Knitting Monkey

9.19.2004

A new project

The coffee cozy came out very well. I am pleased to say that despite varying cup sizes, it manages to fit them all.

I taught a friend to knit socks. She has never knit before, but her socks are gorgeous! The trick is to be undaunted, fearless, and patient. I am so proud of her! I keep bragging about her socks to everyone. We went to the yarn store on Saturday and she got more sock yarn for another pair of socks. I bought laceweight wool (Skacel Merino Lace) in color 200 (black) and the pattern for the FiberTrends Peace Shawl by Evelyn Clark .

I have been knitting my husband the Muted Musician's gansey from Beth Brown-Reinsel in Patons Decor color 999 which is similar to the claret color 1657. We have been together 7 years and in that time I have attempted to knit him 4 different sweaters. This is the only one that has even neared completion. I love knitting in the round and the gansey pattern is knit in the round unlike all the other sweater patterns I have been able to find. I have about 1 2/3 sleeves left to knit. For whatever reason I have been having a terrible time with the sleeves. The body went really fast and I loved knitting it, but I have ripped out the sleeve and redone the gusset twice already. Just today I discovered my decreases were uneven again. I "fixed" it by decreasing extra on one side and I don't think it will be noticable. But I worry that the second sleeve will look different because I have had so much difficulty with this first one and I won't replicate my mistakes the same way when I do the second one. Oh well, I forge onward anyway. It will be done before Christmas this year as I already missed our anniversary (September 8).

When I'm done with his sweater, I get to knit something for me - the Peace shawl!

9.14.2004

Dropped Stitch Woes

So after binding off the coffee cozy last night, I was showing it to my husband and noticed a dropped stitch that had dropped down about five rows from the bound off edge! It looks like it got lost in all that eyelash yarn and I didn't notice it when binding it off.

Being fairly practical, I decided I'd turn the dropped stitch into a handle for the coffee cozy. I got out my crochet hook and reworked the stitch back off to the portion where the novelty yarn starts. Then, I placed the stitch on one of my double point needles and picked up three other stitches around it. I am going to make an I-cord "handle" and bind off the cord binding off with picked up sticthes from the other side of the coffee cozy.

I have about an inch done and it seems to be going okay. One disaster averted.....

9.13.2004

Coffee Cozy and First Post

Today I had the day off work and decided to knit an instant gratification item. I have been admiring the Java a Go Go pattern for some time.

However, the pattern calls for fingering weight yarn and I usually only have worsted weight laying around. So I decided to make my own using worsted weight coffee cozy. Here is what I did:

SUPPLIES

(MC) 1 ball (or less) worsted weight yarn - I used Lion Brand Woolease in purple 147
(CC) small amount novelty yarn - I used Patons Cha Cha in Jazz 02006
set of 5 double pointed needles - I used approximately a size 7, but size is not important
1 crochet hook approximately the same diameter as the knitting needle s- I used F
28 small beads in colors to coordinate with yarn - smaller than pony beads, larger than seed beads
small amount of contrasting color worsted weight - I used Lion Brand Woolease in Forest Green
small amount of sewing thread or size 10 crochet thread
1 sample disposable coffee cup - I used a 16 oz. styrofoam cup from my local coffee place

PREPARATION

You will begin by stringing the beads onto the main color. I experimented with several methods of this, but ended up using size 10 crochet thread to help get the beads onto the yarn. You tie the crochet thread to the MC about 4 inches from the end with a simple knot. Leave tails. Thread the beads onto the crochet thread and then over the simple knot and onto the thread. It is frustrating and takes awhile. Thread all the beads in random order.

DIRECTIONS

In the supplies list I indicated that the size of the needles is not important. This is true because you will be crocheting a starting edge to match the cup itself so you won't have to guess how much to cast on. As long as your hook matches your needles, you should be fine.

With your waste yarn, crochet a chain until it is long enough to go around the width of the coffee cup 1 inch from the base. Make sure it is slightly stretched. For me this was 35 stitches.

Pick up the stitches evenly onto your knitting needles with your main color. I had a set of five needles, so for me this was 9, 9, 9, and 8. If you have fewer needles, the increases described below will not be as easy to follow. When picking up stitches from a crochet chain, insert the needle into the bump on the back side of each stitch.

*
Knit two rounds evenly.

Round 1: Knit a bead into the center of the first needle, immediately followed by an increase. I did this through what I believe is called a "Make 1", where I knit a stitch with a bead through the front loop, and then also knitted through the back loop of the same stitch. You can use any method you like for increasing. I liked having the increases next to the beads, because it made it easier to keep track of the increases, but you can also separate them.

Knit plain on needle two without increasing.

On needle three, repeat the sequence for needle one

Knit plain on needle four.

Round 2: Knit plain on needle one.

Knit a bead into the center of needle two, immediately followed by an increase.

Knit plain on needle three.

On needle four, repeat the sequence for needle two.

Round 3 and 4: Knit plain

Round 5: Knit a bead into the right half of needle one, immediately followed by an increase. Placement is not important - put the bead where you think it looks good. The overall effect will be random anyway.

Knit plain on needle two.

On needle three, repeat the sequence for needle one.

Knit plain on needle four.

Round 6: Knit plain on needle one.

Knit a bead into the right half of needle two, immediately followed by an increase.

Knit plain on needle three.

On needle four, repeat the sequence for needle two.

Round 7 and 8: Knit plain

Round 9: Knit a bead into the left hand side of needle one, immediately followed by an increase. Again, placement is not important.

Knit plain on needle two.

On needle three, repeat the sequence for needle one.

Knit plain on needle four.

Round 9: Knit plain on needle one.

Knit a bead into the left hand side of needle two, immediately followed by an increase. Placement is not important.

Knit plain on needle three.

On needle four, repeat the sequence for needle two.

Repeat from * until piece is approximately one inch less than the desired length. Try it on the coffee cup as you go to make sure it fits right. You can end at any round you like.

When you are finished with the beaded section, you will need to get your novelty yarn. If it is thin novelty yarn knit it held together with the main color. If it is thick novelty yarn or worsted weight, cut the main color as you won't be using it again.

Knit one round evenly with the novelty yarn.
Purl the next round.
Bind off the next round loosely.

Flip the piece over.

Snip the crochet cast on and begin to unravel it, picking up the exposed stitches with your needles as you go. Distribute the stitches across the needles evenly (same as for round 1).

With your novelty yarn, knit one round.
Bind off.

Weave in all ends.

Go get a fresh cup of coffee and admire your handiwork. :)