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Showing posts from 2009

Challenge Square No. 10: Trinity Stitch

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Needles: US 8 Yarn: Caron Simply Soft Eco in natural Finished Dimensions: 8" x 8" I had to do some research on how exactly to do a k1, p1, k1 in the same stitch. I googled "trinity stitch" and I got lots of results. The stitch can also be called the cluster st or the bramble stitch, it seems pretty popular based on all the search results. It's called the trinity stitch because it puts three stitches in one. So after watching a youtube video, I got the hang of how to do it. It was pretty easy once I got the hang of it. With the first cast-on and a few rows of the stitch, I realized this shrinks up quite a bit so I had to do a little gauge to get the right size square and had to cast on 12 more stitches. One of the neatest parts of the pattern is that on the reverse side, it is completely flat (who would have thought). The hardest part about this stitch is on the reverse side doing a P3tog. I found it hard to get my needle under three strands of yarn. But

Sad News

I have some sad news. Not enough kids signed up for the knitting class, so the classes were canceled. Sad face... I had gotten so psyched up about it too. It's too bad there wasn't enough interest. I would have still done it for one kid, but the school decided it wasn't worth it. So now I have tons of yarn split into kits ready to be made into bears and squares and no one to knit them. If anyone knows of a school that would like to have an enrichment class, let me know! I'm all ready and waiting. I may end up making a few phone calls to offer leading a class at some local elementary or middle schools. My mother suggested contacting a brownie or girl scout group to see if they would like a class like that. All good ideas. Maybe something will come  up because I'd still love to make the bears and a blanket to give to charity. If anything, the class will be given another go in January, so hopefully more kids will be interested by then.

Challenge Square No. 9: Expanded Basket Weave

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Needles: US 8 Yarn: Caron Simply Soft Eco in Natural Finished Dimensions: 6.25" x 7.25" This pattern was super simple - I knit it up during the Bengals game. I did manage to make a few mistakes that I had to go back and fix, but got it taken care of (and so did my Bengals! I'm so proud). I know the dimensions seem strange but this thing stretches so much. This is a testament to ribbing and the amount of stretch you can get with it. This pattern is a good alternative to traditional basket weave (which I really like, I used it in a smaller pattern for a man's scarf and it looks sharp). It could be used in place of basket weave or on a garment that you may want a little stretch. I actually saw in a recent knitting magazine a sweater with this expanded basket weave in the yoke. It looked really cute and I was so excited to see a pattern that I've done in use in a current knitting magazine. I also think this would be a great pattern for any mens clothing, either a sw

Bears 'n' Squares

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My aunt was kind enough to inform me that the school that my little cousin attends had been looking for someone to lead a knitting class in the afternoon as part of their enrichment program. I wasn't so sure about committing to the job (it lasts 8 weeks) since I want to be available for any job possibility that might come up. But after some thought, I decided that this is something I really want to do, and IF I were to get a job offer, the company would just need to be flexible with my start date (and same would go for the school). I really did not want to deny these children the opportunity to have more exposure to knitting just because I may or may not get a full time job. I took the job! so every Thursday from now until Christmas I will be leading grade school children in a knitting project, helping them learn the joys of knitting. I really couldn't be more excited. I was asked to pick a project for the kids to do, so here is what I came up with, bears and squares. I wanted

Confessions of a Knit-a-holic

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I have a confession to make. I have been working on several other projects than just the challenge squares. First project, a sock. I think you may remember the sock yarn I had purchased and attempted to wind up myself... I pulled it out the other day because I had an itching desire to not only learn how to knit socks, but to use that damn yarn. Many knitters rave about how fun socks are to knit, so I wanted to get in on the excitement. I will have to say, it is a lot of fun! It was hard to get used to the tiny yarn and tiny needles, but once I did I enjoyed working round and round and testing the sock on my own foot. I'm to the heel now and it is going to take a lot of concentration, so this will NOT be knitted today during the Bengals game where there will be lots of distractions. I also decided to knit only one sock at a time so I could focus on getting the technique down and not get tangled up in two balls of yarn and lots of needles flying around. Needles: US 1/ 2.50 mm Addi

Challenge Square No. 8: Fence Posts

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Needles: US 8 Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in greenfields Finished Dimensions: 8" x 8" I'm going to start off by saying I love this pattern! It's just simple knits and purls, and actually looks like a fence (imagine that). It's very similar to a hat pattern I've seen that looks like a beehive. It just doesn't have the vertical columns of knit stitches, it's only the two rows of purls, one row knit. So if you can picture that in your mind just in a hat shape so the rounds get smaller at the top, you can picture it looking like a beehive. It's a very cute hat, and I bet it would look cute with this pattern as well. I think this could work as a tea cozy as well (same concept as the hat) and maybe with mug warmers to match... oh and placemats with the knit columns on either end so it looks like a giant fence post. Yeah, this is definitely a pattern I will use again. I think the best part about it is that the right side contains most of the purl stitches

Challenge Square No. 7: Moss Stitch Zig-Zag

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Needles: US 8 Yarn: Caron Simply Soft Eco in greenfields Finished Dimensions: 8" x 8" Simple seed stitch in a zig-zag, this pattern is kinda fun! I really like the dark color yarn too, and I was afraid the pattern wouldn't show up as well, but you can see it just fine (maybe a little distance helps too). To be honest though I have no idea what else I might use this pattern for. Just something to replace st st with and give it a funky edge. You would just need to take a gauge, then adjust your pattern accordingly. For now, though, I like it just as a blanket square. 7 squares down, only 56 more to go.

Challenge Square No. 6: Squared Checks

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Needles: US 8 Yarn: Caron Simply Soft Eco in natural Finished Dimensions: 8.25" x 8.5" This square I ended up redoing after getting about halfway through because it was too small. This is because of the stretch from the ribbing in between the squares. I like this pattern, very simple, just knits and purls, and creates the fun little squares. Because I had to cast on 6 more stitches in order to get the pattern right for the second try, the dimensions are larger than the other squares. So I guess it's better to be on the larger end than the smaller end (the other squares can be blocked a little bit) and I won't be crocheting an edging on this square. It should be easy to sew to the adjacent squares. While thinking of what application this pattern might be good for, I think this might be great for a skirt! There is enough stretch to it, it could be form-fitting, and the squares give it a nice depth and fun pattern. I would probably pick a darker color though, maybe a

Challenge Square No. 5: Dragon Skin

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Needles: US 8 Yarn: Caron Simply Soft Eco in natural Finished Dimensions: 7.75" x 8" This pattern is gorgeous! The increases and decreases created curves in the pattern that look like scales, almost like a dragon's skin!! The pattern is very simple and looks elegant, especially in the off-white color. This pattern also caused a curve on the bottom, just like the herringbone, which I solved by crocheting an edge around the square. It worked out much better, though, and the dimensions are more reasonable. This may be great for a blanket or afghan. It could also be done on a cardigan sweater or twin set. Because of the M1 in between the panels of dragon skin, it created holes so it has a lace effect (probably adding to the elegant look). This is one of my favorite squares so far! I'll likely create a design for a sweater or blanket just so that I can use this pattern again. Only a few more simple squares left, then it's on to new techniques. So far, the knits, pea

Challenge Square No. 4: Herringbone

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Needles: US 8 Yarn: Caron Simply Soft Eco in woodland Finished Dimensions: 7.5" x 8.25" First thing, the dimensions are totally off on this square because the outcome of the pattern is unpredictable! The technique in this pattern is increasing or decreasing a stitch every 4 stitches, the rest is stockinette, and because of the increasing/decreasing in the same place, a slant occurs in the pattern. It looks neat when its done, the only thing I have had trouble with is the bottom edge. The increasing/decreasing at the beginning made curves at the bottom edge of the square (or was supposed to be a square). This was not shown in the picture of the pattern in the encyclopedia! It was deceiving by showing only the good part of the pattern, the middle, where you can see the ribbing and the slanted stitches. Not the curved bottom that is an important piece to the pattern! Well, isn't that how life goes, nothing is what it seems to be. To correct this, I tried to crochet an edg

Challenge Square No. 3: Diamond Brocade

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Needles: US 8 Yarn: Caron Simply Soft Eco in woodland Finished Dimensions: 8" x 7.75" Simple little diamonds out of pearl stitches, this pattern could be used on just about anything. The book suggests that this pattern can be done with about any geometric shape, but I think the diamonds are perfect. The dimensions were off a little on this one because it is a multiple of 8 sts + 1 and to be honest, I didn't want to do a wider square (trying to stay under a CO of 40 sts) because the simplicity is getting boring. Once again, it's easy to follow the pattern, but now I've started to get bored with the knits and purls... Don't get me wrong, I really like this pattern, but I think I have gotten the knit and purl stitches down and I need a little more excitement in my life. I'm ready for the challenging part of my challenge! Although, when I think about it, sticking to the boring stuff would be a challenge for me. I have always been flighty, not just when

Challenge Square No. 2: Stacked Blocks

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Needles: US 8 Yarn: Caron Simply Soft Eco in woodland Finished Dimensions: 8" x 8.25" While I was on vacation last week, I made great progress on the challenge. I completed the second square and second pattern in the knitting encyclopedia, stacked blocks, and it really does look like stacked blocks! It makes it look like 3D art and it looks the same on the front as it does on the back, something reversible (yay). The top of the block is a seed stitch and either side is stockinette stitch with one side knit and the other purl. The dimensions didn't quite come out right because the pattern is a multiple of 10 sts so I had to cast on 40 sts and it came out a little bit wider than 8" but that's okay, everything should still line up when I sew it together. I like the pattern, its something simple yet has a little edge to it. I can envision this on any number of baby items, like a nice baby blanket. This might also make an interesting scarf because it's the same

Challenge Square No. 1: Quilted Triangles

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Needles: US 8 Yarn: Caron Simply Soft Eco in woodland Finished Dimensions: 8" x 8" And the knitting challenge begins! I completed the first square of the afghan last night. I started with the first pattern in the Encyclopedia, the quilted triangles. Its a very simple pattern of knit and purl stitches that alternate to make triangles. Once the pattern is understood, it's easy to remember and know what comes next. It definitely forces you to pay attention to what you are doing since there is a new combination of knits and purls every row. I like how it turned out, but I'm not sure if I would use the pattern again in something else. Possibly a baby blanket because it gives it some texture and is simple and knits up fast, yet the blanket would be small enough you wouldn't get bored with the pattern and the triangles aren't too overwhelming. 1 square down, 62 to go.

Turning My Work

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I'm back from my travels out west and it was a lot of fun. The weather was nice and I absolutely love the mountains, so that was awesome to see. When we went to L.A. we cruised Hollywood Blvd. and saw the stars and the Chinese theater, put our hands and feet in some prints, felt like I was closer to the movie stars. As for my knitting, I didn't get quite as much done as I would have hoped. My flights all went very smoothly so I had hardly any time in the airports to even think about pulling my knitting out, and with my past experiences in airports, I'll take it as a great thing. Then when I was on the plane, I totally underestimated the amount of elbow room you get in those seats. none. I was scrunched in my seat usually next to a person who liked to take up his fair share of the arm rest and I had to forget about trying to manage my long needles. I did get a chance to knit some when I got to San Diego while I was sitting out by the pool. Ahh, it was nice. I would say I ad

Travel Knitting!

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Tomorrow I leave for San Diego to visit my boyfriend and I couldn't be more excited. Last time I saw him was for a couple days in Chicago about two weeks ago, and before that I hadn't seen him for about six weeks. We knew going into the summer that a long distance relationship would be hard, but no matter how much you prepare yourself mentally, you can't anticipate the heartache you go through. But we've made it this far and I still have faith that we can make it work, our situation has to get better at some point and I can't wait for that day! Since I will be gone for two weeks and spending extended hours alone on a plane and in airports, the travel knitting is coming along. I have been looking forward to getting back to this project and I have a feeling I'm going to be making a lot of progress the next two weeks. The best project for travel knitting is something relatively simple, but not so much so that you get bored with it, and the rows aren't too long

Me vs. the Yarn Swift

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Yesterday was hard on me mentally, definitely letting things get to my head and feeling a bit down. I think it was because I didn't knit so I couldn't comfort myself and feel productive. I did get a chance to wind up my new sock yarn. Since my mother has a ball winder and a wooden umbrella contraption to hold the big loop of wool, I figured I would go ahead and give it a shot. I've used the plastic ball winder before and have seen the wooden thing in use before, but I was having so much trouble with it. It was going alright for the most part, but the damn wood thing... I finally figured out how to get the thing to stay open with the yarn on it like an umbrella (slide up a wood piece that has a screw-in part to hold it in place) so then I thought the thing would spin as I cranked the ball winder - not so. Technically speaking, the fibers weren't strong enough to create the right torque to overcome the friction on the wooden contraption (I later found was called a wooden

Bentley (J.Crew Inspired) Sweater

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A few years back, I was shopping in J.Crew looking for fun summer clothing since school was out and I HAD to have new swimsuits and cover-ups for my many summer vacations. I did some browsing in the clearance section when I came across a cotton stripped sweater that had buttons along the raglan sleeve edging. I tried it on and I loved it! I liked the style of it unbuttoned leaving an asymmetric flap hanging down. After looking at the price tag, although it was on clearance, I still had to put it back. From that moment on, I wanted to have a sweater just like that for upcoming fall. I looked everywhere and could not find anything like it, so my mother suggested that I just knit one for myself. Perfect! Now to find a pattern … not so easy... We tried searching through all my mother’s old pattern books and magazines and the only thing close was a simple raglan sweater, but I wasn’t sure how to do the buttonhole closure so it was real (not just buttons sewed on along the sleeve). We made s

My Current Situation

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I know it has been a long time since I have posted anything but I plan to get back into the swing of it and post something new every week with updates on my current knitting projects and the knitting challenge. I am currently working on a sweater for myself, a nice fitted cardigan with a v-neck opening and long cuffs on the sleeves and k3 p3 ribbing along the edge. I found a nice wool-silk blend yarn that I absolutely love. It is a worsted weight and I'm working on size US 7 needles. I finished the back and the front and now am working on the sleeves. I plan to let you know my progress on the sweater along with the other projects I am working on and thoughts in the moment along the way. The purpose for the blog is to encourage other knitters out there to keep up the good work. I know that it can be stressful at times because it takes so much time to finish a project and usually, you want it finished so you can wear it NOW. Trust me, I have felt this way many a time before. My tip