Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Slip-Stitch Mesh Fingerless Gloves

Slip-Stitch Mesh Fingerless Gloves

The idea behind this pair of fingerless gloves was simple; not everyone likes to knit on double pointed needles, but even the dpn-adverse should be able to enjoy a nice fingerless glove. And as far as these bad boys are constructed, we'll begin by working the thumb, then we'll make the body of the glove, and then we'll put them all together!

Thumbs up, if you will...
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: Berroco Vintage (52% Acrylic, 40% Wool, 8% Nylon; 218 yards [200 meters]/100 grams); #5120 Gingham - one skein

Needles: One set of straight needles in size US 8 (optional: another set of straight needles in size US 7)

Notions: Tapestry needle

Gauge: 18 stitches = 4 inches

So, as I mentioned, we'll begin with the thumb. And, if desired, here's your chance to use a smaller gauge needle, if you want the thumb to fit a little more tightly. Either way, the thumb will look better if you knit on the tighter side of things through the short rows. Anyway, cast on 14 stitches (16 for the larger size) loosely, and then purl one row across. And then we'll work the following (notice that you will be working short rows from row 4 - 12. There's a nice tutorial on the technique here, if you're rusty):

Friday, April 25, 2014

Water Lilies Cowl

Water Lilies Cowl

Somewhat unbelievably, even after making the Razor Shell Fingerless Gloves and the Staghorn Fingerless Gloves out of my single skein of Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine, I still had a bunch left. And because I love to pair variegated yarns with similarly-colored single-color skeins, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to use up the Crystal Palace yarn I originally bought for the Starry Night Cowl. Long story short, the Water Lilies Cowl uses two sock weight yarns, a slip stitch color pattern, and a simple striped rib to make a nice, closer fitting design whose top portion is entirely reversible, for drape.


A close-up of the slipped stitch pattern.
Yarn: Crystal Palace Yarns Panda Superwash (51% Bamboo, 39% Superwash Wool, 10% Nylon; 186 yards [172 meters]/50 grams); #2004 Mint Print - 1 skein (color A), Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine (50% Superwash Wool, 20% Super Fine Alpaca, 30% Nylon; 433 yards [400 meters]/100 grams); #12177 Kaffir Mix - one skein (color B)

Needles: One 20" circular needle in size 2

Notions: Tapestry needle and stitch marker

Gauge: 30 - 31 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette

Using your color A yarn, cast on 180 stitches, place marker, and join in round. Next, purl 5 rows for the edging. Then, knit one more row. And then, it's time to begin our first pattern, which is Corn on the Cob Stitch from page 54 of Barbara G. Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns. And it goes like so:

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Chevrons & Cables Hat

Chevrons & Cables Hat

Before I get any further, I should warn you - this is not the ideal yarn for this hat, if only because I needed about 102 yards of it rather than the 100 yards in a single skein (luckily, I had a bit left over from the Porcelain Moon Cowl). Of course, if you ignore the yardage, this cotton/wool worsted weight blend makes a pretty excellent lighter-weight hat, and the cables stand out crisply in the smooth texture. The Chevrons & Cables Hat is also kind of a riff on the Peaks & Cables Hat, since both use a lace pattern and a cable pattern to nice effect.

The finishing.
It's nice, in my opinion at least...
Yarn: Classic Elite Yarns Solstice (70% Organic Cotton, 30% Wool; 100 yards [91 meters]/50 grams); #2346 Faded Teal – two skeins

Needles: One 16" circular needle in size 6, one 16" circular needle in size 8, one set of double pointed needles (dpns), also in size 8, and one cable needle (cn)

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 18 stitches = 4 inches 

Using your size 6 needle, cast on 92 stitches, place marker, and join in round. Knit one inch in a * k1, p1 * ribbing, and then switch to your size 8 needle. And now that that's done, we'll start on the main pattern, which is a combination of Lace Chevron from page 202 of Barbara G. Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns and Elliptical Cable from page 180 of Barbara G. Walker's A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns.

Row 1 and all odd rows: * p2, k2 stitches through their back loops (k2-tbl), k4, k2-tbl, p2, k11; rep from *

Friday, April 18, 2014

Sugar & Ice Cowl

Sugar & Ice Cowl

After I posted the Sweet Strawberry Cowl, I had a few people ask me if the same thing could be done in the round. And while the Sugar & Ice Cowl is by no means the same as the Sweet Strawberry (I omitted the shaping and made it two-color with the leftover yarn from the Daisy Chain Cowl), it does share certain characteristics, including reversible mesh at the top and bottom of the piece. If desired, it could also be made one color by working the middle portion in a simple stockinette.

Yarn: Cascade Yarns Sunseeker (47% Cotton, 48% Acrylic, 5% Metallic Yarn; 237 yards [217 meters]/100 grams); #04 Silver - one skein (color A) & Schachenmayr Down to Earth Cotton (100% Cotton; 142 yards [130 meters]/50 grams); #35 Pink Peony - one skein (color B)

The back. Yup.
Needles: One 24" circular needle in size 4, one 24" circular needle in size 7

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 24 stitches = 4 inches on size 4 needles (roughly - the Down to Earth Cotton knits that on size 3s, but I'm not worrying too much about it. Also, this is for stockinette, and the slipped stitch pattern will have a wider gauge)

Using your color A yarn and your size 4 needle, cast on 160 stitches loosely, place marker, and join in round (please note: this design makes a cowl about 8 inches longer than the finished Sweet Strawberry. If you're looking for dimensions more like that cowl, I recommend using 20" circular needles and casting on 120 stitches to begin. The remainder of the pattern can be followed as written). Anyway, we're going to use a mesh pattern to begin with, which goes as follows:

Row 1: k1, * yo, k2tog; rep from *, end k1

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Pretty Plum Cowl

Pretty Plum Cowl

I won't deny it - the entire motivation for this cowl was finding a nice way to knit up this beautiful, nicely-textured yarn. And I think that this particular combination of cables, stockinette, and an openwork lace suits the yarn's variegation well, and gives the piece a bit of visual interest without getting totally swallowed by the color changes. It's also a nice weight for spring!

A closer look at the cable-edged stockinette and lace pattern.
Yarn: Schachenmayr smc Cotton Bamboo Batik (50% Cotton, 50% Viscose (Bamboo); 131 yards [120 meters]/50 grams); #95 Plum Mix - two skeins

Needles: One 24" circular needle in size 6, cable needle (cn) or double pointed needle for cabling

Notions: Tapestry needle, seven stitch markers

Gauge: 22 stitches = 4 inches

And now that that's out of the way, let's get started! First, then, cast on 136 stitches, place marker, and join in round. Then, knit the following set-up rows, during which you'll be placing all of your extra markers. Oh, and you'll need the following notation:

bc (back cross): slip 2 stitches to cn and hold in back, k2, k2 from cn

Friday, April 11, 2014

Staghorn Fingerless Gloves

Staghorn Fingerless Gloves, with tweeting bird, to complete the natural vibe

Well, I'm still picking away at the same skein of yarn that I used for the Razor Shell Fingerless Gloves, and I'm still digging the results (and amazingly, even after finishing these bad boys, I think I'm still going to be able to put together a two-color cowl with the rest of my single skein). Anyway, this pair of fingerless gloves uses a basic stockinette and a pretty cable to create a bit of interest in the thumbs. And it's still such a lover-ly green!

Just one hand.
It looks lonely, doesn't it?
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: Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine (50% Superwash Wool, 20% Super Fine Alpaca, 30% Nylon; 433 yards [400 meters]/100 grams); #12177 Kaffir Mix - one skein

Needles: One set of double pointed needles (dpns) in size 2, one set of dpns in size 1, cable needle (cn)

Notions: Tapestry needle

Gauge: 30 stitches = 4 inches

Using your size 1 needles, cast on 56 (66) stitches loosely, and distribute between your three double pointed needles as follows: 20 stitches on your first needle, 16 stitches on your second needle, and 20 stitches on your third needle (for larger size: 20 stitches on you first needle, 26 stitches on your second needle, and 20 stitches on your third needle). Join in round. Then, we'll knit the following ribbing row:

Ribbing Row: * k1, p1 *

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Grand Picot Eyelet Cowl

Grand Picot Eyelet Cowl

So here's the thing. Mostly, I bought this yarn because it was 100% cotton, I liked the subtle color pattern, and it was cheap as hell. Then, at some point, I realized that most people seem to use this type of fiber for dish clothes rather than, you know, cowls. Nevertheless, I quite like the end result, both with the braided cable and the reversible eyelet pattern which surrounds it.

From the back
Yarn: Lily Sugar 'n Cream (100% Cotton; 95 yards [86 meters]/56.7 grams); color #00178 Potpourri Ombre - 2 skeins

Needles: Straight needles in size 7, two double pointed needles (dpns) in size 7 (for the i-cord), cable needle (cn) or dpn for cabling

Notions: Tapestry needle, two stitch markers


Gauge: 20 stitches = 4 inches

To begin, we'll cast on 24 stitches. Knit 11, place first marker, k2, place your second marker, and then knit until the end of the round. Then, for the main pattern, we'll be incorporating Grand Picot Eyelet from page 182 of Barbara G. Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, and we'll working increases until we can begin the braid. So let's proceed as follows:

Row 1 (wrong side): k2, * sl1-k2tog-psso, (yo) twice; rep from * until you reach first marker, slip marker, purl until you reach second marker, slip marker, * sl1-k2tog-psso, (yo) twice * until you're two stitches from the end of the row, k2

Friday, April 4, 2014

Razor Shell Fingerless Gloves

Razor Shell Fingerless Gloves

I've worked with this yarn before, and enjoyed it (with the Lady Lawyer Arm Warmers and the Oopsie Daisy Diagonal Hat). Therefore, when I saw it in this delicious brand-new-leaf green, I knew I had to bring it home. And the Razor Shell Fingerless Gloves have a nice open pattern that's great for spring, with the added benefit that the yarn overs give them a ribbing-like quality which makes them conform nicely to the hands. So, you know, the yarn is nice, the shape is good, and the pattern looks decent, to boot. And what more can you look for in a fingerless glove?

My husband calls this pose the "claw."
Apparently, I don't have a future in hand modeling.
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: Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine (50% Superwash Wool, 20% Super Fine Alpaca, 30% Nylon; 433 yards [400 meters]/100 grams); #12177 Kaffir Mix - one skein

Needles: One set of double pointed needles (dpns) in size 2, one set of dpns in size 1

Notions: Tapestry needle

Gauge: 30 stitches = 4 inches

Using your size 1 needles, cast on 55 (65) stitches loosely, and distribute between your three double pointed needles as follows: 20 stitches on your first needle, 15 stitches on your second needle, and 20 stitches on your third needle (for larger size: 20 stitches on your first needle, 25 stitches on your second needle, and 20 stitches on your third needle). Join in round. Then, we'll knit the following ribbing row:

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Lace Ladder Cowl

Lace Ladder Cowl

Nothin' says springtime like a cowl (well, let's be fair - some crocuses would help too, but I think they're still too scared to poke up), and this linen-blend is a nice weight for the changing seasons. This design is also well-suited to nubbly or variegated yarns, since you don't need to make out the pattern super-well to appreciate the overall result.

The pattern, close up
Yarn: Kraemer Belfast (42% Cotton, 22% Linen, 20% Viscose, 11% Acrylic, 5% Silk; 220 yards [201 meters]/100 grams); color #Y2101 Rose - one skein

Needles: Straight needles in size 6

Notions: Tapestry needle, five stitch markers


Gauge: 21 stitches = 4 inches

So let's get started! First, cast on 12 stitches loosely and knit one row across. And then we'll proceed like so:

Row 1 (wrong side): (k1, p1) twice, purl until there are four stitches left in row, (p1, k1) twice