Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Five Pillars Hat

Five Pillars Hat

I would tell you how many times I frogged this thing, except I can't count that high. Okay, so I'm exaggerating. But it is no exaggeration that I put extra work into the Five Pillars Hat to make it not just run of the mill, but extraordinary. And although the design is unisex, I highly recommend knitting it with a slightly larger gauge yarn if you're making it for a larger-headed person or a man (think 15 stitches = 4 inches instead of 16, and possibly a size US 10 needle to get your gauge). Oh, and, as of October 6, 2015, I've charted this pattern. You can find the chart below*. :)

* Updated as of 08/22/16

Yarn: Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash Aran (100% Superwash Merino Wool; 150 yards [137.5 meters]/100 grams); #817 Aran - one skein

The back.
Needles: One 16" circular needle in size US 7, one 16" circular needle in size US 9, one set of double pointed needles (dpns), also in size US 9, and a cable needle (cn) or double pointed needle for cabling

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 16 stitches = 4 inches on size 9 needles

So let's make a hat, eh? First, then, using your size 7 needle, cast on 85 stitches, place marker, and join in round. Then we'll work a few ribbing rows, as follows:

Ribbing Row: * knit two stitches through their back loops (k2-tbl), (p1, k1) 6 times, p1, k2-tbl; rep from *

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Around We Go Headband

Around We Go Headband

The story behind this piece is simple: recently, I saw one of the other moms at my kids' preschool in a knitted headband similar to this one and I thought, "hey, that's cool." And yes, the story is boring, but the finished product is still striking, with lots of graphic appeal. It's also very easy to size to various lengths, which I'll talk about more in a bit, and is a great stashbuster. Yay, busting stashes!

Sizes: Child (Adult)

Yarn: Cascade Yarns Cascade 220 Heathers (100% Peruvian Highland Wool; 220 yards [200 meters]/100 grams); #2439 Gelato - one skein

The pattern.
Plus some of the fine make up airbrushing that went into
my lovely fake head.
Needles: One set of needles in size US 7

Notions: Tapestry needle

Gauge: 20 stitches = 4 inches

So let's get started! To begin, cast on 18 (22) stitches. Then we'll move right to the main pattern, which I've written separately for each size. First, then, the terminology:

rt (right twist): knit two together, leaving stitches on left-hand needle; next, insert right-hand needle from the front between the two stitches just knitted together, and knit the first stitch again.  Finally, slip both stitches from left-hand needle together

lt (left twist): with right-hand needle behind left-hand needle, skip one stitch and knit the second stitch in back loop; then insert right-hand needle into the backs of both stitches and k2tog-b (knit two together through back loops, inserting right needle from the right)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Butterfly Stitch Cowl

Butterfly Stitch Cowl

Okay, I'll own it: a linen blend yarn isn't particularly winter-y, and I should probably stick to super cold-weather yarns now that the temperature has dropped. Luckily for me, though, this pattern makes such a robust and supple fabric that the yarn's fiber mix hardly seems to matter. And it's not just the Butterfly Stitch Cowl's yarn that's versatile, either, it's also the sizing. In fact, I've provided a version for everyone 2 and older. Hello mommy-daughter matching time!

Sizes: Toddler (Child; Adult)

Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Linen Concerto (48% Rayon, 42% Linen, 10% Cotton; 101 yards [92 meters]/50 grams); #01 Cream - 2 skeins (2 - 3 skeins, depending on length; 3 skeins)

A better look at the pattern
Needles: 16" circular needle in size US 5

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 22 stitches = 4 inches

So let's get started! First, cast on 100 (110; 120) stitches, place marker, and join in round. Then we'll knit five set-up rows, as follows:

Set-up Rows 1 - 4: purl

Set-up Row 5: knit

And now let's move on to the main pattern, which is Butterfly Stitch from page 101 of Barbara G. Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, except adapted for the round. Before we get to that, however, let's define our butterfly stitch as follows:

bs (butterfly stitch) (yes this abbreviation makes me happy): slip 1 stitch purlwise (this stitch should be the middle stitch above your five slipped bars), then insert right-hand needle down behind 5 bars and pull them up, then insert left-hand needle up behind the 5 bars (which will orient them knitwise). Finally, slip middle stitch back to left-hand needle and knit all 5 bars and middle stitch together