Monday, May 2, 2016

Knit 'N Slog

It started out so innocent.  Knit 'n Slide by Himself - Stephen West.

Look at how cute and not daunting it is.  Just a few knit stitches, a slide back to the beginning and a few more knit stitches.  Turn and repeat.

Awwwwwww. 

And then this happened.

It grew.  The only excitement was the occasional row of k2tog and yo.

YO, YO, YO, YO. The knitter's life for me.

I knit.  A lot.  Boredom set in. 

But I kept knitting.

Finally the excitement began.  Color 3 was introduced and there was actual reading of the pattern in order to knit a pattern.  Boredom vanished.

Enter a state of slogging along.

I carried the thing around whilst doing domestic chores.  Every spare block of time was devoted to the thing.

A lot of stitches became even more stitches.

And those stitches barely fit on the longest #4 needle I own.

I knit big holes.  I knit short rows.

I knit a lot!

One hour per row.

One friggin' hour just to knit one row.  How am I supposed to find enough hours in the day to make row progress and still have time to get in the 10,000 steps that keep a girl healthy?

I've started counting stitches as steps and calling the knitting thing exercise. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Ready For Summer

Rectangles Rock!  While my real mantra might be "I am the Master of my yarn, I am the Captain of my stick(s)," my second mantra is probably "I can make anything from a rectangle."

Voyage is my latest rectangle based sleeveless top.  It has a basic boat neck design.  The Nettle Grove from Plymouth Yarn has the look of watercolor when knit up.  It is a unique blend:  45% Cotton, 28% Linen, 12% Nettle, 15% Silk.  AND - get this - it is machine washable and can be tumble dried.  Ain't that cool???

I don't really write up a pattern for these rectangular tops.  Sometimes I cheat and make the body part in the round.  However this yarn wanted side seams, so it is knit flat.

The basic recipe is this:
  • figure out YOUR gauge (using intended needles) and cast on for front.  This is called Knitter's Math.  I've finally gotten over the horror.  You can too.
  • knit any ribbing for 6 - 8 rows or as desired.
  • SS until the length will reach your underarm.
  • Change to garter*: RS= k5, YO, ssk, k to last 5 sts, k2tog, YO, k5. WS = knit across.
  • Bind off when piece measures desired length.
  • Make a back exactly the same.
  • Sew side and shoulder seams. 
That's it, folks.

Well except if you want a different neck line.  Then you knit in shoulders on each side (aka little rectangles) and proceed along.

 * The change to garter is not really required. The majority of the upper section can be seed, ss or rss or what ever floats your boat.  BUT - and this is quite important - keep 5 - 6 (or more) edge stitches in a flat stitch pattern (ie garter, seed, double moss, etc.) so that the arm hole edge does not curl.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Thriving and Surviving In A Yarn World


While the world whirled onward, the Los Angeles County Yarn Crawl swiftly moved through four days of fabulous thrills and lots of "stashing."

For two days I worked The Crawl and loved every minute of meeting, greeting, stamping, pinning and encouraging participants.  We gave out prizes!  And surprised many a crawler who did not know about our secret unannounced door prizes (a staff alarm randomly sounded and the next customer to walk in received yarn!)

The real heroes down at The Knitting Tree, LA are Jane (mastermind of the plan and the one with all knowledge ),  Chris (brilliant designer and super colorist), Annette (owner and the personality behind the vibe & community spirit) and Bruce (owner and proponent of superb customer service).  

To all the crawlers, we raise a glass in salute.  Thank you one and all.


Monday, April 18, 2016

Tree Topper - Free Pattern

Just making it a little easier to have the pattern.  The PDF is downloaded from the home page of our website.

But. . . . some people like to see before they download.



Tree Topper is a cowloncho – part cowl, part poncho.  Extended crochet stitches created a flexible fabric with just the right amount of stretch.  Contrast edging is finished with an armhole that converts the cowl into an asymmetrical poncho.  Worked side-to-side the pattern is easily adaptable for both chest and height measurements. 

Bust: S (34), (M (36), L (40))                                                            
Length: Petite 16 inches.  Tall 20 inches                                                      
Crochet Hook I (5.5mm) or size to get gauge
Gauge  15 stitches & 6 rows = 4” in Body stitch

Yarn:  MC 1 (1,2) balls Cascade Roslyn  Color 12
CC 1 (1,1) ball Cascade Roslyn  Color 16

FDC – Foundation Double Crochet.  Ch3.  YO and insert hook into chain furthest from hook, YO and pull up a loop.  YO and pull through first loop on hook (extra chain stitch inserted), YO and complete DC as normal.  For subsequent FDC stitches YO and insert hook into the V at bottom of previous stitch (that extra chain), YO and pull up a loop.  YO and pull through first loop on hook (extra chain stitch inserted), YO and complete DC as normal.
EDC – Extended Double Crochet.   YO and insert hook into stitch. YO and pull up a loop.  YO and pull through first loop on hook (extra chain stitch inserted), YO and complete DC as normal.
FPETC – Front Post Extended Treble Crochet.  YO twice, insert hook from front to back around post of indicated stitch.  YO and pull up a loop, YO and pull through first loop on hook, [YO and draw through 2 loops on hook] 3 times
Body
With MC work 60 fdc (petite) or 75 fdc (tall); turn
RS:  Ch 4 (counts as edc here and throughout), edc, fpetc (worked in foundation row  below), edc to last 3 sts, fpetc (worked in Row below), 2 edc .  Turn  (60/75 sts for petite/tall)
WS:  Ch 4, work edc in each stitch across.  Turn (60/75 sts for petite/tall)
RS:  Ch 4, edc, fpetc (worked around fpetc below), edc to last 3 sts, fpetc (worked around fpetc below), 2 edc.  Turn

Repeat these last 2 rows 22(22, 25) times ending having just worked a RS row.
Break yarn.

Edge
With RS facing, attach CC to right corner of edge just completed (in turning chain)
Set up:  Ch 3, skip 2 st, *[(2dc, ch2, 2 dc) in next stitch, skip 4 st].  Repeat from * to last 3 sts.  Work (2dc, ch2, 2 dc) in next stitch, skip 1, dc in last stitch. Turn.
Pattern Row:  Ch 3 *(2dc, ch2, 2dc) in next ch2 sp.  Repeat from * across ending with dc in top of turning chain.  Turn.
Repeat Pattern Row 4(6, 8) more times or to desired width.  End.

Repeat Edge for other side.
Side Seam
With WS together and working from RS, attach CC yarn to lower Edge with a slipstitch  - catching both front and back together.
Ch2, *(skip 2dc, 2sc through ch2 space (front & back held together), ch4). Repeat from * for desired seam depth.  End with slip stitch in a ch2 space.  END.

Sew shoulder seams across CC Edge and as far into MC body as desired.

©2016 Lenora Francois Stewart. Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of these instructions, we cannot be held responsible for human or typographical errors, variations in individual work, or misinterpretation of instructions. |www.francoisstewartdesigns | on Ravelry: stewlf



Friday, April 15, 2016

Tree Topper Cowloncho

This year has been filled with twists and turns.  Happy thrilling moments and a few days best left in the "forget about it" column.

In and among all of the action, the rectangle has been my friend.  I often joke that I can make anything out of rectangles!  And thus began my exploration of the cowloncho.  I've made them with knit as the body and crochet edging.  I've made them with a crochet body and a knit edge.  And now, a pure crochet version is off the needles and ready for its release.

Tree Topper is a cowloncho – part cowl, part poncho.  Extended crochet stitches created a flexible fabric with just the right amount of stretch.  Contrast edging is finished with an armhole that converts the cowl into an asymmetrical poncho.  Worked side-to-side the pattern is easily adaptable for both chest and height measurements.
This is Tree Topper worn in a poncho style.  The armhole in the contrast edge holds the thing in place.







  
-->


And here is the same Tree Topper worn as a cowl.  The contrast edge that includes the armhole becomes a fun statement on the fabric swath.

Go ahead and give it a try.  The pattern is available for FREE at this link: