Thursday, December 31, 2015

What's on my needles (week 96)


Thank you, everyone, for a great year 2015

Let's see what we can get up to in 2016 

Is knitting one of your New Year's resolutions?

Perhaps 2016 will be the year when you learn how to knit 

or improve your skills 

or learn a new technique. 


I just made a list of projects I want to tackle next year. 

I don't intend to strictly stick with it as I know from this year that a few projects were added as the year went along and some have still not been started, because I lost interest at least for now or I simply ran out of time.  

Here is a slide show of all the projects I have knitted up during 2015.  The pattern names are next to each picture.  Perhaps there is some inspiration in there for you.  Let me know if you want the link to a specific pattern and I will e-mail it to you.
There are 52 projects in all, but bear in mind that a few had been started the year before and a lot of them are small; for example the washcloths...


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

What's on my needles (week 95)

Merry Christmas

Two days to Christmas and you realize that you forgot someone on your list; what to do??


One option would be to rush out and buy something, but do you really want to go to those crowded shops (unless it is your local friendly neighborhood store) when you have another option:  Stay at home, look through your stash and knit up something special. You can always make some pretty washcloths (see my post from a couple of weeks ago: gift idea # ? )

Another project idea which is fairly quick to knit up are cup cozies.  
They are fun and keep the beverage hot just a little longer.  Here are links to two free patterns I recently knitted up:
Click here for my project notes on ravelry: Strickliese's Cabled Mug Cozy

Hug Me Mug Cozy by Yarnspirations (just click on the X when their advertisement comes up) 
Click here for my project notes on ravelry:  Strickliese's Hug Me Mug Cozy

Thursday, December 17, 2015

What's on my needles (week 94)

This week I want to share a little trick.  

I am always happy when I figure out how to eliminate a step and not only get a project done faster, but also looking better.  For example doing a three-needle-bind-off instead of binding off two pieces and then seaming them.
In this three minute video I show you how, when it came to binding off a second layer to my button band, I used Elizabeth Zimmerman's sewn bind off while at the same time seaming it to the inside of the cardigan.
Try it in your next project  :)

 And as always:  HAPPY KNITTING !

Thursday, December 10, 2015

What's on my needles (week 93)

Featured finished project of this week is my latest store sample:

Baby Sophisticate by Linden Down

This is a seamless raglan constructed cardigan with a shawl collar. 
This pattern is free on ravelry for sizes 0-3 months and 6-12 months.  
There is a paid version for sizes up to child size 10 for $6.50.
Here is a link to the free pattern on ravelry: Baby Sophisticate free 
And the paid version (also on ravelry): Baby and Child Sophisticate

I used a heavy worsted weight yarn from Maine :  Peace Fleece Pyho Mnpa 75/25.
This is a 75% Merino, 25% Mohair blend yarn and comes in many lovely colors. I like it especially for an outer garment such as this baby jacket.  You only need one skein for size 6 months to 1 year.
The yarn comes in many beautiful colors and is a steal at $13 per 200yard skein.  I used the color "Blueberry Borsht". 

While knitting this baby jacket, I used one of the beautiful Fringe Bags we sell at the shop. It is constructed in a heavy canvass and has several inside pockets for your notions.  It also has a total of three grommets inside to feed your yarn through.  This is great especially for color work or two-at-a- time work.  I did knit up the sleeves both at the same time pulling yarn from the outside and the inside of the ball as I was not sure if I had enough yarn (I did have enough).  It is like having a mobile yarn bowl and yes, you can make up containers with holes in the lid or a binder clip to pull the yarn through to avoid tangled messes, but nothing beats the real thing; trust me on that!  The bag is the perfect size and closes with a draw string.  It has an additional leather strap handle on the side for easy carrying or to hang it up while knitting. 
At $63 each it is something you may want to put on your wish list.  It is the perfect gift for any knitter. 
I fed scrap yarn through the sleeve stitches in the row before I had to join the body..

..this made it easy to just "drop" the underarm stitches and join the body in the following row.
I picked up the sleeve stitches onto two circular needles to knit them at the same time

To bind off the collar I used Elizabeth Zimmerman's Easy Sewn Bind-off for the just right and stretchy fit.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

What's on my needles (week 92)

Gift idea #?

I have been "mass-producing" these wash cloths.  This is an easy and easy to remember pattern which is free on ravelry, but I am writing it out here for you, too.
Paired with a nice bar of soap, it makes the perfect easy yet personal gift for teachers, friends etc (don't forget to make a few for yourself.
I have been using "Lily Sugar'n Cream" as well as some left-over Pisgah Peaches and Cream (it feels good to use up some stash!!!) and Knit One, Crochet Too Ty-Dy Cotton (again from stash, left from a summer top) on US# 8 needles and some solid white wash cloths in Cascade Yarns UltraPima Cotton on US#6.
The washcloth is knitted flat with short rows and then seamed together.
Here are some pictures of wash cloths finished in various stages:


 And this is the pattern:

The Almost Lost Washcloth  pattern by Julie Tarsha 

Cast on 14 stitches
Row 1: knit to the end (14 sts)
Row 2: k 4, YO, knit to two stst before the end, turn
Row 3: knit all 13 sts
Row 4: k 4, YO, knit to two sts before the previous "gap"(four sts remain on the left needle) turn.
Row 5: knit to the end of row (12 sts)
Row 6: k 4, YO, knit to two sts before previous "gap" (six sts remain on the left needle), turn.
Row 7: knit to the end of row (11 sts)
Row 8: k4, YO, knit to two sts before previous "gap" (eight sts remein on the left needle), turn.
Row 9: knit to the end of the row (10 sts)
Row 10: BO four sts, knit to the end of the row.  You should have 14 sts on your needle.

Repeat rows 1 to 10 fourteen times.  You will have fourteen points.  Bind off loosely and seam the edges together using the mattress stitch.  Use a running stitch to run  along the edge of the middle circle and pull tight.  Weave in all ends and voilà, you are done!

 And check out AL Stickle's Variety store in Rhinebeck for some special soaps.