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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bead Knitting Hatband

My workshop teaching date (Thursday, June 7, 2012) for "Knitting with Beads" at this year's Estes Park Wool Market is coming closer and closer. The handouts are done and I am sorting out what beads and samples I should bring along for participants to touch, feel and explore. But as usual, my mind is running wild and comes up with more and more designs. I just can't keep up! :)

Bead Knitting Hatband
In this case, I was mulling over ideas for a sample that could showcase bead knitting (every stitch has a bead knitted through it, on both, RS and WS rows, so that the yarn doesn't show at all), a technique that was very popular during the Victorian time period when you would see some amazing bead designs for coin pockets or evening purses.

With bead knitting, no yarn shows

But I was looking for something more practical for our times and came up with this arrowhead/chevron design for a hatband. Here out West, the rodeo season is upon us and we ladies like to dress up in some sparkling Western wear. :)

It's a great little project to try your hand on bead knitting.

After deciding what beads to use (size 6/0 Czech glass beads in 4 colors)) and what kind of pattern I would like to see, it was a surprisingly quick project; about 30-45 minutes of pre-stringing the beads, ~4 hours of knitting, and ~20 minutes of sewing it to the hat. Definitely a good choice for a weekend project.

Brown #10 crochet thread and size 6/0 Czech seed beads in 4 colors.

And just to show you how my mind zooms off and gets ideas - for just a moment there, I thought, I saw a beaded rattlesnake emerge from the work in progress... do you see it too?

Doesn't this look like a little rattlesnake?
So, keep your eyes open and put down your knitting from time to time. You never know what you will find. :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Apple Fruit Cozy

Another school year is coming to a close and it's time to figure out a little token of appreciation for my boys' teachers...

It's a little bit more complicated this year as our school district instantiated a law that allows teacher's gifts to be of a max. value of $25. So, no more pooling together money from the class to purchase a more substantial gift card or class gift. It might be considered a bribe! Even though these kids are leaving the teacher...

Good thing I'm a crafter! I zoomed over to Ravelry and started surfing patterns that could be potential gifts for teachers and I came across this really cute Pear Apply Cozy by Susan B. Anderson. Her blog entry has the actual knitting instructions.

I used Hobby Lobby's Yarn Bee Snowflake Wool Blend (color: #16 Caliope; 56% wool, 44% polyester) for the cozy and then added two leaves in Snowflake#5 Limelight, knit on US #3 (3.25 mm) needles.

The instructions for one leaf are:

CO 3 sts.
Work I-cord for about 1”.
Row 1 (RS): K1, yo, k1, yo, k1. 5 sts
Row 2 and all WS rows: knit.
Row 3: K2, yo, k1, yo, k2. 7 sts
Row 5: K3, yo, k1, yo, k3. 9 sts
Row 7: K4, yo, k1, yo, k4. 11 sts
Row 9: K5, yo, k1, yo, k5. 13 sts
Row 11: Ssk, k9, k2tog. 11 sts
Row 13: Ssk, k7, k2tog. 9 sts
Row 15: Ssk, k5, k2tog. 7 sts
Row 17: Ssk, k3, k2tog. 5 sts
Row 19: Ssk, k1, k2tog. 3 sts
Row 21: Sl1 kwise, k2tog, psso. 1 sts
Break yarn and weave in.
Use beg yarn tail to sew I-cord to apple fruit cozy.

What a cute, useful and quick to make gift it is!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Chevron Sweater (for Kollage Yarns)

Yippee, I can finally blog about my exclusively designed Chevron Sweater (product #3807) for Kollage Yarns!

Photos by Kollage Yarns
It's the perfect sweater for those in between seasons, i.e. Spring and Fall, and it works well with your jeans as it is knit with yarn made from recycled jeans! Love it! :D

The yarn is called Riveting Worsted, is made of 100% recycled yarn from recycled blue jeans and comes in 9 wonderful colors (163 yd/149 m per 3.5 oz/ 100g). And even though it is a typical, thicker weight cotton, it makes for a nice, soft drape as you can see in the photo above.

The sweater itself is an A-line sweater with a square neckline and instead of just straight horizontal stripes at the bottom, I've turned the stripes into a variation of a chevron pattern with vertical eyelet columns.

Swatch knit with Red Heart Eco-Cotton Blend
My original swatch was a bit more colorful (I love color) and I've posted it here to give you another color combination option.


The body is worked in the round from the bottom up, then the piece is split into front and back and worked separately back and forth.

For the top part, the eyelets are replaced by M1 increases to from a less revealing fabric.

The sleeve is worked back and forth and and has a sleeve cap for a nice fit. A double eyelet column runs down the center of the sleeve for added visual interest.

I think it makes for a fresh but classic sweater design.

You can purchase this pattern for $7.50 via Kollage Yarns' website.

Happy Knitting!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Seaglass Shell Follow-Up

Wow, I am blown away by how well the Seaglass Shell has been received by the knitting community! It really seems to have hit a cord... The number of hearts this design has received so far on Ravelry is just amazing! And it's rapidly closing in on a 1000 hearts!
Thank you, thank you so much for your love and posting wonderful pictures of your completed projects. :)

It's always a nail biter for me to see how a design turns out when somebody else knits it. Sure, I've knit the sample and done the math but you never know if it looks the same/similar when knit with different yarn and for different body types. So far, they all look fabulous! Great job, fellow knitters! :D

We even started a KAL thread on Ravelry where you can ask questions if you need help and where you can show off your finished piece.

One of the requests I've noticed on some of the forums was to see the front of the Seaglass Shell. Here are my personal (non-professional) pictures that show the Seaglass Shell from different sides including the front:

Different views of the Seaglass Shell (photos by Daniela Nii)
Hope this helps you to decide if you would like to cast on for this wonderful summer shell.