Showing posts with label knitting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label knitting. Show all posts

Friday, August 4, 2023

Scrappy Scarf in Garter Stitch


I started this project ages ago and recently found it tucked away in a bag, still on the needles.  I think I had intended for this to be a wrap, but I didn't have as much yarn as I thought I did, so it is now a scarf.  

While I used full skeins of yarn specifically chosen for the project, I am calling it a scrappy scarf, because it is a great project to use up scrap yarn you don't know what else to do with.  I used a mix of smooth worsted weight yarn, loopy boucle and fuzzy mohair, both bulky weight (my own hand dyed yarn from when I had my online shop).  

I cast on 200 stitches using a 42 inch US size 11 circular needle and knit every row.  I cut the yarn after every row, leaving tails about ten inches or so and was careful to leave a long tail when I started each row.  I tied the two beginning/end tails together to create the fringe.  I didn't measure or try to make them all exactly the same length because I was going for a scrappy look.  

While this is garter stitch and technically has no wrong side, I made my color changes so that the purl bumps with the new color was always on the "back".  You can change colors on any side you want if those purl bumps don't bother you. They do look pretty neat.  You can see the purl bumps in this closeup, whereas in the pictures above, the color changes are smoother.

I chose garter stitch, but you really could throw in a few rows of a different stitch, or even use a different stitch for the entire thing.  A mesh stitch scrappy scarf might be pretty.

One thing to keep in mind with a project like this is how you treat the finished project.  You'll want to care for the scarf (or shawl or wrap) based on the yarn used that requires the most care.  For instance, if you use superwash wool and alpaca yarn, you'll want to follow the care instructions for the alpaca yarn.  If you use a machine washable acrylic and a non-superwash wool, you'll want to hand wash because of the non-superwash wool.

Needle size - My size 11 needle worked great for both my bulky and worsted weight yarns.  If you are using yarns with a big difference in weight (bulky and sport for instance) you could switch out your needles depending on which yarn you were using for each row.  Or, whatever the appropriate needle size is for your heaviest yarn can be used for the entire project; it will give the finer yarns a lacier, open look.

You can really use any yarn and needle size that gives you a fabric you like.  Use one or two colors, use a lot of colors.  Use only smooth yarns, use only textured yarns like boucle.  Knit some rows in a larger than called for needle for an open, drapey fabric, knit some rows with a smaller needle size that gives you a firmer fabric.  Use all sock yarn, use all chunky yarn. There are a lot of ways you can experiment with a scrappy project.  I hope this inspires you to pull out all of those balls of scrap yarn you have and make a unique project.

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Top Down Garter Stitch Shawls - Triangle


At long last, here is the tutorial for a basic, top down triangle garter stitch shawl.  I will show you two ways to knit your shawl, both are equally easy.  

If you'd like to follow along, any yarn and appropriately sized needle will do.  You'll also want a stitch marker to make keeping track of your center stitch easier.

The yarn I used for my little samples is Premier Hipster Cotton.  I got this at my local Dollar Tree a few years ago, and am not sure if Premier still makes it.  It is a #3 yarn (DK/light worsted) and the recommended needle size is US 6, so that is what I used.  

I used DPNs in the video since I only made tiny shawls.  For regular sized shawls, you'll want to use circular needles*.  Circulars come in various lengths, up to 60 inches.  I recommend at least a 32 inch circular; the heavier (thicker) your yarn is, the longer the needle you'll want to use, otherwise things are going to be all bunched up, and in my opinion, difficult to move along the needle, not to mention more prone to dropping off.  Of course you can always use point protectors to keep your stitches safe when you put your work down; I find that when I have a lot of stitches bunched up on a too short needle, sometimes a few will slip off while I am actually knitting.  Point protectors don't help in that case.  *If you are using a very fine lace weight yarn, you can get a decent sized shawl using very long straight needles.

There are of course other ways to go about making a top down shawl - the two methods here are just the basics to get you started if you've never made a top down shawl before.  That said, even if you are an experienced knitter, sometimes you just want a simple project to work on while you binge your favorite show or listen to an audio book, and don't want to have to bother keeping track of too much detail.  A top down garter stitch shawl fits the bill.

You'll want to bind off loosely so the edge has enough stretch for blocking.  There are a lot of stretchy bind offs, choose whichever you prefer.  I show the k2tog tbl bind off (aka decrease bind off, aka several other names) in the video.

I only knit about ten rows for the mini shawls in the video; if you are making a mini practice shawl, you can stop there and bind off.  If you happen to like how your mini shawl looks, by all means continue on until it is as big as you want.

A word about gauge - yes, it is important if you're knitting something that you want to fit correctly like socks and sweaters.  It isn't quite so important for shawls.  You certainly can make a gauge swatch if you want to, especially if you want to make sure you end up with a shawl of a certain size.  I personally never make a gauge swatch when I am making my own shawls. 

Before we get started, I want to share a tip - while it is quite easy to distinguish between the increase rows and plain knit rows, attaching a stitch marker to one side or the other is an easy way to keep track of which side you're working on.  


k = knit

yo = yarn over

pm = place marker

sm = slip marker

kfb = knit into the front and back of the next stitch

The first shawl uses the yarn over increase.

Cast on 3 stitches

Row 1: k1, yo, pm, k1, yo, k1

Row 2: knit

Row 3: k1, yo, knit to marker, yo, sm, k1, yo, knit to last stitch, yo, k1

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 to desired length, bind off, weave in your ends and block.

The second shawl begins the same way as the first, then uses the knit front/back increase.

Cast on 3 stitches

Row 1: k1, yo, pm, k1, yo, k1

Row 2: knit

Row 3: k1, yo, knit to marker, yo, sm, k1, yo, knit to last stitch, yo, k1

Row 4: knit

Row 5: k1, yo, knit to 1 stitch before marker, kfb, sm, k1, kfb, knit to last stitch, yo, k1

Row 6: knit

Repeat Rows 5 and 6 to desired length, bind off, weave in your ends and block.

Enjoy your new shawl!

Friday, June 9, 2023

Tubular Cast on for 1x1 Ribbing


This is an excellent cast on for flat k1 p1 ribbing that creates a neat, tidy and flexible edge ideal for hats, sock and neckbands.  The tubular cast on eliminates the ridge along the bottom edge created by the regular long tail cast on, and creates instead an edge that resembles fabrics on store-bought items.  If you want to add a more professional look to your knits, this is a great cast on to use.

You will need some waste yarn in a contrasting color that is the same weight as your project yarn.  You can also use a lighter weight yarn if that is all you have on hand.  Preferably, the waste yarn should be smooth to make removing it easier.

A refresher on 1x1 Ribbing:

**For an even number of stitches:

Row 1: k1, p1

Repeat for pattern

**For an odd number of stitches:

Row 1: *k1, p1; rep from *, end k1

Row 2: *p1, k1; rep from *, end p1

Repeat these two rows for the pattern

Step 1: With the waste yarn, cast on about half the required number of stitches.  You can use any cast on you like.  Knit a row, then purl a row.  At this point, you can cut the waste yarn and introduce your project yarn to continue working in stocking stitch for three more rows.  You should end with a knit row.

Step 2: The next row should be the wrong side of the stocking stitch fabric, and you should easily be able to see the purl bumps created when you began working with the project yarn.  It is these purl bumps that will be picked up as the row is worked - - this is why you want to use contrasting yarns, otherwise it will be rather difficult to see to pick up stitches.  In the picture below, you can clearly see the row of purl bumps in blue yarn on my sample.  


row of purl bumps to be picked up

Begin by purling the first stitch on the left needle.  Then, with the tip of the right needle, pick up the first purl bump, inserting the needle from the top (as shown below), and place the stitch on the left needle. When placing this stitch on the left needle, the tips of each needle should face each other as you make the transfer (as shown below).  Now knit the stitch. 

picking up a purl bump with right needle

transferring the picked up purl bump to the left needle

Step 3: Continue purling one and knitting the picked up bump until all stitches have been worked. You should end with a purl stitch and an odd number of stitches.

Step 4: Continue working in k1, p1 ribbing for a few rows, until you have a stable piece of fabric.  If your ribbing is to be worked on an even number of stitches, knit into the front and back of the last stitch.  If you have ended up with an even number of stitches somehow and need an odd number, knit the last two stitches together.

Step 5: Once you have a stable piece of fabric, it is time to remove the waste yarn.  Choose either the tail from the cast on edge or the tail you cut before joining the project yarn, I chose the cast on tail in the video.  

 waste yarn can be removed by unraveling either the cast on tail or the tail cut before joining the project yarn

Just give the fabric a gentle tug to loosen things up, and then pull out the loose tail and unravel the stitches until the waste yarn has been removed.  You may find a tapestry needle helpful, especially along the cast on edge.

Now you are ready to continue with your project!

Friday, January 28, 2022

Double Decrease - P3tog


P3tog (purl three together) is a double decrease that presents as right leaning on the right side of the work.  It can be a bit fiddly getting your needle into three stitches at once; needles with a pointy tip can be helpful, as can using a yarn made from fiber that has elasticity (wool).  Scooting the stitches near the tip of the needle can also help.

An easy alternative is to slip two stitches purlwise to the right needle, purl the next stitch, then pass the two slipped stitches over the purl stitch.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Monday, November 28, 2016

Tilbrook Crescent Shawl - New Pattern

My new shawl pattern, Tilbrook, is now available.  

You can get this as a kit, or just the pattern.

This is for an advanced knitter; it uses 2 skeins of my Merino Dream fingering weight yarn and beads!  There are two different kinds of lace separated by a lateral braid, then easy short row shaping for the body.

The kit comes with yarn, beads, a pack of SOAK, digital pattern, plus a special discount.

Here is more info, or you can hop over to the shop to check out the details:

You should feel comfortable with the following techniques/stitches:
  • Short rows
  • Working with beads
  • Cast on at beginning of the row
  • knit/purl, k2tog, k3tog, yarn over, ssk, slipped stitches, psso, knit back loop
    You will need:
    • US Size 6 36" or longer circular needle
    • 7 oz (200 gr) / 980 yds (896 m) of fingering weight yarn (2 skeins Merino Dream)
    • Yarn needle for weaving in ends.
    • 236 Size 6 beads
    • No. 8 (0.90 mm) steel crochet hook for placing beads

    Sunday, November 27, 2016

    Vandyke Lace

    Sample knit with sport weight yarn on US 10 needles

    Multiple of 3

    Row 1 (RS): *k1, (yo) twice, k2tog
    Rows 2 and 4: purl, treating each double yarn over as a single stitch (purl first yo, then drop it and the second yo off left needle)
    Row 3: *k2tog, (yo) twice, k1

    Repeat these four rows for the pattern.

    Happy Knitting!

    Friday, November 25, 2016

    Black Friday Goodies

    All of the paid digital patterns in my shop are just $1 - good today ONLY, Friday November 25, 2016.

    Through Sunday November 27, 2016 the code YARNLOVE gets you10% off your entire order.

    That means if you buy a pattern for $1, and use the discount code at checkout - your pattern is only 90 cents!  Can't beat that, can ya?

    Tuesday, September 30, 2014

    Bijou - Free Shawlette Pattern!


    Hi everyone!  Finally, at long last, the pattern for my Bijou Shawlette is available!

    You can get this through my shop, or as a free Ravelry download, or from Craftsy.  
    Here is more info:

    This is a triangle shawl knit from the top down.
    It uses only one skein of my Springy Sport, or you may substitute any similar yarn you like.
    1 skein 3 ply sport weight yarn - 328 yds/299 m - 3.5 oz/100 gr
    US size 10 circular needle at least 32”
    Cable or DPN
    8 locking stitch markers
    194 Japanese glass seed beads, size 6/0
    Yarn needle for weaving in ends
    Blocking pins, mats, wires or whatever you use to block your projects and wool wash such as SOAK are useful but not required.
    Depending on your preferred method of stringing beads, you may need a piece of scrap yarn, crochet hook, etc.
    You should know how to knit, purl, make yarn overs, k2tog, p2tog, and ssk, and feel comfortable with cables. You should also feel comfortable working with beads.

    Thursday, July 31, 2014

    Yarn Giveaway!

    Not so long ago, (October 2013 to be exact) I set up shop on Storenvy to sell my hand dyed yarn.  I hoped and prayed people would like my yarn, but I never dreamed I would get the response I have had.  So many of you have purchased my yarn, and you keep coming back!  I can't tell you how happy it makes me to be able to share my passion for not only dyeing yarn, but knitting as well.    I love "talking" with you all on Facebook, and I love to see pictures of the projects you have completed using my yarn!

    So, to say THANK YOU, I am giving away a lovely Vera Bradley bag, some beautiful glass beads, a cute flower highlighter, a few mini packets of SOAK, and of course - yarn!  There is some fingering/sock weight, DK, worsted, and chunky weight yarn.

    This is open to those in the US only, 18+ please, and will run through midnight August 31, 2014 EST.

    Just use Rafflecopter below to enter!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Wednesday, July 30, 2014

    Knots in Yarn

    Knots in yarn are inevitable. It happens with both expensive and cheap yarns.  It happens with both commercially spun and hand spun yarns.  I am not talking about a tangled wad of yarn barf.  I am talking about the place in a skein of yarn where two ends are tied together.

    When I first started knitting, I got very frustrated when I found a knot (or two, or three) in my yarn.  First I thought it was just because I was using cheap acrylic yarn.  As I got into more expensive and natural fiber yarns, I continued to find knots!  I thought, how can there be knots in this $25 silk yarn?  It was maddening to find these knots and I didn't understand why.

    I spend a good deal of time on knitting forums, and have seen many people ranting and raving and swearing to never purchase yarn from this or that particular brand ever again because of knots.  I've also read blogs or seen videos where people say you should not ever find knots in your yarn, and yarn with knots is poor quality.  It is nice to have knot free skeins, but to expect to have one long perfect strand of yarn each and every time I think is a little unreasonable.

    I've realized over the years that just because yarn is expensive, it doesn't mean that at some point, the manufacturer didn't have to join a new strand of yarn to complete the skein of yarn.  Or perhaps, as the fiber is zipping through the machines, it breaks.  Enter the KNOT.  Often the two ends are just tied together; some yarn that I have knit with has had the two ends joined with the little bits trimmed off so the joins aren't so noticeable.

    Knots happen, and it isn't worth getting so upset over.  When I come across a knot, I simply untie it if possible, and then continue on with my knitting.  If I can't untie the knot, I just cut it out.  The joins that have been neatly trimmed by the manufacturer I don't bother to do anything at all with, I just knit right past them.  I no longer get frustrated or angry and accuse my yarn of being cheap garbage - to a point.

    Generally, I don't mind finding four or so knots in my yarn.  More than that, I do get a little annoyed at having to stop knitting to deal with it, but I try to not let it get to me too much.  Sometimes I do think when there is a particularly bad skein with knots every few yards, those should be discounted.  I don't know what happens, but on occasion the whole shebang comes out screwy.  I pity the poor person who buys a large quantity from that batch; I suspect those are the folks doing much of the ranting and raving.

    I've said before that it would be nice to know beforehand if a particular skein has knots, but I guess we, as crafters, are supposed to be aware that such things can happen.  OK, I am aware that knots happen - I'd still like to know beforehand. Selling my own hand dyed yarns, I do try to catch these things and make note so people know what to expect.  I think that is only fair.

    If you purchase yarn that comes in hanks, you know that you must wind them before using them; this is when you will find any knots in the yarn so you won't be surprised.  If you typically purchase yarn that is ready to knit from, you won't discover the knots until you come to them, or you can rewind the yarn to check for knots.  That may seem like a hassle, but if you don't want to be surprised, it is time well spent to rewind.

    Above I mentioned how I deal with knots when knitting.  If you crochet, here is a post with some helpful info.

    What do you do about knots in your yarn?  Leave me a comment below, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    Wednesday, June 25, 2014

    Annaliese Shawl - FREE Knitting Pattern

    I wanted to share this shawl pattern with you.  This is knit with my wonderful Silk Camel yarn!  So soft, and the drape is amazing.

    This is a crescent shaped shawl for the intermediate knitter.

    The lace edging is knit first, then stitches are picked up and knit along the edge to work the main body of the shawl.

    You will need just 1 hank of my Silk Camel fingering weight yarn, or you may substitute any similar weight yarn.  You will also need a US size 10.5 needle; the edging can be knit on a straight needle, but a 32" circular needle is recommended to accommodate the stitches for the body of the shawl.

    The shawl measures appx. 46" x 19" after blocking.

    The skills required to knit the shawl are:
    Short row shaping
    Pick up and knit
    I-cord bind off
    Knit/K2tog/K2tog tbl/K3tog
    Yarn overs – single/double/beginning of row
    Slip and pass stitches over

    There are several ways to get the pattern:

    From my Storenvy shop, add the pattern to your cart and checkout.  An email will be sent with the download link.   CLICK HERE

    To download from Ravelry CLICK HERE

    From Craftsy, place the pattern in your cart and checkout to download the pattern.  CLICK HERE

    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

    Celeste Cowl - New Knitting Pattern!

    This is an easy lace pattern that takes only one hank of my Triple Luxury DK yarn, or you may substitute 3.5 oz / 252 yds of a similar yarn.  Sample was knit with the color Forest Dusk.

    The finished size after blocking is appx. 30"x12".  Notes are given for making the cowl larger.

    You will need to be comfortable working in the round on circular needles, know how to knit, purl, yo, slip/pass slipped stitches over.

    You will need a 24" US size 8 circular needle, a stitch marker, yarn needle for weaving in loose ends, and wool wash or gentle soap (optional).

    Pattern is written with a chart for the main stitch used.

    Click HERE to purchase the pattern and yarn.

    Thursday, May 29, 2014

    Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary Review

    You may know that I love stitch dictionaries!  This one is no exception.  I pre-ordered back in December without hesitation, and it finally arrived a few weeks ago.

    I loooove this book!  So very nice to have the thinking done for you to convert stitches from flat to circular knitting. But wait, there's more :0)  Maybe you want to work the pattern top down, or in the opposite direction.  You can do that with this book!

     This is a great for top down shawl knitting - you know how stitches appear upside down when you knit a shawl that way.  No more with this book!

    Not every stitch has instructions for top down/circular, as I had thought.  Some of the swatches are in a yarn that does not best display the stitch, but I don't mind so much.  The book is also spiral bound so it lays flat - a real bonus.
    It is well written, and I am sure I will put it to good use!

    This is an excellent addition to your knitting library. If you do not want to purchase it, check your local library.

    The book is broken up into Knits and Purls, Ribs, Textured, Slipped and Fancy Stitches, Yarn Overs and Eyelets, Cables, Lace, Colorwork, and Hems and Edgings.

    There are even some patterns too, such as a cowl, a watch cap, bed socks, a bolero, a vest, pull over, mitts, a scarf, a stole, a slouch cap, and mittens.

    If you like to design your own projects, this stitch dictionary is a wonderful resource and I encourage you to add it to your knitting book collection.

    Thursday, May 22, 2014

    Color changing yarn!

    Ever since I started messing around with dyeing my own yarn years ago, I've wanted to do those wonderful, slooooowww color changing yarns.  I think I have tried every single method out there, read just about every book, blog and article I could find on dyeing this type of yarn.  I even bought a fancy schmancy machine to make my own blanks, but that didn't work out too well.  I've just not been able to find a quick way to do this type of dyeing. 

    I've been asked by several people about slow color changing yarn lately.   The other day, I remembered a method I had thought I would like to try, but up to now had not.  I thought I would give it a whirl.  Below are the results of my experimenting.  What do you think?  These, along with some other colors, will soon be available in my shop!    

    Thursday, May 8, 2014

    Calypso Shawl - Free Pattern!


    Here is a free shawl pattern for you!  This is super easy and pretty quick to knit up. I wanted a shawl that wasn't just another triangle, or shaped in the usual way.  I had fun with shaping on this, and absolutely love how it turned out.

    I used some of my Shimmer yarn, but you can use any fingering weight yarn you like.   (The color I used has sold out, but I do have a few other colors available in this yarn if you would like to use the same yarn!)  This is knit in garter stitch, so even a beginner can do this.

    I used yarn overs as my increases, but you can use any increase you like.  The yarn overs at the beginning of the rows are for increasing, and you won't even see them once the shawl has been blocked.  If you will be using another increase, I would knit the first stitch, then work the increase - kfb just as an example.

    I wanted to use up as much yarn as possible, without ending up having too little to finish my bind off, so my last increase section is significantly smaller than the others. You can stop and bind off before the last increase section, or you can even continue on if you want the shawl to be bigger.

    Monday, March 3, 2014

    Holding two strands of yarn together for a thicker yarn

    Some good-to-know info incase you can't seem to find the weight of yarn you need:

    The following are approximate equivalents; however, as with all substitutions, you should check to make sure you're obtaining gauge. 

    2 strands fingering = one strand sportweight 
    2 strands sport = one strand worsted weight 
    2 strands worsted = one strand chunky to super bulky weight*

    *2 strands of a lighter worsted yarn held together may approximate the thickness of a chunky yarn, while 2 strands of a heavier worsted weight yarn held together may approximate the thickness of a super bulky yarn. Because of this range, again, it is recommended you should make a gauge swatch to test.

    (From the Lion Brand Website)

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

    New yarn!

    I wanted to share a few pictures of some of the new yarns I have.  Check out my shop for more!

    I've got a 100% Merino Wool worsted weight.  This is a NON superwash, so it will felt.  Perfect if you want to make a felted bag!  There will be three colors available: Red Velvet Cake, Neon Butterfly, and Blue Yonder.  Blue Yonder is available now, Red Velvet Cake and Neon Butterfly will be available soon!

    I don't have a picture yet of Red Velvet Cake, but here is Blue Yonder and Neon Butterfly.

    I've also got a Superwash Aran weight base - this yarn is so soft and fluffy and smooshy!  There will be two colors available - one is dyed and drying and the other is almost done with the dyeing process.  Keep an eye on my Facebook page, I post updates on the yarn regularly!  I haven't decided on any names yet, but here is a picture of the Aran yarn that is almost ready.

    I've also added some Fingering weight yarn that I call Shimmer because it has silver stellina in it.  Two colors available now, Gold Dust and Mardi Gras!  Gorgeous!

    Thursday, January 9, 2014


    Yay, it's a yarn sale!   Through the end of January, you can use code 5KDISC at checkout to get 40% off any purchase in the shop!

    Lots of yummy yarn!

    The discount is good on everything in the shop.

    Below are just a few pictures of some of the yarn available.

    Monday, January 6, 2014

    Cocoon Cowl - FREE PATTERN

    Cocoon Cowl

    Here is a new free pattern for you all.  This uses Patons Roving yarn and US 11 needles, so it is a super quick knit.

    You will need to know how to knit, knit through the back loop, slip stitches, and slip stitches purlwise through the back loop.  This is knit in the round, so you should also be comfortable using circular needles.  That said, it is a fairly simple pattern.

    I did a video on this stitch pattern back in August of 2012, and have wanted to make something with it ever since.  It took a while to get around to it :-)

    You can download the pattern for free from my Craftsy store by clicking on the picture below.

    I hope you like the cowl!  If you make it, feel free to stop by my facebook page and share a picture!