About 15 years ago, I came to the happy realization that I was equally comfortable with purling as with knitting. I’m not sure why it took so long. But I remember as a child I would always finish with a purl row if knitting stockinette stitch, so that the next time I picked up the project, I would do so willingly because I would be on a knit row. Every project was subject to this rule. Hated purling. Doesn’t everyone, at first?
But lately I’ve begun to realize how beautiful the knit stitch looks as it travels along in a field of purl stitches. Texture. One of the features that makes this craft of “knitting” so beautiful. Perhaps I should call myself a “purler” instead of a “knitter”!
Not tight enough to be a beanie, yet not loose enough to be a slouch, Diamondweave Hat delivers highly textured diamonds that float over background purl stitches. As you know, “textured” means you’ll be moving a lot of stitches around, so be prepared. But the payoff is a beautifully patterned hat that has depth and drama.
Click on the link below for the free pattern pdf. Enjoy!
It’s raining and my back hurts. I guess I’ll blog.
Knitting has been a bit rough lately because my back is aching. The good news is that I’m on the mend, after many physical therapy (brutal!) sessions, and now visits to a chiropractor. I am now able to sit and knit for a bit. Sigh…
But the little knitting that I have been doing has been creative! I test-knit a pattern for a friend, and I’ve come up with a simple design for a checkered heel and a stripey toe. Even though I only have one sock finished, I think you’ll get the idea about what’s happening. And I’m not the type of knitter to leave a sock unknit. I want to wear these! I used Brown Sheep Company’s Wildfoote Luxury Sock Yarn (75% Washable Wool/25% Nylon), color: Licorice. Love it!
For the checkered heel, I grabbed some contrasting yarn and knit the first 2 heel flap rows, slipping every other stitch on the right side and just purling the wrong side. Then I changed back to the main color for the next two rows. The heel flap is about 28-32 rows long. At the point where I turned the heel, I used the main color only.
For the stripey toe, on the decrease rows I changed to the contrasting yarn, and used the main color yarn for the other rows. Except I did the first decrease on needle 1, and then I started the contrasting yarn on (what I refer to as) needle 2, so that the woven-in-end wouldn’t be on the bottom of the sock. This made for a perfect end with the kitchenered main color.
Wouldn’t it be fun to use up lots of crazy sock leftovers doing this? I think it adds a bit of charm.
I haven’t blogged in a while, having come off a very difficult year of teaching. Don’t get me wrong; the kids were great. So read between the lines about the “not great” part. (Yeah, 75% of the teachers in my hallway yelled at the students constantly. ) But that year is done. I have changed positions, schools and districts, and I’m ready to start tomorrow! Here’s a picture of my 3rd Grade Knitting Club. The kids learned a lot, and I got them off to a good start. We only learned how to do garter stitch, but most of them had someone in their lives who could add to their needlework knowledge, either crocheting or knitting. I’ll miss them so much. They were fabulous! They’d come to club saying things like, “Oh, I can help her do such-and-such because I saw a YouTube video on that last night!” Oh, my heart, isn’t that sweet?!
80 Stitch Sock Pattern
And now, on to my new sock pattern. I am going to be putting out free sock patterns that are named according to how many stitches you need to cast on. If you are familiar with fingering yarns and how many stitches you need to cast on for, say, men’s socks or women’s socks, then these patterns will help you. The patterns are usually just plain ribbing or a simple cable thrown in. So just grab a Stitch Dictionary and make your own design! This first pattern is called 80 Stitch Sock Pattern-update. Enjoy!
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!
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:
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!
Size 6 (US) knitting needles for knitting in the round, worsted weight yarn, tapestry needle, safety pin
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.
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!
I recently bought an iPod Nano to take some tunes with me wherever I go. Wanting to protect my investment, I quickly made a little pocket for it to slip into. My 3rd graders loved it, and now I think I am going to start a knitting club at school for them.
One set of size 5 double point needles
Worsted weight yarn
Gauge: 6 stitches per inch; row gauge is not important
Using the magic cast on (you can see a youtube video to help you), cast on 24 stitches. Put 12 stitches on one needle (“Needle 1”), and put 6 stitches each on two more needles (“Needles 2 and 3”).
Round 1: Knit (it”ll be tight, but be patient!)
Round 2: Increase 1 stitch at beginning and end of Needle 1. Increase at beginning of Needle 2, and again at the end of Needle 3.(28 total stitches)
Round 3: Knit
Round 4: Repeat Row 2 (total 32 stitches)
BODY OF POCKET:
Continue knitting in the round until about 1/4″ of your iPod is sticking out, checking to see if your iPod fits.
Decrease Row: Decrease one stitch at the beginning and end of Needle 1. Decrease at the beginning of Needle 2 and again at Needle 2. This decrease row should help your Nano stay in its pocket.
I’m so tired of this happening at the end of dude socks:
“This” being that I run out of yarn as I’m ready to knit the toe of the second sock. This is not the first odd toe that I’ve knit. I only started running out of yarn after the guys I knit for cried out for longer socks! AND I’m even using a yarn that has generous yardage (Cascade Heritage Quatro–437 yards/400 meters, color way: Brown Bear).
So being smarter than the average brown bear, I came up with a pattern that uses different yarns for a short cuff, heel, and toe. I’m calling this free sock pattern Longfellow Socks.
Oh, and I always have my knitting with me, even at (close to) the top of Angels Landing in Zion National Park. I couldn’t justify risking my life and ending my knitting career in order to hold on to chains for the last part of the hike! This park is magnificent! You should come visit!
Thaynes Canyon Cowl is named after a canyon which connects to Millcreek Canyon outside of Salt Lake City. At the beginning of the trail, most people head right to the Salt Lake City overlook trail. But going left on the trail takes hikers to the less traveled Thaynes Canyon, a beautiful hike on a mostly tree-covered trail. The free knitting pattern is below:
Cowl or neck warmer made in a simple 2 x 2 ribbing with about 100 grams of yarn
Yes, I’m still here! I haven’t posted in a few months, but I mean to be more active this year. Our family is in the process of moving from Indiana to Utah! Needless to say, we are busy and excited! I have a new hat pattern coming out soon, but in the meantime, take a look at my blog’s year in review. In addition, look around my blog for a few free knitting patterns!
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,300 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 9 years to get that many views.
I’ve been eyeing some stray skeins of bulky yarn in my stash. What to do with them? Hmmmm…how about a scarf, a crazy sort of scarf in garter stitch where I change yarn every row? That sounds scrappy! So here’s a scrappy end to end scarf called Jackson Prairie Scarf:
Scarf Size: 72” long and 6½” wide
What is Jackson Prairie?
When we moved back to Indiana, we bought 3.5 acres of a cornfield and built a house. An entire chunk of land around there was a treeless area where farmers planted crops. The township was called “Jackson” and the area north of “Sand Hill,” east of the Pigeon River Wildlife Area. A local historian worked at my school as the librarian. His uncle had a farm south of Sand Hill. He said that Native Americans used to keep this area as grazing for wildlife, so deer would be easy to see and track. That’s Jackson Prairie!
(p.s. The hat is an entirely different story. Changing yarn every row means it’s impossible to knit in the round, making not only a seamed hat, but a hat that has many ends to work in. I didn’t write a pattern for that one!)