Tuesday, December 29, 2009

babette blanket part deux



At the end of my foray into needle felting I was left twiddling my thumbs. My arms have been getting stronger, but knitting & crochet are still out. So, I went down to the basement and pulled out a UFO that's been waiting to be sewn together, the Babette Blanket # 2. I started the project in 2006 and made enough squares for 2 lap blankets. I split up the squares and the large ones became their own blanket, which is mostly finished, but was a little damaged in the wash (blush, I am so ashamed, I committed fibre abuse).  The second, the one above, consists of the small & medium sized squares. So I've been seaming away for the last week, joining the squares into little strips of 4 units. There are enough squares to make a blanket 8 units by 10 units, so not a bad size. The strips have been put together in no particular order for photography.

Needle Felted X-Mas Lights for Wreath



Hi!  long time no see! My arms are on the mend, but I still can't knit. Needle felting was the first thing I could do with my hands and I went at it with gusto! I started with some applique and moved on to more sculptural projects, including  Needle Felted X-Mas Lights for Wreath. I was supposed to make a braided Challah Bread for my mom for Hanuka but I've had problems working out how to make a base for it and it did not happen in time. I think I can use pantyhose stuffed with fiber-fill as the initial form to build on.





 



Wednesday, December 16, 2009

FREE Pattern: Quick & Easy Christmas Stocking


stocking by you.

Quick + Easy Christmas Stocking

by Haley Waxberg


This pattern is basically an oversized, easy-peasy, toe-up sock.

Back Story
Requests have been coming in for my Christmas Stocking pattern ever since I took a tumble 2 and a half weeks ago and was unable to type it up. Well, my poor little broken arms are on the mend and now that I've weaned myself off the narcotics (strictly for medical use) and I've got mental faculties back - for the most part.

A number of people have very discretely inquired about my motivations on this project, since I'm Jewish and all. Last year I celebrated Christmas with my boyfriend and his family, I got my very own stocking and I thought it was the cat's meow! The only thing that didn't appeal to me was the aesthetic, which seems to involve an unusual level of kitsch for WASPs (especially for my boyfriend's ultra fashionable mom). Before we even sat down for dinner I was planning a stocking for myself.

Now, this story isn't just about me and my secret and taboo jewy desire to carve out a piece of Christmas for myself.  After my brother got married this summer my parents started socializing with his in-laws (better know as the 'outlaws'). Anticipating that Christmas would on their calendar this winter, I thought it would be very nice for them arrive to a warm reception with their very own, personalized stockings. All of this was easy, until I started researching what a stocking should look like. Everyone had a different description and each was Canonical (as in written in blood, sweat, tears, and then etched stone). So this is a Jewish girl's take on how she thinks a Christmas stocking can look great. It's like a big version of the Whos's stockings from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." If you find it too big you can either make it shorter or stuff the toe with tissue paper.  That said, I think that my stocking is so nice that you are going to want to replace your mungy old things, or convert. ;-)

Size
7" wide
22" long

Materials
10mm-16" circular needles (or 5 double pointed needles or a 36" long circular needle for magic loop)
1 skein Cascade Magnum or Brown Sheep Burly Spun
3 Jumbo Locking Stitch markers
10mm crochet hook (for cast on)
scrap yarn, super bulky
jumbo tapestry needle

Optional Materials for Applique
Felting needles
Felting mat or dense sponge
Lamb's Pride Bulky, Creme
Straight pins

Gauge
10 sts & 12 rows = 4"/10cm

Abbreviations
k             knit
k2tog       knit 2 sts together
M1           make 1: lifted stitch increase
p             purl
p2tog       purl 2 sts together
PM           place marker on the needle
R             row or round
sl            slip (the stitch)
sl m         slip marker
st/s         stitch/es
w & t       wrap & turn (short rows)

Techniques
Provisional Cast-on

Short Rows

Short Row Heel Tutorial (how to make the sts pretty)

M1 Increase

I-Cord

Needle Felting


Directions

Toe

Using scrap yarn and a provisional cast-on technique, cast on 12 sts.
R1: P 1 row.
R2: K until 1 st remains, w & t.
R3: P until 1 st remains, w& t.
R4: K until 2 sts remain, w & t.
R5: P until 2 sts remain, w& t.
R6: K until 3 sts remain, w & t.
R7: P until 3 sts remain, w& t.
R8: K until 3 sts remain, unwrap next st & knit the wrap together with the st, w & t next st. (to make the decrease look prettier you should manually switch the position of the stitch and the wrap/s so that the stitch is closer to the exterior of the stocking and then work them together)
R9: P until 3 sts remain, unwrap next st & purl the wrap together with the st, w & t next st.
R10: K until 2 sts remain, unwrap next st & knit the wraps together with the st, w & t next st.
R11: P until 2 sts remain, unwrap next st & purl the wraps together with the st, w & t next st.
R12: K until 1 st remains, unwrap next st & knit the wraps together with the st, w & t next st.
R13: Sl 1st st, p until 1 s remains, unwrap next st & purl the wraps together with the st, w & t next st.
R14: Sl 1st st, k to end of row, pm #2,pick up & knit st. s from provisional cast-on, pm #1.  Marker # 1 is the start of the round.
R15: knit.
R16: M1, k to next marker, sl m, M1, k to next marker. (26 sts)
R17: knit.
R18: K to marker, M1 sl m, k to marker, M1, sl m. (28 sts)
R19: K7, place marker #3, knit to end of round. Change colours at marker #3, Marker # 3 is beginning and end of round.

Foot
Continue to knit in the round until piece measures 8" from edge of toe.

Heel
R1: K to 1 st before marker #2, w & t.
R2: P to 1 st before marker #1, w & t.
R3: K to 2 sts before marker #2, w & t.
R4: P to 2 sts before marker #1, w & t.
R5: K to 3 sts before marker #2, w & t.
R6: P to 3 sts before marker #1, w & t.
R7: K to 3 sts before marker #2, unwrap next st & knit the wrap together with the st, w & t next st.
R8: P to 3 sts before marker #1, unwrap next st & knit the wrap together with the st, w & t next st.
R9: K to 2 sts before marker #2, unwrap next st & knit the wraps together with the st, w & t next st.
R10: P to 2 sts before marker #1, unwrap next st & knit the wraps together with the st, w & t next st.
R11: K to 1 st before marker #2, unwrap next st & knit the wraps together with the st, w & t next st.
R12: Sl 1st st, P to 1 st before marker #1, unwrap next st & knit the wraps together with the st, w & t next st.

Heel Gusset
R13: Sl 1st st, k to marker #2, remove marker, pick up & knit 2 sts in the gap, pm, k to marker #1, pick up & knit 2 sts in the gap, k to marker #3.

Leg
Knit until leg measures 17" from base of heel (measured from 1" in).
Next Row: Shift marker #3 1 st to left, then cast off until 3 sts remain, k the 3 sts.
Working on the 3 remaining sts, make an I-Cord for 5".
Next Row: k2tog, k1, lift 1st st over 2nd st. Cut yarn, leaving about 8" for seaming.

Finishing
Wave in ends.
Sew I-cord to cast off edge of stocking to form a loop.

Applique
To add applique, pin yarn bulky weight yarn in place, the way you want it. Place felting mat in place inside the stocking. Poke the yarn in place with the felting needle (only into the section covered by the mat). Move the mat around as needed.


x-mas stocking stripes by you.
Materials for Striped Stocking A

Cascade Magnum in:
  • Red 9431

Brown Sheep Burly Spun in:
  • BS23 Fuchsia
  • BS120 Limeade
  • BS78 Aztec turquoise
  • BS38 Lotus Pink

Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky:
  • M145 Spice
  • M187 Turquoise Depths



stocking pink by you.
Materials for Striped Stocking B

Brown Sheep Burly Spun in:
  • BS23 Fuchsia
  • BS05 Black
  • BS38 Lotus Pink
Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky:
  • M145 Spice
  • M81 Red Baron
stripey yellow stocking by you.
Materials for Striped Stocking C

Cascade Magnum in:
  • Red 9431
Brown Sheep Burly Spun in:
  • BS23 Fuchsia
  • BS120 Limeade
  • BS78 Aztec turquoise
  • BS38 Lotus Pink
  • BS10 Creme
  • BS155 Lemon Drop
Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky:
  • Spruce (discontinued, sub M16 Seafoam)
  • M105 RPM Pink
stripey stocking orange by you.
Materials for Striped Stocking D

Brown Sheep Burly Spun in:
  • BS180 Ruby Red
  • BS05 Black
  • Bs10 Creme
  • BS191 Kiwi
Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky:
  • M105 RPM Pink
  • M187 Turquoise Depths
  • M28 Chianti
  • M22 Autumn Harvest
  • M34 Victorian Pink
Copyright © 2009 Knit-O-Matic, all rights reserved. No pattern of other material may be reproduced or distributed - mechanically, electronically, or by other means, including photocopying - without written permission of Knit-O-Matic. Pattern is for personal use only and not to be used to create items for commercial sale. Author Haley Waxberg. For pattern corrections see our website at www.knitomatic.com.

    Saturday, December 12, 2009

    Tuesday, December 08, 2009


    A quick snack before bed; here is a list of Stitch Diva's Top 10 Last Minute Chirstmas Gifts to knit and crochet (from last year). 

    i would knit comfy socks (& update on my progress)



    if i could knit i would be making Comfy Socks on 8mm needles with 2 skeins of Malabrigo Aquarella or Fleece Artist Slubby Blue ....



    .... or Clafoutis Bed Socks on 5.5mm or 6mm needles in:
    And a quick update about my poor little arms ... they are doing quite well!

    the wrappings on the right arm were getting loose and i was curious so i got sneaky and took them off to inspect the damage. there really isn't much, a pristine incision and some steri strips. pretty remarkable, eh?! the right arm really does not look orthopedic surgery-esqe. it just has a big band-aid on it now to protect the incision, hardly looks broken at all. 

    the left wrist is more interesting. the cast was getting loose so i went back to th fracture clinic this morning and it was a sight when they took it off. it's swollen & bruised, as expected, but the sight was 3 hooks sticking out of the skin!  i sure did not expect to see that. i wonder how they will be extracted in the end?  will i need more surgery or will they just be yanked out with a pair of pliers?  i am getting the impression that orthopedic surgery is a field indirectly related to construction. 

    anyway, when i saw my wrist i almost passed out.i don't know if it was from the sight or the rush of pain. in retrospect i suspect it was the pain, but at the time i just kept trying to envision grosser things than my limp, iron-maiden hand. i grew up next door to a reconstructive surgeon and the pictures in the trade magazines lying around his house were always a strong incentive to stay out of trouble.  after a few seconds of evaluating my proximity to fainting i gave up and the very nice casting tech, Phil, suggested i lie down. so in the end i did not faint at the sight of my hideous appendage. i guess this story only has a modest amount of value. 

    anyway, i have to get back at it!  i'll be back at work tomorrow, wednesday, on my normal schedule until sunday. so see ya later gator!  ;-)

    Saturday, December 05, 2009

    if my hands could knit i would make for the holidays


    i would make another Urchin  .....


    or an Unoriginal Hat ....


    using the new Fleece Artist Slubby Blue
    • 100% Blue Face Leicester Wool
    • 100m/109yds

    stripey blue x-mas stocking


    stripey blue x-mas stocking

    today was my first day back at work since i went humpty-dumpty down the stairs a week ago. things went pretty well with my lovely assistants rosie and john. i came in this morning to a gorgeous get-well gift basket from hans & eden over at scratch. ohh lala, it was huge, i'm still afraid to open it for fear that i'll be crushed in the avalanche of cookies, bon-bons, and chocolate covered nuts. i tried a little knitting but my left wrist isn't strong enough yet. i tired doing some knitting on my little addi knitting machine but it kept dropping stitches and i gave it a rest. i'm seriously jonesig to knit. it was so hard coming in this morning, looking at the wall of yarn, thinking of all the things i'd like to make to show you, but not being able to execute. i'm so jealous of you! ;-)

    Thursday, December 03, 2009

    stripey yellow x-mas stocking with sock monkey bum


    stripey yellow x-mas stocking with sock monkey bum. 

    i'm going to stretch out last week's x-mas stocking production because i've been out of commission this week. this one turned out especially, i just used 'scrap' yarn for it. of course, using up the bits & bobs inevitably leads to buying more to fill in the gaps. now my 'srap' bag is overflowing more than ever before. ;-)

    Wednesday, December 02, 2009

    x-mas spirit



    this is my designey coloured x-mas stocking. before i fell and banged myself up i was deep into x-mas stockings. they are fast, easy, fun to make and so very pretty!  they only take me a few hours, i make them on 10mm-16" circular needles just like a short row, toe-up sock (start with 12 sts).

    i did it!

    P1010016 by you.

    i can still knit!  i came in to work today to hang out and finally gave in and gave it a try. it's slow going, but i did it in a cast and with 2 broken arms!  go me!  tomorrow i go in for surgery, maybe my new bionic arms will knit even better and faster than before?

    i look like total dreck, but i managed to feed AND wash myself today. the coif has everything left to be desired and i do not photograph well without makeup - this is what i looked like in jr. high. but i made it in, went out to buy a chai, and sat around laughing for 3 and a half hours. go me!

    Tuesday, December 01, 2009

    Knit-O-Matis is OPEN!

    Hi all!

    As you may or may not have heard i took a little spill last Saturday and broke both of my arms. I am scheduled for a minor operation on Thursday and will be back at work on Saturday with a few helpers. I'll likely be back to mostly normal in 2 weeks. In the interim the store is OPEN for business as usual, Liane is there to help you out and if there is anything she needs help with she can reach me by phone.

    Thanks for sticking by us in our time of need and happy holiday knitting!

    ~ Haley