October 10, 2012

Wreath with two front sides

Summer time is over now, so there is some time for knitting again!

This wreath has got two front sides, so that it can be turned for an easy change. The front side has got two lines of boys and girls, holding dogs at the ends of the lines, the other front side is a nice wreath of hearts.

Buy the description here ($ 2.50):

April 23, 2012

Cosy pattern

The pattern for these lovely home decorating letters is now available on Ravelry and Craftsy.

Link for download at Ravelry (€ 2.50):

April 4, 2012

Finally home

Finished! Yet the biggest job has not been done... translating the pattern into English - even the Dutch one is still not finished.
The good news is that I am working on it. Just wait and see.

April 2, 2012

Dutch or English?

This is a Dutch word, it means How. But when the word is finished, it is an English word. With four letters, so it should not be difficult to guess what's next.

The E is a challenging letter to knit, slightly more challenging than the H. But it is also fun.

Just wait and see.

March 28, 2012

Such a cutie

Have you ever seen such a cutie? And yet so simple to make!

I was lucky to get this picture from someone else, who found it somewhere else, so I don't know where it came from - and I can't read the words printed on the picture.

Never mind, just share it with the rest of the world.

And knit one myself, of course.

March 26, 2012

HO - HO - HO!

Yes, I know it is not Christmas. But these two letters happen to be the first half of a very nice word.

And I decided to start where it should start - and go on with the next one.

So here we are now. Two beautiful letters.

What's next?

March 19, 2012

The H

Finally there is some time for the next project: letters. Time to make a switch from thin needles to half a mm more - and what a difference! I think I will choose the 3.5 mm (US 4) needles with matching yarn, I like the light colored letter better.

I was quite happy to learn about the open caston at the Knitty site. I was looking for something like that in order to cast on a whole lot of extra stitches while knitting magic loop and without having to use an extra piece of yarn. I like it best with less possible loose ends.

Well - I'd better go make a proper description!

March 17, 2012

Make a design of your own

If you want to make a knitting design on a normal graph paper with squares, you will not see what you get when it is knitted, because knitted stitches are not square, they are rectangles.

I was happy to find a place on internet, Printable Paper, where you can download a knitting graph and print it.

If you want to design or draw on the computer, it might be useful to get some Excel tips: Select the sheet with Ctrl-A, then change the column width to 3, the height of the cells to 16, in order to get the right ratio. I don't know which name the functions of Excel have in English, but with the Help function you will be able to find out.

Change the percentage so that you see more cells/stitches at the screen.

Quite happy with my computer!

March 14, 2012

Stitch markers!

Once I tried stitch markers, I have become completely happy to use them! It can be done without, but if you want to knit comfortable, and the pattern is repeted several times, make it easy for yourself and use stitch markers.

You need not buy them (they are a nice present, however, if you want to give something to somebody who has already everyting), just a few short threads will do.

What do stitch markers do? They mark the spots where the pattern is repeted. So that you don't have to count, count, and recount.
What a relief!

March 7, 2012

Superfast provisional caston

On the site of Garnstudio I found a lot of very useful videos, without words so everyone can understand.

Very nice when knitting a wreath, this kind of provisional caston. It is superfast (cannot be compared with crochet...) and easy to perform. When the first half of the wreath is done, just take the circular needle holding the caston stitches and start over, knitting a second pattern at the backside. Which makes it a reversible wreath - in a way.

The video tutorial can be viewed here. They show it first using a piece of yarn, followed by the same caston using a circular needle. I love it!

March 6, 2012

Knitting pattern wreath with roses

Download the pattern for this lovely wreath with roses directly from Ravelry with this link:

Price € 1.95

The wreath is knitted in two halves, seamed together before closing the wreath at the middle of the backside. The pattern contains a chart and written instruction.

March 4, 2012

Wreath with roses

Today I finished this wreath with roses.

This time the knitting was done with two knitting needles, but I think I would prefer circular knitting because the seam can be seen.

Nevertheless: it is lovely, isn't it?

February 28, 2012

Elegant swans

The knitting pattern for these elegant swans - with or without wings - is now available as a download on Ravelry - price € 1.50

You can use the button below as well.

Curious bird

The pattern for this adorable little bird is now available on Ravelry. Use the link below to purchase the pattern. Cost: € 1.50.

February 24, 2012

Cute little mouse

Use the following link to download the free knitting pattern for this cutie:

download now

A perfect opportunity to try magic  loop knitting!

February 13, 2012

Miniature angel

Just a little bit of yarn
and a little bit of time
and a little bit of ... yes, of money

heaps of cuteness, happiness,
sweetness, etc.

Pay € 1.00 for the knitting pattern.

February 11, 2012

Cable wreath pattern

The pattern for this beautiful wreath with cables is now on Ravelry.

Here is a link to the Ravelry download page:
buy now

Prize € 1.50

February 10, 2012

Kitcheners stitch

The kitcheners stitch is the perfect stitch in case you want to seam two rows together - in this case the first row (which you will find after removing the crochet provisional caston) and the last row of a small piece of knitted work. You can find many tutorials on the internet, but my site would not be complete if I did not try to make one myself. If it is not clear enough to you, take a look on the world-wide web.
In fact it is not very difficult, just keep in mind how knitted stitches look like, and make them yourself using a tapestry needle, up and down, just like the loops of knitwork.
Place the two rows to be sewn together. On the pictures the knitting needle is still in the last row, but you can also use a help thread (can be helpful when you must close a wreath).

'Open' the chain by picking up the loop at the back of the chain (see picture). Pull carefully until you come to the chain stitch that is in use.

Use a tapestry needle to pull the thread through the first stitch of your needle.

Finding the right place for the first stitch on the other side is the most difficult part... you will have to use the loose tail to form half a stitch, pull the needle through the next stitch, from purl side to knitted side, alongside the crochet-stitch.
Remove the crocheted stitch carefully.

Pull carefully until you have made the first stitch, then pull the needle through the first stitch at the bottom side again, making a whole stitch, and through the next stitch, to start the next stitch.

Up again, first finish the first stitch by pulling the needle downward through the first stitch, then take the next one, from purlside to knitted side, alongside the next crochet-stitch.

Just go on, and enjoy the result:

Provisional caston - crocheted

This is a caston to become excited about - because it is crocheted, you can easily remove it in order to be able to knit in the other direction on the stitches of the first row, or to make a row of stitches with a tapestry needle - called kitcheners stitch - which makes a perfect invisible seam between a knitted work and the first row after the caston. I love it, especially for decorative things like wreaths.

You will need a crochet hook and a bit of crocheting knowledge, not more than how to make a chain. Make one loop on the crochet hook, hold it next to your knitting needle, yarn at the back.

Make a chain stitch over the knitting needle. It may feel a bit comfortable, but that's the way it works:

Then again, yarn at the back of the knitting needle, make a stitch over the knitting needle:

repeating the movement until you have enough stitches on your knitting needle. Make a few loose chains (which will make it easy to remove the caston when necessary) and cut the thread, pull the loose end through the last chain.

Now you can start to knit with the main yarn in these stitches.

February 9, 2012

Free pattern - cell phone cover

Today the pattern of this rainbow cell phone cover is uploaded to Ravelry as a free pattern.

If you wish, you can also e-mail me at karien.achterberg@gmail.com in order to get the PDF.

February 8, 2012

Short rows - a new solution for the gaps

Short rows are ideal to make round shapes in knitting: socks, but also animals. A common technique is to wrap the thread around the next stitch before turning the work. In the next row the stitch is knitted together with the wrapped loop. If you do this well, it looks fine. Just perfect in my opinion, but the problem is that I keep forgetting to knit the stitches together with the wraps, so I was happy to find a tutorial on a new solution for the short rows on Youtube - from Cat Bordhi. She calls it 'sweet tomatoe heels', because she knits socks you know.

This is how it works:
Knit the stitches according to the pattern, just turn the work. Slip the first stitch purlwise, and purl the stitches according to the pattern, turn again. Slip the first stitch purlwise, knit the stitches until you get to the slipped stitch. This stitch is going to be knitted together with the stitch right beneath. Just take them both on the left needle tip and knit them together (I use the abbreviation ktogu - knit the stitch together with the stitch under) - see picture.
In the next row you will come to the other slipped stitch. This time you come from the other side, which means that you will have to take the slipped stitch on the right needle for a while in order to be able to take the stitch beneath next to (or over) the slipped stitch on the needle. Just do that, and knit them together through the back loop. Keep in mind how a normal knitted stitch looks like, you will immediately notice if you were doing something different.

February 7, 2012

Making different kinds of increases

m1b - make one between
increase one stitch between two stitches

In order to make this increase, you point the left needle from the back to the front, under the loop at the back of your work, between two stitches (see picture).
Just knit this stitch and you've increased. Take the front loop (as a normal knit) otherwise you will get a gap.

m1r - make one right
increase one stitch at the right side of the next stitch

In order to make this increase, you will use the row under the row you are knitting. Put the stitch right under the next stitch on the needle (see picture), knit these two stitches.

m1l - make one left
increase one stitch at the left side of the last stitch

In order to make this increase, you use the row of stitches under the row you're knitting. Because you just knitted one stitch, it seems a different kind of increase than the m1r.  Take the stitch under the stitch you have knitted on the left needle (see picture) and knit it.

February 6, 2012

Magic loop knitting

Here I explain how to start knitting once you have a magic caston, but you can also start knitting on a crochet provisional caston, or whatever caston you like - as long as you mean to knit in the round.

Hold the needles in such a way that the right side is facing you. Draw out the lower needle, carefully of course, until you can make a loop with the flexible part of the needle on both sides. Hold the loose tail yarn with your hand, and knit with the main yarn, you'll see that the first knitted stitch holds the loose end on its place. Knit the first row.

Turn the work, so that it looks like the work shown. Now you arrange the circular needle in such a way, that you can knit the other row (or better: other half of the first row). Push in the upper needle, draw out the lower needle, until you have - again - two loops on each side. Before you go on, it looks like this:

Just knit the other side. Take care to tighten up the first knitted stitch - but you would also do that if knitting with dpn's so I don't have to tell you that, do I?

Do not try to be fast at first. Keep an eye on the way the yarn goes, especially when changing needles, you will soon find out what works best for you. At least that's my experience.

After three rows you have knitted a nice little 'bag':

Take some time to just go on - before going on to your next project - including increases, decreases and so on. In fact that's all knitting is about.

Let's do some magic - caston

If you take a closer look at knitting stitches, you will see that they consist of rows of loops, holding the next row of loops. You can also turn it upside down, it will look the same (unless more colors have been used). It would be great to have two such rows as a basis of a knitted thing that is meant to be closed at the bottom, wouldn't it? Well, that is possible, and it 's called magic caston. I don't know who was the first clever person who found out, but you can find several tutorials on the internet. I simply add mine, it may slightly differ from the other ones - just find out which one suits you best.

At the picture you see the first two rows, each on its own flexible piece of a circular needle. If you start knitting each row upward, in the round, you won't get a seam at all, just perfect. In order to get this, follow the following steps:

Take a long circular needle,  80 cm/34 inches at the least, and hold both needles in your left hand. Hang the yarn over the back needle, the tail end at the back, the main yarn between the needles. The tail must be long enough to make half the number of stitches you want to have.
Keep in mind that each of the threads - main and tail - makes stitches on its own needle: the tail yarn on the front needle, the main yarn on the back needle, holding each other between the needles.

Now take the tail yarn,

up it goes, between the needles, over the front needle from the back to the front, and down, where you hold it.

For the next stitch, on the back needle, take the main yarn, it goes to the back, under the needles, then up, over the back needle from the back to the front, and down between the two needles.

All next stitches are made by just repeating these two movements. One by one, back and front, tail and main yarn. After a while your needles look like this:

Two more pictures. At the next picture you see the right side of the just started knitting work: two nice rows of 'knitted' stitches:

At the back you will see that you have even created a wrong side!

Do you want to know how you can start knitting? Go to the blog post about magic loop knitting!