Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Intarsia Pillow

For the front, I used the pattern from here. My colours are slightly different as I was using up bits of spare yarn. I did the back in the main colour (royal blue), using this pattern:

CO 104
Row 1: K2, (P5, K5)10 times, P2
Row 2: K3, (P5, K5) 10 times, P1
Row 3: (P5, K5) 10 times, P4
Row 4: (K5, P5) 10 times, K4
Row 5: P3, (K5, P5) 10 times, K1
Row 6: K1, (P5, K5) 10 times, P3
Row 7: K4, (P5, K5) 10 times
Row 8: P4 (K5, P5) 10 times
Row 9: P1, (K5, P5) 10 times, K3
Row 10: P2, (K5, P5) 10 times, K2

Repeat until back is same size as front. Use kitchener's stitch on three side seams. Insert an 18"x18" pillow form and use kitchener's stitch to close last side. Here are some pics:

Figure 1: Pillow Front

Figure 2: Pillow Back

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Modding a Knitted Crab

Recently I found some time to knit the crab from Amigurumi Knits. It actually knit up pretty quick, only taking 2 evenings and part of an afternoon.

Since the recipient was old enough to know that cooked crabs are red (and obviously didn't want to display a cooked crab...) we settled on teal for the body. We also wanted a more realistic shell colour and found a shiny yarn that variegated between ivory and sandy brown. The under colour was a fluffy yarn in a mostly ivory, somewhat sandy, colour to give the appearance of hairy bristles.

The pattern needed some modification as the recipient had no intention of receiving a 6 legged decapod with no body (as suggested in the original pattern). The extra 4 legs were easy: wrap the body colour around appropriately shaped pipe cleaners.

I knit up the body as follows:

In main body colour (called BC1 in the book), cast on 27 in the round. Knit 9 rows in stocking stitch. Unless specified otherwise, knit the following rows in BC1:

row 10: (K7, K2tog) 3x
row 11: K in under body colour (called BC2 in book)
row 12: (K6, K2tog) 3x
row 16: (K5, K2tog) 3x
row 17: K in BC2
row 18: (K4, K2tog) 3x
row 21: K2tog, K4, K2tog, K2tog, K3, K2tog (divide on 2 needles)
row 22: K in BC2
row 24: K2tog, K2, K2tog, K2tog, K3
row 25: KFB 8x
row 28: (KFB, K6, KFB) 2x
row 30: cast off

Use kitchener stitch to stitch up body, stuffing as you go. Sew 3 vertical rows in BC2 to make slits in tail.

Here are some actions shots of the end result.

Figure 1: Crab inside shell

Figure 2: Crab outside shell

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hot Pad

It's been some time since I've been able to knit, but the book is winding down and I now have a few hours for small projects. Last evening's was a hot pad for the kitchen. I used a dark blue acrylic worsted mixed with the white/gold crochet cotton to add a bit of stiffness and sparkle. The pattern is very simple and results in a thick knit. It took less then a skein and about 6 hours to complete.

Cast on an even number of stitches (I used 50 which resulted in 7.5" across).

Row 1: knit 1, slip as if to purl, knit 1, slip as if to purl (repeat across)

Simply repeat row 1 until the pad is square and cast off. Add a single crochet edging in a contrasting colour (I used some leftover yellow from a needlepoint project). If desired, finish the edging with a 2" single crochet loop to act as the hanger.

If you don't think the pad is thick enough or you want to use it as a pot holder, knit 2 squares and use the crochet edging to sew them together.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Old-Fashioned Shell Tidy

I have no idea what a "tidy" is, but I like this knit shell pattern. My version is using Coats and Clark Knit-Cro-Sheen Metallic crochet thread (gold) and Bernat Baby yarn (antique white) on size 5.5 mm needles. Because of the large needle size, I'm using 50 stitches (23*2 + 4).

We'll see what it turns into (probably a table runner). It is starting to look rather doily-ish.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Scarf #2

With the first scarf finished, I began to experiment with knitting with beads. I liked the pattern it evolved into so much, I turned it into a woman's fancy scarf.

The materials used are one skein of Bernat Satin colour 04010 (called camel but more of a light gold to me) and a big bag of 6 mm clear faceted beads (which look like little diamonds). Each row uses 9 beads.

The pattern is super simple as it only uses the knit stitch and does not require any fancy counting, but the result looks stunning. The pattern goes like:

Cast on 21 stitches.

Knit 2 rows.

Knit 2, slide a bead up, knit 2, slide a bead, and so on to end of row.

Knit next row (which is front side of work as you can see the beads).

Knit 3, slide a bead up, knit 2, slide a bead, knit 2, and so on to end of row.

Knit next row (front).

Continue, with the alternating back rows starting with knit 2 or knit 3, til desired length. Alternating the back row gives a nice diamond pattern on the front. The scarf may seem a bit heavy at first, but the weight distributes as the scarf gets longer. I will probably do a fancy beaded fringe on the ends--more on that when I get there.

Now, what do I mean by slide the bead? Before casting on, string a lot of beads onto the yarn. How much is a lot? As many as you can stand scooting back as the yarn gets used as you knit. The more the better as you'll have to cut and splice your yarn when you run out of beads so you can string some more. As you knit, when it is time to slide the bead, slide it right up to the end of the used yarn (right up to the last knitted stitch). That way it will be placed between the last knitted stitch and the next knitted stitch. Since you are knitting (i.e. not purling), make sure the slid bead lies behind the needles.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Last day of spring, heat is getting ready to roll into Ontario, and I have the urge to knit. A scarf. One elegant and masculine enough to wear to a Manhattan office without looking too much like "my girlfriend got bored and made me wear this".

Picked up 2 skeins of Bernat Cashmere in colour "coal" and a pair of size 9 (5.5 mm) bamboo needles. Finding a pattern I liked took longer. I finally settled for a modified basketweave from "60 Easy-To-Knit Pattern Stitches Combine to Create Sampler Afghans". It goes like this:

- cast on desired number of stitches divisible by 8 (I'm using 32)

1: knit
2: K5, P3
3. K3, P5
4. K5, P3
5: knit
6: P5, K3
7: P3, K5
8: P5, K3

The pattern is easy enough to track while watching PBS, patterny enough to not be boring, and subtle enough (especially in a dark colour) to wear with a suit.

Monday, June 8, 2009


The prettiest village on the road from Vienna to Bratislava is Hainburg. When taking the bus to the Vienna airport, one does wonder if the bus is going to make it through the Weinertor.

On the way back to Bratislava we stopped to walk through the village. Most of the shops and restaurants were closed for Sunday, but we found an old courtyard that was serving pop and snacks. We ordered what we thought was buttered bread for 1 euro and bread with ham for 3 euro. The buttered bread came with about half a pound of cheese and the bread with ham had an equal amount of ham. I was reminded that Austrians like to eat and that price is not an indication of size. Heavily fortified, we checked out the Weinertor, then walked to the other end of town to see its gate. We followed a street that ran parallel to the wall to get a better look at the castle. This view of the castle gate is behind the local high school. Down the street is the town pranger, a reminder of penal days gone by.