Wednesday, January 26, 2005


What do you knit when it's 2:00 am and you can't sleep? My personal preference is dishcloths or afghan squares.

I made a few garter stitch dishcloths the other night. The one on the right is called Grandmother's Favorite from The Dishcloth Boutique. The one on the left I made up myself.

I had a scrap ball of yarn and wasn't sure how much was there and didn't feel like measuring the yardage, so I decided to knit a mitered square backward, increasing instead of decreasing, until I ran out of yarn. This one turned out the same size as Granny's Fave, about 7 inches square. Here's how I did it:

Using worsted weight cotton yarn (Lion Kitchen Cotton or Sugar and Cream) and a pair of size 7 knitting needles, CO 3 sts.

Row 1: K1, YO, K1, YO, K1.

Row 2: K across.

Row 3: K2, YO, K1, YO, K2.

Row 4: K across.

Row 5: K3, YO, K1, YO, K3.

Row 6: K across.

Continue knitting alternate rows of increasing (YO before and after the center stitch) and plain knit until you have 63 stitches on the needle (or you have only 1-1 1/2 yards of yarn left, or the side of the square measures your desired size). Bind off.

No matter how much or how little you knit, the piece will always be square.


First 6 rows of clothI have gotten a few emails about this pattern. I don't think I've explained it well enough, so I'm going to show how it works.

When you try knitting those first 6 rows as I've described, it doesn't really look like much, as you can see in the photo at left.

Just how is this going to become a square? Don't I need to decrease someplace to make enough corners? Where are the corners anyway?

No, actually, you don't need to decrease to make it end up a square shape. Check this out.

First 10 rows of clothFirst 14 rows of clothKnit a few more rows, increasing before and after that center stitch on odd numbered rows like you've been doing. Start row 11 and stop at the middle stitch. The photo at the left is what you will see.

It is starting to look kind of square. Work a few more rows and in the middle of row 15 you'll get something that looks like the photo at the right.

Note: You can only see the square shape when you stop in the middle of a row and hold your needles at right angles to each other the way I have done here.

Now do you see how it works? Each row you add is on the same 2 sides of the square, making it bigger and keeping it evenly square in shape.

I do hope this clears up any confusion.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Inherited UFO

My mother came across this sweater in her workroom the other day and gave it to me to finish. It's an Elizabeth Zimmerman Original Baby Surprise Jacket, made several years ago from acrylic worsted and never sewed together.

She even found the pattern-from Knitter's Magazine Issue 14 Spring 1989. What wonderful articles! I must try this pattern and knit several of these. I wove in the ends from the stripes while watching tv and found some nice buttons for it.

After working on the Jamie Blankie Project, I just had to make more mitered squares, so I'm working on a baby afghan of my own.

The first two squares are complete, just 58 more to go. This is a great project to work on when you feel like knitting in front of the tv, or when you're nursing a cold. These are made from Lion Cotton and Plymouth Wildflower DK.

I found the circular needle I was missing and the project it was attached to. I had forgotten all about that box of yarn, so I started taking inventory of my yarn stash. I need to have a list to refer to, the stuff is crammed into nooks and crannies all over the house.

Oh, that project? It was a sweater for my middle son from about 5 years ago. He's outgrown it. Project cancelled, it's on the frog pile. The yarn is Lion Homespun in Rococo, Ranch and Colonial.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Blue Roll Brim Hat

I completed a simple one-day knitting project yesterday, a baby hat using Peggy Pignato's pattern and Plymouth Wildflower DK in a pretty royal blue. I kept it very simple and omitted the holly sprig.

I like the way it turned out and I plan on making more of these quick and easy hats for gifts. I might even try one with the holly sprig.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Squares Away

Kay, I have to agree with you. These squares are terribly addictive, you can't knit just one.
There are 2 on their way to you now through the post.

Progress is being made on the Blue Vest, several inches have been completed. I'm having fun with this, making up the pattern as I go. Very easy, very relaxing, very creative.

After doing a little stash reorganization, I've come to the conclusion that the sock yarn inventory is getting out of hand. Besides, I could use some new socks. Added to the to-do list.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Orangey Goodness

This yarn is for the Jamie Blankie project at Mason-Dixon Knitting. There will be a lot of leftovers. This is good, because I plan to use them to make a very retro, girly-girl handbag for my daughter. I know just the pattern to use too, Doris Chan's messenger bag from Family Circle Easy Knitting Winter 2004/2005. I like the granny square flap.

I want to make a bag for my niece, but she doesn't like orange, she likes pink. Everything pink. So, I found some hot pink placemats at the local thrift shop that will be perfect to recycle into a nice sturdy bag. Her Pinkness will be pleased.

Kay, you were right. I think I will be knitting squares for many months to come. Addictive? You bet! I may even get caught up in some Kaffe Fassett-inspired project sure to send me searching through all the yarn shops west of the Mississippi to find 85 shades of cotton yarn.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Got Enough Yarn?

Beautiful blue yarn. Yum. I have plans for you.

My local yarn store owner is such a temptress. She showed me one of her current projects and of course I had to have one too. In the book 25 Gorgeous Sweaters for the Brand-New Knitter is a pattern for a simple vest that is just so much fun to make and to wear. I like this book, I like the garment shapes, I like the techniques, I like the relaxed attitude. I think I will actually knit most of the patterns in it.

So. Just stopping by quickly for a set of needles. And yarn. And the book. She did give me a 10% discount however, for my birthday.

Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Columbine Blossom. Knit 2 strands on US#10 needles, 14 stitches x 20 rows = 4".

Gosh, I really like this blue.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Sock Swatch

After frogging, playing with colors and reknitting, I have found an arrangement I like. It's a plan! 1011 Rocking Horse (Ride Ranke) from Dale Baby Fall 2000.

The yarn is Dale Baby Ull in red, charcoal and white and a little Silja in light and medium grays. My gauge matches the pattern using the recommended needle size, US#2. How often does that happen?

Also, replaced 2 sets of Brittany dpns due to toddler breakage. The knitting basket must now be kept constantly out of reach, even while I'm knitting. *Sigh* life with toddlers.

Monday, January 03, 2005

New Project

After spending some time perusing my stash, I decided it was time for a big project (well, bigger than a hat anyway). I have some Dale Baby Ull that I found on clearance a couple of years ago (never pass up a sale on Dale) and a Dale baby pattern I've been wanting to try. Quick, before he outgrows it. Problem: pattern uses crayon colors, yarn on hand is white, charcoal and red. Odd color choices for a toddler sweater with rocking horses, but maybe I can pull it off.

Today is a good day for knitting. There's slushy snow outside. A day for staying in with soup and warm cozies.

I can knit up one of the socks as a swatch.

Here's what I've managed to knit today with a very cranky toddler. Tomorrow: visit LYS to replace broken Brittany dpns size 0 so that I can knit the other sock.

I'll look at the sock in daylight when it's finished to see if I like the color scheme. It's looking iffy right now.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

New Year

May the New Year bring you peace and contentment

Projects completed last month:

This baby hat in Baruffa 7 Settembre yarn was made for my littlest niece. The basic shape comes from Family Circle Easy Knitting Fall 2000, model # 29.

These matching adult and child sized tams from 45 Fine and Fanciful Hats to Knit were knitted in Brown Sheep Nature Spun worsted (adult) and Knit One Crochet Too Creme Brulee DK (child). These are gifts for my hubby and youngest son and they look adorable wearing them together.

This egyptian hat was also knitted in Nature Spun worsted from 45 Fine and Fanciful Hats to knit This will be a gift for my eldest son, just because he loves wild hats.

Projects in process:

Highland Fling- argyle cardigan from Vogue Toddler Knits in Plymouth Encore. Sitting on the frog pile. This was intended to be a simple project for a road trip, knit straight from the book without having to change anything. I knit it straight from the book, but their idea of sizing doesn't fit my toddler's dimensions. He's a tall one, and I'm going to have to take off the bottom ribbing and add a whole pattern repeat to the length.

Projects in planning:

Socks, mittens and hats oh my!

One of my New Year's resolutions is to better organize my supplies. I have taken a step in that direction by taking an inventory of my needles. I seem to be missing one set of circulars, so I have a project stashed somewhere that I haven't found yet...

Mom wants me to help her take inventory of her needles too, at least the ones that aren't stuck in projects. She says it would make it easier for me to borrow needles from her. Temptress.