Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Easy Fair Isle Baby Hat

The general shape of the pattern is modeled upon Lynne Frederickson Rago's Beginner’s Fair Isle Baby Hat!, but the Fair Isle part my own creation. After knitting Rago’s pattern, I realized how simple Fair Isle is and was so excited about learning how to do it that I had to write my own pattern. It’s still simple, but a step toward more complex colorwork.

US size 6 double pointed needles (or size to get gauge)
Partial skeins of 3 contrasting colors of worsted weight yarn

20 inches/4 inches

With MC, CO 80 stitches, join without twisting.
Knit for 3 inches.
Fair Isle Pattern
1. [K1 CC1, K4 MC] around
2. [K2 CC1, K2 MC, K1 CC1] around
3. [K1 CC2, K4 CC1] around
4. [K1 CC1, K1 CC2, K2 CC1, K1 CC2] around
5. [K2 CC1, K2 CC2, K1 CC1] around
6. [K2 CC1, K2 CC2, K1 CC1] around
7. [K1 CC1, K1 CC2, K2 CC1, K1 CC2] around
8. [K1 CC2, K4 CC1] around
9. [K2 CC1, K2 MC, K1 CC1] around
10. [K1 CC1, K4 MC] around

Knit one round in MC, then begin to decrease.

1. [K8, K2 tog] around
2 and all even rounds: K around
3. [K7, K2 tog] around
5. [K6, K2 tog] around
7. [K5, K2 tog] around
9. [K4, K2 tog] around
11. [K3, K2 tog] around
13. [K2, K2 tog] around
15. [K1, K2 tog] around

K around
K2 tog around
K around
K2 tog around—4 stitches left on needles

Slip all stitches to a single dpn and continue in I-cord about 1 inch
To finish I-cord:
K2 tog, K2 tog
K2 tog—1 stitch left
Cut yarn, leaving a long enough tail to weave in. Pass yarn through last stitch and pull tight.
Weave in all ends.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Mother of Invention

Last summer I lived with my in-laws for a month while my husband and I looked for a house and our belongings lived in storage. My yarn stash was at my parent's house. I only had one set of needles and a little crummy yarn. I had only made Joan's socks before, but understood the concept. So I took to making my own pair. What follows is a very basic sock pattern, great for beginners.

Michelle's Simple Socks
Yarn: crappy acrylic worsted my husband found in the prop room. Any worsted will do.

Gauge: 6 stitches per inch

Needle: 5 3.25 mm dpns—but I was knitting very tightly when I wrote this pattern. You will probably use a smaller needle.

Cast on 56 stitches.
Divide them between 4 needles, 12-16-16-12.
Join without twisting and work in K1P1 rib for 12 rounds
Stitch to K3P1 rib for desired length, about 5 inches

Heel Flap
Knit across needles 1 & 2, leaving stitches on needles 3 & 4.
Work stitches in needles 1 & 2, always slipping first stitch.
Use preferred your heel pattern. I used moss stitch on these socks, but stockinette is also comfortable.
Work heel flap 2 ½ inches, ending with a right side row.

Turn Heel
Wrong Side: Slip 1, P12, P2tog, P1, turn
Right Side: Sl1, K3, SSK, K1, turn
Wrong Side: Sl1, P4, P2tog, P1, turn
RS: Sl1, K5, SSK, K1, turn
WS: Sl1, P6, P2tog, P1, turn

Continue until 16 stitches remain

Pick up 13 stitches with same needle on the side of the heel flap + 2 in the corner of the heel and instep. This will be needle 1
Knit across needles 3 & 4, the instep.
Pick up 13 stitches on the side of the heel flap + 2 in the corner.
Knit 8 stitches with same needle. This will be needle 4.
Divide stitches 23-14-14-23.

Instep Pattern
Row 1: On #1, K until 3 stitches left. K2toget, K1. Knit across 2 & 3. On 4, K1, ssk, knit to end
Row 2: K all
Continue until needles 1 & 4 contain 14 stitches.
Knit until you have 1 ½ more inches to go.

Toe Shaping
Repeat these 2 rows:
1: #1-K until 3 stitches remain, K2tog, K1
#2-K1, ssk, K until end
#3-K until 3 stitches remain, K2tog, K1
#4- K1, ssk, K until end
2: K all

Continue until 8 stitches remain on each needle, then switch to all row 1.
Repeat until 4 stitches remain on each needle.
Knit needle 1 with needle 4.
Combine 2 & 3.Graft together with kitchener stitch.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tall Tea Cosy

I've found that most patterns for tea cosies tend to be for the traditional squat, fat pot. My teapot is tall and fairly skinny. I looked around at patterns, then got out my measuring tape and calculator for making my cozy. When I designed this, I'd only been knitting about 2 months, so it's very simple. If you can knit in the round, you ought to be able to make it.

After felting the cozy, it was too short. About a year later, I finally picked up the stitches at the bottom and knit a couple more inches. Maybe in another year, I'll get around to re-felting the whole thing.

#8 double pointed needles
100% wool worsted yarn (I used Paton's Classic Wool)

Gauge: 3 stitches per inch.

Cast on 116.
Divide between needles and join without twisting.
Knit in stockinette stitch until piece measures 10 inches.
For decreasing, simply knit two together. Numbers do not work exactly, but you will end up decreasing 14 stitches each row.
Decrease every 6 stitches for 1 round, then knit a round.
Decrease every 5 stitches for 1 round, then knit a round.
Decrease every 4 stitches for 1 round, then knit a round.
Decrease every 3 stitches for 1 round, then knit a round.
Decrease every other stitch for 1 round, then knit a round.
Decrease every stitch for 1 round, then knit a round.
Decrease every stitch for 1 round, then knit a round.
If you have an uneven number of stitches, decrease one in the next round, then divide evenly between two needles and bind using kitchener stitch.
Felt until needed size.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Beginning Knitting

I come from a family of knitters. Even though my Oma hasn't knit in over five years, my mother still has a big bag of socks she knit that have never been worn. When I was about seven or eight, my Oma tried to teach me, but I never understood how to translate her speedy demonstrations into something my fingers could do. Although she and my mother both tried to teach me a couple more times during my childhood, it never took.
Last summer, my husband and I took our honeymoon trip to Ireland, where you can buy lovely hand-knit sweaters (among other things) for about 300 Euro. Looking at the gorgeous woolen garments, I realized that my Oma could have knit them, and maybe I would be able to as well. Maybe, I would be able to knit some new wool socks.

When we got home, I bought a copy of Debbie Stoller's Stitch and Bitch, a set of #8 needles, and dug out some old acrylic yarn. I tried knitting, but it still felt wrong. Then I turned the page from English to Continental style knitting and changed things around. Suddenly, the knit stitches were flying. Did my body somehow remember Oma's lessons from over 15 years ago? Is my mom right about Continental knitting being easier? Whatever. I was off and knitting.

As my first project, I did what everyone else does and made a knit 2, purl 2 ribbed scarf. I used cheapo acrylic, not wanting to waste any money on what could possibly be a disaster. Many months later, after knitting my husband a hat and scarf for Christmas, I made a hat to match. The hat's pattern came from Lion's website.