Magic sts

Recently I’ve been playing with 2 ways that make color knit (and crochet) easier, and also eliminate the need for finishing work at the end:

MULTI ST  is knitted with all the yarns held together. I use it at one edge of the knitting (but plan to try it in the middle too). At the beg. of a row, I can choose any yarn I want from my multi, and knit 2 or more rows with it.  I can hide a certain yarn for half a shawl, and then – pop it out of thin air! I can knit a 2 color pattern (mosaic, sl st etc), and then move to 2 totally different colors without any effort. I can use gradual color change, or rainbow, like this: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Purple, Blue, Sky blue, and back to Red, or, instead of Red I can retrace and follow the Sky blue with, Blue, Purple, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red.

I avoid finishing work by letting the yarn be as and where it needs to. The easiest is to start and finish with a multi st, and use the yarn tails as a fringe.

The other trick is similar, but the sts is only double stranded, and used as a border between 2 bordering yarns. That eliminates the need to twist/cross. strand etc. I use this st in the middle of the fabric, as it’s not needed in the edge (that will make it a multi st, even if it’s just 2 yarns). To enhance it, I always knit it as st.st even in garter st knitting. It makes it bold and textured.

So, here are examples of using the multi st (see it on the side, in the asymmetric  Karma shawl):

 

The ds st:

Few more examples:

 

 

‘Color & Picture Knitting’ book

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Dear Tracy,

I can not find your comment, so will answer you here, as other people asked about the book too.

The book is a work book. It explains how to knit pictures, from easy ones to more involved. The patterns in it are like exercises. They are meant for you to knit them and hopefully hang them on your wall or give as gifts.

You may not sell my patterns, but you may do many pictures using the charts in the book, and even sell the pictures you knitted yourself.

I am saying that the charts are exercises because my purpose was to give you enough information so that you can continue to make your own charts and do your own pictures.

So, to sum it up, the patterns in the book are for you to knit in order to learn the techniques used.

After the picture is knitted and BO, you can block it. For this you will need to stretch it upside down on foam board or anything else handy, spray lightly with water and let dry for 24 hours. Because of spraying it with water, you need to use stainless steel pins. You can buy them in a sewing store.

Some people prefer ironing their knits, I do not.

After the picture is well dry, you can attach it to foam board that is cut to fit the size of the picture. For this you can use straight pins (they do not have to be stainless steel).

Some people glue the picture instead of using pins, I do not.

See next blog post for detailed account of the charts in the book.

The book is available on Amazon.com

Good Luck, hope you’ll enjoy it, and feel free to ask questions.

 

Cat Too, baby blanket

This pattern is available for $4.50 USD buy it now

Easy to knit, fast, and much fun Baby Blanket.

The beauty of this pattern is the easy flow of colors within the cat. That flow creates a certain feeling in the piece.
This technique continues exploring knitting with 3 yarns (the change in yellow was just me changing yarns mid-way).

Needles # 15 US for a baby blanket, or use sm-med size needles (and yarn to match) and make it into a wall hanging.
General instructions for how to make a wall hanging are included.

Yarns: use bulky/super bulky or double strand worsted weight.
Light color: Approx. 237 y/216m.
Dark:. Approx. 203 y/185m.
Cat only:. Approx. 30y/27m.
Gauge is not crucial, approx. 8sts X 12r.

For beginners: skip the border and add it later.

Below is the original one I made (not the one the pattern is made for):

front                                                                         back

 

Shadow of a leaf

I’ve been playing for a while with a design for a knit Baby blanket, to go with our second Elfy book. The first one, The Mushroom under the Elf, has a game blanket as a part of the book and it’s also the back cover. For the second book I was thinking of something like a friendship pattern, which in the story is made out of oak leaf/leaves. But when I did the previous blanket, with the 2+2 pattern (see previous post, and free pattern), it surprised me by somehow having the right feeling of falling leaves and woods. That led to this blanket.

The knitting itself is very simple and knits fast. There is no carrying of yarns etc. but I added some rvrs.st. for the leaf’s veins. The photos do not give the richness and subtleties of this fabric.

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2+2 Baby Blanket

This is a new technique, combining the idea of knitting 2 yarns and alternating every 2 rows, with doing the same from the left. Result: 2 yarns on the right changing every RS row + 2 yarns on the left, changing every WS row. To do this knit each row double stranded (DS) with a yarn from the right and a yarn from the left. This crates a rich fabric without much color work. The photos unfortunately fail to show its full beauty.

Free instructions here.

Knit -> Write, and Write -> Knit

I LOVE encouraging people to use their art as a base for a book.

Imagine giving your friends and family a booklet of your art work for Christmas.

These days, when ‘publish on demand’ is so easy (and gets easier by the minute), there is no excuse Not to.

And that, ends ‘the lecture,’ and begins my sharing:

“The First Time I Saw the Ocean/Mayan & Richard Ward” was my first fiction book (available on Amazon). It started with my husband, exercising and looking at my knitted pictures on the walls. He said it felt like a story of a little girl visiting Meher Spiritual Center for the first time. Once I started writing, it went very fast. All I had to do was follow the knitted pictures I had, and let them tell the story. The only thing missing was a knitted picture of an alligator (which I then made just for the book). T=So the process was that the knitting led me into writing.

If you have enough images in your knitting/embroidery/needlepoint/painting, you can do the same: assemble what you have, organize it in order that tells a story, and start writing. Insert the images here and there in your writing, and your book is done!

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Mixed Tapestries‘, our new book, follows the opposite process. First I wrote a short story in the middle of the night (well, 5 am), then I started knitting the illustrations for it. Where and how the idea started, I do not know, but it evolved to a new knit technique for me. I wrote more about it in my previous post. This is the finished series (sorry it’s from right to left) :

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The technique, ‘7 yarns’ or ‘3+1+3’ uses the same 7 yarns through the whole piece, but always using one of them, as a separator, in the middle to create the image. It’s not that complicated. Once you knit 2-3 rows of the image, all yarns should be in place and from there on it’s straight forward (click on the fish to see the pattern).

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And back to the lecture: do something, don’t wait, your art is unique and has your special flavor. God made you precisely as you are, give back by showing your work (and not putting it into a drawer).

Good Luck.

Knit Fish pattern, in ‘7 yarns’ or ‘3+1+3’ technique

Another piece of trying techniques.

IMG_9374

Based on 3 yarn technique:
knit row 1 with A
attach & purl row 2 with B (leave A where it is)
attach and knit row 3 with C (leave B where it is)
row 4 – p with A (leave C where it is)
row 5 -k B
6 – p C.

So that is the basic technique I used, but more involved:
7 yarns,
knit 3 as above, use 1 yarn for fish, use the other 3 for other side.
Then, change fish color when inspired but keep 3 yarns on each side of the fish.

Knitting is actually easier than reading it. Anyway – it was much fun and if I have time I hope to do 6 more pieces (not fish…) to go with a piece I wrote about reincarnation.

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* Chart is up, on the FREE page 🙂 , hope you’ll give it a try.

Mixed sts / Couples knitting

This is a new / continued theme I’m still exploring: I see the knitting as a double knit fabric but sometime do double strand garter st or st.st.

If you want to try it yourself:

a double knit unit = 1 knit facing st + 1 purl facing st.

Change a unit like that to 1 double strand st or 2 st.sts (k on one side p on the next).

There is a lot that comes with it and I’m still learning (it’s fascinating), and I hope to write more about it. For now here are some photos:

Above is one of my current projects, I’m actually half way through the other side by now. Mixing short rows with the above way of stitching.

 

 

 

 

 

 

and a scarf using that technique.

 

 

 

 

 

And this is how it started:

1. mixing double knit and stockinet

2. Mixing dk & double strand:

Mushroomy

Things have gotten very ‘mushroomy’ over here…

It started innocent enough – I was happily working on modular pictures (see previous post and probably my next post too), then looking for a V easy one to do (to test this crazy idea) I decided to knit a little modular mushroom picture.The colors are too dark – but it was so much fun! and before I knew it I found myself knitting mushrooms for a month and writing a children book about an Elf and a mushroom…  That’s what I get for following my heart!

So, the story is far from ready, but the mushrooms are getting there:

These are the ‘pages’ of a pattern for a cotton baby book, and below is the book itself –  it is so much fun to touch it, feels real good!

This pattern is being tested, and 2 more patterns are on there way:

It’s hard to see but this is a puffed mushroom,.

The other knit baby book is a sideways knitted set, like this:

Hope you like it…

Modular Pictures

The idea of making a modular picture always fascinates me. Does it really work?

My first attempt was the tree picture. It’s partially modular and you can read more about it here (scroll down): http://www.pictureknitting.com/gator_lake.html

It’s hard to see but the right part of the soil is knitted upward while the trees etc are knitted sideways, with the idea of taking advantage of variegating yarns in different directions. By the time I started knitting I forgot it and just picked the yarn I fancied…      It’s modular in knitting 2 directions in the same piece, but does not have inc/dec(so it’s not a real module).

This is my second modular attempt. I used a small chart I had for a picture knitting class and lots of little left over yarns (I belong to the group that can not throw even itsy bitsy piece of yarn). Still needs work, but it was so much fun to knit and totally impossible to tell what’s going on until the very end.