Sunday, September 25, 2011

Awareness Ribbons Stitch Pattern

As October nears I am busy knitting up items with a Breast Cancer Awareness theme.  I searched for something that resembled the Awareness Ribbon shape and didn't find exactly what I was looking for, so I pulled out my new notebook of graph paper and got to work making my own stitch pattern.  It can be used for any kind of Awareness cause, just use yarn in the appropriate color.  I'm sharing the pattern here and on Ravelry for free.

This pattern is worked in multiples of 6 + 1.

R1: Knit
R2: *P1, K1, P3, K1, repeat from *, ending with P1
R3: K2, *P1, K1, P1, K3, repeat from *, ending with K2
R4: *P3, K1, P2, repeat from *, ending with P3
R5: K3, *P1, K5, repeat from *, ending with K3
R6: *P2, K1, P1, K1, P3, repeat from *, ending with P2
R7: K2, *P1, K1, P1, K3, repeat from *, ending with K2
R8: *P3, K1, P2, repeat from *, ending with P3
R9: K3, *P1, K5, repeat from *, ending with K3
R10: Knit

Repeat R1-R10 until desired length.

It's a somewhat subtle pattern, but it is recognizable as well.  Enjoy!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Knitting updates

So many projects have been completed the past few months, but I have started keeping a better record on my Ravelry page since I found my other methods to be less permanent.

My first completed project was a purple scarf.  I just improvised a stitch pattern as I had limited internet access and no books.  It turns out that pattern makes the scarf curl some, but it's still a cute scarf.

When I was ready for another project I decided I should find a pattern and created my own loop scarf.  When it was done and I had yarn left, I decided to turn the stitch pattern into a matching hat.

I then felt ready to plunge into a special order hat, a bearded hat to be specific.  That was double layered.  I think I'm about 2 months into this hat but can see the finish line now!

I created a sunshine-y bucket/floppy style hat with sunflower colors as well as a hat out of self patterning yarn that looks almost like it has ears.

I started what I thought would be a purse, using a "x"s and "o"s cable effect, but the cables pulled it in so much it works better as a notions bag.  I did manage to create one cabled purse though, I just need to finish it off with a ribbon handle.

I made a cowl that can double as an earwarmer, or is it an earwarmer that can double as a cowl?  Either way, it's very practical in black and white!

Somewhere along the way I made a cropped cardigan for myself out of yarn from what is now a LYS to me. I definitely want to get into more cardigans :-)

I've got some breast cancer awareness items in process as well as a blanket for a baby girl due any day.  In que are a couple special scarves, fingerless mitts, and slipper socks.  Plus I have a lot of replacement knitting to do, #1 on that list are blankets for the kids.

Grand Re-Opening News!

I'm planning a Grand Re-Opening of DenKnits Etsy Shop for the beginning of October with a special twist.  October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, which holds a special place in my heart, and I'd like to kick off my shop with a bunch of BCA themed items whose profits will be donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Why I neglected the blogosphere for five months

I still don't like telling this story, but I can bear to write a bit more than the condensed version.  We awoke in the middle of the night, May 14-15, to a fire in our living room.  My family, including the dog, made it out a front window and our cat was found later alive and well in the basement.  We had little more than the clothes on our backs and as it turned out, not much else was salvageable.  Thanks to the generosity of family and friends and what turned out to be pretty darn good insurance, we managed to accumulate a couple more earthly goods.  Our "home" became a hotel and then an apartment.  Our house turned out to be a big ticket redo or find somewhere new.  We decided to move to a new town, just across the state, where we also had some family.

We are in a new town, a new school for the kids, new friends, the house had to be filled with new, or new to us, furniture and decor.  There were more new clothes to buy, dishes, electronics, the list goes on and on.  Once all the work was done there was time to reflect and I realized the past four months feel like a dream and I just woke up in a new life.

Besides the fact that Den went through this, what does this have to do with DenKnits?  Well, first off, I lost all my yarn stash and supplies.  I lost all my Etsy shop pieces.  I even lost a good share of my personal handknits.  When I got back to purchasing a couple of needles and some yarn, I knit just for me.  After a couple of months I got back to doing a couple special order and shop items.  I've now accumulated two hats, a scarf, a cowl/earwarmer, and a clutch specifically for the shop, with a couple projects on the needles and many plans for many other items, just need more hours in the day!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Still busy knitting...

Wow, surprised to see it's been about a month since my last post.  I have been knitting and posting quick updates to my Facebook fan page, but haven't taken that extra time to write a longer update.

My recent knitting has consisted mostly of family and personal knitting.  I used some mystery yarn found at a thrift shop to create myself a hat.  It's a little lacy and a little baggy, but not the snood I thought it would be.  Turns out, I really like it just the way it is!

I finally finished the strap on a bag I'd started I don't remember how long ago and gave it to my daughter.  It's the perfect size to hold books, but the downside to that is it stretches the strap out bit.  Fortunately, since it's a knit strap, we can just put a knot in it and keep going while still looking fashionable!

My sis really liked my white hat and wanted something similar.  The yarn we settled on wasn't the same thickness of my white yarn, and I changed to a different lace pattern.  This resulted in a hat that was not baggy enough, so my daughter got another knitted item!

I was able to knit up a cowl that met what my sis had in mind, so she didn't end up empty handed.  I knit up this thrift store find with a simple rib to start and end for the stretch factor and knit around in the middle.  It's a basic pattern, but that's all you need sometimes when the yarn is so interesting.

I have also been working on socks for DH.  These have been going on for quite a while (in relation to my other projects).  One sock has been successfully completed, however I now have SSS (Second Sock Syndrome).  I haven't even made it to the heel of the second sock yet and am trying to force myself to knit at least a little on them every day.

Another item I started (and finished) for myself was a shawlette.  I'd never really thought of making myself a shawl, but found some beautiful drapey feeling yarn that I bought ball of without knowing what it might be.  I later got to thinking about a shawl and a search through Ravelry found that I did have enough yardage to make a mini version.  I'm really pleased with the results and overcame a couple of knitting fears in the process; lace patterns really can be memorized & enjoyable and charts really can be read!

I actually enjoyed this pattern so much I cast on another one... however that was rather quickly frogged.  With two balls totaling approximately 240 yds, I was already cutting it close... Then I came to the part of the first ball that was cut.  I should say, this yarn was part of a grab bag, which is usually prone to some kind of issue, hence the awesome price.  After a little playing with the pattern and contemplation, I decided to pull it out and look for something else.  Still looking for that something else...

My daughter was the recipient of one more item that was another first for me.  It's called a Sleeveless Cardi and is knit like a raglan sweater.  I hadn't tried my hand at a sweater yet and never realized how simple raglan sweaters could be!  Once I got the concept of what was happening, I got really excited that I could create all kinds of things and have added that to my mental que.  This project started because in many of my recent grab bag purchases I would end up with a ball or two (or more) of the same yarn, color and lot!  I wanted to do something big with it but wasn't sure what.  A friend suggested a sweater so I started there, coming across the pattern I did was a perfect match as the weather is slowly warming up here.  I think she looks just darling in it!

With so many knit items going to my daughter, my sons (one in particular) were feeling left out.  They really wanted a shirt but there isn't much similar to the above in a less girly version.  At this point, I settled on a simple sweatband for the most left out feeling son to wear for soccer season in the school colors.  I may just get started on some raglan sweaters for them and hope I can finish by the time the weather cools down again!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Knitting away...

I was re-inspired after my thrifty yarn shopping trip and cast on a new project the next day.  Using the heavy salmon colored (what may or may not technically be) yarn I knit up a handbag.  I had to seam the sides together with a different yarn and I can see it peeking through and that gave me the idea of a shoulder strap, maybe a brown leather kind, that would run down the side of the purse.  No pics yet as it's not really finished yet, but whenever I get around to getting a strap on it, I'll post some.

After asking DH what he might like knit, I cast on a pair of socks using Universal Yarns/Wisdom Yarns San Francisco.  It's about as small a yarn/needle combo I am willing to do, but the yarn is self patterning so interestingly, I'm actually thinking of getting more to do for myself!  

I had recently read (or heard on a podcast?) that when knitting socks one should actually use either the smallest needle suggested or maybe even smaller.  This creates a denser fabric and helps stop the sole of the sock from becoming holey.  Recently a (doomed from the beginning) sock I knit for myself starting getting holes in the sole so I'm more aware of the issue and am hoping the size 3 needles are creating a tight enough weave on DHs sock.

The next cast on project was a snood.  I enjoyed the lace pattern I'd been working on the recently ordered hats so much I wanted one for myself and thought something bigger would be nice, something I could tuck my hair into and go.  Well, I'm pretty far along on this and have realized it can't be a snood.  Not exactly sure what the main factor is (yarn to thick, knitting to tight), but it's not floppy enough to work as a snood.  So, it's looking more like a baggy beanie hat.  This project seems to have mind changing effects because I'd also planned on dying it once complete (it's a cream color now) but the pattern and color look so nice together I'm having a hard time justifying the dye job.  Perhaps it will not even end up for me!  

My most recent cast on is another hat with my lace pattern dejour in a bright blue shade.  I have a recipient in mind who I am thinking of donating it to.  I don't know them too well, but she is a young breast cancer survivor going through chemo and I think it would be a nice surprise.

Well, back to my current routine of Netflix watching and knitting...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Thriftiness strikes again!

Not sure if it's the warm weather today or what but I was itching to check out the thrift shop for yarn...  So I set out and I was in luck!  

As you can see this is a rather eclectic group :-)  A dig to the bottom of a bin of "crafty" magazines found the 1960's vest pattern leaflet.  Then I went through the yarn they had on the shelf.  There were a good amount of skeins compared to previous excursions but no extraordinary finds this time.  I did manage to keep in the retro mood and grab two Kmart brand yarns along with a couple other more current brands and some unknowns.  

I skimmed through the pattern enough while in the store to know it was one knit and one crochet, however I did not realize until later that the flower motif on the knit vest and hat were not incorporated into the pattern but added later.  Now I'm not sure that I'll be using this pattern but I'm still happy with the find!

I know at least two of the yarns will make a good purse but not really sure what I'll be doing with the others.  The red Kmart yarn is a pretty big skein so I'm trying to think of a larger project it might be nice for.  I'm lucky to have found two skeins of the blue Red Heart so that can be something a little larger as well.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Yarn shopping!

I've been sent out of town for work and while getting the car packed up a bag was forgotten...  of course it turned out to be the bag of all my knitting!  So, a quick trip to Michael's was in order as soon as I realized.  I picked up some of the basics (needles, stitch markers, scissors, cable needles & tape measure) along with some yarn to keep me busy.  I found some yarn for a special request as well as some that I just liked :-)  So, this past week I've been working on a recently ordered hat with a blues and grays yarn.  The request was to have a hat with a bill and ear flaps which I'd never done together before.  It has been a challenge but I am finally feeling like I'm on the right track and really happy with the way it's turning out now.

Today I had about two hours to kill between my real work so I found a nearby yarn shop.  "The Dropped Stitch" was a quaint, easy to find shop in a nice plaza.  The shop owner was on site knitting and available to help with anything.  As I browsed the shop I overheard her offering to buy a book for a customer, just for them to look over.  Way to go above and beyond!  The prices were so reasonable I bought more than I usually would in a LYS.  The selection wasn't overwhelming, but it was a small space.  After purchasing my items, the owner even offered to wind it into cakes.  What a bonus!

I couldn't seem to get a shot that would accurately show the awesome shade of purple the Cascade Yarns Pastaza (left) is.  It's 50/50 Llama and Wool and a has a heathered effect.  It's my absolute favorite!  The Plymouth Yarn Encore Mega (middle) is an Acrylic and Wool mix and super chunky.  It's some shade of off-white that I can't quite explain.  I feel like a purse is in it's future!  I've heard so many good things about Cascade Yarns and there were a couple options in this shop, but this green (right) caught my eye.  It's Cascade 220 Heathers, a 100% Peruvian Highland Wool.  I am not sure exactly what it will be, maybe a hat, maybe a neck warmer, maybe even a scarf.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hats, mittens, hats, purses, a scarf, and custom order hats

After finishing the striped blues hat (which ended up looking too cute on my daughter), I still had hats on my mind, but I also had the single mitten waiting for it's future to be determined.  I did a test drive in the mitten and decided it was definitely too big and would have to be frogged.  I'm glad I did because I now have a pair of mittens that fit and are snugly warm!

With that off my mind and a half skein of yarn leftover, I decided to knit up a quick ribbed hat.  The Lion Brand Yarn Homespun is so versatile!  I've made hats, scarves, wristers, mittens and wraps out of it and they all look fabulous.

One of my thrift store yarns finds was a large amount of a crazy mix of red, black, and gray.  I had used some for a ski mask style hat for my son so I knew it made great hats.  This one has ribbing around the brim and then knit the rest of the way around.  My crown decreases were done to create a bit of a puff on the hat, so it's not exactly a beanie.

The marbled grays cabled purse was completed without further incident.  It's turned out to be a bigger purse with a handle that will easily fit over the shoulder.  The yarn was not as "stiff" as my previous purse yarn, but it gives it a more hobo bag look.

With one purse finished I was ready to do the next... this one using LBY Wool-Ease Thick and Quick.  This was my first time using this yarn and I loved it!  It was surprisingly soft and it was the thicker, stiffer yarn I was looking for in a purse yarn.  The finished product is a cute cabled handbag, perfect for grabbing only your essentials and going or teens/pre-teens who don't have to carry everything under the sun in their purse!

Since I completed the purses I had in mind, I decided to get back to hats.  I still had some LBY Homespun leftover after the mittens and the hat, but not quite enough for another hat on it's own.  Turns out I had more LBY Homespun in a complementary colorway so I put them together in a striped hat.  I made the crown a little longer for extra head room.

Sitting in my stash for too long, I decided I had to find a good project for the sparkly yarn I'd picked up from DBNY.  It is a medium weight yarn with sequins mixed in.  I really felt something lacy was in order but hadn't found something that caught my eye yet.  Off the cuff I decided to try a ruffle look on the ends.  So I cast on 3-4 times more stitches than I really wanted the scarf to be wide and then did quick decreases down to the right width.  From there I settled on a simple yo, K2tog lace look.  This scarf is still on the needles and starting to curl a bit which I think is giving it another intriguing design element.

The aforementioned scarf is still on the needles and moving slower now that I have some hat orders.  I'd previously knit a versatile cowl/head warmer for her, similar to the one in my Etsy shop.  She wanted to get a few hats to keep her head warm but not get overheated.  After looking at some knit hats online, we collaborated to come up with two ideas to get me started.  The first hat is out of a lovely lavender lace or fingering weight yarn.  It's started with a lace pattern, that gives the edge a scalloped look, and finished with stockinette.  The second hat will be out of the red, black and grey yarn with cables and lace.

Phew... I've done a lot of knitting over the past couple of weeks!  A whooping 10 projects completed, on the needles or almost on the needles :-)  Next up is getting good pics of everything and updating the Etsy shop again!

Monday, January 31, 2011

My Knitting Attacked! and I get even more productive...

Sometime over the past couple of months I came across a great knitting podcast and started listening from the very beginning... I'm now all caught up and some of their common phrases have made their way into my vocabulary.  The Knitmore Girls frequently have a segment called "When Knitting Attacks" where they discuss all kinds of cases when your knitting just doesn't work out the way it should.

Yesterday while getting my purse started, I had a case of my knitting attacking me.  I was creating my own pattern and utilizing a cable stitch out of a stitch book I have.  The book has photos next to the stitch explanations so you can see what your work should look like.  I cast on 120 stitches, joined it in the round and got to work  The stitch pattern called for many rows of just knits and purls and two rows for the cabling.  I repeatedly looked back at the photo and my work and could not figure out how this was going to look the same.  I kept thinking that once I got to the cabling it would all make sense.  But I got there and it still wasn't looking the same.  Then, it hit me!  I was knitting in the round, therefore all the purls in the stitch pattern would become knits!  Ugh... the frustration!  Now the big decision, do I really have to go back 7 rows of 120 stitches to fix this?!?!  But, the Knitmore Girls save me...  their knitting had attacked in similar ways and they spoke of being able to fix it without having to undo every stitch.  So, I set to fix my attack the same way and it worked splendidly!  By working one "mistake" stitch at a time, I dropped the stitches down to get rid of all the purls and then used a crochet hook to bring them all back up at knits.  It seemed like this might not save much time at first, but once I got the hang of it I was able to get the 18 stitches back on the right way.  My cabled purse is back on the right path and looking good :-)

As I was looking through my stash and knitting supplies after setting aside the cabled purse for a break, I came across a skein of beautiful purple LBY Homespun that I'd been trying to figure out what it wanted to be.  I kept thinking mittens, but I hadn't done full mittens yet, just fingerless.  And I wasn't sure about the thumb.  I'd read plenty of patterns but it never made sense to me how I would get that thumb on there.  I finally had a thought that made it connect in my mind and decided to cast on and see what happened.  Well, what happened is a lovely purple mitten!  I finished it this morning and am fairly pleased with the result.  The thumb definitely turned out as well as a first attempt could.  I had to stitch a little around the base because I left some holey spots.  My biggest concern is actually the cuff... I don't think I made it tight enough.  I cast on 32 stitches and knit 2x2 rib and then increase my stitch number by a few once I switched to just knitting around.  I see now that I could have gotten away with 20-some stitches to create a tighter fit around the wrist.  So, I've paused before casting on the second mitt to decide if I should re-knit the wrist of the first.

With that, I'll go back to the purse for a while and I also have the striped blues hat to go to if I need a little variety.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Super Productive Sunday

Making lots of progress today... Took pics of recent knits, finally made a jewelry set, and posted all of it to Etsy and my Facebook fan page... Phew!

Now, in trying to keep with my original plan for Sunday's, I'm going to cast on another chunky cabled purse, I have a lacy cabled scarf in the works and already have the striped hat that is on the needles.

Looking forward to a custom order for hats and hoping for plenty of other business opportunities to open up!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

New Knits

I have decided to start putting all my knitting talk here as opposed to the "Knitting on the Road" blog for just personal things, because I'm no longer "on the Road" for work :-)  So... here is one of my recent personal knits:
 I had two small skeins of shades of purples yarn bought from a lovely Etsy shop,  I had been contemplating what to do with the yarn in shades I loved when I was finally struck with knit-spiration, use both for a striped hat!  It was fairly simple and I really loved the striping technique.  I hadn't done my own striping before and it really kept my interest.  It totally rocks and matches my favorite sweatshirt in a charming way :-)

I also had the opportunity to do a special request recently... a llama ear flap hat!  Wow... it is really hard to figure out how to make yarn look like a llama!  The snout/nose area was the trick part for me... I finally tried a sock heel technique and it worked!  I will post pictures later or on my facebook fan page for sure.

I've gotten a couple of cowls done that need to be photographed for sale on etsy and I'm working on another.  All my recent yarn purchases have been small amounts so cowls work great...  I would like to do more hats though because they are about the same amount of time and there seem to be a lot of cowls going on :-)

Well, back to my cushy white cowl!