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

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Beaded Cast On

I love beads almost as much as I love my yarn.  Combine the two, and I am over the moon.  Last week, I showed you several methods of pre-stringing beads onto your yarn.  Now that you can do that, you are ready to do the Beaded Cast On!

This is just a simple long tail cast on, with the addition of beads.  You'll want to make sure your tail is long enough to cast on the required number of stitches, and as always, you'll want beads that will fit your yarn.

The beads should be resting on the tail of the yarn, not the working yarn.  You can space the beads out any way you like.

Begin casting on, and when you are ready to add a bead, simply slide one up the yarn until it is against your needle.  Then cast on two, three, however many stitches you want in between the beads.  When you are ready for the next bead, again just slide one up to the needle.

It doesn't get much easier to add a little glimmer to your cast on edge.  Here is a short video.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pre-Stringing Beads Onto Yarn

I plan on doing some projects where I will need to pre-string beads on to my yarn; a perfect time to share a video on several different ways you can accomplish this.  NO fancy equipment required, you can use a needle and thread, a steel crochet hook, even dental floss.  I have a beaded cast on video coming up, which requires beads to be pre-strung, so if you have never done either, keep these ideas in mind for that video!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Blocking Your Knits

Before blocking

After blocking

Blocking is like swatching for a lot of knitters - nobody really wants to do it, or understands why it is necessary.  Just look at the pictures above, and that should be reason enough to convince you that you should block your knitting (or crochet, for that matter).

Blocking opens up the stitches, evens them out, and allows you to shape the fabric.  It also makes the fabric drape better and gives it an airier feel.

In the above pictures, you can see what a difference blocking has made.  The lace stitch of the rectangle is visible; the loops of the triangle are more pronounced; and the pentagon actually looks like a pentagon!

While all of my samples were knit with 100% wool (because that is what I knit with about 90% of the time, or another animal fiber), you can and should block other fibers.

I know it can seem like a hassle to take the time to block a lace shawl, when all you really want to do is put it on!  But, if you've spent days, or even weeks, on a beautiful lace shawl, then a little more time to block it isn't going to make much difference -- except that your lace will look absolutely beautiful!

Below are some links with info on how best to block particular fibers (not all fibers may hold up well to wet blocking, or steaming may not be best for another), as well as links to where you can find out more about and purchase blocking materials.  

You really don't have to have a blocking board to pin your item out on, a spare bed or even the floor will do nicely.  So long as it is a place where no cats, kids, or meandering significant others will disturb it, you can pin out your projects just about any place.  

Below is also a video I made, showing three different methods of blocking the above samples: wet blocking for the rectangle, pin and spritz for the triangle, and steam blocking for the pentagon.

Since you will be knitting a swatch anyhow to check for gauge (you are going to swatch, aren't you?), and plan to block your finished item, you should block your swatch also; it's a good time to see what your fabric looks like with the chosen method of blocking.

I am just using pins in this, if I find the time in the future, I will show you blocking wires.  Essentially, you just weave your wires along the edge of the knitting, then place your pins along the inside edge of the wires to block.  Blocking wires eliminate the amount of pins you will need to use along straight edges.

More info on which method to use on which fiber: 

Blocking materials:

 These are not the only products, or the only place to buy products.  I do encourage shopping around, check local craft or yarn shops, ask around on knitting boards, etc. 

Finally, here is the video.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sapphires-n-Purls Yarn

Ohhhh, I am selling some gorgeous, soft, smooshy yarn!   Right now I only have a little bit listed to see how it goes.  I will also be adding some kits for sale as soon as I get everything together.  I will have more listed soon!

All of these are hand dyed in a  unique, one of a kind color.  No two hanks will be exactly alike - once they are gone, they are GONE!  I am not keeping my color 'recipes', because I love creating new, unique colors with each batch of yarn.  How fun it is to throw some dye into the pot and see what happens!

Check out my store HERE and see what I have!  

A few more pictures of my luscious yarn.  Right now I have some 100% merino wool and a 50/50 baby suri alpaca yarn.  Both of these are lace weight yarns.  So soft and scrumptious, I've loved knitting up samples and hate to see it go!

Pink Lemonaid 100% Merino 
Red Sky at Night 100% Merino

Totally Tie Dye 100% Merino

Silver Lining 100% Merino

Dusty Rose 50/50 Baby Suri Alpaca

Lavender and Mint 50/50 Baby Suri Alpaca

Friday, September 13, 2013

Tipping Points Knitting Needle Review

Here is my little review of these new needles.

These are the new Tipping Points from Susan Bates, and the cool part is, you get three different tips for each needle size.  There is a Sharp, Medium, and Blunt tip that you can change out depending on the yarn you are using, or whatever your preference is.

Easy to change tips
Smooth join
Light weight

Too much 'stuff' to keep track of - all those tips, the rubber grip, and locking key
No organizer/carrying case available
A bit of a nuisance getting them in and out of the box they come in
Tips tend to come loose during use

You will shell out $24.99 to $29.99 for each needle, depending on what size you buy.   Each needle comes with the three tips, a locking key, and rubber grip to loosen/tighten the tips.  These ten inch needles come in a variety of colors, and are made of anodized aluminum.  The locking key and rubber grip is to keep the tips from coming loose while in use, however, for me, I find they come loose regardless of how tightly I've screwed them on.  I've tightened the tips with and without the rubber grip - no difference.  It's no big deal to tighten them as I go; I don't know if it is just how I hold and use them, or if they tend to come loose as a general rule.

I like them ok, and think they make a good addition to any die-hard knitter's collection.

I've used these in a few of my recent stitch videos -  Wavy Rib or Feather and Fan for example.

I have only seen these at Jo-Ann's, or you can buy online HERE.   Keep an eye out for coupons to use at Jo-Ann's - I got mine at 25% off, so the cost wasn't too bad.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Add a Seed Stitch Border to Knitting

Here is the second installment of the 'add a border to your knitting' series.  This time it is Seed Stitch, which is probably my favorite.

Like the Garter Stitch Border, this is super easy.   All you need to do is work as many rows as you like in seed stitch before beginning the main pattern, reserve some stitches on the sides, and work in seed stitch before binding off for the same number of rows as you did at the bottom.

Seed Stitch is two rows, *K1, P1* or *P1, K1*, and then the opposite on Row 2.  You really don't have to keep track of what row you are you, just purl the knits and knit the purls (the opposite of Knit the Knits and Purl the Purls).

My sample was just done with stocking stitch, but you can apply this to any stitch pattern.

Here is the video.  Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Entrelac in the Round or Seamless Entrelac

At long last, here is the second part of the Entrelac tutorials - Seamless Entrelac!

Below you will find a printable guide that you can use to create your own seamless entrelac projects.   There is also a video on the technique.

This  tutorial on seamless entrelac is intended for those knitters who already have an understanding of entrelac.  If you need further instruction on entrelac basics, you can find my other tutorial HERE.

Seamless Entrelac is really the same as when worked flat, except you don't need to knit the side triangles.  This means, if you already have a grasp on entrelac, then working it in the round will be a snap.  When starting, it looks as though you will be working flat, and you may wonder how it will turn into seamless entrelac.  Your fabric will not be joined until you work the last Right Leaning Rectangle.

The photo above shows the Cables and Lace Entrelac Cowl.  The pattern is available only on Craftsy.  Click the picture below to go to Craftsy to purchase the pattern.   SORRY, PATTERN IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE.  The lace stitch used in the cowl is Cat's Eye Lace, and the cable stitch is my own (although it is so simple, I am sure it has been done many times over by others).

Click HERE to go to Scribd to download the tutorial if the embedded document below isn't working.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

My yarn from The Memory Tree and Yarn Branch

Here is the yarn I got yesterday from The Memory Tree and Yarn Branch.  It is all soooo yummy, I can't wait to knit with it.

First up, this beautiful lace weight from Grignasco Knits, Merinosilk 25.  I typically do not go for green at all, but this pastel was irresistible!
I am going to have to go through my Walker Treasury books to find something to do this yarn justice.

Next - I have some angora yarn in my stash, however it all has a bit of nylon as well.  This Angora from Plymouth is 100% angora; I have searched and searched for a 100% angora and have never found it.  Until yesterday!  Let me tell you, it is nothing short of exquisite!
No better place for this yarn than right next to you.  I plan on using this for a cowl.  

Here is some super squishy yarn from Plymouth, which I have only ever found online.  I couldn't resist buying this yesterday when I felt it.  Mushishi!
This wonderful yarn is most likely going to be a shawl.  I do love my shawls!  The only hard part will be deciding whether or not to work it top down or bottom up.

Next, some more Plymouth yarn.  This is Taria Tweed, which I have never seen before, so thought I would give it a try.
I think this is going to make another lovely shawl for me.  

And finally, Lustra from Berroco.  This is very much like the Mulberry Silk I purchased at a knitting and crochet festival last year.  It is soft, smooth, smooshy and wonderful!
This will probably turn into a cowl.  I know it will be so soft and silky, and great for wearing next to the skin.  Yummy!

The Memory Tree and Yarn Branch

Yesterday I visited a little shop called The Memory Tree and Yarn Branch.  This shop is located at 1015 Chess Street, Monongahela, PA.  Currently you can buy yarn and knit/crochet notions and items for scrap booking here.

This shop is owned by the sweetest little old lady, Dorothy.  It was very nice to chat with her a bit while I was there, and I look forward to going back!

Dorothy plans on eliminating the scrap book part of the store, and providing only yarn; she also plans on providing a selection of buttons.

Some of the yarns you can find here are Patons, Bernat, and Berroco, among others.  I was so very tempted to purchase the interchangeable set of Knit Picks needles I saw, but managed to hold back.

You can also get a Marvelous Memory Card, which receives a number of punches depending on the amount of money spent.  Once you hit the $200 mark, you get $10 in Memory Money!

The Memory Tree and Yarn Branch is a great little store - if you live in the area, or if you don't live in the area, but happen to be passing through, I recommend you stop by and visit Dorothy, and buy some of the wonderful yarn she carries.

Here is the yarn I got from Dorothy yesterday. Click HERE.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Knitted Fringe

I have seen a number of knitted fringe instructions in old books, and finally decided to give one a try.  At first, I couldn't imagine how this would work out, but of course it does!  It's a little bit of knitted magic.

You can use any yarn and needles you like.

Cast on 8

*K2, YO, K2tog*

Just repeat this for every row, until the fringe is as long as you like.  Then, bind off five stitches.  Cut the yarn and pull the tail through.  You will have some stitches just hanging around on the left needle - these will turn into the fringe.  Slide the remaining stitches off the needle, and unravel them.

You can then attach your fringe to knitted or crochet items.  You can sew the fringe on with a tapestry needle, or attach it with a crochet hook and single crochets.  I attach mine with a crochet hook in the video below.  You can hold your fringe and the item you are attaching it to with right sides together, so the crochet seam is on the back, or you can hold them wrong sides together, and the seam can be used as a decorative element.

I suppose you could even make the fringe on some fine crochet cotton, and sew it on with a regular needle and thread.  I think this would look so pretty as a decoration on a pillowcase, or maybe some nice dinner napkins.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Knitted Valentine's Day Heart Pillow Pattern

Here is one of my cats, Tiger, modeling the Pillow Talk Valentine's Day Pillow!

This is a quick, easy project.  I used Christmas Red and White Cascade 220 yarn, but you can use any colors you like.  The heart used about 160 yards of yarn total. This is stuffed with polyester poly fill; I put as much in as I could, which is about 2 oz. but you can use more or less.  The letters are added with duplicate stitch using a few scant yards of scrap yarn.

If you don't know how to do duplicate stitch, you can find a video on my YouTube Channel.

The pattern is available for purchase from my Craftsy store.  The charted letters are included with the pattern.   Click on the picture below to go directly to my Craftsy store and purchase the pattern.

Monday, January 14, 2013

How to Cable Without a Cable Needle

Cabling without a cable needle (or DPN, or whatever you may use to cable) is a handy trick to have in your knitting arsenal.  Suppose you forget to pack your cable needles - you can still work on your project!  

This is particularly useful when making small cables also.  Who wants to fuss with a cable needle to cross only two or three stitches?

Of course, if you feel comfortable only using a cable needle, there is nothing wrong with that.  If you like cables, but the idea of messing around with a third needle doesn't sound like fun, then give this technique a try.  It really is very easy to do!

Probably the biggest cable I would do this with is an eight stitch cable - any more than that might get a bit tricky.  Go with whatever you feel comfortable with.

To make a Right Cross:

Slip the designated number of stitches from your left needle.  For our example, we are doing a 6 stitch cable, so slip six stitches off your left needle.   The first three stitches are Set One.  The last three stitches are Set Two.

With the left needle, reach BEHIND Set Two and slip Set One back onto the left needle.

Now, grab Set Two with your right needle and slip them back onto the left needle.  Proceed with your knitting.

To make a Left Cross:

Slip the designated number of stitches from your left needle.  Again, let's use 6 as an example.

With the left needle, reach IN FRONT of Set Two and slip Set One back onto the left needle.

Now, grab Set Two with your right needle and slip them back onto the left needle.  Proceed with your knitting.

Doesn't that sound easy?  If not, don't worry.  It made no sense to me the first time I read these instructions either.  After reading the instructions a few more times, I sort of had it.  Then, after actually trying it out, I had this down!  Now I almost never use a cable needle.

Again, you should do whatever is most comfortable for you.  Here is a video to help if you are more of a visual learner.

Happy Cabling!