10 Stitch Knitting

I haven’t had the time to knit much these days. But when I do find the time, I go right to my 10 stitch knitting.  Frankie Brown, the pattern designer described it as “An Elizabeth Zimmermann inspired blanket worked in any yarn using only 10 stitches. You start in the centre and work in a sort of square spiral, joining as you go. No sewing up needed!”

The pattern itself started off very confusing to me.  And I had to unravel many times to get it right.  But once you get the hang of this pattern, it will go very smoothly.
knitting1

1st Start with casting on 10 sts.  Slipping all first sts, knit 9 ridges (18 rows).  Mark the right side.

knitting2

Now get ready for the corners which Frankie calls “open double corners”.  To me they are more like knitting 2 triangles to form a square corner.  Use the following pattern to form the 1st triangle or corner.  There will be lots of wrap and turn knitting here.

*Sl 1, K8, yfwd, sl 1 pwise, yb, turn.
Sl 1 pwise, yb, K9.
Sl 1, K7, yfwd, sl 1 pwise, yb, turn.

Sl 1 pwise, yb, K8.

Sl 1, K6, yfwd, sl 1 pwise, yb, turn.

Sl 1 pwise, yb, K7.

Continue along until you are down to the last row.   When you only have 1 st to work, knit it rather than slipping it.
Now reverse the process, working back up to 9 sts, still wrapping the st at each turn.**Work one ridge with all 10 sts then turn another corner from * to ** (When working the 10 st ridge you
might like to work sl 1, pick up and knit 1 st, psso at the end of the first row to neaten the join.) This will  form the 2nd triangle in order to form a square corner.  At this point it would just look like a long rectangle.

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In this photo above, I’ve already finished the corners.  And already starting the next triangle.

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Looks like I’ve already finished knitting the corners and it will form a square soon.

Now work back along the side of the original 9 ridges, attaching
your strip as you go by following this two row pattern:
Row 1: Sl 1, K8, sl 1, pick up and K 1 st from the side of the
knitting (there should be a ‘bump’ there ready), psso.
Row 2: K 10.  When you reach the next corner work a single corner (from * to
**) and carry on along the next side.

knitting4

This is the center where the corners have joined and we continue knitting outward from here.   The neat thing about this pattern is that it can get as big as you like while still knitting with just 10 stitches.

knitting5

I just used this leftover colorful yarn to see how it would turn out.  It’s OK, but I think next time I’ll use more muted colors.  I like using size 7 circular bamboo needles.  When I have free time, I will do a video tutorial.  In the meantime I hope these instructions are helpful.

I’d also love to try the Ten Stitch ZigZag and the Spiral.  Thanks for sharing Frankie!

 

 

 

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Hello Rainy January

It’s almost the end of January and we’ve had many rainy days out here in Northern California.  No complaints so far, except for maybe when the grounds are too soggy and the dogs don’t get as much walking.  Cabin fever anyone?  Luckily we’ve had a few breaks in the weather and got to see some sunshine this weekend.

winter_succulents2

Here is some of my succulents that have survived the winter freeze back in December.  These little green guys are really hardy since they can take low water and very cold temperatures.  They were turning red on the edges, but after the rain they have flourished and started to turn green.  Reminds me of a place leprechauns would like to hide in.

etsy_fairy_garden

Photo via etsy made by: Fairyscape.  “Succulent Enchanted Fairy Garden in terra cotta pot”

In the springtime I am thinking of making a few succulent fairy gardens.  I love how lush and colorful this one above looks.  Maybe one of my elderly neighbor would love to have a little fairy garden in a pot sitting on her porch too.

 

 

Neem & Ginger Handmade Soap

I’ve been making soaps for a few years and have been using only handmade soap now.  It really does leave my skin super soft and well moisturized.  And the soaps are gentle enough for face and body.

Last month I had the chance to make a few batches of soap.  The first one off the curing rack is this Neem & Ginger soap.

neem_ginger_soap

The idea was to make a Neem Ginger shampoo bar, but it left my hair feeling less than spectacular.  A bit heavy and too oily instead.  When using handmade shampoo bar, it’s best to rinse with Apple cider vinegar.  Of course that proved to be too smelly and time consuming for me.

But at least this soap works great as face or body soap.  Both neem and ginger is great for the skin, great natural ingredients to deal with blemishes.

Best of all the ingredients are not harsh and made of vegetable oils, including olive and rice bran oil.  Mixed with some Moroccan red clay, ginger essential oil and neem extract.  The neem has a strong garlic like smell, but the ginger essential oil was able to cover it up.

So far I only have a few bars of each variety.  They will usually last the whole year.  And occasionally I will gift some of the prettier bars.  Nothing beats handmade soap!