Friday, September 05, 2008

Ladder Shawl

This is less a design than it is an idea. Have fun with it and be creative!


Materials:
Size 13 needles
About 200 yards of aran to worsted weight mohair or mohair blend yarn (400 yards for mirror version)
I used Kidmo by Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Unfortunately this yarn has been discontinued, which is a shame because it is absolutely lovely. Kidmo is aran weight 90% mohair 10% nylon to give you an idea for what to look for in an appropriate substitution.

Pattern:

CO 60 stitches very loosely

Knit in stockinette stitch for ~20 rows.
Continue knitting in stockinette st, but start dropping stitches in random places in random rows. I dropped about one stitch on every right-side row for the first couple of feet of the shawl. After that I began dropping one stitch every 6 rows or so.
When you have 35 stitches left stop dropping stitches and work in stockinette until you run out of yarn or the shawl is as long as you would like.
You can bind off loosely now to create a shorter, asymmetrical shawl like the one pictured. Total length of mine is about four feet, and is long enough to wrap around my shoulders. The shawl is super light and the mohair "clings" to itself enough that no pin or clasp is needed.

If you want a larger shawl or if asymmetry makes you want to pull your hair out (I get it, I really do) a mirrored version is easy enough to create. Knit the first half as above but instead of binding off, place the shawl on a stitchholder. Knit the second half of the shawl the same way. Graft the two halves together using the kitchener stitch.


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Geo Armwarmers




Mmmm... Jasper. I've been lusting after it since it came out a few months ago. I finally succumbed to temptation over Christmas when I eyed a pile of the lovely stuff at Boucle Yarn Studio in my home town of Fargo, ND. I am happy to report that it is just as lovely as it looks on the Berocco website and a dream to knit with.

It didn't take me long to figure out what to make with those two skeins of heavenly wool. Those of you that visit my blog regularly know that I hate, Hate, HATE working on double pointed needles. Hate them! But I realized that I am missing out on an entire world of knitting by refusing to use them, so I told myself that every new project I start (once the Christmas knitting is done, of course) has to be on dpns until I stop hating them so much. Well, two socks, two armwarmers, one hat, and a couple of mini sweaters later I am happy to report that my loathing of dpns has gone from abject hatred to a mere general dislike. Yay!

So anyway, back to the yarn... I knew I had to make something with dpns, and I have been wishing for a nice pair of typing gloves that I can wear to work since the building is always freaking freezing - seriously, why has every office I've ever worked in been extremely cold? I mean sheesh, at least when I was delivering pizza I had a warm car to get into - but I digress. Armwarmers = toasty hands + knitting on dpns. Perfect!



Materials:
2 skeins Jasper by Berocco. I used the Rosso Asiago colorway.
5 size 8 double pointed needles.

Terms:
kfb - Knit into the front and back of the stitch.

Pattern:

Cast on 36 stitches. Divide evenly among four needles.
Knit in K3, P1 rib until warmers are as long as your forearm.

Thumb gusset:
Round 1: kfb, k1, kfb, p1, *k3, p1* (work stitches between *'s to end of round)
Round 2: k5, p1, *k3, p1*
Round 3: k1, kfb, k1, kfb, k1, p1, *k3, p1*
Round 4: k7, p1, *k3, p1*
Round 5: k2, kfb, k1, kfb, k2 p1, *k3, p1*
Round 6: k9, p1, *k3, p1*
Round 7 k3, kfb, k1, kfb, k3, p1, *k3, p1*
Round 8: k11, p1, *k3, p1*
Round 9: k4, kfb, k1, kfb, k4, p1, *k3, p1*
Round 10: k13, p1, *k3, p1*
Round 11: k5, kfb, k1, kfb, k5, p1, *k3, p1*
Round 12: k15, p1, *k3, p1*
Round 13: k1, place next 12 stitches on a stitchholder or waste yarn, k2, p1 *k3, p1*



Palm and fingers:

Continue working in k3, p1 rib for 8 more rounds.

Variation: For fingerless gloves just cast off here and skip down to the thumb and make as instructed.

Index finger:
k4, put next 27 stitches on waste yarn. Now you should have 9 stitches on your needles - the 4 you just knit and 5 more on the other needle.
Cast on one stitch. Knit the remaining 5 stitches to join the round and divide all 10 stitches among 3 needles.
Work 3 rounds of stockinette.
Bind off loosely in k1, p1 rib.

Middle Finger:
Pick up 5 stitches from your waste yarn on the palm side and 4 from the knuckle side (there really isn't a palm and knuckle side since each mitt will be identical and can be worn on either hand, but it is important to alternate which side you pick up 5 stitches from so your warmers don't end up all bunchy and funky looking.)
Pick up the cast on stitch from the last half finger you worked. Divide all 10 stitches among three needles.
Work 4 rounds of stockinette.
Bind off loosely in k1, p1 rib.

Ring finger:
Pick up 4 stitches from your waste yarn on the palm side and 5 from the knuckle side
Pick up one stitch from the last half finger you worked. Divide all 10 stitches among three needles.
Work 4 rounds of stockinette.
Bind off loosely in k1, p1 rib.

Pinkie:
Pick up the remaining 9 stitches from your waste yarn.
Pick up one stitch from the last half finger you worked. Divide all 10 stitches among three needles.
Work 4 rounds of stockinette.
Bind off loosely in k1, p1 rib.

Thumb:
Pick up the 12 stitches on your holder.
Pick up one more stitch from the body of your warmer.
Work 4 rounds of stockinette.
Bind off loosely in k1, p1 rib.

Use your numerous yarn tails to sew up any holes.

Work second warmer the same way.



Saturday, December 15, 2007

Paradox Scarf

Mmmmm Rayon... well, not really. If this project has taught me anything it's that you get what you pay for no matter what kind of fiber you are using. I picked up a cone - we're talking like 1200-1500 yards here - that's right, a whole cone of beautiful off-white 100% rayon for the amazing price of $5 at the Blue Moon Fiber Arts de-stashing sale. What a deal, right?

Well... let's just say I found out why it was only $5 the moment I cast on. The yarn is barely spun at all and super splitty. Knitting with the stuff is an absolute nightmare. But, oddly enough, despite the terrible quality of the yarn, the fabric it creates is absolutely gorgeous - drapey, slinky and super soft - just like rayon should be. I may even have to go undergo the frustrating task of knitting a tank top with it because I love the look of the fabric so much. Well, that and I still have an enormous cone of the awful stuff left and I wouldn't want to give it away and burden anyone else with this frustrating curse of a yarn.

It just seems strange that a yarn that is so beastly to knit with could look so beautiful when all knit up. That's why I am calling this the Paradox Scarf.



Materials:
Size 8 16 inch circular needles
Fingering or DK weight 100% rayon yarn (you could probably get by with a nice mercerized cotton if finding 100% rayon is difficult in your area. The important thing is the drapy-ness not necessarily the fiber content).
One stitch marker

Terms:
k2tog - knit two stitches together
k3tog - knit three stitches together
sk2po - slip one stitch, knit two stitches together, pass slipped stitch over the stitch you just knitted (decreases 2)
yo - yarn over
kfb - knit into the front and back of the stitch

Pattern:

Cast on 288 stitches
Join and place marker at beginning of round
Knit 2 rounds
K2tog across all (144 stitches)
Knit 2 rounds
K2tog across all (72 stitches)
Knit 1 round

Begin twin leaf lace pattern:

Round 1: K4, k3tog, yo, k1, yo, p1, yo, k1, yo, sk2po, k4, p1 (repeat to end of round (4 times))
Round 2: K8, p1 (repeat to end of round (8 times))
Round 3: K2, k3tog, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, p1, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, sk2po, k2, p1 (repeat to end)
Round 4: As round 2
Round 5: K3tog, k2, yo, k1, yo, k2, p1, k2, yo, k1, yo, k2, sk2po, p1 (repeat to end)
Round 6: As round 2

Repeat rounds 1-6 until the scarf is as long as you want.

Knit 1 round.
Kfb across (144 stitches)
Knit 2 rounds
Kfb across (288 stitches)
Knit 2 rounds
Bind off loosely.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Sommerfugl

Have I mentioned my love of big silly hats recently? Hmmm... probably. How about my newest great love, fair isle? Yes? Oh well, here's a pattern that combines them both. Yay!

I normally don't like posting patterns that are too hard because, well, hard patterns are, you know, like, hard to make and stuff. Ahh, but the Sommerfugl was just too much fun not to share, so here it is. Newbies beware, this pattern uses some pretty advanced techniques, so you might not want to try it until you've gained a few experience points. Knitting paladins level 40 and above only. Oh jeeze, my nerdiness is showing. Just ignore that last bit. Hmph! And I don't even play WoW.



Materials:
Size 8 16" circular needle
Size 8 dpns
Paton's Classic Wool - 5 different colors. I used New Denim, Denim Marl, Worn Denim, Natural Marl, and Winter White.

Hem Pattern:

Cast on 80 stitches (I started with New Denim color).
*note* I don't mind picking up stitches, so I just used the classic knit on cast on method. However, you may want to do a provisional cast on instead so you have a round of live stitches to work with when you knit the hem.

Work in stockinette stitch using the color chart below. You will repeat the pattern chart 5 times each row.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

When you are done with the charted pattern work 20 rounds in stockinette (this part will be inside the hat so it doesn't really matter what color it is).

Hem:

OK, so this is where it gets a little weird. You are going to create a knitted hem.

1. Flip the hat inside out (the stranded purl side will now be facing the outside).
2. Knit one round.
3. Fold the brim so that the right (knit) side is facing out and the cast on edge is next to your newest round and needle.
4. Pick up one cast on stitch and knit it together with the next stitch on your needle. Continue in this manner to end of round.






Voila! A knitted hem!

Top:

Continue working in stockinette stitch, following the color chart below. When scooting a tiny number of stitches along your circular needle becomes more maddening than working on the dread double pointed needles (sorry, I just really, really hate dpns. Argggh!) switch over to your dpns.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Symbols:
/ = K2tog (knit two together)

You should end up with five stitches on your needles. Break yarn (leaving a long tail) but do not bind off or sew through the stitches just yet.

Braided Tassel:

Cut about 15 2-foot long pieces of yarn (I like to wrap the yarn around my palm and elbow, then cut the whole lot to get them all about the same length).

Find some sort of object to use as a pin for your braid (I stuck a dpn in a couch cushion). Drape the strings around the pin and braid them up.





Cut a length of yarn about 5-7 feet long. Wrap the yarn around the end of your braid several (hundred!) times to create a neat little ball to fasten off the braid. Trim the end so it looks nice.

Remember those last few stitches I told ya not to bind off? Use your yarn tail to sew through the top of the braid a few times so it won't unravel. Then, sew through the remaining stitches at the top of your hat (removing the dpns as you sew through each live stitch) and sew through the top of the braid several more times to fasten the braid securely to your hat.

Yay! It's finally over! Sommerfugl!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Strikket Hatt

So, I finally broke down and tried fair isle. I must say, I am in love. I don't think I'll ever knit with a single color again. Well, no that's not true, but get ready for a slough of fair isle patterns! Did I mention that I also love charting? Mmmmm.... Excel for Mac.

*Again, I apologize for the crappy photos. My camera is near death and appears to have acquired a profound distaste for both light and color.

Here's the first of (hopefully) many fair isle patterns:

Strikket Hatt!
(it means knitted hat in Norwegian in case you are wondering. Real original, huh?)



Materials:
Size 8 16" circular needle
Size 8 dpns
5 colors of Patton's Classic Wool - I used New Denim, Denim Marl, Worn denim, Natural Marl and Winter White.

Pattern:

Cast on 80 stitches using your main color (I started with New Denim).
Work in K1 P1 rib for 8 rows.
Continue knitting in stockinette stitch using the charted pattern below. You will repeat the charted pattern 8 times each row. Switch to dpns when necessary.



Symbols:
/ = k2tog (knit two stitches together)



Finishing:
You should have 8 stitches left on the needle. Break yarn leaving enough to sew through the remaining stitches on the needles a few times. Weave in ends.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Fishtail



Mmmm... rayon. I always thought it was overrated until I picked up a luscious skein at the Blue Moon Fiber Arts de-stashing sale. It is beautiful, drapey, and just a joy to work with.

I apologize for the crappy photos, my digital camera appears to be on its way out. I tried a bunch of different lighting methods, but camera just refuses to pick up all the wonderful colors in this yarn. Oh well, you're all here for the pattern anyway, not to hear me gush about yarn, right?

I thought a simple chevron would best show off the magnificent colorway, and I really like the way it turned out.



Materials:
1 skein Kork by Blue Moon Fiber Arts
Size 8 Needles

Terms:
kfb: Knit into the front and back of the stitch
K2tog: Knit two stitches together.
ssk: Slip two stitches together (as if to k2tog) from the left needle to the right. Place both stitches back on the left hand needle and knit them together.

Pattern:

Cast on 20 stitches.

Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Knit
Row 3: k2tog, k7, kfb, kfb, k7, ssk
Row 4: purl
Row 5: k2tog, k7, kfb, kfb, k7, ssk
Row 6: purl
Row 7: k2tog, k7, kfb, kfb, k7, ssk
Row 8: purl

Repeat these 8 rows until the scarf is as long as you want it. Knit two more rows. Bind off.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Condylactis

I've wanted to knit a scarf with a curly fringe edging for a while now, but just couldn't decide on the body. I finally decided on a tube scarf as the curly fringe edging would create a sort of sea anemone-ish look. This scarf is knit using the cross stitch method - a method usually used for creating mock cables and other texture patterns. When an entire row is knit using crossed stitches it creates and interesting twisted texture, plus it's a heck of a lot more fun that plain ol' stockinette. This scarf could easily be knit in the round - just knit the purl rows and add one more Cr instead of the two knit stitches on the texture rows - but if you are like me and hate, Hate, HATE working on double-pointed needles, it's easier just to knit flat and sew up the seam.



Materials:
US size 3 knitting needles
2 skeins Melody by Jojoland, color number Y46, or other fingering weight yarn

Gauge:

Terms:
Cr: Cross stitch. Knit into the second stitch on the LH needle, but do not slip the stitch off the needle. Then, knit into the first stitch on the LH needle. Slip both of the stitches off the needle.

Pattern:


Close up of the cross stitch texture.
Body:

Cast on 40 stitches. Knit one row, purl one row.

Row 1: k1, Cr to last stitch, k1
Row 2: Purl

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until the scarf is as long as you want.

Bind off.

Sew up the sides of the scarf creating a long tube.

Curly fringe edging:



Pick up one stitch at the end of the scarf. Cast on 14 more stitches (I prefer the Knit On method as it gives a little more stability) Bind off the 14 stitches you just cast on.
Pick up another stitch. Slip your one remaining stitch over the newly picked up stitch (so you again only have one stitch on the needle). Cast on 14 more stitches. Bind off the 14 stitches you just cast on.
Continue in this manner until you have created 40 little "tentacles" around the entire edge of the scarf.
Repeat at the other end.