Monthly Archives: February 2007

Pausing to pray as I knit

I’ve begun a prayer shawl for a friend at church who’s going through some extremely difficult health issues.   What I’m finding is that, although I’m deliberately and specificially praying as I knit this particular project for this young woman, I see that there’s an element of prayer that goes into each knitted gift anyway.  The slow and rhythmic movement lends itself to reflection and simple prayer, even if it’s no more than “knit 5, purl 5…I hope she’s going to get through… oh, purl 5, the next week ok…”  It may not be the same as quietly meditating, eyes closed, Bible in hand, yet, I know that I’m being heard, and  stopping to think about my friend and keep her at the forefront of my thoughts is a blessing in itself, for myself as well as her.

Before this project, I considered getting a few done just in case someone got sick or sad, but now I think I won’t.  I want the person and their situation to be what I’m thinking about as I knit for them.   Most of you who have made prayer shawls before probably already understood this, but I’m having an “aha” moment myself.

Anyway, I’m using some Yarn Bee “Itali” in white, burgundy, red, pink, and orange,  held with a strand of white Simply Soft.  My friend is Laotian and I thought the colors would be cheerful and look good with her beautiful dark hair.  It was also very inexpensive and will be washable.   The Italia is usually $6-7 a ball, and I got it on sale for $2, so it was cheaper than the Homespun I’d planned to use.  It is so soft and cuddly.  I think it will feel quite nice around the shoulders.  It reminds me of those fluffy Gund stuffed animals my daughter used to cuddle with at bedtime.

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Filed under Knitting, general, spiritual musings

Totally Tubular Head Hugger

Totally Tubular Head Hugger

design by Denelle Bratcher of Knuts4Knits

Totally Tubular

Skill: advanced beginner

The following is my version of the popular “panta” patterns floating around the Net. It’s great for the times you’d like a hat to keep your head and ears warm, but you still want to keep your hair pulled up. I’ve modified it so that there is less bulk at the nape and the slipped stitch edging looks good with the ribbed rows. It’s meant to be pulled a bit lower on the brow, so I widened the top part of the band.

If you like the pattern, please drop a line. If you find mistakes, I’d appreciate hearing about those as well. I’m still new at this. Boy, it takes a lot of time to write down each step. I appreciate the “real” designers even more now!
Supplies:

About 80 yards of Blue Sky Alpaca, DK weight . You could use a worsted weight as well if you’d like a slightly wider version.

sizes 4 and 6 needles

safety pin to mark right side (or tie a piece of contrasting yarn)

tapestry needle for weaving ends
Gauge:
approx. 5 st per inch

Size:
adult, one size fits most (finished piece is 19″; stretches to 20 or 21″)

Shaping Stitches used:

M1: Make 1 stitch

K2 tog :  Knit 2 stitches together as one

SSK:  Slip one knitwise, knit the next st, lift slipped stitch over that stitch

Sl1 wyif:  Slip one with yarn in front
Note: When slipping one (Sl1) for the three-stitch tubular edge, slip the yarn purlwise with yarn in front (wyif). Be sure to return yarn to the back when you make the subsequent knit stitches. The first and last three stitches will be done in this manner throughout the pattern. It makes a very nice, neat, rounded edge. (Thank you, Annie Modesitt.) It’s easily memorized, but I’ve chosen to italicize the edge stitches to make them more discernable.


Pattern:
With smaller needles, CO 16 st.

(a provisional CO is optional if you want to graft the ends or use the three-needle bind-off)

Section A:

(RS) Row1: K1, Sl 1 wyif, K1, *P1, K2* repeat from * to * until 4 st remain; P1, K1, Sl 1 wyif, K1.

Mark the right side.

(WS)Row 2: Sl 1 wyif, K1, Sl 1 wyif, *K1, P2* repeat from * to * until 4 st remain; K1, Sl 1 wyif, K1, Sl1 1 wyif.
Repeat rows 1 and 2 for 1.5″. End with RS row.

Section B:

(WS)Row 1: : Sl1 wyif, K1, Sl 1 wyif, *K1, M1, P2* repeat until 4 st remain; K1, M1, Sl 1 wyif, K1, Sl 1 wyif. (20 st)

(RS) Row 2: K1, Sl1 wyif, K1, *P2, K2* repeat until 5 st remain; P2, K1, Sl 1 wyif, K1.

(WS)Row 3: Sl1 wyif, K1, Sl1 wyif, *K2, P2* repeat until 5 st remain; K2, Sl1 wyif, K1, Sl1 wyif.

Repeat rows 2 and 3 for 2″. End with RS row.

Section C:

Change to larger needles,

(WS)Row 1: Sl 1 wyif, K1, Sl wyif, *M1, K2, M1, P2,* repeat until 5 st remain; M1, K2, M1, Sl wyif, K1, Sl 1 wyif. ( 28 st)

(RS) Row 2: K1, Sl1 wyif, K1, *P4, K2,* repeat until 7 st remain; P4, K1, Sl1 wyif, K1.

(WS)Row 3: Sl1 wyif, K1, Sl1 wyif, *K4, P2* repeat until 7 st remain; K4, Sl 1 wyif, K1, Sl1 wyif.

Repeat rows 2 and 3 for 2.5″. End with RS row.

Section D:
(WS)Row1: Sl 1 wyif, K1, Sl 1 wyif, *M1, K4, M1, P2* repeat until 7 st remain; M1, K4, M1, Sl 1 wyif, K1, Sl1 wyif. (36 st)

(RS) Row 2: K1, Sl 1 wyif, K1, *P6, K2* repeat until until 9 st remain; P6, K1, Sl 1 wyif, K1.

(WS)Row 3: Sl 1 wyif, K1, Sl 1 wyif, *K6, P2* until 9 st remain; K6, Sl 1 wyif, K1, Sl 1 wyif.

Repeat rows 2 and 3 for 7″. End with RS row.
Section E (begin to decrease):

(WS)Row 1: Sl 1 wyif, K1, Sl 1 wyif, *K2 tog, K2, K2 tog, P2* repeat until 9 st remain; k2 tog, K2, K2 tog, Sl 1 wyif, K1, Sl 1 wyif.(28 sts)

(RS) Row 2: K1, Sl 1 wyif, K1, *P4, K2* repeat until 7 st remain; P4, K1, Sl 1 wyif, K1.

(WS)Row 3: Sl1 wyif, K1, Sl 1 wyif, *K4,P2* repeat until 7 st remain; K4, Sl 1 wyif, K1, Sl1 wyif.

Repeat rows 2 and 3 for 2.5″. End with RS row.

Section F:

topgrheadhugger.JPG

Change to smaller needles,
(WS)Row 1: Sl 1 wyif, K1, Sl 1 wyif, *ssk, K2 tog, P2* repeat until 7 st remain; ssk, K 2 tog, Sl 1 wyif, K1, Sl1 wyif. (20 st)

(RS)Row 2: K1, Sl 1 wyif, K1, *P2, K2* repeat until 5 st remain; P2, K1, Sl1 wyif, K1.

(WS)Row 3: Sl 1 wyif, K1, Sl1 wyif, *K2, P2* repeat until 5 st remain; K2, Sl 1 wyif, K1, Sl 1 wyif.

Repeat rows 2 and 3 for 2″. End with RS row.

Section G:

(WS) Row1: Sl 1 wyif, K1, Sl 1 wyif, * K2 tog, P2* repeat until 5 st remain; K2 tog, Sl1 wyif, K1, Sl 1 wyif. (16 st)

(RS) Row 2: K1, Sl1 wyif, K1, *P1, K2* repeat until 4 st remain; P1, K1, Sl 1 wyif, K1.

(WS)Row 3: Sl1 wyif, K1, Sl 1 wyif, *k1, P2* repeat until 4 st remain, K1, Sl 1 wyif, K1, Sl 1 wyif.

Repeat rows 2 and 3 for 1.5 “. End with RS row.

TO FINISH: Bind off stitches and sew narrow ends together, weaving in the tail, OR, for a seamless finish, you can kitchener stitch the ends together OR , if you used a provisional cast on, you can put the live stitches on a needle and use a three-needle bind off.

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Filed under How to make..., Knuts4knits Patterns

How to Make a Cat Bed from an Old Sweater

 You may want to see the corresponding Wiki How-To site entry for a slightly better tutorial (same general info, but better presentation)

 

1. After *felting your old wool sweater, lay it out flat. With yarn and a tapestry needle, stitch the seamed edge of the sleeve to the side of the sweater, about half way down the sleeve from where the armpit meets the side seam.
(I used contrasting yarn to make the stitches more visible.)

*Note: You don’t have to felt the sweater, but doing so will make the fabric more durable.

halfsleeve1.JPG

2. Fold the bottom edge of the sweater up and place the sleeve in front of it. You want to roll (or fold) the bottom up far enough that both sleeve cuff edges will be able to overlap slightly when place in front of it.

sleeveinfrontofbottomedge.JPG

3. Secure the sleeve to the top of the rolled up sweater edge with a whip stitch or a blanket stitch. Remember that you’re going to stuff the sleeves, so be sure to stitch only through the top layer of the sleeve.

4. Repeat with the other sleeve. As the cuffs overlap slightly in front, put one cuff just inside of the other and stitch down the outside cuff edge along the top layer, just enough that you’ll be able to keep the stuffing inside the tube you’ve just created with the sleeves.

repeatwithothersleeve.JPG

5. Now make a running stitch from one “armpit” to the other. Create an arched shape to make a rounder bed. Be sure to go through both layers of sweater fabric. You should now have a “channel” that can be stuffed with batting or old rags (or strips of old sweaters). Stuff until you get a sausage-like ring. If you want to pad the bottom, now is the time to do that as well.

stitchalongbottom.JPG

6. Finally, stitch the neck opening closed. Give to your favorite kitty/puppy and consider making another to donate to your local pet shelter. It took more time to post this than to make the bed if that tells you how quick and easy this project is!

finishedbed.JPG

 

I’ve begun a gallery of finished beds with happy kitties (or small dogs) in their cozy sweater beds! I’d love to see what designs and improvements y’all come up with!

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Cheap and quick kitty bed

Ok, I’m pretty happy with this one. In about half an hour I fashioned this cat bed from a wool sweater I found at the Goodwill.

Our faithful Kitty (eight years we’ve had this cat and we still haven’t named the poor thing) lives outside, mostly sleeping on the woodpile we keep in the screened in back porch (he created his own kitty-door/hole-in-the-screen a couple of years ago — DH was thrilled, of course) and it’s been pretty cold at night lately and I was worried about him keeping warm.

After I felted the sweater, I used the sleeves to make the rounded circle and used some batting I had left over from another project to stuff them. I blanket stitched with some old acrylic yarn to create a “channel” for the circle of stuffing and stitched up all holes. Kitty is warm and cozy and I feel very thrifty and creative. Everyone is happy (well, maybe not DH, but what can I say? He is just not a cat person).

It’s like Kitty is being hugged!

quick and cheap kitty bed — no knitting!

Click to see bigger pictures

Take the picture already.  I’m trying to sleep here.

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Filed under Finished Objects, Knitting, general