Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cafe au Lait!

Cafe au Lait Mitts
by Paula McKeever

Wear these mitts on a cool day, with fingers free to hold that warm cup of coffee or tea.

Materials:
1 ball Sublime Cashmere Silk Merino DK (127 yds), or other DK yarn
Size 4 needles, DPNs or circulars for Magic Loop
2 stitch markers
waste yarn or stitch holder


Gauge: 25 sts = 4 inches

Crosshatch Lace Pattern:
Row 1: * K3, K2tog, YO, K1, rep from *
Row 2: * K2, K2tog, YO, K2, rep from *
Row 3: * K1, K2tog, YO, K3, rep from *
Row 4: * K2tog, YO, K4, rep from *
Row 5: * K1, YO, ssk, K3, rep from *
Row 6: * K2, YO, ssk, K2, rep from *
Row 7: * K3, YO, ssk, K1, rep from *
Row 8: * K4, YO, ssk, rep from *


Cast on 42 stitches loosely and join in the round. Divide stitches in groups of 6 on your needles – for Magic Loop this will be 18 sts on the front needle, and 24 on the back needle. Work K1 P1 ribbing for 16 rounds. Change to Crosshatch Lace stitch and work Rows 1-7 of pattern. In row 8, work 6 pattern sts, PM, M1, PM, continue in pattern to end of round.

Thumb Gusset: Next round (Row 1 of pattern): Work 6 pattern sts, place marker, M1, K1, M1, place marker, continue in pattern to end of round.

Increase 2 sts between markers every third round as follows: work in pattern to marker, Slip Marker, M1, K up to Marker, M1, Slip Marker, continue to end of round. You will do the increases on the following rows of the pattern: Row 1, 4, 7, 2, 5, 8, 3, and 6. On all other rounds, knit all stitches between markers.

Work increases until you have 17 sts between markers. Work 2 more rows, finishing with Row 8. Next row: work 6 sts in pattern, place 17 sts between markers on waste yarn, continue in pattern. Do two more complete pattern repeats (16 rounds). Work P1 K1 ribbing for 4 rounds. Bind off with sewn bind-off or other stretchy bind off.

Thumb: Place 17 sts from waste yarn onto circular needle, or DPNs. Pick up and knit 3 sts from top of gusset, then continue knitting around the 17 gusset sts. Work 4 rounds total, then switch to K1 P1 ribbing for 4 rounds. Bind off loosely, or use Elizabeth Zimmerman's sewn bind-off or other stretchy bind off.

Make second mitt the same as the first.

Abbreviations:
st - stitch
K – Knit
P - Purl
K2tog – Knit two stitches together
ssk – Slip stitch, slip 2nd stitch, slip back on left needle and knit together
PM – Place marker
DPN – double pointed needle


Crosshatch Lace Pattern from More Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch


for personal use only, copyrighted by Paula McKeever 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

DPN Modifications

The DPN roll will also fit 8" needles. I goofed when I made one for Stringcat -- I misread her post and made one for 6" needles instead of 8" needles. But the longer ones fit okay, too. I really do want it to be a bit longer, so the flap folds over better, but there was at least 3" of flap, so it should work fine.

I made a roll for Ibby, too. She didn't want as many slots in her roll, so I cut the fabric at 15" instead of 19". This gave me 12 slots for DPNs.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

We're sewing DPN rolls!

Sinclairchili on Ravelry wanted a DPN roll .... here's my version!





And here are my instructions, so you can do one, too. Or two, too. Or whatever. This roll will fit either 6" or 7" DPNs. I'm going to do one for 8"-ers, but I'll do it in another post since I haven't gotten around to it yet.



Materials:

Main fabric -- cut 17" X 19"

Lining -- cut 7.5" X 19"

Fusible interfacing -- cut 7.25" X 18.5"

Pocket fabric -- cut 9" X 19"

Ties -- Cut two pieces 1.5" X 16 " OR use grosgrain ribbon


Notes:

RST = Right sides of fabric together

WST = Wrong sides of fabric together

All seam allowances are 1/2 inch.



Instructions:

1. Fuse interfacing to wrong side of lining fabric.







2. Sew lining to main fabric at the top seam, RST









3. Make ties -- take pieces and fold 1/4 inch or so on one short end, WST. Press in half, WST, along length of tie. Open it up, and then press the raw ends into the center. Fold in half lenthwise and press. Top stitch long open end together, and back up the other side just for symmetry's sake. I like to be symmetrical. It makes me happy. (no picture, you'll have to figure this one out on your own)





4. Fold pocket in half WST lengthwise and press -- measures 4.5" X 19". Pin pocket to bottom of lining, raw edges together. Baste if you're meticulous. Or not, if you're lazy like me.








5. Pin pocket/ lining raw edge to bottom of main fabric, RST.








6. Pin ties along one side, raw edges sticking out and the ties hanging inside. Make sure you pin it on the lining just above the end of the pocket. If you pin it between the pocket and the lining, you've screwed up and will have to frog it. I speak from experience.







7.. Sew around three open sides, leaving an opening to turn. Go over tie a few more times for strength.






8. Press well, then topstitch all around, close to the edge. You can aslo topstitch a second time, a little away fron the edge stitching if you wish. I did it on three sides, not along the bottom, since I didn't want to take depth away from the pocket.


9. Stitch pocket separations. Starting fron the left, I did five 3/4" pockets, 6 1" pockets, and four 1.25" pockets. The last one is a little smaller, but oh well, it's fine. I don't care.


I'll post measurements for a roll for 8" needles later, when I get around to it.



Monday, October 6, 2008

SSK Shortcut!

See Snapper knit. See Snapper knit fast! Fast Snapper! K1, P1, K2tog! Fast, fast, fast! SSK -- goes -- so -- slow......

So, I wondered if there was anything I could do to speed up doing SSKs. I like doing K2togs -- you just knit them together with one motion. Easy peasy. But with SSKs you have to stop and slip one stitch, slip the second stitch, put them back on the left needle, then knit them together. That's 4 separate movements for one stitch. There had to be an easier way to do this with less steps and thus be speedier!

I looked at the stitches on the left needle. I was working in the round, so all my stitches were knit. The problem was that they were slanted in the wrong direction on the needle, which you correct by slipping them off the needle and re-orienting them so you can knit them together and get that left slanting decrease. Was there a way to get them positioned correctly without having to slip them back and forth?

YES! Huzzah! The secrect lies in how you knit the stitch in the row before. I looked at how I actually wrapped the yarn around the right needle as I did the knit stitch. If I just wrapped the yarn around in the OPPOSITE direction, the resulting stitches are facing the right way so that in the NEXT row all I have to do is the K part of the SSK. I have already done the SS part!

It also works if you are knitting back and forth. You would be purling the stitches in the row before. To set them up for an SSK, just wrap the yarn in the opposite direction. Then, again, all you'll have to do is knit the two stitches together as you would the K part of the SSK.

Does this make any sense at all? All I know is it works for me. And I can knit faster!