Wednesday, October 10, 2018

FO: Gina's Brioche Cowl

(I took this cowl to the White Mountains in New Hampshire this week -- unfortunately I didn't get much use out of it because it was so hot, but it was great hiking weather!)

Yarn: Classic Elite Yarns Wynter (1 skein) and Malabrigo Yarn Mecha (1 skein)
Needle: US size 10.5 circular

I've always liked the look of the brioche stitch, but I hadn't tried two-color brioche. I had a really nice skein of Malabrigo Mecha that I wasn't sure what to do with. I tend to buy one nice skein of yarn when traveling, but then struggle to find an appropriate project. This project is perfect for using up those purchases. Since my yarns were much bulkier than those called for in the pattern, I only cast on 132 and used a size 10.5 needle.

It was a super quick knit in this bigger gauge. It was also a really fun to watch the stitches develop and created a great reversible fabric. Unfortunately, Wynter sheds quite a bit so I don't know if I'll use the other two skeins I have (After knitting I was always covered with wispy blue fibers). I'm planning on casting on another ASAP with a more contrasting pair of colors! I'll also add a bit more length next time. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

FO: Mount Pleasant Tee

Needle: US Size 5 

I only got two truly "summer knits" completed this year (including my Silver Spring Tank), but it was definitely a good summer in terms of knitting things I will actually wear. The Mount Pleasant tee by Pip & Pin was a fun knit that translates really well into a wearable top. After I finished my Walpole Sweater I told myself I'd never knit a garment in fingering weight again (hours of endless stockinette with slow progress took a lot of the fun out of knitting for me), but this was a surprisingly quick knit.

I love the lace detail of this little top. I knit the size small but used some the medium directions in terms of length so it was not quite as cropped. If i were to knit it again I think i would add about 1/2" more of length.

Collars that are picked up around the edges of sweaters/garments are a huge challenge for me (see: this rather "rustic" looking collar I created here). I also have some trouble weaving in ends neatly so that they don't poke through the fabric like is happening on the shoulders. If you have any tips/videos for upping my finishing game leave me a link in the comments :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Free Pattern: Silver Spring Tank

My major goal for this summer was to really embrace summer knitting (cotton! linen! tank tops! tshirts!). This knitted tank is named after the town in Maryland where I stayed while doing archival research in early June. I was pretty exhausted each evening so it also ended up being where I did most of the knitting for this piece.

I had a specific set of characteristics I was looking for in a summer tank top, namely: worsted weight cotton yarn, slightly cropped, high neck. 

This tank top knits up quickly and requires about 500 yards of a cotton worsted weight yarn at its smallest size. The yarn used here is Rowan Yarns Cotton Jeans in "Canvas." This particular yarn has been discontinued but any worsted weight cotton will do.  

This pattern has not been test knit so please let me know if you have any questions or problems along the way! This is also my first time writing a pattern for something that is not one-size, so I encourage you to check your gauge and also see as you go along whether the fit is to your preference. The size shown is the XS.

This pattern is knit in two parts: a front and a back, has minimal shaping, uses a slipped stitch edge along the body to ease vertical seaming, and a straight-across neckline.

Sizes: XS(S, M, L, XL)
Finished Measurements: 33.5"(36.5", 39.5", 42.5", 45.5") bust
Yarn Requirements: 500 yards of worsted weight cotton for smallest size
Needles: US 8
Gauge: 16 st and 24 rows = 4" in stockinette stitch

CO: cast on
k2tog: knit two together
ssk: slip slip knit
BO: bind off


For Front: 
Main Body:
CO 67(73, 79, 85, 91)
Next Row: *k1, p1, repeat from *, end k1
Repeat previous row until piece measures 1.5" from beginning
Next Row: Slip first stitch purlwise, knit
Next Row: Slip first stitch purlwise, purl, knit last stitch
Repeat these two rows until piece measures 13" from beginning. 

Shape Armholes:
BO 7(9, 11, 13, 15) knitwise, knit to end
BO 7(9, 11, 13, 15) purlwise, knit to end
Next Row: k1, k2tog, knit to last three stitches, ssk, k1
Next Row: purl
Repeat these two rows 2(2, 3, 3, 4) more times

Next Row: knit in stockinette stitch (knit right side, purl wrong side) until piece measures 19" from beginning

Knit 10(10, 10, 12, 12), BO until last 10(10, 10, 12, 12) stitches, knit 10(10, 10, 12, 12) stitches.
Place live shoulders stitches on scrap yarn or stitch holder

For Back:
Follow instructions as for front.

With wrong sides facing, mattress stitch the two pieces using a vertical seam (see a tutorial from WAK here). I chose to begin seaming after the seed stitch hem.
Kitchener stitch shoulders (see a tutorial from Knitty here)
Weave in ends, wet or steam block.

Friday, December 15, 2017

FO Friday: Noisy Hat

Pattern: Noisy
Yarn: Quince & Co. Owl in 'Cement'
Needles: US Size 10

I made this hat for a Secret Santa gift exchange among the economics department graduate students. While I'm in the middle of finals, having this simple project to work on was a very good excuse to procrastinate. The pattern was super clear and easy to follow and I think the recipient was happy :) This will definitely become a go-to gift option.

I tend to measure small projects like this in how many episodes of a show it took to knit. This one took two Christmas movies and one episode of The Office.  

Monday, December 4, 2017

Free Yarn for a Good Cause!

Hello fellow knitters and crocheters! The folks at have reached out to me to help spread the word about their initiative to give yarn to groups knitting or crocheting for a cause.

So whether you're crocheting octopuses for preemie babies ...

knitting sweaters for penguins affected by oil spills...

knitting jumpers for chilly chickens...

or anything in between, please consider applying!

Friday, December 1, 2017

FO Friday: Moss Cropped Sweater

Pattern: A heavily modified version of Ariana by Novel Reed
Yarn: Cascade Yarn Pacific in Moss, held double
Needles: US Size 7

Unfortunately, the Ariana pattern is no longer available, but it was an invaluable jumping off point for my initial measurements and stitch counts.

My goal right now is to knit things that I'll actually wear (most of my handknits end up gathering dust in my closet). I figured the best place to start for inspiration was my own wardrobe. I have a favorite navy blue cropped sweater that I purchased a couple of years ago that I used as a rough template for this sweater. 

I used a top-down seamless construction (I avoid seams at all costs). I may rip the cast off edge out and redo it using Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off as there's not as much give as I would like on the bottom hem.  I was too excited to be finished so for now I'll leave it as is :)

Friday, February 3, 2017

FO Friday: Snowflake Hat

My knitting recently has been driven largely by practical (and selfish) reasons. I knew I wanted a hat with a pompom and I wanted colors that were pretty neutral (my warmest winter jacket is purple, so I try to keep my knits more muted in color). I only had one skein of the blue yarn, and it was so pretty I wanted to make sure I used it for the right item. So far, this hat has gotten plenty of use. 

My own (I may write one up in the future)

Quince & Co. Owl in 'Cement'
& An unknown white wool

US 8

I knit this with the both yarns held at once so it would look variegated. It also was a tight knit meaning extra warmth. 

The pompom came out much better than I thought it would at the beginning. I hardly make them so every time I do, I realize I lost my cardboard cut-outs, have to scrape up some recycled cardboard, relearn exactly how it's supposed to be done, and spend way too long trimming it. I'm still not completely satisfied with it (I wish it was fuller, for one). It works for now, but I'm thinking I may just give in and buy one of the fancy 'pompom makers.' It just seems silly when it's possible to make one without it. 

The wool is also a bit itchy. I'm not sure if it's the fault of the Quince & Co. yarn or the unknown skein. In the future, I think I will limit myself to just soft yarn for headwear.