Tag Archives: blue loom

Mittens, pre-felting

image from www.flickr.com

I knit mittens on my blue Knifty Knitter loom, using the one loom mitten pattern. I changed the cuff by doing two rows of the garter stitch, plus I knitted a few extra rows. Because I used 100% wool, I then felted them.

They shrunk, a little. I'll post another picture soon.

They'll need another good wash/dry to get to the perfect size. The good thing about these is that I'm not really fond of them–if I lose one (which has been my habit this winter–I've lost one mitten and two gloves), then I'll have an excuse to make another pair, maybe in a better color. I bought one of those huge fisherman's wool skeins two years ago, and I've been using it for projects since then. Now, it's nearly gone. Hooray!

Ruffled Cuff Wrist Warmers (I dare you to say that three times fast!)

 

  • image from www.flickr.com
  • image from www.flickr.com
  • image from www.flickr.com
image from www.flickr.com

My office is making attempts to save energy, and one of the ways we're accomplishing this is to lower the heat during the winter. And it's cold in January! So, I decided to make myself some wrist warmers to help keep my hands warm while I'm typing away at my job.

I designed these after conducting a fruitless search for wrist warmers (or hand warmers, or fingerless mitts… whatever you call them) made in the round on the blue Knifty Knitter. Having made mittens with the blue loom in the round, I figured there would be many different ideas out there. I found a few patterns, but most asked for small or regular gauge looms. Some were knitted as a flat panel on the blue loom and then stitched into a tube, but I just couldn't find a fairly easy, knitted-in-the-round pattern. So, I made one up off the top of my head!

BIG WARNING: Because I'm not a terrific pattern writer, there may be very easy ways to make a similar item without following these directions. Be creative! And please share with me what you did to improve it!

BIGGER WARNING: I was uncertain how to do the opening for the thumb so I made it up. The next time I make these, I'll probably remove the stitches from pegs 1-5 (Row 31 in the pattern below) and place them on a stitch holder, and then, after the item is off the blue loom, I may transfer the stitches onto the flower loom and knit three or four rows of the garter stitch. Stay tuned for improvements!

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RUFFLED CUFF WRIST WARMERS

Make two.

Needed:

  • Blue Knifty Knitter Loom (24 peg large gauge loom)
  • Knitting hook
  • Crochet hook
  • Tapestry needle
  • Stitch makers to mark purling pegs (optional)
  • Yarn, approximately 125 yards: I used two strands of a worsted weight yarn (Patton 100% Merino Wool in Burgundy)

Notes:  

Instructions:

  1. Cast On. I use the cable cast on method.
  2. Rows 1-15 (CUFF): FS two pegs, PS two pegs. Keep up this pattern to create the cuff. Because the FS is a very snug stitch, the cuff looks ruffled when finished. Knit more rows for a longer cuff.
  3. Row 16-30 (BEGINNING OF HAND): FS.
  4. Row 31, PEGS 1-5 (THUMB OPENING): Lift loop from Peg 1 onto a crochet hook. Loop your working yarn over the hook, and pull it through Loop 1. Loop your working yarn again and pull through the loop. You now have one loop on your crochet hook. Lift loop from Peg 2 onto you hook and pull through the first loop. Loop your working yarn again and pull through the Loop 2. You now have one loop on your crochet hook. Move to Peg 3. Continue this pattern, creating a single chain, for Pegs 3, 4, and 5. Once Pegs 1-5 are safely crocheted, loop your final loop from your crochet hook onto Peg 6. You now have two loops on Peg 6, and no loops at all on Pegs 1-5.
  5. Row 31 (continued), Pegs 6-24: Knit off Peg 6. FS Pegs 7-24.
  6. Row 32, Pegs 1-5: You want to re-create new loops on your empty pegs. Use your working yarn and wrap Peg 1. Wrap Peg 1 a second time and KO. Wrap Peg 2. Wrap Peg 2 a second time and KO. Do this pattern for Pegs 3, 4, and 5. You will now have loops on all Pegs 1-5, and your working yarn is at Peg 6, ready to continue knitting in the round.
  7. Row 32 (continued), Pegs 6-24: FS Pegs 6-24.
  8. Rows 33-50 (TOP OF HAND): FS. NOTE: Knit as many rows as you'd like at this point. You want the mitt to reach to just below your knuckle area. Mine are a little too long.
  9. Row 51: PS
  10. Row 52-53: FS 2, PS 2. (Another option is: Row 51, PS. Row 52 FS. Row 53 PS.)
  11. Cast off. Use your tapestry needle to weave in any remaining threads.
  12. Finishing the Thumb: Use your crochet hook and yarn. Hook your crochet hook into one of the loops in the thumb opening, and crochet a single chain around the entire thumb opening, using up all the existing loops that border the thumb opening, one at a time. Be creative and make a fancy pattern if you so desire. If you find any open or weak areas areas after you're finished, reinforce these areas by either crocheting them or using some yarn and your tapestry needle and weaving in some reinforcing threads.

A not-quite-there-yet mitten

Mitten

I guess when you make something for yourself, you can be extra picky because you’re always checking to make certain it fits. This mitten does not fit!

I used the same ideas I used for my other set of blue loom mittens, only this time, I chose Paton 100% merino wool. I used a double strand, did a ribbed cuff and a gathered top. However, here’s what I don’t like about this poor mitten:

–The cuff is wider than the rest of the mitten. Because I chose the flat stitch for the majority of the mitten, the Purl 1, Flat Stitch 1 ribbing is too loose.

–I started the thumb too early. I need one more row before starting that thumb. now, it rides up a touch right below the thumb.

–The thumb is too snug/short. I should have used more pegs, plus it needed two extra rows.

–The top is too long. Now, here I’m getting picky. It’s only about one row too long.

So, there you have it. A failed mitten. Poor little thing. I intend on frogging it and starting over, making better notes this time. When I have a finished pair, I’ll do another post.

Big Bubba comes to visit

Yarndog2
Yarndog3
Kittyicicle
Bigbunny

So, what brought yarn kitty and yarn dog out of the house on a winter day? In the past week we’ve had 30″ of snow, and yet there they were, both staring at something.

Could it be? Could it really be that they spotted Big Bubba, the harbinger of spring?

The kitty peered cautiously through an icicle. The dog bounded, but Bubba was too fast and got away! And least I think he got away.

Okay, enough silliness! What I really wanted to say is knitting bunnies is a good way to trigger spring. Even with all the snow, the sun is shining and the ice is melting the day after a winter storm. So, never again doubt the power of a pink, knitted bunny named Bubba.

I made this bunny using the same pattern as before, only this time I made him much bigger. I cast on 24 stitches on the blue loom and knit back and forth to create an 8.5″ square flat panel. I used the flat stitch and two strands of yarn–one Bernat Softee and one Moda Dea Dream. Because this bunny is so much larger than the other two, I had to guess how much bigger to make his ears. I cast on pegs 1-6 and purled the two middle pegs. I added two additional rows, and that’s all it took to make the ears. I did sew them on backwards so they had a floppier look.
Bubba is a little bit big, and although he’s cute, he’s no where near as cuddly as the little bunnies. Plus, his back legs look a little distorted.

But if Bubba can bring about spring, who can complain?

And what does yarn dog think about it all? Can she complain? “Nope,” she told me. “Bubba was delicious!”

(Just kidding.)

Bunnies!

Bunny2
Bunnyears
What better way to spend a snowy weekend than knitting a couple of cute bunnies? We may have had 20″ of snow this weekend, but these little, cute, pink, fluffy bunnies didn’t seem to care. I used the blue loom and the free pattern (PDF) from the Loom Knitting store. These bunnies knit up in about an hour. You start by knitting a flat panel using 15 pegs. Then, you knit two ears, a tail, and you sew it and stuff it.
For my first bunny I used two strands of Bernat Softee Chunky. When I started the ears, I accidently read the pattern wrong and knitted at least two rows too many, but it looks sort of cute that way, more like Amigurumi than a bunny. For this bunny, I kept the “knit” side facing out.
I then did another one using two strands of Moda Dea Dream (Color: Blush). It’s very soft and fluffy. I probably should have used three strands because they were so skinny… Next time, maybe. This one I followed the ear pattern more closely and they turned out pretty cute. This bunny has the “purl” side facing out.
These bunnies are very small–no more than six or seven inches long. I’d like to knit a bigger bunny, maybe using the blue loom but instead of just 15 pegs, I’d use all 24 pegs. I’m guessing I’d have to knit at least 40 rows. If it keeps snowing, maybe I’ll do just that!

P.S. Hey, all you Vox-ers. Did you know you can now customize your banner? B designed this new one of my yarn lovin’ cat!

Mittens!

Mitten
Mittens

I’ve always wanted to try to knit mittens, so I bought yet another skein of Lion’s Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick and gave it a shot. I tried this pattern which uses the blue loom and knits the mitten in one piece, thumb included. The only sewing is the top and the sides of the thumb. I chose the flat stitch so the mitten wouldn’t be loose, and I think they ended up okay. Not great, because I changed the top of the mitten. The pattern called for a gathered top, like a hat, but I decided to do decreases and stitch the top like a flat panel.

Did it work? Yes and no. For one thing, using the flat stitch made me have to guess the number of rows–I needed more than the pattern called for because the flat stitch is so tight. Also, I have a lot to learn about decreasing because the mittens look a little off on the top, plus my stitching is bumpy. They work, though, and I was able to toss snowballs for my dog to chase while my hands stayed warm. These would be even better if I could line them with flannel, but until then, they’re just fine.

My other cat, the one who doesn’t bother me when I knit unlike this one, just had to take a look. I think she was impressed. I can always tell when she likes something because she lies down on it, and that’s just what she did.

 

A Knifty Knitter Dishcloth

Dishcloth
Cotton

Denise Layman designed the April Showers dishcloth, and I couldn’t resist giving it a try. I used the blue loom and less than one skein of Peaches and Cream cotton yarn (two strands), and followed the directions on the Knitting without Needles website. This was fun and fairly easy (all you need to know is knit and purl), and if you can see the picture clearly, it should look like a flower. I now have the bug to make other dishcloths, and although it worked fine on the blue KK, I’d like to try them on a fine gauge, loom, too. All you really need is a dollar’s worth of yarn, a pattern, and an hour or two.

I bought this hank of Henry’s Attic 100% organic cotton a few weeks ago, and as always, whenever I get “nice” yarn, I have trouble deciding what to make with it. I’m considering a pullover vest, but I have yet to find a KK pattern for one I like. (Matter of fact, I can’t find any loom patterns!) I’d like to use the mock crochet stitch, which is very delicate and pretty. Here’s Isela’s movie on how to knit it on a loom, plus here’s Brenda’s lacey scarflet, a pretty example of the stitch.

I came across this website with links to a ton of loom-knitting blogs and patterns. Maybe I’ll find a pattern for my cool yarn!

Afghan panel, hemp mat, slippers, shrug

Afghan2
Mat
Shrug2
Slippers

I finally finished one panel of my afghan. I’ve been using the purple loom, and I’ve discovered that making an afghan is a true test in endurance. My hat goes off to all you afghan-makers out there! This is one big project. I’m using Red Heart Super Saver (because it’s cheap), and I do a zig-zag wrap using the whole loom. The panel I finished is divided into five “squares” of thirty-three rows apiece (plus one row where the old color stops and the new color start). I alternated colors (blue, brown/multicolor, cream, multicolor/brown, blue). The next panel will probably be different colors (brown, cream, multicolor, cream, brown), and the final panel will probably be the same as the first. B says it should be five panels wide, but I think it’ll be mid-summer before it gets finished if I add two more.

Once my purple loom was free, I tried to knit a rug/mat out of this hemp twine I bought a few weeks back from a groovy bead shop. It smells like patchouli! I used a figure-eight wrap and it ended up a perfect square. Not quite a rug, not a placemat. What is it? My wrist hurt after knitting this, and my KK pick was bent, and I’ll send out a warning. Pick a thinner hemp if you plan on doing this. I think it would make a great outdoor welcome mat if the gauge was a little thinner, and I had twice as much. The double-knit end result from the purple loom is really cool.

My shrug. Oh, the poor thing! I stopped after I finished the main section. All I have left is the arms, but I just… don’t… like… it… There, I said it. It’s too green and hairy. I’m letting this sit for the time being because I may come up with another use for it, or I may decide I really, really want a green and hairy shrug after all. We’ll see.

Over the weekend, I made yet another pair of slippers for myself. Yes, this is the third pair I’ve made for myself, the fifth pair total. However, this time, I used the toe-up pattern that’s in the “files” section of the Knifty Knitter’s yahoo group. I used the blue loom and it was really easy. I like the toe-up slipper because there’s no seam at all in the toe area. It’s fun. You start off by creating the toe (the blue loom uses pegs 1-12) and then decreasing and then increasing. (It’s all in the pattern). Then, here’s the fun part, you pull those original stitches over to pegs 13-24. The toe looks like a flat circle at this point. Then you start the foot, and as you add row after row, you can see the toe emerge. Rowena also does a version of a toe-up sock, and she has pictures on her blog.

The first time I tried this, I was using a flat stitch, and I just couldn’t pull the stitches across to the other side, because the stitch was too tight. This time I used the regular e-wrap stitch, and it worked really well. I used Bernat’s Denimstyle yarn, which was okay for this project but not great. It’s part cotton and really doesn’t have any elasticity to it. It’d be great for a sweater or a scarf. Another first for me–I used two colors. Red (batik) for the toe/heel, and white (canvas) for the foot/ankle/cuff. I think they’re cute and super soft, and they’re the perfect thing to wear to bed if your feet are cold.

Next project: A bag. Yes, once more I’m going to try to make a bag.

What stitch is this?

Stitch

I’ve been working on a shrug, and I decided to use a looser, lacier stitch than the ones I’m familiar with, so I’ve been using this one. It’s just one strand of yarn (Yarn Bee, Cameo). I don’t know the name of the stitch yet, but I’m trying to find it. I cast on and then, with one stitch on each peg, I double-wrap each peg–I don’t go around the loom twice, I simply wrap each peg twice–then I move onto the next, and so on. I then knit the bottom two wrappings over the top one, leaving just one wrapping on each peg. This creates a boxy looking stitch. I’m not certain if I like it, but I’m going to keep on with it.

As far as shrugs, this will basically be a rectangle (knitted as a flat panel on the yellow loom) about 36″ long. I’m also knitting two sleeves/cuffs on the blue loom. If they’re too small, I may switch to the red loom to get a looser look. I’ve never made a shrug before, so it’s yet another experiment. Honestly, I don’t even know if I like shrugs, but it’s fun to make something new.

There are a ton of free patterns for shrugs here, but they’re all knitting patterns, so you’ll have to find a way to convert them to a loom. I tend to like the ones with a front on them, like Berroco’s Evonne, but I like the look of this one, and the one listed on this vintage pattern site (scroll down to see it). The one at the Lion Brand free pattern site is neat, too. I’ll put these in my to-make-someday-when-I-have-a-finer-gauge-loom file or my to-make-someday-when-I-understand-how-to-convert-patterns file.

A yarn bowl, plus slippers for me

Bowl

Slippers5

Sometime yesterday, it became apparent that my bag was never going to be a bag. It was, in fact, a bowl. I had tried knitting the sides again, but they sunk in so much that the whole thing looked funny. (Thanks, Saaski, for your comments about this. Happy to know you had the same problem.)

I think what happened is that the bottom was so overdone it kept a strong shape, while the sides were flimsy in comparison, and when I tried a tighter stitch, it just brought in the sides even more. So, I now have a bowl made of yarn. It’s sort of cute, and I may try felting it someday. In the meantime, it’s holding all those little scraps of yarn I trim off of my projects.

Now for some good news. I actually used the final amount of my Bollicine yarn and made myself a pair of slippers in just two hours–I’m getting faster. I used the blue loom and the same pattern I’ve used for the others I’ve made (Isela’s pattern for ribbed socks–PDF document). Because this yarn is thinner than the others I’ve used, I had to use two strands throughout. This time, though, I knew I had a limited amount of yarn and I didn’t think I could spare enough to make a full cuff or even a short, ribbed cuff, thanks to the dreaded bag/bowl fiasco, so I knitted just five rows and let the tops roll down. This is the same type of “rim” my bowl has, so I knew I could get away with that type of cuff. The rest of the slipper was identical to the others. I turned the heel, knitted 16 rows for the foot, and then did the toe.

Now that I’m on my third use of this pattern, I’ve figured out how to avoid having a small hole in the side of the heel. For some reason, I always end up with a hole near the first peg. This doesn’t happen near peg 12, just the first one, so this is how I correct it. I knit the entire heel just as Isela lays out. I knit the very final row of the heel (from Peg 13 to Peg 1), and then I’m ready to start from Peg 1 to go back in circular rows for the foot, only I start out by wrapping Peg 24 first, and then I wrap 1, 2, 3, etc., all the way around to peg 23. I then wrap 24 again (Peg 24 now has three loops on it), and KO all the pegs, including TWO loops on Peg 24 so there’s only one loop left. There may be a better way to do this, but I haven’t stumbled across it yet. I wonder if the reason why I have this problem is that I always wrap in a clockwise manner. Maybe if I wrapped in a counterclockwise manner, this would go away. Something else to think about.

Aren’t they cute? I wore them for a few hours, and it looks like my foot is still inside.

A small success and a not-so-small failure

First, the success. It's the little things in life that are important, so you can imagine how thrilled and excited I am to report that I actually… made… a… hair… scrunchie! And, this time, unlike a few days ago, it worked.

I used the pattern on Linda's blog (that I linked to below), and it worked just fine and dandy. Using the blue loom, I cast on and knitted ten rows, and even though my yarn was a regular worsted size (Yarn Bee, Cameo, Moss Green), I decided to use only one strand. I then used the super stretchy bind-off method (also linked below) and, voila! A hair scrunchie was born. It's green and furry, but I like it, and I wore it all day yesterday. It's not quite as big as it looks in the picture, though.

Now onto my failure. I've decided my very next project will be another pair of slippers–for me. It's hard to see something go downhill so quickly. It seems like it was only a few weeks ago that I made these. Wait a minute–it was only a few weeks ago! What went wrong? My slippers are pretty much ruined. Worn about ten times, washed twice, I thought they would last forever. But then, last night, I attempted to put little dots of fabric glue on the bottom to see if it would help with slipping and yuck! I hate it. So, now my formerly useful slippers are floppy, have holes in the bottom (from what? I assume it's because I stitched them too loosely), and also have row after row of hardened yet tacky glue dots whose only purpose appears to be in gathering dirt and hair. It's time for a new pair.

Dad’s Slippers–Done!

I did manage to finish the slippers for my dad. (I may add a pic later but it will be yet another picture of brown slippers!) It only took 3 hours total, so I'm getting faster even if I'm not getting much better. I turned the heels and toes very quickly this time and I didn't even swear. I HOPE these ones fit and one doesn't start to grow like the other set I made. 😉

I ended up doing this: 1) knitted ten rows and brought up the first row to make a cuff and knitted off. 2) turned the heel. I used the flat stitch because I wanted the slipper to be a little more snug than the others I've made. However, it made it look a bit shrunken. 3) knitted 24 rows with the knit stitch. 4) turned the heel using the flat stitch.

Overall, they'll work. I just need to find a way to put some type of stitcky thingies on the bottom so they aren't so slippery. I don't know how to do this. I wonder if there's a fabric glue that would work. I'll have to look around tonight.

I also tried a hair scrunchie for the first time, but it's a bit skimpy so I'll do another tonight. I used the blue loom, knitted six rows (using two strands) with this angora-type yarn. I think I should have used one strand and knitted about ten rows, because this is too bulky. I put a hair elastic inside the loom and brought up the bottom row, just as you would if you're making a hat brim. This was a little tricky because you need to stretch the hair elastic to make it work. Now, here's where I made another mistake. When I cast off, I pulled the final strand of yarn too tight so I can't really stretch the scrunchie over my hair easily. (Since then, I've discovered this pattern, and this one, and this bind off method, appropriately called the Super Stretchy Bind Off Method. Scroll down to the bottom of the page.) This project only took a few minutes, though, and I can see how it would be fun to make as a gift.

Other projects I'd like to try soon: mittens, shrug or vest, rug (I read how a woman looms rugs out of hay bale twine and I'd like to try that), new slippers for me with a ribbed leg… I'm sure there are a few others I've forgotten! 

Slippers Done

I finished the meant-for-my-dad-but-now-are-my-husband's slippers this morning. I like this method of making the toe. I started the toe and, just like the heel, turned it but used the flat stitch this time. I then gathered the loops with a darning needle off the loom using a flat removal method (you zig zag across the loom). It's fun to pull the toe closed and see it all come together.

These were DEFINITELY about 1.5" too long for my dad, so it's back to the blue loom to make another pair. I had used 28 rows for the foot for these ones, and I think I'll make do with 20 this time. I've estimated that (with this yarn) there are four rows per inch. Wish me luck!

Here are the slippers, finished. One looks a little bit bigger. It really is the mysterious expanding slipper. I counted the rows about a million times, so I know they're the same size, and yet… and yet… One is HUGE! Now here's the really odd part–they fit B! I mean both of them, and last time I checked he didn't have different sized feet. Something strange is definitely going on.

So (deeeep breath), tomorrow morning I'm going to start yet another pair of brown slippers, hopefully size 10.5. Ho hum…

The Mysterious Expanding Slipper

You learn things every day. What I learned today: Yarn stretches. Yes, I know. I should know this, but it must have escaped my mind somehow.

My dad had requested slippers, so I traced his current slipper on a piece of paper to be able to size them correctly. I was really excited about making these, because I came across Isela's pattern for ribbed socks (PDF) using the blue loom, and it would be my first try at a toe that didn't get drawn up with one thread like the top of a hat. (Note: I didn't make this pattern exactly, but it helped me understand increasing and decreasing on the loom–her pattern keeps those pesky holes from appearing in the heel.)

So, my dad has size 10.5 feet. Keep this in mind. I started with Lion Brand Thick and Quick in "wood" (yes, I must expand my yarn horizons) by knitting ten rounds, drawing up the bottom row, and knitting off to make a cuff. I then jumped right into the heel, and was pleased to find it went smoothly. When I started the actual foot, I carefully compared the growing sock with the tracing of my Dad's slipper. 10.5. Remember.

I knitted 28 rows and then knitted the toe using the flat stitch. I took off the whole thing using a flat panel removal method, like Isela recommends. And here's the result!

That's ONE HUGE SLIPPER!

B came home, took one look, and burst out laughing. What happened? It matched the paper tracing exactly, right up until the point where I took it off of the loom. So… the moral of the story is: yarn stretches, sometimes mysteriously so.

This story has a happy ending. Yes, I could have "frogged" it (I've learned that means Rip-it, Rip-it!) but it just so happens my husband's foot is size 12 so guess who's getting a pair of slippers? Sorry, Dad!

Slippers… Warm but ugly

I made some slippers! And, wow!, are my feet cozy. Making slippers with the KK loom creates a slipper-sock. Not thin enough to be a sock, and yet not heavy enough to be a true slipper. Some people may want to put little sticky spots on the bottom to prevent slipping. I can admit they're not the most attactive, but it's okay. This is my first attempt at making something to wear, and it was super fun to see the slipper emerging from the loom. I used the blue loom and followed instructions at Yarn Gear, except I didn't quite do the heel right (worked out in the end), plus I didn't make the long ankle but shortened it into a doubled brim-like-cuff. Used Lion Thick and Quick yet again. (Must branch out to new yarn!!!)

Goals for slipper making: seamless toe! flat stitch on the bottom, and maybe, just maybe, some type of ribbed leg.

My dad asked for a pair, so we'll see how it goes. Did I mention how fast the KKs are? I know I did, but it's worth mentioning these slippers took about 1.5 hours apiece. I used one skein total, but I nearly ran out at the end, and just held my breath and kept on knitting.