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Friday, February 27, 2009

Knitting on the Beach Report

When I packed for Cozumel, I packed two sock projects, some yarn to do a couple of quick dish cloths and swiffer covers, yarn and pattern for an alligator scarf, and a partially completed warm wool scarf. I know, quite ambitious.

One of my goals was to teach myself to do two-at-a-time magic loop socks. I tried, got confused, and went back to my two circular needles. I think I need to see it done to grasp the whole concept, or maybe just be in a place where I can concentrate a bit more. Oh, well, someday it will happen.

What did I accomplish knitting on the beach? lol, not too much! I made one dish cloth, one sock (nope, not one pair, just one sock) and knit a bit more on the partially completed wool scarf. I had too much fun snorkeling, where we saw 30-40 different species of fish, attending a huge Carnival celebration that rivaled New Orleans Mardi Gras, and exploring the island.

Here are pics of my sort-of finished projects - the dish cloth is the pattern found here and the socks are the free Hedgerow sock pattern from Knitter's Review found here.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Knit-Out & Crochet 2009 Report

I was on vacation last week, and what better way to start a vacation than to attend a knitting event! We had an early flight to Cozumel last Sunday, so decided to take in the Knit-Out 2009 at the Mall of America on Saturday.

I arrived right at 10:00am and found many knitters already cruising the first floor of the Mall. I entered at the Lego Land door and took a left. This led me to the local shop tables - The Yarn Garage, The Yarnery, Three Kittens, as well as to the Knitters Guild table. The tables weren't too crowded yet and I had a chance to look over some cool projects and products. I continued around the mall and found a few more displays and one of my favorite shops (The Yarnery) had a kiosk where I was able to pick up a long needle to try magic loop socks.

As I made my way around the Mall, I saw some knit and crochet demos but they all were full. When I came up to the Sears area, I started to see the lines. Boy, were there lines! It was obvious that this started the give-away and major vendor booth area. Lion Brand gave away a huge tote bag, Clover some glow-in-the-dark needles, and Patons a bag containing patterns and three big skeins of yarn. Lots of free patterns, magazines, tips, etc. Great giveaways, but to be honest, next year I will skip the long lines for the freebies and take in more of the knitting demos and style shows. Now that I know a bit more what to expect, I will tailor my visit next year to take advantage of some of the events that I missed.

Are there pictures, you ask? Of course!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Knitting on the Beach........

I'm vacationing and knitting on the beach in Cozumel. Hopefully I'll have some finished projects to show when I return. Yes, I packed plenty of sunscreen.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

10 Favorite Free Sock Patterns ~ Day 10

Tidal Wave Socks

To wind up the last day of ten of my favorite free sock patterns I've found on the internet is the Tidal Wave Socks pattern. These wave-inspired socks were knit with tofutsie yarn. I've used that yarn in a different pair of socks and really liked it. It actually has soy in the yarn! The free pattern design and photos are by Deby Lake. They are offered as a free downloadable pdf file by Deby and it's located here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

10 Favorite Free Sock Patterns ~ Day 9

River Rapids Socks

These subtly patterned socks were knit with Lorna's Laces in a sport weight yarn. This free Ravelry download is a pattern by Sockbug. The pdf pattern file is available for download here.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

10 Favorite Free Sock Patterns ~ Day 8

Fruit Loops Socks

Besides loving the name of these socks, I really like the look of the lacy ring pattern that forms down the socks. These are another free pattern offered on and are designed and photographed by Kristi Geraci. The free pattern link is located here and a pdf version is here.

Monday, February 16, 2009

10 Favorite Free Sock Patterns ~ Day 7

Spring Forward Socks

These knit socks are a top-down, easy zigzag lace pattern. They'd look great in either solid color yarn or in a varigated yarn. Pattern and images are by Linda Welch and are available from's free pattern archives. The free pattern link for's website is here or a pdf file can be downloaded here.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

10 Favorite Free Sock Patterns ~ Day 6

Ziggy Socks

These cute socks use a Noro self-striping sock yarn and can guarantee that no two socks will be alike! The free pattern, by Meg Meredith, is available on the free pattern archives. This sock pattern is a toe-up style. Meg's pictures really show off the cool color combinations you can get with the Noro sock yarn. A fair isle look without the charted colorwork!

The Ziggy Socks pattern is available at the website here or as a pdf file here.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

10 Favorite Free Sock Patterns ~ Day 5

Megan Socks
A pretty pair of lacy socks is offered as a free pattern by Krista Werbil and is pictured below. Her socks were designed to extend wearing the socks into the summer months. The pattern is available as a free Ravelry download and is also listed on Krista's knitting-socks website as a free pattern to enjoy. A pdf download is available here.

Friday, February 13, 2009

10 Favorite Free Sock Patterns ~ Day 4

My favorite free sock patterns I've found online continues......

The Diagonal Rib Socks are classic and the pattern appears quite easy to make. They have a nice, crisp look to them. This pattern is listed in the free pattern library of Knitting Daily. The pattern design and picture are by Ann Budd and utilize a four row pattern repeat. The Knitting Daily free pattern can be found here or their pdf version here.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

10 Favorite Free Sock Patterns ~ Day 3

Caspian Sea Socks

When I saw these socks pictured on the Knitting Daily online pattern site, I knew they had to jump to the top of my sock queue. I ordered the different colors of yarn and am armed with needles. This will be a project for our Cozumel vacation next week. I like to take something small to work on for plane rides and this will be perfect.

The pattern, designed by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, is available as a free pattern on the Knitting Daily website. The Knitting Daily website often publishes free patterns, but you need to download them when you see them, as they don't stay on the site forever. The pattern is available from the Knitting Daily free pattern library here or their pdf file can be downloaded here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

10 Favorite Free Sock Patterns ~ Day 2

Noro yarn has got to be one of the most versatible yarns and is always one I gravitate to in the yarn shops. I've used the worsted weight Noro for many projects, but just discovered how much I like the sock yarn as well.

The Stripey Noro Socks are made from Noro's self-striping sock yarn. Cute! This is is a design from Rachel Brown and is is now available as a free internet pattern on Ravelry (see fine print at the bottom of this post for copyright usage compliance.) Her pictures are shown of the finished product. Click here or here for the pattern.

© 2008 Rachel C. Brown/Porpoise Designs. All rights reserved. Pattern may not be used to create items for sale or distribution without prior written permission from the author.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

10 Favorite Free Sock Patterns ~ Day 1

I'm kind loving hand knit socks. I tried my first pair about a year ago and have made about 10 pairs since then. So far I haven't been too adventurous in my patterns, but feel I'm now ready to tackle some of the really cute patterns out there. For the next 10 days, I'll list 10 of my favorite free sock patterns I've found on the web. Maybe one of them will inspire you to get out some sock yarn and whip up a pair!

A friend was knitting the monkey sock pattern and I fell in love with it the first time I saw it on the needles! It's inspired by falling leaves and was created by Cookie A. Her image of the finished socks is pictured above. This is a free pattern offered on the website (a wonderful repository for all kinds of patterns!) Here is the link to the free monkey sock pattern on - monkey socks. If you'd rather download it as a pdf file, here is a pdf link - monkey socks pdf

Monday, February 9, 2009

FO - At Last!

Well, I struck out looking for yarn shops in Las Vegas. I went armed with a list of shops, but found that they were all 8-10 miles from where we were staying. Instead, I worked a bit on a hat/scarf set and completed the project. Yay! A finished object! (FO) This one is an early birthday gift, so I'll mail it off to Gretchen this week.

I love these two patterns. The scarf is the reversible cable scarf (palindrome) and the hat is from the Three Tams patterns. The yarn is a baby alpaca in light blue and the colorwork in the hat is done with Noro Silk Garden. I added a ruffle to the scarf this time, just to add a bit of feminine flair. I've made these two patterns several times and they have to be some of my winter favorites. Here are the direct blog links to the patterns ~ Scarf and Tam.

And here's a sneak peak at the finished project .....

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Las Vegas Getaway

I'm in Las Vegas this week, accompanying my husband on a business trip. While he's attending meetings, I plan on visiting the area's local yarn shops. It's always great to see new ideas in knitting and I've found that many of my projects come from works I've seen displalyed at various local yarn shops. I'll post my Las Vegas yarn shop adventures when I return. In the meantime, I may just find a sunny spot outside and finish a couple of myknitting projects!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

10 Day Dishcloth Countdown! Day 10 ~Blackberries Knitted Dishcloth

A pretty little dishcloth pattern offered online by someone known as the Tomato Lady. It was inspired by her harvest of blackberries!

Blackberries Dishcloth

Size 6 circular needles or whatever size you prefer for working with dishcloth cotton.
Cotton worsted weight yarn

Cast On 32 stitches
Rows 1-4: K
Row 5: [RS] K4, *[K1, YO, K1] into next st, P3, rep from * to last 4 sts, K4.
Row 6: K4, *P3tog, K3, rep from * to last 4 sts, K4.
Row 7: K4, *P3, [K1, YO, K1] into next st, rep from * to last 4 sts, K4.
Row 8: K4, *K3, P3tog, rep from * to last 4 sts, K4.
Rep rows 5-8 nine more times, or until desired size.
K 4 more rows for border.
Bind off.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

10 Day Dishcloth Countdown! Day 9 ~ Lace Cable Knitted Dishcloth

This is a really nice lacy cable dishcloth by Diane of Idaho. She offers the free pattern and picture on her website called Russet Lodge Custom Knits. I really like this one, as it is a bit more "elegant" than your typical dishcloth. Cables look more complex than they are, so if you haven't tried them before, this might be a good beginning cable project.

Lace Cable Dishcloth

Materials: Size 8 knitting needles, sugar 'n cream or other worsted-weight cotton yarn
Abbreviations: k=knit, p=purl, yo=yarn over (as if to knit), sl=slip (as if to knit), psso=pass slipped stitch over next stitch worked as if to cast off, k2 tog=knit two stitches together

Cast on 35 stitches

Border Rows 1-4: *k1, p1, repeat from * to end

Pattern Row 1 (and all odd rows) k1, p1, k1, p to 3 sts before end, k1, p1, k1.
Pattern Row 2: k1, p1, k1, k1, *yo, sl 1, k1, psso, k1, k2 tog, yo, k6, repeat from * to last 9 sts, end yo, sl 1, k1, psso, k1, k2 tog, yo, k2, p1, k1
Pattern Row 4: k1, p1, k3, *yo, sl 1, k2 tog, psso, yo, k1, sl next 3 sts to cable needle and hold to back, k3, k3 off cable needle, k1. repeat from * to last 8 sts, end yo, sl1, k2 tog, psso, yo, k3, p1, k1
Pattern Row 6: Repeat row 2
Pattern Row 8: k1, p1, k3, *yo, sl1, k2 tog, psso, yo, k8, repeat from * to last 8 sts, end yo, sl1, k2 tog, psso, yo, k3, p1, k1
Repeat pattern rows 1-8 until desired length. Then work Border rows 1-4 again and bind off, weaving in all ends.

Monday, February 2, 2009

10 Day Dishcloth Countdown! Day 8 ~ Knitted Tracks Dishcloth

This dishcloth pattern forms a simple textured look by adding some purl stitches to your stockinette background. It's available as a free pattern from Knitting Pattern Central.

Knitted Tracks Dishcloth

Multiples of 10 sts

Size 8 knitting needles
Worsted weight 100% cotton yarn

Cast on 30 sts.

Row 1: *K4, P6, repeat from * to end of row.
Row 2: Purl across.
Row 3: Knit across.
Row 4: Purl across.
Row 5: *P5, K4, P1, repeat from * across.
Row 6: Purl across.
Row 7: Knit across.
Row 8: Purl across.
Rows 9 - 32: Repeat rows 1 - 8 for 3 more times.
Rows 33 - 36: Repeat rows 1 - 4 once more.
Row 37: Bind off in a Purl stitch.

Fasten off and weave in ends.

Optional edging: Sc in each st around with a G hook doing 3 sc in each corner

Sunday, February 1, 2009

10 Day Dishcloth Countdown! Day 7 ~ Garterlac Knit Dishcloth

For those of you who want a challenge, here is a great little project using a garter stitch entrelac pattern. It was designed and photographed by Criminy Jickets, who made this available online as a free pattern. My first entrelac pattern was a scarf, and it wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. I'll definitely give this pattern a try.

Garterlac Dishcloth

Materials required: 1 ball of dishcloth cotton & appropriate needles

K -- Knit
K2tog -- Knit two stitches together
K-FB -- Knit into the front of the next stitch and, before removing it from the needle, knit into the back of the same stitch
SKP -- Slip one stitch knit-wise, knit 1 stitch, pass slipped stitch over
Turn -- Put the stuff in your right hand into your left hand and the stuff that used to be in your left hand into your right hand
Pick up -- Insert right hand needle from front to back into side of previous layer between two garter bumps, wrap the yarn around the needle and pull a stitch through


Very loosely, cast on 24 stitches.

Bottom Triangle:

K 1, turn, K 1, turn.
K 2, turn, K 2, turn.
K 3, turn, K 3, turn.
K 4, turn, K 4, turn.
K 5, turn, K 5, turn.
K 6, turn, K 6, turn.
K 7, turn, K 7, turn.
K 8, do not turn.

Repeat the directions for the Bottom Triangle twice more – three triangles in total. They look a little twisted right now. Don’t worry; they’ll sort themselves out as you go along. Turn and make an Increasing Side Triangle.

Increasing Side Triangle:

K 1, turn, K-FB, turn.
K 1, SKP, turn, K-FB, K 1, turn.
K 2, SKP, turn, K 1, K-FB, K 1, turn.
K 3, SKP, turn, K 2, K-FB, K 1, turn.
K 4, SKP, turn, K 3, K-FB, K 1, turn.
K 5, SKP, turn, K 4, K-FB, K 1, turn.
K 6, SKP, turn, K 5, K-FB, K 1, turn.
K 7, SKP, do not turn.

Now make a Square.


Pick up 8 stitches along the side of the previous row, turn.
* K 8, turn, K 7, SKP, turn. *
Repeat between the *s another seven times, but do not turn at the end of the eighth repeat.

Make another Square, and then a Decreasing Side Triangle.

Decreasing Side Triangle:

Pick up 8 stitches along the side of the previous row, turn, K 8, turn.
K 6, K2tog, turn, K 7, turn.
K 5, K2tog, turn, K 6, turn.
K 4, K2tog, turn, K 5, turn.
K 3, K2tog, turn, K 4, turn.
K 2, K2tog, turn, K 3, turn.
K 1, K2tog, turn, K 2, turn.
K2tog, turn.

You are left with one stitch on the left hand needle. Transfer it to the right-hand needle. Pick up a further 7 stitches down the side of the previous row so you have 8 stitches in total, turn, and continue with the directions for Square.

Make two more Squares.

Continue adding layers in a similar manner.

The next layer will be Increasing Triangle, two Squares, then Decreasing Triangle.

The next layer will be three Squares.

The next series will be Increasing Triangle, two Squares, then Decreasing Triangle.

Now it is time to make triangles along the top. Transfer the remaining stitch to your right hand needle and proceed with Top Triangle.

Top Triangle:

Pick up 7 stitches along the side of the previous row, turn.
K 6, K2tog, turn, K 6, SKP, turn
K 5, K2tog, turn, K 5, SKP, turn
K 4, K2tog, turn, K 4, SKP, turn
K 3, K2tog, turn, K 3, SKP, turn
K 2, K2tog, turn, K 2, SKP, turn
K 1, K2tog, turn, K 1, SKP, turn
K2tog, turn, SKP.
K 1 and pass the second stitch on the right-hand needle over the first. You are left with one stitch on the right-hand needle.

Make 2 more Top Triangles, fasten off last stitch and weave in ends.