Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Japanese Knot Bag

Cloth project bags are all the rage in the knitting world.  I usually use those clear plastic zippered bags that linens come in:  They're very practical, but let's face it, they're not cute.  Plus, they don't have handles.

There's a great tutorial with template on the Better Homes and Gardens website.   The bag is the perfect size for a small project.  In this case, I'm making Judy Marples' Knit Night Hat (yes, it's free) with a special ball of Malabrigo Rios that I bought in San Francisco in the Spring.

The downloaded pattern prints in five pieces and you tape it together.  I cut out the bag and lining at the same time with a rotary cutter.

There are handy pockets inside for small tools.

The bag is fully reversible, and I got to use a fun novelty print. 

I also finished my crocheted t-shirt rug.  In all it took 13 men's large t-shirts.  The last few did have seams, but they posed no problem: the overlocked seams were sturdy and held up to the cutting and stretching process.

Gratuitous dog picture with the rug.

Happy Holidays to all, and best wishes for a creative 2016!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A Rug from T-Shirt Yarn and More Pot Holders

This is a low-text post since I'm in the middle of end-of-the-semester grading.

I got my son to give me his old t-shirts, and I'm crocheting a kitchen rug for him.  I'm doing single crochet: 30 stitches wide with a size Q/19 hook, which gives me about an 18" wide rug.  I got about 3/4 of the desired length with 10 shirts, and I just picked up a few more from the thrift store.

You can google instructions for making t-shirt yarn, but here are a few pictures in lieu of directions.

For this project, I cut the strips 1: wide.  If you want to knit with this yarn, cut it narrower.

Make a continuous  strip by cutting at an angle vs straight across.

Give the strips a good pull every yard or so and it will curl up on itself nicely.

More potholders!

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Scrappy Sail

Awhile ago I made the free shawl pattern Sail by Elen Brandt and I wear it a lot.  It was a super easy (the same 2-row repeat throughout) and relaxing knit.  I decided to make another one, but this time with leftover odds and ends.


Some of this was thrift store yarn, and as you can see, I'm not above knitting with tapestry wool that I pick up in thrift stores.

I'm really happy with the results.  I haven't even blocked this shawl, and I've been wearing it regularly since I took it off the needles.  If you have even basic knitting skills and a few leftovers, it's an extremely wearable shawl and a fun project.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Altering a Turtleneck Sweater

I had this beautiful but unwearable sweater.  It's nice and warm, but the wool turtleneck was a bit to hot and claustrophobic for me.

I marked a line down the middle of the collar to the point where I wanted my v-neck to end.  I stitched a straight line down the mark, and a zig-zag on either side, and across the bottom.

Then I took a small sharp scissors and cut the collar open along the straight sewn line.

I hand sewed a piece of ribbon to either side of the cut edge.

At the "v" I mitred the ribbon so that it made a smooth edge.

Now I have a wearable warm sweater!

Sweater Genesis

  A few years ago I learned to harvest yarn from old wool sweaters.  I don't do it so much anymore, with the exception of if I find...