Knitting: December 2011 Archives
It is always amazing for me to see the uniquely creative but simple pieces of knit accessories that are increasingly popular these days. I am constantly inspired by these pieces and love to challenge myself to recreate them simply because they are so beautiful. Another small, teeny, tiny reason barely to be spoken of merely because it is so trifling, I should not even mention it here because it is such a small reason but as I am amongst friends I shall spill it: I see little reason to pay so much for something I can create myself. See a petty reason after all.
Today's inspiration is the mother of all inspirations: Anthropologie. This uppermost of all fashion icons in the handmade world is coveted for their ideas and use of color. I am not alone in my worship of this store but I am also not alone in mourning my lack of funds to purchase all of their wares. Chief among them is the Sweaterknit Strand. A beautiful wool, cashmere, alpaca and silver necklace that is priced at $198. I made my own for around $10. It took about 4 hours. Here's how you can make your own.
1 ball of worsted weight yarn (I used Caron Simply Soft Ocean because I loved the color)
1 ball of bulky weight yarn (I used Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick N Quick in Grey)
1 ball of sport weight (I used fingering weight doubled)
Several small chains or jump rings (mine are repurposed from a thrift store find)
With the worsted weight yarn, cast on 8 sts and knit in i-cord for 14 in.
Switch to the bulky yarn and continue in i-cord for 4 in.
Switch to the sport weight yarn and continue in i-cord for 1.5 to 2 in. Cut tail to 6 in and weave through remaining loops. Knot and weave in ends.
Connect your chains or jump rings to an end of your i-cord. I used jump rings to connect my chains. I made the chain 6 in. long but you could go as long as 8-10 in. I used 5 chains in total. The completed necklace length should be 28-30 in. This was a fun and fast knit and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed combining the different weights and colors. The icing on the cake was the chain. The delicacy and different textures really complete the look.
Knitted goods can bring a softness and splash of color- be it bright color or a neutral- that can really make a house a home. One unexpected place is a lampshade cover. Here is a free pattern for a delicate but bright lampshade cover that compensates for the increase in diameter by increasing needle sizes instead of increasing stitches. You can easily modify this pattern for a straight shade by not increasing needle sizes. The small ribbing at the top holds the shade in place.
Caron Simply Soft (1 skein for a 15 in. by 8 in. round shade) in Ocean
US size 7, 9, 11, 13, 15 cable needles in 16 in. and 24 in. lengths
To calculate the number of stitches to cast on for your shade measure the top subtract 4-5 in. and then adjust based on your gauge. Example: 10 in. shade diameter -4 in.= 6 in. Gauge is 4 sts/in. so cast on 24 sts.
Eyelet pattern: *yo, k2tog; repeat to end
The pattern is worked over an even number of stitches
With US 7 needles, Cast on and work in 2x2 ribbing for 1 in. Switch to US 9 needles and continue in eyelet pattern in US 9 for ¼ of the height of the shade (if your shade is 8 in. tall knit with US 9 for 2 in.)
Switch to US 11 needles and continue in eyelet pattern for another ¼ of the height. Switch to US 13 needles and work in eyelet pattern for another ¼ of shade height. Finally switch to US 15 needles for the remainder of the shade. Bind Off in pattern. Weave in ends.
Since the yarn is acrylic you can pull it off and wash if it gets dusty and there is no need to block. Slip if on over your shade and enjoy your new, warm, comforting atmosphere!
Here is my latest knit creation designed with window shopping, coffee breaks, cuddling on the couch and a general chill in the air. My Telfair Capelet is perfect to add a layer over a long sleeved tee or sweater, throw on over PJs to get the paper or to wear to grab coffee before the morning soccer game. Take your wardrobe up a notch with this striped and lace accented capelet that is tailored to your shoulder with ease through the chest and bust.
The Telfair Capelet was worked holding two strands throughout of Lion Brand's Martha Stewart Merino (100% Merino Wool) in both Peacock and Artemisia using 4 balls of each color. The increases along the shoulder line begin a subtle detailing that is extended down the remainder of the capelet. The lace edgings at the collar and bottom can be lengthened to make it extra cozy or dramatic. The Telfair can also be knit using one strand of bulky or heavy weight worsted yarn but stick to majority natural fibers since this capelet must be blocked to size and to achieve the best drape.
Beth Ganse Kronlund How to cast on dpns, getting the stitches spread onto the other needles. And -- is there a difference between using 4 or 5 needles? (These questions came up at our knitting group last week.)
Beth: This is surprisingly simple and you will be shocked when you read this. I cast on all my stitches to one DPN and then slip them from the end (starting with the first cast on stitch) onto my other needles, ex: Project calls for 40 sts, cast on 40 sts onto needle #1. Then take needle #2 and slip 14 sts from #1 onto #2. Drop #2. Slip 13 sts from #1 onto needle #3, drop #3. Slip 13 sts from #1 onto needle #4. Take needle #5 to knit with. It is much easier then casting onto 3-4 needles.
The difference between 4 or 5
needles is up to you. If you have a lot of sts you will want to spread them out
over 4 needles instead of 3. Some people prefer less DPN because it can get
tricky handling them all. Still others only use 4 because they have lost number
Carol Jacobs Which cast on do I use when?
Carol: I am not alone in trusting the Long Tail Cast On for 95% percent of my cast on needs. However, some patterns will ask you to use a specific cast on. There are still those 4.5% of projects that need something special to make the project really come together. You will know when you have one of those projects and here are some examples from my history.
Backward Loop Cast On: I use this when there are over 150 sts because I am not good at estimating how long I need my tail to be for Long Tail Cast On and I find when I try to estimate for over 150 sts I end up casting on more than 3 times and that is no fun. I don't like knitting the first row of Backward Loop Cast On but it is worth it
Provisional Cast On: Use this when you need your cast on to be invisible or to match your bind off. It is easy to pick up stitches from so you can knit match scarf ends starting in the middle. This is also a good substitute for Backwards Loop since you don't need a tail.
Cast On: This is a very flexible cast on well adapted for use with cables
because it is not as tight as Long Tail can be. It can also be used mid-project
to add additional stitches. Best to use this only when you do need since it
doesn't give as nice of a finish as Long Tail.
Em Komiskey What's a good source to learn what all the codes and abbreviations in knitting patterns mean? What the best resources for someone who has never picked up a knitting needle before? Any suggestions on first projects that won't discourage the learner?
Em: Many abbreviations change from source to source but there is always a key. However, once you learn them from one source you can see the subtle changes when used in another source, ex: Knit 2 together might be "k2tg" in one pattern and "k2tog" in another. I would use a trusted source to learn a list of standard abbreviations and codes and work from there. I learned from Knitty.com and Interweave Knits magazine. I find Knitty is easier when I am by a computer because I can access it anywhere and Interweave Knits is good when I am on the go without internet access because one issue can fit in my purse. However, if you find a pattern that has a code that is not referenced and is unfamiliar to you, you can always email the author or message them on Ravelry, email me or try the Knitty.com Coffeeshop (Knitty's forum with swarms of helpful knitters).
I would suggest Knitty.com as the best resource for a new knitter because they have tons of technique articles, the patterns are rated for difficulty and each issue is small so they won't be overwhelmed. When the aforementioned knitter is ready for more, show them Ravelry!
I always recommend dishcloths
for first projects because they are completed quickly so the knitter can show
off the goods and not be bogged down with a scarf which is LONG. They are easy,
make great gifts, usable and can be sewn together to make blankets. Dishcloths
are also a great way to practice new techniques.
Patti Linder LOL! How do I keep my daughter's cats from playing with my yarn when I'm knitting at her apartment?
Patti: You have 2 options- either establish dominance early on via staring contest or bribe said cats with hand knit toys. Of course, you can always choose to keep your yarn balls in zip top bags (the bags your yarn from Fabric.com is shipped are my favorite) or you can make a Stash Bag like I use when knitting on the go.