Thursday, January 29, 2015

Finally - a 'Knit Thing' post!

Good evening and Happy Thursday, everyone!

I have a long-planned post for today, but I wanted to say that I noticed I got a lot of traffic from Runs For Cookies (and even a few comments!) and I hope a few of you have added me to your RSS or blog reader. I think I added 10 blogs from the list of racers she put up, and was so excited to see my own name on that list!

Also, I mentioned in my last post that I bought a planner and started putting my crafting projects in it - well here's my memo to tell you that just putting it in a planner doesn't make it happen. I have a (simple enough) fleece tie-blanket to make. For myself.

I bought the fabric in December and got sidetracked with everyone elses' gifts, and it never got made. I fully intended to make it last night, but there was a miscommunication between my mom and myself about dinner (each thought the other was making it) and I ended up making dinner. And I may have made some double chocolate chip cookies too. I also went to my grandparents' house for a bit, and had errands to run right after work, and...well you get it.

So the blanket didn't get made last night. I'm hoping for Friday, but I have another something (a gift) to finish for someone before Saturday, as well as cooked thing to take to a party. And I have to do my taxes. And other stuff. It's all written down, and some of it will simply scoot from day to day until it gets done.

Which is okay!

Progress, not perfection, right? After all, we all know setting unrealistic expectations and goals increases the risk of failure. Being able to re-evaluate and adapt should be seen as a strength, rather than looking at a missed goal and seeing it as a failure.

But I digress. Here is a knit thing that I have now made two of! It's a Minecraft Creeper Pillow Case. This particular case is 20x20 inches, but you really just need to make a gauge swatch to change the sizes. The colors are complete random, except for the face pattern.

I did originally buy a pattern for this, but I wish I hadn't. The pattern used intarsia, and even the pattern maker's final product looked too "loose" - almost like there were too many holes caused by the intarsia. So rather than take that route, I knit this strips. Each column is one long strip, and each strip was seamed using mattress stitch.

Step One: Knit each strip. I numbered mine with tags so it'd be easier to sew them together.

Step Two: Start seaming! This part of the process is pretty time consuming, but you'll be glad you did it. It's also pretty cathartic to end up with such a seamless finish.

Line your two pieces up, left yo

Cut a length of yarn at least 2.5-3x the length of your strip.

Joining your yarn to the cast on tail of a strip.

Just separating it out to see how the stitch works.

A close up of the stitching process.

Half way there!

That's it! Knot it off, nothing fancy necessary.

Yay! That one's done! Repeat the process until you're finished :)

This is what the front of the pillow should look like before moving on.

Step Three: Knit the back. You're going to pick up stitches along the bottom and the top - the two will be knit separately, and then seamed along the sides. When picking up, pick up the number of stitches in each square, minus one. So if each column/strip is 10 stitches wide, you only want to pick up 9 stitches. This accounts for the stitches lost to seeming.

Just starting to pick up!

All the picked up stitches!
Knit in stockinette until you near the middle of the pillow, and then knit the ribbed band that the buttons/buttonholes will go on. Just a note: the buttons will be on the piece that you knit from the bottom of the pillow. You will need to add button holes on the ribbing coming from the top of the pillow (there are pictures of the back of the pillow at the end). Don't forget to swtich to smaller needles for the ribbing. This will help keep it tight and really hug the pillow in.

Step Four: When both the bottom and top flaps for the back have been knit, it's time to seam them to the sides. Start with the bottom, as you want it to be the "inside" flap.

I secured my first stitch by looping the working yarn through the slipknot I made.

It's a little difficult to see, but this is the first join stitch. You will mattress stitch exactly as you did for seaming the strips together, but this time your two pieces are already joined at the bottom.
Step Five: When you've finished seaming, it's time to add button holes! Lay the pillow out with the back up, and mark where each button should go. Sew them on, and you're done!

Ta da! The finished product, unstuffed.

I used round black buttons on this, but I think square buttons would look really cool!

With the pillow insert in!

Sorry for the terrible lighting on this...I guess my kitchen table isn't the best place for this :(

So there you have it! The long promised Creeper Pillow. I hope that was mildly informative and interesting for some people. Pattern instruction isn't my strength, but I know sometimes you just want to  know how it's made!

I will say, however, that although I find mattress stitch very fulfilling, I'm not going to be making another one of these pillows again. At least not anytime soon. Two was quite enough for me, thanks!

Do you knit or crochet? Have you ever started a project following the directions and then thrown caution to the wind and done your own thing? I don't know about anyone else, but I think it's a pretty liberating feeling!

If I don't post tomorrow, Happy Friday, and I hope everyone has a great weekend :)


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