Friday, December 2, 2016

YOM - Baby Alpaca Chunky - Wine & Roses Cowl

Baby Alpaca Chunky is the perfect yarn for holiday gifts. It is soft, luxurious, and works up quickly. There are over 40 colors to chose from to work up something special for someone deserving - or even better, yourself (it makes a great reward for all of the holiday knitting and crocheting). Mitts, cowls, and scarves are my favorite projects for Baby Alpaca Chunky.

I decided it would be fun to do a 2 skein striped cowl. I picked 2 trend colors - Damson and Grape Compote and settled on using Fibonacci to inspire my striping repeats. It is a simple 2 stitch, 2 round repeat and works up fairly quickly.

Materials
- Baby Alpaca Chunky (100% Baby Alpaca - 109 yds/100 g) - 1 skein Color A - 647 - Grape Compote & 1 skein Color B - 648 - Damson

- US 10 Circular needles (16-20")

- Stitch Marker

- Yarn Needle

Abbreviations
- K - Knit

- P - Purl

- K1b - Knit 1 through Back Loop
Cast on 80 stitches in Color A - join in the round - careful not to twist stitches
Place marker to show beginning of round

1 - K1b, P1
2 - K

Change to Color B - do 1 repeat of pattern
Change to Color A - do 2 repeats of pattern
Change to Color B - do 3 repeat of pattern
Change to Color A - do 5 repeats of pattern
Change to Color B - do 8 repeat of pattern
Change to Color A - do 5 repeats of pattern
Change to Color B - do 3 repeat of pattern
Change to Color A - do 2 repeats of pattern
Change to Color B - do 1 repeat of pattern
Change to Color A - do 1 repeat of pattern

Bind off loosely.
Weave in ends.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

YOM - Pure Alpaca

A skein of yarn has so much potential. First you consider the fiber, gauge and twist and then there is the color - although, sometimes there is a certain color that just grabs you. Baby Alpaca is one of those fibers that just needs to be touched. The color that spoke to me was Mineral Red (3063) - a color I have been seeing in the trends.
Pure Alpaca is a light worsted to DK weight baby Alpaca yarn with 220 yards in each 100 gram skein. The hand is heavenly and paired with the classic 4/8 twist is a joy to work with. It is important to be mindful of the nature of Alpaca as it does not have the memory of wool. The luscious, soft fabric has a propensity to grow.
I decided that I wanted to make some form of a shawl. Originally I had thought a simple triangle top-down shawl would work and then I started to swatch. 
I found that I really like the structure combined with openness of the Irish Net stitch. In the process of swatching, I decided an asymmetrical triangle would be a better fit and took part of the Irish Net stitch to get to where I was happy with the shape and look.
I ended up with a US 8 needle to allow some drape with the stitch. The main body of the pattern is a 6 row repeat and very easy to memorize. I still have yet to decide on an edging, but have a while to go until I need to....

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

YOM - North Shore

I am one of those people that actually enjoys swatching. It gives me time to get to know a yarn. It can talk to me and tell me what works really well and what is probably better used with a different yarn.
North Shore is an acrylic that has a similar look and feel of mercerized cotton. The DK gauge yarn comes in 27 solids and 12 prints. 
The yarn has lovely drape and sheen. North Shore is easy care (machine wash & dry) and quite durable.
I cast on with US 6 needles and tried a variety of different stitches. Since North Shore is an acrylic, I have to remember that you have to like the way it knits up before you block. Acrylics don't usually respond very much to blocking. Knit and Purl combinations tended to not pop as much as they would on a springier fiber. Ribbing was a bit drapey. Stockinette worked well. 
Eyelets and garter were fine but it did not show the drape of the yarn. My favorite stitch pattern that I tried was a Fern Lace. I plan to swatch some moss and garter stitch to use the Fern Lace for a blanket.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Sunseeker Shade - Lullaby of Birdland Blanket

Baby blankets make wonderful gifts. It never hurts to have extras and there is nothing quite like a hand knit blanket. Sunseeker Shade is a DK weight cotton-acrylic blend that is the perfect weight for a warm weather blanket. Each 100 gram skein contains a generous 246 yards. The easy-care (read machine wash & dry) cotton blend is available in a wide range of colors that vary from rich jewel tones to soft pastels.
Materials
- 2 skeins Sunseeker Shade (50% Cotton/50% Acrylic) - 246 yds/100 g - shown in 21 (Sunlight Yellow)

- US 4 needles

- Yarn Needle to weave in ends

Gauge & Measurements
- Gauge approx 5.4 sts = 1" in stitch pattern

- Finished Measurements: Approx 20" wide x 27" long

Abbreviations:
- K - Knit
- P - Purl
Cast on 108 sts

Edge
1 - K
2 - [K1, P1]
3 - K
4 - [P1, K1]

Do edge for 8 rows (do rows 1-4 2 times)
Start pattern:
 1 - K6, *[K1, P5, K5, P1]; repeat from * to last 6 stitches, K6
 2 - [K1, P1] - 3 times, *[K2, P4, K4, P2]; repeat from * to last 6 stitches, [K1, P1] - 3 times.
 3 - K6, *[K3, P3]; repeat from * to last 6 stitches, K6
 4 - [P1, K1] - 3 times, *[K4, P2, K2, P4]; repeat from * to last 6 stitches,  [P1, K1] - 3 times
 5 - K6, *[K5, P1, K1, P5]; repeat from * to last 6 stitches, K6
 6 - [K1, P1] - 3 times, *[K6, P6]; repeat from * to last 6 stitches, [K1, P1] - 3 times.
 7 - K6, *[K6, P6]; repeat from * to last 6 stitches, K6
 8 - [P1, K1] - 3 times, *[K6, P6]; repeat from * to  last 6 stitches,  [P1, K1] - 3 times
 9 -  K6, *[P1, K5, P5, K1]; repeat from * to last 6 stitches, K6
10 - [K1, P1] - 3 times *[P2, K4, P4, K2]; repeat from * to last 6 stitches, [K1, P1] - 3 times.
11 -  K6, *[P3, K3]; repeat from * to  last 6 stitches, [K1, P1] - 3 times.
12 - [P1, K1] - 3 times, *[P4, K2, P2, K4]; repeat from * to last 6 stitches,  [P1, K1] - 3 times
13 - K6, *]P5, K1, P1, K5]; repeat from * to  last 6 stitches, K6
14 -  [K1, P1] - 3 times, *[P6, K6]; repeat from * to last 6 stitches, [K1, P1] - 3 times.
15 - K6, *[P6, K6]; repeat from * to  last 6 stitches, K6
16:  [P1, K1] - 3 times, *[P6, K6]; repeat from * to last 6 stitches, [P1, K1] - 3 times.
Continue until almost desired length

Edge
1 - K
2 - [K1, P1]
3 - K
4 - [P1, K1]

Do edge for 8 rows (do rows 1-4 2 times)

Bind off loosely
Weave in ends

Note:
Pattern can be made wider by adding multiples of 12

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

6 Inning Pixie - Anthem

This year my older son was part of a Little League baseball team. It has been a truly wonderful experience for him. The team did quite well during the season - and then it was the playoffs. Regular season had games that were up to 2 hours in length. Championship playoff games were 6 innings. His baby brother was at almost every game strapped to me in an infant carrier... which meant my hands were free. So I was able to get some knitting done. Most of this hat was completed during 2 of the playoff games (until Baby Brother decided he was done with sleeping and wanted to watch).
Anthem is one of our newer yarns - and it is great for baby projects, charity, crochet, and anything easy care. It is a soft acrylic that reminds me of wool. Each 100 gram skein contains 186 yards and is available in 33 vibrant colors. The medium size hat used less than 1/2 of the skein - so you can easily get 2 small or medium hats out of 1 skein.
Gauge & Measuments:
4.5 sts = 1"
Shown in 18" (9" long) size

Abbreviations:
K - Knit
P - Purl
K2tog- Knit 2 Together


Materials:
- 1 skein Anthem (100% Acrylic - 186 yds/100 g) - shown in 33 (Cockatoo)

- US 8 16" circular needle

- US 8 DPNs

- Stitch Marker

- Yarn needle
CO 72, 80, 88 sts

Join in round, careful not to twist. Place marker to show beginning of round.

K2, P2 for 1,5", 1.75", 2"

K until meaures 3", 3.5", 4" from cast on edge

Decreases:
For Large size only (start here)
1 - K20, K2tog
2 - K
3 - K19, K2tog
4 - K

For Medium (start here)& Large size (continue):
1 - K18, K2tog
2 - K
3 - K17, K2tog
4 - K

For all sizes (start Small size here) (continue larger sizes):
1 - K16, K2tog
2 - K
3 - K15, K2tog
4 - K
5 - K14, K2tog
6 - K
7 - K13, K2tog
8 - K
9 - K12, K2tog
10 - K
11 - K11, K2tog
12 - K
13 - K10, K2tog
14 - K
15 - K9, K2tog
16 - K
17 - K8, K2tog
18 - K
19 - K7, K2tog
20 - K
21 - K6, K2tog
22 - K
23 - K5, K2tog
24 - K
25 - K4, K2tog
26 - K
27 - K3, K2tog
28 - K
29 - K2, K2tog
30 - K
31 - K1, K2tog
32 - K
33 - K2tog


At this point you can cut the yarn and pull through the remaining stitches or you can knit the remaining 4 stitches for 2-3" before you cut the yarn and pull through the remaining stitches. Then you can tie the I-cord into a knot.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Lil Darlin' Hat - Luna

Luna is a single-ply Peruvian cotton with a wrap that gives a nubby texture while maintaining the cottony softness. It works up beautifully for hats, blankets, washcloths, and shawls. Each 50 g skein contains 82 yards and is enough for a quick baby hat or washcloth.

Materials
- 1 skein Luna (100% Peruvian cotton - 82 yds/50 g) - shown in #724 (Lemon)

- US 7 16" circular needle (for larger 2 sizes)

- US 7 DPNs

- Stitch marker

- Yarn needle
Abbreviations
- K - Knit

- K2tog - Knit 2 Together

Sizing
- Shown in 16" circumference
 (pattern for sizes 12", 14", 16", 18" circumference)
Cast on 56, 64, 72, 80 sts

Join in round - Place marker at beginning of round.

K for 4.5", 5", 5.5", 6"

Begin decreases
1 - K7, K2tog
2 - K6, K2tog
3 - K5, K2tog
4 - K4, K2tog
5 - K3, K2tog
6 - K2, K2tog
7 - K1, K2tog
8 - K2tog

Knit remaining stitches in the round for 3" (or longer if desired) - cut yarn, weave yarn through remaining stitches
Weave in ends

Tie I-Cord in a knot

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Fixation - Rhythm-a-Ning Hat

Fixation is great for hats for all ages - especially for those that need something with a little bit of stretch. Each 50 g ball contains 100 yards which is plenty for a quick baby hat or chemo cap. The little bit of elastic helps the cotton hold its shape. In addition, there is a wide variety of solids and spray-dyed colors to choose from.
Materials
- 1 ball Fixation (shown in 2706 - Showcase Teal)

 - US 5 16" circular needles (for larger sizes)

- US 5 DPNs

- Stitch marker

- Yarn needle
Abbreviations
- K - Knit

- P - Purl

- K2tog - Knit 2 together

- P2tog - Purl 2 together

Gauge
5.5 stitches = 1" in stockinette
Cast on 72, 80, 88, 96 (13", 14.5", 16", 17.5")

Join in the round, careful not to twist. Place stitch marker to mark beginning of round.

K2, P2 4 times
Start Pattern:
1 - K2, P2
2 - P1, K2, P1
3 - P2, K2
4 - K1, P2, K1

Cont until 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6" from cast on edge
Start decreases
1 - K2, P2, K2, P2tog
2 - K2, P2, K1, K2tog
3 - K2, P2, K2tog
4 - K2, P1, P2tog
5 - K2, P2tog
6-K1, K2tog

7 - K2tog

Cut yarn and leave a 6" tail. Weave yarn through remaining stitches. Weave in ends.