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Tag Archives: Knitting

When I started knitting about a year and a half ago, I didn’t care about doing anything fancy – I just wanted to knit scarves, hats, mittens and … socks.  The scarves, hats and mittens were relatively easy to learn, but, oh boy, the socks.  I tried making a pair early on in my knitting experience and gave up after knitting a pair that was basically not wearable.  I waited awhile and tried again and yet a third time without good results.  At this point, I gave all of my sock/fingering yarn to my daughter who keeps me in gorgeous socks and figured I must have a mental block that kept me from doing what so many knitters consider an easy project.

Last week, I decided to give socks another try when I noticed a pattern on Ravelry called Easy Peasy Socks (“designed with the first-time sock knitter in mind”) by Stacey Trock.  The pattern calls for yarn and needles that would produce a gauge of 6 stitches/inch and I used #3 needles and baby/sports weight yarn to make mine.  I use only circular Magic Loop needles (circular with a long cable) and I was actually able to follow the pattern and make a pair of socks!  Stacey issues a warning:  “This pattern is annotated with lots of helpful hints & notes … it’s sorta like a transcript of what a sock class with me is like.”  And it’s how I felt as I followed along – it was like a class with a very student-friendly teacher.

My big problem has always been the heel flap and gusset, and I was able to do this reasonably well.

I’m now in the process of adapting the pattern so that I can make it with a longer leg length, longer ribbing and in a fingering/sock yarn.  I want to devise a formula that will allow me to make this very nice and “easy-peasy” sock in any size I want and using any needles or yarn that I choose.  More on that later.

Here is Stacey’s free pattern:  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/easy-peasy-socks-for-first-timers

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When I decided to learn to knit in January of 2016, I was interested in making easy, practical items for several charities.  One of them was Knit Your Bit for the National WWII Museum in New Orleans.  All of the information is here:

http://www.nationalww2museum.org/learn/knit-your-bit/how-to-participate.html

In addition to information, there are patterns on this site to use to both knit and crochet scarves.  I knew from my daughter’s experiences from past years that red, white and blue scarves were very popular and that is what I’ve been making.

Recently, though, on the Knit Your Bit Facebook page, I found a pattern for a scarf that has the colors and designs of a National Defense Service Medal.  This medal is a decoration presented to recognize all military members who have served in active duty during a declared “national emergency”.  It is an easy garter stitch striped scarf and interesting with the addition of bright yellow.

To find this pattern, go to the Knit Your Bits Facebook page and search for National Defense Service Stripe Scarf to get the free pattern for a scarf 6 inches wide x 71 inches long, knitted in worsted yarn with size 9 or 10 needles.  Nice item to donate to the museum’s program or to give to your favorite veteran.

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This is another pattern from designer Marianna Mel on Ravelry.com.  The pattern was written to fit a baby of around 3 months, but I used #7 needles and Premier acrylic yarn (color – Cake) to make a dress to fit a baby 6-9 months old.

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The dress buttons in the back.

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The skirt in the pattern is a simple, pretty lace, but I wanted to try out a pleated look using a knit 5/purl 2 garter stitch.

meadow-dress-hat-4My older daughter crocheted the small flowers for the dress and hat.

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The hat is a basic pattern done in the knit 5/purl 2 design.

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This is a good pattern for an advanced beginner and turns out so cute.  It should do well going into the spring months for the South Dakota Pine Ridge baby who receives it.

See Ravelry.com for information on the Lakota group, The Children of Pine Ridge.

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I enjoy making baby and toddler clothes for the Lakota/Sioux Children of Pine Ridge in South Dakota.  A group called the  Sacred Shawl Society collects items through Ravelry.com for young mothers and their children who come to a shelter to escape abuse at home.  They can use all kinds of warm knitted items for both mothers and babies.

http://www.ravelry.com/groups/for-the-children-of-pine-ridge

Marianne Mel on Ravelry.com has so many free patterns for baby sets that are relatively easy for an advanced beginner and turn out beautifully even with limited experience.  This little set is in a newborn size using size #6 needles and DK (baby yarn/sports weight) in variegated pastels.  I had a chance to use three vintage buttons (always happy when I can find 3 to match in my huge tin of old buttons).
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The cap is a basic design sized for a newborn.

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My youngest daughter’s 35-year-old rag doll is just the right size to model the sweater, although her head is way too big for the hat.

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Here is the link to the free pattern:  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fleur-baby-cardigan-jacket
 

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My favorite designer is an English lady who offers pages of free patterns, mostly for babies and small children.  She also has some items for teenagers and adults along with a few patterns that are for sale.  She can be found on ravelry.com under the name Marianna Mel.  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/search#query=marianna%20mel

This little vest is called Baby’s Ribbed Vest Top.  For a 9-months size the pattern calls for DK yarn (baby yarn/sport weight) and #6 needles.  I wanted to make a larger size and used #7 needles with #4 worsted yarn to make a size to fit a 3 to 4-year-old child.

It’s very sturdy and warm, good for the cold North Dakota climate where the Pine Ridge Lakota/Sioux children live.  Information on this charity is also on ravelry.com under the tab “groups”.

While I was knitting the sweater, I thought it should have some yellow elephant buttons, maybe because of the grey yarn.  Now, what are the chances that I could go to JoAnn’s and find reasonably-priced yellow elephant buttons?  But I did and I think they are perfect for this little vest which would be nice for either a boy or girl.

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I also made a matching hat, using Marianna Mel’s Ribster Baby Hat pattern except I used some stockinette stitching along with the ribbing.

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There were enough yellow elephants to put one on top of the hat, too.
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I enjoyed making this set.  All of Marianna’s patterns I’ve used so far have been suitable for an advanced beginner with very happy results.

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goldturban-sbMy younger daughter looks so much better in hats than I do

I follow a Facebook page called Addicted to Knitting which features knitted items that people have made, a lot of question/answer sessions and a very nice group for reading about what others are doing all over the world.  I saw one picture of a turban hat that a lady had made of deep purple yarn with a large purple gemstone in the center and was inspired to look up the free pattern by Bernat on Yarnspirations.comhttp://www.yarnspirations.com/patterns/turban-twist-hat.html

I didn’t have any purple yarn on hand but did have some Lion Brand Heartland yarn in the Yellowstone color which was nice and soft and worked well in this project, using #8 needles

It’s basically a long narrow scarf in an easy Seeded Rib pattern …

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…which is folded and sewn in place to form the turban.  The scarf was easy to make.

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Although the pattern comes with a diagram on how to fold and sew the turban, it was confusing to me and I’m showing how I got it together.  First mark the center of the scarf and then fold into this shape.

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Fold the two ends back to meet in the center and pin in place.

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Starting in the center and using a yarn needle with some scrap yarn of a different color, loosely baste each end in place, leaving 4 inch tails to make it easier to remove the waste yarn.

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Using another piece of waste yarn, stitch the center section where the two ends meet.  Baste as far as where the two pieces cross.

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At this point, put the hat on yourself or some volunteer and pin to close any gaps on top of the hat, basting them in place with waste yarn.

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Baste and try on the hat as many times as necessary to be sure it is the way you want it.  Then, using matching yarn, stitch the turban together, pulling out the waste yarn as you go.

I sewed a big vintage button on the front of my turban.

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1/9/17

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For the past year that I’ve been knitting, I’ve taken advantage of all of the wonderful free patterns available online.  This is one of the few patterns I’ve purchased, simply because I thought it was so cute and looked like something I might be able to do.  The pattern for this pretty piece was purchased from an English designer, Maybe Baby, in September, 2016, through PayPal at the exchange rate in effect at the time for $2.72.  It was an easy instant download and the pattern is very well written.  http://www.maybebabydesigns.co.uk/charityvestpattern.htm

I used Bernat Softee yarn with #7 needles and thought the jacket would fit a baby around 3 months old.

I enjoy knitting baby items the most but feel that the charity where my work goes has more need in the toddler and pre-school sizes.  My first project for 2017 was a remake of the jacket using Red Heart #4 worsted in the color, Corn Meal.  I went to the garter stitch after 7 rows of pattern on each side just to change the appearance a little bit.  I think this top would fit a chubby one-year-old.

Since I don’t crochet well, I omitted the crocheted edging in each case.

I used circular needles – Magic Loop (circular needles with long cables) – and am giving a brief outline of how I did the piece using these needles to do the portion  where the left front begins and across the neck.  I’m not sure this is the way the designer did it, but it worked for me.

After completing the right front, leave the stitches on the cable of the Magic Loop, cut the yarn (leave a 6-inch tail), and just slide the piece down the cable, letting it “hang out” while you complete the left front.

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After the left front is completed, do not break yarn and follow directions in pattern to start the back, casting on 12 stitches across to form the center of the neck and knitting across the stitches from the right front that are hanging from the cable.

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These are the only two places in the pattern that I found a little confusing.

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I think it’s a very cute jacket that could be used with various designs and stitch patterns.

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