Knitted Crocheted Other

Friday, April 25, 2014

All the Little Critters and An Easier Way to M1

Recently, I made several toys from patterns designed by Barbara Prime of "Fuzzy Mitten Toys". I especially LOVE her creations, because they add so much whimsey and cuteness and she hosts a forum, where you can view other knitter's works and ask/answer/get answers to any questions you might have.

Because all of the little "critters" need shaping, there is a lot of M1 and K2tog/ssks going on in the pattern. Typically, when making an M1/make 1 (knitting in the bar between stitches) a hole is created. In order to close that hole, you knit in the back loop which twists the stitch thereby making it tighter and pulling up any slack.

This works fine for most yarns that have a little "give". But on one of the patterns, I chose to use a cotton yarn, which doesn't have "give".

After struggling with the twisting of the stitch, I had an idea. And it worked!

M1 the stitch, without twisting. There will be a slight hole. On the return, twist the stitch. It closes the hole just as well, and is a whole lot easier to do because you're working with an entire stitch, not a short length of yarn between stitches.

You do need to keep track of where the M1's are, but it's not too difficult because even if you're not counting where they should be, they're different looking from a normal stitch so they stand out a bit.

Patterns used - Backyard Bandits, Mystery Knit-Along 2014 (the kangaroos) and Orangutan

Happy Knitting!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Making Knitted Gifts for Sports Fans

This past November, I was trying to find something I could knit up for my 12 year old grandson for his birthday. He's always warm, so he doesn't like beanies or scarves or mitts and would never be caught dead in a sweater.

But he is a Giant's fan, and has a few bobble heads and banners. So I thought maybe I could knit up a pillow for his bed, using the Giant's logo. I believe that's OK, as long as you're not selling the item.

I created my own graph of the design and alternated the use of the orange and grey yarns. Now, most Giants' items are in orange and black, but lately they've been using the grey in their uniforms as a substitute for the black. 

After knitting up two (relatively) same sized squares, I whipstitched up 3 of the edges and then hand-sewed in a zipper. It looks and sounds a little difficult, but if you have any sewing skills with putting in zippers, you'll find it fairly easy.

Of course the program I used to create the graph went belly-up and I had to purchase a different one (which does not use the same format). So all I have left are some jpegs of the graph.

Feel free to copy it. The logo itself is 43 stitches and 45 rows, but you can add more rows and stitches for the borders, or add them on later, if you choose.

I designed the graph a little foreshortened, thinking the knit stitch is usually taller than it is wide. However, it didn't seem to apply here, so the finished product also looks a little "squished". Oh well!

Zipper notes - use the same color thread as your yarn, stitch "in the ditch" (between knit stitches), and when you close up the side, whipstitch into the "hidden" leg of the stitch so your seam won't show as much.