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Color play with Linen Stitch

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Last year, I made a blanket for my nephew, Luke.  Well, I’m at it again, but this time I’m not sure who’ll get this blanket, but I’m making it anyway.

I’m using the same Seafoam (sorry it’s washed out, my camera is only so-so and the scanner didn’t quite grab the color either) and Brown yarns that I had left over from Luke’s but this time I’m doing a 2 color linen stitch.  Depending on how you look at it, it seems to zig-zag, or checker-board.  But no matter how I look at it, I’m loving the visual.  

I even like the back of linen stitch.  If you click the image above, you’ll see what I’m talking about.  The front is on the bottom and the back is at an angle at the top of the picture. 

So if you’d like to knit along with me, you’ll need…
Worsted weight yarn in two colors (Color A, Color B).  If you’re not sure about the amount you should buy, ask your local LYS Staff to help you out.

Needles – I’m knitting back and forth using US 11s on a 24 inch circular, but the gauge is 4.75 sts per inch or about 19 per 4 inches, so, as always, if you’re worried about the gauge, please choose needles that give you the size you’re looking for.

Using color A, Cast on 150 stitches.  I’ve been using a Crochet Cast-on because I like that it matches my bind off.

Row 1, with Color b, begin linen stitch for the Right side
Row 2 , with Color b, Linen stich for the wrong side.
Row 3, Color A Linen stitch for the Right side.
Row, Color A for the wrong side.

Carry your colors up the side to cut down on weaving in ends.

You might also want to consider adding a third color to the mix. Just switch colors every row.  Don’t worry about keeping track of which to use, the pattern will present itself – really, it only takes a moment or two to catch on to which yarn comes next. 

Also, If you take a moment to untangle and move your unused yarns out of your way when you’re switching colors you’ll avoid making a giant knot. 

The sample on the right was knitted using an el-cheapo pack of pearl cotton skeins I found in the embroidery section of the craft store. 

I was experimenting with color combinations by starting with a random length and then adding in a new color as they ran out.

If you click the image, you’ll get a high def image to examine.  If you look closely, you’ll see that I started at the bottom with dark blue, light blue, and orange.

Dark blue ran out first, and was replaced with dark green and then light blue was replaced with yellow.  My color selection technique was to randomly grab a color out of a bag.  I knew I could find complementary colors, but what I was really looking for was what “clashing” colors might look like. 

What I found was that, yes, some are more pleasing combination than others, but when mixed like they are, there’s noting that’s too outrageous.  In fact, I was really disappointed that my first 3 colors were blue, blue and orange.  It felt too much like team colors rather than anything fashionable, but the tonal colors with a bright looked pretty good together.  Not sure I’d make a sweater for the office with those, but as an accent piece it would be stunning. 

It now has me thinking about my stash of odd balls and yarns that make me (and my husband) wonder what I was thinking when I bought them.  Perhaps they could be mixed into a pleasing Linen stitch throw or other object. 

Linen stitch is also quite firm, and doesn’t curl, so I’m thinking of a cotton bath mat, to keep my good towels off the floor.  I’ll let you know when I cast on. 


Written by Karlie

October 4th, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Thoughts of knitting

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Ever have sleepless nights because you have too many thoughts running through your mind? Well that was me this morning. But rather than worries, knitting was on my mind.

It’s a funny thing too. I had taken a few months hiatus from Knitting because I didn’t have anything to knit. I still checked out knitting books from the library, browsed patterns online and tried to secretly study how my co-workers sweaters were constructed, but I didn’t have anything interesting enough to cast on.

A couple of weeks ago, I began doodling with sock yarn in the evenings only to frog it out just before I went to bed and eventually came up with a project. Excited to get going, I ignored my wrist and have been paying for it for the last few days.

So here I am in bed this morning trying to get back to sleep and all I can think about is sticks, strings and stitches.

In fact, I’m thinking about a blanket based on Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitter’s Almanac April Mystery Blanket. But, instead of uniform squares, what about a mix of sizes and even some rectangle shapes… More like random tiles or a stone wall?

Hmmm. Might have to spend a few more mornings thinking about that one.

abstract knit by missa h.

Written by Karlie

July 31st, 2010 at 7:29 am

Rose Window beret

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I’ve spent the past couple of weekends knitting the Rose Window Beret from the spring issue of Interweave Knits. How do you like it?

It’s toddler size because I used tiny needles (US size 4) and crochet cotton.

I might be tempted to make one for myself over the summer, but it looks like I should start some projects for end of school gifts for the boy’s teachers. But what to make?

Any ideas?


Written by Karlie

March 16th, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Posted in at Home,family,knitting

Baby Luke’s Blanket – Follow-up

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So here it is, Baby Luke’s Blanket. It’s done and has been done for a while, but I’m just getting to the post – so sorry.

The Blanket was made with 2 skeins of Red Heart Soft. One each of Chocolate and Seafoam.

The Pattern is simply alternating stripes of the one I hacked a few months ago, which I think needs a formal name… How about “Luke’s Triangles?”

The stripe effect was added because it was becoming obvious that I’d need to balance the yarn usage since the slipped stitches use much less yarn than the main color.

I suppose I could have stuck with an all over pattern, but I probably would have used twice as much yarn of one color as I would have with the other.

To do the stripes, it’s really quite simple. The row number of the pattern didn’t change, just the yarn I used to knit it. So rather than sliding the work on the needle, I turned the work and knit back with the color I had in my hand.

Thoughts, Comments?


Written by Karlie

March 8th, 2010 at 9:03 am

Posted in at Home,knitting

Knitted version of the buttercup bag (Tutorial included)

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It’s not that I can’t sew… I’m actually not too bad if I put my mind to it. Instead, you could classify my problem as dinner-table-itis. Meaning if I can’t finish by dinner time or don’t have a really good reason, I probably shouldn’t haul out the sewing paraphernalia. Unfortunately, a pretty little handbag doesn’t fit into my schedule right now and it’s not a good reason to prevent us from dining at the kitchen table. C’est la vie.

However, a few minutes of knitting now and then, does fit into my schedule. Yes, it probably would have been faster to simply get out my sewing machine to make Made By Rae’s Buttercup bag, but I just can’t resist a knitting pattern challenge.

Here’s the results…
Knitted Buttercup Bag

The Recipe…
Ingredients for this bag –

  • Bernat Worsted. A one pound or so skein. (Will make more than a few bags)
  • Knit picks Options – Your favorite size (See notes on Gage below) needles on 24″ or longer cord for Magic Circle knitting or two circs, lots of DPNs, Or your favorite method.
  • 2 stitch markers – it’s helpful if they are different so you’ll know when the rounds begin
  • cable needle
  • stitch holder or scrap yarn
  • Optional – clip to make a key ring holder

Project Notes

  • This bag is knitted from the bottom up so it is seamless.
  • I used a magnetic snap to close this bag and the jeweled leaf ‘bling’ was chosen because I could sew it on to add stability to the knitting.
  • Guage and needle size is not important but I chose a tight knit because I didn’t want to line the bag.

Let’s get cookin’!
Cast on an even number of stitches as you would for your favorite toe up socks. More or less stitches to adjust the width of your bag. In this case I cast on a total of 48 stitches onto a single needle and transferred them to two DPNs by alternating needles as I transferred the stitches. It sounds confusing even though I’m the one who did it. Think of it this way… needle one gets the first stitch, needle 2 the second, needle 1 the third, needle 2 the fourth etc. Or again, your favorite method (cast on as to knit in the round and then sew up the bottom would work too).

The bag is knit in the round and we’ll begin shaping the radius corners in the very first row.

So you understand my method for creating the radius, I used the GIMP to make some circles so I could see the shape in pixels.

Learning corners with the GIMP

As you’ll see in the example image above, that the second row up from the bottom is 3 pixels longer, per side, than the first row. So that means I need to increase 3 stitches to shape that portion of the bag. I’m also working with a flat shape, so increases will happen before and after each of the side two markers.

For the bag in the picture and after frogging several times, I settled on a 26 stitch radius.

So let’s get Knitting!
Round 1 – Place Marker *KFB 4 times K 16 (assuming casting on 48 stitches or 24 stitches per side) KFB 4 times*. Place Marker. Repeat between * to complete round 1.

For the next 25 rows You’ll continue making the number of KFB increases in this same manner as above, but with the numbers listed below. For example, Round 2 would be to KFB in the first 3 stitches after the marker. Knit to within 3 stitches of the second marker and KFB3 times.

If you’re using Magic Circle Knitting, as I did with this bag, when you reach a marker, take time to adjust your cord. I usually kept the bulk of my extra cording at the opposite marker and used just enough slack on the working side to get my needle started.

Round 2 – Increase 3
Round 3 – Increase 2
Round 4 – Increase 2
Round 5 – Increase 1
Round 6 – Increase 2
Round 7 – Increase 1
Round 8 – Increase 1
Round 9 – Increase 1
Round 10 – Increase 1
Round 11 – Increase 1
Round 12 – None – Yep, that’s right, there’s no need to increase in this row.
Round 13 – Increase 1
Round 14 – Increase 1
Round 15 – None
Round 16 – Increase 1
Round 17 – None
Round 18 – Increase 1
Round 19 – None
Round 20 – None
Round 21 – Increase 1
Round 22 – None
Round 23 – None
Round 24 – None
Round 25 – None
Round 26 – Increase 1

Now that the corners are done, you’ll be adding an increase round (make one before and after each marker just like we did for the corners) every few rows until you have 72 stitches on your needles. The more rows between your increase rounds the deeper your bag will be.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen directions for pleating in knitting so I had to devise my own technique. The pattern reads – K6 (Pleat 12) 5 times K6 – Repeat for side 2

Now how does one Pleat 12? Good question… Slip 6 stitches to a cable or Double Pointed needle and hold them at the back. Then 3 needle knit from your left hand needle and the cable needle at the same time. Stitch Diva has a good video tutorial on YouTube if you’d like to see how it’s done.

Seed Stitch band and Handle
The good news is there’s only one row that needs pleating so we’re already onto the top band. In this bag I Knit 9 rows of K1P1 seed stitch for the top band. To get an odd number of stitches so I’d have beautiful seed stitch as I went round and round, I replaced the first K stitch with a single K2Tog.

At row 10 I began the bind off round Leaving 3 live stitches on each side of your markers. So starting at the beginning of the round I would knit 3 stitches in pattern, then bind off until I had 3 live stitches before the marker. Do the same for the other side.

For the handle, begin back and forth knitting in the K1P1 pattern until your strap is as long as you’d like it to be. Mine is fairly short because I usually end up with my purse in my hand or around my forearm. Depending on how comfortable you are, you can leave the live stitches you left on the opposite side right on the cable of your circular needle or slip them to a stitch holder.

Knitted key holder for the Buttercup Bag

Attaching the strap
The first trick is getting the K1P1 pattern of the strap to match up with the live stitches when you’re ready to attach. We’re going to do a bit of 3 needle kni

tting again, so slip the stitches on to your Cable needle or a DPN. Take a look at what you’ve got on the needle and what you’ll be knitting next on the strap. To get the next row to match up, the pattern should look the same on both sides.

At this point you can do a 3 needle bind off in pattern, or you can continue seed stitch for another round or two past the connection point.

The second trick is making sure you’re binding off or continuing your knitting where you’d like it to be. So take a moment to determine if you’ll be knitting to the inside or the outside of the bag before you join.

On this bag I knit just a couple more rows of the seed stitch pattern and then decreased by 2 stitches. I continued as a 4 stitch icord to attach a little spring clip for my keys.

Now I should caution you that was a knitter for  less than 2 years when I wrote this post and this is one of my first tutorials. Please leave questions or comments below and I’ll do my best to clarify.

UPDATE: 4/25/2012 You can sell this bag as a finished object. See Begone, Personal-Use only patterns for details

Written by Karlie

December 11th, 2009 at 10:18 am

A blanket for Baby Luke

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Along with my time issues ahead of FUDcon, I’ve been struggling with a design for a blanket I promised I’d make for my soon to be nephew, Luke. It had been a problem because I wanted to be sure I had something to take with me to work on while I’m in sessons or have down time.

The other problem I’ve been having with the blanket is that I told my sister I’m already making it. While it’s true I’ve been working on it, I just haven’t told her how many times I’ve frogged the yarn back onto the ball and stared again.

I’ve been having a really hard time coming up with something that won’t be dull to knit or dull to look at without being too complicated. Complicated is more important now that I only have a few weeks to get the blanket done. But I think I finally have something… Or at least I’m going with it now that I don’t have any time to goof around with new patterns.

Let me show you a sample of what I’ve worked out…

For this example I’m using

  • Lion Cotton “Poppy” for Color “A”
  • Lion Cotton “White” for Color “B”
  • US size 8 DPN (I’m using a circular needle for the blanket)

The Technique
Pattern is worked over an even number of stitches and has a 4 row repeat.
Standard abbreviations used.

Cast on with Color A
Row 1 – RS – using Color B – *K1, WYIF Sl1 PW* repeat between * until the end.
Row 2 – RS – Without turning work, slide all stitches to the right end of the needle and K all stitches with color A.
Row 3 – WS – Turn work. Using B, *P1, WYIB Sl1 PW* repeat between * until the end
Row 4 – WS – Without turning work, slide all stitches to the right end of the needle and P all stitches with color A.

When I get the blanket done I’ll post pictures and give details about the yarn choices, needles and finished sizes.


Written by Karlie

December 3rd, 2009 at 10:39 am