Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Tip of the Needle or A needle Tip

  If you've been knitting longer than 10 minutes, you've probably already started your knitting pet peeves list.  Well, here is one that hits the top of my list:
* knitting a narrow project on long needles!!!  I hate getting poked, having to adjust how I hold my needles, or just plain start yelling at the needles to stay outta my way when I'm working on something like a scarf that only needs a short needle; And finding short knitting needles in all sizes can be a challenge.

Well, after one of my wrestling matches with my Susan Bates 14 inch needles, I gave them to my husband and said "Cut these in half!" About 3 minutes later, I had a pair of lovely 7 inch needles!

Here's how: This works best with the Susan Bates metal needles (I wouldn't recommend you cut your wood or plastic needles)
With a pair of pliers, pull off the top of the needle (the part that has the name on it), set aside and using metal snips or a hack saw, cut off the excess needle from the 'non pointy' end. With some glue of your choice, pop that top back on, let dry and voila!! 

So, the next time you buy a set of needles, buy 2 pair! You'll have a long pair for the big projects, and you can make a short pair for your smaller things.

Friday, January 7, 2011

It's a Green Thing

Fingerless Mitts

Skill Level: beginner

Techniques involved: knit, purl, increasing using M1R, M1L, backwards loop cast-on ( there are several video sites showing this technique - Very simple)

M1R: A make one right slanting: Bring the tip of the left-hand needle under the strand between stitches, from back to front. Knit through the front of the loop.
M1L: A make one left slanting:Bring the tip of the left-hand needle under the strand between stitches, from front to back. Knit through the back of the loop.

There is also an excellent website showing various knitting increases:

Yarn: Malabrigo Chunky,Three-ply superfine Merino wool. Bulky 104 yards (95 meters); Color: Verde Adriana
Amount needed for project : approx. 75 yds

Needles and notions: Size 8 DPNs, stitch markers, stich holder, tapestry needle

Fit's women size med to lg.

CO 28 sts on 3 DPNs
Round 1 - 6: K1, P1
Round 7-22:  Knit
Thumb Gusset:
Round 23: K2, M1R, K1, M1L, knit to end
Round 24: Knit
Round 25: K2, M1R , K3, M1L, knit to end
Round 26: knit
Round 27: K2, M1R, K5, M1L, knit to end
Round 28: knit

Round 29: K2, CO5 with backwards loop or 'e' cast-on. Place the next 7 stitches on a holder, knit to end
Round 30 - 37: Knit
Round 31-36: K1, P1

Bind off in pattern, break yarn and weave in ends.

Finishing thumb:
Place the 7 stitches on stitch holder back on needle 1. With needle 2, pick up 3 stitches along opening. With needle 3, pick up 3 to 4 additional stitches around opening. Your amount may vary. Using your judgment, you'll want to pick up enough to not have any gaps.  Situate your 13-14 stitches evening on the 3 needles and knit 6 rounds with new yarn strand. Bind off. Use yarn end to close any gaps in thumb gusset that might be visible.