October 29, 2009

Pincushions, cheap+easy scarflet, and Halloween fun!

Thing #1:  It’s Susan Beal’s week for a Knittn’ Kitten project!

susan's project

From Susan’s blog post:

This is an ultra-simple, very customizable little pincushion project — very easy and quick to make. If you buy a half-yard of a cotton print and a half-yard of corduroy at the Kitten you can make 44 of them, believe it or not!

So Portlanders, stop by the Kitten for the project sheet, vintage fabric, and some buttons, yay!

scarf button recon project

Thing #2:  I contributed an old tutorial I did (originally in CraftStylish) to Dollar Store Crafts – this scarflet uses just a $1 scarf with fringe (from Dollar Tree), some buttons (which you probably have on hand), and no sewing (except sewing on the buttons).  Easy, cheap, and full of creative possibility!

Twisted halloween banner

And lastly, Portlanders, this crazy event is happening at Twisted this weekend!  I don’t know exactly how it’s going to work, but I do know I’m going to be there!!  With my wheel and a bunch of alpaca for spinning, yeah!  I’m planning on spending Saturday there, probably in costume, hope to see you there!

And speaking of Halloween… anyone excited about their costumes?  I am!  I’ll keep it a surprise for now, till we have good photos to show, but I’ll give you a hint – the idea came from my Threadbanger costumes roundup, and also, it’s a group costume!  I sure do love Halloween for all of its craftyness!

Filed under: general crafts,portland stuff — leethal @ 1:56 pm

October 24, 2009

Fingerless Mitts part 3: Knit Gradient Mitts!

Now for part 3 of my Fingerless Mitts Times 3 tutorials from Craft: 10Knit Gradient Mitts!  It’s written as more of a how-to than a normal knitting pattern, with step-by-step instructions and photos to go with them!  I made it into a free PDF – download it directly here or head over to ravelry to add it to your library – and I’m pasting it all right here as well…. enjoy!

knit mitts

This is a fantastic project for beginner knitters bored with scarves – just don’t be scared off by the double pointed needles, which are very easy to use once you get the hang of them. By knitting in the round with DPNs, you only need to know the knit stitch (no purling) and there will be no seams to sew.

Pattern is for sizes Small[Medium, Large].  Pictured are small and large.
(Small will fit kids or women with smallish hands, medium is for most women, and large is for most men.)

Materials:

  • Set of size US 11 double pointed needles
  • 30[35, 40] yards each of two colors of bulky yarn, or multiple strands of finer yarn held together (2 strands chunky, 3 strands worsted, 4 strands DK/sport weight)
  • Tapestry/yarn needle

Gauge is about 3 stitches per inch (un-stretched).

knit gradient mitts knit gradient mitts

Step 1: Cast-On.
Cast-On 18[21, 24] stitches around 3 double pointed needles with Color 1 (C1), so there will be 6[7, 8] stitches on each needle (pictured below, left – with multiple strands of yarn held together to equal a bulky yarn weight).

Step 2: Knit up to the thumbhole.
2a. Join in a circle and knit 5 rows in the round with C1, then knit one row with the second yarn color (C2).  Switch back to C1, with the tail end of C2 over C1 working yarn from left to right, and the working end of C2 over C1 from right to left (pictured below, right).  Bringing the new yarn underneath and over the old when changing colors prevents holes at the seam.

step1 step2a

2b. Following the chart below for color changes, knit up to the C2 stripe that includes the thumbhole.  Carry the yarn up across the stripes without tension, and bring the new yarn over the old with each change.  Knit the first stitch of each new stripe a bit more loosely than the rest to allow for stretch at the seam. (pictured below – how the color change seam should look when turned inside out.)

chart step2b

Step 3: Make the thumbhole.
3a. Knit the first 2 rows of the 5 row C2 stripe normally.  On the third row, bind off 4[5, 6] stitches in the center of the first needle for the left-hand mitt, the third needle for the right-hand mitt (pictured below, left).

3b. Knit around to the hole, then cast back on those 4[5, 6] stitches using a single cast-on (also called wrap cast-on or loop cast-on) (pictured below, right).  Cast on the thumbhole stitches tightly, since they will become looser when you knit into them.  Finish knitting that row, and knit the last row of the C2 stripe normally.

step3a step3b

Step 4: Finish and repeat.
4a. Finish knitting the mitt in color pattern up to the top, then bind off (pictured below, left).  Bind off not too tightly, but also not too loosely to prevent curling.

4b. Tie off and weave in the ends. (pictured below, right)

4c. Repeat all steps for the second mitt.

step4 step5

Tutorial and photos by Lee Meredith, 2009.
For personal use only.
Originally published in Craft: magazine issue 10.

Filed under: knitting,tutorials — leethal @ 3:43 pm

October 22, 2009

October leethal quick knits club

It’s been over a week since I mailed out the October leethal quick knits club packages, so it’s time to show them off!  I was so excited about putting this one together, with its costumes theme!

OctoberQKclub2

So that’s an example of a whole package above, and I’ll start with the patterns, since those are the most fun part!  The 15 yard pattern – Old Timey Moustache (with sideburns)!

Old Timey Moustache!

From the note to members: I went there, I totally caved into the moustache trend, I know.  I had to though, knowing a knit moustache would be such a perfect 10-15 yard project, and wanting a costume-themed October club, I just couldn’t resist!

I designed it so it can be worn with or without glasses to help hold it on, as you can see below:

Old Timey Moustache! Old Timey Moustache!

And pattern #2 – Superhero (or Supervillain) Mask!

Superhero Mask!

It’s garter stitch, asymmetrical, and uses a weird short rows method that I made up (I’m sure it’s been used by others, but I’ve never seen it) for the eyeholes.

Also designed to wear alone or over glasses:

Superhero Mask! Superhero Mask!

The dyed yarn started as solid grey unraveled sweater, which was overdyed with shades of orange, making a variegated grey to reddish brown.  The special thing about this yarn is its fabulously soft fiber content – 40% wool, 30% rayon, 20% angora, 10% cashmere (recycled from an Abercrombie and Fitch sweater).  A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall:

A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall

The bulky weight spun yarn is a blend of 6 different fall-y colors – a yellow wool (recycled from a DKNY 100% wool sweater), 2 different 100% cotton sweater yarns (orange and green), a mystery lace weight orange yarn (maybe wool), and 2 threads (green and light orange); all spun together with tension switching between the different yarns, for a fun, uneven look.  Seeds May Fall:

Seeds May Fall Seeds May Fall

The fun extra was a pair of recycled socks cuffs, or wristwarmers, or fingerless ninja mitts by snipping little holes in the tops for thumbs.  They’ll go great with any superhero costume!!  I thought about making them into ninja mitts myself, but I wanted members to decide if they want them to just be cuffs, or if they want to cut up some other old socks and make multi-sock mitts, or do any other fun embellishments!

sockwristwarmers

Since both costumes can be worn with glasses to hold them on, I included an awesome pair of costume glasses.  Plus a little monster puppet as a bonus Halloween gift!  Lastly, each member got 3 pieces of 2-sided tape to help secure the sideburns and ‘stache in place.

monstersandglasses monsters

Ok, that was October!  I’m starting work on November now, which will be a little extra special since there’s no December club – you have till Nov 1st to sign up!

Filed under: knitting,quick knits,yarn — leethal @ 10:23 pm

October 20, 2009

Fingerless Mitts parts 1+2: Recycled Sock Mitts!

Remember the Fingerless Mitts Times 3 project I had in Craft: 10 back in February? Well, now that it’s getting colder, I want to share the tutorials with all of you do stuff! readers! I’m dividing the 3 mitt types into 2 parts, because the first 2 go together – the 2 different recycled sock mitts, shown together below.  So I’m just going to cut and paste my original article/tutorial, which was edited and cut down a bit to fit in the magazine… here we go!

V1and2-bothsockmitts

I always have cold hands, but being a crafter, photographer, all-around doer of stuff, I feel trapped when my fingers are covered, so fingerless mitts are the perfect solution! Way back in my early knitting years, when I feared patterns and loved fat yarn and quick knits, I developed my super easy, fingerless, shapeless, fat and squishy “ninja mitts,” as I’ve always called them. Then when I dove into recycled crafting I cut up some old socks and came up with a couple versions of sock mitts – which are warmer than you’d think, and super comfortable! All the mitt designs are great for finger mobility, can be pulled up over balled fists for extra warmth, or can be taken off the thumb and pushed back onto wrists for eating or added dexterity. Once you make yourself a pair or three, with all that mitt agility, you will indeed feel like a ninja!

no-sew sock mitts no-sew sock mitts

Version 1: No-Sew Sock Mitts

Materials

  • 1 Pair of socks that won’t unravel easily
  • Scissors
  • Optional sewing machine or embellishing materials

V1FigAstep1 V1FigCstep3

Step 1: First Cut.
Cut the first sock straight across the ankle, just above the heel (above, left).

Step 2: Cut the Thumbhole.
Try on the footless sock with the end that was the top at your thumb and check where you want the thumbhole to be. For mitts that will keep your hands warmer, put the thumbhole down further from the top; for mitts just meant for wrist-warming, the hole can be closer to the top. Make a small cut – smaller than you think it should be – then try on the mitt to see if you need to make it bigger (below). Make small snips until it fits comfortably.

Step 3: Repeat for second mitt.
Hold the first mitt up to the second sock and repeat the two cuts to match (above, right).  If the socks have noticeable seams, keep them on opposite sides of the thumbholes on the two mitts.

V1FigBstep2

Step 4: Optional sewing or embellishment.
4a. This is the “no-sew” version, so this step is completely optional, but if you want to use a pair of socks that will unravel, you can sew a zig zag stitch around the bottoms and thumbholes of each mitt to prevent that from happening (below).  If you decide to sew around the mitts to prevent unraveling, it’ll create a cute ruffled edge.

V1FigDstep4a

4b. If you want to dress up your mitts, you can add some decorative buttons, stitching, or other embellishments – be creative! (below)

V1FigEstep4b

Version 2: Multi-Sock Mitts

Materials

  • 2 or more pairs of socks with similar thickness and stretchiness
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine with zig zag stitch

I’m showing you how to make a basic 2-sock pair of mitts, but you can use the same concepts to take pieces from several socks and make a crazier set. You can even use the leftover feet from version 1 and incorporate them into some multi-sock mitts!

multi-sock mitts multi-sock mitts

Step 1: Cut up socks.
Cut each of the socks into 2 or 3 loops, cutting straight across the ankle just above the heel, somewhere in the middle of the ankle, and if the foot is not too worn, cut just below the heel and above the toe. The loops do not need to be the same width, but each sock should be cut symmetrically to its mate. (below)  The heels and toes can be tossed in your scrap fabric stash, or the trash.  (side note: I made that “diagram” in like 3 seconds because I was under the impression that Craft’s illustrator would re-do it, but they printed mine!  I was a little bit horrified when I saw it printed, but now I laugh about it…)

V2FigAstep1 v2diagram

Step 2: Design your mitts.
Put the loops in order, switching between the two different patterns. Your mitts will look best if you use the tops of one pair for the tops of the mitts, and the tops of the other pair for the bottoms. (below, left)  If one pair of socks is a bit bigger or stretchier than the other, use that one for the bottoms of the mitts.

Step 3: Sew them up.
3a. Turn the loop second from the bottom inside out and put it over the bottom loop, with the top edges aligned (below, right).

V2FigBstep2 V2FigCstep3a

3b. Use a zig zag stitch to sew the loops together around the edge (below, left).  The stitching will make a ruffled edge, especially on thinner, stretchier types of socks.
3c. Repeat sewing each loop until the top one (below, right).  The fabric will stretch a bit when sewing, but try not to stretch it too much.

V2FigDstep3b V2FigEstep3c

Step 4: Create the thumbhole.
Sew the last loop on the same as the others, but leave a hole about 1-1.5 inches wide for the thumbhole. Be sure to lock the ends of this stitch well by sewing back and forth several times since there will be tension on this stitch at the thumb (below, right).  If you want to make your mitts extra neat, sew a zig zag stitch around the thumbhole edges.

V2step3c V2FigFstep4

There you go!  I wear these multi-sock mitts all the time!  They are warmer than you might think, perfect for autumn days or cool evenings – and easy to take off the thumbs and pull down around wrists as wristwarmers when you don’t want your hands covered.  Love them!  Coming later this week, part 3: Knit Gradient Mitts!

mitts times three

Filed under: general crafts,tutorials — leethal @ 2:04 pm

This week at the Kitten

Just want to let locals know about this week’s Knittn’ Kitten project – by Christine Blystone, of Flapper Girl Creations – super cute cupcake patches!  Christine says:

This tutorial features easy-to-follow instructions and full scale pattern (no resizing is necessary!) to make your own iron-on cupcake patches from felt! The finished patch measures 3.5″ high from the top of the cherry to the bottom of the cup, and 3″ across at the widest point. The tutorial also includes instructions on how to attach the patch to your garment.

Cupcake Trio

So head in to the Kitten to get your free project sheet and all the crafty goodies you need to make some cupcakes!

[I have a tutorial blog post coming very soon, just so you know!]

Filed under: general crafts,portland stuff — leethal @ 1:03 pm

October 19, 2009

Book Review: Reversible Knitting

Reversible Knitting Reversible Knitting

I was super lucky to get my hands on a review copy of Lynne Barr’s new book – Reversible Knitting – so my kind of knitting book!  I loveloveLOVE it!!  The first half is “50 Brand-New, Groundbreaking Stitch Patterns” which are all reversible in some way, either identical on both sides, or different but attractive on both sides.  As you can see, the swatches are beautifully photographed to show side A and B:

Reversible Knitting

The pattern types are divided into: faux crochet, rows within rows, openwork, divide & combine, picked up, and double knit.

Reversible Knitting

Now I do not normally enjoy swatching (or even do it unless I really have to) but this book makes me want to swatch, swatch, swatch, just to try out all the crazy cool looking patterns!

Reversible Knitting Reversible Knitting

There are clear charts as needed…

Reversible Knitting

…and photo how-tos for hard to understand techniques (as well as a whole section on special techniques at the end).

Reversible Knitting

Then the second half is (amazing!) reversible designs, which are by Lynne Barr and 12 other designers, including Cat Bordhi, Teva Durham, Wenlan Chia, Norah Gaughan, Véronik Avery….

Reversible Knitting

One of my favorites is this sweater by Wenlan Chia – Winding Path – which can be worn right-side up, upside down, right-side out, or inside out!  Rad!

Reversible Knitting Reversible Knitting

And this hat (Incognita)  by Bonnie Desroches is so me!  Love it!

Reversible Knitting Reversible Knitting

The other hat, Flip Your Lid by Eric Robinson, can be worn 4 different ways!

Reversible Knitting

I really love both of the dresses – Geometric Dress by Teva Durham and Folded Mini Dress by Lynne Barr – but I think they’d only look good on super skinny model-body type women, sigh…  Fun to drool over the knit design though!

Reversible Knitting Reversible Knitting

I also really love both sock/slipper designs which you can see pictured on the back cover image and on the designs page above.  There are a bunch more sweaters too, and some scarves, and more – 20 designs total, all super cool!  This book rocks, seriously!

Filed under: books,knitting — leethal @ 1:33 pm

October 16, 2009

Slowly getting back on track…

Well hello there!  This week has been totally nuts, getting the club packages made up and sent out this afternoon, with 2 other deadlines the same day, and Pete’s parents in town all week… So, I was able to get one of the projects done last weekend, then I worked on the club late into the nights while squeezing in trips to OMSI and the Museum of Contemporary Craft, seeing Sarah Vowell at Powell’s, trivia at Zach’s, and oh-so-much delicious Portland food!!  Oh and I helped out with Twisted inventory for 7 hours on Monday (which was, um, kind of a surprisingly fun break for my brain, really)!  It was a fun kind of busy, for sure, but I’m happy to have a bit of time now to catch up on blogging, knitting, and working on getting my studio in order (finally)!

charleshat2

A few exciting things have been happening with Game Knitting – some rad blog mentions/reviews (and, and) and a super awesome podcast mention (more than just a mention actually) on Hoxton Handmade’s Electric Sheep podcast!  It’s a great podcast, which I’m so happy to have now discovered, so I’m superduper honored to have been talked about!  And thank you so much everyone for all the comments!

backdrop4

There are a couple of active Game Knitting threads going on in the leethal ravelry group – there’s the general Game Knitting topic, and there’s a Game Lists topic in which knitters are sharing their lists for the tv shows they are playing to!  Fun!!  Guttersnipe thought of a brilliant idea of working 2 different game patterns in the same piece, using one list or type of occurrence for one game pattern, and a different list/type for the other – in her case, playing to a hockey game and when something happens with team A, make the switch with one game pattern, and team B for the other pattern.  Genius!

my bulky skoodlet mt hood skoodlet

In local news – if you are a newish knitters, scared to attempt my Skoodlet pattern because of the provisional cast-on, short rows, seaming, buttonholes, math, you may be interested in my Skoodlet class happening at Twisted on Oct 25th and Nov 1st.

Ocean Breezes

And other Twisted news – if you like my Ocean Breezes hat and are sad you can’t get the pattern for a year, you can sign up now for 2010′s Single Skein Club!  This is not just for locals – they’ll ship anywhere in the US (possibly further, you can call and ask).  Twisted is a fabulous shop, and the club is super fun, with patterns by local designers and a different skein of yarn to match every other month, all year long!

Kitten Project kitten project

Lastly, the new Knittn’ Kitten project for this week is by Joey Groendes, of Addie Pearl.  Joey says:

This project is one of the very first things I ever made using felt. I realized that I could make my own templates and ANYTHING could be sewn together! I chose this project because it is very simple and anyone can make their own purse/bag. Knitt’n Kitten is packed with items that can be utilized to make a Halloween cat/devil bag. I believe I whipped out a quick single crochet chain for the strap, but you could use cord or rick rack or add beads to the crochet chain to make it fancy.

Head over to the Kitten for the free project sheet!

Ok that’s it for tonight.  I’ve been finishing this post while watching 30 Rock, which is such a good show that it’s taken me 2 episodes to plug in the pictures!  One of my many favorite quotes:  “Why are you wearing a tux?”  “It’s after 6.  What am I, a farmer?”

Filed under: knitting,portland stuff,random stuff — leethal @ 1:31 am

October 7, 2009

New hat pattern! Plus new project!

Ocean Breezes Ocean Breezes

Don’t get too excited, this one is just for Twisted Single Skein Club members for now, but I’m excited to finally get to show you anyway!  I designed this hat – Ocean Breezes (rav link) – for Twisted many months ago and it’s been so hard to keep it so secret!  It will be for sale to all through Twisted in 2010, then I’ll be able to start selling it in a year, so I’ll let you know when it’s available!

Ocean Breezes

I designed it as a big, slouchy beret-style, then the test knitter knit it up in a tighter gauge, resulting in a smaller, cloche-style, which turned out super cute!  (Modeled by Twisted co-owner Emily!)  And either size hat is adjustable to any size with button placement – speaking of buttons, do you love those fish buttons as much as I do?  They totally inspired the hat design… the yarn in that colorway, plus the discovery of those buttons, and tah-dah!  Ocean hat!  I knit up my first prototype (which is much bigger and a little different) in some hand-dyed green yarn, and I made another one in the same yarn but a different color (dark reddish brown) – haven’t taken photos of those yet, but I love them both!

Ocean Breezes

And, if you’re here in PDX, be sure to make it over to Knittn’ Kitten this week, for the new free project by Sister Diane! Diane says:

I wanted to do a little project that makes a simple, useful gift you can make for pretty much anyone on your list. The patchwork process is very easy – even if you’ve never done any patchwork, you can do this. Then, all you need are some inexpensive cotton dishtowels from your variety or dollar store.

I got to see the samples in person when I was in on Saturday (to gather supplies for my upcoming project!) – so cute!

diane's project

Something excited for the rest of you… it’s been revealed that we are going to be compiling all of these Kitten projects into an ebook for everyone in November!  So that’ll be rad!

Ok that’s it for today!  Back to spinning recycled yarn with me!

Filed under: hats,knitting,portland stuff — leethal @ 5:36 pm

October 3, 2009

Some last minute Portland craftyness…

I’ve been so caught up in ebook-making world for the last week+ that I haven’t been keeping up with anything else, like Portland news stuff!  A couple things real quick now, for any Portlanders reading this late Friday night or Saturday morning/early afternoon.

miscellaneous1.jpg

100th Monkey Studio is having a swap!!  Tomorrow (or today, Saturday) 11am-4pm.  Art+craft materials, bring what you don’t want anymore, take home a big bag of new stuff to replace the old, yeah!  These photos are from their first swap that I went to, 2 years ago – it was fabulous!!

painting4.jpg myyarn.jpg

And, I’m so sorry I haven’t been keeping up with the free Knittn’ Kitten projects – you can still get Teresa‘s beaded hairpin project sheet tomorrow (Sat), and there may be some left next week… (the Kitten is closed on Sun/Mon)

teresa's hairpins

And then next week at the Kitten is Diane‘s project, so I’m sure that will be superawesome, like everything she does!!

Thank you all for the great Game Knitting response!!  I’m so excited to have heard from some of you who already started playing – can’t wait to see projects start popping up on ravelry!

I’m having an issue with either wordpress or yahoo mail, which I didn’t even realize had been going on for a week or so and I just noticed last night – I haven’t been getting comments emailed to me like they usually are.  Which means I won’t be replying to comments via email until I get it figured out.  So, just know that I really appreciate every comment I get, they always make me happy to read, and if I get any questions and still haven’t sorted out the email problem, I’ll just answer in the comments, so then everyone can read the answer… ok that’s all for now.

Filed under: portland stuff — leethal @ 1:51 am

October 1, 2009

My first ebook! Game Knitting!

Ohmygosh, it’s done, it’s really done!  I thought this day would never come!  This ebook concept has been brewing in my head, in some form or another, since early 2007, no kidding!  For quite some time it was just going to be a blog post, then I had plans to make a free pdf, but then the more I worked on it and developed it further, it made sense to turn it into a whole book!  An ebook that started out (in outline form) being about 13 pages, then grew into about 30 pages, then eventually ended up totaling 65 pages! Whoa baby!

ebook cover

So that’s it – Game Knitting!  The book includes enough patterns to make over 150 different designs – but the whole point is that you can make up your own patterns and ideas, take it into other items, and your design options truly become infinite!  You could even use the concept with other crafts beyond knitting – crochet, embroidery, cross stitch, weaving?

scarf5

So ok, what’s game knitting? What am I even talking about?  It’s the concept that was used to knit all those teaser hats I’ve been sneaking into blog posts since the beginning of the year.  You have to buy the ebook to get all the specifics, but the basic concept is free to all!*  From the intro page:

If you love both knitting and playing games, maybe you’ve wished you could somehow do both at the same time. Sure, you can knit a few rows while waiting for a Scrabble player to figure out their move, but it’s a bit trickier to work your needles and hold a hand of cards simultaneously. Well now here’s a way you can not just play and knit, but turn your knitting itself into the game! And create a truly one-of-a-kind knit object in the process, defined by the randomness of its design.

Game knitting, as it was invented and played to make the items you see here, is based around TV shows, which means if you don’t consider yourself a game lover, but you do have a weakness for television, you too will love game knitting! However, if you want to, some creative thinking can surely move the game away from the screen (and the book includes many ideas).

Game knitting is a concept as opposed to a pattern, which means it can be used to make anything you can knit, as long as it’s a simple enough shape. The book features mostly hats, but there are also examples of scarves, mitts, headbands, and cuffs; knit whatever you love most, as it works out best to game knit an object you are familiar with knitting in the first place. As you can knit any shape, you can also game knit with any yarn/needles/gauge.  You could even take it further and use the concept in non-knitting projects!

This information is also on the Game Knitting page of my website, along with little thumbnail previews of every single page, to try to create the illusion of flipping through the book!  You can enlarge the first few pages (including the table of contents) and get a sense of how the book looks overall.

mscllacehat3 game knitting webpage thumbnails

The ebook is designed for optimal computer screen viewing (large, spaced out font for easy reading) and the pages you may want to print out have smaller pictures, which you can print in grayscale to save on ink.  The pages you wouldn’t have any reason to print are full of lots of large color photos.  Thanks so much to Diane, for both the help in learning Pages to build it, and for the ebook inspiration!

savedhat3

And more about the concept… from page 4 of the book:

The easiest way I’ve found to describe how game knitting works is this:
You make a list of reoccurring things that happen in a TV show, as if you are going to play a drinking game to the show (drink each time something on the list happens), and you want it to be a crazy night!  Which means, if you really were to turn your list into a drinking game, you’d either want to take very small sips of light beer, or you’d be too drunk to play after a couple of episodes.  So, once you have this game list, you design a knitting pattern around doing/changing something in your work every time something on the list happens.  This may be as simple as switching from knit to purl stitches, or making an eyelet hole, or something a bit more complex, like cabling or turning your work for a short row.  Just don’t try actually playing a drinking game as you game knit!

Once you get the concept, you can see that it could be used in forms other than playing to TV.  Make a list of things that your favorite podcaster is always saying, or things that keep happening in the audio book you’re listening to, or things that happen every day on your train commute; anything that you know will happen at some random interval, and you can watch out for while you knit.  Now that you know what game knitting is…

Why game knit?

1. It’s fun!  Especially if you’re playing with others (they don’t necessarily have to be knitting), so you can all shout out when something on the list happens.  Your finished knit item will carry with it the memories of the game playing!

2. Randomness is cool looking!  It’s hard to make a pattern look random on purpose; game knitting it a way to create a look of chaos (in a good way!) because your pattern really is random.

3. Inspiration!  If you are a designer, or want to try knit designing, seeing the way a certain game pattern works up can be great inspiration for new design concepts!  It can also be a fun cure for creative block.

buffymitts4

Pete and I have a way fun time watching silly TV shows while I’m game knitting, calling out whenever a list item happens on screen.  (It’s super similar to Bad Movie Bingo!)  And I lovelovelove the random (as Pete calls them, chaos) patterns that result!!

bobhat1

Besides about 11 base patterns (hats, headbands, mitts, etc) and 18 different game patterns, with tons of variations and notes for how to design your own, the ebook also includes:

  • Game lists for 11 TV shows
  • A list of game list ideas beyond television
  • How-tos for 3 types of cabling, 2 with no cable needle
  • Instructions for adding ear flaps to any hat
  • Blocking tips
  • Links to other technique tutorials

fullheadband2

Want to hear how the concept first came into my head?  It was way way back when I worked my day job in a photo lab/camera shop in Orange County… I had a supercool boss who let me knit behind the counter when there were no customers (which was pretty often during most times of the year), so I was always picking up my knitting for a short while, putting it down to help someone, and picking it back up, all throughout the day.  So one day I brainstormed the idea of changing my knitting pattern every time I put it down and picked it back up – and I tried it, and it resulted in this hat!

workhat2

So, it worked, just not spectacularly.  Not many changes makes it look more like stockinette/reverse stockinette “ribbing” instead of a random pattern.  But I loved the idea, and wanted to take it somewhere.  I don’t remember how exactly it evolved into the TV show system, but I’m guessing it involved a conversation with Pete, and he definitely had a big part in developing the idea, and in making the game lists.  The next try was this hat, played to My So-Called Life:

msclearflapshat1

Those were back in 2007, then in early ’08 I picked up the concept again, knitting a couple more bulky hats to try out some new ideas:

buffylacehat2

But I got distracted and didn’t get back into it till early this year, when I started making hat after hat, and then some non-hats – my example item number has now reached 19!  (20 actually, but I count my cuff pair as 1 item because I meant for them to be a set.)  See them all in the Game Knitting flickr set!

clarissacuffs2

So that’s that, game knitting’s path from bored at work to ebook!  Because of the way you play (when we thought of the TV idea) the working title when Pete and I talked about it was always “drinking game knitting”, hah!  To some perfectionist knitters, the chaos patterns might look like you knit them while drunk!  I love the randomness though, I hope you do too!

bobbles1

Wow, so much info, here’s all you really need to know: The 65 page ebook (16.9MB) is $9Click here to directly purchase it; click here to go to the ravelry page (and get it there); click here to go to its webpage where you can check out all my other patterns too.

Your purchase of the ebook means you’ll get any future updated versions if there are ever changes or additions.  There’s even a chance I might add more patterns in the future, if I figure out any more that look great, so you’ll automatically get the updates emailed to you.

arrestedhat3

*I’ve chosen to give away the basic Game Knitting concept to everyone, and of course you are free to play even if you don’t purchase the ebook, but I do ask for one thing in exchange – if you knit something using this concept, and post it on ravelry, flickr, your blog, etc, please link to my game knitting page (or this blog post) so that your followers/friends learn about it!  Thanks!!

Also, the game knitting term and the content in this blog post and on the webpage are protected under Creative Commons.  Feel free to post any of my images if you want to talk about it on your blog, etc, as long as you credit and link to me, thanks!  (And a quick note: the book has taken me an insane number of hours to make, and there is tons of specific info about everything game knitting related, so if you’re playing with the concept without the book and having a hard time, I would guess that the book will answer any questions you might have and make it all much easier for you!)

metyourmomhat4

One more quick note – if you get the book and notice any typos, confusingly worded sentences, or anything confusing or weird in general, please let me know!  This is the biggest project I’ve ever done, and I fear I may have missed mistakes in my proofing, but the great thing about ravelry is once it’s up for sale, I can always update the pdf any time I make any changes, and updated versions will go out to anyone who already bought it.  So yeah, don’t hesitate to let me know about anything that might possibly need changing, thanks!

And I’ll leave you with my original cover image, which I actually like a lot better than the real cover, but I thought the (badly Photoshopped) remote addition was important since TV watching is such a major part of game knitting play, and my favorite of the blooper shots:

original cover bloopershot

Filed under: books,hats,knitting,self-publishing — leethal @ 10:39 pm
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