Saturday, August 30, 2014

My Garter stripe Shawl pattern

This is my own shawl pattern and one that I hope will make a shawl that is easy to knit but still offers a bit of texture.
I love triangle shawls and have found lots of patterns that ask for markers to be used and I liked the look of them. I tried them out in the yarn I will be using but did not like the look of the pattern in the yarn I have.
Other patterns were fiddly to do and as I am using circular needles to accommodate the stitches I was not happy following a pattern with lots of changes in it. When turning the needles to work back and forth it is easy to twist it the wrong way and end up with mistakes.
I found this to help me remember how to knit back and forth with circular needles

Knitting straight on circular needles

So I came up with a simple pattern that will be easy to do whilst watching TV and look nice whilst still giving a me a nice light warm shawl at the finish.

I will be using a self striping yarn with multiple colours in it I have two 200g balls of it.

I am taking part in a Stash buster on and we work on a project for one month and add the amount of yards we have knitted each week. So I worked out roughly how many yards is in each ball which is about 874 yards.
The Stash buster Challenge starts 1st September and lasts the whole month, at the end of the month I should have a nice colourful shawl and still have a 200g ball of yarn in the same colour to use up. I am imagining the shawl will use up 200g of yarn but will see what happens.
Working with 6mm needles it should knit up nice and light and not create huge holes with yarn overs.

This is my pattern:

Garter Stripe Shawl

Materials needed: DK yarn, 6mm Circular needles (the plastic bit between the needles is roughly 18 inches long (46cm) to accommodate the large number of stitches

CO 3 sts

Knit one row

K1, YO, knit to end of row (turn)

Repeat this row 5 more times (6 rows in total)

Start pattern

Row 1: K1, YO, Knit to end of row (turn)

Row 2 : K1, YO, K1, Purl to last 2 stitches K2 (turn)

Row 3: K1, YO, Knit to end of row (turn)

Row 4: K1, YO,Knit to end of row (turn)

Repeat these 4 rows until the shawl is as big as you want it leaving plenty of yarn to do the last 3 rows of  K1 YO Knit to the end of each row. Bind Off.

I may add a fringe if I have enough yarn from the ball or I may add the fringe in a plain yarn. I can add two pieces of fringe per YO along the two sides I like the fringe length to be roughly 6 inches so I would need just over 12 inches of yarn for each as you will lose some length with the knot and then in trimming as well.

How to Fringe a scarf or shawl

I have used both methods and find them both easy to do I also add a knot to each strand at the bottom of the fringe end it helps stop the thread from fraying especially as the shawl gets older and has been washed many times.

Three ways to make a fringe

These look fun to do and I may try the twisted one on a project.

The project will start September 1st wish me luck I hope it will work out as I expect.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Stash bust with Fingerless Gloves

I love stash busting and Fingerless gloves or hand warmers are a great way to do just that and make something useful as well.
SIBOL have  decided to make some hand warmers along with blankets and shawls so I dug out my patterns and started knitting.
These were so easy to make and adding the second colour really brought the pattern out nicely.
Easy Patterned Hand warmers

These are easy to make as well and a bit bigger than the others so would be fine for a slightly larger hand.
Again I used two colours making the gloves look a little different.
Waffle stitch warmers

These are a little different they have a lace pattern in them but still easy to get on and off and a little more feminine still nice and easy to knit though.
Argentate Glovelettes

 I wanted to knit a pair of warmers for men as well and some men have large hands, as I was looking through my patterns I realised that most of them were for small to medium sized hands.
My husband has large hands and I wanted a pattern that would fit a larger hand so the hunt was on. I eventually found a pattern that would be just right the only problem was it had thumb and finger holes. Why was that a problem?
Well some people have problems with arthritis that causes their fingers to be bent or other conditions that make it difficult to get their fingers through the holes. So I put on my thinking cap and came up with a way to alter the pattern so it would make a hand warmer that was easy to get on.

The pattern I found was here Mission to Seafarers  their patterns are here on   Seafarers patterns  scroll down and you will find the fingerless glove pattern. Reading the pattern I realised I would need to decrease the number of stitches to make the glove look right.

These are the handwarmers I made for a larger hand
This is what I did to make these hand warmers.

Yarn DK I used main colour (MC) and a contrasting colour (CC)
Needles: 3mm and 3.75mm

CO 50 stitches on 3mm needles and work 20 rows rib k1 p1 across every row
Change to 3.75 needles
Row 1 Knit
Row 2 Purl
 You will now start to increase the number of stitches.

 Note: If you are using MC and CC you will increase on the CC knit row every time.

How to M1 How to increase with M1

Row 3 K26, M1, K1, M1, K23
Now work 3 rows stocking stitch

Row 7 K26, M1, K3, M1,K23
Work 3 rows stocking stitch

Row 11 K26, M1, K5, M1, K23
Work 3 rows stocking stitch

Row 15 K26, M1, K7, M1,K23
 Work 3 rows stocking stitch

Row 19 K26, M1, K9, M1, K23
 Work 3 rows stocking stitch

Row 23 K26, M1, K11,M1, K23
You should now have 62 stitches on your needle

 Row 24 Purl
Now stocking stitch for two rows.

You will now start to decrease but this time you will decrease on every knit row

Row 27 K26, K2tog, K11, K2tog, Knit to end of row

Row 28 Purl

Row 29 K26, K2tog, K9, K2tog, Knit to end of row

Row 30 Purl

Row 31 K26, K2tog, K7, K2tog, Knit to end of row

Row 32 Purl

Row 33 K26, K2tog, K5, K2tog, Knit to end of row

Row 34 Purl
You will now have 54 stitches on your needle

Now work 2 rows of rib K1, P1 across each row
BO in rib

Fold the glove in half right sides together sew in any tails and sew up the side seam leaving a space for the thumb. I sewed up the rib at the bottom to the top of the rib section and fastened off,  then I sewed from the top down. I measured just over two inches for this leaving a 3 inch hole for the thumb.
Do the same with the second glove and you have a pair of hand warmers that will fit a larger hand.

No doubt a more experienced knitter would be able to shape the glove in a different way, but this was the only way I could see to do it and still maintain the shape I needed.
These fit my husbands hand so I know that if a gentleman has large hands they should fit him as well.

Just in case you wonder why I leave a large space in my pattern instructions I do it so that if you want yo copy the pattern you will be able to see the row instructions easily. I sometimes copy and paste a pattern and increase the line spacing as I can end up reading the wrong row and that can be annoying, so I like a double space whenever possible.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Little Yellow Duck

I have made my first Little Yellow Duck for The Little Yellow Duck Project

 Here she is Daffy Duck

I added her label with a little note on the back to go to the website and add where she was found.
As I was going out today I took her with me and left her on a seat in the Shopping Centre in Milton Keynes and got my shopping done. On the way back to the bus stop I passed the seat I had left Daffy Duck on and she was gone.
So someone has her and I hope they add where they found her to the site.
So duck 1 has found a home I will make more and leave them around as well in the hopes that someone will find them and take the time to add where they have been found.
They are quick and easy to make so I can make some up between other projects and release them to find a home.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sibol Afghan completed

So the blanket is all finished and I am quite pleased with it and will be posting it off later this week.

The patch is a pocket with a butterfly on it so the person who gets it will have place to put a tissue or something similar in it.

The butterfly is facing the person who will use the blanket so I took the photo to show it as the person will see it.

I added a simple crochet shell edging to the blanket to finish it off,  it has created a sort of ruffle edge that I hope will make it look a little different.

This is the pattern for the butterfly
Easy Butterfly

I used 4ply yarn on 3.75mm needles I can change the size easily by changing needle size and can play around with the stitch count as well but this one filled the pocket nicely so I was pleased with it.

I will see how much it costs to post before I commit to making a lot of afghans. I will make a shawl for Sibol and see what that costs to post as well. I can always make butterflies to send to them and may do that and make one or two larger items as cost will be a big factor. I am not being mean saying that I have to watch what I spend.  Like most people these days I am on a tight budget and being on Pension Credits means I am careful what I spend on postage. I will try this site Parcel 2 go
Most of the things I make are small so postage is not that much, a lot of things are sent Free post and some things are given to local charities so I can take them there.

My next project is making ducks a nice small project that will be knitted up quickly.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Lapghan started

I have started the lapghan for SIBOL and using a simple pattern it is a baby blanket pattern

Garter Rib Baby Blanket

I modified it by knitting 5 rows then following the pattern for six rows then adding 2 knit rows
So it is

Knit 5 rows

Row 1 Knit across row
Row 2 K3 P3 across row

*Then Knit two rows

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until you have 6 rows
(The six rows of the pattern makes nice blocks of colour)

Repeat from *

I am changing colour on the Knit 2 rows

I want a nice colourful Lapghan and the Knit 2 rows gives a nice garter ridge between colour changes. It is also a great way to use up that stash.
The six rows of the pattern makes nice blocks of colour that look like this so far
It's a bit bunched up on the needle but I think you will get the idea of what it will look like. I have tried using cable needles and knitting back and forth but always get in a mess. My biggest problem is the cable never straightens enough it always kinks or twists and I have tried all sorts of ways to get the cable reasonably straight. I have bought 40cm long straight needles for bigger projects even if it does get a bit heavy it stops the problem I get with the cable needles.

My little frogs were posted off to Siblings Together yesterday 8th August so I hope they will like them.

I am now looking for a shawl pattern that would be suitable for SIBOL I want something easy but will sit on the shoulders without falling off all the time and maybe something unisex. I will have to see what I can find.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

'SIBOL' - Sunshine International Blankets of Love

I love making afghans and blankets or anything that is going to prove useful for others so always on the look out for a charity that may need a little help, after all you never know when you may some help yourself.

I subscribed to a newsletter a while back Knitting for Charity and have found lots of useful tips and information from this source.
This month ( August) I got the newsletter as usual and found out about a charity I had not heard of 'SIBOL' - Sunshine International Blankets of Love. It is a charity that knits afghans and blankets for the elderly and the newsletter contained tips for doing this and links to the charity.
Tips for knitting for the elderly

There are so many charities out there for children and babies but I have not found many for the elderly especially those based in England.
So I took a look at their blog and their group on Ravelry.

Sibol blog

 Sibol on Ravelry

You will find links for both on my blog under Blogs and Charities I knit for.

Reading the newsletter and the blog I got to thinking about how we can easily overlook people who may need something a little more personal than the shop bought blankets.
Sadly many of the elderly are no longer in contact with family and many do not have any children so they do not have anyone except for those who care for them in a Nursing Home. This can mean they are alone and can feel forgotten about, this is something that can be remedied by the simple act of knitting them something.
What could be nicer than getting a hand knitted afghan just for you that is bright and cheerful and keeps you warm as well.

The beauty of this charity is they are happy with any pattern toy want to do do so long as it is not lacy. bright colours are accepted so I can use up my stash easily. You can knot or crochet perfect for me as I cannot crochet but can knit. The other thing is the size of the afghans is roughly 36 X 45 inches so not too big they are for using on the lap so big enough to keep the person warm without being cumbersome.
They add a knitted or croched butterfly to each blanket this shows it is Sibol Blanket. Again they are happy with whatever pattern you want to use for the butterfly I found this one you have to scroll down a bit to find it.
Butterfly knitting pattern 

Blankets, afghans, shawls and fingerless gloves can all be sent to them but not and I stress this point not knitted squares.

So my next project will be to make an Afghan and some Fingerless gloves. So I will sort out the yarn I have and bag it up ready for my SIBOL Afghan.

Frogs and Bags

I finished knitting my Frogs and made them bags as well. Fred and Freda frog along with their bags will be posted off to Siblings Together this week.

Meet Fred and Freda Frog
Fred with his own little bag

Freda with her little bag

I decided to knit bags for each frog so they can be stored away and carried with ease. I created the pattern for the bags myself they were easy to make and I think look rather nice as well.

Bag Pattern
I used two strands of DK yarn held together mixing the yarns creates a nice effect as you knit.

Needles: 5mm

Co on 40 stitches

Garter stitch for 6 rows

Stocking stitch for 6 rows but K2 at start and end of the Purl row this stops it from curling and gives a nice edge when it sewing the sides up.

Continue with these rows alternating the Garter and Stocking stitch rows until it is long enough to cover the frog easily for Fred it was 15 inches long ending with 6 rows of Garter stitch

To create the flap this is done in Stocking stitch throughout you do not K2 this time on the purl rows.
Stocking stitch 6 rows 
Next row Decrease 2 at start of every row only.
You will K2 together on the Knit rows and Purl 2 together on the Purl rows but only at the start of each row.
Do this until you have 22 stitches and Bind Off

With right sides together sew up the side seams. Turn right sides out.
For the fastening make a plait and sew this onto the flap at the bottom to form a loop. I made three and added three buttons.

Making the handle
For this you will make I-cord
This was made by holding two strands of yarn together and use Double Pointed needles I used cable stitch needles as they were thicker and easier to use.
CO the 2 stitches
Slip the stitches to end of the needle and Knit the stitches then slide them to the end of the needle and knit you keep doing this until you the length you need.

I attached the I-cord at the corner of flap at the fold over bit and poked it through the knitting this is a little hard to do. Then I tied it in place and knotted it doing the same on the other side.

For Freda's bag I decided to make the pattern a little different. Still holding 2 strands together.
Garter stitch 2 rows
Stocking stitch 4 rows 
This time I made it 13 inches long and repeated the pattern for the flap.
It was 13 inches long this time as I was slowly running out of yarn and wanted enough for the I-cord it still covered the frog so was not a problem. I made the flap a little longer by decreasing until I had 18 stitches and added two buttons this time.

Fred's Bag

Freda's Bag