PLEASE VOTE! {Update: I won!}

Happy Saturday, readers! It’s pretty unusual to find me here on the weekend, so you know it has to be for good reason!

All Free Knitting is a website chockfull of free knitting patterns for all skill levels. They receive millions of views each week, and are a staple in a knitter’s online arsenal of tools. Back in October, the editor of All Free Knitting, Kathryn Abrams, reached out to me because she wanted to include my knit tie for Anne on her site (with a proper link back to Scissors & Sage). You can find that feature on All Free Knitting here.

Kathryn reached out again in March because she selected my knit tie to be a part of her latest e-book, 9 Men’s Knitting Patterns. (Click here to download it!) I couldn’t believe she wanted to feature me as one of nine patterns. The best part? I asserted that the pattern had to be introduced using inclusive language if she wanted to include me in the book.

THEN, Kathryn emailed me a few weeks ago to tell me that my tie had been hand-picked to be included in All Free Knitting’s “Top 5 Father’s Day Knitting Patterns” contest. I of course accepted the invitation! The winner is determined by the number of favorable comments they receive on All Free Knitting’s post. The winner gets a $50 Amazon gift card! If me and my tie model win, the card is going straight into our Ball jar labeled “Wedding Fund.” The contest is open until Friday, June 17th.

Readers, please take a moment to vote for Anne’s knit tie! It would be an honor to win this contest and be recognized for my knitting. Here’s how you can vote:

  1. Visit All Free Knitting’s “Top 5 Father’s Day Knitting Patterns” post.
  2. Leave a comment letting them know which of the five patterns is your favorite.

Not only will one of the knitting patterns win, but there’s something in it for you, too! All Free Knitting will choose one commenter at random to win a copy of their book, Simple Scarves Made with the Knook, and the Knook Kit.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Advertisements

How To Knit A Tie

Over the past two years or so, I’ve really gotten back into knitting. My grandma taught me when I was much younger. We’d sit on the couch together after I got home from elementary school, and she’d patiently teach me how to knit. My grandma was a very quiet person, but we did so much together (knit, watch Nick at Nite, eat snacks after school, pick flowers from the yard). She was a wonderful teacher.

After she passed away, I let many years go by before trying to knit again. Last year, I finally finished a scarf we had been knitting together for my dad. I didn’t remember how to knit, so I turned to one woman’s YouTube channel to learn again. Knitting Tips By Judy is a wonderful resource for knitters of all levels. Her tutorials are clear and concise, two important qualities for the beginning (or returning!) knitter.

My inspiration for knitting a straight tie actually came from another knitter, Kristen McDonnell of Studio Knit. Anne occasionally wears ties to work (she’s a teacher), and so I thought that she’d really appreciate a hand-knit tie! I altered Kristen’s tutorial slightly, so let me share my process with you. I decided to jazz things up with a contrasting color on the tie’s tail.

Using seed stitch for a tie is ideal because it holds its shape well and is reversible — meaning it looks the same on the front and back of the work. I find seed stitch to be an attractive stitch for all kinds of knitwear, even though some knitters find it tedious to switch between knit and purl every stitch.

Hand-Knit Straight Tie

Materials:

  • Two skeins of wool yarn in different colors (Use yarn that is meant for size US 8 needles)
  • Size US 5 straight needles
  • Tapestry needle
  • Scissors

How to Knit the Tie:

  1. Cast on 11 stitches using the color for the front of the tie
  2. Seed stitch for 21 inches
  3. Decrease to 9 stitches by knitting 2 together on both ends of the work
  4. Seed stitch for 1 inch
  5. Decrease to 7 stitches by purling 2 together on both ends of the work
  6. Seed stitch for 10 inches
  7. Switch yarn colors and continue seed stitch for another 22-24 inches
  8. Cast off and weave in ends

How to Knit the Keeper Loop:

  1. Cast on 11 stitches using the color for the front of the tie
  2. Seed stitch for 1 inch
  3. Cast off, but do not weave in ends
  4. Use yarn tails and the tapestry needle to sew the keeper loop to the back of the tie, approximately 7 inches from the bottom of the tie

Now that you’ve finished knitting your tie, it is important to block it. This will relax the yarn fibers, and help the tie sit flat against the torso. You can block the tie every few times it is worn in order to help maintain its shape. What’s great is that blocking can be done for all kinds of projects. Here’s how I do it.

Steam Block Your Work

Materials:

  • Ironing board and iron
  • Hand towel
  • T-pins

How-To:

  1. Soak the hand towel in water, and then gently squeeze out any excess water.
  2. Place your work flat on the ironing board, and lay the wet towel over your work. Stamp the hot iron over the wet towel, and you will start to see steam rise from the towel. Continue this process over the entire towel for about 1-2 minutes. Note that the towel and your work will both be incredibly hot.
  3. Remove the towel, and use t-pins to hold your work in place. These pins can go directly into the ironing board. Ensure that the yarn is not being pulled too far, but rather just enough to force your work into the desired shape.
  4. Once your work is bone dry, remove the t-pins. You’re done!

Ear Warmer Headband

I recently finished my second knitting project of the season: an ear warmer headband for my mom’s birthday!  It was a fun project because I was able to try out a new stitch and create my own pattern based on styles I saw online.  Before I gave it to my mom, I snapped a few pictures of the final product.The name of the stitch I used here is the seed stitch.  It is a most magnificent stitch that I will certainly use for future knitting projects.  It is so delicate and beautiful!  Once again, Knitting Tips By Judy helped me learn and become comfortable with my knitting skills.  The trick to using the seed stitch is to cast on an odd number of stitches.  Here are my own step-by-step directions:

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 skein of yarn (I used 50% wool/50% alpaca in charcoal grey)
  • Size 8 knitting needles
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Scissors

How-To:

  1. Cast on 15 stitches
  2. Alternate every stitch: knit-purl-knit-purl-etc.
  3. Make sure you start and end every row with a knit stitch
  4. Continue knitting until the headband fits comfortably around your head
  5. Cast off and sew in the yarn ends
  6. Whipstitch the headband closed
  7. For the small band, cast on 15 stitches and knit about 10 rows
  8. Cast off, sew in the yarn ends, and whipstitch the band closed around the ear warmer headband (this will produce the pleated look)
  9. Put it on and ENJOY!

For those of you who are looking to tidy up your own yarn collection, here is one way to do so.  I’ve started collecting toilet paper tubes to wind my yarn!


Have questions?  Any suggestions for future projects?  Leave a comment!