Monday, June 23, 2014

How to Make a Yarn Pompom

I'm getting ready to post a hat that needs a pompom, so I figured that it was finally time to suck it up and write out some pompom-making instructions. And while I know there are many methods, this is the one I think works best. So let's get started!

1. Notice my circles aren't perfect. They don't need to be!

1. Cut out two cardboard circles that are roughly 3” in diameter, and cut a 1” hole in the middle. As you’ll notice, exact precision isn’t necessary. You can also cut bigger or smaller circles, depending on how big you want your pompom to be (this one will be a shy two inches, since that's the difference between your outer circle and your inner circle, and it shrinks a little with the tight wrapping. If you make a mondo pompom, you'll want to cut a bigger center hole, since you'll need a boatload of wrapping to make it look right).

2. And now, start wrapping that sucker up!

2. Thread a long tail (3+ yards, or as much as you’re willing to use, really) of yarn on your tapestry needle, and then, holding your two cardboard pieces together, loop through center hole repeatedly, with some care not to get your end tangled up in the loops.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Long-Slip Striped Table Runner

Long-Slip Striped Table Runner

I'm not exactly sure why I decided to knit a table runner, but I think it was some combination of wanting to create a non-wearable knit for summer and NOT wanting to knit four whole placemats (if the baby won't even let me knit more than one coaster, you know a gaggle of placemats will never happen). Whatever my inspiration was, however, I totally dig the end result - colorful, cheerful, and functional, this table runner is a great choice if you want to keep knitting through the summer but don't want to make winter-y items. It would also make a lovely gift, if Christmas knitting is already on your mind...

A close-up of the pattern. So stripey!
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Jeannee (51% Cotton, 49% Acrylic; 111 yards [102 meters]/50 grams); #0023 (Lavender) - two skeins (color A), #0006 (Sage) - one skein (color B), #0022 (Gray) - one skein (color C), & #0033 (Teal) - one skein (color D)

Needles: Straight needles in size 8, at least a 24" circular needle in size 6 (there's no circular knitting here, but you will need something long to pick up stitches along the edge of the runner)

Notions: Tapestry needle

Gauge: 18 stitches = 4 inches on size 8 needles

Using your color A yarn and your size 6 needles, cast on 53 stitches loosely. Then, work the following rows:

Set-up Rows 1 - 9: using color A, k1, * p1, k1; rep from *

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Eiffel Tower Eyelet Cowl

Eiffel Tower Eyelet Cowl

So, there's not too much I need to explain about this cowl, except that it accomplishes the impossible; it makes me love both a purl-background fabric and the freakin' garter stitch, which I typically avoid like the plague (and yes, it's completely irrational how much I dislike garter stitch. I apologize to those of you who love it). It's also a simple enough design to look good with a variegated yarn, although I imagine it would pop even more with a single-color fiber. Anyway, let's cut the chitchat and head to the pattern instead!

A detail shot. See the tiny towers???
Yarn: Berroco Boboli Lace (42% Wool, 35% Acrylic, 23% Viscose; 350 yards [320 meters]/100 grams); #4366 Fondant - one skein

Needles: 24" circular needle in size 6, 20" circular needle in size 6

Notions: Tapestry needle, three stitch markers

Gauge: 24 stitches = 4 inches

So let's get started! First, then, using your 24" needle, cast on 192 stitches loosely, place marker, and join in round. And now, we'll work the bottom border, which is Swiss Ribbing from page 340 of Barbara G. Walker's A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns. Or in knitting terms, let's begin like so:

Rows 1 - 4: * k3, p3; rep from *

Rows 5 & 6: * k1, slip 1 with yarn in back (wyib), k1, p3 *