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FREE PATTERN: Perfect Lay-Flat Knitted Diagonal Garter Washcloth

With my upcoming surgery looming in the near future, I decided to make the most of my time and get a head start on this year’s holiday teacher gifts.  I still make the Christmas and Hanukkah gifts for my kids’ teachers, lunch ladies and daycare workers, and, not knowing how much I’d be up for a long bout of down-to-the-wire crafting post-op (since I somehow always end up working til 4am the night before the last day of school), I was smart and started early.

I decided to make dish/washcloths again.  It’s been a few years since the junior campus staff got regular square washcloths, and I haven’t made them for anyone on senior side yet, so I wasn’t worried about being too repetitive.  I dug some favorite Bernat Handicrafter Cotton from my stash and pulled up the most basic, well known, standard dishcloth pattern Ravelry had to offer – a plain old, diagonal-knit garter washcloth.

Plenty of yarn, plenty of time, and a well-worn pattern.  This, I thought, would be a breeze.  I was even optimistic enough to think I’d have the Xmas gifts ready before November!

Heh.

My troubles started early on.  After completing the first washcloth, actually.  I had finished it and set it down flat on the table and noticed the lower edge immediately curl upwards.  I smoothed it flat but it quickly rolled inwards again.  It wasn’t terribly noticeable, and – let’s face it – this is a dishcloth.  If used properly it would end up scrunched and rolled and pulled and would sag and ease out of shape quickly.  But I was annoyed at how it looked and poked around at it a bit trying to figure out why the top half was fine but the lower half curled in.  The top half, by contrast, lay beautifully flat. I couldn’t figure out what I’d done wrong.

Finally I realized it wasn’t my fault – there was an inherent flaw with the pattern. It was the kind where you increase into the second stitch of every row.  That type of increase pulls imperceptibly on the outer stitch, eating up the slack between the first two stitches.  When this is done at intervals one would hardly notice, but when it is done at the beginning of every row the result was edges that curled inwards.  This didn’t occur on the top half of the diamond because that was the decrease half and I wasn’t using any of the previous row’s slack at all.

I could smooth it flat and I could have blocked it but come on… blocking washcloths?  No thanks.  I’d rather figure out how to knit it without the flaw.

The main thing was to figure out what increase to use.  Any increase which went into the prior row, including a standard ‘make 1’, would cause the same inward tugging.  Yarn-over increase patterns didn’t have that problem, but I didn’t want eyelets dotting the sides of my washcloth.  I wanted these cloths to look less dainty, more ‘rugged’, if that makes sense.  I decided to work YO increases but to close them on the subsequent rows by knitting them through the back loop.

Once I was tinkering with the pattern I also added a plain row at the max width point before transitioning into the decreases. Diagonal patterns always seem to have you go from wide to narrow without any plain row in between and I find that the extra row tugs less on those points of the diamond.  The result is a lovely garter washcloth which has wonderful drape and lays flat beautifully, and is now my go-to knit washcloth or dishcloth.

photo2016-10-28113107amedit

I’ve knit 9 of them so far… sadly not anywhere near how many I need, but enough to know I’m really happy with how it works out, and I added it to Ravelry tonight.

The yardage listed is for a dishcloth knit to 41 sts, which results (at my tension) in a 9” x 9” square. You can easily make them larger or smaller. If desired before binding off you can create a strip to fold over and sew down for a hanging loop by either knitting about 4” of garter on those 3 sts or knitting them into a 4” long 3-st i-cord.

This pattern would work equally well for baby blankets or throws, continuing to increase until whatever max diagonal is desired before working the plain row and then beginning the decreases.

photo-2016-10-28-11-32-05-am

You can view the pattern’s Ravelry page here, or click ‘download now’ to get it directly.
download now


new pattern up: my first hockey player: montreal canadiens

NOTE: for some reason comments are closed for this post…I’m not sure why, but you can still reach me by email if you want.

It’s up!!  I’ve been working on it for a while, and I’ve finally finished my HABS player pattern!  And thanks to our boys making it to game 7 tomorrow, now YOU’VE got enough time to knit up a little good luck totem of your own!  (Or, depending on how things turn out, it makes a great voodoo doll…hehe)

The pattern is $2.99 CAD and is available in Ravelry here, or to purchase directly click here.  That link is for a Ravelry PDF download, but you don’t need to be a Ravelry member to purchase.

I hope you enjoy it!  I tried my best to make the pattern faithful to the red home uniform, and you can knit it with just stripes, or duplicate stitch/embroider the famous CH logo.  There’s even room on the back to duplicate stitch your favorite player’s initials (and even his name, if you’re good at embroidery!).


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my first personalized pennants: cars

Last Wednesday (last week) was boring- I slept most of the day, then hung out with Yannick and watched TV at night.  This past Wednesday (yesterday) was boring- I worked most of the day, then hung out with Yannick and watched TV at night.  Nothing more to say about the Wednesdays.

Last Thursday (last week) I met with my surgeon for the ultrasound results.  The good news: I’m cleared for surgery!  My rectus muscles on both sides of the abdomen are bruised, but that will go away with time, and there’s nothing to do for it, and no reason not to get this hernia fixed once and for all.  We’ve rescheduled it for April 4th, which was both the first available date, but also far enough away for any swelling to go down.  That delays me by about a month, but at least that’s all it is.

I always leave the surgeon’s office feeling beat up, what with all the pushing and poking he needs to do to feel his way around my belly, so I went back home and took a nap until it was time to pick up the kids.

As for this Thursday (today), nothing special’s going on.  My mom picked the kids up from daycare and we got to hear all about Jakob’s trip to the Cabane à Sucre (sugar shack).  My aunt (who I knit the hat for) is in town, and came by to visit with her foster daughter.  And now the boys are in bed and I can finally get a chance to share my latest pattern with you!

my first personalized pennants: cars

This pattern is a great way to dress up a child’s bedroom or playroom with a fun, personalized touch.

It takes less then a ball of yarn per car, and you have the option of making them with or without windshields.

The pattern is available through Ravelry (even for non-members).  More information here (my site) or here (Ravelry page), and also through Knit Pick’s site here, where you can put the pattern together with yarn to make your own customized kit.

I hope you like it!  A girls’ version is coming soon!

(All photos except the dangling one are by Maaike Sears)


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Lullaby Blanket

I know this was officially published last Summer, but for those of you having a hard time finding a copy of the Spring/Summer 2010 St-Denis magazine, I am now able to get you the pattern directly!

Lullaby Blanket

Photo by Veronik Avery

The pattern is available through Ravelry (even for non-members).  More information here (my site) or here (Ravelry page).

On a separate note, I’ve was home all last week with a sick Henri, so have got NO knitting and NO studying to show for my time.  He had a double ear infection – I know, AGAIN.  He just had a double on Jan 4th, after having a single on Dec 17th.  😦  Anyways, he also had a small infection in his lungs, not quite a pneumonia, but a little bit, and a TON of phlegm with a deep hacking cough.  So though he missed the official PJ day at school, we had a PJ week at home together.

I spent every nap time and bed time working on my KP pattern (that I feel like I’ve been talking about forever…though it’s “only” since last Summer).  I’m almost done!  The pattern itself is all typed up and set into my pattern template, all the notions and details and instructions and such all properly laid out.  All that’s missing is to work up some charts in Knit Visualizer (‘cus it imports looking better than my working charts in Excel) and it will be done!  I’ll mail the finished sample off to Knit Picks and then it will be out of my hands.  I’m really glad it looks like I’ll be true to my plan of getting it mailed off before my surgery.


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My First Costume: SuperHero

Presenting my latest pattern, now available both through Knit Picks or Ravelry.

My First Costume: SuperHero

Some of you may remember the Superman costume I’d knit for Jakob when he was a baby.  This is my update of that pattern.

The pattern is knit toe-up, in (mostly) one piece.  The legs are knit first then joined for the briefs, then the sleeves are knit and finally the body, which is knit in one piece from the yoke up.  I included short-row shaping in the diaper area to give more room and a better fit.

There are photo instructions on how to make the optional cape.

The Power Princess chart is included…

as well as the chart for your little SuperStar.

Not only that, but I provided a blank chart and instructions on how to personalize the pattern, so you can put your own image, your child’s initial or anything you like!  (That’s how I made the original Superman version…I’m just saying…)

I was very lucky to have my friend’s daughter Maya model for me, and her father Avi take the photos.  (If you like his work, he is an amazing Montreal-area photographer.  You can see more of his work on his website).

I hope you like the pattern.  I have been having requests for it ever since Jakob’s version came out, but life got in the way and it wasn’t until now that I was able to get it out into the world.  I would have loved to have had it ready in time for Hallowe’en this year, but at least now it is out there and ready, early enough for next year.  (So you’ve got a whole year to knit!)

Enjoy!


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2010-11-11

Good news!  I’ve added my Felted Poker Coasters and the My First SuperHero patterns to my Ravelry store, so now you can purchase them as Ravelry downloads!

Felted Poker Coasters

My First SuperHero

You can still purchase the patterns through Knit Picks, but now you have the option of going through Ravelry too, if you prefer to keep all your PDFs together in your library.

And don’t forget, you don’t need to be a Ravelry member to purchase the pattern through them.

 


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something old, something new

Now that it’s official, I’m excited to announce that I have 2 patterns available through Knit Picks’ Independent Designers Program!

The first pattern is an update of a pattern I’d published in 2008. The pattern was in a calendar, and since it isn’t easy to purchase old, outdated calendars, I have updated the pattern info and made it available again:

Felted Poker Coasters

Felted Poker Coasters

It’s time to go “all in” and knit up a set of felted coasters.

These playing-card-themed coasters knit up so fast that they would make a great hostess gift, and if you start now you can have a set ready in time for the next big game.

This pattern would work well for beginners to knitting in intarsia, as the felting would hide any uneven tension changes for those unfamiliar to color work. One ball of the Cloud (white) and two balls each of the Red and Coal (black) are enough yarn to make a full set of 12 coasters.

Ante up!

You can purchase the pattern for $1.99 US through Knit Picks’ website here.

The next pattern has is one that I’ve been knitting for a while and giving away as gifts.  Now you can make one too!

My First Superhero

My First Superhero

Knit in Comfy Worsted, My First SuperHero is a quick, cuddly knit sure to please kids of all ages!

This pattern is a great moneysaver as one ball of each of the four colors required make two complete toys as shown.

He’s a “super” introduction to intarsia too, making him a good project for beginners looking to expand their skills. There are no loose bits and the cape is knit directly from the back-neck, so My First SuperHero is safe for even the youngest children. I have included a full alphabet and number chart so that each toy can be personalized for the recipient.

Taking only a few nights to complete, you’ll be the hero with this last-minute gift!

You can purchase the pattern for $1.99 through Knit Picks’ web site here.