Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Fuzzy Shrug

I had this ball of mohair lying around, no tag, hot raspberry pink. No idea what I bought it for, but I do like pink. It ended up being this fuzzy shrug, perfect as a little layer over a tank top. Mary loves it.

To make a shrug of your own, all you need is a rectangle. If your shrug recipient is nearby, you can measure from shoulder to shoulder, add a little bit for the "sleeves" and then measure from the top, where it would hit the neck, down as far as you want it to go. Knit a rectangle to these dimensions, and then seam a little on the front to create the sleeve part. You can add the yarn-overs or not, or add some other interesting stitch or not - with a hairy enough yarn it doesn't matter anyway, but if you're using something that shows stitch definition you can put them in.

For this shrug, which would fit a child 8 - 10, finished measurements 9 x 20", you need:

One ball of hairy yarn in the color of choice that will give you a gauge of about 9 sts over 4" of garter stitch (the exact gauge is not that critical - this would be fine at 2.5 sts/inch instead of 2.25/inch) on size 10 needles, or the size that'll get you there.

CO 20 sts, leaving a nice length of tail for sewing later

Rows 1 - 5: knit
Row 6 (WS): k1, *k2tog, yo, repeat from * to last stitch, ending with a k1
Rows 7 - 9: knit
Row 10: repeat row 6
Knit until piece measures about 14", ending with a RS row
Repeat Rows 6 - 10
Knit 5 rows
Bind off, again leaving a nice length of tail

Now you have a rectangle. Fold it in half lengthwise and, using the tail ends you left at CO & BO, whipstitch the last 2" or so and weave in the ends. Voila - it is a shrug.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Pink Potato Chip

I guess the constant theme in my knitting is the need for instant gratification. I do have a couple of larger projects on the needles - and they'd probably be done by now, except for my need for an FO (finished object) every couple of days. I have to intersperse the quick into the longterm knitting.

Pictured here is the potato chip scarf from knitpicks, done in some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran I had left over from another project. I love how this yarn feels and I love love love the color but I'm not crazy about knitting with it. But the result was this little trifle, a sweet confection that is more ornament than scarf. I'll probably make more in different colors later on. The pattern is free and can be found here:

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Knits for an Elf

I ran across this pattern for a Gnomey Hat at, and I had not-quite-one skein of Lamb's Pride Bulky (probably about 120 yards). I left off the ear flaps and the pom-poms, and the result was this pointy little number pictured above. And then I had a little left over, maybe 40-50 yards, so I made some pointy little elf booties to match.

Here's the pattern for the booties, to fit a foot size of about 4 - 4.5 inches. I'd start with a whole skein of Lamb's Pride Bulky so you can make both patterns without worrying if you'll have enough; I'm not sure if that would be enough with the ear flaps & pompoms though.

Elfy Booties

One skein Lamb's Pride Bulky or comparable yarn to match gauge.
One set of double-point needles, size 9 or size needed for gauge.
3.5 sts - 1"

CO 20 sts and distribute across three dp needles; join for knitting in the round, being careful not to twist. Place marker to show beginning of round.

Knit in K2, P2 rib until piece measures 1.5"

Heel -
K across 5 sts, turn work, and P across 10 sts
Place remaining sts (the ones you haven't just worked) on a single dp needle, holder, or waste yarn (whatever you prefer) to work later - they will be the instep.
You have 10 sts for the heel.

Heel Flap -
Row 1: (RS) *Slip 1 pwise w/yarn in back (wyib), k1; repeat from * to end of heel sts
Row 2: Slip 1 pwise w/yarn in front (wyif), p to end
Repeat Rows 1 & 2 until 10 rows have been worked. There will be 5 chain selvedge sts along the edges of the heel flap.

Turn Heel -
Row 1: k across 6 sts, ssk, k1, turn work
Row 2: Slip 1 pwise, p3, p2tog, p1, turn
Row 3: Slip 1 pwise, k to last 2 sts, SSK, turn
Row 4: Slip 1 pwise, p to last 2 sts, p2tog, turn

Heel Gusset -
k across all heel sts, and with same needle (needle 1), pick up & knit 5 sts along the selvedge edge (in the chains you made before)
On another needle (needle 2), work across the 10 sts you set aside for the instep
On another needle (needle 3), pick up and knit 5 sts along the other selvedge edge, and then knit 3 sts from the heel
You now have needle 1: 8 sts; needle 2: 10 sts; needle 3: 8 sts, or 26 sts in all, and are ready to continue working in the round. Needle 1 is the beginning of the round, from the middle of the heel.

Rnd 1: k to last 3 sts on needle 1, k2tog, k1; k across all instep sts; on needle 3, k1, ssk, k to end
Rnd 2: knit

Repeat rounds 1 & 2 twice more, until there are 20 sts left

Foot -
Work even in stockinette stitch (knit all rounds) until piece measures 3.5" from base of heel

Toe -
Rnd 1: k to last 3 sts on needle 1, k2tog, k1; on needle 2, k1, ssk, work to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1; on needle 3, k1, ssk, k to end
Rnd 2: knit

Repeat rounds 1 & 2 until 8 sts remain, and then:
needle 1 - k2tog
needle 2 - ssk, k2tog
needle 3 - ssk

You can work another round or even a couple more even on these 4 sts depending on how pointy you want the toe to look. I cut it pretty short because I was afraid of running out of yarn.

Break yarn, draw it through all 4 sts, pull to wrong side and weave in ends. That's it!

Copyright for Elf Booties 2006 Windansea
For Personal Use Only

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Super-Easy Child's Hat

This super easy hat is a great project for a beginning knitter, and a fast knit for a more experienced one. It fits my 8-year-old, but it would fit a smaller child (4-5) or even a little larger one, cuz it's stretchy. Here's the pattern:

One skein of Tahki Stacy Charled Bunny Print (or similar)
One 16" circular needle, size 9
One set of size 9 double-pointed needles (or size needed to obtain gauge)
Gauge: 13 st = 4"

CO 60 st
Join to knit in the round, being careful not to twist
Place marker to indicate beginning of round

Round 1: *K1P1, repeat from * to end of round
Round 2: *P1K1, repeat from * to end of round
(This sets you up in seed stitch)
Round 3: Repeat Round 1
Round 4: Repeat Round 2
Round 5: Switch to stockinette (knit all rounds)

Continue in stockinette until piece measures 5" from cast-on edge.

Begin decreases as follows, switching to DP needles when practical:

Round 1: *K8, K2tog, repeat from * to end - 54 st
Round 2: Knit
Round 3: *K7, K2tog, repeat from * to end - 48 st
Round 4: Knit
Round 5: *K6, K2tog, repeat from * to end - 42 st
Round 6: Knit
Round 7: *K5, K2tog, repeat from * to end - 36 st
Round 8: Knit
Round 9: *K4, K2tog, repeat from * to end - 30 st
Round 10: *K3, K2tog, repeat from * to end - 24 st
Round 11: *K2, K2tog, repeat from * to end - 18 st
Round 12: *K1, K2tog, repeat from * to end - 12 st

Break yarn, leaving enough tail to weave in well. Draw the tail through all 12 stitches and pull closed. Pull tail through to inside of hat and weave in end.

You should have about 12 yards of yarn left over, which you can now make a pompom with, or a braid, or whatever you'd like! I made a pompom using a pompom maker, and then sewed it to the top.

Copyright 2006 Windansea
For Personal Use Only

Monday, October 16, 2006


Love these - they are my new favorite project. The purple ones are knit with Rowan Felted Tweed, one skein. The pink ones are knit with Tahki New Tweed - one skein plus a few yards of a second. I may have to knit them until everyone I know has a pair. The pattern is at, here:

One-Skein Wonders

Several days ago I joined a knit-along called Lonesome Skein to try to bust through some of the lonely balls of yarn in my stash. Many of them are from when I first started knitting and would buy a ball of yarn I liked without thinking about what it would turn into - nowadays I buy in multiples!

Anyway, here's a project I knit with some DK yarn I bought for baby stuff. I think it was Plymouth Dreambaby. Anyway, I wanted to try a lace project but I was afraid to knit with something too fine until I could really read a chart, so I knit Branching Out from It's beautiful - and it turns out charted patterns are very cool. I started knitting and finished when the ball ran out - about 180 yards or so. It's not as long as I would've knit if I'd had more, but it's enough to arrange around the neck artfully.

Here's the pattern link:

Saturday, October 14, 2006

When Knitting Hurts....

Desperate times call for desperate measures. When my elbow hurt too much to knit, I had to finally learn how to crochet, something I'd never been able to do before. I'm not sure if knitting so much enabled me to understand the yarn and how it knots better on a needle, or if desperation drove me to master the unmasterable. But it clicked.

The really great thing is that while I was learning single crochet, I figured out a use for some recycled sari I had in my stash. Let me tell you, it's beautiful stuff but it's a pain to work with. It knots, it frays, it splits, and it stretches. Coasters are the ideal product for this yarn, because they're beautiful and functional but it doesn't matter if they distort a little.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Blog Sabbatical, Part Two

Here's the other stuff I was working on right before I had to stop knitting. A wavy hat - let's call it the Windansea - of my own design, using Manos del Uruguay kettle-dyed wool, which I love. I will post the pattern in a few days, but here's a picture of it, along with the matching mittens.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Blog Sabbatical, Part One

After a lengthy blog and knitting sabbatical, I'm back at the needles. I knit so much last winter that I had to stop and nurse a sore tendon in my right arm. But now I'm better, and I'm knitting much more carefully - watching how I hold my wrists and forearms, wearing tennis-elbow bands, resting, etc.

In any case, these pictures have been languishing in iPhoto since last February (!) when I knit some little extremity warmers for Anna's trip to Sequoia. First, the Noro hat pictured above. It's quick to knit, and it's fun to watch the purl bumps create the beehive-like shape. And best of all, the pattern is free and can be located here:

Here's a detail of the side, and the little braided tassel.