Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Provo Crafts Knifty Knitter Spool Knitter

I had forgotten to mention that I got one of these Spool Knitters from Provo Crafts about a week ago and then completely forgot about it.

Since I was not feeling much like doing any knitting I pulled it out yesterday and started to play with it. I had some little amount of green worsted weight red heart yarn left over from a hat I just did and decided to use it since it was handy.

I really didn't expect to get to far with this little amount of yarn so I used the smaller side of the spool. ROFLOL, I sat till I had used up the complete amount of that little bit of yarn and I now have a section of tubing that is just over a yard long.

I thought to myself, "Well now what am I going to do with this". I am not really sure. It is still on the spool knitter and I am going to keep adding yarn to it to make it grow. Maybe somewhere along the way I will decide just what I want to do with it.

I remember making long spool tubes as a child. I had one that got so long I could wrap it around our entire bedroom six times. That was no small bedroom both of my sisters and me slept in that same room complete with a large bunk bed, another bed, dressers for the three of us, and plenty of room left over for the three of us and friends to sit around on the floor playing doll games.

I wonder what ever happened to that very long piece of tubing. I went on to "boys" and the tubing disappeared to where ever old neglected tubing goes.

For those of you who have not used the knifty knitter spool knitter,.let me tell you a bit about it. As you might know from pictures or from seeing it, it is two sided with one side being smaller then the other. This smaller includes the size of the pegs as well as the opening for the tube to go through. The small size has the same type of pegs as the Oval Knifty Knitters, while the other larger side has pegs the size of the Round Knifty Knitters

So we have a little spool knitter that has pegs to make two different size of stitches due to the diameter of the pegs but also the tube size will different due to the amount of pegs on the larger (8) size as compared to the amount of pegs on the smaller side (5). I have yet to play with the larger size as only one size of tube can be made at a time. So maybe I need another spool knitter to test the size difference.

Anyway, back to the spool knitting. I have used little homemade, also a couple of small store bought spool knitters off and on for years. Most of them are difficult to use and hard on the hands from trying to hold those little spoolers. This one is quite easy to hold on to and to turn as you work it. I have to say that for a fairly mindless way to spend and evening and end up with something, this is a good thing to have. The pegs of the spool are grooved for ease of picking up the stitches but I found after a foot or so of knitting I was no longer using the grooves. I had totally reverted to picking up the stitch behind the peg and found this to be much faster and simpler then using the groove.

These little spool knitters would be perfect for the person who is not interested in spending a lot of money on spool knitters but would like something to do the little tubes easily.

Now if you want to go to something that you can get in various sizes and are a lot nicer there is always Noreen's Spool Knitters site. Oh she has some beautiful spool knitters.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Boucle Gather Problem

Any of you who have worked with the boucle yarns know how hard it is to do a gathered top for a hat or other things that might need that gather. Since I am working mostly with boucle and after completing a couple of hats in this material I was about ready to totally give up on doing a quick ending to a hat. I thought that this should not be so difficult, but it is. So why not make it less so, I am creative, or have been in the past, so create a different way to end.

At first the mind says, yea sure it is what it is. Then you say to yourself, it is knitting, I can do anything I want, there are no real rules. So you think about it.

It is really not that difficult to figure out if you think for a minute and stop letting those old brain cells take a vacation. If the stitches won't slide nicely on the yarn that you are using then don't use it. ROFLOL

So take the boucle and check the color, do you have a similar color somewhere just hanging around? Or something even slightly close will do, after all this yarn will mostly be hidden inside those stitches so will not be seen.

So take the slicker yarn and load a needle then pick up the stitches off your loom, be sure not to let them slide off the other end of the yarn. Hanging on to the beginning end of the yarn will keep those stitches in place. Now you have all the stitches on the slicker yarn, just grab the two ends and pull. Fast, easy, no fuss gather with this other yarn. No fighting each stitch to make it move. Oh joy, this is perfect, so why did it take me the hats before, a small baby ghan, and several of these hats to figure it out. Vacationing brain cells I tell you. Make them go back to work.

Lost Hat

So I posted yesterday about the hats I have completed. Though not many I counted each one of them.

Now most of you know, as I have mentioned before, that I carry a bag for crafting with me most all the time. I keep it in my car for those emergency times when I might have to sit and wait somewhere for some reason.

So there is my little bag sitting on the backseat of the car and rarely coming out of there except to go back into the house with me when I come home.

So since those hats are in the bag and that bag goes no where you would expect to see each of those hats in the bag. Not so, one is missing.

I do think I know what happened. I was at work. I had a period of time when I had nothing to do but was waiting for the boss to get there to sign checks so I could pop them in the mail. So nothing to do, hanging around waiting, what does a lady do? Well she grabs her knitting and makes a sad standing around be a useful waiting period. Then she stands out in the sun with her bag over shoulder and her handy dandy little round knitting loom. She just knits away on that hat she is making.

So what happened to the missing hat? I suspect that when pulling the strand of yarn and walking around one hat pulled out of the bag. So if that happened then why didn't she, me of course, notice it? I don't know, maybe to busy with that next wrap and knitted off row.

Whatever the case the hat is gone and I can find no other reason as to why it is gone. I searched the place where I have been putting my bag, right next to my bed, and the hat is not to be found. It is the solid color of sorbet that is missing. So add one solid color sorbet hat to be made to add to the pile.

I am not really upset over this, after all it is just a hat and I do believe that things happen for a reason. It was or it was not meant to be. Oh this is a little localized thing that involves just me, not the world or others. It is just one of those gut feelings that we sometimes get that says "it was meant to be".

One thing is for sure, hanging around our shop all the time are lots of homeless folks. So I can but hope that whoever found the hat really needed it. It was not a very big hat as it was made for a child but stretched a bit (and these hats are stretchy), it would nicely warm the head of an adult.

So I am down one hat in the count but have come close to completion of the horizontal stripes hat. Needless to say I removed the rest of the hats and put them in my bucket of finished items. Now I will have them all there, unless of course gremlins come along to escape with one or two. Hum, do gremlins wear hats?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Hats again and again

I am back to working some loomed hats. I am taking the lion brand boucle that I have bought and added some additional colors (an orange and a green), and am mixing the colors. These are coming out really nice.

No these are not for family, but for kids who will need something to help keep them warm this winter. So far we have had a few really cold nights but the days have warmed to a very pleasant temp, well most days, but soon that will change.

I tried two hats on one of the looms I got from CinDWood Crafts that is a 1/2" gauged round youth loom. I did one hat in a darker green color, one strand of worsted weight yarn. I like that this one is not loose but it is also not so heavy as working with a double strand of worsted on a large gauged loom.

I next tried a one strand green boucle on that same loom and it is wonderful, but I wanted to mix and match the yarns so the 1/2" gauged loom would make the hat a bit thick for what I need/want. I grabbed the trusty old green knifty knitter loom and am making hats on it now.

So far I have one hat in boucle sorbet, one hat with sorbet and orange in a mixing of the orange and sorbet per each row, one hat with vertical stripes on the sorbet plus orange using two and two pegs, now I am working a horizontal stripes hat with the same orange and sorbet doing three rows of each started with a cuffed brim in the sorbet. I think the next will be a two by two spiral of orange and sorbet.

Gee I hope I have spelled that sorbet right, don't know for sure and am too tired to go running for my bag with the yarn label. Oh well doesn't much matter, it is a very pretty variegated yarn and mixes well with the orange. I think it will also mix well with the pink, blue, and green solid colors I have.

It is kind of surprising how many ways you can mix two colors and have a different look to the mix. I have quite a lot of these to do and I want them to all have their own look so the kids won't have to worry about getting hats mixed up if they are all in the same general area.

I will start to get pictures of them soon.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Checks on Loomed Scarves What to Do

Someone emailed me asking how to do a checked scarf. I had to think a bit on how the best way to do this would be, and came out that you could do it in the round the easiest but it could be done flat. The following is the email I returned to the person who asked the question:

The problem with doing checks for scarves comes in when you want to do those scarves flat.

If you noticed on the checkered hats there are long strands across the inside of the hat. The same thing will happen with scarves. So the stranding looks terrible on a scarf.

You could do the scarf flat and then do another piece or a cloth to back it with to hide the strands, but the best way would be to do a tube scarf in checks.

When you do a tube those strands would be on the inside of the scarf and after the scarf is done you would simply sew the ends to each other to prevent exposure to the inside, or do a fringe.

To do a scarf flat in checks with out strands would mean using multiple skeins of yarns or bobbins.

For each section of color change you would need another bobbin to work that section.

For example with two colors of yarn on a loom that has 24 pegs, using four pegs per color, you would need either three skeins or bobbins or cakes of color A and then three of B.

You would knit four pegs in color 1A (first bobbin/skein), then you would need to drop 1A and pick up 1B knit four drop, pick up 2A knit four drop, Pick up 2B knit four drop, Pick up 3A knit four drop, Pick up 3B knit the last four drop.

You see what is happening. You have multiple strands to work with so that you do not have the stranded section across the back.

You do have to take care when switching colors as there is a way to pick up the next color so there is no gaping at the color changes sections. They have to twist around each other to join the color change points.

Add on: Here is a case of where those permanent rods for bobbin use would come in really handy.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Loom Crafts with Knifty Knitter, by Shannon Erling

This is the first full book of knitting patterns I have seen from the Provo Craft folks. I bought it to be able to help anyone needing help but there are a few things I can get ideas from also. I did a quick review of it for a friend and then thought it might be good to display it here also.

The projects in this book are centered around the oval knifty knitters and the flower loom.

The beginning of the book has a section to help you learn how to use the oval looms as single and double rakes. The following are taught with pictures:

Slip knot
Anchor Peg
Wrapping the loom along with how to keep it loose
Knitting off Variations (this is the common 1 over 1, 1 over 2)
Tube knitting on the oval loom
Panel knitting on the oval loom
Making an I-cord
Ribbed Stitch (this stitch can also be found in Mary Thomas' book on knitting and at Stitches (Pontos) look at the top row forth stitch counting left to right)
Alternated Ribbed Stitch
Increasing and decreasing stitches
How to change colors
Joining new yarn
Gather finish
Mattress finish
Hidden Seams (such as you would use to attach to pieces with live stitches, say for shoulder work)
Glossary and list of looms used in the books projects (ovals, flower loom and pom pom maker)

There are a couple of new things for beginner to some intermediate loom knitters that could be very helpful. Very well put together and very useful.

Babies & Toddlers:

Chick Blanket page 22-24. a darling little afghan with a chicken face corner, a different working on the hooded baby afghan
Winter blanket page 25-27 another hooded afghan with an i-cord edging
Baby's first quilt page 28-30 a cloth and knit combination blanket
Baby bear & baby bear blanket page 31-34 a toy bear and blanket with baby bear head
Toddler sweater page 35-37 this is a hooded sweater with a zipper front
Toy bag page 36-39 a little bag to hold toys

Cuddle up:

Girls Shrug page 42-43 a slip over shrug done tube style, very cute
Scarf and hat page 44-45
Prairie scarf & hat page 46-47
Afghan Shawl page 48-49 a shrug
Mommy & me blanket page 50-53 done in ribbed and alternate ribbed stitch (saw one like this on the internet)
Baseball & basketball pillows page 54--57 tube style with sewing to make look of seams

Let's play:

Broom horse page 60-62 yes the old broomstick horse is back in loom knitting
Pirate costume & boots page 63-65 hat with pirate hair, boots are long slipper type
Fancy dress-up page 66-69 a pointed hat and little short sweater cover up that is attached to dress
Dice with family games page 70-73 square dice and a section of games to play with the dice

Family Crafts:
Journal book cover page 76-77 a book cover
Girls sleepover crafts 78-79 tube scarves and hair scrunchy
Bird marionette page 80-83 a knitted bird hanging from a stick
Worm marionette page 80-83 a worm hanging from a stick (a loom knitted worm like this has also been shown on the internet)
Have a ball crafts page 86-89 small balls with faces and bottle covers (cute for baby bottles except for the ties, they would kind of get in the way of nipples I would think)
Candle or bottle toppers page 90-92 tiny little topper hats, very neat idea

Page 93-94 is a section where you can look quickly at the picture of the projects in the book, this is complete with page to find the project. No having to flip pages to find the one you want.

My overall view of the book is there is nothing new to me, but there are a lot of beginner projects that would be great practice to people just learning to loom knit. There is such a variety of different projects that I would suggest making sure there is more then just one or two that you want to do before purchasing the book.

The section to teach has been well put together and is quick to go through. There are pictures and even though they are not extensive they do well to show the different processes. It is a great little book to help teach beyond the basics of loom knitting.

Unlike the other booklets put out by Provo Crafts this little book will cost you more. This is not a $1.00 booklet. I paid $15 for this one. So be prepared to fork out a few extra dollars for this one. I purchased mine at my local Walmart store.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Want to Do that Little Scarf

Remember when I said that "little scarf" would not be hard to do?

I actually said it was a figure eight on a board/double rake and it would be fast and easy to do.

I posted that you could make this wide or narrow depending on just who you were making it for. We talked about it being about the scarf being from six to eight inches in width and about 24 to 30 inches long.

Those button holes instructions can be found at, very nice instructions and easy tofollow.

Ok with me to this point.

I said the stitch used for that expensive scarf was one of the most common stitches used in knitting on the looms, the e-wrapped stitch.

With me so far?

So we have a knitting board, any knitting board will do, including the inexpensive knifty knitter, we have yarn, you can even get an inexpensive yarn that fakes the cashmere used, now we use the figure eight figure out how many pegs, and knit for XX amount of rows or inches, either add button holes or add buttons that will go through stitches on the larger gauged boards, and wow, we have that scarf.

Want to see it all put together for you?

Then check this out: Click on the picture and open it uplarger. Click on the link to get the pdf file. All mystery gone from "the scarf".

Does that stitch look familiar? It does to me. Now say, "Thanks Isela". You have put together what so many want.