Wednesday, February 29, 2012

cotton leaves

on a hike this week, i found :  a heart rock, a tiny stream, a snake, a blue jay feather (after taking it's photo, i placed it  into a fallen tree near the trail for someone else to find too) and  i found a bit of inspiration. cotton leaf wash cloths, some for the kitchen, some for the bath (not really for hanging like a pennant, but it was fun to do for the photo!)  all for my grown up children. i have six made and four more to go before i can send these off (i'll make some for chuck and i soon)  thank you emma for sharing the pattern and thank you mother nature. the book i'm reading is down the garden path by beverley nichols. originally written in nineteen thirty two, it's said that this is one of the world's best-loved and most quoted garden books, i am quickly finding out why. it's a completely charming read. i love that it makes me laugh aloud!

cotton leaf wash cloths - pattern here by designer megan goodacre
fiber - blue sky organic cotton & knit picks cotton worsted in a leafy shade   :)

joining along with wednesdays yarn along  :)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

fun with pockets ~ a tutorial

thank you so much for the sweater love. i'm happy that the pockets were liked.
if you'd like to try adding pockets to your knits too, here is a photo tutorial of how i've done it. ready?
here we go...

 here is what you'll need to make your pocket(s). i've used contrasting color wool for the inside, but if you'd rather keep to all one color, then disregard the second color. for demonstration purposes i've made a swatch. before cutting into your sweater, i would suggest always making a swatch to practice on

first, you'll want to determine where the pocket should be, then find the center on the sweater (swatch). it's easy to just look, but if you like you can add pins to mark the placement

 if you pull your swatch apart, you'll be able to see the stitches a bit clearer. do you see the double vertical bars? the upside down v?  choose one in the top center of where you'd like your pocket opening to be

 lift the stitch so you isolate just one


 now it's time for the scissors

 making sure you have just the one stitch

make (deep breath) the cut

 :)   okay, that was a bit exhilarating wasn't it?

 next, begin unraveling. delicately, pull the cut thread, from one side, then the other. (remember, your working from the center).

having already determined the length of your pocket,  only unravel as many stitches
as you want your pocket

 again, carefully, without pulling, pick up the bottom stitches. these will be the top of the pocket. do not cut the unraveled wool, these will be woven in at the end

 here we have nine stitches picked up. now turn your swatch over to pick up the stitches for the back

 now we're on the back side, picking up the stitches from the bottom (which is really the top of the pocket)
don't worry, if that doesn't make sense, i promise it will.

 you should have the same number of stitches, here we have nine on the front of the pocket, and nine on the back

now on the back, using a contrasting color if you like, attach your yarn to the first stitch on the needle, and begin to knit across the row.  here i used a silky merino held double. it's a good idea to use a yarn with a similar weight if you'll be adding a second color

 keep knitting until your pocket is the the length you want

 here is how the backside will look, see how the top stitches that you picked up are knit down?

 when you get to the desired length, bind off, and come back to the front

front of work, with the green hiding behind


now attach the main color yarn to the first stitch and knit one row across

 then bind off, and the front is done

it's already beginning to look like a pocket  :)

now it's time to seam and stitch your pocket down

using the main color wool, split your plies and use one to sew with

starting at the top right corner begin seaming. you will of course be much neater than i am here,
the light was fading fast, and i wanted to finish up while it was still good!

but you can see what needs to be done. sew all the way around your pocket, picking up just the backside of the knit stitch. this is so your stitches won't show on the front. sometimes it might be necessary to split stitches. it's okay

now weave in all those left over pieces

 admire your bravery

it wasn't so scary afterall and now you'll have a place for your treasures. one of my favorite posts,
is about these things (treasures and pockets), and it's titled, very originally, pockets (there is knitting too)

if you'd like more of a hidden pocket, when your using a contrasting color, just knit the first two rows
on the back side with the main color yarn, then add the contrast

your friends will think you are quite clever. happy pocket making!

xxx lori

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

spring pockets

my sweater was completed, with sleeves and buttons. it's very soft and squishy, and oh so cozy, je t'aime beaucoup very much  :)

the buttons are vintage deer horn, i've had saved for years. finally the right project has come along for these and just the right amount.

i'm reading these (remembering to share for yarnalong), country living magazine and harvesting color, a beautifully photographed book by rebecca burgess, it's about making and dying fiber with nature, plants and flowers all explained in great detail. and then, to my complete (giddy!) surprise i found : : (see below)

in this months country living magazine, a workshop taught by rebecca burgess. and you won't believe! the workshop is in santa barbara! i immediately signed up, this is something i'd love to know more about.

and now if we might go back to the annabel cardigan, i wanted to add something to this pretty
pattern, can you guess what it is?

 it's not on the back

 and it isn't to do with the buttons

here it is, my sweater now has pockets! i've added afterthought pockets in a lovely destash green,
the silky merino malabrigo i made this with.

they aren't too big, i didn't want to add  much more to this already bulky weight sweater. there is just enough room for a car or bike key, small treasures found on a walk, and a doggy treat for my pup. love pockets.

cardigan ::  annabel  (yet to be blocked)
designer :: carrie bostick hoge
wool ::  osprey by quince
colorway ::  kumlien's gull
ravelry notes here

making afterthought pockets is very simple and fun! no skill other than making the knit stitch is needed. that and a strong resolve. you will be cutting into your knitting. you may require something to bolster your courage. a bit of jameson, neat, works for me. and so funny, but chuck couldn't watch. if you haven't made an afterthought pocket and you would like to, i could make a photo tutorial.

* and tomorrow, this beautiful hearted boy, will turn twenty six years old *
happy birthday my son

joining with

xxx lori