Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Baby it's HOT outside! You need to keep Cool with a Cool Wrap.  Here's how you can make them  up in two sizes, to keep you COOL in this hot weather.

Materials:  Cotton/blend fabric; Gelseeds or Waterbabies (Michaels has them in a jar); A sewing machine, or a hand sewing needle and thread and a little time. A string or piece of yarn 6" (15cm) longer than the piece of fabric you are useing
.
How to:
1.   Cut a piece of fabric 4" ( 10cm) wide and 24"(60cm) long,  for the smaller, child or small size and for the larger, adult version, cut the fabric 4'(10cm) wide and 36" (90cm) long
.
2.  Place the string in the middle of the fabric, while it is showing the right side (the side you will see when you wear it) lengthwise with about 1" extending from one end (which will be the first end you will sew)  Fold the fabric in half lengthwise, right sides facing.

3. Sew a narrow seam up the length of the fabric, joining the 2 sides, so you now have a tube.

4. Sew up the end that has the smallest piece of the string hanging out.

5. Pull on the the longer piece that is showing at the open end. This will help to turn the tube to the fabric's  right side. Cut off the string close to the sewn end.

6.  Sew a line about 6"/ 15cm(small size) or 9"/22cm (large size) from the sewn end

8.  And now the fun part, filling the fabric tube with the Waterbabies.  Fill the tube about 1/2 of the way with the hydrated babies, or 1/4 of the way with dried out babies.

9.  Sew up the open end, first turning in the raw edges.

10. Making sure the babies are out of the way toward the first end, sew a line about 6"/15cm or 9"/22cm down from the just sewn end.

TAAA DAAA!!!  You now can put the finished tube into a bowl of water to moisten the fabric and the babies if they are dried out. Then wear it and be a Cool Dude!
Care of the Wrap.    It will get dirty and maybe a little stinky from your sweat or the dirt in the air, so after a few wearings, place it in a sink with warm water and dish soap and  gently swish until it is clean.  Then rinse in warm water and gently pat on a towel to dry the excess water. Let it dry until you need it again, when you will soak it in cool water to rehydrate it.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

TURTLE-NECKED CABLED PONCHO

                      
Hello, here I am again with another Cable pattern.  You may use this pattern to your heart's content, just don't sell the pattern as it is free to use.  If you want to give me credit for the pattern that would be very ethical of you.
As to the  colourway, my daughter, for whom this was knit, for Christmas 2016, chose this one.  It would look good in any colour you choose.  I would suggest a solid or slightly variegated yarn.
It is basically a small blanket  with an opening for the neck in the middle. Also, you could make it in Two Pieces and leave an opening for the neck, picking up stitches and knitting the neck as you choose.  I made up the pattern to include a simple cable to add interest and a 'Slimming Effect'.

 Determining Overall Size:Measure how wide you want the poncho to be.  My daughter wanted it to go just a little below her elbows, so  for her, the Poncho is 30" wide.  She wanted the length of it to go  just below her bottom so for her 24" long.  Using the gauge below,  of 3 sts = 1", 72 stitches equals 24". I strongly suggest knitting up a 6" x 6" square first, to determine your gauge.  Measure a 4" square inside the 6".  You will then know what your personal gauge is and perhaps go up or down a needle size. If you want it wider to cover more of your arms you have to add stitches and I would suggest making the Garter Stitch Edges wider, which would be the easiest. So, if you want it to be, for example, 28' wide you must add 4' which would mean adding 6 stitches to each edge. The Edge stitch count would then be 8 plus 6 for a total of 14 stitches.
Measure how long you want the front to be from your neck bone.  The back is measured the same.  Measure how wide your shoulders are on top.  This last measurement will determine how many rows you knit for the neck/head opening.  I did 10 rows.

  What you need: Yarn: I used Charisma Big, which is a Loops and Thread yarn by Michaels. It is a Bulky #5 yarn.  I used 4 skeins and that left me with a small ball.  If you want to make accessories, to go with the poncho buy an extra, so buy 5.  If you don't use it you can return it.
 Needles:  Size 9mm/US13 24 or 36" cable for the main body.   Size 9mm/US13 16" cable  for the turtleneck. or crew neck.
Gauge:   12sts X 18rows  =  4" X 4"
OptionalSix Large Decorative Buttons - 3 for each side
 
Pattern:
 Abbreviations:  K= Knit   P= Purl   Sts.= Stitches  RS =Right Side   WS= Wrong Side  Sl=  Slip
Please Note The  first 8 and last 8 stitches of every row are Knit. This the Garter Stitch Edge
To Start, Loosely Cast on  72 sts.
Begin the Rib pattern Knitting in K2 P 2 for 10 Rows as follows:.
Row 1:   RS: Sl 1st;  K 7;  K2;  P2; to last 8 sts.  K8.
Row  2: WS: Sl 1st;  K7;  K2;  P2;  to last 8 sts.  K8
Rows 3 to 10:  As previous Rows 1 and 2 and you will end on a Wrong Side.

Now you will start the Main Pattern, which is an 10 row pattern for the Cables
 Row 1: RS- Sl 1st;K7; K4; P4; K3; P2; K3; P4; K20;(this is the center panel)P4; K3; P2; K3; P4; K4; K8
Row 2: (WS) Sl 1st;K7; P4; K4; P3; K2; P3; K4; P20; K4; P3; K2; P3; K4; P4; K8
Rows 3 to 8:  As Rows 1 and 2
Row 9: (RS) S1; K7; K4; P4; Now you place the next 4 sts on a stitch holder or cable pin.  Hold those 4 sts in front of your work.  K next 4 sts. Now k the 4 sts from the stitch holder/cable pin. Your first cable is done.  P4; K20; P4; Place the next 4sts on a stitch holder/pin.  Hold sts in front, K next 4sts.
P4; K4; K8
Row 10: (WS) Sl 1st; K7; P4; K4; P8; K4; P20; K4; P8; K4; P4; K8
The next row will be the Right Side of your work. Repeat Rows 1 to 10 until you have the length you want for the front, ending on a Wrong Side row.
Making an opening for the Neck:  Determine the center stitch of your work. Counting that stitch as 1, count back for a total of 6 stitches.  Mark the next stitch as the end of the next row you will be knitting.  You are on the Right side of your work and maintaining the pattern, knit to that stitch marker.  Now using cable pin or a smaller cabled needle, place the next 12 stitches on that holder.  These will be picked up when you are knitting up the neck after the main body of the poncho is done.  Now you will attach another skein of yarn to the live stitch on your needle.  Knit the pattern as before to match the other half of your work.  You will continue to knit the pattern still using the same set of cabled needles, using two separate skeins of yarn for a total of 10 (or 12 rows if you want a larger neck opening), ending on a wrong side row.
 Finishing the Neck Opening:  Now on the next right side row you are going to keep to the pattern and knit to the last stitch.  Using  whatever Cast on Method you favour , cast on 12 stitches and with the same skein, continue to knit the stitches from the other side of your work (the rest of the stitches)  to the end of the row. You should now have the same number of stitches you were working with before.  My best advice is to Count the stitches to make sure you have the correct number of stitches on your needle.  
The Rest of the Poncho:  Continue knitting in pattern until the back is the same length as the front less the length of the ribbing on the front part, ending on a right side row.  Now you will do the Ribbing until it is the same length as the front ribbing.  Cast off Loosely in all knit stitch.
Neck of Poncho: You may decide to make a Crew Neck, Cowl Neck (which  is deeper in length and may need more stitches) instead of a Turtle, but the pick up and knit of the held stitches and added stitches are just the same.
Method: Use a shorter length cabled set of needles to pick up the 12 stitches from the cable pin. You may want to go up a needle size for more ease. Your total stitch count will be 42 stitches ( or 46 if you want more ease or drape if you want a Cowl Look) Now pick up and knit 10 (12) stitches on the side,  12 Sts. on the back, 10 (12) sts on the other side. Joining the row, and placing a marker to let you know the beginning/ending of your rows,  Knit 2 Purl 2 all around until you have the length/depth of neck you wish.  Cast off very Loosely - very important, or you will have a Pinched Look.
Embellishments:  You may want to use Large Buttons, Pompoms, Snaps or Bows of braided yarn. If you go for Pompoms, you may want to put a couple on the end of a braided/knit length of yarn and sew the braided yarn in a bow motif at the neck. Go crazy....it's your creation.   I used 6 Large Leather-Look Buttons because that is what the recipient desired.
Accessories: There are Toques, Beanies, Mittens, Leg Warmers, Arm Warmer Fingerless Gloves, you can work up with or without cables in the same yarn for a co-ordinated ensemble.
So, that is the pattern I made up.  If you find any errors, or you have questions, please let me know, in the comments section of this blog. Happy Knitting my friends. 





Friday, July 1, 2016

Play Yarn Chicken No More!! At Least when you Bind Off

 I am soooo happy to have found this excellent knitting hack!  It is easy to understand and implement.  Sometimes you need just one more row in your pattern and there just isn't enough yarn, so with this type of Bind Off, you get that "bind off with good behaviour"....no more epithets, no more pulling of hair, grinding of teeth!

Sapphires-n-Purls: A Knitting Blog: Yarnless Bind Off:

Another hint to add to this is, if you know that you are going to use this excellent bindoff, and you need a stretchy edge, I recommend that you knit that next to last row on larger needles to get more ease in the YBO.  This has 'saved' my sanity, for sure!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

BRAIN DEAD ZOMBIE SHAWL..to be worn while watching Walking DeadπŸ˜†

Hello.! This latest knit is one that I have worked on for much longer than it should have taken.  Here's why....even if you don't care to know, because in the explanation lies a Cautionary Tale!!!! OOOH SCAREEEY STUFFF!  This shawl starts very small and through Yarn Overs gets bigger and bigger, so there are many stitches on your needles.  I use cabled or circular needles by the way.  (Deep breath here) Anyway....about halfway through the shawl, I noticed that several rows down, there was a strange looking stitch.  Checked it and....I realized that I had knit the same stitches twice in one row.  How does that happen you wonder.  Well you put down your knitting somewhere near the middle of a row, go back to it and without thinking, start knitting back on the same row.  So, I had to unravel a few inches and many, many stitches to get back to the row I had goofed on and fix it.  One would think, "Well, I will be more careful about not doing that again." Uhhh, no!  Did it TWO more times!!!! After the THIRD fix (taking out a Zillion stitches) I said to myself "Whaaat! Were you Brain Dead the second and third times?"  So, I named it Brain Dead Zombie Shawl, and shortened it to Zombie Shawl.  Do you see the Rainbow?  Now You Know!  Feel free to rename it to something pretty if you desire.😊😘
 ....................................................................................................
::Please read the pattern all the way through to get an understanding and overview of what you will be doing.::
You may use any yarn you choose and the appropriate size needle to get the guage you want.  For this Shawl I chose Red Heart Super Saver yarn, Aspen Print colourway.   Needle size, 5 mm.I recommend a cabled or round needle as you will have many stitches and the work gets heavy as you increase the size of your work.  You could use a bigger size to have a more loose knit, or a smaller size for a tighter look.  I suggest doing a 4" swatch to see how you like the guage for the needle you choose.
Pattern: Verrry simple..
A Prologue first:  It is a version of the Granny's Dishcloth, but you only need to make it into a Triangle.  Easy, peasy!  The difference in this pattern is that when you get to one stitch before the middle stitch, you do a Yarn Over, knit the middle stitch, Yarn Over, this increases the stitch count and gives the shawl 'Wings' or a little more ease when it is worn.  Also I highly recommend stitch markers for when you get to that middle area.  So, one marker before and after that middle stitch.
The Open Lacey 'Holes' in the 'Fancy' Version are done by a Yarn Over Knit 2 together Combo. Yarn Over Combos in this shawl are  implemented by Slip, Knit, lift slipped stitch over the knit stitch, then a Yarn Over.  This gives a Left leaning decrease.  For the Right leaning decrease Knit 2 stitches together knit ways, then a Yarn Over. If  you prefer a Plain, but still attractive version, just keep doing the Yarn over after the first 2 stitches, Yarn Over before and after the Middle stitch and a Yarn Over before the last 2 stitches.
Abbreviations:  SM=Stitch Marker  Sts=Stitches  K=Knit  P=Purl  YO=Yarn Over  K2tog=Knit 2 together(left leaning decrease)  SKTog= Slip a stitch, Knit the next stitch, put the slip stitch over the knit st, (right leaning decrease)
Ready, Set....Start knitting....Cast on 3 stitches.  Knit those 3 stitches.
Row 1: (Right Side): K 1 stitch, YO, K 1, YO, K 1.  You now have 5 stitches on your needles.
Row 2: (Wrong Side): K1 Purl to Last Stitch K1
Row 3: K 2,  YO, K1, YO, K 2. (7 sts on needle)
Row 4: K 2, P to last 2 sts, K2
Row 5: K 2, YO, K1, YO. place a SM, K 1, place the second SM, YO,  K1,YO, K2
Row 6: K2, P to last 2sts,( move the SM as you come to them) K2.
Row 7: K2, YO, K to 1st SM. move the SM onto the Right Needle, YO, K1 (this is your middle stitch) YO, move SM right needle. Knit to the last 2 sts. YO, K2.
Row 8: K2, P all stitches (moving marker from left to right needle) to the last 2sts, K2.
Now let's take a breath and see what we have done so far.
We have a Yarn Over after the first 2 Stitches and before the last 2 stitches on the Right Side of our Shawl.  We have a YO before and after the Middle Stitch.  We have, on the wrong side, Knit the first  and last 2 stitches. We have purled the rest in between.
You may continue in this manner until the shawl is large enough to suit you and then for the last 3 rows of your work you will do this:
Knit 2, YO, K2tog,YO, K2tog to the middle stitch,(taking off the SMs before and after)which may be included in the K2tog, depending on how many stitches you have on the needles.  For the rest of the stitches you will do YO, SKTog to the last 2 sts, K2.
Next Row:  K2, P to the last 2sts. K2
Last Row is Binding Off.  I suggest a loose bind off using a Larger size Needle, even 2 sizes larger, so that you get a 'stretchy' last row. If you have a favourite loose-type bind off, go ahead and do that.
.......................................................................................................
The above was the simple, solid shawl that is good to go.  If you want to be Fancy, then  Knit/Purl, Yarn Overs, before and after Middle Stitch, as the pattern above instructs, for several rows or a few inches from the cast on, and do a Knit 2 together, Yarn Over repeating to the middle stitch, with a YO before and after middle stitch, then do the Slip, Knit, Pass slipped stitch over, thenYarn Over repeating to the last 2 Stiches, K2. Maintain the YO after the first 2sts. and before the last 2 sts.  Then as before on the wrong side, K2. Purl to last 2, K2. Knit a few more inches and on the right side, do the same YO, K2tog ,etc as explained in the preceeding sentence.
When you are all done, weave in any ends, wash according to the label and block.
There you are! A Beautuful Shawl that you can name anything that suits your Fancy!  I have knit this shawl in finer yarn and larger needles to get a light, airy summer shawl, with or without the extra Yarn Overs in the body.  You can add beads as you knit or sew them on after.  You can add sequins as you knit or sew them on after.  You can add a Tassel at the bottom point and even at the two points at the top of the shawl ...use your imagination and Have Fun!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Tower of Cowl

Yes, another cowl. A Tower of a Cowl.  Very easy and satisfying  to knit up.  This is outta mine own talented (lol) head. It's Reversible, Foldable, and Affordable!

What you need: 1 skein  4 ply yarn in a colour and type you like.

Needles   Size 6   24" Cable Needles or set of size 6 straights.

Pattern:  Using Cables Needles, cast on 61 stitches. Place a marker at the last cast on stitch.  Then, making sure that the stitches are not twisted, knit into the first stitch you cast on. If you are using straight needles, you do not need a stitch marker.  Purl the next st., K1, P1, to the marker or if using straights to the end of the row.  This is the end of your first row. Move the marker to the right needle, if using cabled needles.   For the next row, look at the previous row of stitches, you now want to put a purl stitch over the previous row knit stitch and a knit stitch over the previous purl stitch.
What you are doing is called Seed Stitch. Look at the picture above to see how this looks.  Do this for 50 rows, or more if you want to have a deeper cowl that you could pull up to cover your head as well as your neck.  Cast off loosely knitting every stitch. If you have used straight needles, now you will join the sides to make the circle.
Now, how easy was that!!!!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Knit Picky


Got a few 'irons' in the fire, so knitting has been on the back burner.  Ha!  References to heat are appropriate as the weather here  has heated up quite a bit in the last week.  So, I will be posting soon, just have to finish the latest item.  It's a shawl and very easy to work up.

Not Knitting

Here is an item that is not knit by me. It was sewn by me.  It's a cooler for your neck or head when the weather is unbearably hot.  I made it because I couldn't find the one I bought many years ago on a trip to New Brunswick, and, being really desparate to cool off, I decided to make a new one.  It's a cotton tube partialy filled with a product called "Water Babies".  The 'Babies' are capsules that swell up in water, so they expand  in the cotton tube and hold the cold.  It was a lifesaver and kept me from keeling over while outside and even inside it made me so much more comfortable while the AC kicked in.