Saturday, March 8, 2014

Field of Tulips Cowl

Field of Tulips Cowl

I grew up near the Skagit Valley in Washington, which celebrates spring each year with a tulip festival that drives all the locals nuts with insane traffic. On the plus side, of course, is the acres and acres of tulips all blooming at once, and of which this cowl reminds me. Or in other words, I designed this in what I consider to be the spirit of spring, and in tulip-y colors. It also combines two slip stitch patterns which evoke two different plowed-fields effects.

Yarn: Cascade Yarns Sierra (80% Pima Cotton, 20% Merino Wool; 191 yards [175 meters]/100 grams); #03 Vanilla - one skein (color A), #21 Royal Blue - one skein (color B), #55 Sunset - one skein (color C)

Needles: One 24" circular needle in size 8, one 16" or 20" circular needle, also in size 8

The back; the slip stitch color pattern reminds me
of the fields.
Notions: Tapestry needle, three stitch markers

Gauge: 18 stitches = 4 inches

Using color A and your 24" needle, cast on 149 stitches, place marker, and join in round. Knit 20, place extra marker, and then knit until you're 20 stitches from the end of the round and place another marker. Knit until the end of the round. And now, let's get right to the pattern, which you'll find below. As you'll notice, you will have fewer stitches on your needle on rows 3 and 9, which you'll add back on rows 4 and 10.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Little Arrowhead Fingerless Gloves

Little Arrowhead Fingerless Gloves
I went with Legos for the photo this time.

As promised, I'm adding more fingerless gloves to the repertoire. And the Little Arrowhead pair has a couple of nice features, including a simple repeating lace pattern and the fact that both gloves can both be knit from the same pattern (so no left hand, right hand mumbo jumbo!). I should note, however, that these gloves are designed with a slightly looser fit in mind (as you can see from the pictures, they're not stretching tight over my hands or anything), and if you want them to be snug, you may want to knit them a size smaller than I give directions for. In fact, if you have itty bitty hands and want really tight gloves, I would even recommend casting on 45 stitches instead of the small size's recommended 54, omitting those 9 stitches from your second dpn. Remember, however, that this will make your cast-on and cast-off edges tight, and you'll have to take extra care to cast on and bind off such that you can still get your hands in these bad boys!
I just realized why I like this color.
It's the same shade we painted the house!

Sizes: smaller (for a hand roughly 7 1/2" - 8" in circumference at the base of the thumb) and larger (for a hand roughly 8 1/2" - 9" in circumference at the base of the thumb) - directions for larger size will follow those for the smaller size in parentheses

Yarn: Schoeller + Stahl Baby Micro (51% Virgin Wool, 49% Acrylic; 106 yards [97.5 meters]/25 grams); #04 Light Blue - two skeins

Needles: One set of double-pointed needles (dpns) in size 3, one set of dpns in size 2

Notions: Tapestry needle

Gauge: 26 stitches = 4 inches

Using your size 2 dpns, cast on 54 stitches loosely (63 stitches) and distribute among your dpns as follows: 18 stitches on your first needle, 18 stitches on your second needle, and 18 stitches on your third needle (for the larger size: 18 stitches on your first needle, 27 stitches on your second needle, and 18 stitches on your third needle). Join in round, and then we'll knit the following ribbing row:

Monday, March 3, 2014

Turquoise V Cowl

Turquoise V Cowl

I knew I had to have this yarn as soon as I saw it; the colors, the feel (it's a bit ropey, but soft), and the general aesthetic of the fiber really appealed to me. But then I struggled a bit more when it came to knitting it up, tearing through who-knows-how-many ideas before settling on this one. And, in short, this one relies on a cabled edge down one side of the cowl and a stitch pattern which adds and drops stitches for a very textured effect. Furthermore, while the pattern below looks complicated, that's mostly just increases and decreases along the edge; the basic stitch pattern remains the same throughout.

The stitch pattern, closer up.
Yarn: Schachnmayr Original Multicolor (100% Cotton; 98 yards [90 meters]/50 grams); color #85 Jade Mix – two skeins

Needles: Straight needles in size 7, cable needle (cn) or double-pointed needle for cabling

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker 

Gauge: 20 stitches = 4 inches

So let's get started! First, let's define some terminology as follows:

front cross (fc): slip 2 stitches to cn and hold in front, p3, k2 from cn

back cross (bc): slip 3 stitches to cn and hold in back, k2, p3 from cn

Now, cast on 14 stitches loosely, and knit the following row: p2, place marker, k4, p4, k4. Then, we’ll repeat a few set-up rows to get the piece started. Or in our pattern notation,

Set-up Rows 1 & 3 (right side): p4, k4, p4, slip marker, knit until one stitch before end of row, yo, k1

Set-up Rows 2 & 4: purl until marker, slip marker, k4, p4, k4