Sunday, December 30, 2012

ChemKnits en Español

¡Hola!  Este Diciembre, voy a ir a Chile, y por eso necesito practicar hablando en Español.  (He escribido este entrada de blog antes del viaje.  ¡Estoy in Chile ahora!)  Quiero aprender palabras en Español para "Knitting" (Haciendo Punto).  Estoy escribiendo este entrada totalmente en Español, y despues voy a usar un diccionario para corregir me gramatica.

Cuando estará en Chile, quiero buscará para tiendas de hilo.  Para comprar eficientemente, es necesario aprender palabras importantes de hacer punto y fibras. 

Palabras Importantes
  • To Knit - Hacer Punto, Tejer
  • Knitting pattern - patrón; instrucciones para hacer punto; instrucciones de tejido
  • knit fabric - tejido de punto
  • cotton - algodón
  • aplaca - alpaca
  • cashmere -cachemir
  • yarn - hilo
  • acrylic - acrílico
  • nylon - (fabric) nilón (m); nailon (m)
  • Fiber - fibras
  • merino - merino
  • Wool - lana
  • Pure wool - lana pura
  • made of wool - es de lana
  • sheep -  oveja
  • Knitting piece (being worked on) - labor
  • Purl - punto (m) del revés.  
  • Purl 2 (P2 en un patrón) - dos del revés
  • knitting needle - aguja (f) de punto or de tejer  EAm 
  • Engrave (Leí sobre una tienda que aguijas de punto gravadas con un nombre.) - Grabar
  • Spin (wool) - hilar
  • Spinning Wheel - Rueca, Rueda de hilar
  • Shawl - chal, rebozo
  • Scarf - bufanda

¿Hay algo que olvidé?
Cuando estoy en mi casa otra vez, compartirá mis experiencas con Ustedes (en Ingles).  En el futuro, pienso que buscaría para patrones de punto (en Español, claro.)

------Traducción al Inglés (Translation to English) ------

Hello! This December, I will go to Chile, so I need to practice speaking in Spanish. (I wrote this blog before the trip. I'm in Chile now!) I want to learn Spanish words for "Knitting" (knitting). I am writing this entry entirely in Spanish, and then I use a dictionary to correct my grammar.

When I will be in Chile, I will look for yarn stores. To shop efficiently, it is necessary to learn important words for knitting and fibers.

Important Words: (see above)  

Is there something I forgot?

When I am at home again, will share my experiences with you (in English). In the future, I think I will look for knitting patterns (in Spanish, of course.)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Boston University (BU) Sweater Ornament


Go Terriers!  This is a cute little sweater that would be easy to adapt to the colors and letters of your alma mater. Just substitute letters that are 5 sts high in place of the BU. 

  • Knitting Needles: Size 1 (2.25 mm)
  • Yarn: ~20 yards total Fingering weight KnitPicks Palette Yarn in two colors, Red* (2-3 g) and White (1g) (*I dyed the red yarn for this project myself.) 
  • Gauge: Not important for the completed project
  • Misc: yarn needle.

The Pattern
1. Cast on 16 sts in MC
2. (WS) Knit across
3. K across (RS)
Rows 4-9. Knit in stockinette (Knitting on RS rows, Purling on WS rows.)
Rows 10-15. Begin the BU lettering (see below), following the chart. Continue to K RS and P WS rows.
16. P16 (finishing the top of the BU chart), cast on 8 stitches with the backwards loop cast on method. (24 sts)
17. K 24 in MC, CO 8 sts using backwards loop cast on method (32 sts)
18. Purl across
19. K across
20. P 13, bind off 6 sts, P13. (26 sts.)
21. K13, cast on 6 sts using backwards loop method, K 13 (32 sts)
22. P across
23. K across
24. P across working chart as directed (the top of the second set of lettering begins here.) 
25. Bind off 8 sts, K 24 working chart as directed (24 sts)
26. Bind off 8 sts, P 16
Rows 27-38. Work in stockinette, following chart where applicable. (Even rows purl, odd rows knit.)
Row 39: (RS) bind off purlwise.

The Chart  - The following chart follows the written directions above to help with placement of the colorwork letters in with the rest of the design. 

Odd rows are RS, Even rows are WS. Read chart right to left on RS, left to right on WS.

Blocking isn't required, but may make the seaming easier.  Turn the sweater in half with the RS facing.  With the loose ends (or extra red yarn if necessary) sew up the side seams and under arms.  Weave in all remaining loose ends on the WS of the sweater.  Turn right side out.  Attach ornament hook and hang on your tree! 


Abbreviations Used in this pattern:
Kfb - increase by knitting into the front and back of a single stitch.
M1 (Make 1)- increase stitch by picking up yarn between two stitches, twisting and knitting.
K - knit
P - purl
I-cord - knit stitches on dpn's without ever turning the needle (effectively knitting in the round with a small number of stitches.)
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 knitting pattern was created by ChemKnits for your personal or charity use. You are not to distribute or sell this pattern without the permission of ChemKnits. © 2012 ChemKnits

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Richter Family Christmas Stocking

"In Jim’s family, Jim’s grandmother and then his mother knit Christmas stockings with one’s name and year of birth. It has become a big family tradition with stockings for spouses and children. Unfortunately, Jim’s mother has some dementia and can no longer make these stockings. I was thinking that one for Jenn next year would be an additional sign of welcoming her to the family."

Jenn's stocking knit by me with the following pattern (left), Andy's stocking knit by his Grandmother or Great-grandmother (right.)

I felt so honored when I received the following email from the Richter family. They have been close to my husband's family for years (I met them the same day I met my now in-laws!) Both of my grandmothers have suffered from some form of dementia, so I can understand the effects this can have on a family. This makes it even more special for me to help keep this tradition alive.

Jenn's stocking knit by me with the following pattern (left), Andy's stocking knit by his Grandmother or Great-grandmother (right.)

I reverse designed this stocking based on the sample mailed to me. Although there are some things I may have done differently if I were designing this stocking from scratch, I am going to try to replicate the construction as authentically as possible.

  • Wool of the Andes Worsted Weight Yarn in White (9 g), Grass (Green; 35 g) and Red (35 g).
  • Size 3 knitting needles, both straight and double pointed needles are used in this project.
  • Yarn needle for weaving in loose ends
  • Gauge: 6 sts/inch; 8 rows/inch
  • Finished size: 4.5" wide, 12" cuff to heal, 9" heel to toe.
The Pattern - Please note that parts of this stocking are knit flat, and others are knit in the round.
  • Ribbed Cuff - Worked Flat
    • With Red yarn, cast on 52 stitches with a long tail CO onto straight needles
    • knit 12 rows of 1x1 ribbing (K1, P1 across)
  • Stocking Body - Worked Flat until the end of Santa. Last two plain green rows worked in the round.
    • Starting on a WS (wrong side) row. Begin working the chart starting from the bottom, purling on WS rows and Knitting on RS rows.
      • Note 1:WS rows follow the chart from left to right, RS rows follow the chart from right to left.
      • Note 2: I used stranded techniques for the name and Santa, Intarsia for the trees. I made 4 g "bobbins" for each color for the trees section.

        Open the chart in a new window for a larger view.
    • Continue working the chart until you finish the feet of the Santa figure - 58 rows, ending on a RS row.
    • Switch to double pointed needles (or your preferred method of working in the round) and knit the last two green rows but DON'T BREAK THE GREEN YARN YET. Make sure you mark the beginning of the round.
  • Shape Heel Flap - Worked flat on double pointed needles
    • With green yarn, K14, turn
    • Slip 1 stitch, purl 13 stitches, pass marker, p 14 sts (28 sts total for heel flap)
    • Break green yarn and join red.
    • Row 1: *S1, K1* repeat from * across the row. Turn
    • Row 2: S1, P27 sts. Turn
    • Repeat rows 1 and 2 until 13 times (26 rows total), ending after a Row 2.
  • Heel Turn - Worked flat on heel flap stitches
    • S1, K15, SSK, K1, turn (27 sts)
    • S1, P5, p2tog, P1, turn (26 sts)
    • S1, K6, SSK, K1, turn (25 sts)
    • S1, P7, p2tog, P1, turn (24 sts)
    • Continue pattern as established until 18 stitches remain.
    • Next Round: S1, K14, SSK, turn (17)
    • Next Round: S1, P14, P2tog (16)
  • Gussets - Worked in the round
    • Knit across 16 stitches of the heel, pick up and K 14 sts along the sides of the heel flap. K 24 stitches (the stitches set aside previously.) Pick and and knit 14 stitches from the other side of the heel flap. (68 sts).
    • K 8 stitches (half way across the heel flap) and place marker. From here on out, this is the beginning of the round.
    • Round 1: K20, K2tog, K 24, SSK, K20 (66 sts)
    • Round 2: K 24, K 16 stitches of the year chart (bottom to top, right to left), K24
    • Round 3: K19, K2tog, K4, K16 chart sts, K4, SSK, K19 (64 sts)
    • Round 4: K 24, Knit the 16 chart stitches, K 24
    • Continue pattern as established (decreasing on odd rounds, knitting across on even rounds) until 54 sts remain. (Note: the round where the chart is completed, there are 56 sts left. After this point just knit those 16 stitches.)
    • K 1 round red. Break red.
    • Switch to green yarn. K13, K2tog, K24, SSK, K13 (52 sts)
  • Stocking Foot - Worked in the round
    • Knit 36 rounds in green. (Note, if you count one green round from the gusset section then there are a total of 37 green rows.)
    • Break Green
  • Shape Toe - Worked in the round
    • Join White yarn,
    • Round 1: K 10, K2tog, K2, SSK, K20, k2tog, K2, SSK, K10 (48 sts)
    • Round 2: K across
    • Round 3: K9, K2tog, K2, SSK, K18, K2tog, K2, SSK, K9 (44 sts)
    • Round 4: K across
    • Continue pattern as established (alternating decrease rounds with K rounds) until 24 sts remain.
    • K 6 stitches and break yarn leaving a long tail.
  • Finishing
    • Graft the toe together using the Kitchener stitch.
    • Sew up the back of the stocking
    • Weave in all loose ends
    • Block the stocking. I soaked the stocking in water for 20 minutes and then laid it out wet. Allow the stocking to dry completely. Pins aren't really necessary to get the stocking to lay flat, but you can pin if necessary to get the desired dimensions.
    • Sew a ribbon onto the cuff of the stocking, hang and admire!

Pictures from the construction of Jenn's Stocking

The flat portion of the stocking. The name Jenn was knit using stranded colorwork methods, the Christmas trees and Santa were knit using intarsia techniques.

Checking the length of Jenn's stocking against Andy's stocking.

Working in the round to add Jenn's birth year.

The old (Andy; top) and new (Jenn; bottom) stockings. In the left photo, Jenn's stocking had not been sewn together yet, and in the right photo it still needs blocking.

The toe of the stocking, before and after it was grafted together.
Jenn's finished stocking (bottom) next to Andy's original stocking (top.) Do you think I did a good job recreating the stocking?

Pictures of Andy's Original Stocking

Andy's original stocking that was the model for this knitting pattern.

Some pictures of the details from the original (Andy's) stocking.

Abbreviations Used in this pattern:
WS - Wrong side of the fabric
RS - Right side of the fabric (the side of the project that you will see in the end)
S1 - slip one stitch purlwise
Kfb - increase by knitting into the front and back of a single stitch.
M1 (Make 1)- increase stitch by picking up yarn between two stitches, twisting and knitting.K - knit
P - purl
I-cord - knit stitches on dpn's without ever turning the needle (effectively knitting in the round with a small number of stitches.)
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.
Kitchener stitch - a method of grafting live stitches together to make an invisible seam.

This knitting pattern was created by ChemKnits for your personal or charity use. You are not to distribute, sell or reprint this pattern without the permission of ChemKnits or the Richter Family. © 2012 ChemKnits

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Patterns by ChemKnits - the Site Upgrade Continues

Back in April, I started upgrading the ChemKnits blog.  One thing that remained of the old design is the wonderful Free Patterns by ChemKnits button my husband, Keith, designed for me.

The colors matched the old background and color scheme, and do not go quite as well with my new knit logo.  I therefore felt it was time to upgrade this button by knitting a new one, which I started testing at the end of November. 

Here is the pattern that I followed to create the new button. Do I expect the rest of you to knit this?  Of course not!  I figure that by sharing this pattern it may inspire you to create your own knit logos.   I also just need to make sure I keep track of my notes.

The Pattern
  • Cast on 59 stitches (I like the long-tail cast on the best.)  
  • Knit 4 rows of stockinette, beginning with a WS purl row. (K right side, P on wrong side)
  • Purl 5 stitches, work 49 sts of the first row of the chart, K 5 stitches (The chart is worked from bottom up, right to left on right side rows, left to right on wrong side rows)
    Chart 15x49 sts.
  • P 5 sts, work the second row of the chart, P 5 stiches
  • Continue until all 15 rows of the chart have been knit.
  • Knit 4 more rows of stockinette. (K right side rows, P wrong side rows)
  • Bind off K wise. 
  • Block the pattern on a blocking board, taking care that it is level with the bottom.  Photograph in a well lit area.  Crop the photo and upload to your website.  

Abbreviations Used in this pattern:
Kfb - increase by knitting into the front and back of a single stitch.
M1 (Make 1)- increase stitch by picking up yarn between two stitches, twisting and knitting.K - knit
P - purl
I-cord - knit stitches on dpn's without ever turning the needle (effectively knitting in the round with a small number of stitches.)
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 knitting pattern was created by ChemKnits for your personal or charity use. You are not to distribute or sell this pattern without the permission of ChemKnits. © 2012 ChemKnits

Monday, December 17, 2012

Knits Men Want

Knits Men Want: The 10 Rules Every Woman Should Know Before Knitting for a Man~ Plus the Only 10 Patterns She'll Ever Need by Bruce Weinstein

This is a book filled with simple, classic patterns with instructions to adapt them to any yarn. I think many of the principals in the book would work for both men and women, make sure you think about what the recipient likes before you knit for them! There are great tips on fibers, color choices and other things that would help you make a garment that a man would want to wear. There are even tips on how to remove food stains from your knit garments!

The pattern templates include:
  • Ski Sweater
  • Basic pullover and vest
  • Basic Cardigan Two Ways
  • Raglan-Sleeved Henley
  • Hooded Sweatshirt
  • Baseball Jersey
  • Fingerless Mitts
  • Thick and Warm Socks
  • Reversible Cable Scarf
  • Watch Cap
The book comes with detailed instructions for each pattern and multiple schematics and photographs. There isn't a "How to Knit" section although there are explanations of advanced techniques

I often have trouble coming up with what to knit for the men in my life. I want a pattern that has some interest to it, but that they would still want to wear. The patterns in this book are not the most unique, but they are timeless classic pieces. Plus, with the different gauge information it makes this a fantastic reference book. I could see using the patterns in this book as a template to incorporate some different stitch patterns and colorwork someday.

Unfortunately what men DON'T want are the chapter titles to this book. When my husband flipped open to the chapter titled "Men are Babies" and "Men are Oblivious" he was displeased. I think that the message the messages that men want comfortable simple clothing is a good one, but this book was not written with the significant others of knitters in mind. (Of course, I don't think Keith realized that this book was written by a man, so maybe he would have taken less offense.)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Another Hitchhiker (and not the last!)

The Hitchhiker knitting pattern by Martina Behm is quickly becoming one of my favorite patterns.  It is just garter stitch, but the increases and jagged tooth edge and watching variegated yarns change colors and pool keep it so fascinating that I cast this pattern on again and again.  (Let's just say that 3 of my 12 shawls in 2012 are of this pattern.)

For this variation, I used 96 g of hand dyed KnitPicks Palette yarn and size 4 knitting needles.  I did NOT make the rounded point at the end, I just followed the standard pattern until I was ready to bind off (loosely) all the way. 

I dyed this 100g skein of KnitPicks bare fingering Peruvian highland wool with a Tulip Tie Dye Kit.  I made the color repeats really short, as you can see there are 5 repeats of a 5 color rainbow below.  

I handpainted the yarn following the same techniques I used for the cotton yarn in the following video tutorial. (In fact, I dyed these the same day!)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Semplice Fingerless Mitts

Knitting for men can be hard, but what man wouldn't like a soft pair of fingerless mitts in a deep mossy green color?  I selected the Semplice Fingerless Mitts by Stacey Winklepleck to knit for a family friend whose taste I'm not super familiar with.  The pattern is classic and simple, but I upped the elegance by using sport weight 100% baby alpaca Andean Treasure yarn (63 g).  I knit the large mitts on size 3 (3.25 mm) knitting needles.


I LOVE the twisted ribbing.  It gives a little refinement to an otherwise simple (but classic) pattern.

Notes from Construction of the Semplice Mitts:
  • 9 rounds of twisted rib = 1"
  • 25 rounds of stockinette for the mitt to measure just >4" 
  • Increases for thumb - knit until 16 sts between markers, ending on Round 2.  
  • After set aside thumb, 15 rounds (just shy of 2") of stockinette.  
  • 9 rounds twisted rib
  • Bind off in pattern
  • Thumb: K4 rounds for the half inch.  3 rounds ribbing, bind off in pattern.  
Unlike other mittens I've made, the increases for the thumb happen along the start of the round (as opposed to the half way point of the round.)  I wonder what made the designer differ from convention.  I tried the mitt on Keith before binding off.  My hands are so small that it is hard for me to tell scale and proportion for a Man's hand!

I really like the twisted rib on these mitts. (I've said this already, but I really really like it!)    It is so simple but looks so much nicer when stretched than a standard rib.  I think I will use this more in the future!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Endpaper Mitts

Happy Chanukkah! My mom loves black and white, and requested a pair of cotton fingerless mittens that she could use in the summer.   She loved all of the fair isle work I've done, but wool just won't work for Florida.  I decided to make the medium sized Endpaper Mitts in Comfy Fingering from KnitPicks.  I used size 2 (3.0 mm) knitting needles, 27 g of Black and 14 g white yarn. 

Notes from working on the pattern
  • I did a long tail cast-on to start the mitts.
  • 13 rows of 1x1 ribbing at the cuff.
  • I couldn't decided which way to make the colors on the chart... with my MC (black) being the black dots or the white dots. I ended up having the MC be the white squares and the CC being the black dots on the chart.
  • I decided against doing a purled seam, instead doing a MC knitted seam. (I could leave the seam out, but the pattern won't line up anyway... so this will make things work nicer.)
  • I only did 2 repeats of chart A to make the cuff of the mitts a little shorter.
  • After the colorwork, I did 4 rounds of 1x1 ribbing and then bound off in pattern. I did not go down to a smaller needle size because I want to make sure that they fit the recipient. If I were to make these again, I would use smaller needles for the ribbing.
  • Thumbs - I attached the yarn at the inside of the thumb, so that I could have the loose end to reinforce this join. I picked up the stitches at the end of the round. Next Round - *K1, P1* 9x, SSK, P1, S1 (K2tog with the first stitch of the next round.) Knit ribbing for 3 more rounds then bind off in pattern.
  • For this project, I left both thumbs until the end. I'm not sure why I decided to do it, but it means that I just have little finishing details left!

This was my first time using the comfy cotton line from KnitPicks. The yarn is very soft, and drapes like a dream. It doesn't hold for ribbing very well, there isn't a lot of tension in the cuff and around the fingers. This could be a good thing for the intended recipient, but is something to keep in mind when using this yarn in the future. I think that I would like to use it for a shawl because of its softness and drape. The yarn is certainly called comfy for a reason!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sweet Shawlettes

Sweet Shawlettes: 25 Irresistible Patterns for Knitting Cowls, Capelets, and More by Jean Moss

This year I have become obsessed with knitting shawlettes, espeically since I joined the 12 in 2012 club in Ravelry. When I discovered this book, I got really excited. I wonder if there will be anything I need to add to my queue!

The patterns are divided into four sections:
  • Country
    • Madame Alfred Shawlette - Contains some colorwork at the edge
    • Kardamili Shawlette - Triangular, textured pattern with a contrasting crochet edge
    • Garland Necklet - This one is a bit odd, looks like a braided rope with some flower applique. I can see a purpose, but I wouldn't call it a shawl!
    • Green at Heart Collar - A cabled cowl secured with button closures.
    • Evergreen Scarf - A choker* (as displayed on the model) with a bib like cascade of leaves.
    • Frost Chocker - A loose stranded Selbu style colorwork choker secured with buttons.
  • Couture
    • Drift Cowl - A great chunky buttoned cabled cowl. Th huge buttons really make the garment shine.
    • Penumbra Cowl - Illusion knit (zig zag) in black and white, this cowl is striking.
    • Enigma Shawl - A two piece layered shawl - one with a collar and the other without.
    • Harlequin Cape - The entrelac shawlette shown on the cover photo.
    • Twine Cowl - This is super fun, three colors of chunky yarn are knit in different patterns and then are twisted together to form a rope like cowl.
    • Empty Circle Joined Hat and Scarf - As the title suggests, this is a joined hat and scarf with large circular holes around the brim of the hat and some on the scarf.  These holes look really cool, but may make this otherwise super warm looking garment less friendly to the extreme cold.
  • Folk
    • Miss Garricks Cowl - Stranded colorwork
    • Arabesque Scarf - A stunning mobius scarf. The feather and fan lace is knit out from the center in one piece taking advantage of the single edge to a mobius strip. I am not entirely sure how the instructions work by just reading it, so it may require some additional thought when on the needle.
    • Bess Ruff - Fitted to the neck with vertical stripes and tiny buttons.
    • Celidh Shawlette - There is stunning colorwork in this plaid shawl/poncho
    • Purple Patch Shrug - For me, this shawlette doesn't compare to the elegance of many of the other patterns in this book. The pastel garter stitch squares look more like a baby blanket.
    • Polperro Cape - This makes up for the previous design! The cape has a buckle closure and is knit in a brilliant deep blue. The cabled pattern is fantastic!
  • Vintage
    • Kitty Caplet - A leopard print cape with button closure. I like how the ones selected in the photo look almost like claws.
    • Grace Cowl - A fitted cowl that flares out at one end.
    • Bronte Fichu - A romantic classic triangular shawl. The schematic explains how it is knit so if you have never started at the center back before it will help make sense.
    • Mantilla Shawlette - This is by far my favorite project in the book. There is a class beauty to the model when the orange shawl is paired with a green dress with orange and purple flowers on it. I also have not seen many patterns like it.
    • Vamp Boa - A fun, multilayered ruffled scarf
    • Treasure Jabot - As the title suggests, this is a Jabot with cascading ruffles.
    • Fizz Caplet - A subtle beaded capelet.

I would pay attention to to the fiber content used in each of the patterns. In many cases, the fibers chosen are as important as the design itself. The Mantilla Shawlette may look fantastic in other yarn choices, but I think that a lot of the appeal comes from the haze of mohair.

One of the most brilliant aspects of this book are the modeled photos. The shawlettes are incorporated into outfits in ways that really let them shine. The pairings of yarn color to fabrics is incredible. The downside is that there are not pictures of the completed shawls on their own so it is hard to get a sense of their shape. (For example the Empty Circle Joined Hat and Scarf is a little hard to visualize, even with the given schematic.)  Nevertheless, I expect that this will be a book I will come back to in 2013.