cables, design, mittens

Tech-able Mittens

cabledmittI love mittens.  They keep my hands and fingers so much warmer than gloves but I rarely wear them because I cannot answer my phone or use the GPS while wearing them.  Fingerless mitts solve a lot of this problem but my fingers are still COLD.  The solution?  Finger holes in the mittens!cabledmitt3cabledmitt2However, the holes in the mittens created another problem- a draft while not in use.  I found that a simple garter stitch flap overcomes this obstacle.  Yay for that!  I haven’t yet knitted a flap over the thumb as you can see in the picture.  It turns out that I knitted the thumb too large.  There’s a little bit of tweaking to be done to the pattern before it’s really wearable.

The strange flap on the wrist is a button band.  There are pretty silver buttons in my stash that I thought would compliment a cabled pattern.  Buttons can add that bit of sparkle to a project that brings the whole thing to life.  🙂

I’m really excited about these mittens.  It’s a shame that they need reworking before they are wearable.  I’ve been taking notes along the way for a possible future pattern release.  In the meantime, I’ll be sitting by the fireplace in hand-knitted socks with my dog creepily staring at me while I work on these mittens.  Hope you are staying warm as well.fireplace

**Free Patterns**, cables

Charming & Quick Knit Pocketed Purse -Bees Knees Bag Pattern

pdfbutton
BeesKnees.pdfBeesKnees

This project was supposed to be a quick and easy way to learn about inserting pockets but my inexperience with purses turned this into a much more time-consuming pursuit than originally planned.  There was a lot of ripping and redoing as I tried to make something useable and attractive.

I found out why knitted pockets almost always have ribbed tops- because without the ribbing, the pocket sags out forward as demonstrated in the following picture.  As you can see, I ripped and replaced the pocket and got rid of the plastic handles.

Overall, I’m happy with the resulting bag BeesRedoand the information I learned from my experimentation.  Maybe there will be a pocketed sweater in the near future.  🙂

Update:  Feb, 10, 2013:  I’ve been asked a few times about how to line the bag, I’m adding some instructions to the bottom of this page that might be helpful.  These lining instructions are also included in the pdf linked above. 

For those who would like to recreate this purse, named for the honey comb pattern used, here’s the spill:

Skill Level- Beginner/Intermediate

Materials- 300 yds bulky weight yarn, or 3 balls Knit Picks Brava Bulky yarn (shown in picture).  Note:  While you don’t have to line the bag, I recommend at least sewing a ribbon or fabric strip inside the handles to keep them from stretching out.

Gauge- 3.5 stitches per inch in stockinette on size 9-11 circular needles

Finished Size:  10 inches tall by 13 inches wide

Directions:

Using Judy’s Magic Cast On, CO 84 sts (42 sts per needle).  Knit one round even.  Note:  The cast-on loops on needle #2 are twisted.  On the first round only, knit them through the back of the loops to untwist them.  After this round, the stitches will all be worked normally.BeesKnees2

Set Up Round:  On first needle, kf&b, pm, k40 in Chart A, pm, kf&b.  Repeat across second needle.  Note:  When working across second needle, it may be easier to perform the kf&b if you untwist the stitch first.

Increase Round:  On first needle, knit to one stitch before marker, kf&b, sm, k40 in pattern, sm, kf&b, k to end of needle.  Repeat across second needle.

Repeat increase round 5 more times.  112 sts (56 per needle)

honeycombEven Round:  k to marker, sm, k40 in pattern, sm, k to end of needle.  Repeat across second needle.

Repeat an increase round followed by an even round one more times.  116 sts (58 per needle)

Repeat even round until desired height of pocket is reached, ending having knitted row 4 on Chart A (a cable cross row.)

POCKET

bees3CO 24 sts on new needle.  Knit in stockinette stitch for 18 rows or desired length, ending having worked a WS row.

Increase Row (RS):  k1, m1, [k2, m1] 11 times, k1 (36 sts)

Set Up Row (WS):  p2, k2, [p4, k4] 3 times, p4, k2, p2

Work sts as they appear for two more rows.  (knit the knit sts, and purl the purl sts)

Cross Row (RS):  k2, work row 8 of Chart A till 2 sts remain, k2

INSERT POCKET

bees4Set Up:  On first needle of bag, k across to marker, sm,  p2, slip next 36 sts to waste yarn

Work Pocket Sts:  Pick up pocket and begin using pocket stitches in place of the sts moved to waste yarn.  [k4, p4] four times, k4.

Work Rest of Front Sts:  Resume working with remaining body sts.  P2, sm, k until end of needle.

On second needle of back, k across to marker, sm, work next 40 sts in pattern (row five of Chart A), sm, k to end of needle.

Even Round:  On first needle, k across to marker, sm, work next 40 sts in pattern (starting on row six of Chart A), sm, k to end of needle.  Repeat for second needle.

Repeat Even Round until bag reaches desired height, ending with having completed either row 4 or row 8 of Chart A.

PLEATS AND REDUCE

BeesPleat1Reduce:  On first needle, k across to marker, sm, [k2tog, k1, k2tog, k1, k2tog] five times, sm

First Pleat:  Move next 3 sts to DPN, move the next 3 sts to another DPN.  3 sts remain on left needle.  Fold these 3 sets of 3 sts like an accordian to resemble a Z with left needle held in the back.  [Knit the first st of all 3 needles together] repeat two more times.

Second Pleat: On second needle, move 3 sts to DPN, move next 3 sts to another DPN.  Fold these 2 DPNs behind the left needle like an accordion to resemble a Z with left needle in the front.  [Knit the first st of all 3 needles together] repeat two more times.

BeesPleat2Reduce:  Continuing on second needle, sm, [k2tog, k1, k2tog, k1, k2tog] five times, sm.

Third Pleat:  Continuing on second needle, move next 3 sts to DPN, move the next 3 sts to another DPN.  3 sts remain on left needle.  Fold these 3 sets of 3 sts like an accordian to resemble a Z with left needle held in the back.  [Knit the first st of all 3 needles together] repeat two more times.

Fourth Pleat: On first needle, move 3 sts to DPN, move next 3 sts to another DPN.  Fold these 2 DPNs behind the left needle like an accordion to resemble a Z with left needle in the front.  [Knit the first st of all 3 needles together] repeat two more times.  74 sts (37 per needle)

Begin Ribbing:  Continuing on first needle, [k1,p1] repeat until end of needle.  On second needle, [k1, p1] across needle.

Even Ribbing:  On first needle, [p1, k1] across.  On second needle, [k1, p1] across.

Work Even Ribbing round 3 more times.  Bind off with preferred method.

FINISHING POCKET

Move all pocket sts from waste yarn to circular needle.  36 sts.

Reduce:  On RS with new yarn, k2, [k2tog, k1, k2tog] 6 times, k2tog, k2. 23 sts.

Rib:  On WS, [p1, k1] 11 times, p1

Work sts as they appear 4 more rows.  (knit the knit sts, purl the purl sts.)

Bind off using preferred method.

Sew sides of pocket ribbing to purse using invisible stitches.

Sew down the inside of pocket to inside of bag.

HANDLES

Make two.  CO 5 sts, work in garter stitch until handles are 23 inches long or preferred length.  You can slip the first st of every row if you desire.  Bind off using preferred method.

Sew one handle to the inside of bag at each side of front.  Sew the other handle to the inside of back at each side of back.

If you want to line the bag and handles, make linings, attach to purse and handles, then attach handles last.

LINING

To make the lining of the handles:BeesKnees3

Measure the width and length of each handle and cut a strip of fabric to the exact size. Turn the edges under 1/4 inch and sew them right next to the edge. Ironing them under first helps a lot. Lay the handles out straight on a table and place the fabric strips on top of each one. Pin the fabric to the handles being careful to not stretch the knitted handles (or the fabric won’t fit). I then used tiny invisible back stitches to sew the fabric down, making sure I caught some yarn with each stitch.

To make lining of the bag:

Flatten the bag. Measure from the top of the bag to the bottom. Measure the width of the honey comb panel from side to side. Cut a piece of fabric twice the height and once the width plus whatever material will be in the seam (I added 5/8 inch to each side, the standard seam measurement.) You do not need to add for a seam for the height because it will curve up in the bag like a U with no seam.

If you want pockets, now is the time to cut them and add them. Cut a rectangle of fabric the size of the pocket plus seams, turn the edges under and sew them next to the edge to keep the edges under. Place pocket where desired on lining and sew in place.

The Sides: Measure the width of the side of the bag at it’s fullest point. Cut 2 rectangles that are the height of the flattened bag and the width of the bag at it’s fullest point plus seams (5/8 inch for each side for me).

Now for the tricky part: You will need to make a curve shape at the bottom of each side rectangle that matches the curve of the bag, keeping in mind that you will also need to add 5/8 inch around for the seam. I took the bag and laid it on it’s side on top of the fabric and drew around the curve.

honeyliningAssembly: You will need to attach each curved side to the long rectangle middle, with right sides together. The long rectangle middle piece will U around the curve of each side. I started in the middle of the long side of the large rectangle and the middle of the curve of a side piece and pinned it around to the top and then sewed it under the machine. I then pinned the other side of the curve starting in the middle and worked my way up. Ditto for the other curved side piece.

The pleat: Now, you need to reduce the top of the lining to match the pleat on each side. I accordion-folded the sides of the lining to mirror the pleats on the side of the bag and sewed them 1/2 inches from the top edge of the lining and then again 1 1/2 inches from the top edge of the lining

Closures: Now’s the time to add any magnetic closures you might want to add.

Insert the lining into the bag and fold over the top of the lining to the wrong side to the height that you desire. Pin it or mark it somehow and take it to the iron and iron it down to make it neat and/or sew the top of the lining down. Insert it back into the bag and hand stitch it to the bag. I used tiny invisible back stitches making sure that I caught some yarn with every stitch.

If you want to line the front pocket, measure the height and width of the pocket interior. Cut a rectangle double the height and one width plus seams (5/8 inch per side for me). Fold the rectangle in half height-wise with right sides together and stitch both sides. Fold over top edge 1/4 inch and then again 1/4 inch and sew it down. Add any magnetic closures, if you like. Insert into pocket and stitch into place.

Attach handles to back at inside edges.

You can get crazy with this and add iron-on interfacing to the lining to give the bag more structure. I used an iron-on thin batting from my local quilting store. I ironed it on to the pieces before assembly. If you use magnetic closures, you will want to add a little more heft in there to support the closures, like a small piece of interfacing. You can add inside pockets or not. Your imagination is the limit.

cables, socks, technique

Twisted Stitches

CrazySock2I am apparently very late to the twisted stitch party.  All the way through my first sock I dutifully slipped stitches off my needle, put them back on in the order they were crossed and then knitted them.  It wasn’t until this morning when I was flipping through a stitch dictionary did I notice that these one-stitch cables were actually called twisted stitches and they could be performed without taking any stitches off the needles!  Who would’ve thunk it?

So, I had my youngest daughter take some pictures of an easier way to perform this feat.  Her photography is a little on the amateurish side, so forgive some of the fuzzy pictures.  If you have a better way to perform this task, please let me know!

Note:  I’m showing you here how to twist stitches while color stranding.  If you are only using one color, substitute your single color for both the main color and contrasting color in the following instructions.

Here’s the spill on how I’m now accomplishing the task:

Twist 2 Right:

This crosses the left knit stitch over the right purl stitch

1.  Knit the 2nd st on the needle, passing in front of the 1st st. (With main color) Do not slip any stitches off of left needle yet!
2.  Knit into the front leg of the 1st stitch. (With contrast color)
3. Slip both stitches off left needle together.

RightTwist1RightTwist3RightTwist5

Twist 2 Left:

This crosses the right knit stitch over the left purl stitch

1.  Knit into the back of the 2nd st on the needle, passing behind the 1st st. (with contrast color)  Do not slip any stitches off of left needle yet!
2.  Knit into the front leg of the 1st stitch. (with main color)
3. Slip both stitches off left needle together.

LeftTwist1LeftTwist3LeftTwist5

Cross 2 Left:

This crosses the right knit stitch over the left knit stitch

1.  Knit into the back of the 2nd st on the needle, passing in front of the 1st st. (with main color)  Do not slip any stitches off of left needle yet!
2.  Knit into the front leg of the 1st stitch. (with main color)
3. Slip both stitches off left needle together.

Cross1Cross3Cross4

This on-the-needles technique is so much simpler than the traditional cable technique!  You all probably already knew about this nifty trick but for me it was a revelation.  🙂

cables, socks

Color Stranded AND Cabled

CrazySock3I’ve been wanting to play around with color stranded cables for a while now and socks are the perfect platform for experimentation- small, portable, and they knit up pretty quickly.

This yarn has been sitting in my stash cabinet since I finished my Jolly Rancher vest (which is a fair isle vest pattern by Eunny Jang and can be found free on ravelry!)  I’m very happy to be stash bustin’ along with playing around with new techniques.

CrazySock2There’s a stained-glass feel to the stitch pattern.  I’m thinking that if the cables were black and the background was a gradient yarn like Noro, the stained-glass effect would be even more pronounced.  Perhaps I might give it a try in the next pair.

For those that would like to recreate, I’ll be working up a chart in the next few days.CrazySock

**Free Patterns**, cables, sweaters

Gorgeous Scoop-Necked Cabled Sweater – Olwen Sweater Pattern

olwen3pdfbutton
OlwenUpdated.pdf

It’s finished!!  And, I love it!  The yarn is soft and warm, the cables are classic and beautiful, and the darned thing fits the way it should!

I’ve given it a Welsh name -Olwen- just for the heck of it and I’ve graded it across 6 different sizes so hopefully something will work for you.  It’s my first graded sweater pattern.  Pretty exciting!  🙂

For those who would like to recreate this, click the pdf link above or here’s the spill:olwen

Skill Level- Intermediate

Finished Measurements (Chest) in inches– 32 (35, 38, 41, 44, 47) Shown in size 41 with no ease.

Yarn- Knit Picks City Tweed HW (or other worsted weight yarn)  890 ( 981, 1112, 1244, 1365, 1474) yds or 6 (6, 7, 8, 9, 9) balls.

Gauge- 3.8 stitches per inch in moss stitch with larger needle.  (size 8-10 US needle)

Directions:

BODY

Using smaller circular needle, CO 148 (160, 168, 176, 188, 196) sts.  Join for working in the round, being careful not to twist.

Set Up Round:  [k1,p1] repeat 36 (39,  41, 43, 46, 48) more times, pm,  [k1,p1] repeat 36 (39,  41, 43, 46, 48) more times, place round marker.

Ribbing:  Continue in 1×1 ribbing by working sts as they appear for 13 rows.

Begin Pattern:  Switch to larger needle.  Work Chart A for 10 (13, 15, 17, 20, 22) sts, work Chart B for 54 sts, work Chart A for 10 (13, 15, 17, 20, 22) sts, sm, Work Chart A for 10 (13, 15, 17, 20, 22) sts, work Chart B for 54 sts, work Chart A for 10 (13, 15, 17, 20, 22) sts, smOlwenCharts.

Continue Pattern: Continue working pattern charts as established for 61 (63, 65, 65, 67, 67) more rows.

Set Up for Sleeve Join Round:  Work in established pattern until 2 (3, 3, 4, 5, 6) sts before round marker.  Slip next 4 (6, 6, 8, 10, 12) sts onto waste yarn.  Do not break yarn.

SLEEVE (Make Two)

Using smaller circular needle or DPNs, CO 32 (32, 34, 36, 38, 38) sts.  Join for working in the round, being careful not to twist.

Set Up Round:  [k1, p1] repeat 15 (15, 16, 17, 18, 18) more times, place round marker

Ribbing:  Continue in 1×1 ribbing by working sts as they appear for 13 rows.

Pattern Set Up Round:  Switch to larger needle.  Work sts as they appear increasing 4 sts evenly around.  36 (36, 38, 40, 42, 42) sts.

Begin Pattern:  k1, work Chart A for 5 (5, 6, 7, 8, 8) sts, work Chart C for 24 sts, work Chart A for 5 (5, 6, 7, 8, 8) sts, k1, sm

Increase Round:  k1, m1, work pattern as established, m1, k1, sm

Continue working pattern as established while repeating the Increase Round every 4 rows 0 (0, 0, 1, 4, 10) times, then every 6 rows 0 (5, 9, 10, 8, 4) times, then every 8 rows 7 (4, 1, 0, 0, 0) times.  52 (56, 60, 64, 68, 72) sts.  Note: the new stitches made in the increase rounds should be worked in Moss Stitch (Chart A) in subsequent rows.

Work even until arm measures 17.25 (18, 18, 18.25, 18.25, 18.25) inches from cast on ending with an odd numbered row on Chart C.

Set Up for Join Round:  On next row (even numbered) from Chart C, work in pattern until 2 (3, 3, 4, 5, 6) sts before round marker.  Slip next 4 (6, 6, 8, 10, 12) sts onto waste yarn.  Break yarn leaving 18-inch tail to be used to graft underarm seam.  52 (56, 60, 64, 68, 72) sts.

YOKE olwen2

With working yarn from body of the sweater, pm for raglan, work sleeve sts in pattern, pm for raglan, work body sts in pattern until 2 (3, 3, 4, 5, 6) sts before side marker, slip next 4 (6, 6, 8, 10, 12) sts onto waste yarn, pm for raglan, work sleeve sts in pattern, pm for raglan, work in pattern across body until 2 stitches before raglan marker.  236 (244, 264, 276, 288, 296) sts.

Decrease Round:  SSK, sm, k2tog, work sleeve sts in pattern until 2 sts before marker, SSK, sm, k2tog, work body sts in pattern until 2 sts before marker, SSK, sm, k2tog, work sleeve sts in pattern until 2 sts before marker, SSK, sm, k2tog, work body sts in pattern to raglan marker.

Even Round:  work in pattern around to the last 2 sts.

Repeat these two rounds 9 (9, 9, 10, 10, 11) more times.

Work one decrease round.

NECK SHAPING

Neck Bind Off:  work sts in pattern across sleeve, work sts in pattern across back, work sts in pattern across sleeve, work 15 (15, 18, 18, 20, 21) sts in pattern, bind off 16 (18, 18, 20, 20, 20) sts for neck, k1, SSK, work 10 (10, 13, 13, 15, 16) sts in pattern (2 sts before raglan marker). 123 (129, 149, 151, 163, 163) sts.

Decrease Round:  SSK, sm, k2tog, work sleeve sts in pattern until 2 sts before marker, SSK, sm, k2tog, work body sts in pattern until 2 sts before marker, SSK, sm, k2tog, work sleeve sts in pattern until 2 sts before marker, SSK, sm, k2tog, work body sts until 3 sts remain, k2tog, k1.  Turn work

Even Round (WS): Work sts as they appear all the way around.  Turn work.olwen4

Decrease Round (RS): k1, SSK, work in pattern until 2 sts before marker, SSK, sm, k2tog, work sleeve sts in pattern until 2 sts before marker, SSK, sm, k2tog, work body sts in pattern until 2 sts before marker, SSK, sm, k2tog, work sleeve sts in pattern until 2 sts before marker, SSK, sm, k2tog, work body sts until 3 sts remain, k2tog, k1.  Turn work.

Repeat these two rounds 3 (2, 3, 3, 4, 4) more times.  74 (90, 100, 102, 104, 104) sts.

TO THE SHOULDER

Even Round (WS): Work sts as they appear all the way around.  Turn work.

Decrease Round (RS): Work in pattern until 2 sts before marker, SSK, sm, k2tog, work sleeve sts in pattern until 2 sts before marker, SSK, sm, k2tog, work body sts in pattern until 2 sts before marker, SSK, sm, k2tog, work sleeve sts in pattern until 2 sts before marker, SSK, sm, k2tog, work body sts in pattern.  Turn work.

Repeat these two rounds until 1 st remains on each side of front.  42 (42, 44, 46, 48, 48)sts.

Neck Ribbing:  Pick up an additional 46 (52, 56, 58, 62, 62) sts down around the front neck line.  Switch to smaller needles.  1×1 rib for 5 rows.  Bind off loosely.

Under Arm Seam:  Use Kitchener stitch and yarn tail from sleeve to graft seam closed.  Use tail to then close up any holes.

Weave in all ends.olwen5

cables, sweaters

Joining the Sleeves to the Sweater

cablejoinWith both sleeves reaching the underarm, all three pieces have been joined in the round.  Exciting!  This is actually my first time constructing a sweater from the bottom up in one piece.  It’s been a nice change from the top down and it makes so much more sense when knitting with cables.  It’s easier to see where the cables are going and figure out your decreases and when to stop the cables.  From the top down, you’ve got to really plan each stitch so you know when to start the cables.

A decision had to be made as to how many stitches to put on hold at the underarm.  I chose 8 stitches because I have a lot of stitches to reduce and I don’t want the arm hole to be really deep.  8 stitches should give me enough room in the arm hole without being too deep and sagging.  Hopefully, it will work out nicely.

underarmjoinHere’s what the underarm looks like.  It’s going to be grafted closed using the Kitchener Stitch after the top has been knitted.

The plan is for a scoop neck.  In about 8 more rows, I’m going to bind off the first neck stitches.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.  So far, so good.SnowyDay

My second ever attempt at sweater design was a pieced cabled cardigan for my daughter that we both love.  She picked out the yarn and the stitch patterns that she wanted and I did the rest.  We’ve entitled it “Snowy Day” and she wears it all the time.  The only thing I would do differently is the buttonholes.  I used the yarn over holes and they stretch out and look messy.  Anyone had that experience?  I’d love to know what your favorite buttonhole method is because I need a new one!

I’m hoping my new sweater will be just as successful as “Snowy Day” and will avoid the “Shelf of Shame” in my closet.  That’s the shelf where my failed sweaters go to live…

cables, sweaters

Cables Are Coming Along

CityTweedCable2The cable panel on the front of the sweater is shaping up to make for a really pretty pattern.  After reaching the underarm, I’ve had to start on a sleeve and decide what kind of pattern I’m going to put up the center.

This rope and hoop pattern fits on the smaller sleeve and I think it coordinates well-enough with the pattern on the body of the sweater.  Cables don’t have to be too matchy-matchy do they?

DetailsCityTweedCableSleeve on the sleeve so far:  Cast on 32 sts.  1×1 rib for a couple of inches.  Make 4 extra stitches evenly around on the set up row.  Then, center the cable panel on the sleeve and use moss stitch on all remaining stitches.  I’m increasing each side of the center underarm every 4th row and it appears to be just right.  Time will tell.

dogdamageIn other news, my dog chewed up one of my row counters.  I’m glad he didn’t get a hold of my yarn or sweater, but it still stinks!  I’m having to keep track of my chart placement with pencil and paper at the moment.

And, finally, here’s the chart for the sleeve cable.  This chart only took a few minutes to create now that I’ve figured out a method.  Okay, maybe 20 minutes, but still an improvement over yesterday.  🙂

SleeveCableChart

cables, sweaters

Cabled Charts and Tweed

CityTweedCable My KP City Tweed is shaping up into a cabled sweater.  As I go along, I’ll include information so you can knit one yourself, if you’d like.

Not a lot of knitting has occurred this morning because I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to create a knitting chart.  There are several software options if I’d like to pay for one but I’m trying to create one easily for free.

My solution was to download a knitting chart font and then use excel for the basics, save as a pdf so I can then open it in photoshop to finish it up.  Whew!  It was a bit of work.  But, here’s the result:

CableChartYou’ll have to click on it to see it in all its full-sized glory.  It’s a 54 stitch panel that is centered in the front and back of the sweater.  The remaining stitches are just knit in moss stitch.  And, the chart for that is here:MossChart

I feel very accomplished right now for getting that chart made up.  (Patting myself on the back.)  Now, I’ve just got to get all of my non-knitting duties (housework and the like) out of the way so I can get back to the job of knitting this sweater.  🙂