"Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber." Proverbs 31:19 NLT

Monday, April 27, 2015

A Pattern for Versatile "Betty's Simple Shawlette"

When I was at the knitting retreat of which I posted here, we were all given a simple copy of a shawlette knitted by the organizer of the retreat. I have just finished knitting one and have rewritten the instructions so I can share it here with you. First I'll show you the pictures to inspire you to make your own.

Notice that the 2 ends are different from each other.
Knowing that will help the pattern make sense. :^)

Sorry for the blurry photo but maybe you can get
the idea for this cast ON end.

This is how the cast OFF end looks.

I used Universal Yarn, Classic Shades Metallic, which has a very nice effect. There are other options of Classic Shades, all of which would be lovely. Or any other worsted weight can also be used. As you get the feel of this simple pattern, you could make it bigger by using chunky yarns or make it very unique by using novelty yarns. This is a great versatile basic shawl that can be expanded according to your own imaginations. Here is the basic pattern:


Universal Yarn, Classic Shades about 300 yards
        (or other worsted yarn of your choice)
size 11 US needle (see note below about the needle size)

Finished Size: Pattern reads 48" x 15" but mine turned out to be 11" x 47"

CO 20 stitches (or 25-30, to make it bigger from top to bottom)
Knit first 10 rows (garter stitch)
Row 11: cable cast on 8 stitches. *Knit those 8 stitches, PM, Purl to last 6 stitches, PM, K to end.
Row 12: Knit across*

Repeat between *'s for approximately 22 rows, ending with RS

Next row: (WS) Cable cast on 8 stitches, making sure these are on the same side as the previous cable cast on of 8 stitches. Repeat between above *'s for 24 rows, ending with RS

Next row (WS) Again cable cast on 8 stitches and work as above until piece measures approximate 40 inches from beginning. (This end-to-end length is good for me but if you have broad shoulders, you may want to go 42 inches. You will be adding 4 more inches with the final rows.)

Cast off 8 stitches, knitwise and knit each row for 12 rows (garter stitch). (Again, make sure you are casting off on the same side you have previously cast on the 8 stitches.)

Cast off 8 more stitches and work 14 more garter rows.

Cast off rest of stitches.

Weave in ends and wet block.

Please, if you make this shawl, send me photos or link to my project of Betty's Simple Shawl on Ravelry. I would love to see what you do with the pattern and which yarn you choose.

And while we're on the subject of shawls - a subject I've been knitting quite a bit lately - I have been getting some great shawl pins, all on eBay.

I started out for my first shawl EVER, with a stick shawl pin.

And just recently I have discovered the circle shawl pins or brooches with the "sticks" to hold the pin onto the fabric. I have bought, at great prices I might add, 3 really nice ones of that kind.
Isn't this little sheep adorable?

This said it was made of coconut shells

And the most recent kind I have found is a magnetic one. I haven't used it yet - I'm a bit afraid that the magnet will slip through the nice eyelet holes in the shawls. But I'm getting up the nerve to try it on the Ojo de Dios Shawl - the holes are not where the magnet will go. 

Sometimes I think I'm playing dress-up.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Tisket, A Tasket, A Few Knitted Baskets

Right away when I first saw this great book, More Last - Minute KNITTED GIFTS,

I noticed the pattern for the little Soft Baskets on page 30.

I determined to purchased the book and make BASKETS! I don't believe I've ever mentioned that I have a "thing" for baskets. It's rather a problem because, while I store many things in baskets, I store many more baskets. And when I go to antique shops, flea markets or gift-type shops, I am immediately drawn to the baskets. I have made a few using coil basketry and one by reed weaving. But I'd love to do more basket weaving. Of course, knitting one would be of great interest to me. 

For the first knitted basket, I wanted to make a BIG one so I chose the biggest one they showed. I wasn't comfortable yet modifying the pattern until I saw how it worked, so I picked out some handspun that seemed to be a large worsted weight and promptly set out on the project. The basket turned out flat, short and shallow so not exactly what I was thinking. 

I wanted to make a second one for my sister's birthday so proceeded with the middle size. It turned out the same but a smaller version.

In fact, when I made this for Sis, I was in the middle of my Fair Isle Hat fascination so when she received it and finished looking at the goodies inside, she thought I had made her a hat. A square, short, funny little hat. They do fit like funny little hats.

Then I wanted to make one for a good friend and decided I better try the small one. Well, it was the perfect proportion, albeit, very small.
One thing I did with the small one was put a contrasting color as the first portion of the rib top edging.

I have since used the same yarn and made my sister a small one with the contrast yarn ribbing, but mine is still being used and not fixed.
She found a great little box to sit in hers
to give it a square shape.

BUT all of this was to report that I just finished a very large one by using more stitches and trying to figure out the proportion I wanted. Actually, I got most of my numbers from a friend who made a large one before me. So here is my latest knitted basket.

For this large one, I used Lamb's Pride Bulky in the color Brown Heather - 2 whole skeins. It measures an 8" x 8" square on the bottom and is 4 ½" high. 

The construction is basically this: you knit a rectangle up to a certain size, cast on stitches to form two sides, knit those up so high and then cast the sides off. Then you are back to the original number of center stitches. Once that last side is long enough, you cast it all off and sew up the sides of the "box." You then pick up and knit stitches on the top of each side and knit a K1, P1 rib. 

It is a very nifty design and was developed by Joelle Hoverson, the author the More Last - Minute Knitted Gifts. I'm pretty excited about it and will probably make another one in another color with a contrasting rib. I mean, what could be more exciting than more baskets? 

I wonder if any of you have knitted baskets before.

Friday, April 10, 2015

WOO-HOO! IT'S FINISHED or Ojo de Dios Shawl

While I realize that I've already "taken the steam out of the sail" of this post by talking about my latest shawl project in several other posts. (~cough-cough~ like herehere, and here), it has been fun - and sometimes challenging - to knit and the unique design has been exciting. So it's been difficult not talk about. AND now it is finished and blocked.

First of all, to remind you, the shawl is Ojo de Dios. It originally appeared in Interweave magazine and a digital version of that magazine - with this great pattern in it - can be purchased here. It is actually on sale today - not sure how long this particular "today" lasts but it is only $3.50 USD for now.

So, without further ado, here are my photos.

Early construction of the triangle band

This is after the stitches on one edge of the triangle band had been "picked up and knitted," and the
garter stitch crescent was in progress.

Finished - before wet blocking

Finished - after blocking
Notice that I put an extra 3 row yarn over section at the bottom edge of the triangle band.
That was to prevent the rolling that stockinette stitch is wont to do.

And then I decided to put a single crochet row
on the short edges of the triangle band, for the same reason.
It helps. A little.

Very unique design. Hats off to Vanessa Ewing.
Hats...hats...hmmm, I needle-felted a hat several years ago
that just might match this shawl.

What do you think? 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Light & Airy - The Gallatin Scarf

We are getting some warmer weather up here in the North Woods and are looking forward to the "April showers" of which we are in need. This is a picture of the lake in our neighborhood that I took the other day on a walk.

It was a "light and airy" day with warm Spring-like temperatures and a breeze to keep it nice.

For about three weeks now, since right after the Knitting Retreat that I attended in March, I have been wearing the Gallatin Scarf. It's a free pattern on Ravalry and is really fun to make. In fact, I think I will make it again - at least once. I used Sunseeker Multis yarn by Cascade in the color ~big surprise~ Denim. It goes so well with jeans, jean dresses and skirts and anything else blue or navy. I have to be careful not to wear it all.the.time. I love it and the way it dresses up an outfit. I have since purchased 2 colors of blue jerseys shirts to wear with the scarf in the summer.

The pattern calls for worsted weight yarn. Sunseeker is DK so I don't think my scarf is quite as long as worsted would make it. But I do like the extra "airiness" (is that a word?) the DK gives it.

I don't think I remembered to take any photos while I was knitting it. I was rather driven to finish it so I could wear it as I began wearing warmer-weather clothing. But I can show you the finished product.

I'm still working on the Ojo de Dios Shawl about which I have mentioned here, (among other posts). And I really should save the update until I am finished, which will be in just a few days, I'm thinkin'. But it is such a unique project that I'm pretty excited about it. As I've mentioned before, I'm using Tangier yarn by Cascade. And as I've said before, I don't love working with this yarn because it is only single ply and is over half silk and cotton so it wants to break and knot up easily. But when I'm finished, it will be a super shawl for summer evenings and air conditioned buildings.

Here is the picture I posted before to show how the shawl will look when finished.

So, I'm pretty pumped.

One other project to share is: ~drum-roll, please~ TA DA ----

A red door!! Okay, so I wasn't brave enough to go RED red, more like wine red. When the paint was still wet, it looked like pink red but it dried to this nice color. I like it. What color is your door?