Wednesday, January 30, 2008

inauguration day scrap wrap

A bunch of people in my Knitting Liberally group are making 'inauguration day' scarves. They're knitting two rows of a different color of yarn scraps they have sitting around each day as a countdown to the inauguration of a new president. Although I sadly disposed of many of my yarn scraps when I moved last year, I've generated a few more. One problem with the scarf idea from my perspective is that you either have to weave in 732 ends (ick) or you have a scarf with a fringe on one side (also, in my opinion, ick). So I'm going to make a triangular wrap instead. I cast on two stitches on the 20th (that's a lie. I did it all this morning and caught up to where I should be), and I'm going to increase one stitch every three days. The fringe will be on the angled side, the bottom of the wrap. Another advantage: I can get rid of some larger scraps - 20 yards or so from a project that used most of a ball. I might have to acquire some more scraps before the whole thing is finished, but the KL folks are planning to have a scrap swap sometime soon to deal with this problem.

In case you're interested in Knitting Liberally, it meets on Tuesday at 5 at the Yellow Sofa in downtown Northampton (sometimes it's hard to find this sort of information, and now, voila, it's googleable in case it wasn't before).

Monday, January 21, 2008


Arg. This pattern was a serious pain in the butt. It was poorly written and laid out, it required a lot of seaming (including right up the face!) and parts were unclear.

However, I think the resulting critter is adorable. It's much bigger than expected, but elephant and turtle will get popped in the mail tomorrow!

If I ever feel the need to knit another elephant, I will find another pattern, or modify this one heavily to involve a lot more knitting in the round (and I will write it out clearly so I can actually figure out what's happening while knitting without going crazy!)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Leibniz and Newton for tea

Differentiate this:
This goes to IESL next time I'm in Amherst. They acquired a teapot last semester, and I promised to knit them the nerdiest tea cozy I could think up. I would have put Student's t distribution on it, but I didn't think I could make it fit. I used super cheap Bernat acrylic. It's a tiny bit short for my teapot, but I can't remember how big the IESL one is.

Someone asked for the pattern. The cozy itself wasn't that great, but here's an excel version of the chart (the real one is scribbled on graph paper, and I don't have access to a scanner!)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Just like everyone else

More Wristies. This time, the pattern is Fetching, which I'm pretty sure is the most popular pattern on the internet. I used Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora. Trendy or otherwise, I think they're pretty cute!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Teatime in Washington

When Veronica moved into her house in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, I promised to knit her a tea cozy out of the Neighborhood Fiber Company's Columbia Heights yarn. Sadly, they don't yet make Columbia Heights. Her house is right near Mount Pleasant, though, so I decided to go with that. I put a flap in the top so it's possible to add or remove tea bags without taking the whole thing off. It doesn't cover the bottom so it can be slipped on and off a teapot relatively easily. It is currently being modeled by my teapot which is an average sized and kind of round. Veronica's tea pots were all taller, so hopefully it will fit. It's pretty stretchy, so I think it's sort of one size fits all. Pattern and picture with flap open below.

One note: NFC yarn is a bit hard to come by. Since I'm no longer living in Washington, I get by calling A Tangled Skein, which is an incredibly friendly little yarn shop in Hyattsville, MD just a few miles away from the DC line and on DC public transportation. They can call Neighborhood Fiber Company and get whatever you want. Then they'll pop it in the mail for you. If the person who picks up the phone is confused, just ask to talk to Cheryl.

Teatime in Washington Tea Cozy with Flap
One skien Neighborhood Fiber Company studio worsted (shown in Mount Pleasant)
Size 6 DPNs
Small size 6 circular (optional - the whole thing can be knit on the dpns)
Stitch holder (or scrap yarn)
Button, needle and thread
Crochet hook
Yarn needle
Tea pot

Gauge: 22 sts/30 rows = 4 inches.

On Jan 29 I fixed a few things that I miscopied from my messy notes. They are in pink!

Cast on 88 stitches. Join to work in round. Place a marker or a bit of scrap yarn to remember where a round begins.
Rows 1-8: knit in 1x1 rib.
Row 9: knit all stitches.
Row 10: knit 44 stitches. Put next 44 stitches on holder. Turn work.
Work the next 15 rows back and fourth in stockinette stitch on these 44 stitches, slipping first stitch of each row. (16 rows total on these 44 stitches).
Break yarn.
Reattach yarn to the first stitch of the reserved stitches (on the non-marker side).
Work the next 16 rows back and forth in stockinette stitch, slipping first stitch of each row.
Knit the next row, continuing past the marker to rejoin the two sides. You've just closed the spout hole.
Knit 3 more rows back and forth on all 88 stitches. (4 rows total back and forth on all 88 stitches).

Next row: slip 1, k2tog, k to 3 sts before marker, ssk, k2, k2tog, k to 3 sts before end of row, ssk, k1.
Next row: s1, p to end.
Repeat the previous two rows two more times. (So you've knit a total of 6 rows, 76 sts remaining)

Next row: k1, k2tog, k to 3 sts before marker, ssk, k2, k2tog, k to 3 sts before end of row, ssk, k1, place marker, and join to work in round again. This is the handle hole.
Next round: Knit all sts.

Next round: k1, k2tog, k to 3 sts before marker, ssk, k2, k2tog k to 3 sts before end of round, ssk, k1.
Next round: Knit all sts.
Repeat previous two rounds 5 more times. (So you've knit a total of 12 rounds, 48 sts remaining). If you're using a circular needle, you'll have to switch to the double points in here when things get tight.

Next round: *k1 k2tog* to end. 32 sts remaining.

Work next two rounds in seed stitch.

Next round: k6, loosely bind off 20, k6.

You will now work back and forth on these 12 stitches to make the flap.

Start by knitting the remaining 6 stitches in the row. Then cast on 2 (I used the knitting on method)
Next row: K1, p to end, cast on 2 sts.
*Next row: k all sts
Next row: k1, p to last stitch, k1*
Repeat the rows between stars until flap measures 2.5 inches and covers hole, ending with a knit row.
Next row: k all sts.
Next row: Bind off all sts.

With a crochet hook, pick up the stitch in one corner of the bound-off edge of the flap. Do seven stitches of single crochet in this and the next 6 bound off stitches. Chain 4 (or however many stitches are necessary to allow the button to slip through - I used a small button). Single crochet in the next 7 bound off stitches, to end. Pull the end through the last stitch. Weave in ends, and sew button to tea cozy so that the flap fits nicely over the top of your tea pot.

Brew tea. Pour. Enjoy with pinky raised.
in an emergency, this tea cozy makes a reasonably good hat.