Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hat Knitting: Alternating Cables Cap

Alternating Cables Cap
Knit in Berroco Vintage DK
I've been doing a little hat knitting this week.  My local yarn shop has a great selection of Berroco Vintage DK. I was curious to see how this yarn would knit up in my Alternating Cables Cap pattern.  Turned out really nicely and it was a relatively easy and quick knit.  Turns out the hard part was taking a decent "selfie" to show off the hat. 
Ummm, this photo is no good. Try again...
Mmmmm???  Fail!

Okay, keep trying.  Don't get that weird angle where it looks like you have a big 'ol double chin.
Oh, okay.  I can live with this picture.  Hat looks great and I don't look like a total dork.

When I originally came up with this hat design, I used Berroco Comfort DK. I love his hat in both Berroco Comfort DK and Berroco Vintage DK.  I think Berroco Vintage DK may just be my new favorite yarn.  I think this colorway is called Lilac and it has a very delicate tweedy quality, with subtle flecks of other colors in the fibers.  LOVE it!

A little sewing: Easy Pot Holder Tutorial

When I've visited my Mom and Dad in Oregon the last two summers, I have found myself drawn to this book my Mom has.  It's called "Ready, Set, Serge" and it's by Georgie Melot.
The book is written with serger sewing machines in mind. I do have a serger but have not used it in years. I need to get it out and figure out how to thread it again.  Last I recall, one of four areas had become unthreaded.  If you are not familiar with sergers, they are amazing.  They use four threads and two needles. When you sew, you get two lines of straight stitches, two threads that create an overlock stitch over the raw edges of the fabric, and the serger also cuts the fabric as you go.  You can kind of see that in the photo above. 
I love a lot of the patterns in the book and I plan to get the book. When I was at my Mom and Dad's place a few months back, I took some photos of the potholder project and tried it out at home.  The amazing thing about Georgie Melot's patterns in this book is that there is virtually no finish work in the projects.  You simply layer the fabrics in such a way that when you turn things inside out, the unfinished edges are concealed with in the project.  Love that!
Let me show you how you layer the pot holder.  I used an 8 1/2 square of  batting which is intended for use in pot holders.  The batting goes on the bottom.
Then I added this cute purple Halloween fabric with ghosts (8 1/2 inch square), right side up on top of the batting.
Then I cut two pieces of the black fabric with white polka dots. These are actually rectangles which measure 7 1/2 inches by 8 1/2 inches. These pieces are folded in half, with the folded sides to the center and the raw edges to the outside of the square. I also added a bit of ribbon which is black with white polka dots.  So in the photo below, the layers are as follows: batting on the bottom, purple ghost fabric on top (right side up) and then two flaps with the folded edges toward the center, and a little ribbon which will become a little handle.

Next you need to make another 8 1/2 square.  I used a third fabric.  On one side of the square, you need to finish the raw edge.  I folded one raw edge over about 1/4 inch and then folded it over another 1/4 inch, and stitched a straight stitch.  You can see that little hem in the photo below.  This "square" needs to be a bit smaller than the rest of the pot holder. It will make sense in just a minute... I promise.  It's magic I tell ya!
So now you add this square with the little hemmed edge to the other layers.  Batting on the bottom,  purple ghost fabric on top (right side up) and then two flaps with the folded edges toward the center, and a little ribbon which will become a little handle, and on top of all that is the square with the little hemmed edge (right side down).  Pin around all four edges.  Sew all four sides with a hem which is a little more than 1/4 inch.  Important: Looking at the photo below... when you sew along the side where there is that little hemmed edge, you will be sewing to the right of the little hemmed edge.  Do not sew on top of the little hemmed edge. That way, you have a place to turn your pot holder. 

Clip your corners on all four corners (pictured below).

Now for the magic. Turn the pot holder inside out once.  In the photos below, you will see the two sides of the pot holder.  In the left photo, you will see there is one area where the batting is exposed beyond that little hemmed edge... no worries. In the right photo, you can see what the pot holder looks like on the other side.
Now fold the flaps made out of the black and white polka dot fabric to the opposite side of the pot holder. Viola!  No raw edges are showing and no more finish work or hand sewing is required.  Brilliant, right?!
I made two identical pot holders.  In photo below, you can see what the two sides look like.  You can insert your fingers and thumb in the fabric flaps when you grab hot items.  

I have tried the project with 6 1/2 squares and 8 1/2 inch squares. Next I think I'll try 7 1/2 inch squares. You can use two fabrics or three; the possibilities are endless. The pattern calls for rounded edges which would make it easier to stitch with a serger.  These little pot holders are a great last minute gift.  Enjoy!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Fall events

Fall is extra busy this year. Tennis season is over.  Senior pictures. Done!

Cap and gown ordered.

While Zach was having his photos taken, I snapped a few photos myself. Here are my favorites. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Neon Ribbed Socks

Happy Feet!
I have slowly been finishing up my socks. I've actually had them finished for a few weeks except for the grafting the toes closed with the Kitchner stitch and weaving in the loose ends. I wore them to Zach's tennis match on Friday (yesterday). Good thing I had some new socks; it was cold outside!

Oh, that turned out a little blurry but isn't this yarn amazing?!
It's called Manos del Uruguay Alegria and I got it "For Yarn's Sake" in Beaverton, Oregon.
I snapped this photo at my local yarn shop. They always have cute fabric on the table in the shop.
The pattern for these socks is called "Ribbed Socks for Bigger Feet" by Susan B. Anderson (the pattern is FREE).  They are for adult sized feet, as opposed to child size feet... not BIG feet per se.  The pattern makes the best fitting sock since the sock leg and the top of the foot is all knit in k3 p1 ribbing. You can find a CHILD sized version of this pattern HERE.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Mini-Mittens: My FIRST Knitting Class


What fun! On September 27, 2014, I taught my very first knitting class!  I had six participants in my Mini-mitten class. I think the participants had a good time and learned what they hoped to learn.  Truth be told, this being my first teaching experience like this, I learned a lot as well. 

Would you like to see what we made?

Above you see Mrs. C's mini-mitten knit in fingering weight yarn.
This is yarn she had left over from a pair of socks she had knit a number of years ago. 

Above:  Mrs. B knit her mini-mitten in Berroco Comfort DK.  She knit a seed stitch cuff instead of a k1 p1 ribbed cuff and it looks super cute and feminine.  After the class, Mrs. B knit up a second mitten and sent me these two adorable photos of her handy work.

Above:  Mrs. G also knit her mini-mitten in Berroco Comfort DK. 
I love the little flecks of color in this yarn.

Above:  Mrs. C knit her mini-mitten in a hot pink fingering weight yarn. I love how her mitten turned out; the thumb is especially nicely shaped I think.

Above:  Mrs. F knit her mini-mitten in Plymouth Encore worsted weight yarn.  This lady is a perfectionist and made a super cute and tidy mitten. She even turned her mitten inside out to work in all the loose ends. 
Above:  Mrs. S knit her mini-mitten in Plymouth Diversity.
Mrs S. had started off her mittens with a dark purple yarn with dark colored double pointed needles and it was difficult to see her stitches well. She opted for this lighter colored yarn that I brought to the class which was ironic because this yarn was leftover from a pair of socks I knit for Mrs. S.

After the class, Mrs. S finished up a second mitten and sent me a photo of her beautiful mittens (below).
For the class, I brought some apple cider with a cinnamon stick; it was simmering in a Crock Pot while we knit.  When folks took breaks, they could have a nice cup of hot cider. I also brought some Vegan Molasses Crinkles and some store bought cookies.  It was a really fun time. After the class, Mrs. S and I went out for lunch.  We talked about the class; what was good, what could be improved, what would make the class better.  I appreciated her giving me feed back like this so I can improve on my teaching skills. If you interested in make mini-mittens, here are some pattern links.