Oceanwind’s Tweed Scarf: it’s reversible!

I found a great pattern on ravelry right before Christmas and it was just in time to make my Dad a scarf. I prefer reversible scarves that won’t roll and the combination of horizontal and vertical ribbing was perfect – click over to my new blog (yarntrails.blogspot.com) to see more details and the chart I used.

so long and thanks for all the fish….

Just kidding! I am a Douglas Adams fan though ;-)

I’ve been thinking about why I blog and why someone would read anything I write. I realized that my goal is to provide information about knitting techniques and patterns that I find useful in my knitting and hope others will find useful in theirs. When I started this blog, I thought of a catchy name (stringtheory), found it unavailable :-(, and went with my current blog name. Since then, I’ve discovered that there is another knitting blog with a similar name (theoriesofstring.blogspot.com) that has been around longer than me.

I’d like to have a unique name that is strongly associated with my writing, knitting, and patterns so after some thought and research (thanks google!) I found a new name that 1) I like, and 2) doesn’t appear to be in use or identified with another blogger or entity.

I’m going to try and focus on making the new blog a repository for information I find useful in my quest for intuitive patterns and useful knitted objects including patterns and reviews of books, yarns, and needles. I hope the new content will be useful to you and others, so please enjoy!

Thanks to everyone that visits me here and please hop over to my new blog, yarntrails.blogspot.com (If you read my blog through Bloglines, GoogleReader, or another feed aggregator, don’t forget to update the address!)

free pattern: reversible ribbed hat

Here’s a pattern for the simple ribbed hat I made my husband for Christmas. One size will fit almost any adult because the ribbing is extra stretchy and it’s easy to add stripes and make it look store bought.

yarn: Debbie Bliss merino aran, less than 2 50gram balls of the main color with a small amount of two contrasting color for the stripes
needles: size 6 (4mm) 16″ circular and 6″ double points – I used needles 2 sizes smaller than recommended since ribbing is generally worked with smaller needles
size: 20inches unstretched, stretches to fit heads up to 24 inches
gauge: 10 stitches = 1.75″ unstretched in 2×2 ribbing

body of hat:

  1. cast on 100 stitches with the main color (I used the long-tail cast on)
  2. join in the round careful not to twist the stitches, mark the beginning of the round
  3. knit in 2×2 ribbing for 8 rows
  4. switch to a different color and knit 1 entire round (this makes the color change look neater on the right side)
  5. continuing with the new color, re-establish the 2×2 ribbing and knit 3 more rounds; there should be a total of 4 rounds in the new color
  6. switch back to the main color and knit 1 entire round, then re-establish the 2×2 ribbing and knit 5 more rounds for a total of 6 rounds of the main color
  7. switch to the second contrasting color, knit 1 round, re-establish 2×2 ribbing for 3 additional rounds for a total of 4 rounds in the second stripe
  8. switch back to the main color and knit 1 round, change to 2×2 ribbing and work until hat fits comfortably on the head (about 8 inches)

crown decreases: place a marker at the beginning of the round, the first two stitches should be knits, switch to double pointed needles when necessary – between round 5 and 7

repeat stitches between * and * until the end of the round, numbered instructions are for each round:

  1. *knit 2, purl2together, knit 2, purl 2*, there should be 87 stitches at the end of the round
  2. *knit 2, purl 1, knit 2, purl 2*
  3. *knit 2, purl 1, knit 2, purl 2*
  4. *knit 2, purl 1, knit 2, purl2together*, there should be 75 stitches at the end of the round
  5. *knit 2, purl 1* there should still be 75 stitches per round
  6. *knit 2, purl 1* there should still be 75 stitches per round
  7. *knit 2, knit a purl and knit together, knit 1*, [50 stitches at end of round]
  8. knit entire round
  9. *knit 2 together, knit 3* [40 stitches at end of round]
  10. *knit 2, knit 2 together* [30 stitches at end of round]
  11. *knit 2 together, knit 1* [20 stitches at end of round]
  12. *knit 2 together* [10 stitches at end of round]
  13. *knit 2 together* [5 stitches remain]

(note that decreases are staggered for the crown so there won’t be any obvious decrease lines – if you like the decrease lines, just line them up!)

Cut or break the yarn leaving a tail at least 10 ” long, thread a darning needle and draw the tail through the remaining 5 stitches to secure them. Weave in ends and enjoy!

The hat was a bit itchy after extended wear (hours) so I washed it with some shampoo and conditioner – it’s much softer now. I really enjoyed working with the Debbie Bliss merino aran yarn – it worked up beautifully on smaller needles than called for and has a nice tight twist which made it easy to knit without looking. I can tell this yarn will hold up wonderfully. With the wide array of colors, this might be my new favorite worsted weight yarn!

cross posted with my new blog yarntrails.blogspot.com

merry christmas :-)

It has been absolutely crazy since Thanksgiving. A few weeks ago, we got our tree on a snowy Sunday.

I decorated

while Mr. T hung lights. I helped hold the ladder for the higher up ones – it was freezing that day!

Last weekend I decorated sugar cookies with my friend. I’d never frosted a cookie before and certainly not with colors and fancy designs!

my sister’s sweater

When my mom let me pick out the licorice twist yarn to make a sweater, she let my sister pick out yarn too. My sister picked turquoise and my mom never even started a sweater for her after the debacle with my sweater. She didn’t even wind all the yarn into balls which was fortunate because some of it still had labels.

2 skeins were in tight balls so I decided to unwind the balls into skeins and wash the whole lot – I don’t want my sister’s sweater to be oddly misshapen when the yarn relaxes to its natural state ;-) The bonus is that I might have gotten some of the lanolin and vegetable matter out of the yarn – it looked softer after the bath.

First, I filled my sink with warm water and a couple squeezes of dish soap – I didn’t want to bother rinsing lots of soap out but I also wanted it clean.

Second, I waited for it to soak while patiently eating ice cream.

Third, I realized the water was turquoise so I drained the water and added a ‘glug’ of vinegar (handily I have a gallon under my kitchen sink) and some more warm water being careful to add the water in the corner of the sink opposite to where I was cradling the precious yarn. (Don’t want any fulling/felting!). I let it soak some more.

Fourth, I rinsed the yarn a few times, careful to keep the water warmish.

Fifth, I squeezed the excess water from the skeins by hand, then rolled in a towel. I actually twisted my skeins up to get more water out – this is a bulky worsted weight yarn, it is strong enough for a bit of abuse.

Sixth, I hung the skeins to dry on my drying rack in the bathtub. Wonder when it will be dry since we turned the heat off in that bathroom and it’s normally 5 degrees colder than the rest of our house (which is about 60 at night).

So pretty! Now is there any hope of me finishing this by Christmas? I also have 35 grams (of 50) of a laceweight scarf, simple mittens, and a sockweight scarf. Every year I’m freaking out at Christmas and give at least one present on the needles. This year I started early – my mom’s getting a scarf I finished last February. Problem is, I seem to have taken on more complicated projects since I started so early. I’ve been making the laceweight scarf since September.

Anyone else bit of more than can be comfortably chewed regarding holiday gifts? I hope it’s not just me ;-)

fabulous fetching

Where has the time gone? I got lost in the time vortex of school and holidays. Here is the lastest addition to Christmas knitting! Fetching with half fingers:



Pattern: Fetching (but I modified it some)
Yarn: Knitpicks Merino Style (slightly more than one 50 gram ball per pair)
Needles: size 5 (3.75mm) 5″ dpns
Modifications: With the yarn change and the small hands of the recipients, I knit these with 40 stitches and I added the fingers using the instructions in Ann Budd’s pattern book. I cast off the fingers when they reached my knuckle (guessing my hands are about the same length as the recipients’ ;-).

The white mittens have a braided cable pattern that’s probably in a stitch dictionary somewhere but I fiddled it out at a knitting guild meeting (Candace Eisner Strick was talking that night – it was a special treat to sit and knit and fondle her designs – she even bicycles every morning :-) Wish I was dedicated enough to bike every morning. So for the braided cable mittens, I cast on 40 stitches but ribbed in a K3 P1 pattern (instead of the K4 P1 used in the Fetching pattern). Here’s the cable pattern:

round 1 *P1, K3*, repeat until end of round
round 2 *P1 C2L K1*, repeat until end of round
round 3 *P1 K1 C2R*, repeat until end of round

repeat rounds 2 and 3 until the cabling is tall enough (for the cuff, I did 5 repeats so I had 5 cables crossing left and 5 crossing right over 10 rounds)

C2L and C2R are standard abbreviations but confused me a bunch when I first saw them. The C means ‘cable’ the 2 is the number of stitches involved and the L or R means which direction the top stitch crosses the bottom stitch.
C2L means the first stitch is crossed left in front of the second stitch
C2R means the second stitch is crossed right in front of the first stitch or the first stitch is crossed left in back of the second stitch

So C4L (found in the fetching pattern as C4F) means that 4 stitches are manipulated but 2 are crossed left in front of the other 2 which cross right in back. I like to take deep breaths when I read cable patterns – I think charts are definitely the way to go when it gets more complicated.

And I’m so behind that I haven’t shown my one Thanksgiving picture. I got to spend it with my husbands’ family (sadly I forgot to get my camera out of my bag) and my family. My mom decorated the tables beautifully – here’s a picture of one of them

Until next time…school, the Tobey dog, Christmas knitting, and the dining room table project are calling

Can you see Tobey’s paws crossed over one another? I could watch him sleep all day.

I finished my Monkey socks

I finished the monkey socks, they are different sizes (even though I used the same needles, yarn, and number of stitches), and I love them both. I think I must have been extra relaxed when I knit the first one (right leg) because it is quite loose – the second one (left leg) tightened up a lot and the yarn looks completely different between the two. I was proud of myself for weaving in the ends so I didn’t bother blocking them before I put them on. Will the lace pattern look different blocked?

IMG_4501IMG_4498
needles: size 0 (2mm)
yarn: knitpicks memories

I baked some cupcakes last week – can you guess what these are meant to be?
IMG_4473

Tobey might finally be starting to trust us – he had a bit of separation anxiety when we left for work last week. Today, he happily slept on our bed with his head on the pillow. We took him to Mr T’s parents over the weekend to play with Brandy (the golden retriever). They are too cute.


Brandy likes to pull on her leash – makes it a chore to walk her so they got a gentle leader. This is the first time she wore it and she asked Tobey to help her get it off!


They fought over the toy until they passed out.