May 18, 2015

Loom FAQs: How much yarn?

Loom-FAQs1Another question I see often is How much yarn do I need to complete a blanket of a certain size?  Or…  I have 2 balls of yarn and will it be enough to make a scarf?  But mainly what triggered this topic is the question I asked myself after not writing down the amount of yarn I used when writing a pattern:  How much did I use??  Discovered this past week that I did that with 3 patterns I am working on.  THREE!!  Sigh…  So in the interest of helping myself, I will try to help you calculate yardage needed.  Or used…

Before we start, here is the cheat sheet to what is written in the equations.

  • When you see a lower case x in the equation, it means to multiply.
  • When you see a forward slash /, it means to divide.
  • Grab a calculator and solve!

If you use the metric system, all you need to do is just replace yards with meters, and you are good to go!

How do I calculate how much yarn BEFORE I start a project?

In order to calculate the yardage needed before you start, you will need to work a swatch.  Before starting the swatch, measure 5 yards of yarn or use a little device that measures yarn as you go and cut.  If you don’t want to cut it, place a pin or something else at the 5 yard spot.  You will then work your swatch with the stitch you are going to use in your project until you have used all of the 5 yards.  Count your stitches.  You can calculate the total by counting how many worked across and multiply that by how many rows you worked.  The equation will look like this:

(number of stitches) x (number of rows) = total number of stitches

Now you know how many stitches you worked with 5 yards of yarn.  Now you divide that by 5 to get how many stitches are in a yard.

(total number of stitches in 5 yard) / 5 yards = number of stitches in 1 yard of yarn

You can work the swatch with just 1 yard.  It will be tiny though.  Remember that you will also need to measure for gauge as well.

Now you measure how wide and tall it is just like you do when measuring gauge.  When you know how many stitches are in an inch, you can calculate the total number of stitches needed to create the size you want.  Which will also give you the number of pegs to cast on when you do start your project.

First, you will multiply the number of stitches in an inch by the total inches for the width.

(number of stitches in an inch) x (total number of inches wide) = total number of stitches across

Second, you will multiply the number of rows by the total inches in the length desired.

(number of rows in an inch) x (total number of inches long) = total number of rows long

Third, multiply the 2 previous answers together to get the total number of stitches in your finished item.

(total number of stitches wide) x (total number of rows) = total number of stitches in the project

You will now divide the total number of stitches by the number of stitches in a yard to get how many yards you will need to work this item.

(total number of stitches) / (number of stitches per yard) = total yards of yarn

If you need help with gauge in general, you can reference my previous article on gauge by clicking here.

How do I calculate how much yarn I used AFTER I completed a project?

If you have the item on hand, you will just need to weight the item and do some simple calculations.

I use a postal scale to weight my items.  You can also use a food scale or other scales that weight small amounts.

First you need to know how much your yarn weights per yard.  The amount is usually so small that you cannot just weight a yard of yarn.  You will either need to weight 5 yards and then divide by 5 or you can just get a rough calculation from the skein of yarn itself.

If you still have the band or label from the yarn, there are 2 key pieces of information that will help you in this.  The weight of the skein or ball and the yardage in that skein or ball.  All you will do is this:

(Weight in grams or ounces) / (amount in yards) = how much a yard weighs in grams or ounces

Now that you know how much a yard of the yarn you used weighs, you then weight your completed item and divide the total weight of the item by how much a yard of the yarn weighs.  Which is this:

(Weight of item) / (weight of a yard of yarn) = how many yards you used

If you don’t have the item but needing the yardage because you are writing a pattern and forgot to write it down before shipping it off because your name is Renita and you are forgetful, you will need to use the same method as calculating before starting a project.

Or you can just calculate how much yarn you have left over using the method of weighing the yarn left over and subtract it from the total number of yard in the skein.  If you used more than one skein or ball, just add the total used before the partial skein by adding the total yards in each skein based off of the yards listed on the label then add the yards used in the partial skein to get the total yards.

Well that was deep and about as clear as mud.  If we are lucky, all the math has been covered now.  Maybe…

Questions lead to answers which is knowledge.  Knowledge is power.  So be powerful!  Keep asking questions and keep on loom knitting!

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May 15, 2015

Victoria’s Shrug

Victoria's Shrug

Evenings are still a little chilly during springtime, knit a delicate lace shrug to keep away the chill. The shrug features an easy lace detail throughout the shrug.

Knitting loom: All-n-One Knitting loom with 20 peg extenders. 122 pegs used.

Yarn: Approx 230 yards of worsted weight wool/silk blend yarn. Sample was worked in Juniper Moon Farm Moonshine. Color Azalea.

Notions: Knitting tool, tapestry needle, row counter (optional)

Gauge: 10 sts x 14 rows=2inches in stockinette 

Size: S (M, L)

Small: 24 inches across (from shoulder to shoulder). 11″ in length.
Medium: 25 inches across (from shoulder to shoulder). 12″ in length. Shown
Large: 27 inches across (from shoulder to shoulder). 13″ in length

Abbreviations

p=knit

p=purl

wyib=with yarn in back

yo=yarn over

k2tog=knit two stitches together

skp=slip one, knit one, pass slipped stitch over.

sts=stitches

Victoria's Shrug Full Back

INSTRUCTIONS

Cast on 114 (122, 130) sts, prepare to work a flat panel

Row 1- Row 8: *k2, p2; rep from * to last 2 sts, k2.

Row 9: k to the end of row.

Row 10: k2tog, k to the end of row. (113, 121, 129 sts remain)

Begin Shrug BodyVictoria's Shrug close up front

Row 1: *k1, skp, k, [yo, k1] twice, k2tog; rep from * to last st, k1.

Row 2 and all even rows: k to the end of row.

Row 3: *k1, skp, yo, k3, yo, k2tog; rep from * to last st, k1.

Row 5: *K1, yo, k1, k2tog, k1, skp, yo, k1; rep from * to last st, k1.

Row 7: *K2, yo, k2tog, k1, skp, yo, k1; rep from * to last st, k1.

Row 8: k to end of row.

Rep Rows 1-8: Until panel measures approx 11 (12, 13) inches from cast on edge (or until desired length).

End Shrug Body

Next row: Cast on 1 stitch at beginning of next row (114, 122, 130 stitches on the loom). K1, *p2, k2; rep from * to end of row.

Next 7 rows: *k2, p2; rep from * to last 2 sts, k2.

Bind off with basic removal method. Weave ends in. Block.

ASSEMBLY

Flat

Fold in half, then using the mattress stitch, seam the side of the ribbed edges to each other. See picture for assistance.

Folded in half

 

Seaming 2

Victoria's Shrug Seamed

Need assistance breaking down the stitch pattern?

Stitch Breakdown
The stitch pattern is over 8 pegs. Repeat the following instructions every 8 pegs.

Tip: Place markers every 8 pegs (Pegs 9, 17, etc.)

Row 1: k1, skp, k, [yo, k1] twice, k2tog.

  • Knit peg 1.
  • Skip peg 2 wyib.
  • Knit peg 3.
  • Move loop from peg 3 to peg 2. Lift bottommost loop off peg 2.
  • Knit peg 4 and move loop from peg 4 to peg 3.
  • YO (ewrap) peg 4.
  • Knit peg 5.
  • Move loop from peg 7 to peg 8.
  • Move loop from peg 6 to peg 7.
  • YO (ewrap) peg 6.
  • Knit peg 7.
  • Knit peg 8.

Row 2 and all even rows: k to the end of row.

Row 3: k1, skp, yo, k3, yo, k2tog

  • Knit peg 1.
  • Skip peg 2 wyib.
  • Knit peg 3.
  • Move loop from peg 3 to peg 2. Lift bottommost loop off.
  • YO (ewrap) peg 3.
  • Knit pegs 4, 5, 6.
  • Move loop from peg 7 to peg 8.
  • YO (ewrap) on peg 7.
  • Knit peg 8.

Row 5: K1, yo, k1, k2tog, k1, skp, yo, k1

  • Move loop from peg 3 to peg 4.
  • Move loop from peg 2 to peg 3.
  • Knit peg 1.
  • YO (ewrap) peg 2.
  • Knit peg 3, 4, 5.
  • Skip peg 6 wyib.
  • Knit peg 7.
  • Move loop from peg 7 to peg 6. Lift bottommost loop off.
  • Knit peg 8 and move it to peg 7.
  • Yo (ewrap) peg 8.

Row 7: K2, yo, k2tog, k1, skp, yo, k1

  • Knit peg 1 and peg 2.
  • Move loop from peg 3 to peg 4.
  • YO (ewrap) peg 3
  • Knit peg 4 and peg 5.
  • Skip peg 6 wyib.
  • Knit peg 7.
  • Move loop from peg 7 to peg 6. Lift bottommost loop off.
  • YO (ewrap) peg 7.
  • Knit peg 8.

 

5 Comments

  • hello from france!
    one video for this nice shrug?

  • what cast on would you recommend and my aio loom with extenders is only 106 pegs so I can’t do the 114 cast on for small.

  • What cast on method should be used?

    Thanks.

  • I did the regular ewrap (but then I tightened it when I was done with the project).

  • can you make a video

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May 11, 2015

Whimsical Loom Knits – May 2015

Mini Messenger Bags

It has been said that a person’s choice of  purse, and how they carry it, tells a lot about that person.  Show off your ‘purse-onality’ with these darling mini messenger bags.  This quick little project is a fun way to use up yarn remnants from other projects.

IMG_3071-1024x715

Materials

Knitting Loom:  KB Hat Loom

Yarn:  Small amount of worsted weight yarn

Notions:  Knitting tool, scissors, yarn needle, 8mm jump ring, keychain ring, button

Finished Size:  Approximately 2” wide by 3.5” tall (including strap).

Gauge:  Not essential for this project.

 

Instructions

Bag:

Prepare the loom to work in small gauge.  Leaving a 10” yarn tail, cast on 10 stitches using the double e-wrap cast on method.

Rows 1-30:  [K2, P2] 2 times, K2.

Rows 31-32:  Sl 1, P8, K1.

Rows 33-34:  Sl 1, K1, [P2, K2] 2 times.

Row 35:  Sl 1, K1, P2, K2, P2, K2tog.

Row 36:  Sl 1, P2, K2, P2, K2tog.

Row 37:  Sl 1, P2, K2, P1, K2tog.

Row 38:  Sl 1, P1, K2, P1, K2tog.

Row 39:  Sl 1, P1, K2, K2tog.

Row 40:  Sl 1, K2, K2tog.

Bind off using the basic bind off method.  The knitted piece will look like this:

IMG_3061 (800x600)

Set aside for now.

 

Strap:

Prepare the loom to work in small gauge.  Leaving a 5” yarn tail, cast on 2 stitches using the double e-wrap cast on method.

Rows 1-40:  Sl 1, K1.

Bind off using the basic bind off method, leaving a 5” yarn tail.  Gently pull on the strap to help set the stitches in place.  Set aside for now.

 

Assembly:

Working with the knitted piece for the bag, fold the cast on edge (bottom edge) up to meet the first purled row.

IMG_3062 (800x600)

Thread the cast on yarn tail on to the tapestry needle. Seam the side of the bag closed.  Weave in the yarn end.  Cut another 10” length of yarn and seam the other side of the bag closed.  Weave in both yarn ends.  The bag will look like this:

IMG_3063 (800x600)

Thread a yarn tail from one end of the knitted strap on to the tapestry needle.  Sew the strap to the side of the bag, near the flap:

IMG_3064 (800x600)

Weave in the yarn tail.  Thread the yarn tail at the other end of the knitted strap on to the tapestry needle.  Pull the tapestry needle through the center of the jump ring and slide the jump ring to the center point of the knitted strap.  Now sew the strap to the other side of the bag:

IMG_3065 (800x576)

Weave in the yarn tail.

Weave in the yarn tail on the flap at the top of the bag.  Fold the flap down over the front of the bag.  Sew a button to the front of the flap.  Use the jump ring to attach the knitted bag to the key ring.

IMG_3066 (800x600)

 Happy purse knitting!

1 Comment

  • Uber darling-iscious!!!! So very big on style for such a teeny thing! :D

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May 8, 2015

Baby Leg Warmers

Baby Leg Warmers Set. Small Logojpg

Knit up a pair of adorable baby leg warmers to keep the baby nice and warm during the springtime evenings.

Knitting loom: Sock Loom 2. All-n-One knitting loom can also be used. 

Yarn: Baby Cables Leg Warmers: Approx 100 yds of worsted weight baby alpaca blend yarn. Sample was knit using Plymouth Yarn Baby Alpaca Brush. Color 2671 (light pink). Slouchy Leg Warmers: Approx 100 yds of sports weight merino wool yarn. Sample was knit using Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash. Color 101 (pink blends).

Notions: knitting tool, tapestry needle, cable needle (or a stitch holder).

Gauge: 20 sts x 24 rows= 4 inches in stockinette.Baby Cables Leg Warmers 2

Size:  6-9 months

Abbreviations

K=Knit stitch (May substitute with the flat stitch or the u-stitch). Sample was worked with the U-stitch.

P=purl stitch

LC=Left Cross (LC)—done over 2 stitches

Step 1: Take working yarn behind peg 1 (skipping peg 1).

Step 2: Knit peg 2; remove loop and place stitch on cable needle and hold it to the center of the loom.

Step 3: Move stitch from peg 1 to peg 2 (leaving peg 1 empty).

Step 4: Place stitch from cable needle on peg 1.

Step 5: Knit peg 2.

Rep=Repeat

Rnd(s)=Round(s)

Pattern notes: It is imperative to use a loose cast on method such as the ewrap cast on. Also, recommend to bind off loosely.

INSTRUCTIONS

 Baby Cables Leg Warmers

~Using the Baby Alpaca Blend Yarn

Cast on 32 sts, prepare to work in the round.

Rnd 1-6: *k2, p2; rep from * to end of rnd.

Rnd 7: *LT, p2; rep from * to end of rnd.

Rnd 8: *k2, p2; rep from * to end of rnd.

Rep Rnds 5-8: 8 more times (or until desired length).

Next 5 rnds: *k2, p2; rep from * to end of rnd.

Bind off loosely with open removal method. Weave ends in. Block lightly.

 

Slouchy Leg WarmersSlouchy Leg Warmers 2 Small and Logo
~ Used the merino wool blend yarn

Cast on 32 sts, prepare to work in the round.

Rnd 1-10: *k2, p2; rep from * to end of rnd.

Next 6 rnds: k to the end of rnd.

Next 4 rnds: p to the end of rnd.

Rep last 10 rnds: 4 more times (or until desired length).

Next 10 rnds: *k2, p2; rep from * to end of rnd.

Bind off loosely with open removal method. Weave ends in. Block lightly.

 

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May 4, 2015

Stitchology IX

Popcorn Stitch

Popcorn Stitch Square

I have always loved this stitch!  This is actually one of the first of the “special” stitches I learned on the looms about 10 years ago.  It provides a wonderful, lofty texture with such a delicate design, yet is accomplished using only those basic techniques that are learned when first looming a hat!  It’s a terrific way to add some wow factor Popcorn Stitch back sideto any project, without also adding complicated stitches that might slow you down. ;)

The other terrific thing about the Popcorn Stitch is that the back is lovely too!  This makes the stitch perfect for scarves, blankets, and any type of project that could be seen from both sides.

In this monthly column we’re going to be working on some exciting new stitch patterns, as well as a few new techniques thrown in for good measure.  My intention for our yarn play is to provide all the know-how for you to be able to work the new stitch; any charts, photos, or videos you may need; as well as a pattern to create an 8” x 8” square.  As we go along in our looming journey, we should be able to create lovely pieced afghans with our squares, as I like to know that we’re going somewhere while swatching, don’t you?  You can think of it as our Stitch Sample Afghan—a stitch dictionary right at your fingertips, keeping your legs warm, lol. ;)  To find all the previous stitches in this column, simply click here.

Popcorn Stitch Square

Items Needed

Loom: Authentic Knitting Board Adjustable Hat Loom: 2 rounded pieces + 3 peg connectors, with pegs in all holes for a 3/8” gauge.  The Sock Loom 2 or the All-n-One Loom could also be used.

Yarn: approx. 75 yards Worsted Weight (Sample uses Berroco Vintage in sakura)

Notions: Loom tool, yarn needle, scissors.  (Also helpful: peg markers, row counter, and blocking pins)

Pattern Notes:

To work this pattern in the round such as for a hat, use the Main Pattern Rows directions, but simply work all stitches in EW, as there will be no need for extra border stitches.  Make sure to also use an even number of pegs.

Popcorn Stitch close upFor flat pieces of a greater size, simply increase the number of EW’s inside the Main Pattern Rows.  You might also want to increase the number of rows/pegs used for the garter stitch top/sides/bottom to better match the new dimensions of the piece.

When the pattern uses the term “knit” or “k”, please use the true knit stitch or the u-stitch, not the e-wrap.

This is what the stitch looks like in a small gauge.  You could make the popcorn shapes more pronounced by increasing the number of pegs skipped in the Popcorn Rows A & B below.

 

Abbreviation Key 2

 

Step by Step Instructions for the 8” x 8” square:

Popcorn Stitch front angle

Cast onto your loom using a total of 32 pegs. (Sample uses Chain Cast On)

Set Up Rows

Row 1: p32

Row 2: k32

Row 3: p32

Main Pattern Rows

Rows 4-8: Repeat the following 2 row pattern:

Popcorn Stitch...count down 4

a)  k2, EW28, k2

b) p2, EW28, p2

*Work Popcorn Row A:

Working with every other peg starting at peg 4,  look to the inside of the loom and count down 4 loops, starting with the loop directly at the back of the peg.  Lift the 4th loop up and over the peg. (This is very similar to the technique used in making the brim of a classic hat.) Continue with these same steps every other peg, to peg 30.  Every even #’d peg between pegs 4 and 30 should now have 2 loops.  KO all the pegs with extra loops.

Row 9-13:  Repeat the following 2 row pattern:

a)  p2, EW28, p2

b) k2, EW28, k2

*Work Popcorn Row B:

Working with every other peg starting at peg 3,  look to the inside of the loom and count down 4 loops, starting with the loop directly at the back of the peg.  Lift the 4th loop up and over the peg. (This is very similar to the technique used in making the brim of a classic hat.) Continue with these same steps every other peg, to peg 29.  Every odd #’d peg between pegs 3 and 29 should now have 2 loops.  KO all the pegs with extra loops.

Rows 14-83:  Repeat Rows 4-13, including Popcorn Rows A & B.

Finishing Rows

Rows 84-86:  repeat set up Rows 1-3.

Bind off all stitches loosely. (Sample uses the Basic Bind Off)  Weave in ends and trim close to work.

Block to an 8” x 8” measurement.

Afghan Notes:

Stitchology Squares If you are intending this square to be part of an afghan, you may wish to make up to 3 or 4 additional squares.  We will be sharing at least 12 of these patterns for you to use in your blanket.  Use the following general measurements to decide how many of each of the 8″ x 8″ squares you will need, rounding up as necessary:

  • Baby Blanket: 30″ x 36″
  • Children: 42″ x 48″
  • Lapghan: 36″ x 48″
  • Twin Bed Afghan: 60″ x 85″
  • Queen Bed Afghan: 90″ x 95″

9 Comments

  • The “Set up rows” were confusing me. I assume rows 1 and 3 are p32 not p3.

  • You are so right, Mike! Oopsie…I have no idea how those little 2’s got missed, lol. It’s all fixed now, though. Thanks!!! :D

  • Is it possible to expand on the description of the main pattern? I just cannot visualize it for some reason.

  • Hi Bev :)

    I just re-read the Main Pattern Rows and am not really sure how I could expand them…is there something in particular I can help you with?

    Thanks!
    Bethany~

  • I posted a question earlier, I’m not sure where it went so I will ask it again and hopefully find the answer this time. When I was learning to loom knit about 6 months ago the instructional I had showed me to cast on and knit in a counter clockwise direction. Because of a disability this is comfortable for me. I find going in a clockwise direction confusing. That said under standard knitting practices for knitting in the round one would read a pattern all rows from left to right. Will the pattern turn out the same if it is reversed (reading the pattern all rows from right to left) for a counter clockwise knitter?

    I have found that the rest of your instructions on the stitchology very helpful

    Thanks
    Heather

  • Hi Heather :)

    Good question! The answer is possibly not so simple. ;) I can’t answer definitively one way or the other, because it would depend on the pattern being transposed. First of all, I will say that when reading my Stitchology charts, you would read them in a right to left direction. If you are going to be working them in the round, you would still read them from right to left. If the pattern is a completely symmetrical one, then yes, you could read the charts from left to right with no difficulties. I think, though, that it is possible that some of the instructions might get confused if you tried to do this, which is why I say it’s not a universal fix.

    I am a left handed loomer, which means that many times I do not find it comfortable to knit in the directions that patterns state for me to go. In this case, as in the case you are in with the Stitchology patterns, I would simply continue to follow the instructions, but my peg 1 would be my own peg 1, my peg 2 would be my own peg 2…etc. In this way, I simply transpose the instructions in my mind, leaving me free to knit in whichever direction I like. So, if a chart reads from right to left, but I like to go from left to right, I would read the chart the way it was written, but would just place the stitches going the other direction. No changes would be made to the written instructions, so no problems would occur.

    Does this make sense?

  • Hi Beth

    And thank you. Yes it does make sense. I believe what you are saying is essentially that it wont matter if i knit in a counter clockwise direction (left to right) as long as I read the pattern from right to left.

    So to save problems I will have to write out the pattern so as not to get too confused.

    Thanks so much for the help.

    I do have another question if you have the time. Do you know if it is possible to do a K1b “knit one below” on a loom, such as in a beehive Waffle stitch. If so would be willing to do a post on it in a future Stitchology .

    Thanks
    Heather

  • Yes, Heather, you’ve got it! :) I’m glad that my lengthy answer was able to be deciphered, lol. If you can accomplish that, I have no doubts as to your ability in transposing the pattern instructions to any knitting direction you desire! :D

    This is very interesting that you ask about a waffle stitch, as I’m currently working on my own version of this kind of stitch for June. It might not be what you’re thinking of exactly, but I think you’ll like it. As to working a K1b, I believe you would just lift the loop that is lying directly behind the peg that you’ll be working your K1b on (the previous row’s knit stitch) and bring it back up onto the peg. You would then knit those two loops as one. I’m pretty sure this should come out the way you would need. I’ll have to try this myself and see if we can’t do some new stitches using this!

    Thanks, Heather! :)

  • Thank you again

    I will give this a try. I have convinced my son to take some pictures for me of the “samples” that I am making once I get something I like I will send you a picture link.

    Looking forward to the June post.

    Heather

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