28 March 2012

Domino Square Potholder Pattern

Here's another great article from interweave ... full article [read more]

Imagine all the great things you can make using this technique .. towels, throws, rugs, maybe even a shawl if you're able to create a pattern on your own :)

Domino Square Potholder 

7.5" x 7.5" (19 x 19 cm) without border, 8" x 8" (20 x 20 cm) with border
 DK weight cotton yarn
Purple, fuchsia, and violet
 Dn 4 (3.5 mm). Circular needle 4 (3.5 mm) for the border.


K-CO: knitted cast-on
dn: domino needle (see info below)

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K-CO 75 stitch on dn and knit a square (see instructions below) with 9 purple ridges, 1 fuchsia, 1 purple, 10 fuchsia, 1 violet, 1 fuchsia, ridge and the rest with violet. When 3 stitches remain, knit a 2¾" (7 cm) long strip for the loop. Turn the loop to the wrong side and sew it down neatly.

How to Knit a Basic Domino Square

Using the knitted cast-on, CO 25 stitches.
Row 1 (WS): Knit to the last st, p1. Mark the center three stitches.
Row 2 (RS): (Note: The yarn tail hangs at the right side.) Sl 1 kwise, knit to marker before center 3 sts (=k10), sl 1 kwise, k2tog, psso, knit to the last st (= 10sts), p1 (= 23 sts).
Row 3 and all WS rows: Sl 1 kwise, knit to last st, end p1.
Row 4: Sl 1 kwise, knit to marker before center 3 sts (= k9), sl 1, k2tog, psso, knit to last st (= k9), end p1 (= 21 sts).
Row 6: Sl 1 kwise, knit to marker before center 3 sts (= k89), sl 1, k2tog, psso, knit to last st (= k8), end p1 (= 19 sts).
Row 8: Sl 1 kwise, knit to marker before center 3 sts (= k7), sl 1, k2tog, psso, knit to last st (= k7), end p1 (= 17 sts).

Continue in this manner until 3 sts remain.

Next row (WS): Sl 1 kwise, k1, p1.
Next row: Sl 1, k2tog, psso (= 1st) This is a live stitch that you will use when you knit the next square. 

Knitted "Mouse Teeth" Picot

With circular needle, purple yarn, and right side facing, pick up and knit 75-76 stitches in the stitches of the CO row. Knit 1 row. 
New row: *Using the first stitch on the needle as the beginning stitch, K-CO 2 new stitches, BO 4 stitches, move the stitches on the right needle to the left needle*; repeat *-*. Cut yarn and pull tail through last stitch.

Domino Needles (Dn)
According to Vivian Høxbro, "A pair of domino needles is absolutely indispensable. The needles are only about 8" (20 cm) long, with a knob on one end so that the needle ends won't get stuck in your clothes or your knitting."

I agree, knitting small pieces is easier if you use short needles. You can buy short needles if you want to or simply place point protectors on a pair of double-pointed needles and use those. Double-pointed, double-duty! When you need to return the needles to their set, just take off the point protectors and you're good to go. I use DPNs all the time when I'm knitting scarves or baby clothes.

You could also use circular needles; I'd recommend 24-inch needles because 16-inch circulars are too short to comfortably work with, and a cable longer than 24 inches can be awkward when you're turning your work all the time.

Another reason that short needles are great in this type of knitting is because you use less movement when you're turning the work, which is a good thing and helps avoid repetitive-motion injuries.

19 March 2012

joining yarns

Found a nice tidbit on joining yarns, i admit i've gotten lazy and just knot the pieces and it gets buried in the stitch or to the back .. ive been lucky so far ;)  but here is another method i've used along with using 2 threads from each piece.  This is just the how-to that Kathleen has posted in her Knitting Daily article, to see the full article [read more...]

Overlapping Old and New Yarn

Use this joining method in an inconspicuous place, such as 1-2 inches from the side edge or in a textured area. This method is well suited for wools, synthetics, blends of any kind, and novelty yarns that are worsted-weight or finer. When worked with nonelastic yarns such as cotton and ribbon yarn, this join may be visible from the right side.

Step 1. Overlap the end of the old ball and the beginning of the new ball for about 6 inches.
Step 2. Work two stitches with the two strands held together as if there were a single strand.
Step 3. Drop the strand from the old ball and continue working with the new.
Step 4. On the next row, work the double-stranded stitches as if they were single-strand stitches. During finishing, secure the two loose ends by weaving them diagonally into the wrong side of the knitted fabric (weaving them horizontally or vertically may create a visible ridge on the right side).

—From The Knitter's Companion by Vicki Square

Now the trick here is how you position the new yarn with the old yarn. Take a look at the Step 1 illustration above. See how the tail of the new yarn (shown in blue) points to the right and the end of the old yarn points to the left? That's the key. I was holding the tail and end of the old and new yarn together and not overlapping them correctly, creating a twisted stitch with the new yarn.

No more bummer!!

16 March 2012

Honeycomb Stitch

From the interweave Knitting Daily - for full article [read more]

Honeycomb, from Pop Knitting
Stitch count: multiple of 22.
Two colors.

Rows 1-15: With color 1, work in stockinette, beginning on WS with a purl row.
Row 16 (RS): 
With color 2, *(pick up 1 st 7 rows below and place it on left needle. Purl that stitch together with next st) 3 times, p16, (pick up 1 st 7 rows below and place it on left needle. Purl that stitch together with next st) 3 times; rep from *.
Row 17 (WS):
 With color 2, knit.
Row 18 (RS): 
With color 1, purl.
Row 19-25: 
With color 1, work in stockinette, beginning on WS with a purl row.
Row 26 (RS): 
With color 1, *k8, (pick up 1 st 7 rows down and place it on left needle. Knit it together with next st) 6 times, k8; rep from *.
Rows 27-32: 
With color 1, work in stockinette, beginning on WS with a purl row.
Repeat Rows 1-32.

09 March 2012

Half way there

Am on a quiet time wanna watch movie phase so taking advantage and knitting .. those pot scrubbies I did last night gave me a good motivational kick in the pants to get knitting again ..

08 March 2012

Spicy Beef Stew

I posted the pic of this stew for supper and had a few requests for the recipe :D Its a family favourite, no left overs and you might want to increase the beef and tomatoes for how many servings you want ..

Spicy Beef Stew
Serves 4
Prep - 20 mins
Cook - 2 hrs

1 tbsp oil
1 ½ lbs stewing beef, cut into 1" chunks
1 med onion, coarsely choppped
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1 ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp each, red pepper flakes and salt
4 medium tomatoes, divided (roughly 4 cups)
½ - 1 cup water - you might want to add more towards the end ... it will thicken with the cornstarch mixture
1 can (4 oz) green chilies (I have a heck of time finding these so i use jalepenos)
1 tbsp cornstarch
½ cup green onion tops, sliced
  1. Heat oil in Dutch Oven over med-high heat. Add beef pieces, onino and garlic; cook and stir until beef is browned
  2. mix oregano, cumin, red pepper flakes and salt; sprinkle over meat, stir in
  3. add 3 cups of tomatoes and water, stir.  reduce heat to low and cover; cook for 1 hr 55 mins or beef is tender
  4. drain green chilies, reserve liquid; slice chilies into 1/2" pieces; add to pot
  5. mix cornstarch with chili liquid, add to stew; cook until comes to boil and thickens
  6. add remaining tomatoes, stir and heat through
  7. serve and garnish with green onion tops

Free Lush Lacy Mitts Pattern

I just love this pattern from Sweaterbabe.  Matter of fact i love most of her work .. absolutely amazing stuff and shes on ravelry too!  I found her a few years ago while hunting for a unique sweater pattern - and all her stuff is unique!  She works with a lot of texture and cables - which ya'll know i LOVE!  I'm on her mailing list and just wanted to share these mitts with you.  these are going into my queue on ravery :)

At any rate, here's the requirements for this pattern - please visit her site to download the pattern :)

Lush Lacy Mitts PDF Knitting Pattern
My Lovely Lace Fingerless Gloves were inspired by my love of vintage lace and desire to have a quick knit gift project!

I’ve always loved the elegance of fancy evening gloves that feature many pearl buttons running down the wrist and forearm. So chic and ladylike, but not wearable for every day.

I designed these with an opening at the back, so it could then be adorned with fancy beads or pretty buttons for the faux button closure. The bonus was that the first half of this project could be worked quickly and easily on straight needles before needing to switch to DPNs (which I tolerate, but aren’t my favorite, ha ha).

The lace pattern is a lovely double leaf lace that was the perfect number of stitches to achieve the all-over lace design. Limiting myself to one ball was also a fun challenge and a great way to attack my stash and make room for new yarns..

See the Web-Letter from Classic Elite yarns about this free pattern.

These photos taken by Meg Myers of Classic Elite yarns.

Finished Size(s): 
Adult M: approx 7" circumference unstretched, and 8" long.

Skill Level: 
intermediate knitting project 

Yarn Used:
 Classic Elite Lush (50% Angora/50% Wool); 
1.75 oz/50g (123 yd/112m) per hank: 1 hank in color #4407 Thistle

Pattern Gauge: 
13 stitches = approx 3 1/2" [9 cm] in Lace Stitch patt on Size 9 [5.5mm] needles.
Yarn Label Gauge and Information:
 A medium, worsted weight yarn in a soft angora/wool blend with a gauge of 4 sts = 1" on size 8-9 needles.

Total Yardage Required:
123 yds [112 m].

Some suggested yarn substitutes to try:

If you have a yarn substitute to suggest for this project, email us!

Knitting Needles Used: Knitting needles and dpn in size US 9
(5.5 mm) or size to obtain gauge.

* * *
Please note: SweaterBabe.com patterns are authorized for home use only and are not to be knit/crocheted for resale. All pattern sales are final. 

Chasing My Tail

I needed a break from my scarf, I wasn’t moving along with it as I’ve hoped for a variety of reasons. It is coming along, it IS easy peasy and mindless. Same stitches over and over again .. I don’t even really have to look at the pattern anymore. But, you always need a little project thats super quick to keep you motivated and to keep things moving along.

So an easy, quick break project. I was talking to one of my best friends, and she mentioned (Now i have NO idea how we got on the subject, be that’s how we roll ;)), that you can use mesh bags to make scrubbies for pots. I had just pitched a mesh bag from onions and the idea perked in the back of my brain to do scrubbies with mesh ..

Tonite, I finally emptied another bag, so I took it apart and did some research. All the sites I found said to use 1½ - 2" wide strips (of course they were talking about tulle - pfft) ... well with mesh bags that is just way to thick and the whole bit was scrapped as i had already knotted the strips together, I’ll try the mesh bag again with narrower strips.

I did some hunting and finally found the spiral scrubbie pattern I wanted to make. I made it up really quick and found it was to small, but did realize that the number of stitches used is totally arbitrary. You can use any number of stitches you want as long as you decrease / increase at each end. With using this pattern, my scrubbie ended up being 2½" across, which i think is just a wee bit to small. I remembered that I have some tulle squirrelled away so I dig up a spot on my cutting table and cut strips for the tulle. I ended up using 7 - 8 strips for this pattern with the 18 CO stitches and this scrubby is 3½" - a much better size :)

Circular Scrubby CO 18 sts. (remember you can use whatever number of stitches you want to!!)
Prep Row: Knit
Row 1: Slip 1, K2tog, K13, K1 into the front and K1 into the back of the same stitch (inc), K1
Row 2: Slip 1, K1 into the front and K1 into the back of the same stitch (inc), K13, K2tog, K1
Repeat rows 1 & 2 a total of 10 times. (20 rows). BO all sts.
Seam together CO and BO edges. Draw a string through the slipped sts of one edge, pull tightly and secure. Repeat for the other slip stitch edge.