Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Free Pattern: Pebble Beach Baktus

I have been messing around for awhile with this new pattern, first using leftover yarns from other projects.  In case I made a mess of it, I didn't want to use scrumptious, brand new skeins.



The brightly colored version of this shawlette took half a skein each of two different colorways of Noro Kureyon sock yarn.  Obviously, you could use just one skein, and therefore, one colorway.  Or use up leftovers in your stash; why not?

If you are using one skein only, you may want to weigh it before you start knitting.  When you have used up almost half, begin the decrease section.

The grey version is made with Cascade Heritage 150 sock yarn.

Both colors remind me of Pebble Beach:  the bright one evokes a sunset at the end of a crystal clear day, the grey is for the many foggy mornings.  The lace border looks like ocean waves, and I added "pebbles," in the form of knitted bobbles, along the shore.

The body of the baktus and the lace border are knitted at the same time, horizontally, from short end to short end.  Enjoy!

PEBBLE BEACH BAKTUS

© 2014 Reyna Thera Lorele
YIYO Designs

Finished size:  approximately 52"L, 14"W at widest point.

Materials
450 yds. fingering or sock weight yarn
#4 knitting needles (I used 24” circulars)
stitch marker

Gauge
6 sts per inch and 12 rows per inch in garter

SPECIAL STITCHES
m1L = make one left: slip L needle under bar between sts from front to back, k into back of st created
mb = make bobble:  k, p, k into same st, turn work, p the 3 sts just made, turn work, sl 2 tog knitwise, k1, psso

NOTE:  The lace border alone has 13 sts on row 1.  After row 3, 15 sts; after row 5, 13 sts; after row 7, 12 sts; after row 9, 11 sts; after row 11, 10 sts; after row 13, 11 sts.

DIRECTIONS
CO 16 sts.
K four rows.

BEGIN INCREASE SECTION
Row 1 (WS):  k2, p9, k2, pm, k to end.
Row 2 (RS):  k to 2 sts before marker, m1L, k2, sm, k4, yo, k5, yo, k2tog, yo, k2.
Row 3 and all WS rows from now on:  k2, p to 2 sts before marker, k2, sm, k to end.
Row 4:  k to marker, sm, k5, sl1, k2tog, psso, k2, (yo, k2tog) twice, k1.
Row 6:  k to 2 sts before marker, m1L, k2, sm, k4, skp, k2, (yo, k2tog) twice, k1.
Row 8:  k to marker, sm, k3, skp, k2, (yo, k2tog) twice, k1.
Row 10:  k to 2 sts before marker, m1L, k2, sm, k2, skp, k2, (yo, k2tog) twice, k1.
Row 12:  k to marker, sm, k1, skp, k2, yo, k1, yo, k2tog, yo, k2.
Row 14:  k to 2 sts before marker, m1L, k2, sm, k2, mb, k1, yo, k3, yo, k2tog, yo, k2.

Repeat these 14 rows until shawl is width desired (or half your yarn is used.)  End with a row 14.  (I did 17 pattern reps total for the grey shawlette.)



BEGIN DECREASE SECTION
Row 1 (WS):  k2, p9, k2, sm, k to end.
Row 2 (RS):  k to 3 sts before marker, k2tog, k1, sm, k4, yo, k5, yo, k2tog, yo, k2.
Row 3 and all WS rows from now on:  k2, p across to 2 sts before marker, k2, sm, k to end.
Row 4:  k to marker, sm, k5, sl1, k2tog, psso, k2, (yo, k2tog) twice, k1.
Row 6:  k to 3 sts before marker, k2tog, k1, sm, k4, skp, k2, (yo, k2tog) twice, k1.
Row 8:  k to marker, sm, k3, skp, k2, (yo, k2tog) twice, k1.
Row 10:  k to 3 sts before marker, k2tog, k1, sm, k2, skp, k2, (yo, k2tog) twice, k1.
Row 12:  k to marker, sm, k1, skp, k2, yo, k1, yo, k2tog, yo, k2.
Row 14:  k to 3 sts before marker, k2tog, k1, sm, k2, mb, k1, yo, k3, yo, k2tog, yo, k2.

Repeat these 14 rows until you are down to 3 sts before the marker with RS facing you.

K four rows.  Bind off.  Cut yarn, fasten off.  Weave in ends.  Block and wear!

ABBREVIATIONS
CO = cast on
k = knit
k2tog = knit 2 together
L = left
m1L = make 1 left
mb = make bobble
p = purl
pm = place marker
psso = pass slipped stitch (or stitches) over
R = right
RS = right side
skp = slip 1 stitch knitwise, k1, psso
sl1 = slip 1 stitch knitwise
sm = slip marker
sp = space
st, sts = stitch, stitches
WS = wrong side
yo = yarn over

If you like this pattern, you might also like the Milan Lace Scarf or the Christina Cowl.
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Monday, November 17, 2014

On Pins and Needles (and Hooks)

Here's a quick overview of some (not all!) of the projects I'm working on right now.

This grey shawlette is for a pattern I will post soon.



Finished this quilt top and its backing, which are now hanging in the closet, waiting to be pinned and quilted for the Quilting Angels.






The beginnings of a scarf for a shop sample.

And the beginning of a baby sock, also for the shop.


One of my crochet blankets;  I'm planning to publish the pattern soon.  It just looks like a clump of fabric right now, doesn't it?  More will be revealed!

And I'm knitting a cabled hood with a surprising color effect evolving out of the variegated yarn.







A scarf for charity, probably, using up leftovers.
On the spinning wheel (still--the same old fiber I've been spinning off and on for ages):


A quilt I am in the middle of quilting, also for the Quilting Angels:



The other day, I pulled out a belly roll, i.e. half a jelly roll, and started messing with these strips.  I've already created some shapes, and these are going to fit in somewhere; I have no pattern or plan, I'm just winging it.



Next we have some challenge fabrics; haven't started on this yet.  Wondering just how crazy I had to be to agree to Elisa's quilt top challenge idea.  Very cool idea, but… when exactly was I planning to make this????  Luckily we haven't firmed up a finish date.  Luckily, it is tentatively set for sometime in early spring!
Also taking a class in two-color fabric appliqué.  Traced the pattern onto the fabric, pinned, then basted, ready to cut and then sew.


Also just took a workshop on Judy Niemayer's paper piecing techniques.  Will have pics to post as soon as I have something remotely ready to show.

And I have another scarf in the works, probably for charity, trying to use up this ribbon yarn.

So… off to work on at least one of these projects!



















Saturday, November 15, 2014

Design by Nature

Eye candy from a walk on the beach.





I didn't arrange these, the waves did.






Although I might have had something to do with the footprints!

Birds of a feather flocking together:




A couple of them were having a lengthy conversation.


The guy to the right looks bemused.

"And another thing…!"

Seaweed in the beak: a prize catch

All this and the ocean, too.










Thursday, November 6, 2014

Free Quilt Top Recipe: Scrappy Squares

Last month, I decided to take my local quilt guild's block of the month challenge, a Sixteen Patch.  I hadn't done one of the monthly challenges yet, but this one looked so easy, I asked myself, how long could it take?

I think that about a lot of things. There's a class I want to take?  Sure, I have time for that.  And then that other class?  Well, why not, it's on a Friday and the other's on Sundays.

Sure, I can knit a hat for a friend while I am also designing two blankets, a shawl, and a hood, and making four quilts at once; why not?  How long could it take?

Usually longer than I think, alas.

This square actually didn't take that long, except that I like to spend forever picking and choosing fabrics.  A less--shall we say, playful?--person could have done it in half the time.  (We are not going to say "obsessive."  We are not going to say "crazy."  We are going with "playful" or "creative.")

When I saw the block at the guild meeting, I wasn't too impressed, but once I started making one, I saw how the idea comes together and is quite charming.

THE RECIPE:  You need a solid or neutral color to go with the other scraps.  These were 3.5 inch squares (3 inches once sewn), but you could use whatever size you want.  The brighter and scrappier the scraps, the better.  And that's it.  A bit of chain-piecing and you're done.  (Obviously, if you are making a whole quilt top, you will need more than one Sixteen Patch.)

So I finished the square, and was about to get back to my regularly scheduled overscheduling, when I got an email encouraging us quilters to make one block each for a certain person for a certain gift.

This gift is top secret, hush hush:  the intended victim--er, recipient--is not supposed to know about it.

A colorful beginning
I feel safe putting it up on my blog, though, because I barely know this person and I doubt we would recognize one another walking down the street.  I am 99.99% certain she neither knows my name nor of my predilection for blogging.

I just wanted to participate.  I didn't like the feeling of opting out just because I'm not even entirely sure who this lady is.







Coming together
We were told to use bright colors on a beige background, if background was needed.  Beige wouldn't have been my choice, but "in for a penny, in for another quarter yard of fabric," as the saying goes.

Making this taught me something:  I have an amazing stash full of incredible fabrics, but very few solids or neutrals.  And sometimes solids and neutrals are necessary to set off the design.

So I actually bought a bit of beige for this, but the rest came from my stash, courtesy of Debbie, who gave me the cheerful stuff a few months ago.

Finished
It kinda looks like a circus tent.  Really hope the victim likes the circus.




Friday, October 31, 2014

Three by Three: More In Threes Sweaters!




Guess who is churning out baby sweaters faster than a newborn can count to three?  No, not me--Lorrie!

She is one of our cherished regulars, when she's in town, at my knitting and crochet help classes.

In town or elsewhere, she is becoming quite the dedicated and accomplished knitter.

(Do you love the cowboy boot buttons or what?!)


Just had to share these, they are so cute!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Free Pattern: L'il Surfer Board

You can read all about the original Li'l Surfer Dude here.



I put the surfboard pattern up for sale, but it turns out there isn't a huge demand for knitted surfboards--go figure!  I just don't understand it!  I sold one or two, but I really think it's time to put this one up for free.  Sign up to follow my blog and be the first to know when I post a new freebie!

L'IL SURFER BOARD

PLEASE NOTE:  This pattern is for the surfboard only, not the doll. The Li’l Surfer Dude in the pic is made from the Purl the Little Knit Girl pattern book by CiD Hanscom.


My finished surfboard measures about 6 inches long and 1.75 inches wide.

Materials
small amount of DK weight yarn
#4 knitting needles
small piece of lightweight cardboard or plastic such as quilters’ template
darning needle
Gauge
not crucial

SPECIAL STITCHES
m1L = make one left:  insert L needle into bar between sts from front to back, k into back of lp
m1R = make one right:  insert L needle into bar between sts from back to front, k into front of lp

HAPPY HINTS
I made the back piece with garter stitch so I wouldn’t have to block it.  I made the front with stockinette, though, because I wanted to add a stripe using duplicate stitch.

I then sewed the front and back together with the plastic template or cardboard inside.  Leave long tails when casting on--you can use these to sew.

If you want a bigger board, use thicker yarn and needles, or simply do more increase rows at the beginning of each board (and don’t forget, you will do more decrease rows later!  And forgive me for stating the obvious.)

GARTER STITCH SURFBOARD
With main color, CO 3 sts.
Rows 1, 3, 5, and 7:  k across
Row 2:  k1, m1L, k1, m1R, k1
Row 4:  k1, m1L, k3, m1R, k1
Row 6:  k1, m1L, k5, m1R, k1
Row 8:  k1, m1L, k7, m1R, k1
Now k every row until surfboard measures 5.5 inches from the tip (or length desired).

BEGIN DECREASES
Row 1 (RS):  k1, ssk, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1
Row 2 and all even-numbered rows:  k across
Rep these 2 rows until you are down to 5 sts.
Next RS row:  k1, sl2, k1, psso,k1
Last row:  p3tog
Cut yarn, leaving long tail for sewing later, and fasten off.

STOCKINETTE SURFBOARD
With main color, CO 3 sts.
Row 1:  k across.
Rows 2, 4, 6, and 8:  as for garter stitch board
Row 3 and all remaining odd-numbered rows: k2, p across to last 2 sts, k2
Now continue to k even-numbered rows, and rep row 3 for every odd row, until surfboard measures 5.5 inches from the tip (or length desired.)

BEGIN DECREASES
As described above, but in stockinette.
Cut yarn, leaving long tail for sewing later, and fasten off.

DECORATION
Use duplicate stitch in contrasting color to adorn your board as desired.

"STURDIFYING" YOUR BOARD
Trace around one piece of your surfboard onto a piece of lightweight plastic or cardboard.  After tracing, cut within the lines so it will fit easily inside your boards.  This will keep it from flopping over when posing beside a surfer dude or dudette on the beach.

Then make your board sandwich--back, plastic, and top--and sew front and back together.  Cut yarn, fasten off.  Weave in ends.

ABBREVIATIONS
CO = cast on
k = knit
k2tog = knit 2 together
L = left
lp = loop
m1L, m1R = make one left, make one right
p = purl
p3tog = purl 3 together
psso = pass slipped sts over
R = right
rep = repeat
RS = right side
sl = slip
ssk = slip 2 sts one at a time knitwise, then k together with L needle
st, sts = stitch, stitches
WS = wrong side



Aldean made our shop Surfer Dude some swim trunks!  Here he is, hanging high above the customers' heads, looking for a wave.

Surf’s up!  I hope your doll or stuffed animal enjoys the beach!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sunrise, Sunset

I've been working off and on for months on this quilt.



One reason it took so long is that most of the fabrics for the top were donated to the Quilting Angels.  Since there wasn't enough of any one color to do all the sashing and binding, let alone the backing, I got to be creative with arranging, rearranging, and re-rearranging the colors until I was happy with the result.










Another reason this quilt took so long is that I couldn't decide on the borders.  Shopping occurred.  I chose something, got it home, didn't like it after all, and started all over again with scraps.  I still didn't have just the right shade of pink for the bottom right corner.




More shopping ensued, and more arranging and rearranging of more scraps.









When I finally got the top sewn together, and pinned it to the backing I bought and the batting I won on the Quilt Shop Tour last year (free batting!  Yay!), I couldn't decide how to do the actual quilting.

Much contemplation was required.

Finally I hit on the "rays of the sun" idea for the black and white squares, which picks up on the general sunrise and/or sunset aspect of the sashing and borders.  (I wonder how much of one's personality can be determined from answering this question: is the glass half sunset or half sunrise?)




After I did some quilting in the ditch and some sun's rays, there was the literally knotty problem I had of switching to free motion quilting and forgetting to change the needle to the right size for the variegated thread I was using, and also forgetting to lower the feed dogs on the machine.

Surprise!  It really, really helps to lower the feed dogs, folks!  Cue the seam ripper.



I planned to finish this quilt in January.  I planned to finish it in…August, with any luck.



I planned to finish it in September.  I finally finished on Friday, October 10.





Binding sewn on the front, ready to flip



Usually I machine sew the binding to the back, flip it over and machine sew it on the front.  Supposedly this holds up better to many washings for children's quilts, plus it's so much faster to sew.  Given how long it takes me to make a quilt, I am all for faster!

But for this one, I decided to do a more traditional binding, machine sewing it to the front, then hand sewing it to the back.  I already had so much wild and woolly quilting going on, I didn't want to add another line of stitches to the front.




Another reason this quilt took so long is that I love it so much, it's hard to let it go.  But I turned it in yesterday, and although I kinda miss it already, a part of me is glad that an unknown someone in the hospital will, I hope, find some cheer and comfort with this quilt draped over them.

And I get to keep lots of pictures, and the memory of how much fun it was to make.