loom-knit-along: join-as-you-go mitered square blanket — part 1

I’ve been looking for a good yarn scrap project because I love the patchwork look and my yarn collection is growing at an uncontrollable rate.

I came across a mitered square baby jacket one day so I followed the link to the free pattern, but it involves sewing all the squares together… doable maybe for a baby jacket but I wasn’t into sewing hundreds of squares together to make up a blanket. So I tried looking for visual tutorials for a join-as-you-go version but didn’t come across any. After making the Ten-Stitch Blanket I was pretty sure it’s possible to join as you go, so I tinkered around a bit and figured out a system!

Interested in knitting along? :D I figure if we start now, and knit one or two squares a day, we’ll have a blanket by Christmas to give away as gift! (or keep for yourself!) You can also use the idea of temperature blanket, mood blanket, or sky blanket. They’re really great ideas to be mindful of our surroundings or our feelings so we don’t take them for granted or be unaware of how things affect us. 

Each square doesn’t take very long to make, only 23 stitches at its widest part, and it keeps decreasing as you go so it feels like it’s knitting up even faster. There WILL be a million ends to weave in, but I weave them in as I complete each square so I don’t leave them all till the end.

So! In this post we’ll show you the materials I used, and how I made the first square. In the next few posts I will share:

How to make the subsequent squares in the first row

How to make the first square in every row

How to make every other square

How to make stripes!

First, we need:

24-peg loom (I got mine from this kit, it’s the smallest in the kit)

Loom pick

Bulky weight yarn or two strands of worsted held together

Stitch marker

Tea! (optional but highly recommended)

(For the demonstration I’m going to make a hand towel with some worsted weight cotton, and for clarity purpose, I’m just going to use a single strand. But for the blanket, if you’re using worsted weight, it’s best to use 2 strands held together for the gauge of this loom.)

Before knitting we need to mark the middle stitch. Counting from the first peg, which is the first peg to the right of the side knob, put the stitch marker on the 12th peg on the loom, like so…

Then we’re ready to cast on!

Cast on row: Make a slip knot with the yarn, adjust it to the first peg. E wrap (wrap the working yarn around the peg from right to left) the first peg and knit off. Cast on the next 22 pegs by e-wrapping each peg twice and knit the bottom loop over the top loop. Beware not to cast on too tightly.

Row 1: Purl (here’s a video of purling) to the marked peg, e-wrap knit the marked peg, purl to end. (Note in the picture that the last peg of the loom is empty — we only use 23 pegs of the loom.) Beware not to make the stitches too tight.

Row 2: Move the loop on the peg to the left of the marked peg onto the marked peg. Move the loop on the peg to the right of the marked peg onto the marked peg. Now the marked peg has 3 loops on it. 

(Always move the loop on the left first, then the one on the right, so it looks consistent.)

Move the loop on the peg to the left of the now empty peg onto the empty peg. Keep moving each loop to the empty peg to the right until you reach the beginning of the row.

E-wrap and knit off each peg until you reach the marked peg. E-wrap the marked peg, knit off all three bottom loops on the peg (I prefer knitting them off one at a time, it’s easier).

You will now have an empty peg to the right of the marked peg. Move the loop on the peg to the right of the empty peg onto the empty peg, e-wrap the peg and knit off. Then keep moving each loop to the empty peg to the left and e-wrap and knit off until you reach the end of row. I find it easier to do this with the loom sitting flat on a surface.

And that’s it! Just repeat rows 1 and 2 until you have 3 pegs left with loops on them. (moving the stitches is kind of tedious, apparently there are looms with moving inserts to help with this…? But I don’t have one of those looms, so this is why we only make one or two squares a day! It’s not so bad.)

Purl the last 3 loops, then move the loops to the left and right of the marked peg to the marked peg. E-wrap and knit off the bottom 3 loops. Take the last loop off the peg, cut yarn, and tie off by bringing the yarn tail around the loop to the front, then through the loop from back to front, as pictured.

And here we have our first square! Now by always e-wrap knitting the marked/middle peg, you’ll get a raised line of knit stitches or braid running diagonally through the square. For my blanket I just purl all the pegs on the purl rows, because I can’t trust my attention to always knit that one stitch on purl row and not make mistakes. But it’s up to you!

Here’s a sneak peek of how we will join the next square, so you can see the finished square. (and see? I already make a mistake by purling the marked stitch on a purl row!)

Happy knitting! I’ll be back in a few days with the next episode of join-as-you-go mitered square blanket! :D

 

 

 

 

scarves galore and more

I worked with the best team of people in the world. And over the past few years I probably spent more time with them than with my family. Which was partly why I was leaving (not the people, just the type of work), but also makes it hard to leave.

The only way I know how to mark a transition in relationships (because it’s not goodbye, it’s just… we won’t see each other everyday and won’t share the same things when we do see each other again), and to say how much I love them, is to make people things. I observe what people like to wear and I make the things that I think they’ll like.

So, I made all these scarves and reading socks in about a month. All loom knitted :) 

I followed a YouTube tutorial for this one, the pattern is called Dragon Tail, and I used Red Heart Unforgettable in Dragonfly, with two strands held together, and the 41-peg loom.  

I used Loops & Threads Barcelona for all the other scarves. It was on huge sale at Michaels, it’s got great colour variations and the weight works with the gauge of my looms. This one I followed the tutorial for a triangular scarf, but whenever there is a colour change I work an eyelet row. If I were to give this scarf a name, I would name it “going with the flow”. It was fun to make. 

For this one I worked [2 eyelet rows, a few garter rows, a 2 popcorn rows, a few garter rows, and 2 eyelet rows] with a few inches apart. 

And fun reading socks! It was made with Caron Chunky Cakes (toes, heels and cuffs), two strands of worsted yarn held together (green part) and a super bulky pink yarn for a fun contrast. I followed a toe-up socks tutorial.

And in the midst of this making frenzy for my coworkers, I was invited to a baby shower of a good friend from high school. So I thought, of course I can finish a baby blanket in a week! (I didn’t, I was one panel shy of finishing it the night of the shower, so I’ll have to wait to give it to the baby when he’s born.)

I followed the ten-stitch blanket tutorial and used the regular Caron Cakes, with a 24-peg loom. It’s amazing how it works! And I really like how the colours turned out, very modern-looking, I think.

And here it is finished :)

 

I find loom knitting very meditative. Perhaps over the summer I’ll make another blanket with variegated yarn. 

Have a good start to the week, everyone!

 

going places

If I were to give this shawl a name I would name it “going places”. Because of the repeated arrow pattern.

It is a loom knitted project, for a gift. I used a 41-peg loom (largest of the set), and followed this pattern for “woven herringbone stitch”, but I replaced all the yarn-overs with purl stitches, because the yarn-overs just came out way too loose with the gauge of my loom.

(But you know what, the other night I had a dream that I got a new finer gauge loom that works perfectly with worsted weight yarn. Yes, very specific dream. So maybe it’s a sign. We’ll see. Anyway, I digress.)

It’s actually a really easy k2 p2 pattern repeat with just different number of knit stitches at the start of each row to create the herringbone pattern. Perfect for knitting while TV-watching, but not boring.

The yarn I used was Loops & Threads Barcelona. It’s quite soft, the colour transitions are fun to knit with, and the weight works well with the gauge of my loom, plus it was on massive sale at Michaels.

The pattern is worked over multiples of 4 stitches, so I knitted this over 40 pegs, until it reached 46″. Basically until I ran out of yarn, which is one skein and a bit more (leftover from another skein). With the regular bind-off method it really puckered, so I used a stretchy bind-off method. If I were to make it again I would definitely make it longer. I did win at yarn chicken on this one though, so no complaints!

It was even long enough to work as a squishy scarf :D

Perhaps you’d give this a try? Let me know if you do! :D

Whether you use needles, hooks or looms, have a happy crafting week!

 

cumulus cowl

I had a vision of this cowl when I saw the yarn, which was Loops & Threads Barcelona in Arctic, and I bought it because it was on massive sale. It is a very fluffy yarn and with the colours it reminds me of clouds. I wanted to create a subtle cable texture where the cables may not be super noticeable at first glance, and the crossing of the stitches are a bit hidden, like clouds, which are easily taken for granted unless we take time to stop and notice their forms and shapes, and twists and turns.

I was happy with the way it came out so I thought I’d share what I did. The fabric is doubled so it’s extra warm and squishy. It would work nicely with any bulky yarn with long colour transitions of grey and white. (or other colours you like!)

 

It is a loom knitting pattern, and if you’re new to it now worries! I include links to video tutorials for different techniques. Loom knitting itself is quite easy, so a beginner would be able to follow this pattern.

Material:

Half a skein of Loops & Threads Barcelona — about 150 yards.

41 peg Knit Quick round loom and loom knitting hook

4 mm crochet hook (for weaving in ends)

Pattern:

Mark the pegs with elastic bands or stitch markers. Mark the first two pegs, *skip two pegs, mark the next two*, repeat from * to * around until there are 3 pegs left.

E-wrap cast on all the pegs around the loom.

E-wrap every round until piece is 2″ in length.

Cable round: *Take off and hold the loops from the first two marked pegs. Place the loop from first peg on the second peg, then place the loop from the second peg on the first peg, then e-wrap the two stitches* (cable stitch complete). E-wrap the next two stitches as usual. Repeat from * to * over the next two stitches on marked pegs to work cable stitch. Continue around working cable stitch over the stitches on marked pegs, and working regular e-wraps over unmarked pegs. (Here’s a video for the cable stitch, except that in the video u-wraps and purl stitches are used, whereas in this pattern only e-wraps are used)

E-wrap 3 rounds.

Repeat the last 4 rounds until piece is 16″ in length.

E-wrap until the piece is 18″ in length, don’t fasten off.

Seaming:

Place the cast on loops back on the pegs, careful in matching the loops to the pegs (i.e. the first loop of the round in the first peg, second loop on the second peg, and so on). Bind off loosely, treating the bottom two loops as one. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Move the seam towards the middle of the cowl, and enjoy the fluffiness!

Happy weekend, friends! :D

 

Lately

Lots of loom knitting projects lately. I even made myself a garter stitch sweater.

Really hoping to write up a pattern soon, but I think I have to give it another try in order to get some process photo to explain the collar part. It’s quite thick and warm, and really happy to have used up much of my blue yarn stash :D

Made a garter stitch hat as well, for my mom. I think I like this look better than the ewrap stitch version. And it would look quite nice with a pompom.

Also learned how to make slipper socks! I watched this YouTube video to understand how to make the toes and heels (which are actually made the same way), and then read this blog post to learn the top-up method.

They look cozy don’t they? Kind of like the reading socks they sell at bookstores these days.

It was Chinese New Year a couple of weeks ago, so I made some new year cake to bring to my parents’. I followed the recipe on All About Ami, it was really good, and very, very simple, perfect for someone who doesn’t usually bake, like me :D

Also on the cooking front, my co-workers have been recommending turmeric tea for a long time. Mike came across some turmeric paste in the grocery store, so we gave it a try. I found numerous recipes and they’re all very similar. I ended up just making this with 1/2 tsp per cup of milk, pinch of black pepper, pinch of cinnamon, pinch of ginger powder, a few squeezes of honey, and boiling all together. I enjoyed the taste, and hope to reap the health benefits of it soon!

And if your in the downtown Toronto neighbourhood tomorrow, it’s the annual Warming Toronto Knitting Day, benefiting Street Knit, which brings handmade mittens, hats and scarves to folks who are street-involved. Swing by for some snacks, mingling and yarn-crafting fun! 

Happy weekend!

 

knitting is caring

knit knit knit…

I made a pair of Totoro baby mitts for a friend who just had a baby :) Following the charts from this Ravelry pattern. For the small Totoro, I used this Totoro hexipuff chart

Over January I was busy getting as much knitting done as possible for the Hand Knit Hope initiative for eating disorder awareness. This project delivers handmade scarves, hats, headbands, etc. to treatment centres across Canada as gifts of encouragement, and the handmade goods are also used to raise funds for other initiatives aimed to increase support for people living with eating/body image issues or eating disorders. (you can read more about the project, and how you can help out too, on their Facebook page. If you scroll down a bit you’ll also see a brochure I made, and you might recognize a couple of patterns on it :D)

So I made 3 headbands, all on the knitting loom, with either two strands of worsted held together or one strand of super bulky weight yarn.

They were all made on the 36-peg round loom. The far left one is just a long tube of e-wrap stitches until it was about 8 inches long, then the top and bottom edges are sewn together so it’s double thick.

For the middle one, I followed this video tutorial

The one on the right is made with garter stitch, which is basically alternating one round of e-wraps and one round of purl stitch.

I also made a cowl, which was inspired by the Purl Soho Garter Gaiter cowl, using alternating colours for the e-wrap and purl stitch rounds. It was made on the 41-peg loom.

On the topic of knitting for a good cause, the Warming Toronto Knitting Day is back again at the end of February! Mike and I are planning to be there :D If you’re in the neighbourhood we’d love for you to pop by! You can find all the details here on Facebook.

Happy February everyone!

 

happy scrappy sweater

Start the new year right! Use up those scrap yarn to make room for new ones! :D

And get some knitting looms! So you can make this happy scrappy loom-knitting sweater! :D

*Disclaimer: I have not received compensations for any knitting loom manufacturers* (but maybe I should…)

I just… love the simplicity, the rustic fisherman look, the double thick, super warm fabric.

So! If you have a knitting loom, or if you’d like to get one and try your hands on loom knitting, here’s how this raglan sweater was made. 

(Haven’t tried loom knitting much but want to tackle a sweater project? No fear! I’ll have video tutorials throughout to show you different stitches. I did start with making hats and headbands first but the sweater really isn’t much harder.)

I used:

A 41-peg round loom (the largest in the set). I got mine in a set by Loops & Threads at Michaels (for medium to bulky yarn). It was about $20 and I had a 55% off coupon so it ended up being quite affordable.

Worsted weight yarn. I knitted with 2 strands of yarn held together throughout. I had a large ball of over 1000 yards of forest green (I can’t remember what brand and lost the label) that I used throughout, then just added different colours of scrap yarn as I went. 

6 mm crochet hook for casting on. Smaller hook for weaving in ends.

Yarn needle (that came with the loom set).

Sizing:

The size I made was 33″ around. I would have liked it larger. Given that I’m on the small scale of humans, I’m going to write the pattern for 37″ so it might work for more people. 37″ is the largest size the loom can make, for this pattern. Below are the approximate measurements, with 2 stitches = 1″ and 3 rows = 1″. The actual measurements for your sweater may vary depending on the kind of yarn you use.

Pattern:

Notes: 

Knit with 2 strands of yarn held together throughout. I used one colour consistently and just added different colours of scrap yarn. To change colour, I simply cut the working yarn and tie on a different colour. Very high-tech ;)

The pattern consists of 4 pieces: front, back, 2 sleeves. They’re sewn together in the 4 diagonal seams from under arm to collar, then sleeves are sewn together under the arm, and the sides are sewn together. 

Wherever “knit” or “k” is indicated in the pattern, it means the e-wrap stitch.

Front/Back (make 2):

Cast on all the pegs around the loom using this chain cast on method with a crochet hook, but don’t join in the round. I tend to cast on quite tightly so that the edges are as neat as possible (41 sts.)

Work k1 p1 rib for 6 rows. (video tutorial for k1 p1 rib here)

Continue knitting using the e-wrap stitch (e-wrap video here) until piece reach 13″.  

Now we begin decreasing towards the collar (yoke).

Yoke row 1: In the next row, decrease 1 by moving the loop on the last peg to the one next to it, e-wrap and knit off the 2 bottom loops on peg. Continue knitting until 2 stitches remain. Move the loop on the last peg to the second last peg, e-wrap and knit off the 2 bottom loops on peg. Decrease done! Simple, right? (Here’s a decrease video to summarize the action)

Yoke rows 2–3: Knit 2 rows even.

Repeat yoke rows 1–3 eight more times, then work yoke row 1 (decrease row) once more. 28 rows in yoke altogether, 21 stitches remain.

Work k1 p1 rib for 5 rows. 

Bind off (bind off video here).

Sleeves (make 2):

Chain cast on (same as front/back) 19 sts. 

Work k1 p1 rib for 5 rows.

Sleeve row 1–7: Knit 7 rows even.

Sleeve row 8 (increase): knit 2, make 1 (m1), knit until 2 stitches remain, m1, knit 2. (make 1 video here — the person in the video uses a different knit stitch method but you can continue using the e-wrap for this)

Repeat sleeve rows 1–8 seven more times — 64 rows altogether, increased to 35 sts.

Now we decrease for shoulder.

Shoulder row 1: knit 1 row even.

Shoulder row 2: decrease 1, knit till 2 stitches remain, decrease (see yoke row 1 above).

Repeat shoulder rows 1–2 thirteen more times, 28 rows altogether in shoulder, 7 stitches remain.

Work k1 p1 rib for 5 rows. Bind off.

Assembly:

With wrong side facing, and using one strand of yarn only (to reduce bulk), sew raglan seams together connecting sleeve pieces to front and back pieces. Sew sleeve together under the arm and continue sewing together the sides. Repeat with other sleeve/side.

Voilà!

And! I got this incredible t-rex wooden sculpture from a dear friend :D Isn’t it the most awesome thing?

If you do give it a try do drop me a line! Cheers to a fantastic roaring year! 

  

 

holiday makes

Tis the time of year for the holiday crafting post, after all the gifts are gifted :D But I always lose track of what I made… here are some highlights!

The plant above is for a dear friend who said she can’t keep plants alive. But wait for it…

It’s a hidden Oddish!! Yes, she is also a big Pokemon fan :D

Here’s Oddish chilling on the couch.

I’m really happy with how Oddish turned out. There are a few good Oddish patterns out there but I ended up making it up as I crocheted because of the size of the plant pot. I also got a pair of reddish brown safety eyes as part of a free gift one time from a crochet magazine subscription :D They worked perfectly on Oddish.

And then there’s this cozy pair of crochet mittens, for a friend who recently relocated to colder climates. But wait…

It has finger openings for texting and taking pictures! :D I made them from this lovely pattern.

This one took me quite a while…

But well worth the time! Look how happy my dad is! :D And it fits perfectly! Always tricky making garments for my parents, never know if it’s going to fit and I can’t get Mike to test try it because he’s much taller… but it worked out this time :D The cable pattern is actually taken from this sweater pattern

This is my mom doing a dance with the crochet shawl, probably to the music on TV (my sister sent me the photo :D).

I thought it would be good for when she studies and writes in her office at home, which she spends quite a bit of time doing. It’s modified from this gorgeous pattern, because I was using a much heavier yarn. I skipped over quite a bit of the granny stitch sections. It’s a fun pattern to make with variegated yarn with long colour changes.

This is the warmest neckwarmer I’ve never made, probably Lapland-ready! :D Loom knitted (on a 41-peg round loom) a very long tube (about 20″) with two strands of worsted weight yarn held together, then the ends of tube are sewn together to make a double-thick tube! I took a photo before wrapping it for my mother-in-law :)

And now, things others made that I can’t make…

Isn’t it magnificent? :D Very grateful heart and stomach.

And for a year of more making…

Mike got me a long loom, a stitch counter, and the perfect yarn-crafting snack! :D :D :D

Here’s to a year of new ideas and more crafting!

 

loom knit a plum pudding!

It’s my latest craze! I can’t seem to get back to the needles at the moment… I’m sure I will, but right now I’m just looking for all kinds of things to loom knit. I saw some really cute crocheted and knitted tea cozies in the shape of plum pudding lately, and I thought I could probably loom knit one! So here it is :D

I’ve actually never had plum pudding, but always thought it’s the cutest-looking Christmas-related thing! The lighting in my apartment is quite poor especially in the evening, but here’s a better look at the tea cozy.

I thought I’d share what I did here, in case you’re a loom knitter and want to give it a try, or if you also want to try your hands on loom knitting (it’s so much fun!), and for myself to remember when I need to make one or a few more next year :D 

I used this 31-peg loom, it came in a set of 4 by Loops and Threads at Michaels. I bought it because it’s affordable, especially with the weekly Michaels coupon, for my first try with loom knitting. I’m not sure why this particular loom has an odd number of pegs, because I thought all round looms have even number of pegs… but it worked anyway.

I used:

Worsted weight yarn in brown and white, with 2 strands held together throughout

A bit of worsted weight yarn in green and red

3.5 mm crochet hook

Yarn needle

How to:

To begin, cast on using chain cast on (I learned using this video) with brown.

Then, using e-wraps (here’s a tutorial), work 8 rows around. The tea cozy uses e-wraps throughout.

We now separate front and back pieces.

Front:

Work 16 stitches back and forth (to create a flat panel) for 7 rows (video on how to make a flat panel here).

Then, incorporate white using this chart.

Start with the bottom row. Work two stitches of brown. Make a slip knot with white and put on next peg, and work this stitch. When wrapping the next peg with white, make sure that the brown working yarn is laying on top of the white working yarn, thus carrying the brown yarn along. Continue following the chart, carrying the brown when wrapping with the white, and vice versa.

After finishing the chart, work 10 rows back and forth in white. (My teapot is a bit on the tall side standing at 6.5″ including lid, so if your teapot is smaller, you can probably omit a few rows.) Cut yarn.

Back:

Attach brown to the first unworked peg at row 8. Wrap and knit the remaining 15 unworked stitches for 7 rows. 

Follow the chart for the next 3 rows. If you have the same loom as me you would need to omit either the far left or far right column of the chart.

Work 10 rows in white (or the same number of rows on the other side). 

Work 5 rows in the round. Tie and secure the yarn tail when you get to the peg where the yarn was cut at the end of the front piece.

Leaving a long tail, cut yarn. Thread yarn tail in needle, weave needle through each stitch while taking the stitch off the peg, gather and cinch the stitches together, turn piece inside out, weave the needle through the gathered stitches a few more times and tie off. Weave in all the ends. Turn piece right side out. 

Here’s close up of the completed icing chart…

Holly:

Leaves (make 3): Leaving a long tail for sewing, ch 10, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, through back loop only, *sc in next ch, dc in next ch, ch 2, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, dc in next ch, sc in next ch, dc in next ch, ch 2, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, dc in next ch, sc in next ch*, sl st in next ch. Now working on the other side of the foundation chain, repeat from * to *, sl st in last ch, fasten off, weave in this end.

Berries (make 3): Leaving a long tail for sewing, 6 sc in magic ring, don’t join in the round, 1 sc in each sc for 2 rounds (or just work 12 sc’s), fasten off. Stuff tail end into berry. Thread beginning tail in needle, pull on tail to ensure magic ring is closed as tightly as possible, pass needle through the magic ring and the berry and prepare to sew on the pudding.

Assembly:

Sew leaves and berries onto the top of the plum pudding with the yarn tails, like so…

Put teapot in cozy, and we’re done! Pretty quick and easy. Makes a great gift for tea lovers :)

Have a cozy, happy weekend, everyone!

 

 

adventures in loom-knitting

For my birthday I got myself a set of knitting looms. It also serves well as a birthday crown :D

I’ve discovered that loom-knitting is super quick for making hats! I found it quite relaxing and it’s a great for tv-watching. I literally made 5 hats in a week. Some were smaller child-size ones of course, but definitely quicker than knitting. And thick and cozy with the doubled brim and super bulky yarn. I’ve had great results using Caron Tea Cakes. One roll makes about 2.5 hats, and it’s just about the right thickness for the loom. 

So I made a couple with the Earl Grey colourway for friends. The looms I got came with an instruction book so I just followed that. There are also tons of tutorials for making double-rimmed loom-knitted hats with simple e-wrap stitches.

Then I remade my pink hat.

And then made a couple of kids’ ones using Sprinkle Cakes :D This was one of them. The brim was 2 strands of worsted weight yarn held together. The other has a purple brim and yellow pom pom but I gift-wrapped it before taking a picture :(

This one I made with two strands of worsted weight yarn held together throughout. 

And this was a custom order, with a modified Albertosaurus on it :)

Have you tried loom-knitting? What else have you made? I’d love to hear about other possibilities!

Have a good week everyone! :D