Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Flowers Are Blooming in More Ways than One

The flowers are blooming in my garden and it's hot! I always want to have something to get my hair off my neck in the heat, but I hate those ugly elastic holders.

Ergo, my latest invention: the combination bracelet & ponytail holder!

Looks charming on your wrist and great in your hair. Don't you love to get something that serves a dual purpose?

Crocheted over a pony tail elastic, so this is stretchy and will fit anyone's wrist or ponytail. The 2" flower is so cute. This could easily be hooked onto the strap of your bag or a belt loop on your jeans. All cotton and washable, too.

This one's in purple with blue, but I can make just about any color you dream up. Just email me. You can get this one at my Etsy shop now.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Multiple Personality Scarf Kit Finally Available - Great for Those of Us With Many Moods

You take a book with you when you go to the beach don't you. It's called Beach Reading. So I thought, what about Beach Knitting... or Mountain Knitting... or Anyplace Vacation Knitting? Then I decided to give my customers lots of choices: There are four scarves to choose from -- Hot Pink with Beads, Cornflower Blue, Purple with Lady Bugs, or Green.

You can read more about these, including the price, on KnittingGuru.

You don't want to drag a lot of stuff to the beach, right? So I designed the patterns to fit on two postcard sized, double-sided, full-color heavy weight cards. And then I thought, this needs to be in a portable bag, so I packaged it in a gold gauze drawstring bag that you can carry your knitting in.

I hope everyone enjoys their day at the beach and/or has a Great Vacation!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Another Question for the KnittingGuru - How to Make Bobbles

Suzan wrote to me last night asking about how to make a mini-bobble - a stitch she read about in a pattern given online. I must say that I find MANY errors in online patterns. I guess you often get what you pay for and some designers are less careful when posting patterns than they would be if they were submitting the pattern to a publication. Therefore, Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware)!

Anyway, bobbles are usually made by knitting several times into one stitch and then immediately decreasing back to the one stitch. The pattern Suzan is attempting only has you knit three times into the one stitch -- therefore the name mini-bobble.

Here's Suzan's question:

Can you explain about making a mini bobble? Here are the directions: knit one, purl one, knit one all into the same stitch, (this is where I get lost). You will now have 3 stitches from ONE stitch on your right needle. (I don't understand one stitch. I am thinking I should have 3). Take the tip of the left needle and lift the furthest away over the top two then lift the 2nd over the first one. I understand the lifting, but when I start the next row I am short a few stitches. I am 1/2 way finished with this and really don't want to put it up. Any help would be great and thanks for your time!

The KnittingGuru answers:

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I decided to knit a little swatch to demonstrate each step of the stitch. Many photos follow with a description under the photo.

........... Here is the first knit stitch.

Here the yarn is brought forward to prepare for a purl stitch.

The purl stitch is made and the yarn is brought behind the left needle to prepare for the next knit stitch.

All three stitches have been made in the one stitch and taken off the left needle.

Of the three stitches made, stitch 1 is being passed over stitches 2 and 3.

Of the three stitches made, only stitches 2 and 3 remain on the right needle.

Here stitch 2 is being passed over stitch 3.

Here the bobble is completed. You are back to one stitch. No stitches have been lost.

This is the mini-bobble. In my opinion it's too mini to bother with.

Here's the same bobble made with 5 stitches instead of 3. I think it looks much better.

This photo shows the mini-bobble (bottom) and the 5 stitch bobble (top). You can see that the mini-bobble is not too visible and the 5 stitch bobble is more effective.

This is a photo of a Better Bobble. It is made by knitting into the front and back of the bobble base stitch 5 times rather than knitting and purling into the base stitch.

This photo shows both 5 stitch bobbles. You can see that the Better Bobble (on top) has much more stitch definition and stands out more from the background knitting. I will give a tutorial on how to do this in next week's Knitting Tip of the Week on KnittingGuru.

I hope this was helpful to Suzan and to many other "bobblers"!

You may want to return to KnitingGuru now.

Copyright KnittingGuru, VB Designs, LLC, 2006. All rights reserved. It is illegal to copy any text or photos on this blog.

Monday, May 15, 2006

An Answer from the Guru

On my KnittingGuru website I have a feature called Ask the Guru. I answer knitting questions by email and then gather them together in groups and publish an article that answers several questions together. This is in the section of the site called Knitting Tip of the Week.

Of course, to avoid frustrated readers, I always send an email to the questioner giving at least a get-started answer. Recently I decided to use this blog to answer knitters' questions rather than send isolated emails. I let the questioner know to come here for their answer. This allows other knitters to also read the answers.

Here's the first installment:

Marcia asked:
"The bamboo needles that I have purchased through the years are not the same gauge as my bone, plastic, metal needles. Why is that? They are smaller. They throw me way off ..."

You are absolutely right, Marcia. In fact, in my experience, the difference in needle size is not just limited to bamboo versus bone, plastic, wood, or metal.

When you use a knitting needle size gauge, you will often find that some needles fit through the hole snugly, while other needles of the same size fit through more loosely.

The most important thing is to knit a swatch. If you read KnittingGuru, you know that I have several articles on Swatch Knitting and that I also sell Knitting Swatch Cards. I cannot emphasize enough how important swatches are in order to knit properly fitting garments.

Marcia, if your bamboo needles are thinner and do not knit true to the gauge you want, just size up to a larger bamboo needle. That should work out. Another thought is: perhaps you knit more tightly or loosely when using bamboo needles. Different knitting needle materials will cause you to hold your yarn and needles differently and that will result in a different gauge. For example, if you use Addi Turbos, you will naturally knit more quickly and that will result in a different gauge for sure than if you used wood needles which cause you to slow down.

Try out this experiment: Knit a swatch with the same yarn on slick metal needles and another on wood needles in the same size. Let the knitting rest. Now measure it. How much difference, if any, do you notice. Write back and let me know!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

KnittingGuru Brings a Little Sunshine

Spring is really here and the sun keeps shining. My garden could use some more rain, but I'm happiest when the sun's out. That's why I designed my latest scarf knitting kit...

I call it Yellow Sunshine Lace Scarf Kit and it really does shine. Even if you think you don't like yellow, take a look at this. It's guaranteed to make folks happy.

The kit comes in the new glossy silver shopping bags I've found and personalized with the KnittingGuru sticker. The kit contents are nestled in tissue paper in the bag and make a great gift for a knitter. Or knit the scarf and give it to someone you want to have more sunshine in their life.

You can get the kit at KnittingGuru.

I have lots of other lace scarf kits, too. Although I still haven't finished the mini-kits yet, I will have them up soon in time for the first beach days after Memorial Day Weekend.

On a personal note, I'm working on some little bags to sell and to make into kits. Also, I just made the cutest Cotton Candy Capelet. More on that next time...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The KnittingGuru Takes a Break

I haven't written in this blog for quite a while for the simple reason that I've been knitting and crocheting my fingers off.

LOTS of people have wanted my Pretty Posy Pins (see the last entry - April 26th.) I guess there will be many happy Moms out there this Mother's Day. I'm also continuing to work on my knit and crocheted chokers. Whenever I wear one of the chokers I made for myself, people not only stare, they literally stop me on the street to ask about them. That's a real thrill. Here are two of the chokers:

I'll be putting these on KnittingGuru soon. Feel free to email me if you want more information.

I also made another baby set for a customer. This one was the Fish-in-the-Water Sweater and Hat pictured on my baby website -- Burry Babies. I have made so many of this particular sweater that the fish sometimes swim in my head. I'm still working on redoing the Burry Babies site so that I can update it with Spring/Summer baby knits.

Anyway, there's been a lot of work, a lot of fun, and now - if you don't mind - I think I'll go and collapse.