Author: horsenettle

The Mysterious Expanding Slipper

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You learn things every day. What I learned today: Yarn stretches. Yes, I know. I should know this, but it must have escaped my mind somehow.

My dad had requested slippers, so I traced his current slipper on a piece of paper to be able to size them correctly. I was really excited about making these, because I came across Isela's pattern for ribbed socks (PDF) using the blue loom, and it would be my first try at a toe that didn't get drawn up with one thread like the top of a hat. (Note: I didn't make this pattern exactly, but it helped me understand increasing and decreasing on the loom–her pattern keeps those pesky holes from appearing in the heel.)

So, my dad has size 10.5 feet. Keep this in mind. I started with Lion Brand Thick and Quick in "wood" (yes, I must expand my yarn horizons) by knitting ten rounds, drawing up the bottom row, and knitting off to make a cuff. I then jumped right into the heel, and was pleased to find it went smoothly. When I started the actual foot, I carefully compared the growing sock with the tracing of my Dad's slipper. 10.5. Remember.

I knitted 28 rows and then knitted the toe using the flat stitch. I took off the whole thing using a flat panel removal method, like Isela recommends. And here's the result!

That's ONE HUGE SLIPPER!

B came home, took one look, and burst out laughing. What happened? It matched the paper tracing exactly, right up until the point where I took it off of the loom. So… the moral of the story is: yarn stretches, sometimes mysteriously so.

This story has a happy ending. Yes, I could have "frogged" it (I've learned that means Rip-it, Rip-it!) but it just so happens my husband's foot is size 12 so guess who's getting a pair of slippers? Sorry, Dad!

Scarf

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Another first: a scarf! I think if someone gets a KK for Christmas, they probably make a hat and a scarf. I try to make as many different things as I can, but I guess someday, you just look around and realize you need a scarf. I used the purple loom and Lion Thick & Quick and knitted a scarf using the entire skein. It took me about 1.5 hours, and I used the figure eight wrapping pattern to cast on, and then I used the zig-zag pattern after than. Super duper easy. The only problem that I encountered was that I thought the scarf was too wide and short, and when B laid eyes on it, he said, "Hey, I'll use that!"

So, I'm still scarfless. Oh well. It's about 50 degrees out and until the next snow, I won't need one. Next project: Slippers for Dad.

What’s on the purple loom?

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A newly-started afghan–a people one, not a cat one. I bought about eight skeins of some cheapie yarn, Red Heart, and dove into the biggest project I've undertaken. The purple loom makes about a 12" wide panel and I'm planning on alternating squares of blue, brown, cream, and a multicolored blue-brown-cream.

I'm using the zig zag stitch with two strands of yarn. It's a bit airy with spaces between the stitches, but I think the overall size will make it warm. I like doing this type of thing because I don't have to count much. I don't like doing it because it's a little overwhelming with how long it can take. Also, I'll have to stitch panels together which is something I haven't done. Maybe I can crochet them? I'm planning on three panels of five squares each which, hopefully, will give me a 36"x 62" afghan. Another adventure!

Felting, Take Two

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I had another try at felting. Having read up a bit, I decided on a coin purse, mainly because I didn't care what size the end product was. I'm new at this, I tell you. I used about 3/4 of a skein of wool, probably 100 yards, and used the red loom. I knitted about forty rows in the round, then I just knitted back and forth on one half of the pegs for the flap. I cast off with a slightly different method this time, and it worked dandy for this project. I took one loop, hooked it over the peg closest to it, and then knitted over. Then I took the remaining loop on that peg I just knitted off of, and I hooked it over the nearest and knitted over. Over and over. I did the same for the loops remaining on the other half of the pegs. I then stitched the bottom. I had a purse about 6" wide and probably 5" tall. I'm sorry to say I didn't photograph the before picture, but here's the after. I decided to flip this inside out, because I liked the look of the "purl" side better than the "knit" side. I washed it in a hot washer and then dried it for probably 30 minutes.

What I learned: Felting works, and it's super cool. Using the KK means you should knit a denser object than you think. Use two strands or a chunky-type stitch (one over three).

What I wish I would have done: Put on a button before felting!