The Blog of Ruth

Random Wisdom & Stuff that Matters to Me

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Way to Knit a Moravian Lovefeast Candle! December 12, 2011

Filed under: Knitting Patterns — SuperTitan @ 9:43 pm

My mom, Joy, has the most beautiful felt Moravian candles on her Christmas tree, sewn years ago for a church display tree (You can see them to the left). For Moravians, it’s just not Christmas until we pull out the lovefeast candles, beeswax creations wrapped in a red trim, and use during our Christmas Eve lovefeast to declare that yes, Christ IS the light of the world.  Lots of Moravian Churches trim their own candles each year in anticipation of their special candlelight services. I’d admired my mother’s candles at the start of Advent, wondering aloud if one could knit such a candle. The short answer, my friends, is “yes.” The long answer appears below in the form of a rather convoluted pattern.

Knitted Moravian Lovefeast Candle

Finished Dimensions
About 8″ tall and 1″ in diameter (the trim is approx 4″ in diameter)
See adaptation for 5″ version below.

Materials

  • Small amounts of off-white, red, and yellow yarn (I used a combination of a merino wool (white), a variegated wool (red), and cotton (yellow) and it worked just fine.) This is a good way to get rid of stash yarn.
  • 42″ circular needles, sizes #3 and #6 (this is what I had – I would bet you could use 3 and 5 or 2 and 4…) You could also use dp needles or 2 circulars but magic loop seems easiest to me.
  • darning needle
  • scissors
  • small amount of polyester or other stuffing (I don’t stuff the 5″ version)

Instructions

*Candle Body

  • Cast on 13 stitches using smaller needle. Divide onto two needles (magic loop), with 6 stitches on front needle and 5 on back.
  • Knit approximately 1 1/2″ from bottom.
  • Switch to larger needle.
  • Knit 1 round.

*Red Trim

  • Switch to red yarn.
  • Knit 1 round.
  • Increase 4 stitches (at beginning and end of each “row”) to 17 sts. (9 front/8 back) – I use the bar increase for this (K1 f&b).
  • Begin loop pattern.

Double Loop Stitch:

Here’s a quick tutorial on the loop stitch, in words and pics and in video. Note the video shows very clearly how to do a double loop stitch, which is what I recommend, especially if your yarn is a worsted weight or lighter. Experiment with what works best for you.

Candle Trim Loop Pattern:

Round 1: *K1, loop 1*, repeat, end with knit stitch
Round 2: Knit
Round 3: *Loop 1, K1*, repeat, end with loop stitch
Round 4: Knit

Continue in loop pattern for 2-3″ or when it looks right!

  • Knit 1 round, decreasing by knitting 2 together four times (at beginning and end of each “row”) to 13 stitches. (For 5″ version, I switched back to 0ff-white yarn before decreasing – I think I like that better.)

*Candle Body

  • Switch to off-white yarn and smaller needle. Knit 1 round.
  • Knit approximately 3″
  • Knit round, decreasing by knitting 2 together at first stitch (leaves 12 stitches)
  • Knit round, knitting 2 together until 6 stitches remain.
  • Knit 1 round.
  • Next round – knit 1, knit 2 together, knit 1, knit 2 together (leaves 4 stitches)

*Flame

  • Switch to yellow yarn.
  • K 1 round.
  • Knit round, increasing 2 stitches (k1fb end of each “row”) to 6 sts.
  • Knit 4-5 rounds.
  • Begin decrease – k2tog, k, k2tog, k (leaves 4 stitches)
  • Knit 1 round.
  • K 2tog to 2 sts.
  • K2tog – leaves one stitch.
  • Cut and weave in yarn.

Finishing

  • With a pencil, stuff candle from bottom with stuffing until desired thickness.

Add a yarn or monofilament loop for hanging on the tree or use with a candle holder. Enjoy!

Update December 18:

I perfected the 5″ version! This size is perfect as an ornament. This version assumes a worsted or DK-weight yarn, but I am also experimenting with fingering weights. The Reader’s Digest version:

  • With Size 2 circular and off-white yarn, cast on 10 stitches. Divide evenly. (I’ve also done this with just one needle size and added a couple more stitches when I get to the red trim.)
  • Knit 1-1/2″
  • Switch to size 4 needle (I used size 5s on sample, but only b/c my 4s were on another project). Switch to red yarn.
  • Knit one round.
  • Knit another round, increasing to 13 sts.
  • Begin double loop stitch (see above for tutorial) – here’s the short candle version of the loop pattern:

R1: K, Loop (repeat – end with K)
R2: Loop, K (repeat – end with Loop)
Repeat pattern twice more (for total of 6 rounds)

  • Switch back to size 2’s, switch to off-white yarn, and knit one  round, decreasing to 10 sts.
  • Knit until desired height (approx 2-2 1/2″) from red trim.
  • Decrease to 8 sts, then to 6, and then 4 sts.
  • Switch to yellow yarn – knit one round.
  • Increase to 6 sts.
  • Knit 2 rounds.
  • Decrease to 4 sts, then 2.
  • K2tog – bind off.
 

Computer Sock November 28, 2011

Filed under: Knitting Patterns — SuperTitan @ 11:04 pm

Computer SockWanted something simple to cover my new Toshiba netbook, so I grabbed some stash and whipped this up. This netbook is approximately 7″ x 10″, so create accordingly.

I used a worsted weight yarn from Knit Picks and 10.5 circular needles.

CO 60 stitches and join to work in the round.
K2, P2 several rounds to make 1″ to 1.5″ ribbing.
Switch to stockinette stitch for as long as it takes!
Add stripes to make it more interesting.
When you reach the desired length, bind off and then stitch together.

Fun and cushy!

 

Sudsy Soap Sack November 21, 2011

Filed under: Knitting Patterns — SuperTitan @ 3:10 pm

I try to knit simple gifts for my family and friends during the holidays and inevitably start the process about December 15! During 2007, it occurred to me to adapt some beautiful open pattern into a groovy soap bag. A real hit, and took much less time than sewing a whole washcloth!! I gave them away with a nice bar of handmade soap already inside.

Here’s Sudsy Soap Sack. Enjoy!

 

Bean Sprout Baby Hat November 20, 2011

Filed under: Knitting Patterns,Random Stuff — SuperTitan @ 1:54 pm

This little pattern evolved from my efforts to perfect a hat, then downsize it for my infant cousin Ian. Enjoy!

 

Katie’s Fingerless Gloves January 4, 2010

Filed under: Knitting Patterns — SuperTitan @ 4:02 am
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Magic Loop Child’s Fingerless Gloves

These gloves are knit on one long (42″) size 3 (U.S.) circular needle, using sock yarn. The ones pictured were custom-made for my niece Katie, who is 7.

Cast on 36 stitches and divide stitches evenly on needle.
Join stitches and knit in K2, P2 rib pattern for approximately 2″.

Note that this is an alternative to using double-pointed needles. Read more about the technique here. 

Begin working thumb by continuing in rib pattern (k2, p2) for 17 stitches, placing a marker, knitting 2 stitches, placing a second marker, then working the final 17 stitches in the rib pattern.

Work a second row in rib pattern, slipping the markers and knitting the 2 stitches in between.

Then, repeat the pattern below until there are 12 stitches between markers, and end with Row 3:

Row 1: Work in rib pattern to first marker, slip marker, increase 1 stitch (I knit into the front and back of the stitch to add a stitch), knit to within 1 stitch of second marker, increase 1 stitch, slip marker, then work to end of row.
Rows 2&3: Work all stitches in rib pattern, and knit stitches between markers.

Now, work to marker, remove marker, and bind off (BO) the 12 stitches. Remove other marker and finish row in rib pattern.

To finish the hand, work round in rib pattern for 17 sts, casting on and knitting 2 stitches using the backward loop or single cast-on method, then finishing the next 17 stitches in the rib pattern.

Continue working in established pattern for about 1.5″. To finish, purl a round, knit a round, then bind off. Sew in ends.

(The hat is a simple roll-brim knit in stockinette on circular needles. I just knit, knit, knit.)

 

 
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