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All posts for the month February, 2016

Free Pattern – Fireside Tablet Cover

Published February 28, 2016 by estherknit

Tablet Cover 6

Measurements

To fit: 10 inch tablet

Finished closed tablet cover measures

21 cm (8¼ inches) by 25 cm (10 inches)

Materials

Rozetti Fireside

Super Chunky yarn, 100 g

Shade: 09 blue-green

A 5 mm (H) crochet hook

1 button

Tension / Gauge

13½ sts and 12 rows to 10 cm (4 inches)

measured over pattern using 5 mm crochet hook.

Pattern notes

US single crochet has 1 turning chain and so the stitch is worked into the 2nd chain from the hook.  Crochet terms are different in the US and UK.  I have given both versions in the pattern notes.

How to work a US single crochet (sc) stitch

Chain any number of stitches, plus 1 turning chain.  Turn.

Step 1

Miss 1 chain (turning chain).

Insert hook into the 2nd chain from hook.

Step 2

Wrap the yarn over the hook.

Step 3

Draw the yarn through the chain only.

Now you should have two loops on your hook

Step 4

Wrap the yarn over the hook again.

Step 5

Draw the yarn through both loops on the hook.

One US single crochet stitch is completed (plus the turning chain).

US single crochet and chain pattern

Foundation row: Chain 28.

1st row: 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook, * 1 ch, miss 1 ch, 1 sc in next ch; repeat from * to end of row.  Turn.

2nd row: 1 ch, * 1 sc in next 1-ch sp, 1 ch * repeat from * to end of row, ending with 1 sc in 1-ch at end of row.  Turn.

The 2nd row forms the pattern and is repeated.

where sc = US single crochet

UK double crochet and chain pattern

Foundation row: Chain 28.

1st row: 1 dc in 2nd ch from hook, * 1 ch, miss 1 ch, 1 dc in next ch; repeat from * to end of row.  Turn.

2nd row: 1 ch, * 1 dc in next 1-ch sp, 1 ch * repeat from * to end of row, ending with 1 dc in 1-ch at end of row.  Turn.

The 2nd row forms the pattern and is repeated.

where dc = UK double crochet 

To make tablet cover

Using 5 mm (H) crochet hook, ch 28.

1st row: 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook, * 1 ch, miss 1 ch, 1 sc in next ch; repeat from * to end of row.  (14 sc)  Turn.

2nd row: 1 ch, * 1 sc in next 1-ch sp, 1 ch * repeat from * to end of row, ending with 1 sc in 1-ch at end of row.  (14 sc)  Turn.

Repeat 2nd row until work measures 60 cm (24 inches).

Fasten off.

To make up / Finishing

Lay your crochet wrong side up with last row at the bottom.  Fold up bottom 25 cm (10 inches), place wrong sides together and pin.  Sew side seams from the right side with overcasting stitches. The remaining 10 cm (4 inches) section at the top is for the flap. Fold flap over to front.   Using sewing thread the same colour as the yarn, sew on a button, and add a button loop to close the flap edge.

Tablet Cover 7

 

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City and Guilds Course

Published February 26, 2016 by estherknit

City & Guilds is the UK’s leading provider of vocational qualifications, offering over 500 awards across a wide range of industries, and progressing from entry level to the highest levels of professional achievement.

Diploma

Design and Craft (7716)

The course in Design and Craft is available in over of 100 crafts such as fashion, ceramics, media, interior decoration, textiles, woodwork, flower arranging, corsetry and cake decoration. This course is for learners who want to try craft and design and make simple craft items to a high standard.

Levels

There are three levels:

Level 1: This certificate is intended for people who want to do a creative activity for the first time.

Level 2: These are for people who would like to pursue their skills beyond basic level.

Level 3: Level 3 aims to develop learners’ skills to a professional level.

Level 2 Certificate in Design and Craft – Constructed Textiles (Hand Knit Textiles) (7716-15)   7716-15 L2 Certificate: Hand Knit Textiles:

Each certificate consists of two units (introduction to design and one craft), chosen from 11 major categories. Candidates will need to produce three original items and the certificate takes 120 hours to complete

Module 1
In this first module students will work on a number of knitting samples as part of their portfolio of samples including different welts, necklines and a number of stitch patterns. They will start collecting samples of different types of both natural and man-made yarns with notes on their characteristics. They will also list a range of knitting tools with notes on how to use and store these tools safely

Module 2
Students will be introduced to the idea of design with a number of activities covering LINE and COLOUR. They will be encouraged to use a wide variety of materials to explore these 2 design elements. Students will also start collecting information about designer makers in the field of knitting

Module 3
This 3rd module will focus on knitted samples covering more stitch patterns, buttonholes and seams. Students will also produce notes on the characteristics of various knitted fabrics and the safe use of other equipment used for designing and making knitted items

Module 4
Students will explore the other 3 elements of design; texture,shape and form using a variety of techniques and also explore repeat patterns both on paper and in knitting

Module 5
Students will make a Jumper. This can be from a commercial pattern or one of their own devising but before making the garment they will sample different yarns, colours and techniques used in the jumper, to present more than one option before selecting and making the final garment

Module 6
Students will make a Cardigan. This can be from a commercial pattern or one of their own devising but before making the garment they will sample different yarns, colours and techniques used in the cardigan, to present more than one option before selecting and making the final garment

Level 3 Certificate in Design and Craft – Constructed Textiles (Hand Knit Textiles) (7716-16)   7716-16 L3 Certificate: Hand Knit Textiles:

Level 3 aims to develop learners’ skills to a professional level. There are two qualifications available at this level:

Certificate in Design and Craft
Diploma in Design and Craft

The Diploma aims to develop learners’ skills to a highly advanced level. The Diploma normally takes 2 years to complete.

For the Certificate, learners will be expected to make more demanding items, as well as develop their skills in observation, recording and research. They will have the opportunity to explore new techniques and progress innovative ideas. A design unit plus a craft unit must be completed.

Module 1
In this module students will start working on their portfolio of knitted samples and look at various aspects of underpinning knowledge relating to both knitting and design. The knitting samples will include casting on, casting off, selvedges, hems, edgings and understanding the importance of tension swatches. The module will also cover presentation of samples and art work, collecting information for both design and knitting, particularly relating to designer makers and current fashion trends and starting the Yarn File with a focus on animal fibres.

Module 2
This module is focused on design and particularly the theme of line. Students will collect visual information and work through a number of exercises to develop a range of design ideas based on the theme of Line (including knitted samples) and develop one idea through to a resolved piece. Students will also consider health and safety aspects in relation to design work.

Module 3
Students will continue to add to their portfolio of knitted samples. In this module they will cover increases, decreases, knit and purl patterns, crossed stitches, cables and raised and embossed stitches. As well as the knitted samples they will continue to work on the Yarn File, designer makers and also look at the correct and safe use and storage of knitting equipment.

Module 4
In this module students will explore the theme of colour. Students will collect visual information and work through a number of exercises to develop a range of design ideas based on the theme of Colour (including knitted samples) and develop one idea through to a resolved piece. They will also look at how colour has been used by artists and designer makers and how colours have social and religious links in different cultures

Module 5
Students will continue working on their portfolio of samples looking at pockets, necklines, buttonholes and fastenings, decorative techniques and blocking and pressing. They will also continue to add to their Yarn File looking at vegetable based yarns. They will work on the Fashion Accessory craft assessment, developing design ideas from paper through to knitted samples and finally producing the finished original item

Module 6
This module will explore the design theme texture. Students will collect visual information and work through a number of exercises to develop a range of design ideas based on the theme of Texture (including knitted samples) and develop one idea through to a resolved piece.

Module 7
This module completes the portfolio of samples with a range of colour knitting, open fabric and stitch combination samples. The Yarn File continues with a look at regenerated cellulose fibres and students will work on their second craft assessment, the Item for Interior use.

Module 8
This module focuses on the Basic Block, taking accurate measurements to draw up a custom fit garment. Students will consider various garment styles and the modifications that have to be made to the block for each style. They will also cover how to calculate and write a garment pattern, illustrate and present a design idea and write notes on designing for different figure types.

Module 9
Students will continue to develop their design skills this time focusing on the theme of shape. As part of the process of collecting visual information students will be asked to write a report (including pictures and sketches) on a visit to a museum, exhibition or Stately Home with a view to collecting design information.

Module 10
In this module students will learn how to translate design images into original knitted swatches. They will conclude the Yarn File with a study of synthetic man-made fibres and will also work on their next craft assessment, a jumper with in-set sleeves.

Module 11
In this module students will develop design ideas based on the theme of form, working a variety of exercises using both standard and non-standard materials. Students will also complete their report on designer makers in knitting and current fashion trends.

Module 12
The final module will be focusing on the design development, sampling and making of the Cardigan/Jacket to complete the craft assessments.

 

Free Pattern – Little Lavender Bootees

Published February 21, 2016 by estherknit

Lavender Bootees 6

Measurements

To fit newborn baby

Length of foot: 11 cm approx.

Materials

Robin Double Knit

Shade: 053 Lavender

50 g for one pair of bootees

Length of ribbon for tie

A pair of 4 mm (US 6) knitting needles

Tension / Gauge

18 sts and 30 rows to 10 cm (4 inches)

measured over garter stitch using 4 mm needles

To knit bootees (knit 2)

With 4 mm (US 6) needles cast on 25 sts loosely.

Continue in garter stitch, every row knit, for 34 rows.

Work measures 11.25 cm or 4½ inches.

Cut yarn and thread through stitches and secure for toe.

To make up / Finishing

Sew top seam from toe to half way along instep, leaving opening for foot.  Sew back seam.  Weave in ends.  Thread ribbon around edge of opening and tie in a bow at the front of bootee.

Lavender Bootees 7.png

The Knitting Pattern

Published February 18, 2016 by estherknit

A knitting pattern is a set of instructions which the knitter can follow in order to create a knitted garment.  A pattern could also be instructions for a type of stitch structure such as lace or cable.  If you follow a commercial knitting pattern, it should be possible to create a garment equally as attractive and well fitting as the one in the pattern picture.  The secret lies in being completely objective about the design you choose, just as you would when selecting ready to wear clothes.

Ribbed Vest 1

Most patterns are given in a variety of sizes.  Where a design is given only in certain sizes, it is usually because the designer feels that it would not be suitable for the other sizes.  One example of this is a pattern for a baby’s matinee coat which is given in baby sizes only.  When only one size is given it may be because the pattern used for the design covers a large multiple of stitches and another whole repeat or pattern, to give a large size, would not be practical.

The Design

A knitwear designer starts with the design brief.  The design requirements are then converted into written and/or charted knitting instructions.  This will include:

  • identification of tension and use of appropriate size knitting needles for hand knitting or tension dial setting for machine knitting.
  • accurate size, shape and style features
  • variation of stitch structure and colour to achieve design requirements
  • use of standard abbreviations and symbols
  • choice of yarn
  • estimation of yarn requirements and cost
  • clear presentation of written pattern, charts and diagram

The Pattern

When you find a suitable pattern, be sure to read right through all the instructions before beginning to knit.  Pay particular attention to tension and making up as these are very important sections of the pattern,  Knitting publication styles vary considerably but generally all instructions fall into three sections.

  • materials required, tension or gauge, finished sizes and abbreviations
  • working instruction for each section
  • making up or finishing details, edges and trimmings

Tension / Gauge

This is the vital key to success.  Make sure that you match the tension stated in the pattern.

Ribbed Vest Tension

Abbreviations

All knitting patterns are abbreviated into a form of shorthand and every knitter soon comes to recognise the terms and their meanings.  The same term may be abbreviated in a slightly different way in different patterns but there should always be a ‘key’ to the abbreviations.

Working Instructions

Each section will be given separately under an appropriate heading, such as ‘back’, ‘front’ and ‘sleeves’.   Each section should be worked in the correct order as it may be necessary to join parts of the garment together at a given point, before you can proceed with the next stage.

Ribbed Vest Pattern

Measuring Knitting

When measuring knitting it is necessary to lay it flat on a table and use a rigid ruler.   Never measure whilst the knitting is on the knitting machine or on the needles and never measure around a curve.  Where there is a curve for an armhole or sleeve, measure the depth in a straight line – horizontally or vertically.

Making-up / Finishing 

If the finished garment is to be a success the making up or finishing or the separate pieces must be looked upon as an exercise in dressmaking.   Details are always given in the instructions as to the order in which the sections are to be assembled, together with any final instructions for edgings or trimmings.  Pressing and blocking instructions will also be given in this section and, if a substitute yarn has been used, it is essential to check whether or not it requires blocking and pressing.

Types of Knitting Pattern

There are different types of knitting pattern:

  • a pattern in words
  • a graph or chart pattern
  • a diagrammatic or schematic pattern

Pattern in Words

A pattern in words is as it says – a pattern written in English for the knitter to follow.  It has all the instructions required for the knitter to knit and make-up the pattern.  The number of stitches and rows, the shaping instructions and the finishing instruction will be included in the pattern.  A pattern in words is in a form of shorthand and so there will be a list of abbreviations which are used throughout the pattern.  It is likely that a certain amount of prior knowledge will be expected.

For example, the pattern may tell you to ‘decrease one stitch fully fashioned at each end of the next row’ but it will not tell you how to achieve this.  It will also be possible to knit the same garment using different techniques.  For example, there are many ways to decrease or to cast off, and many of these techniques are almost interchangeable.  The pattern will have been written to a specific tension or gauge and little or no guidance will be given to the knitter who cannot match this tension or gauge.

A Graph or Chart Pattern

Double Rib Chart

Graphs or charts are an economic way of passing on information to the knitter.  A Fair Isle Chart, for example, will have a great deal of information about colour, pattern and stitch construction as well as size and shape.  Other stitch structures will have their own notation and instructions.

A Diagrammatic or Schematic Pattern

Here, the shape of the garment pieces are drawn out on a piece of paper.  There will be a shape, for example, for the back of a sweater, for the front of a sweater and for the sleeves.   On the front of the sweater the neckline shape will be drawn.

Ribbed Vest Diagram

These shapes may be annotated with information about the size of each pattern piece and a type of ‘shorthand’ to represent the stitch and row instructions.  For example, an instruction such as:

+S 6/R X28

will mean

‘increase one stitch every 6th row 28 times in all’

Your First Pattern 

If you are not sure what to knit, it is a good idea to start with a scarf, a child’s garment, or a simple sleeveless top with little shaping.  It will not take much yarn, it will not take long to knit, and it will be bound to fit someone whatever size it turns out to be.  For your first garment, you should do a tension swatch or square as instructed in the pattern, but you should not worry too much about the sizing at this stage.  The first job is to get to know how to knit a garment and how to follow a pattern.

Here are some points to keep in mind.

  • always knit a tension square for the stitch pattern used in the garment and measure the tension square accurately
  • do not cast off stitches if these stitches can be used again. For example, do not cast off at the shoulder because you can knit both shoulders together or graft the stitches together.  You can take the stitches off onto waste yarn ready to be used later
  • keep a notebook beside your knitting to jot down notes as you knit. You will invariably change the pattern in some small way as you knit, so keep a note of this for future reference.  Also, keep a note of what yarn you used and how much yarn you used, what tension you knitted the garment at and which size you knitted.  This information will be useful if you decide to knit the garment again later.
  • make sure you have all the tools you require before you start to knit and make sure that they are clean and well maintained
  • we all work best in pleasant surroundings and even if you only have a small corner of a room for your knitting, you can make it look most attractive if you keep your knitting area neat and tidy. Use attractive plastic boxes to house your tools and a box file for your information and knitting patterns.
  • do not tackle a knitting pattern which is too difficult for you. Before you start to knit your garment, knit a small sample of each techniques in the garment, for example, the round neckline, the pocket, the sleeve shaping etc..  If you are having trouble with the samples then find a simpler garment for now and go back to this garment when you have had more knitting practice.
  • if you are using a knitting machine, do not leave knitting on the machine overnight. Plan you time so that you will finish a piece of knitting and not be in the middle of something when you run out of time.  If knitting is left on the machine it will stretch the knitting.  When not in use, your machine should be covered with either a material of a plastic table cloth to keep the dust to a minimum.  If you are hand knitting, do not leave your knitting in the middle of a row.  If there is a pattern repeat, say a four row repeat of a lace pattern, then finish the pattern repeat before you leave your knitting.  You will then know where to start when you come back.

 

Ribbed Vest 3

Do not be too adventurous.  The most important thing for your first project is to make a success of it and learn some new techniques.  Then you will be encouraged to start another project and you will soon be an accomplished knitter.  So have fun and get knitting!

Free Pattern – Cardigan for Teddy

Published February 14, 2016 by estherknit

 

Cardigan for Teddy 6Measurements

To fit Teddy: 35 cm (14 inch)

To fit chest size: 35 cm (14 inch)

Length of cardigan: 14 cm (5½ inch)

Materials

Double knitting yarn

Shade: Wine, 50g

A pair of 3¼ mm (US 3) knitting needles

A 4 mm (G) crochet hook for front border

One button

Tension / Gauge

22 sts and 30 rows to 10 cm (4 inches)

measured over garter stitch using 3¼ mm needles

To knit cardigan

Back

With 3¼ mm needles, cast on 44 sts.

Knit 16 rows.

Shape armholes

Continue in garter stitch, dec 1 st each end of every row, 4 times in all.  (36 sts)

Now continue in garter stitch, every row knit, for another 22 rows.  Cast off.

Right Front

With 3¼ mm needles, cast on 22 sts.

Knit 16 rows.

Shape armholes

Continue in garter stitch, dec 1 st at side edge every row, 4 times in all.  (18 sts)

Make a buttonhole on next row as follows:

Next row: Knit 2 sts, cast off 1 st, knit to end.

Next row: Knit to last 3 sts, cast on 1 st, k2.

Now, keeping side edge straight, dec at front edge 1st on 2nd and every foll 4th row, 5 times in all.  (13 sts)  Continue straight until right front matches back.

Cast off.

Left Front

With 3¼ mm needles, cast on 22 sts.

Knit 16 rows.

Shape armholes

Continue in garter stitch, and k 1 row.

Dec 1 st at side edge every row, 4 times in all.  (18 sts)

Now, keeping side edge straight, dec at front edge 1 st every 4th row, 5 times in all.  (13 sts)  Continue straight until left front matches back.

Cast off.  Join shoulder seams.

Sleeves (make 2)

With 3¼ mm needles, cast on 36 sts.

Knit 12 rows.  Cast off.

To make up / Finishing

Sew in sleeves.  Join side and sleeve seams.  Crochet one round of (UK) double crochet around the front of cardigan.  Weave in ends. Add button.

Cardigan for Teddy 7

 

How to Knit for Men!

Published February 8, 2016 by estherknit

Sweater 6a

I have knitted many sweaters for my lovely husband.  Some go to the back of the wardrobe and are never seen again.  Some get put on right away and are worn every day. So, what is the difference?  All of the sweaters were knitted with care and with love.

The right yarn

The yarn has to be soft. He won’t wear the sweater if it is itchy!  Don’t choose a yarn which won’t wash well.  If he likes the sweater and it gets ‘cumfy’ he may wear it when it has gone pilly and stretchy and people will blame you for knitting a bad sweater.

Beware of showing your man a ball of yarn and expecting him to know what a sweater in that yarn will look like.  It is better to take him shopping and show him lots of sweaters.   When he finds one he likes, take notes of what he likes about it – colour, shape, texture, fit and so on.

The colour

Colour is very important.  Brown, grey and blue are generally safe colours.  However, your man may surprise you.  My husband has twice wanted a sweater I knitted for someone else.  One was a lovely heathery plum colour and the other was red and black!  Go figure?

The right fit and size

Bodies vary widely in their measurements.  A man can be tall with long arms, or short and stocky.  Men hate sweaters with sleeves that are too short, or a body that does not quite fit.  Even when you carefully take arm and body measurements, you have to take into account the idea of ease, that is, how loose or tight he likes his sweaters to fit.

An easier way, perhaps, is to find your man’s favourite sweater (you know the one he wears all the time!) and then measure carefully to get the perfect fit.  To do this correctly, you will need to know how to achieve the correct tension or gauge.  When you knit a sweater which is the right fit, knit it in every colour and stitch pattern you can think of. He is bound to like some of them!

The shape, line and drape

Men are very fussy about the shape, line and drape of the sweater.   Of course, they don’t know the technical terms, but if you get it wrong then the sweater will stay in the drawer!

The tension or gauge

All knitters know the importance of tension.  As if to tell us what we know already, all good patterns will have notes about tension, and emphasis the need to work to the correct size.  Before embarking on any project, you dutifully knit your tension swatch and measures stitches and rows.  If you have too many stitches and rows your knitting is too tight and too few means your knitting is too loose.  To add to this, every yarn will have its’ ideal knitted tension, and so all 4 plys will not necessarily be knitted to the same tension.

The stitch pattern

Here are some stitch  patterns which men like:

  • Broken (mistake) rib
  • Bamboo stitch
  • Basket weave stitch
  • Brioche Rib
  • Cable and rib patterns
  • Fisherman’s rib
  • Harris Tweed rib
  • Moss stitch
  • Simple ribs; 1 x 1, 2 x 1, 7 x 3 etc.
  • Stockinette stripes

Knitted for him and worn by you!

You knit him a lovely sweater and then you find that it looks good on you.  You never thought of knitting an oversized sweater in that colour for yourself but it looks really good on you so why not!

Knitted for you and worn by him!

A lovely ladies sweater or cardigan might be just the thing for him if it is knitted in the right yarn.  So, don’t just look at men’s woolies – imagine the sweater in a more manly colour or stitch structure.  Otherwise you might find your favourite sweater disappears from your wardrobe and ends up in his.

You love to knit it and he loves to wear it!

You see a lovely knitting pattern.  It has an interesting and complicated shape and stitch structure.  You can’t wait to knit it.   You find an expensive yarn and get started.  Months later you finish this great sweater.  Then the man in your life hates it!  No matter how much you love to knit it, the sweater has to be something he will want to wear – so check first.

You hate to knit it but he loves to wear it!

My husband likes stockinette (stocking) stitch in blue or beige!  If it is a patterned or coloured sweater then he is not keen!  So, I have to knit plain sweaters for him.  Of course, knitting stockinette (stocking) stitch is boring. I tell myself that at least he will wear this one!

So, find a classic sweater, knit it and makes sure that he likes it.  Then knit it again, adding a complicated stitch structure or an interesting colour combination.   For example, I knitted a plain brown tank top and then knitted it again in blue stripes.  Next time I will try a textured stitch pattern.  You can always say ‘ it is very like the last sweater I knitted for you and you liked that one’!  If you do it in incremental stages, he might not notice!

Take good notes

Always take good notes.  You may be asked to knit it again!  You could even start a story board or a scrap book with lots of ideas so that you will always have some inspiration.

A professional finish

Knit something well within your capabilities as a knitter.  It is better to knit a wonderful scarf which is worn and loved, than knit a sweater which is avoided.  Knitting takes a lot of time, effort and skill.  When you knit for the man in your life, make sure that he is going to wear it and love it.

Vest 2

Free Pattern – Winter Scarf for Barbie

Published February 3, 2016 by estherknit

Scarf for Barbie 6

Measurements

To fit Barbie doll:

29 cm (11½ inch) fashion doll

Length: 30 cm

Materials

Patons Soft Baby Fab 4 ply

used double throughout; 10 g

A pair of 2¾ mm knitting needles

Tension / Gauge

25 sts and 38 rows to 10 cm (4 inches)

measured over garter stitch using 2¾ mm needles

To knit scarf

Using 2¾ mm needles and 2 strands of yarn used together throughout, cast on 6 sts.

Continue in garter stitch (every row knit) until scarf measures 30 cm.

Cast off loosely.

To make up / Finishing

Weave in ends.  Add fringe.

To make the Fringe

For the fringe, cut 20 lengths of yarn 10 cm long. To form a piece of the fringe take 2 strands of yarn 10 cm long, and fold them in half to form a loop. Using a fine crochet hook, draw the loop through the knitted fabric of your scarf and then draw the ends through the loop. Pull the fringe knot tight. Space 5 fringe knots evenly across each end of your scarf. Trim fringe to 4 cm.

Scarf for Barbie 7