Hooked on Needles

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tote Bag Tutorial - Lesson 1: Fabric

Way back in October, which now seems very far away, a package came in the mail from Denver Fabrics with some fabric for a tote bag I planned to use for a gift...some basic black, some gingham and some pretty paisley, all durable duck cloth.

Since I have talked so much about this tote bag pattern I love to make, I thought I would share a little multi-part tutorial on making it. While constructing this gift, I kept my camera handy, and finally here is Lesson 1 of my Tote Bag Tutorial.


Tote Bag FabricI started out with a 21 x 36 inch cut of Black for the outside shell, a 21 x 36 inch cut of Paisley for the inside lining, and a 21 x 26 inch cut of Gingham for the inside pockets.

Tote Bag FabricThen I cut 2 pieces each of Black and Paisley 21 x 7 inches for the zippered extension. The Black will be seen from the outside and the Paisley will be the lining, to match the outside and lining of the bag itself.

Tote Bag FabricThen I cut 2 pieces of Paisley 20 x 14 inches for the outside pockets, which will be very generous in size. If you want smaller outside pockets, simply adjust the measurements. You can also leave the outside pockets off altogether if you like. The finished size of each pocket is 10 x 14 since the length of the fabric is folded in half, making it unnecessary to hem the top edge and also making it more sturdy. You can use a single thickness of fabric here if you would like.

Tote Bag FabricNext, I cut 2 strips of the Gingham 3 inches wide by the width of the fabric for the trim around the outside pockets. I also cut 2 pieces of Gingham 4 1/2 x 28 inches and 2 pieces of Black 5 x 28 inches for the handles.

Tote Bag zipperThe only other supplies I needed were a zipper and black thread. I purchased a heavy duty sport zipper which was 22 inches long. A regular zipper will work just fine too, but I prefer the heavy duty zippers for their bigger teeth and larger zipper pull.

In the next installment, I will show you how to put together the inside of the bag with the lining and pockets. But stay tuned tomorrow for my Whirl Into Winter Giveaway post which you won't want to miss!

Have a safe and happy New Year's Eve!

Happy Stitching!

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Crocheted Border - Simple But Pretty!

A crocheted border on a knitted or crocheted afghan can give it such a nice finishing touch. Depending on who will be receiving the afghan or baby blanket, either a simple border of single crochet or a foofy frilly ruffle border might be appropriate. Of course there is always a Something In Between type of border that could be just the thing too.

The most recent Oddball baby blanket I completed was Forest Greens on which I knitted the last section in a basket weave design. On that blanket, I was also on Border Patrol so I came up with a simple but pretty -- and easy -- border for this one. Here is a close-up of a finished corner...

Crocheted Border CornerWorking a round or two of single crochet around a knitted piece is a good way to get a border going. It stabilizes the edges and provides crochet stitches into which you can work the decorative border for the last round.

Crocheted Border - Whole Baby BlanketThis is the whole blanket all finished and ready to be delivered. The colors in this picture are much closer to real life than the colors in the corner picture above.

Would you like to use this border pattern on your own knitted or crocheted blanket? Here's the pattern:

Work 2 or more rounds of single crochet (sc) around the entire piece, making sure to work 3 sc in each corner so the piece will lie flat.

For final decorative round, * sc in each of next 3 stitches. Chain 3. Sc into same stitch as last sc was worked.* This will create a little loop of chain stitches coming from the same sc stitch.

Continue working from * to * around the piece. Join with slip stitch. Cut yarn leaving a tail of about 10 inches to weave in. Draw tail through last loop to secure. Weave in ends.

Borders are fun to experiment with. Use your imagination and creativity to come up with variations of other borders you have tried from patterns. You can crochet a different border on every afghan you make, creating a truly one-of-a-kind work of art!

Happy Stitching!

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Coming Soon -- Whirl Into Winter Giveaway -- Don't Miss It!

Remember back in the fall when I had that handsome scarecrow dude hanging out on my sidebar for a while? If you clicked on him, he would take you to Debi's blog on the Fall Into Fall Giveaway which was great fun, connecting quilters, crafters and others to dozens of great giveaways.

Well, Debi is doing it again! This time it's the Whirl Into Winter Giveaway. You may have noticed the friendly little snowflake that has been on my sidebar for a while. He's the mascot for this giveaway, so if you see him on anyone else's website, most likely they are also participating in this fun event.

I have just about completed the main prize for my own giveaway. Would you like to see a little hint of what it is? Take a look...

Whirl Into Winter Giveaway HintThis is just a pile of scraps, but if you look beyond that, you may be able to guess what my main prize will be. Since this is a winter themed giveaway, I thought it would be nice to give away something particularly suited to winter coziness. I will also have some other winter related treats included in my package for the winner.

Be sure to come back here on January 1st to sign up for my giveaway and get the link to all the other great websites that will be participating. So far there are 56 generous crafters out there just waiting to give away something fun and winter-y.

Happy Stitching!

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Whip Stitch Video Tutorial

Whip Stitch is a good technique to know since it is used in all kinds of sewing, knitting, crocheting, and quilting projects to join two pieces together. It is sometimes also used on an edge just for decoration.

Here's a short video showing the technique...

The little project I was using in this video to demonstrate the Whip Stitch is my friendly knitted bear you got to meet not too long ago. The Whip Stitch was used to sew up the cast on edge at the bottom of his legs. It was used again to sew up the front and back of his head since those parts were knit flat and left open for stuffing.

I also used Whip Stitch around the edges of the Merry Christmas Wallhanging and the Tree Skirt to attach the felt backing pieces which hide all the knots and threads and give the pieces a little more stability. This was done using thread to match the felt and helps to keep the edges from getting frayed and fuzzy over time.

There are many other joining stitches for thread or yarn projects as well, but for the types of projects mentioned above, Whip Stitch is a great technique to use.

Happy Stitching!

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Knitted Basketweave Stitch - Easy and Reversible

The Forest Greens baby blanket for the Northeast Oddball Baby Blanket group is finished and ready to be sent off for delivery. I was the last knitter on this blanket so today I thought I would share with you the stitch I used on it. It looks like a basketweave design and here it is...

Knitted Basketweave StitchThese blankets are knit with 110 stitches, give or take a few. The first and last 3 rows and the first and last 3 stitches on every row are knit to create a garter stitch border around the whole piece. Each knitter works about a 4 inch section and then mails it to the next knitter until six sections have been completed. Then a border is crocheted around the outside of the whole thing to finish it off.

So this is a corner of the section I knitted on this blanket, called Forest Greens because it is worked in each knitter's choice of shades of greens. This was a very easy design to knit, simply alternating between knit and purl stitches across the rows, and then switching after 5 or 6 rows. An entire blanket could easily be knit this way creating a unique and reversible design.

Here's the pattern:

Cast on desired number of stitches and knit 3 rows for garter stitch border, or continue working on an established piece.

Knit 3. *Knit 10 (or any number), purl 10 (or any number)*. Continue from * to * across until 3 stitches remain. Knit 3.

Knit 3. Knit or purl stitches as they face you across the row until 3 stitches remain. Knit 3.

Continue knitting or purling stitches as they face you, working first and last 3 stitches of each row in knit, until you have worked the number of rows desired for the first section of blocks.

**To change over to the next section of blocks, knit 3. Purl the knit stitches and knit the purl stitches as they face you across the row until 3 stitches remain. Knit 3.

Continue knitting or purling stitches as they face you, working first and last 3 stitches of each row in knit, until you have worked the number of rows desired for the second section of blocks.**

Continue from ** to ** until the blanket is the desired size. Knit 3 rows for garter stitch border. Bind off.

For a larger afghan, I would suggest knitting the first and last 8 or 10 rows, and knitting the same number of stitches at the beginning of each row, for a more substantial garter stitch border. Then divide the remaining number of stitches into the desired size and use that number for the rows and stitches of each block.

This pattern would work up very quickly on large needles using bulky or chunky weight yarn and would definitely make a cozy afghan for a cold winter day. What a wonderful gift for yourself or some other lucky person.

This basketweave knit design is similar to what I used on my friend Jane's baby blanket many years ago, except that I did not make that one reversible. I did knit and purl stitches on the front to make the design, then I purled across every wrong side row. I much prefer a design that is reversible though, so this current basketweave pattern would be my choice from now on. Live and learn!

I also crocheted the border on Forest Greens, so if you like how the border looks in the above picture, stay tuned for that pattern later this week.

Happy Stitching!

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Appliqued, Embroidered and Beaded Christmas Tree Skirt

Back in the 80's while I was still working full time before our oldest was born, my sister and her family lived right in the same town with us. I would spend many late afternoons and evenings at their little place, playing with the kids, swimming, enjoying their company while my husband was taking college classes at night. I had sewing and craft projects that I worked on at home and a few volunteer activities that I was involved in through the library or church. I stayed busy enough. Then my sister broke the news that she and her family would be moving half way across the country for her husband's job. I didn't realize how much I would miss them at the time, but after they were gone, I surely did miss them terribly. So I pulled out a project I had only just purchased, set it up on the card table in the living room and worked on it for hours at a time every day and on weekends sometimes all day long. I poured myself into this project to keep my mind off of my sad loss.

When it was finally finished, which took months, we so proudly placed it under the Christmas tree and admired it. Then we heard a sound, like something being chewed, coming from somewhere under the tree. My husband noticed one of our cats lurking back there and realized what was happening. He lunged at the cat, she took off running, and we examined the damage. She liked the beads and sequins, that bad old cat! We caught her before she could do too much damage, but we couldn't risk leaving the tree skirt out with her unattended all day long, so it got packaged up and put away. I am happy to report, for so many reasons, that the cats are no longer with us and the tree skirt has taken its rightful place under our family room Christmas tree for the past several years.

Here it is...

Appliqued, Embroidered and Beaded Christmas Tree SkirtThis was a kit by Bucilla as I recall which I had purchased at some long gone craft store on clearance after Christmas one year. I think I paid a whopping $8 for it! That was quite a chunk of change for me to spend on a craft kit back then! I'm so glad I splurged though. It came with all the felt, sequins, beads, embroidery floss, wool yarn, ric-rac and detailed instructions for placing each piece in the proper order. The design repeats three times around the skirt going from the doll on the left over to the rocking horse on the right.

Appliqued, Embroidered and Beaded Christmas Tree SkirtHere you can see better that Santa is reaching up to place the star on top of the Christmas tree and his little elf is helping. If you look closely at the pom pom on Santa's hat, you can see a loose thread hanging there. That is the damage that darned old cat did that day! If we had not caught her so quickly and put the tree skirt away, I am certain that not one bead or sequin would have been left on the tree skirt. She was THAT bad! But she was my favorite cat and I loved her. Her name was Sandy.

Appliqued, Embroidered and Beaded Christmas Tree SkirtAnyway, here's the little elf carrying the drum and the cute little rocking horse with the yarn tail and mane. You can see here that the arm of the elf is stuffed and sewn on just like Santa's arm with the star and the other elf helping him. Each face is embroidered and every sequin is sewn on with a bead to secure it. The elves also have yarn hair peeking out from under their hats.

Appliqued, Embroidered and Beaded Christmas Tree SkirtHere's the little doll with yarn pig tails and red bows. The teddy bear's little embroidered face is so happy and his fat little stuffed arm sticks out of Santa's bag.

The ric-rac was sewn on by hand using white thread and then I backed the entire piece with a piece of red felt that I purchased separately and embroidered my name and the year onto. This was whip stitched to the top using red thread all around the outside edge and up the slit opening and around the little circle in the middle where the tree goes. I also added three little flaps with snaps on them to close the skirt and secure it around the tree.

In the first picture, you can see the candy canes around the little circle in the middle with little green holly leaves. These were felt pieces appliqued like the rest of the designs and the red stripes were embroidered using satin stitch.

I love putting this tree skirt underneath our tree every year. It gets buried once the wrapped gifts start appearing, but once the Christmas morning mayhem is over, it becomes visible again and adds a nice sparkle and cheerfulness until it gets put away on January 6th for another long year.

Just so you know...

SandyThis is Sandy, the bead and sequin chewer. She was my very favorite cat and she loved me more than anyone in the world. We got her as a kitten a year after we were married and she lived to the ripe old age of 17. She really was a wonderful cat.

SunnyAnd this is Sandy's partner in crime, Sunny. We got her as a kitten about a year after we got Sandy and they were best buddies all their lives. Sunny lived to the ripe old age of 18. They were both sealpoint Siamese cats and sounded like crying babies when they meowed. They both loved curling up on top of the computer monitor to keep warm. That was back in the day, eh?

I just wanted you to know I'm not as heartless as I seemed when I mentioned that the cats are no longer with us!

Happy Stitching!

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Nativity Scene
Wishing you all the blessings of Christmas

Happy Stitching!

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Appliqued, Embroidered and Beaded Merry Christmas Wall Hanging

When my husband and I first married, we both worked full time and he also went to school at night so I spent most every evening by myself in our little one bedroom basement apartment. Of course I had plenty to keep myself busy with all my handwork. Back then, it was more contained though. One project at a time and no big stash in a sewing room to pick through and get inspiration from. How things change in 26 years! Now the sewing room I have is probably bigger than the kitchen we had in that little apartment. And my work area outside my sewing room is probably bigger than the whole apartment! Of course that apartment was perfect for us at the time.

Anyway, one of my projects that kept me company was a Dimensions Felt and Sequin Appliqué wall hanging kit that took me many months to complete. It is still one of my favorite decorations to hang in the house each year and it has a special place in the front hall.

Appliqued and Beaded Merry Christmas Wall HangingHere it is in all its glory! Isn't that just plain cheerful? Every piece of felt was cut and stitched and embroidered. Every little sequin was sewn on and secured with a little glass bead on top.

Appliqued and Beaded Merry Christmas Wall HangingSanta is such a jolly looking guy with his rosy cheeks showing over his fluffy white mustache.

Appliqued and Beaded Merry Christmas Wall HangingI love the uncomplicated lines of the background embroidery, all done in simple outline or stem (I can never tell the difference but I know there is one!), satin and straight stitches in white.

Appliqued and Beaded Merry Christmas Wall HangingThere are a few little French knots inside the round berries.

Appliqued and Beaded Merry Christmas Wall HangingThe snowflakes on the background are done with lazy daisy stitch along with some straight stitches and clear glass beads for sparkle. The Merry Christmas writing is also in either outline or stem stitch with white embroidery floss.

I hand stitched the white rick rack around the entire piece, and then I backed the whole thing with another piece of red felt that I purchased myself, attaching it by whip stitching around the edge using red sewing thread. On the backing piece before I attached it, I embroidered my name and the year I completed the piece...1984!

I hope Santa visits your home tonight and leaves you something nice!

Happy Stitching!

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

More Stitched Christmas Cards - Quick and Easy!

It's two days before Christmas. Are you ready? Do you still have one or two more little things to finish up and just not enough time to get it done? Here is an idea for a quick and easy, but still mostly handmade, card that could be framed later and made into a pretty little Christmas decoration.

Stitched Snowman Christmas CardThis is a card that my daughter made for my parents. She got these darling little snowman and lamp post stickers at Michael's, some white and blue card stock, some metallic silver sewing thread and some white embroidery floss. She cut the blue card stock the size she wanted the whole piece to be, then she cut the white for the rolling snowy hill and attached it to the blue. She placed the snowman and lamp post stickers on the card stock before beginning the embroidery. She embroidered the snowflakes using white floss and the lazy daisy stitch. Then she stitched little hills of snow using back stitch and the silver thread. She also stitched along the top of the white card stock.

Stitched Snowman Christmas CardAfter all the embroidery was finished, which didn't take very long at all, she attached the whole thing to the front of a pre-folded card that came in a bulk package along with matching envelopes from Michael's. She hand wrote a personal note on the inside to her grandparents and mailed it in a padded envelope to protect the 3-dimensional stickers. I think they will like it!

Stitched Tree Christmas CardHere's another one she did, this time for my cousin who so generously hosted us while we were in Alabama for my Auntie's 90th birthday this past February. She used the same method as with the snowman card, but the only embroidery on this one is the silver in the snow and the big Bethlehem star shining at the top of the card. The tree and the other stars came on one sticker sheet from Michael's.

Stitched Tree Christmas CardI thought those turned out just so darling. They were very quick to make and easy, only using a couple very basic embroidery stitches and other supplies that are easy to get or that you may already have in the house.

A card like this would certainly light up the face of someone special, maybe that person who has everything. There's still time to whip some up too. After all, there are still 2 days left until Christmas!

Happy Stitching!

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Crocheted Border -- Small and Big Scallops Video Tutorial

The Northeast US Oddball Baby Blanket on-line charity knitting group in which I have begun to participate is going great guns on so many beautiful baby blankets. Pictures of blankets in progress can be seen by clicking HERE, and pictures of completed blankets can be seen by clicking HERE.

The first blanket I worked on was the all-red Jersey Devil blanket which I have already shown you. At the end of that post, I promised videos showing how to do the border that I made up for that blanket. I have already shown you how to work a single crochet border around a knitted piece. But I also promised a video on how to work the decorative border I used for that blanket.

Finally here it is...

The written pattern can be found in the original post on the Jersey Devil blanket if you would like to give it a try.

I am now in the process of knitting the last section of the Forest Greens baby blanket and then I will crochet the border on that one too before mailing it to the person who will deliver it along with other completed blankets to the hospital to be given to the babies.

If you are looking for a nice group of people to get to know, and a quick project to do every once in a while, check out the Knittinghelp.com Charity Knitting forum and sign up for a section of an oddball blanket in your part of the country. It will definitely put a smile on your face!

Happy Stitching!

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas - 200th Post Giveaway -- And the winner is...

A few days later than expected due to our 3 day power outage last weekend, but here we are with the 200th post of Hooked On Needles! What fun this has been sharing ideas, techniques, materials, gadgets, pictures, finished projects and friendship with so many wonderful people.

Recently my husband and I celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary, today is my 200th post, and in just a few short days the entire world will celebrate the joyful feast of Christmas. Many of you joined in my celebration of these occasions by entering my giveaway and now it is time to reveal the winner...

But first we must set the scene. It is another cold snowy day here. We got about 18 inches of snow yesterday along with some icing and it is still snowing. The roads are very treacherous and we live on the top of a hill, so we will be staying safe at home today. The kids are thrilled because that means a jammie day! Remember those days, when you could stay in your jammies all day and play and not have a care in the world?

I asked my son who is 5 years old if he would help me with my drawing and he took his responsibility very seriously! Here's how it went...

Christmas 2008 -- 200th post giveaway drawingI wrote down each entrant's name on one of my little Snoopy calendar pages and folded them all up and put them into a little Christmas gift bag.

Christmas 2008 -- 200th post giveaway drawingThen Sean reached in and scrambled them all around...

Christmas 2008 -- 200th post giveaway drawing...and pulled this one out of the bag.

Christmas 2008 -- 200th post giveaway drawingThen he showed it to the camera. Bo is the winner! Congratulations, Bo! If you like Santa, you should check out her Santa Parade...which starts in the bathroom of all places!

Notice the paper that Bo's name is written on. I thought it was an interesting coincidence that it is the page for December 18th, which is our wedding anniversary! The picture is Snoopy dressed up as Santa. I think I'll tuck that into Bo's box of goodies so she can have another Santa to add to her collection!

Thank you to all who entered my giveaway and shared their "how we met" stories. I enjoyed reading them all. Now back to the Christmas preparations!

Happy Stitching!

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Handmade Vintage Christmas Ornaments

My grandmother was a pretty crafty lady who lived with my family all the years I was growing up until she died when I was almost out of high school. She was quite an accomplished seamstress, crocheter, cook, and had many other talents as well. She taught me how to crochet when I was quite young, probably 8 or 9 years old.

Gram, as everyone called her, liked to make pretty Christmas ornaments from kits, similar to what we might buy today from Herrschner's or Mary Maxim or your local craft store. Dimensions is the brand that comes to mind when I see her felt and sequin ornaments.

Here are a few of the ornaments that my grandmother made which I was able to remove from my mother's Christmas tree and add to my own. I'm not quite sure my mother knows about this, so let's keep it our little secret, shall we?

Handmade Vintage Christmas Ornament - BellThis bell is made of straight pins, sequins, beads, gold trim and some glue. Its core is a dense styrofoam-type material that holds the pins securely once the glue they were dipped into dries. I love the sparkle it adds to the tree.

Handmade Vintage Christmas Ornament - BirdThis colorful bird has felt pieces sewn onto the main green bird base and is decorated with sequins and beads that are also sewn on. The gold trim is sewn as well and the whole thing is stuffed and about 5 inches from beak tip to tail. It is decorated the same on both sides.

Handmade Vintage Christmas Ornament - DrumI remember Gram made several of these little drum ornaments and over the years a drumstick or two went missing. When I absconded with this patriotic little gem, it was the last one still sporting both drumsticks. I do recall my mother telling me I couldn't take it for that very reason...it still had both drumsticks. Of course I reasoned with her, saying that was precisely why I wanted that one. And here it is hanging on my tree so many years later. I wonder if Mom really thought I would put it back on her tree and take one of the others with only one drumstick.

Handmade Vintage Christmas Ornament - SnowladyAnd this lovely Snowlady has always reminded me of my grandmother. She could tie such beautiful bows with the sashes on our fancy dresses and in our hair. And she used to wear fancy hats too!

So these are some of my vintage ornaments made by my grandmother's hands many many years ago. Every stitch and pin and sequin and loop were perfectly placed. I always hang them on the front of the tree so they will be seen by everyone and if someone asks about them, I can tell them about my grandmother. Sometimes I wonder if the little things I make to decorate my home and Christmas tree will be treasured years from now the way I treasure these ornaments. I guess only time will tell.

Happy Stitching!

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Huge Knitted Mittens -- Hung by the Chimney Really This Time!

The mittens you saw recently hung on the cabinet are now hanging by the chimney as all gigantic knitted mittens should be a week before Christmas!

Yesterday was our 26th wedding anniversary and in this picture you can also see what my darling husband gave me for a gift.

Mittens hung by the chimneyWhen we had this house built back in 2000, we wanted a fireplace and chimney but didn't have the time for it to be put in. About two years ago, we finally had it done, right in the exact place where the mittens used to hang on the cabinet. I love decorating the mantle with garland and candles and my ever growing snowman collection. There are some nutcrackers in there too and the handsome music box nutcracker sitting by the fireplace tools.

To the right, you can see a very tall skinny Christmas tree in a pretty pot. I've always thought a tree would look pretty there and dress up the room nicely. That is what my husband brought home as an anniversary gift to me the other night. He and our 18 year old daughter went out on a little shopping expedition together, but this is the only thing I have seen so far. I'm sure next week, I'll discover what else they picked up!

Under that pretty potted Christmas tree, we put a tree skirt that I had made many years ago to use in place of a beautiful beaded one that our cats liked to chew on. This one is just fabric so they weren't interested in it. Once they were gone, the beaded one came out again and that is what we use under our tree now. So when this new tree arrived the other night, I needed something to put under it to protect the wood floor and thought the pretty fabric one would be just right. And it is. This tree skirt pattern is the one that had the instructions for making the never ending bias binding that I wrote about recently. I'll show pictures of both tree skirts soon.

I also have some vintage ornaments that my grandmother made which I will be sharing with you soon. And don't forget my little crocheted angel that is waiting for a new home! The giveaway ends Saturday night and I will announce the winner in my 200th post on Sunday. That is, of course, if we don't lose power again from the new storm that is coming our way for tomorrow!

Happy Stitching!

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

My Version of Martha's Self Tying Knitted Neck Scarf

George the mailman delivered my copy of the January 2009 Martha Stewart Living magazine while we were in the midst of our recent 3 day power outage here. As I was scanning the table of contents, I noticed a picture of a knitted mitten so I quickly moved the flashlight to the description of what was covered on page 58 and was happy to find an article called "In the Skein of Things" which included patterns for fingerless mittens, regular mittens and a neck scarf.

I had seen this neck scarf before. In fact I had MADE this neck scarf before! Was Martha sneaking around in my pattern binder recently? Hmmmm...

Martha Stewart neck scarf pageHere is the page in her recent magazine with pattern and instructions for making this great little self tying neck scarf. It really is a wonderful accessory that keeps your neck warm without adding bulk under your coat. On this page, she even gives instructions and illustrations for how to increase and decrease and how to divide stitches onto two needles. Very thorough.

My neck scarf pictureMany many years ago there was a yarn shop here in town that was going out of business so I went in to check out the sales and I discovered this sample on one of the shelves. I was intrigued by the design of it, having never seen this kind of self tying scarf before, so I asked the shop owner if she had the pattern available for me to purchase. She did not, and in fact she couldn't even remember where she found the pattern or how long ago she had made the sample. Hmmm, what was I to do? I didn't have to wonder long, because she offered it to me to take home and examine as long as I returned it before she closed her shop for good. I was thrilled! I brought it home and took this picture with the tape measure then went to work trying to decipher the pattern for myself. This was only a year or two after I had learned how to knit, and this is what I came up with:

My neck scarf notesThese are my original notes on this scarf. You can see all my corrections and my little tick marks from counting rows as I knitted my own sample. It turned out just like the sample from the shop, but I didn't take any pictures of it and now I have no idea where it is or if I even still have it. I probably gave it away to someone.

My neck scarf notesThis is the other side of that same page where I scribbled notes for making the scarf with a garter stitch border and stockinette stitch middle. Back then I had a real aversion to garter stitch for some reason. It's still not my favorite, but for something like this it really is the perfect thing...quick, easy, thick and cozy.

So I compared Martha's pattern to mine and discovered that overall, they are basically the same. She ends each row by slipping the last stitch purlwise. She also divides the stitches for the little loop onto double pointed needles before rib knitting them. And her row counts are just a little different than mine. Her scarf also has a loop on each end and mine only has one. But the overall result would be pretty much the same using both patterns. I thought that was very interesting.

If you would like to give my pattern a try, here it is:

Using baby yarn and appropriately sized needles, cast on 3 stitches.

Knit 3.

Increase one stitch at the beginning of each row until there are 37 stitches on the needle.

Knit even for 4 rows.

To make loop, (Knit 1, slip 1 to stitch holder) across.

Rib knit (knit 1, purl 1) off needle for 18 rows. Break yarn leaving a tail long enough to weave in later.

Using another needle, rib knit stitches off of stitch holder for 18 rows.

Knit both sides of loop together by alternating one stitch from each needle until all stitches are back onto one needle. This completes the loop.

Knit even to desired length, 13 to 14 inches.

Knit 2 together across.

Rib knit 18 rows.

(Knit 1, make 1) across.

Knit even for 4 rows.

Decrease 1 stitch at beginning of each row until 3 stitches remain.

Cast off. Weave in ends.

Put scarf around neck and pass end without loop through loop on other end.

These are fairly quick to knit and can be made using any type or size of yarn that you like. You may want to adjust the stitch count down to accommodate thicker yarn and larger needles.

If you make one of these neck scarves using my pattern, please send me a picture and let me know how the pattern turned out for you. I love to see other people's handiwork!

Happy Stitching!

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