Samstag, 17. August 2019

Box Pleat Top

I have been meaning to learn to sew for quite a while now. A few months ago, I started in earnest - usually with old fabric that was already available in my home - e.g. old bed linen.
I'm learning quite a bit while doing it, so I think it might be a nice idea to share my learning process when trying to make new clothes without bought sewing patterns. Especially, if I share my mistakes, too :)
My goal now is to sew a top (blouse, shirt etc.) that looks professional enough to wear it at work. I sewed this top twice - the second time with a quite neat facing. I'm not yet there, but I'm getting closer ...


Please note: This is NOT a complete tutorial, but a rough description of the idea.

Creative Commons License
This work by Knitting and so on is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.




Materials
  • about 1 meter of woven fabric - I used old bed linen
  • thread in a matching color
  • scissors (or a rotary cutter)
  • pins
  • a sewing machine
  • a pressing iron
  • a top that fits you well, in order to take the pattern from it
  • paper to draw your pattern on


How-To

1) create your pattern
Fold you top in half and place it on paper. Draw a line about it, adding at least 1cm for seam allowance (except on the fold).


2) cut the front and back
Place your pattern pieces on your fabric and cut them out. Since the top was made of stretchy fabric - and I planned to use (woven) non-stretchy fabric for my top, I added a about three centimeters on the side for front and back. (When in doubt, always cut a bit more - it's easier to take clothes in than out.)
As the original top didn't have a box pleat - I had to add about 5 cm on the fold for the front piece (on the right in the picture below). On the front piece mark the place (at the neckline) for the box pleat.


3) sew the box pleat seam
Fold the front piece in half (right sides together) and sew a seam thats about 7 cm long from the neckline straight down - parallel to the fold (see black dotted line on the picture above).
Now open the piece, distribute the pleat equally on both sides around the seam.
Press the pleat down with your iron and fix the pleat with pins. You can see the result, in the picture below.

4) cut the facings (front and back)
Now fold both pieces in half insides together and place each of them on a piece of fabric. Cut out the same shape than the upper part of the piece. I tried to match the stripe pattern, but since the facing pieces will be on the inside, this is not especially important.
Here, by the way, I made a mistake, as I cut the facing pieces too long - about 15 cm below the armhole. Had I sewn this down the side, the top would have been too tight. So I ended up cropping them shorter.



5) sew facings to outer pieces
Place the facing of the front to the front piece (right sides) together and sew the armholes and the neckline. Do the same with the back piece and its facing.


Cut into the curves, but make sure not to cut your sewing.


Turn both pieces right sides out and give them a good press.

6) sew shoulder seams
Mark one side of both pieces (e.g. the left-hand side) with pins or clips.
Now turn the back piece insides out and draw the shoulder straps of the front piece (right sides out) up throug the back pieces shoulder straps so that the upper edges meet. Make sure that the facing pieces face each other as well as the main pieces. Sew the shoulder seams closed (see dotted lines on the picture below.
Turn the piece back right sides out the press it.


As you can see on the picture above I had now cropped the facing pieces to a curve - in a way that I would only sew a few centimeters into the side seams.

7) sew side seams
Now lay both front and back right sides together and sew the side seams from under the arm to the bottom hem.

8) sew the bottom hem
Fold the lower edge over, fix it with pins and sew it.

Turn your top back right sides out, give it a final press with your iron ...
... and voilà, it's finished.


Montag, 12. August 2019

Sideways Garter Stitch Basket

I never have enough places to store my unfinished knitting or crochet projects. Usually, I prefer bowls or baskets. So, since I had a lot of old T-shirt yarn lying around, I decided to knit a new basket using this yarn.
This basket is knitted sideways all in garter stitch - with short rows for shaping. Because I used a provisional CO and grafted beginning and end together, the piece is seamless.
Of course it can also be used to store or to present other things, e.g. it could be used as a basket for your breakfast rolls :)


Creative Commons License
This work by Knitting and so on is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.



Materials
  • T-shirt yarn, but other heavy weight yarns (e.g. Cotton) will also work - I used about 200 grams of old T-shirt yarn (cut from ribbed jersey) - I worked in stripes. changing after each ridge
  • knitting needles that are rather too small for your yarn (to give it stability) - I used 10mm knitting needles
  • a really big tapestry needle for grafting

Techniques


Instructions

Do a provisional CO of 20 sts
Row 0 (Setup Row): k all sts
Ridge 1: k19 w+t k to end
Ridge 2: k18 w+t k to end
Ridge 3: k17 w+t k to end
Ridge 4: k16 w+t k to end
Ridge 5: k15 w+t k to end
Ridge 6: k14 w+t k to end
Ridge 7: k15 w+t k to end
Ridge 8: k16 w+t k to end
Ridge 9: k17 w+t k to end
Ridge 10: k18 w+t k to end
Ridge 11: k19 w+t k to end
Ridge 12 k all, turn, k all
Repeat ridges 1 to 12 twice more, then knit ridges 1 to 11 once.

Put the stitches from the provisional CO on a second needle.
Cut the yarn, but leave a tail long enough for grafting.
Graft in garter stitch.


If you're not comfortable with provisional CO and grafting, you can change the pattern as follows:
  • instead of row 0, knit one ridge with all stitches
  • then knit ridges 1 to 12 a total of four times - binding off in the last row of the last ridge 12
  • sew the two sides (CO and BO) together



How to Adapt the Size

To make this bigger (or smaller) do more (or fewer) stitches in the provisional CO.
Since I wanted my basket to be about as high as it was wide, I did short rows up to about a third of the total number of stitches.
If you want a different ratio, you have to adapt the number of short rows - e.g. for a wider basket more (and shorter) short rows.


Mittwoch, 8. Mai 2019

Random Lace Tiles

A few years ago, I (see this blogpost) I thought it would be interesting to do lace stitches in a random manner. It turned out that it also looked gorgeous on a finished object (see Random Lace Scarf or Random Bubbles Scarf).
I was reminded of this idea when I was asked to give a workshop on random lace ... so I thought that I might as well do it again in order to get an idea back into my head :)
So here is a combination of random lace with simple garter stitch - i.e. a mix of two very different textures.


The important thing about random lace is ... it's random. That's why I don't give exact stitch sequences. So, this is not a standard knitting pattern with stitch-by-stitch and row-by-row instructions but rather an invitation to try out an idea for a (really) unique scarf.


Creative Commons License
This work by Knitting and so on is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.






What You Need

Materials
  • about 220 gr of fingering weight yarn (I used Wollmeise Pure Merino Superwash - Colorway Ballerina) - my finished piece measures about 30 cm x 170 cm.
  • 3.25 mm knitting needles (straights or circulars)
  • three stitch markers - one of them removable
  • a tapestry needle to weave in ends
You can use other yarn weights as well. I'd advise to use needles that are slightly to big for the yarn in order to get a loose texture.

Other Requirements
  • The ability and the willingness to count your stitches over and over again … since there are not pattern repeats or anything that could help, it’s easy to lose track of where you are in the row. This is a concentration exercise, i.e. NOT something that I would take to my local knitting group. 
  • The patience to knit a piece that will look extremely crumpled and not very attractive while you are knitting it. I will look so much better after blocking - see picture below. 



How to Knit Random Lace

It's best to use a yarn that blocks well, e.g. something that has a large percentage of wool. I used standard sock yarn and 3mm needles.

I decided to do only "knit stitches" on both sides of the piece - to go with the garter stitch of the other rectangles, i.e. I randomly did k2tog's, ssk's yo's and double-yo's.
(For ideas with a clear knit and purl side, see Random Lace Scarf or Random Bubbles Scarf).

The important thing is to make sure that the number of stitches stays the same after finishing one row, e.g. if you started off with 22 stitches, you need to finish each row with 22 stitches (loops) on your needles.

If you want a neater pattern, do one increase and corresponding decrease next to each other. For a more organic look, do a few increases and only then the necessary decreases. I would advise, however, not to do this too much, since then your piece will be askew.

For me it was easier to only count the increases and decreases, i.e. I added 1 to my count when I did an increase and subtracted 1 from my count when I did a decrease. So you should end the row with a count of 0.

I'd advise you, to knit a small swatch of random lace and block it, to get into the idea. You can use this swatch to decorate small things (like a phone sleeve or a pencil holder).



Instructions for this Scarf

CO 68
Row 0: k23, pm, k22, pm, k23
Rows 1- 44: sl1, k to marker, knit 22 sts of random lace (up to next marker), k to end
After a few rows, mark the side of your even numbered rows - just to make counting a bit easier. Without this marker, there is no way to distinguish between the two sides.
Rows 45 - 88: sl1, k22 sts of random lace (up to marker), k22, knit 23 sts of random lace
Repeat rows 1-88 five more times
Repeat rows 1-44 once more.
BO
Weave in ends.

Block it.


Freitag, 12. April 2019

Easter Bunny

I love knitting small seasonal and decorative pieces - especially for Easter and Christmas. This time I wanted to knit little easter bunnies to add a touch of cuteness to the Easter egg nests. I used a construction in the round and in garter stitch - knitted from the bottom up.
The finished bunnies are about 15 cm high - they are great to use up yarn leftovers.
Please note, this is fiddly work - esprecially the cast on, the first few rounds, and the finishing. But I really like the result.



Creative Commons License
This work by Knitting and so on is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.






Materials
  • light colored leftover yarn - I guess I used less than 10 grams of fingering weight yarn
  • 2.5mm knitting needles - I used Addi Trios, but you can also use dpns or circulars (magic loop method)
  • black embroidery floss or black fingering weight yarn to stitch on the face
  • an embroidery needle
  • stuffing - I used yarn leftovers and to give them some stability I even put a couple of pebbles right into the bottom of the lower half of their body

Techniques
  • Shadow Wrap Short Rows - used throughout the pattern: as shown in this YouTube video by Lee Meredith. A video by Miriam Felton that shows how to do a heel with shadow wraps can be found here on YouTube. However, the heel knitted here is knitted slightly different because here there are two rounds between the two parts of the heel, i.e. there won't be any triple stitches.
    • Knitting the Shadow Wraps: In a knit row (i.e. you're knitting on the outside of your socks), you knit up to the stitch where you want to turn, and then knit into the stitch in the row below, i.e. you insert the right hand needle from the front into the stitch below the next stitch and pull your working yarn through. Then you put the loop onto the left hand needle (creating a double stitch from the stitch below) - keeping the yarn on the back. Then you turn and your yarn is now in front, tighten it to make sure that all stitches have the same size and start to purl in the opposite direction. This sequence (knitting int the stitch below and turning) will be called kbelow in the pattern.
      If you're in a purl row, you purl into the stitch of the row below, i.e. insert the right hand needle from the back into the stitch below and draw your yarn through and put the stitch onto your left hand needle - creating a double stitch. The yarn is in front while you're doing this. Turn your work. The yarn is now on the back of your knitting. Make sure that the stitch is as tight as the other stitches on your needles and start knitting in the opposite direction. This sequence will be called pbelow in the pattern.
    • Knitting the double stitch.: When you come to a double stitch you can simply knit / purl it as one. This looks well when you're working it in the same direction it was created (i.e. the double stitch was created in a purl row and is also worked in a purl row). However, when you have to knit a double stitch that was created in a purl row, the following sequence made the result look a bit neater. I slipped the first loop of the double stitch to the right hand needle, turned the second loop so that the front leg was now in the back and put the first loop back facing the same way (i.e. the former front leg was now in the back). Then I knitted both loops through the back loop.


Instructions

Body

CO 8 sts an join in round
Round 1: k all
Round 2: * kfb repeat from * to end (16 sts)
Round 3: k all
Round 4: * k1, kfb repeat from * to end (24 sts)
Round 5: k all
Round 6: * kfb, k2 repeat from * to end (32 sts)
Round 7: k all
Round 8: * k2, kfb, k1 repeat from * to end  (40 sts)
Rounds 9-10: k all
Round 11: * k1, kfb, k3 repeat from * to end (48 sts)
Round 12: k10, kfb, kfb, kfb, kfb, kblelow, p8, pbelow, k to end (the little bulge that will be created during the next rounds will be the tail - it's on the first half of the round)
Round 13: k18, kbelow, p8, pbelow,, k7, kbelow, p6, pbelow, k to end
Round 14: k10, ssk, ssk, k2tog, k2tog, k to end  (your total stitch count is back to 48 sts)
Round 15-17: k all
Round 18: * k5, k2tog, k5 repeat from * to end (44 sts)
Round 19: k all
Round 20: * k2tog, k9 repeat from * to end (40 sts)
Round 21: k all
Round 22: * k2, k2tog, k6 repeat from * to end (36 sts)
Round 23: k all
Round 24: * k7, k2tog, repeat from * to end (32 sts)
Round 25: k all
Round 26: * k2, k2tog repeat from * to end (24 sts)
Round 27: k all
Start stuffing the lower part of the body



Head
Round 1: * k1, mk1, k2 repeat from * to end (32 sts)
Round 2: k all
Round 3: k16, k5, mk1, k6, mk1, k5 (the bulge that will be created now, is the snout, it's on the 2nd half of the round)
Round 4: k16, k5, kfb, kfb, k4, kfb, kfb, k5
Round 5: k4, mk1, k8, mk1, k4; k4, mk1, k14, mk1, k14
Round 6: k all
Round 7: k18; k4, ssk k12, k2tog k4
Round 8: k18; k5, ssk, ssk, k4, k2tog, k2tog, k5 (2 x 18 sts = 36 sts)
Round 9: k all
Round 10: k3, ssk, k4, k3, ssk, k4; k4, ssk, k6, k2tog, k4 (32 sts)
Round 11: k all
Round 12: * k2tog, k6 repeat from * to end (28 sts)
Round 13: k all
Round 14: * k4, k2tog, k1 repeat from * to end (24 sts)
Round 15: k all
Round 16: * k1, k2tog, k3 * repeat from * to end (20 sts)
I stitched on the face after finishing this. Then I stuffed the head.
However, it is an option to stitch on the face after you finish knitting the rabbit.

Ear 1
You now have 20 sts on your needles. To knit the first ear, you will only need the first 4 sts and the last 4 sts of that round. So:
Round 1: k2tog, k2, put the next 12 sts on two stitch holders (safety pins or scrap yarn), k2, k2tog
Round 2: (only knitting the stitches that are still on your needles): k all
Round 3: kfb, k1, kfb; kbf, k1, kfb (your piece should now look similar to illustration 1)
Round 4-6: k all
Round 7: kbf, k3, kfb, kfb, k3, kfb
Rounds 8-14: k all
Round 15: ssk, k3, k2tog, ssk, k3, k2tog
Round 16-18: k all
Round 19: ssk, k1, k2tog, ssk, k1, k2tog
Round 20: k all
Round 21: sl1, k2tog, psso; sl1, k2tog, psso
BO

Illustrations

Ear 2
From the top, your piece should look like illustration 2. The second ear will be knitted over the 8 sts that are furthest away from the first ear, i.e. the stitches that are on the left of illustration 2.
Put 2 x 4 stitch from the stitch holders back on your needles. There will be 2 x 2 sts left over - unknitted and on the stitch holders.
Now knit rounds 1 to 21 of Ear 1 and BO.


Finishing
There are 2x2 unknitted stitches left on your stitch holders. Put these on your needles (see illustration 3).
If you haven't stuffed your bunny yet, now is the last chance to do it.
Connect the 2 rows of 2 stitches using the kitchener stitch.
Weave in ends.


Variations
If you want a bunny that is a bit bigger (like the one on the left on the picture above), you can knit a few more "k all" rounds between round 15-17 of the body.

Easter bunnies together with knitted Easter Eggs (free pattern available)


Freitag, 5. April 2019

Retstrikket top - Summertime Garter Stitch Top in Danish

Marianne Holmen from strikkeglad.dk has written another Danish translation for one of my patterns - this time for the Summertime Garter Stitch Top. Mange Tak!

The Danish translation can be found here.
The original (english) version of this pattern is available here.


A list of all translated versions of my patterns can be found in this blogpost.

Creative Commons License
This work by Knitting and so on is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.



Montag, 11. März 2019

Inclination towards Short Rows

It's always fun to knit socks, and I usually like to try out new ideas to make them more interesting - especially if it makes the self-striping sock yarn stand out in an interesting manner. So this time, I tried again to create a pattern with short rows. Other sock patterns with short rows are my Tipsy Toe Socks, Tipsy Toe Socks 2.0 and Klecks Socks.


This is NOT a complete row-by-row knitting pattern, but just a rough sketch to enable you to knit a similar pair for yourself. It assumes that you have a rough idea of how to knit socks and especially that you know how to do a heel.

Creative Commons License
This work by Knitting and so on is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.




Materials
  • 50 to 100 grams of fingering weight yarn 
  • 2.5mm needles - I used Addi CrasyTrio, but you can use dpns or a circular needle (with Magic Loop method) as well 
  • 2.25mm needles - to knit the ribbing 
  • 2 different stitch markers - one to mark the end of round (called "end marker") and one to mark the middle of the round (called "middle marker")
  • a tapestry needle to weave in ends

Techniques
  • Judy's Magic Cast-On is a technique that gives you live stitches on both sides of your needle - it is generally used for toe-up socks (e.g. in this pattern), but it can be used for other purposes as well. Here's a written description (from Knitty) and here's a YouTube-video by Cat Bordhi and another YouTube-video by Very Pink Knits.
  • Stretchy Bind-Off: see this YouTube-video by Knitting Pipeline.
  • Shadow Wrap Short Rows - used throughout the pattern: as shown in this YouTube video by Lee Meredith. A video by Miriam Felton that shows how to do a heel with shadow wraps can be found here on YouTube. However, the heel knitted here is knitted slightly different because here there are two rounds between the two parts of the heel, i.e. there won't be any triple stitches.
    • Knitting the Shadow Wraps: In a knit row (i.e. you're knitting on the outside of your socks), you knit up to the stitch where you want to turn, and then knit into the stitch in the row below, i.e. you insert the right hand needle from the front into the stitch below the next stitch and pull your working yarn through. Then you put the loop onto the left hand needle (creating a double stitch from the stitch below) - keeping the yarn on the back. Then you turn and your yarn is now in front, tighten it to make sure that all stitches have the same size and start to purl in the opposite direction. This sequence (knitting int the stitch below and turning) will be called kbelow in the pattern.
      If you're in a purl row, you purl into the stitch of the row below, i.e. insert the right hand needle from the back into the stitch below and draw your yarn through and put the stitch onto your left hand needle - creating a double stitch. The yarn is in front while you're doing this. Turn your work. The yarn is now on the back of your knitting. Make sure that the stitch is as tight as the other stitches on your needles and start knitting in the opposite direction. This sequence will be called pbelow in the pattern.
    • Knitting the double stitch.: When you come to a double stitch you can simply knit / purl it as one. This looks well when you're working it in the same direction it was created (i.e. the double stitch was created in a purl row and is also worked in a purl row). However, when you have to knit a double stitch that was created in a purl row, the following sequence made the result look a bit neater. I slipped the first loop of the double stitch to the right hand needle, turned the second loop so that the front leg was now in the back and put the first loop back facing the same way (i.e. the former front leg was now in the back). Then I knitted both loops through the back loop.
  • Flap Heel when knitting toe-up: I used the formular given in this free pattern on Ravelry by Sarah Keller. But you can use the heel type you prefer.
    Other heel tutorials are:

Instructions

First Sock

Toe

With the magic CO cast on 2x10 stitches

To get a rounded toe, my usual toe is:
  • 4 x increases in every row
  • 2 x increases in every 2nd row
  • 2 x increases in every 3rd row
  • then increases every 4th row ... until wide enough
This means:
Round 1: Knit all - while placing stitch markers after 10 sts and at the end of the round - alternatively divide the stitches on your needles in such a way that you know exacly where one half of your stitches are.
Round 2 (increase round): * k1, kfb, k to one before marker, kfb, k1, slip marker repeat from *
Rounds 3 to 5 = increase rounds
Round 6 (neutral round): k all 
Round 7 = increase round
Round 8 = neutral round
Round 9 = increase round
Rounds 10 to 11 = neutral round
Round 12 = increase round
Rounds 13 to 14 = neutral round
Round 15 = increase round
Rounds 16 to 18 = neutral round
Round 19 = increase round
Repeat rounds 16 to 19 until the sock is wide enough and your stitch count is a multiple of 4.

I tend to knit up to a total of 56 stitches, but you might as well have 60, 64 etc. - depending on your size of foot.


Foot
Now it's time to start main pattern. It starts with a short rows sequence that includes a few increases, then a few diagonal rounds and finishes with a 2nd short row sequence where you decrease again.

Short rows part 1 - knitted back and forth:
Basically, each row is 2 sts shorter than the row below and every third row there is an increase on each side.

Row 1: k to 4 sts before the middle marker, kbelow, p to end marker, without turning continue and p to 4 before middle marker, pbelow, k to end marker
Row 2: k to 2 sts before last turn, kbelow, p to end marker, without turning continue and p to 2 before last turn,  pbelow, k to end marker
Row 3: k to 3 sts before last turn, mk1, k1, kbelow, p to end marker, without turning continue and p to 3 before last turn, mk1p, p1, pbelow, k to end marker
Row 4: k to 3 sts before last turn, kbelow, p to end marker, without turning continue and p to 3 before last turn,  pbelow, k to end marker
Repeat rows 2 to 4 until the last row consists of 2 x 2 sts. Depending on the number of stitches you started with, you may end with a row 2, row 3 or row 4.

Diagonal rows - knitted in the round:
Round 1: k all
Round 2: k1, mk1, k to 3 sts before half marker, ssk, k1; k1, k2tog, k to 2 sts before end marke, mk1, k1
Repeat rounds 1 and 2 nine times more.

Short rows part 2 - knitted back and forth:
Here, every row is 2 sts longer than the one below and there is a decrease on each side every third row. It's knitted around the middle marker.

Row 1: k to half marker, k2, kbelow, p to middle marker and continue without turning, p2, pbelow, k2
Row 2: k up to and including last turn, k1, kbelow,  p to middle marker and continue without turning, p up to and including last turn, p1, p below, k to middle marker.
Row 3: k up to and including last turn, ssk, kbelow,  p to middle marker and continue without turning, p up to and including last turn, p2tog, p below, k to middle marker.
Row 4: k up to and including last turn, k1, kbelow,  p to middle marker and continue without turning, p up to and including last turn, p1, p below, k to middle marker.
Repeat rows 2 to 4, until the last row ends 1 or 2 sts before the middle marker - depending on whether you count the "below stitch".
Row 5: You are at the middle marker now: k to end marker

Now you should have the same stitch count that you started with.

Continue in plain stockinette until you need to start the heel.

Then knit your preferred kind of heel.

Cuff
I knitted straight stockinette (I like my sock cuffs rather short), but you can also repeat the short row pattern of the foot.

Ribbing
Knit 15 rows of p1k2p1-ribbing (i.e. k2p2 ribbing with an offset of 1 purl stitch) and bind off in pattern.


The second sock is knitted in the same way - except for the heel that is started on the other side.


Mittwoch, 20. Februar 2019

Almendra Cowl in Czech

Fellow raveler Nemravka has written a Czech translation of the Almendra Cowl. Děkuju mnohokrát! (*)

The Czech translation can be found here.
The original (english) version of this pattern is available here.


A list of all translated versions of my patterns can be found in this blogpost.



Creative Commons License
This work by Knitting and so on is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.




(*) According to tatoeba.org (a great ressource for example sentences in foreign languages), this means "Thank you!" in Czech.