Thursday, January 31, 2008

Not Knitting, (but still crafty?)

As I stated on page one, I occasionally will chat about things other than knitting(gasp). Although it is unthinkable, at times I am drawn to projects that do not involve string and sticks. These paintings were inspired by a bathroom that is gradually becoming a true oasis, with shells and artifacts and paintings of tropical places and things. Every time I am in the islands, I am inspired by the amazings flowers, so bright and lush, so different from the grey Canadian landscape I leave behind (we always go in the Winter).

These are 8 x 10 size acrylic paintings on 140lb acid free cold press paper, in white matts with dark brown wood frames.

They lean up against a huge canvas of the island in the bay at the Couples, Ocho Rios, in Jamaica. An absolutely lovely resort we visited.

The large canvas was done last year shortly after our return from the place. It is also acrylic on a stretched canvas (no frame).

The last of the new series is a bright Bird of Paradise, same size, painted as a wedding gift to a nice young couple who will honeymoon in Hawaii. I hope they will be as captivated by the flowers as I was, and this will remind them of their trip.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Yarn That Appears in the Mail (a.k.a: Joy in a Box)

The Sock yarn arrived! My Knitting Group are going to dye them in a few weeks (photos will happen!). You can see in the photo, peeking through from the bottom of the box some burgundy Esprit from elann, a cotton stretch yarn that I love for summer wear.... Design to be worked out as the weather gets warmer. I also got the new Vogue Knitting winter magazine, and found this amazing cardigan / jacket. WOW. I happen to have in my stash, waiting for the perfect (deserving) pattern, and this may be it. The yarn is Ram Wool's Inca Silk, a yarn I have used before and LOVE. I will have to swatch (yes, it's true, I actually swatch to check gauge!)

I have finished the hoody from Son of Stitch and Bitch, here, and it has turned out to be a cute, girly, version of the male hoody, don't you think?

Next project: I have some 100 % silk, from Hand Maiden (Canadian hand-dyed yarns). It is Two Four Silk, worsted weight, knit on 4.5mm needles. The colour is blackberry, a mix of red, purple and blue. At first I thought a loose pullover (drapey), but upon swatching (again, the swatch reference?), and blocking, I found it behaved like many silks and relaxed and became VERY soft. I think it is much better suited for a shawl or wrap than a structured sweater, so the beginnings of a new wrap pattern is in the works.... stay tuned!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Unexpectedly Excellent Scarf

So I had leftover superwash 100% wool, same yarn, in 2 vastly different colours. No way these two would look nice together, much less look EXCELLENT together, but me, I have rarely conformed to traditional (or any) rules, especially in knitting, so here it is.

Yarn: 2 balls of each of two colours Walmart Easy Knit 100 % mercerized wool. Colours lime and stone. One partial ball of black (worsted weight from stash) You could use any number of colours of left over yarn, separated by one constant colour (like the black), good de-stashing project!

Needles: 5.0 mm

Gauge: 28 sts in rib pattern = 4 inches.

With 5.0 mm needles, and lime, cast on 36 sts.
* Work in K1, P1 ribbing for 4 inches. Break off lime yarn (leave about 5 inches to darn in later)
Attach black and work ONE row in rib. Break off and attach stone colour.
Knit 4 inches of stone, and switch again to black for ONE row, then repeat from *

Continue alternating lime and stone, separating with one row of black, until desired length (mine is 6 feet long). End with a lime block and cast off in lime. (symmetry makes me happy).
Ta da! looks great with bright sweaters, and looks great with khaki and brown coats. Such a talented scarf.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Big Checkerboard Scarf

Beautiful, Big, Checker-board Scarf.

This came to be, when I found 6 fuzzy balls of yarn in a clearance bin at Cloth and Clay along with matching silky ribbon yarn. The whole 7 balls came in at less than $25, and the resulting scarf is luxurious. The pattern is not too obvious, but allows front and back to be the same, and shows a bit of texture.

Yarn: Substitute yarns currently available: Patons Divine, your choice of colour, and coordinating ribbon yarn (from stash) or clearance bins! Elann has a Ribbon yarn, Victoria, Stacy Charles that would work.

Needles: 7.0 mm staight needles, crochet hook for fringe.
Gauge: 10 sts and 14 rows = 4 inches.
Finished measurements: 12 inches wide and approx 7 feet long (plus fringe).

Checkerboard pattern: Cast on 30 sts.

Row 1: K10, P10, K10
Row 2: P10, K10, P10
repeat these 2 rows until 14 rows have been completed.
Row 15 (right side): P10, K10, P10
Row 16: K10, P10, K10
repeat these 2 rows until 14 rows in this section are done.

Starting again with row 1, work these 28 rows repeating until last ball of yarn is almost done, or desired length of scarf is completed. Cast off 30 sts.

Using crochet hook attach fringe as follows. Use a book to wrap ribbon yarn to create approximately 20 inch lengths. Hold 3 strands and fold in half, thread through edge of scarf with crochet hook, and pull ends through loop, then pull tight to secure. Place evenly across each end of scarf. Make as thick as you want.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Rastapus (octapus-with-attitude)


Octapus with attitude, eight legs and eight dregs, too cool for the pool...

Quick project and good practise for double point needle knitting. Nothing too tricky and can be made of left over yarn, worsted weight, even using different colours for the legs and dregs.

Yarn used: Patons Decor, 100 gm, 192 m per ball, one ball each of: Black (hair), Country Blue(body), and Mountain Top Varigated (legs). Bit of white for eye. This is enough yarn for 2 or 3 Rastapuses (rastapies?).

Needles used: Double point set of four needles size 4.5mm
Other stuff: Darning needles, poly stuffing.

Legs; (make eight of course): Cast on 12 stitches and divide onto 3 needles, join without twisting. Work in Knit stitch around the 12 sts for 8 inches. Next row, [K2 together] repeat across (6 sts left). Break off yarn and with darning needle, thread tail of yarn through last 6 sts, and gather and fasten off.

Dredlocks (make 8 or more): Using 2 needles only of the 4.5 DPN's, Cast on 4 sts. Make 4 stitch I-cord..... Knit across 4 sts. WITHOUT turning to back side, slide yarn from right edge back to left edge of needle, and holding yarn to back side of dred', Knit across again using 2nd needle... this will form a small tube with all the knit stitches on the outside. Keep knitting the right side only, sliding across the needle to get into position after each row. Work until 6 inches, then break yarn and gather the 4 sts together and fasten.

Base (bottom of body): Cast on 8 sts, and split onto 3 needles. Join (without twisting) and knit around one row. Row 2: K in front and back(Kf&b) of each stitch (16 sts). Row 3: Knit only.
Row 4: [K1, Kf&b] repeat around (24 sts).
Row5 and all odd number rows: Knit only.
Row 6: [K2,Kf&b] repeat (32 sts).
Row 8: [K3, Kf&b] repeat (40 sts)
row 10: [K4, Kf&b] repeat (48 sts)
Row 12: [K5, Kf&b] repeat (56 sts)
Last row, cast off all sts. Close tiny hole where the cast on started, with darning needle and tail of cast on yarn.

Body: Cast on 48 sts. Place on 3 needles, and join without twisting. Knit 2 rows. Row 3: Increase: (K5, Kf&b) across.(56 sts). Work even until 5 inches have been completed from cast on row. Decrease row 1: [K5, K2together] repeat across this row.
Row 2 and every even row: Knit only.
Row 3: [K4, K2tog] around row.
Row 5: [K3, K2tog] around row.
Row 7: [K2, K2tog] around row.
Row 9 [K1, K2tog] around row.
Row 11: K2tog around row.
Break yarn. Group all the dredlocks into the remaining opening in the top of the head, and gather the remaining 8 stitches tightly around the dreds, taking needles several times through the hair, to secure the hair and the opening.

Lightly stuff the body.
Lightly stuff the legs.
(the Dredlocks need no stuffing)

Use darning needle and matching yarn, to sew the legs to the base , evenly spaced around the circle. Sew the base to the body, leaving the legs to dangle freely

Eyes: (use 2 needles only) White part: with white cast on 2. Row 1: Kf&b in both sts.
Row 2: Purl, Row 3: Knit, Row 4: P2tog, P2tog. Break yarn and gather 2 sts.
Eyelid (blue); Cast on 3. Row 1: Kf&b, K1, Kf&b. (5 sts). Row 2: purl. Row 3: cast off.(note : cast off edge is lower part of lid, sew halfway over eye)

Sewing eyes to face: Using white yarn, stitch eyes into position (see photo). use black yarn and darn pupils to lower half of white eye. Then, stitch eyelids over white to just touch black pupil for that perfect lazy look.

Mouth: This is made with a long piece of black yarn, fastened at the base of the dredlocks, carefully needled through the stuffing to come out at one side of smile, then put needle back into stuffing at other side of smile and feed needle through center of stuffing back to base of dredlocks, and fasten off (if you pull it slightly, you will make an indented smile- play with it a bit before you secure it off and cut yarn.)

Yah mon!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What's Chris Working on?

Today I update works in progress. I have been working on and off on a cool knit-from-the-hood-down, hoody, from the new "Son of Stitch and Bitch" book... of course it is a men's design, and of course I have altered it a bit to fit me. I am making it the smallest size and shortening the length by about 2 inches, and it should be fine. The yarns used are a superwash stone colour wool, and one ball of left over Silk Garden (noro) for the stripe. I have never done a knit from the top down, but is is easy, increases instead of decreases through the raglan shaping.

The other is my next original pattern...

I wonder what this could be???
I have just ordered a bunch of cream coloured sock yarn, featured today on for less than $2.50 a ball. My knitting group are planning "an evening to dye for" which involves a bit of wine and a lot of dying of sock yarns. Pictures will surely be taken and posted!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Angel Chunky Hoody Coat - free pattern

Angel Chunky Hoody Coat
I love sweater coats, and hoodies in particular, so when I found this chunky, boucle, fuzzy, multi-coloured yarn on sale at, well, I ordered it immediately, then spent 2 months deciding what to do with it. I chose a slightly ribby, basic shape with saddle shoulders for stability and a generous length for chilly days. Finished with big buttons, I can wear it outside, almost all year round.

Yarn: Tahki – Angel, 70 % wool, 30 % acrylic: 10 balls, 50gm, 90 m. Colour used, #6 a black based multi, with green, rust, purple tufts. (substitutes: any fluffy or nubby chunky yarn that can knit to the gauge)
Needles: 6.0 mm (US 10) straight needles for sweater, 5.5 mm (US 9) long circular for finishing rib.
Gauge: 10 sts & 16 rows = 4inches
Finished measurements: 40 inch chest and 29 inch from shoulder to bottom edge.
Back: With 6.0 mm needles cast on 48 sts. Start rib pattern; p3, k2, across, end with p3 (wrong side k3, p2, across, end with k3.) Work straight as established until piece measures 21 inches.
Armhole shaping; Bind off 4 sts at beginning of next 2 rows. Decrease 1 at each side every other row, 4 times.
Continue working until piece measures 28 inches.
Shoulders: Bind off 2 sts at beg of next 2 rows, bind off 3 sts at beg of next 4 rows. Bind of last 16 sts of neck.
Front: Make 2,[reverse shaping of 2nd front].
Cast on 24 sts, and begin body rib pattern. Work as for back including same armhole shaping, and when piece measures 28 inches shape center neckline: Bind off 7 sts at neck edge, then decrease one more on next right side row. Finish shoulder shaping as for back.
Sleeves:[make 2]
Cast on 20 sts, work in body rib, Increasing one stitch at each end on 8th row and every 6th row , until there are 38 sts on needles. Continue until length of sleeve is 19 inches [or desired length].
Cap shaping; Bind off 4 sts at beg of next 2 rows. Dec 1 sts at each end, every right side row 6 times . bind off 3 at beg of next 2 rows , then 4 at beg of next 2 rows (4 sts remain). Work center 4 sts in stocking stitch for 4 inches [for saddle tab]. Bind off.
Sew shoulders of fronts and back to saddle tabs of sleeve, sew sleeve caps, then side and sleeve seams.
Hood: Using 6.0 mm needles, and right side facing, pick up 9 sts on right front neck, and pick up 16 sts across back neck [placing marker at center of back neck] and 9 sts from left front neck.
Work in stocking stitch for hood, increase one stitch on each side of center back marker, every 4 rows, 9 times. Work until piece measures, 11 inches. Bind off and sew hood top seam.
Finishing; Using Circular needles (5.5 mm) pick up 90 sts up right front edge, then 50 up and over the hood (front edge), then 90 sts down the left edge. Work in k1, p1 ribbing for one inch, then bind off in rib st. Sew big buttons to one side and crochet a loop to correspond on opposite edge.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Inukshuk - free pattern


An inukshuk is a directional marker that signifies safety, hope and friendship. Used by Inuit, it has become a beloved symbol of all Canadians. My sister has had a passion for all things inukshuk for a long time, and I have created this pattern for her. For Kim who has never lost her way (for very long):

Yarn: Patons Classic Wool, Natural mix, Grey Mix and Dark Grey Mix, one 100 gm ball of each (although you only need about 25 gms of each so leftover scraps of worsted weight yarns would be fine) I like the natural, stone colours, but the choice is yours.
Needles: 4.5 mm straight needles.
Gauge: 20 sts and 26 rows = 4 inches
Other stuff: one foam cushion slab, 2 inches thick, cut into 8 pieces as per photo. Again, one cushion form would make several Inuksuit (plural of Inukshuk). Also you need a few pennies – you will see why below....

Finished measurement: 9 inches tall, 7 wide and 2 inches deep.

See photo drawing of pieces and cut foam to match, label with numbers to coordinate with the following knitted pieces.

Head (1): cast on 20 sts with Natural (beige) yarn. Work in stocking stitch (k right side, p wrong side) for 8 rows. Cast off 5 sts at start of next 2 rows. Work on 10 sts for 24 rows total from start, cast off.
To stitch this piece, place foam rectangle on the wide “T part” of the knitting, so the long part will wrap neatly around the foam and meet the top of the “T”, and the small tabs of the “T” fold up to cover the ends of the block. It shouldn’t be stretched too much, and should remain in a rectangle block. Sew all seams to close the block. Set aside.
Arms (2): Cast on 34 with dark grey, and work 6 rows in st st. Cast off 4 at start of next 2 rows. Continue on 26 sts until 24 rows from start. Cast off. Sew as above around foam (2).
Body (3): Cast on 18 sts with grey mix. Work 12 rows, in [row 1 K, row 2 P, row 3 K, row 4 K] repeat pattern,(this makes stripes of garter every 4th row). Cast off 4 at start of next 2 rows, then continue in stripe pattern until 32 rows total. Cast off and sew to foam.
Body (4): Same numbers as (3) but work in plain stocking stitch, and in Natural (beige) yarn.
Lower body (5): With Natural (beige) cast on 30. Pattern for this block is a form of seed stitch, row 1: (right side) k1, p1 across, row 2: (wrong side) P only, row 3: P1, k1 across, row 4: P only. Repeat these 4 rows. Work 12 rows on 30 sts. Cast off 4 on next 2 rows. Work in pattern on 22 sts, until 36 rows total. Cast off and stitch to foam.
Long leg (6): Cast on 26 sts, with grey mix, and work in st st for 12 rows. I put some random purl sts on the front side for fun. Cast off 6 sts at start of next 2 rows. Work on 14 sts until 40 rows total, cast off and sew to foam*** here I placed 5 pennies in the bottom of the foot between the foam and knitting, to add weight to ensure he stands freely.
Upper and lower leg (7& 8): Cast on 26 sts, One with grey mix and one with dark grey. Work in stocking stitch for 12 rows, cast off 7 at start of next 2 rows, then work on 12 sts until 40 rows total. Sew light grey as usual, and dark grey inside out (purl stitch on outside). *** remember to put pennies in base of lower foot.

To join, use a big sharp darning needle and yarn, and securely join 2 pieces at a time, traveling the needles through the foam (if it isn’t too dense) or around the edges, but try to keep under the edges, so out of sight.
You can rotate the pieces to please your eye, and also stretch the blocks a bit so they aren’t too square. Play with it, have fun, make a one of a kind inukshuk.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Duncan's New Coat

Meet Duncan.

A lovely Golden Retriever Pup, new member of the family of one of my Knitting Friends. Fiona was so busy handling (and loving) new Duncan, that I knew she had no time to knit (gasp!), so I offered to take the amazing yarn she bought, and whip it up for her (and Duncan). The book is a collection of classic dog coats called Dog Gone Cute. He sure is. After the novelty of the camera and the doggie treats wore off Duncan discovered that alpaca and silk are not only fashionable and soft to wear, they were also a delight to BITE! A very happy pup indeed.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Poppets - Finger puppets

(Children’s Hospital Finger Puppets.)

My clown called me. Today he had been to the Children’s Ward of the Hospital. One little girl, hooked up to machines and covered with bandages and blankets, would not smile or even look at him. He gave his small gift to her mother. Later, as he did his clown show for a large group, he noticed the little girl, in a wheelchair, still hooked up and covered up, at the back of the room. Only one finger peaked out of the wrappings and on that finger was a new puppet. There was a smile on her face.
The clown is a friend who visits the hospital every month and asked our knitting group to create finger puppets to take to the kids. The pattern has been worked and reworked and I think it is easy and cute. Best of all you can use some of the odd balls in your stash. Knit a smile for a child, it’s contagious!

One size: 2.5 inches tall.

Worsted weight scraps, acrylics best for washability, but any yarn is fine, self striping colors for clothes, cream for face, browns and other “hair colors” for hair.

Fingering, sock yarn, or embroidery cotton for face details, rosy-beiges for smile, and brown, blue, green for eyes. Small amounts of each.

One pair of 4.5 mm needles, small double points are convenient, but full size will work too.

Darning needle to embroider face, crochet hook to attach long hair.

20 sts and 26 rows = 4" in stockinette stitch, but not that important as they are so small.


With 4.5 mm needles and clothing color, cast on 10 sts.
Work in garter stitch (Knit each row) for 4 rows.
Work stocking stitch (knit right side, purl wrong side) for 4 rows.
Break off clothes yarn, leaving 6 inches (to close seam later).
Using face yarn work 5 rows in stocking stitch (end with wrong side facing).
Break face yarn, and leave 6 inch tail.
Using hair yarn, PURL first row.
Next row Purl again (on right side)
Next row [K1, K2 together] repeat 2 more times, K1 (7 stitches left)
Last row, P1, [P2 together] repeat to end (4 stitches left)
Using darning needle gather remaining stitches on 8 inch tail, and secure but don’t close seam yet.

While the back is open, embroider face using sock yarn or similar fine yarn. Tie the ends securely inside the puppet (see photos) and trim close to knots.

Sew the back seam with the coordination color tail of yarn and secure all loose ends in the seam.

For pony tail hair, cut 6 strands about 8 inches long. Using 3 strands, fold in half and use crochet hook to pull through near bottom of hairline in the back right side, and either braid or knot to hold in place. Repeat on back left side. (see photos).

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Colinette Tagliatelli Cardigan - free pattern

Colinette Cardigan.

This striping, rib design came from a concern that I did not have enough Tagliatelli to complete a cardigan, (only four balls left at the LYS, but one coordinating Zanziba- hmmm). I like the subtle effect of the yarn stripes, and the textural change from one to the other.
Finished measurement: Chest 37 inches, length 23 inches.

Yarns: 4 skeins of Tagliatelli (mist) 100 gm, 145 m per skein.
1 skein Zanziba (Gauguin) 100 gm, 100 m per skein.
Coordinating solid chunky wool (used Briggs and Little chunky in mauve from stash).
Needles: 8mm straight and 6mm circular for ribbing.
Pattern notes: Stripe pattern- change yarns for horizontal stripes, 6 rows of tagliatelli and 2 rows of zanziba. Stitch pattern-right side: p1,[k4,p1] repeat to end, wrong side: k1,[p4,k1] repeat to end.

Back: With large needles and tagliatelli yarn, cast on 50.
Right side bottom rib: p1,[k3, p2] nine times, k3, p1
Wrong side: k1, p3, [k2, p3] nine times, k1.
Repeat these two rows with tagliatelli yarn only for 3 inches.
Change to body pattern: p1, [k4, p1] nine times, k3, kfb (knit in front and back of last st)
Row 2 (WS) k1, [p4, k1] ten times.  Row 3: p1[k4, p1] ten times
Work rows 2 and 3,  for 23 inches (no shaping) ****but change yarns as note above, starting after 6 rows of tag’, switch to 2 rows of zan’, then repeat, maintaining the body four by one rib throughout. Bind off with tag’ after 23 inches total length.

Right Front: Cast on 25 with Tagliatelli and 8 mm needles. K5 place marker, [k3, p2] four times. Row 2, [k2, p3] four times, slip marker, k5.
Lower rib as established, with 5 stitch garter stitch detail at front opening, work for 3 inches.
Change to body pattern (using the striping of the yarns) row 1: garter stitch first 5 sts, [k4,p1] across, row 2: [k1,p4] four times, garter (knit) last 5 sts.
Work these 2 rows and change yarn as the back until 12 inches from start.
Decreasing for V-neck: (RS) K5 , k2together, continue to end in pattern.
Repeat this decrease row every 4th row, placing the decrease AFTER the garter detail.
When there are 15 sts on needle, work even again until length matches back. Bind off all sts.

Left Front: Cast on 25 sts, and start lower rib: [p2, k3] four times, place marker, k5
Row 2: k5, slip marker, [p3, k2] four times.
Repeat for 3 inches and change to body rib and stripe, maintaining garter band detail on the front edge side. Work for 12 inches, and start decrease row as follows:
(RS) [p1,k4] three times, p1, k2, k2together, slip marker, k5.
Repeat this decrease to match right front, every 4 rows, until 15 sts on needle. Work even until 23 inches, then cast off all.

Sleeve: Cast on 26 sts and start body pattern: p1,[k4,p1] across.
Increase one st each end on every 4th row, until 48 stitches are on the needle. Work even until 15 inches or desired length of sleeve. Bind off all. Make second sleeve.
Finishing: Sew up shoulders. Lying flat open, tack on sleeves, centering sleeve on shoulder seam, and do not stretch either sleeve or body, sew loosely together (allow a bit of stretch). Sew underarm and side of body. *At this point you could leave it alone, as the front edge has a nice rib detail built in.*
Or... you can use the circular needle and contrasting yarn to pick up about 150 stitches around the front, neck and front, and work a k2, p2 rib for 1.5 inches. This will keep the tag’ from stretching out and allow a firm edge to pin together with decorative pin (or you could use buttons and button-holes).

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Point 5, Thick and Thin Vest - Free pattern

Point 5, Thick and Thin Vest – Free Pattern.
I scored an amazing deal on 3 precious skeins of Colinette Point 5, and had no idea what to do with it. I thought a simple vest would show off the texture and colour best, and it proved to be an easy and very fast project!

Yarn: Main: Point 5 (Colinette), colour popsicle, 3 skeins
Edging: Tagliatelli (Colinette) colour popsicle: less than one skein (could use a complimentary colour of chunky yarn from your stash)
Measurements: Chest 36 inches, length 20 inches.
Gauge: 7.5 sts and 9 rows = 4 inches.
Needles: 12 mm straight , and 7 mm circular for edging.

Back: With Point 5 and 12 mm needles, cast on 30 stitches.
Work in stocking stitch for 12 inches.
Bind off 2 sts at start of next 2 rows.
Decrease one more at each end of next row.
Work even in st st until total length is 20 inches. Cast off all sts.

Front right: Cast on 13 sts.
Work even in st st until 12 inches. End with wrong side facing.
Bind off 2 sts at start of next row.
Decrease one more at armhole edge on next row.
Work one row even.
With right side facing K2 together at front edge, K across
Work 3 rows
Decrease again at front edge (k2 together) K across rest. (should be 8 sts)
Work even until same length as back. Cast off sts.

Front left: Same as right, but reverse the shaping.
Finishing: Sew shoulder seams.
With circular needles, and Tagliatelli yarn, pick up 120 sts up front right edge, around neck and down left front. Work in K1 , P1 ribbing for 3 rows and bind off.
Around armholes, pick up 58 sts and work in rib for 3 rows, and bind off.
Sew remaining side seams. Done!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Bulky Cowl Neck Sweater - Free Pattern

Bulky Silk Cowl Neck Sweater

This sweater was designed to be a comfy sweatshirt fit with a bit more style. I found the yarn at an incredible price, and wanted a plain stitch to show off the color and texture of the silk. The big sloppy neck was added for fun (I also made one in denim blue, same yarn with just a crew neck).

Yarn: Lang ASIA (70% silk, 30% polymid), 10 balls 50 gm and 68 meters. Substitute with a bulky yarn that knits to gauge.
Needles: 7 mm straight, and 7 mm circular 16 inches
Gauge: 13 sts, 20 rows = 4 inches.
Finished measurements: 37 inches around the chest, 21 inches in length of body.

BACK: Cast on 62 stitches.
Seed stitch for 4 rows (Row 1: K1, p1 repeat, Row 2: P1, k1 repeat) repeat these rows for seed stitch.
Set pattern: Stocking stitch 4 / seed stitch 2 / Stocking stitch 50 / seed stitch 2 / Stocking stitch last 4. (use markers until pattern is clearly established.)
Work in this pattern until 14 inches from start (or desired length to underarm)
Cast off 6 stitches at beginning of next 2 rows.
Continue in stocking stitch until 21 inches from beginning, and cast off all.
FRONT: Work the same as back until 2.5 inches short of shoulder.
Knit 20 – put these 20 sts on a holder for later - cast off center 10 and Knit last 20. Working on these last sts only, p across. Bind off 2 sts at beg of next row (neck edge) work to end. Purl next row. Repeat these last 2 rows once more. K2 tog at beg of next row. Continue in stocking stitch on these 15 sts, until same length as back and bind off.
Other side, put back on needles, and bind off 2 sts at neck edge, p to end of row. Next row K across. Repeat these 2 rows, then p2 together at start of row, and work the remaining 15 sts in stocking stitch until same length as other side. Bind off.

SLEEVE: Cast on 26, work 4 rows of seed stitch, then change to stocking stitch, work sleeve, increasing one stitch each side , every 6 rows until there are 48 stitches. Work even until 20 inches (or desired length to underarm).
Cap of sleeve: Bind off 3 sts at start of next 2 rows.
Bind off 2 at start of next 2 rows, then one at start of next 2 rows.
Then 3 at start of next 2 rows, then 4 at start of next 2 rows. Now cast of remaining sts.

FINISHING: Sew shoulder seams. Sew in sleeve cap. Then sew sleeve and side closed.
With circular needles, pick up 62 stitches around neck opening, and work in reverse stocking stitch in the round (right side of sweater shows purl stitches- this will be folded over to show knit stitches again when worn). Continue around in purl stitches until 8 inches are done, then work 4 rows of seed stitch to finish, and cast off all stitches.
Sew in all ends, fold neck in half to outside, and enjoy!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Chunky-Fur Zippered Vest - Free Pattern

Chunky-Fur Zippered Vest: Free Pattern

I designed this a while ago, when I wanted to find something actually wearable from Fun Fur yarn, other than a scarf (again). I felt the chunky yarn would add a more stable and warm fabric, and outer wear was the way to go. I chose a variegated chunky yarn, to add a subtle shift in colors throughout. Finish with chunky yarn only for the edging, and sew in a thick, separating zipper.

Materials used: Chunky Patons Shetland, 2 balls (100 gm) of canyon variegated
Lion brand Fun Fur, 3 balls (50 gm) in dark brown
Zipper: 18 inch in color to match.
Needles: 8 mm for body, and 6 mm for ribbing edging.
Gauge: 10 sts and 13 rows = 4 inches
Size: Medium/Large (40 inches finished chest measurement.)
Pattern note: Hold one strand of Shetland chunky and one strand of Fun Fur together throughout body pieces.

PATTERN BACK: With 8 mm needles and both yarns held, cast on 50 stitches.
Right side, purl across, wrong side, knit across (reverse stocking stitch)
Continue working like this for 13 inches.
Armhole: Bind off 6 stitches at start of next 2 rows
Knit 2 together at start and end of next 2 right sides (34 sts remain)
Continue until piece measures 22 inches. Bind off all stitches.

RIGHT FRONT: Cast on 24 stitches.
Work in reverse stocking stitch for 13 inches,
Bind off 6 stitches at start of next (right side) row.
Knit 2 together at start of next 2 right side rows.
Work until piece measures 18 inches.
Bind off 5 stitches at start of neck edge (right edge of right side).
Knit 2 together 2 times more on the neck edge, then work even until same length as back. Bind off all.
LEFT FRONT: Cast on 24, and work same as right front, but reverse shapings.
Finishing: Using Shetland Chunky only, sew shoulders.
Armhole: by picking up 60 stitches, with 6 mm needles, around the armhole opening, and work k1,p1 ribbing for 4 rows, then bind off. Repeat for other armhole. Sew side seams.

Front bands: Pick up 28 stitches up one side of front edge. K1, P1 ribbing for 4 rows and bind off. Repeat on other side.

Neck Band: Pick up 62 around neck band, and rib as other bands.

Bottom edge: pick up 110 sts right across the bottom, including edge of front bands. Rib 4 rows and bind off. Weave in all ends.

Finish: Use 18 inch plastic tooth separating zipper and securely stitch to front edges.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Quick Knit Socks - Free Pattern

Stash, Quick Knit Socks

This sock pattern was developed when I found myself with too many single or three-quarter balls of excellent self pattern sock yarn, and a list of people who needed socks for Christmas. It involves using 2 strands held together and changing one of the strands (if necessary) over the heel and toe.

Ladies size 7-10 (one size, quite stretchy)

[MC] baby weight, sock weight yarn solid color(I used Baby Cashmerino – Debbie Bliss, for the rose ones, and Rowan Cashsoft 4 ply for the brown ones)
[CC] Any leftover self pattern sock yarn. One 50 gram ball for the rose socks, and approx 40 gm stripe , with leftover black-solid for the heel and toe of the brown.

1 set 4.0 mm (US 6) double-point needles

22 sts/27 rows = 4" in three by one rib pattern

All work is done with one strand of solid yarn and one strand of pattern yarn held together. Rib pattern is K3, P1 repeat around. After the heel it is maintained on the top half of foot only, stocking stitch is used for the bottom of the foot.
Pay attention to color pattern of starting point, so you can match the start of the second sock.


With one strand of solid yarn and one strand of pattern yarn, cast on 44 stitches.
Join (without twisting) and begin upper rib, K2, P2 around until one inch is completed.
Change to K3, P1 around and continue to work until sock measures 6 inches.

At this point, change to alternate heel yarn (only the patterned yarn should be broken off, and replaced with heel yarn) this is useful if you really have only small scraps of pattern yarn, and after the heel you could opt for an entirely different pattern yarn for the foot. The solid yarn will lend a consistency to the look of the sock.

Heel: Rib across 11 sts. Place next 11 on one needle and next 11 on another needle, slide remaining 11 on the needle with the first 11. (22 sts on the “heel” needle)
Working back and forth, continue in stocking stitch, slipping the first stitch of each row. Work 20 rows like this. End with right side facing.
Turn heel:
Knit 13, K2together, K1 turn work
Slip first stitch, P5, P2together, P1, turn work
Slip first stitch, K across to before slipped stitch, K2together, K1 turn.
Slip first stitch, P across to before slipped stitch, P2together, P1 turn.
Repeat last 2 rows until all are worked.

Right side facing: Knit to middle of heel. At this time place all the set aside rib stitches (top of foot) on one needle (these will remain in rib – 22 sts).
Using free needle, K remaining half of heel, then pick up 10 stitches down the side of heel. (Now you can change from the heel yarn back to pattern yarn)
Work rib across the top of foot (22 sts), then pick up 10 stitches up the other side of the heel and finish the last stitches to the center of the heel.

Decreasing the heel: Every 2nd row, work down the heel to the last 3 stitches before the rib pattern, K2 together, K1. Work across the rib top of foot. K1, K2 together, Knit remaining to bottom of heel.
Alternate non-increase round with decrease round until there are again 44 stitches on needles (11, 22, 11).

Work without increase , maintaining the rib on top of foot, and stocking stitch on under foot, until approx. 6 inches from heel or 2 inches short of length of foot.
(change one yarn to toe yarn if using different colors)
Stop using rib pattern, K around one row. Start of row is center of under foot (between the 11 stitch needles)
Decrease row: K to last 3 stitches, K2tog, K1. Next needle: K1 K2tog, k to last 3, K2tog, K1. Last needle: K1, K2tog, K across.

Alternate K row and decrease row until 12 stitches remain (total of all 3 needles)
Weave remaining stitches together.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Free Knitting Pattern - Golf Club Covers

Wood Hoods

The design for these Wood Hoods came after several less than perfect attempts. Socks that were too loose and the covers slipped off. Fuzzy eyelash yarn heads that looked great, but were too delicate to hold up to the rough treatment. Final result is a sock that is tight but stretchy and a fuzzy hood that can be pulled off my Big Bertha and tossed on the ground and still look great.
The secret is felting. An eyelash and pure wool worked together, then felted creates a firm, fuzzy, durable lid. If knit atop a non-felting acrylic ribbed sock, the whole thing can be washed and felted together.
Choose conservative colors for the traditional duffer, or bright colors that can be spotted three fairways away. Shown in yellow and black[version 2] and peacock and multi[version 1].

Two sizes: smaller for fairway woods, larger[in brackets] for the driver. *** New size for Hybrids can be found HERE***

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS”Sock” section [tube] is 2.5[3.0] inches wide and 12 inches long.
Hood section is 6.5[7.5] inches wide and 7.5[8.5] inches long BEFORE felting.
Hood is 5[6] inches wide and long AFTER felting.

MATERIALS [for 3 Wood Hoods]
[Hood Yarn #1]: Patons Classic Wool [100% wool****  NOT the superwash version****; 223 yds per 100g skein]; color: peacock[version one], black[version two]; 1 skein[Hood Yarn #2] Lion Brand Fun Fur [100# polyester; 60 yds per 50g skein]; color: peacock[version one], black[version two]; 2 skeins
[“Sock” Yarn] Patons Canadiana worsted weight [100% Acrylic; 170 yds per 85g skein]; color: crazy shades[version one], yellow[version two] 1 skein

1 set US 10.5/6.5mm double-point needles for hoods
1 set US 7/4.5mm double-point needles for “socks”

Notions required: purchase sew-on number patches [optional] *****NEW make your own numbers tutorial!!GAUGE

11 sts/19 rows = 4” in stockinette stitch with Hood Yarn #1 and #2 held together on 6.5mm needles
14 sts/24 rows = 4" in stockinette stitch in Canadiana on 4.5 mm needles

When substituting yarns, ensure that the “sock” yarn is 100% acrylic and fairly sturdy twist, so it holds a stretchy rib without sagging. If you choose a yarn that has any wool in it, knit the “sock” separate from the Hood, and felt wash the Hood alone, then attach the “sock”. You want the Hood to felt, and shrink, but NOT the “sock”. Also make sure the Hood Yarn #1 is 100% wool and not a superwash wool. You want it to felt well.

Sock: Starting with “sock” yarn and 4.5mm needles cast on LOOSELY 32[36] and distribute between 3 dpn’s. Join without twisting, and work in k2, p2 ribbing in the round for 12 inches.
Last row of “sock”: [k3, make a stitch by knitting in the front and back of next stitch], repeat across. 40[45] stitches on needles.
Hood: Change to 6.5mm dpn’s, and Classic Wool and Fun Fur, begin stocking stitch loosely in the round, with both yarns worked together.
Work until the fuzzy hood is 7[8] inches long.
Decrease row 1: k1[k0] then [k2tog, k1] repeated across this row. 27[30] sts remain.
Row 2: [K2tog, k1] repeated across this row. 18[20] remain.
Row 3: K2tog, repeated across this row. 9[10] remain.
Break 10 inch tail of both yarns, and using large eye darning needle thread tail through remaining stitches to gather closed and securely fasten the tail. Sew in all yarn ends.

Felting is simple in the washing machine, with hot water. Use a regular setting and small load size. I usually put the item[s] in a mesh bag to reduce the wooly residue in the tub and drain, and will throw old dishtowels in to help beat up the wood hoods. One full cycle , with laundry detergent, usually reaches the dimensions required, but you can check every 5 minutes and do a second cycle if needed to get the approximate size of finished measurements. You want a firm, dense, fuzzy fabric. Air dry and reshape the ribbing to allow it to dry unstretched.
Sew optional numbers on top of hood, 1 for driver, 3, 5, or whatever is required for others. I have also used letter beads to spell our “driver”, “three” and “five” and sew to hood.

**edited to clarify the "m1 by kfb" increase at the end of sock part**** thanks for all the emails about this, hopes it helps.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

First page of blog. This space will be used to publish knitting patterns (mostly) and my thoughts about knitting (occasionally) and other topics (rarely)! Upcoming patterns include the fabulous Wood Hoods, a pattern for knitted and felted golf club covers that I have knit many times over. Also a sock pattern to use up half balls of self striping (I know you all have those in your stash!).
So I hope you check in once in a while to see what Chris has knit next....