Thursday, July 13, 2017

Zigzag Slouch Hat

Zigzag Slouch Hat
Zigzag Slouch Hat
Pictured in size small

This is another one of those designs that first appeared in my mind half-formed and hazy, and then solidified as soon as I bought the yarn. And while I know I'm reusing some concepts here (I used the same stitch pattern and combination of a solid yarn and a variegated yarn in the Zigazig Ah Scarf), I think that the finished result is pretty and novel, from the faux icords running up the seam to the notched back design.

Oh, and some notes on sizing and design here - first off, I know that there's a fairly significant size difference between the small size (which fits up to about a 23" head) and the large size (which fits bigger ones - up to 26.5" at least). This is for two reasons - one, the design suits either a close-fitting or a loose-fitting wear, so it's not too finicky, and if you're borderline on sizes you can choose based on whether or not you want your hat to fit tightly or slouch (you can also choose a size based on your volume of hair!). And two, the stitch pattern is 24 stitches long, and, though one could create a medium size by only working 12 of the final 24-stitch repeat, it would no longer be symmetrical in the back, which compromises some of the hat's appeal. All of that being said, if you'd like a truly medium sized hat, you could always work the design on needles that give you a slightly different gauge - for instance, work the large size with needles that give you 26 inches per 4" instead of the given 24.

Speaking of symmetry and sizing, I would also like to mention that I successfully worked my entire hat on size 4 needles. However, the icord cast on is a little tight, and required blocking to relax it. If you'd prefer, you could work your icord cast on in a needle one size larger than the needle with which you work the rest of your hat. Then you will avoid any too-tight brim issues entirely!

Sizes: Teen/Adult Small (Adult Large)

Yarn: Lana Grossa Cool Wool Melange (100% Virgin Wool; 175 yards [160 meters]/50 grams); #115 - one skein (two skeins) (color A) and Lana Grossa Cool Wool Degrade (100% Virgin Wool; 175 yards [160 meters]/50 grams); #6002 - one skein (one skein) (color B)

Zigzag Slouch Hat
A better look at the back,
faux icords and all!
Needles: One 16" circular needle in size US 4, one set of double pointed needles (dpns) in size US 4 (optional: dpns in size US 5 for icord cast on or a 24" circular in size US 4 if you're making the larger size of the hat)

Notions: Tapestry needle, 36" of scrap yarn, stitch marker

Gauge: 24 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette on size US 4 needles

So let's make a hat! Using your color A yarn, and your size US 4 or 5 dpns, cast on 4 stitches loosely. Then we'll work an icord cast on, as follows:

Icord Row (always worked as a right-side row): kfb, k3; then, when you go to begin your next row, use your tapestry needle to thread the first of kfb stitches onto your piece of scrap yarn purlwise to hold for later

Knit this icord row until you're holding 127 (151) stitches on your scrap yarn. Kfb in your first stitch one final time, transfer the first stitch (of your kfb) to your scrap yarn, and then bind off your four icord stitches (which include the second stitch from your kfb). Then, transfer the 128 (152) held stitches from your scrap yarn and onto your circular needle (you can use a 24" if you're making the large size). Once you have all your stitches transferred, continue to use your color A yarn and work as follows. Note that you can pull the yarn tight behind your slipped stitches; this creates the icord look.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Rainbow Rib Mitts

Rainbow Rib Mitts
Rainbow Rib Mitts
as seen near an *extremely* green pond thing

I keep looking at the hands in these photos and thinking, "dang how did my nails get so long?!?!" (since I'm always the hands in my photos). Then I keep remembering that today, for the first time ever (that's not exactly true - my husband has posed a few times), I AM NOT THE HANDS IN MY PHOTOS. Not that my lovely hand model will probably ever agree to lend her digits to my knitting again, since I spent the whole shoot giving her instructions like, "Now happy fingers! No, happier!" and, "Angle your hands like you're standing up, but instead squat so your head doesn't cast a shadow on the mitts." Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, I got this yarn ON SALE BABY, and it's a beautiful choice for this basic-but-not-boring pattern. Oh, and word to the wise - if you use the same fiber, be forewarned that the pattern doesn't repeat in a linear fashion, but like a palindrome (so the colors don't go A B C D A B C D but more like A B C D D D C B A). So, although I made my mitts match fairly well, I had to be fussy to get there, and it's possible that if you're equally fussy about matching you may need more than one skein to complete the pattern.

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 8 3/4", and the large goes up to about 9.5")

Yarn: Lang Yarns Novena Color (50% Wool, 30% Alpaca, 20% Nylon; 240 yards [220 meters]/50 grams); #0009 Rosa/Violet/Blue - one skein (all sizes)

Rainbow Rib Mitts
A closer view of the gusset
Or the "thumb crotch," as I yelled several
times at my hardworking hand model.
Needles: One set of double pointed needles (dpns) in size US 6; one set of dpns in size US 7

Notions: Tapestry needle, scrap yarn

Gauge: 22 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette on size US 7 needles

And that brings us to the pattern! Using your size US 6 needles, then, cast on 40 (44; 48) stitches loosely and distribute evenly between three dpns. Join in round, being careful not to twist your cast on when you complete the join. Then we'll work ribbing as follows:

Ribbing Row: * k1, p1; rep from *

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Reflecting Pool Cowl

Reflecting Pool Cowl
Reflecting Pool Cowl

There's no denying it: this is one of those yarns that I bought because my raccoon brain demanded it (okay fine, maybe raccoon isn't accurate - it's not shiny although it's colorful. You get what I mean). And, as always with these yarns, as soon as I got it home I wondered what to do with it - with a variegated I prefer a pattern that's not too plain but that also doesn't get eaten by the colors of the fiber, after all. Luckily it didn't take long before I came up with this cable and openwork design, which shows off both the texture of the fabric and the beauty of the yarn. And, as a side note, I think it would also work well on larger needles (US 8 or even larger!) if you want a more drapey look. :)

Yarn: Lang Yarns Riva (52% Cotton, 48% Acrylic; 115 yards [105 meters]/50 grams); #0079 - 2 skeins
Reflecting Pool Cowl
A look at the cable and the
openwork design.

Needles: one 16" circular needle in size US 6 (4.0 mm), cable needle (cn) or dpn for cabling

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 19 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette, 22 stitches = 4 inches in pattern

Okay, let's make a cowl! First, then, cast on 110 stitches loosely (or 121, 132, or any multiple of 11 if you'd like a looser-fitting cowl - this one clocks in at only 20" around unstretched), place marker, and join in round. Then we'll work a combination of Vandyke Faggoting from page 187 of Barbara G. Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns and a basic chain cable, as follows. You'll need the following notation to continue. Remember you can always cable without a cable needle, if you'd like.

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

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