Friday, August 10, 2012

Diagonal Square pattern

Here's pattern for blanket square to knit, based on classic Red Cross pattern. The square produced is easy to join together. To increase, just knit into the front and back of the stitch.

 The pattern doesn't really require a gauge since you just keep knitting garter stitch rows with one-stitch increases per row till the side reaches five inches, then start decreasing.

Cast on 1 stitch.
Row 1: k1, increase 1 in next stitch, knit to end of row.
Repeat Row 1 until side edge measures 5 inches (around 20 ridges using Red Heart high bulk acrylic on 4.0mm/US 6 needles).
Next Row: k1, k2 together, knit to end of row. Repeat this row until 1 stitches remain, cast off.

 Note: Increases may be done on the last stitch of every row, until reaching desired size, then decreases done on last two stitches per row. Gauge is 6 sts/inch, so for a regular square, cast on 30 stitches with 4.0mm (US6) needle.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Thinking out loud: starting a hobby group that'll knit, crochet and/or sew acrylic squares to be assembled as blankets/mats for donation during times like these. We stockpile during sunny days and distribute when needed. Something to manifest soon...

 A square should be 5x5 inches or 10x10 inches made of high bulk/worsted weight acrylic.
I chose this size since one 15-gram acrylic ball, Red Heart, yields a five-inch square with extra yarn for joining together. Let's avoid white and pale colors but variegated ones with some white/pale colors are OK.

 We'll also eventually need volunteers who can sew/crochet these squares , after we collect enough squares.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Log cabin project in hibernation

A placemat experiment in log cabin knitting, suspended for now due to my current focus on charity hats and squares :-) acrylic yarn, garter stitch

Here's a close-up of FOUR log cabin modules (two in green, one in black, one in blue)


Log cabin knitting is a form of modular knitting, usually done in garter stitch only, and ideally done in well-matched colors. But this is also a way to use up scrap yarn.

As with most things involving knitting, I relied primarily on online research to learn log cabin knitting. I have yet to get THE bible on log cabin knitting, Mason-Dixon knitting.I adapted the concept to come up with a placemat in acrylic and a bathroom mat in cotton yarn.

Here are a few helpful links on log cabin knitting.

You'll have to scroll down a bit for the blog post, "This Old Log Cabin," by one of the authors of Mason-Dixon knitting.

A mathematical formula on making your own log cabin pattern: How to Build a Log Cabin

Pattern for a log cabin scrap blanket

There are also video tutorials on how to do the joins in log cabin knitting. I actually enjoy this part, as the garter stitch can get boring and the joining/changing to a new color gets your attention :-)

Friday, June 15, 2012

World Wide Knit In Public Day: June 17, 2012

Actually, it's a weeklong event, June 9 to 17, for knitters to knit publicly. Click HERE for more info.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Finding the time to stockpile

I'm currently inspired to stockpile my charity knitting projects, now that I have a chance to send them abroad to the intended recipients later this year. I'm making time for these projects, mostly squares and hats, some in wool, some in acrylic :-)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Moonlit musings

There's a possibility of someone coming in from the US for a visit, and I can ask her to bring knitted stuff when she goes back to the US! So I'm now focusing on my charity projects. I have enough charity squares, but still no hats or even one whole baby blanket.

After I finally wrap up my two current log cabin projects--a bathroom rug and a placemat--I'll then finish one acrylic baby blanket and at least one hat, both of which are already on the needles.

Then I'll do some more squares, and maybe a few woolen hats. I still have about three to five weeks, I think, before I send them off.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Trying out log cabin knitting

Well, I gave in... and delved into the world of log cabin knitting. So far, it's been interesting enough that I set aside my other projects and start at least two log cabin projects: an acrylic placemat and a cotton bathroom rug. I have yet to finish either of them though :-)

But I have my charity squares on needles, since they're so easy to bring along with me in transit, and i have figured out that one ball of 15-gram worsted acrylic produces a six-by-six square, but I get stumped when I encounter a knot, which is getting a bit too frequent for comfort. I tend to cut out the knot and restart the yarn, meaning I'll most likely not reach the six-inch size I want... more likely, I'd get a square of five or even four inches only.

I also have a few blanket squares done, in cotton... not enough to sew together though.

Friday, March 23, 2012

New moon notes

I read somewhere that the moon in a fire sign is helpful for creative pursuits... and we've got the new moon in Aries til Sunday! Loving the energy so far :-)

1. I started to delve into modular knitting... knitting 6 x 6 squares of my variegated yarns. Next step is to join them together, unless I decide to just send them abroad by snail mail to charities collecting knitted squares for blankets.

2. I decided to focus more on knitting baby blankets rather than charity hats. Calling them angel wraps, to be worn by babies gone too soon...

3. Still finishing two hand towels, then want to try my hand on another bathroom rug. PLus another trivet.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


1. Added to my wish list 2012: recycled/upcycled yarns from frogged sweaters, like those sold at Forgotten Fleece (a Ravelry advertiser).

2. Started spreading the knitting virus by giving tutorials mostly to my friends from UP. Need to make more beginner's kits.

3. Stockpiling on  bereavement blankets for preemies/stillborn babies. Minimum aim is a dozen, in various sizes, from 12-inch squares to 28-inch ones.

4. Doing some hats too, just to get back into using DPNs. Trying out bottom-up patterns, since I was previously into top-downs.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

My charity knitting tasks


1. Squares--any fiber
    a. 8x8 inches for KAS (South Africa) and Love Squared (MI, US)--kids
    b. 8-10 inches for EEROP (Europe via GA)--kids
    c. 6 and 12 inches for Afghans for PRR (South Dakota, via Lousiana, US)--various ages

2. Hats (beanies, mostly)
    a. Any material OK—EEROP, kids
    b. Wool/animal only--at least 30% for Hearts for Warmth (Lesotho via CT), and blends OK for Afghans for Afghans (Afghanistan via SF, US)--various ages
    c. Chemo caps (Philippines)--cotton or tencel, and maybe berets or funky styles (Hearts of Love)--various ages

3. Blankets for preemies--acrylic only, Stitches from the Heart (LA, US)

  • You'll need approximately 2 inches of negative ease for your hat's circumference.
  • Obviously, not everyone is average, these charts were just designed to give you a rough idea for project planning purposes.
  • These yardages are rough estimates, yarn usage changes depending on stitch pattern.
  • These yardages were estimated using a gauge of 5sts/inch and a stockinette stitch.

AgeHead CircumferenceHat HeightYardage
Preemie (1-2 lbs)9"3.5"50-110
Preemie (3-4 lbs)11"4"50-110
Preemie (4-5 lbs)12"4.5"50-110
Preemie (5.5-6 lbs)13"5"50-110
Baby - 3 to 6 months 17"7"100-150
Baby 6 to 12 months 18"7.5"100-150
Toddler - preschooler (12 months - 3 years) 19"8"100-150
Child (3 - 10 years) 20"8.5"100-180
Pre-teens and Teens 21"10"100-180
Adult Woman 22.5"11"120-200
Adult Man 22.5"-24"11.5"200-255

BABY BLANKETS--for Stitches from the Heart

Bereavement blankets, in pastels, solids or multis

Preemie Extra Small 10 by 10 inches to 12 by 12 inches
Preemie Small 14 by 14 inches to 18 by 18 inches
Preemie Medium 20 by 20 inches to 22 by 22 inches
Preemie Large 22 by 22 inches to 24 by 24 inches
Full-Term 26 by 26 inches to 28 by 28 inches

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

More ecofriendly yarns to consider

Glad to see that over the past three years, more knitting yarnmakers are featuring organic cotton and other earth-friendly yarn. My main criteria are primarily organic plant material that's naturally dyed, and secondarily, fair-traded. Pakucho meets both. Then after that... not much.

Still, I'm making this list to consider other options for those yarns that meet my first criterion. The third would be, recyled... and fair-traded, of course. Fourth would be, recycled.

Not in any particular order, here are my candidates for my Plan B wish list for the year (in progress):

1. "Good Earth Cotton" Yarn by Tahki--100% organic cotton yarn spun from naturally colored fiber

2. "Natural Earth Cotton" Yarn by Tahki--worsted-weight little sister of Good Earth Cotton

3. "Cottonwood" Yarn--certified 100% organic cotton by Fibra Natura, complying with the standards of the EKO as a sustainable textile, the strictest in the industry,

4. "Links" Yarn--with the prestigious EKO Sustainable Textile certificate  of 100% organic cotton

5. "Biosoja" Yarn--crafted in Italy of 40% organic soy, 34% organic cotton & 26% organic bamboo (no mention of certification though)

6. "Eco Cotton" Yarn by Debbie Bliss--the premier yarn in her Fair Trade Collection, authenticated as 100% organic through the BioRe textile chain,  using non-toxic, non-carcinogenic dyes, and all water is recycled and made drinkable. (sounds great!)

7. "Purelife Organic Cotton DK" Yarn by Rowan --a 100% organic, environmentally responsible yarn (connected with BioRe). Spun from cotton organically grown in India, the fiber is then naturally dyed in Italy.

8. "Purelife Revive" Yarn by Rowan--crafted in Italy of 36% recycled silk, 36% recycled cotton & 28% recycled rayon.

9. "Riveting Worsted" Yarn--soft recycled blue jeans fiber imported to the US where it's into 4-ply yarn.

10. "Recycled Silk" Yarn from Himalaya Yarn--Composed of 100% recycled silk fibers from the industrial weaving mills of India, the fibers are handspun in Nepal, supporting a cottage industry of spinners with each one working independently.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Ravelry advertisers to patronize

As a way to support my fave social network for knitting, I hope to buy some stuff someday from these Ravelry advertisers :-) my priority is those selling organic cotton yarn.

1. KnitPicks--already bought some yarn from them before. Maybe will buy some needles here, especially those I'll need for knitting hats (circulars and DPNs).

2. ArtFibers--hmmm, they have organic Egyptian cotton, ecologically dyed. They also have nice-looking linen yarn.

3. Lantern Moon--Known for their handcrafted knitting needles. I also badly need stitch markers. I can buy them via Paradise Fibers, which also sell linen yarn on cones. Or maybe over at Verra Yarns.

4. Yarn Mountain--carries lovely handpainted linen yarn by Claudia.

5. Verra Yarns--sells interesting organic and socially conscious yarn from the Mirasol project. I dunno though when I'll have to buy wool yarn again, since I'm currently destashing for my current charity knitting projects. Fortunately Mirasol also has organic cotton yarn.This online store also sells fair trade organic yarn, Rowan Purelife. Here's another online source for Mirasol yarns.

6. Yarn Market--sells Himalayan Aloo yarn as well as Louet Euroflax yarn, etc.

7. Fiber Organics--also sells Mirasol Sampa yarns, based in California.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Charity knitting plans for 2012 (Updated)

Currently I'm just knitting wool squares for KAS, but I also want to knit hats for charity. I'm going for an international flavor this year, destashing my wool and acrylic for these projects.

1. Knit-A-Square (KAS)--South African AIDS orphans

2. Eastern European and Russian Orphanages Project (EEROP)--handmade items for poor orphans in cold climates in Europe

3. Hearts for Warmth--for the US. I like this since collection point is in Connecticut, where my older sister also lives. Just a matter of finding someone going to her in CT.

4.  Stitches from the Heart--donates handmade items for premature babies to over 1,200 hospitals/charities in the US, with office based in LA.

Also forgot my plans to knit handcloths/face towels and sell them, to raise funds for charity. I'll be using the expensive but earth-friendly Qoperfina yarn from Peru, if ever I get to fulfill my wish list this year. In the meantime, I'm stuck with using up my current stash of cotton, cotton blend, tencel, hemp, and linen yarns.

Updated Feb. 17, 2012

Added two more charity undertakings

5. Hearts of Love--makes chemo caps for cancer warriors. Challenge for 2012 is to knit one chemo cap a month. So now I'm back to using tencel yarn and knitting one chemo cap a month. Will give it for free to whoever needs it :-)

6. Afghans for Afghans--I donated to them before, when my sis Marie returned to SF after a visit here in the Philippines.

Updated Feb. 19, 2012

Added two groups that accept squares
7. Afghans for Pine Ridge Reservation--for Native Americans in South Dakota
8. Love-squared--Creating afghans for America's homeless children one square at a time

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Yarn Wish List, Jan 2012

All organic, natural, and mostly ecofriendly. I'll prioritize cones and large skeins, where available :-) ha ha, I practically ordered most of the colors available for the Pakucho cotton.


7. Sage Qoperfina Organic Cotton Sport (Cone)


1. Louet Euroflax Linen Yarn Sport 1/2 lb Cone

Colors: Willow, Crabapple Blossom, Pewter, Violet

2. Louet Euroflax PARIS Linen Yarn Lace Weight 14/2 1/2lb Cone

Colors: Island Moss, Aqua, Sandalwood, Terra Cotta

3. Louet HAND DYED Euroflax Sport Linen Yarn 100g Skein

Color: Nature


1.  Hemp for Knitting AllHemp3 - Brick

2. Hemp for Knitting AllHemp3 - Deep Sea

3. Hemp for Knitting AllHemp3 - Raspberry

4. Hemp for Knitting AllHemp3 - Cinnamon

5. Hemp for Knitting AllHemp3 - Sprout

6. Hemp for Knitting AllHemp3 - Lilac

7. Hemp for Knitting AllHemp6 - Marble

8. Hemp for Knitting AllHemp6 - Wineberry

9. Hemp for Knitting AllHemp6 - Pumpkin

10. Hemp for Knitting AllHemp6LUX - Olive


1. Sparrow--Organic linen yarn, undyed

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A productive year, so far

What I like most about my current knitting projects is that they knit fast and easy, ha ha.

Done: one wool square for the Knit-a-square project in South Africa, in garter stitch, and two hand towels, both in stockinette. For weaving in ends.

On the needles: second wool square and two hand towels (one in seed stitch, the other in stockinette). When done with the second square, will snail-mail already.

Hand towels are also square, between 8 to 9 inches, more or less. I think some will end up rectangular :-)

Saw a pattern for knitting a square in the round, and I think I'll try to master that. Trying to get the right gauge for an eight-inch square was rather challenging, but I finally got it :-)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Wish list for 2012

1. Destash--I'm still using up my wool yarn that I bought in 2005 at a store in Divisoria. Will knit squares and hats with them, all for charity. Once I use up most of them, I'll use up my acrylic. As for my cotton, tencel, and hemp, will knit hand towels.
        I'll probably buy more yarn when I reach 25% supply for my wool, which I'd rather knit than acrylic. Unless I find acrylic that's soft, and thus kind to the hands. As it is, knitting with cotton is already tough for me, and that's already using metal needles.

 2. More needles--I want to have more circulars and DPNs, metal and wood, for my hat knitting.

 3. Local charity project--I have some ideas but at the very least, I will knit squares that can be made into blankets.