Saturday, December 11, 2010

Basic Dish Cloth Pattern

Here's a quick gift idea. It can be a dish cloth or a face cloth, depending on the yarn you use. Combine it with a kitchen gadget or some nummy face soap for a fun hostess gift or stocking stuffer. I used one skein of Luna and size 6 needles to make this dishcloth. My gauge was 4 stitches to the inch; but I knit kinda loose, so adjust your needles accordingly.

Cast on 4 stitches.

First Half
Row 1: Knit.
Row 2: Knit 2 stitches, yarn over, knit to end of row.

Repeat Row 2 until there are 50 stitches on the needles, or until dish cloth is half of desired length.

Second Half
Row 1: Knit 1, knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 2 together, knit to end of row.

Repeat Row 1 until 7 stitches remain.

Row 1: Knit 2, slip 1, knit 2 together, pass slipped stitch over the 2 stitches you knit together, knit 2.
Row 2: Knit 2, yarn over, knit 2 together, knit 1.
Row 3: Knit 2 together, knit 1, knit 2 together.

Bind-off remaining 3 stitches. OR...Make a 3-inch I-Cord using these 3 stitches and sew it down to create a loop to hang the dish cloth. Weave in all loose ends.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Tip of the Month: Felting

Felting is still such a popular technique among knitters. Whether it's a felted bag or hat you are making for a gift, or felted slippers you're keeping for yourself, here are some tips to make your felting experience more successful!

Place finished item in a zippered pillowcase. If you don't, the fibers that come off during felting can ruin your washing machine. Set your machine to the smallest load, the hottest wash and the longest agitation possible. STAY CLOSE BY and check your item frequently, about every 5 minutes. When checking the item, completely remove it from the zippered pillowcase. This is a good time to aid in the shaping and to make sure the item hasn't turned inside out. Place the item back in the zippered pillowcase and resume agitation.

If necessary, repeat the agitation process (without rinsing and spinning), until item is the desired size. Once you're happy with the size, spin the item briefly (always in the pillowcase) to remove excess water. DO NOT WALK AWAY. Stay close so that as soon as the item is done spinning, you can remove it and shape as desired. Let air dry.

Hint: I like to shape my items by stuffing them with plastic grocery bags. This allows me to achieve the exact shape that I want. Once the stocking is mostly dry on the outside, remove the plastic bags and allow to dry inside.

Another Hint: It's okay to felt more that one item at a time, but I recommend putting each one in its own zippered pillowcase. Adjust your water level accordingly.

Most of all...Have Fun! Call the shop (503) 283-2004; or come by if you have any questions! The felted slipper pictured above was embellished by Craig, and you can take his Needle Felting 101 Class if you want to learn more about this!