April 10, 2013

Knit Hexagons

I have this thing where I don't buy knitting or crocheting patterns.  I don't understand why I should pay for one when there are so many amazing patterns for free on the internet.  I get really irritated when I find an adorable picture, click on it, and find out they want me to pay $5 for it on Etsy or Ravelry.  It usually ends up in a little bit of cursing like a sailor as I attempt to peruse the World Wide Web for a comparable version that's free. And 9 times out of 10 I find one.  Or at least one I can alter enough to make it work.

It's not just that I'm cheap.  And for Pete's sake I'm in graduate school and am living off of loan money so I seriously need to be cheap. It's also that I don't understand why a PDF should cost that much money.

Those 1 out of 10 times when there is no better alternative I get super disappointed.  But I haven't given in yet and I am damn stubborn, so I'm thinking I'll hold out until my pattern-making skills catch up to my desires.  My inner biologist is obsessed with realistic animal stuffed animals (like this iguana) on PlanetJune and by jove one day I will make my own.

Just this week I was riding home from school and sat next to a lady knitting something itty bitty, so I asked what she was making.  She told me all about these little stuffed hexagons (or "hexipuffs") she was making from scraps and how they very neatly get put together to make a puffy little quilt.  I have tons of scraps! and I love projects I can do in class or on the train! Perfect!

But then I came home and found it on Ravelry and realized that the very cute Beekeeper's Quilt pattern costs $5.50.  I got very grumpy and spent two days mulling over whether it was worth buying it.  Was this pattern really worth caving in for?  And seriously, over $5?!  It's very small and simple.  Plus from what I read on the few blog posts I read (there are hundreds) many people ended up modifying the cast on, the increase/decrease, or the bind off.  I'm definitely not paying it if I'm going to have to change it anyways.

So my decision was made- I was going to make it up.  And if I'm  making it up then I can change it!  So I made mine a little bigger so that I can make fewer of them. Because 450 of those little buggers for just a lap blanket is insanity.  It should be easily changeable for those who want to make it smaller or bigger.

My plan is to do a full photo tutorial in the near future, but this was my first one, so I wanted to trial and error a bit before the real camera comes out.

The Materials

Caron's Simply Soft yarn

5 double pointed needles (I used size 2, but you could use a larger one)

The Pattern

CO 11
K1, knit-put yarn in front-purl in same stitch to last stitch, K1 (20)

don’t turn, slide to right
with 2 parallel DPNs pick up 1 on back, then 1 on front needle until you have 5 on each.  repeat with 2 more DPNs

turn work

row 1:  k1, m1r, k 8, m1l, k1  - turn- k1, m1r, k 8, m1l, k1  (24)
row 2:  k round  (24)

row 3:  k1, m1r, k10, m1l, k1 – turn - k1, m1r, k10, m1l, k1 (28)
row 4:  k round (28)

row 5: k1, m1r, k12, m1l, k1 – turn - k1, m1r, k12, m1l, k1 (32)
row 6: k round (32)

row 7: k1, m1r, k14, m1l, k1 – turn – k1, m1r, k14, m1l, k1 (36)
row 8: k round (36)

row 9:  k1, m1r, k16, m1l, k1 – turn – k1, m1r, k16, m1l, k1 (40)
row 10:  k round (40)

row 11: k1, m1r, k18, m1l, k1 – turn – k1, m1r, k18, m1l, k1 (44)
row 12: k round (44)

row 13: k1, ssk, k16 , k2tog, k1 – turn – k1, ssk, k16, k2tog, k1  (40)
row 14: k round (40)

row 15: k 1, ssk, k14, k2tog, k1 – turn – k1, ssk, k14, k2tog, k1  (36)
row 16:  k round  (36)

row 17: k 1, ssk, k12, k2tog, k1 – turn – k1, ssk, k12, k2tog, k1  (32)
row 18:  k round (32)

row 19:   k 1, ssk, k10, k2tog, k1 – turn – k1, ssk, k10, k2tog, k1  (28)
row 20:  k round  (28)

row 21: k 1, ssk, k8, k2tog, k1 – turn – k1, ssk, k8, k2tog, k1  (24)
row 22:  k round (24)

row 23:  k1, ask, k6, k2tog, k1 - turn - k1, ask, k6, k2tog, k1  (20)

Hold DPNs parallel and knit 1 through the first stitch on both the front and back needles.  Continue to knit through both front and back needles, and bind off as you go.


CO:  cast on
k: knit
m1r:  make one right- pick up bar between stitches on left needle going from back to front, knit.
m1l:  make one left- pick up bar between stitches on left needle going from front to back, knit.
ssk: slip slip knit
k2tog: knit two together.

There is a photo tutorial here for m1r and m1l if those descriptions don't make total sense to you. 

As I said earlier, better pictures will follow, but here are some fuzzy ones off of my phone as a teaser:

as a size comparison, that's on the mousepad of my macbook

another size comparison to some smarties

I am very excited to get churning these things out.  My plan is to make seat cushions for my kitchen chairs, with some I-cords to tie them on.  Hopefully in the next few weeks I can put together a photo tutorial and a PDF for download on Ravelry that will include how to connect them and making the I-cord ties.

So readers-  how do you feel about paying for patterns online?  Is this something other people get frustrated/struggle with?

1 comment:

Uglemor said...

I love you. I've been scouring tie WWW for a free pattern like this. And like you I think patterns are (mostly) overpriced. I too have made my own version of patterns like that available on my blog. The worst thing I know is people finding something in another language, translating it, maybe, maybe not changing it a bit, and then claiming it for their own with a fancy name.