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garter stitch

  • Knook


    This week I learned how to use a Knook. I used the Knook for Kids kit by Leisure Arts and followed the instructions. I have to admit that I turned my nose up at learning how to Knook. I have knitted for almost 20 years and crocheted for about 5 years. Why do I need to learn how to Knook? I asked myself. Because you like to learn new things and challenge yourself is what I thought. So I gave it a go and I found that I liked using a Knook. I found the instructions to be very easy to follow. I even watched a video from the website that the book has - to make sure I had a full understanding.

    To practice my new Knooking skills, I Knooked three swatches: a garter stitch swatch which is just a knit stitch; a stockinette stitch swatch which is knit a row, purl a row; and, a rib stitch swatch which is knit two, purl two. The three swatches will make perfect coasters. I always need something to set my drinks on; my poor coffee table has several rings on it. They also make great little gifts that don’t take very long to knit up. Challenge yourself and learn something new this week.

    left garter stitch, middle stockinette stitch, and right rib stitch left garter stitch, middle stockinette stitch, and right rib stitch
  • Garter Stitch, Daydreams, and General Tomfoolery

    I'm knitting a Tomten Jacket for my daughter.  I pulled out her old one out last week and put it on her, only to discover that it's getting a bit short.  I made this a couple of years ago and it seemed like she could wear it until she was five.  Um, nope.  I don't mind, though.  I love this pattern, and I love garter stitch.  I haven't gotten super far on it yet, but I've already had plenty of time to zone out and make plans for other garter stitch projects.  I mean, there's Garter Stitch for Baby, and Projects for Baby, and a bunch of the hats in Warm Hats for Wee Noggins.  So much garter stitch!

    And I'm realizing that these are all baby patterns.  I do love garter stitch for babies.  There's just something about it.  Maybe because it grows with its wearer.  Maybe because I just love knit stitches so much.  Garter stitch fabric lays flat and looks all cute and bumpy.

    I love it so much I've made several hats for my daughter and my nephew that use garter stitch.  Several of the hats in Warm Hats for Wee Noggins are just garter stitch knitted flat and then seamed up with some embellishments.  Like this Valentine's Day hat!  I love this one.

    And there's the Baby Hat from Garter Stitch for Baby.

    And the booties.

    It works for bibs in Knit in a Day for Baby.

    I just....ugh, I love garter stitch so much.  If I had to pick a favorite pattern from these, I don't even know if I could.  Which reminds me!  Well, I'm reminded of two things.  Firstly, if you have a Ravelry account (seriously, go get one. You can lose hours of your life looking through patterns!  Doesn't that sound like so much fun!?) you need to join the group Fans of Leisure Arts Patterns.  It's run by friend of the blog Debbie and it's a fun place where people share their project photos of Leisure Arts patterns they've made. I'm snoopy and love it so dang much.

    And! Secondly, there's a thread in the group's discussion board right now for a giveaway!  All you have to do is link to your favorite Leisure Arts pattern to be eligible for the chance to win a $10 coupon code for Leisure Arts.  Get over there and check it out!  Even if you don't win, you'll probably come away with a few more patterns to list in your queue. I love seeing what other people love, and I've had a nice time lurking.  The thread will be closed on October 12, so hurry on over and talk about what you like because I've got a lot of garter stitch to work through, and I'm dying of nosiness. 

  • Knitting the Green Bib from Knit in a Day for Baby

    I went to see my sister and nephew last week, so I had to come bearing gifts.  Since my favorite little guy is starting to try out solids (right now he mostly just smears them on himself, but you know how it is), I thought the Green Bib pattern from Knit in a Day for Baby would be a great gift to bear.

    And actually, I didn't have to come bearing gifts but like I said.  Favorite little guy.  Plus, this bib is adorable.

    I love garter stitch, I love working with any nonwool yarn in the summer, and I love my nephew.  I was excited to see this all finished, but I enjoyed working on it too!  It took a couple of hours and I was pretty tickled with the results.  The pattern calls for light green yarn and ecru yarn, but my little girl has been very excited about dinosaurs lately.  So I used some pretty bright greens for this.

    I considered using a contrast color for the button for maybe half a second before I thought "Nope, make that green too."  So I did.

    And I think even the back looks nice!

    Since there's not a lot of rows between color changes, you just carry your yarn loosely and pick it up when it's time to use it again.  I had thought I might want to crochet around the finished bib to cover the floaty bits up, but then I decided it was fine.

    You probably noticed that this bib is not being modeled by a baby, and is actually just lying flat on my sister's table.  This is because 1) my nephew was too busy putting things and his mouth and being a tiny bit sleepy from skipping a nap to take pictures and 2) this bib will probably never be worn by my nephew.  My sister, bless her heart, will wear just about anything I make her.  She made a point to text me pictures of her little baby boy wearing the hats I made him this winter.  But things that are made for no other reason to get dirty?  She just can't do it.  Dishcloths I've made her are sometimes put out for display, or shoved away in the back of a drawer.  I even found the other bib I knit for her last fall tucked away with my nephew's winter hats!

    I have to admit, I got ridiculously accusatory and actually uttered the words "I bet you never even put this on him!" to my sister.  She could assure it's not even the dumbest thing I've gotten ridiculous over, but still.  I appreciate that she didn't want to stain up something that took me time and effort to make, but come on!  I picked colors that wouldn't show too many stains, and I can tell that these bibs could soak up a lot of food and drool and whatever else it is babies get covered in when they try to feed themselves.  I think it's sweet that she appreciates the things that I make, even if it means she doesn't get use out of them.  But I promise you, these bibs are fine for everyday use.  Promise!  It's like a really great dishcloth around a baby's neck, catching up everything and ready for more!

    I'm writing this to convince my sister just as much as I'm writing it to convince you.

  • Weekly Dishcloth: Knitting a Flailing Frog!

    I knitted the Frog dishcloth pattern from Garden Dishcloths to Knit.  There are so many dishcloth patterns--especially in this book--that seem incredibly summery to me, and making a bright green dishcloth that features a froggy flying through the air felt like the perfect type of dishcloth to knit in June.

    On my mother-in-law's metal swing in her yard. There is so much summer in this picture!

    It's also my first pattern to knit out of Garden Dishcloths to Knit!  There are twelve sweet little patterns in here, and I do mean "little."  Each dishcloth is made to be around 7" X 7", which isn't super tiny.  But it's not overwhelmingly large, either.  This is an oddly tidy-looking dishcloth and I love it.

    The designs in the dishcloths are created with purl stitches. My purls tend to get a bit sloppy, which is why I think the frog's little hands and feet look a bit....indeterminate?  Still, most of the body stands out amongst the stockinette stitches, and I think you can tell by looking that this is a frog leaping.  Into what?  We'll never know.  He's suspended in my awkward purl stitches forever, flailing in a cottony eternity.

    Sorry.  I picked this because it seemed like a pattern that was full of summer whimsy and now I feel like I just made things weird.  I'm definitely rethinking my plans for the ladybug pattern!

    I used Sugar n' Cream yarn in Hot Green, and this took approximately 60 yards.  The pattern calls for #7 needles, but I used #5 to reach gauge.  I enjoy this garter stitch-bordered creation, and I like that each pattern gets its own page.  That feels like a ridiculously minor detail, but I wanted to mention it.  The instructions are written out, row by row, and there's no chance of you reading the wrong line and knitting the instructions from a pattern on the previous page.  Sometimes little things like that can make a tremendous difference, and that was a little thing that made knitting this dishcloth a much happier and clearer experience.

    I made this is in about an hour and I'm already getting excited about trying out another pattern from this.  There is a beehive dishcloth in here that looks incredibly adorable, and I have some dark yellow cotton yarn that would be perfect.  I love summer, and I love summer projects.  I hope you do, too!

    Happy crafting.

  • Knitting the Garter Ridge Cowl and Loving Everything About It

    I knitted the Garter Ridge cowl pattern from Knit Cowls and I don't know if I have enough space for all the good things I want to say about it!

    Firstly, there is quite a bit of garter stitch. I love garter stitch.

    Look at these stitches!  LOOK!

    Secondly, the pattern calls for super bulky weight yarn and #13 needles.  So fast!  So glorious!

    Also, this is worked flat and seamed together when you're finished.  Sometimes, I'm completely in the mood to work in the round.  But I wasn't when I cast on this project and knitting flat just sounded like the best idea in the world.

    And this is a dang fine stash-buster.  Whoa Nelly.  Stash.  Buster.

    The model in the book is knit with two skeins of Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick, but I had some partial skeins of Patons Roving in Low Tide and Pacific Teal.  Yarn in colors that make me think about the ocean?!  That's fantastic!  I'm not sure why, but it just was.  Also, those two colors looked beautiful together.  I had some left over from when those two colors looked beautiful in an arm knit cowl and I thought the two colors would be lovely in a simple knit cowl.


    And they are.  This is a simply lovely cowl.  It was fun to work on, knit up quickly, and this is a fantastic addition to my gift stash.  Actually, it's a fantastic beginning to my gift stash.  I've been a little panicky once I had to flip the calendar over to June and started thinking about how close Christmas is and how unprepared I am.  Seriously, there are no scarves!  No cowls!  No hats!  No anything unless you count dishcloths!  And for the purposes of more personal gift-giving I am not!  This cowl is the first step in bulking up my gift stash, and it's an excellent place to start.

    And finally!  Another nice thing I'm going to say about this cowl pattern is that it would be a fantastic knit-in-public project.  It's World Wide Knit in Public Week!  I'm always a fan of knitting or crocheting in public, but it's fun to participate in something official.  If you're joining any local groups, or just initiating your own one-person consciousness-raising yarn event, this would be a fairly simple bit of knitting to work on as you patiently respond to statements like "I could never do that" or "What would it cost for you to make me a sweater?"

    Whether or not you can keep a straight face through that is solely up to you. But you will be able to knit your way through with this pattern.  Good luck and godspeed.

  • Weekly Dishcloth: Knitting the Pink Diagonal Washcloth

    I knitted the Pink Diagonal Washcloth from Knit in a Day for Baby!

    Except I didn't have any pink yarn.  Or off-white yarn.  So I used red and blue yarn.  Other than that, this is nothing special.  In fact, this pattern turned out to be the most standard dishcloth ever.  This what I've always seen knitters work on when they're knitting plain ol' dishcloths.  What really surprised me was that I've never made this type of dishcloth before!  So strange!  Especially since I love a garter stitch project. 

    This was fun.  You increase with one stitch on every row until it's time to decrease one stitch every row.  That's it.  That's the whole dishcloth!

    Still, I think it would be fantastic to work on something like this just any old time.  It was a fun project to have in my hands while I watched TV and the stripes mixed it up a bit for me.  You carry the yarn loosely on the side, and it seemed like it was incredibly obvious and terrible while I was working on it.  But now that I'm looking at this, I don't think it's that big a deal at all.

    I think I'll add this to my regular stash of kitchen dishcloths because it seems a bit large for a baby washcloth.  But I think these bright blue and red stripes will be a cheerful addition to someone's kitchen.  Okay, maybe mine.  I love blue and red, and this even looks good from the 'wrong' side!

    It looks beautiful from either side, I like the colors, and there's garter stitch.  This simple stripey dishcloth turned out to be the perfect project!

  • Knitting Bright Baby Mittens!

    I knitted the Mitts pattern from Garter Stitch for Baby!

    Why?  Because it's garter stitch.  For a baby.

    I promise they're the same size in real life.

    Garter stitch and baby projects are two of my favorite things and I sat down last night and thought the cute little mittens pattern would be a fun little project.  I love these little mittens!  They kept me up a little late (that's why the lighting in these pictures isn't so great. I have ugly florescent lights), but they're worth it.


    The pattern calls for about 60 yards of yarn, so this is a fantastic way to use up scraps.  I thought the crazy variegated yarn would look pretty with the bright blue.  The picture in the book shows a lovely soft white yarn with light green.  Also lovely, especially for a spring-time baby.

    I made these for a friend who's due in the fall, and I thought these would be a great way to keep a little person's hands warm while the bright colors would catch his or her eyes.  And I used Red Heart scraps so that these acrylic creations can be washed and dried if they're chewed on, spit up on, or thrown down in an unfortunate setting at an inopportune time.  Babies are good about throwing things on disgusting surfaces.  And then wanting to chew on the thing that has just come into contact with the disgusting surface.  Man, I'm getting so excited just thinking about this adventure my friend is starting.  I should knit her something else out of this book.  Garter stitch is my favorite way to show love and support.

    I think it's a good thing.
  • I Dream of Garter Stitch

    I'm still on a blanket kick.  The project currently occupying all of my thoughts and plans right now is the Mitered Eyelet Blanket from Baby Blankets Made with the Knook.

    It's made of many blocks.  Just FYI.

    I'm not actually using a Knook to make it, though.  Knitting is just faster for me, and knitting a Knook pattern just means I need the same amount of stitches on my needles as I would have on my Knook.  (On the flip side of that, you can Knook any knit pattern as long as you chain one more stitch than a pattern calls for you to cast on and then set up as many stitches on your Knook as you'll need for your knitting.)

    Also, the Mitered Eyelet Blanket is made up of squares in the same color that measure 9".  I wanted 5" squares because I like the look of a five-inch square.  When I have 41 stitches on my Size 7 needles, my squares were about 5" and I bind off.  Your mileage may vary.

    When I made the first few blocks, I was just using up some Vanna's Choice scraps.  I wasn't sure if I would just use this project to use up scraps leftover from other projects, or if I would start using other yarns and make this a real patchwork afghan.  Before I could make up my mind, my daughter asked me what I was doing.  She doesn't ask "Why?"  She asks what everyone and everything is 'doing.'  When I told her I was making squares for a blanket, she asked if the blanket was for her little cousin.  I told her it wasn't.  Then she said "How about for me?"

    Why not, kiddo?  She loves the fleece blanket I made for her, and she is always my favorite person to knit for.  And she's small.  I could use some bits of yellow and green yarn I'd found, nearly a full skein of blue yarn that I don't know why I have, and that practically full skein of off-white yarn I have left over from the Easy-Going Beanie.  Soon, I was obsessed.  I don't mean that in a 'tee hee, I really like something' sort of way.  I tend to fixate on things, and I picked this pattern out because I wanted to work on something repetitive.  I wanted to make the same thing over and over in different colors until I could make something colorful and happy.

    And so I knit.  I cast on the first square on Saturday afternoon.  And then I knit.  And knit.  And knit.  I knit through my daughter's naptime, in the car, on a date with my husband, and while watching the Olympics with friends.  I knit some more in the car on Sunday, and at the park with my family.

    I knit while supervising bath time, and during story time, and throughout more naps and after bedtime.  I asked my husband to pick up another skein of Vanna's Choice in the dark red colorway (I don't remember what it is, and he couldn't find a skein with a label) because I only had 1 square of that, and our daughter is a growing girl.

    I knitted and every time I finished a square, I'd place it on the floor.  My daughter has been messing with them and laying on my squares.  She keeps asking me who they're for, and I ask her who she thinks they're for.  She knows this is her blanket, and the fact makes us both happy.  The colors get rearranged and the rows get reworked and it's lovely.

    At first, I had planned to knit until I ran out of yarn, but now I may 'fixate' on this project until I'm satisfied that it's done.  I think 6 rows of 7 squares will do the trick and my yarn supply should last.  If it doesn't, I'll go ahead and buy more yarn.  I may buy some more yarn anyway and stash it away for the day I need to add on to this blanket.  I've also decided to make 5 or 6 squares with some Red Heart that's a nice medium brown so I'll have plenty of yarn for seaming everything up.  I think I'm nearly finished making squares for this, and I'm glad. 


    I had thought I would write a post about this only after all the squares were knitted and seamed together, but I'm going to write about it now because there's nothing else to write about! 

    With the exception of Tuesday's dishcloth, I haven't worked on much else this week.  And I haven't even wanted to.  I've been hooking a project bag on my arm and knitting these squares every spare moment I've had away from eating, sleeping, and work.  I've been tempted to work on these at red lights on my commute and I'm not sure why I didn't do that other than maybe because my hands are hurting and driving gives them a break.

    I love this project.  I love getting wrapped up in something and only working on one thing that I love.  There's no deadline on this, and my little girl is hardly hurting for blankets.  I guess I'm just working on this because I really and truly need to, and because I really and truly want to.  I should be able to seam everything together and finish this up by next week.  Which is good, because I want to see this in its completed form.   

    And because I need to work on something besides this.

    But maybe not.  I can't think of a better way to spend my time.

  • Weekly Dishcloth: Trying Out a Free Pattern Friday Pattern

    Okay, have you signed up for Free Pattern Friday?  I feel like I talk about this a lot, but I also want to be sure that you know about it.  So, just in case: Free Pattern Friday is this glorious thing that happens when you sign up for the Leisure Arts weekly newsletter.  When that happens, you get to click on some boxes about your interests and decide if you would like a free crochet pattern each week, or a free knitting pattern each week.  So in addition to finding out about new titles,  sales, promo codes, and a featured blog post, you also get a free pattern.  It's a win-win-win-win-win situation.

    And last Friday, the featured pattern was the Knit Dishcloth and Potholder pattern.  Yes, I know that clicking that link takes to you the download page and you'll have to pay for it.  It's only free through email.  Which is how I got it.

    I'm repeating myself a lot because I love Free Pattern Friday and I love dishcloths and I love garter stitch.  So Friday's email was just full of happy surprises for me.

    Also, I love mixing up pink and red and the Valentine season gives me free reign to do so.  Fantastic!  I used red dishcloth yarn as my main color and some scraps of pink and white variegated yarn for the contrast.  There's a row of yarnovers and K2TOGs to give this dishcloth a little bit of pattern variety, but the rest of it is pure and simple garter stitch.   My favorite.

    I like the simplicity of the stitch, I like how well it cleans, and I honestly like how garter stitch looks.

    The color changes in yarn are just carried up a bit, and they would barely show even if you didn't crochet single crochet stitches around the edges.

    I liked that little detail, and I think it really tightened up the look of the dishcloth.  Does that makes sense?  I hope so.  At the very least, I know it made the whole thing look a little more put-together than just a square of garter stitch rows.  And chances are that even if you're mostly a knitter, you have a crochet around somewhere for something just like this.

    This took about a half-skein of regular Sugarn' Cream yarn, and a negligible amount of the contrast color.  I used Size 6 knitting needles and a G hook.  I think this would look nice and summery in some more muted solids, and maybe I make this again in plainer colors--especially if I need a nice hostess gift this summer.  But since I firmly believe anything can become a holiday pattern if you use the right colors, I love how this looks with the pink and red.  Yes, love it.

    Hey, can I mention Free Pattern Friday again?  I'm going to mention Free Pattern Friday again.  You should sign up and then you can have a free pattern on Friday.  It will be like getting a Valentine from Leisure Arts.  Let's be honest, if you're not getting yarn for Valentine's Day you may as well get a pattern.  It's going to be a lovely holiday indeed.

  • I [heart] Valentine's Day: Knitting a Hat with Heart.

    It's never too early to get excited about Valentine's Day!  Which is why I started getting excited a couple of weeks ago.  I started my holiday crafting a little while ago and wanted to start talking about Valentine projects.  So I'm going to.

    I'm pretty excited that I'm starting with this:

    It's the Have a Heart pattern from Warm Hats for Wee Noggins.

    I love how many holiday patterns are in this book because I just love holidays.  And knitting holiday hats for itty bitty people? It thrills me to my very soul. 

     I made the Basic Paper Bag Hat pattern this Christmas in some crazy variegated yarn for my daughter and my nephew.  It's some nice mindless knitting--I made these both on the car ride to my sister's house a few hours away.  These are worked flat in garter stitch and then you stitch up the hat and draw it up.

    My recipients were so pleased.

    Since they loved they loved their festive-looking Christmas hats so much, I knew some Valentine hats would be greatly appreciated.

    The fun part for me is that this is the Basic Paper Bag Hat with a sweet little garter stitch heart.  I got started on my little girl's hat first, and I've been working on this while watching television before bed.  That probably explains why this is a bit larger than I expected.

    I would ordinarily knit this with Size 6 or 7 needles, but I went ahead and used some Size 8s because they're new and knit incredibly smoothly I wanted this to knit up quickly.   It went, um, very quickly.  That's fine.  Just more room to grow.

    The heart is just 18 rows of trickery, and you'll breeze right through that as long as you remember to leave a tail long enough to sew it on. 

    I nearly forgot in my excitement because I was distracted by how cute my little girl will be in this!

    Or at least I'd intended to be excited to see her in this.  Some time between casting on and binding off, my daughter went from saying "I LOVE Valentine's hat!" to "No thank you. I don't need a Valentine's hat."  Maybe she'll change her mind by the time of the actual day.

    And even if she doesn't, I've already cast on a hat for her little cousin.  He's still too small to fight me on these things, and I think I've got a glorious year of season hat projects ahead of me.

    I can't wait to take a picture of two cuties wearing these hats pulled over their little grouchy faces!

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