Monday, February 27, 2017

A Fine Mess

It's all my fault.  I take full responsibility.  It started with an email I sent to my buddy Elisa, to wit, "Hi, have you seen this?  Very tempting to start...if I only had fifty hours in a day."

And I sent her this link:

And then we both got hooked.  (Sorry for the pun.  I know it gets old, but it's irresistible!)

I pulled out my huge bag of worsted weight scraps, and got going.

And going.

I was using a lot of variegated and somewhat self-striping odds and ends, so mine has a different look than the original gorgeous design, and I really like Elisa's better than mine, too--click here to see hers.

But once I got the solid black around the outside, I started liking mine well enough.  I think aiming for a rainbow effect in those petals really helped as well.

I swore I was done, because weaving in all those yarn tails is not my favorite thing to do.  But what to do with just a big old circle?  I wasn't going to make a pillow, as the original pattern suggests.  And I don't really have a lot of space for giant doilies.

So I started thinking, "Blanket."  I found myself digging through all my bins of yarn for yet more worsted weight scraps, and realized that instead of shrinking the scrap bag that was lying around my office, getting in my way, I have doubled it.

In fact, now there are two giant scrap bags lying around, getting in my way.

I haven't blocked the second circle yet, but you get the idea.

Who knows?  A blanket could happen.  Eventually.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

New Pattern: Mountain Girl Cowl

Presenting the Mountain Girl Cowl.  I made the first of these a long time ago, and always meant to type up the pattern (now available for purchase on Etsy and Ravelry).

By the time I got around to it, I decided I had better make another just to make sure I knew what I was doing.

Found a better way to write the directions, actually.  Hooray!  It's always worth a second test knit.

Knitted in the round, you start with a seed stitch border.  You could do garter stitch instead of seed stitch.  If you choose garter, just remember that you're knitting in the round, so Round 1 will be knit, and Round 2 will be purl.  (If you were knitting flat, you would simply knit each row for garter stitch.)

Then you start the relatively simple lace pattern, and the border again, in due course.

Chunky yarn makes this a fast knit, so if you need a last-minute gift for someone (or yourself!) this pattern comes in handy.

I used Eco-Wool for the one above, and Kertzer Tweed Montage for this lovely blue and purple one.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Knitting Through The Back Loop--A Photo Tutorial

Here is possibly the shortest tutorial ever for how to knit through the back loop (tbl).

In the first picture, we are knitting as "normal," with the right hand needle going under the front of the loop on the left needle, and up into the stitch before we wrap the working yarn and knit the stitch.

I apologize to lefties who may be reversing which needle pokes where--this is one reason I put "normal" in quotes!

In the second picture, the right hand needle goes into the center of the loop and under the back of the loop.  Then you wrap the working yarn and knit as usual.  Er, normal.  Er, one frequently does.  Knitting-wise.


Friday, February 10, 2017


Fidget Quilts are for calming Alzheimer's patients, who are often agitated, and who benefit from the entertainment provided by the quilts.

While the patient plays with the quilt, this also gives a break to caregivers.

Fidget Quilts are generally small, easily held on the lap, with doodads, bits, and bobs all over them.

Our quilt guild Community Projects group has been spearheading the making of these quilts, so naturally, I had to make one.
Top of the fun list for the patients are fringe, velcro, and zippers.  I was going to add more fringe and some velcro to mine, but in the end, I chose to stick with some beaded fringe and a curlicue fringe I crocheted.

Among my favorite "toys," I love the pink zipper, and the little buckle that slides back and forth on that rainbow colored bit of shoelace in the bottom center square (see top picture.)

There is also a bag of beads and buttons, sewn shut so they can't escape.  The bag fits in the little pocket, which came off a pair of my old blue jeans.  On the top right square is a bit of blue jean which can be unbuttoned to reveal a different fabric.  This came from the bottom leg of the same pair of jeans.

For more pictures and instructions on how to make one of these, click here and then click on "community" at the top of the page.  It was so much fun to make, I wish I didn't have a queue of about forty projects already in hand, or I would make another!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

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

Mistake Stitch Rib
Here is the second freebie in our Block of the Month series.

This one is from Rib-It! A Knit Sampler Throw, Part 2.  This is an easy block:  you only need to know how to cast on, knit, purl, and cast off.

Part 2 has nine different ribbed block patterns, all pictured here, ranging from easy to easy/intermediate.

Slipped Rib Check

By easy/intermediate, I mean that, in addition to knit and purl stitches, some blocks will require knitting through the back loop of some stitches, or slipping some stitches.

Beginners will have a chance to increase their skills a little at a time.

© 2017 Reyna Thera Lorele
Mistake Stitch Rib

Directions are for 8" squares; info on how to adapt to other sizes is included.

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

This stitch pattern is a multiple of 6 + 3.  To make a larger or smaller square, CO more or fewer sts in multiples of 6.
CO 39 sts.
Knit 4 rows.
Begin Pattern:
Row 1 (RS):  k3, pm, *p3, k3, rep from * to last 6 sts, p3, pm, k3.
Row 2:  k3, sm, k4, *p1, k5, rep from * to last 8 sts, p1, k4, sm, k3.
Rep these 2 rows, slipping markers as needed, until piece measures 7.5” from CO edge.  End with row 2.
Knit 4 rows.
BO.  Cut yarn, fasten off.  Weave in ends.

Fancy Slip Stitch Rib

To buy this collection on Etsy, click here.

To buy it on Ravelry, click here.

Honeycomb Rib
Be sure to join our free Rib-It! Blanket Knit-Along (KAL) on Ravelry.  You can see what other people are making, post pics of your own project, ask questions--and get answers!--and share the joy.

Ridged Rib

To buy the super-easy collection, Rib-It! A Knit Sampler Throw, Part 1, on Ravelry, click here.

To buy it on Etsy, click here.
Double Ridged Rib

Rice Stitch Rib

Sailor's Rib
Once again, click here if you want to buy the Rib-It! A Knit Sampler Throw, Part 2 collection on Etsy.

Click here if you want to buy it on Ravelry.

For the free January block of the month, click here.

For more fun, get those needles clicking!

Basket Rib