Saturday, June 30, 2007

Red, White, and Bib - Flag Bib Pattern

Perfect for a summer picnic, a Yankee Doodle baby born on the Fourth of July, or being kissed by politicians any time of year. The garter stitch baby bib pattern in Mason-Dixon Knitting inspired the basic structure of this bib.

Sugar ‘n’ Cream cotton, 1 partial skein each of Red, White, and Bright Navy.
1 ¾ inch button – sample in photo uses a red star
Tapestry needle
Size 8 straight needles

Gauge: 4.5 stitches and 8 rows per inch in garter stitch


You will be joining new colors when working the public side of the piece. When working stripes, carry the color not in use up the back of the work, wrapping around the active color on the wrong side. Bring the new color up from under the previous color when changing yarns.

With Red, cast on 33 stitches.

Rows 1-8: Knit with Red
Rows 9-16: Knit with White
Rows 17-24: Knit with Red
Rows 25-32: Knit with White

Add field for stars, and continue stripe pattern

Row 33: K20 with Red. Join Bright Navy and knit 13.
Row 34, 36, 38, 40: K13 with Bright Navy, K20 with Red
Row 35, 37, 39: K20 with Red, K13 with Bright Navy
Row 41, 43, 45, 47: K20 with White, K13 with Bright Navy
Row 42, 44, 46, 48: K13 with Bright Navy, K20 with White
Rows 49-56: Repeat rows 33-40.

Begin straps.

Row 57: Knit 8 with White. With Red, bind off the next 12 stitches. With Bright Navy, bind off 5 stitches, then knit to end.

Buttonhole strap:
With Bright Navy, knit these 8 stitches back and forth for 30 rows.
Create buttonhole: Knit 3, bind off 2, knit 3. On next row, knit 3, cast on 3, knit 3.
Work 4 more rows with Bright Navy.
Bind off all stitches.

Button strap:
Return to the 8 active white stitches on the other side of the work.
With White, knit 29 rows.
Bind off all stitches.
Sew button on to right side of this strap.

Embroider stars on to the field of Bright Navy with a length of White threaded on to a tapestry needle. Each star is composed of five short straight stitches radiating from a central point: one vertical, two horizontal, and two angled down and out from the center point.

Weave in all ends.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Movie Knitting

This weekend I discovered that I can knit in the semi-dark, and have a red Grandmother's Favorite dishcloth to show for it, cast on and about two-thirds knit during a matinee showing of Nancy Drew. I finished the rest that evening after studying for a bit. The girls tried it out during their bath last night, and it turned their water quite pink - the bright red Sugar 'n' Cream I used is apparently not colorfast.

Speaking of Nancy Drew, knits were prominent in a few of the characters costumes. Several novelty scarves, a bright green loose gauge sweater with big buttons, etc. In one party scene, Nancy wears a white shrug-capelet with random red squiggly bits of yarn tied on to it, and it gave me an idea for a similar garment (sans squiggly bits).

I have also recently finished my Rapid Fire socks and another little baby hat, this one for a co-worker's little boy due in about six weeks.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

How I Spent My Mother's Day

I mentioned it at the time, but now I have photos of my Mother's Day introduction to hand dyeing. A while back, I ordered some Bare yarn in sock and worsted weights and the starter kit of Jaquard acid dye from KnitPicks, and part of my lovely Mother's Day was the indulgence of my family allowing me to mess around with it.

The first step (according to the directions and some information I cobbled together from the world wide interwebs) was to soak the yarn. I decided to do two skeins of sock yarn in different colorways.

Next, I assembled my crack team of assistants.

I set up an incredibly high-class dyeing area in the side yard using the deconstructed box from our new kitchen chairs, a stepstool, a few plastic baby clothes hangers, three binder clips, several clear plastic cups, Saran Wrap, and a Swiffer handle. The masking tape, also pictured, was not used. The side yard had many advantages to it, the primary one being its inaccessability to preschoolers and small dogs.

This is the part where you'll have to imagine me actually applying the dye, because I didn't want to get any dye on my camera. Pumpkin watched me work from behind the gate.

Next step, steaming for 45 minutes. Nothing like the smell of hot wool to make your tastebuds perk up.

At many points in this narrative, imagine me going in to the kitchen to eat sushi.

After cooking, cooling, and a quick rinse in a very dilute vinegar solution, I hung them up to dry. Drying time began outside.

Pumpkin chose names for the colors - Fire and Blues. Here's a slightly blurry closeup of Fire drying outside.

Later in the evening, I moved them in to the garage to continue drying overnight. Mini Cooper included for scale.

When they were completely dry the next day, I skeined them up and took their picture again. I love them! Not bad for a first attempt.

They're also pretty wound into center pull balls.

I made myself wait to cast on until I finished the pair of socks already in progress. When I did begin, I finished the first sock in about a week, which is far and away a speed record for me. So I have dubbed them my Rapid Fire socks. We'll see how quickly the second sock comes along.

It's hard to self-portrait the foot.

All in all, I had a complete and total blast dyeing yarn. I already have several ideas for what colors I'd like to try next.

Ridged Feather Socks

Ridged Feather Socks
Originally uploaded by gldyas
From Jawoll superwash on size 2 needles.

Polkadot's baby hat

Polkadot's baby hat
Originally uploaded by gldyas
I knitted this last night and this morning. I love the instant gratification of baby hats. The pattern is adapted from Itty Bitty Hats. It's made from two colors of Sugar n Cream from my stash - one of the green and another variegated skein that also includes the green.

Skirt, Girl, Plastic Hippo

Pink skirt for Ellie 2
Originally uploaded by gldyas
Loving the 7:15 am before school photo opportunity.

Pink skirt for Ellie

Pink skirt for Ellie
Originally uploaded by gldyas
Ellie modeling her new skirt, in two colors of KnitPicks Shine Worsted.