Saturday, April 30, 2011

Free Halloween Knitting Patterns

Yes, Halloween is 6 months away. But you should realize by now that I like to play out my knitting projects well in advance! Last Halloween I decorated my apartment with a wide range of knit toys. I hope to expand on this collection for 2011.

This year, I'm starting my project research before October 1. I have written on an article linking you to a huge variety of free Halloween knitting patterns: including ghost, eyeball, Jack-o-Lantern, black cat, skull and witch related patterns. I have expanded the ghost, Jack-o-Lantern and skull sections into articles of their own.

I was really surprised how many skull knitting patterns I was able to locate. Many of these would work for punk and pirate occasions, not just Halloween.


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Do you have a knitting project that you are super proud of? Submit your favorite knitting projects to KPOTD. You might find yourself selected as the Knitting Project of the Day!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Do you know how to crochet?

I love crochet items, but I have been struggling to teach myself to crochet for years. (To be fair, the last time I made a serious attempt was in 2008.) My big problem is that my gauge is too tight so I have trouble inserting the hook into the next stitch. The tension is very different than that for knitting.

So although I have yet to learn how to crochet, I have started writing about crochet patterns over on Squidoo. Consider this saving up patterns until I know enough to start crocheting myself. I have a lot of hooks, so I don't have a need for any learn to crochet kit, but I do need to arm myself with more how to crochet books if I'm going to ever succeed.

I think I want one of my first crochet projects to be a crochet cupcake, they are just a tad bit more tempting than the knit cupcake patterns that I've found. What do you think my first crochet project should be?


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Do you have a knitting project that you are super proud of? Submit your favorite knitting projects to KPOTD. You might find yourself selected as the Knitting Project of the Day!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Hats to Knit for Little Heads

Baby Beanies: Happy Hats to Knit for Little Heads by Amanda Keeys

This book has decent knitting instructions, and there are also instructions to make pompoms and tassels.

This book contains 29 baby hat patterns that vary in shape and color. Beanies, ear flaps, attached scarves, bonnets, there are so many options in this book. There are some that are so adorable you wish you knew a baby you could make one for.

Now this book was worth a read, but there are so many baby hats available online, that it would be hard for me to justify spending money on it. This review also does not even scratch the surface on baby hat knitting books that are available! I would check it out of the library again if I needed some inspiration.


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Do you have a knitting project that you are super proud of? Submit your favorite knitting projects to KPOTD. You might find yourself selected as the Knitting Project of the Day!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Interview with The Compassioknitter

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by The Compassioknitter on two different topics: 1) My experiences knitting for Charity and 2) about my struggles with chronic fatigue syndrome and how knitting continues to be an important part of my life.

I am impressed by this new knitting blog, a "socially-engaged knitting website". I love the fact that Christine, the creator, is working to bring us ways to use our knitting to contribute to our communities. "The Compassioknitters Around the World Interview Series highlights the efforts of individuals and groups who engage in knitting for charity."

Read my interview about knitting for charity! The CFS interview should be up next week (April 28).

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Search for Flower Embellishments

Sometimes it's fun to put an embellishment on a hat, so I decided to search for free flower patterns. These flowers won't wilt! I'm searching for "free standing" embellishments or ornaments, not charts or flowers within lace.
  • Head Huggers Flower - Flat, 5 petals, works well on a hat, has 3 beads in the center which really jazzes it up.
  • Flower Pacifier Clip - You can ignore the clip portion, and use this double knit flower on other projects. There is a windy leaf/vine.
  • Flower Corsage - 8 petals (5 and then 3) with a circular center. Simple.
  • Knitted Flower - 4 Petals that appear stuffed, a little round embroidered center.
  • Bloem - 3D with some stamen coming out of the middle. The shape reminds me a little of a crocus. You could make a bouquet which a little girl would love to play with. (Or I would love to play with!)
  • Hannele - This is beautiful with a lot of textured detail. Six petals with a button center.
  • Flower Hair Elastic - Ruffled type flower
  • Flower Power Flower - I have knit this hat in the past, and the flower is knit as a row with bindoffs in the middle to create the petals. Very simple and open, a similar effect could be achieved with i-cords.
  • Lydia Flowers - Three flowers knit and then sewn together create this full corsage. There is also some beading.
Want to see more Free flower knitting pattern links?

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Do you have a knitting project that you are super proud of? Submit your favorite knitting projects to KPOTD. You might find yourself selected as the Knitting Project of the Day!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Knitting Project of the Day

I'm pleased to announce my latest venture, Knitting Project of the Day (KPOTD). I created this new blog to feature knitters of all types, not just the designers who create patterns. I will definitely still feature knitting patterns, but I wanted to create a place where knitting projects of all types (videos, blogs, knitters, records, books, knitting charities, websites, finished projects and designs) could be celebrated.

Do you have a knitting project that you are super proud of? Submit your favorite knitting projects to KPOTD. You might find yourself selected as the Knitting Project of the Day!

Monday, April 11, 2011

When Bad things happen to good knitters: An emergency survival guide

When Bad Things Happen to Good Knitters: An Emergency Survival Guide by Marion Edmonds and Ahza Moore

This is a great reference guide for a beginning knitter. There are many tips, from checking your gauge to how to go back and correct mistakes. The table of contents lists 4 main sections of tips: Emergency Prevention, or A Stitch in time; The Secret Language of Knitting Patterns; Good Knitting Gone Wrong; and Don't Let Finishing Finish You Off.

Now the tips they give in this book are great... but the book isn't organized in a way that really makes it useful as a reference. I think that this is a good book for knitters to read start to finish, but how helpful would it be on your shelf? If you know what you are doing, then you can use the glossary as a reference. If you are a beginning knitter and run into a problem, how would you know what to look up? Some of the terms are self explanatory (but then again I've been knitting for years now.)

So I think that I just talked in circles about whether or not this would make a good reference book. I recommend that you borrow it from your local library and flip through it. Let me know what you think!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bacilysin Beer Cozy Knitting Pattern



Today my friend Sarah is defending her dissertation. She is the last graduate student in my lab (our PI is going to retire) so the celebration is going to be huge. Like Marie, I wanted to send Sarah off with something to remember these graduate school years; a molecule knitting pattern that is relevant to her project. Bacilysin is a peptide based antibiotic, so this is an "antibacterial" beer cozy.


Bascilysin Knitting Chart: 39x21 stitches

Materials Required
  • Remnants of worsted weight yarn.
  • size 3 double pointed needles
  • Gauge: ~ 12 sts/2 inches; 17 rows/ 2 inches (The gauge is not critical as long as the cozy will fit around the beer bottle you care about.)
  • A beer bottle to check the desired height

The Chart

The knitting chart in the correct orientation for the pattern (rotated 180 degrees from the other image)


Bacilysin Beer Cozy Pattern
  • Cast on 45 sts in the main color (The cozy is knit from the top down)
  • Work in (k2, p1) rib for two rows
  • Knit 2 rows even in MC
  • Starting with the bottom row of the chart, and working from right to left, knit the 21 stitches in the first row of the chart. Finish the round by knitting 24 stitches in MC.
  • Work the remaining 38 rows of the chart in the same manner.
  • K 2 rounds even
  • *K7, K2tog*, repeat 5 times across. (40 sts)
  • K1 round even
  • K1, *K1, K2tog* Repeat from * 13 times (27 sts)
  • K1 round even
  • K2tog across until the last stitch, K1 (14 sts)
  • K2tog across (7 sts)
  • Cut yarn, pull through remaining stitches and weave in loose ends.
  • Put the cozy on a beer bottle and admire.
When I am working on these molecule knitting projects, I knit the molecule as I am knitting the rest of the cozy (see picture below.) If you prefer, you can knit the entire cozy and then use duplicate stitches to put the molecule on the cozy.


The wrong side of the beer cozy.

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Abbreviations Used in this pattern:
Kfb - increase by knitting into the front and back of a single stitch.
K - knit
P - purl
SSK - decrease by slipping two stitches then knitting them together. Alternatively, you could slip one stitch, knit one stitch and pass slipped stitch over.
K2tog - decrease by knitting two stitches together.

This pattern was created by Chemknits for your personal or charity use. You are not to distribute or reprint this pattern without the permission of Chemknits. © 2011 ChemKnits (www.chemknits.com)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Paw Socks Knitting Pattern

Jacob is a Yorkshire terrier/poodle mix. He is a spunky little dog, and recently moved across the country from California to Boston. His mom was concerned about his ability to handle the winter, and asked if I would make some kind of dog booties for him. Although I am late with presenting my prototype, I created some paw socks for Jacob and wanted to share this free knitting pattern with you.


I didn't really have a chance to measure Jacob, but I did did make a tracing of his paw in my notebook. I am sure that the first prototype of the paw sock will fit on his foot, I'm just not sure how well it will stay on.

Sketch from my knitting design notebook of Jacob's Paw (traced onto the page).

Materials
Jacob's Paw Socks - Prototype 1:
  • Cast on 24 stitches, Join in the round
  • Rows 1-3: Knit
  • Row 4: K1, *K2tog, YO, K2* repeat from * across the row (24 sts). This will create eyelets for a drawstring.
  • Rows 5-24: Knit
  • Row 25: *K2, K2tog* across the row (18 sts)
  • Row 26: Knit
  • Row 27: *K1, K2tog* across the row (12 sts)
  • Row 28: Knit
  • Row 29: K2tog across the row (6 stitches)
  • Pull yarn through remaining stitches and weave in loose ends.
  • Use a piece of yarn or ribbon and weave it through the eyelets to create a drawstring.

Paw Socks Prototype 1

After the completion of one prototype, I decided to try the sock on Jacob. When I pulled it out of my bag, he came over to sniff the sock (how he knew it was for him, I have no idea!) Jacob was interested in the drawstring, but otherwise had no issue wearing the sock. The verdict: Prototype 1 fits, time to make three more! I may try a second prototype, to see if I can improve on the fit, but these paw socks will serve their function to keep his feet warm in the snow.



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Abbreviations Used in this pattern:
Kfb - increase by knitting into the front and back of a single stitch.
K - knit
P - purl

SSK - decrease by slipping two stitches then knitting them together. Alternatively, you could slip one stitch, knit one stitch and pass slipped stitch over.
K2tog - decrease by knitting two stitches together.
YO - Yarn Over
sl - slip a stitch

This pattern was created by ChemKnits for your personal or charity use. You are not to distribute or reprint this pattern without the permission of ChemKnits.
© 2011 ChemKnits (www.chemknits.com)

Friday, April 1, 2011

L and R Knitting Charts

When I made the L & R Oven Mitts, I intended to duplicate stitch an L and R onto the mitts prior to felting. I abandoned this plan, but since I had designed L and R knitting charts I figured that it was worth sharing them with you! (Laura, maybe I'll find another use for these charts in another present to you.)


Both of the charts (L and R) are 14x19 stitches.

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This pattern was created by Chemknits for your personal or charity use. You are not distribute or reprint this pattern without the permission of Chemknits.
© 2011 ChemKnits (www.chemknits.com)