scrappystickyinkymess


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That darn blanket again!

Yeah, yeah, I know, the progress seems to be inching along. But as I am very near the halfway point I thought I should share it. The actual pattern is now really emerging, and you can also see the size of it a lot better!

I switched up the placement of the few lime puffs so actual am down to just one missing row in the top half. Size-wise it measures just about 60 inches across and will measure 48 inches top to bottom.

I could do a couple of things –

  • I could square it to 60 inches square up by filling in the perimeter with white.
  • I could square it up to 60 inches across by whatever high by extending the top line and the bottom line of white to intersect the side-most white puffs.
  • I could fill in whichever with black or another colour,
  • I could leave it as a hexagon.

The last is the most probable, if I’m honest. I am looking forward to it being done. LOL! Bet you are too.

I do have a handful of other images I’ve collected that might end up being my next attempt, if there is one. I was a small hex-based quilt I liked and charted that out. It had some overlapping areas where the colours were … mixed is perhaps my best description, achieved with patterned fabric that “reads” as a combo. Impossible with yarn really but I thought it MIGHT work with a variegated yarn? This is the working design but we’ll see. I might totally go off the thought of cranking out another 272 puffs…


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Tiny Nearly No-Sew Hearts for Ukraine

My darling daughter’s school is keen to do some fundraising for Ukraine, so I have been trying to think of a good thing that I can do to help. Of course, my No-Sew Hearts seemed the perfect option, especially if I could make them smaller and quicker to make. Took me a day or two to tweak the pattern just how I wanted it and then the real problems came. Colour-matching! Blimey. I have literally 100 different shades of blue, solids, and variegated, but do I have the right exact blue for the Ukraine flag? Well I had a scrap that seemed like the best match based on what I was seeing on my monitor, but every other bit was either slightly too dark or too light.

This Women’s Institute yarn from HobbyCraft is pretty close to my eye, but who knows if the actual physical yarn is.

The scrap I had looked good, but the other options? Yeah, not so much.

I wish yarn colours came with a Pantone or Hex designation – wouldn’t that be helpful? Anyway I have a few tips and tricks for you, to go along with the written pattern, that will help you get the best result.

If you have made the No Sew original pattern, be aware that in this one, the KFSB increases BEGIN and END each needle, rather than being in a stitch. In the small size I like the look better, especially if you don’t stuff them – like this one that has a pin-back sewn on. Also be aware that some of my samples reflect the trial and error efforts to get the pattern just as I wanted it!

Tips!

Use a darning needle that is not too thick to shift the second-bump stitches to waste yarn. I don’t know the size, but be sensible. My Chibi bent tip needle is WAY thicker than my knitting needles:

When adding those stitches back onto the needles, be sure to do so from the centre of the heart out to the left edge for each needle. The outside edge is your new beginning-of-round:

When you thread the last three stitches onto the tail, do NOT pull to close the opening – this is where you will stuff your heart. I use a pencil (eraser tip end) to stuff, and it is helpful to wiggle the pencil end into the opening then pull the tail thru:

The heart bumps might at first look slightly…pointy. If you thread the tail and slip it around the last six stitches again, then insert the needle in the middle and out elsewhere in the blue, then give that a good tug before you bury the tail, it will round that bump nicely:

And if you have cut the tails long enough you can bring them up thru the middle to create a hanger, or our one of the bumps to attach a lobster claw clasp. You can see the very slight difference in the blues here too, and my first (abandoned) yellow choice:

And if you prefer, you can leave the long tail from the cast-on and the last end of the yellow when you change to the blue and make a yellow hanger instead!

I think these are super cute, and quick to make. Now if I just knew the perfect yarn and found it in stock someplace I could crack on!

{sigh}


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Those little Addi-cranked gnomes

I am away for the day and as I had this info captured I thought why not share it, as an alternative to a blank page.

The gnomes are, I think, quite cute and easy to make, with or without a knitting machine. I have two versions, although the differences are more to do with the fun fur beards, the knitting is the same:

They use:

Humm. Kinda. The fabric circle was something I initially made use of when I stuffed the body with lavender but if stuffing with toy stuffing only you can ignore that completely. The knitting part is simple:

  • Aran weight yarn
  • Addi 22 pin knitting machine (I think anything from a 5mm to a 6mm pair of needles would work if hand knitting to achieve the size you like of nice, dense fabric. )
  • 22 stitches, joined to knit in the round, and 17 rounds in stockinette for the gnome head and 23-25 rounds for the hat. YMMV so see what works best with your knitting, needles and yarn.

Once you have your little knitted gnome tube, simply gather the cast-on edge (easy with the knitting machine because the cast-on is actually gatherable with a pull, if hand knitting just run a length of yarn thru the stitches and pull to gather then secure) and sew on the large wooden bead for the nose.

Stuff nicely and gather the cast-off edge as well.

I cut an oval of the fun fur because I only had the short-ish fur, rather than the long fur that looks more like hair, IYKWIM. Folding it in half then sewing the folded edge under the nose created the beard.

The hat is basically identical to the body except you will only gather one end of the tube, then roll the other end to make a sort of a brim:

Slip it over the top of the gnome head and tack it in place with the brim resting on the nose. I wasn’t keen on how the beard stuck out from the chin so I ended up tacking it down.

For the other one, same process, except I only cut half of the oval and tacked it down all round. Not a lot of difference between them but slightly less resources used. I guess the beard on the green-hatted gnome is slightly fuller looking.

You can see the hanger on the blue-hatted one. I think these would work for Christmas ornaments with little red or deep green hats and they use very little yarn so scraps can be used up. Stuffing them partially with stuffing but with some beans for weight makes them sit nicely on the table. I think they would also be cute for place settings. Remember this guy? He is slightly different, much more knitting required, much larger, but he sits as I describe:

Just creating this post has given me a bit of an idea for a version that might be…interesting. I’ll think on that further and report back if it blooms from this seed of an idea.

Might be back tomorrow if I feel up to it, but I might not. Likely back on Monday, although it is half-term so Darling Daughter always has me on a rigid schedule of Mom+Daughter time so we’ll see.


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Re-sizing the No-Sew Hearts

I have made a ton of hearts. OK not a ton, but 30 or so, as I sat hooked up to the infusion last week. Small projects work best – wrangling a huge jumper is not an option LOL!

I found that besides knitting them on smaller needles, slightly changing the pattern gives you a heart in the same proportions (more or less, or at least visually) with fewer stitches. I also tweaked it by beginning with four cast on stitches then doing a KFSB, K1 round then a Knit round then carrying on from Round 2 in the original pattern as written. It’s a tiny tweak but I like the way the point looks with this small change. This alterations cut down on the time and total stitches while keeping the shape nicely. Win/Win!

Interesting that enhancing the photo shows the line of my buried tail so clearly when you can’t see it at all IRL. This is on done to 16 stitches before the split, with DK weight yarn on 2.5mm needles. Stffed, it measures 2 inches across by 1.5 inches tall. Tiny!

The decreases are logical – basically you follow the original pattern but on the first K2tog round the number of stitches between the K2togs will change:

  • Original with 20 stitches: four knits between the K2tog
  • 18: three knits between the K2tog
  • 16: two knits between the K2tog
  • 14: one knits between the K2tog
  • 12: NO knits between the K2tog

The first decrease round will always be followed by a Knit round, then for the 18, 16 and 14 stitch versions a further decrease round. In all cases you simply stop when there are FOUR stitches left on the needles. Here is a more helpful chart, to use along with the original pattern:

The 12-stitch version is very tiny. Taking this to the other extreme, using thick yarn and larger needles, you can get a nicely sized heart with fewer stitches! I’d be very interested to see any of your experiments on this so please to share. I believe you can add a link in your comment if you want to do so.


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My No-Sew Heart knitting pattern selected for a KAL

Very exciting. Ages ago I wanted to make pairs of hearts. Some hospital or another was calling for them for either mom+baby or maybe it was family+Covid patient, I cant recall, but the idea was you had two identical hearts and one went to the person outside the hospital, the other sat by the bed of the other. I think in the case of the mom+baby, they might have exchanged them so the scent of the other was there for comfort. Anyway. I got frustrated because virtually every pattern I saw said Make one heart. Now make another… and that annoyed me to no end. So I designed a small simple heart that was made magic look, in a way that the only sewing you had to do was to close the gap in the middle after stuffing it. It was harder than making a single flat heart, but not so hard that it didn’t make up for the fact you only made one. I popped on to Ravelry for a pattern and noticed that there had been a few additions to my Designer’s Page. I popped in to the thread and turns out the poll selected my heart pattern by many votes. People had quite nice things to say about the pattern when they commented so that made me happy.

Just as a re-cap for those knitters out there, I have a few versions of this.

The original pattern

A two-at-a-time version

A textured version (which also includes a more subtle textured version that is easier to make)

Given that I haven’t really made a ton of patterns, it was really lovely for them to select my heart. It also made me miss both my knitting and my best knitting mate. We have been keeping our distance for now, with omicron spreading, but now that seems to be slowing we could maybe meet up sometime soon. THAT would make me smile!


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Knitting charity squares that are SQUARE

So I mentioned yesterday that I was knitting charity squares for a local project, the Gillingham CommunKnitty KindNose “Bringing Gillingham together while keeping apart” project for Red Nose Day.

So once I confirmed that when they say WOOL they mean YARN and acrylic is OK, I started knitting. I really need one of my British friends to explain that to me – why is all yarn called WOOL, no matter the fibre content? It matters, sometimes, if you need to consider washing items (mixing cotton, wool and acrylic fibres in one blanket, for example, is a recipe for wash-day disaster) so why use a misleading term? Or is it that one should assume if a charity wants a particular fibre ONLY they will say so and if they don’t you could assume WOOL and YARN are interchangeable? Except when they say WOOL they might mean either ONLY wool or any yarn. {sigh}

I have ALWAYS struggled to knit “perfect” squares. There is just too much pfaffing about with gauge for all the different sorts of scrap yarn, adjusting the cast on and stitch count, getting the right pattern (if other than a straight stocking stitch or garter stitch square… Bah! I waste so much time trying to get it right, I went on a hunt for a few foolproof patterns that knit up as a square, almost despite my best efforts to screw it up! I found three (two for sure, one sort-of.) Bear in mind none of the squares are blocked at all, so maybe looking a little wonky in the photos LOL!

The traditional dishcloth pattern.

This is simple and has a cute YO edging and only two pattern instructions, after the cast-on of 4 stitches and Knit one row.

  1. Increase row (and every row till one side = your finished measurement): Knit 2, YO knit to the end.
  2. Do this till one side is the desired size of your final square. My squares need to be six inches so I knit till one side = 6 inches
  3. Decrease Row (and every row till four stitches remain) Knit 1, K2Tog, YO, Knit to the end.
  4. When four stitches remain, bind off all four stitches, break the yarn, and pull thru.

Easy peasy.

An easy corner-to-corner square.

  1. Cast on 3 stitches and knit the first row
  2. Increase half, every row: K1, KFB, K to the end of the row (you can also KFB in the first stitch, K to the end – swings and roundabouts….) Do this till one side is the size of your final square. My squares need to be six inches so I knit till one side = 6 inches
  3. Decrease half (till three stitches remain): K1, k2tog, to the end of the row
  4. When three stitches remain K3tog, cut tail and pull through. 

A super easy and cute variation on this is to do all the increase rows in ONE colour and then all the decrease rows in another. Perfect when you have a bit f yarn but not quite enough to manage a full square. Like so:

An easy mitered square – OK so this one does need you to cast-on a guess and knit at least a couple of rows to see if you got it right but somehow I find this easier than any other pattern square. For me, with 4.5 mm needles and DK yarn, 58-60 stitches to begin is about right for a 6-inch square.

  1. Cast on double the stitches you need.
  2. Row one: Knit one row, placing a marker in the middle (so for 60 stitches: CO 30, place marker, CO 30.)
  3. Row two (and every even row): Knit to two stitches before the marker. K2Tog, slip the marker, K2tog. Knit to the end
  4. Row three (and every odd row): knit

This is the easy garter stitch version. I also do a variation on this that has a Slip 2 as if to knit, K1, p2sso on the right side and a purl in that stitch on the wrong side, and a stocking stitch version, also with a purl in the centre stitch on the wrong side, but this simplest version is the best one for charity squares!

So, those are the three squares I settled on, after knitting a few only to get to the end and find they were A. NOT square or B. not 6 inches! I feel for the people who will be putting these together, so I really want to make them as close to the right size as I can. Only 12 done, but I hope to get to 20 or 25 by Saturday.

Back to papercraft tomorrow, I’m sure – oh – and it’s WOYWW day so I’d better get tidying for sure. But not before I add my 100 days page:

Keeping well away from bulk in the middle LOL!


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Socks – less a pattern, more a guideline

Clarification: I’ve clarified rounds 6-8 and 10.  Because I wrote it, I knew to slip the first stitch of the last 3 and knit (or purl) the final 2.  I can see how that might be confusing when you get to the end of the repeats and have 3 stitches left, then I say K2.  My bad.

Because I knit virtually all my socks toe-up, and with a Fish Lips Kiss heel, it is really quite easy to slot in any stitch pattern I want.  I have, goodness, maybe 6 or more books of stitch pattern, but my favourites are from Wendy Bernard.  I have The Knitting All Around one, the Up, Down, All Around one, and her Japanese stitches one.  I love that there re lists in the back that sort the various patterns by stitch count, so if I want to see all the patterns that match my usual 68 stitches count, I can do it.  It is also pretty easy to figure out how to add a couple of framing stitches and use most patterns that way.

I saw a stitch pattern called the Alternating Slip Stitch, and quite liked the way it looked. I felt like it might work well for hand-dyed yarn, and decided to give it a go.  after knitting a bit of a swatch, I decided to omit one line, which made the pattern created more round then oval.

One of my mates asked for the pattern, but there really isn’t a pattern, I just slot in the stitch sequence to my existing framework.  But I wrote up a little description for her, and having gone to the trouble to do that, I figured I might as well share it.

Here is another look at the socks:

I always like how a slipped stitch pattern breaks up colour pools in hand dyed yarn

Anyway, if you fancy the look here is the most basic outline of what I did. and just a little tip – I placed the stitch pattern info quite specifically on the PDF.  I like to use a little clip like these:

although to be fair a paper clip works just as well, on the side of the printout,  to keep track of where I am in the sequence.

I am already working on another pair, which I am really liking a LOT, but I feel like the stitch pattern might work even better if I shift it a few stitches tot he right to centre the design, or if I flip one sock so they are a mirror image.  Perhaps more on that at a later date.

 


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Now-Sew hearts in the round, two at a time

Because I made the mistake of hiding the link at the bottom the last time I posted about these No-Sew hearts, I am going to put it at the top this time!

Here is the pattern

A few places here in the UK have asked people from shielded households to knit pairs of hearts.  This is one post I saw on Facebook:

Hello everyone 😊 I was wondering if any knitters can help us! My ward at Wigan hospital are unfortunately looking after extremely poorly Covid positive pts. At the moment no visitors are allowed on the ward as it is obviously extremely high risk. It is devastating for us to watch someone suffer without their relatives around them – although they do have us and we try our best to hold their hand and provide the best support that we can ❤️💜💗💙 we are looking to trial an idea whereby we give our patients a knitted heart and send a matching knitted heart to their relative/next of kin. We are looking for people who can knit that have ideally been self isolating and had no contact with anyone who could possibly be infected to send pairs of knitted hearts to us and we can then distribute them to our patients and their loving relatives who cannot be with them. I really do believe it would be so comforting to our patients and their relatives in such sad times and I’m hoping that we can facilitate this with your help. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and please please share this to anyone you think could help.

Ince ward at Royal Albert Edward Infirmary
Wigan hospital
Wigan Lane
WN1 2NN

another is this one and this one.  I made a few (made quite a few more since I took this photo!)

Hubby is going out tomorrow for his once weekly shopping trip and he will be dropping these in the post on his way.

As I make another pair, I thought I would show that it is quite easy to make them two-at-a-time, in the round as well.

Just cast on both hearts. It’s only six stitches to begin with so easy peasy!

 

Knit up to the point where you off-load half the stitches to create the first heart bump then work just on the bumps till they are complete.

When you are finished, thread thru the ends but remember, DO NOT pull the end tight.  Y will be stuffing the heart thru the two openings. You might find it easier to do the last rounds to make the second heart bump by working on one heart at a time.  Up to you….

All done.

 

and stuffed!

Knitting two at a time you can knock out identical pairs pretty quick!