Friday, July 29, 2011

Book: A treasury of knitting patterns

Book: A Treasury of Knitting Patterns by: Barbara G. Walker

A truly indispensable book for any knitter! And a fixture on many a knitters book shelf already. It does not give much in the way of instructions and ho-to's but this book contains over 500 stitch patterns to get your creative juices flowing! All patterns are in written form

The section in the book on color work is almost entirely about slip stitch color work which I think is really nice for blankets because you don't have yarn trailing across the back of your work.

All the photos in the book are in black and white. Each stitch pattern has it's own photo and many of them show variations of each stitch pattern as well.

I enjoy simply sitting down and browsing though this book over and over. I can't wait till I get the rest of her collection for my knitting library.

If you are looking for a bare bones dictionary without all the how-to's and pages of diagrams this is it!

This was originally published in 1968.

This book is available at Amazon

Book: Reversible Kniting

Book: Reversible Knitting - 50 Brand-new, Groundbreaking stitch patterns.

I purchased this book while browsing the shelf at our local book store and couldn't pass it up! This is an amazing book. the stitch patterns are not simply reversible but often provide completely different looks on both sides of the fabric. I have made the one run socks (I call them my strapy socks) and worked one of the DK patterns.

The book is broken up into 3 main sections.

Reversible stitch patterns:

Faux crochet - (9 stitches) these are actually quite impressive in their simulation of crochet and at some points it basically is crochet with a knitting needle.

Rows within rows
- (6 stitches) these require you to knit off into completely different directions and return to the body of the project.

Openwork - (7 stitches) stitches with open spaces or a rather lacy feel to them

Divide & Combine - (6 stitches) these are patterns that require you to divide your stitches and knit separately before rejoining into the main body.

Picked up - (6 stitches) these require you to either pick up stitches for joining or to knit off the fabric that has already been knitted.

Double knit - (6 stitch patterns) These are not your standard DK designs. These patterns offer completely different designs on opposite sides of the fabric like stripes on one side and dots on the other for one example. Very easy to follow charts

Reversible designs:

20 different designs

folded scarf
branching ribs (upper left back cover)

two-tone vest
investments (a vest)
double knit vest
geometric dress (a slip stitch pattern)
folded mini dress (this has a folded ripple like design on the skirt portion)
Double wrap stockings (a thigh high stocking with a net and strip design)
Winding path (a sweater that can be worn upside down and inside out)
faux warp (clever sweater with reversible cables)
Syncopation (a brioche headband)
laced wrap
incognita (a brimmed hat pattern with attached scarf)
reverse me ( a cardigan that can be worn upside down or inside out with reversible cables) pictured on the front cover
lice jacket (a traditional style DK jacket with a reverse image on either side)
Brioche bag
Flip your lid - pictured on back cover
tie socks (these tie around your legs)
one run socks - picture on back cover
linking hip sash (a decorative tie belt)

Special techniques:

This section has detailed photos for the techniques used in this book. Covers various cast on's (including 2 color), Kitchener plus (how to Kitchener ribbing and seed stitch) and other assorted techniques.

For the most part these use advanced knitting techniques and several require multiple sets of needles for the same project.

I would like to note though that if you are left handed and knit left handed this book may take a bit of brain power to flip around as it refers to left and right needles almost exclusively rather than using the term "working needle"

This book can be purchased on amazon

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Is your square crochet slanting?

One of the most common problems for people when they start crocheting is loosing stitches on the edges. This is really easy to do (honestly no matter what your skill level is) because the turning chain kind of gets lost and does not look like a stitch when you return to that spot. Some patterns are particularry hard to identify where the turning stitch is.

I made this swatch to help someone else on this issue. The swatch is made from SC clusters which can be found in this sweater pattern Twila. for this one you chain 1 at the end and 2 at the start of the next row (so chain 3) this chain get's lost though once you start to work into the stitches.

To make sure you won't be loosing stitches, no matter what the pattern, you will need 2 markers. I often prefer paperclips (or piece of contrasting waste yarn works fine as well). Place your marker in your top chain you just made before you start to work your row. When you get to the end of the row you will place your hook into the stitch which you placed your marker in the beginning of the previous row and than remove the marker, chain up and place the marker back into the last chain of your turning chain.

Repeat these steps and you will be sure to not loose stitches on your edges due to not seeing the turning chain.

This works for any stitch pattern, even if you are doing plain single crochet of double crochet.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

crochet shawl - pattern wip

Just thought I would post this. I'm working on a shawl pattern that will be quite simple. I think Iw will have the corners wrap around rather than be a traditional triangle. More V shaped.

I'm crocheting it with an I hook and using Ultra Alpaca yarn

I make no promises but if all goes well I should be able to write this one up after a while.

Knitting vs. Crochet

This is not your crochet bashing knitting or knitting bashing crochet but my views on both crafts as compared side to side.

Knitting vs. crochet

I love them both. I have been crocheting for nearly 13 years now and knitting a few as well. I am self taught for each. I conciser my self equally good at both crafts. I also conciser my self to be quite good and write patterns for both crafts.

crochet plays on the beauty of the individual stitch to were knitting plays on the flow of the fabric over all as the columns of stitch flow in, out and around each other to create patterns.

Crochet is sturdier than knitting as in you are not going to snag a run in crochet. This makes knitting a more delicate fabric (I’m not speaking of the design just the care). Knitting needs to be handled more gently than crochet at times.

Crochet is easier to shape on the fly. you can see what your fabric is doing instantly. Knitting takes a few rows to “see” what is going on.

Crochet is easier to design IMO because you can see what is going on. Knitting deals w/more math with your increases, decreases and keeping your stitch count the same. You gotta figure if you are designing in knitting and you add a YO you need to figure out where you are going to take that stitch out.

both crafts have worthy application for similar items. you can make some really nice crochet sweaters and of course knit as well. Some say knitting is for clothing but really it’s all a matter of personal preference.

both can be felted and anything you make with one can be made in the other

as we all know, crochet is faster in general but uses more yarn so using the same yarn and needle/hook size your crochet fabric will be heavier than your knit. Crochet is not faster when you get down to the tiny needles and some lace projects like filet but in general it is faster. Similar projects to filet that are knit use YO's instead of individual chain stitches and that can take longer.

I don’t much prefer one over the other I enjoy them equally for everything I make.

Though I do havea couple exceptions… I do prefer crochet lace for when I do 3D and stiffened items like my angle and snowflake tree toppers. I also prefer crochet for my kitchen wares and hair accessories.

Oh, about the colorway though, crochet color work creates a reversible fabric as the running strands are concealed under the stitches, to where standard knitting color work (aka. fair isle) does not. All the floats are on the back as knitting has a distinct front and back. Double knitting, how ever, does create a reversible fabric but generally a mirrored image or different image on opposing sides. Crochet color work creates the same image on both sides.

And that is my assessment of knitting vs. crochet

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Pantie liner

OK, so here's something a bit different. I know this isn't for everyone but If I am seeking something like this I can't be that unique that nobody else would also like it.

I'm all about natural stuff and I have been using a menstrual cup for over 5 years now. the thing is I still use pantie liners and have been toying for a while about a way to make my own. I did have some flannel ones but they would scrunch up in uncomfortable ways. I recently tried one in seed stitch and it was just to thin and flimsy.

this is the design I settled on. it's a 1x1 rib so thicker and more stable. I like mine a bit wide. This is rather the formula I used to create one so adjust as you desire. for a general guideline I took one of my liners of my fave brand and used that as a visual adjusting size as I saw fit.

This is not designed to replace a pad as it's not thick enough for such use. But it is a nice substitute for a every day pantie liner.

needle: us 5
yarn: Hobby Lobby's "I Love This Cotton!" This is a VERY soft 100% cotton and feels nice against the skin. I t is a sport type weight.

I like to slip one stitch on my edges, It helps to keep things looking neat.

I suggest making 1 and using it and washing it to see where you may want to customize this more to your liking. Also I suggest making it just a tad wider than what you think is good. they do compress a bit when you wear them.

for the increases just either make one knit or make one purl. I prefer to do this at the end of the row but I like to set it up with a YO at the beginning of the row which makes it easier to twist the stitch when you do your m1. Being a 1x1 rib if you want to set up with a YO you will have to do either a yo front or yo bak depending on weather you have a knit stitch or a purl stitch following the yo.

For mine I cast on 15 stitches.

(always knit the 1st stitch).
row 1: k1, p1 to last stitch, slip last stitch with yarn in front
row 2: k1, yo, work the k1, p1 rib to last stitch and slip last stitch wyif
row 3: k1, yo, work rib to yo, use the yo to either make one knit or make one purl by twisting the yo as you stitch into it, slip last stitch wyif.

repeat row 3 till it is of the desired width. (I increased till I had 21 stitches.)

work a few rows in the k1, p1 rib till top is desired length and you feel it's time to start to reduce. (I worked 7 rows before reducing)

To reduce: k1, work ribbing to last 3 stitches. either k2tog or p2 tog on next 2 stitches, slip last stitch wyif

Repeat reducing row until narrow enough to fit. (I reduced to 10 stitches)

Work k1, p1 rib till the center is of desired length (I worked this for about 10 rows)

Work increasing row 3 for a few rows till bottom is of desired width (I increased to 13 stitches)

work 1x1 rib for a couple rows (I worked for 3 rows).

Reduce again following same formula in row 3 till you have about 6 stitches. bind off.

Of course customize this shape for best fit and comfort.

In short: cast on about 15 stitches, increase till top is desired width, knit till top is desired length, reduce till narrow enough to fit, knit till desired length. increase a little for the bottom and decrease and bind off.