Random Knitted Goodness – aknitica http://aknitica.com You can knit anything! Knitting tips, patterns, and tricks from designer & teacher Amanda Schwabe Thu, 27 Jul 2017 18:17:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 43001861 Stars in His Squishy Owl Eyes (And tips on stuffing your Owl) http://aknitica.com/2012/07/02/stars-in-his-squishy-owl-eyes-and-tips-on-stuffing-your-owl/ Mon, 02 Jul 2012 19:56:42 +0000 http://aknitica.wordpress.com/?p=483 I rather love my little Squish Owls. They’re small and fun to make, and, of course, extremely squishable. I recently knit up this little guy using some cotton yarn from Knit Picks (a combo of “Comfy” and “Shine Worsted,” I think, since I have both in a bunch of colours), and I think he’s very […]

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I rather love my little Squish Owls. They’re small and fun to make, and, of course, extremely squishable.

I recently knit up this little guy using some cotton yarn from Knit Picks (a combo of “Comfy” and “Shine Worsted,” I think, since I have both in a bunch of colours), and I think he’s very handsome. He’s made to match a baby boy’s room, but the baby boy is taking his time arriving! The little rascal’s due date was yesterday, but as of last night, he seemed to be in no hurry to arrive.

Here are a couple more pics of this owl, followed by some tips on stuffing your own Squish Owl.

How to stuff your Squish Owl:
Think “cylinder.” I know it’s tempting to make them really round and fat, and if you really want to, you can. But I like mine to look tall.

First, I shove bits of stuffing right down to the bottom to make a flat base for him to “stand” on.  His bottom has lots of room in it from all those increases we knit in, so be sure to shove lots of stuffing around in that circular base to fluff him up and give him some support.

I add it in loose, peach-sized amounts at first, building the owl from the bottom, then putting smooth pieces around the outsides, then adding bulk into the middle.  I want to control the shape of the owl.  If one part looks too fat, I remove a little. If it looks too skinny or empty, I add a bit more. But I do that in small increments so as not make him all lumpy.  I also avoid bunching the stuffing up before I put it in, since making it more dense beforehand also makes it more lumpy and takes away my control.  If I keep the stuffing loose, I can control the density after it has been added, therefore avoiding weird lumps.

The goal is to make him nice and cylindrical. Actually, I try to add a little more padding at his sides so he’s more of an oval cylinder.  You want his stitches to look nice and taut, but not overstretched. Keep tweaking the shaping of the stuffing until you are satisfied. You can always shove your fingers in there to rearrange things, or even take stuffing out if it’s misbehaving. His shape isn’t determined until you graft those last stitches together, so be picky.

After the body is the shape I want, I stuff the ear tufts.  I shove a small, loose piece right up into the tips first, poking it with my finger and gradually adding more until the tip is nice and pointy.  Then, I usually have to add a little more stuffing under the tufts and above the body stuffing, just to make sure the tufts will stay puffy.  I poke it around with my finger until the body-to-tuft transition is nice and smooth, adding extra stuffing or taking it away as needed.  Then I fill in the middle of the owl’s head, underneath the spot where I’ll be grafting.

The trickiest part, I think, is that last bit of stuffing before you graft. I’m always inclined to put in too little stuffing at the top because I feel like the stitches are pulled too tight. But if I don’t have enough stuffing, the top of his head will be too empty after grafting (because the grafting basically adds one more row of stitches). So don’t be afraid to add a little extra underneath the grafting spot.

Do you have any tips for us on stuffing your Squish Owl? If so, I’d love to hear them!

And now, I’ll end with just one more photo.  Happy stuffing!

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Play http://aknitica.com/2012/05/31/rotating-wedges-arm-leg-warmers/ http://aknitica.com/2012/05/31/rotating-wedges-arm-leg-warmers/#comments Fri, 01 Jun 2012 02:51:59 +0000 http://aknitica.wordpress.com/?p=456 So I just learned this great new way to work short rows from Cat Bordhi. She taught a class called Cat’s Sweet Tomato Heels a couple weekends ago during a four-day Cat-class-stravaganza hosted by my local knitting guild, and I’m so glad I went. Cat’s new method of working short rows is phenomenal. There are […]

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So I just learned this great new way to work short rows from Cat Bordhi. She taught a class called Cat’s Sweet Tomato Heels a couple weekends ago during a four-day Cat-class-stravaganza hosted by my local knitting guild, and I’m so glad I went.

Cat’s new method of working short rows is phenomenal. There are no wraps, no gaps, and virtually no difference between turns on the knit side and turns on the purl side. Therefore, I have been freed to put short rows everywhere, with no thought to the consequences!

However, you may have noticed that the name of the class was not “Cat’s Short Rows,” but “Cat’s Sweet Tomato Heels.” You are absolutely right! Good observational skills. She has developed a great new heel that will fit on virtually any sock and is so easy to knit that once you learn it, you won’t need to follow directions again. You will be able to just slap in a heel wherever and whenever you feel like it.

These magical heels are made up of short-row wedges. I will let her do the explaining for you, since they are her heel, her Thanks Ma’s, and her idea. She has a great video tutorial here, and her book is equally recommended.

All I did was take her brilliant heel wedges and play with them.  I felt like a kid in a sand box!

But before I can tell you that story, I have to tell you this story:

You see, after Cat’s class, my friend Annie and I had to, just had to, go buy some really luscious yarn. Cat’s sample socks felt unlike any socks I’ve ever knitted, and I knew once I felt that yarn that I was missing out. I had to go find some high-quality, bouncy, springy yarn. We made our way over to one of the local yarn shops and spent a good hour or two ooh-ing and ahh-ing over all its delights. I came home with four skeins of luscious yarn: two in superwash merino sock weight, one on-sale silk/wool blend, and some on-sale Blue Faced Leicester Aran, all of it springy and delicious.

Here is the one I was most excited to knit up: a skein of Colinette Jitterbug in “fruit coulis,” reminiscent of 80’s punk-rockers and dying to be made into arm warmers or wrist bands or leg warmers. I decided to satisfy two cravings at once: I have always wanted to buy Eva some Babylegs, but as a knitter, I can’t bring myself to spend $14 on machine-knit socks with no feet. So, I decide to use the Jitterbug to make her some really amazing arm warmers, which I hoped would also double as leg warmers.

The only problem with hand-painted and variegated yarns, in my mind, is that I fall in love with them in the skein, but then I hate how they knit up! Stockinette always makes them look so blotchy and busy, and I’m invariably disappointed. And even though I loved knitting with this gorgeous yarn, the colours just weren’t working for me. As I sat, dejectedly, at my kitchen table, trying to think of an alternate stitch pattern that wouldn’t ruin the yarn, I heard the voice of one of my fellow knitting-class students bubble up from my memory: “These heel wedges look really great with my hand-painted yarn!”

And then I thought, “What if I could use the wedges in my arm warmers? I could rotate the wedges to form a cylinder.” I remembered taking a class with Lucy Neatby and her explaining that she had made a vest out of four triangles, since four triangles form a cylinder, and I figured that the wedges were somewhat triangular…

So I tried it.

For my first try, I worked the wedges to be a little more pointy than Cat recommends for a sock. In fact, I worked them until there were just 3 sts left between turns. They looked really amazing, but ended up forming tiny mountains that stuck out from the arm warmer. I’m going to file that information away for later because someday, I may want arm warmers (or whatever) that have lots of texture to them. But that wasn’t my goal with this project, so I ripped it out.

It turned out that working a heel wedge exactly the way Cat instructs, leaving about an inch of stitches between the last turns, gave exactly the effect I was going for.

(The bottom photo, above, shows what the wedges look like in the direction I knitted them.  The top photo is of me holding it upside down, if you want to call it that.)

Amazingly enough, they will fit Eva as arm warmers and leg warmers, and I can fit them on my wrists! I think that my second try made them just the right size to be long-lasting, wearable garments, since even when she outgrows them, they’ll still fit me.

Here, in a nutshell, are my instructions for making your own cylinders like mine. I’m not going to explain Cat’s method of short rows, since like I said, they’re hers. Also, she is an excellent teacher, and she’ll do a much better job than I could. 🙂 So, these instructions are assuming that you already know and understand the Sweet Tomato Heel wedges.

I used fingering-weight yarn and size 1 US (2.25mm) needles. My preferred method for working in the round is to use two circular needles, but you can easily use dpn’s or magic loop. My gauge with those needles and that yarn is about 8sts/inch in stocking stitch.   The size I made fits my 19-month-old’s arms loosely, with room to grow but without falling off right now, and stretches comfortably to fit my adult wrist.

I cast on 48 sts using Jeny’s Stretchy Slip Knot Cast On because I wanted both ends of the arm warmer to be super stretchy. It was a new-to-me technique, and I found it a little tricky at first, but the tip she gives in the end of her video fixed the problem I was having. I highly recommend you try it out! Otherwise, cast on using whatever stretchy cast on you know and are comfortable with.

Join for working in the round. Work in 1×1 ribbing for about 4 or 5 rounds.

Knit one round, then begin first wedge. Unlike while you’re working a heel wedge, work over only half the total stitches; in this case, 24. (A heel wedge is worked over two thirds of the stitches.)

After your first wedge is completed, work a wedge on the opposite half of the cylinder in the same manner. This will give you two wedges, one on each circ. Now, you might notice that you have two hollow spots left between the two hills, and your arm warmer is no longer an even cylinder. The next two wedges (wedges 3 & 4) will fill in those hollows. After completing the second wedge, perform a mental shift. Basically, in your last round of that second wedge, after you Thank Ma up the hill, you knit back down the hill and then up the next hill only halfway (12 sts, half the stitches on that circ). Then, you turn your work and start the 3rd wedge in the valley.

Work the 4th wedge in the other valley, then do another quarter rotation and start again from the beginning.

You work in repeats of those four wedges until your arm warmer is as long as you want it to be. Then, work in 1×1 ribbing for almost an inch. Cast off using Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off, or whatever other super-stretchy bind off you know and like.

Don’t be afraid to play around with the rotation. You don’t have to do things exactly the way I did to get a good result, since knitting is so stretchy and resilient. I had a lot of fun just playing around to see if my experiment would work, and I was thrilled when it did!

I am also imagining using this rotating-wedge method to make really amazing socks. They would, of course, feature a Sweet Tomato Heel. 🙂 I see another trip to my LYS in the near future to get some more hand-painted yarn!

I also wonder what it would look like to rotate wedges that weren’t made over 50% of the circumference, but over 60 or 70 percent instead. Wouldn’t it be fun to find out? And what if the wedges were more narrow…..  ??

I will end now with a few more pictures:

Please show me pictures if you experiment with rotating wedges. I’d love to see them, as I’m sure Cat Bordhi would, too. In fact, I showed her these ones before I posted about them here, since they’re based pretty heavily on her design.   She has a Ravelry group you can join that is dedicated to her Sweet Tomato Heels, and I’m going to head over there now and share some of these pics!  Maybe I’ll see you there.  🙂

If you have any questions about the rotation, feel free to ask! If my written instructions are confusing, let me know, and I’ll work to clarify them and add some more pictures of the process when I can.

 

Cat Bordhi developed her Sweet Tomato Heel over many months, working closely with over a hundred test knitters of all skill levels. During this time she distilled her illustrations and explanations again and again, until her test knitters and tech editor agreed the instructions were as clear and perfect as possible. In order to be sure that her work is not misrepresented, Cat asks that designers who wish to use her heel in their patterns send their readers directly to her free videos as well as to purchasing links for her eBook, Cat’s Sweet Tomato Heel Socks ($20), and to the eBook’s individual patterns ($6 each). She is encouraged that many knitters have been able to work from the free videos alone; if not, the eBook or individual patterns will give you the detailed instructions, illustrations, and explanations you need.

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Squish Owls http://aknitica.com/2012/02/02/squish-owls/ http://aknitica.com/2012/02/02/squish-owls/#comments Thu, 02 Feb 2012 21:12:05 +0000 http://aknitica.wordpress.com/?p=302 Barn owls? Screech owls? No… Squish Owls! On a whim one day, I decided to knit my daughter an owl. Because you see, every day when she wakes up from her nap, she points at the colourful decals of owls on her bedroom wall and yells, “Oww! Oww!” repeatedly. I say, if something is good […]

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Barn owls? Screech owls? No… Squish Owls!

On a whim one day, I decided to knit my daughter an owl. Because you see, every day when she wakes up from her nap, she points at the colourful decals of owls on her bedroom wall and yells, “Oww! Oww!” repeatedly. I say, if something is good enough to be yelled about, it is high time to convert it to knitting.

I started with this one:

And I enjoyed knitting it so much that I started dreaming about making more, but with little “sweaters” around their bellies. My sister, ever the source of good ideas, suggested not just a sweater, but an argyle vest. I like to keep things simple, and argyle is not in my “simple” mental category. (Maybe in my “Oh Gosh! I’ll have to try that someday just because it’s there, but I’m not sure I really want to” category.) So, here is The Fake Argyle Sweater Vest Owl:

I’m also a sucker for Fair Isle. What could be more Fair Isle (and more simple) than X’s and O’s?

And since I was knitting for my little girl, I felt the need to try out some hearts. ♥♥♥

My next urge was to knit a Charlie-Brown-esque Owlie with a zig zag stripe, but it was at that point that I realized I was running out of colours. Blurg. The good news is that I included the chart for a zig zag in the pattern, so you can fulfil my longing for me. And I have hope that someday soon, I’ll be able to replenish my basket o’ colours. (I desperately need to after knitting up all those colourful hats for my kiddos.)

I have visions of these little Squish Owls becoming not just squeezy toys, but possibly a mobile of some sort. I can just picture it now: little owls pinned to the ceiling, flying on their stout little wings and enjoying the breeze of naptime dreams.

It will certainly keep them from becoming mauled to death.

The pattern for the Squish Owls includes
~ pictures! Lots of pictures! Instructional pictures!
~ the techniques I used to sew & attach the Owlies’ parts
~ a glossary. Exciting, I know.
~ four charts: Tiny Hearts, Tiny Diamonds (AKA The Fake Argyle Sweater), X’s and O’s, and Zig Zag. I used Tricksy Knitter’s chart-making tool to create them.
Click here for tips on stuffing your Owls.

Did I mention these little Owls are only 4.5 inches tall? And that they can fly? (Kids’ fire power not included.)

This pattern costs $5 CAD.

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Super Mario Charts http://aknitica.com/2011/12/15/super-mario-charts/ Thu, 15 Dec 2011 18:32:54 +0000 http://aknitica.wordpress.com/?p=293 Feel free to use these two charts in any of your knitting projects! I had some fun making them up. 🙂 I have no idea what the copyright is for any of the Super Mario characters, so obviously these are free, and I imagine you should only use them in your own work and not […]

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Feel free to use these two charts in any of your knitting projects! I had some fun making them up. 🙂 I have no idea what the copyright is for any of the Super Mario characters, so obviously these are free, and I imagine you should only use them in your own work and not sell anything made with them. And feel free to play around with the colours. I made these charts using www.tricksyknitter.com, and I think I’m really going to like that site for making more charts in the future. It was so so easy.

Anyway, here they are:

Yoshi:

And this is what it looks like in a hat:

I used duplicate stitch to do the small details instead of carrying the yarn. And for the eyes, I actually made a small decorative knot instead. You might also notice that these particular Yoshis also have tongues… They were added on as an afterthought at the insistence of my son, even though these Yoshis are NOT in their tongue-out position. I cringed sewing them on, but he was happy. They’re just a straight, basted line of red, with a little duplicate-stitch bit of red at the end.

Super Mario Bony Turtle:

And here’s what that looks like on a hat:

These hats are knit using a variation of Kate Oates’ Cheery Scrap Cap pattern. I used dk-weight yarn instead of worsted, with size 5 US needles, and I probably played around with the number of repeats, too. 🙂

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Mighty Warrior http://aknitica.com/2011/11/05/mighty-warrior/ Sat, 05 Nov 2011 21:45:43 +0000 http://aknitica.wordpress.com/?p=285 I just finished up this chemo cap for a small friend of mine. It’s a bit of a merge between Kate Oates’ free Cheery Scrap Cap pattern and my own viking horn design, with some modifications thrown in. I’m pretty pleased with the result. 🙂 If you’re interested in making a similar one, here’s how […]

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I just finished up this chemo cap for a small friend of mine. It’s a bit of a merge between Kate Oates’ free Cheery Scrap Cap pattern and my own viking horn design, with some modifications thrown in. I’m pretty pleased with the result. 🙂

If you’re interested in making a similar one, here’s how I did this one:

I used Knit Picks Swish DK (instead of worsted weight) and size 5 US circular needles. I cast on 104 sts to make a larger version of the girls’ child-size hat (I basically added 2 more pattern repeats). I skipped the ear flaps this time, and knitted about 3/4″ of 2×2 ribbing before starting into the chart pattern. I used the girl’s pattern for this boy’s hat, but I left the heart part of the chart blank except for one tiny row of red dots.

As for the horns, you can download my pattern for them from Ravelry with this link: download now

May all the mighty warriors out there with battles to fight be strengthened by our love and prayers as we knit for them.

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Fall Flowers http://aknitica.com/2011/09/29/fall-flowers/ Thu, 29 Sep 2011 04:09:26 +0000 http://aknitica.wordpress.com/?p=272 Here’s a little update to show you what I’m working on right now. I have a couple hats in the planning/knitting/writing stages, and I hope you’ll like them as much as I do! The first is a bigger version of the Tulip Preemie Hat, sized for little girls. I like to test knit my patterns […]

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Here’s a little update to show you what I’m working on right now. I have a couple hats in the planning/knitting/writing stages, and I hope you’ll like them as much as I do!

The first is a bigger version of the Tulip Preemie Hat, sized for little girls. I like to test knit my patterns to be sure they’re actually what I think they are, so it’s taking me a lot longer to get this pattern re-written than I’d expected. Let’s just say that by the time this pattern is published, I’ll have knit it in every size, and quite unintentionally. I keep casting on, meaning to make a small size, but it ends up being enough stitches for a bigger size. This stitch is quite unpredictable. Either that or I just need to think more before casting on. Anyway, here’s a preview of it in the fingering-weight yarn. (There will be a dk version, too.)

I’ve also noticed that the cast-on technique makes a difference with this pattern. I used the long-tail cast-on for that version, and I don’t like it. It pulls up the tulip petals until they’re practically gone! Boo hoo. So I’m still tweaking.

And what a shame, too! I took such nice pictures of that darned hat. Like this one:

If you like the flower theme, I’ve got another idea brewing along those same lines. It’s been sitting on the back burner (or, more accurately, the shelf in my knitting room) for at least a year now, but I think I’ll give it a chance to …bloom.

Yes. I do love puns.

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Vacation Knitting! http://aknitica.com/2011/08/09/vacation-knitting/ Tue, 09 Aug 2011 18:02:37 +0000 http://aknitica.wordpress.com/?p=210 Because what would a vacation be without yarn? I knit up the last piece of Eva’s sweater, and I think I’ll continue the vacation vibes by sewing it up this week. It’s a Duffle Coat by Debbie Bliss knit up in Knit Picks Swish DK in Amethyst Heather. I also cast on these Wallflower socks, […]

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Because what would a vacation be without yarn?

I knit up the last piece of Eva’s sweater, and I think I’ll continue the vacation vibes by sewing it up this week. It’s a Duffle Coat by Debbie Bliss knit up in Knit Picks Swish DK in Amethyst Heather.

I also cast on these Wallflower socks, which I’ve been drooling over since I took the Two Hands, Two Colours class from Sally Melville at my local yarn shop. The Knit Picks Chroma is so sticky! I love it.

Before I could start them, though, I had to finish up these Jaywalker socks that were on the needles I needed. (The poor things had fallen victim to the New-yarn-arrived-so-I’ve-moved-on-to-another-project-and-I’ll-get-back-to-you-later Syndrome. I hear it can sometimes be fatal if left too long. As it was, they barely escaped without serious side effects. Thankfully, after some stitch counting, pattern puzzling, head scratching, husband laughing, and more stitch counting, they’ve pulled through the crisis and might even match — stitch-wise, not stripe-wise. I sometimes like a good, confusing, mismatched stripe.)

I also tried out a new stitch pattern I’d had brewing in my mind for a manly scarf. (For some reason, my husband says I don’t knit for him. I don’t know what he means! After all, that pair of socks I knit for him last year will be ready as soon as I sew in those last three ends. Sheesh.) Right. So, here’s what I came up with:

As you can see, it went great.

And, last but not least, I worked on some sizing for the child-size version of the Tulip Preemie Hat. I was aiming for a one-year-old size to fit Eva this winter, but I think it may need some work. See what buying a written pattern does for you? It saves you time and frustration because someone else has been frustrated for a time instead.

Oh yeah! I don’t know how I forgot about this one, but I also cast on another Ten-Stitch Blanket with some yarn I picked up in a shop near the cottage. It’s Bernat Mosaic in about five different colourways. It’s acrylic (bleah), machine-washable and -dryable (yay!), and WAY cheaper than the Noro Aya I used in the same pattern for my sister-in-law’s wedding present (yay again!). Even though I strongly believe we knitters should never have to sacrifice using quality natural fibres, my wallet doesn’t always agree with me. And, I have to say, the colours in this yarn are gorgeous, the mixture of them is more to my taste than the Noro’s was, and even though my brain knows I’m feeling acrylic instead of a luscious blend of silk, cotton, and wool, my fingers can’t really tell the difference. Plus, I’ve only come across one tiny knot so far, which is far less than the ten-dollar-a-ball, “high quality” Noro can boast. Oh, and when my kids spill cheerios all over it, make a fort out of it, and just generally rub their kidliness all over it, I won’t care because I can throw it in the washer.

To top the vacation off, I made the mistake of heading to Wool-Tyme for their tent sale, where I picked up a pile of yarn for ridiculously low prices. I’m quite excited about some of it (sock yarn and bamboo DK in vibrant greens and purple), and some has me scratching my head wondering why I thought I needed six huge balls of bright orange acrylic yarn just because my kids like that colour.

Good yarn that will be made into preemie hats

Questionable yarn that will nevertheless make my kids insanely happy as a blanket

Now this orange yarn, on the other hand, is something I consider a good buy. Eco Wool, on sale!

I’m picturing it, along with the leaf green, as stranded mittens for the boys to keep their little fingers double cozy this winter. Makes me feel all good and motherly.

Now, to stay home, stop spending money, and happily work my way through my stash.

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Kindle Cover, Sock-Yarn Blankie Style http://aknitica.com/2010/09/30/kindle-cover-sock-yarn-blankie-style/ http://aknitica.com/2010/09/30/kindle-cover-sock-yarn-blankie-style/#comments Thu, 30 Sep 2010 23:37:30 +0000 http://aknitica.wordpress.com/?p=78 I bought this gorgeous Regia Hand-Dye Effect yarn recently because I love the colours. There’s a shade of blue in there that I could just stare at for hours. I had no pattern in mind when I bought it (which is rare lately; I usually talk myself out of impulse buys by requiring a game […]

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I bought this gorgeous Regia Hand-Dye Effect yarn recently because I love the colours. There’s a shade of blue in there that I could just stare at for hours. I had no pattern in mind when I bought it (which is rare lately; I usually talk myself out of impulse buys by requiring a game plan before I spend money). I just wanted to be able to look at it.

Since its purpose in life was to make my eyes happy, I decided it needed to be knit into something that would play up its colour changes and be constantly where I could look at it. Solution: my new Kindle! I carry it almost everywhere, and it’s just a given that a knitter’s electronics have a multitude of hand-knit sweaters and cozies, so I decided to make Kindle cover number two with this pretty new yarn. (The first cover is a plain, white, wool aran; and even though I love it, it’s white. Blue wins out over white in my world every day.)

Enter: the Sock Yarn Blankie. I’ve been slowly knitting up a real blankie since last summer, and it’s super fun. I’ve also never done entrelac, so continuing with the mitered squares instead of learning a new skill during my last, gooey-brained trimester seemed like a good idea to me. Could I adapt the blankie pattern into a pocket shape or not? It turns out I could, and it was ridiculously easy.

Here’s how you do it:

First, I made two mitered squares. Since the sock yarn blankie casts on 31 stitches, that’s what I did. It turns out that that makes overly large squares, and I now have to sew the sides of my cover to tighten it so the Kindle won’t slide out, but oh well. I have another half ball of the pretty yarn left, so I’ll knit up a second cover with smaller squares to make the fit more snug.

But if you want to get started already making your own cover, this is what you do: using fingering-weight yarn and size 1 US (2.25 mm) needles (I used a circ and treated it like a straight), cast on a reasonable number of stitches that can be divided by two (30 divided by 2 is 15) plus one (hence, 31). Knit a test square to see what size it comes out for you. The measurement you’re aiming for, corner to corner, is slightly less than half the width of your Kindle. I say slightly less because my two 31-st squares were each half, but then when I joined them with other squares, the width expanded to be 1/4″ too wide on either side. Yikes! So even a little more than “slightly” would be good, since the cover will work best if it’s a little snug; then it won’t be randomly slipping off and leaving your poor Kindle naked and at the mercy of whatever else might be in your bag at the time.

But I digress. The formula for making a square is to cast on your even number plus 1, then work in garter stitch, decreasing the centre three stitches of each right-side row with a cdd (sl2 as if to knit, k1, psso). Use an edge stitch to keep your edges neat and easy for picking up stitches later. (The edge stitch is, simply, slipping the first stitch of every row purlwise, with yarn in front, and knitting the last stitch of every row.) Keep decreasing in this manner until you have three stitches left. On the right-side row (the decrease row), to decrease the last three stitches into one, sl1 as if to purl (with yarn in front), sl1 as if to knit (with yarn in back), k1, psso. Cut yarn and pull through.

(For the sake of this formula, I’m going to pretend that we’re all working with 31-stitch squares. Substitute your own numbers once you’ve knit up your gauge square.)

Once you have two independent squares, you’re going to join them together by picking up and knitting a new square between them:

Joining the first two squares by picking up stitches for a new square


Pick up and knit 15 sts along the top left side of the right-hand square, CO 1, pick up and knit 15 sts along the top right side of the left-hand square. 31 sts are on your needle. (You’ll notice that the edge stitch has made a neat little line of stitches along the edge, and there are 15 of them; I pick up both sides of the stitch, the whole “v.”) *Make sure to always pick up and knit your stitches with the right side facing you.*

Knit one row, then commence with the centre double decreases once you’re on the right side again, and decrease as for the first squares.

Now you have three squares, all attached together. Rotate them so the new square is pointing down:

The cast-on edges are now along the top and ready to be picked up.


Now, you’re going to pick up and knit a new square, just like you did already, but along the two cast-on edges of the first two squares. The only difference is that instead of casting on 1 st between the two squares, you’re going to pick up one stitch from the point of the already-made third square.

Next, it’s time to make the bottom corners. This is pretty cool. You’re going to rotate your work again, so the outer edge of one of your first two squares if pointing up. You’re not going to join two squares together this time, but instead pick up 15 stitches from the [now] top right of the square, one stitch from the point, and 15 more stitches from the top left of the square:

Turning the corner

Do the same thing on the opposite corner. Now your shaping is done, and it’s just joining more squares from here on out until your Kindle cover is the right height.

(If you want your cover to open at the side instead of the top, you can see how easy it would be to create a base of three squares instead of two, thereby making your cover wider to fit from top to bottom.)

Next, I built on my base with more squares, picking up 15 sts from the right, one from the top of the square below, and 15 more from the left for each one:

Then, I decided it might look nice with a bigger, focal square, so I built the sides two squares high to leave room for a big one in the middle:

To make the big square, I picked up and knit 30 sts down the right, one in the middle, and 30 up the left. Then I worked my decreases as for the smaller squares, but obviously with more of them. Ta-da! A big square:

Because I liked it so much with the big square, I did the same thing on both sides. You could easily leave the big squares out and just have small squares all over, or put just one big square, or have your big square wrap around the side instead of being centred on the front.

My big squares brought me to the height I wanted for the Kindle cover, so I decided not to make it any taller. I filled in the sides with small squares (one on each side):

Picked up and knit 31 stitches for each small square

I didn’t want to leave the top looking jagged, so I figured I’d knit half-size squares (aka triangles, haha! Remember? Third-trimester mushy brain?) to fill in the gaps.

The way to make the triangles to straighten up the top edges is like this: Pick up and knit 31 sts just like you would for a square. Then, on the wrong side (very first row), do your edge stitch (slip the first stitch as if to purl), k2tog, knit across to the last three stitches, k2tog, k1. Work the right sides as you would for a regular mitered square, decreasing the centre 3 stitches each time with a cdd. Work like this, decreasing at both ends of every wrong side row and in the centre of every right side row, until there are only 3 stitches left (after a right-side row). The next wrong side, sl1 as if to purl, k2tog, psso. Cut your yarn and draw the tail through.

There you have it! A pocket made of mitered squares with which to cover your Kindle. You can, if you like, pick up and knit a border around the top. Ribbing, more garter stitch, even some button holes or handles would look really cute. The choice is yours! And I’d love to see what you come up with. 🙂

Here’s mine:

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