My bad habit with knitting projects, is that when I have completed the knitting phase, it gets set aside as I don't want to get into all the finicky finishing part of the project. Lazy? yes I know. For my latest scarf, I could have simply woven in the ends and wore it as it was, but I really did want fringe.
Everyone has their own way of making fringe. I used to use 2 pieces of cardboard cut to the length I wanted the fringe, for example 3 inches. You would put the two pieces together and loosely wrap the yarn around them and then cut between the pieces at the top and you have your fringe pieces.
But the other night, it was late, I was quite happy finishing my knitting and didn't want to start rummaging around the house to find a card or bits of cardboard to cut and measure, so I did it a very quick way, I used my hand.
Some experienced knitters might be appalled by this method, but it works for me. My hand measures approximately 3 inches, so I went with it. Quickly wrapped the yarn around my hand and then carefully cut across the top to create many pieces of fringe. Didn't even have to leave the couch!
Don't wrap the yarn too tight or you will have trouble cutting the yarn at the top and we don't want any cuts or nicks!
Once you have your pieces, fold them in half, then using a crochet hook slip the folded edge through a cast on or cast off stitch edge of your scarf and then with your hands feed the two loose ends through and pull to tighten. Do the same across the row. If you need more fringe, simply make more using your hand. Now this works for a typical 3 inch fringe, but if you want longer then you will have to find those bits of cardboard.
Once you have your fringe in place, you can trim across if you are not happy with length, but either way this works for me and helps me to complete my projects. I am now wearing my knitted scarf everyday as it matches my winter coat perfectly. But as soon as that spring air warms up, I will switch to my lightweight mohair one I made, and yes I added fringe the same way. Hope this helps you complete your project.
I was quite happy with how this fringe turned out. You can make it thicker by doubling up the pieces. I just felt it looked more finished with this addition. I didn't trim it to size, I liked it just the way it turned out.
There are many ways to cast on knitting stitches, but when I was taught to knit by my Grandmother back in the 60s, I used the "knitted" method, which may take a little bit longer, but personally I find it leaves a cleaner edge. Some experienced knitters may argue this, but for me, this is the best version.
I haven't figured out how to create youtube videos just yet, but I did find one that shows this method very clearly. Once you have a slip stitch on your needle you simply knit as in a garter stich but instead of the part where your drop the stitch you pick it up. This version will also work for patterns that ask you to "pick up a knitted stitch". But right now we will concentrate on casting on.
You can find many different methods on Youtube if you prefer something else. Some knitters use their hands to slip on new stitches, but I always ended up with loops hanging afterwards making my work look odd. But like I said, it is a personal choice.
But for me this is how I always cast on my knitting stitches. Hope this helps!
Sticking with my theme of easy knitting projects, I decided to create another warmer scarf using garter stitch knitting. This way not only do you knit all rows, but you don't get that curling of edges that is common with the stockinette stitches, which is Purl one row and knit the next.
I had used the stockinette stitch for my first project the lightweight mohair style scarf (very first post here) and did spend some time pressing it to get rid of the curls. I wanted something even easier to knit while I relaxed in the evenings. So, I chose a multicoloured yarn that had my favourite colours and would match my winter coat. So here it is. I knitted it for 8 feet long so I could tie it in many ways.
I love the pattern that formed using the multicoloured yarn, and it doesn't look too plain, even though garter stitch is a very plain style of knitting. So if you want simplicity in your stitches, then consider different hues of yarn to create something nice with a bit more interest. I knitted this to be 8 feet long and enjoyed the simplicity of the garter stitch.
Here is my method for the garter stitch scarf.
I used 2 balls of the below yarn for the above scarf pictured.
PATONS REFLECTION VARIEGATED yarn (75% acrylic and 25% wool) it is very soft and yet warm.
You can get this at most craft stores, but you can also get it online with Amazon, just click the above picture. This is the exact yarn I used to create the multi-patterned effect using a simple garter stitch.
Cast on 30 stitches using 6MM needles or equivalent
Knit all rows with the basic garter stitch
Mine ended up being 7.5 inches wide with 30 cast on stitches. If you want it wider add more cast on stitches.
Add fringe (optional)
This is a great simple project to work on while listening to music, relaxing or watching TV. Some may find this boring, but for me it was the ticket to less stress just continuously knitting and hearing those needles click and watching it grow. You didn't even have to look at your work after a while, you could watch TV and let your hands do the work. I find knitting to be very therapeutic and wish I had picked it up again years ago.
I am quite proud of this project, as it felt good to create something while relaxing in the evening and yet feeling somewhat productive!
My first knitted scarf in decades.. Very loose knit in a lightweight yarn (see first post).
Once I had created my soft lightweight blue scarf (my first post), I wanted to wear it in such a way that it didn't seem to plain.
I had wanted something simple to knit and I used the stockinette (knit one row and purl the next) and a multi-dyed lightweight soft yarn to add interest as my first project in decades. After I pressed it and weaved in the ends, I wanted to wear it differently. I had made sure to knit it quite long (about 8 feet) just so I could try different styles. I found this really cool video below that can help you wear your new creations in different ways, as I had never really styled a scarf. Usually it was just quickly wrapped around my neck to keep me warm, but they are really cool fashion accessories now.
With it getting closer to spring, my scarf is knitted in a lighter weight yarn, so I will wear it with my dark blue spring coat as in Ontario there is still quite a cool breeze until end of April so its nice to have something soft near your neck.
I have another new project on the go, I will tell you about it in my next post, but just a hint: A simple bag that I will use for a knitting bag, but could be a purse. But still keeping with my simple and easy ideas that can be knit while listening to music or watching TV and not having to be bent over a schematic or specialty patterns. There is nothing wrong with more intricate patterns, but my goal was for something simple and easy to just grab and knit anywhere anytime.
But just because the patterns and ideas I come up with are simple to create, doesn't mean you can't make them look complicated and awesome!
I am having fun knitting scarves right now to ease myself back into the knitting world, but I wanted to know how to join knitted seams properly for when I venture into the structure type knitting of purses, bags or pillows.
I have always been leery of knitting anything that needed to be sewn together afterwards as my seams did not look professional, which was a shame since I had spent so much time on the piece I was making. It would end up in a bag for weeks, as I simply didn't like doing that part of the project.
For anyone else out there who is not familiar with the mattress stitch, I have included this video which I found to be the best on Youtube for teaching this particular professional looking knitted seam finish stitch. Once you get the hang of it, it is actually fairly easy to do.
Of course if I had been planning properly I would have created a much longer "tail" when I started my work as she did in the video, but all is not lost, you can weave in the little tail you left to hide it and start with some fresh bits of wool.
I now know for my next project that requires the mattress stitch to leave a long tail when I cast on and start my work, as this makes for a stronger seam. But don't worry if you didn't leave a long tail of wool, just use a fresh piece and make sure it stays in place with a double stitch.
I have just ventured back into the world of knitting, so I may be going over some things you as knitters already know and understand, but it doesn't hurt to get a refresher course. I found a tapestry style needle online that will do the trick.
There are lots of different styles of needles you can use for joining knitted seams together, just don't resort to a straight up sewing needle. You need something that can thread your wool with ease.
I have a couple of great ideas for easing knitting projects that will need some putting together, so learning how to do it right will make you proud of your work.
Now that my evenings are full of knitting instead of being slumped over my computer I am finding getting sleep that much easier.
I used to knit a lot in my younger years, then it wasn't cool as a teenager and I dropped it. But fast forward a few decades (actually a handful of decades) and I have picked it back up again.
I know you will read about this in my "about me" page, but thought I would give you a quick back story. I work from home selling arts and crafts, bookkeeping, article marketing and many other things. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea after a bout of insomnia and was told to stay away from the computer after 6pm and faithfully use a CPAP machine.
If I watch TV, it is to be far back and nothing to intense. So, this stopped my nighttime marathons on the computer, and now as I sat and watched TV to relax or just listening to music, I decided I needed to become a bit more productive at something. Anyways I decided to pick up the knitting needles again, but wanted something very very simple, that would not require constant monitoring of stitches and ease my way back into knitting again. I didn't want to be stressed with intricate patterns or having to count stitches. So, this was my first project. A blue soft scarf.
I wanted something soft, but not too heavy as I really wanted to wear it with my lighter spring coat. So, this particular wool feels like soft mohair, but is washable and pretty easy to work with. You can get it online. It is called Patons Lace Yarn Porcelain. But there are many other colours. This yarn is 80% acrylic, 10%mohair, and 10% wool. It is a nice soft light touch. I only needed one ball and still had some leftover for a headband, but that is another post.
In actual fact you can use any yarn you like!. I am just showing you this, as this is what I used for my project. I had not knit in over 30 years, so it felt a bit foreign at first but it comes back quickly! If you can do basic stitches such and knit and purl, you can make lovely scarves. I used the "stockinette" pattern which is knit one row then purl the next. But you could just use the knit stitch all the way especially if you purchase multi-coloured yarn as you barely notice the stitches the colour adds the drama. Remember, I wanted something lightweight, so this worked for me.
I x 85g ball of Paton Lace Yarn (Porcelain)
Cast on 30 stitches, using size 6MM needles
Knit one row
Purl next row
Thats it! Simple. Keep knitting until the scarf is long enough to your tastes. I created a very long one as you can see in the picture as I wanted to wrap it around at least twice. I chose not to add fringe, I wanted easy plain and simple knitting. This particular yarn has a light fuzz to it, which is soft but not too hot to wear and easy to wrap around.
The only problem with the stockinette stitch, is that your work tends to curl into a tube. You will have to press it lightly when you are done. DO NOT PLACE IRON DIRECTLY ON WORK... I used a damp tea towel and then lightly ironed it. Yes a bit of a pain but it worked.
WEAVE IN ENDS
If you have a darning needle or a crochet hook simply weave in ends from your start and finish to hide them, do not trim them too short or you risk you work unraveling, so simply weave them in.
If it has been a long time since you knitted you can get a refresher on YOUTUBE or books. But once you get the hang of it, it is something you can add to your relaxing regime in the evening or anywhere with no counting or pattern watching. You don't need to buy a pattern book for this project, just a ball of yarn and knitting needles.
My name is Diane and I love all arts and crafts including painting, drawing and knitting (I painted the bee above!) I decided after many years to take up knitting again and needed simple patterns that I could do while watching TV or listening to music that would help dial down stress. I hope you enjoy some of my own projects as well as ones I have found.