Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Simple Delights



It's done! My first self-designed pattern is finished and I am finishing up the sock to photograph it properly. You may have to wait a bit for the pics because I will be abroad for 6 weeks and might not get the chance to take a photo.

A note before I go on: the heel featured in the pattern is a new one I haven't tried before. It caused me some trouble to type it up, so there may be errors in it. If you find any, please let me know. Of course you can also use whatever toe and heel you like best instead of the ones I used.

Now, without further ado, here is the pattern.



Simple Delights Socks

Made for European size 39

Materials:
  • 100g Schachenmayr nomotta Cotton
  • 2.5 mm DPNs
  • 2.5 mm cable needle
  • stitchmarker to mark beginning of row if necessary
  • darning needle to sew in ends

Required stitches:

k – knit
p – purl
sl - slip
cc - coin cable: place 4 sts on a cable needle and hold to the back, k1, place 3 sts back on the left needle, bring the remaining stitch on the cable needle to the front, k3 from the left needle, k1 from the cable needle
ssk – slip slip knit
k2tog – knit two together
p2tog – purl two together
yo – yarn over
w&t – wrap and turn (explained below)


Toe

Square toe cast-on:
  • CO 8 sts
  • K across
  • Turn knitting on its head so that the bottom of the 8 CO loops are on top, then pick up 4 with a needle and the last 4 with another
  • You now have 16 sts on 3 needles. K across for one row.

Increases:

Make increases after the first stitch and before the last stitch on needle 1, after the first stitch on needle 2 and before the last stitch on needle 3. Increase every other row till you have 64 sts in total, ending with a k-row.

Foot

Note: While knitting in the round, k across all stitches for the sole while following the pattern to knit the top of the foot as given below.


Top of foot:

1. K2 p1 cc p1 k2 p3 k5 p2 k2 p1 cc p1 k2
2. K2 p1 k5 p1 k2 p2 k1 p1 k4 p2 k2 p1 k5 p1 k2
3. K2 p1 k5 p1 k2 p2 k2 p1 k3 p2 k2 p1 k5 p1 k2
4. K2 p1 k5 p1 k2 p2 k3 p1 k2 p2 k2 p1 k5 p1 k2
5. K2 p1 k5 p1 k2 p2 k4 p1 k1 p2 k2 p1 k5 p1 k2
6. K2 p1 cc p1 k2 p2 k5 p3 k2 p1 cc p1 k2
7. Like row 5
8. Like row 4
9. Like row 3
10. Like row 2
11. Like row 1

Repeat from row 2 until desired length before gusset. For a European size 39 foot, I started the gusset after 8 coin cables were completed.


Gusset:

Make the gusset increases every other round one stitch in from the edge of the sole (if you still have your knitting on three needles, this means you increase one stitch before end of needle 1 and one stitch after start of needle 3). Continues knitting in pattern on needle 2. Increase by 6 stitches per gusset. End with a k row.


Heel:

Notes:

To wrap and turn on a RS row, knit to point specified in the pattern. Bring the yarn in front of the work between needles, slip next stitch to right-hand needle, bring yarn around this stitch behind the work, slip stitch back to left-hand needle and turn work to begin purling back in the other direction.

To wrap and turn on a WS row, purl to point specified in the pattern. Bring the yarn behind the work between needles, slip next stitch to right-hand needle, bring yarn around this stitch in front of the work, slip stitch back to left-hand needle and turn work to begin knitting back in the other direction.

You will need to work wraps together with wrapped stitches at some point specified in the pattern. Work the wraps together with the stitches they wrap like this:

RS row: Knit to wrapped stitch. Slip next stitch from the left needle to the right needle, use tip of the left needle to pick up the wrap and place it on the right needle, insert left needle into wrap and stitch. Knit them together.

WS row: Purl to wrapped stitch. Slip next stitch from the left needle to the right needle, use tip of the left needle to pick up the wrap and place it on the right needle, insert left needle into wrap and stitch. Purl together.

Heel will be worked over sts on Needle 2 and Needle 3 when working with three needles. You will now have 76 sts in total. Move the increased sts onto needle 1 so you knit the heel over 44 sts.

Row 1 [RS]: K37, w&t.
Row 2 [WS]: P28, w&t.
Row 3 [RS]: K27, w&t.
Row 4 [WS]: P26, w&t.
Row 5 [RS]: K25, w&t.
Row 6 [WS]: P24, w&t.
Row 7 [RS]: K23, w&t.
Row 8 [WS]: P22, w&t.
Row 9 [RS]: K21, w&t.
Row 10 [WS]: P20, w&t.
Row 11 [RS]: K19, w&t.
Row 12 [WS]: P18, w&t.
Row 13 [RS]: K17, w&t.
Row 14 [WS]: P16, w&t.
Row 15 [RS]: K15, w&t.
Row 16 [WS]: P14, w&t.
Row 17 [RS]: K13, w&t.

Next row [WS]: P13; p to last 2 sts, picking up each wrap (loop of yarn wrapped around base of st) and purling it together with the st it had wrapped; pick up next wrap and place on left needle, p3tog (wrap on left needle, st which it had wrapped, and next st, all purled together). Turn.

Next row [RS]: Sl 1, k21; k to last 2 sts, picking up each wrap and knitting it together with the st it had wrapped; pick up next wrap and place on left needle, k3tog (wrap, st which it had wrapped, and next st, all worked together.) Turn.

Next row: Sl 1, p to last sts, p it together with first st of gusset (p2tog). Turn work. Repeat till 32 sts remain and all gusset sts have been worked.

Knit rounds in pattern till you reach a cc round. The first cc round will be the first round of the leg pattern.

Leg:

1. K2 p1 cc p1 k2 p2 k5 p3 k2 p1 cc p1 k2 p2 k5 p3 k2 p1 cc p1 k2 p2 k5 p3 k1
2. K2 p1 k5 p1 k2 p2 k4 p1 k1 p2 k2 p1 k5 p1 k2 p2 k4 p1 k1 p2 k2 p1 k5 p1 k2 p2 k4 p1 k1 p2 k1
3. K2 p1 k5 p1 k2 p2 k3 p1 k2 p2 k2 p1 k5 p1 k2 p2 k3 p1 k2 p2 k2 p1 k5 p1 k2 p2 k3 p1 k2 p2 k1
4. K2 p1 k5 p1 k2 p2 k2 p1 k3 p2 k2 p1 k5 p1 k2 p2 k2 p1 k3 p2 k2 p1 k5 p1 k2 p2 k2 p1 k3 p2 k1
5. K2 p1 k5 p1 k2 p2 k1 p1 k4 p2 k2 p1 k5 p1 k2 p2 k1 p1 k4 p2 k2 p1 k5 p1 k2 p2 k1 p1 k4 p2 k1
6. K2 p1 cc p1 k2 p3 k5 p2 k2 p1 cc p1 k2 p3 k5 p2 k2 p1 cc p1 k2 p3 k5p2 k1
7. Like row 5
8. Like row 4
9. Like row 3

Repeat to desired length.

Cuff:

Work 8 rows of k2 p2 rib. BO loosely.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

A Cabled Owl

You can tell that I like a design if I am willing to knit it again just to take a photo. This owl pot holder is one of them and, besides, it is an easy and quick knit too.


Materials:
  • 100% cotton yarn
  • 5 mm needles
  • cable needle

I made the original pot holder in blue for my grandmother's birthday because she said she needed new pot holders. I looked for a nice patter and managed to find Janelle Schlossman's Diagonal Owl Dishcloth on Ravelry, one of the very few patterns I liked. I particularly liked the owl, of course, since I had a thing about owls for a long time. I am still amazed by how simple this pattern really is and how the cables lend themselves so perfectly for the bird's shape.

Since I forgot to take a photo of the original blue pot holder, I knit it again in red within an hour or two, shot the picture, and frogged the whole thing again since I want to use the yarn for more flowers. Ideally, you will use a 100% cotton yarn particularly made for such a project. Since I didn't want to buy any just for this photo, I used some scrap yarn instead that is far too slippery for a practical item of this kind.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Three Flowers - A Beginning


A quick way to use up scraps is to make some little things you might need at some point. I've been thinking of making a scarf entirely out of joined flowers and have been looking for suitable patterns. Sue W. Thompson's design is easy and very fast, so I spent a few minutes one night making these three above. The orange and red ones are strictly knit according to the pattern while the white flower is an attempt at making a bigger flower. I m not entirely happy with it and think that the flowers look better small. Use thicker yarn and a larger needle size for a bigger flower, if you like.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Odessa - Ready For Frogging

Yes, I fear it is true. I like the Odessa pattern (used to be published on Mag Knits, but the site has gone offline), but it is too lovely to be knit with a yarn as dark as mine. Another thing I shouldn't have done was use the blue eyelash yarn for the edge - it just looks very strange when I wear the hat now. Apart from that, the whole hat should have been a bit longer for me too. I like the pattern of stitches that move around in a spiral and how the others in-between seem to move in a right angle to them. I would like to knit this one again sometime, in a nice bright colour, just right for spring.


So goodbye Odessa, at least for a while.

Dreaming of a Rogue

Image source: threegoodrats (Ravelry)


I first came across Rogue by chance when I google for knitting blogs ages ago. Well, not ages, really - just once I started knitting, which was in late October 2007. Someone was knitting a blue Rogue and I liked how simple it seemed, with the cables making it look very interesting. Now I have come acros it again on Ravelry and I love it so much that I'd start it right away if I had the pattern. Since it isn't for free and what with me being a poor PhD student, it looks like it will be a while yet till I can treat myself to it. Ah well.

It is hard to even decide on a colour for my Rogue! My favourite is a rich dark red like the one in the picture above, so I will most likely go with that. If I like it enough I may even make another in blue someday, who knows? I think this would be a good first big project, actually. It looks simple enough. I am not sure about the hood yet because I don't normally like to wear hoods, but it's got this lovely cable detail! Ithink I will have to make it unless I use that cable pattern for a collar instead. I have thought about simply going ahead and knitting the jumper entirely without the pattern since I will have to make a lot of adjustments in size. I might just as well try it on my own. With the help of pictures, I could knit it on my own, I'm sure. I just wonder how much yarn I'd need for one!

Things I'd have to change or adjust:
  • Length - I want a longer version
  • Width - inevitably I'll need a less fitted version and a wider one than the pattern provides
  • Hood - possibly I'll make a collar instead; I've never knit a hood before so I can't say if I could do it without a pattern, though I have an idea
  • Pocket - don't want one
  • Arms - I'll knit them in the round
I've noticed lately that I am really getting to enjoy cables. I can think of so many jumpers I'd like to make using cable patterns in one way or another.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Planning Phase: Simple Delights Socks 2

Hm, this designing is turning out to be a little more complicated than I thought. The picture above shows the result of three corrections. It still isn't quite right and I have decided to move on to a different yarn (Lana Grossa Meilenweit Bosco - I used this one for the Queen of Cups socks before) instead since the colours here make the pattern harder to see, as I suspected. I am not sure how much better the new yarn will be, but we shall see.

I am working on the toe again and would like to add a few more increases (since the cables make the sock a bit tighter than usual). This means, however, that I will also need to add a bit of ribbing between the cabled side panels and the middle zigzag panel. I had already added some, but they aren't visible here since they aren't prominent enough. I'd like to improve that.

I'm typing up the pattern both in advance and as I go along - first, to have some pattern to go by and, second, to make corrections as I go along. This way I can't really make mistakes. Or so I hope.

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Planning Phase: Simple Delights Socks

At the moment I am designing new socks to use up some of the left-over yarn I have. I am using the same yarn I used for the Nereid fingerless gloves because I adore that colour and the shine.

Materials:
  • 50g (for now) Fabiani Micro-Plus Colori
  • 2.5 mm DPNs
I've gathered together patterns I like and am trying to out them together in a way to please the eye. I am knitting the toe section of the first sock right now, giving the design a try and hoping that it will look good. So far I have decided to knit the sides of the foot as coin cross cables (also feature here, among others) and to have a simple narrow collumn of zigzags running centrally from toe to edge of cuff. The zigzag pattern will consist of a knit background with the zigzags running along it in purl. It will be easier to understand once I take pictures and write up the final pattern.

This is the first serious attempt at designing a sock instead of just putting together a cuff of one pattern with the foot of another and the heel of yet another pattern. So, inevitably, this is a bit more complicated at the moment, but it should be well worth it.

Summertime Blues and Greens



Summer is nearing even though it doesn't look it, so it was time to start on a hat for warmer days. I found this German pattern, the only one that seemed suited for summer. It is not one I am particularly happy with because I don't like the lace pattern too much, but it was worth a try anyway.

I used a different yarn than listed, and since I bought it online I had no idea I'd end up with what was essentially a double thread yarn. That is why my hat is not as light as it was meant to be. Ah well.

Materials:
  • Lana Grossa Binario Print (dye lot 9103; blue-green)
  • 4 mm circulars
  • 4 mm DPNs

After blocking, the hat is much wider. Mine turned out too short for my liking and I might yet add a different edge to lengthen it. or I might make it all over again with another yarn. As it is, the hat is probably a bit too warm for summer, but I love the colours.

Little Leaves Socks


For some reason I really like knitting socks. Actually, I shouldn't because I never heard someone say that socks were fun to knit before I began doing so myself. My mother used to complain about them and avoided socks at all costs. My grandmother made them once in a while, but she also said it was complicated. So when I decided to give it a try myself, I wasn't expecting it to work, let alone for me to like it. Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised and socks have always been one of my favourite items to knit.
This particular pair wasn't knit according to a certain pattern. I simply started out at the toe, using my favourite kind, increasing till I got 60 sts. From then on, I made the foot, added my favourite kind of gusset and heel. Once this was done, the fun began and I was able to start on the leg pattern. I found it online during a random search and, unfortunately, I do not remember where I got it from and was unable to note down the name. So far I haven't been able to find it again. I do have the pattern written down, however.


Materials:
  • 1-2 skeins of Fabiani Balu (red)
  • 1-2 skeins of Fabiani Balu (black)
  • 2.5 mm DPNs

Little leaf pattern:


This pattern is worked on 61 sts, so if you had 60 sts to knit the foot like I did, then you increase by one before beginning the pattern.

Row 1: k1 *yo k3 sl1 k2tog psso k3 yo k1*
Row 2: k across

Rows 3-6: repeat rows 1 and 2 three times.

Row 7: k2tog k3 yo k1 yo k3 *sl1 k2tog psso k3 yo k1 yo k3* Repeat to last 2 sts of the row. Knit the last two as follows: sl1 k1 psso.

Row 8: k across

Rows 9-12: repeat rows 7 and 8 three times.


Knit this pattern to desired length. The original pattern said to end with row 1, but I ended with row 8 instead as I thought it looked better.

To finish the cuff, I knit 6 more rows. Since I find normal ribbing to be a boring way to end the sock, I added a picot edge that is different from the folded picot edge I made before. With the current one I have a stretchier edge that fits better around my legs.

Block if you like and you're ready to go.

Friday, 4 April 2008

Om Nom Nom

Ian is in a creative phase and, coupled with his sense of humour and nomming fetish, this is what he came up with.


I don't remember knitting teeth! A special kind of picot edging.

Tudora, Hurrah!

This is a project I had finished before, but I used the wrong yarn so that it ended up far too small. With the proper materials I tried again and it worked well. There seems to be a minor mistake at the end of the pattern for the buttonhole flap because I didn’t end up with quite the right number of stitches at one point. Still, that is easily adjusted as you work on.

Materials:
  • about 25 g Fabiani Micro-Plus
  • 4 mm Straight needles or circulars
  • a toggle/button (you might want to wait till the knitting is done before buying this to make sure it fits)
What attracted me to Tudora, apart from easily catching a cold and needing something to warm my neck, is the one long edge that bends forward a little. It gives the whole thing a very elegant look even though I wouldn't describe cable knit items as elegant per se. In this case, however, the cables blend nicely and give the neck warmer stability as well as an interesting, not too complicated look. I wonder if there may be a better way to do the buttonhole flap because I don't like the look of it. Maybe it's possible to add two or three more k4 p2 to replace it, adding only two or three rows of the flap for the buttonhole? For a change I decided to stick to the pattern, though, so someone else will have to give it a try or I could try it next time I plan to make this item again.

This item is a very quick knit and can be done in a day. I'm not sure if I really have the right kind of neck for it, but the Tudora certainly keeps it warm and is an item not everybody has.

Oh, and I love toggles!

Thursday, 3 April 2008

I'm All Ears

Once I taught myself to knit in October 2007, I quickly got tired of simply practicing at random and decided I needed a proper project. Not being familiar with patterns yet, I decided to just go ahead and try to make a hat. By now, of course, I know a better way to knit this particular hat, but I did the best I could as a beginner back then.

Materials:
  • yarn of choice
  • 4 mm straight needles (better: circulars)
  • scrap yarn to tie ears
To make this hat, I used some bundled up old skeins of wool that used to be green. My mother bleached them because they looked awful and unsuited for anything. So we ended up with white yarn with colourful synthetic threads in it that gave it an interesting look. In the end, it was just right for my first random project.

I didn't trust myself to use circular needles yet, so I couldn't knit in the round. It seemed simple enough, and I strted knitting two rectangular pieces that I then sewed together. I made a mistake at the beginning, adding a purled row where it should have been knitted, resulting in a visible line that, luckily, turned out quite useful for folding up the edge. Basically, all you do is knit till you think one side is big enough (I didn't measure), knit the other in the same size, sew up the sides and tie off the ears. Et voilà! My teddy hat!

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Red Marigold


It's a beautiful pattern. And such a nightmare to knit! This hat caused me a lot of headache, but it was well worth it, if you ask me.

Materials:
  • 1 skein Fabiani Balu
  • 4 mm circular needles
  • 4 mm DPNs
  • patience
  • a good eye for detail
It is a good idea to havea lifeline while knitting because you really don't want to frog a few rows only to find you have no idea where you are in this complicated lace pattern. I had to knit 5 instead of three repeats since I'm a bit big-headed, whichever way you look at it. Perhaps 4 would have been enough, come to think of it, but as I was unable to block knitting of that shape at the time, I didn't have the usual stretch that you get from this lace.

The trouble I had with this hat were mainly due to mistakes in rows that required frogging in the end. In the top photo you can still see a mistake in the second repeat that isn't quite straight. in addition, I tried to made an edge with eyelash yarn that just looked terrible in the end, so I had to undo that too. By now I don't even know exactly how often I had to start over! It was far too often, that's for sure.

In the end, though, I was very happy I didn't give it up because it is a very beautiful hat.

Shrinking Slippers

Well, well. These started out as lovely Pocket Book Slippers that I loved wearing. Unfortunately, they shrunk in the wash since I didn't pay attention to how to wash virgin wool. Ah well. Better luck next time.

Materials:
  • Schachenmayr Nomotta Sympatic
  • 4 mm straight needles
This is a great first project, requiring knit and purled stitches as well as increases and decreases. It is a very satisfying knit since you can finish the slippers in a day or two and wear right away. They are also quite comfy - unless they shrink. In my experience, they make great gifts in the colder seasons (so three quarters of the year over here) and are always welcome.

Besotted Once Again

Yes, I really enjoyed the Besotted pattern and when Mark said he never had a hat before either, I knew what i'd make for his birthday. Matching his scarf, I made a hat that is quite plain apart from the Besotted pattern on the edge.

Materials:
  • 4 skeins of Schachenmayr Nomotta Catania (for the blue hat)
  • 4 skeins of Fabiani Balu (for the vanilla hat)
  • 4 mm circular needles
  • 4 mm DPNs
There is no particular pattern for this since I basically made it up as I went along. I began with the cabled edge, knitting a strip long enough to fit around the head, making sure to end in the middle of an x so it would join easily. Having sewed the ends together, I picked up the stitches along one side (wrong side) with the circular needles and knit for about 12 cm with a double thread. When that is done, the edge can be folded so that the pattern shows on the right side again. From then on, after a bit of math to figure out how to do this, I started the decrease, switching to DPNs when necessary (use your favourite hat decrease pattern). To finish, I sewed the thread through the last few stitches and wove in the ends.

When I began my vanilla coloured version, I tried to find a better way to fold the edge and purled a row or two where I wanted the fold to be. However, that didn't seem to make any difference at all and the bottom keeps looking like it is rolled. That is no problem, fortunately; I just thought it might be easier to fold along a purled row.

My lighter hat is quite a bit wider and stretchier than Mark's one due to the different yarns. 3 mm needles would have been fine too. 3-4 skeins of yarn are necessary since the hat is knitted with a double thread (apart from the cabled edge, of course). I really love Fabiani's yarns even though they have no natural fibres. They are incredibly soft and don't scratch at all. Also, they keep nicely warm and are very easy to work with. This is probably my favourite hat!

I'm Besotted


Hello Yarn's free pattern for Besotted was my first attept at cable. I found this one particularly interesting since it looked simple for a beginner and not like your usual cables. It was the perfect gift for Mark who never had a scarf before, which might explain his regular colds. So being the caring girlfriend that I am, I knitted up this scarf from two balls of 100% cotton yarn in his favourite colour. It was finished just in time for last Christmas and was the perfect gift.

Materials:
  • 2 skeins Schachenmayr Nomotta Catania
  • 3-4 mm straight needles
If I wanted to knit this again, I might use a softer type of yarn and make the scarf longer, but either way it is just right.

Meet Blueberry

About 10 cm tall, fuzzy and blue all over - that's BlueberryBearcat, named thus due to his colour and the uncharcteristic cat-like ears.

Source: Stricken: Grundlages, Muster, Modelle. Naumann & Göbel, 2007. ISBN 978-3625114864

Materials:
  • 1 ball of eyelash yarn
  • 2 mm DPNs
  • left-over red yarn for the scarf
  • two beads for eyes
  • suitable thread to embroider snout
  • filling material/left-over yarn
So this is what I do when I have too little yarn for anything proper. I found that fuzzy yarn isn't for me, so I had to find something else to do with the barely touched ball of eyelash yarn. Luckily, a friend of mine lent me her knitting book and I found this teddy pattern. It listed other materials than I used (see above), but I had to adjust in order to work with this yarn.

The teddy is a very simple and quick knit since all you need to know is how to knit, purl and increase. I should mention that the ears aren't meant to be as pointy as they are here, but that is jst how they turned out, mainly due to the kind of yarn I used. A very fun and satisfying knit!