Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Super Slouch Hat

Super Slouch Hat

Some of you asked, and now I'm delivering! The Super Slouch Hat is not just an airy puff of head-topping goodness, it's also knit entirely (wait for it... wait for it...) BACK AND FORTH! So yes, that means that this is the perfect hat for the dpn-adverse among you. It also doesn't have to be nearly as slouchy as it's shown in the picture - with one less pattern repeat and a smaller needle, this would make a more fitted but equally delectable hat. And hey, if you do it that way - take pictures, I'd love to see it!

Yarn: Berroco Folio (65% Superfine Alpaca, 35% Rayon; 219 yards [200 meters]/50 grams); #4502 Orr - 1 skein

The finish.
Needles: Size US 4 needles, size US 7 needles (or US 5 or US 6 for a less relaxed fit)

Notions: Tapestry needle, 8 stitch markers

Gauge: 22 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette on size 5 needles

So let's get started! First, then, using your size 4 needles, cast on 114 stitches loosely (if you want to be extra clever, leave a tail long enough for seaming later). Then we'll knit the following ribbing rows, to create the bottom edge of the hat:

Ribbing Row 1 (wrong side): p2, * k2, p2; rep from *

Ribbing Row 2: k2, * p2, k2 *

Knit ribbing rows 1 & 2 until piece measures roughly 1 1/4" and you've just finished row 1 of the pattern. Now it's time to switch to our size 7 needles (size 5 or 6 needles if you'd like a more fitted hat) and knit one set-up row to place our extra markers, which goes as follows:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Rose Briar Bag

Rose Briar Bag

I'll admit it; my reasons for designing this Rose Briar Bag are totally self-serving. Namely, I think it will make a nice holiday gift, when the time comes. Of course, it has other nice details as well, such as the triangular base (it's knit bottom-up) and the lace stripes. As pictured, it's also finished with a three needle bind off to attach the handles, although you're welcome to seam them instead.

Yarn: Lily Sugar 'n Cream (100% Cotton; 120 yards [109 meters]/70.9 grams); #01322 Lilac - 3 skeins

A closer look
Needles: One 16" circular needle in size US 7, and one set of double pointed needles, also in size US 7, size 10 or larger needles for provisional cast on, and one 24" circular needle in size US 7 (recommended but not required)

Notions: Tapestry needle, four stitch markers

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

First and foremost, let's knit some handles! So, using your largest needles and a provisional cast on, cast on 11 stitches (if you plan to seam this bag rather than use the three needle bind off to attach the handles, you don't need to use a provisional cast on). Then switch to whichever set of size 7 needles you want to work back and forth on and knit the following set-up rows:

Set-up Rows 1 & 3 (wrong side): p11

Set-up Row 2: k11

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Horseshoe Cable Muffler

Horseshoe Cable Muffler

Where do I start with this one? How about at the very beginning, back when my sister and I were wee little girls and loved to play nothing more than "Old Days," where we dressed up in Little House on the Prairie-worthy thrift store clothes and pretended to be princesses-turned-scullery-maids, or occasionally scullery-maids-turned-princesses. And how is this relevant? Well, because the Horseshoe Cable Muffler is exactly the type of piece that we would have relished back then, with its rustic color and snuggly, old-timey aesthetic. Of course, this cowl/scarf isn't just relegated to the past, as you can dress it up three different ways for a very modern look. As a note, however, if you're planning to use it mainly as a scarf, you will need extra yardage of your yarn and you'll want to continue the piece longer than I made it for the best effect.

The end of the muffler.
Yarn: Skacel Alpaca Seta (75% Baby Alpaca, 18% Silk, 7% Nylon; 137 yards [125 meters]/50 grams); #11 Lemon Grass Twist - 2 skeins

Needles: One set of straight needles in size US 6, two double pointed needles (dpns), also in size US 6, and a size US 8 or larger needle for your provisional cast on

Notions: Tapestry needle, cable needle (cn), stitch holder

Gauge: 22 stitches = 4 inches

So let's get started!

Using a provisional cast on and your larger needles, cast on 38 stitches. Then switch to your size 6 needles and we'll move straight to our pattern. You'll need the following terminology to continue:

cable front (cf): transfer next 2 stitches to cn and hold in front, k2, k2 from cn

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Ruched Shawlette

Ruched Shawlette
(According to my spellchecker,
I made up both of those words)

The story of this item is simple - I received a box full of beautiful homespun yarns as a gift, and this particular yarn told me exactly what it wanted me to do with it. Namely, it wanted to be made into a beautiful and simple triangle scarf (shawlette? I am still struggling with the vocabulary of this particular design). Whatever you call it, though, this is a perfect pattern for that gorgeous handspun you've had your eye on, one that's made especially nice by the column of ruching down the front of the piece. Blah blah blah, how about I stop talking now and start knitting instead?

Yarn: Homespun I received as a gift (100% Superfine Merino; 356 yards [326 meters]/?? grams); hand-dyed - 1 skein
The ruching. It's subtle in this yarn
but I promise it's there.

Needles: Size US 10 needles, 16" or longer size US 8 circular needle (for length, not for circular knitting), plus a size US 11 or larger needle for your provisional cast-on

Notions: Tapestry needle

Gauge: 15 stitches = 4 inches

Using your size 11 or larger needle and the provisional cast-on technique, cast on 54 stitches. Transfer to your size 10 needles and proceed as follows:

Row 1: knit until there are four stitches left in row, k2tog, k2

Rows 2 & 4: k2, purl until there are two stitches left in row, k2

Row 3: knit

Knit rows 1 though 4 until you have 38 stitches left on your needle and you've just completed row 4 (if you have yarn to spare, you could continue these four rows longer. As is, the piece measures 52" across. Each additional time you repeat these four rows before moving on to the next set will add about 1/2" to the finished length). Anyway, when you're ready, we'll proceed as follow:

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Gradated Rib Leg Warmers

Gradated Rib Leg Warmers

I had the idea for these leg warmers ages ago, and then got distracted by too many other projects to make them happen. Since I had already bought the yarn, however, I finally got to them this last week. And what sets these guys apart is that they actually use two different weights of yarn, as well as a number of different needle sizes, in order to create a small-to-large-to-small-again gradated look. Of course, you could just as easily knit them with a single weight of yarn, with or without the needle size changes (well, you'd definitely want to change needle sizes for the ribbing, but skip the changes for everything else). This pattern is also easy to size, as long as you add or subtract a multiple of four. As written, the pattern is sized to be about 12" around at the top and bottom, and each four stitches added or subtracted will change the size by about 3/4".

Yarn: Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash (100% Superwash Wool; 220 yards [200 meters]/100 grams); #802 Green Apple - one skein (size A), Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash Aran (100% Superwash Merino Wool; 150 yards [137.5 meters]/100 grams); #802 Green Apple - one skein (size B)

A close up. This pattern uses eyelets and twisted stitches
for a very deep ribbing.
Needles: One set of double pointed needles (dpns) in size 5, one set of dpns in size 7, one set of dpns in size 8, and one set of dpns in size 10

Notions: Tapestry needle

Gauge: 20 stitches = 4 inches on size 7 needles for size A yarn, 18 stitches = 4 inches on size 8 needles for size B yarn

So let's get started! First, using your size 5 needles and your size A yarn, cast on 60 stitches (or 56, or 64, or whatever multiple of four you need to get the size you want) and distribute evenly between 3 dpns (just make sure you have a multiple of four stitches on each needle). Join in round. Then, we'll work the following ribbing row:

Ribbing Row: * p1, k2, p1; rep from *