Dienstag, 25. September 2018

Bath Rug

In the beginning of this year one yarn store in Cologne had a closing-down sale. I still had a gift voucher for them. So I went there and - among other stuff - I bought a skein of Hoooked Zpaghetti, and I decided to use it to make a bath mat.
There are quite a few patterns around on how to crochet a bath mat (e.g. this one), but I prefer knitting to crochet and I also really liked the idea of doing something in garter stitch; not only because like the look of it, but also because it really feel nice and squishy under naked feet (something I knew from the time I knitted a t-shirt yarn rug on the basis of the Ten Stitch Blanket by Frankie Brown).
I wanted to knit a rectangular shape, but also do something with short rows, so I first tried something in a different yarn. My first attempt of shaping this mat wasn't quite to my liking - the ratio wasn't quite right, but it worked as a place mat or doily.
Fortunately, the second attempt worked better - and here is the pattern for it. Enjoy!
Of course it can also be a washcloth or a doily, if you do it in another yarn.


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






Materials
  • T-shirt yarn - I used one skein of Hoooked Zpaghetti that I had bought at a sale, it weighed a bit more than 650 grams and (according to the lable) was about 100 metres long
  • appropriate knitting needles (12mm needles in my case)
  • a crochet hook and some bulky-ish scrap yarn for the provisional cast

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.
  • Short rows with wrap and turn (w+t) - as shown in this YouTube video by Very Pink Knits.
  • Picking up and knit stitches from the side: Insert the needle into the front leg of the edge stitch from back to front and draw your working yarn through. In case of this pattern you only need to pick up one stitch at a time.
  • Grafting in Garter Stitch: A technique to get an invisible (knitted) seam - this technique is shown in this YouTube Video by knittinghelp.com.

Construction
When knitting this piece you start with a provisional CO (in red t-shirt yarn on the photo). During the first part, the rows are getting shorter (one stitch every two ridges). In part 2, the ridges are getting longer again (two stitches for every ridge). Parts 3 and 4 are parts 2 and 1 backwards. You have then knitted a square and turned your knitting by 180°.
Parts 5 to 8, are a repeat of parts 1 to 4.
After knitting around four corners and the two sides (CO and last row) are grafted in garter stitch.


Yarn "Management"
Since the amount of "yarn" was finite - and I wanted to use up as much as possible - I had to adapt the size. So I weighed the skein before beginning (657 grams) and after finishing part 1 (570 grams).
All parts use up the same amount of yarn, i.e. there are 8 equal parts.
For the first part I had needed 87 grams (657 - 570). 87 grams times 8 would be 696 grams - which would be more than I had.
So I frogged and the next time I started with a shorter CO of 18 stitches. After part 1 I had 576 grams. For the first part I had needed 81 grams (= 657-576). 81 times 8 = 648 grams - which is close enough to the amount of yarn I had and - more importantly - I had enough :)


Instructions

The pattern is written in a way, that you can adapt it to the size you want. To calculate the final size, multiply the width of the CO sts by 2 for the height and by 3 for the width.

Provisionally CO the calculated number of sts with scrap yarn and knit the first row with your working yarn. I did a CO of 18 sts.

Part 1
Ridge 1: k up to last st, w+t, k to end
Ridge 2: k to 1 sts before last wrap, w+t, k to end
Ridge 3: k up to last wrap, turn (without wrapping), sl1, k to end
Ridge 4: k up to slipped st of the last row, w+t, k to end

Repeat ridges 2 to 4 until your last row was only 1 st long. If you did a CO of 18 sts (or any other multiple of 3) you will end on a ridge 4. Depending on the number of sts you cast on, you may end on a different ridge.

Part 2
Ridge 1: k1, w+t, k to end
Ridge 2: k up to first wrapped stitch, pick up 1 st (from a slipped stitch), w+t, k to end
Ridge 3: k up to first wrapped stitch, w+t, k to end
If you didn't end part 1 on a ridge 4, you may have to do a ridge 3 before knitting a ridge 2 for the first time.

Repeat ridges 2 and 3 until all stitch on your needle are used.

Part 3
Ridge 1: k to last st, w+t, k to end
Ridge 2: k to 1 before last wrap, w+t, k to end
Ridge 3: k to 2 before last wrap, w+t, k to end

Repeat ridge 3 until the last row is only 1 or 2 sts long

Part 4
Ridge 1: k1, w+t, k1
Ridge 2: k up to first wrapped stitch, k2tog, turn (without wrapping), sl1, k to end
Ridge 3: k up to and including k2tog of last ridge, w+t, k to end
Ridge 4: sl1, k up to first wrapped stitch, k1, w+t, k to end

Repeat ridges 2 to 4 until all sts on your needle are used.

Inbetween Ridge: sl1, k to end, turn, sl1 k to end

Part 5
= Part 1

Part 6
= Part 2

 Part 7
= Part 3

Part 8
= Part 4

Finishing:
Put the stitches from the provisional CO on the second needle - cut your yarn, but leave a tail long enough for grafting.
Graft in garter stitch.
If there is a small hole in the middle of the piece, use the end to sew it closed.
Weave in ends


Mittwoch, 19. September 2018

Wriggly Cowl

In my stash there are a lot of leftovers of my former knitting projects - and many of them in fingering weight. So I am always searching for new ideas to use these leftovers in an interesting manner.
So for #scraptember I decided to use up my purple, lilac and similarly colored leftovers to knit this new cowl. It is knitted flat, starting with a provisional CO and finished by grafting.



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 200 grams of fingering weight yarn - of course you can use other yarn weights as well, I used yarns of similar colors, but it might be interesting to use mixed colors as well
  • 3.5 mm knitting needles
  • 5 stitch markers
  • a removable stitch marker to mark the RS of your piece
  • more scrap yarn for provisional CO
  • a tapestry needle for grafting and for weaving it the many, many 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 the short row sections at the edges you have to carry up your yarn. This can be done by twisting the unused yarn with the current yarn at the first stitch of the current row - this technique is 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:


Using Your Leftovers
Choose some leftover yarn from your stash - of the same weight (or nearly the same weight) - I used fingering weight yarn of the same part of the color spectrum (violet-ish) plus white for contrast. 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.
As with my Skein Hash Cowl, I wanted to be rather consistent color distribution (or as consistent as possible). That's why I seperated some of the leftover skeins into two 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.

Pattern "Construction"
It is based on a basic wave or chevron pattern - one row with alternating increases and decreases and the next row k all. To make it a bit more interesting, there are short row sequences over one and a half "chevron repeats". There are markers to indicate the end of one chevron repeat.
There are four place to start the short row sequences: 1) at the beginning of the row (called short row section 1), 2) in the middle between M1 and M2 (called short row section 2), 3) at M3 (called short row section 3) and 4) in the middle between M4 and M5 (called short row section 4). This is shown in the schematic below.



Instructions
With scrap yarn, do a provisional CO of 96 stitches

From now on you will always work with three colors which are used alternatingly. After each row, change to the next color. If you run out of one yarn, just attach another one.
After knitting a few rows, mark RS with a removable stitch marker.

Setup row (WS): k 16, place marker (M5), k16, place marker (M4), k16, place marker (M3), k16 place marker (M2), k16, place marker (M1), k16
The markers indicate the end of one chevron repeat, the short row sections are over one and a half chevron repeats.

Basic Knitting Sequence
Knit a neutral ridge (see "Component Parts" below).
Knit a short row section 2.
Knit a neutral ridge.
Knit a short row section 4.
Knit a neutral ridge.
Knit a short row section 1.
Knit a neutral ridge.
Knit a short row section 3.

Repeat until the cowl measures the desired length.  Cut yarn but leave a tail long enough for grafting. Put the stitches of the provisional CO on the second needle. Graft in garter stitch.
Weave in (many) ends.

Mixing It Up
I had not only solid yarn, but variegated yarn as well - and when knitting a short row section it looked better (i.e. stood out better) with a solid color. That's why I occasionally included another neutral ridge to avoid knitting a short row sequence knitted with a variegated yarn.

I also like a kind of random effect in my patterns. That's why I didn't cling to the basic sequence but mixed it up. Here you need to make sure, that you knit all of the 4 short row sections before you start knitting the next sequence. (If you knitted e.g. short row sections 4 three times in a row, the cowl would be askew.)

Component Parts

Neutral Ridge
Row 1 (RS): *ssk, ssk, k2, kfb, kfb, kfb, kfb, k2, ssk, ssk (now you're at the next marker) repeat from * to end
Row 2 (WS): k all

Short Row Section 1
Row 1 (RS): ssk, ssk, k2, kfb, kfb, kfb, kfb, k2, ssk, ssk, ssk, ssk, k2, kfb, kfb, (you're in the middle between M1 and M2), w+t,
   (WS) k to end
   (RS) ssk, ssk, k2, kfb, kfb, kfb, kfb, k2, ssk, ssk, ssk, ssk, k2, kfb, kfb, w+t,
   (WS) k to end
   (RS) *ssk, ssk, k2, kfb, kfb, kfb, kfb, k2, ssk, ssk  repeat from * to end
Row 2 (WS): k all

Short Row Section 2
Row 1 (RS): *ssk, ssk, k2, kfb, kfb, kfb, kfb, k2, ssk, ssk repeat from * twice more (i.e. you're at M3 now), w+t,
   (WS) k24, w+t
   (RS) kfb, kfb, k2, ssk, ssk, ssk, ssk, k2, kfb, kfb, kfb, kfb, k2, ssk, ssk (you're back at M3), w+t,
   (WS) k24, w+t
   (RS) kfb, kfb, k2, ssk, ssk, *ssk, ssk, k2, kfb, kfb, kfb, kfb, k2, ssk, ssk repeat from * to end
Row 2 (WS): k all

Short Row Section 3
Row 1 (RS): *ssk, ssk, k2, kfb, kfb, kfb, kfb, k2, ssk, ssk repeat from * three times more (you're at M4),  ssk, ssk, k2, kfb, kfb, w+t,
   (WS) k24, w+t
   (RS) ssk, ssk, k2, kfb, kfb, kfb, kfb, k2, ssk, ssk, ssk, ssk, k2, kfb, kfb, w+t,
   (WS) k24, w+t
   (RS): *ssk, ssk, k2, kfb, kfb, kfb, kfb, k2, ssk, ssk repeat from * to end
Row 2 (WS): k all

Short Row Section 4
Row 1 (RS): *ssk, ssk, k2, kfb, kfb, kfb, kfb, k2, ssk, ssk (now you're at the next marker) repeat from * to end, turn (stranding up the next yarn)
   (WS) k24, w+t,
   (RS) kfb, kfb, k2, ssk, ssk, ssk, ssk, k2, kfb, kfb, kfb, kfb, k2, ssk, ssk , turn (stranding up the next yarn)
   (WS) k24, w+t,
Row 2 (WS): k all


Samstag, 15. September 2018

Three New Cowls ... or Current WIPs and Future Patterns

Somehow, I have quite a few unfinished projects or half-finished patterns lying around - they are in various stages of completion. Three of them are for cowls ...



From top to bottom, they are:
  • The cowl on the top was an idea to combine short rows and two color brioche, I finished knitting last year, but somehow I didn't write up the pattern. But I do love the cowl, it's soft and squishy since both textures (brioche and garter stitch) are rather thick. Plus I used very soft yarn (dark purple Wollmeise Merino and speckled white Lanartus Superwash). I've nearly finished writing the pattern, so it will be published soon.
  • The middle one is a scrap yarn project - like the Skein Hash Cowl there are always three strands of yarn, that are knitted alternatingly. When you run out of one yarn, just attach your next piece of leftovers. It's a basic chevron pattern, but with some short rows thrown in to make it a bit more interesting. As most of my cowls it is knitted flat - started with a provisional CO and finished by grafting. I used leftovers of different shades of purple, violet and lilac plus white for this one.
  • The last one (bottom of the picture) is an attempt to do an intarsia pattern with only one strand of the MC yarn - light blue alpaca in this case. It's combined with squares of Lang Sansibar which makes it look like actual tiles. Unfortunately, I ran out of the light blue yarn (I had 1 and a half skeins left over from another project) and I'm currently debating with myself how to finish it. I could a) keep it really short, b) finish it with the same yarn type (alpaca), but in a different color, c) use another light blue yarn, i.e. a really old leftover that is quite similar in color and weight. Trying to buy a new skein is not an option because the yarn is discontinued. 
Since I'm currently on holiday, there is a real chance that I finish
a) the cowls and
b) writing up the patterns

And if anybody has any naming suggestions for the last two, I'd be glad to hear them.

Freitag, 7. September 2018

When It All Goes Pear Shaped

In my part of the world it's getting colder and there's a definite feeling of autumn in the air. That's why I wanted to knit something with an "autumn theme". I had just baked a coconut-milk cake with pears, so I decided that a pea rshaped potholder would be a great idea. It took me about 4 attempts to get the shaping right, i.e. the way I liked it.
These pieces can be used as potholders, hotpads, washcloths or coasters. The construction is similar to my Pumpkin Potholders of last year. It's a combination of short rows and intarsia. Since it is a small piece of knitting, it's great to learn a new technique.


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 30 grams of Aran weight yarn in two colors - the main color (MC) for the body of the pear and a contrast color (CC) for the contour and the stem
  • 4 mm knitting needles
  • a tapestry needle to weave in ends

Size and Gauge
The finished piece measures 14 cm at the widest point, 21 cm at the highest point (without the stem)
I counted about 9 stitches for 5 cm in width and about 10 ridges for 5 cm in height.



Techniques and Abbreviations
  • Throughout the pattern, the following notation will be used: "CC (k2); MC (k13, t+p, k12); CC(k2)"   means "knit 2 sts with CC; change to MC and knit 13, do a turn an pull, knit 12 stitches with MC; change back to CC and knit the 2 stitches - i.e. before the brackets the yarn is defined and the instructions are given inside the brackets.
  • Please note that for this pattern the last 2 stitches in CC of a row (when they are reached after using the MC - which only happens a few times) are knitted with the tail of that was left over by the long tail CO. That way,  it is not necessary to use a 2nd skein or bobbin in CC - and it also avoids two more ends to weave in :) See photo below. Here, e.g. CCtail (k2, turn, sl1, k1) means "with the tail of CC knit 2 stitches, turn, sl1 and k1". In order to avoid a second skein or bobbin (and two more ends to weave in). You're asked to leave a tail of your CO and knit with it. See photo below.
  • Knitted Cast-On: See this Youtube-video by Very Pink Knits - used to craft the pumpkin's stem. 
  • kfb: knit front & back - an increase
  • ssk: slip slip knit - a left leaning decrease




Instructions
With CC and a long tail CO cast on 56 sts but leave a tail that is about 1m long. This tail called is CCtail and will be used to knit a few stitches at the bottom of the pear).
Knit 1 row in CC

[1] RS CC (sl1, k1), MC (k52, w+t,
   WS k36, w+t
[2] RS k1, ssk, k25, ssk, ssk, k2, w+t,
   WS k45, w+t
[3] RS k1, ssk, k13, ssk, k8, ssk, k11, ssk, k2, w+t,
   WS k37, w+t
[4] RS k1, ssk, k11, ssk, k13, ssk, ssk, k2, w+t,
   WS k18, w+t
[5] RS k1, ssk, k16, ssk, k2, w+t,
   WS k35, w+t
[6] RS k1, ssk, k13, ssk, k12, ssk, k2 w+t,
   WS k24, w+t
[7] RS k12, ssk, k7, ssk, k3) CCtail (k2, turn,
    WS sl1, k1), MC (k34), CC (k2)
[8] RS CC (sl1, k1), MC (k1, ssk, k16, ssk, k8, w+t,
   WS k27, w+t
[9] RS k1, ssk, k26, w+t,
   WS k27, w+t
[10] RS k1, ssk, k15, ssk, k8, w+t,
   WS k27), CC (k2, CO 8 with knitted cast on)
[11] RS CC(k3, kfb, k1, kfb, k2 ktbl, k1), MC (k22, w+t,
   WS k8, w+t
[12] RS k15, CCtail (k2, turn
   WS sl1, k1), MC (k29), CC (k16, kfb, k5)
[13] RS CC (BO11, k2), MC (k19, kfb, k2, w+t,
   WS k16, w+t
[14] RS k17, kfb, k2, w+t,
   WS k24, w+t
[15] RS k1, kfb, k18, k1, w+t,
   WS k17, w+t
[16] RS k2, kfb, k13, kfb, k3, w+t,
   WS k31, w+t
[17] RS k1, kfb, k8, kfb, k13, kfb, k2, w+t,
   WS k32), CC (k2)
[18] RS CC (sl1, k1), MC (k2, kfb, k12, kfb, k10, kfb, k1, w+t,
   WS k16, w+t
[19] RS k2, kfb, k14, kfb, k1, w+t,
   WS k33, w+t
[20] RS k1, kfb, k14, kfb, k16, kfb, k7), CCtail (k2, turn
   WS sl1, k1), MC (k45, w+t
[21] RS k2, kfb, k32, kfb, w+t,
   WS k19, w+t
[22] RS k2, kfb, k17, kfb, kfb, w+t,
   WS k39, w+t
[23] RS k1, kfb, k41, w+t,
   WS k50), CC (k2)
[24] RS CC (sl1, k all
   WS sl1, k all
Bind off in CC.

Once you've finished your pear there will be a small indentation at the bottom of the pear. This can be sewn closed with the tail end of your yarn before weaving in the end.