Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mitten Knitting Tips

Caring for your mittens

Hand wash mittens in cool water with gentle wool wash. Do not rub or wring. Squeeze out excess water, then spin in washing machine or roll in towels to remove rest of water. Lay garment flat to dry out of direct sunlight and shape to original measurements.

Knitting Tips

Fair Isle mittens are funtional as well as warm, and beautiful.
Try using wooden needles instead of metal. Wooden needles are less slipery, the wooden needles will grip your stitches better.
You can bind off Fair Isle mittens with a 3 needle bind off from the inside.
The easiest way to knit Fair Isle mittens is to use 4 needles, and devide your stitches evenly onto 4 needles.
Using 5 DPN's will help to avoid ladders.
When choosing colors for your mittens, make sure that there's enough contrast between the background colors and the pattern color so the pattern doesn't get lost.
Carry the strands of unused color loosely in the back of the project.
If you carry the yarn, that is not in use to tightly, you will have puckers.
Loose stitches can be tightened, but it is almost impossible to loosen stitches that are to tight, and they will cause puckering on the right side of your project, and may even affect the fit.
To help you keep your place on the chart, use a magnetic board or a piece of sticky note paper to mark the row you're working, This makes it easier to follow the chart. You can move it up as you finish each row. The reason for placing the marker above the row you are working on, is so that you can see how it fits with with what you have already knit.
You can also make a working copy of your chart and inlarge it, so you can make your own personal notes on the pattern, this will alo help you follow along better.
The key to organizing your yarn, is to keep one ball on your right side, and the other color on your left side. You should hold the main color in which ever hand you feel the most comfortable.
Putting your ball of yarn in a bowl, so that it can roll around in the bowl, may prevent twisting of your yarn.
I like to use a ribbed cuff on my mittens, because the rib is more snug, and very elastic. Your ribbing can be shortened or lengthened, to make the mitten perfect for you.
If your mitten does not fit perfectly, washing and blocking the mitten can change the size. I always block my wool Folk mittens.
Felted wool is warmer, and more water repellent.

Kitchener Stitch

I use the Kitchener Stitch to graft the lives stitches together in my Folk Mitten Patterns.
Using the Kitchener Stitch, you will be able to seam the live stitches together invisibly.
You need to make sure that the two pieces you are grafting together have the same number of stitches. Then you will
create a row of stitches with your sewing needle.
1) Draw your yarn through the very first stitch on the front needle as if to purl, and leave it on the needle.
2) Draw your yarn through the first stitch on the back needle as if to knit, and leave it on the needle.
These first 2 steps are only done once.
3) Pull the yarn through the first stitch on the front needle, as if to knit, and slip it off of the end of the needle.
4) Pull the yarn through the next stitch on the front needle as if to purl and leave the stitch on the needle.
5) Pull the yarn through the first stitch on the back needle as if to purl, and slip it off of the needle.
6) Pull the yarn through the second stitch on the back needle as if to knit, and leave this stitch on the needle.
Repeat rows 3 through 6 until you have all of your stitches grafted together. Then weave in your yarn ends on the inside of your mitten.
Just remember Knit, Purl, Purl, Knit while grafting the stitches on your mitten, and you will have a beautifully finished mitten.

Blocking Folk Mittens

Either water or steam is used in the blocking process. Once your mitten is completed, the blocking is done. Blocking will help adjust, and reshape both the length and width of your mitten. Both of your mittens should be identical. Blocking will ensure proper size and fit of your mitten.
Your mitten can be dunked in cool water until completely saturated before shaping. Steam can also be used by pinning the mitten to the correct measurements, then using a steam iron held above the mitten to steam it into shape. Don't let the iron touch your mitten because the natural fibers can be scorched, and man made fibers will be ruined.
Which ever method you decide to use, it is important that the mitten should dry completely.
After blocking your mitten it should still have texture, and life. It should not be blocked to the point where the stitches are lifeless and flat.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Knitting Poem from 1887

Knittng Poem From 1887.A Stocking In Rhyme
To knit a stocking, needles four, Cast on three needles and no more; Each needle stitches eight and twenty. Then one for seam stitch will be plenty. For twenty rounds your stitch must be Two plain, two purl alternately. Except the seam stitch which you do Once purl, once plain, the whole way through. A finger plain you next must knit, Ere you begin to narrow it; But if you like the stocking long, Two fingers' length will not be wrong. And then the narrowings to make, Two stitches you together take Each side the seam; then eight rounds plain, Before you narrow it again. Ten narrowings you'll surely find Will shape the stocking to your mind; Then twenty rounds knit plain must be, And stitches sixty-five you'll see.
These just in half you must divide, With thirty-two on either side; But on one needle there must be Seam stitch in middle, thirty-three. One half on needles two you place, And leave alone a little space; The other with the seam in middle, To manage right is now my riddle. Backward and forward you must knit, And always purl the backward bit; But seam stitch, purl and plain, you know, And slip the first stitch every row. When thirty rows you thus have done, Each side the seam knit two in one Each third row, until sure you feel That forty rows are in your heel.
You then begin the heel to close; For this, choose one of the plain rows; Knit plain to seam, then two in one, One plain stitch more must still be done. Then turn your work, purl as before The seam stitch -- two in one, one more; Then turn again, knit till you see Where first you turned, a gap will be.Across it knit together two, And don't forget on plain to do; Then turn again, purl as before, And sew till there's a gap no more.
The seam stitch you no longer mind, That, with the heel, is left behind. When all the heel is quite closed in, To knit a plain row you begin, And at the end you turn no more, But round and round knit as before. For this, on a side needle take The loops the first slip-stitches make; With your heel needle knit them plain, To meet the old front half again. This on one needle knit should be, And then you'll have a needle free To take up loops the other side, And knit round plain, and to divide The back parts evenly in two; Off the heel needle some are due;
Be careful that you count the same. On each back needle, knit round plain; But as the foot is much too wide, Take two together at each side, On the back needle where they meet The front to make a seam quite neat Each time between knit one plain round, Till stitches sixty-four are found; And the front needle does not lack As many as on both the back.
You next knit fifty-six rounds plain, But do not narrow it again; 'Twill then be long enough, and so Begin to narrow for the toe. Your long front row knit plainly through, But at its end knit stitches twoTogether and together catch Two first in the next row to match; Then to the other side knit plain Half round, and do the same again; That is , two last together catch, Two first in the front row to match.
At first knit four plain rounds between, Then two, then one, until 'tis seen You've knit enough to close the toe; And then decrease in every row, Until to stitches eight you're brought, Then break the thread off -- not too short-- And as these stitches eight you do, Each time your end of thread pull through.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Norwegain Blessing

May da ruts always fit da wheels of your pickup.

May yur ear muffs always keep out the nort wind.

May da sun shine varm on yur lefse.

May da rain fall soft on your lutefisk.

And until ve meet again, may da good Lord protect
ya from any and all unnecessary uffdas.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Basic Mitten Pattern

Basic Knit Mitten Pattern

Mitten measures 10 inches long.
From beginning of cuff to tip of mitten.
It is 7 inches around.

Materials 200 yards of worsted weight yarn
                a set of 4 size 5 DPN
                piece of waste yarn

Gauge 6 stitches per inch
            7 rows per inch

Cast on 44 stitches. Divide onto 3 needles.
14 sts on needle 1
14 sts on needle 2
16 sts on needle 3
Join, and work k2, p2 ribbing for 3 inches. 3 inches makes a nice long cuff.

Decrease round - decrease 2 sts in the round. Knit all stitches around.
You will have 42 stitches on your needles now. 14 stitches on each needle.
Knit every round for 4 rounds.

Thumb Gore
to make the gore increases knit into the front and back of the stitch.
1st increase - increase 1 stitch in the first stitch, k1, increase 1 stitch in the next stitch,
Knit to end of round. 44 stitches
Knit 2 rounds even.

2nd increase - increase 1 stitch in the first stitch, knit 3, increase 1 stitch in the next stitch,
knit to end of round. 46 stitches.
Knit even for 2 rounds.

Continue increasing in this manner until you have 54 stitches on your needles.
26 stitches on needle 1
14 stitches on needle 2
14 stitches on needle 3
knit 2 rounds even.

Slip the 15 thumb stitches from needle 1 onto a piece of scrap yarn.
Next round knit all stitches, at end of this round, cast on 3 stitches.
for a total of 42 stitches.
Knit mitten even until it measures 6 inches above the cuff.
Next round knit 2 together twice, knit rest of round.

1st decrease round - k2, k2tog, around.
knit even for 3 rounds. 30 stitches.

2nd decrease round - k1, k2tog, around.
knit even for 3 rounds. 20 stitches

3rd decrease k2tog around.
Break off yarn, and draw through all stitches.
Weave in ends.

Slip the 15 stitches that you have on hold on the scrap yarn onto
2 needles. Pick up the 3 cast on stitches.
Arrange your stitches so that you have 6 stitches on each needle. 18 stitches
Knit the thumb even for 2 inches - from the cast on edge where you picked
up the 3 stitches.

Thumb decrease
1st decrease round - k1, k2tog around.
knit 2 rounds even. 12 stitches

2nd decrease - k2tog around.
Break off yarn and draw through all stitches.
Weave ends in.
Make your 2nd mitten in the same manner.

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Read more about it at,1710,154166-224197,00.html
Content Copyright © 2011 - All rights reserved.
1 3/4 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 egg
2 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine ingredients. Roll into balls, roll balls in sugar. Bake on cookie sheet at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Top with chocolate Kiss immediately upon removal from oven.