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Knitting Techniques

How to Knit Short Rows Part 1 – Wrap & Turn

This post is the first half of a two-part tutorial on how to work short rows in knitting. While it is written specifically as support for my face mask pattern (you can grab a copy for yourself here if you would like), this knowledge can be easily integrated for use in other projects as well. Please note that the face mask is worked in k1, p1 ribbing, so this tutorial shows the short rows worked in k1, p1 ribbing also.

You can watch a video version of this tutorial immediately below, or scroll down for written step by steps with accompanying photos…

Short Rows Part 1 – Wrap & Turn:

Step 1: Work across your row until you reach the stitch you will wrap…

Step 2: Bring yarn between the needles, to the front…

Step 3: Slip the next stitch purlwise, from the left needle onto the right needle…

Step 4: Bring yarn between the needles, to the back…

Step 5: Turn work {keeping yarn to the front after the turn}…

Step 6: Slip the stitch purlwise, from the left needle onto the right needle…

Step 7: Bring yarn between the needles, to the back of the work…

Step 8: Wrap & Turn complete!
Continue working in pattern {k1, p1 ribbing in this case} until your next wrap & turn, you reach the end of the row, or you’re ready to work Part 2: Pick up & Knit!

Knitting, patterns

Hand Knit Face Mask Pattern

I’m excited today to share with you all my new pattern for: a hand knit face mask!

Since I feel strongly that an effective face mask design needs to fit comfortably on most face types/sizes, “stretchy” and “adaptable” are important key concepts embodying this project. To this end, and for utmost comfort and wash-ability, I recommend using cotton yarn. You’ll need one skein (100 yards/91 meters) in a sport weight. I used, from my stash, Knit Picks Shine Sport, which comes in many gorgeous colors! Any sport weight cotton yarn that you have in your stash will work great too!

A tight gauge is created by using relatively thicker yarn paired with small/tiny needles and used in combination with 1×1 ribbing to create a dense fabric. However, if you wish, your mask may also be layered with a handkerchief folded and placed inside, or worn over another mask to provide additional coverage.

Short rows are utilized to provide shaping and contour to the mask. There are links on my Resources & Tutorials page to two short video tutorials I made for you about how to work short rows, specifically in this pattern. I’ll also be writing a blog post about how to work short rows later on. {If you’d like to be notified when I publish new posts, just click on the Follow button at the right side of the page and enter your email address.}

Finish your mask with simple i-cord ear loops or choose to make ties instead for a more adjustable fit.

I want to encourage us all to be effective with our face mask(s) by remembering that simply wearing a face mask, whether sewn or hand knit, will not guarantee that a person remains uninfected. Rather, the point of the mask is to reduce the range of possibly infected droplets coming from our own nose and mouth as we breathe and speak; and to remind us to keep our hands away from our nose and mouth (and face in general). In these ways, face masks are a great tool for protecting both others and ourselves.

I hope you enjoy my new pattern as much as I’ve enjoyed creating it! You can grab your copy here!*

~Sarah

Knitting, outdoors, Puppy

At Switzer Lake

The other afternoon {about two and a half months ago, now}, I felt it would be really great to spend some time out in Nature. Sunny agreed. Being out in Nature is one of her favorite things too, so she’s always down with that idea. πŸ˜€

Since our move to the city, we don’t get out to The Forest as much as we’d like. In fact, we both miss The Forest quite a lot. So we go whenever we can.

This time, we decided to go to Switzer Lake. There is forest all around the lake. There are many boat ramps leading down to the water (Sunny likes those!); and a very wide dam covered with golden grasses (I like that!). You can walk out across the dam if you wish. The view is spectacular along every inch of it!

Forward views
Right-hand view
Left-hand view
Rear view
Sunset view – but I’m getting ahead of myself!

Sunny is a much quicker walker than I am.

This is her, “Hurry up, Mom!” face. XD

We decided to stop for a bit halfway across and take some time to enjoy those 360 degree views.

Above is the view looking back the way we came. The pole you can see there with antennae is a weather data station!

“I’m thirsty, Mom!”

Sunny wasn’t sure that climbing down the dam to the water for a drink would be worth the climb back up…

… so she wandered about, exploring, while I pulled out my knitting to enjoy a few stitches.

I’m working on my Pointed Firs Shawl, pattern by Lori Versaci.

The yarn I’m using is the heavenly alpaca yarn: Juniper Moon Farm Herriott in the creamy, natural colorway called “Talc.”

And these are my Lykke Driftwood 5″ interchangeable circular needles. I love them. Dearly. They are sharp, but not too sharp; smooth, but not too smooth; and I really love the longer needle length as I feel it provides a more comfortable grip.

My dog, the outdoors, my knitting… feeling tremendously relaxed and satisfied. πŸ™‚

How many tries do you think THIS one took?! XD

At sunset, getting to be time to head for home…

Sunset views

Light-up collar already glowing in the dusk, Sunny had to have a quick wade and drink before getting in the car for the ride home.

When we got home, Sunny collected her favorite babies and snuggled up with her favorite blanket while I made supper. A perfect end to a fun day!

What about you? Have you been able to get outdoors recently? Do you have a favorite place that you like to go to when you spend time outdoors? Do you take your knitting/crocheting/spinning with you? What do you like to do outdoors?

Knitting, Promo

Labor Day Sale!

Hi Everyone! I don’t know about you, but I can hardly believe that its Labor Day weekend already! Summer has flown by so incredibly fast! And now we have the arrival of the cooler temperatures and beautiful foliage of Fall to anticipate…! Personally, I can’t wait for pumpkin EVERYTHING! πŸ˜€ So…

  • To celebrate, I’m giving 15% off ALL my patterns, through Monday!
  • Just go to my Ravelry store, and
  • Use code: LDS15

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

~Sarah

Knitting, neck wear, Yarn

Cozy Evening In

I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather these last few days and so am enjoying a nice cozy evening in: Knitting, watching Netflix, and listening to Sunny snoring! (Her snores are truly the coziest, most soothing sound of well-being I think I’ve ever heard! πŸ˜΄πŸ’—πŸΆπŸ’—πŸ˜†πŸ’—) I also love the way she tucks her back feet under her front armpits to keep them warm while she’s sleeping – so brilliant!

Making some good progress on this cabled and bobbled cowl/snood I’m knitting. I really love the yarn combo: One strand of Rowan Kidsilk Haze held together with a lovely fingering weight Ewe So Sparkly Sock yarn from Tempting Ewe Yarns! I’m working on writing the pattern, so that’ll be along in the near future. 😊

What’s making you happy this evening? How do you like to spend a cozy evening in?

Knitting, outdoors, Puppy

First Snow!

Today is our first real snow of the Season here in the Shenandoah Valley! (True, we had an ice storm a few weeks ago, but that just isn’t quite the same. πŸ˜‰ )

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And it’s Sunny’s first snow too!

At first, she took after Joe very strongly, and was not at all impressed by snow; she just wanted to explore…

 

So we did. We went over the bridge and explored for a bit!

These are Sunny’s snowy paw prints.

Then she got excited about the snow, and caught a case of the snow-zoomies…

 

Followed by a game of snowy-hide-and seek…

 

And lastly, she dug in for a taste of snow!

 

After our early morning (it was 7 am when we went out) snowy antics, it’s now time for some coziness!

Here we are, warm and dry indoors, where I am beginning a new knitting project (details and pattern to come!) in natural colors,…

…and Sunny is getting sleepy for a good nap on her favorite blanket nearby!

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I’m sure we’ll go out again later for another snowy romp, and possibly a snowy walk in the forest too!

What is making you happy, and what are you enjoying on this lovely snowy day??

Hats, Knitting

Headbands!

I love warm headbands.

I love hats too, but headbands are uniquely suited for Fall! I mean, they…

  1. Keep your ears nice and toasty,…
  2. Prevent over-heating by allowing excess body heat to vent,…
  3. Don’t interfere with “up” hair styles,…
  4. And they’re just plain fun! (Not to mention stylish!)

If you follow me on social media, you’ve probably seen this photo of a hat pattern I’m working on called “Desert Star.”

I’ve been toying with idea of creating a Desert Star Collection, and could not get the thought of a Desert Star headband out of my brain!

So I made two versions, and I need your help to decide which one to write and publish!

Headband Number 1: Narrow(er) Headband

So sorry about the rolling edges in these two photos, I hadn’t yet blocked this one!

This style is simple and traditional, no shaping, just a colorwork headband with ribbing on both edges. It provides both plenty of ear coverage and top ventilation!

Headband Number 2: Wide(r) Headband

This style is a hybrid hat/headband cross, also known as the “Mom-Bun-Beanie.” It has minimal crown shaping, and is a little wider, providing a bit more ear/head coverage and a bit less top ventilation while not interfering with your up-do!

Having made and worn both, I have to admit that each is very likable – for knitting and wearing!

But… I think that I personally prefer the wider headband because I find that I like a bit more head coverage.

Which headband would you rather knit/wear? Don’t worry, there’s no judgement here! I’m just curious to know what you all think! 😊

Family, Knitting, Sweaters

A Sweater for Claire!

I’m working on a Fall sweater for my niece, Claire!

The pattern is Stripey Duffle Coat, by Kate Oates of Tot Toppers.

I’m knitting the size 2T and desperately trying to finish ASAP because I want her to be able to wear it this Fall before she outgrows it! πŸ˜‚

The yarn is Berroco Vintage Chunky in colors #6101 (white) and #6145 (black); and I LOVE it! SO soft and squishy and warm! πŸ˜„

I discovered this pattern whilst browsing Ravelry late one night this past Spring when visiting my sister and her family in Maryland.

The moment I saw it, I just knew I had to knit it for Claire!

We visited their local yarn shop, Cloverhill Yarn Shop in Catonsville, MD, first thing the very next morning; and purchased the yarn on the spot! πŸ˜„ What a lovely shop it was, and such sweet, nice people working there! Visiting was truly a pleasure!

Yes, I realize that I’ve had ALL Spring AND all Summer to knit this sweater… and yes, I realize that it makes no sense whatsoever to wait until now and then be in a desperate hurry to finish… but what can I say?! πŸ€·πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ I’m a terrible procrastinator and I almost always plan too much to do and not enough time! πŸ˜‚

Now I just have the weaving in of yarn ends, sewing on of buttons, and the blocking left to do! I’ll be sure to post a pic or two when I’m done so you can see the finished item! 😊

What’s on your needles this Fall?? Are you a procrastinator too? If not, what’s your secret?! πŸ˜‰ We’d love to hear all about it!

~Happy Knitting!

Health, Knitting

Grateful

Today I’m enduring another migraine, but I’m grateful for the peace & quiet of my home,…

…for Sunny, always my faithful companion and loving friend,…

…and for my knitting with all of its therapeutic and meditative qualities that help to take my mind off of pain. πŸ’—

What are you especially grateful for today?

~Happy Knitting!

Knitting, travel, vacation

Vacation Knitting

How many projects does a knitter need to bring on vacation???

That’s a very good question. [I suspect the answer may be different for every knitter, and every vacation! πŸ˜‰] This time around, I packed four projects that have been in progress for some time in the hopes that I’d finish or come close to finishing one or more of them… πŸ€žπŸ»πŸ˜†

Project #1: Fox Cub Sweater Set Hat & Booties

I finished the sweater portion of this set a month or so ago, in time to gift it to the parents-to-be at their baby shower!

I’ve been working on the matching hat & booties over the last few weeks, hoping to finish them before the baby arrives!

Booties just need foxy ears, and embroidered eyes and noses now! πŸ˜„

I feel like the hat came out smaller than I was hoping… I usually knit 3-6 month size for new babies because they grow so fast! Maybe I mistakenly knit the Newborn size? Or accidentally used smaller needles? Not sure what happened there… πŸ€”

At any rate, I think (hope!) the hat will fit the Newborn for a couple of weeks at least, so I’m going to go ahead and send it!

But I’m giving serious thought to casting on for a larger size hat to send along as well… 😊 So much for finishing, right?! πŸ˜†πŸ˜‚πŸ’—

Got the ears and faces on the booties done, though!

Aren’t they cute?!

I confess that I like them so much that I could not stop taking photos! πŸ˜†πŸ˜‚

I find knitting for babies SO gratifying! πŸ˜„πŸ’—

Project #2: Blanket Square for Carrie

This one I did finish! The knitting was already completed, so I just wove in my ends and blocked my square!

Project #3: Cowl/Snood Sample

That’s Pepper snuggled up on my lap there, “helping” with my knitting! πŸ˜‰πŸ’—

This one is for a new design I’m working on; a chunky, cozy cowl/snood. Part of my process is that I knit as I design, and there were a few specific design features I wanted to work on… so I knit until I ran out of yarn. Then I ripped it all out, made the changes I wanted to make in the pattern, and started all over again! It’s all just part of my process. Sometimes I have feel/see/do something in order to make a decision about it. πŸ˜‰ So this counts as progress in my book! 😊

Project #4: Capelet Sample

And last, but definitely not least, I also brought along a sample that I’m knitting for a new capelet design. I think this may be the third time I’ve knit this sample πŸ˜’… It happens that way sometimes! 😜😊 Anyway, it’s a great traveling companion, and ended up being my go-to project for on-the-beach-knitting as its very portable and I’ve thoroughly memorized the pattern! πŸ˜†

How many knitting projects do you like to take with you when you travel? Do you prefer to cast on something new, or continue/finish WIPs?

~Happy Knitting!