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Archive for the ‘Knitting’ Category

It’s been a while since I blogged about something fun or about something not so serious. So, since I’m in the middle of a Christmas rush to fill orders (and get some more orders) I thought I’d post about knitting.  I blogged a while back when I was learning and it’s almost been a whole year.  I’ve learned so much and really enjoyed making things for people and now things to sell!  There’s always been a thrill of shopping for me and with all the colors and types of yarn, it’s totally enough to keep me on a shopping high without breaking the bank.  On top of that, I’ve been able to fund my Christmas shopping and start that already from making things for others!  If you don’t knit, and are interested in checking out what I have or ordering something in time for Christmas visit my album HERE and comment on what you want!

Today, I wanted to change it up a little and help out those that are looking for a fast pattern, or a scarf a day type thing.  It was so frustrating to read patterns when I first started and have no idea what it meant.  I saw the pretty scarf, I read the comments “so easy, it looks beautiful, took me less than a day” and thought, yeah, right – you lie.  With much google and youtube help I found some wonderful tutorials and great knitters that explain it all for you.  I’ll link to them at the end.  There were still very few truly easy patterns for things that look like you know what you’re doing when you haven’t figured it out yet…enter me, I’m here to help you through that awkward phase!

I’m going to use mixture of knit speak and normal speak (so if you don’t knit, you’ll understand) and I’m going to share a few VERY easy patterns that are my go to patterns.  I don’t even want to consider them patterns, they are basic stitches put together to make something very easy and pretty.  These are for when you have mastered garter stitch and want to make something less “stock” looking.  For a full listing of patterns I like and use, please check me out on Ravelry if you have an account there.  If not, and you knit or crochet – get one!  It’s the best place I’ve found to keep track of projects and stash.  If you are interested in knitting, or learning, or need help, leave a comment and I’ll get you started!

First up is a simple and fast thin ribbed scarf.  It is best for Bulky (THICK, think straw/lipliner size), or larger than what we consider “normal” yarn.  This would usually take me about 3 hours from start to finish and range in length from 5-7 feet. I usually use 1 skein (1 ball) of any yarn that has 70-120 yards and do the following:

  • Use size 11, 13 or 15 needles.  Usually the larger the yarn, the larger needle I use to allow loftiness
  • CO 12 (or 14)
  • 1st row: K1, P1 across the row (K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, P1)
  • 2nd row: P1, K1 across the row
  • Repeat until you have about 2 feet of yarn left and then BO
  • Weave in ends (or tie)
  • If you want fringe, I suggest you cut 24 pieces before you start…

Here is what your knitting will give you if you follow those directions! Notice it looks like stockinette stitch but does not roll on the edges since it is a K1, P1 rib.

Brown and pink scarf

THICK 12 stitch scarf!

Purple and Green

Ok, on to the next one!

Second and last for today I’m going to share my most popular scarf.  Both due to the yarn and the feel of the pattern it is knit in, it is my personal favorite and the one everyone picks up and says “ohhhh, I love this!”  It’s a tad more pattern-y than the first one.

The best yarn to use is anything “bumpy” and bulky.  My go to is Lion Brand Homespun or Michaels Loops and Threads Country Loom (and if anyone from corporate at these companies is reading, yes, you can send me a sample box of yarn…I will totally do a review of it!).  Ok, they are 185 and 104 yards each skein.  If you choose the Michaels you’ll need 2 skeins.  This took me 2-3 weeks at first to make one, and now I’ve got it down to less than a week if it’s the only thing I’m working on.  Let’s do it:

  • Use size 11, 13 or 15 needles (I have made a scarf with each size, they are equally soft and pretty, to me it doesn’t matter, I just use what needles are free at the time)
  • CO 20 (you can do more in sets of 2, but I’ve tried many combos and with the loft and pattern, 20 works best, trust me)
  • Now this is the (only) tricky part, Count out a pattern evenly, like this K2, P3, K2, P2, K 2, P2, K2, P3, K2 OR whatever one you want.  That is what I use, because it allows the ribs on the outside (P3) to help keep the scarf open, yet keeps the ribs uniform.  Regardless, I would stick with 2/3 sets of stitches or you will make it too big and not have enough ribs for it to look fluffy
  • Each time you flip, you will Knit the ones you just Purled, and Purl the ones you just Knit on the previous row.  (Check out the next paragraph for more help) This is also the “knit the knits and purl the purls” you hear very often.  It just means that what you see on your needle facing you now, is what you do this time, so if you see a purl (bump) facing you as your next stitch, then you will purl that stitch and if you see a knit (V) you will knit that stitch.
  • Do that until you have about 2 feet of yarn left and BO
  • Weave in ends (or tie)
  • Again, if you want fringe, you can cut those before starting…or if you feel lucky (and want to get really mad at yourself with 9 inches of yarn left and 7 fringes to make) then guesstimate how much yarn you will need for fringe and BO early

This is what this pattern has created!

My first scarf in this pattern…for me. Hate to say it, but yes, the bathroom has the best lighting in my house!

In Winter White (with LONG fringe)

In Lagoon

Fringe in Christmas Red

Closeup of ribs

Here is one I did with 3 ribs…I personally don’t like it, so I’m showing it so show the difference the count/pattern effects this yarn.

To clarify a few things that confused me at first here are a few tips.  Each time you turn your work (flip the part you just finished and switch needles) you will Knit the Knits, and Purl the Purls – which means, if you purled the last stitch of the previous row, it is now your first stitch of this new row, and it will be a knit on the opposite side.  If you want to know more, comment below and I’ll explain in more detail about Right Side (RS) and Wrong Side (WS).  Or you can check out the links to Knitted Oaks whose tutorials on her Youtube channel were and still are a lifesaver!  She has such a calm way of speaking and clearly explaining what you don’t think you understand.

Hope that helped someone!  As I said, if you need help, I love talking about knitting and teaching others about it, so leave a comment or find me on Ravelry!

~Mel

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I’m going to use these as topics when I’m clueless but want to write.  I’m talking to myself again.

Casting on the first stiches and 3 rows of knitting on my first night.

If you’re on my FB you’ve seen my knitting album.  For those that aren’t on my FB, I started knitting on Dec 11…I remember it because it was the night of my Daughter-in-law(to be)’s birthday.  My Mother-in-law was knitting as she always does – she claims it relaxes her and gets rid of her nervous energy, so she makes dishcloths and scarves.  Anywho, I’m a sucker for crafty things, and new things, and I used to watch my mom crochet (I can crochet a chain!), so I picked up MIL’s extra needles and a ball of yarn and sat next to her and she showed me a few stitches.

Now that I look back on my first sample it looks awful!  My MIL said I would be surprised how much I learned just by doing that first project and being able to look back and see what I did wrong.

Getting used to the knit stitch (4 hours in).

The first few hours of doing this was NOT relaxing, not fun and did not make me feel crafty.  It takes patience, math skills, and the ability to multitask to truly get into knitting.  After that first night, I got the main stitch down and now can do it while talking, watching a movie, or a number of other things.  It has become my FAVORITE hobby out of scrapbooking, making jewelry, sewing and every other crafty thing I like to do.

Knitting is cheap, easy, non-messy, can travel, and keep you entertained when you wish to be otherwise entertained from life.  I am an anxious person, so to keep my focus OFF of waiting, being anxious or something I don’t want to be doing, knitting is a lifesaver.

All good things…I stopped on my sample after one day and I felt I had the stitch down.

I’ve shown J, my daughter how to do it, and she picked it up immediately, so we now have a common thread. (HA!)  I also have knitted 3 scarves, learned how to make a ribbed pattern, I’m working on cables and studying hats and socks for my next projects.
So, to answer the question, I can stay busy by knitting.  Even when it’s not snowing.  When the snow comes Monday night, I’ll be knitting, just like I am every other night.

On a side note, knitting relaxes me immensely now that I can do it without thought…which makes me much more pleasant to be around – I think.  At least I feel more relaxed, we’ll have to ask Big Daddy what he thinks.

Here are some of the “finished products” now that I know what I’m doing.

Big Daddy’s unfinished “manly, soft black” scarf – ran out of yarn, must get more!

My first scarf, in garter stitch (basic) pattern. This took 1 week.

MY scarf, 3rd one, ribbed pattern, very soft, took a week (but I was sick and didn’t do it often).

It’s really long so I can wrap it!

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