Thursday, September 22, 2011

Merlot Hooded Cape

A magnificent, full length hooded cape, light as air and warm and fuzzy! Mostly one size, but you must pay attention to the length required if you want it to be just above the floor like mine. I will insist you find out the X measurement, and that is the length from the bottom of your elbow (bent and hanging straight down from your shoulder) to the ankle. This is the only variable for my pattern. It is where the opening for your arms will be and where the top, fitted part of the pattern begins. This pattern is not for beginners. There is a lot of seams to sew and some skill with sewing flat seams is a benefit.

Yarn: 20 balls of Elann Mode Mohair (or equivalent bulky mohair the knits to gauge. ) 50 gms approx 100m. Colour Wine.
Needles: 7 mm (US 10)
Gauge: 12 sts = 4 inches on 7.0 mm needles over stocking stitch
X - measurement: 38 inches from elbow to ankle.
Stocking stitch: Knit right side row, purl wrong side row.
Seed Stitch: Row 1: Knit one, purl one, repeat. Row 2: Purl the knits and knit the purls. Repeat row two for seed stitch.

Back: Cast on 90 stitches. Work in seed stitch for 3 inches. Then change to stocking stitch and work the back, decreasing one stitch each side every 6 inches until 80 stitches. Work even until back measures X. (place contrast yarn to mark this row)
Continue in stocking stitch, decreasing one stitch each side every 6 rows, until 70 stitches.
Then decrease one stitch each side every 4 rows until 56 stitches remain. Work even until you are 16 inches above the X marker. Cast off for shoulder: cast off 3 stitches at start of next 4 rows, then 4 stitches at start of next 4 rows, then 5 at start of next 2 rows. Cast off remaining 18 stitches.

Front right: Cast on 45 stitches, work seed stitch for 3 inches. Change to stocking stitch and work decreasing at the start of row only every 6 inches until 40 stitches. Work even until you reach the X measurement. (place marker) Work 28 stitches, attach a new ball of yarn and cast off 2 stitches, work last 10 stitches. Continue in stocking stitch working both sides of the armhole with different yarn balls*** at the same time*** start decreasing one stitch at start of every fourth row. Work opening for 8 inches, then cast on two stitches over the opening and use one ball again to close the hole. When 28 stitches are reached, work even until you are 16 inches above the X marker. On shoulder side: cast off 3, 3, 4, 4, 5 ... AND on the neck side cast off 6, then 3, then work even until all stitches are cast off.

Left Front: Work the same as right, reversing the directions.

Band: Cast on 30 stitches, work seed stitch for X measurement. (place marker) Decrease one stitch at the start of the row, every 6 rows, until 22 sts remain. Work even until 15 inches above the X marker (slightly less than the front edge, so that the band can be sewn with a slight stretch to support the long yardage). Cast off all stitches. Make another band the same (right and wrong sides look the same)

Hood: Cast on 50 stitches. Work 8 stitches in seed stitch, 34 in stocking stitch, and 8 in seed stitch. Next row, increase 20 stitches across the stocking stitch section only. continue in 8 seed, 54 stocking, 8 seed for 15 inches. Cast off all stitches. Sew top of hood seam.

Sew side seams up to top of shoulder on both sides. Sew bands to front edge stretching slightly to fit evenly and placing the decreased edges against the front edge.
Attach hood to neck opening, leaving about 4 inches of seed band open to overlap with pin or button.

Armholes: use single crochet to stabalize the edge closest to the center front. On the outside edge of armhole, pick up 24 stitches and work 2 inches of seed stitch then cast off. Sew the short edges down. (see photos of armhole)

Finish with a cute pin overlapping the upper bands near the neck, OR sew three buttons, and add matching crochet loops on other side to fasten. I will be finishing this one when I bring it to my sister in two weeks. Her choice!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Last Stretch...

I am on the final approach to completion of the CAPE! Photos now would be a big mound of mohair, so I won't spoil the reveal at this point. I decided that more seams (I know - you hate to sew seams) would be the best to support the five feet of length and keep it from stretching. So to that end, I have made the hood and the front bands separate to allow seams that stabilise the whole piece. The feel and the look of it are perfect! Can't wait to finish and show you (specially you, sis')
Stay tuned... eta next Wednesday!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Spider Legs Scarf

Yarn: Noro Aya (or any self striping worsted weight -knit on 4.5 mm or US 8 needles) less than three balls.
Needles 4.5mm or US 8(I like using 7 inch double points, but regular straight needles are fine)

Cast on 5 stitches.
Next row: Knit across the five stitches. ** Turn as to work the next row....
Before starting next row: Cast on 15 [using the two needle method]. Without turning... knit-wise cast OFF 15 stitches, then knit remaining 5 stitches.**
Repeat between the ** and **, until the scarf is as long as you like...mine is 5 feet.
When you reach the length, cast off last 5 stitches.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Progress Report

I finished the back of the cape and have reached one quarter up the right front. No photos yet, but I will show you a teaser...

This is a quick and quirky scarf... an original and easyknitting pattern that will be posted on the weekend for you to use up leftover (or newly purchase) Noro (or other self striping yarns). Less than three balls are used to make this!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labour Day - productive day!

What a busy and great day it has been. I began with an early tee time with my family. We all played fairly well in the cool, breezy morning. After a lunch at the club, I strapped myself into the sewing machine and plowed my way through alterations... three golf shirts taken in, black pants hemmed, elastic added to jeans that were then shortened, a white capris made a size slimmer, a top and a dress shortened, and one of my new pants hemmed and finished!

Then I took a break and started watching the last day of the golf tournament while knitting more of the cape back. A perfect day so far, and now I am putting a lasagne in the oven, and considering opening a bottle of wine... mmmm.

Hope your long weekend was a good one too :)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Lower Back

I have made my way 20 inches up the back of the cape! I started with a seed stitch band, then launched into straight stocking stitch knit. Full steam ahead, as I work to the full 55 inch length. I love how lightweight this fabric feels.
Meanwhile, I had some fun with Aspen. We played with bubbles (left over from the surprise anniversary party our kids had for us). When I say we played, I meant that I blew bubbles and Aspen nervously ran away from them! She will attack fingers, anything plastic or shiny, or even larger birds, but she is afraid of bubbles.

"help me please!"

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Math

Here is the cleaned up sketch. The first had so much numbers and equations and cross outs and illegible writing, that I did a second one for the blog. This is how the pattern begins. I start with the basic measurements, and using the gauge from the swatch, I plugged the sts per inch into the pattern measurements to find the number of stitches needed to create the dimensions I want.
Thus the back has been cast on at 90 stitches, and I am starting with seed stitch for the bottom band.