Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tinkerbell mini sock

I was inspired by LisaD's Tinkerbell Mini Sock & asked permission to try to re-create her pattern. She didn't write down what she did! But she said I could try. So here's what I've come up with:

set of 5 size 0 DPNs
a size 0 circular (for blocking petal skirt) or a piece of crochet cotton or yarn long enough to string all the petals on (known as a 'lifeline')
Fingering weight yarn in your choice of color
Note: If you don't use DPNs, you'll have to translate the pattern to whatever method you use.
Organza or fabric of choice (should be light weight see-thru)
WonderUnder or equivalent iron-on bonding material

The skirt is composed of 6 petals. You'll be knitting the petal tips individually, then joining them all to finish creating the skirt. This is knitted into the sock later, after the skirt is blocked.

The only non-standard stitch is in row 3 of the petal tip. You need to make 2 stitches. On this row only, you will need to K1, then M1 by picking up the loop *below* the stitch you just knitted into. This keeps all the M1 stitches on the same row & keeps the petal tip symmetrical. All other M1 stitches are created the usual way by picking up the loop of the next stitch on the left hand needle & knitting into it.

W&T - (wrap & turn) - knit (or purl) the specified number of stitches. Slip the next stitch from the left needle to the right needle, bring your yarn between the needles, slip the stitch back to the left needle and turn the work. Yarn is in correct position to be used for the next row. This pulls the stitch in so you won't have a hole in your work.
Note that I do *not* do this on every stitch, only on the last 2 rows & the 2nd half of the toe/heel; nor do I pick up the wraps to knit or purl them.

Petals (make 6)
Cast on 1
Row 1: KFB
Row 2 & all WS rows: purl back
Row 3: K1 M2 K1
Row 5: K1 M1 K2 M1 K1
Row 7: K1 M1 K4 M1 K1
Continue to increase in this manner until you have 12 stitches.
End with a purl row.
Break yarn, leaving enough to weave in later.

Leave this petal on the needle - this is now a 'holding needle'.

Use a new needle to start the next petal. As you finish each petal, slide the stitches onto the holding needle, making sure the RS is always facing the same way.

Make 5 more petals in the same manner except at the end of the last petal, do not break yarn.

Knit across all petal tips, placing a stitch marker between each petal tip.

Purl back.

Next row - RS: *K1 SSK knit to 3 sts before next marker, K2tog, K1* repeat across each petal tip.
WS row: Purl back
Repeat these two rows until you have 4 stitches between markers, ending with a purl row.
Break off yarn, leaving a long enough tail for sewing later.

At this point, slide the stitches to the circular needle or use a tapestry needle to pick up the stitches onto a lifeline for blocking. Skirt needs to be blocked with the center in a circle. Pin & set to dry while you work the rest of the sock.

If you already have a toe up 24-st mini sock pattern that you like, feel free to use it.

The only way I do toe-up socks is with the provisional cast on. If this is new to you, you can find a good tutorial on that here:
or a written version here:

Here's how I do my toes:

Using the provisional cast on, pick up & knit 12 stitches. Purl back across them (WS row).
Row 1: Knit 11
Row 2: S1 P9 turn
Row 3: S1 K8 turn
Row 4: S1 P7 turn
Row 5: S1 K6 turn
Row 6: S1 P5 turn
Row 7: S1 K4 w&t
Row 8: S1 P3 w&t
Second half of toe:
Row 9: S1 K4 w&t
Row 10: S1 P5 w&t
Row 11: S1 K6 w&t
Row 12: S1 P7 w&t
Row 13: S1 K8 w&t
Row 14: S1 P9 w&t
Row 15: Knit across

Divide these stitches on 2 needles for heel stitches.

Carefully pulling the provisional cast on stitches off, pick up & knit 11 stitches. You'll need to pick up 1 stitch so you have 12 instep stitches on this needle. Knit across 12 instep stitches.

Using stockinette stitch, knit sock foot until it is 1 1/2" from cast on.

Heel is worked over 12 stitches using the same directions as the toe.

After you finish the heel, rounds start at center of heel. You can divide the stitches evenly between the needles as long as you mark the center back.

Knit 12 rounds of stockinette stitch.

If petal stitches are on a life line, place them back on a needle. Hold this needle next to the sock, right side of petals facing towards you.

Next round: Starting at center back of sock, knit one stitch from each needle together to end of round. 24 stitches on working needles, all petal stitches are knitted into the sock.

Knit 10 rounds of stockinette stitch.
Knit 6 rounds of K1 P1 ribbing.
Bind off.
Sew the center back seam on skirt.
Weave in all ends.

Wings are crafted from organza or another transparent-type fabric, preferably one with some stiffness to it.

You won't need much fabric, but create your wing pattern from paper first, until you get a pattern you like. My pattern was drawn as a single unit to make it easier to sew the wings to the sock.

You'll need two layers of fabric with WonderUnder ironed between them. You could add shreds of metallic fibers, colored embroidery floss, bits of glow-in-the-dark thread, etc. between the layers of fabric when you iron them together for your own unique look.

Trace & cut your wing pattern. Fold the finished wings in half & iron for neat fold - wings will stand back from sock & look more like they are in flight.

Sew to center back of sock down the center of the wing pattern.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Frog-It Bookmark

If you don't know how to use 'magic ring' for crochet, google it - there are several excellent tutorials on the web.

Using magic ring, make a starting ring of 6 stitches. Join last st to first st with a sl st & tighten the ring so there is no hole showing. Now the idea is to make a flat circle that will be the frog's head/face. So if you need to do more or fewer stitches to keep this circle flat, then do so. What I did was: ch 1 in same space as sl st, 2 sc in each sc around, join. Next round: ch 2, 2 hdc in each sc around, join. Last round: *Ch 2, 4 hdc in same space, ch 3, sl st in same space*, sl st in next 4 hdc, repeat eye between *'s. I glued goggle eyes on the eye bumps using a hot glue gun.

BTW, I used camo green for my frog but a solid green works, too.

With red, and leaving a 3"-4" tail, sc a chain of 50 sts, or whatever length you want the bookmark to be. Turn & work hdc in each ch, starting with the 3rd ch from the hook. Cut yarn, leaving a 3"-4" tail. Thread tails thru your frog face using 2 different stitches, centering the tongue on the bottom half of the face below the eyes and about half way down. I tied the tails in the back before weaving all ends in. I took the red tails back thru another stitch and then back into the tongue to bury them.

If you find this pattern usable, you are welcome to it. I only made a single bookmark, for a 4 yo boy who loves frogs. And unfortunately, I didn't take pictures of it before I sent it to its new owner.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Customizable Fingerless Mitts

My first pair are Free Spirit … I used the same yarn, but different stripe patterns. I actually like the 2nd mitt better … I think the finer stripes of single rounds looks better. I’ll be knitting at least one more pair, probably a Wild Rebel pair (look below for the explanation of a Wild Rebel ::smiles::).


Size … average woman’s hand, but can be adjusted

The instructions look really long … but they aren’t, honest! They look that way because I explain several things before the actual instructions begin. It’s easier to explain it all first, so you don’t have to read through all the explanations when you start knitting.

Materials & supplies
Finger weight yarn in 2 colors
Note 1: For 2 mitts, I used less than a skein of my MC. I used leftover yarns for CC.
Note 2: You can use various scrap yarns for your CC, or even do the pair in all different left over yarns.
Needles - I used size 1. You may need size 0 for smaller hands, or size 2 or 3 for larger hands.
Stitch marker
Tapestry needle
Scrap of yarn to hold thumb stitches

You’ll need to know how to make a stitch. You can do this 2 ways. Either way will work. Making a stitch is marked in the pattern as M1.
1. You can pick up the yarn between the stitch you just knit and the next stitch. Pick up with the tip of your left needle. Knit into the back of the new stitch. This will make it twist so you won’t have a hole there.
2. I prefer to pick up the top of the stitch in the row below the working row. Use the tip of your right needle to pick up, slip the new stitch to your left needle, and knit as usual.

Random Ribbing
My youngest son wants socks … plain, ribbed socks. I got so tired of regimental K2 P2 or even K3 P2 ribbing that I rebelled and played around with making my own ribbing patterns. I rarely use standard ribbing now. I much prefer the softer look of random ribbing and that is what I’ve used here. If you prefer a standard ribbing pattern, any ribbing pattern that will divide evenly into 52 will work with this pattern.

If you want to use random ribbing, just make up your own pattern as you work the first row after cast on. The only rule for random ribbing is never to use more than 3 knit or 3 purl stitches in a row. If you do, you begin to lose the elasticity of the ribbing and you start to create stockinette stitch instead. You don’t want stockinette stitch yet! So do any combination of knits and purls you happen to feel like, just remember to stop at 3 stitches in a row. NOTE: You’ll need to pay attention on the 2nd row, and possibly the 3rd row, to be sure you are knitting and purling the correct stitches. After that, your pattern should be established well enough that you can see which to do at a glance. You will have to pay more attention to this ribbing pattern than you do to a standard ribbing pattern, since there is no pattern to it.

Slip Stitch
I used a slip stitch pattern to soften the edges of the stripes. The slip stitch row is done on the 1st row of any color change. Again, I used a random pattern here. When doing a slip stitch pattern on ribbing, slip only knit stitches. Slipping purl stitches will put a pattern inside the mitt …. where no one will see it.
Slip stitch pattern: Knit a random number of stitches (I prefer not to go more than 5 stitches) and instead of knitting the next stitch, just slip it from the left needle to the right needle. Repeat to end of round. Knit all stitches on the next round. The slipped stitches will stretch up into the new color, softening the edges of the stripe. Depending on your color choices, the pattern can be soft or very dramatic.

There is no reference in the pattern instructions about color changes. This is because you make up your own pattern as you knit. I’ve done a few samples of the mitts to show various possible patterns. You can do stripes at regular intervals or as the mood strikes. You can use a variegated yarn and do no stripes at all. You can add stripes to just the cuff. You can do all the ribbing in one color and use another color for the stockinette stitch. In other words, create your own mitts.

Be a Free Spirit and use the same yarn but 2 different stripe patterns for a pair. Or be a Wild Rebel and make stripes of all different colors on your mitts. This way, any 2 mitts you pick up are a pair! And it’s a great way to use up all those little balls of yarn you just couldn’t quite bring yourself to throw away.

Gauge: 11 rows / 7 1/2 sts over 1 inch
Using a stretchy cast on, cast on 52 stitches. Begin random ribbing. Be sure to watch your stitches for the first few rows to make sure you are knitting and purling appropriately. At the end of row one you may wish to place a marker to mark beginning of row. I just leave the CO tail hanging and use that for my marker.

I do 32 rows of ribbing to be sure the ribbing covers my wrists completely. You can do a few more (or less) to accomodate whatever stripe pattern you are using … or if your wrists are longer or shorter. The idea is just to make sure the ribbing is long enough to keep your wrists warm.

Once your ribbing is long enough, change to stockinette stitch and begin the hand.
Rnds 1-7 - Knit all stitches in the round.
Begin thumb gusset:
Rnd 8 - M1, place marker, knit to end of row.
Note: Only the M1 stitch should be in front of marker.
Rnd 9 - Knit all stitches to end of round, slipping marker
Rnd 10 - M1, knit to marker, M1. Note: 3 stitches in thumb gusset. Knit to end of round.
Repeat Rnds 9 & 10 until you have 21 stitches in the thumb gusset.
Knit 1 round even in established pattern.

Slip the thumb stitches to a piece of waste yarn. You will have 52 stitches left on the needles. Snug the stitches on each side of the thumb gusset up to each other. Try not to leave too large a space here. You’ll need some space to pick up the rest of the thumb stitches later, but you don’t want a big gaping hole.

Finishing the hand portion

Knit even on the 52 stitches until the mitt just covers your knuckles. You might want to try the mitt on after 10 or so rounds to check how it fits and how many more rounds you think you’ll need. I used 13 rounds to cover my knuckles.
Change to random ribbing and knit in pattern until mitt covers the bottom joint of your little finger - 5 rows should do it for most people. BO in ribbing.

Finishing the thumb

Pick up the thumb stitches on 2 needles. Pick up 7 stitches across top of thumb. Round begins at this point.
Knit in established pattern until the thumb is desired length. I knit until the thumb is about half way between the two joints. I needed 3 rounds. Switch to ribbing and knit until piece covers thumb joint, or desired length. Again, 5 rounds should do it for most people. BO in ribbing.

Weave in any hanging tails.