Monday, March 23, 2015

Z Top for Z Spring

Love it. 

My Z Top fits like a dream.  This is  Crane Hill by Miriam L. Felton and can be had free over on this page

I made one major change.  The back is worked without the V shaping.  It is just decreased (per the pattern) on the arm edges and then worked straight up.  Because the neck edge wanted to curl - the natural tendency of stockinette - there is a row of crab stitch across to control the fabric.

 The way that the yarn pooled might not be for everyone.  But it is so "me" that even my family said the magic word.  COOL.

My Z Top is Cool.

Ain't that grand?!

Friday, March 20, 2015

OOPS. I Did It Again.

Many years projects ago, I picked up the habit of marking my patterns prior to picking up the yarn.  Most of you do the same.  In the pre-digital age, we used pen or highlighter to circle the stitch counts for the size we planned to follow.  Now, we can use fancy apps to store patterns and cute colors and pen widths to anticipate those magic numbers.

It is a good and useful habit.

Exhibit #1

This is from pattern for the current Z Top project.   Notice how I have circled the stitch count for this exact point in the making of the thing. 

And, I hit that number spot on the first time.  The stitches were zipping along, the color was pooling, and everything was perfect.

Pride goeth before. . . . and all that.

Exhibit #2

Cast your eyes down toward the bottom where the pattern has changed from crochet to the knit portion.  Those numbers are stitch counts.  Do you see any circles or markings of any type?

My brain went on the fritz and my fingers merrily started binding off and knitting and binding off and knitting based on a casual glance.  And when I made it all the way round those starting 168 stitches there were oh, maybe a gazillion stitches left over!

Do as I say, not as I did.  Mark your pattern people.  Mark it all the way from cast on to wearing.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Caught Up In The Pool-ing

As soon as it hit the digital waves, the Spring+Summer issue of Knitty grabbed my attention.  There is always something that draws me in - a pattern (or five), a hint, an article or even an advert for something new.  And it is all free for the enjoyment.

Let me tell you, friend, I am enjoying Crane Hill designed by Miriam L Felton.  In this great summer garment, crochet and knitting combine to bring out the best in each.  What struck me immediately was the opportunity to break out the 1200 yards of Interlacements Rick Rack.  

Oh, sure.  There were things to consider.  Like the fact that the pattern uses a linen in Aran weight and my yarn is rayon in Sport weight.  And linen is natural and rayon is man-made from cellulose.  There is drape to be considered also.  

Let's not even think about what could happen when the Rick Rack starts pooling.  

Wait a minute.  

Let's celebrate what happens when the Rick Rack starts pooling color!   I'm doing my 'happy, happy, joy, joy' dance.


PS for those with inquiring minds.  Started this on the pattern preferred 5.5mm hook.  Worked three rounds and decided it was too big and loose.  Did not frog it.  Just changed to a 5.0mm hook and kept on stitching.  Result:  fits better and the bottom skims over my bottom.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

All Tied Up (she's baaack)

Well, that was a lovely break for posting and writing and thinking and all that jazz.  I'm back after taking some time off to think.  And cogitate.  

And I might have designed this headband using the knot cable technique.  The first time I did this three dimensional knitting was in a pillow for a shop sample.   You can see below for a link to her pillows and the genius of the knot.  

 I loved her concept so much that ideas started popping into my little brain.  It just took a while to get them written down.

Without further ado, here it is.

 Cable Knot Headband
Lenora Francois Stewart
Francois Stewart Designs.

This technique uses strips of knitting to create a dimensional knot.
·       Worsted or DK weight yarn – smooth
·       US 6 - 8 needle, extra dpn of same size
·       Locking Stitch markets
·       Stitch holder

Cast on 27 stitches (long tail)
Set up:  Knit ONE Row
Row 1 (RS): k5, p2, k4, place marker (PM), k5, (PM), k4, p2, k5.
Row 2 (WS);  k7, p4, k5, p4, k7

Repeat Rows 1 & 2 two more times, slipping markers as you come to them. 

Knot Cable is worked on the next right side row.

Row 7 (RS):  k5, p2, Knot Cable over next 13 stitches, p2, k5

KNOT CABLE adapted from Cabled Pillows by Annabelle Speer
1.     With extra needle, knit 4 stitches in Stockinette for 10 Rows.  Place stitches on locking marker.  It is easiest if you knit backwards for these rows. 
2.     Cut yarn
3.     Slip next 5 stitches to a holder and drop to back of work
4.     Attach yarn and work next 4 stitches in Stockinette for 10 Rows.  Place stitches on locking marker.  It is easiest if you knit backwards for these rows.
5.     Cut yarn
6.     Wrap the right hand strip in front of and around the left hand strip to form a knot.  Let the strip on the left fall to the front of the work
7.     Slip the 4 stitches from the new right hand strip back on the left needle and knit
8.     Knit the 5 center stitches from the holder
9.     Slip the 4 stitches from the new left hand strip back on the left needle and knit
10.  Complete row as established.

Row 8 (WS):  k7, p4, k5, p4, k7.
Row 9 (RS): k5, p2, k4, place marker (PM), k5, (PM), k4, p2, k5.
Row 10 (WS);  k7, p4, k5, p4, k7
Repeat Rows 9 & 10 two more times, slipping markers as you come to them. 
Row 15:  knit
Bind off in Knit on next wrong side row.
Weave in all ends.
With right side of Knot Cable swatch facing and using a DPN, Pick Up & Knit 9 stitches along left edge.
WS Row:  p2tog, k5, p2tog
RS Row:  knit all stitches
WS Row:  p2tog, k 3, p2tog
RS Row:  knit all stitches
WS Row:  p2tog, k 1, p2tog
RS Row:  k3
Now work an i-cord on these 3 stitches for 9 – 10 inches (or as long as needed.)  Bind off and weave in end.
Repeat this process for the other side.
Tie i-cord around head to wear headband.


Monday, January 12, 2015

A New Use For The Stash

Now don't laugh.  I still have a latch hook tool for making those rugs we all worked on a few decades ago.  That craze, however, was not my first attempt at hooking a rug.  Several women in my family made hooked rugs or pillow tops. 

 I remember Mama cutting strips of wool or felt and little me winding it into balls.  The last piece that Mama made is a cherished pillow top that still graces the yarn studio.

Here is her pillow.  Over forty years old and still going strong.  This is done by pulling up loops of wool to the right side of the work.  It is a different working process from the new method that I learned.

That's right - something new for this old brain.  And I get to use up stash yarn in the process.

Here is my first effort at rug punching.  In this method, a special tool is used to punch from the back of the work.  The tool makes uniform depth loops on the right side of the work.

I learned from Una Walker, she of Wooly Walkers fame.  Click over and see some of her great work.  Una is also a shoe maker - great video on her site about how to make felted top shoes.

The base of my mug mat is monk cloth, which folds up flat and does not take up much space in the stash "area."  A few punch tools will slip easily into the "other supplies" bin and I plan to start with small hoops rather than a large one. 

A few new supplies that easily hide away, a new use for the yarn stash, and my time is now wasted looking for ideas in the great wide world of Google.