Monday, March 28, 2011

On and off the loom

Just off the loom, this sweet pink lace wrap made from 2 threads of lace weight mohair/silk yarn held together as one. The doubling of the lace weight yarn worked wonderfully, and shows off the lace pattern very well. I'm in love with this little wrap, especially the soft ruffled edge. This version is about 10 inches wide, but the pattern will have an option for a wider 15 inch version as well. The lace pattern may look much more complicated than it is - just 2 rows of lace work out of a 16 row repeat. On my loom is a scarf/small wrap using the "Wave Stitch" pattern. What a fun stitch! You vary the drop stitches creating "eye" shaped sections within the rows, each row mirroring the one before. I'm making it in Knit Pick's Chroma, a self striping worsted weight yarn. What is on your loom? Copyright 2011 by Invisible Loom and Craft, Renee Van Hoy. All Rights Reserved. Personal Use Only.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Abalone Lace Shawlette

The pattern for the "Abalone Lace Shawlette" is now ready for you to enjoy! I hope many of you will give it a try. Please be sure to let me know how you like it.

The pattern is available at Ravelry as a large print pdf file. Please contact me if you would like a plain text file. I have tried the new shorthand out with my screen reader, and it is reading the arrows as "greater than", for the move forward notation. If your screen reader is not as cooperative, please let me know, and I will adjust the pattern.

Abalone Lace Shawlette: $4.50 US   

Copyright 2011 by Invisible Loom and Craft, Renee Van Hoy. All Rights Reserved. Personal Use Only.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A New Shorthand

This photo is a close up of the Abalone Lace Shawlette being blocked. The lace points in this shawl are made with all the old familiar stiches: ewrap knit, purl, eyelet, increase and decrease. I hope that any loom knitter with a few rows of knit and purl under their belt will be able to make this pattern. The challenge for me was how to write it. There is not a shorthand for loom knitting lace. Needle knit terminolgy does not work, because loom knitting has several variations to each needle knit term, and there is also not always a consistency in the definitions for the loom.

In my past patterns, I have worked through these difficulties by writing a step-by-step movement of the yarn. For example: "Move loop on peg 3 to peg 4; knit peg 4." As the detail of the patterns has increased, this has become more difficult. With the Abalone Lace, there is a 22 row repeat that needed a shorthand to be reasonable for all loomers to follow.

Here is what I have done, and what you will be seeing in the pattern. I am already writing a second pattern using this shorthand, and hope to go back to revise some of my older lace patterns as well.

K-> : knit and move the loop forward to the next peg
K<- : knit and move the loop backward to the previous peg
<-P : move the loop back one peg and purl
K/K : used where a peg has two loops - knit the peg, then wrap and knit again ( a "knit/knit")

All may be done as knits or purls, but I wanted you to get the idea. Because loom knit lace can have several steps on the same peg within the same row, I thought the use of directional arrows would simplify writing the moving of our loops. The other change I am making is to the end peg (slip) stitch. This name seems to confuse needle knitters who have switched to loom knitting in particular. I will call it an "Half Stitch" and follow it (in most cases) by a slipped (skipped) stitch at the start of the next row. I am still not sure this is the best way, but we will try it out and see. The Half Stitch will be combined with increases and decreases to look like this:

M1/Hs1 : wrap a new peg once and make a half stitch on the new peg to add a stitch at the end of a row
D1/Hs1 : decrease one stitch and make a half stitch on the new end peg

The pattern will have a detailed key to the shorthand, and I promise once you have worked 2 repeats, you will find the lace comes easily.
Look for the Abalone Lace Shawlette tomorrow!
Copyright 2011 by Invisible Loom and Craft, Renee Van Hoy. All Rights Reserved. Personal Use Only.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Looming Around the Net

March has some wonderful projects for loomers. At Ravelry, the Loom-a-long group is working on "The 29th Street Stole", designed and hosted by Jenny Stark. This lace beauty is made of self striping yarn, and may be made as a scarf or a wrap. The Loom Class at yahoo groups is just starting a very inovative project, a loomed postcard, designed and hosted by Vanessa Bell. The cards will be swapped at the end of the month. Helen at My Heart Exposed has a lovely new headband pattern (pattern page 3.) Greg the Loom Dude has made a beautiful pink shrug for his daughter, along with his other fabulous creations. Made by Telaine has shared another stitch pattern, "Raised Diamonds", from her Friendly Scarf Project. Brenda the Loom Lady has shared the pattern for her beautiful Pansies, and a wonderful square/washcloth called the "Irish Washerwoman".

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Leafy Sea Dragon Scarf

Have you ever seen a Leafy Sea Dragon? There is a wonderful exhibit of them at the Monterrey Bay Aquarium in California. They even have high definition large screen magnifiers, that let me see the little creatures. They are truly a combination of plant and animal, and a wonder to the human mind - a body with branches and leaves attached!
The Leafy Sea Dragon seemed like a good namesake for this ruffled scarf. The pattern is not hard to loom; an easy pairing of knits, purls and short rows. I used my favorite 1/2 inch gauge loom, but the purple Knifty Knitter hat loom will substitute. The yarn is Chroma Worsted from Knit Picks, in the Galapagos color. Long color repeats work very well with the pattern. Use peg markers, and it will fly along effortlessly. The pattern is available as a large print pdf file. Let me know if you need a plain text file. I'd like to hear how you like the pattern. Enjoy! Leafy Sea Dragon Scarf  $4.50 US  

Copyright 2011 by Invisible Loom and Craft, Renee Van Hoy. All Rights Reserved. Personal Use Only.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Working Out Kinks and Fingering Yarn

A wonderful new on-line resource for visually impaired knitters is: "Working Out Kinks and Fingering Yarn" put together by Ana and Crystal from the BlindKnitters group at google. Every knitter will benefit from the simply stated tutorials for knitting techniques, how to use Ravelry, and other resources Ana and Crystal have put together. Best of all, these two amazing ladies have included articles by many very talented people within the blind stitching community, and are sharing their own teaching talents. They are building a wonderful resource for visually impaired knitters, but truly it will be a great resource for all knitters. Thank you Ana and Crystal!