Knitting: November 2011 Archives
I want any guest to feel comfy and cozy in my home so I try to incorporate items of that nature everywhere in my home. I know that if I feel comfy and cozy that chances are friends and family will as well. This is even more important now with the beginning of the holiday season. Guests will be in and out of your house, some just for the afternoon and some for longer (MUCH, much, much longer). Some sneaky ways to bring a touch of cozy is to put it in unexpected but appreciated places like your bathroom guest towels. One of the first rooms anyone visits is the bathroom and what a way to shake off the road weariness than with a plush and gorgeous cable knit towel. Let this be the first in a long line of luxurious amenities with which you pamper your family and friends. The guest towels are deceivingly fast and simple--your guests need never know.
PM: place marker
M: Stitch Marker
LC: place 3 sts onto cable needle and hold in front, p3, knit 3 from cable needle
RC: place 3 sts onto cable needle and hold in back, p3, knit 3 from cable needle
Cast on 48 sts and work in garter stitch for 1 ½ in.
Row 1 (WS): knit 4, PM, purl 14, PM, k3, p6, k3, PM, p14, PM, k4
Row 2 (RS): k to 2nd M, p3, k6, p3, k to end
Row 3: k4, p14, k3, p6, k3, p14, k4
Row 4: k to 2nd M, LC, RC, knit to end
Row 5: k4, p14, p3, k6, p3, p14, k4
Row 6: k to 2nd marker, k3, p6, k3, k to end
Row 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11: repeat rows 5 & 6
Row 12: k to 2nd M, RC, LC, knit to end
Row 13: repeat Row 3
Row 14: Repeat Row 2
Row 15, 16, 17, 18, and 19: repeat rows 13 & 14
Continue repeating Row 4- 19 until piece measures 22 in. in length, work in garter stitch for 1 ½ in. and bind off. Weave in ends and block as needed.
The cozy cotton blend knit into a cozy cable knit towel will set the tone for comfort and love that rest of your home will offer to your friends and family this holiday season. Knit some up as gifts as well!
When I first saw Martha Stewart Crafts for Lion Brand's MamboYarn, I was speechless for a few sec. I mean it is a lot to take in. I had never seen a yarn like this and I had to get my hands on it to check it out. Don't get me wrong this is a weird yarn but in a good way. It is weird in a way that reminds you of the first time you went outside your comfort zone (Thai food for me) and then were floored that you hadn't done this sooner. This is weird yarn but it is cool. It is also a bit tricky to work with for a number of reasons. First among them being you need some BIG needles to knit this up. I mean big, size 19 needles. Second, the white threads that encase the wooly goodness inside can sometimes get caught on your needle and snag. Third, it is hard to hold a good tension with this yarn because it is so mammothly big (practice will help this). But OH the results! It looks so edgy, so trendy that you can't believe that you just knit this up. Surely you just purchased this from a downtown boutique and will be hiding the receipt from your loved one in order not to divulge the enormous sum of money spent on this knitted goody. But no, even though each skein possesses 5 yds, those are 5 yds to be coveted and used wisely. You can make a super comfy and cuddly pillow, an uber cozy and stunning cowl or a knitted bracelet or necklace. You don't want to venture into anything that needs more drape than those listed above. Even a hat would be too stiff from the bulky of this yarn. However another bonus of the unique nature of this yarn...you don't need fancy stitches. Just stockingette or garter will be amazing and it will (of course) knit up fast!
With some simple modifications and one super-genius knitting pattern you too can knit your own knitted reindeer. I know it sounds too good to be true, but I speak the truth and here's what you will need.
1) Danger Craft Tofu the Dachshund Knitting Pattern
2) US size 7 needles (DPNs if you prefer or cable for your magic loop lovers)
3) 1 Ball of worsted weight yarn in an reindeer-ish color
4) 1 small pom pom (you can make or used a readymade)
5) Size 6 mm safety eyes
6) Contrasting worsted weight yarn for antlers, tail, belly button
To get started, follow pattern as written except for making the tail, ears and belly button.
I hand sewed my red nose on right after I light stuffed the nose. Then I added the eyes and finished stuffing. I found whip stitching gives the best finish for sewing on the arms. For the belly button, I didn't think an X was christmasy enough so I added a few more stitches to the X and made it a Christmas star.
The tail I cast on as described in the pattern but after 4-5 rounds, I started to decrease every 4 sts, skip a row and decrease again until there were 2 sts left and then I cut my yarn, wove it through the remaining stitches and pull tight and knot.
To make the antlers I used a 4 st i-cord. After working 4 rows, I slipped 2 sts to a cable needle, working with the remaining 2 sts on my working needles, increased using the Make 1 increase. The next row, I increased again to regain 4 sts. After 4 rows, I repeated the above and once I had regained 4 sts a second time I broke my yarn, wove it through my remaining sts and pulled tight and secured. I then picked up my first 2 sts from the cable needle and working in i-cord, increase using Make 1 (3 sts) work 4 rows and break yarn, weave through remaining sts, pull tight and secure. Repeat for 2 set of slipped sts on cable needle for 2nd antler branch.
Repeat all of the above for 2nd antler. You can choose to thread pipe cleaners though your main branch of the antlers for shape. I didn't because I liked how silly and floppy they were but older children may prefer be able to manipulate the antlers.
Make 8 companions for your Rudolf so he doesn't get lonely and embroider their initials to their chests so you little ones can name their reindeer as they sing Christmas carols.
It wasn't too long ago that I believed that waist shaping was the extent of the tailoring I would need to know for a good fit in knitting. Boy, was I wrong. I have learned many times over that just a few increases and decreases along the side seams is not going to give me the tailored, fine fit that I need. Fitting knitted garments well is especially important for woman no matter what your size because we are not all created equal. While some may have a bigger chest, smaller waist or well rounded hips, others may be the opposite or just share one of these attributes. That means darts; or increases or decrease in a centralized area to give one the extra fabric or less fabric to create a flattering shape. Like sewing it is important to place your darts in the correct area and to use the correct shape of dart. Here are 2 dart patterns that can be modified to fit your shape and added into any pattern.
Vertical Dart: While not completely vertical, this dart does
the job the same way. This dart is best used for targeted waist shaping, light
bust shaping and in the hip area. You can add several of these darts with just
a few increases/decreases each for dramatic shaping (i.e. if your waist is
significantly smaller than your hips) or just a few with more increases/decrease
for a gradual shaping.
R1: Work to your dart marker, slip the marker (SM) and increase with either M1 (make 1) or Kf&b (knit front and back)
R2: Work in pattern
R3: Work to dart marker, SM, k1, increase (here you are increasing on the stitch added from the previous increase)
R4: Work in pattern
R5: Work to dart marker, SM, k2, increase
Continue adding increases on the previous increase your dart resembles the picture or the diagram until you have added the desired number of increase. For a reverse dart, trade the increases for decreases.
Side dart: This is an excellent dart for bust lines (it is similar to short rows). This dart can also be used for collars. It is built with a number of increases followed by an equal number of decreases in a dart shape.
Mark your dart location with a marker
R1: work to marker, SM, increase (Kf&b or M1)
R2: work in pattern
R3: work to 1 st before M, increase, work in pattern
R4: Work in pattern
R5: Work to 2 st before M, increase work in pattern
Continue until you have increase the desired amount then on the next increase row, K2tog directly above the last increase. Continue moving your decrease out back to your marker every other row until you are back to your original stitch count. You will have added an amount of fabric in a very targeted area for better drape and fit.
Eyelets are not just for lace and doilies anymore; they can be incorporated into projects and patterns for many reasons, decorative among them.
Give me a good yarn over any day and I am a happy camper. I love just a touch of decoration to turn any old increase, dart or ruffle into something extra. I try to add in eyelets whenever possible to any project that looks a little boring.
Increases: I recently made Carol Feller's Cardigan Bay Jacket which uses eyelets as increases for the raglan sleeves and to help the jacket fit over the hips. These little eyelets really made the jacket more appealing to me (and I am not a big sweater knitter). The eyelet increases were the cherry on top and I had to make it. You can substitute a yarn over in for any increase to bring in a delicate feeling.
Buttonholes: Not every button hole has to be a production of turnings and binding off. You can just do a simple eyelet (a yarn over or double yarn over) to make a quick and easy buttonhole. Test it first to determine which size button you will need. It is a quick, easy and smooth way to finish off a sweater, scarf or bag.
Ruffles: I love tossing in some eyelets into my ruffles, not just at the initial increase for the ruffle but also into the ruffle itself to make it more feminine and a little unexpected. The eyelets give an extra swing and lightness to the ruffles as well as adding a peek-a-boo effect to whatever lies behind the ruffle.
Ribbons: a row of eyelets can be added to a project for weaving in a ribbon after. It can add color, texture and maybe even a bow. You can add a ribbon row of eyelets to a hat, scarf (across the width or length), sweater (add it right at the waist for a ribbon belt) or socks for further femininity.
Outline: Adding eyelets to outline a feature can really make that feature stand out even more. Try including an eyelet row on either side of a cable or just use the eyelets to stand in for the shape of a leaf, bear, or heart. An eyelet row before every color change is a simple way to make regular stripes amazing. (The above picture the eyelets create and highlight the swirl pattern)
The possibilities for eyelets are endless. You can add in a here and there or combine them with a standard stitch or use them to take a fabulous stitch pattern to the next level. Using eyelets is a great way to take any pattern and make it your own.