Ah, failure to update both this and ravelry. Thus begins this years resolution to update both more regularly, and so to start, this:
is a new scarf I knit for my dad with an improvised pattern.
My younger brother recently moved to Chicago –FOR SCIENCE– taking with him my dad’s Arsenal scarf. The the one he got for free from the stadium, the one made of the finest acrylics, one he wears to matches and can wave over his head at appropriate moments. This sad loss forced him to buy one of the hideous cheapo ones on sale on the stalls on the way to a game, one for cheap he was forced to wear another scarf underneath to keep warm, and that? That obviously forced me to make him one.
(Helpfully, this was about a month before his birthday, also solving the problem of trying to figure out what to give him for that. And he specifically said that he wanted one, a warm one, when I mentioned maybe knitting one for him.)
The scarf had to be red and white striped (because those are the team colours), warm because it can be pretty freezing up there in the stands), with no obvious right side and wrong side (because it annoys me when scarves have that) or ugly switching of colours (ditto) and also, not be too dull to knit.
The last bit ruled out a stocking stitch tube-style scarf, which would have been the quickest, not wanting to see the purl-colour bump ruled out moss and seed stitch, so I ended up with this, the stupidly warm herring-bone stitch alpaca double-layered scarf.
Things to note:
I used 5.0mm circs, at the upper end of the suggested size for this yarn, and I had to make a point of knitting very loosely. Herringbone makes for a dense fabric without a lot of stretch, and for a scarf, you don’t want it too stiff. I had to undo the first set of stripes because they were just too dense a knit, especially compared to the rest. And I tend to knit loosely anyway!
When I said this was ridiculously warm, I wasn’t kidding. It wraps up really nicely and stays in place pretty well.
The other thing to note is that righthand decreases (k2tog) and lefthand decreases (ssk, k2togtbl) are not exactly symmetrical. This means that the seam on the finished piece will drift slightly. The seam on this is not invisible, though you can fitz with it a little to make it less obvious. SSK is more balanced with k2tog, but slightly slower to knit than k2togtbl, so pick your poison there.
This scarf is knit as a tube, which will have a bit of a twist to it. In practice, this doesn’t make much difference (the scarf still folds flat), but the seam doesn’t stay neatly to one side. It travels across the flattened tube.
Herringbone stitch in the round:
Row 1: Knit 2 tog, but only drop the first stitch off the left-hand needle, leaving one stitch on the left-hand needle (plus the new stitch on the right-hand needle.
Row 2 As above, but knit 2 tog through the back loop (k2togtbl). You can also ssk, but it’ll be slightly slower.
When you come to the end of the round, you will have to shuffle the stitches a little– remove marker, slip the last stitch held over from a k2tog onto the LH needle to join the first stitch of the next round, K2togTBL, replace marker between the stitches.
If that doesn’t make sense, there are more detailed, nicely photographed instructions over on purlbee.com, which would have been handy for me to find before starting the scarf.
This barely constitutes a pattern, not least because I pretty much worked it out on the go. It’s really more of a general guideline that will give you a scarf of appropriate size.
5mm circs, 1 skein each Berroco Ultra Alpaca (roughly 2 x 200m worsted weight yarn).
Cast on 80 stitches on 5.0 mm circs, in Colour1. Join in a loop, being careful not to twist.
Herringbone stitch in colour1 for the next 14 rows.
Change colour. Herringbone stitch in colour2 for the next 14 rows.
Repeat until you’ve almost finished the yarn, or it’s an appropriate length. I like my scarves to be at least as tall as I am.
To finish, you can either cast-off and sew the tube sides together or (slightly neater) you can graft the two sides of the tube together or do a three needle bind off to join the sides, whichever you prefer.
At the bottom, Cast-On end, either sew the sides together or undo the cast on and graft (or three-needle bind-off) the two sides together. Since I had to unpick the starting stripe, I ended up picking up the stitches, reknitting an extra stripe at the base and finishing it with a three-needle bind off.
I also added a fringe, because it’s a football scarf.
In case anyone is curious, I gave it to him before the next match he had tickets for, where we got the winning goal in the 95th minute. I’m not saying that was the good luck caused by my scarf. I’m just saying.
This image has been severely tweaked in an attempt to make the pattern clearer. It looks fine in real life, but not so much on picture with this yarn. In person, the pattern is more 3D, it’s easier to see the nice bias, the wool is lovely autumnal shades… in photo, it pretty much just looks like a mess.
This picture gives a much better idea of the colour:
These are basically a mod of the Nutkin sock pattern turned into wristwarmers, but adapted in the following ways:
12.5 repeats along the arm, then the thumb (about 10 stitches knit on waste yarn, picked up and worked in the round for the thumb).
For the thumb, I started decreasing until it was a tight fit. I placed it so it travelled across two pattern repeats, which means four stitches (two either side of the thumb) I carried on as purl. The decreases I did to carry on with the way the pattern had set up and then, when it was the right tightness, I did a 1×1 cable stitch to keep up the diagonal.
On the pattern repeats after the thumb, I omitted the YO, doing a purl stitch where it wold be, to keep the pattern tight around the top of the hand. When it had decreased enough, I did the YOs again.
At the top, I did chromosome-crosses (wobbly, and going in the same direction as the pattern)- basically a four stitch repeat:
c2r (knit stitch crosses in front of the purl),k1,p1
p1,twist 2right (stitch from the left crosses the right), p1
I mirrored all of this (including the nutkin pattern) on the other hand, for the entirely rational reason that if the pattern pointed in the same direction on both warmers, then one would always be on the wrong hand and I wouldn’t know which.
i’ll write up the pattern more clearly and take close-ups if anyone wants to know more.
So between us, mum and I have almost finished the blanket.
Things that I discovered:
Mum and I pick up stitches differently.
It’s easy to get turned around when something is garter stitch.
Any time you start making something as a present, between the time it takes you to buy the wall and knit juuuuust enough that you’ve really started, someone else will have bought them the same thing in the mean time.
Blankets never end up being the same size as you intended.
This last one was actually a conscious decision. Mum and I decided that instead of being about 5×5 squares, it should be 5×7.5. Ack! Especially since it needs to be pretty much done by tomorrow, since mum and dad are flying over to visit the grandparents. We’re aiming for something that can go around her shoulders, rather than a lap blanket (and that, as a lovingly hand-crafted -just look at all the mistakes! Those really make it unique- it will be be appreciated even though she got given a (fleece) one just recently).
What you can’t really see in these pictures is that the light hits it pretty directionally, so it looks pretty cool from an angle. What you can see are the missing spots in the middle and on the side — those empty triangles on the edges that I need to fill in before they fly off. I’ve done four of eight since Sunday, so it should be possible as long as my wrists don’t give out.
Ravelry makes me lazy. I’m over here for anyone who’s curious.
So my current projects are herringbone socks (which look like a pretty good ayof using up the odds and ends of sock wool) and a blanket my mum and I are doing for my grandmother.
Since we don’t live together, we needed a pattern that could be put together easily enough and would be convenient to do on the go and we opted for a domino knit blanket. Step one: explaining what domino knitting was to my mum, how the squares go together and so on.
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A friend of mine, who I shall refer to as Madam A (codenames make knitting so much more exciting!) has a whole bunch of weddings to attend to, and as well as searching for a dress, was thinking about what shrug to go over it, since most of the dresses she was looking at were sleeveless and at least one of the weddings was in October. Being the helpful person I am (and this was in no way linked to avoiding working on The Beast or yet another pair of socks), I offered to make one for her. This was interesting, since a) I hadn’t made a shrug before, b) I’d never made anything more complicated than gloves and socks that needed sizing that wasn’t for me and Madam A is a little more statuesque and about a foot taller than me, and c) I was going to be making up the pattern. She wanted a shrug that was fairly tight over the upper arms and back, and then in to big bell-shaped lacey sleeves over the lower arms. Also, to make it more interesting, Madam A finds most wool yarn really irritating on her skin, but has a weakness for sparkly things. This meant using lovely Debbie Bliss alpaca silk (aran) for the body, and then sparkly yarn to be used on the ends of the sleeves where it won’t irritate so much, and she can see the sparkly.
Enough with the words! Pictures ahoy!
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So my cousin is having a baby and my mum and I decided to do something for the baby and something for her (it probably being a bit of a letdown, opening giftwrapped packages only to find that the gift inside is meant for someone several years away from appreciating it).
Together, we made the SnB baby blanket using olive green (trusty, gender-neutral green) artesano alpaca, which is apparantly good for babies, being fluff and danderfree, hypoallergenic, water and flame resistant, or so the yarn sellers tell me.
For my cousin, I wanted to make something a little more interesting and came up with this:
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This was the first thing I ever made which I designed myself. The design is based on the Batman Beyond logo. I relied heavily on Louise for helping me getting the design on to paper and general advice.
Shadow knitting: General notes, how to design your own and my original design.
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