Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Susan's Slouch Hat

Susan's Slouch Hat
(even though Hedwig is wearing it)

As you can probably guess from the name in the title, this hat was designed with a specific person in mind. And in fact, I've been meaning to knit this person something for some time, but it wasn't until autumn descended and I saw her seasonal red jacket that I realized EXACTLY what she needed (to be fair, she also told me she wanted something in the white/natural color family and tried to get knitting tips before I stole the project right out from under her and told her I'd come up with something instead). What was I saying? Oh right, Susan's Slouch Hat will be your go-to head covering since it knits up quickly in chunky weight yarn and has a simple but elegant design. (Oh, and let's keep our fingers crossed that it becomes Susan's go-to head covering as well, or the whole thing is a monumental failure!)

Yarn: Malabrigo Mecha (100% Pure Merino Superwash Wool; 130 yards [120 meters]/100 grams); #063 Natural - one skein

A close-up of the detail that takes this hat from
blah to boo-yah (yeah, nobody says that)!
Needles: One 16" circular needle in size US 8, one 16" circular needle in size US 10.5, one 5 or 6 mm crochet hook, one set of double pointed needles (dpns) in size US 10.5, scrap yarn measuring roughly 24"

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 14 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette on size US 10.5 needles

So let's make a hat! Using your size US 8 circular needle, then, cast on 72 stitches loosely, place marker, and join in round. Then, we'll work some ribbing, as follows:

Ribbing Row: * k1, p1; rep from * until end of round

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Swiss Check Scarf

Swiss Check Scarf

If I had one inspiration for this scarf, it was the planned color pooling pictures that keep popping up in my Facebook feed (dude, I follow a lot of knitters). If I had two inspirations for this scarf, it was PCP (such a bad acronym!) and laziness; the idea of fiddling with a yarn and a design until I had nailed a certain color pattern seemed about as appealing to me as taking all three of my children to the dentist by myself for concurrent appointments. So I went with a more relaxed take on the same theme; namely, a slip stitch color pattern worked with two skeins of the same variegated yarn that still creates a fancy pattern but requires much less precision! :)

Yarn: Lang Yarns Viva (100% Merino Wool; 120 yards [110 meters]/50 grams); #0020 - four skeins

A closer look at the Swiss Check.
So Swiss, no?
Needles: One pair of straight needles in size US 8

Notions: Tapestry needle

Gauge: 19 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette

And now that we've gotten the basics down, let's make a scarf! And let's begin by talking some shop: specifically, addressing the fact that this scarf is worked with two skeins of your variegated yarn at once, and that even though they're the SAME DARN COLOR (or combination of colors I suppose), I will be calling one skein A and one skein B. Of course, that's because they need to be worked alternately in order to produce the slip stitch color pattern (and for that reason I also recommend that you make sure to begin the slip stitch pattern with a portion of your skein B ball that does not match your skein A ball at whichever point in the dye you're in after the edging rows). So let's proceed as follows:

Using your skein A yarn (aka any whichever one of your skeins you pick up first), cast on 39 stitches loosely and work the edging rows as follows:

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

True Blue Shawlette

True Blue Shawlette
True Blue Shawlette

On most occasions, I try to keep my knitting fairly seasonal (or representative of the months to come). I'm sure that's why I bought this yarn and started this shawlette months ago, only to get hung up by my uncooperative forearms. Now that I've finally finished the piece, though, we should all just pretend it's summer again, and that the cold breeze I felt this afternoon was actually as balmy as July's winds. Or not, in which case you can file this pattern away for next year, when you've got 300+ yards of a cotton-, silk-, linen-, or bamboo-based fiber and a hankering for a short shawl (or even a big one, if you want to keep working and you've got enough yarn!).

Yarn: Lana Grossa 365 Cotone (88% Cotton, 12% Polyamide; 153 yards [150 meters]/50 grams); #026 Türkisgrün - two skeins

True Blue Shawlette
A better look at the pattern.
Basically, just lace and garter stitch!
Needles: One 32" or longer circular needle in size US 7

Notions: Tapestry needle

Gauge: 20 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette

So let's make a little shawl thing! And in case I wasn't clear enough before, this pattern is good for those occasions when you're not sure if you've got enough yarn or not; since it's designed from the rounded bottom up, it's completely scalable in size - make it small if you've only got 300 yards, or bigger with more. No matter how much yarn you've got, however, you'll begin by casting on 3 stitches loosely, and then working 8 rows in garter stitch to create a tab of sorts. Then, without turning work, yarn over (yo) twice, pick up 1 stitch about 1/3rd of the way down along the edge of the tab, (yo) twice again, pick up 1 stitch roughly 2/3rds of the way down the edge of the tab, and (yo) twice again. Complete tab by picking up 3 stitches along cast-on edge; you should now have stitches coming from 3 sides of the tab - 3 along original working edge - 8 along the side (counting each double yo as 2 stitches), and 3 along the cast-on edge. Then, work a few set-up rows as follows: