A season to knit earwarmers

Earwarmer with Fair Isle Knitting

Yarn Used: Patons® Classic Wool Worsted in Burgundy and Grey? (not sure about this colorway since it was knitted from yarn I already had and no longer have the label for it)

Project Details: This pattern Fair Isle Headband by Jane Stringer is a free Ravelry download and really a good project to start knitting Fair Isle. This is a fourteen stitch and fifteen round repeat pattern that can be knitted within a week. Next time I will knit two extra rounds of ribbing since the ribbing was curling up before I blocked the earwarmer.

This is my first time knitting Fair Isle and I wanted a small project to practice it. I still need to work on carrying my floats in the back (missed one in the lower right section of the second image) and knitting without tangling the two strands of yarn. It was a straightforward project with no increases or decreases in the pattern and a great introduction to Fair Isle knitting.

A season to knit earwarmers

  • They are quick knits making them great holiday gifts.
  • Learn or practice new and more complex stitch patterns (eg. Fair Isle) before investing time on a bigger knitting project with that particular stitch pattern.
  • Can be knitted flat and then seamed or can be knitted seamless and in the round. The pattern is the same bottom up or top down.
  • One skein (200 yards) of yarn is enough to make 2 or more earwarmers. Great for using leftover yarn.
  • Can be knit with any type or weight of yarn.
  • Good for keeping your ears warm in the winter without messing up your hair.

Happy Knitting! 

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To knit a sweater

Seamless Pullover with Contiguous Sleeves


Yarn Used: Lion Brand Heartland – Glacier Bay. I’ve used this yarn to knit a sweater before and you can see it here. This yarn is budget friendly, machine washable, and a soft yarn to knit with. This yarn is also very warm making it a good alternative for those who don’t use wool or other fibers.

Project detail: The pattern I used for this pullover is Avril in April by Reiko Kuwamura. I modified the pattern by using a 2 x 2 ribbing, longer sleeves, and a higher neckline for this pullover. I also added a cable pattern in the front from Liliane Poncho by Liliane Young.

To knit a sweater 

There are so many different ways to knit a sweater. It can be knit in separate pieces and then seamed together or knit seamlessly (or with minimal seaming) either bottom up or top down. Other sweater construction styles include knitting sideways from sleeve to sleeve, front to back, and so on. The sleeves can be raglan shaped, yoke, contiguous, dolman, drop shoulders etc. Fortunately, there are many patterns available on Ravelry and other sites for the different sweater construction styles that can be knit in separate pieces and then seamed or knit seamlessly (top down or bottom up).

Take a vote and see which is more popular – seamless or seamed sweater construction style.

Happy Sweater knitting to all!

 

 

The versatile craft of knitting

Fisherman’s Rib Hat with Pom Pom


Yarn Used: Manos Del Uruguay Maxima* in Mixed Berries colorway.
Project details: The hat was knit in the round using the Fisherman’s rib stitch pattern. This project requires some concentration and focus and is certainly not a project to knit while watching TV. It’s best to put lifelines (there’s a short tutorial on lifelines for brioche stitch by Fruity Knitting Podcast Episode 35) every now and then because fixing a mistake in this stitch pattern is quite frustrating and time-consuming. More project detail can be found on my Ravelry project page.

The versatile craft of knitting
The versatile craft of knitting can teach us many things besides the various stitch patterns and techniques. It can be therapeutic, reduce stress, and also sometimes teach us to be more mindful, kind, thankful and calm. And now, according to the article “Girls Knit Their Way to a Math Career“, knitting is being used to teach kids math and science concepts and also to ease their math learning anxiety.

In the past year or so my focus has been more on reducing my yarn stash and less on the benefits of knitting that initially drew me to this craft (read the reformatted entries of my previous blog named Coffee Tea or Knits). While too much yarn and too many WIP’s can be overwhelming and stressful, it’s heartening to know that knitting can teach us many positive things that are just as versatile as the craft.


*There’s an article in the Spring 2017 issue of Interweave Knits about Manos del Uruguay, a non-profit cooperative organization, and its social mission for the rural women in this country.

Just a knit show and tell post

Hello folks it’s been quite a while since my last post. I’ve been busy and my free time has been divided between knitting, watching knitting video podcasts, and reading knitting blogs. So here’s just a knit show and tell of one of my knitting projects. The stitch pattern and style of this cardigan was inspired by Jared Flood’s Tinder.

My version of Tinder Cardigan

Pattern: I didn’t have a written knitting pattern for this project which has a bottom up construction with a collar and ribbing. I just looked at the picture of the cardigan and knitted my own custom top down raglan sleeve version of it. However, the cardigan does have the waffle stitch pattern and a little bit of the style of the Tinder cardigan by Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed.

Yarn used: Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Chestnut Heather colorway.

Knitting experience: I really liked the depth and variety of the colors within this yarn. Here’s a close up of the colorway of the yarn.

It’s very budget friendly and machine washable.  I found this yarn a little rough on my hands while knitting but using hand lotion before knitting helped quite a bit. After washing the yarn is quite soft and warm.

Leave a comment if you’ve also found inspiration for your knitting projects by looking at the knits of different knitwear designers.

Happy Knitting!

2016 and minimalism in the craft of knitting

My 2016 finished knits: I knit six adult sweaters (one of them pictured below). I also knit a few other things including a couple of hats and scarves. Most of my knitting projects were with yarn I already had and featured minimal design elements.

This cardigan was knit double stranded holding one strand of Premier Home Cotton yarn with one strand of Fashion Plus Mill End variegated yarn.

cardi2

My WIPs (work in progress): Four sweaters and a blanket.

This year my knitting was focused more in knitting projects that would reduce the yarn I already had. By knitting double stranded and using stockinette stitch I was able to use twice the amount of yarn for sweaters. I also learnt to knit a seamless sweater with contiguous sleeve although I still prefer knitting sweaters with raglan sleeves . I bought much less yarn this year compared to my purchase of yarn last year. I found that yarn starvation wasn’t the answer to minimalism and zen habits for me but that mindful yarn purchase lead to more satisfaction in my knitting. Read more of Craft Session’s blog series on how to reduce yarn stash. Although this year’s main focus was reducing yarn I already had, I would like to focus more on learning new knitting techniques next year.

Happy knitting fellow knitters.

The ease of knitting double stranded

More than half the year is over and I’m still working on reducing my yarn stash. I’ve limited purchasing new yarn and am knitting with yarn I already have. In an effort to reduce my yarn stash I’ve started knitting double stranded.  Knitting double stranded means you knit with two strands of yarns held together. One can create a variety of versatile knits with unique textures and colors by knitting double stranded. With this technique projects take less time to knit making more time available for other knitting projects.

I knit my first top down contiguous sleeve cardigan using two strands of yarn held together.

Cardigan2

Cardigan1a

The pattern for the contiguous sleeve shaping is from Isabell Kraemer’ s On the beach pattern. I used stockinette stitch for the body of this cardigan and garter stitch for the shawl collar. Yarn used: Premier Cotton Fair in Slate Grey and Loops and Threads Woolike in Black.

I found knitting double stranded straightforward and simple. It adds more depth and visual interest to knits without much effort. So if you have yarn that’s been sitting around for a year or more try knitting double stranded. It’s doesn’t require reading complicated chart patterns or spending hours going through patterns that may or may not be suitable for the yarn. You can even knit with this technique while watching TV or knitting podcasts. With double stranded knitting, you just knit and let the yarn do the rest.

The Simple Elegance of the Garter Stitch

Lately, I’ve rediscovered the simple elegance of the garter stitch. The garter stitch is a textured pattern that uses the knit stitch on both sides for flat knitting or knit stitch on one round followed by a purl stitch on the second round for circular knitting. It’s reversible and the edges don’t curl up making it a simple yet versatile stitch pattern. Garter stitch is usually the first stitch pattern we learn as a beginning knitter and then move on to more complex stitch patterns. . As we learn other more complex knit stitch patterns, we end up using the garter stitch pattern mostly for borders and edges of our knits. Yet one can create many beautiful and versatile knits when the garter stitch is combined with lace, shorts rows, or different yarn color variations. Several examples of knits with garter stitch patterns can be found on Ravelry.

Here is my version of the simple and elegant Purl Soho’s Dovetail Scarf pattern. I modified the pattern using a different yarn and a picot bind off. More project detail on this knitting project can be found here. For this project I used yarn left over from a previous sweater project.

Garter Stitch Scarf

So whether you are a beginning or an expert knitter, I invite you to rediscover the simple elegance of the garter stitch. I have and will be using this simple and elegant stitch pattern more this year to create a number of new knits.