Thursday, March 26, 2015

Double Knitting—The Diamond Studded Kitchen Towel

Have you tried double knitting? It's a unique method to knit two interlocked fabrics at the same time. Double knitting is reversible, with one side exactly the opposite of the other. It's a great way to play with color while making a double-thick fabric, which makes it great for extra-warm hats or jackets, or kitchen items like towels and hot pads.

I've used my double-knitting skills (still admittedly in development) to make this Diamond-Studded Kitchen Towel. I dig the retro design and the fun watermelon-y color combo that compliments my bright green pots and pans.

Molly believes all photos should include a dog. 

 If you're new to double-knitting, I recommend choosing a simple, repetitive design that will be easy to memorize and easy to visualize as you're working. This diamond pattern has visual interest but is also simple, geometric, and symmetrical so I wouldn't have too much to keep track of while also getting used to the method of knitting two fabrics at once.

At first I thought I would double-knit the entire towel, but as I worked into the slim neck that would be holding up the towel, I worried it would get stretched out over time and decided to make a change.

I tore back a portion of the towel, to a few rows above the last design element, and knit each knit-purl pair together with both strands of yarn and worked in garter stitch from that point on. This made the neck of the towel very dense and sturdy so it could hold up to getting used and abused in the kitchen. And it looks pretty cute too, if I do say so myself.

Since I love both sides of this towel and wanted to be able to hang it both ways interchangeably, I sewed a button on each sideat the same time!

 Sew into one button...
  through the fabric....
and into the opposite button. 

My oven is all dressed up and just about too pretty to use. That's a good reason to go out for pizza, right?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Irish Flag Koozie

As promised, a brand new pattern using the shamrock embellishment I wrote about recently. A drink koozie that declares your Irish heritage—whether you celebrate it all year round or just vicariously on St. Paddy’s Day. The stripes mimic the colors of the Irish flag, and of course there is the necessary shamrock for good luck. Best of all, it's FREE!!!

The pattern is also available as a pdf download from my Ravelry Store and as a finished item in my Etsy shop: Irish flag koozie

Onto the pattern.

Irish Flag Koozie

  • Worsted weight yarn of your choice in green, white, and orange. Lighter green worsted yarn for shamrock. Koozie pictured is made with Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice in Kelly Green, White, and Terra Cotta. Shamrock is made with Caron Simply Soft in Limelight
  • US H (5 mm) hook, or size needed to obtain gauge
  • Tapestry or Large eye blunt needle
  • Sewing pins    

  • Turning chains do not count as the first stitch of rows.
  • Repeat directions following * to end of round.

st : stitch
ch: chain
hdc: half-double crochet
tc: treble crochet
sl: slipstitch
inc: increase (crochet two stitches in one space)

14 sts and 11 rows = 4 inches in hdc


1:  With Kelly Green, hdc 8 in a magic ring. Sl to join this and all succeeding rounds. Do not turn.  (8)
2:  Ch 1, *hdc inc.  (16)
3:  Ch 1, *hdc, hdc inc.  (24)
4:  Ch 1, *hdc 5, hdc inc.  (28)
5-8:  Ch 1, *hdc.
9-12: With White, Ch 1, *hdc.
13-15: With Terra Cotta, Ch 1, *hdc.
16: Ch 1, *sc. Tie off. Weave in ends.

Note:  When changing colors, switch yarns in the last yarn over of the last dc of the previous round. This makes for the most seamless transition.

In the last yarn over of the last green stitch, pull up a loop of white.

Sl to join, and continue with white.

With Limelight, working into a magic ring, Ch 3, tc, hdc, tc, ch 3, sl back into ring. Repeat 2 more times. Pull ring tight. For stem, ch 5, sl in second ch from hook and remaining chains. Tie off, leaving long tail (+/- 15”) to sew to koozie.

Pin the shamrock into place in the desired position. I center mine opposite of the seam in the white section, with just the edges coming out into the other colors. Stitch around the edge of the shamrock, catching the yarn just under the shamrock edge. Tie off and weave in ends.

You're done! Time to celebrate!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Shamrocks and Clovers

In my last post, I shared the pattern for my  Lucky Clover Headband, which includes directions for how to make small three- and four-leaf clovers. This week I'm in the process of putting together a new, super secret (for now) St. Paddy's Day project which will have a shamrock embellishment rather than clovers. So, what's the difference?

The truth is "botanists don't agree on the exact species" and "Irish literature makes no distinction" so I think it's fair to generalize that a shamrock is a type of clover that has three heart-shaped leaves rather than three or four rounded ones and leave it at that.


For the pattern I'm working on, I wanted more of a traditional Irish shamrock, so I needed to make a slight change to my clover design to get that distinctive shape.

 Here's the pattern for my clover embellishment:


 1: In a magic loop, ch 3, tc 2, ch 3, sl back into loop
    Repeat 2-3 more times, for 3 or 4 leaf clover
2: Ch 5-7 (depending how long you want the stem). Sl in second ch from hook, and each succeeding ch. Tie off, leaving long tail if it will be used as an applique. Pull magic loop tight and weave in end. 
And the finished product: 
Look at all that luck
To make the leaves more heart-shaped and shamrocky, I simply added an hdc between the two tc stitches in each leaf.

1: In a magic loop, ch 3, tc, hdc, tc, ch 3, sl back into loop
    Repeat 2 more times.
2: Ch 5-7 (depending how long you want the stem). Sl in second ch from hook, and each succeeding ch. Tie off, leaving long tail if it will be used as an applique. Pull magic loop tight and weave in end.


Ta Daa!

Shamrocks or clovers could be used to embellish any number of items or backed with felt and made into a pin. I'll show you what I've done with mine some time before St. Paddy's!