Freitag, 26. November 2021

Starry Christmas Decorations - Knitted

The first sunday of advent is coming up, which is the time to decorate your space as christmassy as possible. And for me stars - knitted and otherwise - are the best way to do so. 

So here are two seasonal patterns that help to bring a starry sparkle to your home.

Stella Star-Shaped Potholders

These potholders (doilies, coasters) are knitted flat and in garter stitch. This pattern was published two years ago. Lately, I have completely reviewed it and added two more variations. 

The new pattern PDF 14 pages long and 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
  • three further variations of this pattern (see photos below)
    • a lacy variation of this star – written pattern and a chart
    • a pattern for a two-colour variation – written pattern, a chart and detailed instructions how to undo the provisional CO in two colours and how to do the grafting in two colours
    • a three-colour variation – chart only 
  • short photo tutorials for the following techniques
    • provisional cast on with a crochet hook and how to undo it
    • grafting in garter stitch
    • intarsia

You can buy this pattern

Sternchen 3D-Stars

Even though these stars are 3-dimensional they are knitted flat. They have six points, are constructed of short rows and knitted (nearly) all in garter stitch. They come in four sizes and can be used to decorate your house for Christmas.

The pattern PDF contains

  • a written pattern for four sizes of these little stars (ranging from 6 to 14 cm in diameter - if knitted in fingering weight yarn)
  • a chart for two sizes
  • photo illustrations for various stages of star

The pattern is available as a PDF

Samstag, 13. November 2021

U-Turn Hat in 6-Ply Yarn

About four years ago, I published a hat pattern that was based on the idea of a magic cast-on and knitting around it in a U-shape (U-Turn Hat) - as with many of my knitted accessories, it is knitted in fingering weight. Motivated by an online discussion with Angela from, I thought it might be a good idea to knit it in a thicker yarn. So the next time I went into a yarn store, I looked for some self-striping 6- or 8-ply yarn. I bought some Zwerger Opal Sweet Dreams (Colorway 9720 Sternentänzer, here's a link to the yarn's Ravelry page).

In this blogpost, I'll explain how I "adapted" the pattern to 6-ply yarn. 

If you like that kind of construction, I have used a similar idea before for fingerless gloves (U-Turn Mitts) and slipppers (U-Turn Slippers).

Step 1: Check the general construction

The hat is knitted flat an in a U-shape around the first magic CO. Each row consists of a garter stitch part (ribbing - at the beginning and end of each row) and a semicircular bit around the turning point of the U. The slope is achieved by changing the number of increases and decreases. See schematic below.

Construction - click to enlarge

First there are 4 decreases every 2nd row (section A), which basically creates a semicircle above the ribbing. Then only 3 increases (section B), then only 2 (section C), then only 1 (section D) and finally there will be a few rows without any increases at all (section E).

Once you've reached the middle of your piece, you will knit the same backwards, i.e. there will be decreases instead of increases. That means you start with no decreases (section F), then switch to 1 decrease every 2nd row (section G), then 2 decreases every 2nd row (section H), then 3 (section I) and finally 4 decreases every 2nd row (section J). Until there are only as many stitches left as in the original CO. The piece is finished with a three-needle BO.

To get the slope to fit around a standard head the pattern suggests that of the total number of rows necessary reach the middle of the piece should be divided as follows:

  • about 1/3 for RS rows with 4 in/decreases
  • about the same number for RS rows with 3 in/decreses
  • about 1/6 for RS rows with 2 in/decreases
  • divide the remaining rows equally into rows 1 in/decrease and no in/decrease. 

Step 2: Knit a swatch 

Yes, really. Even though I don't like swatching I knitted a small piece to find out how many rows I needed for the hat to fit around my head and how many stitches I needed to get my desired height of garter stitch ribbing.

Step 3: Calculate and distribute the rows

I decided that I wanted a ribbing about 6 cm high (13 stitches as per my swatch). For a quarter of the circumference of my head I calculated that I would need 27 ridges or 54 rows. 

I then divided the 27 ridges into the sections as follows:

  • section A /J: 9 ridges
  • section B/I: 8 ridges
  • section C/H: 5 ridges
  • section D/G: 3 ridges
  • section E/F: 2 ridges
  • => total number of ridges 27
As you can see, the distribution of the sections is not as exact as suggested by the pattern. But since the resulting fabric (knitting) is quite stretchy, that doesn't matter.

Step 4: Knit 

And while you're knitting, check and measure from time to time, if your calculations are correct and - if necessary - adapt.

Freitag, 5. November 2021

Blümchen Fingerless Gloves

I love fingerless gloves. They are my favorite accessory – and also my favorite piece to knit because they offer so many varieties of constructing them. These are knitted flat and in garter stitch. One edge of the row is the thumb and the mitt shaped around it in short rows. The flower pattern is done in intarsia technique. The piece starts with a provisional CO and is finished by grafting in garter stitch. After grafting the side seams are sewn up.

Since this is an intarsia project with three colours that also uses short rows, it can be quite fiddly. It is NOT a beginner pattern.

The pattern is available via 

The pattern PDF is 15 pages long and contains

  • written row-by-row instructions for knitting a glove in one size (see below) – including eight photos of the different stages
  • pattern chart
  • short photo tutorials for the following techniques
    • provisional CO with a crochet hook and how to undo it
    • grafting in garter stitch
    • short rows with wrap and turn and picking up the wraps 
    • intarsia knitting 
    • weaving in yarn while carrying it (backwards and forwards)
  • step-by-step explanations with photos of
    • undoing the provisional CO in this pattern (i.e. catching stitches in different colours)
    • grafting with colour changes

Gauge and Size(s)
I knitted two pairs – one with 2.5 mm needles and one with 3 mm needles:
  • With 2.5 mm needles 28 ridges (56 garter stitch rows) gave me 10 cm in height and 25 sts gave 10 cm in width (with an unblocked swatch, since I didn't block the mitts). The finished piece knitted with 2.5 mm needles is about 18 cm high (at it's highest point) and about 16 cm in diameter (without just below the thumb). 
  • With 3 mm needles 26 ridges (53 garter stitch rows) gave me 10 cm in height and 23 sts gave 10 cm in width (also with  unblocked swatch). The finished piece measures about 20 cm in height and about 18 cm in diameter (just below the thumb).
However, the pieces are all in garter stitch, so they are quite stretchy.
The picture below shows a comparison of the two "sizes".

To knit a pair of these fingerless gloves you need the following materials
  • Fingering weight yarn in three colors – I used a total about 35 to 40 grams (or 150 to 170 metres):
    • about 20 grams of C1 (green in the title picture)
    • about 14 grams of C2 (white in the title picture)
    • about 4 grams of C3 (pink in the title picture)
  • 2.5 mm or 3 mm knitting needles – straight or circulars (or another needle that gives you the gauge) 
  • scrap yarn and a crochet hook (about 3mm) for the provisional CO
  • 2 removable stitch markers 
  • two tapestry needles for grafting and to weave in ends
Just before finishing the 2nd mitt :)