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.
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.