Friday, January 8, 2016

Beaded Loom Knit Infinity Scarf

Pattern Notes: Unless otherwise indicated, "knit" refers to the e-wrap knit

In an effort to make this infinity scarf design a bit more unique, I picked up some beads from Michael's the last time I was there. Not the tiny glass beads from the Czech Republic or Japan, but larger beads to thread onto my worsted or chunky yarns. This is what I ended up with:

I already have ideas for improvement upon the design, particularly for reinforcement around each bead, and have started on version 2.0. However the initial version of the design would probably work well enough if plastic or light wooden beads were used, so I will jot it down here.

Firstly, you will want to determine how many beads you want to use. I used 18 large pink beads for my scarf, and spaced them about every 9 rows of garter stitch apart. I prestrung the beads onto the yarn before casting on, and then cast on 16 stitches using the crochet cast on. I worked nine rows of garter stitch (so 18 rows of *r1: knit, r2: purl*), and I would string on a bead in between the pegs. So:

String beads onto yarn
Cast on 16 stitches using crochet cast on
Row 1: slip 1, knit, half stitch last stitch
Row 2: slip 1, purl, half stitch last stitch
Complete however many rows of garter stitch you need to equally space your beads out in the scarf (in my case it was 9 rows of garter stitch, or about 3 inches of knitting)
Always string on the bead in a purl row.
Each time I strung on a bead, I moved over to a new peg. I.e. if I strung on a bead between pegs 2 and 3 (I never use the space between pegs 1 and 2 or 15 and 16 since the first stitch is a slip stitch), the next time I placed a bead would be 9 rows later between pegs 3 and 4)
Once the appropriate length is reached, cast off using the crochet cast off.

My scarf was about 60 inches at cast off time, and took me about 4 hours to complete. I also used the fast garter stitch method, which you can watch here.

Don't forget to flip one of the ends of your scarf before seaming the edges together; I forgot and had to start my seaming over.

I did not like how much the weight of the beads pulled the yarn from the scarf, so many of the beads have a dangle look, which I am sure will make them more likely to be ripped from the scarf.

In my second attempt, which based off how it looks so far, I would recommend for any heavy beads, the pattern looks like this, with 6 rows of garter stitch because I am using more beads:

Cast on 16 stitches with crochet cast on.
^Row 1: slip 1, knit, HS last stitch
^Row 2: S1, purl, HS last stitch
Row 3: S1, knit, HS last stitch
Row 4: S1, purl, HS last stitch
Row 5: S1, knit, HS last stitch
Row 6: S1, purl, HS last stitch
Row 7: S1, knit, HS last stitch
Row 8: S1, purl, HS last stitch
Row 9: S1, knit to peg 12, flat knit pegs 13 and 14, knit peg 15, HS peg 16
Row 10: S1, purl, HS last stitch
Row 11: S1, knit to peg 12, flat knit pegs 13 and 14, knit peg 15, HS peg 16
Row 12: S1, purl to peg 14, place bead securely between pegs 13 and 14, purl, HS last stitch
^Row 13: S1, knit to peg 12, flat knit pegs 13 and 14, knit peg 15, HS peg 16
^Row 14: S1, purl, HS last stitch

The next bead you should place would be between pegs 12 and 13, unless you had a design in mind for the placement of the beads.

^Rows 13 and 14 takes the place of Rows 1 and 2 after the first bead placement. It is a preparatory row for reinforcement so the bead does not dangle from the scarf. So after that initial bead placement, pick up the pattern at Row 3.

What v. 2.0 looks like so far:

The beads feel more secure than on v. 1.0, so I think the finished product will have an overall better look! V. 2.0, once it is finished will have it's own blog post, so be on the look out for it!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Textured Loom Knit Baby Sweater

So I have made a couple baby sweaters for my baby to be following a very simple pattern provided by Ruth Volk on Ravelry. When I started my third one, I was admittedly getting a little bored, so I have decided to tweak the pattern to make it more interesting to knit as well as more visually interesting.

Deviating from the pattern, I cast on 26 pegs. I slipped the first stitch of every row, and half stitched the last stitch of every row. The original pattern does not call for this, but I think this may make seaming the pieces together easier because the edge of each piece will be so neat.

My next deviation is my addition of purl rows to add texture. So following the cast on I did:

R1-4: E-wrap knit
R5: Purl
R6: Purl

I repeated this pattern, stopping on a knit row at 34 rows. The original pattern calls for 34 rows, and the addition of the purl rows will probably shorten my sweater's length. I think after blocking though, it won't really matter too much, since the sweater is for a newborn.

For each front piece, I cast on 14 stitches, and followed the same pattern as I did for the back. Once both front pieces were complete, I seamed the front pieces to the back for 7 stitches on each side.

I crocheted a single chain border all around the edges once I was done, creating button loops as I went, as the original pattern suggested. I am very pleased with this baby sweater; it is the best one I have made so far!

Textured Baby Sweater