March 20th, 2006


Reference book comparisons

My husband was trying to be helpful at a bookstore this weekend and pointed out the Vogue Stitchionary. "Look!" he said. "It's got all sorts of stitch patterns in it!" I thanked him for his keen eye before gently telling him that this was not the only stitch pattern book around. However, it made me wonder if any overlaps might imply owning one over any others.

I know the Stitchionary was brought up about two weeks ago in reference to "appropriateness for a beginner." I'd like to know how it compares with other books like the Barbara Walker treasuries. (Aside from the oversized binding, stylish cover and full-color photos, that is.) I'm sure the BWTs have way more patterns, but do they differ in style or overlap to a high degree? I suppose this is a matter of personal preference, but are the BWTs a bit "fusty" and old-fashioned more than any others? Would I have to buy both of the first two BWTs to cover the ground of the single Stitchionary? (I'm splitting hairs a bit here, I know.) Finally, how do the Stitchionary and the BWTs compare with Nicky Epstein's Knitting On/Over the Edge, aside from the obvious edge treatment focus? Any other general stitch pattern books that you've run into?

DDR bunny

Motherbear Project

I had a friend pass away over the weekend. I would like to make a bear for the mother bear project and donate it in her name. I would like to have the bear finished by the end of the week so I can give a picture of it to her husband before the funeral. I donated the money to get the pattern but they only snail mail the pattern which means it will not get to me in time. Dose anyone have a copy that they can send me so I can start working on the bear. Please tell me if the pattern is copyright and dont send it to me if it is. I dont want to break any copyright laws.
my email is higdona at nmt dot edu
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FO: Felted Catnip Mice

Disclaimer: I don't have cats. However, I'm planning on getting some soon and I felt the urge to go out and knit something for my cats-to-be.

These catnip mice are made from Elann Peruvian Highland Chunky, in Malt Heather and Light Grey Heather. The grey one is from the pattern in Stitch N Bitch Nation (except that I crocheted the ears on instead of knitting and sewing them, and I made an i-cord tail) and the brown one is from the Catnip Mouse I pattern on

They're fairly large as both patterns call for sportweight yarn and I used chunky yarn. :-) They're not larger than some of the ones I've seen in the store, though. Hopefully the cats will like getting to dig into a large toy and won't be intimidated by them.

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Not needing to do laundry at the time, I felted the mice by stuffing them lightly with plastic bag scraps and popping them in a Nalgene bottle along with some soap, some baking soda, and some smooth rocks to provide agitation. (I felt strangely as though I were drowning the poor things as I popped them in the bottle.) Quite a lot of shaking later:

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As an aside, I was amused that it seems to be cheaper to buy catnip intended for human consumption from the bulk herbs section at Whole Foods than it is to buy catnip specifically for cats. Bonus: I can make tea with the leftovers next time I overeat.

Skills learned: Knitting i-cord, M1 increases, SSK, bobbles, felting, peeling the windows from window envelopes, convincing your friend's neighbor's 3-year-old that shaking a Nalgene bottle full of knit mice and rocks is fun.


Since I had a nice windfall of free sockyarns, I kind of had to make a sock. Now it shall be stated that the majority of socks I've ever knitted have been of the ragg-sock variety.
With this nice proper sockyarn in hand, it also occured to me that perhaps trying toe-up socks would make things more interesting.

So I did. Or well I am still doing, they're not quite a pair yet.

Toe-up vs. cuff-down.

I can well see how people are sold on the toe-up concept. It does make sense and it makes for very nice socks indeed. Especially with this kind of self-patterning yarns as it make the process of toes and heels in a contrasting yarn not to break up the pattern, so much more appealing.

In fact I think I've been sold upon it myself. I'd have to have a very compelling reason to go back to the cuff-down, or at least a pattern with a patterned heel-flap. But for plain socks? - I don't think so.

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Picovoli in seed stitch?

I'd like to knit the Picovoli top. Since I thought it would look nice with a little texture and I really like the appearance of seed stitch, I was thinking of trying to make it in seed stitch instead of stockinette.

Are there any issues related to this that I should consider, besides the obvious (that I'd lose the advantage of doing all-knitting that comes with working stockinette in the round.) Will it use more yarn? Not be stretchy enough?

Also, in seed stitch I think you have to make increases in pairs to keep the "seed" pattern. That will work very well for the increases for the sleeves, but the increases and decreases for the waist shaping don't come in pairs, which will leave a band of two knits (or purls) next to each other until the next increase or decrease. Any thoughts on whether this would look bad? (I know, swatch. :-) )

Or is this just a bad idea alotgether, and I should go ahead and do the pattern in stockinette as written?
Theresa 2008

How do I block 100% baby alpaca?

I'm having one of those moments where I've knitted with something for the first time, and now I'm afraid I'll block it wrong by over- or under-blocking processing. So. Help!

I just finished the last knit stitch on a scarf made from Plymouth Yarn's 100% Baby Alpaca Grande. I've read that some people just mist it and pin; others do a full immersion with fabric softener and then dry flat. I do *not* want it to felt. So, what is your advice on blocking this so it remains beautiful and doesn't felt?

Thanks ever so much!
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    curious curious

Ribbed Bolero Pattern

Hi. I'm looking for a ribbed bolero pattern like this. I'm considering buying the book just for that single pattern, but I really don't want to. Does anyone know of a similar pattern (free or paid) that they can link me too? I've Googled for ages and can't seem to find one. I particularly like the chunky ribbing. I know I can probably add it myself to any basic bolero pattern, but I'm not very good at modifying patterns.

Thanks in advance!

Non-wool sock yarns?

I'm new to the community, having recently rediscovered knitting upon finding out that I CAN knit even with arthritis in my hands, if I use wood or bamboo needles. Score. Unfortnately, I also have very sensitive skin, which is limiting my yarn options, as I'm allergic to wool and acrylic. (Well, I'm not sure if it's an acrylic allergy so much as just that the texture on a lot of acrylics is too hard on my skin. Anyway.)

I have a couple of projects lined up (first of a pair of Wendy Cosmic ankle warmers on my needles atm, waiting for a ball of Kool Kotton to arrive to see if I can handle 50/50 cotton/acrylic to make my parents a new blanket for their cocker spaniel, placemats and a table runner out of a nifty cotton/linen blend for my SIL) so I'm not lacking for things to do... Which naturally means I'm DYING to try sock knitting. :) (I figure once I'm finished with the ankle warmers I can justify having a project for myself on the go at the same time as a gift. *g*)

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I bought two balls of Claudia's Handpainted in Carribean Blue. The colors are absolutely beautiful. The blue is so rich. I wanted a slightly lacy pattern but nothing really suited my fancy. The colors reminded me so much of the ocean, I wanted something that reflected that. So...

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Twisted stitches climbing up the sock like strands of seaweed, and yarnovers floating upward like bubbles. Anyway I'm pretty happy with it, considering it's my first time attempting a pattern. :) My mom's asked me to knit a pair for her too, so maybe I'll write the pattern down.
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seeking books, websites, patterns, ideas for patterns, etc

I'm new to knitting so my knowledge of resources is still a bit on the short side so I come to you looking for suggestions.

I'm looking for projects that are not clothing (adult or baby) or clothing accessories.
I'm thinking more along the lines of household, or health and beauty sorts of things.
Not necessarily throws/afghans or pillows..but something different possibly?bath mitts, poof scrubbies, towels...the like. other household/personal use items even....

And I'm wondering if any resouces out there that have collected this sort of project?
Books, websites, other blog groups, patterns....

I'd also be interested in hearing suggestions for projects that don't already have patterns.
I've already created my own pattern for a bar soap refillable scrubbie -- I'm workign on getting it down to share here.
So I'd be open for ideas of things that need to be created...

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    curious curious

Bad Penny--figuring ease?

I know that I can measure a favorite sweater to decide what pattern size to make for the correct amount of ease, but could I measure a t-shirt instead? Will the finer gauge knit of a t-shirt throw off the measurement enough that I'd end up with a dog sweater? Okay, so I'm exaggerating. Not a dog sweater, but one that Lana Turner or Marilyn Monroe would be happy with rather than something I (with my less spectacular figure and more modest demeanor) would be comfortable in.

I'm sitting here with yarn and needles, ready to cast on for Bad Penny, and I'd like it to fit like my very favoritest tees--close but not skintight. I have a 40 inch bust and the t-shirt is only 34 inches around. Does this seem right? Six inches negative ease seems awfully excessive, doesn't it?

This is my first sweater, and I'd really like to start off right. Help?

EDIT: I'm planning on using Cotton-Ease to knit the sweater, hoping that the acrylic will have enough stretch so it doesn't get all saggy and floppy. I'm also considering adding some waist shaping like Picovoli has.

FO and Pattern Comments

PatternTrapper Hat from Vogue Knitting, Winter 05-06 issue.
YarnBlue Sky Alpaca Bulky in Camouflage. Suggested yarn was the same kind, but in white.
NeedlesSize 13, 16" circular and dpns
CommentsThe Yarn: Ok, this pattern calls for 3 skeins of the suggested yarn. At around $10-$15/skein, that's not cheap. I just happened to have this yarn already and didn't want to use it for a scarf like I originally planned, so I figured this was the perfect project. I didn't take into account the fact that 3 skeins at 100g each = very heavy hat. It's wearable, but extremely warm and extremely heavy. If you want to make it, please beware that unless you're in a very cold climate, you won't likely use it much.

Why Vogue irritates me sometimes: From the picture, I thought it had earflaps. It wasn't until I started that I realized it's actually a back-flap.

The sizing: The size is listed at 26", and it definitely is. I guess it's not intended to be a close fitting hat, as I have a 21" head and it does fit me OK. I could stand to have it a couple inches smaller still. I think it might work better on a big burly hunter-man. Too bad I don't know any.

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28 days later

Compression sleeve

To make a long story short, the captain of my school's men's ultimate frisbee team did me a big favor, and I told him I'd knit him something. He requested a compression sleeve for his elbow. I have a general plan for the sleeve: a tube of 1x1 ribbing with an oversized "buttonhole" at the elbow to allow movement. Here is my question to you all:

What type/brand of yarn would you suggest? I am fairly set at this point on Cascade Fixation (98.3% cotton/1.7% elastic), but I didn't want to go and buy it forgetting about some HUGE potential problem. I figure since ultimate is a spring/summer sport, wool would be no good. And washable would be good.


Lace pattern request

In the course of leafing through Barbara Walker's Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns, I've become taken with the idea of a 'Thistle and Shamrock' table runner using some combination of the 'Thistle Leaf Pattern' on p. 290 of that book, and a lace pattern that's evocative of shamrocks or clover.  I've scoured the stitch dictionaries I have on hand (the aforementioned Walker book, and a Reader's Digest Guide to Needlework), and I've googled without finding anything.  I'm picturing something with 3 or 4 eyelets arranged like the leaves of a shamrock around and atop a 'stem' of raised stitches.  Do any of you know of a source where I might find such a thing?  I'm willing to buy more books, if there happens to be something perfect in another stitch treasury, I'd just like pointers for where to look.  If I can't find an already-created stitch pattern, I'll try designing something myself, but if there's something already out there I'd like to spare myself the effort. 

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These circs are driving me crazy!

I'm working on the pinwheel baby blanket, and I just moved from double pointed needles to 16" circs. I just bought them, and they're really tight. I'm trying to mush them down and make them more flexible, but they're really hard to knit with. Any suggestions/tricks to loosen them up, or do I just have to suffer until I can switch to the longer ones?

i'm pretty sure i know the answer but...

Not sure if anyone has knit this pattern, or has any suggestions but... I'm about to begin working on the Shell Border T-Shirt from Lanaknits... it's a simple t-shirt knitted in the round with 100 percent hemp yarn. It has a pretty simple shell border on the edge, but other than that it's basic stockinette. The pattern wants me to use size 2 needles at first, and then after I've finished the shell border to switch to size 5s. Essentially, it wants me to use the smaller needles for only 8 rows of the pattern, and then for the neckline. I don't really want to spend the money on a set of size 2 32" circulars. Is it necessary to use smaller needles?? I'll get them if I absolutely have to, but I'd also really like to get started on this pattern tonight at my LYS is closed.
Hi I like you

Magknits Bee hat and booties

First post here!

I'm planning to make MagKnit's Bumblebee hat and booties set for a friend's new baby (due the first week of April--I have to start, but I also have to finish term papers!).
I'm not too worried about it--it looks pretty simple, and I'm a pretty solid knitter--but was wondering if anyone had made it, or has any tips.
I think I'm going to use KnitPick's Shine Worsted in Ebony and Sunflower (the yellow seems a bit darker than I'd like, but it was the best deal I could find for something washable!)
Also, any tips on size?  The baby's dad tells me that s/he is already big and not born yet, so i guess it should be reasonably big--but it's almost (well, maybe) summer!
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