Elegant Knitted Hot Pads
By Suzann Thompson

Go to instructions for Elegant Knitted Hot Pads

 

 

 

 

 

Ladybug
© 2005 by Suzann Thompson

knitting, quilting, machine embroidery, embellishment; 22" x 18-1/2"
Brown Sheep Yarns, cotton backing and binding, Wrights trims, buttons

The boldly patterned ladybug against a colorful background makes this wall hanging perfect for a nursery or child's room. I used the Ultimate Sweater Machine to knit the pieces, but one could also knit them by hand or use old sweaters to construct the design.

To add a contrasting texture, I used the reverse side of stockinette stitch for the green and yellow background. Black buttons repeat the ladybug spot motif and frame the main subject.

The backing fabric is a small, black and white gingham check. When I sewed on the buttons, I made sure that the sewing thread on the back of the piece always landed on a black check. You can hardly see the button tacks. Was it worth all the work and the admittedly fussy finishing details? You bet it was.

 

 

Advent Calendar

Advent calendars count down the days until Christmas. This one has 24 buttons along the bottom, where you hang the ornaments, number side up, at the beginning of December. Each day, find the number ornament that corresponds with the date. Remove it from the lower button, turn it over, and hang it from one of the buttons on the knitted tree. When all the ornaments are hanging from the tree--the next day is Christmas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find instructions for making the Advent wall hanging and 24 knitted ornaments in INKnitters, Nos. 7, 8, 9, and 10 (Winter 2002 through Fall
2003 issues). The project isn't particularly difficult, but it is time-consuming. Pace yourself.

 

 

 


Cherry Picking Vest

Moths have good taste. They chose to place their offspring on my beloved cherry sweater, which I knitted by hand from Sasha Kagan's Big and Little Sweaters. They nibbled more holes than I wanted to repair. So I put the cherry sweater with an oversized red sweater that never looked good on me anyway, and made this crazy-patchwork vest. I machine embroidered the red sweater. After stabilizing the knitting with fusible interfacing, I cut the sweaters into patches. On a lightweight cotton foundation cut from a commercial vest pattern, I arranged the pieces and sewed them down.

Oh no, it didn't look good! The bright reds, blue, and white looked too busy and choppy. What could I do? Decorative stitching along the join lines helped a little. I tried various tricks to tone down the stridently contrasting colors.

Finally I saw what was in front of my eyes the whole time. The vest had a circle theme (the red cherries and the embroidery motifs). What (usually) circular item do I love and have in droves? Buttons! To tone down the white, I added red buttons (an echo of the cherries). Much better.

If red buttons on the white areas looked good, would white buttons on the red and blue areas be even better? I tried it out. Yes! This is one of the happiest projects I've ever made. It makes me smile every time I see it.

This vest was accepted into the Small Wonders exhibition at the 2005 Spring Quilt Festival in Chicago.

 

 

Recycled Sweater Vest

The clerk looked at me nervously when I put a darkly colorful man's sweater on the counter. "Do you realize this sweater is 100 percent wool?" she asked. Of course I did. That's why I chose it. The price helped, too. It cost me about five dollars at a thrift shop.

I cut the facings and hems off of a commercial vest pattern, and used it to cut vest pieces from the sweater. I stabilized with fusible interfacing and machine stitching. My current favorite mother-of-pearl buttons were perfectly subtle embellishment for the vest. I added other buttons and trims, too.

 

 

 

 

Elegant Knitted Hot Pads
© 2004 by Suzann Thompson

You have permission to print these instructions for your personal use. You have permission to make the hot pads described in these instructions for yourself and, occasionally, as gifts. Shop owners may direct customers to this site, so that each customer can make a personal copy. Sale of these instructions is in violation of the copyright.

You'll enjoy using these hot pads that feature easy knitting by you, and embroidery by the Husqvarna Viking Designer I sewing machine. Insul-Bright thermal batting from the Warm Company makes these very serviceable trivets and hot pot holders.

Yarn and Fabric:
Brown Sheep Company's Lamb's Pride (85% wool, 15% mohair; 190 yd / 4 oz (173 m / 113 g)), 1 skein each of the following: M-80 Blue Blood Red and M-115 Oatmeal. This is enough for 5 or 6 hot pads.
1/4 yd of 45" wide black denim is enough to finish 3 hot pads. For each hot pad, cut one 8" square, two strips 8" x 1-3/8", two strips 10" x 1-3/8", and one strip 5" x 1-1/2".

Thread:
Sulky Polydeco, black
Sulky bobbin thread, black
Sulky invisible thread, clear
Optional: lighter bobbin thread

Stabilizers:
Sulky Cut-away Plus, 8" square for each hot pad
Sulky Solvy for embroidered hot pad
Sulky Sticky + for embroidered hot pad
Sulky KK 2000 temporary spray adhesive

Batting:
Warm Company, Insul-Bright thermal batting, 8" square for each hot pad

Other Supplies:
Size 8 US (5mm) knitting needles or size needed to obtain gauge.
Fine tip permanent marker
Washing machine and dryer

Sewing Machine:
Husqvarna Viking Designer I, with small embroidery hoop and Disk 4 Denim needle

Abbreviations: st st = stockinette stitch (knit one row, purl one row); k = knit; p = purl

Gauge: In st st BEFORE WASHING: approximately 19 sts and 25 rows per 4" (10 cm).
For best results, knit a sample, wash and dry as described below, and practice embroidering and stitching it. This will help you determine the best thread tension and presser foot pressure to use for embroidery and quilting.

Embroidered Hot Pad

1. Knit
a. With red, cast on 41 sts. Work st st for 14 rows.
b. Change to oatmeal. Continuing in st st, work 35 rows.
c. Change to red. Continuing in st st, work 14 rows. Bind off.

2. Machine wash knitted piece in cold water with other dark-colored laundry using a regular wash cycle. Tumble dry. Repeat once. Knitting will now be about 8 x 8" and it will pull to the right.

3. Moisten knitting, pin to a surface such as ironing board, squaring edges and straightening stripes. If desired, steam with a hot iron and press cloth. Let the knitting dry.

4. On an 8" square of Cut-away Plus stabilizer, draw a line across 1-7/8" from the top, and 1-7/8" from the bottom. Spray with KK2000 and pin to the back of the knitting, matching drawn lines with color change lines. Hand-baste along lines and around the edges.

5. Cut a 4-1/2 square of Solvy. Spray with KK2000 and position in the center of the top of the knitting. Mark the center of the oatmeal section with a thread. Mark the middle of each edge of the knitting.

6. Hoop Sticky+, paper side up, in the 100 x 100mm embroidery hoop. Score paper around inside of hoop and remove paper. Center the knitting on the hoop, and press onto the Sticky+P>7. Set up Designer I for embroidery. In the 'SET' menu, set stitch tension to 3.2, or tension that gives the best embroidery on knitting. Thread black Polydeco on top, and black bobbin thread on the bottom. Insert Disk 4, and choose pattern number 16. (Disk 4 comes with the Designer I.)

8. Place hoop onto embroidery arm. Check that the needle is above the marked center of the knitting, then remove the thread marker. Use the 'four corners' feature to make sure the corners of the design will all be about the same distance from the red stripes.

9. Embroider the design, using black instead of blue, red, and green. When the machine prompts you to thread yellow, press + to skip. Remove embroidered knitting from the hoop and tear away the Sticky+. Tear away as much Solvy as possible, and wash away the rest. Let dry.

10. Set up Designer I for regular sewing. Thread clear invisible thread on top. Set presser foot at 2.0, thread tension at 4.2, and stitch length to 3.5.

11. Place an 8" square of denim, wrong-side-up. Place a square of batting on the denim, and top with the embroidered knitting, right-side-up. Pin the layers together.

12. Position the hot pad so the needle falls at the outside edge of the embroidery design's inner circle, between two lobes of the design. Begin quilting by sewing away from the circle, and roughly following the outline of the first lobe, about 1/4" away from it. Stop when you reach the edge of the inner circle again. Turn and quilt around the next lobe. Continue until all the lobes are outlined. The first round of quilting will look like a flower with four petals.

13. Continue quilting in rounds, each about 3/8" away from the last. Follow instructions under "Hanging Loop and Binding" to finish.

Striped Hot Pad:

1. Knit:
a. With red, cast on 41 sts. Work st st for 9 rows.
b. Change to oatmeal. Continuing in st st, work 9 rows.
c. Change to red. Continuing in st st, work 9 rows.
d. Repeat steps 2 and 3 twice more. Bind off.

2. Machine wash knitted piece in cold water with other dark-colored laundry using a regular wash cycle. Tumble dry. Repeat once. Knitting will now be about 8 x 8" and it will pull to the right.

3. Moisten knitting, pin to a surface such as ironing board, straightening edges and stripes. If desired, steam with a hot iron and press cloth. Let the knitting dry.

4. On an 8" square of Cut-away Plus stabilizer, use the permanent marker to draw a line across, 1-1/8" from the top. Draw 5 more lines, each 1-1/8" from the last. Spray with KK2000 and pin to the back of the knitting, matching drawn lines with color change lines. Hand-baste along lines and around the edges.

5. Place an 8" square of denim, wrong-side-up. Place a square of batting on the denim, and top with the knitting, right-side-up. Pin the layers together.

6. Set up Designer I for regular sewing. Thread clear invisible
thread on top and black bobbin thread below. Set presser foot at 2.0, thread tension at 4.2, and stitch length to 3.5.

7. Beginning at the right edge of the pinned piece, sew through all layers along color change rows. Let the needle fall on the red stripes , just where the oatmeal stitches touch the red stitches. Sew along the top and bottom. Sewing from right to left will correct the rightward pull of the stitches.

8. Follow instructions under "Hanging Loop and Binding" to finish.

Hanging Loop and Binding

1. Make a hanging loop for the hot pad: press 1/4" under along one long edge of the 5" strip of denim. Press 3/8" under along the other edge. Fold in half and press. Sew the folded edge together with black thread on top and bottom.

2. Trim edges of the quilted piece to make them square and even.

3. Bind one side of the hot pad: place an 8" strip on top of hot pad, right sides together, raw edges even. Sew 1/4" from edge. If desired, use a light color in the bobbin. It is much easier to see when you are ready to sew the binding in the back.

4. Fold the strip over the raw edges and to the back. Fold under about 1/4" of the strip, and sew the folded edge over the original binding seam. Sew by hand or by stitching in the ditch.

5. Bind the other side as in steps 3 and 4. Bind the bottom with a 10" strip, folding the ends in to make square, finished corners.

6. Fold hanging loop in half lengthwise and turn the sewn edge away from you. Open out the sewn edges, so that there's a loop on top, but the 'legs' of the loop lie flat. Center this loop on the top back of the hot pad, with raw edges even. Pin in place and baste.

7. Bind the top of the hot pad, including the raw edges of the hanging loop. Fold the loop up, and tack in place. Trim threads and remove basting.

 

Contact Suzann at textilefusion@email.toast.net

All photos and content Copyright Suzann Thompson
Web design by Stephanie Vinson