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All posts for the month August, 2016

How to Add a Fringe

Published August 27, 2016 by estherknit

Fringe 2

This is how you add a fringe to a scarf.

1. Cut the right number of lengths for one tassel, slightly more than twice the length of the finished tassel.

2. Fold the strands in half and draw the folded end through the edge of the knitted fabric using a crochet hook.

3. Pull the loose ends of yarn firmly through the loop to form a knot. Trim all the ends once fringe is completed.

4. The number of strands in each tassel decides the thickness of the fringe and the distance between each tassel.

Fringe 1

Hints and Tips

Find an object which is the right size for your fringe, and wrap the yarn around your object. You could use a book, a DVD case or a baking tin! Anything which is the size you want. Once you have wrapped your yarn around your object enough times, cut the yarn at one end. You will then have your strands to make your fringe.

If you crochet 1 round of single crochet around the edge of your project, you will find it easier to add a fringe or tassel. You can add your tassels to each stitch, or every other stitch, or whatever pattern you wish.

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Free Pattern – Hooded Jacket

Published August 13, 2016 by estherknit

Jacket with Hood 7

Measurements

To fit: 12 months

Chest: 22 inches (56 cm)

Length: 10 inches (25.5 cm)

Materials

King Cole Big Value Chunky

Shade: 551 Cream, 200 g

A pair of 6½ mm (US 10.5) knitting Needles

3 buttons

Tension / Gauge

13 sts and 20 rows to 10 cm (4 inches)

measured over stocking stitch on 6½ mm needles.

To knit cardigan

Back

Cast on 36 sts.

1st to 4th rows: Knit.

5th row: Knit.

6th row: Purl.

Continue in st.st until piece measures 10 inches (25.5 cm) from beginning.

Cast off all sts.

Left front

Cast on 18 sts.

1st to 4th rows: Knit.

5th row: Knit.

6th row: K5, p13

Repeat last 2 rows until piece measures 8 inches (20.5 cm) from beginning ending with a RS row.

Shape Neck

Next row (WS): Cast off 5 sts for neck, work to end.

Continue in st.st, decrease 1 st at neck edge every row 3 times.  (10 sts)

When piece measures same length as Back, cast off.

Right front

Cast on 18 sts.

1st to 4th rows: Knit.

5th row: Knit.

6th row: P13 k5.

Repeat last 2 rows until piece measures 8 inches (20.5 cm) from beginning ending with a RS row.

Shape Neck

Shape neck as for Left Front, reversing shaping.  Cast off.

Sleeves

Sew shoulder seams. With right side facing, place markers 4 inches (10 cm) down from shoulder on Front and Back, pick up and knit 26 sts between markers.

Work in garter stitch for 2 inches (5 cm).

Decrease row: K2tog, knit to last 2 sts, k2tog.(24 sts)

Continue in garter stitch, repeat decrease row every 6 rows, twice more.  (20 sts)

Work straight until piece measures 7 inches (18 cm).

Cast off.

To make up / Finishing

Sew side and sleeve seams.

Hood

With right side facing, pick up and knit 42 sts evenly spaced around neck edge.

Next row: Knit, inc 10 sts evenly spaced across row. (52 sts)

Work in garter st for 7½ inches (19 cm).   Cast off.

Fold cast off edge in half and seam for top of Hood.

Weave in ends. Sew on buttons and make button loops.

Jacket with Hood 6

Introduction of Hand Knitting

Published August 7, 2016 by estherknit

Why learn to Hand Knit?

To learn to hand knit is not easy. It takes time and patience. So, why bother? It is an immensely satisfying pastime. With knitting needles and yarn you can create fashion items for you and your family or furnishings for your home. Once you have mastered the basic techniques, it is an easy skill to develop and before you know it you will be an expert knitter.

Moss Sttch.png

Knitting Needles

Knitting needles are made in a range of sizes. All British manufacturers conform to this method of sizing, known as the International Size Range and sometimes shown as ISR in the instructions.

Knitting Needles Sizes Chart Blog

Abbreviations

To make the reading of knitting patterns more straightforward, the names of knitting stitches and instructions are often abbreviated. Instead of repeating ‘stockinette stitch’ for instance, the abbreviation ‘st.st.’ is used. This is helpful and makes patterns easier to follow. Most knitting patterns and books contain a glossary of terms used including any special or unusual abbreviations.

Blocking

Some hand knitted items benefit from being blocked. Blocking a finished piece of knitting entails gently wetting the item and then pulling it to shape on a flat surface. The item may need to be pinned to stop it from springing out of shape. A hand knitting pattern will give any special instructions required for blocking

Flat or in-the-round

Hand knitting is either worked flat or in the round. Knitting that is worked flat is worked in rows with the work turned at the end of each row. Knitting that is worked in the round is worked in a constant round without turning the work. Both types of knitting have their own benefits. Knitting that is worked flat is ideal for traditional garment construction. Knitting that is worked in the round starts at a central point and is worked outwards, making it ideal for large items.

Knitting Diagram 2

Hand Knitting Symbols

Some knitting patterns are presented using knitting symbols. Each stitch has a unique symbol and this is used to show how a design is created. Many patterns that feature symbols also have a written version. Symbol knitting is useful as it transcends language making a project open to knitters the world over.

Hand Knitting Terms

Hand knitting has a language all of it’s own. When you learn to knit the first thing you will have to do is become familiar with knitting terms such as garter stitch and cable.

Tension or Gauge

Hand Knitting tension or gauge is very important. This measures the number of stitches and rows to 10 cm. Checking knitting gauge is necessary when making an item that needs to be a set size. If there are too many stitches and rows then the item will be too small and a larger needle should be used. Most hand knitting patterns will give a stated gauge and before starting the pattern, a test square should be worked to check gauge.7

Yarns

Yarn and wools are grouped together according to thickness. This means that all yarns that are double knitting weight will be the same thickness regardless of brand or manufacturer. This standardisation of yarns is a useful way to ensure that yarns can be substituted in crochet patterns without altering the finished dimensions of a project.

Loom Knitting

Hand Knitting Looms allow you to knit without needles. Knitting looms come in a variety of shapes and sizes with pins mounted in rows on a firm base. Yarn is wound around the pins; various patterns of winding produce different textured knitting. A needle or special tool is then used to transfer the loops of yarn from around the pins, either off the pins or to other pins, to produce the knitting.

Machine or Hand Knitting

Machine knitting proceeds more quickly than in hand knitting, where (usually two) straight needles are held in the hand and each stitch is manipulated individually across the row. Knitting machines work an entire row of loops in a single movement.

The fabric produced using a knitting machine is of a more even texture than hand-knitted fabric, which is particularly noticeable on large areas of plain stockinette stitch, and can be an advantage. Some stitch patterns (e.g., tuck stitches) are much easier to produce with a knitting machine. Others (e.g. garter stitch) can also be produced with machine knitting but can take a little longer but still much faster than hand knitting. The standard gauge 200-needle machine can knit the finest yarns up to a good sport-weight, while the heavier yarns knit better on a mid-gauge or bulky knitting machine.

Machine knitting saves a considerable amount of time but does require learning to operate the machines correctly. Often, with machine knitting there is more finishing to do. It is more likely that a machine knitted project will require to be blocked and steamed than a hand knitted project. Most if not all hand knitting patterns can be worked up on a machine, either identically or in a similar design.

However, hand knitting is more portable and sociable than machine knitting. Hand knitting can be very relaxing and some people find it has a meditative quality. It is more expensive to start machine knitting because you have to buy an expensive machine. With hand knitting you can start with a pair of knitting needles and a ball of yarn.

Festive Vest

Free Pattern – Little Lavender Hat

Published August 5, 2016 by estherknit

Little Lavender Hat 6.png

Measurements

To fit newborn baby

Width round head: 32.5 cm (13 inches)

Materials

Robin Double Knit

Shade: 053 Lavender

50 g for one hat

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 hat

With 4 mm (US 6) needles cast on 60 sts loosely.

Continue in garter stitch, every row knit, for 58 rows.

Work measures 19¼ cm or 7½ inches.

Cast off loosely.

To make up / Finishing

Join back seam, reversing seam 4 cm or 1½ inches for fold-back. Join top seam.  Fold brim over to right side.  Weave in ends.

Little Lavender Hat 7

Introduction to Machine Knitting

Published August 1, 2016 by estherknit

Why Learn to Machine Knit?

To learn to machine knit is not as easy as many people think. It takes time and patience. So, why bother? It is an immensely satisfying pastime. With a knitting machine and yarn you can create fashion items for you and your family or furnishings for your home. Once you have mastered the basic techniques, it is an easy skill to develop and before you know it you will be an expert machine knitter.

The Knitting Machine

A knitting machine is a device used to create knitted fabrics in a semi- or fully automated fashion.  There are numerous types of knitting machines, ranging from simple looms with no moving parts to highly complex mechanisms controlled by electronics. All, however, produce various types of knitted fabrics, usually either flat or tubular, and of varying degrees of complexity.

Knitting Machine

Knitting machines can be used to produce knitted textiles with scope to explore:

  • using different fibres –  wool, plant fibres, synthetics etc.
  • using texture – either from variations in yarn or via the machine’s patterning facility
  • using colour – using patterns on the machine
  • the patterning functions of the machine: punch cards, for example, use a simple binary system to instruct the machine – a forerunner of modern computers; while electronic machines use the same system in a different format
  • interactive work using computer software to develop patterns

They have many advantages: they are fairly light, easy to set up, fairly easy to maintain, and quite versatile

Pattern stitches can be selected by hand tooling of the needles, or with push-buttons and dials, mechanical punch cards, or electronic pattern reading devices and computers. To produce larger and more complex knitted items such as garments, domestic machines, with either flat or circular beds that produce rectangular or tubular fabrics are needed. Double bed machines have two flat beds facing each other, in order to produce purl and plain rib fabrics plus a variety of multi patterns. Ribbing attachments can be added to single bed machines to achieve a similar result. Machines typically use up to 200 latch-hook needles to hold the stitches in fine, standard, mid-gauge or bulky gauge needle. A carriage or cam box is passed across the bed of needles causing the needle movements required to produce each next stitch. By means of various selection methods, e.g. punch cards, particular needles can be caused to travel by alternate pathways through the cam box.  Thus needles will knit or not, and the un-knitted yarn portions will lie under (slip stitch) or over the needle or be held in the needle hook (tuck stitch). Needles can be placed in holding position to allow short row shaping. In the most modern machines, punchcards have been replaced by computer control.  Automatic patterning machines can knit two-colour Fair Isle patterns automatically, and have machine stitch patterning features such as plating and knitweaving.

Abbreviations

To make the reading of knitting patterns more straightforward, the names of knitting stitches and instructions are often abbreviated. Instead of repeating ‘stockinette stitch’ for instance, the abbreviation ‘st.st.’ is used. This is helpful and makes patterns easier to follow. Most knitting patterns and books contain a glossary of terms used including any special or unusual abbreviations.

Blocking

Some machine knitted items benefit from being blocked. Blocking a finished piece of knitting entails gently wetting the item and then pulling it to shape on a flat surface. The item may need to be pinned to stop it from springing out of shape. A knitting pattern will give any special instructions required for blocking.

Machine Knitting Symbols

Some machine knitting patterns are presented using knitting symbols. Each stitch has a unique symbol and this is used to show how a design is created. Many patterns that feature symbols also have a written version. Symbol knitting is useful as it transcends language making a project open to knitters the world over.

Machine Knitting Terms

Machine knitting has a language all of it’s own. When you learn to knit on a machine the first thing you will have to do is become familiar with machine knitting terms such as ribber and tuck stitch.

Tension or Gauge

Machine Knitting gauge is very important. This measures the number of stitches and rows to 10 cm. Checking knitting gauge is necessary when making an item that needs to be a set size. If there are too many stitches and rows then the item will be too small and a larger tension dial setting should be used. Most machine knitting patterns will give a stated gauge and before starting the pattern, a test square should be worked to check gauge. Machine knitters can use the green or the blue ruler technique to measure their tension.

Plating

Plating refers to knitting with two strands of yarn that are held in such a way that one is in front of the other. Plated effects can be particularly striking in a ribbed fabric.

Knitweave

Knitweaving refers to a technique in which a separate piece of yarn, often heavier than the knitted fabric, is carried along and caught between stitches to produce an effect like weaving. With knitwoven fabric, the purl side (usually the wrong side) is the right side of the fabric.

Lace Carriage

The fine and standard gauge models have the option of a lace carriage, where stitches can be transferred from one needle to the next. The yarn passes through a tensioning mechanism and down through the knit carriage, which feeds the yarn to the needles as they knit.

Lace Carriage

Yarns

Yarn and wools are grouped together according to thickness. This means that all yarns that are double knitting weight will be the same thickness regardless of brand or manufacturer. This standardisation of yarns is a useful way to ensure that yarns can be substituted in crochet patterns without altering the finished dimensions of a project. Machine knitting yarns are usually wound onto cones and follow the industrial weighting system.

Loom Knitting

Hand Knitting Looms allow you to knit without needles. Knitting looms come in a variety of shapes and sizes with pins mounted in rows on a firm base. Yarn is wound around the pins; various patterns of winding produce different textured knitting. A needle or special tool is then used to transfer the loops of yarn from around the pins, either off the pins or to other pins, to produce the knitting.

Machine or Hand Knitting

Machine knitting proceeds more quickly than in hand knitting, where (usually two) straight needles are held in the hand and each stitch is manipulated individually across the row. Knitting machines work an entire row of loops in a single movement.

The fabric produced using a knitting machine is of a more even texture than hand-knitted fabric, which is particularly noticeable on large areas of plain stockinette stitch, and can be an advantage. Some stitch patterns (e.g., tuck stitches) are much easier to produce with a knitting machine. Others (e.g. garter stitch) can also be produced with machine knitting but can take a little longer but still much faster than hand knitting. The standard gauge 200-needle machine can knit the finest yarns up to a good sport-weight, while the heavier yarns knit better on a mid-gauge or bulky knitting machine.

Machine knitting saves a considerable amount of time but does require learning to operate the machines correctly. Often, with machine knitting there is more finishing to do. It is more likely that a machine knitted project will require to be blocked and steamed than a hand knitted project. Most if not all hand knitting patterns can be worked up on a machine, either identically or in a similar design.

However, hand knitting is more portable and sociable than machine knitting. Hand knitting can be very relaxing and some people find it has a meditative quality. It is more expensive to start machine knitting because you have to buy an expensive machine. With hand knitting you can start with a pair of knitting needles and a ball of yarn.  The choice is yours!

Prym Machine