Friday, November 9, 2012

Knitting Cables Day 3

The Six Strand Braid was much more difficult. I drew a diagram, and then tried a first effort, but it was way too loose didn't have the woven effect that I wanted. Just like how the 5-strand braid needed 2 cables to be done in 1 row, the 6-strand needs that in two separate rows. In essence, there are three different rows of cabling as you face the front. (Nothing happens on the back rows anyway.) The first row, strand 1 goes front, and strand 4 goes back. The second row of cables, strand 2 goes back, and strand 5 goes front. In the third row, there's only one cable: strand 3 goes front. This is what I wrote out when I figured it out--maybe it will be helpful for some of you. (The cable strands are all 3 stitches each.)
step 1. 1F, 4B
step 2. 2B, 5F
step 3. 3F

Here's the actual pattern for what I did:

Six-strand Braid
Cast on 32 (7 on each side, 18 for the 6 strands)
1. (k1, p1, k1, p1, k1, p1, k1), k18, rep ( )
2. (k1, p1, k1, p1, k1, p1, k1), p18, rep ( )
3. (k1, p1, k1, p1, k1 , p1, k1), Cable 3 front (using 6 stitches total), k3, Cable 3 back, k3, rep ( )
4. rep row 2
5. (k1, p1, k1, p1, k1, p1, k1), k3, cable 3 back, k3, cable 3 front, rep ( )
6. rep row 2
7. (k1, p1, k1 ,p1, k1, p1, k1) k6, cable 3 front, k6, rep ( )

                rep rows 2-7 for pattern.

Incidentally, it will take 6 repetitions of the pattern for all the strands to be back in their starting positions.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Knitting Cables Day 2

After the success of day 1, I (still being sick) couldn't stop! What next to do? Well, the 4-strand braid...and on to the 5 strand! Fortunately, I had practiced doing the 4-strand when I was younger, first with string and then with my hair, so I had a good vision of what it was supposed to look like. 5-strand was a little trickier, but I drew a diagram for myself, and it took a little bit to figure out how tight it should be, but on the whole, it worked out great!

Four-Strand Braid:
cast on 33
1. *(k1, p1, k1) k12*, rep *, rep ( )
2. *(k1, p1, k1), p12*, rep *, rep ( )
3. *(k1, p1, k1), Cable 3 front (6 stitches), k6*, rep*, rep ( )
4. rep row 2.
5. *(k1, p1, k1) k6, Cable 3 front*, rep*, rep ( )
6. rep row 2.
7. *(k1, p1, k1), k3, Cable 3 back, k3*, rep*, rep ( )
                    rep row 2-7 for pattern

Five-Strand Braid:
Cast on 21
1. (k1, p1, k1) k 15, rep ( )
2. (k1, p1, k1) p 15, rep ( )
3. (k1, p1, k1) Cable 3 back, k3, Cable 3 front, rep ( )
4. rep 2.
5. (k1, p1, k1) k3, Cable 3 front, k6, rep ( )
6. rep 2.
7. (k1, p1, k1) k6, Cable 3 back, k3, rep ( )
                  rep rows 2-7 for pattern

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Knitting Cables Day 1

A couple weeks ago, I got sick. And I suppose that my comfort activity when sick is knitting (or crocheting), but in this case, I had just recently purchased my first cable hooks, so the obvious choice was knitting. Considering that I've wanted to learn to do cables basically all my life, and that the cable hooks were some few cents over a dollar at Michaels, this really might qualify as one of my easiest long-time dreams come true.... which is honestly pretty stellar, even when you're sick.

 You can probably see that for my first cables, I made the rookie mistake of putting knits instead of purls right next to the cable. So I wrote down the "pattern" so I could remember what I did in case I wanted to do it again. Here it is if anyone wants it:

Two-Strand Twist
cast on 21 stitches
1. (k1, p1, k1) *k6, (k1, p1, k1)* rep from *
2. (k1, p1, k1) *p6, (k1, p1, k1)* rep from *
3. rep 1.
4. rep 2.
5. (k1, p1, k1) *Cable 3 back (as in, put 3 on the cable hook, hold behind, k3, then k3 off the cable hook), (k1, p1,k1)*, rep *
6. rep row 2.
               7 and on, repeat from 1-6 for the pattern

Having no pattern, I just decided to try to do a few panels. The goal: braids. I started with a standard cable, and then I tried a standard 3 strand braid. Here's what I did (again, minus the knits on each side of the braid.)

Three-Strand Braid
cast on 19
1. (k1, p1, k1, p1, k1) k 9, rep ( )
2. (k1, p1, k1, p1, k1), p9, rep ( )
3. (k1, p1, k1, p1, k1), cable 3 front (using 6 stitches), k3, rep ( )
4. rep row 2
5. rep row 1.
6. rep row 2.
7. (k1, p1, k1, p1, k1) k 3, Cable 3 back (6 st total), rep ( )
8. rep row 2.
                 9 and on, rep row 1-8 for pattern.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Painting a bookcase

Whew! It's been a while since I last posted, and while I'm home, I've been in a kick of doing a bunch of crafts. One has been repainting a sad old white bookcase that we acquired as a castoff from our aunt and uncle who live nearby.

Unfortunately I didn't have enough foresight to take "before" and "after" pictures. But I decided to paint it red, with a string of flowers along the middle of the shelves. I'll put up several pictures--they should explain it by themselves. :-) It was a long process, but very fun and with a wonderful result!

I practiced on paper for several days, figuring out brush strokes and experimenting with a pattern I could repeat all the way across.

the pattern on the shelves

experimenting in the corners

thinking of something special for the middle on the top shelf

close-up of most of the pattern

the top

almost done! only the base left

all done! 

close-up of the bottom

Happily working away on the corners (you can see I just started on the bottom right corner.)

We moved the bookcase up into our living room this last weekend, and it adds so much color and beauty to the room! :-)