Welcome to our little bit of knitterly Heaven- I'm so glad you found your way here!
Our goal is to teach beginning knitters some tricks of the trade as well as to work enough swatches to have a finished afghan by the end of the year! Join along with us as we learn about patterns, cables, lace, and some other handy techniques! A new pattern will become available each month ranging from newbie to adventurous. So stop on by, pick your pattern and knit along with us!

All patterns can be found here as well as on Ravelry.com!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

September Delay

Hello Knitters!
We are taking a break for the Labor Day Weekend.
Check in after the long weekend for the new patterns.
Enjoy your holiday, and happy knitting!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A little Clarification

I've gotten a few questions about the Mitered Square pattern regarding the stitch count, so I thought I would do a little update just to clear things up.

The pattern reads as such:

Row 1: Knit 34, ssk, place marker, k2tog, k34
Row 2: Purl all stitches
Row 3: Knit to two stitches before marker, ssk, slip marker, k2tog, k to end of row
Row 4: Knit all stitches

Please note that Row 1 says to k34 sts on each side of the marker and decrease.  Obviously you won't be able to do this every time you knit a row 1 since you'll be decreasing  on each odd row.  To clear up the instructions, you will be decreasing as the pattern has been established in row 3 on every odd row.  Look at it like this:  Row 3, Row 2, Row 3, Row 4.  Hope this clears a bit of confusion up.

Hope you are enjoying this month's swatches! Happy Knitting!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

August's Book Pick

This month's book is The Day the World Came to Town by Jim deFede

The story is about a small town in Newfoundland Canada that is overwhelmed with air travelers that gets re-routed after the attacks of September 11th.  Here's a review found on amazon.com:

The events of September 11 have seemingly been covered, analyzed, and discussed from every angle imaginable. So the subject matter alone of Jim DeFede's The Day the World Came to Town makes it noteworthy. In the immediate aftermath of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, 38 commercial airliners carrying over 6,000 passengers were forced, as a precautionary measure, to land in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada. Due to the ongoing closure of U.S. airspace, the passengers spent four days in this isolated town of 10,000 before being allowed to continue on their way. In that time, Gander's residents rallied together to extend a kind of hospitality that seems too expansive for the word hospitality. Townspeople not only opened schools and legion halls for use as emergency shelters, they invited the passengers into their homes for showers, meals, and warm beds while local businesses simply gave toiletries and clothing to passengers stuck without luggage. Despite the grim consequences that led to the situation, DeFede finds humor: two flight attendants are offered a car for sightseeing by a local woman who happened to be driving by; the stranded chairman of Hugo Boss finds himself shopping for men's underwear at the local Wal-Mart. But the real message of the book is how, even in times of great turmoil and conflict, people can and must look to one another for comfort, help, and hope. --John Moe

Monday, August 1, 2011

August's Squares

August is another technique month!  We will be approaching our swatches this month from a different point of view.  Instead of knitting the swatch from the bottom to the top, we will be knitting our swatches side to side!  The first of the techniques is knitting on the bias.  This means that we will start at one corner and finish at the opposite corner using a series strategically placed increases and decreases.  The second swatch looks much the same, but we will be casting on stitches for two sides and decreasing to a point.  This is called a mitered square.  Both techniques are seem like they might be complicated, but in reality are quite simple.  Because of the nature of these squares, we will only have two patterns for August, but give them both a try and learn a really cool technique!


yo: yarn over- A single increase.  Move the yarn to the front of the work, the same action as if you were to purl, then wrap the yarn over the top of the needle and resume your knitting.  This creates a hole or an eyelet in the fabric.  Also known as a yarn forward.

kfb: knit in front and back- a single increase. Knit into the front loop of the stitch, then without dropping the stitch off the needle knit into the back loop of the same stitch.  This is a single increase. 

k2tog: knit 2 stitches together- a decrease.  Insert the needle into the next two stitches as if to knit, and knit these stitches together.

Easy: Bias Square
Notice the knitted rows grow diagonally across the square.
Cast on 3 sts
Row 1: K1, kfb, K1 (4sts)
Row 2: K1, kfb, K2 (5sts)
Row 3: K1, kfb, K3 (6 sts)

Row 4: K3, yo knit to end of row
Repeat row 4 until square is approx 10 inches along one edge or half the size of your desired finished product (Check out "A Good Way To Measure" at the end of this pattern- I increased until there were about 45 stitches on my needles).  

Row 5: K2, k2tog, yo, k2tog, knit to end of the row
Repeat row 5 until you get down to 7 sts

Row 6: K1, k2tog, K4 (6 sts)
Row 7: K1, k2tog, K3 (5 sts)
Row 8: K1, k2tog, K2 (4 sts)
Row 9: K1, k2tog, K1 (3 sts)
Bind off all stitches.
Close-up of the Bias Swatch

"A Good Way To Measure" this square is to thread your knitting onto a piece of scrap yarn (be careful not to drop any stitches).  Spread the stitches out evenly, don't let them bunch up or get too far apart, you want to mimic the natural shape of the knitting.  Lay your work on top of another one of your squares.  Pick one that is pretty average in size (not too big or too small).  This square should be close to half the size (slightly smaller is ok as there will be some stretching with blocking) of your finished square.

Easy:  Mitered Square
For this square you will need one stitch marker.

Cast on 72 stitches
Row 1: Knit 34, ssk, place marker, k2tog, k34
Row 2: Purl all stitches
Row 3: Knit to two stitches before marker, ssk, slip marker, k2tog, k to end of row
Row 4: Knit all stitches
Repeat these four rows until 4 stitches remain.

Row 5: ssk, remove marker, k2tog
Row 6: k2tog, cut yarn and thread through the stitch remaining.

Close-up of the Mitered Swatch

I hope you enjoy these two unique squares- they are one of my favorite techniques.  Next month we will start our study of cables- which is sure to be fun!  As always, if you have any questions please email me at yearofswatches@gmail.com. 

 Happy knitting!