Sunday, April 29, 2018

Placket Pullover

I was looking to do a button placket neck in a loose oversized pullover, using some beautiful hand spun merino yarn.  (this yarn is the first full sweater's worth of hand spun since I got my new spinning wheel in the winter.) Two buttons allow an open or closed neckline.


Sizes:  In an oversized fit:  Small: 38 inch finished chest [Medium: 42 inch finished, Large: 46 inch finished]
Yarn:  light to medium weight yarn (#3 or 4, light worsted, or worsted weight)  ***must match to Gauge to work, please, do a swatch, then wash or block the swatch.  Dry then measure.
350 [400,450] grams total, and about 1100 [1200, 1300] yards total required.
Needles: 4.5mm (7US)
Gauge:  18 sts = 4 inches, after blocking.

BACK:  using 4.5mm needles throughout,  cast on 77 [85, 93].  Work in seed stitch: [K1, P1], repeat to last stitch, K1. do this every row for 1 inch.  With wrong side facing, increase 8[9,10] stitches along the last row of seed stitch.
Change to stocking stitch, (knit right side, purl wrong side) and work for 24"[25", 26"]   or total length you prefer for the back.... bind off all stitches.

FRONT:  begin as for back, work until piece measures 17" [18", 19"].
Divide for placket:  with right side facing, knit 39 [43,47] stitches.  Attach a second ball of yarn, leaving first right there, bind off center 7[8,9] stitches, then work to the end.  You should have 39[43,47] stitches on each side of the placket bind off.  Working both sides at once, work until piece measures 21[22,23] inches from the start.
Neck shaping:  (right side facing) knit the left side, then bind off 9 stitches at the start of the right front side.  Next row: purl the right front side, then bind off 9 stitches from the left side.  Now knit two together at the NECK EDGE of BOTH sides on the next three right side rows.  Continue without further shaping until the front is the same length as the back.  Bind off all stitches.

SLEEVE:  Cast on 37[39,41] stitches.  Work in seed stitch for one inch, increasing 5 evenly across the last row.  Right side facing, work in stocking stitch , increasing one each side every 4 rows until you have 86[90,94] stitches, then work evenly until your sleeve is 17"[18", 19"] long, Bind off all stitches.


PLACKET EDGE:  On the left side, with right side facing you, start at the neck shaping edge, and pick up 23 stitches evenly to the bottom of the placket opening (just the straight left side.).  Work in seed stitch for 1.5 inches. Bind off loosely.  On the right side, pick up 23 stitches and start seed stitch. On the sixth row (right side facing you) work 10 stitches, Yarn Over , purl 2 together, seed 8, Yarn Over, purl 2 together, work to end.  Next row work seed as usual, purling into the yarn overs as you pass them by.  Continue until 1.5 inches, and bind off.

NECK EDGE:  With right side facing, pick up 7 sts across the placket, 9 across the front cast off, 10 up the side neck of the front, 31[33,33] across the back neck , 10 down the left side neck, 9 across the left front, and 7 across the left placket.  Work in seed stitch for one inch, and bind off all loosely.

FINISHING:  Center the sleeve evenly with shoulder seam at center of sleeve top.  Sew this seam, Then sew sleeve seam and side seam to finish.  Sew two buttons in place.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Thrummed Mittens

This version of thrummed mittens was created from some patterns on the world wide web, but after several mittens, I tweaked it to this version.  The difference is having the thrums on every FIFTH row (I felt the thrums were too close together on FOUR rows and the lining too thick) and I also detailed the right and left mitten as separate instructions, instead of "reverse shaping for the left mitten" which is difficult when placing the thumb.  I hope it is a little more clear.  As always, working with the roving thrums takes a bit of getting used to.  Please read the "making of a thrum" carefully and maybe watch a video on the net to get the idea, before you plunge in.  The yarns in the photo are handspun, but any DK yarn (ball band will suggest 4mm (US 6) needles) and any type (wool, blends, even acrylic) will work for these.
 Thrummed Mittens:  

Yarn:  100 grams of DK weight yarn  (100 g ball, DK weight, approx 200 meters)
Thrumbs: 50 grams of merino roving
Needles:    4mm double points (set of four)
Other:  Stitch markers, stitch holder  (spare yarn will do),  darning needle
Making a thrum:  (thrum 1):  Pull roving into 4 inch lengths, then pull a pinky finger width as your thrum.  To place it (thrum 1) twist the middle a bit to thin it.  It should be similar in width to your yarn.  Hold your DK yarn out of the way, use your thrum instead to “knit” the next stitch.  Draw your DK yarn across the back of the thrum and knit the next stitch as usual.  When you get to the row above the thrum row, just knit the thrum stitch as you do  the DK stitches.  As you get one more row above, you can gently pull the fluffy back into the center of the mitten, to snug the stitch securely in place. 

Gauge: 20 sts and 28 rows = 4 inches in stocking stitch

Right Mitten:
Cast on 38 and divide onto three double point needles:  12 / 12/  14
Join without twisting, and work in k1, p1 ribbing for 2.5 inches. Change to stocking stitch, and on the first row, increase 6 stitches, evenly spaced with 2 on each needle.  (increase by knitting in the front and the back of one stitch = 1 increased stitch)  44 stitches on three needles.
Knit stocking stitch for three more rows.
Thrum Pattern:
Row 1: [ knit 3, thrum 1 ] repeat until end of row.
Row 2, 3, 4, 5 :   knit all stitches.
Row 6:   knit 1, [ thrum 1, knit 3] repeat until 3 left,     thrum 1, knit 2
Row 7, 8, 9, 10 :  knit all stitches.
Repeat these 10 rows until mitten measures 3 inches from the top of the ribbing.   *** end with a Row 2, 3, or 7, 8*****
Thumb placement row:  Knit two, slip next 8 stitches onto a stitch holder, or use waist yarn and darning needle thread yarn through these 8 stitches, and tie for later.  Turn your work and Cast On 8 new stitches, then continue the row in stocking stitch.
Continue on the 44 stitches in the Thrum Pattern until mitten measures 6 inches from top of ribbing.
Decrease top of mitten:    (****: Mark the halfway point after 22 stitches with a stitch marker.)
Row 1:   [knit 1, Knit 2 together, knit to 3 stitches before the marker, knit 2 together , knit 1] repeat for other half.   **** skip the thrum if it will be places at the decrease or the stitch outside that decrease***
Row 2:    knit all stitches.
Repeat these two rows until there are 16 stitches left, **** you will need to re-distribute the stitches evenly onto the three needles, as the middle needle may have too few to work as you near the end****  Use Kitchener stitch to close the top of the mitten.

Thumb:  Place the 8 held stitches onto one needle.  Join yarn and with 2nd needle pick up 2 stitches on the side left side of the thumb “hole”, then 4 more to the center of the cast on 8 stitches.  With 3rd needle pick up the other 4 cast on stitches, then 2 more down the right side of the thumb hole.  Join in a circle, there are 20 stitches in total.  Work in the Thrumb Pattern up the thumb until it measures 2 inches. 
Top of thumb:  Row 1:  knit 2,   [knit 2 together, knit 1] repeat until end of row.
Row 2:   knit
Rpow 3:  Knit 2 together all round.   Break  12 inches of yarn and use darning needle to gather live stitches and secure.

Left Mitten:
Work as right mitten until thumb placement row.
Knit this row until you have 10 stitches left on the last needle.  Slip the next 8 stitches onto the holder, and cast on 8 new stitches. 
Continue to finish the mitten in the same way as the right mitten including the thumb instuctions. 
Finish:  sew in loose yarn ends.  Turn the mitten inside out and “fluff” the roving to evenly distibute the merino wool.  As you wear them, they will matt a bit and become more even.
 This photo shows the inside of one of the mittens.  The thrums will matt further upon wearing.

Friday, January 12, 2018


Well, you did it.  You read my blog enough times to push me over FOUR MILLION HITS!
Thank you.  It is quite overwhelming to me, and I still have not become tired of reading the comments, and emails.  The happy comments delight me, the critical ones keep me humble and help with pattern corrections (thanks for those), and the photos of finished works .... I can't say enough about those. There is such an amazing community of knitters in our big wide world.

                                           Thank you.

And to keep you up to date.... I made seven pairs of socks, four knitted hats, golf club covers, and many felted items for Christmas gifts this year, as well as sewing faces and seaming all these finger puppets for my clown.  My knitting group did the brunt of the knitting, but pass them to me to finish.
They will bring a moment of happiness to kids away from their homes and favourite toys in our local kids ward.
Don't forget charity knitting in your group, or even on your own.  My Poppets pattern is free to use, so try it out, and drop them off at a local hospital.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Big THANK YOU to All Free Knitting!

The wonderful website,  "All Free Knitting" has been an almost unlimited source of website free knitting patterns for many years.  It is the main reason readers find my knitting patterns, and have reached out to me with emails... questions, wonderful comments, and photos.... about my own free patterns.

Just this week alone, my stats show over a thousand hits on this pattern which originated from All Free Knitting, as a feature of the week.  What does this association mean to little websites like mine?

Well, I started this blog as a place to store and retrieve my own personal patterns.  But then I had a few knitters find me, and book mark me, and the conversations began.  I loved to hear from knitters everywhere, interested in the same types of projects that interest me.

Then one day.... BAM.  I had 600 hits in ONE DAY!  Guess what?  I was featured on AFK!

Now several years later... I get between 25,000 and 50,000 hits a month, and I will reach 4 million sometime in January.  All that from a little knitting diary out there in webland.  It is truly humbling, and I thank All Free Knitting, and the tireless work they do to organise and promote the site, and encourage the huge community of knitters to keep on knitting.

And just a couple of photos to inspire...  The Best Sock Pattern Ever....
 And a future one.... easy Thrummed Mittens. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Lots of updates

 I decided to make a truly Canadian jacket for this, our 150th year as a country.  Here we have the pieces being blocked... photo of finished to follow.  It is not my pattern, but a very old one from my books.  You can find a new pattern in the late winter issue of Vogue Knitting.  Or other patterns, search for Cowichan sweater patterns.
 Here I have several strands of merino roving, that I am using to spin yarn on a drop spindle.  It is my first large amount of spun yarn, and I am learning to do long colour changes to create a self striping yarn.  Always challenging your skill level is most rewarding for me. 
 I just finished back to back workshops at the Fibre Garden, my sanctuary of all things fibre and fun!  We made wet felt birdhouses, using Corriedale and Merino wool.  More workshops to come there, so check their website, or visit my felting blog (link up on the right).
 The last five photos are my water colour portraits of the Univerity Women's House Tour for 2017.  For the last six years, I have painted a 5 by 7" portrait of the houses, to give to the home owners as a thank you for opening their home to hundreds of curious people.  Needless to say the interiors are as wonderful in decoration and design as the exterior and it is a lovely afternoon of ooo's and ahhh's.

If you are in Niagara / St. Catharines area and would like a ticket, you can find them HERE.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Sweet Little Felted Purse

One ball of yarn, a beginner pattern, and a few hours....  This is a cute little bag anyone can knit!
 Finished size:  approximately 5" wide and 7" long.  It could be a bit bigger if you do not felt it quite as much as I did.

Yarn: Ashford 8 Ply, 100 gram ball, 100% corridale wool, DK weight.  Purchase online HERE.
Needles:  6mm (US 10)
Gauge: approximately 14 sts = 4 inches .  Not too important, your bag will be a bit bigger or smaller if the gauge is off a bit.  Most important is the yarn MUST be PURE WOOL, not superwash.  You need it to shrink in hot water!

Patttern:  Cast on 45 stitches.  Knit every row (garter stitch) until 15 inches long.
               Last row: cast off all except last stitch.  Turn and cast on 15 stitches.  Turn and cast off all 16 remaining stitches (this creates the button hole loop)

Stitch the button hole into a loop at the upper corner, then stitch closed the side and bottom edge of the bag.  NOTE: the ridges are vertical on this bag...

 Strap:  wind off 6 strands, 48 inches long.  Tie a knot at one end, then holding in pairs, braid the length and tie a knot on the other end.  Sew one end to the top opposite the button hole, and the other end 5 inches below the button hole loop, on the side seam.  See photos.
 This is how the purse will fold after felting.

Felting:  Throw the purse into the washing machine with some old towels or jeans, and put them through one HOT cycle with laundry soap.  Check it.  With the yarn above you should be shrunk enough, but some other yarns may need one more cycle to get there.    While still damp, stretch into shape, pulling the straps smooth, and folding the flap down.  Sew a button under where the loop lies, and button closed.  Air dry.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Felting in large scale

If you wondered how to make felt art, I have a post on my felting blog that shows the steps to get to a poster size art piece.  This one is 1950's style advertising tourism in Niagara Falls. It will be called "Before the Selfie" as the figure in the poster will have an old fashioned camera in his hands.

Pop over to my felting blog for more details!