Saturday, December 15, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Saturday, December 1, 2007
I found this pattern on knitty. I actually made one for myself that I finished the night before I came to visit Berkeley for the first time. Sadly, I left it on a bus one day and it was lost forever. I don't have pictures of that one, though I may make another someday.
The headscarf is knit on straight needles, with increases and decreases creating the shape and holes that can be used to connect the end of the head scarf with a button (though a simple knot works as well.)
Because it's fast and creates cool patterns with the yarn, it's a fun project. However, I don't recommend staying up the night before a cross-country trip finishing it, because it may end up that you sleep through your flight.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
First finished: wide ruffle scarf.
It's from a pattern in Knitting New Scarves that I altered slightly. I cut the total width of the scarf by 8 stitches, and cut each ruffle by 2 stitches. It took me about 7 tries to get the right width-to-ruffle proportion. I should have taken pictures of all the different options, but I was so frustrated that I just kept tearing them out. The pattern suggested just cutting down the width of the scarf without cutting the width of the ruffles, but the middle portion of the scarf really got lost when I tried that. I ended up with 22 total stitches and ruffles of 4 stitches each, with short rows of 3 and 2 stitches. (The pattern called for 30 total stitches and ruffles of 6 stitches each, with short rows of 5 and 3 stitches.) This all probably doesn't make any sense, but it will if any of you ever decide to knit this scarf.
I used a blend of wool and hemp that was hand dyed and spun by my (now ex-)local yarn store. I held it doubled throughout and knit on 10 1/2s. It had been a long time since I'd knit on needles so large, and I'd forgotten how fun it was. This yarn was also really lovely to knit with, and it may be my only regret about swearing off my local yarn store.
Monday, November 12, 2007
The invitation to join your blog gave me the final push I needed to finish this sweater. I bought the yarn on July 3 when we were let off work a few hours early and I happened to walk by a knitting store. The Pattern was in Dalegarn, number 152 and the yarn is Dale Baby Ull - a fine baby gauge washable 100% wool. For a baby size 24 months the body had 228 stitches around - more than some adult sweaters in worsted gauge, so it was slow going. My grand niece is already 9 months old, and my brother and sister-in-law say she is off the scale for her gestational age (she was 2 months early), so it's a good thing I decided to make the largest size.
This shows the back side. It's important when knitting a fair isle design to carry the yarn across the back neatly, crossing colors at least every 5 stiches if you have longer than that between color changes, and keeping it tight enough so you don't have loose loops, but loose enough so it doesn't pull and pucker. It was tricky knitting the lady bug rows because they had three colors.
This shows the wrong side, and shows where I machine stitched the armhole before cutting. The pattern said to stitch once, bu I was nervous, so I stiched once, and then used a zigzag stretch stitch, and then stitched again on the other side of the zig zag before cutting. I'm not happy with the way I sewed the sleeves in - and the pattern wasn't at all clear on what to do with the band at the top of the sleeve after knitting it.
Next I think I'll knit a quick scarf for Christmas. I bought some tempting mohair at a shop in St. Michael's, Maryland, several weeks ago. Does anyone have a pattern called "fan and feather"?
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
So I was working from the pattern shown in the picture, and a fellow knitter comes over and starts asking me questions. She's getting a little tired of the normal knit scarf, and was hoping I could tell her what I was doing so she could try a variation. While I didn't feel very confident in doing that (seriously, look at the picture. It took me internet research+Hannah to figure some of that out.), we did talk a bit about good knitting resources and knitting in general.
I really do love how knitting creates this sense of community with people who I otherwise wouldn't interact with at all. (Though I admit: I love this blog's knitting community the best.)
Friday, November 2, 2007
First: My mom thought "you" might like this shop. (The quotations and the hyperlink are my addition. By "you" I think she means "we." Also, I think HEB mentioned this place before. Perhaps one day when cafe time isn't reserved for reading time.)
Second: Keren, Tell Hannah that Habu has a showroom in mid town around 26Th street. They sell yarn there and it is cheaper and a better selection than the shops. Japanese knit patterns are hard to follow until you are used to them. (I have no idea what this comment is in reference to, but perhaps you do, HEB.)
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
These instructions (for the most part) come from the Knitter's Companion.
- Cast on loosely 27 or so stitches. This will seem ridiculously small. It's not. I use an 8 needle or so. Mittens need to withstand a lot of stretch, so better to make them seem small. The only key is that the cast on needs to be able to fit over the wearer's hand.
- Knit a tube until you're ready to get to where you want the thumb to go. You can knit straight (no purls!) and get stockinette stitch since you're in the round. You can try things like cuffs and the like (The pictures I'm going to give you have a cuff. If you want a cuff, just do knit a row purl a row and you'll get a garter stitch cuff.)
- When you are ready to put in the thumb knit until you are at the beginning of a row. (The way I tell is where the tail is from my cast on. You want the thumb to be on top of the tail.
- To make the space for the thumb, you need some contrasting yarn that is relatively similar in thickness. Cut your self a piece that's plenty long. To make the space where the thumb will go, do the following:
- Knit the first four stitches on the row with the scrap yarn instead of your real yarn.
- Make sure both of the tails of the scrap yarn are on the inside of the mitten.
- Once you've knit those four stitches, put them back on the original needle where they came from.
- Return to your regular yarn and knit until you get to the top of the mitten (this means that you knit those four scrap yarn stitches again with regular yarn on this row). This is the easy part. We'll come back to the part where you have to pick up those stitches momentarily.
- Position your stitches so that you have 9 stitches on each needle. Knit 2 together then knit one for the entire row. After you're done you should have 6 stitches on each needle instead of 9.
- Knit a row of of 18 total stitches (six on each needle).
- Knit two together and knit one so that your six stitches on each needle become 4 each.
- Knit a row of 12 total stitches.
- At this point, I like to rearrange the stitches, but that's a matter of preference. Take your total of 12 stitches on 3 needles and put them on two so that you have six on two needles. Then knit two together and knit one so that your six on each needle becomes four.
- Knit one row of 8 stitches.
- Place the stitches onto two needles (four on each) and break the working yarn, leaving a tail that is about 10 inches long. Thread the tail onto a tapestry needle. Hold the two knitting needles together in the left hand, with working yarn/tail on the right side and the inside portions of the mitten facing togther.
- Use the tapestry needle to draw the working yarn through the first stitch on the front needle as if to purl, and leave it on the needle. Draw the yarn through the first stitch on the back needle as if to knit and leave it on the needle. Then continue as follows:
- Draw the working yarn through the first stitch on the front needle as if to knit, and slip it off the needle.
- Draw the yarn through the second stitch on the front needle as if to purl, but leave the stitch on the needle.
- Draw the yarn through the first stitch on the back needle as if to purl, and slip it off.
- Draw the yarn through the second stitch on the back needle as if to knit, and leave the stitch on the needle.
- Repeat steps 1-4 until all the stitches are joined. When you're done bring your tail inside the mitten and tuck it away (meaning, sew in the end).
- You want to pick up the 4 stitches on the bottom of those stitches, the 4 stitches on the top and two on each side. (I used to do only 1 one on each side, but this way makes for fewer holes). I think the pictures are more descriptive, but the basic idea is to put your needle through the left side of the stitches immediately above and below the scrap row.
- Use your remaining two needles to pick up two stitches on each side. You want to pick up the side closest to where the thumb will be (the inside of the stitch).
- Now that you have your 12 stitches on needles, take a tapestry needle and pull out the scrap yarn.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Lap blanket and reading, a perfect combination.
I'm actually really pleased with how this turned out. There's one section that throws off the true concentricity, but on the whole, it is square-like, which I wasn't sure if I'd achieve when I started out.
My thoughts on picking up stitches, if anyone's interested:
-Don't worry about how many stitches you pick up. I had an idea of how many stitches I'd need with the new yarn, and if I picked up too many or two few, it an easy problem to fix that didn't seem to affect the knit of the lap blanket.
-Don't worry about exactly which stitches you pick up. There are probably some "classic, good knitting" thoughts on this subject, but I just talked to Hannah a bit and then started with the picking. So I wasn't sure if there was a good side or a good angle or anything like that for picking up stitches, and of course once I developed a method for one edge, it would be different on an edge that wasn't knit in the same direction. However, despite all these inconsistencies and uncertainties on my part, the knitting turned out just fine! I find comfort in this fact.
I'd love to hear more thoughts or suggestions in the comments!
I have some more thoughts about weaving in and whether I'd recommend concentric squares to anyone, but maybe I'll save that for a future post. (Or maybe I'll get real creative and start a new project!)
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Thanks for any and all suggestions!
Sunday, October 14, 2007
For one night only, I have taken over zwick's blogging duties. Although she has taken a break from the knitting scene, I think this forum is a good one to share her most recent artistic endeavor.
I have the pleasure of staying at zwick's very cute new NYC apartment, which has been even cuter since the day she put down HEB's staple gun and finished re-covering these IKEA chairs. She purchased the fabric at Purl Patchwork. The leftover fabric will be transformed into pillows or placements. Maybe in the comments section you can voice your opinion on the matter. Admittedly, the lighting in this photo is not ideal, but it is what it is (and a poorly lit glimpse of these chairs can only inspire you to come see them in person). Cute chairs, zwick!
Monday, October 8, 2007
via email, from Keren: elizabeth's blanket reminded me that i want to learn how to do that striped square thing you were working on last year. I think your intention was to make it into a belt if you know what I'm talking about. Can you teach me how to do that?
I do, actually, remember what she's talking about and remember how it became yet another thing I started making for myself that I never finished. But the squares she mentions, which are mitered squares, are a neat little trick that I thought everyone on the blog would appreciate. (Except for maybe Samir, since I don't know if you can crochet them.)
The basic idea behind the technique is that you cast on a certain number of stitches and then continue decreasing in the middle so that the cast-on edge is pulled to create two sides of a square. Here's how you'd do a sample square:
Cast on 25 stitches loosely.
Row 1: Knit 24, purl 1
Row 2: Slip 1 stitch as if to knit (just move the stitch onto the right needle without actually knitting it), knit 10, slip 1 stitch, knit 2 together, pass the slipped stitch over the last knit stitch, knit 10, purl 1.
Knit 2 together:
Pass slipped stitch over:
Row 3: Knit to the last stitch, purl 1
Row 4: As row 2 except knit 9
Row 5 (and all future odd rows until row 23): As row 3
Row 6: As row 2 except knit 8
Row 8: As row 2 except knit 7
Row 10: As row 2 except knit 6
Row 12: As row 2 except knit 5
Row 14: As row 2 except knit 4
Row 16: As row 2 except knit 3
Row 18: As row 2 except knit 2
Row 20: As row 2 except knit 1
Row 22: As row 2 except knit 0
Row 23: Slip 1 stitch, knit 1, purl 1
Row 24: Slip 1 stitch, knit 2 together, pass slipped stitch over. You will only have one stitch left. Cut the yarn and pull the tail through this stitch but do not pull very tight.
To attach the squares to each other, you use the last stitch on the first square as your first stitch, you pick up 11 stitches along the top edge of square, pick up the corner stitch and then cast on 12 stitches. You should probably use the cable cast on, which is decribed in S'n'B. You then have 25 stitches cast on and are ready to start again. (You can also pick up stitches on other sides of the square if you want to make something other than a long strip of squares.)
You can do a variety of striped patterns: for example, to do a 2 color stripe, you'd alternate between colors every 2 rows. (You can just pull the yarn along the side rather than cutting and restarting it to limit the number of times that you have to weave in ends.) When doing so, I suggest knitting the first row after picking up and casting on in Color A and then switching to Color B for rows 2 and 3, then back to A for 4 and 5, etc., etc. For more ideas about mitered squares, see Vivian Høxbro's Domino Knitting. I'm happy to loan it out if anyone is interested.
Here are some abbreviations Keren should no longer be afraid to see in patterns, because if she's tried out this square, she's done them all:
k 1 = knit 1
p 1 = purl 1
sl 1 = slip 1 stitch
sl 1 kwise = slip 1 stitch as if to knit
k2tog = knit 2 together
psso = pass slipped stitch over
CO = cast on
BO = bind off
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
This is a project that had me doing a lot of math at the start. I had three totally different kinds of yarn (Debbie Bliss: inner blue, silk; Alacama: middle, variegated purple, wool; Blue Sky Cotton: outer, orange, cotton), all rather different weights and textures. The colors seemed to call to one another as they lay on my yarn stash, and I decided that I liked the idea of bold, contrasting patterns in an ordinary shaped piece of knitting.
I now know how to pickup stitches, which is a good skill to have, though I wouldn't call myself a stitch picker-uper extraordinaire.
Maybe I'll be able to finish during Grey's Anatomy! (Which doesn't air until 9 Pacific Time?! Oh dear.)
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Here's what I'm currently working on: the kusha kusha scarf from habu textiles (http://www.habutextiles.com/webfile/kit-78.html) It's pretty frustrating going because the yarn is so thin and slippery. I tried to knit it with dpns, but it kept slipping off the back end. It's rough because I have to pay so much attention to it while knitting Despite the frustration, the yarn is actually kinda neat: one of the strands has a stainless steel core so it has a "memory" and stays in whatever shape you want. That doesn't really make sense, but I tried to demonstrate with this picture:
What are you all working on?
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
The yarn is incredibly soft! I HIGHLY recommend it. It's Lang Zoom yarn, which is part merino, part wool, part acrylic. I swear, softest ever. Perfect for baby knitting.
(Pardon the poor photography skills. We decided to get the best pictures we needed a model, and the bear was the only thing we could find.)
Fingerless mittens are actually the only kind of mitten I have successfully knit. I made these for my sister because she was moving to Minnesota. Sadly she only lived there for 6 months before moving to SoCal. Even if mittens were in fashion, these are much too long and thick and delightful to really ever be useful to her there. Alas!
Check out the difference between on and off hand/arm though! They were called "Wavy" and the yarn I completely randomly ended up using for them fit the shape and really emphasized it in the pattern of blues as well. Super cool, if I do say so myself.
It is known to perhaps a select few that I've attempted the blogging thing in a number of arenas. None were particularly successful, but oh my goodness, do I think this will be different. Knitting and blogs are meant to be together, uniting people across far distances, getting updates on work and help when problems and questions emerge, and just general consolation when a project is taking forever and a day.
Yay virtual knitting circle!
The title and just about everything else on the blog can be changed. The web address however, is not. It would be ridiculously easy to open a new blog, however, if for some unknowable reason, people don't like southsideknitting.blogspot.com