Creations, Ornaments, Ramblings, Random Topics, Tips & Tutorials

Fun with Yarn Scraps!

Scraps3.png

So, I really wanted to do something fun with all of my yarn scraps other than dumping them on my cat!

I have a vague memory of seeing someone mix all of their scraps with ModPodge and creating a yarn bowl which looked awesome!  I live in a small downtown apartment so surface space is at a premium, wall space however, is still available!

I mixed a pile of my scraps with a small container of ModPodge and spread the messy mix onto a sheet of wax paper. I then covered the entire surface with plastic wrap (wax paper would work too, but I had run out).  I covered the whole surface with heavy books and left it for a few hours and then removed the plastic.  After leaving it to dry over night, I flipped my creation over, peeled of the wax paper and left it for a few more hours for the back to dry, and here is my finished piece of modern art!

Scraps

Scraps2

The finished effect is just what I was hoping for and whenever I look at it, I am reminded of various projects I completed using some of the yarns!

I still have an entire bin of scraps left so I will have to come up with some more plans of how to use them, any ideas anyone?

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Accessories, Creations, Original Patterns, Ramblings, Random Topics, Tips & Tutorials

Fair Isle Cowl

FairIsle
This cowl is the first step on my path to improve my fair isle skills which was one of my  goals for 2017. While pursuing this goal, I realized that I had never actually studied the process but had just blindly followed the habits passed on to me by my mother and other knitters I have known.  I have always twisted my yarns at the back of the row at every colour change as I was taught and could never understand why my fair isle looked so much lumpier than others!

I purchased Melissa Leapman’s book “Mastering Color Knitting” from Amazon recently, and found a few good resources at my local library also. Here are some of the hints I picked up:

1. Yarn tension is extremely important! Fairly obvious of course, but the idea that tension was greatly affected by dropping one colour whenever you begin to work with the next colour was new to me.  Keeping a consistent tension requires holding both colours at all times; one in each hand, both in the left hand, or both in the right hand, whichever feels most comfortable. I found that holding both in my right hand works for me.

2. It  is important to be consistent with the position of the strands of the yarns. Whichever colour you wish to appear dominant should be carried below the other yarn and this positioning should remain the same throughout. This also creates much more even, smooth floats on the reverse side.  In the past, I have paid absolutely no attention to the position of the yarns and am quite amazed at the difference it makes!

3. Carry your floats evenly and loosely across the back of your work.  I knew that this was important, but always felt that if I allowed my floats to be loose, my stitches would also look too loose and therefore had a tendency to pull my yarns too tight creating a puckered look.  Try spreading out the stitches where you are carrying your yarns to help create a looser float.

4. Most of the resources I used suggesting not carrying your yarn more than 1″ across the back of your work. I had always believed that it was a hard and fast rule to only allow 3 stitches before catching in the yarn being carried. When a longer float is necessary, don’t twist the yarns, just catch in the yarn being carried, bringing it under the working yarn on a knit row and over the working yarn on a purl row.

I don’t consider my fair isle improvement journey at an end just yet, this project was just the beginning!  My true test will be to try a much more intricate pattern with a finer yarn which I have planned for “M is for Mitten” in my “A” to “Z” Knitting Challenge!

Stay tuned…..

Tips & Tutorials

I have overcome my fear of Entrelac!!

The last step is a row of triangles, completed as follows;
With right side facing, pick up 9 stitches for a total of 10.
Slip 1, P9, turn, K9 ssk, turn
Slip 1, P7, P2tog, turn, K8, ssk, turn
Slip 1, P6, P2tog, turn, K7, ssk, turn
Slip 1, P5, P2tog, turn, K6, ssk, turn
Slip 1, P4, P2tog, turn, K5, ssk, turn
Slip 1, P3, P2tog, turn, K4, ssk, turn
Slip 1, P2, P2tog, turn, K3, ssk, turn
Slip 1, P1, P2tog, turn, K2, ssk, turn
Slip 1, P2tog, turn, K1, ssk, turn
P2tog, turn, ssk, do not turn. Leave the remaining stitch on the right hand needle.

EntrelacFinalTriangle

Continue reading “I have overcome my fear of Entrelac!!”

Tips & Tutorials

Overcoming my fear of Entrelac – Part 5

The next stage is probably the easiest, as all you are doing is creating 4 rectangles.  Start by picking up 9 sts along the edge of the right triangle just completed.  You are picking up only 9 sts because you already have one stitch from the previous section.  If you are changing colours for this section, join the new colour on the first of these 9 stitches and leave the 1 stitch in the previous colour. This will not be noticeable once you complete the next row or two.

Turn so that the wrong side is facing.

Slip 1, P9. Turn. K9, ssk. Turn.
Repeat this step 9 times.
Slip 1, P9. Turn. K9, ssk.
Don’t turn..

For the next rectangle pick up 10sts along the edge of the rectangle from the first row of rectangles
then follow the steps above until you have all four rectangles complete! Now you can really start to see the woven effect!

EntrelacRectangle6EntrelacRectangle5

Continue reading “Overcoming my fear of Entrelac – Part 5”

Tips & Tutorials

Overcoming my fear of Entrelac – Part 4

Now that the left side triangle is complete it’s time to start the first rectangle.

With the wrong side facing pick up and purl 10 stitches along the edge of the last triangle in the beginning row of triangles.

Turn the work so the right side is facing and work the first rectangle:
Slip 1, K9, turn.
P9, p2tog, turn.
Repeat the above two steps 9 times.
Slip 1, K9, turn. P9, p2tog.
Don’t turn.

Repeat this step for the other rectangles, picking up 10 sts along the edge of the next triangle in the row of initial triangles, and repeating the steps above.

Continue reading “Overcoming my fear of Entrelac – Part 4”

Tips & Tutorials

Overcoming my fear of Entrelac – Part 3

Creating the rectangles (not quite yet)!

I couldn’t quite resist adding a second colour for this step, nothing like making things even more difficult!

What I didn’t realize until I got started is that there is actually another step before creating the first row of rectangles – the left side triangle!

Here’s how the triangle is created:

P2, turn. K1, m1, k1, turn.
P2, p2tog, turn. K2, m1, k1, turn.
P3, p2tog, turn. K3, m1, k1, turn.
P4, p2tog, turn. K4, m1, k1, turn.
P5, p2tog, turn. K5, m1, k1, turn.
P6, p2tog, turn. K6, m1, k1, turn.
P7, p2tog, turn. K7, m1, k1, turn.
P8, p2tog, turn. K8, m1, k1, turn.
P9, p2tog. Don’t turn.

All of the patterns I found indicated to knit the first stitches after each turn following the P2tog, which I did for the first few rows. Then I decided to try slipping the first stitch after each turn. I did this for the last few rows and I found it gave a much neater edge.

entrelactriangle

Once again, this was much less intimidating than expected and I am starting to get quite excited about the process.  Next step, rectangles!