Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Tropical Twist Hat

Tropical Twist Hat

First off, I have to say it: I've been having a great time taking my knitting photos in my yard, even if my neighbors now think I'm nuts (and they definitely do). But I don't care, because the Tropical Twist Hat looks great out in the wild. Sure, it's nothing fancy - just some alternating cables - but it's a nice, clean, unisex design that takes variegation well. And sometimes, that's all you need!

Yarn: Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash Paints (100% Hand Painted Superwash Wool; 220 yards [200 meters]/100 grams); #9859 Tropical Punch - one skein

Needles: One 16" circular needle in size US 6, one set of double pointed needles (dpns), also in size US 6, and one cable needle (cn) or dpn for cabling (or you can always cable without a needle, if you'd prefer)

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 22 stitches = 4 inches

So let's make a hat! First, then, using your circular needle, cast on 120 stitches, place marker, and join in round. If you want to get really fancy, you could knit the first five or six rows in a smaller gauge needle to create a tighter brim, but it's certainly not necessary. Either way you do it, we'll get straight to the main pattern, after a little notation as follows:

front cross (fc): slip 2 stitches to your cn and hold in front; k2; k2 from cn

left twist (lt): with right-hand needle behind left-hand needle, skip one stitch and knit the second stitch in back loop; then insert right-hand needle into the backs of both stitches and k2tog-b (knit two together through back loops, inserting right needle from the right)

And now that we've covered that, let's get to it!

Rows 1 & 2: * p1, k4, p2, k4, p1; rep from *

Row 3: * p1, k4, p2, fc, p1 *

Rows 4 - 8: * p1, k4, p2, k4, p1 *

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Pollyanna Purse

Pollyanna Purse

I've been itching to do another bag ever since I finished the Funner Summer Beach Bag, in large part because I've been bursting with design ideas. And I'm pleased to report that the Pollyanna Purse represents many of them, including faux i-cord edgings in both the strap and the sides and a seamless design. Long story short, it's both sturdy and cute and a reasonably easy knit despite its kinda-fancy design features.

Yarn: Lily Sugar 'n Cream (100% Cotton; 120 yards [109 meters]/70.9 grams); #01215 Robin's Egg - 2 skeins (color A), and #01322 Lilac - 1 skein (color B)

A closer picture of the front middle of the purse.
That's a thing, right? The "front middle"?
Needles: One 24" or longer circular needle in size US 7, one set of straight needles, also in size US 7, and one set of double pointed needles (dpns), also in size US 7, as well as size US 9 or 10 needles for provisional cast on

Notions: Tapestry needle, 6 stitch markers

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

So let's get started! First, then, let's discuss the structure of this bag - you'll begin by knitting the bottom of the bag & strap (which are connected in a continuous loop). Once that's done, you'll pick up stitches along the edges to create the sides of the bag. So with that in mind, using your larger needle, a provisional cast on, and your color B yarn, cast on 23 stitches loosely. Transfer work to your size 7 straight needles, and then continue as follows:

Row 1 (right side): using color B, knit

Row 2: using color B, k1, slip 3 stitches with yarn in front (wyif), p15, slip 3 wyif, k1

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Stripes & Diamonds Scarf

Stripes & Diamonds Scarf

Right now you're probably wondering if I've gone crazy - after all, I went from making zero scarves to making two in, like, a month. But I couldn't help myself; once I realized that I could make a slipped stitch, two-color number with a quick enough color change that I wouldn't have to cut my yarn ends for each stripe, I simply had to do it. The result, of course, is the Stripes & Diamonds Scarf, which employs a basic garter edging and a slipped stitch color pattern in the center for a lovely and very graphic effect that won't leave you cursing a bajillion ends when you're done.

Yarn: Cascade Yarns Ultra Pima (100% Pima Cotton; 220 yards [200 meters]/100 grams); #3736 Ice - one skein (color A), #3727 Sky Blue - one skein (color B)

The diamond motif
Needles: Straight needles in size US 5

Notions: Tapestry needle

Gauge: 24 stitches = 4 inches

So let's get this scarf party started! First, then, using your color A yarn and your size 5 needles, cast on 31 stitches. Then knit the following set-up row:

Set-up Row: using color A, knit

Knit this set-up row 6 times (yes, this is just six rows of garter stitch). And now that that's done, we'll begin our main pattern, which is a strip of Stripes and Diamonds from page 70 of Barbara G. Walker's A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns, as well as some garter stitch. As a side note, the pattern might look long, but it's super easy to remember. So let's proceed as follows:

Row 1 (right side): using color B, k15, slip 1 stitch with yarn in back (wyib), k15

Row 2: using color B, k10, p5, slip 1 wyif, p5, k10