scrappystickyinkymess


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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!