Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Honeycomb Headband

Honeycomb Headband
Honeycomb Headband

The story behind this pattern is simple: I got a request for another headband pattern and then basically fell in love with this yarn. And while the headband has lots going for it - it's thick enough to keep your earsies warm! It's not too vertically stretchy! It looks cool! - I am especially pleased with the way it turned out in this particular fiber. The variegation lines up perfectly with the stitch pattern for a very tidy result.

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Rialto DK Print (100% Merino Superwash Wool; 114 yards [105 meters]/50 grams); #47008 Roma - one skein

Honeycomb Headband
I'm not sure I've ever had a yarn stripe quite this
well before...
Needles: One pair of US 6 needles, one US 7 needle for provisional cast on, and a cable needle (cn) or double pointed needle for cabling

Notions: Tapestry needle

Gauge: 22 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette

So let's make a headband! Using your larger needle, cast on 28 stitches provisionally. Transfer cast on to your size 6 needles. Then, we'll begin our main pattern, which is basically just Aran Honeycomb from page 273 of Barbara G. Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns and some garter edging, for which we'll need the following notation. Oh, and this pattern is an excellent choice if you're ready to cable without a cable needle as well.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I'm Lichen This Hat

I'm Lichen This Hat
No, really. I'm really, really, REALLY lichen it.

If recent years have taught me anything, it's that I am one of about six Americans who would rather eat rocks than watch a televised singing competition. Of course, I do have one odd exception to my music-free reality television preferences, the always-delightful The Sing-Off (I'm also lying when I say it's always delightful - 2014's weird Christmas special was no good. I miss Sara Bareilles). What's my point here? OH YEAH, PUNS! I think I like the show because of the constant and terrible puns that are constantly coming forth from host Nick Lachey's mouth. And, based on the name I came up with for this pattern, I also think the nice folks on TV's best a cappella singing competition program might tap me as a writer if the show ever gets another season.

Speaking of this hat, I got the design idea from a strange, ruched-looking entrance way I pass by every day on my way to my kids' schools, but you're just going to have to take my word for it because I've been too lazy to take a picture. I did get a lovely shot of some similarly-colored lichen, though, which made for a better pattern name anyway. You can find that below!

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

A better view of the back, cute little
braid and all!
Needles: One 16" circular needle in size US 10, one 16" circular needle in size US 11 needle, one set of double pointed needles in size US 11, and a cable needle (cn) or double pointed needle for cabling

Notions: Tapestry needle, 4 stitch markers

Gauge: 12 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette on size US 11 needles

Which brings us to the pattern! Using your size 10 circular needle, then, cast on 66 stitches loosely, place marker, and join in round. Then we'll work a few edging rows, for which you'll need the following terminology. Remember you can always skip your cable needle, if you'd like.

back cross (bc): slip 2 stitches to cn and hold in back; k2, k2 from cn

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

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Mossy Path Mitts

Mossy Path Mitts

I've been noticing a lot of things as I walk around recently; pretty windows, even prettier balconies, and a plethora of semi-indecent carvings and statues. I've also noticed a lot of moss. It creeps between bricks, climbs up walls, and spreads over stones. It was also the inspiration for the slipped stitch color pattern of these lovely, snuggly mitts. :)

Oh, and a big note on the sizing of these bad boys, too: I debated casting on an extra 5 stitches for each size (i.e. instructing to cast on 45 stitches for the smalls instead of 40), but ultimately decided that the sizing is correct as given because, at the very upper end of the size small, I love the snug hug of these mitts. However, if you have any trouble keeping your yarn loose behind your slipped stitches or if you don't want a super snug-fitting mitt, I highly recommend that you knit one size larger than you might otherwise. Same goes if you're making these as a gift - don't make the small unless you've got specific hand dimensions or you're making them for a child, a bird, or a frenemy you want to feel guilty about the time you put into knitting mitts that she simply can't squeeze on.

Sizes: small (medium; large) (the small will fit a hand roughly 7 1/2" - 8" in circumference at the base of the thumb, the medium up to 9", and the large goes up to about 9.75")

Yarn: Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash Sport (100% Superwash Merino Wool; 136 yards [125 meters]/50 grams); #859 Lake Chelan Heather - one skein (color A) & #220 Spring Green - one skein (color B)

A closer look at the mitts.
Needles: One set of double pointed needles (dpns) in size US 5, one set of dpns in size US 6

Notions: Tapestry needle

Gauge: 22 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette on size US 6 needles (roughly 26 inches = 4 inches unstretched in pattern)

So let's make some mitts! Using your size US 5 needles and your color A yarn, then, cast on 40 (45; 50) stitches loosely, dividing stitches between three dpns as follows: 15 stitches on your first needle; 10 on your second; and 15 on your third ([15; 15; 15]; [15; 20; 15]). Join in round. Then we'll work some ribbing, as follows:

Ribbing Row: * (k1, p1) twice, k1; rep from *

Knit this ribbing row 6 (6; 7) times. Then, transfer work to your size 6 needles. Once that's done, we'll move to our main pattern, as follows: