Friday, March 28, 2014

Sweet Strawberry Cowl

 
Sweet Strawberry Cowl

This was one of those projects that was inspired by the yarn as much as anything; with a lovely, glossy drape and a reversible mesh at the neck, this is the sort of design that would look good in any cotton or cotton blend (well, I'm sure there are plenty of other yarns it would look good in too, but it's well suited to a fiber with less give, like cotton). Long story short, this cowl is simple but striking and looks killer on. And what more can you ask for, really? 

From the back
Yarn: SMC Select Violena Colori (50% Cotton, 50% Modal; 109 yards [100 meters]/50 grams); color #4324 Strawberry – two skeins

Needles: Straight needles in size 6

Notions: Tapestry needle, two stitch markers


Gauge: 21 stitches = 4 inches

To begin, cast on 30 stitches, and then knit the following set-up rows:

Set-up row 1 (right side): knit

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fan Lace Hat

Fan Lace Hat

Well, I figured it was high time for me to use the rest of this yarn. And after completing the Field of Tulips Cowl and the Tons of Triangles Cowl, all I had left was the reddish color, and just enough for a slouchy, spring-weight hat. Therefore, the Fan Lace Hat was born. And it's a fun knit, if I may say so myself!

The fan lace pattern, closer-up
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Sierra (80% Pima Cotton, 20% Merino Wool; 191 yards [175 meters]/100 grams); #55 Sunset - one skein

Needles: One 16" circular needle in size US 8, one 16" circular needle in size US 6

Notions: Tapestry needle, three stitch markers

Gauge: 18 stitches = 4 inches on size 8 needles

So let's do this thing! First of all, then, using your size 6 needle, cast on 100 stitches, place marker, and join in round. And then we'll begin with this ribbing row:

Ribbing Row: * (k1, p1) twice, k1; rep from *

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Daisy Chain Cowl

Daisy Chain Cowl

Technically, the name of this cowl should have something to do with snowflakes (since the stitch pattern is the Snowflake Eyelet and all). But I'm way too tired of winter to give this lightweight cotton v-neck cowl any name that isn't cheery, especially since it's a great warmer weather piece. It's also a top-down number finished with seed stitch edgings, which means you don't even have to block it, if you don't want to!


A not-very-good close-up of the stitch pattern.
Sorry.
Yarn: Schachenmayr Down to Earth Cotton (100% Cotton; 142 yards [130 meters]/50 grams); #35 Pink Peony - two skeins

Needles: One 16" circular needle in size 4, one 24" circular needle in size 4

Notions: Tapestry needle

Gauge: 22 stitches = 4 inches

So let's do this! First, then, using your 16" needle, cast on 127 stitches, place marker, and join in round. Then, knit the following set-up rows:

Set-up Rows 1, 3 & 5: k1, * p1, k1; rep from *

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Gumdrop Beanie

Gumdrop Beanie

As you can see, I'm still having fun with this yarn. But this time, I've decided to employ it for something other than fingerless gloves - a hat! And not just a hat, but a mid-weight, slouchy number with a touch of color detail for extra fun. So let's get started!

The back. Simple, but pretty.
Yarn: Schoeller + Stahl Baby Micro (51% Virgin Wool, 49% Acrylic; 106 yards [97.5 meters]/25 grams); #03 Teal - two skeins (color A) & #05 Lilac - one skein (color B)

Needles: One 16" circular needle in size 3, one 16" circular needle in size 4, one set of double pointed needles, also in size 4

Notions: Tapestry needle

Gauge: 24 stitches = 4 inches 

Using color A and your size 3 circular needle, cast on 126 stitches, place marker, and join in round. Work in a * k3, p3 * ribbing until piece measures about 1.25". Then, switch to your size 4 circular needle and begin the pattern, as follows:

Rows 1 & 2: using color A, knit

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Mellow Yellow Cowl

Mellow Yellow Cowl

This is a pattern I designed for my mother, who wanted something simple enough to work effortlessly while watching plot-heavy television, but also two-color with at least a bit of interest value. So while this is a simple design, it also has a certain amount of textured charm, which you can see even more clearly in the swatch I knit up with contrasting colors. It's also extremely versatile, and could be knit with larger yarns or needles, or even a saucy novelty yarn alongside a plainer one.

A swatch with two more distinct colors.
The knit/purl design breaks up the two-row stripes for
a bit of interest.
Yarn: Bristol Yarn Gallery Somerset (85% Pima Cotton, 15% Silk; 115 yards [105 meters]/50 grams); #103 Yellow (color A) - one skein & Plymouth Yarn Sweet Caroline (100% Cotton; 76 yards [69 meters]/50 grams); #32 Pale Yellow (color B) - one skein

Needles: One 24" circular needle in size 7

Notions: Tapestry needle, three stitch markers or scraps of yarn to mark stitches

My two yarns, to give you perspective
on how similar they are.
Gauge: 18 - 20 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette (my two yarns are slightly different gauges, and I'm not at all worried about it)

So let's get started! First, using color A, cast on 120 stitches, place marker, and join in round. Then, knit 6 rows in a k1, p1 ribbing. And once that's done, let's move on to the pattern, which goes as follows:

Rows 1 & 2: using color B, * k2, p2; rep from *

Friday, March 14, 2014

Tons of Triangles Cowl

Tons of Triangles Cowl

As promised, the yarns from the Field of Tulips Cowl are making a reappearance (and yes, that means that those three skeins will get you both of these cowls, plus whatever I decide to make with the leftover reddish one). And for this pattern, I mixed a slipped stitch triangle pattern with an overall triangle theme for an effect that's a bit tribal and of a larger size (when folded in half, which is how I blocked it for the crease effect, the piece measures about 15" along the neck and 20" along the bottom). Overall, it's also a pretty striking knit, and reasonably fun to make as well.

Oh, the triangles!
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Sierra (80% Pima Cotton, 20% Merino Wool; 191 yards [175 meters]/100 grams); #03 Vanilla - one skein (color A), #21 Royal Blue - one skein (color B)

Needles: One 24" circular needle in size 8

Notions: Tapestry needle, three stitch markers

Gauge: 18 stitches = 4 inches

Using color A, cast on 166 stitches, place marker, and join in round. K63, place marker, k40, place another marker, and knit until the end of the round. Then, we'll knit one set-up row, which goes as follows:

Set-up Row: using color A, p2, * k2, p1; rep from * until you are one stitch before first marker, p1; then, slip marker, and knit until second marker, slip marker, and then p2, * k2, p1 * until you are one stitch before end of round, p1

And now, let's move on to the main pattern, which is a combination of Chain of Triangles from page 100 of Barbara G. Walker's A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns and another slipped stitch pattern. So let's keep going!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Spring Fling Fingerless Gloves

Spring Fling Fingerless Gloves

As you may be able to tell, I really struggled to come up with a good name for these gloves (the stitch I used, Russian Stitch, just didn't have much of a ring, or seem appropriate given the final product). I also struggled with finding the exact right way to deploy the yarn I had left over from the Little Arrowhead Fingerless Gloves, and ripped these bad boys out a couple of times before I was satisfied. Of course, the good news is that I am, indeed, satisfied with the finished product, which is a short, spring-weight fingerless glove that relies on a little bit of texture and a little bit of color for oomph. In general, I would also say that these fit a little on the large side, and if you've got super-petite hands, you're welcome to hit me up for revised pattern instructions. If your hands are small and above, however, I think one of the sizes below should work (I'm a women's small in most glove-like things, and the smaller size fits me fine).

Thumb and stuff.
Sizes: smaller (for a hand roughly 7 1/2" - 8" in circumference at the base of the thumb) and larger (for a hand roughly 8 1/2" - 9" in circumference at the base of the thumb) - directions for larger size will follow those for the smaller size in parentheses

Yarn: Schoeller + Stahl Baby Micro (51% Virgin Wool, 49% Acrylic; 106 yards [97.5 meters]/25 grams); #05 Lilac - one skein (color A) & #04 Light Blue - one skein (color B)

Needles: One set of double-pointed needles (dpns) in size 3, one set of dpns in size 2

Notions: Tapestry needle

Gauge: 26 stitches = 4 inches 

Using your size 2 dpns and your color A yarn, cast on 55 stitches loosely (65 stitches) and distribute among your dpns as follows: 20 stitches on your first needle, 15 stitches on your second needle, and 20 stitches on your third needle (for the larger size: 20 stitches on your first needle, 25 stitches on your second needle, and 20 stitches on your third needle). Join in round, and knit 4 rows in the following ribbing row:

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Field of Tulips Cowl

Field of Tulips Cowl

I grew up near the Skagit Valley in Washington, which celebrates spring each year with a tulip festival that drives all the locals nuts with insane traffic. On the plus side, of course, is the acres and acres of tulips all blooming at once, and of which this cowl reminds me. Or in other words, I designed this in what I consider to be the spirit of spring, and in tulip-y colors. It also combines two slip stitch patterns which evoke two different plowed-fields effects.

Yarn: Cascade Yarns Sierra (80% Pima Cotton, 20% Merino Wool; 191 yards [175 meters]/100 grams); #03 Vanilla - one skein (color A), #21 Royal Blue - one skein (color B), #55 Sunset - one skein (color C)

Needles: One 24" circular needle in size 8, one 16" or 20" circular needle, also in size 8

The back; the slip stitch color pattern reminds me
of the fields.
Notions: Tapestry needle, three stitch markers

Gauge: 18 stitches = 4 inches

Using color A and your 24" needle, cast on 149 stitches, place marker, and join in round. Knit 20, place extra marker, and then knit until you're 20 stitches from the end of the round and place another marker. Knit until the end of the round. And now, let's get right to the pattern, which you'll find below. As you'll notice, you will have fewer stitches on your needle on rows 3 and 9, which you'll add back on rows 4 and 10.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Little Arrowhead Fingerless Gloves

Little Arrowhead Fingerless Gloves
I went with Legos for the photo this time.

As promised, I'm adding more fingerless gloves to the repertoire. And the Little Arrowhead pair has a couple of nice features, including a simple repeating lace pattern and the fact that both gloves can both be knit from the same pattern (so no left hand, right hand mumbo jumbo!). I should note, however, that these gloves are designed with a slightly looser fit in mind (as you can see from the pictures, they're not stretching tight over my hands or anything), and if you want them to be snug, you may want to knit them a size smaller than I give directions for. In fact, if you have itty bitty hands and want really tight gloves, I would even recommend casting on 45 stitches instead of the small size's recommended 54, omitting those 9 stitches from your second dpn. Remember, however, that this will make your cast-on and cast-off edges tight, and you'll have to take extra care to cast on and bind off such that you can still get your hands in these bad boys!
I just realized why I like this color.
It's the same shade we painted the house!

Sizes: smaller (for a hand roughly 7 1/2" - 8" in circumference at the base of the thumb) and larger (for a hand roughly 8 1/2" - 9" in circumference at the base of the thumb) - directions for larger size will follow those for the smaller size in parentheses

Yarn: Schoeller + Stahl Baby Micro (51% Virgin Wool, 49% Acrylic; 106 yards [97.5 meters]/25 grams); #04 Light Blue - two skeins

Needles: One set of double-pointed needles (dpns) in size 3, one set of dpns in size 2

Notions: Tapestry needle

Gauge: 26 stitches = 4 inches

Using your size 2 dpns, cast on 54 stitches loosely (63 stitches) and distribute among your dpns as follows: 18 stitches on your first needle, 18 stitches on your second needle, and 18 stitches on your third needle (for the larger size: 18 stitches on your first needle, 27 stitches on your second needle, and 18 stitches on your third needle). Join in round, and then we'll knit the following ribbing row:

Monday, March 3, 2014

Turquoise V Cowl


Turquoise V Cowl


I knew I had to have this yarn as soon as I saw it; the colors, the feel (it's a bit ropey, but soft), and the general aesthetic of the fiber really appealed to me. But then I struggled a bit more when it came to knitting it up, tearing through who-knows-how-many ideas before settling on this one. And, in short, this one relies on a cabled edge down one side of the cowl and a stitch pattern which adds and drops stitches for a very textured effect. Furthermore, while the pattern below looks complicated, that's mostly just increases and decreases along the edge; the basic stitch pattern remains the same throughout.

The stitch pattern, closer up.
Yarn: Schachnmayr Original Multicolor (100% Cotton; 98 yards [90 meters]/50 grams); color #85 Jade Mix – two skeins

Needles: Straight needles in size 7, cable needle (cn) or double-pointed needle for cabling

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker 


Gauge: 20 stitches = 4 inches

So let's get started! First, let's define some terminology as follows:


front cross (fc): slip 2 stitches to cn and hold in front, p3, k2 from cn

back cross (bc): slip 3 stitches to cn and hold in back, k2, p3 from cn

Now, cast on 14 stitches loosely, and knit the following row: p2, place marker, k4, p4, k4. Then, we’ll repeat a few set-up rows to get the piece started. Or in our pattern notation,

Set-up Rows 1 & 3 (right side): p4, k4, p4, slip marker, knit until one stitch before end of row, yo, k1

Set-up Rows 2 & 4: purl until marker, slip marker, k4, p4, k4