Ginny’s Grannies CAL Part 7 – Circle, Star, Logs, & Stripes

Ginny’s Grannies CAL Part 7 – Circle, Star, Logs, & Stripes

Yarn support for the Ginny’s Grannies Sampler Blanket CAL was provided by Kraemer Yarns. You can sign up for their newsletter so you can stay on top of what’s new at Kraemer and be entered in the monthly drawing for a $100 yarn jackpot. Also, shipping from Kraemer is free on all orders over $50.

Ginny’s Grannies CAL Part 7

Beth Aidala
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Very Pink Tutorial - Mother Earth Wrap

Very Pink Tutorial - Mother Earth Wrap

Link to the Tutorial Mother Earth Wrap

A very wearable wrap that is great for new knitters, and excellent tv knitting for more experienced knitters.

Information on the kit, pattern, and yarn –
The Mother Earth Wrap Kits on the Kraemer Yarns website
The Mother Earth Wrap Pattern (on its own)
Perfection DK yarn (all the colors)
You can add this pattern to your Ravelry queue here

 

 

Beth Aidala
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Swatching & Washing Kraemer Yarns

Swatching & Washing Kraemer Yarns

Swatching is important to understand how the yarn will act when knit by you, with your needles and in your knitting style. It is the best way to understand the gauge you are getting so that your finished project will be the size you expect. Washing and blocking can change your gauge, so it’s important to treat your swatch as you plan to treat your finished garment. This blog will show you how!

We’ve knit swatches of three of our yarns: Naturally Nazareth, our 100% wool, in Moonlight, Perfection Worsted, our wool-acrylic blend, in Alligator, and Tatamy DK, our cotton-acrylic blend in Cherry. A quick one inch bit of knitting is not good enough to be accurate! You need at least a 4-inch square as this avoids edge distortions and for you to relax into the knitting process. Also resist the temptation to measure before your swatch is bound-off. In progress swatches won’t be accurate! If you’re concerned that you need to be conservative with your yardage, know that you can always unravel the swatch later if you need it! We knit each swatch with the recommended needle on the label. 

After you’ve knit your swatch, you’ll want to give it a bath. This step helps relax the stitches, removes dirt or oils your hands may have gotten on to the yarn, and evens everything out. Follow the directions on the yarn label and consider how you will wash the final garment. We soaked three swatches with Eucalan. The other three swatches were run through the washer and dryer. 

Our preferred method is to soak a swatch for 15 minutes in warm water with a little bit of wool wash, then lay flat to dry, as shown on the left. Do not stretch or pull at the swatch! The swatches that took a ride through the washer and dryer emerge curled up, as is the nature of stockinette stitch fabric. 

We used blocking pins to help the curled swatches lay flat and used a wooden ruler to measure the number of stitches and rows in four inches. 

 

Yarn

Gauge on Label

Needle Used

Handwashed Gauge

Machine Washed Gauge

Naturally Nazareth

20 stitches = 4”

US 8

18.5 stitches and 23 rows = 4”

18 stitches and 27 rows = 4”

Perfection Worsted

20 stitches = 4”

US 8

18 stitches and 23 rows = 4”

18 stitches and 23 rows = 4”

Tatamy DK

22 stitches = 4”

US 5

23 stitches and 30 rows = 4”

23 stitches and 30 rows = 4”


Our knitter’s swatches are different from the yarn label, and are likely to be different from your swatche as well. Multiple knitters do not knit exactly the same and the individual differences result in different gauges. Knowing how the yarn works up when you use it is what is important! If the same knitter were to knit these swatches again in a few months, it is possible their gauge would be different, given how tense or relaxed they are when knitting.

We are proud to see that this knitter achieved the same gauge for their hand washed and machine washed swatch with the Perfection and Tatamy! Garments and accessories made in these yarns are easy-care and you don’t have to worry about accidentally shrinking something you’ve worked so hard on. We are not surprised at the difference in gauge with Naturally Nazareth - 100% wool will shrink when machine washed and dried. 

Keep in mind what you want to knit, how you will care for it, and if you like the fabric that is created. Knowing your gauge with these factors will help you select the correct size for your garment. Taking the time to work a swatch will help you understand if the Kraemer Yarn you want to use will be an appropriate alternative to the yarn called for in the pattern. 


Your future self will thank you for taking the time now to learn all you can about the fabric you’ll create. Let us know how your swatches turn out!

 

Beth Aidala
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Around and Around – Ginny’s Grannies CAL Part 3

Around and Around – Ginny’s Grannies CAL Part 3

Beth Aidala
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Granny Square Sampler Beginnings – Ginny’s Grannies CAL Part 1

Granny Square Sampler Beginnings – Ginny’s Grannies CAL Part 1

Granny Square Samplers are such a great way to show off your crochet love and skill, plus they’re fun to make and keep you interested. This month we’re starting our granny square sampler blanket smack in the middle. This is going to be a fun adventure, so grab your hook and hold on tight!

Find all the details and additional links about Ginny’s Grannies HERE.

Beth Aidala
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Fixing a Brioche Mistake in the Cozy Countess Brioche Cape

Fixing a Brioche Mistake in the Cozy Countess Brioche Cape

Sometimes, when you get in the rhythm of knitting and are contentedly working along, you miss a stitch. Mistakes happen and we understand that awful feeling when you notice it.

Take a look at this Cozy Countess Brioche Cape we have in progress. From the right side, it’s hard to spot the mistake. - in the photo above, the arrow is pointed at the dropped stitch. 

But on the inside, it’s quite obvious, as you can see in the above photo. Fixing a mistake in your brioche is a little more nerve wracking than fixing a mistake in garter or stockinette fabric. The first thing you should do is stay calm. Don’t panic! It can be fixed, so take a deep breath, put the project to the side, and have a tea and cookie break. Maybe even put it down for the day and return the next day, refreshed and ready to make the corrections.   

Correcting a Brioche Mistake

The good news is that you can redo the brioche without having to rip out all of your hard work because we can focus on just the section that needs attention. Notice how the fabric looks like columns of knit stitches; that is where we are going to begin the repair work. If you’ve ever dropped down to fix a miscrossed cable or to catch an unintentionally dropped stitch, this will seem familiar to you. 

Work your way across the round until you reach the column with the stitch that needs to be reworked. Turn the work as needed so the column is on the outside, facing you. You may find it reassuring to use a locking stitch marker to hold an adjacent stitch pair so that wrapped stitch doesn’t drop, creating another opportunity for practicing this repair! 

Drop the first stitch of that column off the needle, then drop it through each row below it, until you get to the problem stitch. Take your time! A crochet hook can assist easing the stitches through. When you use a 100% wool yarn, like Naturally Nazareth, the stitches grab each other, so you may need to do a little coaxing here. 

Put that live stitch on the crochet hook. In this project, it is our lighter color grey yarn. Position the hook to go over the first strand of the darker color (red) yarn, which you will see is right at the back of the stitch, then under the next two red strands. Grab the next strand of grey, and pull it back under those two red strands, over one red strand and up through the live stitch. There you go! One stitch is repaired! 

Repeat this “over one, under two” as you fix each stitch, all the way up the column.  

That’s it! After you take a moment to admire your awesome achievement, don’t forget to turn the work back so the proper side is facing you as you continue with the knitting. 

Remember, mistakes are opportunities to learn something new and build your skill set! Let us know how it works for you and that you’ve had success, you can find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Ravelry

Don’t forget to pin this post!

Beth Aidala
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Dog Walker Hat – with bonus leash pattern

Dog Walker Hat – with bonus leash pattern

The Dog Walker Hat is stretchy and long, so it fits many sizes. It stretches for larger sizes and the bottom can be folded up for smaller sizes. It also uses a reflective carry-along thread so it reflects light. This makes it great for late night walks as it will reflect in car headlights so you are more likely to be seen. Plus, there’s a bonus leash pattern for your furry friend!
Click here for free pattern

Beth Aidala
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Cozy Countess Brioche Cape Tips to Get Started

Cozy Countess Brioche Cape Tips to Get Started

The Cozy Countess Brioche Cape is one of three cape designs for Kraemer Yarns by Vanessa Ewing. Brioche stitches create a squishy, reversible fabric with pronounced ribs. The technique looks fancy but is really no harder than turning a heel or working short rows - it just takes a little extra attention as you learn the steps. 

Brioche knitting in the Cozy Countess design requires a few set up rounds, which we’ll focus on today. After you have cast-on the stitches for your chosen size, you’ll join to work in the round, being careful not to twist, and knit a few rounds. Now it’s time to get into the good stuff, or get set up for the good stuff. Brioche fabric is achieved by alternating columns of slipped stitches with yarnovers and knit stitches. The working yarn is not carried in front or in back of a slipped stitch, but as a yarn over with the slipped stitch that gives the stitch a little shawl! 

The first set up round instructs you to *Sl1yo, p2tog; repeating the * to the end of the round.

You’ll see a stitch count at the end of Setup Round 1 and you’ll notice it is much less than the number of stitches you started with. Do not panic! Remember how we mentioned above that the yarn over with the slipped stitch is a “shawl”? This shawled stitch (the slipped stitch and yarn over) is counted as ONE STITCH. That is why the stitch counts are so different. 

After this setup round, you’ll begin using colors A and B, but only one color per round as instructed. The special stitches, BRK or BRP, involve knitting the stitch together with its yarn over (BRK) or purling the stitch together with its yarn over (BRP). 

Our instructions indicate if you are to use color A or color B on each row. Shown above is the second round in the If you aren’t sure, you can look to the yarn over of the row just worked, that’s the last color that you used. 

Know that it will take eight or ten rounds to begin to see the brioche fabric emerge. We are not in any rush, so just take it one stitch at a time. You might want to use post-it notes or highlighter tape, or a notepad, to help keep track of your placement in the pattern. 

We hope you’ll give brioche knitting a try! Currently in January and February we are having a Cape KAL, and we would love for you to join in. Share your progress with us on your favorite social platform: Facebook, Instagram, or Ravelry, either tag us (@KraemerYarns) or use the hashtag #KraemerYarnsCapeKAL. We have kits for the Cozy Countess Brioche Cape ready to ship. If you already have Naturally Nazareth in your stash, you can purchase the pattern separate from the kit. 

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Beth Aidala
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Ginny's Grannies 2020 Blanket CAL

Ginny's Grannies 2020 Blanket CAL

The Ginny’s Grannies Sampler Blanket CAL will take place throughout 2020. We will be making a granny square sampler blanket in rainbow colors. The blanket has a fun layout inspired by a blanket from an old Better Homes & Gardens book my Grammy Ginny gave me. This first post will tell you all you need to understand how the CAL works and to get ready to make your blanket.

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Beth Aidala
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Spa Day Soap Sack Tips

Spa Day Soap Sack Tips

We are super excited about the positive response to our new kit, the Spa Day Soap Sack, available to crochet or knit! Soap sacks hold your bar of soap, amplify the soap's lather, and act as a washcloth all in one. The textured stitches exfoliate your skin and there will be no more soap sticking to the side of your tub.

These are quick and easy gifts to have on hand for every occasion, holiday, birthday, or care package. Pick up a few artisan soaps to pair with your hand knit/crochet soap sack for a unique and practical gift! Who couldn't use a little spa love? Each kit comes with the pattern and a skein of Tatamy Worsted, our cotton and acrylic blend. It’s machine-washable and dryer friendly. There are 25 colors from which to choose - pick something to coordinate with your bathroom or go with a favorite color. 

Tip #1: As they say, your mileage may vary, due to differences in gauge from knitter to knitter or crocheter to crocheter, but we are confident you can make two from one skein of yarn! How can you check this? When you finish the first soap sack, weigh it, then weigh the yarn you have leftover. If the yarn leftover is equal to or greater than the soap sack, you’ll have enough yarn to make another! In the sample shown above, the knit soap sack weighs 23 grams, and the remaining yarn weighs 86 grams. We could make three more! Keep in mind, this may change depending on the size of the soap you wish to put in the sack. Each pattern is easy to modify to make it wider or taller. 

Tip #2: Before starting the eyelet rounds, check to make sure your soap will fit! Here, we’ve crocheted the body of the soap sack to the length instructed in the pattern. The size is just right for the circle shaped soap and the striped rectangle, but needs to be a little taller for the narrow rectangle bar. Know that it is ok for the sack to be wider than the soap - it will help to build up the lather!

Tip #3: Thread, ribbon,i-cord, a crochet chain, a or even a braid of yarn can be used for the drawstring but we like using yarn to make a twisted cord. Start by cutting a long piece of yarn - a little more than twice your armlength should do it. Fold it in half, loop it over your finger or a doorknob, and twist it with the opposite hand. Twist until you feel it cannot twist anymore, then allow it to fold in on itself. Make a small knot in the end and thread it through the eyelets. 

We do recommend that you remove the bar of soap after use and hanging the sack to dry. This will keep your soap longer, as moisture will not be held against it in between use which can make it mushy. Remember how we said you could make more than one from a skein? We encourage you to do so, one can be in the wash with your towels and the other is fresh and ready to go! This is a great pattern for using up your leftovers of Tatamy yarn, you could easily colorblock or stripe the soap sacks by adding in another color.

The artisan soaps shown in our Spa Day Soap Sack photos on PatternsbyKraemer.com are available from KellyAnnsoaps.com. Her soaps are so rich and creamy, made with intoxicating fragrances and high quality ingredients. We absolutely recommend KellyAnn's soaps! Additional soaps photographed here are from Sappo Hill (circle), Indigo Wild Zum Bar (striped rectangle), and Herb Garden Naturals (tall rectangle).

If you’re looking to build your skill set in the new year, consider these Spa Day Soap Sacks! They are great for beginners as well as advanced makers when you need a quick project for instant gratification! We’d love to see your projects and encourage you to share them with us on Facebook or Instagram

 

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Beth Aidala
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Shadow Checkerboard Baby Blanket Video Tutorial from VeryPink.com

Shadow Checkerboard Baby Blanket Video Tutorial from VeryPink.com

If you’ve never shadow knit before, this baby blanket is a great way to learn! Shadow knitting is a very clever technique that looks like stripes when viewed straight on but when you look from the side, the pattern is revealed. The pattern will show best in light and dark color yarns.

In this video Staci Perry, of VeryPink.com, demonstrates the shadow/illusion knitting in the Shadow Checkerboard Baby Blanket

Get your free pattern here on Ravelry, add it to your queue! 

The yarn for this blanket (over 70 colors!) can be found here. Ready-to-go kits are available here

Beth Aidala
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Janet’s Garden - Part 9 - CAL for October - Classic Crochet Stitch

Janet’s Garden - Part 9 - CAL for October - Classic Crochet Stitch

Classic crochet stitches are great to know, and the linen stitch is by far a favorite of mine. It makes such a wonderful fabric and you can do so much with it by playing with color changes. The way I have used it in the October section of the Janet’s Garden CAL, it makes cute little dots!

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Beth Aidala
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