Posts Tagged ‘knitting’

how to crochet: selecting yarn // a little hippie girl tutorial

February 12, 2012

i’ve been wanting to do crochet tutorials for a while, but it seemed that it would be a bigger undertaking than i was capable of.  i’ve written some tutorials on quazen, but i really don’t like how much advertising they put on their pages.  so this is my humble attempt at providing you, the general public, with a free crochet class via internet.

you can crochet with any yarn-like substance, from plastic bags to t-shirt scraps, but when selecting commercial yarns, a few basic tips will go a long way. yarns are classified by weight, and weight is determined by gauge- or how many stitches it takes to make a square inch of crocheted fabric.

weights range from lace, the finest, to super bulky, the heaviest. if you’ve ever seen a crocheted doily, then you’ve seen a good example of lace weight crochet thread. baby items and socks are made from super fine (also called sock or fingering) weight yarn, or the next weight up: fine, also called sport or baby weight yarn. many crocheted clothing items and accessories are made with DK and worsted (also called aran or medium) weight yarns. very thick items can be made from bulky and super bulky weight yarns- most rug yarn is also bulky weight.

various yarn weights

crochet is done with a single hook, and for each yarn weight there is a corresponding range of hooks to be used to get the gauge you need. hook sizes can vary if you want a looser or tighter stitch. a small hook with a heavy yarn will produce very tight, solid stitches, and a large hook with a lighter yarn will produce loose stitches. the best way to know which hook is recommended for the yarn you’d like to use is to read the label.

yarn label with various indications highlighted

many patterns will provide the yarn weight and hook you need to use for the project. others are more open to interpretation, and most will suggest that you crochet a small swatch to make sure that what you make is the correct size.

solstice

December 22, 2011

winter is officially here.  it has been a difficult year for me.  this is not a blog for deep details, but suffice to say that i am looking forward to 2012 being a much better year than 2011.  after going through a laundry list of heartbreaks and difficulties, i have finally ended up back in montana, resting after traveling, before setting off on the next leg of my trip with a boy that i- dare i say it?- love. i am considering designs for bags that will be made entirely of recycled yarn and fabrics.  i bought the above typewriter today because i can’t help myself, and besides, being mustard-yellow and in pristine condition, it was impossible to resist for the whopping price of $8. the best part?  there was a piece of paper in it to test the ink, and someone had typed “life is good”.

the cure for the modern machine.

i have been busy with christmas gifts and various manic whims lately but will be back soon with more blogness and patterns- i am becoming the queen of knitting flat and i hope you will join me.

high five! fingerless gloves

November 29, 2011

it took me a long time to learn to knit in the round.  and while i’ve gotten to a place where i love it, i have to say that in my heart i am what most would call a quite lazy knitter.  therefore, i offer up to you this pattern for fingerless gloves… knit flat!  and don’t fret, DPN fans- you’ll need 3 pairs of needles to make these, 2 of one size and 4 of another size 2 sizes up from the first.  for this pair in the picture i used size 8s and 10s.

high five!

this is a very simple pattern and is easy to modify to make it bigger, smaller, longer, shorter.  feel free to use your own different stitches.  and send me a link if you post your finished projects anywhere- i’d love to see what you came up with!

you will need:

  • 1 pair size 8 (or whichever) needles
  • 2 pairs size 10 (or whichever) needles OR 3 size 10 needles and an afghan crochet hook
  • 1 crochet hook (size I or J works)
  • worsted/medium (or whichever) weight yarn (separate off 3-6 yards for thumb gusset)

pattern

cast on 26 sts.  work in k1, p1 ribbing for 8 rows.

row 9: (rs) kf&b in first 2 sts.  k until 2 sts remain.  kf&b in last 2 sts. (30 sts)

row 10 (and all ws rows of body saving the last): purl.

row 11: k 14 sts, kf&b in next 2 sts, k 14 sts.

row 13: k 14 sts, kf&b in next st, k 2 sts, kf&b in next st, k 14 sts.

row 15: k 14 sts, kf&b in next st, k 4 sts, kf&b in next st, k 14 sts.

row 17: k 14 sts, kf&b in next st, k 6 sts, kf&b in next st, k 14 sts.

row 19: k 14 sts, kf&b in next st, k 8 sts, kf&b in next st, k 14 sts.

you can continue like this to make the thumb wider- just increase the number of sts between the kf&b sts.

thumb

row 21: slip 15 sts onto one size 10 needle or afghan hook.

1

attach the scrap yarn and knit the next 10 sts with another needle.

turn and purl across the back.

turn and knit across.  turn and purl across.

5

bind off with crochet hook or very loose knitting.

6

cut, leaving a long tail to sew up thumb.  you can either sew it up straightaway or knit the rest of it and then sew it up.  a mattress stitch works great on this.

hand

transfer the 15 slipped stitches back to the other needle, so they’re all on the same needle in a line.  knit across (30 sts).

6

continue in stockinette stitch for as long as you would like the glove to be.  on the last ws row, knit instead of purl, and then bind off with a crochet hook.  sew up the side of glove and thumb.

i hope you enjoy!

setting off

November 23, 2011


friends, i am about to embark upon a cross-country journey to take photographs and write about our beautiful land currently encased in ice and fog.  there will be a pattern up before i go for fingerless gloves knit flat; otherwise you are welcome to keep up with my photoblog rubbertramping in addition to this lovely one!  cheers, and i hope everyone is having a great fall.

fall

November 6, 2011

fall is here.  well, not really here in arizona, but in the rest of the world that has seasons, yes.  a time to don hats and scarves, and start making gifts for relatives (which in my case means making hats to sell or for charity while procrastinating on christmas items.)  it’s a very pensive time of year for me.  fall has always been my favorite season, and having lived back and forth from arizona to other places it’s very difficult for me to be here when the rest of the world is curling into autumn’s long slow sleep.  all the poems i have been writing lately have been about fall not coming to arizona.  it was in the 60s today for the first time this year, and the entire desert did not know how to take it.

i am going hiking tomorrow to reconnect with the nature of the desert and hopefully remember that there can be beautiful things here, even if it is not my ideal living place.  i will sit and absorb the vibration that our mother earth gives no matter what the surface environment.

knitting as meditation

June 16, 2011

i took to knitting very late in life.  my neighbor taught me to crochet when i was 9, but knitting was something i could never wrap my mind around.  my mother tried no less than 7 times to teach me, and it finally stuck when i was 23 and ready to boost my image as an indie kid.  after that i attended several knitting meetups in various locations, jealously working my slow stockinette as the other girls showed off their socks, scarves and sweaters.  i loved knitting because it seemed so smooth, so refined- but the fact that it took me three weeks to finish a hat, as opposed to three hours with crochet, was a huge turnoff.  i considered myself one of those closet knitters who could keep a project in the basket to work on in spare moments, like the afghan you start and plan on finishing in twenty years.

another turnoff was the stress of it.  knitting to relax?  what a joke!  aside from the frustration of my slow hands, dropped stitches never failed to send me into a tizzy, and, once i learned to properly “frog” (which i just recently learned is the term for tearing something apart) the problem was then how to attempt projects with written patterns.  it’s one thing to slip into a zen coma while performing the same stitch in a circle for hours, but reading a pattern where things are constantly changing required a level of attention i did not find relaxing in the slightest.

but a recent turnaround occurred when i actually finished a project from a pattern, and then another.  i realized that maybe i could knit a little faster than i had originally thought.  and then tonight, counting two by two as i worked a rib pattern, i was startled out of my counting by the obnoxious sound of a taco john’s ad.  it took me a minute to realize that i had been so into my knitting that i had zoned out completely- and it had felt pretty damn peaceful.

maybe there’s a potential for knitting as meditation after all.  i’ll try to find out this weekend at the love your mother earth festival and report back for your reading pleasure.

peace and love.