Knitables

Let’s pretend we’re Ralph Lauren!

Who saw the Olympics Opening Ceremony?
Anyone? Bueller….

It seems that no one I’ve spoken with has seen the opening ceremonies but I DID!

And during said opening ceremonies I fell in love with a Ralph Lauren beanie that was made for all the Olympians. I didn’t think I’d be able to make something like this until I was stalking the Ravelry forums and found a thread featuring the pattern from someone who had taken the time to reverse engineer the knitting and make the cap!

AND THE PATTERN WAS FREE!!!!!!!

I later told my mom “I need something more challenging! I’m so bored with scarves and hats and I need something with more of a challenge.”

So I downloaded it and immediately set to getting out to Loop at some point. The pattern itself calls for Cascade 220 in Red Blue and Cream. I went to Loop but couldn’t find any of the colors. However, next to it was the Berroco line and the colors were so vibrant and I fell in love with the rich red, navy blue and pure cream. I also had to buy size 6 circular and DPN needles for the gauge I wanted.

So I got home and after making my way through some homework, set to raveling the hanks into symmetrical balls of the yarn.

While watching the Men’s Luge and Moguls I cast on.

And quickly twisted my stitches upon joining! I’m just that awesome!

So I took it apart, re- cast on, then made absolute sure that I’d be OK for the rest of the pattern and I am.

I have to do some alterations to the pattern because it only shows one part of the hat. This chart is very well done but I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing for a majority of the hat, so I printed out graph paper (thank you, excel!) and grabbed a red and blue colored pencil and started coloring row by row (I’d color a row, then follow it. Otherwise I’d get too overwhelmed and screw up!)

First the pattern asks for 15 rows of just stockinette stitch to act as a lining (you flip the yarn under so it’s against the forehead, lining against the back of the fair-isle knitting.) for all the moving around the yarn does at the back of the knitting. It looks like an inverse of the pattern on the back but the yarn is pulled across to join to the new stitching. It’s hard to explain but it looks kind of cool! This lining was kind of unnecessary because the knitting isn’t going to come apart the way it’s done, but it’s purely a comfort thing.

I finished the brim last night. It has a beautiful and simple fair isle pattern that would have been a lot harder had I not done it the way I did.

I get to add in the two rows that include the red yarn tonight and then it’s on to making my moose and trees! I’m so proud of myself. I didn’t think I had it in me to ever do fair isle or other color work.

Knitables

Isn’t in Knit-Tacular!

I went on a knitting marathon a few weekends ago (before I got bombarded by massive amounts of homework, that is). I found my first skein of Merino Wool which I found at a yarn shop in Brookfield. It was poorly crocheted into a hat but it was still all one skein… so I never finished it. I frogged out the soft yarn and decided to make a neckwarmer.

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I was browsing through Ravelry/BrooklynTweed and saw The Morningside Neckwarmer and decided to try to duplicate it but do my own pattern. Jared Flood uses the Brioche Stitch. Since I don’t know what the Brioche Stitch is or how to make it, I thought I’d go with something I know.

I never usually go into making something like this with a plan. I knew I wanted it to stretch to fit over my head and I wanted it to look pretty, obviously. I decided to guess-timate the length and did the whole length of the nylon on my 10 1/2 Circular needles. I did a simple rib stitch of k1p1 and did not knit in the round. While I could have knit on straight needles, I enjoy working with the flexible nylon. There’s also more space to work with so the piece doesn’t look cramped and unlike what I want.

The yarn looks beautiful and I expect it’ll help keep me warm in the fall and winter months. I’ve already gotten some work out of it and I wear it a lot more than I thought I would. It’s perfect to fit over a sweatshirt or under a jacket and it’s long enough to even get up to my ears so a hat isn’t necessary a lot of times.

I next found an old skein of blue/green Alpaca that I loved the feel of while browsing around Loop Yarn Shop in Milwaukee.

After wrestling it away from my cat, I was planning on making a scarf.
After wrestling it away from my cat, I was planning on making a scarf.

Instead, I found that I enjoyed the neckwarmer idea and I started the pattern again. Though it was with the same needles, I found the knit to be a lot tighter and smaller than the more chunky thread. While on the larger needles, the ribbing is still very soft and comfortable.

Alpaca is made from a variation of Llama and is super soft and sits very nicely on the body after it’s been knit. It can get a little stretched out but I haven’t blocked it yet so I’m expecting it to do that. In any case, it adds a great level of accessory to any outfit I’m wearing- especially mixed with my black shirts and jacket.

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My third neckwarmer kind of happened by accident. I started with a wool/cashmere mix which I had previously made a scarf from and started making another neckwarmer. I quickly realized I was running out of yarn and had to come up with an alternate way of finishing. I had bought some green wool/acrylic yarn as a present to myself for my birthday and had never figured out what to do with it so I decided to finish the scarf with this.

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The neckwarmer conforms nicely to the neck and keeps me nice and toasty. I have yet to wear this one, mostly because it’s very snug on my neck and I need to stretch it out. Rib stitch is notorious for keeping its shape regardless of what you do to it, so I’ll hopefully be able to get it to be as lovable as my other two projects.

Make up courtesy of Maxwell John
Pictures taken at Hartbrook Park in Hartland, WI

Knitables

Ravel it!

I’m now obsessed with Ravelry.com, a Web site dedicated to showing off projects and getting ideas for projects of the knitting and crocheting nature. I find it mentioned a lot on other Web sites and blogs concerning knitting so I thought I’d check it out. I quickly made myself a profile and started updating my projects. While I don’t have many on it, I put the three projects I’m currently working on: My slouchy shrug turned Scarf, the Garter Stitch scarf for Tim, The Morningside Neckwarmer from Brooklyn Tweed, and my fingerless gloves. I can’t wait to continue updating and putting pictures of my projects up!

If you’re an avid knitter, check out the site and you’ll get a lot of different ideas that make your hands twitch with anticipation and your pocketbook yearn to be emptied for the use of great yarns!