28 May 2015

Current Projects

With all that's happened lately, I thought it would be a good idea to start knitting again.

I wanted something that would not have a short start to completion time, that is to say, something that would keep me in simple, back and forth row knitting for a while. Something I didn't need to make a decision, or any decisions about for a good while.

New New New Geometry

So, I started to knit New New Geometry triangles. I remember when I'd finished the last lot I did, after sewing them together and before felting, they made a really lovely fabric. So I thought I'd just knit up a load and maybe make a blanket.

I used this provisional cast on method, which I discovered makes a really nice, neat, stretchy cast on. Great also for hats, and so easy that it's now my preferred method.

I chained 29 stitches with a crochet hook, but instead of using scrap yarn I used the working yarn. I only chained 29 because the stitch on the hook counts as the 30th stitch. Then, with the same yarn, I picked up the stitches and just started knitting.. Unlike many other cast on methods, I find this one a very enjoyable process!

Unblocked, the slingshot vs 'provisional' cast on

As you can see from the image, it gives a much better shape than the standard, sling shot method, which has very little give and actually crimps in the bottom corners of the triangle. You can see, it's actually puckered a bit. This would also  affect the uniformity of the finished blanket. I do remember the last project was uneven around the edges, but as it was being felted, I wasn't too concerned.

This project is on hold, as I used some Safirgarn (that had survived the desperate cull) and I need to get some more because it's an odd weight. Listed as DK, it doesn't match an other DK yarn I've got. But it is one of my favourites, so, even though this would be an ideal project to use up odd skiens and scraps, I'm happy to make the whole thing using only this yarn. It also yields a pleasantly balanced four triangles per skiens, each skien being 50g.

I've calculated the finished blanket to be 153cms x 204 cms, each triangle being approximately 17cms, it will be 9 triangles wide by 12 triangle long.
I can, of course, add more rows of triangles to the length, but the width, using the half triangle edges, will have to remain constant. 

Parallelogram Shawl Scarf

While I wait to get to Spar Kjøp to buy more Safirgarn, I've started this. I looked for a pattern for this on Ravelry, but couldn't find one and it's so simple, I thought I'd just make it up.

A good friend of mine recently gave me a bag full of yarn which she had sorted according to her colour analysis. She's Bright Winter and I'm dark winter. So I now have some beautiful, high quality wool in dark winter shades.

I say wool, but this first project is some sort of cotton blend, I think. Not all of the skiens had labels.

Using the same 'provisional' cast on method, I cast on stitches to the width I wanted the finished scarf to be (I don't know how many).

This is what I'm doing:
K3, K2tog, knit to the last 4 stitches, M1, K3
Next row knit to the end of the row.

If I make this again, I'll only do a K2, or even a K1, at the beginning and end. I didn't mean for it to become such a feature of the finished scarf.

I'm changing colour every other row too, so I really don't have to think too much about this, which is exactly what I wanted... needed!

6 May 2015

Nepal Reversible Hat Pattern

This is the 'inside' of the hat. This is what the 'wrong' side of the work will look like.

This is a smaller knitted hat, suitable for a child or anyone who likes a snug fit.

Drops Nepal Alpaca blend (or an Aran/Worsted weight yarn).

6mm for casting on, using the Old Norwegian Cast On.
4mm DPN (or circular needle with 100cm or longer cable for Magic Loop knitting).
5mm circular + 5mm DPN.

Using 6mm needles, cast on 76 stitches.

Switch to 4mm needles, join work and K2, P2 until work measures 7cm.

Switch to 5mm needles, place a marker and alternate between a K2, P2 row and a knit row.
Repeat these two rows until work measures 20cm.

Unlike the crown decreases on most of my patterns, this crown decrease skips the alternating knit row half way through. This is optional, so if you find you're doing a knit row between a decrease row, just go with it.

Switch to DPN when necessary.

Row 1: [K17, K2tog]. Repeat to marker.
Row 2: Knit to marker.
Row 3: [K7, k2tog]. Repeat to marker.
Row 4: Knit to marker.
Row 5: [K6, K2tog]. Repeat to marker.
Row 6: Knit to marker.
Row 7: [K5, K2tog]. Repeat to marker.
Row 8: Knit to marker.
Row 9: [K4, K2tog]. Repeat to marker.
Row 10: [K3, K2tog]. Repeat to marker.
Row 11: [K2, K2tog]. Repeat to marker.
Row 12: [K1, K2tog]. Repeat to marker.
Row 13: K2tog  to marker.
There should be 8 stitches left on your needles.

Cut yarn, leaving a 25/30cm tail.

Thread the loose end onto a darning/tapestry needle.

Beginning with the stitch you would knit, if you were to knit, thread the tail through all the stitches and remove the knitting needles.

Pull the tail tight to close up the hole.

Sew through to the inside of the hat and sew/weave in the loose ends as neatly as possible. Remember, the hat should be able to be worn 'inside out'.

Here's a video by Judy Graham, demonstrating this technique.

Fully reversible, this is the 'inside'  of the finished hat (on the left) and the 'outside'.
Pattern detail... 'outside' on the left, this time. :)