Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Arrowhead Lace Cowl II

Arrowhead Lace Cowl II

When I first bought this yarn, I had a certain idea of what to do with it. Then, of course, the minute I started knitting, I realized that this fiber was unsuited for my plan - although it drapes nicely in this particular piece, it was too stiff for my original design. And THEN I remembered how lovely the lace pattern from the original Arrowhead Lace Cowl was, and I knew I had a winner for this fiber. To create a more necklace-like appearance, I also decided to seam the stockinette portion at the back of this piece. This also keeps it a lighter weight for warmer weather!
The pattern, again.

Yarn: Schachenmayr smc Cotton Bamboo (75% Cotton, 50% Bamboo; 131 yards [120 meters]/50 grams); #64 Aqua - two skeins

Needles: 24" circular needle in size 4

Notions: Tapestry needle, five stitch markers

Gauge: 22 stitches = 4 inches

So let's get started! First, cast on 181 stitches loosely, place marker, and join in round. Then, knit 10, place first extra marker, k71, place second extra marker, k19, place third extra marker, and then knit until the you have 10 stitches left in the round and place your final extra marker. Then, knit until end of the round. And once that's done, it's time to begin our pattern, which incorporates Arrowhead Lace from page 193 of Barbara G. Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns. As a side note, I read somewhere on the Internet (wish I remembered where!) that you can straighten out your ssk's by knitting the ssk stitch through the back loop when you come to it on the next round. I used that technique. You can too, if you want! Anyway, we'll proceed as follows:

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wickerwork Hat

Wickerwork Hat

I stumbled across this yarn in my stash the other day and I realized that it would make the perfect gift for a friend who's about to move away. So I got right down to work and created this fun Wickerwork Hat, complete with pompom (there is a photo of it without the pompom below, in case you want to see it without). It would also make a great stash-busting holiday gift, since I think most of us have at least a skein or two of worsted-weight wool hanging around!

* Note: As of November 2, 2015, I have added a chart to this pattern using the ever-wonderful chart generator here. You can find it below. Please note, however, that I had to do some funky stuff with the charting to make it work (it should all be explained in the chart graphic, but let me know if there's a problem. Also, let me know if there's a better way to chart any of my issues, and I'll fix it! :) )

Sans pompom. In a different color, this would
make a nice man-hat as well.
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool (100% Pure New Wool; 210 yards [192 meters]/100 grams); #202 (Cream) - one skein

Needles: 16" circular needle in size US 5, 16" circular needle in size US 8, one set of double pointed needles, also in size US 8

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 20 stitches = 4 inches on size 7 needles

So let's get started! First, using your size 5 needle, cast on 104 stitches, place marker, and join in round. Then, knit 1.5" in the following ribbing:

Ribbing Row: k1, * p2, k2; rep from *; end p2, k1

And once that's done, we'll switch to our size 8 needles and our main pattern, which is Wickerwork Pattern from page 146 of Barbara G. Walker's A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns. For this pattern, we'll need the following notation (you can find videos for the techniques below them):

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

Monday, June 23, 2014

How to Make a Yarn Pompom

I'm getting ready to post a hat that needs a pompom, so I figured that it was finally time to suck it up and write out some pompom-making instructions. And while I know there are many methods, this is the one I think works best. So let's get started!

1. Notice my circles aren't perfect. They don't need to be!

1. Cut out two cardboard circles that are roughly 3” in diameter, and cut a 1” hole in the middle. As you’ll notice, exact precision isn’t necessary. You can also cut bigger or smaller circles, depending on how big you want your pompom to be (this one will be a shy two inches, since that's the difference between your outer circle and your inner circle, and it shrinks a little with the tight wrapping. If you make a mondo pompom, you'll want to cut a bigger center hole, since you'll need a boatload of wrapping to make it look right).

2. And now, start wrapping that sucker up!

2. Thread a long tail (3+ yards, or as much as you’re willing to use, really) of yarn on your tapestry needle, and then, holding your two cardboard pieces together, loop through center hole repeatedly, with some care not to get your end tangled up in the loops.