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1  Re: NY Times opinion article on knitting in Knitting: Discussion and Questions by starlings on: March 31, 2005 07:45:41 AM
I suspect that the trends have less to do with social politics than they do with generational ebb and flow.  Seems to me that most of the people I know who've knitted for a long time learned it from parents or grandparents growing up.  Now, they're adults and can afford more yarn, classes, knitting groups, etc.   

That's a really good point.

You know, one reason that knitting may not have been as popular in the 80s is the scale of the garments. Sweaters were popular, but they were also HUGE. It was impossible to imagine wearing anything that wasn't oversized. (I have an VK from the period in which the garment measurements for the smallest size are consistently over 40").

 I made some attempts at knitting then, but yarn was relatively more expensive and you needed tons of it and tons of time to make a garment then considered "normal" in size. I'd say that now you'd easily use 1/3 less yarn in an average sweater.

Maybe the 80s revival will be the death of knitting. But I'll bet the yarn manufacturers will jump on the bandwagon!
Classic Elite sure did last time around. I wonder what it would have cost to knit up this baby:
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2  slip-stitch tie in Knitting: Completed Projects by starlings on: February 07, 2005 01:50:36 PM
Another brown project (see this poncho).

My husband wanted me to knit him a tie to go with the great vintage corduroy jacket he had just found. It happened that Interweave Knits had just published a bunch of tie patterns. We picked the Slip Stitch Tie from the free PDF.

He picked two colurs from the new Celestial Yarns hand-dyed sock yarns, which knitted up at a slightly larger gauge, but made little difference in the tie's width since there were so few stitches involved.

The pattern was very nice. You have to be open to picking up stitches, though, because the last thing you do is pick up stitches along both edges and knit the contrasting border. It gives the tie a really nice finish and prevents it from curling.

Here's the result:


And here's a picture of the tie in action: http://www.zunior.com/freedownload/zuniorlive_dec22_2004_4.jpg
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3  another poncho joins the throng - Now with pattern in Knitting: Completed Projects by starlings on: February 07, 2005 07:11:07 AM
My good friend Andrea suggested a trade: I'd knit her a poncho in exchange for great stuff from her textiles line, Pink Wagon.  She wanted it to be brown and non-lacy. To make the knitting interesting and the garment unique, I suggested a menswear-like herringbone stitch and custom-dyed Blue Faced Leicester from the Fleece Artist. I also suggested a two-rectangle style of construction so that one day, if she didn't really to wear it as a poncho any more, I could reconfigure it as a shawl or a stole.



The neck has a facing, in dark brown, but I left it unhemmed so that it would be drapey.

Here's the pattern. I apolgize in advance for the nitpicky finishing instructions.

HERRINGBONE PONCHO

This poncho is made up of two 20"x31" rectangles

Yarn: Fleece Artist Bluefaced Leicester DK, 2 x 225g skeins (with little to spare).
Properties of this yarn (bear in mind when substituting): Soft and drapey with a slight halo but clear stitch definition at given gauge after washing.

For optional neck facing: small amount of slightly finer yarn in coordinating colour.

Other tools: 4mm circular needle, 32 inches long; two safety pins; scrap yarn for holding stitches; yarn needle

Gauge: The stitches per inch are difficult to measure in this pattern, because they are angled. I based my gauge measurement on the width of the pattern repeats. 4 repeats (28 stitches)=6" on 4mm needles after blocking, so very close to 4.5 stitches per inch.

Important Notes:
Work the increase as follows: insert the tip of your right needle downwards through the purl bump at the back of the stitch below the next stitch on the needle and knit it, then knit the next stitch on the on the needle (above it).

Edge stitches are worked to create a chain stitch selvedge.

The finishing technique I describe is optional. You can also simply bind off and seam using whichever method you choose. However, my method will produce very nice, symmetrical results.

 
Instructions:
Cast on 94 stitches.
First and every odd-numbered row: slip 1 knitwise, purl to end
Row 2: slip 1 purlwise, *k2tog, k2, increase in next stitch, k2* repeat to last two stitches, k1, p1
Row 4: slip 1 purlwise, k1 *k2, increase in next stitch, k2, k2tog* repeat to last stitch, p1

Continue in pattern until work measures 32". Do not bind off. Leave stitches on waste yarn.

Work a second, identical rectangle.

Block rectangles to specified dimensions.

Finishing:
Lay rectangles out side by side and right side up, with the live stitch ends pointing in the same direction.  Measuring from the cast-on edge, place a safety pin 20 inches up the right hand side of each rectangle.

Keeping the right side facing, rotate one rectangle 180 degrees, so that the live stitches point in the opposite direction. The marked edges of the rectangles will be facing each other.

You are going to graft the live stitch heads of one rectangle to the marked-off rows on the other. In order to do this nicely, you will need to determine the ratio of your stitches-per-inch to rows-per-inch.

We already know that your stitch gauge measured over 4 inches is 18 (4.5 x 4).
Now measure your row gauge over 4 inches. For the purposes of this demonstration, let's say it's 24.
Now express this relationship as a ratio of stitches to rows - 18:24
Now reduce the ratio to the smallest whole numbers as possible by finding the largest number by which both figures can be divided.
18 and 24 can both be evenly divided by 6, giving a ratio of 3:4. This means that you will seam 3 stitches to 4 rows.

Seam as follows (a combination of grafting and mattress stitch):
Arrange the rectangles so they are at right angles, with the stitch heads aligned with the edge to which you're going to seam them. Thread a length of yarn onto a blunt needle.
1. Bring the needle through the first stitch head from behind
2. *run the needle behind the corresponding horizontal "bar" between the first (selvedge) and second stitch on the other rectangle. Bring the needle back into the stitch head from the front and through the next stitch head from behind. Repeat from* twice more. (3 stitches grafted to 3 rows).
3. Run the needle behind 2 horizontal "bars" before passing it back into the stitch head from the front and through the next stitch head from behind. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to end of seam. Weave in ends.

Repeat with second seam.

Optional neck facing:
Pick up and knit stitches along one half of neck hole. Knit in stocking stitch for about one inch, then graft stitches to wrong side of poncho fabric. Stitch side edges of facing to wrong side of fabric - one edge will be flush with the seam. Repeat along other edge of neck hole. Pat lightly with iron on steam setting.

(c)M. Fautley, 2005.
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4  Knee warmers in Valentine colours in Knitting: Completed Projects by starlings on: January 28, 2005 02:35:11 PM
I thought I'd show you these funny things:


They're knee warmers for my mum, who's been suffering with achy knees through a brutal winter. I knitted them from Sarah Peasley's adaptation of a Victorian pattern. Sarah's pattern is here (link starts a pdf download; her free patterns page is here).

It involves short rows, and I think it would be a great introductory project for anyone who'd like to learn how they work in a project.

I should note that I think there's a mistake in the written instructions for the pattern (the chart is correct, though). The corrections are to rows 64 and 65, which I'm pretty sure should read as follows:
Row 64 (WS): P2 (K2, P2) four times, K2, wrap and turn
Row 65 (RS): P2 *K2, P2; repeat from * to end of round

I'm also adding my gauge and yarn amounts, since the pattern doesn't include them:
I used 2 1/4 oz/65g of Sirdar Country Style DK (45% Acrylic, 40% nylon, 15% wool)
Gauge 6.5 sts per inch in 2x2 rib on 3mm needles ( I wanted a fairly dense fabric).
The circumference is about 14, lightly stretched.
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5  Re: knitted belts in Knitting: Discussion and Questions by starlings on: January 17, 2005 11:50:26 AM
I just knitted the slip stitch pattern tie that's available as a free pattern from Interweave Knits (pdf here. It makes a firm fabric that I think would work well for a belt. The edges were finished with a single right-side ridge of purl stitches, which adds stability.

The pattern page doesn't show the stitch pattern very well. Here's a close-up of the tie I made:
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6  Re: Herringbone pattern? in Knitting: Discussion and Questions by starlings on: November 27, 2004 08:30:24 AM
I'm actually working on a project in herringbone stitch right now. I know that there are a number of stitch patterns that share this name, but this is what mine looks like:


The stitch pattern goes as follows. It's a multiple of 7 stitches:

Purl all odd-numbered rows
Row 2: *K2tog, K2, M1 in stitch below next stitch, K next stitch, K2* K1
Row 4: K1 *K2, M1 in stitch below next stitch, K next stitch, K2, K2tog*
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7  Bob from Spring 03 Knitty in Knitting: Completed Projects by starlings on: September 30, 2004 05:29:30 PM


This is Bob, from the Spring 03 Knitty.
http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEspring03/PATTbob.html

It was supposed to be a knitalong with a friend, but she was busy with other things and I needed some quick-knit therapy to recover my dignity after making it to the upper shoulders of another sweater before I discovered that it was far too small.  I still haven't had the heart rip it out.

This one, on the other hand, worked out pretty well.  I rarely knit from patterns.  In this case, not only did I follow a pattern, I used the specified yarn, too! (Rowan All Seasons Cotton - I was having trouble finding a sub and it was on sale an an LYS).

Changes I made to the pattern:
I had to cook the numbers a bit, so that I ended up with one size smaller than the smallest in the pattern.    This made it necessary to eliminate the final raglan decreases.

What I would do next time:
I wouldn't knit the sleeves separately from the body.  The chunky cotton yarn is a pain to seam.  I would eliminate the selvedge stitches from the sleeves and body; just knit the sleeves up to the underarms on dpns; leave the underarm stitches live on holders on both the sleeves and the body; put the rest of the sleeve and body stitches on one 24" circ; mark the decrease points, and knit in the round to the neck edge, decreaseing on the way.

Good pattern, though. And I like the yarn more than I thought I would.  It's much loftier than regular dk or worsted cotton.
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8  Re: Summer Scarves in Knitting: Discussion and Questions by starlings on: July 13, 2004 10:38:05 AM
any novelty yarn would be great - "railroad track" yarns like La Scala <http://www.yarnfwd.com/lascala.html> and Eros <http://store.nobleknits.com/eryaplyaco.html> and ribbon yarns. Rowan's beautiful but expensive Cotton Braid looks similar to the one in the picture you posted .

 You can make a short, skinny scarf (about 5' x 3") with a single 50 gram ball of yarn and big needles (8mm - 10mm; US 11 -15 range). 

I made this one with on ball of GGH Puntolinea, which is like little pieces of t-shirt fabric strung along main yarn that is almost like nylon stocking. I knitted it sideways (end to end), on a circular needle.  Knitting scarves this way takes FAR less time than the regular way.



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9  Re: Cloche Hat Pattern in Knitting: Discussion and Questions by starlings on: July 04, 2004 04:05:11 PM
I've seen many hats described as "cloche" style - tuques, berets, buckets - but to me a cloche is just what the name would suggest: a bell-shaped hat. Rounded top, slightly flared lower edge.  If this is what you mean too, then maybe these general directions will help...

I recently knitted one from Noro Silk Garden. Here it is on:


and off, which shows the shaping better:


The hat is knit in half-linen stitch, with about an inch of ribbing, which works as a hatband-like detail above the brim. I also picked up the back loops of the cast-on edge, which made a cord-like line just below the band of ribbing. 

The brim on this version is pretty shallow and the flare is subtle.  You could make it flare more by working more frequent increase rows or working more increases per row.

Here's a general description of how I made this hat.  It isn't a pattern per se:

I started by knitting a shallow, close fitting cap from the bottom up.  I worked for 4 inches before the first decrease row, then made the rounded top by decreasing at five points every other row until I had half the number of stitches I began with. Then I decreased every row until I had 5 stitches left, then closed up the top.

When I was done the cap, I picked up stitches at the cast-on edge and worked the brim downwards.  I chose to work this way because I could slip the stitches onto some waste yarn and try the hat on as I shaped the brim.

I knitted a couple of rounds, doing 6 evenly-spaced make-ones in the second round.
Then I began working back and forth from the centre back, using short rows. The shortrow shaping creates a notch for the back of the neck, which prevents the edge from flipping up when you bend your head back. For the first short row, I knitted to within two stitches of the centre back stitch, wrapped and turned, knitted to within two stitches of the centre back on the other side, wrapped and turned.  I repeated this short row pattern, knitting to within two stitches of each previous wrapped stitch, until the brim was the desired depth.

A few rows into the short row shaping, on a right-side row, I placed a four make-ones evenly across the row.

I finished with a suspended bind-off, which creates a flexible but un-curling edge. It looks a little like I-cord.
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10  daisies shawl in Knitting: Completed Projects by starlings on: May 18, 2004 12:45:49 PM
I just finished this shawl for my mum.  She picked the yarn - handpainted dk weight silk and kid mix from the Fleece Artist.  After struggling for a while trying to design a pattern of my own, I settled on the free "daisies shawl" pattern from Heirloom Knitting.





the pattern is available here:
http://www.heirloom-knitting.co.uk/free_pattern.html

I'm thinking of doing the "birds eye" shawl pattern for myself in burnt orange Kidsilk Haze. My mum rejected that pattern in favour of the daisies one, but I prefer it.
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