I’ve been dying to make a freeform project, and this pattern from Jane Thornley looks perfect. It’s designed for any gauge yarn. I plan to use some hand spun art yarns in this project, along with leftovers and things I’ve been holding onto because they are so “special”. This includes yarns that I only have one skein of, so cannot do a big project with them on their own.
I like the look of these easy socks. They seem nicely fitting and good for hand dyed yarn. I’m always looking for sock patterns that break up pooling and blotchiness that can occur when knitting with hand dyed sock yarns. I will probably use a Turkish Toe and Cat Bordhi’s Sweet Tomato heel, I enjoy knitting them and the fit works for me.
One thing I really like about the Turkish Toe is that it’s seamless, that makes it comfortable and sturdy.
I usually knit 3.5 repeats of the heel on 1/2 the stitches, rather than recommended 3/4 of the stitches, because I’m too lazy to move the stitches around on my circular needles when it’s time to do the heel.
Yes, I use circulars for socks, and almost everything else. I like that I can’t drop or lose them, and I find DPNs clumsy and hard to hold on to.
I’m sure I’ll also knit headbands and cowls and lots more this year.
You can see all my finished and ongoing projects here on my Ravelry page.
What fiber adventures are you planning this year? Comment and let me know!
As a reminder, get free shipping when you purchase two or more spinning fibers from our Etsy Store. Use coupon code FREESHIP2FIBERS. Free shipping ends Feb. 29, 2016.
I get a lot of questions about the small yardage super bulky art yarns I spin. Typically someone admires one my yarns like this one.
And then they ask me “But, what can I do with such a small amount of yarn?”
A great use for this type of yarn is a headband. I have made headbands from super bulky yarns spun from 1.75 oz. of fiber. This one is a 2 ply, but used a small amount of yarn. Don’t be fooled by how little it looks, it stretches to fit a woman’s head perfectly.
Check out my Ravelry project page to see all the headbands I’ve knit. As of today there are seventeen. Scope out my other projects while you are there too. Friend me and say hi.
You can get my free headband pattern here. It’s easy and fast, you’ll have a gorgeous headband in less than an hour. Warning: These are addictive knitting! You’ll want to make another one immediately.
These yarns can be used in weaving projects, to stripe in a cowl or hat, or to create a face framing edging.
Combine with other super bulky yarns, handspun or commercially spun, to use in a larger project. This is a great way to use up leftovers. Make the colors coordinated or wildly contrasting. Try it for a scarf or a larger project.
The Rogue Wave Wrap is perfect for this kind of yarn when combined with others. There are a lot of patterns that would work. Here’s one that’s free. I am knitting this now. watch for pictures soon.
Wrap a gift for a women in a pretty tea towel and tie with fabulous yarn.
There are a few ideas get you started. Do you have others? I’d love to hear them. Comment below to share!
TED has published a list of the most popular talks of 2015. My favorite is number three on drug addiction and how everything we think we know about it is wrong. What’s yours?
Did you know the Brooklyn Botanic Garden has an exhibition of knitted plants that are scientifically accurate?
There’s a short article in the Wall Street Journal about the exhibit and the artist who created most of it. She’s a self taught knitter, which is kind of amazing.
If you are a chicken keeper you may worry about your darlings out there in the cold, it is January, after all. Maybe you’ve thought about knitting them each a sweater, but thought that would be a bit silly. Well, in my relentless pursuit of knowledge, I’ve run across a pattern for a chicken sweater. Pictures first!
Would you love to knit a beautiful entrelac project like this?
After completing 20 entrelacs I consider myself quite experienced. Many knitters have told me they would love to try it, but thinks it’s too difficult. It’s not! Really. Here are some tips to make your first entrelac a success.
I always use the same pattern, if I want a bigger or smaller entrelac I change the number of stitches I cast on. My go-to pattern is The Basic Entrelac Scarf by Lisa Shroyer. Find it on Ravelry here. You’ll notice the shawl pictured above is featured on this pattern page.
The stitches are cast on in groups of 8, sometimes I’ve cast on as few as 16. The usual number is 24. Right now I’m working on a huge custom wrap for which I cast on 48 stitches. This project is is using 6 balls of Noro Nadeshiko, which is discontinued.
Start with 16 or 24 stitches on your first project.
Just follow the pattern, it’s very clear and well written. If you have any trouble understanding it, here is a tutorial on YouTube.
I recommend using bulky yarn for your first entrelac. You’ll see quick progress and the heavy yarn will make your stitches easy to see if you need to tink (unknit) something. It also makes it much easier to see what you’re doing when you pick up stitches to create the new blocks.
To get an entrelac with solidly colored blocks you’ll need a yarn with a long color change. My favorites include a lot of Noro yarns. I’ve used Kochoran, Nideshiko and Transitions. These are all discontinued. Many Noro yarns would work.
Once you get comfortable with picking up stitches (or if you have some experience with this) try a worsted weight yarn.
If you like striped blocks like this, try a hand dyed or commercial yarn with a short color repeat.
Neutrals can be beautiful too!
When completing a row, spread out the project and make sure the edges are even. It’s easy to forget or add an extra a side triangle and once you continue there is no way to correct without ripping back to that point. Best to examine each row and avoid any anguish when you discover something awry rows later.
I like to use circular needles, it keeps the edges from slipping off best, but I use circulars for everything.
Picking up stitches intimidates a lot of knitters. I was nervous about it in the beginning. The important thing to remember – it’s easy to rip them out and begin again. Entrelac is the perfect way to get really good at picking up stitches, both knitwise and purlwise. You will be an expert after your first project and never hesitate again.
If you aren’t sure exactly how to pick up and knit, check out this YouTube video on picking up knitwise. This is focused on socks, but the principle is the same, and the stitches are very visible in this video.
Picking up purlwise is shown in this short video. This is going to feel very awkward at first! Keep at it and it will become easy. Remember, practice is the way to learn anything.
The little holes at some intersections of blocks are normal. Using a slightly fuzzy yarn will help hide them. This is a perfect excuse to use a yarn with a bit of angora, again Noro is a great choice for this.
View your first entrelac as practice. Focus on learning the skills you may not be comfortable with when you begin. Don’t worry about the result. The wonderful thing about knitting is that it’s easy to tear it all out and begin again. Entrelac’s block by block construction makes it especially easy to tear out a block and correct something you don’t like.
Wow, it’s 2016 already! That was a quick year. Here are some things I want to learn more about or try for myself in the New Year.
I am in love with these gorgeous pillowcases and finally found a great tutorial. The series extends over several weeks, and covers creating the pillowcase and adding the edging. You could start with a purchased pillow case if you want to get right to the edging.
Here is the foundation for the edge. The actual crochet edging is the next post.
I would love to put pretty edges on white pillow cases. Perhaps my lovely sister will do it for me. Linda, are you reading this?
I’ve been abusing my hands, wrists and elbows lately by knitting a big entrelac project and spinning yarn. I tend to grip everything quite tightly in my quest for control, so I get very sore. This is very common among knitters, crocheters, spinners, painters, anyone who does a lot of hand work. Some of you will be happy to find this great site full of Finger Yoga. Click on poses and explore! Very simple stuff and your hands and arms will thank you.
Would you like to live in a house like this?
Yes, please! Can you believe it’s created from a used shipping container? Apparently there are heaps of these just rusting away on the east coast. Wouldn’t it be great if these could be repurposed into inexpensive housing for retirees, young people just starting out, or people who’ve been affected by natural disasters?
Here is a Buzzfeed blog post about shipping container homes that shows how fabulous they can be. I dream of creating one for myself someday.