Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Twilight Rose Beanie

Twilight Rose Beanie
Twilight Rose Beanie

I have developed a weird fetish for the game of yarn chicken, and found the completion of this hat very exciting for exactly that reason; for a good hour or two, I was convinced I would have to run to the store for another skein of my fiber, and then for an hour or two after that I felt bold enough to continue without. At the end of the day, I finished this bad boy with about 2 yards of my first skein remaining, something I would brag about incessantly if anyone in my household actually cared (the boys are far more concerned about whether or not I'm going to feed them vegetables, and the husband makes an effort to nod politely, but I still know he doesn't know what I'm talking about, which ruins the fun). So what's my point? Oh yeah, this hat is lightweight, pretty, and a reasonably easy knit considering the look of the finished result, whether you require one skein or two.

Yarn: Lang Fantomas Superwash (75% Virgin Wool, 25% Polyamide; 153 yards [140 meters]/50 grams); #0209 Rosa Dunkel - 1-2 skeins

Twilight Rose Beanie
A better view of the finish.
I'm pleased with how it turned out.
Needles: One 16" circular needle in size US 3; one 16" circular needle in size US 4; one set of double pointed needles (dpns), also in size US 4, cable needle (cn) or dpn for cabling

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 25 stitches = 4 inches on size US 4 needles 

So let's make a hat, shall we? Using your size US 3 needle, then, cast on 130 stitches loosely, place marker, and join in round. We'll need the following definitions to continue - and remember, you can always skip the cable needle if you're so inclined:

front cross (fc): slip next 3 stitches to cn and hold in front; k3, k3 from cn

back cross (bc): slip next 3 stitches to cn and hold in back; k3, k3 from cn

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Crystal and Pearl Cowl

Crystal and Pearl Cowl

Considering I'm quite pleased by the way this warm-weather cowl turned out, it feels like I should have more to say about it. Still, all I can think is: three colors! lightweight! lace! yay! So, you know, if you want to get excited about a lightweight cowl, try this one! Or not. You know, your choice. :)

Yarn: Maddison Bio Baby (100% Organic Cotton; 197 yards [180 meters]/50 grams); #06 Purple - one skein (color A); #03 Tan - one skein (color B), & #01 White - one skein (color C)

The pattern.
Plus a little corner of my outdoor table.
Needles: One 16" circular needle in size US 3

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 27 stitches = 4 inches on size US 3 needles

So let's make a cowl! First, then, using your color A yarn, cast on 152 stitches loosely, place marker, and join in round. Then we'll move straight to the main pattern, which is a three color adaptation of Crystal and Pearl from page 266 of Barbara G. Walker's A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns, and goes as follows:

Row 1: using color A, purl

Row 2: using color A, * k1, (yo, ssk) 3 times, k1; rep from *

Row 3: using color A, knit

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

It's My Bag, Baby Market Bag

It's My Bag, Baby Market Bag
The name just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?

First of all, let me apologize for the two-week hiatus: we took a lovely trip to Sardinia (you can find photos on my Instagram account, if you're interested), and three kids in a hotel room is enough to keep your hands full without an extra skein of yarn thrown in the mix! Luckily, while I was vacationing, I was also blocking this sweet little market bag back at home. Made with just about 350 yards of worsted weight yarn and a faux i-cord design, it's sturdy, functional, and attractive. In fact, it's so sturdy that I loaded it up with a bag of apples, seven oranges, three peppers, and my 4 year-old's favorite stuffed toy for the pictures. Long story short, if you'd like to knit a bag that won't lose its shape the first time you use it, this one is for you!

Yarn: Schachenmayr Catania Grande (100% Cotton; 68 yards [63 meters]/50 grams); #3281 Orange - 5 to 6 skeins (I squeaked by with 5, but just barely)

A better look at the handle

Needles: One set of double pointed needles (dpns) in size US 7, one 16" or 24" circular needle, also in size US 7, one 16" or 24" circular needle in size US 6, one needle in size US 8 for provisional cast on (optional), and one cable needle (cn)

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 17 stitches = 4 inches

And with that out of the way, let's make a bag! First, then, we'll start with the handles. And I should tell you that you have two options at this point, as well: later on, when you finish the bag, you can either attach the handles by seaming normally, or with a three needle bind off. If you'd like to go the seaming route, using your size 7 needles, cast on 12 stitches loosely. If you'd like to use the three needle bind off at the end, using your size 8 needle, cast on 12 stitches provisionally, and then transfer work to your size 7 needles (this is also why the size US 8 needle is optional!). 

Anyway, once you're done with your cast on for either method, we'll continue to work the handle as you'll find below. Remember that you can pull the yarn tight before your 4 slipped stitches both in the handle and when you work the bag later; that's your faux i-cord that provides the bag its nice, sturdy shape! So let's work like so: