Montag, 22. Oktober 2018

Finished Objects or Good Train Knitting

Time spent on public transport - especially over longer distances - can be quality knitting time. But when you knit on a train you need a knitting project that is suitable for the environment. For me, a suitable project usually has to fulfil the following criteria:
  1. only one skein of yarn is needed
  2. the yarn weight is quite light (fingering or below) so
  3. no additional knitting accessories are needed (e.g. cable needles, stitch holders ...)
  4. the pattern is not too complicated or - even better - it's so easy that you don't need the pattern
Basically the same criteria apply, when I'm knitting something that I have designed myself on the train. But then it must also be so easy that I do not have to take notes while knitting on the train. But in order to have a good self-designed train project, you need some inspiration.

This year, I ran out of inspiration quite a few times - and unfortunately, this coincided with the times I went on longer train journeys. So I had to fall back on knitting somebody else's patterns.

In June - when I went to Zurich, i.e. 2 x 5 hours on the train - I decided on knitting Garnomera's Durkslag (free pattern available on Ravelry).  It's a gorgeous shawl, in half-circle shape with many small holes - so that it looks like a colander (or durkslag in Swedish). I had seen photos of it on instagram a few years ago and loved the look of it. Even though I was quite reluctant to knit something that wasn't designed by myself, I was quite happy once I had started. Plus it beautifully matched the yarn I had (Puk Puk by Bilum).

For my holidays in September I needed something even bigger because I planned to go to the North Sea (about 2 x 6-7 hours by train) and afterwards again to Switzerland. Plus, I wanted to knit something multifunctional, i.e. something that can be worn as a poncho, shrug or scarf - using a skein of Wollmeise Lace (300 grams, about 1500 meters). I bought the pattern for Smooth Sailor by Strickmich (Martina Behm) - a paid pattern available on Ravelry. I did the cast on and the first rows (the part where you actually need the pattern) at home and knitted the rest (really, REALLY easy) during my holidays. I changed the last rows a bit by not knitting a ruffle (as suggested in the pattern) but a garter stitch edge. The piece has a great construction and I love wearing it.

Since both of these projects are knitted with Lace weight light yarn they took quite a while to finish. But I am really happy with both finished objects - and I highly recommend both patterns!
How do you choose which projects you take on a journey?

Samstag, 13. Oktober 2018

Pointy Hat

Ever since I went to a Discworld convention a long time ago and saw so many people dressed as wizzards and witches, I wanted a pointy hat. At the time, I couldn't get one and later I didn't have many occasions where a pointy hat would have been useful :-)
But lately I thought about it again and decided that I would knit such a hat for myself - to wear on Halloween and also during carnival.
This pointy hat is really easy to knit and adjustable to your head circumference. The hat knitted top-down and in the round - starting with a cone in plain stockinette and ending with a brim in stockinette with some purl rows (but not quite garter stitch).

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  • yarn - I used about 80 grams of worsted weight yarn
  • knitting needles (dpns or circulars to knit in the round) - I used 2.5 mm circular needles, in any case, use smaller needles than your yarn calls for to get a stiff texture of fabric
  • 4 stitch markers
  • a tapestry needle to weave in ends
The pattern is written in a way that you can adapt it to any yarn weight. It is important - however - to use needles that are smaller than the yarn usually requires in order to get a very tight fabric. This is necessary to get a hat that supports itself.



CO 6 stitches and join in round. Place a stitch marker to mark the beginning/end of a round.
From now on until the hat fits around your head, you need to increase by one stitch per round at a random point in the round. I used kfb's to increase, but you can use any increase you like.

To get a better distribution of the increases, I did divided the number of stitches into 4 parts (with stitch markers) and would increase in the 1st part in one round, in the 2nd part in next, then in the 3rd, then the 4th and then start again with increasing once in part 1.

Repeat until the hat has a circumference that fits around your head.
Knit about 10 rows without increases and then continue with brim.


Round 1: * k2, kfb repeat from * until there are fewer than 3 stitches left, k to end
Round 2: k all
Round 3: p all
Round 4: k all
Repeat rounds 2 - 4 three more times or until the brim is as wide as you'd like, then BO.

Cut yarn and weave in ends.

Since the texture is very stiff, the hat stays in shape without any help.
The "hat band" that you see in the photos is actually made up from two lifelines I put in when I was still deciding how to knit the brim (and expecting that I'd have to frog it at least once :). In the end, I quite liked the look so I kept them in.

Freitag, 5. Oktober 2018

Biased Brioche Cowl

I like to experiment with my knitting and to combine techniques. This time, I wanted to try out short rows in combination with two color brioche. The result is a comfortable piece with a squishy texture that is perfect for autumn and winter.
This cowl starts with a provisional cast on, is knitted flat and finished with grafting in garter stitch.

The pattern is available for purchase on Ravelry here.
Get a 40% discount on my latest cowl pattern. Discount ends Oct 14, 2018.

  • about 130 grams of fingering weight yarn in main color (MC) – I used Wollmeise Pure – colorway “Ballerina”
  • about 60 grams of fingering weight yarn in contrast color (CC) – I used a speckled yarn by Lanartus
  • scrap yarn and a crochet hook for provisional CO
  • 3.5 mm knitting needles - I used circulars, but straight needles will do as well
  • a tapestry needle to weave in ends

Gauge and Size
In garter stitch 10 ridges (i.e. 20 rows) gave 5 cm in height, 11 stitches gave 5 cm in width. This was measured on a blocked piece.
The finished cowl measures about 27 cm wide, and measures about 130 cm in circumference.

To finish this cowl, you need the following skills
  • Provisional Cast-On
  • Short Rows with Wrap and Turn
  • Two Color Brioche
  • Grafting in Garter Stitch