Woke up on a Sunday morning to an email from friends Stephanie and Dan that now they are 5! Koah joined his 2 brothers Northern and Denver on May 26th! What a surprise!
Hey Steph and Dan, what’s going on there in Copenhagen?
to make a nice selvage edge on the garter stitch side which made it easy to pick-up the stitches when I made the turn for the log cabin strips.
All in all, lots of fun with color, and lots of ends to weave in.
I have been reading Nudge and I had to make my pitch for behavioral economics since I am taking a short break from knitting.
Here’s my nudge suggestion that I think would reduce and possibly mostly eliminate late credit card payment fees for consumers and provide a win for card issuers, too. (not that they need it!).
Tutorial: Part One Tutorial: Part Two
This video tutorial is for the Bond Embellish-Knit!. and Magicord knitting machine.
Here is the approximate text of the videos:
This is a tutorial on how to use either the Bond Magicord or the Bond Embellish-Knit!. spool knitting machine. Both machines will produce a very nice, even 4 stitch i-cord of any length that can be used in a variety of ways. The i-cord straps for my FREE Bib Pattern, were made using the Embellish-Knit!
I have the Embellish-Knit!. so that is the machine I will use.
There are 3 items in the package:
1. the machine
2. the clamp or the weight
3. the needle or threader
You are given some practice yarn in the package and I encourage you to use that yarn for practicing since it is in a gauge of yarn that will work in the machine. For the demonstration, I am going to use a sport weight cotton yarn.
One note about this machine is that bulky yarns will not work in it and they say worsted yarn will not work in it, but I am able to make Cascade 220 work in it and I understand that Harrisville Shetland Wool works in it. More about that later.
Before we start, I suggest you sit at a table and have a pillow or a folded blanket positioned near your feet. Toward the end of the demonstration, all will be revealed!
Now on to the demonstration
Before we begin, notice that you have 4 hooks in the center of the machine.
Now, turn the crank. Be certain to turn the crank only in the direction indicated by the arrow on the machine. Notice that the hooks rotate up and down as you turn the crank. Notice that there are little latches on each hook. More on this later.
The first thing you do is thread the machine. You do this by putting the thread through the hole at the bottom and then through the notch at the top and then drop it down the center. You can use the needle provided in the package if you like to make it easier.
Or, you can use any tapestry needle that you have to do the same. Or you can just do it with your fingers.
Once you have the yarn coming out of the bottom of the machine, clamp the weight to the end of the thread. Hold on to the clamp or the weight of it will pull your yarn right through the machine. Like This!!
Make certain that your yarn is to the left of the machine and is "free flowing", or has NO tension on the yarn. If there is tension on the yarn, or if it is not feeding from the left, the machine will jam. Trust me on this…
SLOWLY begin turning the crank on the machine in the direction indicated. At this point, you will have to hold the yarn (providing some tension on the yarn, just when I told you not to have tension on the yarn) with your left hand to keep it from falling through the machine but later, you will not.
(You will get to turn the crank more speedily later, but for now SLOWLY)
As the yarn passes the 1st hook, make certain it CATCHES in the hook, with the latch down.
As the yarn passes, the 2nd hook, make certain it SKIPS the hook. You may have to assist the yarn, either with your finger, the needle, or a crochet hook. Whatever works for you.
As the yarn passes the 3rd hook, make certain it CATCHES in the hook, with the latch down.
As the yarn passes, the 4th hook, make certain it SKIPS the hook. You may have to assist the yarn, either with your finger, the needle, or a crochet hook. Whatever works for you.
To recap, on the first round, the 1st and 3rd hooks, CATCH the yarn, the 2nd and 4th hooks SKIP or pass over the yarn.
OK, so now you are ready for the second round.
Again, slowly, turn the crank, making certain that the yarn from the second round catches in the 1st hook AND the yarn from the first round goes BELOW the latch on the 1st hook.
2nd hook, yarn will catch on the hook in between the hook and the latch. There won’t be any yarn from the first round to go below the latch like on the first hook because we skipped this hook on the first round, (remember?!).
3rd hook, same as the 1st,
4th hook, same as the 2nd
Before we continue to the THIRD ROUND and all other rounds, this is a good time to check 2 things:
1. is your yarn tension free and feeding from the left?
2. is the clamp or weight hanging free?
Both must be hanging and flowing FREE for this little machine to work!!
ROUND THREE and all subsequent ROUNDS
Now, Stop here for a minute and make certain that your yarn is flowing freely from the left. At this point, the machine will hold the yarn and it won’t fall through. Also, make certain that the clamp is hanging freely so that it can pull the product through the machine.
OK, now you can crank away. Well, go slowly at first. Keep you eye on the center of the hook area to make certain that things are not jamming.
I like to set the machine on the edge of a table or my arm on the edge of the table just to make things easier. That way I’m not holding it up in the air! Just make certain that you don’t compromise the center hole where the finished product comes out. If that is not allowed to hang weighted, the machine will jam.
So, you see, I am cranking away here. Pretty soon, the product will emerge from the bottom of the machine.
Here it is now. When the clamp starts to get too far from the machine, move the clamp closer to the machine.
When you think the i-cord is long enough for your project, remove the clamp, just temporarily, so that you can measure it. The machine is about 4 ½ tall so you have about 4 ½ of i-cord in the machine and then whatever amount is outside the machine.
After removing the clamp, the i-cord will spring back from being stretched, so you can measure what you have and you will have a pretty good estimate of length. After measuring, PUT THE CLAMP BACK ON.
If in doubt, make it longer, because, once you cut it, there is no going back.
Once you have the length you want, cut the yarn and continue cranking. The i-cord will get a little longer until the machine runs out of yarn and then the weight of the clamp will pull the i-cord through the machine and it will fall out of the machine, usually on to the floor. This is why you want a pillow or a blanket or something soft for it to land on. You don’t want the clamp to break since the outside of it is plastic.
Now you have your finished i-cord. If it is too long, unravel it to the correct length. Then, bind it off by threading the loose end through the loops using your needle. Weave in the ends and you are finished!
The yarn used for this demonstration of the Embellish-Knit!. is Tahki Cotton Classic which is considered a sport weight or lighter. Although worsted weight is not recommended by the manufacturer, I was able to use Cascade 220 and my method of using this machine and achieve very good results.
Serving up a Sophie Bag in fuchsia for summer. I’ve been using this all summer and loving it. I know summer is "officially" over, but these summer colors will be a bright spot as we head into the the dark days of winter. Oh, wait, we still have autumn!!!
The bag goes from shapeless to shapely
by using a firm plastic bottom (!) which I had custom cut at a local plastic shop for only a couple of dollars which included rounding the corners. They called the material ABS
and you can read all about what it is at their site: Tap Plastics. Hint, lighter colors, like white, make it easier to see into the depths of your purse, so if you are making anything larger than this little bag, I recommend you use white or a light color.
It’s stiffer than a milk carton and you don’t have to sew it in. You just place it in the bottom of the bag.
When you go to launder the bag, you just lift it out. I had the corners rounded at the shop so that there would be no sharp edges to rub and wear against the felting and eventually poke a hole in all my hard work!
Knot Just Another Cute Knitted Bib!, the Button Knot Bib: The Bib That Grows with Baby.
Free Knitted Bib Pattern
I wrote out the directions for the bib for my knitting group and I will share them with you.
Copyright © Catherine M. Ford July 2007. This pattern may be shared at no cost providing this copyright notice remains intact. It may not be sold, nor may the finished product be sold without prior permission of the author. Images on this page are copyright Catherine M. Ford, 2007.
Button “Not” this Bib. Use the Knots as Buttons to attach the straps, untie when you are finished using it as a bib and you have a cloth that is useful in the kitchen or the bath and a new softie toy for your baby. Kind of like lost money found!
Here is the tutorial for making a toy from the bib straps.
The Bib that Grows into to a Wash cloth for the Kitchen or the Bath and a Little Bit More!
A garter stitch bib with a visually complex pattern that is easy to master.
This is a great project for the new knitter who wants a quick project that teaches them a few new techniques, has a life after baby has “grown-up”, and lends itself to being made in any combination of colors.
For the experienced knitter it’s a quick baby present and it "grows" as your baby does as it “transforms” into a cloth for either the bath or the kitchen. For an extra treat, the straps turn into a softie toy! Most knitters know that nicely knitted cloth lasts a long time, much longer than a baby needs a bib, so the Button Knot Bib is the perfect solution.
Bib: Approximate, 8”wide, 7” length or “high”
Straps: 9" prior to knots being tied. Length will vary depending on how tight knots are tied.
[MC] Tahki Cotton Classic [100%cotton; 108yd/100m per 50g skein] ½ skein or 45 yards/20grams approx. for bib
[CC1] Tahki Cotton Classic [100% cotton; 108yd/201m per 50g skein] ½ skein 45 yards/20grams approx. for bib
*[CC2] Optional Tahki Cotton Classic [100% cotton; 108yd/201m per 50g skein] 12-15 yds/5 grams approx. for straps
Tahki Cotton Classic can be machine washed in warm water and dried in the dryer for this application.
(A good source for Tahki Cotton Classic is Yarnware.com)
*Note: CC1 can be used for the i-cord straps instead of a third color (CC2). The straps will contrast with the top band which is knitted in the MC.
US #6/4mm needles, Straight or circular needles may be used
US #6/4mm DPN for i-cord. Circular needle can be used as substitute for dpns in this application
20sts/19 garter rib rows = 4 inches/10cm in garter stitch. Note: 20 garter ribs = 4” (they are easier to count than garter rows. A garter rib is 2 rows of garter stitch.)
Gauge is not critical for this project but you will want to be somewhat in the ballpark so that the bib comes out the size you want it to.
PATTERN STITCH: 8 Rows
With MC Rows 1 and 2: K
With CC1 Row 3 (K1, Sl 1 wyib)* to last st, K1. Be sure to slip the stitch from the left needle to the right needle purlwise so as not to twist the stitch.
Row 4, (when you are returning, you will knit the stitches you knitted in Row 3 and slip the stitches you slipped in Row 3.) (K1, S1 wyif)* to the last st, K1
Do not break yarn while working the stripes; simply strand the yarn up the side of your work. You will be switching colors every other row except at the bottom (before CC1 is tied on) and top of the bib after you are finished with CC1). It will make for a nice clean edge.
With MC Row 5-6 K
W CC1 Row 7-8 K
DIRECTIONS for Bib:
With MC, CO 41 sts. (if you are altering the pattern, an odd # of stitches must be used for the pattern stitch to work)
Row 1-3, K, (garter stitch)
Tie on or change to CC1, do not cut MC.
I use Nancie Wiseman’s (The Knitters Book of Finishing Techniques) method for attaching the new yarn color which is called the “Magic Knot. You tie the new yarn around the old yarn with just a single knot which allows you to slip the new yarn up the strand of the old yarn. It also allows you to untie it easily should you need to.
Using CC1 K the next 2 rows (Row 4-5)
Change to MC, do not cut CC1, and BEGIN PATTERN STITCH on Row 1 of Pattern Stitch (this will be your 6th row)
Repeat Pattern Stitch six (6) more times.
Change to MC, (you are now on Row 62, garter rib 31 if you are counting!), K
Buttonhole Rows: (This is a 2 stitch buttonhole. It is made by binding off 2 stitches on the first row, then casting on 2 stitches over the bound off stitches in the next row. A third row using a special technique finishes off the buttonhole.)
Row 63, K 6 st (when you BO, you need to knit to the 6th st so that there will be 4 sts left on the edge of the bib when you do the bind off), BO 2 st, (be sure to pull the last cast off stitch TIGHT) K to the last 5 sts, BO 2 st, K to the end. (Note: There should be 4 stitches on the bib edge side of each buttonhole.
Row 64, K 4, turn and CO 2 sts using the cable cast on method, (Knittinghelp.com is a great resource if you need help with the cable cast on technique) turn and K to the cast off stitches at the other end of the work (4 stitches from the end), turn and CO 2 sts using the cable method, turn and knit to the end.
Row 35, K, pick up the loose thread at the start of each buttonhole, work the next stitch and then pass the picked-up stitch over the worked stitch so that you don’t increase the number of stitches. Pull the working yarn firmly after “passing over” to prevent any loops forming.
Row 66, K
BO. You will be binding off from the wrong side of the work. Weave in ends, either horizontally or diagonally across the wrong side of the bib.
DIRECTIONS for the DOUBLE I-CORD STRAPS:
CO 4 sts. K two 9” i-cords for the straps. (I like to knit them both at the same time. You will need to use two different strands of yarn, one from the inside of the skein, one from the outside of the skein. This way, both i-cords will be the same length.) Knittinghelp.com is an excellent resource if you need help with the i-cord technique. Weave in ends. I like to use a tapestry needle and thread/hide the ends of the i-cord up inside the length of the i-cord.
Another option for the i-cord straps is to use a simple knitting machine such as the Embellish-Knit!. You will make each cord separately, the desired length. I have a video tutorial and a written tutorial on how to use the Embellish Knit machine for i-cord.
ALTERNATIVE DIRECTIONS for SINGLE STRAP:
CO 4 sts. K one 12” i-cords for the strap.
For the double straps: Slip the finished end of the i-cord through one buttonhole from the wrong side of the work to the righblt side of the work. Tie a loose overhand KNOT: Overhand_knot at the end of each i-cord strap. Pull the strap so that the knot on the right side of the bib is snug against the bib. Do the same thing on the other side of the bib.
For the single strap: Slip the finished end of the i-cord through one buttonhole from the wrong side of the work to the right side of the work. Tie a loose overhand KNOT: Overhand_knot at each the end of the i-cord strap. Pull the strap so that the knot on the right side of the bib is snug against the bib. The knot at the other end of the 12” strap will serve as a button fastener.
You are finished! A “half” of a square knot, just one strap looped over the other, will keep the bib in place. The knots at the ends of the straps hold the straps in position.
When you are finished using this as a bib, unite the straps, and you have a lovely cloth for kitchen or bath.
When baby grows up, the i-cord straps can be transformed into Softie Toys. I attached some novelty yarn at the top to give my toy some wild hair! You could use leftover scraps of yarn or anything soft to decorate your toy. Embroider eyes, spots, etc. and away you go! For safety, please do not sew on buttons or other small objects until your child is old enough not to put things in their mouth and possibly choke.
Balloon Art can be your inspiration!
I am beginning to assemble other ideas for "life after bib". No photos yet, but several suggestions "in progress" from friends have included:
1. Sundress yoke or top. (you will need 2, one for the front, one for the back). Knit or sew fabric for the skirt. I am presently working on a pattern for this.
2. Small purse. Sew 2 bibs together on the sides and bottom and you have a small purse for yourself or a small tote for your child.
4. Pillow top. You would need 4 bibs. Sew them together for one side, use fabric for the other side.
BO = Bind Off
CC = Contrasting Color
CO = Cast On
DPN = Double Pointed Needles
K = Knit
P = Purl
MC = Main Color
S = Slip. Always slip the yarn “purlwise”, as if to purl the stitch
STs = Stitches
Wyib = with yarn in back of work (this mean that the yarn was away from you or behind the work. You will do this when you are on the right side of the work so that the bar created will be on the wrong side of the work. Don’t worry, it seems more complicated than it is. Once you do it, you will see how easy it is!)
Wyif = with yarn in front of work (this would mean that the yarn was toward you since you are on the wrong side of the work, you want the “bar” created by the yarn on the back of the work)
Garter Stitch= knit every row
Cable Cast On:http://www.knittinghelp.com/knitting/basic_techniques/
Copyright © Catherine M. Ford July 2007. This pattern may be given away at no cost providing this copyright notice remains intact. It may not be sold, nor may the finished product be sold without prior permission of the author. Images on this page are copyright Catherine M. Ford, 2007.
Larger than MY Life…
Crocheting is like riding a bike. You never really forget how to do it. You may forget the nuances, how to count the stitches, etc., but it all comes back really quickly. It’s been 30 years since I switched from crochet to knitting and haven’t looked back. In defense of crochet, I learned to do it first and I credit it for teaching me how to keep an even tension in my work and for "teaching" me combination knitting since after crochet, that is what felt most natural to me for the knit stitch (or else I just interpreted the knit stitch incorrectly, but my knitting comes out perfectly, so there you go.) There is a lot to be said for crochet in terms of dropping stitches: there is only one stitch to drop, so no big deal. Great for entry level users of yarn. And, ripping out/back is a LOT easier. And, you can make some cute edges and flowers with it, so all in all, crochet has its benefits.
I am always looking around the web for new ideas for knitted purses when I happened upon Cecily Keim’s "Larger Than Life" Bag on various knitters blogs (Spring 2007 issue of Interweave Crochet). I was distracted, obsessed, and determined to make this bag!! They say it is the bag that will turn knitters into crochet-ers. Possibly.
The tale of my Larger Than Life (LTL) bag begins. First I tried out the seemingly simple block the bag is based on. There’s a reason this bag is so compelling. It looks simple, but the block it is based on, while not overly difficult, is complex enough to make a knitter want to crochet again. It takes me several (OK, 5!) tries to get it right, plus a trip to Sugar Bunny, who has provided an excellent tutorial on the Willow Block (the square used for this bag from 200 Crochet Blocks by Jan Eaton (Interweave Press). There is something to be said for the saying, "a little knowledge is dangerous". Thinking or remembering some of my crochet knowledge caused me to either mis-read the directions or skip them all together!! OK, I finally achieved a block that looked like it was supposed to.
Next issue: Gauge. I had pretty much decided to use Tahki Cotton Classic because of the color choices, although Cascade 220 was in consideration. Cotton Classic won out because of the sheen, the wider range of colors, and the stitch definition. The crochet hook specified produced a loose, floppy block, about 6.5 inches square. So, I started ratcheting down hook sizes until I was happy with the result: a 5.5 inch square using a Boye steel hook, Size 1, 2.75 mm.
Before we go any farther on here, let me say that my plan was to deviate from the pattern when it came to the lining of the bag. I have a sewing machine, but I don’t really want to use it any more than I have to. I don’t usually use bags with zippers, so if I did make a bag, I wouldn’t be installing a zipper. I am a fan of the magnetic snap! My inspiration came from Ellen, who posted on the LargerThanLifeCAL. From her post, I got the idea of making the front, back, sides, and bottom as a slip cover for an already existing tote bag. I would then attach (method to be determined) the crocheted "LTL – WORK of ART" to the existing bag and a.) minimize work on my part, and b.) end up with a better lining/inner bag than if I made it myself.
After much looking around, I found a reasonably priced ($5 approx.) black tote bag at Michaels, 17"w x 13"H x 4"D. These were close to the dimensions of the pattern and I thought I could make it work. The top of the bag had an inch "border" made by stitching, where the handles were attached. This ended up serving three purposes. One was as a design feature, the border was the same dimension as the handles, so leaving a canvas border at the top, looked intentional. The other was, by have the canvas bag border at the top, it kept the crocheted material away from the top edge where most the the wear and abrasion happens, so the bags stays good looking longer!!
The third was using up an inch of the 13". With my squares measuring at 5.5 inches, 2 squares would = 11". The crocheted border would add 1/2" to the front/back panel making it 11 1/2" and the rest (getting it to 12") I could make up with blocking and cotton’s natural ability to stretch……. it worked.
The handle was just long enough to go over my shoulder but not too long.
Now the fun began. COLOR. COLOR. COLOR. Well, embarking on this project gave me an excuse to purchase every possible interesting shade of Cotton Classic in green, turquoise, red-purple, oranges, reds, and of course chartreuse. I quickly realized a couple of color guidelines for this project:
- I was going to modify color scheme of the pattern block. There is a center "circle" of one color, then a "ring and petal" (my words) of another color, and finally a border of a third color. For my taste, the middle section was too much of the same color so I modified this section by adding a 4th color, usually in the same color family and value, but different to give this area some variety and depth (but not always, as you can see in these examples!)..
- The centers of the blocks, the "circles" were all going to be green, medium to light green. I chose not to make them identical, but it was an option I considered.
- The border rounds usually were a darker color, often green, but not always.
- Originally I was going to have 12 different blocks, no repeats, but for various reasons, I repeated several blocks.
I wish I could say that it all went smoothly. The crocheting was fine, the color choices were not always fine, so there was a lot of ripping out… One trick: instead of cutting the yarn when changing colors, use locking or split stitch markers to temporarily hold the last stitch (as if it were cut and pulled through). When you finish the square, and see all of the colors together, you can decide if you like the combination. If you don’t, rip it out, and your yarn is still intact: no pieces of yarn, (which I detest!).
I didn’t keep count, but I probably made almost 20 squares before I got the combinations I was happy with. I tend to be a little particular.
Assembling the blocks. Of course, as I was making the blocks, I was putting them beside each other, designing as I went which can make for some exciting moments, but definitely slows down the production process. No pattern to tell you what to do. At some point you just have to get the black yarn out and start whip stitching these puppies together! Of course, after you proudly sew these cute squares together, you have to crochet around them several times…
Now comes the side and bottom band which seems simple (the stitch pattern IS simple) but takes a long time. I think it was made worse by my choice of BLACK as the main color so it was doubly fatiguing to crochet the long narrow band in black. I did figure out that if I put on some magnifiers, things got a lot easier ;*). Again, after you finish the 4 x 41 inch band of single and double crochet you get to crochet around the whole thing! I think you are getting that I got tired of that part of the pattern, although it IS NECESSARY for the bag to have a FABULOUS finished look!
So, I have made the front, the back, the sides, and the bottom. How to attach my "crocheted slipcover" to my canvas tote bag? Originally I thought of snap tape. But, I abandoned that idea, even though it does come in black. Then I thought of Velcro dots. I underestimated the WEIGHT of the completed piece when you do it in cotton. Probably why Cecily chose merino wool. The Velcro dots weren’t going to do it. There was going to be a lot of sagging…
Then I remembered how we used to hang quilts in our house. We applied the Velcro strip with the hooks to a piece of wood attached to the wall (a furring strip) and sewed the Velcro strip with the loops to the quilt. That way, you could easily hang the quilt without any sags, pressure points, pulling etc.
So, I decided, that was what I would have to do. I machine sewed (OK, my friend Michelle sewed it because my sewing machine needed some repair) the Velcro with the hooks to the canvas bag. I hand sewed the Velcro strip with the loops to the crochet piece and …
Side 1 and Side 2
Final Analysis: Would I make this again? I love the end result!!! It was A LOT OF WORK!!!! Much more than I anticipated. Oh, I forgot to mention, weaving in ALL the ends of the MANY COLORS in each very colorful block. And there is a lot of very careful sewing, loop by loop. I kept telling my husband, as I was going along, "If anyone asks me to make this for them, the price is, …"
Of course, I "went to school" on this one, so the next one wouldn’t be quite so entertaining. I think I will settle for teaching others how to make their own LARGER THAN LIFE Bag and let them take their own journey!
Thanks, Cecily, great pattern, great inspiration.
Button Knot Bib
I’ve been thinking about how to make the basic bib more basic.
I started thinking about making bibs again when we recently heard from our friends Damon and Ingrid. My husband (Jim) and Damon used to work in the same office and they still work for the same company, (but in different cities) but hadn’t corresponded for a while. Of course, our fondest memories of Damon are of his Spicy Chocolate Coffee Truffle recipe!! Yum.
Anyway, Damon had some NEWS to send us: He and Ingrid were new parents to Gwyneth!!! (She’s the one with the yellow "braids" on the left!).
I also remember Jim telling me that after Damon and Ingrid moved to California, Ingrid began working in a yarn store. At the time, I hadn’t returned to knitting (I was on a 20 year sabbatical from knitting) so I didn’t register a "bond".
Back to the bibs…
The challenge then was how to sit down, finish the bib and not have to go hunting for buttons or decide what color buttons would look best, sewing that button on the bib, and, in the end, how to put a little more LIFE into my bibs. I can’t be the only one who has noticed it’s similarity to the humble cloth used in either the kitchen or bath. With this twist on the design, I think I may have come up with a solution:
I am calling it my Button Knot Bib but really it should be called the Button Knot Nine Lives Bib. By positioning a couple of buttonholes at the top of the bib and using i-cords for straps, (which are secured by loose overhand knots at each end) the bib functions as a bib when needed. When it’s useful life as a bib is over, remove the i-cords and you have a wonderful dishcloth, washcloth, etc. with lots of life (and some handy "loops" in the corners for hanging on a hook, (the left over buttonholes)) left in it!
Here are some "instructional" photos for the knot challenged.
Here is a version using a single, longer strap which you button and un-button each time you use it.
Wondering what to do with those left over i-cords? Tie them together and you have some simple, washable softie toys for your baby.
Kind of reminds me of balloon art. Remember balloon art? Well, it’s been taken to a whole new level!!