Feb 2, 2015

Stitchology VI

Eyelet You Have My Heart

Hearts, front angle

Ah, February… the month for sweethearts of all kinds!  In honor of Valentine’s Day, I thought it might be nice to work up a pattern which, while providing wonderful texture and loft, also liberally sprinkles what is known throughout history as the symbol of love: the Heart.

Heart, tulipThe appealing way the hearts sit directly on top of the set of three eyelets also reminds me of tulips…which is perfect for those who seek the first signs of spring! :)

In this monthly column we’re going to be working on some exciting new stitch patterns, as well as a few new techniques thrown in for good measure.  My intention for our yarn play is to provide all the know-how for you to be able to work the new stitch; any charts, photos, or videos you may need; as well as a pattern to create an 8” x 8” square.  As we go along in our looming journey, we should be able to create lovely pieced afghans with our squares, as I like to know that we’re going somewhere while swatching, don’t you?  You can think of it as our Stitch Sample Afghan—a stitch dictionary right at your fingertips, keeping your legs warm, lol. ;)

Eyelet You Have My Heart Square

Hearts, close up

Items Needed

Loom: Authentic Knitting Board Adjustable Hat Loom: 2 rounded pieces + 3 peg connectors, with pegs in all holes for a 3/8” gauge.  The Sock Loom 2 or the All-n-One Loom could also be used.

Yarn: approx. 75 yards Worsted Weight (Sample uses Berroco Vintage in Berries)

Notions: Loom tool, yarn needle, scissors.  (Also helpful: peg markers, row counter, and blocking pins)

Pattern Notes:

To work this pattern in the round, such as for a hat, use the Repeating Pattern Rows chart, and make sure to read it from right to left for each row, rather than alternating sides each time.  Also, cast onto your loom in a clockwise direction, using a number of pegs that is divisible by 8—the number of stitches required for each pattern repeat.

For flat pieces of a greater size, begin with the Set Up Rows, then simply increase the number of Repeating Pattern Rows inside the garter stitch border for the length and width required, then complete with the Finishing Rows.

When the pattern uses the term “knit” or “k”, please use the true knit stitch or the u-stitch, not the e-wrap.

*All yarn overs (yo) are completed by laying the working yarn loosely across the front of the peg, not e-wrapping! If you e-wrap, your eyelets and hearts will not be visible. ;)

To work a s1, k1, psso (in the case of this pattern, a right leaning eyelet), please see this tutorial by Isela Phelps:

*For ease in reading the pattern’s directions below, this step is placed inside brackets [ ] to let you know that these steps are all accomplished on just two pegs.

To work a ssk (a left leaning eyelet), please see this tutorial by Isela Phelps:

*For ease in reading the pattern’s directions below, this step is placed inside brackets [ ] to let you know that these steps are all accomplished on just two pegs.

There are two additional ways of creating eyelets for this particular pattern: the Purl 2 Together (P2tog) for a right leaning eyelet worked as a purl, and the Slip, Slip, Purl (ssp) for a left leaning eyelet worked as a purl.  The following dictates how to work these stitches as you will find them in the stitch pattern:

[yo, ssp]: Worked from right to left. Move the loop from yo peg to the ssp peg. Loosely carry the WY across the front of the empty yo peg, then purl the next peg, working the two loops as one.

[ssp, yo]: Worked from left to right.  Before working the two pegs, move the loop from the yo peg to the ssp peg. Purl the ssp peg, working the two loops as one. Loosely carry the WY across the front of the empty yo peg and work the next peg in line as the pattern dictates.

[yo, P2tog]:  Worked the same as a [yo, ssp], but is worked from left to right.

 

Chart Key Eyelets Hearts

 

Repeating Pattern Rows

Eyelets & Hearts Stitch

Here is the entire pattern chart for the 8” x 8” square:

Eyelets & Hearts Square

Everything you need to know about knitting your square is included in the above chart.  Believe it or not, you can actually create your square without looking at another thing!  For help with reading charts, please see the Stitchology I post for a detailed explanation, and you’ll be ready to go!

But, don’t worry…I am also providing you with the step by step instructions below. ;)

 

Step by Step Instructions:

Cast onto your loom from left to right, using a total of 37 pegs. (Sample uses Chain Cast On)

Hearts, angle

Set Up Rows

Row 1:  p37

Row 2:  k37

Row 3:  p37

Main Pattern Rows

Row 4:  k37

Row 5:  p2, k4, p1, *k7,  p1, repeat from * to last 6 sts, k4, p2.

Row 6: *k5, p3, repeat from *, ending with k5.

Rows 7:  p2, k2, p2, [yo, ssp], p1, *k3, p2, [yo, ssp], p1, repeat from * to last 4 sts, k2, p2.

Row 8: k3, *p1, [ssp, yo], p1, [yo, p2tog], p1, k1, repeat from * to last 2 sts, k2.

Row 9:  p2, k1, *p7, k1, repeat from * to last 2 sts, p2.

Row 10:  k4, *p2, k1, p2, k3, repeat from * to last sts, k1.

Row 11:  p2, k33, p2.

Row 12:  k37

Row 13:  p2, k1, [yo, ssk], *k1, p1, k1, [s1, k1, psso, yo], repeat from * to last 7 sts, k5, p2.

Row 14:  k5, *p1, k1, p1, k5, repeat from * to end.

Row 15:  p2, *[yo, ssk], p1, k1, p1, k1, p1, k1, repeat from * to last 3 sts, [yo, ssp], p1.

Hearts Row 16:  k3, *p1, k1, repeat from * to last 2 sts, k2.

Row 17:  p3, k1, p1, [s1, k1, psso, yo], *k1, p1, k1, p1, k1, p1, [s1, k1, psso, yo], repeat from * to last 6 sts, k1, p1, k1, p3.

Row 18:  k3, p1, k5, *p1, k1, p1, k5, repeat from * to last 4 sts, p1, k3.

Row 19:  p3, k1, [s1, k1, psso, yo], k1, [yo, ssk], *k1, p1, k1, [s1, k1, psso, yo], k1, [yo, ssk], repeat from * to last 4 sts, k1, p3.

Row 20-51:  repeat Rows 4-19.

Row 52-60:  work as Rows 4-12.

Finishing Rows

Row 61:  p37

Row 62:  k37

Row 63:  p37

Bind off all stitches loosely. (Sample uses the Basic Bind Off)  Weave in ends and trim close to work.

Hearts, blockingBlock to an 8” x 8” measurement.  This square was blocked quite thoroughly to really help the eyelets open and the stitches pop.  It was gently washed by hand, left to soak for a while, then the excess water was squeezed out by rolling and pressing the square inside a towel.  As you can see by this photo, the extra step of pinning each eyelet open was used and is highly recommended to achieve the best results! ;)

Afghan Notes:

blocks on red smIf you are intending this square to be part of an afghan, you may wish to make up to 3 or 4 additional squares.  We will be sharing at least 12 of these patterns for you to use in your blanket.  Use the following general measurements to decide how many of each of the 8″ x 8″ squares you will need, rounding up as necessary:

  • Baby Blanket: 30″ x 36″
  • Children: 42″ x 48″
  • Lapghan: 36″ x 48″
  • Twin Bed Afghan: 60″ x 85″
  • Queen Bed Afghan: 90″ x 95″

9 Comments

  • Another beautiful stitch pattern Bethany! What lovely hearts. Love the title..::snicker:: so sweet! Thanks for all you do.

  • Thank you, Kristen! Glad you are enjoying the column. :D

  • Absolutely beautiful, Bethany! So delicate and just beautiful. Spectacular job!

    Love this column. Would love to find a project for my mom and incorporate this stitch. Maybe a the shrug, when I have time…..hopefully before Mother’s day.

    Question though….on the stitchology page it list I and II. This project is listed as VI. Have I missed a few projects somewhere? Trying to keep up inbetween home projects, LOL! At least in projects on paper if not able to be on my loom

  • I also love the title, Bethany. Your squares are all very lovely :)

  • Thank you, Linda! :) This would make an absolutely gorgeous shrug!

    I think if you click on the Stitchology Column link it generally only shows a total of two posts at a time…but there is a place down at the very bottom of the feed to go to the next page. You should be able to see all the following posts by navigating through the pages. ;)

    Hope that helps!

  • ahhh, thank you bunches, Miss Jenny! <3

  • I have a fine gauge adjustable sock loom and I’m able to do the knit and pearl stitches well.
    But I’m having a lot of trouble doing the flat stitch to turn the heel. I’ve tried doing it also with the CD that came with the loom and I get holes, runs and/or the stitches just don’t look right. Can anyone give me some advise?

    Thanks,
    Cindy

  • Very pretty Bethany! I am a newbee but I am going to try very hard to make this one.
    I have a few questions about the afghan squares:

    Do the squares have to go in a specific order when sewn together? I have seen some other afghan squares pattern that have to be sewn together in a specific order either because of the stretch factor or peg count.

    Secondly, when attaching the blocks together what are the options that you recommend? Kitchener stitch or I think I saw in one of your books a way to make an edging using the 5 peg slider rail . Could this be modified to attach the blocks together?

    Thank you

  • Hi there, Cindy! :)

    I’m so happy to hear that you’ll be working on squares with us! I haven’t thought out a particular order as of yet, mostly because these squares are being invented month by month, lol. Maybe it would be a good idea to work all the squares first, then we’ll evaluate what would be the best option for joining. ;) I wouldn’t recommend the Kitchener for these…maybe just a simple mattress stitch, or a whipstitch. Crocheting the squares together might be a nice option, as well. :)

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Jan 26, 2015

Yarn Yammer: Wool vs. Acrylic

YSO-cropped-e1340713519801-300x133

Ever since the rivalry of the Sharks vs. the Jets in West Side Story there has not been a more fierce rivalry than wool vs. acrylic yarn! There are those who are loyal to a fault to one or the other. After being at the Craft & Hobby Association show teaching people about loom knitting I got in a teacher-like mood. I thought for this month’s column I would discuss the pro’s and cons of each fiber choice.

First let’s start with a definition of the two fibers:

Acrylic is petroleum based. It comes from oil. It was first developed in the mid-1940s but not widely used until the 1950’s. The fiber is produced by dissolving the polymer in a solvent and then it is extruded through the holes of a spinneret, similar to a spider spinning it’s silk.

 

Wool is of course a natural fiber. It is obtained from sheep and certain other animals, including cashmere from goats, mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, and angora from rabbits among others. It has been around since.. well forever and is sheared or trimmed from the animal in question.

 

The pros and cons of each fiber.

Wool Pros:

  • Warm even when wet; wool naturally wicks away moisture keeping you warm and dry.
  • Fire retardant; it’s great for blankets and baby clothes, because it is naturally fire resistant
  • Versital; very light weight wool is cool in summer because of its wicking properties, and warm in winter.
  • Takes dye well and resists fading.
  • It’s a natural, renewable resource.
  • It has anti bacterial properties.
  • Holds stitch definition better, can be blocked.

Wool Cons:

  • Most wools need to be hand washed, unless you get a superwash version.
  • Moths and insects like to chew on it.
  • Some find it itchy and uncomfortable.
  • It can felt if accidentally washed, ruining the item.
  • Generally can cost more.

Acrylic Pros:

  • Easy to care for, can usually be machine washed and dried.
  • Costs less than natural fiber yarns.
  • Easy to find in stores.
  • Generally soft and nice to wear against the skin.

Acrylic Cons:

  • Cannot be dyed easily.
  • Does not breath well.
  • Will not resist water, or keep you warm when wet.
  • Is not fire resistant, will melt when it comes into contact with a heat source.
  • Can be squeaky when you are knitting with it.
  • Will not wick away moisture.
  • Cannot be blocked, must be ‘killed’ with an iron in order to help shape the piece.

These are just a few of the main pros and cons I have found. What fiber do you generally use, and why? Next month I will be review a new yarn I found! It looks like the fashion designers are getting into the yarn game! Tune in next month to find out more!

5 Comments

  • Renita,

    Just want to say that I have enjoyed reading every one of your articles! Keep them coming.

    Cathi Blake

  • I honestly don’t understand this ‘conflict’. I use both, and other fibers, too, depending on the item, recipient, and use.
    Dishcloths, potholders, ect. are made with cotton yarn. I don’t use wool very often because most people around here don’t want to bother caring for it properly. And, ANY item made for one of my daughter’s is made of acrylic yarn because they tend to just throw everything into the wash together.

  • I am always concerned about “pilling”: you know when after wear it gets those ugly little ball like fuzz. What yarns do/or donot do that?

  • Until just now, I was very wary of wool. I am one of those types that would accidentally throw my beautiful garment in the dryer. And, yes, that has happened in the past (sweater) and I was heartbroken.
    However, reading your article has me interested in wool once again. I never thought of making anything out of wool for the Summer!. I didn’t know about “wicking”. This is awesome. I usually hang to dry my summer shirts of rayon so surely I won’t toss in my new summer wool garment…. right?! Anyway, if I were to make a tank top what would be the light weight wool you mentioned that I should use. Does it have a certain name or weight vs yardage that I should be looking for. This wool stuff is all new to me. Thanks for any help!

  • I have been knitting, crocheting and now loom knitting for the past 45 years since my grandmother sat me down and taught me. I was blessed to have someone care enough to teach and guide me. I now try to teach what I can to those who desire to learn. So far it’s just been my circle of friends, Albeit very rewarding to see that light in that person’s eyes knowing that they ‘got it’; and can not only ‘take it from there’… but possibly exceed anything I have ever been able to accomplish. I am not by far an expert in any of the above. With that being said, it surely gives me a greater sense of purpose. Thank you!

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