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

1.01.2014

Happy New Year!

happy new year knitting

From everyone at my house to yours, have a Happy New Year and may it include lots of knitting!