Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Attack of the UFO

Back in January, 2013, I took a Quilting 103 class.  It was a sampler class where I learned about foundation paper piecing, foundation muslin piecing, Y seams, various ways to make flying geese, and much more.

After we made the blocks, we began to learn how to Quilt As You Go (QAYG).  I thought it would be so much easier to quilt on my home machine.  Once you finish each block, you make a quilt sandwich with the batting and the backing, and you quilt each block before you join them all together.

Turns out, I didn't care for the technique.  The blocks sat in my closet as a UFO (unfinished object) for three (3) {III} years and ten months (10) {X}, but who's counting?!

Yes, the blocks, and the batting, some of it quilted and some not, strips of fabric for the sashing, and extra fabric as yet uncut, were all rolled up in various bags sitting on top of other projects and bins, annoyingly in my way every time I wanted to get at something else, for three (3) {III} years.  And ten (10) months.

Finally I dragged the darn thing out and read over my extremely sparse, scribbled, deeply annoying notes.

I whined pathetically to my friend and sometime teacher Debbie about my confusion.  She kindly agreed to help me.

But then I amazed myself when I managed to figure out how to do the QAYG aspect after all--my brain is not dead!  Reports of its early demise are premature!--and I finished the stupid quilt.

And that's the back.

I thought I ought to put a border on it, but I really didn't want to take the time, and with full emotional support from Debbie and our friend Elisa, I just did the binding and called it quits!  (Called it "quilt.")

Hooray!  On to the next project!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Free Pattern: Curly Top Crochet Hat

This is basically an easy beginner crochet pattern that I first got when I joined Binky Patrol back in the day.  I just added a few twists, literally:  the twisty top curlicue.

The yarn pictured is good old Plymouth Encore, one of my favorite go-to yarns for baby things.

We start with directions for a preemie weighing about 4 to 5 pounds.  Directions for how to make it bigger or even smaller follow.

around 50 yards worsted weight yarn
H hook or size to get gauge

GAUGE:  4 dc = 1 inch, 2 rows = 1 inch

beg = beginning
ch = chain
dc = double crochet
rep = repeat
rnd = round
sc = single crochet
sl st = slip stitch

Rnd 1:  Ch 4, 11 dc in first ch, join with sl st to top of beg ch 4.  Do not turn, now and throughout.
Rnd 2:  Ch 3, dc in same st, 2 dc in each dc around, join with sl st to top of first ch 3.
Rnd 3:  Ch 3, 2 dc in next st, *dc in next st, 2 dc in next st, rep from * around.  Join with sl st to top of first ch 3.
Rnds 4—8:  Ch 3, *dc in next dc, rep from * around, join with sl st to top of first ch 3.
Rnd 9 (crab st, a.k.a., reverse sc): ch 1, sc in same st, working backwards, *sc in st behind first sc, rep from * around, join with sl st to first sc.
Finish off and weave in ends.

After rnd 3, insert an extra rnd as follows:  Ch 3, dc in next st, 2 dc in next st, *1 dc in each of next 2 sts, 2 dc in next st, rep from * around.  Join with sl st to top of first ch 3.
Then do rnds 4 through 9 as for the preemie size.
After rnd 3, insert two extra rnds as follows:
Rnd 3A:  Ch 3, dc in next st, 2 dc in next st, *1 dc in each of next 2 sts, 2 dc in next st, rep from * around.  Join with sl st to top of first ch 3.
Rnd 3B:  Ch 3, 1 dc in each of next 2 sts, 2 dc in next st, *1 dc in each of next 3 sts, 2 dc in next st, rep from * around.  Join with sl st to top of first ch 3.
Then do rnds 4 through 9 as for the preemie size.
Leave out rnd 3 in first set of directions.  This would be for a very tiny preemie.  Some do weigh less than 2 pounds.

Ch 10.
2 sc in 2nd ch from hook, *3 sc in next ch, 2 sc in next ch, rep from * to end of ch.  Finish off, leaving a long enough tail to pull through top of hat.  Weave in ends to secure.

© 2017 Reyna Thera Lorele

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Free Pattern: Rib-It! January Block of the Month

Ah, the wonderful rib!  Be it 2 x 2, 3 x 2, 3 x 3—well, you catch the drift.

Handsomely handy for sweater cuffs and hems, sweetly stretchy, especially for hat bands, especially when you don’t have a chance to measure someone’s head before making them the perfect hat.

Piqué Rib--this month's freebie; directions below
But there are so many fabulous variations on ribs!  Barbecue, Teriyaki...okay, now I’m getting hungry.

Back to knitted ribs:  they are delightfully squishy.  They make nifty, nubbly textures.  They are classic, and in a class by themselves.

I thought a collection of rib patterns would make a great sampler blanket, and I've been scouting and testing variations off and on for a long time.  At last, I have thirty or so to get us started.  (Do you think that will be enough?!)

Rib-It! A Knit Sampler Throw will be arriving in several parts.  The patterns range in skill level from easy to advanced, and I plan to publish them in groups according to skill level.

Steep Diagonal Rib
There'll be a free pattern here on the blog each month in 2017, and the chance to buy a collection including more block patterns at the same skill level.  Be sure to join our free knit-along (KAL) group on Ravelry:  click here.

The pictures included here show the ones that are in the first collection, which I consider the easiest.

I can just hear people getting annoyed with me and saying, "Easy for you!"  But I promise, you only need to know how to cast on, knit, purl, and bind off.  The pattern variations are in how you combine the knits and purls.

Zigzag Rib
Broken Diagonal Rib

Seeded Rib

Beaded Rib

Click here to buy all the patterns in Rib-It! A Sampler Throw, Part One. 

© 2017 Reyna Thera Lorele


I think January's freebie is quite attractive and I hope you like it too.  For the faint of heart, please note, row 3 is the same as row 1, and row 4 is simply knit.  Do not be alarmed at how good it looks!

Piqué Rib
Materials needed:
About 100 yds. worsted weight yarn per square
#7 knitting needles
Optional:  stitch markers
4.5 sts per inch in stockinette

Directions are for knitting an 8” square, however, this stitch pattern is a multiple of 10 + 3.  To make a larger or smaller square, CO more or fewer sts in multiples of 10.

CO 39 sts.
Knit 4 rows.
Row 1 (RS):  k3, pm, k3, *p3, k1, p3, k3, rep from * to last 3 sts, pm, k3.
Row 2:  k3, sm, p3, *k3, p1, k3, p3, rep from * to last 3 sts, sm, k3.
Row 3:  rep row 1.
Row 4:  k
Rep these 4 rows, slipping markers as needed, 10 more times.
Knit 4 rows.
BO.  Cut yarn, fasten off.  Weave in ends.

Ribbed patterns tend to pull edges inward.  I lightly block my squares before joining them.  I say “lightly block” because it’s nice to leave some of the ribbed texture.

beg = beginning
BO = bind off
CO = cast on
k = knit
p = purl
pm = place marker
rep = repeat
RS = right side
sl st = slip stitch
sm = slip marker
st, sts = stitch, stitches
WS = wrong side

Once again, you can click here to buy all the patterns in Rib-It! A Knit Sampler Throw, Part 1.  (The Piqué Rib is included as well, so you'll have the complete set of at your fingertips.  Instant PDF download, instant gratification!)  You can also buy it on Ravelry;  click here.