Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Little loom-knit hearts


Here they are, under the wire for Valentine's Day, I give you my "Little Loom-Knit Hearts".  I have admired all those cute little crocheted hearts that I've seen out there on the Net and just knew there must be a way to create them on the loom. I kicked that thought around for a several years, but the more I tried to "think" it through, the more elusive the solution seemed to be. So, yesterday when I wasn't consciously thinking about much of anything (a habit of late), I had an "loomy heart" epiphany. I had to wait until bedtime to try it out, but as evident from the little red heart in the middle of the above heap, everything worked to my "heart-felt" satisfaction. I'm sorry these arrived so late, but epiphanies seem to ignore scheduled appearances. 

To proof my instructions, I whipped off about ten more of these bad boys to go with the two initial red hearts I made last night. However, once you get started, you are sure to have a "heart-attack", because these things are habit forming. I kept wanting to make one in pink, another in yellow, lavender, or white, etc. and the next thing I knew I had a dozen little hearts in no time at all. I'm including the general directions in this blog post with hopes your enjoy these as much as I have.

Little Loom-Knit Hearts Instructions

Size: 2 inches (size can be altered 1/4 inch in either direction by adding or decreasing rows)

Materials
12-peg Knifty Knitter Flower Loom
Small amount of worsted weight yarn (use two strands as one)
Crochet hook - size G 

Instructions
(Note: These instructions are written from the perspective of the pegs being numbered in a counterclockwise direction.)
  1. CO using drawstring cast on method. (Note: The original instructions for the drawstring cast on are listed in the right sidebar. I do this a bit differently now, but the original instructions should work.)
  2. Rows 1-2: Flat knit both rows in rounds.
  3. Row 3: With the working yarn at peg-12, slip the current peg and flat knit from peg-11 back to peg-1.
  4. BO: Begin bind off by slipping peg-1, flat knit peg-2 and move the loop to peg-1; knit bottom loop over the top loop and return the loop to peg-2.
  5. Bring the working yarn counterclockwise in front of peg-2 and across peg-3 to flat knit both pegs; move the loop from peg-3 to peg-2, knit the bottom loop over the top loop and return loop to peg-3.
  6. Continue binding off pegs 3-5 as outlined in Step 4 and stop when pegs 1-5 are empty and the working yarn is at peg-6
  7. With the working yarn at peg-6, bring the yarn in a clockwise direction from behind the peg, flat knit one stitch and repeat for a total of two stitches. Tighten the stitch and reverse the yarn in a counterclockwise direction (still on peg-6), flat knit two more stitches. (Reversing the direction creates the bottom point of the little heart.)
  8. Proceed with the bind off again following the basic procedure outlined in Step 4. Stop when the working yarn is at peg-10 and pegs 1-9 are empty.
  9. With the working yarn at peg-10, repeat the procedure in Step 5 to add a little extra stitch to the curved edge of the heart top.
  10. Finish the basic bind off on the last peg and flat knit an extra stitch before cutting the ending yarn tail and pulling it through the last stitch.
  11. Finishing: Cinch the drawstring cast on opening shut with the beginning yarn tail on the right side of the heart. Use a crochet hook to pull the drawstring tails to the wrong side, then bring the yarn tail over the top indention and back through the center to the wrong side again and tighten to close the cast on edge. (You may want to leave a small opening or cinch it completely shut - it up to whatever appeal to you. You can see examples of both methods below.) Next, hook the ending yarn tail at the base of the ending stitch and pull it to the wrong side. Finish by tying the beginning and ending yarn tails in a square knot. Trim and secure the yarn tails.
Now, make a whole garland of these cuties in all the colors of the rainbow or just make one or two to wear as a pin and a token of your love! Happy Valentine's Day!


UPDATE: Lucy Earle (aka darkfaewitch) has made a YouTube video demonstrating this pattern from start to finish. Thank you, Lucy, for making the Little Loom-Knit Hearts video!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Hot lips tawashi...showered in kisses

My hubby had to take a business trip to Uruguay last month and since most of the hotels there do not furnish bath cloths, I decided to make a special tawashi for him so he could remember how much I love him while he was away. The results is my "Hot Lips Tawashi", which was inspired by my daughter's Hot Lips Phone that she had as a teenager about twenty years ago.


This tawashi was was designed in garter stitch for the 24-peg large gauge round loom using two strands of Red Heart Super Saver in Cherry Red. In lieu of a written pattern for this project, I decided to do a chart; however, I will try to clarify a few things in the following notes:
  • The numbers at the bottom of the chart represent the pegs and go from left to right.
  • The numbers along the left side indicate the rows. It is strongly suggested that you print off the chart and check each row as you complete it so you don't get lost.
  • Cast on is done using a crochet or chain cast on starting on peg-8 and ending on peg-16.
  • The first stitch in each row is slipped (sl1) leaving a nice chained effect along the edge.
  • Shaping is done by lifted increases (li), slip slip knit (ssk), and knit two together (k2tog).
  • The embroidery and hanger loop, done in white or pink, is a crocheted chain. The lip line is formed by pinning and stitching the chain in place.
  • To further accentuate the "heart-shaped" upper lip, a strand of yarn is used to gather the mid-top of the lips as indicated on the chart. 
The "Hot Lips Tawashi Chart" may be accessed by clicking on the title at the beginning of this sentence or from the Pattern Box in the right sidebar. Once the project is underway it works up very quickly. So, knit one up for your sweetie and "shower your Valentine in kisses" on this special day!