Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Nordic Knitting-Take me away!!!

This past year has been very busy for me, with taking care of elderly parent in another state.  However, with that said, my knitting has kept me sane.  I really became fascinated with with the idea of working with colors when I saw a picture of a beautiful Ski sweater on the cover of an old knitting magazine.  So what did I pick for my first project?  You guessed it, the Norwegian Olympic Team sweater. Here are some pictures of the results- and did I learn a lot about "floats."  This sweater was made of Heilo Norwegian wool, sports weight.

You will note that this sleeve is on my "Magic loop."  I don't think I have used a straight needle since I discovered this method.      

On the bottom of the sleeve I used the weaving method of changing colors. To keep the gauge uniform I switched to a size large needle than the pattern called for, but even with that change I still had to drag the stitches back toward the right with my index finger to keep the gauge even.  I discovered it just take a willingness to practice.

On the right is a picture of the main part of the sweater. I took it out three times before I was satisfied with it. After coming across an article that encouraged you to not worry about the floats, as they could be tacked down later,  I tired it.  With a little practice, I found that the design was much cleaner.  When I finished I simply divided my yarn into single ply threads and tacked down the long floats, then wove in the ends. It worked beautifully, and the gauge was even.  I used regular steeks for the sleeve openings, and wrapped steeks for the neckline.  What a neat way to put a sweater together.  The only thing I would add to the process is about four regular steek stitches each side of the neck opening before a I made the wrapped steek for the span. It would secure the neck edge stitches a bit more, making it easier to handle.  When I do the next one I will take some pictures of the process.


Here is a picture of my son wearing his new ski sweater. He loves it   It's a little fuzzy, but you get the idea.

If I did it again, I would go to figuring weight yarn,(Palette, from Knit Picks) and use #2 needles, which would make it a bit lighter.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Free Knitting Caddy Pattern and Instructions

Just finished my new tutorial on how to make a great knitting caddy, so I thought I would share it.

This caddy is designed with many options, and allows you to customize it to suit your needs. It fits over a standard 5 gallon plastic bucket.

It is a great gift to make for a friends who knit or crochet. It is also a great Bazzar item.

You can download the pattern here.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Free Stranded Knitting Bag for Fair Isle Knitters

The design for this bag came about the first day I began a Dale of Norway Ski sweater for my son. Picture it! One ball of yarn dangling off the right side of my lap, the other off the left side, and the phone rings. I leap out of the chair. Oops! I'm imprisoned on both sides. Now, what do I do? Put the work over my head or under my feet? It was frustrating , to say the least. I knew there had to be a better way. So this is my humble offering.

In the pictures below, you can see that the yarns are in individual pockets on the outside of the bag. The center of the bag actually opens up flat and lays on your lap. You can customized the lap panel with a place for pattern, scissors, note pad, pencil, and various other helpful items. The interior of the pockets can also be lined with silk, making your yarns roll smoothly.

So.......,when the phone rings, you simply grab the draw strings on each side of the lap panel, give a little tug, and watch the bag closes around your work, leaving your yarns in place, ready for you to begin again. I have also designed a place for a snap fastener, providing a more permanent closure. It works for me. I hope it will work for you.

To view more details and free Stranded Knitting Bag instructions here.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Do you hate picking up stitches like I do? Check this out!

Picking up stitches after hours of knitting on a project, is one chore that I really detest. I have checked out all the traditional methods, but never liked the ridge line left from the edge stitches of armholes or neckline openings.

To remedy this, I have come up with an idea. I call it "Picking Up Stitches on the Fly." It is a system of shaping armhole and necklines that leaves all your stitches live on circles needles, (I use Knitpicks),ready for that great looking edging that you've planned for your project. It also lets you shape without decreases, eliminating interruptions in the pattern that you've so neatly knitted.

It's just an idea, a beginning stab at handling this problem. I am sure some of you will come up with improvements once you tried it.

Have fun!


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Knitting Backwards

I was first introduced to the concept of knitting backwards while knitting an Entrelac sweater pattern. Even though the pattern had instructions, they read like a foreign language, so I simply brushed the concept aside. However, while practicing my Continental knitting one day, it came to me that I might try the same concept in reverse-and wouldn't you know it, it worked like a dream.

I have been encouraged by a friend to share my new method with fellow knitters- so here it is.

Knitting Backwards Tutorial