Sunday, 18 September 2016

Drop Stitch Scarf for Beginners

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 A few months ago, the friendly folk at Lincraft asked if we'd like to come up with a project or two with their new season yarn, and to cut a long story short, we didn't say no!










                 


You can find our pattern Drop Stitch Scarf for Beginners over on the Lincraft blog.  It's a very easy pattern that produces a fabulous result.  Even if you're not a beginner knitter, this quick and simple project is something simple to do in between more complex knits.

Happy knitting

Deb and Louise
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Sunday, 11 September 2016

Classic Fingerless Mitts for the Discerning Lute Player

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Warming up
My son is a classical music student who lives in a cold house.   His early morning, before-work practise in the middle of winter can be a bit chilly.  Trying to keep his hands warm is proving to be a bit difficult and when he was over here on a visit recently, asked if I could knit some mitts that, if the need arose, he could take with him to performances.  This can only mean one thing - they have to be black.  No colours at all, just black! Plain ol' black.

I have been knitting a lot of fingerless mitts lately.  We all took a pair with us to the snow (did I say snow?  I meant rained out slush and ice and gravel) and whilst we didn't get to do any skiing or tobogganing, we did stay warm.

They are a very quick knit (even if the teeny tiny black stitches are a bit hard to see - I recommend sitting under a lamp).

Materials

50g Black sock yarn.
2.75mm DPN's (5)
Stitch marker
Wool needle
small piece of waste yarn.

Abbreviations

M1 - Make 1.  Using the RHS (Right hand side) needle, lift the 'bar' between the stitches and place on the LHS needle. Then knit into the back of the 'stitch' you have just created.  This makes a stitch.  Ensure that you knit into the back of the stitch.  This will twist the stitch.  If the stitch is not twisted, a small hole will be created.  
PM - place marker.  

Pattern

Cast on 80 stitches and divide evenly over 4 DPN's.

Establish a K2, P2 rib and continue for 11cm (or the desired length).

Left Hand Mitt

Row 1.      K14, (P2, K2)5 times, P2, K to end - ensure that your K2,P2 stitches in this and subsequent rows matches up with the established ribbing.
Row 2.      as Row 1.
Row 3.      M1, K1, M1, PM, K to established ribbing, (P2, K2) 5 times, P2, K to end.
Row 4.      K to established ribbing, (P2, K2) 5 times, P2, K to end.
Row 5.      M1, K3, M1, Slip marker, K to established ribbing (P2, K2) 5 times, P2, K to end.

Continue rows 4 and 5 until there are 19 stitches before the stitch marker.

Using the wool/tapestry needle, thread the waste yarn through the 19 stitches and secure by tying a knot.  Slip the stitches from the needle.  You will not be using these stitches until the end.

Next row.     K to established ribbing (ensure your first stitch is tight.  This is to ensure that there are no gaps when the thumb meets the mitt). (P2, K2) 5 times, P2, K to end.

Repeat this row for a further 6 cm.

Next row:     K to established ribbing, (P2, K2) to end.

Next row:     K2, P2 to end.

Continue ribbing for a further 4 cm.  Cast off.

Thumb 

Using 3 DPN's, pick up 8 stitches on the first needle, 8 stitches on the second needle and 3 on the last needle.  Using the 3rd needle, pick up an extra 3 stitches where the inside of the thumb meets the mitt.  Ensure that these stitches are tight so that no gaps form at this point.

Knit 4 rows.
Establish a K1, P1 rib for a further 4 rows and loosely cast off.

Weave in any loose ends.

Right Hand Mitt

Cast on 80 stitches and divide evenly over 4 DPN's.

Establish a K2, P2 rib and continue for 11cm (or the desired length).

Row 1.      K44, (P2, K2)5 times, P2, K to end - ensure that your K2,P2 stitches in this and subsequent rows matches up with the established ribbing.
Row 2.      as Row 1.
Row 3.      K to established ribbing, (P2, K2) 5 times, P2, K to last stitch, PM, M1, K1, M1
Row 4.      K to established ribbing, (P2, K2) 5 times, P2, K to end.
Row 5.      M1, K3, M1, Slip marker, K to established ribbing (P2, K2) 5 times, P2, K to marker, slip marker, M1, K3, M1

Continue rows 4 and 5 until there are 19 stitches before the stitch marker.

Using the wool/tapestry needle, thread the waste yarn through the 19 stitches and secure by tying a knot.  Slip the stitches from the needle.  You will not be using these stitches until the end.

Next row.     K to established ribbing (ensure your first stitch is tight.  This is to ensure that there are no gaps when the thumb meets the mitt). (P2, K2) 5 times, P2, K to end.

Repeat this row for a further 6 cm.

Next row:     K to established ribbing, (P2, K2) to end.

Next row:     K2, P2 to end.
Continue ribbing for a further 4 cm.  Cast off.

Thumb 

Using 3 DPN's, pick up 8 stitches on the first needle, 8 stitches on the second needle and 3 on the last needle.  Using the 3rd needle, pick up an extra 3 stitches where the inside of the thumb meets the mitt.  Ensure that these stitches are tight so that no gaps form at this point.

Knit 4 rows.
Establish a K1, P1 rib for a further 4 rows and loosely cast off.

Weave in any loose ends.

So there you have it .. a practical gift to make for any musician where warm hands are a must.

Happy knitting,
Louise

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Sunday, 28 August 2016

Herringbone Crochet Infinity Scarf

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There's a certain joy in having a sister who spins.  A visit usually involves looking at recent skeins, fleece and rolags and if I'm lucky I get to take a little treat home with me to play with, and that's exactly what happened last time Louise and I got together.  My souvenir from this visit was a gorgeous skein of yarn in beautiful muted tones of greens and pinks which had been spun end to end and Navajo plied.


I always find coming up with a pattern for gorgeous yarn more challenging than with plain wool.  I like the pattern to take a step back so that the yarn is the star of the show, and it can take a while to find just the right stitch for the yarn.  In this case I stumbled across the Herringbone Half Double Crochet Stitch for another project and immediately new it would be perfect to show of the lovely muted hues of Louise's skein.



Herringbone Half Double Crochet
Abbreviations
ch: chain
hdc: herringbone half double crochet:

Step 1: Yarn over.
Step 2: Insert hook in next stitch.
Step 3: Yarn over and draw through stitch and first loop on hook.
Step 4: Yarn over, draw through remaining loops.


For video instructions of this stitch go to New Stitch A Day

Pattern
Chain 15
Row 1: hdc into second chain from hook, turn
Row 2: ch 2 (forms first hdc), hdc into next stitch and continue to end of row
Row 2 forms pattern

Continue to end of Skein, slip stitch to join and sew in ends.




The Herringbone pattern is very subtle, but is a great textural stitch for showing off what is a particularly lovely yarn.  The project only uses one skein and is a quick and simple weekend project.

Happy Crocheting

Deb











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Sunday, 14 August 2016

Quick and Chunky Crochet Hat

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I've never had the pleasure of using T-shirt yarn before.  I've seen it in the shops of course and all over the Internet, but until there was a sale at my local Lincraft I hadn't really been too tempted to give it a try, but boy I'm glad I did.  I found it really easy to work with and its chunky nature is brilliant for quick projects,  This hat took a couple of hours one afternoon, and is a very simple cluster pattern, with additional rows of double crochet.  One size fits most.


What you will need:
Size 8 Crochet Hook
2 x 100g balls of T-shirt yarn. (One ball got me to half way through the last round of the hat, so you will only need a very small amount of the second ball)


Cluster patterns:

Double cluster:  Work 1 dc into stitch/space as instructed leaving two loops on the hook.  Work second dc in same stitch/space until 3 loops remain on hook, yarn over and draw through 3 loops on hook.

Triple Cluster:  Work 1 dc in stitch/space as instructed leaving two loops on the hook.  Work second dc in same stitch/space leaving 3 loops on hook, work 3rd dc in same stitch/space leaving 4 loops on hook.  Yarn over and draw through 4 loops on hook.



Pattern

Chain 4, join with slip stitch to first chain to form circle.

Round 1:  Ch 3, 1 Double Cluster into ring, Chain 2, *1 Triple Cluster into ring, ch 2* Repeat from * to * 5 times and join with a slip stitch to join top of first ch 3.

Round 2: Ch 3, 1 Double Cluster in same space as slip stitch from previous round, ch 2, *Triple cluster in next chain 2 space, ch 2* Repeat from * to * around hat to give 12 clusters.  Slip stitch to join top of first ch 3.

Round 3: Ch 3, skip first double cluster, *2 dc into next chain 2 space, 1 dc in next triple cluster* Repeat from *to* 2 dc into next chain 2 space, slip stitch to top of chain 3.  To give 36dc, with first chain 3 counting as a dc.

Round 4: Ch 3, 1 dc in each of the next 7dc, 2 dc in next dc.*1 dc in each of the next 8dc, 2dc in next dc* Repeat from *to* 2 more times.  Join with a slip stitch to top of first chain 3 to give 40 dc.

Round 5:  Ch 3, 1 Double cluster in slip stitch space, *ch 2, skip 3dc spaces, Triple Cluster in next dc space*, repeat 5 times, skip 1dc, triple cluster in next dc space, *ch 2, skip 3dc spaces, triple cluster in next dc space* repeat  5 times.  Skip 2 dc space, triple cluster in next dc space, slip stitch into first chain 3 to give 15 clusters.

Round 6:  Ch 3, skip first double cluster, *2 dc into next chain 2 space, 1 dc in next triple cluster* Repeat from *to* 2 dc into next chain 2 space, slip stitch to top of chain 3.  To give 45dc, with first chain 3 counting as a dc.

Round 7: Ch 3, 1 dc in each dc around, join with a slip stitch into top of first chain 3.To give 45dc, with first chain 3 counting as a dc.

Round 8:  As per round 7

Round 9: Ch 1, 1 sc in each dc around, join with a slip stitch into top of first chain 1.

Fasten off.

Abbreviations:

sc:  Single crochet, dc: Double Crochet, ch: Chain


Happy Crocheting

Deb



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Sunday, 24 July 2016

When Opportunity Knocks

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My little classic - Gretchen
I have always been a fan of op-shops, goodwill stores, thrift shops, charity shop - whatever they are called in your area.  They are filled with bargains. One of the best bargains I ever found was a pair of Italian leather boots that lasted for 10 years.  I wore them everyday in winter and was gutted when they finally wore out.

Deb has always managed to find some bargains - and then upcycle them into some amazing projects.  Some of her projects are:-

An upcycle for your old records. You can read about it here (If the thought of using your own ABBA, Bee Gee's, Fleetwood Mac or, my personal favourite, The Greatest Hits of the Carpenters, is too painful, then pick some up at your local charity shop).

Then she was lucky enough to pick up some great yarn that she was able to loom knit into a shimmery shawl.  The link to that blog post can be found here.

Not content with one project, she was able get a further 2 projects out of her bargain yarn.

Happy Birthday to you ... 
Try as I might, I could never find any crafty items - there was always the odd ball of wool (odd being the key word), knitting needles and buttons, but nothing that jumped out at me.  Until one day, a few years ago when I was in my local spinning store.  I went  in with my Mum and Dad who were visiting.  Dad was making me a spinning wheel and we were in the store to have a look around for Dad to get a few ideas and ask a few wheel-type questions.  I had noticed an old, antique looking loom under a table on my last visit to the store but I didn't really pay too much attention - there was roving to be looked at, admired and purchased, but on this visit, I had time to have a look and, the rest, as they say is history.  (You can read about it here). The loom was an astonishing $50 and Dad fixed it up and we gave it to Deb as a birthday present.

Until a week ago, that purchase was the highlight of my 'second-hand' purchases.

Last week, my son, his girlfriend and I were having a browse through our local op-shops (my little town has 4 of them), ostensibly looking for classical sheet music.  I spied a small spinning wheel in the window and was smitten.   There was never a question as to whether or not I would buy it but once I took it to the counter, my son said 'No, let me.  I was going to come back and buy it for your birthday anyway'.
Nothing a little love and oil can't fix
Once we got her home, he oiled it and fixed the drive band and made sure she worked - so, to me, it made the gift even more special.  As all spinning wheels need a name, we decided on 'Gretchen'. Partly because I think she is of German origin (can't be sure though, we have narrowed down her origins as being from between 1850 and 2010) and the only piece of classical music that pertains to spinning is the piece 'Gretchen am Spinnerade' by Schubert.  She only has one bobbin but she spins like a charm and is a classic in every sense of the word.

Happy shopping,
Louise

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