Sunday, January 31, 2010

Circular needle clutch

This is the latest way I am trying to organize the obsession.  I made it and it's already not big enough... haha... maybe I should have thought it through a little more.  Still, it's pretty and I like it quite a lot.

Great Kilt for Alex

He's been pining for a great kilt for quite some time and we found a "homespun" fabric at Jo-Ann's that seemed to fit the bill.  We had a great coupon, and he got to say "I'll take the whole 9 yards!" at the cutting counter.  The instructions for making a great kilt were found on-line; Alex did the pleating, the pinning and all the cutting; I did the stay seams at the side for fray-checking, the long center seam, and a cheating seam to keep the pleats.

We made it the traditional way which is two strips 4.5 yards long that are sewn together.  Traditionally the looms to make the tartan were only 30" wide, so they had to sew it across the center (lengthwise) to make it the appropriate size; for the great kilt goes to the knees and should be draped accordingly so that the top piece may be used as a cloak or what have you, for extra warmth.  So instead of two even pieces this kilt has the seam hidden under the beltline (because the fabric was 47", and we can), as well as the cheatin' pleat line.  I did not use a serger this time but seamed it straight and then tacked down the seam edges to either side.  It made for a very neat and tidy garment.  A few washings and the edges will fringe out nicely! It looks quite smashing on him, too!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Canvas bag

I probably have too many bags but I just didn't have the *perfect* knitting/work/go bag... what's a girl to do?  Design and make one herself, naturally.  It matches my knitting roll too.  :D

Knitting Needle Organizer

The organizer I had, made by a lovely friend of mine, alas... I have outgrown it.  My needle collection is now too great to fit in the smaller organizer.  Here is the new one!  I had a lot of fun playing in the fabric store and picking out what I wanted.  I am also making a circular knitting needle clutch, but it is not yet done.

Cabled Zipper Pouch

I did not have a pouch to put my little knitting accessories in... so I decided to make one.  I'd never even attempted cables before, so I figured this is a great opportunity to try a swatch.  Any swatch can become a pouch, with a little side sewing, add a zipper... instant gratification!

This celtic knot cable came from one of my favorite books, "Super Stitches Knitting" by Karen Hemingway.  Thus I cannot take any credit for the pattern and I don't believe it would be right to copy here what I did... suffice it to say that it is a 24 stitch cable, done over 16 rows, and I added 4 stitches at either end to make a larger background.   If you like this cable you should see the rest of her book, it's FABULOUS. 

Then I hand sewed on the zipper, and now I have the most adorable pouch *ever*.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cloth Menstrual Pads

I started out sewing long before I began to knit... I was taught to sew when I was 6, and learned the machine at 8.  Combine this life-long love of crafting with a deep  need to recycle, preserve, conserve and you have a creative hippie chick! 
Anyway I hate buying tampons and pads.  I use sea sponges as "tampons" and that helps, but I find my cramps are worse with an insert and sometimes I just want a pad.  I've always wanted Glad Rags but found them terribly expensive... then it occurred to me, why don't I just sew some?

Why not?

These photos are of the first one I made.  The tartan, a super soft yummy flannel, goes against the skin.  The skully flannel is soft too, and that goes against the undies, and the wings snap together to keep it in place.

I searched the web and found a few great sites with free patterns and advice, such as:
and more or less improvised my own pattern. 

I don't bleed heavily, and can get away with pantyliners most of the time, so I used one as a template.  I used flannel, and an old washcloth as the "batting" on the inside (one layer thick).  I wanted to try it with a binding on the edge, but it looks a little messy so I think I'll stick with overedging with the serger next time.  It's very comfy!  I hated the sticky wings on the disposables that could sometimes snag an unsuspecting poor hair... who needs the band-aid treatment when you're already feeling sorry for yourself???

If you want to make some, visit those sites, they're super easy!  I even saw a knitted one!  I'm not sure that would be comfy; maybe?
Happy Moontime!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bas-relief Skull Hat

When my fiance asked me to knit a skull and crossbones hat, in the watchman's cap style, we sat down and looked at lots of pics on the 'net of hat patterns.  None really suited.  So then I figured I'm make something up.  It's pretty simple to make a hat in this shape... but what kind of skull pattern?  Then we came across a neat idea here:
where the skull and crossbones are picked out in texture- knit, purl- rather than color.  That's groovy!

So the following pattern is the result of my experiment.  Thank you natty knitter for a neat idea.
Now, I'm not 100% happy with how the skull came out.  It was a small surface area to work in, though in hindsight I had a little more room than anticipated.  If I do it again, I will make the skull over a slightly larger area to make it look better.  He loves his hat as it is!  So I can't complain too much.

To make:
Paton's Classic Wool, black (worsted weight)
Crochet hook/ tapestry needle

CO 90 sts.  Join in the round- don't twist!
Knit in 1X1 rib pattern for 1.5 inches. 
Knit two rows in stockinette stitch.
The pattern is over 28 sts and roughly 4 inches.  I put all 28 sts on one needle to ease the pattern making, so I could see it better and not lose count.
Start pattern (I will post it soon, I have to put it onto the 'puter).

After the pattern is complete, keep going in stockinette stitch until the whole piece is 6.5 inches long.
To decrease:
1: *ssk, k12, k2tog, k2  *repeat to end (80)
2, 3: k
4: *ssk, k10, k2tog, k2 *repeat to end (70)
5,6: k
7: *ssk, k8, k2tog, k2 *repeat to end (60)
8,9: k
10: *ssk, k6, k2tog, k2 *repeat to end (50)
11, 12: k
13: *ssk, k4, k2tog, k2 *repeat to end (40)
14, 15: k
16: *ssk, k2, k2tog, k2 *repeat to end (30)
17: k
18: *ssk, k2tog, k2 *repeat to end (20)
19: k
20: *ssk, k2tog *repeat to end (10)

Pull through remaining sts and weave ends in on WS with crochet hook.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Acorn Baby Hat

Nowhere on line was there a satisfying pattern for an acorn hat that actually looked like an acorn cap.  So I had to invent one!  This was the first ever pattern I have improvised, and I am delighted! The hat was made for a friend's baby that truly looks like a little acorn faerie.  At 4 months old, this should be the perfect thing to complete her.  As soon as I get a picture of her wearing it, I will include that on here.

I knitted this in the round, with a moss stitch.  It looks exactly as I hoped it would, with the right acorn cap texture!  It knitted up in a day, a quick and satisfying present.

Red Heart Soft Yarn (140 g/ 256 yards) in Chocolate (color 9344)
US 9 DPN needles
Tapestry or darning needle
Place marker

20 st and 33 row = 4 X 4 inches

This pattern is intended for infants 4 to 8 months of age and totally depends on the size of the baby's noggin.  If you are making it for a newborn, I suggest casting on 54 sts and modifying the pattern from there; for an older child, cast on more (in an even number.)  It's a pretty simple pattern, fairly easy to adapt.  This pattern involves a "moss stitch" which you can reference if it's too confusing.  I've included a picture of a scarf I did in this stitch.

CO 60 sts
Join in the round, careful not to twist; PM at first stitch and begin the pattern from the first row.
Rows 1, 2: *[K, P] *repeat to marker.
Rows 3, 4: *[P, K] * repeat to marker.
This should give you an alternating purl-purl, knit-knit stack in the rows, to give the acorn's textured appearance.

Continue in this pattern for roughly 4 inches before beginning your decrease.
To decrease:
1. *K2 tog, [pattern] 10 sts  *repeat to marker.  [54 sts]
Basically, always K2tog, and look at what your pattern is doing at the following stitch- K or P as you would.  Yes, your decrease will have a rightwards slant, giving you a swirl, but it looks great.
2. *K2tog, [pattern] 9 sts  *repeat to marker.  [48]
3. *K2tog, [pattern] 8 sts  *repeat to marker  [42]
4. *K2tog, [pattern] 7 sts  *repeat to marker  [36]
5. *K2tog, [pattern] 6 sts *repeat to marker  [30]
6. *K2tog, [pattern] 5 sts *repeat to marker  [24]
7. *K2tog, [pattern] 4 sts *repeat to marker  [18]
8. *K2tog, [pattern] 3 sts *repeat to marker  [12]
9  *K2tog, [pattern] 2 sts  *repeat to marker [6]

Now that you have 6 sts left, just knit only until you have the length of stem you like.  Then break off the yarn and pull through your remaining 6 sts.  Use a tapestry needle (or even a crochet hook) to pull the tail through the center of the stem down into the WS, and pull tight to make the top of the stem tight.  Knot and weave the ends into the WS of the hat.  Weave your original CO tail into the hat and you're done!