Friday, June 29, 2012

Lovely loopy flowers

Red Loopy Flower with leaves added as a hair accessory.

Yahoo's LoomClass Group
is just finishing up a class that features my Patriot Pin from last year and I thought I would share with you a pattern that sort of evolved from that pattern called the Loopy Flower pattern. I made a couple of these for my husband's mother and aunt for Mother's Day brooches in white Homespun and lavender worsted weight.

Loopy Flowers as Mother's Day brooches

Then I got carried away experimenting with different techniques, yarns and alternate color combinations. Originally, I called this particular style of flowers "Hawaiian Star Flowers" because of the pretty color combinations and shape.
Hawaiian Starflowers

I was going to include the instructions in this blog post, but I decided to write it up as Loopy Flower PDF. That way I can actually find it when I get ready to make more.

Now, go out and loom a yarny garden! 

Pink & White Loopy Flower

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Watermelon koozie

My Quick Can Koozies and Patriot Pin are currently being taught on the Yahoo LoomClass Group by Pat Hathaway, a friend and fellow loom knitter. She has done such a wonderful job and inspired me to knit myself a new koozie using a "watermelon" theme for my water bottles.
When I first designed this little project, I had no idea how useful a koozie would be. These things will keep a drink cold even when left in a hot car for half an hour or more. Since they are made with acrylic yarn, they do not absorb the condensation from the bottle. The condensation is contained evenly by the knit stitches on the surface of the bottle, held inside or partially evaporated through the stitches, so your koozie stays dry to the touch with absolutely no water rings. As you can see I had no qualms about sitting the koozied bottle on my $26 art book to snap a quick picture in the front seat of our SUV.
For the watermelon koozie, I followed the Quick Can Koozies pattern with the following changes:
  • Rnds 12-13: knit in Buff
  • Rnds 14-38: knit in Pixie Pink
  • Rnds 39-40: knit in Buff
  • Rnds 41-46: work garter stitches as described in the pattern for Rnds 38-43.
  • Bind off with the "Basic Bind Off using Holding Pegs" as described below. This is identical to the basic bind off, except after binding off a stitch you place it back on the peg. This holds the stitch in place and prevents the bind off edge from becoming too tight.    
 Basic Bind Off using Holding Pegs
  1. Knit pegs 1 & 2 (I use a flat knit stitch for this method, because e-wrap stitch is too loose).
  2. Shift the loop from peg-2 to peg-1; knit the bottom loop over the top loop.
  3. Lift the loop from peg-1 and place it on peg-2. Use the loom hook to grab the outer strand of yarn on the stitch just beneath the stitch on peg-2 (this is the stitch created by the bind off you just did on peg-1) and place this stitch back on peg-1. For this pattern you will leave the stitch on peg-1 and work the bind off again after peg-24. This prevents a gap from forming along the rim.
  4. Tighten the stitch on peg-2 (where the working yarn is located) and proceed to the next peg.
  5. Knit peg-3.
  6. Place the loop from peg-3 on peg-2 and knit the bottom loop over the top loop.
  7. Return the loop to peg-3; as in step 3 above, grab the outer strand of yarn on the stitch just beneath the stitch on peg-3 and place it back on the peg-2 - which becomes a "holding peg". 
  8. Repeat the same procedure as outlined in steps 4-7, but this time after placing the loop on the "holding peg" (peg-3) you will remove the loop from the holding peg-2. Originally, I left all the loops on the holding pegs until the end of the row, but discovered that it stretched the bind off edge too much. By placing the loop on the holding peg and simultaneously removing the previous loop from the holding peg you will have just the right amount of stretch.    
  9. Repeat Step 8 until the end of the row.
  10. After binding off the last stitch, in this case it will be peg-1 again, wrap and knit once more; cut yarn and pull through the last loop to tie off bind off edge.
  11. Use a crochet hook to tidy up the ending yarn tail.

    I promise that you will absolutely love the way this bind off works - not too tight, not too loose
  • To finish up, I embroidered "seeds" using one strand of the chunky weight black yarn and the duplicate stitch. There should be three rows of six seeds per row, but I messed up and ended up with five seeds per row which threw everything off. Below is a chart that shows the correct placement of the seeds. You may decide to adjust spacing between the rows depending on how tall or short you make your koozie.

This bottle koozie is just a bit taller than the original, because it was made to fit the tall 17-20 ounce water bottles. This pattern is easy to customize for cans and smaller bottles by decreasing the rows. You can also make this same pattern using the 30-31 peg large gauge looms to fit 2-liter bottles and even add an I-cord or knitted handle similar to the this Lion Brand pattern, Americana Knitted Evaporative Beverage Cooler.

Complete pattern is available as a PDF by clicking below:
Watermelon Koozie PDF

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bookmark exchange

Yahoo's Markman Looms Group recently hosted a bookmark exchange for it's members. My exchange partner was Yvonne Westover, who sent me not one, but three lovely bookmarks that she knitted on a loom she made herself. I absolutely love these bookmarks and wanted to share a photo of them with my blog readers (pictured above).

Pictured below are the two bookmarks that Yvonne received from me.