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Is Knitting Easy?

Friday, April 27th, 2012

“Is knitting easy?”…This is a question I get asked often.  My son plays at least one sport every season so this means mommy gets lots of time to sit and knit.  On the rare occasion a coach may ask me to help out when they are light on parent helpers, but after seeing me try to throw a baseball to a catcher from second base, coach tells me I can go back to my knitting.  A couple of the moms have asked if I could teach them.  With all of the time we spend at practices and games, we could knit entire wardrobes!

I am going to baseball practice tonight loaded up with Encore Mega and needles, for the students of course.  After I get them started, I am going to pull out a skein of our new yarn, Scandalicious and get to work.  I am excited for them to see what they can do after they have their basic stitches down.

Scandalicious

Scandalicious

What I love most about some of these ruffle yarns is that it just takes one skein and a couple hours and you have something that looks like a masterpiece.  Don’t get me wrong, I have knit many a complicated pattern but since I am showing folks new to the craft, I want to wow them and Scandalicious will surely do that.  It is a very versatile yarn.  You can follow the instructions below, in both knit and crochet,  for  the scarf .  But since it’s been flowing into the shops, some of the customer have shared their ideas and projects with me.  I saw a great cowl made by sewing two lengths of it together and a shrug made from cutting off the ends and using the tube as the sleeve!  Let your imagination run wild with this one and beginner knitters can look like they’ve been at it for years! Share your pictures with us on facebook, twitter or pinterest!

F415

F415

F415 PDF Download

SCANDALICIOUS
Scarf
Needles & Hook:   Size 7 needle, Size H Hook
Knit Scarf – Shorter, heavily ruffled version
Length:  about 36-40”

1.    Unfold the ribbon.  Fold the ending piece over about 4 inches.  The original cast on sts will go through both thicknesses.
2.    Cast on 3 sts by sticking needle through the top edge of the netting from right to left.
3.    Turn the needle.
4.    Insert the needle in to the most left hand st, pull netting through to create a new st, do not drop original st off the needle.  Insert needle into middle st , pull netting through to create a new st, do not drop original st off of the needle.  Insert needle into the most right hand st, pull netting through to create a new st, do not drop original st off of the needle.
5.    Now there are 3 sts on each needle.  Let the original 3 sts drop off of the needle.
6.    Turn needle and repeat steps  4 & 5.
7.    Continue repeating steps 4 & 5 until most of skein is used.  At the end, fold the last piece (about 4”) over for the final set of sts so you will knit through both thicknesses.   Without turning, bind off just before the end – pulling the middle st over the left hand st, then the right most st over the remaining one.  Use a small piece of yarn to anchor the last st in place so it will not unravel.

Longer, less ruffled version:
Length:  about 55”.

Work as for the shorter version, casting on and working 2 sts instead of 3 sts.
Crochet  Scarf
Length:  About 55”.

1.    Unfold the ribbon.  Fold the ending piece over about 4 inches.  The first sts will go through both thicknesses.
2.    Loop over crochet hook.  Go out about 2” and loop over crochet hook again.  Repeat for a 3rd loop on the hook.  Pull the 3rd loop through the second loop, then the second loop through the 1st loop.  Only 1 loop is on the hook now.
3.    Go out about 2” and loop over crochet hook again.  Repeat for a 3rd loop on the hook.  Pull the 3rd loop through the second loop, then the second loop through the 1st loop.
4.    Repeat step 3 until most of skein is used.  At end, fold over last 4” or so and work through both thicknesses.  When final loop is left on needle, Use a small piece of yarn to anchor the last loop in place so it will not unravel.

©2011 Plymouth Yarn Company. 121211jbt

A Mitt for Mom

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Now that my Easter ham is gone and the jelly beans have been eaten, it’s time for me to get set for the next Spring celebration.  Wouldn’t mom love a homemade gift this Mother’s day that doesn’t involve elbow macaroni and glitter?

Since I’ve become a mother,  I love all the things my son glues and glitters up for Mother’s day.  Those paintings and attempts at pottery will be cherished forever.  However, my mother and mother-in-law most likely would not appreciate it if I made them a plastic beaded bracelet.  But homemade gifts are still cherished, this I know from the great Christmas cowl knit-a-thon I endured just a few months ago.    So this year, I have started on  new pattern in a favorite yarn and wanted to share it with you.

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If you’ve read my blogs before, you might know that I love felting.  It’s been a while since I’ve felted anything so I am excited to see how my new washer will do(I guess that means I get the test mitt!).  I also came across a couple of charms at a craft fair that I want to sew in at the end.  This oven mitt made in Galway is going to be adorable.  I love the wide range of colors, it’s perfect to match everyone’s kitchen.  Check out the free pattern below.

F439 Galway Oven Mitt PDF download

F439 Galway Oven Mitt

F439 Galway Oven Mitt

GALWAY WORSTED
Felted Oven Mitt

Materials:  2 balls Galway Worsted
Needles: US #11 (8.0 mm) double pointed needles, Stitch markers
Gauge: Not important on this project –
about 2.5-3 sts =1”.

NOTE:  Galway used double stranded throughout.
Loosely cast on 46 sts and divide onto 3 DPN’s.  Join, taking care not to twist and work 1 ridge of garter st as follows: knit 1 round, purl 1 round.
Continue in st st – knitting every round for 15 rounds.
Next round:  With a piece of waste cotton, knit next 5 sts. Slide the 5 sts just worked back to the LH needle and picking up the MC yarn, Knit them again.  Continue working in st st for 24 additional rounds.
Place a stitch marker at the beginning of the round and between sts 23 & 24. Work decreases at the top of the mitten as follows:
Round 1: * (SSK, knit until 2 sts remain before marker, K2tog), repeat from * once more for second side of mitt.
Round 2: Knit all sts.
Repeat these 2 rounds until a total of 20 sts remain.
Divide sts onto 2 needles and work Kitchener st to join at top of mitt. Weave in ends.

Thumb
Remove the waste cotton and place the 5 sts at the bottom of the opening onto one DPN and put the 5 sts at the
top of the opening on another DPN. Knit 5 sts from first needle, pick up and knit 3 sts on side between needles, k5 from second needle, pick up and knit 3 sts between needles. Distribute the 16 sts between the 3 needles. Work 10 rounds in st st.
Begin decreases at top of thumb as follows:
Round 1: (K2, k2tog) 4 times.
Round 2: Knit
Round 3: (K1, k2tog) 4 times.
Round 4: Knit
Round 5:  (K2tog) 4 times.
Cut yarn and thread onto tapestry needle. Pull yarn through all sts on the needles and pull top of thumb
together. Weave in ends.

Felting Instructions
Place the mitt in a zippered bag and put in washing machine with a small amount of soap and a pair of old jeans.
Use lowest water level and hottest water temperature possible.  All machines work differently so check the progress about halfway through the first wash cycle.  Check to make sure that the thumb has not felted to itself.
Depending on machine, and water chemistry and temperatures, two or three cycles may be required to fully felt the mitt.   Once felted to desired level, rinse and spin lightly so as to remove excess water, but not create creases.  Pull into shape and air dry over a tall bottle.

©2012 Plymouth Yarn Company.
Designed by JoAnne Turcotte.  All rights reserved.

Marilyn’s Anna Cowl – Knitting Project Detail at Jimmy Beans Wool

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Beautiful Mushishi cowl posted by Jimmy Beans Wool.

Marilyn’s Anna Cowl – Knitting Project Detail at Jimmy Beans Wool.

When Saint Patrick wears a scarf….

Friday, March 16th, 2012

When Saint Patrick wears a scarf, it must be this one and you won’t need the luck of the Irish to get it done this weekend.  When you are ready to put down your Guinness and pick up your needles,  give this infinity scarf a whirl.  Made from 100% fine merino wool, DeAire is the perfect yarn to warm your soul and neck.

F368

F368

“If you are lucky enough to be Irish then you are lucky enough”

F368 DeAire Infinity Scarf

DeAIRE
Infinity Scarf
Approx. Finished Measurements: 8” x 66”
Materials:   1 hank DeAire- in each of 2 colors- shown in – Portland 705 and Pueblo 1208.  2 hanks of one color needed if working in just one color.
Needles:   Size 17 needles

Reversible Scallop Lace Pattern Stitch
Row 1 (RS): K3, * yo, K2, K3tog, K2, yo, K1*, repeat * to * across row, end K2.
Row 2: K3, P15, K3.

Using #17 needles cast on 21 sts and work in pattern stitch for 33″ with the first color, attach second color and work for an additional 33″ (if using one color work in pattern stitch for a total of 66″). Bind off loosely. Join cast on end to bind off end by twisting one end 360 degrees before joining with the mattress stitch.
To wear scarf take circle created after joining ends, twist in half and put over head around neck.
Weave in ends.

©2011 Plymouth Yarn Company. Design by Anita Closic  032511jbt

New Year Resolutions

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Most people will make a New Year’s Resolution for 2012.  We want to lose a few pounds, save more money, drink less coffee and be more organized.  But what are your New Year’s Knitting Resolutions?  I’d like to share a few of ours with you, along with the resources to help you accomplish them!

1. Knit for yourself! Now that you have the feeling back in your fingers from the last-minute-holiday-crunch knits, sit down and find a pattern that you want for you.  Even if it’s as simple as a new scarf.  Think of the time you will have to fit in knitting for yourself.  If you only have an hour or two a week, think of a spring or summer shawl so when you are done your project, it will be the right season to use it.  Here are a few to consider….

knitforyourself

2.  Make a gauge swatch.  I am notorious for not following my own advice on this one.  I often go blindly into a project.  I learned my lesson just a few weeks ago while making a Christmas gift for my niece.  I switched a yarn in a pattern for a slouchy hat.  There were very few differences between the two yarns, fiber content and put-up were the only things that jumped out at me.  My slouchy hat ended not fitting my niece but fitting my husband and I can’t talk him into wearing a purple hat with a touch of glitz.   Check out this article from knitty.com on the importance of and how to knit a gauge swatch.

3. Use your stash! I tried to use my stash this year for all of my holiday knitting and will try to continue to do so.  I ran out of masculine colors and only had to purchase a few balls! I am left with mostly baby yarns so I am hoping for a very long, cold winter so I will get news in the spring that I have some babies to knit for.  I am going to use some for charity but I will get to that later in this post.  There are some wonderful things you can do with those one or two skeins you picked up.  If you have 100% wool, felt, felt, felt! Small coin purses, small bags, small bowls and headbands.  Have a baby or wedding shower to attend?  If you have cotton, consider washcloths.  I have one that a friend made me almost 10 years ago.  It was in my wishing well at my bridal shower and it may be the only linen that hasn’t needed to be replaced! Hats are a great way to use up the stash too.  Here are some pattern ideas you can try.

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4.  Finish the projects you start.  I’ll admit it, I have 3 wips in my inventory for about a year now BUT I also started and finished at least 20 others this year.  Will I ever finish those other 3? Hopefully, maybe, well, I can’t answer that question.  There are some great reasons why this should be a resolution you keep.  First is if you get to the end and realize you need just 20 more yards, it may be impossible to track down the dye lot.  Second is while I always try to have a couple pairs of needles in each size, they do me no good if they are tied up in a project I’ve been procrastinating on, then I am off to buy another set or borrow from one of my many knitting buddies.  Which isn’t so bad I guess as I get to see all the new arrivals at my LYS.  Third is the most obvious, that baby will grow right out of that sweater you started.  I am going to choose my projects more carefully and think ahead to make sure I have the time and supplies I need to complete them.  Try looking up your patterns on Ravelry and get real world tips, advice, materials lists and pictures of finished products.

5. Knit for Charity.  I know so many of you are already doing this and it’s such a wonderful opportunity to use your talents.  I send scarves to a local homeless shelter.  I can get them done in one or two nights while I’m watching t.v. and it’s a great way to use your stash.  Check with your local yarn shop, they will likely have a program set up for donations of all sorts.  Here is a list of just a few organizations we have had contact with….

Chemoclothes.org

Bob’s Blankie Brigade

Project Linus

Hair Flair for Hope

Stitching for America

6. Use your technology! Did you know there’s an app for that?  Use your smartphone for more than Angry Birds!  I use my iPhone for everything. There is a free app (called Needles) for cataloging your needles so you know what you’ve got on hand.  It can also direct you to the nearest yarn shop when you are on the go!  Vogue Knitting and Knitting Daily are available too.  YouTube is a great resource for how to videos on just about everything.  I’ve used it to learn a new stitch and how to knit with the new ruffle yarns.  You can also find yarn reviews there.  I can’t talk about technology without mentioning Ravelry.  If you haven’t joined yet, get on it! It’s a fantastic resource for everything yarn, patterns and the people who love them.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday and the gang here at Plymouth Yarn wish you a very Happy New Year.

Joy-full Knitting and Glorious Free Patterns!

Monday, December 5th, 2011

You can tell the holidays are right around the corner. The phones are ringing off the hook in the office, the fax machine is practically smoking and email boxes are bursting at the seams. I am more excited this year then ever before. Why, do you ask? Well, it’s the new Joy collection of yarns we have been shipping to our shops. I finally was able to get a ball of each and I whipped the scarves up in no time this weekend. I wanted to share the yarns and patterns with you. Call your favorite local yarn shop TODAY because everyone is telling me it’s flying off the shelves.

First we have Joy Metallic. It’s a super quick knit full of ruffles and sparkly goodness. It’s perfect for New Year’s Eve out on the town or with a pair of blue jeans.

Joy Metallic

Joy Metallic

Free Pattern

F390

F390

Joy Metallic Scarf

F390 Joy Metallic PDF

Scarf

Materials:  1 hank.
Approx. Finished Size:  4” x 48”
Needles:  Size US 10.

Knitting Instructions: Spread open the mesh. Turn sideways so that the glitter effect is at the bottom. Cast on 8 sts across the top edge using a size US 10 needle. Knit through the top edge openings – one opening per stitch. Knit every row.

Next up we have Joy Prism with it’s sweet ruffles and delicate loops of sparkle. The color palette will go with everything in your wardrobe.

Joy Prism

Joy Prism

Free Pattern

F391

F391

Joy Prism
Scarf
F391 Joy Prism Scarf PDF Download

Materials:  1 hank.
Approx. Finished Size:  4” x 55”
Needles:  Size US 9.

Knitting Instructions: Spread open the mesh. Turn sideways so that the prism effect is at the bottom. Cast on 7 sts across the top edge using a size US 9 needle. Knit through the top edge openings – one opening for the first stitch of every row, then skip a track hole each time for the other stitches of the row.  Knit every row.

2011 Plymouth Yarn Company.  092711jbt

Last but not least, we have Joy Rainbow.  Lots of beautiful ruffles in feminine color combinations without the sparkle.

Joy Rainbow

Free Pattern

F392

F392

Joy Rainbow Scarf

F392 Joy Rainbow Scarf PDF Download

Materials:  1 hank.
Approx. Finished Size:  3” x 48”
Needles:  Size US 10.

Knitting Instructions: Spread open the mesh. Turn sideways so that the rainbow effect is at the bottom. Cast on 6 sts across the top edge using a size US 10 needle. Knit through the top edge openings – one opening for the first stitch of every row, then skip a track hole each time for the other stitches of the row. Knit every row.

2011 Plymouth Yarn Company.  092711jbt

If you would like a little guidance on how to knit with ruffle yarn, you can check out Plymouth Yarn‘s YouTube page and view the “How to knit with Joie de Vie” video as the instructions are similar.  Always knit through the top edge with the effect at the bottom.

I hope you have as much fun as I am with our Joy collection of yarns, keep your eyes peeled for new additions to the line.  Have you made scarf already with one of these yarns?  Come visit our facebook page, post a picture and tell us all about it.

Sharing is Good Giveaway

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Sharing is Good Giveaway!

Sharing is Good Giveaway!

Sharing is Good Giveaway!

We want to reach 5000  fans on facebook and hope you will help us spread the word. Here’s how it works-Like Plymouth Yarn on facebook(if you haven’t already), share our page with your friends. If we hit 5000 by September 30th, one of our new fans will be chosen at random to win a mystery prize. We will ask the winner who shared our page with them and you can win a mystery prize too. Good luck and happy sharing!

Bazinga Bel et Bon Mitts

Friday, August 19th, 2011

For those folks who don’t already know, I LOVE BAZINGA! This super bulky, wool/acrylic blend has colorways that are to dye for.  It knits up quickly and can be used for so many different projects.

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Our friends at Double Ewe Yarn Shop in Circle Pines, MN love Bazinga too.  The owner of the shop, Kelly Judson, has created a darling set of mittens that can be knit in your choice of fingerless or full cover.

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Kelly is offering a free download of the Bel et Bon Mitts pattern through Ravelry and on the Double Ewe Yarn Shop website.   You can also check out Kelly’s blog.  But if you are in the Circle Pines area, be sure to stop by.  The gang at Double Ewe would love for you to visit.  Check out their website for shop hours, classes and more.  You can also check them out on their facebook page.

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Is there a Bazinga project you would like to share? What else are you working on? We love project pictures! Please visit Plymouth Yarn’s facebook page and share your photos and stories.

Friday’s Felted Freebie

Friday, August 12th, 2011

As a few of you might know, I am a huge fan of felting.  I talked about it earlier this week on Plymouth Yarn’s facebook page.  Of course, my choice felting yarn is Galway.  With over 120 colors in it’s catalog, you can felt a bag to match every outfit! Here are some pictures of my favorite felted patterns.  You can find them at your local yarn store or you can find a shop on our website.

Just a couple of our many Galway felted patterns

Just a few of our many Galway felted patterns

Enjoy this free pattern for a small felted bag.  I like to use these as gift card and cash gift holders.  I also have made a couple for my niece for Easter, and a wedding.  It’s very versatile and quick.

Pattern F319, Galway 2 Color Felted Bag

Before Felting

Before Felting


After Felting

After Felting

Gauge: 10 sts = 4” in stockinette stitch before felting, done on a size US 13 needle; yarn used double stranded.
Materials:  2 skeins Galway—1 MC, 1CC.  Before starting- double strand each color by dividing balls in half.
Needles: 24”-Size 13 needles, double pointed needles- size 11 or 13.
Finished Size:  Approx. &” wide, 4” deep, 6” tall, not including handles.

NOTE:  Make handles first and set aside.  Use remaining yarn for the purse.
NOTE:  Use double strand of yarn throughout.

Handles:  With CC
Using double points- cast on 6 sts, leaving a long tail.  Work in I- cord on the 6 sts.  Work I cord until total length from beginning is 14”.  Bind off leaving a long tail.  Make second handle the same.  Set aside.

Body of Purse:
With the circular needle and CC, loosely cast on 20 sts.  Knit 22 rows.  Bind off loosely.  Change to MC, and pick up 21 sts along each long side and 11 sts along each short side: 64 sts.  Place marker.  Begin working in st st in the round (knit every round) for 8 rounds, ending at the marker.  **Change to CC and knit 4 rounds.  Next round: Change to MC and knit, picking up the back of the sts 4 rows below (first row of CC), and knitting them together with the st on the needle to make a large lump.  Work 8 rounds total in MC, repeat from ** 2 times more (3 CC ridges total).  Continue with the MC working: purl 1 round, knit 1 round, purl 1 round.  Bind off loosely knitwise.  Weave in all ends.

Sew the 2 handles along each long side- centered, with the ends about 5” apart.  FELT THE BAG AND LET DRY.
After felting:  Stretch over a box which is just slightly larger than purse to stretch the purse as it dries.
I-cord:
Work I- cord on the 6 sts as follows: **Knit across the 6 sts, then without turning needle, slide stitches to other end of the double pointed needle, wrap yarn around back of stitches and continue knitting from **.  Repeat this process until desired length is reached.

Felting:
Set the washer to hot wash, cold rinse, and lowest water level.  Add a small bit of laundry soap, not detergent.  Do not put anything else in the machine with the purse- things can get tangled in the handles and can distort them.  Check on the purse every 5 minutes.  Felting could take 20-25 minutes or so.  Keep setting back the timer to make the wash cycle longer.  When desired felting is achieved, rinse and spin lightly.  Spinning can set in creases.  Remove purse, stretch it over a sturdy box slightly larger than the purse.  Straighten handles.  Brush to remove excess lint or shave with a disposable razor.  Let dry, which may take up to 2 days.

©2010 Plymouth Yarn Company.  052510jbt

We would love to see pictures of your Galway felted creations.  You can post them on our Facebook page, contact us or email them to me, allisonp@plymouthyarn.com.

If you can dream it, you can felt it……..

Vogue Knitting’s Fall Issue Hits Newsstands August 23rd!

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Check out this Worsted Merino Superwash sweater pattern featured in the fall issue of Vogue Knitting.

vkf11_cables_08

Photo by Rose Callahan

Designer: Pat Olski
For Sizes: X-Small (Small, Medium, Large)
Amounts: 5 (6, 7, 8)hanks in #36 green, Worsted Merino Superwash.

Check out the Vogue Knitting Fall 2011 Fashion Preview today!