Sunday, July 26, 2009

Coaster Pattern Search

I like to drink tea, but I fear water rings on my tables! I thought it would be fun to whip up some fun coasters to use up my remnant yarn, so I have consolidated my pattern search here. I am hoping to find patterns that are not just squares, that have a little pizazz to them.

See the ** at the beginning for the ones that impressed me the most.

Other fun coaster inspired projects:
  • This isn't knit, but the braided mug rug is darling!
  • Planter covers - cover a square box with a bunch of swatches (or coasters, really) so spice up your potters.
  • Woven Zakka Napkins - These are too cute to not include. You will need some kind of little loom, though.

I've realized that these searches often inspire me to design something of my own that is different than what I have been able to find. Maybe a fun K1b coaster... who knows!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Blue in Green

My first handpainted colorway inspired me to attempt a second colorway but this time taking advantage of the blue/green family. (Basically, purple is so darn hard that I am removing it from my rainbow!)

I dissolved 3 packets of Blue raspberry lemonade Kool-Aid and 3 packets of Kool-Aid lemonade into 1/2 cup of water. I then set up my color gradient as follows:

  • 30 mL yellow Kool-Aid mix, 10 drops yellow food coloring
  • 25 mL yellow Kool-Aid mix, 5 mL blue Kool-Aid mix, 9 drops yellow food coloring, 1 drop NEON blue food coloring
  • 20 mL yellow Kool-Aid mix, 10 mL blue Kool-Aid mix, 7 drops yellow food coloring, 3 drops NEON blue food coloring
  • 15 mL yellow Kool-Aid mix, 15 mL blue Kool-Aid mix, 5 drops yellow food coloring, 5 drops NEON blue food coloring
  • 10 mL yellow Kool-Aid mix, 20 mL blue Kool-Aid mix, 3 drops yellow food coloring, 7 drops NEON blue food coloring
  • 5 mL yellow Kool-Aid mix, 25 mL blue Kool-Aid mix, 1 drop yellow food coloring, 9 drops NEON blue food coloring
  • 30 mL blueKool-Aid mix, 10 drops NEON blue food coloring

Following the protocol of my other hand-painted yarn (see archive), I painted this skein starting with yellow and blue at either end, and painting the different greens in the middle. The yellow at the end stuck out a little too much for my taste, so I wicked some of the lime green into it to make it less severe.

The color changes in the swatch are subtle and pretty. I really want to try this same colorway on 100% wool!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

#19 - part 2

So I should have been starting my final Sampler Afghan piece. SHOULD have.

When starting to line up the pieces, I noticed that my gauge in one was looser. This would have made it harder to put the blanket together. Therefore, I redid the square (Cloverleaf Eyelet).

(Left: new, Right: Old. The difference is subtle, but it makes a huge difference
when compared with the other squares)

What should I do for the 20th? I'm more tempted to do something fast than something complex... I want to snuggle in this blanket!

Nothing in the book itself is spaking to me... but I found a fun "oblique rib" in my callendar.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Knitting for Charity

There are so many wonderful knitting projects out there, but I only have so many people to give knit items to. (I know that my colleagues in lab would love for me to knit things for them, but as we usually do not exchange gifts that would be a little odd.) I know that there are a variety of knitting charities, so I decided to do some research to see how I could feed my hobby and help my community at the same time.

  • Wool Works - This page summarizes (by state) different charitable organizations that accept knitted goods or knitting supplies. This website has also assembled patterns suitable to use for charity.
  • Interweave Knits - Here is another list of charitable organizations.
  • The Knitting Connection (Based in MA) Volunteer your time (with knitting), your extra yarn or your finished projects.
  • Newborns in need ( - Help dress newborns in need with your crafts.
  • Women's Educational and Industrial Union (no website listed... Fiber Arts Department, 356 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116. Contact: Alice Lam, ext. 156, 617 536-5651.) They reportidly have a knit-a-thon makin 6 in squares to help battered women's shelters... If anyone has any more information about this I would appreciate it.
  • Pine Street Inn (A Boston Homeless Shelter) has had a knit-a-thon the last two years around Thanksgiving... hopefully they'll do it again!
  • Knit-a-square - Help keep an AIDS orphan in Africa warm by contributing 8x8 knit (or crochet) squares.
  • - Helping homeless children. Knit clothing for teddy bears. The charity provides the bears, and distributes the bears to children at holiday time.
  • - These hats are distributed at hospitals to cancer patients. The knowledge that someone took the time to hand make a hat for them is encouraging to the patient.
  • - helping preemies around the nation
  • The Purl Foundation - Helping homeless individuals through the winter in NYC. A friend of mine is involved with this charity, so although it is not Boston-centric, I wanted to give it a shout out.

I have not even scratched the surface of knitting charities that are out there... but it is something to think about. If anyone knows of any upcoming knit-a-thons in the Boston area, please let me know. I would love to rally people to participate. If I had more friends who knit, I could set one up of my own... Maybe it is time to find a social knitting group...

Basically, if I make something, ANYTHING, there are not a shortage of places to donate the knit items.

Friday, July 10, 2009

One-Skein Wonders

There have now been multiple editions of One-Skein Wonders edited by Judith Durant. In this post, I will take a look at three of the books (my library fun begins!)

101 Designer One-Skein Wonders: A world of possibilities inspired by just one skein edited by Judith Durant.

I know that I always have left over yarn, and I never have a good idea of what to do with it. Hopefully this book will have some great ideas!

The patterns in the book are organized by yarn weight with pictures of each project in the table of contents (so you do not need to flip through the entire book for inspirations). There are no photos with the patterns, all of the photos are in the table of contents.

The patterns include:
  • Lace Weight (8): Wraps, Vest, Dresser Scarf, Fingerless gloves
  • Fingering weight (16): Magic Loop Minis (like Christmas ornaments), socks, baby bonnet, jumper, neck warmer, baby jumper, scarves, bag, checkbook cover, tie, mittens, and warmers
  • Sport (6): lacy beanie (Beautiful!), belt, loop through scarf (sooo cute, great way for a short scarf!), Ring Bearer Pillow, socks, baby sweater
  • DK/Light Worsted (8): Squash hat (I have no idea why you would need to dress up your food, but this hat would be cute for a doll), vest, hat, sachets, necklace, tie, baby hat
  • Mohair (4): Lace spiral scarf, lace cowl, beaded scarf, broadway hat
  • Worsted (33): Hats, Ruffle Scarf (Crochet), washcloths, mini messenger bag, socks, baby basket hat, belt, headband, His 'n' Hers Show Soap Holders, Bath Rug, Amulet Purse, Mittens, Scarves, Egg-cozy-hats, notebook cover, headband and matching hand warmers, minipurse, Hat that looks like a kitty-cat, Little Monster Bear (sooo cute!), slippers, shruglet
  • Heavy Worsted (19): blanket buddy, Mitered square belt, Felted bag, cross stitch scarf, other Scarves, Square hole hat and wristlets (crochet), felted flowers, Stuffed Centipede, Baby Sweater, Beret, Kids Socks, I-pod cozy, misc bags
  • Novelty (7): scarves, belts, shrug, catnip pillow, purses
These projects are all very cute, and do not require very much yarn. But the "One Skein" is a little generous? Some of the yarn used for projects have 125, 227, even 250 g per skein. Most of the skeins I have are 50-100 g per skein.

It would have been nice if the projects had knit/crochet labels in the introduction... but it is nice to have both kinds of projects in one book. Overall impression: There are patterns in here that I will photocopy and keep on hand for gifts ideas. It is definitely worth looking at, but I would not recommend purchasing it.

Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders: 101 Small Indulgences edited by Judith Durant

I was excited to take a look at this book. I love luxury yarns, but since they are expensive, I cannot afford to use them in a large project. Most skeins used in this book are actually 50-100g (versus the previous one-skein book), and accordingly the patterns are more "one skein" friendly.

The Patterns Include:
  • Lace weight/superfine (24): Scarves (lacy and non... many many scarves and stoles), Cashmere Bangles, socks, babyhats, mitts, baby vests
  • Fine Weight (15): Lacy Grey Alpaca Scarf (This is why I must learn to crochet. It is stunning and modern.), purses, tams, wristlets, starfish, muffs, angora bridal garter, booties necklaces, table runner, Elephant hat (so cute)
  • Light Weight (29): VASE (I am sure that you need glass or plastic to put inside it, the effect is not too attractive), vest, scarves, bags, hats, necklace, pillow, bunnies, napkin rings, bear sweater, bath cloth (WHY would you use a luxury cloth for a wash cloth?), baby leg warmers (I doubt they would stay on long), gloves, doll clothing
  • Medium Weight (30): More of the same as above, cotton baby cardigan (the opening is off center, makes the garter stitch pattern more unusual), necktie, spa sets
  • Bulky (4): Scarf, hats and a vest
Overall, the patterns are nothing fantastic. The materials used make them fantastic. Many of the projects require finishing (bag handles, beads etc), which ends up making them unique. I would not purchase this book. (For 101 patterns, I should crave to make more than 2!)

101 Yarn Shop Favorites - One-Skein Wonders edited by Judith Durant.

My complaint for the first 101 one-skein books was that there were no pictures around the patterns. This version contains sketch version of the projects, so at least you can have an idea of the shape as you're flipping through.

The projects are separated by weight and include Bulky (21), Worsted (20), heavy worsted (4), worsted-mohair (5), sport (4), Fingering (11), and novelty (13). They include (see many repeats of categories from the above books): many bags, hats, some embroidered & felted coasters, a hair clip, curtain tiebacks.

Of note: A darling felted gift bag, ice scraper mitts (what a unique idea.. might help keep your hand dry as you scrape off your car... if you have a car!)

Maybe 303 patterns selected by Durant are too many for one day, but I stopped feeling excited.
I was really surprised that I did not love these books. They will not make a permanent addition to my knitting library.

I will note that I love looking at knitting books for inspiration. I would never be unhappy with any knitting book received as a gift, but there are certain books that I would not go out of my way to purchase.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Red Sox Knitting Charts!

I love baseball, and I have been raised as a part of Red Sox Nation.

Fenway Park is so much fun, but so many of the games that I attend end up being rainy and cold, which means that I end up covering up all of my Sox gear. Who would be able to tell what team I was supporting?

My solution, make some Red Sox knits! I have not yet constructed hats/scarves with these logos, but I figured that I would make my knitting charts available for other Sox fans to enjoy.

I like the big "B" better, but it is a little large for many charts.

These Sox need some work still... Close but not quite there.

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, July 2, 2009

Circles and Stripes Baby Hat

I guess I really am at the age where everyone you know is getting married or pregnant! A former colleague of mine is expecting, and so I decided to whip her up a cute little hat. This Circle and Stripes Baby Hat allows you to mix colors for a cute topper.
The hat was knit in Shine Sport Yarn: Terracotta, Turquoise, and River with size 5 dpn.