Sonntag, 29. März 2015

How to Use this Yarn? Part II

In a post in October of last year, I wrote about the problems ... ehm ... challenges I had in finding the right pattern for some Jawoll Color (colorway 132.0458) by Lang Yarns. The funny thing about it is, that even though I have frogged this yarn more times than I dare to count, playing around with it has actually prompted a few new knitting pattern ideas.

The picture below contrasts the prototypes (i.e. the versions that turned out not so nice) with the finished objects (i.e. the versions in another yarn, that turned out much nicer).

(I have tried (and failed) to make this a clickable image ... so instead here are the links to the patterns shown above: Through Thick and Thin Scarf, Almendra Cowl, Queen of Diamonds Scarf, Zoom Out Fingerless gloves.)

I think at least the yarn works well for testing out ideas and it's really durable. Due to its color changes, any patterns made by short rows or other shaping methods come out very clearly.

However, I guess (!) I have finally found something that works for this yarn. I think this modular design - together with the rather big gaps - gives the whole thing a neat and tidy look - a bit like a tiling pattern.


Has anybody else had similar problems in finding the right pattern/idea for some yarn? I'd love to hear your stories.

Montag, 23. März 2015

From Both Sides

I've had this idea for quite a while: how to avoid carrying up the yarn when knitting with two colors, I thought it might be possible to start knitting each color on one side of the piece. It seems to work ... and really like the result - especially that there are no stranded strings on either side.

I also like the way the two colors contrast and how the color pattern develops.

This is going to be a scarf - even though I'm not sure yet whether it will only get wider or whether it'll be something symmetrical, i.e. growing in width up to a point and then narrowing again ...


Sonntag, 22. März 2015

Fingerlose Handschuhe "Zoom Out" - Deutsch

Gratisstrickanleitung: Fingerlose Handschuhe "Zoom Out"
Mykoya (Ravelry-Name) hat sich die Zeit genommen, die Anleitung für die Zoom-Out-Fingerless Gloves zu übersetzen (vielen, vielen Dank!). Nebenbei hat sie dabei auch noch korrekturgelesen und so geholfen, einige Fehler in der Originalanleitung zu eliminieren.

Die Anleitung ist hier als PDF verfügbar.





Diese fingerlosen Handschuhe werden in einem Stück gestrickt - man muss pro Handschuhe also nur zwei Fäden vernähen :). Man startet mit einem kleinen Kreis (Nähe Handgelenk), strickt kreisförmig weiter und endet schliesslich am Daumen.

Freitag, 20. März 2015

Crochet U-Turn Mitts

Do you like constructions a bit out of the ordinary? And are you - as me - not really fond of weaving in ends? Then this crochet pattern is made for you.
These fingerless gloves are worked in on piece, starting at the outer wrists and ending at the thumb - in an interesting construction that great to show off your variegated yarn.

Free Crochet Pattern: U-Turn Mitts



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 40-45 grams of fingering weight yarn
  • 3mm crochet hook
  • 5 removable stitch markers (e.g. safety pins) 
  • tapestry needle to weave in ends

Abbreviations

How the half-circle is worked in this pattern?
Basically, in each RS-row, you have to increase by 4 stitches – evenly distributed whereas in WS-rows no increases occur. It is important to start the increases at different points in each row to avoid a visible edges, so I started increasing at a random stitch in the first quarter
So, if you start with 4 stitches that will form the half-circle, you start off as follows
row 1: [inc]*4
row 2 and all even-numbered rows: sc all sts
row 3: [sc inc]*4 (i.e. there is a distance of 1 st between the increases)
row 5: [inc sc*2]*4 (i.e. there is a distance of 2 sts between the increases)
row 7: [sc*2 inc sc]*4 (i.e. there is a distance of 3 sts between the increases)
row 9: [sc inc sc*4]*4 (i.e. there is a distance of 4 sts between the increases)


Gauge or what to measure beforehand
You should measure the circumference of your wrists.


Construction
Free Crochet Pattern: U-Turn MittsThese mitts are knitted in three parts (see picture on the right):
  • Part 1 covers the wrists, it is worked with a 10 stitch wide ribbing (always working into the back loop) and a single crochet body which includes the half-circle. This part ends with a row that join the two sides together (1st join).
  • Part 2 covers the palms up to the knuckles. It is worked back and forth and consists of an upper ribbing edge (also 10 stitches that are worked into the back loop) and its main body. It also ends with a row where the two side of the upper ribbing are joined together (2nd join) - leaving a hole for the thumb. 
  • Part 3 is worked around the thumb - to create the same stitch pattern than parts 2 and 3, it is also worked back and forth with a slip stitch to join the "rounds" together.


Instructions
The pictures numbered 1 to 6 will give you and idea how the piece looks like during the stages of creation. On the pictures you see stitch markers. Strictly speaking, it’s not necessary really to use them, but it may be convenient as they provide a visual (and haptic?) aid. Therefore, I have included instruction for working with stitch markers in brackets. Since this is crochet, the marker must be carried up to the current row. I'd also advise to mark the RS (e.g. with a safety pin).

Part 1
Chain 23 (22 stitches and 1 turning-chain)
Row 1 (RS): sc 10, (place marker) sc 10, (place marker), [inc]*2, turn piece by 180 degrees and continue on the lower edge of your chain, [inc]*2, sc 10 (place marker), sc 10, (place marker), 1 turning-chain
Row 2 (WS): sctbl 10, sc 10, sc 4, place marker (="middle-marker") sc 4, sc 10, sctbl 10, 1 turning-chain
Row 3 (RS): sctbl 10, sc 10, from here to the last 20 stitches (or between the current and the next marker): increase by 4 stitches – evenly spaced out and started at a random point to form the half-circle, sc 10 sctbl 10, 1 turning chain
Row 4 (WS): sctbl 10, sc 10, sc until the last 20 stitches (or until the last but one marker), sc 10, bsc 10, 1 turning-chain

Repeat rows 3 and 4 until the lover edge fits around your wrists - for me this was the case after row 17. After a few repeats, your piece should look similar to the one in picture 1. End with an odd-numbered row.

If you're not comfortable with the instructions above, here are the first odd-numbered rows spelled out:
Row 3 (RS):  sctbl 10, sc 10, [sc 1, inc]*4, sc 10 sctbl 10, 1 turning chain (-> 1 stitch distance between the increases)
Row 5 (RS):  sctbl 10, sc 10, [inc, sc 2]*4, sc 10 sctbl 10, 1 turning chain (-> 2 stitches distance between the increases)
Row 7 (RS):  sctbl 10, sc 10, [sc 2, inc, sc 1]*4, sc10,  sctbl10, 1 turning chain (-> 3 stitches distance between the increases)
Row 9 (RS):  sctbl 10, sc 10, [sc 1, inc, sc 3]*4, sc10, sctbl 10, 1 turning chain (-> 4 stitches distance between the increases)
Row 11 (RS):  sctbl 10, sc 10, [sc 3, inc, sc 2]*4, sc10, sctbl 10, 1 turning chain (-> 5 stitches distance between the increases)
Row 13 (RS):  sctbl 10, sc 10, [sc 1, inc, sc 5]*4, sc10,  sctbl 10, 1 turning chain (-> 6 stitches distance between the increases)
Row 15 (RS):  sctbl 10, sc 10, [sc 4, inc, sc 3]*4, sc10, sctbl 10, 1 turning chain (-> 7 stitches distance between the increases)
Row 17 (RS): sctbl 10, sc 10, [sc 7, inc, sc 1]*4, sc10, sctbl 10, 1 turning chain (-> 8 stitches distance between the increases)

Fold in half with right sides together and join the first 20 stitches, i.e. inserting your hook into the front and the back stitch at the same time (see picture 2). Remove all markers except for "middle marker".



Part 2
Turn mitt back inside out (be sure to secure your last loop while you're doing this) and start working a small triangle on top of the joined stitches as follows (see picture 3):
Row 1 (RS-WS-RS): sc 3, turn, sc 5, turn, sc 2 (you're back at the point where you started this row)
Row 2 (RS-WS-RS): sc 5, turn, sc 9, turn, sc 4 (you're back at the point where you started this row)
Row 3 (RS-WS-RS): sc 7, turn, sc 13, turn, sc 6 (you're back at the point where you started this row)

Row 4: crochet (sc's) up to middle-marker and chain 11 (i.e. 10 + 1 turning-chain) (see picture 4)
Row 5: sc 9, dec, sc 2, turn; sc 1, sctbl 10, 1 turning-chain;,
     sctbl 9, dec, sc 22, dec, sc to end (i.e. middle-marker), sc 1 from gap between last st and last row's chain, sc 10 into the lower edge of chain, 1 turning chain (see picture 5)
Row 6: sc 9, dec, dec, sc 1, turn; sc 1, sctbl 10, 1 turning-chain;
    sctbl 9, dec, sc 5, dec, sc to the last 17 sts, dec, sc 5, sctbl 10, 1 turning-chain
Row 7: sctbl 9, dec, sc 1, turn; sc 1, sctbl 10, 1 turning-chain;
    sctbl 9, dec, sc 1, turn; sc 1, sctbl 10, 1 turning-chain;
    sctbl 9, dec, sc to last 10 sts, sctbl 10, 1 turning-chain
Row 8: sctbl 9, dec, sc 1, turn; sc 1, sctbl 10, 1 turning-chain;
    sctbl 9, dec, sc 1, turn; sc 1, sctbl 10, 1 turning-chain;
    sctbl 9, dec, sc to last 10 sts, sctbl 10, 1 turning-chain

Repeat rows 7and 8 a few times and end with an odd-numbered row -  until there are only about 36 stitches left (2x 10 ribbing, and about 16 for the thumb hole.  For me this after two more repeats (i.e. row 13, if counted on).
If it feel as if the mitts gets too wide, you can always do a row with two decreases (similar to row 6).

You can - if necessary - now widen the upper ribbing by working 1 or 2 widening-rows as follows:
Widening-Row: sctbl 10, turning-chain"; sctbl 10, turning-chain

If you want to avoid cutting yarn, it is necessary that your last stitch is a the top of the ribbing before you start joining the sides. That's why the widening-row is actually two rows - back-and-forth

Now hold the right sides of upper ribbing together and join 10 stitches (see picture 6) - this will look and feel odd, but only for the 10 join stitches.
Turn the upper ribbing back (inside-out) making sure to secure the open loop while you're doing this - now you can start the thumb.



Part 3 (Thumb)
I decided to work the thumbs back and forth, to get a consistent "stitch pattern" with the rest of the mitt. If you don't mind the change in the stitch pattern, you can also work this part in the round.

Hold your mitt so that the upper ribbing is down, i.e. that you can work stitches into it.

Row 1: work sc's into the edge of the upper ribbing (the number depending on the number of widening-rows you worked at the end of part 2) - at least 1 (if you didn't do any widening-rows) or the number of widening-rows+1, place marker; work sc's into all sc's that are left over from part 2, work 1 sc into gap, and join with sl st to first stitch of row, turning-chain and turn
Row 2: sc 1, dec, sc to one before marker, dec, sc to end, join with sl st to first stitch of row, turning-chain and turn
Repeat row 2 until the the hole fits snugly around your thumb - I repeated until there were 16 sts.

Row 3: sc into all sts, join with sl st to last st, turning-chain (except for very last row)
Repeat until you have worked a total of 6 thumb rows.

Cut yarn and weave in ends.

Make two.


Free Crochet Pattern: U-Turn Mitts


Yarn
The yarn I used here is called Zwerger Opal Hundertwasser - colorway "Blinde Venus" (yarn link on Ravelry).

Sonntag, 15. März 2015

U-Turn Mitts in Crochet?

I haven't finished a crochet piece for some time ... or even started one, to be honest. But lately, just after I'd published the U-Turn Mitts knitting pattern, someone on Ravelry asked whether it would be possible to do this in crochet ... and that got me thinking ... and then trying it out.

When I started out, I didn't really like it - it all looked sort of crumply and the texture was "all wrong" (meaning, it wasn't the texture that you're accustomed to when you're knitting ...).

But I persevered, and it started to look better :) I even started to appreciate the "crochet look and feel" that suits pattern and yarn. So I finished one mitt and started the next one ... I guess I will write up the pattern - even though it will rather be a "knitting pattern in crochet" than a real crochet pattern.


Freitag, 6. März 2015

U-Turn Mitts

Show off your self-striping yarn with these fingerless gloves. Due to their non-standard construction no yarn cutting is involved, i.e. the mitts are knitted in one part and you only have to weave in two ends per mitt :) They have a garter stitch “ribbing” on both ends (fingers and wrists). Except for the thumb (knitted right in the end) the mitts are knitted flat.

They are called U-Turn mitts not only because they form an inverted U, but also since they are constructed by actually knitting a U-Turn :)

Knitting and so on: U Turn Mitts - Free Pattern



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



Attention: The pattern is written in a way that it can easily be adapted to other sizes or to other yarn weights. I.e. it sometimes states to continue until “X is wide enough to fit around Y”. If you don’t like these kinds of instructions, you probably won’t like the pattern. However, I will try to give some examples, these are printed in purple.

Because I'm good at designing patterns but bad at naming them, I asked my fellow users on knittingparadise.com for a good name ... the ideas were great: Rainbow, Riesenrad (Ferris Wheel), Aurora Borealis, Aura, Horseshoe Over the Rainbow, Rainbow Bridge, Follow your dreams, Arches, Geode ... but to name a few ... in the end, I opted for "U-Turn" because it has a technical feel to it, which suits me best.

Knitting and so on: U Turn Mitts - Free Pattern


Techniques and Abbreviations
  • Judy’s Magic Cast-On is a technique that gives you live stitches on both sides of your needles – it is used for toe-up socks, but can be used for other purposes as well. Here's a written description (from Knitty) and here a YouTube-video
  • Magic Loop Method - as shown in this YouTube video. I strongly advise to keep the stitches as they are on the needles and not to move stitches from one needle to another (up until the end of part 2 of the pattern).
  • Knitting a flat circle: The technique for knitting a flat circle has been described a few times on this blog, e.g. in the "Zoom Out Mitts"-Post. Basically it consists of doing 8 increases (evenly spaced out in one round) every other row, and varying the starting point for the first increase to avoid an octagon pattern. 
    In this pattern only a half-circle is knitted. This means that there will be only 4 increases on every RS row - and they will be started at a random stitch within the first quarter of the half circle. 
  • German Short Rows (or t+p, turn and pull): when you turn, bring yarn to the front and pull it back so that a sort of "double-stitch" is created, then knit back as usual - when you have to knit the double-stitch, make sure to knit it as one stitch (see also this YouTube video); this method has the advantage the no picking up of stitches is necessary. In the pattern, this stitch will be called t+p (turn and pull).
  • Three-Needle Bind-Off: http://youtu.be/wpJUrCX52DU  
  • Knitted Cast-On: http://youtu.be/-nJKC2xT0Q4 
  • Picking up stitches from a gap or ditch: After both three needle bind-offs there is one left over stitch which tends to have a distance to the stitches next to it. To avoid holes, I usually pick up one stitch from the gap and decrease over the new stitch in the following row (see also this YouTube video where it is shown on the example of a thumb gusset). In my experience (or the way I knit :) it's even better to pick up two stitches and knit decreases over them in the following two rows.
  • pm: place marker
  • sm: slip marker

Knitting and so on: U Turn Mitts - Free Pattern


Materials
  • about 35 grams of fingering weight yarn
  • 3mm circular needles – mine are 80 cm long (you can use them for the whole project if you can do the magic ring method for the thumb part – for small in-the-round parts I prefer dpns, that’s why I did the thumb with 3mm dpns)
  • at least one more 3mm needle (for the three-needle-BO)
  • 4 stitch markers
  • a darning needle (to weave in ends)

Gauge or what to measure beforehand:
Measure the circumference of your wrists

General Construction
Knitting and so on: U Turn Mitts - Free Pattern
The picture on the right gives a general overview of the construction.
  • Part 1: Knitted back and forth, it starts with a magic cast-on, i.e. a cast-on on both edges. On the lower edge a 10 stitch wide garter stitch "ribbing" is knitted, the rest is plain stockinette stitch, with (half-)circle increases that are knitted on the RS. This part ends with the 1st three-needle bind-off.
  • Part 2: Knitted back and forth below the thumb and up to the upper edge which consists of a 10 stitch wide garter stitch "ribbing" (to match the lower edge). This part ends with the 2nd three needle bind-off above the thumb. 
  • Part 3: Thumb – knitted in the round and ending with a p1k1-ribbing.

Instructions

Part 1:
With Judy’s Magic CO cast on 22 sts on each needle (see picture No. 1)
Turn work, so that you can see the “purl”-side, pull the lower needle through and start knitting

Row 1 (WS): k10 pm p10 pm p2 (here you have to turn your work 180 degrees and pull the other needle, this U-turn is always done at the point where you switch from one side onf the needle to the other - it will at a later point be referred to as "U-turn point") p2 pm p10 pm k10

Even numbered row (RS): sl1 k9 sm, k10 sm, [within the space between the two markers do 4 increases - evenly spaced out and started at a random point], sm, k10 sm, k10
Odd-numbered row (WS): sl1 k9 sm, p to last (i.e. 4th) marker, k10
Repeat these rows until the lower edge fits around your wrists.
End with a RS row.

If you're uncomfortable with instructions as above, here's an example of the first 26 rows spelled out:
Row 2 (RS): sl1 k9 sm, k10 sm, (kfb) 4 times, sm, k10 sm, k10
Row 3 and all odd-numbered rows in this part (WS): sl1 k9 sm, p to last (i.e. 4th) marker, k10
Row 4 (RS): sl1 k9 sm, k10 sm, (k1 kfb) 4 times, sm, k10 sm, k10
Row 6 (RS): sl1 k9 sm, k10 sm, (kfb, k2) 4 times, sm, k10 sm, k10
Row 8 (RS): sl1 k9 sm, k10 sm, (k1 kfb k2) 4 times, sm, k10 sm, k10
Row 10 (RS): sl1 k9 sm, k10 sm, (k3 kfb k1) 4 times, sm, k10 sm, k10
Row 12 (RS): sl1 k9 sm, k10 sm, (k5 kfb) 4 times, sm, k10 sm, k10
Row 14 (RS): sl1 k9 sm, k10 sm, (k1 kfb k5) 4 times, sm, k10 sm, k10
Row 16 (RS): sl1 k9 sm, k10 sm, (k4 kfb k3) 4 times, sm, k10 sm, k10 (by now your piece should start to look similar to picture No. 2)
Row 18 (RS): sl1 k9 sm, k10 sm, (k7 kfb k1) 4 times, sm, k10 sm, k10
Row 20 (RS): sl1 k9 sm, k10 sm, (k3 kfb k6) 4 times, sm, k10 sm, k10
Row 22 (RS): sl1 k9 sm, k10 sm, (kfb k10) 4 times, sm, k10 sm, k10
Row 24 (RS): sl1 k9 sm, k10 sm, (k5 kfb k6) 4 times, sm, k10 sm, k10
Row 26 (RS): sl1 k9 sm, k10 sm, (k12 kfb) 4 times, sm, k10 sm, k10
...

Fold your piece so that the WS is visible (see picture No. 3) and bind off 22 stitches with a three needle BO, i.e. exactly up to the stitch behind the 2nd marker. Put the last stitch on back needle and turn inside out.

Part 2:
First you're going to knit back and forth in very short rows to create a little knitted triangle above the three-needle BO.

Row 1: sl1 (this is the stitch that is left from the three-needle BO), pick up 2 stitches from gap, k3, t+p, p1. p2tog, p2, pick up 2 stitches from gap, p2, t+p, k1, ssk (you should be back at the stitch where you started this row)
Row 2: k2tog, k6, t+p, p6, p2tog, p6, t+p, k6  (you should be back at the stitch where you started this row)
Row 3: k10, t+p, p7, p2tog, p2tog, p7, w+t, k7  (you should be back at the stitch where you started this row)
Row 4 (RS): k to U-turn point, CO10 with knitted CO (see picture No. 4)
Row 5: (WS) k9, k2tog, p2. t+p, (RS) k to end, turn
    (WS) sl1, k8, k2tog, p2,  t+p, (RS) k to end, turn
    (WS) sl1, k8, k2tog, p to U-turn point (from the other side, see picture No. 5), pick up 2 stitches from gap and pick up and knit 10 stitches from the lower edge of the CO of the previous row
Row 6: (RS) sl1, k8, k2tog, k2tog, k2, t+p, (WS) p2, k10, turn
    (RS) sl1, k8, k2tog, k2tog, k2, t+p, (WS) p2, k10, turn
    (RS), sl1, k8, k2tog, k to end
Row 7: (WS) sl1, k8, k2tog, p2, (RS) k to end, turn
    (WS) sl1, k8, k2tog, p2,  t+p, (RS) k to end, turn
    (WS) sl1, k8, k2tog, p to last 10 sts while randomly decreasing one stitch on each needle during the stockinette part), k the last 10 stitches
e.g. (WS) sl1, k2tog, p2, (RS) k to end, turn
    (WS) sl1, k8, k2tog, p2,  t+p, (RS) k to end, turn
    (WS) sl1, k8, k2tog, p6, p2tog, p to 18 sts before end, p2tog, p to last 10 sts, k to end

Your piece should now look similar to the one in picture No. 6

Repeat rows 6 and 7 until there are 19 or 20 stitches on each of your needles. Make sure to end with row 7

Now try the mitt on to see whether the upper edge (garter stitch fits around your fingers). You can now widen this edge with a few more (10 stitch wide) garter stitch rows.

With a new needle
Row A: sl1 k9 and turn (do NOT wrap the next stitch or use any other connection method for short rows - just turn
Row B: sl1 k9

Repeat these two rows until the upper garter stitch edge fits around your fingers.
When it's wide enough fold both needles back, so that the WS is visible (see picture No. 7) and do a three-needle BO of 9 stitches.  (It's easier if you put the 10 upper stitches from the other side also one another new needle.) There will be one stitch left - draw this out a bit, so that you won't lose it when you turn the upper edge back.

Part 3:
Catch the stitch that's been left over from the three-needle BO with a new needle and draw tight. Now it should look like picture No. 8.

Pick up and knit stitches from the edge of the garter stitch edging (about as many as the garter stitch ridges you knitted with rows A & B), then pick up 2 sts from the gap.
Knit around to the next gap, and pick up 2 stitches there.

Knit the next rounds in stockinette always decreasing over the gaps (see picture No. 9) until there are 18 stitches on your needles. Then continue in stockinette stitch until you have knitted a total of 8 rounds from the start of the thumb (part 3).

Knit 6 rounds of p1-k1-ribbing, then bind off in pattern.

Weave in ends.

Make two.

Knitting and so on: U Turn Mitts - Free Pattern


Sonntag, 22. Februar 2015

New Construction Idea

Many of the mitts I designed over the last year or so, were constructed in a way that I didn't have to cut my yarn in the process. For me this is quite important, because
  1. I don't especially like weaving in ends :)
  2. I frog my stuff so often that it would be a waste to cut the yarn before I was sure that the knitted piece would stay in the shape it's currently in
However, when knitting with variegated yarn there are other considerations, too. I think it looks nicer when there is no "jump" in the color gradient, e.g. when you put the thumb stitches to a stitch holder and finish the mitt - and then when you attach the yarn to the thumb stitches the color just won't fit.
This is not exactly tragic, but when I got some new (variegated) sock yarn, I was determined to construct new mitts in a way that I wouldn't have to cut the yarn - which means either to start with the thumb or end with it.
I've already published a few patterns that match this description (e.g. Circle Mitts, Pieces of Eight Mitts, Zoom Out Fingerless Gloves), but it's more fun to construct something new. So, voilà, here's the new construction. A bit on the lines of the Zoom Out gloves, but with a different start.

Fingerless Gloves - Knitting Construction

 

So, all I need to do now is finish them, write up the pattern, get some nice photos and find a good name for them. Any name suggestions are welcome.