Friday, December 28, 2007
But, in the mean time...I was cruising around the web and looking at the sales at some online places and found a free pattern on the Joann.com site for a Loom Knit Dog Sweater. Although I don't have a dog I thought this was a cute one.
Happy New Year all!
Saturday, November 24, 2007
These run (I've discovered after searching the web) about $30ish. 30 dollars for 2 pieces of flat plastic or wood? That seemed a bit steep to me...
So in among the Google results came a few DIY sock blocker links. The first seemed like too much work to me. It required materials I didn't have and was too lazy to go and find. Plus cutting and gluing...ick..too much.
So the second link I clicked brought me to this page. I looked at the instructions. Then I turned and looked at my closet...which is right next to my computer. hmmm...I have empty hangers and some Christmas gift socks already made (and in need of blocking). Not 1 minute later I had my first sock blocker made! The hardest part was finding an exact matching hanger!
My favorite part? They come with built in hanging tops. Wet them down and hang them to dry! Out of the way from curious kitties...
Friday, November 23, 2007
I want this loom NOT to make flowers on (flowers? why would I want to make flowers?). I want this loom to experiment with making itty bitty things with. The smallest Knifty Knitter blue loom is only so good for small things. I have made small things on my super huge small gauge knitting loom - like my freebie pattern for the little stocking holiday ornament. But, that one you have to make flat and then sew up. No fun!
So I can't wait to get my new loom. I've heard I have to glue in the pegs in order to use it as a loom...but I'm going to try it before I do that. A quick search of the web shows only a few patterns (that I can find) using this loom.
- The first I found that is the most interesting is one from Isela - a mitten ornament pattern.
- The second is a beautiful snowflake ornament.
- A skinny scarf on the Provo Craft Site
If anyone has any other cool flower loom pattern goodness, send 'em my way. Otherwise I hope to personally add to this list soon!
Sunday, November 04, 2007
See that nice neat bind-off edge on the top of the strap of the Classic Mary Jane slippers? While doing these slippers I didn't want an uneven crochet bind off that is usually done on a loom, so I stole a bind-off method from needle knitting. It has been in the Mary Jane's pattern all along, but just recently I had a request from a customer to be more explicit with my instructions.
So, now on the instructions page of LoomKnittingDesigns.com I have a new free PDF of these more explicit instructions. If you've already bought the Mary Jane's pattern, these instructions may help you along.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Yarn: Trekking - Pro Natura, 4ply sock yarn - 1 ball 460 yards (75% Wool, 25% Bamboo)
Needles: size 2 Double Pointeds
Pattern: Yankee Knitter Designs - "Classic Socks for the Family"
Size: Men's large (size 11 feet!)
Notes: These are for my brother for Christmas. I really like the yarn. I'd never knit with it before and I was afraid they'd be a little stiff. But, the finished socks are pretty soft and will only get softer with wear. This is the second Christmas gift I've finished so far. December is right around the corner!
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
I had started this project and just put it down prior to felting it. I was thinking that I needed a washing machine to felt it correctly...since I'm in an apartment with no washing machine I was a little discouraged. But, a couple weekends ago (sorry, I'm just getting it posted now) I did a little Googling and figured I'd give some hand felting a try.
To my surprise, hand felting this little bag was a breeze. I ended up using a mix and match process that I gleaned from several different sources (see below). I used the bathroom sink, as hot water as I could draw out of the tap (which was pretty hot!), an ice cube tray, and a small bucket of cold water.
The Patons SWS felts very easily and I think looks great when it's done. It only took me 15 minutes total. Here's how I did mine: I soaked the bag in the hot water for a couple minutes to make sure it was thoroughly wet...then started rubbing it across the top of the ice cube tray. After a little dunking in hot water and rubbing on the tray I dunked it into the cold water for a bit. After alternating this combo several times I rang it out carefully to check the process. After 15 minutes it was exactly what I was looking for.
Here are some good online resources to check out if you are trying this as home:
- A Knitter's Review Forums post (I especially like the ice cube tray trick. This is what I used)
- An article on Knitty recently (since I didn't have a clean plunger, I went with the ice cube tray)
- I also read through this Knitting.about.com article
Next up is to add a lining. I don't think the pattern calls for it but I think it needs one. It'll make it a little more sturdy and a bit more professional looking. I'll post the finished bag when I finally get it done.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
..Craft! I don't think I've ever seen a cozy pattern that I actually ever wanted to make...but THIS I really want to try. I'm sure it's even easily made on the looms.
They are knit cell phone cozies! I love the green one.
I don't know...maybe too hard for me to resist.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
The last time I went home to visit my family in Maine, my mom gave me another vintage knitting magazine she'd found in her travels. It's a McCall's Needlework & Crafts issue from Fall-winter 1956-57. It not only has knitting patterns but crochet, sewing, weaving, and woodworking. It sounds like the Craft magazine of the 50's.
One thing I find particularly interesting is an ad for something called the Ezee-Knitter. It looks almost like a round knitting loom with pegs, but I don't think it is really.
I did a quick search on the interwebs and came up with some more explanation. On the Girl from Auntie blog (who acquired one in real life from Ebay), I found this explanation:
"Like most knitting frames that predated it, the Ezee Knitter has two equal sets of pegs set equidistantly long the edge of a gap such that the pegs are aligned in staggered fashion. Unlike previous knitting frames, the gap was curved along an arc, so the pegs along the inner edge of the gap are naturally placed closer together than along the outer edge.
In use, the knitter would wind the yarn around the pegs of the device, wrapping twice around the end peg, then wind the yarn back along the same path. Once the winding was complete, the lower strand of yarn was lifted over the upper strand of yarn on each peg using
the crochet hook. The hooked stitches would form the knitted fabric and feed through the gap. A particular stitch pattern–ribbing, stockinette, twisted stitches–could be obtained by wrapping the yarn along different paths. The instructions glibly promised that “Of course, one can apply the argyle or pattern weaving instructions in any knitting instruction book” to the Ezee-Knitter, by simply winding different colours around the pegs at different intervals."
I also found this posting on Ebay for the instruction booklet that goes along with the machine itself. Patterns were included. Looks like it'd be fun to play with for a while. Not sure how great it is in use, however.
There are a few patterns I like from this magazine, too. If I made them, I'd probably do a little updating to the style.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
My explanation was ok (I think) until I tried to explain the turning around part of the process. In the instructions here I want to show the u-turn in all its glory. This is a simple technique and the key to creating a flat panel on a knitting loom.
Before we begin, a little setup here...these instructions are for beginners and will show how to do a u-turn while working an e-wrap panel. You can view any of the images larger by clicking on them. It is also assumed that you are working from left to right and then back in the opposite direction from right to left.
Step #1: Cast on to your loom however many stitches the pattern requires. Just for example sake, let's say you are making a scarf and it's 20 pegs wide. Cast on using the e-wrap stitch across to 20 pegs. This can be on any loom as long as you are using it as a single rake (one single row of pegs). Wrap every peg until you get to peg 20. Then stop!
Step #2: You are on peg 20 and your yarn is hanging out the right side of the peg.
Step #3: To do a u-turn from an e-wrap to another e-wrap stitch in the opposite direction, pull the working yarn back across the top (above the loop) and across the outside of the peg. DO NOT wrap it all the way around peg 20 as you did right before you stopped. Here you are only laying it across the front of the peg. See the picture....
Step #4 Then start e-wrapping back in the opposite direction. You will now be e-wrapping counterclockwise around the pegs and wrapping pegs 19 through peg 1 all the way around as you did in the first wrap.
Step #5: Once you get all the way back to peg one, lift all the stitches up and over the pegs just as you do in a normal in-the-round row. All your pegs should have 2 loops on them including peg #20. Although, peg #20 has a small loop on the bottom and a large loop on the top the connects #19 and #20.
Step #6: Now you are ready to go back across (left to right). This is done in the same way only in the opposite direction. Just as before, pull the working yarn back across the top (above the loop) and across the outside of the peg #1. DO NOT wrap it all the way around. Then e-wrap back across as you did in the cast on row.
I hope these instructions make u-turns easier. Creating a flat panel is pretty easy if you master the u-turn. In the instructions section of LoomKnittingDesigns.com there are instructions on how to bind off a flat panel. Once you get to the end of your scarf project (or whatever flat panel project you choose), these will help get it off the loom.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
If I were a patient person I'd wait until this weekend when I'm home while the sun is up and I could get some pictures that will do the stole justice. But, alas...I'm just not that patient. So, here is the stole being blocked. Try to see through the rotten pics and see the lusciousness of the finished knit...
I have some more news...but I'll let the finished stole be it's own magnificent post!
UPDATE - (already?) While I'm sitting here reading my own blog post and admiring my stole...I got an email from the stole designer (well, really it's an email from her blog). And, as it turns out, this luscious pattern is now available on Melanie's site. I'm purchasing it! How 'bout you?
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Well, besides being super busy at work...I've been knitting like a fiend on the Mystery Stole 3. Yes, others have been done forever...but I'm slowly plugging away at the last clue. Not because it's hard or anything. I got to the last clue and then work and life got in the way. But, now I'm about 20ish rows from the end. Yippee! I can't wait to be done.
As you can see from the above close up of the wing, it's going to need a good solid blocking. But I love the wing part. I've seen a bunch of finished stoles on the web and in the group and I can't believe how gorgeous they look on. The asymmetric design really looks great. Striking and different - that's what I wanted! I will be buying the pattern once I'm finished just to give some monetary support to a talented designer.
I've also recently purchased a whole slew of knitting mags. I was in a no magazine slump for a while...I hadn't been to a book store in months and was in need of some knitting inspiration. I'd heard so much about the Tilted Duster sweater in the new fall Interweave Knits so I went in search of a copy. The new Vogue Collectors addition and the new Knit Simple mags just somehow found their way into my cart... I'm so inspired now! Here's a little sampling of what I want to make from each:
And this one is from Vogue. Somewhere between sweater and shawl. I love it!
There is also some greatness in the new fall issue of Knitty. But I'll leave my favorites for another post. See yah!
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Here is a pic of my progress. I really like the pattern that I'm working now. The designer described it as cat paws. Flowers or cat paws...both are nice!
PS: Sorry for the below average photo. The light isn't the best in our apartment today...
Thursday, July 26, 2007
If you are new to the blocking concept, check out this Knitting Daily post on blocking or the PDF on my method of blocking over on the Instructions page of LoomKnittingDesigns.com. I think they both will help you sort it all out. It really does make a difference in your knits.
UPDATE: Check out the now posted second part of the blocking tutorial. Great stuff - http://www.knittingdaily.com
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
I opted for not using beads in mine. I figured I’d have my hands full just trying to follow the lace pattern. As you’ll see from the list below, this is one good decision in the list of bad ones…
There are a couple things I’m learning about knitting my first real laciness…
- Do not use a furry mohair as your first yarn for your first lace knitting project. Pretty, soft, luxurious to work with…but a beginner lace yarn it ain’t!
- Do not use black. It’s true that black was one of the recommended mystery stole colors this year. But, so was white. Note to self: think before getting sucked into the furry, luxurious goodness of mohair.
- I must invest in some Addi Turbos. My Denise Interchangeables are just too rough between the connections of needle and cord.
So, other then these small lessons, my mystery stole is working up quite nicely. I haven’t had to rip anything out…well, I’ve preferred to tink back to the mistake rather then rip, rip, rip. I’ve so far been successful at catching mistakes before the end of the row (knock on wood). I’m also not using any life lines (like I said, I prefer to tink). Ripping is incredibly difficult to do with mohair! This I learned while knitting the swatch at the beginning…
At least I’m in good company. As of this post, there are 6,676 knitters from around the world knitting this stole with me. Two of which I think are really inspiring: Bonnie Marie Burns from Chicknits, and The Yarn Harlot. I’m so glad I decided to sign up for this – even though all other knitting projects have been put on hold for now.
Good thing this whole mystery stole thing isn’t done at Christmas time. There would be one gift…for me!
Here's another full glory shot for you. Sorry for all the flash photography. The non-flash pics didn't even show the beautiful design.
PS: For more Mystery Stole Goodness, check out these pics: The Flickr search (266 pics!)
Monday, July 02, 2007
However, as of late I fear I'm catching a case of start-itus. I seriously am getting too many projects going at once. Well, too many for me. Besides the ones featured on this blog thus far (the socks for my brother and the Squatty Sidekick for someone yet-to-be-named), I also have a baby blanket (I promise it will make it on the blog soon) and now....soon to be...something else.
I was innocently surfing the web the other day looking at knitting blogs. This sometimes gets me in trouble. I'm always surfing around crafty blogs or on line yarn stores or looking at knitting patterns. This time I was reading one of my favorites, The Giving Flower's post on the Mystery Stole Yahoo Group.
Needless to say...I joined.
Now I have yarn on the way from Elann.com and I'm already itching to start....another...project.
Maybe I shouldn't be so hard on myself. After all...all the other projects mentioned aren't for myself. 1 out of 4 knitting projects should be for myself...right? Right?
Sunday, July 01, 2007
I've also finished the Squatty Sidekick felted handbag from Knitting Daily. Well...almost. It still needs to be felted and I still need to choose a button for it. But those are the super fun parts..so I don't count those.
I wasn't sure how I'd like the stripes on the finished bag, but I think they look great and can't wait to see what felting does to them.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
As much as I like them, I don't think they are me. I wanted to try the yarn (Sassy Stripes in color 'Jellybean') and it was nice to work with but all in all the finished pair just isn't me. So, they'll be going up for sale. So if anyone is interested before they get posted to Etsy, give me a holler. They'll go up for $15 plus shipping (about $3.00). They are easy care, throw in the washer and dryer.
I've also started a couple of projects. The first is a pair of socks for a Christmas gift for my brother. I know....Christmas knitting in June! But, it's better then hurrying to knit before December 25...this way I can plan and get things just right for gifts.
I really decided to make these after I visited my LYS and picked up some interesting new (new for me anyway) yarn. It's sock yarn made with wool and bamboo fiber. The bamboo acts as the nylon so there is no need for any man made materials. So far the yarn is very nice to work with and is knitting up just like the nylon kind. It will be interesting to see how they wear after they have been washed a couple times.
Next up is a 'Squatty Sidekick' bag I saw in the new Knitting Daily free patterns section. This will be a felted bag when finished...something I haven't really experimented with yet. I am receiving the Knitting Daily newsletters and when I saw this little bag two of the balls in my stash lept into my head. So, naturally, I had to give it a whirl.
The yarn in question is Soy Stripes from Pattons (I think). It's supposed to felt really well (at least there was a nice looking swatch in the store at the time). I purchased this last fall for a specific gift and never got the gift made. Hopefully this will come out well...well enough for another gift this year. I'll post the final felted bag when completed.
That's all for now. Sorry for the long delay (and longer then norm post). I was busy last weekend and this past weekend I was in Maine visiting my Dad for Father's Day. Dad's come before blogs :).
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Mark your calendars for this years Worldwide Knit in Public Day! It's this coming Saturday June 9th. I'm definitely going this year. If you are in the Boston area, it's being held:
...from 12:00pm to 4:00pm at Copley Plaza in front of the library (if rain, go into the food court at Copley).Find out where it is near you by clicking on the appropriate link in the sidebar of this website.
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Since I've received several emails about where I got the pattern, how many strands I used and so on...I'll list the specs of these shawls below:
Yarn: 1 skein (~400 yards) of DK weight hand dyed sock yarn. As I mentioned above, I got mine at a local yarn shop but it's easy enough to find.
Color: The yarn was dyed a 1/2 and 1/2 purple and grey color. I wasn't sure how the 1/2 and 1/2 would look knitted, but I'm really happy with the result.
Needles: size 15 US, Denise Interchangeable Needles
Pattern: "The Secret of the One-Skein Shawl" - found on the Knitter's Review site. It's more a "formula" for a basic triangle shawl rather then a pattern.
Notes and Changes: I used one strand of yarn throughout the pattern. Since my yarn had a different gauge then the pattern used, I worked the plain stockinette portion for about 84 stitches on either side of the center stitch instead of the 64 it calls for. Mine came out about the same size as the one in the pattern.
A couple more pics for you...
Monday, May 28, 2007
Well I finished my second shawl (pictured on the right) at the beginning of this past week. It's a super basic classic triangle shawl made from one skein (400 yards) of DK weight yarn. It was made on large (size 15) needles and has a beautiful drape and airiness.
The large needles made it a quick knit, 1 week, and therefore was very satisfying. In fact, I visited a local yarn shop on Saturday that I haven't been able to catch open (they have crazy summer hours) and have already purchased two more skeins for two more shawls. I've already started one in a gorgeous hand painted yarn in purples and greys. I literally can't wait to have another one in my wardrobe
Now here are a couple more pics for your shawl biting pleasure:
PS: you can also see my new haircut in these pics...super short for summer. With 90 degree heat here in Boston this past week...the cut came in handy!