Monday, 8 September 2014

Variegated Dribbler

I am a big fan of  Kate Blackburn's Baby Bandana Bib but find its shape doesn't suit self striping yarn so well. So have developed this one to allow some shapely striping to take place, whilst hopefully still keeping the simplicity.  If you don't have a self striping/variegated yarn to hand, just switch yarns every 2 rows for a more dominant stripe.  To increase absorbancy power wash and dry 2-3 times before use.

Using a cotton or bamboo DK yarn (I used Sirdar Summer Stripes) and 4mm needles...

Cast on 3
Row 1 - K1, YO, place marker, K1, YO, K1
Row 2 - purl
Row 3 - K1, M1L, knit to marker, M1L, slip marker, K1, M1R, knit to last stitch, M1R, K1
Row 4 - purl

Repeat rows 3 and 4 until about 65 stitches (the odd row before or after won't make too much difference if you're bad at counting) ending on a row 4.

Complete a picot cast off by casting on 2 stitches, cast off 4, slip stitch back onto left hand needle and repeat to end.  (if you are doing this for a really manly boy then you can just do a normal cast off, but I personally don't feel its too feminine for most)

Cast on 3 and knit 7 1/2 inches of i-cord on double pointed needles. 

Edge the top of the triangle by knitting 2 of the i-cord stitches and slipping the 3rd purlwise, yarn over and pick up one stitch from straight edge. Slip over the slipped stitch and yarn over, so 3 stitches remain on needle. Continue to the end of the triangle. 

Knit a further 7 1/2 inches of 3 stitch i-cord, knit 3 together and thread yarn through remaining stitch.

Weave in ends, and voilĂ ! So cute!

Monday, 1 September 2014

Elf Hat

A quick little elf hat, great for unisex babies and also for stash busting.  It doesn't use much yarn and can incorporate stripes very easily.

Using DK yarn and 4.5mm DPN needles (I used a stash of Rico Poems and and unknown gem hidden in my stash!)

Cast on 56 and space amongst 4 needles (14 per needle)

Knit until 3 inches long (curl unrolled)
[K12, K2TOG] repeat 3 more times
Knit 3 rounds
[K11, K2TOG] repeat 3 more times
Knit 1 round
[K10, K2TOG] repeat 3 more times
Repeat this decrease round (decreasing the last two stitches at the end of each needle) until 5 stitches remain on each needle
Knit 1 round
[K3, K2TOG] repeat 3 more times
Knit 1 round
[K2, K2TOG] repeat 3 more times
[K1, K2TOG] repeat 3 more times
[K2, K2TOG] twice
Knit 1 round
[K1, K2TOG] twice
Transfer onto one needle and turn to i-cord [4 stitches]
Knit i-cord for 1 ½ inches
K1, K2TOG, K1
Knit 3 rows
Knit 1 row
Feed yarn through remaining stitch.

Tie loose knot in the i-cord stem.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Sunrise Seaswim Hat

Is there a better way to celebrate Esther's 30th Birthday than taking a dip in the North Devon sea as the sun makes it's first appearance of the day?  Well yes it turns out there is; knitting a hat ready for when your little hot water bottle (I mean bump) makes it's first appearance of the day whilst everyone else goes in for their second dip of the day!  A simple repetative pattern keeps you on your toes but can easily be done alongside other distractions.  And the use of two yarns makes it that little bit thicker and warmer for an approaching winter baby.

The pattern is to fit a small newborn or larger preemi.  To make suitable for a larger newborn cast on an additional 7 stitches and depending on your guage use 4.5mm needles, continuing for 4 1/2 - 5 inches before decreasing

Using DK yarn and 4mm needles...

Cast on 56 stitches in contrast colour [CC] and join into round (14 on each needle if using DPNs)

Rounds 1-4: K2 P2 rib
Round 5: change to main colour [MC] and K2TOG, K5 ** K1[CC], K6[MC] repeat from ** to end and using first stitch of next round as final stitch for this pattern
Rounds 6 onwards: K5[MC] P1[MC] K1[CC] repeat to end and using first stitch of next round for the next 4 inches (you are purling on the contrast stitch of the row below, then adding in a constrast knit stitch nextdoor to that - this is the main pattern)

Depending how many rows you do will depend where you are in the spiral pattern when you start the decreasing.

Round 29ish: Knit as pattern until first [CC] where it is K2TOG.  Then repeat K4[MC] P1 [MC] K2TOG [CC] to end.
Round 30: Knit as pattern but K4[MC] P1[MC] K1[CC]
repeat these two rounds three more times (with one less main colour knit stitch after each decrease obviously).
Using just [MC] K2TOG to end and thread yarn through remaining 8 stitches.

And voila!  You might need to give a good tug from side to side to even out the coloured raised stitches.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Kensington Steeked Pot

Isn't it funny how fashions change.  Three years ago when I started knitting tea pot cosies I'd have thought how old fashioned this one looked and not touched it.  Now I was so keen to create something that really looked 'knitted' and had block colour texture I couldn't actually find anything 'old' enough!

I'm not a fan of most methods to make the two holes for tea pot cosies, I don't like joining in yarns and leaving stitches on stitch holders, or doing big amounts of awkwardly shaped seaming.  By using steeks and straight edges with a draw string this one avoids that.  There is a need to weave in ends due to the colour knitting but other than that, your cast off/on ends are used to crochet it together and so really minimal finishing.

Using DK yarn and 4mm needles...

Colour A
Cast on 80, leaving a very long cast on tail
rows 1-4: 2x2 rib
Colour B
row 5: knit
row 6: purl
Colour C
row 7: K2, sl1pw, (K3, sl1pw) rep K1
row 8: K1, (YF sl1pw,YB K3) rep K2
Colour B
row 9: K4, (slpw K3) rep
row 10: P3 sl1pw rep P4
row 11: knit
row 12: purl
Colour A
repeat rows 5-6
Colour D
repeat rows 7-8
Colour A
repeat rows 9-12

Repeat these rows 5-12 three more time in any colour combinations, I maintained my B&C and A&D pair swaps.

Colour A
row 41: K2, K2tog, rep
row 42: purl
Colour D
row 43: repeat row 7
row 44: repeat row 8
Colour A
row 45: repeat row 9
row 46: repeat row 10
Colour B
row 47: knit
row 48: purl
row 49: (K1, YO, K2tog) repeat to end
row 50: purl
rows 51 & 52: knit/purl
Colour A
repeat rows 5-6
Colour D
repeat rows 7-8
Colour A
row 57: (KFB 3 times, K1) repeat to end
row 58: purl
Cast off by K2tog, slip stitch from right hand needle to left hand needle, K2tog and repeat to end.  Leave a very long cats off tail.

Knit a 3 stitch i-cord for the tie (in Colour C), it will need to be about 15 inches.  This will thread through the holes created by the yarn overs and pull the cosy in around the tea pot lid.

Now here comes the interesting part... steeks.  It is all based around the columns of stitches 40, 41 and 42 - the needle is showing column 41 here.

Using a 3.5mm crochet hook, using Colour A make a slip knot and place onto the hook.  Stick your hook through the right leg of stitch 41 in row 7 and the left leg of stitch 40 as below.

Wrap the yarn over the hook, and pull yarn through the two Colour C stitches.

Wrap yarn over the hook again and pull yarn through the two Colour A stitches.
Repeat, sticking hook through the right leg of stitch 41 in row 8 and the left leg of stitch 40 as below
Keep going
When you get to row 22, or the 4th set of knit bumps turn your work and continue in the same way but this time stitching through the left leg or stitch 41 and the right leg of stitch 42.
When you get back to where you started, secure the yarn by doing a slip stitch into the starting stitch, and pull yarn through the last loop to secure.

Now, you can take the scissors to your piece of work (yikes!).  If you push down on your two lines of crochet you will see a 'ladder' between them rather than stitches.
This is what you cut - the rungs between the two crochet lines.
And this is where your opening for the spout will be.

Now you will also need to join the two edges/sides between rows 1-8 and from rows 58-27, this can be by crochet like the steeking or matress stitch, which ever suits you.  Then crochet like the steek around the edge between these two, encasing the hole.

Weave in your loose ends, and thread the i-cord through the yarn overs.

And there you go.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Christmas Phoebe-Pud Hat

Using a mix of knitting in the round, i-cord and flat knitting this creates a textured hat of much festive joy that is underneath it all remarkably simple.  Knitting this as an advent present for a dear friend's newly arrived bundle of joy it really made me go quite squishy and want one.  But remember people, a baby is for life not just for wearing hand knitted hats.

Using brown, white/cream, red and green DK yarn and 4mm needles...
For a small head ('very-newborn' - preemi or just tiny delicate cuties) cast on 57 stitches in brown (B) and join into the round by knitting the first and last stitch together.  To make bigger, go up in multiples of 8, making the necessary decreases to have 12 stitches on or around Round 10.
Knit in stockinette for 4 inches, (not stretching the cast on curl).
Join in white(W) yarn and as follows:
Round 1: K2(W), K6(B) until 1 stitch away from (W)
Round 2: K4(W), K4(B) until 1 stitch away from (W)
Round 3: K6(W), K2(B) until 1 stitch away from (W)
Working only in white (W)
Knit 3 stitches, place marker and as follows:
Round 4: K2TOG, K6 until marker
Round 5: K2TOG, K5 until marker
Round 6: K2TOG, K4 until marker
Round 7: K2TOG, K3 until marker
Round 8: K2TOG, K2 until marker
Round 9: K2TOG, K1 until marker
Round 10: K1, (K2TOG, K1 until marker) (10 stitches remain)

Switch to red (R) yarn 
K1, K2TOG, K1
Using DPN with these 3 stitches i-cord in red for 2 inches (or enough to tie a loose knot with the cord)
Switch to green (G) yarn (TIP a varigated/helix yarn works best)  to complete holly leaf.
Row 1: Knit still as i-cord
Row 2: turn and knit as a flat piece going forwards
Row 3: KFB, K1, KFB (5 stitches)
Row 4: KFB, K3, KFB (7 stitches)
Row 5: K2TOGtbl, K3, K2TOG (5 stitches)
Row 6: K2TOGtbl, K1, K2TOG (3 stitches)
Row 7: KFB, K1, KFB (5 stitches)
Row 8: KFB, K3, KFB (7 stitches)

Row 9: K2TOGtbl, K3, K2TOG (5 stitches)

Row 10: K2TOGtbl, K1, K2TOG (3 stitches)
Row 11: Knit
Row 12: sl1, K2TOG, PSSO
Cut yarn and thread through remaining stitch.
Going back to the remaining white stitches, repeat red i-cord and green leaf two more times.

(TIP If necessary, use the tail of the red to join the three i-cords beneath the berry knots with a small stitch in the centre to prevent a hole)  Weave in remaining ends.

Tie a loose knot in the i-cord so the red produces a 'berry' and the leaf pops out of the top.

Stand back and melt with festive adorable cheer.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Bobble Car Seat Blanket

A sampler style pattern of several different stitches designed to be easy to use with baby's car seat.  The slits allow you to clip in with the buckle on the outside, and little darling cannot kick it off during the journey!

Using DK wool (I like Sirdar Snuggly as washes and drys well and is super soft) and 4mm needles, make four of each square...

Slip Stitch Honeycomb [H]
Cast on 25
row 1 & 3 - knit
row 2 - K1, * sl1p wyib, K1 - repeat from *
row 4 - K2, * sl1p wyib, K1 - repeat from *
repeat rows 1-4 eight more times, or until it forms a square, cast off on row 37

Scale [S]
Cast on 24
row 1 - YO, K3, pass YO over the K3, wyib sl3p - repeat to end
row 2 - knit
row 3 - YO, K3, pass the YOP over the K3, P3 - repeat to end
row 4 - K1, use RH needle to lift thread from YO in row 1, knit it with the next stitch, K4 - repeat to end
row 5 - wyib sl3p, YO, K3, pass the YO over the K3 - repeat to end
row 6 - knit
row 7 -  P3, YO, K3, pass YO over the K3, - repeat to end
row 8 - K4, use RH needle to lift thread from YO in row 5, knit it with the next stitch, K1 - repeat to end
repeat rows 1-8 three more times, or until it forms a square, cast off purl wise on row 33

(American) Double Moss [M]
Cast on 20
row 1&4 - K2, P2, repeat to end
row 2&3 - P2, K2, repeat to end
repeat rows 1-4 six and a half more times, until it forms a square, casting off on row 31

Bobble [B]
MB - [K1, P1, K1] in stitch, turn and P3, turn and K3, turn and P3, turn and K3TOG

Cast on 20
row 1 - knit
row 2 and all evens - purl
row 3 - K7, [MB, K5] repeat, end K6
row 5 - knit
row 7 - K4, [MB, K5] repeat, end K3
row 8 purl
repeat rows 1-8 two more times, until it forms a square, casting off on row 25

Using the long tails, crochet down the left hand side and along the bottom of most squares, ordered as below:
M  S  B  H
S  B  H  M
B  H  M  S
H  M  S  B

So you start with the Moss, adding a Scale both to the right side and to the bottom, then move onto that right Scale and add a Bobble to the right.

However, the Scale and Bobble on the top row DO NOT want to join to the Bobble and Honeycomb in the second row, neither do those two want to join to the Honeycombe and Moss in the third row - these two 'holes' are designed for putting the car seat buckle/clip through.  (unless you choose not to have that feature!)

SR8 - short row 8... K8, turn and K6, turn and K4, turn and K3, turn and  K2, turn and K5

Choosing your main colour, pick up stitches from one side of the blanket. The exact number is not important; aim for 40 but if its 30 or 60 the only thing that affects is how ruffly it is.

row 1 - KFB, knit to last stitch, KFB
row 2 - YO, K2TOG
row 3 - KFB, knit to last stitch, KFB
(now count how many stitches you have, divide by 8, minus 2 then divide the remainder by 2 and make this '#' below)
row 4 - KFB, K# [K8, SR8] to last stitch, K#, KFB
row 5 - knit and cast off

Repeat for each edge, and matress stitch the angled corners.

I really really wanted to make this beautiful colours and had in mind unisex greens and purples, but the mother I was knitting this for requested white or cream. So, as mothers know best, I did it so. I was keen to make it slightly 'textured' in terms of a contrast for the checker effect, so picked a white and a cream.  The honeycomb and scale are in shade 0303 and moss and bobble in shade 0344.  There are so many different colour ways you could do, or keep it simple.  Would love to see all the variations.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

North Harding Cowl

Following a random ball purchase on holiday - you know the "ooh that's nice, I have absolutely no ideas what to do with it but I'll get it anyway" - I ended up with one lovely ball of chunky yarn and a desire for knitting a scarf or cowl that all take several balls, so I had to improvise! The cowl will take 30 - 40g of yarn plus tassels if desired.

Using 7mm circular needles and a bulky yarn (I used Louisa Harding Rossetti, or Debbie Bliss Riva)

Cast on 86 stitches
Knit, join into round knitting last stitch together with first stitch
round 2 - purl
round 3 - K1, YO, to end
round 4 - P1, slip YO off needle, to end
round 5 - knit
round 6 - P1, 2YO, to end
round 7 - K1, slip YOs off needle, to end
round 8 - purl
round 9 - K1, YO, to end
round 10 - P1, slip YO off needle, to end
round 11 - knit
round 12 - P2TOG and slip stitch back onto left needle. Repeat until one stitch remains, thread yarn through and pull taught.  This creates a loose cast off.

Wrap around neck twice to wear.  If desired, you  can add tassels, cut 84x 6inch strips of yarn, use 3 to form tassel every 3rd stitch on cast on row (when worn doubled up this will be top row so look double sided).