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Stitch Marker Knitting Patterns

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mini stitch marker patterns

Here’s another essential download for your Summer Knitting Survival Kit! Pop these in your Abacus Pouch along with your Shawl Shaping Cheat Sheet & you’ll be ready for any holiday emergency.

I’ve been considering turning my Twitter knitting patterns into a more useful format for a while now. My Moo minicards were my main inspiration, because they’re a good size to keep in a wallet/purse. But then I had an epiphany: how about making them into stitch markers so that they’re even more useful? If you’ve learnt anything about my style from this blog, surely it’s that I ♥ multi-functional designs. :)

mini knit bracelet pattern

The stitch marker is particularly handy for the shawl pattern which requires 1 stitch marker. It’s actually the same construction as the triangular shawl in the cheat sheet.

alternative tie?

  • I considered different shapes such as circles or teardrops; I thought they might get in the way less when knitting, but then if you wanted to keep them in your wallet, with other business cards, say, I think weird shapes would be a hassle. However, thanks to feedback from lovely Ravellers, the PDF now includes a version with rounded corners, which will hopefully stop any snags.
  • I experimented with orientation a little. I think I’m pretty much decided that this vertical format is best, even though it does break up the pattern quite a bit.
  • I tried incorporating the “tie” into the design, but I couldn’t come up with anything that wouldn’t disrupt the knitting. The version above might be OK when used at the end of a row, but not as a stitch marker, I fear. Also, it had to be reinforced with plastic. In the end, I think a bit of scrap yarn works best.
  • I thought about a little decoration, but couldn’t decide what, exactly. I think perhaps it’s in keeping with the sparseness of the format that it doesn’t have any extra flourishes.
  • I also dismissed the idea of a schematic / basic drawing of the FO, because part of the fun of the format is the mystery.
  • Similar to my knitting gift tags, these are thick enough when folded in half & stuck down. To make them more durable, you can also laminate them, or cover them in sticky plastic (the stuff you use to cover books).

mini knit bracelet pattern

DOWNLOAD NOW


If you don’t mind spoiling the surprise, here are some great knitwit projects:


BIRTHDAY SALE!

I hope you’ve been enjoying the free patterns I’ve been posting lately. I’ve really been enjoying these simple summer projects. If you fancy something from my Ravelry Store though, today’s the day to get it’s my birthday & to celebrate, all Laylock patterns are 25% off, just for today! No code necessary, the discount will be added to your cart automatically.


20th June, 2011  // Downloads // 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!

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