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Lavender & Lace

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knit lavender sachet

LAVENDER & LACE
1-PAGE PDF PATTERN – £0.90
favourite & queue on Ravelry

Here’s a quick, pretty, pretty quick project to use up left-over lace-weight yarn, and an hour or so of your evening. If you use ribbon cut out of clothing, and lavender from your garden, you can feel the added smugness of being terribly thrifty.

A few suggestions, as always:

  • If you’re giving woolly handknits as gifts, wrap a sachet with them to counter any “sheepy” smells.
  • Knit a few sachets for yourself over the winter, so you can use them to pack away with your winter clothes when the weather grows warmer.
  • Slip one or two sachets on hangers and fill them with mothballs, to keep dreaded larvae from snacking on your cashmere. I recommend throwing one or two in with your stash, too.
  • Needless to say, you can put other things in your sachet, like jewelry, sweeties, stitch markers, milk teef, tisanes, nibs, buttons, and other trifles, trinkets, and things.
  • Knit the pattern with thicker yarn and larger needles for a larger pouch, into which you can put even greater things! :)

knit lavender sachet
knit lavender sachet

Materials

  • Small amount (less than 50m / 55 yds) of Rowan Fine Lace or other leftover lace-weight yarn.
  • Set of 2mm (US 0) DPNs,
  • 3mm (US 3) needle for cast-off,
  • tapestry needle for weaving in ends,
  • approx. 20cm / 8in of thin ribbon,
  • and a tablespoon of dried lavender.

Gauge: 35 sts / 40 rounds over 10cm / 4in in stocking stitch in the round.
Finished size after blocking: 5cm / 2in wide and 11cm / 4.25in at the tallest point.

Instructions are charted only.

knit lavender sachet
knit lavender sachet

I will leave you with this lovely poem by Noyes. Until smell-o-vision is invented, the olfactory evocation of poetry must suffice, and although I’m not sure who the hawker is who Noyes exalts, I’d be lying if I said I don’t feel a certain affinity with him. :)

LAVENDER by Alfred Noyes

Lavender, lavender
That makes your linen sweet;
The hawker brings his basket
Down the sooty street:
The dirty doors and pavements
Are simmering in the heat:
He brings a dream to London,
And drags his weary feet.

Lavender, lavender,
From where the bee hums,
To the loud roar of London,
With purple dreams he comes,
From raggèd lanes of wild-flowers
To raggèd London slums,
With a basket full of lavender
And purple dreams he comes.

Is it nought to you that hear him?
With the old strange cry
The weary hawker passes,
And some will come and buy,
And some will let him pass away
And only heave a sigh,
But most will neither heed nor hear
When dreams go by.

Lavender, lavender!
His songs were fair and sweet,
He brought us harvests out of heaven,
Full sheaves of radiant wheat;
He brought us keys to Paradise,
And hawked them thro’ the street;
He brought his dreams to London,
And dragged his weary feet.

Lavender, lavender!
He is gone. The sunset glows;
But through the brain of London
The mystic fragrance flows.
Each foggy cell remembers,
Each raggèd alley knows,
The land he left behind him,
The land to which he goes.

knit lavender sachet
Sniff.

10th December, 2012  // Downloads, Home // tags: , .

Knit Abacus Pouch / Pencil Case

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Knit Abacus Pouch

Here’s a nifty project for the travelling knitter: a counting aid, a cunning computational device & a receptacle all in one! Put your knitting notions in the pouch, grab your knitting & head to the beach. Or knit one in time for going back to school.

I’ve always been interested in how knitters count, whether with M&Ms, chocolate bar pieces (my favourite, though a bit problematic if you have to rip), stitch markers, row counters, pen & paper, or a fancy iPhone app. A while ago Francesca of Fluffbuff shared a great low-tech trick for labelling swatches & I mentioned how much I love lo-fi solutions. The great thing about them is that there’s no right way to use them; you can get as creative with their use as you do with your knitting. For example, you could use your abacus to…

  • count the rows you knit, in increments of 1, 5, 25, and 125 for each row of beads (up to 760, if I’m not mistaken).
  • keep track of simultaneous increases & decreases.
  • do soroban-style calculations; here’s a lady with a slightly crazy voice explaining how.
  • “pre-code” your knitting pattern so that you don’t have to bring it along.

My Mum even suggested that you could use it visually, to remember surface shapes and patterns.

Abacus Pencilcase

Knit Abacus

Knit Beads

Zipper Pull

This is an easy-peasy project which any beginner could make. The whole thing is just stocking stich, after all. The trickiest part was the sewing, but all that took was a bit of patience. Don’t be scared by the zipper. This was the first time I’ve sewed in a zipper, and seriously, there’s nothing to it; if you’ve ever set in a sleeve, I can assure you that this is much easier!
I think it’s inevitable that the bead “swags” will sag a little. I actually like them that way because they look like a beaded fringe, and it doesn’t interfere with their use. But if it bothers you, you could always place a piece of cardboard or plastic canvas between the knitting and lining, to keep the knitting stretched out.


ABACUS POUCH / PENCIL CASE

You will need:

Less than 50m / 55yds of aran-weight yarn
4.5mm / US7 needles, or size to get gauge
21cm / 8in zipper
10 beads in a light colour
10 beads in a darker colour
1 large bead for zipper pull (optional)
Approx. 22 cm x 22cm / 8.5in x 8.5in fabric for lining (optional)
A tapestry needle
A sewing needle & thread

Gauge: 13 sts / 20 rows to 10cm / 4in.
Finished size: 18cm x 11cm / 7in x 4¼in.

A Word on Yarn & Bead Choice

I recommend an acrylic or acrylic-blend yarn, so that your pouch is less likely to sag or felt with use, or pill when you slide the beads around. Use needles smaller than the yarn calls for, to get a sturdy fabric. The beads need to be the right size to stay put when strung on the yarn, but should slide along easily when pushed. Large beads that stand out too far from the fabric make it difficult to gauge the length of the “swags”, so I recommend medium or smallish beads. Mine were 1cm wide.

Knitting the Pouch

String your beads onto your yarn in this order: 5 of the lighter shade, 5 of the darker shade, 5 of the lighter shade, 5 of the darker shade. The beads you will knit first are therefore strung on last. A small crochet hook will help, if you can’t get your tapestry needle through your beads. You’ll need to keep pushing your beads along as you knit.

CO 26sts.
Work 4 rows in st st.
ROW 5: K8, sl 10 sts pwise wyif, push 5 beads up to the last knit stich, so they lay in front of the slipped sts, leaving enough slack for the beads to slide k next 2 sts tightly, k6.
ROW 6: Purl across.
ROW 7: Knit across.
ROW 8: Purl across.
Rep. rows 5 – 8, 3 times more. Work in st st until piece measures 11cm / 4¼in, ending with RS facing.
Next ROW: P across. (This forms the fold).
Next ROW: P across.
Next ROW: K across.
Next ROW: P across.
Continue in st st until back measures 11cm / 4¼in from fold. Cast off.

Lining
If you choose to line your pouch, hem your fabric all the way around, then sew it 1cm / 0.5in in from each side of your pouch. You may want to stretch your pouch as you go.

Zipper
Open the zipper, pin and sew it onto your pouch. I recommend working by hand, unless you’re a sewing machine whiz. Try to sew just under the cast on & cast off chains, as they will border the zipper nicely.

Mattress stitch the sides of your pouch.

Tab
Thread the cast off tail onto your tapestry needle, and pull your needle away 25cm / 10in from the pouch. Twist this length of yarn, keeping the rest of the yarn untwisted (you’ll be using it to secure the tab, but trim it a little, if that makes it easier). When you have enough twist that the yarn kinks up on itself, fold it in half, and even out the twist. Then insert the tapestry needle near where the tab emerges. Fold the tab into a loop, and sew the loop down. Secure the threads with a knot. You’ll need to cut the needle loose, but it should be ok, as long as you’ve knotted it well.

Zipper Pull
Cut a length of yarn approx. 25cm / 10in long, and pull a loop through the eye of your zipper. Then pull the ends of your yarn through the loop to form a lark’s head knot. Thread a large bead through both strands of yarn, secure with a knot. Trim off any excess.

Weave in your ends & you’re done!

Note: If you need them, here are: Knitting Abbreviations & a Mattress Stitch Tutorial


More abacus craft from around the web:

Giant wall abacus
Popsicle Stick Abacus
Spool Abacus
Abacus-inspired Family Comman Center
Oversized Wooden Abacus
Binary Marble Adding MachineSo. Cool.

Tip Junkie handmade projects

14th June, 2011  // Balay, Home, Travel // tags: , , , , , .

Sunday Morning Knitting Project

knitted earring holder

Well, none of us are in heaven… and it’s Sunday. But don’t worry, I have a project that’s sooo quick & simple, it’s sure to cheer you up. :)

Here’s what you need:

  • an old wooden frame. You won’t need the glass, but you can brighten it up with a lick of paint, if you like.
  • a few thumbtacks. I used 18.
  • small amount of lace-weight yarn, and suitable needles. I used some undyed cotton, and 3.5mm (US 4) needles.
  • (optional) s-hooks

Knitting
If you already have a nice swatch lying around, and it fits your frame, perfect! But if you’d like to make one just like mine, here’s the stitch pattern I used. You’ll need to make it about an inch shorter than the outside of your frame (or wherever you’ll be pinning it) on the long side & the short side, so that you can stretch your lace out to look nice. My frame is 18.5cm x 13.5cm on the outside edges. I cast on 30 sts, and worked 4 pattern repeats.

Lattice Lace Chart LATTICE LACE
Cast on a multiple of 7 sts + 2.

ROW 1: K3, *k2tog, yo, k5, rep. from * to last 6 sts, k2tog, yo, k4.
ROW 2: P2, *p2tog tbl, yo, p1, yo, p2tog, p2, rep. from * to end.
ROW 3: K1, *k2tog, yo, k3, yo, ssk, rep. from * to last st, k1.
ROW 4: P across.
ROW 5: K1, *yo, ssk, k5, rep. from * to last st, k1.
ROW 6: *P1, yo, p2tog, p2, p2tog tbl, yo, rep. from * to last 2 sts, p2.
ROW 7: *K3, yo, ssk, k2tog, yo, rep. from * to last 2 sts, k2.
ROW 8: P across.

Rep. these 8 rows until swatch is desired length. Bind off loosely. No need to weave in ends.

Note: Check KnittingHelp if you need help with abbreviations, or working stitches.

Tacking

Secure each corner of the swatch with a thumbtack to the corners of the frame (make sure the wrong side is facing you!).

Then push a thumbtack into the centre of each side.

Secure with more thumbtacks as necessary.

Make sure it looks good on the right side…

Wind the yarn ends around one or two thumbtacks so that they’re secure. Trim off short, so that they can’t be seen from the right side.

You’re done!

Hang up your earrings. If you have some s-hooks handy (you can buy them at hardware stores), you can use them to hang rings and necklaces up too.

You can also use your swatch as a pretty key holder.

knitted key holder

Or just hang it up as a piece of art. ;) Have a great week!

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22nd May, 2011  // Balay, Home // tags: , , , , , , , .
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