Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Valentine's Day

I really hadn't planned on making anything for Valentine's Day this year, but I was inspired by a close friendship to create a heart as a gift:

I knit this on the straight pink Knifty Knitter loom, starting at the bottom of the heart. I knit each heart panel separately and then sewed them together and stuffed them with batting. If you would like to make your own heart, here are the directions:

On one side of the loom , wrap the two center pegs (pegs 6 & 7) with a 1 over 2 stitch and knit off 3 rows. Increase by wrapping pegs 5 through 8 and knitting off 8 rows. Increase by wrapping pegs 4 through 9 and knitting off 12 rows. Increase by wrapping pegs 3 through 10 and knitting off 10 rows. Increase by wrapping pegs 2 through 11 and knitting off 18 rows. Increase by wrapping pegs 1 through 12 and knitting off 14 rows.

Then on the end of the loom with the working yarn, wrap 6 consecutive pegs starting with the end peg to the center peg. * Knit off 3 rows. Lift yarn from peg 6 to peg 5 and knit off. Lift yarn from peg 1 to peg 2 and knit off. Then on pegs 2 through 5, knit off 3 rows and bind off, leaving a 4" tail.

Then on the opposite end of the loom that still has yarn wrapped around the pegs, wrap 6 consecutive pegs starting with the end peg to the center peg. Follow from * above. This completes one heart panel. Repeat entire process to create another heart panel, then sew one side of the heart together along the outer edge. Partially stuff with batting. Continue to sew around the edge of the heart, but before you finish sewing the heart together make sure you have stuffed the heart with the desired amount of batting.

For the doily fringe, I used the green loom. Cast on 1 over 2 on 48 pegs (including 1 corner peg).Knit off 5 rows. Then starting at the end where the working yarn is, knit off a 10 row I-cord and * transfer the loops one at a time from peg 1 onto peg 2 and knit off. Then trasfer the loops from peg 2 onto peg 3 and knit off. On pegs 3 and 4 knit off a 10 row I-cord and repeat the directions from *, taking care to wrap the pegs one after the other going in one direction until you are done. Sew the fringe onto the edge of the heart all the way around, and voila! Needless to say, the recipient of the heart I made was absolutely thrilled.

If you want a heart that isn't so narrow or large (this one is about 8" tall), simply use a different straight loom and adjust the number of stitches and the number of pegs that you knit off of. More pegs = wider heart.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Christmas & Winter Projects

As promised, here are my Christmas and winter projects:
I received a couple of orders for gifts - a hat and scarf set (using Lion Brand Homespun black), scarf knit on the pink Knifty Knitter loom and Hat on the round green KK loom

and a green and white scarf using Homespun Deco and Green Apple, knit on the pink KK loom:

I also made a scarf using Homespun Colonial as a Christmas gift for a dear friend's Mom, but I don't have a picture of the completed scarf. She was delighted to receive it.

Though the same dear friend of mine gave me a delightful Santa hat that was decorated with glittery poinsettias, and I wore it through the entire Christmas season, I had decided several months earlier that one of my projects was going to be a Santa hat. When I was at the yarn festival in Rheinbeck, NY, I had bought some deep red Cascade Yarns Magnum Peruvian Highland Wool for the purpose of making the Santa hat. It is like roving, with a gauge similar to Lion Brand's Thich & Quick. So just before Christmas I knit it (1 over 1 stitches):

Instead of using a series of decreasing stitches to make it, I simply used all of the KK round looms (including the flower loom). I started with the green roound loom and knit off several rows to make the bottom of the hat. Then I used the yarn needle to bind off with a separate piece of yarn instead of the tail from the working yarn. I then carefully put the loops from the yarn onto the next smaller size round loom, combining a few loops on one peg near the anchor peg to accomodate for the decrease in size. I continued this process until the hat was finished. You can see in the photo above where I combined loops when I switched looms. I used this as the back of the hat.

It makes for a continuous knitted look, as opposed to knitting the hat in sections and sewing the sections together. I'm sure there are different ways to make the hat, but I wanted to experiment with this way first. The yarn is so stiff, the hat can stand up on its own without much effort:

The brim and the pom pom are made of white eyelash yarn, and I used the Lion Brand pom pom maker to make the pom pom on top.

Two other projects I made for myself were a scarf that I knit up using 1.75 skeins of Lion Brand Homespun tulips yarn.

The flash on the camera made the yarn appear brighter than it is. As soon as I saw this yarn in the store, I knew I wanted to use it to create a scarf to wear with my brown coat. The yarn has just the right shade of brown mixed in with it to match the coat, and magenta is one of my favorite colors.

My last project for myself was a blue scarf using 3 skeins of Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thich & Quick Navy yarn. I had been wanting to knit a blue scarf to match the blue hat I had made last year, so I finally got around to it. I used the KK purple loom to knit it, since the pegs are spaced farther apart than the smaller looms, and I knew I wanted my scarf to be flexible, not stiff. The scarf is about 8 feet in length, and it is warm, cozy and fashionable.

Next time: my Valentine.