Sunday, March 02, 2014

Snazzy yoga bag

I was asked by a coworker to knit her a new yoga bag.  She wanted one just like mine.  I knit a lace yoga bag a few years ago using a cotton yarn.  I used the yoga mat bag pattern  from Interweave Knit magazine Summer 2007.   I told my coworker if she bought the yarn and I would knit it.  She brought me two skeins of Red Heart Soft in teal and purple.   The yarn is lovely for an acrylic.   It's soft and shiny and easy to knit.  She wanted a striped bag.  I tried following the pattern but the lace didn't good striped so I improvised.   I gave her what she wanted a striped bag with a lace element.   I modified the tube and knit it in the round and followed a simple pattern.  Knit 3 rows in color A, knit 1 in color B, the lace eyelet row is a simple K2 YO to end, Knit 1 row in color 2.  The rest of the pattern follows exactly.   I like the results,  it reminds me of an 80s sweater and my coworker loved it.

Project details
Pattern:  Lacy Yoga Bags Interweave Summer 2007 by Alison Green here is my project on Ravelry.
Yarn: Red Heart Soft in Teal and Grape
Needles: 6,7,9
Modications: knit in the round,  changed body pattern

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Slip stitch watch cap (hat 5 of 100)

Slip sitches are wonderful things.  A few years ago slipped stitch wash clothes were all the rage and it's no wonder.  Slip stitches create ba wonderful dense fabric good for keeping you warm or sturdy for cleaning.  This pattern which comes from 60 Quick Knits from Cascade Yarns is called the Tweed watch cap.  It combines slip stitches with a right twist column used as a mock cable.  The pattern is designed ny Lynn M. Wilson.  It's a fun pattern but it's hard on the hands.  Something about twists really kills me.  The brim is my favorite part of the pattern. Mine flared out slightly like a bell, I like the way it cupped around almost like a cloche.  The hat is thick, somewhat rigid and very warm.

My hat is made of good old Red Heart Supersaver from the stash. I used a varigated for one color to add a splash.   It's called Fall.  I picked up a small ball it leftover from a baby blanket my mom crocheted.   I had a small issue with my twist column lining upbut by the time I noticed I decided not to frog the hat is for me so I didn't mind.

Overall the pattern is well written, easy to follow,  and varied enough to keep a seasoned knitter happy.  I would reknit this pattern.  If you knit this one watch your twist the fist couple of rounds and try it with bold contrasting colors it's a fun hat, the color possibilities are endles.

Project details:
Pattern: Tweed watch cap from the book 60 Quick Knits (ravelry)
Needles: 7s circulars and double points
Yarn: Red Heart Supersaver from the stash in Fall, Coffee,  and Buff
What I liked: interesting pattern , slip stitches are fun, density of the fabric,  the brim pattern, color choices.
Keep in mind the twists need to be watched closely during set up.
My project on Ravelry

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Othmerelia

Check out this pretty cool tumblr blog that my coworkers and I are doing. It's all about the things that we as librarians find in the library collections that we work in.  If you're interested in books, libraries, or really cool scientific things then  check us out. A quick disclaimer there probably won't be any knitting but I will try to sneak something in.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Imzir Hat (4 of 100)

The Imzir hat is done!  This interesting pattern was designed by Shana
Schasteen who blogs as Needyl.  The pattern is a free pattern that can be found on her blog. The Hat looks simple but the construction is what makes it unique. This hat is a top-down beanie knitted in fingering weight yarn with a purl ridge band that is sewn to create what looks like a butterfly to me. This with my first time trying a top-down hat and despite the difficulties I had starting out with a small number of stitches on double points and the difficulty and doing M1s I think the Hat turned out beautifully.
I have to say even though I like the hat I don't like down construction for hats. I can't tell if it is the fact that I hate to do M1s on double points or I just don't like the way they look in the crown.   I prefer to do my hats bottom up. I think that this hat could been made that way but I followed the pattern.  Top down just isn't fun. I really like the yarn I used it was a was a custom dyed Merino fingering weight yarn that I got in a swap a few years ago. If I remember correctly I think it is Knitpicks natural that was dyed a deep Sapphire blue which has slight variations in it.
After blocking that looks a little larger but it doesn't affect the fit of the hat.  I would recommend this pattern to someone wanted to try to top down construction and was confident in their M1s.  Overall the pattern is well written and the results are beautiful.

Project details:
Pattern: Imzir found here and on Ravelry
Needles:  6 double points and 16 inch circulars
Yarn: Knitpicks bare merino and silk dyed blue
What I learned: Top down construction on double points is not for me.
My project: Imzir Hat

Monday, January 20, 2014

The perfect knitter's gift.

My friend Linda gave me the most wonderful row counter last week.  I was complaining about how I constantly losing my stitch counters and how you can't keep them on the needles when working in the round.  She reached in her bag and pulled out this gadget.  It's a digital row counter that you wear on your finger!  Hit the big button and it counts the rows, hit the small button to reset.  It even keeps the count when it's asleep.   It comes in my favorite color teal and it's easy to get used to using.  Get one for only $4.95 from the Knitter's Helper.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

52 weeks of dishcloths

I just got this in my email today and I have to share because it's super cool and you get free patterns . Knitpicks is offering a free dish cloth pattern every Thursday for the entire year. You can find out more about it by clicking here and go crazy making yourself shit load of dishcloths this year.  They are great as purse projects and with some nice soap make a great gift.  this picture is for the first pattern of the year call this orbital dishcloth I got it from the Knitpicks blog.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tools of the trade -- Stitch markers

I'm a little picky when it comes to my tools for knitting,  my yarn choices not so much.  In the beginning of the year after digging in my supply stash for a stitch marker I came across some handmade stitch markers I got in a swap a few years ago.  I had never used them and since my goal is to buy less I decided to use them.  So I got them out for the Imzir hat project.  After a few frustrating rounds I got so agitated by them I frogged.   The metal markers snagged the yarn, twisted around to the back, made a racket on my metal needles, and made it hard for me to tell the start of the round.  Truthfully I think they were poorly crafted but it made me realize that when it comes to my knitting I like what I like, and what I like are flexible rubber stich markers.

Flexible stitch markers really are the best choice in my opinion.   They are standard sized, come in neutral colors, are pretty inexpensive and the never damage your work.  I have been using them for years and I love them.  A few good ones are from Clover or Knitpicks.  You can also buy O rings from your local hardware or big box in the plumbing section.  I buy #41 as the larger size and #6 for the small.  They are pretty cheap but you only get black.  I have a few remaining Knitpicks in white that I always save for the start of the round. 

For double points I use an open crochet marker to mark the start or a jumbo locking stitch markers.  These I got from Lion brand and  Susan Bates.  The rings that open are great for when you forget to add a  marker or for frogging back, Boye makes some nice ones.  I like the round ones and not the ones shaped like safety pins.  They move on the needles easier.  The open crochet markers can be used as cable needles or to hold stitches for mittens or small projects. 

Ultimately stitch markers are a personal preference some rogue knitters don't even use them and some knitters use whatever they have around like bread ties, pieces of string, or paper clips   I've been known to use all of those depending on the circumstances it's kind of like being in mcgyver knitter.  Here's a snap of my stitch marker tin I keep in my knitting tool kit.