Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cat's Cradle String

Just a "yarny" thought in passing:

Cut 3 strands of yarn around 8 feet long. Braid them without putting a knot in either end. When you are at about 6 feet of braid, trim the ends to about 3 or 4 inches from the braid. Using a sharp yarn needle, weave each tail into the opposite end of the braid. In this way, you get a strong loop for playing cat's cradle.

Happy crafting,

Kathi Linz

Tunisian Crochet

In my search for new and exciting patterns, I have fallen into Tunisian crochet and, touching that type of stitch, crochet-on-the-double.

Both types yield a thick, warm fabric, and can give the effect of knitting or weaving while using a crochet hook. Various instructions revealed that you can insert the hook into the row below in at least four ways, each giving a different texture to the piece.

Tunisian crochet pulls up a loop of yarn through each stitch of the row below, holding the loops on the hook until you get to the end of the row (reminiscent of broomstick lace, if that helps you visualize it). Then you yarn over and pull through the first loop on the hook, yarn over and pull through two at a time until you get back to the start of the row.

If you want to try it without spending money on afghan hooks, you can work up a small practice swatch by using the crochet hook of your choice and winding a rubber band on the blunt end as a stitch stopper.

There is no way to simulate double-ended hook crochet without getting the hook and learning the technique. Believe me, I've tried! With this technique, you'll end up with a reversible fabric that will be thick and warm on those cold nights coming up.

Here are a couple of books to get you started: 101 Double-Ended Hook Stitches by Annie's Attic
Tunisian Crochet: The Look of Knitting with the Ease of Crocheting by Sharon Hernes Silverman and The Crochet Stitch Bible by Betty Barden.

Happy Crafting,

Kathi Linz

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Shadow Knitting

Shadow knitting (or illusion knitting) looks like it would be a fun project.

First you graph out an image that you want to appear on your knitting. Then you choose two colors of yarn, usually one light and one dark. The rows alternate between the colors, two by two.

From straight on, the material will look like a simple striped piece. However, when you use the graph to make knit and purl stitches, there will be raised sections and lower sections in the work. When your piece is seen at an angle, the raised sections will hide the lower sections and an image will become visible.

For a better explanation and instructions on how to do various projects using this technique, check out the book Shadow Knitting by Vivian Hoxbro.

Happy crafting,


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Domino Knitting

Although I have not tried my hand at domino knitting yet, I think it looks absolutely fascinating. The gist of the technique goes something like this: The squares are mitered garter stitch. Each square is attached to the previous one.

Using a connect-as-you-go pattern means you can use two or more colors without having to sew the little pieces together. The visual effect is that of diamond shapes strung point to point.

This looks like a great way to use up your stash or to blend selected colors in a simple and interesting way.

A couple of library books that explain the technique are:
Knit to Be Square: Domino Designs to Knit and Felt by Vivian Hoxbro and
Modular Knits: New Techniques for Today's Knitters by Iris Schreier

Happy crafting,
Kathi Linz

Monday, November 8, 2010

Kids Knitting

I ran across a book called "Kids Knitting" by Melanie Falick. All you knitters, did you know that you can dye wool yarn with Kool-Aid? Or make your own knitting needles by sticking dowels into a pencil sharpener? How are you at finger knitting? Remember spool knitting? How about this for a good idea - to remember which way you should go, have needles that are two different colors.

There's a new generation of knitters coming up and they are relearning the basics in new fun ways.

However much you know about knitting, this book is a great deal of fun and there are some wonderful patterns for all experience levels.

Happy crafting,