Browsing CategoryKnitting

Hand knitted pillow cases [wip]

 

These past few weeks I can’t stop thinking about big, super chunky knits! I know it’s summer and I should be thinking about breezy dresses, but that’s just how things are, I guess. I’ve been looking for the right chunky knit for making pillow cases, so nothing too scratchy, nothing too fine. Something that feels good if you put your face on it, but is still a bit stiff, like a proper sofa cushion.

multi yarn chunky mint and aquamarine

I imagined a grey chunky, soft fibre to do all of the above and that apparently doesn’t exist. At least not this time of year.

I had this mercerized cotton I used for my mint top and I had a lot of it! I wanted to make a dress initially, but I wasn’t sure I would ever finish it so I ended up with a t-shirt and a lot of left over mint cotton. I also had two skeins in a lighter avocado green so I mixed them all up and created this beautiful yarn! Very good upper body exercise, putting 6 skeins into one ball!

I really like how the avocado green peeks from time to time, barely there. It was quite sunny when I took the photos and there’s a light burn, but in real life you can see the green yarn a bit more.

knitting pillow cases out of super chunky yarn

It knits very beautifully and quite quickly, as I imagined and I love the tension I got in the final knit. I think it’s my best ever. I should only knit in super chunky, it’s too easy.

I don’t imagine this into a garment because the resulting knit is actually quite heavy. I think it’s perfect for my new pillow-cases but not great as a sweater or cardigan, especially if you’re also using a coat.

work in progress knitted pillowcases in chunky yarn

I am also super happy to use this because I was a bit bored of it after making the mint t-shirt.  Do you also prefer to change yarn often or just love to use the same ones over and over again?

 

Mint knitted t-shirt

knitted t-shirt

I’ve recently finished this knitted t-shirt inspired by the lovely Juliet Tee by We are Knitters and the many versions I’ve seen around. It’s a bit different because the yarn is thinner than the original yarn from WAK; it’s a mercerized cotton with a bit of a shine to it and it’s also knitted more loosely than the original top.

What I like about it:

First of all, I am happy I made up the pattern myself. I wanted to simplify as much as possible, so I made this a longer rectangle, with a slit in it for the neckline. I then made a very basic crochet trim to give the neckline and armhole a bit of structure.

handmade knitted top sky turtle

It was also cool to learn the eyelet stitch, which the same WAK people were so kind to make a video tutorial of (below)!

I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to wear it in summer. I was a bit skeptical about summer knits. For me summer is either: inside = freezing your arms off under the AC or: outside = everything sticks to your skin like you’ve been vacuumed inside your own bubble, so I wanted this to be layerable, in case it failed as a warm weather garment.

I was afraid it would look too boxy, but with the loose knit it drapes a little bit, so I am happy about that.

What I would have done differently/for next time:

I would have made this smaller! Like this it will look good over another sweater or a shirt, but I feel it’s a tad too big like this. Next time I’ll try something more close-fitting, now that I am confident I can finish a garment.

I was also thinking about knitting a sash/belt for this. Maybe cord?

 

Why knitting could be the secret ingredient to a better life

I really liked Christina Baker Kline’s piece in the New York Times about why she didn’t use to knit, or garden, or do anything that would keep her from her focus of writing and being a writer. There’s a touching paragraph about her beloved mother, who “moved from one passion to the next like a tornado moving across a flat landscape, sweeping up everything in its path and flinging it aside — astrology, feminist activism, organic gardening.”

“Knitting was no different. For a few years, skeins of yarn piled up in baskets around the house. There weren’t enough humans in my mother’s orbit to wear all the scarves and sweaters and hats she knitted. And then, as suddenly as she started, she lost interest, leaving needles still entwined in half-finished fragments.” writes Christina Baker Kline.

She then goes on to explain the strategy she created for herself to keep her focused on her work: basically writing everyday and not getting involved in activities that would create additional distractions and potentially keep her from her writing.

“When I start a new novel and find myself diverted by domestic activities, many of which I genuinely enjoy, I panic that I will never write another word. So, consciously and unconsciously, I have laid down certain rules for myself. I will not serve lunch to anyone in the middle of a workday. I rarely rearrange my furniture or cabinets; once I find a drawer for something, it stays there. I don’t garden. And I don’t knit.”

Christina then goes on and tells the story of how she did choose to pick up those needles and knit something new, but I can’t help but wonder: am I also procrastinating and not working on my true goals when I sew, knit, crochet or make?

A little. But that’s also a pleasant way to relax and unwind. There’s nothing more relaxing and more peaceful than counting stitches in your head or imagining the construction of a new pattern. It’s not quite meditating, but it’s the closest I got.

What about you? Is your making (be it sewing, knitting, crochet etc.) calming you down or giving you more energy? And why do you make?

How to knit a braided headband

For a few months now I can’t stop thinking about knitting. It all started with Teo (hello 😉 who mentioned We Are Knitters, then I remembered the effect this vest from Wool and the gang had on me when I saw it last year (I think?) and it all came down on me, like an avalanche of purled and knitted stitches, wooden needles and lots of types of new yarn. You might have guessed this from my latest post on knitting needs and wants.

Anyway, one day I saw this awesome headband, from Kelerabeus on Kollabora, who made this wonderful white headband and made up her own pattern:

After seeing similar headbands/ ear warmers all around the internet I decided that I simply must make one for myself! I also decided that I don’t need any pattern so I eyeballed the whole thing. And it’s pretty easy actually! The back part is knitted in the round using double pointed needles. For the front part the total number of stitches is split in three and then each section is knitted separately. When they reached the desired length I braided them together and then rejoined all into one again.

This inspired me. “I know almost nothing about knitting, but I can do this!”, I said to myself.

hand knitted braided headband in grey

Which is exactly what I did, except, I didn’t remember to make the total number of stitches divisible by three (it’s ok, you can’t tell the middle braid is one stitch thinner, can you?) and I used single-pointed needles and didn’t knit in the round, but made the whole thing flat.

I know it’s spring and I’m the only person who is still wearing headbands but I love this! I’m thinking about making one in cotton yarn for summer.

braided grey headbank hand knitted closeup

This is how I made this braided headband:

I started with a 18 stitches and did 1 row knit, 1 row purl until I had around 10 cm of knitted band (pretty much what I wanted to cover my ears), then I divided the piece in three and knitted the three sides of the braid separately.

Because I only had 2 needles, I made sure I was conservating those stitched by putting them on a piece of spare thread. This is how I did it: picked up the stitches with a needle and then made a temporary knot to secure them. Then I just knitted the three tongues of the braid, braided them, put them back on one needle and did another 10 cm of knit purl, knit purl.

knit a braided headband!

If you want to keep this in a to try board, here’s the pinnable image (I’ve saved this to my Knit me slowly Pinterest board, if you want to see other knitted things that inspire me).

Thanks for reading!

how to knit a braided headband

 

 

 

 

Hand-knitted washcloths !

hand knitted washcloth facecloth by sky turtle

It’s king of great that today is Earth Day and also the day I show you my first knitted washcloth. I know youre probably thinking, yeah, what’s the big deal, but for me, knitting is a whole new thing I can’t stop thinking about. And how great it is when you can make something useful and learn a new stitch or a new technique.

Washcloths are cool for various reasons: they are easier to care for and collect less bacteria than kitchen sponges (maybe beycause dry faster?). If you use them in the bath, the cotton bumps are textured enough to gently exfoliate your skin but they won’t scratch you. And they’re fun to make.

I love this technique because I learned how to knit on the bias, which is genius and I don’t know why it never occured to me before. The drape is beautiful and even just by knitting row after row, you end up with a nice pattern. And I also learned to yarn over, which for some reason was a big mystery to me. (I didn’t block these because I was going to get them wet and use them anyway, but if you’re making these as a gift, you could.)

hand knitted washcloths in 4 ply cotton made by sky turtle

To make these cute washcloths I used this tutorial below: it’s clear and easy to follow, even for a super-newbie like myself. I used a 4 ply cotton and a pair of 3.5 knitting needles and it took me around one hour (watching the video and all) to knit the first one and half an hour or so for the second, smaller one.

Learn to knit a dishcloth/washcloth

I also want to make a set of napkins and kitchen towels and reduce the amount of paper napkins and paper towels we use in the house. What about you? How are you keeping your house green(er)? Have you ever knitted your own washcloths?

A scarfy issue

I bought a wonderful scarf the other day from Bulbo (where you can also find some of my bags and pouches :). It’s hand knitted and just perfect, bright green (almost neon green) and warm brown. And very, very long. And did I mention puffy? I really like it.

But there a problem with it: it leaves hair like a cat. Everywhere. Hair that takes over my coats, fibers that stay there forever, even after washing. Tiny little fibers that like to travel up to my nose.

I would so love to be able to use it and not suffer but I can’t think of what to do. In the meantime I am searching for cotton scarfs alternatives. I made those cute patchwork like scarfs last year, they’re pretty neat, soft and warm, but I want something new.

Help?

 

 

Adventures in Crochet With Blue and Green. Episode 2

I’ve been doing some more crochet – nothing fancy, just playing around and experimenting with shapes and color. These little leaves now live on my friends’ sweater. And they’re having the time of their thread following her around 🙂

crochet-flower
The strange flower is a prototype for a headband that I want to do. (You’ll be the first to see it when it’ll become real! )
Other crochet projects on my blog:

See ya, have a nice week 🙂

Tank Top Crochet Refashion How To

Yep, yep, still in the crochet mood. This is a simple tank top that I embellished with pale pink crochet thread.
I used a 1.2 mm crochet for this. Scroll down for a tip on how to do it.

How to do it yourself?

closeupcrochet

The trick here is to build a row on which you can crochet. In an all crochet project you would do this with the starting chain. I did this by sewing the first row and then I started crocheting on top. These are three rows of simple crochet stitches.

tank-top

If you want to learn the basic stitches in crochet, I find these instructions simple and clear. (And if I were you I would just play and experiment before trying to follow patterns, it’s more fun:)