Sunday, August 4, 2013


New pattern! I made one today with my brand-new 35's. Interesting experience.


This rug is very easy, very fast, colorful, and extremely comfy on the toes. It’s a great stash buster for all that acrylic yarn you have and will never use.

Approximately 27" x 18"

5 sts and 8 rows = 4" in stockinette.

US 35 straight needles
About 80 yards each of 9 colors of any worsted or Aran weight acrylic (I used Red Heart Solids)
Tapestry needle

Note: Obviously, you don’t HAVE to use 9 different colors. You can use 9 strands of one color (though it might be a little irritating to wind a ball of this) or three strands each of three colors. Or whatever you want.

You’ll start by winding your ball of yarn, which will easily be the most irritating part of this entire project. I used 9 different balls of yarn and wound from the center strand so the skeins collapsed slowly in place instead of spinning erratically and twisting themselves up. I recommend tying all the ends together in a knot when you begin. (You’ll untie this knot later when you weave in ends.) Wind about 80 yards of “rope” from these 9 strands.
Alternatively, you can try to knit the rug with 9 working balls of yarn. Good luck and let me know how it goes.

CO 32 sts and knit three rows.
Begin pattern:
Row 1 (RS): Knit.
Row 2 (WS): K3, p26, k3.
Continue working these two rows until rug measures 16” from beginning of work, ending with Row 1.
Knit three rows.
Bind off.

Weave in ends and voila! Get some of that rubber matting to keep your rug from slipping and prominently display your creation near a door. Toss it in the machine for easy cleaning. Add tassels for fun. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Hats I Have Known

Today I was thinking about all the hats I have made, loved, and lost, and I decided to do a tribute post to those poor, vanished hats.

Why are hats so easily lost? It's a serious question. I have made countless hats over the years, and I will confidently say that approximately 50% of those hats have been misplaced, by me or by others. No, it's not fair to say "misplaced". Those hats have been taken. Taken by the universe for reasons unknown. They were with us, then they weren't. They were on our heads, they were in our hands, they were in our bags, they were in our pockets, they were in our closets, and then they were gone. Forever. They slipped through some hole in the fabric of space-time to join their lonely, lost brethren, endlessly wandering the dimension of Lost Hats, each hat fondly remembering the head it used to keep warm once upon a time, and knowing that the two would never be united again in this life.

Someone should talk to science about this phenomenon.

Personally, I have made for myself ABOUT a dozen hats. I can't remember them all. They were with me for a short while, and then they vanished-- in the best case scenario, into sundry, unknown Lost & Found boxes, from which they may have been plucked to begin a new life atop someone else's head. More likely they were run over in the street until they barely resembled hats, but I prefer not to think of that.

I record the memories of a few hats lost in time:

The pink and the white. I went through a phase in my sophomore year of college when I made plain stockinette hats for EVERYBODY out of this super bulky acrylic yarn I bought in Walmart that was really soft, really warm, really cheap, and came in neon colors. I made one for almost everyone in my circle of friends. For myself, I made a pink and white striped hat with, of course, an enormous pom-pom on the top. I wore that for a few months.
Last known sighting: Unknown.

The rainbow. I discovered Red Heart Super Soft yarn in my junior year and bought it in literally every color. I made tons of stuff with it, and I still really like it. It's exactly what it is advertised to be, very affordable and the colors are great. Plus, it's machine-washable. I spent hours and hours and hours experimenting with it. I remember that time fondly as a period of knitting madness. Hats, bags, sweaters, sweater vests, skirts, everything that could be knit, I did knit it. And I decided to use every single color I had to make a cool hat.
Last known sighting: Unknown.

Entrelac.1. Ah, this was a sad story. I made this hat before I left for Israel after my senior year. I think I finished it literally the day before I flew. It was not the first entrelac hat I had made, but it was the first I made for myself. I got a ton of use out of it. And, strictly speaking, I didn't LOSE it, it was destroyed, but at any rate, I had it and now I don't. When I got home from Israel it sat somewhere in a drawer or a closet for a while and the next time I looked at it I found bugs had eaten little holes in it, and then died in it, so I had to put it down.
Last known sighting: My house, sometime in 2010. Confirmed dead.

Entrelac.2. This is a story of triumph, actually. I made this hat to replace Entrelac.1, slightly altered with a ribbed brim, and I wore it for a winter. Then I moved to Israel, and when I asked my mom to send it to me there, she couldn't find it. So it was considered lost for many months. Except when I went back to visit in the summer, I found it in my coat pocket. However, weirdly, it was like, super duper small and I don't know how it EVER fit me. It certainly doesn't fit me now. It doesn't even cover my ears.
Last known sighting: Somewhere under my bed, 2013.

The Slouch. The mystery of this hat's disappearance remains unsolved to this day. I made it before I made aliyah, and I wore it quite a bit. It's an adorable casual silk slouch which was pretty big so I had to keep it on with bobby pins, but it was super cute and perfect for the strange weather here. It was in my house, and then it wasn't. IT DID NOT LEAVE MY HOUSE. It was last seen in  my living room, atop a friend's head. She admired it, so suspicions remain that she has secretly made away with it. However, she is a pretty upstanding citizen, so this hypothesis is a bit weak. Anyway, the last sighting was months and months ago, and it has not been seen since, despite exhaustive searches, a thorough spring cleaning, and knowledge that it did not exit my apartment. This actually drives me crazy. Of course, the possibility exists that it WILL be recovered, but this is starting to seem less and less likely as time goes on. This is the most frustrating type of hat disappearance.
Last known sighting: My apartment, November 2012.

Entrelac.3. I had this hat for about two months before it was lost. I used a ball of Noro Silk Garden to make a hat and it came out VERY cool because of the color changes. It was extremely itchy and the cast-on was too tight so it wasn't so comfortable, but I got a lot of compliments on it, and was even stopped in the street once in a while. I liked it a lot. I know exactly where I lost it: the central bus station in Jerusalem, mid-January. I was going to pick my sister up from the airport. I went in and I had it. I took it off at some point. When I left it was gone. I DID go back and search the lost and found, which had many, many, many hats, but mine just wasn't there.
Last known sighting: Central Bus Station, Jerusalem, January 2012.

Entrelac.4. The latest and most pathetic loss. I had this hat for MAYBE a week before I lost it, if not less. Michelle, who, by the way, lost the hat I made her for last Hanukkah, requested a hat of the same type as my Entrelac.3 and got two balls of Noro delivered so I could make us a matching pair. I wore mine for a few days. I think I lost it while I was walking somewhere in my neighborhood. I retraced my steps, but no luck. To be honest I wasn't so sad about this one because the hat didn't come out quite as I wanted, but it was still a bummer. Especially since I JUST made it.
Last known sighting: Katamon, January 2013.

This list, of course, doesn't include the many hats I've made for other people which are now lost. I do blame those people, but I acknowledge the desire of hats to be free, and I realize that we can't always control what our hats do or where they go.

Rest in peace, hats.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tutorial: How to fix cables

Hey guys. Today I'm going to do something different. I have never done a tutorial before but while I was fixing a mistake in my new sweater, I thought maybe it would be something useful for other knitters to see.

Basically, you know when you're happily knitting along on a project with a cable, and then after a few rows you hold out your work to admire it, and you notice that something horrible has happened to your cable?!?!

Somewhere, things got crossed WRONG. Who knows why. It happens to me when I'm not paying attention to the pattern (usually when I'm too engrossed in whatever TV show I'm watching), or when I get really confused, or when I'm just not taking time to stop and check. (Which you need to do. Often.)

But there is a way out of this dark hole. I'm sure other knitters have figured this out, and it's not difficult, but just in case it hasn't occurred to someone, I'm going to do a tutorial on how to fix cables WITHOUT pulling out the entire work.

If you're a perfectionist (I am not), you might want to frog down to the mistake anyway because often, re-cabling can lead to some loose stitches, and it doesn't always look as perfect as it could, but with this method, you should be able to do fix your cable with virtually no differences. If the idea of ripping out precious rows and rows makes you exhausted just thinking about it (me), this is the quick and dirty, easy-peasy way to go.

(Warning-- I'm using pictures from two different cables so don't get confused by that. The principle remains the same.)

It all started when I realized that my braid cable was upside down.
 I had meant to do a regular braid. You know, right side up.

So I decided to fix it. I took the cable stitches off the needles and carefully ripped back only those stitches, using my cable needle. I ripped back to where the mistake had started. This is probably the most titchy part-- counting back to the correct row. If you cabled on row 3, and you rip back to row 2, and cable on that instead, your whole cable will be out of sync with the rest of the work because its RS and WS rows are one row off.

I was left with a little rainbow of strands that had been those rows. I picked up the stitches on the left-hand needle.

(Switching to a different cable)
Usually when I pick up stitches they're not oriented properly. I either orientate them correctly before I start or individually while I knit. Your preference completely.
Make sure you know if you've ripped down to a RS or WS row. Note that the loose strands are behind the work, and the working yarn is off to the side, since you are not using it.

Now you are ready to begin knitting. MAKE SURE when you select the strand to knit with that it is the BOTTOM-MOST strand attached to the knitting. See picture.

Now you knit. Just like you normally would, except using a short segment of yarn confined at both ends. Remember, since you are knitting the same amount of stitches as you originally did, you have exactly the right amount of yarn you need. (That's why this method is a little problematic with fixing increases/decreases.)

When you've fixed the cable, turn it over and purl back, again using the bottom-most strand.

When you've used up all the strands and have finished fixing your cable, take a look. Because tension is different than when you're using a loose strand of yarn, it might have a sort of pinched appearance right where you cabled, with one stitch tight and the above one loose.
(Heading back to the original cable)
This is easily fixed. Insert the cable needle into the tight stitch and wiggle gently to loosen it up. This will also tighten the previous stitch. Sometimes you may need to work the extra millimeter of yarn  down through several rows to disguise it.

And, ta-da! You've fixed your cable! That was easy. And a whole lot quicker than ripping back the entire thing.

Happy knitting!