Simple birthday cards

Quite a few people I know have birthdays in May and June, and I’ve made a batch of cards instead of relying on the easy option of popping to the shops.  Actually, it takes less time to make a simple card – perhaps 15 minutes, or less per card if making several of the same design – than making a special journey to buy one.  And a homemade card is more personal, it shows that the recipient is worthy of a little time and effort.

These four cards are all similar in style, being based on squares of coloured papers embellished with a few sequins and other adornments.  They aren’t sophisticated, but they are quite effective, I think.  I’m careful to avoid the thicker embellishments such as the tiny yellow heart on the bottom left card below, unless it’s going to be hand delivered, because I object to paying Royal Mail’s enhanced fee for anything thicker than 5mm.  That’s my mean streak showing again.

Female card with heartsFemale card with star and circlesFemale card with starsMale card with circles

Birthday card for a knitterI’ve also made this card for a friend who knits, using a cocktail stick cut in half and a couple of small beads for the needles.

I worked a few rows of 1×1 ribbing on my smallest double-pointed needles, 2mm diameter, which was a lot easier than trying to knit with the rough cocktail sticks and their very pointy points.  Using DPNs meant it was a quick job to slide the stitches onto the fake needles.

The message inside says:  “… surely you can take a little ribbing?”.  Not my original idea, alas, and I can’t remember where I saw a similar card, but they say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

This one will need to be hand delivered too, thanks to the beads.

Fish Lips Kiss toe

My last pair of socks used the Fish Lips Kiss (FLK) heel.  I like the neat appearance of this heel, and I found it easier to knit than my usual short row technique with its confusing yarnovers.  I’ve started another pair of toe-up socks, again in Drops Fabel sock yarn, but red rather than orange and without the plain toe and heel.

This time, I followed some instructions in a Ravelry forum on using the FLK method to knit the toe as well as the heel.  Basically, a toe is just like a heel – that may come as a surprise to those who have never knitted a sock, but believe me, the knitted shape is the same.  The only difference is that a toe, ideally, should be more rounded, less triangular.  For anyone familiar with the FLK method (and I can’t go into much detail for the benefit of everyone else, because that would infringe the FLK designer’s intellectual property rights), the instructions I followed created a rounded shape by having alternating twinned and untwinned stitches for the last few rows of the first half of the heel and the corresponding first few rows of the second half.  In other words, by turning one stitch earlier than normal on those rows.

This worked, producing a nicely rounded toe which will be a good visual match for the FLK heel.

FLK toe

A Fish Lips Kiss toe

The instructions said to cast on using Judy’s Magic Cast-on.  Now, JMCO is excellent for toe-up socks, but not (I think) when they start off like this.  The problem is, it’s a closed cast-on, suitable for the bottom of a bag or the tip of a sock toe, but not when you are trying to create a tube with an open end.  Which is exactly what you are trying to do when working a FLK toe, because you work back and forth from the wide end of the toe (ie the part nearest the heel) down one half (ie sole or instep side) of the toe towards the tip, back up the other half, then continue working in the round in a heelwards direction to complete the sock.

By following the instructions, I have a closed cast-on ring of stitches under the foot where I started the toe.  In effect, this is two extra back-and-forth rows when compared with the instep side.  It’s not very visible, but it annoys me that the two halves of the sock aren’t identical.  What’s the alternative, I wonder?  Starting with an open, circular cast-on and then immediately switching to back-and-forth working for the toe on half the stitches isn’t going to work, because when you finish the second half of the toe and come to work in the round again, there’ll already be a ring of live stitches in the way.

Maybe casting on just half the number of stitches on two needles is the solution?  I must experiment, but not on the partner to this red sock because I’d rather it was exactly the same as the first one.

About yorkshirecrafter

I live and work in West Yorkshire.  I've always enjoyed crafts of all types, from woodwork to lace-making.  I also enjoy anything mathematical, which makes knitting a favourite pastime, especially complicated designs.  I've been advising businesses and industry on environmental matters for 30 years and also have an interest in green living, especially where it saves me money. I live with my husband and our Maine Coon in a 100-year-old cottage that constantly needs something doing to it.  Fortunately, I enjoy DIY too.
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2 Responses to Simple birthday cards

  1. MrsCraft says:

    Love the cards and the socks. It’s amazing how quickly you can whip up a card or two isn’t it. 😊

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