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.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Guest Post - The Cloud Wrap – from Concept to Pattern by Laura Krzak

For the past couple of years, I’ve had the privilege of being one of several crochetdesigners for Cascade Yarns. I’ve had a good run with coming up designs that Cascade has chosen to add to their crochet pattern line, and in honor of National Crochet Month, they asked me to explain how I design a crochet pattern.

Some designers start with a concept. They will draw out what they want to make, choose the measurements, choose the stitch pattern to use, and then they pick up the yarn and hook. Other designers, like myself, start with the yarn and hook and work from there. Personally, as a designer, I look for a stitch pattern that will work with the yarn, and once I have a stitch pattern fixed, I start to brainstorm on what finished item to make.

The Cloud Wrap pattern all started with the yarn – El Cielo. I was originally given a sample of the yarn to make a crochet swatch for a completely different pattern idea, but I had enough yarn left that I decided to propose another idea as well. After some trial and error, I came upon a stitch pattern that worked well with the yarn.


The nature of the El Cielo yarn is that it is super lightweight, but the halo of the alpaca provides tons of warmth. Knowing these characteristics, I decided to propose a rectangle shawl. I figured out the dimensions and how much yarn it would take to make a full size shawl, and then sent the pattern proposal for the Cloud Wrap along with several others.

Shortly after Cascade Yarns received my proposals, they contacted me to let me know on which patterns they wanted to move forward. They decided to pass on the crochet design they had me re-stitch with the El Cielo yarn, but they like the swatch for the Cloud Wrap design. However, they wanted a modification. They had already accepted a rectangle shawl design with this yarn, so they wanted to know if I could use the same stitch pattern but in a different shawl shape. Being up for a challenge, I said yes.

I decided to create a triangle shaped shawl. That would mean modifying the pattern with either increases or decreases. In looking at the shape of the stitches themselves, they are wider at the top than at the base. That shape lends itself more easily to increases rather than decreases, which also helped determine how the shawl would be made. When increasing stitches, a triangle shawl will be shaped one of two ways – bottom up or top down.



I also looked at how the stitch repeat itself was made to determine which direction I wanted the tops of the stitches to face. In reviewing all of the information about the stitches, I decided that a center start, top down shawl would be the best way to create a triangle shawl shape with this stitch pattern.



It was finally time to start crocheting! The nature of the yarn itself doesn’t have a lot of stretch or give, so to create enough of an increase to develop the triangle shape, not only would increases be created along what would be the top edge of the shawl, but I would need to figure out how to create increases along the shell spine. My original test stitching had only 2 and 3 chain spaces on either side of the center spine, but after 8 rows, there wasn’t enough give and the lack of increases in the center was pulling the top edge down. I carefully ripped back several rows and decided to add sections of 4 and 5 chain spaces. Those extra chains provided enough give in the center that the top edge of the shawl would lay straight.


Still, something wasn’t right. Those extra chains created the stretch I needed for the shawl shape, but I also needed to increase the stitch pattern as well or it would be nothing but chains and the center shell by the time I got to the bottom – not the look I was going for. A little more juggling with stitch placement on the chain spaces and the final design was complete. I worked two full sets of increases, and then sent a picture to Cascade Yarns for approval. They said yes, so I picked up the swatch and kept crocheting on it to create the shawl.

Once I finished crocheting the shawl, I decided it needed an edging to finish it off. I still had enough yarn left in the skein I was using to make an edging, so I was determined to make this a one skein shawl. After trying a couple more complicated edgings and not liking either the look or the amount of yarn usage, I decided to go with something simple. I chose to alternate single crochet stitches with large shells created from 9 treble stitches, with a larger shell at the center point.



After completing the first couple of edging shells, I knew I had made the right choice. After finishing stitching the shawl, I wet blocked it out, then wrote up the pattern from the notes I took while stitching.


And there you have it – all the behind the scenes details of how the Cloud Wrap Shawl in El Cielo was created. Thank you for going on this design journey with me. Please check out all of the wonderful crochet patterns that Cascade Yarns offers to crocheters for free. I’m sure you will find several new favorites to love.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Buzzy Hat in Longwood

Longwood is a treat to work with. The extra-fine merino superwash is soft enough for a baby and is spun into a complex twist that loves cables. Each squishy ball contains 191 yards and there are more than 40 luscious colors to choose from.



Baby hats are a great way to play with a yarn as they work up quickly and the recipient usually will not complain. The hard part is if you take too long they will have outgrown it before you do the decreases. As an added bonus, you will get 2 of the smallest size hats out of 1 ball.
Materials:
 - 1 ball Longwood (100% Extra-fine Merino Superwash Wool - 191 yds/100 g) - shown in 15 (Green Olive)

- US 8 16" circular needles

- US 8 DPNs

- Cable needle

- Stitch Marker

- Yarn Needle
Gauge & Sizing:
- 4.5 sts = 1" in stockinette

- To fit 16", 19", 22"

Abbreviations:
- K - Knit

- P - Purl

 - C4B - Put 2 stitches on cable needle, hold in back, knit next 2 stitches, knit 2 from cable needle

- P2tog - Purl 2 together

- K2tog - Knit 2 together
Cast on 72, 88, 104
Join in round, careful not to twist.
Place stitch marker to show beginning of round

K4, P4 for 2", 2.5", 3"

Begin Pattern:
1 - 2 - K4, P4
3 - C4B, P4
4-6 - K4, P4
7 - C4B,P4
8 -12 - K4, P4

Do Rows 1-8 2x , 3x, 4x
 Start decreases
1 - K4, P2, P2tog
2 - K4, P1, P2tog
3 - C4B, P2tog
4 - K3, K2tog
5 - K2, K2tog
6 - K1, K2tog
7 - K2tog

Cut yarn, weave through remaining stitches. Weave in ends.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Boplicity Cowl in Boliviana

There is something about knitting with wool. It plays well on the needles and has this squish factor. Boliviana is a merino wool from Bolivia. Each 100 g skein contains 191 yards and works up at a worsted gauge. There are 31 colors to choose from for your next project and the options are almost limitless. 

I went with Fair Isle. It is a heavy enough gauge the project goes quickly. There is enough yardage to do 2 cowls if you reverse the colors. Cowls are a great way to try Fair Isle since it is in the round and there is no shaping.
Materials
- 1 skein each in 2 colors of Boliviana (100% Merino Wool - 191 yds/100 g) - shown in MC [15 (Mallard Blue)] & CC [29 (Olive Oil)]

- US 9 Circular needle (16-20")

- Stitch marker

- Yarn needle
Measurments:
Approx 21" circumference and 9" long

Gauge:
4.5 sts = 1" 

Abbreviations:
K - Knit
P - Purl

Cast on 96 sts
Join in round, careful not to twist

Place stitch marker to mark beginning of round

K2, P2 for 1" in MC
K 1 round in CC
K2 rounds in MC
Chart A

Start Chart A
K 3 rounds in MC

Chart B



Start Chart B
K 3 rounds in MC

Chart C
Start Chart C
K 3 rounds in MC

Start Chart B
K 3 rounds in MC

Start Chart A

K 2 rounds in Color MC
K 1 round in Color CC

K2, P2 for 1" in Color MC

Bind off.
Weave in ends.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Ruby My Dear in Salar

Salar is a squishy, soft, chunky alpaca blend. It is great for quick knits and finishing off your holiday gifting. Each 200 gram skein contains 197 yards - enough to make a lovely scarf or cowl. This cowl works up quickly and is just a combination of knit and purl stitches to add a bit of texture.
Materials:
- 1 skein Salar (50% Alpaca/45% Acrylic/5% Wool - 197 yds/200 g) - shown in color 10 (Red)

- US 13 circular needles (at least 30" circumference)

- Stitch Marker

- Yarn Needle

Abbreviations:
- K - Knit
- P - Purl

Gauge & Measurment:
- Approx 2.5 sts = 1"

- 8" high x 48" circumference

Cast on 120 sts
Place stitch marker to mark beginning of rounds

[K1, P2] for 4 rounds

Start Pattern: 
Rows 1-2 - K
Rows 3-5 - *[K1, P2] - repeat from *

Continue until almost desired height -
[K1, P2] for 1 round


Bind off loosely.
Weave in ends.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Win a Haiti Babi Handmade Baby Blanket & Hat

Haiti Babi was started to keep kids out of orphanages and with their families. In Haiti, 10% of kids live in and orphanage and 80% of those kids have living parents that cannot afford to take care of them. In 2011 Seattle native Kaitlin Jackson volunteered at a Haitian orphanage and was inspired to start Haiti Babi.
Haitian moms are hired and taught to knit and crochet. They are paid more than twice the minimum wage and are also learning about budgeting. The baby blankets and baby hats are machine knit in Ultra Pima with a crocheted edge. Each piece is tagged with the name of the mom that crocheted the edge.

Ystania crocheted the edge on the Pineapple colored blanket that we are giving away. She has 2 boys and has started a side business making/selling peanut butter. Her boys now attend school and she has been able to buy land to build a house on.

Beatrice crocheted the edge on the Light Blue hat that is part of 1 of the sets that will be given away. She has 3 young children and part of her income goes to pay for medical expenses for her son's heart condition.

Florence crocheted the edge on the Pineapple hat and Light Blue blanket. She has 5 children between 4 & 17 years old. Her oldest, Peterly wants to become a doctor and she has been able to finish building the home she started in 1999.

 The original blankets are in the Signature series. They have recently expanded to add new colors in 2 new series: Tranquility & Caribbean. We have purchased 1 set from each of the new series to give away. The Light Blue is from the Tranquality series and the Pineapple is from the Caribbean series.
To win one of these beautiful handmade sets, tell us in the comments about your favorite charity knitting/crochet project you have created in Cascade Yarns. Please also mention if you have a color preference. The winners will be chosen on November 27, 2015.