you use the quicker the project is, but I think using teeny-tiny poms all over could also look incredible, as well as colour blocking or even “writing” a letter using a brighter colour over a neutral background of poms. How about just one pom in the center, line of poms? There are so many possibilities!

If you enjoyed this tutorial, want to share your own pom-art creation or simply want to keep up to date with what amazing crafts other makers are creation during this awesome week, make sure to follow the hashtag #10daysofpoms over on my Instagram page!

See you next time for another pommy tutorial!

Article · How To · Tutorial

How to: Up your Photo Game on Instagram – for Crafters!


Photo editing has come a long way, hasn’t it? I’ve got vivid memories of my Dad knobbing about with some program called Paint Shop Pro as a kid and enjoying all the CDs bundled with crap software when we bought a new printer (which was like, every month). My other half is a huge MS Paint fan, and proudly created all his old band’s graphics on it in his musician days. I try and forget the fact that all the type was in ARIAL (my graphic designer soul just cried) and it was red text on black, but hey, it looked good for 2004. I even get threatened by him ‘doing all the graphic design on Paint’ when I take a bit too long to create something for our company on Illustrator… It’s not my fault I’m constantly distracted by knitting.

Now we have miniature versions of Photoshop built into our smartphones, with the average phone able to correct, crop and add that special sheen to even the darkest of images (eat that, Paint Shop Pro!) so, all in all, it’s almost impossible to take a bobbins photo. Sort of. Unless your phone is a Motorola Razr. Remember them? Mine was pink!

That said, it’s always nice to know a few tips on how to make sure your photos look as good as they can on your feed, and that don’t include spending your life savings on a top-of-the-range smartphone or camera. I’m by no means a master photographer, but here are a few ideas that will make your images shine a bit brighter.


Sticking with a coherent theme with regards to style and colour will hold your feed together. Working with an organised feed will make your ‘brand’ (I hate that word but you know) really look polished and professional, whether you want people to buy your lush hand-dyed yarn, bonnets, or just scroll and see what you’re about. If you’re trying to focus your account on solely your crafting, try not to intersperse your images with baby photos, you relaxing in Crete with hot dog legs or shots of how messy your kitchen is. If you’re seriously into building an identity, consider opening a personal account for those photos to keep your crafting feed free of cluttered, off-topic images. Try using a similar background, filter or style on all your photos to expand that theme further.


Depending on the look your going for, a plain background, a decent camera (smartphone or otherwise) and a lot of light is all you need. Try and keep your photo area free of mess, cat hair and pieces of cereal (unless that’s your aesthetic in which case, go you) and stake out the sunniest area of your home to be your go-to photo-taking zone. I use a south-facing glassed in balcony (yes, it is hot in summer) to take my photos because the light there is blinding (in both senses of the word) even on cloudy days. I lay my background down on the floor, arrange my object and off I go. My studio is also very bright, so it’s great for impromptu shots. Speaking of unwanted bits of mess in your photos, I recently took a photo that looked incredible – I was convinced I was the daughter of David Bailey for a good moment – I uploaded it and waited for the hoardes of people to gasp at my talent and offer me contracts, until I noticed that there was whacking great black HAIR and a random bead in the background. Fail. FYI, for my coloured backgrounds I use plain A2-sized paper from my local craft shop. Cheap and effective.


Props can add character to your shots. Lets face it, Instagram is chock full of beigeness, marbled or wooden backgrounds and… White. They look lovely, and it’s important for your image to have little to no distractions from the object you want to show off, but adding a well-placed object that matches your theme can make your viewers really see the personality behind your work. I know plonking a cactus next to a crocheted thing is very trite, but it looks great, and if you really love plants (hi) it can add something special. Do you design kids items? Try and get a child you know to pop their cute feet in frame (obviously you’ll have to bribe them) to personalise it. Or how about a vintage children’s book or toy? Do you make home decor? Well, use your entire home to show off that lovely blanket… You get the idea!


Did you know that #handsinframe is huge? This hashtag is an awesome way of showing your talented mitts actually ‘making’ and working on that special something. No matter if you’re knitting, crocheting, Fimo clay sculpting or simply writing a note on a packing slip, this type of image is another way to make your photos rise above the rest. Some people photo their hands by stuffing their phone between their knockers, others balance them on shelves above their heads (careful, bruv), but if you plan on doing this on the regular, invest in a useful phone-holding contraption. These odd-looking holders securely clamp onto surfaces and hold your phone tightly, leaving you free to shoot your hands, beautiful face, or your face and head covered with yarn like I did once, weirdly.


Look around other people’s feeds to see what they’re up to. This doesn’t mean copying (please, don’t copy other people, it’s shitty behaviour), but getting inspired – there’s a big difference. Along with flicking through design magazines, doing this keeps you up to date with trends, what’s happening in your creative community, and gives you ideas on how to adapt these hot looks to your own style. It takes a while to develop your own aesthetic and really make it pop, but once you discover it, stick to it and watch it grow – you’ll really feel great!

Do you have any tips on how to take incredible-looking photos? Let me know!