Category Archives: Pattern Links

Almost 25 Ways to Get Rid of my Sock Yarn

What do I do with all of this?

Two years ago, I didn’t buy loads of sock yarn at the Sock Summit, because I already had a serious butt load of sock yarn… including a bunch of Drops Fabel and Regia Sock Yarns which have become my fast favorites because of their durability and dependability (I sound like a commercial from the 50’s). I do sometimes struggle with making socks.  You can see the sweater most of the time… socks you’re the only one who knows you’re wearing a work of gorgeous Aran artistry and cablework. So I decided to use Ravelry and my websearching skills to compile a list of things I could possibly create with the multliple boxes of sock yarn I have stashed away. I’ll try to post more as I find them.

Crochet:

  • Fingerless Mitts: Look quite warm and snuggly for your hands.
  • Chihuahua Sweater (double stranded):(though I’d have to make a lot of these just to get rid of my KP Imagination.
  • Vera (gorgeous shawl pattern that eats up to 2000 yards of sockyarn) –  I’m linking to a photo fo the pattern here to entice you. Vera Shawl by Katie Grady
  • Snowflake Christmas Ornaments: forgot about fabric stiffener. These look like great fun.
  • Reusable Tampon (Oy, not for the faint of heart) – I probably will abstain from making these… unless, of course civilization comes barrelling down around me and I can’t buy what I need from a store.
  • Eyeball with Nerve Endings: Make a bunch of these for your Halloween party. Then through them at your guests… then they can say they had the unique experience of being pelted with eyeballs.
  • Monkey (OMG this monkey is so cute)
  • Naalepuder (flower-shaped pincushions): Really cute especially with variegated or rainbow yarn. Original pattern in Danish. Floral Pincushions

Knitting:

This ferret looks smashing in what appears to be Noro Kureyon Sock

This ferret looks smashing in what appears to be Noro Kureyon Sock

Pirate Mittens (Available on Ravelry as a free download):

Pirate Mittens

Pirate Mittens

The Beanis (warning may offend… what is it? It rhymes with ‘beanis’… you figure it out. No I’m not posting photo here.)

Honorable Mentions:

  • Pirate Eye-Patch for your cat. I couldn’t post because the pattern/website no longer exists. But one could easily use their imagination to create one of their own.
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Filed under Aran, Craft, Creativity, Crochet, Fun Stuff, Gifts, Knit, Knitting, Pattern Links, Patterns, Project, Sock Summit, Socks, Stashbuster, Yarn

Crochet isn’t just for Granny anymore

Not your average crochet (Amazing aran cardigan by JRoKnits

Not your average crochet (Amazing aran cardigan by JRoKnits

Edit 1/25/09 – Please note I linked to the wrong pattern book for the Dusty Miller sweater pictured above.  The correct book is Crochet Aran Sweaters by the same author. Sadly it looks like Amazon doesn’t have this book.  It may be out of print.

Let me confess here. I once had a very low opinion of crochet. Crochet was for Christmas themed toilet roll cozies and Grandma crafts that included walnut critters with googly eyes. Don’t get me wrong I wax nostalgic for anything with googly eyes, but about 10 years ago when I re-discovered knitting, I was determined to pick up knitting again because I didn’t want to crochet. Crochet reminded me of orthopedic shoes and support hose.*

Gorgeous Crochet Gown by OutsaPop Trashion

Gorgeous Crochet Gown by OutsaPop Trashion

Crochet wasn’t sexy.

Now let me apologize to all the crochetiers and crochet afficionados out there by saying “I WAS WRONG.”  More than a year ago I was introduced to the idea of Crochet being for all sorts of gorgeous garments in one of Brenda Dayne’s Cast On podcasts. This podcast along with the work in Interweave Crochet magazine gradually transformed my opinion of crochet.

I discovered that crochet can be used to make aesthetically pleasing garments of not just lace but well structured and sturdy articles of clothing.  It can be used to make stylish and fashionable accessories and household objects. I ran a quick search on Flickr and I found many wonderful examples.

But crochet also sparks the imagination and fancy in a way that knitting does not. In the Flickr search I found wonderful objects and creatures that are not easy to find among knitted toys.  I’ve made knitted objects before. I’ve knit and shaped the muzzle of  a bear and the steps you take (increases, decreases and short rows) felt more like following a mystery puzzle than a pattern. A while back I took a class on how to make Amigurumi, and a sparks shot off in my head.  Crochet made more sense to me ‘geometrically’ than knitting. There are different possibilities with crochet because you can structure and shape three dimensional objects easily with strategic increases and decreases. You can build spheres, cylinders, tubes, even cubical objects easily and these structures are pretty sturdy and can stand up on their own when crocheted with certain fibers.

This year I’m teaching a few crochet classes at the Naked Sheep Knit Shop.  My first class “Learn to Crochet” starts next week.   I’m incredibly excited to share my  new found love of this fiber art with others.  Through swatching, and experimentation with stitches and textures, I’m hoping to guide my students through the basics and help each of them pick a beginner project . I think there are three people currently in the course and there is more space left.

If you’re interested (and live in the Portland Metro Area) I”m also teaching a course on Amigurumi toys. All the information is listed in the link below.

Resources:

Crochet Cactus by Nadia308

*Please note… I didn’t hate crochet back then… I just had some erroneous preconceptions based me associating it with senior ladies.  Like most youth… I didn’t want to be associated with ‘older people’ and their sense of style. Though this doesn’t explain my love of Big Band as an adolescent. To be truthful, I do also have some very fond memories of crochet. The woman who was our babysitter and caregiver was an avid crocheter… she taught me how to make my first object… a hat that looked more like a sausage.

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Filed under Amigurumi, Craft, Crochet, Pattern Links, Patterns, Portland, Portland Crocheters

Deciphering Japanese Patterns: an Adventure

My husband has this habit (a bit irritating to me) of watching foreign movies without the subtitles. He’s perfectly happy enjoying the movie by watching and interpreting facial impressions and physical gestures. Sometimes he just likes to sit back and enjoy the cinematography or art direction. I realized the other day that I should be a little more tolerant and sypathetic of this habit of his because I’ve been known to buy books and magazines in foreign language because I simply enjoy the designs, the artwork and photography. Any item that has clearly drawn and organized symbolic instructions just leaves me in awe and appreciation. Perhaps it because these instructions effectively transgress any language barriers and effectively present the task or material in a truly universal language.  Even though Japanese knitting patterns have elements that are indecipherable to me, I still think that a non-Japanese speaking individual can glean more from the design of the object than one could from patterns written in English.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I bought a few knitting pattern books as well as a stitch dictionary (for both knitting and crochet) in San Francisco’s Japantown a two weeks ago. I am planning to attempt one of the hat patterns soon with the help of some of the translation resources (see below) and the stitch dictionary. If I attempt to work on any of the garments in these books, I’ll have to strategically place darts or increases in the patterns to accommodate the ‘curviness’ of my figure. 🙂

The cute little hat, I’d love to make (it’s crochet)

Resources for using Japanese Patterns:

A helpful PDF guide that walks you through the process of understanding and using Japanese Patterns. There are also several web resources on the subject listed at the end of this document.

http://www.needleartsbookshop.com/InterpretingJapaneseKnittingPatterns.pdf

Wonderful Guide including translations of needle sizes and common terms:

http://www.tata-tatao.to/knit/japanese/e-index.html

Legend for Stitches:

http://www.tata-tatao.to/knit/stitches/e-index.html

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Filed under Crochet, Fashion, Garment Design, Knit, Knitting, Pattern Links, Techniques

Oy, Marilyn! Fighting the Stripey Stockinette Syndrome

I wanted to finish a sweater fast! I mean two to three days fast, and it just isn’t happening. I thought I could do this with Debbie Bliss’ Simply Marylin, but alas it’s not going to happen… fast, I mean. You may remember that my idea for this sweater began in my quest for an orangy red pullover.

After I cast on and started knitting this sweater on the recommended size 10 needles, I discovered that the fabric was just too dense and tight. So I ripped out about 10 inches of work and started again on size 11’s. The knitted fabric was much nicer, flexible and soft. However, I began to notice the striping in the stockinette. I have this inferiority complex when it comes to my gauge, it it straight enough, is it perfect enough. G-dmit! I just want to finish knitting this boring sweater.

In my quest for perfect stockinette, I searched the internet for tips and tricks. I found a great resource: TECHKnitting on Gauge/Stockinette
The four tips on this page were quite helpful!

Tip 1 – Knit in the round or never purl. I love knitting in the round. But if you are knitting a cardigan, you’ll most likely have to steek. While steeking is on my list of things to learn this year, I’m not ready to waste $40-$80’s worth of yarn on a very big boo boo.

Tip 2 – Adjust the tension in your hands between purl and knit rows. I actually did this, knitting slightly tighter on the purl size, and it helped a great deal.

Tip 3 – Use different sized needles. I tried this on the Marilyn sweater, and discovered that like the detective Monk, I have issues with asymmetry. Using the different needles really bothered me to no end. Maybe because I was using two different kinds of pairs, one plastic and one birch, perhaps if the needles were of the same type, I could have handled this better.

Tip 4 – Use yarns that hide the flaws. I think this has been my standard way of dealing with the stripey stockinette problem

I think I took a lot of comfort in reading Elizabeth Zimmerman’s reassurance in Knitting without Tears. She made the point that every stitch and every row doesn’t have to be perfect, after all you don’t want your knitting to look like it was done by a machine.

On another note, I’ve discovered that I like using the Gianna yarn for knitting project such as these. I wasn’t impressed when I took the yarn out the of the package, and I held it in my hand. It seemed like shabby thick rug or craft yarn to me, but I discovered that with the right gauge/needles this yarn knits up into a nice rustic looking fabric. It’s too bad that it doesn’t come in more muted colors.

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Filed under Knit, Knitting, Pattern Links, Project, Reflection, Stockinette, Sweater, Techniques, Yarn

New projects and cartoon musings on a sweater for the original dork

Addendum: I found the link to the Scooby Doo parody from the Venture Brothers. You can view it here: http://www.adultswim.com/video/?episodeID=8a25c392134976fa01134a830e52003e

I want to knit for me…. for me and no one else! This selfishness usually occurs right after the holiday knitting frenzy and does not subside until maybe May. I’ve been ill lately and on some days I was too weak even to pick up the needles. Work has been keeping me busy and it’s been about two weeks or so, so I’m in a serious state of withdrawal and the selfish knitting thing will probably help me recuperate. I think I want to make a quick sweater so i’ve been considering making Marilyn in Gianna. I thought of using coral color… but then I paused and thought… orange sweater… why doesn’t ‘orange sweater’ feel right or sound right? OH,yeah… the chunky black glasses, you dork!

Every time I wear an orange sweater I feel like Velma from Scooby Doo. Yes, an Asian Velma. Curse that Velma! I shall never wear an orange sweater again… at least until I get a new pair of glasses.

Scooby Doo stopped being cool when Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddy Prinze became involved… though most will argue that this happened long before this when the evil little character whose name shall not be mentioned was introduced to the cast.

So how about red? A red sweater would be nice.

All this talk about the Doo reminds me of that great episode of the Venture Bros. with the parody cast from S.D. I couldn’t find a clip of it on the Tube, so here’s another favorite clip:

Come on… he’s in Depeche Mode!
[YouTube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=KmgrquvVYSk]

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Filed under Fashion, Fun Stuff, Knit, Knitting, Pattern Links, Rambling, Yarn

Scarf for my Alma Mater and What’s Wrong with Red Hart Yarn

Whooo Whoo… not that I have the time to knit it right now.

Though I still love gargoyles. They’re so cute and menacing at the same time.

http://magazine.uchicago.edu/0512/issue/UofCScarf.pdf

uofcscarf.jpg

Oh, oh, oh… I found this funny post on Red Hart yarn. Apparently items knit in it can survive horrific disasters unscathed.

http://community.livejournal.com/knitting/869294.html

Can you imagine? I wonder if enduring a flood can at least render the stuff less itchy. Though honestly, if you want to make crochet toys or amigurumi the stuff is pretty good because it’s durable and washable though still not very cuddly.

I actually made a teddy bear out of it once.

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Filed under Amigurumi, Fun Stuff, Knit, kniting humor, Knitting, Pattern Links, Patterns, Project, Yarn

Skull and Bones and Funny Nazis

I want to design a scarf for someone with a skull and bones. I found a pretty good pattern here at the Domiknitrix.

The skull fixation reminded me of a funny funny clip from “That Mitchell and Webb Look”

Have you looked at our caps recently… the badges on our caps… they’ve got skulls on them… are we the baddies?

Catch the little skull knitting at the end of the clip. I’m not sure, but the scarf the nazi is knitting looks like it has the same graphic pattern I linked to above.

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SO5WoLnOOlU]

They were never going to give me the job when things were going well… Heil me though….

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcQpj2XUsc8]

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Filed under Humor, Knit, kniting humor, Knitting, Pattern Links, Patterns, Pop culture