I love Mondays, it’s the one day a week that I let myself fully indulge in cruising around the internet and checking out all my favorite blogs. It really gets me excited about the rest of the week’s blog posting! Read more →
When I first sat down to review this week’s book, The Ohio Knitting Mills Knitting Book: Celebrating Four Decades of American Sweater Style, I approached it like all my craft books. I read through the index, skimmed for the projects that grab my attention, read through the actual patterns to see how well they are written, and then finally and lastly read the intro.
Well, that’s when the my approach was completely detoured. The Ohio Knitting Mills Knitting Book sucked me in and I spent the rest of the evening reading this combo of the two things I love – knitting and history.
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Bob is an awesome dog. We go running and camping together. He plays in the yard while I garden. And tonight he even helped me find a chicken that decided to hunker down in a bush instead of the coop — oh yeah and it’s pouring rain outside. We are a team. Even right now he’s cuddled up between Jason and I on the couch snoring. Adorable. Bob has a problem. He loves me too much. So when I’m doing something like knitting, which means I’m not doting on him, he grabs whatever smells like me or whatever seems like a good squishy play thing and mouths it. He doesn’t usually rip it to shreds. No, he just kind of tugs at it and cuddles it and gives it a little chew.
Before we realized what was going on we came home to find that he had collected every single one of my shoes (about 4 pairs) into his bed and was gently mouthing them – thank goodness or I would have been out all my favs. I can only imagine he was shedding doggy tears wondering when I would return (we were on a bike ride). Well, we’ve kept all my shoes in the closet now and that’s that.
Except now he’s turned on my knitting. Having sat in my lap and having literally every inch of yarn pass through my hands means my knitting is super awesome Kristin replacement in his mind. Well, right behind smelly shoes – I have the smelliest of feet. Read more →
I made Molly a cat hoodie quite some time ago. Jason and I thought RapCat (checkers’ commercials) was just too ridiculous and therefore, pretty funny. We invented a scenario where RapCat was Molly’s secret lover and it was a long standing, pretty bizarre, joke. We even joked about Molly wearing RapCat’s hoodie, you know, the blue and blue one. We laughed so hard about it…. and then I made one for her and we laughed some more. And the really funny thing is she doesn’t mind wearing it at all!
Now I know that a lot of cats would have serious objections with any kind of hoodie being put on them, even if knit with the most love. So some other ideas for the hoodie – Big Panda Plushies, A willing stout puppy dog (a little pug maybe?), you get the idea.
CO 68 sts with CC; join in the round and place marker at beginning of round, being careful not to twist stitches.
Work 2X2 rib (k2, P2) for 5 rows.
Change to MC, St st until piece measures 6 inches from cast on edge.
BO 12 sts – right armhole, k10 – front stitches, BO 12 sts – left armhole, k to marker – back stitches.
Back stitches only:
Row 1: Turn work, purl to BO sts – left armhole (34 sts). Row 2: Turn work, k1, k2tog, knit to last 3 sts, ssk, k1.
Repeat rows 1 & 2 three times total. Break yarn.
Front stitches only:
Rejoin yarn at the front section so you start with a knit row.
St st 8 rows. (there are more rows on the front than the back to accommodate the upturn of the neck on a feline.
Knit to end of front stitches; turn, cast on 8 using cable cast on, turn; k back stitches; turn, CO8 using cable cast on, turn; join in the round, k5. Turn, pm, purl 1 round to marker.
Row 1: Turn, k1, ssk, k to 3 sts before marker, k2tog, k1.
Row 2: Turn, purl to marker.
Repeat Rows 1 & 2 six times total — 12 sts decreased (42 sts remaining).
Change to CC, repeat rows 1&2 three times — six stitches decreased; 36 sts total.
K12, pm, k12, pm, k12, turn. — Place Markers used are the same as placed in the neck section.
Row 1: Purl to one stitch before marker, m1, p1, sl marker; purl to marker, sl marker, p1, m1, purl to end, turn.
Row 2: Knit all, turn.
Repeat rows 1&2 six times total (48 sts).
Purl all one row.
Knit to second marker, remove marker, ssk, k1, turn.
Sl1, purl to marker, remove marker, p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 1: Sl1 purlwise, knit to stitch before gap, ssk (one stitch from each side of the gap), k1, turn.
Row 2: Sl1 purlwise, purl to stitch before gap, p2tog, p1, turn.
Repeat rows 1&2 until all stitches have been worked. The last row you work will not have a k1 or a p1 after the ssk or the p2tog.
(K2, p2) to end. Pick up and work stitches continuing 2×2 rib along neck line, down one side and up the other, end with a p2, pm and join in the round.
Repeat (k2, p2) to end of round for 2 rounds. BO in pattern. Cut yarn, weave in ends.
Switch to dpns if necessary and pick up and knit 34 in CC color around one leg hole, pm, join in the round.
Knit 13 rounds.
Decrease 10 sts evenly by k2tog.
Knit 6 rounds.
Change to MC, (k2, p2) to end of round, repeat for 4 more rounds, BO all stitches in pattern.
Repeat for second Leg. Weave in all ends and slip on your kitty.
I think Miss Molly will enjoy it this win- ter for running outside (we walk with her outside in the morning, it’s too cold in the winter and she gets all stir crazy). Maybe some kitty booties will be in the near future too!
You may have seen this earlier in the month, but just in case you didn’t: Check out my newest Craft Leftovers pattern over on Craftzine! These convertible knit mittens will keep your hands toasty and warm during the cold of winter. To free your fingers, simply open the convertible flap!
These mittens were knit up using some chunky domestic wool and a nice hand-dyed merino (the green and blue). And they were first published in the October Issue of Craft Leftovers Monthly (Volume 2).
Happy Crafting and have a great weekend!
ps – zine organizing posts will resume on Monday :)
I’ve always emphasized color theory as a great tool for using up leftovers. I was so excited to see this book on Amazon and even more delighted when I realized my local library had it on its shelves. I picked it up last Thursday and read the whole section on color work in knitting.
I really enjoyed the author’s perspective on color theory, though for me it was appreciation vs. new knowledge. She goes over the basics of the color wheel and the different ways colors relate to each other.
I love the examples she gives. They used vibrantly dyed yarns to illustrate the points made. I would say that you will find this part of the book really helpful IF you are not already familiar with color theory. It’s a nice summary. It is definitely helpful to your knitting if you often find yourself at the yarn shop staring at the rainbow of colors thinking, “How do I choose colors that will match?”
The book then has three sections following the Color Theory for Knitting section: Monochromatic, Working the Color Wheel, and Hue, Value and Intensity
There is a really nice range of sweaters, shawls, and cardigans with sprinkling of a scarves, baby clothing, accessories, and home decor.
From reading through it, the patterns seem to be pretty well written, but you never know until you really dig in and actually knit the thing. I plan on doing that with some hand-dyed yarn for the Peacock Cardigan–which is stunning. Granted I’ll be working in greens vs. blues, but I think it will look lovely all the same.
Overall I enjoyed the book quite a bit. Will I buy it? Most likely not anytime soon. Not because I don’t think it’s worth it, but more because I have a pile of books and patterns I want to get to first. I’ll check it out again from the library for the Peacock Pattern and if I end up wanting to make a second pattern from it, then I pick it up for keeps.
If you are interested in how to better approach color selection and you aren’t familiar with the basics of color theory + you find a few of the patterns enticing and worth a try, it’s definitely a good book to add to your library.
One last thing about this book you need to know right upfront is that “Alchemy” is actually the name of the yarn brand that put this book together (the author is, I believe, the co-owner/founder). It’s a fine line of yarns, but they may be out of some of our price ranges (like mine). Don’t let that discourage you from trying out the patterns in this book. Check out this post I wrote about getting your needles/hooks/yarn just right.
Happy crafting and knitting!
Last week, I made my way to a local yarn shop. Wow, it was both inspiring and overwhelming at the same time. I’ve been doing some crochet and love it. I’m also thinking of trying a knitting project, probably a scarf. At an estate sale, I scored a large bag full of knitting, crochet and sewing supplies–only $5! So I want to give knitting another try. Do you have any tips for beginners? I’ve tried knitting before and ended up frustrated by dropped stitches, uneven tension and the project taking SO long. Any suggestions?
I’ve been teaching beginning knitting for a couple of years now (crazy to think). One thing that I’ve found is that if a student already crochets, they take more readily to the continental style of knitting. If you are completely new to yarn craft, throwing the yarn is the way to go.
KnittingHelp.com has great video tutorials for both Continental (german) and English (throwing) knitting techniques.
Continental knitting has a similar hand position to crochet. You use the similar motion to “hook” the yarn and pull it through the loop. You also use the left had to hold your yarn when knitting Continental, which is the standard for crochet. Yep Similar. Totally different end results, but similar muscle memory.
Learn how to pick them up. Seriously, this is one thing that really enabled me to tackle anything. Fearless knitting and all that rot. I like to knit mine back up, but you can also work them back in with a crochet hook. (how to pick up dropped stitches–scroll down to “fixing mistakes”)
If you’ve been at crochet for a long time, it can be really frustrating to try knitting for the first time. Not just the dropped stitches and feeling really awkward with the needles, but wow, the tension. A row of really tight stitches, then one loose one bulging out. It takes time. Work all the way through your first scarf and after 2 skeins of wool, your tension will work itself out. Blocking helps relax stitches into place too. And practice. Just like anything, the more you do it, the better you will get.
When I first started knitting, I knit so tight, especially the cast on. One yarn shop lady recommended to get over my “cast on anxiety” and start with bigger needles, then do the next row on the right sized needles. That way my cast on row wouldn’t be so tight it contorted my project.
Did you learn to knit or crochet first? For knitting, do you knit continental or english?
A common problem when working from the stash, is having only a small amount of each type of fiber left. How can you successfully combine cotton and wool in the same project? How can you combine acrylic with silk? Should you? Would you? Could you dare? (Yes, I totally stole that line from the Spooky Old Tree). Yes to all three! Of course your should.
By combining fibers in the same project you can start playing with texture, color, and drape in ways never possible. I love taking advantage of a fiber’s inherent property and pairing it with another to create various affects and looks.
1. If using a combination of wool and anything else remember that the wool will felt and the other fibers will not. This can be used to your advantage, or end up in the reject bin. I combine wool and cotton in the Perfect Dishcloth so it will intentionally felt the wool as you use it as a dish rag. In this case it make a semi harsh scouring pad perfect for use of teflon and the like. The un-felted cotton gives it a nice texture that a just wool felted rag would not have.
2. If you don’t want your project to gather, use the same gauge throughout your project. Like the felting, this is not a rule, just keep it in mind. This can mean using all the same weight, or changing needles/hooks for each section of yarn. It can be used to your advantage to have a thinner stretching yarn combined with a thicker yarn that has less give. Like an alpaca with cotton.
3. Winding yarns together is a great way to get a new yarn from three old ones. I used a cotton, wool, silk, and acrylic all together to make the great bulky yarn in this crocheted scarflet.
My great grandma made these garter stitch pin cushions all the time with her leftover yarn. Resourceful crafting must be in the blood!
*2 yards each of 7 colors; any worsted weight yarn
*Size 4 US (3.5mm) straight needles
*3″ circumference felt circle
*Hand sewing needle and thread
Note: Pick your colors A-G and keep track of them.
Cast on 14sts for all sections.
Section 1 – Inner Ring
Knit 4 rows for each band of color. Work colors A-E. Bind off all stitches.
Section 2 – Middle Ring
Knit 8 rows for each band of color. Work colors A-F. Bind off all stitches.
Section 3 – Outer Ring
Knit 10 rows for each band of color. Work colors A-G. Bind off all stitches.
Putting it all together:
For each ring section, sew bind off edge to cast on edge with sewing needle and thread; right sides together.
Fold each ring in half so the wrong side and all the ends are in the fold.
Place the Inner Ring into the Middle Ring and the Middle Ring into the Outer Ring. Stitch through all three rings to keep in place. Stitch the felt circle to the bottom to give a nice finished look.
The Knit Pin Cushion is just one of many great original projects in the October issue of Craft Leftovers Monthly. You can get the current issue of Craft Leftovers Monthly or a subscription for more great projects like this one!
I have wanted to try entrelac for ages now. I even bought some sock yarn (spring 2009) I think would be delicious for the Annetrelac Socks in the 2007 Interweave Knits Holiday issue… so for over a year now. I just never have. It wasn’t even an issue of intimidation. It was more just trying to finish the things I had already started. Well, I’ve finally finished enough that I feel a-okay with starting some new socks. But I wanted some instant gratification first.
I was cleaning out my studio yesterday and a print out of this quick dishcloth pattern fell out from between two knitting magazines. Perfect! The Garterlac Dishcloth by Criminy Jickets on ravelry here and on his blog here.
This pattern was actually given to me by the secretary of the painting and drawing facility back at NIU, so like 3 years ago. Finally getting around to making the things I’ve been wanting to for quite awhile. She was knitting it one day and we struck up a conversation. Next time we saw each other, she had brought in the pattern for me. So nice of her!
It’s a really well written pattern and it’s free and you can use up scraps of cotton to make it (use a different color for each block or row) and it’s a great way to get your toes wet when you decide to give entralac a try.
Here’s my progress so far:
Here’s what they look like finished (photo from Criminy Jickets):
I’m completely ready and excited for my next knitting project: Those elusive entralac socks pictured above!
Winter is always the season of weaving for me. With my overly large floor room, it’s the only time of year that I’m okay being tucked into my basement studio for hours shuttling back and forth. I turn on the space heater, bring down a pot of tea and put it on my candle warmer. [...]