Baby Patterns · Non-Knitting Projects

Houndstooth Heaven

Subtitled: How to Upcycle a Sweater

I was in a thrift store a few years back and saw what I affectionately call an “oops” sweater. You know, the kind of sweater where someone didn’t believe the “dry clean only” directions?! In fact, I found three of them, so I bought them with the well-meaning intention of doing something fabulous with them. Several years later I am just getting around to working with them. Here are all the items I made with one sweater:

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Much of the sweater body went to make a custom computer case with leather details (I also bought a leather skirt at the thrift store that day–smile). Actually, I finished this right after buying the sweater. The sweater sleeves went to make some water bottle covers and coffee travel cozies. And my feet are showing off the me-sized slippers. I modified a pattern from Purl Soho (here’s the LINK) by sandwiching some plastic canvas between the bottom pieces, blanket stitching it all together, and then adding a back strap. Instant warmth! Or, maybe several hours of sewing and then the warmth.

As for those sweet little baby slippers, I used another pattern from Purl Soho (Felt Baby Slippers). I cut out the pattern pieces with my pinking shearers, pinned them together, and then hand sewed them with sock yarn and a running stitch. Maybe 2 hours tops to complete. You can also check out this patternLINK for baby shoes.

Yeah, I’m not going to be doing this again, except for the baby slippers because they’re so cute! And to be honest, I feel like a super-dork in my slippers, but a warm super-dork!

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Free Knitting Patterns · My Knitting Life · Technology Patterns

Stashes and School and Tablets and a Free Pattern!

Tabcover 2

Stashes

Good News! I am no longer held hostage by a huge stash of yarn! My current stash consists of: enough Jaeger fingering yarn for a lightweight sweater (in last year’s Pantone color of the year), some Dale of Norway superwash Falk for future use (since I live in the mountains again, I feel the need another Norwegian inspired sweater!), about 5 skeins of sock yarn, 2 skeins of a worsted Noro and 2 skeins of ivory worsted, and a few skeins of yarn leftover from sweaters. I also have a small container of fingering yarn scraps and leftovers for my mitered square blanket, and some leftovers from my nine patch afghan, in case I want to knit another row of nine patches (probably not!) or in case I want to knit some hats for kids at church (a better option). That’s it. THAT”S IT!

So, I encourage you to take an honest look at your stash and make some changes. It will free you up to knit what is new or current! I can walk to my LYS (local yarn shop–Blazing Needles) and buy something for a new project with very little guilt. This makes me smile. And the fact that I can walk to a yarn shop makes me giddy with excitement!

School

If you read my not-very-frequent posts, you’ll know that my husband and I moved from a very small town in Indiana to the very large (large for us, our 2nd time here) Salt Lake City. I started looking for a job; I’m a teacher by trade. I love kids, teaching English as a Second Language, watching kids learn, expecting them to try their hardest. I still feel fresh and ready for the demands of this profession. (BTW, if you’re a teacher and you feel lackluster in your profession, make a change! Read a few books, go to an excellent workshop, or even retire and find something else. You might find joy again, even if it the joy is outside of education!)

I was on a serious learning curve during the first month, new acronyms, new colleagues, new students. But I’ve hit my stride and the students and I are making good progress. Whew! So happy to be teaching again! I’ve even started a 3rd grade knitting club during the last recess. Twelve or so students give up their last recess to come and knit for a bit. The students (all girls right now, but a few boys have come) are knitting little headbands to keep their ears warm. Here’s a photo of their beginning stages of knitting:

knitting club

Tablets

During the first week of school I won a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 from the Teacher’s Union! I love gadgets and new technology, so I vowed to use this at school with kids. I bought a kid-friendly protective cover and put a few apps on the tablet. But after a few weeks, I realized my little Tab 4 needed more protection. So I knitted a protective cover. I really like how this turned out! Here’s the basic pattern, and it’s free!

Materials:

Size 6 (US) knitting needles for knitting in the round, worsted weight yarn, tapestry needle, safety pin

Techniques Used:

Know how to use: Judy’s Magic Cast on, Knit 2 Together (K2tog), YarnOver (YO), attached i-cord, traditional 3-strand braid (for closure)

Gauge: 23 stitches = 4″  Row/round gauge is not important. Check your gauge, or at least be familiar with your gauge with the yarn you’re using. My gauge is fairly tight for worsted yarn on this needle size.

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Start Knitting: Using Judy’s Magic Cast On (many YouTube videos available), cast on 60 stitches, placing 30 stitches on each needle. Round 1: Knit. Round 2: increase one stitch at each end (62 stitches). Round 3: Knit.  Round  4: increase one stitch at each end (64 stitches).

Knit until cover is 8″ long (about the place where the tablet peeks out a bit when inserted into cover). EYELET Round: *K2tog, YO* repeating between *s around the row.

Knit one more round. Then work an attached i-cord, tie off, and use yarn tail to sew i-cord ends together. Turn inside out and weave in the yarn tail from the start of your cover.

Make tie: Take nine strands of yarn, about 25″ each strand. Separate the nine into three groups of three strands. Tie all nine together near the top, begin braiding and when it’s long enough, use a safety pin to secure to an arm of a chair and braid until braid is 18″ long. Tie off the end. Trim yarn ends about 1/2″ beyond the knot and fray with end of safety pin. Thread the tie through the eyelet openings (from the K2tog/YO row). Tablet Protection is Achieved!

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Technology Patterns

Free iPhone 4 Cover Knitting Pattern

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I went to the cell phone store “just to look” at iPhones and walked out with one–haha, the joke’s on me! And of course the geek guys tried to sell me cases, skins, covers, etc.  They tried to scare me by talking incessantly about how easily iPhone screens break, but I held out and only spent $15 on an iPhone cover. But because of that, my big fear is dropping this thing! So I decided to knit a little case to at least cushion a fall. Here’s what I did:

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Materials

Size 4 (US) Double Pointed Needles and some worsted weight yarn (I used Noro Silver Thaw), tapestry needle, button, thread, and scissors.

Pattern Notes

iPhone case is knit from the bottom up with a rectangular flap, a buttonhole and button. You should be familiar with some knitting terms to complete this pattern.

Cast on

Cast on 36 stitches using Judy’s Magic Cast On.  Google it, and watch the YouTube video.

Body

Mark the beginning of the row and knit as a tube in the round stopping when the depth of the tube is one row taller than the iPhone itself. My case is 5.25″ tall.

Flap

Bind off first 18 stitches. Then work the remaining stitches back and forth in stockinette stitch (knit 1 row, purl 1 row) to make the flap as follows:  Row 1: K;  Rows 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10: P.

Row 3: Sl1, SSK, K12, K2tog, K1

Row 5: Sl1, SSK, K10, K2tog, K1l

Row 7: Sl1, SSK, K8, K2tog, K1

Row 9: Sl1, SSK, K6, K2tog, K1

Row 11: Sl1, SSK, K4, K2tog, K1

Make Buttonhole

Row 12: P 3, bind off 2, P3

Row 13: Sl1, SSK, cast on 2, K2tog, K1

Row 14: P all stitches

Row 15: Sl1, SSK, K2tog, K1

Row 16: Bind off all stitches.

Finishing

Tuck in all ends with tapestry needle and sew on cute button in appropriate place. Enjoy!