Samstag, 16. November 2019

Stella - Star-Shaped Potholders

Christmas is the time to decorate the space around you with pretty things. And as a knitter, in the run-up to Christmas I like to knit decorations. And if these decorations are also useful, it's even better. These 8-pointed stars can be used as hotpads, doilies or coasters.
They are knitted in one piece and all in garter stithc– starting with a provisional CO, then point by point around the center. Grafting the first and last rows together gives it a seamless look. The construction uses short rows and basic increases and decreases.
So, if you want a quick knit to get you into a Christmas mood – and maybe learning a couple of new techniques along the way – this pattern is for you.


The pattern is available for purchase on Ravelry here.
The pattern PDF contains:
  • the complete written patterns for stars in two sizes including charts
  • a general pattern how to knit stars in other sizes – containing also a photo tutorial
  • instructions for a variation of this star with a lacy edge together with a chart - see photos at the end of this blogpost






Skills you need to knit this pattern:
  • provisional CO
  • short rows with wrap and turn
  • grafting in garter stich
  • basic increases (kfb) and decreases (ssk and k2tog)



Materials
  • yarn – I used cotton yarns, for the off white ones in Aran weight (15 grams for the small star, 30 grams for the bigger star) and Sports weight yarn for the orange lacy star (about 40 grams)
  • knitting needles that are smaller than what the yarn calls for – I used 2.5mm needles
  • scrap yarn and a crochet hook for a provisional CO
  • a tapestry needle for grafting

Sizes
The bigger star in Aran weight measures 24 cm from tip to tip, the smaller one 16 cm.
The big lacy star in Sports weight yarn measures about 36 cm.




Freitag, 1. November 2019

Autumn is Coming Bandana Cowl

Even though summer stayed for quite a long time here, it is getting colder. That's why I like to wear something "woolly" around my neck - but rather than a heavy bulky scarf, something smaller and lighter. A bandana cowl fits this brief beautifully - since it basically covers your neck and (my preferred) V-neckline :)
I used a light yarn and an easy lace pattern
This cowl is adaptable to your size of neck and to other yarn weights as well - since it's starting small and growing. So by the time you actually would need a swatch, you already have a small knitted piece :)


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






Materials
  • a little more than 50 grams of DK weight yarn (I used Rico Design Essentials Merino DK - here's a link to the yarn's Ravelry page)
  • 4 mm knitting needles (circulars)
  • a stitch marker
  • a tapestry needle to weave in ends

Techniques and Abbreviations
  • Knitted Cast-On: See this Youtube-video by Very Pink Knits.
  • kfb - knit into front and back of one stitch (increase)
  • k2tog - knit 2 stitches together (right leaning decrease)
  • ssk - slip slip knit (left leaning decrease)
  • yo - yarn over

Gauge and Measurements
The cowl that I knitted measures 50 cm in circumference, 31 cm in height at its highest point (front) and 14 cm at its lowest point (back).
Knitted in pattern and (gently) blocked, 32 rows neasure 10 cm in height and 20 sts measure 10 cm in width.

Construction
The bandana cowl is started at the tip of the triangle - knitted flat - grows with increases. Once you've reached a certain width, you use a knitted CO and join in round.



Instructions

Part 1 (knitted flat)
CO4
Row 1 (WS) and all uneven rows in part 1: kfb, p to last st, kfb
Row 2 (RS, start with 6 sts): k all
Row 4 (RS, 8 sts): k1, k2tog, yo, k2 yo, ssk, k1 
Row 6 (RS, 10 sts): k2, yo, ssk, k2, k2tog, yo, k2 
Row 8 (RS, 12 sts): k3, k2tog, yo, k2, yo, ssk, k3 
Row 10 (RS, 14 sts): k4, yo, ssk, k2, k2tog, yo, k4
Row 12 (RS, 16 sts): k1, yo ssk, k2, k2tog, yo, k2, yo, ssk, k2, k2tog, yo, k1
Row 14 (RS, 18 sts): k2, * k2tog, yo, k2, yo, ssk k2 repeat from * to end
Row 16 (RS, 20 sts): k1, * k2, yo, ssk, k2, k2tog yo repeat from * until there are 3 sts left, k3
Row 18 (RS, 22 sts): k2, * k2, k2tog, yo k2, yo, ssk repeat from * until there are 4 sts left, k4

The chart below shows the first 26 rows and also (in red) one repeat of the stitch pattern that is used throughout.



Row 20 (RS): k1, * k2tog, yo, k2, yo, ssk, k2 repeat from * until there are 7 sts left, k2tog, yo, k2, yo, ssk, k1
Row 22 (RS): k2, * yo, ssk, k2, k2tog, yo k2 repeat from * to end
Row 24 (RS): k1, * k2, k2tog, yo, k2, yo, ssk repeat from * until there are 3 sts left, k3
Row 26 (RS): k2, * k2, yo, ssk, k2, k2tog, yo repeat from * until there are 4 sts left, k4

Repeat rows 12 to 27 once more. Then knit rows 12 to 19 once more.
Now you should have 56 sts on your needles.

If you use yarn of a different weight or want other measurements, now is the moment to use the triangle you have just knitted as a swatch:
  • to make sure that the triangle covers a bit more than front part of your neck - if it doesn't you can adjust the number of repeats of rows 20 to 27 accordingly, and
  • to calculate the number of stitches that you have to cast on now. Please make sure to cast on a number of stitches that is divisible by 8.
Knit row 20 once more and after finishing knit do a knitted CO of 40 sts (or the number of stitches that you calculated) and join in round. Place a marker to mark the beginning of the round.


Part 2 (knitted in the round)
Round 1: k all
Round 2: * k1, yo, ssk, k2, k2tog, yo, k1 repeat from * to end
Round 3: k all
Round 4: * k1, k2tog, yo, k2, yo, ssk, k1 repeat from * to end
Knit rounds 1 to 4 a total of 10 times - or until you're about 2.5cm short of the desired height.

Then knit the follwing sequence once
Round 1: * p1, k2, p1 repeat from * to end
Round 2: * k1, yo, ssk, k2, k2tog, yo, k1 repeat from * to end
Round 3: * p1, k2, p1 repeat from * to end
Round 4: * k1, k2tog, yo, k2, yo, ssk, k1 repeat from * to end
Bind off in ribbing (p1k2p1)-pattern

Weave in ends and block gently.

Mittwoch, 9. Oktober 2019

Eckstein Socks

Recently, at a departement store I saw a pair of socks with a heel at a right angle. The claim was that it would be more comfortable to wear because there'd be no crease at the instep. Well, I wanted to try this myself - especially whether they really fitted better. It took me only two attempts to get the shaping right - and even though the socks look a bit strange, they fit rather well.
So, here's the pattern: a pair of socks knitted cuff-down with a right angled heel.


As with most of my sock patterns, I assume that you already have a certain knowledge of how to knit socks. So, this is NOT a stitch-by-stitch and row-by-row pattern.

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






Materials
  • about 50 to 70 grams of fingering weight yarn - a bit more if you like your shaft to be longer (the yarn I used is called Schöller+Stahl Sockina Color, here's the link to the yarn's page on Ravelry)
  • 2.5 mm knitting needles - I used Addi Crazy Trios, but you can also use long circulars (with the Magic Loop method) or dpns
  • 2 stitch markers
  • a tapestry needle to weave in ends


Techniques
    • Knitting the Shadow Wraps: In a knit row (i.e. you're knitting on the outside of your socks), you knit up to the stitch where you want to turn, and then knit into the stitch in the row below, i.e. you insert the right hand needle from the front into the stitch below (1 on picture below) the next stitch and pull your working yarn through (2 on picture below). Then you put the loop onto the left hand needle (creating a double stitch from the stitch below) - keeping the yarn on the back (3 on picture below). Then you turn and your yarn is now in front, tighten it to make sure that all stitches have the same size and start to purl in the opposite direction. This sequence (knitting int the stitch below and turning) will be called kbelow in the pattern.
    • If you're in a purl row, you purl into the stitch of the row below, i.e. insert the right hand needle from the back into the stitch below and draw your yarn through and put the stitch onto your left hand needle - creating a double stitch. The yarn is in front while you're doing this. Turn your work. The yarn is now on the back of your knitting. Make sure that the stitch is as tight as the other stitches on your needles and start knitting in the opposite direction. This sequence will be called pbelow in the pattern.
    • In this pattern you'll be asked to kbelow/pbelow into a stitch that is already a double stitch, i.e. creating a triple stitch.
    • Picking up the double / triple stitches: When you come to a double stitch you can simply knit / purl it as one. This can create quite thick stitches and small holes that might be uncomfortable and not really neat. That's why (on the knit side, outside of the sock) I knitted the triple stitch as follows: slip the first loop of your triple stitch as if to knit (1 on picture below). Slip the second stitch of the triple stitch as if to knit - and do the same with the third stitch (2 on picture below). Slip all three stitches together back onto the left hand needle (i.e. each of the stitches is turned now). Now knit them together through the back loop (3 on picture below).
    • On the purl side I worked the triple stitch like a normal purl 3 together.
    • To avoid holes it is quite important to draw your second and third loops quite tight when turning.

Gauge and Sizes
In stockinette stitch, I had 21 rows for 5cm in height and 15 stitches for 5 cm in width.
With my gauge, a heel (size 36-39) is 8 cm high and wide. Therefore, it's about 0.25 cm less for sizes 32-35, and about 0.25cm more for sizes 40-43.

Here are the stitch counts for the sizes given:

shoe sizetotal number
of stitches
short rowsstitches w/o
short rows (top)
stitches w/o
short rows
(below heel)
33-3556 = 2x281945
36-3960 = 2x302046
40-4264 = 2x322156

Instructions for sizes are given as follows: sizes 32-35 [sizes 36-39, sizes 40-43]. I.e. the instructions before the brackets are for sizes 32 to 35 and in brackets first for sizes 36 to 39 and then for sizes 40 to 43.



Instructions

Cuff
CO 56 [60, 64] stitches and join in round - the start of a round will be at the back of the calf
Knit 15 rounds of k2p2-ribbing
Knit 20 rounds of stockinette stitch - during the last round place a stitch marker after 28 [30, 32] stitches, i.e. after half the stitches

Heel
R1: k to 5 [5, 6] sts before half, kbelow, p to end, p to 5 [5, 6] sts before half, pbelow, k to end
R2: k to 2 sts before last double stitch, kbelow (i.e. now there are two double stitches next to each other), p to end, p to 2 before last double stitch, pbelow, k to end
Repeat R2 17 [18, 19] more times

Now you have 19 [20, 21] double stitches on each side of your heel and your piece should look similar to the photo on the right.

R3: k to first double stitch, k this stitch, kbelow (now you have a triple stitch), p to end, p to first double stitch, p this stitch, pbelow (another triple stitch), k to end - make sure to draw your (third) loops tight before turning.
R4: k to first triple stitch, k this stitch, kbelow, p to end, p to first triple stitch, pbelow, k to end
Repeat R4 until you have used up all your double stitches. Now you have finished your heel and can go on knitting in rounds again.

You'll encounter two leftover triple stitches in the next round
  • work the first one (i.e. that was created on the k-side) as before
  • work the second one (i.e. that was created on the p-side) also by turning the loops one by one before knitting it.
Remove the stitch marker you replaced at the half point.


Foot
Knit in stockinette until you are 5 cm short of the desired total foot length.
Place two stitch markers while knitting the last round, one at 1/4 of your stitches (i.e. after 14, [15, 16] stiches - called M1) and one after 3/4 of your stitches (i.e. after 42, [45, 48] stitches - called M2).


Toes
Knit to M1 - the following rounds will start and end at this marker, i.e. the rounds will from now on start at the side of your foot.
R1: k1, ssk, k to 3 bef M2, k2tog, k1, slip marker, k1, ssk1, k to 3 bef M1, k1 (decrease row)
R2: k all
R3 = R2
R4 = R2
R5 = R1 (decrease row)
R6 = R2
R7 = R2
R8 = R1 (decrease row)
R9 = R2
R10 = R2
R11 = R1 (decrease row)
R12 = R2
R13 = R1 (decrease row)
R14 = R2
R15 = R1 (decrease row)
R16 = R2
R17 = R1 (decrease row)
R18 = R1 (decrease row)
R19 = R1 (decrease row)
R20 = R1 (decrease row)

Now you have a total of 16, [20, 24] stitches left, i.e. 2x8, [2x10, 2x12] stitches.
Rearrange your stitches to sit on two needles - with needle 1 holding the stitches between M1 and M2, and the other holding the stitches between M2 and M1.
Cut yarn and graft toes in stockinette stitch.

Weave in ends.
Make two.



Donnerstag, 5. September 2019

Grape Socks

Usually, I have quite a few ideas what to knit next. But sometimes I am out of ideas or have only ideas that don't feel right at the time - that's when I knit socks, plain socks.
My preferred method is knitting toe-up socks - and ever since I first tried it, a flap heel. 
I used the method described here, i.e. Sarah Keller's Generic Toe-Up, Slip-Stitch Heel, Sock Formula, which worked brilliantly for me.


The stitch pattern that I used was as follows (very similar to my Osterspaziergang Socks):
Using a multiple of 4 stitches, the pattern consists of 6 rows.
Row 1: * k1, ssk, yo, k1 repeat from *
Rows 2 and 3: k all
Row 4: * k1, yo, k2tog, k1 repeat from *
Rows 5 and 6: k all


The yarn used here is called Regia Cotton Tutti Frutti Color, colorway 2423 Grapes - here's a link to the yarn's Ravelry page.

Donnerstag, 22. August 2019

Escalera Scarf

Recently, I was invited to hold knitting workshops for the first time. I decided to have one on knitting square holes without cutting yarn – a technique I had used in my Negative Spaces Scarf. Since I had only one pattern with this technique, I wanted to design a second one in order to have something more to show and also to remind myself of how to do it.
This scarf is knitted sideways and all in garter stitch , but with square shaped holes. Once you've mastered how to do the square holes, this scarf is great TV or travel knitting.








The pattern is available for puchase on Ravelry here and on Loveknitting here.


The pattern PDF contains:
  • a photo tutorial on how to knit the square holes without cutting  yarn, 
  • a schematic plus explanations of the scarf's construction
  • row-by-row instructions to knit this scarf

Materials
  • about 200 grams of fingering weight yarn – I used a Zauberball (Colorway Teezeremonie)
  • two stitch markers – one of them removable
  • 3.25 mm knitting needles
  • a tapestry needle to weave in ends
The scarf I knitted measures 185 cm in length and 50 cm at its widest point. But the pattern is written in a way that you can adapt the size.


Necessary Knitting Skills
Besides plain garter stitch you need the following skills to knit this scarf
  • backwards loop cast on
  • bind off
  • knitted cast on
  • k2togtbl

Samstag, 17. August 2019

Box Pleat Top

I have been meaning to learn to sew for quite a while now. A few months ago, I started in earnest - usually with old fabric that was already available in my home - e.g. old bed linen.
I'm learning quite a bit while doing it, so I think it might be a nice idea to share my learning process when trying to make new clothes without bought sewing patterns. Especially, if I share my mistakes, too :)
My goal now is to sew a top (blouse, shirt etc.) that looks professional enough to wear it at work. I sewed this top twice - the second time with a quite neat facing. I'm not yet there, but I'm getting closer ...


Please note: This is NOT a complete tutorial, but a rough description of the idea.

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




Materials
  • about 1 meter of woven fabric - I used old bed linen
  • thread in a matching color
  • scissors (or a rotary cutter)
  • pins
  • a sewing machine
  • a pressing iron
  • a top that fits you well, in order to take the pattern from it
  • paper to draw your pattern on


How-To

1) create your pattern
Fold you top in half and place it on paper. Draw a line about it, adding at least 1cm for seam allowance (except on the fold).


2) cut the front and back
Place your pattern pieces on your fabric and cut them out. Since the top was made of stretchy fabric - and I planned to use (woven) non-stretchy fabric for my top, I added a about three centimeters on the side for front and back. (When in doubt, always cut a bit more - it's easier to take clothes in than out.)
As the original top didn't have a box pleat - I had to add about 5 cm on the fold for the front piece (on the right in the picture below). On the front piece mark the place (at the neckline) for the box pleat.


3) sew the box pleat seam
Fold the front piece in half (right sides together) and sew a seam thats about 7 cm long from the neckline straight down - parallel to the fold (see black dotted line on the picture above).
Now open the piece, distribute the pleat equally on both sides around the seam.
Press the pleat down with your iron and fix the pleat with pins. You can see the result, in the picture below.

4) cut the facings (front and back)
Now fold both pieces in half insides together and place each of them on a piece of fabric. Cut out the same shape than the upper part of the piece. I tried to match the stripe pattern, but since the facing pieces will be on the inside, this is not especially important.
Here, by the way, I made a mistake, as I cut the facing pieces too long - about 15 cm below the armhole. Had I sewn this down the side, the top would have been too tight. So I ended up cropping them shorter.



5) sew facings to outer pieces
Place the facing of the front to the front piece (right sides) together and sew the armholes and the neckline. Do the same with the back piece and its facing.


Cut into the curves, but make sure not to cut your sewing.


Turn both pieces right sides out and give them a good press.

6) sew shoulder seams
Mark one side of both pieces (e.g. the left-hand side) with pins or clips.
Now turn the back piece insides out and draw the shoulder straps of the front piece (right sides out) up throug the back pieces shoulder straps so that the upper edges meet. Make sure that the facing pieces face each other as well as the main pieces. Sew the shoulder seams closed (see dotted lines on the picture below.
Turn the piece back right sides out the press it.


As you can see on the picture above I had now cropped the facing pieces to a curve - in a way that I would only sew a few centimeters into the side seams.

7) sew side seams
Now lay both front and back right sides together and sew the side seams from under the arm to the bottom hem.

8) sew the bottom hem
Fold the lower edge over, fix it with pins and sew it.

Turn your top back right sides out, give it a final press with your iron ...
... and voilà, it's finished.


Montag, 12. August 2019

Sideways Garter Stitch Basket

I never have enough places to store my unfinished knitting or crochet projects. Usually, I prefer bowls or baskets. So, since I had a lot of old T-shirt yarn lying around, I decided to knit a new basket using this yarn.
This basket is knitted sideways all in garter stitch - with short rows for shaping. Because I used a provisional CO and grafted beginning and end together, the piece is seamless.
Of course it can also be used to store or to present other things, e.g. it could be used as a basket for your breakfast rolls :)


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






Materials
  • T-shirt yarn, but other heavy weight yarns (e.g. Cotton) will also work - I used about 200 grams of old T-shirt yarn (cut from ribbed jersey) - I worked in stripes. changing after each ridge
  • knitting needles that are rather too small for your yarn (to give it stability) - I used 10mm knitting needles
  • a really big tapestry needle for grafting

Techniques


Instructions

Do a provisional CO of 20 sts
Row 0 (Setup Row): k all sts
Ridge 1: k19 w+t k to end
Ridge 2: k18 w+t k to end
Ridge 3: k17 w+t k to end
Ridge 4: k16 w+t k to end
Ridge 5: k15 w+t k to end
Ridge 6: k14 w+t k to end
Ridge 7: k15 w+t k to end
Ridge 8: k16 w+t k to end
Ridge 9: k17 w+t k to end
Ridge 10: k18 w+t k to end
Ridge 11: k19 w+t k to end
Ridge 12 k all, turn, k all
Repeat ridges 1 to 12 twice more, then knit ridges 1 to 11 once.

Put the stitches from the provisional CO on a second needle.
Cut the yarn, but leave a tail long enough for grafting.
Graft in garter stitch.


If you're not comfortable with provisional CO and grafting, you can change the pattern as follows:
  • instead of row 0, knit one ridge with all stitches
  • then knit ridges 1 to 12 a total of four times - binding off in the last row of the last ridge 12
  • sew the two sides (CO and BO) together



How to Adapt the Size

To make this bigger (or smaller) do more (or fewer) stitches in the provisional CO.
Since I wanted my basket to be about as high as it was wide, I did short rows up to about a third of the total number of stitches.
If you want a different ratio, you have to adapt the number of short rows - e.g. for a wider basket more (and shorter) short rows.