Wednesday, October 5, 2016

True Blue Shawlette

True Blue Shawlette
True Blue Shawlette

On most occasions, I try to keep my knitting fairly seasonal (or representative of the months to come). I'm sure that's why I bought this yarn and started this shawlette months ago, only to get hung up by my uncooperative forearms. Now that I've finally finished the piece, though, we should all just pretend it's summer again, and that the cold breeze I felt this afternoon was actually as balmy as July's winds. Or not, in which case you can file this pattern away for next year, when you've got 300+ yards of a cotton-, silk-, linen-, or bamboo-based fiber and a hankering for a short shawl (or even a big one, if you want to keep working and you've got enough yarn!).

Yarn: Lana Grossa 365 Cotone (88% Cotton, 12% Polyamide; 153 yards [150 meters]/50 grams); #026 Türkisgrün - two skeins

True Blue Shawlette
A better look at the pattern.
Basically, just lace and garter stitch!
Needles: One 32" or longer circular needle in size US 7

Notions: Tapestry needle

Gauge: 20 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette

So let's make a little shawl thing! And in case I wasn't clear enough before, this pattern is good for those occasions when you're not sure if you've got enough yarn or not; since it's designed from the rounded bottom up, it's completely scalable in size - make it small if you've only got 300 yards, or bigger with more. No matter how much yarn you've got, however, you'll begin by casting on 3 stitches loosely, and then working 8 rows in garter stitch to create a tab of sorts. 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:

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Ruched Mitts

Ruched Mitts
Ruched Mitts

I'm not exactly sure where to start with these guys, mostly because I don't actually want to start. After all, if I begin this post, I'm going to have to explain that my recent absence was due to repetitive stress issues with my forearms, that I'm doing much better now, thank you very much, and that I will probably be relaxing my regular posting schedule so that I can continue to do well.

And heck, since I don't want to go through all that, let's not - let's talk about these mitts instead! And the first thing I should mention in that realm is that I bought this yarn because I thought it would make an easy project - it's bulky weight, for goodness sake, and not even variegated! Unfortunately, I was wrong since it turns out that this particular fiber is one of those strong core/big halo types (you know what I mean, right? - there's a thick center and then lots of fuzz?). And those types of yarn are very pattern resistant, since lace knitting isn't well-defined in them and even cables look messy. Which is how I finally stumbled across the ruched design, which uses some well-placed eyelets and a scrap yarn i-cord to create some interest. So let's get started!

Sizes: small (medium; large) (the small will fit a hand roughly 7.5" - 8.5" in circumference at the base of the thumb, the medium up to 9.5", and the large goes up to about 10.5")

Yarn: Schachenmayr Fashion Nordic Dream (57% Viscose, 35% Wool, 8% Polyamide; 164 yards [150 meters]/50 grams); #00002 Natur Mélange - one skein (color A) & Malabrigo Worsted (100% Merino Wool; 210 yards [192 meters]/100 grams); #12 Very Berry – roughly 20 yards (color B)

Ruched Mitts
A better look at the ruching.
My five-year-old likes it.
Needles: One set of double pointed needles (dpns) in size US 8

Notions: Tapestry needle

Gauge: 16 stitches = 4 inches

Which brings us to the mitts! To begin, then, using your color A yarn, cast on 28 (32; 36) stitches loosely and distribute between 3 dpns as follows: 8 stitches on first needle, 12 stitches second needle, 8 stitches on third needle [(10; 12; 10); (12; 12; 12)]. Join in round. Then we'll move straight to our main pattern, as follows:

Rows 1 - 6: knit

Row 7: knit across first needle; k2, [k2tog, (yo) twice, ssk] twice, k2 from second needle; knit across third

Row 8: knit, working a (k1, p1) into each double yo 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Magentalicious Cowl

Magentalicious Cowl
Magentalicious Cowl

First of all, I don't want to hear anything about my unimaginative name this week - I cycled through at least 847 other options that were significantly worse (including the "Better Than Barney" - named, of course, after the purple dinosaur. Really, I was scraping the bottom of the barrel). So since we're not going to talk about the name, let's just talk about the design, which is incredibly quick-knitting in a super bulky fiber, but still has a little bit of added pizazz with a single dropped stitch design. Oh, and it's also narrower at the back of the neck, so it tucks easily under a jacket.

Yarn: Lang Yarns Malou (70% Alpaca, 20% Nylon, 10% Wool; 71 yards [65 meters]/50 grams); #0166 Magenta - two skeins

Magentalicious Cowl
I forgot to take a super close-up
but here's more detail of the
dropped stitch design.
Needles: Straight needles in size US 15

Notions: Tapestry needle

Gauge: 10 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette

So let's start by casting on 18 stitches provisionally (I didn't call for a larger needle size for the provisional cast-on because the gauge is already big enough that you may not have larger needles laying around. But remember that you're going to want your provisional stitches to be big enough to get your needle through them when you pick them back up!). Anyway, once that's done we'll knit some set-up rows, as follows. Remember that your 3 slipped stitches are creating a faux i-cord edging so you can pull 'em as tight as you like!

Set-up Row 1 (right side): slip 3 stitches with yarn in back (sl3 wyib), k12, sl3 wyib

Set-up Row 2: purl

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Friend of the Forest Hood

Friend of the Forest Hood
Size Medium

This particular design represents a perfect confluence of events; first, I got a request for a hooded cowl with a rounded crown, and then I found this rather spectacular alpaca yarn in the sale bin at my local yarn shop and knew that it would be perfect for the job. And if that isn't delightful enough, I also played a harrowing game of yarn chicken and managed to finish this medium size hood with just two skeins of the yarn. As you'll notice, however, I recommend a bit extra if you're making this size - unless, of course, you like to live as dangerously as I do. ;)

Sizes: Small (Medium; Large) (Small is perfect for toddlers & young children; medium for large children, teens, and small adults; large for large adults or simply a fuller-fitting hood)

Yarn: Lana Grossa Alta Moda Alpaca (90% Alpaca, 5% Virgin Wool, 5% Polyamide; 153 yards [140 meters]/50 grams); #035 Lime Sherbet - 2 skeins (3 skeins; 3 skeins)

A better look at the back finish.
Short rows give it a nice rounded seam.
Needles: one 16" circular needle in size US 9, one set of double pointed needles (dpns) in size US 9 for three needle bind off (you can also use regular straight needles and your circular needle for your third)

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 18 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette

So let's make a hood thingy thing! And let's start by casting on 96 (108; 120) stitches loosely, placing marker, and joining it in the round. Next, purl four rows around as edging. And once that's done, knit until knit section measures roughly 4" (4.5"; 5"). Then we'll work a few transition rows, as follows: