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If you go
What: Hope for Homeless Knit-in
Where: Allen County Public Library, downtown Fort Wayne
When: 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 14
•You can learn to knit, and free patterns and yarn will be available with which to work.
•Donations of handmade or newly purchased hats, mittens, gloves and scarves will be accepted at collection boxes at the main library branch through Dec. 15. The same items can be dropped off Nov. 14 in the parking lot of Trinity English Lutheran Church.
•For more information, e-mail hope4homeless.fw@gmail.com or go to www.homelesstaskforcefortwayne.org
Lara Neel | The Journal Gazette
The garter stitch makes these mittens stretchy and able to accommodate a range of hand sizes.

Projects can help homeless

Lara Neel | The Journal Gazette
Mostly Sideways Mittens, by Lara Neel

With the upcoming knit-in for the homeless in mind, we have decided to provide you with some projects you can do to contribute.

First, because I know that not everyone knits or crochets, I figured providing you with a quick and easy sewing project may get you motivated to help out with the drive for hats, scarves and mittens.

These super-simple directions to make a multilayered fleece scarf can have you churning out one scarf after another to help keep folks warm.

What you’ll need:

Fleece (2 to 3 colors, however much you choose to purchase)

Scissors

Sewing machine

Rotary cutter

Cutting mat

Directions:

Scarves should be about 8 inches wide by about 5 feet long. With that in mind, cut your fleece in the desired width and length of strips.

Once you have done that, layer the fleece pieces one on top of the other. Decide which color will be on top and which will be on bottom.

Then, make the thread on your sewing machine’s spindle match the top color and the thread on your bottom match the bottom color (this is not crucial).

Simply do a straight stitch down the center of all layers of fleece (I wouldn’t do more than three layers) and stitch slowly so as not to jam up your thread or break a needle).

Once the stitching is done, lay the scarf out on a table and use the rotary cutter to cut “fringe” along each side. Basically, you will be cutting every inch or two into the center stitching, being careful not to cut your sewn line.

That’s it. Shake out the scarf and start on the next one.

Now, here’s a knit mitten pattern from our Math4Knitters blog:

Mostly Sideways Mittens

You will need:

A set of No. 6 needles for the main part of the mitten. Any type you like will do; I used a very flexible 24-inch circular.

A set of No. 4 needles for the cuff. They should be double-points, or whatever you like to use to work in the round. I used five double-pointed needles.

Size: Fits all of the women I asked to try it. That includes me, with my wider-than-normal, somewhat short hands, and my tall co-worker, who describes her hands as “man hands.” The actual mitten, unstretched in any way, measures 8 inches around just above the thumb and 6.75 inches from the very tip to the beginning of the wrist ribbing. The thumb is 3.5 inches long at its longest point.

That seems alarming, but, anatomically speaking, the measurement from the tip of my thumb to the joint where it meets my wrist is 4 inches, which is a lot longer than I thought.

It is also, roughly, the area that particular stretch of fabric is meant to cover. The advantage of garter-stitch, of course, is that the mitten is super-stretchy, which gives it a forgiving nature when it comes to fit.

Gauge: 5 stitches per inch

Two colors of worsted-weight yarn. I used Nature Spun Worsted Weight by Brown Sheep in Nordic Blue and Sunburst Gold. I used less than 1 skein of each for the pair.

You will need 4 locking stitch markers. And your life will be easier if you have some stitch holders, but your No. 4 needles, or some waste yarn, will work, too.

Getting started:

In the photographs, the mitten on the left was started with gold yarn, and the mitten on the right was started with blue yarn. The mittens are very nearly identical, but the yarn you start with will have a few more rows to show for it, and therefore that color might dominate the mitten slightly.

Using a temporary cast on, cast on 37 stitches, knit 1 row. If you don’t know how to make a temporary cast on, please see the photo gallery attached to “Math4Knitters, Crafty Living: Show 44” at www.journalgazette.net/craftyliving.

Change colors, knit 35 stitches, k in front and back of the next stitch, k1, turn and knit back.

Change colors, knit 38 stitches, turn and knit back.

Change colors, knit 36 stitches, turn, slip 1 stitch and knit back.

Change colors, knit 34 stitches, turn, slip 1 stitch and knit back.

Change colors, knit 32 stitches, turn, slip 1 stitch and knit back.

Change colors, knit 30 stitches, turn, slip 1 stitch and knit back.

Change colors, knit 28 stitches, turn, slip 1 stitch and knit back.

Change colors, knit 26 stitches, turn, slip 1 stitch and knit back.

Change colors, knit 25 stitches, turn, slip 1 stitch and knit back.

Change colors, knit 24 stitches, turn, slip 1 stitch and knit back.

You will now be making longer short-rows. As you do, you will encounter gaps where the shorter short-rows were turned back. They will be extra-visible in this project, since they will happen in the intersection of your two colors. When you hit a gap, pick up a stitch from the gap, then put that stitch back on the left-hand needle and knit it together with the next stitch. There is a short video about this technique available on “Math4Knitters, Crafty Living: Show 44.”

Change colors, knit 25 stitches, turn, slip 1 stitch and knit back.

Change colors, knit 26 stitches, turn, slip 1 stitch and knit back.

Change colors, knit 28 stitches, turn, slip 1 stitch and knit back.

Change colors, knit 30 stitches, turn, slip 1 stitch and knit back.

Change colors, knit 32 stitches, turn, slip 1 stitch and knit back.

Change colors, knit 34 stitches, turn, slip 1 stitch and knit back.

Change colors, knit 36 stitches, turn, slip 1 stitch and knit back.

Change colors, knit 38 stitches, turn and knit back.

Change colors, knit 38 stitches, turn and knit back. (Yes, that is two 38-stitch rows.)

Change colors, knit 35 stitches, knit 2 together, knit 1, turn and knit back.

Purl 37 stitches, turn, knit back.

That’s one side done. Now you just repeat yourself for the other side.

Change colors, knit 35 stitches, k in front and back of the next stitch, k1, turn and knit back.

Change colors, knit 38 stitches, turn and knit back.

Change colors, knit 36 stitches, turn, slip 1 stitch

d knit back.

Change colors, knit 34 stitches, turn, slip 1 stitch and knit back.

Change colors, knit 32 stitches, turn, slip 1 stitch and knit back.

Change colors, knit 30 stitches, turn, slip 1 stitch and knit back.

Change colors, knit 28 stitches, turn, slip 1 stitch and knit back.

Change colors, knit 26 stitches, turn, slip 1 stitch and knit back.

Change colors, knit 25 stitches, turn, slip 1 stitch and knit back.

Change colors, knit 24 stitches, turn, slip 1 stitch and knit back.

As before, you will now be making longer short-rows. See note above.

Change colors, knit 25 stitches, turn, slip 1 stitch and knit back.

Change colors, knit 26 stitches, turn, slip 1 stitch and knit back.

Change colors, knit 28 stitches, turn, slip 1 stitch and knit back.

Change colors, knit 30 stitches, turn, slip 1 stitch and knit back.

Change colors, knit 32 stitches, turn, slip 1 stitch and knit back.

Change colors, knit 34 stitches, turn, slip 1 stitch and knit back.

Change colors, knit 36 stitches, turn, slip 1 stitch and knit back.

Change colors, knit 38 stitches, turn and knit back.

Change colors, knit 38 stitches, turn and knit back. (Yes, that is two 38-stitch rows.)

Change colors, knit 35 stitches, knit 2 together, knit 1, turn and knit back.

Purl 37 stitches, turn, knit back.

With an extra needle (your No. 4 for the cuff will do nicely), pick up 37 stitches from the cast on edge, and fold the mitten so that the purl bumps from the last row are facing in.

Your mitten is now inside out. The thinnest part of the piece is the tip of the mitten, the widest part is the wrist edge. Place markers 4 stitches and 13 stitches in from the wrist edge.

Now, using the color you used to purl that last row, either use a 3-needle bind off or graft the cast-on edge to the cast-off edge of the mitten from the tip down to the 13-stitch marker. Break yarn. Skip over the marked 9 stitches, and bind off or graft the last 4 sets of stitches to each other.

Turn the mitten back through itself so that it is right side out. Hold the mitten so that the gap between the two sides is facing you. Let’s call one side A and the other side B. We will start working on side A and move to side B.

(It doesn’t really matter which side is which, I’m just doing this to make my explanation more simple.)

Move all of the live stitches from side A onto a spare needle, waste yarn, or a stitch holder. Move all of the live stitches from side B onto a different spare needle, waste yarn or stitch holder.

Using a temporary cast-on, cast on 12 stitches, knit them, then knit into the back of the first live stitch that is furthest away from the wrist edge on side A. You now have 13 working stitches. Turn, slip 1 stitch, and knit back.

Change colors, knit 13 stitches, knit into the back of the next live stitch from side A. You now have 14 working stitches. Turn, slip 1 stitch, and knit back.

Change colors, knit 14 stitches, knit into the back of the next live stitch from side A. You now have 15 working stitches. Turn, slip 1 stitch, and knit back.

Continue in this way until you have 21 working stitches and have run out of stitches on side A.

Knit 21 stitches, then knit into the back of the closest live stitch to your position from side B. Turn, slip 1, knit 2 together, knit 2 together, and knit back.

Change colors, knit 20 stitches, then knit into the back of the next live stitch from side B. Turn, slip 1, knit 2 together, knit 2 together, and knit back.

Change colors, knit 18 stitches, then knit into the back of the next live stitch from side B. Turn, slip 1, knit 2 together, knit 2 together, and knit back.

Continue in this way until you have 12 working stitches. Turn the mitten inside out. Graft or three-needle bind-off the beginning to the end of the thumb. Close the tip of the thumb and the tip of the mitten.

Choose 1 color for your cuff. Using smaller needles, pick up 46 stitches around the wrist edge of the mitten. Work in K1, P1 rib until you are sick of it. Or for 3 inches, whichever comes last.

Cast off, loosely. Darn in all ends.

Joyce McCartney is not a craft expert. She is, however, interested in crafting of all types. She shares her experiences and those of area crafters. To reach Joyce, call 461-8364 or e-mail craftyliving@jg.net. Also, go to the blog at www.journalgazette.net/craftyliving. Hear podcasts on knitting at Crafty Living: Math4Knitters.

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