Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2011 - Happy New Year Coffee Sleeve Pattern

KH New Year’s Eve 2011
Sleeve for Large Coffee Drinks

Designed by Shandeh, for the Knitting Help Forum

Coffee Sleeve 2

Every year, I host a New Year's Eve Party in the Knitting Help Forum. We have a lot of fun, talking, knitting, and ringing in the New Year all over the US. This year, there will be prizes, and we will also be knitting this coffee sleeve together, as a memento of our event. :)

This is a large coffee sleeve, to keep our hands warm while we enjoy our favorite iced coffee drinks or milkshakes. Yum!

Of course, the sleeve can also be used for hot drinks. Freedom to the knitters!

Gauge: 18 stitches over 4” in stockinette stitch

Size 7 knitting needles
Worsted weight acrylic or wool yarn in 5 contrasting solid colors
Yarn needle for weaving in loose ends

The sample is knit in the following colors:
Main Color (MC) – Black
A – Pink
B – Yellow
C – White
D – Green

KFB: Knit into the front and the back of the same stitch, making two stitches out of one stitch.

Using main color (MC), cast on 34 stitches.

Row 1, 2, 3 & 4: K1, KFB, Knit to end of row.

Row 5: This will be the first row of the charted design (See below).
Knit 9 stitches, then attach color A, and follow chart for Row 5, reading right to left, knitting every stitch.

Row 6: Purl every stitch, following Row 6 of chart, reading left to right.

Row 7: Knit every stitch, following Row 7 of chart, reading right to left.
(you will add color B on this row)

Row 8: Purl every stitch, following Row 8 or chart, reading left to right.

Continue in this manner, reading knit rows from right to left, and purl rows from left to right, adding colors as needed, according to chart.

When you finish chart on Row 24, continue knitting with main color as follows:

Row 25 & 26: K1, KFB, Knit to end of row.
Row 27 & 28: Knit every stitch
Row 29: Bind Off very loosely, leaving long tail for seaming.

Adjust loose yarn ends at color changes, checking to make sure it looks good on the right side.
Weave in ends securely on back. Sew back seam closed, and weave in final loose ends.

Enjoy your comfy coffee sleeve!

KH 2011 Cup Cozy Chart

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Projects

We had some icy snowy weather in Charlotte, NC, so I was stuck at home for the holidays. So, I've been finishing up some more projects for Christmas. I guess it was a mixed blessing! Snow, and more time for knitting. Gotta love it. :)

I've made several knitted and crocheted cloths.
Christmas Cloths
Dishcloth - White with Blue Trim Double Crochet with Half Crochet Border Garter Cloth with Half Double Crochet Border Garter Stitch Cloth with Half Double Crochet Border Garter Stitch Washcloth Corner to Corner Dishcloth Back Loop Washcloth Done Double Crochet Dishcloth

I also knit a hat for my dad:
Patons Shetland Chunky Hat

And now, I'm making a matching scarf for him:
Scrunchable Scarf - Patons Shetland Chunky

I'm also pulling out some other projects I started a long time ago. Maybe I'll be able to finish some of them this week, while I'm stuck at home.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Two Completed Christmas Stockings

Christmas is only 10 days away, so I made myself finish up the two vintage Christmas stockings I've been working on. Today was the day, and they are both complete now! Woo Hoo!

Here's the green version of the "Old Time Santa" by Mary Maxim. My mother-in-law gave me the vintage kit, and I followed it from beginning to end. It involved a lot of knitting, which included two kinds of colorwork (stranded and intarsia). When the knitting was complete, I had to weave in all the ends (took forEVER!!), then I added the gold beads, a bell, green and red ribbon bows, and gold thread embroidery. The last step was adding the name with duplicate stitch, and seaming up the back.

Stocking Complete

Here's the back side of the green stocking:
Stocking Back

The other stocking I've been finishing up was the "Mr Claus" Santa Stocking (another vintage Mary Maxim kit from my mother-in-law). I added some extra decorations with duplicate stitch, and did some embroidery, beads, and bells.
Stocking Complete

Here's the back of that one:
Stocking Back

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Making Stuff for Christmas

So, now everyone can smell Christmas in the air. Which means, I'm busy making stuff for Christmas.

Number one on my list is a stocking I've promised to knit for a family member. My mother-in-law gave me all her knitting stuff, because her arthritis will not permit her doing it anymore. I'm using a vintage Mary Maxim #9042 kit she gave me to knit the "Green Santa Stocking".

Here's how it looked after a couple days of knitting. I think I spent the first day just getting everything organized, so I would be able to knit it without getting up over and over again.
Green Santa Stocking

Now, after 6 days, it's looking great!
Green Santa Stocking Almost Done

My mother has asked me to make some dishcloths as a gift for a friend. So, I grabbed some cotton yarn from my stash (Lily Sugar 'n Cream in the color "Potpourri Ombre"), and got started. I'm crocheting the first one, using a free pattern on the Lion Brand website. It's called "Almond Back Loop Washcloth". Easy to make, and it goes fast.
Almond Back Loop Washcloth

I'm also knitting a corner to corner dishcloth, so it will go fast too. More photos soon!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Knitter's Night Before Christmas

(based on a friend's post in the Knitting Help Forum)

'Twas the night before Christmas and all around me
Was unfinished knitting not under the tree.
The stockings weren't hung by the chimney with care
'cause the heels and the toes had not a stitch there!

The children were nestled all snug in their beds
but I had not finished the caps for their heads.
Dad was asleep; he was no help at all,
And the sweater for him was six inches too small.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I put down my needles to see what was the matter.
Away to the window, I flew like a flash,
Tripped over my yarn and fell down with a crash.

The tangle of yarn that lay deep as the snow
Reminded me how much I still had to go.
Out on my lawn, I heard such a noise,
I thought it would wake both dad and the boys.

And though I was tired, my brain a bit thick,
I knew in a moment, it must be Saint Nick.
But what I heard then left me perplexed-ed,
For not a name I heard was what I expected

"Move, Ashford; move, Lopi; move, Addi and Clover.

Move, Reynolds; move, Starmore; move, KnitPicks--move over!
Patons, don't circle round; just stand there in line!

Pay attention you sheep and you'll work out just fine!
I know this is hard as it's just your first year
But I'd hate to go back to 8 tiny reindeer."

I peered over the sill; what I saw was amazing,
Eight woolly sheep on my lawn all a'grazing!
And then, in a twinkle, I heard at the door
'Ol Santa's big feet marching on the porch floor.

I rose from my knees, and got back on my feet,
And as I turned round, Saint Nick, I did meet!
He was dressed all in wool, from his head to his toe
And his clothes were handknit from above to below.

A bright Fair-isle sweater he wore on his back,
and his toys were all stuffed in an Aran knit sack.
His cap was a wonder of bobbles and lace,
A beautiful frame for his rosy red face.

The scarf round his neck could have stretched for a mile,
And the socks peeking over his boots were Argyle.
The back of his mittens bore an intricate cable,
And suddenly on one I spied a small label.

SC was duplicate stitched on the cuff,
and I asked "Saint Nick, did you knit all this stuff?"
He proudly replied "Ho-ho-ho, yes I did, I learned how to knit when I was a kid."

He was chubby and plump, a quite well-dressed old man,
And I laughed to myself, for I'd thought up a plan.
I flashed him a grin and jumped in the air,
And the next thing he knew, he was tied to a chair.

He spoke not a word, but looked in his lap
Where I'd placed knitting needles and yarn for a cap.
He soon began stitching, first one cap then two;
For the first time, I thought that I'd really get through!

He put heels on the stockings, and toes in some socks,
While I relaxed, drinking some Scotch on the rocks!!
So quickly like magic, his needles they flew,
That he was all finished by quarter to two.

He sprang for his sleigh when I let him go free,
And over his shoulder, he peered back at me.
I heard him exclaim as he sailed past the moon,
"Next year start your knitting sometime around June!"

Monday, December 6, 2010

Concentrating on Finishing Projects

I've been a good knitter lately, finishing up LOTS of stuff! Yay me! :)

So, how did the fire get lit under me to finish up my projects? A change of scenery! Recently, my hubby's kids came to visit for a couple days, so I had to move some things around to make room for them. This cleared out some junk from the living room, and I've been able to sit with my hubby every night to talk and watch tv together. Nice! I've brought ONE project at a time into the living room, and have been surprised to see the projects finish themselves up very quickly.

I guess I've been too distracted in my craft room, seeing all the things I should be working on. In the living room, I just knit or crochet, without thinking about anything else. Woo Hoo! I think I'll keep that spot on the sofa open from now on. :)

Take a look at all I've gotten done in the past few weeks:

I started a Drop-Stitch Scarf in June of this year, using some pretty Lion Landscapes yarn I had in my stash. (I cast on 12 stitches, with size 13 needles). I originally started it as a sample for my knitting students, but fell in love with it as I was knitting it. Now that it's finished, I am planning on using it as a Christmas gift for someone. I have enough yarn left to make another one, so I'll get on that after the holidays are over.
Drop-Stitch Scarf

This Ann Norling Snowflake Stocking is for display at Yarnhouse Knits (a yarn shop in Charlotte). SO glad I finished that one up before the holidays were completely over. Now, I just have to get my butt over there to deliver it! Ha!
Snowflake Stocking

Yesterday, I finished a knitted birthday gift for the choir director at my church. He has asked to be surprised, so I can't post a photo here. I will say that it was knit with wool yarn! He knows that already, because I had to ask him if he was allergic to wool.

The mother of one of my piano students recently asked me to knit a silver headband for her baby girl. I had some Lang Lanalux leftover from knitting the Snowflake Stocking, so I used it to knit a quick band. Now, I want to make a little flower to dress it up a little.
Silver Headband

Another of my piano students asked me to knit an ipod cozy for her, using "hot pink" yarn. I found some yarn in just the right shade (Red Heart Super Saver "Pretty in Pink"), and cast on 7 stitches with size 7 needles. After making it long enough for the front and back, I added a little flap in garter stitch, and made a loop for a button. I used a pink pony bead as a button. Quick and easy. The photo doesn't really show how cute it is. Maybe I'll take another when she puts her ipod in it.
iPod Cozy

I was on a roll, knitting requests by my piano students, so I got to work on another one. This was a completely different kind of project. My student had a hand-woven purse that she loved to use, but the strap was very weak, and broke after just a short time. So, she asked me to make another strap for her. I read the label inside: "100% Alpaca - Made in Peru". After looking closely at the construction of the purse, I realized that the only alpaca on the entire purse was the tiny tassels at the bottom of it. The rest was woven out of simple cotton yarn. So much for honesty from the Peruvians!

So, I set to work on finding a matching yarn to make a good strap. After checking at several craft stores and yarn shops, I was about to give up. Then, I was shopping for groceries at Walmart one day, and found a perfect match in the yarn department. Good old "Peaches & Creme" cotton in Black and Ecru. Ha!

Next, I had to decide how to use the yarns to make a good strap. I finally settled on making i-cord. But, I wanted it to use both colors. I decided to just switch colors every other row. Voila! I was making striped i-cord! :)
Handle for Woven Purse

It looks GREAT with the purse, and I think it captures the essence of the purse design well. I hope my student agrees with me.
New Handle for Woven Purse

With all that work behind me, now I can get to work on some other things I want to finish before Christmas. I'm making two scarves and a blanket for the Bernat Blog right now, as presents for three of my family members. Not sure when they will be published on that blog, so just keep checking back!

I'm also making a Christmas stocking, three blankets, a jacket, a hat, some curtains, a wrap, a bag, a shrug, and some socks for a friend. In addition to those projects, I'm finishing up 4 large Oddball Charity Blankets, 3 Oddball Baby Blankets, and 8 Oddball Shawls. They have been pushed aside for so long, because I have overcommitted myself to other projects. Time to make myself sit down and get them completed.

Maybe I should just bring one of the unfinished blankets to the living room? ;)

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I'm a forum moderator and blogger for Spinrite Yarns (www.yarnspirations.com), and I spend WAY too much time there. :D You can also find me on the Knitting Help Forum occasionally