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Monthly Archives: May 2014

Etsy Shop now Open!

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Exciting news!!! My Etsy Shop is now open!
MagpieShineyEmporium
I am currently in the process of adding items to it, namely vintage knitting and crocheting patterns for instant pdf download (so no waiting for the posts, you can get started immediately).

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Come and have a look at what else there is, I’m constantly adding new exciting items.

What are you looking for though? Good quality needles perhaps? Or shiney new yarn? Let me know and I’ll see what I can do about getting it, for an affordable price too 🙂

Increase

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Do you have a favourite increase? When your pattern reads “increase”, what’s your automatic go to?
My favourite double increase comes from a wonderful book called “Knitting from the Top” by Barbara G. Walker. When worked in stocking stitch it creates a smooth, flowing increase with out any holes- perfect for raglan seams.

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Unfortunately I have no name accept Double Increase #4 :s but here goes:
Knit to the stitch you want to increase on either side of, your “seam stitch”.

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Knit into the back of the stitch in the row below the “seam stitch”, inserting needle downward into the purled head of this stitch on the wrong side of your work.

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Then knit into the back of the “seam stitch” itself.

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Then with left needle draw up the left side loop of the same stitch you picked up and knitted into in the row below, and knit into the back of this strand for the third stitch.

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Ta da! A neat double increase 🙂

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Unfortunately this stitch can only be created when working a knit row, but if you’re working in the round you can easily use it to increase on every row.

Best foot forward!

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Are you a sock knitter? If so, do you often find yourself making the same design over and over again?
I get so fed up with socks that a pair often gets made in two colours (just to peak my interest) and God forbid any one pair should ever be re-created!
Saying this though, a sock is a great way of learning different shaping techniques, can often be made out of one skein only, and is easily transportable for on the go! Not only that, but socks never go to waste- there is always some one you know who would love a pair of foot warmers for their birthday or crimbo.
So how to get us doing more of them? And getting them to fit!?
Well here are a few alternative heel choices for you to give a go, taken from the wonderful books “socks a la carte” by Jonello Raffino and Katherine Cade.

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They also have wonderful flip pages so you can try designing  the perfect sock for you 🙂

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The Dutch heel is probably the most commonly used style, as it is so hard wearing and durable.

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The band heel seems to be often forgotten, which is a shame as it gives a lovely neat and tidy finish.

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If you want to learn short rows then this is the perfect first garment to try them out in- but practise does make perfect where these are concerned. It’s great for keeping the continuity of self striping yarn, and for carrying any pattern from the body a cross to the top of the foot.

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The origami heel is the perfect alternative to the short row heel, as it has a very similar look and characteristics, but is much easier to create.

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The v-heel is also referred to as the half handkerchief heel, and a great way to escape the monotony of Kitchener stitch.

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The round heel is perfect for your lounging socks. It shapes perfectly to the human heel, so maximum comfort is assured!

So my challenge to you all is to go and try out a new style of heel- break free from the norm and learn something new- whilst creating that perfect sock you’ve always dreamed of!

Recycle, the possibilities are endless…

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I love this vintage tip, I recommend everyone giving it a go 🙂

reuse-woolI have a million UFOs (Unfinished Objects) hidden around the house, and one of these is a mustard yellow top that I started knitting 2 or more years ago, and have never finished.

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Unfortunately I didn’t keep a project diary (only a few scrappy notes) so there is no chance I’m ever going to figure out where i got to in the pattern, let alone finish this project- whoops! (Note to everyone out there, project diary’s are very important!)

But in the spirit of waste not want not, I will hopefully be able to reuse my yarn following the Vintage instructions above.

So after unraveling I get this:

008Time to wind:

010I steamed it using a just boiled kettle (luckily my wool was clean so no washing required). And after an over night wait, I now have beautiful wool I can re-use!

011012I am soooo pleased! What a fantastic result (even if I do say so myself)!
The only question is… what to knit with it next. (And this time I will finish the project, well definitely/ maybe!)