12.31.2014

Have a great new year!

May this year be filled with lots of yarn!

New year, new hip, new shrug!

My husband is getting a new hip, & will be in the hospital during New Year's Day! I had to pick up a new project for some hospital knitting. Wanted something that I didn't have to think about too much. I originally thought of a shawl, but found a nice looking shrug pattern on lion brand website (free pattern). 

It is the harvest shrug, I'm making it with with their fisherman yarn in birch coolest. I think I might add sleeves. I did frog it once after reading the ravelry comments, it looked too large, so I am knitting on 7 needles now!

12.26.2014

Merry Christmas to Knitters Everywhere!

Happy Knitting!

santa knitting

My husband is getting a total hip soon and I’m casting on a shawl, still looking for a easy pattern, looking for a long rectangular shawl. Let me know if anyone has a good idea!

 

I know I have been absent lately! I got a fitbit in May and got addicted to it! Let me know if anyone has one!

fitbit

10.08.2014

Are You a No Reply Blogger

I’ve had some questions on my blog recently that I cannot reply to. I enjoy interacting with all of my readers. If you refer to the below linked post it will explain this.

See the linked excellent article about this from Paula the Quilter,

 http://www.thequilter.blogspot.com/2014/08/are-you-no-reply-blogger.html

8.19.2014

It’s A Daisy Day

I had been experimenting with acrylic yarns, and in the process found a series of cute crochet patterns. One thing lead to another and I started an afghan. I’m hoping to get it done for my Nieces Birthday! So everyday is a Daisy Day at our house!

What is so nice about Granny Squares? Portability, stash busting, quick to make. Downside? # that I need to make a blanket, *grin*!

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I started reading crochet blogs, and found some cute patterns, well a lot of cute patterns. This pattern is from: Mad Blanketer and is called the Bobbly Flower Hexagon (pattern link). I also found a similar one at Attic 24 (who has all kinds of crochet goodness on her blog)

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft Solids, Love this! I now see why people rave about this! I wouldn’t make a sweater out of it, but love it to crochet with. I also made some placemats out of it to begin with, and I did knit those, I have washed them and dried in the dryer many times, and they look as nice as the day I finished them. I was surprised to not have any pilling.

Placemats, knitted in seed stitch with Caron simply soft yarn

I’ll add some crochet blog links that I have been reading, I might be a convert! Lots of creativity below, Enjoy!

Attic24
A Creative Being
Bunny Mummy
Cherry Heart
Fox’s Lane
Dada’s Place

5.14.2014

The Crazy Hair

My husband has what we refer to as “the crazy hair”, he has cowl licks and loves to wear hats. Add those together and unless he has just gotten his hair cut, he is usually sporting “the crazy hair”. His hair likes to stick straight up, but also pushes together in a Mohawk like ridge. I don’t know how it happens, but am thankful he loves hats, and will wear them 3 out of the 4 seasons. In fact I just finished a hat for him, in 100% wool, and in Southern Indiana it is in the 80’s now, he came home from Starbucks with it on. Well I can’t complain of a husband that will wear my hand knits!

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I picked out this pattern The Modern Rib Hat by Susan B Anderson, but had decided to style it into a slouchy hat. The pattern is free on Ravelry and written well and super easy to follow. It has 6 sizes, from baby and toddler up to an adult size. This is great, a size for everyone. Style it from the tradition rib, or cap size to fold up brim or a slouchy hat. I will be making more of these. Any size, any look and easy, well written, and free, well it doesn’t get better than that! Thank you Susan! Susan also blogs here, check her out for some inspiration.

So Steve is all set he can look a little slouchy cool, or go all Jacques Cousteau, for those of you who didn’t follow his exploits, see more about the famous diver/explorer, “father of scuba diving”.

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IMG_2989IMG_3000jac with his hatHum mm, similar, *grin*

Yarn:
Lion Brand Fisherman's 100% Wool yarn-Worsted Weight: Afghan, Aran Yarn, 8 oz. (227 g), 465 yds. (425 m), 100% pure virgin wool,  Gauge: knit 16 stiches x 22 rows = 4 inches (10cm) on size 9 (5.5mm) needles.

Product Care Instructions: Items made from this yarn may be laundered through the use of water, detergent or soap and gentle hand manipulation. No bleach product may be used. A machine dryer may not be used. Lay out horizontally for drying.

While this yarn is a bit scratchy, I still keep buying it. I can buy it at JoAnn's’ which is close to me, I love the natural colors, and the cost is great, especially when using a coupon! Listed price is $12.99 for 4 oz., but I never buy it without one of those wonderful JoAnn’s 40% off coupons. I’ve tried other wool yarns there, I also like  Patons Classic Wool Yarn, at list price of $6.99 for 240 yds.,  it is a softer yarn and described as merino, but have always gone back to this one. I’m not sure if I’ll buy anymore of this yarn, I think for the quality and price I’ll switch to Patons Classic Wool, or travel to my LYS.

I’ve noticed lately that the yarns in JoAnn's, Michaels, Hobby Lobby etc.… are going up in price, It makes me get back in my car and travel to a local yarn store to pick out something,

I think this yarn softens up after washing and although it is described as worsted weight, I would say it is closer to DK weight. I believe this yarn used to be manufactured in the US but it now has a brown wrapper on it, no just saw it today and it has a wrapper similar to the original one, but still says made in China.

Lion Brand does make some of its yarns in the USA, (see list here if your interested) The wool yarns made in the “US are LB Collection Pure Wool, and Martha Stewart Merino, and Martha Stewart Roving. I have not seen these anywhere. I passed through JoAnn's and they had all of these out, I looked at them, and there was an increased range in colors of the Patons Classic Wool also. They are also online to purchase. It seems they are pricing these yarns at a higher price point.

Well this turned into more of a yarn rant than  I had planned on. If you don’t know where a local yarn store is near you, take a look at the yarn store locator here. Yarn store GPS app (IOS), yarn store GPS app (Android). Go visit one, they usually have a wonderful staff who can advise you on yarns and patterns, and I usually find some knitting friends there.

Happy Knitting!

5.11.2014

Easy Knitted Camp Fingerless Mitts by Tante Ehm

It is funny how many times a good idea comes along while looking for something else. I ran across this free pattern for Finger Less Mitts. It looked fast to knit and I really liked the pattern.

Free pattern link (ravelry)http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/camp-out-fingerless-mitts

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These fingerless mitts are worked in two directions. The hand portion is worked flat in garter stitch. Stitches are picked up and worked in rounds for the thumb and wrist portion. I enjoyed knitting this pattern! It was easy to understand and well written. I did add two modifications to the pattern. Even with my modifications I had this done with under 150 yards easy, I had a partial skein left over.

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Above is the palm done and I’m ready to start on the arm, I decided to add a “thumb”, I did this by picking up 19 stitches around the thumb hole, and k1,p1 all around for 4 rows, or until it is long enough to make you happy Winking smileWhen finish I cast off in pattern all around.

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I also noticed in the photos that the sleeves are finished to roll. I like to wear mine under a jacket and was afraid this might bunch up for me, so I added a k1,p1 ribbing all around the last inch to the sleeve.

I love this pattern, I was able to wear it for several weeks before it warmed up. I’m planning on making another pair for my husband in more manly colors. He also wants finger holes which I think I can make by simply sewing together the finger edges in three areas.?? Well that is my plan, it works in my head, LOL, See below for yarn info and review, I plan on using a different yarn for these next time. This yarn is a tad bit bulky for the pattern.

Yarn Review:

I’m on a quest to test knit acrylic and acrylic blend  yarns, so I picked up some Red Heart Boutique Treasure in the colorway Abstract. I was attracted to the softness of it. It is a 70% Acrylic, 30% Wool blend. It states it is Aran weight, I think it is a might thicker than that. The yardage is 151 yds. for 100 grams, I got mine at Michaels on sale, its normal cost is listed as $6.99. Yarn has a nice sheen to it and a fair number of colorways. I can’t be sure how many, I’ve seen 8 different colors. Knitting Tension:16 sts - 22 rows = 4" (10 cm) Suggested Knitting Needle:6 mm, US – 10 . The care: Label states to hand wash, I haven’t yet (I’ll update when I do) I’m afraid these may pill, due to the low twist of the yarn. 

Color way has a long transition, So the colors transition in a pretty way.

Yarn is a tad bit splity, that didn’t bother me at all. If you need to frog it, the slight fuzziness of it will make it difficult. That being said, I love the feel of this yarn, and I did have opportunity to wear these for several weeks before the weather got warm. My hands were warm and dry. None of the clamminess that I find when wearing some acrylic yarns.

It took me I skein, and I had a might bit leftover. Also I did add some modifications to this pattern, so I believe one skein would be plenty to knit it up wit

Happy Knitting!

5.07.2014

Spring Dyeing

 

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I love this bright coral color that these skeins ended up! I wound up about 2000 yards of 100% Wool yarn and decided that it was bright and sunny out, so it was time to do some solar dyeing

I was going for a light pink, but after that skein looked rather wimpy, and my husband said he thought it would look good more vibrant. I decided he may be right.

I like to use sun tea jars to solar dye my yarn. It is amazing how warm the sun makes the water and really bakes the dye into the skeins, I’ve used different combos of fiber mixes and 100% wool gives the most vibrant colors.

I wound all of my yarn on a swift, and tied each one off in at least 5 places. I found to error on the side or more ties, to reduce tangles. But tie them very loosely, I like the little mark of lighter dye where the tie was located, it gives the skeins a more varied look.

Soak the skeins, making sure all of your wool in underwater, I usually put a plate on top of them to weigh them down. Gently squeeze the air out, put the plate on top and let them soak for at least 30 min.

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While your skeins are soaking, mix up your dye according to the instructions for your particular kind. I like to use the hottest water I can out of the tap. Don’t fill your jars all of the way up, the wet skeins will overflow it if you do. I usually place two skeins in each jar. Then set them in the direct sun, and leave them all day. I have found if I put them on the cement they stay hotter.

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Next day, I wash and rinse them, and hang them outside to dry. I have two jars and do 4 skeins at a time this way, I usually wind about 240 yards onto each skein. So approx. 500 yards in each jar.

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Wanted to have enough for a sweater, I have the pattern for the Wonderful Wallaby by Carol A. Anderson (rav link) This pattern by Cottage Creations, (cottage creations page here, they also have other great patterns) comes in sizes from child to adult. I knitted one of these in 100% cotton yarn, way back before Ravelry and am still wearing it. A seamless traditional hoodie, and I’m that kind of girl. I can never have enough hoodies.

Now I’m in the mood to dye more yarn, and have bought some turmeric. more on that later….

4.15.2014

Easy Knitted Wrap

Have some yarn from a forgotten project? So did I. I found a skein of Fisherman’s Wool from Lion brand yarns, in Maple Tweed. Each skein has a hefty 465 yards or so and it is Worsted weight yarn. After some trolling around on Ravelry I found a super simple wrap, a rectangle with rows of knit on the top and bottom and k2, p2* until end of row for 2 rows  and then p2 k2 next row for 2 rows, repeat until you are ready to end it, and then knit your heart out for the ending rows. See the photo in the link here, it is the Shawl by Melanie on Ravelry.
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I used needles size 13 US, also cast on 132 stitches instead of the 110 called for. I just knitted until my skein was over. Then couldn’t decide if I needed another one. There is a fine line between wrap so big you don’t want to take it anywhere, and wrap just right. So I stopped at one skein, I like the longer length, I can wrap it over my shoulder to stay on, or wrap it backwards. It can also be used as a cowl/doubled scarf, due to the open knit smoochy quality of it. I have been exploring acrylic/wool  blends lately, but I have to say, you just can’t beat 100% wool for warmth and coziness!
Here I am in Gatlinburg at a cozy cabin, I’m test knitting some Red Heart soft, in some placemats.
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I have used this yarn numerous times! It is easy to find, price is great, I usually get mine at Joann's for about 8.49$ to $10.99, use those 40% off coupons, and get it even cheaper. It is 465 yards per skein 8 oz., tweeds are in 6 oz. skeins, aran weight yarn.is made of undyed pure virgin wool with natural lanolin oil. Color availability is natural type colors, neutral, beige, browns, tan etc.. Tweeds are also all natural/neutrals. While the yarn does feel a bit scratchy, I think the tweed yarns are scratchier. I find that after washing, it is reasonably soft, (I add some hair conditioner to the rinse water). Long lasting and so warm. If I was making a sweater or anything to wear next to my skin I would not use this yarn. This yarn is suitable for felting also. It does have a low twist. The skein I had was in my stash for a time so it was made in the USA. I believe it is now made in China. I think the brown label on the yarn are the Made in China ones.
Two other yarns similar to it are Cascade 220, also 100% virgin wool  (average $8 to 9.00 for 220 yards full price, but Cascade has a plethora of colors to choose from and a slightly tighter twist, and softer, This is a good yarn. It is my go-to yarn when I’m looking for a reasonably 100% wool.  Another similar wool is KnitPicks Wool of the Andes,100% Peruvian Highland Wool worsted weight. this yarn has 100 colors and is $2.69 per 50 gm. ball at 110 yards. Wool of the Andes does have a better feel and twist to it. Price is actually very comparable at $10.76 for 440 yards (4 balls) I can’t say anything bad about KnitPicks Wool of the Andes except you have to purchase it online and I can’t pick it up and feel it.
See links below for other knitted wrap patterns.
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I’m going to include some other fast, easy, free knitted wraps, suitable for spring temps!
-Ruana or wrap knitted pattern by Barbara Breiter
-Easy reversible thermal wrap pattern by Esther Bozak
-Wild Ride by Lila Agnew
-Four Seasons Wrap by Cynthia Cushing
-Wrapped in a Hug Stole by Grace Stark

4.07.2014

LaLa Shawl

Knitting always sooths me, I was stressed and needed a small project, out of town with little resources. I had one knitting book and found a Joanns store. After much looking around and dithering, some yarn was found that I fell in love with a wool, mohair, acrylic mix!  Patons North America Lace,I decided to buy two balls, because, well who knows what it would become?
Only having one knitting book gave me few options, Greetings from the Knit Café, so I picked out the Lale shawl and started in. The pattern is super simple and goes fast due to the yo’s and then drop them the next row! This would be a good first shawl for a beginning knitter! Love how the yarn is giving the color change and lacy look with a slight halo.
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Pattern is very easy to follow, once you knit one repetition of it, you can go on auto pilot with it.I knitted most of it during visiting friends for a music festival. So little attention to detail, and lots of talking involved. I’m always surprised at how many knitters I meet when sitting and knitting at a social gathering.
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The only part of the pattern that gave me pause was the ruffle, I had never seen one made in this manner. After reading several knitters struggles and modifications with the ruffle on Ravelry, I was initially going to omit it. But after doing so, I frogged it back and decided I could figure it out. The ruffle really adds what made this shawl stand out and make me want to knit it. After a few tries I set off and it did take some time to finish the ruffle, but I did it while watching Netflix, and I think it was worth it.
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I love the feel of this yarn against my neck, it is the perfect size and weight to wear under my winter coat and give it a pop of color. Warm and yet weightless. It makes me feel girly.
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I would definitely make this pattern again, and use this yarn! See yarn info above, the color repeats are quite long, and I like the look it gives.
Although this pattern was in a book, below are some very similar free shawl patterns:
-Lala’s Simple Shawl by Laura Linneman
-One skein summer shawl by Kat Oliver
-Impossibly Large, Impossibly Simple Shawl by Miranda DiStanfo
-Matter and Void by Julia Mueller
-143-13 Raspberry Shawl by Drops design
Happy Knitting

2.13.2014

Seed Stitch Cowl/Scarf

Winter winds, snow and ice? That translates to lots of knitting. I had a birthday to knit for and a couple of skeins of Hometown USA by Lion Brand. I was drawn to this yarn due to the extreme softness, it just made me squeeze the skeins and the vibrant colors, and then noticed that it was 100% Acrylic. I’ll be the first one to tell you, I hardly ever knit with a yarn that does not have some natural fiber in it, but this felt so tempting I couldn’t resist. I usually buy Wool Ease Chunky with a fiber content of 20% Wool and 80% Acrylic, but kept going back to this one. I just couldn’t stop touching it.
It is a super bulky yarn at 9 sts x 12 rows per 4 square inches. Available in 63 colors, the solids and multis are 100% acrylic, and the Tweeds are 94% acrylic and 6% Rayon (due to the tweed bits). I decided to try it out, as I had fallen in love with the Tampa Spice color, I thought it would  be perfect for my birthday gal.
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I wanted a Cowl pattern, and loved the look of the seed stitch cowl, free patterns on Ravelry. I cast on 18 stitches for my cowl and used #17 size needles, I wanted the cowl to be super squishy soft.
Pattern: Super Chunky Infinity Cowl by Hannah Hockley (knit end to end and then join, see link below on how to kitchner a seed stitch)
Chunky Knit Infinity/Eternity Cowl by Jayna Grassel (same as above but involves twisting the finished item before kitchnering the ends together))
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See texture of yarn/stitch above. The snow was so bright that day, everything kept getting washed out.
Easy knit, turned out very nice, in the end I decided to not join it and keep it a scarf. I love a cowl, but if I don’t want to loop it twice around my neck, I find it awkward to let it hang. Is it just me? I figured the scarf had more style options.
I did find instructions thanks to Tricksy Knitter, on how to kitchner the ends together when using a seed stitch. She also has instructions for stocking net and knit kitcher. Tricksy also has a pleather of knitting knowledge and instruction on her website, I recommend it, go give it a look.
I was so impressed with the Hometown yarn, I couldn’t believe it was 100% Acrylic, it worked up fast, had good stitch definition and was a joy to knit with. I’ll add info later on how it survives the wash and dry test. Product Care Instructions: Machine wash. Initial water temperature should not exceed 40C or 105F. No bleach product may be used. A machine dryer may be regularly used at the hottest available temperature setting. I wonder if it will pill, I looked at the rating on Ravely and it gets a 4 out of 5 stars. I’m very impressed with it so far, and am making more projects with it. I haven’t found any Cons for this  yarn  yet. The price point is good. I bought mine at JoAnn’s for approx. $4.99 per skein but, I found it cheapest at Walmart for $2.97!
Solids: 5 oz. (142 g), 81 yd. (74 m)
Multis and Tweeds: 4 oz. (113 g), 64 yd. (59 m)
HomeTown USA Pros and Cons
Pros
Cheap (Wal-Mart the cheapest)
Soft
Lots of colors, multis and tweeds also (63 different) bright colors would be good for school color scarfs!
Widely available
Easy Care
Good Stich definition
100% acrylic (for those who want super easy care or wool allergies)
Super Bulky, works up super fast
My usual go to bulky washable yarn is Wool Ease Chunky, and this is miles softer than that (wool ease chunky is 80% Acrylic, 20% Wool).
Fast to knit up a item
Cons
-100% Acrylic ,For those of you that want % of natural fiber in it for warmth, I’ll update on the warmth, as single digit temps are with us for a while
-Possible pilling?  I’ll update on this later, after a good several wash & drying. *update* NO pilling, I did notice a small amount of shedding (fluffy), but I washed and dried until dry, I have been washing with jeans to give it the rough treatment. I’m truly impressed!
-fuzzies-If you must rip out a project this yarn will fuzz slightly, and shed.


Overall
I love this yarn, and have already bought more to knit with. I give it a 5 out of 5 stars. I cannot find anyone who does not like this yarn, except for the acrylic haters. *grin* I think this yarn slighly can fuzz when being ripped out due to the loose twist in it. That may also account for the softness, short fibers=softer feel, more natural fiber like?


2.08.2014

I Shawl You <3

Winter weather has been crazy this year! Seems like warm to cold temps. Coldest temps I’ve seen in a long time. What better to get everyone in a great knitting mood!

I wanted an easy shawl pattern to high light the handspun yarn. It was my first time that I spun a pound of fiber, I picked out an unlikely color (for me) because I tend to look at my stash and it is all blue. Pumpkin or persimmon colored Blue Faced Leicester fleece! I splurged on a pound and wanted to see how much yardage I would get from it.

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I spun it up and plied it, It ended up giving me approximately 700-800 yards or so. It looked a little matt or dull to me, so my girlfriend suggested that I added a strand of something else. I picked out a spool of Sulky thread in the blendable colors, it did take 3 spools, I ran my plied yarn back through the wheel and loosely added the thread. The result gave it just enough dimension to make me happy.

Large enough to wrap around your body in the house, in a chilly office. Yet squishy enough to compress down around your neck over a coat, I am pleased with the result, nice and warm and comforting. I’m gifting this to a friend, so I’m glad to have it done.

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The pattern started out to be the Boneyard shawl pattern by Stephen West, but when I started knitting it I was watching Netflix and ended up leaving the ribs out. So it ended up to be a plain shawl. It is closer to the Scrappy Prayer Shawl recipe by Cosette Cornelius-Bates

Pattern:

I kid that it is my Boneless shawl, easy, and quick.

Stich pattern: Most simple is stocking net stitch, except for edging, but you can use any pattern, just remember that you will be increasing on either side.

Think of all of the patterns you could insert! Texture, lace anything you can imagine, go super simple with a seed stitch or complex with cables and lace. Get adventurous, really going to get creative? Here is a link to some customizable knitting graph paper to print out.  I love to look through this online pattern stitch library from the craftcookie

Yarn and Needles: Anything goes, handspun, recycled yarn, thick, thin, stash,(use your stash and make it stripy), you make the choice. Use a needle size large enough to give your shawl some drape and softness. Larger needles = lacier look.

Basic idea:
odd (right side) rows knit or use your chosen pattern, even (wrong side) rows purl, except for knit the first and last two stitches of all purl rows, this gives a nice edge.

Begin here:
-cast on 5 stitches, place a marker on each side of the middle stitch
-knit row, (first row) increase on either side of marked stitch, (two increases) I like to use the lifted increase (tutorial here), but you can use your favorite, or even a yo (yarn over), if using a yarn over this gives a hole, which is very pretty.

-purl row, k2, purl across to last two stitches and knit those
-knit row, k2, place marker, increase in next 2 stitches, k1, increase in next 2 stitches, place marker, k2

now the two below rows you will repeat until you are about 4 – 5 rows away from being finished.

-k2, purl across, knit last two stitches
-k2, (marker here) inc1, knit stitch before marker and increase,slip marker, k1, slip marker, increase one, knit to one stitch before marker and increase, slip marker, k2

when you are 4-5 rows away from being done, (this way you can use up all of your yarn) knit all across both directions, I stopped increasing also.

Then bind off in a stretchy manner, I like the Russian Cast off (tutorial here)

Now go to town and create your own custom shawl!
If this helps you out, I’d love to see a photo of what your up to, send me a photo and I’ll include it here!!
email me at knittingdragonflies at gmail dot com

1.30.2014

Hills and Valleys Cowl/Hood (free pattern)

I was searching for the perfect cowl that I had in my mind to knit. Trawling on Ravelry, I wanted one, just the right size around, only once around my neck and not too tight, loose enough to pull up around my face and tall enough to get it around my ears during a windy dog walk, but able to squish it down into my collar of my coat and not be too thick and bulky. About a third of the way into the pattern I decided to make it long enough to pull up as a hood also.  I finally just un-vented this one, as Elizabeth Zimmerman would say.
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This is a simple stitch textured cowl/hood (you decide the length). Suitable for beginning knitters. Purl ridges make the cowl easy to scrunchy down or pull up. You can wear the ribbed end on top if you are wearing it as a cowl to make it snuggie around your neck or, wear the purl ridges on top if you are pulling it up as a hood. If you have any questions or find an error please let me know so I can correct it!  I’ve added some tutorial links/videos for clarification.

Thanks so much to Willie for her patience in helping me write this pattern.
Yarn/Yardage: I used some from my stash, Fisherman’s Wool from Lion Brand, it wasn’t a whole skein, approx. 375-400 yards for the hood and 275 for the cowl. Worsted weight yarn, After I knitted the first one, I decided this would be good for handspun also.
Gauge: 3 stitches/inch, don’t stress about this too much, cowl can be looser or tighter by a couple of inches.
Needles: Size 10 circular (29 inch) or size needed to get gauge
Size: Approx.  28-29 inches around
Length: 12-13 inches for a cowl or if knitting the hood about 4-6 inches longer

*Pattern revised and written as two separate patterns*
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Cowl Pattern:
Cast on: 88 stitches, using a loose cast on, I used the knitted cast on. (see here for tutorial) Long tail cast on also good
Join to knit in the round, place marker, taking care not to twist stitches.

First section will make Purl ridges
1-Purl all around
2-Knit all around
repeat step 1 & 2 six times
3-knit 4 rows
4-purl 2 rows  
repeat step 3 & 4  three times 

Moss stitch section
5-k2,p2 all around
6-p2,k2 all around
repeat step 5 & 6 four times 

Purl Ridge section
7-Purl all around
8-Purl all around
9-Knit all around 
10-purl all around 
repeat step 9 & 10 two times 

Seed stich section  
11-k1,p1 all around
12-p1,k1 all around
repeat step 11 and 12 six times

purl ridges
13-Purl all around
14-Knit all around
repeat step 13 & 14 two times 

Plain ribbing
15-p1,k2 all around
repeat step 15 five rows 

Ribbing area this is your last section

Cluster ribbing section
16-p1,yo,k2, with left needle lift yarn over up and over the 2 knitted stitches and slide the yarn over off of the needle) See video here for help
17-p1,k2 all around
repeat step 16 & 17 two times 

18-purl all around

repeat step 18 two times

19-bind off using a stretchy bind off, I used Elizabeth Zimmerman's sewn bind off, also the Russian Bind off is a good one or other technique to get a loose bind off. EZ sewn bind off link, Loose bind off 

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Hood Pattern:

Cast on: 88 stitches, using a loose cast on, I used the knitted cast on. (see here for tutorial) Long tail cast on also good
Join to knit in the round, place marker, taking care not to twist stitches.

First section will make your purl ridges

1-Purl all around
2-Knit all around
repeat step 1 & 2 six times
3-knit 4 rows
4-purl 4 rows  (repeat step 3 & 4 four times  

Moss stitch section

5-k2,p2 all around
6-p2,k2 all around
repeat step 5 & 6 four times 

Purl Ridge section
7-Purl all around
8-Purl all around
9-Knit all around 
10-purl all around  
repeat step 9 & 10 four times  

Seed stich section
11-k1,p1 all around
12-p1,k1 all around
repeat step 11 and 12 six times

Purl ridges
13-Purl all around
14-Knit all around
repeat step 13 & 14 four times  
Ribbing area this is your last section
Plain ribbing
15-p1,k2 all around
repeat step 15 for five rows

Cluster ribbing section
16-p1,yo,k2, with left needle lift yarn over up and over the 2 knitted stitches and slide the yarn over off of the needle) See video here for help

17-p1,k2 all around
repeat step 16 & 17 six times

18-purl all around
repeat step 18 two times

19-bind off using a stretchy bind off, I used Elizabeth Zimmerman's sewn bind off, also the Russian Bind off is a good one or other technique to get a loose bind off. EZ sewn bind off link, Loose bind off link
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Happy Knitting!

1.13.2014

Dropped Stitch Cowl

It was –4 degrees out, I had a day off and was just trying to stay warm. This was a perfect knitting day. I was on Ravelry looking around for a fast project, and found this Dropped Stitch Cowl. Pretty pattern, I was off to my stash to see if I had a bulky yarn to use. I found a super bulky yarn from Brown Sheep that I had never used. Got my needles and turned on Netflix and started knitting.
Pattern available on Ravelry thanks to Abi Gregorio!
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I did modify the pattern, I wanted it to be larger at the bottom so It would lay on top of my coat. IMG_2332
Modifications were:
On the 3rd and 4th repeat of the pattern on row 2 I increased 5 stitches evenly all around, this allowed my cowl to lay nicely on top of a coat.
I would like to make another one with the recommended yarn and pattern to see how it falls.
Pattern only took 1 skein of the Super Bulky Yarn which was approx. 125 yds. I used a #13 size needle.
Photos taken down by the river on a cold day! Burrrr, love this cowl it is super warm, I made it from 100% Wool and the Super Bulky makes it super warm. I was able to put it on the next morning, and drive to work on the icy roads and stay warm!
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Barge with coal on the Ohio in January

1.05.2014

Man’s Classic Knitted Scarf

A manly scarf, sometimes in our yarny world of color and exotic patterns. Always trying something new and different. We just need a plain scarf. I’m looking for a pattern for a manly scarf, and somewhere about 1.5 hours later, after looking through books, trolling blogs and Ravelry, I was still looking.

I’m not sure what I wanted, maybe that was the problem. What was on my “must have” list? Well…..I think all one color. A classic style, something a man could wear to a winter wedding, church, I guess I wanted a simple but stylish scarf. I looked at ribbed styles (no), cable (high contender), seed stitch (closer), basket weave (too much pattern), and finally decided on moss stitch (just right). (see bottom of post for links to the other free knitted men's scarf patterns I considered)

Moss stitch, it has some pattern, but not too busy, nice texture, lays flat, looks the same on the front and the back. Not too complicated, I can knit it while my mind is busy elsewhere.

 

IMG_2261What is Steve looking at? See hawk photo below if your interested, The hawk was in the middle of catching a bird and having lunch.

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The yarn: I wanted a acrylic blend, I thought black was the color but decided after starting with it, that it didn’t show the stitch, too dark. Gray was the winner on color, a classic timeless gray that would go with anything. The yarn brand, I ended up with Lion Brand Wool Ease. I’ve got a whole post on acrylic and acrylic blends coming out. If I’m knitting for a gift, unless it is a knitter, I use a blend, even then, I’ve had them come back to me in a felted ball *grin*. I’ve knitted with Wool Ease for years, and wore and washed it, so was comfortable with this one.

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Scarf pattern is a  simple moss stitch. Pattern from Jennifer Refat, Eaton’s scarf this is a free pattern. I did add one stitch on either side to knit, and/or slip first stitch to make sure the scarf stayed flat.

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I’m pleased with the results, it is soft and toasty and easy to care for!

I’m including the runner up patterns (all free and simple) that I considered:
-Simple Scarf by Denise Amazonas
-Patterned scarf by coats n clark-
-One row handspun scarf by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
-Extra Warm Men's Scarf by Kyoko Nakayoshi
-Ridge Rib Men's’ Scarf by Linda Thach
-The Prismatic Scarf by Huan-Hua Chye

All of the above are so beautiful I’m digging in my stash to see what I can knit next