Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Chevron Market Bag

Chevron Market Bag

When I first considered the idea of making a bag like this one, I picked a lovely yarn that I knew would be perfect and started to design the thing in my head. Unfortunately, however, while I PICKED a yarn, I didn't actually BUY it, and it was gone by the next time I visited the shop. So the Chevron Market Bag is the redesigned version of my imaginary-yarn bag, not that you would know it in a glance. This bad boy turned out pretty striking on its own, after all, even if it might be a bit rainbow-y for some people's tastes (luckily, you can pick your own yarn!). Furthermore, while I knit this bag with a provisional cast-on and a three-needle bind off to attach the handles, I am providing two sets of instructions, one for a bag exactly like the one I made, and one for a bag that skips the provisional cast-on and seams the handles in place rather than attaching them with the three-needle bind off. So, it's your choice how you want to make it, and you'll find the second set of instructions following the first!

Yarn: Lily Sugar 'n Cream (100% Cotton; 95 yards [86 meters]/56.7 grams); #02739 Over the Rainbow - 4 skeins

A close-up of the chevron pattern
Needles: One 24" circular needle in size 10 or 10.5, one 24" circular needle in size 7, one 16" circular needle in size 7, and one set of double pointed needles, also in size 7

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 20 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette on size 7 needles

Let's begin with the handles! Using your largest gauge needles and the provisional cast-on technique (we'll be working back-and-forth for these guys, and using a three-needle bind off to attach them to the top of the bag so we want live stitches on either end of each handle), cast on 9 stitches. Transfer stitches to any of your size 7 needles and knit the following set-up rows:

Set-up Rows 1 & 3: knit

Set-up Rows 2 & 4: purl

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Zigzag Ribbon Stitch Cowl

Zigzag Ribbon Stitch Cowl

There's only one way to intro this piece, and that's with an extensive discussion of the yarn. I knew I had been eyeing this particular fiber for awhile, but I didn't realize how long it had been until I finally bought it and brought it home. I say that, of course, because as much as I look for this yarn online, I can't find it. By the label alone, in fact, it appears to be the exact same yarn that I used for the Pretty Plum Cowl. But it isn't - it's lighter weight, and a different color. At the end of the day, then, all I can really tell you about this yarn is that it's a cotton bamboo blend that's more of a sport weight (even if the label calls it a dk).

And now that that's out of the way, let's talk about the pattern! Since I knit a lighter-weight yarn on slightly larger needles, the piece gets that nice stretched-stitch look. The subtle stitch pattern is also very suitable for both solids and variegated yarns, and adds nice texture to the piece. Furthermore, although this piece is knit back-and-forth, it's seamless, and is joined by a provisional cast-on and a Kitchener stitch graft. This gives the mesh neck even more delicacy, and really suits the airiness of this cowl!

Yarn: Schachenmayr smc Cotton Bamboo Batik (50% Cotton, 50% Bamboo; 131 yards [120 meters]/50 grams); #95 - one to two skeins (I got by with one)

Close-up, for your viewing pleasure
Needles: Size 6 straight needles

Notions: Tapestry needle

Gauge: 24 stitches = 4 inches on size 4 needles

So let's get started! We're going to begin this piece with a provisional cast-on, instructions for which you can find here. So, using this technique, cast on 20 stitches. Then, knit the following set-up rows:

Set-up Row 1 (right side): knit

Set-up Row 2: purl

And once that's done, we're going to work the following row until the piece measures about 8" long and you've just finished a wrong-side row. So here's how you'll proceed:

Neck Row: k1, * yo, ssk; rep from *, end k1

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Twilled Stripe Hat

Twilled Stripe Hat

There's no doubt about it: I fell in love with this Twilled Stripe stitch pattern the first time I used it, in the Twilled Stripe Arm Warmers. But when I got the idea for this hat, which uses a combination of Twilled Stripes and dropped stitches, I thought that the combo might add a new dimension to the stripes. And, indeed, this slouchy hat gives the stitch pattern a whole different look. Not that it wouldn't still match the arm warmers...

Yarn: Cascade Yarns Cascade 220 (100% Peruvian Highland Wool; 220 yards [200 meters]/100 grams); #8906 Blue Topaz - one skein

A closer view
Needles: One 16" circular needle in size US 5, one 16" circular needle in size US 7, and one set of double pointed needles, also in size US 7 (optional but recommended: one 20" or 24" circular needle in size 7)
Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 20 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette on size 7 needles

So let's get this thing going! Before we start, I should point out that the magic doesn't really happen with this hat until you start dropping stitches, so don't worry if it just looks like an oversized rib at first. And now that the disclaimer has been issued, let's begin! Using your size 5 circular needle, cast on 108 stitches, place in marker, and join in round. Then, we'll knit the following ribbing row.

Ribbing row: * p1, k2; rep from *

Knit this ribbing row 6 times and switch to your size 7 16" circular needle. Now it's time to move on to the main pattern, which is a combination of Twilled Stripe from page 147 of Barbara G. Walker's A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns and some stitches we'll drop later. There's only one notation note, which goes a little something like this:

Left Twist (lt): skip 1 stitch and knit the second stitch in back loop, then slip the skipped stitch purlwise onto right-hand needle, then slide the knit stitch off of the needle as well

And now that the ribbing is complete and we have our notation down, let's knit one set-up row and then begin the pattern! So first, we'll knit this bad boy: