Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I bought a couple of books...

I have wanted Nancy Bush's sock books for a very long time... now I have two of them :-)
"Knitting vintage socks" and "Folk socks".
I also bought Solveig Hisdal's "Poem in stitches" in Swedish.
Fourth new book in my collection is Lena Nessle's "Knitting with plant dyed yarns" - also in Swedish.

I am a little disappointed with "Folk Socks"... I expected more patterns, and a little more advanced patterns. But I will be knitting my own Norwegian Stockings ;-)

I am very disappointed with "Poem in stitches", as there is not one pattern I can knit without adjusting it for myself. I think knitting books that don't take into consideration that the audience might be XL, XXL or even bigger, are elitist, chauvinist, sizeist and buying into the "woman can never bee too thin" ideology... Knit pretty patterns, by all means, but only if you are a model. Fat women don't need to bother. Also, the patterns weren't quite as wonderful as I thought they were... But it's a very good inspiration book. I will be able to take it to the next step and probably several steps further.

An as good or better inspiration book is "Knitting with plant dyed yarn". Lena Nessle has written many crafting books, and in this she gives general rules, advice, color patterns and tells how to design and form your own knits. No patterns - as far as I could see - but it's more an inspiration book for advanced knitters and dyers. I'm very pleased with it :-)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tänka sig...

Rectangular shawl patterns
Triangular shawl patterns

Why is this skirt called "liquorice bullet"?

I made myself a knitting thimble. Took some thin wire and coiled it around the handle of a wooden spoon. It works perfectly. It works all too perfect LOL The stitches are even and pretty, the tension is perfect and the color pattern stands out very nicely. Too perfect? you might ask... well... I knitted the first sock without the thimble and the second stock with, and the second sock is like ugly ducklings beautiful little sister. Two sizes smaller and doesn't have my usual "hand-spun" quality :-D
It takes a little time to get used to use it - it really feels like a thimble. I have problems using the thimble in sewing as well, I usually end up with my index finger peeking in the air almost paralyzed by the thimble, and I try to use my middle finger - unprotected - to push the needle through the fabric... so pretty useless ;-) I use my index and middle finger to keep the knitting yarn tense, so when there's the wire around my index finger, I try to keep the tension with the other fingers, and that doesn't work... It took some time for me to get that I can STILL keep the tension as I am used to, the thimble isn't an obstacle.
I'm really happy though, as the results are well worth it :-)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Stocking In Rhyme

To knit a stocking, needles four,
Cast on three needles and no more;
Each needle stitches eight and twenty.
Then one for seam stitch will be plenty.
For twenty rounds your stitch must be
Two plain, tow purl alternately.
Except the seam stitch which you do
Once purl, once plain, the whole way through.
A finger plain you next must knit,
Ere you begin to narrow it
But if you like the stocking long,
Two fingers' length will not be wrong.
And then the narrowings to make,
Two stitches you together take
Each side the seam; then eight rounds plain,
Before you narrow it again.
Ten narrowings you'll surely find
Will shape the stocking to your mind;
Then twenty rounds knit plain must be,
And stitches sixty-five you'll see.
These just in half you must divide,
With thirty-two on either side;
But on one needle there must be
Seam stitch in middle, thirty-three.
One half on needles two you place,
And leave alone a little space;
The other with the seam in middle,
To manage right is now my riddle.
Backward and forward you must knit,
And always purl the backward bit;
But seam stitch, purl and plain, you know,
And slip the first stitch every row.
When thirty rows you thus have done,
Each side the seam knit two in one
Each third row, until sure you feel
That forty rows are in your heel.
You then begin the heel to close;
For this, choose one of the plain rows;
Knit plain to seam, then two in one,
One plain stitch more must still be done.
Then turn your work, purl as before
The seam stitch - two in one, one more;
Then turn again, knit till you see
Where first you turned, a gap will be.
Across it knit together two,
And don't forget on plain to do;
Then turn again, purl as before,
And sew till there's a gap no more.
The seam stitch you no longer mind,
That, with the heel, is left behind.
When all th heel is quite closed in,
To knit a plain row you begin,
And at the end you turn no more,
But round and round knit as before.
For this, on a side needle take
The loops the first slip-stitches make;
With you heel needle - knit them plain,
To meet the old front half again.
This on one needle knit should be,
And then you'll have a needle free
To take up loops the other side,
And knit round plain, and to divide
The back parts evenly in two;
Off the heel needle some are due;
Be careful that you count the same.
On each back needle, knit round plain;
But as the foot is much too wide,
Take two together at each side,
On the back needle where they meet
The front to make a seam quite neat
Each time between knit one plain round,
Till stitches sixty-four are found;
And the front needle does not lack
As many as on both the back.
You next knit fifty-six rounds plain,
But do not narrow it again;
'Twill then be long enough, and so
Begin to narrow for the toe.
Your long front row knit plainly through,
But at its end knit stitches two;
Together and together catch
Two first in the next row to match;
Then to the other side knit plain
Half round, and do the same again;
That is , two last together catch,
Two first in the front row to match.
At first knit four plain rounds between,
Then two, then one, until 'tis seen
You've knit enough to close the toe;
And then decrease in every row,
Until to stitches eight you're brought,
Then break the thread off = not too short -
And as these stitches eight you do,
Each time your end of thread pull through;
Then draw up all to close it tight,
And with a darning needle bright,
Your end of thread securely run,
And then, Hurrah !! the stocking's done !!

-- 1887 Jenny June Knitting and Crochet manual

Some fun projects for your knitting

DPN project holder

Making stitch markers
- beaded stitch markers
- easy no-wire stitch markers
- "tiger tail" stitch markers
- polymer clay stitch markers
- beaded stitch markers
- "memory wire" stitch markers
- row counter marker - I think this is ingenious!

"Book" for circular needles
Hanging circular needle storage
Circ hanger from pant leg
Thoughts about this...
No-sew circ hanger
Circular needle cuddy
Circular needle organizer
Circular needle roll
Circular needle clutch
Buttericks offers this version - a little like CD bag (No, I tested - a CD bag is too small for circs...)
DPN pouches
Knitting needle holder
Knitting Needle holder with stitch mark holder
Alexandra's Needle Case
Knitted needle case
Kable - knitted and felted needle case
Kimono Needle Roll
"Yet another brocade needle case"

sewn crochet hook case
crochet hook roll
Crocheted Afghan Hooks, Cro-Hooks or Knitting Needle Roll
crocheted crochet hook case with a pouch for extra thingies
smaller hook or pen pouch
Crocheted crochet hook bag/caddy

I storage my crochet hooks in a pen caddy I got in swap - it has cats on and is really cute :-)
The only problem with that is that I don't find the hook I need easily... But I made myself a crocheted hook caddy and the lace hooks just slipped straight through it. Not practical at all...

Little zippered pouch

Neck ribbon caddy

Tape measure cover
Tape measure cover - in French, but the pictures are very good
Tape measure covers - in Japanese, but the pictures are very good

scissor sheath
Scissor holder
Scissor pocket
Quilted scissor case
Scissor case tutorial - in Italian, but the pictures are very good
Scissor fob/case - in Italian, but the pictures are very good
quilted flower pin cushion and leaf scissor holder
patchwork scissor holder and a patchwork fob
Triangle scissor case with fob

Strawberry pincushion/fob
Beaded button fobs
cross stitched pincushions - you can also use the rose in left

Here's the cutest needlework set with sheep! I LOVE SHEEP!!! There's a brass needle sizer and gauge measure with sheep! I so want it! Not available here... :-(
project bags
drawstring bag
Box bag tutorial
Little Boxy Pouch
Crafty Bucket
A little more demanding boxy pouch
tote bags 101
Little drawstring bag
Lined drawsting bag
Really easy drawstring bag
“Classic open tote”
Simple tote bag
Durable, reusable shopping bag
Another, simple, lined bag
Knitting tote bag
Sock tote
Fish bag - really cute drawstring bag that looks like fish - perfect to keep your yarn ball clean ;-)

Wrist yarn holder
Knitting pouch yarn holder
apple string/yarn holder
Thread ball holder
making a "yarn barn" or "yarn trainer" out of an old soda bottle
"Cut off bottom of bottle and insert yarn, pulling strand through top opening then tape bottom back on. This will keep your yarn from rolling across the room on you and your cat from playing with it."
Making a yarn holder of a plastic tub

row counter bracelet
row counter bracelet

Make your own niddy-noddy
Hardware store niddy-noddy
In action...
You really don't need to glue it...

portable table-top yarn swift
(My hubby made me one with cardboard and skewers and used an old lamp stand as holder - it might not look as pretty as this one, but it works very well, and that's the main thing :-))

How to make a center pull yarn ball without a yarn winder
another tutorial
third tutorial
fourth tutorial
How to use nostepinne - windstick :-)

Good tips to help you with your knitting - videos

Russian yarn join
Split-and-twist join

Roll your own blocking board
Get Crafty: make your own blocking board
make yourself a blocking board

Robyn's nest sells these handy little "Stitch Savers"... but these can be made oneself too.

Summer of Socks...

I am very ambitious... I know I shouldn't be, because it creates just impossible expectations, anxiety and disappointment... I don't even know what the prize is, but I'd still love to win it LOL
The prize? I think there's some kind of prize to be won if you knit the most socks during the 10 weeks of summer, from midsummer to September. You see, I'm not even sure of that there is a prize... it might just be the honor of being the most productive and workaholic person who spoiled her summer by knitting socks with stress and anxiety LOL (Or his summer - there are actually men who knit too)
And what if I win? What if I get the honor of proving I'm a competitive workaholic? Nothing. A couple of sock-knitters in the internet world might know who I am, that's it. It might be worth something if I sold my sock designs, but I don't. I don't even manage to get my designs from the sketch phase to realization nor pattern, so it's pretty useless. You see, I designed another pair of socks:

I don't know what flower that is, but it's begging to be a pair of knee-high socks. One could also add a little more structure by knitting the flowers for the ankle part separately and then sewing them on the embossed design. I really love that heel and gusset idea... I even know how to make it happen LOL But - I'm good with initiating things, not with getting things done :-)

Here's BTW a "Diagonal Decrease Sock Heel Pattern" with two versions. It's for people who don't like purling. Done completely with knits.
Here's a good tutorial for eclectic heel.
And here's Laurie's Toes & Heels and other information about sock knitting

The day's free pattern is two - Percy bag and the big brother, Monk's travel sachet

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Knitting stitches, color patterns...

I haven't thought of this before - there's nothing that says one cannot "tilt" the colorwork pattern and knit it horizontally instead... that little one with triangles becomes quite interesting...

You see? (It's a little too narrow swatch but you can see how it works. :-)

About the knitting stitches then:

KnitWiki has very nice "spider" patterns - lace
"Star rib mesh"
Here's a very nice top with English Mesh Lace
Very nice stitches here: K1,P1, Keeping You in Stitches Studio
- they have Spanish Mesh stitches
Lolita net socks have a nice fishnet lace pattern
Bird's eye lace shawl
Here's some nice stitches too and here

Today's free pattern is Baby Surprise Jacket - the one piece knitting by Elizabeth Zimmermann :-)

Monday, May 12, 2008

More on socks...

Woolworks knitting patterns: Socks and slippers
These are text files - no pictures
The only pattern not a txt.file was Donna Kenton's Elizabethan hose - that's stockings.

Here's Knitlist's sockpatterns - quite a many of the forementioned socks with pictures

Online sock patterns categorized

Opal yarn free patterns

Cascade yarns free patterns - some very nice sock patterns.

Wendyknits discussion on favorite free sock patterns on-line

sock resources
The knitting fiend sock resources/links and sock link frenzy

lolly knitting around socktober fest blog entries - with a couple of tutorials and such

Rachel's ramblings with a couple of free sock patterns

Sockaholic and sockamaniac - blogs - and sockamaniac's site with a lot of resources etc.
Cookie's site

My wists - free sock patterns around the net - different languages

Said on-line

"Now, the story behind this teacosy. My DMIL is first generation american. Her mother is from Ireland. DMIL gets lots of catalogues and such from Ireland. She can even have Irish citizenship (so can by DH). Anyway, cut out a picture of a teacosy from a catalogue and wanted me to come up with a pattern for it. I put it off forever. Then she went to Ireland and brought back the actual teacosy and Irish wool to knit it with. So, I came up with this pattern. It's pretty close to the actual teacosy. She even made me one."
-- Jo at Knitlist

Yeah... sounds just like my mother LOL My mother asked me to knit her a green cap. I have been doing other things, not her cap, so the next thing she does is to give me a book about knitted hats, caps and such...


I have seen many copyright notices, but I think these are the best!

"Feel free to share this pattern as long as you keep this Copyright intact. Do not sell this pattern, mass produce it, include it in collections, websites, newsletters, etc., without the express written permission from the Sockguy. Come on, now, don't be afraid, just ask me! I'm pretty easy."

"Feel free to share this pattern with Copyright intact. Do not sell this pattern, mass produce it, include it in collections, throw it away, use it to line birdcages, construct paper airplanes out of it, yada, yada, yada."

-- SockGuy

P.S. Today's free pattern (;-)) is Interweave Knits' summer 2005 shrug special. If you like shrugs, here you have a selection - for different types of yarns, styles, preferences...

P.S. This goes for crafters too...

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Needlebinding, needle mitten technique... It's sort of a needle lace technique. It's basically what the wired needle lace parts of the stumpwork are. You just do it with bigger needle and thicker yarn, and not with thread. You know the difference of fine lace knitting or crocheting and knitting or crocheting socks.
Now, there are several different ways of needlebinding.

Here is video tutorial on the Finnish stitch (Korgen), twisted stitch and Russian stitch. It is in Finnish, but you can see very clearly what she is doing, so you don't need to understand what she is saying.
Here is the York stitch - first beginning, first round and how to start needlebinding the work into a cylinder.
Here is the Oslo stitch, with German speech.
Here is the Asle stitch, with English speech.

Directions for the Coptic (Tarim) stitch, the buttonhole stitch and the Danish stitch

Construction of needlebinded socks

a couple more links:
http://www.tkukoulu.fi/~kleinone/neulakinnas/index.html (in Finnish)

Toothbrush rugs

About raised embroidery and stumpwork
Information on stumpwork, needle lace and Brazilian embroidery

Medieval Muslim Knitting
Donna Kallner's looped fiber art works

Socks, socks, socks...

I like knitting socks. So I joined 52 pair plunge. I am going to knit a pair of socks every week the next year from June 1st 2008 to June 1st 2009. 52 pairs of socks... My hubby would be just glad, because he prefers hand knit wool socks over anything you can buy from the store, all year round, but luckily I have a big family, so I can start giving everyone socks as Yule presents and so on ;-) (Yeah, now you who read my blog know what you are going to get as present, but you don't know which color LOL)

Also, I joined Summer of Socks 2008 :-) I will be taking sock knitting with me to Finland to celebrate Midsummer :-)

So - what's the Queen of Links to do but give links ;-)

Sock links with links to "good to know" sites
Sockamaniac's links
Another interesting page on socks :-)
Sock anxiety?

how to knit heels

Sock pattern links...
Sock it to me... free sock patterns
Boogie knits free sock patterns and the updated list by "Own Two Hands"
Sole Solution - sock knitters free patterns PDF file

My favorite link - magic cast-on for two socks at a time in circular...

P.S. Don't miss the Crystal Palace Yarns' sock list
P.P.S. Whimsical Knitting has very nice sock patterns, especially somber socks for guys.
P.P.P.S. Sword Queen's Armory has a couple of really nice sock patterns
P.P.P.P.S. SockGuy has also some classics :-)
P.P.P.P.P.S. Unfortunately MAGknits doesn't exist anymore. Internet archive has some of the patterns stored - up to August 2007.
Some of the sock patterns from MAGknits have been saved and published elsewhere. Go to Ravelry to find out.

P.P.P.P.P.P.S. Some sock tags in my blog
Socks, socks and more socks
Sock Wars
Socktober Fest!
Ok, it's Socktober after all...
So many rods in fire...
Getting inspired... (Katherine Misegades has a very nice "sock workshop" - working through her "Gusset-heel Gansey Sock")
Free sock patterns on-line
It's our wedding anniversary today...

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Cast On!

Turkish cast on tutorial
Turkish cast on tutorial 2



I really am speechless. I hate casting on. I loved the cast on presented here: Magic Cast-on For Toe-up Socks, but this Turkish one is really... wow.

Here's a pretty Estonian cast-on. I think it's the Finnish braided cast-on... but Finnish or Estonian - not a big difference. (You could call it Karelian and split the argument LOL)
(Yes, it is, but I don't get it from the first link... )

Another... or is it the same? I don't know. This looks totally unfamiliar to me...
(No, it's not the same - or let's say half of it is ;-) Here's a better explanation.

Looks a bit like "the Old Norwegian Cast-On". Or perhaps "knitted Italian cast-on"?
Also, Italian cast-on is a totally different thing. Yes, it gives a very nice, sharp edge, but is hard to tighten so that the edge doesn't become too tight. And, yes, it's a little tricky to learn.
I like the old Norwegian, though it feels like Norwegian purl... the edge is rather flexible and looks interesting - as if there was two edges... Fascinating.

Actually, the knitted Italian cast-on and the old Norwegian cast-on are the same thing. It's a bit difficult to realize at first, when the techniques look so different, and the results were different. I am not used to English knitting - with yarn in the right hand, and you twist the yarn around the needle by hand, not by needle - so I got a better, more equal edge with the Norwegian style.
Or "tubular cast-on"? Would work perfectly with picot edge :-) I hate doing those too, so this would be a nice one to know.
Here's one with "normal" cast-on help yarn and here's one with crocheted cast-on help yarn that is removed before knitting the edges together.

There's really an ocean of different cast-on methods... I have always taken the long-tail cast-on and thought it was the "only" one there is, hated the fact that there's always too much or too little yarn, fought with the long tails and all that time these different cast-on methods have just been waiting for me out here. :-)

Here's several at KnittingHelp.com with videos.
Here's Knitty's look on the Cast-On part I and part II

Here's some invisible/provisional cast-ons for lace knitters.
Here's a really cute tutorial for the invisible crochet cast-on :-)
Really, you could use the crochet cast-on without removing the yarn.
Or then you could do the "crochet cast-on"...

Disappearing loop cast on for circular work

Emily Ocker's circular cast-on

Now I'm off practising and learning the differences and similarities and I'll come back and explain to you too LOL

P.S. I have always wondered how my big sister makes the purls... she wiggles the needle in a mysterious way, not lifting the yarn over the needle. Now I know it's the "Norwegian purl" and now I know how she does it :-) I keep my style. The only problem with my style (just the same way as the knits, just in a mirror) is that the stitches are turned "wrong". That's apparently the "Combined purl" - and is the most ergonomical way of purling LOL :-) Count that the fat girl knows how to save effort ;-)
(My hubby says it's not that, it's that I instinctively found a way of doing things to save my joints. Sure, it sounds better :-) Nevertheless, I'm really proud of myself :-))

Sunday, May 04, 2008

More about stitches

I like stitch samples...

Here's my first collection of stitch links on-line

Today I found this: Antique Pattern Library
and there was a book with suggested stitches for knitting vests for men.
Cobble stitch - that is moss stitch - cross stitch, which looks like some sort of brioche, and diamond stitch, which I didn't even understood how it was supposed to be made... I think it's honeycomb brioche, but I'm not quite sure of that...
But I found this very nice collection of brioche stitches.

I also found Angel Hugs Stitch Sampler

Then there's the Walker Treasury Project, which doesn't give the stitches - they are in Barbara Walker's Treasuries ;-) - but gives you some kind of idea of that there are HUNDREDS OF STITCHES - all created with simple twist of yarn on needles... Women's ingenuity and ability to vary is amazing! YAY! HOORAY!

P.S. Craftzine blog had an entry on stitches...

Thursday, May 01, 2008

How to do hair

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101 way to tie a tie
101 ways to tie shoe laces
101 ways to tie scarfs
How to dress in scarfs
How to tie a tichel (Jewish women's headscarf)

Crocheting bags

We need a bag for dog poop bags, dog candy, tissues and other stuff like that. So I started crocheting it today.
It's very easy - you just crochet chain as long as you want the bottom of the bag to be wide, and start crocheting single crochet round and round and round until the bag is as high as you want it to be. Then you add the handle or cord or what ever you want.
The best thing with single crochet is that you can use it almost like knitting - "purls" are made by crocheting only through the back loop and you can create any guernsey pattern that way. Or use picture dishcloth patterns to get a picture or letters or what ever on the bag.
You can also crochet with color. :-)

While I was doing it, I remembered that my big sister used to crochet big bags at 70's - using rug warp cotton - hard spun - and a filet crochet pattern, probably for a pillow, I don't know (hey, I was born 1969!) and making the bottom of the bag the same way I am making my little pouch. I loved those bags :-)

And then I thought of making a laundy bag by crocheting some pretty bed spread squares, not the lacy ones but those that look more like aran knitting - sewing them into a tube, crocheting about 5 cm (2") straight single crochet and then decreasing the bottom as straight circle... And then crocheting about 10 cm (4") on top and adding a cord so that it can be made into a rugsack and one can carry the laundry to the machine.
One could also use the lacy squares and add a single colored cotton lining to the bag, and get oneself a big bag...