Saturday, July 27, 2013

Handkerchief Cowl

Handkerchief Cowl

Okay, let's be real here.  For some ridiculous reason, I only bought one skein of this yarn, and I bought it on vacation, so I couldn't exactly pop to the store for another.  And that has seriously limited the yarn's utility, although a combination of my small neck and industriousness (I totally had to cut off the cast-on tail and use it to cast off; that's how low on yarn I was) has produced a decent result.  That being said, let's take a moment to talk about sizing!

As mentioned, I have a small neck.  I also have a healthy stash of scraps, so finding something else to make the I-cord to finish this beast was easy (I used the leftovers from the Arrowhead Lace Cowl).  However, I strongly, STRONGLY suggest having two skeins of yarn on hand to work this piece (or at least 100 yards), especially if your neck is any bigger than mine (12" around, by my husband's measure).  Furthermore, I suggest working the lace portion of this pattern to your neck's circumference, if not larger, for fit and comfort (the overall circumference of the piece is slightly larger, based on the positioning of the eyelets for the I-cord lacing, but not much).  Then you might even have enough yarn to work a matching I-cord!

Yarn: Cascade Luna (100% Peruvian Cotton; 82 yards [75 meters]/50 grams); #727 Coral - 1 - 2 skeins (2 highly recommended), plus some stash scrap yarn in a complimentary color, should you decide to knit the I-cord from a different material
A close-up of the closure

Needles: One set of straight needles in size 7, one cable needle (cn) or double pointed needle (dpn) for cabling, one set of dpns in size 7 for working the I-cord

Notions: Tapestry needle

Gauge: 18 stitches = 4 inches

Let's get this party started!  First, cast on 12 stitches.  Now, we're immediately going to begin working a double cable (from page 243 of Barbara G. Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns), which goes as follows:

Rows 1, 3, 5, & 7 (wrong side): k2, p8, k2

Row 2: p2, slip next 2 stitches to cn and hold in back, k2, k2 from cn, slip next 2 stitches to cn and hold in front, k2, k2 from cn, p2

Rows 4, 6, & 8: p2, k8, p2

Friday, July 19, 2013

Spiral Column Cuff

Spiral Column Cuff.  And the door.

Okay, so my yarn stash is dwindling and I'm trying to come up with stuff I can make from the scrapple of things I've already made.  Or in other words: enter the Spiral Column Cuff, which I made with the leftovers from the Madeira Mesh Cowl.  Yay, it's a twofer!

Yarn: Berroco Linsey (64% Cotton, 36% Linen; 114 yards [105 meters]/50 grams); #6556 Shell - less than 1 skein 
Horribly offended by the lace-in-the-front proposition?
Guess what?!?!  You can also put it in the back!!!

Needles: One set of straight needles in size 6, two double-pointed needles (dpns) also in size 6 (for the i-cord, of course!)

Notions: Tapestry needle

Gauge: 21 stitches = 4 inches

Using your straight needles, cast on 32 stitches.  We're going to work a few eyelets for the lacing, so let's get started!

Set-up Row 1 (right side): p1, * k6, p2; rep from *; end p1 instead of p2

Set-up Row 2: k1, * p6, k2 *; end k1 instead of k2

Set-up Row 3: p1, * k1, k2tog, (yo) twice, ssk, k1, p2 *; end p1 instead of p2

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Arrowhead Lace Cowl

Arrowhead Lace Cowl

The idea for this cowl has been brewing for some time now, and I finally got a yarn that seemed perfect for it (also, the fact that it's basically a worsted-weight cotton makes it knit up quickly, and have a nice, cozy weight).  Basically, it's buttoned in the back, with a ribbed section to go around the neck, and then it explodes into a wide lace bit for the front.  And it's really fun to knit, if I do say so myself.

Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Sweet Caroline (100% Cotton; 76 yards [69 meters]/50 grams); #4021 White/Yellow - two skeins

Needles: One set of straight needles in size 7

Notions: Tapestry needle, 3 1/2" or 7/16" inch buttons, plus needle and thread if your yarn won't fit through the button holes
The pattern, yo.

Gauge: 20 stitches = 4 inches

So let's get started!  Cast on 21 stitches, and work the first couple of rows to include buttonholes as follows:

Row 1 (right side): * k1, p1; repeat from *

Row 2: * p1, k1 *

Row 3 (buttonhole row): k1, k2tog, yo, (p1, k1) x 3, k2tog, yo, (p1, k1) x 3, p1, yo, ssk, k1

Continue to work fabric in a k1, p1 ribbing until piece measures about 4 inches in length, and you're just about to begin a right-side row.  Now it's time to work some short rows for shaping.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Dimpled Eyelet Hat

Dimpled Eyelet Hat

Okay, so here's the deal.  I made the Dimpled Eyelet Cowl and really liked the tiny section of the pattern that wasn't fully eyeleted (which came as a result of the circular knitting and such).  I've also had this sock yarn kicking around my stash for years now, and this seemed like a perfect opportunity to use it.  Of course, as soon as I started making it, my four-year-old claimed it as his, which is why he insisted on being in many of the photos.  Even better, due to his enormous head and the hat's natural slouchiness, it fits everyone from a four-year-old to an adult!

Yarn: ShibuiKnits Sock (100% Superwash Merino; 191 yards [175 meters]/50 grams); #51305 Zinnea - one skein, but I got WICKED close to the end on this one, so you will probably want slightly more yarn, or two skeins just in case

Needles: One 16" circular needle in size 3, one set of double-pointed needles (dpns), also in size 3
A close-up of the pattern

Notions: one stitch marker or scrap of yarn, tapestry needle

Gauge: 28 stitches = 4 inches

Cast on 160 stitches, place marker, and join in round.  Next, knit one inch in the following ribbing pattern:

Ribbing pattern: * k1, p2, k1; repeat from *

And now it's time to switch to the main pattern, which goes as follows:

Row 1: * k2tog, (yo) twice, ssk *

Row 2: knit all stitches except double yo's, where you will p1 in first yo, and k1 in back loop of second yo

Rows 3 & 4: knit

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Dimpled Eyelet Cowl

Dimpled Eyelet Cowl

Okay, I hate to sound like an orange-yarn-hating jerk here, but I'm SO GLAD I FINISHED KNITTING THE TWO SKEINS OF THIS STUFF I BOUGHT (since I already knit the Feather Lace Cowl and the Gathered Mesh Cowl out of the same yarn).  Pheee-eeeew.  And now that that's off my chest, let's talk about the pattern.  At heart, this thing is based on an upside-down picot eyelet, and it's knit from the top down with stitches added every other row for shape (this also helps stagger the eyelet pattern).  It's a shape that's been brewing in my head for awhile now too, so I'm glad it's finally come to fruition.  It's also got a very lovely texture!

Yarn: Cascade Yarns Sateen (100% Acrylic; 300.7 yards [275 meters]/100 grams); #24 Orange Poppy - one skein

Ze pattern, mes amis.
Needles: One 24" circular needle in size 4

Notions: two stitch markers or scraps of yarn, tapestry needle

Gauge: 24 stitches = 4 inches

Cast on 161 stitches, place marker, join in round. 

Set-up Row 1: purl 80 stitches, place second marker, purl

Set-up Row 2: knit, slipping second marker when you come to it

Monday, June 17, 2013

Madeira Mesh Cowl

Madeira Mesh Cowl

I'll be honest: I bought this yarn because it was on sale, and I thought it was very pretty in a neutral sort of way.  And then I found this nice stitch pattern, which is both reversible and open, and I FINALLY convinced myself to make a simple cowl, without any shaping, whose difficulty lies in the stitch pattern alone.  Yup, that pretty much covers it.

Yarn: Berroco Linsey (64% Cotton, 36% Linen; 114 yards [105 meters]/50 grams); #6556 Shell - two skeins

Needles: One 24" circular needle in size 6
A close-up of the pattern

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker or yarn scrap to mark end of round

Gauge: 21 stitches = 4 inches

Cast on 144 stitches, place marker, and join in round.  Next, knit one set-up row in a knit one, purl one design.  Finally, it's time to begin the main pattern, which is Madeira Mesh from page 151 of Barbara G. Walter's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, and goes as follows:

Rows 1, 3, & 5: * yo, p3tog, yo, k3; rep from *

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Peaks & Cables Hat

Peaks & Cables Hat

Okay, so I lost track sometime during last week's vacation, but I ripped this hat out either three or four times before I finally left it sitting around as nothing more than a band of ribbing (luckily, I didn't have to finish it three or four times before I realized each of those times was ugly).  Then I made the cowl for my mom and forgot about the hat entirely.  But since I'm trying to finish the projects I start (except for that quilt from 7 years ago, of course), I finally got some inspiration and hammered through.  And I have to say, my husband thinks it's my best one yet (on a completely unrelated note, I just remembered that my post-apocalyptic New Orleans dream last night featured a whole segment where the tops of my hats, where I pull the stitches together y'know, were starting to tug undone and it was IMPERATIVE that I fix them all right then despite the chaos.  not that I have knitting anxiety dreams or anything...).

Update (4/24/14): For anyone out there who prefers to knit with charts, Raveler bebamima was kind enough to whip some up and then pass them along. You can find charts for both the main pattern and the decreases at the bottom of this post, or shoot me an email if you'd prefer jpgs ( Thanks bebamima!

Yarn: Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash Paints (100% Superwash Wool; 220 yards [200 meters]/100 grams); #9863 Spring Meadow - one skein

Needles: One 16" circular needle in size 8 and a set of double-pointed needles in size 8
The pattern.  A cable, and then a peak.

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 18 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette

Using size 8 needles, cast on 112 stitches, place marker, and join in round.  Knit 1" in k1, p1 ribbing.  Now it's time to begin your main pattern, for which you'll need the following notation:

bc (back cross): slip two stitches to cn and hold in back; knit two stitches, knit two stitches from cn

So let's get to it!

Row 1: * k4, yo, ssk, k6, k2tog, yo; rep from *

Row 2 and all even rows, including final row 8: knit

Row 3: * bc, k1, yo, ssk, k4, k2tog, yo, k1 *

Friday, June 7, 2013

Tie-Closure Lace Cowl II

Tie-Closure Lace Cowl II (yeah, the picture is lopsided.  there was baby intervention)

First, let me apologize for how long it's been since my last pattern post - there was a disastrous family vacation and all kinds of illness that got in the way.  Of course, on the plus side, said disastrous vacation resulted in one good thing: I raided my mom's yarn stash and found a single decent skein, which was as petite as it was pretty (146 yards isn't a lot, you know) (also, mom, what's up with all the novelty yarns???).  So in exchange for stealing it, I promised to make it into something nice for her, even though I was limited by the very limited amount.  So I came up with this.  Also, both of the ties are made from my embroidery floss collection, although of course you could make them with the same yarn, or even ribbon if you didn't want to bother with the I-cords.

Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca & Silk (50% Alpaca; 50% Silk; 146 yards [133 meters]/50 grams); #136 - this color is discontinued and older than either of my children, so I have no idea what the name of it is, but I used just one skein!
A poorly-lit close-up of the pattern.
Once again, I blame the baby.

Embroidery Floss: Sullivan's (100% Cotton; 8.7 yards [8 meters]); #45325 - one skein, but you will need pretty much the whole thing

Embroidery Floss: Sullivan's (100% Cotton; 8.7 yards [8 meters]); #45000 (Ecru) - also one skein, and you will also need all of this one

Needles: One set of straight needles in size 5 (well, I knit this on a circular needle, but you get the point - it goes back and forth), and two dpns in size 1, for knitting the embroidery floss

Notions: Tapestry needle

Gauge: 20 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette

So let's get to it!  First, using your size 5 needles and your regular yarn, cast on 5 stitches and knit one row.  Now we're going to work some increases and get started on the pattern, which goes as follows:

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Italian Wheat Hat

Italian Wheat Hat

Um, so it's a hat?  Yes, definitely a hat.  I got the idea for this after knitting the Wheat Ear Cuff, since I thought the cabling could be retooled into a cool hat.  And that's pretty much all I've got for this one...

Yarn: Cascade Yarns Quatro (100% Peruvian highland wool; 220 yards [200 meters]/100 grams); #5019 Green Tea - I used what was left after I made the Zig Zag Legwarmers, which was almost exactly 3/4 of a skein

Needles: One 16" circular needle in size 8, one 16" circular needle in size 10, one set of double-pointed needles (dpns) in size 10, cable needle (cn) or extra dpn
The finishing.

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker or scrap of yarn

Gauge: 18 stitches = 4 inches on size 8 needles

Cast on 108 stitches, place marker, and join in round.  Knit one inch in a k1, p1 ribbing.  Now it's time to switch to your size 10 circular needle, and your main pattern, which is a mash-up of Italian Chain Ribbing (from page 47 of Barbara G. Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns) and the Wheat Ear Cable (from page 244 of the same).  You'll need the following notation to get 'er done:

fc (front cross): slip 3 stitches to cn and hold in front; knit 3, knit 3 from cn

fc-2: slip 2 stitches to cn and hold in front; knit 2, knit 2 from cn

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Wheat Ear Cuff

Wheat Ear Cuff
Even the baby had to get in on this action...

As an avid knitter, I have what feels like thousands of small piles of yarn laying around the house; skeins with too little left to make anything "real", but just enough that my grandmother would yell at me if I threw them away (you should have seen her refrigerator!).  Hence the Wheat Ear Cuff, which not only makes an attractive bracelet, but would also make a sweet headband if knit to about 21" in size for an adult (unsurprisingly, I didn't have enough yarn for that!).

Yarn: Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash Paints (100% Superwash Wool; 220 yards [200 meters]/100 grams); #9860 Jelly Bean - less than 1/3 skein

Needles: Straight needles in size #7 (to be fair, I knit this on a couple of double-pointed needles, but you know what I mean - it goes back and forth, not around!), cable needle (cn) or extra dpn
The buttons I found in the bottom of my knitting bag

Notions: Tapestry needle, 3 7/16" buttons (or whatever you have laying around, as long as they will fit through the holes and secure the piece)

Gauge: 20 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette - however, for this piece, it doesn't matter much

First, let's talk about sizing.  This piece will look best with a tight fit, and since everyone's wrists are different, you will pretty much just want to knit it to the exact dimension of your own (or of the person you're giving it to).  However, my finished piece measures just over 7", if you really want to know.

Anyway, let's get started.  To begin, cast on 22 stitches.  The main pattern we're using is a very slight variation on the Wheat Ear Cable from page 244 of Barbara G. Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, but first we're going to work the buttonholes.  Or in other words:

Friday, May 10, 2013

Lace Butterfly Hat

Lace Butterfly Hat
Okay, so this hat is for the same person who requested the Mesh Flower Hat, and she wanted something that was similar and in the same yarn, but that had larger holes.  And that pretty much covers it, although I will note that this hat is slightly slouchier, and I had more yarn left over, so it didn't get quite as scary at the end.  Oh, and I think the "butterfly" aspect of the lace would show up better in a lighter-colored yarn, but I still like the vine-y nature of the pattern.

Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light (50% Super Fine Alpaca, 50% Peruvian Wool; 144 yards [133 meters]/50 grams); #4277 Peat Mix - one skein

Needles: One 16" circular needle in size 5, one 16" circular needle in size 8, one set of double pointed needles (dpns) in size 8
Close-up of pattern

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker or yarn scrap to mark end of round (the scrap might work better, given the gauge)

Gauge: 23 stitches = 4 inches on size 5 needles

So let's get started!  Using the size 5 circular needle, cast on 120 stitches loosely, place marker, and join in round.  Work one inch in a k1, p1 ribbing and then switch to your size 8 needle; now it's time to begin the main pattern, which is Lace Butterfly from page 189 of Barbara G. Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, except adapted for the round. 

Row 1: * (yo) twice, ssk, k2tog; rep from *