Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Oh My Seven Stars

Several members have asked The Creator about this absurd star stitch blanket he has been doing.

While he was in Dallas a few weekends ago, buying knitting needles at the Signature Needle booth, he tested those needles out by making this stitch in the fabric of many knitters. Low and behold, several members of the knitting community sought this amazing stitch out. People called across the market floor and yelled at him to pop over and tell people how this was done.

Meh, I say. It's pedestrian. Old school. Several people have done it. SEVERAL. But then there is a story behind this stitch. You know The Creator, he has to take something and OWN IT PEOPLE. I'm not sure why, but he simply must.

The Creator is selfishly creating a blanket out of seven different colors of MJ Yarns in seven rows of the stitch pattern (it's actually 7 repeats... but it's a process, people!) Here are all 7 colors in the repeat together.
Tonight's knitting. 7 of 7 blanket.  2nd color repeat color 1 of 7 complete. #knitting #mjyarns
The original idea came from the pattern from this scarf: holding-hands-feeding-ducks pattern. It's a good pattern and The Creator loves the way it looks. One day, he sat down and switchey swatched the pattern. He tried liking it for the yarn he was doing and what he was wanting to do. Frankly, he hated it. There was no pippy poppy to the stars. The stars must POP! They must TWINKLE!

And then a pattern was born as The Creator was thinking about a linen stitch blanket one of his famous knitting boys made and showed off at the last Men's Rocky Mountain Knitting Retreat. He so wanted to make this linen stitch blanket that was displayed, but didn't want to do the back and forth yarn in front, in back, in front slippy thing. And he so wanted to make this HHFD blanket. So, booya, let mash this and make it work. And this was the resulting pattern.

Cast on a multiple of 4 stitches, plus 3 (plus 6 edge stitches, three on either side).

Knit 4 rows for a garter stitch border.

Row 1 (RS): Knit all stitches
Row 2 (WS): Knit 3, *P3TOG, leave stitches live on left needle, YO, P3TOG, S1YIB* K3
Row 3: Knit
Row 4: Knit 3, P1, S1YIB *P3TOG, leave stitches live on left needle, YO, P3TOG, S1YIB*, P1, K3

Knit 4 rows and bind off.

There are some simple notes about this pattern. The yarn is fingering weight and the Creator is using size 5. I'll leave it up to you to swatch and find the right needle size for you to make the stars. It works better with a larger needle. Just sayin.

When this blanket gets done, I'm sure the Creator will make something more special for you all and sell it and make a profit on it. He really needs to, after all he did buy that pretty set of Signature Needles and they work great for this pattern. Again, just sayin.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Milano Stitch ... Redux...

The Creator has been asked by several people to share with them this stitch as he uses it is all his improvised patterns. Our correspondent, Horbert, tells me that everyone ooh and ahhs over this silly stitch. Personally, I don't get it. It seems pedestrian to some of the other things that are out there. Horbert tells me that he loves it because it is simple, yet, of interest to several knitters. So, here I am writing about it because of the interest out there in the world. And because I need to earn my plastic shine The Creator buys for me. Oh, the things I do to keep my plastic in mint, tip top condition. Not that I'm vain or I might just say the the humanity of it all. But Plastic People have no humanity; we have shine!

Here is the swatch stitch that we will be working from in this post. The Creator used a yarn from MJ Yarns in Fruit Juice.

The bottom stitch is the Untwisted Milano stitch. The middle pattern is the Milano stitch and the next stitch up in the photo is the Milano Rib stitch.

Initial Stitch Credit goes to Brenda Dayne and you can find her blog post about the stitch here.

The Milano Stitch Pattern
The stitch itself is quite simple and done in a multiple of 2 with a 4 row repeat. In the original photo, it appears that Brenda slipped the stitch purlwise, thus, creating a twist in the stitch that makes a tighter, denser fabric. More on this later in the Other Variations section.

Row 1 - *S1 (purlwise), K1, yo, psso both. Repeat from * to end.
Row 2 - P all to end.
Row 3 - K1 *S1 (purlwise), K1, yo, psso both. Repeat from * to last stitch, end K1.
Row 4 - As for row 2.

If you are working this stitch for the first time, consider going up a few needle sizes. Passing the stitches over and trying to get them all to work together in a tight knitted fabric can be a bit trying. Swatch and test what works the best for the yarn you have chosen. A stockinette foundation row allows for the setup of the first Milano stitch row.

Because the pattern is offset, increases need to be completed in multiples of two or a ribbed pattern appearance may be presented. Increases can be made at the beginning or the end of Row 1 or 3.

Row 1 - increase, before the first slip one you will want to: M1, S1, YO, K1, YO, PSSSO (yes over all three!) and continue with the pattern. This will add two stitches to the fabric. If an increase is needed at the end of the fabric, on the last Milano Stitch, S1, YO, K1, YO, PSSSO (yes over all three!) and M1.

Row 3 - increase, after the K1, M1, S1, YO, K1, YO, PSSSO and do the same on the last Milano Stitch pattern.

Decreases are worked in all rows. At the point of a decrease, leave off the YO and PSO the knitted stitch. Again, increases can be made and the beginning and end of the rows.
Row 1 - S1 (purlwise), K1, PSO, continue in pattern until the last Milano stitch set then S1 (purlwise), K1, PSO.
Row 2 - P2TOG, P until the last two stitches, P2TOG.
Row 3 - K1, S1, K1, PSO, continue in pattern until the last Milano Stitch set then S1, K1, PSO.
Row 4 - As for Row 2.

In the Round
The Stitch can be adapted to be done in the round if you would want to make a hat. For a hat, Rows 2 and 4 become knit rows. There is a jog that may present itself when knitting in the round as beginning of the round may become evident. If you find this distasteful, simply start the pattern one stitch before your round marker. This will prevent a jog from becoming evident. In a hat, omit the Row 2 and 4 decreases while minding the pattern offset by adding in a knit stitch where needed. Essentially, you are making a new section of pattern repeats with the decreases.

Other Variations 
There are some other variations of the stitch that may have happened. One by mistake in making a hat, the other by way of writing this this up. Again, this is a personal taste and preference and what you want to do with the spiffy hank of yarn you purchased.

The Untwisted Milano Stitch 
The stitch is still done in multiple of 2 on a 4 row repeat. The only difference is the slipping of the stitch. Instead of purlwise, slipped knitwise creates a more open, less dense fabric.

Row 1 - *S1 knitwise, K1, yo, psso both. Repeat from * to end.
Row 2 - P all to end.
Row 3 - K1 *S1 knitwise, K1, yo, psso both. Repeat from * to last stitch, end K1.
Row 4 - Repeat row 2.

The Milano Stitch Rib 
The Milano Rib stitch was a mistake that was completed with the first hat. The Creator didn't think it was all that. However, Horbert heard that his Famous Friend loved it when he showed it to her and now she may make her husband a scarf out of some expensive yarn she purchased. It's also very stretchy just like one would expect a rib to be.

Row 1 - *S1 Purlwise, K1, yo, psso both. Repeat from * to end.
Row 2 - P all to end.

Projects that use the Milano Stitch:
In Progress Cowl

A Hat

A Scarf

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spinning of a Fleece

I remember when The Creator brought this fleece into my little room. It was before I had a nice shelving units to store all these silly things he brings in. Interestingly enough, I did not get a photo of this fleece before he sent it to the mill to be washed and carded. I have fallen desperately behind in my duties. BEHIND, I say.

Let's talk about the roving. The roving is a nice springy roving. It seems all soft and yummy. However, there are many small short fibers. So, this is going to have nupps in it. I'm not happy. Not HAPPY. I'm thinking Horbert wasn't appropriately looking at the fleece before it was purchased. Nonetheless, I'm thinking it will make a more tweeded affect with the nups sticking out.

The carded CVM cross fiber.

Here is how the single looks on the bobbin. See that WooLee winder... it's lovely. LOVELY, I say. There are nupps.

I have an entire fleece to spin!!! A sweater is in my future.

Never the less, The Creator has started spinning the 40+ ounces of fiber. He has so far made a 4 ply, a 3 ply and a 2 ply. So, let's see how this knits up. The top of this is 3 ply. Its a nice fabric. It has some shape and is dense enough to be a sweater. That's the crazy notion the Creator has for making this sweater. The middle field is 2 ply. It's ok. It's all drapey and stuff. I'm not a fan. The Knitting Girls seemed to like it. And the last is a 4 ply. It's ok. But honestly, a larger needle size could be used, but I don't like it. The British Man of the house likes the chunky munky style of the four ply.

Top 3 ply. Middle. 2 ply. Bottom 4 ply.

And yes, there is a hole. The hole is the change from the 2 ply to the 3 ply. The spit splice didn't work.

And this is going to be one of the 40 year-old sweaters.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Creator has been Busy without Horbert

As, I sit and write this, I am perfectly steaming that The Creator has taken a trip to Yarn Shops without Horbert. Steaming Stompin' Mad, I say. He is supposed to take Horbert with him. I may have to ask the Perfect Boyfriend to go next time.

You see, The Creator bought some lush Swan's Lake wool to make a lovely sweater. This would be the Cat's meow if I had a cat. And we all know I'm a cat person at heart. The sweater is still being thought about but it will be light grey with a dark grey and blue stripe. I'm sure he will like it. It won't look good on me. 

I've got some gossip to share as well. The Creator had a doctor's appointment. Evidently, he must lose a feed sack worth of weight. So, he has been tracking the calories in and calories out. There isn't much to be lost for knitting or crocheting.

Speaking of Crocheting... The Creator has almost finished the silly Squirrel Repair Project. He almost matched the tension of the little old lady that made the blanket. It's made from Red Heart with a size F hook. It's tight, very tight. He has three more rows of grey on one end and 5 more on the other end. His buddy should be very happy to get it back as he has had it a long time. A long time, indeed.

He also has a project he mustn't speak about. It's going. It's secret. I shall reveal in May. I mention this because he has some Quivet/Silk mix he PROMISED himself once the blanket is done to cast on and make himself a scarf. It's a rich red color and is very lovely. It should be sexy fab to knit something up. We shall see.

Currently spinning is a fleece he had washed and made into roving. It's started. Its a light grey color. He has a 4-ply and a 2 ply that he is test knitting. He is going to make a 3 ply to see what that looks like. It's rustic. I shall have photos of this in the near future. You'll love it. I know you will. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Very Busy Indeed

The Creator has been very busy indeed. He recently attended the Southeast Men's Knitting Retreat where he ran into some more fantastic knitting men. Of course, he didn't take many pictures. Horbert went but was contemplating a scarf pattern and hanging out in places unknown while The Creator was rocking in a rocking chair working on the Happy Fun Sweater that looks astonishing like something you would get at JCrew.

Happy Fun Knitting with sexy shoes!

It all I understand it was fantastic by the bomb of swag that dropped in the newly painted fiber room. There was swag people. Sweater quantities of yarn, books, circular needles, patterns, bags, fiber and this doesn't count the fibers he purchased at two yarn shops he visited. It's going to take me a month of Sunday's to get this sorted and appropriately put in the proper location. I'm sad that I didn't get to go, however, I understand he audited the classes and made some lovely purple yarns from some borrowed fiber. You can see that on his Facebook Page. It's there, you may have to hunt for it.

Right now, he is spinning a Happy Fun Colorway for a coworker to knit something happy fun with it.

 Happy Fun Spinning!

It has way to many colors, but we will see how this turns out. It's Happy Fun.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Terribly Sorry...

Hi Horbert here...

The Creator has finished the blanket of Heather's newborn baby. It needs washed and blocked before I can show pictures of it.

Manny has been busy. He is *still* redecorating his room in preparation for Julia R. The room is in such a mess that I can't find the little blue box to blog from. I have many things to share with you all and I finally found my way out of there. Manny isn't very good at organization. Of course, it may help if the Creator stopped bringing stuff home. Over the last time since I've blogged about stuff, he has went insane and purchased a new spinning wheel, fiber, yarn and another can of paint for Manny. He also has be put together two more book cases for the yarn. Whew... that is a lot of things that have happened. In the middle of that, there was a retreat or two, maybe.

Yes, I have been remiss in keeping Manny up and blogging... Sigh...

Pictures of the new blankie to come!!!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Secret Weapon

The Creator had a whirlwind visit with his sister. I didn't get to meet her. The Creator showed off this hideous yarn room. It needs to be painted white. But while, his sister was here, I logged onto and found me a Man to woo Julia Roberts.

He didn't come with a name. I could name him Ken, but that just doesn't do his little suave helmet head justice. And The Creator needs to make him a new sweater. This Ultimate Boyfriend isn't working for me. The jeans are OK. And he has black loafers; no socks.

The Boyfriend

I do wonder if all this will work. I mean, do I really think that I can get this room painted in time for Julia to knit. But at least I have a secret weapon. Now, I just need to name him.