Sunday, December 30, 2012

Knit Dishcloths

Ever since I can remember, my mom, grandmother, and other friends and relatives have been knitting dishcloths, and I always saw myself carrying on with it. This fall, I started knitting more often and decided to make a few to give away as gifts for Christmas. I didn't end up having a lot made but I had enough to give my mom and grand mothers. I plan on continuing on and building a stash to not only have for myself, but for more gifts.

I got the pattern for these two from a lady I work with. I thought it was different than any handmade dishcloth I had seen and was excited to try it. It turned out to be pretty easy but is definitely the most tedious and time consuming of all the ones I've made. You knit in four-row sections and I found it best to finish a whole row in each sitting so I wouldn't lose my place. It was pretty easy to count the sections (need 13 in all). Here is the pattern:

Hand-Knit Dishcloth

#5 Needle
cast on 40 sts.
Knit 2 rows

Row #1: K2, (P1K1)-to last 3, K3
Row #2: K2, (P1K1)-to last 3, K3        ***Rows1-4 = 1 pattern
Row #3: Knit
Row #4: Knit

Repeat 4 rounds until 13 patterns, cast off

These three are all from the same pattern. They are the traditional dishcloths that my family members always made. I find they are fairly quick to whip up (I usually get one done in two evenings) and they are a very good place to start if you're new to knitting.
Here is the pattern:

Knitted Dishcloth (from back of Bernat yarn label)

1 pair 6mm knitting needles (US 10)

Cast on 4 sts. 

Row 1: Knit across
Row 2: K2, YO (yarn over), Knit to end of row

Repeat Row 2 until there are 43 sts on needle

1st Decrease Row: K1, K2together, YO, K2tog., K to end of row
Continue working decrease row until 4 sts. remain.

Cast off & sew in ends. 

This pattern is the for sure the easiest to follow and probably the best one to start on if you're new to knitting!

This one is also pretty simple but the edges are closed in and slightly different from the ones above. I don't find this one as quick as the others either. Here is this pattern:

Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Knit Dishcloth

Solids (50g) : 1 ball OR Ombres, Twists, Stripes (42.5g): 2balls
**I knit this pattern using the stripes yarn and I got away with using just one ball... barely. It just depends on your tension (how tightly you knit).

Size 5.5mm (US9) knitting needles

Cast on 3 sts.
Row 1: Knit
 Row 2: K1, Inc.1 (knit front and back of same stitch), K to end
Repeat last Row to 53sts.
1st Dec. Row: K2, K2tog., K to end of row
                                                              Repeat last row to 3 st, Cast off & sew in ends.

For all of these patterns I used Bernat Handicrafter Cotton (4 Ply Worsted Weight), but I'm sure you could use other yarns, just make sure they're going to be absorbent. They all require approximately one skein (50g), and I'm trying to figure out what to knit with all the little ends that are left over, not enough to make anything out of. Any ideas?

There are a lot more great patterns here: 
If you know of any other websites with great free patterns, please share!

These are only a few of the patterns I have, and I am always welcome to sharing and learning new ones!  If you have any patterns you like to share you can comment or leave a link to it below. I look forward to hearing what you think of them and to see all the dishcloth possibilities! Happy Knitting! 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Complete Christmas Card Collection 2012

Now that I'm home in New Brunswick for Christmas I have a little more time to post what I've been up to as far as Christmas decorating and card-making. Here are all the cards I made to send out this year, and I made duplicates of a few. I think next year, instead of waiting until December to start, I will continue making Christmas cards in January when I get back so I can have some made up already for next year. 

Leave a comment below and let me know what you think! :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My First Slipcover

After Keith and I moved into our first apartment together, I wanted to make it into a place of our own and not feel like we were living in a college apartment. One thing that I definitely wanted to change was the sofa. When we first got here, we couldn't even fit it in the door and it took a few weeks and some engineering to get it in. Then, I was determined to make it pretty because I knew it wasn't going anywhere. We actually said that it could stay with the apartment when we move again but now after putting this much work into it, I think I'll be taking it with me.. haha. 

Anyway, I started out looking online for directions and recommendations for re-covering a sofa. I found lots of sites that said just throw a sheet over it and add a few pillows. Been there, done that. I wanted something that was tailored and didn't have to be re-tucked every time someone sat on it. It has got to be the most comfortable couch I have ever sat on (or slept on ;p). 

So, I found a site that said to use canvas drop cloth as it was easy to wash and it wore well. I found it at Home Depot for about  $20 for two sheets of 9x12 canvas.. what a deal! I bought two of these (four sheets total) with the intention of using the leftovers to cover my chair as well. As it turned out, I used most of it on the couch and decided to cover the chair in a different pattern (Working on that now, will post when that's finished :)) 

I got to work pinning and cutting and fitting and re-fitting until I had the base of the couch (minus the cushions) totally covered and fit to my liking. I added a but of elastic to the sides under the arms to help hold it up and tight. I think the pinning was the hardest part as I pricked myself more times than I want to admit. Finally it came to sewing which was a task in itself as there was SO much fabric to deal with. With the help of my friend Leslie, we finally got the cushions covered and everything tucked into the right place. It was so nice to finally see it done! I didn't use any specific pattern, just tucked and cut around the shapes I needed. It did help to look up some information and watch a few videos of people doing this first. 


This is not a great before picture but it shows the 

faded blue colours. I've always had some kind of 
cover over it to spruce it up a bit but I couldn't 
wait to get something that was tailored specifically 
for this sofa and that wouldn't fall off or move 
around every time you sat on it.

Here is the finished product:

This is the after. It looks soo much nicer now :) I was surprised
at how well it turned out!

I still need to add some Velcro to the corners so that it can be easily 
removed and washed, but that will have to wait until it needs to come off. 

I love the color, its neutral with a hint of gray which goes perfectly 
with the rest of the room.  The carpet we added really makes this 
cozy and comfortable. 

I'll post some before and after pictures of our living room when I get it all put back together. It's come a long way since we first moved in and I can't wait to have it all in place. :)