Thursday, June 8, 2017

Reflecting Pool Cowl

Reflecting Pool Cowl
Reflecting Pool Cowl

There's no denying it: this is one of those yarns that I bought because my raccoon brain demanded it (okay fine, maybe raccoon isn't accurate - it's not shiny although it's colorful. You get what I mean). And, as always with these yarns, as soon as I got it home I wondered what to do with it - with a variegated I prefer a pattern that's not too plain but that also doesn't get eaten by the colors of the fiber, after all. Luckily it didn't take long before I came up with this cable and openwork design, which shows off both the texture of the fabric and the beauty of the yarn. And, as a side note, I think it would also work well on larger needles (US 8 or even larger!) if you want a more drapey look. :)

Yarn: Lang Yarns Riva (52% Cotton, 48% Acrylic; 115 yards [105 meters]/50 grams); #0079 - 2 skeins
Reflecting Pool Cowl
A look at the cable and the
openwork design.

Needles: one 16" circular needle in size US 6 (4.0 mm), cable needle (cn) or dpn for cabling

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 19 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette, 22 stitches = 4 inches in pattern

Okay, let's make a cowl! First, then, cast on 110 stitches loosely (or 121, 132, or any multiple of 11 if you'd like a looser-fitting cowl - this one clocks in at only 20" around unstretched), place marker, and join in round. Then we'll work a combination of Vandyke Faggoting from page 187 of Barbara G. Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns and a basic chain cable, as follows. You'll need the following notation to continue. Remember you can always cable without a cable needle, if you'd like.

back cross (bc): transfer next 2 stitches to your cn and hold in back; k2, k2 from cn

front cross (fc): transfer next 2 stitches to your cn and hold in front; k2, k2 from cn

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Little Birds Hat

Little Birds Hat
Little Birds Hat

Yet again the story behind this hat is simple: while at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival in March, I went on a quest to find the perfect silvery yarn for a hat design. After combing through all of the booths, I finally settled on the subtle luster of this 4 ply from Ripples Crafts. Then, of course, once I had the fiber picked out I had to figure out the pattern, and ultimately decided to let a play on a basic stockinette let the yarn shine through. So if you, too, have a gorgeous 4 ply at home this may just be the design for you! (or - even better - order one of the gorgeous colorways from Ripples!!!!)

Yarn: Ripples Crafts Hand Dyed Yarn 4 Ply - Burras (100% Wool; 400 yards [366 meters]/100 grams); Moonshine - 1 skein (I used 58 grams, or roughly 232 yards)

Little Birds Hat
A look at the finish.
Needles: one 16" circular needle in size US 2, one 16" circular needle in size US 3, one set of double pointed needles (dpns), also in size US 3

Notions: Tapestry needle, two stitch markers

Gauge: 28 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette on size US 3 needles

Using your size US 2 needle, cast on 154 stitches loosely, place marker, and join in round. Then we'll work a ribbing, as follows:

Ribbing Row: * k1, p1; rep from *

Knit this ribbing row until ribbing measures roughly 1.5". Transfer your work to your size US 3 circular needle. Then we'll begin our main pattern, which is Little Birds from page 105 of Barbara G. Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, and goes as follows:

Rows 1 - 3: knit

Thursday, April 27, 2017

A Is For Ascot

A is for Ascot
A is for Ascot - toddler size

Oh man, this is a project that I finished quite some time ago, but then I couldn't photograph and post it because my wild third child didn't want to get in front of the camera to model. And, of course, as soon as I FINALLY snapped these pics he also let me cut his hair, which makes him look like less of a goober than he does in these photos. However, his gooberness aside - this is a fun cowl/scarf project that's perfect for a kid who keeps losing his or her scarfs (since there's a slit in one end and the other end tucks in!). It will also, adorably, make your child look ever-so-slightly like a sailor. :)

Sizes: Toddler (Child)

Yarn: Lang Yarns Mille Colori Baby (100% Virgin Wool; 208 yards [190 meters]/50 grams); #0050 - one skein (one to two skeins)

A is for Ascot
Could I have put him in a less
colorful shirt? Probably, but then
he would have been screaming.
Needles: One set of double pointed needles (dpns) in size US 4; one needle in size US 5 for provisional cast on

Notions: Tapestry needle

Gauge: 27 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette on size US 4 needles

And now that we've gotten that taken care of, let's make an ascot! First, then, using your size 5 needle, cast on 40 (48) stitches provisionally. Transfer to 3 of your size 4 dpns, distributing the stitches as follows: 20 stitches on your first needle, 10 stitches on your second needle, and 10 on your third (24 on your first; 12 on your second, 12 on your third). Join in round. Knit in stockinette until piece measures roughly 6" (7"), at which point we'll knit one decrease row, as follows. Notice that the rows are different for the two different sizes.

Decrease Row - toddler size: [(ssk, k1) three times, k2, (k1, k2tog) three times] twice (28 stitches)

Decrease Row - child size: [(ssk, k1) three times, k6, (k1, k2tog) three times] twice (36 stitches)

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Skye Shawl

Skye Shawl
Skye Shawl

Those of you who follow my Instagram may realize that I attended the Edinburgh Yarn Festival last month (not that I posted much - one photo, maybe?). What you may NOT realize is that I also bought a crapload of yarn. Of course, because my mother raised me to value a sweet deal, I bought both brand-new-perfect-condition stuff and quite a few "odds and ends," like the beautiful naturally-dyed fibers from the Skye Shilasdair Shop that I used for this design. Naturally, then, the Skye Shawl is designed for just such a collection of funny bits and leftovers, in case you have a few odds and ends of your own laying around the house. :) I ALSO bought a kitchen scale so that I could accurately measure my yardage; as you can see, I've bolded all of the colors and yardages below so that you can get a good idea of how many yards of each color you need to make this shawl for yourself (I've also already added a 10% cushion on the amounts I used, in case you're wondering).

Oh, and I almost forgot! I also made technique videos for this piece, which demonstrate all of the important stuff you need to make this shawl. And yes, I know I start EVERY SINGLE ONE by saying "okay." Okay? Okay! Apparently I can't help myself. 

Oh, and double oh: the instructions for this shawl make it look much more complicated/difficult than it actually is! Take heart, it's not that bad, I promise. :)

Yarn: The Skye Shilasdair Shop oddments (unknown blend of Alpaca, Merino, Cashmere, Angora, and Silk); Yellow/Green (Color A; 45 grams, or roughly 135 yards), Dark Pink (Color B; 30 grams, or roughly 90 yards), Lime Green (Color C; 10 grams or roughly 30 yards), Light Pink (Color D; 20 grams or roughly 60 yards), Dark Green (Color E; 20 grams or roughly 60 yards)

Skye Shawl
A closer looks at the stripes and the edgings.
Needles: One pair of needles in size US 5, two double pointed needles in size US 5, and one US 6 or 7 needle for provisional cast-on (this is optional; you're only casting on 4 stitches provisionally, so your tightness is not of great importance)

Notions: 2 tapestry needles, 1 18" length of scrap yarn, and 2 roughly 3' lengths of scrap yarn, preferably in cotton

Gauge: 24 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette

So let's make a shawl then! And remember - as I mentioned above, I filmed a series of technique videos for this pattern, so (hopefully!) you will be able to find a technique video just below any of the instructions with which you may need help. And with that in mind, in order to get this particular blend of stripes, we're going to begin by making the i-cord on the top middle part of the shawl, and then work the striped middle panel down from there. So, first, using one of your size US 5 dpns or your size US 6 or 7 needle and your color A yarn, cast on 4 stitches provisionally, making sure the scrap yarn you use to hold your provisional stitches is roughly 3' long. If you used a larger needle for your provisional cast on, transfer stitches to one of your size 5 dpns now. And if you need some help with these instructions, then the video below is for you (side note: when I watched it back I realized that I could have explained myself better. What I mean by "making space" is that if you're not going to size up your needle for your cast on, you should NOT pull the stitches around the scrap yarn tight, but instead leave them a little loose, as demonstrated).