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Posts Tagged ‘Armenian Knitting’

As most of you know, I love knitting something challenging.  That is why I am “into” knitting relief sculptures.  To that end, I thought I might share my thought process in planning for this type of knitting.

sparky pillow finished

 

The above pillow design (Sparky) has become the number one attraction in my home.  Everyone who comes has to pet the “dog.”  I can see that I will be sending this one to the groomer quite often.

As a result of the reaction to the realism of this design, I took on the project of creating another”doggie” pillow for one of my singing companions.

This is Angus!

angus chart plan

This time I will not only raise the dog, but I want realistic folds in his favorite blanket.

relief sculpture fans

So-besides adding an extra ply of yarn to the areas of the dog that I want to raise, I will create increases on one side of the ridges (solid black lines) which will allow me to create life like folds in the blanket surrounding the subject. Fans A,B, and C will be folded under, and the ridge will be on top. Fan “D” is just the opposite. The additional stitches forming the out side edge of the fan ( dotted line) will fold up to resemble the natural fold of the mounded fabric. The areas immediately adjacent to the fans will be filled to soften the incline to the folds.

* To see how I fill these areas, go to my post,”One Doggie Pillow, Done!”

OK! Now how will I mark the chart? Humm????

I will designate the ridge stitches with a solid circle.   I will place a marker on the each side of the ridge stitch.  As I add stitches I will move the fan side marker. to indicate the added stitch.  This way, I won’t have to mess with the chart, as these stitches will not be counted, I will simply knit the next stitch in the color indicated on the chart.   All the additional stitches will be added in the color of the ridge stitches.   I plan on keeping my fan width at no more than one inch, or 9 stitches at its widest part.  I will post the results of my experiment when finished.

Another possibility is to pick up stitch along the side of the head and knit the ear separately.  Hummmmmm…???????

I have ordered a  “fudge” colored kid mohair to be worked in with the varied colors on the dogs coat, and will use white mohair to add his graying hair on the face.  This should be a fun project.  I can’t wait to get started.

 

Just sharing-  KT

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sparky pillow finished

Tada!  May I present “Sparky.”

This was absolutely a fun project, and I thought I  would share the finishing process with you.

The various modes of construction consisted of  Intarsia, Armenian knitting  and basic stockinette.  The subject in the design was created to be a relief sculpture.  This was accomplished by using 3 strands of lace weight mohair.  The additional strand enlarged the dog without adding stitches to the chart.  The background was done in Palette fingering weight from Knitpicks..

Once the knitting was complete, I washed and blocked the pillow top.

sparky pillow-blocked

The outside edges were blocked to an 18 inch square.  Next, I pinned out the dog, so that all the knitting lines in the background were straight, leaving all the extra width and length in the dog to puff up.

After the piece had dried, it was ready for me to start filling in the sculpture.

sparky pillow-creating relief - 1

In this case, the first area I filled was the muzzle, as I wanted it to stand out more than the rest of the head.  The next area was the tail, which he loves to swish around.  After putting a bit of fiber fill in these areas, I secured them by putting a piece of netting over the top and stitching it to the knitted surface that outlined the various parts, being careful to just catch a small amount of fiber from the back of the yarns.

sparky pillow-creating relief -  2

The next step was to fill in the head.  I pout more in the center of the head, then tapered the rest out to the edge of the ears.  the hip and legs were next.  How did I know how much to use- I didn’t.  I just turn it over and look.

sparky pillow-creating relief -  3

Once these areas have been filled I placed a piece of netting over the entire dog, and stitched around the edge of the subject to secure the filling.  Next, I turned it to the right side.  Using straight pins, I pinned down the areas I wanted to flatten, or define.  To secure the shape, I stitched it to the netting, from the back, always being careful to not have any threads show on the right side.   The next phase is making the pillow back.

Constructing the Back

For this particular pillow I wanted to make a looped fringe, using most of colors in the pillow top construction.  To do this I loosely knotted the yarns together, placed them in a bag, and hung the bag on the door adjacent to my sewing machine.

sparky pillow - making the looped fringe -1

With the right side of the back facing me, I placed a piece of tape 1 1/2  inches in from the edge of the fabric.  I set my foot for a 1/2 inch seam.

Using a figure 8 motion, I looped the yarns back and forth, extending the right side loop 1/4 in past the right edge of the fabric ( so I could hang on to it), and extended the left loop to just touch the tape.  I pushed these loops under the foot of my machine ( tight), and using tiny stitches, stitched them to the fabric.  It took a bit of practice, but soon I was moving right along.

sparky pillow - making the looped fringe -2

Here you can see that I have turned the corner.  I cropped my corners a bit, too.  It worked out well.

sparky pillow - making the looped fringe -3

About 2 hours later-  I’m just kidding, but it isn’t a quick job.

sparky pillow - making the looped fringe -4

Now I am ready to sew the pillow top to the back- well maybe.

To avoid any chance that the loops should get caught in my sewing I opted to baste them in place, using some old seam binding.  This just took a few minutes, but was well worth it, as I didn’t have to worry where those pesky loops were lying.  I also zigzagged the fringe to the fabric edge, then trim the over hanging loops from the edge, leaving a clean edge to line up my pillow top.  sparky pillow finished - relief demo

Here is a side view of the relief.

Yeah!  Now I have two Sparky’s!

Just sharing- KT

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nordic rose knee high finish 1

When I finished these “Nordic Rose” knee highs, I found that they were a bit loose for me.  At first, I just washed them in the washer and put them into the dryer to shrink them a mite.  That helped a little but they were still a tad to big around the ankle.
To compensate, I pulled them up higher, which left me with a ribbed band that was a bit long.   The fix-fold it over, encasing  1/8 th inch elastic bands to secure them around the top of the calf.

nordic rose knee high finish 2

Because I had striped the ribbing, I was able to use a crochet hook to slip stitch the opposing purl bumps  that formed the black strips together (top of photo) to form a casing for the joined  elastic band.  The next step was to slip another elastic ring over the sock in into the area just under the first casing.  Using the crochet hook again, I slip stitched the top edge of the stocking to the base of the ribbing.

The real lesson here is that because the stockings are a bit looser, and they have the elastic rings in the top to pull them in, they stay up all day.

The next time I make this design, I will plan my casings in the ribbed( using #2″s)  area, use the #3 needle for the calf area before the decreases, then return to the #2 to finish the stocking.  That extra stitch per inch in the calf area, allows the knitting to move with you, without seeking a path of least resistance to the ankle- just like water flowing down hill.  The secret is to make them long enough to have the elastic ride above the largest calf portion, so that it pulls in just below the knee.

Below are the charts for this stocking.

Nordic Rose Knee High Pattern

Nordic Rose Knee High Chart

Nordic Rose Heel, Toe, and Border Charts

Happy Knitting-

KT

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As I was working on my second Nordic Rose stocking I decided to experiment with some Armenian knitting in the sole area.  Below are the results.

The first picture is of the area I constructed by “stacking the floats.” What’s that?  I make sure that I weave the  alternate yarn in at the same place( vertically) every round.  The result is a ridge of stacked stitches that are slightly raised above the stitches on either side.

armenian knitting - stacked ridges

As you can see the ridges are quite visible.  Now, this could be a problem if you want a smooth finish, but it could also be used to form a ridged textured fabric if so desired.

The second method, or alternate floats, give you a much more even texture.  This requires that you recognize how to set up the first stitch of the round to off set the floats.  I will see if I can draw up an illustration soon, but for now, the results are in the photo below.

armenian knitting -  alternate floatsYou can see in this (not quite so clear) photo that it is much smoother than the one above.  The alternate floats eliminate the ridges.

Now compare the above methods with using Fair Isle with long floats. Not as sturdy, but definitely the smoothest.

fair isle with long floats

Why did I use Armenian knitting on the sole?  Simple.  It makes a very sturdy fabric.   It provides a way for you to construct your socks so that the areas that have the most wear are reinforced.

Just passing this on-

Happy Knitting!

KT

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As I was contemplating the possibility of beginning on one of my latest pillow designs, I thought it might be fun for me to share my thought process with you.

Below is a clip of the condensed chart, which gives me a view of “what you see is what you get,” with a 33 % view.

The design is from a simulated stain glass window that I created for my home in the mountains of Idaho.  I painted the original on plexiglass then mounted it on the window of my kitchen door.  The knitted design incorporates the frame, but I have added a South American butterfly to my Dogwood flowers, instead of the original Hummingbird.

stain glass window designYou will notice that there are 2 separate rings of colors surrounding the center motif.  The first, or outside ring, shapes the pillow.  The black edges will be knitted as part of the design.  The technique I use for this is called Armenian knitting.  I will be using 2 colors in each section and will be weaving the unused color in every other stitch.  This will give me a bit of a textured look, simulating old rough glass.  Any additional colors I might desire will be added using a single ply of the selected yarn, and applied as a duplicate stitch.

The second ring will also be knitted using the same technique, but this time the lines you see with be inserted after the work is finished.  This will give me the option of using an embroidery stitch or crocheted chain to add this detail.

The center motif will be created using the Intarsia knitting technique described in my e-book.

To begin, I roll all my colors into small balls.  Next,  crochet thread, and crochet hook, I make a chain long enough to support the number of stitches on the bottom edge of row#1 on the chart, plus 10.  Breaking the yarn, I leave a 6 inch tail, pull the yarn through and tied a loop in it.  This chain provides me a base for my provisional cast on.

Turning this chain over to the back side, I count in 5 loops from the end before I start picking up the stitches of the first row, inserting the tip of my knitting needle in to the single back loop of each chain stitch.  When all the necessary stitches have been placed on my knitting needle, row one of the chart has been completed.

The next row(purl) begins by adding a stitch.  You can do this anyway you like.  I will be using the following method: knit in front and back of same stitch at beginning and end of row for right side rows, then purl in back and front of stitches at beginning and end of purl rows.  This gives me a more compact addition.

I can’t wait to see the results of my labor.  Once I get started with one of these patterns, it is hard for me to put it down.  I love seeing the picture develop, one row at a time.

I am going to drop this pillow top chart into my Designer Pillow page.  You can also upload this 18 by 18 pillow top chart here.

stain glass pillow design chart

All the yarns are Palette by Knitpicks.  The gauge is 9/12  using a #1 needle

One skein of each color is sufficient.  You can also use fingering yarns from your stash. I have chosen to used  “heathers” for the darkened areas, in the outside ring.    I work with long strands of each color and spit splice yarn additions as needed.

I have not decided what kind of back I will create for this design, but there is plenty of time for that later.  This is definitely not an overnight knitting project.

Below is a photo of what I see on my computer screen using my Pattern Maker Pro.

pm screen view 1If you have this program, then I can send you the actual file to work with.

The second photo is a shot that shows how I number the larger areas of stitches, which helps me to read the chart.

pm screen view 2

It may be a bit hard to see, but I have inserted the stitch count of the main color.

 

Happy knitting – KT

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I just had to share my latest pillow top with you.  Although it is still a work in progress, I have taken my “Intarsiamania” to a new level and have used it to create a relief sculptured design.    The pattern below consists of 3 levels; the base knit of daisies and background; the butterfly, then finally the spiderweb.

hexagon pillow -butterfly and daisies

I chose to knit up the butterfly wings at mid point in the design, so that I would not have the bulk of the entire pillow top to deal with.   Below is a close up of the completed butterfly.  All I have to add is the antenae.

Completed Butterfly

I have also rounded the main body out and stuffed it with yarn strands before closing the back.

It has become a very enjoyable knitting project.  The daisies also have raised centers, which I accomplished with the two tone Pine Cone stitch I developed while designing my, “The Quail in the Snow” motif.

I have charted the butterfly and will upload as soon as possible so that you might be able to use it for a project of your own.

In the meantime, I have been able to finish the second book on Intarsia and invite you to peruse its pages at your leisure.   This second book is focused on planning the project, marking up the chart, and choosing the best method of color knitting for the design.  Check it out.  A peek is just a click away!  Who knows, it might spark your adventure into color knitting.

Intarsiamania Book II

That’s it for now!!

Happy Knitting -KT

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Last night I finished my newly designed Moccasin slipper, and I was anxious to share it with you, so I have uploaded the pictures below.  I hope you like the design.

As I mentioned in the last couple of posts, this project was constructed using the Twine knitting technique  and shaped with short rows.

Here is a closer look at the upper toe section of the pattern.  I have  knitted a casing around the back and sides, which aligns with the casing I designed in the instep flap.   A 24 inch crocheted chain of both colors cinches the Moccasin in for a perfect fit.

The slipper on the right was my original pattern.  It is enough to say that I am pleased with the results of my labors.  I will be ordering the yarn for the second one, as this creation was done out of  my stash (my play around yarn).  I am planning on knitting snowflake knee socks to match.  I might even put them together.  Where I live it gets cold in the winter, and a extra Thermo layer would be nice.

As you can see the side chain, which can be done with a crochet hook or can be stitch as a embroidery chain stitch, pulls it all together.

This has been a fun project.

Happy knitting,

KT

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