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


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Nikki's Slouch Hat

Nikki's Slouch Hat
Nikki's Slouch Hat
pictured in size Adult Small/Medium

Here's another pretty hat with a simple story: my friend Nikki was struggling to find a nice slouch hat here in Switzerland. Meanwhile, I had just bought some lovely yarns at my local store knowing that they would be *perfect* for something. And what do you know, a few conversations and copious swatching later, Nikki's Slouch Hat was born! With a combination of cabled panels (for squish) and simple striping (for ease), this hat has texture and charm galore!!!

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

Yarn: Lana Grossa Landlust Merino 120 (100% Virgin Wool; 131 yards [120 meters]/50 grams); #105 Taupe - one skein (two skeins) (color A), & #116 Petrol - one skein (both sizes) (color B) (side note: I didn't have a full 10% of my color A skein left over when I finished this hat, so I suppose it's possible that you'll need two skeins to finish the small size too. If you get in that situation, however, I suggest you fudge it and finish with color B, especially if you're gonna add a pompom!)

Nikki's Slouch Hat
A look at the back.
Needles: One 16" circular needle in size US 10.5, one 16" circular needle in size US 11, one set of double pointed needles (dpns), also in size US 11, and one cable needle (cn) or extra dpn for cabling (or cable without a cable needle, if you like!)

Notions: tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 14 stitches = 4 inches on size US 4 needles

So let's make a hat! Using your size US 10.5 needle and your color A yarn, then, cast on 76 stitches (80 stitches) loosely, place marker, and join in round. Then we'll work in a basic ribbing, as follows:

Ribbing Row: using color A, * k1, p1; rep from *

Knit this ribbing row until ribbing measures roughly 2" (2.5"-3"), and then transfer work to your size US 11 circular needle. Then, we'll work the following transition row. Notice the row is different for the two different sizes.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Follow Your Arrow Shawl

Follow Your Arrow Shawl
Follow Your Arrow Shawl

First and foremost: a quick thanks to Nikki from Zender Studios for taking these photos for me; you're a doll for helping (and lending me your shoes for the pictures)! And with that being said, let's get to some details about the pattern...

... like the fact that I should probably apologize for the fact that I made this delightful shawl using mill ends that I bought at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, which means that I can't tell you *exactly* what's in the thing. However, I CAN tell you that I carefully measured everything I used, and added a 10% allowance to the values below, so you can find grams/yards/meters for every color, which should help you to choose your own materials (just remember: having the appropriate yardage is more important than the weight, especially for colors D & E [since those are my heavier weight yarns]). I also encourage you to view the pattern as a jumping-off point for your own color ideas; overall, it's made of 10 sections with 2 colors apiece, so the possibilities abound!

Speaking of the fact that it's 10 sections (and kite shaped, when laid out!), I should also mention that this pattern has not been tech edited, and since it's one of my lengthier designs I welcome any questions or comments about errors that you may find. Ultimately, it's not terribly complicated since I used the same pattern all over (a combination of garter and a mesh pattern), but once you add color choices and increases and decreases to the thing, I'm certain I slipped in my notation at least a few times. So again, I'm very happy to help with any issues you may find; in fact, I've even labeled each section of the design so that it's easier for you to identify any problems to me (just give me section and row number and we'll be good to go!).

Oh, and I know I'm being verbose today, but one last thing; I noticed, as I worked this, that it's easier to make knitting errors in the sections in which you're beginning with your color A, or the mesh pattern. If you notice that your counts are off, don't despair! This mesh pattern is VERY forgiving of errors, and as long as you correct your stitch counts by the end of each section you will be able to proceed, even if you've made a mistake (and, again, I highly doubt you'll find your error ever again). All in all - bon courage, and I hope you like your finished shawl as much as I like mine (IT'S AMAZING!). Also, if one of you actually makes it in the target yarn (ideally John Arbon Textiles Knit by Numbers 4 Ply) please send me pictures, so I know what it would look like if I didn't have such a strong attraction to the mill ends bin. Of course, even if you make it with a bunch of odds and ends like I did, I think it will turn out great just the same!!! :) (other ideas: scale it up with DK weight yarn and the appropriate sized needles if you'd like, or even worsted it you want a real sleeping bag of a shoulder wrap. and again, send pics!)

Finished Size: 75" long in total, 28" inches wide at the widest point

Yarn: John Arbon Textiles mill ends; White (Alpaca Delight, 70% Alpaca, 30% Merino; Color A; 120 grams, or roughly 510 meters/558 yards), Green (Knit by Numbers 4 ply, 100% Merino; Color B; 8 grams, or roughly 32 meters/35 yards), Orange/Green (unknown fiber; Color C; 30 grams or roughly 120 meters/132 yards), Dark Orange/Red (100% Merino; Color D; 58 grams or roughly 145 meters/159 yards), Light Orange (Knit by Numbers DK, 100% Merino; Color E; 100 grams or roughly 250 meters/274 yards)

Follow Your Arrow Shawl
From the side
Needles: One pair of needles in size US 3 (3.25 mm) (I used a 32" circular needle, but I think you should be able to make this on straights if need be, although they will get quite crowded!)

Notions: tapestry needle, two stitch markers

Gauge: I am a terrible person and used two different weight yarns in this shawl, as mentioned. Colors A, B, and C are 28 stitches = 4 inches on US 2 needles, the rest are 24 stitches = 4 inches on size US 4 needles. I am loosely averaging this to mean 26 stitches = 4 inches on US 3 needles for all. Like I said, terrible!

So let's get started! Using your color B yarn, cast on 2 stitches. Then, right next to those 2 stitches, use your color A yarn to cast on 3 stitches as well (at this point, that means that these two sets of stitches are not connected). Then, using intarsia color joins for all color changes, we'll begin our first color section like so: