Monday, February 8, 2016

Ripple Baby Blanket

Having a stitch pattern dictionary in your library is a great source for creativity. Working with stitches that you are unfamiliar with and learning in many cases outside of your comfort zone. But it can be a challenge when you want to make something out of a stitch pattern because that word that we don't always want to hear comes up - gauging. To get the right size and the correct needle size with the yarn you are using could take a little time and effort.

I always go for things that don't fit like blankets because if it is a little bit bigger it is no big deal and since I am just sharing I am not taking a gauge swatch. I am giving you the gauge I got and measurements which might be an approximate size from what you get given the yarn, needle size and how you knit (tight or loose). You can measure as you go to check on what it will be. This works best if you are using circular needles so that you can lay your piece flat and easily measure as the stitches are not so bunched up as they would be on straight needles. So thinking ahead of the length of the circular needles is important so that the right size coil will be used to hold the number of stitches.

When making a baby gift have the mother in mind not your own taste. It's great that other colors are being used and not only the traditional colors of pink and blue. A fresh take on things. But it is important to try and find out what colors the mother would like or in what colors they are using for the baby room because you want your gift to be used and appreciated.

I used the stitch pattern book, "200 Ripple Stitch Patterns" by Jan Eaton and then made up the size and added a border. But what is great about this book that it has both knit and crochet stitch patterns. I call it a starter kit and you have to finish the rest. This means you have the stitch pattern but you need to figure out the size and that is how many of the initial repeat you need to do.

Sometimes my mind has so much in it and I'm rushing I don't think things out fully. With these two baby blankets one has a border and one doesn't. My brain just wasn't working on that day. I started so I did it without a border. Look at the difference without the border. It doesn't look finished but a border gives it a more finished polished look. So if you are starting a project take a few moments to think about how you want it to look if you want to dare to us a stitch pattern book.

A ripple blanket has what I call peaks and valleys. This means for the peaks there is an increase and for the valleys there is a decrease. So the increase in this blanket they use a Make 1 (M1) and for the decrease it is the knit two together (k2tog). It is an easy blanket with only a two row repeat.

(pattern for blanket) pg 62 Crisp Zigzags

Multiple: 13 + 4

Yarn: I used Red Heart Softy (worsted weight) grey and teal (the only thing is I don't remember how many I used. I would get 3 of each and be mindful of the return policy)

approximate Size:34" x 38"

(pictures: first picture is without a real border second picture is with a border.)

Needle size: US8 long if straight or 24" circulars (I used circulars since it is easy to lay flat and see if everything looks correct and easier to measure)


k - knit

p - purl

pm - place marker

rep - repeat

sl - slip one

k2tog - knit 2 together

psso - pass slip stitch over

inc - increase

Make 1 increase: lift horizontal thread between stitches and knit into the back of it.

Note: Establish what will be color A and color B. I used the grey for color A and teal for color B

Using color A, co 175

Work 4 rows in garter stitch for bottom border and continue with color A.

Note: to make it easier to follow the pattern stitch, place markers starting one after the first 4 stitches the beginning of row, one after every repeat and one at the end knitting the last 4 sts for the side border.

Row 1: (RS) k4 (pm), inc(make one), k4, sl 1, k2tog, psso, k4, inc (make one) (pm); *k2, inc(make one), k4, sl 1, k2tog, psso, k4, inc (make one)(pm), rep from * to the last 4 stitches, (pm) k4.

Row 2: k4, p to last three sts, k4

Rep Rows 1 and 2 moving markers throughout as you go, changing colors every 9th row which should be starting on a right side row for each stripe pattern. Continue until blanket measures 38" or after completing a total of 10 color A strips and 9 color B strips and you will end with color A.

Continue with color A and end afghan with 4 rows of garter st for top border.

Bind off and weave in ends

Monday, January 25, 2016

My Weekend at Vogue Knitting Live

Well I finally got to volunteer again for Vogue Knitting Live. It's been 3 years which I can't believe how time flies. It was another successful event and lots of attendees.

I was busy at registration as the attendees flowed in needing info as to where to go, how to find their classrooms and other essential questions.

I did have a little time before I started my shift which I spent taking a few pictures and visiting the vendor booths. I feel I should see some sheep since last year all the festivals I attended had live stock. But there was a great amount of vendors with a variety of yarns and supplies to choose from.

I only got to see one fashion show because of my volunteer schedule but there were several going on. I like how the models were dressed in black tights so that you could really see the knitted garments.

There is a lot of rushing around with the visitors, vendors and teachers. But you know what's touching is when a teacher here and there thanks you for being there as a volunteer and helping them.

Besides the vendors and fashion shows there were the classes and lectures going on. So lots of learning. I didn't take any classes or lectures but it was just nice being a part of the event again.

Vogue Knitting Live changed locations on me and that part was wonderful. Just a few blocks from Port Authority - Hurrah! No extra subway just a couple of short blocks and right in the heart of the theater district. You know what that means for next year if I do it - half price ticket line to see a play - boy will I need to get some extra sleep for that one. So it's not just the festival but sometimes we can make it a mini vacation or a little extra fun after the event.

I was assigned to help with the breakdown at the end of the event. I love that. To see all the vendors packing their goods up and Vogue Knitting Live packing everything up just to start preparing for next year. You really can appreciate more the work that is involved in putting such an event together. Vogue Knitting Live is the first event of the year and for me a local event to attend and help out at. I'm already looking forward to next year.