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21  KNITTING / Knitalongs / Patchwork Sampler Blanket/Pillow Knitalong! on: January 10, 2011 10:07:04 AM
Ive been having a lot of fun knitting patchwork quilts, using up scraps of yarn and learning new stitches, and think it would make a fun knit-along.  The premise is simple; you knit and bind off a block, then pick up stitches along one edge with a new yarn, and knit another block using a different stitch.
   If youve ever wanted to make a blanket or pillow top, but find yourself getting bored or losing steam halfway thru, this is a great way to hold your interest.  You can make the squares as big or small as you like, and even the most deliberate knitter can easily finish a square in a weekend.  You get the satisfaction of completing something in very rewardingly short intervals.

   If youve ever spent time page thru a stitch pattern book, or been intimidated by the Barbara Walker Treasuries this is a great way to get in some practice before you commit to doing a huge expanse of dragon scale or pinecone eyelet.  Dont like the way a square is shaping up? Its easy as pie to rip it out and try another.  (Im a nervous Nellie about frogging back a few rows!)  If you hate to sew up seams, this has the advantage of breaking that process down into manageable pieces; you simply sew up one side of the square as you go.  If I had to sew long strips of seams, stuff would stay in my knitting box for a long time, but even I can manage to sew up 6-7 inches at a time.

   Plus its a great way to use up all those small balls of yarn we all seem to accumulate.  As with traditional patchwork, its fun to look back over the finished project and see the yarn you used in your first scarf, or the cool hat you made for your brother in law.

   You can commit to any size project you want, from pillow top to blanket or just knit as long as you want.  (My first scrappy project was a crib quilt with some crazy angles.  My latest was a 72x56 blanket for my niece.) You can buy a few color-coordinated skeins to start, or simply use up what you have on hand.
If people are interested in knitting along, I can post a few stitches of varying complexities on a regular basis one stitch a week?  Three stitches every fortnight? and we can work on them together.  Or other people can post their new favorite stitches.  The more the merrier, and theres a whole world of cool stitches out there!
I have some birthday projects to wrap up this week, but Im looking forward to starting some pillow shams  soon. Let me know if youre interested in making this a knit-along itd be great to have some virtual knitting buddies!

22  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Scrappy II is nearly done! on: December 20, 2010 11:05:20 AM
Just a border to go, and this 72"x56" blanket is ready to give my niece for Christmas!


I started this a way to use up lots of little balls and partial skeins of blue and green yarn.  But it just kept growing until it completely covers the top of a full bed, above.  Rather than knit separate squares and piece them together, I picked up stitches from a completed square and knit from there.  Keeps sewing up (my least favorite thing!) to a minimum.


My niece, who has a really good eye, helped me a lot when I brought Scrappy home for the weekends.  She'd go thru the enormous bag of yarn I carted around with the blanket, and select one, then go thru the pattern books and choose a stitch.  It's a great way to experiment with new stitches without having to commit.  (She doesn't know she's getting the blanket, but last time I was home she spread it out on the floor and posed on it, to show me how well it sets off her blue eyes!)


And one last pic, because I had a lot of fun with this, and I'm (just a little) sorry to see it go!


Thanks for looking!
23  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Barrel full o' [sock] monkey [hats]..... on: December 30, 2009 12:04:56 PM
These are the final three of a ton of sock monkey hats I made for friends (and strangers!) for the holidays.  It seemed every time I was just finishing one, someone else would come up and insist they had to have one.  Or two.

Super fun pattern from Knitty.com

24  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / My first Fair Isle element on: December 29, 2009 01:27:42 PM
I tried my first Fair Isle elements in two Christmas hats, and I think they turned out rather nicely.  I simply took an element from a Fair isle pattern in a book of sweaters, then created a watch cap, and then a ear flap/gnome hat around it.

I really like them!




25  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Baby jester hat on: November 12, 2009 11:12:27 AM
Several friends and I are working on hats as a charity project this fall.  We're taking some to a homeless shelter, some to a cancer hospital, and some to an outfit that helps parents with newborns.  It's a nice project in that we all have an excuse to get together for a few hours every other week, and because the scope of the project is so wide, we have an excuse to try all sorts of things.

I've looked at this Bernat Baby Jacquard yarn for some time, and final bought it, to make this hat from the pattern on the label:


I'm rather pleased with it!

We're up to about 35 hats, to be delivered right after Thanksgiving.  Here's some of my other contributions for November:



26  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Sock Monkey hat on: October 28, 2009 11:08:48 AM
Got a commision from a co-worker to make her a sock monkey hat, to complete her mother-son sock monkey Halloween ensemble.  She'd found the pattern on Knitty, so all I had to do was crank it out -- which took a fraction of a weekend!

Unfortunately, I hadn't paid attention to the yarn called for, and of course, didn't bother with a gauge swatch -- so I produced a lovely little hat that was just a little too big for her 5 month old son!

Tried it again with doubled yarn, and it turned out wonderfully!




(I also made her a knitted tube of a tail she can pin to her jeans or the rest of the costume if she gets it done.)

She had thought to hold onto the smaller version for the end of the winter, but it got scooped up when her mother did the babies wash -- and now might fit a large doll!


A co-worker agreed to make a pledge to the public radio station if I'd make him a sock monkey hat.  Then a college friend in town for a reunion saw it and *she* wants one.  And another one wants *two* -- one for her son and one for his best friend

Looks like I'm going to be the socke monkey hat queen this season!

(Can't seem to get the pictures to show up -- any suggestions?
Tried Flickr, then ravelry, now flickr again -- okay, finally uploaded to Crafsdter!)
27  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / "Tailgater's" bedside rug on: August 03, 2009 10:48:02 AM
From the Mason-Dixon ladies, a "tailgater" rug of cotton yarn and calico.


I took a yard and a half of white figured blue calico, cut it into 1" strips, then cut a slit in either end of the strips and looped them together.  Folded the fabric in half, to make a 1/2" 'yarn' and wound it into a ball.  (man, is that sucker hefty!)  Used a double strand of natural cotton yarn, and started each off the three segments with the log cabin pattern.  Sewed the segments together, and am in the proccess of knitting 3 rows of fabric all around the edges.



I didn't realize until I was well into the project that the pattern called for a double strand of "double worsted weight" cotton yarn -- 12ply instead of the standard 4 ply I was using.  (I don't think I've ever seen double worsted weight cotton yarn in the stores.)  It makes a difference --  the rag stripes feel much thicker underfoot than the cotton portions.

But it does make a nice little bedside rug -- I made it as a present to myself, moving into my first house.  I especially like the geometric patterns of the segments -- very nice!



Just wanted to share -- I had all my knitting stuff packed up for nearly a month, and it's nice to have projects out again!
28  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / L'il Scrappy and Son of L'il Scrappy on: June 30, 2009 12:22:51 PM
Altho' I've been on a looong hiatus from Craftster, I've been busy crafting away, and I wanted to share one of my favorite projects I completed this winter spring. (I don't think I ever posted it here, but if it's a duplication -- pardonez-moi.)

This winter, thanks to the Mason Dixon book, I learned how to pick up stitches.  Since I usually make little swatches to test out new stitches and techniques (which then become useless!) I thought I could combine the two steps, and knit a 'patchwork' baby blanket from scratch.  And so was born:  L'il Scrappy!


I started by knitting and binding off one square, tthen picking up stitches in another color along one side, and knitting another square.  (Altho' not all of the squares, were square.)


I'm still not very good about coordinating colors, so I bought four skeins to start the project, so I could make sure they went together.  The original skeins were blue, green, blue-green-white varigated and coral-green-white varigated.  I quickly discovered four colors wasn't really enough, but it was easy to use up other scraps in the same weight yarn.


I knit the edges in the four main colors, and it turned into a quite nice, 30"x32" blanket.  But I was left with a lot of the four main colors.  So, in the same scrappy vein, I used the Lynn Barr's Meandering Stripes pattern, and produced -- Son of L'il Scrappy!


A lot of ends to weave in, but I'm pretty pleased with the results -- all 11 feet of it! (Pardon tthe cat butt in the corner!)


Amazingly, I still have a little of the yarn left.  turning to smaller and smaller projects, I think beer cozies for mice are probably next....

Just wanted to share!
29  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Kingfisher scarf on: April 20, 2009 01:27:21 PM
I was very impressed with aliastriona's Magpie scarf, and EmilyFlew's Bowerbird scarf.  So impressed, I decided to make my own, kingfisher-inspired scarf.

Unfortunately, I realized that design is not my strength!  I clearly envisioned the rust sash on white -- but the rest of it was not so well planned.

But it was fun.  I cast on 300 stitches, aand the end product is 10 inches by 8 feet.  It's incredibly warm and unmistakeably mine -- my new favorite ugly scarf!


30  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / How to finish this baby blanket? on: April 20, 2009 01:09:44 PM
Let me introduce my recent portable patchwork knitting therapy project -- L'il Scrappy...


I did a Mason Dixon Log Cabin blanket and became enamoured of picking up stitches, so I started this as a way to experiment with different colors, patterns etc.  It's been a nice counterpoint to some of the more complex, more time consuming projects I've got going, and now that it is a 30" sqaure, I'm rather pleased with the way it looks.

I think I will turn it into a baby blanket, but I'm not sure how to finish it off.  The patches do not make perfectly straight edges (the stockinette rolls up, some of the ribs and cables shrink in, etc)  and it's a little poofy and pouchy in places.  Since it's acrylic yarn, blocking won't help.  Here's some of the options I thought of that could help.

Knit edges -- pick up along the sides, and knit mitered corners.
     knit all sides in one color?
     knit each side in a different solid color?
     knit two sides in the blue/green varigated color, and two sides in the coral/green?

Line the blanket? (I couldd tack the corners of the patches to the lining, to help keep it trim)
     wrap the lining over the edge of the blanket, to edge it?

I'm half tempted to keep making it bigger, and eventually making it something for me -- but I like to finish projects in this lifetime, as well!

Appreciate any suggestions!
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