Friday, March 20, 2009

Cute "Flower" Market Bags and a Kitschy Scarf

Last week I knocked off 2 projects, these cute cotton bags and a fun twisty scarf. I love the feeling of binding off, aah the satisfaction of completion!

I found the pattern for the market bag through a search on Ravelry. I have made 4 of these to date, they make great gifts. The citrus colored variegated one I made with Lily Sugar'n Cream, "Over the Rainbow". The blue was knit with Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, "Faded Denim". I added some fun felt and denim flowers with button centers to give them a whimsical touch. Who says you can't have a little fashion at the market? These are durable, will stretch quite a lot, are very eco-friendly and knit up quickly. The pattern can be found at Tidewater Knits and is called Mineco. Just look for the Patterns page and download there. Her pattern calls for size 8 needles and the handle is crocheted. I don't have any 8 circulars in that length, so I used the 7's that I had. Since I haven't yet mastered crocheting ( I know, it's easy, but I a lazy), I knit the handle in garter stitch with size 6 needles. I am working on a bag now with a nice flax yarn and am playing with the stitch pattern. This should be posted soon, or you can see it on my Ravelry page.

Here are some closeups of the bags.

The twisty little cherry colored scarf was made to match an adorable wool blend coat I picked up for a steal, (75% off!) $15.99 at Target. I loved the bright color and wanted a fun accessory to go with. Isn't it fun to be able to whip up your own creation? Anyway, I popped into the craft store and picked up a few balls of "Double Fun" by Darice. This is a fun, novelty yarn, bumpy with a bit of sparkle. I love to add beads to the ends of these scarves. Over the holidays I whipped up quite a few of these. I modified the pattern to give it an airier feel. These scarves require about 150 yds of yarn. I used about 1 1/2 balls of this particular yarn You can always increase the number of stitches you cast on if you would like to make it longer. Here is the pattern I used:

Start with size 10 t0 11, 36" circulars. Cast on 110 stitches.
Row 1: Knit all stitches
Row 2: Increase knitwise with each stitch by knitting in the back and front
Row 3: Knit all stitches
Row 4: Repeat Row 2
Row 5: Knit all stitches
Row 6: Knit 1, *wrap the yarn around the needle 2 times, Knit 1* Repeat from * to * across all stitches.
Row 7: Knit 1, Drop the 2 wraps (do this across the row ending with Knit 1)
Row 8: Bind off loosely

Add beads of choice and wear proudly!

The best picture I could get of the lacy effect created by the dropped stitch pattern.

I love the vintage look of these beads!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Let's start with Socks!

I am so happy to get this blog up and running. Ok, so, I am totally addicted to knitting. Why? Who knows, who cares. I began knitting as a little girl, I think my grandma taught me, she was always working on an afghan for someone. Growing up I would knit off and on, but I have really been going at it the last 5 years or so. Until this last year I have mostly shopped at craft stores for yarn, but this year my "stitch n bitch" gal friends turned me on to the "real thing". Wonderful fibers found at yarn "shops" run by terrifically talented women. Now, when I can, I buy from them. Not only do I love supporting a small business, it's nice to talk with someone who has knowledge to offer. I admit, I do still hit the craft stores, sadly my budget does not allow me to support my habit in the manner I would like. But, at the end of the day I have what I need to juggle multiple projects and feed my addiction. Those of you reading this that share in this ailment know what I am talking about.

This blog will be a vehicle for me (and hopeful my readers) to talk about and share our success and failure with our craft. It will also be a fun way for me to showcase my projects. So, here I go with the first entry!

Socks, do not be afraid! I have learned to have fun with them this past winter. I successfully knocked off a few pairs of traditional, ribbed socks using the great self-striping yarn, On-line Supersocke 100circle. They knit up perfectly, thanks to a great pattern from a friend. Even turning the heal was a breeze. Recently, a local craft store ran a big moving sale, you know the kind, 50% off! So, not being able to resist I stocked up on bags o' yarn. Patons Kroy Socks was among my treasures. This is a nice, self striping washable wool. I went to their website and found this easy pattern for Spiral Socks ( you need to sign up for a free membership to access the free patterns). These knit up quickly and are very cozy. They are a more loose sock, I like to wear them with my chunky clogs. If you are knitting them for a gift and don't know the exact shoe size of the recipient, this is a great pattern to use . I followed the pattern exactly, using sizes 3 Takumi double points. Here is another look at them.

I would love to hear about your success with socks! Anyone have a good pattern using a DK or worsted weight yarn? Let's get our Knitalogue going!

Projects I am working on: a cotton market tote, cotton lace pattern summer sweater and bamboo blend sleeveless top (can you tell I am ready for warmer weather?).