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).

Friday, 26 October 2012

Ruched Cable Tissue Box Cover

A simple, but textured distinct tissue box cover, to jazz up the functional card box without drawing too much attention to it.  You could match this with the Ruched Cable Brick Doorstop if you want a co-ordinated ruched-room!  I used the same yarn as it worked so well (Wendy Mode a triple helix) but in a different shade as this was for a different room.  The join technique at the top with careful three needle bind off inside out means a seamless item with limited weaving in of ends required.

To fit a square tissue box (4 1/2” W x 4 1/2” D x 5” H).
The pattern could be adapted for a rectangular one, but I haven’t got that far yet!

Using 3.5mm circular needle and DK wool (I used a triple helix for interest)

Cast on 148 placing stitch markers every 37 stitches (optional*) and join into round

rounds 1-4 – K2, P2 rib (ignoring stitch markers)

rounds 5-49 - P4, K12, P4, K12, P4, K1, repeating three more times (stitch markers mark repeats)
except rounds 10, 21, 32 and 43 – P4, 12st-TC, P4, 12st-TC, P4, K1, repeating three more times (stitch markers mark repeats)

Pause at round 49.  This should be the sides of your box done (5 inch)

To make the top requires a bit of magic loop style with sort of short rows… or a sort of knitting that I can’t possibly have invented yet can’t find a name for it.  You will see your stitch markers* show the 4 sides of the box, lets call them A, B, C and D.  

So how do you get this?  Insert a second magic loop, so C is on the wire all by itself between two magic loops and A, B, D are as if on normal knitting needles and partway through a row.

This will be your straight rows across the square lid - starting a third of the way across.  You are reverse stockinette knitting to and fro across A as in the photo above, but each row (not round) you need to join it to B and D by starting with a K2TOG or SSP; (the first stitch of A and the first stitch of B) and ending with a SSK or P2TOG (the last stitch of A and the first stitch of D).  This can be quite fiddly with your stitch markers and needing to shuffle them every first and last stitch - if you are good at counting you can skip them, but if you are instead a spatial person it may take you several rows to notice the square and where to join the sides to the main.

So first row, moving the stitch marker, transfer the last stitch of B onto the needle next to A, and SSP then purl 35 more stitches, P2TOG (one from A and one from D) having moved the stitch marker.

Next row, turn your knitting (yes, weird when in magic loop even if double magic loop!).  Moving the stitch marker again, transfer last stitch of D onto the needle next to A, and K2TOG.  Then knit 35 more stitches, and SSK (one from A and one from B) having moved the stitch marker.

And repeat.  A will start to look like a square and B and D will get shorter and shorter.

odd rows will be purl 
even rows will be knit

row 18 – cast off from stitch 13 to stitch 25 (13 stitches total) and continue 11 stitches knitting as normal, SSK the last stitch and one from B
row 19 – purl first 12 stitches as normal (including the SSP), turn your needles and cast on 13 stitches, turning your needles back to then purl last 11 stitches and P2TOG as normal

row 20 onwards continue as before row 18.

row 38 is your final row.  You will need to carefully turn your work inside out (this can be fiddly, don't forget to bring the yarn through with you) and place A on one needle, and C off the magic loop and back onto the other end of the circular needle.  (B and D have all been knitted in so don't remain on the needle).  Use a third needle to do a three needle purl bind off between A and C.

There we go.  Completely seamless and only your starting end to weave in (for the lazy… or your finishing end hidden inside that you can do if pedantic!)

12st-TC (twist cable) means slide 12 stitches onto cable needle, twist clockwise and knit off cable needle loosely.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Munchkin Bobble Hat

I really struggle knitting presents for friends expecting baby boys.  Knitting lends itself to floral cutsie stuff, and for boys all you find is either boring plain-in-blue or tacky Bob-the-Builder style cartoon stuff.  So this is my attempt to get something cute but not feminine into the selection for newborns.  If you err to the side of cartoon stuff then you could use bright colours and turn the bobbles to eyes to make it look alien/monster-ish if you really want.  And if you have a girl, then pink or purple will work just as well!

Using DK wool (I used a slight variegated one – Wendy Peter Pan Raindrop Surprise) and 3.5mm circular needles, and a smidgen of scrap yarn for stuffing…

Cast on 60 stitches in contrast colour and join in the round (magic loop is easiest in my opinion, particularly for switching to the i-cord at the end)
rounds 1-7 - Knit contrast colour
round 8 - Change to main colour (on second round of main colour, slip the first stitch to avoid a jog in the colour – thanks Techknitter!)
rounds 9-35 - Knit a further 26  rounds
round 36 - K4, K2TOG (50 st remain)
round 37 - Knit
round 38 - K3 K2TOG (40 st remain)
round 39 - Knit
round 40 - K2 K2TOG (30 st remain)
round 41 - Knit
round 42 - K1 K2TOG (20 st remain)
round 43 - Knit
round 44 - K2TOG (10 st remain)
round 45 - K2TOG (5 st remain) - you will need to switch from magic loop to 'flat' on this round

rows 46-50  - Knit i-cord for 5 rows
row 51 - KFB (10 st) - switch back to magic loop after this row
round 52 - Knit
round 53 - K1, KFB (15 st)
round 54 - Knit
round 55 - K1, K2TOG (10 st remain)
round 56 - Knit
round 57 - K2TOG (5 st remain) - you will need to switch from magic loop to 'flat' on this round

at this point, put some scrap wool in to ensure the bobble remains round and not deflated

rows 58-62 - Knit i-cord for 5 rows

row 63 - KFB (10 st) - switch back to magic loop after this row
round 64 - Knit
round 65 - Knit
round 66 - K2TOG (5 st remain) - you will need to switch from magic loop to 'flat' on this round

at this point, put some scrap wool in to ensure the bobble remains round and not deflated

row 67 - Knit
row 68 - K2TOG, K1, K2TOG, (3 st remain) then pass stitch 1 and 2 over 3 (1 st remain)
Thread yarn through remaining stitch, and weave in loose ends.