Note: This is the third installment of our Spring 2013 Knit-Along. To view previous posts, click here.
This week the weather where I live seems to be right on cue for our Spring Knit Along with sunny, warm days all this last week. Working with Cotton-Ease for this project has been perfect for these days where my windows are open and I can already be found knitting on my porch. This week I finished the back of the Tranquil Tank Top.
The back is the simpler half of this top with only ribbing and stockinette stitch (and a little shaping thrown in.) The lace will appear after we finish the bottom of the front. As I was knitting the back, I remembered a few things that will make sure this top will fit and look great. All of the sizes of this pattern call for the bottom ribbing to measure 9” before starting the stockinette stitch pattern for the upper part of the back.
When I thought I had knit the full 9” of ribbing, I remembered that measuring ribbing can be a little tricky as ribbing should be measured slightly stretched before I measure. What I thought was 9” was actually not even 8 ½” when I measured it slightly stretched. Working a longer piece of ribbing can create this effect, so it is always good to just slightly stretch your ribbing before measuring the length. Take a look at this picture below – I have just stretched the ribbing a little and it measures 9”.
My last row of my ribbing was a wrong side (WS) row, which started with 2 purls and ended with 2 purls. I want to make sure that the ribbings to both my back and my front will have 2 knits on each side of the right side (RS). (You can see this is in the first picture above.) Making sure the ribbings of the front and back are worked the same will make it much easier to sew up the sides for a very nice finish. The stockinette stitch started with a knit row on the RS, where there are 2 knit stitches on each edge of the ribbing. I will keep this in mind when I start the lace part of the front.
After binding off for the armholes, there are some decreases that I can see will be very important for the lace patterns on the front. The back is a good place to try these decreases – especially if you have never done an “ssk” before.
Though it’s often the 4th of July that we think of for cookouts, May is actually National Barbecue Month! It’s no surprise, really, as May is often the first chance we get to start enjoying warmer weather and pulling the cover off the once snow-covered grill out on the patio. With Memorial Day upon us in just a few short weeks, you may have a barbecue of your own to start preparing for, and why not work on something other than a menu? These patterns, from our site and Ravelry, are the perfect projects to celebrate National Barbecue Month–and enjoy straight through until Labor Day!
|Show off your patriotic side with this easy-to-crochet apron, made with Cotton-Ease. With a pocket in the front for your grilling tools or recipe, this apron is the perfect addition to your barbecue repertoire. Get the pattern here.|
|These simple grill mitts make grabbing hot skewers from the grill easy as can be. They can be knitted or crocheted in Lion Cotton or Kitchen Cotton in whatever color you fancy. Get the knit version here, or get the crochet version here.|
I’m a sucker for new yarns. I’ve been crocheting since I was eight and knitting since high school, and I’ve realized that sometimes I get myself into a rut: making the same patterns over and over again, using the same yarn or colors, or not stopping to learn new techniques. Each time I see a new yarn make its way into the department, it’s a new opportunity for me to pet something new and dream up different projects. Our newest yarn, Heartland was no exception. I sat down on the floor in front of all of the colors on Friday afternoon, just before my lunch break, and snagged two skeins that looked too precious to pass up: Great Smoky Mountains, which is a gorgeous multi-dimensional tweedy charcoal gray, and Denali, a pale, heathery pink. Of course, anybody who knows me at all knows that pink is my go-to color for almost everything, but I decided that, for whichever project I chose, I’d let the gray do most of the talking. How could I not? With all those different shades in there, it seemed like it had a lot to say–you know, visually. I only talk to my yarn when nobody else is around.
Our hugely popular yarn, Fettuccini, is finally back in stock after blowing off the shelves and selling out several weeks ago. And just in time! Earth Day may have been yesterday, but all of April is Earth Month, and every day is a great opportunity to be eco-friendly. As many Fettuccini enthusiasts already know, this unique yarn is made with remnants of jersey fabric used to create garments. The remnants would otherwise be discarded, so we’re thrilled to breathe a little new life into this special fiber. In honor of its (re-)arrival, I’ve rounded up a handful of the great items you can knit, crochet or craft with this yarn. Click here to learn more about Fettuccini, browse colors and place your order today!
Earth Day is less than a week away, and that means sustainability, eco-friendliness, and recycling is at the forefront of many people’s minds. While crafting is by definition the creation of something new, there’s no reason not to be sustainable while doing so! Lion Brand has an array of different fibers that are eco-friendly, whether that means all-natural, organic fibers or recycled materials. I’ll be featuring all of these great green products over the next week. Today, let’s take a look at Recycled Cotton! This worsted weight blend is made with 72% recycled cotton that is sorted by color to minimize the amount of dye needed to churn out the finished product. The cotton comes from leftover fabric from the production of tee shirts that would otherwise be discarded, much like our Zpagetti yarn. Ready to get started? Here’s a round up of my top ten favorite patterns using Recycled Cotton.
|Crochet Driftwood Pullover||Knit Spring Essential Top|
Spring has finally sprung, and it feels great to transition into a different wardrobe. Spring is a fun season because you can show off multiple pieces with layered outfits, play around with bright and bold colors, or add just a touch of color with soft and sophisticated pastels. Pastel colors aren’t just for babies, as they have become quite popular this season, and they’re an easy family of colors to incorporate into your knitwear.
Pastels add classic sophistication to an outfit, and they pair great with neutrals like gray, white and beige. Below, I’ve gathered a few patterns already knit or crocheted in pastel colors to help you determine what kind of pastel piece you’d like to add to your wardrobe. I personally love the Eyelet Swing Cardi in LB Collection Cotton Bamboo; it would pair very nicely with slim fitting khaki pants and a white top/tank. Take a look at some of the options below for more pastel inspiration (click on the photos to access the patterns on LionBrand.com):
Knit Ballet Wrap
Superwash Merino Cashmere: Seafoam
Crochet Spring Pastel Scarf
Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton:
Crochet Modern Lace Shawl
Martha Stewart CraftsTM/MC Extra Soft Wool Blend:
Crochet Pearl’s Cardigan
Crochet Beach Cover Up
Knit Eyelet Swing Cardi
LB Collection Cotton Bamboo: Gardenia
Thinking of incorporating a pastel piece into your knitwear? Share your thoughts on what type of pastel project you’d like to work on in the comments!
Designer and teacher Heather Lodinsky joins us to share tips on reading your knitting.
For the last two decades, I have been a freelance designer writing patterns for knitters and crocheters. For just as long, I have taught knitting at my local yarn shop three times a week here in Buffalo, New York. These two jobs of mine have always complemented each other. Knitters (and want-to-be knitters) walk in for instruction and help with their projects. I always want the knitters that come to my class to be happy with their knitting and not feel the urge to throw their projects in the back of a closet to become a so-called “UFO” (Unfinished Object). From the very start, I like to get students familiar with “reading” their knitting, so that they can identify what stitches they are working, understand what they have already done and know where they are going with their knitting. Think of this “reading” or identifying your stitches as your own knitting “GPS”…or compass for those of us “pre-techies”.
Probably the most amazing revelation for me as a knitter was when I realized (after many years of knitting) that the knit stitch and the purl stitch are the exact same stitch—but they are done on the opposite sides of the fabric. We are taught as knitters that if you knit every row you will get that wonderful, reversible ridge fabric named “garter” stitch—shown below.
So, what happens when we purl every row? Garter Stitch again!
It’s the beginning of spring, and we’re celebrating this joyous season on the blog with topics related to babies, nature, and more. Today, you’ll have the chance to enter our giveaway, where you could win 5 different color skeins to make the beautiful, pastel toned Summer Stripes Baby Afghan.
Thanks to Fiskars (The World’s #1 Scissor Brand™), we’re also providing you with scissors to cut your yarn as you move on to the next color. You’ll get the chance to win The Original Orange-Handled Scissors™, which is great for cutting yarn and fabric; and the 4″ Folding Scissors™ for crafting on the go (which I personally have and LOVE).
ONE LUCKY WINNER will receive this prize; Good luck! Contest ends on Friday, April 19 at 5:00 p.m. EST
Please note: Comments left on this blog post do NOT count as entries. Please click on the link above to enter.
*Update 4/22/13: This contest is now closed, and the lucky winner is Sandra McClain!
|Author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Knitting & Crocheting Barbara Breiter joins us for her monthly column on techniques that people frequently ask about.
For super quick projects, nothing beats knitting (or crocheting!) with thick yarn or multiple strands and big needles. You can knit up an afghan in a fraction of the time it would take to make with worsted weight yarn and, for example, size 8 needles.
Larger needles are considered to be US sizes 15, 17, 19, 35, and 50. Particularly with the largest of needles, you may find them cumbersome at first…but remember how awkward knitting with any size needle was when you first began? With a bit of practice, you’ll be handling these jumbo size needles just like smaller ones. Because of the heft, size 35 and 50 are almost always plastic, but as with any needle size, you’ll find different options out on the market.
|Knit 2 Hour Tweed Scarf|
Have you ever noticed just how many different ways there are to make a sweater? You could make it in one-piece from the top-down or bottom-up. You could make it piecemeal with a front, back, and sleeves. You could knit it from sleeve to sleeve. You could even make it in many modular pieces!
For those who are new to the world of garment-making, a great place to start is a baby sweater. They’re small, so they don’t take a lot of yarn or time commitment (and babies don’t mind a mistake in the knitting here or there). Here are just a few of the different sweaters that we’ve designed–and if you click through to view their schematics, you’ll get a sense of just how differently each one is made! Make one (or make them all) and get some practice so that you feel ready to take on an adult sweater of your own!
|Sunrise Stripes Pullover
Features a classic raglan construction, where you knit from the top-down, dividing for the bodies and sleeves.
|One-Piece Baby Pullover
This sweater is created from the lower edge of the front, knit up to the top of the neck and sleeves and back down to the bottom of the back.