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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Big stitch knitting!

First let me warn you that this is a long post and there are a lot of photos and links!!!
I've recently been inspired by the huge stitched throws and blankets I've seen. I saw the first one on Pinterest and that sparked my interest. Those were knitted using a fiber from Loopy Mango called Big Loop Merino. (photo above) 
To knit a nice size throw you'd need a minimum of 2 of those skeins and they are $198.00 per skein!!! Then there is the matter of the huge knitting needles needed to knit with that super bulky yarn and finding a nice pattern! So, for the next few days I scoured the web trying to get as much information as I could and to see if I could use regular bulky yarn.

There are a few videos on YouTube showing ladies knitting them and there are a few patterns on Ravelry. There's a couple of ladies selling the throws custom-made on Etsy and they are going for upwards of $500.00 Which sounds about right after the cost of the fiber and then the time spent knitting one. Here's some info I found...

THE FIBER:
I found this roving yarn on Etsy for $39.00 a skein. However, you would need 6 or more skeins. Also, I didn't think I'd like using the roving (un-spun wool) to knit with as the throw would shed! Not something you want in a throw you want to cuddle up on the couch in. I don't think that the Big Loop Merino would shed as much but there again, very pricey. There are a few other shops on Etsy selling this type of fiber, just search for big stitch yarns.

My choice was to use Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick. My first try using size 50 circulars was ok, but just not as chunky as I wanted. I'm working on my second throw now and am using 3 strands of Loops and Threads Charisma. I'm also in the process of using Caron One Pound yarn holding 3 strands together and chaining with a size Q hook to make my chunky yarn for my 3rd attempt at a big stitch throw. This is what the pattern designer suggested and so that is what I'm doing. That pattern is called "Lost in You". It's a lot of work but I hope the result will be worth it.

THE HUGE KNITTING NEEDLES:
So, I decided to purchase a pair of size 50 circulars and hold 2 or 3 strands of regular bulky yarn together and see what I thought. Although is wasn't hard using the circulars it was a bit aggravating pushing the stitches back up onto the needle tips from the cord. The stitches would close up a bit on the cord and I'd have to really push and tug to get them back on the wooden needle tips.

So, for my 2nd throw I would need straight size 50 knitting needles. I purchased 2 1” diameter dowels that were 36” in length at Michaels. I purchased 2 little wooden “clay look” pots for the ends. My husband cut both dowels 24” long which left me with 2 12” pieces. He used his electric sander and sanded the long pieces into points on one end and sanded both ends of the 2 12” pieces. The shorter ones I planned to use as my cable needle. I found that just using my fingers was much easier.


He attached the little wooden pots to the ends of the 2 longer pieces with screws and “voila” my long size 50 knitting needles were born! I painted the ends and put a coat of clear glaze on to dress them up a bit. Not bad for about $6 for the set + 2 cable needles to boot. So, I saved $48.00! These were the ones I found on Etsy. 
This is my result in progress using these size 50's. 

For the "Lost in Love" I'm going to need larger needles. The pattern suggested these. But $92.00! Nah, I think I can make my own. A lady on YouTube had made her own, so off I sent my hubby to purchase 1.5" PVC pipe. Here's another lady knitting with huge PVC pipe.

MY PVC PIPE KNITTING NEEDLES:
 Now I used 1.5" PVC pipe. However, the outside diameter is really about 1.75". I'm going to see if they work with my pattern and if not I'll just make me a set using 1" PVC pipe which should be about 1.5" diameter on the outside. Honestly, I think these will be fine. I just wanted you to be aware of the size if you decide to make your own.

I used a Wisk detergent cap for the ends. So my yarn won't slide off. These fit perfectly.
I just slid them on and tapped the ends on the floor. Perfect!

For the tips I used 2 Styrofoam cones.
 I cut 3" from the top with a serrated knife. Just cut as deep as the knife. Not all the way through.
 Now, cut about 3/4" of an inch below that all the way through. I then cut little sections vertical about every 1/2" around and then chiseled that out to look like this.


Both are the same it's just I already had a green one and it's going to be covered up anyway. So, just get whatever color they have.

Next I just carefully sliced away a bit more of the top to be more pointed.

 Then I slid that end into my PVC pipe. I felt like that gave it more stability and strength than just taping the top only on the ends.

 Next I used painter's tape and taped around and around.
 It's feeling very sturdy now! Then I used some white electrical tape which is very stretchy. I wrapped it around and around until I got to the tip.

At the tip I used one piece and cut little snips in it so it would lay smoother.
 After that I used short little pieces to make it a little more smooth. You can see the difference after the shorter pieces are added here. 
Then I just wrapped one more time with the electrical tape from the top back down to the bottom.
 That's it! The ends are much firmer and sturdier than you think they would be. I will let you know once I knit with them but I think they will be just fine!

Here they are in comparison to the smaller size 50 ones I had made using the 1" dowels. I hope I've given you inspiration to make your own huge knitting needles and delve into HUGE knitting. It's really a lot of fun and the result is awesome!
Oh and some have asked if it hurts to knit with these huge needles. Not so much. The hardest part is turning the throw for the next row as the throw gets heavier each row. I sit on the couch to knit and the weight of the knitting is resting on the couch. I'm just moving and working with the ends. Now for these bigger ones I may have to move to a chair with the ends resting on the floor. I'll have to get back to you on that. LOL

Happy HUGE knitting!

" Have a blessed day!"

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I'm offering my Corner 2 Corner dishcloth pattern today only for FREE!
Get yours before midnight tonight!

" Have a blessed day!"

Monday, August 12, 2013

My Spring Showers Cardigan

Irish Spring Cardigan

I recently completed this cardigan called Spring Showers.
I was very pleased with this cardigan. I was used Interlacements Rick Rack in the Irish Heather colorway. The skein has 1200 yards, but I was still afraid I would run out. I did have yarn left over so I could have knit the sleeves a bit longer. However, I’d rather have some left over than to have run out. The pattern was well written and a breeze to knit. I made the 42/44 size and it fit perfectly and is so comfortable to wear. I didn't find it necessary to block it and just wore it as soon as it came off the needles! I definitely want to knit another one for myself and make the sleeves elbow length.

MY MODS:
1: Knit only 6 W&T rows in each wedge section. This gave me less fullness and dropped them a little lower down from the bust.
2: Used the German Short Row method. LOVE this method and will use it from now on.
3: Picked up sleeve stitches with smaller needle
4: Knit only 8 rows on sleeve in the round after sleeve short rows. Then knit edging of sleeve as written.
5: Knit only 15 edging rows. I thought this made edging wide enough.


CHANGES if I knitted this again. I’d add 10-15 extra CO stitches to give a little more length. This would drop where the wedge sections start and drop them down further from the bust line. I would also knit the sleeves longer.

Using my Stitch Minder app on my iPhone made it easy to keep track of short rows while also simultaneously keeping track of full rows.

You can find my Ravelry details here... 

 
" Have a blessed day!"

Friday, May 24, 2013

Blueberry Twirl Skirt

I had been wanting to knit one of these cute little skirts for a while. I finally got around to it and it turned out so adorable. Now, if I just knew a little girl that could model it for me! This is a great way to use up some of that ruffle yarn stash that you have. You can see all of my details at the link below.


" Have a blessed day!"

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Guinevere Shawl





I just finished this gorgeous shawl! 
The pattern is called Guinevere and it turned out even more beautiful than I had imagined. I used Blue Heron Rayon Metallic in the Marshgrass colorway. I was hoping to have enough for 60" in length but only got about 50" in length. This is really plenty and it wraps perfectly around my shoulders. I had planned to seam it like a poncho but decided to keep it as is so I can wear it as a wrap or scarf and I can also use a shawl pin when I want it to stay put. It's 19" wide. My Ravelry notes can be found here


I purchased pre-made flowers to use on the ends from "Card Inspired" on etsy. I had crocheted eight myself on each end, but that took so long and so I decided to purchase some pre-made and they were perfect. Especially when I used the "Little Flowers" yarn to attach them.


Overall I am so pleased with this wrap 
and I'll be looking forward to wearing it!

" Have a blessed day!"

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Entrelac Throw

 I decided in the fall of 2012 to complete all of my WIP's and I did it! However, a few weeks ago I stumbled across one more WIP that I had missed. This throw called "Entrelac Throw". So, I had to put aside what I was knitting on and finish this project up instead. 


When I started this throw back in 2007, (which by the way was the first year I learned to knit) I found the pattern a little difficult and that is probably why I put it away. When I first pulled it out and started knitting on it again I was amazed at how easy the project seemed 6 years later! I am still amazed at how much easier certain knitting projects seem after you get a few years of knitting under your belt.



This was a little smaller in size than I had expected it to be, but I was happy when it finally came to that last square. It's definitely just a lap throw, but oh so pretty. Now a days I don't choose projects that aren't reversible and although the back of this isn't that bad, I do prefer the backside to look just as good as the front. My pickup skills improved over the years, so part of the back is to me a bit on the "ugh" side but it does show that my knitting has much improved. 
 You can find my Ravelry notes here...


That said, if you look closely you'll see a mistake. I did notice it straight away and would have only had to rip back one square, but decided to continue on and call it a design adjustment.
LOL I still like it!




" Have a blessed day!"

Monday, January 21, 2013

Personalized Circle Wrapper Sets

I am so excited to introduce my new Circle Wrapper Sets! These are 3 of the new designs.
Summer Circle Set, Turtle Wash Set and Let it Snow Set

Above is the Summer Circle Set (no background)
The Summer Circle Set comes with or without a background graphic. Photos on the left show it with and without that background graphic.


This is the Summer Circle Set (with background)
Each set has 4 designs and they sell for $3.25 each. I designed these to use on sewn, knitted and crocheted coaster gifts. However, they work well on wrapping dishcloths too! You do have to use a 3" circle punch to cut them out and you can find those at most craft stores and online. 

They print 4 to a page and using your punch upside down you center the graphic and then punch! They print with tiny dots at each edge to show you where to punch a hole/slit for your ribbon. you can use a small hole punch or slot punch. You can even use an exacto knife to cut a slit. Use ribbon, yarn or twine to tie the wrapper on and tie in a knot or bow on the back.

You can also bling them up with gems, glitter or ink the edges for that rustic look. 


You could also print them on colored paper for a different look. 

I like to punch a 3" circle out of card stock and adhere that to the back before punching the side slits for extra stability. Or, just print them on card stock! 
These will be up for sale today at my ArtFire Shop or at my Etsy store!

Click below to see photos of all the sets at my PhotoBucket story...

Personalized Circle Wrappers

  

  " Have a blessed day!"