Hand Knit Market Bag

I don’t know why, but I wanted to knit a market bag. I guess I figured if it was enjoyable to make, I’d knit more. Finished my first, and started on a second! I found the free pattern for this Double Handled Market Bag on Plymouth Yarn.

Happy knitting, hon.

DOUBLE HANDLED MARKET BAG

Yarn: 2 (3) 100g skeins of yarn

Gauge: 4.5 sts=1″ over st st on size 7 needles.

Needles: 16″ circular size 7. 24″ circular size 13.

Finished Size: Approx. 16 (20)” long. Bag will stretch.

BOTTOM: With size 7 circular needles, loosely cast 25 sts. Working back and forth in garter st, knit 46 rows or until square. Bind off loosely, leaving last st on needle. Do not cut yarn. Continuing with the circular needle, pick up and knit 96 its all around the base (24 sts per side). Place marker and join. Knit 1 round.

SIDES: Change to larger circular needle and begin pattern:

Round 1: Knit.

Round 2: *(Yo, k2tog); repeat from* around.

Round 3: Purl.

Repeat rounds 1-3 9 (11) more times until there are 10 (12) sets of “eyelet holes” up the side. End with round 3.

Next round: Change back to the smaller circular needle.

Round 1: Knit.

Round 2: Purl. Repeat these 2 rounds until there are 7 (8) ridges: 14 (16) rounds total. End with a purl round.

STRAPS: On next round: BO 14 sts, K10, BO 14 sts, K10, BO 14 sts, K10, BO 14 sts, K10. Working back and forth on these last 10 sts only–knit every row until total length of strap is 11 (14)”, ending with a WS row. Pick up the 10 sts from the opposite side (1st set of knit sts) and holding and right sides together, work the 3 needle bind off–attaching the 2 sets of sts.

Reattach yarn to second set of 10 sts with WS facing. Knit every row until total length of strap is 11 (14)”, ending with WS row. Pick up the 10 sts from the opposite side (3rd set of knit sts) and holding the right sides together, work the 3 needle bind-off-attaching the 2 sets of sts.

Weave in all ends.

Abbreviations: K=knit, p=purl, st(s)=stitch(es), RS=right side, WS=wrong side, yo=yarn over, k2tog=knit 2 sts together, BO=bind off, st st=stockinette stitch

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Bay Laurel Knit Tunic

Bay Laurel Knit Tunic

Reasons I haven’t knit a sweater in years?

#1 The gorgeous, royal-blue, mohair sweater so hot to wear, it could serve as outerwear in Antarctica.

#2 The chunky, off-white, cable-knit sweater so large, I nicknamed it “The Horse Blanket.”

#3 The cute, turquoise, cotton top that stretched right off my shoulders.

#4-10. Not enough patience. Not enough time. Not sure of my skill set. Etc, etc, etc!

That’s why when I decided to knit something I could wear other than a scarf, mittens or a hat, I opted for a straightforward body shape. I still had to learn a bunch of new stitches, but this Bay Laurel Knit Tunic is my breakthrough!

The pattern has way too many steps to share in this post, so if you want to check  it out, click Ravelry. After setting up an account, you can search “Bay Laurel Tunic” and the pattern’s maker, Julie Turjoman, and you’ll find it.

Happy knitting, hon!

 

Show and Tell: Something’s Fishy

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Remember the book What Color is Your Parachute? 

Back when I was wondering what the heck I was doing as a department store manager that included a) a divisional marketing manager who gleefully chose one of us to humiliate daily, b) being in charge of two multi-million dollar departments on two floors with two buyers and two staffs without an assistant, c) no time to eat, and d) hair falling out in clumps, I decided to re-look at my priorities. Not only did I read What Color is Your Parachute?, I took a career-assessment test at New York University. There was one glaring characteristic missing in my life–creativity! Hon, I should have known.

I recently came across one of my very first picture books complete with illustrations and an author photo in which I’m missing my front teeth. I wrapped some of my books in plastic wrap so they’d look like they came from the library. Cute!

I also came across songs I wrote. I’d play around on the piano and then plot the notes in a music book.

When my parents said they wouldn’t buy me a dollhouse, I made my own out of cardboard. (It actually had a couple of floors!) When I wanted a summer dress, Pappagallo handbags with changeable covers, and an Esprit drawstring bag, I sewed my own.

I learned how to needlepoint, embroider, and knit when I was elementary-school-age. Another creative outlet opened up, and I designed my own canvases and wrote my own patterns.

My first jobs, aside from babysitting and being a camp counselor, were working in stores. I liked retail, but especially merchandising the selling floor and doing the windows.

So, when I left that miserable, weight-loss-inducing department store job, I started my own business. A couple of years later, I became pregnant with triplets. That was the end of the business and time to re-assessment priorities again.

Back to the magic of children’s books, which I was trying to create as a ten year-old. Guess what? I’m still trying.

Needlepoint pillows I made for two sweet sisters. I added the coral to the fishy scenes. Real life fishy scenes from the Mystic Aquarium.

 

 

Ravenclaw Knit Scarf

Ravenclaw scarf.

My kids are crazy for Harry Potter and if my youngest went to Hogwarts, she’d be in the Ravenclaw house. She asked if I’d knit her a scarf for Ravenclaw Pride Day. It was easy, peasy and I learned how to carry up yarn.

Happy knitting, hon!

Ravenclaw Scarf

Materials:

–blue and tan or goldfish yarn, (I used Red Heart Soft, colors Navy and Wheat, 256 yds/234 m each. In the end, I used approx. 1 1/4 skeins of Navy and 1/2 skein of Wheat.)

Tips about yarn: The yarn I used was 100% acrylic which, it turns out, did not block, so the sides of the scarf curl in. If wool or cotton is used, the scarf can be blocked. If you  used acrylic, I suggest adding a seed stitch or some other stitch on each side so that the scarf lays flat.

Straight or circular needles: size of needle will be determined by the weight of yarn used. (I used size 8/5mm circular needles.)

Tapestry needle

Gauge: not important, the scarf can be either fine, chunky or in between.

Finished size: 7 inches x 8 feet (I wasn’t planning on the scarf being that long, but when it didn’t block and I steamed it, it grew!)

Instructions:

Cast on 32 stitches of blue yarn.

Using stockinette stitch (alternate rows of knit and purl stitch) and carrying both color yarns up while knitting*, create scarf following pattern.

Pattern:

  • blue yarn, 6 inches
  • tan yarn, 4 rows
  • blue yarn, 4 rows
  • tan yarn, 4 rows

Repeat pattern 8 times total (or less depending on desired length of scarf).

After repeating pattern 8 times, end with 6 inches of blue yarn.

Bind off on knit row.

Block and add fringe*. I alternated between blue and tan fringe on each end (blue, tan, blue, tan, blue, tan, blue).

*Click here to watch a video on how to carry yarns up.

*Click here to watch a video on how to make and add fringe.

P.S. Use different color yarns for other schools, real or imagined.

Light As Air Bias Loop Infinity Scarf

Light as Air Bias Loop Infinity Scarf

What is it about infinity scarves? 

I love knitting infinity scarves and made this one for my cousin’s 25th birthday. This Wool & Grace  pattern is easy but it suggests binding off using kitchener stitch, a stitch I’d never used before. I got the hang of kitchener stitch, a way to bind off that creates an almost invisible seam, by watching a tutorial online (see link below). My advice when binding off this way is to adjust the tension as you go because you don’t want to do it at the end (trust me!). Next time a pattern calls for this bind off method, I’ll be prepared.

Happy knitting, hon.

Light as Air Bias Loop Infinity Scarf

Yarn: 1 skein Madeline Tosh Merino Light (Yarn A) and 2 skeins Rowan Kidsilk Haze (Yarn B) {I used one color for the whole scarf but knit from 2 skeins.}

Needles & Notions: US 10.5 circular needle, Size J Crochet Hook, extra 10.5 straight needle, Darning Needle, Smooth waste yarn

Gauge: approximately 14 stitches/4 inces

Abbreviations: K=knit, P=purl, KFB=Knit into the front and back of the same stitch, RS=Right Side, WS=Wrong Side, STS=Stitches

Instructions: Using crochet hook and waste yarn, chain 86 stitches and fasten off. With knitting needles and two yarns held together, knit into the bumps on the back of the chain 82 times (82 stitches cast on).

Row 1 (RS) K1, KFB, K to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1

Row 2 (WS) Purl

Repeat Rows 1 & 2 until approximately 42″ ending with a purl row. Cut yarn leaving 5 yards for grafting.

Carefully unravel your crochet chain from your provisional cast-on and place stitches on extra needle. Place two ends of the scarf with WS together. Cut yarn leaving tail 24″ long. Join beginning and end to your work and join using kitchener stitch. Click here to watch a video on how to bind off using kitchener stitch. Weave in ends and block as desired.

Source:  Wool & Grace

Knitted Cable Baby Blanket

OMG! Isn’t this the sweetest picture of big sisters with their baby brother?
Knitted Cable Baby Blanket

What to knit when a dear friend is expecting her third child and doesn’t know what she’s having?

I picked up 35 Knitted Baby Blankets for the Nursery, Stroller and Playtime by Laura Strutt at my favorite knitting store Wool & Grace, and chose a pattern for a cream blanket–the color of the crochet edge tbd (to be determined). I hadn’t cabled since college, but it came back quickly. I love how this blanket turned out. New mommy loves it also. Yay!

Darling Baby Boy with his new blanket.

Sources: 35 Knitted Baby Blankets by Laura Strutt, Wool & Grace

Squishy Soft Knit Cowl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn Air

The minute the season turns from summer to fall, I can’t wait to knit new projects. Here’s an “easy, fast cowl that looks more complicated than it is” from Studio June Yarn.

Happy knitting, hon.

Yarn: about 120 yards

Needle: 18″ to 24″ circular, sized to work with yarn

Finished Size: approximately 30 inches in circumference and 6 inches tall

Directions:

  1. Using a long tail cast on, cast on 87 stitches.
  2. Join for working in the round, being careful not to twist your work.
  3. *K4, P4, K4, P4.* Continue in pattern until about 3 yards remain.
  4. Bind off in Purl.

Source: Jill June at Studio June Yarn, studiojuneyarn@sbcglobal.net