Thursday, July 19, 2012

I Made Place Mats!

I finished my lovely sock yarn place mats on June 25, but never shared photos. What a slacker blogger! They came out pretty good for someone who's still learning. And we have been using them on the table ever since! In fact, we like them so much that I have warped the loom with more red yarn and am making additional matching mats.

I did a particularly bad job taking pictures--why I felt compelled to put the busy place mats against an even busier table cloth for photography is beyond me. So, your eyes have been warned!

A place mat!
This is a special edition Opal sock yarn. It really went well with the red, I think. The next one is more subtle, but I happen to still like it, with its consistent red dots:

Little red dots
This was my first one, and I thought I'd like it best, but instead liked it least.

More stripes
Everyone liked this last one the best, but it's too short--I ran out of warp. So, I am going to give this one as a gift, and have already woven two more using this Regia Kaffe Fassett sock yarn to be the place mats.

Jewel Tone Stripes
I think the hemstitch edging looks nice, so I am doing it on the next batch, too. I'll end up with 8 place mats, so we can have company. After that, I plan to make matching napkins. I will have plenty of sock yarn for that, since they will be a bit smaller. By that time, I think I will be tired of the red warp yarn and ready to move on to another fun thing, whatever that may be.


I have not forgotten my knitting, and in fact have made good progress on the Shadow vest in Heichi. It just does NOT photograph well, so imagine acres and acres of rust-colored raw silk seed stitch, and you will have a good idea of what it's like. I'm on the right front, and when that's done, all that is left is to knit the substantial collar, which is what turns it into a garment rather than an awkward mass of fabric.

The Heichi yarn is sure expensive. Each $14 skein knitted about 3 inches of body! So, I'll have to be careful with the vest--it's an in"vest"ment. The only problem I am having is that the yarn is so textured that sometimes my purl stitches don't pull all the way down, so they end up loose. And every little uneven bit is very obvious in the field of K1 P1. I think it will get better in blocking.

And Teaching

I am proud to say that my latest two knitting students are doing well. My coworker Stacie is still powering through a brown garter stitch scarf, and the summer resident Elmira has even learned to purl--she made a rectangle!

Her first finished object
In addition, she is making a really pretty garter stitch scarf out of some wool/cashmere multi-colored stuff I could not figure out anything to knit from. The colors are pooling in a really interesting way. I'll have to get a photo. She has the yarn to make a K1 P1 ribbing scarf next. She likes knitting, which make both me and her mom happy. It's nice to all sit around and knit! I'll miss knitting with her when she moves into her own apartment in September.

I hope two posts in a day make up for a month with nothing! Keep knitting, crocheting or weaving, friends!


  1. Hey! I am looking for a starter project. Would those placemats be easy enough? I like functional peices, and they are lovely. If so, can you give needle sizes and such.

  2. Yes, Melissa--they are a great starter project. But they aren't knitted--I did them on a 15" Cricket Rigid Heddle loom, so I wove them (definitely a starter weaving pattern).

    You could easily knit similar place mats. Plain garter stitch would get you a very similar effect. If you used sock yarn, you'd use size 2 needles. I'd suggest buying some of those inexpensive worsted weight self-striping yarns you can find in a hobby store, though. Use size 6 needles and cast on enough to be 15" wide (you'd have to do a gauge swatch to figure out how many that would be, or just guess). Then just knit until the mat is as long as you want, and cast off. Get a happy solid color yarn and put fringe on them!

    You'd probably get two mats per skein, at least. Make SURE to get washable wool or a blend, or you will get much smaller, felted place mats once you wash them, and you DO wash place mats!

  3. You did such a wonderful job on the placemats. Yes, the jewel toned one is an eye catcher, but I like them all. They remind me of Guatemalan fabric I would buy to carry my babies---the old rebozo wrap---but in cotton. I would have never guessed that one could weave with sock yarn.

  4. Wow! Those placemats are gorgeous! Thanks for commenting on my crocheted blouse, I love it!


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