Knitting News

Knitting News

Outside chores are starting to call my name, and I am feeling the call of spring. Less time to knit these days as I am busy pruning the apple trees and beginning to clean up the garden. But I am also finding it to be the perfect time to line out new projects. I find the biggest challenge to my productivity is to actually finish off projects I’m working on (down to clipping the last worked-in string) and planning the start of the new. Sometimes I will find myself stalled for weeks or months because I just don’t know where to begin. So I like to have several new ideas laid out at any time. This week’s newsletter has both finishing off with the applied I-cord bindoff, and starting anew with socks!

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Applied I-Cord Bind Off
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Starting off this week we have a video teaching the applied I-cord bind off. This is a very tidy way to end a garment as it makes a nice curled and pliable edge. Perfect for the end of a top-down hat. The edge is very pliable because you are actually increasing and binding off at the same time. Very cool.

Click here for: Applied I-Cord Bind Off

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Inspiration
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Need a moment of inspiration? Here is a short video that does just that. Etsy shop Tracce has put together a wonderful collage of round scarves, cowls and mobius. The colors and simplicity are wonderful. Sometimes I get stuck in thinking that really beautiful knitting has to be fine yarns and lace, but she has some wonderful thick scarves that must be so quick to make… and yet very beautiful.

Click here for Tracce Video

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Starting Socks
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Learn to knit socks! This video is the start of a 6-part series on knitting socks. If you’ve ever wanted to work through all the mysteries of socks this quick lesson will help.

Click here for: Learn to knit socks, part 1

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Kettle Dye Yarn
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Learning to dye your own yarn opens the door to unlimited colors. Particularly, if you master the art of blending, you will be able to express any idea in knitting. Here’s a great video on how to get a mottled effect that is evenly spaced throughout the skein. You can make delicious blends of variegated yarns that don’t make the weird patterns that often appear in “precise” store-bought varieties.

Click here for Kettle Dying Yarn

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Traditional Alpaca
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Finally, we have a little video that is really as sales video. But I love anything that shows the traditional ways, and this is a nice glimpse into production from the Peruvian Andes.

Click here for: Traditional Weavers

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…back to the orchard
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And it’s back to the orchard for me. No rest (or knitting) for the weary until I get all those branches I pruned off yesterday picked up and carried to the burn pile!

Happy Knitting

Connie Delaney
www.Knitknitting.com
www.Spincraftpatterns.com

Christmas Week News

The true twist on mobius, two-sided lace, swirl sweaters, calendar time,  and more double-pointed knitting.

Knitting News

Knitters BioHappy Holidays! I hope everyone had a great weekend and are recovering …  because New Years is next.

As I’ve been traveling to visit family, eating and sharing I’ve also been knitting happily away on mobius scarf projects. I’ve figured out the ins and outs of the twist, and over the next week will be putting together instructions and videos to make it easier for everyone to understand.

That’s how we’ll start the new year with Spincraft Pattern Newsletter. Mobius is addicting. So if you haven’t tried it before, be ready for a whole new adventure.

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Understanding Mobius
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There is a lot of information on the net about knitting mobius scarves. I have come to find that some of it is right and some not quite so right.

Mobius is a mathematical anomaly. The simplest form is made by taking a strip of paper (or a flat scarf), giving it a half twist, and taping the ends together. If you do that you’ll notice that there is no front and back of the strip.  Follow the two edges with your finger and you’ll see that there is no beginning, end, right or left to the edges either. That’s because it wraps around and around, always coming back to the place it started.

There is the trick right there … it has to be a half twist or the edges aren’t joined right and then it is not a mobius.

There are actually three things I found when I was searching the web.

First is the Infinity Scarf: What is typically called an Infinity Scarf is not a mobius. Usually an “Infinity Scarf” is simply a circular scarf with no twist. You give it a twist when you put it on, but other than that it can be folded flat.

Full Twist Scarves: There are a lot of patterns that say they are a mobius when in reality they are full twist scarves. These are made by knitting in the round, but instead of following the usual instructions to “Join, being careful not to twist sts”, you join being careful to give it a twist. Problem is that this gives the scarf a full twist, and brings us to the real mystery of the mobius.

Half Twist True Mobius: All the information I found on the true mobius was very difficult to understand. It’s this crazy cast on, around and around a long circular needle. The instructions are clear, but the why is mysterious. I intend to demystify the why.

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On KnitKnitting.com
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Mobius right and wrong … We have two sample videos on KnitKnitting.com that show the full twist and half twist ways of making the scarf.

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The True Mobius

This is a short video, and link to a pattern that shows a true mobius with a half twist. This is a crochet pattern, but I chose it because it shows the twist so clearly.

> Click here for the Crochet Mobius


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Full Twist Mobius

Here is a video that shows a mobius, or infinity scarf that is a full twist.

> Click here for the full twist version.

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Below is a picture of a scarf I made following the “join with a twist” instructions. In my scarf you can clearly see the full twist. This is a beautiful scarf made with a great two-sided lace that I will be sharing next week. But it’s not a mobius. It’s a full twist circular scarf.

My second example is a beautiful full-twist scarf made with a soft wool in 6 st seed stitch. It’s folded around once like you would wear it on your neck. Very beautiful, but not a mobius!

Stay tuned for next week when I’ll share the how and they why to make it happen properly. I’ve figured out a way to explain it that is going to make sense!

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Recent Comments
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Tina says:
December 20, 2011 at 8:34 pm

I must be the only person on the planet who prefers to learn new stitches from charts rather than videos. Does anyone have a chart for this? It’s a very cool stitch and I’m on a Mobius kick at the moment. If not, I’ll chart it myself and ask Connie to post it somewhere…

cheers – Tina

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Thanks Tina for the reminder. I also think that charts are the way to go. It’s time consuming to make them right, though, so anyone who wants to help make charts for any of our stitch patterns, please jump in and help. I’ll post them.
Connie
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Meanwhile, we also have the following items to share.

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Swirly Sweater Book
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You know all those great round sweaters everyone is wearing? Here’s a book of swirly sweaters. Lavish photographs and 18 unique designs.

> Click here for Swirly Sweaters

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Calendar
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Time for a calendar… and of course you’ll want a knitting one.

> Click here for Knitting Calendar

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Double Pointed Needles
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One more shot at double pointed needles if you didn’t get it last week. Here’s another video.

> Click here for Double Pointed Needles

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A Techy Present
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And finally, one final plug for my friend Leo Notenboom. Join his newsletter and he’ll help you work you way through the maze of your own computer:  Ask Leo Your Tech Questions!

> Sign up free here: Ask-Leo.com

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Till We Meet Again
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Thanks again for reading, I hope you enjoyed my first dabbles into mobius and looking forward to more to come.

Happy New Year and  Happy Knitting

Connie Delaney
www.SpincraftPatterns.com

 

Middle of December News

Learn to Finger Knit, Baby Blanket & Booties, Easy Instructions on Double Pointed Needles and the beginnings of Mobius.

Knitting News

Knitters Bio
Greetings everyone and Merry Christmas. Here’s hoping that all your projects are coming out all right and on time!

This week, as one of our featured videos, we have Finger Knitting. Not sure how many useful projects we can come up with using this technique, but it’s a little trick everyone should know. Finger Knitting uses your fingers as a small knitting loom. It’s quick and can be done anywhere without any equipment. The video is quick and clear.

For those heroes out there spreading fiber knowledge by teaching in schools, finger knitting is a perfect tool. Kids learn it very quickly and love to make friendship bracelets for each other. Those little tiny fingers make a nice size stitch!

Click here for: Finger Knitting.

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    KnitKnitting.com
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    This week’s treasures…

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    Double Pointed Knitting
    Don’t be afraid of the double pointed knitting needles! They are an essential tool in the knitting arsenal. Double pointed needles help you knit all those small tube items: fingers, thumbs, little bears, tops of hats, socks.

    We are featuring both a training video and needle sets for sale

    The training video takes all the mystery out of managing double pointed needles. As Kathleen Sams carefully explains, the only difficult part is getting started. After that you just knit until the needle runs out, then go on to the next one.
    If you have any trouble learning double pointed needles take a tip from our Navajo sisters. When the Navajo teach spinning and weaving to the next generation they do not go from the beginning of project to the end, like we do… Because getting started is more difficult. Instead they start new fiber artists off with plying or beating, and work down to drafting and warping. So go ask a friend to start your double pointed needles for you. Have them get the ribbing started for an inch or so to create some stability, and then you finish up. By the time you are done with your first project you’ll have all the necessary skills and confidence to start the next one from scratch.
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    ArtBin Yarn Drum 12-inches round by 12-3/4-inches high, RaspberryYarn Storage: I’m finding more great yarn containers. Here is one that’s called the “Artbin.” It not only holds your yarn while knitting, but has lots of pockets and a shoulder strap for carrying.
    It’s lightweight and holds up to 8 skeins of yarn… or an almost-finished sweater! It also looks pretty indestructible, and that bright pink will help you not lose it.
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    Books: Two great books for your fiber library.
    1. Chicks with Sticks have a fantastic “Guide to Knitting.” More than 30 simple chic projects with step-by-step instructions.
    2. The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook”. Learn about all the different fiber types. This has more than 200 Fibers from animal to spun yarn.

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    SpinCraft Patterns
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    Hallelujah!!! I did it! The baby blanket is finished:  knit, ends worked in, washed blocked, photographed, written up as a knitting pattern, wrapped and shipped off to my daughter (who is expecting in January). It’s already sitting under her Christmas tree… To Baby from Santa!  It’s now available as a knitting pattern on SpinCraft Patterns.

    Basketweave Baby Blanket

    Quick Baby Blanket with Basketweave and Seed Stitch

    Good thing this pattern was quick, or Baby wouldn’t have her pre-first Christmas present! I guess the big question is… am I spoiling already!!!?

    I made mine with a soft cotton yarn. This is a quick and relaxing project with a simple basketweave pattern for the body of the blanket. Edging is picked up and knit in a double seed stitch.

    Click here for: Basketweave Baby Blanket

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      Free Knitting Pattern
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      Cute! Cute! Cute! This goes right along with the baby blanket pattern that I just finished! These adorable baby booties have clear instructions in a free .pdf file, and a very useful video from Youtube.

      What I love about this baby bootee pattern is the nice fit with the broad curved toes. The nice little top strap helps keep the bootee on those kicking little feet. There is nothing like beauty and practicality both together in one package!

      Click here for the Baby Bootee Video

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        Free Knitting Stitch
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        Even though I am not done with my Christmas presents, I am starting to plan for January! My youngest daughter has informed me that Mobius Scarves are very popular right now, so I am going to spend a month exploring the mobius. This is simply a joined scarf, or neck cowl with a twist.

        Pictured is a very simple one I am making for her with a 5-st seed stitch. Hoping to have it done by the time we drive off to see her this Friday.

        The easiest way to make or understand a mobius is to cut a strip of paper, give it one twist and tape the ends together. Go ahead and try it with some of that leftover wrapping paper sitting around your house! Both surfaces are now one continuous field.

        A Mobius Scarf does not have a front or back, which creates a challenge in coming up with a variety of stitches. Most of our prettiest patterns (cables, lace, textures, colors even) have a front and back side. If you want a great pattern for a mobius strip it has to be reversible! and it will also need to lay flat and not curl on the edges.

        I want to knit Mobius Scarves that are less boring than seed stitch!

        Please Help With Some Ideas

        So! I am on the lookout for reversible lace and texture stitches! Help from all you talented readers would be greatly appreciated.

        I found one fantastic reversible lace pattern on Youtube, (pictured at left) and have featured it on the newsletter site: www.knitknitting.com. I have yet to try it in a mobius though, so we’ll find out in January if it workd!

        Click here for the Reversible Lace Stitch.

        Meanwhile, please post your findings and swatches over at www.Learn-To-Knit.com in the Swatch Swap Forum.

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        A Techy Present
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        Do something for yourself, your hubby, and all those friends dealing with the day-to-day complexities of the home computer… Ask Leo Your Tech Questions!

        My friend Leo Notenboom answers tech questions online and publishes a weekly newsletter. Unlike many of the Geek persuasion, Leo is a great writer and easy to understand. Not only can you get his newsletter free, but you can go online and ask him questions personally about your tech difficulties. Newsletter subscribers shoot up the daily queue onto his “Priority” list! On a bad computer day that can be better than Santa’s “Nice List.”

        Sign up free here: Ask-Leo.com

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          Till We Meet Again
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          Enough already!  Thanks and Merry Christmas again to all of you who read this far! But let’s get back to our projects!

          Until next time, Happy Knitting

          Connie Delaney
          www.SpincraftPatterns.com

          This Weeks Knitting Posts

          Learn about cables, handspinning, fingerless gloves, take control of that yarn, and knit in the round with circular needles.

          Knitting News

          Knitters BioAs a consummate do-it-yourselfer I’ve been a handspinner for many years. Although there are a lot of challenges in learning to create the types of yarn needed for different projects, the satisfaction and creativity of handspinning is more than worth it.

          One other advantage of handspun yarn is that you not only save a ton of money, but over time end up with so much yarn that you are never short for starting a new project! I love the colors and textures that are possible with blending different types of fibers and dye batches.

          So I was very excited to find a nice beginning video on handspinnng by Patti the Garden Girl. If you have been thinking about learning to spin, this is a great inspirational clip. It’s not long, doesn’t go deep into the how-to, but is enough to help a beginner get motivated.

          Click here for: How to Hand Spin Wool and Fibers

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          KnitKnitting.com
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          My computer program on Knitknitting.com has found some great new tidbits for us this week:

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          Circular Needles

          Circular needles take the hassle out of  hats, leg warmers, and sweaters. They are fabulous for knitting in the round, and are also great for knitting large things that would not fit on a traditional straight needle. In case anyone has not started using circular needles, we’ve found a nice tutorial. Click here for a video on: How to Knit on Circular Needles.

          One problem with circular needles is that you need so many of them!  Not only do projects call for different thicknesses of circular needles, but they also require different lengths. You can’t knit a project smaller than the diameter of the needles you are working with. We found a nice set of bamboo circular needles that will help add to your collection: Bamboo Circular Needles.

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          Darice Yarn Holder TubeYarn Holder Tube: Here’s a great idea, a jar you can keep your yarn in to prevent tangles. We are showing one from Amazon.com, but this certainly wouldn’t be hard to make from a jar or plastic container with a lid. In fact, I was inspired by the picture and grabbed an old Tupperware cereal container from my shelf, stuck my center-pull ball in it, with the yarn threaded out the top hole, and started knitting away. It was very nice to have the yarn off the floor.

          Okay, I’ll admit I look pretty silly knitting out of a cereal container, and the store-bought one would look much nicer, but what the heck! It was free and instant. Click here for the Yarn Holder Tube.

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          SpinCraft Patterns
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          Socks: I love knitting socks. Turning heels are not scary, they just aren’t! Once you get through your first one you’ll be hooked forever. A heel is nothing more than a spot in a tube where you add more stitches to create a bump. A well formed heel will also be thicker down the backside where it rubs on the shoe. Watch your hands do it one time and it will make total sense.

          This week I’d like to point you to two resources for knitting socks. One is my traditional pattern over at SpinCraftPatterns.com, and the other is a comprehensive book on socks.

          Best Socks Knitting Pattern: This pattern walks you through, step-by-step, breath-by-breath, in starting a sock that fits, working through the heel, and finishing up that toe. Many knitting stores use this pattern to teach sock classes, because of the friendly, easy to follow instructions.

          Book of Socks: This is the ultimate guide to creating socks that fit well and feel great. This book guides you through yarn selection, needle size, and the ultimate in heel turning. A great guide for sock lovers of all ages!

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          Knitting Pattern
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          Fingerless Gloves: I love these! Although fingerless gloves leave your fingers out in the cold, and wouldn’t be all that great for chopping wood or ice fishing, they are fabulous for wearing around a chilly house and even as a fashion accessory. It’s amazing how comfortable they are, and how keeping your wrists warm heats up your body core. We have a video and free pattern for a set of fingerless gloves from the Casing On Coach. This set has a nice Trinity St pattern detail that sets off the beautiful shape when worn. Click here for the video: Fingerless Glove Pattern

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          Knitting Stitch
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          Learn How to Knit a Basic Cable: This is a how-to video on how to grab those cable sts and knit them out of sequence to create the cable twist. Some cables can be incredibly complex, but if you learn the basic cable technique (and how to read the patterns!) you can knit any cable. Click here for: Knit a Basic Cable

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          Traditional
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          Youtube is turning out to be a needed tool for cultural preservation. It is full of so many videos on traditional fiber arts, and that is a very very good thing. This week we are featuring a video with a Navajo woman teaching her son to weave. Although weaving is often a woman’s job, it is having a resurgence and all can participate.

          Click here for: Navajo Weaving (You will also find this video cataloged in our Traditional category.)

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          Christmas Funny
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          Yes. I’m a big jokester, so I couldn’t help putting in a video for a punchline at Funnyformoney.com.

          This is for the punchline: Jon Stewart has declared war on Christmas…

          I mean, really? Does he think he can beat Christmas?

          Click here for a laugh

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          Till We Meet Again
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          Once again, the newsletter got a bit long! But I can’t help it. There is so much amazing stuff to keep us inspired as knitters. We can’t do it all, and take advantage of it all, but knitting is a visual sport as much as a doing sport. I love looking at all the variety of textures, colors and project ideas that can be created, even if I can’t do them all in my lifetime.

          It seems to be a basic rule of handspinners and knitters that we always have a 110 year backlog of projects. Keeps us young I guess!

          So until next time, Happy Knitting

          Connie Delaney

           

          Knitting in December

          December is often a fast flurry of finishing up knitting projects before Christmas. We have some fast and beautiful projects to help!

          Knitting News

          Knitters BioBrrrrr… We are cold here in Idaho, but I don’t mind. I’m going to kick back this evening, stoke the stove up, and finish a knitting project.

          Like many knitters, I am looking at the calendar and going, “Opps!” Time is quickly running out to get my Christmas presents done. So I can’t waste a minute.

          I also very much enjoy watching money not gush out of my pockets as the day of giving approaches, and feel a bit of pride that I am contributing to a greater sense of care with my handcrafted gifts. I’m also helping out all my friends and family who seem to be keeping the heat turned down a few more notches than they used to!

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          KnitKnitting.com
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          The streaming engine on KnitKnitting.com has picked up some amazing training videos and ideas for the week. Here is a sampling of the best:

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          Weekend Hats:

          The scrumptious pictures in this book are enough to make me want to pick up some new yarn and start knitting… and the idea of getting an entire project done in a weekend is all the more enticing. This is a compilation of hat patterns from 21 designers in one beautiful collection.
          Click here for more:

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          Diagonal Eyelet Mosiac Pattern

          Isn’t this beautiful! This pattern combines a diagonal mosaic pattern with a lacy twist.  This would make a lovely sweater, shawl or blanket.

          The pattern  is from Vogue Knitting Stitch a Day Calendar, and the training video is posted to Youtube by “Knitting and Purling” blog. She does a great job in teaching the stitch visually .

          Click here to see: Diagonal Mosiac Knitting Pattern

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          African Tote

          I am starting to have so many projects laying around by my TV Chair that this large-size woven tote caught my eye. I like it because it stands up by itself and will be easy to reach in and grab what I want.

          Click here for the African Tote

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          Knit Headband

          We are featuring a full 5-part video series on knitting a quick headband. Each video is very short, and a full write-up of the pattern is also included

          Here’s the Headband

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          As always, there are more things than I can hope to go through in this short newsletter including:

           

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          SpincraftPatterns.com
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          Over at SpinCraft Patterns we are all set for a new pattern… but not quite ready.  If you ever think that getting a knitting newsletter once a week is too much… try creating a new pattern each week! Of course it can’t be done, or shouldn’t be done, and I wouldn’t even try. The only reason it came to mind was because I actually did a pattern a week for two weeks in November!

          I have finished my baby blanket, but have yet to work in the ends, wash, block and write up the pattern. With a little bit of luck it will be ready for next Tuesday’s newsletter

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          Till We Meet Again
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          As always, come and leave questions, suggestions and your own knitting knowledge in the comments section. As we get more comments we’ll start to include pertinent ones along with the newsletter.

          There is so much great stuff available, but I strive each week to keep the newsletter short. So I’ll sign off with this.

          The goal is to have a short newsletter each Tuesday with something to wet your appetite for the fiber arts, and each Friday to send a quick Stitch of the Week and Pattern of the Week. So see you soon!

          Happy Knitting

          Connie Delaney

          New for the Week

          Knitters BioThis week we’ve got fiber artists from around the world, knitting two things at one time, socks, and cute gifts.

          Knitting News

          Hello again everyone. As always, I am amazed at the fiber knowledge I find online, and inspired to finish up some projects of my own.

          Today was quite chilly, and my ankles were feeling drafty under my desk. It turned out to be a great time to finish up the ankle warmers I started a month ago.

          What’s cool about this project is that I knit the two pieces of the set at the same time on one needle using double knitting. When I was done, pulled one out of the other and presto! A pair! I’ve posted the pattern to SpinCraft Patterns, and also made a Youtube video showing how to do the double knitting.

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          SpinCraftPatterns.com
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          Ankle Warmers: It’s that time of year when it is nice to keep the ankles warm. This floppy pair of leg warmers suits the bill, and not only that… the pattern is written so you can knit them both at the same time, one inside the other, using double knitting.

          It’s a little crazy to learn, but so worth it! Double Knitting makes the project extra fun, and you don’t have to knit that second piece!

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          KnitKnitting.com
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          Don’t let socks scare you: This week’s posts features two videos on Socks:

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          I found some amazing… did I say AMAZING, videos on fiber arts in traditional villages. Some are in Turkish, but amazing to watch. These are women who live in areas where fiber arts are still a way of life, and they follow the old methods. It’s such a valuable thing to keep track of that I created a whole new category on KnitKnitting.com to hold them.

          Watch all the Traditional videos here:
          http://knitknitting.com/category/traditional/

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          And finally, a cute little gift. Here is a precious little girl with her knitting and her doll: a perfect gift for the fiber artists in your life (or maybe you if you are good at giving hints)

          Small Girl Knitting with Basket of Yarn

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          Stitches & Patterns
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          Knitting stitch of the week: Bamboo Stitch

          PATTERN:

          Bamboo Stitch is a 2 row repeat over an even number of sts

          Row 1: K2 (YO, K2, pass YO over the 2 knit sts) rep across row. End k2

          Row 2: P across row

          That’s it! Just that simple.

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          Conclusion
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          I’m thinking that the knitting stitches are getting lost in this newsletter… which always gets too big each week. I think I am going to turn Stitch of the Week in to an extra, very short, email that comes out on Fridays. So be looking for that. As a matter of fact, I’ll add a link to a free knitting pattern each Friday also! That will be fun.

          Happy Knitting!

          Connie Delaney

           

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