Well, I have finished the Tranquil Tank Top and it is still Spring! It has been great to see pictures of the finished tops that many of you have created during our Spring Knit Along. If you have not finished, don’t worry – we will keep the posts of this KAL available long after this final post. (Click here to view previous posts.)
Finishing this top was a fairly quick job, with only 4 seams and sewing the bottom of the left front to the inside of the right front. No sleeves to set in or stitches to pick up!
After I finished my front, I turned it over and used some detachable stitch markers to make sure those cast-on stitches for the left front would lay flat and even (I could also have used safety pins for this.) Just as basting is necessary in machine-sewing a final seam, having your pieces in the correct spot with pins or markers assures that the finishing will progress evenly.
Father’s Day is June 16th, so now is the perfect time to get started on a personalized handmade gift for that special Dad you know. I’ve rounded up a few fun patterns perfect for showing the father in your life how special he is. Choose a pattern that really suits his personality, or perhaps one that’s related to a hobby, or his career. Whether your guy likes to rock out on the guitar, or relax and be comfortable on the couch – there’s a pattern suitable for everyone!
Knit Commemorative Police Throw
Click here for crochet version
Knit Dad Style Vertical Stripe Tie
Knit Wired Dad Remote Caddy
Knit Father’s Day Socks
|Knit Felted Guitar Strap
Click here for crochet version
How do you like to personalize your gifts for men? Do you pay attention to the color, does the pattern have a meaningful repeat? Share with us in the comments!
Looking for beginner projects that look spectacular? I ask Jackie Smyth, Lion Brand’s technical editor, about her recommendations on three easy-to-make, high impact afghans that are perfect gift projects.
What are gift ideas for beginner knitters and crocheters?
A classic handknit or hand-crocheted gift is definitely the afghan or throw. You many not realize it, but some of our favorite afghan patterns here in the design department are actually beginner patterns. “Beginner” just refers to the different skills required to make an item, not how it ends up looking. I’ve picked out three really beautiful beginner afghans — that all look more advanced than they really are — to share with you today.
|Knit Sunshine Day Baby Throw||Knit “My Blankie”||Crochet Candy Shop Afghan|
Can you tell us a little about them?
The first pattern is our Sunshine Day Baby Throw for kids. It’s made in pieces and each piece is simply made with two different strands of yarn, worked in stockinette stitch. The two contrasting colors work up together to look like tweed, which gives it more depth and interest. The second pattern is called “My Blankie” and it’s also a great gift item. The stripes are also each done in two strands of contrasting yarn, which gives it a tweedy look. Both items are simple, knit blankets perfect for kids because they’re made with washable yarns — the first with Cotton-Ease and the second with Vanna’s Choice.
They’re both really beautiful patterns. What about a beginner afghan as a gift for an adult?
I’d like to recommend our crocheted Candy Shop Afghan in Hometown USA, because it has such vibrant colors and coordinates with any decor. This project is made in pieces that are later sewn together, which makes it portable and easy to make when you’re on the go.
So what are the key take-aways for our readers?
Beginner patterns can be beautiful. Look for patterns that use multiple strands of yarn for visual interest, and look for patterns that are made in pieces for portability.
For more afghan patterns, visit our Pattern Finder.
A version of this article first ran in The Weekly Stitch newsletter in October 2007. Click here to sign up for the newsletter and get articles, free patterns, and exclusive offers in your inbox each week.
A few weeks ago, we posted some photos of the food-inspired crochet art of textile artist Kate Jenkins on our Facebook page, and it started quite a conversation! Lots of people found these projects to be super fun; in addition to being decorative, some have also mentioned how great they are for babies and children’s toys. So, in honor Memorial Day and the kicking off of BBQ season, I thought it would only be appropriate to share some of my favorite knit and crochet food patterns!
|Crochet Eggplant||Crochet Apple||Crochet Corn on the Cob|
Note: This is the fifth installment of our Spring 2013 Knit-Along. To view previous posts, click here.
Last week, I finished the left front of the Tranquil Tank Top and this week I have knitted the right side. I really like how this pattern immediately proceeds to the opposite side of the fronts. The right front is the side that is on the outside and is completely worked from stitches that are part of the ribbing. For the left side, I had to cast on stitches, and although these cast on stitches may appear a little loose or uneven, there are no worries as the cast on edge of the left front will be sewn down and hidden on the inside:
Technical editor and yarncrafting expert returns to share tips on finishing your crochet projects. Join her next month for tips on finishing your knitting project. Click here to yesterday’s blog post; click here to see Sunday’s blog post.
The final touch for many projects is an edging. Below are photos of three samplers showing a variety of edgings. Instructions for each of the edgings follow the photos. Most of the edgings are quick and easy, some require a little more patience and skill. The edgings are grouped by type.
Make an adjustable ring.
Rnd 1: Ch 1, sc in ring, hdc in ring, (ch 1, 2 dc in ring) 5 times, ch 1; do not join, work in continuous rnds (spiral) – 12 sts and 6 ch-1 sps at the end of this rnd. Place marker for beg of rnd. Move marker up as each rnd is completed.
Rnd 2: (2 dc in each of next 2 dc, ch 1, sk next ch-1 sp) 6 times – 24 dc and 6 ch-1 sps (4 dc each between ch-1 sps) at the end of this rnd.
Rnds 3-8: (2 dc in first dc, dc in each dc to 1 st before next ch-1 sp, 2 dc in next dc, ch 1, sk next ch-1 sp) 6 times – 60 dc and 6 ch-1 sps (10 sts each between ch-1 sps) at the end of Rnd 8.
Rnd 9: Hdc in next st, (sc in each st to next ch-1 sp, ch 1, sk next ch-1 sp) 6 times.
Slip St: Sl st in next 10 sts, ch 1, sk next ch-1 sp.
Overlapping Sc2tog: Sc2tog, (beg in same st as 2nd leg of last sc2tog made, sc2tog) 9 times, ch 1, sk next ch-1 sp.
Slip St in Back Loop Only: Working in back loops only, sl st in next 10 sts, ch 1, sk next ch-1 sp.
Reverse Single Crochet on WS: Turn piece so that WS is facing you, ch 1, rev sc in next 10 sts, turn piece so that RS is facing you, ch 1, sk next ch-1 sp. Note: Reverse single crochet (rev sc) is worked like single crochet (sc) except that you work in the opposite direction (from left to right if you are right-handed, and from right to left if you are left-handed).
Crossed Single Crochet: (Sk next st, sc in next st, sc in skipped st) 5 times, ch 1, sk next ch-1 sp.
Reverse Single Crochet on RS: Cut yarn, draw up a loop in last ch-1 sp, ch 1, rev sc in next 10 sts.
Technical editor and yarncrafting expert Kj Hay returns to share tips on finishing your crochet projects. Join her next month for tips on finishing your knitting project. Click here to see her previous blog post.
Weaving in well is so very important. If your ends are not woven in well, your ends could come loose and stick out making your piece look messy. Or worse, your work could come unraveled when the piece is used or laundered. There are two very important things to remember for successful weaving in; 1) Leave a long tail, 2) Always weave the tail in more than one direction.
Always leave a long tail, at least 6″. When cutting the yarn, it is no time to be stingy. Cutting your tails short will not save you much money and is likely to cause you a great deal of frustration.
Technical editor and yarncrafting expert returns to share tips on finishing your crochet projects. Join her next month for tips on finishing your knitting project.
A great crochet ending begins with fastening off and weaving in. It may also include a great edging. Over the next three days, we will cover these three topics as well as tips and tricks for each one.
Click on any of the images to enlarge them.
You may think there’s not much to say about fastening off, and if you think this you are a little bit right and a little bit wrong. After all, fastening off simply involves cutting the yarn, leaving a long tail, and ensuring that the tail is secured. But, there are subtle ways to vary the fastening off process, especially when working in rounds, to achieve different results.
Perhaps the most common way to fasten off is finish the last stitch of a row or round, cut the yarn, draw the tail all the way through the last loop on the hook, and pull to tighten the resulting knot. This method forms a small, knot near the top of the last stitch. This knot is usually pretty secure and after carefully weaving in the tail the piece is at little risk of unraveling.
Sometimes the little knot can leave a noticeable bump on the edge of a piece. Accordingly, some people fasten off without leaving a knot. Instead of completing the last stitch and then drawing the tail through the last loop on the hook, the tail is drawn all the way through when working the final yarn over of the last stitch. This omits the knot and tiny bump. To be sure that this type of fastening off is sufficiently secure, extra care must be taken weaving in the end.
Flowers have bloomed, the sun is out longer, the temperatures have risen, and – we’re at the beginning of wedding season!
Since many of you are probably looking for handmade elements to include in the ceremony or reception, I’ve gathered a roundup of some of our lovely wedding patterns to help you or the bride-to-be find the perfect wedding project. From bridal accessories, to reception decor and gifts, there’s surely a pattern to help inspire you!
*Pattern in image: Amigurumi Two Peas in a Pod
Crochet Bridal Shawl
Knit Eyelet Shawl
Crochet Bridal Shrug
Note: This is the fourth installment of our Spring 2013 Knit-Along. To view previous posts, click here.
This week, I have been working on the front of the Tranquil Tank Top and after nine inches of ribbing at the bottom, I’m ready to tackle the lace and cable part of the top! Before I started the lace, I made sure my ribbing for the front was not only the same length as the back, but that the right side (RS) of my ribbing was the same as the RS of my back ribbing. I had two knit stitches on each side edge of the back ribbing, and I made sure I did the same for the front. Double checking this will allow me to sew side seams that will look seamless when finishing.
The left and right upper sides of the front are written in chart form instead of written instructions in this pattern. When I first glanced at the instructions, I was surprised to see six pages of charts! Then, when I looked a little closer, I saw that there are actually two charts for each of the three sizes. This will make for easier chart reading, rather than having all the sizes included on just one or two charts. I happened to print out all the pages of this pattern before I saw this, so I took out the four pages of charts that I will not need to make my size. That way there will be less chance of confusion as I start the charts. We need to start with the left front, so here is the left front chart of for the Large size: (Note that you can view charts for all sizes by clicking on the pattern link.)