Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Funner Summer Beach Bag

Funner Summer Beach Bag

Yeah, I know "funner" isn't a word. But my kids don't, and that was the inspiration for this brightly striped, cleverly constructed (in my opinion, at least!) bag. Designed seamlessly with faux i-cords for structure and a fun lace pattern, this is one of the sturdier and prettier knit bags you'll find. Knit it, and you'll make your summer more fun. Or, you know, go to the water slides or something like that instead. Your call. :)

Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Whitney (91% Cotton, 9% Nylon; 87 yards [89 meters]/50 grams); #1001 Natural - three skeins (color A), #1009 Cranberry - two skeins (color B)

The lace pattern. So purty!
Needles: One set of double pointed needles in size US 8, one 16" circular needle in size US 8

Notions: Tapestry needle, 9 stitch markers

Gauge: 17 stitches = 4 inches 

So let's make a bag! First, then, I should mention that any time you're slipping stitches in this bag, you're pulling the yarn tight behind them. This will help to create that faux i-cord rib, and the edges of the strap. I should also mention that this bag is worked bottom-up. So with that in mind, using your color A yarn and your dpns, cast on 8 stitches loosely, divide evenly between four dpns, and join in round. Then we'll work a few set-up rows, as follows:

Set-up Row 1: using color A, * p1, m1r, p1; rep from * (+4 stitches)

Set-up Row 2: using color A, * p1, slip 1 with yarn in back (wyib), p1 *

Set-up Row 3: using color A, * p1, m1r, k1, m1l, p1 * (+8 stitches)

Once these three set-up rows are done, we'll knit a marker placement row, as follows:

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Butterfly Eyelet Hat

Butterfly Eyelet Hat

As a woman who has had short hair the majority of her life, I rarely find myself needing a very slouchy hat (and thus often design beanies). But sometimes I remember that the rest of you may very well have crazy, messy, big hair that needs a big ol' hat to go on top of it. And that's why I designed the Butterfly Eyelet Hat, which has enough stretch and length to fit over a long, luscious 'do (or just to accent a short one). Anyway, if there's anyone out there who likes the pattern but would prefer a snugger fit to their hat, just hit me up in the comments and we'll see what we can do!

Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash (100% Superwash Wool; 220 yards [200 meters]/100 grams); #1940 Peach – one skein (color A) and #910A Winter White - one skein (color B)

The pattern. Cute little eyelets, eh?
Needles: One 16" circular needle in size US 5, one 16" circular needle in size US 7, one set of double-pointed needles (dpns), also in size US 7

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

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

So let's make a hat! First, then, using your size 5 needle and your color A yarn, cast on 112 stitches, place marker, and join in round. Then we'll knit the following ribbing row to get started:

Ribbing Row: using color A, * k2, p2; rep from *

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Cherry Blossom Cowl

Cherry Blossom Cowl

Holy moly. It's been a bit of a stressful morning; not only was the baby unwilling to eat or sleep, but he also spent an hour or two screaming nonstop. Finally, after carrying him around and trying to make him happy all morning, I needed some lunch, so I heated up some pizza. And despite the fact that he had rejected cereal, strawberries, and a squish bag full of baby food, he went DOWNTOWN on the pizza, and now he's happy as a clam. Clearly, he needs to learn how to talk.

And speaking of talking, I should say a word about this piece! First, the name - it's a late spring here in Wisconsin, and the cherry trees are spreading those delightful, pale pink blossoms that I love so much. The color of this cowl and the bobbles reminded me of them. And yes, you're right - it is my first time knitting bobbles! Turns out it's not so hard. So if you haven't done it before, this lovely, lightweight piece is a great place to start!

Yarn: Cascade Yarns Sateen (100% Acrylic; 300.7 yards [275 meters]/100 grams); #7 Ballerina Pink - one skein

Needles: One 16" circular needle in size US 5

Notions: Tapestry needle, three stitch markers

Gauge: 22 stitches = 4 inches

Anyway, let's get started! First, then, we'll cast on 152 stitches loosely, place marker, and join in round. As a note, this piece will be fitting pretty close to the head (my finished piece is about 20" in circumference, unstretched). And while I have no trouble getting it over my 22" noggin, you may want to cast on a few extra stitches if you have a larger head. Just let me know if you need help modifying the pattern! Anyway, let's continue. It's time to knit the following set-up row, to get started:

Set-up Row: p21, place marker, p110, place marker, purl until end of round

And once this bad boy is out of the way, it's time to begin on our main pattern, which incorporates a large section of Field of Wheat from page 278 of Barbara G. Walker's A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns and some decreases, since I am obsessed with a nicely-shaped cowl. Anyway, to continue, you'll need the following notation:

mb (make bobble): (k1, yo, k1, yo, k1) in one stitch, which will turn one stitch into five; turn and k5; turn and p5; turn and k1, slip 1-k2tog-psso, k1; turn and p3tog, which completes bobble. When you reach this stitch again on the following row, knit through the back loop of the bobble stitch rather than the front loop. 

And now that that's out of the way, let's get knitting!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Cute & Cabled Baby Bib

Cute & Cabled Baby Bib

I have had this yarn in my stash for an embarrassingly long time - I bought it over a year ago with the intention of turning it into a cowl, and then promptly forgot about it. When I ran across it at the end of a hectic week, however, I realized that it would be perfect for a quick-knitting project like this one. So I conceived of the Cute & Cabled Baby Bib, which is thick, cute, detailed but not too difficult to knit, and works up in a snap. Also, I'm pretty sure you could get two bibs out of one skein, although I haven't tried it (yet).

Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Jeannee Chunky (51% Cotton, 49% Acrylic; 106 yards [97 meters]/100 grams); #10 Blue - one skein

A close-up of the side detail.
After a long debate, I used
decreases for shaping
instead of short rows.
Needles: One set of straight needles in size US 10 and two double pointed needles (dpns), also in size US 10, for working the i-cord ties

Notions: Tapestry needle, two stitch markers

Gauge: 14 stitches = 4 inches 

So let's make a bib! First of all, then, using your size 10 needles, cast on 29 stitches loosely. Then, we'll knit the following two set-up rows: 

Set-up Row 1 (wrong side): knit

Set-up Row 2: p9, place marker, p11, place marker, purl until end of row 

And once those rows are done, it's time to begin our pattern, which includes some shaping and also a strip of "Opening" Double Cable from page 113 of Barbara G. Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns. At any rate, we'll be continuing like so:

Row 1 (wrong side): purl until you reach first marker, slip marker, k2, p7, k2, slip marker, purl until end of row