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January 14 Knittingnews

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Knittingnews - January 14

Knittingnews January Newsletter

In This Issue:

  • Free Patterns:  Square #1
  •                         Napkin Ring
  • Why Gauge?
  • Sites To Visit
  • History of Knitting


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 Happy New Year everyone. I hope your holidays were filled with good friends, good health, and lots of joy with your families.  We had a low-key holiday but still had a lot to celebrate and pray for.

  We were very pleased to find out that I will be having my third baby in April.  I have been very sick during this pregnancy.  So for all you who have been wondering if I have fallen off the face of the earth, I'm back.

  We were also sad to hear my mom was diagnosed with cancer. By the time this newsletter goes to you, she will have had an operation and we all hope for good news.   Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

  It seems as though I will be waiting on more than the crocuses this spring!  I promise not to include way too many baby projects in this newsletter, even though baby things are constantly on my mind.  I look forward to many late nights of snuggling in with a ball of new yarn and clicking needles.

  I plan on coming up with new and interesting projects. This year, I will be working on a lap quilt with you.  Each issue I will make a different square and join them together at the end. There will be a total of 12 squares. If you don't want a lap quilt, you can use these squares as dishcloths or hot pads.  You can even sew 4 together in a square for a unique throw pillow.

Free Pattern
Square #1

This square will make a great washcloth if done in kitchen cotton yarn.  If you plan on making an afghan with the square series please use a no-dye lot yarn.  Each square will feature a different texture, so you can choose colors that will enhance your d├ęcor.  I have chosen three colors for myself:  cream, taupe, and peach.

Supplies needed:
Size 8 US (5mm.) needle, about 1oz. of yarn, 4 markers, and a tapestry needle.

Gauge: 14 stitches x 20 rows = 4" square

The finished project will be a 12" square.

I used Caron perfect match yarn in cream for my square.

Key: STS= stitches, P = purl, K = knit, CO = cast on, BO = bind off,
RPT = repeat pattern.

This is a simple basket weave square.  I like to use markers, just so I don't have to count.

CO 42 STS.  1st row: K1, P1, RPT to end.
2nd row: K all the P STS, P all the K STS, 3rd row: Rpt row 2.
4th row: P1, K1, P1, place 1 marker knit to the last 3 STS, place 1 marker, K1, P1, K1. 5th row: P1, K1, P1, P 2 STS, place 1 marker P all STS to the last 5 STS, place 1 marker, P 2 STS, K1, P1, K1.

You now have 5 sections.  Work as following:
Section 1 & 5: continue to K the P STS, P the K STS.
Section 2 & 4: continue to K the K STS, P the P STS.
Section 3: Row 1: K4, P4 RPT
Row 2: K the K STS, P the P STS. Row 3, 4 & 5: RPT row 2,
Row 6: P the K STS, Row 7, 8, 9 & 10: RPT row 2.
Repeat the 10 rows for pattern.

Work all 5 sections until you have worked 50 rows in the center.

Next row, Work 1st section, K across to 5th section, work 5th section.
Next row, Work 1st section, P across to 5th section, work 5th section.
Next row, start working 1st section and continue K1, P1 pattern across, removing all markers.  Continue next 2 rows: K the P STS, P the K STS. Then BO in K.
Weave in all loose ends.

Why Gauge?

At the beginning of almost every pattern there is a note about gauge.  Why waste the extra time and yarn?  Gauge can be the most important thing you knit in every project.  There are so many variables in yarns and knitting needles. It can also affect the amount of yarn used, leaving you with not enough to finish.  Improper gauge can also leave you with a project that is ill-fitted, or difficult to fit together.

  I like to knit up a 4" by 4" square then measure how I did against the listed gauge. If it worked out the same I have nothing to worry about, if it differs I have to adjust the amount of stitches per inch.   Change the needle size and you can easily change the gauge.  To increase stitches per inch, use a smaller needle and knit up another 4" square. To decrease stitches per inch, use a larger size needle and knit up a 4" square.

   I like to knit one up before every project, because I have learned the hard way that gauge can differ between two brands of worsted yarns, and even between two brands of knitting needles.  There can be nothing more heartbreaking than working on a special sweater for a few weeks and having to do it over!

  I have problems finding the yarns listed in patterns, so knitting up a test swatch makes it easy to use almost any yarn I find for the pattern.  I love the added flexibility.  You may, too.

Free pattern
Quick and Easy Napkin Rings

Make each in a different color to liven up your table after the holidays.  I chose a pastel variegated to put away for Easter, and a bright yellow to use now.  They work up real fast.  There are no complicated shapes or patterns, so you can make up a whole set while you watch TV.

Needed: Worsted weight kitchen cotton small amounts for each one, size 8 needles, and tapestry needle to weave in ends.

STS = stitches, CO = cast on, BO = Bind off, K = knit, P = purl.

CO 28 STS. Row 1 to 4: K all STS, Row 5: P all STS, Row 6: K all STS, Row 7: P all STS.  Row 8 to 11: K all STS.  Row 12: BO in K.

Sites to Visit

 This site has a wonderful animated teaching guide for beginner knitters:

 This site has a wonderful chart on abbreviations and instructions on many stitches for all kinds of needlework:

History of knitting

 The Middle Ages was a wonderful time for knitters. Crafters were held in the highest esteem.  After the trade routes were established after the crusades, there were a great variety of new materials available.  Silks and angoras suddenly found their way to Europe.  The fashionable people fell in love with the fine garments and stockings that could be made from these new materials.  Royal courts set the fashion for the time, and they kept the artisans very busy coming up with new ways to use these fibers.  Beautiful men's tunics and women's shawls were created.  Stockings in silk were made for both men and women.

   You may have some extra time now that the holidays are over.  Please use some of your extra leftovers to knit just one item for charity.  If you have no idea what to make or where to send, ask me privately and I can help direct you.  You will feel great and have some extra room to store some new yummy yarn.  I'm sure you have something in a back closet gathering dust, just like myself!  For all of you that are already knitting for charity, thank you.  I have received many emails from some of you and they are inspiring. Keep up your good work.

  I hope everyone's holidays were filled with happiness and good health.

Kathy Gallagher

Please email me at:


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