Wednesday, December 15, 2010

More Mason Dixon Christmas socks!

I am so excited to tell you all that Ann one of the authors of Mason Dixon's Knitting Outside The Lines wrote me this morning and has included me in her website. She was so pleased to see all of the different varieties of colored stockings, she said that it made her smile! That is so awesome. She should be smiling because the book that she wrote with her friend Kay is excellent! It is a lot of fun and I love all of their comments that they wrote in it. I especially love their swiff mop cover and the comment about the dog being flipped over and earning his keep. My boys and I laughed hysterically when I read that to them while we were looking through the book together. They are 5 and 7 years old.

I finally finished my stockings and made my loops at the top picking up 5 stitches evenly on the stocking just on the side and knitted an I-cord by using a double pointed needle and knitting the stitches and rather than turning them around move the needle to your left hand and pulling the first stitch tight knit them again always on the same needle, never turning it. I did this for 4 inches then picked up the beginning of my cast on stitches and knit those casting off as I went.

Here are my boys Christmas stockings, done just in time. My boys love them too! I just hope that Santa's bringing lots of Oranges to stuff these, they are a very generous size. Of course I did use size 5 needles rather than 3's like the pattern states originally. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a very merry holiday!

Happy Knitting,

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mason Dixon knitted Christmas Stockings!

I just finished up my last class teaching Mason Dixon's Christmas Stockings. It was a class that lasted 8 weeks it was one of my many classes that I teach adult education at our local high school. This last class was a riot! I couldn't stop laughing the girls and I had such a blast. I can't wait until our next one!

Couple things about this pattern that I wanted to mention. In the book Mason Dixon Knitting outside the lines, they have you knitting the stockings with two circular needles. I know that it is a new thing for us to be doing socks that way and some people even like it. Maybe I am a bit old fashioned though. I have done socks for so long with double pointed needles in the round. I decided to give my class a choice of either double pointed needles or to use a size 5 rather than 3 in a 16" circular(which is what I decided to use with the exception of the heel and toe of course). One very important thing that I learned about these stockings which may help you if you are wanted to make them is that you can not do intarsia in the round for the argyle bit. You can only do it flat. If you can figure out some way of converting the pattern for yourself until the argyle part is finished to work it flat then go for it. You'll only have more ends to weave in when your finished with your knitting part. Also check out Abby's Kitchener's stitch for the closing of the toe. Some of my students decide to close their's early instead of waiting for the 6 stitches on each side of them some of them waiting until there where 12 or 10 on each side, that gave it a more rounded looking toe.

One of my students decided to put bells and bows on the front of her stocking which I thought was a really clever idea. Another student decided with her first sock(which was for her) she would put colored beads in between the striped in her sock, another really clever idea that I had not thought of before. Thank you ladies for all your ideas, love and support. You all teach me a lot! 

I was missing three students the last class for the stockings mainly due to the icy road conditions. So I still had seven. Those seven students I had model their stockings for me to share with you all. So here they are! 

Mason Dixon Knitted Christmas stockings!

Next class I will be teaching the Wisteria Shawl Collar Pullover from Lion Brand Yarn Co. It is a free pattern that you can find on there website. I decided to teach this one next because I fell in love with the shawl collar pullover. This pattern can be done in their new Amazing color changing yarn which has a beautiful selection of colors or in any solid worsted weight. Just check the pattern to see which size you want to make and multiply the skeins of Amazing times what ever they have in each skein and that is how much you will need in yards to substitute in another worsted weight yarn. I think this pullover looks very flattering on women no matter what there size or shape is. This class will begin at the end of January and will run for 8 weeks. 

Mason Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Kitchener Stitch

This is a great trick for finishing toes on socks or Christmas stockings!

Abby’s Kitchener Stitch:

With tapestry needle in hand and an equal number of stitches facing each other on two double pointed needles start as follows:

Step One: Pull tapestry needle and yarn through the first stitch on your front needle as if to purl, leave on the needle.

Step Two: Pull tapestry needle and yarn through the first stitch on your back needle as if to knit, leave on the needle.

Step Three: Pull tapestry needle and yarn through the first stitch again on your front needle this time as if to knit and take this stitch off your needle. Pull tapestry needle and yarn through your next stitch on your front needle as if to purl and leave on your knitting needle.

Step Four: Pull tapestry needle and yarn through the first stitch again through the back this time as if to purl and take this stitch off your needle. Pull tapestry needle and yarn through your next stitch on your back needle as if to knit and leave on your knitting needle.

Repeat steps 3 and 4 until all stitches have been used up. Fasten off and weave in all your ends.

Now doesn't that look swell!

I taught an adult ed class these past 8 weeks on making a Christmas stocking. The pattern chosen for this class came from a book called Mason-Dixon Knitting outside the lines. I highly recommend this book to anyone that can appreciate a good challenge from the most basic to the Experienced knitter there is something in here for everyone. I also loved reading the articles that go along with everyone of the projects. They make us all feel that we are not alone. That is an important emotion to feel especially when knitting! Enjoy!!:) 

Happy Knitting,