CDD

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The pattern … see why I was attracted to it?

In the last twenty-four hours I’ve chosen two patterns that called for a CDD. I’m not sure that I’ve ever encountered a CDD before. No, really. It’s the truth.

That said, I do know what a CDD is! It’s a centered double decrease. Essentially, what it does is decreases one stitch on either side of the center stitch in a pattern. And they’re very pretty if used properly!

First up, a dishcloth pattern that I bought a couple of years ago to support the Special Olympics and it’s called Sinkmates by Lorilee Beltman ($2 on Ravelry). I had unrealistic expectations around this dishcloth pattern, having assumed that it was a mitered square. Wrong. It was a CDD! It’s fun to knit and the first thing I’d do next time is to make the i-cord on a larger needle than the rest of the project. Mine came out somewhat lop-sided. But it’s a dishcloth. Enough said.

Next, Hartland Slipper Socks from Berroco Folio, Vol. 4. by Amy Christoffers. I loved these at first glance and knew I had to make them. Thankfully, they’ve got short cuffs and are knitted in worsted weight Berroco Ultra Wool which makes them knit up quickly. And since I had a whole weekend off this weekend, I have spent a lot of time in my studio. I love them and will be making more! There is a CDD in the “flower” design at the ankle. I’m going to show you my sequence of stitches on the dishcloth because it’s on almost-white cotton and you’ll be able to see the stitches really well!

So, here is my photo tutorial on how to do a CDD if you don’t know already …

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The CDD on Sinkmates Dishcloth … rows of CDD straight up the middle!

Knit over to the stitch before the center stitch (the CDD “line”) … see photo below!

Remember, worked stitches are on the right-hand needle, stitches to be worked are on the left needle.

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Knit up to one stitch before the center

You are going to work the stitch before and the center stitch together as if to knit two together (K2tog). (Insert the right needle knitwise into the two stitches at the same time from left to right as if you’re going to knit them together. Don’t wrap the stitches, though … see photo below.

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You can see the ridges on my thumb nail. I need a manicure!

Next, complete the slip. Slip the stitches onto the right-hand needle by pulling the left needle back and out of the stitches, leaving them on the right needle. OK so far?

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Knit the next stitch on the left needle. In the photo below you can see the two slipped stitches and then the knitted stitch sitting on the right needle. You can see them, can’t you?

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Now, get ready! You’re going to slip the two slipped stitches over the knitted one. (Insert the left needle into the two slipped stitches from left to right, holding your working yarn in your right hand and keeping some tension on the working yarn, slip the two stitches over the knitted one.)

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When it’s all said and done, and the stitches are slipped over, this is what you’ll see.

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When the left needle is pulled out of the completed stitch, you will have something like this. Hopefully, it’ll be exactly like this! The CDD is in line with all of its sister stitches below and you’ll have two fewer stitches in total on your dishcloth.

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See how pretty it is?

Go buy the pattern and give it a try! Share pictures with me of your attempts on my Queen Bee Knits by Linda Warner Facebook page! I’m excited for you to try something new!

Follow me on Facebook (Queen Bee Knits by Linda Warner) and Instagram @QueenBeeKnits. I’m also on Ravelry (lindar).

 

Wrapping up 2017!

Image (1) vintage-happy-new-year.gif for post 2190

It’s almost time for me to make those resolutions that I never manage to keep … so this year, as I enter 2018, I am resolving to be kind, to think positively, and to remember to write 2018 on my checks!

For Queen Bee Knits, that means to get the planner for next year out, get my studio (atelier) clean and organized and to keep learning more about my craft. I had a great learning experience this year with the Year of Techniques hosted by Mason Dixon Knitting here in the USA. A few things that I loved about it were that I learned a few tricks that I can pass on to my students at work, I reviewed techniques that I’ve been using – many not very often – and I got to work with yarns that I wouldn’t normally have knitted because they’re UK-based yarns. I chose to purchase the kids that were offered for each project, not that I have completed them all! The yarns were wonderful and I thoroughly enjoyed the new yarn experiences!  This was a wonderful collaboration and I would join in again if it is offered.

I’ve done a lot of knitting this year but I’d dare say that it was less than previous years because of my job at the Yardgoods Center in Waterville, Maine. I have often dreamed about what it would be like to work in or even own a yarn shop. I am gaining experience each day that I work there and I am finding that I really do love it! Working as a clerk and teacher, I go to work happy every day and I love helping our customers find their knitting mojo! I also enjoy being part of the local movement – we are a small, family-owned business (68 years old in 2017) and each customer that I encourage to make a purchase supports our community and local business. Waterville is not a fancy, thriving, seasonal, coastal community but there are lots of family small businesses struggling along.

This week I learned that another local small business yarn shop, Over the Rainbow, in Rockland, Maine is closing its doors. My heart breaks to see another local yarn shop going out of business. I’ve visited OTR many times and will miss having it on my list of places to visit when in Rockland. OTR joins Quilt Divas that closed a year or so ago.

😦 This is me making a sad face.

We’ve had a great year personally … my daughter was married, my other daughter booked a Broadway show. The husband and I entertained a few visitors at our house and traveled a little bit to be entertained by others. Our family is healthy and thriving and we are so grateful for our health, too.

I’m finishing up a few knitting projects and am looking forward to some pleasure knitting.

IMG_2248I’m knitting a striped baby blanket for my sister-in-law to give to one of her employees as a gift. I’m using Encore worsted (baby items must be washable and dry-able) in a navy and white strip with an apple green i-cord edge. It is the nature of stockinette stitch to curl and it’s curling a bit at the edges but the baby won’t mind! It’s really cute! I’m half way around with the edge … getting there! Then I’ll wash, block and send it.

I’ve finished and will block (today!) a hat for a college friend who has a friend who is going through chemotherapy. It’s a lovely soft alpaca in DK weight. The pattern is by Susan B. Anderson, “Ruche Beret” in the Weekend Hats book. I love it’s simple lines and may have to make one for myself!

I’m also working on another hat for a customer at the shop. She bought yarn and is using the 1898 Hat (free) pattern on Ravelry. This hat is very popular in Maine in the winter – especially this winter because it’s been wicked cold! Knitted with worsted weight yarn, it’s a one-skein-wonder, too! I’m knitting “mine” in Cascade Eco Duo in a great colorway – it’s so soft and it will be super warm, too! I have some Eco Duo in my stash … hmmm. IMG_2249My little boy dog was sitting in my lap the other morning when I was swatching with the US 7 needle. He doesn’t like the yarn to touch him and he kept stretching out farther and farther on my legs. 🙂 I love him!

I have many (MANY) project bags with UFOs in them. Projects that were set aside for Christmas knitting. That’s a whole new blog post! For today, I’m done. I’ve rested my hands, had a little lunch and now it’s time to get back to knitting! I love my work!

Happy New Year to my readers … all two or three of you! 🙂 May we all be blessed with love and kindness, good health and warm yarn!

Gone knitting!

A Secret Surprise Project

I have a friend who has a husband who we all love. He’s the sweetest, most thoughtful, most attentive husband that we’ve ever met. And he is totally in love with his wife.

He is also in the retail “restaurant quality” food business and has recently been promoted to Manager of his own store. The store opens in about ten days and I wanted to make him a present … for his “bow tie Wednesdays”.

Rodney's Bow Tie Wednesday Tie

Rodney’s Bow Tie Wednesday Tie

The pattern is free on the Web. (Click here to be magically transported!)

What I love about this pattern is that it’s quick … it took me about an hour and a half to knit from beginning to end. Well, it may have taken a bit longer for the i-cord, but I did it while I was watching TV so it hardly counts. I used some scraps of Noro yarn that I had in my stash, knowing that he’d want something a little bit “wild”.

I love that within the instructions there are two videos to help you with a new stitch (the lateral braid) and how to knit an i-cord. I-cord is such a fun thing to knit and can be used for so many applications … good to know!

This pattern is made for a dog but can easily be made for a human, too. I didn’t swatch (I know, don’t judge me!) but I decided if it was “awful” that I’d just pitch it. It was a bit too wide so I stuffed the ends into the middle until the tie was the size I thought was appropriate. I finished it according to the instructions and made my i-cord neck piece long enough to go over my head and so he can make it tighten to fit his neck.

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It will also come untied but I hope it’s easy enough to fix … and he knows where I live! 🙂

Don’t tell Rodney if you see him!

Gone knitting.

Alpaca & Kids & Finished Objects

They're Here!

They’re Here!

It’s a beautiful gray day today and the last of a bunch of fun with my daughter who, with her boyfriend and her new rescued pup, drove from Chicago to visit us. We’ve had some great hot weather and some more typical Maine weather (gray and cool). And we’ve had a lot of low-key fun.

We had lobster twice. I bought some alpaca yarn and knitted an i-cord cover/cozy for her iPhone earbuds. I’ve done a pair before for myself with some scrap yarn. They’re fun & don’t get knotted up in your bag. (Pictures Coming)

Meanwhile, I’ve finished a Friday Knitting Group charity project and I love it!

I bought some new yarn for a charity project ...

I bought some new yarn for a charity project …

It’s a one skein project (at least it was for me) that my Friday knitting group is making for one of our members who is legally blind and having some family challenges. We’re each knitting a square and our teacher will put the squares together. I love the way my square turned out – the colors are vivid and cheerful. The pattern, the Lizard Ridge Afghan, is a free pattern from Ravelry. It only took a couple of hours. The yarn is Noro Kureyon and it’s not too horribly pricey but if you were going to make the full size (24 squares), it’s going to cost you a fortune. It might also be nice with a couple of plain blocks or pattern blocks in a solid color. It starts out looking like an egg crate but I’m told it will block out flat … can’t wait to see the finished results! I’m sure it will be appreciated.

Lizard Ridge Afghan ... one square with love from the Queen Bee

Lizard Ridge Afghan … one square with love from the Queen Bee

My grand-dog, Willow, loved her first couple of boat rides. She particularly likes sniffing all the new smells in Maine – and she loves to watch squirrels. She’s a rescue dog and just moved to Chicago two weeks ago from Missouri and has already driven to Maine. One well-traveled girl!

She is very sweet and calmer than our one-year-old chocolate lab puppy … unless her parents are out of the room! 🙂 She has some “hang ups” (she’s afraid of the dark and has some separation anxiety … howls in their apartment … ) having been a stray who lived on the streets of Saint Louis before she was picked up and has lived in a shelter and then a foster home prior to coming to live with my daughter. I think she’s going to be a great dog. She just needs a lot of love and patience. She’s already making progress.

My new Chicago grand-dog, Willow

My new Chicago grand-dog, Willow

I love having my kids around more than anything. And this visit has been lots of fun. And I even got some knitting done between cocktail cruises!

Cocktail cruise ... daughter "binocularing" and her boyfriend "two fisted drinking" ... four dogs, four adults!

Cocktail cruise … daughter “binocularing” and her boyfriend “two fisted drinking” … four dogs, four adults! Lots of laughs!

Gone knitting!

 

How to Knit i-cord

I-cord is not a difficult thing to knit and it can be used for so many projects.

Recently, I knitted i-cord ears for a Tiny Baby Bunnies pattern and you can see pictures of my projects on my blog, here, or on my Ravelry page, here.

I’ve also used them for embellishing knitted garments like my Senorita Lolita dress and on an original cowl that I knitted and is for sale in my 3 B Street shop.

Senorita Lolita (Copyright 2011 Prima Dogma by Queen Bee Knits

Senorita Lolita (Copyright 2011 Prima Dogma by Queen Bee Knits)

 

Butterscotch Cowl Copyright 2013 Queen Bee Knits Original

Butterscotch Cowl
Copyright 2013
Queen Bee Knits Original

 

I-cord is a spiral “tube” of knitting that is constructed by sliding the working piece from one side to the other side of your DPN.

It’s a great handle for knitted (and felted totes), it’s a great embellishment for knitted garments (and can be formed into flowers or stems or just about anything you can imagine!

It’s also very simple to knit!

 

Here is what you need to know to be successful when knitting i-cord!

Cast on the required number of stitches to be used for the i-cord (in this case, I used 6 stitches.)

Cast on # of Stitches

Cast on # of Stitches

Slide your stitches to the right side of the DPN (do NOT turn your needle!)

Slide stitches from cast on position at the left of the needle to the right side

Slide stitches from cast on position at the left of the needle to the right side

Knit all stitches (to knit the first stitch, you’ll bring the working yarn around the back of your needle and give the first stitch or two or three a good tug to pull the yarn so there won’t be a huge gap but don’t worry too much as the next few rounds will help even it out!)

Note that the stitches will be on the left side of the DPN. Do NOT turn your needle.

Knit all stitches

Knit all stitches (sorry, it’s a little blurry, but you get the idea!)

Slide the stitches to the right side of the needle and knit all stitches again.

Repeat sliding the stitches from the right to left of the DPN and knitting all stitches until i-cord is the right length for your project. It is also helpful to give the “tail” a tug or two to get the i-cord to stretch out & down.

After a few rows, you’ll start to see the tube starting to take form.

After a few rows of knitting (9 here)

After a few rows of knitting (9 here)

 

Queen Bee Knitting Tip

Queen Bee
Knitting Tip

 

Knitting Tip – When you’re knitting circularly (in the round) on double-pointed or circular needles, in order to keep your knitting from getting “ladders” where the needles meet, remember to give an extra tug (gently, don’t break your yarn!) on the first and second stitches as you start working on a new needle. This will lessen the chance of ladders happening which are unsightly in your knitted garments. Trust me, I’ve got plenty of experience! 🙂

So, there you go! Practice this a few times and you’ll have a great new trick in your knitting arsenal!

Gone knitting!

Knitting … Bunny Nuggets and Tiny Baby Bunnies

This weekend I actually started and finished a little project!

It’s an award for my 3rd grade mentee who has reached her learning goals for the end of the year (or near end of the year, we still have 21 days left!) I knitted her another tiny brown bunny awhile back and she requested a pink one.

Tiny Baby Bunnies pattern by MochiMochi

Tiny Baby Bunnies pattern by MochiMochi

 

The first one that I made for her and gave to her a few weeks ago got “lost” on the bus on the way home when she was sharing it with her “friends”. I’ve told her that I’ll knit one more but she is not allowed to share it on the bus. Apparently her friends there can’t be trusted. What a shame that children have to learn that! Anyway, I thought I’d add to the little bunny and make her another and when my knitting friend, Terri, brought some Bunny Nuggets to our knitting group the other week, the choice was easy! The pocket is my addition so the little bunny will have a safe home.

Bunny Nugget with pocket and tiny bunny

Bunny Nugget (by Danger Crafts) with pocket and Tiny Baby Bunny (by MochiMochi)

 

 

The patterns are super simple to follow and easy, quick knits.

The Tiny Baby Bunnies pattern by MochiMochi told me that I had to make it in a sock-weight yarn (fortunately I had pink on hand in my stash so I didn’t have to buy more just for this tiny project!). I used US #1 double pointed needles and it came out so cute (both times). Clear instructions and about a ten-minute knit. You do need to know (or learn between now and then) how to knit in the round on DPNs and how to make i-cord. Gotta love those quick-to-knit projects!

The Bunny Nugget pattern, too, is quick and simple. Although, if I’m totally honest, I didn’t make mine in the exact order that is described in the written pattern … and it was only because I was being impulsive and maybe not paying attention! If you follow the instructions, you’ll have no problems at all! 🙂 I made the pocket by picking up eight (8) stitches in the lower belly of the nugget and knitted six or seven rows and then bound off and attached the sides. Easy-peasy! I used some stashed light pink acrylic worsted-weight yarn that I had from an old project. Just about any yarn can be used in this pattern because you can “adjust” it by using needles that are a couple sizes smaller than the yarn requires. I used a US #4 DPN with my worsted weight yarn. For this pattern, knitting in the round on DPNs, picking up stitches (if adding a pocket like mine) are two things you might need to know.

I think it’s a perfect pocket for it’s teeny tiny pink friend!

I hope she’ll love it!

Gone knitting.

 

 

No More Knotted Ear Buds

Knitted I-cord Ear Buds by Queen Bee Knits

Knitted I-cord Ear Buds by Queen Bee Knits

It’s been awhile since I saw knitted ear buds somewhere on the Internet. I’ve thought about knitting a little “sweater” for mine (so they don’t always get tangled into knots) but, frankly, it hasn’t been high on my to-do list.

But today I guess I needed something brainless to do since I’ve been working so hard on class planning and samples for the classes that I’m teaching in Louisiana. SO … I started work on my ear buds. It’ll be helpful when I’m driving for two days because I don’t like to drive with my phone in my hand.

Basically, I am knitting an i-cord around the ear bud cord. I found this free tutorial on the blog Wonderfully Awkward and I know that there are patterns out there as well if you want to search.

I’m using my Lorna’s Laces Sport in the Spats colorway – it’s left overs from the Jimmy Beans Wool Downton Abbey Mystery Knit Along. I’m using a US 2 DPN which makes my stitches tight enough that I can’t see the white cord through the knitted fabric.

Casting on 4 stitches and started at the bottom of the cord near the plug, I’m just stitching an i-cord all the way up to the split. There I will increase a couple of stitches and then hold half the stitches on a stitch holder for one side while I wrap the other side. (Very simple. If you’ve never knitted an i-cord, I’ll have to write a post about that some day soon but for now you can Google some help! There are several decent tutorials both written and video to help you.)

There you go – that’s what I am up to today!

Gone knitting (i-cord!)