Saturday, March 7, 2009

Simple Fisherman’s Rib Hat

The perfect hat to match your Fourteen scarf. This is a simple Fisherman’s rib that matches the stitch pattern in Yarn Ball Boogie’s fabulous Fourteen scarf. Relatively fast to knit it is flattering on both men and women.

Finished size can fit anyone from a kit to an adult. Fisherman’s rib is very stretchy.

100 yards of a Bulky yarn that has recommended gauge of 3 stitches per inch. Shown in Mountain Colors 3 ply Montana Wool (100% wool, 150 yds per 4 oz skein, Larkspur)

1 16 inch US #11/8 mm circular needle
1 set US #11/8mm double-point needles
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]

Gauge: 2.5 sts per inch in Stockinette Stitch

Stitch marker
Tapestry needle

K = knit
P = purl
K1B = Knit in the stitch below
P1B = Purl in the stitch below
K2tog = Knit two stitches together
Dbl Dec = Slip two stitches at the same time as if you were going to K2tog. Knit the next stitch. Pass the two slipped stitches over the stitch just knit on the right needle.

Cast on 36 stitches.
I used the simple backward e method of casting on.
If you are using the long tail method of casting on skip the first row, mark beginning of round and join in a circle and start with round 2..

Row 1: Knit
Mark beginning of round and join in a circle being careful not to twist the stitches.
Round 2: *P1B, P1, repeat from * around to the beginning of the round.
Round 3: *K1, K1B, repeat from * around to the beginning of the round.

Repeat rounds 2 and 3 until your hat is 11 inches long from the cast on edge, ending with a round 3 before preceeding with the next step. (if you are knitting for a child you can stop at 9 inches)

Transition round: *P1B, K1, repeat from * around to the beginning of the round.

Now switch to regular ribbing: *P1, K1, repeat from * around to beginning of the round.

Knit five rounds of regular ribbing.

Change to double-point needles when the stitches don’t fit around the circular needle.

Knit one round of K2tog. You should have 18 stitches

Knit 3 rounds plain knit.

Next round: Dbl Dec around. You should have 6 stitches.

Cut your yarn, leaving at least 4 inches to make weaving in the ends easier. Thread the yarn through the live stitches and pull tight to close the top.

Weave in the ends.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I'm ready for Picture Day 2008

They are done! Suzannah gets the yellow sweater with buttons that she wanted. Augy gets the dark deep blue vest that he wanted. I didn't try to impose my taste on my children. I let them choose the yarn, pattern and buttons.

Suzannah choose some very cute hedgehog buttons for her sweater.

What I learned from knitting these two sweaters:
  1. Cabling without a cable needle is easy as long as you don't pull your right needle too far away from your left needle as you are slipping the stitches off the right needle.
  2. Cabling without a cable needle goes way faster than with a cable needle.
  3. Loosely spun yarn, such as Steadfast Fibers Wonderful Wool, are easier to knit continental than English. Knitting it English undoes some of the twist and makes snagging frequent and annoying. Continental adds some twist and keeps the yarn together. At least that was my experience.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Double KNitting Scarflette

Double knitting is highly addictive. I started this project as a test, and couldn't put it down. Using luxuriously soft yarns, the double thickness gives just the right amount of warmth on a chilly day. I love the shape and size of Yarn Ball Boogie's Fourteen. This scarflette is similar in size and shape. Only it is double knit using dk weight yarn instead of brioche stitch.

This is a great project if you wanted to try double knitting, but didn't want to knit a potholder.

I followed Fashionable Life's directions for a button loop at the end.

Here are the directions. For more information on double knitting, Lucy Neatby's dvd Double KNitting Delight is a great resource.

Twenty Twenty Scarflette

Finished size: 4” x 21”


I used
Color A: Araucania Nature Wool Multy (100% wool; 240 yards per 3.52 oz skein) color 405 – less than one skein

Color B: Noro Cashmere Island (30% cashmere, 60% wool, 10% nylon; 110 yards per 40 gram skein) color 6 – one skein

I used size 3 needles
(Most people end up looser in double knitting than with regular knitting. Use the size that will give you a nice loose drapey gauge, but not so loose that the other side will show through)
Darning needle
2 large buttons

Gauge: 20 stitches per inch. Since this is a scarflette exact final size is not too important.

Using the Italian cast on and alternating between color A and B, cast on 40 stitches starting with color A (20 stitches in color A and 20 stitches in color B).

At the start of every row make sure that the color that you are not about to knit with is draped over the tail of the color you are about to knit.

Row 1: *Bring both colors to the back. Knit 1 with color B. Bring both colors to the front. Purl 1 with Color A and repeat from * four times. ** Bring both colors to the back. Knit 1 with color A. Bring both colors to the front. Purl 1 with Color B. Repeat from ** four times. : *** Bring both colors to the back. Knit 1 with color B. Bring both colors to the front. Purl 1 with Color A. Repeat from *** to the end of the row

Row 2: * Bring both colors to the back. Knit 1 with color A. Bring both colors forward. Purl 1 with Color B. Repeat from * twelve times. ** Bring both colors to the back. Knit 1 with color B. Bring both colors forward. Purl 1 with Color A. Repeat from ** four times. *** Bring both colors to the back. Knit 1 with color A. Bring both colors forward. Purl 1 with Color B. Repeat from *** to the end of the row

Repeat rows one and two until desired length. Bind off in Kitchner Stitch.

Cut off a length of yarn to make a buttonloop in the middle of one end. Try the scarflette on to determine the best placement for the button. Attach a button on each side of the scarflettte for ultimate reversible flexibility.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008 is the greatest website ever!
I haven't blogged at all since getting sucked into Ravelry. There are some fascinating threads on there.

First was the thread started by a ravelr named bbcaddict about an ebay seller named Yarnbow. The whole thread was just fascinating to read. It filled my days while the writers' strike went on.

Next I've been sucked into the Mystical Creation Yarns thread. the thread is now over 4000 posts. Reading about Mystical Creation Yarns has been better than reading a mystery novel.

Anyway here is my yarn thought of the day.

What makes one skein of 100% merino cost only $4 for 200+ yards and another skein cost $11 for 140 yards? both are lovely yarns. And I'm not saying that one is better than the other. I'm just trying to work it out in my head what makes the green yarn one the left cost 5 times the brown yarn? The green one is Morehouse merino. It is a lovely yarn. And if I won the lottery it would be my yarn of choice for many projects. The brown yarn is Paton's Classic Merino. It is an odd yarn. Found among the riff raff that normally inhabit the bins at the mega box craft stores it is actually quite a nice yarn. Whenever I see it at Micheal's or JoAnn's I'm always puzzled by its presence. It is a very very nice yarn. I have no trouble substituting it for Ella Rae Classic, Cascade 220 or other lys yarns. There is no other yarn by Paton's or sold by Micheal's that I would ever use.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Suzannah's Tiara

This has nothing to do with knitting or crochet. And I've already emailed my friend Cynthia about this. And to save time I've just copied the text from my email to Cynthia to save time. So Cynthia, you need not read any further. You've heard this story already.

This is such a cute story and I want to save this memory. So here is the story of Suzannah's Tiara:

Suzannah showed her crafters' spirit today. She made herself a tiara out of a paper snowflake and a couple bobby pins. She wore it all day Sunday. So far this week everyday as soon as she gets home from school she'll get busy putting on her tiara to wear until bedtime. It finally tore today. So I asked her if she wanted Santa to bring her a real tiara for Christmas and she said, "no, I can always make another tiara myself."
Now that is a true Crafty girl at heart. This year at Stitches East I saw an older Asian woman with her 20 something daughter shopping for yarn together. I hope that will be me and Suzannah in 15 years.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Tahki Torino, Berroco Pure Merino, Karabella Aurora 8

I finally got to test drive the Tahki Torino. I tried the regular Torino and not the Torino Bulky.
IN the pic are a strand of Berroco Pure Merino (light grey) , Berroco Pure Merino Heathers (dark grey), Tahki Torino (red), and Karabella Aurora 8 (pink).
The Torino looks like it should knit up to a different gauge than the other three, but all three have 4.5 as the suggest stotckinette stitch gauge. However both Berroco yarns suggest using a US9 (5.5mm) while the Karabella suggests using a US 7- 8 (4.5 - 5 mm) and the Tahki suggest using a US8 (5mm). I got the suggest gauge of 4.5 sts on a US 4 (3.5 mm) needle for all four yarns. Kathy at the Colonial Yarn Shop says that a yarn that suggests getting a gauge of 4.5 stitches on an US 8 will knit up differently than a yarn that suggests the same gauge but on a US 9 or US 7. I think fiber, ply and twist are far more important to yarn substitutions than what is printed on the ball band.
All four are irrestringibile (meaning they will not felt). All four did not change gauge after washing and blocking. All four are wonderful to work with, producing nice crisp cables and stitch definition. All four average about $7.50 - $8.50 per ball. All four come in 50 gram balls.
Here are the differences:
Karabella gives you 98 yards per ball. Tahki gives you 94 yards per ball. Berroco gives you 92 yards per ball.
Pure Merino Heather was the least soft of the three. Slightly dry feeling, but still very soft. Karabella was the slickest of the three (would not want to use it for anything that was to be steeked). PLain Pure Merino and Tahki were about the same in feeling.
Tahki Torino was the most loosely twisted, and sometimes the plys came apart. It was the easiest to accidently snag a loose strand. Tahki Torino also had the most loose fibers, not enough to produce a true halo, but just a little bit more fuzz than the Karabella Aurora 8 and Berroco Pure Merino and Pure Merino Heather.
Tahki Torino had the most drape of the three yarns. I could see how if I had to choose between the three yarns for a heavily cabled sweater I would choose the Torino. It would be the least dense and heavy. Maybe the loft of the yarn explains how it looks thicker than the other three, and knits up drapier. The Karabella Aurora 8
Berroco Pure Merino Heather and PUre Merino were the most tightly twisted, and the most dense feeling. The two Berroco's knitted up to a dense solid feeling yarn. For something that needs structure I would choose one of the Berrocos.
In any case if I had a pattern for either Karabella Aurora 8, Tahki Torino, Berroco Pure Merino, or Berroco Pure Merino Heather I would not hesitate to interchange or substitute any of these yarns for each other. They are all lovely cabled merinos.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

swatching for Suzannah's sweater

Suzannah picked out the Wonderful wool by Steadfast Fibers for her picture day 2008 sweater. Label suggests 4 sts per inch. I swatched on a 4.5 mm and got 3.75 sts per inch. Then I swatched on a 3.75 mm and got 4.5 stitches per inch.

Why did I jump from 4.5mm needles to 3.75mm needles and skip the size 4.00mm needles? Becuase the swatch on the 4.5mm needles biassed like crazy. It leaned like all the stitches were italicized. I read in Clara Parkes' wonderful book The KNitters Guide to Yarn a suggestion to knit single ply yarns at a tighter gauge to try to conteract the bias. That is why I skipped the size 4.00mm needles.

However, even at the tighter gauge once the swatch was washed a blocked it had a definite bias. Not as bad as the looser swatch, but there is definitely some leaning going on. Darn it!
What do I do now. Suzannah has said she doesn't want any lumpie bumpies on her sweater. Yet she has choosen this single ply that will bias in stockinette. Do I substitute another yarn or do I add some purl and knit patterns, or do I just knit a sweater that leans?
If you notice in the middle of the swatch above I slipped in some seed stitch. First to test Suzannah to see if she likes the seed stitch and to test myself to see how long I could stand knitting seed stitch. I detest seed stitch. Even though seed stitch cancelled the bias, I can't bring myself to designing an entire sweater out of seed stitch.
Gotta sleep on it.