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

New Page Added

Written by: LindyBeir

October 20, 2014

You may or may not have noticed a new page showing up in the top menu. It’s the Stitches Library Page. I have decided to copy the instructions from some of the posts I wrote back in 2010 on various stitch patterns into downloadable pdf files and make them available in my new stitch library. So far there are only four: Elfin Lace, Trinity Stitch, Waffle Check, and Zig-Zag Eyelet.

I plan to add a new stitch pattern about once a month going forward. I will start with a couple from 2009, but after that I will be swatching new patterns. Please check back from time to time to see what is new. 🙂

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New Local Yarn Shops

Written by: LindyBeir

October 13, 2014

I recently visited two new yarn shops that opened in my area.  They are both lovely shops and filled with some lovely yarns – some of which aren’t carried by the local yarn shop that has been the only shop in the city for a number of years. Each shop offers a different variety of yarns than the other, so I am hoping that both of them can be successful.  We certainly have a growing number of knitters in our community, so having new yarn shops is quite appealing.

ImagiKnit Yarn Shop is located in the Bel-Air Plaza at 120th and West Center Road, Suite 602, Omaha, NE. This shop does not have a website, but does have a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/ImagiKnit-Yarn-Shop/263171999129. The owner of this shop moved her business to Omaha from Hastings, NE.

Wooly Mammoth Yarn Shop is located in Rockbrook Shopping Center at 108th and West Center Rd, Omaha, NE. This shop also does not have a website, but does have a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wooly-Mammoth-Yarn-Shop/150211221662670. The owners of this shop recently moved from Kearney, NE.

I’m sure the knitters in Hastings and Kearney miss having the shops in their towns, because they are both wonderful yarn shops and we are very lucky to have them here in Omaha.

Appealing, as well, are the yarns I purchased from both shops. (I couldn’t resist).

From Imagiknit, I purchased a skein of Smooshy fingering weight yarn from Dream in Color. The colorway is 2014 September and it just spoke to me of autumn.  It has this delightful mix of fall colors: reds, purples, golds, greens in various shades. See the swatch below

.Swatch with yarns

I also bought a skein of Fabjous Fibers Cheshire Cat in the colorway Off with Her Red – which blends perfectly with the Smooshy colors. I am using these yarns to knit a shawl using the Merlot pattern, which I purchased at Ravelry. This will be the topic of another post.

From Wooly Mammouth, I purchased 4 skeins of Addiction yarn by Claudia Hand Painted Yarns – also fingering weight yarn. I bought 2 skeins in the colorway Teal and 2 skeins in the colorway Prussian Soldiers. I plan to knit another two color shawl using these yarns, but I haven’t decided on a pattern yet. I like the Merlot pattern, so I may choose to do that again – but there are so, so many lovely shawl patterns in my queue…

If you are in Omaha: check out our new local yarn shops.  🙂

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FO: Baby Cardigan and Tam

Written by: LindyBeir

July 28, 2013

Baby CardiganI have been working on top down raglans for my grandchildren this summer. My first project was a cardigan for my new baby granddaughter. I decided to make this sweater in size 18 mos. because that should be the size that will fit her this fall. Top down raglans are fairly easy to knit — once you get past the neckline, but the neckline is a bit tricky. I followed The Magic Custom Fit Raglan pattern by Danielle White as a guide. I say guide, because the pattern gives sizing directions for babies up to 12 months and then for children age 2 and up — but not for 18 months. So I had to do some guessing to figure out the actual measurements to use for the size I wanted.

I used Cascade 220 Superwash Yarn in Pink for the body of the sweater. I knit the sweater front bands, neck band, cuffs and the bottom band in seed stitch with the remainder of the body knit in stockinette stitch. I used Cascade 220 Superwash in Magenta for the edging, which was done in single crochet all the way around the edge to finish and then made ties by doing a crocheted chain for each side of the neck.

Cardigan & TamI then decided that I had enough yarn to knit a little tam to go with the sweater. I used the Magenta yarn to start the brim in 1 X 1 ribbing and then switched to the Pink. Baby hats are really quick knits, and this one was no exception. I washed the set up in the washer and then laid them flat to dry.

My notes and other details can be found in my project on Ravlery here: Baby Cardigan and Hat Project

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Socks for Charlotte

Written by: LindyBeir

June 2, 2013

Charlotte's Baby SocksI knit two little pairs of socks for Charlotte shortly after she was born. In fact, while I was visiting at the hospital, my DS traced one of Charlotte’s footprints so that I could take it home a make a pair of socks for her little feet.

Her little foot measured 3 inches from the tip of her big toe to her heel. I used some sock yarn I had on hand in a variegated shades of pink and a size US 1 (2.25 mm) 32 inch long circular. The socks were knit using Magic Loop, two at a time. I knit them from the cuff down. These little socks knit up quickly and I made a second pair using another skein of yarn that was a light pink color. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the second pair. DIL reported that these socks stayed on her feet when most do not.

I wrote up the pattern for these socks. Each pair takes only 10 g of sock yarn, so it would be a great way to use up leftover yarn from your bigger sock knitting projects. 🙂
Here is the link to the pattern: Newborn Size Socks

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A Blanket for Charlotte

Written by: LindyBeir

May 20, 2013

As I did for her big brother, I knit a blanket for Charlotte using cotton yarn. For this blanket, I used “I Love This Cotton!” yarn from Hobby Lobby. This is a lovely yarn that knits up into a soft fabric with wonderful drape. It’s machine washable — which is a must for baby items.

Charlotte's Blanket

The pattern is Leafy Baby Blanket by Leyla Alivea. It is a free pattern available on her blog, Silk & Wool and also on Ravelry. It’s an easy lace pattern — and as you can see — I got great stitch definition with the yarn.

Other details: Yarn – I Love This Cotton! in Colorway 74 Pink, 180 yds/skein. Used 5 skeins(900 yds)
Needles: US Size 8 (5.00 mm)
Finished measurements: 36″ X 40″

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Back from Hiatus

Written by: LindyBeir

May 3, 2013

It has been nearly 6 months since I last wrote a post. This was due in part to the fact that my office was in the process of being remodeled, as well as the busy holiday seasons (Thanskgiving, Christmas, & New Year’s). I am glad to say that my office is now finished and looks quite lovely — but I am still unpacking things. I have made a promise to myself that when I unpacked the hastily packed boxes, that I would take the time to go through them and eliminate things that I no longer used, need or want. So far I have kept that promise and I am gradually putting the things I have decided to keep in their new homes. I have 4 boxes left to unpack.

One of the most difficult tasks for me as I unpacked was to sort through the many years accumulation of knitting and crochet magazines, patterns and pattern books. I love books. And I have a lot of knitting and crochet books. I am proud to say that I was focused enough to really let go of those that I will never use and those that are really out of date. I gave a few to some of my knitting friends, but in the end — most of the old magazines ended up being recycled. Are you someone who collects books and magazines? If you are — you know how much of a struggle it was for me to finally let them go.

New Bookcase in My Office But now — I have plenty of room for NEW BOOKS! 🙂

One of the changes that I have made over my 50 years (yes, 50!) of knitting is that I no longer buy knitting patterns, books of knitting patterns or those knitting magazines that you can find in your local supermarket. As I have written in this blog before, since I first read Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitting Without Tears, I have moved from buying patterns to buying books on techniques and stitch libraries. These days when I see something in a magazine that I think I would like to knit — I study it for the details — i.e. the design elements, the stitchery, etc. — and then I sit down and figure out how to knit it up without the pattern — I draft my own essentially. I find I am much happier with the results.

I am doing that now — what I have on my needles is a raglan cardigan sweater, knitted from the top down — size 18 months. I hope when I finish this little sweater that I will be able to develop another sweater calculator for doing top down raglan sweaters. I’ll post it when I am certain that it works correctly.

For those of you who wish to move beyond following written patterns — Elizabeth Zimmerman’s books are a great way to start.

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FO: Ruffle Scarf — Birthday Present for MIL

Written by: LindyBeir

October 27, 2012

Ruffle Scarf I knit this scarf as a birthday present for my MIL. She wears scarves all the time and I thought she would enjoy this unique scarf. I knit this using a novelty yarn called “Sashay” by Red Heart Yarns. It’s a very interesting yarn to knit with. And Yes, it ruffles as you knit it up.

The pattern is really simple. You cast on 6 stitches and then just knit every row until you have used up the entire skein. It only takes one skein to make the scarf and when finished it is about 6 feet long.

My MIL was thrilled. She put the scarf on and wore it after she opened the bag. She exclaimed at how soft it was. She said she would be the envy of all the ladies in the independent living facility where she lives. (I made a BIG hit!) 🙂

Here’s the details:
Yarn: Sashay (Red Heart Boutique) Colorway: Hip Hop
Needles: U.S. 9 (5.5 mm)
Finished length = 72 inches Width = 3 inches

Notes about knitting with this yarn: See picture below of the yarn before knitted. This yarn is essentially a stripe of lace — with the bottom edge more finished than the top. The bottom is the finished edge of the ruffles. You knit this yarn using the top two strands of the upper edge of the lace. The yarn is quite slippery and it takes some getting used to — I used metal needles for this project and the combination of the slippery yarn and the slickness of the metal needles nearly drove me crazy! I recommend using a type of needle with some grab for this yarn — if I knit it again I will use bamboo needles. Also — it is not possible to weave in the ends on this yarn. When you are done, get out your sewing thread and a sewing needle — you will need to sew down the unfinished edges of the scarf to prevent the ends from raveling.

Ruffle Yarn