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I mentioned in my last post, that I was thinking about designing a different edge, or finishing round for my English Rose tablecloth.  What you see in the about photo is that new design.

I wanted my last rose leaf to be free and overshadowed by the busy background lace. As a result,  I worked out the following method to individualize the leaves.

I began by working each leaf individually, as you would with straight needles, adding the connecting sts to only the right side edge of the leaf.  Using a spare 24 in circle needle of the same size, I then picked up the corresponding stitches for the left side of the leaf, and proceeded working across the “bridge” (connecting pattern stitches), to the next rose leaf.

Even though this is a bit of work, I find that using my extra 47 inch circles of lesser size work perfectly as carrier needles.  I pick up each completed unit on these needles, (about 3 leaves to a needle). This allows me to free up the stitches on the main 60 inch that I am using for the body of the tablecloth.

I do think that this process could be used for various shapes you might want to incorporate into designing an special edging.  As long as the work is supported on the “carrier” needles, they are easy to pick up when you are ready to finish the final rounds.

One thing I did do, was to use a different color needle tips for my needles; blue for the main/working needle, and purple for my  carrier needles; that way there is no doubt which one to pick up.

In the photo above, I am set up with my main (blue) needle tips to begin a new leaf.

When I complete the 40 leaves, I will knit all the stitches back on to my main needle, then finish the edge.

For those who might be interested, I am going to writing up a tutorial for this edging, and will upload it when I am done.

 

Happy Knitting- KT

Since I didn’t want this tablecloth 72 ins, I decided to work it until I thought I had about 60 inches.  However, the only true way to know when I reached that point, or near it, was to block it.

I learned how to do this when working on the Princess Shawl designed for the Queen of England.  The lady who published the pattern advised checking out what the final blocked edging looked like.   Her advice was, “When in doubt, block it out.”  The only stipulation is to have all your stitches on needle cords, and secured with stoppers.

*Even, if your project is rectangular, the circle needle cords work great.

For this project, that meant using my other 47 inch circles needles, from 2 on down.  Since I have an abundance of them, this wasn’t an issue.   I just dunked, squeezed, toweled and dropped it on my bedroom floor, which I had covered with a heavy cotton quilt, and used the burgundy sheet to create contrast.

**I did put my attached working thread in a Ziplock bag to keep it dry.

The carpet, and pad underneath gave me a perfect base for pinning.  I also used different colored tips for the original 60 inch needle, so when it is dry, I can just pick it up and start knitting the stitches off the other needles.

Since I now have the right measurements, I know exactly how much further I want to knit.  I also like the scalloped edge, so I will add the stitches necessary to maintain the stitch count to make that possible.

Don’t be afraid to try it.  You can do this with any size project.

When I do my final wash and block, I will use the tape measure to ensure that each point is exactly the same distance from center to outside edge.

 

Happy knitting- KT

At this point of my knitted English Rose tablecloth, the stitch count seems daunting.  So I opt for thinking of it in units, or pattern repeats, which in this case equals 40 per round.

With this in mind, I decided to share some of my tracking tips, especially for those who are intimidated by this kind of project.

First, I think about only one repeat at a time.  I always have a colored piece of thread of yarn placed at the beginning of each round.  I also place a piece of contrasting yarn in the location of each addition of thread, just in case I need to do some work on them later.  Doing this also lets me know how far a ball of thread/yarn will go–  I am using Knitpicks Curio on this project.

Secondly, in this pattern, I am creating rose leaves.  Each leaf unit has a prescribed number of stitches.  In the photo above, I have illustrated this leaf top.  Each end of the leaf has 2 stitches knitted together, one leans left(slip one, knit one, lift slipped stitch over knitted stitch);  the other leans right(knit 2 together).  In between these two stitch combinations, 7 stitches are knitted, altogether making a count of 9 stitches in the leaf unit.

Why is this important?  When I finish a leaf, I always count the unit to make sure I have the appropriate stitch count.  If I don’t, then something is wrong and now is the time to check it out, not after I have knit 2000 stitches.  

Another check point, is paying attention to the divisions in the repeat.  In the photo above you see the division between the two leaves leaning in opposite directions.  That division always has a center stitch.  

I pause here again to make sure the appropriate stitch lands in the center of this unit, if not, I count back to see what is wrong.  Most of the time it is that I have forgotten a yarn over.  If this happens in an even round, I simply pick up the bar between the adjacent stitches and knit one to erase the error.  If it is in the present round, I tink back and put it in.

 

This photo shows the unit that divides the set of rose leaves.  Here again there is a line of center stitches that you can use for a guide to make sure your stitch count is right.

I often take just a few seconds each repeat to check all my stitches before I advance to the next repeat.  Trust me, it saves you lots of stress and headaches.

My next test will be placing the entire tablecloth on many circle needle cords.  Why?  I am not sure I want the cloth to hang down more than 6 inches from the top of the table, so I will stretch it out, with it still on the needles, then I will get a better idea how I want to finish it.  I am not enamored with the finishing rows of this pattern, so I am toying with the some alternative ideas of my own.

 

Happy knitting- KT

As I have been working on the English Rose tablecloth,which I posted a few days ago, I realized that one of ways that I save myself a lot of frustration is to highlight different portions of each unit repeat.

In the photo clip above I have highlighted the beginning of the “new leaf” in green, and the “old leaf” in yellow.  This helps me know where I am in the pattern repeat, should I lay my work aside.  The un-highlighted portions are the connecting patterns and divisions.

If it is something you haven’t already tried, you might find this method useful if you have trouble keeping your eyes focused on the proper line of instructions in your pattern, especially a lace pattern.

Just thought I would share.

 

Happy knitting- KT

 

I am sorry to say that I do not like working with double pointed needles.  That is not to say that I haven’t been successful knitting with them, but I did not enjoy it.

I recently remodeled my home and put new windows in the music room, so with all that new woodwork framing those beautiful windows, I just had to have a new white round tablecloth for the  table that sits in front of the window.

I found just the pattern in “Modern Lace Knitting” by Marianne Kinzel.  The pattern I chose was called “English Rose.”

Of course, the first instructions were to pickup the double pointed needles to start the center.  However, my inclination was to make a crocheted Magic Loop-which I did, replacing the DP needles with a 47 inch circular needle.

Here is a photo of my work in progress.  In the photos below I hope I can explain the process I used simply enough that you will be encouraged to try it, if you haven’t already done so.

Create your Magic Loop.

Insert tip of circle needle into crocheted loop.

Using the crochet hook, insert hook through Magic loop, yarn around hook and draw through to front, yarn around hook again and draw through loop on hook.  Place this loop on the knitting needle.  I repeated this process 10 times, as this pattern calls for 10 stitches to be cast on.

Take up slack in the Magic loop.

Once all the stitches are on the knitting needle, I pull the needle all the way to the left, leaving only a small amount of cord to my right.  Next, I divide the stitches up as instructed in the pattern.  In this case there were 3 sections, 4, 4, and 2.  I simply bent the cord and pulled it through, allowing a loop to form.  I did the same for the next 4 stitches, then the two that remained were my last unit.

Once this was completed, I closed the Magic loop to form the center ring.

To begin the first round, pull the left needle into the “start position.”

Pull the right needle though and make a clockwise circle, positioning the needle in the start position to begin knitting off the needle in your left hand.  Be sure to make the first stitch snug to the cord of the right needle..

Personally, once I have knitted all the stitches off the left needle, I pull my right needle through so that the stitches rest on the cord.  Next, I pull the left needle back so that it is in position to knit the next group of stitches.  I adjust my loops for comfort, before I begin the next section.  I have never lost a stitch doing it this way.

When you first try this it is best to work on a table top.  It helps you to keep the work from twisting.  I admit it takes a bit of practice, but I think it is worth it.  I also don’t have to go back and fix the center.

Here you can see the loops as they have diminished in seize.  Once the needle is full, I changed to a 60 inch circle to finish the project.

 

Happy knitting-  KT

 

I have not posted in a while, as I have been up to my eyeballs in music for the season.  As those of you who have followed me know, I am extensively involved in arranging music, etc,  for our local community choir.  This year I added a new project to the mix by restarting the hand bell choir I used to direct when we first arrived in Idaho.

It has been a labor of joy, and everyone involved has had a blast.  The smiles on the faces of everyone we have performed for has been the greatest gift of the season.  Everyone was elated to hear the Bells of Christmas.

So….., as my gift to you this blessed Christmas season I have uploaded several of the pieces we performed for your listening pleasure.

What Child is This?

Silver Bells

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

O Holy Night

Gesu Bambini

Merry Christmas – KT

My rose finally has a home.  I added a few items to the mix, but not much-just enough to support the stem and leaf structure.

I might add another rose or bud someday, but for now it is enough to know that my idea worked.

I do like the look of the leaves much better than normal crochet, as they are smoother, and I was able to make them more life like.  They are in the foreground hanging over the Baby’s Breath.

Just sharing!

KT

I have been working with this stitch for a while in the hopes that I could produce a fabric like “look.”  I wanted the stitch to be flatter than normal crocheted posts, as I wanted to be able to paint and embroidery on it.  The results of my efforts are shown in the photo below.

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This large “Peace and Love” rose is a duplicate of the one that is in my back yard, and my husband’s favorite.  He wanted me to immortalize it for posterity.  🙂

*Just as a side note- got a test from a friend

She asked if the rose was made of painted fabric and dried over a mold of some kind.  This, of course, let me know that I had achieved my goal.

As of now I am working on the leaves, and will be adding them as it section is completed.

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The photo above shows my work in progress.  The leaf at the far right is almost finished.  You can see that each vein is worked separately.  The leaves on the far left are finished to their base, and details are embroidered with #80 crochet thread.

My leaf pattern is a duplicate of the original leaves in two sizes, as the rose I cut from the bush had leaves in groups of three, one large and two small.

It has been a fun project.

I will upload the finished product soon.

My man will be happy.

 

Just sharing, KT

I delivered this arrangement to my friends this morning.  They were delighted.  Many people think I am crazy, but all the hours I put into this are worth it, when I see the smiles on their faces.

It is currently being displayed with dignity on their black baby grand piano.  There are also plans to provide a flash light handy for anyone who wants to view the details of the underside of the Morpho butterfly.

*You will see that the maiden’s fern is not in the mix. Why?  I have discovered that it looks better when there are no more than 3 crocheted elements in an arrangement.

So…..what’s next?  I am working on development of this stitch and it’s possible use in other projects.  As I perfect these variations, I will share with those who are interested.  Right now, I am working on using to colors, as I do in Intarsia knitting.  I think the possibilities are endless.

But….for now, it is nice to have this one finished.

KT

As I mulled over the elements I wanted for my Morpho Butterfly arrangement (butterfly, Baby’s Breath, Maiden Hair fern, stems and grasses), I found I was lacking 1 essential item- a flower that my butterfly could land on.  So, I did a little research and found out that since  this butterfly comes from Central America region, then one of the flowers from the same region is what I needed.  My choice- red Hibiscus.  Not only is it gorgeous, but red is one of the background colors of the room where it will be displayed.

hibiscus- illustrations 4

Here it is in all it’s glory!

Now to examine my subject.  I noticed that the “vein’s” of the petals run vertically, just as they do in my butterfly veins.  So with that in mind, and using size 40 thread and a .09 hook, I made a sample.

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Once I had played around with this, I decided to write up the process, hoping to encourage some of you to do the same.

To start with, the paper template you see in the last photo was my guide.

hibiscus petal template with instr

Hibiscus Petal Illustration

The green lines and directional arrows, are the wires (size 32g, red).  Those wires are divided as shown in the illustration.  A and B will be used to secure the petal to the main stem.  The center 6 wires will establish the center pistols and stamen, which are at least the length of one petal plus some.  One wire from each petal with be the top of the 5 pistols and have a red bead to finish them off.  The other wires will be pealed off one at a time, trimmed to length and finish with a #11 yellow seed bead.  You can see those wires in the last photo.

By using the wires in the manner I did, I am able to flute the edge.  I add even more detail in the solid red areas, as I enclose the wire turn.  Here I can sc, hdc, etc, defining the edge as I like.  I can do the same with the 2 veins that do NOT have the wire turn.  *On the sample I did not add all the scallops.

The solid blue section of this illustration will be worked as one vein.

This may seem complicated to some, but for me it is fun.  Keep in mind that this is a guide, and I am always open to changing things as needed.  Another thing is that nature is not perfect, so any slight variation in the petals is more perfect than you think.

I can not wait for my red wire to arrive so I can get started on the Hibiscus.

I will keep you updated on the progress.