Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Bürkliplatz Cowl

Bürkliplatz Cowl

I've been in Zürich about three weeks now, which has proven to be enough time to both find my favorite grocery store (I love you Central Coop!), and buy and knit up my first Swiss yarn (fine, the yarn is actually Italian. WHAT DO YOU PEOPLE WANT FROM ME??!?!?!). And although I had a myriad of projects to choose from, I went for something that we NEED. Namely, a cowl for my poor freezing husband, since I wouldn't let him move with his last one. It's also my first project that's directly inspired by the city, and the large architectural stones that make up so many of Zürich's buildings. Indeed, that's what the name represents - Bürkliplatz is the tram stop that I got off on to take the picture below, and also near the location at which a nice young woman gave me a puzzled look when she saw me taking a picture of a wall.

Yarn: Sommer Merino 85 (100% Superwash Wool; 93 yards [85 meters]/50 grams); # 131 Charcoal (I made up that color name!) - two skeins

A closer view of the pattern.
Blocked aggressively, the blocks would stretch into
bricks and the architectural inspiration would be more
Needles: One 16" circular needle in size US 8 (4.5 mm)

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 17 stitches = 4 inches

And now that we've taken care of that, let's make a cowl! First, then, cast on 90 stitches loosely, place marker, and join in round. Then we'll move right to the main pattern, which you'll find right after the wall picture that represents the look I was going for with this cowl.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

XOXO Beanie

XOXO Beanie

First, the good news: the new head is here! She's a bit sullen and weird looking, but she'll do. I think I'll call her Hedwig (GET IT!!?!?!?!?!). Next, the even better news: I'm thinking about buying her a wig or two, just for funsies. I lined this hat with one of my husband's biking beanies to highlight the lace portion for the photos (my first attempt at lining it with a pair of my six year old's underwear was a total bust), but I think some hair might be nice. Plus, if I get her a wig I can borrow it the next time I'm antsy for a makeover.

What was I talking about? Oh yeah, the hat! I've been eyeing this cable pattern for some time now, and finally decided that it would look nice with some lace accents. It also took me about a month to finish the thing with the move and all, so I'm glad I actually completed it. Furthermore, I managed to squeak out the small size with just one skein of the Superwash Sport, although you'll definitely need two if you're making the larger size. Oh my goodness, I just keep typing! Let's get to the hat already.

Sizes: adult small (adult medium/large)

Yarn: Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash Sport (100% Superwash Merino Wool; 136 yards [125 meters]/50 grams); #859 Lake Chelan Heather - one to two skeins (two skeins)

Needles: One 16" circular needle in size US 5, one 16" circular needle in size US 6, one cable needle (cn) or double pointed needle for cabling, and one set of double pointed needles (dpn), also in size US 6

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 22 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette on size US 6 needles

So let's make a hat! Using your size US 5 circular needle, then, cast on 108 (120) stitches loosely, place marker, and join in round. Then we'll work our ribbing as follows for both sizes:

Ribbing Row: * k1, p2, k1; rep from *

Knit this ribbing row until hat measures roughly 1.5" (2"). Transfer work to your size US 6 circular needle. Then, and we'll begin the main pattern, which incorporates the Oxox Cable from page 255 of Barbara G. Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns and some lace strips. To knit it, you'll need to know these definitions:

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Vaduz Cowl

Vaduz Cowl

First, let me acknowledge the last few pattern-less weeks. It turns out that moving internationally with three children is just as hard as they say it is, especially when you also decide to assemble all of your new furniture by hand as soon as you arrive (thanks, IKEA!). Long story short, I've barely had time to comb my hair, much less knit. But I will say that my new city of Zürich, Switzerland is just as inspiring as I hoped it would be, and I plan to launch a pattern collection with this place in mind. 

Until then, I hope you enjoy a design I made before our move, the Vaduz Cowl. And why'd I call it that? Well, Vaduz is the capital of Switzerland's neighboring Liechtenstein. And since I gave this cowl to my sister, who then helped me with my family's move, and then took a day trip on the train, the cowl made it to the world's sixth-smallest country before I could. With that in mind, may it accompany on your (or your sister's) next adventure as well!!!

Yarn: Malabrigo Mecha (100% Merino Superwash Wool; 130 yards [120 meters]/100 grams); #031 Mostaza - one skein

The cable.
Needles: One pair of size US 11 needles, cable needle (cn) or double pointed needle for cabling

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 12 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette

So let's make a cowl! First things first, then cast on 32 stitches loosely (you can also use a provisional cast on, if you prefer a seamless look). Then we'll move straight to our main pattern, which combines Staghorn Cable from page 251 of Barbara G. Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns with some basic knits and purls. So first, we'll define our cables like so: