Monday, September 24, 2007

Here be tips.

Here are some of my favorite knitting tips... I will keep adding to this post as I discover new ones! Errata for my knitting patterns is at the bottom of this post.

Do you have loose purl stitches to the left of your cables? To tighten a purl stitch after a cable, bring the yarn under the needle (clockwise) instead of the standard purl (which goes over the needle, counter-clockwise [widdershins!]). Then make sure you knit into the back of the stitch on the reverse side. This creates a tighter purl stitch!

COLOR CHANGE (in ribbing):
I really hate how changing colors in ribbing gives you that jogging of the colors in the purls. To avoid that, knit all the stitches in the first row of your new color, then go back to your ribbing (K2, P2, or what-have-you) for the next row. Yaaaay, no jogging!

COLOR CHANGE (in stripes): To avoid jogging when knitting stripes in the round, work one row with the new color, remove your row marker, then lift the previous color stitch below the next color stitch and knit the two together. Replace your row marker (your row beginning will move). Yaaaay, no jogging!

To make your finishing easier (or to create neat edges), make a "selvedge edge": just knit the last stitch of every row, and slip the 1st stitch at the beginning of every row. This makes a neater, prettier edge!

For yarns that you cannot spit-splice (like cotton or acrylic), I like to put a drop of (washable) fabric glue on the knots.

You know when a pattern tells you to "increase evenly across the row"? For example, you have 20 stitches and it wants you to increase 4 stitches evenly spaced... where do you put those increases? The formula is: Divide the stitches you already have by the number of stitches you are to increase plus 1. So, it would be 20 divied by 5 (4+1) = 4, and you would work 4, increase, work 4, increase, etc. If it doesn't divide to a whole number, say you get 4.3, you would do the same thing (work 4, increase, work 4) except every once and a while you would put 5 stitches between them to make up for the decimal.

To see how much yarn you have left in that partly-used skein you have rolling about, use a board that is 18 inches long (I use a 18"x 24" canvas board I had lying around). Just wrap your yarn around it until you run out and count the number of loops you have wrapped around it: that will be how many yards you have (18 times 2 is 36").

I correct errors in my PDF patterns as soon as I become aware of them. If you have an earlier version of a pattern, however, please check here for errata.

Private Benjamin:
Page 2, Brim:
Row 2: S1, K1, M1R, place marker, K16, place marker, M1L, K2, pick up two more
Row 4: S1, K to marker, M1R, slip marker, K16, slip marker, M1L, K to end, pick up two
more stitches.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Little Knits... (with free pattern!)

Here's a couple little knits I've done while plodding through/avoiding Sweaterbabe's (beautiful, but horrifically written) Cables and Lace Kimono pattern:

The "Little Silk Shrug" from Lace Style:
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Louisa Harding Grace (50% Wool/50% Silk): 6 & 8
I added the fuschia trim for more... coverage, I suppose, for lack or a better word.
And a Slouchy Hat (free pattern!):
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Rainbow Swirl Slouch
Antuco in color #11 (100% Cotton): 1-2 skeins (I used exactly one for a 6” lace repeat, but I barely squeaked by)
Matching Elastic (optional)
US #7 and #10 ½ 16” Circular Needles, US #10 ½ DPNs
Yarn Needle
Gauge is not terribly important, as the hat is slouchy.
Cast on 68 stitches with the #7 needle. Join for working in the round, work 1 x 1 (K1, P1) ribbing for 3 rounds.
Set-Up Round: *K2, M1 to end. Switch to size 10 ½ needles and work lace as follows:
Round 1: YO, p2tog, repeat to end.
Round 2: YO, k2tog (TBL), repeat to end.
Work these two rounds until hat measures 6-8", depending on how slouchy you want it- try it on as you go.
Next round: k2tog to end.
Repeat this round until 6 stitches are left, switching to DPNs when needed. Cut yarn, thread stitches with yarn needle, and pull to tighten the hole and close top of hat. Weave elastic into ribbing if desired. Weave in ends.
Pattern & images © 2007 Jessica Fraser
Also, I've added some action pics for the Cloud Bolero and Monet Vest
from the Sept. 7th post... check 'em out, yo.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Grrrr... Photobucket. Argh.

So, I've fixed the links for my last post... All the others should be fixed by tomorrow. I'm switching everything from Photobucket onto Flickr, so hopefully I won't have any more problems...

But what puts me in a better mood is this:
From Teaching Diva's Adventures in Knitting blog, my Bubble Stitch Bag in a beautiful different colorway! And her other, solid color one:


I'd love to see more pics from anyone that has knit the bag or the Owl Hat. Please, please, please!

Friday, September 7, 2007

More. New.

**NOW with action shots!**
My Monet vest is finally done:
Monet 4Monet 3
Monet 6
Monet 5
Elann Camila (50% cotton/50% linen) in Strawberry Ice
Pattern from Rowan Classic Nature
It took forever (actually a couple months, but I suppose "forever" is pretty relative). Small gauge, knit in 3 panels, trim separate, you get the idea. It mostly took forever because I got bored and tossed it aside after I finished the back, but luckily I'm fairly obsessive, so I couldn't leave it unfinished... The Elann yarn was not so great to work with- KP has a much softer cotton/linen blend, but I really liked Elann's strawberry color. The pattern was pretty straight-forward, but like most Rowan patterns, not for beginners.
I did change the lace pattern on the bottom edge.
So, while I was avoiding finishing Monet, I did Ogee (a wrap-around skirt
for wearing over jeans and such):
Ogee 2

Ogee 1

Lion Cotton-Ease (50% cotton/50% Acrylic) in Lake
Pattern from Interweave Summer '07
This pattern killed me at first, but it's pretty easy to get the hang of after the first few rows.
It's fast and fun, and the Cotton-Ease was a good replacement for the pricey
(but pretty) Rowan Tape.
And Ysolda's Cloud Bolero:
Cloud 3
Cloud 1
Cloud 4
Cloud 6
Cloud 5
Debbie Bliss Alpace Silk (80% Peruvian baby alpaca and 20% silk) in 17, a grey-blue
Pattern from Interweave Summer '07
The pattern was great- the sleeves work in like magic, knit in one piece, and the yarn was heaven. Soooo soft and lofty... it's like a lap full of kittens. I left off the ruffle-ly trim... it didn't seem to need it, I thought.
And a hat. Because I can't seem to stop with the hats.
yellow beret 2
yellow beret 1
Louisa Harding Kashmir Aran (55% Merino Wool, 35% Microfibre, 10% Cashmere) in 04
Pattern from The Knitter's Bible: Accesories
This yarn is super soft, almost cotton-y. The pattern is for a more fitted beret, but I used a larger gauge to get a more slouchy one.
What could distract me from knitting such fun patterns, you ask? Well, it could be the monster hauls we are getting in our veggie garden:
And the excitement of the first waterlily to survive Laika's attention:
Or perhaps the lovely Laika herself... (see last post).

Thursday, September 6, 2007

A very bad dog.

A couple weeks ago, I came home to this:

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"Ummmm... me? Nothing..." You see, if our beautiful Australian Shepard/racing breed mutt isn't brought to the dog park as close to every day as possible, this is what you get. No, walking will not help much- we can walk her an hour a day, and it does almost nothing for her... she needs to run. A lot.

She's pretty good if she gets enough exercise, but her eating-fits are very unpredictable. She's a year and 7 months-ish old, and in the year-plus we've had her, she's only eaten one shoe (only one little strap on said shoe, in fact), but then she pulls out all the stops and does this:

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That would be: one ball of Rowan 4-Ply Soft ($9) mostly destroyed, one brand-new customized GoKnit Pouch ($20) that will need major work, one discontinued walnut #11 Brittany knitting needle ($25-50 on Ebay) that just happened to be half of my very favorite needles, one set of #7 Clover 16" circs ($8) destroyed, one Chibi needle case (not shown, $5) destroyed, and an evening spent repairing/rewinding damage.

Not that it couldn't have been much worse, I know, but still. I really, really wanted to strangle her. She's very lucky that she's adorable.