New kitchen needs new placemats. But any placemats that I own are so large that I can’t fit 4 of them on our table or kitchen island without overlapping. So I went shopping for placemats, but they’re all HUGE! And I couldn’t find any that I liked. Additionally, they’re all pretty expensive (times four)!
In an attempt to solve this problem, and since I like the stuff that I make, I thought I would knit some smaller placemats. They’re 12″ x 16″ (as opposed to the usual 14″ x 20″). I have one placemat finished and three to go. I used Lily’s Cream ‘N Sugar yarn in Earth Ombre colorway. They’re machine washable too, unlike many I saw at the store. I like the ikat looking print that the variegated yarn automatically made.
I’m currently pretending it is winter and that I don’t live in an arid and hot part of the U.S. I bought this yarn a few weeks ago. It’s “vintage” which means it came from a thrift store. In my defense, when I see 15 skeins of ecru bulky wool for $15, I feel like I need to get my knitting needles clacking and knit something fabulous.
So I made a muse n. (click for link to free pattern!) shrug by Isabell Kraemer and gifted it to my dear daughter. This looks like a manta ray, but it’s pretty cute when on, and certainly it’s going to be a warm sweater!
Here I present the end of an era. It’s the end because I started this leftover sock yarn blanket in the fall of 2008. After almost 9 years, a lot of changes have happened. It’s inevitable. The kids grew up, we moved almost across the country, went from a house to a condo, and now we own e-bikes, for crying out loud! Change happens! It is time to knit other things. Or, finish other things, because of the way my year went, with teaching almost a full schedule at school, and then throwing teaching 3 graduate classes for SLC teachers on top of that! I have about 5 projects that are mostly finished, but need a little more attention.
Back to this blanket-afghan-throw thingie. I wasn’t sure how big I was going to make it; I was just enjoying the process. But 8.5 years later, I’ve decided to finish. And by finish, I mean, squaring it off, not adding any height or width to it, and most importantly, edging it in i-cord! The edging, you see, is like a stopper; it prevents me from adding more rows. Smart, huh? Done.
But at the end of this crazy-sock- leftovers-turned-into-a-blanket era, I have a crazy urge to come up with something else “scrappy” because I’ve still got a small tub of sock-yarn leftovers. Maybe in a year I will have a new pattern to show.
I briefly entertained the idea of putting this on Etsy for a ridiculous sum of money. I was thinking something over $2500, just to see if anyone would “bite.” But that’s cheap. Way too cheap. I calculated my labor at $10/hr (hey, I’m a skilled knitter!), 30 minutes per block which takes into account tucking in loose ends and knitting the i-cord edging. So, with 380 blocks @ 30 minutes per block, that’s 190 hours. Multiply that by the $10 per hour, and the labor cost on this blanket is around $1900. That doesn’t include the yarn. And it takes a lot of sock knitting to accumulate a great variety of yarn. (That was my excuse, anyway). So, the next time someone knits something for you, they don’t do it to save money or time. They do it because they LOVE you!
For now I’ll just sit on my balcony on cool mornings and enjoy the warmth of this throw.
Dramatic and plush, the Iceleaves shawl is a fast knit using superbulky yarn and size 19 needles. With a gauge of almost 2 stitches per inch, you’ll be done knitting this before you’ve binge-watched two episodes of your favorite series!
This pattern is for your personal use only. Please don’t sell items knit from this pattern, and please don’t pass the pdf along to your fellow-knitters. Instead, refer them to this blog. Click ice-leaves-shawl to download.
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!
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.
Since it’s summer here in the northern hemisphere my projects are all for the warmer weather. For this week I’ll share about this sweet little tank in a book from the library called “Mesh Layering Tank” from Veronik Avery’s Knitting 24/7. Even though library books are free to borrow, it usually costs me something because I decide to knit something from the book. And that requires a trip to the yarn shop.
So off to Blazing Needles I went to get some yarn. I thought I’d walk there to save gas and be green. And I’ve always wanted to be within walking distance of a yarn store. Walking there was a savory experience down a few tree-lined streets, beautiful! About Blazing Needles, they don’t have just yarn, they have sumptuous stacks and hooks filled with fabulous fiber. And they’re nice. Oh, and they enjoy selling yarn! But that’s not hard, since most women (and guy-knitters too!) walk in to buy yarn. It’s akin to taking candy from a newborn. I’ve worked in a yarn store…I know this for a fact (large retail smile on my face right now)!
Here’s a photo…this cursed English Mesh Lace stitch has me in a tizzy in some rows, since I want to always put a yarnover after a decrease. It would help if I weren’t watching every FIFA World Cup match and being too into football/futbol/soccer (chose your word there to make yourself feel better) to pay attention to my knitting.
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!