The woven look of the linen knit stitch

The linen stitch pattern gives the knitted item a flat woven look on one side and a textured look on the other side.

The flat weave side

Textured side of the linen stitch

Why this stitch pattern is fast becoming a new favorite of mine:

  • Like the garter stitch it lays flat

Dishcloths with linen stitch

Linen stitch dishcloths

  • By varying the knitting needle sizes, it can be knit tightly without much stretch or elasticity or knit loosely with some elasticity
  • It creates a dense fabric-like look when knit tightly
  • It’s a simple 2 rows repeat pattern that can be used to create a plethora of single colored or multicolored knitted items
  • There’s no purling when knit in the round

Linen stitch hat

Hat with the textured side

This simple yet versatile stitch pattern is also great for leftover yarn from other knitting projects. I know I’ll be knitting quite a few items with this stitch pattern.

Have you tried the linen knit stitch?


Knit-along by Hannah Wallace in Knit Simple Magazine, Holiday 2017 issue.
May 2018 square: Stitch pattern for both squares are different from the knit-along pattern.
Yarn: Lion Brand® Vanna’s Choice®
Project details on my Ravelry project page

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Is a designated craft area or room useful to a knitter?

For the most part, hand knitting and crocheting is portable and a designated craft area or room although not necessary for a beginning knitter certainly becomes more useful and essential as a knitter’s skill levels, projects, and yarn inventory increases. We try to keep our clothes, our mail, the cooking utensils etc. in designated areas so why not our yarn and knitting supplies?

With a designated craft area or room –

  • All the yarn is in one place so we know how much and what type of yarn we have.
  • Less time is wasted looking for a particular yarn stored in a different place.
  • The frequency of additional yarn purchase may decrease.
  • There is motivation to try more challenging knitting projects and to keep better project details and notes.
  • The non – knitters in the household will be thankful they don’t have to see yarn stored in different places.

There are several craft area/room tours by both professional and hobby knitters on YouTube that give some helpful tips on how to create a designated craft area or room. I’m still working on creating a designated craft area where I can keep all my yarn and knitting supplies.


My first top down hat

Finished Hat with pom pom

Yarn used: Lion Brand Heartland® in Isle Royale
Project details can be found on my Ravelry project page

All the hat patterns I’ve knitted so far (some earlier posts here and here) have been bottom up and seamless. The brim of the hat is knitted first, then the body and lastly the crown shaping. With top down hats the crown shaping is knitted first, then the body and lastly the brim.

After reading and watching several online tutorials on how to knit a top down seamless hat, I cast on 8 stitches and began knitting the hat using the magic loop method (tutorial by Tin Can knits).  I increased 8 stitches every other round till I had the number of stitches I needed. I knit the body of the hat in stockinette stitch pattern for several rounds and then knitted the brim using 2 x 2 ribbing pattern.

Once I got used to the magic loop method, knitting the hat with using a top down construction was not hard. I started and finished knitting this hat in December 2017 but found it a bit short without the brim rolled up.

Hat without pom pom

With a short brim

I frogged a few rounds of the brim and knitted till the length of the brim was twice as much as before. Now the hat fits much better.

Finished hat with longer brim

Hat with rolled up brim

It seems that enough brim length when rolled up makes the hat fit better even if the body of the hat is a bit short or a bit long. Because of the direction of the knitting, it is faster and easier to increase the brim length if needed in a top down hat than it is in a bottom up hat.


Knit-along by Hannah Wallace in Knit Simple Magazine, Holiday 2017 issue.
February 2018 square: Project details on my Ravelry project page

April 2018 square

Adding a single crochet edging to knitted items

Round Hot pad / trivet mat

Yarn used: Patons Classic Wool by Yarnspiration.
Techniques used: Single crochet edging and short rows.
Video Tutorials that I watched to learn all these techniques (including the kitchener stitch) were by Staci of Very Pink.

The pattern is based on Simply Notable’s Crazy Eights dishcloth. Instead of a dishcloth I used four strands of yarn held together to knit a hotpad/ trivet mat. I also used a kitchener stitch instead of mattress stitch to join the two knitted ends together. I would prefer a seamless round dishcloth or trivet mat.

Adding a single crochet edging to knitted items gives them a finished and flat look. There are other crochet techniques that can be used to add a finished and decorative look to knitted items.


Knit-along by Hannah Wallace in Knit Simple Magazine, Holiday 2017 issue.
February 2018 square: Project details on my Ravelry project page

 

The versatile craft of knitting

Fisherman’s Rib Hat with Pom Pom


Yarn Used: Manos Del Uruguay Maxima* in Mixed Berries colorway.
Project details: The hat was knit in the round using the Fisherman’s rib stitch pattern. This project requires some concentration and focus and is certainly not a project to knit while watching TV. It’s best to put lifelines (there’s a short tutorial on lifelines for brioche stitch by Fruity Knitting Podcast Episode 35) every now and then because fixing a mistake in this stitch pattern is quite frustrating and time-consuming. More project detail can be found on my Ravelry project page.

The versatile craft of knitting
The versatile craft of knitting can teach us many things besides the various stitch patterns and techniques. It can be therapeutic, reduce stress, and also sometimes teach us to be more mindful, kind, thankful and calm. And now, according to the article “Girls Knit Their Way to a Math Career“, knitting is being used to teach kids math and science concepts and also to ease their math learning anxiety.

In the past year or so my focus has been more on reducing my yarn stash and less on the benefits of knitting that initially drew me to this craft (read the reformatted entries of my previous blog named Coffee Tea or Knits). While too much yarn and too many WIP’s can be overwhelming and stressful, it’s heartening to know that knitting can teach us many positive things that are just as versatile as the craft.


*There’s an article in the Spring 2017 issue of Interweave Knits about Manos del Uruguay, a non-profit cooperative organization, and its social mission for the rural women in this country.

Just a knit show and tell post

Hello folks it’s been quite a while since my last post. I’ve been busy and my free time has been divided between knitting, watching knitting video podcasts, and reading knitting blogs. So here’s just a knit show and tell of one of my knitting projects. The stitch pattern and style of this cardigan was inspired by Jared Flood’s Tinder.

My version of Tinder Cardigan

Pattern: I didn’t have a written knitting pattern for this project which has a bottom up construction with a collar and ribbing. I just looked at the picture of the cardigan and knitted my own custom top down raglan sleeve version of it. However, the cardigan does have the waffle stitch pattern and a little bit of the style of the Tinder cardigan by Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed.

Yarn used: Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Chestnut Heather colorway.

Knitting experience: I really liked the depth and variety of the colors within this yarn. Here’s a close up of the colorway of the yarn.

It’s very budget friendly and machine washable.  I found this yarn a little rough on my hands while knitting but using hand lotion before knitting helped quite a bit. After washing the yarn is quite soft and warm.

Leave a comment if you’ve also found inspiration for your knitting projects by looking at the knits of different knitwear designers.

Happy Knitting!

The Simple Elegance of the Garter Stitch

Lately, I’ve rediscovered the simple elegance of the garter stitch. The garter stitch is a textured pattern that uses the knit stitch on both sides for flat knitting or knit stitch on one round followed by a purl stitch on the second round for circular knitting. It’s reversible and the edges don’t curl up making it a simple yet versatile stitch pattern. Garter stitch is usually the first stitch pattern we learn as a beginning knitter and then move on to more complex stitch patterns. . As we learn other more complex knit stitch patterns, we end up using the garter stitch pattern mostly for borders and edges of our knits. Yet one can create many beautiful and versatile knits when the garter stitch is combined with lace, shorts rows, or different yarn color variations. Several examples of knits with garter stitch patterns can be found on Ravelry.

Here is my version of the simple and elegant Purl Soho’s Dovetail Scarf pattern. I modified the pattern using a different yarn and a picot bind off. More project detail on this knitting project can be found here. For this project I used yarn left over from a previous sweater project.

Garter Stitch Scarf

So whether you are a beginning or an expert knitter, I invite you to rediscover the simple elegance of the garter stitch. I have and will be using this simple and elegant stitch pattern more this year to create a number of new knits.

Coffee Tea or Knits is now Coffee Tea Knits

Hello folks welcome to Coffee Tea Knits. It’s Coffee Tea or Knits with a new name and a new look. My previous blog entries are available at here. I will be moving these entries to the new site soon. Right now I have several incomplete knitting projects that I’m trying to finish by the end of this year.

A Piece by Piece Blanket

This blanket is a modified version of the log cabin scrap blanket pattern. I knit this using garter stitch and two colors only. The center square is knit first. With the last stitch remaining on the needle after bind off, the piece is rotated to one side and stitches are picked up and knitted. This process is then continued for all sides. I kept the garter stitch pattern so I could knit while I watched TV.  One side of this blanket is smooth while the other side shows the ridges of the picked up stitches. I like the pattern the ridges form. Yarn used:  Lion Brand Pound of Love in pastel pink and lilac.

blanket1

blanket2

Product vs. Process Knitter

I was reading some knitting blogs and came across product versus process knitters. A product knitter is one who has a specific purpose for the knitted item (a blanket, sweater etc.) while a process knitter is one who knits for the technique, the pattern or the yarn and not so much to complete a knitting  project.  I like to complete knitting projects so I think I’m a product knitter although the more I learn about yarn and the various stitch patterns and techniques the more I find myself thinking of the process than the project. Knitting just swatches to try out new yarn or stitch patterns still bothers me. So I think small knitting projects such as dishcloths or scarves satisfy both the product and the process knitter in me. So tell me are you a product or process knitter?