Thursday, December 10, 2015

Collection of Free Gift Tags - Christmas , Handmade , Knits :)

Here's a collection of links to some sweet, free, printable Christmas gift tags  - all handmade/knit/crochet-oriented. Some have "care tags" so your recipient knows how to wash, or not wash, etc the lovely handmade item you spent a lot of time making.

Thank you to all these nice people for making these available to all of us!

http://blog.worldlabel.com/homemade_xmas_2013/Fillable.pdf

http://blog.worldlabel.com/pdf/homemade_xmas_2013/_675_made.pdf

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0844/4645/files/uglysweater-gifttags.pdf?16433846447624331857







Thursday, November 19, 2015

Interchangeable Needles Comparison: addi lace long tip, addi bamboo, hiya hiya bamboo, knitters pride royale paris limited edition, knitpicks options sunstruck

i love interchangeable needles!



I have put together a few pics, comparisons, and my overall feelings about working with these sets. I could talk about knitting tools all day, so if you have questions, ask away. At the VERY bottom of this post, there is a small 'spreadsheet' summarizing certain points of interest. It is in very small print so it would fit.

This is not an all-inclusive list. I don't own every set of interchangeables out there (i wish!!!), but this post might help you with these particular sets. 

All needles in my pics are the Size 7's.

Here's a shoutout to the Fabulous Yarns website because I have found the best prices there and they have great customer service. I bought my Addi's and Knitters Pride Royale Paris sets there. My other sets not sold through Fab Yarns are my Knitpicks Options which I purchased through Knitpicks, of course, and the Hiya Hiya Bamboo (5" set of "small" sizes) I purchased through Eat Sleep Knit.

top to bottom: addi lace long tip, addi bamboo, hiya hiya bamboo, knitters pride royale paris limited edition, knitpicks options sunstruck
TEXTURE OF THE NEEDLES:

All these needles feel great. The Addi Lace is metal and therefore more slick than bamboo/wood. Stitches really fly off them but they are not the slipperiest metal needles I've used. The K Pride Royale have the best of both worlds: slick metal tips and grippy wood shafts. I prefer bamboo/wood, as you may tell. The other 3 sets (Addi bamboo, Hiya Hiya bamboo, and Knitpicks wood) are all wonderfully smooth with excellent grip. I think they're all excellent on this score.

SMOOTHNESS OF THE JOINS/CONNECTIONS:


All the joins are certainly smooth enough, but the Addi bamboo fared the worst. You can see in the pic that it is the most angular of the bunch. Both the Addi bamboo and the Addi lace have just enough of a rise at the connector that if you are a very tight knitter especially (or if you use "magic loop" technique), you may have to fiddle with moving some of your stitches over it. The smoothest joins are the Hiya Hiya and the Knitpicks Options, followed by the K. Pride Royale. 


top to bottom: addi lace long tip, addi bamboo, hiya hiya bamboo, knitters pride royale paris limited edition, knitpicks options sunstruck
THE CABLES:

Overall I find all these cables to be excellent in flexibility. To me the colors vs. the clear aren't really an issue. The bonus points on the cables are that the Hiya Hiya's cables swivel, which is quite lovely especially if you use the 'magic loop' technique. The color coded cables of the K Pride Royale is a nice plus. 

All the cables have marked sizing except for Knitpicks Options. (and the K Pride but they are color coded).

Note that all cables have holes for lifelines except for Addi Bamboo.

THE SIZE MARKINGS ON NEEDLES:

Addi Lace Long Tips are marked on the shaft but they are already wearing off with use. Addi bamboo are clearly marked on the shaft. Hiya Hiya are marked on the shaft. K Pride Royale are very clearly marked on the shaft, and they are color coded as well. Knitpicks Options has the sizing etched on the metal connector, which I find hard to see.


top to bottom: addi lace long tip, addi bamboo, hiya hiya bamboo, knitters pride royale paris limited edition, knitpicks options sunstruck

 THE TIPS:

I have looked long and hard at these tips, and having worked with them all, I'd say they're all about equal in pointiness. All nice and pointy to manipulate the stitches and work some mad maneuvers.


top to bottom: addi lace long tip, addi bamboo, hiya hiya bamboo, knitters pride royale paris limited edition, knitpicks options sunstruck
left to right: addi lace long tip, addi bamboo, hiya hiya bamboo, knitters pride royale paris limited edition, knitpicks options sunstruck

THE PACKAGING:

I didn't take pics of the packaging. If you will be researching further, you can see for yourselves the range of quality in the packages. Addi includes high quality, sturdy cases with their sets, Hiya Hiya wins for the most portable case, made of quilted fabric. K Pride Royale comes in a magnetic box which is the least portable of the bunch, and Knitpicks Options comes in an uninspiring but completely sufficient clear vinyl case. 

FINAL THOUGHTS: 

If you are an avid fan of the "magic loop" technique, be sure to get a set with smooth joins. My favorite for this are my Hiya Hiya's with their ultra-smooth joins and swiveling cables. 

If you get a set of interchangeables with screw-type connectors, be sure to grip them at the connectors when screwing/unscrewing. Do not screw in while holding the shaft.

I had bought a set of Chiagoo Twist, but returned it when I had trouble with some of the joins not screwing in. It seemed that the threading was uneven. I've heard good things about those needles, but at that price point, to have a problem right away rubbed me wrong so I did not replace them.

SPREADSHEET OF ITEMS:




Addi Lace Long Tip Addi Bamboo Hiya Hiya Bamboo Knitters Pride Royale Paris Knitpicks Options
lifeline  no lifeline lifeline hole lifeline keyhole lifeline keyhole
push/twist connect (no tool) push/twist connect (no tool) screw connect (no tool) screw connect with key screw connect with key
size on shaft but fading quickly size on shaft clearly size on shaft but hard to see color coded and also clearly numbered size on metal base/join
slick, smooth metal smooth with nice grip smooth with nice grip slick brass tips with nice grippy wood shaft smooth with nice grip
not the smoothest join not the smoothest join very smooth join smooth join very smooth join
nice quality storage case nice quality storage case nice small fabric case nice magnetic closure box w/satin pouch sufficient. clear vinyl case.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Shameless Brag Post (SBP)

I spent so much time on this project, that I feel compelled to share it with the world in hopes that everyone will fall head over heels at my mad knitting skillz, and shower me with accolades at this mindboggling achievement.

In other news: Outlander will soon be starting up again, and I will be watching for more knitted items. If/when that happens, I will try to duplicate the pattern and will share here and on Ravelry as I have in the past.

Enter brag photos here:














Sunday, March 1, 2015

All better now!

I hadn't realized it but all the pics from my blog were gone for a while. I screwed up something but it's all better now! Whew!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Donalda Gilchrist Samhain Mitts --- Starz Outlander Inspired




Donalda Gilchrist Samhain Fingerless Mitts

If you need help with the pattern repeat, you might find this video helpful.

These mitts are worked flat and then later seamed or joined provisionally. Keep in mind the cables are worked vertically and then the fabric is seamed/joined horizontally in order to duplicate Donalda’s mitts on Starz' Outlander.

Size: Women’s Medium (my hands measure at 7 inches around the knuckles)

Finished dimensions before seaming:  7 inches wide, 7 inches long

Us 5 / 3.75 mm

Knitpicks Wool of the Andes  -  2 skeins at 50g /110 yds each (these are done in color Wheat)

Note: 1 skein *might* be enough if doing both provisionally. Mitt pair weighs 55 grams, but the one done with provisional is 25g. The seamed one is 30g.

Either do with provisional or cast on regular to seam later on. (I made one mitt with a seam, the other provisionally)

Abbreviations:
Sl = slip
Wyif = with yarn in front
Wyib = with yarn in back
K = knit
P = purl

For the mini cables - I liked doing a shortcut so I don't have to use cable needle (see my video), or you can also do them as follows:

C1B = cable 1 back: slip st to cable needle & hold in back of work,
k off left needle, k st off cable needle.

C1F = cable 1 front: slip st to cable needle & hold in front of work,
k st off left needle, k  off cable needle.


Pattern:
Cast on 52.
Row 1 (RS):  Sl 1 wyif, *P2, K1, Sl 2 purlwise wyib, K1*, until 3 sts left. P2, K1.
Row 2 (WS): Sl 1 wyif, *K2, P1, Sl 2 purlwise wyif, P1*, until 3 sts left. K3.
Row 3(RS): Sl 1 wyif, *P2, C1B, C1F*, until 3 sts left. P2, K1.
Row 4(WS): Sl 1 wyif, *K2, P4*, until 3 sts left. K3.

Dont' be worried if your work is all crinkly at first. The bottom edge of this pattern will do that. All will be well. See how crinkly mine is here - the blue is waste yarn for my provisional.


Continue until 7 inches tall (or whatever length you need to fit comfortably around your hand), ending with a Row 4. Then bind off or prepare for provisional join.

Figure out where you want your thumbhole to be. (see pic). I placed mine about 2 inches in from the edge, for a length of 2 ¼  inches. Use removable markers or pins to keep your fabric lined up, matching the cables.


For seaming, I used mattress stitch.

For provisional, I used the crochet chain cast on, and then grafted the join with Kitchener  up to the thumbhole where I then used a crochet hook to bind off the live thumbhole stitches (if you know of an easier way to bind off stitches without working yarn, I’m all ears), then did Kitchener down the rest of the mitt.

Weave in ends, repeat for your 2nd mitt.

 (Please, Donalda, don't wear these while you are waulking wool. )

Mrs. Fitz Wristwarmers - Worsted Weight Yarns


Mrs. Fitz Wristwarmers for Worsted Weight Yarns



This is the same pattern as before, just slightly modified for the different size yarn/gauge. (For bulky weight/bigger gauge click here)

I made a short video tutorial on the techniques involved. I hope you find it helpful! 

Done in Malabrigo “Worsted” -used 130 yards/60 grams. Colors shown are Pearl and Frank Ochre
Gauge:  18-19 sts and 16 rows = 4 inches in arm pattern
Hook: 7 / 4.5mm
Dimensions: 7 1/2 in tall and 6 3/4 in wide before seaming. After seaming, 7 1/2 in tall and 3 1/4 in wide.

ARM:

Foundation:
1.Chain 29 (or if you do chainless foundations, FSC 28, turn and go to Row 1)
2. Starting in the second chain of your hook, SC 28 stitches turn.


Row 1 (RS) - ch 1, SC BLO 27 , regular SC in last st, turn (28)
Row 2 (WS) - ch 1, SC FLO 27, regular SC in last st, turn (28)

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until you have 27 rows. (End with a RS row)

At my gauge this was 6 3/4 inches tall in total including the foundation row. I noticed it didn’t have to be as long as it does in bulkier yarn. This fit around my forearm nicely (the short way – it will be on its side) without being frumpy. For arms and hands bigger or smaller than mine, you can make adjustments by making more or fewer rows, but please note that you will also have to make adjustments when time to do the hand portion by making more or fewer stitches. I have not tested any other sizes.

HAND:

(Note: This variation of the mitt includes a cleaner join if you are making your hand a different color than the arm.)


With RS facing, turn work ¼ turn clockwise. Ch 1, then work 32 HDC evenly into this edge, turn.

Row 1 (WS) –Attach new color now (cut your arm color, leaving a tail for seaming later), then, not skipping the first stitch (OR if you are not changing color, ch 1, then, not skipping the first stitch-) work HDC into the 3rd LIF (loop in front) for 32 sts, turn. (32)

Row 2 (RS) – ch 1, HDC BLO 31, work last HDC as normal, turn (32)
Repeat rows 1 and 2, then row 1 a final time so you end on a WS row. (You can certainly make the hand as long or short as you like, just end on a WS row so your scallops are facing right way.)

At your last stitch, if you use the same yarn, turn your work and do scalloped edge as such:

(RS) ch1, 3 HDC in that same stitch, sl next st, *3 HDC in next st, sl next st* 

OR, if you are attaching new color, turn your work and add new yarn in first stitch, then *3HDC in next stitch, sl next st*

Weave in ends and stitch up seams. Admire your work.









Sunday, October 26, 2014

Mrs. Fitz Crocheted Wristwarmers in Worsted Weight - Pattern Update coming 11/1 plus video tutorial

 I love these.

Wearing them today. Perfect weather for this time of year. So comfy and warm.

Yarn is Malabrigo Worsted
Colors are Pearl and Frank Ochre




   




Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mrs. Fitz Wrist Warmers Bulky Yarn - Variation on the Mini Mitts V 1.0





Needed a break from my knitting - I was getting hand cramps suddenly. I think its the shorter needle tips I've been employing, so in future I'll try longer tips. For now though I need to whip up a couple of quick gifts, so back to crochet. I did a variation of my Mrs. Fitz Mini Mitts (v 1.0). These are the same except there is no thumbhole and I added a decorative scalloped edge. Very easy to make, comfortable to wear, and pretty to look at. 

For the original pattern please see here . Below is where the hand picks up, along with the slight modifications.


Mrs. Fitz Wrist Warmers - Bulky Yarn


(Done with  5.5 mm / US size i hook in Malabrigo Mecha bulky yarn in a gauge of 16-17 sts and 14 rows = 4 inches in arm pattern)


HAND:

Note: This variation of the mitt includes a cleaner join if you are making your hand a different color than the arm.

With RS facing, turn work ¼ turn clockwise. Ch 1, then work 27 HDC evenly into this edge, turn.

Row 1 (WS) –Attach new color now (cut your arm color, leaving a tail for seaming later), then, not skipping the first stitch (or if you are not changing color, ch 1, then, not skipping the first stitch-) work HDC into the 3rd LIF (loop in front) for 27 sts, turn. (27)

Row 2 (RS) – ch 1, HDC BLO 26, work last HDC as normal, turn (27)

Repeat rows 1 and 2, then row 1 a final time so you end on a WS row. (You can certainly make the hand as long or short as you like, just end on a WS row)

At your last stitch, if you use the same yarn, turn your work and do scalloped edge as such:

(RS) ch1,  3 HDC in that same stitch, sl next st, *3 HDC in next st, sl next st* 

or, if you are attaching new color, turn your work and add new yarn in first stitch, then *3HDC in next stitch, sl next st*

Weave in ends and stitch up seams. 

:)




before seaming


Monday, October 13, 2014

Sneak Peek

Been working on this Outlander-inspired pattern forever now, but taking a break for a bit (sore hands). I'm in lerve with this color.

D'oh! Pocket Jamie photobomb!!!


"hey lass whots this all aboot?"

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Whoopsadaisy!!

 Ok everyone lookie closely. What's wrong with this picture? 



(It's not the thumbhole - After completion i realized i made the hole too big, so i fudged it smaller with a tapestry needle. these are for me - if they were a gift i would have redone it)


Hint: If you were an alien perhaps these would fit just right.


It was clear after I made the second mitt and tried it on, that something was very, very wrong. 

I made 2 right hand mitts! Had a bit of a moan, chastised myself because I was aware the left thumbhole placement directions were different, and had written notes on it and all. It was on the next page, the way it printed, and I just zoned out long enough to sail right past it. Sure I could have worn them that way but the chevron pattern would not be centered on the back of my hand.

There's a time for brainless knitting, but this wasn't one of them! 




Here's how the mitts are supposed to look. I had to frog back the 2nd right hand mitt to the thumbhole and redo it. See how the thumbholes are much more appropriate for the average human person hand phalanges thingies.


"that looks much better, lass" says my pocket jamie. yeah thanks a lot for that. where were ya when i needed ya?




Still working on some Outlander-inspired goodies, but had to take a break and do something a bit easier on the noggin. Designing aint for sissies, I have found!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Version 2.0 Mrs. Fitz-Inspired Crocheted Mini Mitts - Bulkier Yarn-Outlander Free Pattern





My first version of these mitts (from an earlier post) was worked in Malabrigo Mecha, which is classified as bulky yarn. I decided to make a pair in another bulky yarn, also by Malabrigo, called “Chunky”. The difference in the size of these yarns - though they are in the same weight class and even made by the same company -  is significant. “Mecha” gets you 130 yards per 100 grams. “Chunky” gets you 100 yards per 100 grams. 

These seem like boring mathematical details when you’re itching to crochet up something, but I had to alter the original pattern in order to get correct results, so it does indeed make a difference and goes to show that the weight system is only a guideline.


Other changes in this 2.0 pattern also include a cleaner join where the color change occurs (if you’re not changing colors it is still cleaner). There is a right hand and left hand, instead of an interchangeable set. This allows for better seam placement and I think may also lend a more comfortable fit.


Mrs. Fitz Mini Mitts Crocheted Version 2.0





Hook: 5.5mm / US size i

Yarn: Malabrigo “Chunky” 100 yards/100 grams. 1 skein is *just* enough to make 1 pair in 1 solid color. I bought 2 skeins so I could combine colors. I have enough to make 2 pairs. Each mitt weights 50 grams, which is 50 yards of this yarn.

Size: Women’s Medium

Dimensions:

Flat before seaming: 9 in tall, 7 ½ in wide
Tube, after seaming: 9 in tall, 3 ½  in wide

Gauge: 14 sts and 12 rows = 4 inches in arm pattern



Boring Mumbo Jumbo section (same as version 1.0 except no Tr crochet)


Stitches used:

SC- single crochet
SC BLO – single crochet back loop only
SC FLO – single crochet front loop only
HDC BLO – half double crochet back loop only
HDC 3rd LIF – half double crochet through 3rd Loop In Front
DC – double crochet

Method:

The arm is worked first, then you turn your work ¼ turn clockwise to work the hand. The thumb is created by skipping stitches and making a chain as a bridge over those stitches. These mitts are worked flat and seamed when finishing.

Pattern Oddities and Necessary Blathering:

- I don’t skip the first stitch in every row when doing HDC. I treat it like a SC, really. This keeps edges tidy and less holey. Even though we’re seaming the edges, it’s not a place you want holes.
- I only ch1 for my turning chain on HDC.  I think the fabric looks nicer.
-The last stitch of every row is worked as you normal would (under both loops/legs). This keeps your edges tidy and less holey.
-The stitches for the arm are SC but worked in BLO and FLO. The hand portion is mostly HDC, but worked in either the BLO or through the 3rd loop in the front (LIF).
If the BLO, FLO, or LIF terms frighten you, here are some wonderful video explanations:
SC BLO - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsd8K5MghDQ                   


Ok enough with the boring mumbojumbo, let’s start crocheting!!


PATTERN

ARM:

Foundation Row:

1. ch  21 (or if you do chainless foundations, FSC 20, turn and go to Row 1)
2. Starting in the second chain of your hook, SC 20 stitches, turn.

Row 1 (RS) – ch 1, SC BLO 19, SC in last st, turn. (20)
Row 2 (WS) – ch 1, SC FLO 19, SC in last st, turn. (20)

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until you have worked 21 rows. (end with a RS row)

This fit around my forearm nicely (the short way – it will be on its side) without being frumpy. For arms and hands bigger or smaller than mine, you can make adjustments by making more or fewer rows, but please note that you will also have to make adjustments when time to do the hand portion by making more or fewer stitches. I have not tested any other sizes.

BOTH HANDS:

With RS facing, turn work ¼ turn clockwise and Ch 1, then work 23 HDC evenly into the edge, turn. Doing this row in the same color as the arm gives you a cleaner transition into the second color. 

see how clean color change is on the left 2.0 compared to the right 1.0




Row 1 (WS) – If you are using a new color for hand, attach it now which counts as a ch 1 (cut your arm yarn, leaving 18 inch tail for seaming later). If you are not changing colors, then ch 1 and don’t cut your yarn. 
Not skipping the first stitch, work HDC into the 3rd LIF all 23 sts, turn. (23)

Proceed to the left hand / right hand instructions.

LEFT HAND:

Row 2 (RS) – ((thumbhole row)) ch 1, HDC BLO 5, DC 1, ch 5 , skip the 5 sts under them, DC 1, HDC BLO 10, HDC 1, turn. (23)
Row 3 (WS) – ch 1, HDC LIF 12, HDC into back bumps of each ch (5), HDC LIF 5, HDC 1, turn. (23)
Row 4 (RS) – ch 1, HDC BLO 22, HDC 1, turn. (23)
Row 5 (WS) – ch 1, HDC LIF 22, HDC 1, turn. (23)
Row 6 (RS) – work as row 4
Row 7 (WS) – work as row 5

Cut yarn, leaving a tail to seam with. Give yourself 24 inches or so tail to seam with if you used 1 color for your mitts. If you did hand in different color you only need 10 inches or so to seam it, and then you’ll pick up your other color tail to seam the arm portion.

RIGHT HAND:

Row 2 (RS) - ((thumbhole row)) ch 1, HDC BLO 11, DC 1, ch 5, skip the 5 sts under them, DC 1, HDC BLO 4, HDC 1, turn. (23)
Row 3 (WS) – ch 1, HDC LIF 6, HDC into the back bumps of each ch (5), HDC LIF 11, HDC 1, turn. (23)
Row 4 (RS) – ch 1, HDC BLO 22, HDC 1, turn. (23)
Row 5 (WS) – ch 1, HDC LIF 22, HDC 1, turn. (23)
Row 6 (RS) – Work as row 4
Row 7 (WS) – Work as row 5

Cut yarn, leaving a tail to seam with. Give yourself 24 inches or so tail to seam with if you used 1 color for your mitts. If you did hand in different color you only need 10 inches or so to seam it, and then you’ll pick up your other color tail to seam the arm portion.


Finishing Instructions for both mitts:

Weave in ends. Fold mitts with RS out and sew your seams shut, then weave in your seam tail ends.

 Good work!!!!

Please let me know if you have any questions. This pattern has been checked and edited but if you think there are errors, let me know! :)







Pattern coming up today 9/29---


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Whats on Deck - ?

1. I just put up what i hope is a helpful video on fixing dropped stitches. (click here). I feel its important to know how to do this, and I think its one of the Top 5 Things a New Knitter should know. Please ask questions if anything is unclear.


2. I might be tweaking my Mrs. Fitz Crocheted Mitts pattern. I was happy with it when I posted it, but I learned a little trick which might improve it in a very small way. Maybe not. I also got a different yarn which is from the same weight category but has 30 yards less per skein. Might not sound like a big deal, but it is, so I'd like to see how it looks in this pattern, or how it might affect it. It's also plied, so it will look different.

3. Maybe another pair of Outlander-inspired mitts. I can't tell you what character yet. It's a secret. Sshhhhhh.