Archive for the ‘knitting’ Category

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Knit Christmas Stars & Elves

December 9, 2017

Christmas Stars & Elves

I wanted to share some fun little Christmas ornaments to knit up quickly.  It’s such a busy time of year and we all love fast little projects to knit. The stars are an old favorite pattern and they are really fun to make.  The little elves are adorable and will require you to drink some wine 🍷 because you stuff them with corks.  So double the fun!

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The little elves knit up very quickly.  These are based on a pattern called Korkinesse, in Norwegian.  There was an English translation but that’s no longer available.   So I used a modified version on Ravelry and then modified that version to come up with a pattern.  You can visit my Ravelry page for more details.  Here is how I knit them:

Using fingering weight yarn and US #2.5 circle needle. I used the Magic Loop method.

CO 4 st. Join in the round.
1) *kfb*   (8 st )
2) *K1, kfb*  (12 st )
3) *kfb, k2*  (16 st )
4) *k2, kfb, k2*  3 times, k1  (19 st) 
5) P19
6-17) k12 rows
18) k5 BO 9, K4
19) K5, CO 10, K5
20) P13, P2 tog, P5 (19 st)

21) K
22) P
23 – 26) K (4 rows)
27) K2 tog, K3, K2 tog, K5, K2 tog, K2, K2 tog, K1 (15 st)
28 – 29) K
30) K2 tog, K1, K2 tog, k4, k2 tog, K1, K2 tog, K2 tog (10 st)
31-32) K 10 st
33) K2 tog, K1, K2tog, K2tog, K1, k2tog (6 st)
34) K
35) K2 tog, K1, K2 tog, K1 (4 st)
36) K2tog, K2tog
37) K2 tog

Pull yarn through remaining stitch. Leave a 10” tail. With a crochet hook, chain about 10 stitches. With a tapestry needle, attach tail of yarn to chain base, forming a loop. Secure. Bring CO tail up through bottom with a crochet hook.

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I’ve knit the stars many times.   This year I wanted some cranberry and snow white stars.  A quick and easy project, you begin by knitting in the round and then just working on 10 stitches at a time for the individual star points.    Here is the free pattern for the stars.  The pattern has you stuffing the stars just with the loose yarn ends, but I filled mine with a bit of polyfill, for plumper stars.

 

Stars Collage

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Thanks for dropping by.  I wish you a wonderful Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!   And, as usual, I hope you’re making something!

Elaine

fireplace decoration

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How to Pick Up Dropped Stitches in Your Knitting

November 7, 2017

Beginning knitters very often will confront dropped stitches at some point in their knitting.  This can strike fear in them, if they don’t know how easily this situation is rectified.  Even several rows of dropped stitches is not a problem to fix.  Below I show you how to pick up single dropped stitches and then I show you how to pick up several dropped stitches.

I thought about breaking this post into two different posts, one for knit stitches and one for purl stitches but then I decided to do it all in one single post.  So this post is long.  If you are only interested in how to pick up dropped purl stitches, scroll halfway down the post for that.  I do knit stitches in the first half of the post and purl stitches in the last half.  I also have a video in the post to help you.

It helps to knit a swatch of stockinette and practice dropping and picking up stitches, until you are completely comfortable doing it.

Knitting without fear!

 

PICKING UP DROPPED KNIT STITCHES:

First, you need to know a knitting fundamental – how a stitch should sit properly on your left needle. Each stitch has a “left leg” and a “right leg”.  In a knit stitch, the right leg will be in the front, like this:

twisted knit stitch.jpeg

Why do you need to know this?  Because when you pick up stitches, very often they are twisted and you will have to place them back on the needle the correct way.  It’s a no brainer, once you know how a stitch should properly sit.  So, after you have picked up a stitch, make sure it is not twisted, as you will see at the end in this photo tutorial:

 

How to Fix a Single Dropped KNIT Stitch:

Dropped Knit Stitch 1

Dropped Knit Stitch 2

Dropped Knit Stitch 3

Dropped Knit Stitch 4

Dropped Knit Stitch 5

Dropped Knit Stitch 6

Dropped Knit Stitch 7

Dropped Knit Stitch 8

 

 

 

How to Fix Several Rows of Dropped KNIT stitches:

Dropped Knit Stitches 1

Dropped Knit Stitches 2

Dropped Knit Stitches 3

Dropped Knit Stitches 4

Dropped Knit Stitches 6

Dropped Knit Stitches 7

Dropped Knit Stitches 8

Dropped Knit Stitches 9

 

 

And here is a video to help you.  (First half of video is knit stitches, last half is purl stitches)  Purl Stitch Instruction starts at 3:20.

 

 

PICKING UP  DROPPED PURL STITCHES

How to Pick Up a Single Dropped PURL Stitch:

 

 

 

How to Fix Several Rows of Dropped PURL stitches:

 

I hope this post helps you never to hear dropped stitches!  Refer to video within the post if you need more help.

Happy Knitting!
Elaine

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Pink Sideways Knit Baby Cardigan

September 1, 2017

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Here is another little baby sweater from OGE Knitwear Designs.  I love her patterns – nearly seamless being the key feature for me but just so cute!  I wish she was on Instagram (how can she not be!)  so I could tag her, but she just doesn’t have an account.  This little sweater was a really unusual construction – it’s knit sideways and then you just sew up the sleeves.

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There are two stitch versions you can do and I chose the Hurdle stitch.  This was a fun pattern and created a really interesting texture.

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I used a Superwash Merino yarn from Cascade Yarn.  It’s nice for a baby project, so you can just throw the sweater in the washer and dryer and not worry about it.  And the merino is super soft for babies.

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The pattern maker does a great job writing her patterns – they are clear and have photos showing you exactly how to do this unusual construction.  She makes it easy for you.

Knitting this on circular needles made it easy to pick up and put down and the project, since there was a lot going on here with stitches on holders for some of the construction.

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I added two sparkly buttons, which made me very happy!

 

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Pattern:  Sideways Knit Cardigan
Yarn:  Cascade Yarns Merino Superwash 220
Needles:  US #4 Circular Addi Lace
Ravelry Page

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Garter Stitch Baby Sweater

January 29, 2017

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This darling little sweater is another top down, no seam sweater – my favorite method of garment making.  Plus I love the look of garter stitch, so this sweater had to be made. The little yoke, with its raglan yarn overs, was a sweet touch.  I loved everything about this pattern.

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I used Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash Merino, a super soft worsted weight wool that is machine washable.  I like using this for baby items.  It’s so nice to knit with – and even softer than regular wool.

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I love the look of little beige sweaters for babies, but I wanted to introduce a little color on this one, so I picked out an aqua color and did some two color knitting. This was done in garter stitch, so you may not be able to tell that it is simply a “knit one in beige, knit one in aqua” repeat.  On the next row, you just knit the opposite colors over each stitch.  It creates a stranded look with the colored yarn only if you hold the colored yarn in your right hand. If you want to see how I knit with two colors at once, you can see a video of this here.

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garter-stitch-sweater-detail

This pattern calls for slipping the first stitch on every row on the front. This makes a really nice, flat decorative edge.  However, if you miss just one stitch, like I did, it looks bad:

missed-stitch-ii

What to do?  The mistake was glaringly right in the front. I came up with a solution – I crocheted a decorative edge over the top, using just a simple single crochet.  It worked beautifully and I really liked the finished look of it:

crochet-edge-garter-sweater

I was able to find the perfect button for this sweater – a little aqua wooden button that was the sweetest finishing touch.

Thanks for dropping by,
Elaine

garter-stitch-sweater-front

Pattern:  Garter Stitch Baby Jacket by Nancy Elizabeth Munroe
Yarn:  Cascade 220 Merino Superwash in Tuffet & Aqua
Needles:  #6 and #7
Ravelry Page

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Toddler Cable Sweater

January 4, 2017

bergere-swater-detail

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and New Year.  I’m still picking up and cleaning after all the out of town guests we had at the house and recovering from too much food and fun.  But I’ve been knitting right along and having a great time with baby patterns.

This is a cute little sweater knit from a Bergere de France pattern book that caught my eye.  The pattern is written in English but there were all kinds of amusing  and maddening techniques that we American knitters don’t really do.  I love the end result, though, and will be knitting this again with some modifications.

bergere-sweater

First of all, this sweater is knitted flat and requires seaming, which I don’t really like to do.  But I liked the sweater so much I did it anyway.  One of the odd things about the pattern is that they have you knit the neckband separately, leave the stitches on a separate needle and then graft it on.  That seemed ridiculous, so I just picked up the stitches around the neck and knitted the neckband.

The other odd thing was the creation of the buttonholes.  I’ve never encountered this – they had you knit the sweater with no yo’s for buttonholes.  After the sweater is done, you create buttonholes by lifting a stitch above and below where you want the hole to be and sewing those stitches aside.  What?  But I gave it a go and hated it. Never doing that again.  The buttonholes it created weren’t very good and it was an enormous hassle, with having to weave in yarn ends all around the buttonholes.  Yikes.  I guess this is a typical French technique, but I’m sure glad we don’t do that here.

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Another odd thing – the pattern has four sizes – newborn, 1 month, 3 months and 6 months.  Isn’t that weird?  Usually patterns are, for instance, 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 9-12 months, etc.  Something like that.  So I wanted to knit a 12 month size, but there was no 12 months size.  My solution was to pick a heavier weight yarn (Cascade 220 Superwash Aran) and knit on bigger needles (#9).  I figured I would end up with about a 12 months size.  Nope.  I ended up with about a 2 or 3 year size!  Especially after I blocked the sweater, and the yarn relaxed like crazy.  It became huge.  So it’s really not a baby sweater anymore.  So I will be knitting this again, using DK and smaller needles.

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I loved the sweater, though.  The cables were just a sweet touch and I’m a sucker for garter stitch hem and cuffs. Looking forward to knitting it again.

Thanks for dropping by,
Elaine

bergere-hem-detail

Pattern:  Bergere de France #06 Boy’s cardigan in Book #182
Needles: US #8 & #9
Yarn:  Cascade 220 Superwash Aran
Ravelry Page

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Baby Boy Textured Stitch Pullover Sweater & Pom Pom Hat

December 9, 2016

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I just finished this little pullover sweater and hat for a little boy.  Once again, this is a seamless construction with lots of knitting in the round.  I may never make another garment with seams again!  I really like knitting from the top down and having no seams to sew up.

dino-sweater-on-needles

The sweater is a pattern from Frogginette and is very detailed and well written.  I knit the 12 month size and came out with a 20″ chest, which was exactly what the pattern said so my gauge must have been right on (did I do a gauge swatch – no, I’m so bad about that!).  I knit this in Cascade yarns Superwash, so the baby’s mother can put the sweater in the washing machine.  The yarn relaxed like crazy after I blocked it and I was concerned it relaxed too much but the gauge ended up correct, so I was okay.  The color I used is 862 Walnut Heather.

dino-sweater-front-detail

dino-sweater-front

I used Addi Lace Circular needles, using Magic Loop.  The Addi Lace were really nice on this project because the textured stitch pattern required a “knit 2 tog without dropping stitches off your needle then knit the first stitch again and then drop the stitches off” and it was easier to do with the very pointy lace needles.

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The hat pattern was just something I improvised and incorporated the textured stitch pattern from the sweater.  It’s super easy – just knit a few rows of stockinette stitch so the edge curls and then knit a little square and cast off, doing a three-needle bindoff.  Super simple. I added two pom poms, which I thought was cute.

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dino-hat-pom-pom

Hope you’re knitting something!  

Elaine

If you’re on Instagram, you can follow me here.

Sweater Pattern:  Boy Sweater from Frogginette
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash in Walnut Heather
Needles:  #6 and 8 Circulars Addi Lace
Ravelry Page

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Capella Shawl

November 30, 2016

capella-shawl-hanging-back

(For all of you who are on Instagram, I just wanted to let you know that I started an Instagram feed of my knitting projects.  If that’s something that  you would like to follow, you can find the link here.)

I just finished a big knitting project.  If you like lace knitting, this Capella Shawl from German knitwear designer Isabell Kraemer is a real winner.  I thoroughly enjoyed knitting this.  It’s a beautiful lace pattern but the garter stitch banding is the finishing touch that I really think makes it different.

capella-shawl-front

I used Quince Chickadee yarn for this shawl, although the pattern calls for fingering weight.  This pattern is from Quince and if you have never checked out their website, hop on over there!  They have wonderful patterns and super soft, squishy yarn that’s sourced and made right here in the U.S.  I love the fact that they are producing these yarns in Maine.  You can read about their story here.

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I am a big believer in Addi Lace Circular needles.  I use them for all my knitting, flat or circular, lace or not and have replaced all my old needles with these.  If you enjoy lace knitting and have never used these, you will be amazed!  The tips are so pointed and sharp, you can easily knit intricate stitches, pick up stitches and especially knit twist stitches.  This pattern has a S2KP: “slip 2 stitches tog knitwise to the RH needle, K1, pass 2 slipped stitches over knit stitch” and that is so much easier when using  lace needles.

capella-shawl-with-needles

I did an Icelandic bind off because of the garter stitch edge. I thought a regular bindoff would not be stretchy enough, but Jenny’s Super Stretchy Bindoff would be impossible to do for this length of garment.  The Icelandic bind off worked great and I will be posting a video on how to do this bindoff soon.

capella-shawl-closeup

I followed the chart on this pattern and except for one lone row of Purl only, you really have to pay attention to your knitting.  That’s the reason this project took me so long – it was hard to watch TV and knit this at the same time!   Was such an enjoyable knit, though. I hope you get out your needles and try it.  And check out Isabell’s patterns – she is a fantastic knitwear designer.

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Pattern:  Capella Shawl
Yarn:  Quince Chickadee in Kittywake
Needles:  Addi Lace Turbo #6     40″ circulars
Ravelry Page

 

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