Tuesday, January 31, 2012

NRVCares Blanket Finished!

We did it!

Right before blocking
Thank you to everyone who made squares, you are all awesome. This project was finished in record time, all because of you! A very special thank you to our president, Devon, who not only did all the organizing for this project (dividing up all the yarn into those little bags), but also seamed it all together.

Sorry the colors are a bit off in the pictures, I need to take a photography course!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The cool kids were all there

Blogger has decided it hates Devon right now, so she asked me to post this for her:
At this month's Block Party, we worked on a blanket to be auctioned off at NRV Cares' fundraising gala in February.  We knit a whole bunch of blocks, and Dana read a knitting chart for the first time.  Way to go, Dana!

P.S. from Rachel:
Were you at the Guild Meeting earlier today?  I wasn't, I admit. But I'm trying to change my work schedule to fix that.
Anyway, check out pictures from the meeting that Gina posted on our FB page! (Facebook)
 Hm, I just realized that with the title of this post, I'm not one of the cool kids. But you guys still love me, right?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Crocheted Clouds

 Now interrupting our regularly scheduled programming to bring you a project where art, craft, and science collide. Ciro Najle is usually an architect; he designed this piece, which took several people to execute.
Najle says crochet is the perfect medium for representing fractal structures because its surfaces can be subdivided again and again by varying the length of neighbouring crochet lines . . . The sculpture comprises crocheted squares, each of which has an individual pattern modelled by Najle, who generated 1664 different diagrams pinpointing the intersections of the woollen strands, the crochet knots that are key to its structure.

To see more pictures, go to Le Labratorie's blog, here.  More about the exhibit (which apparently includes experiments with different yarns) can be found on New Scientist, here.

 (Originally found via io9)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mitered Square using Yarn Overs

Rachel demoed this block at December's meeting, and we're using it to make a blanket for the family of Officer Crouse, the officer who was killed at VT in December.

The mitered (or mitred) square block is formed such that there's a diagonal lined running from corner to corner.  Each row looks like it "turns the corner" along this diagonal.  There are many variations on the mitered square, but the one we've chosen for our afghan uses increases -- specifically yarn overs -- on every other row.

Mitered Square afghan block:

Size US 8 needle
Please use a slip stitch edge.  An easy way to do this is to slip the first stitch of every row purlwise with yarn in front, then bring the yarn to the back to continue knitting the row.  (You can learn more about slip stitch edges here.)

CO 3
Row 1: k1, pm, k1, pm, k1
Row 2: k1, yo, sm, k1, sm, yo, k1
Row 3: knit across
Row 4: knit to first marker, yo, sm, k1, sm, yo, knit to end
Row 5: knit across

Repeat rows 4 and 5 until the piece measures 8" on a side (approximately 25 repeats).
Bind off loosely.
Weave in ends and block to 8" square.

Some Notes:
  • Your block might look more like a kite when you cast off.  This is okay, and I might say even normal.  Blocking helps, and so does sewing these squares together into a larger project, like an afghan.
  • One benefit of using increases to create a mitered square is that you can keep knitting until it's the size you need.
If you're interested in exploring mitered squares more, they can be used to create some dazzling effects, such as in Mason-Dixon Knitting's Mitered Crosses Blanket, their striped Mitered Square Blanket, or something simpler like a coaster made of scrap yarn.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Slipped Stitch Edges

A slipped stitch edge is also known as a slip stitch edge or chain edge.  Instead of "edge", you could also say "selvedge".

Why use a slipped stitch edge?  It makes an even, non-bumpy edge that can make items like scarves look a bit more tailored.  Another benefit is that it makes joining afghan blocks easier, as the edge stitches are well-defined.

How do you do a slipped stitch edge?  There are three main ways to do it.  The first two look the same, and the third is a bit different.  It's a matter of preference.

* Slip the first stitch purlwise & knit the last stitch
* Slip the first stitch knitwise & purl the last stitch
* Slip the first stitch purlwise & knit the last stitch through the back loop (ktbl)
[Alternatively, some people prefer to slip the last stitch of a row & knit/purl the first.  Again, a matter of preference.]

TECHknitting has good explanation of that last one, complete with diagrams (I love diagrams), and the video up top shows them all in action.

Happy slipping. :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Great knitting techniques blog

Being one who loves the detail work of knitting, like choosing just the right increase or executing invisible seams, I'd like to give a shout-out to my favorite knitting blog:  TECHknitting.

The author has been blogging since 2006, giving detailed and well-illustrated explanations of a wide range of knitting techniques.  There is a detailed index of the site by topic, which comes in handy when you're looking for, say, cast-ons and bind-offs, info on ribbing, or maybe the low-down on stripes (particularly jogless stripes).

Personally, I had trouble weaving in ends until I read some her tricks.  There's even a list of ten ways to work in ends, 8 of which or as-you-go.  There's bound to be something new or useful here for everyone, from beginners to seasoned crafters.  Do you have a favorite knitting blog you'd like to share?