Thursday, November 30, 2017

Rock That Selfie Cowl

Rock That Selfie Cowl
Rock That Selfie Cowl
in the farmer's market at B├╝rkliplatz

Okay, I'm scared I'm going to forget to tell you all of the relevant information about this cowl if I ramble on too long beforehand, so let me skip the intro and go straight to the details. First off, then, I made this cowl with a 120 gram bundle of 6 mini skeins; often, mini skeins come in 100 gram bundles with 5 skeins and if you have one of those that's okay too! You can still use your bundle to make this cowl, you'll simply have two fewer stripes (but since mine measures over 14" long I promise yours will still have a decent length too!). Secondly, I made this cowl top-to-bottom, because I wanted my gray yarn to be nearest to my face. You can make your cowl top-to-bottom or bottom-to-top, as you prefer, but I highly recommend finishing the TOP end with the i-cord bind off and the BOTTOM end with the picot bind off, since it spreads more and I personally prefer that spread towards the bottom. And third, this cowl is a perfect choice for scrap yarn if you don't have minis, and the basic design makes it a perfect choice to adapt for different weight yarns - so if you have any questions in that vein, just hit me up in the comments! :)

Oh, and yes - I did selfie for all of these pictures myself (it's such a nice pop of color for a picture!)... but with a friend in tow, so everyone we passed very clearly thought I was a lunatic who refused to ask for help with my photos!!!

Yarn: Martin's Lab Mini Bundle (100% Merino; 6 mini skeins of {80 yards [73 meters]/20 grams}); gray (color A), pink (color B), purple speckled (color C), green (color D), dark purple (color E), and periwinkle (color F)

Rock That Selfie Cowl
You can see the i-cord bind off
on top and the picot bind off on
bottom... and the Limmat
in the background!
Needles: one 16" circular needle in size US 3, one needle in size US 2 or 3 (for i-cord bind off; smaller size is recommended), and one needle in size US 4 (optional, for provisional cast on)

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker, roughly 3' of scrap yarn for provisional cast on

Gauge: 28 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette on size US 3 needles

So let's get started! Using your color A yarn and your larger needles, if required (otherwise your size US 3 circular is fine), cast on 155 stitches provisionally. Then, if you used a larger needle to cast on, transfer stitches to your size US 3 circular, and in both cases place marker and join in round. Knit twelve rows, including your provisional row in that count, and then begin the striping pattern, as follows:

Rows 1 - 12: using your color B yarn, knit

Rows 13 - 24: using your color C yarn, knit

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Ramble On Beanie

Ramble On Beanie
Ramble On Beanie
Pictured in size Adult Medium

Recently, I had the tremendous good fortune of attending the Loch Ness Knit Fest, where I both drank some truly horrendous coffee AND bought this truly spectacular yarn (you can imagine which one was more exciting...). And, like so many beautiful yarns, I determined that this skein needed a pretty but basic pattern that would show off its gorgeous variegation without too much extra fuss. Therefore I came up with the Ramble On Beanie, an excellent, unisex design that you can whip up in an afternoon!

Sizes: Toddler (Child; Teen/Adult Small; Adult Medium; Adult Large)

Yarn: Cookston Crafts Chunky Baby Alpaca (100% Baby Alpaca; 109 yards [100 meters]/100 grams); Multicolored Pastels (that's what I'm calling it since the color is unnamed!) - one skein (one skein; one skein; one - two skeins; two skeins)

Ramble On Beanie
Another look at the finish
Needles: One 16" circular needle in size US 10.5, and one set of double pointed needles (dpns), also in size US 10.5

Notions: tapestry needle, one stitch marker

Gauge: 12 stitches = 4 inches on size US 11 needles

So let's make a hat! Using your size US 10.5 circular needle, then, cast on 52 (56; 60; 64; 68) stitches loosely, place marker, and join in round. Then we'll work a ribbing as follows:

Ribbing Row: * k1, p1; rep from *

Knit this ribbing row until ribbing measures roughly 2" (2.5"; 3"; 3"; 4"). Then we'll move right to the main pattern, which is a variation of Rambler Pattern from page 122 of Barbara G. Walker's A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns, except adapted for the round. And it goes like so. Notice that the pattern diverges into two groups for the rest of the instructions; make sure you're following the correct instructions for your size!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Starlight Slouch Hat

Starlight Slouch Hat
Starlight Slouch Hat
pictured in size Adult Medium

The story behind this hat is simple: although it's been months since I attended the Edinburgh Yarn Festival in March, I am still struggling to give myself permission to use all of my beautiful yarns (seriously you guys - the best way to give yourself knitting writer's block is just to buy an obscenely expensive skein and then MAKE YOURSELF DO IT JUSTICE!!!). However, since I ALSO just got back from another knitting festival with even MORE yarn, I figured it was finally time for me to work up the first batch. So I approached this hat with my best foot forward, and decided to design a pattern that was simple enough to do the beauty of the yarn justice while also containing enough detail to make it pop. What resulted, of course, was the Starlight Slouch Hat, a pretty pattern for a pretty yarn that still has enough oomph to turn a few heads. :)

Sizes: Adult Small/Teen (Adult Medium; Adult Large)

Yarn: Martin's Lab Merino Singles (100% Merino; 400 yards [366 meters]/100 grams); Fairy Dust - one skein 

Starlight Slouch Hat
A better look at the finish.
Needles: One 16" circular needle in size US 2 (2.5 mm), one 16" circular needle in size US 3 (3.25 mm), and one set of double pointed needles (dpns), also in size US 3 (3.25 mm)

Notions: tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 28 stitches = 4 inches on size US 3 needles

So let's make a hat! Using your size US 2 needle, then, cast on 144 (156; 168) stitches loosely, place marker, and join in round. Then we'll work a ribbing, as follows:

Ribbing Row: * k2, p2; rep from *

Work this ribbing row until ribbing measures roughly 2" (2"; 2.5"), transfer work to your size US 3 circular needle, and then we'll work one transition row, as follows. Notice it's different for the different sizes so make sure to find the right one for your project!

Transition Row (size: Adult Small/Teen): * k6, make 1 (m1); rep from * (+24 stitches)

Transition Row (size: Adult Medium): * k6, make 1 (m1), k7, m1; rep from * (+24 stitches)

Transition Row (size: Adult Large): * k7, make 1 (m1); rep from * (+24 stitches)

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Morning Glory Shawl

Morning Glory Shawl

You know when you buy yarn for a hat, but then you get confused and suddenly you're making a shawl instead? Well, that's pretty much the story behind this little number, which is made with roughly 430 yards of the light purple yarn and half as much of both the white and the darker shade (however, I should note that, while it is totally possible to use two skeins of the Alpaca Peru for the middle section and one skein apiece for each of the differently-colored sections, I didn't have quite enough left to be 100% sure that everyone can get it done with this four ball approach - if you're a loose knitter, for instance, you may need slightly more yarn, or to quit the short row sections a little early). Either way, though, if you're in the market for a hat-turned-shawl as well, I can highly recommend this pattern!

Finished Dimensions: roughly 16" up the cable in the center; roughly 38" along the top of each "wing" (so about 76" from side to side)

Yarn: Lana Grossa Alpaca Peru 200 (100% Alpaca; 219 yards [200 meters]/50 grams); #201 Tulipwood - two skeins (color A), John Arbon Alpaca Delight (70% Superfine Alpaca, 30% Falklands Merino; 465 yards [425 meters]/100 grams); Natural White - one skein (color B), & Lana Grossa Alpaca Peru 200 #202 Red Purple - one skein (color C)

A better view of the back.
Needles: One 32" or longer circular needle in size US 4, cable needle (cn) or double pointed needle for cabling (of course you can also cable without one!)

Notions: tapestry needle, two stitch markers

Gauge: 24 stitches = 4 inches on size US 4 needles

Alrighty, then, let's make a shawl! Begin by casting on 3 stitches loosely with your color A yarn, and then working 8 rows in garter stitch to create a tab. 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, still in our color A yarn. To continue, you'll need the following notation:

front cross (fc): slip next 4 stitches to cn and hold in front; k4, k4 from cn

Set-up Row 1 (wrong side): k3, ((k1, p1) in yo, p1) twice, (k1, p1) in yo, k3