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Since I have been into lace knitting lately, I have been perusing the net for all the lovely patterns available.  One of my favorites is the Estonian Star Flower.

I worked up a swatch from one of the available charts; however after blocking it I had the desire to open it up a bit.  To that end I  added yarn overs to the section between the flowers.  The result was a more smooth knit, that didn’t have to be blocked out as much to really see the design.

As I have in mind a project that needs to be washed more often than a curtain, or table cloth, or simply needs to be more user friendly for the person I am making it for, I came up with the version below.

 

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The one on the bottom in gray, is my own swatch, which I have written instructions for and will share with anyone who wants to try it.  My swatch includes a half of flower at the sides- I like things even.

Click here if you would like to have the instructions.

Expanded Estonian Star Flower Pattern

Happy knitting- KT

 

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Rediscovering Lace

It has been a while since I knitted lace, but I got inspired this week.  My daughter needed something to throw on quick for a instant “dress -up” affair.  The first think I thought of was a lace tunic to throw over a tank top.  It’s light, but elegant.

As I searched the net for ideas I ran across a beautiful diagonal lace tunic from Europe.diamond lace tunic

Perfect!  It even had a chart for the lace pattern below the picture.  The only problem was the symbols.  They were not at all familiar, so I went on the web and search for all the international knitting symbols.  I found them on “Knitting Fool.” However, when I match them to the pattern I knew something was wrong. How?

As any seasoned knitter will tell you, if you add and extra stitch or yarn over and you want to keep the stitch count even, you have to balance the count by knitting together two stitches somewhere in the course of the row, or the stitches won’t add up right.  When I looked at the chart carefully there was no doubt that the stitch count had to be maintained.

Now what?

The yarn overs were represent be a large “U”, but the K 2 tog, looked like a symbol that indicates to make 2 stitches in one stitch, thus adding an additional stitch besides the yarn over- that wasn’t going to work.  Then I notice in a close up that the ridges between the yarn over holes were more raised and defined than usual, so I sat down to work it out myself.  I love this pattern.

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Here is what I came up with.  It involves a new stitch (for me, at least).  I created the raised ridge by knitting deep and slipping the next stitch(right or left) over the top to achieve a SSK, and a K 2 tog.

The knit 2 tog (deep) is created by knitting in the stitch below, then placing that new stitch back on the left needle. Next, slip the stitch to the “left” of the new stitch over the new stitch and to the right, releasing it to lay at the base of the new stitch.  Return the new stitch to the right needle and proceed with the chart.

When an SSK is required, the first stitch is slipped( knitwise) on to the right needle, next; knit deep(into the stitch below)into the next stitch to the left.  Pass the slipped st on the right needle over the newly made stitch.  It is not hard, just take s a bit of getting use to.  I really like the affect.

knit deep

Knitting “deep.”  I learn this term from a German pattern that I had a while back.  It simply means to knit into the stitch below the one you usually knit in.  When you do this you can see that it makes a more defined hole in the lace, as it releases the stitch made in the previous row.

I have cleaned up the chart and have uploaded here. This swatch has 3 added edge stitches on each side.

Russian Lace tunic Design

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

 

Happy knitting- KT

The internet is a marvelous tool for discovering what people all around the world are doing, especially in the field of fiber arts.  My great discovery has been in the field of crochet.

I have crocheted off and on again in my life since I was taught at my grandmothers knee, but have never taken it to the level of some of the ladies in Italy and Russia.

This is one field that you don’t need a translation for. In fact, I am sure that right now we could all get together in a room and share our expertise without sharing one word in our own language.  All we need is the language of the needle or hook.

If you haven’t explored this opportunity then please give it a try.  Just type in your fiber art and explore some of the videos available, and don’t be afraid to try those from other countries- some actually have English translations.

Below is my latest project-crocheted roses and carnations, as well as other flowers.  I began by watching the video and them started tweaking the patterns and idea to suit myself.  I developed a pattern for the leaves after seeing a photo on Pinterest.   As always, I had to take it to the next level, and make it as realistic as possible.  A lot of hours and samples went in to the results, but what fun I had.

Roses and Carnations with a dark Ivy accent.

My rose leaf

 

Crocheted Iris

To make the larger stem for the Iris, I used plastic tubing over the stem wire.  I crocheted the stem cover lengthwise to cover half the length of the entire stem, then designed the large leaf the encompass the remainder.  The 9 petals of the Iris are made separately and wired to the main stem.

Crocheted St John’s Wart

This project involved spraying size 80 thread with Laquer to make the stamen in the center.  It was quite a chore but well worth it. I am not quite finished with it, as the stem has many leaves.  All my flowers are made using #32 or 26 wire.

All my flowers start by taking apart the “real” thing.  Each petal and element are made separate, then assembled.

It has been a great adventure.

I hope my photos will inspire you to do the same.

 

KT.

 

 

If you have never expanded your horizons or tried new things this post is not for you.  However, if you are like me, you are always looking to learn something new and exciting.

I have recently been exploring Romanian Point Lace and Crocheted Tape Lace, and bobbin Lace.  Why?  My goal is to be able to mix and match all those techniques and combine them with my knitting skills.  What possibilities it opens up.

The crocheted tape lace can be used to create beautiful neckline embellishments for you knitted blouses and tops, sleeve edges, and bottom edges as well.  They also make great bands for hats.

Below is a photo of my store bought hat with a crocheted tape lace in variegated pink.

Combine that with an inexpensive top edged with the same tape lace, and you make a great presentation walking down the street.

You will notice that also crochet earrings to match.

The next photo is of the same idea, only this time I created a Romanian point lace design for both hat and neckline.

The rose design match the motif on the front of my top.

And need you ask???? Yes, I made earring to match. 🙂

As in most cases, one idea leads to another, so I am thinking up more designs for these hat bands, as they can be moved to whatever hat I am wearing.  As you can see the Romanian point lace design is very sturdy.

I do wash them in hot water when finished and after rolling them in a towel place them directly on the hat to dry.  I have a Styrofoam head  made to my dimensions, so it works perfectly to shape my piece.

Give it a try.  You can find it all on Youtube.

KT

PS- I love the Russian websites. These women are amazing and you can learn just by watching-no translation needed.

Just use your “snipping tool” when you want a pic of the process, and have your pad and pencil ready to write instruction in English as you go.

Tabi Kneehighs

Waynes snake sox 3

These are the snake skin socks that I have been working on for my brother.  In previous posts I have given you the chart for the leg portion.  In this post I will share with you my method of keeping these socks up where they belong all day long.  And he said that they indeed stayed up all day long.

One of the secrets of making knee highs stay “up” is making them big enough at the calf so that they just lay nicely on the skin.  Once past the calf portion I worked a 2 by 2 rib for about  1 1/2 inches or until I reach the indent at the back of the knee, putting in lifelines to mark my casing stitches that I would pick up later.

Since this pattern is establish for 121 sts, I have 3 knit stitches as my center back.  I will be making a yo buttonhole for the 1/4 inch elastic to be inserted when done. As my gauge for these socks were 8sts to 11 rows, I calculated that a 5 or 6 rounds(rows)would be close to, or slightly over 1/2 inch.

In the photo below you can see the gray lifeline (#1) that I established at round 7 using #10 crochet thread, picking up the purl bumps only, on the back side of my knitting. These were picked up after I knitted round #8, so that they would lie directly under my needle cord.

Once this is done work another half inch, then repeat the same process.

008

Once you have finished you 1 1/2 inch rib, now you need to complete the inside casing.  Knit 2 rounds.  Beginning at the center back 3 sts; knit 1, yo (twice), K 2 tog.  This YO will make your buttonhole opening for the elastic.  Next round , center three stitches; K 1, k YO, K 1. Finish ribbing round.  Continue your rib until you are a little more than one inch from you from you top(second) life line.

Next, using a smaller circle needle(I used a #o circle needle) pick up the sts from your second life line from bottom top, beginning at the center back, where you have 3 purl bumps.  Line up both needles, placing about 1/4 of the total sts on the steel part of the needles. Your knit sts on the front side should line up with the purl pairs on you pick up needle.

waynes sock top 1

Work rib across as before, but this time knit the knit stitches from the front needle with the purl pairs on the back needle.  Purl the next 2 sts from the front needle only.  Repeat, until all sts are knitted for this round. Release the pick-up needle.

Work the next half inch as before, making buttonhole opening for elastic in center back.  Pick up the next stitches off the next life line.

waynes sock top

Line up the needles.  This time bind off the knit stitches with the purl stitches on the pick-up needle.  bind off the next purl stitches on the front needle by themselves. Repeat on all stitches are bound off.

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Now they are finished and ready for the elastic to be inserted into the button hole at the center back.  I have found that 1/4 inch elastic works very well.  I like it better than the round elastic, as it seems to hold up better.

Below is a detailed description of this process using my gauge.

I knitted 17 rounds of rib to my desired height.  My life lines were put in on round 7, and 12.  Rounds 18-19 were worked even.  At round 20, I made my YO opening in the center back 3 stitches. Worked 3 more round even, then stopped and pickup the stitches off my nearest lifeline.  Next I worked 2 more rounds. Next round ,worked buttonhole(YO), then worked next 2 rounds even.  Picked up stitches off last lifeline, and cast off.  I inserted elastic, overlapped it one inch, and stitched it by hand. My brother had previously sent me the measurement for the elastic, so I knew I was in the ballpark.

 

Happy Knitting- KT

 

 

I know that it has been a while since I posted, but the holidays have kept me busy with singing and composing for my local community choir; however, I have been busy working on a pair of Tabi boot socks for my brother.

As he is a hiker, he wanted me to design a rattlesnake motif for the outside of the leg portion the upper sock, and opted for a purl textured diamond design on the inside of the leg.  Very interesting challenge.

Because I wanted it seamless, I opted to use my “seamless cables” technique for the back closure.  Just a hint of a cable of 5 stitches plus the 2 outside purls for the frame.  It worked great.  Here are some photos.

You can see that the cable is very subtle, so is the diamond design on the inside leg.

 

rattlesnake-sock-chart-upper-leg

Working chart

The above is just a sample of the chart I worked up to knit the  upper leg portion.  On the right side I have charted the 7 stitch cable for the center back of the sock.   The connection is made at the first purl stitch stitch of the cable.  If you are interested take a look at the “Seamless Cables” using the search box at the top of the page.

You can work any kind of cable pattern for this purpose, just keep it to 5-9 sts.

Just thought I would share.  KT

 

I know that it has been a while since I posted an article on knitting, but I have been busy redecorating my home.  Of course that called for a new lace curtain for my bathroom.

I used the valance pattern that I recently posted, then added a tatted edge with beads to bring a little sparkle into the room.

Here is a peak at the results-

and…yes, I know, it’s not quite centered….but 🙂

2016-06-21-04-34-26

Here is a close-up of the center section.

2016-06-21-06-15-47

It was definitely a fun project.

2016-06-23-10-06-30

Though this pic is a bit darker, it gives you more of the overall affect.  The actual wall paint is a very light rose color.

Just so you know, the two angled mini-stripes under the wall art are reflections off a mirror.

Using the combined crafts gave me lots of options for the finish.

The setup was crocheting loops of 5 sts each, and spacing them equally across the bottom edges.  Next, I just played with different ideas until I came up with the combination that allowed my work to lay as flat as possible, and positioned my beads where they would accent the arches to their max.

For those of you who tat, that combo was basically; 9ds chains, and 4/4 rings which were attached to the centers of those crocheted loops.

Here is a bit of a diagram-

Lace Curtain-tatted edge-side-panel

As for the knitting pattern- I used the same chart as for the Large Lace Curtain Valance, accept that I only used one repeat of the five arches in the center section.  I also decided not to stack them, as in the original design.

My next project is to tat some pink and silver butterflies to grace my adjacent walls.

I hope this gives you some ideas to play with.

Happy knitting-KT