Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Attention Charity Knitting Groups!

My friends at  Yarn Canada have announced a yarn give away!  Please go to their website and apply for free yarn for you CHARITY KNITTING.

You could be knitting Finger Puppets for the local Children's ward,  or maybe the Toddler Socks, or Blankets for homeless, or Preemie Caps, or another project that your group knits to help.

They've just started the 2nd Annual event of giving yarn to individuals and groups who knit or crochet for good causes.

In partnership with Bernat and Patons Yarn, they will be giving away $2000 worth of yarn and are hoping to get as many applicants as possible to ensure it goes to whoever it will have the maximum impact.

The details and application page is here

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Easy Slouch Hat

This one is great for beginners with circular needles.  No adding stitches or crown shaping.  A simple rib, garter stitch stripe creates a natural slouch.

Yarn. I used less than one 100 gram ball of elann Meander yarn in an old colour way(no longer available). But any worsted weight yarn (category 4) should work just fine.
Needles: 4mm (us6) circular needle not bigger than 16 inches. (The yarn calls for 4.5mm needles, but the smaller needle will help with the negative ease required to keep the hat snug on your head.)

Cast on 100 stitches.  Without twisting, join and work in knit 2, purl 2 ribbing.  If you have trouble with twisting, try ribbing flat for the first two rows, then start going around the circle. Place a marker at the “end of the row” so you can keep track of completed rows.

Work the start of the hat for 2.5 inches.  Start the pattern bands:
Band one:  After the marker, switch to garter stitch (purl every stitch) and work 6 rounds (or rows) in garter.
Band two:  Work four rounds in knit 2, purl 2 ribbing

Repeat band one and band two until you have five garter ridges.
After the Firth garter ridge, continue to work the knit 2, purl 2 ribbing until you have six rounds.
Eyelet Round: ( knit 2 together, yarn over, purl 2 together, knit 2, purl 2, knit 2, purl 2 ) repeat until four stitches remain in that row.  Knit 2 , purl 2.
Cast off all stitches, knitting the yarn overs as you then cast them off.

Ties.  Cast on 60 stitches.  Cast off 60 stitches .  Thread ties through eyelets and tie off ...
Tassels:  make them like this, and attach to ties

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

hand dying

A while ago I found a bargain yarn at Romni Wools. It was white Angora Silk... 60% silk and 40% angora. I grabbed two skeins, 50 grams each, with the intention of one day dying the two.  Here it is...
I think this yarn will make an absolutely luscious triangle shawl.  It is so soft and without much structure, so the drape should be amazing.  Pattern to follow  :)

Monday, October 29, 2018

Sock dying, sock knitting

This was a first for me.  I spent a lovely afternoon with my knitting friends, in the company of a yarn dying expert, who taught us to hand dye “sock blanks”. What are sock blanks?  They are rectangular machine knit superwash merino and nylon sock weight yarn blank in natural white.  This one is knit with two strands together to produce for two skeins of identically dyed yarn.  So the socks will match.  Magic!

 The dying was done with many of my favourite colours layer out in rough triangles. It should produce gradual fade from pinks to blues with interspersed lines of all the other colours. Can’t wait to see these socks.
 Then, because I like knitting smooth straight yarn (it is kinky when you unravel the blank), I threw the doubles yarn on the niddy noddy, and wet blocked it for a bit.  Then from the swift, I rolled two identical balls of sock yarn.
 And here you see the first done, and the second started.  I of course used my favourite sock pattern...
The Best Sock Pattern EVER.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Sweet Handspun

I have just finished spinning this lovely sport weight hand dyed yarn.  It is spun from 70% blue flaced leichester, and 30% silk, custom dyed roving, and was sold at an equally lovely shop in NE Ohio, by the name of Long Tail Knits.   Please stop by and say hi to the gang there!

Shortly, I will post a pattern made with this....  150 grams (5.5 oz) of sport weigh yarn.  (about 250 yards).  For now, enjoy the yummy photo and visit the website and etsy site of LTY.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Toddler Socks - Knitting for Children's Hospitals

A new friend has been knitting toddler socks for the local hospital, for the children's ward.  She felt that this pattern should be shared along with the other charity knitting patterns (preemie caps, and finger puppets - Poppets) that my readers have been knitting for many years.  The more we share, the more kids benefit!  So grab your left over sock yarns and your knitting group and start knitting for kids!  

Photo by Judy Kempston

TODDLER SOCKS   *pattern originally supplied by Kinsey Wool Shop for charity knitting

Some fingering weight yarn is finer than others.  I am including two versions, one for finer weight yarn, another for heavier weight yarn. 
Needles: 2.75mm or 3.25mm 
Cast on 32 stitches (I use the Tubular Cast on for a nice stretchy edge).  Divide on to 3 needles as follows: 10, 12, 10 
Work K1, P1, until work measure ¾ inch. 
Work in stockinette stitch until work measures 2 ¾ (3) inches.   
Knit across first needle.  Transfer 10 stitches from 3rd needle onto end of first needle (20 stitches) 
*Slip all stitches knitwise* 
Row 1: (WS) Sl1, purl to end 
Row 2: (RS) *Sl1, P* to end 
Repeat these rows foe 1 inch ending with a RS 
Sl1, P11, P2tog, P1, turn 
S1, K5, S1, K1, PSSO, K1.  Turn 
Sl1, P6, P2tog, P1, turn. 
Sl1, K7, K1, PSSO, K1.  Turn 
S1, P8, P2tog, P1.  Turn 
Sl1, K9, S1, K1, PSSO, K1.  Turn 
Sl1, P10, P2tog.  Turn 
S11, K10, Sl1, K1, PSSO.  Turn 
There will be 12 stitches on heel needle.  Divide onto 2 needles, 6 stitches on each.   

Pick up and knit 8 stitches on left side of flap, knit 12 stitches from the needle at the front of the sock, pick up and knit 8 stitches on the right side of the flap.  You now have stitches on all five needles.  Knit 6 stitches onto the 3rd needles and slip the other 6 stitches onto the first needle.  (1st:14, 2nd: 12, 3rd 14) 
Knit one round. 
Row 1: 1st needle:  K to last 3 stitches, K2tog, K1 
             2nd needle: K 
             3rd needle: K1, Sl1, K1, PSSO, K to end 
Row 2: knit all stitches 
Repeat these 2 rows 3 times.  You should have 32 stitches on the needles. 
Continue knitting in the round until your work measures 2 ¼ (2 ½) from picked u stitches at heel.   
Transfer stitches so that you have 8 stitches on the first, 16 on the second and 8 on the third. 
Row 1:  1st needle: K to last 3 stitches, K2tog, K1 
              2nd needle: K1, Sl1, K1, PSSO.  K to last 3 stitches, K2 tog, K1 
              3rd needle: K1, Sl1, K1, PSSO, K to end 
Row 2: K 
Repeat these 2 rows until 12 stitches remain.  Cut the yarn, thread it through the stitches and secure 

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.