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.
Calvin and Hobbes might be my favorite comic of all time. Love the relationship between them, the exasperation of the parents (I can really relate), and his imaginary adventures. This absolutely charming image of them in a “real life” quiet moment just makes me smile. The artist, Isaiah Stephens, is a genius! Check out a few of his other drawings here.
How about downloading your next new pair of jeans? I find the idea of downloadable clothes rather mind bending. Listen to this TED talk for a glimpse of the possible future of fashion retailing.
Hey, knitters who love tea. Have you been looking at all the amazing tea cozies people have made? Here’s a fairly simple free pattern to get you started. This is from Loani Prior, the author of four books on tea cozies, including her new book. I want!
This is the last Friday Finds post of 2015. Wishing all my readers a very happy holiday season. Celebrate!
What’s your first response? Frazzled, jolly, overwhelmed? Mine is annoyed. I find myself grouchy about all the shopping, cooking, wrapping, etc. That stuff just doesn’t feel all that good to me. It’s not a holiday to me if I have more work than on a normal day.
I struggle with enjoying any holiday, and this post from Anna at declare dominion.com really hit home. I’m going to pay a lot more attention to what feels right to me as I make my holiday plans this year, rather than just go along with “tradition”. I love flowers, music and candlelight so I’m going to incorporate more of those to make my holidays special. Big fancy meals, towers of beautifully wrapped presents and long car trips add stress to my holidays so I am throwing those plans to the side of the road.
Anna’s website is full of information on living a beautiful life – a life that is beautiful to you. Check her out if you are finding things just a bit dull.
My kids are growing up quickly, and I find myself daydreaming a lot about the next phase of life. One of our biggest decisions will be staying in Indianapolis or going somewhere more retiree friendly. I think about Arizona or New Mexico, but people tell me there are a lot of yucky critters there. I do know we will not stay in our two story house. One thing I never thought about is renting vs. buying. This fascinating post made me add this question to the list of things to consider. I am one of those people who automatically assumed it’s always better to own, provided you can afford the payment for the foreseeable future. I never believed in being house poor as so many people seem to. After reading this post, I find Indianapolis is a place to own rather than rent. But some of the places I dream of going might be different. We are spoiled here by low house prices in general. Moving might be a shock to the system!
I’m a big fan of books (you probably noticed). I really love cozies and murder mysteries. I also love food! Would you believe there is a website that combines both? I must try the recipe for Creole Eggplant on this page. Mmmm, eggplant…
The weekly fiber pic is for sock knitters. I am slowly moving along with these socks. Lots of other interesting things to knit, so I’m making little progress right now. They are fun and an easy knit.
See my Ravelry project page for details about the pattern and changes I’ve made.
As an amateur Egyptologist I am fascinated by King Tut.
There is evidence his tomb contains hidden chambers. Will this reignite King Tut fever and bring tourists back to Egypt? Read about it here.
In other spooky desert news, scientists have discovered that tarantulas have evolved the exact shade of blue at least 8 times. Why? That’s a mystery. They theorize that there is a “receiver” of the color who is not another tarantula. I wonder who/what it is? Inquiring minds want to know! Showing my science geekiness now.
For knitters who have a hole in your project due to a broken yarn (and hasn’t that happened to all of us?) here is a fix using duplicate stitch.
My first handspun yarn was knit into a cowl and after I wore it a few times the yarn broke. I have been wondering how to repair it without ripping the whole thing out. I’m going to try this method!
If you have a better way to repair holes in hand knits, I’d love to know about it!
As is my traditional closing on Friday posts, here is a picture of juicy fiber goodness. This one is for spinners looking for eye candy.