Monday, February 18, 2008

Tribble Tutorial

Tribbles! Yes, after all the emails and comments that you have all sent to me, I thought I'd share mine with you. Abigail certainly was right when she posted this pattern. They're growing like gangbusters around here! And such a fabulous way to use up your leftovers! So, let's get started.

Number one, you need the pattern. (updated link 12/13/08)
See what I mean? They're mutliplying!

Next, dig out a bag (or two) of your cotton left overs. What, you say you don't have any? Well...hop over to the left side of this page, and knit up a few of my dishcloth patterns (grinning here...) and then you'll have some! After that, you can knit up the Tribbles pattern. Like I did. I try to keep my ends really long- longer than the pattern states. I'll tell you why in a minute. Yes, I still have a lot of left overs, yet. That's ok. I like the pattern, I'll make lots more. Remember, I've been knitting for a veryyyyyyyyyyyy long time, so I've had a chance to collect the left overs. I'm a product of Depression Era parents, you don't throw out anything that might be useful at some point! Today, they just call it living green. (and they think it's a new concept-ha!) Anyway, back to the knitting. The only thing I've done differently with the pattern is to use a (US)7 (4.5mm) needle. They were what I had on hand, and I have a couple of those. So, that's what I grabbed the first time, and that's what I keep using. I do have a pair that's a (US)6 (4.0mm) but I never put them in my knitting bag to take out of the house. I'm afraid of them getting busted. They're not being made anymore. So, my clover (US)7's (4.5mm) are what I keep using.

Next, you're going to sew together the diagonal ends. I love my chibi needles with the little bend in the tip. But, I've used those little plastic blue needles for years. Use what you have, like, or can find in the bottom of your knitting bag.

This is going to give you a 'tube' now. But, do NOT cut your long thread! You're going to use it in the next step.

Using that end you used to sew the diagonal ends together, thread it through the edge stitches all the way around the top of your 'tube'. You're going to pull this together the way I finish my Beanie hats.

Now, as I do with my beanies, I go around the circle twice. Hense the reason for the longer tail. Two times around seems to give me the feeling that it's going to 'last' longer than the first wash cycle. However, watch out when you're pulling the thread that you don't pull too hard and have it break! (Wanna know how I learned That one? )

Then you can clip the thread. Now, I never clip threads too close to the knot. Yes, I use knots on closing the circles. But, again, I have this 'concern' that in the first wash, it's all going to slip out and fall apart. Once anything gets past that first wash, and it stayed together, I'm ok with it.

After that, I turn mine inside-out and that will hide the first knot inside. Repeat that same process with the opposite end of the tube. Run your needle through the outter edge stitch twice, and pull it closed.

Here's where you can see it getting closed up. Becareful as you pull on your live thread. You may find it helpful to 'smooth' the Tribble so you can pull the center tighter.

To hide the knot, I'll run the thread behind the closed circle not, once, but twice. Once is good, twice is better? If you pull it well, the knot will slip t the inside and not show on the outside.

Draw the needle up on the opposite side of the closed circle, and then clip your thread. The end will (luckily) slip to the inside and that SHOULD be the last time you see it.

Using your thumbs, start smoothing out the Tribble from the center circle. I have explained before as if you had some pastry in a pie plate. You're going to stretch it from the center outwards. I use my thumbs to do that. Keep going on both sides, or as much as you need for it to lay flat.

That's it! Your Tribble is complete. But wait, you still have leftovers, so go back to that stash of leftovers, and knit up a bunch!

I'm going to finish up this little's the BSJ (Baby Surprise Jacket) from EZ...and the little girl (yes a girl!) who will wear this (providing she hasn't outgrown it..) was born last November (I'm so far behind!). Now, she's baby girl #4 for her family and they're buried in Pink over there. So here's to starting with her collection of U of Michgan sweaters! Bout time, eh?

I'm heading to Michigan at the end of the week to be with my parents. Dad is having another surgery and this is the one my brothers are calling the "scary one." The doctor is going in after the Haital Hernia. Dad's a bit (huge exaggeration here) nervous on this one. And for a change, the Stubborn Ole' Swede (Mom-her self proclamined title) didn't stop to bat an eye when I said it was time for me to go home. So, say a few prayers for my parents, and for the Doctor, his surgical team and his nursing staff. He's been in the hospital for over 2 weeks thus far, and he's probably looking at another 2 more post surgery. Cabin fever doesn't begin to describe how he's feeling. Dad's down to 156#'s the last time he weighed himself. That threw him for a loop, too. He used to be over 200 #'s. I'm bringing his vest with me to see if I'll have to restart it smaller. I'm hoping not. But with the weater they've had this year in Michigan, he's going to need the wool when he goes home to keep him warm. That way I can hug him when I'm not there. The vest, and the afghan that I made him a couple of years back when this whole surgical process started. He fell onto his step ladder putting away books in his library. August, 2004. I've actually lost count of the number of surgeries he's had. That's a scary thing to actually say out loud. It's been way too many!

I have one more project between the baby sweater and working on the vest full time. With a little luck, you'll see it soon. Hint, it's Green. Hopefully, without all the typos and 'need to fix-its' from the last Two Hearts as One pattern set. I 'Think' I have them all fixed now. (I certainly hope!) Thanks for all the help you guys have given me when you go through the patterns. It's great! And gratefully appreciated. Now, back to knitting!