Category Archives: knitting

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.

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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

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.

Tobey

We got a dog today. It was raining in the morning so we skipped biking and running and went to Lollypop farm, the biggest local animal shelter. We were there last Saturday in the afternoon but all the good dogs were already gone so we made sure to get there a bit earlier today. We played with a few active and energetic dogs but brought Tobey home. He’s 2 years old, housebroken, leash trained, very polite, and calm enough to listen to commands. We’ve already taken him on two walks and he’s sleeping on the floor at Mr. T’s feet. I think he’ll just sleep at my feet when I’m knitting ๐Ÿ™‚ This is good because I have at least 6 Christmas gifts to make and my sister is getting a sweater. I think mine took a month but it fits her and I already have pattern notes with stitch counts. It should be quick and easy like a second sock right?

Speaking of second socks…I’ve turned the heel on the second monkey sock and I don’t think I’ll be able to start the Christmas gifts I’ve already planned until it’s finished.
Tobey

rhiannon’s braided cable hat – a free pattern

I wanted to make something special with the fabulous silk/merino yarn I got at the fingerlakes fiber festival. I didn’t have enough yarn for anything big so I made a hat which is perfect with the supersoft yarn; the braided cable is a variant of one I found in one of the Harmony guides I borrowed from my guild.


yarn: Steam Valley Hand Dyed Silk Yarn, the hat weighs 53 grams which is slightly more than half the skein
needles: size 8 (16″ and dpns)
gauge: 4.25 stitches and 6.5 rows per inch in stockinette

Pattern – I’m new to pattern writing so please let me know if this is easy to understand and if it turns out how I describe.

First I made the headband with an i-cord edging and braided cable. Then I grafted the edges of the headband together and made sure it fit over my head. Next, I calculated gauge in stockinette and measured the circumference of the headband to figure out how many stitches to pick up for the body of the hat. I picked up stitches from the top of the headband and knit in stockinette until it was time for the crown decreases. Since the theme here is braids and braids are usually done with 3 strands, I made the decreases at even thirds with 3 purl stitches between each set of decreases.

headband: provisionally cast on 15 stitches. The braided cable is over 6 stitches, there are 3 purl stitches on either side of the cable, and there are 3 i-cord stitches on the right hand side if you’re looking at the right side of the knitting. The idea is:

(RS) PPP KKKKKK PPP KKK
(WS) KKK PPPPPP KKK sl3

I usually slip purlwise so the loops are correctly oriented for untwisted knitting on the next row but do whatever you need to keep the i-cord stitches untwisted. Also, make sure you carry a lot of slack for the i-cord – if it’s too tight, it won’t fit over your head. My i-cord is slightly tighter than the rest of the headband which helps the hat fit snugly but comfortably.

In purple, are the stitches for the braided cable. Cabling will only happen on RS rows and I used the no-cable needle method – I’m linking to the tutorial Grumperina wrote because it’s the one I learned from but there are many many tutorials available.

cable pattern:

row 1 K6
row 2 P6
row 3 C4L K2 (the first 2 stitches cross left in front, the 3rd and 4th cross right in back, knit the last 2 plain)
row 4 P6
row 5 K6
row 6 P6
row 7 K2 C4R (knit the first 2 stitches plain, the 3rd and 4th cross left in back and the 5th and 6th cross right in front)
row 8 P6

Work the headband with the 6 stitch, 8 row cable pattern and i-cord edging until it goes around your head. Mine measured 23.5 inches when it was slightly stretched. If you can, try to end after row 8 of the cable pattern so when grafted, the braid is uninterrupted. Graft all the stitches together as they come in reverse stockinette, stockinette, or i-cord. For the i-cord, I grafted on the knit side and wove the end into the center so the i-cord curled around.

calculate number of stitches to pick up: try on the headband where you plan to wear the hat and measure the circumference at the i-cord. Mine was 23.5 inches and my gauge was 4.25 stitches per inch.

23.5 * 4.25 ~ 100 stitches

I placed markers at 4 equal intervals and picked up 25 stitches between each marker on the opposite side than the i-cord (this is the left side on my little chart above).

body: now that your stitches are picked up, knit in the round until you are ready for crown decreases (about 2.75 inches of stockinette or 4.75 inches from the i-cord edge). I always make my hats on 16″ circulars and without removing the needles try it on often – I know it’s time for crown decreases when the hat is long enough to cover my ears and the stitches don’t fall off the needle at the top of my head.

crown decreases: I decreased 6 stitches per row by decreasing 2 stitches every row at 3 places.

Place 3 markers evenly to mark the decreases. (between markers, there will be 33, 33, and 34 stitches – I don’t worry about the one extra stitch – it gets an extra decrease on the almost last row)
row 1: [K26, K2tog, P3, SSK] repeat 3 times until end of round.
At this point I usually ditch the markers since the purl stitches scream *decrease* at me.
row 2: [K24, K2tog, P3, SSK] 3 times
continue decreasing in the same places every row until there are 15 stitches left (they should be PPP KK in each of the 3 sections)
last row: [P3tog, sl1 k1 psso] 3 times, there will be 6 stitches left – break yarn, thread a darning needle and run the yarn through remaining stitches twice, weave in ends.

If anyone makes this – comment with a link to a picture so I can see what they all look like.

17Nov07: edited to fix a mistake in the cable patternย