Welcome to Week 3 of Knit Camp!
This week, we are releasing my hot water bottle pattern, and teaching increasing, seams and sewing up and blocking. This hot water bottle cover will be sure to keep you warm during the rest of camp!
My aim in designing the hot water bottle was to create a striking design which would also maximise a new knitter's opportunities for practising all the skills that Knit Camp is teaching. The pattern includes different stitch patterns, and needs both increasing and decreasing skills, practise at measuring your knitting, and a lot of seaming (you may not thank me for that - but its excellent practice).
To use this tutorial, you will also need the pattern, included in the Knit Camp Kit, and printed below. The pattern is divided up into three stitch patterns, which are listed separately to make it clear when you move from one to the next, but just keep the knitting continuous between them.
Patterned Hot Water Bottle
To fit 1 litre size hot water bottle meas 16cm wide and 28cm high.
50g ball Libby Summers Fine Aran in Lima (Shade 101)
5mm knitting needles
RS right side
skpo slip one st, knit one st, pass slipped st over
M1 make one st by picking up loop in row below and knitting into the back of it
sl 1p slip one st purlwise
k2tog knit 2 sts tog
kfb knit into front and back of st (thus making one extra stitch)
kfbf knit into front, back and front again (thus making two extra stitches)
LH left hand
RH right hand
18 sts and 24 rows in stocking stitch to 10cm/4in using 5mm needles (or size needed to achieve tension)
Front (make 1)
Cast on 24 sts.
Row 1: Kfb, k to last 2 sts, kfb, k1. 26 sts
Row 2: Knit.
Row 3: As row 1. 28 sts
Row 4: Knit.
Row 5: Knit.
Purl 5 rows.
Knit 5 rows.
Purl 5 rows.
Row 21 (RS): *P4, k4; rep from * to last 4 sts, p4.
Row 22: *K4, p4; rep from * to last 4 sts, k4.
Rows 23-24: As Rows 21- 22.
Row 25: *K4, p4; rep from * to last 4 sts, k4.
Row 26: *P4, k4; rep from * to last 4 sts, p4.
Rows 27-28: As Rows 25-26.
Rows 29-44: As Rows 21-28.
Knit 5 rows.
Row 50 (WS): P1, *k1, p4; rep from * to last 2 sts, k1, p1.
Row 51: K.
Row 52: As Row 1.
Row 53: K2tog, k to last 2 sts, k2togtbl. 26 sts
Row 54: *K1, p4; to last st, k1.
Row 55: As Row 53. 24 sts
Row 56: *P4, k1; rep from * to last 4 sts, p4.
Row 57: As Row 53. 22 sts
Row 58: P3, *k1, p4; rep from * to last 4 sts, k1, p3.
Row 59: As Row 53. 20 sts
Row 60: P2, *k1, p4; rep from * to last 3 sts, k1, p2.
Row 61: Knit.
Rep last 2 rows until work measures 18cm from beginning of Pattern 3, ending with a WS row (as row 60).
Row 1 (RS): K1, M1, k to last st, M1, k1. 22 sts
Row 2: P3, *k1, p4; rep from * to last 4 sts, k1, p3.
Row 3: As Row 1. 24 sts
Row 4: *P4, k1; rep from * to last 4 sts, p4.
Row 5: As Row 1. 26 sts
Row 6: *K1, p4; rep from * to last st, k1.
Row 7: As Row 1. 28 sts
Row 8: P1, *k1, p4; rep from * to last 2 sts, k1, p1.
Knit 5 rows.
Work as for Front until end of Pattern 2. Knit one extra row, then cast off.
With right side facing you, fold top section (pattern 3) of front over so that right sides are together and five rows of garter stitch just before the beginning of top section match up with six rows of garter stitch at the end of front.
With wrong side facing you, place back piece on top of front piece, making sure that cast off edge of back piece comes above the six rows of garter stitch at end of front piece. Pin in place. Sew pieces together using back stitch, leaving flap opening. Turn right side out.
Practising Stitch Patterns
I. Garter Stitch
Garter stitch can be created with either the knit or the purl stitch, and this pattern combines both in sequence to give plenty of practice for both stitches.
2. Basket Stitch
A common stitch, which has many uses in design, and is a great way to practise alternating between knit and purl on one row. Beginners sometimes struggle with remembering to take the yarn back before knitting and forward before purling, and it can take practise to do this without wrapping the yarn around the needle as you do so.
3. Seed Rib or Broken Stocking Stitch
This stitch has different names. Usually it is done by knitting on the RS, and purling on the wrong side, with knit stitches evenly space along the purl row, which will appear as 'purl' stitches on the RS to break up the st st appearance. Good practice, without being as tiring as the traditional rib stitch. Using this stitch in the top section of the hot water bottle pulls the tension in a little, but not as much as a rib stitch would, so it is ideal for a section where a narrower tension is needed.
A hot water bottle pattern usually requires some shaping (not always!) and this pattern uses two techniques for increasing and two techniques for decreasing, which will equip you with most of the skills you need to tackle most patterns involving shaping. Don't worry if this sounds daunting, as the tutorial below takes you through each one step by step.
Often, increases and decreases will be written one or two stitches in from the edge of work. This makes sewing up easier, and draws attention to the increase or decrease, which can add to the design. However, in this pattern, where there is a lot of pattern and texture, the decrease is best hidden in the selvedge, so that is why I have written the decreases and increases in the first and second stitches of the row.
When I designed the hot water bottle, I took photos as I went along, as I thought it might be helpful for new knitters trying out the pattern to see exactly what the knitting should look like at each stage. So, here is a step by step guide through the pattern. I hope its helpful. I have not gone through blocking and sewing up in lots of detail as Joanne and Kat will be exploring that later in the week, but I hope that what I have given you here will be enough to complete the design, for those of you who want to get cracking as soon as possible!
A: Row 3: Kfb....
The photo shows knitting into the back of the stitch after having already knitted into the front
B: Row 6
The photo shows work after just as you are about to start Row 6 with WS facing (where instructions say ‘Purl 5 rows’)
C: Row 11
About to start Row 11 with RS facing (where instructions say ‘Knit 5 rows’)
D: Row 16
About to start Row 16 with WS facing (where instructions say ‘Purl 5 rows’ for the second time)
E: Row 21
About to start Row 21 with RS facing
This is the beginning of Pattern 2
F: Row 29
About to start Row 29 with RS facing
1st 8 rows of Pattern 2 completed
G: Row 45
About to start Row 45 (where pattern says ‘K5 rows’ in Pattern 2 section)
H: Row 50
RS view when you are about to start Pattern 3 (Row 50)
The knitting needle is facing the wrong way. You will need to turn knitting round to knit row 50.
J: Row 53
Pattern 3 (k2tog) (1)
1st stage of k2tog - insert needle into 2 sts instead of 1 st
K: Row 53
Pattern 3 (k2tog) (2)
2nd stage of K2tog - yarn round needle (yrn)
L: Row 53
Pattern 3 (k2tog) (3)
3rd stage of k2tog - bring yarn through loops of both stitches
M: Row 53
Pattern 3 (k2tog) (4)
4th stage of k2tog - slip 2 stitches off left hand needle
N: End of Row 53
Pattern 3 k2togtbl (1)
Do this in the same way as k2tog, BUT at first stage, insert needle into the BACK of the loops instead of the front
P: End of Row 53
Pattern 3 k2togtbl (2)
2nd stage of k2togtbl - yarn round needle (yrn)
Q: End of Row 53
Pattern 3 k2togtbl (3)
3rd stage of k2togtbl - Pull yarn through loops of both stitches
R: End of Row 53
RS view at end of Row 10 of Pattern 3 before turning work to begin Row 11
T: Row 1 of Increase Section (1)
1st stage of M1 - picking up loop between 1st and 2nd stitch, placing it on left hand needle
U: Row 1 of Increase Section (2)
2nd stage of M1 - knitting into the back of the loop
V: Row 1 of Increase Section (3)
3rd stage of M1 - yarn round needle in usual way and slip stitch off left hand needle
W: RS view of work after Row 8 of Increase Section
If you used the kfb method of increasing in this section, then the 'purl' stitch that it creates on the RS side of work would be confused with the purl stitch of the pattern. This is why the M1 method is used here.
X: WS view of work when casting off
Casting off is done on the WS as the 'purl' stitch of the garter edge will then be closer to the cast off edge, which looks neater in this design.
Z: Blocking your work before sewing up
Place work on ironing board with RS facing you. Pin in place as shown. Spray with water and leave until dry (about 2 hours). Remove work from ironing board. Do not iron!
Making Up (1)
With RS facing you, fold top section (pattern 3) of front cover over so that right sides are together and five rows of garter stitch just before the beginning of top section match up with six rows of garter stitch at the end of front
With WS facing you, place back piece on top of front piece, making sure that cast off edge of back piece comes above the six rows of garter stitch at end of front piece.
Pin in place.
Making Up (2)
Sew pieces together using back stitch, leaving flap opening. When you have sewn all the way round, remove pins and turn work right side out.
Raspberry and Amaretti Crunch Cake
In response to popular request from my Facebook Friends, I am sharing my version of this recipe, originally from The Good Food magazine mini book '101 Tempting Deserts'.
Baking is one of the things I do to relax from designing. Knitting might be relaxing, but designing is not! There is a lot of maths, and a lot of head scratching at times. You need to try and get the pattern exactly right otherwise knitters will be scratching their heads as well, as I don't like it when that happens. The level of precision required in writing knitting patterns is quite extreme. One typo (say a 26 instead of a 25) can cause a great deal of confusion. Not so with baking.
One of the things that appeal about baking is that you can be a little (or a lot) creative and it doesn't usually matter. The only people who will suffer the consequences of a cake 'gone wrong' will be your family or friends. And usually they don't mind too much, because let's face it - a homemade cake that's slightly sqwifffy is almost invariably (read 'always') better than a shop bought one.
So, last weekend, I took some time off from writing my knitting book, and made a cake. This is the one I made. I always do things ever so slightly differently from the recipe. Its my way of rebelling. In my work, rebelling against the principles of pattern writing is a pretty serious matter, so I have to find other ways to have fun.
Raspberry and Amaretto Cake 'Pattern'
175g/6oz soft butter (I always use goats butter - it makes much better cakes)
175g/6oz golden caster sugar
3 large eggs (the recipe just says 'eggs' but I reckon that large ones are always the best bet for a cake)
140g/5oz self-raising flour
85g/3oz ground almonds (I buy mine in this lovely big pack from Silver Lane Health Food shop, not to be found anywhere else that I have ever known They've had the same home printed labels since I was a child, and I remember dragging my long-suffering mother in there to buy free range eggs and Ecover washing up liquid when it was ever so new and super-worthy. It still the same amazing smell too.)
150g/5½oz amaretti biscuits - the crunchy ones, not the soft ones. The mini ones are best.
220g punnet raspberries. The recipe says 250g but the supermarkets seem to sell raspberries in 220g punnets, and let's face it, you are not going to buy an extra one for 30g....The recipe says serve the 30g raspberries with the cake, so I just put all the raspberries in the cake instead and have an extra dollop of creme fraiche.
Icing sugar to liberally dust
Half Fat Creme Fraiche (the recipe says cream, but there has to be SOME restraint shown here, surely, as its January, and I always find the fresh and tangy flavour of creme fraiche goes better with the sweetness of a cake like this. Cream is TOOO much).
I gather that this cake 'per serving' (depending obviously on the size of a serving) will give you an injection of 640 kcalories, protein 12g, carb 68g, fat 37g, saturated fat 17g, fibre 4g, added sugar 34g, salt 0.92g.
So all in all, maybe one for the 'day off' from your New Year diet!
Happy baking! Post your pics!
Knit Camp is now in full swing, and today's tutorial, up on Kat's blog, is for casting on. I have written two different cast on methods for you, so you can choose which one to try, or try both! The cable method is most similar to the knit stitch, so is good preparation for that, but can be tricky for complete beginners. If you are a complete beginner, you might prefer to try the thumb method, as this is really quite easy to tackle. The only drawback with this one is that the first row can end up a little loopy if you're not careful. All I would say is, try try and try again, and don't expect your first attempts to be perfect. I love this quote by Aristotle: "The best way for a student to get out of difficulty is to go through it."
Before I became a knitwear designer, I was a violin teacher for more than a decade, and I thought I would try and apply some lateral thinking to see what I could squeeze out of my experiences as a music teacher to try and help the campers learning to knit.
Today, we will start with looking at 'Practice'.
Practice - the most common thing that springs to mind about practice is the much mis-quoted saying 'practice makes perfect'. However, only perfect practice makes perfect! Here are some tip for practising, which can as easily be applied to knitting as to music
There are many more things I could write about practice, but these principles will hopefully get you thinking for now, and help with the first tutorial. Don't forget to join the facebook page for help when you get stuck, and for sharing your progress and photos of your work.
Happy casting on!
I'm crazy about yarn, Scotland, food, my husband and my three girls, and I live in a perpetual state of organised chaos. Some just call it creativity.