Nancyknit's Blog

My Knitting Escapades

Houndstooth Heaven January 3, 2018

Subtitled: How to Upcycle a Sweater

I was in a thrift store a few years back and saw what I affectionately call an “oops” sweater. You know, the kind of sweater where someone didn’t believe the “dry clean only” directions?! In fact, I found three of them, so I bought them with the well-meaning intention of doing something fabulous with them. Several years later I am just getting around to working with them. Here are all the items I made with one sweater:

Much of the sweater body went to make a custom computer case with leather details (I also bought a leather skirt at the thrift store that day–smile). Actually, I finished this right after buying the sweater. The sweater sleeves went to make some water bottle covers and coffee travel cozies. And my feet are showing off the me-sized slippers. I modified a pattern from Purl Soho (here’s the LINK) by sandwiching some plastic canvas between the bottom pieces, blanket stitching it all together, and then adding a back strap. Instant warmth! Or, maybe several hours of sewing and then the warmth.

As for those sweet little baby slippers, I used another pattern from Purl Soho (Felt Baby Slippers). I cut out the pattern pieces with my pinking shearers, pinned them together, and then hand sewed them with sock yarn and a running stitch. Maybe 2 hours tops to complete. You can also check out this patternLINK for baby shoes.

Yeah, I’m not going to be doing this again, except for the baby slippers because they’re so cute! And to be honest, I feel like a super-dork in my slippers, but a warm super-dork!

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Goodbye Sandals September 30, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — nancyknit @ 5:53 pm

It’s that time of year already. It’s time to put the sandals away and start wearing socks again. Because of this, and because I had quite a few skeins of Cascade’s Fixation yarn, I created a pattern for anklets. Choose between striped or one-color socks! You’ll love how they hit right at the top of your shoes! Check out the photo:


What IS IT about stripes? They make my eyes happy and my feet are happier. Here’s the link if you want to buy the pattern:

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/goodbye-sandals

It’s only $1.00 so give it a try. It has complete sock knitting instructions to help you through the more difficult parts.

 

End of an Era (or, It’s Not Done Until You’ve Blogged About it) June 10, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — nancyknit @ 8:29 am

Blanket on chair

Here I present the end of an era. It’s the end because I started this leftover sock yarn blanket in the fall of 2008. After almost 9 years, a lot of changes have happened. It’s inevitable. The kids grew up, we moved almost across the country, went from a house to a condo, and now we own e-bikes, for crying out loud! Change happens! It is time to knit other things. Or, finish other things, because of the way my year went, with teaching almost a full schedule at school, and then throwing teaching 3 graduate classes for SLC teachers on top of that! I have about 5 projects that are mostly finished, but need a little more attention.
Back to this blanket-afghan-throw thingie. I wasn’t sure how big I was going to make it; I was just enjoying the process. But 8.5 years later, I’ve decided to finish. And by finish, I mean, squaring it off, not adding any height or width to it, and most importantly, edging it in i-cord! The edging, you see, is like a stopper; it prevents me from adding more rows. Smart, huh? Done.

Blanket on wall

But at the end of this crazy-sock- leftovers-turned-into-a-blanket era, I have a crazy urge to come up with something else “scrappy” because I’ve still got a small tub of sock-yarn leftovers. Maybe in a year I will have a new pattern to show.
I briefly entertained the idea of putting this on Etsy for a ridiculous sum of money. I was thinking something over $2500, just to see if anyone would “bite.” But that’s cheap. Way too cheap. I calculated my labor at $10/hr (hey, I’m a skilled knitter!), 30 minutes per block which takes into account tucking in loose ends and knitting the i-cord edging. So, with 380 blocks @ 30 minutes per block, that’s 190 hours. Multiply that by the $10 per hour, and the labor cost on this blanket is around $1900.  That doesn’t include the yarn. And it takes a lot of sock knitting to accumulate a great variety of yarn. (That was my excuse, anyway). So, the next time someone knits something for you, they don’t do it to save money or time. They do it because they LOVE you!

For now I’ll just sit on my balcony on cool mornings and enjoy the warmth of this throw.

 

 

Photo Display Project January 31, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — nancyknit @ 6:58 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

artifact-uprising-zeke-filter

OK, so I did it. I ordered those 25 free prints from Artifact Uprising. And just like AU’s website says, I got some great photos off my device and into my life. Sort of. The pics sat around for a whole month in their protected, well-packed cardboard box.

But after I got the photos, I started exploring how to display them. I considered framing each one and hanging them in a grid. But a grid’s worth of matching frames would cost several hundred dollars. Not happening.

Then I thought I would like to hang little shelves with the pics lazily leaning against the wall. Major project. Weekend of hardware store, drilling, installing. No time for that this year.

How about whimsically hanging them with clothespins from baker’s twine? Well, that’s a nice look. For a dorm room…

So I started playing around with my Cricut and some black paper. I cut a black paper mat, 7.5 inches square, with a 4.5 inch square hole in the middle. That makes a 1.5″ border all around. Then I used blue painter’s tape to secure each picture to its mat.

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After that, I cut a 7.5″ square for backing, using a tape runner (think scrapbook store!) to secure the backing to the mat. I rolled 4 pieces of the blue tape and put one piece in each corner. Then I hung them. Voila! I created an eye-catching photo display that makes a pretty bold visual statement.

For a 4 x 4 display–16 photos, you’ll need 32 pieces (or more, if you’re mistake-prone like me!)of 8.5 x 11.5 cardstock, a roll of blue painter’s tape, a scrapbook-style tape runner, a level, a large blank wall.

P.S. I use this tape at school all the time to keep papers and posters on the wall. It doesn’t leave residue like regular masking tape and removes easily without tearing the paper. But don’t hold me to that. (Insert smiley face here!)

 

Iceleaves Shawl–Free Pattern January 8, 2017

Dramatic and plush, the Iceleaves shawl is a fast knit using superbulky yarn and size 19 needles. With a gauge of almost 2 stitches per inch, you’ll be done knitting this before you’ve binge-watched two episodes of your favorite series!

This pattern is for your personal use only. Please don’t sell items knit from this pattern, and please don’t pass the pdf along to your fellow-knitters. Instead, refer them to this blog. Click ice-leaves-shawl to download.

 

Iceleaves shawl January 7, 2017

Filed under: Free — nancyknit @ 6:29 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Coming soon to the blog:

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I still have to block it, finish editing the pattern, and publish it. It will be FREE in a few days! Stay tuned…

 

Diamond Array Socks June 28, 2016

About 15 years ago, I came to the happy realization that I was equally comfortable with purling as with knitting. I’m not sure why it took so long. But I remember as a child I would always finish with a purl row if knitting stockinette stitch, so that the next time I picked up the project, I would do so willingly because I would be on a knit row. Every project was subject to this rule. Hated purling. Doesn’t everyone, at first?

Brick Pic

But lately I’ve begun to realize how beautiful the knit stitch looks as it travels along in a field of purl stitches. Texture. One of the features that makes this craft of “knitting” so beautiful. Perhaps I should call myself a “purler” instead of a “knitter”!

So, here’s my latest free pattern offering, Diamond Array Sock Pattern, with a cute but true little story at the beginning.

 

 

 
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