Sunday, October 28, 2007

Garter Stitch Stripes are a Good Thing!

When I started knitted the 9 x 9 inch squares for the Pine Street Inn Knit-a-thon blanket project I was very excited to be using my 365 Knitting Stitches a Year Calendar Book, trying out the various stitches. It was fun...but I started running into difficulties. I couldn't depend on the fact that if I cast on a given number of stitches I would end up with a 9 x 9 inch square. Finally I caved in and started knitting boring garter stitch stripes. Actually I didn't find them boring at all. They were rather fun and I was actually using up quite a bit of my little odd balls of yarn. You know what I mean. We all have those "too little to do much of anything with balls" of yarn or" too afraid to start anything balls". These garter stitch stripe squares really turned out to be my favorite. I just knew if I cast on 38 stitches (size 6 needle) the way I knit with worsted weight yarn I would end up with a 9 inch square in the end. How could that be simpler and in my case therapeutic as well. Lately that's the kind of knitting that suits me best :)

Here are the a few of the ones I fiddled with before coming to my senses:
A tri-color (until I ran out of blue and switched to white) Double Woven (a.k.a DW cloth) from Oct. 20 and
Garter Stitch Ridges ( Sept. 22 ) and Checkerboard (June 19).

Our church's fundraising website has been doing pretty well in addition to the knitting of the squares. It will be very interesting to find out the actual number of squares knitted by everyone. I knitted 15. I wish it could have been more, but I just have to move on to other things.

Now, to change the subject....drum roll please....I won my very first blog contest ( and I didn't do anything out of the ordinary either)! Thanks to Jeanne of Jeanne Knits, I being her 2001st commenter, she so generously gifted me with a wonderful gift certificate to Yarn Chef. There are so many beautiful yarns at Yarn Chef that I am really looking forward to picking out some pretty yarn for a new I just have to figure out what I want to make and then I'll be all set. I was really having a rough week and you really helped me through it. Thank you so much Jeanne :)

Well, here we go again...another week and can you believe it October is just about gone. Where is the time going? Don't know what I would do without my knitting, because I do think that's what keeps me sane. While I may not always have time to be blogging, I do make sure I can get some knitting in some way or another :)

happy knitting :)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Small Clutch from Recycled Grocery Bags by Patti

I can't take credit for the knitting in this post, but none the less I had to share this with you. Patti (Knitting by Patti - Patti doesn't have a blog, but she has an awesome photo album filled to the brim with lots of wonderful handmade items - please go and check it out for'll be glad you did.) emailed me yesterday. Here's what she wrote:

I was very impressed by the idea of knitting with plastic grocery bags.
So, I thought I'd give it a try. I thought I'd start out small, and just use the garter stitch to see how it knits up.
I continued and it was easier to knit with than I thought!
So, I continued knitting and then was trying to think of something to make with this rectangle I had on my needles............
I came up with a clutch, and even put velcro on it for a closure and also made a chain stitch piece for a handle, which can be placed in or out, according to whether you want to use the handle or not.
Thanks so much, and I would like to try something larger in the future. Right now I have other projects in the works, but had to stop and try knitting with the plastic bags.
I've attached a link of couple pics of the clutch for you to see.
Once you are on this link, you can hit next to see the 2nd pic-
Thanks again,
Patti :-)"

To make a long story short - this is what she came up with:
A wonderful small clutch.... knitted from....well...yes...plastic bags! Isn't it cute and I think it's quite stylish! She says small...but it sure holds quite a bit: wallet, eyeglass case, lip gloss and a few other items. When I first saw it I thought to myself, now that would make a great coupon organizer... but according to Patti it probably would be a tad too big. I'm sure it could be scaled down. She uses velcro as a closure. Isn't Patti clever? Here is a photo of what this mighty clutch will hold:Patti very kindly gave me permission to post her pattern to make the clutch in case anyone is interested. This would be a great little project to see if you like knitting with plastic before you get too involved in one of the big bags. Patti was amazed at how easy it was :) Thank you Patti for sharing your pattern with us.

Small Clutch from Recycled Grocery Bags
Finsihed Size Approximately 7 1/2 inches wide by 5 1/2 inches tall
Materials Needed
#13 knitting needles (next time I will go a bit smaller)
Plastic bags prepared, cut in strips then looped together
Tapestry Needle
One Velcro hook & loop closure
Thread (embroidery)
Cast on 17 stitches
knitted in garter stitch for approx. 10 inches
Then start the decrease to make the flap or leave it and it will be straight across.
Decrease one stitch on each side of every other row (2 & 3rd stitch knit together, and next to last stitch and last stitch knit together) until there are approx. a 2 inches left.
Cast off.
Assemble Bag
Fold up the bottom to just before the decrease starts.
Stitch the sides up using a tapestry needle and the plastic yarn. I used the mattress stitch.
Use a velcro closure for the flap ( I used pressure sensitive back, then put a few stitches with thread).
Make a chain or I-cord with the plastic yarn for the handle.
Loop it thru on the upper corner of the clutch-

Copyright © 2007 Knitting by Patti, All Rights Reserved.

Questions or comments you can contact Patti via email at patsch819(at)verizon(dot)net

Friday, October 12, 2007

Squares for Pine Street Inn

Even though I should be starting another baby blanket I am taking a detour and knitting for a very worthy cause. Squares for Pine Street Inn (Boston, MA) to make blankets and raise funds for a housing program for the formerly homeless. A Knit-a-thon to knit 9" x 9" suares and assemble blankets will take place on November 4, 2007 at the Women's Inn at Pine Street in Boston. For more information you can check out the brochure which I found on Major Knitter's Blog. I am knitting my squares as a part of my church's team which is dedicated to this effort. The goal is for us to make as many squares as we can. Hopefully lots of beautiful blankets will be the result of this wonderful project. Here's what I've done so far: All of my square patterns were based on my 365 Knitting Stitches a Year Calendar Book. I really have enjoyed figuring out and knitting the squares. Like dishcloths they are a pretty quick knit. My first one is "Garter Stitch Steps" - March 28 which is a bit wonky. I slipped the first stitch of every row but miscalculated and that's why the borders are off. I used Phentex Chunky Yarn - Fawn which has been in my stash forever and it feels very good to put it to good use.
This next square is "Eyelet Mock Cable Rib Stitch" - June 11.
This next one is knitted from some blue phentex yarn (label missing) with which I used the "Waffle Stitch" pattern - September 1. I think this one is my favorite so far. I really like how this worked out and it was so easy. I can really see this one as a dishcloth :)

Lastly, I think most of you will recognize this pattern. Yes, it is the "Baby Genius Burp Cloth" Pattern from the Mason Dixon Knitting Book. Interestingly though I found the stitch pattern which is called "Slip Stitch Stripe" - May 28 in the calendar! On this one I ran out of the blue yarn and had to finish the square with the fawn.

Well, I think I'm off to a good start. No more chunky yarn. Now off to find more patterns. I think I may be using some of the "tried and true" (dishcloth patterns) as well.

Happy Knitting :)

Friday, October 05, 2007

Quick Fix!

After finishing the baby blanket I proceeded to get my quick fix...tried a couple of new dishcloth patterns and a new twist (thanks to CeElle for the inspiration) on a trusted old favorite - the ballband. When I saw the mosaic flower dishcloths on Ravelry I knew I had to give it a try. The pattern is part of a great little booklet called Lily Sugar 'n Cream Kitchen Kolors!. (#570821) For $3.95 (easy to find at Joann's and don't forget your 40% off coupons) you get a collection of 8 patterns 4 crocheted and 4 knitted. There is one crocheted one on the cover I am tempted to try. Ever since Monika has chronicled her mosaic blanket creation I have wanted to try my hand at mosaic squares, BUT hakucho and charts do not do very well together. I do not enjoy knitting with a chart. I don't know why. Maybe I need to concentrate too much. I get too when I realized that these instruction were written out I was very excited. For those of you like me who shy away from charts I'd recommend you give these a try. I can see these becoming very addictive with all the possible color combos.

Today, off I went to the post office early and mailed a package to my sister for her birthday. She's the one receiving these three cloths in addition to three more I had ready and waiting. All color coordinated. Hope she likes them.

Sure hope everyone has a lovely Columbus Day Weekend. Here in Massachusetts summer has returned. I've been a bad blogger lately, life really is busy at the moment. Sure hope things will slow down so I can visit all my friends and catch up with your news. Just know I wish you all well and you are all in my thoughts! Happy knitting :)