Nancyknit's Blog

My Knitting Escapades

Checkered Heel and Stripey Toe October 18, 2015

It’s raining and my back hurts. I guess I’ll blog.
Knitting has been a bit rough lately because my back is aching. The good news is that I’m on the mend, after many physical therapy (brutal!) sessions, and now visits to a chiropractor. I am now able to sit and knit for a bit. Sigh…

72 Heel Closeup 72 Toe Closeup 72 All Sock

But the little knitting that I have been doing has been creative! I test-knit a pattern for a friend, and I’ve come up with a simple design for a checkered heel and a stripey toe. Even though I only have one sock finished, I think you’ll get the idea about what’s happening. And I’m not the type of knitter to leave a sock unknit. I want to wear these! I used Brown Sheep Company’s Wildfoote Luxury Sock Yarn (75% Washable Wool/25% Nylon), color: Licorice. Love it!

For the checkered heel, I grabbed some contrasting yarn and knit the first 2 heel flap rows, slipping every other stitch on the right side and just purling the wrong side. Then I changed back to the main color for the next two rows. The heel flap is about 28-32 rows long. At the point where I turned the heel, I used the main color only.

For the stripey toe, on the decrease rows I changed to the contrasting yarn, and used the main color yarn for the other rows. Except I did the first decrease on needle 1, and then I started the contrasting yarn on (what I refer to as) needle 2, so that the woven-in-end wouldn’t be on the bottom of the sock. This made for a perfect end with the kitchenered main color.

Wouldn’t it be fun to use up lots of crazy sock leftovers doing this? I think it adds a bit of charm.

Also, if you downloaded the 80 Stitch Sock Pattern, I made one minor change, so download that one again. I highlighted in green the one stitch count that I changed.

Oh! Before I go, head on over to Ravelry to get a free knitting pattern called 72 Stitch Sock Pattern!  Happy Knitting!!

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Knitting Clubs and a Free Sock Pattern August 20, 2015

I haven’t blogged in a while, having come off a very difficult year of teaching. Don’t get me wrong; the kids were great. So read between the lines about the “not great” part. But that year is done. I have changed positions, schools and districts, and I’m ready to start tomorrow! But first things first. Here’s a picture of my 3rd Grade Knitting Club. The kids learned a lot, and I got them off to a good start. We only learned how to do garter stitch, but most of them had someone in their lives who could add to their needlework knowledge, either crocheting or knitting. I’ll miss them so much. They were fabulous! They’d come to club saying things like, “Oh, I can help her do such-and-such because I saw a YouTube video on that last night!” Oh, my heart, isn’t that sweet?!

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    And now, on to my new sock pattern. I am going to be putting out free sock patterns that are named according to how many stitches you need to cast on. If you are familiar with fingering yarns and how many stitches you need to cast on for, say, men’s socks or women’s socks, then these patterns will help you. The patterns are usually just plain ribbing or a simple cable thrown in. So just grab a Stitch Dictionary and make your own design! This first pattern is called 80 Stitch Sock Pattern-updateEnjoy!

 

Stashes and School and Tablets and a Free Pattern! January 2, 2015

Tabcover 2

Stashes

Good News! I am no longer held hostage by a huge stash of yarn! My current stash consists of: enough Jaeger fingering yarn for a lightweight sweater (in last year’s Pantone color of the year), some Dale of Norway superwash Falk for future use (since I live in the mountains again, I feel the need another Norwegian inspired sweater!), about 5 skeins of sock yarn, 2 skeins of a worsted Noro and 2 skeins of ivory worsted, and a few skeins of yarn leftover from sweaters. I also have a small container of fingering yarn scraps and leftovers for my mitered square blanket, and some leftovers from my nine patch afghan, in case I want to knit another row of nine patches (probably not!) or in case I want to knit some hats for kids at church (a better option). That’s it. THAT”S IT!

So, I encourage you to take an honest look at your stash and make some changes. It will free you up to knit what is new or current! I can walk to my LYS (local yarn shop–Blazing Needles) and buy something for a new project with very little guilt. This makes me smile. And the fact that I can walk to a yarn shop makes me giddy with excitement!

School

If you read my not-very-frequent posts, you’ll know that my husband and I moved from a very small town in Indiana to the very large (to us) Salt Lake City. I started looking for a job; I’m a teacher by trade. I love kids, teaching English as a Second Language, watching kids learn, expecting them to try their hardest. I still feel fresh and ready for the demands of this profession. (BTW, if you’re a teacher and you feel lackluster in your profession, make a change! Read a few books, go to an excellent workshop, or even retire and find something else. You might find joy again, even if it the joy is outside of education!)

I was on a serious learning curve during the first month, new acronyms, new colleagues, new students. But I’ve hit my stride and the students and I are making good progress. Whew! So happy to be teaching again! I’ve even started a 3rd grade knitting club during the last recess. Twelve or so students give up their last recess to come and knit for a bit. The students (all girls right now, but a few boys have come) are knitting little headbands to keep their ears warm. Here’s a photo of their beginning stages of knitting:

knitting club

Tablets

During the first week of school I won a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 from the Teacher’s Union! I love gadgets and new technology, so I vowed to use this at school with kids. I bought a kid-friendly protective cover and put a few apps on the tablet. But after a few weeks, I realized my little Tab 4 needed more protection. So I knitted a protective cover. I really like how this turned out! Here’s the basic pattern, and it’s free!

Materials:

Size 6 (US) knitting needles for knitting in the round, worsted weight yarn, tapestry needle, safety pin

Techniques Used:

Know how to use: Judy’s Magic Cast on, Knit 2 Together (K2tog), YarnOver (YO), attached i-cord, traditional 3-strand braid (for closure)

Gauge: 23 stitches = 4″  Row/round gauge is not important. Check your gauge, or at least be familiar with your gauge with the yarn you’re using. My gauge is fairly tight for worsted yarn on this needle size.

Tabcover 3

Start Knitting: Using Judy’s Magic Cast On (many YouTube videos available), cast on 60 stitches, placing 30 stitches on each needle. Round 1: Knit. Round 2: increase one stitch at each end (62 stitches). Round 3: Knit.  Round  4: increase one stitch at each end (64 stitches).

Knit until cover is 8″ long (about the place where the tablet peeks out a bit when inserted into cover). EYELET Round: *K2tog, YO* repeating between *s around the row.

Knit one more round. Then work an attached i-cord, tie off, and use yarn tail to sew i-cord ends together. Turn inside out and weave in the yarn tail from the start of your cover.

Make tie: Take nine strands of yarn, about 25″ each strand. Separate the nine into three groups of three strands. Tie all nine together near the top, begin braiding and when it’s long enough, use a safety pin to secure to an arm of a chair and braid until braid is 18″ long. Tie off the end. Trim yarn ends about 1/2″ beyond the knot and fray with end of safety pin. Thread the tie through the eyelet openings (from the K2tog/YO row). Tablet Protection is Achieved!

Tabcover 4

 

Nano Nano Pocket October 5, 2014

IMG_2903 (2)

I recently bought an iPod Nano to take some tunes with me wherever I go. Wanting to protect my investment, I quickly made a little pocket for it to slip into. My 3rd graders loved it, and now I think I am going to start a knitting club at school for them.

MATERIALS:

One set of size 5 double point needles

Worsted weight yarn

Tapestry Needle

Gauge: 6 stitches per inch; row gauge is not important

Pattern

Using the magic cast on (you can see a youtube video to help you), cast on 24 stitches. Put 12 stitches on one needle (“Needle 1”), and put 6 stitches each on two more needles (“Needles 2 and 3″).

Round 1: Knit (it”ll be tight, but be patient!)

Round 2: Increase 1 stitch at beginning and end of Needle 1. Increase at beginning of Needle 2, and again at the end of Needle 3.(28 total stitches)

Round 3: Knit

Round 4: Repeat Row 2 (total 32 stitches)

BODY OF POCKET:

Continue knitting in the round until about 1/4″ of your iPod is sticking out, checking to see if your iPod fits.

Decrease Row: Decrease one stitch at the beginning and end of Needle 1. Decrease at the beginning of Needle 2 and again at Needle 2. This decrease row should help your Nano stay in its pocket.

Bind off loosely and weave in the loose ends.

ENJOY!

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Summer Projects July 6, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — nancyknit @ 6:57 pm
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Since it’s summer here in the northern hemisphere my projects are all for the warmer weather.  For this week I’ll share about this sweet little tank in a book from the library called “Mesh Layering Tank” from Veronik Avery’s Knitting 24/7.  Even though library books are free to borrow, it usually costs me something because I decide to knit something from the book. And that requires a trip to the yarn shop.

So off to Blazing Needles I went to get some yarn. I thought I’d walk there to save gas and be green. And I’ve always wanted to be within walking distance of a yarn store. Walking there was a savory experience down a few tree-lined streets, beautiful! About Blazing Needles, they don’t have just yarn, they have sumptuous stacks and hooks filled with fabulous fiber. And they’re nice. Oh, and they enjoy selling yarn! But that’s not hard, since most women (and guy-knitters too!) walk in to buy yarn. It’s akin to taking candy from a newborn. I’ve worked in a yarn store…I know this for a fact (large retail smile on my face right now)!

 

Here’s a photo…this cursed English Mesh Lace stitch has me in a tizzy in some rows, since I want to always put a yarnover after a decrease. It would help if I weren’t watching every FIFA World Cup match and being too into football/futbol/soccer (chose your word there to make yourself feel better) to pay attention to my knitting.

 

Longfellow Socks May 30, 2014

I’m so tired of this happening at the end of dude socks:
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“This” being that I run out of yarn as I’m ready to knit the toe of the second sock. This is not the first odd toe that I’ve knit.  I only started running out of yarn after the guys I knit for cried out for longer socks!  AND I’m even using a yarn that has generous yardage (Cascade Heritage Quatro–437 yards/400 meters, color way: Brown Bear).

So being smarter than the average brown bear, I came up with a pattern that uses different yarns for a short cuff, heel, and toe. I’m calling this free sock pattern Longfellow Socks.
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Oh, and I always have my knitting with me, even at (close to) the top of Angels Landing in Zion National Park. I couldn’t justify risking my life and ending my knitting career in order to hold on to chains for the last part of the hike!

picFrame

To get the link, go to this Ravelry page:
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/longfellow-socks

Happy knitting, wherever you may be! And here’s to longer socks!

 

Thaynes Canyon Cowl May 17, 2014

 

 

Thaynes Canyon Cowl is named after a canyon which connects to Millcreek Canyon outside of Salt Lake City.  At the beginning of the trail, most people head right to the Salt Lake City overlook trail. But going left on the trail takes hikers to the less traveled Thaynes Canyon, a beautiful hike on a mostly tree-covered trail. The free knitting pattern is below:

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Cowl or neck warmer made in a simple 2 x 2 ribbing with about 100 grams of yarn

Materials: About 100 grams of Bulky Yarn (I used 2 colors Brown Sheep’s Nature Spun Chunky leftovers from some slippers I made for Christmas presents), Size 10.5 circular needles, 29″ long, tapestry needle.

Pattern:  Cast on 80 stitches; I suggest you search Youtube for “super stretchy cast on.”  Join in the round, being careful not to twist stitches on this first round.

Work in 2 x 2 ribbing (Knit 2, Purl 2) until piece measures approximately 6.5 inches. I knit 2 rows of the main color, and 2 rows of the contrast color, not cutting the yarn, but carrying it up the back. When I ran out of the contrast color, I continued knitting the main color until I only had enough for a stretchy bind off.

Bind off using a super stretchy bind off (once again, youtube is useful here).

You’ll want both the cast on and bind off to be stretchy. The ribbing stitch will help the edges of the cowl keep its shape.

Image pat

 

 
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