Tutorial

For years I never used double pointed needles or DPNs as most knitters call them. I didn’t even know they existed. I can’t remember when I started using them or what I first knit with them but, once I did I used them as much as possible. The truth is I hate to sew seams. If I can knit something on circulars or DPNs I will do it every time. I love sweaters like a traditional ski sweater where the only sewing is a little bit under the arm. Admittedly DPNs have there problems. The first few rounds are awkward to knit and joining the first round can be tricky. And the worst is if you join the round incorrectly and it twists. If it twists you are screwed and will have to rip it out and start over. As far as I know there is no other fix for a twisted round.

Today I’ve set up short tutorial on how I join DPNs that help prevent twisting and makes joining less awkward. A lot of patterns tell you to cast on all the stitches and distribute them evenly across your 3 or 4 needles. Then somehow you’re supposed to take that crazy chaos and join them all without twisting. It took me awhile but I figured out a better way.

Here’s how I do it. Here is a link to a pdf if you want to print this tutorial.

 

And that’s it. Good luck and I hope you enjoy using DPNs as much as I do!

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On December 31 we had a record low of  -28℃ (-18 ℉).  The girls would be going back to school in a week and my oldest daughter had been wearing a threadbare pair of fingerless mittens I made for myself. These mittens are perfect for a bus commuter. The flaps keep you fingers warm but allow you access to your fingers for things like grabbing your bus pass. Are they warm? They used to be but the thumbs are so worn out they almost have holes in them. So I grabbed some yarn and DPNs and started making her new ones.  I used the pattern World’s Simplest Mittens with my own modifications. The yarn is some left over Paton’s Classic Wool in worsted weight that I doubled for extra thick mitts.

The modifications were to divide the mitt into four fingers (I needed to add a couple of stitches so the fingers weren’t too small). Then I created the flap with rib on one half (to face the inside of the mitten) and stocking stitch on the other half. The flap length starts from the top of the thumb gusset until it was long enough to cover my daughter’s fingers. I used Kitchener stitch to sew the flap on.

It has taken me a long time as a knitter to make modifications to patterns instead of  designing a whole new pattern. It saves a lot of headaches and time especially if the project is a simple thing like mittens or a hat. Don’t be afraid to jump in there a try modifying a pattern to create something new.

Baby Blankets

So for Christmas we decided to adopt a rescue dog. Adopting a dog was a surprise because my husband and I had felt a dog would be too much responsibility. But often in life things change and we changed our minds. We have room in our family for more love but aren’t having anymore children (ya I’m so done) and a dog seemed like a great choice. So Patches, an eight year old beagle mix stray from Kentucky joined our family on December 23 – just in time for Christmas.

Our cat, Boots is still not impressed and is very slowly trying to deal with this new change.  He’s pretty pissed that we brought this new furry guy into the house and even left a ‘present’ for Patches on his dog bed one of the first days he was here. He has started to accept things however and I think in time he might even like the dog.

I was a knitting fiend during the Christmas season and I haven’t stopped as the list of things needed/wanted grows. My latest project is a baby blanket for a former co-worker and present client who is due this month. I’ve never had to knit a blanket so close to the wire. I hope to have it done for tomorrow since I’ll see her then.

I just love this pattern – Shadow Cable Baby Blanket and I knit it before. This new one is in Easter Egg Baby Blanket by Bernat.

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Happy New Year and Merry Christmas my fellow knitters! I realize I’ve fallen off the grid for two freaking months! I was in a knitting crunch trying to get so many projects done that I didn’t have time to blog. On top of the usual business of the holiday season my family and I got a rescue dog on December 23. Patches is a much loved new addition, well much love by everyone except the cat. Taking him for walks has been challenging for all of us as the temperature here has been -24C (-11F) to -15C (5F) on average and that’s not factoring in the windchill.

I’m happy to say that I was very busy knitting Christmas gifts this year. And everyone who received that showed a true appreciation for them. So I proudly share with you my photos:

Witch Cats Hat from Ravelry – Gift for my aunt.

Cat mittens modified World’s Simplest Mittens and Witch Cat Hat patterns to create matching mittens.

Flash Beer/Coffee Cup Cozy – my own pattern using duplicate stitch to create the lighting bolt. Gift for my brother in law.

Houndstooth Fingerless Mitts – modified World’s Simplest Mittens with houndstooth pattern. Gift for my niece.


Purple and Silver Heart Ornaments. Part of homemade family gifts.

Final family gift packages – homemade hot chocolate mix, two knit heart ornaments and gift tag designed by me as Blue Bug Design.

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Happy Halloween! We had a great halloween party this weekend and the whole family is looking forward to trick or treating tomorrow. My Louise Belcher costume turned out great and with a bit of help from my husband we got the ears to stand up without moving at all.

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It’s really difficult to think about Halloween when we are having an unusual heat wave. It have been 31 C/88 F every day for the last 10 days and it sucks.

I’ve started gearing up for my favourite holiday by watching a horror movie a week and watching The Exorcist series on Netflix (it’s creepy as hell). I just love the fall because, it’s cool, rainy and an excuse to stay in and be super cozy while knitting. Plus there’s Halloween which embraces my love of horror stories. Most years I dress in a scary costume, but this year I’ve decide to go as Louise Belcher from Bob’s Burgers. It’s fitting. I’m a Louise and I’m can be a smart mouth just like the cute nine year old in the cartoon. Of course I have to make her signature pink bunny ear hat. So I found a free pattern on WoollyRhinoCrafts. Now I hate to seam my knitting and this pattern has a lot of seaming. So of the seaming can’t be avoided but with the ears I felt I could make them in the round. Using the pattern WoollyRhino kindly provided I converted to something in the round and I’m pretty happy with it. My increases and decreases look a bit sloppy but it’s a costume so it’ll do.

Here’s Louise:

And the progress on my hat:

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I’m feeling sad that the summer is almost over. My daughter’s return to school next week with the oldest one starting high school! Where does the time go? Knitting has been slow as I’ve been concentrating on finding more clients for my graphic design company. However I did manage to work on some dishcloths earlier this month when I went camping. There are few aspects of camping that aren’t my favourite, but overall I love it. Being out in nature just feels right, like I’m returning home after a long time away. I suppose knitting is like home to me too. It comforts and warms me when I knit making me feel so calm. Here’s a little camping and knitting for you:

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I’m happy to have jumped back into my knitting projects shortly after a quick trip to British Columbia for my cousin’s wedding. As a side note I live in Ontario so I supposed it’s really not that quick of a trip. When I returned I was so jet lagged it took me a few days to get back to knitting as I tried to convince my body when the proper time to eat and sleep was.

Below is my progress on my plarn yoga mat strap which I’m happy with so far. It’s a double ribbed item and as you can see the plarn doesn’t have the same distinct look as regular yarn. It is a bit messy and I actually don’t mind that. As I try new things we’ll see what garter and stocking stitch looks like.

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I came across this chart creating website today called Stitch Fiddle and wanted to share it with you. I can see myself spending way too much time playing around with it, creating all kinds of knitting charts. In my stash is a bunch of single balls of yarn that the girls and I dyed with Koolaid a while back and this chart creator is just the thing I need to figure out how to use them.

Tutorial

I needed to make some plarn the other day to make more Yoga Mat Straps and thought it would be awesome share how I make plarn. There are a few different methods but this one is my favourite way. It’s especially a good method for getting a somewhat consistent ‘weight’ of plarn. In this tutorial I’m using milk bags because they are stronger then a lot of other bags, but lighter bags are fine too.

One thing I forgot to mention in my steps was that I washed and dried the milk bags before starting. I don’t think you’d need to that with most bags, but the milk bags were smelly from milk leaks and whatever. So washing them seemed like a good idea.

I’ve also created a pdf here if you want to download these instructions.