Sunday, December 26, 2010

Window Pane Scarf

Family fun time means yarn time for me.  It's not boredom, but just a productive way to keep my hands moving while enjoying conversation.  We spent the last few days with family (as I imagine you did too) and it was WAY colder than I expected.  The frigid North Texas demanded a scarf.  So, as I sat and listened to the wind and my dog howling outside(don't worry, he wasn't outside for long), I came up with this pattern.  It only required a single skein of yarn and a few hours of your time.

Materials: I-9 Crochet Hook, 150 to 220 yards worsted weight yarn (like Malabrigo or Manos Maxima)
This scarf is worked lengthwise, so although you have to get through a long foundation chain, there are only 5 or 7 rows. 

Chain 203, the last 3 chain stitches count as the turning chain

R1: dc across all chain stitches, 200 dc

R2:  chain 4 (counts as turning chain and chain 1), *1 dc, chain 1, skip  one dc from previous row, 1 dc in next stitch.  Repeat from * across all stitches.

R3-? You can make as many mesh rows as you like here, I made one scarf with 5, another with only 3: begin as R2 to last square, make the final dc in 2nd chain stitch over, leaving 3 chain stitches to act as last dc from previous row.

Last Row: chain 3, dc across all stitches, including the single chain stitches between dc.

Tie off, make fringe.

Here's how I make fringe:
First cut lengths of yarn double the desired finished length of fringe, also allow a bit of trim room.  For example, if you want 6" fringe, cut yarn about 12 1/2" long.
Grab a few strands and a hook and pull the middle point of your yarn through work.  Feed tails through resulting loop.  Repeat and space fringe evenly, then trim.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Lady Mitts

Crochet and I have become rather good friends.  It can be so sculptural and easier for me to design as I go.  This week my obsession has landed on fingerless gloves.  Austin does get chilly enough for some little woolen accessories, and these little mitts fit the bill.  They work up quite quickly too.

Here's how to make them:
 *I am apologizing for my return to crummy phone pics.  I can't find my friggin' camera charger.  

Materials:  G hook, worsted weight yarn.  I used Full o Sheep by Debbie Stoller.  This yarn is awesomely cheap and good quality.

The cuff is worked back and forth and then seamed together at the edges.  Creates a neat ribbed illusion.
So, chain 10, then work 9 sc across.  Next row and all others, sc in the back loops only for all stitches.  Repeat until you have 15 ridges (or about 6").
Seam together edges by slip stitching edge stitches together.  Regular seaming would work well too, but I have doing that, so I cheated. 
The first step is to make a round of sc along the top edge of cuff.  Do this by chaining 1, and make 28 sc along top edge.  Try to keep stitches even. 

Shell Pattern
Round 1- Chain 3 (counts as your turning chain), dc in same sc, chain 1, then 2 dc in same sc.  *Skip 3 sc stitches, (2dc, ch1, 2dc) in next sc.  Repeat from *around.  Join round with a slip stitch at top of beginning chain 3. 
Round 2- Slip stitch over to first ch1 space.  (ch3, dc, ch1, 2dc) all in ch1 space.  *Skip to next ch1 space and (2dc, 1ch, 2dc) all in same ch1 space.  Repeat from * around.  Again join round with a slip stitch at top of beginning chain 2. 
I repeated round 2 for three more times.  If you prefer a longer mitt, add more shell pattern rounds. 

Thumb Hole Round
Start round the same way and complete one shell stitch, then chain 8, skip a shell cluster, and dc in next ch1 space to start the next shell. Finish round as previously established. 
On the next round, continue in pattern until you reach the chain 8.  Skip 3 chain stitches, and make a shell in the next chain (2dc, ch1, 2dc).  Continue around. 
Do 2 more rounds of shell pattern. 

Picot Edge
Picots are made by chaining a few stitches and then joining them at the base with a slip stitch. 
*Slip stitch into next stitch, chain 3, the slip stitch into first chain to make picot, sc in next stitch. Repeat from *around. 
Finish by joining round with a slip stitch and tie off.  Weave in ends. 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

One Inch Punch Neckwarmer

I keep harping that the weather has finally turned to fall in Austin, when, really, it is just no longer unbearably hot. Because of the new air, I really have been on a pattern making whim.. fast and easy knits that take a good movie to whip out.
And so, the One Inch Punch neckwarmer was born.
Just as a nerdy side note, each square measures 1".. hence the name.

US no 11 straight knitting needles
Malibrigo worsted weight yarn
2 Buttons
Darning needle to weave in ends and button sewing thread/needle
Gage: 4sts/4rows= 1".. if your gage differs, and you want to keep your squares an inch, definitely do a swatch and measure.

CO 30 sts
Knit 2 rows

Stripe A:
R1: k5, *p4, k4 repeat from * to last st, k1
R2: k1, *p4,k4 repeat from *to last st, k1.
Repeat R1 and R2 once more

Stripe B:
R1: k1, *p4, k4 repeat from * to last st, k1
R2: k5, *p4,k4 repeat from * to last st, k1
Repeat R1 and R2 once more

Continue alternating stripe A and B for 23" (or 23 squares)

Button holes:
Continuing in pattern as set, work 8 sts, then yo, k2tog, work to last 9 sts, yo, k2tog, work to end.
Return to pattern, and continue for another 4 rows.
K 2 rows for edge.
BO all stitches.

Sew on buttons, done!

I really love this checkerboard weave stitch pattern. If you have any questions about my goofy pattern writing, please let me know.. I'll answer what I can!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Just Enough Frills for an Ascot

For my crochet class tonight, I wanted to create a project that is simple, pretty, and only involves the most basic of crochet stitches. Simplicity at it's best.

Worsted Weight Yarn (I used 1 skein of Debbie Stoller's Bamboo Ewe)
9.0 mm Crochet Hook
Darning Needle for weaving in ends

For scarf body,
Chain 18 stitches
Next, Double Crochet into the 2nd chain stitch from the end and then in every chain across. You should have 15 double crochets.
Make a turning chain of 2 stitches, turn work, and double crochet across row in each stitch, maintaining 15 double crochets on each row.
Continue this way until piece measures 28".

For the opening, start the next row as usual and complete 2 double crochets. Then make 12 chain stitches, and then double crochet into the last 2 stitches of the row.
*Update: It seems the opening is better if smaller, as it stretches out a bit.  Instead of 2 dc at each end, make 4, with a ch 8 in the center. 

Make a turning chain and then double crochet all stitches across row, 15 double crochet.
Continue until piece measures 6"-8" from opening and tie off.

Optional Ruffle Edge:
Single Crochet around entire edge of scarf. To turn corners, do 2 single crochet stitches in the same stitch.
Next row, make 3 double crochet stitches into one single crochet stitch, chain 3, skip a single crochet, and then make 3 double crochets in the next single crochet. So, 3 double crochet, 3 chain, skip, and repeat.
In each corner, make 4 double crochets instead of 3.
Tie off at end of round.
That's it!
To wear it, just wrap it around your neck and insert one end into the opening and fluff.
The combo of a large hook and airy crochet stitches makes this scarf look more complicated then it really is.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

High and Tight: The Waistband Tutorial

I am fond of the waistband. Since I am so short-waisted and hippy, I will wear any skirt high and slim on the waist, and that means a faced waistband. The instructions in commercial patterns are typically horrid, but I have come across a rare educational treat on occasion. From my many waistband attempts I have developed a method that works best for me. Here's what I do:

1. After fusing interfacing onto the facing sides of your waistband pieces, with RS (right sides) facing, stitch the sides to the fronts. Iron open seams.

2. This step is to prep for 'stitching in the ditch' later, and it's such a time saver! On the facing sides of your waistband, stitch a line 1/8" less than your seam allowance along the bottom edge. For this skirt, my seam allowances are 5/8", so I stitched a line at 4/8".

3. Now iron up edge along your stitch line. This is so much better than having to measure along as you iron.

4. Now pin the facing side and outside of your waistbands together, RS together, and stitch along the top edge. Be sure to pin and match seams first, the the centers, and then the centers of centers. That way, everything is neat and matched and will ease together.

5. Now 'grade' the interfaced layer by trimming away half of the seam allowance; then clip up to your stitches every 1/2" or so along the top edge. Flip so that WS are together and iron on the right side.

You'll end up with this: A lovely band just waiting to get attached!

6. Next, with RS together, pin the outside of your waistband to the outside of your skirt along the top edge. Again, be sure to match seams first, then stitch.

7. Clip curve before pressing. The easiest way to iron is to open the waistband and press seam allowances up and into the inside. Then flip over to the RS of your skirt and iron again. Since we're about to stitch in the ditch, make sure that your seam is really ironed well.

8. Fold facing side of waistband over, encasing all seam allowances and ugly fraying bits along the top edge. The prepped ironed crease should cover the stitches on the WS of the skirt by 1/8". Pin along the WS of the skirt, with the pins out of the way enough to sew over.

9. Here's the fun part: stitching in the ditch! Sew on the RS of the skirt, with your needle inside the seam that connects the waistband to the skirt. Go slow, and stitch along the entire waistband seam. There is a presser foot that has a little seam guide on it that can help... but I personally enjoy the thrill of free handing it.

9. That's it! Check on the wrong side of the skirt to make sure that your ditch stitches caught all the waistband, and go over spots that might of been missed. You slip stitch or machine stitch these spots.
If you used a thread color that matches well, and if your ditch stitching was not perfect, no one will be the wiser.

Enjoy your beautiful waistband!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

January Dress of the Month

I finished the sample for the January DOTM class, and It's freakin' awesome. Simple, neat details, and I thoroughly enjoyed the neckline construction. I had originally thought it would be an annoying yoke situation with stitching in the ditch or wacky turning or even narrow hems.. but it was rather neat! I am such a sewing nerd these days that any unexpected trick makes me jump with joy.
I made the tunic dress variation with pointy shaped yoke and elastic 3/4 sleeves. Unfortunately, because I DO love cutting corners; I did not use the 'elastic measurement guide' and just cut a size that seemed to fit around my arms, and now they are a bit snug. I am hoping they will stretch a bit while wearing. I hate tight arms.

Next time I promise I'll have someone take my picture so that you can see the whole thing on a human.