Archive for the ‘knitting’ Category

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Capella Shawl

November 30, 2016

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(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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Shawl Baby Sweater and Garter Ear Flap Hat

November 14, 2016

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I had to interrupt my Capella shawl knitting for something really important – a baby gift for a little boy!  I knitted a little shawl sweater and a little hat with ear flaps. These were two new patterns that I had never knitted before and I thoroughly enjoyed both of them and can highly recommend them.  And an added bonus:  they are both free patterns!

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The baby sweater is a pattern called Baby Sophisticate by Linden Heflin. I especially loved the construction of this sweater because there are no seams to sew up!  You knit in the round (my favorite) for the yoke, place stitches for the sleeves on holders, knit the body, bind off and then just place the sleeve stitches on your needles and knit those in the round.  You then pick up stitches for the shawl collar and button placket.   I knitted this sweater using my favorite Magic Loop method on circular methods.  You can find a tutorial for it here.

The pattern page is here but if you would like to see some of the more than 8,000 sweaters that people on Ravelry have knitted from this pattern, you can see them here.  I like to check out a project’s Ravelry page before I begin a project, so I can see how other people knitted the pattern, check out different color options and read notes and tips that people write about that pattern.  If you are not a member of Ravelry, join now!  It’s free, too.

The buttonholes were easy to do – just one YO and that’s it.

For the yarn, I inexplicably used an acrylic yarn.  It was an impulse buy.  I never buy acrylic yarn, but the colorway just jumped out at me.  I used Vanna’s Choice Lions Brand yarn in Grey Marble.  After I blocked the sweater, the yarn softened up a little.  But I didn’t like knitting with it much – it doesn’t have any give, like wool.

Pattern:  Baby Sophisticate Shawl Collar Sweater
Yarn:  Vanna’s Choice Lions Brand Acrylic in Grey marble
Needles:  size #9 Addi Lace circular needles
Ravelry Page

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THE HAT:

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The little hat is so adorable – it’s a pattern called Garter Ear Flap Hat from Purl Soho.  If you don’t know about Purl Soho, it’s a wonderful yarn shop in New York City.  They have a fabulous web site.  If you have never been on it, you will be amazed at the projects, tutorials, tips, patterns and ideas.  And so many of the  patterns are free!

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I love the hat because the design is just a little different – a little whimsical.  It’s a very easy, fast pattern.  After casting on, you knit the two ear flaps in the round, using short rows, which I love to do.  Then you continue on knitting the hat, shaping the crown in garter stitch.  Easy peasy!  I used my beloved Magic Loop method on circular needles.

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I love the cute little tassel on the top – how sweet is that?  Only takes a minute to make it. If you’d like to check out all the different versions of this little hat on Ravelry, the page is here. 

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Pattern:  Garter Ear Flap Hat from Purl Soho
Yarn:  Vanna’s Choice Lions Brand acrylic in Marbled Grey
Needles:  #8 circular Addi Lace
Size:  I made the small size, but on #8 needles
Ravelry Page

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Honey Tapestry Mittens

October 4, 2015

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How I love this mitten pattern.  I just finished these for my future daughter-in-law’s birthday.  I love the two-color knitting pattern  and it has a lining, which makes them so warm. They took me quite a long time to knit, but were so worth the effort.

Instead of the I-cord cast on, I did a picot hem cuff, which I took from Post War Mittens.  I really like it.  And I love the contrast between the stark black and the honey/white of the mitten.

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These were knit in the beautiful wool from Quince, a wonderful little company in Maine that makes U.S. yarn.  The yarn is super soft, squishy and a joy to work with. The lining is a blend of super warm alpaca/wool, Berocco Alpaca Light.  So these mittens have a good three layers of warmth!

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I knit them entirely in Magic Loop, which I love for mittens.  You can try the mittens on for size as you go, unlike if you use double points.  It’s also great for the thumbs.  I use Addi Lace circulars and they are so pointy that picking up stitches is a breeze.

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Tapestry Mittens
Needles: Addi Lace Circulars #4, #2, #1
Yarns:  Quince Chickadee n Honey and Egret
Berroco Alpaca Light in Black
Ravelry Page

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Cozy Mittens Knitted Flat

January 5, 2015

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This has to be the craziest pattern for mittens I’ve ever seen – and the easiest. Mittens are almost always knitted in the round, on circular needles or DPNs, but these are knitted flat – and not a mirror image flat, like you would think and then just folded together.  When I first saw these, I couldn’t figure out how they were seamed up, so when I knitted them I took photos to show you how to fold them.

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mitten-knitted-flat

 

The pattern calls for  these mittens to be knitted with worsted weight yarn.  When I did a mitten the first time, they were way too thin and way too small.  So I experimented and knitted another mitten with the same worsted weight yarn, only held double and they were perfect!  As I was knitting the piece, it looked huge, but after it was seamed together, it was just right.  It makes a double thick, warm mitten this way and the cuff comes up a full 3.5 inches on my wrist.  They’re a nice size.

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After you knit the flat piece, the mittens are folded up by seaming them together with a crochet hook, contrasting yarn and using single crochet. This was simple as could be – but a couple of tips for you: the pattern says to do it in two intervals, by crocheting across the top and down to the thumb and then cutting the yarn and then crocheting up the rest. I did mine in one pass – I started at the top and crocheted all the way to the bottom and then went around the cuff.  Also, the single crochet looks better on one side than the other – so be sure to begin it with the top of the mitten facing you.  You can see the sequence in these photos:

 

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Fold the mitten together, aligning the top halves. Crochet the two halves together along the top. After you crochet down to the the thumb crotch (above), turn the whole piece over:

 

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now flip up the thumb on the left (above), 

 

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then fold over the thumb on the right to match the thumb on the left and continue to single crochet them together (above)

 

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crochet down the thumb, the lower side seam and then just continue right around the cuff.

I hope these photos help you if you want to knit these.  These mittens knit up incredibly fast!  I loved this pattern.

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Pattern: Cozy Mittens
Yarn: Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash Worsted, held double, Doeskin Heather
Malabrigo Merino in Indigo
Needle:  US #8, circular, Addi Lace
Ravelry Page

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Snow Buddy Family

December 3, 2014

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I think one of the nicest yarn shops I have ever visited is the Yarn Garden in Charlotte, Michigan.  I was in there a couple of years ago and was so impressed with this shop.  I wish I had taken a picture of the interior. Old fashioned downtown shop with high ceilings, brick interior . . . just a really welcoming space with lots of quality yarns.  I loved this place.  And on one of the display shelves sat the cutest little knitted winter family of characters.  I immediately bought the pattern and finally got around to knitting a few of the little guys.

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These tiny people are quick to knit up.  You stuff the bottoms with dried beans for weight and then add poly fill for the rest.  The pattern is easy for just about everything except the little baby’s earmuffs – I never did understand the directions for those and so I just improvised.  Other than that, there were no troubles with the pattern and I had so much fun knitting them.

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This is a great pattern in which to use up scraps of yarn.  All the little accessories do not take up much yarn.  I knitted these in worsted weight yarns.

Pattern: Snow Buddy Family
Needle: US#3 & US#6
Yarn:  Various Stash Yarn (I used a lot of worsted)
Ravelry Page

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Turkish Bed Socks

September 8, 2014

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Here’s a fun little project I recently finished.  These little socks are super easy to make and make great use of all that sock yarn laying around. I guess a lot of people like to wear them with clogs, but I made mine just for something comfy to wear around the house.  The pattern is from Churchmouse Yarns and Teas shop on Bainbridge Island.  If you’re ever in the Seattle area, it’s a great little shop to visit. And they have a lot of terrific patterns on their website.

 

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I made little tassels to go onto mine and I really like the look.  The yarn I used is from Pagewood Farm – it’s hand dyed, super soft 80% merino, 20% nylon. The color is Lavender Fields. I used #3 circular needles and this made a perfect size for my foot, which is an 8-1/2.  I loved the pattern because there was hardly any purling and I could just go round and round on my circulars using Magic Loop.  These knit up really fast and I’m definitely going to make another pair in a different color.

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Pattern: Turkish Bed Socks
Yarn:  Pagewood Farms Sock yarn in Lavender Fields
Needle: US 3 Addi Lace Circulars
Ravelry Page

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Mitered Squares Throw With a Fabric Lining

March 3, 2014

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This is one of my favorite projects ever.  This pattern has been around for a while and I was late to the game on it.  It is the Mitered Crosses Blanket that Kay Gardiner made for Japan tsunami relief a couple of years ago.  There are over 900 project pages for it on Ravelry.  I loved this pattern so much and really loved making it.  One of the best things about this pattern is that the project, up until the time that you assemble all the blocks, is very portable.  I took these squares everywhere with we while I worked on them.

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I changed quite a few things from the original pattern, though. The original called for mitered crosses, of course.  I decided I didn’t want to do the crosses and did squares instead.  I really like the way they turned out. The squares are super easy to make and after a short time, you don’t even need the pattern.  There’s no counting of rows – yay! – you just have to remember to do the decreases on the right side and none on the wrong side. Just make sure you have a stitch marker to mark your corner, where you do your decreases.

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I also did not use Noro Silk Garden for two reasons:  I feel it’s a little scratchy and it’s very expensive.  So I searched and found a striping yarn that substituted very nicely – Crystal Palace Mochi Plus.  The colors in Mochi Plus were stunning and it was a hard decision on what colorway to use.  I loved Lake Trail and Leaves & Sprouts but eventually settled on Autumn Rainbow because I started this in the fall and the yarn exactly matched the colors I was seeing all around me.  The  yarn stripes slowly, which I really liked for this.  It is a one-ply yarn so it could be a little felty.  For the background color, I used Cascade Yarns 220 Heathers in Doeskin Heather.

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I blocked all the squares first before I sewed them together.  And I did sew them together. I did not do the three needle bind off.  I just thought that sewing them together would be a lot faster.  If you want to do the three needle bind off, be sure to read Kay’s post about how she did it.

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The i-cord edging takes a while to do but it is SO worth it. It really finished the throw. I did the edging in the striping color instead of the background color, which the pattern called for, and I really think it adds something.  It took me several days to do it, just working a little bit on it every day.  Some people are intimidated by the thought of i-cord but it’s so easy.  Here is how you do it:

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you start out with three stitches on your needle (left).  With the left
needle, pick up a stitch (right). Knit that stitch.

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You now have four stitches on your needle.  Transfer all those stitches
over to your left needle (left).  Knit the first two stitches (right).

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Knit the last two stitches together, through the back loops (left).
Now you have three stitches again.  Repeat.  Easy!

After I finished the edging, I decided the “wrong” side of the throw was so unattractive I wanted to cover it up.  Plus, I  felt the throw needed a little bit more structure.  So I decided to add a flannel fabric lining.  I wasn’t sure how to do this – I knew I could cut the fabric, hem it on my sewing machine just fine but then I wasn’t sure how to attach it.  This post from TECHKnitting helped me a lot.  It’s about how to use an overcast stitch by hand so that the stitch gives a little, which is required because of the stretchy nature of the knitting.

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the overcast stitching shows but it is still
preferable to doing a blind stitch because

it gives ease to the knitting

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name labels from  
  Ananemone Etsy shop 

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The finished blanket is about 44″ x 33″.  Each block is about 11″ square. I did 12 blocks so it’s not a huge blanket, but rather just a nice throw to put over your lap. Between the 100% wool yarn and the flannel, it’s pretty toasty.

Pattern:  Mitered Crosses Blanket
Yarn: Crystal Palace Mochi Plus in Autumn Rainbow
Cascade Yarns 220 Heathers in Doeskin Heather
Needle:  #6 Circular Addi Lace
Ravelry Page

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