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Posts Tagged ‘Knitting’

This super easy blanket is a fan fave, and still one of my go-to gifts for friends having little ones.  In fact, I literally just finished up this blanket (white crocheted front, blue backing, and yellow border) and shipped it out this morning!  Be warned, the rest of the Nikki, In Stitches Top 10 Countdown is very knit/crochet heavy.  However, even if you aren’t a yarn lover, stay tuned!  I’ve got a super fun giveaway coming up, and of course, all of this is leading up to the launch of the new Nikki, In Stitches site!

Enjoy…again!

Nikki, In Stitches

 

********ORIGINAL POST********

July 28th, 2009

Crocheted “Quilt”…Sorry for the Delay!

Crocheted Quilted Baby Blanket 2It just dawned on me that I never put up the pattern for the crochet blanket pictured in my Knitted and Quilted Baby Blanket post.  No offense to all of my crochet readers!  I apologize!  As always, if something doesn’t look quite right, please let me know.  And if anyone has questions or comments, feel free to leave me a message!

I am headed to the beach for some much needed rest and relaxation.  Look for a giveaway when I get back!  Hint: I’ll be just a few blocks from my favorite needlepoint shop!

Enjoy!

Nikki, In Stitches

 

Materials:

*5 skeins of White Lion Brand Microspun yarn

Size G Crochet Hook

Tapestry needle

*Any of your favorite yarns can be used for this project. I used the microspun yarn because I had it, but a super soft baby yarn would also be perfect! Just keep in mind that baby items may need to be washed on a regular basis, so something that can make its way through the laundry and hold up is important.

Ch 120.

Row 1:

Single crochet in second ch from hook and in each ch across.

Row 2:

Ch 3 (counts as first dc), turn; *skip next st, dc in next st, dc in skipped st (working over dc just made). Repeat from * across to last sc, dc in last sc. (This stitch design is often referred to “cross stitch,” “back cross stitch,” or “front cross stitch” depending on if you prefer to go behind or in front of the stitch made when you go back to the skipped stitch. For this blanket, whichever personal preference you have is fine. I found a great online reference for a multitude of stitches patterns with illustrated pictures for some designs, and very well written instructions for all: http://www.crochetnmore.com/123basics.htm)

Row 3:

Ch 1, turn; sc in each dc across.

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 until desired width of blanket is achieved. End with Row 3.

Block.

Weave in all loose ends.

Directions for backing and binding your blanket can be found in the post, A Knitted and Quilted Baby Blanket??

Abbreviations

ch……………chain

st………..….stitch

sc…….……..single crochet

dc..…….……double crochet

Added Later: If you’re interested in the Entrelac Knitted Baby Blanket shown in my Knitted and Quilted Baby Blanket post, please see my You Asked For It post.

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Ouch!! I cringed a little (well, actually…a lot) when I saw this post on the Nikki, In Stitches Top 10 list.  Not because it’s not a good project (this is one of my favorite scarves and I continue to get compliments on it) but because the video I made for it is soooo boring!  What was I thinking back then?  Fortunately for all of you, I’ve added some humor and personality into my recent videos, but this one, you’ll have to force your way through.  So, so sorry!  If you love this scarf as much as I do, it is available as a kit in the shop!  (FYI: You can see in the picture here, the yarn in the kits for sale is an alpaca blend with a little more of a gold color than the scarf shown below…perfect for fall weather!)

Enjoy…again!

Nikki, In Stitches

********ORIGINAL POST********

Tunisian Crochet – Cabled Scarf

March 9th, 2010

Lately, I’ve been loving the combination of white and gold.  Maybe I’ve been inspired by the Winter Olympics, and the backdrop of snow to the athletes winning gold?  Maybe its the ridiculous amount of white yarn that is in my stash?  Maybe its this adorable pair of shoes I bought months ago while I was pregnant and am now so happy that I can finally fit into?

Whatever the reason, I knew I wanted my next project to reflect my love for this color combo. After a few test runs with different yarn combinations, I found the perfect pairing to match my largest crochet hook, and came up with this scarf.  The Tunisian Crochet style lends itself perfectly to cold weather accessories.  It creates an extremely thick piece of fabric.  This scarf will keep you warm for many winters to come!

The pattern follows below, but since I know many of you are unfamiliar with Tunisian Crochet, I have also created a video tutorial to go along with it.

Tunisian Crochet Cabled Scarf Tutorial

The video shows how to complete the five row cable repeat.  I hope it answers many of your questions.  I’m so excited to start incorporating videos into my posts and I hope you enjoy them!

Note: The method used in the pattern of adding a yo in the middle of your cable was developed by ARNie, author of The Encyclopedia of Tunisian Crochet.  She provides step-by-step directions on her website, www.ChezCrochet.com.  If you’ve got the Tunisian Crochet bug, as I do, I encourage you to look around the site.  There are great tutorials for more intricate stitches and patterns!

Enjoy!

Nikki, In Stitches

***This project is now available as a kit on my website, NikkiInStitches.com!***


Materials:

Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky in Fisherman – 130 yards

Gedifra Micro Chic yarn in White – 130 yards

Coats & Clark Knit-Cro-Sheen Metallic Crochet Cotton in Gold –  130 yards

Size Q Tunisian Crochet Hook

Stitch Holder, Double Pointed Knitting Needle, or Cable Needle to hold stitches while creating cable

Directions:

Chain 12.

Set-up Row: Insert hook under back loop of 2nd ch from hook, yo and pull up a loop.  *Insert hook under back loop of next ch, yo, pull up a loop.  Repeat from * across.  (12 loops on hook.)

Return Pass: Yo, draw through first loop on hook.  *Yo, draw through 2 loops on hook.  Repeat from * across.  (End with 1 loop on hook.)

Row 1: TKS, TPS, TKS in the next 6 stitches, TPS, TKS, pick up front and back loops of last bar, yo, pull up a loop. (12 loops on hook.) RetP.

Row 2: TKS, TPS, TKS in the next 6 stitches, TPS, TKS, pick up front and back loops of last bar, yo, pull up a loop. (12 loops on hook.) RetP.

Row 3: TKS, TPS, TKS in the next 3 stitches, yo, TKS in the next 3 stitches, TPS, TKS, pick up front and back loops of last bar, yo, pull up a loop. (13 loops on hook.) RetP.

Row 4: TKS, TPS, TKS in the next 3 stitches, yo, DO NOT work a stitch inthe yo space, TKS in the next 3 stitches, TPS, TKS, pick up front and back loops of last bar, yo, pull up a loop. (13 loops on hook.) RetP.

Row 5: TKS, TPS, TKS in the next 3 stitches, move these 3 stitches to stitch holder and hold in front of work, DO NOT work a stitch in the yo space, TKS in next 3 stitches, slip 3 stitches on stitch holder back to crochet hook, TPS, TKS, pick up front and back loops of last bar, yo, pull up a loop. (12 loops on hook.) RetP.

Rows 6 – 70: Repeat Rows 1 through 5 13 times more.

Row 71: TKS, TPS, TKS in the next 6 stitches, TPS, TKS, pick up front and back loops of last bar, yo, pull up a loop. (12 loops on hook.) RetP.

Row 72: TKS, TPS, TKS in the next 6 stitches, TPS, TKS, pick up front and back loops of last bar, yo, pull up a loop. (12 loops on hook.) RetP.

Fasten off.

Weave in all loose ends.

Block.

Abbreviations:

ch…chain

yo…yarn over

RetP…Return Pass

TKS…Tunisian Knit Stitch

TPS…Tunisian Purl Stitch

For links to tutorials for Tunisian Knit and Purl Stitches, please see my post: Tunisian Crochet – I’m Bringing It Back!

Possibly Related Posts from Nikki, In Stitches:

A Hooded Scarf, The New Little Black Dress

Crocheted “Quilt”…Sorry for the Delay

Green Bead Soup

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I’m having so much fun with the Nikki, In Stitches Top 10 Countdown.  Each time I look at the list to see what’s next, I think about how much I loved each of these projects.  These backed and quilted blankets are still so popular, here on my blog and on Ravelry.  When people inquire about handmade baby items, this is the first place I lead them.  The blankets themselves are so easy to knit or crochet, and the backing and binding just somehow give them that something special.  Maybe they look more finished or polished?  Maybe it’s the combination of the knit/crochet fabric with the soft minky and silky smooth satin?  I’m not sure, but they are my favorite thing to give to friends that are welcoming new babies into their lives!

Enjoy…again!

Nikki, In Stitches

 

********ORIGINAL POST********

A Knitted and Quilted Baby Blanket??

June 16th, 2009

Knitted Quilted Baby Blanket 3I love making baby quilts for my friends when they are expecting a new arrival, but sometimes there is just not enough time. I have so many projects that are unfinished, so many ideas for crafts I could do to decorate my new house, not to mention chasing my son and dog around most of the day, that making a quilt sometimes just isn’t in the cards, but I still want to make something special. There is something about receiving a homemade gift that is different. You can feel the time and love that went into it. And, I want my friends to know that I cherish them enough to make them something from my heart.

My solution was to crochet or knit a blanket. It went faster, baby yarn was relatively inexpensive, and it was more portable than a quilt. I could take my project on road trips with me, and I could sit in front of the TV and work on it when I wanted to spend time with my husband. But, no offense to any crocheters or knitters out there…it was just missing something.

I think I found an even better solution.

I turned my knitted or crocheted blankets into “quilt tops.” First, the “top” needs to be blocked. Depending on which stitch type you use, this is more or less important. The knitted, Entrelac blanket shown above needs to be blocked very well. Crocheted Quilted Baby Blanket 2The tendency of the Entrelac stitch is to stretch rather easily and you will notice your backing will pucker a lot, and your quilt will not be anything close to square, if you don’t take the time to block it. The crocheted blanket pictured here needed minimal blocking just to square it up. I then back them and bind them just like they are a quilt. There is no need for batting. The heaviness of your knitted or crocheted top usually ensures the blanket will be warm enough. I use minky fabric for the backing, and flannel lined satin for the binding. These are the perfect combination for a baby to snuggle up with. I do tack the backing and top together in a few spots just by hand with a needle and thread. I cut my binding very wide (sometimes up to 10”), which makes it quite difficult to work with, but I like the look of the wider binding, and it gives the babies more to hang on to. I attach it exactly like a typical quilt binding.

Problem solved! These blankets are quicker to make than quilts, they are less expensive (although in the Entrelac example I did splurge and buy very nice, but kind of pricey, yarn), they are easier for a beginner crafter or nonquilter, and they still have the same something special about a homemade gift. The perfect quick weekend “quilt”!

Questions and comments are welcome as usual. I’d love some feedback on these blankets. Also, if the demand is out there, I’m considering putting together a tutorial on Entrelac knitting. Let me know what you think!

Enjoy,

Nikki, In Stitches

 

Added Later:   When I wrote this post, I thought the “quilted” aspect of these projects would be the main focus.  I am so happy so many of you like this idea.  Thank you for all of your emails and comments.  I am surprised by the overwhelmingly large number of requests for patterns for these blankets.  It means a lot to me that so many of you enjoy my projects.  Please check back for them soon.  I am starting the pattern writing process within the next few days, and hope to get the instructions up soon after.

Added Later:  If you’d like the pattern to knit the Entrelac Blanket shown above, it can be found in the following post:  You Asked For It.  The crocheted blanket pattern can be found in:  Crocheted “Quilt”…Sorry for the Delay!

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How To Knit (and Purl) Continental

I guess about mid-summer (which feels like forever ago!), I mentioned to all of you that I was going on vacation and bringing a new knitting project along with me.  I also let it slip that I’d be knitting this project, a sweater, continental, and I could not believe how many people spoke up!  Apparently there are a lot more of you out there than I thought that are not familiar with this style of knitting!

So, below you will find a tutorial for knitting and purling continental.

And, for those of you curious as to why all of a sudden in my knitting career I would decide to switch to an entirely new method, there are two reasons.  One, it is faster, and with two kids to chase after, finding time to knit is difficult.  The more productive I can be in those few precious minutes, the better! And two, this method forces you to knit looser, which I need to do.  I tend to have tight, stressful little stitches (does this say something about me???) and need to loosen up a bit!!

Give it a try!  It will take you a little while to get used to it.  But trust me.  With some practice, you’ll love it, and you’ll never throw your yarn again!!

Enjoy,

Nikki, In Stitches

FYI: My sweater is still not finished.  Christmas projects have taken priority!  Maybe I’ll be able to show it off next fall??

Possibly Related Posts from Nikki, In Stitches:

My Bags Are Packed

Shore Town Hit by Salty Knits

A Hooded Scarf, The New Little Black Dress

A Knitted and Quilted Baby Blanket??

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My Bags Are Packed…

My bags are packed…

I’m leaving for a much needed vacation…

And the most important thing I’m bringing with me…

My knitting bag!

I’m spoiling myself on this trip, and I’m actually going to knit something for me!  I instantly fell in love with the patterns in the Spring/Summer issue of Debbie Bliss Magazine, and when I tried to think back to the last time I made myself something, and couldn’t, gobbling up all the necessary yarn and notions was a no brainer!  I also think I’m going to experiment with continental knitting with this project.  (I am currently a “thrower.”)  Not only will the project knit up much faster, but I tend to knit very tightly, and I’ve been told that by knitting continentally (did I just create that word??), I will loosen up a bit!

So, for the next ten days, you will find me at the beach, toes in the sand, knitting in hand.  I won’t be blogging, but I just can’t resist Tweeting!!

Follow me here: Nikki, In Stitches on Twitter

Enjoy,

Nikki, In Stitches

Possibly Related Posts from Nikki, In Stitches:

Shore Town Hit by Salty Knits

Knit Graffiti

A Hooded Scarf, The New Little Black Dress


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Ask Nikki

As I’ve mentioned before, I was a high school math teacher in a past life….years before my current full-time stay-at-home-mom job.  People ask me if I miss teaching, and it’s always difficult for me to answer that question.  My reply is always long and winding, so I’ll try to get more to the point here.  I don’t miss all the politics and drama that unfortunately surround the education system and always finds a way of creeping into the classroom.  I do, however, miss the actual “teaching” and interaction with my students.  All in all, it’s just a little part of me though.  My days with my babies are priceless, and the chances of me ever leading a classroom full of high schoolers again is slim to none.

I think that little part of me that misses the classroom though, finds the most delight in my blog.  I love the interaction with my readers, and more specifically, I love when I get the chance to help one of you.  A lot of the help I give goes on behind the scenes.  One of you will email, or leave a comment which I’ll reply to, and we have a one-on-one conversation.  It’s truly one of my favorite parts of blogging.  I love receiving that final email that says, “Nikki, I got it!  Thank you!”

Going forward, I’d like to occasionally share this process with all of you.  Below you’ll find my video response to a reader with a question about the “wrap 4” stitch that I use in my knit hooded scarf pattern.  We emailed a few times back and forth, but she was still missing something, so last week I sat down for a few minutes, recorded a quick video, sent it to her, and she’s got it.  I want to encourage all of you to “Ask Nikki.”  Whether you have a question about one of my projects, or you’re struggling with a pattern or project of your own.  I’d love to help, and I’d love to open the blog up as a forum so that we can all offer suggestions.

I’ll throw the first call for help out there:

I have a confession to make.  I’ve been saving wine corks for years now.  I’m talking almost nine years now.  I know there is something out there I can do with them, but I have not yet found it.  I look around every now and then, but I can’t find a project for them that I love, and my collection is starting to grow too large.  I’ve got to do something with all of them soon, or my husband is going to throw them all away!  I’m not so sure he hasn’t been sneaking a few into the garbage can every now and then already!  Any suggestions?  Feel free to leave them in the comments below!

I’m so excited to kick this off!  I can’t wait to get your questions, offer my suggestions, post quick videos to help, whatever it takes!

Enjoy,

Nikki, In Stitches

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Shore Town Hit by Salty Knits

If you’re a long time reader of Nikki, In Stitches, you know that I recently moved to Connecticut, by way of Scottsdale, Arizona, by way of the east coast.  I lived in Pennsylvania for a few years after I got married, just outside of Philadelphia, but really, “home” for me is South Jersey.  There.  I said it.  Yes, there were a few (or more) years in which I had very big hair, high bangs, and a really bad perm, but honestly, who didn’t embarrass themselves like that in late 80’s / early 90’s?  And yes, I occasionally over-pronounce the long ‘o’ in words like phone and home, to the point of that letter almost taking on its’ own syllable, but hey, you can take the girl out of Jersey, but you can’t take the Jersey out of the girl.  Bottom line: I’m a Jersey Girl…through and through.

So, when I see fellow Jersey Girls making national news doing something I love and would love to be a part of, I have to give them a shout out.

Enter: Salty Knits.

If anyone is familiar with beach town life, you know that in the winter these warm weather centers of fun in the sun, cool drink in your hand excitement, are ghost towns, left full of empty homes, cold, dreary beaches, and a few die-hard locals that love the shore life so much, they wouldn’t dream of leaving it for the lonely off-season.  (Note:  I long to one day be one of these locals!)  The Salty Knitters are two girls on a mission.  They are tagging the town with their knit graffiti, bringing color and life back to the shell of a community left over from too much summer livin’.

What makes the story even better, is the response this community has given the girls.  Yarn donations are pouring in.  People are leaving messages outside their homes, hoping to get the bandit knitters’ attention, begging to be “yarn bombed.”  I’ve spent a few long, harsh winters in desolate South Jersey beach towns, and I agree with the fans in West Cape May.  Keep going girls!  Bundle up!  Don’t let the windy, bitter cold nights keep you from tagging, because the fun, excitement, and life you bring to everyone each morning is priceless.  Thank you!  You’re encouraging a renewed interest in one of my favorite traditional crafts.  You’re bringing joy and fun to one of my favorite beach towns.  And you represent Jersey Girls very well!  Nice work!

If you’d like to keep tabs on the Salty Knitters, you can follow them on Facebook, Salty Knits Face Book Fan Page, you can check out their website, http://saltyknits.com/, or you can google them…everyone is talking about them.  Also, CBS Evening News recently highlighted them.  In the video, you can check them out…in action.

Nikki, In Stitches

[Photos courtesy of Salty Knits’ Facebook Fan Page]

Possibly Related Posts from Nikki, In Stitches:

Knit Graffiti

Grab Bag Surprise

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