Afghan panel, hemp mat, slippers, shrug

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Afghan2
Mat
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Slippers

I finally finished one panel of my afghan. I’ve been using the purple loom, and I’ve discovered that making an afghan is a true test in endurance. My hat goes off to all you afghan-makers out there! This is one big project. I’m using Red Heart Super Saver (because it’s cheap), and I do a zig-zag wrap using the whole loom. The panel I finished is divided into five “squares” of thirty-three rows apiece (plus one row where the old color stops and the new color start). I alternated colors (blue, brown/multicolor, cream, multicolor/brown, blue). The next panel will probably be different colors (brown, cream, multicolor, cream, brown), and the final panel will probably be the same as the first. B says it should be five panels wide, but I think it’ll be mid-summer before it gets finished if I add two more.

Once my purple loom was free, I tried to knit a rug/mat out of this hemp twine I bought a few weeks back from a groovy bead shop. It smells like patchouli! I used a figure-eight wrap and it ended up a perfect square. Not quite a rug, not a placemat. What is it? My wrist hurt after knitting this, and my KK pick was bent, and I’ll send out a warning. Pick a thinner hemp if you plan on doing this. I think it would make a great outdoor welcome mat if the gauge was a little thinner, and I had twice as much. The double-knit end result from the purple loom is really cool.

My shrug. Oh, the poor thing! I stopped after I finished the main section. All I have left is the arms, but I just… don’t… like… it… There, I said it. It’s too green and hairy. I’m letting this sit for the time being because I may come up with another use for it, or I may decide I really, really want a green and hairy shrug after all. We’ll see.

Over the weekend, I made yet another pair of slippers for myself. Yes, this is the third pair I’ve made for myself, the fifth pair total. However, this time, I used the toe-up pattern that’s in the “files” section of the Knifty Knitter’s yahoo group. I used the blue loom and it was really easy. I like the toe-up slipper because there’s no seam at all in the toe area. It’s fun. You start off by creating the toe (the blue loom uses pegs 1-12) and then decreasing and then increasing. (It’s all in the pattern). Then, here’s the fun part, you pull those original stitches over to pegs 13-24. The toe looks like a flat circle at this point. Then you start the foot, and as you add row after row, you can see the toe emerge. Rowena also does a version of a toe-up sock, and she has pictures on her blog.

The first time I tried this, I was using a flat stitch, and I just couldn’t pull the stitches across to the other side, because the stitch was too tight. This time I used the regular e-wrap stitch, and it worked really well. I used Bernat’s Denimstyle yarn, which was okay for this project but not great. It’s part cotton and really doesn’t have any elasticity to it. It’d be great for a sweater or a scarf. Another first for me–I used two colors. Red (batik) for the toe/heel, and white (canvas) for the foot/ankle/cuff. I think they’re cute and super soft, and they’re the perfect thing to wear to bed if your feet are cold.

Next project: A bag. Yes, once more I’m going to try to make a bag.

Knitting with Pets

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Kitty2
Yarndog1

Do you have one of these? A yarn kitty? Sometimes, he’s a good cat and he just wants to look at the yarn. He watches it with an innocent expression, and he’s content to sit on my lap and purr while I knit. His eyes never leave the yarn, but he resists attacking.

But other times… Other times, he’s a yarn killer.

He can snag my projects, attack them, and even try to pick them up and carry them away. And when I get mad and untangle the mess from his claws, he gives me this look. So innocent as though he’s asking, Why is this human angry with me? Aren’t I a cat? And aren’t cats supposed attack yarn? I’m just doing my job after all.
Even of more danger than a yarn cat is the yarn dog. She’s quiet and sweet most of the time, but suddenly, all 65 pounds is pawing at you, demanding attention. One swipe of a giant paw is enough to fling both my loom and yarn across the room, but she’s so sweet and cute, and most of the time, she just gives me a look like this.

What yarn pets do you have? How do you keep them out of your yarn?

Categories: Home Loom Knitting

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What stitch is this?

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Stitch

I’ve been working on a shrug, and I decided to use a looser, lacier stitch than the ones I’m familiar with, so I’ve been using this one. It’s just one strand of yarn (Yarn Bee, Cameo). I don’t know the name of the stitch yet, but I’m trying to find it. I cast on and then, with one stitch on each peg, I double-wrap each peg–I don’t go around the loom twice, I simply wrap each peg twice–then I move onto the next, and so on. I then knit the bottom two wrappings over the top one, leaving just one wrapping on each peg. This creates a boxy looking stitch. I’m not certain if I like it, but I’m going to keep on with it.

As far as shrugs, this will basically be a rectangle (knitted as a flat panel on the yellow loom) about 36″ long. I’m also knitting two sleeves/cuffs on the blue loom. If they’re too small, I may switch to the red loom to get a looser look. I’ve never made a shrug before, so it’s yet another experiment. Honestly, I don’t even know if I like shrugs, but it’s fun to make something new.

There are a ton of free patterns for shrugs here, but they’re all knitting patterns, so you’ll have to find a way to convert them to a loom. I tend to like the ones with a front on them, like Berroco’s Evonne, but I like the look of this one, and the one listed on this vintage pattern site (scroll down to see it). The one at the Lion Brand free pattern site is neat, too. I’ll put these in my to-make-someday-when-I-have-a-finer-gauge-loom file or my to-make-someday-when-I-understand-how-to-convert-patterns file.

A yarn bowl, plus slippers for me

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Bowl

Slippers5

Sometime yesterday, it became apparent that my bag was never going to be a bag. It was, in fact, a bowl. I had tried knitting the sides again, but they sunk in so much that the whole thing looked funny. (Thanks, Saaski, for your comments about this. Happy to know you had the same problem.)

I think what happened is that the bottom was so overdone it kept a strong shape, while the sides were flimsy in comparison, and when I tried a tighter stitch, it just brought in the sides even more. So, I now have a bowl made of yarn. It’s sort of cute, and I may try felting it someday. In the meantime, it’s holding all those little scraps of yarn I trim off of my projects.

Now for some good news. I actually used the final amount of my Bollicine yarn and made myself a pair of slippers in just two hours–I’m getting faster. I used the blue loom and the same pattern I’ve used for the others I’ve made (Isela’s pattern for ribbed socks–PDF document). Because this yarn is thinner than the others I’ve used, I had to use two strands throughout. This time, though, I knew I had a limited amount of yarn and I didn’t think I could spare enough to make a full cuff or even a short, ribbed cuff, thanks to the dreaded bag/bowl fiasco, so I knitted just five rows and let the tops roll down. This is the same type of “rim” my bowl has, so I knew I could get away with that type of cuff. The rest of the slipper was identical to the others. I turned the heel, knitted 16 rows for the foot, and then did the toe.

Now that I’m on my third use of this pattern, I’ve figured out how to avoid having a small hole in the side of the heel. For some reason, I always end up with a hole near the first peg. This doesn’t happen near peg 12, just the first one, so this is how I correct it. I knit the entire heel just as Isela lays out. I knit the very final row of the heel (from Peg 13 to Peg 1), and then I’m ready to start from Peg 1 to go back in circular rows for the foot, only I start out by wrapping Peg 24 first, and then I wrap 1, 2, 3, etc., all the way around to peg 23. I then wrap 24 again (Peg 24 now has three loops on it), and KO all the pegs, including TWO loops on Peg 24 so there’s only one loop left. There may be a better way to do this, but I haven’t stumbled across it yet. I wonder if the reason why I have this problem is that I always wrap in a clockwise manner. Maybe if I wrapped in a counterclockwise manner, this would go away. Something else to think about.

Aren’t they cute? I wore them for a few hours, and it looks like my foot is still inside.