Donnerstag, 23. März 2017

Another Intarsia Experiment

After my last two Intarsia Knits (Ice Maiden Cowl and Amplitude Cowl) I decided that it would be funny to take it up a notch, i.e. incorporating other design elements as well. And I decided to add some holes to the mix.

Here's what I came up with: A three-color design with a middle line that winds around small crescent shaped holes. I really like the effect around the middle line, but not the overall piece (yarn type, overall shape etc.). Therefore, the piece in the picture will be frogged, but the basic idea (i.e. wiggly line in the middle with the small holes) will be used in another project.


Mittwoch, 15. März 2017

Mesuneko Hat - A Swatchless Take on the PussyHat Theme

A friend asked me to knit a PussyHat for her (see PussyHat project page for more information). And since I'm not the kind of person to follow a pattern, I started doing it my way. In any case, I like to knit with yarn that's not so bulky (fingering weight for preference) and I only found one pattern for a PussyHat in fingering weight. Plus, I prefer patterns where you can start knitting without any measuring and swatching. And that's just what I did. I started knitting the ribbing sideways and held it around my head to see whether it was long enough. That's why the hat is knitted in two directions: first the ribbing is knitted sideways and flat - then, the main part is knitted bottom-up and in the round.

In the end, I knitted one hat in Fingering and one in DK weight. The first hat was in Fingering weight and knitted on slightly too big needles (i.e. the ones I usually use to get a nice and light texture) - so the fabric wasn't stiff enough to make the "ears" stick out. So tinked the last rows and did the three-needle BO from the outside. The crisp upper edge made the ears stick out better. Furthermore, I knitted a second one with DK weight yarn and needles that were slightly smaller than what the yarn called for - and that worked quite well to get the PussyHat look.

Yes, I know, it's rather late in the day to publish a PussyHat pattern ... but anyway, here's my take at the PussyHat theme.

Mesuneko (メス猫) is the japanese word for a female cat.



Creative Commons License
This work by Knitting and so on is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.




Materials
  • about 80 grams of DK weight yarn - however, the pattern is written in a way that it can easily adapted to other yarn weights
  • 3.25mm needles (straight or circular)
  • 3.75mm needles (circulars or dpns)
  • a third needle for Three-Needle Bind-Off
  • a tapestry needle to weave in ends

Techniques
  • Provisional Cast-On: This method of cast-on usually uses some waste yarn that can be remove later to get live stitches, these stitches can either be used to continue knitting in the opposite direction or to graft these stitches to the rest of your piece. My favourite method is the one using a crochet hook (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeExgbgTOgs). The first time you use your working yarn, will be called setup row in this pattern.
  • Three-Needle Bind Off: The three needle bind-off is used to attach two pieces of knitting (or to ends of one piece of knitting) to one another - this technique is shown in this YouTube Video - alternatively you can close the upper edge with Stockinette Grafting (Kitchener Stitch). Here’s a video from knittinghelp.com that shows the technique.
  • Picking up stitches from the side and knitting them (pick up and knit): https://youtu.be/4XtGL8vJf-g or https://youtu.be/htAHtNnuE7Q or https://youtu.be/oUPhLYkC0Fw 
Instructions

Ribbing
Provisionally CO 20 sts (if you use heavier yarn (e.g. bulky), I'd advise to cast on less stitches for the ribbing).
Setup Row: k all
Row 1: sl1 wyif (p-wise), k to end
Row 2: sl1 wyif (p-wise), p to end
Row 3: sl1 wyib (k-wise), p to end
Row 4: sl1 wyib (k-wise), k to end
Repeat rows 1 to 4 until the brim fits around your head when stretched - end with a row 3.
Put stitches from provisional CO on another needle. Hold ends together and do a three needle BO. Do not bind off the last stitch.

Main Part
Starting from the leftover stitch pick up and knit stitches all around the rim (from the side of the ribbing). Per 8 rows of ribbing, pick up 5 sts (see picture to the right). Then go on knitting in the round in stockinette stitch until the hat is as high as you want it to be.

For me this was the case, when the whole of the hat (ribbing plus main part) measured xx cm in height.

Distribute your stitches evenly on two needles and do a three-needle bind off - if you do this from the outside, the ears will stick out more prominently.

Weave in ends and enjoy wearing your hat!


Donnerstag, 9. März 2017

Amplitude Cowl

I like cowls that are knitted flat. A technique that's better used on flat pieces than on pieces worked in the round is intarsia. Here's a new pattern for a knitted cowl with a wavy intarsia pattern in shape of a sinus curve. It's all in garter stitch and therefore very easy to knit.



Creative Commons License
This work by Knitting and so on is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.



Materials
  • 100 grams of fingering weight yarn in color 1 (C1)
  • 100 grams of fingering weight yarn in color 2 (C2)
  • 3.5mm knitting needles - if you're using circulars you'll need another needle of roughly the same size (for grafting)
  • a stitch marker
  • a tapestry needle (for grafting)

Techniques and Notation
  • Provisional CO: My favorite method for a provision CO is the crochet provisional CO - it is shown in this Youtube video by New Stitch a Day.
  • Intarsia: Changing colors with the intarsia technique - as shown in this YouTube video by knitwithpat; or this YouTube video by Francoise Danoy.
  • Grafting in Garter Stitch: A technique to get an invisible (knitted) seam - this technique is shown in this YouTube Video by knittinghelp.com. 
  • Throughout the pattern, the following notation will be used: k31 (C1); k29 (C2) means knit 31 stitches in color 1 and then 29 stitches in color 2 - i.e. color is indicated in brackets after the stitches and color changes are indicated by a semicolon.

Gauge and Size
9 ridges (i.e. 18 garter stitch rows) gave about 5 cm in height, and 11 stitches about 5 cm in width.
The cowl I knitted (with a total of 5 pattern repaeats) measures 24 cm in width and 140 cm in circumference.
If you have different gauge or want another width, cast on the appropriate (even) number of stitches and place the stitch marker in the middle of the row. To adjust for lenght, knit a different number of pattern repeats.



Instructions

Provisionally CO60 sts
Setup Row 1: (C1) k30, place marker (C2) k30
Ridge 1: (C1) k to m, k1, (C2) k to end;
   turn; (C2) k to 1 bef m, (C1), k to end
Ridge 2: (C1) k to m, k2, (C2) k to end;
   turn; (C2) k to 2 bef m, (C1), k to end
Ridge 3: (C1) k to m, k3, (C2) k to end;
   turn; (C2) k to 3 bef m, (C1), k to end
Ridge 4: (C1) k to m, k4, (C2) k to end;
   turn; (C2) k to 4 bef m, (C1), k to end
Ridge 5: (C1) k to m, k5, (C2) k to end;
   turn; (C2) k to 5 bef m, (C1), k to end
Ridge 6 = Ridge 5
Ridge 7: (C1) k to m, k6, (C2) k to end;
   turn; (C2) k to 6 bef m, (C1), k to end
Ridge 8 = Ridge 7
Ridge 9: (C1) k to m, k7, (C2) k to end;
   turn; (C2) k to 7 bef m, (C1), k to end
Ridge 10 = Ridge 9
Ridge 11 = Ridge 9
Ridge 12: (C1) k to m, k8, (C2) k to end;
   turn; (C2) k to 8 bef m, (C1), k to end
Ridge 13 = Ridge 12
Ridge 14 = Ridge 12
Ridge 15 = Ridge 12
Ridge 16 = Ridge 9
Ridge 17 = Ridge 9
Ridge 18 = Ridge 9
Ridge 19 = Ridge 7
Ridge 20 = Ridge 7
Ridge 21 = Ridge 5
Ridge 22 = Ridge 5
Ridge 23 = Ridge 4
Ridge 24 = Ridge 3
Ridge 25 = Ridge 2
Ridge 26 = Ridge 1
Ridge 27: (C1) k to m, (C2) k to end;
   turn; (C2) k to m, (C1), k to end
Ridge 28: (C1) k to 1 bef m, (C2) k to end;
   turn; (C2) k to m, k1, (C1), k to end
Ridge 29: (C1) k to 2 bef m, (C2) k to end;
   turn; (C2) k to m, k2, (C1), k to end
Ridge 30: (C1) k to 3 bef m, (C2) k to end;
   turn; (C2) k to m, k3, (C1), k to end
Ridge 31: (C1) k to 4 bef m, (C2) k to end;
   turn; (C2) k to m, k4, (C1), k to end
Ridge 32: (C1) k to 5 bef m, (C2) k to end;
   turn; (C2) k to m, k5, (C1), k to end
Ridge 33 = Ridge 32
Ridge 34: (C1) k to 6 bef m, (C2) k to end;
   turn; (C2) k to m, k6, (C1), k to end
Ridge 35 = Ridge 34
Ridge 36: (C1) k to 7 bef m, (C2) k to end;
   turn; (C2) k to m, k7, (C1), k to end
Ridge 37 = Ridge 36
Ridge 38 = Ridge 36
Ridge 39: (C1) k to 8 bef m, (C2) k to end;
   turn; (C2) k to m, k8, (C1), k to end
Ridge 40 = Ridge 39
Ridge 41 = Ridge 39
Ridge 42 = Ridge 39
Ridge 43 = Ridge 36
Ridge 44 = Ridge 36
Ridge 45 = Ridge 36
Ridge 46 = Ridge 34
Ridge 47 = Ridge 34
Ridge 48 = Ridge 32
Ridge 49 = Ridge 32
Ridge 50 = Ridge 31
Ridge 51 = Ridge 30
Ridge 52 = Ridge 29
Ridge 53 = Ridge 28
Ridge 54 = Ridge 27

Repeat ridges 1 to 54 until the piece is as long as you'd like it to be, but end with ridge 53.
For the cowl in the pictures I knitted the sequence a total of 5 times.


Put the stitches of the provisional CO on another knitting needle. Hold ends together (see photo above). Then graft in garter stitch as follows: (C1) graft to marker; (C2) graft to end.


Chart
Below you can find the pattern as a chart - not the total width but the interesting bit around the stitch marker.
  • The dark purple line shows where the stitch marker is.
  • The pink line shows where to change the knitting color. As an additional help, the numbers in the chart show, how far from the marker the color change happens, i.e. how many stitches before or after the marker.
  • The background color (light pink or weight) is only there to make it easier to count the rows. It changes every 5 rows.




Dienstag, 7. März 2017

Cowls Knitted Flat

Personally I prefer infitity scarfs (or cowls) to flat scarfs, because they are more comfortable to wear (at least for me :) and the ends don't dangle around loosely. However, I usually prefer knitting flat to knitting in the round. So over the years I have created quite a few cowls that were knitted flat and later made into a tube (i.e. cowl) shape.

Any flat piece of cloth can be turned into a tube just by sewing the sides together, but with handknitted items it usually looks better to go for a techniques that makes the piece look seamless.

To avoid a visible seam - I prefer to use the following two techniques:
  • Provisional CO: My favorite method for a provision CO is the crochet provisional CO - it is shown in this Youtube video by New Stitch a Day.
  • Grafting: Grafting (or Kitchener stitch) is a way to join two piece of knitting in a manner that it is practically invisible. The best (free) information on grafting that I know of is a five part series on Interweave Knitting by Joni Coniglio. The first of these articles can be found here. Alternatively, you can also use a three needle BO to create a seam that is nearly invisible (it is show e.g. in this YouTube video by planetpurl)



Most of the patterns shown above are from this blog, but the list below includes lots of other  free patterns of other designers as well.

The following links show different techniques and how they are incorporated in flat-knitted cowl patterns. Starting off with patterns shown in the photo:
  1. This was one of the first patterns I knitted back in 2011 (I had just taken up knitting again) and I really liked this cowl I found on Ravelry. It's called Color Theory and designed by Xandy Peters - even though it is easy to knit (in stripes with a slant) the effect is gorgeous. (Side note: this designer has more other stunning designs: here's her designer page on Ravelry, her YouTube channel and her blog are well worth a visit. Her patterns were the ones that made me try out stacked stitches ... which neatly leads to the second cowl :)
  2. The Stack Overflow Cowl was my first attempt to knit stacked stitches.
  3. As soon as I had seen patterns with short row waves, I wanted to knit something like that myself. One of the patterns that resulted was the Mixed Wave Cowl - it's not only knitted with short row waves but also slanted sideways.
  4. Burgdorf Cowl: Modular knitting can also be turned into a cowl. 
  5. Chevrons All Round Cowl: https://knitting-and-so-on.blogspot.de/2013/11/a-cowl-to-match-hexagon-mitts.html
  6. Patchwork Cowl: Another example of modular knitting
  7. Jolly Waves Cowl: A combination of chevrons and short rows  
  8. One of my first ventures into intarsia was the Ice Maiden Cowl
Other cowls that used different and interesting techniques are the following (patterns not pictured above). Unless otherwise indicated I have not tried to knit them, but I did like the design.
Of course there are lots of other great cowl patterns available. Therefore, finally, here's a link to get all free knitting patterns for cowls knitted flat (or rather patterns with the category "cowl" and the attribute "worked-flat") on Ravelry - and here's the link to get all pattens (not only the free one) with these attibutes.

Mittwoch, 1. März 2017

Easter Bunny Egg Cozy

Lent started this week with Ash Wednesday. This means that Holy week is only 40 days away and it's time to start with some easter decoration projects.

This cute little knitted egg cozy is shaped like bunny head. It keeps your breakfast eggs warm and doubles as a lovely table decoration. It's knitted flat, all in garter stitch and in one piece - with short rows for shaping. It's a fun project for using up some leftover yarn and maybe nice for trying out short rows or a small 3D project for the first time.




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This work by Knitting and so on is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.




Materials
  • less than 10 grams of sports weight yarn
  • 3mm needles
  • a tapestry needle for grafting and for embroidering the face
  • about 40 cm of scrap in a contrast color (I used fingering weight, you can use embroidery floss as well)
  • scrap yarn for provisional CO


Techniques


Instructions
Provisionally CO 24 sts
Setup row: k all
Ridge 1: k11, w+t, k to end
Ridge 2: k4, w+t, k to end
Ridge 3: k6, w+t, k to end
Ridge 4: k8, w+t, k to end
Ridge 5: k all, turn, k all
Ridge 6: k22, w+t, k9, w+t,
   k8, w+t, k7, w+t,
   k6, w+t, k5, w+t
   k4, w+t, k to end
Ridge 7: k all, turn, BO13, k to end
Ridge 8: k all, turn, k1, ssk, k to end
Ridge 9 and 10: k all, turn, k all
Ridge 11: k all, turn, k1, kfb, k to end
Ridge 12: k all, turn, k all
Ridge 13: k all, CO13 (with knitted CO), turn, k all
Ridge 14: k20, w+t, k4, w+t
   k5, w+t, k6, w+t
   k7, w+t, k8, w+t
   k9, w+t, k to end
Ridge 15: k11, w+t, k to end
Ridge 16: k4, w+t, k to end

Ridge 17: k6, w+t, k to end
Ridge 18: k8, w+t, k to end
Ridge 19: k all, turn, k all
Ridge 20: 22, w+t, k9, w+t,
   k8, w+t, k7, w+t,
   k6, w+t, k5, w+t
   k4, w+t, k to end
Ridge 21: k all, turn, BO13, k to end
Ridge 22: k all, turn, k1, ssk, k to end
Ridge 23 and 24: k all, turn, k all
Ridge 25: k all, turn, k1, kfb, k to end
Ridge 26: k all, turn, k all
Ridge 27: k all, CO13 (with knitted CO), turn, k all
Ridge 28:  k20, w+t, k4, w+t
   k5, w+t, k6, w+t
   k7, w+t, k8, w+t
   k9, w+t, k to end

Now your piece should look similar to picture 1. Put the stitches from the provisional CO on another needle, cut yarn, fold piece along the horizontal middle line and graft live stitches from the two needles together in garter stitch. Now your piece should look like photo no. 2.

Now, sew the upper edge together along the dotted line in photo 2. Turn back right sides out and it's finished.

Thread your tapestry needle with the yarn in contrast color and embroider face according to chart below (or the way you like it best).




Chart
The chart can be used as a complete pattern. The number on the top of a ridge indicates the number of k-stitches, i.e. of blank rectangles (the w+t is the next stitch).

Easter Bunny Egg Cozy Chart - click on picture to enlarge or here for chart as PDF








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