Friday, November 19, 2010

New Designs in the Works

Just wanted to make a quick post to say that I'm still here! I am excited by the response to the patterns I have posted so far, and I have several new designs in the works.

Some of these new designs are actually ready and waiting to be posted. However, I've been having some trouble with my digital camera that has prevented me from getting any pictures up. When this issue is resolved, I'll post my new patterns both here and on Ravelry.

Speaking of Ravelry, did you know that I am making all the patterns I post here available as free Ravelry downloads there? All you have to do is go to Ravelry and download the PDF to your computer. All of the patterns I've posted on the blog have been made available in PDF format for your viewing, printing and e-reading pleasure. Links are on the way.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Purple Bubbles Bracelet Pattern

After many failed attempts to reverse-engineer this bracelet by looking at pictures, I finally got a chance to take a trip to my hometown, where the bracelet currently lives, and I was able to take a good look at it in person. I am so excited to finally share this pattern with you! It is not difficult to knit, although it does take a while to become accustomed to the small size of the needles.

All of the materials required (except the 0000 needles) can be found cheaply at your local craft store. If you're lucky, your local yarn shop carries or will order this size of needles for you. Otherwise, you will have to order them online.

Materials:

  • 2 Size 0000 DPN's
  • Seed beads, size 8. I honestly don't remember how many I used, but it was a lot. You will need several strands, and it is better to string too many than too few.
  • DMC Coton Perle #5 in color 3042
  • Toggle Clasp
  • Wide eye beading needle or hand sewing needle


Directions:

String seed beads on the DMC cotton.
CO 4 sts, leaving a long tail which you will use to attach the clasp later.
Knit an i-cord for 1/4 inch. If you are new to i-cord, an excellent video tutorial for the 4 stitch i-cord can be found here.
From this point on, you'll be working in garter stitch with beads until you have reached the other end.
K 4 rows.

First beaded section:

Row 1: K2, slide 1 bead up to work, K2. The bead should always be sitting on the side of the work that is not facing you.
Row 2: K across.
*Row 3: K1, slide 1 bead, K2, slide 1 bead, K1.
Row 4: K across.
Row 5: K2, slide 1 bead, K2.
Row 6: K across.*
*Repeat rows 3-6 two more times. There are 10 beads total in this section.
Row 7: Kfb, k to last st, Kfb (you now have 6 stitches total)
Row 8: K across

Second beaded section:

Rows 1 and 2: *K1, slide one bead up to work* across, end K1.
Rows 3 and 4: *K1, slide 2 beads up to work* across, end K1.
Rows 5 and 6: *K1, slide 3 beads up to work* across, end K1.
Rows 7 and 8: *K1, slide 2 beads up to work* across, end K1.
Rows 9 and 10: *K1, slide one bead up to work* across, end K1.
Row 11: K across
Row 12: K2tog, k to last 2 sts, K2tog (4 sts remain)

Repeat sections 1 and 2, ending with section 1, until you have almost reached your desired length, remembering that your clasp and the i-cord at the end will also add to the length of your bracelet. On the final repeat of section one, omit the increase in Row 7. 


To finish:

Knit i-cord for 1/4 inch, and BO leaving a long tail for attaching the clasp. At this point, my bracelet measures about 6 1/2 inches without the clasp, and with the clasp attached it is 7. Thread your sewing needle and stitch the clasp to both ends of the bracelet, making sure to stitch the thread around the clasp several times for strength.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Butterfly Hat


One lazy afternoon, I wandered into a local antique shop and was amazed to find a selection of old knitting and craft books. I saw a copy of a book titled New Directions in Fair Isle Knitting (now say it out loud!) and excitedly took it home. It was filled with all sorts of fair isle patterns based on animals, plants, airplanes and other interesting motifs. Several months later I was thinking about knitting a fair isle hat, so I pulled out this book and thumbed through it for inspiration. In it, I found an adorable butterfly chart. I made some slight modifications to the chart (there was a lot more to it than just the butterfly, but the butterfly was all I wanted), pulled out 3 colors of yarn, figured out my gauge, and set to work knitting what might very well be the cutest hat I have ever knit! Very few things are cuter than pink butterflies.

This pattern works out to about a women's size medium, by the way. I haven't really thought about sizes, but if making a different size interests you: the butterfly pattern uses a multiple of 8 sts. As long as you get gauge and have a multiple of 8, you should be fine.

Materials:
3 different colors of worsted weight yarn
I have used Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted in the following colors:
 MC- (M-76) Misty Blue
 CC- (M-84) Mauve Dust
 CC2-(M-05) Onyx
16" circular needle, size 9
Size 9 double pointed needles
A Yarn Needle

Gauge: 5 sts and 6 rows = 1 inch.

Directions:
With Main Color (MC) yarn and circular needle, CO 96 sts and join into the round. K one round with MC.
Join Contrast Color (CC) and work 6 rnds in K2 P2 ribbing, knitting the knit stitches with MC and purling with the CC.
Break CC. K 3 rnd with MC only.
Begin Butterfly Chart.
Break CC and K 3 more rnds with MC only.
Join CC again, and begin K2 P2 ribbing using MC for K sts and CC for purl sts. Work in this 2 color K2 P2 ribbing for 11 rnds (2 inches of ribbing above butterfly chart.)
Begin decreasing for the top as follows, working in pattern stitch on even numbered rounds:
1. *K2 P2 ribbing for 5 sts, K2tog* around
3. *K2 P2 ribbing for 4 sts,  K2tog* around
5. *K2 P2 ribbing for 3 sts, K2tog* around
7. *K2 P2 ribbing for 2 sts, K2tog* around
9. *K2 P2 ribbing for 1 st, K2tog* around
11. K2tog around
At this point, there should be few enough stitches on the needle for you to finish the top, if memory serves. Break the yarn and draw it through the remaining stitches at least 3 times. Weave in your ends, and your hat is done!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New Doctor Who Themed Gloves

I'm working on a new pair of gloves for David, since the current pair are falling apart. The theme is "Time War." The first glove has a Dalek, and the second glove will have a Tardis when I've finished it. So far, this project is turning out well.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Knitting with Recycled Yarns

While it has been a long wait due to holiday confusion throughout the postal system, I have finally received my big bag of recycled yarn from Smart Monkey Refurbished Yarn, an Etsy seller who deals in unraveled sweaters. I have never knit with recycled yarn before, but its low price compared to new yarn excited me, so I decided to give it the old college try.

I am impressed with the yardage most of all. It's a full sweater's worth of 100% wool yarn, approximately 1,104 yards, for about $40. An equal amount of new wool yarn can cost twice as much if not more. Saving that much money is fabulous. Recycled yarn allows knitters with limited budgets, like me, to attempt larger projects that they otherwise would not be able to afford.

There are also the environmental benefits of reusing yarn, which are obvious enough that I don't feel the need to discuss them at length here, but I will mention them all the same. Reusing materials instead of buying new materials keeps stuff out of the landfill a little bit longer, and has an impact on the pollution that results from manufacturing.

Style-wise, reusing the yarn from thrift store sweaters is actually much better than simply buying second hand clothing and re-wearing it because you can create a new, stylish looking article of clothing instead of wearing clothes that appear dated. That is really something excellent. It opens up new possibilities for people who would never want to wear the hideous, ratty, old sweaters they see at the thrift store.

I must say, however, that the appearance of this recycled yarn is not the same freshness that one would expect from brand new yarn, and the hand of the yarn is pretty harsh. I wouldn't go so far as to complain about those things. It falls within the realm of the expected. The fact is that when you buy an unraveled commercially knit sweater you never really know what you're going to get, but you can probably expect that the wool will not be of the "nice and soft" variety that you might find at your local yarn shop. Still, I can knit with it and it will not shred my hands, and I will have enough yarn to knit for a long time at a fraction of the cost of new.

There is one thing that I will complain about, though. Colorfastness, or rather the lack thereof. I may have to treat this yarn to a nice vinegar bath before I continue knitting with it because the dye is rubbing off on my hands and my needles. Since the yarn is in shades of black and grey, my hands look like they are covered in soot after I have spent about half an hour knitting with it which is very undesirable. It is easily fixable, though.

When I finish my recycled yarn project, I will post pictures!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

More Knitted Bracelet!


I'm not doing much today because it's New Year's eve, but I did work on some photos. Here's a look at another of my bead knitted bracelets:
Above is a detail shot of the middle. This bracelet is made of black cotton thread with yellow striped seed beads. At left, you can see my wrist! The smaller bracelet is the one I wear all the time. This style of bracelet ties at the wrist, and does not have a clasp. The ties are long, so it's very adjustable.
I'm done for the day. Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

New Knitted Bracelets!


For the past couple weeks, I have been working on my new line of knitted bracelets. Unfortunately, I managed to break my digital camera during that time, so it has taken me a little while to get pictures. I have listed the first one on Etsy today! I am considering opening up a new shop for just the bracelets. I am starting to think that my Etsy shop is looking a little bit jumbled together.

Please bear with me while I get used to my new camera. I love my new camera, but I've got a few things to learn about using it.

So far, all the bracelets I've knitted have been one of a kind items, but I am considering writing down some patterns so that others can try it. These are tiny needle knits, so it's not a project for everyone, but I find knitting jewelry quite fulfilling. It's much more interesting than all those scarves I used to knit and sell!

In other news, I have ordered myself a foam head from an Ebay seller. Yes, I know that strickly speaking "Etsians" are supposed to be all anti-Ebay. I don't really care. I just want to take some pictures of my hats, and I am so excited that it will be happening soon!