Notions! Notions! Notions!

Keeping a good stock in your notions bag is essential to knitting on the go whether on the bus or in the pub (two of my most favourite knitting locales). Having all the extra bits lets you go from start to finish in a flash without worry! Here’s what’s in my notions bag:   Numbered

  1. The bag itself – this is a freebie make-up bag that came with a Sephora purchase. Any sort of satchel will do – clutch size is perfect for me as it usually will hold DPNs
  2. A tape measure – this cute little sheep was a gift from my mother (she uses the same one).
  3. Dental floss – this is because I’m a weirdo and get really bothered by food in my back teeth
  4. A cable needle (will come back to this later)
  5. Stitch holders – for when you need to make a pocket or hold stitches until you make a seam – I have these in 2 sizes
  6. Stitch counter
  7. Tiny scissors – go with the short size so that they’re not confiscated at airport security
  8. Scrap yarn – great for if you don’t have stitch holders or need to put way more on hold than the straight holders allow
  9. Ruler/Gauge – while not extremely necessary if you have a tape measure, if you’re just getting used to checking gauge, the flat gauge guide can be very helpful as it holds your work flat while you count.
  10. A pen
  11. Rouge DPNs – usually in the size you need to finish the project, but ofet just floating around looking for stitches to pick up
  12. Both locking (a) and closed (b) stitch markers – Locking stitch markers are incredibly handy – you can use them to track the right side of the work, they hang in stitches to help measure distance and they look pretty cool. Closed stitch markers are not as necessary (you can always use scrap yarn) but they do provide contrast to the yarn and are great for marking out the pattern.
  13. cable needleA. is a close up of 4, the cable needle – this style is great because it hangs on either side of the work and stitches don’t slip off, however, a stray DPN can also work if you don’t have a cable needle. B are darning needles – finish your work, make designs in duplicate stitch and embroider your heart out!

Not pictured above are the other items that have come to join my notions as carry everywhere needs. These items include ibuprofen, a tide stick, lipstick, earplugs and usually a few bobby pins!

Advertisements

Crochet ripple baby blanket

rippleblanket2

I once made a baby blanket that my boyfriend loved so much that he wanted one of his own. Now, clearly my boyfriend is not a baby, so this would mean adjusting the pattern to make an adult-sized blanket. I put this off for about a month because I didn’t want to do math, but I did get around to it eventually.

Just a warning that this thing is huge and will take your FOREVER. Literally, the initial chains and first row took me an hour. That’s just because crocheting into a chain takes me a really long time (as opposed to crocheting into regular stitches) but you still need SO MANY ROWS for this blanket. This blanket took months!

rippleblanket3

Make sure you have some good TV or good company to keep you going while you work. I watched seven seasons of Trailer Park Boys, one season of the Walking Dead, two seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation, one season of Teen Wolf (shut up it’s good) and a TON of movies while working on this thing. Knitting/crochet dates are also a good way to get work done!

I’m just a big toasty cinnamon bun. I never want to leave this bed.
I’m just a big toasty cinnamon bun. I never want to leave this bed.

Have you made anything this big for someone? Is there a boyfriend blanket curse like the sweater curse?

-Emma

Sock it to me! Knit the Linder sock

socks!

When I think of my mom, the first thing that comes to mind is knit socks – over the course of my adulthood, through Christmases and birthdays, I now have enough hand knit socks to last me a month without doing laundry.

As soon as I started knitting as a genuine passion, I knew it would only be a matter of time before my mom passed on how to knit socks. While the project can seem a little daunting at first, once you get the hang of it, sock knitting is a lot of fun! It’s portable and small so great to take on vacation and with all the beautiful, self striping yarn (the socks on the right were made using White Birch Fibre Arts ‘Fade to Black’ ) it’s really easy to make a gorgeous pair of socks with minimal effort.

I’ve now made four pairs of socks, and trust me, I’m still learning how to get them right (my first pair had two very different shapes). Here’s a step-by-step top down pattern to get you through your first pair and serve as a base for creating your own sock designs!

The Linder Sock with a modified Gladys Heel

Materials

  • 2.5mm double pointed needles
  • 400m sock yarn
  • darning needle

Abbreviations:

  • CO – cast on; K – knit; P – purl; 2 X 2 rib – K2,P2; BOR – Beginning of Round; RS – right side of work; WS – wrong side of work; wyif – with yarn in front; wyib – with yarn in back; sl – slip knit-wise; K2Tog – Knit 2 stitches together; ssk – slip the next two stitches knit-wise, wrap the right needle with the yarn and pass the two slipped stitches over it (it’s a backwards K2tog)

Tube of the sock:

CO 64 stitches (long tail method) & Divide evenly between 4 DPNs (16st/needle)

Knit 20 rounds ribbing (2 x 2: [K2,P2] is s good and stretchy ribbing but you can do whatever you like)

Knit 50 rounds stockinette/ribbing or whatever motif you want – the rainbow socks above are a soft rib of [K3,P1] but for the neon socks I tried a repeating lace motif on the front needles of:

  • Round 1: [(K1,P1,K1 into the same stitch), K3together]
  • Round 2: Knit
  • Round 3: [ K3together, (K1,P1,K1 into the same stitch)]
  • Round 4: Knit

Note: the 70 rounds make up the tube of your sock, you can play with the number of ribbing rounds or reduce the number of rounds for a shorter sock but if you don’t do any ribbing, the sock will roll when worn.

Once your sock is as long as you want it to be, it’s time to start on the heel. The heel is usually where people get a bit nervous about making a sock, but it’s really just a matter of knitting short rows and constructing in a step-by-step manner, starting with the flap:

Heel Flap:

heelflap2 heelflap1

Knit the 16 stitches of the next needle onto the previous so that you have half the stitches on one needle and the join/BOR is in the middle of that needle, turn work

  1. (WS) K3, P to last 3 stitches, K3, Turn work
  2. (RS) K3, [Sl1, K1] to last 3 stitches, K3, Turn Work

Repeat rows 1 & 2 to get to 29 rows total, ending on a WS row. Now that you’ve got the flap, it’s time to reduce the heel to give it shape – this heel is a square shape.

Heel Decrease:

heeldecrease

Note: In this decrease section, you work the middle 10 stitches on the needle while gradually reducing the 11 stitches on either side to get to 12 stitches on the needle.

  1. (RS) K21, ssk, turn work
  2. (WS) Sl 1 wyif, P10, P2tog, turn work
  3. (RS) Sl 1 wyib, k10, ssk, turn work

Repeat rows 2 & 3 until you have 12 stitches left on the needle, ending on a WS row. Now you’re ready to turn the heel – this is where the garter edge you’ve knit on the heel flap will come in handy.

Turning the heel:

turnheel

Knit 12 stitches across the first needle, pick up and knit (PU & K) 16 stitches, using the bar of the garter ridge as your guide, knit 32 across next 2 needles, PU & K 16, K6 – you are now at BOR.

 

 

 

You should now have your needles set up in the way shown to the right –> Sock-gussett-212x300

And now you’re ready to get going with the foot.

Decrease rounds: [K to 2 st before the end of the first needle, K2tog, K32, ssk, K to BOR. Knit 2 rounds.] Repeat 5 more times until you have 16 st on each DPN

Knit until you have a sock that is long enough. How do you tell that? The end of the heel to the point where you want to start toe shaping is the length that it takes the sock to wrap around your hand. Alternately, you can try the sock on as you knit and once you get to where your toes, you can start the toe shaping decreases.

Note: Keep track of how many rounds you knit on the first sock so you don’t have to guess again! (I’m a pretty loose knitter, so when I make socks for myself they’re usually between 30-35 rounds, however a tight knitter will easily need 50 rounds before they’re ready to decrease for the toe.)

Toe Decreases:

Decrease round(DR): [K to 3 st before the end of the first needle, K2tog, K1, K1, ssk, K to end of needle] twice to get to BOR

For a long toe, decrease as follows:

  • 1 x (DR + 3 rounds knitting) (omit this step if you want a shorter toe)
  • 2 x (DR + 2 rounds knitting)
  • 3 x (DR + 1 round knitting)

Then continue with DR each round until you get to 8 stitches left (2 per needle). Break the yarn and thread the tail through the loops of the last 8 stitches. Secure on the inside of the sock and weave the end in. Weave in the cast on end. Repeat for second sock!

5 reasons to knit a baby sweater

I’ve been getting SO into knitting lately. It’s like something just cracked in my brain and all I can think about is yarn. And needles. And combinations of those things. I decided to try knitting my first sweater this year, which is a really big deal! I decided to go with a baby sweater for my first try, and I have five reasons why I think you should do the same thing!

Mira's baby sweater

1. It goes quickly!
This is a no brainer. Things for babies are smaller, so they take way less time! You can finish and feel accomplished, instead of letting your poor sweater stare at you while you think “ugh, another how many inches of stockinette?”

2. It’s cheaper!
You’ll need way less yarn for a baby sweater, so if you do splurge on some nice superwash wool it won’t be too pricey. But you can also go for the cheap stuff, because babies are gross and will spit up all over your beautiful sweater anyway.

3. They’ll wear it
Even if your knit baby sweater turns out ugly, the parents of the child in question can still force them to wear it. And they will, because you spent so much time and effort handknitting this baby sweater for their darling little one!

4. Baby things are cuter
This is just a fact.

5. You can work out the kinks of the sweater pattern before you make it for yourself
I’m still working on my baby sweater, but it’s been a fantastic learning experience for me and I actually feel ready to tackle a sweater for myself. This is amazing! Not every sweater pattern will have sizes for baby-adult, but Tin Can Knits is amazing at providing a wide range of sizes.

Have you knit a sweater before? What sweater patterns would you recommend? I’m excited to make more!

-Emma

(Originally posted on the Craft Collective)