Posts tagged ‘knit’
For a long time, I’ve been wishing for a knitting/fiber arts group in my town. On ravelry.com, I’ve connected with several other people who expressed an interest. Last week, I decided that with the New Year, one of my goals would be to stop waiting for “someone” to get something started, and take action! So I picked a place, announced a date and time, and spread the word to people I thought might be interested (and – duh – this morning realized that I should have put it in my blog too!). So today was the day, and here we are:That’s me standing the in back. The other members in attendance – most of whom I met on ravelry.com, are craftyashley, mamabeth, lamplighter777, and ontiptoe, and taking the picture, ontiptoe’s friend and new knitter, CB. Oh, and I’m wildharefiber.
We met, chatted, worked on projects for a couple of hours. Here are lamplighter777′s socks, which she is knitting up from some of her very first handspun (she claims she’s just been knitting a year – I am SO impressed!).
Mamabeth and I both have etsy shops – she is beth1818 – here’s a link to her site: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5787123 - it was nice to meet and talk shop! Craftyashley is both a new knitter and a new mother, and brought her sweet, sleeping baby girl along. Ontiptoe and I met online only to discover that her daughter and my son were in the same class at school and at the time, sat next to each other! It’s the internet fun!
There were several other potential members who weren’t able to come this time, so we’re hopeful that the group will grow and florish. If you’re near Front Royal Virginia and would like to join us, we’d love to welcome you! Send me a message and I’ll add you to the list and let you know the time and place of our next meeting.
My Arabesque tote bag looks lovely paired with the green ”Go Retro” knitted coat in the Winter 2008 issue of Knitters. But maybe those aren’t your colors… or your can’t find/have another yarn you’d rather use? You can substitute as long as you’re using a similar weight feltable wool yarn (and swatch first, of course). Find a varigated yarn with colors you love, and choose three hues from the yarn with similar value (i.e., light/darkness). If you’re not sure how to compare value, it helps to squint or look at the yarn in low light.
The prototype bag that I knitted for this pattern was in a different colorway, and used Paton’s Classic Merino, color ‘harvest’ for the varigated yarn, and yarn from a friend’s sheep for the bag (this second yarn no longer available, but very close to available solid colors of Pattons merino classic). So instead of brown, teal and green, you see what this bag would look like in plum, burgundy and green. Just take inspiration from a varigated yarn that appeals to you, and experiment!
Here’s the colorway from Knitter’s again, for comparison. I’d love to see other color variations, so please send me a picture if you make this bag in other colors!
First, select your fabric. I used printed cotton with some metallic touches. I picked a fabric that doesn’t have a definate direction for the print so that I would have minimal fabric waste and could cut out my rectangle sideways on just over 1/2 yard of 45″ fabric. You may need more fabric than that if your print has to run a certain way.
Measure the width of your bag just below the handles, and the height of your bag from below the top trim to the base. Now cut out a rectangle that is the width of your bag + 1 inch (for seam allowance) and twice the height of your bag, plus 2 inches to turn under. Here’s a sketch showing what I mean:
Fold the rectangle in half, with the right sides of the fabric facing inward, and sew the side seams (by hand, by machine – your choice). Fold down the top hem and press into place. Fold it down and press a second time if you want your bag lining to fall well below the top edge of your bag (mine is done that way).
Now, keeping the right side of the fabric facing inward, match one of the sideseams to the fold in the rectangle that forms the bottom of the lining. Sew a three-inch line across as shown, creating a triangular flap. Press this flap toward the bottom of the lining. This step helps the lining conform better to the rounded edges at the bottom of the knitted bag. Do the same thing on the other side of the bag. Again, a picture to show what I mean:
Got that? Now, insert the lining into the bag so that the right side of the fabric will show when the bag is opened. The side seams of the lining should be at the sides of the bag, and the upper edge of the lining evenly spaced below the top edge of the bag. It’s good if the lining is slightly deeper than the bag, as the bag will stretch a bit when things are in it, but you don’t want the lining to be shorter, as that will cause the lining to pull on the stitches that hold it to the bag. Once you have it like you like, pin it into place, easing as necessary to avoid puckers. Sew lining to bag with blind stitch (as used to attach the handle). Here’s a peak inside my bag with the lining sewn in:
Adding a lining will help keep your bag from getting stretched out with use, and adds a nice finishing touch. Optional, of course, but the idea presented for your consideration. Whatever color you choose, lined or not, I hope you enjoy knitting, using, or gifting this bag for a long time!
Also, a quick reminder – 20% off handspun yarn and handmade items in my shop through December 1st, and free shipping on all orders over $50 through December 10th! Lots of lovely rovings, fiber-themed badges and magnets, hand-dyed commercial yarns – take a peek! http://www.wildhare.etsy.com, or follow the shop link at the top of this page.
Baseball may officially be a spring/summer sport, but in my town, the memory of a World Little League Championship (in the 50′s, I believe) is still strong, and so there is Fall Ball. I have three playing this season… meaning practices three weeknights and on Saturdays, with games soon to follow. Crazy. Messes with dinner and homework time. How do those other parents survive it all with idle hands?
It is, of course, a time for those easy mindless projects, because you do have to watch enough not to miss your child’s turn at bat, or that pop fly they caught. And it helps even more if you, sometimes at least, make something for them. And so tonight, at my younger daughter’s Very First Ever t-ball practice, I made her a water bottle holder like those her older siblings have to take to their games.
You can knit them. You can crochet them. Wool is good, as it insulates and doesn’t get soggy like cotton. Acrylic can be okay too — you know it’s is going to get dirty and tossed around like crazy. Odds and ends are fine…so are team colors, or whatever your child likes. Here is one I made a while ago that my seven year-old still uses that has both knit and crochet sections and random earthly toned wool yarns:
And here is the one I made for my daughter tonight during her practice – it’s crocheted, and all in one yarn chosen to appeal to a purple-obsessed almost-five year old girl:
This is one project that appeals to all ages (something you can make for a teenage boy that will actually get used – imagine that!) and is easy to do. Knit or crochet a cylinder, close the bottom somehow, make some form of eyelets for a drawstring around the top, and make a strap. That simple.
Okay, I know those directions were like saying “combine water, flour, salt and yeast, knead, rise, boil and bake” when asked how to make a bagel. But there are more than one way to get to an acceptable finished product on these, and its a good project to get whacky/creative with.
Okay, okay, I’ll show you what I did to make the purple one:
Chain up a couple of stitches to the next row, and double crochet TWICE into each stitch (so now you have 18 stitches).
With the bulky yarn I was using, I then had a circle close to the size of the base of a standard water bottle. If you’re using thinner yarn, (or have a bigger water bottle) you may need to do another row of crocheting two stitches into each existing stitch to get the right size. At this point, you continue even, crocheting one stitch into the stitch below, in a spiral, until your tube is the height you desire. It’s going to stretch under the weight of the bottle, so make it about the height of the sides of the bottle before it narrows for the lid opening. Here we go spiralling up the side:
End your spiral with a half-double and a few single crochets until it looks even, then chain up and do a row of eyelets (double crochet one, chain one, skipping a stitch in the row below). Here’s how that looked as I was doing it:
End that off neatly by connecting with the first double crochet in the row and sewing in the yarn end. Then make a strap however you like. I made a long chain, then crocheted into both sides of it through the section that would be over the shoulder, so it’s wider and more comfortable. Here I am putting a decorative row of chain through the center:
Then attach your strap/drawstring in whatever manner you see fit – I use the ends of the strap AS the drawstring – you figure out the rest. The result – something useful, something fun. The other kids on the team will have NO excuse for drinking from your child’s bottle, as no one else will have one like it. They are also quick and easy to make (I really did make this purple one start to finish during her practice). So have fun with the idea and give it your own twist!
Thanks to my ten-year old daughter for taking the “work in progress” shots!
Another knitter/etsy seller has named a series of scarves after me! How cool is that! How it happened: we are both in etsyFAST (Fiber Arts Street Team), a group of sellers who support and challenge one another to make our shops the best they can be. This seller posted in our yahoogroup about trouble she was having with the edges of stockinette-based scarves rolling. I posted a number of suggestions to fix the problem (which I will share with you below, with pictures). The seller is iwunder, and here is the link to the first scarf in the series: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=14139850
Now, for those tips. Stockinette by its nature will curl to the back on the sides, and up or down on the top and bottom. Sometimes with wool you can block it so the effect goes away temporarily, but it’s inherent in the structure of the stitches. One of the most common ways to make a piece of stockinette lie flat is to border it with a few stitches of a more stable stitch all around the edges. Garter stitch, and garter-based patterns like seed stitch, are what is usually recommended. It works great, because just as stockinette’s nature is to curl, garter stitch just naturally lies perfectly flat. So when you border stockinette with garter stitch, it will lay flat like this:
You can get the same results with seed stitch, which may make an edge more to your liking:
Usually with garter or seed stitch, you use at least three stitches in that pattern at each end, and 4-5 rows at the beginning and end of the scarf/blanket or whatever you’re making. You can make it wider if you want, but less than three stitches and you may still get curling.
Now, here are a couple of other ways that you can get stockinette to lay without uncontrolled curling. The first way is to put an intentional ladder three stitches in from the edge. Knit your stockinette, then before you cast off, drop the fourth stitch from each edge and let it run down the length of the knitting:
Once you’ve done that, the edge should look like this (front and back shown):
If you are using wool, mohair, or a fuzzy yarn so the stitches lock into one another, that’s all you need to do. The ladder is decorative, and it should stay put. However, if your yarn is at all slick, this ladder can fill in over time as the yarn shifts and stitches loosen. So, before you use this edge, you should knit a swatch, wash it like you will the finished object, carry it around in your pocket for a few days and see if it will work with your particular yarn. For those yarns that reabsorb the ladder, or to make sure your edge effect stays put, you need to do more. One solution that might work is to twist, or knit into the back of, the stitches on either side of the stitch that will be dropped, to stabilize it. But another solution that I prefer is to do an eyelet edge. Here is a picture:
In this edge treatment, the curl is confined to the three edge stitches, which are secured by a vertical row of eyelets, so it ain’t going nowhere!! It’s easy to do: on even numbered rows, you knit three stitches, do a yarn over then knit two together. At the end of the row when five stitches remain, you knit two together, yarn over, knit three (reversing the shaping – you can use other decreases if you wish to exactly mirror the sides). The three edge stitches curl, and then the curl stops. Your edge gets a nice finish resembling I-cord, and the edge of eyelets are a nice decorative touch. This is a great edge treatment for stockinette-based lace patterns, and the back looks good too:
Now, what if you really really want the edge of your stockinette item to look as much as possible like stockinette, and still lay flat? Is there hope? Well, yes, there is – our next contender, the slip stitch edge. This is the dark horse – rarely mentioned, and a little more confusing, but the results are pretty nice:
Do you want to know how to do it? Like the others, it’s worked on the three edge stitches, but this time over four rows:
Row 1: knit one stitch, slip next stitch to right needle without knitting, knit one stitch. Knit rest of row to last three stitches, repeat k sl k.
Row 2: purl
Row 3: slip one stitch, knit one, slip one. Knit to last three stitches, repeat
Row 4: purl
Repeat these four rows for your edges. The slipped stitches get a little twist on the even numbered rows which helps hold the curl in check. These edge stitches still curl around, but with an interesting effect, in that the edge gets a nice row of stitches. Here’s how the back and side edges look:
You can do the slip stitch pattern for the first few rows and for several rows before casting off, just remember that the slipped stitches are off-set from one another on rows 1 and 3 (so row 1 is Sl, K, Sl, K, etc., and row 3 is K, Sl, K, Sl…). This makes a particularly firm edge.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my little edge tutorial! Thanks, iwunder, for the inspiration to swatch it all up and write it all down!