Knittng Goals – Pants!

bubble pant close up

In the past couple of years I’ve really focused on learning to make garments and getting better at finishing techniques. For a long while I’ve been wanting to make a pair of pants – there’s a couple of great patterns that have caught my eye. The Bubbly Pant (pictured above) is currently on my needles and it’s going to be quite the challenge. I’ve never made pockets before and I’m still wrapping my head around the pattern but I’m up for it.

Going down a Ravelry spiral of searching ‘pants’ yields some equally exciting results. Andrea Rangel  has a few different trouser and short patterns. My favourite being Kalaloch:

kalaloch

I love how high-waisted these are and they would look really cute as a pair of short-shorts

These shorts by Heather Dixon would be great for summer or winter and the cable detail is pretty slick:

tanzaniteshorts1_web-350x500_medium

Have you ever knit a pair of pants? How did it go?

 

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Stitching Starlets

It shouldn’t be surprising that there are some famous folks out there who knit. I follow Lupita Nyong’o on instagram and was quite excited to see that on top of being an incredible actor and all around bad ass, she’s learning to knit:

#BroadwayBinding with the New York Times. My progress thus far… #SundayTimes

A post shared by Lupita Nyong'o (@lupitanyongo) on

Outside of your boyfriend, Ryan Gosling, I couldn’t think of other celebs who knit so this inspired a google-spiral that gave some pretty interesting results. While there are surely more exhaustive lists out there, here are a few of my favourite finds:

Christina Hendricks:

christina hendricks

It’s really wonderful to know that the inspiration for the dress I have in progress is also an avid knitter. Above, she’s wearing one of Tamara Mello’s many designs. There’s also a delightful interview here where she knits the whole time.

Ewan McGregor:

Ewan macgregor

Ewan McGregor was my high school movie star crush (this was back when an accent and taking it all off in films went a long way with me). No only does he know how to knit, but he also knows how to gift to knitters – Hello Big Loopy Merino!

Christopher Walken:

walken knits

While I haven’t found concrete confirmation on this one, he holds his wool continental style like a boss so he’s gotta know what he’s doing.

Marylin Monroe:

marilyn monroe

There’s plenty of actors from the Golden age of Hollywood that were also skilled with the needles – Audrey Hepburn, Katherine Hepburn, Clark Gable, Angela Lansbury, Jayne Mansfield and Joan Crawford to name a few – and they all make it look super glamourous!

Who is your favourite celebrity knitter?

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!

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!