27 Apr

Finished: Medieval pouch again

Here’s my second medieval pouch. This took a while because I haven’t been working on it very often. I got the majority of it done while I was at the Legislative District caucuses a few weeks ago (for 14 hours… don’t get me started on that. I didn’t knit the whole time I was there or I might have actually finished it all that day!).

Technical specs:
Green and grey yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers
Blue yarn: Vintage 1970s Brunswick Germantown from Goodwill
Needles: US 6, 16″ circular
Cord and tassels: DMC perle cotton. Cords are twisted plied cord because I haven’t yet gotten around to learning fingerloop braiding.

Chart: Refined version of my own earlier chart, based on motifs from period knitting in Rutt’s History of Hand Knitting, and also inspired by charts created by Dame Christian de Holacombe, found here. I used Excel to draw out the chart.

I encourage anyone interested in a project like this to try it. It is very easy. It looks much harder to knit one of these than it really is.

Now, no more pouches for a while, I hope.

18 Apr

Design in progress: creating the Melusine scarf

Recently I had an opportunity to design a knitting pattern using Brooklyn Handspun sock yarn. I had been kicking around the idea of designing a beaded lace scarf for a while, and was planning to use some pink Spritely Goods yarn in my stash. But creating the pattern for Brooklyn Handspun sounded like fun. I’ll do something else with the Spritely Goods.

During my projects lately, I generally put periodic updates on my Ravelry page for the project so as not to clutter up the blog, but I thought it would be interesting to post about the process of designing this pattern.

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26 Mar

Finished knit project: Fuzzy Red Kitty Bed

Well, it would have been nice if I’d finished this on Pi Day, because it’s from a pattern called “Kitty Pi,” but at least I finished it in March. This is a bed for our cats.

Technical details:

It’s felted, and knitted from Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Bulky, with size US11 needles. I used two skeins of Ruby Red and one of Orange You Glad, and have a little bit left of each color. I also used some Target Fuzzy Fur around the edge, but guess what? It doesn’t even show in the final felted item. So it was useless. Oh well.

Do the kitties like it? Well, I haven’t caught one sleeping in it yet, but Sherman will at least cuddle up to it:

Sherman trying out the kitty bed


15 Mar

Pattern: Golden Rose Baby Sundress

This cute sundress was designed for my niece’s birthday last year. It’s very easy to knit, with a deceptively simple lace hem and a seed stitch bodice, and knits up really quickly. The pattern contains 3 sizes: 6mo, 1yr, and 2yr.

(Etsy and craft-fair sellers: This pattern may be used to knit up to 20 dresses for sale. If you wish to sell more than 20 of them, please contact me for licensing terms.)

Materials needed:

  • 414-500 yards of worsted or aran weight yarn. The yarn called for is Lion-Brand Cotton-Ease, which is a cotton-acrylic blend that is soft, nice to work with, and easily found in your local craft store. I used just a little more than 2 skeins.
  • US8/5.0mm needles
  • Two 3/4-inch buttons for shoulders
  • Yarn needle to sew in ends

Gauge:
18 stitches/4 inches in stockinette stitch.

Skills:
Basic knitting; this is a good beginner lace project.

You can purchase this pattern for $4.00 via this link:

Here are some more pictures (click to see a larger version at Flickr):

Lace close-up

The photos of the adorable baby modeling the dress were taken by Peter Backman. The dress she is wearing was knitted by Beth Ingersoll. (The other dress was knitted by me.) Thanks!

09 Mar

Zelda hearts laptop sleeve

Becca used my Detlef-13 felted laptop sleeve pattern to make a laptop sleeve with Zelda hearts. Very cool idea. I love how the last heart is half-empty; I guess that had to be done, otherwise they’d just look like normal hearts. Lots of old game graphics lend themselves quite well to the pixelly quality of multicolor knitting. Perhaps I’ll create some game-related charts that I can include with the Detlef-13 pattern.

27 Feb

Medieval pouch experiment

(If you follow my Flickr feed — or my Ravelry project page — you have seen this already, but I wanted to post it here too.)

This is a prototype of sorts. Inspired mostly by the medieval cushions and relic pouches in Rutt’s A History of Hand Knitting, and a little bit by the recent cover story on medieval knitting in Tournaments Illuminated (it’s not online, but you can see virtually the same article here), I drew up a chart in a spreadsheet to play around with some heraldic motifs. I used some Wool-Ease I had sitting around; not exactly a period fiber, but good enough for experimenting. And the colors I had are quite nice.

The chart includes some basic decorative motifs at the top and bottom (actual medieval patterns), some repeating ladders (my SCA badge is a ladder vert, bendwise, which means a green ladder, leaning with the top to the upper left), two cats in a medieval heraldic style (I suppose they look more like dogs, though), and some Ys, or shakeforks (a motif related to the Shire of Wyewood, the local group where I participate). However, once I started knitting, I saw that my stitches are much squarer than I expected, so the pouch’s proportions were going to be off. I ended up removing a rung of the ladders, and leaving the Ys out completely. Darn it.

I will probably add a lining to this (it needs it because of the stranded wool inside), and redo the tassels because I don’t like them. Then I will improve the design a bit and make one with 100% wool.

This was a fun project because it knit up very quickly, and every round you knit makes it look different. There’s also nothing very difficult about it. Just knit a tube and sew up the bottom, really.

15 Dec

Pattern: W hat

Last year I designed Madison’s Hat, a simple two-color hat in bulky yarn that is an excellent project for learning stranded Fair Isle-type colorwork.

The next step, after mastering the Madison’s Hat, was to try a project with more colors and slightly finer yarn. So, here is a variant on the Madison’s Hat: the W Hat. (No, not that W. My initial is W and there are little W’s near the top of the pattern.)

This is essentially the same as Madison’s Hat, but the addition of a third color makes it slightly more challenging. Not too much, though, because no row has more than two colors, and the floats are very short, as they were in the Madison Hat.

Here is another picture of the hat (click to see a larger version at Flickr):
Finished item: W hat

Download the W Hat pattern (PDF) here.

This pattern is Worthware — that means, if you like it, please send what you think it’s worth via the PayPal button here. I hope you think it’s worth something. Thanks for looking at my pattern!

Minor errata: If you downloaded the pattern before December 17, 2007, you should download the fixed version. The old one suggested that leave the hat on the circular needles until you decrease to 54 inches, then change to dpns, and this is not correct for this hat. Most people would probably figure it out anyway, but to be safe I’ve edited the pattern to fix this. The new pattern says “W Hat v2” at the bottom of each page.


13 Nov

Pattern: Diane Sweater from 1921

1921 Fleisher Yarn ad

Recently I was looking through the book For The Love of Knitting, which includes many pictures of vintage knitting patterns and books, and I noticed that one of the illustrations was of a Fleisher yarn company ad from 1921. The ad included a complete pattern for a very cute drop-stitch sweater, which it claims takes “less than two days’ time”! Now, here’s the neat thing — anything published pre-1923 is in the public domain in the United States. So this ad and the knitting pattern it contains are in the public domain (probably why the book included it). So I’m reprinting the 1921 pattern here for anyone who is interested.

More photos and the pattern text after the jump!



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09 Nov

Knitting New Scarves: a finished scarf and another in progress

I promise some non-knitting content soon, seriously. Anyway.

I recently got a book from my zooba.com queue without really knowing anything about it. (“Oh, a new knitting book. It seems OK; I’ll put it in the queue.”) When Knitting New Scarves arrived, at first glance my reaction was strictly “meh.” “So they look a little funny,” I thought. “Would I really want to knit these?”

But then I sat down to read through the book, and within moments I was entranced and amazed. The scarves that Lynne Barr designed for this book aren’t just the usual “flat scarf, flat ribbed scarf, cable scarf, lace scarf, striped scarf, plain scarf in really expensive yarn” rotation we’re used to seeing in most knitting books. These scarves use techniques that are sculptural, and even architectural. (She mentions specific buildings that inspired some of the designs.) The scarves have waves, flaps, “chain links”, “beads”, and all kinds of 3-dimensional shapes we aren’t used to seeing in scarves. (Some of them have to be stuffed with batting to get this shape, but most do not.)

Even the designs that don’t work for me (and there are some that don’t — Labyrinth, for example) are all fascinating and inspiring in their creativity. I immediately put the Linked Rib into my Ravelry queue, and ordered the required yarn from a Ravelry member. But while waiting to get started, I had a thought.

(Photos after the jump.)
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30 Oct

Finished: Knitted jester slippers

The slippers are done! I put little laces in so I can wear them with the tops up or down, and keep my feet warm. I might replace those with buttons later. I might also add non-slip soles.

Each square in the pattern was about 4″ x 4″ before felting. That might help those of you who are figuring how big to knit your slippers. The resulting slippers are about a US size 7 (women’s).

If you have a Ravelry account, you can see my project page here.

I think the pattern is a nice pattern to play with, especially if you are a beginning knitter. There are few patterns easier than this one — it’s just essentially a garter stitch scarf folded and assembled. Even the hand-stitching is not very scary, as any mistakes can be hidden by the felting. My slippers are very loud since I used bright Noro, but you could make them in a much more restrained color scheme if you like. (Though, I admit, the color changes made all that garter stitch much more interesting to knit.) Anyway, it was a fun quick project, and I do recommend it if you want to use up 2-3 skeins of Kureyon. (Also, wouldn’t this make the cutest baby booties?)

There are more pictures at Flickr.

27 Oct

In progress: Jester slippers in Noro Kureyon

Still in progress: Re-felted slipper

I’m working on a pair of slippers from the new issue, 05, of CRAFT Magazine. In the mag, they are called Easy House Slippers, and they are made with two colors of yarn. But I’m taking the opportunity to use a few skeins of Noro Kureyon that have been frustrating me for a long time. None of my other plans for them have worked out, and I have been disappointed with the colorway (102), which is just terribly garish. For slippers, it should be fine. Loud, but fine. I am using 2 skeins, and alternating, so each square is recognizably a different color combination. Read on past the jump for more details and photos.

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