Sunday, May 29, 2011

Look at all the WIP's

There's a knitting intensive surprise project I've been working on, so I haven't been completing as many projects to post about recently. Therefore, I want to give you an update on some work in progress (WIP) projects I have laying around.

The Red Sox Mittens that I designed are half done, because I only have one mitt completed.

The Puppy Paw Socks are in a similar state as the Red Sox Glittens, I completed enough to get the pattern published, but have not yet had time to complete the other three socks (although when I get around to it, it should only take an afternoon.)

This is a fun project that is semi top secret. This design will be my the first pattern that I sell. Don't worry, I still have many patterns up my sleeve that I will offer for free!

Now this scarf has been a WIP for a long time. In fact, I don't think that I've touched it in a year. I will make a resolution here: This scarf will be complete by my first wedding anniversary!

A lot of work is left to do, but it is time for me to start packing up my knitting needles to move away from Massachusetts. I will continue on these projects when I arrive in Illinois.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Knitting with Wire

Knitting with Wire by Nancie M. Wiseman

I have always been intrigued by projects that utilize something other than yarn. I have seen a pearl bracelet pattern that I find particularly beautiful. Imagine my surprise, when sitting on the window ledge in the library looking at the knitting section, I come across an entire book about knitting with wire!

So the first content chapter (Tools for Working with Wire) made me realize how little I know. What on earth is Viking Knitting? Looking at the tools for Viking knitting, I have no idea how an Allen wrench and drawplate will help you out, but I anticipate it having something to do with knitting without knitting needles.

There are instructions on how to make findings, discussions on the different types of wire... things analogous to what you would expect at the beginning of any knitting book.

Are you ready to know about Viking Knitting? Here we go: The technique originated from Scandinavia, where vikings used the technique to make wire chains. They used the technique to make jewelry and wool clothing. "The finished product has a similar look to knitted I-cord or the tubes of knitting produced by spool knitting. The one main difference in the appearance of Viking knitting versus regular knitting is that the stitches are twisted as though you had knit into the back of a stitch." The effect does remind me of a chain necklace. The effect with wire is super elegant.

The book has great ideas for projects, and has clear instructions with pictures. I have a feeling I would have some trouble with wire, as it is less forgiving than wool or cotton! This is something I would consider trying someday, and I would add this book to my personal library.

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!

Friday, May 20, 2011

A peek inside my design notebook

I keep a notebook where I record all of my knitting design ideas, inspiration for projects and where I start planning out the designs. I thought it would be fun to share some of my "sketches" (I'm not a good drawer!) with you. Of course, the pages I'm sharing are for designs that I've already published, I wouldn't want to be giving away any trade secrets!

Jacob's Paw Socks

Frequently the design page starts out with just the title or overall concept of the pattern. Then I start with some sketches (often they look nothing like the final product.) When i start writing the actual pattern, I either take notes in the sketch book, or I will make notes directly into a post through blogger. The cute thing about this pattern is that I made an actual trace of the dog's paw in my notebook!

Goldfish Knitting Pattern

I often find myself inspired by shapes, and wondering how I can take something and turn it into something recognizable. Some projects (especially ones this simple) require less notation.

Squidoo Squid Knitting Pattern

Frequently as I am designing anything, and especially the 3D toys, I find the design concept changing as I proceed. I initially thought that I would have the 4 legs of the squid be in a row, rather than in the circle they ended up as.

I hope you enjoyed a peak into my design notebook. I have about a dozen other projects at various stages of design, so hopefully I'll be able to give you more peaks in the future!

Beginning stages of the Fenway Mitts Design

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!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Giving Old Knits to Charity

What you do with hand knit items that you no longer use? Should you store them in your closet indefinitely because of the time it took you to create it?

Don't hold onto a knit item just for the sake of keeping it, instead give it to someone who needs it, and would use it. You can include hand knit items with your donation of old clothes to Good Will and Salvation Army.

I am preparing for a move across the country, so Keith and I are evaluating our belongings and reducing the amount of stuff we have. My feelings aren't hurt when we choose to give away something that I knit, I would rather that my hard work be used by someone than sit in a closet unseen and unused.

Even if I don't know who they are, the hat was made with love.

Today, we made the decision to donate the earflap hat that I made for Keith because it didn't fit him properly, so therefore he never wore it. Hopefully this hat will be able to keep someone warm through the winter cold.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

ChemEats and Cupcake Knits

Lately I have been thinking a lot about knitting with food (plus this gives me an opportunity to remind you about my cooking blog, ChemEats.) To my surprise I discovered dozens of cupcake knitting patterns. What a fun spring/summer knitting project! I prefer the stuffed cupcakes to other cupcake apparel, especially the play food that has removable cupcake wrappers! I hope that checking out these knit cupcakes will bring a smile to your day.

I'll leave you here thinking about knit cupcakes with a book (Cupcakes!: 30+ Yummy Projects to Sew, Quilt, Knit & Bake)that features edible cupcakes in addition to the knit variety:

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!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

More Fenway Mitts Construction Photos

I took a million pictures while I was constructing the Fenway Mitts, too many to share in the design page. I wanted to share the remaining images here.

I just need to finish the thumb and then I am ready to turn these mittens into glittens.

At this point I was able to try the entire (thumbless) mitten on my hand.

Before cutting out the waste yarn.

After cutting the waste yarn.

The big flap (left) and the little flap (right). The big flap will be sewn onto the inside of the mitten.

Both of the flaps, before sewing them down.

The completed right hand mitt and I went to Fenway Park.

Watching Adrian Gonzalez at bat. (Yes I had GREAT seats!)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Convertible Fenway Mitts (Convertible Mittens)

I have been a lucky girl, and have been to many games at Fenway Park to cheer the Red Sox. It is often really cold so I am an expert at keeping warm during rain delays. Unfortunately this means that my Red Sox gear is covered, so I wanted to think of a way that I could still show my Boston pride while being bundled up. I therefore bring you the Fenway Mitts, convertible mittens with the Red Sox logo. Your hand can stay warm, plus convertible mittens are awesome.

  • Knitting Needles: 5 - size 3 (3.25 mm) double pointed knitting needles
  • Yarn: 2 balls of Rowan Felted Tweed DK (knit 2 strands at a time), scraps of Telemark Yarn red and white.  (Note: Telemark has been discontinued.  A reasonable substitution is KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Sport.)  
  • Gauge: ~6 sts/inch. 8-9 rows/inch
  • Misc: Yarn needle
  • Finished Size: 3.5" wide, 8" cuff to fingertips

The ChartI will provide written instructions below, but I also created a chart of each mitten hand to help you visualize the placement of the chart relative to increases for the thumb. The Red Sox knitting chart on its own is located in a different post (I'm using the Large B.)

Charts of the left (left) and right (right) handed mittens. The charts start (at the bottom) after the completion of the cuff all the way until the first round of decreases. The yellow stitch indicates the picked up stitch (after thumb stitches are set aside.) The pale blue row indicates where on the palm side of the mitten you knit two rows in waste yarn to create the convertible mitten (if you want standard mittens than ignore this row.)

Instructions for Right Hand Convertible Mitten (Glitten) - We are going to create a mitten that has two rows of waste yarn on the palm. Later we are going to cut the waste yarn out, pick up the stitches and knit an overlap to make these mittens convertible.
  • Cast on 44 stitches with double stranded Rowan Felted Tweed (or using a single strand of sport weight wool)
  • Knit in 2x2 ribbing (K2, P2) for 1.5 inches (~13 rows)
  • Knit 4 rounds even
  • Beginning the increases for the thumb: K21 (place marker), Kfb, Kfb, (place marker), K21 (46 sts)
  • K 2 rounds even
  • Begin knitting the Red Sox Chart: Knit the chart pattern to the first maker, Kfb, K2, Kfb (in the stitch before the second marker), K to the end of the row (48 sts)
    The wrong side of the B on the mittens.  I knit the B with a faux-intarsia.  I used 4 strands of white and 2 strands of red and carried these up the knitting.  The floats ended up being really small.  
  • K 2 rows, continue working the B chart on the back of the hand (the first 22 stitches of each round)
  • Increase Row: K chart to the marker, Kfb, K4, Kfb (in the stitch before the second marker), K to the end (50 sts)
  • K 2 rounds even, following the chart on the back of the hand.
  • Continue increases stitches for the thumb, with 2 rounds knit across in between each increase round until there are 56 stitches.
  • K 1 round even (don't forget to continue following the chart for the first 22 stitches!)
  • Slip the 14 stitches in between the two markers onto scrap yarn. These will later become the thumb. (42 stitches)
  • K21 stitches (following the chart), pick up 2 stitches (one from each end of the thumb), K 21 stitches (44 sts)
  • Follow the chart until you reach the row with light blue on the B. Knit the first 22 stitches following the chart (this is the back of your hand.) With waste yarn, knit the last 22 stitches, turn your work and purl 22 stitches (completing two rows with green waste yarn.) With your MC, knit across the waste yarn rows to complete the round.
  • Knit the last 3 rounds of the B chart.
  • K 14 rounds even
  • *K2, K2tog* across ( 33 sts)
  • Knit 5 rounds across
  • *K1, K2tog* across ( 22 sts)
  • K 1 round across
  • k2tog across (11 sts)
  • K2tog 5 times, K1 (6 sts)
  • break yarn and pull through remaining sitches
Instructions for Left Hand Convertible Mitten - Follow the right hand instructions except knit the B chart in the last 22 stitches of the round rather than the first 22 stitches. (This will put the increases for the thumb to the right of the B chart.) The B chart is still on the back of the hand, and waste yarn (at the light blue row in the chart) happens on the first 22 stitches of that round.
Instructions for the Thumb
  • Take the 14 stitches off of waste yarn and put back onto 3 dpn's. (14 sts) Tip: you can always use a smaller needle if you're having trouble picking up the stitches.
  • Pick up 2 stitches on edge closest to the hand (16 sts) and knit 15 rows
  • *K1, K2tog* until last stitch, K1 (11 sts)
  • k 1 row across
  • K2tog across until last stitch, K1 (6 sts)
  • cut yarn and pull through remaining stitches.

Turning the mittens into convertible mittens

  • Pick up 22 stitches on each edge of the waste yarn (on the palm of the mitten) and cut the waste yarn out. (Tip, it is easier to turn the mitten to the wrong side when picking up stitches)

    The stitches have been picked up, and we're ready to cut the waste yarn.

    After cutting the waste yarn, before we start knitting the flaps to keep your hands warm.

  • Starting with the cuff side needle and the mitten right side out, work 2x2 ribbing as follows:
    • RS Row: K2, *P2, K2* repeat from * across (22 sts)
    • WS Row: P2, *K2, P2* repeat from * across
    • for a total of 11 Rows, bind off
  • Finger tip side stitches, work 5 rows in the ribbing pattern pattern, bind off

    The flaps to finish the convertible mittens. The larger flap (cuff side; left) will be sewn into the mitten underneath the finger tip side flap (right)

  • With a single strand of yarn, stitch the sides of these flaps to the sides of the mitten (with the fingertip flap on top of the cuff side flap)
  • Enjoy your convertible Fenway Mitts!

Fenway Convertable Mitts: Closed (left), Open from the back (middle) and open from the palm side (right).

I will admit that I am a bad girl, I still have to finish my second convertible mitten. However, since I am moving away from the greater Boston area, I wanted to get this knitting pattern published as soon as possible as my tribute to Boston.

Abbreviations Used in this pattern:
K - knit
P - purl
Kfb - increase 1 stitch by knitting into the front and back of a single stitch.

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.
MC - Main Color
CC - Contrast Color

This pattern was created by ChemKnits for your Personal or charity use. The charts and directions of this pattern are not to be republished without permission of ChemKnits. © 2011 ChemKnits

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Adenosine Triphosphate Knitting Chart

I was challenged in a comment on my Science Knitting Patterns lens to create an Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) Knitting chart.

This ATP knitting chart is 30x50 sts.

Natasha Papousek, this is dedicated to you!

(C) 2011 ChemKnits. These charts are designed for your personal and/or charity use. You are not to sell, republish or distribute these patterns without the permission from ChemKnits.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Search for Felted Slipper Knitting Patterns

Spring is around the corner, but until then we are all dealing with winter. The first felted project I ever made were two pairs of slippers, one for me and one for Keith. I have filmed a how to felt tutorial if you need assistance with the felting portion of these projects.

Happy Knitting! Keep those feet warm and happy.