Sunday, October 2, 2011

Twin Rib Baby Cap

As mentioned, earlier today, I'm knitting purple baby caps (to see why look here). So, to add some variety, I came up with a pattern :)

I love the twin rib stitch pattern because it is very stretchy, yet looks wonderful even if the stretch isn't needed. The top crown is decreased to create a ribbed star pattern on the top but I'm still playing around with it to have it decrease 'in pattern' since I prefer a universal look to a hat, rather than a slanted or plain crown. I'm likely going to update the pattern with child sizes (skull caps)
NOTE: Aug 25, 2012 - edited to add Gauge/Finished size - oops! Sorry about forgetting that...



Yarn: Loops & Threads Snuggly Wuggly Baby Sport
Needles: size 3mm dpns
GAUGE: 30st to 4" in pattern flat - ie unstretched

Size for newborn
Finished size: 5" wide flat - ie unstretched by 5+" high

Twin Rib Pattern:
row 1: k3, p3 to end of row
row 2: k1, p1 to end of row

Abbreviations:
K = knit
p = purl
Sl2k = slip two stitches as if to knit together
Sl2p = slip two stitches purlwise
psso = pass slipped stitches over stitch just worked

Pattern:
Cast on 72 stitches
Join in round (careful not to twist!!)
K3, P3 for 6 rows

Follow Twin Rib Pattern for 4" (27 rows) ending with a row 1

Decreases for Crown:row 1: (K3, sl2p, p1, psso) repeat to end of round
row 2: k1, p1 to end of round
row 3: k3, p1 to end of round
row 4: (sl2k, k1, psso, p1) repeat to end of round
row 5: k1, p1 to end of round
row 6: (sl2k, k1, psso) to end of round

Break off yarn, thread through remaining stitches, draw to a close & weave in ends.

Purple baby hats

Our local children's bookstore (Tall Tales Books) hosted a Knit-In on Saturday for anyone to drop in, have tea, and knit or crochet purple newborn hats in support of Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome - the Period of Purple Crying. In the month of November, babies born in BC hospitals will receive a purple baby hat in an annual campaign to educate new parents that babies will cry during this period...a lot...

There will be another Knit In on Saturday Oct 15th, but if you can't make the Knit-In, you can help by knitting (or crocheting) hats and dropping them off at the store anytime before Oct 19th. If you aren't in Victoria (or even in BC), there are other locations listed on the National website

I've already knit a few of these patterns below, including a pamphlet I received from the Welcome Wagon baby shower 6 years ago...

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/basic-newborn-hat
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/little-cables-hat

Need more ideas?

Yeah, I got bored knitting the same hats over & over....so I came up with this - I'll post the pattern later this week


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Friday, June 10, 2011

FInishing Thoughts

A lace scarf in the process of being blocked.Image via WikipediaLast evening was the twitter #knitchat, and the topic was regarding Finishing - (You can see the topic questions here) Soon the list of tips will be posted by @cloudynatknits so watch for them :)

Being a 140 character chat in only one hour with a dozen or so knitters - we could venture off into any number of side topics, following thorugh on all the issues like weaving in ends, button holes, blocking, sewing, etc...but we did do a fair job of sharing tips with one another.

So to that end, I give you a couple of selected tips I've learned over the years that I teach in my beginners classes

1) Seams
There are various techniques for seaming, depending upon the location of the seam – invisible seams are best for hats. Shoulder seams need more ‘stability’ so are seamed differently (if not done as a three-needle bind-off – something for a different class!) The most recommended option I hear is Mattress Stitch, however, I do like the Bickford Seam if you want a less bulky seam.

2) Weaving in Ends
Weaving – on the wrong side of the item, put the thread through the backs of stitches – (generally purl bumps), you can go diagonally up and back or across a row

Duplicate stitch method - (my personal favourite) basically follow the path of the yarn with the needle so it’s almost ‘knitted’ into the item.

Knitting in – some people will knit the loose piece(s) when they are knitting through the back of the stitches to avoid weaving later – this sometimes shows ‘through’ the knitting but does save time later.

3) Joins
To avoid having to weave ends in later each time you add a ball of yarn, try an invisible join - my personal favourites are Spit Splicing (if using feltable wool), or the Russian Join.

4) Blocking
For Hats - use a dinner plate for berets; balloon or upside down planter (of correct size) for touques.
For larger items - I use my bed :) BUT, I find the children's foam floor puzzles are great for blocking boards, plus being puzzle pieces - you can create any size board you want without taking up valuable storage space.

Lots more tips to come in future - but these were the 'starter tips' I gave my budding new knitters :)

If you're on twitter - join us on Thursdays for #knitchat!

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I AM REGISTERED!


I did it, I registered for Sock Summit 2011 - and I'm feeling on top of the world. I may register for more classes (if any are still open later), but for now, I got the one I really, REALLY wanted - Kilt by Association as I'm dying to knit kilt hose - I even have a design or two in my head that I should get down onto paper so I can test knit them :)

Regardless, I just needed to do a 'happy dance' on the blog - I'm going to Sock Summit, I'm going to Sock Summit...

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Buy or Lease...The Latest Dilemma

Numark Gallery | Sale or LeaseImage by DavidSC78 via FlickrMy 'other life' is that of a professional 'purchaser' - actually the term changes with the wind, buyer, purchaser, procurement specialist, supply chain manager... Regardless, those skills are extremely helpful to a small business - I've done business planning, supply chain planning (getting the goods here), contract negotiations - hopefully that means great prices on yarn :)

As of Wednesday, my doctor put me on a week's 'rest'...so what do I do? I'm contemplating whether I should buy or lease a retail space for the yarn store. For the last year, I was looking at buying, just so I controlled the monthly costs (ie mortgage), and built equity into 'my space' over time. Unfortunately in the area I'm looking, nothing 'for sale' has been a good space for yarn & coffee. Then someone suggested that it may be worth considering a multi-unit small building that is for sale or even building one .

However, there is a lot to be said about leasing too. Many successful yarn stores wish to only pay rent rather than own. They manage startup cashflow in that they don't have a downpayment to make, and leasehold improvements (fixing up the space) can be negotiated into the monthly rent over the course of the lease (ie pay it back over 3-5yrs). My issue with this option is the changing numbers on an annual basis - you negotiate the lease (going rate varies $10-$15/sq foot), then each year the operating/management fees change - another monthly cost...

Many variables. Ownership involves sacrifices with the biggest payback. Renting frees up the cash for a better startup.

Different strokes for different folks.
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Monday, April 18, 2011

Stitcher Nights in #yyj

A hanging flower basket on the street in Victo...Image via WikipediaAnother list from my JDF Recreation knitting classes - I hate to set my beginner knitters free without some support. The first week of class I give them links to videos, how-to websites in case they need some extra help until the next class. But, when we are nearing the end of classes, of course I encourage them to join a weekly Stitch N Bitch or the like!

So, I give you the 'current as of January 2011' list of knitting groups in Victoria, BC - note these groups keep moving around, not all are listed in one single place...so I will have to keep updating this list! As I always advise the beginners, 'call to confirm/don't make a special trip' just in case the group folded/moved.

SUNDAY

Afternoon Stitch 'N' Bitch
Union Pacific Cafe on Herald Street

MONDAY

Coffee & Chat
Koffi at Haultain & Belmont in Fernwood
Monday 2-4 p.m.


TUESDAY

Bitchy Bees
Cornerstone Cafe at Gladstone/Fernwood
Tuesday Evening 6-8 pm

WEDNESDAY

Victoria Knitters' Guild
First and Third Wednesday mornings 9:30-11:30
St. Aidan's Church Hall

Arts and Crafts Night
Logan's Pub at Cook and Caledonia
Wednesday Evening (note some evenings are ‘special events’, so check first)


6 - 8pm Savoury, coffee shop at 1841 Oak Bay Ave.


7 - 9pm Starbucks at Gorge and Tillicum (beside Rogers and the Liquor store)


Victoria Knitters’ Guild

2nd & 4th Wed Evening 7:00-9:00pm

Saanich Commonwealth Place – Douglas Fir Room


THURSDAY

Stitchers Night ON HIATUS
Coast Collective
7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

email stringandbeans @ telus . net if interested in knowing when we restart


FRIDAY

Knit 'N Cafe
Serious Coffee in the Cook Street Village
Friday 1-4:00 p.m.


Beehive Wool Shop "Friday Night Knitting"
1700 Douglas Street
5:00-7:30 pm on Friday evening


Bitchy Bees
Serious Coffee at Cook/Oxford
Friday Evening 6-8 pm


ONCE A MONTH

Fibre Fun Social Nights

Knotty By Nature Fibre Arts

6-9pm (3rd Friday of the month)


edited Apr 23 to add 2 more listings for Wed evenings

edited May 31 to update Thurs nights (on Hiatus)

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Friday, April 15, 2011

#yyj Knitters: Knitting for Others

Description: Photo of knitted hat, yarn, and k...Image via Wikipedia

Considering this is the last day of National Volunteer Week, I thought I'd post a piece from my Beginner's Knitting Class handouts on Knitting for others.

Knitting for charities is a great way to practice on small projects, and the charities are very appreciative of your efforts. Some groups even provide wool, needles and patterns in exchange for your knitting time!

Facecloths

James Bay Child Care Society – daycare centre

Our Place – for showers

Canada Comforts – for Haiti

Socks for Soldiers – for overseas soldier care packages

Baby Hats

Victoria General Hospital

Welcome Wagon

Knit Slippers

- Royal Jubilee Hospital


Community Knitters – Marilyn Guille has a group/listing of charities across Canada, and also coordinates pickup/dropoffs via Knotty by Nature Fibre Arts - http://www.communityknitters.com/


Below are some organizations for which the Victoria Knitter’s Guild coordinates pickup/dropoffs:

Afghansforafghans.org Woolen items as requested at website.

Canada Comforts Baby/children’s sweaters, hats blankets, any fibre.

Blankets for Canada 8”X8” washable squares; help assembling too. http://www.blankets4canada.ca/

Mex Tit Bits These are breast prostheses for women in Mexico who have had mastectomies. More information below from the coordinator of this project. In the meantime, you can knit some tit bits from this Knitty pattern if you are interested.

http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEfall05/PATTbits.html

Or you can take a look at some ideas here:

http://www.titbits.ca/v1/tb_shop.html

Royal Jubilee Hospital Gift Shop Slippers, baby and children’s sweaters, just about any lovely knitting, except plain toques for children; they have plenty of these plain hats right now. Other stylish hats, any size, would also be welcome.

VGH Mother-Babe Unit Hats for newborns.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Westshore gets a knit night!

This woman is knitting at a coffee shop; altho...We finally managed it! After teaching beginner and sock knitting classes through Westshore Parks & Recreation, there is a demand for a social knit night out here in the Westshore of Victoria. One of my beginner class knitters is an artist with the Coast Collective in Metchosin, and has asked on our behalf if we could use the classroom on Thursday evenings.

So, starting February 3rd, 2011, Thursday evenings 7:00pm ~8:30pm, we'll be knitting at the Coast Collective 3221 Heatherbell Rd - http://www.coastcollective.ca/contacts.html

Hope to see you there!
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