Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Monkey house, a log cabin square

Monkey House Squares made on the KB Sock Loom 2
To me, "Monkey house" is the perfect name for a log cabin square make in sock monkey colors. While the squares above were made about a month ago, my adventure into creating log cabin squares actually started back last winter when someone on one of the loom knitting lists asked if log cabin squares could be made on the knitting looms. After studying up on the history of the log cabin motif and how needle knitters constructed these squares (see link list at the end of this post), I was ready to give it a try.

While gauge is not that important to creating the overall square, it is imperative that the gauge remain constant in order to effectively match the adjoining strips. This means you need to use the same gauge loom throughout the project. Since I wanted a large square with the smallest possible gauge using the Knifty Knitters (KK), my first attempt was on the 48 peg KK Adult Hat Loom.

Made on the 48-peg Knifty Knitter Adult Hat Loom
After discovering that the larger the square gets, the more difficult it is to pick up and add stitches back to the loom, I decided to experiment further. Here are some other "cabin" experiments with either changes in the looms or type of yarn:

Cotton yarn on the 24-peg KK (left) and 31-peg KK (right)
Bulky self-striping yarn using the 31-peg KK loom
The biggest challenge for me was deciding on which colors to use. Finally, I asked myself what color scheme make me smile and the first thing that came to mind was sock monkeys (how shallow and childish is that??). Of course, since it is a log cabin square, it immediately became "Monkey House Square". I did the first one on the 31-peg KK, but decided to give my new favorite, the KB Sock Loom 2, a try. The KB Sock Loom 2 square was a definite winner!

Monkey House square on the KB Sock Loom 2 (left) and 31-peg KK Loom (right)

While both looms created 11 inch squares, a different number of stitches and rows were used based on the gauge of the looms. Please note that this square can also be made on the KB All-n-One Loom since the gauge is identical to the Sock Loom 2, but I'm really loving the portability of the smaller loom. I have two squares completed and 28 to go and most of the knitting was done on the go.

I had planned on doing an online tutorial for the log cabin square, but I recently noticed on her blog that Denise Layman had included log cabin motif projects in her new book, Afghans & Bed Runners for Knitting Looms and thought I would just point everyone in her direction. Denise's stitch/row formula and minor techniques will probably vary from mine, but I'm fairly sure the basic methods are about the same. Also, if you decide to build your own "cabin on the loom" without a book, here are some links that should prove helpful: 

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Falling Leaves Lariat & Autumn Skullcap


The Falling Leaves Lariat scarf is another large gauge loom project that I designed for Yahoo LoomClass a couple of year ago and thought now would be the perfect time to share the pattern with Loom Lore readers. The pattern is fairly easy, but does require grafting the 24 leaves (14 large leaves, 5 right-slanting and 5 left-slanting smaller leaves) onto the 36 inch I-cord lariat. Of course, you can adjust the length and number of leaves to any size you desire. Also, the individual leaf pattern can be used alone for embellishment on other projects. 


Close-up of the leaves

The perfect compliment to the Falling Leaves Lariat is the Autumn Skullcap, which is one of my favorite hat patterns and is the basis for Brenda's Raspberry Beret. This short row hat was first featured in the Loom Knitters Circle, Fall 2008 e-zine. The original pattern features the basic skull cap beanie and the long cloche version (pictured below right). The hat pictured on the left is the basic shorter version of the pattern which was added back to the loom to create a brim.

 









 


I hope you enjoy these autumn designs!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Lacy Pumpkin Loom-inaries

Just a quick post with a fun little pattern I designed and taught for the Yahoo's Loom Class a couple of years ago called, Lacy Pumpkin Loom-inaries. This crafty little project is reminiscent the balloon and string ornaments that many of us did as children. Also, by changing the colors and embellishments these little luminaries would make a festive addition for just about any occasion.

Happy Halloween!!

My grandson's 1st prize BSA Pumpkin Carving project

 


Monday, October 21, 2013

Ms. Kitty

My new favorite loom for knitting amigurumi, washcloths,afghan squares, and other little items is the KB Sock Loom 2 which is a smaller version of the All-n-One Loom. Both of these looms have a 3/8 inch gauge and can easily accommodate one strand of worsted weight yarn. Also, both can be adjusted for decreases or increases which proved to be the perfect loom for today's featured project, Ms. Kitty, pictured above.

Ms. Kitty is a loom knitted adaptation of Linda Dawkins Beans the Cat, which is a needle knitted pattern available as a free Ravelry download. My loom knitted version is very similar, but modified for the loom. Since there was no size or gauge mentioned in Linda's pattern, I had to guess, but overall I was pleased with my little fat cat. I plan on making one using black yarn for Halloween.

----------------------------------------------------------

Ms. Kitty, the amigurumi cat
(The following gives general modifications for making this project on the loom. For complete needle pattern information, please refer to the Ravelry pattern, Beans the Cat)

Materials
Loom: KB Sock Loom 2
Yarn: Paton's Shetland Chunky in #03212 Imperial (This is a #5 yarn in a discontinued color, so you may have to substitute.)
Embroidery yarn or buttons for eyes and nose
Stuffing

Gauge: 4 st X 6 rows = 1 inch in stockinette stitch
Size: 4.3 inches tall and approximately 3 inches wide

Stitch pattern: Crossed Stockinette
Row 1: flat or u-knit all pegs
Row 2: e-wrap knit all pegs

Instructions

Set slider for 30 pegs (10 on each side, plus the 5-peg end pieces)
CO 30 pegs using a drawstring CO. 
Work Crossed Stockinette stitch pattern for 2¾ inches ending on an e-wrap row.
*K1, k2tog; rep from * to end of row. This is a decrease from 30 to 20 stitches.
Continue working stitch pattern for another 1.8 to 2 inches.


Refer to the original pattern for shaping, stuffing, eyes and nose.

Tail: Work a 5 inch I-cord using 4 pegs and stitch in place.

----------------------------------------------------------

I hope to be adding many more projects that I've worked on over the past few months. I've spent more time knitting than blogging so I'm a bit behind updating Loom Lore. I hope to add projects that I did for the Yahoo Loom Class that haven't been posted before in addition to new creations. My next post will be my version of a log cabin square done on the loom, so stay tuned.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Brenda's Basic Baby Blanket


34 inch blanket in progress on 36-peg large gauge round loom
Peg-doubling 
One of the biggest complaints regarding the common large gauge looms (aka, Knifty Knitter, Boye, Darice, etc.) is you can't make a baby blanket or afghan without seaming panels. Well, I just happen to have a solution to the problem: the peg-doubling technique. This technique makes it possible to create a flat panel that is double what is typically made on the round loom. In simplest terms, this is accomplished by:
  • casting on two stitches per peg & one stitch on the last peg;
  • knitting & shifting the top stitch to the previous peg;
  • knitting the bottom stitch; and
  • repeat across the row.  
Using the peg-doubling technique makes creating a blanket or afghan on the large gauge loom both easy and more portable for those who loom knit on the go. While designed for the large gauge looms, these techniques are easily adaptable to any knitting loom. The addition of edging, embroidery or other embellishment will make each blanket your own unique design.
Completed 34 inch blanket made on the 36-peg large gauge round loom

Double flat knit stitch
The stitch pattern used for this project is the double flat knit stitch (referred to originally as the 2-peg stitch in the Irish Washerwoman post), but other stitch patterns can be adapted to this technique, as well. The double flat knit stitch has become one of my favorite stitch patterns.  I've used it on many different projects, including berets, scarves, dish clothes, etc. It makes a nice textured stockinette stitch that resists rolling without using purl stitches and works very well with the peg-doubling technique.


Loom knitted picot edging
The picot edging shown on the blanket in this blog post was done using the same 36-peg large gauge round loom on which the blanket was knitted. It is a very simple technique that uses two pegs to work an I-cord picot; bind off one stitch; then pick up and add a new stitch. It's done in a similar method to the picot bind off shown in my Patriot Pin post from two years ago.

Close-up of loom knitted picot edging

Instructional links
I've been teaching this class on the Yahoo LoomClass Group for the past week and we have one more week to go. In the meantime, here are the links to help you learn how to make your own basic baby blanket:
The 20 minute video focuses on making a sampler square to practice the peg-doubling technique, while the pattern instructions detail how to apply the technique to make the actual baby blanket. 

A separate video is available that shows how to add the loom knitted picot edging

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sunflower coasters

Popping in to share a fun quick project in honor of Earth Day (April 22, 2013) and International Sunflower Guerrilla Gardening Day (May 1). Sunflowers have much symbolism worldwide and in Native American culture as the "fourth sister" to the better known three sisters combination of corn, beans, and squash when gardening. It has also played an important part in American history and became the state flower of Kansas.

So, what better way to say "green" than to knit up a stack of sunflower coasters? These are such a fun and quick project to do, once you've mastered the cast on/bind off technique for the petals. Not only are they great for coasters, but these large six inch diameter sunflowers can be incorporated into hats, handbags, scarves, afghans, kitchen accessories and home decor. While the petal technique is explained in detail in the Sunflower Coasters pattern, I hope to do an accompanying video tutorial when time permits. 

Please leave comments if you enjoy the pattern. If you have questions, email me using the contact information in the About Me section of this blog. Also, feel free to share pictures of your sunflower creations.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter!

As usual, I'm running behind. However, I wanted to share pictures of my little ducks. This was such fun to do and sort of evolved as I made them. The big duck is made in two main pieces (head & body), but the little duckie is in one main piece. The most difficult part of designing these for the loom was making the beaks. The feet are still forthcoming, but I just had to show them off for Easter. 

The white basket is the larger 24 peg version of the Jelly Bean Basket. The eggs are decorated revisions of the original Easter Eggs pattern.

I am particularly proud of the seamless cast on on the little duckie shown below.


Hope your day is just duckie!