Monday, November 5, 2018

Testing a New Design: the Prospectus Hat


I've been designing patterns for a while now, but most have been very simple and didn't take me more than a day or two to put together. I've been looking to challenge myself recently and, in my quest to finally knit myself a hat I want to wear, spent the last couple of weeks putting this hat together. I have to mention here that I was procrastinating quite a bit on my dissertation plan.

I've always knit but never really felt like a "serious" designer. I think this hat was a good first step to starting to define myself that way. 


This hat was a challenge in a few respects: fully charting a pattern from scratch, figuring out how many cable repeats I can fit in a certain circumference, and decreasing while maintaining many of the cables all took some extra care. Below are the two versions of the hat I knit. The one of the left was the first pass at figuring out what would look good. For the second one, I added another cable twist and tried to decrease a little more gradually. I had to rip out the one of the right more than a few times to correct decreases and length. Overall, I'm very happy with the way the second one turned out and it was worth the temporary frustrations.



This hat is knit in a DK weight yarn on US Size 3 and Size 6 needles. The one on the right is knit in Madelinetosh Tosh DK in Aura -- I spent way more on this yarn than I would normally justify, but I felt this pattern was important enough. I started by fully charting it and then transformed the chart into written instructions.


Given how much time and effort this pattern took, I have decided I will sell this pattern rather than offering for free. I am currently in search of test knitters (check out my instagram to see the call!) and hope to be able to offer the pattern for download in a couple months!


Sunday, November 4, 2018

All the Baby Knits


I'm becoming an aunt for the first time and I am so excited! This weekend was my sister's baby shower and I wanted to give her some of the most classic baby knits.

Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Rios in Fresco Y Seco 
Needles: US Size 10


The blanket was such a treat to knit. Firstly, Malabrigo Rios is my favorite yarn to knit with -- very soft and great color variegation. The pattern was also perfect for knitting during a five hour road trip I took to Montreal for a conference -- easy repeats and speedy (I even got some knitting in during the conference sessions). I cast on 101 instead of 71 and used two skeins to make it bigger. The result is a very soft and warm blanket that can be thrown in the washing machine in case there are any accidents :)




There are so many booties patterns out there! I was going to try a non-seaming one but ended up settling on this classic version from Bernat. There's just something about knit baby booties that is the cutest.


Pattern: Personal


I cannot for the life of me remember what pattern I used for this hat. I'm pretty sure I snagged the cast on number from a pattern and then just proceeded to knit until it seemed long enough and then decreased around. 


I've been waiting to post final pictures of these projects until they were gifted. My ravelry queue is now full of other projects for after she arrives. 


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.

If you enjoyed this free pattern, please consider clicking on one of the ads in the post!




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

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

Pattern:

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.

Finishing: 
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 yarncanada.ca 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!