Donnerstag, 22. Februar 2018

Skein Hash Cowl

If you're anything like me, you will have lots of yarn leftovers in your stash - not enough of one type of yarn to make something new, but also too much (and too good) to throw it away. I had long thought about a way to mix up leftovers to make them into something whole, but it took me a while to design a nice little pattern for it.

So, here's an interesting way of stashbusting and using up some beautiful yarn leftovers. It's a cowl that is knitted flat - started with a provisional CO and joined in the round by grafting. It's knitted all in garter stitch - i.e. you do not have to purl. Basically, it's a chevron pattern on a bias.

The pattern is written for fingering weight yarn, but I have included a way to calculate the number of stitches for other yarn weights and as well.


As to the name: Actually Skein Hash is a cryptographic hash function. These functions are used to calculate digital signatures and have many other applications in information security. When I saw the name I thought that this was too good to be missed as the name for knitting pattern - it was actually one of the rare cases where I had a name before I had a pattern to suit it :)
And since hash means (according to Webster's Dictionary) "confuse, muddle" it fits perfectly, since this is exactly what this pattern does with the yarn from your leftover skeins.

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 130 to 180 grams of yarn of the same weight (I used fingering weight yarn)
  • knitting needles (straight or circular) that fits your yarn weight (I used 3.25 mm needles)
  • a removable stitch marker to mark the right side of the piece
  • scrap yarn and a crochet hook for the provisional CO
  • a tapestry needle for grafting and to weave in ends


Techniques and Abbreviations
  • 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 in Garter Stitch: A technique to get an invisible (knitted) seam - this technique is shown in this YouTube Video by knittinghelp.com.
  • Carrying yarn up:  When you're knitting chevrons on a bias you have to BO or CO at the beginning or end of a row. And since you're using three strands of yarn, you need to bring the yarn that you're not using (for the current row) with you. This can be done by twisting the unused yarn with the current yarn after every BO or CO stitch - similar to the technique of carrying yarn up on the side of your work - this technique is shown in this YouTube video by Knit Purl Hunter.
  • kyok: centered double increase: knit, yarn over, knit into one stitch (as shown in this YouTube video by So, I make stuff)
  • sl1 k2tog psso: slip one stitch, knit the next two stitches together and pass the slipped stitch over (as shown in this YouTube video by Knit Purl Hunter)
Since this cowl is made from leftovers, there is a high potential for many ends to weave in. Here are two techniques that may be helpful to avoid this:

Gauge and Size
In garter stitch 5 stitches gave 2 cm in width and 8 rows (4 ridges) gave 2 cm in height.
The cowl that I knitted measures about 24 cm in width and 124 cm in circumference.

The lenght is adjusted easily, by knitting more or fewer rows.
If you want to change the width, knit a swatch in garter, calculate the number of stitches you'd need to cast on for the desired width, multiply this number by 2 (because of the chevron on a bias pattern) and then cast the number of stitches nearest to that that is a multiple of 10.
  • Example Calculation 1: If your swatch 9 stitches give 5 cm in width - and you want your finished piece to measure 25 cm in width. 45 stitches would normally give 25 cm. Multiplied by 2 this gives 90 stitches to cast on with that yarn - and since 90 is divisible by 10 you don't need to add or subtract from that number.
  • Example Calculation 2 (with a bigger yarn): Your swatch shows that 3 stitches give 2 cm in with - and you want a 22 cm wide cowl: 33 stitches would have to be cast on for a cowl in plain garter stitch (without the chevron pattern). Multiplied by 2 it'd give 66 stitches - the nearest multiple of 10 is 70, so you have to cast on 70 sts.




Using Your Leftovers
Go stash diving and find about 200 grams of yarn of the same weight - I used fingering weight yarn of the same part of the color spectrum (blue-ish), but I think color combinations would work as well. You always work with 3 skeins at a time, the one row is knitted with the skein 1, the next with skein 2, the next with skein 3, and then you start again with skein 1. Once one strand runs out of yarn, just connect the next one to it.
I wanted to rather consistent color distribution (or as consistent as possible). That's why I seperated some of the leftover skeins into two skeins and used them at different times. This will even increase the numbers of ends to weave in, but I prefered this over a color change that seemed to abrupt.


Instructions
You will always work with three colors. After each row, you change to the next color.

Provisionally CO 120 sts
Row 0 (C1, WS): k all
Row 1 (C2, RS): k2, *kyok, k3, sl1 k2tog psso k3 repeat from * until there are only 8 sts left, kyok, k3, sl1 k2tog psso, k1
Row 2 (C3, WS): k all
Row 3 (C1, RS): k3, *kyok, k3, sl1 k2tog psso k3 repeat from * until there are only7 sts left, kyok, k3, sl1 k2tog psso
Row 4 (C2, WS): BO5 (while weaving in C1), k to end
Row 5 (C3, RS): k4, *kyok, k3, sl1 k2tog psso k3 repeat from * until there is only one sts left, k1
Row 6 (C1, WS): k all, CO5 while weaving in C2
Row 7 (C2, RS): *kyok, k3, sl1 k2tog psso k3 repeat from * to end
Row 8 (C3. WS): k all
Row 9 (C1, RS): k1, *kyok, k3, sl1 k2tog psso k3 repeat from * until there are only 9 sts left, kyok, k3, sl1 k2tog psso, k2
Row 10 (C2, WS): k all
Row 11 (C3, RS): k2, *kyok, k3, sl1 k2tog psso k3 repeat from * until there are only 8 sts left, kyok, k3, sl1 k2tog psso, k1
Row 12 (C1, WS): k all
Row 13 (C2, RS): k3, *kyok, k3, sl1 k2tog psso k3 repeat from * until there are only7 sts left, kyok, k3, sl1 k2tog psso
Row 14 (C3, WS): BO5 (while weaving in C1), k to end
Row 15 (C1, RS): k4, *kyok, k3, sl1 k2tog psso k3 repeat from * until there is only one sts left, k1
Row 16 (C2, WS): k all, CO5 while weaving in C2
Row 17 (C3, RS): *kyok, k3, sl1 k2tog psso k3 repeat from * to end
Row 18 (C1. WS): k all
Row 19 (C2, RS): k1, *kyok, k3, sl1 k2tog psso k3 repeat from * until there are only 9 sts left, kyok, k3, sl1 k2tog psso, k2
Row 20 (C3, WS): k all
Row 21 (C1, RS): k2, *kyok, k3, sl1 k2tog psso k3 repeat from * until there are only 8 sts left, kyok, k3, sl1 k2tog psso, k1
Row 22 (C2, WS): k all
Row 23 (C3, RS): k3, *kyok, k3, sl1 k2tog psso k3 repeat from * until there are only7 sts left, kyok, k3, sl1 k2tog psso
Row 24 (C1, WS): BO5 (while weaving in C1), k to end
Row 25 (C2, RS): k4, *kyok, k3, sl1 k2tog psso k3 repeat from * until there is only one sts left, k1
Row 26 (C3, WS): k all, CO5 while weaving in C2
Row 27 (C1, RS): *kyok, k3, sl1 k2tog psso k3 repeat from * to end
Row 28 (C2. WS): k all
Row 29 (C3, RS): k1, *kyok, k3, sl1 k2tog psso k3 repeat from * until there are only 9 sts left, kyok, k3, sl1 k2tog psso, k2
Row 30 (C1, WS): k all

Repeat until your cowl has reached the desired lenght - make sure to end with a row 8, 18 or 28. Leave a tail for grafting. Place the stitches from the provisional CO on the second needle, hold the ends together (RS out) as shown in the picture and graft in garter stitch ... or if you want to be very precise about things follow the instructions below ...

Actually, the row you're grafting is an RS row (a row 9, 19 or 29 to be precise) which means that there should be increases and decreases in order to keep the chevron pattern ... I solved this by sometimes treating 3 stitches as 1 stitch. To be more precise, everytime, that there'd be a scheduled double decrease in row 9 (or 19 or 29), I inserted the needle not into one stitch but into three at a time on the front needle. and every time that there'd be a scheduled double increase in row 9 (meaning a double decrease on the corresponding provisional CO row), I inserted the needle into three stitches at a time on the back needle.

Even though, I think I didn't count correctly a few times, the finished grafting row looks OK.

Weave in all the ends if necessary and block.


Donnerstag, 15. Februar 2018

Bubblewrap Cowl

I like to experiment with short rows and their effects on variegated yarn. With this piece I wanted to explore three-dimensional elements. The result was a stylish cowl with an organic look.
This cowl is basically knitted only in garter stitch, but with some increases and decreases combined with short rows to achieve the three-dimensional effect. It is stared with a provisional cast on, knitted flat and joined invisibly by grafting in garter stitch.

Using one skein of Wollmeise Twin (about 150 grams of any other fingering weight wool) the cowl will be long enough to fit twice around your neck.


The pattern contains a long stitch-by-stitch version, a shorter version that may be helpful once you've got the idea of how to knit one bubble, plus a schematic of the bubble placement and a chart of a bubble.
It is available for purchase on Ravelry here and on Loveknitting here.





Materials
  • about 150 grams of fingering weight yarn – I used Wollmeise Twin – colorway “Martha”, for a pattern such as this variegated yarn looks good, especially with a really short color gradient
  • scrap yarn and a crochet hook for provisional CO - here's a photo of the hank before winding.
  • 3.25 mm knitting needles - I used circulars, but straight needles will do as well
  • 5 stitch markers
  • a tapestry needle to graft and to weave in ends


Size and Gauge
The finished cowl (that used up almost all of a 150 grams skein of fingering weight yarn) measures 20 cm in width and 110 cm in circumference, i.e. it fits twice around your neck.




Necessary Skills

In order to finish this cowl you need the following knitting skills.
  • Provisional CO
  • Basic increases and decreases (kfb and ssk)
  • Grafting in garter stitch
  • German short rows (there is also an explanation on how to convert the pattern to "wrap and turn" short rows)



Mittwoch, 7. Februar 2018

Bartkauz Shoulder Warmer

Like many women I tend to feel cold ... practically always except in high summer. That's why I wanted a sort of shoulder warmer or poncho to keep me warm at work.
I chose a light-weight merino yarn in different grey tones that - colors that are compatible with an office environment.
The piece is knitted flat - starting with a provisional cast on and knitted sideways with a combination of short row ribs and a lace pattern to make it interesting, and it is finished with Kitchener stitch.
Because of the short rows, this piece is wider at the bottom than at the top - so that it fits nicely around your shoulders. You can wear it either as a cowl or as a shoulder warmer / poncho.


Bartkauz is the german name for the Great Grey Owl. The color of the cowl reminded me of its plumage.

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 100 grams of lace weight yarn - I used Schachenmeyer Merino Extra Fine Lace (link to the yarn's Ravelry page)
  • 3.75mm needles (straight or circular)
  • scrap yarn and a crochet hook for provisional CO
  • tapestry needle for grafting and to weave in ends


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.
  • Shadow Wrap Short Rows: the last stitch you knit (or purl) before turning, is worked into the stitch in the row below (also called the "mother-stitch"), which also leaves you with a pair of stitches that has to be worked as one in the row above. This method is shown in this YouTube video by Lee Meredith
  • Grafting in stockinette stitch (also called Kitchener Stitch): a way to seamlessly join two rows of live stitches - as shown in this YouTube video by WEBS America's Yarn Store.

Gauge and Size
When knitting in garter stitch 12 stitches gave about 5 cm in width, and 11 garter stitch ridges (i.e. 22 rows) about 5 cm in height.
After blocking, the finished piece measures 40 cm in height. The circumference in 140 cm at the lower edge and 75 cm at the upper edge - however, the pattern is written in a way that the circumference can be adapted.

Lace Chart
If you prefer to knit lace from a chart, here's a chart for the lace pattern. The part within the red rectangles is one repeat of the lace pattern.


Row 1: k all
Row 2: p all
Row 3: k3, *k2tog, yo, yo, ssk repeat from * until 3 sts from end, k3
Row 4: p3 * p1, (k1, p1) into double yo, p1 repeat from * until 3 sts from end, p3
Row 5: k all
Row 6: p all
Row 7: k1, *k2tog, yo, yo, ssk repeat from * until 1 st from end, k1
Row 8: p1 * p1, (k1, p1) into double yo, p1 repeat from * until 1 st from end, p1


Instructions

Do a provisional CO of 90 sts

Setup Rows
Row 1: p all
Row 2: k all
Row 3: k all
Row 4: p all

Part A) Short Row Sequence
Ridge 1: p70, k into mother stitch and turn, k to end
Ridge 2: k60, p into mother stitch and p to end
Ridge 3: p50, k into mother stitch and turn, k to end
Ridge 4: k40, p into mother stitch and p to end
Ridge 5: p30, k into mother stitch and turn, k to end
Ridge 6: k20, p into mother stitch and p to end
Ridge 7: p10, k into mother stitch and turn, k to end
Ridge 8: k19, k into mother stitch and p to end
Ridge 9: p29, p into mother stitch and turn, k to end
Ridge 10: k39, k into mother stitch and p to end
Ridge 11: p49, p into mother stitch and turn, k to end
Ridge 12: k59, k into mother stitch and p to end
Ridge 13: p69, p into mother stitch and turn, k to end

Part B) Transition to Lace
Row 1: k all
Row 2: p all
Row 3: p all
Row 4: k all
Row 5: k all
Row 6: p all

Part C) Lace Pattern
Row 1: k all
Row 2: p all
Row 3: k3, *k2tog, yo, yo, ssk repeat from * until 3 sts from end, k3
Row 4: p3 * p1, (k1, p1) into double yo, p1 repeat from * until 3 sts from end, p3
Row 5: k all
Row 6: p all
Row 7: k1, *k2tog, yo, yo, ssk repeat from * until 1 st from end, k1
Row 8: p1 * p1, (k1, p1) into double yo, p1 repeat from * until 1 st from end, p1
Repeat rows 1 to 8 once more
Then knit rows 1 to 6 once.

Part D) Transition to Short Row Sequence
= Part B

Repeat Parts A to D six times more or until the lower edge nearly fits around your shoulders.
Then repeat parts A to C once more.

Graft in stockinette stitch.



Freitag, 2. Februar 2018

Leftovers

When you knit a lot, you always have leftovers ... and it's usually difficult to find suitable projects for them. One idea is to use different leftovers (three at a time) and switching colors after each row. And once one skein is finished to replace it with the next one. This means that the colors are evenly distributed - and the unused yarn can be carried up easily after each row.
So I looked through my stash and picked all kinds of fingeringh weight yarns in different shades of blue. Than I started with a chevron pattern on a bias - with the plan of knitting a cowl (flat, starting with a provisional CO and finished by grafting).


I really liked it at the beginning, but I hadn't reckoned with the fact that my leftovers were a bit too long to achieve the sort of randomness that I had hoped for. So that nearly half of the piece is blue with turquoise, and the next half would be blue with another color inbetween - and I don't like the idea of two halves of my cowl being so different in color - mixed up would be OK but not with such a clear border. Also, I^ve started to think that the piece is not wide enough for my taste - even though I did a cast on of 100 stitches, only half of them make up the width.


Currently, I'm not sure whether I will continue this piece, frog it and start in the same color scheme but with 5 strands at the same time (and switching them after each row, but that's a yarn tangle waiting to happen), or whether I'll start something with different leftovers - chosen not only for their colors but also for their length :)