Archive for the 'patterns' Category


My Wonderful Wallaby…

…is finished. I cast off a few days ago and have been wearing it pretty much nonstop every since. I love this sweater.

You may recall that I had some issues with the sleeves at first. But I sorted those out and reknit them lickity split.

The body knit up quickly, too (gotta love that round-and-round mindless knitting)–not least because I did much of it while (re)watching one of the greatest television series ever made, Red Dwarf.


The lesson I learned during Round One of the Sleeves was “trust the pattern.” (You’d think I’d have already known this, since I’ve knit three other Wallabies in the past…) For the most part, I followed the pattern exactly. Here are my mods:

    I extended the ribbing on the sleeves from 3″ to 5″. I also made the sleeves a few inches longer than the pattern specified. I did this because my arms are longer than average in relation to the rest of my body, and I really hate having too-short sleeves. The extra ribbing gives me the option of pulling the sleeve down over the palms of my hands or of folding them back over themselves to get them out of the way tidily.

    I wanted something that would contract a bit more than K1P1, so I used K2P2 ribbing around the wrists.

    Because I do not like sweaters than bind at the waist, I did not do the called-for ribbing at the beginning of the body. Instead, I started right in with the stockinette, figuring I could do something else with it later. Although I like the look of the rolled hem at the bottom, I don’t like how it feels–whenever I lean back or lie down, I feel a bump on my lower back. So I’ll be changing this to a tidier hem like the one I knit on Sylvia’s second Wallaby.

    Using a rolled hem instead of ribbing meant I needed to knit the body a bit longer (unless I wanted the bottom of the sweater to end at my belly button!).

    I’m also not a hood-wearer, so I opted to skip the hood and knit the garter collar instead. I very much like how this turned out!

So now my family has matching Wallabies! (Jan has one, and Sylvia has not one but two.) Yes, a family portrait is in order some time soon…


Attention, cat owners

I dare one of you to knit this. Then put it on your cat. And then photograph your cat.

The last two steps will probably require you to execute the “run like hell” maneuver immediately afterwards.


Customize your own sock pattern

At this site, you enter some pieces of information (needle size, gauge, ankle circumference, type of heel desired) and get a step-by-step pattern for knitting socks.

Most sock knitters I know already have a regular/vanilla sock pattern they like to use, so maybe this is nothing new to most of you. I do like how you get a one-page pattern that’s easy to tote around. I think a printout would also be useful to file away if you’re made socks for a particular person, so you can have a record of what you did.


Free lunch: Housewares

Putting new sheets on your bed? Turn the old ones into this cabled rug (or bath mat).

Use the same pattern with different yarn weights and needles sizes to make a set of felted nesting bowls.

I know there are several patterns out there for knit Swiffer covers, but this is one of my favorites. I love the buttons!

This Bender dishcloth will really come in handy for cleaning up the mess after he kills all the humans.

This knit ottoman requires a lot of knitting. But it does look pretty darn cool! If you’re not ready for that kind of commitment, there is a smaller version, too.

These Penta coasters are a great way to use up small amounts of wool yarn in your stash. Plus they protect your furniture from water! That’s a win-win situation if ever I saw one.

Now that I’m learning how to sew, maybe I will knit this cute little pincushion.

Finally, here’s a bath mitt that has a two-color texture pattern that isn’t the ball-band washcloth pattern.


Free lunch: More knitted toys

Teeny tiny knitted animals. These are freakin’ cute.

More tiny knitted toys. The author says these are small enough to fit inside a plastic egg (so if you’re starting to plan ahead for next Easter…) She also has a pattern for tiny knit goldfish.

If you’re knitting or crocheting dolls and want to attach yarn hair to them, take a look at this tutorial. I wish I had known about this when I knit the doll Sylvia christened “Sesame” (and still plays with to this day), whose hairline starts right at the top of her head.

Here’s a pattern for a simple doll made of yarn and felt.

Want to stay away from dolls altogether? Try this knitted ball, a Grumpasaurus, or a Kiwi bird.

Looking for a stuffed animal that you’re sure the recipient doesn’t already have? This felted star-nosed mole will surely fit the bill.

Do you think this elephant would be afraid of this mouse? I bet they’d be best buds.

If you want your knitted toys to keep to a marine theme, try a Linux penguin, a frog, or Jacques Crusteau the lobster.

With a name like “monster chunks,” this pattern is hard to resist. (Don’t miss the link on the same page to “bunny nuggets,” too.)

I am very much not a fan of Harry Potter myself, but those of you who are may want to whip up a golden snitch or two.

And if you want the perfect gift for the dentist in your life, take a look at this molar.


Free lunch: Hats

Now that you’ve knit Elizabeth Zimmerman’s famous February baby sweater and the more recent February lady, complete your collection with this February baby-sweater-style beret.

There are lots of other free great beret patterns out there. Take a look at the Grace Lace Beret and this fairisle beret.

Mad for short rows? Then here’s a hat for you.

A few other hats of interest: a button-tab hat, the Love Nugget hat (you know you want to click on the link just to see what it is),

If you’re knitting for small heads, check these out: a watermelon hat; a slouchy toddler hat, using sock yarn (the pattern is in adult sizes, too); a clochette baby hat that looks a bit like a flower/fruit cap; a hat with adorable blue bunnies around it; and a tassled beanie.

Honestly, this bike helmet ear warmer looks pretty dorky. But I bet it does a good job keeping ears warm. And when it gets really, really cold outside, most people don’t care whether or not their bundling up makes them look dorky–they just want to stay warm.

The name of this pattern (and the blog on which it resides) alone makes me want to knit it. I give you the Brainmonster Hat!


Free lunch: Odds and ends

I figure I’d better post this list before it gets any longer. It’s amazing how many free knitting patterns out there don’t fit into “conventional” categories.

Knitted mushrooms! My daughter is currently in the middle of a serious fairy phase, so I think some of these are on my horizon. Maybe those fairies could use some knitted daffodils, too.

Knit your own party bunting. This looks so charming . . . and so time consuming. I think I’ll stick with a sewn version.

Knit tie. If you’re looking for a stereotypical Father’s Day gift and can knit really fast, this may be the project for you.

Knit heart pin. If your ambitions are more along the lines of “tie pin” rather than “full-on tie,” this may be up your alley. (Another option: get started on your Valentine’s Day gifts now!)

When you’re ready for new linens and need to figure out what to do with your old ones, consider turning them into yarn.

I’m intrigued enough by Knitminder that when I do get an iPhone, it’ll probably be one of the apps I load on there (right after Peggle). Some of the functions look like they duplicate what Ravelry has, but the counters and the project notes (with photos that you take with your phone, I’m guessing) look like they might be handy.

Think your knitting is getting stale? Shake things up with these conceptual knitting patterns.

Halloween will be here before you know it, so you’d better starting thinking about your costume now. Whatever you have in mind, be sure to include a knitted mustache. A knit/felt bangle bracelet would be a nice addition, too.


Now what?

p5268620needlesftf.jpgYes, that’s right: all my Denise needles and cables are in their box. Which means that I have nothing on the needles right now (aside from my usual portable sock project).

I want to start a new project (a sweater for myself, ideally). I want to knit from my stash and not purchase new yarn, but I am having a hard time coming up with something. I don’t want to do a “basic” sweater—not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I am really in the mood to try something more “interesting.”

I’ve been doing a lot of swatching, and here’s what I have in sufficient quantities to knit an adult-sized sweater:

Berroco Ultra Alpaca, 7 skeins. 22 sts over 4″. #8 needles.

Nature Spun, about 10 skeins. 20 sts over 4″. #6 needles.

Lopi, many many skeins. 14 sts over 4″. #10 needles.

Vermont homespun, lots. 16 sts over 4″. #7 needles.

I’m kind of interested in making the Cardigan for Arwen (Ravelry link here) or the Sunrise Circle jacket (here), but both call for a gauge of 18 sts over 4″, which rules out the first three yarns I listed. Think I could make it work with the Vermont stuff?

Any other suggestions?


Free lunch: Strange objects to knit


Light bulbs!

A pomander! This is covered with felted wool flowers.


A horse head! Express your inner Godfather!


Free lunch: Dog-related knitting

Who knew there were so many free patterns for stuff to knit for dogs? I have to wonder, though, just how many dogs are compliant when people try to make them wear this stuff.

Here are some doggy mukluks (with matching socks for a person to wear). If coordinated dog-and-person outfits aren’t nauseatingly cute, I don’t know what is.

This vintage balaclava pattern from 1916 wasn’t originally intended for dogs. But hey, this page has a photo of a dog wearing one, so it counts for this list.

If I had a dog, and if said dog wouldn’t object to wearing handknits, and if I had more time and yarn than I knew what to do with, I might actually knit this little Hearts and Bones* dog sweater.

And for those of you who are so nutso for your dog that you want to wear handknits made from your dog’s own hair, look no further. Here’s a page that tells you how to stockpile the hair for this endeavor and offers links to instructions for spinning and places that will make the yarn for you.

*This is also the title of one of my favorite Paul Simon songs, with one of my favorite lines ever: “Mountain passes slipping into stone.” I’ve been in the Sangre de Cristo mountains of New Mexico, and that phrase describes them perfectly.

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