Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Keith's Guitar Chart

Last year I mentioned that I had adapted a musical guitar knitting chart to a smaller version to create a headband for my boyfriend. Well here is Keith's Guitar Chart:

This this pattern was created by ChemKnits for your personal or charity use. This pattern is not to be replicated, sold or redistributed without permission from ChemKnits. © 2009 ChemKnits

Friday, May 22, 2009

Knitting on the Commute

I love to knit when I travel. I knit in the car (while a passenger, of course), on airplanes, and even on my bus to work. For planes and buses, I like to have a project that requires minimal materials (i.e. no cable needles), has a pattern that is easy to remember, and whose needles won't disrupt my neighbors. (Frequently I will use round needles even if the project is knit flat so I won't take up as much space.)

Usually my commuting project is something that I can finish quickly (like my drop stitch scarf) but this time, I chose a project that will take me so long, that the only way I will continually work on it will be if I only do a little bit at a time.

This is my first true attempt at knitted "lace" - with lace weight yarn. I am doing a feather and fan pattern (Knitpicks 1,2,3 Shadow Scarf).

I truly expect that I will still be working on this in 2011, but I know that when it is done I will love it.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Flower Power!

The Flower Power Baby Hat from Knitty.com is the perfect gift for an expecting couple when you do not know the gender of the child. The hat is shown in Shine Sport Yarn: Grass, Terracotta, Violet, Sycamore, Turquoise, and River. Like all baby projects, this was a fast knit. I enjoyed using bright colors for a baby, not just pastels. It was a lot of fun dealing with the color work. There is more than enough yarn left over to make more baby items.

I have a feeling it would be prudent for me to start making some baby items to hold on reserve... Maybe if my "to knit" list was not quite so large! At least now I have yarn on hand when a shower pops up out of the blue!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Knit One below Beer Cozy

Once I read the book, Knit One Below: One Stitch, Many Fabrics, I was excited to try out the technique. (See my review of the book.)

Materials Required
  • size 3 dpn (the k1b technique results in a loose fabric, so you will need to use much smaller needles than you would ordinarily be accustomed to. I would say that this fabric looks like it was knit with size 6 or 7 needles)
  • Worsted Weight yarn (I used remnant yarn I had laying in my knitting cupboard)
K1b (Knit one below)
Instead of knitting the stitch off of the left needle, knit into the stitch below the one on the needle, allowing that stitch (and the one on the needle) to drop behind your new stitch. You aren't slipping a stitch, you are just knitting the stitch on the needle together with the one immediately below it.

  • Cast on 40 sts (this is the top of the beer cozy)
  • Join in the round. *k2, p1 *repeat for three rows. Make sure when distributing the stitches on the double pointed needles that each needle has an even number of stitches.
  • Follow the chart as follows:
  • K2, K1b twice - across with color in the A column (Eg, Purple)
  • K1b twice, K2 - across with color in the B column (Eg, Black)
  • K2, K1b twice - across with color in the A column (Eg, Purple)
  • K1b twice, K2 - across with color in the B column (Eg, Black)
  • K2, K1b twice - across with NEW A column Color (eg. blue)
  • K1b twice, K2 - across with NEW B column color (Eg, Red)
  • repeat these rows until you have finished the chart or have knit enough for your cozy. You do not need to re-attach the yarns each time you switch if you can handle them getting twisted. (Since the K1b fabric ends up pretty loose, make sure you loosely carry the yarns up the side, or else it will be much tighter than the rest of the fabric.)
  • Begin the decrease rounds with MC
  • note, you may need to adjust the decreases as the gauge is much tighter when you leave the K1b stitches. I personally like the look of the colors extending to the bottom.
  • K3 k2 tog - across (32 sts)
  • k1 round even
  • k2 k2 tog - across (24 sts)
  • k 1 round even
  • k1 k2 tog - across (16 sts)
  • k 1 round even
  • K2 tog - across (8 sts)
  • pull remaining stitches together
  • weave in loose ends
The wrong side of this stitch looks really cool too:

For an illustration of the this technique, check out the How To Knit-One-Below Video published in April, 2010.

This this pattern was created by ChemKnits for your personal or charity use. This pattern is not to be replicated, sold or redistributed without permission from ChemKnits. © 2009 ChemKnits

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hand Dyed Wool-Ease Yarn - Part 2

So now I'm playing with adding more food coloring drops, making the colors even more vibrant!

Yellow: 2 packets Kool-Aid lemonade, 18 drops yellow food coloring

Orange: 3 packets of orange Kool-Aid, 8 drops of red food coloring

Note: appears that the green ties I've been using have deposited some of their dye onto my yarn! (This does not really show up in the pictures.)

Blue: 2 packets ice blue raspberry lemonade, 19 drops blue food coloring

Yellow-Green: 1 packet ice blue raspberry lemonade, 1 packet lemonade, 15 drops yellow food coloring, 5 drops green food coloring

I have now completed a whole spectra of colors to use in my blanket. I think that if I were to use more food coloring, I would be able to get the colors more saturated. Given that the Wool-Ease yarn I have left over from other projects are darker, vibrant colors, I am happy to add these more pastels into the mix. It would have been cheaper to go and buy new yarn, but this was way more fun!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Knit One Below - One Stitch Many Fabrics

Knit One Below: One Stitch, Many Fabrics by Elise Duvekot

I initially choose this book because I was intrigued by the sweater design on the cover. Unfortunately, the yarns used in the book are very expensive (the colorways for some sweaters, such as the one on the cover, would cost over $100 to complete. Others can cost up to $200) I know that knitting is an expensive hobby, but since I like to do more than one project a year, I won't be able to reproduce the same expensive look that are shown in many of the pictures. I will just hope that I can eventually get a lucrative job (ha!) that will pay for my knitting habit.

Despite my complaint about the pricing - I love this book. The technique is fantastic. Each project has a full color, full page picture which makes you itch to start knitting. K1B is a really interesting way to blend different patterned yarns. More than the patterns themselves (which are beautiful), I am inspired by the fabric and cannot wait to design my own knit one below projects! This technique creates vertical stripes without the necessity of using two strands at once. There are beautiful instructions on how to apply this technique under different scenarios (such as increasing, decreasing etc). This technique is also good for combining many colors of yarn in a rich, exciting way.

Projects include:
  • Vests (5), Jackets (4) and Sweater (6): I am particularly drawn to the Non-repeating sweater, The block sweater (shown on cover), and the Man's Another Facet sweater. I know that I complained about the expense of the yarns shown, but each of these sweaters look like the belong in a department store for $300+.
  • Wardrobe Building: Skirts (2), Camisole, sleeveless sweater, beaded necklace, T-shaped top, and Offset tabard (one shouldered). The pictures are beautiful, but I doubt I would ever make any of these for myself.
  • Creature Comforts: Shawls (2), Luxury Scarf/Shawl, Mitered Squares Pillow (adorable!)
  • Child and Baby: Blocks of color blanket, Booties, Bonnet and Cardigan set, Railroad tracks sweater. (These are some of the cutest patterns in the whole book!)
  • Head to toe: Felted shoulder bag, Hat Variety Section (with instructions for separate brims so you can make exactly what you want), A Family Affair (Matching Hat, Scarf and Mittens set for the whole family!), Matching Cap and Gauntlets, Matching hat and scarf, Tattersall scarf, Inside-outside scarf, Shoe toppers and wristers, K1B and socks (there is one complete pattern, but there are many other photos with general instructions). Some of the sock patterns in particular are delectable. An amazon reviewer complained that the sock patterns were really just a tease (as there are no stitch by stitch instructions), but I do not think it should be difficult to apply the K1B technique to a basic sock pattern.
  • StashBusters: As the title of this section implies, I think that this technique of mixing colors together is a fantastic way to use up remnant yarns in a beautiful project. Afghans, a Vest, and a Shawl.
I would love to use K1B on my remnant blanket that I plan to make (once my sampler afghan is complete), but unfortunately for this technique you need to use either DPN or round needles as you cannot just turn the work after every row, therefore my size 50 needles won't be conducive to this project.