Sunday, June 24, 2012

Crochet Lust

For the longest time, though knowing full well how to crochet, I refused to take up the one hook half of the fiber crafting world. And then pinterest started filling my head with those darn amigurumi animals and other adorable things. Seriously, I really think pinterest had a mission. Mission accomplished, pinterest, mission accomplished. I hope you're happy with yourselves.

Then I saw this -

Do you SEE this?! It's made from granny square "pixels." Now I'm on my own mission - granny square 8-bit nerd rugs for my home. Updates to come! 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Entrelac Revisited

A while ago I did a tutorial on entrelac, a great way to knit a modular-type of garment with blocks of alternating colors. Now I decided it was time to do a tutorial on entrelac in the round.When working entrelac in the round you're basically just excluding the side triangle, which may be a godsend for some. Entrelac is definitely easier when worked in the round. But, I recommend everyone learn entrelac flat first.

It might seem counter intuitive, but when you learn how to knit entrelac flat, and then learn it in the round it will just feel like doing it a little differently. If you learn in the round first, and then decide you also want to learn how to work it flat, it will feel totally alien and be extremely confusing.

Materials: I'm using US size 8 Takumi Clover needles, with a 12 inch cable. The size of you needle and cable really depends on your yarn, and the pattern. My yarn is a cream and light pink color of Berella's "4" yarn.

Step 1: Cast on a multiple of 8 stitches to fill up your needle. The blocks and base triangles we'll be working, just like my flat tutorial, will be worked over 8 stitches. It provides a nice even number that's not too large, but not so small that the slipped stitch edges are hard to identify.

We're going to be working the base triangles identically to how you work the base triangles in a flat piece of entrelac. If you're working on an entrelac hat, you will probably have done a set number of ribbed rounds or something similar. I'm just picking up and just knitting the entrelac.

Step 2: Building the Base Triangles 

1. Knit 1 stitch
2. Turn your work around, and purl the stitch you just knit.

Note: Some patterns and instructions on entrelac will slip the first stitch of each row, including this very first stitch. I personally do not do this because I've found that knitting the first stitch provides a more "stable" triangle for me, after knitting it once I slip purlwise for the rest of the triangle. If you want to slip this stitch and then purl, that's fine too. 

3. Turn work. Slip 1 stitch, knit 1 stitch.
4. Turn work, purl back to start. (By start, I mean back to the start of this base triangle, or, in other words, back to the first original stitch that you're slipping.)
5. Turn work, slip 1 stitch, knit 2 stitches.
6. Turn work, purl back to start.
7. Turn work, slip 1 stitch, knit 3 stitches.
8. Turn work, purl back to start.
9. Turn work, slip 1 stitch, knit 4 stitches.

Continue in this way, adding 1 more stitch of the set 8 every time you turn to knit. Once you have 8 stitches on the right hand needle, you will stop. Do not turn and purl.

You're now done with that base triangle, and you will just pretend for the time being that it doesn't exist anymore. Begin the next triangle on the next set of 8 stitches in the same way as above.

Continue your way around the needle, picking up the 8 stitches of each base triangle.

At this point it looks like you have an awkward, mushy crown on your needles. Now we're basically going to be filling the little loops formed between each of the triangles with the right slanting diamonds. 

Step 2: The Right Slanting Diamonds 

Like I said, there are no side triangles in entrelac worked in the round! Yay! We just get to move on to the central diamonds.

This first diamond might throw you off, it's a rebel without a cause, and it wants to be different than all the other diamonds, it wants to be special. The first diamond will be picked up with the right side facing you. All the other diamonds will be picked up with the wrong side facing you, and there's a special maneuver to begin the other diamonds as well, but we'll worry about that later.

Because you've been slipping the first stitch purlwise, you should have a very neat little edge of "v's" to pick up from.

You'll be inserting your needles between each of the "legs" of this v, and picking up a new stitch with your alternating color. In this case, that's white. 

As I said, you'll be picking up from the front for this diamond. Insert the right hand needle into the "v" at the base of the last triangle (the one you just finished knitting), with alternating color behind, loop and pull the new white stitch onto the left hand needle. Continue this way, picking up a total of 8 stitches. Now it's time to begin forming the first diamond.

Row 1: Purl 7, purl the last white stitch, p2tog (1 white and 1 pink) together
Row 2: Turn and knit across the 8 stitches.
Row 3: Turn, slip 1 stitch, purl 6, p2tog
Row 4: Turn and a knit 8.

You'll keep working this way until the pink stitches (or whatever color you're using) are decreased away. Once you have purled the final pink stitch with the white stitch, you will stop. Don't knit back across. It's time to pick up 8 new stitches.

This time, and for all the rest of the diamonds this round, you'll be picking up with the wrong side facing you.

To begin, yarn back and insert you right hand needle into the first slipped stitch and pull yarn through. (If you're having trouble, this is shown on my original entrelac tutorial, located here: Entrelac Part 1 and Entrelac Part 2) Pick up a total of 8 stitches.

Now bring your yarn back to the front, and slip the last white stitch you just picked up onto your left hand needle, and purl it together with the first pink stitch.

Row 1: Turn, knit 8 stitches.
Row 2: Turn, purl 7, p2tog.
Row 3: Turn, knit 8 stitches.
Row 4: Turn, purl 7, p2tog.

Just as before, continue this until all your pink stitches are gone, on the last p2tog do not turn and knit, just pick up 8 more stitches and do it all again.

That's it for now, folks! The rest of the tutorial, for the left slanting diamonds and the ending triangles should be in tomorrow! If you have any questions, email me at 

Also - if you like my tutorials, maybe you'd like to donate a dollar (or more!) for my little yarn fund (which doubles as my Addi needles fund, sigh, maybe someday), which of course will be used for more tutorials! Donate Here

No pressure of course, everything here will remain free.

Edit: I would like to put a very special thank you out to Kay Green for being my first donation. I really appreciate it, thank you for the very special night. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Pulling the Wool Over My Eyes

And my feet, and lap...

I'm tackling my first blanket. I've shied away from blankets because of the time commitment they require. I typically want that instant gratification of a project off my needles by the end of a week. I'm using the extended version of the Radiating Star Blanket available for free on Ravelry.

I'm only in the first 20 rounds, and I love that it's worked in the round, that in itself makes me more likely to finish it. That, and the fact that I got 6 balls of the same color for less than 10 dollars.

This is all I have done so far. But I can't wait to see it lovingly draped across the edge of my chaise lounge.

Have you knitted a blanket? How was it, and did you finish it?

Monday, June 4, 2012

On the Next Episode

Since Alex and I have been a little more busy these last few days or so (well, I've been more busy than usual, Alex somehow juggles a hectic life 24/7) I guess we've taken to posting blog teasers. I wanted to give a little preview of what I'm planning for the next week, provided I learn to juggle this blog, my other blog, and my writing work.

I was cruising through Pinterest searching for inspiration for my next project when I saw this.

I love big, bold socks like this. Sure, the only place to conveniently wear them is at home, but isn't that where they're the most comfortable anyway?

I couldn't find a pattern for this picture, so I'm putting together my own sock tutorial (complete with video!) and pattern, both will be available for free. The tutorial will cover an afterthought heel and a star toe.

So, stay tuned!