Zen doodles and a mandala (my first)


I have a lot of spare time lately, it seems. I’ve got myself a proper sketch book and I’ve been doodling. I have a lot of fine tip markers, gel pens, Sharpies and watercolour markers (that I got for my birthday, TODAY, I am 30!) and more. Here are a few doodles.

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My first doodle in the sketchbook, made when I couldn’t fall asleep. (Fuckin’ insomnia)

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My first mandala, called “Because of you”, because my friends and family have helped me come to a point where I’m more positive, looking forward to each day, and finally, in the stages of recovery from schizoaffective disorder. Yes, I’ll have to be on meds for the rest of my life, but I can live with that.

 

 

 

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I made this tattoo flash saying “I <3 my mother” because my mom is my greatest influence in life and I love her. The swallows aren’t perfect, but I’ve never claimed to be an artist!

 

Loom knit Keyhole scarf


I’ve been looking at pics of keyhole scarves and decided I wanted to make one. I used one ball of JC Bretts Marble (in pink) and it’s about 5ft long. I want to make another, but fix a few mistakes (put the keyhole closer to the end, not make it so wide, because the yarn really opens it). I double knit it on a Knifty Knitter knitting board, and single knit the keyhole. It was pretty easy, only took a couple of hours!

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A pic showing some of the colours.

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Wearing the keyhole scarf with the one half looped through the keyhole.

 

 

 

 

 

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Doubling up

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The scarf, finished. You can see the keyhole section.

 

Loom knit socks tutorial (free! with pics!)


I love looming socks. I’m using the Bufanda 22 peg (smallest size) blue round loom. I prefer the round loom to doing it in the rake style on a long loom, or the sock loom, which I swear, is cursed.

What you need

Yarn, knitting tool, small knitting loom (I used a 22 pegs) in the round, tapestry needle.

Stitches and stuff

All knits are e-wrap knits. Purl stitch. Gather bind off.

Let’s do it

First you want to make a brim

E-wrap cast on

Knit 10 rows in e-wrap knit and then fold it up to make a brim, so the sock doesn’t roll.

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The loom is set up and cast on. I put markers (spare pieces of yarn) every 4 pegs, for the ankle portion.

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The first 10 rows are knit, to make a brim, reach down with your knitting tool and pull up the stitches from cast on and place on each peg.

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Knit over all the pegs, securing the brim.

The ankle

I put markers on this for a reason. For 40 rows, purl 3, knit 1. Repeat until back at your starting point.

This is what the stitch looks like. I am using a heavier yarn. The thinner the yarn, the more of a pattern you’ll make.

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The heel

This is where things can get tricky. It’s done in short rows. E-wrap knit from peg 1-12 3 times. Then, at each end, take the yarn on it on the peg beside it (for the yarn on peg 1, it goes to peg 2, for the yarn on peg 12, it goes to peg 11) and knit over.

Then you e-wrap knit back and forth 3 times. Decrease again, peg 2 goes to peg 3, knit over, and peg 11 goes to peg 10, knit over. E-wrap knit 3 rows.

Next, put peg 3 on peg for, knit over, peg 10 on peg 9, knit over. Knit 3 rows, and then the heal is done.

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Peg 11 with the loop from peg 12 on it.

The hard part of the heal

Like the brim, reach down with the knitting tool and pull up the loops from the end of the ankle section.

You will have 3 empty pegs on each side, put a loop on each peg, and then pegs 4, 5, 7 and 8. Knit over.

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Now the heal is done.

The foot

Knit one row

Purl one row.

This is called the garter stitch and it looks like the image below

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Continue with the garter stitch until the foot is the size you want it to be, then cast off using the bind of cast off.

For me, 40 rows in garter stitch made socks that fit womens size 8-10 really well.

Enjoy!

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The finished product

Newsboy hat on the loom tutorial


Since my last attempt at a newsboy hat made a hat way too small for me, I created my own pattern and made a new one, in dark blue. Enjoy the tutorial!

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The finished product

What you need

41 peg round knitting loom

Knitting tool

Tapestry needle

About 150g of yarn/wool.

Stitches

All knit stitches are e-wrap stitches

Purl

Gather bind off

Tutorial

First you have to set up the loom for the brim, which is pretty easy. Put a marker on peg 6, 11 , 31 and 36. I use pieces of yarn.

E-wrap cast on starting at peg 36 and cast on to peg 6, going counterclockwise.

Knit one row, and purl the next with an increase on that side.

Knit the next row, and increase on that side.

Keep doing the garter stitch (knit one row, purl one row) until you’ve reached pegs 11 and 31.

Keep going with the garter stitch, back and forth from 11 and 31 for 6 rows. This will be the brim of your hat.

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This is what your loom should now look like.

Cast on the entire loom from peg 36. Peg 36 is the start/end of each row. I used an e-wrap cast on.

The “visor” part is knit one row, purl one row for 6 rows, all the way around the loom

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It should now look like this.

After doing the visor and brim, e-wrap 25 rows.

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Use a gather bind off, and flip the new hat inside out and sew the top closed.

Ta-da! You’re done!

The hat that barely fits


I worked on this hat for a couple hours today, and it barely fits. Pissed. I suck. I also broke my favourite knitting loom tool making it. I swear, the yarn I used is cursed. I haven’t made a single decent thing out of it. I’ve started projects with it, never finished them, most of them got thrown out.

Well, here’s the hat. It’s a bit small. I might remake it on a 41 peg loom.

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Small gauge sock loom comparison – Knifty Knitter vs Bufanda


I’m comparing two small gauge looms for knitting socks.

In the left corner:

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The Bufanda (“Spanish loom”) smallest loom, originally with 22 pegs, added pegs to make it 44)

This loom is great. Except for putting the extra pegs in. I could get them in part ways with my hand and then had to (literally) hammer the fucking pegs in. The extra pegs are the pink ones, the Bufanda knitting loom kit (which is super) comes with a bag of extra pegs, allowing for customizable looms. I love this feature! I hate the Martha Stewart knitting loom set, its so cheap, but these looms, which cost no more than a set of Knifty Knitters (for 4, the same size, in better colours, with the extra pegs) plus shipping (that got me a bit – shipping to Canada is EXPENSIVE, but worth it) are great.

Other than nearly breaking my thumb hammering the fucking pegs in, it took a hammer and all my 105lbs to get the pegs in, and a lot of time, I much prefer this for socks. I’m using the knitting tool shown in the pic, your standard Knifty Knitter tool. I can’t find my CinDwood one, or I’d use that, because its much narrower at the end. I also lost most of my knitting tools, and need to buy some more. (My favourite is the Knifty Knitter tool, but mine is getting old and bendy, more about that later)

It’s much easier to wrap these pegs than with the Knifty Knitter sock loom. I don’t use a tool (empty pen or straw), just my skinny fingers. I have long, thin, fingers, which helps in knitting on the loom. Wrapping the pegs: Easy. Knitting – (flat knit or e-wrap knit) Easy. Purling – A little harder, but thats because I REALLY need a new tool, but easier than on the KK sock loom. It doesn’t bend my tool when I purl, and I’m wrapping around a medium tightness. Not too loose, not too tight. Getting the wool over the pegs is easy, and they don’t slip much, the ridges at the top stop that.

Overall: The better of the two. Much cheaper, customizable, and you can get it here, at the Bufanda store. Depending on where you live, the entire set of 4 looms with the extra pegs (and knitting tool) may cost LESS than the KK Sock Loom. Also, because every other peg is a different colour, it makes the seed and rib stitch really easy to keep track off. Purl on pink, knit on blue, for example.

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The Knifty Knitter Sock Loom (or whatever brand you buy)

This thing is complicated. I set it up for my size, and measured with my foot through it. It took me forever to screw the thing back together, with a lot of cursing and chasing my cats around to get the parts back. Interesting idea, sucks in execution. It’s complicated, it’s annoying, and it takes a lot of co-ordination to get together, and pair that with a lack of patience: This thing is getting thrown across the room.

Now, knitting on it isn’t much better. See how tiny those pegs are? Well, the top is circular, and you have to wrap fairly loosely, or you will not get a single loop over after you cast on. I cast on at medium looseness, I don’t knit terribly tight, and it turns out fine, and I had major issues and it bent my knitting tool trying to purl. Now try to get the tool (the one I use is the same one that came with it!) under the pegs, the divots are useless and it takes a few attempts. Granted, I’m not used to it, but the metal on metal is slippery and is a royal pain in the ass. Yes, the metal is less likely to break, but it doesn’t give at all, and can cause some frustration. I prefer the use of rubber pegs, like with Cindwood. They have good grip, don’t slip, but let you easily knit.

Knitting (e-wrap or flat): Hard. It results in both loops going over half the time and having to re-wrap and re-knit. I couldn’t even get much done. I tried a tiny crochet hook instead of the knitting tool, and it didn’t fit. Purling – Damn near impossible. Getting the tool under the yarn on the peg was a joke. The thing is too small. I could form the loop and get it over the peg more easily than on a knit stitch, and dropped less stitches. It took ages. I got fed up and put this thing back in my chest to never touch again.

Conclusion: This thing is expensive, even on eBay. I got mine for $7 when it was on for half price and I had a 40% off coupon. It’s more expensive than entire set of looms. It’s up there with the All ‘n One Loom¬†which I own, but lost half the parts to, so only use for small gauge straight stuff.. Anywoo… It’s frustrating to put together, but doesn’t require the physical strength of putting extra pegs in the Bufanda loom. It’s customizable a bit, but only to the size of your foot. The Bufanda loom, well, its only one size, a drawback, but with socks, its more forgivable. That is probably the only positive to this thing, it can be adjusted to foot size. It’s hard to use, and its hard to loop yarn over. It seems to only allow very thing yarn, huge drawback.

The winner is..

Bufanda

I’d rather have a one-size loom that I can knit about the same gauge in than the frustration of this sock loom. It’s a good idea in theory, but makes me so angry. I’ve used a lot of looms, and the sock loom is the most frustrating.

 

Finished Dew Drop shawl/wrap


I finished the dew drop shawl/wrap today. It’s almost 5ft long. I did it on the Green Knifty Knitter knitting board. It wasn’t done in double stitch, but I cheated on the drop stitches a bit, using the tutorial here at GoodKnit Kisses. I love the pattern, and I want to make more. I used JC Bretts marble wool in navy blue and I love the colour variations, which you can see in my close up. This only took about 2 weeks, working off and on in the evening for a little bit, because I was busy during the day. I could have done it all in a day if I had the attention span to sit down for 5-6 hours and just knit away. The pattern is very easy, and repetitive, so it’s easy to just chill and knit, and watch it get bigger. I cast off with the crochet cast off.

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Wearing the dew drop shawl

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A look at the front

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A look at the back

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A close up of the yarn.

This was pretty fast mostly because there is no purl stitch used, just straight e-wrap and drop stitch. I’d recommend this pattern for knitters of any level!