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.