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All posts for the month March, 2016

Free Pattern – Little Premie Hat

Published March 24, 2016 by estherknit

Little Hat 6Measurements

To fit premature baby

Circumference: 27.5 cm (11 inches)

Materials

Robin Bonny Babe 4 ply

Shade: 1360 white

15 g for one hat

A pair of 3¼ mm (US 3) knitting needles

Tension / Gauge

26 sts and 32 rows to 10 cm (4 inches)

measured over st.st. using 3¼ mm (US 3) needles

To knit hat

Using 3¼ mm (US 3) needles, cast on 72 sts.

Next row: * K2, p2; repeat from * to end.

Repeat this row 5 times.

Continue in st.st. until work measures 9 cm (3½ inches). (72 sts)

Shape crown

1st row: * K4, k2tog; repeat from * to end. (60 sts)

2nd row: Purl.

3rd row: * K3, k2tog; repeat from * to end. (48 sts)

4th row: Purl.

5th row: * K2, k2tog; repeat from * to end. (36 sts)

6th row: Purl.

7th row: * K1, k2tog; repeat from * to end. (24 sts).

8th row: Purl.

9th row: * K2tog; repeat from * to end. (12 sts).

Cut yarn and draw the end through remaining sts.  Fasten off.

To make up / Finishing

Sew back seam.  Weave in ends.

Little Hat 7

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Knitting Wordsearch

Published March 23, 2016 by estherknit

There are many variations of the word search puzzle.  Look for words diagonally, across, or up and down.  If you find a word in the puzzle from the word list, draw a line over the letters.  The goal is to continue finding matches in the puzzle with those in the word list until all the words are found.

KNITWORD

Free Pattern – Buttoned Cuffs

Published March 22, 2016 by estherknit

Buttoned Cuffs 6Measurements

To fit adult

Width around wrist: 17 cm (6¾ inches)

Materials

Robin FX Double Knit

Shade: 4106 Foxglove

Robin Double Knit Print

Shade: 194 Lagoon

50 g for one pair of cuffs

Buttons for embellishment

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 cuffs: (knit 2)

Using 4 mm (US 6) needles cast on 30 sts loosely.

Continue in garter stitch, working two rows Foxglove and 2 rows Lagoon, for 22 rows.

Work measures 7.5 cm or 3 inches.

Cast off loosely.

To make up / Finishing

Join side seam. Sew buttons over seam. Weave in ends.

Buttoned Cuffs 7

 

UK and US Crochet Terms

Published March 17, 2016 by estherknit

Although English is spoken in both the UK and the US, knitting and crochet are different in these countries.  To say this is confusing is an understatement.  Some countries use the US system and some use the UK system.  You will find that some patterns tell you if the pattern is written in UK terms or US terms and some patterns will give both the UK and US terms.  However, there are lots of patterns which do not make this clear.

UK and US Crochet Terms and Abbrevations List 1b

A good place to start is to look at the tension or gauge section.   If they are using the US system, then it will probably say, Gauge: 22 sts and 28 rows to 4 inches, and if they are using the UK system, then it will probably say, Tension: 22 stitches and 28 rows to 10 cm.  If you are not sure whether your pattern is a UK or US pattern, have a look and see if it mentions ‘single crochet’.   Single crochet is a US term and is not used in UK patterns.   You could also look at the crochet hook sizes since the UK and US system is different for crochet hooks.

The main differences in UK and US crochet patterns are:

  • stitch names
  • terms
  • measurements
  • crochet hooks
  • spelling
  • clothing names
  • yarns

Crochet Stitch names

UK and US crochet terms are different – well, actually the crochet itself is the same but the terminology is different.  For some reason a particular crochet stitch will be called one thing in the UK and be given a different name in the US.

UK to US Crochet Stitches and Abbreviations  List 1b

The chain stitch is the same in both languages.  However, other crochet stitches have different names in the UK and the US and so, apart from the chain stitch, the crochet stitches are known by different names.

UK to US Crochet Stitches and Abbreviations  List 2bA good way to remember the UK and US crochet stitches is to realise that the UK stitches are one step up from the US ones.  For example, the UK treble crochet is the same as the US double crochet.  Perhaps the best to to deal with this problem is to use a conversion chart.

UK to US Crochet Stitches and Abbreviations  List 3b

Crochet Terms

Other crochet and knitting terms may be different too.   For example, in the UK word ‘tension’ is known in the US as ‘gauge’.  So, look out for different crochet terms.

UK to US Crochet Terms and Abbrevations List 2b

Measurements

The US patterns will usually work in imperial measurements such as inches and UK patterns will usually work in metric measurements such as centimetres.  Some countries use the US system and some countries use the UK system.   For example, crochet patterns in Australia use the UK system.  Some patterns will give both imperial and metric measurement to avoid confusion.  So, for example, when giving the tension or gauge measurements, the pattern will say ‘10 cm or 4 inches’.

MetricConversionChart 1b

Crochet Hooks

US crochet hooks with usually have a letter and a number, whilst UK crochet hooks are usually given in metric sizes. So, a D/3 crochet hook is the same as a 3.25 mm crochet hook.  This can be shown in the form of a conversion chart for crochet hooks.

Crochet Hooks Sizes 1c.jpg

Spelling

For some reason words are spelt differently in the US.  For example, the word ‘colour’ in the UK is spelt ‘color’ in the US.

Clothing names

Even some names for clothing are different.   Here are some examples:

• UK Balaclava; helmet = US cold weather hood
• UK tammy; Tam O’Shanter = US beret
• UK slipover; tank top; vest; sleeveless cardigan = US vest
• UK trousers = US pants
• UK pants = US underwear; boxers

Yarns

UK and US yarns are given different names.  Yarn types in the US will be something like fingering, sport, worsted, or bulky, whilst UK yarns will be 4 ply, double knitting, Aran, or chunky.

UK to US Yarns 1b

 

Free Pattern – Blanket for Barbie

Published March 12, 2016 by estherknit

Blanket for Barbie 6

Measurements

25 cm wide by 30 cm long

10 inches wide by 12 inches long

Materials

King Cole Splash double knitting

Shade 810 Seaspray, 100 g

A pair of 4 mm (US 6) knitting needles

A 4 mm (G) crochet hook for edging

Tension / Gauge

22 sts and 28 rows to 10 cm (4 inches)

measured over stockinette stitch using 4 mm (US 6) needles

Pattern notes

Stockinette (stocking) stitch (st.st.)

Cast on any number of stitches.

1st row: Knit.

2nd row: Purl.

These two rows form the pattern and are repeated.

US: Single crochet (sc) / UK: Double crochet (dc)

Wrap the yarn round the crochet hook and insert the hook in next stitch. Pull thread through, thus having two loops on needle. Wind thread once over needle and pull through the two loops.

US: Double crochet (dc) / UK: Treble crochet (tr)

Wrap the yarn round the crochet hook and insert the hook in next stitch. Wrap the yarn round the hook and pull the yarn through the stitch only, leaving 3 loops on your hook. Wrap the yarn round the hook again and pull through the first 2 loops only. Wrap the yarn round the hook again and pull through the last 2 loops.

To knit blanket

Using 4 mm (US 6) needles cast on 56 sts.

Work in st.st. until work measures 30 cm (12 inches).

Cast off loosely.

To make up / Finishing

Weave in all ends of yarn.

Finish edge with crochet crab stitch border or crochet arcade border.

Crochet crab stitch border

1st row: Work double crochet from right to left of work, all along edge.  Do not turn.

2nd row: Work dc from left to right of work.

Fasten off.  Give blanket a light steam.

Crochet arcade border

You will need a multiple of 6 stitches plus 3.

With right side facing, work 3 rows of sc around edge of blanket as follows:

Next row: 1 chain, 1 sc in each stitch to end, join with a slip stitch.

Repeat this row twice more.  Now, continue as follows:

Next row: 1 chain, 2 sc, * 3 chain, skip 3 sts, 3 sc; repeat from * to end, turn.

Next row: 1 chain, 1 sc, * 5 dc in 3-chain space, skip 1 st, 1 sc, skip 1 stitch; repeat from * to end.

Fasten off.  Give blanket a light steam.

Blanket for Barbie 7

 

How to Select and Use Yarn

Published March 11, 2016 by estherknit

Yarn is a term used for any type of thread used as knitting material no matter how it is made. Many yarns belong to groups according to their construction.

Ball of Wool 1When you have chosen your knitting pattern, then you need to choose the right yarn for your project. The knitting pattern will suggest a yarn (or two) which will work for the project. However, you may not want to use the suggested yarn. With a seemingly endless choice of yarns, and patterns, the novice knitter may find the choice overwhelming.

The yarn label

You will find information about the yarn on the label. This usually includes fibre content, weight and care instructions. You should also find the recommended tension and needle size included.

Dye lots

The colour information will also include a dye lot number. Wool is dyed in batches and each one can vary slightly, so it’s a good idea to buy all the wool you will need for your project together, to ensure the colour matches. The colour in different dye lots can vary quite drastically and it is advisable to see that you have plenty of yarn in the same dye lot to complete your project.

Ply

Yarn also comes in different thicknesses as well as weights. Yarn can be made up of a single strand of fibre but often it includes a number of strands twisted together. Thicker yarns are made of more tightly spun strands, rather than more strands twisted together.

All yarns of the same ply are not necessarily the same thickness. Some soft Shetland 2 plys are thicker than a fine 3 or 4 ply.

How is the yarn wound

The yarn can come as a

  • hank : these will need to be wound into a ball before knitting
  • skein : wound up into an oblong shape, pull the yarn from the inside, not the outside
  • ball: wound into a ball, use the end of the yarn on the outside. most hand knitting yarn comes as a ball
  • cone: most machine knitting yarn comes in conesCone

Weight

Check the weight of the yarn you are buying. Balls of yarn can be 20, 25, 40, 50 and 100 grams. Make sure that the total weight of yarn you buy is sufficient rather than relying on the number of balls stated in your pattern.

Finding the right yarn for your project depends on

  • the knitting pattern you have chosen
  • the needles you will use for your project
  • the effect you want to create

Yarn classification

  • Baby: wool designed for babies is less fluffy, which helps stop the fibres going in their mouth. They are generally lightweight, delicate and soft on young skin.
  • 2/3 Ply: this refers to the number of strands twisted together. Use for projects where accuracy is important, such as gloves or socks
  • 4 Ply: good for baby clothes or lacy garments. Also known as Sport
  • Double Knitting (DK): the most versatile and widely used yarn, it’s called DK as it’s double the weight of 4 Ply yarn. Suitable for all kinds of garments. Sometimes referred to as Light Worsted
  • Aran: named after traditional knitting from the Aran Isles, it’s ideal for chunky jumpers. Also known as Fisherman
  • Chunky: chunkier styles create quicker, thicker knits, so they’re a good choice for beginners. Sometimes known as Bulky, they make cosy jumpers and outerwear, perfect for cold weather. However the bulky styles you create may be too hot for babies and are not suitable for warm weather wear
  • Super Chunky: A great yarn for quick knitting. Also known as Super Bulky
  • Fashion: These more unusual yarns will create unique projects, such as fashion scarves.

Stranding

If you do not have yarn of the correct thickness for your project, you can strand up the yarn – that it knit two or three strands of yarn together to make a thicker yarn. Here is a guide.

  • to make a 4 ply yarn, take two strands of 2 ply, or three strands of 2/30s machine knitting yarn
  • to make a double knitting yarn, take 2 strands of 4 ply yarn
  • to make a chunky yarn, take 2 strands of double knitting yarn
  • to make a super chunky yarn, take 3 strands of double knitting yarn.

Remember, if you use a different yarn to the one in the pattern, then you will need to knit a tension square (gauge swatch) and measure your tension before you start your project.

How to calculate how much yarn

If you want to know how much yarn you have to use, e.g. for a sweater, you must take some of the yarn, make a sample and find the area in cm2. Weigh it on a letter-balance. Divide the weight in grams by the number of cm2 to get the weight per cm2. The result will be 0.0…something grams.

Now, assume your sample measures 14.6 cm × 15 cm. Multiplying width with length gives us 219 cm2. Now, weigh the sample, e.g. 6 grams. Now, divide the weight by the area:

6 g / 219 cm2 = 0.027 g per cm2.

To find the area of the sweater, calculate the area of the body by multiplying the circumference by the back length. To find the area of the sleeves, measure the upper arm circumference and multiply by the arm length from shoulder to wrist. Add the two calculated areas, and you have the estimated area for the sweater. Now multiply the sweater area by the weight per cm2 and this tells you how many grams of yarn you need.

For example, if we have some yarn and want to know if there is enough for a child’s sweater. The chest circumference is 68 cm and the length of the sweater is 39 cm.

68 cm × 39 cm = 2652 cm2.

The upper arm circumference is 28 cm, and the sleeve length is 37 cm.

28 cm × 37 cm = 1036 cm2.

The body area 2652 cm2 + the sleeve area 1036 cm2 = 3688 cm2. Weight per cm2 is 0.027 g.

0.027 g × 3688 cm2 = 99.5 g.

This means that we need 2 balls of 50 g each. So, I would buy 3 50 g balls for this sweater to make sure that you have enough yarn.

Wool8.JPG

Free Pattern – Blue Button Headband

Published March 4, 2016 by estherknit

Blue Button Headband 6Measurements

To fit adult

Circumference: 56 cm (22¼ inches)

Width: 6¼ cm (2½ inches)

Materials

Twilight double knitting yarn, 50 g

used double throughout

Button of your choice

A pair of 4½ mm (US 7) needles

Tension / Gauge

16 sts and 40 rows to 10 cm (4 inches)

measured over garter stitch using 4½ mm needles

and yarn used double

 Pattern notes

The headband is knitted end to end.  When you cast on leave a long thread and when you cast off leave a long thread.  You will use these thread to finish your headband.

To knit headband

Using 4½ mm (US 7) needles and 2 strands of yarn, cast on 90 sts.

Continue in garter stitch, every row knit, until work measures 6¼ cm (2½ inches).  Cast off.

To make up / Finishing

Create an overlap of 12 cm (4¾ inches).  Take the cast on thread, and sew the headband together with the overlap.  Take the cast off thread, and weave it back to the overlap.  Weave across the width of the headband, gather, pull tight and fasten off.  Sew on button over the gather.  Weave in ends.

Blue Button Headband 7