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:

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Ridge and Furrow Cowl

Ridge and Furrow Cowl
Ridge and Furrow Cowl

You know how you can walk by the same spot a million times and still not notice what's there? That's exactly what I realized had happened to me when I discovered another local yarn shop, this one just a four minute bus ride from my house. And if that discovery weren't great enough on its own, I discovered that said local yarn shop ALSO has a lovely sale section, which facilitated the pattern for this 100% silk cowl that's both basic and fun (not to say that sale yarn -- or even silk yarn -- is required for your own).

Yarn: Lana Grossa Linea Pura Soloseta (100% Silk; 109 yards [100 meters]/50 grams); #001 Light Gray Mix - 2 skeins

Ridge and Furrow Cowl
Another look at the pattern.
It reminds me of a field!
Needles: One 24" circular needle in size US 8

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 19 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette on size US 8 needles

And with that out of the way, let's make a cowl! First, then, cast on 110 stitches loosely, place marker, and join in round. Then we'll move straight to the pattern, which is a basic combination of seed stitch and a yo/decrease combination, and goes like so:

Row 1: * p1, (k1, p1) three times, k3; rep from *

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Little Check Market Bag

Little Check Market Bag

If you follow me on Instagram then you probably know why this post has been so long in the making: we've been traveling, and anyone who's able to travel with small children and also knit is far more talented than I (it doesn't help that my little one is the Houdini of hotel rooms). Luckily, I left this little beauty blocking while I was gone, so I had at least one nice thing to come home to. Speaking of the bag, I should also mention that it follows my standard rules of knitted bags, since it's both functional (faux i-cords in the body and the handles help to prevent stretching) and fun (imagine it with even more colors!). And heck, maybe it's even functional and fun enough to use on my next trip... :)

Yarn: Lang Yarns Presto (50% Cotton, 50% Acrylic; 71 yards [65 meters]/50 grams); #911.0074 - 3 skeins (color A - the blueish one), 911.0001 - 1 skein (color B, the white), & #911.0002 - 1 skein (color C, the tan)

A closer look at the stitch pattern and the handle.
Needles: One set of double pointed needles (dpns) in size US 7, one 16" or 24" circular needle, also in size US 7, one 16" or 24" circular needle in size US 6, and one needle in size US 8 for provisional cast on (optional)

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 17 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette (20 stitches = 4 inches in pattern)

And now that that's covered, let's make a bag! We'll begin with the handles. I should tell you that you have two options at this point, as well: later on, when you finish the bag, you can either attach the handles by seaming normally, or with a three needle bind off. For both, you'll use your color A yarn. If you'd like to go the seaming route, then, using your size 7 needles, cast on 12 stitches loosely. If you'd like to use the three needle bind off at the end, using your size 8 needle, cast on 12 stitches provisionally, and then transfer work to your size 7 needles (this is also why the size US 8 needle is optional!).