accessories

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I have been home for the last couple days as I have been sick.

I really feel like I can’t go outside as going out when you are sick is like the new drinking and driving and people will yell at me.

Here is my Sideways Grande Cloche by Laura Irwin (Ravelry link here):

sidewaysribhat

This is a lovely pattern from Boutique Knits: 20+ Must-Have Accessories. I had a good time knitting it, but I did not quite beat the end of winter — which I will certainly not complain about.

It has one of the main criteria for a winter hat in Saskatchewan — good forehead coverage.

I started knitting the Sideways grande hat from Laura Irwin’s Boutique Knits this week:

sidewaysribs-1

I am using a couple skeins of Berocco Ultra Alpaca (non-Ravelry link) I had in my stash. It is a nice relaxing project that doesn’t require any math on my part more strenuous than counting.

There are some good things about living somewhere with a wintery climate and some things that are just things — one of the things is that you can definately start a winter hat in January and still have time to wear it before it gets warm.

sidewaysribs-2

I feel like I am coming out of some knitting doldrums, and since all of my projects seemed hard last week I pulled out a bit of hand painted mohair of questionable provenance. It was sold to me on E-Bay as Colinette. Really I have no reason to disbelieve it as it came in a lot with other more identifiable skeins, but it came pre-wound without tags, so the colourway’s name etc. eludes me.

I am knitting — wait for it — a stockinette stitch scarf, but the colours are pretty:

toasty-knitting

The colours remind of Stravinsky‘s The Firebird (I grew up in a household aware of ballet above many other, perhaps more sensible, things). Here is a painting by Léon Bakst to give you an idea:

leon_bakst_001

I feel such nostalgia for the early 20th Century avant garde; it always appeals to me. In this particular example, I especially like the tuft of armpit hair.

I always like the the avant garde from the 19th Century too — especially Chopin. That may come back to ballet again and spending hours each week through my childhood in a room with someone playing music on a piano: Chopin featured heavily.

Here I am stuck at home, kitchen pipes frozen, car not starting, looking out into the world reflected back at me from the Internet. I am filled with awe that I could wake up this morning to -39 centigrade (-38 Fahrenheit) temperatures and read about MK describing her cold as being like mango pollen stuffed up her nose. I used to live where mangoes grow; it feels very far away.

I went out and bought Boutique Knits by Laura Irwin today. I wasn’t planning on it, but it just has such lovely constructions, and I feel they would work for me. I am especially struck with the Sideways Grande Cloche. I also like the Side Slip Cloche, but I feel that the first one would look better on my particular head. Cloches are great for me as Saskatchewan requires extensive forehead coverage (please see previous paragraph).

Speaking of cloches and MK Carroll, MK has one of the most beautiful hat patterns I have ever seen, but I know my enormous head would deform it. I suppose I could resize it, but the patten is one where every stitch is in the right place, and I don’t want to ruin it. The Sideways Grande Cloche, looks like it could be made with room for my head and my hair and still look great — everyone has their issues.

Note: I failed to read the description of the pattern properly when I wrote this and would like to say that MK’s pattern is sized up to 27″, so if you have a large head, don’t be scared away!

Here some more scrumbles I have completed for my freeform shawl:

The second one is not really flat, and it is boring, but the first one seems okay.

I wanted it to be all wonderful like all the freeform projects that I so admire an Ravelry and in books. It may still be: it can be difficult to tell before it’s done. I also suppose that it also may not be realistic of me to expect to be really good at something the first time I try it, but who said I had to be realistic?

I am still kind of recovering from my prescribed, deadlined, focussed knitting of the summer and am currently knitting like Bridget Jones eats when she has a hangover — I am working on whatever indulgent thing I feel like and exploring the more exciting aspects of instant gratification.

Here is one of my recent creations:

It was made using this yarn I spun myself.

I just cast on a multiple of stitches and knit it up using my favourite cable pattern (see here and here).

I still have a bit left and think I will likely make a scarf using my Wisp pattern.

If anyone is interested, I could probably be induced to provide a pattern, just let me know in the comments.

Here is the almost final form for the earthworm scarf:

I like the way the lace weight sections are transparent, and the earthworm yarn from Milkyrobot was an absolute delight to knit. Every inch was interesting.

I made some kind of gauge error. I am not sure precisely where, but the scarf is not the size I calculated for.

I wore it today, and I found that the particular combination of length and weight doesn’t make a particularly wearable scarf because I don’t like the way it looks draped around my neck and it doesn’t stay wrapped.

I tried crocheting the ends together and making a long loop to go around my neck twice, and I think that is the way I will go with.

I was inspired to try to loop idea by Yokoo‘s cowls like this one.

I started knitting this scarf while we were in Kansas in August. The yarn came from the Newton Beadery in Newton Kansas. I couldn’t tell it was a yarn shop at all from the street, but then I saw the crochet friendly yarn shop sticker from Interweave on the door, and I knew.

This yarn was on the clearance shelf, and it looked so much like snow that I couldn’t resist. It is Berroco Softy (52% DuPont Tactel® Nylon, 48% Nylon, 208 yards[190m], Snow Bunny 290).

I started knitting several scarves with the yarn and the fringe kept becoming more prominent, until the fringe was the scarf.

I am listing this scarf on my Parallax Knitting Esty Store here. The Ravelry listing is here.


I think the pattern is so fun and has the potential to use many kinds of yarn, I would especially like to see it in a handspun novelty yarn. I plan to write it out soon and make it available.

Pixie scarf

Here are some pictures of the scarf I knit with the yarn I spun from the Pixie batts from Evonne Wee’s Etsy shop:

I am very pleased with it. I have listed it in my new Parallax Knitting Etsy store (here).

I didn’t realize that usernames mattered on Etsy, so I created a new one (my old one is still there too).

I am starting to list some of the things I make as there are really only so many scarves / hats / sweaters / gloves / etc. a person can reasonably have.

It’s beautiful and squidgy, if no one buys it I will definately not feel bad about adding it to the rotation.

Isn’t Vancouver beautiful?

On the needles is a scarf of a sort. I need to use up a ball of yarn that I made up when I started knitting. I wanted to do a project like Kaffe Fassett’s Persian poppies waistcoat (non-Ravelry link for an idea of what I mean).

I really didn’t understand about concepts like gauge or yarn weight or anything, so I just used bits of all the yarns I liked. The project did not really turn out like I expected it to (try not to be surprised), and the ball of bits of yarn sat in my basket for several years.

I had a bit of a brainwave after I made a design for a knit boa, and decided to make a multi-coloured one:

I quite like it. If anyone has any great ideas about what to do with the corresponding blue one, please share.

Pattern for the boa will be forthcoming soon.

I have some time now to work on whatever my little heart desires, and my heart has alighted on this scarf, which I haven’t had a chance to work on in several months.

I have swatched with this yarn several times now, and I wasn’t sure exactly how to make the most of it.

I was frustrated with with working the stripes in intarsia and wasn’t really pleased with the results, so I ripped it out and tried again:

I like this so much better. It compliments the texture of the yarn better somehow.


Here are my newest gloves in an almost completed state:

When I submitted Gloves Can Be Deceiving to Knitty Amy asked me for pictures of the gloves in the process of being sewn up, but I didn’t have any (I didn’t have a digital camera, so I didn’t document every aspect of my life as obsessively as I do now), so I didn’t want to let the opportunity to pass this time.

I am very happy with them.

I spent my day off this Monday (happy Saskatchewan day to one and all) writing the pattern out, so I hope to make it available in a couple weeks. I have the seamed version now and I plan to do another version knit in the round.

They really do help you channel your inner princess, and I anticipate being very grateful when they meet my three-quarter length sleeves in the middle.

Download pattern here: Wisp PDF pattern

Difficulty

Beginner

Finished measurements

Approximately 5 inches [13cm] wide / 84 inches [213cm] long

Materials

[MC] 1 skein of bulky novelty yarn (shown: Milkyrobot Girls Throw Snow, super-bulky handspun, 40 yards[36m])

[CC] 1 skein coordinating fingering yarn (shown: Sandes Garn Sisu, 173 yards[158m] per 50g, colour 1042)

1 US #17/12.75mm circular needle

Tapestry needle

Gauge

Not really important and difficult to measure.

A glove by any other name - 1$5.00

Of course you could just knit gloves on double pointed needles. Life would be more simple if everyone did things the same way, but not everyone likes dpn, and sometimes you want to try something different, just because you can.

These gloves are knit on straight needles in double knitting, so there are no seams either. They require the same amount of making up that gloves on dpn: just weave in ends.

Difficulty

Average

Size

One size

Finished measurements

11 inches [28cm] long (with cuff, without cuff 8 inches [20cm])

8 inches [20cm] around palm

Materials

Filatura Di Crosa New Malizioso [100% wool; 55yd/50m per 50g skein]; color: 4; 2 skeins

1 set US #9/5.5mm straight needles

Gauge

10 sts / 15 rows over 4 inches [10cm]

A glove by any other name - 2 A glove by any other name - 3 Double knit gloves

 

I want to knit everything on straight needles — absolutely everything.

I knit gloves on straight needles, see here and here. I also knit sweaters on straight needles, see here and the new issue of Magknits coming out in March. I also knit hats on straight needles, but that is a little less extraordinary, see here and here.

Double knit gloves

I partly dislike circulars and partly it just seems fun to do it that way.

I am so excited about my next pattern, which I will be posting this weekend if all goes well. I have a new (though perhaps unvented as opposed invented) way of making gloves on two needles, so I hope you will check back.

Here is a sneak preview.

Gloves on two needles never look like anything special when you are knitting them, then the metamorphose into something right.

It is so cold in Saskatchewan this weekend, and I just couldn’t resist putting in a plug for my Russian Princess in Exile, it is the warmest, best winter hat I have ever had, and I think it looks cute too.

Frosty

This is how cold it is, and yes, that is frost in my hair, but my head is warm.

Lyra’s Cap

Lyra’s Cap

I was so smitten by the costumes in the Golden Compass, and for this cap at least, one wonders: how often can something so desirable be achieved so easily? I whipped this up in an evening and thought I would share.

If you are lucky you will even have some yarn in your stash that will work.

Difficulty
Easy

Size
Child [Adult] (shown in adult size)

Finished measurements
9 inches (23cm) [10 inches (25cm)] from top to bottom
8 inches (20cm) [9 inches (23cm)] from front to back

Materials
Rowan Ribbon Twist [70% wool, 25% acrylic, 5% polyamide; 60yd/66m per 100g skein]; color: #121 Rustic; 1 skein
1 set US #17/12mm straight needles
1 US#L/11/8mm crochet hook

Gauge
7.5sts/10 rows = 4 inches / 10cm in stockinette st

Lyra’s cap (back view)

Please see the full pattern here: Lyra’s cap

My mother bought this yarn on sale about twenty years ago from a department store that went out of business years ago. It’s beautiful yarn, but I always have a hard time knowing what to do with novelty yarn – but then apparently so does my mother. I knew she always wanted something out of it, and there was not enough for anything larger, so here is a lacey scarf to show it off.

This was intended to be a Christmas present, but it is missing with my luggage, so for now this is all the evidence I have of its existence. I may add more pictures of the scarf being modeled if and when we get it back. I hope you all have been and will continue to enjoy the midwinter festival of your choice and wish you all a happy new year.

Difficulty: intermediate

Size: One size

Finished measurements: 7 inches wide and 60 inches long before blocking

Materials:
Jaeger mohair cotton novelty blend [46% mohair, 44% cotton, 10% nylon; unidentified length per skein]; unidentified color; 4 skeins
1 set US #10.75 /7mm straight needles
Tapestry needle

Note: this yarn is no longer available and it doesn’t have much information on the label. Please see the attached pitures for an idea of the yarn I used.
I suggest you use whatever yarn you fancy in your stash and knit until you like the length or until you run out of yarn.

Guage: 10 sts/13 rows = 4″ in background lace stitch

Pattern stitches:
Background trellis lace: (multiple of 4 plus 2)
Row 1: k1, *ssk, yo 2 times, k2tog*, repeat between * until 1 st from end, k1.
Row 2: p1, *p2, k1, p1*, repeat between * until 1 st from end p1.

Leaf: (worked over 2 background trellis lace pattern repeats)
Row 1: ssk, yo, k2tog, yo, pick up and knit yarn between two stitches from previous row, yo, ssk, yo, k2tog.
Row 2 and all even rows: work as established.
Row 3: ssk, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, k2tog.
Row 5: ssk, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, k2tog.
Row 7 and 9: k.
Row 9: yo, k2tog, k5, ssk, yo.
Row 11: k1, yo, k2tog, k3, ssk, yo, k1.
Row 13: k1, yo twice, k2tog, k1, ssk, yo twice, k1.
Row 15: ssk, yo twice, pick up yarn from previous row and knit it, slip 2 stitches as if to knit, k1, k2 pass two slipped stitches over, pick up yarn from previous row and knit it, yo twice, k2tog.
Row 17: ssk, yo twice, k2tog, k3tog, yo twice, k2tog.

Pattern:
CO22.
Work in background lace pattern with leaves randomly placed. I chose to have more leaves at one end.

Finishing:
Weave in ends, block if necessary.

I recently had a question about how I designed the short row shaping on my Urban Rustic Gloves. Here is the method I followed:

  1. Measure your hand, this includes the length of your hand from the base of your fingers to wrist, the length of all your fingers, the circumference of your hand at the palm, at the base of your thumb, at your wrist and all your fingers. I suggest you trace around your hand and write all the measurements in.
  2. Work out the number of rows you will need to go around the palm of your hand and mark the number on graph paper with each square representing one stitch. You may need to tape two or more pieces together. You will still need several rows of graph paper on each side of the palm.
  3. Work out how many stitches you will need to go around your palm at the base of your thumb and divide this number by two; add those rows to the two sides of your graph. This is the number of rows you will need to add using short rows for your thumb gusset.
  4. Work out the number of rows you will need to go around your wrist, subtract this number from the number of rows you needed to go around your palm. Round this number to make it even. This number divided by two is the number of short rows you will need between the base of your fingers and your wrist.
  5. Start shading in sets of two rows on your graph paper, starting with odd numbered rows, to place your short rows, until you have the right number of short rows. I staggered the length of these rows to make the shaping gradual; I suggest three lengths of rows alternately spaced to get even shaping.
  6. For the thumb gusset, divide the number of stitches by the number of rows, this will give you the number of stitches difference you need between each short row.
  7. To shape the ends of the fingers use one set of short rows each second row, ending approximately two stitches from the end. The first and last rows of the finger must not be short rows.

Note: Fudge the math anywhere you need to to make the pattern work. Knitting is stretchy and it pulls in a bit too. It took me a lot of attempts before I got it right.

If you have any questions, I would be happy to try to help.

Winter Knitty is up, complete with my Gloves Can Be Deceiving.

I loved knitting these gloves and I hope you do too. I would love to see pictures.

Russian Princess in Exile

Download the pattern here

The Russian émigrés were so influential after they fled the revolution. They brought different perspectives and new fashions west and east and helped people learn to think in a new way. They also knew a thing or two about how to stay warm. This hat would not be for those who brought their fortune with them – leave the fox and mink for them; this is for those who made it out with their lives and had to make a life how they could that meant wearing wool, but wearing it like a princess, which is what I suggest you should do too.

DIFFICULTY: Intermediate

SIZE: M[L] (shown in size L)

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS:
Around head: 20[24] inches
Crown to brim: 8[10] inches

MATERIALS:
Rowan Big Wool [100% wool; 87yd/80m per 100g skein]; color: Best Brown; 1[2] skeins
1 set US #17/12mm straight needles
Tapestry needle

GAUGE:
7.5 sts/10 rows = 4″ in stockinette stitch

ABBREVIATIONS:
C8B: put next 4 sts on cable needle and put at back of work, K4, then K4 from cable needle
C8F: put next 4 sts on cable needle and put at front of work, K4, then K4 from cable needle

PATTERN
All sizes:
CO50[62], turn.
Row 1: K1, *C8B, K4*, repeat between * 3[4]times, K1.
Row 2 and all wrong side rows: P.
Row 3-5: K.
Row 7: K5, *C8F, K4*, repeat between * 3[4]times, K1.

Size M only:
Row 9 (dec row): K1, * put 4 sts on cable needle and hold to back as if to C8B, k2tog 2 times, k2tog 2 times from cable needle, K4*, repeat between * 3 times, K1 (34 sts).
Rows 11-13: work even.
Row 15 (dec row): K1, *K2, put 4sts on cable needle and put to front of work as if to C8F, k2tog, k2tog 2 times from cable needle*, repeat between * 3 times, K1 (22 sts).
Row 16 (dec row): P3 together 7 times, P1 (8 sts).

Size L only:
Repeat Rows 1-5.
Row 15 (dec row): K1, *K4, put 4 sts on cable needle and hold to front as if to C8F, k2tog 2 times, k2tog 2 times from cable needle*, repeat between * 4 times, K1 (42 sts).
Rows 17-19: work even.
Row 21 (dec row): K1, *put 4sts on cable needle and put to back of work as if to C8B, k2tog, k2tog 2 times from cable needle, K2*, repeat between * 4 times, K1 (27 sts).
Row 22 (dec row): P3 together 9 times (9 sts).

FINISHING:
Draw end of yarn through remaining sts, draw tight to close the crown.
Using tapestry needle sew the seam from the brim to the crown with mattress stitch; weave in loose ends.
Photo credit: Jonathan Cross

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