Saturday, June 30, 2012

How to Knit Entrelac: An Entrelac Tutorial

At long last, here is the tutorial on Entrelac!  Below you will find a printable guide, with which you can knit a small sample of entrelac fabric.  When you feel comfortable with entrelac, you can use the directions here to create your own project.  Just substitute the number of stitches in the sample for however many stitches you want to use.

There is also a video demonstrating the small sample you can knit with the entrelac guide.  The video is in two parts, each about half an hour long.  I show the sample knit from cast on to bind off - how to knit the base or foundation triangles, the right side triangles/rectangles, the left triangles and wrong side rectangles, and finally the bind off triangles.

This tutorial is for knitting entrelac flat.  I also have a tutorial for Seamless Entrelac / Entrelac in the Round HERE.

This tutorial is just bare bones entrelac; there are many creative ways to expand on the basic entrelac I show you here.  As I mention in the guide, there are a couple of books on Entrelac that I know of (the first one I have), and a Craftsy class on Entrelac.  Here are the links:

Entrelac: The Essential Guide to Interlace Knitting

HERE is the class on Craftsy, taught by Gwen Bortner

And here are the two videos:

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

How to Knit Bobbles

I have recently started redoing all of my old videos.  Bobbles is one of those videos.  It was long and extremely boring, on top of being pretty hard to see.  This new video is still a tad on the long side, but at least now it is very clear!  And instead of written instructions scrolling through the video, I am putting them up here.  Hope everyone likes the new bobble video!

There are no set rules for bobbles, really.  You can make as many as you want, big or small, different colors (as in the photo above), and they can be placed anywhere you like.  If you are following a pattern, it will undoubtedly tell you where to place the bobbles, and how to make them.  

Below are a few ways I know to make bobbles, and I am sure there are more methods floating around out there. They all have a slightly different look, but the method of making them is really the same : increase into the next stitch, turn and purl, turn and knit, decrease.  And there is your bobble.  The typical bobble is 5 stitches, but you are free to experiment.  The video demonstrates stockinette fabric and bobbles, but you can really do anything with them.  Maybe garter fabric with a stockinette bobble, or the other way around.  Why not a seed stitch bobble?  Use bobbles as buttons.  Your only limitation is your imagination.

Decide where you want a bobble.  Into the next stitch, increase using any of the following methods:

1) K1, P1, K1, P1, K1

2) K1, YO, K1, YO, K1

3) KFL, KBL, KFL, KBL, KFL (Knit front/back loop)

Then, turn your work and purl those same five stitches.  Turn again and knit.  You can stop here, or purl/knit again.  The more times you do this, the puffier your bobble will be.

Now, you need to decrease back to one stitch, using any of the following methods:

1) Pass second stitch over first, pass third stitch over first, etc. until all extra stitches have been passed over the first

2) After you have purled and are ready to knit the stitches : K2tog, K1, K2tog, then pass the two remaining stitches over the first

3) Pass the second and third over the first together, then pass the fourth and fifth together over the first

4) Once you have purled/knit as many times as you like, continue knitting to the end of your row.  You will make your decreases on the wrong side of the fabric.  When you come to the bobble, simply purl all of the extra stitches together.  Obviously, this could become difficult if you have chosen to use more than five stitches for your bobble.  I wouldn't recommend this decrease for more than five stitches.  

And of course, here is the video!  Happy Knitting and Enjoy!

Friday, June 22, 2012

New Knitting Videos and Tutorial

Happy Friday everyone!  For those who don't follow me on Facebook, or maybe just didn't see the post, I have decided to redo all of my old knitting videos.  I have been making how-to videos since early 2008.  It is going to take a while to get them all done!  At the beginning, I only had a digital camera to record with.  The camera would record for 3 minutes and then stop.  So in addition to poor quality video, there were many stops and starts in the videos.  Not long ago, I got a real video camera! I am now able to record clear, HD videos from start to finish.  If you are familiar with my videos, I'm sure you noticed the difference!  I have also been playing around with different editing music, etc. on the videos trying to decide what I like best.  I think I finally have a format that works well and most people seem to like.  I will be adding these videos on the weekends, along with the regular stitch videos that I do.

So.  I have added a new tab to the top of the blog which will have links to all of my videos.  Not all of them are available right now.  It is going to take time for me to redo everything; I will be adding the links as I go.  The videos are not being done in any particular order.   Also, all of the stitch pattern videos I have done in the past will be going into a new tab on The Weekly Stitch.

I have also finished my entrelac project that I will be giving away as a free pattern to go with the tutorial.  I hope to have that up this weekend.

Hope everyone likes the new videos and tutorial.  Thanks for visiting my blogs.  Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

4th of July - Stars 'n Stripes Dish Cloth - Free Pattern

Hi everyone!  Here is a free pattern for you to knit for the Fourth of July, which is right around the corner.  This uses Lily Sugar n Cream self striping yarn, so all you have to do is knit.

The stitches you need to know for this pattern are:  knit, purl, yarn over, purl three together.  If you don't know how to do the star stitch, here is a video:

June 20, 2012 - I used my cloth for the first time tonight, and the red has bled a little bit into the white.  There is also a little bit of bleeding from the blue, but not much.  This doesn't bother me, but I wanted to let everyone else know in case it may be an issue.  

Stars 'n Stripes Dish Cloth

Sunday, June 17, 2012

S-n-P Podcast Episode 16

Hi everyone!  Thought I would do a little video to show you some of the knitting goodies I have gotten lately, and of course the magazines I have waiting to be read.  Also a couple of projects that I am working on right now, both of which I plan to do tutorials on and offer free patterns.

If you didn't know, I recently put up a few tutorials on the blog:

Pom Poms with a pom pom maker, and Pom Poms without a pom pom maker (make your own as opposed to buying one)
Making Tassels
Making Beaded Tassels

All of the magazines I show you have a link up in the Magazine Tab at the top of the blog, if you are interested in subscribing or buying single issues, both current and back issues.

Today is the last day for the Interweave Hurt Book Sale.  I got some great deals on a few books, and none of them were hurt in any way.  Not that I would mind if they were a bit hurt, it's going to happen any how :0)  If you miss the sale this time around, I am sure they will do it again next year.  It really is a chance to get amazing deals on a lot of different books - ebooks are available also!

I grabbed four hanks of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino DK Onsies from Jimmy Beans.  I got two each of Dusk and Rose.  I plan to use these for a top down shawl.  I love Madelinetosh yarn!  Nice and soft and very easy to work with, and it has great stitch definition.  I used Madelinetosh yarn in my Star Struck Hat pattern that was part of the tutorial on converting stitch patterns to use in the round.

And, from one of, if not THE best online yarn shop, Knitty Noddy, I got the new addi Long Tip Lace Clicks, along with some Hand Maiden Silk Maiden yarn.  A yummy blend of 50/50 silk and wool.  Very nice and soft, and the colors are beautiful.

And the projects I am working on - two wraps.  One is done in the scribble lace or scribble knitting technique, and the other is an entrelac wrap.  So, tutorials on both and free patterns.  Those will be up as soon as I finish knitting.  Close to being done on both!

I think that about covers it.  Until next time, Happy Knitting!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Beaded Tassels

If you want to add a little glitz to your tassels, why not use beads?  It is really simple to do - the process is basically the same as making regular tassels, but you don't cut the bottom of the tassel.  Just pick some beads appropriate for your yarn.  If you aren't able to find beads that will fit your yarn, try using a complimentary, light weight yarn that the beads will fit on and wrap it along with the yarn used for the project.  Or you can just use the different yarn by itself.

Like regular tassels, you will need something to wrap your yarn around that is the length you want the tassel to be.  You also need beads of course, and scissors.  You will also need a needle that will fit through the hole in your bead with the yarn, or you can use a crochet hook to put the beads onto your yarn like I do in the video.

You can use as many beads as you like.  For the tassel above, I just kept one bead per strand as I wrapped.  Once you are done wrapping, cut the yarn.  You will need to cut another length of yarn to tie the tassel at the top so it doesn't fall apart.  Then, just slid the tassel off the cardboard or whatever you wrapped it around.  Do not cut the bottom of the tassel or your beads will come off.  You can then tie another piece of yarn around the top of the tassel if you like.  Attach the tassel to your project and trim any ends that may be sticking out.

Here is a video showing how I made the tassel above.

How to make Pom Poms

These were made with the Clover Pom Pom Maker

If you plan to make a lot of Pom Poms, then you will probably want to invest in some of the hard plastic pom pom makers you find in the craft stores. They are easy to use and come in all different sizes.  I find the instructions that come with Clover's tool a bit lacking, so here is a video.

This pom pom was made using materials you probably have around the house
If you only want to make a pom pom here and there, then it really isn't necessary to purchase a pom pom maker.  All you need to make your own pom pom maker is some cardboard, a pen or pencil, and two circular objects.  One should be a bit smaller than the other.  The size of your circle determines the size of your pom pom.  And you need scissors, of course.

With the larger circle, trace two circles on the cardboard.  Then, place the smaller circle in the middle of the larger one, and trace it.  Cut out each circle using the line of the larger circle.  Then, cut straight up to the line of the smaller circle, and cut that out as well. Finally, all you have to do is place the pieces of cardboard on top of each other, making sure the straight cuts line up.  Wrap your yarn around the forms until they are covered.  The straight cut you made will allow you to easily wrap the yarn around the cardboard.  The more yarn you use, the fluffier your pom pom will be.  When you are done winding, cut the yarn.  You will then need to cut a length of yarn to tie your pom pom together.  But before you can tie it all together, you need to cut it.  Make sure your scissors are sharp, and stick them in between the cardboard and cut all the way around.  Once all of the yarn has been cut, slip the length of yarn between the pieces of cardboard and tie a couple of tight knots.  Remove the cardboard and you have a pom pom !  Trim it up a bit if necessary.  Use the strands you used to tie the pom pom to attach it to hats, scarves or whatever you like.

You could use a plastic lid (from a coffee can, etc.) to make your pom pom forms if you want something a bit more sturdy than cardboard.  

And here is a video on home made pom pom making.  

How to Make a Tassel

Tassel on the left was made with some wool yarn I dyed myself.  Tassel on the right was made with Sugar n Cream cotton yarn.

Tassels are easy to make.  You don't need any fancy equipment, either.

You will need:
  1. A piece of cardboard or something else you can wrap your yarn around.  It should be a little longer than you want your finished tassel to be.  That way you can trim up the end without having a shorter than desired tassel.  (I used a piece of folded cardboard to make mine, as you will see in the video, but you needn't fold yours. )
  2. Scissors
  3. Crochet hook
  4. Yarn, of course

To keep things brief here, I am not going to go into great written detail.  Not that it is complicated to make a tassel, but it is much easier to see it being done than read how to do it.   Basically, all you do is wrap your yarn around the cardboard, until the tassel is as thick as you want it.  The more wraps you do, the thicker your tassel will be.  Then, cut a length of yarn, slip your crochet hook under the wraps, pull the length of yarn under them, and tie it a couple of times tightly so that the tassel doesn't come apart. These are the strands you will use to attach the tassel to your project.  Next, cut the wraps on the opposite end from where you tied them together.  The tassel can be used as is, or you can cut another length of yarn, and tie it around the tassel a short distance from the top.  You can see in the picture above where I have tied my tassels.  I like to wrap my yarn a few times around the tassel, but you can just tie and be done.  With your crochet hook, pull the tails from the yarn you used to tie around the tassel underneath itself and voila. Trim if necessary.  To attach your tassel to a hat or scarf, or whatever you like, just use the strands from the top of the tassel to tie them on.  That's it.

So, here is the video.  Happy Tasseling!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Mattress Stitch

This was requested by a YouTube friend.  I personally avoid seams whenever possible.  I just don't like to seam.  When I bind off, I want to be done!  But I do love how this makes an invisible join that you really can't see at all.  Below are still photos, as well as a video of some small stockinette pieces being joined with Mattress Stitch.

My sample was done on stockinette fabric, however this could really be used with any stitch or fabric.  Do keep in mind that you should add a couple of extra stitches to the sides of your fabric so that you can seam easily, and you won't lose any width.  Seaming takes away from the width of your fabric - patterns that require seaming should have that fact accounted for, so no need to worry about adding extra stitches if you are following a pattern.  But if you are designing your own pattern, just keep in mind when calculating the size.  

OK, so here we go.

  1. Your fabric should be placed with right sides facing.  You will be working in a side to side fashion. 
  2. Use the same yarn that you knit your garment with.  To make things easy, you can either reserve a length of tail from your cast on, or bind off, for this purpose.  Or you can simply cut a length of yarn to use instead.
  3. Don't seam along the immediate edge of your fabric; instead, move over to the first line of stitches.  You could always move over two lines of stitches, but that will make the back side a bit bulkier. 
  4. Be sure that you stay straight as you seam up the fabric.
  5. For the sake of clarity, we will say we are starting with the left piece of fabric here, but you may start with whichever piece of fabric you like.  
  6. Beginning at the cast on edge of the left piece of fabric, insert your yarn or tapestry needle into the cast-on edge stitch, then do the same on the right piece of fabric.
  7. On the left piece of fabric, insert your needle under the first strand of yarn between the edge stitches and the first line of stitches.
  8. Repeat on the right piece of fabric.
  9. Continue moving left, right, left, right and so on, until you reach the top of your fabric.  Then, insert the needle into the stitch along the bind off edge on both the left and right piece of fabric.
  10. Now, gently pull on the tail of your yarn to tighten things up.  Pulling from both ends is easiest for me.  You will see that the yarn you used to sew up disappears like magic.  Don't pull too tightly or your fabric will become misshapen.  Just pull gently until the seam is neat and even.  Weave in the loose ends.
Now, if you are like me, you may be scratching your head and saying "Huh?!" after reading that.  I find visual aids much more easy to understand than the written word.  So, here are some pictures, and the video.

These are the strands that you will be picking up and running your needle and yarn under

Yarn has been inserted into the cast on edge stitches of each piece of fabric

Needle going under the first strand

I have started weaving from left to right, left to right

I have now finished weaving all the way to the top of my fabric, and the yarn has been placed into each stitch along the bind off edge as well

The yarn used to seam has been pulled tight, and I now have an invisible join!  

You can see how beautifully these pieces of stockinette fabric have been joined.  Here is a sample of seed stitch fabric I joined, which is just as nice.