Thursday, August 30, 2018

Mesh Shopping or Beach Bag

I made this bag several years ago and kind of forgot it was in my stash until a group of gals brought it to my attention again by starting a KAL for shopping bags.  My inspiration came from a bag done by Linda (Lanz) Tsekoura of 'dancingbarefoot' fame on Ravelry.  My bag looks a lot like hers but knitting is a bit different than hers.  She uses a ribber with her standard gauge machine and mine is developed to be knit on a KX350 midgauge machine with no ribber.  I thank Linda for her pattern at

Here's how I did it:  (Please forgive the appearance of this post; sometimes blogspot doesn't like my formatting).

Machine:  Brother KX350, Midgauge
Yarn:  Cotton carpet warp,  8/4, 2 strands throughout

            8.5 oz ea cone,  5 oz total

Gauge:   Unimportant

Tension:  Variable

Size:     16”H x 14W” unstretched, without strap

NOTE:  Double stranded cotton will be pushing the limits of your machine, so work your carriage slowly but deliberately.  Use both hands and it may help to put a bit of downward pressure with back hand when moving the carriage.  Use yarn spray if needed.   


1)  Leaving a long tail for sewing the side seam.  Scrap, ravel cord  and loosely e-wrap CO 65 sts.  Pull the e-wrapped stitch thru the ravel cord when casting on.  This will make it easier to knit the first row.  Pull needles out to hold position.

2)  RC000, T8.  K1R to the left.   (May need to manually knit the first row.) 
3)  Carriage on Hold, shortrow decrease by putting the 1st needle  next to the carriage in hold til 5 needles are in hold on each side.

4)  Increase back out by putting the needle opposite the carriage into working position and knitting across each row til all needles are in work again.

5)  Backstitch bind off and leave work on machine.                                                                                                    


1)  RC000, T4, K40R.  (More or less rows as desired for length.

2)   Beginning with the 2nd needle, remove every other stitch from the needles.

NOTE:  A stitch must be on the end needles.

3)   Move empty needles to working position and even out needle butts. 


1)   RC000, T8, K10R total on all needles, reducing tension by one click every 2 rows.

2)   T9, K1R.

3)   T6, K9R, increasing tension by one click every 2 rows.  End with COL. 

4)   Remove weights from the front and reposition them on the back side of knitting on the upper portion of the band.

5)   Move needles out to UWP (position D).

6)   Pick up and hang the top of the knit stitches from the beginning of the band row.  Hang the new stitches on every other needle, making sure that the end needles are hung with the new stitch.

7)   Pull the front hung stitch thru the back stitch on the needle.

8)   Loosely, back stitch bind off.

9)   Remove from machine.  Lay work flat and pull on the BO stitches to flatten and shape the stitch.

10)  Unravel the dropped side stitches down  to the beginning row at the bottom.  This will create the  meshwork.

11)  To make the 2nd side, with wrong side facing, rehang 65 sts from the other side of the bottom. 

NOTE:  Must be an odd number of stitches.  Repeat the steps from the first side for the 2nd side and top band.

12)  Loosely mattress stitch the side seams, stretching to keep the same gauge as the meshwork. 


With wrong side facing, pickup 2 bars between stitches and hang 16 sts on the side seams of the top band.  (8 sts on each side of seam).   E-wrap and manually knit the first row as you e-wrap. 

Option 1:

1)   RC000, T7, K90R (for shoulder length), or for length desired. 

Option 2:

1)  RC000, T7, K1R across,

2)  With the 2 prong transfer tool, *move  sts 2 and 3 to needles 1 and 2 on each side.  K2R. *

3)  Repeat from * to * for desired length. 

Option 3:

1)  RC000, T8, K1R across,

2)  **Pull needles out to hold position and with an extra strand of yarn, weave over and under every   other needle.  K2R**

3)   Repeat from ** to ** for desired length. 


Back stitch bind off and sew to other side of top back evenly spaced over the seam line.         

1)   Make the straps, then sew in both ends in place after bag is completed.
2)   When hanging the first end, to make the 2nd end match, knit only half the length and scrap off.  Then hang the bag and knit the 2nd half the same as the first.  Scrap off and graft the 2 ends together at the middle top.
3)   You may also make 2 straps instead of one by evenly placing them on each side of the top band for desired length. 
4)   For drawstring straps, do not sew the top bands together and run a  4 or 5 stitch I-cord thru each side. 
Release EOS and knit top band

Pick up the top loop of the first row of knit stitches

Hang the stitches on every other needle, with a hung stitch on each end.

Pull the hung st thru the st on the needle bed to have one st on each needle.  

Back stitch bind off. 
Weave in ends.
You may add a closure to the top band by making an I-cord loop on one side and an I-cord knot button on the other side.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Felted Slippers, Fairisle
(Click on photos to enlarge)

I’ve been busy the last few weeks, among other things that is, developing and doing trial runs on a felted fairisle slipper pattern.  I think I have size and proportions down pat now so I’m ready to share.  I’ve had this worsted yarn on hand for several years so I thought it was time to put it to good use.  It’s a bit thinner than most worsted yarns and I wanted a hefty slipper so I chose an alternating 1x1 fairisle pattern to double the fabric weight and it worked wonderfully.

These are probably one of the easiest slippers I’ve ever made.  They can be worn as is or attached to a sole of choice, embellished by adding a faux strap across the instep, some needle felting, bows, buttons, etc.   
My schematic is very easy to read and explains how to knit from the heel toward the toe.  Please ask if I can elaborate on the instructions. 
I made the pattern to fit my foot but would be very easy to alter any of the measurements to fit any sized foot, just increase or decrease stitches and rows as needed. Felting is not an exact science, too many variables, so I would suggest making a swatch and felting it first to determine gauge. 
I felted them in the dryer. They took a couple extra 5 minute cycles most likely because of the thickness. And I did find that felting went better with a couple old bath towels in the dryer with them. Love dryer felting!  See my previous post. 
After felting and drying, I inconspicuously weave a strand of woolly nylon thru the toe area, especially over the big toe, which keeps the toe from wearing out too quickly. 
The fairisle patterning left quite long loops of yarn on the edges which left a sloppy seam over the instep and it was quite noticeable after felting. So after I got done seaming and before felting, I used one strand of yarn and loosely went back over the seam and whipped through those long loops. The seam looks fine after I did that. 
Hope you like them as much as I do.

Friday, February 2, 2018

The Art of Dryer Felting

Click on photo to enlarge

A couple years ago I got a new washing machine which put a sudden halt to my felting days. It’s a top loader but doesn’t do fabric any favors in the felting department. I know a lot of the front loading washing machines aren’t designed to be opened during a cycle so felting with them is a nonstarter too. I think my new machine agitates too strongly with less water so it pulls the yarn apart widthwise before it can pull together. I’m no engineer so I have no idea really, just speculating on that but it doesn’t felt no matter what the technical issue is. So I basically had given up any thoughts of felting anymore knit projects….until ‘Ozlorna’ of Ravelry fame mentioned in a group conversation thread that she felted in her dryer.  I asked more questions, tried a couple swatches and am now a believer.  After the swatches, I proceeded to a hat pattern that I’ve been wanting to try and now I have 3 hats!  I’m onto my felted clog/slippers next.  ‘Ozlorna’ has had many successes with the dryer method to include slippers, hats, bags, etc.

Here’s the ‘how to’:

Give your finished project a quick wash and rinse by hand.  Squeeze out excess water and put in the dryer on high for 5 minutes.  Remove and rinse with cold water.  Put back in the hot dryer for 5 minutes, then rinse in cold water again.  Continue with the cold rinses in between the 5 minutes in the hot dryer until it felts to the size you want.  Watch it carefully.  It will go fast towards the end so I checked it every 2 minutes or so then.  Depending on the item you’re felting, the yarn and how far it needs to felt, it may only take 2 or 3 times in the dryer.  Honestly!   One of my hats took 3 five minute cycles and the other took 3 cycles plus a couple extra 2 minute cycles.  Then block and air dry as usual.  Note that you don’t put any other clothes in the dryer with it, just put it in by itself.  Of course, you can add more items to the dryer but it's not necessary.  Just don't overload the dryer.

If you’re lucky enough to have a washing machine that felts predictably and you’re happy with it, by all means continue to use your machine.  But this is a fine alternative if you don’t have a machine that will dependably felt.  Other than not felting because you don’t have a machine that cooperates, I can see a couple other plusses to dryer felting.  There’s far less time involved and much less water used.  

Happy felting!!

P.S.  This wonderful hat pattern is available for purchase in Marg Jones' Ravelry Store.  The title of the pattern is Felted Hat on Bulky Machine.

P.S. Again:  As long as Marg posted the link to her pattern in her comment below, I will add it here for easier reference.  Hope you use it, it's a great pattern.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Chemo Turban, Revisited
Click on photos to enlarge
A knitting friend, Bonnie, has knit several chemo turbans for those in need, bless her heart.  As we’re in the middle of a long, cold upper Midwest winter, she used a heavier yarn than I have specified in my earlier posted pattern and has graciously given me her consent to share her patterns.  Here are a couple of her concepts using the same yarn but with different gauges.  Both are great but she said she prefers the feel of the one knit in a tighter gauge.  Either are very acceptable because we fortunate ones with hair can’t predict what will feel good on the skin of those without.  From my previous experiences, my sister’s head was very tender and she preferred the smooth, soft yarns like Simply Soft or Berroco Comfort.  Then another friend’s head wasn’t tender and she preferred the fuzzier type yarns.  So use up that yarn, someone will make good use of them. 
A big thank you goes to Bonnie for her patterns. 


Machine:  LK150 midgauge
Yarn:  Deborah Norville Everyday,  aran weight, 1 – 3.5 oz skein, 180 yds
Tension:  T7 and as noted
Size:  Woman’s medium 

1.  Cast on 78 stitches with several rows of waste yarn and ravel cord.
2.  E-wrap from L to R.
3.  RC000, T6, knit 6 rows.
4.  *  Remove fabric with a garter bar or several rows of waste yarn, turn work and rehang on
      the same needles.
5.   Knit 6 rows. *
6.   T7, repeat from * to * to RC054 with 9 total repeats.
7.   T6, knit 4 rows.
8.   T5, knit 4 rows.
9    T4, knit 4 rows, COL.
10.  Decrease for crown by transferring every other stitch to adjacent needle.
11.  T3, knit 1 row to right.
12. Gather live stitches and secure.
13.  Sew side seam. 
1.   With right side facing, pick up 5 stitches in top center of the hat.
2.   T4, knit about 32 rows, hang on other side of hat and bind off. 
An I-cord or 1x1 ribbing for the band is also an option.
Embellish as desired.


Machine:  LK150 midgauge
Yarn:  Deborah Norville Everyday,  aran weight, 1 – 3.5 oz skein, 180 yds
Tension:  T6 and as noted
Size:  Woman’s medium 

1.  Cast on 90 stitches with several rows of waste yarn and ravel cord.
2.  E-wrap from L to R.
3.  RC000, T5, * knit 6 rows.
4.  Remove fabric with a garter bar or several rows of waste yarn, turn work and rehang on the
      same needles. *
5.   T6, repeat from * to * to RC054 with 9 total repeats.
6.   T5, knit 10 rows.
7.   T4, knit 6 rows, COL.
8.   Decrease for crown by transferring every other stitch to adjacent needle.
9.   T3, knit 1 row to right.
10. Gather live stitches and secure.
11. Sew side seam. 
1.   With right side facing, pick up 6 stitches in top center of the hat.
2.   T3, knit an I-cord for about 80 rows, hang on other side of hat and bind off. 
A rolled stockinette stitch or 1x1 ribbing for the band is also an option.
Embellish as desired.