Where I write about knitting, crocheting and lace, and, on occasion general comments on other topics

Finished Socks

Written by: Lindy

August 31, 2009

Knitted striped socks

Knitted striped socks


I finished my striped socks yesterday morning. I am pleased with how they turned out. I used a self-striping yarn from Patons Yarns and it was fascinating to see the stripes evolve as the socks knit up.

I did not really use a pattern for these socks. There are literally thousands of free sock patterns available on the internet, but you really don’t need them if you understand the basics of knitting socks. I started with a gauge swatch and used my foot measurements to determine the number of stitches I needed. The “how to” of this seems to be enough for a separate post, so I will place that in my queue for future topics.

I choose to do a picot hem at the top of the cuff, a 3 by 1 rib for the cuff and instep, a slipped stitched heel flap with a square heel turn. My mentors for these socks were Nancy Bush – I consulted her book “Knitting on the Road” for advice on the square heel and Cat Bordhi, whose book “Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles” contains a wealth of information on how to knit socks.

Knitting socks on two circular needles

Knitting socks on two circular needles

I used the two socks on two circular needles for this pair of socks. I prefer to knit socks two at a time, because when you’ve finished, you have a pair of socks and don’t have to go back and knit that second sock. You can knit socks two at a time using either two circulars – as shown here in my photo – Or you can use the magic loop technique. I started another pair of socks last night using this technique – so I’ll post about them later.

Knitting Socks in Waiting Area

Written by: Lindy

August 26, 2009

Yesterday, I had the role of being supportive of my DH while he underwent some tests at our local hospital. (Nothing serious, just part of routine maintenance for the over 55 crowd.)

Anyway, I decided to take along a pair of socks I am knitting as my “keep occupied” project for the time I would be sitting in the waiting area. I am doing cuff down, two at a time on 2 circular knitting needles. So I pulled out my knitting and started to knit away while I sipped on a cup of coffee. An older woman walked into the group of chairs where I was sitting — and pulled out her knitting!

She was knitting something on dpn’s in a pretty dark green yarn. For a time, we sat and knit without any conversation. Then, she put away her knitting and came over and sat next to me and chatted. (I think she was anxious about whomever she was waiting for, but she never really said.) I learned that she was working on a pair of mittens and she was very curious about the method I was using for knitting socks and my self-striping yarn. We exchanged bits of information about yarns and knitting and then she was called to go back with her family member while he/she recovered.

It’s interesting how knitting forms a link and an introduction for us. I know it made the time in the waiting room go by more quickly for me and I’d like to think it eased my companion’s anxiety a little and helped her time in the waiting room pass more pleasantly.

P.S. Started the socks so that I would have an easy knit project for the knitting guild meet ups. More on the guild in another post. I promise to post a picture of the socks when done.

Teddy Bear Baby Blanket Finished!

Written by: Lindy

August 23, 2009

TeddyBearBlanket_82009_1
I finished my Teddy Bear Baby Blanket this morning! I am very pleased with the finished project. The blanket measures 36 inches by 40 inches. The seed stitch border really sets off the reverse stockinette stitch teddy bear pattern.
TeddyBearSquare

Progress on Re-creating the Vintage Crochet Edging

Written by: Lindy

August 19, 2009

CrochetEdging1_Rd1
I have made progress on re-creating the Vintage Crochet Edging from my mother’s dresser scarf. I have determined that the edging is made using double crochet stitches in a filet crochet type pattern. It is only three rounds.

For this project, I am using muslin fabric that I have cut into a rectangle that is approximately 20 inches by 15 inches. I have done the hemstitching around the edge and made a single crochet foundation around the fabric by single crocheting through each hole in the hemstitching. The foundation was crocheted using white crochet thread, size 10.

CrochetEdging_Rd1_2
The first round of the crochet edging consists of a mix of 2 double crochet, chain 5 and 3 double crochet stitches around the edge. For this edging I am using an aqua size 10 crochet thread. It is progressing nicely as you can see from the photos

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Stitch Patterns – Seed Stitch, Irish Moss Stitch & Double Moss Stitch

Written by: Lindy

August 14, 2009

These three stitch patterns create an allover textured pattern using a combination of knit and purl stitches. As such, these three textured patterns are great for decorative borders. Between the USA and UK there is some confusion related to the Moss Stitch – I have seen references to the Moss Stitch which are exactly the same as what I know as a Seed Stitch here in the USA.

Seed Stitch (Moss Stitch):
SeedStitch
This is one of my favorite patterns for borders with the stockinette stitch. It lies flat and does not roll or curl. It is reversible and I love it for front bands on cardigan sweaters.
This stitch pattern is a multiple of two and a repeat over two rows. The first row is the same as a 1 X 1 ribbing: K1, P1 across the row. On the following row, all stitches are worked the opposite of the way they face you – i.e. you purl the knit stitches and knit the purl stitches. Seed stitch tends to expand widthwise and is wider than the same number of stockinette stitches.

Irish Moss Stitch:
IrishMossStitch
This stitch has a diagonal texture. It is a multiple of two stitches with a repeat over four rows. The first two rows are knit the same as 1 X 1 Ribbing: K1, P1 across the row. Then the next two rows are knit the opposite: P1, K1 across. You repeat these four rows to make the textured pattern.

Just like the Seed Stitch, the Irish Moss Stitch creates a reversible fabric that lies flat and does not roll or curl. The fabric will tend to expand crosswise and the stitches may “seat” themselves after washing. If you are using this pattern stitch as the main body of your garment, it is best to knit the garment to the actual measurements of the chest of the intended wearer before the first washing.

Double Moss Stitch (Double Seed Stitch, Box Stitch):
DblMossStitc
This stitch pattern is a multiple of four stitches repeated over four rows. The first two rows are the same as 2 X 2 Ribbing: K2, P2 across the row. On the next two rows, you do P2, K2 across. It has essentially the same properties as the Irish Moss Stitch. This pattern is wonderful for knitting textured scarves that do not roll or curl on the edges.

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And Now, a Little Bit about Crochet…

Written by: Lindy

August 11, 2009

I have been very focused on knitting for the last couple of years. Which means I have done very little crocheting and I have never written about crocheting in this blog.

It’s one of those things, I suppose, when you are someone who does both. I seem to have times when I just am not motivated to knit or not motivated to crochet – or I am very interested in knitting, but not crocheting or visa versa. Eventually I come across something that will whet my creative appetite and I will feel a strong urge to go find my supplies and begin working on a project in the craft I have been ignoring.

The crochet urge has bitten me once again! Never mind that I have four knitting projects currently in process – one of which is the baby blanket for my coming grandchild – I find myself needing to satisfy this urge to crochet again. So, I now have five projects in the works – Yep, I added a crochet project this weekend.

DresserScarf_1I have decided it is time to take up the task of re-creating two or three vintage crochet edgings from dresser scarves I have from my mother. These dresser scarves were made from cotton percale or muslin fabric, embroidered and then finished with a hemstitched hem and a crocheted edging. I am only beginning to appreciate the amount of work that went to into the making of these items and I will explain more in coming posts. Right now, I am tackling the task of developing written explanations for how to do a hemstitched border and then begin a crocheted edging using that border. I will post information about this once I have it worked out and I plan to have it available on my website. Also coming will be the re-created pattern for the vintage crochet edging.

Stitch Patterns – Three Examples of Ribbing

Written by: Lindy

August 7, 2009

3Ribbings

All ribbing is a combination of knit and purl stitches across a row.  When you knit back on the next row, you knit the stitches as the face you, that is, knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches. The knit stitches form a ridge (or rib) and the purl stitches form a valley.  Ribbing is essentially a reversible fabric.  Ribbing is elastic crosswise and will stretch lengthwise and is most often used for sweater neckbands and bottoms and the cuff of socks.   Ribbing also “pulls in” naturally, so it will effect the shape of your garment.

One-By-One (1×1) Ribbing:

1x1Ribbing

This is knitted exactly as it says.  Knit 1 stitch, purl 1 stitch across the row.  (Remember to move your yarn from back to front as you knit and purl.)  If you are knitting this ribbing flat for a garment, you should be knitting an odd number of stitches, so that when the garment is seamed together the ribbing will appear to be continuous.   If you are knitting in the round, you should always have an even number of stitches.   This ribbing is the most elastic of ribbings.  It tends to look more loosely knit than stockinette stitch, and because it is so elastic, most patterns have you knit your ribbing on needles that are a size or two smaller than the body of the pattern.

Two-By-Two (2×2) Ribbing:

2x2Ribbing

This ribbing is made by K2, P2 across the row.  It is a multiple of 4 stitches, so when knitting a flat piece to be joined with another, you should be knitting a multiple of 4 plus 1 stitch so that the pieces will weave together correctly.  For knitting in the round, you would knit over a multiple of 4 stitches.  This is a popular ribbing and it works well for sock cuffs, but it is not as elastic as the 1×1 ribbing.

Three-By-One (3×1) Ribbing:

3x1Ribbing

This ribbing is also a multiple of 4 stitches:  K3, P1 across.  The rules for 2×2 ribbing also apply to this ribbing.  As you can see in the picture, this produces a wide rib with an almost invisible valley.  I have seen this ribbing used in sock patterns and it does give the socks and attractive looking cuff.

Other Ribbing Patterns: There are many other variations of ribbing, including Cabled Ribbing, Four-By-Two Ribbing, and Six-by-Three Ribbing.   I will include an example of Cabled Ribbing in a latter post on Cable Stitch Patterns.

Note: For information about tension issues with ribbing, see my post: Master Knitter Level I – Swatches # 1, 2, & 3.