Scarf Working


In the midst of all the other projects I’ve got on the go, I started developing another new scarf on Saturday.  It’s destined for our younger son’s partner so there’s definitely a desire to get it right!  It’s based on the feather and fan lace pattern with one or two twists of my own.

Dawn's Lace Scarf

Dawn's Lace Scarf

I’m using Cygnet DK, Shade 3501 – Mulberry Mix.  While it may be 8-ply yarn, the lace pattern makes the scarf much lighter than might be expected.  Hopefully this pattern should be a good, gentle introduction to lace knitting for those who have never tried it, whatever their level of experience.  I’ll release the pattern through Ravelry as soon as I’m satisfied with it.

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How To Decrease Evenly.


This is going to be a much used website for me! I detest the “decrease x sts evenly across row” instruction in patterns!  With this, the headaches become a thing of the past.  Hooray!

Knitting How To decrease evenly..

This is just one of several very useful tools that The Knitting Fiend kindly provides.  Check them out here.

Cable Creation


Having followed patterns that involved cables and slipped stitches, I decided that it was time for me to follow up on my desire to design my own cable patterns.  I mentioned Knit Design Studio in an earlier post and it was this that I used to create a chart.  I’m delighted with how the test swatch turned out.  I used double knit yarn and 4.5mm needles for it.

I named it Owl Totem cable because the second section, vertically, resembles an owl to me!  In addition to cables, the pattern includes slipped stitches to bracket the design.

 

Another “Flat” Pattern


With St. Valentine’s Day looming close, I had to get inventive again last Saturday.  A card was needed for Jenny and I’d already made one using a Teddy with a heart (Flat Ted) so I needed something new.  Jenny has two loves in the realm of Fantasy – unicorns and dragons.  I’m nowhere near  being able to knit a unicorn, yet, so that left only one option – a dragon!  Draco the Dragonet was born 

 

Draco the Dragonet

Draco the Dragonet

 

I’ve added the pattern to the Free Patterns page here and my Ravelry “store”.

 

Knit Design Studio


Yesterday, I discovered a great piece of software!  Knit Design Studio by Savannah Winds allows charting of knitting designs, with a good range of symbols set up for your use.  You can even design cables in it!  It’s not only excellent for creating your own charts.  I have often come across charts that can rapidly become confusing when accommodating different sizes of garment, with the need to leave out some symbols when working smaller sizes.  It’s very simple to transcribe the chart, excluding the unwanted symbols, for the size that you’re working on using this software.  The printed chart (and any notes you might add in the instructions page) will make working much simpler.

I’d rate this as one of the best programs for knitters that I’ve seen, and it’s free!

Flat Ted


It was Jenny’s birthday recently and I needed something a bit different for a card for her.  After some head scratching, I decided on a knitted Teddy bear shape holding a heart.  OK, decision made, now what?  I decided that I could use a pattern for a heart shape that I have in another pattern but the Teddy was another matter – I’d have to design one myself!  I’ve never done this before, of course, so  I could only start knitting and hope for the best.  So Flat Ted was born.

As I knitted, I made full notes, including the fact that I knitted the wrong leg first (which has been corrected in the pattern).  Because it was made from scratch, it’s not perfect, but I was pleased with the result.  Jenny was absolutely thrilled!  She fell in love with him right away!

Having made Flat Ted, I now have a desire to come up with other knitted shapes.

 

Flat Ted

Flat Ted

 

The pattern is available from my Free Patterns page.

Tip: Grafting


This describes anchoring a short row segment for adding other sections of knitting, for example a beard on a toy pattern.  In fact, I’ll use the beard as the example throughout!

Knit up to the row where the top of beard will be placed.  Knit up to and including the stitch immediately prior to the stitch where the beard will be placed.  Switch to the the beard colour.  Knit the number of stitches stated for the top of the beard (note: this could be either the starting row or the cast off/bind off row in the pattern you are working to).  Thread a stitch holder through these stitches (retaining the stitches on the needle!)  and hold on the right side (RS) of the fabric. When you have completed these stitches, revert to the previous colour and continue working the pattern as written.  On completing the piece, e.g. head/head & body, and prior to sewing up, follow the next instructions.

If the pattern works the beard from bottom to top, you will need to invert it!  You MUST work from top to bottom.  Insert the appropriate size needle into the stitches held on the stitch holder, or slip them from the holder to the needle.  Follow the pattern for the beard either as written or in reverse as appropriate.  You will finish up with the beard already attached, in the right position.  If it refuses to lie flat, it can be secured using the tail of yarn between the main fabric and the beard.  Finish the piece off as usual, making sure that the beard’s yarn tails are also woven in to hide them.

You may wish to improve the look in some instances, such as the beard in the example above, by having one or two more stitches of the main fabric, in the grafted piece’s colour, either side of those required to be held on the stitch holder.  This process could be used to attach pockets too, but in that case, you would knit the pocket from bottom to top and you would still need to sew the sides of the pocket onto the main fabric.  In fact, there may well be other instances where this could be applied.

A final note:  It’s much easier to follow this process once the main fabric is no longer held on a needle!

Tip: Drawstring Finishing


Many of the toys I’ve knitted involve sewing down to the cast on edge, where you are then told to pass the yarn through the cast on stitches to create a drawstring effect. I did this several times and found the results less than pleasing. Now, if the pattern includes this process, I start with a longer yarn tail when casting on. Once I have all the stitches cast on, I thread the yarn onto a darning/tapestry needle and thread it through the stitches before going on to the first row. When that part of the project is completed, I have a drawstring already in place for the cast on stitches edge! You do have to be a little bit more careful doing the first row, avoiding splitting or picking up the threaded yarn, but it works so much better.

New Page Added


I’ve added a new page to the blog! OK, at the moment, it’s limited in content but I hope that will change over time. Look for the page titled Free Patterns at the top or down the right side.  You’ll be able to download PDFs of my free patterns as they are released.

Learning Cable


Thanks to articles like New Ideas in Knitted Cables I’ve been learning more about how to design cable patterns.  I find it a fascinating subject, along with other methods of creating texture in knitting.  In time, I would love to create my own patterns, making use of what I’ve learnt.  It occurs to me that textured items would be of great value to those with visual impairments, not just being something of visual attractiveness.  I know that there is no shortage of cable patterns, but there’s always room for more.