Lately, I’ve been on a hat knitting kick. Here are just a few of the hats that I’ve finished.
Lately, I’ve been on a hat knitting kick. Here are just a few of the hats that I’ve finished.
And for my next trick, I’ll do some Fair Isle knitting, two handed. 😉 Fair Isle color work is something that I’ve been wanting to learn for a while now, and I decided that this weekend was going to be the weekend for such an attempt.
Luckily, I had decided to practice continental knitting (I knit English, otherwise known as throwing) a while back, because to do color work like this, it is easier to knit one yarn continental, and the other english. It also helps to keep the yarn from getting tangled.
For this hat, the colored yarn was knit with my left hand, continental, and the black was knit english. It’s pretty amazing to watch. I’m kind of impressed with myself that I can knit with both hands at the same time. I feel like I have leveled up in knitting. 🙂
The *free* pattern is the Heartskull Pattern, by Siouxsie Stitches. The yarn is Red Heart Super Saver in Heartfelt and Black.
I am in love with the way it turned out. Made this bad boy just for me. <3
Want to knit this project with the same yarn I used? Buy some on Amazon*. (*Affiliate Links)
And let me just tell you, it was a labor of love.
Now before you go jumping to any conclusions, please don’t think that I am hinting at anything.
This blanket is the result of my mission to destash, realizing that I had several skeins of baby yarn that went together, and deciding to knit a blanket because I’ve never knit a blanket that is all one piece before.
To say I’m pleased with the results is an understatement. I love how this blanket turned out.
The pattern is called Chevron Baby Blanket by Espace Tricot, and it is available for free on Ravelry. I found the pattern to be quite enjoyable and easy to knit, perfect for knitting while watching TV.
Despite how easy it was to knit, the pattern actually taught me a lot and advanced my knitting skills. (Which is one of the things I love about knitting, there’s always something new to learn.)
Here’s what I learned from the pattern.
New / Reinforced Stitches
One new stitch I learned with this pattern was the mitered decrease (md). This is the stitch that makes the downward point in the chevron. Aside from learning how to make this stitch, I also learned how to tink it as well (many, many times).
One stitch that was reinforced was ssk. While some would consider this a relatively basic / beginner stitch, it was one I had only recently come across. This pattern was good practice, as there is a ssk at the beginning of every row.
How to Increase a Knitting Pattern
The pattern calls for worsted weight yarn, however I had already decided to use the Lion Brand Baby Soft yarn I had on hand. I didn’t like the way the yarn worked up on the 5.5 mm needles that the pattern recommends. After a bit of trial and error, I settled upon 4.5 mm needles, and away I went.
I should have known that something was wrong when everything seemed to work up quickly, and without issue. Sure enough, 3 – 4 chevrons in, I decide to measure my blanket only to discover that was only 18-ish inches wide. It was much smaller than the recommended 30+ inches for a baby blanket. (I guess that’s what I get for being a rebel and not knitting a gauge swatch.)
But I really liked the blanket and the way it looked on the 4.5 mm needles, so I frogged what I had knitted so far, which was probably close to a week’s worth of work at that point. Then, I counted the pattern to see where the repeats were. I figured out that the pattern repeated every 12 stitches, meaning I could increase by adding more stitches in multiples of 12. Instead of 121 stitches, I ended up casing on 217 stitches to get the blanket to a size I was happy with on the smaller needles.
And away I went again.
Fixing Slipped Stitches and Mistakes
Despite being a really easy pattern (and it is easy, I promise), sometimes I made stupid mistakes, such as dropping stitches. By the end of this pattern I was quite comfortable whipping out my crochet hook to fix the dropped stitch, or even dropping a few stitches and working back up, rather than tink or frog back to where I made the mistake originally.
Oh don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean I didn’t do any frogging. I made lots of other silly mistakes with this pattern that necessitated frogging. A few times I added a lifeline, but the last time I didn’t. And I felt triumphant. There was a time when taking my project off the needles would have meant restarting the pattern completely, but not any more.
Weaving in Ends
I’m used to knitting smaller projects with less color changes, which means that I don’t have as many ends to weave in when I’m done. With this pattern you change colors every 10 rows, which gave me lots and lots of practice weaving in ends.
In the end, this pattern taught me one big lesson in particular — good things come to those who wait. After one month and four days, or 166 knitting hours (an extremely conservative estimate), I have a blanket that turned out beautifully. One that I really enjoyed making. It’s a win-win, really.
But that doesn’t mean that there weren’t points in the process where I was ready to be done with it. I find the wait particularly hard because unlike many knitters, I have a pretty strong one project at a time policy. I’m afraid that if I have multiple projects going, I’ll never finish any of them, so I try to only work on one thing at a time. While this philosophy works for me, your mileage may vary.
This project taught me a lot about being patient, and finishing what I started. And I’m so glad I did because the result of my labor is beautiful.
As mentioned, I don’t really have a particular purpose for this blanket, aside from needing to destash some yarn. So, I’ll probably either give it to someone I know who is expecting a girl, or donate it to a hospital, or project linus, or some other project that goes towards helping children.
I would say that’s a pretty successful destash, wouldn’t you?
Cables are a great way to add interest to a knitted piece. Easy to knit, they stand out, popping off the fabric. And they pop out even more when there is more than one color involved.
While it might look like it’s a difficult technique, knitting a two color cable is just as easy as knitting a single colored cable. The result is quite striking. (If you have never knit cables, you should try it. It is far easier than it looks.)
*Disclaimer: Amazon Associate Affiliate Links are in use in this tutorial. Click here to read my complete Affiliate Disclaimer.
This tutorial breaks down the two color cable technique so that you can use it on any cable pattern, including the free pattern used in this tutorial, the Simple Cabled Coffee Cozy, by Stacy Musch.
Here is what I’m using for this tutorial:
Following the Simple Cabled Coffee Cozy pattern, cast on half of the stitches in one color (color A), and then switch to the next color (color B) and cast on the remaining number of stitches.
In this instance, I cast on 8 stitches in Fantasy (color A), and 8 stitches in Antique Cream (color B), for a total of 16 stitches on my needles.
When you are using two colors in a pattern, you want to divide your pattern in half, one half for each color. So, Knit 16 becomes knit 8 in color A, knit 8 in color B (reference above photo for example).
No matter where you are in the pattern, you want to make sure that the yarn color that you are knitting with matches the stitches that you are working into. Go slow and take care to make sure you are not knitting color A into color B’s stitches.
To switch colors, just drop the yarn from color A, pick up the yarn for color B, and continue knitting in pattern.
With the pattern used in this tutorial, the first 4 rows are not attached, and can slide apart on the cable. This will change as the cable is worked.
As you come to the cable, continue to knit, keeping the yarn color the same, corresponding to the color of the stitches that you are knitting into.
At various points in the pattern, this will cause you to carry your yarn color across your work to get to the stitches that match your working yarn. Make sure you are always carrying the color across on the wrong side of the fabric.
Important Tip! On wrong side purl rows, keep your yarn in front of your work so that it’s easy to pickup the color and carry it across as needed.
When you get to the cable, continue to knit using the appropriate color working yarn with the matching colored working stitches.
Continue following the pattern, always using the corresponding colored yarn that matches the color of the stitches that you are knitting into. That’s the hardest part of knitting two color cables.
Continue to knit following the pattern, and sit back, and watch with amazement as your work grows into a beautiful, two colored cable piece.
When you get to the end of the pattern, cast off as you normally would, continuing to match the working yarn color with the working stitch color.
And that’s it. As mentioned the two hardest parts of knitting with two colors (which isn’t hard at all) is making sure that you start with half your pattern in color A, and half your pattern in color B, and making sure you are using the correct colored yarn for the stitches you are working into.
If you make a two colored cable from this tutorial, I would love to see your results. Feel free to share your work with me on my Facebook Page, Facebook.com/ModernlyVintageCraft.
My friends and I play Dungeons and Dragons, and recently my Dungeon Master (DM) and his wife (my best friend) purchased 2 lbs of dice, and asked me to make them a dice bag.
I knew it had to be epic, so I went on the search for a pattern that is not only cool, but large enough to hold all their dice.
After a bit of searching, I decided to use Yarn Visions Tentacle Bag pattern.
One of the many reasons why I decided to go with this pattern was because there was a keyboard in the pictures of the bag. Even if it was a small keyboard, I reasoned, the bag has got to be large enough, judging by its scale, to hold 2 lbs of dice.
Turns out, I was right. Not only did the bag hold the dice with more than enough room to spare, but the results were cooler than I ever expected.
When I made one, I would string it on my circular needles to hold the stitches, and I just kept adding the tentacles as I went, until they were all on my circulars.
Once I was done making all 16 tentacles, I had to figure out how to begin knitting. After a few false starts on my circulars, I ended up transitioning all the tentacles back onto my dps to get the tentacles connected because my small circular cable (24″) was too large for this project. If I had a 16″ cable, I could have probably started the bag on my circulars.
Once the bag had a few rows on it, I actually transitioned back to my circulars, and around and around I went.
That is, until I ran out of green yarn. Now, the requestees of the bag did mention I could make the bag out of any yarn, even scrap yarn, they did not care. But, not just any yarn would do. So, after searching my stash of yarn, I found the perfect solution — purple yarn. See, my DM loves green, but his wife loves purple, and since it was for both of them, it seemed like the perfect solution. Besides, the purple yarn was the same brand as the green (red heart super saver).
The pattern was pretty straight forward, and the worst part was weaving in all the ends from the tentacles. At one point I considered giving up on the idea, and turning the tentacle bag into an artistic hat.
But I carried on and soon enough all the ends were neatly tucked in, and the bag came together. I’m in love with the final result, and so are they. I would definitely make this pattern again.
Excited to announce that after a few weeks of work, this is finally done — the Hill & Dale cowl, free from Espace Tricot Patterns. It is also my first finished project of 2015.
I love it when happy accidents occur, like this macrame ring. It’s made out of faux leather, and is a dark gun metal color.
When I was making it, it quickly became clear that I was going to run out of cord, and that it wasn’t going to be the bracelet I wanted it to be. So, I started playing around, and realized I would have just enough length to make a ring. To finish it off, I tied a knot in the back, and secured with super glue.
Update: 01-25-2015 I still LOVE this ring. I wear it everyday, and it’s holding up nicely.
I’ve taken up playing Dungeons & Dragons with my friends. (Don’t laugh.) Of course, that meant I had to make a dice bag. And then it became an addiction and I made another one. I am currently working on the third bag, and have requests for more from the rest of the group.
The pattern I’ve been using so far is the Deep Sea Flower Dice Bag (free Ravelry download), but I think I’ll switch it up for another pattern for the boys bags.
The first bag – My dice bag
The second one I made for Liz. You can’t tell at all from the pictures, but this one is super sparkly.
And the third one, in variegated purple, is on the needles now.
My latest craft obsession? Macrame! Specifically, adjustable stone macrame pouches, which are simply macrame pouches that you can open, and change out the contents.
I’ve been wanting one of these as a necklace for wearing crystals. Had I known they were so easy to make, I would have made them a lot sooner.
While I made many different versions during my learning phase (such as the image with the sparkly teal bead and white thread), there were only really 2 that actually were put to use.
One I made to hang crystals in the car. It was one of the first few pouches I attempted. It’s not perfect, but it works well for the car.
Work In Progress
Finished and hanging in my car
After a few more attempts I was able to make this — an adjustable macrame pouch necklace, with sliding adjustable knots, so that I can easily change the length of the necklace.
Do you want to try your hand at these neat, versatile adjustable macrame pouches? Here are the tutorials I used. Believe it or not, braiding the necklace cord was the longest part of the entire process.
***EDIT 1-26-15: These ARE NOT my tutorials, but the tutorials I used, which I thought I would share with you. If you have questions for the authors of the tutorials, please contact them directly through their pages. Thanks!***
Youtube Tutorial for Macrame Tutorial – Interchangeable / Swap Stone Necklace
Instructables Tutorial Macrame Interchangeable Stone Necklace
Non Slip Loop for an Adjustable Necklace
These are so easy to make, I definitely have plans to make more.
I hope you have fun making your own adjustable stone macrame pouch necklaces. If you do, pop over to my Facebook page and share an image of your necklace. I would love to see what you came up with.
For the past month, I have only tatted one thing — The Clover Doily by Eileen Stafford. It’s been a labor of love, but it was definitely worth the effort. It was made using size 40 Lizbeth thread in Charcoal (grey), and Ocean Sunset (color, variegated).
I totally love it, and am definitely planning on working this pattern again, one day. Maybe even soon. It’s a great pattern for advanced beginners or new intermediate tatters.
Here’s a photo journey of the progress, and my month in tatting.
And for fun, an in progress shot. I love this image! <3