Archive for the ‘Knitty’

Pattern: Pup Squad Dog Sweater

Oct 14

Erica's Pup Squad Sweater
Here’s Erica in her new sweater complete with skirt and dog bone motif on the butt!

Erica's Pup Squad Sweater Erica's Pup Squad Sweater Erica's Pup Squad Sweater Erica's Pup Squad Sweater Erica's Pup Squad Sweater Erica's Pup Squad Sweater Erica's Pup Squad Sweater

It’s a mock cheerleader sweater I found on My Savannah Cottage. I modified it by adding a knitted Dog Bone Motif instead of using applique. There is a large dog bone motif on the bottom right of the sweater just above the skirt and a small dog bone motif on the upper right chest. My pattern is below.

Materials:
Red Heart Supersaver, Worsted Weight, 0376 Burgundy, 100% Acrylic, 364 Yards
Red Heart Supersaver, Worsted Weight, 4313 Aran Fleck, 100% Acrylic, 364 Yards
Alternate Yarn: Red Heart Heathers, Worsted Weight, 4453 Warm Red, 100% Acrylic, 260 Yards

Needles:
US Size 8 [5.0mm] Clover Takumi Velvet Circular Needles 29″
Tapestry or Yarn Needle

Sizing/Measurements:
Medium (25 pound dog)
Neck – 13″ -16″ girth
Chest – 21″ girth
Neck to Tail – 20″ length

Back Body – 12″ x 17″
Front Body – 8″ x 13″

Stitch Legend:
Stockinette Stitch – Knit all stitches in one row, Purl all stitches in next row.

Skill Level: Intermediate

Pattern:
Back Body
Cast On 35 stitches
Row 1-4: Stockinette Stitch
Row 5: (RS) Kfb, Knit until 2 sts left, Kfb, K (37 sts)
Row 6: Purl all stitches
Row 7-14: Repeat Rows 5-6 (45 sts)
Rows 15 – 66: Stockinette Stitch (52 rows or until piece measure 2″ from where you’d like it to end)

Do Dog Bone Motif (Large)
Row 1: (RS) K22, K1, K10, K1, K11
Row 2: P10, P3, P8, P3, P 21
Row 3: K21, K14, K10
Row 4: P11, P12, P22
Row 5: K23, K10, K12
Row 6: P11, P12, P22
Row 7: K21, K14, K10
Row 8: P10, P3, P8, P3, P 21
Row 9: K22, K1, K10, K1, K11
Row 10: Purl all stitches

Row 77: (RS) Kfb, K21, Kfb, K21, Kfb (48 sts)
Row 78: Purl all stitches

Skirt
Row 79 (RS): *K4, yo; repeat from *; end K4.
Row 80: Purl.
Row 81: (RS) *K5, yo; repeat from *; end K4.
Row 82: Purl.
Row 83: (RS) *K6, yo; repeat from *; end K4.
Row 84: Purl.
Row 85: (RS) *K7, yo; repeat from *; end K4.
Row 86: Purl.
Row 87: (RS) *K8, yo; repeat from *; end K4.
Row 88: Purl.
Row 89: (RS) *K9, yo; repeat from *; end K4.
Row 90: Purl.
Bind off.

Front Body
Cast On 20 stitches
Row 1-4: Stockinette Stitch
Row 5: (RS) Kfb, Knit until 2 sts left, Kfb, K (22 sts)
Row 6: Purl all stitches
Row 7-14: Repeat Rows 5-6 (30 sts)
Rows 15-24: Stockinette Stitch

Do Dog Bone Motif (Small)
Row 1: (RS) K17, K2, K3, K2, K6
Row 2: P6, P7, P17
Row 3: K18, K5, K7
Row 4: P6, P7, P17
Row 5: K17, K2, K3, K2, K6

Rows 30-69: Stockinette Stitch (39 rows from bone or until piece measure 12″)
Bind off on next (RS) row.

(more…)

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Pattern: Big Stitch Rug

Jul 15

Big Stitch Rug

Big Stitch Rug

Big Stitch Rug

Big Stitch Rug

Big Stitch Rug

Big Stitch Rug

Big Stitch Rug

Big Stitch Rug

Big Stitch Rug

I made this mock big stitch rug as a dog mat/bed for my new puppy, Erica. It’s my do-it-yourself version of big stitch knitting without actually investing in specialty needles or yarns. The yarns and needles are expensive and hard to find. So rather than spring for giant knitting needles (I’d rarely use), I made do with materials and needles that are more commonly found in knitting shops and/or ones avid knitters might already have! All I did was use 7 strands of yarn together at once and jumbo sized knitting needles. That’s it. All those materials and tools can be found at your local craft store or yarn shop. Convenience and versatility.

❤ Erica loves it! Meet Erica (via her Pinterest!)

Materials:
Red Heart Super Saver, Medium Thyme 0406, 100% Acrylic, 364 yards (Lt. Green)
Red Heart Super Saver, Dark Sage 0633, 100% Acrylic, 364 yards (Forest Green)
Red Heart Super Saver, Carrot 0256, 100% Acrylic, 364 yards (Pumpkin)
Red Heart Heathers, Teal 4470, 100% Acrylic, 260 yards (Wedgewood Blue)
Red Heart Soft, Teal 9518, 100% Acrylic, 256 yards (Dk. Teal)
Caron Simply Soft, Plum Wine 9918, 100% Acrylic, 366 yards (Dusty Rose)
Loops & Threads Impeccable Yarn, Cadet 01106, 100% Acrylic, 268 yards (Lt. Blue)
Alternate Yarns
Red Heart Super Saver, Rose Pink 0372, 100% Acrylic, 364 yards (Pale PInk)
Red Heart Classic, Cameo Rose 0759, 100% Acrylic, ??? yards (Dk. Dusty Rose)

Needles:
US Size 19 [15.00mm] Lion Brand Circular Knitting Needles, 29″

Size:
Approx. 24″ x 32″

Pattern:
Cast On 34 stitches (long-tail cast on)
Row 1: Knit all stitches
Row 2: Purl all stitches
Repeat Rows 1-2 until 58 Rows

Finish:
End on a Knit Row (end after completing a Knit Row)
Bind Off (knit-wise)
Weave in ends.

Notes:
Makes a great stash buster! Use any combination of Medium/Worsted Weight Yarns you’d like. I chose 7 yarns with varying textures. All Worsted Weight 4-ply yarns. Caron Simply Soft is, well, soft and with a sheen, while the Red Heart was your typical acrylic yarn with a mock wool look and feel. Choose your own colorways to match any decor you’d like. Highlight, lowlight, complementary, varying textures, or just use a single color. It’s up to you!

Synthetic yarns like Acrylic make it durable and machine washable. Very handy for a rug or dog bed!

Combining multiple strands of yarn also gives cheapie econo yarn a more luxurious look and feel.

I used scarp yarn. I ran out of some colors at various stages and just joined on some new ones. Replace them with similar colors or just join on with whatever you have as long as it’s the same weight yarn. The joins blend right in without much work, even a clumsy tiny knot works.

I leave it so the edges curl up. Ending on a Knit Row and binding off knit-wise helps the ends curl up. Casting on using a long-tail cast on also helps the ends curl up. I cast on using a modified long-tail cast on and then begin on a Knit Row. Use any cast-on method preferred.

Modified long-tail cast on – my modified long-tail cast on is kind of a hack but for patterns where it doesn’t matter, it’s great. I use the yarn coming directly from the skein as the working yarn rather than creating a tail. Create a slip knot as normal without a long tail. Instead of measuring out a length of yarn to use as the cast-on yarn, I only use the yarn coming directly from the ball to create each cast-on stitch. Video to come.

Keep your rug from slipping by getting some IKEA non-slip rug liners.

What is Big Stitch Knitting (or Crochet)?
Big Stitch Knitting or Mega Knitting is just that. Giant knitting needles (that you must either knit on the floor or on a giant table) require specially made tools and yarns. Read more about Big Stitch in my previous post. Buy some Big Knit tools and yarns online at BagSmith and Big Loop. They have all the tools and yarns you’ll need. Google “Big Stitch Knitting” for a wealth of info.

Arm Knitting
Knit without any tools. Just your arms and some yarn! I was inspired to do this DIY mock big stitch when I saw an article in the news recently about Arm Knitting. Simply Maggie and Pinning Mama have nice tutorials. Google “Arm Knitting” for a wealth of info. Check out Dornob for a nice post.

Arm Knitting

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OMG! Heart Ravelry

May 16

Why has Ravelry never gotten its own post on my website!? It’s been an institution online for the Knitting and Crochet community since its inception. And something that is such a given sometimes people forget to mention it! I’d been knitting for years but only found out about it around 2010. I guess I was knitting in my own bubble without many friends who shared my hobby and oblivious to such a thriving community. So perhaps a post like this may help other ninja bubble knitters (and crocheters!).

Ravelry

Great Community
There’s lots of groups and networks for whatever your knitting or crocheting heart desires. Ask questions in the forum, look for pattern help, plug in and make some new friends, share your expertise, or simply post your completed projects for the whole community to see. Trolling the groups is also a great way to get a birds eye view into the knitting and crochet subculture.

Great Tools
There are lots of great tools too like a project tracker, stash manager, needles and hooks manager, you can favorite your favorite projects, place them in a queue, keep track of works in progress, and check out what others have to say about the pattern you’re working on. And the tools don’t suck. All the yarns actually link to the manufacturer, colorway, etc. You can even include when you bought it and the price. They’ve really thought of everything.

For crafters who also sell their handmades online, it’s a great way to maximize your exposure. Kind of like Facebook but for Knitting or Crochet only!

What I Like Best
The really advanced pattern finder. You can search for very specific things from hats for kids in worsted weight yarn only to all free patterns for skirts to only projects using Size I9 hooks or US Size 5 Needles. It’s really handy. For crafters looking for just the right pattern or some inspiration it’s really one of the best pattern finders out there. Simply because it’s crowd sourced!

You can also find lots of helpful pattern insight. For example, if someone or some people have already worked on your pattern and posted it up, you can find it there, check out their comments and errata to see if they’ve stumbled across the same problems you have! There are so many projects and patterns, especially free ones found online, that it’s probably been done by someone on Ravelry! Yup, it’s that great.

The only cons are you must be logged in to see anything. So someone cannot simply link to a page, me on Ravelry, and just see some content. Which I find really restrictive. They should make some pages public or at least partially public like on Facebook! It would at least give people a taste of what they might be signing up for before they sign up. Other than that I hope they never change how well it works or how many great features they offer!

It’s Free!
Ravelry now has 3 million users! So it’s popular and definitely a powerful resource. 3 million knitters and crocheters from all over the world is in itself a cool concept. It’s really a knitter or crocheter’s dream online buddy. For those who are especially organized, it’s got everything you need to satisfy your obsession. Really. If you’re not already on there, check it out. It’s free to join, and you’ll find there’s something on there to suit every fiber need from dabblers to die hards!

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A List of Handmade Marketplaces

Mar 20

Here’s a random list of handmade marketplaces online I’ve been compiling for awhile. Perhaps they will provide artisans some options and/or give shoppers more places to shop!

(more…)

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Pattern: Ski Hat With Giant Pompom

Dec 25

Ski Hat with Giant Pompom

Ski Hat with Giant Pompom

Ski Hat with Giant Pompom

Ski Hat with Giant Pompom

Ski Hat with Giant Pompom

Materials:
2 Balls Lion Brand Yarn Lion Wool, Color 187 Goldenrod, 158 yards, $5.99
Stitch Marker
Tapestry Needle

Needles:
US Size 5 [3.75mm] Addi Turbo Circular Knitting Needles, 16inch
US Size 5 [3.75mm] Double Pointed Knitting Needles (dpns)
Cable Needle

Measurements:
23″ circumference
8″ inches high

Gauge:
4.5 Stitches per Inch
5 Rows per Inch

Skill Level: Intermediate

Pattern:
This pattern is meant to make a reversible hat with 2 colors. If using only one color, simply ignore color changes.

Body:
Cast On 162 stitches.
Round 1: Color A [K1, bring yarn forward, slip next stitch purlwise, bring yarn back]. Repeat from [...] until end of round.
Round 2: Color B [slip next stitch purlwise, bring yarn forward, P1, bring yarn back]. Repeat from [...] until end of round.
Round 3 – 80: Repeat Rounds 1-2 for 39 more times. Or until hat measure 6.5 inches tall. Make sure to end on Round 2.

Begin Decrease Rounds:
Decrease Round 1: Color A: *[K1, bring yarn forward, slip 1, bring yarn back] 7 times, slip next stitch (color A) purlwise, place next stitch (color B) on cable needle and hold at back, place first stitch back on left needle and knit it together with next stitch (both stitches should be color A), bring yarn to front, place color B stitch back from cable needle onto left needle, slip both color B stitches purlwise, bring yarn back*. Repeat from * to * until end of round.
Decrease Round 2: Color B: *[slip next stitch purlwise, bring yarn forward, P1, bring yarn back] 7 times, slip next stitch purlwise (should be the stitch you decreased above), bring yarn forward, P2tog (both stitches should be color B), bring yarn back*. Repeat from * to * until end of round. (144 stitches)
Decrease Round 3: Repeat Round 1 (of original pattern).
Decrease Round 4: Repeat Round 2 (of original pattern).
Decrease Round 5: Repeat Decrease Round 1 but substitute “7 times” for “6 times”.
Decrease Round 6: Repeat Decrease Round 2 but substitute “7 times” for “6 times”. (126 stitches)
Decrease Round 7-8: Repeat Round 1-2 (of original pattern).
Decrease Round 9-10: Repeat Decrease Round 1-2 but substitute “7 times” for “5 times”. (108 stitches)
Decrease Round 11-12: Repeat Round 1-2 (of original pattern).
Decrease Round 13-14: Repeat Decrease Round 1-2 but substitute “7 times” for “4 times”. (90 stitches)
Decrease Round 15-16: Repeat Round 1-2 (of original pattern).
Decrease Round 17-18: Repeat Decrease Round 1-2 but substitute “7 times” for “3 times”. (72 stitches)
Decrease Round 19-20: Repeat Round 1-2 (of original pattern).
Decrease Round 21-22: Repeat Decrease Round 1-2 but substitute “7 times” for “2 times”. (54 stitches)
Decrease Round 23-24: Repeat Decrease Round 1-2 but substitute “7 times” for “1 times”. (36 stitches)
Decrease Round 25-26: K2tog/P2tog around (slipping stitches only to rearrange them). (18 stitches)

Finish:
Cut yarn ends leaving 8″ tail. Thread each yarn end onto tapestry needle and through like-colored stitches. Cinch yarn end to close the top of each side of the hat. Weave ends in on each side by following the path of the stitches (like duplicate stitch) so they are not visible.

Make oversized pompom. Approx. 3 inches wide. Make sure to leave ample tail for attaching. Attach pompom.

Weave in ends.

*Add a Ribbed Brim to the hat if you like by following my instructions here.

How To Make A Giant Pompom How To Make A Giant Pompom How To Make A Giant Pompom How To Make A Giant Pompom How To Make A Giant Pompom How To Make A Giant Pompom How To Make A Giant Pompom How To Make A Giant Pompom How To Make A Giant Pompom How To Make A Giant Pompom How To Make A Giant Pompom How To Make A Giant Pompom

How to Make a Perfect Pompom
I wanted a good fat puffy GIANT POMPOM! I also wanted to make make sure it was about 2.5 to 3 inches wide. But i didnt want to spend money or buy extra junk like a pompom maker, so I came up with an easy way to make a pompom template.

All you need is some scrap cardboard, scissors, a mug and a quarter or an old CD to use as stencils.

Make 2 rings (like a donut shape), cut a slit through the rings making the donut shape into a C-shape. Widen the slit by trimming some more off the ends so it’s easy to pass the yarn through.

Take yarn, wrap around the C-shape as if you’re trying to make a yarn covered “C”. No need for needles or pre-cutting yarn. Just slip yarn through the slit to wrap. This way there’s no wasted yarn, the working end of the yarn is coming straight from the ball and you’ll never run out.

To make sure the pompom comes out the size needed: e.g. If you need a 3 inch pompom, the rings have to be about 1.5 inches thick (plus a little extra for trimming).

When full enough, snip edges, pull yarn tail through, cinch, and tie. Fluff and trim making sure to not trim off yarn tail. You’ll need that to attach the pompom.

Here are some other great references with detailed photos on how to make a pompom:
www.inklingsandyarns.com
www.prudentbaby.com
www.classiceliteyarns.com
www.ehow.com

(more…)

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OMG! Heart Kollabora

Nov 23

Kollabora.com

Hello Kollabora.com! You new crafty website you… Hmm, what to say about this new online community slash craft site that’s kind of like a when Craftsy met PS I Made This and I Spy DIY love triangle?

1.) Somebody over there is my long lost craft twin.
2.) Fiberistas unite!
3.) Seriously though, did you make this site for me?
A.) Kraft Krush!

I first heard about it through a lovely welcome note I got in my inbox! On first glance, I liked the layout and design, visual yet minimal Pinterest-style moodboardy. M.I.A. as interpreted by Saved By The Bell font. But further exploration revealed it’s chock full of great projects and handy features for the savvy crafter.

I raided their pattern library for some great projects. Here’s just a few of my picks, take a peek, you get the idea. :) Join the Kollabora community too and share your knit love. Heck Yeah!

❤ Patterns range from Free to Pricey! Quick to Fair Isle.

❤ It’s not just for Knitting and Crochet, but also features Sewing and Jewelry! The Quad-fecta.

❤ Fun Fact: Kollabora features many knits/designs from people and places I love!! Many already featured on my site. Sister from another misterrr! I also met a bunch of the Kollabora team at this year’s Maker Faire where they had a really fun booth full of Berninas and Novelty Yarn.

❤ Bonus: Kollabora makes shopping for your project materials easy! Just click on a project you like, check the items you need, {pattern, yarn, needles}, GO! And voila, all the materials you need for that one project without having to click all over the internet (lazy fingers) for them! x.x $$$ Q.Q

Patterns In This Post:
Florence and the Machine Sweater
Novita’s Snood Dogg
Fair Isle Capelet
Greta Capelet
Halloween Origami
(more…)

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Super Fun Holiday Quick Knits

Nov 21

Pea from We Knit You A Merry Christmas
Snow Pea by We Knit You A Merry Christmas

I saw these on Daily Mail and had to repost. They’re awesome knit patterns for the holidays. They make great fun little knit gifts. And books make great gifts for knitters too. Patterns contain both knit and crochet items.

Reindeer from We Knit You A Merry Christmas Reindeer from We Knit You A Merry Christmas

Fun from We Knit You A Merry Christmas Food from Mollie Makes Christmas

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

We Knit You A Merry Christmas by Mollie Makes Christmas by Mollie Makes

We Knit You A Merry Christmas By Debbie Harrold, $7.95
Mollie Makes Christmas By Mollie Makes, £5.79

Via http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2234120/
Mollie Makes Photo from Mathilde

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Holiday Gift Idea: Knit Your Dog (or Cat)!

Nov 20

Dog from Best In Show

Dog from Knit Your Own Dog by Sally Muir & Joanna Osborne Dog from Knit Your Own Dog by Sally Muir & Joanna Osborne Dog from Knit Your Own Dog by Sally Muir & Joanna Osborne

Check out these awesome dog and cat knits by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne. Great to make as gifts for dog lovers. Great books to give as gifts for knitting lovers. Fabulous and affordable. AWESOME!

Knit Your Own Dog by Sally Muir & Joanna Osborne Knit Your Own Cat by Sally Muir & Joanna Osborne Best In Show: 25 More Dogs To Knit by Sally Muir & Joanna Osborne

Knit Your Own Cat By Sally Muir & Joanna Osborne, $10.17
Knit Your Own Dog By Sally Muir & Joanna Osborne, $10.17
Knit Your Own Dog: The Second Litter By Sally Muir & Joanna Osborne, $9.56

Via http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2234120/

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OMG! Heart goes to Maker Faire 2012

Oct 08


Above photo album can also be viewed at my Imgur Gallery.

Hello, Maker Week NYC 2012!
The 3rd Annual Maker Faire just blew through town. It also happened to mark the 1st Annual “Maker Week” here in NYC! As declared by Mayor Bloomberg, September 24-30 is officially Maker Week and is an entire week dedicated to DIY science and crafts! Yay yay yay!

Finger Crochet Necklaces at Maker Faire 2012Thanks to Kollabora.com, I got the chance to go to Maker Faire this year to check what new fangled gadgets and crafts were on the menu.

We saw a cool Cupcake Man Car which was a guy driving around in a cupcake shaped car he built. Saw some butterfly bikes, the Katy Perry Unicorn complete with flaming unicorn horn, ate some gyros and shish kebab on a stick, and checked out some craft booths and stalls.

It poured buckets of tornado rain when we got there but we holed up at the Kollabora booth to wait it out. We ended up meeting some of the lovely Kollabora Team and Finger Crocheting some necklaces!

Last year at The Faire there were so many knitting, sewing, and textile booths and demos like Free Motion Quilting, Fabric Dying, Singer Co. etc. More of the fun attractions/events/booths like Craftzine machine knitting cosby sweaters, the solar sewing guy who powered his sewing machine with his bicycle, steampunky bike contraptions, super mario radio-controlled car races, and oddball independent artists were not there this year either.

Mochimochi Land Amigurumis
Needlepoint Kits by Jenny Henry Designs

This year they had less than half the textiles and crafts featured as last year. It was mainly overrun with arduino and 3D printing booths. Also, much larger name companies like ASUS were there with a Speed Build Competition and 3D graphics video games complete with special glasses. Crif Dogs was there!

And… it was about 3 times more crowded! It was jam packed and food lines were atrocious. Blecch the Rat! It felt a lot less organized in general. Perhaps it was because I went at the tail end (2pm ish) of the last day (Sunday) and missed an entirely different schedule on Saturday? On top of Maker Faire not expecting such a huge turnout? Oh well.

Top Right: Micro Amigurumi Garden Gnomes by Mochimochi Land. Each are sold in kits with everything you need to create your own.

Right: Boombox Bag and Cassette Tape Pouch in Needlepoint by Jenny Henry. Each are sold in handy Needlepoint Kits.

Bottom Right: Toasty Time Hoodies w. Mitten Pockets. Yup, they’re knitted!

Toasty Time HoodiesNotable Crafties @ The Faire
Mochimochiland.com, Mochimochi Land – Micro Amigurumi Knitting Kits
Mondaysprojects.tumblr.com, Mondays Project – Handmade Pottery
Billywolfnyc.com, Billy Wolf – Fine K-9 Coatery
Romanhills.com, Roman Hills Yarn by Lisa Roman
Loopoftheloom.com, Loop of the Loom Saori Weaving
Kollabora.com, Kollabora – Online DIY Community for Makers
Intheseam.com, In The Seam – Dog and Cat Pillows
Jennyhenrydesigns.com, Jenny Henry Designs – Needlepoint Kits
Lifewithtigers.com, Life with Tigers – Handmade Toys and Gifts
100actsofsewing.com, 100 Acts of Sewing by Sonya Philipp
Ambushbog.com, Ultra Lite Spindles – Yarn spun with cat hair! Eep!
Sprysprout.com, Spry Sprout – Geeky Kid Clothing w. comic-printed fabrics
Toastytime.com, Toasty Time – Hoodies w. Mitten Shaped Pockets
Dearsweetdarlings.etsy.com, Dear Sweet Darlings Handmade Rabbits

Kollabora Team at Maker Faire 2012What is Kollabora?
Kollabora is a new online crafting community that’s just joined the “block” party! =^..^= It’s a cross between PS I Made This, I Spy DIY, and Craftsy. It has a fresher focus IMHO featuring projects that pair classic crafts like Knitting or Sewing with edgier materials and fabrics and modern takes on those same classics with projects like Big Stitch Knitting! Where Craftsy has a more Martha Stewart feel, Kollabora might appeal more to urban hipster or fashion industry creatives. Find out all about them in my post.

Above: Lindsey, on the far right, is wearing the Bushwick Cape, a featured project on their site. It’s a classic Simplicity Sewing Pattern you can sew yourself! It’s simply matched up with a more contemporary fabric (red/black flannel check) to give it a fresher look. If you got to check out their booth, it was filled with yarn and Berninas, and mobbed by tween girls!

Read more about Maker Faire and my trip last year here:
http://www.omgheart.com/2011/09/16/maker-faire-nyc-2011/
http://www.omgheart.com/2011/09/21/omg-heart-goes-to-maker-faire/

Cupcake Guy Car!
Cupcake Guy Car @ Maker Faire

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Conductive Thread for the Crafty Techy

Sep 21

Knit Picks - In Touch Gloves Pattern Knit Picks - In Touch Gloves Pattern
Knit Picks - In Touch Gloves Pattern Knit Picks - In Touch Gloves Pattern

Knit Picks In Touch Gloves Pattern w. Touch Fingertips

Literally, it’s a thread that conducts electricity! So iPhone 5 dropped today (if you pre-ordered and hit the option to pickup in-store that is…) and “Apple Fans are Jubilant”. Big Whoop! $800 for a phone is really incredible especially considering advanced technology these days (should be readily available and definitely affordable) and it’s never $300 better than its predecessor so… But it does make this post somewhat more fitting.

Don’t you hate it when it’s freezing cold outside and you have to text a friend or answer your smartphone but can’t because your gloves are on? I do! But not enough to have to wear one of those types of “digital-ized gloves” you see in a lot in sporting goods stores. But now I have another option, I CAN MAKE MY OWN PAIR!

I just discovered this thread while browsing through a Knit Picks flyer on the train the other day. The photos above are from Knit Picks and if you look closely at the Pointer Finger and Thumb you can see a little added embellishment on the fingertips. Those little embellishments are stitched on using Conductive Thread! The Conductive Thread allows the wearer to operate touch devices like iPhones, iPads, Galaxy Tabs, your new Galaxy S3, (my Android HTC Inspire) etc.

How Does It Work?
This Conductive Thread is a 2-ply thread made of steel fibers and can conduct electricity and complete circuits just like a wire. It comes in a little bobbin containing about 4-10 meters of this special thread. Simply sew it on to the fingertip of your next hand-knit gloves and voila! Instant “E-Tip” gloves. I don’t know just how effective this Conductive Thread is in practice but it could be worth a try for my next glove project.

Conductive Thread Conductive Thread Conductive Thread

Firefly Booties w. LED
Firefly Baby Booties w. LED Lights!

E-Textiles and Conductive Clothing
There’s been a lot of “digital” clothing and accessories for awhile like jackets that are wired to charge up your mobile phone when placed in a pocket or plugged into a panel and of course sport gloves by the likes of North Face or Marmot with conductive pads on the fingertips that allow you to operate your GPS tracker while scaling the iciest peak on Mount Everest. So this little bobbin of conductive thread is especially nifty because now it means we can add this to any one of our own homemade projects! GO DIY TECH!

Electronic textiles (e-textiles) are fabrics that have electronics and interconnections woven into them, with physical flexibility and size that cannot be achieved with existing electronic manufacturing techniques. Components and interconnections are intrinsic to the fabric and thus are less visible and not susceptible to becoming tangled together or snagged by the surroundings. An e-textile can be worn in everyday situations where currently available wearable computers would hinder the user. E-textiles can also more easily adapt to changes in the computational and sensing requirements of an application, a useful feature for power management and context awareness.
E-Textile Research Lab, Virginia Tech

Makezine has a nice little blog post about it here. Googling “e-textiles” or “conductive thread” will also generate a wealth of info on anything from conductive fabric to wearable computers to programming arduinos (which is what threads like these are especially useful for).

Where To Buy
Conductive thread comes in bobbins or spools and can come in varying diameters, lengths, and resistances. Knit Picks sells this thread in bobbins of about 4-5 meters each for $4.99 each. Spark Fun sells this Conductive Thread in various lengths and diameters for more advanced projects. Prices range from $2.95 for 30ft to 175 yards for $39.95. They have a wide range of 2-ply, 4-ply, thick, thin, extra-thick, and even thread with different connectivity resistances. So check out their page for the best option to suit your needs.

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