Since we're celebrating the launch of I Love Bind Offs with Liat Gat this week, I thought it would be fun to give you a sneak peek at one of the bind offs in her video guide.
This ruffle bind off was unvented from a pattern on Ravelry, and it's a lot of fun. Basically you increase stitches dramatically at the end of the pattern, work a little in Stockinette Stitch to make the ruffle more substantial, then you bind off with a loose and stretchy bind off.
You can even do a matching cast on if you like. Wouldn't it be fun at the top of a bag you knit as a rectangle? Or at the bottom of a little girl's skirt? There are lots of possibilities for this one!
Thanks for sharing, Liat!
Most people know the standard bind off as a way to finish their knitting, and maybe a couple of other specialized bind offs like the three-needle bind off for special situations.
But there are a ton of different ways to bind off your knitting, and it pays to at least think about and learn some of the less-common ones that might be perfect for a particular project.
Did you know, for instance, that there are bind offs that look more like Garter Stitch? Or bind offs you can work in two colors? Binds offs that are super stretchy and others that make ruffles?
You can learn about all of these and more in Liat Gat's video e-course I Love Bind Offs. The guide features 45 different bind offs and is full of tips and techniques to make your finishing better. And not only are there videos for each technique, you'll also find written instructions with pictures and an animated video of the key parts should you need a refresher without watching the full video.
This guide is a great resource that you're going to want if you're a visual learner and you want to put a little more thought into how you end your projects.
This pattern, in my mind, was called Snow in May, because I actually started it back in May of last year, when we had a freak snowstorm in the first week of May. It took me this long to get around to finishing it and sewing the button on, but the good news is it's a really quick, simple, meditative project that will not take you nearly a year to knit.
It's just a big rectangle worked in Basketweave that has a buttonhole so you can use a big colorful button to close and embellish it.
I worked it in a very special yarn from Clara Parkes' Big White Bale, but you can use any pretty, bulky yarn you have on hand. The more natural looking it is the better, though, I think.
This little bit of knitting is like having a warm hug over your shoulders all the time. I think I may wear it around the house.
It's been cold and snowy here again (actually so much ice it looked like snow, and then snow on top) and I'm cold all the time as it is just in the house. So my delightful husband has taken most of the playing outside duty this storm, while I've been (let's be honest) sitting on the couch knitting.
It's been so cold even he, who doesn't own a scarf, has been getting bundled up in his warmest. And my warmest, too, since he took my Garter Stitch Striped Cowl to wear one one walk around the neighborhood.
This cowl is big enough to wrap around three times, which makes it a great way to keep warm when it's really cold out. And it's pretty simple to knit, too, whether you do it in controlled stripes, as a stash buster or even in a solid color.
How are you keeping warm these days? I'd love to hear about it!
My daughter has had a love for rainbows for a long time. She's had rainbow-themed birthday parties two years running (though I'll admit to not being as creative as I could be in the decor). She has a rainbow skirt I sewed her and a rainbow scarf I knit.
I made the scarf kid-sized, of course, but you could continue to cast on stitches as long as you like to make an adult-sized one. Beyond St. Patrick's Day, when everyone seeks the leprechaun at the end of the rainbow, this scarf is great for bring color to any day (and for pride events or any other time you want to celebrate in full color).
This is a pretty quick and easy project because it's knit horizontally. The fringe is optional but adds to the fun.
Have you ever made any rainbow-themed projects? I'd love to hear about them!
St. Patrick's Day is also right around the corner, of course, and you can celebrate it by knitting, too. I've got a whole collection of St. Patrick's Day knitting patterns, but a couple of my favorites include:
- The Mistake Rib Scarf, worked in green and white stripes, it's the perfect thing to wear to a parade
- The Irish Coffee Cozy, a great thing to keep your mug warm all year long, and
- The Shamrock Basket Liner, the best way to keep your soda bread warm (or clean up after a good party)
Of course green is my favorite color, so don't miss the Favorite Color Scarf as well.
Are you knitting anything green? I'd love to hear about it!
As we're ever so slowly nearing the end of this long winter, I think we could all use a party. Mardi Gras is a great reason to celebrate, no matter where you live, and I've got a couple of knitting projects to get you in the spirit.
My knit bead necklace is basically an I-cord with strategically placed increases and decreases where you can place wooden or foam beads inside the necklace as you knit. It's kind of strange at first but it's really quick and easy and adds a little knit fun to your Mardi Gras bead collection.
For cleanup after your Mardi Gras party -- or any time of year -- there's the Fleur de Lis washcloth. The pattern is worked in Stockinette on a field of Reverse Stockinette (or vice versa, depending on which side you're looking at) and is a great basic cloth for all sorts of uses (I've lately been using mine for dusting).
Do you celebrate Mardi Gras? I'd love to hear what you're doing this year!
If you're a knitter who wants to get into pattern modification and possibly knitwear design, a great place to start is by altering existing patterns or developing your own projects from templates. If you'd like to knit Icelandic-style sweaters, hats, socks, mitts or bags, one great place to start is Gunn Birgirsdottir's Quick Icelandic Knits.
This book offers a variety of basic patterns -- kids' and adults' sweaters, different shapes of hats and styles of mitts, to name a few -- then offers models that show different ways to embellish the yokes of sweaters or other projects.
Developing your own pattern then becomes a matter of putting the pieces together. Maybe a cardigan with pockets and that yoke design, or a felted bag with bead embellishments? There are lots and lots of options that are sure to appeal to knitters who are new to thinking through all those design choices as well as those who know what they want and just don't want to have to do the math themselves.
After working through a couple of projects from this book you might be ready to take on more from-scratch design, or you can just use these templates to develop the perfect project for you.
When I think of Icelandic wool (commonly known generically as lopi) I think of those great circular yoke sweaters with their elegant increases and cascading colorwork. But the funny thing is, this design wasn't even popular in Iceland until the 1950s, and the original sweaters of this sort were Norwegian, often had raglan sleeves and included shaping.
I learned this fun fact from Védís Jónsdóttir's excellent book Knitting with Icelandic Wool. The book includes a whopping 65 patterns, including lots of classic-looking sweaters, but also dresses, hats, socks and a scarf. There's a lot of that simple colorwork we expect from Icelandic style, but there are also solid color projects and even bits of lace.
I have to say this book broadened my horizons when it comes to knitting from Iceland, and it really makes me want to knit a sweater. Or a pair of mittens or socks.
Have you ever knit an "Icelandic" sweater? I'd love to hear about it!
Scandinavian knitting patterns are known for their great stranded knitting motifs, and adding a little design to a published pattern is a great way to get your feet wet with pattern alteration and maybe ultimately designing knits from scratch for yourself.
If you've ever wondered where to start when it comes to choosing and using motifs for knitting projects, you need to take a look at Mary Jane Mucklestone's 150 Scandinavian Motifs. It would be enough if this book just included those 150 motifs in large swatches and with three different chart options. But this book also includes information on how to work with motifs, choosing colors, fixing mistakes in patterns and much more.
It also has four patterns you can try out or swap the chosen motif for a different design to make it your own.