Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Stretchy Bind- Offs

Stretchy Bind Offs

Stretchy Bind Offs most suited for socks:
  • ·         Lace Bind Off, aka Russian, Purl Two Together
  • ·         Elastic Bind Off
  • ·         Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off 
This is my favorite and the one I am teaching in the Class.

Other Stretchy Bind Offs:
  • ·         Yarnover Bind Off
  • ·         Suspended Bind Off
  • ·         Icelandic Bind Off
You may find youtubes  videos for all these bind offs.

Here are step by step instructions for Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off:
To work this bind off, you will first process each stitch and then bind off in the traditional manner.

Processing a Knit Stitch:
1.       Work a reverse yarnover.
2.       Knit one stitch.
3.       Pull the YO over the knit stitch.

Processing a Purl Stitch:
1.       Work a yarnover ending with the yarn in the front.
2.       Purl one stitch.
3.       Pull the YO over the purl stitch.

Binding off:
Process each of the first two stitches then pull the first stitch over the second stitch.
Process the next stitch and again pull the first stitch on your right hand needle over the second one as in a traditional bind off.  Continue this last step until all stitches are bound off.

NOTE:  In order not to get a jug between the last stitch and the first stitch when binding off in the round, pull your last loop to a length of about 3” (6” total) and cut in the center of this loop.  You will have the tail of the working yarn come through the center of the last stitch.  Thread your darning needle with this yarn tail and go under the two legs of the first stitch bound off and then back through the center of the last stitch.  This bridges the gap between the last and first bound off stitch.  Last  weave in the end.

This handout is part of a Sock Knitting Class by Doris Formby.
For more information on this or other classes contact me at

Friday, April 15, 2016

Spruce up your home

With Coasters!!!

What's on my needles (week 109) 

I wanted a quick and fun project and thought about how to improve one of our every day household items.
  • We use coasters all the time and have very pretty ones; even a set of coasters with scenes from Formby, UK.   BUT so often they stick to the wet underside of the cup, then fall off.
  •  So, I thought to myself:  what better way to improve life than knitting a set of coasters.
 I decided on using Lily Sugar 'n Cream cotton in the colors Ecru, Country Green and Guacamole.  The last one is a multi color yarn.  
And I decided on using a different pattern for each coaster.  Some are knitted and some are crochet and none take longer than a few hours max. (Instant gratification!!!)

I found the first pattern in the latest issue of Interweave Knits (Spring 2016), I found others on ravelry and others still are actually dishcloth patterns which I adjusted to a smaller size.  All coasters are approximately 5" in diameter.  Find the link to my ravelry notes and from there to the pattern underneath each picture.

Let me know if you have a favorite dishcloth or coaster pattern.  I am looking to expand my collection to be ready for a larger gathering :)
Park Lane Coaster
Super Fast Coaster

The almost Lost Coaster
Spring Flower Dishcloth

I-Cord Coaster

Yet Another Coaster


Friday, April 8, 2016

1/2 foot of snow in April! What to do?

Knitting, of course (and keeping calm and drinking tea).

What's on my needles week 108

I cannot say that I was not warned that snow would be coming.  Even last Friday my local library director asked me if I was ready for Winter.  Winter in April?  And then we had 1/2 foot of snow, yes, that's not much considering how much we usually get in Upstate New York, but after such a mild Winter and since it is April and the daffodils and forsythias are out and Friday the temperatures were in the upper 70's...

Well, it took me by surprise, but not unprepared.  I am never unprepared when it comes to the chance of staying home :  There is always knitting!

Sunday I managed to finally finish my cardigan.  After the designer was so kind and updated the pattern there was not much more to do to finish it and it came out really nice.
The patternTullamore Cardigan by Emily Ringelman   It is knitted in pieces and then seamed which gives it a nice fit.  I am surprised that not more people have knitted this one. So far only 11 projects were posted on ravelry.  The pattern is available on ravelry for $6.50
The yarn:  I used Elsebeth Lavolt Silky Wool which was in the Stickles Clearance bin last Fall (there are some good finds in there).
My pattern notes: You can find my pattern notes following this link:
 And finally the pictures:  

Tullamore Cardigan
Tullamore Cardigan

Monday's snow was a little more unexpected, but I started a new project, the Hitofude Cardigan, which has been on my "to-do list" since a while.  I will make a few changes in the upper body and no sleeves (more like a summer vest), but will definitely keep the flow and increases of the lower body.
I am using the Shibui Linen Yarn.  I had used it a few years back for the "Liesel" which is a store sample at The Knitting Garage.  Since then I have been thinking  what I could make out of the yarn for myself.  I like the weight of the linen, the crisp feel and drape.

humble beginnngs

Friday, April 1, 2016

Sunset over Rhinebeck

A picture is worth a thousand words

What's on my needles (week 107) 

So, THIS is the shawl everybody is talking about :)


                   This pattern is written for three sizes SMALL 55"x 15", MEDIUM 71"x 18" and LARGE 79"x 20".  The shawl in these pictures is the small size with just one skein of yarn 437 yards.

The yarn: Cascade Heritage Wave  This yarn has a beautiful long color run with gradient color changes.  It comes in many great colors.  Featured shawl used the color 502 "solar".

Needles:  US# 6 needles

And since there seems so much interest, I am offering a class to help you get started:



I will be giving a one hour class Saturday April 2nd, 9th and 16th (the next three Saturdays).  You can choose between a morning or afternoon session.  
Morning sessions 10:30-11:30am, Afternoon Sessions 2:30-3:30pm.  
I will assist you to cast on , read the pattern, show you how to do the picot edging and explain how to block your finished shawl.  Cost for the 1 hour class: $20.   
The yarn ($14 per skein) and pattern ($5) are extra.
No prior sign-up needed, but classes are limited to a maximum of three. 
This is a beginners class suited for those who have never knitted lace before. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Easter musings

  What's on my needles (week 106)

Happy Easter, Happy Spring!

I hope everyone is enjoying the warmer weather and pretty Spring flowers which are coming up everywhere.

I was so happy to see a patch of daffodils under my kitchen window already. It made my heart "sing".

I had another experience during the past week which made me very happy. I realized (not for the first time) how lucky I am to be part of a community of knitters.

In my experience (for the most part) knitters look beyond themselves and simply help each other to get the project done. It does not seem to matter where they are from.  I have sought help through ravelry from knitters from many other countries, countries I may never travel to in person but to whose citizens I share a common bond by our shared love for a craft and desire to create something beautiful in an otherwise unstable world. Especially looking at recent World events, it is important to know that within this world lies another in which people do look beyond nationality, race and religion. Small side-note:  Duesseldorf where I grew up is only 120 miles from me events literally hit close to home...

Even on a smaller scale (as I experienced in several jobs) competition which in itself is not bad, is often used in greed and misuse of control.  But that is not my experience with other knitters.

As Spring is full of promise of new beginnings, I feel that I want to try and be better at sharing and helping. Perhaps we can make this world a better place one baby-step at a time.

But enough of my philosophical musings and on to my actual experiences.
Remember the cardigan "Tullamore" I am working on? I was stuck when I got to the front-panels' arm and neck decreases. I was supposed to be left with 18 sts for the shoulders, but the math did not work out. Luckily I did the math before knitting and ended up writing to the designer Emily Ringelman. She was incredibly gracious about it and corrected the pattern. Here is some of the correspondence:
  • Ok, I figured it out. You are totally right- there will be 18 sts left when all shaping is complete. Somehow, I uploaded the incorrectly tech-edited version of the pattern to Ravelry. I have no idea how no one has pointed this out to me before. I’ve corrected the pattern and am about to upload the proper version now. You’ll get an email from Ravelry that the pattern has been updated and is available for download.
    So sorry… I try very hard to make sure my patterns are error-free, but as humans, that’s not always what happens.
    I hope you love your cardigan when it’s finished!
    The pattern is beautiful. Check it out for yourself here: Tullamore Cardigan I am hoping to finish this over the weekend; so looking forward to be wearing it! 

    The other pattern I had found some minor errors in is the "Ethereal Wrap" by Evelyn A. Clark. This is a free pattern by Skacel and I had knitted the wrap in Cascade Heritage Wave. I never even contacted the designer, but received this lovely text: 
    • Hello! I wanted to thank you for the notes that you made on your pattern. We are currently fixing the mistakes and will a new version will be attached to the link next week. So sorry for any confusion that the pattern has caused but again, thank you.
    Happy Knitting.
    -Brooke @ Skacel
     The pattern can be found here: Ethereal Wrap 
  • Let us work together to make this world a better place one step (stitch) at a time.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Socks in progress

What's on my needles (week 105)

Progress Report

Everybody who is participating in my Sock knitting class managed to finish their toes.  This week we were busy measuring and re-measuring both the width and length of everyone's feet to make sure the socks will fit just right.  Here are pictures of the beginnings:

Annie's socks knit in "Frolicking Feet" by Done Roving

Betty is using "Madeline Tosh Light" and is planning to knit the cable pattern
Dale is using the "Amiente" by Schoppel

Elise is using " Das Paar" by Schoppel

Gerrie is knitting her socks in the beautiful "Hedgehog Sock Yarn" color Sour cherry

Kyra's socks using "Single Disk Cat Print" by Schoppel

And the two pairs of socks I am working on:

Cabled socks in the "Wildfoote" by Brown Sheep

Self-striping socks in "Heritage Prints" by Cascade
Some statistics:  I have knitted 15 pairs of socks in the last 5 years; these are pair #16 and #17.  
Five of the fifteen pairs I knitted with the FLK heel construction which we are using in this class.

So, dear students and fellow knitters, this is important to remember when you get discouraged :)
Keep going; it will get easier <3

Friday, March 11, 2016

How to knit 2-at-a-time

What's on my needles (week 104)

The Sock Knitting Class which started this week is off to a good start.

Everybody got their socks cast on and is working on the toe increases.
Working both socks at the same time seems daunting (hopefully just at first), but is so worth it:  
  • Your two socks are guaranteed to be the same length.
  • You won't have that second sock syndrome trying to count rows and making sure to knit up a replica of the first sock.  
  • Also, working toe-up two at the time, you know how much yarn you have for the cuff.  You won't be running out of yarn while knitting the foot and could make the cuff a little shorter or finish it with a different yarn. 
If you missed signing up for this class:  I will offer this class again in September.

I don't want to give away too many secrets, but here is a look at how to knit two socks at a time on two circular needles without getting your yarn tangled up:

Set-up:  Keep your yarn for sock #1 next to you on your right and keep your yarn for sock #2 next to you on your left.

Step 1:  Knit across the first half of the first sock.
Step 2:  Using your second ball of yarn knit across the first half of your second sock.

TURN YOUR WORK ANTI- CLOCKWISE  (your yarn will be criss-crossed for the second half of your round).

Step 3:  Knit across the second half of the second sock.
Step 4:  Using your first ball of yarn knit across the second half of your first sock.

TURN YOUR WORK CLOCKWISE (your yarn is no longer tangled and you are ready for the next round).

I will post some pictures of everybody's progress next week.

A new store sample

After having knit the Ethereal Shawl in the Cascade Heritage Wave, I am now knitting up a shawl for the store in the same yarn.  This shawl is crescent shaped and shows off the subtle color changes really well. 
The pattern I am using for this comes in three sizes and just one skein will make the smallest size (55"x 15").

The pattern is available on ravelry for about $5 and here is the link to the pattern:  Pebble Beach Shawl

about 15% finished