Thursday, November 16, 2017

Ramble On Beanie

Ramble On Beanie
Ramble On Beanie
Pictured in size Adult Medium

Recently, I had the tremendous good fortune of attending the Loch Ness Knit Fest, where I both drank some truly horrendous coffee AND bought this truly spectacular yarn (you can imagine which one was more exciting...). And, like so many beautiful yarns, I determined that this skein needed a pretty but basic pattern that would show off its gorgeous variegation without too much extra fuss. Therefore I came up with the Ramble On Beanie, an excellent, unisex design that you can whip up in an afternoon!

Sizes: Toddler (Child; Teen/Adult Small; Adult Medium; Adult Large)

Yarn: Cookston Crafts Chunky Baby Alpaca (100% Baby Alpaca; 109 yards [100 meters]/100 grams); Multicolored Pastels (that's what I'm calling it since the color is unnamed!) - one skein (one skein; one skein; one - two skeins; two skeins)

Ramble On Beanie
Another look at the finish
Needles: One 16" circular needle in size US 10.5, and one set of double pointed needles (dpns), also in size US 10.5

Notions: tapestry needle, one stitch marker

Gauge: 12 stitches = 4 inches on size US 11 needles

So let's make a hat! Using your size US 10.5 circular needle, then, cast on 52 (56; 60; 64; 68) 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 2" (2.5"; 3"; 3"; 4"). Then we'll move right to the main pattern, which is a variation of Rambler Pattern from page 122 of Barbara G. Walker's A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns, except adapted for the round. And it goes like so. Notice that the pattern diverges into two groups for the rest of the instructions; make sure you're following the correct instructions for your size!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Starlight Slouch Hat

Starlight Slouch Hat
Starlight Slouch Hat
pictured in size Adult Medium

The story behind this hat is simple: although it's been months since I attended the Edinburgh Yarn Festival in March, I am still struggling to give myself permission to use all of my beautiful yarns (seriously you guys - the best way to give yourself knitting writer's block is just to buy an obscenely expensive skein and then MAKE YOURSELF DO IT JUSTICE!!!). However, since I ALSO just got back from another knitting festival with even MORE yarn, I figured it was finally time for me to work up the first batch. So I approached this hat with my best foot forward, and decided to design a pattern that was simple enough to do the beauty of the yarn justice while also containing enough detail to make it pop. What resulted, of course, was the Starlight Slouch Hat, a pretty pattern for a pretty yarn that still has enough oomph to turn a few heads. :)

Sizes: Adult Small/Teen (Adult Medium; Adult Large)

Yarn: Martin's Lab Merino Singles (100% Merino; 400 yards [366 meters]/100 grams); Fairy Dust - one skein 

Starlight Slouch Hat
A better look at the finish.
Needles: One 16" circular needle in size US 2 (2.5 mm), one 16" circular needle in size US 3 (3.25 mm), and one set of double pointed needles (dpns), also in size US 3 (3.25 mm)

Notions: tapestry needle, stitch marker

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

So let's make a hat! Using your size US 2 needle, then, cast on 144 (156; 168) stitches loosely, place marker, and join in round. Then we'll work a ribbing, as follows:

Ribbing Row: * k2, p2; rep from *

Work this ribbing row until ribbing measures roughly 2" (2"; 2.5"), transfer work to your size US 3 circular needle, and then we'll work one transition row, as follows. Notice it's different for the different sizes so make sure to find the right one for your project!

Transition Row (size: Adult Small/Teen): * k6, make 1 (m1); rep from * (+24 stitches)

Transition Row (size: Adult Medium): * k6, make 1 (m1), k7, m1; rep from * (+24 stitches)

Transition Row (size: Adult Large): * k7, make 1 (m1); rep from * (+24 stitches)

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Morning Glory Shawl

Morning Glory Shawl

You know when you buy yarn for a hat, but then you get confused and suddenly you're making a shawl instead? Well, that's pretty much the story behind this little number, which is made with roughly 430 yards of the light purple yarn and half as much of both the white and the darker shade (however, I should note that, while it is totally possible to use two skeins of the Alpaca Peru for the middle section and one skein apiece for each of the differently-colored sections, I didn't have quite enough left to be 100% sure that everyone can get it done with this four ball approach - if you're a loose knitter, for instance, you may need slightly more yarn, or to quit the short row sections a little early). Either way, though, if you're in the market for a hat-turned-shawl as well, I can highly recommend this pattern!

Finished Dimensions: roughly 16" up the cable in the center; roughly 38" along the top of each "wing" (so about 76" from side to side)

Yarn: Lana Grossa Alpaca Peru 200 (100% Alpaca; 219 yards [200 meters]/50 grams); #201 Tulipwood - two skeins (color A), John Arbon Alpaca Delight (70% Superfine Alpaca, 30% Falklands Merino; 465 yards [425 meters]/100 grams); Natural White - one skein (color B), & Lana Grossa Alpaca Peru 200 #202 Red Purple - one skein (color C)

A better view of the back.
Needles: One 32" or longer circular needle in size US 4, cable needle (cn) or double pointed needle for cabling (of course you can also cable without one!)

Notions: tapestry needle, two stitch markers

Gauge: 24 stitches = 4 inches on size US 4 needles

Alrighty, then, let's make a shawl! Begin by casting on 3 stitches loosely with your color A yarn, and then working 8 rows in garter stitch to create a tab. Then, without turning work, yarn over (yo) twice, pick up 1 stitch about 1/3rd of the way down along the edge of the tab, (yo) twice again, pick up 1 stitch roughly 2/3rds of the way down the edge of the tab, and (yo) twice again. Complete tab by picking up 3 stitches along cast-on edge; you should now have stitches coming from 3 sides of the tab - 3 along original working edge - 8 along the side (counting each double yo as 2 stitches), and 3 along the cast-on edge. Then, work a few set-up rows as follows, still in our color A yarn. To continue, you'll need the following notation:


front cross (fc): slip next 4 stitches to cn and hold in front; k4, k4 from cn

Set-up Row 1 (wrong side): k3, ((k1, p1) in yo, p1) twice, (k1, p1) in yo, k3


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Nikki's Slouch Hat

Nikki's Slouch Hat
Nikki's Slouch Hat
pictured in size Adult Small/Medium

Here's another pretty hat with a simple story: my friend Nikki was struggling to find a nice slouch hat here in Switzerland. Meanwhile, I had just bought some lovely yarns at my local store knowing that they would be *perfect* for something. And what do you know, a few conversations and copious swatching later, Nikki's Slouch Hat was born! With a combination of cabled panels (for squish) and simple striping (for ease), this hat has texture and charm galore!!!

Sizes: Adult Small/Medium (Adult Medium/Large)

Yarn: Lana Grossa Landlust Merino 120 (100% Virgin Wool; 131 yards [120 meters]/50 grams); #105 Taupe - one skein (two skeins) (color A), & #116 Petrol - one skein (both sizes) (color B) (side note: I didn't have a full 10% of my color A skein left over when I finished this hat, so I suppose it's possible that you'll need two skeins to finish the small size too. If you get in that situation, however, I suggest you fudge it and finish with color B, especially if you're gonna add a pompom!)

Nikki's Slouch Hat
A look at the back.
Needles: One 16" circular needle in size US 10.5, one 16" circular needle in size US 11, one set of double pointed needles (dpns), also in size US 11, and one cable needle (cn) or extra dpn for cabling (or cable without a cable needle, if you like!)

Notions: tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 14 stitches = 4 inches on size US 4 needles

So let's make a hat! Using your size US 10.5 needle and your color A yarn, then, cast on 76 stitches (80 stitches) loosely, place marker, and join in round. Then we'll work in a basic ribbing, as follows:

Ribbing Row: using color A, * k1, p1; rep from *

Knit this ribbing row until ribbing measures roughly 2" (2.5"-3"), and then transfer work to your size US 11 circular needle. Then, we'll work the following transition row. Notice the row is different for the two different sizes.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Follow Your Arrow Shawl

Follow Your Arrow Shawl
Follow Your Arrow Shawl

First and foremost: a quick thanks to Nikki from Zender Studios for taking these photos for me; you're a doll for helping (and lending me your shoes for the pictures)! And with that being said, let's get to some details about the pattern...

... like the fact that I should probably apologize for the fact that I made this delightful shawl using mill ends that I bought at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, which means that I can't tell you *exactly* what's in the thing. However, I CAN tell you that I carefully measured everything I used, and added a 10% allowance to the values below, so you can find grams/yards/meters for every color, which should help you to choose your own materials (just remember: having the appropriate yardage is more important than the weight, especially for colors D & E [since those are my heavier weight yarns]). I also encourage you to view the pattern as a jumping-off point for your own color ideas; overall, it's made of 10 sections with 2 colors apiece, so the possibilities abound!

Speaking of the fact that it's 10 sections (and kite shaped, when laid out!), I should also mention that this pattern has not been tech edited, and since it's one of my lengthier designs I welcome any questions or comments about errors that you may find. Ultimately, it's not terribly complicated since I used the same pattern all over (a combination of garter and a mesh pattern), but once you add color choices and increases and decreases to the thing, I'm certain I slipped in my notation at least a few times. So again, I'm very happy to help with any issues you may find; in fact, I've even labeled each section of the design so that it's easier for you to identify any problems to me (just give me section and row number and we'll be good to go!).

Oh, and I know I'm being verbose today, but one last thing; I noticed, as I worked this, that it's easier to make knitting errors in the sections in which you're beginning with your color A, or the mesh pattern. If you notice that your counts are off, don't despair! This mesh pattern is VERY forgiving of errors, and as long as you correct your stitch counts by the end of each section you will be able to proceed, even if you've made a mistake (and, again, I highly doubt you'll find your error ever again). All in all - bon courage, and I hope you like your finished shawl as much as I like mine (IT'S AMAZING!). Also, if one of you actually makes it in the target yarn (ideally John Arbon Textiles Knit by Numbers 4 Ply) please send me pictures, so I know what it would look like if I didn't have such a strong attraction to the mill ends bin. Of course, even if you make it with a bunch of odds and ends like I did, I think it will turn out great just the same!!! :) (other ideas: scale it up with DK weight yarn and the appropriate sized needles if you'd like, or even worsted it you want a real sleeping bag of a shoulder wrap. and again, send pics!)

Finished Size: 75" long in total, 28" inches wide at the widest point

Yarn: John Arbon Textiles mill ends; White (Alpaca Delight, 70% Alpaca, 30% Merino; Color A; 120 grams, or roughly 510 meters/558 yards), Green (Knit by Numbers 4 ply, 100% Merino; Color B; 8 grams, or roughly 32 meters/35 yards), Orange/Green (unknown fiber; Color C; 30 grams or roughly 120 meters/132 yards), Dark Orange/Red (100% Merino; Color D; 58 grams or roughly 145 meters/159 yards), Light Orange (Knit by Numbers DK, 100% Merino; Color E; 100 grams or roughly 250 meters/274 yards)

Follow Your Arrow Shawl
From the side
Needles: One pair of needles in size US 3 (3.25 mm) (I used a 32" circular needle, but I think you should be able to make this on straights if need be, although they will get quite crowded!)

Notions: tapestry needle, two stitch markers

Gauge: I am a terrible person and used two different weight yarns in this shawl, as mentioned. Colors A, B, and C are 28 stitches = 4 inches on US 2 needles, the rest are 24 stitches = 4 inches on size US 4 needles. I am loosely averaging this to mean 26 stitches = 4 inches on US 3 needles for all. Like I said, terrible!

So let's get started! Using your color B yarn, cast on 2 stitches. Then, right next to those 2 stitches, use your color A yarn to cast on 3 stitches as well (at this point, that means that these two sets of stitches are not connected). Then, using intarsia color joins for all color changes, we'll begin our first color section like so:

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Single Stripe Mittens

Single Stripe Mittens
pictured in size small

Sometimes I buy yarns because they BEG me to bring them home, all puppy dog eyes and soft squishiness. Sometimes I buy yarns because they're on great sale, and I'm my mother's daughter. And sometimes (like this time) I buy yarns because I happen to wander into a LYS in Lithuania and it's so small that I feel like I HAVE to buy something, but they stock almost exclusively Turkish and Italian yarns (so I can't find anything local) and nothing really catches my eye. Such was the case for me recently, until I finally spotted this nice alpaca. And then, of course, I used it for this fun design, which avoids any broken stripes by nestling the color change against a two-stitch stripe up the side rather than placing it at the beginning of the round.

Oh, and as a side note, this yarn is slightly non-standard sized, for recommended needle size and gauge, and you will probably find more yarns that give you 20 stitches per 4 inches on a slightly larger needle. If that's the case, simply adjust your needle size to gauge as needed. :)

Sizes: Small Adult (Medium Adult; Large Adult) (the small is for a hand roughly 7 1/2" - 8" in circumference at the base of the thumb and 7" from base of palm to fingertips, and the large for a hand roughly 8 1/2" - 9" in circumference at the base of the thumb and 8" from base of palm to fingertips - and finally, go medium if you're between)

Yarn: Alvita Alpaka (100% Alpaca; 109 yards [100 meters]/50 grams); #90 Brown - one skein (one skein; one to two skeins) (color A) & #10 Ivory – one skein (all sizes) (color B)

One mitten, near a tree. You
can just get a peek at the stripe
down the side...
Needles: one set of double-pointed needles (dpns) in size US 6, one set of dpns in size US 4

Notions: Tapestry needle

Gauge: 20 stitches = 4 inches on size 6 needles

So let's get started! Using your size 4 needles and your color A yarn, then, cast on 40 (40; 44) stitches loosely, distribute between three double pointed needles as follows: 12 stitches on first needle, 16 on second, 12 on third (12 stitches on first, 16 on second, 12 on third; 14 stitches on first, 16 on second, 14 on third) and join in round. Then we'll work some ribbing for the cuff, as follows:

Ribbing Row: * k1, p1; rep from *

Knit this ribbing row until ribbing measures roughly 2" (2.5"; 3"). Transfer work to your size US 6 needles and knit one row around. Clip your yarn tail, since we'll be changing colors halfway through our rounds. Then, we'll begin our color pattern, as follows:

Row 1: using your color B yarn, k19 (k19; k21); then, using your color A yarn, knit until end of round

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Xcellent Adventure Hat

Xcellent Adventure Hat
Xcellent Adventure Hat
pictured in small size


What can I say about this hat? Well, I guess I could start by mentioning that I still had a skein of this yarn left over after finishing the Rainbow Rib Mitts, and I thought that the variegation of it might work well for a larger project (since the color sections are on the long side, I thought I would at least get one full round in each color gradient for a hat). And since I also love the look of long slipped stitches with color work, I decided to combine the yarn and slipped stitch pattern for a fun, textured design.

Sizes: Teen/Adult Small (Adult Large)

Yarn: Lang Yarns Novena Color (50% Wool, 30% Alpaca, 20% Nylon; 240 yards [220 meters]/50 grams); #0009 Rosa/Violet/Blue - one to two skeins (two skeins) (side note again: I completed my size small hat with one skein)

Xcellent Adventure Hat
A better look at the finish.
Needles: One 16" circular needle in size US 6; one 16" circular needle in size US 8, and one set of double pointed needles (dpns), also in size US 8

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 22 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette 


So let's make a hat! Using your size US 6 circular needle, then, cast on 112 (128) stitches loosely, place marker, and join in round. Then we'll do a simple ribbing, as follows:

Ribbing Row: * k1, p2, k1; rep from *

Knit this ribbing row measures roughly 1.75" (2"). Transfer your work to your size US 8 needle and knit three rows around. Then we'll begin the pattern, as follows. Notice that your slipped stitches will seem short by the time you reach rows 11 & 23; simply tug them a bit when you work those rows to make them more pronounced. :)

Rows 1 - 4: * slip 1 stitch with yarn in back (sl1), k6, sl1, k8; rep from *

Row 5: * drop slipped stitch to front of work and slip next 3 stitches purlwise from left needle to right needle, pick up and place dropped stitch on left-hand needle, slip 3 stitches back to left-hand needle, and k4; then, slip next 3 stitches purlwise from left needle to right needle, drop next slipped stitch to front of work, slip the 3 stitches back to your left-hand needle and pick up and place dropped stitch on left hand needle, k12 *

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Zigzag Slouch Hat

Zigzag Slouch Hat
Zigzag Slouch Hat
Pictured in size small

This is another one of those designs that first appeared in my mind half-formed and hazy, and then solidified as soon as I bought the yarn. And while I know I'm reusing some concepts here (I used the same stitch pattern and combination of a solid yarn and a variegated yarn in the Zigazig Ah Scarf), I think that the finished result is pretty and novel, from the faux icords running up the seam to the notched back design.

Oh, and some notes on sizing and design here - first off, I know that there's a fairly significant size difference between the small size (which fits up to about a 23" head) and the large size (which fits bigger ones - up to 26.5" at least). This is for two reasons - one, the design suits either a close-fitting or a loose-fitting wear, so it's not too finicky, and if you're borderline on sizes you can choose based on whether or not you want your hat to fit tightly or slouch (you can also choose a size based on your volume of hair!). And two, the stitch pattern is 24 stitches long, and, though one could create a medium size by only working 12 of the final 24-stitch repeat, it would no longer be symmetrical in the back, which compromises some of the hat's appeal. All of that being said, if you'd like a truly medium sized hat, you could always work the design on needles that give you a slightly different gauge - for instance, work the large size with needles that give you 26 inches per 4" instead of the given 24.

Speaking of symmetry and sizing, I would also like to mention that I successfully worked my entire hat on size 4 needles. However, the icord cast on is a little tight, and required blocking to relax it. If you'd prefer, you could work your icord cast on in a needle one size larger than the needle with which you work the rest of your hat. Then you will avoid any too-tight brim issues entirely!

Sizes: Teen/Adult Small (Adult Large)

Yarn: Lana Grossa Cool Wool Melange (100% Virgin Wool; 175 yards [160 meters]/50 grams); #115 - one skein (two skeins) (color A) and Lana Grossa Cool Wool Degrade (100% Virgin Wool; 175 yards [160 meters]/50 grams); #6002 - one skein (one skein) (color B)

Zigzag Slouch Hat
A better look at the back,
faux icords and all!
Needles: One 16" circular needle in size US 4, one set of double pointed needles (dpns) in size US 4 (optional: dpns in size US 5 for icord cast on or a 24" circular in size US 4 if you're making the larger size of the hat)

Notions: Tapestry needle, 36" of scrap yarn, stitch marker

Gauge: 24 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette on size US 4 needles

So let's make a hat! Using your color A yarn, and your size US 4 or 5 dpns, cast on 4 stitches loosely. Then we'll work an icord cast on, as follows:

Icord Row (always worked as a right-side row): kfb, k3; then, when you go to begin your next row, use your tapestry needle to thread the first of kfb stitches onto your piece of scrap yarn purlwise to hold for later

Knit this icord row until you're holding 127 (151) stitches on your scrap yarn. Kfb in your first stitch one final time, transfer the first stitch (of your kfb) to your scrap yarn, and then bind off your four icord stitches (which include the second stitch from your kfb). Then, transfer the 128 (152) held stitches from your scrap yarn and onto your circular needle (you can use a 24" if you're making the large size). Once you have all your stitches transferred, continue to use your color A yarn and work as follows. Note that you can pull the yarn tight behind your slipped stitches; this creates the icord look.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Rainbow Rib Mitts

Rainbow Rib Mitts
Rainbow Rib Mitts
as seen near an *extremely* green pond thing

I keep looking at the hands in these photos and thinking, "dang how did my nails get so long?!?!" (since I'm always the hands in my photos). Then I keep remembering that today, for the first time ever (that's not exactly true - my husband has posed a few times), I AM NOT THE HANDS IN MY PHOTOS. Not that my lovely hand model will probably ever agree to lend her digits to my knitting again, since I spent the whole shoot giving her instructions like, "Now happy fingers! No, happier!" and, "Angle your hands like you're standing up, but instead squat so your head doesn't cast a shadow on the mitts." Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, I got this yarn ON SALE BABY, and it's a beautiful choice for this basic-but-not-boring pattern. Oh, and word to the wise - if you use the same fiber, be forewarned that the pattern doesn't repeat in a linear fashion, but like a palindrome (so the colors don't go A B C D A B C D but more like A B C D D D C B A). So, although I made my mitts match fairly well, I had to be fussy to get there, and it's possible that if you're equally fussy about matching you may need more than one skein to complete the pattern.

Sizes: small (medium; large) (the small will fit a hand roughly 7 1/2" - 8" in circumference at the base of the thumb, the medium up to 8 3/4", and the large goes up to about 9.5")

Yarn: Lang Yarns Novena Color (50% Wool, 30% Alpaca, 20% Nylon; 240 yards [220 meters]/50 grams); #0009 Rosa/Violet/Blue - one skein (all sizes)


Rainbow Rib Mitts
A closer view of the gusset
Or the "thumb crotch," as I yelled several
times at my hardworking hand model.
Needles: One set of double pointed needles (dpns) in size US 6; one set of dpns in size US 7

Notions: Tapestry needle, scrap yarn

Gauge: 22 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette on size US 7 needles

And that brings us to the pattern! Using your size US 6 needles, then, cast on 40 (44; 48) stitches loosely and distribute evenly between three dpns. Join in round, being careful not to twist your cast on when you complete the join. Then we'll work ribbing as follows:


Ribbing Row: * k1, p1; rep from *

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).

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Reverb Shawl

Reverb Shawl
Reverb Shawl

First off, I hate to admit how long I've been working on this shawl, because, to be quite honest, I can no longer even remember when I started (nevertheless, I am 98% sure it was last year). And I know that may not sound like *that* long to some of you with years-old WIPs sitting around in your drawers, but I'm one of those people who loses steam VERY EASILY the minute I set something down, and will often literally throw out a project to ease the psychic burden of staring at it, unfinished, for too long (but I swear I've gotten better about this as I get older!!! really, it's true!!!). Anyway, what was my point? I have no idea, but I did make a shawl! And quite a shawl it is - made with worsted weight so it doesn't work up too slowly, the Reverb Shawl also combines twisted stitches and mesh for some interesting textural detail. So make one of your own, if you want! I will send lots of good energy your way so you don't get bogged down halfway through. :)

Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted (100% Merino Wool; 210 yards [192 meters]/100 grams); #193 Jacinto - 2 skeins

Reverb Shawl
Another look at the pattern
Needles: One 32" or longer circular needle in size US 7
 

Notions: Tapestry needle, 2 stitch markers

Gauge: 20 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette

So let's make a shawl! Begin by casting on 3 stitches loosely, and then working 8 rows in garter stitch to create a tab. Then, without turning work, yarn over (yo) twice, pick up 1 stitch about 1/3rd of the way down along the edge of the tab, (yo) twice again, pick up 1 stitch roughly 2/3rds of the way down the edge of the tab, and (yo) twice again. Complete tab by picking up 3 stitches along cast-on edge; you should now have stitches coming from 3 sides of the tab - 3 along original working edge - 8 along the side (counting each double yo as 2 stitches), and 3 along the cast-on edge. Then, work a few set-up rows as follows. Oh, and you'll need the following terminology, as well:

rt (right twist): knit two together, leaving stitches on left-hand needle; next, insert right-hand needle from the front between the two stitches just knitted together, and knit the first stitch again.  Finally, slip both stitches from left-hand needle together

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Pink Ponytail Hat

Pink Ponytail Hat
Pink Ponytail Hat

A few of you have been asking for a ponytail/messy bun hat, and I'll admit there are two reasons why I haven't jumped on the trend. #1 - Hedwig (my fake head) looks absolutely RIDICULOUS when I try to put her lovely hair in any kind of updo, which means that I have to model any version of this hat myself. Not exactly my favorite activity. And #2 - when one designs these kinds of hats, one doesn't get to design the very best part - the crown. Even in the face of this sad, crownless world, though, when I got a request to do a ponytail hat with a pattern similar to the Cellular Stitch Kids' Poncho, I put on my big girl pants and got it done. Because I couldn't make a crown, however, I had to get a bit fancier nearer to the face. But if you want to make this hat with the Cellular Stitch and that stitch alone (you can get a better view of it in the picture below - it's the top part, with the holes), simply knit the ribbing and then knit rows 26 - 29 on repeat until your hat measures roughly 6" and you've just finished row 29, and then proceed with the remaining rows as written.

Yarn: Sommer Merino 85 (100% Superwash Wool; 96 yards [85 meters]/50 grams); #867 - 2 skeins

Pink Ponytail Hat
A better view of the back.
And my small, sad little ponytail.
Needles: 16" circular needle in size US 6, one 16" circular needle in size US 8, one set of double pointed needles (dpns) in size US 8

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 17 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette

So let's make one of these hats, shall we? Using your size US 6 circular needle, cast on 90 stitches loosely, place marker, and join in round. Then we'll work the following ribbing:

Ribbing Row: * k1, p1; rep from *

Knit this ribbing row until piece measures roughly 2". Transfer work to your size US 8 circular needle, and then we'll work a variation on the Wide Leaf Border from page 342 of Barbara G. Walker's A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns that transitions into the Cellular Stitch. I wish I had better news for you at this point, but sadly you'll have to follow the pattern for every single row of this hat, as follows:

Rows 1 & 2: knit

Row 3:* k5, k2tog, (k1, yo, k1) in next stitch, ssk, k5 *

Row 4: * p5, k5, p5 *

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Quatrefoil Cowl

Quatrefoil Cowl
Quatrefoil Cowl

What can I say about this yarn? The minute I saw the color I KNEW I HAD TO HAVE IT, even though this yarn weight (worsted) in a mostly-cotton blend can be hard to design for (Why? Because lace isn't very crisp in this weight, the lack of stretch compared to wool makes it less ideal for cables, etc). So I had to play around with a few patterns before I came up with something I liked, but I enjoy the way this combination of a picot hem and a basic eyelet design creates a feminine, but not overly girly, aesthetic. Of course, just because I used a mostly-cotton fiber doesn't mean you're stuck with that choice; this design would look equally good with wool, and would probably even take the right variegated yarn as well... 

Oh, and before I forget - special thanks to my friend Nikki at Zender Studios for helping me with the pics! :)

Yarn: Lana Grossa 365 Yak (66% Cotton, 12% Yak, 22% Polyamide; 159 yards [145 meters]/50 grams); #004 - 2 skeins

Quatrefoil Cowl
A better look at the eyelets.
Needles: 16" or 20" circular needle in size US 9

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 18 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette

So let's make a cowl! First, then, we're going to start with a picot hem. You can find tons of tutorials for this online if you need extra help, but I'll walk you through the steps here as well. So, to begin, cast on 96 stitches loosely, place marker, and join in round. Knit five rows around. Then, work the following row:

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Arrowhead Hat

Arrowhead Hat
Arrowhead Hat
Pictured in Adult Large (that's why Hedwig's in
her big hair today)

The story behind this hat is simple: I have a friend who struggles to find a hat big enough for her hair, and I happen to know an independent knitwear accessory designer who loves to make people stuff they can't seem to find in stores (hint: it's me!). So, basically, the Arrowhead Hat is designed with plenty of slouch and two different sizes to accommodate as much or as little hair as you'd like to put inside of it.

Sizes: Adult Small (Adult Large) 

Yarn: Sommer Merino 125 (100% Superwash Wool; 136 yards [125 meters]/50 grams); #167 - 2 skeins (both sizes)

Arrowhead Hat
A better look
at the back.
Needles: One 16" circular needle in size US 5, one 16" circular needle in size US 6, and one set of double pointed needles (dpns) in size US 6

Notions: Tapestry needle, 1 stitch marker

Gauge: 22 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette on size US 6 needles

And that makes it hat time! Using your size US 5 needle, then, cast on 112 (128) stitches loosely, place marker, and join in round. Then we'll work some ribbing, as follows:

Ribbing Row: * k1, p1; rep from *

Knit this ribbing row until piece measures roughly 2.5" in length, and then transfer work to your size US 6 circular needle. Then we'll begin our main pattern, which is a combination of Arrowhead Lace and Little Arrowhead Lace from page 193 of Barbara G. Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, and goes as follows:

Row 1: knit

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Super Baby Beanie

Super Baby Beanie
Super Baby Beanie
Pictured in size Adult Large

Before we dive into the specifics of the pattern, let's get one thing straight: yes, this hat is practically the same color as the last one I posted, the Four Winds Hat. As you'll remember, though, that's the yarn I snatched away from my husband before he could get too attached to it, and subsequently, the yarn that made me feel very, very guilty for the snatching. Hence the Super Baby Beanie for the Super Baby himself (hmm, that doesn't sound quite as flattering as I imagined it did). Anyway, this hat is made with an extra bulky fiber and big ol' needles, which makes it a perfect quick knit that still has plenty of pizazz. And while my girl Hedwig here looks pretty freakin' nice with it on (yes, I spent time braiding her wig), I should mention that it looks ever cuter on my husband!

Sizes: Adult Small (Adult Large)

Yarn: Lana Grossa Alta Moda Super Baby (67% Wool, 30% Alpaca, 3% Polyamide; 65 yards [60 meters]/50 grams); #01 Oliv Meliert - 2 skeins

A closer look at the pattern
and the finish.

Needles: One 16" circular needle in size US 11, one 16" circular needle in size US 15, and one set of double pointed needles (dpns) in size US 15

Notions: Tapestry needle, 1 stitch marker

Gauge: 10 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette

So let's make a hat! Using your size 11 needle, then, cast on 52 (56) stitches loosely, place marker, and join in round. Then, we'll work the ribbing as follows:

Ribbing Row: * k1, p1; rep from *

Work this ribbing row until hat measures just over 2". Transfer work to your size US 15 circular needle, and then we'll begin the main pattern, which is Ringlet Stitch from page 136 of Barbara G. Walker's A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns. To do it, you'll need the following notation:

make ringlet (mr): purl 2 stitches, then keeping the yarn in front slip these 2 stitches back to your left-hand needle, pass yarn from front of work to back of work and slip the 2 stitches back to your right-hand needle, effectively wrapping the 2 purled stitches

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Four Winds Hat

Four Winds Hat

Okay, I should begin any description of this hat with an admission: that I bought the yarn for my husband, and originally intended to design this bad boy for him. Then, however, the yarn told me that it didn't want to belong to him, it wanted to belong to me instead. And then it said that this was the form that it dreamed of taking...

... sure, I'm exaggerating a bit. Truly, though, this design was 100% inspired by the fiber, and creates a very plush, delicious hat because of the twisted stitch pattern. Of course, since ALL of the stitches are twisted every other row it's a tad annoying to work, but I think the end result is definitely worth it!

Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted (100% Merino Wool; 210 yards [191 meters]/100 grams); #56 Olive - one skein 

A closer look at the stitch pattern and the
crown.
Needles: One 16" circular needle in size US 6, one 16" circular needle in size US 9, and one set of double pointed needles (dpns), also in size US 9

Notions: Tapestry needle, four stitch markers

Gauge: 18 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette on size US 8 needles (I'm giving you package gauge in case you're using a substitute yarn)

Okay, so let's make a hat! To start with, then, using your size US 6 needle, cast on 100 stitches loosely, place marker, and join in round. Then, we'll knit the following marker placement row:

Marker Placement Row: (k1, [p1, k1] x 12, place marker) three times; then, k1, * p1, k1; rep from * until you reach the end of the row

Knit this marker placement row. Then we'll work our ribbing, as follows:

Ribbing Row: (k1, * p1, k1; rep from * until you reach next marker, slip marker) four times

Knit this ribbing row until piece measures just over 2". Then, transfer work to your size US 9 circular needle, and continue to work as follows. Notice that you'll need the following terminology to continue:

rt (right twist): knit two together, leaving stitches on left-hand needle; next, insert right-hand needle from the front between the two stitches just knitted together, and knit the first stitch again.  Finally, slip both stitches from left-hand needle together